Smorgasbord Blogger Daily 30th March 2017 – Dutch Rogue Cove, Wayward Wheeler, Janice Spina and John W. Howell

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome to my daily selection of just some of the blogs I have visited today and I thought I would share some new blogs I have connected to. The first is something very different. I am going to share the About Me page so you get the details and then I suggest that you head over and discover for yourself the wonderful artwork that has been created in this extraordinary fashion.  Brilliant.  Meet Artist Ben Miller.

About Dutch Rogue Cove

The idea for Dutch Rogue Cove is fuse the passion for fly fishing with the passion to create art. Painting and fly fishing are essentially the same thing with decisions being made about the colors and how fast they are set on a surface, and fly fishing with decisions being made about what fly to use in any given circumstance. This idea has been 30 years of fly fishing experience and twenty years of pursuing the arts in the works. It came to me one day to combine the two and create paintings by using a fly rod. There is no better place to create this art than Montana and capture the colors, movement, and temper of the famous streams. The art is evolving to paint the patterns and colors of different sides of trout and give a lot of action to paintings for the diverse quarry that can be pursued with a fly rod.

When I was 8 years old grandpa introduced me to fly fishing
Fly tying came next with sewing thread and chicken feathers lashed to an egg hook
All assignments in primary school dealt with fishing in one way or another
I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts from Washington State University
A K-12 teaching endorsement from Central Washington University
Taught Fine Arts at the high school level for 12 years
Discovered my niche to carve in the Art world, resigned from teaching, sold my house and moved to Bozeman Montana “The fly fishing capital of the world” to create works of art and change how paintings can be made and images of streams never seen before.

Find out more about Ben Miller and his artwork:

Next Eamon of WaywardWheeler is back packing around his home of New Zealand, the UK and is now tackling the wilderness of the USA. Since this is all done in a wheelchair the logistics are not always easy and I recommend that you head over and read some of the posts for yourself and decide whether you could manage with one backpack and a chair and face the long road ahead.

Next week I’m heading down the east coast from snowy Pennsylvania to sunny Florida. My goal is to get lost in the wilderness, So I’m making my way either to Arizona to get lost in the desert or Colorado to get lost in the mountains. I have a Tent, sleeping bag and everything I should need packed away in the backpack.

Read about the next stage in Eamon’s journey:

Janice Spina is host to children’s author Deb Hockenberry author of Where Can We Have the Party.

Please tell us something about yourself. When did you know that you wanted to be an author?

I’ve known that I’ve wanted to be an author since I was in elementary school. I remember telling stories to my siblings and the neighbor kids on my family’s front porch back then. I also remember being at our local branch of the Carnegie Library asking the librarian about books that could tell me how to get started in writing. I was still in elementary school and very nervous about asking her this. But it paid off. She took me into the adult section of the library and pulled several books on writing off the shelf for me. I was still in elementary school here, too. Back then, kids just didn’t go into the adult section for anything. I felt so special!

Read the rest of the interview:

Time to get back to nature now with John W. Howell who has an update on Peggy the Heron.. Both John and his wife are animal lovers and they ‘walk the talk’ supporting a local rescue centre. It is always a privilege when a wild creature enters our environment and becomes a fixture..

It has been a while since I have given you an update on my favorite heron. For those who are new Peggy has been in the neighborhood for over four years and she has an injured leg. We call her Peggy even though we are not sure she is a female. Peggy of course is the affectionate term for the fact that one leg is pretty much as if she was a pirate. The quick report is Peggy is doing well. She had a challenge with her bad leg about a month ago and was not getting around too well. She has recovered and is back to her old self.

See the photographic evidence:

Thanks for dropping in today and hope you find the posts as interesting as I did. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – 29th March 2017 – Nicholas Rossis, The Story Reading Ape, Patricia Salamone and C.S. Boyack

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome to today’s look at some of the blog posts I have enjoyed. I tend to have a wide taste in subject matter with books and writing obviously high on the list. But I would love it if you would share either one of your own posts or one that you have enjoyed by another blogger by leaving a link in the comments section of the post.

First is an opportunity to feature two bloggers author Nicholas Rossis with a post on the subject of Endbooks which make opening a print copy unexpected and a great way to segway into the writing. His post was inspired by the blog post by Sarah Laskow’s blog

In the endless eBook vs. print debate, one aspect is rarely mentioned: the art of endbooks. And yet, as Sarah Laskow—my favorite Atlas Obscura blogger—points out, these can deliver a small jolt of wonder that perfectly complements a lovely book. An over-eager reader can breeze by even the most striking endbooks, yet they’re an art form with a history all their own.

An ENDuring Hostory

For centuries, designers have taken the formal necessity of joining a book’s pages to its cover and turned it into an opportunity for creativity. When a book is made, one side of an endpaper (sometimes also called an endpage or endleaf) is pasted into the inside of the book’s cover; the other side is the first page of the book.

