Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – An African thunderstorm – a poem about two extremes; drought and floods by Robbie Cheadle

Delighted to welcome back Robbie Cheadle with a post from her 2016 archive following 18 months of drought.

An African thunderstorm – a poem about two extremes; drought and floods by Robbie Cheadle

Southern Africa has been in the grip of a drought for the past fifteen to eighteen months. The realisation of the severity of the drought and the resultant disruption to farming have become very apparent to the nation, in the form of steadily increasing food prices, since the beginning of 2016. The other, more horrendous, effects of the drought have been less well publicised but come to the fore every now and then. Pictures of livestock dying of starvation due to the lack of any form of greenery, dry and muddy dams and pictures of wild animals in the game reserves, lying defeated and immobile, too lacklustre to make the necessary move to a different part of the park that has had some rain and has some vegetation.

Of course, all things come to an end. We are very hopeful that the last few weeks of heavier rainfall are a signal that the drought is coming to an end. In Africa, however, there is no subtlety. The rains have come in great, heavy torrents of water and, in some case, hail, accompanied by deafening thunder and loud and bright bolts of lightening. These violent evening thunderstorms inspired me to write the following poem. I was also influenced by the wonderful sight of the arum lilies in my garden, carefully tendered by my mother, which look so clean and bright after an evening downpour. Arum lilies are the flowers most commonly used at funerals and I attempted to weave this irony into the poem as well. I also created a lovely arum lily out of fondant to compliment the imagery of my poem.


An African thunderstorm

One God glares at another, with a dreadful frown;

They charge, ripping the clouds, the rain falls down;

Their barbaric battle cries, rent the thick, heavy night air;

Lightning bolts, brilliant streaks, through the night skies tear;

An African thunderstorm is a violent and ferocious fight;

The water floods, as if the drought’s effects, in one great effort, to right;

Howling winds shake the trees, quickly devoiding them of leaves;

Hail hammers down, stripping petals from flowers like thoughtless thieves.

The next morning, the clouds hang low, promising more rain;

Such a relief from the heat and dust that could drive you insane;

The earth smells damp and musky, with water swollen and fat;

Despite the hails devastation, for the rain we roll out the welcome mat;

One solitary white arum lily peeps out from beneath an eave;

A single drop, like a tear of gratitude, for the water we did receive,

rests right at its tip, a poignant reminder of what drought leaves in its wake;

Shrivelled vegetation, dead livestock and communities that the land forsake.

©Robbie Cheadle 2016

A thank you to Robbie for sharing this poem illustrating the extremes that nature will go to during the seasons.

About Robbie Cheadle

Robbie Cheadle was born in London in the United Kingdom. Her father died when she was three months old and her mother immigrated to South Africa with her tiny baby girl. Robbie has lived in Johannesburg, George and Cape Town in South Africa and attended fourteen different schools. This gave her lots of opportunities to meet new people and learn lots of social skills as she was frequently “the new girl”.

Robbie is a qualified Chartered Accountant and specialises in corporate finance with a specific interest in listed entities and stock markets. Robbie has written a number of publications on listing equities and debt instruments in Africa and foreign direct investment into Africa.

Robbie is married to Terence Cheadle and they have two lovely boys, Gregory and Michael. Michael (aged 11) is the co-author of the Sir Chocolate series of books and attends school in Johannesburg. Gregory (aged 14) is an avid reader and assists Robbie and Michael with filming and editing their YouTube videos and editing their books

Books by Robbie and Michael Cheadle

One of the recent reviews for Sir Chocolate and the Condensed Milk River story and cookbook on Goodreads

Paul Andruss‘s review  Five Stars Oct 30, 2017

Sir Chocolate and the Condensed Milk River by Robbie and Michael Cheadle is a story and cookbook in one. It is the latest in a great fun series from a mother and her young son, the Author/Baker team of Robbie and Michael Cheadle​. Their series of gloriously illustrated books for younger children are quite simply unique.

The books tell of the adventures of Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet and their friends. The inhabitants of Chocolateville; where everything and everyone is edible.

