Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Thursday 15th November 2018 – Paul Andruss with Donata Zawadzka, #illustrations, Carol Taylor #waste and The Story Reading Ape with #guest Emily Klein

Welcome to the Blogger Daily with some of the posts that I have enjoyed over the last couple of days. The first is from Paul Andruss who is celebrating the work of not only Donata Zawadzka (who illustrated Tales from the Irish Garden) but all of us who are indie authors and artists, trying to carve a little bit of success for ourselves. Apart from a magnificent Griffin that Donata has created for one of Paul’s projects.. he in turn has produced a stunning gif of over 80 images… including some from Tales from the Irish Garden.

I will give you the start of the post and ask you to go over to Paul’s and spend just a few minutes enjoying the amazing artwork that he has included.

New work Donata Zawadzka

The artist Donata Zawadzka and I have been friends for many years. In that time she produced 4, now 5 magnificent illustrations, for Thomas the Rhymer, along with illustrating many other books. including Sally Cronin’s Tales from the Irish Garden

Many of us independant artists and writers, work hard and tirelessly for years, without ever catching that one lucky break which might propel us into the public’s heart. Sometimes it is easy for people not involved in either music, writing or art to think creative people do not succeed because their work lacks quality or appeal.

But as you now, that is simply not true.

The world market is saturated. There is so much product competing for public notice, even those with big publicity budgets from traditional publishers often fail to excite the public – no matter how good they are. As independants, with no budget, it is little surprise we find it hard to reach the people who would most love what we do.

In truth, it has always been hard to become successful.

Success is not simply about talent, or contacts, or having people constantly fighting your corner, there is a huge element of luck.

Like all the soldiers that have gone before us, all we can do is soldier on with fierce determination, resiliance and hope. Keeping our fingers firmly crossed that slowly we will capture the hearts and imaginations of those who will love our work.

This Gif is not just for Dona to showcase her wonderful art. It is also for all the unsung heroes, of both sexes, beavering away alone in the shadows – waiting for a turn in the sun.

Hope you enjoy viewing it as much as I enjoyed making it.

And here’s to friendship, the one thing in this life worth having

Apart from, hmmm let me see …

hard cash,

eternal youth,

perfect health,

… Hell, just fill in your own blanks

Please head over and see this amazing gif of illustrations that Paul has designed of Donata’s work…and if you are looking for an illustrator in pen and ink or colour then I can highly recommend her art:

Now time for part five of Carol Taylor’s Waste not Want Not series.. Carol not only vents her frustration at the waste we produce as individuals and organisations but also offers practical solutions and tips.


Wow, some of you are real stars with your war on waste and I will say that with regards to picking up rubbish that we see we do need to be careful.

If you signed up for the monthly I value food too much too waste challenge I have reduced my waste by over 50% and going down…Mainly by planning and only buying what I need and know I am going to use and also by freezing some things which I know will spoil if I don’t use them…So in essence, I am thinking more and planning…It works!

A comment on last weeks post made me think …It came from  Will Dare has a lovely blog on music and we should all have music in our lives …Don’t you think? So please pop over and have a look at his lovely blog …Thank you, Will, and please let us know how you get on with your Sushi and that little strip of green plastic…

Hurrah that you are making changes in your daily life and also writing to raise awareness among the rest of us! I remember reading a story a while ago about the huge changes that plastic bags had brought to an island culture which for hundreds of years had used really large leaves to wrap and transport items to and from a marketplace… until some enterprising capitalist introduced plastic bags. Everyone in this culture had been accustomed to throwing their wrapping leaves by the wayside because they would soon decompose… but plastic bags don’t decompose. Rapidly this island became littered with plastic debris! Today I (somewhat ambivalently since it is indeed served in a plastic container — and right now it is a huge question mark if anyone is going to step up in the USA and start recycling all of the various plastic objects which until recently we’ve been sending to China for recycling/reuse/disposal) bought a container of vegetarian sushi for lunch. It was served with a small strip of green plastic which serves no purpose other than some sort of decoration (or nod to cultural history?) It started me thinking that grocery stores (this was a Whole Foods, now owned by Amazon) could STOP including these little pieces of green plastic trash in their packages of sushi. The next time I go there I will speak with a store manager to ask how s/he recommends I send this idea to their corporate headquarters… Obviously, this is a tiny drop in the ocean of plastic contamination on planet earth — but all of those tiny, unnecessary, purely decorative, green strips of plastic probably add up to millions per year! Thank you for blogging about this hugely important topic!!!

Comments like Will’s make my day as those of you who blog know…It makes you feel all the time you have spent agonising over a blog post is worthwhile… It also sent me hot-footing it over to the sushi counter where I purchase my sushi… I was armed with the info on the company I found online and ready with my spiel…

Please head over and read the rest of the post and see what you might do to reduce waste:

Time to meet a guest of the Story Reading Ape Chris Graham has helped many an author (including myself) get a few rungs up the ladder of author promotion.

