Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Making Hay, Getting your Blog Promoted, Guests Galore, Music and a Good Laugh.


Welcome to this week’s round up of posts you might have missed here on Smorgasbord.

Image Pixabay.com

Summer arrived finally, and for nearly a week the farming activity has been in overdrive. After the drought and poor harvest last year, the farmers are naturally very keen to get their hay made while the sun shines… This means that getting to town has been a bit slower behind tractors and other harvesting equipment, but nobody really cares as it gives us all a chance to enjoy the scenery.

I have spent my week pleasurably reading through the blogger’s archives who have kindly granted me permission to share their posts. This was an overdue attempt to get to know more about the people who support this blog and to promote them and their blogs. I had no idea that it would create such a wonderful windfall of interesting and entertaining posts. Normally when I issue an invitation to submit posts from the archives I might get 10 to 15 responses.. So far I have 65 bloggers on the list and I am half way through showcasing their posts.

This had me wondering what the difference was between the response. And the answer I believe is natural reticence. It is one thing to put yourself forward and perhaps wonder if your posts are acceptable, and another when someone actually selects posts to share. Whatever the reason, I am grateful, as I have discovered some wonderful posts and in fact am hard pushed to share just four.

It will depend very much on the reason why you write a blog, but one thing I am absolutely sure about is that there those who write blogs should promote themselves far more than they do. Also I do recommend that you open your doors to guests in every form including articles and interviews, as not only does it promote them, but it brings you readers for your own work.

On that subject, and something that I often repeat. For the majority of us our blogs are a full-time or part-time job, even if it is not monetised. If you add up the hours per week or month that you spend writing posts, and sharing them on social media, you will find how they add up.

I have been promoting authors and bloggers now for seven years and whilst delighted to share here and on social media, I do have some tips for those who are guests so that they get the most from the experience.

  1. Answer all comments individually. If people have taken the time to respond to the post then it is only courtesy to respond.
  2. If you are tagged on social media such as Twitter and Facebook with the name of the person who has shared from the post, then it is a good idea to respond and follow that person if you do not already do so.
  3. After a few days, reblog your guest post to your own site, just in case your own readers missed.
  4. Check on the post for a week at least every couple of days if you have not clicked the button that informs you of new comments.
  5. Go through your earlier posts and share again on your own blog. Like me I am sure you will find that your readership has grown year after year, and you have a completely new audience for your work.
  6. And when someone offers you the opportunity to share your work on their site, take them up on it. With me it is just a link needed, but you can also sent complete posts to anyone requesting guests and reach their audience. Great sites that are looking for guests are massive promoters of authors and bloggers – Christopher Graham, The Story Reading Ape, such as this post from Traci Kenworth – https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2019/07/02/writing-for-yourself-guest-post-by-traci-kenworth/  or Sue Vincent who has a wonderful collection of guest posts: https://scvincent.com/guest-posts/

As an example of how enjoyable an experience it can be as a guest of another blogger…

This week I was the first guest of Patty Fletcher for her new series Author of the Week.. I hope you will head over to read.. and also to sign up to be interviewed.. either answering the questions individually or in essay format.

https://campbellsworld.wordpress.com/2019/07/05/author-of-the-week

Lecture over… time to share some of the posts you might have missed this week. As always huge thanks to regular contributors who provide such informative and helpful content… and to all of you who have taken the time to visit, like, comment and share.

It is over a year since D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies began writing a Travel Column for Smorgasbord, and as she is up to her hollyhocks in work projects at the moment, I am repeating her first two posts on Cruise ships with part two tomorrow.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/01/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-rewind-with-d-g-kaye-cruising-reports-and-tips-part-one-d-g-kaye/

This week my guest is author and poet Joy Lennick. Joy has often entertained us with her tales of her long and very interesting life. Now in her young 80s, she lives with her husband Eric in the warmth of the Spanish sunshine.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/07/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-sunday-interview-human-in-every-sense-of-the-word-poetry-loyal-senses-by-joy-lennick/

Over the next nine weeks I am going to be sharing a range of music for jazz, pop, rock, country and classical fans. Unlike most music festivals, the sun will always shine, there is not camping or glamping…this week three summer favourites, including this one.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/02/smorgasbord-summer-music-festival-summer-songs-to-get-you-in-the-mood/

In Touch with the earth.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/05/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebro-tuesday-tanka-challenge-in-touch-with-the-earth-by-sally-cronin/

Time for this week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills and this week being July 4th, it is in celebration of Charli’s part of Michigan, and its history. She asked us to check out the micro history of the Keweenaw National Historic Park from the 1840s and write 99 words no more no less about an aspect of that history.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/06/smorgasbord-short-story-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-escaping-the-famine-by-sally-cronin/

The queen and her new husband are honeymooning for a month, having left her two daughters under the surveillance of the Storyteller.. however, when there is a music festival in town, girls with be girls, even when they are princesses.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/06/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation-chapter-ten-summer-after-the-festival-by-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/07/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation-chapter-eleven-summer-the-foxes-by-sally-cronin/

This is the first post from the archives of writer Sherrey Meyer whose blog is titled Life in the Slow Lane. If you are planning on tracing your family history or bringing together research for a memoir, I am sure you will find this post very helpful. Family History – 5 Ways to Excavate Memories 2015 by Sherrey Meyer

Sherrey Meyer, Blog Owner, Writer

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/01/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-family-history-5-ways-to-excavate-memories-by-sherrey-meyer/

This is the first of the four posts that I have selected from the archives of author Janet Gogerty about keeping a journal, and the value to us as writers and as we get older.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/01/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-journals-into-infinity-by-janet-gogerty/

This is the first post from the archives of author Stevie Turner who has an extensive and eclectic archives and it is easy to get yourself lost in there for an hour or so…Last week Stevie posted a wonderfully entertaining visit to the Download Festival in 2010 Camping Under the Stars and so I decided to share one of Stevie’s early posts from 2014 about another music festival…. Stevie and Sam go to Sonisphere 2014 by Stevie Turner

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/02/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-music-stevie-and-sam-go-to-sonisphere-2014-by-stevie-turner/

This is the first post from the archives of Laura M. Bailey who blogs on a number of subjects including history, family, horses, Southern lifestyle and cookery. This post caught my eye as I have been sharing our stories of South Padre Island in Texas in my series set in 1986. 1919: Lost In The Storm (2018) by Laura M. Bailey

Screenshot_20180927-193936_Google-01

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/02/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-history-texas-1919-lost-in-the-storm-2018-by-laura-m-bailey/

This is the first post from the archives of children’s author Annabelle Franklin who lives in a lovely part of South Wales. She blogs from the Literate Lurcher..or should I say Millie and Pearl do….Millie has sadly passed away now, but in this post from January 2019 it is clear that she is still very much in the hearts and minds of those she left behind.

pearl barking

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/03/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-greyhounds-sorry-im-late-2018-by-annabelle-franklin/

This is the first post in this series from the archives of Dolly Aizenman, who not only shares amazing recipes from around the world, but also shares the history behind them.  July 4th – Fireworks on the Beach 2016 by Dolly Aizenman

Fireworks 12

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/03/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-july4th-recipe-for-fireworks-on-the-beach-by-dolly-aizenman/

This is the second post from author Christa Polkinhorn who has been blogging since 2010.. This gave me access to her extensive archives. This post from 2013 is about the research into wine making for Christa’s series set in a vineyard. The Art of Winemaking and Writing by Christa Polkinhorn

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/04/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-the-art-of-winemaking-and-writing-by-christa-polkinhorn/

This is the second post from the archives of poet Dorinda Duclos…and another poem that made me smile… having met and married in six weeks… we heard the same phrase.. ‘It will never last’… Dorinda celebrates 30 years of marriage in 2015.

neilmecove2015

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/04/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-thirty-years-by-dorinda-duclos/

