Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Update – July 25th – 31st 2021 – Billy Joel, Short Stories, Poetry, Book Reviews, Pet and Human Health, Funnies


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

Another week flown by and the summer is half way through in the Northern Hemisphere anyway. Nothing much to report from HQ.. my laptop that I use for the podcast in my mini-studio blew a gasket on Friday…the hard drive failed but the in house technical department has the matter in hand and I should be adding some new posts to the podcast again soon.. I do have some already pre-recorded which I will filter through in the meantime.

Thanks to William Price King for his selections for the Breakfast Show this week and Debby Gies and Malcolm Allen for their funnies. Debby has been whizzing around blogworld this week and a special thank you for all the posts she has shared this week around the usual haunts.

My thanks to you as well for all the lovely comments and shares this week of the posts, it is appreciated and keeps me motivated.. Have a lovely weekend…Sally

Chart Hits 1974 Part Two – Elton John, The Hues, The Hollies, Billy Joel.

What’s in a Name? Volume One – What’s in a Name?- Francis – Forging New Bonds by Sally Cronin

Tales from the Spanish Garden – Special story – Mollie (The Duchess) Coleman – by Sally Cronin

New Review – Balroop Singh – #Poetry Slivers: Chiseled Poetry

Book Reviews Rewind – #Paranormal #Romance – Ghostly Interference: (White Rune Series Book 1) by Jan Sikes.

Book Reviews Rewind – #YA – Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady (An Amanda Travels Adventure Book 8) by Darlene foster

Etheree – Peaks by Sally Cronin

Some Health Hacks for everyday niggles such as Pins and Needles by Sally Cronin

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The Kidneys and Urinary Tract – Urinary Tract infections by Sally Cronin

Ticks – What, When and How to remove safely

Grazzi hafna from Sally aged seven to the old Prickly Pear farmer and his donkey #Influencers Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Podcast – Who are you writing your book for?

Smorgasbord Coffee Morning – Bring a Guest – Authors Darlene Foster and Nancy Blodgett Klein

Conversational Italian for Travelers: Just the Important Phrases (with Restaurant Vocabulary and Idiomatic Expressions) by Kathryn Occhipinti

New Book on the Shelves – Existing Creatures Living Dragons by Leyla Cardena

#Reviews – #Poetry Balroop Singh, #YAFantasy M. J. Mallon, #Romance Jacquie Biggar

Cafe Update – #Reviews – #Family James J. Cudney, #Paranormal John W. Howell, #WW2 #Russia Marina Osipova

– #Reviews – #CrimeThriller Carol Balawyder, #Poetry Victoria Zigler, #Family Lisette Brodey

Wednesday July 28th 2021 – #WriterLinks D.G. Kaye, #Poetry Robbie Cheadle, #Reviews D.Wallace Peach, #Finances Jim Borden

Thursday July 29th 2021 – #Olympics Pete Springer, #Patchwork Jennie Fitzkee, #Research Jacqui Murray

July 27th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Shoes and Bricks

July 29th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Dogs and Tact

July 30th 2021 – Malcolm Allen – Zoom Meetings and Restaurants

 

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

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Author on the Shelves – #Languages – Conversational Italian for Travelers: Just the Important Phrases (with Restaurant Vocabulary and Idiomatic Expressions) by Kathryn Occhipinti


Delighted to welcome Kathryn Occipinti to the Cafe and Bookstore with her language books in Italian and French. Very useful now that the world is opening up again.

About Conversational Italian for Travelers

Your traveling companion in Italy! Truly different from other phrase books – this book is friendly, humorous, and also provides a method to understand and remember important Italian phrases. There are many tips for the reader on how to create their own phrases and how to ask questions to get around Italy comfortably. Includes sections not found in other phrase books so the traveler can really fit into the culture of Italy. Light weight book of phrases slips easily into a pocket or purse. Keep handy simple phrases of greeting, how to change money, or how to take the train. Learn about how to communicate politely in any situation. And, of course, learn how to read those Italian menus and order at an Italian restaurant! This book is contains excerpts from the larger work, Conversational Italian for Travelers textbook. All the phrases you need to know with tips on how to create your own!

One of the reviews for the book

P. Zoro4.0 out of 5 stars Effective learning guide Reviewed in the United Kingdom

Travelling to a foreign country can be a terrible experience if you don’t know how to communicate. Kathryn thus solved this potential problem for all foreign visitors to Italy with her book picking on just the important phrases.

To start with, the book is both exciting and humorous. The reader discovers the Italian alphabethas 21 letters and borrows some additions from Latin. There are surprising differences from English, like z becomes zeta and is pronounced zeh-tah. I spent some time translating my name and found the result amusing. Learning to pronounce the words correctly was an enjoyable experiment in which I found myself closer and closer to sounding very foreign and learned.

I discovered “buongiorno” is all I need to say from morning to early evening, and if I am not yet in my hotel then “buonasera” will do until bedtime. For hi and bye to friends there is just one word to learn – “ciao”, but there are so many ways to say goodbye you really have to take your time to learn them. “Millie Gracie” means thanks a lot (a thousand) though I expected it to be “thanks a million”.

The writer takes the reader through the basic everyday conversational Italian in an interesting manner. You learn to be polite and formal and at the same time to be friendly and appreciative of any assistance. You also learn how to form important phrases, how to ask for the important things and making friends. The book teaches you to get comfortable at the hotel, at a restaurant and when sightseeing. It is indeed a comprehensive guide I would recommend to anyone travelling to Italy who does not speak Italian.