My name is Emily Klein, and I’m an historical romance novelist. Rather, it happened to me by chance. That’s why I am a self- proclaimed accidental romance novelist.

I’m a mum of two. Four years ago, I gave birth to my youngest wee lass. She took many hours to eat, many hours to fall asleep. What’s an anglophile mum to do? I was swept away with musings and daydreams about forgotten times. I made up stories and they served me well, or rather, saved me.

Entire narratives came to me as I sat near my weeping babe. These took place in castles, in a land dear to my heart and inspired by the ballads I loved so well. But, busy, tired mum that I was, I had no time to sit and write them down.

The months passed, and my wee daughter now went to daycare. I had a short break before I needed to go back to work, so I sat myself down at my favourite coffee shop, and wrote. And wrote. And wrote.

Shortly, I had my first short story written, because I had it all in my head before it was put to pen and paper. It was titled The Fair Flower of Northumberland, like the border ballad, and took place in the middle ages, in northern England.

And then, just as my writing endeavour started, it was done. And I craved more. So I started again. This time it was a novel, The Draughtsman Damsel

Please head over and find out more about Emily’s books and her inspirations for her stories:

Thank you  very much for dropping in today and I hope you will head over and read the posts in full. Thanks Sally


Smorgasbord Blogger Daily #Meet the Reviewers – Monday, November 12th, 2018 – Leslie Tate with Lillian Howan, Rachel Poli with Annette Rochelle Aben and Carol Taylor with Orangutans

Welcome to the first of the blogger daily this week with some posts that I have read and would like to share with you. The first is from the blog ofauthor Leslie Tate and is the first part of an interview with author Lillian Howan.. Lillian was raised as a child in Polynesia and her novel The Charm Buyers is set in Tahiti and the islands where her parents were born and about the underlying themes of nuclear testing, illness, love, loss, magic, and renewal. Lillian also shares the challenges of suffering from a chronic illness and maintaining her creativity.

In this two-part feature, Lillian Howan, author of a powerful novel set in Tahiti, offers a revealing interview and a lyrical essay describing her cultural heritage, her creativity and her experience of lupus. It also includes pictures of Polynesian Islands threatened by climate change, taken by Lillian’s sister-in-law, Françoise Holozet-Howan.


Iles Maria by Francoise Howan-Holozet

This is a message from Françoise Holozet-Howan, about these photographs of Polynesia:

“Paradise is everywhere in these photos. But soon what you see here will be underwater. I’m happy to share these photos of the Tuamotu, Gambier, and Austral islands, so that people will know these places are real. Those who live here are beginning to leave their homes, their land, because everything will be flooded due to climate change. I’ve had people show me places saying ‘yes, my home was here’ or ‘when I was a child, we lived here’ and the places they show me are just ocean now. Everything has been covered by water.

Please head over and read this powerful and interesting interview with Lillian Howan:

Leslie Tate, buy:

Rachel Poli | Writer, Blogger, Assistant Book Publicist, Freelancer |

Another interview by  Rachel Poli of one of our favourite poets and broadcaster, Annette Rochelle Aben

Annette Rochelle Aben, Author | Interview | Blogging |

Tell us a little bit about yourself (a quick blurb of the kind of books you like to write)

I was born to be a poet. So, the majority of the books I have self-published are either pure poetry or heavily laced with poetry. As I have found self-help books to be useful in my life, I also enjoy writing books of that nature as well.

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing since I was a small child, being published in a literary magazine at the age of 14 gave me the encouragement to continue writing. Throughout my adult life, I have been lucky enough to hold many positions where writing was an integral part of the job.

What motivates you to write? How do you begin writing?

I set goals for myself on a daily, monthly and yearly basis. Sometimes I am enticed to enter writing challenges and contests, and they are fun. Sometimes the idea of the piece sparks the beginning and other times it is the title of the piece that calls forth the content.

Please head over to Rachel’s and read the rest of the interview and spread it about the place..:

Annette Rochelle Aben, Buy:

Please visit Amazon or Annette’s blog to view all her books.


And now for an important post (Part One) from Carol Taylor on the plight of the most beautiful, intelligent and endangered Orangutan.

Orangutan Palm Oil

Good morning, I hope you are all well and happy… Have you got your Christmas decorations up yet? I know many people start really early and don’t all those displays look beautiful when they are all lit up at night?

How has your day gone? Or maybe it is still morning or the night before for you given all the differences in the time zones… It is morning here and many ( they wake up) early here…have had their morning shower…which is a tad cold at this time of year we don’t have a power shower and to many people here, a shower is a bucket of water…

Get to the point, Carol…I hear you…Lol…Just humor me…Please xxx

Perhaps you woke up this morning, had a shower, shampooed your hair, brushed your teeth, and had a slice of toast with margarine for breakfast because you are trying to avoid the dairy industry?

