Smorgasbord Posts from my Archives – Previous Reviews from 2022 – #Shortstory – #Supernatural – Breathless by Yvette Calleiro

Over the next few weeks I will be sharing my reviews for books I posted between January and June 2022.

Good books deserve to be showcased on a regular basis and I hope that it might entice you to either move the books up your groaning TBR’s or add the books to its burden!

This is my review from January 2022 for the short story Breathless by Yvette Calleiro… a great introduction to the author’s full length novels which I look forward to reading soon.

About the story

What if the fairy tale kiss that always awakens the damsel in distress takes a sinister turn? What if prince charming’s kiss no longer produces a happily ever after?

Silena’s infatuation with William hits a speed bump when he rejects her. After all, she is just a maid, and he is a young, rich aristocrat in the 1920s. Why would he have any desire to waste his time with the help?

On one particularly lonely day, Silena calls upon her magic to transform into a sexy flapper for the night. Her dream to enjoy one night with William is finally in her grasp, but her magic comes with consequences that neither William nor Silena could ever imagine.

BONUS! This short story is followed by a preview of a book written by the author.

My review for the story January 8th 2022

As a lover of fairy tales from childhood, I appreciate that there is often a sinister element to the stories, even if they do eventually end with everyone living ‘happily ever after’.

This story by Yvette Calleiro takes that disquieting element to a new level by focusing on the cursing abilities bestowed on certain beings living amongst us. The trouble with special powers is that they are not so easily controlled, especially when emotions are high and expectations are not met.

It would take a saintly kind of person not to occasionally wish to visit misfortune upon certain people we come across, however, as is often the case revenge takes its toll on both parties.

The author has created an interesting storyline with great characters who come together for one brief moment, impacting the rest of their lives and those around them.

An intriguing short story and an excellent introduction to the author’s full length books which Iook forward to reading soon.

Books by Yvette Calleiro

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US And: Amazon UK – Read more reviews: GoodreadsAuthor Blog: Yvette M. Calleiro Blogspot – Twitter: @YvetteMCalleiro – Facebook: Yvette M. Calleiro

About Yvette M. Calleiro

Yvette M. Calleiro is a heavily addicted reader of both young adult and adult novels. She spends most of her time pseudo-living in paranormal worlds with her fictional friends (and boyfriends). When she’s living among real people, Yvette M. Calleiro is a middle school Reading and Language Arts teacher. She’s been sharing her love of literature with her students for over twenty years. Besides writing about the various characters that whisper (and sometimes scream) in her head, she enjoys traveling, watching movies, spending quality time with family and friends, and enjoying the beauty of the ocean.

Yvette lives in Miami, Florida, with her incredible son who has embraced her love for paranormal and adventurous stories. She also shares her space with an assortment of crazy saltwater animals in her 300-gallon tank.


Thanks very much for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books…Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round up – 23rd – 29th January 2023 – Technology, Big Bands, Sir George Shearing, Podcast, PR for authors, Book Reviews, New Releases, The Brain, Funnies

Welcome to the round up of posts this week on Smorgasbord that you might have missed.

I hope you have all had a good week. Nothing earth shattering to report from here but when I read the world headlines, I am very happy to be living in a quiet rural area away from it all. I know I used to be so much more adventurous, but even my upcoming trip to see my sisters requires planning and preparations for just a few days away. The days of flinging some clothes into a bag, grabbing a passport and whizzing through an airport to catch a flight to the other side of the world are long over.

Even technology is going to become interesting during 2023 as mobile phones that are programmed for 3G become obsolete in the UK and Ireland, making way for the new 4G voice technology. This means new phones for the majority of us, and whilst there are only a couple of places in the UK at the moment that have scrapped 3G, they and Ireland intend to move to 4G by the end of the year. Considering I used to drive hundreds of miles on my own without a mobile phone I am almost ashamed I am not brave enough to drive the 7k to Tesco without one!

As always my thanks to my friends who contribute to the blog…

William Price King joined me this week for the Big Band Era with Benny Goodman, Teddy Wilson and The Charleston. Also the next post on the life and music of Sir George Shearing with the last episode on this coming Friday.The following week a new series on the incredible Quincy Jones You can also find William Blog– IMPROVISATIONWilliam Price King on Tumblr

Debby Gies​ has arrived safely in Mexico after a gruelling journey with snow blizzards, delays due to iced wings. During her time away I will be sharing some posts from the archives on Smorgasbord and her own blog. Tomorrow morning… one of her early guest posts here on an entertaining travel adventure. There will also be some funnies along the way. Debby did a Bon Voyage post on her blog with some interesting geographical, political and safety information on Puerta Vallarta and if you are planning a winter break you will find very helpful. Follow the link to Debby’s blog D.G. Kaye

Carol Taylor will be here on Wednesday with her A-Z of food and the letter ‘P’. Congratulations to Carol on becoming a great grandmother to Bonnie born on January 25th, a beautiful picture in her round up. On Monday Carol looked at the alternative options to antibiotics in the form of Echinacea, a better way to grow rice for the environment, a report on Trans Fats, a fitness update and a toadzilla found that would make anyone jump. Carol explores the cuisine of Fiji… very exotic locally sourced delicacies. Catch up on all Carol’s posts: Carol Taylor’s weekly round up 22nd to 28th January

Thank you very much for your visits, comments and shares to social media, as always it is appreciated ♥

On with the show…..