As for me if someone says “Parla italiano?” (Do you speak Italian?), I will just say “Si, un po’” (Yes, a little) even though sono di Zimbabwe (I am from Zimbabwe).
Si, I loved this book.  

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – And:Amazon UK  – Electronic copies: Learn Travel Italian

Also by Kathryn Occhipinti

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – More reviews: Goodreads – Websites:  French and Italian: StellaLucente.com – Blogs: Beginning Italian: Conversational Italian! Twitter: StellaLucente@travelitalian1 and @travelfrench1

About Dr. Kathyrn Occhipinti

Dr. Kathryn Occhipinti is a radiologist of Italian-American descent who has been leading Italian language groups in the Peoria and Chicago areas for about 10 years. During that time, she founded Stella Lucente, LLC, a publishing company focused on instructional language books designed to make learning a second language easy and enjoyable for the adult audience.

Using her experiences as a teacher and frequent traveler to Italy, she wrote the “Conversational Italian for Travelers” series of books, which follow the character Caterina on her travels through Italy, while at the same time introducing the fundamentals of the Italian language.

Nada Sneige Fuleihan is a native French speaker and translator who now resides in the Chicago area.

The two writers have teamed up to create the pocket travel book, “Conversational French for Travelers, Just the Important Phrases,” using the same method and format as found in the Italian pocket book for travelers “Conversational Italian for Travelers,” originally created by Kathryn Occhipinti.

You can connect to Kathryn on her websites, blogs and social media at these links

Facebook group: Conversational Italian!
Facebook pages: Stella Lucente Italian and Stella Lucente French             
Instagram: Conversationalitalian.French
YouTube Channel: Learn Conversational Italian
Pinterest: StellaLucenteItalian and StellaLucenteFrench

 

Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share Kathryn’s books on your own network.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore Update – #Reviews – #CrimeThriller Carol Balawyder, #Poetry Victoria Zigler, #Family Lisette Brodey


Welcome to the Cafe and Bookstore update with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author with a recent review for her latest release is Carol Balawyder – a coming of age crime thriller...Just Before Sunrise

About the book

A coming-of-age story with a domestic noir twist.

Nadine, tired of running her call-girl agency has upgraded to gold digger as she finds the perfect rich widower to marry. Discovering that her wealthy widower is an abuser she seduces his stepson, Charlie, to plot her husband’s murder.

But things don’t go as planned and soon she is turning to her experience hiring young call-girls to find the perfect girl to save her from going to prison…

Homeless Maya is drifting on the streets, grieving the recent loss of her mother.
When she is offered the opportunity to prepare a lake-side house to be used as a half-way home for delinquent girls, she doesn’t think twice.

She soon falls for Charlie, the attractive boy next door, who has a seriously dark side. She is drawn into his murderous schemes, doing anything he asks her to, risking her own safety for the promise of a future with him. When she finds herself party to murder, and she realises he is more concerned with his older female accomplice than with her, she must learn to trust her instincts and use all of her courage to get out of their trap alive.

As a subplot there is the rocky romantic relationship between an older woman and a younger man who become involved in investigating the murder for which young Maya is accused of committing.

Just Before Sunrise is a story about loss and survival. About loneliness, betrayals and deadly desires.

A recent review for the book

Jacqui Murray VINE VOICE  5.0 out of 5 stars The twisted turns of love  Reviewed in the United States on July 2, 2021

Carol Balawyder’s Just Before Sunrise (2021) is the story of a wealthy older man who marries a former owner of a high priced call girl business (which is how the two met). Nadine accepts this proposal as her chance to escape her past life but soon realizes (shock!) that he is not the knight in shining armor she had hoped for. It isn’t long before she dislikes him as much as he disrespects her. She is a master of manipulating men–

“Nadine had the kind of body you read about in pulp fiction novels”

so she persuades the older man’s thirty-something son–Charlie–to help her kill him so the two can be together. To cover their tracks, they involve a recently homeless and orphaned teen–Maya–who has been entrusted with the job of preparing a lakefront home to be used as a halfway house which happens to be next door to Carlie’s home. Maya falls for Charlies and not-so-reluctantly agrees to help him cover up the murder. If you read “cover up” as “take the blame for the homicide”, you have the gist of what will happen.

Tangentially, thirty-something Adam falls in love with an older woman (the same one who hires Maya to fix up the home) but leaves her because he wants children and she doesn’t. That sounds simple but it sure isn’t. You’ll see when you read it. The overlap between these two plots is clever and intriguing.

At its core, this is a love story but filled with hate and lies and hurt feelings and unusual events and so much more. Love in this book isn’t a synonym for blissfully happy or the answer to dreams. In this case, it’s more fake than real but young Maya doesn’t realize that.

A clever, enticing read that you won’t want to stop once you start. Recommended for those who like unusual love stories that are darker than cozy but still fulfilling.

Also by Carol Balawyder

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Read more reviews : Goodreads – WebsiteCarol BalawyderLinkedIn: Carol Balawyder – Facebook: Carol Balawyder

The next review is for poet and children’s author Victoria Zigler for her latest poetry collection Born from Stardust and Other Poems.

About the collection

A selection of poems of various lengths and styles, exploring a variety of themes and subjects.

Topics explored in the poems that make up this collection include – but are not limited to – animals and nature, writing and creativity, death and grief, as well as the Covid-19 pandemic.

A recent review for the collection on the blog of Kevin Morris 24th July 2021

The title poem in this collection begins as follows:
“We’re born from stardust, you and I,
And that alone’s the reason why
I’m pretty sure that when I die
I’ll join the stars up in the sky.”

Born From Stardust is a beautiful poem, and the book of the same name is a highly enjoyable and thought provoking read.

