Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Winter Wonderland Finally by Aurora Jean Alexander

It is actually nearly four weeks since Christmas but this poem from Aurora Jean Alexander from this time last year is very topical for many of you.

Picture courtesy of:

Picture courtesy of:

Winter Wonderland Finally by Aurora Jean Alexander

It was Christmas, three weeks ago,
the grass was green, there was no snow.
The skies were blue, it was too warm
Green Christmas? Here? This needs alarm.
New Year came -no flakes in sight
The sun had fun, the sky was bright.
But unexpected, it took us off guard
we woke up to a white yard.
Even though it’s freezing cold
I still will say – and I am bold
Sometimes I like the soft white mass
It can be fun – and it’s got class.
Snowy bushes and white trees
are surrounding the lake that will go freeze.
In such a time I love a forest walk
watch the squirrel, the deer, the owl and hawk.
Each snowflake is unique in art
a piece of glass and a piece of heart.
A fleeting existence and still so real
a wonder of nature, that’s how I feel.
On rare days I see romance be built
by the tiniest crystals, and still, there’s no guilt,
knowing that the picture is soon to be gone
We know it’ll be back, will soon be re-drawn.
Enjoy the little miracle that’s natures gift
when everything changes, from old to new shift.
Life circles, we know it, and it shows us first hand
This short lived but beautiful Winter Wonderland.

(Copyright, and all pictures Aurora Jean Alexander, January 2017)

About Aurora Jean Alexander


I’m a new author working on my first paranormal romance. I have written short stories and poetry in the past and now am looking to try my hand at a full-length novel.

My rare free time I’m spending in extreme reading, excessive pool swimming and playing monster-monopoly. My strongest support system are my sister, my family and my three cats.

Connect to Aurora Jean

Facebook Author Page:

Thanks to Aurora Jean for sharing this lovely poem and I know she would love your feedback. Thanks Sally


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.

William Price King with music for Christmas

William finishes his Christmas series with What are you Doing New Year’s 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.


Thomas the Rhymer Paul Andruss


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.




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

New Series for 2018

Personal Stuff

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 – Happy New Year – Soar Like and Eagle – Image Tofino Photography – #Haiku Sally Cronin

My thanks again to Wayne Barnes of Tofino Photography for allowing me to use one of his amazing images for my haiku.

Happy New Year – Soar Like an Eagle in 2018

©Image Tofino Photography.

About Wayne and Tofino Photography.

Tofino Photography captures the life in the small west coast village of Tofino, British Columbia, Canada through wildlife, landscape and seascape photos.
– I am interested in the surrounding local flora/fauna and try to get out in my boat as often as I can. I started my photography after taking a one year course in my home town in 1973. I use my Darkroom to do my own films and prints and shoot digitally as well.
I like to stay in the background and let my pictures speak for me. They do a much better job !

If you do not already follow Tofino Photography then head over and be amazed.

This is just the directory for the Tofino Eagles… there are also bears, seals and othe wildlife, as well as stunning shots of the breathtaking scenery.

Thank you for dropping by today.. your feedback is always welcome. 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.

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



Christmas New Author on the Shelves

Christmas Book Fair specials

A selection of my books….

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


Christmas Book Fair

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

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

Christmas Posts from Your Archives


Some personal stuff







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 – New Author on shelves for Christmas – Poetry – Chicken Shift by D. Avery

I am delighted to welcome poet D. Avery to the bookstore in time for Christmas with her two poetry collections beginning with Chicken Shift

About Chicken Shift

Poems of life; Crossings & Roadkill; fun, philosophical inquiries into why the chicken crossed the road and the consequences therefrom. Short witty, multi-layered poems. Thought and laugh provoking

The most recent review for the collection

This book of poetry, inspired by the riddle “Why did the chicken cross the road?”, is a delightful collection of humorous philosophy or philosophical humour. You choose. Whichever way you read it, and in whatever order, its combination of light humour and deep thought provides hours of engaging reading. That D. Avery can write so many poems starting from the inane childish riddle is amazing. Each poem is different and provides another intriguing way of looking at life and contemplating its big questions. Why did the chicken cross the road? Read this book to consider the possibilities.

Read the other reviews and buy the collection:

and Amazon UK:

About For the Girls

Humorously serious poetic reflections on breast cancer. Complete with fears and hopes, losses and learnings. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed, or have lost someone to cancer, read this book. It’s for the girls. Buy it for your friends.

One of the reviews for the collection

Read it. Give it to a friend featured on on October 23, 2016 Reviewed by Pat Jones
I read every word of this book–For the Girls–and then I read it again. From the title, which is very clever, to the scrabble tiles, which work symbolically, it is a beautifully crafted book. Even the back cover is great with the hospital gown and the ties in a heart. It is funny, poignant, witty, wise, and full of humor and pathos. I think it should probably be required reading for every woman diagnosed with breast cancer. It should be in doctor’s waiting rooms and hospitals.
I loved all the poems but the ones I loved best were “Knockers”–serious and funny–a very bad knock-knock joke. Despite the wit and humor, it is clear that this is a serious poet. The second poem–“name game”–is clever. It is characterized black humor, but it also a serious consideration of the power of language to define and to name and by naming call it into being. After all creation, according to the Bible, is about the word and it is the word that creates. Nothing unsophisticated about this book. I also love “landings”–two kinds of time–before and after. Powerfully true and so frightening. Everything can change in a second.
“Dream Change”–my very favorite, I think. I love it–in any context. I am going to give it to a boy I know who has, I think, forgotten how to dream. I also like the section on women–collective women and individual women. Jeannie who graduated chemo and radiation, others who graduated in the final ceremony. My friend Bev died at 36 leaving behind two sons. Some women who endure–everywhere–some in silence, some giving it voice, and some falling apart. “That Girl”–perhaps a poem for every girl–no matter what. And, maybe best of all, the hour glasses “letting go”–“letting God”–the perfect poem to end with. Buy this book. Read it. Give it to a friend.

Read the reviews and buy the collection:

And Amazon UK:

About D.Avery

D. Avery (196?-20??) has long been a compulsive poet. Despite a very important day job educating public school children, she is often distracted by this compulsion, as well as by life’s great questions, such as “Kayak, or bike?”. Though she has come to realize that nothing difficult is ever easy, she believes that it’s all good.

From the author

I live on an island off the coast of Massachusetts with a husband and a cat. I am a teacher of middle school mathematics. I enjoy kayaking, yard-saling and reading. I sometimes write. People sometimes read what I write. ShiftnShake is a place for you to read some of my writing.

Connect to D. Avery

Amazon Author Page:

Thanks for dropping in today and these two collections look like they would make gifts for lovers of witty poetry. Thanks Sally

If you are a new author to the bookstore or have published a book since November 1st 2017 please get in touch.