Off to work…and your friend gave you a cookie/biscuit with the cuppa she made you and it is such a busy day today those phones did not stop ringing so you both agree on Pizza for lunch… Before you went home you remembered it was your turn to wash the coffee cups using the one washing up liquid your mum always used…Fairy Liquid…Ahhhhh

But what is behind or on the label?

Home at last and a quick sluice to freshen up with your favourite wet wipes and on goes a load of washing…Phew, a woman’s work is never done…

Dinner over now time to put up your feet…grab a bowl popcorn time for some Netflix.

And do you know what is the common ingredient in every item mentioned so far… and is the cause behind the growing risk to orangutans? Head over and find out and you will be both amazed and also horrified how we are enabling this to happen with our buying choices:

Carol Taylor writes our weekly food and cookery column and you can find her posts here:

I hope you will head over to all the posts above and read them in full.. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up…Remembrance Poetry and Music St. Thomas, Stir Fries, Flatbed trucks and #Christmas #Promotions

Welcome to the weekly round up and we have had a lovely three days with friends from Madrid who we have not seen since April 2016. Of course the heavens opened to welcome them in true Irish style, but they still managed to see all the main sites in Dublin yesterday with my husband as their guide. The sun came out this morning long enough for a walk by the sea.. and now they are on their way to the airport. We never stopped talking and my rusty Spanish is now a little less rusty.

Christmas Promotions on Smorgasbord.

It is time to get the Christmas promotions started as there are 160 authors in the Cafe and Bookstore who I will be featuring as well as new books released before December 25th.. Then it would not be Christmas without a party, and I have one starting on December 13th… The Twelve Days of Christmas.. with special guests each day, music, humour, traditions and of course food..

If you are in the Cafe and Bookstore you will be automatically included but I do need to know if you have a new book coming out before Christmas. Also if you are not in the Cafe and Bookstore and would like to be including.

Head over and take a look and I already have some guests who have invited themselves.. you better get in touch sharpish..

My thanks as always to the contributors to the blog and this week D.G. Kaye kicked off the proceedings by taking us to the lovely island of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands.. A  destination that I have been too as well.

The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – delicious stir fries #Thai style

Time for another of Linda Bethea’s humour filled and heartfelt posts about family life. This week the hazards of travelling on a flat bed truck…. You can find Linda’s other posts Here

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World War I and II songs that entertained the troops and made life more bearable for those waiting for them at home.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Update #reviews

Robbie Cheadle, Stevier Turner, Don Massenzio and Miriam Hurdle.

Sue Vincent, Amy Reade and Cathy Ryan.

My response to Colleen Chesebro’s Tuesday #Poetry Challenge – #etheree follow the post link..

The War Poets

Vera Brittain

Rupert Brooke

Edmund Blunden

Siegfried Sassoon

Isaac Rosenberg

And my own tribute to my grandfather – 1987 – November 2nd 1918.

Two stories from What’s in a Name… Volume Two.

An entitled princess is not keen on marrying a prince she has not met before… Meet Sonia.

And trouble at the checkout for Theresa.

A closer look at Osteo-arthritis and Gout.

Humour and Afternoon Video

Guest comedians supplying the laughter this wee.. D.G. Kaye and Linda Bethea

More Humour from D.G. Kaye and Eric and Joy Lennick.

Thank you for dropping in and I hope you have enjoyed the posts.. Please don’t forget to make a note of the Christmas promotions that are an opportunity to promote your blog and books.  thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Meet the #Reviewers – Tuesday, November 6th, 2018 – Sue Vincent #CleanWater, Amy Reade #recipe and Cathy Ryan #review

For many of you it is a momentous day with a television screen more likely to be your focus… however, just in case you would like a distraction, here are a small selection of posts from around the community that I enjoyed over the last couple of days.

The first post that I do think everyone should read is from Sue Vincent on the subject of ‘Clean Water’ for all. We got a little miffed this summer that this island of ours, which is usually teeming in water from the sky, overflowing river banks and frequent floods, had a hose-pipe ban for nearly 8 weeks. Admittedly, some of the cities like Dublin have Victorian water pipes which are leak, and our water is still free… although meters are coming into force at some point. This we all take for granted but as Sue points out, there are millions who have to walk miles each day to fill a pot with unclean water to keep their families alive.