Amongst my favourite poems is “When Mummy Missed Story Time”, in which the poet poignantly describes the emotional reactions of a young child when it’s mother won’t read a bedtime story due to her fear that she has the Corona Virus, and her very natural desire not to pass on the infection to her son/daughter.

There are several other poems which touch on the pandemic, including one dealing with the impacts of social distancing on the individual and on society as a whole. I can relate to this series of poems, and it is a topic which I have, myself tackled in my own poetry.

Other poems deal with the threat posed by climate change. Again, this is a fine series of poems.

The serious poems are interspersed with lighter pieces such as “When Even the Beach is to Hot”:

“You know the temperatures are too high,
When even the beach is too hot!”

The above poem is especially apt at the moment given the very high temperatures we have been experiencing here in the UK and elsewhere.

I have read a number of Victoria Zigler’s poetry collections, and in my view this is her best thus far. 

A small selection of other books by Victoria Zigler

Read the reviews and buy the books in print and audio: Amazon UK – and : Amazon US – Follow Victoria on: Goodreads – Website: Victoria Zigler – Twitter: @VictoriaZigler

The final author today with a review is LIsette Brodey for The Sum of our Sorrows.

About the book

In an idyllic suburb in Northern California, tragedy strikes the Sheppard family when Abby, the mother of three daughters and wife to Dalton, is killed in a car accident. Charlotte, the middle daughter, is in the car with her mother and survives without physical injury but remains deeply scarred on the inside.

Dalton tells Lily, his eldest daughter, that she must sacrifice long-awaited college plans and put her life on hold to take care of her sisters. Lily is torn between her devotion to family and an increasing need to find her place in the world — but how can she leave, knowing her family may crumble? Will her presence eventually cause more problems than it resolves?

The Sum of our Sorrows reveals how the aftermath of a family tragedy can precipitate sorrows never imagined. It is a tale of grief, hope, healing, coming-of-age, friendship, and survival. It is also a love story of two broken souls living through pain in search of better days and the renewal of one’s spirit.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I write characters as I hear them speak to me. Some of these stories contain non-gratuitous expletives and sexual references. This book also contains some situations that may be triggering to some readers. If this is not to your liking, please don’t read this book. Thank you.

A recent review for the book

Cynthia 5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read  Reviewed in the United States on June 4, 2021

This book is amazing! I laughed, I cried, I was angry at a couple of the characters….what a ride.

Lisette Brodey is an incredible writer who has the ability to draw the reader into the story so deeply that all you (the reader) care about is to keep reading. I read this book in two days, I hated to put it down.

Ms. Brodey is a writer who belongs at the top of the Best Seller lists as she proves time and time again her skill and acumen in creating and allowing the characters in her stories to take us on incredible journeys.

‘The Sum of Our Sorrows’ is a MUST read 🙂

A selection of books by Lisette Brodey

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Lisette: Goodreads – Website/blog: Lisette Brodey – Twitter: @LisetteBrodey – Facebook: Lisette.Brodey

 

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

 

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – #Fantasy #PsychologicalThriller – Existing Creatures, Living Dragons by Leyla Cardena


Delighted to share the news of the latest release by Leyla Cardena – Existing Creatures, Living Dragons

About the book

Underneath the earth, John Crane’s bones are cracking and his flesh is burning. His memories are at present as alive as his body, a body, preparing itself for metamorphosis and freedom. In the black box of Jack Vain’s mind, his belongings explode, his past life is an illusion, and ultimately, is a tower destructed by his unfulfilled desires. The recurring nightmare, the hand on Dr. Brooke Ashley’s thigh, is now a warning sign against danger, an appropriation that leads her instinct into the right directions. The djinn that Hassan Maroun met, is the little and magical voice that makes him wonder if the current events can be clearly and scientifically explained.

The creature from John and Jack’s dreams and fantasies, is the master of their evolution. Will the two childhood friends be able to accept their transformation in order to make the investigation advance?

Head over to buy the book: Amazon US –  And: Amazon UK

Also by Leyla Cardena

One of the reviews for Becoming Insane

Adele Park 5.0 out of 5 stars Addicting read Reviewed in the United Kingdom on

Becoming Insane is a fantastic novel. The two friends the novel centre around are brilliantly drawn, so believable. In the beginning, we can sympathise with them as the things which happen to them can easily happen to others. As the novel progresses we are drawn into the strangest journey, the writing is so good we are walking every step of this horrendous journey with the two men. The ending left me wanting more and I can’t wait for a sequel.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Website: Leyla Cardena – Facebook: Leyla Cardena Author – Twitter: @CardenaLeyla

About the author

Leyla Cardena was born on the 2nd of August 1990 in Geneva, Switzerland. Since her childhood, she became fascinated by all creative mediums such as cinema, writing and theater plays, which drove her to write since the age of eleven. At 23, after night school in the domain of Swiss law and working as a corporate assistant, she followed her dream to become an author and wrote her first novel in French titled “Karmicalement Vôtre”, published in France in 2013. She then, in 2019, published her second novel written in English “Becoming Insane”

Thanks for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share the news of Leyla’s book… thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – #Reviews – #Family James J. Cudney, #Paranormal John W. Howell, #WW2 #Russia Marina Osipova


Welcome to the Cafe and update and recent reviews for authors on the shelves

The first author today with a recent review is James. J. Cudney for his family drama Watching Glass Shatter.

About the book

After 40 years of marriage, Olivia’s husband unexpectedly passes away. But when Ben’s will reveals a life-altering secret, she suffers a blow no widow should ever experience.

