Smorgasbord Reblog – Marjorie Mallon – Author Interview and Excerpt Sally Cronin


Delighted to accept the invitation to join author and poet Marjorie Mallon on her eclectic blog for an interview. We talked about my nomadic life, blogging, book marketing and maintaining my mojo in this current crazy world we inhabit.. I hope you will head over to join us..

Welcome to Kyrosmagica! It is wonderful to have you over for a chit chat, Sally.

Lovely to be here Marjorie and thank you for the invitation.

MJ: I’m delighted to be reading Life is Like A Bowl of Cherries, Sally, the title is so beguiling, particularly as I do love fruit, and cherries are a favourite!

MJ: Sally, I’d love to hear more about your nomadic life. I believe you have lived in many countries. Which of these places has a special place in your heart and why?

My father was in the Royal Navy and was posted overseas several times. On occasion we were able to travel with him as a family, including my first trip at age 18 months to Ceylon (Sri Lanka). The first year was documented in photographs and I don’t really remember as I was too young, but certainly by the time I was three I was aware of my surroundings and the people in my life. We lived in a house on the edge of the jungle and we had a cook and an amah or nanny for me. My two sisters were 13 and 14 by this time and when they came back from school I was handed over to them. Anything they did I did too, and I was swimming every day in my rubber ring which I loved and still do today, but without the rubber ring!! On one memorable occasion, I followed my eldest sister up a steep ladder during a diving competition. She completed her dive and surfaced expecting applause to find a stunned silence and groans from the crowd. I had crawled to the end of the diving board, stood up and jumped off. Apparently I surfaced and told my sister ‘again’.

Please head over to find out more about my travels and thoughts on books and blogging and also finding a place to call home: Marjorie Mallon interview with Sally Cronin

Books by M.J. Mallon

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

About M.J. Mallon

I am a diverse author who blogs M.J Mallon My interests include writing, poetry, photography, and alternative therapies. My favourite genres to write are: Fantasy YA, Paranormal, Ghost and Horror Stories and I love writing various forms of poetry and micro poetry – haiku and Tanka and flash fiction.

I am proud to be included in the best selling horror anthology Nightmareland which received best seller status with best-selling author Dan Alatorre at the helm.

It is one of my greatest pleasures to read and I have written over 100 reviews: M.J. Mallon Book Reviews

I write collaborative articles celebrating the spiritual realm and love of nature and all things magical, mystical, and mysterious.

I am a member of two professional writing bodies: The Society of Children’s Writers and Book Illustrators – SCBWI and Cambridge Writers.

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to join us and read the interview in full.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – December 27th 2020- January 2nd 2021 – Happy New Year, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Books and funnies


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

If I have not already wished you Happy New Year, then please accept my wishes for a fantastic 2021.. in the hopes that it will be better behaved than 2020.. I posted a little tribute to the heroes of the year, and to our pets who have been there with us all the way. There were a few funnies and music of course to mark the occasion..

Happy New Year’s Eve – 2020 in the rear view mirror

My thanks as always to you for visiting and sharing the posts.. and this year has been made special by the warmth and kindness of the writing community…something to be treasured.

On with the posts from the week…and I hope you will join William Price King and myself on Tuesday for the new Breakfast Show with music and news from the 1960s.

Get your rock ‘n’ roll boots on with my top five picks by Sally Cronin

March 1986 – Pool Parties, lost puppies, New Furniture

What’s in Name? Ifan and the Black Sheep by Sally Cronin

What’s in Name? – Kenneth – A Love for Life by Sally Cronin

The Sewing Circle Part One.

#Fantasy – Lords of Chaos (Unraveling the Veil Book 3) by D.Wallace Peach

Past Book Reviews 2020 – #Family #Mystery – Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney

Past Book Reviews 2020 – #Fantasy – The Hat by C.S. Boyack

29th December 2020 – D.L.Finn, Elizabeth Merry, Jan Sikes

January 1st 2021 – #Books and more Books – Amy M. Reade, Jessica Norrie, Mary Smith

#Suspense Sandra J. Jackson, Reviews – #Supernatural Jessica Bakkers, #WWII Marina Osipova,

New Release – #Fairies Teagan Riordain Geneviene, #Family James J. Cudney, #1960s #Thriller Ted Myers

#Romance Ritu Bhathal, #Paranormal Romance Stevie Turner, #Poetry Denise O’Hagan

#NewAuthor Marketing Tips – Making the most of Twitter

The Children’s Reading Room – New Author – #Emotions – Feel Like Eggs by Jeff Goodman

