Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Christmas Party 2020 – Invite a pet with guests Robbie Cheadle, Sue Vincent, Aurora Jean, Ann Chiappetta, and D.G. Kaye


Welcome to the Smorgasbord Christmas Party, with the focus on the fur members of the family who also love this time of year, over this weekend and next I will be sharing the photographs of some much loved pets, and of course a little promo for their human companions.

I have prepared some treats that hopefully my guests both two-legged and four-legged will enjoy.. Joining  yesterday’s guests are some delightful felines and canines and their humans.

My first guest today is Robbie Cheadle who has invited along her cat Push-Push.. who may not be as big a fan of Robbie’s baking we we all are.

I thought Push-Push might like to help me with my giant gingerbread project this year. I offered her a piece of the cut off gingerbread [I always back first and then cut out, so the shapes don’t lose their form during the cooking process]. Sadly, gingerbread did not seem to appeal to her, so she isn’t offering to be my helper. I have the feeling she’ll be a lot keener on helping to carve the turkey on the big day.

A selection of books by Robbie and Michael Cheadle and as Roberta Eaton Cheadle.

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About Robbie Cheadle

Robbie, short for Roberta, is an author with five published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with her son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about her mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with her mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton). All of Robbie’s children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications.

Robbie has recently branched into adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential her children’s books from her adult writing, these will be published under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. Robbie has two short stories in the horror/supernatural genre included in Dark Visions, a collection of 34 short stories by 27 different authors and edited by award winning author, Dan Alatorre. These short stories are published under Robbie Cheadle.

Read the reviews and Buy the books :Amazon US And:Amazon UK – Follow Robbie  : Goodreads – blog: Robbie’s Inspiration- Twitter: @bakeandwrite

Something now for cat owners who wish to protect their Christmas tree this year.. thanks to  Cole and Marmalade

My next guest needs no introduction.. it is The Small Black Dog herself… Ani author of numerous popular books. Today she has brought along her human, Sue Vincent as Ani has been banned from driving!  A story for another time.

Ani is currently hosting a massive all star Advent Party over on her blog and you will find some wonderful guests and their humans Advent 2020 – Who Wants to Come and Play

A small selection of  books by Sue Vincent and Ani

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire born writer, esoteric teacher and Director of The Silent Eye. She has been immersed in the Mysteries all her life. Sue maintains a popular blog and is co-author of The Mystical Hexagram with Dr G.M.Vasey. Sue lives in Buckinghamshire, having been stranded there some years ago due to an accident with a blindfold, a pin and a map. She has a lasting love-affair with the landscape of Albion, the hidden country of the heart. She is currently owned by a small dog who also writes at S.C. Vincent

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK and:Amazon USBlog: S.C. VincentGoodreads:Sue Vincent  – Twitter:@SCVincent
I know that Ani is partial to cheese so better get in there and help yourself before she sniffs it out.
My next guest is Aurora Jean Alexander whose beautiful black cat Tjara is extremely festive..and

This a picture that I took a few years back when I took my new addition to the cat-herd to my mother’s house first time. My Mom had a mini-Christmas tree on her table and Tjara, of course, was fascinated by the ‘shiny balls’ and was sitting next to the tree for a moment, just long enough for me to take the picture.

Books by A.J. Alexander

I’m a fantasy author working on a paranormal romance series. The first book of ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series, ‘Soul Taker’ was published December 15, 2018.

I have written short stories and poetry in the past. Some of my poems can be read on my blog ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest.

My rare free time I’m spending in extreme reading, excessive pool swimming and playing monster-monopoly. My strongest support system are my sister, most of my family, my friends and my three cats.

Read the reviews and buy the books:  Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Website: Aurora Jean Alexander – Twitter: @AuroraJean_A

More shenanigans from Cole and Marmalade as they get ready for Christmas courtesy of their long suffering human Cole and Marmalade 

And now Ann Chiappetta joins us with her wonderful fur family Bailey and May

Yellow lab Bailey and shepherd mix May (and me behind them). Bailey is the dog on the cover of my memoir, Follow Your Dog, 7 years old bred and trained by Guiding Eyes for the Blind in NY. May was adopted last June from our local Humane Society and just turned 2. They are best friends and love to play tug and mouth wars.

Books by Ann Chiappetta

About Ann Chiappetta

Ann is an artist and often refers to her love of words as a natural compensation after losing her vision in 1993. Once a designer of acrylic displays and furniture, Ann trained her creative senses to flow over from the visual to the literary arts. Years later, she has become a poet and author, honing her talent in various mediums, including web content for nonprofits, regular bylines for online literary publications, poetry, anthologies and guest editing in online literary journals, just to name a few projects of which she
has contributed.

Ann possesses a master of science in Marriage and family therapy from Iona College and an undergraduate degree from the College of New Rochelle, both located in Westchester County, New York. She is currently employed as a readjustment and trauma counselor for combat veterans and their families. A guide dog handler and advocate, Ann volunteers her time representing people with visual impairments and guide dog users on various National, State and local boards of directors. A consultant and guest presenter, Ann visits schools promoting awareness and equality for people with disabilities. She is the 2015 recipient of the WDOM Spirit of Independence award.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK –  Blog: Thought Wheel – Twitter: @anniedungarees

And last but certainly not least.. D.G.Kaye who so badly wanted to join the party she went out and borrowed a cat, not just any cat but Tequila Cat!

Are we surprised!!  We know how much she loves her Margaritas.. as I do. Debby brought me a gift which I am off install immediately so we can all enjoy a cocktail.. Sorry four-legged guests this is just for us hoomans.

Books by D.G. Kaye

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USAndAmazon UK    Blog: D.G. WritesGoodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads –  Twitter: @pokercubster

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.

 

Thank you for joining us today. Have a wonderful Christmas and I shall be around from time to time with the odd post or two over the holidays if you are around.. stay safe.

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 13th – 19th December – Christmas Party, Aretha, New Music Show 2021,Book Fair,


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

I hope you are all doing well and despite the restrictions looking forward to Christmas next week.. Despite everything that has happened this year with Covid-19, US elections and Brexit, the time has flown which is a good thing as personally I cannot wait to get into 2021.

And on that note…The new Music Column begins on January 5th hosted by William Price King and myself

Each week we will select two top hits from the charts starting with 1960 for two weeks followed by 1961 etc..we will also include some of the notable events in those years for the up and coming stars who were centre stage at the time.

Every four weeks at the weekend there will be a spin-off show where we will feature four guests sharing their memories of the music of a particular decade we are working on.

