Smorgasbord Afternoon Video – If you love baby elephants prepare to be distracted.


This is wonderful.. a little longer than usual but worth every minute.. what a great place.

Thanks to deanstormbird

Sunday Book Review – The Ultimate #Vegan Mug Cake – Zoe Hazan


D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies​ with her Sunday Book Review.. this week The Vegan Cup Cake cookbook with cakes ready in under five minutes.. who could resist a treat like that… for #Vegans and #Vegetarians… but even those who are not would find hard to resist.

The Sunday Book Review features The Ultimate #Vegan Mug Cakes Cookbook – #healthy desserts in 3 minutes!

The Ultimate Vegan Mug Cake Cookbook: Quick, Easy & Unbelievably Delicious |  Warm, Gooey & Irresistible Desserts In Under 5 Minutes! by [Hazan, Zoe]

Source: Sunday Book Review – The Ultimate #Vegan Mug Cake – Zoe Hazan

Friday Review Share


Just an Odd Job Girl gets the royal treatment over at Stevie Turner as part of the Friday Review Share and if you have read and reviewed a book recently you can share in the comments.. a great place to showcase them… thanks again Stevie.

Stevie Turner

Today it’s the turn of Friday Review Share in order to support Indie authors.  Please leave a link to a review you’ve written on Amazon or Goodreads for an Indie book which is not your own.  Just a link to the review is enough and the review itself if you like, because let’s face it, if people are interested in the book it’ll be easy to seek it out!

I’ll start the ball rolling with my review of Sally Cronin’s ‘Just an Odd Job Girl‘, which I found quite delightfully entertaining, with many laugh-out-loud moments.

Amazon Blurb:

At 50 Imogen had been married for over 20 years, and was living in a big house, with money to spare. Suddenly she is traded-in for a younger model, a Fast-Tracker.
Devastated, she hides away and indulges in binge eating. But then, when hope is almost gone, she meets a new…

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – January 19th – 25th 2020 – Music, Food, Guests and Humour – Enjoy the Party.


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

I hope that everyone is doing well, the week has flown by as usual and suddenly, or so it seems to me, we are at the end of January. The good news is that spring is around the corner.

A couple of reminders.

If you have a new book release coming out in February please let me know. If you are already an author in the Cafe and Bookstore I just need the date.

If you are new to the Cafe.. then details are in this post. It is FREE: Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore

The Cafe and Bookstore is in the process of a makeover with new links being added and shortcuts to buy links and blogs. Sorry for the mixed look at the moment but working through it over the next few weeks.

My thanks as always to my contributors and guests who bring such great content to the blog each week, and of course to you for dropping and supporting, by liking, commenting and sharing…

William Price King with Charles Mingus – 1922- 1979

Two more stories from the collection.

Grace – The Gift

Hannah – Finding a Way to Move Forward

This week in Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 161 we are treated to a photo prompt selected by Willow Willers which is stunning.

Mirror Cinquain Ritual of Mehndi by Sally Cronin

My review for A Sweet Smell of Strawberries by Mary Crowley

D.Wallace Peach treats us to a therapeutic shampoo with special powers…

Image Pixabay combo

Short Story Clarifying Shampoo by D.Wallace Peach

Jacqui Murray shares some strategies to survive the work in  progress.

12 Survival Tips for Writers by Jacqui Murray

Richard Dee does not just create other worlds in his scifi books, but also does some nifty creating in the kitchen… peanut cookies..

Author Richard Dee showcases his skill in the kitchen.

Short Story Ghosts in the attic by Darlene Foster

Is the editor you hired actually doing the editing by D.G. Kaye

Memoir – Into Africa with 3 kids, 13 crates and a husband by Ann Patras

Non-Fiction – Speak Flapper: Slang of the 1920s by Teagan Geneviene

Mystery – The Charli McClung Mysteries book 6 – How Deep in the Darkness

Short Story The Shirt by Richard Dee

Flash Sarah Brentyn, Family Claire Fullerton, 1920s Elizabeth Gauffreau

WritingProse Harmony Kent, Fantasy Jack Eason,Thriller Allan Hudson

Recycling Carol Taylor, Alien Beetley Pete, Q&A D.G. Kaye with Jane Sturgeon

Blog award Karen Ingalls, Bletchley Park Mike Biles, Author Spotlight James J. Cudney with Zach Abrams

Interviews Kellie Butler with Judith Barrow, Jo Lambert with Jane Risdon, Dogs by Debbie the Dog Lady

Interview Book Club Mom with Ritu Bhathal, Mae Clair with Victoria Zigler, Afghanistan with Mary Smith

Books for Life Patricia Furstenberg, Fantasy Free Aurora Jean Alexander, What does your ring finger length mean by Jim Borden

Research is indicating that as well as possible liver damage resulting from taking too many paracetamol, it might also be impacting the way we relate to others.

