Smorgasbord Blogger Daily 30th March 2017 – Dutch Rogue Cove, Wayward Wheeler, Janice Spina and John W. Howell

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome to my daily selection of just some of the blogs I have visited today and I thought I would share some new blogs I have connected to. The first is something very different. I am going to share the About Me page so you get the details and then I suggest that you head over and discover for yourself the wonderful artwork that has been created in this extraordinary fashion.  Brilliant.  Meet Artist Ben Miller.

About Dutch Rogue Cove

The idea for Dutch Rogue Cove is fuse the passion for fly fishing with the passion to create art. Painting and fly fishing are essentially the same thing with decisions being made about the colors and how fast they are set on a surface, and fly fishing with decisions being made about what fly to use in any given circumstance. This idea has been 30 years of fly fishing experience and twenty years of pursuing the arts in the works. It came to me one day to combine the two and create paintings by using a fly rod. There is no better place to create this art than Montana and capture the colors, movement, and temper of the famous streams. The art is evolving to paint the patterns and colors of different sides of trout and give a lot of action to paintings for the diverse quarry that can be pursued with a fly rod.

When I was 8 years old grandpa introduced me to fly fishing
Fly tying came next with sewing thread and chicken feathers lashed to an egg hook
All assignments in primary school dealt with fishing in one way or another
I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts from Washington State University
A K-12 teaching endorsement from Central Washington University
Taught Fine Arts at the high school level for 12 years
Discovered my niche to carve in the Art world, resigned from teaching, sold my house and moved to Bozeman Montana “The fly fishing capital of the world” to create works of art and change how paintings can be made and images of streams never seen before.

Find out more about Ben Miller and his artwork:

Next Eamon of WaywardWheeler is back packing around his home of New Zealand, the UK and is now tackling the wilderness of the USA. Since this is all done in a wheelchair the logistics are not always easy and I recommend that you head over and read some of the posts for yourself and decide whether you could manage with one backpack and a chair and face the long road ahead.

Next week I’m heading down the east coast from snowy Pennsylvania to sunny Florida. My goal is to get lost in the wilderness, So I’m making my way either to Arizona to get lost in the desert or Colorado to get lost in the mountains. I have a Tent, sleeping bag and everything I should need packed away in the backpack.

Read about the next stage in Eamon’s journey:

Janice Spina is host to children’s author Deb Hockenberry author of Where Can We Have the Party.

Please tell us something about yourself. When did you know that you wanted to be an author?

I’ve known that I’ve wanted to be an author since I was in elementary school. I remember telling stories to my siblings and the neighbor kids on my family’s front porch back then. I also remember being at our local branch of the Carnegie Library asking the librarian about books that could tell me how to get started in writing. I was still in elementary school and very nervous about asking her this. But it paid off. She took me into the adult section of the library and pulled several books on writing off the shelf for me. I was still in elementary school here, too. Back then, kids just didn’t go into the adult section for anything. I felt so special!

Read the rest of the interview:

Time to get back to nature now with John W. Howell who has an update on Peggy the Heron.. Both John and his wife are animal lovers and they ‘walk the talk’ supporting a local rescue centre. It is always a privilege when a wild creature enters our environment and becomes a fixture..

It has been a while since I have given you an update on my favorite heron. For those who are new Peggy has been in the neighborhood for over four years and she has an injured leg. We call her Peggy even though we are not sure she is a female. Peggy of course is the affectionate term for the fact that one leg is pretty much as if she was a pirate. The quick report is Peggy is doing well. She had a challenge with her bad leg about a month ago and was not getting around too well. She has recovered and is back to her old self.

See the photographic evidence:

Thanks for dropping in today and hope you find the posts as interesting as I did. Thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Woodlake (Images of America) by Marsha Ingrao

Welcome to the Cafe and Bookstore New on the Shelves and today the featured author is Marsha Ingrao who is enjoying her retirement from teaching and as History Consultant for the Office of Education for Tulare County in Central California.  Her local history book tells the story of the Western town of Woodlake.  Marsha also provides excellent ‘how to’ posts on blogging for newbies and experienced writers alike.

About the book

Known as the area “within the magic circle,” the Western town of Woodlake, along with its surrounding valley, is rich in both natural resources and hardworking citizens who are proud of their heritage. Most Tulare County towns sprang up along the Southern Pacific Railroad. Woodlake, designed as a tourist town, drew together farming communities, consisting of people too busy raising fruit and cattle to create a town. Starting with Thomas Henry Davis in 1853, settlers established farms and ranches, which attracted Los Angeles millionaire Gilbert Stevenson when he arrived in 1907.

Approved by the Tulare County Board of Supervisors on October 3, 1911, the world-class tourist town named Woodlake grew from Stevenson’s imagination into reality. Led by the strong sales personality of its founder, Woodlake grew quickly, yet it remained a Western town, retaining reference points to the early communities that visitors would not find on signs. Visitors to Woodlake today will find Woodlakeans still doing what attracted Gilbert Stevenson: raising cattle and growing citrus within protection of the Sierra Nevada and foothills.

