Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Tales of Our Holiday Lets. Or … Is it Really Worth it? Or … Tales of the Unexpected by Judith Barrow


Delighted to welcome Judith Barrow to the Archive Series and she is going to share some of her more hilarious and unexpected moments hosting guests in her holiday let.

Tales of Our Holiday Lets. Or … Is it Really Worth it? Or … Tales of the Unexpected by Judith Barrow

Well, yes.looking back down the years and now we no longer let the holiday apartment attached to our house, I know it was worth it. We loved letting, despite the unexpected. It brought us many friends; visitors who returned year after year in the summer to enjoy the lovely Pembrokeshire coastline and all the other attractions this part of West Wales offers. We loved seeing them again. And we were fortunate to meet many new people as well. But there were downsides. Or should I say, occasions that made us think again about sharing our home.

Such as the Sports Fanatic.

Before I go any further I think I should mention that although we live along a quiet lane we are only a five minute walk to the village. In the centre is the local Co-op. The frontage is very old fashioned; it’s an old building. For years there’s has been talk of building a new store on the outskirts (actually about five hundred metres behind the existing one, on the edge of common land) but nothing has come of it. In winter the place trundles sleepily along; goods not available because of snow somewhere up country. the odd garbled message over the tannoy that everyone ignores, staff huddled in corners exchanging local gossip, wandering around, trying not to make eye contact in case you want to ask them something. It’s a place to meet up with local people who haven’t been visible all summer due to being too busy keeping holiday visitors entertained.

Which, as an aside, reminds me of a time I asked Husband to go and buy a red cabbage from the Co-op.

After half an hour he returns, empty handed and looking stunned.

‘No red cabbage?’ I enquire.

‘No, couldn’t find one. Asked an assistant. She said cabbages were on the veg stall and there was red food colouring in the baking section.’ He shook his head. ‘You couldn’t make it up!’

In summer the place comes alive: more than one assistant on the tills, lots of bustle, filling up shelves,assistants eager to help. Lots of happy visitors always glad for a natter, which inevitable ends with the comment,”you are so lucky to live here.’

I don’t argue… we are.

The visitors! (Should add here there is a sign asking customers not to shop in their nightwear) Apparently beach wear is acceptable. Nowhere else have I seen people shop half undressed: men in shorts (even Speedos … don’t think too long on that image; not nice mostly), bare chests and nothing on their feet, accompanied by shoals of similarly dressed and bare-footed children. All very jolly… until someone runs over toes with a trolley. Or they step in something.

None of this, by the way, has anything at all to do with the Sports Fanatic.

The couple arrived late one Saturday evening. The man struggled out of the car and walked, wincing, slowly along the drive, using two sticks, irritated-looking wife marching in front of him.

‘He’s sprained his ankle,’ she said, tilting her head towards him and without introducing herself. ‘happened yesterday. I came home from work and there he was, lying on the settee, bandaged up. Apparently,’ she stressed the word, ‘apparently our neighbour took him to hospital.’

‘Good of him,’ her husband said. ‘Nice chap.’

Wife snorted. ‘Fine start to our week,’ she said.

‘Mrs Morris?’ I asked. I knew they were down for a family reunion. Her family reunion.

She ignored me. ‘This way, is it?’ Pointing towards the apartment door and stomping off.

‘She’s a bit cross,’ her husband offered. Struggling with sticks he held his hand out to Husband and shook it. ‘I’m Simon,’he said, ‘you got Sky Sports in there?’

The following day it was the the reunion. The husband apparently had hardly moved from the settee in the living room of the apartment.

Mrs Morris was no less cross than before. ‘He’ll have to stay here,’ she said. ‘he says he’s in a lot of pain and can hardly stand.’ She stared at Husband. ‘I’ll be out all day. Would you go in and see if he’s okay every now and then, perhaps give him a cup of tea. I’ve left sandwiches on the coffee table for his lunch. It really is a nuisance.’

Husband was clenching jaw, the ears were giving off warning signs..

‘It’s fine,’I said, hurriedly. ‘Don’t worry.’

Half an hour after she’d driven off Husband went in to the apartment ‘ I can’t find him, he said.

‘In the loo?’I offered.

‘No! Anyhow, he’s not supposed to be able to move around at all.’

The implications of that suddenly struck us.

‘I’m not bloody clearing up after him if anything happens,’ Husband says.

I don’t answer but I knew it wouldn’t be me, either.

We searched around the apartment, then the garden.

‘He won’t be out here,’I said. ‘He can’t walk.

Just then Mr Morris came running around the corner of the house, a pack of six cans of pale ale in his arms.

We stood and looked at one another

Then, without an ounce of shame, he said, ‘can’t stand her family. Anyway, there’s loads of sport on the telly I don’t want to miss.’

And with that he grinned, walked past us and into the apartment.

Not quite sure what happened the rest of the week but Mrs Morris left on the Friday and the last we saw of Mr Morris was him trudging off the drive, carrying his suitcase, to make his way to the railway station on the Saturday morning

©Judith Barrow January 2017

My thanks to Judith for sharing this very entertaining experience and I have a feeling that husband was going to home to hot tongue and cold shoulder. Join us next week for another of Judith’s adventures.

About Judith Barrow

Although I was born and brought up in a small village on the edge of the Pennine moors in Yorkshire, for the last forty years I’ve lived with my husband and family near the coast in Pembrokeshire, West Wales, UK, a gloriously beautiful place.

I’ve written all my life and have had short stories, poems, plays, reviews and articles published throughout the British Isles. But only started to seriously write novels after I’d had breast cancer twenty years ago. Four novels safely stashed away, never to see the light of day again, I had the first of my trilogy, Pattern of Shadows, published in 2010, the sequel, Changing Patterns, in 2013 and the last, Living in the Shadows in 2015. The prequel, A Hundred Tiny Threads will be published in August 2017. Hopefully then the family in this series will leave me alone to explore something else!

I have an MA in Creative Writing, B.A. (Hons.) in Literature, and a Diploma in Drama and Script Writing. I am also a Creative Writing tutor for Pembrokeshire County Council’s Lifelong Learning Programme and give talks and run workshops on all genres.

Along with friend and fellow author, Thorne Moore, I also organise a book fair in September. This year we’ve changed venues. Here’s the link that tells all!! Narberth Book Fair. When I’m not writing or teaching, I’m doing research for my writing, walking the Pembrokeshire coastline or reading and reviewing books for Rosie Amber’s Review Team #RBRT, along with some other brilliant authors and bloggers.

Books by Judith Barrow

A Hundred Tiny Threads  is a prequel to the three books featuring the Howarth family.

About A Hundred Tiny Threads

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

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

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

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

One of the recent reviews for the book

Judith Barrow’s extremely well crafted, gritty, no-nonsense characters- a trademark in all of her novels – simply grab hold of the insides of your gut. In her stories so far, there always seems to be a strong, compelling well-written female protagonist and a strong, compelling yet deeply despicable man. Her characters stifle cries of outrage within the reader and in this particular book- which is the prequel to her family saga trilogy- she demands that you study the tiny threads, the origins that create the Duffy/Howarth family’s tapestry. Also, the tiny threads creating the flipside family rope that so often strangles hope – the hope of them ever breaking out of unhealthy family patterns, passed down through the generations, seen in the trilogy.

We observe the bravery of the Suffragette movement and the gear change in women’s thinking, bringing challenges on the domestic front through the eyes of Winifred and absorb the compelling backdrop of the dire First World War and the unforgiving callous behaviour of the Black and Tans. Judith pushes the reader into these frontlines and into these volatile worlds where we can, I think, surely comprehend- though with unease – that even the most undesirable character can be called nasty and a victim at the same time, and in the same breath.

The prequel and the trilogy make for a gripping read.

Head over read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/100-Tiny-Threads-Judith-Barrow-ebook/dp/B073W1LTSR

and at Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/100-Tiny-Threads-Judith-Barrow-ebook/dp/B073W1LTSR

Also by Judith Barrow

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Judith-Barrow/e/B0043RZJV6

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Judith-Barrow/e/B0043RZJV6

Read more reviews and follow Judith on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3295663.Judith_Barrow

Connect to Judith Barrow

Blog: judithbarrowblog.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/judithabarrow
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/judith.barrow.3/about

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Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up and A Very Happy New Year – Books, Music and laughter.


How quickly this year has gone and there have been many highlights that I will carry over to 2018. Certainly the amazing contributors such as William Price King, Paul Andruss and Carol Taylor who have worked very hard to bring music, legends and delicious food into our lives. Also to those who have contributed to the Archive Posts… the regular series and Christmas specials. It has felt like a party going on every week.

There are many others who 52 weeks a year have dropped in and liked, commented, shared and hosted. I feel totally blessed to be part of such a wonderful community.