Olivia learns that she gave birth to a baby who later died in the nursery. Instead of telling his wife what happened, Ben switched the child with another. And as if that’s not enough, Ben’s will doesn’t reveal which of their five sons is truly not hers.

Olivia visits each of her sons to share a final connection before facing the truth that will change their family, and discovers that each of them has been harboring a painful secret, just like their father. But will the secrets destroy their family, or bring them closer together?

A recent review for the book on Goodreads

Jul 05, 2021 Mark Bierman rated it five stars

Though a bit slower paced than my usual reads, I found this story to be captivating. There was always, ‘one more secret,’ waiting for poor Olivia.

I must admit that I did not care for Olivia during the first half of the book, as I found her domineering and hypercritical. As the story matures, however, so does Olivia. I witnessed a transformation in her as she dealt with some devastating blows.

I think this is a story that plays out in so many lives; secrets kept, expectations unmet, and a lack of sympathy caused by misunderstanding.

James does a great job of weaving the lives of so many characters and their personal crisis together, without the story getting bogged down or confusing.

I’m giving this one, FIVE STARS! 

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by James J. Cudney

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US and: Amazon UKWebsite/Blog: This is my truth nowGoodreads: James J. Cudney – Twitter: @Jamescudney4

The next author today is John W. Howell with a review for his paranormal thriller Eternal Road

About the book

James Wainwright picks up a hitchhiker and discovers two things 1. The woman he picks up is his childhood sweetheart, only Seventeen years older. 2. He is no longer of this world.

James began a road trip alone in his 1956 Oldsmobile. He stops for a hitchhiker only to discover she is his childhood sweetheart, Sam, who disappeared seventeen years before. James learns from Sam falling asleep miles back caused him to perish in a one-car accident. He also comes to understand that Sam was taken and murdered all those years ago, and now she has come back to help him find his eternal home.

The pair visit a number of times and places and are witness to a number of historical events. The rules dictate that they do no harm to the time continuum. Trying to be careful, they inadvertently come to the attention of Lucifer who would love to have their souls as his subjects. They also find a threat to human survival and desperately need to put in place the fix necessary to save mankind.

The question becomes, will James find his eternal home in grace or lose the battle with Satan for his immortal soul and the future of human life with it? If you like time-travel, adventure, mystery, justice, and the supernatural, this story is for you.

A recent review for the book

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.  

Other books by John Howell

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

The final books today with a recent review is by Marina Osipova – Push Me Off a Cliff a novel set in post war Russia.

About the book

March of 1948. Three years have passed since the Great Patriotic War ended in victory, disposing into the streets of the destroyed and hungry cities and villages brave decorated soldiers: thousands of them having been burned, maimed, or disfigured beyond recognition.

On a crowded commuter train, Maria hears an invalid singing, which painfully connects her to her time at the front and to the love that failed to happen to her. Why, then, since that day, does the voice from the past echo so insistently in her present life? The torture of uncertainty—was it really Armen?—intensifies after the next encounter and leaves her with an unsettling compulsion to do . . . what? Help him? Or, rather, rescue herself from her lonely and unassuming existence her heart subtly rejects? She must decide whether she is willing to let go of the life she knows for feelings she had never thought she could experience.

But, first, she has to find him.

As the genocide of 1915 within the Ottoman Empire destroyed the lives of Armen’s parents and about one-and-a-half-million ethnic Armenians, his future is shattered by this other war and betrayal. Legless and totally alone, and without any family after his mother is gone, it seems the most merciful thing for him would be to end his miserable existence by leaping off a cliff. Otherwise, he must find the courage to continue living in the condition the war left him and find his place in the bitter every-day reality full of difficulties prone to men like him.

Maria and Armen. Each carries private wounds. In the face of despair, will fate offer them a chance to heal their souls and hearts?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Pamela Allegretto 5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful, memorable story.  Reviewed in the United States on July 13, 2021

Marina Osipova possesses a special gift for crafting unique, compelling stories with multi-faceted characters who get under our skin from the first pages and tug at our every emotion. Once again, Ms. Osipova has done her homework, creating a setting that is itself a well-drawn character. What a beautiful, memorable story. My most sincere compliments.

Other books by Marina Osipova

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And on: Amazon UK – follow Marina : Goodreads – website:Marina OsipovaTwitter: @marosikok

 

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

 

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Update – #Reviews – #Poetry Balroop Singh, #YAFantasy M. J. Mallon, #Romance Jacquie Biggar


Delighted to share some recent reviews for authors on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore.

Delighted to share a recent review for Balroop Singh… and her new collection…Slivers: Chiseled Poetry

About the collection

When I stumbled upon haiku – a Japanese form of poetry, I scoffed it away, thinking it to be too short and easy to write. My hubris got a setback when I was challenged to write it! My earlier efforts show how I struggled with the syllables that could convey a meaningful message. Slowly I discovered this art form, which I revere now. I’ve taken some liberties with the rules though.

The poetry in this collection is not traditional haiku and tanka but inspired from them.This collection focuses on micro-poetry, inspired from haiku, senryu, tanka and acrostic poems. Brevity and discipline is the hallmark of these poems.

A recent review for the collection

Cathleen Townsend 5.0 out of 5 stars A collection of haikus that should delight lovers of the art form.  Reviewed in the United States on July 15, 2021

I was so inspired by Balroop Singh’s latest volume of vivid verse that I endeavored to frame my review in haiku form:

Balroop re-creates
Light from above in new clothes.
Faithful fragments hanging;
Mini-windows showing
Truth in starlit slivers.

Ms. Singh’s work showcases much more depth and breadth than my little tribute, however. The topics, as usual, focus on the positive–healing, flights of imagination, and the beauty both within and without.

