Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Rum Cocktails, Blog Sitters and all that Jazz


I have had a lovely week with a birthday and Valentine’s Day and I am now about to pack my bags to head off for a girls week with my two sisters to celebrate all our birthdays which all fall in February. I will report on the activities they have planned on my return… at least those I can talk about!

I got very excited when I read the headlines in the Daily Mail online yesterday that promised hotter temperatures than Spain with a high of 16 degrees and sunshine.. As I was planning what to pack, I thought I better check a more reliable source than the DM!  Sure enough, apart from a couple of days with a glimpse of yellow behind the clouds there is a 45 – 55% of rain all week and a high of 10 or 11.

I have put away my swimsuit, shorts and flip flops again in the attic with the other summer clothes that I fear may never see the light of day again.

However, all is not lost as David bought me a therapy lamp with safe tanning for my birthday. I have been using as advised and retire upstairs to the spare bedroom and don goggles, my iPod and pretend for 15 minutes that I am on a tropical island on a sandy beach. It was not quite there…. but David solved that by buying a bottle of rum, and a dram of that in my coconut water and Bob’s your uncle.. (please drink responsibly with only one cocktail per tanning session and only at sundown)


I was going to put up a few regular posts during my absence just to keep things ticking over. I then thought that it seemed a shame not to use this as an opportunity to promote a few of my blogging friends and so posted a part-time blog sitter vacancy.

I know how busy everyone is with their own blog and projects so was very grateful to receive a wonderful response to the advert.  I have put together a programme of events for the week that I am away beginning Tuesday with posts from this group of talent writers.

Paul Andruss, Tina Frisco, Colin Chappell, Debby Gies, William Price King, Geoff Le Pard, Noelle Granger, Susan M. Toy, Mary Smith, Robbie Cheadle, John W. Howell and Linda Bethea.

The full programme details can be found here:

Time for some of the posts you might have missed during the week.

William Price King – Leontyne Price

classical music

As always my thanks to William Price King for his weekly music post and this week we follow the career and performances of Leontyne Price during the 1960s. Look out for William’s Creative Artist Interview on Wednesday March 1st.  It is an interactive interview and I hope that you will drop in and ask William questions about his life and career in the comments.

Paul Andruss

Thomas the Rhymer

Although Paul has contributed articles for the blog over the last couple of months I was delighted when he accepted my invitation to be a regular contributor going forward.. This is his official first post as Writer in Residence.

Personal Stuff

A short story for Valentine’s Day.. about love.. of course..

Weekly Image and Haiku


Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update

51et2jncwzl-_uy250_charlene-new 51pgonihral

glimpsesCover Art by Jon Hunsinger51abcfiqqgl-_uy250_

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves







Smorgasbord Blogger Daily showcasing 25 bloggers and their posts.


Smorgasbord Health 2017Seasonal Affective Disorder

Food to pep you up a bit.. and not just for Valentines Day.

New series – Top to Toe – The Human Body – The Brain

A -Z of Common Conditions… nothing more common than the cold!



That’s me done for the week.. It is a bit early for a rum and coconut juice but I might take a cup of coffee up with me to the tropical paradise and listen to some calypsos!

N.B. If you would like to promote your books and blog here on Smorgasbord the details are here. If you contact me and I don’t respond immediately don’t worry I will get back to you on my return after 28th of Feb.

Thanks for dropping by and see some of you tomorrow for a few of the regular promotions before I head off.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Leyton, Hollywood, #Trysts, Llandeilo and DNA

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome to the last Blogger Daily of the week and Monday’s will be the last until I return from my week away with my sisters.  So please help me out and leave the link to your latest post so that I can share…kicking off today’s episode is Jessica Norrie.

Jessica Norrie

Jessica Norrie had some technical issues with printers and cars this week that necessitated some free time spent in Leyton High Road.. a very multi-cultural part of London that demonstrates retail integration.

I lost two hours to a petulant printer which greeted the joyous news of my novel’s complete first draft grudgingly. It ground out crumpled disordered sheets and required intense therapy every ten pages. A charming (no, really: I asked for and value her knowledge) Gujarati speaking friend then pointed out everything that was wrong with the chapters featuring my Hindu family. Ten percent of the 300 hard won pages is effectively waste paper.”See?” crowed the printer.”I told you you should have waited.”

See some great photos of Leyton High Road and read the rest of the post:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

A little detour from Leyton High Road to Hollywood as the fanfare and glitter that is the Oscars is nearly upon us.  I love to watch the awards.. but prefer to fast forward when I do get to see them passed the stuttering and the tears.. and the hurry up music.  But I do love to see the films I have enjoyed receiving their accolades.  Here is a guide to some of the main categories that might interest you if like me you love the movies.

Plagman writes for

The Academy Awards, I don’t believe I’m typing this, are next weekend, if you can believe it, so I thought I’d take a minute and isolate the hardest categories to predict. The BAFTA’s were last weekend, and the results there have caused a couple of shake-ups in some categories. So here’s a rundown of what I think the hardest categories to predict are.

