Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Friday 18th August, 2017 -Tony Riches/Wendy Janes, D.G. Kaye/ Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, Dan Alatorre/ Heather Kindt, Christy Birmingham

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome to the last of the week’s blogger daily posts and perhaps you can enlighten me as to how Friday has come around so quickly!  Anyway I have been offline quite a bit today but I have a small selection of posts you might enjoy from around the community.

The first is from Wendy Janes who is not only an author but a professional proofreader too. This is part three of a series that she has been sharing and if you confuse your its and it’s and other transgressions, this is a post for you (and me). This is posted on Tony Riches blog.

The odd thing about grammar and punctuation rules is that they are a bit of a moveable feast. Some change depending on whether you’re using US or UK English and others are flexible depending on context, style and genre. Sounds like a can of worms, if you ask me. But let’s dive in and try and make some sense of it all.

First, I’d like to select the three rules that I see authors breaking most often. These ones are non-negotiable.

Use of it’s and its
it’s = it is (It’s raining)
its = belonging to (The creature protected its young)
The easy way to remember correct use of it’s and its is to say ‘it is’ whenever you come across either version. If the sentence makes sense when you say ‘it is’ then the correct term is it’s.

Get the rest of the three rules that are most commonly broken:

We have had a post on the subject of writing and now we have one on the topic of reading and how important it is to keeping our brains engaged and active. Madelyn Griffith-Haynie is an authority on the brain and its functions and she was a guest of Debby Gies a couple of days ago.

Madelyn has written a fantastic article on the importance of reading books and explains in her post, just how far the information we retain from reading can help us relate to others, how reading benefits us as we age, the beneficial impact reading has on warding off Alzheimer’s disease, and much more!

Thanks to our ability to scroll through endless words on our computers, tablets and smart phones, more people are reading than ever before.

Still, while the act of reading itself has increased, there is a significant difference between reading anything and reading a book that pulls you into the mind of the author as you take a mental vacation.

Even hours of reading on FaceBook, or skipping from blog to blog reading multiple articles on various subjects, does not seem to have the same positive effect as reading a novel, a memoir or a carefully curated collection of short-stories.

And the more time we spend online, the less time we have for reading those wonderful books on our TBR lists (“To Be Read”).

That’s a real shame, too, because reading a good book is not only an enjoyable, affordable “vacation” that broadens our perspective, it turns out that science has discovered that it actually improves our brain functioning in ways that translate to improved thinking, mood, functional intelligence, more positive and productive connections in our lives, and so-much-MORE.

Read more about the benefits to the executive function of our brains of reading effectively:

Now that the winners for the Word Weaver competition that was created by Dan Alatorre have been announced, it is a great pleasure to share the beginning of the winning story by Heather Kindt.  As the first prize we are looking forward to working with Heather when she is ready to publish her book.

Ruby Slips and Poker Chips  by Heather Kindt

“It was Toto that made Dorothy laugh, and saved her from growing as gray as her other surroundings.”

July 1995

Quandary Pond was situated between my house and the tiny one-bedroom shack that sat five minutes down the road. The shack was a rental, and a poorly cared for one at that. Our neighbors didn’t stay there much longer than a barefoot on the pavement outside Price Chopper in July. The house appeared lopsided to me, shingles falling off, and the siding was worn with time. Grass grew as high as my thigh and Uncle Embry often stated his intention to go over there and give the yard the weed whacking it deserved. The last residents had left in the middle of the night. I overheard Aunt Henrietta say something about drug charges.

“I’m going down to the pond!” The screen door shut behind me. Uncle Embry was at work at the air-conditioned post office and Aunt Henrietta reclined in the oversized Lazy boy trying to stay cool in the heat of the Kansas afternoon. The fan that oscillated next to the chair made more of a racket than what it was worth.

I preferred cooling off by the pond. Dressed in cutoffs and a tank from the local thrift store, my braids bounced against my back as I skipped down to my favorite hangout.

Making my way down the path from the house to the pond, I glimpsed a red station wagon sitting in front of the shack. New renters. I never really took the time to get to know anyone who lived there, since they’d probably be gone in a couple of months. Removing my shoes, I dove into the pond, no longer worried about the leeches that some of my girlfriends squealed about. After a short swim, I trudged out, settling on a drip dry as I made my way to the tree where I hid my stash. The hollow in the tree contained a jar for bug catching (usually fireflies at night), a couple bottles of water, a net, a pail and my science journal (which I kept in a plastic bag in case it rained). I picked out the net and started to creep around the reeds looking for Old Bill, the bull frog that was as large as a grapefruit and had so far avoided capture. My goal was to sketch and categorize each frog in the pond, as well as many of the insects. Rounding the bend by a large tree, Bill sat on a rock sunning himself. This was going to be the day. A crop duster flew overhead masking any sounds my feet made in the grass. I lifted my net at the perfect angle for frog catching, ready to pounce.

This is really a terrific story and I am sure that the book will be a winner too:

For many people who are recovering from operations or illnesses the thought of bed rest can be attractive initially but then boredom sets in. Christy Birmingham looks at the issue and comes up with some strategies to stay sane.