The concept was the brain child of Robbie’s son Michael. When he was a few years younger than he is now, and learning to read, he cleverly realised he could draw his mother away from dull lessons by weaving tales about made-up characters in a land of chocolate.

Equally clever (like mother like son, no doubt) Robbie turned it to his educational advantage by encouraging him write down his stories. So was born a family–friendly, cross-generational series that combined their love of spending precious family-time together indulging in favourite pastimes such as writing poetry, cooking, and it must be said, eating chocolate.

The series of books consist of cute and clever child-friendly poems, which adults can read to youngsters, and even encourage youngsters to read along. More family-fun time is guaranteed by the inclusion of uncomplicated recipes. Describing the scrumptious delights as simple; simply does not do them justice. Each recipe is designed to allow the youngsters to fully participate, thus passing on valuable life skills, and creating memories that will last both generations a lifetime, while also making fun things to eat.

The book and its predecessors are all illustrated with delightful figures made from fondant icing and sweets. Edible works of art that are easy enough for readers to copy: perhaps even making their own versions of Chocolateville for birthday parties and other celebrations.

Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet’s latest adventure has an ecological message. It explores what happens when the river of condensed milk running through Chololateville dries up causing all the fish to die. This is a subtle way of introducing very young children to the world issues that will no doubt be plaguing generations for some time to come. Plus the guaranteed happy ending helps youngsters feel they can really make a difference to the world.

Any one of Robbie and Michael’s clever and unique books would make great presents with Christmas coming up. Not just for Kids but for Parents and Grandparents too! They are charming and packed with fun recipes and stories to turn every kitchen day into an adventure that brings young and old together to create enduring memories.

Perhaps it’s time to collect the set!


Read all the reviews and buy the books:

And on Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Robbie on Goodreads:

Connect to Robbie and Michael


Thank you for dropping in today and it would be lovely to have your feedback thanks Sally


Smorgasbord Christmas Posts from Your Archives – Twas the night before Christmas, with presents to wrap by Judy E. Martin

Delighted to share a post from the archive of Judy E. Martin which is perfect for Christmas Eve…as is her chosen track.. by Boney M… Mary’s Boy Child..

Judy E Martin

Stephanie from ‘Once Upon your Prime ‘ did a fantastic spoof on ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas’ which you can read HERE. I was so impressed with her version, and I wanted to have a go at this myself.

Every year I have to read it every night in December to my daughter. we take it in turns to read a verse out each, and we both love it. I have not gone with a theme as Stephanie has, just given it a bit of jiggery-pokery here and there to give my take on it!! Hope you enjoy…

Twas the night before Christmas, with presents to wrap by Judy Martin

‘Twas the night before Christmas, with presents to wrap

The turkey still thawing, no time for a nap!

The stocking was dragged out from last year

We’re hoping and praying St Nick will appear!

Miss Hap was all nestled snugly in bed

With iPhones and Converses going around in her head

Mr Grump, me and Roxy at last went to bed

To get ourselves rested for the big day ahead!

When out on the square there arose such a row

I awoke to see what was happening now!

I looked out the window and saw a large crowd

“Bugger off home!”. I shouted out loud.

The moon was hidden by a cloudy grey sky

But I thought I saw something out the corner of me eye.

Eight lively reindeer so happy and bright

Were guiding a sleigh through the darkness of night.

With a little old driver so chubby and cute

Who appeared to be wearing a red and white suit!

His reindeer were racing enjoying the game

He wanted attention so called them by name.

Now Dasher, now Dancer now Prancer and Vixen

On Comet, on Cupid, on Donner and Blitzen

Head for the roof! Head for the trees!

Now hurry up, hurry up, hurry up please!

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly

Are swirling around in the wintery sky

This little old man with his sleigh full of toys

Was ready to reward the good girls and boys.

And then in a twinkling I heard on the roof

The clanking and banging of their bloody great hooves!

The next thing I knew, I heard a loud ‘BOOM’

And St Nicholas had landed in my front room!

He was dressed all in fur from his head to his toes

And I couldn’t help smiling at his odd-looking clothes

He had a large sack that was filled to the top

He looked like a man who had just robbed a shop!

