Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – South Africa, Barbra Streisand, Judith Barrow and Horatio Grin revealed.

Welcome to the round up of some posts that you might have missed this week.  I have been offline more than on but I hope to reveal the cover of What’s in a Name Volume II in the next few days. It is done all bar the shouting (Amazon) which as an independent author and not part of KP can take a few days.


I would be really grateful for an opportunity over the weeks following the book’s release if I might do a guest post. Each one will be sharing the inspiration behind the main character of the story with a short excerpt.  If you feel that might fit in with your blog and schedule please email me and once I have a firm release dates I can let you have the weeks that are currently free.

William Price King is on his summer break now until September. He has gigs in the Nice region which as you know is a very popular tourist destination. I will be reposting one of his contemporary season from earlier in the year to make sure you don’t have withdrawal symptoms.

Horatio Grin caused quite a stir with his essays on the origins of Fairies and this week we revealed the last mystery behind the man…. Quess Who… and the initials are PA… If you would like a FREE Epub or pdf of Horatio’s book which contains additional bonus essays, then the details are in the post.

Robbie Cheadle takes us on a tour of Cape Town to celebrate the release of her latest children’s story and cookbook – Silly Willy goes to Cape Town with some traditional foods from South Africa that definitely brought back happy memories.

Judith Barrow shares the story of her treatment and survival of breast cancer. A must read for every woman.

My thanks to everyone who has contributed this week and of course to all of you for your ongoing support. Enjoy the rest of Sunday and see you soon.  Sally

William Price King meets some legends

I thought you might like to listen to one of my favourite tracks while you browse.

Guest post by Horatio Grin

The jig is up as they say and the mystery surrounding guest writer Horatio Grin is revealed.. with a FREE book with extras for you to enjoy.

Guest post by Robbie Cheadle 

To celebrate the release of the latest children’s book Silly Willy Goes to Cape Town, Robbie shares some of the delicious traditional food you can find in South Africa.

The Black Bitch and other Tales by Geoff Cronin

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

Air Your Reviews

The Blogger Daily

The new series of Blogger Daily has begun again and please do not hesitate to let me have the link to your most recent post either in the comments section or by email.


Guest Post Judith Barrow – Surviving Breast Cancer

Top to toe – The Male Reproductive System.


Short Story


Well that’s all folks.. I hope you will pop in again next week and in the meantime.. be good.. and if you cannot be good… be careful. Thanks Sally


Smorgasbord Guest Post – Traditional foods you can eat in Cape Town

Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the publishing and baking powerhouse behind a series of children’s story cookbooks. A delight for all ages, it brings together traditional storytelling with activities to be enjoyed baking in the kitchen.  In this guest post Robbie introduces us to the traditional food delights that can be found in Cape Town… I can definitely recommend the bobotie which was a regular favourite of us as children.  I still make a version of it today during the winter months.

Traditional South African foods you can eat in Cape Town by Robbie Cheadle.

When I travel, eating out is a very important part of the travel arrangements. I like to plan which delightful place we will be visiting well in advance and I try to book an interesting restaurant for our midday meal at the same time. South Africa is a melting pot of colourful people from a variety of different cultures and backgrounds and there are some really delicious foods available to try.

The Afrikaans people have some mouth-watering signature foods from the very simple boerewors rolls (farmers rolls) and traditional biltong (dried, salted and spiced strips of beef or game meat) to more sophisticated dishes like waterblommetjie bredie (a lamb and pondweed stew), braais (meat cooked over an open fire) and potjiekos (a traditional stew that is native to South Africa, usually cooked in a small three-legged cast-iron pot over a fire). There are also some delicious traditional sweet treats and desserts such as melktert (milk tart), malva pudding and koeksisters (a plaited doughnut dipped in syrup). Last but not least are the crunchy rusks which are lovely to eat first thing in the morning, dipped in tea or coffee.



There are also some traditional Cape Malay dishes to tempt your tastebuds such as bredie (mutton or lamb pieces cooked with various vegetables), frikkadels (rissoles or spicy meatballs), denningvleis (a mutton or lamb dish, uniquely flavoured with tamarind, allspice, bay-leaves and cloves) and bobotie (dish made with spiced, ground meat and topped with egg custard).

Cape Malay bobotie

My favourite food to eat in Cape Town is prawns and chips and my favourite restaurant to indulge in this treat is at Mariner’s Wharf in Hout Bay.

Mariner’s Wharf

There are some delightful shops at Mariner’s Wharf where you can shop for all sorts of knickknacks and wonderful shells and even pearls. I bought two pieces of African beaded art, one shaped like a starfish and the other like a fish. You can learn how to make a starfish out of fondant in my new book Silly Willy Goes to Cape Town.

In Silly Willy Goes to Cape Town, the George family have a meal at Mariner’s Wharf in Hout Bay.

This is a short extract from Chapter 6: Out for dinner:

“Willy and I ordered milkshakes. Willy likes chocolate and I like strawberry. Dad had a coke light, he is trying to keep his weight down. He wants to look like a “racing snake” he says. Mom had a strawberry daiquiri and Nana had white wine. Willy and I also ordered hamburgers and chips. Everything else on the menu looked very “fishy” and I don’t like fish. Nana had calamari, which is bits of octopus, and dad had tuna fish. The food was very nice when it came and I ate my whole hamburger and some of my chips. While Mom and Dad were drinking their coffees after dinner, Willy and I coloured in some pictures Mom had brought for us. After a short while, Willy lost interest and started playing with some pirate flags. He had four of these. Mom looked horrified.

