Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – James J. Cudney, Paulette Mahurin and Jean Lee


Welcome to the first of the Cafe and Bookstore updates this week and the first author with a recent review is James J. Cudney for the second book in his Braxton Campus Mysteries – Broken Heart Attack.

About the book

Who killed Gwendolyn Paddington?

When an extra ticket becomes available to see the dress rehearsal of King Lear, Kellan tags along with Nana D and her buddies. But when one of them dies of an apparent heart attack in the middle of second act, Nana D asks Kellan to investigate.

With family members suddenly in debt and a secret rendezvous between an unlikely pair, Kellan learns that the Paddingtons might not be as clean-cut as everyone thinks.

But can Kellan find the killer, or will he get caught up his own stage fright?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Although this book has elements of a cozy mystery (I.e. amateur sleuths, small town setting, quirky/eccentric characters), there is more of a contemporary mystery feel to it. In this outing of The Braxton Campus Mysteries, Kellan is recruited by Nana D. And her friend Eustacia Paddington to find out who killed Gwendolyn Paddington. I will say Kellan has more patience than I do. The Paddington family is full of spoiled, rude, greedy and secretive people who tried their best to get rid of Kellan’s interference. Throw in other snarky females (his boss Myriam, the sheriff April, and Nana D.) and it is a wonder he doesn’t hate women. Do not give up hope, his sister Eleanore and friend Maggie, are understanding and supportive and by the end of the book, even the sheriff comes around. While trying to solve the mystery, Kellan is dealing with all the changes in his personal life, things at work and running Nana D’s mayoral campaign.

This is a very character driven story with characters that are being developed more in each book. The main characters are also becoming more likeable which I am happy about. The mystery was a good one with clues being dropped throughout the book, but also several red herrings. I thought I had it all figured out, then something else was revealed to lead me in another direction. As the reveal occured, I followed along shaking my head, thinking, “of course, why didn’t I think of that.” The dialogue was crisp, snarky in many cases, and revealed so much about the characters. Emma, Kellan’s 6 year old daughter is adorable. She is sweet, mature and can also give the attitude (I think Nana D is rubbing off on her). I am looking forward to the next book in this series to find out what happens next in Kellan’s life as well as picking up on those few situations that popped up at the end of the book. If you enjoy a mystery with some cozy elements, pick up this series and delve into life at Braxton College and town.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KGGJX1T

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Broken-Attack-Braxton-Campus-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B07KGGJX1T

Also by James J. Cudney

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M

Read more reviews and follow James on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17128817.James_J_Cudney

Connect to James via his website and blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com

The next book to receive a recent review is A Different Kind of Angel by Paulette Mahurin.

About A Different Kind of Angel

Inspired by real events chronicled by a journalist for The World News, Elizabeth Cochrane (pen name, Nellie Bly), in 1887.

Klara Gelfman’s life in Kiev was serene until she turned nineteen. That’s when Russia’s Tsar Alexander II was assassinated, and a vicious propaganda campaign spread that blamed the Jews for his death. Klara and her family became victims of the many pogroms breaking out throughout Russia. None were so violent as what hit Kiev in 1881. It was there that Klara’s family was torn asunder and her world changed forever.

This is the story of what happens to this traumatized, orphaned, young Jewish woman when she escapes Russia and crosses an ocean to arrive on the rough streets of New York City able to speak only a few words of English. There, in the land of the free, Klara’s life is thrown into turmoil when she is mistaken for a drunken prostitute. Mistreated by those entrusted to protect her—the police, a judge, doctors, and nurses—she is condemned to an unrelenting hellscape when she is incorrectly and involuntarily committed to a lunatic asylum.

At a time when women had no political, economic or professional rights, comes a story where corruption by the powerful was as overt and commonplace as was garbage on the New York City streets. From the award-winning, international best-selling author of The Seven Year Dress comes an unforgettable story of the devastating effects of persecution, hatred, and arrogance. A Different Kind of Angel is also a story of love, family, friendship, and loyalty. It is a journey into the nature and heart of the resilience of the human spirit that will leave readers thinking about the story long after they finish the book.

One of the recent reviews for the book

A harrowing and riveting portrayal of Jewish refugee from the Russian pogroms of 1881. Klara Gelfman’s loses her father during her voyage to New York. Alone and with little English she is mugged and accused of being a prostitute she lands in Blackwell Island Lunatic Asylum. In the asylum for five long years she exposed to the worse and the best of the human condition.

It is a heart-wrenching to read about the horrid, inhumane and violent treatment of the patients in Blackwell. However, it is also a testimony of the strength of the human spirit to rise, survive and find strength in one another.

Paulette Mahurin did an amazing job in capturing the history Blackwell Island. The story is richly researched, well-written, emotive, inspirational, and unforgettable. I highly recommend this book!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GZYXNR4

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07GZYXNR4

Also by Paulette Mahurin

Read all the reviews and BUY the bookshttps://www.amazon.com/Paulette-Mahurin/e/B008MMDUGO/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Paulette-Mahurin/e/B008MMDUGO/

Profits from Paulette’s books go to help rescue dogs from kill shelters.

Read more reviews and follow Paulette on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5895757.Paulette_Mahurin

 
Connect to Paulette via her website: https://thepersecutionofmildreddunlap.wordpress.com/

And last but not least today is a recent review for the first book in the series Fallen Princeborn: Stolen by Jean Lee which is YA/Dark Fantasy

About Book 1 of the omnibus, Fallen Princeborn: Stolen

Over the Wall, they came to hunt humans. But now, a human’s going to hunt them. This girl’s nobody’s prey.

In rural Wisconsin, an old stone wall is all that separates the world of magic from the world of man—a wall that keeps the shapeshifters inside. When something gets out, people disappear. Completely.

Escaping from an abusive uncle, eighteen-year-old Charlotte is running away with her younger sister Anna. Together they board a bus. Little do they know that they’re bound for River Vine—a shrouded hinterland where dark magic devours and ancient shapeshifters feed, and where the seed of love sets root among the ashes of the dying.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Peru Editor 5.0 out of 5 stars Young Adult Fantasy, Emphasis on the Adult January 22, 2019

‘Fallen Princeborn: Stolen’ fits into the category of classics like ‘Alice in Wonderland’ or ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ where a strong female lead must do battle with mysterious forces in a fantastical realm. Lee’s book is a bit darker than the typical fantasy fare, and I’d put it in the category of Young Adult (although it should be mentioned that my perspective always puts the emphasis on ‘Adult’ rather than ‘Young’). As I was reading Lee’s book, I found myself thinking, “What is it that this book reminds me of?”

I think it’s a testament to the book that I had a nagging sensation of familiarity, and it took me a long time to pin it down. The uncertain familiarity meant that Lee had captured an ambiance of a certain well-known, high quality writer, but had replicated it with enough originality to create something new. I was about a quarter of the way in when I finally figured out that the storytelling reminded me of ‘American Gods,’ and after that there was a section that reminded me specifically of ‘Coraline.’ I think fans of Neil Gaiman will see his influence on Lee, and be appreciative.

Lee isn’t quite the polished storyteller that Gaiman is, but she is certainly an author to follow. I’m kind of torn about the present tense style. On the one hand, I think it’s effective, even liberating to read. But on the other hand I know the literary world is very much a creature of habit, and they often snarl with contempt at present tense and slam the cover no matter how effectively it’s used. I like that the publisher took the time to get the book a Kirkus review, but these days Kirkus doesn’t wield nearly as much clout as it used to. I wish, instead of the Kirkus review, they’d invested in a more dynamic cover.