There are numerous reasons why you might find yourself confined to your bed for a period of time. The most obvious are those regarding health; an injury or illness that means you have to follow doctor’s orders until you’re back to your best.

The idea of being on bed rest sounds, to the average busy person, pretty ideal. Bed is the space we all love; that we have to reluctantly drag ourselves from every morning, and leave behind when we go to work with a forlorn last longing glance. How could bed rest – staying in bed because you’ve been told to! – ever be a bad thing?

What at first feels like a luxury has a tendency to soon feel stifling. Being confined to a single room becomes boring; you find yourself wanting to get up and about, just see something different. While there is an element of enjoyment to be found in a period of bed rest – especially if you are usually always on the go – it’s not quite so enjoyable when you have to be there.

So if you find yourself in a situation where your life is going to revolve around a bed and not much else for a period of time, here is a simple guide to ensuring you stay comfortable both mentally and physically for the duration.

Head over and get these strategies under your belt.. you never know when you might need them:

Thanks very much for dropping in and I hope you have enjoyed the snippets and feel inclined to head over and read all the posts. There are a few posts over the weekend and the Blogger Daily will be back Monday.. Take care and thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Wednesday 16th August 2017 – Dan Alatorre, Angie Quantrell, Maverick on the Move and Cindy Knoke


Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome to some of the posts that I have enjoyed today and first is the winner announcement from author Dan Alatorre for his Word Weaver competition.

We were delighted (Moyhill Publishing) to sponsor the first prize for the winner and look forward to working with them in the future on publishing and promoting their book.. I won’t put in spoilers but please head over and find out the winners of the prizes and also appreciate the effort that Dan has put into this amazing competition.

How difficult is it to look at tons of stories and figure out which one is THE BEST?

I spent hours and hours looking over the stories, seeing which one stuck out from the crowd, which one took the #1 spot – until a better one came along… and critiquing quite a few, to help you guys get to the next level.
And guess what?

TWO of our contestants from the prior contest have published their stories!
Some of the contestants from this contest were invited to be in our “scary anthology.”
One contestant was so good I asked to find a way for us to work together on a project down the road.

Yep, they are living the dream. And LOT of people who got critiques replied to tell me how helpful the information was.

And a special mention for the lovely Robbie Cheadle….. congratulations Robbie and look forward to reading your story.

Here is what Dan had to say

Special Honorable Mention: I loved this story.

An Encounter With A Suit Of Armour by Robbie Cheadle

It didn’t take the top spot but it’s cute as hell and you’ll see why it deserves special notice. Can’t give too much away right now, though. Be sure to come back and read it when we feature it soon here on the blog.

Find out who the winners are of the competition:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Lovely to read this post from Angie Quantrell as a tribute to Libraries.. I joined our library at age 8 when I was allowed my own card and was not added to my father’s.  From 11 I was allowed to go on my own to the city centre and change my books and could pick new ones. Great places and the new one in Portsmouth is in the middle of a shopping precinct and has a cafe and all the features that Angie describes as well as a place to pay all your council bills.

I spend time at the library. MUCH time.

Because I love books. The smell, the feel, the sight, and the anticipation of opening the pages and jumping into an adventure pull me in. Every. Single. Time.

So I live, I mean visit my library. Actually, I patronize nearly all of my libraries, the ones in the Yakima Valley. Plus I have connections with other libraries not in my area, which is perfect when I need resources or just want to snoop and see what is out there.

Really you can’t lose when you visit the library. Free books! Free help, internet, bathrooms, AC (or heating), gathering place, information, friends…The library is community.

In my much library time, I’ve noticed several different groups frequenting the hallowed halls of bookdom.

Find out more about all the groups and activities at Angie’s Library.. there may be some your library is not providing:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Time to travel to India in the company of the Maverick on the Move Travel blog and a post on the unfinished Bhojeswar Temple of Bhojpur

This temple is located in the Bhojpur village in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The temple construction was started in the 11th century, during the reign of Paramara king Bhoja. The construction was abandoned for unknown reasons, with the architectural plans engraved on the surrounding rocks.

It appears that the construction work stopped abruptly due to unknown reasons. Historians speculate that the abandonment may have been triggered by a sudden natural disaster, lack of resources or a war. To the north and east of the temple, there are several quarry sites, where unfinished architectural fragments in various stages of carving were discovered.

See the wonderful photographs of this stunning temple and read about the history of this unfinished temple:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

And finally I hope Cindy Knoke will not mind if I share one of her images from today’s post to encourage you to head over and see the incredible humming bird photos along with some interesting facts and information from Cindy.

I follow a number of photographers and have done since I began blogging. Images are the main inspirations behind my stories.. photographs, views from the top of a mountain, memories of people, places and events. They all create images in my mind, but it takes an incredible amount of skill to capture those images for all of us to share. If you do not already follow Cindy then do not waste any more time.

I can’t believe I finally got a photo of a hummingbird’s forked tongue! I have never captured the fork at the end of the tongue because it typically springs open once a hummer inserts her tongue in a flower. But here it is, for us to see!