Best Actor in a Leading Role

This is a mano y mano between Casey Affleck, who swept the board until late January when competitor Denzel Washington won the SAG Award, which has correctly predicted Best Actor at the Oscars since 2003. One other thing to consider, Manchester by the Sea seems like a film that reached its high point in popularity when nominations were announced. Since then, Fences seems to be the more popular film between the two, and with Viola Davis guaranteed a win for her work in the film, it feels like you can’t award one performance with award the other, yet Casey won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor, which has gotten 8 out of the last 10 Best Actors correct at the Oscars. Man, this one will come down to the wire, but I’m sticking with Denzel until I see some more evidence that Casey’s coming back out front.

Read about the other categories:

poetic-ritualsNow a response to one of Sue Vincent’s #WritePhoto.. This time by Poet Ritu Bhathal with #Tryst – Wartime and a young couple whose paths cross in a village….

Meet me!”

She looked at him, his eyes pleading with her as well as his words.

“Please, Rebecca, meet me tonight.”

It was Jake’s last night here before he left to join the rest of the local young men, joining up to fight for King and country.

For the last few months, their growing attraction to one another had been hard to control. She had fallen for his chocolate brown eyes, ever since she popped into Farmer Smith’s farm shop for her aunt to pick up any eggs he had available.

Even though she was not a child, her parents had sent her to the village where her aunt lived, as a precautionary measure, alongside her younger siblings.

Read the rest of the story:


The Llandeilo Lit Fest organised by author Christoph Fischer begins on April 27th through to Sunday 30th April.. There is a packed calendar of literary events that I have included a link to.. Even if you do not live locally there is some stunning scenery in the area and some great places to stay.

The festival is a four day programme of literary events running from Thursday 27th to Sunday 30th April. During the festival readings, discussions, workshops and literary talks will take place across Llandeilo including at the Cawdor Hotel, Horeb Chapel, Eve’s Toy Shop, the Fountain Fine Art Gallery, the Civic Hall and the Angel Inn. A book hunt will also take place in the town. There are children’s competitions to enter and the Lit Fest will be hosting a two day book fair in the Civic Hall.

Festival in chronological order:

Thursday April 27th, 2pm at Llandeilo Library
William Williams Pantycelyn
Yr Athro Densil Morgan ac Elinor Jones yn trafod bywyd, gwaith a dylanwad William Williams Pantycelyn yn nodi 300 mlwyddiant yr emynydd a’r bardd o Lanfair ar y Bryn.
Prof. Densil Morgan and Elinor Jones explore the work and life of the world’s most prolific hymn writer and Llandovery’s most famous son, in the year of his 300th anniversary.

Tursday April 27th 7pm at the Angel Inn
Is romance dead? Bringing depth to romance novels – a discussion with Kate Glanville and Brenda Squires

Read the rest of the packed calendar:


Now for a very useful post by Noelle Granger on DNA.. fascinating stuff.. having traced my (maternal) mitochondrial DNA back 20,000 years, I gave my husband the gift of the ‘Y’ chromosome DNA test for his recent birthday..Looks like he walked more than a few thousand miles to get to me. Anyway Noelle has laid it all out for us.. do read you will find very interesting especially if you are an author and need to include in your stories.

It seems like you can’t read a newspaper or online news about anything related to medicine (not to mention some novels) without running into terms such as DNA, RNA and protein, all sorts. I thought maybe I could provide a primer, in bite-sized bits, which you could use to follow along. The information I will begin with DNA.

DNA is deoxyribonucleic acid, the material that makes up our genes, and it is composed of nucleotides. Each nucleotide contains a phosphate group (phosphorus and oxygen), a sugar group and a nitrogen base. The four types of nitrogen bases are adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G) and cytosine (C). They pair up with each other to make a single strand of nucleotides into double stranded DNA: cytosine with guanine, adenine with thymine.

Read the rest of the article:

Thanks for dropping by and don’t forget to leave the link to your most recent post in the comments.. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – 16th February 2017 – Valiant Blogger, Angel’s Wings, Runners Stretches, the Classics and Columbian Roses

Smorgasbord Blogger DailyDolly of Kool Kosher Kitchen was nominated for a Valiant Blogger Award by Daily Warrior Liz C who created the award. A nominator only chooses one nominee and here is an extract from Dolly’s response to her award.  Dolly shares not only her admiration for her chosen nominee but also part of her own story which is very compelling.

If anyone deserves this award, it’s Frida Kahlo, a great Mexican artist famous for her self-portraits and paintings of flowers. She is the one from whose life I’ve drawn inspiration and strength throughout the years. At the age of six, as a result of polio, Frida ended up with one leg shorter and thinner than the other. Bullied by kids, she developed special closeness with her father, himself a victim of epilepsy, who gently pushed her towards sports and physical exercise.

Read the rest of this amazing post:


Children’s author Bette Stephens is interviewing Stephanie A. Collins about her book With Angel’s Wings.