New Release – #Dragons Janice Spina,- Reviews – #Turtles Cynthia S. Reyes and Lauren Reyes-Grange, #Bears Frank Prem

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – December 29th 2020 – Working out and Animal comedians

 

Enjoy the weekend and look forward to seeing you next week.. stay safe and thanks … Sally

Smorgasbord Reblog – Q & A with D.G. Kaye – Featuring Sally Cronin #Booklaunch – Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries


I was delighted to be the guest of the lovely D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies on Friday for one of her Q&A’s… as always Debby asks great questions… If you missed I hope you will head over to read.. thanks Sally.

Q & A with D.G. Kaye

Q & A with D.G. Kaye – Featuring Sally Cronin #Booklaunch – Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries

Welcome to the last – but not least, edition of my Q & A for 2020. I’ve been saving this spot for quite some time now for one of our most starred bloggers and author of our community – Sally Cronin. Yes, Sally has worked diligently to get her #NewRelease out – Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries, before this year ended, and this spot was awaiting her visit. So without further ado, I’m beyond thrilled to be featuring one of my dearest friends and author who knows how to touch hearts with her words – Sally Cronin. Today we’re going to learn a little more about Sally in some Q & A, and get a glimpse into her new release, which I will be featuring my review for this Sunday on my Sunday Book Review, so stay tuned!

Sally Cronin Author

About Sally Cronin

I have been a storyteller most of my life (my mother called them fibs!). Poetry, song lyrics and short stories were left behind when work and life intruded, but that all changed in 1996. My first book Size Matters was a health and weight loss book based on my own experiences of losing 70kilo. I have written another thirteen books since then on health and also fiction, including five collections of short stories. My latest book is a collection of verse and speculative short stories titled Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet

I am an indie author and proud to be one. My greatest pleasure comes from those readers who enjoy my take on health, characters and twisted endings… and of course come back for more.

As a writer I know how important it is to have help in marketing books.. as important as my own promotion is, I believe it is important to support others. I offer a number of FREE promotional opportunities on my blog and linked to my social media. If you are an author who would like to be promoted to a new audience of dedicated readers, please contact me via my blog. All it will cost you is a few minutes of your time. Look forward to hearing from you.

Find out my views on blogging, social media and changing the world! plus a short excerpt from my new short story collection: Q & A with D.G. Kaye – Featuring Sally Cronin #Booklaunch – Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries

 

Books by D.G. Kaye

D. G. Kaye – Buy: Amazon USAndAmazon UK – BlogD.G. WritesGoodreads:D.G. Kaye on Goodreads – Twitter: @pokercubster – Facebook: Debby Gies

 

Smorgasbord Reblog – Melomakarona… #Greek sweet treats for Christmas! by Eat Dessert First


As we near Christmas, the supermarkets are awash with traditional favourites. This year more than most, I have been looking for ways to make this holidays special. With just the two of us it would be easy to go with the flow… but I thought I would find something different to prepare by stepping outside of the Irish borders and into the wonderful world of Greek cookery.. I have featured Eat Dessert First (also some savoury dishes) before and this post caught my eye… and tickled my taste buds…

I hope you will head over to discover more about Greek Christmas treats and follow the step by step guide to making these delicious sounding Melomakarona.

Melomakarona – Greek sweet treats for Christmas! by Eat Dessert First

It’s Christmas, and it is time to fill our homes with scents of cinnamon, orange and cloves! This means that in Greece it’s time for melomakarona, traditional Christmas cookies with a characteristic oval shape and golden brown colour. They are baked in the oven, and right after soaked in a honey-cinnamon syrup (meli means honey) and sprinkled with walnuts.

This new Christmas article is dedicated to traditional Greek melomakarona, their local variations and some contemporary ideas for original versions. And as soon as we get an appetite, we will prepare some with extra virgin olive oil, bake them to fill the kitchen with warm aromas and drench them in a syrup made with excuisite pine-heather honey. We enjoy them only once a year (unfortunately!)… so they deserve only the best ingredients!

In Greece, on Christmas holidays we face a dilemma: which are best, melomakarona or kourabiedes? Baking kourabiedes is another traditional Christmas tradition, along with making melomakarona and vasilopita (a cake for New Year’s Day). Kourabiedes are round buttery cookies with almonds and lots of powdered sugar.