The Big Band Era with William Price King and Sally Cronin 1930s – Benny Goodman, Teddy Wilson and The Charleston

William Price King Meets Music Legends – #Jazz – Sir George Shearing – 1970s and Latin and Classical Styles

Podcast #Poetry #Flash Fiction – Light Lingers and Poisoned Apples by Sally Cronin

The Body our Greatest Asset – The Brain – Shopping list for the Brain and its support systems by Sally Cronin

Public Relations for Authors Recycled- Part Four – Social Media – The Pros and the Cons as an Author by Sally Cronin

Book Review – #Poetry – Sorrowful Soul (Book 3 in the Soul Poetry series) by Harmony Kent

#Reviews D.L. Finn, #Reading Robbie Cheadle, #Writinglinks D.G. Kaye, #Diary Yvette Calliero, #Interview Judith Barrow, #Funnies The Story Reading Ape, #Powercut Cheryl Oreglia

#Parents #Grief – Ok, Little Bird by Deena Goldstein

#Poetry #FreeVerse – Ida: Searching for The Jazz Baby – From Volyn to Kherson: Interpretations of the war in Ukraine by Frank Prem

#Romance – #Preorder – Reunion (Montana Bred Series 2) by Linda Bradley

#mystery #suspense – The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost by Jamie Adams

#Pets on My Travels by Darlene Foster

#PotLuck – Top Ten Things Not to Do on a Men Only Weekend Trip by John W. Howell.

January 2023 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Margaritas and Regrets

January 2023 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp – #Marriage and #Fottles


Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will join me again next week… stay safe.. Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Podcast #Poetry #Flash Fiction – Light Lingers and Poisoned Apples by Sally Cronin

Some more poetry and flash fiction from one of my collections.

Each day we gain a few precious minutes of daylight and nature welcomes it too… and biting into a poisoned apple carries consequences….

#Poetry #Flash Fiction – Light Lingers and Poisoned Apples by Sally Cronin 


Light Lingers

in our world
longer each day
to initiate
the sequence of rebirth
of all things under the earth
where dormant bulbs unfurl their shoots
pushing upwards into the crisp air
rotating buds to seek elusive sun.

Poisoned Apple

It is common in this modern world, to be offered promises that seem as wholesome as a bowl of shiny apples. However the red skinned fruit may hide toxic untruths and evil intent. Once it is swallowed, the poisoned apple will stick in your throat, causing you to spout the heinous words hidden within; spreading the evil like a virus. The only antidote to its venom; is to establish the truth, and wash the words down with random acts of kindness. We must all think carefully before embarking on a dangerously addictive diet of fake news and ill intentions.
©Sally Cronin 2023

One of the recent  reviews for my latest collection. 

Jacquie Biggar Bookbub

Sally Cronin brings her signature heartwarming style to a new collection of poetry and short stories exploring human emotion and nature in all its vagaries.

Many of the poems feature animals, their grace and beauty brought to life with a few well-chosen words, but my favorite is the dedication to her mother:

Face in the mirror

face in the mirror
a smile of recognition
but twinge of remorse
at the passing of the years
each line a story
or reminder of laughter
how closely they match
another’s facial mapping
I’ve morphed into my mother.

Cronin, Sally. Variety is the Spice of Life: A blend of poetry and prose (p. 20). Moyhill Publishing. Kindle Edition.

The short stories come with messages of love and support and familial bonds. The Green Hill is sweet with an ending that tugs on the heartstrings, while The Neighborhood Watch with a marmalade cat who exacts revenge on his injured friends left me with a satisfied grin 

This is a highly recommended collection of stories and poems to enrich your reading experience. 


Thank you for listening and if you would like to know more about my books and their reviews you can find them on my books page My books and reviews 2023


Smorgasbord Public Relations for Authors Recycled- Part Four – Social Media – The Pros and the Cons as an Author by Sally Cronin

The definition of Public Relations in business is “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between businesses and the public”

In the past my focus has been on book marketing, which did include how to reach potential readers with blogs, social media and as part of the writing community. Whilst this recycled series will revisit those platforms along the way it is an opportunity to focus on some key areas of our public profiles that might influence the public to buy our books.

The focus this time is on you.. the author.

In the last three weeks I have looked at the public face of an author… the profile photograph, biography and hitting the red carpet in the writing community and other places online. This week I explore the benefits and downsides to promoting yourself on social media platforms. Apart from blogging which I consider to be an essential platform for all authors, there are the usual haunts most of us frequent.

I appreciate that some of you reading this have had unfortunate experiences with social media and I am afraid that is something that all of us are likely to face at some point or another. There are people in this world who feel that they can attack from cover behind their screens and abuse others. It says a lot for their sad little lives and they only option is to block them. Hopefully the majority of those you follow are decent people who are like-minded and willing to interact well. As for those wishing to scam you.. they get craftier all the time and assume that suspicious emails or requests via social media require close scrutiny and wariness.

Social Media – The Pros and the Cons as an Author

As a number of well-known celebrities and best-selling authors have found to their cost during this last year, comments made online years ago can come back to haunt you. Sometimes before they were famous, and were young and a bit foolish.