Happy Love Month! I can’t think of a better way of spreading love than by sharing my love of reading and writing with you. So, today, I am sharing with you a fellow author, hard-working mother of four, loving wife, and the unsuspecting author of a true medical drama/unconventional love story called With Angel’s Wings. Stephanie is a member of Rave Writers – International Society of Authors (RWISA). Join me in welcoming award-winning author Stephanie Collins and learn more about this amazing gal in our interview.

Read the interview:


Let me state right out of the gate that I will not be doing any running.. I walk fine and my knee just about tolerates that, but my days of heading out for a five mile run are behind me. However, if you are a runner you do need to be diligent about preparation, and that includes stretching beforehand.  I have also find that before a long brisk walk that is a very good idea.

Carissa Rea of The Urban Mile talks you through some stretches that we can all be doing to stay supple and ready for exercising.

Aside from eating healthy, resting and sleeping stretching is another crucial factor playing an important role in your overall running performance. Stretching helps prevent injury and prepares your muscles for high impact performance. Aside from helping during a workout, regular stretching helps improve blood circulation through the body which increases your energy levels and sharpens your concentration. Below, I put together some of my favorite stretches before a long distance run: 

Read the rest of the post and see the stretches:


Irish author David Jordan on the subject of reading the Classics Ancient and more Modern.. I remember having a fascination with Leo Tolstoy as a teenager and when laid up for three weeks at age 11 with a bad case of Chicken Pox.. I worked my way through War & Peace.. followed by Anna Karenina. I understand where David is coming from.. For months afterwards every book that I picked up to read by a modern author (in the 1960s) seemed to be filled with trivia and a quick read.  I am out of practice and must go back and read again especially as some are in E-versions (the print in the originals are way to small for me to read now) Very interesting post.. recommend.

How to Approach the classics.

Many people have trouble reading the Classics, both ancient and modern. This is because we live in a culture of instant gratification. We are used to reading passively. The key to understanding literature prior to the age of instant gratification is ‘active’ reading. People must change the way they approach these works. They need to change their mindsets. They need to read actively.

Read the rest of the post:


Mention the country Columbia and many of us might just think about drugs and cartels.. But you could not be more wrong as one of major exports from Columbia from late January onwards is 150 metric tons of flowers.. red roses in time for Valentine’s Day.. Well you might be a little bit right….. as you will see  when you read this post by Leafy Pine Flowers.

How Columbia stopped Cocaine from spoiling Valentine’s Day

Cocaine is probably the last thing most people think about when buying roses.

But every year, police and growers in Colombia must work around the clock to make sure that the romance of Valentine’s Day isn’t spoiled by the drug, the nation’s other major export along with flowers.

As much as 330,000 pounds (150 metric tons) of flowers leave Colombia on 30-plus jumbo cargo planes daily starting in late January, presenting an opportunity for the country’s ingenious drug cartels to penetrate the frenzied, overworked chain of suppliers and stash drugs amid the roses.

I recommend you read the rest of this post:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – 15th February 2017 – Devil story, Ruby Wedding, 1960s, Kathmandu, #RRBC

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

We kick off today with the very flash fiction writer Teresa Karlinski who delights us weekly with her responses to challenges..  Tess has also contributed to several anthologies..Here is her latest short story.


Find the Rules at Rachael Ritchie’s blog:   Genre:  Realistic Fiction – Prompt:  Cowboy

The Devil is in the Details

Anita picked up the cordless and counted down the speed-dial list with a finger. No wooing, nor scheming, nor monetary enticements had worked. She had made the effort each time with high hopes. Nothing had changed in five years. She drew in an unsteady breath. The phone chirped in her ear. Once. Twice. And again. A tired female voice answered.

“Hello, Grandma, that you?”

I’m not your grandma, darnit. Simmer down, Anita. She rolled her shoulders and pasted a smile on her face. Everyone knew a smile traveled through the telephone and out the other end. “That you, Sylvia? How are you? How are the boys? What about Emma?” Her face hurt but she maintained the smile though her jaw quivered and her eyes leaked.

Read the rest of the story here:


Valentine’s Day continues to weave its magic as Darlene Foster and her husband revisit York to celebrate their 40th anniversary.

Forty years ago, this farm girl took her first ever trip on an airplane to York, England, where I married my dear hubby. We recently celebrated our ruby anniversary by returning to York. We had a marvellous time retracing our steps in his hometown, enjoying the history, walking the cobblestone streets, relaxing in the many teashops and visiting relatives we hadn’t seen for some time. We’ve been back a few times since January 1977 but it had been awhile since our last visit. I fell in love with the city all over again.

See the city of York and read the rest of the post:


If you are old enough to have memories of the 1960s, then Eugenia of would love to hear from you.. She reminds us of some of the new trendy tag lines for the advertisers at the time.. some still being used today ‘because you’re worth it’.  I have added my memories.. head over and add yours.

It’s time to chat and nothing old hat, please. The coffee is hot, bold and strong. Let’s sit a spell and discuss what’s right and what’s wrong. I have a feeling this is going to be one of those chats.

