Smorgasbord Round Up – Dame Shirley Bassey, Easter Treats, Music Memories

Welcome to the round up and a Happy Easter Sunday. Easter for me holds a special significance as my father died on Good Friday 21 years ago. Although the date moves every year it is Good Friday when I think of him although not in religious terms as he was not a man who went to church. He had a very strict religious childhood but I believe he saw too much during the war to sustain his faith. For some people experiences that bring you close to death will turn towards God for others it can erode their beliefs.

He might have been a tad old fashioned as far as this wild child of the 1960s was concerned, but he was honest, fair, hard-working, took care of his family, tried to keep us on the straight and narrow (tough one that), told slightly smutty jokes and loved Morecombe and Wise, The Two Ronnies, Shirley Bassey, steamed treacle puddings, experimenting in the kitchen.

It is hard to believe that he has been gone 21 years and would now be 101. Of course it is not only at Easter that I think of him. He was a pudding man and everytime we are out for a meal and have a particularly good dessert I will think to myself ‘Eric would have liked this one.’  I hope that wherever he is that they serve good puds.

Anyway enough of the reminisces – time to get on with this week’s posts and as always my thanks to everyone who has contributed in any way. My blog is a collaborative effort and liking, sharing and commenting is a huge part of that. Thank you.

William Price King Meets Dame Shirley Bassey

The start of the new series and this time a powerhouse of a voice and a woman who significant challenges to overcome to become the worldwide star she is today. Dame Shirley Bassey has elegantly wowed generations of fans and in this first post William Price King explores her early years.

The Colour of Life by Geoff Cronin

Two more chapters from my father-in-law’s memoir set in Waterford Ireland from the 1930s through to the 1940s.

Guest Post Robbie Cheadle – recipe for Lemon Flavoured Cake and Homemade Lemon Curd.

Short Stories for Easter.

A story from Geoff Cronin’s second book The Black Bitch and Other Stories which I will be serialising after The Colour of Life.

And one from me…

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Book Reading and Interview

My first guest this week for the book reading was Paul Andruss our very own Writer in Residence.

Thomas the Rhymer Paul Andruss

And the second guest for yesterday’s post was the lovely D.G. Kaye (Debby Gies) non-fiction and memoir author.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore New on the Shelves

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Author Update

Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

A selection of posts from exceptional bloggers..

Five Day Music Challenge – Music that means something.

My thanks to Sue Vincent for nominating me for this challenge.. I certainly had a lot of fun and the tracks brought back some great memories..


Smorgasbord Health 2017


Weekly Image and Thoughts

Harbingers of Spring

Blossoms cluster for safety

From angry March winds.

Hope you are having an amazing Easter.. Thanks for taking the time to pop in… Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update – Annabelle Franklin, Terri Webster Schrandt and William Savage

Welcome to the first of the week’s author updates for writers in the Cafe and Bookstore. If you have a new release, offer on your books or a great review you would like to share please let me know in the comments.

First author in the spotlight today is Annabelle Franklin who has received a wonderful review on Goodreads for her children’s book Gateway to Magic.

About the book

Steven Topcliff loves gaming but doesn’t believe in fairies or magic – until tricky cousin Tracy drags him away from his game console and gets him to press a red button on a mysterious stone they find in the local park. The stone turns out to be a one-way gateway to Fairyland, where nature rules supreme and technology is banned by law.
Lost without his video games, Steven struggles to survive in this scary new world. The inhabitants are dangerous, sometimes deadly. The Land itself is a living being that deals out instant magical punishments to lawbreakers. And the truth about Tracy is terrible indeed. Homesick and horrified, Steven is desperate to escape.
Ignorant of the rules, it’s not long before he breaks them and ends up in the custody of the ruthless Fairy Queen. He learns she’s the living power behind the Land and its creatures, and she has no intention of setting him free. He also suspects she’s not telling him her true reason for keeping him prisoner.
Whatever her game is, Steven isn’t about to play it her way.
His only chance of escape is to magic his own gateway home, so he attempts to build up some psychic muscle. The Queen uses all her guile to distract and torment him, and he lives in dread of being eaten alive by gruesome snake-like monsters that live in her garden; but the biggest block to his concentration is his own lack of faith. He still doesn’t believe it’s possible for a human being to do magic.
Can he believe in himself enough to forge the new gateway? And can he rely on the few friends he’s made to help him outwit the Queen?

Reviewed and awarded five stars by the Happy Meerkat

Steven Topcliff loves nothing more than sitting at home and playing videogames. But when his cousin Tracy visits she entices him to take a trip to the woods and when there she dares him to press a big red button. But what will happen if he presses it, and will he dare to do it?

I can’t believe how much I loved this book! ‘Gateway to Magic’ is an amazing fantasy adventure that reminds me a lot of tales like Alice in Wonderland. Steven’s cousin Tracy is an annoying girl and dares him to press a button which will take him to Fairyland. He doesn’t want to do it but he doesn’t want to appear scared either. The story is told in the third person and is so well imagined, I’m really amazed at how enjoyable this book really was.

It’s not really a spoiler to say that Steven does press the button and ends up in Fairyland. The adventure starts right away when Steven meets a strange character and there’s never a dull moment after that. The tale moves across different locations in Fairyland, the action is quick but you never get confused over where you are despite the fact that there are so many strange and unusual things about Fairyland. Along the way Steven has several adventures, all the while trying to get back home. These adventures are all so well imagined and so interesting that I couldn’t put the book down, constantly trying to see what happened next!

The characters in the story are well thought out, I particularly love Nigel and all the scenes with him. Not only are his circumstances funny but because of what he is, there are constant funny moment throughout the book. Steven’s character is an interesting one that many kids will recognise even though he’s not always that likeable. However I liked the way he developed through the story and it’s something some kids might recognise in themselves too.

I won’t go into any details about the rest of the story but it is really amazing with so much happening and a brilliantly good ending that is very satisfying. I liked the interesting twist of the question at the end. This story really has an amazing and almost ‘Alice in Wonderland’ wacky feel to it. Franklin has done an amazing job of creating a tale and fantasy world that is so, detailed, so different, and yet believable. I actually read and finished this book in one day I was that engrossed.

I’d really recommend this book to any keen readers of fantasy. Though aimed at children some adults with an imaginative mind might enjoy reading this too, I certainly did! It’s a brilliant book from start to finish and made all the more interesting by the videogame element. I can’t wait to read more of this author’s work!

Read the reviews and buy the book:

Also by Annabelle Franklin

Find out more about Annabelle, read the reviews and buy the books:

Connect to Annabelle through her blog:

The next update is for Terri Webster Schrandt and her book Better Blogging with Photography, reviewed by author Tina Frisco.

About the Book

There is truth to the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words. As a blogger, are you weary of constantly hunting for images to illustrate the subject of your blog posts?