Read the rest of the post and see more examples of this wonderful way to embellish your books:

The next post is from The Story Reading Ape who invites a wide selection of guests onto his blog to promote their work.  Today he welcomed guests Al and Sunny Lockwood who have turned their travels into a series of fascinating books.

As I gingerly step into my seventh decade on planet Earth, I’m filled with dreams and ready for adventure.

When I was younger, I was eager to do it all — earn college degrees, travel widely, run a business, write books, try all sorts of exciting things. I felt a type of urgency, like if I didn’t do all this stuff right now, I’d never do it and I’d end up old and full of regrets.

Is that do-it-now urgency a typical aspect of youth? I think it may simply be part of a full and fulfilling life no matter what your age. We live in the now, don’t we. While we carry our past with us, and we look forward to tomorrow, the only time we really have is right now to do the things we long for.

In any event, I did all that I’d dreamed of doing. And more. I developed publications for universities, wrote for magazines and even worked as a newspaper editor for a while. I did some skydiving, produced a TV show called “Women Working” at Gill Cable in San Jose, California, and enjoyed interesting friends from California to Main.

Read more about Al and Sunny’s travels that have become fascinating travel books:

Next Patricia Salamone shares the story of her honeymoon over 40 years ago and some of the unexpected experiences encountered.  I am sure Patricia would love to hear your honeymoon adventures (within reason) so please head over and share.


I know many, many people that love to watch horror. I can’t, I have nightmares if I do. However, I can read a scary book without having nightmares but it sort of hangs with me for a while. Many years before I married I read a book called ‘Harvest Home’ by Thomas Tryon. Talk about scary. I’m posting this first for a reason.

When I got married years later and we were on our honeymoon it was January with over twenty inches of snow on the ground. We stayed in a Pocono, Pa. Resort. When we arrived we were taken to our cabin.

Read the rest of this entertaining post and share your own misadventures:

Author C.S. Boyack welcomed crime thriller writer Sue Coletta to his blog yesterday. Sue talks about The Mystery Surrounding Antlers. Sue is also about to release her latest book and antlers feature so great opportunity to find out more about them and her new book.

Fans of the TV show Hannibal know the cannibal psychiatrist and gourmet chef—although his ingredients are quite questionable—often uses deer antlers to create macabre crime scenes. Some may think the creators of the show stole the idea from HBO’s True Detective, but that isn’t the case. The original idea stemmed from Stephen King. In his 1979 hit Salem’s Lot, King impaled one of the characters with antlers. They say it takes three repetitions to create a trend, and perhaps there’s some truth to that.

Antlers intrigued me enough to write them into my new novel, CLEAVED.

Read more about the mystery of antlers and Sue’s new book:

Thanks for dropping by and hope you enjoy reading the posts in the selection.. Don’t forget to leave your link to your most recent post or one that you have enjoyed in the comments section.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – 28th March 2017 – Dan Alatorre, All Doggie, Judith Barrow and Jennie Fitzkee

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

It is that time of day again to share a small selection of blog posts from the ones I have read and enjoyed.  If I have missed yours then I am sorry but would love it if you would leave a link in the comments for me.

I have done a few book signings in stores and at events and there is always that moment when you see the daunting pile of books that you wonder if you will be taking you home with you again.. Never fear.. Author Dan Alatorre is here with some great ways to avoid that happening.

9 Ways To Avoid A Humiliating Public Failure At Your Book Signing Event

You finally worked up the nerve to ask a real, live bookstore to have you sign books at an event!

Okay, you emailed them.

But they replied and now you have a signing event! Woo hoo!

Uh oh…

A real live event.With people.

Or worse, maybe with NO people.

I can hear your heart pounding from here. You’ve heard horror stories about signings. Nobody came. Nobody bought a book…


It can happen even if you DO plan. So what do you do? After all, for the most part you tend to be humiliation-averse.

Good thing I was here!

It won’t be long before we will be setting out on trips and I remember packing more for Sam than for us when we did a road trip.. He also seemed to have more paperwork requirements too.. at least we do not need Rabies shots before going to Europe! Here is a very useful blog .. All about dogs…. And a checklist for your next trip.

It’s always a good idea to make a list of essentials to bring along when you’re going on a trip, and traveling with Doggie is no exception. Making a list of items to bring along well in advance of the trip allows you to remember commonly forgotten items and add them to list before you disembark. Here at we’ve done the work for you!

When traveling with Doggie, don’t forget these essential items to make Doggie as comfortable as possible! After all, she’s a part of the family, and has some special needs that could be commonly forgotten in the moment of departure.

Here is the checklist:

Over the coming months Judith Barrow will be interviewing fellow authors who write family sagas. If you have not read Judith’s three books then I do recommend them all having read and thoroughly enjoyed. Yesterday her guest was Jenny Lloyd author of Leap the Wild Water, Anywhere the Wind Blows and The Calling of the Raven.