Greek kourabiedes, traditional Christmas buttery cookies (source)

Something important we want to point out on the matter is that melomakarona are healthier than kourabiedes. This is one of the reasons we prefer them, As Despoina Martselou, Dietician-Nutritionist (BSc, MSc), describes, melomakarona may have almost the same calories as kourabiedes, but they have a higher nutritional value with less saturated fat, as they don’t contain any butter. In melomakarona, olive oil offers healthy fats and antioxidant vitamins. Honey has also a high nutritional value, and so do walnuts too as they are one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Spices are rich in essential oils and cinnamon combined with orange also offers some iron. The conclusion is that we should eat melomakarona in moderation, but with less guilt than eating kourabiedes. To compensate, we can go for a Christmas hike too!

melomakarona

Head over to discover more about these treats, the ingredients and a step by step guide to making them… also how to use the recipe to make a semifredo cake using melomakarona : Eat Dessert First – Melomakarona

About Eat Dessert First

We are a team of writers, sociocultural researchers, travellers, children’s educators and amateur bakers, based in Athens. What describes us best is that we eat dessert first! But not only… our name symbolises our wish for all the nice and sweet things in life to come first.

Our purpose is to approach aspects of the everyday life that are on our minds, by looking at them in a new perspective and studying them in their historic and cultural evolution… all that through our love for desserts. And of course to discover the history of our favorite sweets! Also, we take a sweet trip every now and then, to meet new places, customs, sights, activities, nature and -what else- little local treats! We don’t forget to exercise too, in order to eat our desserts without remorse…

Given our huge sweet tooth, we wish to learn new recipes, to experiment with new techniques and variations, and of course to share our creations. We also want to discover the roots of our favourite desserts, their influences and their variations around the world.

In a special section we focus on subjects of psychology, social awareness, education, creative activities and much more. But Rupert will tell you all about that along the way!

So, come along on this exciting, sweet adventure… Have a nice trip everyone!

Connect to Eat Dessert First: Blog: Eat Dessert First Greece Twitter: @eatdessert1stGr – Facebook: Eat Dessert First Greece

 

I hope this has whet your appetite and you will head over to enjoy this post and also browse through the archives for more delicious savoury and sweet recipes. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Reblog – Afghanistan Adventures -MarySmith’sPlace – When roads become rivers


Mary Smith with another wonderful episode of her time in Afghanistan in 1990.. a trip during the spring melt in the mountains with rivers in flood is no picnic..ingenuity and freezing dips are required. I hope you will head over to read the post in full.

When roads become rivers

I thought I’d provide some random snapshots from my second tour of the clinics in Afghanistan, in particular some of the problems we faced while travelling. We left on May 01, 1990 in two vehicles. I was in the Mobile Team vehicle along with Dr Epco, a doctor from Holland who was going to spend several months in the clinic in Lal, Jon and Jawad, the driver from Hussain’s clinic. In the other vehicle, Moosa from the field hospital in Jaghoray was returning after finding an organisation willing to sponsor the hospital.

We’d only reached the border town of Badani when we had to hire a replacement jeep and driver because without four wheel drive, the journey would be impossible. Delays waiting for a new driver – who came highly recommended because as a former highway robbery he could guarantee our safety – coupled with a series of punctures and a leaking water tank meant it took almost four days to reach the Mazar Bibi clinic. The hole in the water tank was temporarily but effectively fixed by melting a plastic water jug to use as a sealer. When darkness fell the first night we discovered the second driver had no lights on his vehicle. In the bazaar of Shahjoi, there was no room in any of the hotels – the driver went home, Moosa slept in one jeep, Jawad and I in the other and the rest of the group under a tree. Around 2 am I was awakened by a persistent tapping on the window – two armed mujahideen were demanding car park fees. Jawad paid them and we went back to sleep.

Although travelling could be wearisome the constantly changing landscape makes up for it – from flat, scrub covered desert to rugged mountains to white rockscapes wind-carved into fantastic shapes. Large tortoises, recently awakened from hibernation lumbered across the road – ponderous but determined. The weather was glorious making memories of last year’s battles in the snow fade.

Head over to enjoy the post and the photographs of the ingenuity required to cross these rivers: Mary Smith’s Place When Roads Become Rivers

A selection of books by Mary Smith

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Mary Smith, Buy:Amazon US – and:Amazon UK –  Blog: Mary Smith’s PlaceFollow Mary: Goodreads – Twitter: @marysmithwriter

Smorgasbord Reblog – Quizzing around the Christmas tree! #Children’s #Books – Jessica Norrie


Jessica Norrie has a wonderful quiz for the entire family for the holidays, Children’s books are timeless and those we enjoyed 50 years ago are still being read today. How many questions can you get right.  Head over to print off the quiz.