Perhaps you are a new blogger struggling to get more readers. Or a seasoned blogger continually seeking inspiration for quality blog posts.
This guidebook is designed to help you utilize your own images on your blog or website.

While free image sites abound, there are limitations to using so-called “free” images. Gone are the days when bloggers can innocently copy and paste an image from the web and paste it into their blog post.

What will you get out of this guide?

In each chapter I give easy but important tips for maximizing the use of images on your blog’s website and within each blog post.

Seven informative chapters walk you through–

  • the importance of using images;
  • the real dangers of using others’ copyrighted images;
  • easy ways to edit your images using free programs and apps;
  • building unending inspiration and content around your own images;
  • attracting readers with images used in quotations, blog link-ups, and other tools;
  • how social media sites link your images, and why you need them;
  • a list of image resources available.

After reading this short guidebook, you will want to grab your smart phone or inexpensive digital camera and start taking photos!

The review and recommended by Tina Frisco

A Gem of a Little Guidebook

If you’re considering using photos on your blog to generate readership/sales, or simply to make your website more attractive and appealing, reading this book will ignite your enthusiasm and give you the tools needed to begin.

Terri Webster Schrandt has condensed her knowledge of photography and blogging into a terrific little resource guide. Better Blogging with Photography outlines how to upload print copies of photos, take and curate photos using a mobile phone or digital camera, and acquire photos from contacts or garner them from the Internet. Included are websites that offer free images, and the author wisely cautions to always check the rights and restrictions for each image. She also describes how to edit your photos and suggests downloadable software that’s either free or at minimal cost. An added perk is the chapter on links and resources.

Schrandt has managed to encapsulate the basics of her subject matter into a 50-page comprehensive guidebook. Whether you’re new to blogging or well-seasoned, Better Blogging with Photography will set you on the right track to enhancing the appearance of your website and increasing your readership. I highly recommend this book.

Read all the reviews and buy the book:

Connect to Terri via her blog:

And the final author update today is for William Savage who has just released This Parody of Death: An Ashmole Foxe Georgian Mystery (The Ashmole Foxe Georgian Mysteries Book 3

About the book

Ashmole Foxe, bookseller and man about town, moves through Georgian Norwich with the ease of a native and the cunning of a born hunter. So when a bellringer is found with his throat cut, who better to find the killer? Yet Foxe soon scents more than murder. Complications come thick and fast. A family torn apart. A group committed to a secret heresy. A son who betrayed his father. And a woman determined to protect her life’s greatest passion — even if that costs one life or more. Fighting through a tangle of lies and deceit going back decades will push Foxe to the limit. By the end, no one will escape unscathed.

The early reviews

I’ve already finished reading William Savage’s latest novel, “This Parody of Death”, and enjoyed it just as much as Ashmole Foxe’s two previous mysteries.

These stories are set in Georgian Norwich, which adds an extra layer of enjoyment for readers who know the city and can imagine (or even recreate!) Foxe’s journeys through its streets, but you don’t have to know the area to appreciate them.

Savage continues to interweave Foxe’s romantic vagaries with his detecting and Mrs Crombie’s character continues to develop.

His Adam Bascom stories, set in Napoleonic North Norfolk, are excellent too.

Fantastic Read! By Lyndsay Hill on 2 April 2017

A great read – as always William brings his characters to life and you feel you know them personally…..his story lines encourage and intrigue and always keep you guessing. I highly recommend this book, especially if you like your crime detective novels!

Buy the book:

Also by William Savage

Find out more about William Savage, read the reviews and buy the books:

Connect to William Savage website:

If you are an author in the Cafe and Bookstore then please let me know if you have a new release, an offer on your books or a great new review.

Smorgasbord Round Up – Irish History 1930s, Marmalade, The Boss and Brilliant Writers

Welcome to the round up and hope that you are enjoying your weekend. As always around here it has been a busy week thank goodness.  Neither of us are good about sitting around doing nothing and that business about idle hands usually means they are reaching for chocolate.

The terrific window guys came around yesterday morning and did a great job in the inside finish you would hardly know they had been here except that we can now see out of the windows without a layer of fog in the middle. Brilliant job and if you live along the East Coast between Waterford and Dublin and need double glazing or a ram proof front door we can highly recommend SK Windows ( )  In fact I will be posting a couple of articles on the subject of doors and windows in the next couple of weeks written by the boss Shane Kavanagh. I had no idea about all the different types of windows and doors and which are the best in relation to energy or security.  So wherever you live you might find useful if you are planning on getting some replacements.

We have started back in the garden now we are having a spell of dry weather.. I use the the Royal We… as David does the back-breaking work and I stand around mostly offering my expert opinion!  I do however help at times with the mind-numbing job of chopping up the smaller twigs to go in the garden recycling bin that we have… thank goodness for Status Quo!  This week we are going off to the garden centre to find the fillings for some large planters and that I am looking forward to. I love buying all the ingredients and putting them together in a riot of colour.

During the winter months I was getting very frustrated with the fact that I was unable to do my daily walk four or five days a week. So one of our downstairs room now has a new treadmill. Now there is no excuse. Come rain or shine I can get my walking in and David has fixed up a monitor so I can watch my old movies we have downloaded over the years and I am one happy bunny.  In fact after I have posted this I am off for a little South Pacific which will keep me entertained for the next couple of days. Since I sing along the doors and windows are firmly shut!

As always I must start the week’s round up of posts with a huge thank you to my regular contributors William Price King and Paul Andruss. They are amazing and I know from the comments that you think so too.  I delighted too that so many of you are enjoying my father-in-law’s memoirs each weekend. He would be very chuffed.

On with the posts you might have missed.

First a reminder of the author and blog promotions here on Smorgasbord. Always FREE and they just require some participation from you before, during and after.  I like to build an ongoing relationship with those I promote which is why I established the Cafe and Bookstore last year. Once you are on the shelves you can enjoy regular updates every few weeks. I do check the authors every three to four weeks but it does help me if you let me know if you have an offer, a new release or a great review.

William Price King meets Bruce Springsteen

The last in the current series on the life and music of The Boss, Bruce Springsteen and it brings us right up to the present day.  Beginning next week another legend – Shirley Bassey.

Writer in Residence Extra – Paul Andruss

Paul  explores the origins of Marmalade and also the myths surrounding that apple that was so tempting!

The Colour of Life by Geoff Cronin

More stories from Waterford and Irish history from my father-in-law’s memoir. This week a frugal widow and devastating strikes and embargoes that ruin a thriving business.

Sally's Cafe and Bookstore

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Book Reading and Interview

Adele Marie Park talks about her childhood and the magic of Selkies along with her debut novel Wisp.