How had Willy got the flags? She hadn’t bought them for him. When Mom asked Willy where he got them from, he looked stubborn and stuck his bottom lip out. Eventually, Mom worked out that after she said Willy couldn’t have the flags, he went back to the bucket and put some flags in the pockets of his shorts. No one had noticed and now the shop was closed. Nana, meanwhile, had been refilling her wine glass out of the bottle and had become a bit giggly. She tried to convince Mom that it wasn’t that bad and she was so funny, waving her arms about and talking earnestly, that we all laughed. When we left a bit later, Mom had to help her down the stairs.”

About Silly Willy Goes to Cape Town

When the George family go on holiday to Cape Town, Cautious Craig cannot believe what he has to endure at the hands of his naughty and wilful younger brother, Silly Willy. Willy throws tantrums at the most embarrassing and inappropriate times, causes a commotion on the aeroplane and tries to steal a chameleon from Butterfly World. What is a poor older brother expected to do in these situations?

Buy the book with its party cake recipes:

Also by Robbie and Michael Cheadle

The latest review for Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Dough Bees and cookbook

This is a children’s story and activity book about food.

It contains two rhyming poems. The first and longest is mainly for the children. It is about Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet’s adventure to find the fruit drop fairies who have the magic sugar dust that can save the wilting flowers. The second is mainly for the parents reminding them that the moments spent with their children are wonderful and go by quickly.

These poems are illustrated with photographs of fondant artfully shaped like the characters in the poems.

The book ends with five recipes children can make with help from their parents: cheese bread, butter biscuits, jammy scones, rainbow cupcakes and banana bread.
Read all the reviews and buy the books:

About Robbie Cheadle

Robbie Cheadle was born in London in the United Kingdom. Her father died when she was three months old and her mother immigrated to South Africa with her tiny baby girl. Robbie has lived in Johannesburg, George and Cape Town in South Africa and attended fourteen different schools. This gave her lots of opportunities to meet new people and learn lots of social skills as she was frequently “the new girl”.

Robbie is a qualified Chartered Accountant and specialises in corporate finance with a specific interest in listed entities and stock markets. Robbie has written a number of publications on listing equities and debt instruments in Africa and foreign direct investment into Africa.

Robbie is married to Terence Cheadle and they have two lovely boys, Gregory and Michael. Michael (aged 11) is the co-author of the Sir Chocolate series of books and attends school in Johannesburg. Gregory (aged 14) is an avid reader and assists Robbie and Michael with filming and editing their YouTube videos and editing their books

Connect to Robbie and Michael at their blog:

I hope that you will head over and check out Robbie and Michael’s books. thanks for dropping in.. Sally

Table Mountain –

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Kristina Stanley, D.G. Kaye and Judith Barrow

Welcome to the Friday Cafe and Bookstore Update and we kick things off with news of the next book by Kristina Stanley to be released on August 1st – Look the Other Way.

About Look the Other Way

Submerged beneath the depths is a sea of secrets

A year after her Uncle Bobby mysteriously disappears in the turquoise waters surrounding the Bahamas, Shannon Payne joins her grieving aunt to trace Bobby’s last voyage. Shannon hopes the serenity of the sea might help her recover from a devastating breakup with her fiancé.

Sailing the 38-foot catamaran, A Dog’s Cat, is Captain Jake Hunter, a disillusioned cop who has sworn off women. While Shannon tries to resist her growing attraction to the rugged captain, she uncovers dark truths about her uncle’s death that might send them all to the depths.

What some of the advance readers are saying about the book

“An entertaining beach read…a suspenseful island romp.”
—Elle Wild, Arthur Ellis Award Winner for Strange Things Done

“An intriguing mystery, with psychological undercurrents, family conflicts, and a big splash of romance.”
—Roxy Boroughs, romance author

You will not want to put this gem down until the very surprising and very satisfying end.
—James Osborne, bestselling author of The Ultimate Threat

“Look the Other Way whips up a storm of suspicion and intrigue in deceptively tranquil Bahamian waters.”
—J.P. McLean, author of The Gift Legacy series

Buy the book at the lower pre-order price:

Also by Kristina Stanley

One of the recent reviews for Descent (Book 1 in the Stone Mountain Mystery Series)

THIS book races along like a gold-medal winning bobsleigh team on the Cresta Run. When a top skier dies on the slopes and it’s discovered that his equipment has been tampered with, murder suspects line up like snowboard enthusiasts at a ski lift in a peak holiday period. As a former Head of Security at a mountain resort, Kristina brings her knowhow to bear in crafting a plot to keep you guessing right up to its dramatic conclusion. The first in the Stone Mountain Series, heroine Kalin and her team are likely to leave you panting for another slalom ride into deceit and betrayal.

Read the reviews and buy the books:

Read more reviews and follow Kristina Stanley on Goodreads:

Connect to Kristina via her Website/Blog:

Our next author with an update is D.G. Kaye whose memoir P.S. I Forgive You has received another glowing testimonial from author Deborah Jay on her blog this week. The review is also on Amazon and Goodreads.

About P.S. I Forgive You

“I hurt for her. She wasn’t much of a mother, but she was still my mother.”

Confronted with resurfacing feelings of guilt, D.G. Kaye is tormented by her decision to remain estranged from her dying emotionally abusive mother after resolving to banish her years ago, an event she has shared in her book Conflicted Hearts. In P.S. I Forgive You, Kaye takes us on a compelling heartfelt journey as she seeks to understand the roots of her mother’s narcissism, let go of past hurts, and find forgiveness for both her mother and herself.

After struggling for decades to break free, Kaye has severed the unhealthy ties that bound her to her dominating mother—but now Kaye battles new confliction, as the guilt she harbors over her decision only increases as the end of her mother’s life draws near. Kaye once again struggles with her conscience and her feelings of being obligated to return to a painful past she thought she left behind.