1967 was an interesting year and in fact, the 1960s were a decade of growing and movement. More than that, these were times of revolution and reform. There was The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and The Voting Rights Act of 1965. The 1960s was an era of slogans like “stop the war”, “New Frontier” and “Great Society”. 

Read the rest of the post and add your memories:


At this time of year many of us are looking at the holiday destinations and I will be honest…. I always try to be…. but my idea of a holiday these days is a good hotel or private villa.. big pool (preferably to myself) and great local produce.. My days of trekking are over as one of my knees is very uncooperative.. I do however enjoy loitering in front of the computer and enjoying other bloggers travels.  Anya Carion of Unexpected Occurrence shares her recent visits to Kathmandu

My first trip to Nepal, when I had decided to check Everest Base Camp off the bucket list, I had two days (total) to explore Kathmandu. Initially, I didn’t like it. After being in the mountains for two weeks, Kathmandu seemed so polluted, loud, and chaotic.

Upon my second trip to Nepal, the time I had decided to trek the Annapurna Circuit, I had really started to like the crazy city.

Third trip here, and I’m sold. I really enjoyed my quick little stay in Kathmandu. The dirty chaos because vibrancy and liveliness. The pollution smelled like adventure, like the entirety of my whirlwind trip in the beautiful country. The loud horns, shouts, and construction became white noise.

See Anya’s amazing photographs and her tourist tips:


I am sure that many writers will be familiar with the Rave Reviews Book Club.. Mae Clair is delighted to interview the president of the RRBC Nonnie Jules.


Hoy, boy! Do I have a special guest for you today, gang! I am honored to be hosting Nonnie Jules, the woman whose vision became Rave Reviews Book Club. Please welcome the president of RRBC and the founding member/president of the Rave Writers International Society of Authors! I’m thrilled to have her here today for an awesome Q&A and personal post!

Read the interview:

Thank you for dropping by today and please leave the link to your latest post in the comments section. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – 14th February 2017 – Upcoming Release, Daisies, Love Poetry, Free Books, Frank Immersed and Sir Chocolate

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome to the Blogger Daily and a quick look at some of the posts I have read in the last couple of days. It is Valentine’s Day and have tried to find a flavour of that amongst the selection… but all the posts are from talented writers.  There are also some FREE books on offer to take advantage of.  Don’t forget to leave the link to your latest post in the comments section so that I can share.


First is author D. Wallace Peach who is looking forward to her latest release in March.. Diana has shared some of the characters in recent weeks but today introduces us to The Goddess.. The Rose Shield is a four book fantasy series and the first book is Catling’s Bane. Here is an excerpt from Diana’s post where she introduces us to The Goddess.

 Meet the Goddess
(Raker’s voice in the fog is no longer simply a voice)

Raker poled the raft through the narrow channels, wandering his way toward the floating village deeper in the swamp. Morning mists hovered as a forbidding sky scudded eastward, promising sheets of rain. The goddess caressed him, twirled in languid circles, veils of dew flowing from her arms like wings.

She stroked his back with a fingertip. “Your indifference is as disputable as your madness.”

Read the rest of the post:

51p3tby-elBrigid Gallagher is celebrating International Book Giving Day and a year of blogging with a great offer…

Today is International Book Giving Day, thus I am making “Watching the Daisies” FREE on Amazon Kindle for two days – 14/15 February. This is my way of thanking you all for your support through my first year of blogging – I started this blog on 19th February last year.

Read the rest of the post:


Now for more than a touch of romance.. a poem and a tribute to love from N.N. Light on her blog Princess of the Light.  And her book  Poetry of Love: The Engagement Year is FREE today.

Happy Valentine’s Day! It’s time to talk about romantic love and I dedicate this day and inspirational thought to the man who taught me the real meaning of love, Mr. N.

From the time I was three, I dreamt of my Prince Charming, the handsome man who would love me and make all my dreams come true. I know it sounds like the total cliche but that is exactly what Mr. N did. 

Read the rest of this loving post:


Next Aurora Alexander interviews Don Massenzio in her Author Spotlight post.


  1. Are you still writing in the same genre as you did before, and if not, why did you switch – or would you ever think to change genres?

Interestingly enough, a couple of months before last year’s interview, I had released a terrorist thriller Blood Orange which, after writing three detective mystery novels, was a change in genre. I have since released another two detective mysteries, but I am writing a follow-up to that thriller as readers seemed to like the main character and his team. It will, however, crossover into the universe of my detective novels.

Read the rest of the interview:


Last but not least Vicki (Author Sojourner McConnell) hosts from Robbie Cheadle and her son Michael who are the authors of the Sir Chocolate series of books.


Robbie and Michael are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate series of books which are all about a little man, Sir Chocolate, who lives in a land where you can eat everything, even the flowers and the trees. Sir Chocolate and his lady love, Lady Sweet, have a number of little adventures, sourcing ingredients for their fabulous chocolate creations and helping their friends in Chocolateville out of various scrapes and problems. Each book contains illustrations made from fondant, biscuits, and cake and also includes five simple recipes that children can do under parental supervision. Each book also features a poem about life with children by Robbie and a fondant creation by Michael, aged ten years.