D. Wallace Peach on her inspirations and her latest series of books all released within a few weeks of each other The Rose Shield

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air your Reviews

This promotion is open to all authors even if not in the bookstore and also to bloggers who review books and would like some additional exposure.

Smorgasbord Daily Blogger

These are blog posts that I have read and enjoyed this week. Just a small selection as there is neither the time nor the space to feature every talented writer I visit. Please help me out by letting me have the link to your latest post.

Smorgasbord Health 2017

Smorgasbord Health 2017

Personal Stuff

Short story – The Flying Officer


Weekly Image and thoughts

Time for some Laffs

Thank you very much for your contribution to the week every time you have popped in, liked, commented and shared. It is most gratefully received. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – D.Wallace Peach, Alyssa Drake and Stevie Turner

Welcome to the Cafe update and the first author today is in fact my guest tomorrow for the Book Reading and Interview, D. Wallace Peach. Diana is releasing three books almost back to back and following close on the heels of Catling’s Bane (The Rose Shield Book 1) is Oathbreaker’s Guild – Book 2, released on March 31st.  I am sure that you will enjoy asking your own questions tomorrow and over the weekend about this new series and Diana’s other work.

About Oathbreaker’s Guild – The Rose Shield Book II

Catling, an aspirant of the Influencers’ Guild, learns to wield the power of the garden carved into her skin. Friends are fewer than enemies, and those who wished her dead now plot her failure. Sworn to the young queen, she enters the world of Elan-Sia where the powerful maneuver for control of the throne.

Amidst rising unrest in the south and increasing pressure from the seafaring Cull Tarr, the high wards of the tiers plot rebellion. Gannon stirs the warrens, and Whitt marches with the warriors of Guardian. Propelled by revenge, Catling journeys to Mur-Vallis. Her mission—to assassinate the man who stole her past, a task that will define her future.

Buy Oathbreaker’s Guild:

One of the early reviews for Catling’s Bane – The Rose Shield Book 1

D. Wallace Peach creates an utterly original, lush and cohesive world inhabited by well-developed and multi-dimensional characters we instantly care about (even the minor ones), all the more so as the plot unfolds. And what a plot it is — no copycat fiction or cliche devices here. The concept of “influence” as an accepted part of life is not only entertaining but thought provoking; and the author’s attention to detail on how influence works grabs hold and will thrill true high fantasy readers who value intelligent rationale for magic. All I can say is … prepare to lose some sleep over this one. And the final chapter leads to a cliffhanger that will leave readers desperate for Book II.

I am a lifelong reader of fantasy, and out of what I’d guess to be nearly 1,000 books read to date, this book series is in my top five. Catling’s Bane is easily on par with the likes of Patrick Rothfuss (The Kingkiller Chronicle series), Karen Miller (the “Mage” series) and Glenda Larke (Stormlord series). I’m confident that many readers will, like me, add this one to their top shelf.

A selection of books by D. Wallace Peach.

 Read more about D. Wallace Peach, read the reviews and buy the books:

Connect to Diana via her website:

Drop in and meet Diana in person over the weekend and she will be looking forward to your questions in the comments section of the interview.

The next featured author is Alyssa Drake whose debut novel A Perfect Plan –(Wiltshire Chronicles Book 1) was published last year and has already received over 50 reviews.

About the book

Samantha Hastings lived a quiet, peaceful life on her family’s country estate. With no man to order her around and no stifling society rules to follow, she considered herself blessed. However, when her brother’s ship sinks during a short trip to France, Samantha receives a request from her sister-in-law to return to town and manage the late Earl’s finances. Suddenly thrust into society, Samantha faces an unfamiliar world and a pair of very familiar green eyes.

Lord Benjamin Westwood never intended on following through with his rash promise to his best friend. Now, with Edward’s death, Benjamin becomes the unwilling guardian to Edward’s bratty little sister, who has grown up considerably since the last time they met. His intention to marry her off to the first available suitor is thwarted when he finds himself falling for Samantha’s unique demeanor. He lights upon the perfect plan; a marriage of convenience, giving him the opportunity to romance Samantha without distraction.

However, when they discover Edward’s disappearance was due to foul play, Benjamin’s perfect plan begins to quickly unravel. Now, Samantha is in more danger than either of them realized and Benjamin is running out of time.

One of the most recent reviews for the book.

on March 20, 2017

I’m usually not one for the Historical Romance genre. Mostly due to my own misconceptions regarding the flowery language, which makes me laugh uncontrollably, and book covers slathered with Fabio, who is NOT my idea of a handsome man.

This book on the other hand was amazing! No “touching bosoms” or Fabio to be found here, just a saucy romance between Benjamin and Samantha with a classic who-dun-it thrown in. I always love a good mystery and this one did not disappoint.

After the death of her brother Samantha is called back from the family estate to assist her sister-in-law with handling her brother’s finances. Samantha is a no nonsense woman who doesn’t need a man or high society to feel complete. Little does she know that both are going to come beckoning quicker than she thinks.

Benjamin is a notorious rake who has finally decided to settle down. There’s just one thing he has to do before he can pursue his own happy ending. As Samantha’s new guardian Benjamin is responsible for choosing her husband. One look at her though and all thoughts of anyone else but him filling her marriage bed leave him with a sour taste in his mouth.

I absolutely loved this book. As a debut novel goes, Ms. Drake has smashed it out of the park. As a matter of fact I didn’t even know this was a debut novel until I went on Amazon and read it in another review. The writing is excellent and witty with engaging characters and great dialog.

As with any genre there are hits and misses, this book is definitely a hit. I would gladly recommend this to all my bookish friends. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next installment.

Contains graphic sex and language. Not for young readers***    ***Cassandra Delorie #NerdGirlLola’s Review***

Read all the reviews and buy the book:

Connect to Alyssa via her website

 And now for Stevie Turner and her latest book, the memoir Waiting in the Wings that was released at the end of last year.

About the memoir.

At the grand old age of 92, my mother Dot suddenly starts telling me that she loves me. I am quite dumbstruck at these outbursts of emotion, as she has never mentioned the fact before in all of my 58 years. Over the entire course of my lifetime we have often argued bitterly, and have never really seen eye-to-eye over anything. I squirm with the inner knowledge that she wants me to reply in a similar vein, but try as I might, I cannot.

The guilt I feel at being unable to grant Dot her wish is overwhelming. As Dot’s health deteriorates more towards the final chapters of her life, I take on the role of carer. I find the only way to bring her out of her perpetual misery is to reminisce on past events by showing her old family photographs, and by helping her to remember holidays and happier times. We look back without anger and sometimes with a lot of laughter, getting to know each other better, raking over the past, and talking more than we have ever done. The process helps me, a middle-aged woman, understand the perils of ageing that I might one day face, and also the struggles that elderly people suffer on a day-to-day basis while stoically attempting to maintain their independence.