In this post Sue Vincent reminds us how we tend to breeze through much of our life on auto pilot, missing a great deal of wonderful sights and events in the process.

sunday 060

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/05/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-green-light-2017-by-sue-vincent/

This is the second post from author Marjorie Mallon (M.J Mallon) and this week I have selected a wonderful short story that Marjorie wrote in response to one of D.Wallace Peach’s monthly speculative fiction prompts which I enjoy participating in too.  The Old Man of Snow and The Snow Snake by M. J. Mallon

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/05/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-shortstory-the-old-man-of-snow-and-the-snow-snake-by-m-j-mallon/

This is the second post from Donna W. Hill who has let me loose in her archives. I would say it is a fair bet that you are a writer if you are reading this post. In 2015 Donna explored this form of expression and communication that we have chosen to make such a key part of our lives. Writing: the What & Why of It 2015 by Donna W. Hill

Donna W. Hill in Hazleton, PA from Behind Group of Kids: photo by Rich Hill.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/06/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-writing-the-what-why-of-it-2015-by-donna-w-hill/

This is the second post by Bill Hayes who blogs at Matterings of Mind and there is definitely a treasure trove of posts to be found covering many subjects. This week the subject is photography and an exploration of the ‘selfie’. From O’Connell Street to Instagram 2014 by Bill Hayes

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/06/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-from-oconnell-street-to-instagram-2014-by-bill-hayes/

This is the second post from Amanda Reilly Sayer and because Amanda has only begun blogging recently, the posts are from 2019. There is plenty to share in poetry, prose and wonderful artwork. I am sure you are going to enjoy. This week Amanda shares her move into working with acrylics for her art. A shifting definition of good work by Amanda Reilly Sayer

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/07/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-painting-art-a-shifting-definition-of-good-work-by-amanda-reilly-sayer/

New book on the shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/03/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-poetry-photography-my-maine-by-bette-a-stevens/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-books-on-the-shelves-sci-fi-steampunk-short-story-this-could-change-the-world-by-richard-dee/

Author Update

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/01/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-jan-sikes-balroop-singh-vashti-quiroz-vega-annika-perry/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/05/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-lorinda-j-taylor-d-wallace-peach-and-hugh-w-roberts/

Each of our major organs has its own requirement for nutrients, and you need a varied diet to keep all of them happy. This is true for the heart as well.. and here is a recipe packed with heart healthy ingredients.

dsc_1207aw

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/02/smorgasbord-health-column-major-organs-and-systems-of-the-body-the-heart-is-only-as-healthy-as-the-food-we-eat-by-sally-cronin/

There are some very good reasons why you feel you need chocolate?  And some are related to your body not getting sufficient nutrients.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/03/smorgasbord-health-column-what-causes-your-cravings-part-two-need-chocolate-by-sally-cronin/

Escherichia Coli 0157:H7 (E.Coli) – Strong toxin in raw meat and uncooked food

Escherichia Coli is a group of bacteria that normally live in healthy humans and animals. Like any population there are dissidents and in the E.Coli family this particular strain produces a very powerful toxin that leads to severe gastric illness and in some cases has proved fatal. The numbers 0157:H7 distinguish this strain from the other E. Coli bacteria and refer to specific markers on its surface. As this June 2019 report from CNN shows, there are over 95,000 E.Coli 0157:H7 infections reported annually.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/04/smorgasbord-health-column-foodsafety-escherichia-coli-0157h7-e-coli-strong-toxin-in-raw-meat-and-uncooked-food-by-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/02/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-comedian-in-residence-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives-10/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/04/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-comedian-in-residence-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives-2/

Thanks again for being part of the magic and the fun ….

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Sunday Interview – Human in Every Sense of the Word #Poetry – Loyal Senses by Joy Lennick


Welcome to the new series of the Sunday Interview- Human in every sense of the word.

As humans there are five main senses that we rely on to navigate through this world.  And there is one that we all possess but do not necessarily use all the time…

Sight, Hearing, Touch, Taste, Smell….Sixth Sense.

You can choose to write about one sense or all of them, including that elusive sixth sense we have clung on to from the early days of man. 

If you would like to participate then here are the details along with my take on senses: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/23/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-new-sunday-interview-series-human-in-every-sense-of-the-word-starting-sunday-june-30th-2019/

This week my guest is author and poet Joy Lennick. Joy has often entertained us with her tales of her long and very interesting life. Now in her young 80s, she lives with her husband Eric in the warmth of the Spanish sunshine.

Image Pixabay.com

Loyal Senses by Joy Lennick

Oh, how sensitive our senses:
keen soldiers on parade.
One moment near comatose:
patio-lounging (siesta’s cousin)
and then –
Fresh lemon tang on tongue
lingering still,
auditory invasion.
A shutter is lowered,
a featherless crane clicks: whirrs into life;
raucous laughter;
strains of Indian music surprise…
a key leaves a casa lonely;
a cheeky breeze dictates:
reveals ‘Casa Diva’ a poem by Lucy Hamilton,
(wonder what she’s like?)
from a book by my side.
The leaves of the fragrant Stephanotis shiver,
calling the temperature a liar.
My warm skin is cooled,
my nose is in heaven.

©Joy Lennick 2019

About Joy Lennick

Having worn several hats in my life: wife, mum, secretary, shop-keeper, hotelier; my favourite is the multi-coloured author’s creation. I am an eclectic writer: diary, articles, poetry, short stories and five books. Two books were factual, the third as biographer: HURRICANE HALSEY (a true sea adventure), fourth my Memoir MY GENTLE WAR and my current fiction novel is THE CATALYST. Plenty more simmering…

A selection of books by Joy Lennick

One of the reviews for The Moon is Wearing a TuTu

This book comprises of a number of unusual poems that certainly force you to think deeply by Joy Lennick and a few poems, limericks and humorous one-liner jokes by Eric Lennick. There are also two, clever 50-word short stories by Jean Wilson.While the entire book was entertaining to read, I really enjoyed some of Joy’s wickedly humorous poems. She uses her words like little knives to cut into the body of a matter and expose its beating heart in a manner that is humorous but sharply to the point. The one that I related to the most was Think Outside the Box:

“I think out of the box
and why not?
(Are you wary your copybook you’ll blot?!)
I’m fed up with sheep
who seem half asleep
individuals they certainly are not.
To say “aab” not “baa”
is OK.
For a change why not try it today!
The fox you could fox –
confusing his “box,”
just say “aab” and get clean away.”

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Joy-Lennick/e/B00J05CJLY/

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Joy-Lennick/e/B00J05CJLY

Find all the books, read other reviews and follow Joy on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3124773.Joy_Lennick

Connect to Joy

Blog: https://joylennick.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joy.lennick

Thank you for dropping in today and I am sure that Joy would love to receive your feedback. Thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Lorinda J. Taylor, D. Wallace Peach and Hugh W. Roberts


The first author today is Lorinda J. Taylor with her most recent releaseThe Man Who Found Birds among the Stars, Part Five: Phenix Rises: A Biographical Fiction.

About the book

A rehabilitated Robbin Nikalishin is back in the Captain’s chair as the Phenix Project for Interstellar Flight gets underway. After finishing off the loose ends remaining from his unorthodox penalty, the Captain returns to Herinen Space Port, where the first tasks are to complete the construction of two starships, give them names, and select a crew to fly them, including certain participants from the previous interstellar program. The Captain is fully committed to supporting his old friends, even though not all of them have fully recovered from the Darter Disaster. Specifically, Ian Glencrosse remains deeply – and ominously – affected, while Banyat Thaksin, the Engineer who lost his foot in the disaster, embarks on a course that will influence the future history of Earth.Capt. Robbie never loses his sense of humor or his willingness to engage in romantic relationships, finding a comfortable liaison with a earlier acquaintance. However, his disastrous marriage has not been severed. Can it be that the High Feather will resurface, with a new agenda of her own?

