Smorgasbord Round Weekly Round Up – Sir Tom Jones, King Arthur, Brussel Sprouts and Author Media Training

Welcome to the weekly round up where I share my posts from the week and also those of my guests. Those guests are providing a much valued different perspective on topics that I might not cover normally and I thank them so much for their work and time that they spend creating their posts.

Also news of some new ways to promote your books and blog this week and tomorrow the start of the new Sunday Interview show… The Ultimate Bucket List and to show you how it will look… our foodie guest writer Carol Taylor volunteered to be the first victim guest……going out just after midnight.

Resident musical director – William Price King is back with a new music series… the every youthful and dynamic Sir Tom Jones, and this week in the early years, William shares some of his early influences and hits.

Paul Andruss tackles the legend of King Arthur this week which is not an easy thing to do. As you will read, Arthur has been a pawn in other Kings and Emperor’s claims to their position and there might have been a few pretenders along the way too.

Julie Lawford has been with us over the summer with some excellent posts on lifestyle and weight loss and I hope that in the future she will find time to donate some of her archived posts again. This week Julie shares some useful links to healthy living sites and some videos that are worth watching.

Carol Taylor has been adding her special blend of spices and love of fresh produce to the foods that I have showcased in the past as being particularly healthy.. Sally and Carol’s Cook from Scratch is going from strength to strength and we are grateful for you likes, shares and comments. This week the little powerhouse of nutrition… Brussel sprouts.



And in the new series of Posts from your Archives, Pete Johnson from Beetley Pete starts a four week series on posts from his stash. In this post you will also find out how you can participate by giving posts that you would like to share with a new audience a showcase. Look forward to hearing from you.

Milestones along the Way by Geoff Cronin

Last weekend we came to the end of my late father-in-law Geoff’s books with the love story of how Geoff and Joan, his wife of 50 years met.  All his stories are in the directory for you to revisit.

Odd Jobs and Characters – Public House Landlady my host Chris the Story Reading Ape.

This week some challenges in my role as landlady of a pub in Cowes on the Isle of Wight with rather over the top customers courtesy of the ‘booze cruises’ on Saturday nights – Read all about it:

New Series – Media Training for Authors.

I have been an Indie author for 20 years and without a massive budget behind me to get noticed, I had to push open a few doors myself. For most of it is very hard to self-promote, even for someone like myself, who have a background in public speaking at conferences and major events.

We have a tendency to think global with our marketing because we have access to the world via the Internet. But I have always sold more books, especially print books by creating a market in my local environment. When I first began marketing my books there was no Amazon, worldwide web or global readership to the same extent and we relied on local media picking up the story. This sometimes led to nationals then taking an interest. That is how it worked with my first book Size Matters and I enjoyed both local and national coverage. The same applied to my family health book – Just Food for Health that sold well at book fairs, health events and summer fetes.

Most authors that I speak to are seeking international recognition for their work and to become a bestseller. But, there is no harm in getting some much needed experience locally first, before stepping onto the worldwide stage. One reason being, that most national radio stations and media, will be looking to interview authors who have had some experience of being behind a microphone or in front of a camera.  I have adapted my media training course to focus on authors and book marketing.

Here are the first two posts with more tomorrow and next weekend.

Book Promotions

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update

Air Your Reviews – share your most recent rave review with everyone..

Thomas the Rhymer Paul Andruss

Blog Promotions – The Blogger Daily now on hold for next week (writing break)

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Smorgasbord Health 2017

Smorgasbord Pet Health


Personal Stuff

I underwent a procedure this week that was long overdue.. the process prompted a poem!

Thank you very much for dropping in this week and as always very grateful to see you and get your feedback. Enjoy the rest of the weekend… thanks Sally.


Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Monday 11th September 2017 – Patrick Dykie, Terri Webster Schrandt, Van by the River, Annette Rochelle Aben, Robbie Cheadle and Traci Kenworth

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome to Monday’s look at some of the posts I visited over the weekend… I was going to share one of Patrick Dykie’s posts from earlier but then got to reading this one that had me in stitches.. I do recommend that you head over and read in full as you will find it as entertaining as I did.

For the purpose of full disclosure, and in the presence of my fellow bloggers; I am stating for the record, that in a little over a week, I will be celebrating twenty-three years of wedded bliss, to the most wonderful woman in the world. I also, hereby swear, that I will not now, or at any time in the future, procure the services of any business dealing with online dating. “Honey, I said it. Can I take my hand off the Bible, now?

I was watching TV last night, and it seems like every week there’s a new dating service being advertised. Some sites claim they base finding a partner for you, on specific compatibility matrixes, while others help you find your soul mate through lengthy personality testing or behavioral matchmaking systems. I remember when things were so much simpler.

Please head over and read about some of the online dating sites that Patrick visited:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

The next blog that I encourage you to head over and enjoy is Second Wind Leisure with Terri Webster Schrandt.. She has some amazing photography on her site and her latest post features some of her photos in response to a challenge What Does Waiting

Each week, I eagerly await the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge that asks bloggers to share appropriate images based on that week’s theme.

As I anticipate my last weekend at the Sacramento River delta, I keenly recall animated conversations during the late winter and early spring of how we were going to spend every weekend windsurfing. “Best laid plans” and how quickly time flies!

While we anxiously waited and dreamed of our new season, I am sharing some older photos that have been waiting to see the light of day and work for the theme of windsurfing and Waiting.