All author’s proceeds from the sale of this book will go to the Woodlake High School Foundation.

One of the reviews for the book.

Wonderful book of Woodlake history. It’s a treasure! I bought three so my kids have their own copy. Grandson loves it! It’s heritage!

Buy the book from Amazon:

About Marsha Ingrao

Marsha is a retired teacher and History Consultant for the Office of Education for Tulare County in Central California.

My first novel, Girls on Fire, a romantic comedy about three women in their early sixties looking for new loves, will come out as soon as my editor sends me back the final edits to make. Three blogs keep me busy the rest of the time I sit at my desk.

In the past year, I have focused more on writing, blogging, and photography for newbies and non-professional bloggers. I write about those topics on this blog, Always Write.

Connect to Marsha

Websites: Blogging tutorials and personal posts:

Social Media
FB Page
Google +

Thank you for dropping by today and please feel free to share.. thanks Sally





Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – 29th March 2017 – Nicholas Rossis, The Story Reading Ape, Patricia Salamone and C.S. Boyack

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome to today’s look at some of the blog posts I have enjoyed. I tend to have a wide taste in subject matter with books and writing obviously high on the list. But I would love it if you would share either one of your own posts or one that you have enjoyed by another blogger by leaving a link in the comments section of the post.

First is an opportunity to feature two bloggers author Nicholas Rossis with a post on the subject of Endbooks which make opening a print copy unexpected and a great way to segway into the writing. His post was inspired by the blog post by Sarah Laskow’s blog

In the endless eBook vs. print debate, one aspect is rarely mentioned: the art of endbooks. And yet, as Sarah Laskow—my favorite Atlas Obscura blogger—points out, these can deliver a small jolt of wonder that perfectly complements a lovely book. An over-eager reader can breeze by even the most striking endbooks, yet they’re an art form with a history all their own.

An ENDuring Hostory

For centuries, designers have taken the formal necessity of joining a book’s pages to its cover and turned it into an opportunity for creativity. When a book is made, one side of an endpaper (sometimes also called an endpage or endleaf) is pasted into the inside of the book’s cover; the other side is the first page of the book.

Read the rest of the post and see more examples of this wonderful way to embellish your books:

The next post is from The Story Reading Ape who invites a wide selection of guests onto his blog to promote their work.  Today he welcomed guests Al and Sunny Lockwood who have turned their travels into a series of fascinating books.

As I gingerly step into my seventh decade on planet Earth, I’m filled with dreams and ready for adventure.

When I was younger, I was eager to do it all — earn college degrees, travel widely, run a business, write books, try all sorts of exciting things. I felt a type of urgency, like if I didn’t do all this stuff right now, I’d never do it and I’d end up old and full of regrets.

Is that do-it-now urgency a typical aspect of youth? I think it may simply be part of a full and fulfilling life no matter what your age. We live in the now, don’t we. While we carry our past with us, and we look forward to tomorrow, the only time we really have is right now to do the things we long for.

In any event, I did all that I’d dreamed of doing. And more. I developed publications for universities, wrote for magazines and even worked as a newspaper editor for a while. I did some skydiving, produced a TV show called “Women Working” at Gill Cable in San Jose, California, and enjoyed interesting friends from California to Main.

Read more about Al and Sunny’s travels that have become fascinating travel books:

Next Patricia Salamone shares the story of her honeymoon over 40 years ago and some of the unexpected experiences encountered.  I am sure Patricia would love to hear your honeymoon adventures (within reason) so please head over and share.


I know many, many people that love to watch horror. I can’t, I have nightmares if I do. However, I can read a scary book without having nightmares but it sort of hangs with me for a while. Many years before I married I read a book called ‘Harvest Home’ by Thomas Tryon. Talk about scary. I’m posting this first for a reason.

When I got married years later and we were on our honeymoon it was January with over twenty inches of snow on the ground. We stayed in a Pocono, Pa. Resort. When we arrived we were taken to our cabin.

Read the rest of this entertaining post and share your own misadventures:

Author C.S. Boyack welcomed crime thriller writer Sue Coletta to his blog yesterday. Sue talks about The Mystery Surrounding Antlers. Sue is also about to release her latest book and antlers feature so great opportunity to find out more about them and her new book.

Fans of the TV show Hannibal know the cannibal psychiatrist and gourmet chef—although his ingredients are quite questionable—often uses deer antlers to create macabre crime scenes. Some may think the creators of the show stole the idea from HBO’s True Detective, but that isn’t the case. The original idea stemmed from Stephen King. In his 1979 hit Salem’s Lot, King impaled one of the characters with antlers. They say it takes three repetitions to create a trend, and perhaps there’s some truth to that.

Antlers intrigued me enough to write them into my new novel, CLEAVED.