Read the rest of the guest post:

I hope you have enjoyed the selection today.. please don’t forget to leave the link to your latest post in the comments section.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – 13th February 2017 – Love, Haitian Healing, 50 words, Reviews

Smorgasbord Blogger DailyWelcome to the first of the blog promotion posts this week..I hope you will enjoy the varied articles from around our community and that you will pop over and introduce yourselves.

Wendy MacDonald

Meet Wendy MacDonald who is a writer, poet and nature lover.. who also enjoys expressing herself through some wonderful photography of her home Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, Canada… as she says.. Creation has a lot to say. In this post Wendy explores the belief that is evident across most faiths, that we should ‘love one another’.

Step Into His Will for You: Love One Another

I don’t know if you ever find the “love one another” command difficult to step into–I know I do sometimes. It’s not that I don’t want to, but it’s tricky when the ones I know I’m struggling to love are not exactly as easy to love as #naturephotography on Instagram or Twitter. And I do wish it was as easy to love everyone as I love watching the trumpeter swans that visit our Comox Valley each winter. 

Read the rest of the post:


I spend a great deal of time reading other people’s blogs and also comments on facebook and other social media and there is no doubt that there are a huge number of people who have suffered deep hurt of one kind or another in their lifes. It is also clear that there is a postive effect to writing about that pain through blog posts and memoirs. I think that this post by author Mira Prabhu sheds a very healing light on our pain, and with the help of a Haitian Healer she discovered a very simple but effective strategy to overcome it.


As for India, after enjoying the exuberant frenzy of life in Manhattan, I was finding it difficult to re-adapt, especially since my beautiful new home was located in the suburbs and it was a real chore to drive all the way to the city on a regular basis where I could engage in new activities. I had reached a mental and emotional stalemate and panic about the future was driving me pretty crazy.

I guess this woman she felt sorry for me. One sunny morning she led me to the terrace and handed me an empty notebook. “I want you to write down all that is bothering you, and please don’t ask why,” she ordered peremptorily.

Read the rest of this fascinating post:

The Eternals books series by Richard M. Ankers

I know that I can be long-winded.. nay.. I hear you cry.. Oh yeah.. I reply. One of the reasons that I began to write Haiku was to curb my inclinations to wordiness (see what I mean!) Anyway here is a very skilled writer of short (50 words) stories Richard Ankers to show us how it is done..

We heard the geese flying high in the sky long before we saw them…

Read the other 36 words…


From the Rosie Amber Review team, this look at Turn of the Tide by Margaret Skea.. reviewed by  Cathy Ryan who  blogs at


Initially, I wasn’t too sure about this book. There are a lot of characters, and their allegiances, to keep track of, which I found it a little confusing at first. Writing them down as a quick reference helped as it’s not so easy to keep referring back on a kindle. The more I read, the easier it became and the story took hold. Set in Ayrshire in the sixteenth century it tells of a notorious feud that lasted almost two centuries, between the Montgomeries and the Cunninghames. In the middle of these two warring clans is Munro and his family. Munro owes his loyalty to the Cunninghames, even as he is ever more uncomfortable with their actions and behaviour, and his understandable failure to comprehend the reasoning behind the feud.

Read the rest of the review:


And to finish this short selection of blogs that I enjoyed over the weekend here is another book review.. this time from Marina of Minds Wanderlust

Warning: This one in a million boy broke my heart in a million pieces.

If you haven’t read this book yet, get out of here and just run to your nearest bookshop, cause I think it’s better not knowing anything about its plot.
Well, for those of you still here, we are going to talk about Monica’s Wood novel. She’s telling the story of an 11-year-old boy who is obsessed with lists and world records, and his unusual friendship with Ona Vitkus, an 104 years old amazing lady.

Read the rest of the review:

I hope that you have enjoyed today’s selection of posts and will head over to meet their authors.. Thanks Sally..

Smorgasbord Round up – Eagles, Irish Fairies, Opera and thrills and spills.


Welcome to this week’s round-up of posts you might have missed. It has been a fairly busy week as I prepare for the new series of interviews beginning in March and I am thrilled with the response. Twenty five talented authors, poets, musicians and other creative people have come forward to take part in either Book Reading at the Bookstore or The Creative Artist Interview.

Whilst there are some set questions there are also three personalised questions that I am including in each interview so as you can imagine I am taking my time with that. I hope to have them all out by Monday… It looks like I may go to two posts a week to make sure that nobody is hanging around for weeks waiting for their interview to go live. That being the case if you have not already volunteered.. here is the link which includes the format for the interviews.

Here are all the new promotional opportunities, with something for everyone, all on one page.

On the subject of promotions.

On the 21st I am off on a girls week with my two sisters to celebrate our three birthdays that are all in February. I will be taking a break from writing posts for the blog but the blog will be handed over to some fabulous and talented members of the blogging community who will be filling in for me in my absence.