However, on the plus side… not only is it a way to be connected to the rest of the world and meet new people, it is for an author… FREE advertising.

The Pros of being on Social Media as an author

As an author, blogger and book promoter, I have experimented with several social media platforms including Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn.

For me the most effective as far as exposure, traffic and promotion are Twitter and Facebook with LinkedIn coming in quite a bit behind in third place.

As an author I want to sell books, as a blogger I would like my posts to reach as far and wide as possible, as a book promoter I want to create a platform that offers the authors as much visibility as possible and as a reader I want to discover great recommended books to add to my TBR.

Facebook_symbol_Word - VIVAKUR

I did have my own page on Facebook until two years ago but found that it was not as effective as having my personal page combined with using specific groups to post to for marketing purposes. This enables me to not only share my own book news, but the promotions for the authors in the Cafe and Bookstore, and the bloggers that I follow.

I am administrator along with Debby Gies of The Literary Diva’s Library – And if you are just getting started, are a reader of books or a writer, then do take a look and see if it would suit you.

Facebook Groups enable you to chat with, and share with like-minded people, and since writers are readers too, it is also a useful marketplace to share your work or blog posts. (You will get short shrift if you continually talk about yourself and your work). It is tough to manage several groups, but if you check out the ones associated with your particular genre then you will make a good start. Most authors within those genres are readers too and if they pass along to their friends etc you are reaching a healthy market for your work.

I tend not to post a great deal of personal goings on but do so on my personal page which is set to friends only. They know I can be crazy…!!  Apart from when I share from Goodreads where I cannot designate a group to share a book review in, all my work related posts go into the three groups I am a member of.

Twitter - Logos Download

Twitter is useful for making new connections and interacting with those you share interests with, by sharing their tweets. It is reciprocal usually and this adds the accumulative factor to any tweet you make. I understand that many with accounts on Twitter have closed their accounts following the recent takeover by the latest CEO, but at the end of the day there has been little change to the dynamics of the writing community on Twitter and whilst I am not necessarily a fan of all his endeavours, for my aim, which is to promote my book and those of the authors I support, Twitter is still an important platform for marketing purposes.

For example – if you tweet about a review for your book #Fantasy #Scifi and just 10 of your followers retweet to theirs with those tags, you are reaching thousands more possible readers of your book or followers of your blog.

To make sure you are targeting the right audience for your blog or book remember to use tags when posting – #Romance #Writing Community, #Fantasy #Poetry #Health #Humour etc.

I went in recently to check this accumulative factor for a book review rewind I posted on. It was retweeted 25 times and including my own followers it was shared to 156,000 potential readers. Whilst they may not buy the book right now… it they see an author’s name often enough, it will encourage them to explore their books at some point.

I have mentioned the Pinned Tweet a number of times and this is useful to extend your brief bio on your profile section to promote all your books or one specifically or a blog post.

It is the first thing that a new visitor to your account will see so a good marketing opportunity. They will usually retweet and share your book or post with their own followers.

Remember to change the pinned tweet on a regular basis as unless someone retweets with addition text it can only be done once.

You can still promote the same book as your pinned tweet if you add the link to its most recent review etc to keep it fresh. You can connect to me on twitter:@sgc58

LinkedIn Lawsuit: You Can Run, But You Can't Hide ...

LinkedIn used to be very much for the business community, and I joined in 2008 when I was on radio and I included my nutritional therapy qualifications and books I had released at that time. I did connect with many I had worked with previously in the telephony industry which helped me get started, but at the time there were very few authors using the platform. That has changed somewhat now and there is a thriving community. All my blog posts are linked automatically which means slightly less work.

My posts are scheduled to go out at different times of day for the time zones.. so just after midnight for American readers and then throughout the day at set intervals. It means that they are sent straight to Twitter and LinkedIn at the same time without me worrying about it.

The LinkedIn interface has changed a great deal in the last year with a move to a similar look to Facebook and they even have emojis now….it used to be a no no to put a hug or a kiss on a post, but they seem to have decided it might be okay.

It is more formal however than other social media sites and as I have repeated on many occasions, as an author you are in business and there are certain expectations that go along with that.

In the post on writing a biography I emphasized certain points to give it a professional and business orientated theme.. and that is what is needed for Linkedin. You will find that most bio photographs are more formal too than you might expect to find on most social media sites.

If you would like to get started then please connect to me LinkedIn: Sally Cronin

In this day and age we have to accept that as an author, we need to be both proactive and reactive to highlight our work. The market for our books or blog posts is to be found within the billions who spend their lives online in one way or another. Readers are not just going to walk through our door unfortunately. If we are building a brand for ourselves as an author with books to sell, I do recommend that you are on at least one of the major sites such as Twitter or Facebook.

The Cons of being on Social Media as an author or blogger

Clock, Wall Clock, Clock Face, Pointer

For me the biggest drawback to being on social media, even though it has helped me build my blog platform and allowed me to promote both myself and other authors is Time.

I love what I do and after 22 years as an author, 10 years of blogging and 8 promoting authors I know that being on social media is essential to making things happen.