Next year I feel that the world will be going through even more tumultuous times. Politically and socially there is much to redress and part of that is keeping the good things in our lives a priority. It is very easy to slip into negativity when we read the headlines daily that paint such a bleak picture. However, having been in the trade, I can confirm that BAD NEWS sells.

There are millions of us who blog and if ever there was a time for us to play a role in positivity it is now. This is not naivete. As individuals we may feel that what we write on our blogs or social media does not make a difference. But when we write, support and share the good news stories it does make a massive difference. The same applies to our actions offline and one of the most positive actions we can take is to give time and effort to promoting good people and their efforts.

There will be elections coming up for most of us in 2018. Election promises are easy to make and just as quick to break. But there are capable and honest people out there who can help resolve the issues that we are faced with. We have to identify them, support them and promote them at every level from local councils to those who lead from the top. I do believe we have to put party loyalties aside going forward and whilst difficult in some countries to do so, we need to vote for the right people for the job.

I wish you all a very Happy New Year.. with love, laughter, joy and peace for 2018.

It was a slightly shorter week than usual but here are the posts from the week, including the 2017 review of the most viewed posts in a number of categories.

Sally’s Book Reviews – Circumstances of Childhood by John W. Howell.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/27/smorgasbord-review-2017-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-taylor-dont-forget-to-eat-your-purples-the-aubergine/

William Price King with music for Christmas

William finishes his Christmas series with What are you Doing New Year’s Eve by Nancy Wilson

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/29/an-evening-with-william-price-king-christmas-music-what-are-you-doing-for-new-years-eve-by-nancy-wilson/

Most viewed posts of 2017

These are the most viewed posts across the various categories for 2017 and my personal favourites too.

together-for-life

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/26/smorgasbord-2017-review-the-most-viewed-individual-post-of-the-year-together-for-life-image-tofino-photography-haiku-sally-cronin/

Thomas the Rhymer Paul Andruss

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/29/smorgasbord-review-2017-smorgasbord-writer-in-residence-the-gift-by-paul-andruss/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/26/smorgasbord-invitation-most-viewed-author-interview-tina-frisco-with-a-book-reading/

images

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/26/smorgasbord-invitation-2017-review-the-top-health-post-candida-and-the-link-to-milk-allergy-lactose-intolerance-and-leaky-gut/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/27/new-series-of-william-price-king-meets-some-legends-barbra-streisand-the-early-years/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/27/smorgasbord-review-2017-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-taylor-dont-forget-to-eat-your-purples-the-aubergine/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-artists-and-old-age-by-d-wallace-peach/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/28/smorgasbord-invitation-review-2017-top-personal-post-2017-behind-the-scenes-of-just-an-odd-job-girl/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/28/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-nice-christmas-by-pete-johnson/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/29/smorgasbord-review-2017-sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-author-on-the-shelves-ruby-slips-and-poker-chips-by-heather-kindt-wordweavercontest-winner/

Christmas Archives

My thanks to everyone who contributed to the festive posts with those from their own archives.. It was a wonderful series from my perspective..I enjoyed reading these guest posts very much.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/25/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-a-christmas-image-and-poem-from-bette-a-stevens/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/25/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-happy-christmas-from-bob-dylan-charles-dickens-judy-garland-immortal-jukebox-by-thom-hickey/

Funny-Christmas-Cartoons

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/25/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-more-festive-funnies-from-the-story-reading-ape/

bathlift_lrg

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/26/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-boxing-day-funnies-the-story-reading-ape/

winter-fairy-in-snow-dsc00059-1200px-wide

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/27/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-my-archives-dormant-beneath-snow-haiku/

The Leftovers

I opened the fridge this morning
To check on the state of the world,
I hoped to see that the turkey,
Was not all shrivelled and curled.

It peaked from its packet of foil,
Still juicy and raring to go
I shredded it into some sauce
With some shrooms and onions for show.

To read more…….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/28/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-my-archives-the-leftovers-by-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/29/smorgasbord-review-2017-humour-under-the-influence-with-a-few-cats-thrown-in/

New Series for 2018

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/27/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-update-free-book-promotion/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/30/new-series-smorgasbord-saturday-meet-and-greet-a-chance-to-promote-your-blog-at-a-friendly-watering-hole/

Personal Stuff

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/31/smorgasbord-happy-new-year-soar-like-and-eagle-image-tofino-photography-haiku-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/31/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-volume-two-kenneth-by-sally-cronin/

Some promotional posts for new series tomorrow and then back to normal on Tuesday.

Thank you very much for dropping in today and wishing you an amazing New Year’s Eve and a happy, healthy, fun and love filled 2018.

 

Smorgasbord Short Stories – What’s in a Name? Volume Two – Kenneth by Sally Cronin


New Year’s Eve by Sally Cronin

Kenneth Fitzgerald looked across the crowded ballroom at the woman that he had loved for a lifetime. Georgina was surrounded by attentive male admirers, and was holding court as she always did, with elegance and grace. He watched as she tilted her head to one side to listen to the young man sitting next to her, cupping her hand delicately behind her ear, to better hear his comments over the sound of the band.

The handsome companion was her grandson Timothy, and even at first glance you could see the resemblance; the same blue eyes, golden hair colour and a long refined nose. Georgie was 90 years old and yet her beauty was undiminished. Kenneth knew he was biased. He remembered his stunned reaction to meeting her for the first time over 70 years ago, in this same ballroom on New Year’s Eve 1935.

Georgina Crowley was the daughter of a millionaire financier who had managed to survive the Wall Street crash in 1929, by converting his wealth in previous years into a renowned art collection. Malcolm Crowley was an astute businessman and had never squandered his money on the trappings of wealth. He had also salted away cash and jewellery on his various international travels, providing a comfortable buffer for the family, and those that had worked for him loyally over the last thirty years.

He was as canny with his three children as he was with his wealth. His two sons had followed him into the firm after studying for business degrees , and Georgina had also been encouraged to go to college, where she was now training to be a teacher. Malcolm firmly believed that all his children should have skills that could support them, should the financial climate not improve significantly in his lifetime. That is not to say that his youngest child did not also enjoy the benefits of being part of a wealthy family. Georgina was known to have exquisite taste, and her slim figure was the perfect shape to model the latest fashions. To be fair, many of the designs were copied from the leading fashion magazines, and recreated on her treasured Singer sewing machine

Kenneth brought himself back to the present and felt his heart pounding in his chest. It was the same every year, when he remembered that first New Year’s Eve, when he had fallen madly in love at first sight with Georgina Crowley. It had not been a one-sided infatuation, and at that first touch of her delicate hand in his own, he had felt a tremor that caused him to look up into her face. Her pink lips had parted in surprise and her smile dazzled him.

They had danced all night circling the floor; perfectly matched in their love of the foxtrot and quickstep. The other party goers had moved to one side to watch this golden couple as they seamlessly moved from one dance to another. Even Malcolm Crowley paused in his discussions with a group of men, to watch his daughter’s delight in this young man’s embrace.

Kenneth had wanted to kiss those pink lips at midnight but was aware of the scrutiny from those around them. He had whispered in Georgina’s ear as they waltzed to the final tune of the old year.

‘Shall we slip away at midnight and find some moon and starlight?’

She had looked into his eyes and smiled, nodding her head in agreement.

As the clock struck midnight, Georgina rushed to her parents at their table and kissed and hugged them both. In the ensuing melee, as the other guests did likewise, the two of them had slipped out of the large double doors at the end of the ballroom. Kenneth had guided her to his car parked along the drive. He grabbed a blanket from the back seat of the roadster and placed it around Georgina’s shoulders before helping her into the front seat. He raced around to the other side of the car and within minutes they were roaring down the hill from the house into the dark night.

Kenneth drove carefully as the road was slick with ice and he was aware that he was responsible for a very precious cargo. Although it was a cold night he knew just the place to take Georgina on this magical occasion. A spot high above the city, where the lights and sounds of New Year’s Eve would provide a backdrop for their first kiss.

He looked across at Georgina as she clasped the plaid blanket around her bare shoulders, and smiled at her obvious delight at this adventure. His eyes were only off the road for seconds, but it was still long enough for him to miss the broken down car around a curve in the road.

He regained consciousness and raised his hand to his forehead; it came away wet and sticky. He wiped blood from his eyes and tried to move his body. Finally he was able to push himself into a sitting position against the upturned roadster and he desperately looked for Georgina. The moon came out from behind a cloud and he took a sharp intake of breath as he saw her crumpled form by the rear bumper of the car. He crawled across and managed to pull her crushed and lifeless body into his arms… his heart was pounding in his chest and he tried to wake her by touching her face and calling her name. After several minutes he rested his head back against the car and he knew that she was gone.

‘Please, please do not take her … it is my fault and it should be me… take me… please take me and save her.’