Jean Lee is an interesting new voice, and I think ‘Fallen Princeborn: Stolen’ will be a delight to a certain category of genre readers. The writing style is dynamic and interesting, but, unfortunately, that’s the type of thing that will make it less palatable to a wider audience. Lee creates an eerie, magical ambiance, and her characters are interesting and well-developed. A small press book, ‘Fallen Princeborn: Stolen’ represents the kind of fascinating divergence from the standard media conglomerate entertainment that so many people claim they’re looking for, but so few actually endeavor to seek out. Give it a try, and leave a response, I’m curious to hear what other’s think of this book.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1949428001

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1949428001

Here is a selection of the six short story collections from Tales of the River Vine

Read the reviews and buy all the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jean-Lee/e/B07DPP2RV6

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.com/Jean-Lee/e/B07DPP2RV6/

You can find more reviews and follow Jean Lee on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18139027.Jean_Lee

Connect to Jean via her website: https://jeanleesworld.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and I am sure you will be leaving with a book or two.. thanks Sally.

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round up – Waterford Castle, Romance, Great Food, Music and a few Laffs.


Welcome to the weekly round up and I have been off on a jaunt this week. As a birthday treat we went down to Waterford, which is David’s home town for a couple of days and stayed at the Waterford Castle Hotel on its own private Island.

You reach the island by a chain link ferry which only takes two minutes and runs every 15 minutes during the day and 30 minutes at night. We had a suite overlooking the magnificent gardens and all the rooms have wonderful features introduced over the long history of the castle. Such as this fireplace with a Wedgewood insert.

History of Wateford Castle

Throughout the centuries, the Island’s strategic location, in a pivotal position near Waterford City, brought it historical fame playing a major role in the history of the region.

From the 6th century settlement of Monks to the Vikings in the 9th – 11th Centuries. Followed by Norman Invasion of 1170 were Maurice Fitzgerald became the potentate of the Island and the Fitzgerald family legacy lasted for over 800 years.

You can download the full history of the castle
Click here to download our History brochure.

The food was wonderful and we ate in their award winning restaurant on the first night – freshly sourced produce, deliciously prepared. The service was brilliant and it was a meal to remember. We were treated to some live music in the form of a talented pianist and each course was much appreciated. Certainly a stunning venue for a Wedding.

The next day we had a wonderful breakfast (great poached eggs) in an atrium overlooking the gardens, with some of the wildlife in attendance. Including a red squirrel, unusual to find in Ireland but clearly the grey squirrels who decimated the red population have not learnt to use the ferry to get to the island. As we walked to the car park, we also encountered to deer intent of feasting on the new crocus shoots.

We spent the day touring the coast and revisiting some of David’s childhood and teen haunts as well as the cottage, right on Woodstown beach where Geoff Cronin (you might have read his memoirs here) grew up. Also Dunmore and Tramore, holiday spots in the summer when the family lived in the centre of Waterford.

That afternoon we went in to the city and checked out the regeneration that took place in the 1990s up to the present day. We had a birthday tea in The Vintage Parlour Tea Rooms and I had the best Victoria sponge I have ever eaten… with fresh cream… and David had a delicious piece of apple tart. Fortified with a couple of cups (porcelain) of tea, we explored the local estate agents with a view to moving to Waterford once we sell our house here in Wexford next spring (or sooner). Certainly Waterford is on the list of options as the city has great facilities and is close to some stunning coastline.

We ended the day with dinner at The Bodega Mediterranean Restaurant and I can highly recommend, especially the monkfish scampi starter. The  food, atmosphere and service was excellent and brought back happy memories of our years in Madrid.

If you are planning on visiting Ireland I do recommend that you put Waterford on the schedule. If you are travelling with family then I suggest you book one of their lodges which sleep six people and are self-catered, but you can still eat in the restaurant or clubhouse if you wish. There is a golf course, tennis courts and fabulous walks around the island. You are central for the coastline to the south of Wateford towards Cork, and when the new bridge is completed (the longest in Ireland) later this summer, it will be a much faster trip to Dublin.

Now time to catch up with the posts on Smorgasbord you might have missed during the week.

This week Paul Andruss shares part two of his recommendations for early spring bulbs.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/16/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-with-paul-andruss-this-week-spring-bulbs-part-two-daffodils-narcissus-jonquils/

And on the subject of food…. something from the Thai kitchen of Carol Taylor.. a three course meal that should get Valentine’s evening off to a good start.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/13/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-st-valentines-day-thai-three-course-dinner/

A new series of Posts from Your Archives and to kick the series off, one of D.G. Kaye’s heartfelt and heartbreaking – Memoir Bytes where she shares her childhood memories. Details of how you can share previous articles from your archives are in the post.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/15/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-memoir-bytes-love-notes-and-other-words-by-d-g-kaye/

This week my guest is author Abbie Taylor who shares her inspiring story as well as some interesting responses to the questions.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/17/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-author-abbie-taylor/

Here is my response to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 123

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/14/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebro-weekly-poetry-challenge-etheree-romance-by-sally-cronin/

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction this week prompted 99 word stories on the subject of Valentines.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/16/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-flash-fiction-challenge-together-forever-by-sally-cronin/

In this week’s music column, I share a song from each of the decades that I have been listening to music… and next Friday I will be sharing the requests that you shared, the songs that you felt were the most romantic.

Now time for the round up of the posts this week that you might have missed.

An extract from Tales from the Irish Garden to celebrate romance. Queen Filigree meets the roguish Prince Ronan.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/14/tales-from-the-irish-garden-valentines-day-story-the-magic-garden-comes-to-life-by-sally-cronin/

Last year I wrote this post for USA Today Bestselling romance author Jacquie Biggar on keeping the magic of romance alive…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/14/keeping-the-magic-of-romance-alive-every-day-by-sally-cronin/

This week in the R’s of Life, part two on the subject of relationships, and the impact of a dysfunctional childhood on our ability to connect as adults.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/12/something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-relationships-in-a-modern-world-part-two-adulthood-by-sally-cronin/

I reviewed two books this week.. the first being The Beast Within (Mended Souls Two) by Jacquie Biggar.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/13/smorgasbord-book-reviews-the-beast-within-mended-souls-book-two-by-jacquie-biggar/

And the second book was first book in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, Academic Curveball by James J. Cudney

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/16/smorgasbord-book-reviews-mystery-academic-curveball-by-james-j-cudney/

Author Updates and reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/11/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-claire-fullerton-darlene-foster-and-angie-dokos/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/15/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-jacquie-biggar-clifford-browder-and-christine-campbell/

Many foods have been labelled aphrodisiacs through history, some deservedly so…but they also tend to be highly nutritious and have a positive effect on the whole body and not just the libido.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/11/smorgasbord-health-column-foods-to-get-you-in-the-mood-for-st-valentines-day-by-sally-cronin/

This week’s chapter looks at the impact of an overgrowth of Candida Albicans on our overall health. The symptoms number around 125, and I included some of the key signs that your gut may have been compromised.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/16/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-candida-albicans-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/12/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-valentine-special-you-knows-i-loves-you-right/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/14/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-valentines-day-special-and-a-parrot-with-moves/

Thank you very much for dropping in today and for your visits this week. Your comments and sharing on your own social media is much appreciated as always. Have a great week and hope to see you again soon.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Bloggers Bash Nominations, Winter Warmers, Arizona, Spring Bulbs and all that Jazz


Welcome to the round up of posts you might have missed on Smorgasbord this week.