If I were asked to choose my favorite, I would choose the fanciful fantasy, “Night Fairy.” I suppose this is hardly a surprise since I write fairy tales, but still. Pay close attention to that one as you slowly nibble your way through this assortment of little gems.

A collection of haikus that should delight lovers of the art form.  

Other books by Balroop Singh

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

The next review is for M.J. Mallon’s new release of Bloodstone (The Curse Of Time Book 1) – Book 2 is following shortly.

About the book

Fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her dysfunctional family, a mysterious black cat, and an unusual girl who is imprisoned within the mirrors located in her house.

When an unexpected message arrives inviting her to visit the Crystal Cottage, she sets off on a forbidden path where she encounters Ryder: a charismatic, perplexing stranger.

With the help of a magical paint set and some crystal wizard stones, can Amelina discover the truth about her family?

A unique, imaginative mystery full of magic-wielding and dark elements, Bloodstone is a riveting adventure for anyone interested in fantasy, mythology or the world of the paranormal.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Reader4life5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful, magical read!   Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 July 2021

This magical young adult story is brimming with fresh imaginative ideas avoiding tropes often associated with fantasy. I was impressed with the unique vivid visual descriptions which brought both the settings and characters to life and the wonderful standard of writing throughout the story. A magical mystery unfolds for the main character Amelina, who makes discoveries during the plot, so we can enjoy seeing her grow in confidence and skill.

The story involves complex content which was difficult to follow initially but becomes more understandable as the story develops. The introduction of the antagonist, Ryder, really helps us to root for Amenlina. He is well written, and I enjoyed that he wasn’t given the typical look of a baddie but rather slowly and disconcertingly reveals his darker side, inserting himself between Amelina and her friends. I can see this being the start of a fabulous young adult series and hope there are more books to come!  

Books by M.J. Mallon

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK Website:M.J. Mallon – Goodreads: Goodreads – Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon

The final review today is for  USA Today Bestselling Author Jacquie Biggar – Secrets, Lies & Alibis (Wounded Hearts Book 8)

About the book

An elusive danger brings two obstinate lovers together for the sake of their unborn child

SAC Agent Amanda Rhinehold is driven to succeed, so it’s a bitter pill to swallow when she is forced to accept a demotion in order to distance herself from an error in judgment– one that leaves her pregnant.

Adam O’Connor uses his playboy image to keep anyone from getting too close. History has shown the people he cares about tends to get hurt, he’s like the proverbial bad luck charm. When an affair with his supervisor goes sideways and she leaves town, he figures it’s for the best, though his heart isn’t so sure.

When trouble comes calling, these two will have to sort their differences in order to protect their baby- and try not to fall in love in the process

One of the recent reviews for the book

specialangel  5.0 out of 5 stars Danger around every turn  Reviewed in the United States on July 9, 2021

Secrets, Lies, and Alibis by Jacquie Biggar is the kind of book that haunts you long after you turn the last page. It is deep, intense, exciting, really keeps you on edge, you cry, you fall in love with characters and you must pay attention to every little incident or you will miss important information. I was easily hooked from the beginning. I absolutely loved this story. Adam and Amanda tugged at my heart. Their love was such a major element of this book, one in which if I felt as though I was suffering right along with them. I recommend it highly.

A small selection of other books by Jacquie Biggar

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Jacquie : Goodreads – website: Jacquie Biggar – Twitter: @jacqbiggar

 

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

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Summer 2021 Update- #Free book promotion – New Authors welcome


Now that the Meet the Authors series is coming to an end, the normal updates will resume three times a week. Here is a reminder about the Cafe and how you might take advantage of the promotions, and also an introduction to new authors who would like to join the other authors on the shelves.

If you are not already in the Cafe and Bookstore you may like to take a look at what you as an author will gain by being there. Please read the section on what I need to do this effectively both before and after the promotional post.

Please note: It is very difficult to promote authors who have no online presence. A blog is great but if you are to reach potentially thousands of readers for your book, you do need to be on Facebook and Twitter preferably. I will be sharing the promotion on those platforms, but if you cannot respond to those that share your post, then it does not help sell books.

Please only contact me if you have some online platform that readers can connect to you and that includes an upodated Amazon Author Page.

Smorgasbord Book Marketing – Setting up your Amazon Author Page

As an author in the Cafe and Bookstore you will be able to take advantage of a number of promotions regularly as well as special features that showcases all the authors in the Cafe.

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays you have an opportunity to share your most recent review for one of your books in the Cafe and Bookstore Author Update. Three or more authors are featured and if everyone shares to their own social media this offers an opportunity to reach not just my 46,000 + contacts but many thousands more.

New releases will be featured in their own separate promotion such as this:

New Book on the Shelves – #Poetry – Into the Fire: A Poet’s Journey Through Hell’s Kitchen by Mary Clark

New authors to the cafe are promoted in an individual New Author on the Shelves which will also promote your other books with all the links to read reviews and buy direct from Amazon. Your post will look like this

New Author on the Shelves – #NorthernIreland #Thriller #Romance – Stones Corner Turmoil by Jane Buckley

I am very happy to feature any author on the shelves every four weeks to six weeks but it does help if you keep me updated of new releases and reviews. I do check authors regularly but with over 150 authors on the shelves at any given time it makes my life easier if you can remember to drop me a line to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

If you have a new release that is due in the next few weeks I suggest that you feature your previous book with its reviews in the first promotion and get your books on the shelves and then we can do another promotion when the new book is available.

If you have a recent release that is receiving great reviews then this is a good place to share that news.