Head over and enjoy:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Van shares her memories of buying her first pair of jeans.. My mother hated them with a vengeance and even when we were in our 60s and would be taking her out… even just for a drive she would turn her very carefully aimed disapproving look at you and them.. and begin to mutter.

We had to fight for our first pair of blue jeans. In the opinion of many 1960’s mothers, including mine, they were still “dungarees” and not appropriate attire for young ladies.

They were meant for farmers, cowboys, factory workers, men.

So I saved my babysitting money, and bought my first pair of Levi’s at an Army Navy Store. One problem… they were far too blue.

Do your remember your first pair of jeans? Head over and let Van know:

Want to know about fellow authors and their reading habits?  Then join in the Book Lover’s Tag tour.. and don’t forget that it does help you share your books. This week I tagged Robbie Cheadle and Annette Rochelle Aben who both responded with elegance and with some great book choices. I hope you will head over to check both of their posts out.

Ah, thank you, Sally Cronin for inviting me to participate in this page turning discussion!  Yes, I do enjoy reading.  It was the very thing that kept me company while I grew up and friends were busy off doing other things. Wait, perhaps it was me who was off doing other things.. such as reading.  Regardless, here are the Questions and my Answers!

Do you have a specific place for writing? – Yes, I have a section  of my sitting room, all carved out with desk, computer, dictionaries and b-o-o-k-s!

Bookmark or random pieces of paper?  Trick question, eh..  Random pieces of paper ARE bookmarks!  (silly people)

Can you stop anywhere or must it be at the end of a chapter?  Depending on what is distracting me, it can be in mid-word…

Do you eat or drink while reading? Maybe the better question for me, would be… do you read while eating or drinking???  yes

Head over and check out all of Annette’s response:

And here is part of Robbie Cheadle’s response and she has some wonderful books in her recently read (very honoured to have two in there..just saying).. Find out what else Robbie likes to read.

Do you have a specific place for writing?

I write anyhow, any place and any time which means that I write when a passenger travelling in a car, on a bus or by aeroplane. I write while waiting for my boys to do their activities and early in the morning. Often something pops into my head while driving and then I scribble it down when I arrive at my destination. Who needs a specific place when one has a laptop and a notebook.

Book mark or random pieces of paper?

I must hide my head in shame here and admit that I am a page bender. My saving grace is that now I am reading ebooks, my ipad saves my place so I don’t have to bend it [wink!]

Can you stop anywhere or must it be at the end of a chapter?

I try to stop at the end of a chapter so that I don’t have to back track to pick up the feel of the story again. Life tends to happen though so it often doesn’t work out this way for me. I read a couple of books at a time because I am hyperactive and have a limited concentration span for one thought line. I also usually have a book or two on the go with Michael too.

Head over and check out Robbie’s choices and the rest of her answers:


Finally a shout out for Traci Kenworth who works tirelessly to share all of us who blog. At least once and more often twice a week she compiles a list of blog posts across several genres.. I am so grateful for the times she includes one of mine.  Anyway here is just a smattering and I do suggest you get on Traci’s radar and avail yourself of her generosity.


  1. Need help with a character from Lebanon?
  2. Time to say goodbye.
  3. Using words as proper nouns when they’re not.
  4. What monsters will you choose? I like those I’ve never heard of, it makes it fresh and interesting.
  5. What books hooked you to fantasy? I started with Marrion Zimmer Bradley, Mercedes Lackey, and Robert Jordan.
  6. Tolkien’s villains and how they were dispatched.
  7. Steampunk and its blur of genres.

Head over and discover the other 77 links that Traci has pulled together for us:

Thanks for dropping in and how about putting the link to your most recent post in the comments — Sally



Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Friday 8th September, 2017 – Jay C. Wolfe, Norah Colvin, D.G. Kaye and Barb Taub

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Jay C. Wolfe has identified six perks of writing that she shares in this post. I have added another into the comments and I am sure Jay would love to hear from you over on the original post too.

Being a writer can be just as rewarding as it is frustrating, and if you can power through its challenges, you’ll find an incredibly adventurous and fulfilling path ahead. So for those of you who choose to follow this path, here are six perks of being a fiction writer that you can look forward to. Happy writing!

Writing Perk #1: You have the power to create anything.

In a way, fiction writers make up their own class of superheroes. Some people have super strength, others are incredibly smart, and still others excel at almost everything they try. But writers? We have the ultimate gift: the power of creation.

While I envy visual artists for their ability to draw, I’d still favor being a writer any day. The ability to paint vivid images with language is a special form of art with its own challenges, and when done right, it can be even more effective. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but imagery through words alone is an exercise for the imagination.

Anyone who’s ever tried writing a novel—especially a fantasy or science fiction novel—is familiar with the concept of “world building”. There’s much more to storytelling than conflict; you must create characters and settings to bring that conflict to life. And in my experience, there’s nothing quite as thrilling as the power to create an entire universe and direct the fates of its inhabitants any way you want. Besides, at what other job can you openly say you kill people for a living? Writing may not be the highest paying job in the world, but it certainly has benefits you can’t get anywhere else!

Find out about the other five writing perks:

My next post is from Norah Colvin who writes on the benefits of parents volunteering at their child’s school and how helpful that can be to teachers.  As the children head back for this next term it might be something to think about if you have the time.