We are actually enjoying some sunshine despite very cold temperatures and we are hoping it is a sign spring is on its way. I know for many of you in the UK and USA, this has been a very tough couple of weeks with snow and storms, so hopefully you too will have a more settled week ahead.

It is hard to ignore the turmoil going on in the world, especially as the press is having a field day with fake news, assumptions, predictions, fear-mongering, pot-stirring and allegations. There may be a reason that we as yet have not been invaded by an alien species. I suggest that they have popped in from time to time, to the excitement of the UFO buffs, and exited rapidly when they see what they might be getting into.

The actions of those in power are completely at odds with the promises made in their wonderful election speeches, and at the very least they should be prosecuted for false advertising and misrepresentation.

Meanwhile, in the real world, all we can do is keep doing what we are doing and try to stay as positive as possible.

If all else fails………..

My thanks to my regular contributors who continue to spread a positive message and to your for dropping in and liking, commenting and sharing..

And on that note……

I was very honoured to be nominated for the Best Book Blog award, and my thanks to those who put my name forward. Voting begins at the end of March and you still have time to nominate your favourite bloggers in the new categories. The links are in the post.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/04/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-bloggers-bash-awards-2019-nomination-best-book-blog/

This week William Price King shares the life and music of legend Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/05/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-jazz-charlie-bird-parker-saxaphone/

Paul Andruss with some suggestions to bring colour to your garden with early spring bulbs.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/09/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-rewind-light-up-your-life-with-brilliant-bulbs-part-1-early-spring-bulbs/

Carol Taylor shares some recipes that are easy to prepare and that will warm the cockles of your heart…..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-winter-warmers-stews-and-casseroles/

Debby Gies is still on vacation in Mexico and busily creating future travel posts about this fantastic vacation spot, but in the meantime, she gives us a guided tour of Jerome, Arizona which is a preserved copper mining town that generated billions for investors.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/04/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-jerome-arizona-mining-town-with-d-g-kaye/

Joy Lennick shares two poems that bridge the end of winter and the start of spring.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-poetry-spring-by-joy-lennick/

Welcome to the blog for the first time to romance author Laura M. Baird who shares her love of country, music and tattoos, as well as one of the craziest and most detailed dream

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-romance-author-laura-m-baird/

I am now participating in is Diana Peach’s monthly speculative fiction challenges and this month she had a delightful photo prompt. My story is called ‘The 1812 Overture”

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/07/smorgasbord-short-stories-diana-wallace-peach-februarys-speculative-fiction-prompt-the-1812-overture-by-sally-cronin/

Another of my weekly challenges is the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/03/smorgasbord-short-story-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-sea-mist-by-sally-cronin/

It is that time of the week when I get my syllables in lines in response to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 122.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/smorgasbord-poetry-colleens-weekly-poetry-challenge-122-poets-choice-etheree-metamorphosis-by-sally-cronin/

It is February 1986 and we are preparing for my birthday and I get a new car.

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/07/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1986-birthday-party-and-new-car/

Relationships – So far I have covered respect, recognition, relations in Previous Chapters, which leads me very conveniently into relationships. In this first part, I am looking at the socialisation of children before and during school that form the basis of their relationship skills in the wider world.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-relationships-in-a-modern-world-part-one-childhood-by-sally-cronin/

Author Updates and reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-bette-a-stevens-fiona-tarr-and-jan-sikes/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-miriam-hurdle-linda-g-hill-and-mark-d-giglio/

Every year, 4.2million people die worldwide within 30 days of surgery. This is a staggering 1.23million more deaths than HIV, TB and malaria combined makes up 7.7% of all fatalities – with only heart disease and stroke killing more. You can make a difference to this statistic by preparing for elective surgeries in the weeks before the operation.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/05/smorgasbord-health-column-new-statistics-on-surgery-recovery-that-are-shocking-and-preparing-for-an-operation/

The next chapter in my rollercoaster weight gain and loss history, with a pattern emerging that linked a number of physical events in my life, antibiotics, candida albicans and stress together.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/09/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-morbid-obesity-a-physical-rollercoaster-anti-biotics-candida-hormones-yo-yo-dieting/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/05/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-some-funnies-and-things-kids-say/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/07/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-my-archives-3/

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have an amazing week……

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Gardening, Farm antics, #Numerology and Apricots…guests, music and humour


Welcome to the round up of posts that you might have missed this week and it whilst snow causes havoc in the UK we have enjoyed cold but sunny days…. perhaps I shouldn’t talk too soon.

As always my thanks to those who have contributed their time and writing talent this week and also to you for popping in and keep the posts circulating.. It is much appreciated.

A repeat of Paul Andruss’s popular gardening column from last year.. this week an introduction and next week early spring bulbs.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/02/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-rewind-introduction-by-paul-andruss/

This week I look at the health benefits of eating apricots and Carol Taylor includes them in recipes for all the family.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/30/smorgasbord-health-column-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-healthy-apricots-and-recipes/

This week a look at the impact of constant change on the way we eat and how a child can suffer from chronic stress.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/02/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-obesity-change-and-stress-reaction-by-sally-cronin/

Down on the farm you need grit to cope with the guts… and poor Billy more than most..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/31/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-farm-life-gotta-have-guts-by-linda-bethea/

Annette Rochelle Aben sets us on the right path with our universal energies for February

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/01/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-numerology-with-annette-rochelle-aben-your-monthly-universal-energy-february-2019/

This week my guest is author Anne Goodwin sharing her swimming challenges, singing prowess and her preference for town or country…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/03/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-author-anne-goodwin/

The R’s of Life – Relations – the importance of the herd

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/29/something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-relations-survival-in-a-modern-society-by-sally-cronin/

It is 1999 Sam gets kittens, another job move for David and I start to work with an agent with music from Ricky Martin.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/29/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-1999-literary-agents-sam-and-is-babies-and-david-goes-to-madrid/

My response to or Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 121 and my prompt this week was this video…..

It is early February 1986 and I go with David up to Dallas for a couple of days and we visit South Fork ranch of the TV drama fame.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/31/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1986-trip-to-dallas-southfork-ranch-and-tornedoes/

Author Update

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/28/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-update-reviews-news-audrey-driscoll-brigid-p-gallagher-christoph-fischer-and-shehanne-moore/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/01/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-cynthia-reyes-frank-prem-and-annika-perry/

The health benefits of rocking… not just for babies but as an aid to a good night’s sleep too. And I also take a close look at the stages of sleep, and why watching a horror movie last thing at night is not the best thing.. for anyone!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/28/smorgasbord-health-column-rocking-motion-is-not-just-soothing-for-babies-and-benefits-of-sleep/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/29/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-some-facts-of-life-and-a-joke-from-the-archives/

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/31/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-or-two-from-the-archives/

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Good music, food, books, humour and great guests.


Welcome to the weekly round up of posts that you might have missed and I hope you have had a great week. This morning the sun is shining although it is cold. Being close to the south east coast we rarely get snow here, although last year it was an exception and it lasted a week. I know that some of you are facing extremely harsh conditions and whilst I may moan about the rain here in Ireland, we don’t have the extremes of weather that cause havoc.