Head over and see the other images of Humming Birds including ones of Cindy feeding the hummers by hand:

Thank you for heading over today and look forward to seeing you again tomorrow. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Tuesday 15th August 2017 – #Ireland, Bit of Irish Sparkle, Ali Isaac, Brigid Gallagher and Sheila Kiely

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Time to shared a few of the outstanding posts that I have read today. If you would like to highlight one of your own posts then please send me a link to

I thought today I would share some Irish themed blogs with you since there are some amazing ones around. Ireland is known for its wonderful scenery (suspiciously green) its coastline and wildlife, music and food and drink.. I hope I have managed to get a little of everything in today.

And to begin with a bit of music and a new blog to me.. which offers a Bit of Irish Sparkle.. count me in. Meet Dawn who is showcasing some recent Irish Country releases.

There have been a few new releases on the Irish Country music scene in the past couple of weeks so I though I would share some of my favourites with you.

Firstly a wonderful singer, Patrick Feeney and “Step it out Mary”, I love the girl Irish dancing on the beach and throughout the video. Patrick Feeney is known for his humour and often dresses up as characters for his video’s. For me, I’m not sure it works so well in this video but I love the song and the video all the same.

Head over and watch the wonderful selection of videos and the first one in particular is very catchy:

Now a familiar face… Ali Isaac with her new series for anyone planning a visit to Ireland. Ali is sharing some of the places that she and her family enjoy and thinks you will too. Even for us already living here will get some useful day trip ideas from this series too. First on her list is Deerpark, County Cavan and Ali not only describes how you can get the most from this beautiful place but includes some great photographs.

I‘ve been coming here for years with my family, and love it just as much now as when I first ventured in among the trees. The Slí na Sláinte is a 5.5km circular walk through the forest, which passes the Virginia Golf Course, and follows the edge of Lough Ramor, but there is also a shorter 3km route, too.

The forest was established by the second Lord Headfort, Thomas Taylor, in the early nineteenth century; he planted ash, elm, oak, larch, spruce and Scots pine and some are still standing today. Now, the forest is managed by Coillte, but there is little interference with nature’s gardening plans.

The crumbling old boat house is all that remains of a once thriving ferry system which connected the small town of Virginia with Munterconnaught, dating as far back as the seventeenth century, when Virginia was established as a strategic staging and resting place for coaches travelling between Enniskillen and Dublin.

Head over and read the rest of the post and see the stunning surroundings for yourself:

Another blog which showcases all that is great about this island is by Brigid Gallagher.. She is on a blog break but she left this for us last week.. We have a seal sanctuary close to us at the harbour where they rescue and rehabilitate baby seals, but around Ireland there are opportunities to see these slippery creatures in their natural environment.. up close and personal.

The 41st Burtonport Summer Festival programme included “Seal Watching Trips” to see one of Ireland’s largest seal populations, with Jim Muldowney of Dive Arranmore.

“The islands and rocks of Dungloe Bay are home to around 300 seals including pups at this time of year”, the programme suggested. I felt compelled to book a place.

The weather was a little windy and clouds filled the sky, as we set off from Burtonport Harbour. “Elsie Jayne,” a purpose built dive boat, provided a choice of seating both indoors and out; I chose to embrace the ocean breeze in the outer seating area.

Jim provided a very interesting commentary throughout the trip. Passing Rutland Island, we learned that more than 600 people worked for Rutland Fisheries in the 1780’s, when herring fishing was at its peak.

Sadly, the fishing industry went into decline and the island is no longer inhabited, except for seasonal visitors to a number of holiday homes.

Head over and make sure you have taken your seasick pills… and go seal watching:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

We have had music, somewhere to visit to enjoy the Irish countryside and to enjoy Irish wildlife in the coastal waters. You must all be famished by now and so here is a recipe from an Irish food blog for Vegetarian Curry (yes we do enjoy international cuisine here and the ingredients are Irish). Sheila Kiely shares a recipe from one her cookbooks.

What I’m looking for when I cook is simplicity, accessible ingredients and taste. I will do anything to avoid chop, chop, chopping and keep the prep. simple. I love all vegetables but I hate prep. especially awkward peeling and then hard chopping. Case in point turnips. To my shame I probably only cook turnip a couple of times a year. It is delicious when cubed, tenderly cooked and smothered in butter or mashed with white pepper. I am sorry turnip, you’ve been neglected because you are such flipping hard work. But you are delicious and you are worth it. Turnip I shall revisit you anon. But there is no turnip in this recipe.

Read the rest of the post and make note of the recipe for this simple to make Vegetarian curry, also browse Sheila’s archives.. I am sure you will find plenty of easy and delicious recipes to enjoy:

And now you will be wanting a drink to go with your meal. There are a few other things we are known for in Ireland and Guinness is one of them… some people go that extra mile on a Saturday to get their pint..

I hope you have enjoyed today’s selection and that you have a good evening.. see you again soon.. Sally


Smorgasbord Daily Blogger – Monday 14th August, 2017 – Karen Ingalls, Nicholas Rossis, Charles Yallowitz, The Story Reading Ape with Jemima Pett

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome to a new week of blogging highlights and to start us off is a post by Karen Ingalls.