Read more about the mystery of antlers and Sue’s new book:

Thanks for dropping by and hope you enjoy reading the posts in the selection.. Don’t forget to leave your link to your most recent post or one that you have enjoyed in the comments section.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Book Reading and Author Inteview – John Fioravanti

Sally's Cafe and Bookstore

Please extend a warm welcome to my guest today on the Cafe Book Reading.. author John Fioravanti. I know that having read John’s interview you will have your own questions and please put those in the comments section of the post.

First something about John Fioravanti in his own words.

I taught high school history for thirty-five years in just two schools in the Waterloo, Ontario region. My wife and business partner, Anne, and I have been married for more than 40 years. We have three adult children and three grandchildren. In 2002, I wrote an educational book for high school students about writing skills in the discipline of History. “Getting it Right In History Class” is available in Canadian and International editions at Wintertickle Press.

In 2006, Iceberg Publishing commissioned me to write an inspirational book about my years in the classroom. “A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching” was published in 2007. The book won a Bronze Medal at the IPPY International Awards in Los Angeles in May, 2008. I retired from teaching the next month.

My wife and I decided to strike off on our own and founded our own publishing company in December, 2013. We called it Fiora Books. Our good friends at Iceberg Publishing turned my award winning book back over to us to publish under the Fiora Books imprint. The 2014 edition of “A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching” was released in May, 2014 on Amazon in paperback and eBook formats.

This was followed by Passion & Struggle Book One of The Genesis Saga in 2014, Treachery & Triumph Book Two of the series in 2015

One of the latest reviews for Book One of The Genesis Saga.

Mr. Fioravanti wrote a thought provoking science fiction story set in the year 2796. There is a lot of detail in the beginning of the story, that slowed me down at first. Although, once I got into the story, I was hooked. I found some chilling parallels with the story line and what is happening in our own world. Genesis is a tropical planet that humans inhabited after they had to leave Earth when a virus got out of control. Earth was left to evolve in new ways. A common enemy united both planets for a past war. This led to Genesis trying a new form of government modeling after Earth.

Implementing government reform does not go well, because Genesis is a society evenly split between religion and science/warrior classes. But, “Passion & Struggle” is about more than politics, war and religion. There is romance, adventure, hidden agendas, friendships, enemies and intrigue. The relationship between Earth and Genesis is fascinating within itself, but it’s the people that kept my attention. When I got to the last page, I wanted the story to continue and luckily it does! I will be reading the rest of the series!

Reflections: Inspirational Quotes and Interpretations in 2016.

REFLECTIONS was a perfect book to read over the holidays. Each chapter focuses on an inspirational quote from such notable people as Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and Anne Frank; and, because of this approach, the book can be read non-linearly. The reader can move from one reflection to another, as interest dictates.

There are 50 quotations included in the book, each of which author Fioravanti provides his interpretations, a practice he adopted for his weekly blog. His thoughts, measured and insightful, spur the reader to consider his or her own. This book earns my endorsement and support with Five well-deserved Stars.

Find out more about John’s books and his latest reviews:

Now time to discover more about John and his life and work. He is looking forward to answering your questions and please pop them into the comments at the end of the post.

Welcome John and could you tell us about your chosen genre of books that you write and why?

My first chosen genre is Inspirational Non-Fiction. I entered the teaching profession in 1973 to help young people navigate the treacherous waters of the teen years, and my desire to help others has never gone away. I also write Science Fiction having been inspired by Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek TV series when I was in high school. I never lost my fascination for space exploration. My sci-fi books are best described as human drama in a futuristic society, as opposed to classic space battles with otherworldly technology.

Tell us about your blog and your main features. With a link to what you consider best sums you up as a blogger?

My blogs have fallen into three categories – the first two reflect the genres in which I write. In the MY INSPIRATION blog series, I select an inspirational quote by an author or well-known person and then write an interpretive reflection about the quote.

The second set of blogs are vignettes called GENESIS CHRONICLES. These are a set of 25 prequels to my current sci-fi series called The Genesis Saga.

My latest set of blogs reflects my interest in teaching History in the classroom for 35 years. JOHN’S ARCHIVES put forward five events that happened on the current date in history, as well as three famous people born on that date:

What do you believe is the most important event to have affected our lives in the last 100 years?

I believe the most important event that has affected our lives in the last 100 years is the advent of the World Wide Web in 1989-90. Although there were other networks established two to three decades earlier, the Internet has profoundly impacted just about every aspect of our lives. I won’t list all of those ways here, but there are a few that are most important to me.

First, the Internet allows families to connect regularly, keep those bonds of affection, and support alive and well. As well, The WWW has revolutionised the global economy allowing many people to support themselves through online businesses. Now we can shop from our computers and other devices! Finally, the Internet, through social media, has impacted world events like no other medium in history. Would the throngs of women who marched in most major cities around the world recently have happened without the linkage provided by social media? I think not.