I have always welcomed and appreciated parent volunteers in the classroom. The value they add to the classroom program and children’s learning is enormous. I always loved that we could do much more with the assistance of parent volunteers than we could without.

But effective use of the parent volunteer’s time requires a certain amount of organisation and preparation. Just as there is little point in a parent volunteer turning up at a scheduled time if you are unprepared; there is also little value in a parent appearing at the door during class time and asking, “Can I help?”

Parent volunteers can play a very important role in the classroom, especially with group work in literacy and maths, assisting with art lessons, outdoor activities and work in the computer lab. They may also help in administrative-type roles such as changing reading books and checking sight words. Perhaps they could read to groups or individual children, or listen to children read.

Find out more about how you as a parent could contribute to lessons at your child’s school:

The next post is the Friday author spotlight by Debby Gies for her fellow writers and today it is Vashti Quiroz-Vega and her new book The Fall of Lilith.


Vashti blogs at The Writer Next Door where you will find her posting beautiful Haiku and other colorful posts as well as guest authors, artists, and poets she features on her blog. She writes in fantasy genre, as well as short story horror fiction. Vashti is a prolific writer and her bubbly and warm personality has many bloggers visiting her blog. Vashti explains why she named her blog The Writer Next Door:

“Why is my blog called ‘The Writer Next Door‘? I consider myself a people person and someone who’s very approachable. I try to see the good in people. I’m not easily influenced and I hate malicious gossip. I believe in ‘girl power’ and sisterhood between women, but I also respect and admire men. I’m not scary, although I can be a little weird at times. I’m a kid at heart and love to have fun, but I also take my responsibilities very seriously and work hard to achieve my goals.”

Read the rest of the interview and an extract from The Fall of Lilith:

This is hilarious and I do recommend that even if you have not enjoyed the process of socialising your own children that you will appreciate the effort involved. Barb Taub takes us through some hair-raising etiquette lessons in restaurants as well as a lesson in manner for us all from her husband.. personally I do love spitting out watermelon pips at the person opposite me.

We were celebrating my birthday last week at a lovely London restaurant, and my toddler grandchild could not believe her luck when the waitress set a plate with a hamburger and french fries in front of her. She beamed at her new best friend, and confided the numbers one-to-ten in English and Spanish. (Minus the number six, of course, because for reasons we don’t quite understand, that number is dead to her. It must never be mentioned.)

The beginning of this beautiful friendship was cut short, however, when the waitress came back later and took her plate away. The baby fixed her with a glare so terrible paint cracked on the wall behind her. Grown men turned white and headed for the bar, while a nearby dog hid under a table. The focussed power of the stinkeye leveled on our server was so alarming, the accompanying wail so ear-piercing, that the plate-thief stumbled back to the kitchen for safety. While my kids tried to apologize, I thought about the process of civilizing small children.

Read more of this entertaining manual on bringing up children:

Thank you for dropping in today and please head over and enjoy these posts in full..Thanks Sally



Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Thursday 7th September 2017 – John Fioravanti, Dinasaurs Donkeys and MS, Herbal Sheila and Hugh Roberts

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome to today’s look at some posts in our community that I have read over the last couple of days.  Just a small selection but I hope you will put the link to your most recent post in the comments section so that it can be read by people dropping in.

The first post is from John Fioravanti who shares historical events for certain days in the calendar and as part of a series it is great to pop back into his archives and find out if something noteworthy happened on your birthday.

This is the John’s Believe it or Not for September 5th

1945 – Soviet Cipher clerk Igor Gouzenko defects from the USSR Embassy in Ottawa with more than 100 secret documents.

In September 1945, a young Russian man symbolically ushered in the Cold War when he walked into Ottawa newsroom and announced he had proof of a widespread Soviet spy ring operating in Canada.

In 1945, Igor Gouzenko and his family received new identities from the Canadian government after the young Russian Embassy cipher clerk announced he had proof of a widespread spy ring in Canada. Pictured here, Gouzenko wears a hood to conceal his identity while appearing on television in 1966. (National Archives of Canada, PA-129625)

“It’s war. It’s Russia,” he told the night editor of the Ottawa Journal.

The man who touched off the political crisis was Igor Gouzenko. Gouzenko had spent part of the Second World War at the Soviet Embassy in Canada, as a cipher clerk, encoding communications to Moscow.

Head over and discover what else happened on September 5th including stories of the Israeli Olympics, Sam Houston and Gerald Ford:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

There have been a number of studies on the benefits of oxygen therapy for a number of health issues including anemia and other blood disorders and brain disease. In this post Heather signs up for sessions to help relieve some of the symptoms associated with MS. Here is also a link to the Mayo Clinic with the diseases that are currently treated with Oxygen therapy and those that are still in the research stage.

Here is the start of Heather’s post

On our little journey to try out different complimentary therapies we decided next to give hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) a try. 🙂 This is one I had wanted to try for a while but the four week intensive course meant me and Dizzy had to wait till the Summer holidays.

What is HBOT:

HBOT is a treatment that involves breathing in 100% oxygen while being in a chamber where the atmospheric pressure is increased.

How does HBOT work?

Oxygen is needed by the body for healing and HBOT works by enhancing this natural healing process! By breathing in oxygen in higher air pressure the lungs are able to gather more oxygen. This then means you have higher oxygen levels in your blood which is then transported around your body.

How can HBOT help MS?

As the body normally heals itself through oxygen from the air, this extra oxygen can help extend the body’s ability to heal! This means it can promote greater healing and help to limit some of the damage caused by MS.