One of the reviews for  Phenix Rises on Goodreads

Jun 25, 2019 Audrey Driscoll rated it it was amazing  ·

Returning to this fictional biography was like a reunion with old friends. For the first two-thirds of the book, a rehabilitated Captain Nikalishin prepares to take on his new role as commander of the first ship to visit the stars. He ties up loose ends, moves to a new home, and undertakes a round the world journey to discover which of his old comrades would like to join him in the renewed enterprise. This trip presents opportunities for fleshing out the history of different parts of the world in the centuries preceding the 28th, a dark and violent time in which humanity almost destroyed itself. Already fascinated by the renewed human civilization and its values, I found these background details interesting. The richness of the fictional world in which this story plays out is one of the strengths of this series of novels.

As those in charge of the Phenix Project build a crew for the enterprise and begin intensive training, a worrying issue emerges that casts a shadow I’m sure will play out as Robbie’s life story continues. The book ends with a jolt that absolutely demands resolution. I hope Part Six appears soon!

Note: anyone who hasn’t read Parts One through Four really ought to do that first. The life story of this 28th century hero is absorbing and entertaining, and should be read in chronological order.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1795285648

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1795285648

A small selection of other books by Lorinda J. Taylor

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Lorinda-J-Taylor/e/B007AKHZW4

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lorinda-J.-Taylor/e/B007AKHZW4

Read more reviews and follow Lorinda on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5429943.Lorinda_J_Taylor

Connect to Lorinda via her blog: http://termitewriter.blogspot.ie/

The next review is for More Glimpses the recent short story collection by Hugh W. Roberts.

About More Glimpses

Do you believe in fairies at the bottom of the garden? Or know the real truth about what lurks inside every mobile phone? Would you steal items from a blind person, or send your neighbours on a time travelling adventure fraught with danger and menace to save the human race from a bug? How about staying in a sleepy village where many murders have taken place or coming to the aid of royalty while out shopping?

‘More Glimpses’ gives the reader an opportunity to take a peek into the lives of normal, everyday people whose lives are all on a path full of twists, turns and unexpected endings. However, it’s not only about the humans; nothing escapes the extraordinary journeys Hugh has planned for you. If you are a lover of shows such as ‘Black Mirror’ or ‘The Twilight Zone’ then you’re in for another exciting trip in this second collection from Hugh. Come and meet the characters who had no idea their lives were about to be turned upside-down. Enjoy the ride!

One of the recent reviews for the collection

Flash fiction and short stories are some of my favorite late night reading. Having read the first book, “Glimpses,” I was thrilled to hear that Hugh Roberts had written a second collection.

What I found between these pages was a wealth of creative and imaginative stories. Roberts is known for his witty endings and his ability to take a mundane event and turn it into something totally unexpected. Some of his stories have a Twilight Zone quality to them that are sure to WOW! Just to be safe, don’t turn out the lights.

A few of my favorites were “The Whistle,” a frightening glance back into time and set in the trenches of WWI. This one tugged at my heart!

“Murder in Evershot,” reads like a Miss Marple suspense from the BBC. The author actually casts himself and family into the plot. Brilliant!

My favorite story was “Fairies at the Bottom of the Garden” (of course). This was the story of Roger, a homophobe who despised his brother in law simply because he was gay. However, the fairies at the bottom of the garden have a surprise in store for Roger. Just goes to show that you should never piss-off the fairies! Never!!

This collection of short stories is the perfect weekend read! Grab your copy today!

Read the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.co.uk/More-Glimpses-Hugh-W-Roberts-ebook/dp/B07PG4RH89

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/More-Glimpses-Hugh-W-Roberts-ebook/dp/B07PG4RH89

Also by Hugh W. Roberts

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hugh-W.-Roberts/e/B01N40ZABP

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Hugh-W.-Roberts/e/B01N40ZABP

Read more reviews and follow Hugh on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16123684.Hugh_W_Roberts

Hugh W. Roberts

Connect to Hugh via his blog: https://hughsviewsandnews.com/

The next author with new review is D. Wallace Peach for Soul Swallowers (The Shattered Sea) Book One.

About the book

When swallowed, some souls gift insights, wisdom, a path to understanding. Others unleash power, proficiency with a sword, and indifference to death. One soul assimilates with ease. But swallow a host of the dead and risk a descent into madness. Estranged from his family over the murder of his wife, young Raze Anvrell wields his fists to vent his rage. Then a chance at a new life beckons, and he retreats to the foothills of the Ravenwood, the haunt of unbound ghosts. He and his mentor build a freehold, a life of physical labor and the satisfaction of realizing a dream. They raise horses and whittle by the fire until the old man dies, and Raze swallows his first soul. When his brother reaches out, open wounds begin to scar. But the tenuous peace won’t last. While those who rule the Vales yield to the lure of their ambitions, slavers of Ezar roam the countryside, hunting for human chattel. While one man manipulates the law, another heeds the souls of violence howling in his head. Raze too listens to his soul’s whispers, and as danger intrudes on his quiet life, he has no choice but to return to his father’s world and join the fight.

One of the recent reviews for the book

I was attracted to this book by its unusual title. Soul Swallowers, what could that mean? I was amazed and delighted to discover that its meaning is quite literal and one of the themes of this book is the ability of the people in the author’s beautifully constructed fantasy world to physically swallow the souls of others, friends or foes, and acquire their characteristics, skills and abilities. I enjoyed how the author explored this aspect of the book and illustrated through her characters how the swallowing of souls impacted on the swallower, changing their personality if the soul was a contradiction to their own nature and causing internal turmoil. If the soul was a good fit, the swallower would benefit hugely from this process and the two souls would eventually meld and become completely harmonious. I found this concept unique and compelling.

The author has created a world in conflict and explores the possibilities for good and evil when one culture is consumed by another. Ideas and cultural policies that work well with a conqueror in this case the Ezar, are often badly transposed and their implementation manipulated for personal gain by the representatives of the conquerors and by the leaders of the conquered, who want to retain their positions of power under the new regime. The concept of slavery depicted in the Soul Swallowers and how its initial implementation by the Ezar is twisted in the Vales to the advantage of ruthless and unruly slavers clearly demonstrates this abuse of power. The uncaring attitude of the Vale leadership highlights the distrustful and back stabbing environment that emerges in such situations. As with other brilliant works of fantasy that draw analogies with real life happenings, the influences of Tolkien’s experiences in World War 1 and their influence on his series Lord of the Rings come to mind, the author has done an excellent job of creating a world which shares interesting ideas and thoughts on problems and issue that we are currently facing with integrating cultures in our current global world.

The main character, Raze Anvrell, is the son of one of the Vale leaders who rails against his father’s wishes for him to marry the daughter of a neighbouring Vale leader and bring about an alliance of their two families. When Raze discloses that he is already married, which results in the murder of his young wife, he turns his back on his family and disappears, building himself a life on a rural farm in the Vales. The growth of Raze’s character is intriguing to experience as he goes from being a bereaved, but rather spoiled young man, to developing into a kind and compassionate man who cares for the welfare of others. Raze’s path leads him to discover that you cannot always walk away from a bad system and sometimes you have to take a stand against it.

A fascinating and well written book and one I would recommend to readers of fantasy.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Soul-Swallowers-Shattered-Sea-Book-ebook/dp/B07DKV4FGJ/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Soul-Swallowers-Shattered-Sea-Book-ebook/dp/B07DKV4FGJ/

A selection of  books by D.Wallace Peach

Read the reviews for buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Read more reviews and follow Diana on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7068749.D_Wallace_Peach

Connect to Diana via her blog: http://www.mythsofthemirror.com

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with a few books under your arm.. thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Books on the Shelves – #Sci-Fi #Steampunk #Short Story – This Could Change the World by Richard Dee


Richard Dee has been extremely busy this year so far with four Sci-fi new short story releases in May and June..I am going to feature This Could Change the World.