This is a true story, told in flashbacks and in modern-day often humorous conversations with my mother.

Turner’s memoir is an insightful story about a mother and daughter relationship that has moved to a new dimension. Throughout the author’s life she struggled with her relationship with her mother. Dot was set in her ways and always seemed to be trying to conform Stevie to what she wanted her to be. The angst Stevie felt growing up with Dot is documented through this touching and heartfelt memoir as Dot is now old and being an only child, Stevie has taken on the roll to care for her aging invalid mother.

Dot struggles to maintain her independence, making Stevie’s job somewhat more difficult to tend to Dot with her whims and antics, but it seems that the two find a common bond while exchanging stories from the past where Dot can be happy reliving her younger days, and where Turner establishes a common ground with memories they can bond over.

Many stories are shared from Turner’s childhood, about living under the eagle eye of Dot. We learn to understand that as much as Dot loved her daughter, she didn’t know how to show her love, which became a difficult burden for Turner to give her mother love in return.

As a child, Turner was tired of Dot’s OCD ways of life, and as a result, rebelled as many a child will do, with vowing not to be like her mother. Through this story, Dot’s anal ways could drive a sane person mad at times. Dot didn’t know how to show love and emotion and her methods of thinking she was doing so as a good mother were to nag at and not encourage her daughter for the attributes she possessed, but rather harped on how she thought her daughter should dress, and live her life, driving Turner batty, resulting in her wanting to keep in her own comfort zone, much as a loner.

As a memoirist myself, I know the angst of feeling sorry for an aging mother who never fulfilled me emotionally, and similar to Turner’s life, I understand the position she was in, finding it difficult to be able to tell her own mother that she loved her when the words were foreign to her all of her life. It brings a heart-crushing feeling when you can’t bring yourself to respond with those words, ‘I love you’, as I sensed the pathetic non-verbal pleading in my own mother too, wanting to hear me say those difficult words.

I highly recommend this book, not only for the manner in which it was written with entertainment value, but for anyone who has or is struggling with an aging parent, finding it difficult to forgive the past and to learn that there is always a way to make amends.

Read all the reviews and buy the book:

A selection of books by Stevie Turner

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

Connect to Stevie via her website:

Thank you for dropping in today and if you have a new release, review or offer you would like to share then please let me know. If you are not in the bookstore you can join the oher 160 authors and here is how:

There is also an opportunity for any author to share their reviews even if they are not in the bookstore. Air your Reviews features the most recent reviews or perhaps a favourite review that sums up your book.

This is the most recent post that shows you the format.  All I need from you is the link to your most recent or best review from either Amazon or Goodreads.

Please feel free to reblog and share this post on your social media as it does help promote fellow indie authors. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Short Stories – The Flying Officer by Sally Cronin


The first time Patrick Walsh saw her, was as he wended his way slowly down the hill between the slow moving trucks on his motorbike. The road was lined with women and old men who were handing out hastily cut sandwiches and mugs of tea to the men in the trucks, whose outstretched hands gratefully received these simple acts of kindness. It was clear from the their faces that they found the peaceful summer skies overhead, and clamour of women’s voices, a much needed reminder of home and safety.

He knew where they had come from, as for the last six days he had been flying over them as they had scrambled into small boats to be ferried out to the larger naval vessels waiting to take them to safety. He and his squadron were a part of the massive air defence operaton. Thousands of soldiers were pouring off the beaches having gathered over the last few days from the surrounding countryside; exposed and being attacked by superior German forces. On the last run today his spitfire had received a direct hit to the cockpit from a persistent Messerschmitt Me 109; luckily missing his head by inches apart from a cut over his eye, earning him a few hours respite. His plane would be ready to fly first thing in the morning. The ground crews at all fighter squadrons were working around the clock to get pilots back in the air until the evacuation from the French coast was complete.

As he carefully maneuvered between the trucks he responded to the shouts from the men above him with a small wave. He knew that their good natured jibes were aimed at his uniform and the wings that it displayed, and that their friendly ribbing was their way of showing gratitude. He decided that it would be easier to wait until the convoy had passed to continue into the village square. He dismounted, standing by the hedge to watch the villagers as they persisted in their need to comfort these dispirited men with tea and offerings of food.

She stood out from the crowd of women. Tall with long red hair tied back with an emerald green ribbon, she was dressed in overalls and wore heavy boots. She had a natural elegance as she darted between an older woman, holding a tea tray piled with jam sandwiches, and the trucks. Despite the men’s exhaustion, eager hands grasped the food, winking and flirting with the prettiest thing they had seen for a long while.

Patrick leaned back against the saddle of his bike and let himself enjoy this brief moment of humanity that was so rare today. He had been flying since the first weeks of the war and his squadron had suffered huge losses; particularly in the last few weeks as they had provided air cover for the retreating British forces. They had been warned that far worse was to come as the enemy amassed both fighters and bombers for an all-out offensive on the country. Having already lost many friends, Patrick knew that it was only a matter of time before he became a statistic.

Some of his fellow pilots and aircrew decided that they would live as hard as they fought. There were plenty of pretty girls around the station that were delighted to dance the night away and bring some laughter and sometimes love into the young men’s lives. He had seen the results of these whirlwind romances at the Saturday night dance in the village hall. As the airmen arrived in an ever changing group of young men, expectant faces would be watching the door and it was not unusual to see a girl being led away in tears by her friends.

Patrick loved to dance but gently refused the invitations to take to the floor and over the last few months he had become regarded as something of a misery. His friends gave up on their attempts to persuade him that he should live for the moment, and with a wry smile he listened to the chat up lines that were guaranteed to pull the heartstrings of a pretty girl.

But now as he watched the red head flying back and forth and smiling up at the men in the trucks, he felt an overwhelming urge to hold her in his arms and waltz around a dance floor. He shook his head and reminded himself that it would only lead to heartbreak for her, and he couldn’t bear the thought of those beautiful green eyes filling with tears.

An hour later the last truck in the convoy disappeared through the village square and out of sight. There would be more coming through from the coast, and Patrick watched as the crowd of villagers gathered up their cups and trays and disappeared back into their homes. They would prepare more from their meagre rations for the next wave of returning soldiers and be waiting for them by the roadside. He remained by the hedge until the red headed girl had linked arms with her mother and entered her house before riding down to the square.

‘Patrick, are you awake my friend?’ The voice of his Polish friend Jakub intruded into his daydream about dancing with his stunning red head.

‘Just about, do you want to go to the Black Swan for a beer? He sat up and rested his head in his hands and tried to bring his mind back to reality.

He looked around the Nissen hut that was their home, taking in the four empty cots that waited for the new arrivals. They would be mostly teenagers with only a few hours flying solo, and none of them in combat. He was only twenty-four, but he felt like an old man compared to the fresh faced and eager boys that would come through that door tomorrow.

