Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – March 8th – 14th 2020 – Elephant Ears, Crispy Chicken, Funny Girl, Music, Guests, Books and Humour


Welcome to the Smorgasbord weekly round up with posts that you might have missed.

A tough week for everyone and even more difficult if you have family and friends who might be in the middle of the worst infection rates of the Coronavirus pandemic. Whilst we have been used to being in an isolated environment and with only two of us to worry about, my heart goes out to young families coping with not only making sure they have food to put on the table and other essentials, but with the childcare dilemma that they have to manage.

I also think that the healthcare staff who are exposed to the virus on a daily basis and who are working extra shifts to care for those infected should be recognised as being angels. Many of them are being infected themselves, and being overworked and probably not taking care of themselves as much as they should, they are at far greater risk than we are.

Also the staff in the supermarkets and pharmacies that are open and serving thousands of customers going through the checkouts. They have recommended that people use contactless cards, but they have a limit which is not sufficient for most weekly shops.

The keypads of ATMs and card machines are potential contagion sites and I have been using a sticking plaster on my index finger that I use to type in my PIN number and then carefully disposing of it in the nearest bin.

When I do the one shop a week now I am wearing latex gloves and peeling them off after shopping. Obviously there is a great deal of hand washing following any kind of outside contact.

We are slightly behind the rest of Europe here in Ireland, with new cases everyday but most associated with travel, or close contact with others on their return. All the schools, colleges and nurseries are shut until March 29th, and large gatherings, such as the renowned St. Patrick Day parades have been cancelled.

I hope that wherever you are that you are safe, supported and if you are on your own or worried and need to chat then please reach out and email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com… I may not physically be able to help, but very happy to support in anyway I can.

A note with regard to the Cafe and Bookstore…If you have a new book out in the next four weeks either on pre-order or available then please let me know. I am working a week ahead at the moment as I get on with my own projects, but I don’t want to miss helping launch your books.  All I need is the title of the book and the link on Amazon.

If you are new to the Cafe and Bookstore you will find all the details on how to get your FREE book promotion up and running: Cafe and Bookstore Free Author Promotion

Time to get on with the posts from the week…. I hope you enjoy.

Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food – ‘E’ for Egg Plant, Escargot, Elephant Ears and many more Eezee recipes and foods

Italian Cookery with Silvia Todesco – How to make crunchy Chicken Drumsticks

Romance – Marriage Unarranged by Ritu Bhathal

Another two stories from this collection

Sonia – In Search of Prince Charming

Theresa – The Checkout

Colleen Chesebro Tanka Tuesday Poetry No 168 – Shadorma – Memories

Butterfly Cinquain – Creatures of the Night – Sally Cronin

Don’t Rain on My Parade – Funny Girl

My Name is Danny – Tales from Danny the Dog – Andrew Joyce

Pre-Order for March 18th – Frozen Stiff Drink: A Kellan Ayrwick Cozy Mystery (Braxton Campus Mysteries Book 6) by James J. Cudney

Thriller Yigal Zur, War Romance Marina Osipova, Mystery Amy M. Reade

Family Christa Polkinhorn, Contemporary Jessica Norrie, Memoir J.E. Pinto

Paranormal Mae Clair, YA Darlene Foster, #Supernatural Don Massenzio

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Poetry Borrow My Place by Miriam Ivarson

Promoting Literacy – Pete Springer

Poetry – Earth and Sky by Balroop Singh

Chinese Style Tea Pot

A tale of Two Tea Pots by Tasker Dunham

Memoir – Another chapter from my life book: Dodgy Guests, Ms. Groves & ‘Dr. Strangeglove’ by Joy Lennick

Food Therapy – The Exotic Carrot

Book recommendation Claire Fullerton, Freelance Nicholas Rossis, Flash Fiction Charli Mills

IWD Willow Willers, Retirement Jim Borden, Colcannon New Vintage Kitchen

More funnies from D. G. Kaye and some new material from Sally

Comedian in Residence D.G. Kaye and some new material from Sally

On Friday due to a senior moment you got two videos for the price of one…..

Thank you so much for dropping in today.. stay safe and I hope you will pop in again next week. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Monday March 9th 2020 – #Bookrecommendation Claire Fullerton, #Freelance Nicholas S. Rossis, #Flash Carrot Ranch and Charli Mills


The first post is a book recommendation from Claire Fullerton for A Girl Like You by Michelle Cox.