On New Year’s Day, Georgie asked her youngest grandson to drive her to the cemetery. She came here often to visit her husband’s grave. Phillip had been a wonderful man and she had grown to love him during the long summer of 1942. They had twin sons born in 1944 but tragically Phillip had been killed in the last weeks of the war. He had been brought home and buried in the Crowley family plot close by her house and their sons.  She still missed his loving kindness.  However, she admitted to herself that it was a different kind of love to the one that has swept her off her feet that magical New Year’s Eve in 1935.

Whilst her grandson watched from the car, Georgina spent some minutes at Phillip’s monument. Then walking carefully, leaning on her stick, she moved down the icy path until she stopped before another gravestone. Tears gathered in her pale blue eyes as she read the inscription.

Kenneth Fitzgerald
Beloved son and brother.
1910 – 1935
Killed in an automobile accident.

It was 70 years ago, and yet every New Year’s Day, Georgie relived those dreadful first moments when she had woken in the hospital. She had a dreadful headache but thankfully didn’t seem to have any other major injuries. Her mother and father were sitting by her bedside and Malcolm gently took her hand in his. Her first words were asking for Kenneth, and she still remembered the look of anguish on her father’s face as he braced himself to tell her the news.

She touched the top of the headstone and smiled to herself. He had been there again last night at the family ball, watching from the shadows as he had done every year, and she had felt that same giddy feeling as that first New Year’s Eve. She suspected that this time however it was more likely that her medication was no longer effective in keeping her failing heart beating.

She felt a touch on her shoulder and looked up into the smiling face of her grandson.

‘Time to go Gran.. It is getting cold and I need to get you back home.’

Georgie took his arm and they moved carefully up the path. She turned for one last look at Kenneth’s grave.

She whispered to herself. ‘Next year my love, next year we will dance again together on New Year’s Eve.’

©sallycronin 2016

I hope that you have enjoyed this story from What’s in a Name Volume Two.. Both volumes are now available in print in the UK and Ireland.. But they are also available separately in Ebook.

Also

You can read the reviews and buy the books

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Amazon India: http://www.amazon.in/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/SallyGCronin

More reviews can be found on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin

Thank you for dropping in and Happy New Year… see you in 2018…

 

Smorgasbord Invitation Review 2017 – Top Personal Post 2017 – Behind the scenes of Just an Odd Job Girl


Back in the summer I asked for volunteers to host a series of posts on the background to the jobs I featured in Just an Odd Job Girl which was the first novel I wrote.

12 Bloggers very kindly invited me over and I was delighted with the response. This was the first post that I featured on my blog.. and later in 2018 I will feature the other 12 again as well in case you missed.

Writing Short Stories – Odd Jobs and Characters by Sally Cronin Series.

So far I have published over 60 short stories in collections and the one drawback to this is the amount of diverse characters required to star in a wide variety of situations.

Luckily, I have a retentive memory stretching back to around the age of three, of the people, places and events in my life. Thankfully the majority of those memories are happy, but there have also been one or two life threatening occasions as well as times when the world seemed very dark. Although over time they were resolved, they too have become very useful for creating plots in stories and providing emotional context.

I was always imaginative as a child… my mother I seem to remember, called it ‘telling fibs’. For me as we travelled around to various countries, my imaginary friends were a comfort and helped me gain confidence as I made real friends. They were eventually replaced with the real life counterparts and very precious they are too.

Fifty years ago I started work on a part-time basis as soon as it was legally possible. I was fourteen years old, and even though I have had periods when not officially employed, I have been working ever since. My intention is to be dragged kicking and screaming into the next world with my keyboard in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.

This new series shares some of the jobs I have turned my hand to over that fifty years, and some were very odd. Not many have sat at a table between two teams of champion dairy cows, selling bull semen!  Over the years I have accumulated a massive dossier of characters and events that now take centre stage in my short stories. If you have read my novel Just an Odd Job Girl you will have met some of them but over the next twelve weeks I hope to bring you some of the others that inspired and stimulated my imagination.

Souvenir and ice-cream seller along the seafront 1967 – 1971

Just thinking back to those early spring months of 1967 make me smile. I had pestered my mother and father for months to let me get a part-time job. I didn’t want a paper round as getting up at an ungodly hour before school every morning, including Sunday, held little appeal. Also, my parents were concerned that my schoolwork would suffer so we compromised on a weekend and holiday job.

Just before Easter, I saw an advertisement in the local evening paper for staff for the council run operations along the seafront. The minimum age was fourteen years and three months, which I had just passed, and there was an address to apply for an application form.

Without telling my mother, I sent off for the form, which duly arrived. Being a council application form it covered three pages and virtually asked for your weight and number of teeth. I was proud of my efforts, and presented the completed and signed form to my mother, who also had to sign the form because of my age.

My mother had to accompany me to the interview and she made me wear my school uniform to encourage a belief that I might be a worthy candidate! The interviewer was a nice man and I remember that he had a deep voice and seemed genuinely interested in what this fourteen year old had to say… which was pretty rare!

Three days later a letter arrived stating that I would be employed for the summer season, and weekends once I was back at school, at a cafe and souvenir kiosk by South Parade Pier. I would work for a maximum of six hours a day, at an hourly rate of two shillings an hour. I was rich.

I arrived excited, but understandably nervous, and was greeted by a rather austere cafe manageress. She issued me a nylon overall and so many rules and regulations that I forgot them immediately.. Thankfully she then uttered the words…..‘I am giving you to Betty.’

I was pleasantly surprised to be handed over to a tiny, beaming woman who had been waiting for me outside the back door of the café.

She was wearing the highest pair of stiletto shoes I had ever seen. She must have been under five-foot in height and nicely plump; I had no idea how she managed to stay upright on these thin, three-inch heels. I am nearly six foot and I looked down on my diminutive new companion, wondering how she was going to boss me around. I was soon to find out that looks could be deceiving!

About twenty feet from the restaurant there was a small round building. Little did I know at the time, but apart from occasional relief duties in the main café, this was going to be my work place for the next three seasons. Betty opened a door at the back of the structure.
I stepped through into the dark and stood for a moment on the threshold of a new life. The lights snapped on and I looked around me. It was filled to bursting with leather and plastic souvenirs and beach games, and stored for security reasons, a large double-sided postcard stand that needed to be taken outside to make room for the occupants.

After carrying that outside between us, Betty busied herself at the old fashioned till perched on the wooden shelf. No mean feat as it stood four feet off the ground and she could barely see over the top of the counter.  I could now see the reasoning behind the three-inch heels.

Betty then proceeded to introduce me to the world of selling souvenirs which ranged from combs, purses, heart shaped badges and other small items. They either bore the coat of arms for Portsmouth and Southsea or with a male of female name. Good luck if you had been called something exotic!

She was a very patient and lovely woman, who not only showed me a management style that became a benchmark for me in my later career, but also became my friend. Her on job training was second to none, and by the second weekend she pronounced me Assistant Manager of the kiosk.  I was solely responsible for stocking, selling to our many customers and cash management when she took her lunch breaks and for her days off.

Betty has featured in several of my stories in one disguise or another and even after 50 years, her influence on my work ethic, management style and sense of responsibility makes me grateful for having her in my life.

As well as providing me with some wonderful characters in addition to Betty, my time  along the seafront provided me with plenty of material for future stories. These included her request for me to wear sneakers one weekend so that I could chase down and capture a couple of lads who had been pinching the saucy postcards on a regular basis; a mission that I completed to her satisfaction if not to the suitably berated offenders.

In my third year at the cafe, I was promoted to the front of house where whipped ice-cream was dispensed. I eventually got the knack of creating perfect whirls topped with a chocolate flake, but I am afraid that I consumed the evidence of my early failures which resulted in a need for a larger overall.

The next post in this series will appear on author D.G. Kaye’s blog on August 18th and follows my efforts in my first full time job working in a private dental practice at the age of seventeen (part one).

Several bloggers have invited me to guest on their blogs in coming weeks but I have one or two weeks left if you feel you would be happy to participate. I will send everything over that you need in a word document with any images attached.

 

About Sally Cronin.

After working in a number of industries for over 25 years, I decided that I wanted to pursue a completely different career, one that I had always been fascinated with. I began studying Nutrition and the human body twenty years ago and I opened my first diet advisory centre in Ireland in 1998. Over the last 19 years I have practiced in Ireland and the UK as well as written columns, articles and radio programmes on health and nutrition. I published my first book with a Canadian self-publisher in the late 90s and since then have republished that book and released ten others as part of our own self-publishing company, Moyhill. Apart from health I also enjoy writing fiction in the form of novels and short stories.

My latest book – What’s in a Name – Volume Two.

Our legacy is not always about money or fame, but rather in the way that people remember our name after we have gone. In these sixteen short stories we discover the reasons why special men and women will stay in the hearts and minds of those who have met them.