Fascinating post by Karen Ingalls​ on the subject of tears.. if you think that on closer examination tears of sorrow are the same as tears of joy.. you would be wrong. Our emotions not only colour our judgement they create different patterns in our tears.

The geologic complexity of that secret place is what photographer Rose-Lynn Fisher explores in The Topography of Tears (public library) — a striking series of duotone photographs of tears shed for a kaleidoscope of reasons, dried on glass slides and captured in a hundredfold magnification through a high-resolution optical microscope. What emerges is an enthralling aerial tour of the landscape of human emotion and its the most stirring eruptions — joy, grief, gladness, remorse, hope — reminding us that the terra incognita of our interiority is better trekked with an explorer’s benevolent curiosity about the varied beauty of the landscape than with a conquistador’s forceful intent to control and sublimate. (Artist Maira Kalman affirmed this notion with great simplicity and poignancy in a page from her marvelous philosophical children’s book: “If you need to cry you should cry.”)

Head over and find out what the differences are between tears of joy, sorrow and other  emotional triggers:

Now something for the more technically minded of you who put pen to paper.. or fingers to the keyboard. The ultimate in writing apps that creates an environment and personal assistance to allow you to focus on getting your next bestseller published. Nicholas Rossis gives us all the details about this app and by the sounds of it, the next generation might just write the book for you… interesting to see the development in this kind of software and useful writers across the board from students to authors of all genres.

There are over 100 different kinds of text editors available on Windows and macOS. There are some alternatives to Microsoft Office for Linux OS, while Linux users do not have such a wide variety of choices when it comes to finding a light minimalist text editor.

Being a professional or an amateur writer, a student, a person who just needs to make some notes, there is always a need to write down some important stuff. For this purpose, there’s a new app you can install on any of your machines and use for writing texts of any kind. Write! App was developed with a distraction-free environment in mind, where users can focus only on what is important at any particular moment.
Introducing Write!

Read the rest of the post on this app:

Charles Yallowitz with a well researched and fascinating look at shields.. essential reading for anyone who writes fight or battle scenes in historical or fantasy novels.

A while back, I was asked to write about the different types of shields. I’d already set up the posts for July to promote The Life & Times of Ichabod Brooks, so here we are in August. This takes a lot more research than normal for me because I typically only used three types: Buckler, Large Round (Targe) , and Tower. So, I’m just going to list all the types and be informative:

Buckler– These are small shields that are about 18 inches in diameter. This doesn’t help much against projectiles, so it’s more useful in close combat. Even then, it won’t protect much against large weapons, so one could see it more as an offensive weapon that you can punch with. Supposedly, the Buckler is partially responsible for the term ‘Swashbuckler’ because it was used to give some defense while depending more on offense.

Targe– Also called a Target, this is a concave shield that is round and are what you probably think of first. They tend to be iron or wood or a combination, but they are big enough to protect the main body and head. Not at the same time though. Not really sure why it’s a rectangle up there since all the pictures I found were circular. Anyway, this is what would be one of the three standard shield types and shapes.
Roundel– Also called a Rondache, the second type is a bigger circle made of boards of light wood and rope. Then it was covered with leather or metal plates.

Check out all the other shields, shapes and uses:

And to finish today.. a guest post on  The Story Reading Ape from Jemima Pett on the subject of naming your characters… we all have preconceived ideas about what someone is going to look like or behave, especially if they have names that remind you of someone you were not too keen on.. or very keen on.. And certainly when it comes to Jack Reacher, I had to put my prejudices aside…. love Tom Cruise but he is not 6ft 6inches tall.

Luke Skywalker

Elizabeth Bennet

Jack Reacher

Stephanie Plum

Indiana Jones

Bridget Jones

Zarko Fanwester

Each name probably leaps into your imagination. If you’ve seen them on film or tv, you may have a distinct image of them, too. How well do their names fit the personalities you treasure them for?

Luke Skywalker. Luke is a solid name; shades of biblical resonance, traditional. Skywalker; surely he isn’t a dirtfarmer or whatever they do in the desert where he lives. He belongs in the air, a pilot, at the very least. Is he a hero? Maybe not intentionally.

Find out more about the names and the images they conjure up:

I hope you have enjoyed this snapshot of great blog posts… see you again tomorrow.. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – FREE book, Invitation to a Party and brilliant writers.

Welcome to the weekly round up and a reminder that What’s in a Name Volume one is FREE until midnight tonight. I am not part of the Kindle family although all my books are formated to be read on Kindles, Nooks and any other devices. So I don’t do the Kindle select promotions. However, most of you know we well enough to email me and that your information is safe.

About the stories

There are names that have been passed down through thousands of years which have powerful and deep-rooted meaning to their bearers. Other names have been adopted from other languages, cultures and from the big screen. They all have one thing in common. They are with us from birth until the grave and they are how we are known to everyone that we meet.

There are classical names such as Adam, David and Sarah that will grace millions of babies in the future. There are also names that parents have invented or borrowed from places or events in their lives which may last just one lifetime or may become the classic names of tomorrow.

Whatever the name there is always a story behind it. In What’s in a Name? – Volume One, twenty men and women face danger, love, loss, romance, fear, revenge and rebirth as they move through their lives.