I appreciate that some of you are not as old as I am …. and therefore have no memories of the 1960s, but your turn will come as we move through the decades. For those of you who can recall those distant years…..we would love to hear from you. It is an opportunity to strut your stuff in more ways than one. I will include your links to blog or books or both and social media and also play your 1960s track of choice.

To give you an idea of how it will look in the post here is my music memories of 1960s, my first record I bought and my links. We are looking for between 200 to 300 words rather than a couple of sentences.. so do give it some thought..Also if you have a photo of you in the 1960s please share too..

Music has always played a major role in my life in one form or another. My parents loved to dance so I grew up with the Big Band Sound and crooners such as Nat King Cole. My mother was a musical fan and every Saturday afternoon we would watch and sing along to the best of the 1940s and 50s showstoppers.

My father did not embrace the music of the 60s as much as my sisters and I did, and we were banished to the basement with our record player to play that awful ‘Pop’ music. The stereo combined cocktail cabinet, was tuned into the world news service and big band shows, and we were forbidden to touch the nobs. Then in the mid-1960s, pirate radio hit the airwaves, and I had a small portable wireless to tune into Radio Caroline. I attended a youth club dance every Saturday night from the age of fifteen and many of the groups such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones were well established by then and dominated the playlists.

I played guitar for several years, sang in public on occasion and ended up plugging tracks as a radio presenter on local radio.

The first record I bought with my pocket money was an EP by Richard Chamberlain (Dr. Kildare who was the object of a major crush) in 1964 which included All I Do is Dream of You

A selection of books by Sally Cronin

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Read the reviews and buy the books :Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – More reviews : Goodreads – blog: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Twitter: @sgc58 – Facebook: Sally Cronin – LinkedIn: Sally Cronin

I think that gives you an idea of what your post will look like...

What I need from you

If you have featured here before… I just need your 200 to 300 words and your song choice, or first artist you bought in the 1960s.. A good idea to give me a couple of choices in case of duplication. If you have a photograph of you in the 1960s then that would be great.

Email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com

And don’t forget we will be working through the decades so you if you were not old enough to remember the 1960s (lucky you) you can join in later in the series.

Time now for the posts from the week…

Q & A with D.G. Kaye

First a big thank you to D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies. I have not planned a bit launch for my latest book, but Debby invited me over for a chat about blogging, social media and to share a short excerpt from one of the stories.. I will reblog on Monday but in the meantime if you have time here is the link: Q & A with D.G. Kaye – Featuring Sally Cronin #Booklaunch – Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries

A thank you too to William Price King for another wonderful series, this time about Aretha Franklin. And as an extra treat this week, more international carols to ensure we maintain the festive spirit..

William Price King with Soul singer Aretha Franklin – The Finale

Christmas Music with William Price King – Carols from around the World #Italy, #Nigeria, #Sweden

Geoff Le Pard – Short Story – The Advent Calendar – Part One

Geoff Le Pard – Short Story – The Advent Calendar – Part Two

March 1986– Atlanta – Gone with the Wind

Christmas Party 2020 – Invite a pet with guests Noelle Granger, Victoria Zigler, Teagan Riordain Geneviene, Cathy Cade

Invite a pet with guests Diana Wallace Peach, Patty Fletcher, Mary Anne Edwards and Claire Fullerton.

The First Day of Christmas 2020 – Memories, Mince Pies, Music and Eggnog

The Second Day of Christmas 2020 – St. Stephen’s Day, Carols, Christmas Pudding and Margaritas

The Third Day of Christmas 2020 – Presents, Cranberries, Nat King Cole, Mulled Wine

The Fourth Day of Christmas 2020 – White Christmas, Singing Parrot, Champagne, Cava and Ginger Beer.

The Fifth Day of Christmas 2020 – Austria, Die Hard, Toboggans, Snowballs and Carols

The hills are closed : funny

The Sixth Day of Christmas 2020 – The Sound of Music, William Price King, Six Geese, Vegetarian Christmas

#Astronaut Jude Lennon, #Friendship Donald Lloyd Jnr., #History Barbara Ann Mojic and Jann Weeratunga

#Magic Laura Smith, #Adventure Annika Perry, #Turtles Cynthia S. Reyes and Lauren Reyes-Grange

#Thriller Colin Guest, #Shortstories Jude Lennon, #Vampires Susanne Leist, #Dog Andrew Joyce, #Suspense Sandra J. Jackson

#Dystopian Alex Craigie, #YA Angie Dokos, #Contemporary M.C.V. Egan, #SouthernCulture Claire Fullerton

New Release #History Mike Biles, Reviews -#Family Lisette Brodey, #Paranormal Roberta Eaton Cheadle, #Adventure Audrey Driscoll, #History Joyce Hampton

New Books – #FranceWWII Paulette Mahurin, #Fantasy Heather Kindt, #Reviews – #Pre-Historic Jacqui Murray, #Thriller Daniel Kemp, #Paranormal Cecilia Kennedy

New Release – Jan Sikes – Reviews – Fiona Tarr, Vashti Quiroz-Vega, Adele Marie Park, Deborah Jay

Romance Linda Bradley, #Paranormal Mae Clair, #Western Sandra Cox, #Stories/Poetry M.J. Mallon, #Poetry Miriam Hurdle

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – December 15th 2020 – Reindeer and Wise Words

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – December 17th 2020 – Elves Wanted and Christmas Shopping.

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – December 18th 2020 – Xmas Spirit and Trampoline antics

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Christmas Party 2020 – Invite a pet with guests Diana Wallace Peach, Patty Fletcher, Mary Anne Edwards and Claire Fullerton.


Welcome to the Smorgasbord Christmas Party, with the focus on the fur members of the family who also love this time of year, over this weekend and next I will be sharing the photographs of some much loved pets, and of course a little promo for their human companions.

Obviously with all these honoured guests expected, I have been busy in the kitchen preparing some treats that hopefully my guests both two-legged and four-legged will enjoy.. Joining last Sunday’s guests are some delightful felines and canines and their humans

My first guest today is  Diana Wallace Peach who has brought with her two delightful guests who were beloved family pets. Even when we lose them, they stay firmly in our hearts.

“Lulu and Honey were sisters who came into our lives in 2004 from a rescue shelter. They were our precious snuggle mutts and sources of endless laughter for their whole lives. Best Christmas presents ever. Happy Holidays!

A selection of books by Diana Wallace Peach.

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About Diana Wallace Peach

I didn’t care for reading as a child – I preferred Bonanza and Beverly Hillbillies reruns, Saturday morning cartoons and the Ed Sullivan show. Then one day, I opened a book titled The Hobbit. Tolkien … literally changed my life.