Image Sue Vincent

“I don’t get it,” said my son. “We’re an island… how can we be short of water?” I had been telling him about the shocking state of the Derwent Valley reservoirs. I have seen them very low before, but never this low. The water is no more than a trickle in the lake bed and the villages drowned at their creation are once more feeling the sun on their stones. We discussed desalination, technology and our acceptance of water-on-tap in developed countries. From there, we went on to other countries, where the populace is not so lucky and water may have to be drawn from a dirty well several hours walk from home. My son continued, “I mean, if seventy per cent of the earth’s surface is covered with water, and, if it all comes from the sea to begin with and goes back into the water cycle, how come anyone is short of water?”

“Money.” I thought back to a job I once had, selling water coolers to offices. The company supported a water charity that dug clean wells and brought water to arid villages. I loved being on the road as a salesperson, but I could never reconcile the difference between the luxury of cooled, filtered spring water and children carrying water jars for miles.

Please head over and read the complete post and I am sure  that Sue would love your feedback:

Sue Vincent and Stuart France, Buy:
Blog: Please visit Amazon or Sue’s blog to view all her books and those written with Stuart France.


Time to warm up (except for those planning Christmas with a BBQ) with Amy Reade and a recipe for Curry Chicken Casserole with some wonderful side dishes, Monkey Bread and Parmesan Smashed Potatoes

It’s November already! You know what that means…comfort food, whether it’s a casserole or a meal in frequent rotation, or a dish your family has always enjoyed for Thanksgiving.

This month I’ve got three great recipes for you–one is a casserole my family loves. It’s easy to throw together and has a great mix of flavors and textures. One is a breakfast treat that we make about once a year (and yes, we made it this past weekend). It makes a lot, so it’s great to have when you’re entertaining holiday guests. The third is a recipe for potatoes that are to die for. A friend gave me the recipe years ago.

One of these days I’ll do some light recipes, but like I said, these are comfort foods. Comfort food is usually a little heavier and more calorie-laden than light dishes.

Head over and get the recipe for this amazing looking Curry Chicken Casserole:

Amy Reade, Buy

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If you love a cosy mystery, small isolated communities with rugged scenery, then this book, Darkest Before The Dawn by Mike Martin (Sergeant Windflower Mystery Series) reviewed by Cathy Ryan.. is for you.

Cathy Ryan

Darkest Before the Dawn is the latest adventure of Sgt. Winston Windflower, a Mountie who finds himself surrounded by a new family and a new life in tiny Grand Bank, Newfoundland. There are signs of trouble that may disturb his pleasant life, including a series of unsolved break-ins and the lack of supports for young people in the most trying time of their lives. But there are always good friends, good food and the sense that if we all pull together, we can find a way to get through even the darkest days.

Head over and read Cathy’s review for this intriguing sounding book:

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will head over and enjoy all these posts in full. thanks Sally


Smorgasbord Blogger Daily #Meet the Reviewers – Monday, November 5th 2018 – Robbie Cheadle with Stevie Turner, Don Massenzio, Miriam Hurdle

Welcome to the first of the blogger daily posts this week and meet the reviewers, where I share bloggers who promote authors.

The first is Robbie Cheadle who is an avid reader and reviewer and today she has featured A House Without Windows by Stevie Turner

Newly-pregnant Dr. Beth Nichols is happily engaged to Liam Darrah, a fellow doctor. She has no idea she is being stalked by ex-patient Edwin Evans as she makes her way home one evening after a late shift at the hospital. After being anaesthetized, she wakes up in Edwin’s basement, held against her will, and eventually gives birth there without medical help. However, Beth tries to stay positive, and somehow knows that Liam will still be out there searching for her. Every night, she looks up at the light bulb that is never switched off, and prays that one day they will be together again.

This romance/suspense story is written from different perspectives; from Beth’s nine-year-old daughter Amy, born in captivity, from Beth herself, unwillingly pregnant again years later with Edwin’ s baby; from Liam and Edwin; and 16 years later from Joss, Beth and Edwin’s son.

Head over and read Robbie’s review of the book:

Robbie and Michael Cheadle, Buy:
Blog: Robbie Goodreads


Stevie Turner, Buy:

Please visit Amazon or Stevie’s website to view all her books.

Have you ever wondered about incorporating time travel into your writing… Don Massenzio has and in this post he shared the various theories of how it might be achieved according to writers who have ventured into the unknown.

As a reader, my fascination with time travel began as a child. When I first read The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, I was enthralled by the idea of travelling either backward or forward in time.

Traveling backward could allow one to catch glimpses of historical events or important figures. You could go back and wander among dinosaurs. Similarly, traveling forward gives a view of the development of man, technology and the future of our planet.

As I sat down to write my book, Extra Innings, I was fascinated by the different views of time travel that have been used in fiction. This post will discuss those various theories and I’ll give you a view of my thought process in landing on one.

Head over and discover some of the theories that have been presented in fiction and leave your views on the subject:

Don Massenzio, Buy:

Please visit Don’s Amazon page or his blog to view all his books.