Although my posts are linked to Twitter and LinkedIn automatically, I choose not to respond to the comments or tweets using an automatic app. I like to tag those who have shared posts or retweeted, visit their page and share their pinned tweet and explore their books etc. On average I get 300 tweets a day and whilst many are not expecting a response, by doing so it does encourage more interaction in the future.

Finding the balance between building your marketing brand, writing books and blogging is a challenge.

Royalty Free Awkward Conversation Clip Art, Vector Images ...

Times change, and as recent events have illustrated, there are things you could get away with 10 years or even 5 years ago that you cannot do so now. I don’t agree with bullying in any form or discrimination when it comes to culture or religion, but sometimes even harmless banter can upset someone, somewhere.

Social media is a global phenomenon, and as such, what we say and do, can get lost in translation. Politics and religion in particular are guaranteed to get people hot under the collar and that’s when the fight started!

I will admit to being straight talking, opinionated and also known to use colourful language in private on a number of subjects, but as an author, I tend to be more circumspect in places where I am also marketing my books. The only time that I will publicly share my opinion, is if I see someone else being bullied in any way, but thankfully that has become rarer in recent years. On the odd occasion when I have read a post or comment by an author that is offensive it certainly influences my view of both the writer and their work.

Whilst you can set your settings on your own account to friends only etc, you do need to think carefully before posting a comment on a public forum or on someone else’s blog post. You may not be able to delete or even edit your comment, and once there it stays there!

Privacy stock illustration. Illustration of quiet ...

There are settings on all social media platforms that you can activate to restrict what information is shared and who it is shared with.. One of the greatest myths of our time!.

The truth is that very little is private and women in particular are blessed with stunning invitations to connect from gentlemen who feel that Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are dating sites. I received a long and delightful email just the other day from a gentleman who said that he knew LinkedIn was not a dating site, but my profile photo captured his attention and he would love to know me better if my relationship status permitted. He included two photos of himself.. and very fetching he was too..

I double checked, and we were not connected on LinkedIn at all, and I am suspect I was not the only object of his admiration but I was so tempted to send back a photo under the heading, untouched original photograph.

But I just deleted his email….I didn’t want to give him nightmares.

Certainly whilst one wants to share photographs of you on a beach in an exotic location sipping cocktails, it is better to post them when you get home, even if you do have mega speed broadband in your hotel room. Combined with the information you may have shared and the photographs of your home and gardens, the fact that it is vacant while you are away will be good news for someone.

We are paranoid about children and teens using the internet but in actual fact the statistics for con artists defrauding online users show that the elderly are a high risk age group

Key facts: Age UK  

  • Almost 5 million older people (65+) believe they have been targeted by scammers.
  • While only 12% of those targeted responded to a scam, this means around half a million older people could have fallen victim.
  • Single older people are more likely to respond than married people, and half of all people aged 75+ live alone.
  • There were 3.4 million incidents of fraud in the year to March 2017.5 Over half of these (57%) were cyber-related.

Is being on social media worth it for an author? I have to say that yes, being on at least one social media site is worth it. If you were in any other business you would leap at the opportunity for free publicity for your product, with a potential market of millions.

As someone who promotes authors and books it is helpful for me too as a collaborative approach to sharing on social media does increase the visibility of the post.

  • Time is a factor, however if that is the case, pick one platform and work that one to its fullest extent.
  • Spend allocated time a day to build a presence – for me that is first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
  • Respond to those who tag or mention you.
  • interact with other authors and bloggers,
  • share other people’s posts
  • promote your own work (in moderation)
  • Take the opportunity to exchange ideas, or pinch some it your think they will work for you.
  • If groups are on the platform join two or three where your work fits – Romance Writers, Review groups etc. Bear in mind this will add extra time.
  • Use tags when posting to identify an author or blogger you are sharing in the comment etc.
  • Take it step by step, my network is nearly ten years in the building and please consider my network yours. If you are on Twitter – go to my profile page – click my followers and scroll down. Any authors you are not following.. click the button and in most cases they will follow you back.
  • If I tag you in a comment on Twitter of Facebook when your post has been shared from my blog, pop in and say thank you to them and if you are not following them click the button. If they are generous to me they will be to you.  And you will have found another potential reader of your books.
  • Have fun… I still am..

I hope that this post has given you some ideas of how you can promote your blog or books on social media and how to avoid some of the pitfalls associated with being online..

©Sally Cronin 2023

About Sally Cronin

Sally Cronin is the author of sixteen books including her memoir Size Matters: Especially when you weigh 330lb, first published in 2001. This has been followed by another fifteen books both fiction and non-fiction including multi-genre collections of short stories and poetry.

As an author she understands how important it is to have support in marketing books and offers a number of FREE promotional opportunities on her blog and across her social media. The Smorgasbord Bookshelf

Her podcast shares book reviews, poetry and short stories Sally Cronin Soundcloud

After leading a nomadic existence exploring the world, she now lives with her husband on the coast of Southern Ireland enjoying the seasonal fluctuations in the temperature of the rain.

Thanks for dropping in today and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask… Sally.