Concerns are raised regarding Paracetamol and mental wellbeing

This week’s shopping list by nutrient is part three with the minerals Calcium to Manganese

Grocery Shopping by Nutrient Part Three Calcium to Manganese

More funnies from Debby and new jokes from Sally

Debby Gies with more funnies and guest poet Ann Patras

Thank you very much for dropping in today and I hope you will join me again next week.. thanks Sally

Meet poet and writer, Sally Cronin, and a review of her latest book


I am delighted to be featured today in the first of a new series Treasuring Poetry on Writing to be Read (Kaye Lynne Booth)interviewed by Robbie Cheadle…A wonderful opportunity to share the poems that I love to read, and delighted that Robbie has also shared her recent review of Life’s Rich Tapestry.. and if you would like to know the two poems I chose…please head over to find out…

Writing to be Read

thumbnail_Treasuring PoetryImage preview

Today is the start of a new poetry appreciation series here on Writing to be Read where I will be introducing you to a number of wonderful poets in our blogging community, discussing well known poets and their poetry and reviewing poetry books. I hope you will participate in the discussions and enjoy meeting and greeting the poets, both new and known to you, and discovering new books of poetry.

My first guest is accomplished poet and writer, Sally Cronin, of Smorgasbord Blog Magazine blog. Sally has recently published a new book of poetry, 99-word flash fiction and short stories called, Life’s Rich Tapestry: Woven in words which I have reviewed below. Before we get there, however, Sally is going to share her thoughts about her favourite poem, The Law of the Jungle by Rudyard Kipling. 

Over to Sally

What is your favourite poem?

That is an extremely tough question…

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Smorgasbord Book Reviews – #Family #Drama A Sweet Smell of Strawberries by Mary Crowley


My review this week is for Mary Crowley for A Sweet Smell of Strawberries, her first novel, which is a wonderful read, set on the west coast of Ireland.

About the book

Imagine, a warm summer’s morning with the Sweet Smell of Strawberries wafting through the air, tantalising your senses….

For Sarah Connolly, this invokes beautiful memories of her son Jack. A talented athlete destined to represent Ireland in the Olympics and loved by everyone who knew him. While out training early one morning, the sixteen-year-old was killed when Desmond Shanahan lost control of his car. Jack’s death crushing Sarah, as her only child, he was the very essence of her life.

Losing a child in tragic circumstances, leaves a bitter taste in your mouth, a sense of unjust…..

Now, five years after the tragedy, Desmond’s early release from prison leaves Sarah feeling let down by the justice system and she makes sure he knows this. Even if it means losing friends in her quest to remind the close community of Kilmer Cove, of Desmond’s guilt. What Sarah fails to realise is nothing will bring back her son.

However, Sarah is not alone in her angst over Desmond’s release, and a web of lies soon becomes untangled over the events which lead to Jack Connolly’s death.

Can Sarah find it in her heart to forgive Desmond?

A Sweet Smell of Strawberries takes in a beautiful Irish setting along the coastline of Donegal and The Wild Altlantic way. A story of love, heartache and retribution which makes you realise no one is perfect!

My review for the book

Wow, if this is a debut novel then we can only look forward to other books by this author to come. In fact I already have her next book lined up to be read soon.

Apart from being set in one of the most beautiful parts of Ireland on the dramatic coast of Donegal, the characters and the intertwined plots are both dramatic and well plotted.

One of the problems of living in a small community is that everybody is into your business. Tough to keep secrets, even when they are well intentioned. The family at the heart of the story is close knit, apart from one sister who is harbouring deep resentments, which threatens to impact their lives. Hard working and creatively the Connollys are adapting and developing ways to keep their father’s land and legacy thriving, but underlying this is the grief and anger over the loss of Jack, Sarah’s son.

Other players in the drama are connected back to this loss and as the story evolves betrayals, secrets and violence behind locked doors culminate in shocking discoveries.