Read about the therapy programme and how Heather got on with her treatment plan:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

For some reason lately I have had a yearning to get back to the one craft that I really enjoyed and have neglected over the last few years. I have been doing tapestry for about thirty years and I really got serious about it when I gave up smoking 25 years ago. I have seven or eight full sized framed canvases around the house and I have to say I miss that sense of completion when I have tied off the last knot.

Anyway that leads me to the next post.. I am in awe of this lady because not only does she weave… but Sheila prepares her wool from scratch herself..brilliant.. do head over and check out the whole post.

I have been weaving a shrug (a shawl with armholes to insert your hands and wrists) on my adjustable triangle loom at the 6 foot setting. This is an item for my friend Sonia who took care of my house and kitties while I had to be in Kentucky dealing with some issues of my father who has dementia.

I hope to finish it soon. I was so occupied with helping her to find a colorway she liked in something that would work and weave up well on my loom that I did not realize until I started weaving that it would look like a bath mat. Imagine my surprise!

Right now, I am at the shuttle stage where instead of continuous weave, I switch over to weaving on the horizontal warp threads using weft on two shuttles.

With this thicker chenille-like stuff, it’s a battle. What a mess! Every time I put a shuttle through that teeny shed, it rolls and twists and sticks like glue. Ugh yuck!

Do head over and let Sheila take you through the process of preparing wool:

Hugh Roberts has a wonderful Book of the Month feature on his blog and this month it is the talented and entertaining Geoff Le Pard who has pride of place for all of September with his latest book Buster & Moo.  In the post, Hugh interview Geoff about the inspiration behind the book.

What inspired you to write it?

When we acquired a rescue dog, I wondered what would happen if we met his old owners, what if they wanted him back?

How long did it take you to write it?

I started it as a weekly chapter on my blog, beginning in January 2015. You do the maths!

Tell us a little about the story and the characters.

With their relationship under pressure, is adopting a dog the best decision for Mervin and Landen? As they adapt to fit the animal into their busy lives a chance encounter with Dave and Sheri, the dog’s previous owners, develops into something more and the newfound friendship is tested to the limits.

Read the rest of the interview and find out more about Buster & Moo:

I hope that you have enjoyed today’s selection and will head over and read the full posts.. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Monday 4th September 2017 – Paul White, John Howell, Jennie Fitzkee and Paul Andruss

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome back to Blogger Daily which was on a break last week as we worked through the playlist from the party.

My first post today is from Paul White from Wild Geese Travel.. not a travel agent but a free agent, who enjoys exploring England, Scotland and Wales. This post is about the wonderful ageless village of Beamish, an open air museum, where you can visit the environment, sights and sounds of the last two centuries. As you walk through the streets of Beamish and its surroundings you will find a working 1940s farm, houses from the 1820s and 1900 pit cottages.. A great deal more to see.

Because I live in England and generally travel abroad whenever I can, most of my travel writings are of places far from my home.

The places I consider close, such as Wales and Scotland, I rarely consider as a holiday or vacation, even though much of these countries are closer to my house than some parts of England.

This is not to say I do not ‘get out and about’ frequently. But what I have been remiss in doing is sharing some of the places I visit.

For me, many of these ‘near-places’ are simply a day out. But if you are visiting England, many would make wonderful destinations, so I shall include various locations in England which I would recommend on a personal level.

Head over and discover this wonderful open air museum and the wonders it contains:

We have all been horrified by the newspaper and television coverage of the loss of life and the ongoing crisis in Texas.. John Howell, whose home is on the Texas coast is safe inland but this post reflects the fact that life is more important than possessions and pays tribute to all the first responders who are risking their lives 24/7… Thanks John, Stella, Lucy and Bailey.. so happy you are all safe and well…


“Okay, John. Let’s chat.”

“Alright, Stella. What do you want to talk about?”

“Being a refugee.”

“We are not refugees. We are evacuees.”

Read the rest of the post:

The next post which I thought was brilliant was from Jennie Fitzkee. Jennie is a pre-school teacher of over 30 years experience and I have often featured her posts on how to engage young children with reading and books. The teachers have returned to school before their students and are working on their programmes for the coming term. Jennie shares an earlier post of hers which outlines the methodology needed to teach young minds to allow them to translate their thoughts into images and artwork.  So next time you are a little unsure of what your child has drawn.. remember this post.

Today was the first day back to school for teachers. You’d think that I would be drained and overwhelmed with all the teacher work that needs to be done.

Nope. Not at all. We talked about growing; both children and ourselves as teachers. We watched a flower bloom. We listened to a TED Talk on children learning. The message encouraged learning by challenging children. What if? and Why not? questions are critical. Ask, question, learn.

The very first thing I wrote as a teacher thirty years ago spoke to the same subject:

Process Vs Product

When your child proudly shows you his/her art creation, and you can’t even begin to see or guess at what your child has made (“Oh, that’s a boat? I thought it was a penguin!”), trust that his/her finished product is far better than if it really looked like a boat. How can that be? Isn’t something that looks like a boat better than something that doesn’t look like a boat? Absolutely not!

Head over and read the rest of this post, especially if you have a young child heading to pre-school or primary..

Thomas the Rhymer Paul Andruss

Paul Andruss has written a companion piece to Friday’s post here on Smorgasbord.. It explores the rivalry and resulting battles between the old and the young pretenders and between seasons that have been told and retold for centuries and sometimes thousands of years.