Kenneth watches the love of his life dance on New Year’s Eve while Lily plants very special flowers every spring for her father. Martha helps out a work colleague as Norman steps back out into the world to make a difference. Owen brings light into a house and Patrick risks his life in the skies over Britain and holds back from telling a beautiful redhead that he loves her.In one way or another all these characters will be remembered by those whose lives they have touched.

There is also a bonus story introducing a new collection The Village Square to be published in 2018.

You can buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Whats-Name-Stories-Life-Romance-ebook/dp/B0748MLZ1W

My other books

I hope you enjoyed this chapter in my varied career and as I mentioned earlier I will be featuring the other jobs again. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Christmas Round Up – Songs, Stories, Poems, Books Galore and pets doing festive thangs……….


Image result for christmas gif pinterest

Doesn’t time fly when you are having fun. Cannot believe how fast this year has gone but I only have to look back over the year’s posts, and particularly the contributions from so many to the blog, to appreciate the amount of effort and time so many of you have given to making my life amazing.

Today a look back at this week’s posts that you might have missed and also an update on the next week.

I am going to be in and out of the blog as I settle in to getting my next book up and running. However, I will be doing a review of 2017 with the top viewed posts under the various categories.. There will also be posts on the new promotions for authors and bloggers in the coming year, and some updated versions of existing ones.

Recently I posted about the new format for the blog, moving more towards a magazine style. I am delighted that we have some confirmed columnists who will focus on specific aspects of lifestyle and health.

William Price King will be our music columnist with not only more artists to showcase with their backgrounds and hits, but also posts on various aspects of music that will enhance our listening pleasure.

This week William shares some more of his favourite Christmas music with Natalie Cole singing Jingle Bells.

Paul Andruss will continue to contribute one of his unique and always fascinating posts each month, but he will also be sharing his gardening expertise in a monthly column.

This week Paul had written about the connections between Camelot, King Arthur and John F. Kennedy.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/22/smorgasbord-reblog-writer-in-residence-camelot-by-paul-andruss-jfk/

Carol Taylor will be our food columnist and will be sharing foods exotic and more everyday and include her wonderful recipes.

This week the ingredient in question had to be turkey of course.. and apart from the health benefits.. advice on how to buy, thaw and cook.. with delicious recipes for every part of the bird from Carol.

I will let you know about the other columns in due course and there will be some magazine favourites.. Including a monthly horoscope provided by a rather reclusive but talented astrologer.

Anyway time to get on with the show…..

My personal reviews and book recommendations from 2017

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/20/sally-cronins-book-reviews-2017-my-recommendations-for-christmas-mary-smith-judith-barrow-cynthia-reyes-kristina-stanley-and-jack-eason/

 

 

 

 

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/21/sally-cronins-book-reviews-2017-recommendations-for-christmas-d-g-kaye-john-w-howell-tony-riches-and-terry-tyler/

Christmas New Author on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-author-for-christmas-the-storyteller-speaks-by-annika-perry/

Christmas Book Fair specials

A selection of my books….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/21/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-christmas-book-fair-extra-i-nearly-forgot-to-promote-my-own-books/

A selection of Children’s and YA books in the Cafe and Bookstore.

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/22/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-christmas-book-fair-childrens-and-ya-books-special/

Christmas Book Fair

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-christmas-book-fair-cynthia-reyes-christy-birmingham-terry-tyler-sue-coletta-and-deborah-jay/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/19/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-christmas-book-fair-yvonne-payne-linda-bethea-sacha-de-black-deborah-bowman/

Thom Hickey continues with the Christmas Cornucopia of Art, Music and Poetry

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/18/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-christmas-cornucopia-louis-armstrong-kay-starr-day-five-by-thom-hickey/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/19/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-christmas-cornucopia-day-six-christina-rossetti-gothic-voices-by-thom-hickey/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/20/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-christmas-cornucopia-day-seven-tintoretto-janet-baker-by-thom-hickey/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/21/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-christmas-cornucopia-patrick-kavanagh-the-chieftains-day-eight-by-thom-hickey/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/22/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archive-christmas-cornucopia-day-nine-rubens-chopin-by-thom-hickey/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/23/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-christmas-cornucopia-day-ten-rublev-fats-waller-by-thom-hickey/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/24/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-christmas-cornucopia-eleventh-day-emmylou-harris-lawrence-sail-by-thom-hickey/

There will be a special The Immortal Christmas Day post tomorrow at the same time. 

Five Part Christmas Story – The Snowman by Gordon Le Pard

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/18/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-the-snowman-a-story-for-christmas-part-one-by-gordon-le-pard/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/19/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-the-snowman-part-two-by-gordon-le-pard/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/20/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-the-snowman-part-three-by-gordon-le-pard/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/21/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-the-snowman-by-gordon-le-pard-part-four/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/22/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-the-snowman-the-finale-by-gordon-le-pard/

Christmas Posts from Your Archives

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/18/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-more-christmas-at-the-house-of-1000-santas-by-marcia-meara/

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/19/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-my-welsh-christmases-by-joy-lennick/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/19/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-the-magic-of-gifts-by-balroop-singh/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/20/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-youre-fired-a-christmas-fable-by-frank-parker/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/21/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-poetry-as-snow-falls-by-pamela-s-wight/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/23/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-the-christmas-story-in-scripture-and-songby-bette-a-stevens/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/23/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-the-little-match-girl-by-karen-dowdall-2/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/23/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-how-to-be-one-of-santas-elves-by-lillian-csernica/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/24/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-christmas-greetings-and-music-from-john-howell/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/24/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-twas-the-night-before-christmas-with-presents-to-wrap-by-judy-e-martin/

Humour

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/21/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-your-archives-the-morning-after-the-zoos-christmas-party-photographed-by-the-story-reading-ape/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/20/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-looking-for-entertainment-for-christmas-party/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/19/smorgasbord-christmas-posts-from-my-archives-opening-the-presents-canine-style/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/22/smorgasbord-christmas-party-laughter-the-best-medicine/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/23/smorgasbord-christmas-laughter-academy-time-to-get-the-party-started/

Some personal stuff

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All that is left to say is Happy Christmas, Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noel, Buon Natale, Sona Nollag and Geseënde Kersfees

Best wishes for a fun, laughter and love filled holidays.

 

 

 

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair Extra… I nearly forgot to promote my own books!!!


Here are my some of my current books that I would like to share today.  I have also included some of the reviews for the books on Amazon and by bloggers.  The icing on the cake..

All except for Just Food for Health are available in E-versions for most readers. You can buy all my books from my own bookstore at the links beneath the titles below but also on

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/SallyGCronin

More reviews can be found on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin

My latest book was published on July 27th 2017 – What’s in Name – Volume Two – Stories of life and romance. The print version of combined volumes one and two is available in the UK and Ireland

About What’s in a Name Volume Two

Our legacy is not always about money or fame, but rather in the way that people remember our name after we have gone. In these sixteen short stories we discover the reasons why special men and women will stay in the hearts and minds of those who have met them. Romance, revenge and sacrifice all play their part in the lives of these characters.

Kenneth watches the love of his life dance on New Year’s Eve while Lily plants very special flowers every spring for her father. Martha helps out a work colleague as Norman steps back out into the world to make a difference. Owen brings light into a house and Patrick risks his life in the skies over Britain and holds back from telling a beautiful redhead that he loves her.

Meet Queenie and Rosemary who have both lost their husbands and must face a very different future. One that will take courage and the use of new technology.

Sonia is an entitled princess whose father has reached the end of his tether and Theresa has to deal with a bully in the checkout. Usher is an arrogant narcissist with a docile wife and is used to getting his own way and Vanessa worries about the future of her relationship with her teenage son.

Walter is a loner and is happy with just his dog for company, Xenia is the long awaited first baby of a young couple. Yves is a dashing romeo who has the tables turned on him unexpectedly and Zoe… Well she can see into the future.

In one way or another all these characters will be remembered by those whose lives they have touched.

The most recent reviews.

What’s in a Name? Book 2 is a wonderful collection of short stories that will touch your heart. You will find romance, tragedy and heartache. Each story is titled with a male or female name which continues alphabetically from Book 1.

Sally Cronin is a consummate storyteller who has the innate ability to weave a fascinating tale that grips the reader from the first sentence. This reader felt lifted when the characters were exuberant and crushed when they had heartache. If an author can enable a reader to feel the joy and angst along with the characters she has created, she is an exceptional writer!

My favorite was the first story about Kenneth. This story touched me deeply as Kenneth watches the love of his life dancing on New Year’s Eve. I don’t want to give anything away by saying too much. Each story tells an unforgettable tale with a twist at the end. Surprises and twists abound in these fabulous stories. I couldn’t put the book down.

Sally Cronin has many other entertaining books to offer. Several of them I have read and highly recommend them all.