His eyes how they twinkled in spite of his years

His nose was all rosy – and so were his ears!

His mouth was formed into a huge cheesy grin

He appeared as if he’d been hitting the gin!

The butt off a cig was clenched in his lips

And his belt was a little sung round his hips.

The size of his tummy was really quite shocking

And it swayed side to side as if it were rocking!

He was jolly and plump a right happy old thing

And I was excited to see what gift he would bring

He looked at his sack and gave me a smile

And added a parcel to Miss Hap’s huge pile!

He spoke not a word but kept filling her stocking

Then gave me a look that was kind of mocking

And then in an instant he was no longer there

He appeared to have vanished into the night air.

He sprang to his sleigh as night became dawn

And then he was off. It was now Christmas Morn

But I heard him call out as he opened a beer

“Merry Christmas to all, and a Happy New Year!”

If  you would like to hear Judy perform the poem..

Judy has chosen Boney M as her Christmas music… and a huge thank you for her contribution.

©Judy E. Martin 2014

About Judy E. Martin

Hello, and thanks for stopping by. I am Judy,in my (very) early fifties and decided that life definitely gets more interesting as it goes on! I am a wife and a mum and have just gone back to University to train as a Registered Nurse, after having worked as an Associate Practitioner in the NHS. I am also a poet and the author of my debut book, ‘Rhymes of the Times.’ I love to laugh, and I love rhyming words too, so I joined the two together and my book was born. I am currently working on another book in the series too. I am a prolific blogger and enjoy writing funny stories, anecdotes, and anything really that takes my fancy.

Rhymes of the Times by Judy E. Martin.

51-j7dbq17l-_uy250_About the collection

Are you one of those people that barge through life, trying to get through it as best as you can, swimming against the everyday worries and stresses of life? Well, I have found a way to make it much more enjoyable.

Don’t you think everything sounds better when it rhymes? I certainly do. In fact, I have found that everything from doing the housework to growing older, can sound more positive and less daunting when made into a little ditty.

This book is about finding the humour, or raising a smile from the everyday things that we can all relate to in life, and looking at them from a different perspective. Nothing escapes versification; there is even a subject on sex! After all, that is one subject where there is plenty of room for laughter, even if it may not be the right moment!

One of the recent reviews for the collection

A most amusing read on October 14, 2017

I love Judy E Martin’s poetry. It is so enjoyable and humorous. Judy has a delightful way of turning everyday situations into a real laugh. Her book of poetry is divided into ten chapters, as follows: Family, Festive, Seasons, Women, Ages, Music, Food, Creativity, Miscellaneous and Sex. This book fairly pulses with vitality and enthusiasm for life and I really look forward to reading a few of her uplifting verses at the end of a hard working day.

One of my absolute favourite poems is Ode to Cadbury’s and my favourite verse is as follows:

“They have moved across the water
To give their sales a Boost
But the chocolate’s taste is different
And the bar size is reduced.”

What absolute fun!

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And Amazon US:

Read reviews and follow Judy on Goodreads:

Connect to Judy


A very Happy Christmas from both of us..



Smorgasbord Poetry – Samhain by V.M.Sang

A warm welcome to V.M. Sang who is sharing one of her poems with us. Although a little past Halloween.. the influences are still around us… all year around!  And you will know what you must do next year.

Samhain by V.M.Sang

Samhain is the pagan pre-curser to what we now call Hallowe’en. It was thought that on the nights of the equinox the veil separating the world of the dead from our own world thinned, and the dead could come through.

Not all the dead were consindered scary, though. The people thought that their recent dead visited them, and they put out food, or set an extra place at the table to accommodate them. These dead came to see their loved ones were going on alright.

Evil spirits, though, could come through, too, and so bonfires were lit to keep them at bay. The home fires were put out, too, to be relit the following day from the bonfires.

Pope Gregory decided that some of the pagan dates should be incorporated into the Christian calendar as psople were used to celebrating on those days. Samhain was one of these. The Pope designated it to be All Saint’s Day, hence the night before became All Hallow’s Eve. (Hallows being another word for ‘holy’ or ‘saint’.)