This is a companion to The Dancing Floor on Glastonbury Tor featured on Sally Cronin’s stupendous Smorgasbord blog

I am fortunate to have artist Jane Brideson’s  beautiful art work illustrating the post (full details below)


The myth of a young successor murdering the old king was discussed in Sir James Frazer’s scholarly work ‘The Golden Bough’. From time immemorial it was a core belief in the mythologies of many different cultures across the Mediterranean world.

The idea perhaps reflects the way bucks battle the old dominant male for territory and breeding rights in spring and autumn. It might also explain rebellious teenagers. Boys invariably direct their resentment to the father and girls to the mother.

It led Sigmund Freud to postulate the Oedipus Complex, the son’s desire to replace the father in his mother’s affections (from the Greek myth of the foundling Oedipus who unwittingly murdered his birth father, the king, and married his mother); and the Electra Complex (she plotted revenge when her mother murdered her father). But let’s save the minefield of psychoanalysis for another day.

In the section called ‘The Battle of Summer and Winter – the Killing of The Tree Spirit’, Frazer examined parallel myths involving the rivalry between brothers such as Cain and Abel, or the twin founders of Rome: Romulus and Remus, which he saw as a battle between the spirit of summer and winter typified by the evergreen holly and the summer oak. At the midwinter Yule feast, the Holly King is at his strongest, while the Oak King is weak. The Oak King only begins to regain his power after the Spring Equinox with the coming of the New Year at May Day.

Head over and enjoy finding out more about sibling rivalry and ancient battles of will and with sword:

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

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Friday August 25th 2017 – Hugh Roberts, Michael Stephen Wills, JoAnn Chateau and John Howell.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

I am in the process of spring cleaning my blog and fixing links on Author Interviews from the last year as there are posts that have not been accessed for longer and that and with the Cafe and Bookstore updated regularly with links and books some of the promotions frm 2014, 2015 and 2016 are now out of date. So this post from Hugh Roberts is very timely and emphasises some of the frustrating elements about blogs we all agree with.

I am sure that you might have your own to add to this extensive list of 71 and please head over to Hugh and share them.  I know that I am guilty of some of them and this is one of the reasons for my spring cleaning.

I’ve got murder on my mind. Are you responsible for any of these?

  1. Do not have an ‘about me’ page on your blog
  2. Your ‘about me’ page takes more than a few seconds to find
  3. Your ‘about me’ page starts with these words – ‘this is an example of an about me page…’
  4. The number of followers you have is more important to you than what you write
  5. Poor quality post

Check out the other 66 blogging barriers to readers enjoying your posts:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Our first home in Ireland was on the Meath/Louth border and there are some wonderful scenery and coastline as well as ancient remains that do give off a different vibe to their surroundings. Michael Stephens Wills shares a visit that he and his wife made to the areas and some of the legends that are attached to the area.

The popular name of the Loughcrew megalithic site is, “The Hill of the Witch” (In Irish, Sliabh na Caillí). In lore sites such as this are associated with The Others (“fairies”), living lives parallel and invisible to ours, touched now and then with resolutely ill effect to our side though sometimes theirs as well. Resolute as in these meetings are fated to end poorly unless…..unless the mortal knows the rules. “If you are ever in an Other’s mansion for a party never, ever eat or drink anything. Eating or drinking will condemn you to an eternal round of parties. You will dance till dropping every night.” Rules such as that, and others, can be used to turn the tables, gain an advantage, of beings from the Other Side.

Read the rest of the post and enjoy the photographs and the unexpected ending:

It is National Dog Day depending on where you are in the Time Zone and to kick things off here is the story of a dog who had been waiting a the rescue centre FOREVER to be adopted.. until he met the eyes of a human across the floor of a crowded pet store… read the first part of the story on JoAnn Chateau’s blog

Adopt Instead of Shop

It’s a good thing National Puppy Day’s motto is “Adopt instead of shop.” I don’t remember being a puppy. I celebrate, though–because I remember being adopted…

I was on death row. The shelter people had me so long, they began whispering. Early one Saturday morning, they hauled all us unadoptable dogs over to a big store named Pet Smart. It would be my last chance to hook up with a human.

My coat was overgrown and shabby–Nerve-wracking! I smiled and wagged my tail more than ever–Exhausting! If anyone came near, I stood on my hind legs and twirled–Dizzying!

Pet shoppers kept asking, “Where are the puppies?” Blast! I was a young adult.

Hours passed. Finally, in one desperate last-ditch attempt, the animal worker girl made a sign and taped it to my crate. It read, “Loves People.” (Exactly what I was trying to tell everybody!)

Read the rest of this first part of Chester’s story:

And John Howell, another huge supporter of animal rescue, has three characters who frequently take him to task, Lucy, Bailey both boxers, and Stella the cat. Here is their last conversation.

“Tell the boss what code red means, Bailey.”

“Intruders, pop. Code red means intruders.”

Head over and find out who or what is intruding on the peace and tranquilty of John’s home:

Thanks for dropping in today.. just a reminder that for the next three days, over the bank holiday weekend, it is party time here on Smorgasbord, with food, drink, music, guests, free books and of course if you have five minutes to spare yourselves.. It would be great if you would mingle with other guests and leave your links to your blog, amazon etc in the comments..You do not know who you will meet!

