Smorgasbord Book Reviews Round Up – June 2022 – #Shortstories Stephen Geez, #Malaya Apple Gidley, Fantasy C.S. Boyack, #Thriller Simon Van de Velde, #Poetry Balroop Singh


The first review in June was for a collection of short stories reflecting the human condition in all its glory and potential for loss – Comes this Time to Float: 19 Short Stories by Stephen Geez

My review for the collection June 4th 2022

This is a collection that touches hearts, brings old memories to the surface and provides thought provoking moments. Enhanced by images and individually introduced by the author, creating anticipation for the enjoyment to come.

Stephen Geez has a rich writing style that treats the reader to a beautifully detailed narrative bringing the settings of the stories and their characters into focus.

“Magician’s-box swords of sharp sunlight stab the gloom. Leaves turn and reach. An urgent rivulet slaps rocks. Water falls”.

‘The vapors would rise strong and true on this rare night when neither of the two moons dared show a shiny face to warn the emboldened tingle-winds back into the chasm where they bide.’

From the first story, about an unlikely sidekick of a superhero, to the poignancy of a red tractor in the middle of a field, the author ensures that you are fully engaged and ready to believe his characters have something to share that will reflect something in your own life.This makes the stories personal and relateable as we feel the loss, joy, love and the humour within them.

It is tough to suggest particular favourites, but Sidekick, Holler Song, Blind is Love, The Age-Eater and Time and Space touched me deeply.

Highly recommended as a collection of stunningly created vignettes about the human condition.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK

Next my review for a highly interesting novel set in Malaya post WWII which is both an adventure and a love story. Have You Eaten Rice Today by Apple Gidley – on pre-order for September 6th.

My advance review for the book June 11th 2022

This is a book I found difficult to put down. Excellently written with memorable characters faced with the dangers of guerrilla warfare, interlaced with a once in a lifetime romance.

There are many books and films written about World War Two, but few about the conflict in Malaya from the late forties and throughout the fifties. A time of a rejection of colonial administration in India echoed around the British outposts, and before the advent of worldwide broadcasting and the Internet, the public was dependent on newspaper articles based on official statements that were veiled in secrecy.

The author lived in Malaya as a child, and clearly absorbed both culture and language which provided an authentic and fascinating background to the story. Well researched, the activities of the Ferret Force and the local Malay and Chinese who supported them, offered heart stopping action as they moved through dense jungle, battling the natural elements and diseases, as well as the communist activists hiding in its depths. Without modern communications and only carrying the barest of supplies, young men and women put their lives on the line, often for just scraps of vital information.

Those civilians living on plantations, or working within the interim government preparing for independence were also in great danger of reprisals. This included Dee Cunningham in her role as a Red Cross nurse, moving along the rivers to bring aid to villagers along the edge of the jungle. Her upbringing in the outback of Australia definitely gave her remarkable resilience even under extreme pressure and danger. Simon and his unwillingness to settle back into the life on a farm in Dorset, and determination to work towards bringing peace to the region even at the risk to his own life, is the perfect match for her spirited personality.

The romance was beautifully choreographed and written against the backdrop, of not just the jungle and its dangers, but the stunning scenery along the coast and in the mountains.

Just when you begin to wonder where this story will lead we are time shifted 60 years to 2010.

There is now a younger generation eager to find their place in the world and part of that journey will involve their discovery of the past and revelations that will change their lives forever. We return to Malaya to bring all the threads together in a wonderful climax to the story in the hands of a master storyteller. There were times when I was reminded of the writing of Pearl S. Buck and Nevil Shute, two of my favourite authors.

I can highly recommend this book to everyone who loves well written modern history novels and heart-warming love stories.

Head over to pre-order the book: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK

Another terrific read from C.S. Boyack and here is my review for the 5th book in The Hat series Good Liniment.

My review for the book June 14th 2022

Another colourful and creative fantasy adventure with Lizzie and The Hat working together to seek out monsters and help others within the supernatural world to remain secret and safe.

The band is back together after a brief hiatus as Lizzie comes to terms with previous events that have shaken her confidence in the path chosen for her. Into that path come new characters to add to the fantastical ensemble always present in these stories.

We neet the rather world weary witch Cyrus and his apprentice Dash, the wonderfully playful Noodles and ethereal but feisty Destiny. The local coven is full of visually disturbing but colourful members who the author describes in quite nightmarish detail in some cases…Humour however is never far away and even the most outlandish become endearing.

We are treated to the art of trog hunting, not for the faint hearted, an introduction to the precious elements needed to create the spells and magical potions to enhance and heal, and a glimpse into the secrets of witchcraft.

The coven and Lizzie have lost a dear friend who it appears is victim of a killing spree with witches the target. This monster is the first human that Lizzie and The Hat have hunted and it brings an additional element of danger that could be fatal.