It is 1935 Chicago, after the big crash, and desperate times lead to desperate measures. Young, beautiful, and seductively innocent Henrietta Von Harmon fends for her fatherless siblings and withdrawn, bitter mother by taking her good intentions to support her family, only to be led to disreputable places with unforeseen double-dealings. With verve and resourcefulness, Henrietta soon becomes involved in shady doings on the wrong side of town, and when she meets the enigmatic Inspector Clive Howard, wheels are unwittingly set in motion for navigating a Chicago crime syndicate.

Head over to read the rest of Claire’s recommendation: A Girl Like You: Book 1 Henrietta and Inspector Howard Mystery Series by Michelle Cox

Claire Fullerton, Buy: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – Follow Claire on : Goodreads – website: Claire Fullerton

Now for another excellent post from Nicholas Rossis on the subject close to all our hearts.. Writing.. and making money from it.. Nicholas shares his route to becoming a successful freelance writer and his advice is extremely helpful.

How I Became a Freelance Writer

freelance writing | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

When I wrote in my last post about the  the Evolution of Blogging, I didn’t expect so many people to contact me asking how I managed to become a more-or-less full-time freelance writer.

A friend even said that she knows a lot of disabled writers who would be great at it but don’t know how to start. Even worse, most were not even looking because of a rumor that getting paid to write in such a way as freelance writing is by and large not possible and that most of the paid to write jobs are nothing more than scams.

So, here’s my story.

Bark bark

My blog has generated a number of leads from online friends. But my first attempt to start writing professionally came from Bark, a UK-based online company that specializes in matching UK-based freelancers with clients.

Unfortunately, Bark came with an expensive learning curve:

Head over to read this informative post, especially if you are interested in become a full time freelance writer: How I became a Freelance Writer by Nicholas Rossis

Nicholas Rossis, Buy: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – Blog:Nicholas RossisGoodreads: Nicholas Rossis Goodreads

Please visit Amazon or Nicholas’s website to view all his books.

And if you missed your weekly Flash Fiction fix from Carrot Ranch and Charli Mills then here is the recap with all the stories… and they are brilliant as always.

Out of the confines, the open road calls. A winding ribbon of mapless tar or a straight path with a determined destination. It’s a journey, a diversion, a means to the end. Whether enjoying or escaping, the open road has stories at ever mile marker.

And who better to craft such stories than those on the writer’s road? This week, writers packed light and traveled where the prompt took them.

The following is based on the February 27, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes the open road.

Head over to read the stories.. I am sure you will enjoy: Stories from the Open Road, Carrot Ranch and Charli Mills

A little about Charli Mills and find out more at Carrot Ranch

Good to meet you! I’m Charli Mills. From riding horses to writing stories, I’m a born buckaroo wrangling words. I once won a trophy for goat-tying and later, one for story-telling.

With over two decades in freelancing, publications, sales, marketing, editing and speaking, my writing is published in magazines, anthologies and online. I use my worldly experience to consult with organizations, schools, entrepreneurs, writers, and independent authors in the art and business of story-telling.

My byline has appeared in Montana Outdoors, Colours Literary Magazine, Edible Twin Cities and online at USA Today. I used to write wellness columns, and foodie features about turmeric and cheese-makers. I published over 200 print articles and managed the award-winning Living Naturally for 16 years.

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

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up March 1st – 7th 2020 – #Backup larders #Jazz, Books, Guests, Humour and Health


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

I hope everyone is doing well despite the ‘virus’, floods, tornadoes, fake news and politics. It is so easy to become panicked when you see what might be ahead and the papers are doing a very good job of keeping us informed but also creating a fear culture.

Healthy living has never been so important and a fully functioning immune system over the next few weeks and possibly months is vital. Especially for those with underlying health issues, such as the elderly. Apart from washing hands in hot water and soap frequently and avoiding crowds etc, we do need to make sure that we have a nutritionally balanced diet to maintain a healthy immune system system.

The governments are going to do their best to keep food and essential household products on the shelves and we are going to have to trust that it will happen without panic buying.

Having seen the images of what some people are grabbing off the shelves,clearly beer, chocolate and crisps appear to be classified as essential food groups for some.

Whilst I am not rushing out to buy food or these essentials, it is a possibility that as we are in our later 60s, we will be considered at risk and might have to self-isolate even if we do not have the virus.

We used to get snowed in when we lived in the mountains in Spain during the winter months, and it even happened here for over a week the first year in this house in Ireland. I have always kept a basic survival larder that is sufficient to keep us going for at least a couple of weeks.

If you are faced with self-isolation and still want to maintain a healthy nutritional diet for you and the rest of the household here are some of my basics for two weeks should we have to manage without shopping. As you know I do not recommend the use of industrially manufactured foods in a normal diet and prefer the cook from scratch approach. However, at times you might have to fall back on to some canned goods and cereals, but if you choose the ones that are low in sugar then it is not going to cause you harm in the short term.