Inspirational  on July 17, 2017

I found Kaye’s first book about her narcissistic mother a true eye-opener, an education about a condition I’d heard of, but never understood in all its desperately sad reality. I have since realised that I know someone with this condition, and it helps me to understand her often bizarre decisions and behaviour, rather than just being confused by them.

This sequel book, which also stands alone as an education of a different kind, is a raw and open story of how to deal with the guilt that comes from finally saying “I have had enough!” and sticking with that decision to the bitter end.

As a work of self-help, which is many respects it is, this book is a good guide to dealing with those relationships that just cannot be fixed, no matter how much we would like them to be, and regardless of the depth of love involved. No one should have to endure what Kaye and her family went through, but despite the heartache and hardship, this tale demonstrates how one can turn such pain around and become stronger as a result, and discover how to leave the inevitable regrets behind by recognising the realities, rather than the fantasy version of how things might have been.

Read all the reviews and download the book: P.S. I Forgive You

Also by D.G. Kaye

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

Read more reviews and follow D.G. Kaye on Goodreads:

Connect to D.G. Kaye through her website.

And last but not least it is Judith Barrow with a pre-order link for her long awaited prequel to her series set in the second world war through to the 1960s.  A Hundred Tiny Threads is released on August 17th but you can order now at the special advance price.

About A Hundred Tiny Threads

It’s 1911 and Winifred Duffy is a determined young woman eager for new experiences, for a life beyond the grocer’s shop counter ruled over by her domineering mother.

The scars of Bill Howarth’s troubled childhood linger. The only light in his life comes from a chance encounter with Winifred, the girl he determines to make his wife.

Meeting her friend Honora’s silver-tongued brother turns Winifred’s heart upside down. But Honora and Conal disappear, after a suffrage rally turns into a riot, and abandoned Winifred has nowhere to turn but home.

The Great War intervenes, sending Bill abroad to be hardened in a furnace of carnage and loss. When he returns his dream is still of Winifred and the life they might have had… Back in Lancashire, worn down by work and the barbed comments of narrow-minded townsfolk, Winifred faces difficult choices in love and life.

Both formats are available to pre-order for August 17th with the Ebook at a special price:

Also by Judith Barrow

One of the reviews for Pattern of Shadows – Book one of the series

Wonderful story!  By Cathy Murray on 11 April 2017

Pattern of Shadows is a wonderful story set in the latter days of World War Two somewhere in the north of England. Mary Howarth is a nurse who is part of a medical team given the unenviable task of caring for sick and injured prisoners of war at the prison camp hospital. Mary starts a relationship with one of the guards at the camp, Frank Shuttleworth. The relationship proves difficult for Mary but Frank is persistent. Meanwhile, Mary’s home life is far from easy and she finds solace in her work. As the novel evolves Mary’s life becomes increasingly fraught and complicated.

To say more would be to give away an extremely well constructed plot which explores some challenging issues of the day. I’ve already read Silent Trauma by this author and know that Judith Barrow can write about difficult subjects with sensitivity and honesty. The writer displays that same talent again in this novel. The novel is well researched and the sense of time and place is established securely. The author has created a group of characters who are very real and the dialogue and interactions between them are a strength of the writing.

The romance element of the novel has a degree of predictability but when the concluding chapter is reached there is a sense of relief that what was anticipated has occurred. Pattern of Shadows is the first of a three part set which takes the story on further and it’s going to be fascinating to see what happens next.

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

Read more reviews and follow Judith on Goodreads:

Connect to Judith via her blog:

Thanks for dropping by and if you are an author in the Bookstore, don’t forget to let me know your news.  Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Throwback Thursday – Carol Balawyder and Christine Campbell

A slightly different theme to the Thursday edition of Air Your Reviews as I shall be featuring earlier books of authors in the Cafe and Bookstore with one of their reviews. We tend to focus on the current books we have written but it does mean that others do not get the attention they still deserve.

My first author with a book that has not featured here before in its own right is one of the Getting to Mr. Right SeriesCafe Paradise by Carol Balawyder.

About the Cafe Paradise

Most of Suzy Paradise’s dreams died along with her son over twenty years ago.
One thing has re-ignited her passion for living – running her own café, which specializes in home-baked donuts. For Suzy, this is a long-cherished dream come true. Her business is starting to flounder when Donuts-A-Million, a giant chain, opens across the street from her. Her unexpected attraction to Coen Walsh, a regular customer at her café, creates more tension when she learns of his affiliation with her competitor.
Café Paradise is about Suzy’s fight to save her business in spite of the odds. Sometimes, she realizes, dreams have an expiration date and it takes just as much courage to let them go.
Along the way, she must re-define the meaning of work, family and romance so she can find her own formula for happiness.

One of the excellent reviews for the book

Do Not Read When Hungry  on December 10, 2015

Dreams are on the line in this women’s fiction novella by accomplished writer, Carol Balawyder.

Café owner, Susie Paradise realized her dream when she opened a bakery and coffee shop. But when a national donut chain opens across the street from her shop, business dives, which threatens to kill her dream and the livelihood of those on her payroll.

Month after month, her financial and business situation worsens, and she is forced to go to the bank to ask for additional capital. Denied, she has no choice but to shut down her dream. But before waving the white flag of surrender, a fairy godmother in the form of her best friend swoops in with 1) a business loan, 2) a new location in a lower rent district, 3) and loyal, appreciative customers. These actions are enough to save Susie’s dream.