I love writing, and have the privilege to pursue my passion full time. I’m still exploring the fantasy genre, trying out new points of view, creating optimistic works with light-hearted endings, and delving into the grim and gritty what-ifs of a post-apocalyptic world. Forgive me if I seem untethered in my offering of reads. Perhaps one day, I’ll settle into something more reliable. For now, it’s simply an uncharted journey, and I hope you enjoy the adventure as much as I.

Read the reviews and buy the books:  Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Diana: Goodreadsblog: Myths of the Mirror – Twitter: @Dwallacepeach

I thought that you might like to try this with your pets this Christmas as a party game.. I am sure there will be equally amusing results.. thanks to Pets Add Life

My next author is Patty Fletcher who sadly could not bring her Seeing Eye dog Campbell with her but is sharing a favourite photograph of this beloved companion, who is the subject of her new memoir.

Books by Patty Fletcher

About Patty Fletcher

I’m a single mother with a beautiful daughter, of whom I am enormously proud. I have a great son-in-law and six beautiful grandchildren. From April, 2011 through September, 2020 I owned and handled a black Labrador from The Seeing Eye® named King Campbell Lee Fletcher A.K.A. Bubba. Sadly, after a long battle with illness on September 24, 2020 King Campbell went to the Rainbow Bridge where all is peace and love. It is my hope to one day return to The Seeing Eye® for a successor guide.

About my blindness

I was born one and a half months premature. My blindness was caused by my being given too much oxygen in the incubator. I was partially sighted until 1991, at which time I lost my sight due to an infection after cataract surgery and high eye pressure. I used a cane for 31 years before making the change to a guide dog.

Read the reviews and buy the books:  Amazon USAnd : Amazon UK – blog: Campbell’s WorldTwitter: @Bubbalee04

I am sure your pets will have just as elegant manners as these smartly turned out guests…thanks to Anton Tamin

My next guest is Mary Anne Edwards who has brought Gertrude along to meet us.

This is Gertrude. We rescued her in January 2015. We think she was 7-years old when she came to live with us. This picture is her first Christmas with us. She is a curious kitty but a good girl who rarely gets into trouble. Gertrude is mama’s girl, but if I’m not available, her father figure will do.  Her favorite hobbies are eating, sleeping, and chasing a red dot. Her favorite toy is a paper towel cardboard tube because treats are hidden in it twice a day. Gertrude’s dislikes are the vet, anything the vet does to her, and any medicine the vet prescribes.

Books by Mary Anne Edwards

About Mary Jane Edwards

Born in Mercedes, Texas, Mary Anne has lived in Georgia for most of her life. A life-long fan of authors such as Agatha Christie, Anne Perry, Caroline Graham, and Elizabeth Peters, it wasn’t until a few years ago that Mary Anne listened to the voices in her head and began writing her own series of traditional mysteries featuring Detective Charlie McClung.

The first book in the series, Brilliant Disguise, was released to critical acclaim in January 2014. She released the next three in the series, A Good Girl, Criminal Kind, and Sins of my Youth, soon afterward. The fifth book in the series, Flirting with Time, was released on June 30, 2017. Mary Anne released the sixth book, How Deep is the Darkness, on December 2, 2019, and is working on book seven, Complex Kid, with at least three more to follow.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – andAmazon UK – Follow Mary Anne on: Goodreads – Website: Mary Anne Edwards Twitter: @maedwards58

My final guests today are Claire Fullerton with her three beautiful German Shepherds.

Left to right: Ceili, Ronin, and Sorcha, our 3 German shepherds with Irish names! They are a joy, the center of our activity here in Malibu, and they have a lot of secure room to run around.

Books by Claire Fullerton

About Claire Fullerton

Claire is the author of Little Tea, set in the Deep South. It is the story of the bonds of female friendship, healing the past, and outdated racial relations. Little Tea is the August selection of the Pulpwood Queens, a Faulkner Society finalist in the William Wisdom international competition, 1st place winner in the Chanticleer Review’s Somerset award, a finalist in the International Book Awards, and the Independent Authors Network 1st place in Literary Fiction winner and 2nd place winner for 2020 Book of the year. Claire is also the author of 12 X award winning Mourning Dove, a coming of age, Southern family saga set in 1970’s Memphis. Claire is also the author of 3X award winning, Dancing to an Irish Reel, set on the west coast of Ireland, where she once lived. Claire’s first novel is a paranormal mystery set in two time periods titled, A Portal in Time, set in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. She is a contributor to the book, A Southern Season with her novella, Through an Autumn Window, set at a Memphis funeral. Claire is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Literary

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – Follow Claire : Goodreads – website: Claire Fullerton – Twitter: @Cfullerton3

Thanks to my guests today for traveling such great distances to be with us.. Please check out their humans’ books so that their houses will be filled with sausages, cheese and other treats this Christmas...Thanks Sally.

Please join us again for more guests tomorrow…

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Christmas Party 2020 – Invite a pet with guests Noelle Granger, Victoria Zigler, Teagan Riordain Geneviene, Cathy Cade


Welcome to the Smorgasbord Christmas Party, with the focus on the fur members of the family who also love this time of year, over this weekend and next I will be sharing the photographs of some much loved pets, and of course a little promo for their human companions.

Obviously with all these honoured guests expected, I have been busy in the kitchen preparing some treats that hopefully my guests both two-legged and four-legged will enjoy.. Joining yesterday’s guests are some delightful felines and canines and their humans

My first guest is mystery and historical author Noelle Granger who has shared a photograph that is very festive.

My beloved and missed Elijah Moon, who loved to sit in the middle of the pile of Christmas wreaths

Books by N.A. Granger

Noelle A. Granger grew up in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in a rambling, 125-year-old house with a view of the sea. Summers were spent sailing and swimming. She was also one of the first tour guides at Plimoth Plantation. Granger graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a bachelor’s degree in Zoology and from Case Western Reserve University with a Ph.D. in anatomy. Following a career of research in developmental biology and teaching human anatomy to medical students and residents, the last 28 years of which were spent at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, she decided to try her hand at writing fiction. The Rhe Brewster Mystery Series was born.

In addition to the Rhe Brewster Mystery Series, Granger has had short stories, both fiction and non-fiction, published in Deep South Magazine, Sea Level Magazine, the Bella Online Literary Review, and Coastal Style Magazine, and has been featured in Chapel Hill Magazine, The News & Observer, The Boothbay Register, and other local press. Granger lives with her husband, a cat who blogs, and a hyperactive dog in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She spends a portion of every summer in Maine.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK Blog:Sayling Away – Goodreads:Noelle A. Granger – Twitter:@NAGrangerAuthor

I do love a good Christmas dinner so if everyone would like to take a seat at the table…thanks to Gerald B. Saunders  for the table setting.