For other posts on the immune system, supplements, and health you can find more information in the Health Column Directory

I keep a week’s worth of fresh vegetables and fruit topped up every shop that I make and if they start to wilt, I will cook off and they keep for another few days in the fridge.

In the freezer- depending on the size and ours is quite small.

  • I keep some frozen vegetables – carrots, broccoli and cauliflower mix, butternut squash, onion, mushrooms.
  • Protein in the form of chicken, beef mince and fish.
  • Butter and cheese (both keep for at least three months in the freezer if well wrapped)
  • Some pre-prepared meals that offer a full nutritional balance – Brown Rice Pilaf
  • Slow cooked stews of meat and vegetables in family sized portions.
  • Fresh eggs can last about three weeks after their best buy date in the fridge

In the larder

  • Tinned tuna, salmon and sardines.
  • Tinned soups that can be used as a base for a more substantial meal.
  • Marmite, honey and nut butter.
  • Brown Rice, whole grain pasta, brown bread (I make my own Irish Soda Bread but you can buy ready prepared mixes). Good quality muesli and porridge oats. Wholegrain rice cakes and oat cakes.
  • Dried beans and lentils
  • Tinned tomatoes, tubes of tomato puree and garlic puree, dried herbs such as basil, oregano and turmeric. Jars of pasta sauce.
  • PIckled vegetables such as beetroot.
  • Olive oil and coconut oil.
  • Jars of carrots, spinach and green beans (useful during power outages).
  • Canned pears and mandarins in juice.
  • Good quality fruit juice without added sugar I have cranberry, orange and apple.
  • Dried apricots and walnuts.
  • Long life milk – Dairy or coconut or almond milk.
  • Tea – Black, Green and lemon and Ginger
  • Water (although that is unlikely to be a problem)
  • Some 80% dark chocolate.

I hope that has been of some help with regard to having a back up in your larder that will provide you with foods that will help maintain your immune system over a hopefully short period of time without access to shops. As always if you have any questions please let me know.

Time to get on with this week’s posts and as always my thanks to my guests and their amazing contributions.

Jazz Pianist and Composer Thelonious Sphere Monk with William Price King

Two more stories from this collection.

Queenie Coming Back to Life

Rosemary – The First Date

Poetry and Prose Mr. Sagittarius by M. J. Mallon

Examining Kitchen Cupboards by Stevie Turner

Historical Caribbean – Fireburn by Apple Gidley

Eradication War of Nytefall Book 4 Charles Yallowitz

Mystery – Bay of Secrets by J.A. Newman

Dog Tales Patty Fletcher, Poetry Natalie Ducey, Paranormal Thriller John W. Howell and Gwen Plano

Poetry Balroop Singh, Thriller Lucinda E. Clarke, Memoir D.G. Kaye

Children’s Deanie Humphrys Dunne, Fantasy Deborah Jay, Historical Andrew Joyce

Me

Poetry – The Paintbox by Miriam Ivarson

Family History Marian Longenecker Beaman

Humanity – Are We Selfish by Balroop Singh

Live Like a Millionaire by Sharon Marchisello

Looking back at 2019 by Judy Penz Sheluk

Food Therapy – The Humble Potato

Whilst we are all concerned about the spread of Coronavirus, there is a danger lurking in the food that we eat, particularly that prepared by rogue takeaway kitchens.

Food Poisoning on the increase 2.5 million cases in UK 2019

Cathy Ryan

March 2nd Book Recommendations from D.L. Finn, Annika Perry and Cathy Ryan

March 3rd Romania Pat Furstenberg, Review Liz Gauffreau, Fantasy Teagan Geneviene

Author Spotlight James J. Cudney, Book offer Darlene Foster, Funnies The Story Reading Ape

Legacy Sue Vincent, Afghanistan Mary Smith, Weather Carol Taylor

#Translations Miriam Hurdle, #Poetry Pamela Wight, #Books Jacqui Murray

More funnies from D. G. Kaye and some new material from Sally

More funnies from D. G. Kaye and some new material from Sally

Thank you for all the support which is very much appreciated.. I hope you will join me again next week .. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Friday 6th March 2020 – #Booktranslations Miriam Hurdle, #Poem Pamela Wight, #BookRecommendations Jacqui Murray


The first post today is from MIriam Hurdle who is celebrating the translation of her collection into Spanish and Portuguese. She also shares the process that she followed for those of you who might be interested in doing likewise.

Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude in Spanish and Portuguese

I’m excited to announce that Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude is translated into Spanish and Portuguese. They are available on Amazon, Barns & Noble, Kobo, Tolino, and other channels.