As always the author has created a fantasy that flows and engages with wonderful characters, plot and humour that I can highly recommend.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK

I was delighted to share my review for the literary thriller The Silent Brother by Simon Van der Velde

My review for the book June 18th 2022

There is an expression – ‘It if was not for his bad luck, he would have no luck at all’. That seems to sum up Tommy’s unforgiving and relentless passage through life.

Family is Tommy, his younger brother Benjy, and a mother who seeks comfort in a bottle, and in relationships that are addictive and dangerous; for herself and her children.

Like a row of dominoes one event sends Tommy’s life crashing. The only glimmer of light in his dark childhood is a scrap of a girl with a love of chocolate caramel.

There is no escape from the path Tommy finds himself on, guilt and a need to find his place in this uncertain world he inhabits, deliver blow after blow.

This book is set in Newcastle at a time when major industries, the lifeblood of the city, closed down leaving a generation of hard-working men and women without purpose. Lacking adequate support, the heart of a community dies, leaving the young with no future to work towards and a vacuum filled by those happy to take advantage. When criminal organisations are the only ones hiring… what is a lad to do?

This is not a cosy mystery but an edgy and gritty look at a life at the mercy of circumstances, poverty and criminal dominance. It is also compelling and filled with characters that are vividly drawn and whose every thought, word and deed ooze the menace that comes with ingrained hardship and deprived upbringings.

As a reader you are drawn into the turbulence of Tommy’s life. You absorb his desperation and also his passion for his brother and Annie whose life he becomes enmeshed in again as an adult.

Risks have to be taken, trust has to be given and a plan must be carried out to drag Tommy and Annie away from the precipice they are clinging to. Secrets long hidden offer a chance at a future and redemption.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. The author brings all the threads of this story to a close masterfully with revelations and hope. A reward not just for the characters, but for the reader who has become so engaged in their story.

I recommend this book to those who enjoy gritty novels about ordinary people who strive to fight their way out of difficult circumstances.

Head over to buy the book: Amazon UKAnd: Amazon US

Delighted to share my review for the latest poetry collection by Balroop SinghHues Of Hope: Selected Poetry

My review for the collection June 25th 2022

Balroop Singh writes poetry not just from her heart but verse that touches the hearts of those who read it.

There are so many elements in her verse we can all relate to. The love of nature with its emotional and physical impact on us with its raw beauty and power, the variations on the theme of love and relationships, and the chains that bind us created by expectations of our own or others. The author shares her thoughts on finding our own identity, conquering pain, finding forgiveness and the sanctity of family. Each tells a story and all highlight the author’s ability to appreciate and understand human nature.

The collecton is divided into these areas of nature and the human condition and that provides a flow that moves you seamlessly from one poem to the next. Some of my favourites include Tread Softly Here, Magic, A Concert, When Love Whispered, and Don’t Dwell On It! Really?

One poem in particular struck me with its emotional elements. The Golden Cage

Trapped in the golden cage
The cage of unfulfilled desires
The cage of love and expectations
The cage with vast vistas
Each door so welcoming
Yet so deceptive

This is a lovely collection of poems and I can highly recommend.

Head over to read the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK

 

Smorgasbord Book Reviews – #Poetry – Hues Of Hope: Selected Poetry by Balroop Singh


Delighted to share my review for the latest poetry collection by Balroop SinghHues Of Hope: Selected Poetry

About the collection

Hues Of Hope is the collection of readers’ favorite poems from my poetry books. These poems explore the hope that lies within our heart, hope that whispers each morning to look at the horizon, hope that inspires us to look beyond the chaotic world and take the next step to vanquish the fears that try to fetter us. It promises to take us to an oasis of peace, unravels magical moments of joy, as beams of love calm our senses. It even guides us through dark alleys to show the streaks of light that shimmer through the clouds.

My review for the collection June 25th 2022

Balroop Singh writes poetry not just from her heart but verse that touches the hearts of those who read it.

There are so many elements in her verse we can all relate to. The love of nature with its emotional and physical impact on us with its raw beauty and power, the variations on the theme of love and relationships, and the chains that bind us created by expectations of our own or others. The author shares her thoughts on finding our own identity, conquering pain, finding forgiveness and the sanctity of family. Each tells a story and all highlight the author’s ability to appreciate and understand human nature.

The collecton is divided into these areas of nature and the human condition and that provides a flow that moves you seamlessly from one poem to the next. Some of my favourites include Tread Softly Here, Magic, A Concert, When Love Whispered, and Don’t Dwell On It! Really?

One poem in particular struck me with its emotional elements. The Golden Cage

Trapped in the golden cage
The cage of unfulfilled desires
The cage of love and expectations
The cage with vast vistas
Each door so welcoming
Yet so deceptive 

This is a lovely collection of poems and I can highly recommend.

Head over to read the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK

Books by Balroop Singh

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Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and : Amazon UK – Follow Balroop : Goodreads – blog:Balroop Singh on WordPress – Twitter: @BalroopShado

About Balroop Singh

Balroop Singh, an educator, a poet and an author always had a passion for writing. She would jot down her reflections on a piece of paper and forget about them till each drawer of her home started overflowing with poetic reminders, popping out at will! The world of her imagination has a queer connection with realism. She could envision the images of her own poetry while teaching the poems. Her dreams saw the light of the day when she published her first poetry book: ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life.’ She has always lived through her heart. She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling of leaves and the sound of waterfalls. She lives in California.