Anne changes her name because of associations with her childhood, Brian carries the mark of ancient man, Jane discovers that her life is about to take a very different direction, and what is Isobel’s secret?

The book is available in Mobi (Kindle) Epub (other devices) and pdf for those of you without a reader.

Just email me on and I will whisk a copy over to you. I appreciate that many of you have TBRs that rival the Leaning Tower of Pisa… but that is okay and I also have no expectation of a review… unless you really want to!

You can read a number of reviews for the book:

and the latest review by Paul Andruss which is a story too:

End of Summer Party – August 26th – 28th – all welcome.

I will be roasting showcasing, those bloggers who have been with me since I began Smorgasbord four years ago.. and apart from these guests, I am inviting everyone to chip in with their details in the comments. I have some food and drink (virtually no calories) and there will be some music. I hope you will be able to pop in .

My secretary Mavis has reminded me that it is time to get on with the round up of the week’s posts that you might have missed.

I am of course very grateful to my guests this week who have provided us with entertaining and interesting posts. Thanks to Anne Casey, Julie Lawford and Carol Taylor who will be with us through the summer and beyond I hope.

William Price King is still on his summer break but I have been sharing a previous series that proved very popular the first time around.. Tony Bennett the ultimate performer.

Guest post from poet and song writer Anne Casey talking about the path to the publication of her debut poetry collection. Including her published work in the Irish Times.

Julie Lawford continues her summer of lifestyle articles with her top ten tips for maintaining your weight loss.

I was delighted to welcome Carol Taylor to the blog for the first of a collaborative series on my top healthy foods with some wonderful recipes from Carol.. This week delicious ways to prepare the king of fish.. salmon.

Milestones along the way by Geoff Cronin

I have posted another one of my entertainment reviews and this time for King Arthur: Legend of the Sword….

Book Promotion

For the next 12 weeks I am guest posting with a number of fantastic bloggers as part of the Odd Jobs and Characters, What’s in a Name launch series. I am posting the first three and then this Friday, Debby Gies is hosting the first of the guest appearances.. By all accounts she has added some Debby specials to the post so I hope you will head over and check it out.

This week was part one of my adventures as a dental nurse back in the late 1960s…haha.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

Cafe and Bookstore Update

Air Your Promotions

Smorgasbord Short story

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Weekly image and Haiku

Humour and afternoon videos

Thank you for all your support and generosity in sharing.. Enjoy the rest of the weekend and hope you will visit again next week.



Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Friday 11th August 2017 – Lucinda E. Clarke, Debby Gies (FREE Book) Steve Costello, Carmen Stefanescu and Christy Birmingham

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome to Friday’s Blogger Daily with a small selection of terrific blog posts in the community today.  Starting with author Lucinda E. Clarke and her guest Lesley Hayes.

My guest this week lives in Oxford, England and is a psychotherapist by profession and a prolific writer. I enjoy her books which I would describe as deep, leaving lots of room for thought long after you read the last page. Again, Lesley is one of the earliest virtual friends I met on Facebook and we’re both in the Indie Authors Support and Discussion group. We re-tweet regularly and I do recommend her books they are truly inspiring.

My name is Lesley Hayes and I write… It feels like the opening to a confession at Writer’s Anonymous, and in a way that’s appropriate. Writing is a kind of addiction, a craving that can attack the soul with the sharp bite of a need demanding to be answered in the dead of night, at dawn, or at any unguarded point throughout the day. I began writing stories while I was at school, neglecting every other subject (apart from History, which intrigued me with its many lies and mysteries) and ducked university at the age of 17 to work on Honey magazine, where my first short story was published. It was the beginning of a long and fruitful love affair with writing for publication, which has weaved in and out of everything else I’ve done over the ensuing years.

Head over and find out more about Lesley and her books:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Debby Gies posted today with a #FREE offer of her book Words We Carry until August 15th.

About the book

“I have been a great critic of myself for most of my life, and I was darned good at it, deflating my own ego without the help of anyone else.”

What do our shopping habits, high-heeled shoes, and big hair have to do with how we perceive ourselves? Do the slights we endured when we were young affect how we choose our relationships now?

D.G. takes us on a journey, unlocking the hurts of the past by identifying situations that hindered her own self-esteem. Her anecdotes and confessions demonstrate how the hurtful events in our lives linger and set the tone for how we value our own self-worth.

Words We Carry is a raw, personal accounting of how the author overcame the demons of low self-esteem with the determination to learn to love herself.

Head over and read some of the sample reviews and follow links to dowload:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Steve Costello is offering some author promotion in the form of Synopsis Thursday.. here are the details.

What an odd title to apply to Thursday! Well, not really because this is a new opportunity for authors to tell the world about their books. Here’s how it works.

You send a synopsis and link to your current or forthcoming book in 500 words, or less if you prefer and I will present it on my blog. In addition, I will promote the first one I receive each week (for seven days) on my social media accounts which are steadily growing.

No catches, that’s it, send a synopsis today.

Head over to Steve’s blog and introduce yourself:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

I was delighted to be interviewed by author Carmen Stefanescu this week and here is a snippet with a few more of my secrets with others in the rest of the post…

1 . What 3 words best describe you?