Here are the book covers of the translated versions, Spanish & Portuguese, in that order:

Songs of Heartstrings SpanishSongs of Heartstrings Portuguese

I would like to share with you the process I took to have the book translated.

Head over to find out how and where Miriam had her books translated: Songs of Heartstrings Poems in Spanish and Portuguese

Miriam Hurdle, Buy also in Spanish and Portuguese:  Amazon US – And: Amazon UK –  Goodreads: Miriam Hurdle – Blog: The Showers of Blessings

And the next post is a poem by Pamela Wight and it does make you think… and perhaps appreciate those around you we might be dismissive of as we go about our busy lives… and it also made me smile.. This morning as I was putting my trolley back a guy was bringing a string of them back to the entrance being very much noticed by some elderly ladies nudging each other and smiling.. He was very fit and good looking and he played up to them.. and they loved it despite the rain…so next time you are shopping smile and say hi to the guys in the car park.

From His Point of View

I watch them come in and out,
Mouths tight, brows furrowed.
Why? They drive in with their fancy
Cars, thick coats, scarves wrapped round
Their necks like a wreath.
Me? I’m their parking lot decoration.
I move their leftover carts, pick up their trash,
Trudge through the ice and rain and snow
And nod toward their blank faces.

Head over to enjoy the rest of Pamela’s poem and keep your eye for the person in the car park keeping it clear and clean next time you are shopping: Pamela Wight From His Point of View

Pamela S. Wight, buy: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK –  follow Pamela : Goodreads – website: Rough Wighting

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Now time for some book recommendations from Jacqui Murray – always good to have a referral before buying.

4 More NetGalley ARCs–3 Great, 1 Good

Here are three more great novels you won’t want to miss that I got from the wonderful NetGalley:

Into the Fire— next in the Nowhere Man series and maybe the best
The Deserter — a personal tragedy turns an amoral criminal against his own kind
No Man’s Land — Hawk against saves lives with a wag of his tail and an unending passion to do his job
Nathan’s Run–When you’re 12, accused of a murder you didn’t do, you might as well run

–received free from NetGalley in return for an honest review
–a note about my reviews: I only review books I enjoyed. I need to be inspired to write. That’s why so many of my reviews are 4/5 or 5/5

Into the Fire by Gregg Hurwitz 5/5

In Hurwitz’s latest in the Nowhere Man series, Into the Fire (Macmillon 2020), Max Merriweather engages Evan Smoak, aka the Nowhere Man, aka Orphan X, when Max’s cousin is brutally murdered after giving Max an envelope to turn over to the press should said cousin be killed. Max resolves to fulfill his promise but the reporter has also been murdered. He tries to figure out what to do next but has no idea where to even start. To say he is desperate is like saying the Mona Lisa is a nice painting. So, he turns to a stranger recommended by another stranger he serendipitously met in a coffee shop.

Read the rest of Jacqui’s review for Into the Fire and the other novels she recommends: Jacqui Murray Net Galley Reviews

Jacqui Murray, Buy: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK –  Follow Jacqui: goodreads – Blog: Worddreams

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

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Tuesday March 3rd 2020 – #Romania Pat Furstenberg, #Review Liz Gauffreau, #Fantasy Teagan Geneviene


The first post today is from Pat Furstenberg and is a guided tour of Sighisoara in Romania with wonderful photos of this medieval town where time appears to have stood still.

medieval horns, dark staircase, photos of Sighisoara

Welcome to our journey through medieval Sighisoara as we discovered it not so long ago. So far we climbed the Clock Tower and visited the house where Vlad the Impaler was born.

Let’s explore some more and see what are these medieval horns adorning one of Sighisoara’s oldest houses, as well as climb a medieval staircase to Sighisoara’s hill for more amazing winter scenes and photos.
The City Square, once the center of medieval life

The City Square, within easy reach, is a must-see. All around there are the houses that once belonged to the noblest families of Sighisoara.

Glimpse from the City Square towards the Clock Tower, Sighisoara

Put you walking shoes on and enjoy this amazing tour of the ancient town with an excellent guide: Amazing Photos Sighisoara Romania with Pat Furstenberg

Patricia Furstenberg, Buy:Amazon US – and: Amazon UK Blog:  Alluring Creations Goodreads: Goodreads

Now time for a book recommendation from Elizabeth Gauffreau – a spy thriller – Devolution by John Casey.

Blurb

Michael Dolan is a stoic perfectionist and former special operations pilot working a staff job at the Pentagon when he is approached by the CIA with an improbable request, to help prevent impending terrorist attacks in Europe. As his deep-cover role in OPERATION EXCISE evolves, Dolan finds that of all the demons he must prevail against, the most terrible are from within . . .