It has been a busy week offline as I am back to writing everyday, posts for the blog and also new projects. One of those projects is to revive some of the stories and books that were started and then fell by the wayside. Apart from paper copies from long ago, there are also digital files that have been designated to a folder and then forgotten. I am enjoying reading stuff I wrote long ago, including some song lyrics from my 20s that have been lying dormant. I don’t remember the angst that I clearly felt when penning some of them, nor to be honest the people who caused such emotional outpourings!  Anyway, some of it will find its way into stories and poetry going forward and at least it won’t have gone to waste.

It is a lesson however, to make sure you do revisit previous stories or poems, as it is amazing how time, age and experience can bring new life to them.

Here are the posts from the week and as always my thanks to the team who contribute such amazing posts and for you for coming in to read and share them.

William Price King shares the life and music of Wee Pee Russell… Jazz Clarinettist

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/22/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-with-pee-wee-russell-clarinettist-jazz/

Carol Taylor, who is in the middle of her summer, kindly creates some winter warmers for those of us who are freezing…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/23/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-winter-warmers/

This week my guest is American author Karina Bartow sharing her craziest experience, fashion sense and her love of country life.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/27/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-author-karina-bartow/

The R’s of Life – Recognition

As a young manager over forty years ago, I was tasked to manage an established team who were all at least twenty years older than I was. I had already run my own business and also managed good-sized teams in the catering industry, but this was daunting. Thankfully I had been lucky enough to have worked for a wonderful manager, when beginning my career, who had given me a valuable piece of advice. That was to identify as quickly as possible, what motivated an individual member of staff and to develop a relationship based on the recognition of that motivation.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/22/something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-recognition-our-place-in-a-modern-society-by-sally-cronin/

It is 1998 and we move into our new home in Ireland, find the dog of our dreams and I buy a business.. all to the beat of Shania Twain.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/24/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-and-memories-1998-new-home-meeting-sam-a-health-food-shop-and-shania-twain/

This week’s  Colleen Chesebro poetry challenge – Freezing and Tempest – My first attempt at a Butterfly Cinquain

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/23/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-tuesday-poetry-challenge-120-freezing-and-tempest-sally-cronin/

The second part of our trip to New Mexico.. with a hike in McKittrick Canyon and a visit to the living desert.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/25/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1986-new-mexico-mckittrick-canyon-and-the-living-desert-part-two/

This week the accumulation factor of food and life.

It is very easy to think that a couple of biscuits with coffee every morning and with tea in the afternoon, will not make any difference to your weight.. but the accumulation factor tells a different story. Over a year having four digestive biscuits a day adds up to 32lbs or nearly 15kilos in body fat! Having a healthy diet is not about giving up everything we enjoy, but moderating how much of it you eat.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/26/smorgasbord-health-morbid-obesity-size-matters-the-sequel-chapter-two-the-accumulative-factor-of-food-and-life-sally-cronin/

Now that I have scheduled more time to write, I thought that I might join the many participants of the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge under the dedicated management of Charli Mills. It is a great exercise in brevity and I am looking forward to challenging myself. Here is my response…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/26/smorgasbord-short-story-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-challenge-broken-by-sally-cronin/New book on the shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/21/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-the-bright-side-of-darkness-by-j-e-pinto/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/24/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-pre-order-price-life-in-a-conversation-by-geoff-le-pard/

Author update

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/21/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-update-reviews-teagan-riordain-geneviene-robbie-cheadle-elsie-hancy-eaton-and-vashti-quiroz-vega/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/25/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-update-reviews-c-s-boyack-balroop-singh-and-patty-fletcher/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/22/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-debby-gies-and-another-dip-into-my-archives/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/24/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-jokes-from-the-archives-3/

Thank you again for being part of my week and for all your support.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – Good intentions by Grandmas, Bird Watching and Halley’s Comet


Doesn’t time fly when you are having fun. Well I am anyway and I hope you are too… It has been a busy week offline with various projects and also taking advantage of the cold but sunny weather. It is hard to believe that it is January 20th already but it is great that the evenings are growing lighter by a few minutes each day.

My thanks as always to you for dropping in so often and keeping me motivated and here are some of the posts you might have missed..

This week Linda shares the delightful!! coat that her Grandmother managed to find at the charity shop for her..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/17/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-linda-bethea-grandma-and-the-coat-from-hell/

Getting to know you – Sunday Interview with author Denzil Walton.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/20/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-you-with-childrens-wildlife-author-denzil-walton/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/15/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-music-column-belgium-ireland-1997-and-barbra-streisand-and-celine-dion/

The first part of our trip from Houston to Carlsbad Caverns and to see Halley’s Comet on its once in a lifetime visit.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/18/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1986-new-mexico-carlsbad-caverns-and-halleys-comet/

The title of this series came about as I dipped into a Thesaurus to find some words for a poem I was writing. I noticed that a great many words that reflected (see what I mean) key elements in our lives began with the letter ‘R’. In this first post quite a bit about what I think about RESPECT

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/15/something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-respect-in-our-modern-world-by-sally-cronin/

Chapter one of the sequel to my first book written 20 years ago which followed my 18 month challenge to lose 150lbs. I am told at 42 that I am unlikely to make 45!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/19/smorgasbord-health-size-matters-the-sequel-chapter-one-life-or-death-by-sally-cronin/

This week I look at the nutritional elements of Asparagus and Carol Taylor turns this very healthy vegetable into some delicious meals.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/16/smorgasbord-health-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-asparagus-nutrient-packed-and-delicious-recipes/

Colleen Chesebro’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge.

I have chosen ‘Secret and Draw’ for my key words this week and I am also trying my hand at a Haibun… here is the link  where you will find a description of this form which is a combination of prose and poetry.

Rejuvenation

I have discovered the secret to eternal youth. I stand before the mirror. With eyes almost closed the image blurs. Wrinkles disappear. Hair regains its colour. The extra pounds fall away. I am tall and strong. A reflection of how I used to be. I draw the image towards me absorbing its essence.

Do not be deceived
Challenge the silver backed mirror
Remain young at heart.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/17/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-tuesday-poetry-challenge-haibun-rejuvenation/

New book on the shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/14/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-how-to-craft-a-kickass-protagonist-10-steps-to-hero-by-sacha-black/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/16/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-fancy-meeting-you-here-by-jim-webster/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/17/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-non-fiction-the-universal-mind-by-peter-weisz-dip-psych-hnd-bacp/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/19/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-paranormal-end-of-day-a-hodes-hill-novel-book-2-by-mae-clair/

Author Update -Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/14/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-judith-barrow-jacquie-biggar-and-daniel-kemp/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-tony-riches-iain-kelly-and-lizzie-chantree/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/15/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-another-a-joke-from-my-archives/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/17/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-jokes-from-the-archives-2/

Thanks for dropping by and hope to see you again next week… Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Christmas Celebrations – The Weekly Round Up – More parties, books, stories and music..


We are almost there with the last of the Christmas book promotions and just one more Christmas party to go tomorrow. I have had so much fun over the last few weeks and I hope you have too.

We have had a family dinner this week, and apart from one or two other visits, we shall be spending Christmas quietly. There will be a few packages left for you to open including a very welcome short story over four days from Paul Andruss. Paul has been working on a number of projects that will continue into 2019, but he has kindly sent a wonderful Japanese themed story for us all to enjoy. There will also be a special post on New Year’s Eve to round this series off. Hopefully we will see Paul from time to time in the coming year.