About This Could Change the World

Jordi Byler, a young inventor, is on his way to the city. He plans to make his fortune with his latest idea. Who is the mysterious woman he meets on his journey? Will she help his quest, or does she have another motive?

An early review for the story.

Jack Eason  VINE VOICE 5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Steampunk Tale 10 June 2019

What can I say except that I loved it. Richard has written a blinder of a tale. I recommend it to you all…

The short story is 99phttps://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07SRPW97Z

And Amazon US 99c: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07SRPW97Z/

The other three stories

A Selection of other books by Richard Dee

One of the recent reviews for Life and Other Dreams.

curled_up_with_a_good_book 5.0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced, edge of your seat stuff! 6 April 2019

Rick lives here on Earth now, with Cath. His life is boring, writing adverts for cat food and exotic holidays. When he’s asleep, he dreams vividly.

In his dreams, he lives as Dan, spending his time with his wife Vanessa. They live six-hundred years in the future, half a galaxy away. They’re explorers, searching for valuable minerals on Ecias, an alien paradise.

Dan has no dreams about Rick’s life, he lives on Ecias, loves his life and Vanessa.
When the two worlds overlap, Rick starts to question what is real. Events in his waking and sleeping lives are mirrored, similar people inhabit both and coincidences mount up. Then disaster strikes in each world at the same time. In his dreams, Dan is accused of a crime he didn’t commit. Meanwhile, after one coincidence too many, Cath thinks that Rick’s dreams are hiding an affair and leaves him.

Is Rick going crazy, or can he be living in two places, in two times, at once? If not, then which one of them is the reality? Will one life carry on when the other is on hold?

Richard Dee’s fast-paced, edgy science fiction -cum- psychological thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page!

Read the reviews and buy the books from Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Richard-Dee/e/B00CN4TTCG/

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Richard-Dee/e/B00CN4TTCG/

Read more reviews and follow Richard on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15289756.Richard_Dee

About Richard Dee

Richard Dee is a native of Brixham in Devon, England He left Devon when he was in his teens and settled in Kent. Leaving school at 16 he briefly worked in a supermarket, then went to sea and travelled the world in the Merchant Navy, qualifying as a Master Mariner in 1986.

Coming ashore to be with his growing family, he used his sea-going knowledge in several jobs, including Marine Insurance Surveyor and Dockmaster at Tilbury, before becoming a Port Control Officer in Sheerness and then at the Thames Barrier in Woolwich.

In 1994 he was head-hunted and offered a job as a Thames Estuary Pilot. In 1999 he transferred to the Thames River Pilots, where he regularly took vessels of all sizes through the Thames Barrier and upriver as far as HMS Belfast and through Tower Bridge. In all, he piloted over 3,500 vessels in a 22-year career with the Port of London Authority.

Richard is married with three adult children and two grandchildren.

His first science-fiction novel Freefall was published in 2013, followed by Ribbonworld in 2015. September 2016 saw the publication of his Steampunk adventure The Rocks of Aserol and of Flash Fiction, a collection of Short Stories. Myra, the prequel to Freefall was published in 2017, along with Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café, a murder mystery set in space and the start of a series featuring Andorra Pett, an amateur detective. He contributed a story to the 1066 Turned Upside Down collection and is currently working on prequels, sequels, and new projects.

Connect to Richard

Website: http://richarddeescifi.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RichardDeeAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RichardDockett1

Thank you for visiting today and please help Richard get word out about his latestbooks… thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New book on the Shelves #Poetry #Photography – My Maine by Bette A. Stevens


Delighted to share the news of the latest release by Bette A. Stevens…A poetry and photographic collection… My Maine.

About My Maine

Inspired by The Pine Tree State—Maine’s diverse landscape, natural beauty, rural communities, and independent people—the author’s 150 haiku poems, along with her photographs, reflect the Maine she knows and loves. Bette A. Stevens’s imagery draws the reader into her world of wonder and delight. My Maine takes readers on a poetic journey through Maine’s four seasons. Whether you’re a native Mainer or from away, Stevens’s short story poems and photographs will resonate.

The collection opens with a haiku tribute, “Maine Pines and People.” The journey continues with the rejuvenating spirit of “Spring Awakenings” and “Summer Songs”; then on to more of the magic and majesty of the places and people of Maine in “Autumn Leaves” and “Winter Tales.” This is a poetry collection to be slowly savored, made even more delectable with the author’s original drawings and photographs. In addition to its poems and photographs, My Maine includes state symbols and interesting facts about The Pine Tree State.

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07SSNDL5L

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Maine-Haiku-through-Seasons-ebook/dp/B07SSNDL5L

About Bette A. Stevens

Inspired by nature and human nature, Bette A. Stevens is an author, retired teacher, wife, mother of two and grandmother of five. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys writing, reading, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature.

She advocates for children and childhood literacy and for monarch butterflies, an endangered species. Stevens’s children’s activity book, THE TANGRAM ZOO and WORD PUZZLES TOO!, was first published in 1997 by Windswept House Publishing, Mt. Desert, ME; a second edition was self-published by the author in 2012. AMAZING MATILDA, Stevens’s second children’s book, self-published in 2012 won a 2013 Purple Dragonfly Book Award (Honorable Mention for Excellence in Children’s Literature – Ages 6 and older category) and also placed #9 on The 2013 Gittle List for Self-published Children’s Picture Books.

Stevens has written articles for ECHOES, The Northern Maine Journal of Rural Culture based in Caribou, Maine. In 2013, the author published her first book for the YA/Adult audience: PURE TRASH: The story, a short story of a boy growing up in rural New England and prequel to DOG BONE SOUP, debut novel released January 2015.

Books by Bette A. Stevens

One of the recent reviews for Amazing Matilda

Lisa Kradjian 5.0 out of 5 stars What a lovely story! April 30, 2019

“Amazing Matilda” is a simple story about a caterpillar who wants to fly, but is told — and illustrated — so beautifully. Flowers, insects, animals and more are described in caring detail. We root for Matilda but cherish the advice her friends give her “Be patient and trust your instincts.” Advice for us all! Bravo.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

Read more reviews and follow Bette on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6037707.Bette_A_Stevens

Connect to Bette A. Stevens.

Website: https://4writersandreaders.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBetteAStevens
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BetteAStevens

Thank you for dropping in today and it would be wonderful if you could share the news of her new book.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck -#Music – Stevie and Sam go to Sonisphere 2014 by Stevie Turner


Welcome to the series  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

This is the first post from the archives of author Stevie Turner who has an extensive and eclectic archives and it is easy to get yourself lost in there for an hour or so…Last week Stevie posted a wonderfully entertaining visit to the Download Festival in 2010 Camping Under the Stars and so I decided to share one of Stevie’s early posts from 2014 about another music festival…..

 Stevie and Sam go to Sonisphere 2014 by Stevie Turner

I must admit, looking out of the car window at the persisting rain as we neared junction 8 on the A1, I was waiting to see if Sam would turn to me and say “Sod it, let’s go home.” However, nothing escaped his lips except a few mumblings questioning the person’s parentage who had made the strange decision to close the slip road both sides at junction 7, the nearest exit to Sonisphere.

With no let up in the rain, we parked the car and donned our wet weather gear over our shorts and tee-shirts. This consisted of wellie boots, plastic over-trousers, and plastic cagoules with a hoods. Heaving our rucksacks on our backs, we started the 40 minute trek through the campsite towards the entrance to the arena. After about 20 minutes in the muggy heat, Sam, who thankfully always ‘volunteers’ to carry the heaviest rucksack, informed me that it was also ‘raining’ inside his plastic waterproofs. This was too much information for me, and I preferred not to think about it.