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books.. Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 13th – 19th June 2022 – Lilies, Top hits 1997, Roberta Flack, Podcast, Poetry, Reviews, New Releases, Health and Humour


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

I hope that you are doing okay wherever you live. I know that certain countries in Europe and here in Ireland are experiencing an increase in Covid cases, but it seems that most people are unconcerned and have ditched their masks. Thankfully here it is a matter of choice and with us both having had Covid and not wishing to have again, I will be sticking with the mask for some time to come.

The work on the house continues, but most of the decluttering is now finished with the product of this exercise being collected on Monday. I spent some time in the garden repotting, deadheading and moving plants from front to back as they blossom. This includes one of my favourites. These lilies bloom for a few weeks only.  During the winter I stack the containers containing the bulbs at the back of the house in a corner and cover. In April I set them out in the daylight and water them and here we are in the middle of June and they offer their wonderful blossoms again.  They shout summer.

As always my thanks to my friends who share their expertise and fun with us each week.

William Price King joined me on The Breakfast show this week for the first part of the hits from 1997 and for the first part of the series about Roberta Flack. You can also find William – Blog– IMPROVISATION– William Price King on Tumblr

Debby Gies takes us to St. Barts tomorrow morning and will of course be finding some funnies during the week to keep us entertained. Over on her blog you can you can catch up with her posts including her helpful June writing links and her review for Paulette Mahurin’s latest  A Peaceful Village .. D.G. Kaye

Carol Taylor joins me on Wednesday with a repeat of her wonderful series A-Z of foods beginning with the lette A. Carol is in England for a month to visit her family but has left her blog well stocked. This week Monday Musings, MSG, the cuisine of The Dominican Republic, a close look at the many cooking oils available and an entertaining Saturday Snippets. You can find all her posts Carol Cooks2

Thanks too for all your visits, comments and shares this week… they mean a great deal..♥

Coming up this week on the I Wish I Knew Then series are Pete Springer and Pete Johnson (Beetley Pete)

On with the show

Chart Hits 1997 Part One – Elton John R. Kelly, Shania Twain, Puff Daddy & Faith Evans

William Price King meets the Music Legends – Roberta Flack – The Early Years

#Humour – Chapter Eighteen – Some guests and their Foible

Chapter Nineteen – Full Circle

The Royal Visitors Arrive

Colleen Chesebro’s Tuesday Weekly Challenge – Specific Format -#TankaProse – Murmuration by Sally Cronin

Food Therapy Rewind – Pumpkin Seeds Nutrient Packed snack on the go

#Fantasy – Good Liniment (The Hat Book 5) by C.S. Boyack

#Literary #Thriller – The Silent Brother by Simon Van der Velde

#Historical #WW2 – The Peaceful Village by Paulette Mahurin

Life – I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! ‘Dad’ by Sue Wickstead

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! #Writing by Jane Risdon

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! ‘Home’ by Claire Fullerton

#YA #Fantasy M.J. Mallon, #Romance #Military Jacquie Biggar

#Dystopian Terry Tyler, #Prehistoric Jacqui Murray

#Paranormal #Western Sandra Cox, #Sciencefiction #Mystery Richard Dee

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Flying and Even more Weird Facts

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Door maintenance and Miracles

 

Thanks very much for dropping in today and I hope you will join me again next week..Sally

Smorgasbord Bookreviews – #Fantasy – Good Liniment (The Hat Book 5) by C.S. Boyack


Delighted to share my reviews for the 5th book in The Hat series by C.S. Boyack.. Good Liniment.

About the book

Someone is murdering members of the local witches coven. They turn to Lizzie and the hat for their unique skills that might help eliminate the killers.

A religious zealot might be a monster, but is still a human being. This task isn’t the same as staking vampires or shooting zombies. It isn’t the usual project Lizzie takes on for her night work.

This all takes place during a recovery period for Lizzie. She needs to keep her cover band together and find a new way of getting them gigs. More bands and less venues are making finances tight. The hat didn’t make things easier during her absence, by spreading rumors about why she took her sabbatical.

Someone killing others over a point of view insults Lizzie’s sensibilities. She has secrets to keep. Her employers have secrets, too. It doesn’t make for a comfortable working environment, but she agrees to do what she can.

Convincing her strong willed employers to stay indoors during all this poses another problem. Can she keep them alive long enough to finish her task?

Good Liniment is full of magic, magical creatures, and an entire underground community living amongst us.

The Hat Series consists of short novels that can be read in a single afternoon. They’re full of snarky, dark humor and can be easily read out of order.

My review for the book June 14th 2022

Another colourful and creative fantasy adventure with Lizzie and The Hat working together to seek out monsters and help others within the supernatural world to remain secret and safe.