Smorgasbord Book Promotions – New Book on the Shelves – #mystery #suspense – The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost by Jamie Adams

Delighted to welcome Jamie Adams to the bookshelf with his suspense novella
The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost

About the book

Three guys in their thirties have something in common. Their children all go to the same school. One day a tragic event leads to them having to deal with a lurking aftermath which draws them into each other’s lives and causes them to rethink their attitudes to just about everything.

The children tell the second part of this story, ten years after the initial events. The dust seems to have settled until one of them uncovers information that throws everything back into chaos.

The third part… well that will have to wait.

One of the reviews for the book

Michelle Ryles  VINE VOICE 4.0 out of 5 stars A little book with a big message

It was a nice change to read a novella with The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost being only 90 pages long and taking around 1 hour to read. Don’t mistake it for a shallow light read though as Jamie Adams has packed a lot of story into these few pages, so it’s very much a case of quality over quantity.

It took me a little while to get used to the lack of contractions in the book, for example using ‘I am’ instead of ‘I’m’. I found it a bit odd, especially in speech, but I soon got used to it and attributed it to a little quirk of the book. The book is written in 3 parts; I’m sure you’ll be able to guess the parts from the title of the book. They are all linked and come together very nicely at the end, leaving me with a little lump in my throat.

I felt there were some very strong messages in this book regarding mental health and bullying but I did have to give myself a virtual smack for jumping to conclusions. I’ve always said that there are two sides to every story but for some reason I saw one side of the story in The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost and pinned my colours to that mast. Thank you Jamie Adams for reminding me that not everything is as it may first appear.

A little book with a big message, The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost is a very thought-provoking book that I really enjoyed.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US

Also by Jamie Adams

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Follow Jamie: Goodreads – Blog Jamie Adams Stories – Twitter: @JamieAdStories – Instagram: Jamieadstories

About Jamie Adams

Jamie Adams was born in Peterborough, England and studied Geography at University. Having taught in schools and at university, he was always keen to develop his writing skills.
Currently he is writing short stories linked to romance and has his first novella, which is a drama story linked to families and friendships. He loves to include twists in his stories and aims to engage readers with lots of detail but also a fast pace.

His next project will be a trilogy…


Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books.. Sally.


Smorgasbord Book Promotion – #Romance – #Preorder – Reunion (Montana Bred Series 2) by Linda Bradley

Delighted to share the news of the latest release from Linda BradleyReunion (Montana Bred Series 2) On Pre-Order for February 1st

About the book

How much will Chloe McIntyre and her mother, Brook, sacrifice to rebuild their relationship?

Chloe McIntyre expectant momma, invites her Hollywood fashion designer mother to the Montana family ranch, knowing it’s time to make amends after a three-year rift. As Chloe and her mother strive to start over, they quickly discover that letting go of past hurts is easier said than done. Brook’s workaholic lifestyle leaves little room for mother-daughter time, and Chloe’s impulsive nature to fix what she sees as her mother’s shortcomings create added tension.

Just as Brook finally expresses the maternal emotion Chloe craves and acceptance breeds a newfound trust, Brook’s hidden agenda is revealed. Chloe’s instinct to protect the wranglers she oversees, her home and her heart leaves her mother with an ultimatum: to stay and to stick with their compromise—or cut ties for good.

Chloe and her mother must come to terms with what they can’t change in order to accept an outcome defined by tough love.

Head over to pre-order the book for February 1st: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK  

Also by Linda Bradley

My review for the first book in the series Unbranded 7th January 2023

It was great to meet up again with Maggie Mcintyre and her family whose story was shared in the Maggie’s Way and other Montana Bound Series books.

Chloe has inherited the grit and love of Montana and cattle ranching from her grandparents and has been lovingly nurtured by her father and step-mother Maggie. The baggage that Chloe is carrying around based on her father’s failed marriage and her absent mother’s lack of presence in her life, has made her form strong opinions about relationships. Not just romantic but with the cowboys she works with. She is ambitious and keen to carve out a future for herself her on the family ranch, and sometimes that is at odds with her father’s wishes but also her safety and that of her unborn child.

She is loved, and the author has created a wonderful support system around this feisty and stubborn young woman as she navigates the intricate interactions with the other main characters in the story. As the plot develops, Chloe learns much about herself and where the future might lie.

The author paints a detailed and engaging world on a busy cattle ranch and takes us along for the ride. All the characters are interesting and play their part in the evolving story, keeping the reader engaged and turning the pages. The romance is subtle and heartwarming and I can recommend to readers who enjoy a gentle but compelling story.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USAnd : Amazon UK – Follow Linda :Goodreads website: Linda Bradley Author – Twitter: @LBradleyAuthor

About Linda Bradley

Linda’s inspiration comes from her favorite authors and life itself. Her women’s fiction highlights characters that peel away outer layers of life to discover the heart of their dreams with some unexpected twists and turns along the way. Her writing integrates humor found in everyday situations, as well as touching moments, thus creating avenues for readers to connect with her characters.


Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books… Sally.

Smorgasbord Book Promotions – New Books on the Shelves – #Poetry #FreeVerse – Ida: Searching for The Jazz Baby – From Volyn to Kherson: Interpretations of the war in Ukraine by Frank Prem

Pleased to share the news of two new free verse collections by Frank Prem –  Ida: Searching for The Jazz Baby and From Volyn to Kherson: Interpretations of the war in Ukraine.