One of the critical elements to saving the café was Susie’s willingness to be flexible; to see her dream in a different way. That’s one of the things I liked about this story—the dream was saved but only because the main character moved out of her own way. I know this is fiction but it’s a great life lesson for all.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

Read other reviews on Goodreads:

Also by Carol Balawyder

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

Read more reviews and follow Carol on Goodreads:

Connect to Carol via her website:

My next author with a book that was released in 2015 is Christine Campbell and the first of her books in The Reluctant Detective Series : Searching for Summer

About Searching for Summer

Mirabelle’s daughter, Summer, disappears one Friday night, and Mirabelle would dearly love to rewind that day and live it differently. Instead, she is left not knowing if Summer is alive or dead, went of her own accord or was taken against her will.
Casting all other concerns aside – food, sleep, work, relationships – in her desperate need to find the answers, she takes to the streets of Edinburgh in search of Summer.
Searching along wynds snaking behind old buildings, through ancient doors and tiny spiral stairways, showing Summer’s photograph to everyone she meets in shops, museums and nightclubs, Mirabelle becomes a reluctant detective, gathering clues, trying to make sense of them in order to find her missing daughter.

One of the reviews for the book

Excellent Read  on September 15, 2015

This book has been labeled as Women’s Literature and Cozy Mystery. It encompasses the elements of both. The story is about a woman searching for her daughter, Summer. In the process of this journey, our protagonist, Mirabelle examines her own life. She lost her father at an early age and never recovered from that. Now she must cross-examine her single parenting skills to understand where she went wrong with her own child.

Mirabelle’s self-examination is painful, heart wrenching, and at time seems self-defeating. But our heroine has an inner core of strength and willingness to accept her own shortcomings. What makes this narrative so compelling is the man in her life. He is a policeman who is willing to go above and beyond his job demands to help find Summer, because of his love for Mirabelle.

There are many books where the woman is strong, tough, and proves she can survive on her own. That is simply not realistic. We humans do not live in a vacuum and survival is so much more than just existing from day to day. We all need help at stressful times in our lives; be they family, friends, or even a stranger. That is why this story is so refreshing, with its message of goodness and love offered by our fellow humans.

Read the other reviews and buy the book:

Also by Christine Campbell

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

Read more reviews and follow Christine on Goodreads:

Connect to Christine via her website:

Would you like to give one of your earlier books a bit of love?  Perhaps the first book in a series? Let me know

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – #Memoir – What Did I Do? by Chuck Jackson

Welcome to another author who is joining the bookstore. Chuck Jackson shares his story of child abuse at the hands of his parents and also the damning statistics that identify that little has changed in the last fifty years. What Did I Do was published on July 4th and is a memoir that lifts the veil of secrecy about not just the American family but the Universal family.

About What Did I Do?

The veil of secrecy over the American family prevails and the covertness of child abuse continues. According to the National Children’s Alliance, approximately 700,000 (683,000 in 2015) children are abused each year. Child Protective Service (CPS) reports they investigate 3.4 million children and place them under the care of the CPS. These are frightening statistics attesting that child abuse is not in decline, but rather the opposite.

Child abuse or child maltreatment is physical, sexual, or psychological mistreatment or neglect of a child or children. Have you ever suspected or even witnessed child abuse in public or in a home? If you did and did nothing, you are condoning the act and its effect on the child. Child advocacy groups are begging for the public involvement. Yet, little is being done.

What Did I Do? is Chuck Jackson’s true recollection of the abuse he received from both his parents. It is a story where he spent years struggling to please them without succeeding. It is a story where they told him he was irredeemable and unworthy of being their son. When he saw love and happiness in other families, he wondered why not his.

Chuck came out of the darkness to expound on the stigma attached to child abuse. He admitted to the affects of shame, anger, guilt, and depression that he and so many experience. He tells the story of survival where he felt invisible. Follow him where he sought a warm touch and a kind word of praise. Follow his desperation for love from anyone. Follow Chuck’s story and help answer his question, what did I do?

Two of the early reviews

A wonderfully written true story of the cruelty, physically and emotionally, that a parent can inflict on a child. Everyone with children, or thinking of having children, should read and realize that everyone of your actions has consequences. Every child living in an abusive relationship should read, if for no other reason, then to know that are people that love you and are willing to help you once you allow yourself to break your vow of silence. A true story of survival and the strength of the human spirit at the hand of treachery. I highly recommend to one and all.

I had just finished watching the movie My Old Lady, starring Maggie Smith, Kirsten Scott Thomas and Kevin Kline. It is a poignant story about reconciling one’s childhood; a mixture of neglect and child abuse. The mail had delivered Chuck’s memoir that same day. The movie was emotional, so I was in the frame of mind to read What Did I Do? This is actually a story about a hero. As I read the content, all I could think about was how enduring a person is Chuck Jackson. He could have made his life the story of a victim. Instead, this is one of strength and character in spite of history. This manuscript is a testament to one’s ability to make the choices that provide the most positive outcomes, no matter the struggle. Thank you for sharing this powerful story.

Read the reviews and buy the memoir:

Also by Chuck Jackson

One of the reviews for One Month, 20 Days, and a Wake-Up

USAF Pararescue Jumper  on February 5, 2017

I thoroughly enjoyed Chuck Jackson’s new story, “One Month, 20 Days, and a Wake-up – One man’s story of what it meant to be a PJ”. The Navy has their Seals, Army, Green Beret’s, and the Air Force,, Pararescue Jumpers (PJ). One thing to note is that they are all the best of the best and good at what they do.

In this story, readers follow the protagonist and his best friend as they go through basic training and then into Special Forces training to become PJ’s. The training is extremely difficult and those who graduate have a special skill – one that was greatly in need in the Vietnam War.
The friend is first to leave the country and later followed by the protagonist. Once there, he finds that the two of them will be separated during their tours.