My Series of #FamilySaga Authors. Today with Jenny Lloyd #MondayBlogs
Posted on March 27, 2017

Over the next few months I’ll be chatting with authors who, like me, write Family Sagas, (#familysaga) a genre that can cover many countries, years and cultures.I am thrilled that so many excellent writers have agreed to meet here with me. I’m sure you’ll find them as fascinating as I do. All I can say is watch this space. Your TBR list of books will be toppling over!!

Read the very interesting interview with Jenny Lloyd as she talks about the inspiration behind her writing:

I have often written in health posts that I think that music is another food group and I certainly could not imagine my life without it. But how about young children being introduced to classical music and fine art. Jennie Fitzkee has introduced the children in her class to both with stunning results.. This is a fascinating post and even if you do not have children it might inspire you to put Vivaldi whatever musical player you own and get some paints out.

Every year I am surprised when I bring to school my old record player, which looks much like a suitcase. I simply but it down on the floor in front of the children and look at it. Then, I wait for the wonder of what happens next. As children predict what they think it might be, I open the lid and start to carefully touch the turntable and the arm… and then turn it on.

See the results for yourself in this surprising post:

Thank you for popping by and please feel free to share the link to your lastest post in the comments. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – 27th March 2017 – D.G. Kaye, Sacha Black and ABBA, Darlene Foster and Sue Vincent with Lisa Burton

Smorgasbord Blogger DailyWelcome to the Blogger Daily and delighted to share the posts of some bloggers who have their links in the comments of past posts today.. Please do leave yours as it is a way to reach some new readers for your blog.

Firstly though Debby Gies has been snow birding in Arizona away from the blizzards of Toronto. She is taunting us with her daily sunning by the pool and her various excursions around the area. And some spooky photographs that need some explaining…  Taunt away Debby…we have had two days of sunshine and counting…

What have I been up to in Arizona?

Well, for one thing, the temperatures have climbed to unseasonably hot. They were unseasonably cool up to one day before we arrived here. Where the temps should have been hovering around the mid 60s to early 70s from late February into March and tapering off around mid 70s for most of March, February had quite a cold spell and the first few nights here we needed a jacket. That was until the first weekend in March hit and we’re currently having temps close to 95 degrees. These desert temps can sometimes hamper plans to go to certain places where we’d have to be walking around all day outside, because, well, it’s a desert!

Read the rest of this entertaining and spooky post:

Sacha Black and the other ABBA team members are busy behind the scenes preparing for the start of the annual voting spree for the Bloggers Bash and also collecting your money for your tickets.  I am going and my ticket is booked.  Hope you can make it too.

The Bloggers Bash is now less than 3 months away, which means the committee is frantic and hysterical behind the scenes. Or maybe that’s just me.

And if you don’t know what the Bloggers Bash is, DAMN you should. It’s an annual get-together for all bloggers from all platforms from all over the world, although it’s hosted in London. Wanna come meet your blogging buddies? Get your ticket here.

Each year we release the awards, and their new swanky logos, so you can see what you will be nominating and then voting for.


Get all the details about the bash and the tickets which are only £10 :

Next Darlene Foster who shares a Ghost Walk on her recent trip to York.  I have experienced the atmospheric and slightly unnerving vibe of the city when I worked and lived there for six months. Gives me goosebumps just to think about it.

During my visit to York, I went on a ghost walk. A city with such a long and rich history is bound to have ghosts lurking about. In fact, York is known as the most haunted city in England. Our excellent guide took us to places where ghosts sightings and paranormal activity have been reported. We began the tour at the York Minster on a chilly misty evening.

Read the rest of this ghostly illustrated post:

I reblogged this post earlier but it bears repeating. I spend a great deal of my week searching through blogs and Amazon looking for posts to promote in the Blogger Daily and for new books and reviews to share in various FREE book promotions in the week. Thankfully I do get a few emails through but sadly it seems that authors are not taking advantage of offers for this and guest posts or interviews.  Here is Sue Vincent’s intro and then the guest post by Lisa Burton who is the robotic PA to author C.S. Boyack.

How much would you pay to reach a potential audience of say, a hundred thousand readers? And what if, instead, you could do that for FREE, with no strings attached?

Writers need to promote their work… interviews, guest posts, radio shows…they are all excellent ways of getting your work seen and, hopefully read. There are any number of sites willing to make holes in your hard-won and often meagre royalties by offering you advertising space, or nameless (and possibly non-existent) followers and who will charge you to appear on their blog or website. While everyone needs to make a living, and while there is nothing wrong with investing money, as well as your time to promote your work, why pay for what you are being offered for free?

