Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Who is referring others to your blog? Guests, music and laughter


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

This week I got back into the swing of things and began the 2019 book promotions and the first of the Sunday Interviews. It was a terrific break but very happy being back to normal.

As always a huge thank you to my regular contributors and guests as well as the support on social media. Whilst managing the various platforms is time consuming and sometimes distracting, it was interesting to see, when I looked at the year’s analytic data, where the most referrals were generated from.

At the top end of the list and accounting for approximately 50% of the referrals out of 221,000 views:

  1. WordPress Reader.
  2. Facebook
  3. Twitter
  4. Yahoo.com
  5. Other search engines.

The other 50% were referrals from individual bloggers.

This confirms a few things to me:

  1. That WordPress Reader is a very powerful promotional tool for promoting not just our own posts but also when we reblog and ‘press’ posts we enjoy by other bloggers. Since people browse the Reader looking for posts that are interesting, it is well worth making sure you titles and the short summary at the top of your post catch their eye.
  2. That my time spent on Twitter and Facebook is not wasted!
  3. That using key words and tags on blog posts gets results from search engines. (but need to do better)
  4. That connecting and becoming part of a supportive community is essential to the success of a blog.

A huge thank you to everyone who took the time to share the posts this year directly to their own blogs which resulted in referrals and to all of you who took the time to like, share on social media and comment.

This week William Price King shared the life and music of the legendary Duke Ellington.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-jazz-duke-ellington/

This week Carol Taylor shares her favourite recipes of 2018… and they look delicious.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/09/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-column-with-carol-taylor-favourite-dishes-of-2018/

D. G. Kaye – Debby Gies shares a recap of her 2018 travel column with a reminder of the places you might like to visit on vacation.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/07/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-recap-take-a-look-before-you-book-your-summer-holiday-with-d-g-kaye/

Welcome to the first of a new season of Getting to Know You and my first guest for 2019 is Australian author Frank Prem who has recently released a collection of poems and short stories about his childhood – Small Town Kid.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/13/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-you-with-author-frank-prem/

I was delighted to review Fairies, Myths & Magic: A Summer Celebration by Colleen M. Chesebro.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/12/smorgasbord-book-reviews-fairies-myths-and-magic-a-summer-celebration-by-colleen-m-chesebro/

I wrote the original Size Matters in 1998 about my 150lb weight loss… I did update when the book went digital but that was several years ago. After working as a nutritional therapist for the last 20 years, and having continued to research and study food and its role in our health, I decided that it was time to write the sequel. 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/11/smorgasbord-health-size-matters-the-sequel-after-20-years-by-sally-cronin-introduction/

It is 1996 and it is a year of change with a move to Brussels and Anthony Robbins Life Mastery.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-1996-a-year-of-change-and-celine-dion/

I am had fun with Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 118 with the synonyms this week of ‘Begin’ and ‘Fresh’

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/09/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebro-tuesday-poetry-challenge-week-118-etheree-initiate-and-crisp/

It is now 1986 and both David and my father have their birthdays back to back. We are also making plans for a day trip and a much longer road trip over to New Mexico.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/12/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-houston-1986-birthdays-and-plans/

New on the shelves this week.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/10/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-sciencefiction-fantasty-voyage-of-the-lanternfish-by-c-s-boyack/

Author update with recent reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/07/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-don-massenzio-marcia-meara-and-teri-polen/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/11/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-bette-a-stevens-jane-risdon-and-christina-jones-sally-cronin/

The Gentle Detox

As part of a gentle detox it is useful to employ the power of nature as a cleanser for your liver and kidneys. Dandelion is powerful and has many health benefits.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/07/smorgasbord-health-column-the-gentle-detox-tool-box-water-retention-dandelion-by-sally-cronin/

It is a good idea to complete a gentle detox to find out what food triggers or environmental contaminants might be causing you to suffer from allergies or health issues.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/08/smorgasbord-health-column-the-gentle-detox-food-intolerances-nightshade-family-and-environmental-toxins-by-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/08/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-my-archives-2/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/10/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-snitching-cheating-failing-and-a-change-of-career/

Thank you very much for dropping in today and for your continued support. It keeps me motivated to keep writing.. thanks Sally.

 

 

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Smorgasbord Book Reviews – Fairies, Myths and Magic – A Summer Celebration by Colleen M. Chesebro


I am delighted to review the lovely book by Colleen M. Chesebro, Fairies, Myths & Magic: A Summer Celebration.

About the collection.