Pope Gregory also fixed the date of Christmas to co-incide with the pagan festival of Yule, and turned some of the pagan gods into saints. He also used pagan worshiping sites to build Christian churches, on the same principal. People were used to going there to worship.

Here is a poem I wrote for Samhain. I hope you like it.


Don’t go near the graveyard, darling,
Samain is tonight.
Don’t go near the graveyard, darling,
The dead will walk this night.

Keep your candle burning, darling,
Keep it glowing bright.
Keep your candle burning, darling,
Be sure it gives you light.

The bonfires have been lit, darling,
To fill the dark with light.
The bonfires have been lit, darling,
Their flames reach such a height.

Put your home fires out, darling.
Be sure to do it right.
Put your home fires out, darling.
From bonfires we’ll relight.

Put food by the door, darling.
Leave it in plain sight.
Put food by the door, darling.
For our own to have a bite.

Do not be afraid, darling,
They see that we’re alright.
Do not be afraid, darling,
No harm from them tonight.

But evil spirits come, darling.
We must put them to flight.
But evil spirits come, darling;
Them we must try to fight.

Go and watch the bonfires, darling.
Stand in their bright light.
Go and watch the bonfires, darling,
They keep us safe this night.


Books by V.M.Sang

About The Stones of Earth and Air: Elemental Worlds Book One – Published in August 2017.

After the Crown Prince of Ponderia starts behaving strangely, his best friend Pettic discovers that the prince has been replaced by a doppelganger, and the real prince kidnapped.

Unable to accept the loss of his friend, Prince Torren, nor the cruel impostor to become the new king, Pettic sets on a quest to rescue his friend. After he sees the fake prince meet a mysterious man, Pettic discovers that the prince has been imprisoned in another plane of existence.

With the help of Blundo, the court magician, Pettic finds out that the only way to enter this another world are four keys, each of them associated with a different element. As Pettic sets on his seemingly impossible quest, he discovers that the four lands that hold the keys are all vastly different… and more dangerous than he could have ever imagined.

Buy the books:

And Amazon US:

Read the reviews and follow Viv on Goodreads:

About V.M. Sang

I was born in Northwich in Cheshire, UK. and grew up in an idyllic area for children. My friends and I used to go out to play in the woodlands around the area. Of course, people were less anxious about what might happen to their children in those days. Not that they cared less, it was just that there seemed to be less to worry about.

While I was growing up I was a tomboy. I climbed trees, played hide and seek in the woods, dammed the streams, searched for caterpillars and butterflies, learned about the birds and wild animals and picked wild flowers. (That was not illegal then, of course.)

I loved being with animals, especially dogs. This photograph shows me and a friend with my Border Collie, Laddie. He was a lovely dog.

When I grew up I went to teacher training college where I studied Science with maths and English as subsidiary subjects. Here I enjoyed myself very much. I joined the Hiking Club and on a hike to Kinder Scout in Derbyshire, I met my future husband.

I took up painting and a variety of crafts during the time when I was bringing up my children. I still do them when not writing. One of my favourites is tatting, a craft that not many people seem to do these days, which is a pity as it’s quite easy and makes many very pretty things.

I now live in East Sussex with my husband and enjoy the company of my grandchldren

Connect to Viv Sang


My thanks to Viv for sharing this poem and look forward to seeing more posts from her in the future. Thanks for dropping in .. Sally



Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – ABBA, Constantine The Great and Brown Rice!

Welcome to the round up of posts that you might have missed this week.. I was off on my travels this week to Belfast to celebrate our wedding anniversary and to visit the Titanic museum. We don’t get out much!  But, when we do we like to push the boat out. We stayed at the Culloden Estate and Spa with a suite overlooking the loch and only 3 miles from Belfast City Centre and 10 minutes from the Belfast City Airport. It is on 12 acres of wooded gardens and the food was superb. I think 37 years is worth celebrating in style. Here are a few photos to whet you appetite. In fact mid-week rates for two days are exceptionally good value and you can use the spa and swimming pool free during your stay.. and no…you do not get to see me in a bikini!  Not in this lifetime anyway.