As a history teacher for thirty-five years what do you feel has been the most significant change to the education system in that time?

The most significant change in education during my career (1973-2008) was the advent of the Internet coupled with the use of computers in the classroom. The Internet has revolutionised research for every level of education. In my day, we researched at the school library and the local public library. The use of computers at home and the classroom has given students an invaluable learning tool to use in every area of study across the curriculum. As a teacher, my effectiveness in lesson presentation, skill development for students and in assessment and evaluation – and reporting, was enhanced many times over by the computer and access to the Internet. The exciting thing is that these twin tools are still evolving!

You have written both non-fiction and fiction. Which do you prefer and why?

Of the two genres, fiction and non-fiction, I prefer to write my science fiction novels. Just as reading a great novel is first-rate escapism, so too is writing such a book. As the author, I love to escape my reality in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada in 2017 to write stories about people living on a fictitious planet in a distant galaxy, six hundred years into the future.

I devoured novels by the dozen as a kid growing up and always regarded the authors as special beings. How did they come up with these plots and characters? How did they weave subplots together? When I discovered later in life that I can do this too, I was thrilled! I also love the act of creation – bringing something into existence that was not there before. Writing fiction is exciting stuff!

Having been a history teacher, which era do you feel has been the most significant in terms of the nations we are today?

As a history teacher, I’d say that the most significant era that impacted the nations that we are today is the period of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. This period saw the decline and breakup of the global European empires, the rise of independence movements among colonies, and most importantly for all of us, the ascendancy of the United States to the #1 world power status by 1900 and super power status by 1945. The Americans have had more influence on the world regarding economics, culture, politics and the military than any nation in history. We were spared World War III because the USA assumed the mantle of “World Cop” and enforced Pax Americana with a military unparalleled in size and power.

Connect to John on his website and social media.

Fiora Books website
Twitter Accounts:  and
Facebook:  and

My thanks to John for his thought provoking answers to the questions and it is now your turn to take over the interview with your own questions. John will be popping into the interview over the next two days or so to respond.


Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – 28th March 2017 – Dan Alatorre, All Doggie, Judith Barrow and Jennie Fitzkee

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

It is that time of day again to share a small selection of blog posts from the ones I have read and enjoyed.  If I have missed yours then I am sorry but would love it if you would leave a link in the comments for me.

I have done a few book signings in stores and at events and there is always that moment when you see the daunting pile of books that you wonder if you will be taking you home with you again.. Never fear.. Author Dan Alatorre is here with some great ways to avoid that happening.

9 Ways To Avoid A Humiliating Public Failure At Your Book Signing Event

You finally worked up the nerve to ask a real, live bookstore to have you sign books at an event!

Okay, you emailed them.

But they replied and now you have a signing event! Woo hoo!

Uh oh…

A real live event.With people.

Or worse, maybe with NO people.

I can hear your heart pounding from here. You’ve heard horror stories about signings. Nobody came. Nobody bought a book…


It can happen even if you DO plan. So what do you do? After all, for the most part you tend to be humiliation-averse.

Good thing I was here!

It won’t be long before we will be setting out on trips and I remember packing more for Sam than for us when we did a road trip.. He also seemed to have more paperwork requirements too.. at least we do not need Rabies shots before going to Europe! Here is a very useful blog .. All about dogs…. And a checklist for your next trip.

It’s always a good idea to make a list of essentials to bring along when you’re going on a trip, and traveling with Doggie is no exception. Making a list of items to bring along well in advance of the trip allows you to remember commonly forgotten items and add them to list before you disembark. Here at we’ve done the work for you!

When traveling with Doggie, don’t forget these essential items to make Doggie as comfortable as possible! After all, she’s a part of the family, and has some special needs that could be commonly forgotten in the moment of departure.

Here is the checklist:

Over the coming months Judith Barrow will be interviewing fellow authors who write family sagas. If you have not read Judith’s three books then I do recommend them all having read and thoroughly enjoyed. Yesterday her guest was Jenny Lloyd author of Leap the Wild Water, Anywhere the Wind Blows and The Calling of the Raven.

My Series of #FamilySaga Authors. Today with Jenny Lloyd #MondayBlogs
Posted on March 27, 2017

Over the next few months I’ll be chatting with authors who, like me, write Family Sagas, (#familysaga) a genre that can cover many countries, years and cultures.I am thrilled that so many excellent writers have agreed to meet here with me. I’m sure you’ll find them as fascinating as I do. All I can say is watch this space. Your TBR list of books will be toppling over!!

Read the very interesting interview with Jenny Lloyd as she talks about the inspiration behind her writing:

I have often written in health posts that I think that music is another food group and I certainly could not imagine my life without it. But how about young children being introduced to classical music and fine art. Jennie Fitzkee has introduced the children in her class to both with stunning results.. This is a fascinating post and even if you do not have children it might inspire you to put Vivaldi whatever musical player you own and get some paints out.