For this I will need the following emailed to sally.cronin@moyhill.com if you are not already an author in the bookstore. Please read through and if you have any questions email me and happy to help.

  1. Link to Amazon for the book ( and even if you have one book please set up an author page as this is an essential marketing tool and makes it a great deal easier for people like myself who are promoting your work) Also if you have a central book link site on your blog or website that is useful. I can only promote your book effectively online if it is on Amazon and even more so if it is also in Eversion.
  2. I will need an author profile photo or image and your official author’s bio. Please send any images attached to the email not inserted into it.
  3. You main social media links including website, blog, twitter, facebook, linkedin, and goodreads . Links in full please not short links, I will do that when they are inserted into the post.
  4. Goodreads is an essential site for an author, particularly now with Amazon’s policy of only allowing you to post a review on your country of origin. In recent months Amazon has been updating reviews and sharing them on multiple sites which is helpful. On Goodreads you don’t have to have bought the book from Amazon (so bookstores and other online bookshops) and also you don’t have to spend £50 or $50 for the right to review a book that you have been sent as an ARC or gifted! This means that reviews from around the world can be posted and seen by potential readers.
  5. In my experience of promoting authors in the last 20 years, it is not as effective if you do not have some presence on social media and a central page on Amazon or Goodreads where readers can connect with you and see all your work together in one place.
  6. If you do not have at least two social media accounts then you are limiting your book marketing potential.
  7. Please note that my blog has some young followers so I do not accept 18+ books.

What I will do.

  1. I have 48,000 + connections around my social media platforms of Blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Goodreads, Pinterest, Mewe and Facebook and I will automatically link the post to those sites and also boost again during the day.
  2. The post will be included in the weekly round up on Sundays.
  3. Your books (up to 7 covers of recent books) along with your profile photo, book covers, links to Amazon and your main website will then be put into the bookstore where it will stay permanently.
  4. You can then be included in the Cafe and Bookstore updates which will go out twice a week with any new releases and with exceptional reviews (for the reviews would suggest leaving six weeks between being included in an update)

What I would ask you to do.

I love promoting other authors and I am very happy to do so as a FREE service but it does take considerable time during the week to compile and promote posts with several authors work. It makes a difference when authors participate in the process. Also it works best when authors in the Cafe share other author’s updates from time to time. This is a team effort and your ongoing participation is appreciated.

Book promotions work best if it is a collaboration..

On the day I will send you a link to your post that I suggest you send out to all your email contacts.. I also ask you to share on your own social media sites and I suggest that if you are a blogger too; you reblog a couple of days later.

Twitter and Facebook

I will tag you on Twitter if you have an account and I would ask that you respond to those people who have shared your post. This is a great way to meet like minded writers and readers who are of course potential purchasers of your books.

Responding to comments.

I have found in the last three years that there is a very strong connection to sharing and commenting on promotional posts if the author engages with those who have taken the time to leave their comments. So I will ask you to pop in over the first few days to respond to them individually as a global comment will not be seen by anyone..

I belong to a very generous community of writers who have books themselves or blog regularly. If you would like to be part of that community on a regular basis then you are very welcome.

Your books will stay in the Cafe and Bookstore for six months but if you are not finding the listing beneficial or are not interested in regular updates then I will move your listing into a separate directory. I will also move authors who are not actively promoting their books or I have not heard from for several months into the directory too.

Also, I will usually find a notification of a new book when I am checking my social media but it is much simpler if you contact me directly once your new book is available to buy on sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Also I have two FREE Pdf  versions of my book marketing and Public Relations for Author series available with step by step guide to setting up your online platforms and you can obtain a copy by emailing me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com

 

Look forward to hearing from you…..thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – July 18th – 24th 2021 – The Three Degrees, Podcast Round Up, Relationships, Interviews, Reviews and Funnies.


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

It has been summer here this week and like many of you very high temperatures. Even I have had to wait until early evening to sit out but that has been lovely.. Australia however has been enduring the lowest temperatures for a very long time with – 4 expected in the Sydney region.. That is cold for Australia.  Certainly the weather is very unpredictable at the moment.

Opportunity Knocks

A few things going on at the moment and here is an opportunity for poets and flash fiction writers from Judith Barrow and here is her facebook link to DM her if you are interested..Judith Barrow Author

“Hi Everyone, I’m putting feelers out for poetry readings ( your own work ,any subject) and a hundred word flash fiction pieces (subject “Harvest”) for an online festival to be held by Showboat in September. Showboat is an online TV company I sometimes volunteer at. It would be on Zoom and pre-recorded in a couple of weeks’ time. You’d be dealing directly with them, but I said I would ask those of you I know here. Anyone interested can DM me on FB and I will pass on your details and what you would like to do. It would be a great place to showcase your writing” Judith Barrow Author

I have been out and about this week with the lovely Marcia Meara, who has a series running ‘Ten things you may not know about me’  and if you have not seen the post you might like to pop over to discover a few more of my quirks and past shenanigans.

Head over to  join us Marcia Meara – Then things you may not know about Sally Cronin

I have also released my latest poetry collection this week. The 50+ poems have accumulated over the last year, with some that share memories of my childhood and teen years lying in a drawer for many moons. I have a number of writing projects on the go at the moment but I felt the need to finish one and get it out there.. I must admit I did take a screenshot of my orange flag #1 release in poetry and nature… I am sure fleeting but a little boost.

You can find out more about the collection here: #Poetry – Life is Like a Mosaic: Random Fragments in Harmony by Sally Cronin

This week I have uploaded the audio for some of my current and previous reviews plus my new book promotion as an example as I will be adding new books in the Cafe and Bookstore to the podcast menu soon.