Can definitely recommend the hotel and the food was delicious.

Titanic Belfast is an award winning exhibition and museum and you need to allow at least two hours to see all the various exhibits, interactive displays and the ride by suspended car through the bowels of the ship watching the animated images showing the work involved in building this mammoth ship.. no works comp in those days and over 250 accidents and several fatalities that need to be added to the loss of life over a few hours a short time after her launch.

You can find more details here:

Anyway, whilst I was off having fun for my three days, contributors were still working away in my absence and I am as always very grateful. This is what the week looked like.

William Price King began a new series of the all time favourites of millions.. ABBA… this week meeting the individual band members.

Writer in Residence. This week Paul Andruss continues with the story of Constantine the Great who was allegedly the first Roman Christian Emperor.

Carol Taylor spent time in her kitchen in Thailand to turn the raw brown rice grains into wonderful recipes for all the family.

Cook from Scratch with Robbie Cheadle and a cake you really would not want to cut into and eat.

The Ultimate Bucket List Interview

Robbie Cheadle joins us again for the last in the current series of Sunday Interview shows and shares her two top wishes on her Ultimate Bucket List.. Wedding Cakes and a very personal wish…

Personal Stuff

My review for Look the Other Way by Kristina Stanley a romantic thriller set in the warm coastal waters of Florida and the Caribbean.

Smorgasbord Reblogs

Last week I was the guest of Christy Birmingham on her eclectic blog, writing about elderly health care in the colder months and some ways to avoid colds and flu.

Jessica Norrie visited Lisbon last week and apart from a tour of the old part of the city, she also shares some of the books written or set in the city.

Contributors to the Posts from Your Archives series

We are today because of the choices we have made… Carol Taylor explores where those choices lead us.. and how we feel about that.

Allie Potts has an eventful walk with her beloved dog.. and comes a cropper….and shares the lesson learnt.

J. Hope Suis shares the most beautiful Japanese restoration process that turns broken china into works of art with gold and silver. Something that as humans we can learn too when putting ourselves back together after life’s experiences.

Do you wish that you had not selected your Twitter handle in the beginning?  Rosie Amber takes us through the simple steps to change it. I am @sgc58 and realise I should have gone with RedHotMama.. ah well.. if only I hadn’t just had 500 business cards printed!

Karen Ingalls shares a post in tribute to an elderly friend who passed away after a gracious life well-lived.

Can you remember your first kiss.. Patricia Salamone shares this experience with an interesting outcome!

Darlene Foster takes us on a tour of a medieval market in Orihuela in Spain.. food, colour and sunshine.. what else do you need?

Having almost given up showing my mother how to operate the DVD player with a different remote from the TV … I take my hat off to Jane Risdon who managed to get an 83 year old relative online and on Facebook… I think Jane was on herbal stress relief!

Annika Perry shares an atmospheric visit to Whitby Abbey in North Yorkshire.

Adrienne Morris is on the subject of toxic criticism and how to handle it.

Marian Beaman shares her wonderful tradition of family dinners through the decades.

Lillian Csernica continues her tour through the gracious city of Kyoto

D.Wallace Peach with a post about what defines the characters that we write about, and the stereotyping that is applied to emotional character,  according to the gender of your protagonist.

Do you know what a Fidget Spinner is?  I didn’t but I do now courtesy of Cecilia Kennedy.

Jaye Marie and Anita Dawes join us with their archive posts this week. It would seem that children are discovering the joys of computing earlier and earlier. I was in my early 30s when I was introduced to one and I only really used it for word processing and loved the freedom it gave me from tipex! It was a while before I got into the programme side and that was a huge dent in my self-confidence… read on.. I am not alone.

Smorgasbord Poetry

A poem on the subject of Happiness by Balroop Singh

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

Author Update

Air Your Reviews

Monday Night Quiz with Debra Russell author of Trivia Lover’s Ultimate Reference

Humour and afternoon videos

Thank you to all the contributors and to you for all your support by dropping in, liking posts, commenting and sharing..