The author’s recounting of the training and many rescue operations shared in the book makes readers thankful that people exist who are not daunted by the task at hand. In most instances, the PJ leaves the helicopter alone to seek out the missing pilots or crews of the downed aircraft. One story in particular left me breathless, where the jumper and missing pilot are left on the ground after enemy fire causes their transportation to vacate the area. To avoid spoiling the story, I will leave it there.

Other missions tell the story of rescues where those on the ground did not survive and the mission became one of recovery instead. Initially, I thought this book was about the author writing about his own experiences. He did let me know that the story is a work of fiction and the accounts are those based on the recounting from a close friend. Either way, I’ve a great respect for these men and their special skills. As a result, I feel comfortable knowing that soldiers like those portrayed in this story are keeping me safe.

Highly recommended for those wanting to learn more about what these special people have to go through to earn the burgundy beret and flash…and then, marvel at what it takes to stand between us citizens and those who want to harm us. Great job Mr. Jackson!

John Podlaski, author
“Cherries – A Vietnam War Novel” and “When Can I Stop Running?”

Read all the reviews and buy both books:

About Chuck Jackson

Chuck Jackson is a retired accountant living in South East Florida. He graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a BBA in Accounting. He spent the last 25 years of his career working as the Budget Manager for a Special District in Palm Beach County. He was a member of Government Finance Officer’s Association (GFOA) and Florida’s GFOA.

He is a two-time cancer survivor and draws his strength from his faith and church activity. He is his church’s Treasurer and serves on it’s Vestry.

Since his retirement, Chuck has spent his years studying and enhancing his love for writing. In June 2016, he released his first e-book: One Month, 20 Days, and a Wake Up. In July 2017 he released his second book: What Did I Do? that is available as an e-book and paperback. He continues to work on his memoir manuscript, in anticipation of releasing a third book in 2018.

Chuck is an avid golfer and a member of a local golf club. He is married to Anthony, his partner of 33-plus years. He has a daughter and a new grandson.

Connect to Chuck Jackson

Website Blog:
Google Plus:
Flipboard –

Thank you for dropping in today and it would be wonderful if you could share the news about Chuck’s new memoir. Thanks Sally

If you would like to be in my Cafe and Bookstore and enjoy regular spotlights for your books then take a look at how you can do that.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – 51 Sleepless Nights by Tobias Wade

Welcome to a new author to the shelves of the bookstore… Tobias Wade released his short story collection 51 Sleepless Nights in late June 217 and it is perfect for all horror and paranormal fans.

About 51 Sleepless Nights

A diverse collection of horror stories including the grizzly confessions of a serial killer, parallel dimensions, becoming trapped in a virtual world, and encountering ancient aliens buried beneath the Earth’s crust. Demons, monsters, psychopaths, undead, mad experiments and paranormal – no matter what makes your heart race, you’re guaranteed to face your fear with these terrifying stories.

A short extract

I felt her arms around me, but she wasn’t trying to choke me or restrain me. She was… hugging me. It was such an alien sensation that I immediately opened my eyes. That’s when I saw them. Hundreds – no thousands of gossamer spider webs holding up her body like a marionette doll. I recoiled immediately, and she let me without the slightest resistance.

The spiders were everywhere. Crawling across her face, through her hair. When she opened her mouth, I saw more of them inside her, pulling the threads to work her jaw. Her throat pulsed, and I knew more must be further down to vibrate her vocal chords.

“But he’s never going to hurt you again. You have our word.”

One of the recent reviews for the book

When a magician can convince a person – not a child, mind you, but a rational adult – that a trick is real magic instead of well-practiced sleight of hand, the result can be powerful. Inspiring the magic and joy of childhood in a grown up is one of the hardest things in the world to do, but as any creative type can tell you, it’s one of the most satisfying to achieve. In that way, the horror genre has a lot in common with magic.

All of the stories in 51 Sleepless Nights are unique and well crafted. No matter what you are afraid of, you are sure to find at least one story inside that will deliver on the promise of insomnia. But there is more to this collection of horror stories than interesting plots, creative monsters, and jarring twists – though this collection has all of that and more.

Wade’s writing makes it easy to inhabit the characters telling these stories, and not a single one of them feels lazy. The voice of each story pulls you in, causing you to relate to people who make decisions you’re sure you never would in situations you’re sure you would never be in. But then you start to empathize, or you learn the full scope of a situation, and it makes you question yourself. Then you think back to situations you’ve been in, or that friends have been in, that are even marginally related to the story you are reading and you wonder…what if that actually happened?

These stories feel real, and some of them will leave you in a state of dreadful contemplation long after you’ve finished them. Even the most rational grown up will experience moments of intense belief where the horrors stop being stories. Every sound will break your concentration and send the hairs on your back standing in chilling attention. And there will be moments, however brief they may be, when you will fully believe…in the monsters, the stories, in all of it.

Inspiring the fear and belief of childhood is one of the hardest things in the world to do, but 51 Sleepless Nights makes it seem easy.

Tobias Wade is not only a superb horror writer…he’s also one hell of a magician.

Read all the reviews and buy the book:

Also by Tobias Wade

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

Read more reviews and follow Tobias on Goodreads:

About Tobias Wade

Former neuroscience researcher, born again horror writer. During my studies, it struck me as odd that I could learn so much about why humans behave without understanding the intricacies of human nature. It occurred to me I learned more about the depths of human experience from reading Dostoyevsky than I ever had from my text books, and I was inspired to write.

But why horror? Isn’t there already enough fear in the world?

Yes there is, and that’s exactly why horror entertainment is so important.