Head over to read Elizabeth’s review for Devolution: Liz Gauffreau – Book Review Devolution by John Casey

Elizabeth Gauffreau, BuyAmazon US – and : Amazon UK – Follow Elizabeth: Goodreads –  blog: Liz Gauffreau

And it you missed the latest episode of the Delta Pearl written by Teagan Geneviene, then here is a snippet from last Saturday’s post. Émeraude was concerned and curious as to the whereabouts of Onyx the clockwork owl and is relieved to see her return to the Delta Pearl… she follows her to the Captain’s cabin……

Pixaby

Pixabay

Sunlight flashed into my eyes. An odd clicking caused me to look up into the sky. The fluttering sound of a bird came to my ears. I shielded my eyes with my hand. Then I spotted something brass colored as it streaked across the blue sky above the Delta Pearl.

Onyx!

I was happy to see the Captain’s clockwork owl. My joy quickly turned to concern. The brass owl’s flight was erratic. Onyx appeared to be headed for the pilot house. I rushed up the stairs to the highest part of the riverboat.

I was not surprised to find Captain Cecil Perlog with his head of unruly platinum hair bent over the clockwork creature. What I had not expected was to see Dr. Victor T. Elam there as well. Victor inspected the owl’s wing in minute detail. Although, I shouldn’t have been surprised. He was brilliant inventor and good with any sort of mechanism.

Head over to read the rest of the episode and discover more about the portrait that reveals a mystery: The Delta Pearl 26 Mesmerize by Teagan Geneviene

Teagan Geneviene – Buy: Amazon US – and : Amazon UK – Blog: Teagan’s BooksGoodreads: Goodreads

 

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

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Monday March 2nd 2020- #Book Recommendations from D.L. Finn, Annika Perry and Cathy Ryan


To start the week off, some posts with book recommendations, which is always a great way to find new reads…

And a reminder – if you are an author and are not in the Cafe and Bookstore and enjoying regular author updates then please check out this link: Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – FREE author promotion

The first post is from author DL Finn with her reads in March that she recommends and I am delighted to be on the list along with five other authors, C.S. Boyack who is in the Cafe and Bookstore, and four new authors to me Lynda Filler, PTL Perrin, Kathryn Chastain Treat and Raymond Hall.

March Book Reviews! @sgc58 @LyndaMFiller @PTLPerrin @rayhall47 @Virgilante

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Head over to read the reviews for the six books and add them to your TBR: DL Finn March Book Reviews

Find out more about D. L. Finn: D.L. Finn Author

And now from two more book recommendations from Annika Perry for a modern romance by Jill Weatherholt and the 1920s guide to Flapper Speak by Teagan Geneviene.

Head over to read Annika’s reviews for these two books and add them to your now groaning TBR!: From Modern Romance to the Jazz Age review by Annika Perry

Annika Perry, Buy: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Follow Annika: Goodreads – blog: Annika Perry

And the final post today is from Cathy Ryan of Between the Lines, a blog where you are guaranteed to find terrific books to read. This week Cathy reviews The Light by another author in the Cafe and Bookstore..

The Light (Wake-Robin Ridge #4) by @MarciaMeara #Mystery with a touch of the #Paranormal #BookReview

I’ve enjoyed the previous books in this series very much. Eleven year old Rabbit is a remarkable little boy who has inherited an exceptional gift from his grandmother — what mountain people called ‘the Sight’, giving him the ability to sense and see things others cannot. He was brought up by his grandparents in the mountains of North Carolina and lived in isolation until they both passed away. After an arduous journey he found ‘the good people’ his grandmother had told him about and was adopted by Sarah and Mac.

Head over to read the rest of Cathy’s review and add the book to your TBR: The Light – reviewed by Cathy Ryan.

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Find out more about Cathy Ryan: Between the Lines Book Blog

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to read the posts in full..thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 23rd to 29th February 2020 – Clothes made out of Tents – Foods beginning with ‘D’ and Younger than Springtime…am I…


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

Between the weather and the coronavirus epidemic…. and who is going to pay the millions of dollars security bill for Prince Harry and Meghan, the news has not been uplifting this week. However, there is one news network, determined to only share inspiring and motivational stories such as this one.

Eco-Activist Hits Fashion Week Catwalk With Clothing Made Out of Abandoned Tents Collected From Music Festivals

This eco-warrior entrepreneur is making clothes from abandoned tents collected from music festivals—and the line debuted this month on the London Fashion Week catwalk.

24-year-old James Marshall spent last summer scouring campsites and collecting abandoned tents following the Eden Festival in the Scottish Borders and Kendal Calling in the Lake District.