It was now August and the skies were filled with formations of enemy bombers most nights. His plane was grounded again having the undercarriage repaired after a problem on his last landing. His mechanic said he had the ‘luck of the Irish’. Patrick was well aware that he was now one of only a handful of pilots remaining from the original group a year ago; he knew that his luck was bound to run out sooner or later. There was just one thing that he needed tonight, and that was the sight of Red, and she would be helping out her dad behind the bar at the Black Swan.

Two hours later he and Jakub sat quietly at a corner table with their glasses of beer. One beer was the limit as both of them would be back in the skies tomorrow; a cockpit was no place for lack of concentration. Jakub was married and expecting his first child and was happy to sit quietly in the warm and welcoming atmosphere thinking about his next leave in a week’s time. Patrick however spent his time watching Red as she served customers and laughed with the regulars. That laugh was in his head and was added to all the other pieces of her that he carried with him as he flew missions. The thought of those green eyes helped dispel the voice of the other constant companion that was by his side each time he buckled himself into the cockpit. Her presence in his heart and mind had helped him control his fear; bringing the realisation that he was in love for the first time in his life.

Over the weeks since that first day on the hill, there had been moments in the pub, when he would catch her eye and they would both smile then look away. By sitting at the bar when he popped in alone, he had gathered more information about her. She wasn’t called Red of course, but Georgina and Georgie to her friends. She didn’t seem to have a boyfriend amongst the regulars who frequented the pub, and one day he overheard that she had been engaged to a soldier who had been killed within weeks of the war starting.

He would watch as she gently refused all attempts by eager young warriors to take her on a date, realising that her heart had already been broken. This reinforced his resolve not to give in to the growing need to tell Georgie of his feelings; convinced it would only bring her further sorrow.

Through the rest of the summer months missions intensified, with both daylight and night bombing raids on the docks and major cities; almost bringing the country to its knees. In the October the tide began to turn, but not without the loss of thousands of fighter pilots and bomber air crews. It was then that Patrick’s luck ran out as he limped home with a badly damaged plane and shrapnel injuries in his chest and arm.

Patrick fought to stay conscious as the plane shuddered and bucked as he flew using his one good hand. Blood from a head wound almost blinded him, but as he saw the runway rushing up to meet him, he managed to bring the nose around and head for the grass to the side. The last thing that he thought about as the world went black was Georgie’s face and laugh.

A month later Patrick got one of the pilots to drop him off at the Black Swan and he walked into the early evening quiet of the bar. He had just received his new orders on his return from the hospital. From Monday he would be moving into an intelligence role where his experience in combat could be put to use. He was making a good recovery, but the extensive injuries to his arm meant the end of his flying career; now he would be ensuring that he kept others safe in the skies. In one way he felt that he was abandoning those that he regarded as family in their close knit squadron, but he also knew that it offered him the opportunity to fulfil a dream that was equally important.

Georgie was polishing glasses and looked up to greet the new customer with her usual smile but instead she took a deep breath. As he moved closer Patrick could see that there were tears in her glorious green eyes. Georgie stepped out from behind the bar and walked towards him, glancing at his arm in its sling and the scar that was etched into his forehead. She stood in front of him and neither spoke for a moment until he reached out his good arm to take her hand.

‘Is there any chance that you might let me take you to the dance tomorrow night?’

She smiled through her tears. ‘How are you going to be able to dance with only one free arm?’

He pulled her into him and looked down at the lips that he had imagined kissing so many times in the last few months.

‘Don’t worry Red… I’ll manage just fine.’


©sallycronin 2017

Thank you for dropping in and I hope you enjoyed the story. Thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update – Shehanne Moore, John Nicholl and Annette Rochelle Aben

Delighted to begin today’s update with the brand new book by Scottish born author Shehanne Moore. The Writer and the Rake is hot off the presses and is another of Shehanne’s much enjoyed Historical Romances with a time travel twist.

About The Writer and The Rake

He saw her coming. If he’d known her effect he’d have walked away.

When it comes to doing it all, ‘wild child’ writer Brittany Carter ticks every box. Having it all is a different thing though, what with her need to thwart an ex fiancé and her being transported from the present to Georgian times. But then, so long as she can find her way back to her world of fame and promised fortune, what’s there to worry about?

Georgian bad boy Mitchell Killgower is at the center of an inheritance dispute. He needs Brittany as his obedient, country-mouse wife. Or, rather, he needs her like a hole in the head. In and out of his bed, he’s never known a woman like her. Nor a woman who can disappear and reappear like her either.

And when his coolly contained anarchist, who is anything but, learns how to return to her world and remain, will having it all be enough, or does she underestimate him, and herself?

The first review is in

She has done it again! 4.5 stars

Shehanne Moore has the ability to write stories with a “spicy touch’’! She didn’t disappoint me with ‘The Writer and the rake’! Lovers of time travel romances, are in for a treat! Be ready for a rollercoaster ride of passion, this story is so much fun to read. I loved her characters Brittany and Mitchell!

What happens when writer, Brittany, is transported from the present to the Georgian era, and falls for Mitchell a real bad boy? All hell broke loose! Sparks started to flare and ignite a hot blazing passion. But… love possible for them even if they are from a different period of time? Can Brittany forget what she had lived in the future world and start a new life with Mitchell? What will she do?

Buy The Writer and the Rake:

Also by Shehanne Moore

Find out more about Shehanne Moore, read the reviews and buy the books:

Connect to Shehanne via her blog:

Another of the Cafe authors with a new short story is John Nicholl with Bully Boy Blue: A dark psychological suspense thriller released on April 1st.

About Bully Boy Blue

Every aspect of Kathy’s life is dominated by her abusive bully boy husband. Now she’s pregnant and in fear for her life. Can she ever escape him?

A gripping page-turner of a psychological thriller packed with suspense. Discover John Nicholl’s chilling new short story today – At a special introductory price.

Two of the early reviews

Gut-wrenching. on April 1, 2017

A short novella that packs a punch. Kathy has been married to a respectable cop for three years. Unfortunately, she lost a baby and is now suffering through postnatal depression. At least that’s what Mike, her upstanding husband, tells the world. The reality is very different. Mike is making Kathy’s life a hell of physical and emotional abuse. It’s so frustrating how many, many people have the opportunity to help and they all believe Mike’s lies or simply choose not to intervene just to save themselves the trouble. Now Kathy is pregnant again and she finally finds the courage to fight back. What happens then is astonishing and pulse-raising.

It’s a very short and easy read, but the characters are deep and well-developed. I kept yelling at the book, the plot making me gasp more than once. I’m not surprised that John Nicholl has written another wonderful story, since his full-length novels are so good.

I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. Thank you, Booklover Catlady Publicity!