Smorgasbord Poetry – Happiness by Balroop Singh

Delighted to welcome Balroop Singh to the series with one of her beautiful poems.

Happiness by Balroop Singh

They lived in the valley of happiness
Away from the hypocritical world
A valley, surrounded by flowers
Welcoming sunshine, rain and snow.
They had braved the storms of life,
They believed in themselves!
Broken dreams didn’t bother them
Happiness was not a destination
It was harmony with their thoughts
It was absorbing the radiance of stars
It was merging into the dark clouds
It was reveling in the glory of the rainbow.
The door to happiness was always ajar
The key to that door… in their hearts
Happiness just sneaked in!
Sometimes the door was left unlatched
Serenity and calmness tiptoed
To warm their hearts with inner peace!

© Balroop Singh
All rights reserved.

This poem is an excerpt from my book ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life’

Are you happy? What does happiness mean to you? Have you ever added happiness to somebody’s life? Please share your thoughts.

About Balroop Singh.

61ebbw1tqhl-_ux250_Balroop Singh, a former teacher, an educationalist, a blogger, a poet and an author always had a passion for writing. The world of her imagination has a queer connection with realism. She could envision the images of her own poetry while teaching the poems. Her dreams saw the light of the day when she published her first book: ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life.’ She has always lived through her heart.

She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. She lives in Danville, California.

Books by Balroop Singh

A review for Sublime Shadows of Life

First of all, I would like to congratulate one of my best English teachers – Balroop madam for her sheer will and effort to come up with this poetry book. I read all the poems in this book. All the poems are beautifully written with my teacher’s soul into them. The language is very articulate. There are some poems which I felt are straight away lifted from my life experiences so far. I could relate the journey of my life to these poems. Specifically, I loved the poem on ‘Hollowness of Life’ that talks about ‘Attachment’ and ‘Detachment’.

I feel attachment only brings pain and suffering because it is very difficult to outgrow this emotion and the more attached we become to a particular situation, the more is the work to be done by our soul to eradicate feelings of attachment and grow in detachment. I would recommend everyone to read this book as one will surely discover some deeper part of oneself in these poems that display myriad of emotions.

I immensely liked the parts that focus on growing in human and spiritual values of unconditional love, hope, faith, determination, patience, generosity and many others. These are the values that are going to enrich our human life and will go with us once we leave this life rather than our power, prestige and material possessions.

It is my honor to write this review for my venerable teacher who has been an integral part of my existence as a human being. I am grateful to you for reposing your faith in me and considering me worthy of writing this review. I apologize for the delay on my part. I wish you the best in your future endeavors.

Wishing you and everyone associated with this book real peace, happiness, harmony, bliss and liberation.

Read the reviews and buy the books:

and Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Balroop on Goodreads:

Connect to Balroop Singh.


My thanks to Balroop for sharing this poem and if you would like to share your books of poetry here, with one of your poems then please email me on

Smorgasbord Round Weekly Round Up – Sir Tom Jones, King Arthur, Brussel Sprouts and Author Media Training

Welcome to the weekly round up where I share my posts from the week and also those of my guests. Those guests are providing a much valued different perspective on topics that I might not cover normally and I thank them so much for their work and time that they spend creating their posts.

Also news of some new ways to promote your books and blog this week and tomorrow the start of the new Sunday Interview show… The Ultimate Bucket List and to show you how it will look… our foodie guest writer Carol Taylor volunteered to be the first victim guest……going out just after midnight.

Resident musical director – William Price King is back with a new music series… the every youthful and dynamic Sir Tom Jones, and this week in the early years, William shares some of his early influences and hits.

Paul Andruss tackles the legend of King Arthur this week which is not an easy thing to do. As you will read, Arthur has been a pawn in other Kings and Emperor’s claims to their position and there might have been a few pretenders along the way too.

Julie Lawford has been with us over the summer with some excellent posts on lifestyle and weight loss and I hope that in the future she will find time to donate some of her archived posts again. This week Julie shares some useful links to healthy living sites and some videos that are worth watching.