There are very many people offering guest spots to writers. WordPress bloggers will also post their links across many social media platforms, getting your work seen by even more poeple so that even just between, say, The Story Reading Ape, Lisa Burton, Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord and this blog, you will reach that magic hundred thousand pairs of eyes.

Yet we struggle to fill the slots reserved for guest posts…

My guest today is the gorgeous Lisa Burton from Entertaining Stories and #LisaBurtonRadio who looks at some of the reasons why this might be so…


Read Lisa Burton’s guest post on the reasons why you need to be more proactive:

And if you would like to find out more about the promotions for bloggers and authors here on Smorgasbord then here are two links.

and the brand new open to all authors and book reviewers.

Why not make a start by leaving the link to your latest post in the comments section so that I can share this week in the Blogger Daily?

Smorgasbord Round Up – Bruce Springsteen, The Borgias, Illustrations and New Review series

Welcome to this week’s round up of posts that you might have missed. I don’t want to speak too soon but the sun has been shining for the last two days and it looks like the week might be good too. I have spent some time sitting in the wind shade the last couple of days and it has been wonderful. Let’s hope I do not upset the rain gods in the next few days.

As always I am very aware that the blog is a collaborative effort. Not just with guests who are regular visitors but those of you who have popped in, left comments and shared posts across your own networks.  You are much appreciated.

On with the show.

William Price King meets some legends and we join Bruce Springsteen as his career hits an all time high with such iconic albums as Born in the USA.

Thomas the Rhymer

Writer in Residence Extra –  Paul Andruss takes us back through the ages with an exploration of the religious penalties for disobedience!

Sally's Cafe and Bookstore

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Book Reading and Interview with award winning children’s author Bette A. Stevens. Bette is still taking questions about her life and work and you can leave them in the comments section of the post. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Creative Artist Interview with artist and illustrator Donata E. Zawadzka who shared some of her stunning artwork and her life and training.

The Colour of Life by Geoff Cronin

My father-in-law’s book continues with some building advice and devilish behaviour

Book and author Promotion

If you would like to join the other authors on the shelves of the bookstore then please check out the details.

This week Lyn Horner introduced us to the Western Romance anthology The Posse.

Authors on the shelves of the bookstore enjoy regular updates including new releases, great reviews and offers on their books.

New series Air your Reviews – an opportunity for authors and reviewers alike to share excellent reviews. Open to everyone and not just those on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

The Blogger Daily – do leave your links to your most recent post in the comments so that I can share.

Personal Stuff

My thanks to Robbie and Michael Cheadle for a wonderful review of Tales from the Garden.

Book Marketing – Smashwords and its affiliates.

An offer on What’s in a Name on my publishing website – £1.95

The Soldier by Sally Cronin

An estate in London is being overrun by teenagers on the rampage. An old soldier feels powerless.


Health – Top to Toe The Digestive System

Smorgasbord Health 2017

Thank you again for being so supportive. Enjoy what is left of the weekend and look forward to welcoming you again next week. Thanks Sally

My two guests this week for the Cafe and Bookstore Book Reading are John Fioravanti on Wednesday and Darlene Foster on Saturday.. get your questions ready.






Smorgasbord Blogger Daily 24th March 2017 – Brigid Gallagher – Seumas Gallacher – Yecheilyah Ysrayl – Jeff B. Grant

Smorgasbord Blogger DailyWelcome to today’s selection of blogs that I have enjoyed today and first is the post by Brigid Gallagher who took a road trip. Whilst the purpose of the drive was sadly for a funeral Brigid managed to visit the local area as well..

Fibromyalgia makes driving long distances a challenge for me; I am comfortable on short drives around home, but anything beyond that requires careful planning and extra rest, both before, during and after the journey.

Last week, an unexpected funeral around 60 miles away, took me out of my driving comfort zone.

However, I decided I was going to enjoy the journey regardless, as it would take me past some spectacular scenery -through the village of Dunlewey, The Poison Glen, and the foot of Errigal Mountain, then on through Glenveagh National Park where I once tended The Gardens of Glenveagh Castle.

Enjoy the photographs and the rest of the trip:

 I must admit that there are some mornings when I get up and view the grey skies outside my window and my joints creak that I would slap the next person who tells me that 60 is the new 40!  Seumas Gallacher is also posing his question about the subject..

…so when will 100 years old be considered the new ‘middle age’?

…it’s an extraordinary thing this age business… when Master Gallacher was creeping into his teens, emb’dy who was over thirty years old was regarded as ‘getting on a bit’… when my turn came to reach that same ripe milestone of 30, the horizon had stretched sum’what to ‘oldies’ being on the other side of fifty… galloping straight through my own ‘life begins at 40’ nonsense and ripping headlong through the half century, again the elasticity of the ‘seniority’ tag revealed itself… reserved then in my head for the 75+ bracket… what a moving target it’s been since 1948… yup, 1948, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land… the year the newborn Gallacher backside was smacked for the first time as the midwife prob’ly wondered ‘what the hell has this poor pregnant wummin produced’...