Some people will try focus on “positive emotions” such as love and joy while repressing their fear, anger, jealousy, and other “negative” emotions.

I think this is an extremely dangerous thing to do, because pretending they don’t exist doesn’t make the other emotions go away. It only inhibits our ability to understand and control them – and when we aren’t controlling them, they’re controlling us.

That’s why I’ve decided to write horror. My goal is to dig down to all the nameless terrors rooted in your subconscious and rock you to the bottom of your psychology. I’m going to let all the monsters out from under your bed until you finally get a good look at them and realize that fear can’t hold you back anymore.

It can even be fun.

Connect to Tobias Wade


Thank you for dropping by today and if you would like to join John and the other authors on the shelves of the bookstore then here are the details:


Will the Real Horatio Grin Please Stand up! And FREE book offer.

Paul Andruss Comes Clean

Sally and I knew it wouldn’t take long for you clever lot to rumble us. Knowing the joke was wearing thin we chose leave some hefty clues when Horatio Grin returned for his second guest spot with Smorgasbord.

Thomas the Rhymer

Horatio Grin is a fictional character from my novel Thomas the Rhymer. He is an occultist skilled in magic who works for a shadowy organisation of accountants, specialising in rescuing children kidnapped by the fairies. And you thought accountants were boring!
I suspect many of you might have noticed in his 2nd week Mr Grin spoke of his deceased personal secretary as Dorothy. In Thomas the Rhymer, I named Mr Grin’s P.A. Dorothy in tribute to my friend, work’s mum’ and colleague, the subject of the 2nd Writer in Residence post for Sally: ‘My Gift from God’.

Mr Grin’s initial contributions for his 2nd stint with Smorgasbord involved 3 tales. The sharp-eyed among you will have noticed an uncanny parallel between The Fairy Bride to The Fairy Maid post I wrote for Sue Vincent:…/guest-author-paul-andruss-the-fairy-maid-and-free-ebooks/

The Fairy Wife and The Changeling both originated in a story Rosie tells Jack in the novel.
We are sure Sue Vincent guessed (and sportingly kept stumm), for apart from the fact there is no fooling Sue, I included a photograph of Mr Grin in another post I did for her on The Story of Thomas the Rhymer:…/guest-author-paul-andruss-the-story-of-thomas-the-rhymer/

Brigid Gallagher: wondered if Mr Grin and Sally’s Writer in Residence were twins. I coyly responded…

Dear Brigid, I am flattered you think so. As you know Mr Grin is featured on the Great British Occultists website:

Why would anyone go to the trouble of creating a phony website with a phony photograph of Mr Grin based on the actor Charles Grey playing Mocata in the film The Devil Rides Out set against a background of the blue drawing room in Buckingham Palace? It seems very unlikely.

I think you need to ask yourself is an author who writes fiction really the type of person to make things up?

Apart from all that… well spotted!

At this point I need to say if you were outraged by this calumny then I take full responsibility.
If however you consider this a delightful wheeze, in what is traditionally the silly season of the British Newspapers, the period when parliament was in recess and Fleet Street scrabbled for stories, no matter how far-fetched, to fill column inches, then Sally deserves at least 50% of the credit.

Now if you want to learn about the enigmatic Mr Grin, grab yourself a cuppa or a glass of your favourite tipple and let’s gossip.

The surname Grin came about because I thought it was both sinister and jolly.

He was christened Horatio after Lord Nelson who made his mistress Lady Emma Hamilton a bequest to the nation in his will. Nelson met Emma when she was married to the elderly Sir William Hamilton. He accepted the affair, happily living in a menage-a-trois with Nelson and Emma that beguiled the British public.

Nelson asked the government to provide for Emma and their child in his will. Despite his status as a national hero they ignored him. Emma died in poverty in Calais. Their daughter Horatia never publically acknowledged Emma as her mother.

The photograph of Mr Grin came about when I was developing the Thomas the Rhymer website and started playing with Photoshop. I had always been fond of the Devil Rides Out.

Later, I wrote an essay turning it into Mr Grin’s rough notes for a speech to new recruits. It was for new web content and to present the ideas underpinning the book to readers who wanted to know more. The 6 essays I later reused in Mr Grin’s 1st Smorgasbord appearance grew from there as did the phony British Occultists website. Again sharp-eyed visitors no doubt noticed it contains articles suspiciously similar to some blog posts.

Before I gained experience blogging, Mr Grin was ideal for presenting the ideas underpinning Thomas the Rhymer. He could speak as a scientist without being weighed down by uncertainties. I felt if you wanted that, you’d read textbooks.

I worked hard to keep things factual. But all facts are controversial. For every argument there is a counter argument and for every proof, a denial. Scientific ideas change quite rapidly. When I started writing Thomas the Rhymer palaeontologists categorically denied we ever mated with dumb stupid and brutish Neanderthals. After the Neanderthal Genome Project, not one of those ideas remains.

I was delighted by the reception Mr Gin’s work received on Smorgasbord and everyone’s generosity. I was also a little embarrassed.

Sally suggested the posts might look good in book form, which we could give away as a free download. I wanted to add a bit more value with new essays.

Genius Loci and Angels and Demons (featured Thursday and Friday of Mr Grins 2nd stint) were the result. In addition Mr Grin’s book has two new essays: Parallel Planes discusses heaven, hell and other ethereal realms. While In Search of the Multiverse discusses ethereal planes in terms of Mr Grin’s subject Quantum Physics. Be prepared for some surprises in that one. It surprised me!

All that remains is for me to say thanks for supporting Mr Grin and hope you were entertained as much as you seemed to be.