I have no worries about leaving the blog for the week to fend for itself but I thought it was another promotional opportunity for you all. As well as the guest post.. I will make sure to top and tail with an intro, feature books, blog, art etc as well as links. Definitely good for the blog and perhaps a little boost for you. Especially as I will not be doing the usual book promotions that week.

If you would like to apply for the job of part-time blog sitter please come back to me by Thursday so that I can get it scheduled in time.

As always I am hugely grateful for your wonderful support, comments, shares and motivation. ♥♥

Enough of the mushy stuff.. and on with the posts from the week…..

Classical music with William Price King

William and his music

So pleased that so many of you are enjoying the last in the classical music series and the story of American soprano Leontyne Price. This week a look at her performances in the 1950s and the bigotry that she endured in her early career.

Weekly Image and Haiku

I am so lucky to have some wonderful co-hosts on occasion for the blog and one post this week seemed to touch the hearts of many of you. Wayne Barnes of Tofino Photographs has been a blogging friend for the last three years and he sent me some recent photographs of the eagles Romeo and Juliette.. he very kindly agreed to let me use one of the images for this week’s Haiku.. You can see the full sized version in the post.


Short Story – After the Festival 

Another collaboration with illustrator Donata Zawdska with After the Festival. I was very privileged to be able to use the artwork for my short story..a new one from my upcoming Tales from the Irish Garden later in the year.. I hope you enjoy.


The new interview series if you missed them last week.

Book Promotions

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore New on the Shelves






Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update

41jwrqyo45l-_uy250_the-heart-stone-chronicles getpart

51qgvzagl1l 51-yoxohzql-_uy250_ 51jo3ypdlbl-_uy250_

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Another 25 bloggers promoted this week.

If you would like to be included in the Blogger Daily then just leave a link to your most recent post in the comments section of the round up today..

Smorgasbord Health – series Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)


Smorgasbord health – A – Z of Common Conditions – Lung Cancer.

smorgasbord health

Humour and Afternoon Video


That is it for another week on Smorgasbord.. Couldn’t do it without you.. Please remember that it saves me time if you volunteer your news about new book releases, fantastic reviews or share your blog post link.. Help me share your work.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.  Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – 8th February 2017 – Dr. Dolittle, The Turin Shroud, Sexism, Politics and Emotional Beats

Smorgasbord Blogger DailyWelcome to today’s selection of blogs that I have visited and enjoyed.. If I have missed yours please leave a link to your most recent blog in the comments.


Jennie has been a preschool teacher for over thirty years and believes that all children have a voice.. I was so lucky with my first teacher Mrs. Miller 60 years ago.. She ignited my imagination to read more and to write.. She instilled in me the craving to learn more.. A wonderful start to my schooling and life.  Find out how teh children in Jennie’s class react to Dr. Dolittle.

Charlotte’s Web is a book that has a profound influence on children in the best of ways. Children listen, often silent because of all the wonder that is going into their brains. The words alone paint a picture that they relate to and understand. Yes, close listening happens. Yet, when I read-aloud The Story of Doctor Dolittle, children are actively engaged, asking question after question. This is a book full of imagination and creativity. They want to experience this book. Oh, how we talk!

See how children and their imagination bring Dr. Dolittle to life

Thomas the Rhymer

Paul Andruss with one of his fascinating looks at history.. the people, events and beliefs.. In this article he explores the origins and mystery surrounding The Turin Shroud.

The Turin Shroud is considered the most famous holy relic in existence. To be fair, if all the books written about it were piled on a weighing scale the weight of evidence would certainly support that assertion.

Allegedly Jesus’s linen burial shroud, it shows a barely discernible imprint of a crucified man. The shroud was donated to Turin Cathedral in 1578 by the Dukes of Savoy who purchased it from its original owner, a French noblewoman in 1453.
When the Church allowed the shroud to be photographed in 1898, the negative plate revealed the crucified body in astonishing detail. It was a true miracle. Sceptics accused the photographer of trickery. He was vindicated in 1938 when another photograph revealed the same detail.

Discover more:


Robbie Cheadle’s son Greg is thirteen and was tasked to write a speech for school on sexism… You really should read his response.. Shared my his proud mum.

My older son was tasked with writing a speech for school. He had to choose a line from a Broadway or musical and write about that line. It had to be one line. I am not really good at listening to those sorts of instructions which is probably why I was always in trouble at school but Greg is very good at getting things right. I was allowed to play songs from various musicals for him to listen to. I could listen with him but I wasn’t allowed to make suggestions or comment in any way on his choice of line

Read the rest of Greg’s terrific speech:

The Body In The Snow - Christoph Fischer

Christoph Fischer with his views on writing and politics and the right to be passionate about fairness, equality and compassion and say so. I tend to keep out of political debate on here or anywhere else as I believe action speaks louder than words. I asked one vocal campaigner on here if they had voted.. did not hear back. Christoph makes some important points and it bears to remember that debate is two sided and listening to someone else’s opinion can lead to a meeting of minds and a compromise that works.