About the collection

Who is Ida Pender? Is she the elderly woman – Ida-Spider – rumoured to be resident in a 1970’s Mental Asylum?

Is she Squizzy Taylor’s teenaged gangster moll of the roaring 1920’s in Melbourne? The woman the police declared had shapely legs? She is Ida. The Jazz Baby.

Frank Prem explores the story of Ida Pender, largely forgotten now, but once the notorious associate of a 1920s Melbourne gnagster. From the young girl sneaking out of her bedroom window to go dancing at the Palais de Danse, companion, accomplice, then wife and mother to Squizzy Taylor’s child by her early twenties, Ida is an extraordinary woman and a marvellous story.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

Jan 08, 2023 D.G. Kaye rated it it was amazing

A freeverse poetry collection about a jazz dancer and true crime in 1920s Melbourne, Australia where Jazz baby, Ida, daughter of a horse trainer, falls in love with Melbourne’s notorious underworld criminal, Leslie ‘Squizzy’ Taylor, once a horse jockey. The story begins in the 1970s where the author, Prem, as a young student, was a pyschiatric nurse at the Lunatic Asylum where several elderly women were called Ida. ‘Rumor’ had it that one of these Idas was Ida Pender, the gun-moll of Squizzy Taylor.

Prem researched the story of Ida Pender and Squizzy Taylor, who was eventually killed in a shootout, leaving Ida a widowed, single mother at the tender age of 23. Ida loved to dance since a child and was discovered to be part of a competitive dance group who loved to dance to jazz at the Palis de Dance. Prem brings back to life the story of Jazz Baby in prose and poetry. With each newspaper clipping headline, Prem tells the story in poetry through the character’s minds. An introductory poem to the elusive Ida:

the company (she keeps)

The pair are “Squizzy” TayJor, and his paramour, Ida
Pender, who has been associated with him since she
was a mere child of sixteen
“Squizzy” Taylor——As He Is! The Mirror, Perth 05/07/1924
is she
a bad girl
does she just choose
poor company . . .
a man
might be a
but still be nice
to me
if I love him . . .
I do love him . . .
where else
should I be
is she a bad
bad girl
or is she
just . . .
just . . .
just keeping company
as best
she can

If you enjoy a ‘different’ kind of story-telling, you will enjoy this well-researched story combined with the author’s imagination, written in poetry, accompanied by headlines. All the author’s research resources are listed in the book. 

Head over to buy the collection: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK

About the collection

From Volyn To Kherson, tells the stories of hardship and suffering and bewilderment experienced by the people of Ukraine in the early weeks of the 2022 Russian invasion and war.

The collection draws on news reports and social media postings during the most un-curated war the world has ever witnessed, interpreting and translating the raw emotion of this wartime experience.

There is no part of Ukraine that has been left untouched by this war, and no part of the poet left untouched by these stories of the Ukraine.

An extract from recent review for the collection on Goodreads

Jan 06, 2023 Roxanne Bodsworth rated it five stars

We all know what is happening in Ukraine. Events and their details are thoroughly documented through print, media broadcasts, and even more so on social media. But so much saturation results in information overload and we can switch off. It can be like watching a movie, it is not about us and, after all, there is nothing we can do.

Unless you are a poet like Frank Prem, who can take this overwhelming surfeit of information and not only give voice to the people caught up in this nightmare but can help us to hear their stories, their hope and dreams and laughter, and tears.

one drop
for every time
they fire
a gun

These people have names: anastasia and tatiana worry about being arrested, ivan has half a roll of toilet paper and a gun and lives in a metro station, alina is giving birth in the basement where it is safer from the bombs, and maniukina is making pancakes. And some people die nameless, as in “today’s grief (is for her)”:

I don’t know her
did not
know her
but the news
of her passing
is a dark-fisted

There is a conversational tone to these poems, not a reportage but a dialogic relationship with the average people of towns of which most of us have never heard. “god knows (volyn & rivna)” invites the reader in to muse on the strangeness of war:

how long
did it take –
I wonder –
to build
so many airplanes

Head over to buy the collection: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Frank Prem

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon US –And:Amazon UK – Website:Frank Prem – Goodreads:Goodreads – Twitter:@frank_prem – YouTube:Frank Prem’s Channel

About Frank Prem

Frank Prem has been a storytelling poet since his teenage years. He has been a psychiatric nurse through all of his professional career, which now exceeds forty years.

He has been published in magazines, online zines and anthologies in Australia, and in a number of other countries, and has both performed and recorded his work as spoken word.

He lives with his wife in the beautiful township of Beechworth in North East Victoria, Australia.


Thanks very much for dropping in today and I hope that you will be leaving with some books.


Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2023 #Potluck – #Pets on My Travels by Darlene Foster

Welcome to the new series of Posts from Your Archives 2023 where I will be sharing posts from the last six months of 2023 I have selected from the archives of willing participants. If you wish to be included the information is at the the end of the post.

Author Darlene Foster does a great deal of travelling in Europe and also in here homeland of Canada… in her first post from her archives she shares some of the pets she has had the joy of reconnecting with during her trips.