Bully Boy is Kathy’s husband. He’s in charge of every single thing in her life.
He’s managed to separate her form her friends, her family. The two times she’s
called for help only worsened when he beat her mercilessly. He’s a cop.
Everyone believes the cops, right?

And now she’s pregnant … again. He beat her until she miscarried with her
first pregnancy. She’s not going to let that happen again .. she has a plan.

This is an extremely intensive short story (less than 100 pages). There is
violence… sexual, emotional, physical. Some of it will turn your stomach ….
some of it will make you cry.

I wish to thank the author, John Nicholl, for sharing the digital copy of this
very concentrated story about Domestic Violence. The opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own. WARNING: Graphic violence, abuse

Read all of the reviews and buy the novella at the special introductory price of 99c:

Also by John Nicholl

Find out more about John Nicholl, read all the reviews and buy the books:

Connect to John via his website:

The third author today with a new book is Annette Rochelle Aben with her latest Haiku release. Haiku Perspective 2017 in paperback and was released on March 30th.

About A Haiku Perspective 2017.

Life is poetic. We see the world through the eyes of our emotions which is where poetry originates. Haiku is a form of poetry that has us put those emotions into seventeen syllables. Each of the haiku in this book is the poetic vision of life as experienced by the author.

Here is a recent review of Annette’s 2016 Haiku Perspective which will give you a flavour of what youo can expect from this new collection.

On “A Haiku Perspective 2016” by Annette Rochelle Aben, I’m left pleased. I’m left pleased because not only is it inspiring to leave the pages feeling uplifted, but also imbued with a sense I’m personally welcomed in and encouraged to not just be the audience but participate. I smile the most at a stubborn jar enduring a water massage to defeat it’s naughtiness anthropomorphically resisting being opened. I enjoyed the deviation from expected form to conjoin many poems to be one – leading me as if by such a string of syllables to a point. I so wanted to dodge the well meaning-ness with instinctual rebellion of such well meaning-ness to stubbornly brood – if I want to, thank you very much indeed!… cuss cuss cuss. I regret my only disappointment isn’t the material but the brevity of the experience. but even then, it’s better to leave them hungry.

Also by Annette Rochelle Aben

Discover more about Annette, read the reviews and buy the books:

Connect with Annette via her blog:

Thank you for dropping by today and please help spread the news of these new books far and wide. thanks Sally.

If you would like to be on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore and enjoy regular updates for your new books, reviews and offers here is the way to do it:

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Waterford 1930s, Rock Legends 1990s, Authors 2017

Welcome to the round up from sunny Ireland.. a bit cool but we are grateful for the dry spell as we are having 14 windows and a door replaced this weekend. The last major job on the house itself and then onwards to the jungle outside.

This week I am applying to renew my passport and it seems like only yesterday rather than ten years ago that I went to the embassy in Madrid the previous occasion. Things are very different now as this convenient face to face option to renew your British passport when living abroad has been done away with.  Now you have to download a form, complete and send to the UK with photos and your old passport to renew. Apparently too many passports were being granted and presumably dodgy visas being approved. Since this is worldwide and the passports will be sent back by post and then returned by courier (at an extra charge) I can see just as many holes in this system as the last!

Anyway I went and had my up to date passport photos done yesterday having had my hair coloured and cut and I still look like I should have a number beneath the photo and WANTED above it!  Thankfully it only gets seen two or three times a year by people I will never meet again.

Thank you as always to those who have contributed their work to the blog this week and I know you will enjoy William Price King’s part four of the Bruce Springsteen story and also the latest exclusive post from Paul Andruss on the development of language from our ancient utterings.

Thank you too for all your amazing support and if I can help in anyway to promote your books, blogs, art, photography etc then please let me know..

Here are some of the options available to you.. All free of course but might need your participation during the process.

William Price King meets some Legends

Bruce Springsteen’s music took a different direction after he moved to California and he received different reactions from his fans and the critics.

Writer in Residence

Thomas the Rhymer

Paul explores the evolvement of language and examines some of the theories of how it spread across the continents.. Nomadic hordes or farmers?

The Colour of Life by Geoff Cronin

This week two stories from Waterford in the 1930s about the dramas involved with dealing damp matches and the burden of keeping up with the Jones when it was time to be host to The Station.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Book Reading and Interview

The first book reading this week was from retired history teacher and motivational author John Fioravanti.

My second guest was children’s author Darlene Foster who is still answering questions if you would like to leave them in the comments section of the post.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore New on the Shelves

The promotion for authors who would like to be on the shelves of the bookstore and enjoy regular updates.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Author Update

News from some of the authors in the Cafe and bookstore.  New releases, great reviews and offers.

Smorgasbord Air your Reviews

The new series for authors and book reviewers to share their latest reviews.

Thomas the Rhymer

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

A small selection of blog posts that I have read and enjoyed this week.


Smorgasbord Health 2017

We work our way through the digestive system looking at some of the organs along the route from the mouth to the end…..

Personal Stuff

Inspiring people who have given me the encouragement to do better. And this week my drama teacher at college who let me play a Spanish floosy!

Short Story – The Surprise

Trouble in paradise when a person assumes that they can do no wrong.


Thank you for dropping in and all your support this week. Thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Janice Spina, Jacquie Biggar and Jaye Marie

It must be Spring! It has been a busy week for the authors in the bookstore and today we catch up on reviews and new releases.

First author up is J.E. Spina.. also known as award winning children’s author Janice Spina. Her latest short story collection, An Angel Among Us is receiving some great reviews.

About An Angel Among Us

A collection of short stories that covers several genres including romance, grief/loss, mystery, suspense, sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal. This book is dedicated to a courageous friend who passed this year. The first story is specially created for her and is the inspiration for the title of this book.

Here are two of the latest reviews for the collection.

A thumbs up! on March 23, 2017

I have read many of Janice Spina’s books and have never been disappointed. She writes with clarity and warmth. She doesn’t shy away from delving into another genre, as is evidenced by this eclectic collection of short stories.
The author’s tribute to her friend is heartwarming and is just the first story in this delightful collection. I recommend An Angel Among Us to everyone, as there are stories from multiple genres that are sure to appeal.

This book can be read all at once or story by story. It is perfect for those who don’t have a lot of time but want something to read with their coffee or before bed or whenever they have a few minutes without committing to a full-length book. An Angel Among Us gets a thumbs up from me.

Author Janice Spina is talented and versatile as you’ll see when you read this collection of short stories. You’re sure to find stories you love and tales full of surprises. The title story about the author’s friend, Anne, is unforgettable. I highly recommend this book. You’re sure to enjoy these stories and reread your favorites. Pick up your copy today and start enjoying the treasures created by Janice.

Read all the reviews and buy An Angel Among Us:

Also by J. E. Spina

A selection of books as Janice Spina for children.