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Thursday 24th August 2017 – Colleen Chesebro/M.J.Mallon, The Story Reading Ape/Aurora Jean Alexander, Lillian Csernica, Carolee Croft/R.K. Lander

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Time for my daily selection of blogs that I have enjoyed and would like to share. Not all of them as I have mentioned before you would be here until Christmas. I hope you will head over and check out the whole posts.

First is M.J. Mallon as a guest on Colleen Chesebro who has a new series: ” I have started a new feature on my blog, called Author Spotlight – Guest Posts. As you can see from the image above, I am looking for themed posts about fairies, myths, and magic. If you are an interested author and would like to be featured on my blog, please click HERE to find out more. ~Colleen~

Marjorie is celebrating the launch of her debut novel The Curse of Time and has a launch party on her blog this Saturday.  Details are in the post.

Here is the first paragraph of the story that Marjorie has shared.

Rainbow Child By MJ Mallon

Young Aurora collected rainbows like other children collect shells and pretty trinkets. She learnt all there was to know about these wonders of reflection and refraction but longed to see a very special sight – a double rainbow with a second arc visible outside the primary arc. She’d heard an ancient legend that the only way to call such a rainbow forth would be to carry tourmaline on her, so she sought out a beautiful necklace with the finest tourmaline crystal embedded in its pendant.

Head over and read the rest of this delightful story:

The Story Reading Ape

Chris The Story Reading Ape shares a post that was sent to him by Aurora Jean Alexander  and he believes it’s one of the best tributes to women he has read

When God created woman he was working late on the 6th day…….

An angel came by and asked.” Why spend so much time on her?”

The lord answered. “Have you seen all the specifications I have to meet to shape her?”

●She must function on all kinds of situations.
●She must be able to embrace several kids at the same time.
●Have a hug that can heal anything from a bruised knee to a broken heart.
●She must do all this with only two hands.
●She cures herself when sick and can work 18 hours a day.

The Angel was impressed” Just two hands…..impossible!

And this is the standard model?”

Read the rest of the post and celebrate all that we are good at (often with the help of a good man) :

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

My next blog post made me chuckle.. rarely do we admit to eavesdropping but Lillian Csernica considers it a golden moment.. but she finds one area of modern technology a barrier to her enjoyment. However, she shares some golden moments when she discovered a few nuggets

I recently made the observation that cell phones have taken all the fun out of eavesdropping. When I said this, I was referring to texting. People have all kinds of conversations that people nearby can’t overhear, aside from the clicking of the keyboard.

A friend of mine pointed out that I was quite mistaken. He lives in San Francisco and makes frequent use of public transit. This gives him the opportunity to listen in on the amazing variety of really personal subjects people discuss when making actual calls on their cell phones.

Good point! This makes me feel better, even though most of the conversations I do overhear aren’t worth the time or attention.

Read the rest of the post and discover some great eavesdropping nuggets:

Carolee Croft has a special guest post by fantasy author R.K. Lander on the subject of Elves.

If you are not a Tolkien geek, haven’t read the Silmarillion, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, or just haven’t read about elves in mythology, your impression of an elf is probably what the movies have portrayed; tall angels with long hair and flighty voices who dance to the lyre and cry woeful tears as epic poems are recited. They float angelically around majestic gardens of blooming flowers they wear in their hair, pose for portraits or titter away the afternoon as they braid each other’s’ hair and drink miraculous cordials. They sit upon the loamy banks of a beautiful forest and eat green things – probably lettuce and perhaps aromatic herbs and even flowers – they can also be seen cantering bareback through a forest on a unicorn as their immortal eyes marvel at the unfathomable beauty of the land.

Oh the joy – the utter wiles of nature that made these creatures such divinities!


Find out more about elves and some questions their depiction in fantasy novles such as The Hobbit raise:

I hope that you have enjoyed today’s small selection and will head over and check them out. I am off now to do a podcast interview with Marsha Ingrao… time to put some lipstick on. thanks for dropping by. Sally

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Wednesday 23rd August – Charli Mills/M.J.Mallon, Angie Dokos, Olga Nunez Miret, Story Reading Ape/Andrew Joyce

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome to my selection of posts from around the community over the last couple of days.. small selection but I hope you will pop over and check the complete posts and leave your comments etc.

The first is a guest post by M.J. Mallon who is celebrating the publication of her debut novel with Charli Mills of Carrot Ranch.  Here is The Curse of Time – Book 1 – Bloodstone

On Amelina Scott’s thirteenth birthday, her father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Saddened by this traumatic event, she pieces together details of a curse that has stricken the heart and soul of her family.

Amelina longs for someone to confide in. Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.

Head over and check out the post and discover more about the book:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

I have been working back through blogs this last couple of days as I have been not as diligent as normal.. a few things on my plate.. I popped into Angie Dokos for a browse and this post from last week caught my attention. As it will I am sure if you go over to read it. Angie does not know who the author is but that is not important as it is the message that is so essential.

It was a chilly Friday afternoon. To be precise, the date was February 17. Our high school baseball team was finishing the first week of practice. Though the sun was brightly shining, the temperature hovered around a very breezy 35 degrees. Our coach, a former minor league baseball player, was a strict taskmaster who seemed to believe the most important skill required for this sport was an ability to run long distances. Many on our squad were confused and wondered if we were actually training for the cross country team.