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Time for a book launch and Miriam Hurdle is celebrating the release of her poetry collection. Songs of the Heartstrings was released today and although I will be doing a new book promotion this week, here is a taster with drinks on offer too.

Welcome to my Book Launch party. My book is available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle. Paperback is in black and white and Kindle is in color (see below).

It’s wonderful to see you dropping by to give me support. Please help yourself with some drink.

Image result for wine images Image result for soda images Image result for coffee and tea images

I would like to tell you about my book. Songs of Heartstrings is my poetic memoir. It has nine themes:

– Songs of Nature – Lessons learned from observing the surviving power in nature

Head over and find out more about the other eight themes and also enjoy the images that Miriam has used in the book:

Thank you for dropping by today and I hope that you will head over and read the posts in full.. thanks Sally


Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Halloween Party, Harp in Jazz, Garlic and Book Gifts for a Daughter (everyone)

Welcome to the weekly round up of posts you might have missed.

It is unlikely that you missed the fact that it was Halloween….and certainly it was pretty horrific around here on Thursday with plenty of spooky goings-on.. Thanks to those who dressed up and participated and to everyone who dropped in and played along.

My husband cut off my head (from a photograph and created a costume for me..Like all supermodels there was a fair bit of air-brushing (well quite a bit actually) and I am afraid I am back to my original body shape again. It was fun whilst it lasted.

Here they are along with the fabulous guests in their fancy dress magnificence…

There is still some left overs, music to dance too and enough Bloody Mary frozen to keep us going until next Halloween….

My thanks as always to the contributors to the blog who share their expertise, experience and effort to create amazing posts.

This week William Price King shares the life and career of Dorothy Ashby who was one of the few harpists to play jazz. Normally associated with classical music, this was not the only barrier that this talented musician broke through.

I am sharing some of the Cook from Scratch posts that Carol Taylor and I collaborated on last year. And since it was Halloween... it seemed appropriate to give you plenty of reasons to liberally consume onions and garlic…to keep the vampires and the doctor away


At this time of year, as we start to think about gifts for Christmas, we turn to books. But picking the right book for the person you are buying for is an art. Jessica Norrie shares the books that she has gifted her daughter….

Joy Lennick shares the fun and games of entertaining a small house guest…

Personal posts

Musicians have voiced their protest for governments, wars, inequality for centuries, sometimes camouflaged with pretty words and secret codes that were only recognised by those within an inner circle.

Meet Queenie who finds new purpose in her life following the death of her husband.

Meet Rosemary – The First Date

Colleen Chesebro #Poetry Challenge -#Tanka

Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves.

Cafe and Bookstore – Update

The first of two posts on Arthritis. This week Rheumatoid arthritis that takes its toll on organs of the body.

Jacqui Murray, One Spoiled Cat, Callum McLauhglin

Alison Williams, Beetley Pete, D.G. Kaye..

C.S. Boyack, Lisa Burton, Robbie Cheadle, Annette Rochelle Aben, Sue Vincent with Dorinda Duclos

Halloween Special with contributions from D.G. Kaye.. Debby Gies

Guest comedian D.G. Kaye shares some funnies she has discovered recently.

I hope you have enjoyed the recap and will join me again next week. I will be starting the Christmas promotional posts soon and news of a few more opportunities to party….Thanks for all your support.. Sally.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Thursday November 1st 2018 – Lisa Burton with Robbie Cheadle, Annette Rochelle Aben #spells and Sue Vincent with Dorinda Duclos

Welcome to the blogger daily where I share a small selection of posts I have enjoyed over the last couple of days. If you are an author, have you ever wondered what it would be like to have your main character interviewed?  Lisa Burton who is P A to Craig Boyack and radio presenter extraordinaire.. will oblige. This week her guest is Elsie… the focus of While the Bombs Fell by Robbie Cheadle and her mother Elsie Hancy Eaton.

Lisa Burton

Welcome all you air raid wardens, and Home Guard members. Put out that light, and turn your radio up. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you the characters from the books you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and I’m waiting for a call. I hope everything is okay.

“Hello. Yes, I’ll accept the charges. Haven’t heard of a collect call in a long time.”

“Hello … hello… is that Lisa?”

“This is Lisa. I was getting worried about you, Elsie. Is everything okay?

“I’m calling from our bomb shelter in the garden. The air raid siren went off just as I was calling you. I could hear the sound of the Jerry bombers in the distance as we climbed down the stairs. I am glad Father and Mother are here with me, I’m scared.”

“Thank God for the long cable. For those of us who don’t know, what’s it like in a bomb shelter?”

Head over and read the rest of the interview with this little girl living through World War Two:

C. S. Boyack, Buy: C.S. Boyack Goodreads

Please visit Amazon to view all of Craig’s books.