The band is back together after a brief hiatus as Lizzie comes to terms with previous events that have shaken her confidence in the path chosen for her. Into that path come new characters to add to the fantastical ensemble always present in these stories.

We neet the rather world weary witch Cyrus and his apprentice Dash, the wonderfully playful Noodles and ethereal but feisty Destiny. The local coven is full of visually disturbing but colourful members who the author describes in quite nightmarish detail in some cases…Humour however is never far away and even the most outlandish become endearing.

We are treated to the art of trog hunting, not for the faint hearted, an introduction to the precious elements needed to create the spells and magical potions to enhance and heal, and a glimpse into the secrets of witchcraft.

The coven and Lizzie have lost a dear friend who it appears is victim of a killing spree with witches the target. This monster is the first human that Lizzie and The Hat have hunted and it brings an additional element of danger that could be fatal.

As always the author has created a fantasy that flows and engages with wonderful characters, plot and humour that I can highly recommend.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by C.S. Boyack

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and :Amazon UK – Follow Craig: Goodreads – blog:Cold Hand BoyackTwitter: @Virgilante

About C.S. Boyack

I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

 

Thanks for dropping in and I hope you will be leaving with some books.. thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – June 6th – 12th 2022 – Chart hits 1996, Puerto Rico, Phosphorus, Reviews, Poetry, Health, Podcast, Stories and Humour


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

I hope you have had a good week and are enjoying the weekend. There has been some more work on the house and it is really beginning to take shape… Ironic that we will get it looking great only to pass on to someone else lol.. Anyway that is a month or so away but I am already looking at property pages in the areas we are planning to look at seriously in the coming months. I am trying to be sensible about downsizing!!!  Apart from anything else with heating oil having almost tripled in the last three months, heating a large house becomes an expensive luxury.

I am hoping that are luck with finding just the right house for us will hold, and whilst I am not looking forward to the packing up process, I am excited about finding our next home, intended to be our last. And also to finally welcome a new dog into the family, long overdue.

This week my friends William Price King, Debby Gies and Carol Taylor have given us music, sunshine and sea in Puerto Rico and wonderful recipes and I cannot thank them enough for their wonderful contributions. They are also busy on their own blogs and I hope you will head over to check them out.

William Price King joined me on The Breakfast show this week for the second part of the hits from 1996 and for the fianl part of the series about Aretha Franklin.  Next Friday a new series featuring Roberta Flack… You can also find William – Blog– IMPROVISATION– William Price King on Tumblr

Debby Gies took us to San Juan on Monday and found some great funnies. It was also her birthday this week… on facebook it shows up as 107.. always a talking point as she certainly does not look her age lol..Over on her blog you can you can catch up with her posts including her Sunday book review for the compelling thriller Where There’s Doubt by Terry Tyler…. D.G. Kaye

Carol Taylor joined me on Wednesday with her recipes to include sufficient phosphorus in our diets… and as always a busy week on her own blog including her Monday Musings and the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations, Store cupboard Basics, Green Kitchen Bread Rolls and strawberry stems, Saturday Snippets all about ‘Spin’. You can find all her posts Carol Cooks2

Thanks too for all your visits, comments and shares this week… they mean a great deal..♥

Coming up this week on the I Wish I Knew Then series are Sue Wickstead, Jane Risdon and Claire Fullerton.

On with the show…..

 

The Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Chart Hits 1996 Part Two – The Wallflowers, Alanis Morissette, Take That, Eric Clapton

William Price King meets the Music Legends – Aretha Franklin – Greatest Hits

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Travel Column Rewind with D.G. Kaye – San Juan, Puerto Rico

Cook from Scratch to prevent nutritional deficiency with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – Phosphorus – Dairy, Poultry, Pork, Nuts, Wholegrains

Food Therapy Rewind- Make the most of Summer – Homemade #Fruit Salad and Smoothies by Sally Cronin

Chapter Sixteen – Killbilly Hotel – A promotion

Killbilly Hotel – The Opening Weekend Party

Tuesday Weekly Challenge #Colour #Etheree – Strawberries by Sally Cronin

The Royal Banquet – Preparation and Menu by Sally Cronin

 

 

#Children’s – Make Believe: Bedtime Stories for Children by Janice Spina

Advance Review – #Malaya #1950s – Have You Eaten Rice Today by Apple Gidley

#Life – I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by Carol Taylor

#Life – I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by Diana Peach

#Life – I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by Sharon Marchisello

First in Series – #Family Saga Judith Barrow, #Mystery N.A. Granger

#Thriller John W. Howell, #Mystery #Romance Marcia Meara

#Fantasy C.S. Boyack, #Fantasy D.Wallace Peach

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Age and Skipping

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Street signs and Diet Pills

 

Thank you for joining me this week and look forward to seeing you again soon  Sally.