I will be spending time offline working on the new promotional series for 2019 and also one or two of my own writing projects. I do like having something humming away in the background.

As always my thanks to contributors and guests this week who you will be meeting shortly, and if you are around tomorrow between making last minute arrangements, the Twelfth Day of Christmas will be paying a tribute to some of those not already featured.

My husband has told me he has done finished his shopping for Christmas and sent me a photo of our tree to prove it! Me thinks he is telling fibs….either that or Father Christmas is using our lounge as a sorting office!

Anyway.. on with the posts from the week and you have just 2 days left of my Free book offer as it ends at midnight on Christmas Eve wherever you live….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-the-last-author-to-be-self-promoted-and-free-giveaway-sally-cronin/

A short series of classical hits for Christmas shared by William Price King..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/21/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-celebrations-william-price-king-music-for-christmas-and-new-year-sleigh-ride/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/22/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-celebrations-music-for-christmas-and-new-year-part-two-ill-be-home-for-christmas/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/23/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-celebrations-william-price-king-music-for-christmas-and-new-year/

The Most Dependable Fight of the Year.

Daddy took his hunting very seriously. This was a man’s sport, an entitlement. Real men hunted and fished. A man’s outdoor gear was a reflection of his manhood. Daddy would have sooner worn lace panties than not follow the unwritten rules. His hunting gear was a necessity, not an extravagance like a dependable car, bills paid on time, and clothes for the family. Daddy always had money held out of his paycheck weekly for the Christmas Club, but Mother never could remember that deer season came around the same time as the Christmas Club checks were issued’  Read on….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/20/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-guest-post-the-most-dependable-fight-of-the-year-by-linda-bethea/

Three Mince Pies

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

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

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/21/smorgasbord-short-stories-for-christmas-three-mince-pies-by-sally-cronin/

You are never too old for love

He was getting on a bit in years, his eyesight was very dodgy, and his hip was definitely causing him gyp. His teeth were still okay; he still enjoyed his meat slightly chewy, instead of that pap that they gave the real oldies in this residence. And if truth be told, despite his advanced years there was still a little fizz left when it came to the ladies. In fact there was a rather saucy looking old gal in the residence four down from him, who despite the silver threads through her glorious mane of hair, still had a twinkle in her eye. Read on

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/22/smorgasbord-short-stories-for-christmas-youre-never-too-old-for-love-by-sally-cronin/comment-page-1/#comment-175893

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/17/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-dystopian-thriller-a-justified-state-by-iain-kelly/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-historical-brandon-tudor-knight-by-tony-riches/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/19/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-the-widows-son-by-daniel-kemp/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/20/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-soul-taker-the-council-of-twelve-book-1-by-a-j-alexander/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/17/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-wealth-relationships-humour-sharon-marchisello-lisa-thomson-barb-taub-and-molly-stevens/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/17/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-the-fifth-day-of-christmas-with-guests-d-g-kaye-lizzie-chantree-and-joy-lennick/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/18/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-the-sixth-day-of-christmas-with-guests-william-price-king-annette-rochelle-aben-and-jan-sikes/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/19/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-the-seventh-day-of-christmas-with-guests-jessica-norrie-and-marjorie-mallon/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/20/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-the-eighth-day-of-christmas-with-guest-donata-zawakzka-and-robbie-cheadle/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/21/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-celebrations-the-ninth-day-of-christmas-with-guests-linda-bethea-and-sandra-j-jackson/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/22/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-celebrations-the-tenth-day-of-christmas-with-guests-alison-williams-and-patty-fletcher/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/23/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-the-eleventh-day-of-christmas-with-guests-colleen-chesebro-and-anne-goodwin/

As we get fully engaged with the festive season there is one particular organ in the body which deserves some consideration. When you are offered your fifth mince pie or another glass of eggnog – it is not usual for you to think…….

“OMG NO my poor liver cannot take another drop”!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/19/smorgasbord-health-column-buy-your-liver-a-gift-for-christmas-moderation-and-milk-thistle-by-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/18/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-more-christmas-funnies/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/20/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-with-more-christmas-funnies-and-a-joke-or-two-from-the-archives/

I hope you have enjoyed the week’s posts and one more party to go tomorrow, a Letter from America special and another classical Christmas hit from William Price King.

From 27th of December there will be a four part story from Paul Andruss with a beautiful Japanese theme. And more treats on New Year’s Eve.  On Christmas Day and the 26th there will be some funnies and videos should you need a rest from the festivities.

Thank you for being here during the week, the blog would not be the same without you.. thanks Sally.

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a Book for Christmas – #Wealth #Relationships #humour – Sharon Marchisello, Lisa Thomson, Barb Taub and Molly Stevens.


We are in the last phase of the Christmas Promotions of books in the Cafe. So far I have tried to group books into genres (loose sometimes) and now I am sharing some of the books that are stand alone or are in a non-fiction category.

Such as the first book, published in November, by Sharon Marchisello and reflects her experience within the financial sector. We all would like to reach a state of financial security or independence, and this book is aimed at guiding us to that state. Live Well, Grow Wealth: A Commonsense Guide to Shrinking Your Financial Footprint.

About the book.

Live Well, Grow Wealth is Personal Finance 101, a commonsense guide to shrinking your financial footprint. Sharon Marchisello compares managing your financial life to reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, and in ten easy-to-follow steps, she shows ordinary people how to build wealth by living within their means without compromising their values.

And early review for the book

Sharon’s writing is warm and friendly as well as instructive. After a few pages, I felt I was sitting in her kitchen, sharing conversation and a cup of coffee. The clearly defined objectives of each chapter resonate with audiences from teens to us “aging baby boomers.” As one of the latter, I appreciated the message that it’s never too late – nor too difficult.

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1986446123

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Live-Well-Grow-Wealth-Commonsense/dp/1986446123

Also by Sharon Marchisello

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Sharon-Marchisello/e/B00NH6N4WK/

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sharon-Marchisello/e/B00NH6N4WK/

Read other reviews and follow Sharon on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4297807.Sharon_Marchisello

Connect to Sharon via her blog: https://sharonmarchisello.blogspot.com/

Now time for some short stories… from an author who has also written two books on a subject that is not necessary very festive… Divorce. However, this romantic collection of stories may well help prevent reaching that point in a relationship! Lisa Thomson with Hearts Unbroken.

About the collection

Hearts Unbroken is a short story collection about love, loss and healing our broken hearts.
Marriage, love, divorce, and loss are fascinating subjects that provide a sharp backdrop to the human experience. How we love, have our hearts broken, and rebound, create stories that connect us. This collection touches on a variety of scenarios. Extra-marital affairs, abandonment, single parenting, widowhood, and finding love again, are the themes explored.

In the face of loss, we often rise from the ruins, surprised by our own ability to heal, as the characters show us. Mack is a single father, abandoned by his wife. He views himself as a broken down Chevy of a father—yet his two children love him all the same. Rachel is a young widow, having lost the man she loves, unexpectedly. We see her grief unfold and love grow again. Ava, is a married woman with a dirty secret, can her catholic marriage survive? This collection of short stories offers the reader much to contemplate when it comes to love and loss. Above all, it offers hope. Watching the variety of characters putting their broken hearts back together, will inspire the deepest cynic to love again.

One of the early reviews for Hearts Unbroken.