Step into a world where fairies, dragons, and other magical beings converge in a collection of poetry and short stories inspired by the celebration of Litha, the Summer Solstice.

Meet Drac, a dragon cursed by his own poisonous deeds, and two pixies who help an old man remember a lost love. You’ll meet a pair of fairies with a sense of humor, and a young girl who fulfills her destiny after being struck by lightning. Learn what happens when a modern witch’s spell goes terribly wrong. Meet the Sisters of the Fey, a group of Slavic Witches who sign a pact with the Rusalki Fey to preserve their magic for the good of all.

Atmospheric and haunting, the prose and poetry, will rewrite the mythologies of the past bringing them into the future.

My review for the book – Five Stars

I don’t really do wet and grey winters so I was badly in need of a tonic. This was very effectively supplied by the delightful collection of poetry and short stories by Colleen Chesebro.

Fairies have fascinated me since childhood, but my knowledge of the elves, pixies and other magical creatures, pales in comparison to that of the author. Clearly an observer of nature and the hidden worlds that only a chosen few have seen, she brings her cast of players to life delightfully. You will discover the different forms of fairy you might meet if you are lucky during a walk in a garden or lane, and you will find out about a chance encounter that  was life changing.

You will also be introduced to some humans such as Roger who find themselves living in close proximity to these ethereal creatures. And there is definitely mischief afoot when two pixies get their hand on a potent spell… One of my favourite poems was The Fairy Spider’s Lair, but to be honest, I was spoiled for choice.

There is so much to enjoy in this book that celebrates the magic world and summer, that I am sure that you too will lose yourself in its pages. Great for all ages and children will love it too.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Fairies-Myths-Magic-Summer-Celebration-ebook/dp/B07DTSBH4T

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fairies-Myths-Magic-Summer-Celebration-ebook/dp/B07DTSBH4T

Also by Colleen M. Chesebro

 

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B01N9MV2RX

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fairies-Myths-Magic-Summer-Celebration-ebook/dp/B07DTSBH4T

Read more reviews and follow Colleen Chesebro on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16254415.Colleen_M_Chesebro

About Colleen M. Chesebro

Colleen M. Chesebro is a writer and author of YA fantasy and magical realism, cross-genre fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. She loves all things magical which may mean that she could be experiencing her second childhood – or not. That part of her life hasn’t been fully decided yet.

A few years ago, a mystical experience led her to renew her passion for writing and storytelling. These days she resides in the fantasy realm of the Fairy Whisperer where she writes the magical poetry and stories that the fairy nymphs whisper to her in her dreams.

Colleen won the Little and Laugh Flash Fiction Contest sponsored by the Carrot Ranch Literary Community.com in November 2017 for her piece, called, “The Bus Stop.” Her debut novel, “The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy,” won gold in the 2017 AuthorsDB.com cover contest.

Colleen lives in Colorado with her husband. When she is not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and friends. She also loves gardening, reading, and crocheting old-fashioned doilies into works of art.

Connect to Colleen.

Website: https://colleenchesebro.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/16254415.Colleen_M_Chesebro
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ColleenChesebro
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/colleen.chesebro.3

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will enjoy reading Fairies, Myths & Magic – Thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Brussel Sprouts, Fire Ants, music, books, health, humour and a full guest list


Welcome to a round up of the posts from the week that you might have missed. And also a reminder of some of the Christmas Promotions coming up later in December.

The main one is a 12 Day party beginning on 13th of December until 24th December. I have some special guests appearing each day, in the form of contributors to the blog, and I am delighted that many of you are already signed up for one of the days. Out of the original 40 spots I just have 15 left. This is an opportunity to showcase your blog or books, even if you have already or will be featured in the other Christmas promotions. All I am looking for is 100 words (approx) about your favourite Christmas Gift ever… full details are here Twelve days of Christmas Party

I am also working my way through the Cafe and Bookstore and will be featuring every author on the shelves either with a New book on the shelves for Christmas or in a Buy a Book for Christmas feature.

The only thing that I need from you if you are in the bookstore is the link to any new releases between now and Christmas.