Robbie and Michael Cheadle, Buy:
Blog: Robbie Goodreads


When I was growing up my mother would tell me stories about how her great-great grandmother was a Spanish woman who had married an Irishman, but that she was a gypsy and had the sight. She never met her, but her own mother passed down a few of the arts that she had been taught.. reading the cards, the palms and the power of enchantments and spells. Annette Rochelle Aben expands on one particular enchantment that I used regularly in my teen years, and it involved writing the name of the one you would like to meet on a piece of paper and putting it under the mattress at the new moon. By the full moon you will have met your prince.. I had a few false starts but eventually I did meet my prince.  In this post, Annette introduces us to the Law of Abundance.. on the Sisters of the Fey

New Moon Blessings by Annette Rochelle Aben

Ever hear of The Law of Abundance? Ever write a New Moon check to be blessed by The Law of Abundance? Well, I am here to walk you through the process and encourage you to try it every month. Why? You have everything to gain, that’s why. Here’s what we do.

On the NEW MOON each month, we move into an energy of growth. This means that seeds planted at that time stand a better chance of growing big and strong as the month progresses. It matters not, if the seeds are tangible or hopes and dreams of our hearts. Just like the seed we would plant in the ground; our heart seeds will grow in their own time. We have faith that they will do their thing because we have evoked the aid of that which will provide the perfect energy. For ground seeds, this may be fertilizer, water and sunshine. For heart seeds, this is The Law of Abundance.

Head over and find out how to harness this law of abundance.. I have done so and am looking forward to what the full moon might bring:

Annette Rochelle Aben, Buy:

Please visit Amazon or Annette’s blog to view all her books.


And to finish today.. Sue Vincent has been inviting some of her regular #WritePhoto participants over to chat.. and this week it is poet Dorinda Duclos.

I asked the writephoto challenge regulars if they would like to come over and introduce themselves. Today we meet Dorinda Duclos from Night Owl Poetry.

Without those of you who write and read the pieces inspired by the weekly photos, the writephoto prompt would not exist. So, if you follow or take part in the weekly challenge, why come over and introduce yourself too?

Being a regular does not mean taking part every week… so why not drop me a line?

Thank you for having us, Sue! I am thoroughly enjoying finding out my fellow writers, bloggers and all around talented people. I don’t know where to start, so I guess the beginning would be good.

I was born many moons ago in New Jersey, spent my younger years in Brooklyn, NY, before moving back to NJ, where I still reside. I am an only child (as Mom wasn’t able to have more) who grew up surrounded by my aunt and nana, and many cousins. In school, I was an art major, mostly acrylics and pastels, but gave it up shortly after one of my HS teachers told me I wasn’t good enough. Biggest mistake I ever made. I went on to a career as a pharmacy technician, later working for a computer company who installed the pharmacy systems (I’m a tech geek), and finally, coming back to my artistic roots, working in the wedding favors industry for 15 years. Still my love for writing never left me and so, here I am, again, back where I really belong.

Head over and find out more about Dorinda, her 13 poetry books and her new short story collection :

Sue Vincent and Stuart France, Buy:

Please visit Amazon or Sue’s blog to view all her books and those written with Stuart France.


Dorinda Duclos, Buy:

Please visit Amazon of Dorinda’s Blog to view all her books.

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to read these posts in full… thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Monday October 29th, 2018 – Jacqui Murray #Horror, One Spoiled Cat #Pumpkin Bread and Callum McLaughlin -#Halloween Reading

Welcome to the first of the blogger daily this week, and since it is Halloween in a couple of days, I thought I would share some All Hallows themed posts..

The first is from Jacqui Murray on the art of writing horror stories with some tips to help you frighten people effectively.

I don’t get horror stories. Who chooses to be scared stupid? Is that uplifting or do you learn to solve life’s problems better by doing it while your hair’s on fire? I’ll read chick lit over horror any day of the week.

But lots of people disagree with me. I went in search of why people subject themselves to a plot that destroys any sense of security that the world will continue to spin nicely on its axis and found one overwhelming reason: Because it’s there (thank you, Johnny Compton, for making this clear). The world is not a nice place. Bad things happen. Horrifying events are out there.

If you are one of those who aspires to write horror, here are tips to help you be the best at that:

Jacqui Murray, Buy:

And now for a recipe which sounds delicious at any time of year.. Crumbly Pumpkin Bread.. brought to you by One Spoiled Cat

Awww...My Baby Picture!

Greetings from the Castle Kitchen – it’s your King – Teddy – bringing you some Halloween fun!

I thought since the Halloween celebration is getting closer that I’d concentrate the next few weeks on some fun Halloween-ish type baked goodies……….things that would be yummy to have around for snacks or part of a meal you might be preparing! This bread I’m making today is DY-NO-MITE for breakfast or any time. My Mom is a big fan of pumpkin “anything” and if you are too, you will enjoy this one. No it doesn’t have bacon in it – for the next few weeks the Castle Baconia Kitchen will not NECESSARILY be bringing you bacon-oriented things!!