Smorgasbord Book Advance Review – #Malaya #1950s – Have You Eaten Rice Today by Apple Gidley


Today a review for a highly interesting novel set in Malaya post WWII which is both an adventure and a love story. Have You Eaten Rice Today by Apple Gidley

About the book

The Emergency rumbles through the jungle, the kampongs, and towns as the communist uprising in 1950’s Malaya adds poignancy to the salutation, ‘have you eaten rice today?’ when hunger drives some terrorists to surrender.

Simon Frampton returns to Malaya as a rubber planter after failing to settle into civilian life in England after the War. His knowledge of the jungle is again put to use when a war-time covert force is reformed and renamed, Ferret Force, made up of Malays, Chinese and Europeans.

Dee Cunningham, an Australian nurse longing to escape the confines of Townsville, Queensland, joins the British Red Cross to help set up and run rural clinics in Malaya.

The violence of guerrilla warfare becomes the backdrop to their love story, but miscommunication leads to sadness. It is not until sixty years later, when Simon’s grandson Max comes to stay at his Dorset farm, when he finds a box filled with envelopes with Australian stamps, and the truth comes to light.

Have You Eaten Rice Today? is a poignant exploration of Malaya’s violent history, merdeka, and how love is found in unexpected places.

My advance review for the book June 11th 2022

This is a book I found difficult to put down. Excellently written with memorable characters faced with the dangers of guerrilla warfare, interlaced with a once in a lifetime romance.

There are many books and films written about World War Two, but few about the conflict in Malaya from the late forties and throughout the fifties. A time of a rejection of colonial administration in India echoed around the British outposts, and before the advent of worldwide broadcasting and the Internet, the public was dependent on newspaper articles based on official statements that were veiled in secrecy.

The author lived in Malaya as a child, and clearly absorbed both culture and language which provided an authentic and fascinating background to the story. Well researched, the activities of the Ferret Force and the local Malay and Chinese who supported them, offered heart stopping action as they moved through dense jungle, battling the natural elements and diseases, as well as the communist activists hiding in its depths. Without modern communications and only carrying the barest of supplies, young men and women put their lives on the line, often for just scraps of vital information.

Those civilians living on plantations, or working within the interim government preparing for independence were also in great danger of reprisals. This included Dee Cunningham in her role as a Red Cross nurse, moving along the rivers to bring aid to villagers along the edge of the jungle. Her upbringing in the outback of Australia definitely gave her remarkable resilience even under extreme pressure and danger. Simon and his unwillingness to settle back into the life on a farm in Dorset, and determination to work towards bringing peace to the region even at the risk to his own life, is the perfect match for her spirited personality.

The romance was beautifully choreographed and written against the backdrop, of not just the jungle and its dangers, but the stunning scenery along the coast and in the mountains.

Just when you begin to wonder where this story will lead we are time shifted 60 years to 2010.

There is now a younger generation eager to find their place in the world and part of that journey will involve their discovery of the past and revelations that will change their lives forever. We return to Malaya to bring all the threads together in a wonderful climax to the story in the hands of a master storyteller. There were times when I was reminded of the writing of Pearl S. Buck and Nevil Shute, two of my favourite authors.

I can highly recommend this book to everyone who loves well written modern history novels and heart-warming love stories. 

Head over to pre-order the book: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK

Also by Apple Gidley

Read the reviews and buy the books : Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – follow Apple: Goodreads – Blog:Apple Gidley WordPress – Twitter: @ExpatApple

 

About Apple Gidley

Apple Gidley, an Anglo-Australian author, whose life has been spent absorbing countries and cultures, considers herself a global nomad. When not on St Croix in the US Virgin Islands, she can be found in Houston, Texas.

She has moved 26 times, and has called twelve countries home (Nigeria, England, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Papua New Guinea, The Netherlands, Trinidad and Tobago, Thailand, Scotland, USA, Equatorial Guinea), and her experiences are described in her first book, Expat Life Slice by Slice (Summertime 2012).

Her roles have been varied – from magazine editor to intercultural trainer, from interior designer to Her Britannic Majesty’s Honorary Consul. Now writing full time, Apple evocatively portrays peoples and places with empathy and humour, whether writing travel articles, blogs, short stories or full-length fiction.

She shares her writing space with Bonnie, a stray cat who spreads across her keyboard.

Fireburn (OC Publishing 2017), historical fiction set in the Danish West Indies of the 1870s (now the US Virgin Islands) was followed by the sequel Transfer (OC Publishing 2019). Crucian Fusion, a book of fact and fiction about St Croix in the USVI will be published in the Fall, 2021. Apple’s upcoming novel, set in Malaya of the 1950s and will be published by Vine Leaves Press in September 2022. She is currently working on a book based in India

Thanks for dropping in today and it would be great if you could pre-order Apple’s book to enjoy when available.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 30th May – 5th June 2022 – Home Renovations, Hits 1996, Summer Book Fair, Shortstories, Reviews, Blogger Weekly, Health and Humour


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

I hope you have enjoyed a good week… We have been busy with getting the new dining room up and running and our office established in the kitchen diner.. That is all done but my studio piece still needs some fine tuning and my podcast stories will be back again next week.. I thought you might like to see some before and after photos on the dining room which had to be stripped, ceilings and walls painted, floor sanded and varnished and new curtains.