Each day during this week, we were required to run from the locker room of the high school to the parking lot of the middle school. Once there, our coach could be found waiting for us as he leaned against his red Ford pickup. Coach said nothing. He simply extended his index finger and pointed in the direction from which we had arrived. Every day, we ran nearly six miles from the high school to the middle school and back again. With pained expressions, we made our way through the first week of baseball practice having never thrown, caught or hit a baseball.

Please head over and read this story.. it is important:

Next post I would like to share is a book review by Olga Nunez Miret for those of you who are into gothic or horror genres. Here is the blurb for the book and then I suggest that you head over to Olga’s to enjoy one of her reviews which are always a great read. Painted by Kirsten McKenzie

About PAINTED: A Horror Novel by Kirsten McKenzie

If art can capture a soul, what happens when one of those souls escapes?

When art appraiser Anita Cassatt is sent to catalogue the extensive collection of reclusive artist Leo Kubin, it isn’t the chilly atmosphere of the secluded house making her shiver, it’s the silent audience of portraits clustered on every wall watching her.

Kubin’s lawyer didn’t share the detailed instructions regarding the handling of the art, and Anita and her team start work in ignorance of the very instructions designed to keep them safe. Safe from the art.

In the dark, a portrait stirs as the subject eases themselves out of the portrait and stretches, free at last from the confines of a canvas which they have no intention of ever returning to. They have a painting to finish and the people in the house will only be in the way…

Buy Painted now and you’ll never look at the art on your walls the same way again.

Perfect for lovers of early Stephen King and Rachel Caine

Head over and enjoy Olga’s review of Painted:

And definitely last but not least is the esteemed Mr. Andrew Joyce who is sharing his hard-earned experience in writing and publishing books. Well worth reading even if you already have a few books under your belt. Andrew is a guest of The Story Reading Ape who is no slouch when it comes to book promotion.

My name is Andrew Joyce, and to my many fans—both of ’em—I want to say hello. To the rest of you good folks, I’d like to introduce myself.

I’m a writer of little renown. Now, as the title of this piece suggests, who am I to give advice? A very good question, one I’ve obviously asked myself. I have four books out and the fifth should be with us any day now. I have gone through what you are all going through. I’ve sat at my damn computer day after day trying to put into words the sensational story swirling around in my head. When I finally had my story on paper—and more or less coherent—I had to start with the editing. Then, to add insult to injury, once the book was published, I had to demean myself to market it. Well, maybe demean is not the right word, but I do so hate to beg. I only mention my time in the trenches so you’ll know that I’m a veteran and have the wounds to prove it.

I’m here today to relate the little of what I’ve learned over the last four years concerning writing. Some of it will be old hat to some of you. And to you brand-new writers looking for a signpost or two to help you find your way, I sincerely hope what I’m about to convey helps.

I suggest that you head over and absorb some of the wisdom of Andrew Joyce:

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you head over and enjoy the rest of the posts. Sally

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Tuesday 22nd August 2017 – Don Massenzio, Jena C. Henry, The Recipe Hunter and David Prosser

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome to my small selection of posts around the community that you might have missed. The first is from author Don Massenzio who takes us through how to unmuddle the middle of our novels. Happens to many of us..

In the past weeks, I have posted tips on crafting the opening of your novel. I also had a post that generated much discussion on the ending of your novel. I saved the best (most troublesome) for last, the middle. Some will refer to this as ‘the muddle’.

This is the part of your novel where you must keep the tension going and keep your reader interested as you lead them from the opening to the conclusion. You have to make sure there is enough action, intrigue, or development (depending on your genre) without giving away too much information until it is necessary to do so.

So, what kinds of devices can you use to keep your plot going without stalling or hitting a wall? Here are some of them:

Find out the strategies than Don shares to get you untangled:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

I have been off gallivanting today in two posts and will reblog the second tomorrow.. but earlier today my recipe for brown rice pilaf was posted on The Recipe Hunter. Apart from my recipe – A muti-vitamin on a plate you will find a massive selection of recipes including a good range of Gluten Free options.

My thanks to Esmé for inviting me to share one of my favourite recipes that we have enjoyed regularly for many years. I am a nutritional therapist, blogger and author of several health related books as well as fiction.

My philosophy about food is very simple. ‘Cook from Scratch’ avoiding industrialised foods that have been infused with chemical enhancers and gift-wrapped in plastic. This does not mean that you stop eating the occasional food that comes in a packet or carton, but if you eat at least 80% of your food from fresh produce with only 20% that is manufactured you are doing pretty well.

However, all of us go through times when we might need a little additional help and that is where taking the right supplements is useful.

Here is the recipe for brown rice pilaf:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Some people have been sharing their bucket lists recently and it is something I was going to do a post on. Instead I enjoyed reading Jena C. Henry’s bucket list with regard to visits to National Parks..The USA has some wonderful wild and scenically stunning parks so head over and check out the ones on Jena’s list.

July was National Parks and Recreation Month and we were exhorted to “get our play on.” I don’t believe I got my play on, but I was inspired to make a bucket list of U.S. National Parks that I have been wanting to visit. Now that I don’t have young kids at home that I must nurture and expose to experiences that are good for them, I haven’t planned any trips to National Parks. Oops. National Parks and Recreation Month got me to thinking that I might be missing out on some amazing adventures.

My heart does yearn to visit some parks, so I will be sharing my bucket list with you and asking you to tell me about your trips to our Parks.

But first, some numbers and facts.