 You can buy What’s in Name- Volume Two: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0748MLZ1W/

and: https://www.amazon.com/Whats-Name-Stories-Life-Romance-ebook/dp/B0748MLZ1W

What’s in a Name – Volume One – Short Story Collection.

Twenty colourful stories of people who have been given the names of the great and legendary and find it a challenge sometimes to live up to them.

The latest review for the collection

What’s in a Name by Sally Cronin is an absolute gem of a book. Cronin is a gifted storyteller, and readers are sure to be moved and intrigued by this collection that was inspired by real-life occurrences. These are stories that will move you and stay with you long after you finish. I read through this collection in one day and have revisited it many times since. A book so enticing is a true testament to the skill of an author. To keep a book near, allowing one to relish in the many emotions it is sure to evoke, ultimately speaks to the treasures held within.

The characters come to life, and it’s impossible not to think of similar people we have met along our own journeys. I laughed and cried, found solace in heartfelt reflection.
A highly recommended read. This is a gift for the soul.

 You can read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Whats-Name-Sally-Cronin-ebook/dp/B01N6Y8BK1

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Whats-Name-Sally-Cronin-ebook/dp/B01N6Y8BK1

Also now in print available in the UK and Ireland only.

Amazon UK:https://www.amazon.co.uk/Whats-Name-Volumes-1-2/dp/1905597797

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Sam – A Shaggy Dog Story – for dog lovers

Millions of families around the World believe that their pet, dog or cat is the most intelligent, beautiful and loyal friend that anyone could have. And they are absolutely right.

If only our pets could talk how much richer the world would be, and funnier.

One of the recent reviews for Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story

Brigid Gallagher rated it 5 stars on Goodreads.

Sally Cronin fell in love at first sight with Sam, a collie puppy. I must admit I too fell in love with Sam from the moment I saw his photograph on the cover of Sally’s book!

“Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story” is a delight from start to finish. Sam recounts meeting Sally and her husband David for the first time, finding his forever home with them, and settling into life as an “only child”.

He meets Henry a feral cat, who fathers three fine kittens with his lovely partner, and Sam tells us many tales of their friendship in his own doggy style. He enjoys long beach walks where he befriends Abby a white terrier, plays in deep snow on his second winter ” like young puppies getting soaked and exhausted in the process,” and enjoys road trips with Sally in her sporty car.

Sam eventually moves to Spain, where he enjoys chasing water hoses and amusing guests with his party piece of asking for more or “mawgh.” One day Sally is busy with work and tells Sam “You are beginning to sound like Oliver Twist, and if you don’t stop pestering me I will call you Oliver in future.” Sam replies! “Oh, Ee, Va” which becomes more emphasised as “ORH,EE,VA.” He earns a favourite food reward.

Sally’s writing style is gentle, warm and full of humour. Sam’s photographs will delight you, and his words will leave you feeling blessed that you bought Sally’s book

Amazon US Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Amazon UK Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Size Matters – Especially when you weigh 330lbs

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If I could communicate just a single message to you it is that
obesity, and the misery attached to it, need not be for life.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Tina rated it 5 stars

Size Matters is Sally Georgina Cronin’s no-holds-barred, true-life story of her journey from near-death obesity to vibrant health.

I first was struck by the author’s willingness to share so many personal things most of us would hold to dearly as private; things that would humiliate; things we’d be hard-pressed to look in the mirror and admit even to ourselves. I knew anyone willing to bridge this gap must be someone with integrity and a deep concern for her fellow human beings.

I wasn’t far into the book before finding the encouragement I needed. The last paragraph of chapter one said it all: “What began as a painful journey into my past became an exciting adventure in the present with expectations of a much brighter future.” Above all else, I wanted a bright future. And Ms. Cronin’s approach proffered that hope.

I’m not going to detail the specifics of this book, because a peek inside on Amazon will show you the table of contents and highlight the details of the program she developed. What I want to shine a light on is the inspiration she exemplifies and offers to all those battling a weight problem.

She knew almost any help given by the medical/scientific/etc. communities would offer template approaches to weight reduction, approaches she and many others have tried and failed at miserably. Because her health was in such jeopardy, she needed not only to urgently change her eating habits, but also to have the results be permanent. Thus began her journey within and her search for a sustainable healthy future.

It’s difficult enough to put one foot in front of the other on a daily basis in this fast-paced technological age. Everyone is multi-tasking and running fast to stand still. So when we find ourselves faced with a life-threatening condition, fear leads us to seek a quick fix. But quick fixes are almost never permanent and almost always detrimental. The author recognized this and strove instead to find her own way back home to herself.

Although despairing and contemplating suicide, she reached deep inside and found a way to kindle her common sense, which provided the ladder needed to climb out of the pit into which she’d dug herself. Admitting her weaknesses and acknowledging her strengths, she put the totality of herself into turning her life around. Plying patience and dogged determination, she climbed out of the suffocating abyss and surfaced into the fresh air of a promising and vibrant life.

I have never been obese, but I have carried extra weight at different times throughout my life. Taking off 10 or 15 pounds is hard enough. I can only imagine the devastation one must feel when facing the necessity of a 150-pound weight reduction. And I use the word “reduction” rather than “loss,” because I think the mind always seeks to find that which has been lost.

In my opinion, this book is not only a comprehensive text for permanent weight reduction, but also a “how to” guide for breaking the shackles of destructive behavior and tenaciously moving forward.

When asked in grade school to name five people who inspire us, most children look to either their families or noted figures in the world. And yet there are so many working humbly behind the global scenes who seek neither notoriety nor acclaim. I believe they’re referred to as unsung heroes.

This review is as much an acknowledgement of the author’s positive contribution to the world as it is of her all-inclusive approach to weight reduction in this outstanding book, which I highly recommend. Shed an ounce of weight, gain a pound of self-confidence. Sally Cronin is an inspirational example for all

 Turning back the clockAn anti-aging programme.
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Living forever is not an option!

However, feeling younger and looking younger is an option available to all!

The maximum lifespan a human being can currently expect today is around 120 years. However, not many of us really want to be even 90 or 100 years old, if it means that we are going to end up filled with medication and tucked away in a corner in some nursing home, unaware of our surroundings.

Making healthy diet and lifestyle choices as early as possible will help you get as near as possible to your maximum age whilst enjoying good physical and mental vitality. In my latest book I not only take a look at the physical aspects of aging but also the mental and emotional issues that we should address earlier rather than later.

Amazon US Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Amazon UK Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Flights of Fancy – Short Story Collection

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A few years ago I produced an audio CD of 6 short stories and today these stories and another five stories plus my novella The Sewing Circle are published in Flights of Fancy.

Ghosts hint at a chance of coming back to say goodbye, exact a little payback, or simply to help someone else carry on living. Romance is not just for the young and nor are second chances. As for revenge, well … never underestimate a group of elderly ladies with contacts from the past!

One of the reviews for the collection

Sally’s lovely little collection of short stories and even a novella offers a variety of everyday life situations and then some. From romance to insecurities (body issues, anyone else?) and even a psychic bird, Cronin’s writing is sharp and edited to perfection. Perfect for a quick read or a great way to pass a few afternoons. This is the first I’ve read of hers, it won’t be the last.

Amazon US Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Amazon UK Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Just an Odd Job Girl

 Imogen was fifty!

 

Life is unpredictable and will often throw you a curve ball that knocks you out of the park.

For Imogen this curve ball knocked her out of a twenty five year marriage and a lovingly renovated home into a single life at age 50. She had been a very contented wife and mother of two children, who for every one of those 25 years had thought her husband had been equally as happy. It was a shock to find out that she had been delusional and replaced so easily.

Her confidence was non-existent. She had forgotten any skills she possessed and was totally unprepared to enter the modern job market. Or so she thought.

One of the recent reviews for the book

on 11 October 2017

Her husband of over twenty-five years announces he has found himself a new and younger woman; a fast-tracker, as Imogen dubs her. This is a girl who is out to get man who has already established himself and made money, rather than marry someone of her own age and have to struggle their way to the top together.

Not only does Imogen lose her husband, she is left with no choice but to move from the family home and re-jig her life completely. It’s a daunting task; the children have flown the nest and she hasn’t worked in years.
Alone in her new little home on the edge of Epping Forest Imogen browses the local newspaper and comes across an ad from an employment agency. She telephones, makes an appointment, cobbles together something to wear and, for the first time in a very long time, compiles a CV.
The adventure begins.
From here the story takes Imogen to her interview, where Mr Jenkins ( call me Andrew) invites her to talk him through all the jobs, and there are quite a few, that she has previously undertaken.
Each chapter then describes unlikely and varied forms of employment. There is a lot of humour in the writing, but also some pathos too.
I won’t reveal the ending but, though it came as no surprise, it was just what was needed for this story, with a little comeuppance for the dastardly husband thrown in.