My turn

I think you will agree with me that the articles that Horatio (aka Paul) has shared with us over the last three weeks have been thought provoking, brilliantly illustrated observations about the beliefs and myths that we have grown up. I will admit to taking some of those myths and legends for granted without delving into them to discover truths and in some cases fabrications.

Paul has compiled all of the essays with the two new additional ones (I have read and they are amazing) into either an Epub format or a pdf.  This will enable you to have one source for all the essays in book format.

I know many of you may have a Kindle rather than Epub reader but that is easily remedied.. We use Calibre for all our ebook reading and it can be downloaded to your computer of device from this safe link:

As to the actual copies please email me on and I just need to know if you would like in Epub or pdf format and I will email you back.

Thanks for all your comments for the Horatio Grin articles and the book will be available here until August.. so get your copy now.



Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – The Fountain Short Story Collection by John Maberry

Welcome to John Maberry who is joining the authors on the shelves in the bookstore with two books.. One is his memoir Waiting for Westmoreland and the second, The Fountain, his recently released short story collection.

About Waiting for Westmoreland

Surviving poverty and the deaths of loved ones, the author remains hopeful as he exits childhood. then comes the draft that sends him to Vietnam. With innocence lost and illusions shattered, he seeks answers. College courses are intriguing but offer no solutions. Eventually, hope returns in the form of a life philosophy that comes from a chance encounter at a party. It’s all about cause and effect. Events happen not by chance but as a result of karma. Unseen connections have surprising consequences.

This knowledge comes in the nick of time, as he faces his most serious situation since the perils of Vietnam, the threat of death from a prospective father-in-law. He must take responsibility for the matter, despite being unaware of the underlying reason for it, reform himself and seek only her father’s happiness.

One of the reviews for the Paperback book

I’m apparently about the same age as the author and am always curious to hear someone else’s experience of the times I’ve lived in. In this case, Mr. Maberry and I couldn’t have lived more disparate lives if we’d tried. I don’t think I could have survived Mr. Maberry’s life and I appreciate his sharing the way his inner life as well as his circumstances have unfolded to this point. He survived things that have only scared me from a distance and he has achieved things I’ve only dreamt about from a distance. I’m so impressed with the way he has developed his life. I’m especially delighted to have read his account of his experience of the ’60s and ’70s, two decades I didn’t fit into very well.

Like Forrest Gump, Mr. Maberry made me re-evaluate that era in a more favorable light. In fact, this book made me re-evaluate a lot of things. Even if this were a big book, I would highly recommend it. It would be worth your time. But it’s a small book and reads very fast. No matter what your own experience in life, I think you will find this book interesting and impressive, and it may just lead to a whole new life for you, a new awakening.

A review for the Kindle version

Waiting for Westmoreland is an excellent memoir of John Maberry’s life as a kid growing up in the Midwest, Vietnam War vet, ant-war protestor, law student, pot smoker, and devout Buddhist. The author offers a poignant and eloquent account of the events that shaped his life leading to his enlightenment through Buddhism. I was particularly moved and educated by his observations about the politics involved in the unpopular, yet long-lasting Vietnam War.

The quality of the author’s writing is excellent – it is descriptive and clear. This independently-published work rivals the quality of work produced by the professional publishing houses. I found the story fascinating and it held my interest throughout.
NOTE: I’m posting this review on the Kindle edition because that is what I purchased although I noticed that the paperback has several other reviews.

Read all the reviews and buy the book:

Also by John Maberry released on 10th July

The Fountain and six more fantasy & Scifi stories.

Humor, twists and more in this collection of seven fantasy and sci-fi short stories. Karma can be painful in “The Fountain”–when a plunderer meets a long-dead shaman. A family adopts a retriever with special talents in “Lily, an Amazing Dog.” A vampire has a strange problem, in “Alfred’s Strange Blood Disorder.” A perennial favorite, dimensional travel, with a strange twist in “The Closet Door.” What could that column of fire be, rising from the Atlantic off the Outer Banks? Read “The Flame” to find out what it meant to troubled writer Carson. A wizard casts a spell that works well for a princess, but will it be as good for him? Check out “The Wizard.” Finally, “The Fribble” offers an alien encounter of an odd sort, to a pharmaceutical company rep searching for new drugs in the Amazon Rain forest.

One of the early reviews for the book

If you enjoy short stories in fantasy/sci-fi genres, and stories that make you think then look no further than Maberry’s tales which will engross you with stories about karma, greed, time travel, aliens and muses.

In this book you will read stories about: a dog with extra sensory perception, a writer battling his own sub-conscience, a wizard who wonders if the spells he casts for others will work for himself, a man who experiences 2 lifetimes by opening a closet door. These are just a few of the stories to stimulate your reading appetite.

Maberry is a prolific writer who knows how to keep a reader captivated till the end and finishes his stories with an unexpected twist. This book also offers an excerpt to the author’s next upcoming novel. As in true Maberry style, he leaves us hanging in anticipation with more to come. A great read!

Read the reviews and buy the collection:

Read all the reviews and buy both books:

Follow John Maberry on Goodreads:

About John Maberry

John Maberry dreamed of being a writer from second grade. Life got in his way. Like what, you may ask. Find out the details in Waiting for Westmoreland, the memoir he wrote about how he came to have a happy and successful life. That, after surviving a hard childhood, failed marriages, an eye opening year in Vietnam and more. He finished the memoir five years after retiring from a local government job in busy Northern Virginia.

That’s John in the photo, relaxing with his friend Larry the Lizard. He met Larry in Mimbres,
New Mexico. John and his wife relocated to scenic New Mexico six years ago. That move and other priorities, stalled the transition to speculative fiction, mysteries and writing genres. Finally, The Fountain, a collection of speculative fiction stories, is coming out in July, 2017. He’s also working on a few novels, planning for one every one to two years. No more delays, time is fleeting.