Also a Short Story from Flights of Fancy – The Psychic Parrot.

You can select the track you would like to listen to by going to my profile page: Sally Cronin on Soundcloud

Or on my recording platform: Anchor FM Sally Cronin

William Price King is on his summer break until September with grandchildren but he has left his selections for the Breakfast Show and sends his best wishes. This week D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies is back with a new Realms of Relationships about Kindred Spirits who enter our lives at times when they are needed most. On Friday Daniel Kemp added his special brand of humour to the Laughter Lines.

My thanks to William, Debby and Danny for their wonderful contributions and to you for your support during the week..

Chart Hits 1974 Part One – Barbra Streisand, Barry White, The Three Degrees, ABBA-

– July 2021 – The Universe Brings us Kindred Spirits

What’s in a Name? Volume One – Fionnuala – The Swan

Tales from the Spanish Garden – Chapter Eleven – The Last Summer Ball and the Winter Fairy – Part Two

#Salmon #Scotland – A Speyside Odyssey by Norman Matheson

Book Reviews Rewind – #Poetry – Minus One: With Haikus and Other Poems: The Story of a Life by Elizabeth Merry

Book Reviews Rewind -#Cancer #Journal – Apple Blossom: my Hope…my Inspiration by Jaye Marie

Author Sue Wickstead brings Elizabeth Wickstead and Rose Powell -#100th Birthday Celebrations.

Neutering – The side-effects including to longevity

Calcium Oxylate dihydrate Kidney Stone -2

The Kidneys – Function – Disease – Kidney Stones

– Thank you Mrs Miller – luv Sally age four ‘n’ haf – #Influencers by Sally Cronin

Monday 19th July 2021 – #Handwriting Robbie Cheadle, #ALS Pete Springer, #Interview Allan Hudson

#Funnies The Story Reading Ape, #Canoes #Invitation Rebecca Budd, #Salad Dorothy New Vintage Kitchen

#Fantasy Charles E. Yallowitz, #Crime Fiona Tarr, #Family Christa Polkinhorn

#Romance Linda Bradley, #PsychicThriller GG Collins, #OrganisedCrime John L. DeBoer

#Poetry Leon Stevens, #Shortstories Pamela S. Wight, #Thiller #Romance Jane Buckley, #Biographical #Fiction Roz Morris

Meet the Authors 2021 – #Childrens Norah Colvin, #Horses Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

#Shortstories D.L. Finn, #Safety Miriam Hurdle

#Reviews – #Prehistoric Jacqui Murray, #Horses Jan Sikes, #Romance #Paranormal Marcia Meara

July 20th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Summer Water and Exam Answers

July 22nd 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Variety and Icelandic Nights

July 23rd 2021 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp – Football and Tech repairs

 

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

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore Update – #Reviews – #Prehistoric Jacqui Murray, #Horses Jan Sikes, #Romance #Paranormal Marcia Meara


Time to get back to the Cafe Updates and recommendations for your summer reading.

The first author today is Jacqui Murray whose latest prehistoric adventure Laws of Nature (Dawn of Humanity Book 2) is receiving great reviews.

About the book

A boy blinded by fire. A woman raised by wolves. An avowed enemy offers help. But can they save Lucy’s tribe?***In this second in the Dawn of Humanity trilogy, the first trilogy in the Man vs. Nature saga, Lucy and her eclectic group escape the treacherous tribe that has been hunting them and find a safe haven in the famous Wonderwerk caves in South Africa, the oldest known occupation of caves by humans. They don’t have clothing, fire, or weapons, but the caves keep them warm and food is plentiful. Circumstances make it clear that they can’t stay, not with the rest of her tribe enslaved by the treacherous enemy.

To free them requires not only the prodigious skills of Lucy’s unique group–which includes a proto-wolf and a female raised by the pack–but others who have no reason to assist her and instinct tells Lucy she shouldn’t trust. Set 1.8 million years ago in Africa, Lucy and her band of early humans struggle against the harsh reality of a world ruled by nature, where predators stalk them and a violent new species of man threatens to destroy their world. Only by changing can they prevail. If you ever wondered how earliest man survived but couldn’t get through the academic discussions, this book is for you. Prepare to see this violent and beautiful world in a way you never imagined.

A recent review for the book

Murray’s novels are always filled with a plethora of facts about prehistoric man. What they ate. How they hunted. How they communicated. And how they survived. I can’t begin to fathom the amount of time that goes into researching the worlds she creates. What strikes me the most about her stories is how people—and animals—from different cultures learn to live together. Come together. And form a pack. It’s a wonderful lesson in today’s tempestuous times.

This particular series is about Lucy. A Homo habilis female who takes her place among the men to step up and lead her pack. She does so with both strength and gentleness and earns the respect and loyalty from everyone that follows her.
If you happen to be looking for a book that reaches into the past, has a strong, fearless female, this series is for you. So grab your coffee, put your feet up and prepare to enjoy.

A selection of books by Jacqui Murray

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Jacqui: goodreads – Blog: WorddreamsTwitter: @WordDreams

The next review is for Jan Sikes and her short story Satin & Cinders.

A recent review for the story

Mae Clair 4.0 out of 5 stars A heartwarming message  Reviewed in the United States on June 27, 2021

This is a very short read, but it delivers both a message and a huge warm fuzzy. Told from the POV of Cinders, a wild stallion in love with Satin, a domestic mare, the story delivers a tale of longing, love, and having the confidence to reach for your dream. When Cinders braves the unknown to connect with the mare he has loved from afar in spirit, he and Satin find strength in their devotion to each other. The delivery is sweet and wraps with a lovely and strengthening message about pursuing your dreams, even when it involves stepping out of your comfort zone.