Read about Janice Spina, the reviews and find all of her books:

Connect to Janice via her website:

Our next author is USA Bestselling Author Jacquie Biggar whose latest book Missing: The Lady Said No – A Chandler County Novel is due out on April 27th. You can purchase now at the Pre-order price of $2.46.

About the book

The Race is on to find a Killer in the heart of Kentucky horse country

Detective Augustus Grant is faced with his most baffling case to date. Well-respected race horse breeder John Jorgenson is murdered in his den days before the Kentucky Derby and the list of suspects is growing.

Complicating matters, Gus’ ex-girlfriend is the last person to have seen the victim alive.
Rebecca Hayes owes the Jorgenson family her loyalty. They gave her a new life after a disastrous affair leaves her alone and pregnant.

With all the evidence pointing in Becky’s direction, will Gus do his duty?
Or follow his heart?

Buy the book for the Pre-order price:

Jacquie Biggar was promoted earlier in the year for her previous release The Beast Within –  Mended Souls Volume II and it is time to catch up with one of the latest reviews for the series.

This is a great addition to the Mended Souls series. I loved tagging along with Julie Crenshaw as she went from grieving widow to feisty journalist — with a little help from two angels at odds and one (as Ms. Biggar so perfectly describes him) “tall, dark, and annoyingly handsome” detective named Connor O’Rourke. The twists and turns in this story are amazing. Just when you think you know where the adventure is going, it switches to the unexpected. Definitely kept me entertained and on my toes! Loved reconnecting with Lucas, Scott, and Natalya from the first book and meeting new characters as well. My fingers are crossed that I’ll be reading more about Officer Tate in a future book!

A selection of books by Jacquie Biggar

Read all the reviews and find out more about Jacquie Biggar: Biggar/e/B00MSIJQBG

Connect to Jacuie via her website:

The last author featured today is Jaye Marie who has written a moving and personal account of her battle with breast cancer. Apple Blossom – The story of one woman’s fight for survival released on 26th of March.

About Apple Blossom

This is the light-hearted and hopefully inspiring story of my battle with breast cancer… written to help women just like me, all over the world…

“I called the story “Apple Blossom” because that is the abiding memory of my time at the hospital. In the radiotherapy room, above the treatment table, some of the ceiling tiles had been replaced with illuminated pictures of apple blossom against a blue summer sky. In the darkness of that room, I stared at those images every day for three weeks, desperately trying to remain calm and as peaceful as I could manage.

Even now, months later, I cannot look at apple blossom without remembering how alone I felt, but also how lucky I was.

Buy Apple Blossom:

Jaye is also the author of a murder mystery series.

Here is a review for The Ninth Life

If you like the thriller genre that keeps up the momentum then this would be a good read for you. The pace never falters, building up the plot and characters with timely intervention. The author cleverly keeps the story centred around the main character, with the other players coming into the story and yet there are no plot holes or false timings.

Not once did I get bored reading it or find the story faltering at all – definitely one of those where ‘you need to know what happens next’ but I think the author’s gift when writing this is to keep the protagonist centre whilst keeping the reader constantly hooked. The antagonist is typically a nasty character, one whom the reader takes an instant dislike to and the edge he adds to the story is almost palpable.

Other characters are kept to a minimum but play pivotal roles in the story; the good thing here is you never know quite how they will turn out. Will your fears be unfounded? Or did you correctly guess the next step? The ending is not what you would expect (another good talent to have when writing) but you’ll have to read the book!

Learn more about Jaye Marie and her books:

Connect to Jaye Marie via her website:

Thank you very much for dropping by and I hope that you will be kind enough to share the news from these three authors on your own network. And if you would like to join them on the shelves of the bookstore then please take a look at how you can do that. Thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update – Robbie and Michael Cheadle, Jena C. Henry and Effrosyni Moschoudi

Time for the first Cafe and Bookstore this week and delighted to feature the latest book by Robbie and Michael Cheadle released on Amazon this week. For children and their adults this fondant creation will be treasured by many.

About Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Dough Bees Story and Cookbook

A greedy snail damages the flower fields and the fondant bees are in danger of starving. Join Sir Chocolate on an adventure to find the fruit drop fairies who have magic healing powers and discover how to make some of his favourite foods on the way.

There is already an excellent review for the book.

If there is one thing I know, it is how a child is enjoying a book. When the 7-year-old and I read this book, she was enthralled with the delicious and sweet animals in this book. There are such adorable and realistically shaped animals and these illustrations look good enough to eat. The verses are well formed and well crafted. I have loved the books that came before, and this new book by Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the best and most intricate thus far.

One character had us buzzing in delight. This book is perfect for children and adults that like to share reading time with them. There are bonus additions in this edition that make it an even better purchase. I highly recommend this book.

Buy Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Dough Bees and Cookbook:

Also by Robbie and Michael Cheadle

Available from Amazon:


Connect to Robbie and Michael at their blog:

Next author to feature is Jena C. Henry whose book The Golden Age of Charli – GPS was released in January and has just received a great review.
About the book

Empty nesters Charli McAntic and her husband, Pud, have settled into their golden years. Although their early days of retirement were filled with disillusion and despair, they are now ready to relax and swing upon a star. Pud continues to golf most days and Charli still organizes her closets and rearranges her collectibles, but now they are a solid team. Or are they?

Charli and Pud are no strangers to the art of creating fun. These days they spend their time sharing gourmet meals with their nieces and nephews, attending Cleveland Cavalier basketball games, and rekindling their romance. But when a series of calamities suddenly rock their world, they each meet a new friend, leaving Charli to worry if she and Pud are heading in the right direction.

Press On! on March 23, 2017

In the third book of this delightful series, an empty nester is left to recalculate her path to happiness after she and her husband both discover that their golden years are full of more surprises.>I always enjoy reading about the McAntics, since their lives so parallel my own. Learning how to navigate days when a person is no longer punching a time clock or waking up to an alarm can be trying and confusing, but Charli’s outlook on life always gets her through the tough times with a sense of humor. “Press on,” she tells herself, and she does.

In the third book in The Golden Age of Charli series, when an unusual and shocking event happens in her neighborhood, Charli mentions that “bad things comes in threes,” and she begins to worry what will come next.

I laughed out loud when Charli decided to make a “death notebook,” being guilty of something similar myself. “Pud and I needed to get our affairs in order. As the past three sad events had showed us, you never knew when something bad would happen.” It’s not that Charli is a pessimist, in fact, she is quite the optimist, but she wants to make sure her life is in order so her sons don’t have to go through what she had to when she deatl with her parents’ home and documents.