At the entrance to the campsite we exchanged our tickets for wristbands. The cerebrally challenged security man made a fleeting inspection of my rucksack, and asked me if I had a knife. Answering in the negative but questioning him as to whether he thought it would be a good idea if I had one, he looked somewhat blank and waved me on. Sam was made to turn the contents of his rucksack out on the table, holding up the queue as he re-packed it with his usual thoroughness.

One thing I noticed about the campsite; it was approximately a mile long and densely packed with hundreds and hundreds of tents. I looked around and nowhere could I see any festibogs (temporary toilets) except for a few at the entrance we had already passed. Where did all these people ‘go’ (especially first thing in the morning!)? It was a source of great concern to me as I trudged on up the hill towards the arena.

A very brave family rather too near the Anthrax moshpit….

Sam was made to turn the contents of his rucksack out again at the entrance to the arena. He kindly informed the security staff that he had already turned it out once at the entrance to the campsite, but apparently this did not stand him in good stead at all. I mentioned to Sam that Security obviously thought that at first glance he must look a trifle on the dodgy side. I sailed through with barely a glance; being middle-aged, female and invisible sometimes has its advantages!

The arena was heaving on the second day (we hadn’t managed to get there at all on the first day due to a family drama), and the sounds were heavy, which is just how we like it. However, some of the earlier bands seemed rather too heavy for our taste, but we soldiered on, parking ourselves in a suitable spot in order to swivel between both stages. Sam quickly located the whereabouts of the bar, and we settled down to rock and roll to the likes of Chas & Dave (strange choice), The Winery Dogs (Mike Portnoy’s new band), Slayer, Anthrax, Deftones, and Iron Maiden. Looking at the programme I noticed that Mike Portnoy’s band had (tactfully or by chance?) been given a different day to Dream Theater’s.

There’s something odd about sitting in the rain at a festival; it’s not right. Somebody up above must have heard me, because the rain then started to only come down intermittently instead of persistently. We were brave enough to take off our wet weather gear after The Winery Dogs had finished their set, only to have to put it on again in time to watch Slayer. In the end I left it off altogether and hoped for the best. The rain did clear up eventually, but the day had nearly ended by then.

This delightful little boy kept us entertained just as much as Slayer did!

The third day started off wet again, and my heart sank at the thought of wearing my trendy plastic trousers all day. However, by the time we arrived the sun was broiling and straining to burn through the clouds. Sam dropped me off near the entrance to the campsite to save my legs, which were complaining from walking up and down unfamiliar hills and dips. I passed a ‘dead’ body laid out prostrate by the gate that leads out of the car park through to the campsite, which retched intermittently and made terrible groaning noises. A small pile of vomit lay close to his right ear, and I wondered whether to tell Sam to turn him onto his side as he walked through to meet me after parking the car. Sam assured me he was conscious enough though, and when we passed the spot on returning to the car the ‘body’ had obviously recovered and had staggered away.

Mike Portnoy of The Winery Dogs (formerly in Dream Theater).

The last day was the best; the sun shone, the mad guitarist from Airbourne climbed up the stage rigging again and did his usual party piece. Dream Theater were a dream, and Metallica (although late) wowed the crowds from the very first. Save us a ticket for next year, but for pity’s sake open exit 7 on the A1!

©Stevie Turner 2014.

If you have some experiences to share at music festivals we would love to hear them…

About Stevie Turner

Stevie Turner works part time as a medical secretary in a busy NHS hospital and writes suspense, women’s fiction, and darkly humorous novels in her spare time. She won a New Apple Book Award in 2014 and a Readers’ Favorite Gold Award in 2015 for her book ‘A House Without Windows’, and one of her short stories, ‘Checking Out’, was published in the Creative Writing Institute’s 2016 anthology ‘Explain!’ Her psychological thriller ‘Repent at Leisure’ won third place in the 2016 Drunken Druid Book Award contest.

Stevie lives in the East of England, and is married with two sons and four grandchildren. She has also branched out into the world of audio books, screenplays, and translations. Most of her novels are now available as audio books, and one screenplay, ‘For the Sake of a Child’, won a silver award in the Spring 2017 Depth of Field International Film Festival. ‘A House Without Windows’ gained the attention of a New York media production company in December 2017.

Some of Stevie’s books are currently being translated into German, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.

A selection of books by Stevie Turner

A recent review for The Daughter-in-law Syndrome

Anyone who is or has ever been a daugher-in-law will see something of themselves in this wonderful story. The relationship between a mother-in-law and her son’s wife is a tricky situation in many cases as demonstrated by this talented author. She delved into the lives and loves of family that touched home with me and I’m sure many other readers. Stevie Turner gave the views of both sides and brought up some sensitive issues.

Edna, the mother-in-law, can’t accept the idea that her son has chosen a woman to take her place in his heart. Can she ever embrace this woman? Arla, the daughter-in-law, has her own demons to face with her husband and his sisters. She always feels on the outside looking in. What can she do to be accepted into this dysfunctional family? She even goes to a marriage counselor to try to get her husband, Ric, to open up to her about his family.

I enjoyed following along with their journey as they discovered some surprising revelations about themselves and how they grew closer in spite of the chasm that had opened up at the beginning of their marriage. When Arla has to face similar circumstances as her own son marries she begins to connect more with her own mother-in-law. Can she accept the woman that her son has married? If not, then why not?

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Stevie-Turner/e/B00AV7YOTU

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Stevie-Turner/e/B00AV7YOTU

Follow Stevie Turner on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172051.Stevie_Turner

Connect to Stevie Turner

Website: http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StevieTurnerAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/StevieTurner6
Blog: https://steviet3.wordpress.com/
Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/stevieturner988/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClWFuLQHDqGmOM3KbKJ-Z0g

My thanks to Stevie for allowing me to browse her extensive archives and I am sure you will enjoy them if you head over to explore for yourselves.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Jan Sikes, Balroop Singh, Vashti Quiroz-Vega, Annika Perry


Welcome to the first of the author updates this week with recent reviews for authors on the shelves of the bookstore.

And the first author today is Jan Sikes,  with a recent review for Flowers and Stone...

About Flowers and Stone

The epic love story begins here!

A hot Texas summer, dim-lit honky-tonk bars, a young naïve fledgling go-go dancer and a wild rebel Texas musician set the stage for this story.

1970 in Abilene, Texas finds young Darlina Flowers trying to figure out how to fit into the world she is most attracted to – the nightlife, live music and go-go dancing. Luke Stone, a veteran Texas Musician believes he’s lost all reason to care about his music career, his health and most especially his heart. A chance meeting with Darlina changes everything. But, is it too late? Has fate already determined the outcome? Join Luke and Darlina on a passion-filled journey up and down Texas roads while Luke and his band entertain crowds along the way.

Can Darlina Flowers ever hope to fit in to this strange new world and even more important, can she trust Luke Stone with her heart?

Luke Stone, a good man who has made a career of bad decisions, falls as completely in love with Darlina as she does with him. But is it too late?

Will their eternal unyielding love survive the test of time, distance and iron bars?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Flowers and Stone is the first book of the series I read. This fictional novel is based on the real lives of Jan and Rick Sikes portrayed as Darlina Flowers and Luke Stone. The story quickly revealed that the nineteen-year-old girl Darlina fell in love with the thirty-six-year-old country western singer Luke Stone the first time of meeting him. She soon found out he was married with children and seeing another woman, but it didn’t deter her love for him. Luke had drinking and other problems but fell that Darlina was the best thing happened in his life. Luke was in jail for a crime he didn’t commit, but Jan’s love was deep and strong and knew that he was the man she would love forever.

Jan’s excellent writing takes the readers to the scenes and shows the twists and turns of their journey. I look forward to reading the rest of the series. 

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00G062JBG

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Flowers-Stone-Jan-Sikes-ebook/dp/B00G062JBG

Also by Jan Sikes

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

And find more reviews and follow Jan on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7095856.Jan_Sikes

Connect to Jan via her website: http://www.jansikes.com

The next book with a recent review is Allow Yourself to be a Better Person by Balroop Singh.