There are some other jobs to get on with now upstairs and outside but we are getting there. We christened the new dining room with a visit of our niece over from England which was a lovely way to celebrate.

On the blog front

This week on the series by guests are Carol Taylor, Diana Peach and Sharon Marchisello and I am sure you will find them as fascinating as I did…

The Summer Book Fair begins this week and through to September with all the authors on he Bookshelf being featured with their books.

If you have a new book being released either on pre-order or available on Amazon in June or July, I would be very happy to promote. If you are already a featured author on the blog then I just need the date available and title. If new to the promotions please provide me with your Amazon author page and we can talk about anything else I need. My email is sally.cronin@moyhill.com. I am working a couple of weeks ahead so please get the information to me as soon as you can. Thanks Sally.

As always a thank you to the amazing contributors who share their expertise and entertain us every week.

William Price King joined me on The Breakfast show this week for the first part of the hits from 1996 and for the next part of the series on Friday featuring the legendary Aretha Franklin. You can also find William – Blog– IMPROVISATION– William Price King on Tumblr

Debby Gies  found some funnies and a video to share with us this week. Debby is taking us to San Juan on Monday… so grab your suncream. Over on Debby’s blog you can you can catch up with her posts and Sunday book review D.G. Kaye

Carol Taylor joins me on Wednesday with her recipes to include sufficient phosphorus in our diets… and as always a busy week on her own blog including her Monday Musings, National Cheese Day with the difference between natural and processed cheese products, Basics in the store cupboard such as dried beans, lentils and peas, Chicken four ways and an exploration of the cuisine of The Democratic Republic of the Congo.

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup… 29th May -4th June 2022-Monday Musings, Health, Food Review “Real food v Processed Food” and Saturday Snippets where “Star” is my one word prompt.

And thank you for your visits, comments and sharing of posts.. they mean a great deal.

One with the show

The Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Chart Hits 1996 Part One – Tracey Chapman, George Michael, Los Del Rio, Adam Clayton & Larry Mullen

William Price King meets the Music Legends – Aretha Franklin – 1970s Hits

#Humour – Chapter Fourteen – Mayhew School for Boys and Girls by Sally Cronin

Chapter Fifteen – Killbilly Hotel in Cornwall and a Gothic welcome – Sally Cronin

#RoadTrip Pete Springer and Jim Borden, #Writing D. Wallace Peach, #Spring D.G. Kaye and Valentina Cirasola, #Communitylife Noelle Granger, #RoastedCod Dorothy New Vintage Kitchen

#Supernatural Audrey Driscoll, #Thriller Alex Craigie, #Romance Toni Pike, #Flashfiction Annette Rochelle Aben

#Multigenre – Comes this Time to Float: 19 Short Stories by Stephen Geez

The Dynamics of Change – Part Three – Emotional Being by Sally Cronin

#Watercress – More Iron than Spinach by Sally Cronin

#Travel – Caravanning with #Dogs – It Never Rains But It Paws: A Road Trip Through Politics And A Pandemic (Adventure Caravanning with Dogs Book 4) by Jacqueline Lambert

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! #Dentists by Stevie Turner

#Life – I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by Roberta Eaton Cheadle

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! #Pre-historic #Publishing by Sandra Cox

– #Life – I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by D.G. Kaye

#Life #Poetry – I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by Balroop Singh

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Crocs and Interesting Professions..

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Kissing and Useful Hints

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will join me again next week.. stay safe.. Sally.

Smorgasbord Book Reviews – #Multigenre – Comes this Time to Float: 19 Short Stories by Stephen Geez


Today my review is for a collection of short stories reflecting the human condition in all its glory and potential for loss – Comes this Time to Float: 19 Short Stories by Stephen Geez

About the collection

Prepare to think as you explore these wildly disparate literary short stories by author, composer, and producer Stephen Geez. Avoiding any single genre, this collection showcases Geez’s storytelling from southern gothic to contemporary drama to coming-of-age, humor, sci-fi, and fantasy—all finessed to say something about who we are and what we seek. Some of these have been passed around enough to need a shot of penicillin, others so virgin they have never known the seductive gaze of a reader’s eyes. So when life’s currents get to pulling too hard, don’t fight it, just open the book and discover nineteen new ways of going with the flow, because NOW more than ever Comes this Time to Float.

My review for the collection June 4th 2022

This is a collection that touches hearts, brings old memories to the surface and provides thought provoking moments. Enhanced by images and individually introduced by the author, creating anticipation for the enjoyment to come.

Stephen Geez has a rich writing style that treats the reader to a beautifully detailed narrative bringing the settings of the stories and their characters into focus.

“Magician’s-box swords of sharp sunlight stab the gloom. Leaves turn and reach. An urgent rivulet slaps rocks. Water falls”.