With free time that was never before available, Charli cleans closets, and organizes drawers and cupboards. All the while her husband Pud continues to play golf, seemingly unaware of his wife’s dissatisfaction with her empty, quiet house. Wondering what is in store for her she comes to this conclusion: “This is my looking year, so I’ll keep looking.” As she searches for something to keep her interested in life and make sure she is still a contributing member of society, she encourages her husband to join her, and through traveling and volunteering she forges ahead, and proves that life is not over after retirement, but only just beginning.

Life in The Golden Years of Charli:GPS is a surprising and funny romp through life, as Charli proves to us all that the golden years can truly be golden.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

Also by Jena C. Henry

Read the reviews and buy all the books:

Connect to Jena via her website:

Two offers from Effrosyni Moschoudi for The Ebb (book 1): A Greek summer beach read (The Lady of the Pier trilogy) which is currently FREE on Amazon US and UK.  And The Amulet for 99c on Amazon US.

About the book

On a long holiday with her grandparents, Sofia Aspioti meets Danny Markson, a charming flirt who makes her laugh. Although she tries to keep him at arm’s length, worried that village gossip will get back to her strict family, she falls desperately in love. That’s when strange dreams about Brighton’s West Pier and a woman dressed in black begin to haunt her. Who is this grieving woman? And how is her lament related to Sofia’s feelings for Danny?

Dreaming of wealth and happiness, Laura Mayfield arrives in Brighton to pursue a new life. She falls for Christian Searle, a happy-go-lucky stagehand at the West Pier theatre, but when she’s offered a chance to perform there, her love for him is put to the test. Charles Willard, a wealthy aristocrat, is fascinated by her and pursues her relentlessly. Will Laura choose love…or money?

One of the most recent reviews for the book

Another great book by this author. After reading The Amulet I was ready to read another one of her books. I have not been to Greece but feel like I have now with the descriptive scenes and bits of Greek culture in these books. With the two stories in The Ebb well developed I am now drawn to need to read the rest of this trilogy to see how everyone fits together!

Read all the reviews and get this book FREE:


About the book

The Amulet is a romantic comedy of angel magic and tantalizing descriptions of Greek food. Read it at your own peril; it’ll make you feel ravenous (not to mention all loved-up!)

When Katie loses her Athens office job, a gypsy woman hands her an amulet for good luck. Next, she gets hired as hotel receptionist on the Greek island of Sifnos and everything seems perfect, except for the overbearing hotel owner, Mrs. Matina. One of the guests, heart-stoppingly handsome Aggelos, keeps saving the day whenever Katie needs help. As she falls in love, she grows all the more intrigued by him and his quirky friends, including a little girl who keeps turning up on her own. Add a psychic, half-mad elderly woman into the mix and you’re in for a few laughs. Things are not what they seem in this small, family hotel and get even more complicated when the gypsy woman shows up again. Will Katie ever work out that Aggelos is a guardian angel that came with the amulet? And if she does, will she be able to keep him? It may take a miracle. But on an island as magical as Sifnos, anything is possible!

A recent review for the book.

The Amulet is a lighthearted rom-com, a fun escape from the realities of every day life. With the series of mix-ups and confusions the characters had to endure, at times, it reminded me of a modern day Shakespearean comedy.

Although Moschoudi’s Lady of The Pier trilogy was more the genre I usually prefer, as I continued to read The Amulet I became more and more captivated by it. This simple and entertaining love story was so much more. It was a lesson in humanity, love and compassion. The subtitle of the book says it’s an angel magic romantic comedy. If this is a hint that there will be more to come, I will be waiting to read the next one.

Available for 99c on Amazon US:

Also by Effrosyni Moschoudi

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

Connect to Effrosyni via her website:

Thank you for dropping by today.. If you are on the shelves of the bookstore then please let me know if you have a new book, great review or an offer. Thanks Sally

If you would like to join these authors and the other 160 on the shelves then please check this out.

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Bruce Springsteen, Books and Blogs and A Musical

Welcome to this week’s round up of posts you might have missed. The weather is still a bit erratic but on our morning walks there are signs of spring. Daisies are appearing on the grassy parts of the park we walk in and there is a smell of garlic in the air.  There is wild garlic growing abundantly along the paths and into the woods so apart from snakes, it looks like we don’t have vampires here either.

Now the weather is a little more stable it is time to pick up the house refurb again and we have 14 windows and a new back door on order for a few weeks time. We noticed this first winter here that despite having new insulation in the roof and attic we were still bleeding heat. The windows are the old metal doube glazing in most of the house so they will be replaced. Then there is the jungle outside.. We cleared a huge amount last year but already with a little sunshine and plenty of rain spring has sprung.. The birds and wildlife love it and having put birdseed out all winter we are delighted with the variety of birds who visit us.  We want to make sure that we keep their habitat whilst bringing some sort of order to the garden.. bring me my rake and hoe and into battle we go!

Thank you as always for dropping in this week and for your lovely comments and shares. Do please also remember that you are very welcome here as a guest in either an author or blogger promotion or with a post of your own. Here are the options for you.

On with the week ….

William Price King meets some Legends

Part two of the Bruce Springsteen story and Bruce’s career begins to take off.

Writer in Residence Paul Andruss.

Thomas the Rhymer

Paul is writing exclusive posts every three weeks for Smorgasbord but has kindly thrown open his archives for us so that we can enjoy some of his older posts on his blog for a second time. BTW.. I have been reading Thomas the Rhymer this week and really enjoying it..

Serialisation of the Colour of Life by Geoff Cronin – life in Waterford in the 1930s

Two more chapters from my father-in-law’s first book the Colour of Life and this week life before television and putting food on the table during tough times.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Book Reading and Interview with Mary Smith.

Mary is my guest this weekend and has already received some great questions. Please read about her fascinating life in Afghanistan and Pakistan and her interesting work as a journalist.

Creative Artist Interview

This week poet, storyteller and blogger Kim Blades talks about her life and work.

Blogger Promotion – please leave a link to your most recent post in the comments section of any of the following posts.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Book Promotion – Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

This promotion is for authors who have not been promoted here on Smorgasbord before and would like to join the other authors on the shelves of the bookstore. Once there all authors can enjoy regular updates of their new releases, great reviews of offers on their books.

Book Promotion – Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update

This promotion is for authors already on the bookshelves and whilst I do check every author every four to six weeks it does help if you let me know if you have news you would like to share.

Book Promotion – Collaborative Anthologies

This promotion is for anthologies with several collaborating authors.

Personal Stuff

A woman has had a tough week in the office and needs to talk through her problems with a friend on the drive home.

A trip down memory lane and gratitude for a very patient prickly pear farmer.

St. Patrick’s Day – Irish Weather – The Musical

A musical tribute to the ever changing face that is the weather here in Ireland.. bring your dancing shoes and brollies.



Thank you once again for being such an important part of my blog.. you are welcome anytime.  Thanks Sally