Carry on laughing and see if you can help Seumas out:

You might have noticed that I am on a tear this week about reviews. I think that they are so vital to our lives as writers that those that our paid to sell our books are doing a woeful job about them. We lay a great deal of responsibility on the shoulders of those who review our books and sometimes we are not as accepting as we might be about critical comments.

Writing a constructive well thought out and written review is as important as anything else we write be it short stories, novels or blog posts. Yecheilyah Ysrayl talks about this from a book reviewers perspective.

Why Reviewing Books is an Act of Love

Whenever I finish a book and prepare a review, I ask myself why I am doing this. Why I dedicate time reading books and time writing reviews and even more time structuring the blog post. Do you know how many times I revise a post before it goes public? Too many times. Some of the posts you love the most have been revised upwards to twenty times because I want it to be done to the best of my ability. It may not even be done right but at least I know I’ve done what I can.

Read the rest of this important post:

My last post today is one that reflects the opinion of what I hope is millions of those living in the United Kingdom, side by side despite language and cultural differences. I have been a guest in eight different countries since I was born for anywhere from two years to 17 years, and have always been treated with kindness and respect.

Jeff Grant shares this post which I think everybody should read and then reflect on their own approach to others in our multi-cultural societies. Jeff is correct in that if we are to survive into the next century we will need to find a way to live together in harmony.

Guns in Westminster

So here in the UK we have experienced another terrorist attack. Right alongside what is pleased to call itself the Mother of Parliaments. The first thing I want to say about that is that for any Muslim who may read this, for any native of another country living here who reads this – you are welcome here. I’m very happy to have you here. You and your different languages, your different dress, your different foods which our restaurants serve now on a daily basis all brighten up and broaden the collective mind of our society. I’m not exaggerating when I say I’m slightly humbled – and flattered – that you should think enough of this country and this society to want to make a life for yourself and your family here, or just to be resident here for a period of time. And you should know that there are millions of others like me whose voices you perhaps don’t hear often enough.

Read the rest of this message to us all:

Have a great weekend and the Blogger Daily will be back on Monday. Thanks Sally

Coming up on Smorgasbord this weekend.

Two chapters from The Colour of Life by Geoff Cronin on Saturday and Sunday.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Book Reading and Inteview with award winning children’s author Bette A. Stevens on Saturday.

Smorgasbord Round up on Sunday.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – 22nd March 2017 – Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, Diary Of a Nineteen Year Old, Marilyn Armstrong and Jane Risdon


Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome to the day’s round up of posts I have enjoyed.. As I keep mentioning it is only a small selection but I hope you will head over and read them for yourself and follow the bloggers in question.

The first post is about Empathy and the strength of friendship. There have been times in my life when I felt adrift and isolated but was brought back into the fold by one or two special people who troubled themselves to forget their own lives and help me get mine back. Madelyn Griffith-Haynie suffered a serious accident and required round the clock care for a year.. in this post she shares those who made her recovery much easier and possible.

Tough Love Lessons from an Empathy Deficit Society

“There, but for the grace of God, go I”

Not my problem, not my business?

Our society seems to be rapidly moving to a state where it is empathy-averse. The next few posts are my attempt at trying to change that sad reality in some small fashion by telling my personal story. It is time.

Many who are still able to care what happens to others take the “wait and see” approach, hoping perhaps that some of the problems will resolve without their involvement.

I have noticed it most overtly in response to current political actions of late, but I have always seen it most pervasively in the continuing lack of Mental Health Awareness.
That attitude troubles me greatly. We need each other, and the quote at the top of this page has never been more apt.

I always planned to speak out about it, once I put my life back together after a horrendous event that all but took it away from me entirely. But there was so much to do in the aftermath that time got away from me.

The attitude I observe, that seems to be increasing since the start of the most recent election cycle, has emboldened me. I think it’s time to put polish a few drafts and publish them.

Read about Madelyn’s experience and about those who showed their true friendship:

Now a post Diary Of a Nineteen Year Old about stereotyping. I am blonde, curvy and a pensioner!  And there are still stereotypical comparisons made at any age. They are however particularly hard on the the younger generation who are still finding their place in the world and where when we were young it was isolated to our home town and our work place it is now universal. It is a lot of pressure. A very interesting and thought provoking post to read.

I bet that you all know what stereotyping is, Ey? Honestly, I couldn’t cover even an eighth of all the instances of stereotyping that exist today, even if I tried (you can google them though), so, I’m just gonna highlight a few negative examples that I could think of (it’s lengthy so please get comfortable).

1. All blondes are dumb.

😂😂have you read all the blonde jokes? They’re like a million. It’s sad but I’m sure you all can think of a movie or a cartoon where the blonde girl is the dumb one.