My next guest is prolific children’s author Victoria Zigler who has brought her delightful West Highland Terrier…Lilie

“Lilie is a very energetic West Highland White Terrier, who thinks almost being four is no  excuse to stop having the enthusiasm of a puppy. She loves making friends of any species, and playing ball. She even loves her Cavapoo brother, Logan – when he’s not chewing her
favourite ball, or stealing her stuff.

A small selection of  books by Victoria Zigler

My name is Victoria Zigler, but most of my friends and family call me Tori. Feel free to do the same.

Born in the shadow of the black mountains in Wales, I now live by the sea in the south-east of England, with my husband, Kelly, a chinchilla named Mollie, a West Highland White Terrier named Lilie, a Cavapoo named Logan, and a Hermann’s Tortoise named Artemis.

Having battled with glaucoma since birth, I now find myself completely blind. But I haven’t let that stop me from chasing the dream I’ve had since I was a young child: the dream of becoming a published author. Though it’s been said many times by many authors, I’ve loved to read and write since I learned how, and always wanted to get my work published. Finally, in 2012, I made that dream come true by self-publishing the first of my books as an eBook via Smashwords. Several more titles have been published since, with paperbacks and audio books also being made available. So now I’m a published author of several poetry collections, as well as a long list of children’s stories.

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

Something to go along with the Mocktails….

Image by Angela Yuriko Smith from Pixabay

My next guest is popular blogger and author Teagan Riordain Geneviene who shares a delightful Christmas photograph of her cat Crystal.

Crystal’s life began as a feral kitten on the south side of Albuquerque, New Mexico. She was rescued at birth. Her rescuers held an event at a pet store. I went inside, pondering whether the time was right for another cat. I spoke my thoughts aloud to a pair of colorful lovebirds. They began chirping excitedly. I took their advice. Now Crystal is 14 years old, and traveled across the country with me — and then back to the southwest again.

A selection of books by Teagan

 

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene lives in a “high desert” town in the Southwest of the USA.

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

Her work is colored by her experiences from living in the southern states and the southwest. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes cozy mysteries. Whether it’s a 1920s mystery, a steampunk adventure, or urban fantasy, her stories have a strong element of whimsy. There are no *extremes* in violence, sex, or profanity.

Her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers. Teagan’s Books

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

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and : Amazon UK – Blog: Teagan’s BooksGoodreads:Goodreads Twitter: @teagangeneviene

It is so gratifying to see a clean plate but hope room has been left for dessert….

My final guest today is author Cathy Cade and her lovely dogs Smidgeon and Ruff

This will be our first Christmas without Pickle, the Staffie. Pickle would have been sixteen if she’d made it through lockdown, but it wasn’t to be. As Smidgeon was missing her companion, we’ve taken on Ruff (Wanna Play). This festive season will be the first when we don’t have to feel guilty about poppers or Christmas crackers since, unlike Pickle (back in the days when she could hear) neither Smidge nor Ruff are frightened of bangs.

Books by Cathy Cade

Cathy lives with her husband and dogs, mostly in the Cambridgeshire Fens and sometimes across the fence from London’s Epping Forest. Following a career in libraries where creative writing opportunities were limited to annual reports, she now produces a different kind of fiction.

Cathy’s short stories have been published in ‘Scribble’ magazine and Chris Fielden’s ‘To Hull and Back 2018, Short Stories’. Her stories and rhymes also appear in the anthologies ‘Where the Wild Winds Blow’ and ‘A Following Wind’, from the Whittlesey Wordsmiths’ creative writing group (both available from Amazon.)

Her verse owes more to Pam Ayres than G K Chesterton. Examples can be found at Commaful (see Cathy Cade) and on WordPress at cathy-cade.com.

Read the reviews and buy the books : Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Cathy: Goodreads  Website: Cathy CadeFacebook: Cathy Cade Wordsmith.

While all my guests digest their dinner, time for a Christmas story….courtesy of Pets Add Life

 

Thanks to my guests today for traveling such great distances to be with us.. Please check out their humans’ books so that their houses will be filled with sausages, cheese and other treats this Christmas...Thanks Sally.

Please join us again for more guests next Saturday…

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Christmas Party 2020 – Invite a pet with guests – Ann Patras, Jemima Pett, John Howell, Jo Elizabeth Pinto and Darlene Foster


Welcome to the Smorgasbord Christmas Party, with the focus on the fur members of the family who also love this time of year, over this weekend and next I will be sharing the photographs of some much loved pets, and of course a little promo for their human companions.

Obviously with all these honoured guests expected, I have been busy in the kitchen preparing some treats that hopefully my guests both two-legged and four-legged will enjoy..

Image by RitaE from Pixabay

Our first guest Ann Patras has turned up with her wonderful family of dogs..all looking very festive.

I couldn’t possibly give up the opportunity to show off my three (not so little) beauties (2 southern Mastins and a Lab). Here they are before going for a sunny Christmas walkies last year. From the left – JD (Jacki Daniels), Cava, and Marti (martini).

Ann Patras has written three memoirs of her life in Africa..What started out as a two-year contract in Zambia, resulted in her living in Africa for 31 years.The onset of those 31 years came with some surprises. She didn’t know anything about the place they were moving to (1980 was light years before the internet), if she had known she might not have agreed to go. Within days of arrival in Zambia she was horrified to find they didn’t have English-type pubs, toilet rolls were an endangered species, ants were the size of small cats and there was a fly whose larvae ate you from the inside out if you didn’t iron all your laundry. Yes, even socks!

Maintaining the sunshine theme she now lives in Spain, with the same weird-sounding husband and writes books about all their crazy experiences.

Read the reviews and buy Ann’s books: Amazon UK –  And:Amazon US – Follow Ann:  Goodreads – Website: Ann Patras Author – Facebook: Ann Patras Author

 I appreciate that some of today’s guests may prefer the vegetarian option and I have something special just for them to select from.

Jemima Pett has brought some very festive friends to the party and very fetching they look too.

Ludo, Roscoe, baby Locksley, Biggles and Neville would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas from their new home in Hampshire, UK.

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Jemima Pett in her own words..I have had a number of different jobs, but in totally different fields. These included social work, business management, computer technology, environmental research. The thread running through all of them was communication – and that continued in my spare time with writing and editing club magazines, manuals, reports… I loved words, loved to learn and to apply my learning to the real world.