  • Number of National Parks- 59
  • Number of states with National Parks- 27, plus 2 territories
  • State with the most Parks: California has 9, followed by Alaska-8, Utah-5, Colorado-4.

Head over and read the rest of the post and add your comments on the best national parks to visit:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

And finally today something dear to my own heart.. The legend of King Arthur as shared by David Prosser. Having spent some years living and working in Wales and trekking the mountains and lakes, including some mentioned in the legends, I can say with certainty that there is a very different atmosphere in certain places. As dark clouds laden with rain, scud down the side of a mountain it is easy to imagine that it conceals a dragon or monster. Anyway having got you in the mood why not head over and follow the trail of this mythical king.

The legend of King Arthur is rooted deep in Welsh history.

North Wales famed for it’s beautiful and rugged terrain is a land steeped in legend and mystery.

Few are bigger or have more universal appeal than that of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Links to Arthurian mythology are deeply rooted in Welsh history, dating back to the dark ages. Much of the stories come from generations of local folklore, and many of the places mentioned in the tales are located right here in Wales.

Professor Raluca Radulescu, lead of Bangor University’s MA in Arthurian Literature is referencing the Welsh links to the King Arthur stories: “The historical roots of Arthur are in Wales, and more specifically North Wales, and with the story of Myrddin (Merlin of later day) and King Vortigern at Dinas Emrys (Beddgelert).

“With the two dragons fighting, and Llyn Ogwen’s associations with Arthur’s sword Excalibur, one cannot get any closer to the heart of these beloved and internationally-known medieval Welsh legends.

There are several Welsh lakes which are claimed to be the final resting place for the the sword Caledfwlch (Excalibur). Llydaw, Dinas and Ogwen – all of which are in Snowdonia National Park have been linked to the legendary weapon. In Legend of the Sword, Arthur actor Charlie Hunnam throws his sword into one of these lakes, filmed near the valley of Nant Gwynant.

Head over and follow the legend himself:

Thank you for dropping in today and hope you enjoy these posts as much as I have. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Monday 21st August 2017 -Robbie Cheadle, Yvonne Payne, Teri Polen/D.Wallace Peach and Norah Colvin

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome to the first of the week’s look at some of the blog posts I have enjoyed over the weekend. There were many and it is always difficult to pick just a handful but I hope you too will enjoy these when you head over.

Robbie Cheadle and her family are touring England at the moment and are taking in some of the historical monuments, including the home of Charles Darwin.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Who hasn’t seen this graphic depiction of the theory of evolution?

According to Wikipedia, the essence of Charles Darwin’s ground-breaking theory is that all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual’s ability to compete, survive, and reproduce. Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution challenged the established religious dogma of creationism.

Who wouldn’t want to learn more about this fascinating man and see his famous home? Of course we wanted to and that is exactly what we did. We went to visit Down House in Kent; the home of this very controversial and amazing scientist.

Darwin’s house is incredible. A truly beautiful English manor house with an outstanding and interesting garden and hot house.

Head over and discover more about the home of Charles Darwin and his life and family:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Yvonne Payne​ meets up with a blogging pal and author Krystina Kalapothakos in Crete whilst on holiday and talks about Krystina’s cookbook.

One of my first blogging pals was Krystina Kalapothakos, who has a great foodie blog, Kouzounas Kitchen.

Krystina is currently on holiday in Crete from her home in California. Here, to my delight, is a photo of Krystina in my Kritsa kitchen gifting me a copy of her Greek recipe book, Back to my Roots.

We had a fabulous day together along with her friend and my husband…more of that in my next post. Today it’s all about the cookbook.

Check out some of the recipes and the cookbook which is available in Kindle:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Teri Polen interviewed Diana Wallace Peach in her regular Friday spot and talked about the first in her Rose Shield Series – Catling’s Bane.

In the tiers of Ellegeance, the elite Influencers’ Guild holds the power to manipulate emotions. Love and fear, pain and pleasure, healing and death mark the extremes of their sway, but it’s the subtle blends that hook their victims’ hearts. They hide behind oaths of loyalty and rule the world.

A child born in the grim warrens beneath the city, Catling rues the rose birthmark encircling her eye. Yet, it grants her the ability to disrupt the influencers’ sway. Established methods of civil control disintegrate before her. She’s a weapon desired by those who reign and those who rebel.

Head over and find out more about Catling’s Bane and enjoy Diana’s interview with Teri:

And last but not least Norah Colvin interviews children’s author Aleesah Darlison about her wonderfully illustrated book Stripes in the Forest.

This month, it is my pleasure to introduce you to award-winning Australian author Aleesah Darlison. Aleesah writes picture books, chapter books and novels. Her much-loved stories promote courage, understanding, anti-bullying, self-belief, teamwork and environmental themes. In 2015, she won the Environment Award for Children’s Literature (Non-Fiction) for her picture book, Our Class Tiger. She has won numerous other awards for her writing.

Aleesah has written over thirty-five books for children and in 2016, she set up Greenleaf Press, a business designed to provide critical support services to authors and illustrators. The company also acts as a booking agency for school and preschool visits.

Today, Aleesah and I are talking about her picture book Stripes in the Forest. With National Threatened Species Day just a couple of weeks away on 7 September, it is a timely interview. Stripes in the Forest is the story of an iconic species lost.

Head over and find out more about Stripes in the Forest and enjoy the interview with Aleesah:

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you enjoy these posts as much as I have.. thanks Sally