Inquisitive, Supportive, Joker

2. I’m sure we all have writing rituals, even if we’re not conscious of them! Do you have one, I mean do you need music playing in the background, have a certain snack at arm’s length, write with a certain type of pen/keyboard, drink coffee/tea/milk/juice while writing?

I am pretty easy going with my writing process, but once I get started I like to work through without interruption until I have finished a chapter, short story or post. I may come back to edit later, but I like to know that it is all there.

Find out more about my secrets! and check Carmen’s blog out:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

And finally a post from Christy Birmingham on how we should be looking at care for the elderly. My philosophy is that “We will all be there one day”.. and on the premise that we should treat people the way we wish to be treated… we need as a society to get our act together.

Many people feel that the elderly are somewhat inconvenient. These people do not, or have not, experienced the wealth of getting to know an elderly relative or friend. Remember, the elderly do not exist in a static state. They weren’t ‘born old.’ They have lived a life of full experiences, lived through social situations and adventures you can only imagine, no matter how modest and humble they might seem at this stage in their life. Age brings with its dignity, and dignity brings with it independence. The elderly deserve respect, the utmost respect we can give.

What follows is a list of ways we can respect our elderly friends or family, to make them feel what they are, truly and completely vital to the fabric of a great society.

Read the rest of this important post:

That is all folks for this bumper issue.. have a wonderful weekend and there will be a few posts going out including more stories from Geoff Cronin in Milestones.. Haiku and the weekly round up on Sunday.  Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Reblog – Review by Paul Andruss – What’s In a Name- Volume One Ebook – FREE 11th – 13th August

Thomas the Rhymer

You are all accustomed to Paul Andruss and his ability to take a tale, myth, legend and deconstruct it and put back together again so that we look at it with a new perspective.

Paul also does this with book reviews and I am honoured to have received three of them over recent months. Apart from my absolute gratitude to all who review my books, I also love seeing my writing through my the eyes of my readers.

Paul has just read my story collection What’s in a Name – Volume One and has posted a review on his blog.

I hope that you will head over and read all the review which is a story in itself… and then you will find a FREE offer for the book at the end of this post.

I always feel sad reaching the end of a Sally Cronin book.

It is not simply because I feel a chapter of my life has closed.

Nor because I will no longer be dragged along, a willing, nay eager, voyeur into the lives of people I have just met, but feel I have known for years. People who I am convinced will go on to live happy lives off the page, but who I will never see again; although I will think of them often.

Neither is it because I have not laughed hard enough or had my eyes mist over more than once and had to sternly tell myself: Get a grip you old fool. It’s only a story. A story it might be, but only a heart of stone could remain unmoved by Sally Cronin’s prose: even a heart of ice would melt.

It’s none of the above. Quite simply, when I finish a Sally Cronin book I really miss my mum who died some 20 odd years ago. Yes I know, even though they are gone they are with us. But truth be told, I no longer think of her enough.

If she were alive, knowing how much she would love What’s in a Name? I would jump in the car and take it down to her, like I used to. Although these days I would probably email it for her to download into her e-reader or tablet, or whatever it is the old folks do these days.

Read the rest of the review and if you like the look of it then please email for your free eBook:

Free Book Offer – From Friday August 11th until midnight UK time Sunday 13th August.

I am not part of the Kindle programmes so as an Indie I do not run free offers on Amazon. However, the files for the eBook version of What’s in a Name – Volume One is not very large and I can email you a copy.

Please email me on and request Mobi (Kindle) or Epub (Kobo etc)

If you do not have an eBook reader I can recommend Calibre which is a free multi-source reader that is free to dowload to your PC or other devices.

You can read other reviews for the collection on Amazon:

I have no expectation of a review but if you do enjoy the stories I would be grateful if you could share your thoughts on Amazon and Goodreads.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Thursday 10th August, 2017 – Story Reading Ape with Yecheilyah Ysrayl, Wendy Scott with John Howell and Jennie Fitzkee

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome to my selection of blog posts from around the community. Even wearing my superwoman cape it is impossible for me to get around to everyone.. but I try.. So help me out and send me the link to your most recent post so I can share in the blogger or at the very least share in the usual haunts.

The first post is a fascinating slice of history and an extremely important cultural celebration from Yecheilyah Ysrayl who was the guest of The Story Reading Ape.

The Harlem Renaissance, also known as The New Negro Movement, was a cultural, literary, and artistic movement of the 1920s. It wasn’t anything new but it brought Black talent and creativity to the mainstream. What came about was something that had been part of the so-called Black experience for centuries. What came about was something that we brought with us on slave ships and carried off to plantations. What came about was a re-introduction of Black centered music, literature, and art not to Blacks themselves but to America. It was a re-introduction because not only were we stripped of our identity upon arrival here but also our spiritual way of life. Now, as many Blacks migrated to Northern cities such as New York, Chicago, and Baltimore, this culture was being introduced (at least in part) to mainstream America.

Read the rest of this illuminating post:

The Rave Writers- International Society of Authors – is in the middle of a month long blog tour, showcasing its members. Wendy Scott is hosting John Howell today and of course we are treated to one of John’s stories.. you know the ones that you never know what to expect and wait with bated breath to find out.