Check the recipe out:

Now for some reading recommendations for the next week until all the Halloween treats have been eaten… or if you get a taste for the dark and nasty..this list is from Callum Mclaughlin

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Each year, as the build-up to Halloween begins, I like to recommend some creepy books for those who want to get into the spirit of the season. Without further ado, here are my picks for this year – and as always, I encourage you to share your own recommendations in the comments.

The Silence by Tim Lebbon

A thrilling, apocalyptic horror story that plays with the idea of sensory deprivation, this is definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of Josh Malerman’s Bird Box, or the movie, A Quiet Place. A cave system that has been sealed off for millennia is excavated, unleashing a horde of deadly, prehistoric, bat-like creatures that hunt using sound. We follow a family (one of whom is deaf) who flee their home in search of somewhere safe to hunker down, as the plague spreads across Europe. Relying on the use of sign language to live in silence, with a mounting sense of panic and claustrophobia closing in, they must face threat from the creatures themselves, and people pushed to the brink. It’s not a perfect book, but I found it fast, fun, and a fresh take on a well saturated genre.

Carrie by Stephen King

Between the iconic status of both the book and the film, and the non-linear structure that gives us glimpses of the tragic outcome throughout, we always know that Carrie’s story will end in violence and bloodshed. Despite this sense of inevitability, the book still manages to be tense and gripping. King’s heroine is so well drawn, and so poorly treated, that despite the horror she unleashes, we can still feel pathos and sympathy for her. Indeed, the true evil in this story is found elsewhere, making this a tale about the monsters we create.

Head over and read the rest of the list:

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over and enjoy these posts in full.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – Grassed up, Grandmas and Fried Rice.. served up with a bagful of talented writers.

Welcome to the weekly round up with posts that you might have missed the first time around. For us it was a milestone passed with the laying of our lawn yesterday. When we bought this house in June 2016 it came with an overgrown garden that had not been tended for several years. Trees to the front had grown so high their roots had spread both ways including under the garden wall to the front and cracked it badly. They were also too high for safety and had to come down. To the side of the house ivy and hedging had grown over the roof and it looked like a hobbit house.

The garden to the front was mostly carpeted (I kid you knot) there was a large play house with a bridge leading to a slide dominating the plot and they had laid lawn beneath and around for safety. However it had grown into the grass and we had to literally rip it out. Luckily David is an expert lumberjack (he was taught by his father as a young man) and had already taken down several dead trees in our Spanish garden. He took out all the dangerous trees last year and then spent three months over the spring and early summer, digging 6 foot deep trenches to dig out all the old roots by hand. He then leveled the area and raked it ready for the lawn man.

Then of course came the long hot summer and you can’t lay new lawn with a hosepipe in place. Finally after 9 months of preparation… it was laid yesterday and it rained overnight in celebration to make sure it flourishes.  Here are some photos showing what a difference a day makes…..

We are going to put some slabs over by the wall and have a bench and pot plants to create a spot to sit in the evenings as it gets the summer sunshine until 10 at night…

Anyway on with the week’s posts and as always very grateful for your support and generous sharing around the usual haunts….which is appropriate as we head into the Halloween celebrations. You are very welcome to drop in to the party here on Wednesday 31st.. I have 20 guests already who have shared their photos in costume or dressed up for a party, and really looking forward to showing them off.

If you drop in please bring your links with you for your latest blog post or your Amazon page.. Never waste an opportunity to showcase your work…

You still have time to get yours in to be shared… here is the party post with the details:

The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor

On Carol’s blog this week, she has been sharing her views on food waste and I could not agree more. In her post this week she shares the recipe to make perfect (non sticky) fried rice, using up your left overs where possible to create a tasty family dish.

Linda Bethea in her regular guest spot with more stories of her grandmas who sometimes overstayed their welcome… with humorous results.

Short Stories

In the first story, Owen meets his great grandmother for the first time face to face.

Patrick is a young spitfire pilot who falls in love but holds back..Love in a Time of War

Guest Joy Lennick with a poem celebrating her Celtic heritage.

My response to Colleen Chesebro’s weekly Tuesday poetry challenge.

It is 1989 and David and I decide to go back to Houston to see our friends and then carry on to California to drive the Pacific Highway… fantastic reunion and managed to fly out the day before a hurricane hit.. only to be on the road when the San Francisco earthquake took place. The hit of the year for me was Bette MidlerWind Beneath My Wings.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update – Reviews

D.G. Kaye with Robbie Cheadle, Teri Polen with Jacquie Biggar and Cindy Knoke

Amy Reade, C.S. Boyack and Susan Nye

Sue Vincent with Robbie Cheadle, Teagan Geneviene and Hannah Sandoval

Carol Taylor, Colleen Chesebro with Ritu Bhathal and Mary Smith.