Carol Taylor has been adding her special blend of spices and love of fresh produce to the foods that I have showcased in the past as being particularly healthy.. Sally and Carol’s Cook from Scratch is going from strength to strength and we are grateful for you likes, shares and comments. This week the little powerhouse of nutrition… Brussel sprouts.



And in the new series of Posts from your Archives, Pete Johnson from Beetley Pete starts a four week series on posts from his stash. In this post you will also find out how you can participate by giving posts that you would like to share with a new audience a showcase. Look forward to hearing from you.

Milestones along the Way by Geoff Cronin

Last weekend we came to the end of my late father-in-law Geoff’s books with the love story of how Geoff and Joan, his wife of 50 years met.  All his stories are in the directory for you to revisit.

Odd Jobs and Characters – Public House Landlady my host Chris the Story Reading Ape.

This week some challenges in my role as landlady of a pub in Cowes on the Isle of Wight with rather over the top customers courtesy of the ‘booze cruises’ on Saturday nights – Read all about it:

New Series – Media Training for Authors.

I have been an Indie author for 20 years and without a massive budget behind me to get noticed, I had to push open a few doors myself. For most of it is very hard to self-promote, even for someone like myself, who have a background in public speaking at conferences and major events.

We have a tendency to think global with our marketing because we have access to the world via the Internet. But I have always sold more books, especially print books by creating a market in my local environment. When I first began marketing my books there was no Amazon, worldwide web or global readership to the same extent and we relied on local media picking up the story. This sometimes led to nationals then taking an interest. That is how it worked with my first book Size Matters and I enjoyed both local and national coverage. The same applied to my family health book – Just Food for Health that sold well at book fairs, health events and summer fetes.

Most authors that I speak to are seeking international recognition for their work and to become a bestseller. But, there is no harm in getting some much needed experience locally first, before stepping onto the worldwide stage. One reason being, that most national radio stations and media, will be looking to interview authors who have had some experience of being behind a microphone or in front of a camera.  I have adapted my media training course to focus on authors and book marketing.

Here are the first two posts with more tomorrow and next weekend.

Book Promotions

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update

Air Your Reviews – share your most recent rave review with everyone..

Thomas the Rhymer Paul Andruss

Blog Promotions – The Blogger Daily now on hold for next week (writing break)

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Smorgasbord Health 2017

Smorgasbord Pet Health


Personal Stuff

I underwent a procedure this week that was long overdue.. the process prompted a poem!

Thank you very much for dropping in this week and as always very grateful to see you and get your feedback. Enjoy the rest of the weekend… thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Poetry – Farewell to Colourful Friends by Sally Cronin

Farewell to Colourful Friends

The time has come to bid farewell to friends
Who have seen me through thick and thin
It’s so sad when a relationship ends
With love tokens thrown in the bin

These mates have brought colour into my life
From black to the lightest of blondes
But with a determined swipe of the knife
I have cut these wonderful bonds

For fifty years I have enjoyed their care
Boosting mood and hiding the grey
But I must think of the health of my hair
So silver and white it must stay

So goodbye Garnier and Naturtint
Thanks for all the years of your care
From today my colour is peppermint
The natural tint of my hair



Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – FREE book, Invitation to a Party and brilliant writers.

Welcome to the weekly round up and a reminder that What’s in a Name Volume one is FREE until midnight tonight. I am not part of the Kindle family although all my books are formated to be read on Kindles, Nooks and any other devices. So I don’t do the Kindle select promotions. However, most of you know we well enough to email me and that your information is safe.

About the stories

There are names that have been passed down through thousands of years which have powerful and deep-rooted meaning to their bearers. Other names have been adopted from other languages, cultures and from the big screen. They all have one thing in common. They are with us from birth until the grave and they are how we are known to everyone that we meet.

There are classical names such as Adam, David and Sarah that will grace millions of babies in the future. There are also names that parents have invented or borrowed from places or events in their lives which may last just one lifetime or may become the classic names of tomorrow.

Whatever the name there is always a story behind it. In What’s in a Name? – Volume One, twenty men and women face danger, love, loss, romance, fear, revenge and rebirth as they move through their lives.