I can recommend A Sweet Smell of Strawberries as a family drama and mystery that engages you from the first pages to the end. Well crafted characters and plot and an excellent read.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK

Also by Mary Crowley

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And on : Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Mary on: Goodreads

About Mary Crowley

Mary Crowley is a Contemporary Irish Literature Novelist and Freelance Writer. Author of Under a Dark Cloud and A Sweet Smell of Strawberries, she is also the winner of The Waterford Writers’ Weekend Short Story Competition (2016) with her story entitled The Three Sisters’. Mary’s work focusses on strong emotional relationships, adding humour, hope and most of all heart.

Mary lives in County Waterford, on the South East Coast of Ireland, with her husband and three children. Having worked for many years as a qualified dental nurse, and dental health educator whilst bringing up her family. She is now concentrating on her love of writing. She has had stories published in Writing.ie, one of which was inspired by her literary heroine Maeve Binchy. Several short fiction pieces published in Flash Fiction Magazine, along with articles in Woman’s Way, the Irish Times and local newspaper The Munster Express. Having studied courses in creative writing and journalism, she is currently working on several writing projects along with doing freelance writing.

When she is not writing, she loves reading and spending time with her husband John and their three children Damon, Steven and Katie, though they are growing up too quickly. Her most favoured way of family time is travelling to new and interesting places in her beloved VW Camper.

Connect to Mary

Blog/Website: Mary Crowley WordPress
Facebook: Author Mary Crowley
Twitter: @Marycrowleym

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to read the reviews and buy Mary’s books.. thanks Sally.

 

 

 

3 Great Reads from Indie Authors!


Jacqui Murray with three Indie authors she recommends.. and yes I am one of them, which makes me very honoured and proud to shout about… delighted to share the post with Robbie Cheadle and Sandra Cox… thanks Jacqui

WordDreams...

Here are three more great Indie-authored books you won’t want to miss:

  1. Life’s Rich Tapestry — thoughts on life and living, delivered beautifully in varied writing styles
  2. Through the Nethergate–a young girl who has just lost her parents finds she can see ghosts–and they need her help
  3. Montana Shootists–a time-travel western that will surprise you
–a note about my reviews: I only review books I enjoyed. I need to be inspired to write. That’s why so many of my reviews are 4/5 or 5/5

Life’s Rich Tapestry

by Sally Cronin
5/5

In her latest excellent mixed-media book, Life’s Rich Tapestry (2019), Sally Cronin delivers a wide and varied collection of writing styles and themes, all with the goal of enriching the tapestry of the reader’s life. She covers nature, humanity, faeries, remembering, pets, and more in varied writing styles including Haiku, Tanka, Etheree, Cinquain, 99 word fiction, short…

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January 22: Flash Fiction Challenge


Time for the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction prompt from Charli Mills and this week apart from another wonderful post on writing and imagination, Charli has provided a gif to use to spark our own creative thoughts… head over to read and to participate.

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Same window, different image. Downtown Houghton gathers Tech grad students, professors, locals, sledders, and window apparitions. I settled into my Wednesday spot and wondered if I’d see my three Italian sisters in mourning across the street. I didn’t. I saw a row of miners as if sitting on a bench, wearing blue overalls. I never really thought about what copper miners wore. They could have been futuristic astronauts or ancient argonauts. I can’t say I was prepared to see a different image from the one I saw last time I peered across the nighttime street into the darkened window of a closed business.

I thought about ignoring it. We do that with what disturbs us — put the blinders on and pay it no heed. It’s how the chronic homeless on the streets slip into oblivion before our eyes. They become the unseen. It’s not our pain we fear but…

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Smorgasbord Health Column – Weekly Grocery Shopping List by #Nutrient – Part Three – Calcium to Manganese


Last week I posted  Part Two of this alternative shopping list by nutrient, as well as types of vitamins, water or fat soluble, and a basic list of essential nutrients the body needs to be healthy. At the end of the the posts, I will collate the foods into nutritional groups so that you can print off and refer to when doing your weekly shop.

I believe in eating, and eating all food groups, just moderating the amount that you eat based on your requirements. Your body knows how to process fresh food, raw and cooked from scratch. It is not designed to extract nutrients from manufactured foods which includes the majority that come in a packet, jar or can.

With that in mind here is part three of a shopping list that your body might write if it was capable. It does try to tell you that it is missing elements that it needs which is when you are sick.

Last year we ran a series on nutrients and the symptoms of deficiency.. and Carol Taylor provided very tasty recipes using ingredients to make sure you don’t lack certain vital vitamins and minerals. Cook from Scratch to avoid Nutritional Deficiency with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor

Minerals the body needs and the foods you should add to your shopping list.