When not working on the novels or the websites, the family enjoys life in their dream home high atop a hill. His wife of 35+ years has her quilting/craft room. He has an office shared with an energetic dog who lounges on a loveseat behind him when not out chasing rabbits. He’s a happy man and a funny guy (strange/weird his wife says).

Connect with John.

My quarterly webzine on my Eagle Peak Press site
My book website, Waiting for Westmoreland
Writing blog, John Maberry’s Writing
Eclectic blog, Views from Eagle Peak

Social Media:

Thank you for dropping by today and if you would like to join John and the other authors on the shelves of the bookstore then here are the details:

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Opera, Film, Books, Humour and Authors who rock.

Welcome to this week’s round up of posts you might haved missed. As always my thanks to William Price King and Paul Andruss who are such huge supporters and contributors to the blog.. Also this week to Julie Lawford with a very informative posts on the challenges of being left-handed, and to Karen Ingalls, whose post shares her experiences as an ovarian cancer survivor.

I have been busy offline, finishing one project and moving onto the next. I have also been working on the plan for the blog from September onwards with some new promotional opportunities for authors and bloggers. In October the blog will be four years old and I would like to celebrate that with a week of guest posts.  I am hoping to persuade those of you who have been with me for most of those four years to share some highlights from your own blogs and the funniest moments too.  More about that later in the summer but perhaps you can get your thinking caps on now.  It is of course an opportunity to share your work and perhaps inspire others to take up this madness that is blogging.

Thank you very much for popping in and for leaving feedback and sharing the posts across your own networks.. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate that. More to come in the next week and I hope you will have the time to drop in again.

Time to get on with the posts from the week…

William Price King Meets Some legends

We look at some of the music from the films of Barbra Streisand in the 1980s and 1990s.

Smorgasbord Writer in Residence Paul Andruss

This week Paul takes us back through the centuries to discover the origins of our modern day opera including some of the less highbrow aspects of this form of entertainment.

Thomas the Rhymer

The Black Bitch and other Tales by Geoff Cronin

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update

Book and blog marketing

A reminder of how you can join the other authors on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore

Book promotion on Twitter

Taking advantage of book promotion opportunities

My review of No More Mulberries by Mary Smith

Air Your Reviews

Short Stories



Latest research in to the use of Vitamin C in an effective treatment for sepsis

Guest post by Julie Lawford on the challenges of being left-handed.

Guest post by Karen Ingalls, Ovarian cancer survivor.

Top to Toe – The Female Reproductive System



Thank you again and hope to see you next week.. Enjoy your sunday.. Sally

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – My book review of No More Mulberries by Mary Smith

I am a reader first and a writer second. However, these days there is not a balance between the two.. I have been intending to read No More Mulberries by Mary Smith for some time and took the opportunity to download during her free offer recently. There are an impressive number of excellent reviews for the book and I knew I was not going to be disappointed.

About the book

No More Mulberries is a story of commitment and divided loyalties, of love and loss, set against a country struggling through transition.

British-born Miriam’s marriage to her Afghan doctor husband is heading towards crisis. Despite his opposition, she goes to work as a translator at a medical teaching camp in a remote area of rural Afghanistan hoping time apart will help are see where their problems lie. She comes to realise how unresolved issues from when her first husband was killed by a mujahideen group are damaging her relationship with her husband and her son – but is it already too late to save her marriage?

My Five Star review for No More Mulberries.

First let me say that this book should be made into a film as it has all the ingredients of a action packed love story.

It is visually stunning and I found myself completely involved in the people and locations such as the village of Sang-i- Sia that Mary Smith uses as the backdrop to the unfolding story. Combined with the increasing conflict between the various factions in the region it has an element of danger that brings even more tension to the central theme.

All the characters had wonderful depth and some of the minor personalities stood out for me as well. Including Ismail an old and trusted friend from her previous life in Zardgul and his gentle and wise wife Usma.

There is a love triangle between midwife Miriam, Iqbal her second husband and Jawad her charasmatic first husband who died tragically, and whose death she has not fully come to terms with. Through flashbacks, Mary Smith masterfully takes us through each of their lives, revealing the secrets and events that have brought them to a crisis point in Miriam and Iqbal’s marriage.

I came to admire Miriam who felt out of place in her native Scotland and embraced the cultural differences of living in a small Afghan village with enthusiasm and humour. She does everything she can to be accepted by learning the language and adopting the role of a traditional wife and mother.  Relationships can be daunting at the best of time, but add in the inability to communicate,no running water, basic cooking facilities and harsh extremes of weather in an isolated enviroment, and fortitude is required.

I did sympathise with Iqbal who clearly loves Miriam but finds it very difficult to deal with the ghosts of his past, and the ghost of Jawad who he feels is the third person in their marriage. He wants to be a good father to Farid who was just a toddler when his father died, but Miriam has also been trying to keep the memory of Jawad alive for her son, who is now confused. The light in their marriage however is provided by the delightful little girl, Ruckshana who is unaware of the tension and shines her love on all of them.

This is a complex relationship but the story is written in such a way that you come to understand and empathise with all the players in the drama. Mary Smith brings her extensive experience of living and working in Afghanistan and Pakistan into this story, creating a wonderful tapistry of life, love, danger and redemption.

I highly recommend you read the book.

Read over 130 reviews and buy the book:

Also by Mary Smith

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If Mary’s book is on your TBR I hope you will read sooner rather than later… and if it is not as yet part of your future, please head over and buy. Thanks Sally