Pets on My Travels by Darlene Foster

As much as I love to travel and visit my family and friends, I always miss my two doggies Dot and Lia. Fortunately, there are pets at many of the places I visit. Here are a few pictures of the pets I spent time with while in Canada in September.

Brandy, a Golden Labrador/Rhodesian Ridgeback mix. A real sweetheart.

Brandy in her yard playing ball.

Come on, throw the ball.

Grandpuppy Petite on Mudge Island

Grandkitty, Bimbay on Mudge Island

Lexi, the oldest of my Granddaughter’s pets, enjoying a sunny day.

Mandy the Newfoundland dog. A big cuddly teddy bear.

Mandy, the guard dog.

Roni, another of my granddaughter’s pets. Those eyes!

Me and my buddy Roni

And there are many cats as well. This is Earl Grey. The coolest cat ever and I love his name.

We can’t forget the goats. Did I mention my granddaughter loves animals? I didn’t get pictures of all of them either.

Beelzebub, my grandson’s newly acquired pet who seems very happy with his new home.

Lola, my son’s family pug. Another cutie.

Willow, an Australian Shepherd. A special dog for a special girl in Vancouver.

Well, not really a pet, but my great granddaughter’s badger Halloween costume.

How about an awesome cake that looks like a pet?

So you can see I had many pets to keep me company until I came home to these two.
Share this:

©Darlene Foster 2022

My thanks to Darlene for letting me delve into her archives and I know she would love to hear from you.

About Darlene Foster

Growing up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing, traveling the world, and meeting interesting people. She also believed in making her dreams come true. It’s no surprise she’s now the award-winning author of Amanda Travels, a children’s adventure series featuring a spunky twelve-year-old who loves to travel to unique places. Readers of all ages enjoy following Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another. When not traveling herself, Darlene divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca, Spain with her husband and entertaining rescue dogs, Dot and Lia.

Find out more about Darlene’s books and read the reviews: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Website/Blog: Darlene Foster WordPressGoodreads: Goodreads – Twitter: @supermegawoman

A selection of books by Darlene Foster


One of the reviews for Amanda in France

Priscilla Bettis 5.0 out of 5 stars A Mystery, a Tour, and Danger!  Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on November 25, 2022

After reading this book, I feel like I’ve visited Paris. The sights were amazing, the locals were kind, and the history was interesting.

Amanda in France is a mystery story. Why does the man with the ponytail show up everywhere, and what’s that person in the black jacket doing in the shadows? Who are the bad guys, and why do the police want Amanda’s friend’s phone? Foster sneaks in plenty of red herrings. I admit it took me awhile to figure out what was happening.

Amanda is brave in the face of very real dangers, and Foster brings up an important discussion point: Should we continue to travel when gangs and terrorists may spoil visits to amazing places? Amanda is only 12 years old, but she and her Aunt Jenny are wise on that issue. (I won’t spoil it and reveal what they say.)

Great fun, and I learned a lot about Paris! 

How to feature in the series?

  • All I need you to do is give me permission to dive in to your archives and find two posts to share here on Smorgasbord. (
  • Rather than a set topic, I will select posts at random of general interest across a number of subjects from the second six months of 2022. (it is helpful if you have a link to your archives in your sidebar by month)
  • As I will be promoting your books as part of the post along with all your information and links so I will not be sharing direct marketing or self- promotional posts in the series.
  • If you are an author I am sure you will have a page on your blog with the details, and an ‘about page’ with your profile and social media links (always a good idea anyway). I will get everything that I need.
  • As a blogger I would assume that you have an ‘about page’ a profile photo and your links to social media.
  • Copyright is yours and I will ©Your name on every post… and you will be named as the author in the URL and subject line.
  • Previous participants are very welcome to take part again.
  • Each post is reformatted for my blog and I don’t cut and paste, this means it might look different from your own post especially if you are using the block editor.

N.B – To get the maximum benefit from your archive posts, the only thing I ask is that you respond to comments individually and share on your own social media.. thank you.

Smorgasbord Book Promotions – New Book on the Shelves – #Parents #Grief – Ok, Little Bird by Deena Goldstein

Delighted welcome Deena Goldstein to Smorgasbord and to share her memoir Ok, Little Bird

About the book

In the world of Little Bird, three siblings experience the same father differently. Navigating stringent rules, cantankerous family dinners, unfiltered commentaries, and lots of love, OK, Little Bird takes the reader on a bouncy ride from laughter to tears.

Everything is funny till a seemingly invincible father succumbs to a terminal illness amidst the Covid19 pandemic. Little Bird sets out to make things ok for her father one last time. Through a lifetime of wry banter, voicemails, letters and bad gifts, fly with Little Bird as she learns that even in the worst of times, the gem of laughter is the best coping tool of all.

One of the reviews for the book

I have never fully comprehended why some people reread books they have just completed. For me, I am always eager to move on to the next book. This wonderful book is my first exception. I am currently rereading, “Ok, Little Bird.” I have to, really.

Poignant passages a plenty, so many hilarious anecdotes and an inspiring abundance of wisdom in the face of an elderly, loved one’s arduous decline.

For me, I wish this book had been written six years ago, as many of my father’s final life chapter’s experiences were akin, to that of Ms. Goldstein’s. This book undoubtedly would have helped me in coping emotionally and perhaps, even spiritually with my own, aged father’s inevitability.