Every year I am surprised when I bring to school my old record player, which looks much like a suitcase. I simply but it down on the floor in front of the children and look at it. Then, I wait for the wonder of what happens next. As children predict what they think it might be, I open the lid and start to carefully touch the turntable and the arm… and then turn it on.

See the results for yourself in this surprising post:

Thank you for popping by and please feel free to share the link to your lastest post in the comments. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – 27th March 2017 – D.G. Kaye, Sacha Black and ABBA, Darlene Foster and Sue Vincent with Lisa Burton

Smorgasbord Blogger DailyWelcome to the Blogger Daily and delighted to share the posts of some bloggers who have their links in the comments of past posts today.. Please do leave yours as it is a way to reach some new readers for your blog.

Firstly though Debby Gies has been snow birding in Arizona away from the blizzards of Toronto. She is taunting us with her daily sunning by the pool and her various excursions around the area. And some spooky photographs that need some explaining…  Taunt away Debby…we have had two days of sunshine and counting…

What have I been up to in Arizona?

Well, for one thing, the temperatures have climbed to unseasonably hot. They were unseasonably cool up to one day before we arrived here. Where the temps should have been hovering around the mid 60s to early 70s from late February into March and tapering off around mid 70s for most of March, February had quite a cold spell and the first few nights here we needed a jacket. That was until the first weekend in March hit and we’re currently having temps close to 95 degrees. These desert temps can sometimes hamper plans to go to certain places where we’d have to be walking around all day outside, because, well, it’s a desert!

Read the rest of this entertaining and spooky post:

Sacha Black and the other ABBA team members are busy behind the scenes preparing for the start of the annual voting spree for the Bloggers Bash and also collecting your money for your tickets.  I am going and my ticket is booked.  Hope you can make it too.

The Bloggers Bash is now less than 3 months away, which means the committee is frantic and hysterical behind the scenes. Or maybe that’s just me.

And if you don’t know what the Bloggers Bash is, DAMN you should. It’s an annual get-together for all bloggers from all platforms from all over the world, although it’s hosted in London. Wanna come meet your blogging buddies? Get your ticket here.

Each year we release the awards, and their new swanky logos, so you can see what you will be nominating and then voting for.


Get all the details about the bash and the tickets which are only £10 :

Next Darlene Foster who shares a Ghost Walk on her recent trip to York.  I have experienced the atmospheric and slightly unnerving vibe of the city when I worked and lived there for six months. Gives me goosebumps just to think about it.

During my visit to York, I went on a ghost walk. A city with such a long and rich history is bound to have ghosts lurking about. In fact, York is known as the most haunted city in England. Our excellent guide took us to places where ghosts sightings and paranormal activity have been reported. We began the tour at the York Minster on a chilly misty evening.

Read the rest of this ghostly illustrated post:

I reblogged this post earlier but it bears repeating. I spend a great deal of my week searching through blogs and Amazon looking for posts to promote in the Blogger Daily and for new books and reviews to share in various FREE book promotions in the week. Thankfully I do get a few emails through but sadly it seems that authors are not taking advantage of offers for this and guest posts or interviews.  Here is Sue Vincent’s intro and then the guest post by Lisa Burton who is the robotic PA to author C.S. Boyack.

How much would you pay to reach a potential audience of say, a hundred thousand readers? And what if, instead, you could do that for FREE, with no strings attached?

Writers need to promote their work… interviews, guest posts, radio shows…they are all excellent ways of getting your work seen and, hopefully read. There are any number of sites willing to make holes in your hard-won and often meagre royalties by offering you advertising space, or nameless (and possibly non-existent) followers and who will charge you to appear on their blog or website. While everyone needs to make a living, and while there is nothing wrong with investing money, as well as your time to promote your work, why pay for what you are being offered for free?

There are very many people offering guest spots to writers. WordPress bloggers will also post their links across many social media platforms, getting your work seen by even more poeple so that even just between, say, The Story Reading Ape, Lisa Burton, Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord and this blog, you will reach that magic hundred thousand pairs of eyes.

Yet we struggle to fill the slots reserved for guest posts…

My guest today is the gorgeous Lisa Burton from Entertaining Stories and #LisaBurtonRadio who looks at some of the reasons why this might be so…


Read Lisa Burton’s guest post on the reasons why you need to be more proactive:

And if you would like to find out more about the promotions for bloggers and authors here on Smorgasbord then here are two links.

and the brand new open to all authors and book reviewers.

Why not make a start by leaving the link to your latest post in the comments section so that I can share this week in the Blogger Daily?

Smorgasbord Round Up – Bruce Springsteen, The Borgias, Illustrations and New Review series

Welcome to this week’s round up of posts that you might have missed. I don’t want to speak too soon but the sun has been shining for the last two days and it looks like the week might be good too. I have spent some time sitting in the wind shade the last couple of days and it has been wonderful. Let’s hope I do not upset the rain gods in the next few days.