Organic produce and reduction in Cancer rates.

In one of the largest studies of its kind in France, 70,000 men and women who stated that they only ate organic foods were followed and compared to the statistics for various cancers. The result after 7 years was revealing, as overall cancer rates were down significantly and the biggest impact was seen on non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma risk, which plummeted among those who only ate organic. This followed the recent law suit brought against the manufacturers of Round-Up by a cancer sufferer who was awarded $250 million.

A re-run of the series on common health issues updated with any new information or research – this week Acne and Skin Health.

Humour and Afternoon Videos

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Thursday October 25th, 2018 – Carol Taylor #Foodwaste, Colleen Chesebro with Ritu Bhathal, and Mary Smith #Poem

The first post is from our regular contributor, Carol Taylor who writes a weekly food and cookery column. She also advocates for health and sensible eating on her own blog. Today she posted this on tackling food waste, starting small in our own kitchens and community. There are so many people in the world without even the basics and millions have no idea where the next meal is coming from. Carol gives us some tips on how to use all or as much of possible of the food we eat and still might throw away.

I agree completely Carol and I hate wasted food. I get very angry when I see mounds of food being prepared on television dramas or in films and people getting up from the table without eating any or all of it. Someone told me it was fake food… but that doesn’t make a difference. It still says it is fine to throw food in the bin. We buy too much, cook too much and throw too much away without using leftovers up like this week’s food column Fried Rice

Waste Not, Want Not! Part Two! by Carol Taylor

Famine no food

Look closely can you see the holes in that child’s jumper Can you see the worry on their mum’s face a baby and two older children and herself and maybe a husband to feed…

There are probably also many other problems we could think of which this photo infers but behind the scenes…

What do I think is the solution?

I think we should start in our own communities and our own kitchens… Start small and grow big…Mum’s armies…

I have subscribers to my blog from all around the world as I am sure that most of you do so my thinking that between we could enthuse mum’s army and reach around the world we could make a difference…

Men really have made a pretty poor job over the centuries we still have wars, persecution of women and girls and it is the mums as shown in my picture who worry about the next meal or somewhere safe to sleep and clothes for their children.

So ladies and (men) we need to wake up, yes many of you work and are busy but sometimes we need to step up and be counted and go that extra mile it may be hard, it may upset your carefully planned rota, it may upset your family and kids…

Head over and find some easy to use tips to make the most of every ounce of food that you buy and prepare to prevent waste:

Now time for an author interview Colleen Chesebro in conversation with poet Ritu Bhathal. I am betting that if you check your likes and shares to Twitter and Facebook you will find Ritu’s photograph in the lineup.. She is a serial sharer and also Voted Best Overall Blog at the Bloggers Bash 2018… not surprisingly.


Hello everyone! This week I’m thrilled to bring you one of my most favorite people in the blogging world, Ritu Bhathal. Not only is she a successful blogger, but she is also an author and a poet… and that doesn’t include all the other jobs she has. I asked her to pick three or four questions from my huge list HERE. We all aspire to be successful authors and the best way to learn some of the tricks of the trade is to ask questions.

I met Ritu shortly after I started blogging in 2014. I can’t tell you how many times our paths have crossed over the years as we participated in poetry and writing challenges. If I don’t know how to do something concerning social media, Ritu is there to show me how. And that illustrates the kind of person that Ritu is. She’s always there to lend a helping hand.

In fact, last year, Ritu didn’t miss a week in writing a poem for my weekly poetry challenge. That’s pretty impressive in my book. ❤

Head over to  Colleen’s and meet Ritu Bhathal:

Colleen Chesebro, Buy: – Goodreads: Colleen at Goodreads

Ritu Bhathal, Buy:

And finally a poem that will touch the hearts of many of you who have cared for elderly parents or family members with dementia. Mary Smith tells a story that reflects both perspective of carer and the one they love who suffers from this awful disease.

My Dad’s a Goldfish – In the garden centre cafe

I know it has been a very long time since I posted on this blog. I haven’t completely abandoned it but life – various writing projects, a temporary job over the summer, a new book out – has got in the way. I am now, finally, working on pulling the Goldfish blog posts together to form a coherent (I hope) memoir.

I have also been writing more poems – I call them my dad poems. I’ve posted one or two here in the past and this is a fairly new one although I wrote a blog post about the event a while ago. I’m experimenting and really would appreciate comments on whether it works or not. Has the story been pared down too much? Does it work as a poem or does the story only work as prose?

Please head over and read the poem – In the Garden Centre Cafe:

Mary Smith, Buy:

Please visit Amazon or Mary’s website to view all her books.

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Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will head over and read these posts in full.. thanks Sally