If you are a new author to the Cafe and Bookstore then email on sally.cronin@moyhill.com and I will let you know what I need. (it is FREE)

 

And here are the Christmas promotion posts so far…they will now go in a directory in the menu until the New Year.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/12/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-special-preorder-price-mistletoe-inn-by-jacquie-biggar/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/13/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-sci-fi-ya-tarkentower-by-daniel-scott-white/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/14/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-thriller-desperation-rules-the-day-by-colin-guest/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/17/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-the-worst-noel-a-juniper-junction-mystery-by-amy-reade/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/19/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-love-at-first-swipe-by-gareth-fosberry-onlinedating/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/23/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-broken-heart-attack-braxton-campus-mysteries-book-2-pre-order-99c-99p-until-november-25th-james-j-cudney/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/24/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-shortstories-after-ever-little-stories-for-grown-children-by-d-avery/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/12/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-children-victoria-zigler-jann-weeratunga-janice-spina-bette-a-stevens-and-gigi-sedlmayer/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/14/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-children-andrea-balsara-robbie-and-michael-cheadle-annabelle-franklin-and-jemima-pett/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/16/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-children-teens-ya-paul-andruss-m-j-mallon-hl-carpenter-darlene-foster-deanie-humphrys-dunne/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/17/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-rachele-baker-dvm-judith-barrow-c-s-boyack-and-pamela-s-wight/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/19/sally-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-fantasy-science-fiction-tina-frisco-d-wallace-peach-lorinda-j-taylor-and-teri-polen/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/20/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-poetry-ritu-bhathal-christy-birmingham-colleen-m-chesebro-natalie-ducey-and-dorinda-duclos/

The Story Reading Ape

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/22/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-poetry-agnes-mae-graham-annette-rochelle-aben-and-balroop-singh/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/23/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-short-stories-linda-bethea-sarah-brentyn-eric-halpenny-and-gregg-savage/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/24/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-short-stories-mary-smith-annika-perry-and-hugh-w-roberts/

My review for Legacy; Book Four Project Renova by Terry Tyler

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/25/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-book-review-for-legacy-project-renova-book-four-by-terry-tyler/

Other posts in the week.

This week we take that ‘marmite’ of the vegetable kingdom, Brussel Sprouts and I showcase their many health benefits and Carol Taylor cooks them in several ways to delight your family.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/21/christmas-smorgasbord-health-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-taylor-brusselsprouts-bitterly-healthy/

This week Linda Bethea gets up close and personal with feisty Houston residents.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/22/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-family-houston-fire-ants-and-murderers-by-linda-bethea/

Smorgasbord Short Stories from Volume 2- What’s in a Name

Walter is a scruffy customer, along with his dog at the local pub. Nobody seems to know his story…..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/24/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-walter-lost-and-alone-by-sally-cronin/

Xenia… two special family members never to be forgotten.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/25/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-volume-two-xenia-beloved/

This week our lives in 1991 and Always Look on the Bright Side of Life and Bohemian Rhapsody

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/20/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-1991-always-look-on-the-bright-side-of-life-and-bohemian-rhapsody/

Smorgasbord Poetry – #Etheree in response to Colleen Chesebro’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/21/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebro-tuesday-poetry-challenge-no-111-celebrate-and-number-etheree/

This week a look at the difference between and allergy and an intolerance..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/22/smorgasbord-health-column-a-z-of-common-conditions-allergies-and-intolerances-christmas-can-be-a-challenge/

Guest comedian D.G. Kaye Debby Gies with more finds on the Internet and a joke from the archives.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/20/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke/

Guest standup comedian.. D.G. Kaye.. Debby Gies gets us in the mood for Thanksgiving

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/22/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-how-to-turk-the-carvey-and-quickies/

Thank you for dropping in today.. and don’t forget that there are a few places left for the Twelve Days of Christmas parties… and if you have a new book release between now and Christmas, please let me know – sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a Book for Christmas – My #Book review for Legacy: Project Renova Book Four by Terry Tyler


Here is my review for Terry Tyler and Legacy: Book Four Project Renova Series... I have read and reviewed the previous books in the series and I can recommend that you read all of them

About Legacy

Out of all the death and destruction has come the freedom to be who we really are.’

A hundred years after the world was devastated by the bat fever virus, the UK is a country of agricultural communities where motherhood is seen as the ideal state for a woman, new beliefs have taken over from old religions, and the city of Blackthorn casts a threatening shadow over the north of England. Legacy travels backwards in time to link up with the characters from Tipping Point, Lindisfarne and UK2.

Seventeen-year-old Bree feels stifled by the restrictions of her village community, but finds a kindred spirit in Silas, a lone traveller searching for his roots. She, too, is looking for answers: the truth behind the mysterious death, forty years earlier, of her grandmother.

In 2050, Phoenix Northam’s one wish is to follow in the footsteps of his father, a great leader respected by all who knew him…or so his mother tells him.