With the help of his friends and family, he amassed around 300 tents which were then turned into trendy bucket hats, bumbags, and jackets by fashion designer Imogen Evans.

Some of James Marshall’s designs at London Fashion Week. SWNS.

Read the rest of this story and discover more good news: Eco Activist makes fashion week clothing out of tents – The Good News Network

On that note… time to get on with the week’s posts, and as always my thanks to guests who make such an amazing contribution to the week.

Carol Taylor A-Z – Dates, Dragon Fruit, Durian and Dirty Rice

Frank Prem shares his twenty year journey to achieve his publishing dream

This week ‘Younger than Springtime’ from South Pacific…

South Pacific – Younger than Springtime and Bali Hai

Two more stories from the collection.

Owen – Face to Face

Patrick – Love in a Time of War

Love Poetry – Walk Away Silver Heart by Frank Prem

 Annika Perry with her review for the wonderful Elisabeth’s Lists by Lulah Ellender.

Book Review Elisabeth’s Lists by Annika Perry

Traffic incident with Marian Longenecker Beaman

Jennie Fitzkee with the wonderful true story of a little girl and her family.

The Story of Romana by Jennie Fitzkee

Author and finance expert Sharon Marchisello shares tips on how to make sure you get the best value for money when travelling.

Foreign Currency with Sharon Marchisello

One Writer’s Journey 1 Star Reviews by Judy Penz Sheluk

Grinders by C.S. Boyack

Magic – Mr. Sagittarius by M.J. Mallon

Poetry – Inner Rumblings by Joyce Murphy

Format Your Picture Book Paperback for Amazon by Jo Robinson

Supernatural Marcia Meara, Romance Teagan Geneviene, Post Apocalyptic Sandra J. Jackson

Poetry Miriam Hurdle, British History Mike Biles, Fantasy Vashti Quiroz Vega

Thriller Mark Bierman, Adventure Audrey Driscoll, Short Stories Anne Goodwin

Angels Jan Sikes, Review Olga Nunez Miret, Mystery Mae clair

Recycling Carol Taylor, Chocolate Eat Dessert First, Poetry Colleen Chesebro

Afghanistan Mary Smith, Legends Andrew Joyce, Patience Geoff Le Pard

Short Story Beetley Pete, Medieval History Nicholas Rossis, Author Promotion Susan Toy

A study into why the immune system of bats has caused such a rapid mutation, better breast screen monitoring and the long term side effects of the Keto diet.

Bats and Coronavirus, Breast Cancer, Keto Diet

More funnies from D. G. Kaye and some new material from Sally

More funnies from D. G. Kaye and some new material from Sally

Thank you for dropping in and I hope you will join me again next week … thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Friday February 28th 2020 – #shortstory Beetley Pete, #Medieval Nicholas Rossis, #Promotion Susan M. Toy


A great story from Beetley Pete (Pete Johnson) in response to a package he received through the post from John Rieber.

Parcel Prompt Story: Writer’s Block

You saw the title? Yes, this is a parcel prompt, a first. A short story, in 1280 words.
I took the photo of a parcel sent to me all the way from California, by my blogging friend, John Rieber – He decided to go one better than a photo, and this was sent including a polystyrene box, to protect the contents.

There was a time when things were good. ‘Demon of The Marsh’ was a huge hit, and smashed into the fantasy market. Top seller on Amazon, and in the front windows of the bookshops that still existed. I was interviewed on the radio, then even a short telly spot on the BBC local news. The Guardian columnist called it ‘A fresh new take on the Demon genre’. Naturally, I was excited. And when it had sold over six thousand copies in hardback, then many, many more in paperback, I was approached by the very keen publisher with a deal for a second book.

Head over to read the rest of this excellent short story: Parcel Prompt – Writer’s Block – Beetley Pete

Get in touch with Pete and discover more about his writing – Blog: Beetley Pete WordPressTwitter: Beetley Pete

We might have some misconceptions about Medieval England, according to Nicholas Rossis there were shenanigans and a love of brightly coloured clothes…. or none at all.. What!!!

What did Medieval People Really Wear?

Contrary to popular belief, people in the Middle Ages loved color – and could afford it. They also liked to be, well, naked. Which makes sense, considering how much Medieval people liked throwing rotten vegetables at each other.

Some people take the term “Dark Ages” a little too literally. There is a notion in popular culture that the Medieval Period was a time when everyone lived in absolute poverty, wore clothes that looked like they were sewn together by a 6-year-old, and bathed zero times during their entire lives. The dark-filtered movies and shows depicting the Medieval period are supposed to symbolically reflect how bleak everyone’s life was.