Hearts Unbroken’ by Lisa Thomson is an anthology of short stories that tug at reader’s heart, as they talk about human emotions and relationships, some of them so fragile that they need a solo long drive to figure them out. Sarah’s marriage is a façade and she discovers it the day she decides to attend her family reunion without her husband who has no respect for her emotions and desires. He shrugs her off with an insensitive remark. No less poignant are the questions of Samantha who is too little to understand why her mommy is not coming home to tuck her in her bed.

Lisa excels in bringing out raw emotions without letting them melt into a melodrama. Her characters move on with their life despite heavy baggage of betrayal and internal strife. If Kora felt imprisoned within her own home, she had the courage to break free from the dazzling world of Jack, if Ava had rebuffed men to avoid an affair, she also knew how to calm her carnal desires. Grief stricken Rachel could rise to the occasion to save Alex. All these persons seem to be so familiar. They could be one of our friends, struggling with an unhappy marriage or a neighbor who doesn’t know how to deal with domestic abuse.

Lisa’s stories deal with these realistic problems in the most authentic manner, holding the reader’s interest till the end. If you wonder what good relationships are and how they can be nurtured, read this book. If men fail to appreciate the role of a woman in their homes and how much work is required to keep it blossoming, they would surely learn from Mack. I devoured this book within hours!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Hearts-Unbroken-Stories-Lisa-Thomson-ebook/dp/B07CV8D2RH

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hearts-Unbroken-Stories-Lisa-Thomson-ebook/dp/B07CV8D2RH

Also by Lisa Thomson

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Lisa-Thomson/e/B007HNG4CQ/

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lisa-Thomson/e/B007HNG4CQ/

Read more reviews and follow Lisa on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6692957.Lisa_Thomson

Connect to Lisa via her website: http://www.lisathomsonlive.com/

Another author who has written a book on one of the phases of life that most of us face is Barb Taub with her humorous book published in January of this year. Life Begins When the Kids Leave Home.. and the dog dies.

About the book

Chapter 1. A California girl named Barb met her prince of a guy. He was tall, dark, and handsome. (Actually, he was a Republican. But he was definitely tall.) They fell in love, and got married. Chapter 2. He brought her to his castle in England and they lived happily ever after. THE END** **Luckily, 35+ years of living happened between Chapters 1 and 2, giving Barb plenty of material for this collection (in no particular chronological order) from her newspaper columns, articles, blog posts, and that time she killed Mom. And that’s before

Chapter 3 even starts. “I have learned to put down the coffee and place breakable objects at a safe distance when a post from Barb Taub comes up. It is very hard to drink coffee and laugh at the same time without redecorating the desk…”—author Sue Vincent Bio: In halcyon days BC (before children), Barb Taub wrote a humor column for several Midwest newspapers. With the arrival of Child #4, she veered toward the dark side (an HR career).

Following a daring daytime escape to England, she’s lived in a medieval castle , a hobbit house, and a Scottish isle with her prince-of-a-guy and the World’s Most Spoiled AussieDog. Considering all her days are now Saturdays, Barb is amazed that this is her sixth book.

One of the reviews for the book.

Ritu 5.0 out of 5 stars Hilariously realistic! 18 August 2018

Now, I am not quite at retirement stage, not looking out for grandchildren, as my own kids are still young, thankfully, but I enjoyed reading Barb Taub’s collection of essays immensely!

The articles about motherhood resonated deeply, and I have to say I snorted with laughter at many! Barb Taub has a way with words, her humour is brilliant and these short essays keep you turning the pages.

You could dip in and out of this book, but I was so immersed, I read it continually (when my own children would allow) until the very last page! Definitely recommended!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Life-Begins-When-Kids-Leave/dp/1976934125

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Life-Begins-When-Kids-Leave-ebook/dp/B079428DNQ

Also by Barb Taub

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Barb-Taub/e/B00EZP9BS8/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Barb-Taub/e/B00EZP9BS8

Follow Barb Taub on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7267656.Barb_Taub

Connect to Barb via her website: https://barbtaub.com/about/

The the final author today is Molly Stevens whose created a picture book story for those of us of a certain age. Boomer on the Ledge.

About Boomer on the Ledge.

Do you believe aging is grim? Something to tolerate while waiting for the reaper? Be prepared to challenge this assumption when you read: Introducing: Boomer on the Ledge.™ Molly Stevens observed her grandsons discovering Christmas magic with an elf who monitored their behavior and reported it to Santa. As invasive as that seemed, she realized no one watches people in her age group unless scanning for signs of dementia. She felt invisible and needed validation. So she created a little doll whose daily surprises reminded her how being a boomer is both harrowing and hilarious. From the mundane to the sublime, let Boomer on the Ledge™ help you transform grim into grins while you explore the antics of an aging boomer.

The most recent review for the book

Who is a boomer ? What does a boomer look like ? Is there a stereotype? Would everyone become a boomer sometime or is it the select few ? The answers to all these questions and more are provided through this short and sweet book, almost as small as a comic book of yore. Yes, the book is short, too short for my like, leaving me with the the wish for more. But it is like cranberry sauce, one always feels like going for a second helping. 

Read the reviews and buy the book from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Boomer-Ledge-Molly-Stevens-ebook/dp/B075YBHMZ7

and at Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Boomer-Ledge-Molly-Stevens-ebook/dp/B075YBHMZ7

Connect to Molly Stevens via her website: http://www.shallowreflections.com

Thank you for visiting today and I hope you leave with a book or two.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Christmas – Weekly Update – Christmas parties, guest posts, books, Traditional Christmas menu and music.


Welcome to the weekly round up and I am sure that you are all in the middle of getting your own Christmas or holidays sorted. We have family staying this week and a dinner planned with visitors which we are looking forward to.

We actually tend to hibernate from Christmas Eve until New Year’s Day and it has become a tradition to drop whatever we are doing online (except for an hour a day – otherwise I get cranky)… and spend time together enjoying movies, meals out and laughing. Christmas is for family and we will be Skyping my sisters on the day, as they will be together for dinner in Portsmouth.

With just the two of us, we tend to not get a turkey and will be having aged sirloin steaks, chips, onion rings and ice-cream for our dinner. We might start with some scallops and prawns if I can find some fresh ones and any other of our favourite foods I can locate. A glass or two of good Spanish red and then a power nap I think before Quality Street and a rerun of one of the classic Christmas movies.

It has been a busy week with the Christmas book promotions and parties so I will stop chatting and get on with it.

As always very grateful to my regular contributors and you will find a couple of your favourites popping in over Christmas to entertain you. Including a four part story set in Japan by Writer in Residence Paul Andruss, who has taken time out from his writing sabbatical to share.

And thank you too for visiting, liking, commenting and sharing the post, it is much appreciated.