As always I am very aware that the blog is a collaborative effort. Not just with guests who are regular visitors but those of you who have popped in, left comments and shared posts across your own networks.  You are much appreciated.

On with the show.

William Price King meets some legends and we join Bruce Springsteen as his career hits an all time high with such iconic albums as Born in the USA.

Thomas the Rhymer

Writer in Residence Extra –  Paul Andruss takes us back through the ages with an exploration of the religious penalties for disobedience!

Sally's Cafe and Bookstore

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Book Reading and Interview with award winning children’s author Bette A. Stevens. Bette is still taking questions about her life and work and you can leave them in the comments section of the post. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Creative Artist Interview with artist and illustrator Donata E. Zawadzka who shared some of her stunning artwork and her life and training.

The Colour of Life by Geoff Cronin

My father-in-law’s book continues with some building advice and devilish behaviour

Book and author Promotion

If you would like to join the other authors on the shelves of the bookstore then please check out the details.

This week Lyn Horner introduced us to the Western Romance anthology The Posse.

Authors on the shelves of the bookstore enjoy regular updates including new releases, great reviews and offers on their books.

New series Air your Reviews – an opportunity for authors and reviewers alike to share excellent reviews. Open to everyone and not just those on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

The Blogger Daily – do leave your links to your most recent post in the comments so that I can share.

Personal Stuff

My thanks to Robbie and Michael Cheadle for a wonderful review of Tales from the Garden.

Book Marketing – Smashwords and its affiliates.

An offer on What’s in a Name on my publishing website – £1.95

The Soldier by Sally Cronin

An estate in London is being overrun by teenagers on the rampage. An old soldier feels powerless.


Health – Top to Toe The Digestive System

Smorgasbord Health 2017

Thank you again for being so supportive. Enjoy what is left of the weekend and look forward to welcoming you again next week. Thanks Sally

My two guests this week for the Cafe and Bookstore Book Reading are John Fioravanti on Wednesday and Darlene Foster on Saturday.. get your questions ready.






Smorgasbord Blogger Daily 24th March 2017 – Brigid Gallagher – Seumas Gallacher – Yecheilyah Ysrayl – Jeff B. Grant

Smorgasbord Blogger DailyWelcome to today’s selection of blogs that I have enjoyed today and first is the post by Brigid Gallagher who took a road trip. Whilst the purpose of the drive was sadly for a funeral Brigid managed to visit the local area as well..

Fibromyalgia makes driving long distances a challenge for me; I am comfortable on short drives around home, but anything beyond that requires careful planning and extra rest, both before, during and after the journey.

Last week, an unexpected funeral around 60 miles away, took me out of my driving comfort zone.

However, I decided I was going to enjoy the journey regardless, as it would take me past some spectacular scenery -through the village of Dunlewey, The Poison Glen, and the foot of Errigal Mountain, then on through Glenveagh National Park where I once tended The Gardens of Glenveagh Castle.

Enjoy the photographs and the rest of the trip:

 I must admit that there are some mornings when I get up and view the grey skies outside my window and my joints creak that I would slap the next person who tells me that 60 is the new 40!  Seumas Gallacher is also posing his question about the subject..

…so when will 100 years old be considered the new ‘middle age’?

…it’s an extraordinary thing this age business… when Master Gallacher was creeping into his teens, emb’dy who was over thirty years old was regarded as ‘getting on a bit’… when my turn came to reach that same ripe milestone of 30, the horizon had stretched sum’what to ‘oldies’ being on the other side of fifty… galloping straight through my own ‘life begins at 40’ nonsense and ripping headlong through the half century, again the elasticity of the ‘seniority’ tag revealed itself… reserved then in my head for the 75+ bracket… what a moving target it’s been since 1948… yup, 1948, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land… the year the newborn Gallacher backside was smacked for the first time as the midwife prob’ly wondered ‘what the hell has this poor pregnant wummin produced’...

Carry on laughing and see if you can help Seumas out:

You might have noticed that I am on a tear this week about reviews. I think that they are so vital to our lives as writers that those that our paid to sell our books are doing a woeful job about them. We lay a great deal of responsibility on the shoulders of those who review our books and sometimes we are not as accepting as we might be about critical comments.

Writing a constructive well thought out and written review is as important as anything else we write be it short stories, novels or blog posts. Yecheilyah Ysrayl talks about this from a book reviewers perspective.

Why Reviewing Books is an Act of Love

Whenever I finish a book and prepare a review, I ask myself why I am doing this. Why I dedicate time reading books and time writing reviews and even more time structuring the blog post. Do you know how many times I revise a post before it goes public? Too many times. Some of the posts you love the most have been revised upwards to twenty times because I want it to be done to the best of my ability. It may not even be done right but at least I know I’ve done what I can.