Read the rest of the post:

I do resonate with this next post. I only noticed yesterday that I should do some dusting. I then sat down and did some writing. I am still at the should stage… when I get to the MUST do some dusting because we have visitors coming I will get round to it….I have a sense of adventure but I have to make a couple of allowances now before setting off.. I accept that there are terrains I can no longer walk on because of my lack of ligaments in my right knee and that a six hour trek up and down a mountain without facilities is a double whammy!

Marilyn Armstrong explores this very effectively in her post and I am sure that you can add your views to the post as well..


It’s one of the things you learn getting older. You really can’t fight all the battles because there are too many battles and too few of you. So you accept that the plow driver knocked down half a wall and dug up a big chunk of garden … which someone is going to have to fix because it’s like hideous mud and rock central on the driveway.

You look at the door, realize it’s begun to rot a bit under the sill. You shrug. It’ll get dealt with, eventually. Not by me, of course. I don’t do sills.

What have you accepted and moved on from:

Jane Risdon welcomes guest author Sheryl Browne to her blog who talks about her new thrillers After She’s Gone and Sins of the Father.

I’m often asked what prompted me to SWITCH TO THE ‘DARK SIDE’.

In all honesty, I’m not sure I have switched. Even in my contemporary romance, I tend to write about people and the gamut of emotion that comes with them, gravitating towards family and family dynamics and just how strong a family unit can be. I find there is usually a bad guy or girl in all of my books. Sometimes the hero will start out as seemingly bad, which gives him room to grow. I think in writing psychological thriller, I’m exploring the darker psyche of some of my characters, looking at the nature vs nurture conundrum. Is badness in the genes? Is it brain function or childhood experience that creates a monster? A combination of all three?

Read the rest of Sheryl’s interview:

Thank you for dropping by today and if you would like to feature here in this blogger promotion then just leave a link to your most recent post in the comments. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – 20th March 2017 – Paul Andruss, Staci Troilo, Robert Marston Fanney, Annette Clark and Ed. A. Murray

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Doesn’t Monday come around quickly and here is the first of the Blogger Daily posts which is intended to promote bloggers. I tend to spend about an hour each day reading other bloggers posts and it is not nearly enough considering the great posts out there. However, here are just a handful which I think you will find interesting and if you would like to share your most recent post then please leave a link in the comments.

Thomas the Rhymer Paul Andruss

Writer in residence Paul Andruss has a very active and informative blog of his own and posts tales, legends and challenges our understanding of  everyday people, items around our homes and what other people tell us is true!

Unlike Otto Titzling, or even Herr Bustenhalter, the mythical inventors of the modern bra, Thomas Crapper was a real person; a plumber who opened a London bathroom fittings factory and warehouse in 1861. The quality of his porcelain ware gained him recognition in a rapidly modernising society. But it was the future Edward VI who cemented his reputation by asking him to fit the bathrooms in the newly purchased Sandringham House.

The Victorians were nothing if not social climbers and crashing snobs. What was good enough for the future king was good enough for them. Although having recently learned about the copious amounts of red meat in the upper class Edwardian diet, I think the certified robustness of Mr Crapper’s facilities must have also played a part in the choice.

Thomas Crapper is often credited with inventing the toilet.

Not true.

Read the rest of this toiletry revelation:

Staci Troilo with a post on various aspects of the review system on Amazon including the platform’s oversight on reviewers. Well worth reading.

I recently got a book review that I didn’t care for. It was a five-star review, but one of the comments was, in my opinion, way off the mark. Which got me thinking…

Why would the reviewer give the book five stars if it was lacking in some way?
Why are there not better criteria for reviews?
We need reviews as a mark of credibility, but how credible are the reviewers?

I’m not going to say which book of mine I mean or who reviewed it or what comment I didn’t like. I’m bringing all this up because I think we need to have a frank discussion about reviews. I knew I was taking that particular comment personally, so I decided to look at reviews of books I had no stake in. I looked at reviews of bestsellers. You know, books by household names that have hundreds of reviews.

Read the rest of the post:

As we welcome signs of spring there are certain parts of the United States who have experienced unprecedented summer temperatures in the last week or so which are having a critical effect on some states. Robert Marston Fanney takes a look at some of the outcomes of this unusual weather.

March Climate Madness — Wildfires, Scorching Summer Heat Strike Central and Southwestern U.S. By Winter’s End

In Colorado today the news was one of fire. There, a wildfire just south of Boulder had forced emergency officials to evacuate 1,000 residents as more than 2,000 others were put on alert Sunday. Smoke poured into neighborhoods as dead trees killed by invasive beetles or a developing drought, exploded into flames. Depleted snowpacks along the front range of the Rockies combined with temperatures in the 80s and 90s on Sunday to increase the fire risk. Thankfully, so far, there have been no reports of injuries or property loss. A relieving contrast to the massive fires recently striking Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma — where farmers and communities are still recovering.