This week William Price King introduces us to the magical Alice Coltrane pianist and harpist.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/11/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-alice-coltrane-pianist-harpist/

Last week Carol Taylor delighted with her Vegetarian Christmas Menu.. and this week she created a feast for those of us who like some turkey for our dinner… with all the trimmings. An amazing amount of work and I am so grateful for all her efforts in the last 18 months.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/12/smorgasbord-christmas-celebrations-the-food-column-carol-taylor-traditional-christmas-menu/

Geoff Le Pard entertains with the second of his guest posts this Christmas…Traditions Le Pard Family Style

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/15/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-guest-post-hristmas-traditions-le-pard-family-style-by-geoff-le-pard/

Delighted to announce that from January Annette Rochelle Aben will be writing a new column for the blog.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/13/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-coming-in-january-2019-your-monthly-universal-energy-numerology-with-annette-rochelle-aben/

This week there are three prompts as part of Colleen Chesebro Poetry Challenge no. 114, 115, 116 as Colleen is going to be taking a well earned break.. So no recaps until early January. But Colleen has left you the prompts for those three weeks if you would like to continue with the series. I felt like going off piste this week.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/12/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-tuesday-poetry-challenge-off-piste-with-season-of-goodwill/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/10/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-fascinating-new-yorkers-power-freaks-mobsters-liberated-women-creators-queers-and-crazies-by-clifford-browder/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/11/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-alchemist-gift-alchemist-series-book-1-by-mark-d-giglio/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/12/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-romance-forgetting-my-way-back-to-you-by-karina-bartlow/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/10/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-collaborations-kim-blades-and-robbie-cheadle-john-w-howell-and-gwen-plano-jane-risdon-and-christina-jones/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/11/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-thrillers-short-stories-luna-saint-claire-jan-sikes-and-kristina-stanley/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/12/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-mystery-adventure-fantasy-andrew-joyce-daniel-kemp-teagan-riordain-geneviene-and-linda-g-hill/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/13/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-mysteries-and-satire-anita-dawes-christoph-fischer-sue-hampton-allan-hudson-and-ian-hutson/

Jessica Norrie

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/14/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-relationships-italy-scotland-mystery-with-leslie-tate-patricia-salamone-john-quinn-and-jessica-norrie/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/15/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-doglovers-romance-fantasy-poetry-patty-fletcher-miriam-hurdle-sandra-j-jackson-and-deborah-jay/

The First Day of Christmas with guests Mary Smith, Jacquie Biggar and John Howell sharing their most memorable Christmas gifts, with music, food and traditions from around the world.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/13/smorgasbord-christmas-celebrations-the-first-day-of-christmas-with-guests-mary-smith-jacquie-biggar-and-john-w-howell/

The Second Day of Christmas with special memories from Darlene Foster and Miriam Hurdle.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/14/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-the-second-day-of-christmas-with-guests-darlene-foster-and-miriam-hurdle/

The Third Day of Christmas with their most favourite Christmas gifts Jennie Fitzkee and Lisa Thomson

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/15/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-the-third-day-of-christmas-with-guests-jennie-fitzkee-and-lisa-thomson/

The Fourth Day of Christmas with guests Norah Colvin and Amy Reade sharing their most favourite gifts ever.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/16/smorgasbord-christmas-celebrations-the-fourth-day-of-christmas-with-guests-norah-colvin-and-amy-reade/

It is the season for Christmas parties and family gatherings and at this time of year there is the additional pleasure of getting kissed under the mistletoe – of course it all depends on who is doing the kissing, but having fresh breath before embarking on this lovely activity is essential.  Reach for the Peppermint

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/14/smorgasbord-health-column-heading-under-the-mistletoe-indigestion-reach-for-the-peppermint/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/11/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-time-to-get-the-party-started-christmas-funnies/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/13/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-christmas-fun-from-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-festive-joke-from-the-archives/

Thank you very much for visiting and hope you have enjoyed the Christmas celebrations.. more to come next week.. thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a Book for Christmas #PsychologicalThriller #YAFantasy – Jaye Marie, Helen Jones, Alethea Kehas and Jean Lee


We are coming to the end of the Christmas promotions that have shared all the active authors in the Cafe and Bookstore, with just a couple more posts to go. Today some fabulous authors with books that would make great gifts for family and friends.

The first author has written a series as well as stand alone novels. As usual.. I will feature the first book in the series and here is Jaye Marie and The Ninth Life ( Murder Mystery Series ‘Lives’ Book 1)

About The Ninth Life

Nine Lives is the story of struggling and ageing artist Kate Devereau’s life as she tries to make sense of her often confusing existence. She needs to understand what has been happening to her, and why she seems to have cheated death on so many occasions.
To understand why she has been plagued by the mysterious, tormenting voice in her head before it might be too late to do anything about it

One of the reviews for The Ninth Life.

Sep 06, 2017 Rosie Amber rated it Four Stars.

The Ninth Life is a psychological thriller set mainly in Guildford, Surrey.

Kate is a fifty-nine year old artist. She has an unusual voice in her head that provides commentary on her life; however, she has always tried to ignore what it says. Kate is currently working on a series of seascape pieces for Sam, a gallery owner and best friend, who is opening a new gallery in London.

We learn about Kate’s earlier life in a series of memories; her hardships, relationships and her current desire for solitude are all fed to us in easy-to-absorb chunks. Early on we are introduced to a sinister character who is besotted with her. As the story develops there is a slow build-up of tension, with a net of mishaps and murder that draw closer.

I liked Kate, with her artistic flair and disregard for most responsibility unless it was connected to her paintings. It became her coping mechanism in the face of underlying fears. Her passion for art shone through and I could almost see the paintings she so lovingly produced. Her back story was interesting and filled out her character, but the method of introducing it got a little repetitive towards the end. I did want to know a little more about those who loved Kate and, perhaps, what drew them to her. For me, there were so many unanswered questions about many of them, I would have enjoyed a little more to flesh out the characters.

Overall a good debut novel. If you like art and enjoy the thriller genre, then give this a go.

Read other reviews and buy the book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Ninth-Life-running-Murder-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00O272A14

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ninth-Life-running-Murder-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00O272A14

Also by Jaye Marie

Find out more about Jaye Marie and buy her books: https://www.amazon.com/Jaye-Marie/e/B00O2ZUFOK

Read more reviews and follow Jaye Marie on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8638857.Jaye_Marie

Connect to Jaye Marie via her website: https://jenanita01.com/

Now time for a popular YA/Fantasy series from Helen Jones with book five coming soon. The Ambeth Chronicles is also available as a set with books 1-3. Here is more about the first in the series which would make a great gift for teenagers in the family. Oak & Mist.

About book one Oak & Mist, The Ambeth Chronicles

‘The end of everything? Great, no pressure then.’

Take a journey to Ambeth, where time twists and a palace gleams in green gardens. Where Light and Dark hold the Balance of the worlds, and beauty is a birthright, not a gift.

However, appearances can be deceiving.

When Alma stumbles between two trees into Ambeth, she finds she has a choice to make. Three items are lost: A Cup, a Sword and a Crown. Light and Dark are embroiled in a struggle for control. And both sides have been waiting for Alma to arrive…

A hidden world. A family secret. And a choice. But how do you choose between your head and your heart?

One of the reviews for the book

Darque Dreamer 4.0 out of 5 stars Rich and Magical. August 14, 2018

Oak and Mist was full of beauty and mystery. I loved how vivid and vivacious it was! It drew me in from the beginning and kept me turning pages until the end!

I loved how unique the world felt. It had a lot of details and was very nicely developed. I really loved the idea of entering this world of Light and Dark by accidentally finding a gate in the human world and entering it. It had a faerie tale/faerie world feel, as the story told that sometimes humans happened upon these gates, entered the world, and when they returned to the human world, decades had passed during their absence. It was all kind of centered around mysticism and lore, and was quite beautiful.

I enjoyed the dynamic characters. Though, I do wish they had had a little more time to develop, they felt realistic and fascinating. I enjoyed Alma’s curiosity and boldness. I loved Caleb’s kindness. I fell in love with King Thorian and his emotions, and I was dangerously drawn to Deryck and his dark seduction.