Anne changes her name because of associations with her childhood, Brian carries the mark of ancient man, Jane discovers that her life is about to take a very different direction, and what is Isobel’s secret?

The book is available in Mobi (Kindle) Epub (other devices) and pdf for those of you without a reader.

Just email me on and I will whisk a copy over to you. I appreciate that many of you have TBRs that rival the Leaning Tower of Pisa… but that is okay and I also have no expectation of a review… unless you really want to!

You can read a number of reviews for the book:

and the latest review by Paul Andruss which is a story too:

End of Summer Party – August 26th – 28th – all welcome.

I will be roasting showcasing, those bloggers who have been with me since I began Smorgasbord four years ago.. and apart from these guests, I am inviting everyone to chip in with their details in the comments. I have some food and drink (virtually no calories) and there will be some music. I hope you will be able to pop in .

My secretary Mavis has reminded me that it is time to get on with the round up of the week’s posts that you might have missed.

I am of course very grateful to my guests this week who have provided us with entertaining and interesting posts. Thanks to Anne Casey, Julie Lawford and Carol Taylor who will be with us through the summer and beyond I hope.

William Price King is still on his summer break but I have been sharing a previous series that proved very popular the first time around.. Tony Bennett the ultimate performer.

Guest post from poet and song writer Anne Casey talking about the path to the publication of her debut poetry collection. Including her published work in the Irish Times.

Julie Lawford continues her summer of lifestyle articles with her top ten tips for maintaining your weight loss.

I was delighted to welcome Carol Taylor to the blog for the first of a collaborative series on my top healthy foods with some wonderful recipes from Carol.. This week delicious ways to prepare the king of fish.. salmon.

Milestones along the way by Geoff Cronin

I have posted another one of my entertainment reviews and this time for King Arthur: Legend of the Sword….

Book Promotion

For the next 12 weeks I am guest posting with a number of fantastic bloggers as part of the Odd Jobs and Characters, What’s in a Name launch series. I am posting the first three and then this Friday, Debby Gies is hosting the first of the guest appearances.. By all accounts she has added some Debby specials to the post so I hope you will head over and check it out.

This week was part one of my adventures as a dental nurse back in the late 1960s…haha.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

Cafe and Bookstore Update

Air Your Promotions

Smorgasbord Short story

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Weekly image and Haiku

Humour and afternoon videos

Thank you for all your support and generosity in sharing.. Enjoy the rest of the weekend and hope you will visit again next week.



Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Magic, Music and Master storytellers oh and a bit of a laugh

Welcome to this week’s round up of posts that you might have missed. I have been busy preparing next week’s posts in advance as much as possible because I begin writing Tales from the Irish Garden with the assistance of illustrator Donata Zawadzka who has created some delightful images for the stories. I will be in and out of course to boost posts and in particular the book promotions that are planned.

Apart from the regular author promotions there will also be some health, humour and music from Barbra Streisand.. so I hope to keep you entertained.  I also hope to pop in a couple of posts on how you can take best advantage of book promotions to reach a few more readers.

I find it hard to believe that it is July already. I have no idea where the first half of the year has gone. I have come to the conclusion that before the Internet, 24/7 media in our homes and mobile phones we measured time by when we ate and it went slower. Just a theory.

My thanks as always to those who have contributed to the blog this week including William Price King, Paul Andruss and Horatio Grin and of course my later father-in-law Geoff Cronin and his tall tales.  I know that in whatever dimension he is now in he will be entertaining the other occupants and would be delighted by your comments about his stories.

On that note.. on with the show and something to listen to while you read any posts you might have missed.

William Price King meets some legends

Writer in Residence Paul Andruss

Thomas the Rhymer

Guest writer Horatio Grin

The Black Bitch and other Tales by Geoff Cronin

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Update

New on the Shelves

Air Your Reviews

Smorgasbord Poetry

Smorgasbord Short Stories The Psychic Parrot by Sally Cronin


Smorgasbord Health 2017

Personal stuff.. in celebration of July 4th.


Thank you once again for your continued support.. I wish you a wonderful week of love, laughter and sunshine.