Read the rest of the post:

As writers we treat commas dreadfully at times. We put the responsibility of making sense of our sentence and determining  the tone of our writing all upon this speck of print. The Story Reading Ape recommended this post today by Annette ClarkA Comma’s job security!

The comma stood on the corner, bleating, “Please, can someone help me? I know I belong somewhere, but I can’t quite remember where.”

Devon Taylor, copy editor, sat at the counter of the diner counter across the street and watched as passers-by skittered around the pitiful punctuation mark. They looked away determined to not notice it.

Devon (destined to become The Nib) couldn’t really blame them. Commas were notoriously slippery creatures. But there was something about this comma that made Devon think it was truly in trouble.

The editor set down the empty coffee cup and wandered across the street.

“What brings you to Conjunctionville?” Devon asked the punctuation mark.

Read the rest of the Comma’s tribulations:

For the final post this evening I have selected The quest to write the Great American Novel by author Ed A. Murray – I found it interesting as I was looking at the same question in relation to books written about the UK. All the epics that I read are set far back in history or follow families up to and during the second world war. But what do we classify as the Great British Novel now that we are so diverse in culture?  Answers on a postcard please!!  I do recommend you read this as you will also be introduced to Philipp Meyer and his two books American Rust and The Sun.

The elusive Great American Novel. You’ve heard the term. What does it mean to you? A masterful book by an American author? A story that tells a relatable tale to any American?

A few months ago I read an article in the New York Times called “Why There’s No ‘Millennial’ Novel.” The main argument, it seemed, was that America has become such a progressive and diverse country that there is no single voice that can speak for an entire generation. The author, Tony Tulathimutte, first argues that “the ‘voice of a generation’ novel never existed to begin with,” and then asks the question, “why did we ever pretend novels by straight white guys about straight white guys spoke for entire generations?”

This is a gross oversimplification. The Great American Novel exists.

Read the rest of this thought provoking post:

Don’t forget to let me know if you would like to share a recent post by putting the link in the comments section. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – St. Patrick’s Day – Pamela S. Wight, Brigid Gallagher, Jacqui Murray, Oyia Brown and Elizabeth Melton Parsons

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

As you can imagine there are a number of St. Patrick’s Day posts today so have found a few to share with you.. First off is a wonderful post from Pamela Wight who is celebrating the first walk of spring with an Irish theme.

In March, I still don’t usually like to walk in the morning. Even though I’m a walker.

I don’t hike or run, trot or dawdle. I walk for miles for the majesty of . . . walking.

No little music plugs; instead I keep my ears open for the sound of the woodpecker and the hawk, the trill of the mocking bird and the taunt of the squirrel. I listen to the scrunch of the leaves, the low roar of the plane above me, and the soft slap of my shoes on wooden bridge and wooded path.

Continue the walk with Pamela:

 Most towns here in Ireland will be having a St. Patrick’s Day parade today despite the rain. And surprisingly.. although it is a national holiday in Ireland it is also a holiday is some far flung places too.  Brigid Gallagher shares some photos from her parade but also includes a few facts about the saint.

Saint Patrick is said to have been born in Britain around 385 AD to Roman citizens – Calpurnius and Conchessa. He spent six years in Ireland when he was captured into slavery, and returned to these shores in his thirties, to become a missionary to the Celts.

It is believed that he explained the theory of the Holy Trinity using our three leaved shamrock.

St Patrick’s Day is a public holiday in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, the Canadian provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the island of Montserrat.

Take part in the celebrations and find out more:

Now four book reviews in one post by Jacqui Murray – if you have not met Jacquie before, she is uniquely qualified to review books.

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thriller, To Hunt a Sub. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics.

The four authors that she has reviewed today are Wendy Unsworth, D.G. Kaye, Chrys Fey and Susan Scott.

Read the reviews:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

You cannot let St. Patrick’s Day go passed without some humour and here some from Oyia Brown that should make you smile.  The Complaining Monk.

A man wanted to become a monk so he went to the monastery and talked to the abbot (the head monk). The abbot said, “You must take a vow of silence and can only say two words every three years.” The man agreed.

After the first 3 years, the abbot came to him and said, “What are your two words?”  
Food cold!” the man replied. The abbot made sure the meals are not cold.

Read the rest of the joke:

And not to be outdone.. Elizabeth Melton Parsons has a little Irish story for you and a blessing to end this St. Patrick’s Day.


An Irishman and an American were sitting in the bar at Shannon Airport.

“I’ve come to meet my brother,” said the Irishman. “He’s due to fly in from

America in an hour’s time. It’s his first trip home in forty years”.

“Will you be able to recognize him?” asked the American.