51hws7e9y-l-_uy250_About the book

Do you think you are a good person? Would you like to meet your better self?

Welcome to the vast vistas that this book unravels before you by highlighting the shaded areas that could never get your attention.

Enhancement of personality is a long process, which starts only when we acknowledge the need for it. Often we detest looking at our imperfections and if somebody is professionally successful, the thought doesn’t even strike.

This book enlightens you about the goodness, which lies dormant within us till we make an effort to explore it. It exhorts you to introspect and accept natural human failings. It guides you towards the metamorphosis that could make you an endearing personality.

One of the recent reviews for Allow Yourself to be a Better person

As a follower of a blog written by Balroop Singh, I decided to purchase one of her non-fiction books this month: Allow Yourself To Be A Better Person. In this self-help and advice collection, Singh provides readers with ~100 pages of her thoughts and research on how to live a better life. By sharing personal stories of her own life and those of people she’s met, Singh offers ways for readers to consider changing behaviors so that they are happier and stronger individuals.

Every once in a while, it’s good to pick up a book like this; much of the content are things we know or have been taught over the years, but that we also forget. Singh adds context and value behind the words, ensuring we have example and clearer understanding of different interpretations. We know not to take our anger out on others, but we do it still… sometimes unwittingly, and at others, on purpose. Singh reminds us why, shares alternative approaches, and provides a way of reacting to our own emotions with a twist.

I enjoyed reading this extension of her blog so that I could be reminded of a few things that are always a benefit to our lives. It’s obvious that she took a lot of time to craft the structure and advice, and she should be commended. I’m glad I took a chance on reading her book and recommend it to others who are struggling to find a bit of light or think differently about some problems and painful situations in their life.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MR1WGC3

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Allow-Yourself-Be-Better-Person-ebook/dp/B01MR1WGC3

Also by Balroop Singh.

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Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

Read more reviews and follow Balroop on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7340810.Balroop_Singh

61ebbw1tqhl-_ux250_Connect to Balroop via her blog: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com

The next author with a recent review is Vashti Quiroz-Vega with her latest release – a short story – Memoir of a Mad Woman.

About the book

A novelette from the award-winning author of The Fall of Lilith and Son of the Serpent, Vashti Quiroz-Vega.

Who can explain how madness begins?

This is the story of Emma. Reared by a religious fanatic, orphaned at a young age and sent to a mental institution and an orphanage. Molested and betrayed by the people who should be watching over her…

Who can say that madness has no logic?

During a fight, Emma’s best friend punched her in the abdomen. Since then, Emma has believed there’s something damaged inside of her.

Every month… she bleeds. She tries to fight it all her life, but the pain and the blood return twenty-eight days later… and the cycle begins again.

But Emma, even in her madness, knows how to take care of herself.
She knows how to make things right…

You may not agree… But, who can reason with insanity?

Read this tragic but fascinating tale and traverse the labyrinthine passages of madness.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Wow! Such a powerful story, deeply rounded characters and a plot sewn up beautifully at the end in this short novelette. The subject matter is disturbing and I found myself skimming over the torturous parts because this is normally a genre I try to stay away from because of the disturbing abuse. But I felt compelled to read this because Vashti Quiroz-Vega is one of my favorite writers to read.

The mood is dark, and poor damaged Emma definitely was born into a world of hard knocks. Emma orphaned as a young child, ends up in an orphanage where people do bad things to children. She endures bullying, abuse to the max, yet something within her gives her the courage to soldier on until that one spark of madness brings out the revenge in her – the just desserts deliciously deserved for all those who inflicted pain on her.

It’s not very often we find ourselves rooting for evil, but when you’ve glimpsed into the life of this poor, neglected and abused little girl, you too will find yourself screaming for justice as each horrific event done onto her becomes a spectator event. Emma’s eventual unleashing becomes the only way to end the never-ending madness of her world. A most chilling read that kept me reading till the end in one sitting. #Recommended.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MLYP5XP

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Memoir-Mad-Woman-Vashti-Quiroz-Vega-ebook/dp/B07MLYP5XP

Also by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Vashti-Quiroz-Vega/e/B00GTXG5W4

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Vashti-Quiroz-Vega/e/B00GTXG5W4

Read more reviews and follow Vashti on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7122693.Vashti_Quiroz_Vega

Connect to Vashti via her website/Blog: https://vashtiqvega.wordpress.com/

The final author with a recent review is Annika Perry for her collection of stories – The Storyteller Speaks.

About The Storyteller Speaks
It only takes one event to change a life. What is that action, decision, occurrence? Whose life is affected? Changed forever?In this eclectic mix of 21 short stories, flash fiction and poetry the pendulum swings between first love and murder, from soul-destroying grief to reconciliation. The tales veer from the sweet satisfaction of revenge to new beginnings, from heart-breaking miscarriages of justice to heart-warming Christmas misadventure.One common thread binds them all; the belief that there is no such thing as an ordinary life; they’re all extraordinary. Open your hearts and minds as The Storyteller Speaks.

A recent review for the collection on Goodreads

Jun 20, 2019 Darlene Foster rated it Four Stars

Sometimes it is good to sit down and read some short stories. So much can be said in a few carefully chosen words. Which is the case in this delightful collection of stories and poems. Stories about a first and forever love, stolen flowers, forgotten chillies, frozen landscapes and a miscarriage of justice evoke a wide range of emotions. My favourite story is the Loss of A Patriarch, depicting a family saying goodbye to a much-loved family member told in such a heartwarming manner it is sure to produce tears. For a first time author, this is a wonderful collection showing a range of writing skills.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0789KZVF8/

and Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0789KZVF8

Read other reviews and follow Annika on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17498437.Annika_Perry

Connect to Annika via her blog  https://annikaperry.com

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with a few books under your arm… Sally…

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Weekly Round Up – Music, Numerology, Vitamin C, Guest Posts and funnies.


Welcome to this week’s round up of post you might have missed on Smorgasbord.

It has been a good week for works in the garden with two days in a row of dry weather to do the final cement pour. This coincided with a visit from an old friend from Hampshire for a couple of nights, ending with a lovely dinner out last night.

There is still work to be done over the next few weeks but we will see about getting the house on the market earlier than anticipated whilst the paint is still fresh.

Today is the first of the Human in every Sense of the Word and my first guest is author Paulette Mahurin who shares a poignant and thought provoking memory that involved the senses…I hope you will join us.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/30/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-sunday-interview-human-in-every-sense-of-the-word-with-paulette-mahurin/

William Price King is taking his usual summer break and will be spending time with his grandchildren in the mountains, hopefully a bit cooler than the rest of France and Europe is at the moment. Since this is the season of music festivals, I will be taking the opportunity to share some of the music William has posted over the last four years in a summer music festival.. In William’s last post before his break he shares the music of Arturo O’Farrill

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/25/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-arturo-ofarrill-jazz-musician-pianist-and-composer/

Thank you for all the support this week and you lovely comments. Always love waking up in the morning and logging in to read and respond to them. Summer tends to be a little quieter as children go on holiday and vacations are taken, but always grateful to see you when you drop in.

Better get on with more posts from the week…..