Read the rest of this important post:

My last post today is one that reflects the opinion of what I hope is millions of those living in the United Kingdom, side by side despite language and cultural differences. I have been a guest in eight different countries since I was born for anywhere from two years to 17 years, and have always been treated with kindness and respect.

Jeff Grant shares this post which I think everybody should read and then reflect on their own approach to others in our multi-cultural societies. Jeff is correct in that if we are to survive into the next century we will need to find a way to live together in harmony.

Guns in Westminster

So here in the UK we have experienced another terrorist attack. Right alongside what is pleased to call itself the Mother of Parliaments. The first thing I want to say about that is that for any Muslim who may read this, for any native of another country living here who reads this – you are welcome here. I’m very happy to have you here. You and your different languages, your different dress, your different foods which our restaurants serve now on a daily basis all brighten up and broaden the collective mind of our society. I’m not exaggerating when I say I’m slightly humbled – and flattered – that you should think enough of this country and this society to want to make a life for yourself and your family here, or just to be resident here for a period of time. And you should know that there are millions of others like me whose voices you perhaps don’t hear often enough.

Read the rest of this message to us all:

Have a great weekend and the Blogger Daily will be back on Monday. Thanks Sally

Coming up on Smorgasbord this weekend.

Two chapters from The Colour of Life by Geoff Cronin on Saturday and Sunday.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Book Reading and Inteview with award winning children’s author Bette A. Stevens on Saturday.

Smorgasbord Round up on Sunday.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – 23rd March 2017 – New Series, Book People, The Drunken Cyclist and Joan Frankham


Smorgasbord Blogger DailyWelcome to my selection of blog posts that I have enjoyed today and I would like to take this opportunity to reshare my post earlier from today on the new series for authors and book reviewers.

I know that reviews are so important and whilst I do share recent reviews for the authors on the Cafe and Bookstore shelves I have noticed that there are a great many bloggers reviewing books prior to putting on Amazon etc.  I have been putting those I see into the Blogger Daily but have now provided a specific post for them.  Also this is open to all authors who might have just received a rave review and want to share in an additional spotlight.

Check out the first post in the series and then get in touch at the email address in the post. Featuring brand new reviews for Kevin Morris, D.G. Kaye and Tina Frisco..

Read the rest of the post:

This next post brought back memories.. We lived in Houston in the 1980s and spent a lot of time exploring the state including Austin and San Antonio as favourite destinations. This is the wonderful story of the bookstore started in 1970 and still thriving today having grown and expanded over 40 years.  I still hope to get my Cafe and Bookstore off the ground in reality and take inspiration from the fact that an independent bookstore can still be a driving force in the community.

Every March, we in Texas celebrate the history of our state: the Texas declaration of independence (1836), birth of Sam Houston (1793), and Alamo Heroes Day (1836) all occur this month. After over 40 years serving Austin’s bookish community, we’d like to reintroduce you to our own Texas history. In this series, we take a look at our unique relationship with our community.

On November 11, 1970, two couples opened a small bookstore on the ground floor of a duplex on West 17th street near the University of Texas campus. With a meager budget of only $5,000, they hand-picked their inventory from small presses and focused on alternative politics, political theory, metaphysics, and eastern religions. They named their store Grok Books, from Robert Heinlein’s A Stranger in a Strange Land to promote the idea that engaged reading can foster change and growth in the individual and society.

Read the rest of the story of the Book People:

Now onto the subject of Champagne and Sparkling wine.. Mary Smith and I were talking only this afternoon about enjoying some Cava when we meet at the Bloggers Bash in June and I must admit to enjoying the odd glass of bubbly.. Some of the best sparkling wine I have drunk in previous years is top of the range Cava which I could buy very reasonably for around 15Euro in the supermarket. Prior to that however it has to be Korbel sparkling wine that we used to enjoy when living in the States.  Here is a post by The Drunken Cyclist on the subject of American Sparkling wine and whether it is as good as Champagne especially when retailed at a similar price.

I have been around the wine industry for many years now and I hear a common refrain:

“Those who spend more than $25 on an American sparkling wine need to have their head examined.”

Never heard that? Well, you need to hang around me more often because I say it all the time. And I am not the only one. There are many in the wine world that apparently agree with me (I will not cite them here, but check the scores on champagne vs. American sparkling and you will see that I am right….).

Why do I feel that way? Simple. Champagne has marketed themselves very well. Quite simply, most people associate champagne with luxury, quality, opulence, and, well, “the good life.” While some might argue that it is all marketing, I would disagree. There is a reason that champagne has ascended to its rather lofty status: it is good. Very good. Outstanding, even.

For a long time, I have pontificated that American sparklers must compete not only on quality but also on price. In other words: Why buy a bottle of domestic wine unless it is both better and less expensive than its counterpart from the more prestigious region?

For me, that is the question when it comes to domestic sparkling wines.