Eventually the world just wasn’t big enough, and so I went back to inventing my own, as I had as a child. First came the Realms, a feudal England run by princes in castles who just happen to be guinea pigs – although you can read them as people equally well. Then came the Viridian System, a planetary area on the outskirts of known space where a frontier mentality mixes with big business and tourism. Jemima now lives in Hampshire with her family of Guinea pigs, who also inhabit her fictional world.

Find out more about Jemima’s books and read the reviews: Amazon US – And:Amazon UK – Blog:Jemima PettGoodreads:Jemima Pett – Twitter:@jemima_pett – 

John Howell has brought his two rescue pets Lucy and Twiggy with him to add some Texas party spirit (I hope he has brought the tequila)

This is a photo of Lucy and Twiggy last year. Twiggy is sporting her new holiday sweater and Lucy is dreading the fact that she knows she is next.

John Howell turned to writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive career in business. John writes thriller fiction novels and short stories. His story Cold Night Out won an honorable mention in Writers Digest Popular Fiction contest this year. He also won first place in the Kurt Vonnegut Kilgore Trout novel contest, celebrating Kurt Vonnegut as an author. His short story Never Give Inn was selected to be published in the Miracle E-zine fifth issue published in April of 2014. Since then John has published three books in the John Cannon thriller series, a novel Circumstances of Childhood, a collaboration with Gwen Plano, The Contract a paranormal thriller, and his latest release Eternal Road an adventure in the afterlife.

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

Books by John Howell

Read the reviews for John’s books: Amazon USand : Amazon UK – Goodreads:John Howell Goodreads Blog: John W. Howell. com – Twitter@HowellWave

In honour of our guests from Texas.. a little music to get you up on your feet, and I hear that John is a whizz on the dance floor and I am sure would be happy to give us all some pointers on doing the Texas Two Step. An orderly queue please ladies…

Jo Elizabeth Pinto has brought two of her beautiful guide dogs with her for the party…

My golden retriever, called Tova, is near the end of her life and has served me for eleven faithful years. She’s been wonderful. The other, a black Labrador named Ballad, is young and exuberant and ready to learn. She is at the beginning of her service and will guide me successfully for ten beautiful years.

J. E. Pinto is a magnet for underdogs. Early in her married life, her home became a hangout for troubled neighborhood kids. This experience lit the flame for her first novel, The Bright Side of Darkness.

Pinto’s Spanish-American roots grow deep in the Rocky Mountains, dating back six generations. J. E. Pinto lives with her family in Colorado where she works as a writer and also proofreads textbooks and audio books.

Books by J.E. Pinto

Find out more about Jo Elizabeth’s books and read the reviews:Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – follow J.E. Pinto : Goodreads –  Facebook: Author J. E. Pinto

Darlene Foster has joined us from Spain and brought the delightful Dot with her.

Dot loves Christmas in Spain but is not too keen on having to wear the antlers. She’s been a pretty good dog all year and hopes to get a yummy treat from Santa.

Growing up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing, travelling the world, and meeting interesting people. She also believed in making her dreams come true. It’s no surprise she’s now the award-winning author of Amanda Travels, a children’s adventure series featuring a spunky twelve-year-old who loves to travel to unique places. Readers of all ages enjoy following Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another. When not travelling herself, Darlene divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca, Spain with her husband and entertaining dog, Dot.

A selection of books by Darlene Foster

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Find out more about Darlene’s books and read the reviews: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Website/BlogDarlene Foster WordPress – Goodreads: Goodreads – Twitter: @supermegawoman

To add a little Spanish flavour to the proceedings, here is a plate of one Tapas.. the wonderful sharing plate that is a favourite at dinner parties and at a restaurant. Something for everyone..

Image by bule from Pixabay

And to finish off today’s party and in keeping with the Latin theme… Salsa Dogs

 

Thanks to my guests today for traveling such great distances to be with us.. Please check out their humans’ books so that their houses will be filled with sausages, cheese and other treats this Christmas...Thanks Sally.

 

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Christmas Archives – Making a Gingerbread Chapel by Robbie and Michael Cheadle


Over the last seven years there have been some amazing guests in the run up to Christmas who have shared stories about their own memories of this time of year or their festive fiction. In the next four weeks I will be repeating some of those posts, updated with the authors recent books and reviews.

It is time for some fondant magic from master baker and confectioner Robbie Cheadle, with a delicious gingerbread themed cake that would make a wonderful addition to the Christmas tea table.

Making a Gingerbread Chapel by Robbie and Michael Cheadle

This weekend Michael and I made a Christmas present for our minister, Alistair. Alistair has young children and so we decided that a gingerbread house would be a splendid gift for him and his family. Of course, we can never do anything the easy and simple way so we decided to embark on making a chapel out of gingerbread. It was really great fun and not that much more difficult to cut out and assemble than a regular gingerbread house.

Making and cutting out the gingerbread chapel

Firstly, Mike and I made the gingerbread. We used the recipe that features in Sir Chocolate and The Strawberry Cream Berries story and Cookbook. The video of me making gingerbread using this recipe is as follows:

Once the gingerbread dough was made and was chilling in the refrigerator for an hour, we measured and drew the pieces for the gingerbread chapel onto wax paper. We rolled out the hardened gingerbread dough and baked the gingerbread as sheets on baking trays. I then placed the wax paper pieces on the slightly cooled gingerbread sheets and cut them out using a sharp knife. I find it works much better to cut out the gingerbread pieces after baking as then they keep the form of each piece perfectly and it is much easier to assemble the house.

While the pieces of the gingerbread chapel were cooling and hardening, Mike and I made the royal icing to “glue” our chapel together.

Making royal icing

Mike and I made the royal icing using the recipe that features in Sir Chocolate and The Strawberry Cream Berries story and Cookbook The video of me making royal icing using this recipe is set out below:

Making the stained glass windows

We made the stained glass windows using boiled fruit flavoured sweets that I melted on a piece of wax paper in the over at a very high temperature (240 degrees celcius). I placed the gingerbread chapel sides, front and back on sheets of wax paper and then I poured the melted sweets into the window holes. I left these to set for approximately 30 minutes. Be very careful when you do this as the sweet mixture gets very hot and can burn you badly if you spill it on yourself.

Assembling the gingerbread chapel

Once the gingerbread pieces had cooled and hardened and the royal icing was made we could start assembling our gingerbread chapel. Firstly, I attached the front, back and two side panels to the cake board using royal icing. I used cups to hold the pieces in place while the royal icing dried and hardened. I then assembled the bell tower in the same way. I attached the bell tower to the front of the chapel using more royal icing. I then left the whole framework, supported by cups, to dry overnight.