The story was quite fast paced. I do wish it had been slowed down a little bit to really allow some more development and details to be added, but it definitely did not drag anywhere. It felt like a typical YA plot, but it did have a few unpredictable moments that shocked and surprised me, and it still had enough originality to keep me reading.

What I found the most interesting about the story was the fact that it wasn’t just another battle between Light and Dark. It was also about the gray area, about choices, and about emotions and impulses. There was a richness to it, and it was quite magical. I’d rate it 3.5 stars and I would definitely want to read the next one!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Oak-Mist-Ambeth-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B00V4ZIKUW

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/product-reviews/B00V4ZIKUW

Also in the Ambeth Chronicles and by Helen Jones

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Helen-Jones/e/B00VG6SWN4/

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Helen-Jones/e/B00VG6SWN4

Read more reviews and follow Helen Jones on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13910923.Helen_Jones

Connect to Helen Jones via her blog: https://journeytoambeth.com/

Time for some more YA/Fantasy from Alethea Kehas – The Labyrinth (Warriors of Light Book 1) which was published in the summer and has been receiving wonderful reviews.

About The Labyrinth

Within the realm of night, six teens are brought into a mysterious labyrinth that is plagued by darkness. They have been told they are the chosen warriors who have been tasked to repair the network of light within Earth. An impossible mission that only becomes possible after they discover the gifts that reside within their shadow selves. Gifts that can only be unlocked by traveling the maze of light that is as much outside of them as it is inside of them.

A recent review for the book

This is a beautifully written book that can be enjoyed by anyone who appreciates adventurers who work to improve themselves and their situations with courage and intelligence. As characters the youngsters show up well in the various situations they find themselves yet not without having to battle their personal demons. I enjoyed it that the violence was not out of proportion to the story, and that there wasn’t a lot of silly “teen age” behavior. Best of all, I felt was the interesting way the author presented nuggets of he Ancient Wisdom, those principles that guide us to our best selves. I can’t wait to see the next book!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FP3GYBH/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Labyrinth-Warriors-Light-Book-ebook/dp/B07FP3GYBH/

Also by Alethea Kehas

You can find all Alethea’s books and anthologies on her Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Alethea-Kehas/e/B00NO1SB9O

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Alethea-Kehas/e/B00NO1SB9O/

Read more reviews and follow Alethea on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17149309.Alethea_Kehas

Connect to Alethea via her website: www.aletheakehas.com

And last but not least today is the first book in the series Fallen Princeborn: Stolen by Jean Lee which is YA/Dark Fantasy and another great gift for the teens in the family.

About Book 1 of the omnibus, Fallen Princeborn: Stolen

Over the Wall, they came to hunt humans. But now, a human’s going to hunt them. This girl’s nobody’s prey.

In rural Wisconsin, an old stone wall is all that separates the world of magic from the world of man—a wall that keeps the shapeshifters inside. When something gets out, people disappear. Completely.

Escaping from an abusive uncle, eighteen-year-old Charlotte is running away with her younger sister Anna. Together they board a bus. Little do they know that they’re bound for River Vine—a shrouded hinterland where dark magic devours and ancient shapeshifters feed, and where the seed of love sets root among the ashes of the dying.

Watch for book 2 in Spring 2019

One of the recent reviews for the book

Fallen Princeborn: Stolen, Jean Lee’s breakout YA novel, was eight years in the writing, eight years in the creating, eight years in the honing; and eight years in the suffering — through her postpartum depression; through past breaches of trust rearing themselves in the present; through invalidation of the self that can only be understood by others similarly situated — and in the end, Jean Lee would probably say it was worth it, for every drop of her experience, sweat and tears made it onto the pages of Fallen Princeborn: Stolen, showcasing her raw talent, and the strength of will and character it took not just to survive, but thrive. 

First, the backstory. Jean Lee wrote a series of standalone shorts encapsulated under the common banner of Tales of the River Vine, the precursors to Fallen Princeborn: Stolen, and an exposé of the characters we’ll meet there. The stories are like bursts of mouth-watering flavor, a small, delicious taste of what is to come. Tales of the River Vine introduces us to: The Boy Who Kept a Forest in His Pocket, where we first see The Wall, a malevolent force all its own; The Stray, and the strange cat known as Captain Whiskers; Dandelion of Defiance, and the beautiful Ember, a hunter from the fairy world who pays a large price for her insubordination; No More Pretty Rooms, and the cruel and insouciant prince who once ruled indiscriminately over River Vine; The Preservation Jar, about the same prince, now repentant, and his wise teacher who hope to change the course of the evil forces plotting to overtake River Vine; and Tattered Rhapsody, and the feisty Miss Charlotte, the indomitable heroine who would give up all, even her beloved music, to keep her sister, Anna safe. By the time you’ve finished Tattered Rhapsody, you’re primed to dive into Fallen. Oh, and the shorts are all free on Amazon Kindle so no excuse not to read, eh?

Tattered Rhapsody begins with Charlotte performing on the piano for her teacher and a few college recruiters, the scrappiest pianist ever to grace a stage. Her hands are raw, cracked and painful looking, but her demeanor is pure steel and musical genius. Her teacher praises her to the recruiters, angling for a scholarship. The same teacher later tries to convince Charlotte why she should take the scholarship, but Charlotte refuses to leave her sister behind and under the “care” of several less than competent adults. You don’t need to have read the back stories to start in on Fallen Princeborn: Stolen, but it will prime you for the novel and launch you into a magical and most unsettling world of fairy magic where grudges rarely die, but humans often do.

Fallen picks up right where Tattered left off. Charlotte has agreed to take the scholarship on the condition that Anna go with her, and the girls are on a bus headed to their Aunt Gail’s where they will live while Charlotte attends school and follows her musical aspirations. We get early on that there is trouble in the girls’ home, a father who’s died, a mother left grieving and unable to cope, and an aunt and uncle that are more foes than friends. The particulars are unraveled slowly, like pulled taffy, the nefarious and horrific nature of the girls’ situation worse than hell, and Charlotte refuses to leave Anna to face that alone. For her part, Anna seems a bit vapid and if you’re like me, you may find yourself questioning why Charlotte has remained so loyal when she receives so little in return.

So off to Aunt Gail’s the girls go with everything maybe working out for a change, but then the inevitable snafu: the bus breaks down and the passengers are rescued by another bus, but this one smells funny, like death and decay under everything shiny and new — in addition to being a good fighter, Charlotte’s super power is her sense of smell — and the driver and his helper are more than a bit odd. Before the next 24 hours are up, Charlotte will have crossed over into a land that defies logic. “Charlie” will fight anyone and anything that preclude her from keeping Anna safe, but if she needed to be badass before, now her and Anna’s lives depend upon it.

If you enjoy stories about magic, good versus evil, and the fight for justice, then Fallen Princeborn: Stolen guarantees hours of reading pleasure. I think you’ll agree with me that Miss Charlotte may be the gutsiest, most combative heroine to ever to burst the shackles of your heart.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1949428001

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1949428001

Here is a selection of the six short story collections from Tales of the River Vine also published this year.

Read the reviews and buy all the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jean-Lee/e/B07DPP2RV6

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.com/Jean-Lee/e/B07DPP2RV6/

You can find more reviews and follow Jean Lee on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18139027.Jean_Lee

Connect to Jean via her website: https://jeanleesworld.com/

Many thanks for dropping in today and I am sure there will be a book or two that would make great gifts for the whole family. Thanks Sally