A small selection of other books by Jan Sikes

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Website: Jan SikesGoodreads: Jan on Goodreads – Twitter: @rijanjks

The final author today with a recent review is Marcia Meara for the first book in her series Wake-Robin Ridge.

About the book

Marcia Meara, author of Swamp Ghosts and Finding Hunter, has set Book One of her Wake-Robin Ridge series amid the haunting beauty of the North Carolina mountains, where ghosts walk, ancient legends abound, and things still go bump in the night.

“A PHONE RINGING AT 2:00 A.M. never means anything good. Calls at 2:00 A.M. are bad news. Someone has died. Someone is hurt. Or someone needs help.”

On a bitter cold January night in 1965, death came calling at an isolated little cabin on Wake-Robin Ridge. Now, nearly 50 years later, librarian Sarah Gray has quit her job and moved into the same cabin, hoping the peace and quiet of her woodland retreat will allow her to concentrate on writing her first novel. Instead she finds herself distracted by her only neighbor, the enigmatic and reclusive MacKenzie Cole, who lives on top of the mountain with his Irish wolfhound as his sole companion.

As their tentative friendship grows, Sarah learns the truth about the heartbreaking secret causing Mac to hide from the world. But before the two can sort out their feelings for each other, they find themselves plunged into a night of terror neither could have anticipated. Now they must unravel the horrifying events of a murder committed decades earlier. In doing so, they discover that the only thing stronger than a hatred that will not die is a heart willing to sacrifice everything for another.

A recent review for the book

Pete Springer 5.0 out of 5 stars Two Women Finding Love  Reviewed in the United States on June 12, 2021

Wake-Robin Ridge is the first book in Marcia Meara’s series. The story revolves around two women, decades apart. Sarah Carter is looking for a major life change and decides to get a cabin in rural Colorado and write the novel that she has always wanted to write. She meets MacKenzie Cole, a handsome but mysterious man who has had more than his share of tragedy. MacKenzie has a secret that prevents him from getting close, but his love for Sarah is at odds with his previous plans to live isolated.

Sarah is connected unknowingly to Ruth Carter, a woman who saw an opportunity to flee from her abusive husband, Lloyd Carter, fifty years earlier. While Lloyd is in prison, Ruth runs away to rural North Carolina and lives in the same cabin that Sarah later inhabits. Lloyd hires a guy to track down Ruth so that he (Lloyd) can come back and murder her.

This was an engaging read that involves plenty of suspense with a paranormal angle. I enjoyed this story, and I plan to read the next book in the series.

A selection of books by Marcia Meara

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USAnd : Amazon UK – Marcia Meara on: Goodreads – Blog:Marcia Meara WritesTwitter: @MarciaMeara

 

Thanks very much and I hope you will be leaving with some books..thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – #Poetry – Life is Like a Mosaic: Random Fragments in Harmony by Sally Cronin


Delighted to share the news of my latest release which went live yesterday. A little light summer reading…

About the collection

 “Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.” Arthur Brisbane 1911.

An image offers an opportunity to see endless possibilities depending on the viewer’s perspective. Where some might see beauty and joy, others imagine sadness and loss of hope.

In this collection, images and syllabic poetry are brought together to tell a story based on the author’s perspective. The poetry explores our human experiences such as love, happiness, hope, aging, friendship, new beginnings, dreams and loss.

The world around us is an amazing playground and source of all our essential needs as well as sensory experiences that bring wonder into our lives. What lies beyond the horizon? What surprises will we discover as a garden bursts into bloom? Where do the night creatures live?

At the end of the collection there are some longer poems celebrating memories of the author’s life of travel, teenage exploits and love of food!

Buy the book £3.50 : Amazon UK – And for $4.79 : Amazon US

A selection of other books by Sally Cronin

One of the recent reviews for Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries

Short story and poetry anthologies are all the rage now, and Sally Cronin’s “Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries” does not disappoint. This eclectic mix takes the reader through a gambit of feelings that revolve around the themes of love, loss, humor, revenge, and life’s second chances.

A few of these tales brought tears to my eyes, such as “Long Lost Love,” which tells the story of Tom and Elaine, a pregnancy, and a visit from beyond the grave. However, the poetry is as exceptional as the short stories. The butterfly cinquain, “Ritual of Mehndi,” shares a glimpse into the traditional wedding custom of painting symbols in henna on the bride’s hands.

This author is known for an empathetic approach to her writing. She writes what she senses, sharing the ups and downs of her characters with love and compassion. A true storyteller, Sally Cronin’s stories will leave you wanting more feel-good moments.  

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – Follow Sally  :Goodreads – Blog: Smorgasbord Invitation – Twitter: @sgc58 – Facebook: Sally Cronin – LinkedIn: Sally Cronin

About Sally Cronin

Sally Cronin is the author of fifteen books including her memoir Size Matters: Especially when you weigh 330lb first published in 2001. This has been followed by another thirteen books both fiction and non-fiction including multi-genre collections of short stories and poetry. Her latest collection, Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet, reflects on the absurdities and sometimes tragedies that drop into our lives.

As an author she understands how important it is to have support in marketing books and offers a number of FREE promotional opportunities in the Café and Bookstore on her blog and across her social media.

Her podcast shares book reviews and short stories Soundcloud Sally Cronin

After leading a nomadic existence exploring the world, she now lives with her husband on the coast of Southern Ireland enjoying the seasonal fluctuations in the temperature of the rain.

 

Thanks very much for dropping in and it would be great if you could hit the reblog or social media buttons to share the news of my new book… thanks Sally.