The following morning, I attached the roof panels to the walls and left them to dry using cups to keep them in place. My gingerbread chapels was now complete and ready for decorating.

The final product

You can decorate your gingerbread chapel anyhow you like. I used jelly beans for the detail along the royal icing joins to give the chapel some colour. I used milk chocolate buttons to decorate the roof and white and milk chocolate buttons to decorate the bell tower. I added windowsills made from KitKat chocolates, cut to size. I made the ivy but cutting out multi-coloured green and white fondant and wiring them together using florists wire. I used Marie biscuits for the stepping stones and royal icing and mint sprinkles for the grass. I added some fondant mice just for fun.

Sir Chocolate and the trolls

Sir Chocolate and the trolls helped with the building of the chapel.

©Robbie Cheadle 2016

A selection of  books by Robbie and Michael Cheadle and as Roberta Eaton Cheadle.

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One of the reviews for Sir Chocolate and the Strawberry Cream Berries

Apr 09, 2018 James rated it Five Stars it was amazing

What an adorable concept for a children’s book series involving imagination, cooking, and art. If you’ve never heard of the ‘Sir Chocolate’ series, you’ve got some catching up to do. The debut book, Sir Chocolate and the Strawberry Cream Berries, written by Robbie Cheadle (and her children), is a perfect addition for any family or home. And what’s even more special is this author won a poll on my blog for the Children’s Book Readathon I’m hosting in August 2018. Robbie’s books are being highlighted the week of 8/25 thru 8/31. All month long she’s shared recipes, new short stories, and tons of fun! I’m sharing a review of the first book in the series this week as a preview for anyone who might still want to participate in the last week when we read one of her newer books.

In this wonderful story, we meet Sir Chocolate and his home, Chocolate Land. When some friends run into trouble, they learn how to work with a possible enemy and turn the concerns into a new friendship. What a great lesson for kids! The pictures are absolutely gorgeous. Don’t read on an empty stomach — have some candy and chocolate nearby! This really sets the stage for several other books that show us the adventures and foods involved in creating this wonderful village and setting. I’m in awe of the author’s talent and creativity, but inspired how it’s a family affair. Kudos to the Cheadles!

Read the reviews and Buy the books :Amazon US And:Amazon UK – Follow Robbie  : Goodreads – blog: Robbie’s Inspiration- Twitter: @bakeandwrite

About Robbie Cheadle

Robbie, short for Roberta, is an author with five published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with her son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about her mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with her mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton). All of Robbie’s children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications. Robbie has recently branched into adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential her children’s books from her adult writing, these will be published under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. Robbie has two short stories in the horror/supernatural genre included in Dark Visions, a collection of 34 short stories by 27 different authors and edited by award winning author, Dan Alatorre. These short stories are published under Robbie Cheadle.

I have been drawn to the horror and supernatural genres of books all my life. At the age of ten years old I embarked on reading Stephen King’s books including The Shining and Salem’s Lot. These books scared me so much I had to put them aside by 6P.M. in the evening in order to get a good night’s sleep but they also fascinated me. I subsequently worked my way through all of Stephen King’s earlier books as well as those of Dean R. Koontz.

I have read a large number of classics, in particular, I enjoy Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Charles Dickens and the works of the Bronte sisters.

I am hugely interested in the history of the United Kingdom as well as the mythology and tales of the paranormal that are abundant on this intriguing European island.

 

My thanks to Robbie for permitting me to share this tasty posts again… and I know she would love your feedback.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Christmas Archives – #ShortStory – The Snow Globe by D. Wallace Peach


Over the last seven years there have been some amazing guests in the run up to Christmas who have shared stories about their own memories of this time of year or their festive fiction. In the next four weeks I will be repeating some of those posts, updated with the authors recent books and reviews.

 

A fabulous story by D.Wallace Peach to bring some romance and mystical magic to Christmas. I know you will love it.

Pixabay image composition.

The Snow Globe by D. Wallace Peach

Delores perches at the scuffed counter of Dee’s Diner on Christmas Eve, keeping one bespectacled eye on Angie as the waitress mops the linoleum floor. The sign on the front door has already flipped from “Open” to “Closed,” and the crimson Panhandle sky fades to a duller shade of rose, a single bright star glimmering on the eastern horizon.

“Thanks for closing early, Dee,” the teenager says.

“No problem, honey. I got plans too.”

Angie looks up and smiles, clearly skeptical, but too kind-hearted to ask. It’s no secret Delores lives alone, unmarried, and childless—except for Buster the cat, who’s not particularly festive when it comes to the holidays.

At closing time, sole proprietor, boss lady, and down-home cook, Delores has slipped off her God-ugly orthopedic lace-ups and donned her purple slippers. She’s been on her feet since a quarter to dawn, and the dogs are hurting puppies. While Angie dumps the dingy water and tucks in the chairs, Delores cleans the kitchen grease from her fingernails with a tarnished nail file. She squints at an old yellowed newspaper, occasionally popping wilted pea pods between her dentures, too soft to serve up and too wasteful to toss out with the trash.

“Are you going to the carnival this year?” Angie asks.

“No need.” Delores looks through the front windows, ignoring the old rain streaks. Across the paved lot, just to the other side of the train tracks, this year’s carnival sets up at the parish fairgrounds. Through the thick lenses of her bifocals, the colorful lights trimming the booths and spanning the spokes of the Ferris wheel blur into a kaleidoscope of stars. A white-suited man on stilts, graceful as a heron, hangs gold garland decked with chrysanthemum blossoms along the arch over the entrance.

“Have you ever gone?” Angie asks, her tasks done, a denim purse hanging from the crook of her elbow.

“Not since I was sixteen, the first year they came.” Delores looks at the young waitress over her glasses as a lock of white hair slips from its bun, brushing her cheek. “Honey, it’s the same carnival every year.”

“For a hundred years?” Angie asks straight-faced and then giggles.

“Not quite but close enough,” Delores replies.

“How come you don’t retire, Miss Dee?”

“And miss out on working Christmas Eve?” Delores shoos her off with a huff. “Get going and have a Merry Christmas now. I’ll see you Monday.”

Angie gives her an awkward kiss on the cheek and echoes a “Merry Christmas” before letting herself out.

As Angie’s taillights turn the corner, Delores picks up the paper and shuffles back to her closet-sized office. She rummages in the bottom drawer of her old metal desk, unearthing the small box she stashed there a year ago and leaving the paper behind. From the box, she gently lifts a snow globe the size of a plum.

Back at the counter, she places the magic ball before her, adjusting her glasses to better see the tiny carnival inside, its eternal snow blanketing the painted fairgrounds. With a sigh, she waits, tapping cracked fingernails on the counter, clicking her false teeth, and peering into the night.

The light post at the corner flickers on, attracting swirling bugs like gold dust, and an armadillo in search of insects scurries from the palmetto and arrowroot at the lot’s edge. That’s the sign she’s been waiting for, and her memory draws near.

Reverently, she shakes the globe, the tiny Ferris wheel and colorful tents caught in a swirling underwater blizzard. In the corner of her eye, Christmas lights trimming the window sparkle on. The diner shines like new, red booths without a single burn or duct-taped patch, floors pristine, the counter gleaming like a sheet of ice. A garland bearing real pinecones drapes the kitchen door. Dainty jelly-jars with sprigs of native mistletoe and sand pine adorn every table. And a Christmas stocking hangs from the counter by the register, filled with gingerbread stars she baked that morning, on sale for a nickel.

In the diner’s corner, The Dean Martin Christmas Album spins on the record player, the needle hitting the vinyl with a soft crackle and hiss. White Christmas fills the warm Gulf air.

She hears it before she sees it. A brand spanking new 1966 Mustang convertible cruises into the lot. The car with its long hood is the color of ripe cherries with a red and white pony interior and Rally wheels that shine like polished silver. The man at the wheel parks by the orange trees that border the diner and glances toward the door, looking disappointed until she hurries over and flips the sign from “Closed” to “Open.”

He smiles and steps from his car, tossing the keys and snatching them from the air like a man with a silver dollar to spend. He’s a few years older than she, maybe twenty, dark-eyed with a halo of black gypsy curls and a black leather jacket. The bells over the door jingle. “Are you open?”

“A little while. It’s Christmas Eve,” she explains, brushing back a blonde lock and fighting a blush. “I was closing, but I can get you some pie or something.”

“Coffee,” he says. “Twenty of them…in a box, if you have one.”

“Twenty?”

“For the carnival.” He gestures over his shoulder.

“I’ll have to brew a pot.” She walks behind the counter. “It’ll take a while.”

“I don’t mind waiting if you don’t,” he says.

He sits at the counter while she scoops coffee into the big percolator and Dean croons I’ll Be Home for Christmas. “Is it fun traveling so much?” she asks, turning to face him, elbows on the counter between them. “Do you ever wish you were home for Christmas?”

From his pocket, he pulls a snow globe and swirls the snow. The tiny carnival inside comes to life as the storm spins. He holds it up between their eyes. “My home,” he replies.

“The carnival,” she whispers, caught in the whirling snow. “How long you been with the carnival?”

“A hundred years,” he replies softly, his words drifting into the air like magic.

She smiles as the snow falls. “Will you stay with the carnival forever?”

“Forever if I could.” His eyes catch hers over the globe. “You sure are pretty. Are you alone?”

“Yes. I was closing.”

“Would you like to dance?”

“Dance?” She laughs. “Where? Here?”

He nods and reaches across the counter, taking her hand and guiding her to the end and into his arms. Silver Bells sings from the record player as they dance in the center of the diner floor, hand in hand, like a pair of old lovers. He plucks a sprig of mistletoe from a jar, and holding it over her head, kisses her, a first kiss that lays open her heart and seals it like the carnival in a swirling globe of snow.

“I should get back,” he says, finally letting her go.

“Oh, the coffee!” She laughs and hurries behind the counter. In minutes, the steaming coffee cups are nestled in a sturdy box. “That’ll be three dollars, please.”

“Leave the globe on the counter next Christmas Eve,” he says as he hands her four singles and cants his head toward the snow-laced carnival. “I’ll come home for Christmas.”

“For a hundred years?” she asks.

“I’ve loved you a long time already.” He kisses her sweetly and picks up the box. She holds the door open to the balmy night and watches as the red mustang crosses the track and glides under the carnival gate.

“I’ll wait for you,” she whispers and flips the sign to closed. Silent Night ends with heavenly peace, and the record player’s arm lifts.

Delores drags her feet to the office and tucks the snow globe in its box in the desk drawer. She pulls out the paper and rereads the old article about a young carnival worker killed in a Ferris wheel accident back in ‘66. David Williams. She’d never asked his name that night.

The paper slides into a plastic bag and joins the small box. Back in the front room, she switches off the old diner’s lights and steps outside to lock the door.

Across the tracks, the carnival is a radiant haze of color and light. “Merry Christmas, David. See you next year.”

Happy Holidays ❤

©D.Wallace Peach 2014

My thanks to Diana for this amazing story and I am sure that you will enjoy her books too.

About Diana Wallace Peach

I didn’t care for reading as a child – I preferred Bonanza and Beverly Hillbillies reruns, Saturday morning cartoons and the Ed Sullivan show. Then one day, I opened a book titled The Hobbit. Tolkien … literally changed my life.

I love writing, and have the privilege to pursue my passion full time. I’m still exploring the fantasy genre, trying out new points of view, creating optimistic works with light-hearted endings, and delving into the grim and gritty what-ifs of a post-apocalyptic world. Forgive me if I seem untethered in my offering of reads. Perhaps one day, I’ll settle into something more reliable. For now, it’s simply an uncharted journey, and I hope you enjoy the adventure as much as I.

A selection of books by D.Wallace Peach

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My review for the Allies and Spies November 19th 2020

Allies and Spies, the second episode in the Unraveling of the Veil series, is another triumph for D.Wallace Peach. Sometimes a second book can be an anti-climax, but it is certainly not the case here. We hit the deck running with Alue, Naj and Talin as they continue their quest to find the cause of the shifts in the surface of their respective worlds and loss of so many of their people.

They are dancing to somebody’s tune, but despite moving back and forth across their homelands and into forbidden places, they are no closer to the truth. Their combined skills are powerful, and as they accept and adapt to match each other’s abilities they risk more and more, including their lives in the venture.

Those in power are not always who they seem, and telling the difference between friend and foe becomes more difficult, putting them and others in danger. Friendships are shattered and they suffer traumatic loss, but as this chapter in the story reaches its climax, we begin to see the how each of them individually are more complex than even they knew.

This is a fast paced thriller and the author has not just created one brilliant fantasy world but four intricate societies of goblins, elves, changelings and the hidden world behind the veil.

We are left on a cliffhanger as the three allies make a decision to undertake a perilous mission in a last ditch attempt to find out who is behind the destruction of their worlds. Thankfully the next book in the series is already available. I highly recommend that you read the first book in the series Liars and Thieves.