In 2029, on a Danish island, Lottie is homesick for Lindisfarne; two years earlier, Alex Verlander and the kingpins of the Renova group believe they have escaped the second outbreak of bat fever just in time…

Book 4 of the Project Renova series rebuilds a broken country with no central government or law, where life is dangerous and people can simply disappear…but the post-Fall world is also one of possibility, of freedom and hope for the future.

My review for the book..

A fitting end to an amazing series.

It is difficult not to give away spoilers when you are excited about a book you have just read. Particularly when it is the final book in a series, and all the loose ends have been gathered up into one satisfying bundle.

If you have already read the other books in the series, then you will be as eager as I was to catch up with the previous characters as they dispersed to Denmark or escaped the new outbreak in UK Central. You won’t be disappointed, as their continuing stories are action packed, heartwarming and sometimes downright scary.

The author takes us forward, beyond these characters, to 100 years after the Bat Fever. We discover that many of the residents of the new UK have reverted back to the days of small settlements. They are self-sustaining and make an effort to bring children into a better world, although interestingly the gains made by women for independence have taken more than a few steps backwards.

However, there are still women taking control of their lives and in some cases being responsible for settlements such as Lindisfarne.  However, being human there are still those that have a craving for power at any cost. In the main population hubs and in the North, 100 years after the epidemic the veneer of civilization is very thin with violence a part of everyday life.

What is clear, having read the entire series, is that following an apocalyptic event, the majority of the population are completely unprepared without the infrastructure that provides shelter, food and medicines. They have little or no knowledge of how to sustain themselves and only those with resolve and bravery will survive. Those that do bring a glimmer of hope that mankind will survive and thrive in the aftermath of a devastating event and that is a thread that runs through this final story.

A brilliant end to the series, and I do suggest that you begin with the previous three books Tipping Point, Lindisfarne and UK2 so that you are fully primed before reading Legacy.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Legacy-Project-Renova-Book-4-ebook/dp/B07JNC9K6Z

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Project-Renova-Book-4-ebook/dp/B07JNC9K6Z

A selection of other books by Terry Tyler

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Terry-Tyler/e/B00693EGKM

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Terry-Tyler/e/B00693EGKM

Read more reviews and follow Terry Tyler on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5821157.Terry_Tyler

About Terry Tyler

Terry Tyler is the author of sixteen books available from Amazon, the latest being ‘Patient Zero’, the third book in her new post apocalyptic series, which is a collection of stand-alone short stories featuring characters in the main novels. She is proud to be self-published, is an avid reader and book reviewer, and a member of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team.

Terry is a Walking Dead addict, and loves history, winter, South Park and Netflix. She lives in the north east of England with her husband, a move that took place nine years ago from the beautiful Norfolk coast; she is still trying to learn Geordie.

Connect to Terry Tyler

Blog: https://terrytyler59.blogspot.ie/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TerryTyler4
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Terry-Tyler-author-127960897322262/

Thank you very much for visiting and if you are looking for an engaging and exciting adventure, then I recommend the whole series for you or for a gift this Christmas. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Book Reviews- Born in a Treacherous Time by Jacqui Murray


I have just finished reading Born in a Treacherous Time by Jacqui Murray and very happily give the book five stars.

About the book

‘The book’s plot is similar in key ways to … Jean M. Auel’s The Clan of the Cave Bear–Kirkus Reviews

Born in the harsh world of East Africa 1.8 million years ago, where hunger, death, and predation are a normal part of daily life, Lucy and her band of early humans struggle to survive. It is a time in history when they are relentlessly annihilated by predators, nature, their own people, and the next iteration of man. To make it worse, Lucy’s band hates her. She is their leader’s new mate and they don’t understand her odd actions, don’t like her strange looks, and don’t trust her past. To survive, she cobbles together an unusual alliance with an orphaned child, a beleaguered protodog who’s lost his pack, and a man who was supposed to be dead.

Born in a Treacherous Time is prehistoric fiction written in the spirit of Jean Auel. Lucy is tenacious and inventive no matter the danger, unrelenting in her stubbornness to provide a future for her child, with a foresight you wouldn’t think existed in earliest man. You’ll close this book understanding why man not only survived our wild beginnings but thrived, ultimately to become who we are today.

My review for Born in a Treacherous Time.

Firstly, respect to the author for the amount of research needed to create this amazing story of early man born into a world still going through its growing pains. Combined with vividly created characters who you instantly relate to, this is a book you won’t want to put down.

Secondly, I now have a much greater respect for our early ancestors for whom life is brutal, with the earth still spewing lava and ash and changing the landscape continuously. Food and water is scarce; game is eaten when opportunity presents itself, and there is a hierarchy which places man way behind some of the dominant predators of the day. Some of those predators are next generation humans such as man-who-preys and they hover on the horizon menacingly.

Lucy is a female, wise beyond her years and her species, who leaves her clan following a tragedy, to bring new blood to a devastated group. She is an early healer with a knowledge of plants that is invaluable to those she comes to care for, and an ability to track and hunt as well as a man. This does not endear her to other females in the group, but as the story evolves you understand that even in this brutal time, tenderness and friendship are still possible.

This is an amazing world that Jacquie Murray has carved out of an alien landscape.There is danger, adventure, tragedy and sacrifice. There is also humanity between species and the beginnings of an understanding of the symbiotic relationship with non-humans.

I came away with a sense of kinship with Lucy and the rest of the characters. So many of their traits were recognisable even two million years later. It is only recently that they have established that most of us who are Caucasian have a very small percentage of Neanderthal DNA. That makes this story all the more fascinating knowing that there is still a connection to those who lived through this treacherous time.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Born-Treacherous-Time-Nature-Book-ebook/dp/B07CTCR944

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Born-Treacherous-Time-Nature-Book-ebook/dp/B07CTCR944

Also by Jacqui Murray

Read all the reviews and buy the books:   Amazon Author Page US

And: Amazon UK

 Read more reviews and follow Jacqui on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/84832.Jacqui_Murray

About Jacqui Murray

Jacqui Murray is the webmaster for Worddreams, her blog about all things writing. She is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the upcoming prehistoric fiction, Born in a Treacherous Time. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for Ask a Tech Teacher an Amazon Vine Voice  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics.

Connect to Jacqui Murray

Blog: Worddreams,
Twitter: @WordDreams
GoodreadsJacqui Murray
PinterestAsk a Tech Teacher
Amazon author pageJacqui Murray
My writing websiteJacquiMurray.net

Thank you for visiting and I hope you have enjoyed my review of Jacqui Murray’s book and will read yourself. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Book Review – Past & Present: A Marketville Mystery by Judy Penz Sheluk


Welcome to the book review and this week I have read Past & Present: A Marketville Mystery by Judy Penz Sheluk

About Past & Present

Sometimes the past reaches out to the present…

It’s been thirteen months since Calamity (Callie) Barnstable inherited a house in Marketville under the condition that she search for the person who murdered her mother thirty years earlier. She solves the mystery, but what next? Unemployment? Another nine-to-five job in Toronto?

Callie decides to set down roots in Marketville, take the skills and knowledge she acquired over the past year, and start her own business: Past & Present Investigations.

It’s not long before Callie and her new business partner, best friend Chantelle Marchand, get their first client: a woman who wants to find out everything she can about her grandmother, Anneliese Prei, and how she came to a “bad end” in 1956. It sounds like a perfect first assignment. Except for one thing: Anneliese’s past winds its way into Callie’s present, and not in a manner anyone—least of all Callie—could have predicted.

My review for Past & Present

As a fan of the classic ‘whodunit’s’ from Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle, it is great to find an author who writes a mystery with plenty of opportunities to guess who the murderer is and still be surprised at the end.

Calamity Barnstable has gathered a team of experts in a number of fields such as genealogy and psychic phenomenon. Together they have been commissioned to solve a very cold case using what little public records available and a lot of seat of the pants guesswork. This first case for the investigative team has another wrinkle. The link between the client and Callie’s past.

The pace is gentle and if you did not read book one, Skeletons in the Attic, you will have plenty of time to catch up as the author refers back to the story as she introduces the new and returning characters and the formation of Past & Present Investigations. There is some romance, intrigue, family mystery and drama and also the development of the relationships between the members of the team. It will be interesting to see how that evolves in the next book in the series.

Clearly there was a great deal of research by the author in finding all the sources that the sleuths would have needed to access to obtain the clues needed to solve the case. And for anyone who is researching their family history, particularly in Canada, this story is also an excellent reference to where records are kept.

An enjoyable read and will please all mystery fans.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FYZ6HPF/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Past-Present-Judy-Penz-Sheluk-ebook/dp/B07FYZ6HPF/

Also by Judy Penz Sheluk

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Read the reviews and buy all the books: http://www.amazon.com/Judy-Penz-Sheluk/e/B00O74NX04

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Judy-Penz-Sheluk/e/B00O74NX04/

Read more reviews and follow Judy on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8602696.Judy_Penz_Sheluk

About Judy Penz Sheluk

 An Amazon International Bestselling Author, Judy Penz Sheluk’s debut mystery novel, The Hanged Man’s Noose, the first in the Glass Dolphin Mystery series, was published in July 2015. The sequel, A Hole In One, is scheduled for Spring 2018.

Skeletons in the Attic, Judy’s second novel, and the first in her Marketville Mystery series, was first published in August 2016 and re-released in December 2017. Past & Present, the sequel, is scheduled for early 2019.

Judy’s short crime and literary fiction appears in several collections.

In her less mysterious pursuits, Judy works as a freelance writer and editor; her articles have appeared regularly in dozens of U.S. and Canadian consumer and trade publications.

Past editorial responsibilities have included the roles of Senior Editor, Northeast Art & Antiques, Editor, Antiques and Collectibles Showcase, and Editor, Home Builder Magazine. She is currently the Senior Editor for New England Antiques Journal.

Judy is also a member of Sisters in Crime International, Sisters in Crime – Guppies, Sisters in Crime – Toronto, Crime Writers of Canada, International Thriller Writers, Inc. the South Simcoe Arts Council, and the Short Mystery Fiction Society. In addition, Judy has been elected to the 2017-18 Board of Directors for Crime Writers of Canada, as a Director, and as a Regional Representative for Toronto/Southern Ontario.

She lives in Alliston, Ontario, with her husband, Mike, and their golden retriever, Gibbs.

Connect to Judy

Blog: http://www.judypenzsheluk.com/
Facebook: https://business.facebook.com/JudyPenzSheluk/about/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JudyPenzSheluk

Smorgasbord Book Reviews – The Glowing Pigs: Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee by Teagan Riordain Geneviene


Delighted to share my review of the latest release from Teagan Riordain Geneviene which is a lovely story of about glowing pigs and a prequel to Atonement, Tennessee.

About The Glowing Pigs – Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee – A short book long on characters….

These snort stories are part of the “universe” of the urban fantasy town created by author Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene ― Atonement, Tennessee. They continue the adventures of the otherworldly pigs and the residents of the quirky town.

Like some of the other Atonement characters, the otherworldly glowing pigs were loosely inspired by the ancient myth of Gwydion fab Don. The pig-tales snuffle alongside the novels

Atonement, Tennessee and Atonement in Bloom at various points in the time-line.

The first snort (“Robin’s Great Chase”) is a prequel to all the Atonement stories. The story-line comes into play in the next novel, Atonement in Bloom, where the glowing pigs snuffle, snort, and grunt into action.

The glowing pigs are one small part of the quirky, supernatural town of Atonement, TN. However, they are the most likely to steal your heart.

My review for The Glowing Pigs.

This book is a short but delightful appetizer and prequel to Atonement, Tennessee. We get to meet Deme and Honeybell, two of the glowing pigs who live in the woods around Atonement. Their mistress is the beautiful Goewin, whose very sight, had the younger version of Robin Warden smitten for life. These mischievous little pigs… and I hold Deme entirely responsible as the ring leader, are always up for adventure, and over six stories we get to enjoy their escapades.

We also get to meet some of the main characters from Atonement, and discover their reasons for coming to this special town. Including the much younger Marge Tipton who becomes the local diner owner in the novel.

As a bonus Teagan Geneviene shares a story from her sequel, Atonement in Bloom, out later this year. When Glowing Pigs Fly is in honour of National Pig Day, when the little glowing creatures get to play with humans officially, rather than the sneaky visitations by Deme and Honeybell the rest of the year.

Children and adults alike would enjoy this sweet collection of stories.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GLTBDNH

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Glowing-Pigs-Stories-Atonement-Tennessee-ebook/dp/B07GLTBDNH/

Also by Teagan Riordain Geneviene

Read the reviews, buy the books : https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM

Read more reviews and follow Teagan on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13707141.Teagan_Geneviene

And here is the cover reveal for Atonement in Bloom coming soon to an Amazon near you…..

About Teagan Geneviene

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene lives in a major east coast city, but she calls the desert southwest home. She longs to return to those magical lands.

Teagan had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is colored by her experiences from living in the southern states and the southwest. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes cozy mysteries. Her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers.

Major influences include Agatha Christie, Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, and Charlaine Harris.

You can watch the trailers for Teagan’s books on Youtube

Connect to Teagan Geneviene

Blog: https://teagansbooks.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TeagansBooks/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/teagangeneviene

Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if your could spread the word about these delightful glowing pigs...

Smorgasbord Book Reviews – On Leopard Rock #Memoir – Wilbur Smith


As a life long fan of Wilbur Smith and having collected and read all his books, there is no way that I could not read his memoir. On Leopard Rock: A Life of Adventures

 

About On Leopard Rock: A Life of Adventures

The first ever memoir from the Number One global bestselling adventure author

Wilbur Smith has lived an incredible life of adventure, and now he shares the extraordinary true stories that have inspired his fiction.

“I’ve been writing novels for over fifty years. I was lucky enough to miss the big wars and not get shot, but lucky enough to grow up among the heroes who had served in them and learn from their example. I have lucked into things continuously. I have done things which have seemed appalling at the time,disastrous even, but out of them have come another story or a deeper knowledge of human character and the ability to express myself better on paper, write books which people enjoy reading.

Along the way, I have lived a life that I could never have imagined. I have been privileged to meet people from all corners of the globe, I have been wherever my heart has desired and in the process my books have taken readers to many, many places. I always say I’ve started wars, I’ve burned down cities, and I’ve killed hundreds of thousands of people – but only in my imagination!”

From being attacked by lions to close encounters with deadly reef sharks, from getting lost in the African bush without water to crawling the precarious tunnels of gold mines, from marlin fishing with Lee Marvin to near death from crash-landing a Cessna airplane, from brutal schooldays to redemption through writing and falling in love, Wilbur Smith tells us the intimate stories of his life that have been the raw material for his fiction. Always candid, sometimes hilarious, and never less than thrillingly entertaining, On Leopard Rock is testament to a writer whose life is as rich and eventful as his novels are compellingly unputdownable.

My review for On Leopard Rock.

They recommend that you write about your own experiences in life when starting out as a writer. And despite the early age that Wilbur Smith first put pen to paper, he had already racked up enough adventures to inspire several books.  l really enjoyed learning about his early life growing up in the African bush of the 1940s and 1950s. The  days when hunting was for food for the table not sport, not just the family’s, but also the people who worked the land with them from the local villages. Wilbur Smith the boy, along with his best friend would take off for the day, walking miles in search of elusive game, and still make it home for supper. Sometimes barely!  It was very different time and attracted some interesting characters from all walks of life to farm this rich land.

What also impressed me about Wilbur Smith’s approach to writing, was the commitment to researching each book meticulously, including spending time on a whaling ship, working side by side with workers in a gold mine, and immersing himself in the life he was portraying. I have read all of Wilbur Smith’s books; some of the earlier novels at least three times. I find my reading enjoyment has only deepened as my experience of the world has matured. Having read this memoir, I am looking forward to revisiting his books with a new perspective, one that respects the amount of time and thought that went into each and every one of them.

It was also fascinating to read about the 1960s in South Africa, in relation to Wilbur Smith’s books that were banned because of apartheid. I was in school in Cape Town at the time, and at that age didn’t really see the pervasive influence on all aspects of society that this produced. I read those banned books on our return to the UK when I was 11 years old little knowing that my school friends would be denied that pleasure for many years.

Apart from the stories about Africa, there are also other challenges during the writing process, and it would seem that dogged determination is also one of Wilbur Smith’s attributes. Hollywood it would seem is a jungle in its own right…

If you love the books of Wilbur Smith then I do recommend that you read this exciting adventure story that reads more like one of his novels than a non-fiction account of his life. There are thrills and danger, as well as inspiration for all writers to keep doing what you love, do it well and enjoy life to the full.

Read the reviews and buy the book in print and Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Leopard-Rock-Life-Adventures/dp/1499861249/

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Leopard-Rock-Life-Adventures/dp/1499861249/

A small selection of other books by Wilbur Smith.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Wilbur-Smith/e/B000APTHYK/

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.com/Wilbur-Smith/e/B000APTHYK/

About Wilbur Smith

Wilbur Smith was born in Central Africa in 1933. He was educated at Michaelhouse and Rhodes University. After the successful publication of WHEN THE LION FEEDS in 1964 he became a full-time writer, and has since written 30 novels, all meticulously researched on his numerous expeditions worldwide. His books have been translated into twenty-six different languages

Find out more about Wilbur Smith and all his books: http://www.wilbursmithbooks.com/

Thank you for dropping in today, and I hope that if you have not as yet read any of Wilbur Smith’s books then you will start now. It might take you a few years to read them all, but I am sure they will enrich your life as they have mine.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – #Book Review – The Contract by John W. Howell and Gwen Plano


I have recently read The Contract: Between Heaven and Earth by John W. Howell and Gwen Plano and here is my review.