RWISA Showcase: Last Night by John W Howell

So, with nothing better to do, I figure I’ll stop at Jerry’s place and grab a couple of drinks and a burger. Usually, I don’t go there on Saturday night since there’s a crapload of amateurs taking up what would be considered prime space. I figure since this is a Friday and close to Saturday, it may be packed, but not as crazy as Saturday. It’s the kind of place where everyone minds their business. They’re there for a good time and will likely not notice me. Even so, I go through the door, stop, and have a look around, trying not to make eye contact. I hope that the ball cap and large coat will keep me from getting noticed.

The bar holds a weekday crowd, hanging on each other like they never had a date before. I tighten my eyelids against the smoke and make out four guys near the pool table, and what looks like a couple of girls fetching drinks. I search for a seat beyond the table in the back, but it seems like they’re all taken.

A guy bumps into me as I stand here. I say excuse me, and he looks me in the face. “Hey, don’t I know you?” he says.

“I don’t think so.” I make to turn away.

“Yeah, you’re the sports hero who lost all his money. I saw you on TV.”

“Naw, people always say stuff like that. I’m not him, buddy; trust me.”

He gives me a puzzled look but doesn’t want to push it, in case he has it wrong. I turn away and continue to look for a seat.

Head over to Wendy’s and read the rest of the story:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

And last but not least, Jenny Fitzkee who writes such wonderful posts on teaching children to read and write and be passionate about books, shares her delight in meeting one of her own idols.

Mount Holyoke College in Western Massachusetts hosts children’s book authors, and recently Patricia MacLachlan was a speaker. Remember Sarah, Plain and Tall? It was the first book that made me cry as an adult. Mandatory reading for my children when they were in third grade.
Sarah, Plain and Tall also won the coveted Newbery Award. That’s the brass ring, the Holy Grail in children’s literature. My copy is very worn and well-loved. Patricia smiled when she saw the book and said, “This is one of the first copies.” It seemed to bring back memories for her.

When I arrived at the speaking event, I was surprised. The room was old and lovely- fireplace, sofas, big casement windows. It was filled with students from the children’s literature course… and me!

“Please, come up front. I’d be happy to answer any questions before we begin”, she said. “I don’t see well with my macular degeneration, so please come closer.”

Read the rest of this wonderful post:

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will head over and read the complete posts. Thanks Sally


Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Wednesday 9th August 2017 – Susan Toy, Annette Rochelle Aben, D.G. Kaye with Tina Frisco, Sue Vincent with Judith Barrow

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome to a handful of blog posts that I have enjoyed over the last couple of days. I hope you will head over and read all the post and also follow the blogger in question.

Susan Toy​ is turning her wisdom about the world of books towards a fundamental ability we all should be thankful we have been taught. Being able to read is a gift that millions around the world do not have. But learning how words are put together to make a sentence is one thing.. understanding that sentence is another.

Here is an extract from the post

READING will now become the focus, and I plan to write a series of posts on various aspects of the subject, both from my own perspective and that of other readers. My recent blog post, How to Help an Author received an incredible number (for me) of views, likes, shares, and reblogs – plus many comments, so I can see I’m heading in the right direction with this idea. (I’ve been trying to get this series going for a long time now … This time for sure, Rocky!)

I won’t be discussing any longer the issues of how to write, edit, get published, or promote books. I believe I’ve written myself out on those topics and there are plenty of old posts in the archives of this blog, in case anyone is still interested in reading what I’ve had to say. Besides, many other bloggers and websites continue to offer great advice. I’ll leave it up to them to tell you how it’s all done.

Read the complete post and find out more about what is to come:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

This week there have been a number of posts that will touch the hearts and minds of all of us. They are stories of people’s lives and how they now look back on times when they felt powerless or treated badly. But they are also inspiring.

The first is from poet, author and broadcaster Annette Rochelle Aben who is writing an open letter to her former husband.

Dear Dan,

Got the call last night, that they put you in the hospital again. This time, they found you lying in bed with a knife by your side. When asked what your intentions were, you told them that you were thinking of hurting yourself. Naturally, the Doctors said to bring you in at once.

They counted your meds and found that it had been over a month since you took them regularly. The hallucinations became your reality and there was no amount of logic that could convince you otherwise. You’ve allowed yourself to shrivel into a caricature of a human being, looking and acting decades older than your 67 years. Your guardians said that we wouldn’t even recognize you. But remember, we saw you at Christmas and while you did look a little worse for the wear, your mind was clearer than it had been in years and you were having a grand time.

You are in the best place possible for where you are mentally and emotionally. They will take care of you, see that you take your medications and that you will connect with people. This may not cure you but it is designed to help you regain your strength so you can live on your own, in your own home.

Read the rest of this letter which whilst very personal to Annette and her ex-husband could well apply to so many battling mental illness :

The next post is from Tina Frisco on the subject of forgiveness and was posted on D.G. Kaye.. Debby Gies blog.

As many of you know, I enjoy sharing posts here by Tina Frisco. And I was elated at Tina’s agreement to write a guest post to feature here today while I’m knee-deep in re-writes on my newest book.