Read the reviews and buy the books:  Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Diana: Goodreadsblog: Myths of the Mirror – Twitter: @Dwallacepeach

 

Thanks for dropping by today and I know Diana would love your feedback.. thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – November 22nd – 28th 2020 – Friends and Collaborators, Thanksgiving, Food, Book Fair, Alexander Technique, Music and Funnies


Welcome to this week’s round up of posts you may have missed on Smorgasbord.

I hope all of you are well, in some countries there does seem to be a decrease in the daily infection figures but this week saw those daily figures rising to over 500,000 a day.  Here in Southern Ireland the return to a full lockdown for six weeks has seen the numbers drop from 1200 a day to just over 200 which has prompted the government to lift many of the restrictions on small businesses and restaurants, but pubs that don’t serve food will not be allowed to open. Obviously the hospitality trade has been severely hit, but the economic picture is more positive with increased online spending and restaurants converting to takeaway.

I have been using the time in isolation to finally get to grips with my WIPs… fingers crossed there will be another eBook short story collection out before Christmas, and in the spring I will be celebrating the 25 year anniversary of my weight loss and training to be a nutritional therapist.  I have spent most of the year updating my first book Size Matters and writing an additional segment on the obesity epidemic and where in the life cycle we should be focusing our energies.  It will also feature the programme that I designed for myself and also the clients I went on to work with, plus an easy to use nutritional guide at the back of the book.This one will be in print and eBook and I am excited to get this three year project completed in time for a milestone year personally.

In the meantime there are books to promote and if you are a regular visitor you will have noticed I have made a start on the Christmas Book Fairs with the intention of featuring everyone on the shelves of both Cafes before Christmas.

Every year I like to have a party and I think after the year we have had, I am going to dedicate the weekends from mid-December to some fun and frivolity.

This year the Christmas party is going to be held over two weekends (or more posts if enough guests respond) .. 12th/13th and 19th/20th of December. The theme is our pets, past and present, who usually love the activities at Christmas, especially the extra treats going around at the time.

Most of us have photographs of our dogs, cats and other cuddly members of the family.(A Christmas theme would be great but not essential).. but if you don’t have any photographs of your own pets, then you can borrow one for the occasion…there are plenty of funny images of pets at Christmas on the web that are free to use. Or you might find a friend or family member willing to lend you one for the party.

There will be food and drink of course and a video or two and I will make sure to add your details including bio, books or blog and social media. Those who don’t attend the party in person are very welcome to add their links in the comments.

Check out the link to find out more: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Christmas Party 2020 – Invite a pet (yours or one you have borrowed)

As always some amazing contributions this week.. and a special thank you to William Price King as we celebrate his six years of the Music Column with a repeat of the interview that began our friendship in 2014.. We also have some amazing food and recipes in Carol Taylor’s A-Z featuring the letter ‘W’ and some funnies courtesy of resident comedienne author D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies. This week author Daniel Kemp returned for his fortnightly Open Mic night with funnies to get the weekend started in style.

William Price King – American jazz singer, crooner, and composer – Interview April 2014

Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food ‘W’ for Wakame, Wasabi, Walnuts, Watercress, and Wax Beans

Milestones Along the Way – #Ireland #Waterford – How I met Joan

Life’s Rich Tapestry – #Cats For the Love of Lily

Whatever else 2020 has been, it has not been short on Friendship and Community – by Sally Cronin

January 1986 – New Mexico, Mckittrick Canyon and the Living Desert – Part Two

Smorgasbord Book Reviews – #Haiti #Thriller – Vanished by Mark Bierman

Past Book Reviews 2019 – Braxton Campus Mysteries – Book 3 – Flower Power Trip by James J. Cudney

Past Book Reviews 2019 -#Prehistoric The Quest for Home Book 2 of the Crossroads Trilogy) by Jacqui Murray

Past Book Reviews 2019 -#Thriller Passport to Death by Yigal Zur

Christmas Book Fair – New Author – I’m Going to My First Comic Convention by Candy Keane

#Bedtimestories Doug Parker, #Wolves Elizabeth Jade, #Flamingos Wanda Luthman

#Release – #Nature Joyce Murphy, #Adventure Jemima Pett, #Stepmother Toni Pike. 

New Author on the Shelves

New Author – #Memoir #Travel Plunge: One Woman’s Pursuit of a Life Less Ordinary by Liesbet Collaert

#Supernatural Jessica Bakkers, #DieselPunk Teagan Riordain Geneviene, #Historical Allan Hudson

#Thrillers Carol Balawyder, Leyla Cardena, John L. DeBoer

#Memoirs – Marian Longenecker Beaman, Brigid P. Gallagher, D.G. Kaye

The Alexander Technique – Part Three – Standing, Sitting and Walking Correctly

November 24th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Birdseed and More Weird Facts

November 26th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin- Thanksgiving Special and More Weird Facts

November 27th 2020 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp

 

Thank you very much for all your support.. have a good weekend and week to follow.. Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Christmas Party 2020 – Invite a pet (yours or one you have borrowed)


This year the Christmas party is going to be held over two weekends (or more posts if enough guests respond) .. 12th/13th and 19th/20th of December. The theme is our pets, past and present, who usually love the activities at Christmas, especially the extra treats going around at the time.

Most of us have photographs of our dogs, cats and other cuddly members of the family.(A Christmas theme would be great but not essential).. but if you don’t have any photographs of your own pets, then you can borrow one for the occasion…there are plenty of funny images of pets at Christmas on the web that are free to use. Or you might find a friend or family member willing to lend you one for the party.

There will be food and drink of course and a video or two and I will make sure to add your details including bio, books or blog and social media. Those who don’t attend the party in person are very welcome to add their links in the comments.

If you have featured here before then all you need to do is send me your photograph or image you have borrowed and a few words about your pet that I can attach to their photograph (sally.cronin@moyhill.com).

If you have not featured here before then I will need a few more bits of information.

  1. Links to Amazon, Blog, Facebook, Twitter and one other social media.
  2. Link to a short biography and photo.

To give you an idea of how your feature will look…..

Sam at Christmas in Ireland 2000 – He was a wonderful friend who travelled thousands of miles with us and was our head of security. He also wrote his bestselling (he believed) memoir at the ripe old age of 70 in human years.

Sally Cronin is an author of both non-fiction and fiction books. After a nomadic life living and working around the world, she and her husband now live on the Wexford coast in Ireland. As an indie author she began blogging seven years ago as a way to promote her own books and then created The Cafe and Bookstore to promote other authors and their books. Smorgasbord is also home to health, music, life stories, poetry and humour. Sally’s next book, a collection of short stories is due for release at Christmas 2020.

A selection of  books by Sally Cronin

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

 

Look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible so I can book your in to the party… sally.cronin@moyhill.com