Calcium: The most abundant and essential mineral in the body. There are approximately two to three pounds mainly found in the teeth and bones. Apart from its role in the formation of teeth and bones it is also required for blood clotting, transmission of signals in nerve cells and muscle contractions. There is some indication that higher calcium intake protects against cardiovascular disease particularly in women. If you are at risk of kidney stones consult your doctor before taking in additional calcium supplements. This also applies if you are suffering from prostate cancer where there may be a link between increased levels of dietary calcium in dairy products and this form of cancer. It is thought it is thought that excess calcium causes lower levels of Vitamin D, which helps protect against prostate cancer.

The best dietary sources of calcium milk, cheese and butter, goats milk, sardines canned salmon with the bones, green leafy vegetables, spinach, watercress (more calcium than milk) tofu.

Chromium is an essential trace mineral that helps the body maintain normal blood sugar levels. A deficiency of the mineral can lead to diabetes and this is where the primary research into this mineral has been directed. It may help increase the healthy cholesterol in the blood (HDL) and is necessary for fatty acid and protein metabolism

Chromium first and foremost is a component of the ‘glucose tolerance factor’ which is required for maintaining a normal blood glucose balance. Chromium works with insulin to ease the absorption of blood glucose into the cells and it may also play a part in other activities that involve insulin such as the metabolism of fats and proteins. Find out more:

Best sources of chromium broccoli and other dark green leafy vegetables, romaine lettuce, onions, tomatoes, wholegrains, potatoes, oysters and other seafood, liver, cheese, chicken, turkey, beef and lamb also contain good amounts.

COPPER: Copper is an essential trace element needed to absorb and utilise Iron. It is needed to make ATP and is also to synthesise some hormones and blood cells. Collagen needs copper, as does the enzyme tyrosinase, which plays a role in the production of skin pigment. Too much copper in the diet can depress levels of zinc and effect wound healing.

Best sources are seafood like oysters, cashews and other nuts, cherries, cereals, potatoes, cherries, vegetables and most organ meats.

Iodine: Iodine is a trace mineral that is needed to make thyroid hormones that maintain metabolism in all the cells of the body. It is rare to be deficient in the western world but the key time to ensure that iodine levels are maintained is during pregnancy as deficiency of the mineral has been linked to miscarriages and premature births and congenital abnormalities. Children whose mothers were deficient in iodine can develop growth and mental issues and hearing loss. A moderate deficiency has also been linked to ADHD.

Best sources are in seafood, iodised salt and sea vegetables such as samphire. Also in fish such as cod, mackerel and haddock, eggs, live yoghurt and strawberries

Iron: The main function of iron is in haemoglobin, which is the oxygen-carrying component of blood. When someone is iron deficient they suffer extreme fatigue because they are being starved of oxygen. Iron is also part of myoglobin which helps muscle cells store oxygen and it is also essential for the formation of ATP.

Dietary iron is found in two forms, haem iron and non-haem iron. (Heme in US). Haem iron, which is the most absorbable, is found only in animal flesh as it is taken from the haemoglobin and myoglobin in animal tissue. Non-haem iron is found in plant foods.

Best food sources for haem iron are shellfish such as cockles and mussels, liver, meat, poultry and fish.  And for non-haem plant based sources whole grains and fortifed cereals, watercress, spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, legumes, Sweet Potatoes tofu, pumpkin seeds, and tofu. Strawberries, tomatoes,watermelon, prunes and dried apricots.

Magnesium is essential mineral needed for bone, protein and fatty acid formation, forming new cells, activating the B vitamins, relaxing muscles, clotting blood and forming ATP the fuel the body runs on. The secretion and action of insulin also needs magnesium. It is needed to balance calcium in the body and too much can result in very low levels of calcium.

The best food sources are whole grains, beans, seeds, wheat germ, dried apricots, dark green vegetables, soybeans and fish.

Manganese is needed for healthy skin, bone and cartilage formation as well as glucose tolerance. Also forms part of the antioxidant superoxide dismutase, which helps prevent free radical damage.Only needed in small amounts but is essential for brain health (it may help prevent strokes), may prevent health issues associated with free radical damage such as heart disease and arthritis.

Best food sources are nuts, seeds, wholegrains, leafy green vegetables, tea and pineapple.

Next time more minerals we need to be healthy and Amino Acids and Essential Fatty Acids you should include in your shopping list- and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. Thanks Sally.

©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2020

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty- two years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines and posts here on Smorgasbord.

If you would like to browse my health books and fiction you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019-2020/