I surmise that although, “Ok, Little Bird,” was not intended to be a “self-help” book, I believe in many ways that in the best sense, it is that too. Not in the preachy manner that so many self-help books seem to ultimately end up as. It’s the author’s natural, unassuming openness that subtly encourages the reader that you can pine weightily for a treasured, loved one and at the same time, also be “OK.”

Ms. Goldstein has a self-effacing knack for allowing us to latch on and delight in her enduring, cherished experiences with her father. Ultimately, the reader will wish that they could have rubbed elbows with this warm, good-hearted, fastidious, and of course, filter-less funnyman.

The reader may very well want to engage with this impressive author as well! 

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon USAmazon UK

About Deena Goldstein

Award-winning multimedia artist and former stand-up comedian Deena Goldstein pens her debut memoir “OK, Little Bird”. Deena’s artwork has been featured in solo and collective exhibitions, receiving numerous honors for her original acrylics. Now “Little Bird” shares the unique, irreverent and touching relationship with her quirky, loveable cowboy father. Deena’s flair for humor and all things offbeat makes this book a memorable debut.

Connect to Deena Goldstein: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK –  Follow Deena Goldstein: Goodreads – Website: Deena’s Art – Facebook: Deena Goldstein – LinkedIn: Deena GoldsteinInstagram: @artdee710 – Twitter:@deeauthart


Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to buy Deena’s book.. Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 16th – 22nd January 2023 – George Shearing, Big Band Era, Intuition, Culinary ‘O’ foods and terms, New Releases, Book Reviews, The Brain, Bloggers Spotlight and Funnies

Welcome to the round up of posts you might have missed in the last week here on Smorgasbord.

Not a great deal to report this week that is newsworthy but thank goodness for the blog which has kept me out of mischief… well almost! The weaher has turned a little warmer the last couple of days and I notice the first signs of the primroses under the hedge poking their heads about ground. I hope they are not being overly keen and I am sure some more frosts to come.

On the blog front.. delighted to say that quite a few bloggers have signed up for the new series of post from the archives and you will begin to see those posts beginning Tuesday. So if you would like me to share two posts from your archives from July- December 2022 then here are the details. #NewSeries January 2023- ‘Lucky Dip’ and Do You Trust Me??

Don’t forget to email me if you have a new release in the next few weeks so I can help spread the news. If you are new to the blog then I will let you know what I need… if you have been featured before I just need the Amazon link.

As always my thanks to my friends who contribute to the blog…

William Price King joined me this week to celebrate the Big Band Era Ethel Waters, Duke Ellington and the Jitterbug. Also the next post on Friday with the life and music of Sir George Shearing.  You can also find William Blog– IMPROVISATIONWilliam Price King on Tumblr

Debby Gies​ was here on Monday with an exploration of Intuition… and during this past week joined me for a laughter post.  On her own blog you will find her Sunday Book Review for Death and its Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Beautiful Lessons by therapist Becky Aud-Jennison.  Also a link to Debby’s two latest podcast.

Debby is heading off to Mexico for two months on her annual migration to warmer climes but I will be sharing some posts from her archives on her Monday slot in the meantime. She will be back in April with more of her Spiritual Awareness posts. Follow the link to Debby’s posts D.G. Kaye

Carol Taylor was here on Wednesday with her A-Z of food and the letter ‘O’. Over on her own blog you will find Monday Musings on Rhinos and natural antibiotics, On Thursday thoughts you can discover some interesting facts such as the first hot air balloon flight in the 18th century.  You can catch up with the news: Carol Taylor’s Weekly Round Up 21st January

Thank you very much for your visits, comments and shares to social media, as always it is appreciated ♥

On with the show…..

The Big Band Era with William Price King and Sally Cronin 1930s – Ethel Waters, Duke Ellington and The Jitterbug

William Price King Meets Music Legends – #Jazz – Sir George Shearing – The Collaborations

Spiritual Awareness – Learning to Trust Your #Intuition by D. G. Kaye

Carol Taylor’s – Culinary A – Z Rewind – ‘O’ for Oats, Offal, Octopus, Oranges and Oysters.

Podcast #Poetry #Flash Fiction – Waiting for Spring and Good Morning Your Eminence by Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Public Relations for Authors Recycled – Part Three – Hitting the Red Carpet

The Body our Greatest Asset – The Brain – Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease by Sally Cronin

#Review – #Romance #Novella – Pour It On ( Keystone Couples) by Staci Troilo

#Forgottenwords Marcia Meara, #Booktitles Pamela Wight, #Reviews Diana Peach, #2022reads D.L. Finn, #Salad New Vintage Kitchen, #Frost John Howell.

#Suspense #Romance Tall Pines Sanctuary by Sharon K. Connell

#Contemporary #Suspense #Loss #Love – All That Was Taken by Lisette Brodey

#YA #Fantasy – Dream Walker: Book 5 in ‘The Council of Twelve’ Series A.J. Alexander

#Techno #Thriller What Comes Before (Heirs And Descendants Book 3) by Daniel Kemp

Host Malcolm Allen – January 2023 – Bird Power and Weighing Scales

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Notes to Self and Definitions


Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will join me again next week… be safe… Sally