Find out if American Sparkling wine can compete on taste and price:

As we start planning some trips for the better weather (haha…) I am keeping my open for posts on Ireland and recommended places to visit. Here is a post by Joan Frankham as part of the Thursday Doors series.. Waterford is David’s home town and his family history goes back several hundred years and we are looking forward to returning to explore more especially as only a couple of hours away from us here in Wexford.

This photo is of one of the doors into Lismore Castle in County Waterford, of course it’s not the main door of the castle, that door was open and I didn’t manage to get a good shot as there were many people milling around. This castle is one of the residences of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire,and has been in their family since 1753.

Read the rest of the history about Lismore Castle:

I hope you have enjoyed today’s selection and please feel free to share a link to your latest post in the comments.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – 22nd March 2017 – Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, Diary Of a Nineteen Year Old, Marilyn Armstrong and Jane Risdon


Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome to the day’s round up of posts I have enjoyed.. As I keep mentioning it is only a small selection but I hope you will head over and read them for yourself and follow the bloggers in question.

The first post is about Empathy and the strength of friendship. There have been times in my life when I felt adrift and isolated but was brought back into the fold by one or two special people who troubled themselves to forget their own lives and help me get mine back. Madelyn Griffith-Haynie suffered a serious accident and required round the clock care for a year.. in this post she shares those who made her recovery much easier and possible.

Tough Love Lessons from an Empathy Deficit Society

“There, but for the grace of God, go I”

Not my problem, not my business?

Our society seems to be rapidly moving to a state where it is empathy-averse. The next few posts are my attempt at trying to change that sad reality in some small fashion by telling my personal story. It is time.

Many who are still able to care what happens to others take the “wait and see” approach, hoping perhaps that some of the problems will resolve without their involvement.

I have noticed it most overtly in response to current political actions of late, but I have always seen it most pervasively in the continuing lack of Mental Health Awareness.
That attitude troubles me greatly. We need each other, and the quote at the top of this page has never been more apt.

I always planned to speak out about it, once I put my life back together after a horrendous event that all but took it away from me entirely. But there was so much to do in the aftermath that time got away from me.

The attitude I observe, that seems to be increasing since the start of the most recent election cycle, has emboldened me. I think it’s time to put polish a few drafts and publish them.

Read about Madelyn’s experience and about those who showed their true friendship:

Now a post Diary Of a Nineteen Year Old about stereotyping. I am blonde, curvy and a pensioner!  And there are still stereotypical comparisons made at any age. They are however particularly hard on the the younger generation who are still finding their place in the world and where when we were young it was isolated to our home town and our work place it is now universal. It is a lot of pressure. A very interesting and thought provoking post to read.

I bet that you all know what stereotyping is, Ey? Honestly, I couldn’t cover even an eighth of all the instances of stereotyping that exist today, even if I tried (you can google them though), so, I’m just gonna highlight a few negative examples that I could think of (it’s lengthy so please get comfortable).

1. All blondes are dumb.

😂😂have you read all the blonde jokes? They’re like a million. It’s sad but I’m sure you all can think of a movie or a cartoon where the blonde girl is the dumb one.

Read the rest of the post:

I do resonate with this next post. I only noticed yesterday that I should do some dusting. I then sat down and did some writing. I am still at the should stage… when I get to the MUST do some dusting because we have visitors coming I will get round to it….I have a sense of adventure but I have to make a couple of allowances now before setting off.. I accept that there are terrains I can no longer walk on because of my lack of ligaments in my right knee and that a six hour trek up and down a mountain without facilities is a double whammy!

Marilyn Armstrong explores this very effectively in her post and I am sure that you can add your views to the post as well..


It’s one of the things you learn getting older. You really can’t fight all the battles because there are too many battles and too few of you. So you accept that the plow driver knocked down half a wall and dug up a big chunk of garden … which someone is going to have to fix because it’s like hideous mud and rock central on the driveway.

You look at the door, realize it’s begun to rot a bit under the sill. You shrug. It’ll get dealt with, eventually. Not by me, of course. I don’t do sills.

What have you accepted and moved on from:

Jane Risdon welcomes guest author Sheryl Browne to her blog who talks about her new thrillers After She’s Gone and Sins of the Father.

I’m often asked what prompted me to SWITCH TO THE ‘DARK SIDE’.

In all honesty, I’m not sure I have switched. Even in my contemporary romance, I tend to write about people and the gamut of emotion that comes with them, gravitating towards family and family dynamics and just how strong a family unit can be. I find there is usually a bad guy or girl in all of my books. Sometimes the hero will start out as seemingly bad, which gives him room to grow. I think in writing psychological thriller, I’m exploring the darker psyche of some of my characters, looking at the nature vs nurture conundrum. Is badness in the genes? Is it brain function or childhood experience that creates a monster? A combination of all three?

Read the rest of Sheryl’s interview:

Thank you for dropping by today and if you would like to feature here in this blogger promotion then just leave a link to your most recent post in the comments. thanks Sally