Tina has an inner wisdom, which opens our eyes to simple things we often take for granted, or sometimes hold a place within us that we sometimes struggle with but may not be able to come to terms with. In this post, Tina shares her experience with finding forgiveness and methods she utilizes to delve deep within her soul to find resolution.

We tend to think of the rational as a higher order, but it is the emotional that marks our lives. One often learns more from ten days of agony than from ten years of contentment.” –Merle Shain, Canadian journalist and author, 1935-1989

Forgiveness is the highest form of virtue. It requires a strong and open heart. It challenges faith, trust, and understanding. It demands a willingness to let go of judgment. It moves us into compassion and elevates our consciousness. It fashions a deeper awareness of ourselves and others. Its gift is a more peaceful and fruitful life lived here on Mother Earth.

Forgiving someone a deep hurt is one of the most difficult challenges I have had to face.

Read the rest of Tina’s post on the need to forgive:

Excerpt Week is going very well with many authors in our community sharing excerpts from their latest books. Sue Vincent is hosting Judith Barrow with an excerpt from her upcoming

This morning, I’d like to welcome Judith Barrow, who is sharing an excerpt from her latest book, A Hundred Tiny Threads, which is now available for pre-order. I know you’ll enjoy this one, and will remember to share hither and yon, as you can. Thanks so much, and thanks, Judith, for taking part in #ExcerptWeek. Welcome!


Gritty family saga set in Lancashire in the 1900s and Ireland at the time of the Black and Tans.

Winifred is a determined young woman eager for new experiences, for a life beyond the grocer’s shop counter ruled over by her domineering mother. When her friend Honora – an Irish girl, with the freedom to do as she pleases – drags Winifred along to a suffragette rally, she realises that there is more to life than the shop and her parents’ humdrum lives of work and grumbling.

Bill Howarth’s troubled childhood echoes through his early adult life and the scars linger, affecting his work, his relationships and his health. The only light in his life comes from a chance meeting with Winifred, the daughter of a Lancashire grocer. The girl he determines to make his wife.

Meeting Honora’s intelligent and silver-tongued medical student brother turns Winifred’s heart upside down and she finds herself pregnant. Bill Howarth reappears on the scene offering her a way out.

Read the Excerpt from A Hundred Tiny Threads by Judith Barrow:

Thank you for dropping in and I hope you will follow the links to read the complete posts and leave your feedback.. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Reblog – Fantastic Beasts and where to…. (Three) by Paul Andruss

Thomas the Rhymer

Fantastic Beasts are something we are used to seeing on film and television with massive special effect budgets to create out of this world creatures. However, some may not be as fantastic of those who really existed in the long distant past.  Paul Andruss explores the myth of Palug’s Cat that was recorded in ancient Welsh manuscripts between 1200 and 1400 and relating to the time of King Arthur’s reign long before

Palug’s Cat (from adapted sources: Andruss)

The North Wales holiday island of Anglesey seems a funny place for an ABC to roam.

ABC: Alien Big Cat.

Not one that came down in a flying saucer; although believe me people claim to see all sorts. And it must be said, Anglesey does have a nuclear power plant so I suppose anything is possible. No, the cat is alien in the sense it shouldn’t be there in the first place… like a leopard or a lion

The story of Cath Palug or Palug’s cat is known from fragments of ancient British myth found in the earliest Welsh manuscripts, written between 1200 and 1400. Called after the colour of their bindings, and where they were kept, they are: the Black Book of Carmarthen, White book of Rhydderch and the Red Book of Hergest.

The story starts when King Arthur hears the magical sow Hen Wen’s three offspring will each cause a calamity and goes to hunt her down. Hen Wen, who may be the sow aspect of the ancient White Goddess, was under the care of one of the three powerful Swineherds of Britain named Coll: meaning hazel and wisdom.

In Celtic myth swineherds are powerful magicians. When Hen Wen gives birth to a kitten under a black rock, Coll throws it into the sea. The creature survived and was found by the sons of Palug, washed up in Anglesey where it grew to a great size and ravaged the island, killing and devouring nine score warriors.

It was killed by Arthur’s foster-brother Sir Kay, using Arthur’s mirrored shield. Seeing its reflection in the mirrored surface the cat attacked the shield with such ferocity its claws stuck fast, allowing Kay to kill the trapped beast. This late story, dating to the 1200s, may actually retain an original Celtic myth.

The early Welsh poem ‘What Man is the Porter’ says Kay went to Anglesey to destroy lions with his polished shield. Sir Kay (or Cai in Welsh) originally might have been a solar hero like Heracles- who killed the Nemean Lion in the first of his twelve labours.

It was claimed Cai had the ability to go nine days and nine nights without the need to breathe or sleep, and if he chose could grow as tall as the tallest tree in the forest. He could radiate such heat that even in a thunderstorm his companions would stay warm and dry.

Head over and read the rest of this article on the possible explanations for the Big Cat of Anglesey and the links to the previous posts on other fantastic beasts:

Read all of Paul’s posts in his official capacity of Writer in Residence and find out more about this talented writer: