Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 10th – 16th October 2021 – Crows, Robins, Diana Ross, Relationships, Stories, Reviews, Health and Humour


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

I hope all is well with you. Quite a bit going on around here with spare parts for the wood burner, tiles to replace cracked ones and other bits and pieces arriving daily. We are still waiting on those who will be installing topsoil, lawn, fixing said wood burner and chimney sweeping but early days yet… no fixed day or week was mentioned in negotiations! When we can ‘fit you in’ seems to be the common phrase you wait patiently.  David will be fixing the tiles himself during the redecoration process so no mystery there.

An earlier photo of Charlie

We believe that Charlie has been back in the garden. We noticed a crow, slightly bigger which is to be expected, but with the same mottled grey markings foraging under the bird feeder, accompanied by a friend. He still has trouble flying but managed to clear the hedge and perch on a telephone line. What made us think it was Charlie was that he wiped his beak from side to side on the line. Because his beak was damaged he did that after eating so we are hoping it was him.

Other than that I am making progress on the writing front and you can read an example in the post that Jane Risdon kindly shared this week…with an excerpt from the next collection.

I was the guest of author Jane Risdon who shared my short story, Miss Lloyd’s Robin, from the new collection due out at the end of the year… I hope you will head over to read.. Thanks to Jane for also showcasing Life is Like a Mosaic…

Guest of author Jane Risdon with a short story

This week William Price King, D.G. Kaye and Daniel Kemp contributed their expertise in the form of music, relationships and humour… they are amazing. Thanks to you for dropping in and the support during the week.. it keeps me motivated.

On with the show

Chart Hits 1980 Part One – Christopher Cross, Dionne Warwick, Diana Ross, Queen

D. G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships – October 2021 – No Contact – The Breaking Point

Walter – Lost and Alone by Sally Cronin

What’s in a Name? – Xenia – Beloved by Sally Cronin

#TankaProse – The Hunter’s Moon by Sally Cronin Posted

New Review #Fantasy #Adventure – The Ferryman and the Sea Witch by D.Wallace Peach

Memories, Music and Movies – 1966 – Manfred Mann, kittens and Georgy Girl

Podcast – Turning Back the Clock – The Hormone Factor Part Two – by Sally Cronin

Women’s Health – The Heart and Stress by Sally Cronin

Weekly Grocery Shopping List by Nutrient – Part Two – Vitamin C to K2 by Sally Cronin

#Finance – Absolutely Necessary Expenses by Sharon Marchisello

#FlashFiction The Last Ride of the Night by D.L. Finn

Do You Know What To Do When One Of Your Blog Posts Gets Reblogged? Hugh W. Roberts

#Offer Marcia Meara, #Teaching Pete Springer, #Writers D.G. Kaye, #RoundUp Carol Taylor, #Halloween John Howell.

Thursday October 14th 2021 – #Humour Joy Lennick, #Interview Terry Tyler, #Booklaunch Mae Clair with Joan Hall.

Smorgasbord Children’s Reading Room – Book Review – Drystan the Dragon and Friends Series, Book 6: Dragana Helps a Fairy by Janice Spina

New Author on the Shelves – #Portugal – #Memoir – Another Day in Paradise by Karen Telling

New Book on the Shelves – #Paranormal, #UrbanFantasy, #Shortstories -Things Old and Forgotten by Mae Clair

#Reviews – #Menopause D.G. Kaye, #Mennonite Marian Longenecker Beaman, #Comingofage Bette A. Stevens

#History #NorthernIreland Jane Buckley, #Mystery James J. Cudney, #SouthernCulture Claire Fullerton

#History #JewishFiction Eva Hnizdo, #Fantasy Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, #Poetry Balroop Singh

October 12th 2021 -Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Funny Bone and Famous Last Words

October 14th 2021 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp – Recovery Time and Lost in Translation

 

Thanks for dropping in and I hope you have enjoyed the week… thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 3rd – 9th October 2021 – James Bond, 1979 Hits, Green Kitchen, Stories, Book Reviews, Bloggers, Health and Humour


Welcome to the round up of post you might have missed during the week here on Smorgasbord.

We have been busy enough around here with final end of summer jobs in the garden… more topsoil and the turf coming in next week to complete the lawn work in the front of the house.. and then we finish the back in the next month. They need to be done before we put the house on the market next year and then we can start on the redecoration inside… it is five years since we did the last round and it needs freshening up.

We have been talking about where we go next, it will still be in Ireland and we are leaning towards the coast between Wexford and Waterford giving us access to both of them but still in a rural or coastal location if possible. The motorway that now goes all the way from Dublin to Wexford is to be extended on to Waterford in the next few years and that will make it very much easier to travel that southern coast.

My mother’s family originate from a small hamlet called Ballinacura in cork. Having managed last year to gain access to some records from the 1820s, it looks like the men in the family were pilots who would row out to ships and bring them into harbour. They also worked on the river.. When we move we are going to explore further in person which is much more effective. David’s family moved to Waterford from Cork and so we both have our origins there.

Just a note about the next couple of months. I am in writing mode at the moment and so I am scheduling non time sensitive posts out two weeks or so. If you are in the Cafe and Bookstore and have a new book due to be released.. either on pre-order or available in the next month or so, please email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com so I can put a date in the diary to share the news.

 

We went to see No Time To Die the latest Bond film on Wednesday. It is a long film 2hour 45 minutes but it is action packed and the time flew by. It was certainly a great send off for Daniel Craig as James Bond and tied off quite a few loose ends with some surprises along the way. We had recently rewatched Spectre and this film picks up where the story left off . I still think Skyfall was the best of his films but can recommend this to all Bond fans and it will be interesting who picks up the 007 designation next.  Here is the official trailer courtesy of James Bond 007  

Gwen Plano shared her reviews for three poetry collections in a lovely feature this week and I was in great company with Elizabeth Gauffreau and Colleen Chesebro...

I hope you will pop over to read Gwen’s reviews: Gwen Plano – Reviews for Colleen, Liz and Sally

This week William Price King, Carol Taylor and D.G. Kaye have done an amazing job with their contributions and so grateful to everyone who has visited, liked, commented and shared the posts.

And congratulations to contributor to the laughter series Malcolm Allen and his long term partner Sarah who married earlier in the week. Here is a lovely photograph of the occasion.

On with the show

Chart Hits 1979 Part Two – Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand, Earth Wind and Fire, Abba and Dire Straits

Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen – October 2021 – Yeast Free Raisin and Cinnamon bread, Hair Conditioner, Fabric softener, World Food Day

Usher Taking Things for Granted

Vanessa – In a Dilemma

1965 – Lancashire – The Sound of Music – Something Good and The Lonely Goatherd

Turning Back the Clock – The Hormone Factor Part One – by Sally Cronin

#Anthology – The Shadows We Breathe (volume 1) Edited by Sarah Brentyn and contributing authors

New Review #Memoir – Flashes of Life: True Tales of the Extraordinary Ordinary by Pamela S. Wight

Book Reviews Rewind – #Children’s #Adventure – Felix Finds Out by Elizabeth Merry

September Recap – #Children Dawn Doig, #Dogs Andrew Cotter, #Fantasy Richard Dee, #Poetry Annette Rochelle Aben, #Murder #Mystery Sharon Marchisello

Weekly Grocery Shopping List by Nutrient – Part One – Vitamins A – B by Sally Cronin

Meet My Best Friend San by D.G. Kaye

The amazing Jennie Fitzkee who delights us with her stories from her classroom came to the attention of the producers of the Kelly Clarkson Show and that began a wonderful adventure with the culmination in Jennie’s appearance on the show.

Jennie Fitzkee is a guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show..

How To Write The Perfect Titles For All Your Blog Posts #BloggingTips by Hugh W. Roberts

#Writing and our #Health by D.L. Finn… on Story Empire

#Finance -Squeeze the Most out of Your Money – Part 1 by Sharon Marchisello

Tuesday October 5th 2021- #Connections Jane Sturgeon, #Cats Nikki Fries, #Food Carol Taylor, #Launch Chris Hall and Elizabeth Gauffreau, #Revews Diana Peach

Thursday 7th October 2021 – #Haunting Rebecca Budd, #Reviews Sandra Cox, #Interview Melanie Stewart with Sharon Marchisello, #Update and #Llamas Mary Smith, #OracleCards D.G. Kaye

Old Dog Tray by Sarah Taylor

New Author on the Shelves – #Historical #Witchcraft – Bitter Magic by Nancy Kilgore

Word Weaving #1: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse – The Moons of Autumn. – Colleen Chesebro and other Poets

#Reviews – #Fantasy M.J. Mallon, #Poetry Elizabeth Gauffreau, #Suspense Joan Hall

#Reviews – #Fantasy Yvette Calliero, #Romance #Mystery Mae Clair, #western #romance Sandra Cox

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines Extra Rewind- Courtroom funnies host Sally Cronin

October 7th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Baked Beans and Great Expectations

 

Thanks for dropping in today and hope you have enjoyed the posts.. please join me again next week… Sally.

Smorgasbord Coffee Morning – Bring a Guest – Meet My Best Friend San by D.G. Kaye


Today a story of friendship that has thrived despite distance and pandemics for over forty years Debby Gies brings her best friend Sanja to coffee.

Meet My Best Friend San by D.G. Kaye

Today I’d like to introduce you all to my best friend Sanja, a.k.a., Zan, who you may recognize her name from some of my books. Sanja, pronounced – like ‘S’ plus ‘on’, plus ‘yaw’. I call her San (sounding like sand without the ‘d’) and when I call her by her full name, I pronounce it as San Ja, as in ‘jaw’. You will learn later how we love to make up new words.

We’ve been friends since we were both nineteen years old. That’s a long time, but then again, never enough. I met San when I moved away from home and worked part time in the building I was living in at the Recreation Center. I was the receptionist and gatekeeper of law and order of the gym, and San was a part time lifeguard up at the pool. After a few shifts together and one very quiet day at the Center, I buzzed up to the pool to ask her a question, and we blabbed away most of our shift. That was the beginning of our lifelong friendship.

This photo is us in our early twenties. Me with my blond hair streaked more blond and San with her natural hair color – until we changed our colors.

I should actually write a book about us and our shenanigans through the decades together, and most likely I will, but for now I’ll talk about how San became my ‘person’ in life through thick and thin, and how even an ocean that has separated us geographically for the last twenty-eight years never hindered our connection.

I grew up in a world of ‘colorful’ characters in my mother’s circles and with very conservative Orthodox Jews on my father’s side, despite my father never living his life as a conservative Jew. So that spectrum of my life was a total oxymoron when it came to family. I was a precocious, inquisitive, clever and street-wise child from a young age.

Because my mother was a social butterfly, barely home, we spent way too much time at our paternal grandparents’ growing up, a good ‘dump off’ spot for my mother. There was nothing Jewish about our family other than we were, and we went to synagogue with our dad and grandparents on all the high holidays out of respect for my dominating grandparents. Back at home we ate bacon and pork (although I personally no longer eat pork, as a choice, not religion) and my dad (when he was ever living with us), loved to order in Chinese Food or Pizza. I look back and it isn’t difficult to see how dysfunctional my family always was. And the funniest part was my, not even fully Jewish mother, who never had time to mother, had made it clear to me that I could only date Jewish guys. LMAO.

Okay, maybe I digressed here, but I had to set the setting to how my friend San turned my life into a 180.

Where I grew up, I only ever knew Jewish people. Exceptions were some of those ‘colorful’ characters I mentioned earlier in my mother’s gambling and racetrack circles. Heck, even my high school was 99 point something percent Jewish. After my tumultuous homelife and my parents’ many break ups, they finally divorced when I was sixteen. Two years later, my dad decided to sell our family home. My Aunty Sherry (my mother’s sister, and more my mother to me than my own mother), who happened to be a rental agent for a popular apartment complex mid-town in the city, hatched a plan with my father, to set me up on my own, to set me free from my mother’s rule, and allow me to experience life. My aunt got me a primo apartment and my dad paid my rent for two years until I could get myself sorted in what I wanted to do or be in life.

Enter San. There was an instant connection with us that first day we yacked for hours together at work. San, too, came from a somewhat dysfunctional family life, and that may have been the first thing we bonded over. Despite us being the same age (I’m actually 5 months older), I always look up to her like an older sister, sometimes even as a mother. I remember always feeling safe with her, safe to say anything, and protected. San was and is very nurturing and tactile, she’s warm and loving to everyone. When she enters a room, there’s a light that just puts her right in it. Despite the fact she’s physically beautiful, her heart and soul are equally beautiful, and she can often be the loudest one in the room. I warn, put us together and you will have a party. Until I met San, I’d grown up afraid of my mother, afraid to ask questions (I’d seek them out in other ways), zero talking about birds and bees, and the words “I love you” were not common practice anywhere in my life.

San introduced me to a whole new world of friends, and of living. And she taught me what unconditional love meant and taught me it was okay to tell people I loved them – something which felt most difficult to say all my life. She had/has many pet names for me and would often hug me and tell me she loved me. Oh, it felt so weird in the beginning, and of course, I felt so comfortable talking to her like I never had with anyone in my life until that point – not even my Aunty Sherry. I couldn’t tell my aunt my deepest feelings, for fear her allegiance to my mother would have her share anything noteworthy.

This photo was taken at one of girl get-togethers we do when Sanja comes home, about four years ago. This is my tribe. From left to right is me, Al, San, and my other bestie Anna, better known in my books as Bri.

San brought me into her world of close friends, who ultimately became my tribe of friends too. And as we grew and had various jobs, we’d both meet new people we’d introduce to each other, and our circle of friends grew. Only two people were Jewish in my wonderful new circle of multi-cultural friends, and I was loving and enjoying life. My first real best friend San is from the formerly known – Yugoslavia, now known as Croatia, and I fell in love with dating Italian men. I was introduced to a new world of diversity and I was never so happy.

I’d taken the opportunity to go back to university while my dad was helping me out and San was going to ‘beauty school’ to become an aesthetician. We remained working at the Rec Center a few more years, part time and Saturdays. And she made a damn fine aesthetician at that career, and magically, I had my own personal manicurist. San also taught me how to apply eye-shadow – PROPERLY. And she gave me the big thumbs down one time she caught me experimenting with BLUE eyeshadow. She still reminds me about that decades later. So, my best friend, sister/mother, social director, teacher of love was the pinnacle of my new life.

Through the years in our twenties, both San and I had active social lives, together, and in our own other various groups of friends. Her then fiancé and eventual first husband Jake lived in my building at the time with his parents while they were dating. Needless to say, San and Jake pretty much hung out at my place in our early years, as I was the one with my own place and they both still lived at home.

Our lives were full and exciting, and despite how busy our lives were, we were always together for everything that mattered. I had lost my father, both my grandparents and my Aunty Sherry in that first decade on my own, and besides always being by my side for life’s up and down’s, nursing me back to mental health on several occasions, San was always there to put me back together.

This photo was taken in the late eighties, just before I turned into a redhead. We were at a party.

The years passed and nothing separated us, not even San’s first two marriages. Husbands knew I was an appendage to San, and we still remained besties and there for each other always. Until that fateful day when San was going through some hardship of her own, she serendipitously met her soon to be third husband, only, he was visiting Toronto on business, and he lived in the U.K. In a whirlwind love affair, and after only a few short months of serious dating – flying back and forth to the U.K., among other amazing trips Tray took San on to some exotic places in the world, San announced she’s selling her house and moving to the U.K. with Tray. If I didn’t know heartache yet, and I had had plenty by then, I knew what a broken heart felt like way back then, but the pain of feeling your losing your best friend, confidante, mother, sister, all rolled in one, was almost too much to bear. After almost fifteen years of being attached to my best friend, she was leaving me, or so I thought, because that’s how it felt.

We never lost touch, and our friendship survived an ocean between us. We called each other every few weeks, and twice a year since she moved away, she’d fly back home to Toronto to visit me, her sister, and her parents, as well as get together with as many friends as time would allow.

Just before I met my George, and just after a nasty, abusive relationship that took me seven years to get out of prior to meeting George, San called me and told me to get a plane ticket and come on down for the big 50th birthday bash she was making for Tray. She elaborated by telling me that two days after the party, we’d be heading to Paris for a few days while Tray had business there. I laughed out loud and asked her if she’s crazy, as though I could just jaunt off to U.K., let alone Paris, after finally booting out my extra source of income and in-between jobs, with not much money on hand. But that wasn’t an issue, and San made it clear. “Just get a plane ticket darling, that’s all you need.” That was and is my San.

The party/Paris trip wasn’t my first visit to San’s. I’d already visited twice prior. Once she toured me around London and we shopped ‘til we dropped everywhere we went. Another time she’d called me up with the same chat – “Just book a plane ticket to London, that’s all you need.” Her and two British friends had rented a villa in the Algarve, Portugal and Zan towed me along. But Paris. Paris was ours, and a place we left our footprints (our voices) everywhere we went. People didn’t know who we were, yet, they were fascinated by us.
We laugh all the time, near or far. San is medicine for the soul. We’ve also created quite an extensive vocabulary of nonsensical words through the years with our silly humor. Most of these words were spoken in error or haste that ultimately turned into ‘our words’.

Here’s an example of how this happens: The word ‘Tomania’, that one came from me. Whenever we say bye on the phone, we always say we’ll talk tomorrow. I have a habit of saying ‘manana’ for tomorrow, the Spanish word. I was trying to say I’d speak to her tomorrow when I conjoined manana and tomorrow and tomania came out of my mouth. We both cracked up and have officially replaced the word ‘tomorrow’ with ‘tomania’ now. We have only to look at each other and burst out laughing. All the words we’ve invented together didn’t involve any deep thinking, rather words that came out of our mouths incorrectly, that were pronounced incorrectly and sounded funny at the time, becoming our list of ‘words’, words that have accumulated through the decades and which we still use in conversation. I could list off a bunch more to you, but without knowing the background context behind about how the words evolved from a random moment of hilarity, they’d lose their flavor writing them here now.

I would be remiss if I didn’t show a pic of me, San and her/our handsome son Jay who, until the last visit three years ago, came along with his mom to Canada every visit.

Until Covid came along, San visited back home here once and sometimes twice a year since she moved away. Her parents are no longer alive, so she stays between my home and her sister’s. I hadn’t been back to the U.K. to visit there in some years as I didn’t want to leave my husband for any long period of time, and ironically, my husband had no interest to be anywhere other than North America or on a cruise ship.

During my husband’s health decline, and his ultimate passing, I never needed my best friend more in my life. Covid wouldn’t allow her to come here. The best we could do was use Whatsapp. That woman called/calls me every single solitary day since last fall. It didn’t matter that I kept telling her, ‘I have to go, I have to take George to the washroom, I have to make him some food, I have to …….’, it didn’t matter. She’d tell me to put the phone down and she’d carry on doing whatever she was doing, but she was staying there with me. And she did, and still does for a few hours every day.

Since my husband’s passing, we still talk once and twice a day, as I’ve been anxiously awaiting her arrival to Canada. Hopefully, she’ll finally be coming here around mid-October She will stay with me for a bit, then we will drive up north to stay with her sister for a few weeks and I will finally be flying back with her to stay at her place in Kent to take a distance from the pandemonium life I’ve been living this past year.

Hopefully, I’ll get to visit with as many as my British friends as I can while there, and then we are going to dash off to Spain to make some new memories!

I hope you enjoyed learning about how my best friend San came to be. It just goes to prove that no distance or time can break a true, love relationship. Thanks for reading my story.

©DGKaye2021

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.

I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:

“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

“For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

Books by D.G. Kaye

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – follow Debby: Goodreads

Connect to Debby Gies – Blog: D.G. Kaye Writer – About me: D.G. Kaye – Twitter: @pokercubster Linkedin: D.G. Kaye – Facebook: D.G. Kaye – Instagram: D.G. Kaye – Pinterest: D.G. Kaye

 

Thanks to Debby for sharing this wonderful and enduring friendship with Sanja.. if we are lucky we will all have that one special person who has been with us through the highs and lows of our lives.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – September 5th -11th 2021 – Crow Tales, Contributions, Chart Hits, Book Reviews, Podcast, Short Stories, Health and Humour


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

Hope you are all doing okay….Another week and already the second week of September. They joke about time speeding up as you get older seems to be true. Either that or I am losing the plot!

Update on Charlie the Crow (Rook)

Charlie has become more independent and is flying better and in fact the last couple of nights he has found himself a roost, we think in the hedge which is very thick around the back garden but enables him to climb up into the top branches out of the way of cats.

However, his beak is still not opening fully and finding food difficult.. so he arrives in front of the kitchen window looking expectant. He manages soft stuff and his favourite is seeded bread and butter, cut up in small pieces and soaked in raw egg or a half piece buttered that he can stand on and peck away..  Soft crumbly fat balls are acceptable as is a small pile of meal worms. No wonder he has put some weight on.

He took his first bath earlier in the week and has been going for a daily dip which is very important to improve the condition of his feathers and despite his beak problems is starting to preen a little.

Anyway.. I took some photos yesterday when he enjoyed a piece of bread and butter.

Denise Finn very kindly shared her recent review for Life is Like a Mosaic in a post, and I was in great company with Jacqui Murray and two of her books that I can also highly recommend.

D.L. Finn September Reviews Part 1

William Price King has returned from his summer break in the mountains and lovely to have him back. Carol Taylor gave us a lot to think about and a wonderful bread recipe in The Green Kitchen and Debby Gies and Malcolm Allen have brought smiles to our faces. As always very grateful for their contributions… Thanks to you for all your support and comments.. they do make my day.

Chart Hits 1977 – Part Two – Stevie Wonder, Manhattan Transfer, Elton John, Barbra Streisand

Banana Bread, Neem Oil, Homemade Beehive, Lemongrass, Snail Mail, Cider Vinegar and Reef Shampoo

Martha – The System Administrator by Sally Cronin

Norman An Old Soldier

Turning Back the Clock – The Guidelines by Sally Cronin and Kelli Brett

If you have five minutes to spare.. there is another short story – The Psychic Parrot on my podcast

Dogs #Mountains #Humour – Olive, Mabel and Me: Life and Adventures with Two Very Good Dogs by Andrew Cotter

Book Reviews Rewind – #Scottish #Historical – Fireflies and Chocolate by Ailish Sinclair

robbie a ghost and his gold

Book Reviews Rewind – #Paranormal #Historical #BoerWar A Ghost and his Gold by Roberta Eaton Cheadle.

Colleen Chesebro’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge Tanka Prose

Authors Pamela S. Wight and her guest Amy M. Reade

Authors in the Sun – #Hawaii #Family The Dolphin by D.L. Finn

#Influencers – A Tribute to One of My Role Models by Pete Springer

Tuesday 7th September 2021 – Patricia Furstenberg, Darlene Foster, Robbie Cheadle, Rebecca Budd, Terry Tyler, Jan K. Sikes

Thursday 9th September 2021 – D.G. Kaye, Elizabeth Gauffreau, Jim Borden, Pete Springer, Carol Taylor

Main-parts-of-the-Brain-72dpi

Women’s Health Month – Hormones and the Endocrine System by Sally Cronin

New Book on the Shelves – Age 6-12- A Cat Named Lump: 48 Poetic Tummy Turners by B.C. Byron

New Book on the Shelves – #Scifi #Adventure – The Great Between (Happy Tales Young Reader Collection) by Doug Parker

New Author on the Shelves – #AlternateHistory Shakespeare’s Twin Sister by Richard Seltzer

#Reviews – #Fantasy Jan Sikes, #Historical Ailish Sinclair, #Poetry Balroop Singh

#Reviews – #Dystopian Teri Polen, #Mystery Amy M. Reade, #Historical V.M. Sang

#Dystopian #thriller Terry Tyler, #Fantasy D.Wallace Peach, #Shortstories Sian Turner

September 7th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Diet Tips and Life Observations

The Irish View on Life, Bars, Accents and Heaven and Hell with Sally Cronin

September 10th 2021 – Malcolm Allen – Confession and Operation

 

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

Smorgasbord Coffee Morning – Bring a Guest – Authors Pamela S. Wight and her guest Amy M. Reade


Recently I ran a series Public Relations for Authors which focused on how we are perceived by those who view our profile photographs, biographies and presence on social media. This included guest posts on other writer’s blogs. Here is an opportunity to not only promote your own blog or books, but those of someone you admire as well.

Is there an inspiring individual, blogger or an author you would like to give a boost to who might enjoy joining you for a coffee and a piece of cake with us all?

Details on how to participate are at the end of this next post in the series.

Today author Pamela S. Wight has brought fellow writer Amy M. Reade as her guest and I am sure you will enjoy joining them for a cup of coffee.

Pamela and Amy on their 2021 annual meet up..

Introduction by Pamela S. Wight

Reading the post about Darlene and Nancy, how they met, and how they support each other, gave me the idea of including Amy Reade as my guest. Authors Darlene Foster and Nancy Blodgett Klein

Amy and I have read each other’s blogs for years. Then, about six years ago I realized that Amy lives near the town where I vacation with my family once a year in Ocean City, NJ. (It’s a 7-hour journey for my family-crew, which includes daughter and SIL, three grandchildren, and any friends they bring along.)

So I e-mailed Amy and basically said, “hey, I’m in your neck-of-the-woods (more like water) in August. Would love to meet for a cup of tea/coffee during that week if you’re available and interested.” Amy replied immediately, and for the past five summers we’ve met at a casual lunch spot and shared writing tips/worries/publishing woes &successes/blogging fun & suggestions over our grilled cheese and iced drinks (oh, and yes, perhaps over a French fry or two). We usually meet about mid-week of my time with active, high-energy grandkids and too much sun and biking and walking the beaches, so for me, that lunch break is a needed and appreciated breath of (ocean) air.

Amy and her story of how she became a (successful) published author inspires and awes me. She was a lawyer by trade but after starting a family, wondered if this was truly the right career for her. So with single-mindedness and dedication, she began a career in writing instead (calling herself a recovering attorney). Her first books were published by a “mainstream” publisher under the genre of Gothic mystery/Gothic suspense (three of them as the Malice Series) and three standalone novels under the genre of contemporary gothic.

She then stretched out to become an Indie author so she’d have more ability to write the kinds of books and series that she choose. Along came Cape Menace, the first of her Cape May Historical Mystery Collection, and her wonderful Juniper Junction Holiday Mystery Series, cozy mysteries that I read the minute each one comes out – five so far.

So, see why Amy inspires me to keep going in my own writing? To believe in our ability to shine as independent authors? Read any of her books, and you’ll be inspired also.

About Amy M. Reade

Amy M. Reade is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling mystery author who practiced law until she realized it was way more fun writing fiction.

She writes cozy and Gothic mysteries under the name Amy M. Reade and historical mysteries under the name A.M. Reade. She lives in New Jersey with her family and loves reading, cooking, traveling, playing with the dog, quilling, counted cross-stitch, chocolate, wine, and cheese, though not necessarily in that order.

If you’re looking for her and she’s not in her office, check the kitchen. If she’s not there, she’s definitely in the laundry room.

A selection of books by Amy M. Reade

One of the recent reviews for Mayday

Iris Chacon 5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous return to the Juniper Springs family & friends  Reviewed in the United States on July 16, 2021

Lilly Carlson has planned the perfect wedding for her brother to her best friend. It’s in beautiful Colorado on a gorgeous spring day, the 1st of May. “Mayday” takes on additional meaning, however, when a plane buzzes the party then crashes nearby. Then the caterer’s murdered body is discovered, placing everyone present under suspicion. While her brother is away on his honeymoon, Lilly will find all kinds of trouble and danger as she tries to unravel May Day’s tragic events.

The great fun and mystery of this novel is even better because the reader comes home again to the quaint town of Juniper Springs and the characters we love from previous books by Amy M Reade. If this is your first Juniper Springs holiday novel, you’ll want to read them all. And soon!  

Read the reviews and buy the books : Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Blog: Amy Reade WordPress Goodreads: Amy Reade Goodreads – Twitter: @readeandwrite

About Pamela S. Wight

Pamela Wight is a successful author of romantic suspense novels as well as two illustrated children’s book, BIRDS OF PARADISE and MOLLY FINDS HER PURR, enjoyed by readers ages 3 to 93.

Her first book, THE RIGHT WRONG MAN, got rave reviews for taking readers “on an exciting adventure with lots of intrigue, unexpected plot twists, and romance.” A year later, Wight published her second novel, TWIN DESIRES. “Lots of suspense, plot twists, romance, and excellent character development makes this a fun read!”

The gorgeously illustrated BIRDS OF PARADISE, finalist in the 2018 International Book Awards, has received many enthusiastic reviews: “This creative, compassionate story about birds will inspire children to notice the everyday adventures of backyard birds.”

Wight’s second picture book, MOLLY FINDS HER PURR, published Fall, 2019, follows Molly the Cat, who can’t find any friends. And almost worse, she can’t find her purr. After looking for friendship in all the wrong places, Molly learns that making friends is as easy as looking up in the trees and on the ground, where other lonely creatures are hiding in plain sight. Whether hard-shelled or soft as a bunny, everyone needs friendships that help them find their purr.

Pamela earned her Master’s in English from Drew University, continued with postgraduate work at UC Berkeley in publishing, and teaches creative writing classes in Boston and San Francisco.

She lives in the Boston area with her “right man” and hikes the New England trails while concocting her stories. Wight travels frequently to the San Francisco Bay area for additional inspiration. She speaks to book clubs, schools, and libraries in both locations.

Books by Pamela S. Wight

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One of the recent reviews for Flashes of Life

“Flashes of Life” is a charming collection of real-life tales. Ms. Wight shares micro-stories that are broken into eight sections and come from all stages of her life. Each one is a quick read that touches on everyday life. I could relate to each story. I found myself shaking my head in agreement with some of these tales, and a couple had me laughing out loud. I appreciated the gratitude weaved in, and it left me pondering on my blessings. The well-crafted writing brought me into Ms. Wight’s world, and I felt like I was sitting next to her on the beach, talking about life. A fantastic glimpse into the world of a daughter, mother, wife, friend, and grandmother. I highly recommend reading about these “extraordinary ordinary” tales!

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

I hope to hear from you with the information about your guest and your work (if you have not been featured here before).. thanks Sally.

Some ideas of the guests you might bring to coffee.

  • An author you have just read for the first time who you would like to introduce us to.
  • A blogger who is very supportive of your own blog or books.
  • A new blogger who you would like to showcase
  • An author or blogger who inspires you and your work.
  • A blogger who goes out of their way to support others by reviewing books and promoting on social media.
  • Someone in the public eye who is inspirational to others in medicine, charity, education, who has overcome challenges to succeed.
  • Anyone you feel deserves a boost.

The format of the post

  • An introduction by you of around 200 to 400 words about your guest. Be creative and tell a good story
  • Their photograph, biography, Amazon or book links and if you have them their social media links. I will find if not.
  • Your photo, biography, Amazon or blog links and social media links (if you are in the Cafe and Bookstore I will have those).

Send your introduction and the links to sally.cronin@moyhill.com and we can sort out a date to air your post.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 22nd – 28th August 2021 – Out and About, ABBA, Book Reviews, Children’s Books, Short Stories, Health and Humour


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

A week of sunny weather which we have enjoyed very much, so sorry that some places in the world are still experiencing the extreme heat and bush fire risk as well as on the other side of the coin.. severe flooding. It has been an opportunity to get weather related jobs down on the outside of the house and in the garden although I can only claim supervisory and catering responsibilities for the work!  Everything looks so much brighter with a new coat of paint…including he who wields the brush!

Charlie Update

The young crow we are rehabilitating is enjoying luxury accommodation at night with a running buffet of rice, raw egg, tuna in sunflower oil and meal worms.. (dead thank goodness).. He is eating well now despite his beak still not opening fully, and we know this by the amount of poop evident in the morning that requires cleaning.

He now has much more energy and we put what food is left in his dish out in the back garden near the bird feeders and whereas in the early days he would scuttle off if starlings or sparrows came near it, he is now defending his bowl and chasing them off. He still makes funny noises and we think he might be mimicking the chickens next door…

It is strange to see this lone crow surrounded by starlings and sparrows as they forage for seed I sprinkle on the ground but they seem to accept his squawk is worse than his peck.

He has put on weight and is attempting to fly from spots he has found in the garden that offer him some elevation. Hopefully another couple of weeks of food, rest and activity during the day he will be ready to take to the skies.

A very special week as for me as a writer, with reviews for Life is Like a Mosaic being shared. Every review I receive is such a gift. I know how many books are waiting patiently on everyone’s TBRs and so grateful when time is found to read mine. So huge thanks to Robbie Cheadle, Diana Wallace Peach and Toni Pike for their features this week they have boosted my confidence no end.

Robbie Cheadle – Robbie’s Inspiration

Diana Wallace Peach – Myths of the Mirror

Toni Pike – Website and Blog

As always my thanks to the regular contributors who make such a difference to the blog.. William Price King (back from his break next week) Debby Gies and Malcolm Allen with their take on humour. Thank you too for all your support during the week.. as always appreciated.

Now on with the show….

Chart Hits 1976 – Part Two – ABBA, Lou Rawls, Elton John, Kiki Dee and The Four Seasons

What’s in a Name? – Volume One – Jane – The Surprise by Sally Cronin

Jack – A VIP Visitor by Sally Cronin

Authors on Facebook.. Pages and Groups

and

Book Marketing and Public Relations – #Twitter and #LinkedIn.. Cons of marketing online by Sally Cronin

Crown Cinquain – Lullaby

Smorgasbord Coffee Morning – Bring a Guest – Author Jane Risdon and International Stylist and Journalist Dennie Pasion

New Review – #Prehistoric #Adventure – Laws of Nature (Dawn of Humanity Book 2) by Jacqui Murray

Book Reviews Rewind – #Children’s – Tina Lost In A Crowd by Miriam Hurdle

Smorgasbord Book Reviews Rewind – #Fantasy #Adventure #Humour – H.M.S Lanternfish (The Lanternfish Series Book 2) by C.S. Boyack

Family Health A-Z -Pre-Diabetes – A billion at risk of diabetes worldwide by Sally Cronin

Solar Eclipse by Darlene Foster

Monday 23rd August 2021 – #Roundup Carol Taylor – #Interview M.J Mallon and Allan Hudson, #Ebookformatting Colleen Chesebro

Tuesday 24th August 2021 – #Review Toni Pike for Robbie Cheadle, #Childhood Pete Springer, #Writers D.G. Kaye

Wednesday 25th August 2021- #Interview Marcia Meara and Sharon Marchisello, #Heartbreak Donna Parker, #Funnies The Story Reading Ape..

Smorgasbord Children’s Reading Room – #Reviews – #History Barbara Ann Mojica, #Adventure #Monkeys Joyce Murphy

New Author on the Shelves – #Romance Christmas at the Leaves of Change Café: Book 1 in the Leaves of Change Cafe Series by Sarah L. Campbell

New Book on the Shelves – #Teen/YA #Sci-fi #Fantasy – The Syk’m by Richard Dee

New Book on the Shelves – #Mystery, #Thriller – Vigilantes: A Drake Alexander Adventure by Allan Hudson

New Author on the Shelves – #Timetravel – Traveller Inceptio: Traveller Book 1 (Traveller Series) by Rob Shackleford

#Reviews -#Life Pamela S. Wight, #Cyberpunk C.S. Boyack, #Poetry Elizabeth Gauffreau

#Fantasy M.J. Mallon, #Biographical #Fiction Roz Morris, #Poetry Robbie Cheadle

Reviews – #Family Anne Goodwin, #Historical Noelle Granger, #Historical Andrew Joyce.

August 24th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Singles Bars and Inflight Panic

August 26th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Deafness and Questions!

August 27th 2021 – Malcolm Allen – Search Engines and Oxymoron Museum

 

Thanks for dropping in and for all your support.. I hope you have an amazing weekend and will join me again next week… Sally.

Smorgasbord Coffee Morning – Bring a Guest – John W. Howell and author Gwen M. Plano


Recently I ran a series Public Relations for Authors which focused on how we are perceived by those who view our profile photographs, biographies and presence on social media. This included guest posts on other writer’s blogs. Here is an opportunity to not only promote your own blog or books, but those of someone you admire as well.

Is there an inspiring individual, blogger or an author you would like to give a boost to who might enjoy joining you for a coffee and a piece of cake with us all?

Details on how to participate are at the end of this next post in the series.

Author John W. Howell has brought fellow writer and co-author of The Contract, Gwen M. Plano for coffee.

Introduction by John

I would love to invite my good friend Gwen Plano to your place for coffee and cake. I first met Gwen when we were both members of a book club. Gwen had written a memoir Letting Go Into Perfect Love, and because I was hosting her on a radio broadcast, I read the book. I don’t usually read memoirs, but it became apparent to me while reading the book that Gwen was an extraordinary person. She detailed her life of commitment to her family. This was despite being mentally and physically abused by her spouse. She had been married to this person for over twenty-five years. I couldn’t wait to ask her why it took so long to separate from this man. Her answer stopped my cold. She felt a duty to her children that transcended any personal misery that she was going through. Finally, she did leave when it was clear her kids would be safe.

Now, people like this don’t grow on trees, and it is rare to meet someone who has the strength and faith to stick to a commitment for better or worse. Gwen is an influential person driven by her unwavering belief in the sanctity of the spirit. She has accomplished much in her life and continues to grow and develop at a time of life when most would grab a rocking chair and a porch. She continues this growth undeterred by personal health issues and a growing need to support others in her family who are facing challenges of age.

Gwen and I had a baby together. Oh, wait. That didn’t come out right. Let me start again. Gwen and I wrote a book together titled The Contract. An example of Gwen’s growth potential is that she was willing to try something completely new. She had never written a thriller before and yet was ready to move out of her comfort zone. So together, we both pretended we were thriller writers and completed the book. Gwen took to thrillers like a duck to water and wrote two more as a solo author.

Co-writing The Contract was a fun project. We laughed and cried while we wrote together. The nice part is I think the reader won’t be able to tell where the Plano begins, and the Howell leaves off. By the end of the first draft, we were committed to donating our styles and voice to one result. I think we are both proud of the work. I know it was a rewarding experience for me, and I can’t imagine writing another book with anyone else. Gwen has become a close friend, and I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to work with her.

About Gwen M. 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 has received multiple awards and is an Amazon Best Seller. The Choice, the unexpected heroes is the sequel to The Contract. It is also a thriller, involving the attempt of an unfriendly nation to take over the world. The third book in the series, The Culmination, a new beginning is an action-packed military thriller that spans the globe and involves multiple Heads of State and the threat of World War III. Only love can change the fate of humanity.

When Gwen is not writing, she out and about in the beautiful Ozark mountains which she now calls home.

Books by Gwen M. Plano

A recent review for Culmination

Karen Ingalls 5.0 out of 5 stars A GRIPPING THRILLER Reviewed in the United States on March 26, 2021

Read the reviews and buy the books: : Amazon UKand : Amazon USfollow Gwen : Goodreads –website:Gwen PlanoTwitter: @gmplano

About 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 tension. The final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016 concludes the thriller series. John’s fourth book Circumstances of Childhood, launched in October of 2017 tells a different thriller story of riches to rags, football, Wall Street, brotherly love, redemption, and inspiration with a touch of paranormal to keep you riveted.

The fifth book is a collaboration with the ​award-winning author, Gwen Plano titled The Contract. Heavenly bodies become concerned about the stability of the Earth and send two of their own to risk eternal salvation in order to save the planet. The Contract achieved number one status in its genre. John’s latest book is titled Eternal Road – The final stop and launched in September 2020. In search of their eternal home, Sam and James discover a threat to human existence. They also encounter the prince of darkness. The question is; can they save humankind and their eternal souls. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

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

Books by John Howell

A recent review for Eternal Road

Kichi Rsa 5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome story!  Reviewed in the United States on July 2, 2021

Without a doubt one of my favorite authors. John W. Howell’s books always have a great story to tell; his knowledge of history, psychology, personality, human laws shines through. It makes his books fantastic, fun to read, magical, special…

I love the characters in the Eternal Road! Not perfect, but always believable… and you don’t always know for sure how this all will turn out in the end! I enjoyed reading it and recommend it to all lovers of the paranormal, thriller, and mystery.  

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USand on: Amazon UK – Goodreads:John Howell Goodreads Blog: John W. Howell. com – Twitter@HowellWave

 

My thanks to John for bringing Gwen along for coffee, both wonderful authors and lovely people.

I hope to hear from you with the information about your guest and your work (if you have not been featured here before).. thanks Sally.

Some ideas of the guests you might bring to coffee.

  • An author you have just read for the first time who you would like to introduce us to.
  • A blogger who is very supportive of your own blog or books.
  • A new blogger who you would like to showcase
  • An author or blogger who inspires you and your work.
  • A blogger who goes out of their way to support others by reviewing books and promoting on social media.
  • Someone in the public eye who is inspirational to others in medicine, charity, education, who has overcome challenges to succeed.
  • Anyone you feel deserves a boost.

The format of the post

  • An introduction by you of around 200 to 400 words about your guest. Be creative and tell a good story
  • Their photograph, biography, Amazon or book links and if you have them their social media links. I will find if not.
  • Your photo, biography, Amazon or blog links and social media links (if you are in the Cafe and Bookstore I will have those).

Send your introduction and the links to sally.cronin@moyhill.com and we can sort out a date to air your post.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 8th – 14th August – Minnie Riperton, The Green Kitchen, Stories, Reviews, Kidney Health and Humour


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

I hope that you have all had a good week. Mixed weather here but compared to some of the fires in Southern Europe due to the extreme heat, we have no complaints.

David is busy building me a new computer with all the up to date wizardry, including a stable version of Windows 10 that he configures like Windows 7 as he knows I prefer it. Over the years he has built many and saved a fortune.. buys the components and a box and instead of a one size fits all it is custom made to our requirements. He also removes some of the unnecessary bells and whistles we don’t need and just slow everything up as well as track your every key stroke. Not to mention creating a sound-proofed studio for my podcasts.

There is not much he can’t do around the house, garden and computers to be honest…I certainly would not have published any of my books without his expertise..and so I think I’ll l hang on to him… it is early days yet, just 41 years on September 16th but I am warming to him lol…❤ ❤

 

My thanks as always to William Price King, currently on a break, for co-presenting the Breakfast Show with me,  Carol Taylor for her fantastic Green Kitchen keeping us informed, entertained and well-fed, Debby Gies for finding great funnies for The Laughter Lines and this week Malcolm Allen in Australia for the Friday funnies extra.

And my thanks to you for dropping by, reading the posts, liking, commenting and sharing… it is very much appreciated.

On with the show….

Chart Hits 1975 Part Two – Minnie Riperton, Queen, The Eagles, Bruce Springsteen

Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen – August 2021 -Bamboo Toilet Paper, Cream Cheese Bread, Conservation, Grow Your Own, Shampoo Bar.,

What’s in a Name? – Volume One – Hannah – Finding a way to move on! by Sally Cronin

What’s in a Name? – Volume One – Hector – The Homecoming

Not So Fair at the County Fair by Marlene Mesot

-#Freeform – Key Words by Sally Cronin

New review #WW2 – The Home Front: 1939–1945 in 100 Objects by Austin J. Ruddy

Book Reviews Rewind – #Short Stories–Undercover Crime Shorts by Jane Risdon

Book Reviews Rewind – #Fantasy – Soul Swallowers (The Shattered Sea Book 1) by D.Wallace Peach

Book Marketing and PR for authors – Branding your Blog or your Writing by Sally Cronin

Author Sharon Marchisello and her guest Mark Lee Myers

The Immune System and How it Works by Sally Cronin

Family Health – The Kidneys and Urinary Tract Heath – Eating Plan by Sally Cronin

– The Immune System – Your role in its efficiency by Sally Cronin

Carmen, Gypsy, Spanish Woman, Dancer, Girl, Rose, Red

Thank you Betty Lavington from Sally aged Seventeen – #Drama #Influencers by Sally Cronin

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Smorgasbord Children’s Reading Room Special – How books can make a difference – Cameroon School for the Deaf – Supported by Dawn Doig

– #Reviews – #Princess Wanda Luthman, #Historical Antoinette Truglio Martin

New Book on the Shelves – #Historical #WW2 – Over the Hedge by Paulette Mahurin

New Book on the Shelves – #Contemporary #Romance – Island Ties by Christine Campbell

#Reviews – #Fantasy D.Wallace Peach, #Fantasy Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, #Historical Margaret Skea

#Reviews – #Hispanic #ComingofAge Nancy Blodgett Klein, #Mystery #Thriller Susanne Leist, #Poetry Elizabeth Merry

#Suspense Joan Hall, #Memoir Karen Ingalls, #Poetry Jude Itakali

Monday 9th August #Reviews by- D.G. Kaye, Jan Sikes and Terry Tyler

Wednesday August 11th 2021 – #Blogging Hugh Roberts, #Author Interview Allan Hudson with Ritu Bhathal, #Guest Marcia Meara with Vali Benson

Thursday August 12th 2021 – #Blogsupport Michael of OIKOS™- Art, Books & more

August 10th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Language and Wonder Diet

August 12th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Synchronization and Squirrels!

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines Extra – August 13th 2021 – Malcolm Allen – Stars and Cunning Predators

 

Thanks very much for joining me today and I hope you have an amazing weekend…Sally.