Reading a book like Just an Odd Job Girl by Sally Cronin reminds me that I should do this more often -I love thrillers and dark stories but a little lightheartedness, occasionally, goes a very long way.

Amazon US Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Amazon UK Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Forget the Viagra – Pass me a Carrot… Men’s Health Manual –

51X6tXcHZRL._UY250_The latest headlines in the Media recently are constantly highlighting the fact that men are at risk as they ignore early symptoms of life threatening disease. Cardiovascular and Prostate disease if caught in the early stages can be treated and managed but surveys indicate that men do not know what symptoms they should be looking for.

Despite the title, Forget the Viagra, Pass me a Carrot! is not just about the physical causes of sexual dysfunction and the dangers of taking a drug that is bought without medical consultation, but about men’s health in general. A workshop manual takes the working parts, describes how they function, what can go wrong and how to prevent problems in the future. This men’s health manual – does just that – takes all the major organs, illustrates how they work, the symptoms to look for and also how to avoid the problems in the first place.

It is never too late to make changes that can give your body a great chance at a long and vital life.

Review – J.E. Spina September 2016.

This book was chock full of information on the workings and processing of the human body. Sally Cronin, the author, has produced an incredible resource for all. Everything you ever needed to know about diet, exercise, super foods, vitamins, what’s good and bad for your body and even how to breathe more effectively to keep your body working better.

There is a lot to take in but I felt that I gained an enormous amount of essential information that I always wanted to know.

Sally is a wonderful nutritionist who takes her profession seriously and is always available to answer questions or lend a hand to her clients. She also has a fabulous blog which I follow religiously. I love her books and look forward to more from this talented and articulate author.

Amazon US Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Amazon UK Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

 Tales from the Garden

Newsflash: Tales from the Garden will be available in Spanish in the next few days!

tales-from-the-garden-cover

Fairy Stories for children of all ages, from five to ninety-five that will change the way you look at your garden, forever.

With over 80 photos/illustrations, “Tales from the Garden” by Sally Cronin,reveals the secrets that are hidden beneath hedges and trees.

You will discover what really happens at night as you sleep unaware in your bed. Stone statues and those hidden worlds within the earth are about to share their stories.

The guardians who have kept the sanctuary safe for over fifty years will allow you to peek behind the scenes of this magical place. They will take you on a journey through time and expand your horizons as they transport you to the land of fairies, butterflies and lost souls who have found a home here.

One of the reviews

Magical!  on April 1, 2017

Author Sally Cronin mixes imagination, whimsy and magic to create this charming collection of short stories. Each tale takes place in the garden and lovely photos contribute to the enchantment.

First, we meet the Head Guardians of the Magic Garden. These powerful stone creatures introduce us to the fairy kingdom that lies under the old magnolia tree. According to the Guardians, which look like magnificent Lions to me, once every 500 years some very special people are allowed a glimpse into the magical world of fairies.

The Guardians let us peak at the inhabitants and learn more about their lives, which are quite entertaining. We meet the Dwarves Stoned Band, the King and Queen of the Fairies, the one-eyed pig, and other friendly creatures, and we watch them all cavort and celebrate birthdays and hold summer balls.

My favorite fairy tale story told how the garden folk fought against the Winter Fairy, thanks to the help of the Dragon, who has his own internal combustion system. But, the story that I loved the most is about Mollie (The Duchess) Coleman. Author Cronin’s mother tells about her favorite gardens through the years. Mrs. Coleman liked pink flowers, and believed in being dressed and ready for her say by 9:00 each morning. She closes her recap by saying, “If you catch sight of me perhaps you could do me a great favour and pop a large cut-glass tumbler of whisky and water, no ice thank you, on the table beside me.”

My pleasure, Mrs. Coleman. I would have loved to chat with you and savor a whisky in your lovely garden.

Sally Cronin writes with a warm, friendly voice and creates fairy tales with a modern feel to them. I highly recommend this delightful collection. Readers will enjoy relaxing in their own gardens, as they read these pleasant tales and gaze at the photos. This would also be a wonderful book to read to the youngsters in your life.

My mother read fairy tales to me and I believed in the wee folk. I did look for them under flowers and under the forsythia branches. Tales from the Garden continues the delight!

Amazon US Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Amazon UK Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Thank you for dropping and if you have any questions about the books please do not hesitate to contact me..If you live outside of Ireland and the UK and would like a copy of the print edition of What’s In a Name with both volumes then we can make arrangements.. sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Merry Christmas.

Smorgasbord Posts from MY archives – Short Story and FREE Ebook – Three Mince Pies by Sally Cronin


Here is one of the stories from my first short story collection released in 2003. Flights of Fancy and if you like this story you are most welcome to have a FREE ebook.. either Mobi for Kindle or Epub for other devices.

All you have to do is email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com and ask for the format of your choice.

Three Mince Pies by Sally Cronin

mince piesThe little girl lay in bed asleep, long blonde hair spread over her pillow. From her restless movements it was obvious that she was in the grip of a disturbing dream; dark rings beneath her eyes gave her small face a pinched and unhappy look.

Downstairs, Jenny looked at the Christmas decorations and cards around the room. In the corner, the tree lights sparkled and flashed through the tinsel; presents for Sophie were piled beneath its green spiky branches in a colourful heap. Family and friends had rallied round, determined Sophie would have everything her father would have bought her this Christmas.

Jenny rested her hands on the mantelpiece and stared at the photograph in front of her. It was the last that was taken of them all together. They smiled out of the picture, brown and happy on their holiday in the south of Spain at the end of October. It had been their first family holiday in three years; business had been tough and there had been no extra money for vacations or other luxuries. Ironically, she now had more money than she knew what to do with, but she would give it all back in a heartbeat.

Jack had inherited his father’s building business and although initially work had been plentiful, there had been more and more competition for fewer contracts. He had worked seven days a week and she could see from his face that this was taking its toll. Just after their holiday in Spain, Jack began to experience chest pains that he dismissed as indigestion after eating and drinking too much while they were away. Jenny had grown more and more concerned, begging him to go and get checked out. To keep the peace, Jack had begrudgingly taken a couple of hours off one evening and gone to the surgery. The next day he was in hospital undergoing tests, and that afternoon he was taken to theatre for an emergency operation.

It had all happened so fast they had barely time to talk about the situation. Jenny had been unable to take Sophie in to to see her father before he was rushed away from them by concerned medical staff. She had called out to him as he was wheeled away; but she had no way of knowing if he had heard her soft “I love you.”

She and Sophie had sat in the family room, playing with coloured bricks and a jigsaw to pass the long hours into the night. There had been other families in the room; all looking nervously at the clock until doctors or nurses entered to reassure them that their loved ones were safely recovering from their operations.

They were alone when finally a tall man in a green scrub suit entered the waiting room, loosening the mask from around his face. Jenny took one look at his eyes and knew from their bleak directness that there would be no visit to the recovery room for them.

She allowed the tears to fall; here in private where she could grieve. Away from the eyes of her small daughter who could not understand why Daddy was not coming home from work every night. She tried to be strong for Sophie’s sake, but she had watched her normally lively child lose weight, become silent and withdrawn. Tomorrow was Christmas Day how could they face it without him?

She heard a noise from upstairs. Sophie would be having one of her nightmares, crying for her daddy, tossing and turning, and reaching out into the dark. Wiping the tears from her face, Jenny walked upstairs to her daughter’s bedroom. She opened the door quietly and was startled to see Sophie sitting up in bed, clutching her teddy bear and staring across the room.

Jenny followed the direction of her daughter’s eyes, to the toy cupboard with a plate of mince pies and a glass of sherry on the top. As she stared across the room, she felt warm air flow over her. She blinked and stared at a glowing light that grew brighter and brighter. Clamping a hand over her mouth, she darted a glance over at Sophie and was amazed to see her daughter smiling and holding out her hand to the light. Jenny’s eyes were drawn back to the other side of the bedroom and she gasped, as in the incandescent glow, she saw her husband’s body materialise.

Riveted to the spot she watched Jack reach out a hand, take a mince pie from the plate and raise it to his lips. Taking a bite he grinned across at her. She felt the warmth of his gaze as it rested on her eyes and her mouth and an overwhelming sense of peace passed through her. Jack nodded once and then walked across to his daughter’s bedside where he reached out and touched Sophie’s outstretched hand. A radiant glow spread across the child’s face and laying back against the pillow her breathing settled into a gentle rhythm; she was peacefully asleep.

Her father left Sophie’s bedside and walked to the door where Jenny stood absolutely still as his body passed in front of her. He stopped and she looked into his eyes and felt a gentle touch on her shoulders. He smiled at her and all the love that they had shared was in that too brief moment between them; she knew that he was saying goodbye. He moved out into the hall and turned for one last glance over his shoulder. Gradually the light faded and the figure disappeared, but the warmth of his presence remained wrapped around her like an invisible cloak.