Read the rest of the story and the blessing:

Thanks for joining me for the final Blogger Daily for the week and I hope you have enjoyed this small selection of the blog posts I have enjoyed today. Please leave a link to your most recent post so that I can share… thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – 16th March 2017 – Dr. Rachele Baker, Irwin Lengel, Suzie Speaks, Dan Alatorre, Annette Rochelle Aben and Ritu Bhathal

Smorgasbord Blogger DailyCan you believe that it is Thursday already.. my thanks for those who left their links in the comments yesterday and delighted to include them tonight. If you would like your most recent post to feature in the Blogger Daily just leave your link in the comments.

About Rachele Baker, DVM – I am a veterinarian, writer, published author, and award-winning blogger living in the beautiful state of California. I received my Bachelor’s degree from the University of California Davis in Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology in 1997, and then went on to obtain my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2001. I have been a practicing small animal veterinarian in the state of California since 2001. I owned and managed my own veterinary hospital for four years.

The Pet Lover’s Newsletter.

Do you love pets? Then you will love my Pet Lovers Newsletter. When you subscribe to my Pet Lovers Newsletter, you will receive a free copy of my 11-page illustrated Guide To Dog Dental Products. This wonderful guide includes information on twenty dog dental products clinically proven to help control plaque and/or tartar including dental chews, water additives, diets, and more.

Coming up in the March 20th edition of Rachele Baker’s essential newsletter is information on e. National Puppy Day, Poison Prevention Week, and much more.

Sign up for this vital newsletter for all pet owners and receive this free guide to dog dental products:

The next post is by Irwin Lengel who lives with his wife of 52 years in a 55+ retirement community in Florida. Not only does Irwin blog about health and other issues about those in retirement he and his wife still manage time to teach line dancing. In this post Irwin asks the question about are various aches and pains that seem to be part and parcel of getting older.. but is it age or are we sick?

As we age, we know our bodies go through various changes. Sleep habits might change. Some people begin sleeping more while others may begin to sleep less. Muscles ache, body aches, some individuals may even experience pins and needles in their feet or other parts of the body. Some may have problems with their brain (ideas just bouncing from one thought to another).

What does this all mean? Well, several questions come to mind: “What does old feel like?” or an even better question is: “What does sick feel like?” How do we differentiate between the two?

Read the rest of Irwin’s post and see if you can keep up with active life he and his wife lead:

If you have been blogging for a number of years you will probably find that you have a much bigger and different audience to those early days. Suzie takes you through how to revamp and repost to reach that new audience.. Don’t let your work gather dust in the archives.

Last week I decided to go through my old blog posts, which had quite a negative impact on my general confidence about my content and I had a little meltdown on the blog. After receiving lots of good advice from the blogging community I decided to ignore my initial knee-jerk intention to delete hundreds of posts that I considered to be inferior and instead spend a bit of time recycling some of my earliest articles.

There were a number of reasons for this:

1. My blog is nearly four years old, and I have a much bigger audience than when these posts were originally published. I wanted to reach my newer audience who would not have seen them.

Read the rest of the reasons to repost:

Dan Alatorre invited author and poet Annette Rochelle Aben to join him to share a  lovely short story about Ellis the Elephant about bullying. You will want to read the whole story.

Ellis the elephant was big and fat. For this, he was snubbed by many; imagine that. Yet he’d go through his day smiling at the trees and enjoying the songs of the happy honey bees. There were rivers to splash in and rocks upon which to sun, Ellis the elephant, knew how to have fun.

One day when he was playing shadow tag with low hanging branches a group of wild cats were giving Ellis funny glances. Never had they seen something so big and fat try to move as quickly and agile as a cat. Watching him lumber from side to side made them laugh so hard they had tears in their eyes. Rather than join in and play the game, these wild cats decided to call Ellis cruel names.

Read the rest of this delightful story:

Finally, Ritu Bhathal had an accident a couple of weeks ago and thankfully was not seriously injured. However, like all of us who have to step back from busy jobs and responsibilities there is something stressful about being away from it for two weeks and wondering what you will walk back into on your return. Let’s find out how Ritu got on.. and also head over and enjoy her musical review going on all of March.

It’s never easy, going back to work after time off. After a holiday, you just don’t wanna be there, but after a period of time off that was unforeseen, it can be quite nerve-wracking.

You never know what everyone else at your workplace has been really thinking… do they think you’ve been putting it on? There is always someone who had the same thing happen to them, and they were back on double shift the next day.

You don’t know how your management will view you either. No one likes it when an employee has to take unexpected time off.

You almost cringe at the amount of work that will be piled up for when you get back.

You worry whether you will be able to manage.

You wonder how much of a mess your cover will have left you to sort out.

There is all manner of things going through your mind. Well, they all flitted through my mind over the two weeks I was off after my accident.

Discover what Ritu found on her return:

Thank you for dropping in today and don’t forget to leave a link to your most recent post in the comments…thanks Sally