About The Contract

The earth is threatened with a catastrophic political event which could result in international warfare and destroy all life on the planet. In heaven, a divine council decides that extraordinary measures are essential. They call for an intervention that involves two souls returning to earth. The chosen two sign a contract that they will work to avert the disaster.

Brad Channing, a Navy SEAL, and Sarah O’Brien, a teacher, become heaven’s representatives on earth. The story follows them as they individually and then together face overwhelming obstacles and eventually end up on a strategic Air Force base in California. It is there that they discover a conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States. The terrorists have a plan for global dominance and they are determined to complete their mission. Although military leadership appears to have the President’s best interests at heart, it is not clear who can be trusted and who should be feared. The action is rough and tumble as Brad and Sarah try to figure out the culprits for the plot that will turn into a worldwide conflagration unless stopped.

If you enjoy thrillers, this is one with enough twists and adventure to keep you riveted and guessing. If you like your thriller along with a good romance, Brad and Sarah’s initial attraction and eventual love will sustain you as they live out their heavenly and earthly desires. A Great summer read.

My review for the book

The Contract is a fusion of fantasy, thriller and romance and is the debut novel of the new collaboration between John. W. Howell and Gwen Plano.

I have read all of John Howell’s books and enjoyed, so I was eager to find out how these two popular writers would rise to the challenge of collaborating.

The concept is intriguing, and the opening chapter sets out this well, with the introduction to two souls, who had little time on earth to enjoy their love of each other. They are tasked by the divine council with preventing a major catastrophe on earth that could threaten mankind, but it will mean that they will be separated and have no memory of their task. Their hosts are two people with the knowledge and skill set to overcome the threat, but they are thousands of miles apart and both in mortal danger.

The writers do a good job of bringing these two characters together; now infused with the souls who have been contracted to neutralise the upcoming disaster. Watched and abetted  by guardian angels, their relationship begins with subterfuge, but quickly becomes attraction, and then love strong enough to take them through to the end of their endeavour.

This love story runs parallel to the fast escalation of violence and intrigue that reveals hidden agendas and treason in high places. The story has a good pace and there is plenty of action to keep the thriller lovers engaged with a number of surprising twists and turns in the plot along the way.

The final confrontation is a fitting climax to the story, bringing together all the players and their roles in the conspiracy, in an action packed battle of good against evil.

I am sure that this writing duo will go from strength to strength following this creative and exciting debut.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Contract-between-heaven-earth/dp/0996911588/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Contract-between-heaven-earth-ebook/dp/B07CZQ8WKH/

About the authors – John W. Howell

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon.

The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. John’s fourth book Circumstances of Childhood, launched in October of 2017 tells a thriller story of riches to rags, football, Wall Street, brotherly love, redemption, and inspiration with a touch of paranormal to keep you riveted. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

You can find out more about John on his website: https://johnwhowell.com/

Books by John Howell


 Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/John-W.-Howell/e/B00HMRWO6C

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/John-W.-Howell/e/B00HMRWO6C

Read more reviews and follow John on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell

About Gwen Plano

Gwen M. Plano, aka Gwendolyn M. Plano, grew up in Southern California and spent most of her professional life in higher education. She taught and served as an administrator in colleges in Japan, New York, Connecticut, and California. Gwen’s academic background is in theology and counseling. Recently retired, she now lives in the Midwest with her husband and enjoys writing and travel.

Gwen’s first book is an acclaimed memoir, Letting Go into Perfect Love. Her second book, The Contract between heaven and earth, is a thriller fiction novel, co-authored by John W. Howell. It is available now for pre-order. Author Jan Sikes read the manuscript and wrote that “The Contract is the perfect blending between the physical and unseen world with unbreakable bonds between human and spirit.”

You can find out more about Gwen on her website: http://www.gwenplano.com/

Also by Gwen Plano

Read some of the reviews for the book: https://www.amazon.com/Letting-into-Perfect-Love-Extraordinary-ebook/dp/B00K7WYTW6/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Letting-into-Perfect-Love-Extraordinary-ebook/dp/B00K7WYTW6/

Read more reviews and follow Gwen on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7341478.Gwendolyn_M_Plano

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that you will read The Contract and enjoy.. Thanks Sally