Medieval clothes: Holywood vs. reality

A great example of this is the filter used in the European portion of The Kingdom of Heaven, which holds a rather negative view of Medieval Europe.

Raggedy grey clothing and a dark filter (and swords from the wrong centuries, but I digress):

Head over to see what clothes (or not) were trending at the time: What did Medieval people really wear by Nicholas Rossis

Nicholas Rossis, Buy: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – Blog:Nicholas RossisGoodreads: Nicholas Rossis Goodreads

The last post today is blatant self-promotion but also is an opportunity to showcase a book marketing promotion by author and promoter Susan M. Toy. It is important to be seen at the best parties… You will find quite a few of our writing community here on WordPress in the archives. Oh and Susan also winkled out of me what books I was currently working on….

Sally Cronin – Authors – Readers  International

I have enjoyed a nomadic existence living in eight countries including Sri Lanka, Malta, South Africa, USA and Spain, before settling back here in Ireland. My work, and a desire to see some of the most beautiful parts of the world in the last forty years, has taken me to many more incredible destinations around Europe and Canada, and across the oceans to New Zealand and Hawaii. All those experiences and the people that I have met, provide a rich source of inspiration for my stories.

After a career in customer facing roles in the hospitality, retail, advertising and telecommunications industry, I wrote and published my first book in 1999 called Size Matters, about my weight loss journey, losing 150lbs in 18 months. This was followed by 11 further fiction and non-fiction books, including a number of short story collections.

If you would like to read the rest of the post and find out what I am up to behind the scenes: A-R International Sally Cronin with Susan M. Toy

Susan M. Toy, Buy: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Susan: Goodreads

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

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Wednesday February 26th 2020 – #Afghanistan Mary Smith, #Legends Andrew Joyce, #Patience Geoff Le Pard


There are certain bloggers who appear regularly with their posts, especially if they are in a series… and this applies to Mary Smith with her fascinating and sometimes hair raising adventures in Afghanistan…We are now on week 23 and I do suggest that you go back and read the previous articles as they are well worth it.

MarySmith’sPlace – Afghan adventures #23 a bit about party politics – Afghan style

By now I had spent nearly two months in Jaghoray and it was almost the end of August. It was almost time to move on, if I was to reach the other clinics before winter. Jon, the project co-ordinator returned to Qolijou and I went to discuss travel plans. The idea was for me to spend some time in each, helping with any admin tasks, stock taking and generally being there to sort any other problems. Jon would return to Pakistan to collect the money and essential supplies the clinics needed before winter closed the road. We would meet at the clinic in Lal-sar-Jangal and return to Pakistan together.

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My room in the clinic

At the hospital, one of the translators greeted me, adding, ‘Have you come to visit your landlord’s mother?’ I was mystified until I found Rosanna setting up the x ray equipment for Gul Agha’s mother who was lying, grey faced, clutching at her stomach.

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The x ray room where they were able to see where the fragments of metal had gone in

Head over to find out what had happened to Gul Agha’s mother and the rest of the post: A bit about party politics Afghan Style

Mary Smith, Buy:Amazon US – and:Amazon UK – Website: Mary SmithGoodreads: Goodreads

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Now for one of the legendary stories from Andrew Joyce, and you don’t get much more legendary than a car full of John Steinbeck, John Huston and Clark Gable... no spoilers but as always worth heading over to read..

John, Clark, & John

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, movies were the premier form of entertainment in our land. There was no Netflix, no streaming from YouTube, no Hulu, and definitely no checking out Kim Kardashian’s butt every week on television because there was no television. No Kim Kardashian, for that matter.

Back in those prehistoric days, one man ruled over Hollywood. He was known as the “King,” much like—decades later—Elvis would be The King. But Elvis was the King of Rock and Roll; the man I’m speaking of was the King of Hollywood. His name was Clark Gable, and he was the best-known man in America. He was better known than the President of the United States and probably better loved.

Find out what happened when these three legends sat in the same car together: John Clark & John – Andrew Joyce..

Andrew Joyce, Buy: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – follow Andrew : Goodreads – blog: Andrew Joyce on WordPress

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And the final post is from Geoff Le Pard and is very on point for me as I recently found myself driving back from shopping with ice-cream melting in the freezer bag, whilst a gentleman of advanced maturity kept a steady 40 kilometres under the speed limit. Since overtaking spots are few and far between a mantra is definitely required, tempting though a short and pithy one might be… Geoff shares wisdom on not allowing these moments to degenerate into conflict (and horn thumping!).

Rationalising A Way

I live in the London Borough of Lambeth. For some time all the roads in the borough have been the subject of a 20 mile per hour limit with very few exceptions. The neighbouring boroughs have a variety of rules, including some streets with a 20 limit, but none, as far as I can judge apply it universally.