‘The vapors would rise strong and true on this rare night when neither of the two moons dared show a shiny face to warn the emboldened tingle-winds back into the chasm where they bide.’

From the first story, about an unlikely sidekick of a superhero, to the poignancy of a red tractor in the middle of a field, the author ensures that you are fully engaged and ready to believe his characters have something to share that will reflect something in your own life.This makes the stories personal and relateable as we feel the loss, joy, love and the humour within them.

It is tough to suggest particular favourites, but Sidekick, Holler Song, Blind is Love, The Age-Eater and Time and Space touched me deeply.

Highly recommended as a collection of stunningly created vignettes about the human condition.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK

A small selection of other books by Stephen Geez

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – More Reviews: Goodreads – Website: Stephen Geez – Website: Fresh Ink Group – Follow Stephen: Goodreads – Twitter: @StephenGeez – Fresh Ink Twitter: @FreshInkGroup – Voice of Indie Twitter: @VoiceofIndie

About Stephen Geez

Stephen Geez earned his undergrad and grad degrees at the University of Michigan. A composer, TV producer, publisher, graphic artist, and writer, he focuses now on novels, essay collections, short fiction, authors’ how-to under the GeezWriter brand, and scripts. Founding member of the publisher Fresh Ink Group, he works with a wide variety of authors to produce their best possible work. Watch for his essays, stories, books, and blog posts at http://www.StephenGeez.com. Find him and his author friends at Fresh Ink Group Send him a note from his member page or the Contact Form.

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books…Sally

 

Smorgasbord Book Reviews – Round Up May 2022 – #Supernatural Audrey Driscoll, #Thriller Alex Craigie, #Romance Toni Pike, #Flashfiction Annette Rochelle Aben


Another wonderful reading month taking me to ancient Egypt to wonderful 99 word flash fiction.

My review for She who comes forth May 7th 2022

I have found the stories of ancient Egypt and the discoveries made over the last two centuries fascinating and I was looking forward to this action adventure set in the land of the Pharoahs in the 1960s.

France Leighton is an innocent abroad. Her upbringing has been unconventional, with an ancestral link to the excavation of the tombs and undecided about her future, she applies to and is accepted to a dig in progress in Luxor. With mundane tasks and friction amongst the members of the dig team, France retreats into her comfort zone which is playing her much loved cello.

The cello and an exquiste emerald ring are links to the past, and as she shares her experiences and thoughts about the present with us, strange and disturbing elements begin to filter in, making her question who and what is attempting to manipulate the future. France is the narrator of her story, but not in control of her own destiny, as others have their own agendas, pulling her into their distorted plans for the future.

The author has done an amazing job in recreating both the 1960s setting for the plot and the world of the ancient Egyptian pharoahs and deities. The characters are distinctive and easy to like or dislike with some multi-faceted, only revealing their true selves as the story reaches its climax.

We are treated to a wondrous tour of the inside of tombs both excavated and open to the public and as the mystery deepens to hidden and sacred sites deep within the earth. Clearly the author conducted a great deal of research to create such an authentic and detailed journey into the past.

You will find the book difficult to put down, and there is plenty of action to maintain the pace of the plot, and intriguing supernatural elements that become more dynamic as the story unfolds. The book definitely has a style of writing that both Agatha Christie and H. Rider Haggard fans will appreciate and I can highly recommend this first in the series and look forward to the next.

Head over to read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK

My review for Means to Deceive May 14th 2022

You know you are in the hands of a master storyteller when you are so engaged by the story that you want to reach in and offer hugs to the main character and some swift justice to others!

Alex Craigie writes very good books and this is no exception.

Gwen Meredith is between a rock and a hard place at work and at home where intimidation, misunderstandings, secrets and childhood memories cloud judgment. It is even worse when it is played out on social media in a town where everybody feels they have a right to voice their opinions on the situation.

With a grandmother’s dementia developing rapidly, there is little time to sit and work through the evolving mystery and at times the interference of others, though kindly meant, creates more havoc.

This is probably not the best time to fall in love especially if you don’t know who to trust but it does offer a glimmer of hope in the dark place Gwen now finds herself in.

Clues are dropped in, and events point in a number of directions, but the puzzle is missing a lot of pieces until the final chapter. This is a clever mystery which will have you on the edge of your seat and wondering if you are perhaps not going a little crazy too.

The climax is dramatic and comes with surprising revelations. A fabulous ending to this highly recommended book.

Head over to buy the book: Amazon UKAnd: Amazon US

My review for Linda’s Midlife Crisis 2022

This is a heartwarming read that shares the journey of Linda Lockwood as she suffers bullies in and out of the classroom, a husband who treats her like a doormat and is very vocal in public about her ‘flaws’, and her own lack of self-esteem.

Just how much is too much, and when will Linda finally snap? At 50 years old and at the end of her tether she decides there has to be a better life than this. Especially when her secret dreams are thrown back in her face.