Quizzing around the Christmas tree! #Children’s #Books – Jessica Norrie

This Christmas will be quieter than usual so here’s a quiz to print off and mull over. See how much you can do without Google! Please do post comments and scores, but not answers – they’ll be on the blog after Christmas. You may have to think back to your childhood, maybe even your parents’ and grandparents’ childhoods as I’ve realised many of my choices are old fashioned. If any 21st century children and grandchildren would like to contribute up to date and more diverse examples of well known books for a future quiz that would be great and you can email them to me via the blog.

There are a whopping 75 questions (I worked HARD on this, or you could just call it self-indulgence). Score 1 point for every correct fact you get – eg a point for authors and for picture books illustrators’ names. A point for the title or series, extra for the countries the books come from in Round 8 and any other answer to a specific question. I make the maximum score 150 but it could be more. Let me know what you get – and note, some books and authors may appear in more than one question.

Here’s an example, for two marks: TMG by PP would be Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce.

Round 1: Did you, like me, read these as a child?

  1. TJSS by RK
  2. TCOGK by LMB
  3. PP by JMB
  4. JW by RC
  5. TTTE by RWA
  6. IOTBD by SOD
  7. TWOWC by JA
  8. TLWH by EG
  9. BS by NS
  10. TB by MN

Round 2: A Picture Tells a Thousand Words

Please head over to discover the rest of the quiz and get your thinking caps on…thanks Sally: Quizzing around the Christmas Tree with Jessica Norrie

Books by Jessica Norrie

Jessica Norrie, Buy: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Website:Jessica Norrie on WordPressGoodreads: Jessica Norrie – Twitter: @Jessica_Norrie

 

Smorgasbord Reblog – Afghanistan Adventures #60 final journey by Mary Smith


 

One of my pleasures at the weekend is to read the latest episode of Mary Smith’s adventures living and working in Afghanistan 30 years ago. This week Mary and her husband travel with colleagues from Afghanistan to Pakistan. An arduous journey across desert and potholes with some worrying moments along the way…

Afghanistan Adventures #60 final journey

Suddenly, it was time to leave. The last few days were hectic, full of frantic packing and emotional farewells.

Dinner party

So many people were joining us on the journey to Pakistan that we needed two vehicles. The night before departure the clinic was overflowing with people and, desperate to escape the noise and confusion, for a few minutes, I persuaded Hussain to take a last walk on the mountain with me. Now I was leaving, he was full of remorse for all the times he had acted badly.

‘Really, Mum, I never mean any of the bad things I say when I am angry. I know you are right when you try to teach me how to behave, and I don’t want to fight with you. It just happens. You will find a different Hussain when you come back next year, I promise.’ I didn’t hold out much hope the growing up process would take place within five months – five years, perhaps – but I accepted his promises in the spirit in which they were made. We returned to the clinic to find some floor space on which to sleep for the last few hours left of the night.

Jon, Engineer, Malim Ashraf

We left before light. I travelled with Jawad and Hussain in the clinic jeep as they accompanied us as far as the checkpoint on the far side of Angoori where, if all went according to plan, we would pick up a hired vehicle for the journey to Badani. As the sun rose, chasing the early morning mists from the mountains, the sky changed colour from pearly grey through pink to blue, and Jaghoray had never looked more beautiful. The politics of a small minority of people may cause us more trouble than in any other place we worked, but it was the place in Hazaristan I loved best. Well, I silently amended, maybe second best; after Waras.

Please head over to read this last adventure and if you have not read the previous 59 episodes they are highly recommendedMarySmith’sPlace ~ Afghanistan Adventures#60 final journey

A selection of books by Mary Smith

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Mary Smith, Buy:Amazon US – and:Amazon UK –  Blog: Mary Smith’s PlaceFollow Mary: Goodreads – Twitter: @marysmithwriter

 

Thanks for dropping by and I hope you will head over to enjoy Mary’s post in full.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Reblog – AfghanistanAdventures #59 Ghastly things and lovely things by Mary Smith


One of my pleasures at the weekend is to read the latest episode of Mary Smith’s adventures living and working in Afghanistan 30 years ago.. In this episode, a heartbreaking experience followed by a wonderful reunion with old friends.