Vitamin C is necessary for so many functions of the body that it is one of the key nutrients, along with Vitamin D that should be made a priority in food and sometimes in supplemental form. Vitamin C is not stored in the body, so if you do not eat regularly in your diet you can become deficient. Carol Taylor and I share the benefits, key food sources and recipes to ensure you are getting sufficient.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/26/smorgasbord-health-column-cook-from-scratch-to-prevent-nutritional-deficiencies-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-vitamin-c-ascorbic-acid-and-l-ascorbic-acid/

This week, not only do we find out what our universal energy is going to be gifting us in July, but also I am showcasing Annette Rochelle Aben’s latest poetry collection, hot off the press this week.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/29/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-numerology-your-universal-energy-for-july-by-annette-rochelle-aben/

Two more chapters from Tales from the Irish Garden.. the first Spring: Chapter Eight. The royal banquet with a magnificent menu created by Chef Marcel and wine and champagne contributed by the Storyteller.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/29/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation-spring-chapter-eight-the-royal-banquet-by-sally-cronin/

In Chapter Nine – Prince Ronan gives Queen Filigree a wonderful betrothal gift that all of us girls would love to have in our gardens!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/30/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation-spring-chaper-nine-the-betrothal-gift-by-sally-cronin/

 

My response to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 133 and this week the prompt words were ‘Plan and Spend’ and I have chosen ‘Intent and Squander’ as my synonyms. The Magpie’s Prize.. a double Etheree.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/27/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-tanka-poetry-challenge-133-double-etheree-a-magpies-prize-by-sally-cronin/

My response to this week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills This week, Charli has asked us for 99 words, no more no less… on the subject of painting

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/29/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-white-washing-by-sally-cronin/

In this week’s letter to my parents in July 1986, I share our weekend away with our friends from the complex to San Antonio, river rafting and battling Mariachi bands..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/27/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-july-1986-rafting-on-the-guadaloupe-and-between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place-by-sally-cronin/

Author Linda Bradley takes us to Montana and share the research for her series Montana bound..saddle up… and there is also a FREE book offer for Maggie’s Way until July 2nd on Bookbub..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/30/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-linda-m-bradley-bookpromotion-montana-bound/

Authors Helen and Lorri Carpenter explore the ability of the birds in their garden to predict weather.. we have sparrows who will feed differently when bad weather is coming in.. as if they know to stock up before the storm hits.. have you noticed this in your garden?

Image Source: HL Carpenter

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/24/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-essay-summer-weather-forecasting-is-for-the-birds-by-hl-carpenter/

John Rieber loves books and this is one of his very first blog posts from 2011… I am sure having looked as his recommendations that these are as valid now as they were then.. 7 Great Books For Gifts!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/24/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-bookrecommendations-7-great-books-for-gifts-by-john-rieber/

This is the final post from the archives of Frank Prem for this series. In this poem he lays bare the wonderful wood that lies beneath layers of paint..

Clean Board

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/25/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-stripping-by-frank-prem/

A lovely tribute to motherhood.. from Marian Wood..

Our roots are deep just like my thoughts

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/25/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-the-love-of-a-mother-by-marian-wood/

Lorinda J. Taylor shares a recipe for a deliciously moist fruit cake.. for Christmas or any time of year.. Bishop’s Cake.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/26/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-recipe-bishops-cake-lorinda-j-taylor/

Tasker Dunham with his last post in this series. I have selected a post about an eccentric but forgiving neighbour (when there are three young boys either side of your garden) who became an adopted grandmother.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/26/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-memoir-mrs-quackworth-by-tasker-dunham/

Dorinda Duclos with a poem about camping that has got everyone chiming in with their camping stories.. no wonder hotels do such good business!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/27/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-camping-by-dorinda-duclos/

This is the first post from author Christa Polkinhorn and she shares her thoughts on book reviews.. great for novice reviewers and those of us who may need a refresher..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/27/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-some-thoughts-on-book-reviews-by-christa-polkinhorn/

The first of the posts from fantasy author Marjorie Mallon who shares her experience of her gallbladder operation, which I am sure will be very reassuring to anyone facing this procedure.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-health-my-gallbladder-operation-by-m-j-mallon-2014/

The first post from the extensive archives of Sue Vincent....a lovely trip to the west… Wild Things from 2016.

Wales 297

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-going-west-wild-things-2016-by-sue-vincent/

A new contributor to the series with his first post, Bill Hayes.. I know the Wembury and Plymouth area reasonably well and this post caught my attention.

mewstone1

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/29/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-mewstone-and-starfish-2013-bill-hayes/

The first of the posts from the archives of Donna W. Hill…her review of a wonderful book for dog lovers..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/29/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-bookreview-the-big-new-yorker-book-of-dogs-by-the-new-yorker-by-donna-w-hill/

New to the series, artist and writer Amanda Reilly Sayer, with her submission for Diana Wallace Peach’s speculative fiction a couple of months ago…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/30/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-shortstory-empty-promises-by-amanda-reilly-sayer/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/28/smorgasbord-book-reviews-psychological-thriller-hope-by-terry-tyler/

 

New Book on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/24/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-pre-order-for-august-7th-racked-grafton-county-series-4-by-sue-coletta/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/24/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-j-p-mclean-sally-harris-marcia-meara-and-barbara-ann-mojica/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/28/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-james-j-cudney-james-j-cudney-teagan-riordain-geneviene-jane-risdon-lynda-mckinney-lambert/

The second part of the heart health series… and some of the more common symptoms to keep a look out for.

Plaque build up in arteries

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/25/smorgasbord-health-column-major-organs-and-systems-of-the-body-the-heart-part-two-angina-arrythmia-and-valve-disorders-by-sally-cronin/

Toxoplasma Gondii – Pets are a joy but they also harbour unwanted visitors

Handling food safely is of vital importance to our health. As children it is instilled in us that we must wash our hands after going to the toilet, and also before eating, but it is one of those rules that every generation learns, but is seldom explained in detail.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/26/smorgasbord-health-column-food-safety-toxoplasma-gondii-pets-are-a-joy-but-they-also-harbour-unwanted-visitors-by-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/25/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-some-life-lessons-from-the-archives-and-a-joke/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/27/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-comedian-in-residence-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives/

Thank you very much for dropping in this week and for your ongoing support.. It is much appreciated.. Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer Linda Bradley – #FREEbook #Bookbub – Montana Bound


Delighted to welcome Linda Bradley as a guest writer today, sharing her research for her books in the Montana Bound series. Also there is an FREE offer on Maggie’s Way on BookBub and details of that later in the post.

Montana Bound by Linda Bradley

Montana Bound is more than the name of my book series telling the story of a middle-aged Midwestern woman finding her way.

When I began writing Maggie’s story, I knew she’d encounter a sprawling ranch alive with horses and cattle, a place much different than her suburban Michigan home. A faint childhood memory of being in the back of a 1972 Buick station wagon staring into the blue Montana skies prodded me to embed the beautiful land into my work.

My first research trip took me to Gallatin Gateway, Montana. My twenty-two-year-old son was my travel companion and just as eager for the adventure. We chose Bozeman as our destination, then packed our bags. I knew I had to ride with the wranglers, experience a chuck wagon, and explore the land to connect with its history and the hearts of my characters.

When my son and I arrived, it was close to midnight. We had no idea of the terrain on the hour drive ahead of us. When I’d called ahead to confirm our stay at the 320 Guest Ranch, the receptionist assured me that the animals would all be sleeping at that hour, and the drive was easy. I chuckled to myself thinking about mountain roads and deep gorges. As the door of the plane opened, the aroma of sage drifted in, and I knew I’d chosen somewhere special to write about even though its beauty was blanketed in darkness.

As we drove away from the airport, the eyes of a bobcat shone into our headlights, then it scurried into the tall grass. Without hesitation, I rolled down the windows and listened to the stillness. The rambling sound of a river running wild was the music we traveled to. My nerves settled, and the drive was peaceful. I knew if I had the courage to navigate the unknown road ahead, Maggie would surely find her happy ending, too.

In the morning, mountains dotted with Quarter Horses and wildflowers welcomed us. I couldn’t wait to meet the people who’d share their knowledge and experiences with me. Sure, I’d done some reading about the land, Montana demographics, and history, but no article connected me to its rich life like the wranglers I met along the way and the excursions on horseback. Talking to the trail guides and wranglers taught me more than I ever expected. The conversations seeded a personal foundation, much more meaningful than any book or article.