She stood for a few minutes with head bowed, absorbing and taking strength from that feeling before crossing to her daughter’s bedside. She kissed her forehead gently and moved over to the toy cupboard where she stared at the plate with its two mince pies. She always put three of the treats out for Father Christmas. This year he really had come to visit.

©sallycronin Flights of Fancy 2009

I hope you have enjoyed the story and if you would like a copy of one of my earlier books FREE then please email me and let me know if you need mobi for Kindle or Ebub for other devices.. Sally.cronin@moyhill.com

If you feel so inclined.. my other books are available in print and in Ebook. My latest What’s In a Name volume 1&2 is in print for the UK only at the current time.

My books and Reviews 2017

Here are my current books available on Amazon and  Smashwords. 

All except for Just Food for Health are available in E-versions for most readers. You can buy all my books from my own bookstore at the links beneath the titles below but also on

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/SallyGCronin

More reviews can be found on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin

My latest book was published on July 27th 2017 – What’s in Name – Volume Two – Stories of life and romance. The print version of combined volumes one and two is available in the UK and Ireland

This is one of the reviews for What’s in a Name Volume Two.

One of my most FAVORITE reads of 2017 September 5, 2017 by

Carmen Stefanescu

It is the first fiction book written by Sally Cronin that I’ve had the opportunity to read. I was drawn into What’s in a Name collection and went on reading until the last story was done. I would call most of them ” tales with a twist.” I really did enjoy this book…you may need some tissue at times. You will love the unexpected and won’t think to put the book down. I found it hard to put down

The motives and emotions of the characters in all of the stories were well defined and expressed. I really liked the fact that each story came to a satisfying ending and the next story quickly engaged me with the new people and place. It’s undoubtedly one of my most FAVORITE reads of 2017, in my TOP 5. Sally Cronin creates stories that will keep you flipping pages and loving it!

I won’t tell you what they are about because being short stories I would reveal important details and I want other readers to live themselves the emotions I experienced. What I can tell you is that each story is as touching and compelling as the next one. The thread that links them all stories or characters is sacrifice and romance. Children, parents, lovers, life being lived.

These stories are for me like a fragrant flowers bouquet, each flower having its own special color and scent.

If you are short on time, What’s in a Name allows you to read something start to finish, which I love. Great for airplanes or a one hour mental break, beside being just great for personal “escape from the world.”

Thank you for dropping in today.. Sally

Please connect to me on

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sgc58
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sally.cronin

 

Smorgasbord Christmas posts from Your Archives Blogmas 2016 …. A Victorian Christmas by Carol Taylor


Blogmas 2016 …. A Victorian Christmas.

I love Christmas and have many happy memories of Christmas in the past…..I miss Christmas in the Uk… I suppose part of it is that it is not celebrated here so even though some of the larger stores aimed at the expat market do decorate and have a tree…it falls short…. you don’t get the atmosphere and it is the atmosphere which makes everything isn’t it?

The cold, maybe snow, the Carol Concerts, the parties,just a general joyous feeling , christmas is everywhere you look at every twist and turn.

So I have been thinking a lot….dangerous I know…ha ha

About what Christmas would have been like in Victorian Times….Cooking was far more ornate and so were the dresses of the ladies..so beautiful.

…muffled up and carriages to ride in.. it just conjours up a warm feeling of Christmas.

Chestnuts cooked over hot coals on street corners…

Ducks and Geese and lovely fresh local food…There was no refrigeration then just cold larders and I remember my mums and my grand mothers and they were cold but also damp so food didn’t last as long.

But people shopped locally and we are turning the clock back and starting to do that again but it was food in season and locally bought..

Families having fun…I remember waiting for my dad to come home on Christmas Eve just like the children in this photo… All excited to see what goodies he had bought..

.I would love to go back in time and enjoy a Victorian Christmas I think it would fun…Do you????

Thanks to Carol for this lovely post of Christmas Past and we would love to hear your thoughts.

©Carol Taylor 2016.

Carol has chosen a piece of music to go along with her Christmas post this week. Cliff Richard with Mistletoe and Wine

About Carol Taylor

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Connect to Carol

New additional Blog: http://myhealthyretirement.com/welcome-to-orienthailiving-my-first-post/

Phuket Island Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

If you have missed previous posts in the Cook from Scratch series you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-recipes/

I am now looking for archive posts for the festive season.. short stories fiction and non-fiction, food and recipes, humour, memorable Christmas’s etc.  Please send one or two posts to sally.cronin@moyhill.com.. I will be resuming the regular archive series in the New Year.  Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Short Stories -In Remembrance – What’s in a Name? – Walter.


I wrote this story for volume II of What’s in a Name and share it here for the first time. It is estimated that 10 million soldiers from all sides, like my grandfather, did not return from the First World War. This was trebled in the Second World War leading to an estimated total loss of over 40 million young men and women. This number has been increased significantly in all the global conflicts since.

This overwhelming figure does not include the wounded who did return, scarred for life physically and mentally. According to the statistics, despite the best efforts of the veteran assistance organisations, it would seem that we are still not doing all we should for those who have served their countries and returned home.  There are an estimated 10,000 veterans living on the streets in the UK and 50,000 in the US.

There is no reason that I can find to glorify war, but it is important to remember those that served and gave their lives, and those who returned but carry the weight of that service their entire lives. We also need to spare a thought for the millions of families who lost loved ones, are still uncertain of their fate, or who have watched as those who returned, struggle to return to their previous lives.

Walter by Sally Cronin

Somebody mentioned that they had heard that his name was Walter. He was a funny old duck who said little, giving you a discouraging look if you passed the time of day, or suggested sitting with him in the pub. He would nurse his pint of beer, the only one he would have for the two hours he visited The Crown each Friday, and he spent that time staring at the door as if waiting for someone he knew.

With his scruffy appearance and lack of hygiene it was difficult to determine Walter’s age. Some said he was in his 80s but others thought he might be even older than that. He didn’t bother anyone, although the landlord would have liked a little more custom from him over the two hours. However it would not be good for business to be seen ejecting a frail old man; despite his musty odour. That was until he ambled in one day with his stick in one hand and a filthy mongrel on a lead in the other.

Bill, who had run The Crown for twenty years, didn’t have a problem with dogs coming into the public bar, but this one felt the need to cock his leg against the first table leg he came across; marking his territory. Diplomacy was required, and being the summer months, Bill suggested that Walter and his new companion take their business outside to the beer garden, where there was a very nice table facing the back door to the pub.

Walter gave Bill one of his looks; led the scruffy mongrel outside and parked himself; indicating that he required his usual pint to be brought to him. Resigned but happy that this matter had been resolved peacefully, Bill brought out the pint and commented that it was on the house. He received a curt nod in return and shaking his head in exasperation he returned to the bar where his staff were mopping up the offending yellow puddle with some bleach.

Bill was a good man and he made enquiries of other locals as to where Walter lived, and if they knew of his circumstances. It was thought that he rented a small terrace house two streets over, and some commented that they had seen him in the corner shop and post office from time to time, collecting his pension and buying a few staples such as bread and jam.

Thankfully the weather was dry for the next few weeks and Walter and his new friend would now enter the beer garden from the side; sitting at their table waiting for the requisite pint to be delivered. The old man would carefully count out some silver and copper coins to the exact amount of the pint to indicate that he was intent on not accepting it for free.

Bill noticed a slight difference in Walter’s appearance, and in fact the dog looked a little more nourished and cleaner than during his first visits. He wondered who was having a good influence over whom in this partnership; suspecting the dog was responsible. The pub had a thriving food business and there were always scraps left after lunch. Bill began taking out a bowl of these bits of meat and vegetables; putting them down under the table much to the delight of the dog who dived right in. Walter said nothing but he did offer a brief nod before Bill returned inside to the bar.

The weather began to turn into autumn and Bill knew that it was going to start getting too cold for the old man to sit outside. And sure enough the following Friday Walter walked into the bar with his dog and sat down at his usual table. This time the dog behaved itself and lay down by his owner’s feet. By now there had been a marked improvement in the scruffiness of both man and beast and Bill resigned himself to their presence in the bar. He smiled to himself as he pulled the pint of beer, thinking that the old boy was to be admired for his tenacity and spirit.

Regulars to the bar began stopping to talk to the dog who responded politely whilst leaning back against Walter’s legs. Soon patrons were slipping the odd piece of steak or chicken to the animal who took the offered titbit daintily, licking the proffered fingers. Although Walter had tidied himself up considerably, he still looked too scrawny, and Bill came up with a plan. As Walter was getting up to leave he handed him a carrier bag with some cartons inside.