It takes some getting used to. On narrow roads with parked cars on either side it feels fast enough but, especially at night on empty straight highways it feels almost like a penitence and it is easy to let your mph creep towards the former standard of 30.

Many don’t like it; some positively hate it. And this leads to far more confrontations than was customary before its introduction. Cars rush up behind, pressing close as if, by the simple expedient of air pressure being applied I will go faster. Lights are flashed, horns of differing levels of frustrations pressed and, occasionally madcap overtaking manoeuvres undertaken.

Sometimes I shrug, at others I growl, often a sense of my own superiority arises. What I struggle with is at these times is any sort of empathy and yet I too have felt that urge to go faster. It takes a degree of will power to avoid signing my thinking, offering a smug, knowing finger in response to their bubbling annoyance.

Head over to read the rest of the post and take on board both Geoff’s advice and that of Tom Hanks: Rationalising a way by Geoff Le Pard

Geoff Le Pard, Buy: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Website: Geoff Le PardGoodreadsGeoff on Goodreads

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

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Tuesday February 25th 2020 – #Recycling Carol Taylor, #Chocolate Eat Dessert First, #Poetry Colleen Chesebro


Time for Carol Taylor’s climate change and recycling update for the week with some interesting and innovative ways to use plastics… such as the saffron robes of Buddhist monks… and also a reminder to those protesting about climate change and child labour that the device clamped to their ear or the screen in front of them requires precious metals and often involves slave labour… and something to think about – the cost on the environment of alternatives to milk.

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Recycling and Climate Change……Are we doing enough?

I have agonised about this post…I have been banging the same drum for quite a while…It does seem however that the more research I do and the more I discover that you would think that I am enlightened, I have a clear path which I wish to follow and everything is rosy… I am doing the right thing…I AM SAVING THE WORLD…

It certainly doesn’t feel like that…at times…sigh

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Milk or more to the point cows milk…I have never been a great milk drinker even as a child… we had free milk at school and I just didn’t like it…In the end, my mum wrote a note and I was excused from drinking it…I love rice pudding and porridge although I do dilute the milk a little …I just for some reason have never liked drinking just a glass of milk…Yeah, Yeah… a fussy kid I hear you…

Head over to read the rest of Carol’s weekly report: Carol Taylor Climate Change and Recycling Are We Doing Enough?

Enjoy the new series for 2020 : Carol Taylor – A-Z of Food

One of the foods that is rarely wasted is chocolate…. and a new series is starting on Eat Dessert First on this delicious food that very few people dislike…

A sweet trip into the world of chocolate begins…

Our chocolate tart is healthy and therefore we can enjoy a big piece!

We like to approach the subjects we discuss in a methodic way, so we will start with the definition of chocolate. The broad term chocolate refers to preparations that contain seeds from the fruits of the cocoa tree (cacao tree or Theobroma cacao) as a basic ingredient.

The fruit of the cocoa tree.

The route from the plant to the products -which are either consumed directly or used in pastry- is briefly presented by the National Confectioners Association: the farmers open the fruits, take the seeds out and then a process of fermenting and drying follows. Then, the seeds are shipped all over the world, where they get checked and cleaned, baked and ground. The outcome is the chocolate liquor, a dense liquid.

Head over to find out more about the production process that ends up with that sweetness on our tongues..as well as a stunning recipe for that healthy chocolate cake.. sounds too good to be true, but pass me a plate…: Eat Dessert First – Chocolate – Chocolate Tart

About the Eat Dessert First Team on this Greek/English blog.

We are a team of amateur bakers, children’s educators, writers and sociocultural researchers, based in Athens. What describes us best is that we eat dessert first! But not only… our name symbolises our wish for all the nice and sweet things in life to come first.

Eat Dessert First team doing what they does best… Devouring the sweets they prepared!

Our purpose is to approach aspects of the everyday life that are on our minds, by looking at them in a new perspective and studying them in their historic and cultural evolution… all that through our love for desserts. And of course to discover the history of our favorite sweets! Also, we take a sweet trip every now and then, to meet new places, customs, sights, activities, nature and -what else- little local treats! We don’t forget to exercise too, in order to eat our desserts without remorse…Find out more about the Eat Dessert Team in English

And finally today a reminder of this week’s challenge from Colleen Chesebro… this week it is the ‘theme prompt‘. A weekly treat for me, one of the few that does not require an elastic waist band on my jeans!

Head over to find out what the theme prompt is for February and details of how you can participate: Colleen Chesebro Tanka Tuesday Poetry No 166 – Theme Prompt

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