I’ve been rightfully told I might lose readers over voicing political opinions. Yet, I wonder if that’s important at all. I believe that what some people call my political colouring (whatever that is), that colouring will find itself in my writing one way or another. How you portray the poor or the rich, the privileged and the disadvantaged, how you show human conflict and dilemmas – all that gives your attitude towards others and society in general away.

Read the rest of this thought provoking post:


Writing can be a little like driving long-distance.. you get there and you have been so focused on the road you have not seen any of the scenery that might have added a greater element of enjoyment to the journey.. Nicholas Rossis helps us bring that essential emotive and enriching element to our writing.

Back in September, I published Emotional Beats: How to Easily Convert your Writing into Palpable Feelings. As promised, I will be posting the book on my blog. So, here is the next installment, featuring Part 2 of the book: Body Parts. This post deals with eyes:

As the saying goes, eyes are the window to the soul. They are also a writer’s best friend, as they can convey a wide variety of emotions. The only thing you need to watch out for is using overworn words: doesn’t “he gaped, unable to peel his gaze off the woman” sound better than “he stared at her”?

Read all the ways you can bring Eyes to the front and centre of your writing:

I hope that you have enjoyed today’s selection and please do not forget to leave the link to your most recent post in the comments section. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – 7th February 2017 – Share buttons, reviews, Crime Settings, Poetry and Octopus!

Smorgasbord Blogger DailyWelcome to today’s round up of blog posts that I have enjoyed. By no means all of them, but I have shared all those that I could not fit in to the post on social media.

I don’t have email notifications for blogs as I follow too many and I would not be able to spend time promoting authors and bloggers. I have a couple of strategies to make sure that I don’t miss posts but social media and the WordPress reader are two platforms where I  find blog posts that have slipped by. Whilst Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn may not be everyone’s cup of tea there are some benefits to both establishing an account and putting share buttons on your posts.

Firstly, just because you do not have accounts with the main social networking sites does not mean that your readers don’t either. I find it frustrating when I go into an excellent post to find that there is perhaps only one or two sharing buttons, perhaps for Pinterest and Facebook. Most people who are reading a blog post have several thousand followers between their blog and social media and by not putting a share button you are preventing them from sharing with them, thus reducing your potential readers.

Secondly, from my perspective it makes it more difficult to promote books effectively across the networks if the author I am featuring does not have accounts on at least Facebook or Twitter. I do suggest that if you do not want to have a personal account on FB that you have an author’s page, which will give you a platform to promote your books and news and also promote other authors. Building a reciprocal network of supportive writers is an effective way to market your books. It also provides me a useful tool to promote your books more effectively.

I am not going to give you a tutorial on adding share buttons to your blog but rather hand you over to Hugh Roberts who has a terrific blogging ‘how to’ directory that I recommend.

So on with today’s small selection of interesting, informative and entertaining posts.

railiThe first post today is from Raili of Soul Gifts. There is no doubt that the first few weeks of 2017 have been a rollercoaster of division, outrage, protest and fear. One of the largest countries in the world has gone through a dynamic change that has impacted all of us.  This has also perhaps made us relect on our own goals for the coming year and how we can make a difference. Raili’s post is about Giving Peace a Chance.

There has been a lot of talk on the blogosphere about goals recently. I guess that’s to be expected given that it’s not long since we leapt into the New Year.

People are posing questions:

What is your goal/s for 2017?
What do you want to achieve with your blog?
What does success actually mean to you ?
Is it wealth, happiness, love, a new job ?
How will you know you have achieved what you set out to do ?

Read the rest of the post:

Sue Vincent

The guest today on Sue Vincent’s blog is the poet and author Kevin Morris who shares his work and the impact that his sight impairment might have.

Kevin Morris

At approximately 18-months-old, I lost the majority of my eyesight due to a blood clot on the brain. While I can distinguish light and dark and discern the outline of objects, I am unable to see detail. So, for example, if a friend were to pass by me I would see an outline and only be aware that it was a friend when they spoke.

I began writing poetry in 2012 and at that time the idea that my visual impairment might impact on the kind of poems I wrote never occurred to me. However, given that several people have commented on my poor vision and how this may impact on my writing, I thought it would form an interesting basis for a post and I am grateful to Sue for agreeing to publish my article.

Read the rest of Kevin’s post:

Judith Barrow

The next recommended post is for Judith Barrow with a review for Blackwater by Alison Williams – Set in 17th century rural England it follows the story of Lizzie as she tries to find happiness in a world of intolerance and hate.


How will you protect her from lies? From superstition? How will you protect her when your father comes calling, with threats and accusations? When a mob comes to our door?’In a time when death is common, life is cheap and superstition rife, anyone can find their world torn apart by gossip and accusations. Can one lonely girl find the love and companionship she craves? Or will her heart lead her into more danger than she can imagine?

Read Judith’s review:


Author Paul Butler puts Susan M. Toy in the hot seat with a Q & A about settings for crime novels.  Susan is an excellent choice for this particular interview as her mystery crime novels have a very exotic setting. Both the Bequia books are excellent and I have enjoyed both.