‘Something for the old dog over the weekend Walter,’ he smiled at the stony face in front of him. ‘Just some leftovers from lunch that will only go to waste.’

With a quick nod, Walter took the bag and with the dog eagerly nosing the plastic, they walked out the door and into the wintery weather.

On the following Friday, Bill’s mother, a spritely 85 year old arrived for her annual two weekly visit. Ethel had left the town some twenty years ago to live with her sister in Margate, but she loved coming back to the pub she and her husband had run for 40 years; taking it over from her parents when they retired. The place held happy memories and apart from Bill, she had brought up four other children in the small flat above the bar. They were all dispersed around the country, but they would all take the opportunity to visit whilst she was here to have a family party.

Ethel had been born in the main bedroom upstairs along with a twin brother. He had not wanted to stay in the town or follow his father into the family business. He had chosen to leave instead. Joining the army in 1952 and being deployed to Korea shortly afterwards. As she sat on the edge of the bed in that same bedroom, she ran her fingers over the black and white photograph of the two of them sitting at a table in the back garden. Her brother Donald had a pint in front of him and his arms around her shoulders. They were laughing and playing around for the camera, a gift to their father for his birthday. That was the last time she had seen Donald. They had a few letters during the next year but they revealed little but basic daily life in the army. After the war ended in 1953 they waited to hear about his next leave but nothing arrived.

Eventually Ethel’s father contacted his regiment only to discover that Donald had received a medical discharge three months before and that they had no forwarding address.

The family had searched for him everywhere and even got a private detective involved. Eventually, after two years, they found out that he had immigrated to Australia where all efforts to find him proved futile. It broke their hearts and they spent the rest of their lives wondering what had happened to him.

Ethel sighed as she remembered those tough days. Of course so much more was known about PTSD these days, and the doctors she had spoken to felt that was probably the reason for him shunning his family. Sorrowfully she placed the photograph back on the dresser and prepared to go and greet some of the old regulars who were coming in to join her in a drink.

Sure enough, when she arrived in the bar, there was a warm welcome from her old friends. Bill looked on smiling as he saw his mother embracing the people she had grown up with and served for all those years. The door opened and in walked Walter and his dog, clearly unsettled by the crowd of people gathered in their path and the noisy celebrations going on.

He looked like he was about to turn around and leave, but Bill knew that both he and the dog would probably go hungry over the weekend without their normal leftovers. He stepped out from behind the bar and circled around the group greeting his mother; clearing the path to Walter’s usual table. Hesitantly the man and dog navigated their way across the room and sat down warily; the dog leaning protectively against his companion’s leg.

At that moment the crowd parted and Bill saw his mother smiling across at the three of them. Then she grabbed the arm of one of the people next to her and looked as if she was about to faint. Bill rushed across and grabbed a bar stool for her to sit on.

‘Mum, whatever’s the matter, don’t you feel well?’ He put his arm around Ethel’s shoulders, but she pushed him gently away and pointed across the bar.

‘That’s Walter and his dog Mum, you don’t know him. He has only been coming in for the last few months.’ He followed Ethel’s gaze and was amazed to see Walter on his feet, tears pouring down his face into his newly trimmed beard.

As the crowd of people moved back, the old man with his dog at his side, walked slowly across the carpet to stand before Bill and his mother.

‘I came to see you but you had gone and I thought you were dead.’ The regulars looked at each other in astonishment at the first complete sentence they had heard from Walter.

Ethel moved away from the protective arms of her son, and reaching out a trembling hand, she gently touched the front of Walter’s wrinkled jacket.

‘Oh Donald, you have come home love, you have come home.’

©SallyCronin 2017.

Thank you for dropping in today and wherever you live there will be veterans who need a helping hand. There are a number of excellent organisations who are there to support them and it would be great if you would buy a poppy or contribute money and importantly time to help them.

Some useful links.

Veterans UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/veterans-uk

Veteran Assistance organisations: http://www.veterans-assist.org/home/veterans-organisations

British Legion: http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/

Smorgasbord Reblog – Guest Interview over on South Branch Scribbler with Allan Hudson


I was delighted to be the guest of Allan Hudson this week on his blog The South Branch Scribbler.. To catch up with all the fibs and revelations please head over and read the full interview.

Thank you very much for your invitation to be interviewed Allan, and for the great questions. Delighted to be featured here with so many of my favourite authors.

I have been a storyteller most of my life (my mother called them fibs!). Poetry, song lyrics and short stories were left behind when work and life intruded, but that all changed in 1996. My first book Size Matters was a health and weight loss book based on my own experiences of losing 70kilo. I have written another ten books since then on health and also fiction including three collections of short stories. I am an indie author and proud to be one. My greatest pleasure comes from those readers who enjoy my take on health, characters and twisted endings… and of course come back for more.

4Q: Before we talk about writing, it is without question that you are one of the most generous authors I’ve met online when it comes to promoting other artists and writers. Is there a reason for that?

SC: Thank you for the compliment Allan, and there is an important reason behind my commitment to sharing the work of others. When I was first starting out twenty years ago as a writer, it was a very different story when it came to marketing Indie books. Without the Internet it was a question of sending letter after letter to the media both local and national, and it was very difficult to get any kind of response. I was very lucky to get the press coverage that I did; but I look back at that time as being very stressful and disheartening.

The world of publishing has changed considerably, particularly in the last decade. The opportunities to publish books are varied and improving all the time. However, this has resulted in millions of titles hitting the online book shelves each year. In many ways this is fantastic, but it has created exactly the same problem for authors as I faced twenty years ago; getting books in front of potential readers.

The numbers are overwhelming, but I firmly believe that instead of trying to make a difference to everyone, you start by making a difference to a few. At the moment I promote around 25 authors a week in various promotional posts, sharing them on my blog and with social media followers. I have spent the last four years building those platforms to an effective level to promote my own books, and it makes sense to me to use them to give other authors a boost at the same time.

The community of online bloggers and authors is without a doubt a very generous one; their reciprocation on their platforms is very much appreciated. Without massive budgets for advertising and promotion, it is probably the most effective form of marketing for the majority of authors.

Please head over and read the full interview: http://allanhudson.blogspot.ie/2017/11/guest-author-sally-cronin-of-uk.html

About Allan Hudson

I live by Cocagne Bay in Eastern Canada where the summers are hot by the seaside and the snow is deep in the winter. I married the greatest gal on earth, Gloria, and have a wonderful son Adam, two great stepsons Mark (Nathalie) and Chris (Mireille)Young. Three grandchildren Matthieu, Natasha and Damian.

I love reading. My mother was my school teacher and taught me to read and write when I was young. I’m thankful for that. I’m a carpenter, woodworker, aspiring author and I sell jewellery for a living at Peoples Jewellers.

I love jazz music and am a HUGE fan of JJ Cale.

I have a wonderful life. I hope that you will read my debut novel – The Dark Side of a Promise. I trust you will enjoy it and if so please tell someone.

Allan’s latest book has just been released – Wall of War: A Drake Alexander Adventure Book Two.

About the book

Deep in the wilderness of the Peruvian Andes lies a monument hidden for centuries. Who were the builders? Why was it abandoned? What secrets will it reveal?

In 1953, an amateur rock climber makes a startling discovery. He decides to report his findings as soon as he returns from climbing the mountain. It will take another fifty years before anyone reads his findings.

In 2004 when Drake Alexander hears of the strange discovery, he and those dear to him are plunged into a nightmare of avarice, impairment and death. Using his skills as an ex-soldier, can he and his accomplices save his tormented friends from the raiders that thirst for the secret lying within the mountains?

Available: https://www.amazon.com/Wall-Drake-Alexander-Adventures-Book-ebook/dp/B0776L5XYQ

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wall-Drake-Alexander-Adventures-Book-ebook/dp/B0776L5XYQ

Also by Allan Hudson

A review for book one of the Drake Alexander books – Dark Side Promise

This is a complicated and complex novel. The prologue sets the scene and conflict initially, but there’s a lot of back story that has to be told to connect all the players. And there are many! The author shows good insight into the main characters psyche, motivations, description of inner thinking, etc. The action scenes are well done.

Most of the story is written in present tense, not necessarily a favorite for me, but it does bring the reader a more immediate connection with the story. After the first few chapters, I was fine with it. There’s tons of intrigue, clandestine meetings, death, murder, exotic and unusual settings. All the qualities that come with a well crafted novel. And a unique writing style. Well done, and well worth the read.

Find all the books: https://www.amazon.com/Allan-Hudson/e/B00HP8FSEI

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Allan-Hudson/e/B00HP8FSEI

Read more reviews and follow Allan on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7738610.Allan_Hudson

Connect to Allan

Website: http://www.southbranchscribbler.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/hudson_allan
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/southbranchscribbler/
Google + : https://plus.google.com/+allanhudson1953

Look out for posts from Allan’s archives later in November.