Image Linda Bradley

I’d inquired about the cattle in Western Montana and was informed that most cattle lived in the eastern part of the state due to the terrain. One wrangler I chatted with tipped his hat and said, “But you’ll find the Ancient White Park on the other side of this mountain ridge.” Our trip didn’t allow time to make the trek, so I booked another trip the following summer and stayed at the B BAR Ranch where the cattle thrive. I didn’t realize there was such a breed and quickly grew fascinated by their Celtic roots. They were brought to the states prior to World War II as a preventative measure because Nazi troops were expected to invade. After being herded to different parts of the states and Canada, the cattle found their way to Montana.

Their migration and hard road to survival prodded me to cast them as the 617 Ranch’s main staple. For me, the history of these great heifers parallels the struggles of humanity. They symbolize strength and pure intention.

Researching Montana was more than an opportunity to learn about the setting in my Montana Bound Series. The trek brought me closer to my characters. While discovering their roots, I learned a few things about myself. The experience was much like reading a great book. I was hooked. I wanted more blue sky, more sunshine, more adventures on horseback, more huckleberry jam, more wildflowers, and more tales about the men who planted rosebushes in the hills to mark their treasures of gold.

Not only was my main character, Maggie Abernathy, Montana Bound, so was I.

Image Linda Bradley.

Research included:

Book: We Pointed Them North, Recollections of a Cowpuncher by E. C. Abbott (Author), Helena Huntington Smith (Author)

Websites:

http://www.bbar.com/Stewardship/white-park-cattle
https://www.yellowstonenationalpark.com
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellowstone_National_Park

Riding excursions:

https://www.320ranch.com
https://www.hellsaroarinoutfitters.com

©Linda Bradley 2019

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.

About Maggie’s Way

Middle-aged, Maggie Abernathy just wants to recuperate from cancer during the solitude of summer vacation after a tiresome year of teaching second grade. Maggie’s plans are foiled when precocious seven-year-old Chloe McIntyre moves in next door with her dad, John. Maggie’s life changes in a way she could never imagine when the pesky new neighbors steal her heart. With Maggie’s grown son away, her ex-husband in the shadows, her meddling mother’s unannounced visits, and Chloe McIntyre on her heels, somehow Maggie’s empty house becomes home again.

One of the reviews for the book on Goodreads

Jun 03, 2017 Barbara Wall rated it it was amazing –Recommends it for: Romance readers

Maggie’s just been hit with a summer full of middle age life’s worst surprises: breast cancer, finding out her the love of her life husband is gay, divorce and a needy seven year old whirlwind moving in next door. On top of all of this Maggie realizes that she has compromised her own dreams away and now is time to figure out what she wants while battling cancer and being tired from radiation treatments. This is not a depressing read, it’s actually a romance novel with a probable happily ever after. There is another book that continues Maggie’s journey that I haven’t read yet, but this one feels complete

The book is FREE at Book Bub until July 2nd: https://www.bookbub.com/books/maggie-s-way-by-linda-bradley?ebook_deal

Also by Linda Bradley

Read all the reviews and buy the series: http://www.amazon.com/Linda-Bradley/e/B00JUIS2FS

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Linda-Bradley/e/B00JUIS2FS

Read more many reviews and follow Linda on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6498473.Linda_Bradley

Connect to Linda

website: http://www.lindabradleyauthor.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LBradleyAuthor
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Linda-Bradley/389688594534105

Linda would love your feedback and questions.

Thank you for dropping in today and I am sure you have enjoyed visiting Montana as much as I have, and I hope you will take up the offer for Maggie’s Way.

Smorgasbord Book Reviews – #Psychological Thriller- Hope by Terry Tyler


Delighted to review the latest release by Terry Tyler – a psychological thriller set in the future – Hope

About the Book

‘We haven’t elected a Prime Minister, we’ve elected a lifestyle’.

As the fourth decade of the 21st century looms, new PM Guy Morrissey and his fitness guru wife Mona (hashtag MoMo) are hailed as the motivational couple to get the UK #FitForWork, with Mona promising to ‘change the BMI of the nation’.

Lita Stone is an influential blogger and social media addict, who watches as Guy and Mona’s policies become increasingly ruthless. Unemployment and homelessness are out of control. The solution? Vast new compounds all over the country, to house those who can no longer afford to keep a roof over their heads.

These are the Hope Villages, financed by US corporation Nutricorp.

Lita and her flatmates Nick and Kendall feel safe in their cosy cyberspace world. Unaware of how swiftly bad luck can snowball, they suspect little of the danger that awaits the unfortunate, behind the carefully constructed mirage of Hope.

Terry Tyler’s nineteenth published work is a psychological thriller that weaves through the darker side of online life, as the gap between the haves and the have-nots grows ever wider. Whether or not it will mirror a dystopian future that awaits us, we will have to wait and see.

My review for Hope.

As a fan of Terry Tyler’s books, I was expecting to enjoy her latest book, Hope. What I was not expecting to be was horrified as well.  I doubt that I am the only one who wonders how we are going to move forward from our lives today, as technology becomes integrated, into not just our personal lives, but in communications, the work place and crucially, as an every advancing tool for our governments. We are already spied on by cameras, monitored on social media, having our personal data used for many purposes, and allegedly listened to on our devices. Wonderful if the attention is to stop crime as they tell us, but how quickly it might cross over into population manipulation.

This is set only a few years into the future from 2023 on wards. Ordinary, hard working people are being fired from their jobs and find themselves homeless and at the mercy of the government and the new aid package. Villages where there is little hope of leaving, and where the numbers do not add up. Well crafted media campaigns promise a better Britain but it is tough to tell truth from lies. Those who want to expose the corruption are shut down and seeking the truth becomes dangerous.

The author has captured the era of where we are now accurately, which is very frightening. Superficial role models, a welfare state, education and health service stretched to the limit and increased lifestyle related obesity and disease. Crucially she also recognises how very little positivity is broadcast via the media, creating a very stark environment especially for the younger generation. Tyler then takes the next, and possibly inevitable step on from this scenario, leading us to a very dark place.

The main characters are realistic and identifiable, and are like billions of us, blogging and posting online daily, and initially doing very well by providing content that pleases. Some who are more sceptical are also working behind the scenes, questioning both the government and the growing monopoly Nutricorp taking over sectors of the food and health industry. Some work within the corporation, and begin to question its ethics or refuse to conform to the draconian regulations, but they are soon rooted out and fired. Leaving them with little option but accept the offer to relocate into one of the villages for the homeless… named Hope.

Those at the government level are greedy and self-seeking, and their goal is to get the population fit for work, and off benefits, by any means possible.

If this book was set in 2050 or later, one could dismiss it as a piece of science fiction that would never happen in reality. But everyday we see the signs of a fractured society in the headlines, in our own community and in most of our countries. I think everyone should read the book to see where that might lead us if we are not careful about who we put into power.

You won’t want to put the book down… and it will leave you with much to think about.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07S89DK54

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07S89DK54

A selection of books by Terry Tyler

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Terry-Tyler/e/B00693EGKM

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Terry-Tyler/e/B00693EGKM

Read more reviews and follow Terry Tyler on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5821157.Terry_Tyler

About Terry Tyler

Terry Tyler is the author of sixteen books available from Amazon, the latest being ‘Patient Zero’, the third book in her new post apocalyptic series, which is a collection of stand-alone short stories featuring characters in the main novels. She is proud to be self-published, is an avid reader and book reviewer, and a member of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team.

Terry is a Walking Dead addict, and loves history, winter, South Park and Netflix. She lives in the north east of England with her husband, a move that took place nine years ago from the beautiful Norfolk coast; she is still trying to learn Geordie.

Connect to Terry Tyler

Blog: https://terrytyler59.blogspot.ie/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TerryTyler4