After years as a teacher she is resourceful and over the following months Linda gets back her joy in life and begins to open up to the world. Meeting new friends, being close to family and looking amazing she blossoms.The one area of her life that doesn’t tempt her is romance, but when you are not looking, sometimes it finds you anyway.

This story encourages all those who find themselves suddenly alone and facing an uncertain future that there is hope and a second chance. Recommended.

Head over to buy the book Amazon: USAUKAustraliaCanada

My review for Tell Me a Story  May 26th 2022

Whether it is verse or prose, Annette Rochelle Aben creates stories that touch the heart. It takes skill to write a story in only 99 words and each of the 75 stories reflect that artistry beautifully.

The stories are a celebration of life, love and simple everyday events that remain in our memories through childhood and beyond. There are one or two that hint at the darker side of life, such as Bedfellows but most are heartwarming and thought provoking.

I enjoyed all the stories, but I would like to give a special mention to just some of the gems. Chocoholics, Daybreak, Determination, Giddy Up Go, Gnome More, Last Request and Somewhere Out There.

Some lines in the stories have also stayed in my thoughts about the collection.

‘Legs with the strength of over-cooked spaghetti’

‘Into the darkness of the cave of fear breaks the light of a new day’

This is a lovely read to in one sitting or enjoy dipping into, written by a wonderful storyteller with an eye for detail.. Highly recommended.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books… Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 16th – 22nd May 2022 – Hits 1995, Aretha Franklin, Stories, Podcast, Poetry, Guests, Reviews, Health and Humour


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

I hope you are well and have enjoyed your week as much as I have mine. The house is still a bit topsy turvey but the new dining room just needs a bit more work, and I am off to buy curtains tomorrow. We will be moving the furniture in there over next weekend and then spending a couple of days putting our office back together in the kitchen diner.

The last of the spring flowers need to be moved into one of the flower beds for next year and I will be heading to the garden centre for the more mature summer plants.

On the blog front

I am so pleased that the I Wish I Knew Then series is resulting in the sharing of so many memories, experiences and emotions. This week my guests are authors Alex Craigie, Terry Tyler and Dorothy Grover Read of New Vintage Kitchen

As always I must thank these three amazing contributors as the blog would not be the same without them.

William Price King joined me on The Breakfast show this week for the first part of the hits from 1995 and for the first part of the series on Friday featuring the legendary Aretha Franklin. You can also find William – Blog– IMPROVISATION– William Price King on Tumblr

Debby Gies has been busy on her own blog this week as well as sharing some of the funnies she has collected during her browsing for the Laughter Lines.. Head over to enjoy her post on Scammers who infiltrate social media including groups for those who are grieving loved ones.. Also an excellent resource for bloggers and authors in her monthly Writers links on copyright, plagiarism etcand her Sunday book review for Why Didn’t They Leave by Eva Hnizdo

Debby is with us tomorrow with her Travel Column… and a visit to Curacao...slap on some sunscreen and join us..

Carol Taylor shares her musings on Monday.. and amazing recipe for Chicken Jalfrazi that will get you taste buds zinging..an exploration of the eclectic cuisine of Croatia, how you can make delicious meals from store cupboard basics such as pasta and noodles, couscous and polenta with a lovely recipe for Chicken and Prune Tagine.  For these and the rest of Carol’s terrific posts this week head over to check out her round up. This week on Cook From Scratch to prevent deficiency we will be looking at ways to include foods containing manganese in your diet.

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup… 15th -21st May 2022-Monday Musings, Health, Food Review “Real food v Processed Food” and Saturday Snippets where “Surprise” is my one word prompt.

My thanks to you for your visits, shares and comments they mean a great deal…

The Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Chart Hits 1995 Part One – Seal, Bon Jovi, Take That, Simply Red

William Price King meets the Music Legends – Aretha Franklin – The Early Years

progression-of-osteoporosis

The Dynamics of Change – Part One – Our Physical Being by Sally Cronin

#Honey -#Propolis – Thousands of Years of History and Health by Sally Cronin

Chapter Ten – Cat Burglars and Insurance Fraud!

Chapter Eleven – Christmas in the Funeral Home

Podcast – Tales from the Irish Garden – Jeremy the Donkey

#Etheree – Legacy by Sally Cronin

#Life #Change – Linda’s Midlife Crisis by Toni Pike

16th May 2022 – #Images Tofino Photography, Robbie Cheadle, Cindy Knoke, #Exploration Jennie Fitzkee, #Guest The Story Reading Ape, #Guest Marcia Meara

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by Rebecca Budd

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! #Shortstory by Jacquie Biggar

#Life – I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by D.L. Finn

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! – #Writing, #Genres, #Indie Jacqui Murray

#Pre-order #Scifi #GeneticEngineering We are Saul by Richard Dee

– #Mystery #Crime Ticket to Ride by Winona Kent

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Evolution and Heavenly accommodation

Passing along the funnies – Boys vs. Girls and Legal Shenanigans

 

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed the posts.. look forward to seeing you again.. Sally.