AfghanistanAdventures #59 Ghastly things and lovely things


Mazar Bibi Clinic under construction 1989

Mazar Bibi Clinic as it is today

Hussain had taken Rahimy, Sharif and Zahir, to see something more of the area and I was writing up my tour diary when Habib, one of the translators who had defected from Qolijou, arrived at Mazar Bibi with a jeep full of patients. I explained Hussain would not be back until late afternoon. He asked if I would examine the patients. I pointed out he had more medical training than I but he begged me to at least look at the most seriously sick of the patients, a seven year old boy.

The child was carried into my room, deathly white, gasping for breath, barely conscious. Handing me a stethoscope Habib explained, ‘First he complained of a sore throat then he started coughing and now he has breathing problems. His father brought him to us this morning but we are not sure what to do for him and hoped Hussain could help.’ The child was seriously ill. When I looked in his mouth, I could see a kind of grey membrane covering in this throat. Diphtheria?

I turned to Habib, ‘You must take him to Rosanna at Qolijou.’

He looked at me, miserably, ‘Can you not give him medicine? I can’t go to Qolijou because Moosa and the others will laugh at us and say we are useless doctors who cannot manage on our own.’

Please head over to read the rest of this wonderful post: MarySmith’sPlace ~ AfghanistanAdventures#59 Ghastly things and lovely things

A selection of books by Mary Smith

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Mary Smith, Buy:Amazon US – and:Amazon UK –  Blog: Mary Smith’s PlaceFollow Mary: Goodreads – Twitter: @marysmithwriter

 

Thanks for dropping by and I hope you will head over to enjoy Mary’s post in full.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Reblog –Monday Halloween Funnies… The Story Reading Ape


These days we need all the laughter we can get and The Story Reading Ape and his Monday Funnies are a great example of how to beat the blues and get your Halloween on…

Head over to enjoy many more : The Story Reading Ape – Monday Funnies October 27th

 

The Story Reading Ape buy: Amazon US –  And:  Amazon UK    Blog: The Story Reading Ape Twitter: @StoryReadingApe

 

Thanks for dropping by and I hope you enjoy the laughter over at The Story Reading Ape…thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Reblog – AfghanistanAdventures#58 – Skulduggery and spies by Mary Smith


Another Afghan adventure for Mary Smith as she plays a diplomatic role under threat of kidnap and extortion…wonderful read as always with stunning photography.

MarySmith’sPlace ~ AfghanistanAdventures#58 ~ Skulduggery and spies

Jaghoray, December 1989

Nothing to do with Jaghoray – this is Jawad, one time driver, now programme co-ordinator, taken between Lal and Waras on a recent tour

Hussain had sent messages from Jaghoray, warning us against going there, because the translators at Qolijou were making kidnap threats. Mubarak said two of the translators, accompanied by several mujahideen had been to Malestan asking about our expected arrival date and future travel plans. There were rumours the hospital had been handed over to Nasre, who wanted increased funding for the hospital and our Toyota. We spent the morning in endless discussions and pointless conjecture.

Mujahidden

Finally, I suggested I go alone to see Hussain, who had a tendency to dramatise any situation, and meet the translators, and Rosanna, in Qolijou. If Rosanna believed the situation to be dangerous she and I would come to Malestan together and leave from there for Pakistan. If it was nothing more than the usual over-reaction I’d send word Jon should come to Jaghoray. Rahimy insisted he come with me. Zahir and Sharif promptly volunteered to accompany us. Mubarak arranged the hire of his brother’s jeep.

As Jon and Mubarak waved us off next morning, I felt like a spy being sent behind enemy lines on an intelligence gathering mission. A glance at my three companions – one fourteen year old youth who looked about twelve, one extremely nervous ex-mujahid, and one very deformed leprosy patient, who at least succeeded in assuming a suitably sinister appearance with his turban tail drawn tightly across his face – and I decided we more resembled actors in a farcical spoof. We hadn’t even a Kalashnikov or pistol, between us.

Head over to read how Mary facilitated the resolution to this particularly challenging issue: MarySmith’sPlace ~ AfghanistanAdventures#58 ~ Skulduggery and spies

A selection of books by Mary Smith

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Mary Smith, Buy:Amazon US – and:Amazon UK –  Blog: Mary Smith’s PlaceGoodreads: Goodreads – Twitter: @marysmithwriter