Setting is often one of the most fascinating aspects of a crime novel. Sherlock Holmes would not have been the same without London, its hansom cabs, its street gangs, and its sharp division between the capital’s east and west ends. More recently, Ian Rankin’s Rebus novels shoulder the history of Edinburgh, with its pubs, its narrow streets, and its seedy antiquity living on into the 21st century.

Anne Cleeves’s Jimmy Perez novels exemplify another kind of place-based crime fiction. Most of us in the English-speaking world have heard of Shetland, but very few people have set foot on the northern Scottish Isle. Placing a story in a location that is real yet quite remote has both advantages and challenges for the author.

This issue is the natural starting point for a Q & A with Canadian-born author Susan M. Toy, whose racy and compelling novel, Island in the Clouds, I’ve recently had the immense pleasure to read.

Read the Q & A:

When we lived in Madrid and ate out, I would often choose a starter of pulpo a la gallega which is delicious. However octopus was not something I was particularly keen on preparing myself.. usually because it came our rubbery!  Anyway here is a recipe that is both easy to follow and sound delicious courtesy of P & N.. a couple from Malaysia and Japan who love food and are very happy to share that love with us.


Read the recipe:

That is it for today but please do leave the link to your most recent post in the comments section.. thanks for dropping by.  Sally



Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – New promotions, Leontyne Price, Myths and awesome talent.


Welcome to this week’s round up of posts that you might have missed. In particular I would like to draw your attention to these two new promotional series.

Although my Cafe and Bookstore is as yet, virtual.. it is still a platform for promotion. Apart from the twice weekly updates for new releases and outstanding reviews…You can now do a virtual book reading. To mix things up a little; I will not only send you a choice of questions to answer including some personalised ones about your work, but we will open the comments section up to questions from the audience.. i.e. those who pop in to read the post.  This does mean that the author in question will have to pop in on the day and perhaps the next once of twice to respond to the questions.  I hope that this little twist will bring a new element to boost the post’s promotional reach.  Here is the post with all the details.

Sally's Cafe and Bookstore

The second new series is for those who might not have published a book and are therefore not on the shelves of the bookstore. Bloggers, book reviewers, short story writers, artists, musicians, photographers and any other creative talent. The same format as the author book reading.. with personalised questions and the interaction with the audience. This is an opportunity to showcase your work and to meet new followers and possibly customers through the Q & A in the commments.  Here are more details.

creative artists

Look forward to hearing from you once you have read the posts.. I already have twelve authors lined up for the Book Reading posts and two for the Creative Artists…don’t delay.

As I am an author on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore I get to promote my latest book in the update tomorrow….I hope you will pop in and also take a look at the other two authors who will be sharing the post with me.

William and his music

In the meantime I would like to thank my two amazing contributors to the blog. William Price King and Paul Andruss who are amazing.  We are just coming to the end of the Classical Series in the next few weeks and this is going to be followed by a look at some of the iconic contemporary music artists. William is going to be starting this new series with an idol of mine and I am sure of many of you too.. The Boss.. Bruce Springsteen.

Finn Mac Cool

Paul Andruss has certainly made an impression on followers to the blog with his posts across different worlds… From Ancient Greece and the myths and legends of Ancient Ireland to the worlds behind the modern artists who have left their mark in history such as David Bowie and Mark Bolan.. You will find a wonderful and eclectic look at these worlds on Paul’s website.

Also thanks to all of you who have dropped in this week…liked, commented and shared. It is so appreciated.

On with the show.

Classical Music with William Price King


Part one of the American soprano Leontyne Price who not only enjoyed a stunning professional career but paved the way for other African American opera singers to perform in their rightful place on the world stage.

Guest Writer Paul Andruss


A stunning piece on the myth of The Birch Maiden with the most beautiful illustrations by Donata Zawadzka.. I hope you will visit both their websites to enjoy more.

Book Promotions

new-on-the-shelves-updateFour new authors will be on the shelves from today and I hope you will enjoy their introduction to the Cafe.. If you are not currently on the shelves with your books then please take a look at the details.

Click Cover for Amazon




author-update-jpgCafe and Bookstore Update

This week’s look at new releases and recent reviews from the authors on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore.



Personal Stuff

A tongue in cheek look at our financial value.. and how we might perhaps encourage the universe to catch up to our expectations!


Weekly Image and Haiku


Special mention for Terri Webster Schrandt who has opened up her photography files for our use.. this was my reblog and the image for this week’s Haiku was courtesy of her generosity.

Blogger Daily – 25 more bloggers showcased in the week day look at some of the outstanding posts of the day.


A final look at how we change as we grow and age and some of the voluntary and involunatry emotions we experience.


When was the last time you had a really good laugh?

The second in the series of cancers that are most common… Prostate which is followed by lung and then bowel cancers.

smorgasbord health



Thank you again for making this a regular stop on your blog tours.. Look forward to seeing you again..Thanks Sally