Very happy to promote new releases by authors on the Smorgasbord Bookshelf and new writers to the blog: Smorgasbord bookshelf – book marketing and personal recommendation
I am an author too and here are my current books available on Amazon, and Smashwords. I have also included some of the reviews for the books on Amazon and by bloggers. The icing on the cake..
My latest book is a collection of poetry and short stories and was published November 2022
About the collection
Variety is the Spice of Life is a collection of poetry and short stories about relationships with others, including pets and animals inhabiting the world around us. The connection with others brings love and friendship, excitement and sometimes surprises, danger, mystery and sometimes the unexpected.
The poetry explores human nature, the fears, desires, expectations and achievements. Nature offers a wonderful opportunity to observe animals both domesticated and wild. Even in a back garden you can observe a wide variety of creatures and the daily challenges to survive a harsh environment.
The short stories introduces you to a healer whose gift comes with danger, a neighbour determined to protect a friend, a woman on the run, an old couple whose love has endured, an elderly retired teacher who faces a life changing accident, a secret that has been carried for over 70 years and a village who must unite as they face devastating news.
Some early reviews for the collection
So much to say … I’m not sure where to begin.
Sally Cronin’s latest collection of poetry and short stories is one of the most delightful that I’ve read. First, the poetry. While reading this book, I took notes on every poem, jotting down how I felt and what impressions it gave me. However, now that I’m writing a review, I am finding it difficult to put those notes into one paragraph and make any cohesive sense. So let me try this another way.
What I loved most about the poetry is the author’s gift for nuanced descriptions of nature and its creatures as if we’re seeing them with brand new eyes. Her poem “The Robin – Size doesn’t matter” really resonated with me. In my childhood, robins were abundant where I lived, but reading this poem felt as though I was meeting them anew, just as I felt reading about bees, butterflies, starlings and other creatures.
The author is brilliantly observant and knows how to extract what is most special about the world she sees. And I love the pieces of art she creates with her lines of poetry. Most clever.
I don’t want to give too much away about the short stories, but each one delighted me in a different way. I especially loved “The Secret” and wanted it to go on. But to summarize, all of the stories had connections with nature woven throughout – and I found each one to be touching and heartwarming.
“Variety is the Spice of Life” is a wonderful collection of poetry and short stories. The poetry is presented in the first half of the book. It was moving and thoughtful, as each word was carefully crafted. The short stories in the second half were my favorite part. Each story had its gift to offer us, but I wiped away a tear or two with “Mrs. Lloyd’s Robin.” “The Healer” left me with chills wondering what-if. What connected the stories and poetry to me was their humanity—or heart of them. A must-read collection for those who love poetry and stories that make you feel.
True to its name, this book is packed with a variety of syllabic poetry, pulling at the strings of your heart with poems like ‘Face in the Mirror,’ accompanied by a beautiful picture of the poet and her mother – a reminder of her laughter. ‘The Waltz’ captures the joy of two hearts beautifully. Cronin’s poems are short and meaningful, most of them capture vibrant colors of life. Even drought doesn’t escape her discerning eye. Robins, starlings, bees and butterflies come alive in her poems. If blossoms remind us of fleeting opportunities, bees convey a profound message of diligence and persistence. I’ve read these poems again and again – such is their appeal!
Sally’s short stories have always been my favorite, as they bring out the best of human values. I loved ‘The Healer’ and ‘Home Help’ but the winners are the marmalade cat and robin of Miss Lloyd. Cronin’s love for furry friends shines through her stories. I highly recommend this lovely collection to readers of all genres.
From poetry and short stories about the human condition with all its array of emotions involved in relationships, to the beauty of nature, and the joy of animals, I loved this compilation. At our current time of tragedy and so many suffering, Cronin’s words were a breath of fresh air. The author’s Spice of Life reminds me of A Kinship with All Life, one of my all time favorite books. Being an animal lover, I especially loved those parts involving animals. But equally well-written and captivatingly in-depth are the characters in the short stories that deal with everything from enduring love to precarious healing gifts to life changing accidents – topics designed to engage the readers interest. A little book in terms of pages, it holds a big punch of entertainment. Highly recommend.
I’m a fan of Cronin’s syllabic poetry, flash fiction, and short stories, and this latest collection is an excellent example of why. The first half of the book is filled with 38 beautiful poems in a variety of structured forms. Many of the poems are poignant reflections on love and loss, the wonder of life, and the beauty of nature found in her garden. Each includes a complementary image. One of my favorites:
Rejection (form: a butterfly cinquain)
and distance between us
and your rejection leaves my heart
the promises we made that day
are scattered in the wind
and dreams have turned
The second half of the book is comprised of 8 short stories, most of them heartwarming tales of human kindness, forgiveness, and redemption. (With a tale of magical murder thrown in). Three of my favorites were Miss Lloyd’s Robin, The Green Hill, and The Home Help. I highly recommend this afternoon’s read to fans of syllabic poetry and short stories.
Sally Cronin knows how to capture our hearts with her variety, indeed, full of heartfelt short stories of the human condition and moving poetry accompanied by beautiful images. Along with various poems written in both free verse and specific form, Sally includes a selection of poems about ‘Snapshots from my Garden’, where she shares about the various animals and insects who occupy her garden. We will also get a treat learning about her own DNA! Escape into nature with Sally’s poems about birds, butterflies, and other furry neighborhood visitors. A few of my favorites: Above the World, Kinship – ” … there may not always be harmony, but the ties of love cannot be broken … ,” and, Bear Witness, which emphasizes our freedoms.
Pour a cup of coffee and drift into stories of love, reminiscings, and compassion. A few of my favorites: the Green Hill – in loving memory where Bert and Ivy share a snippet of remembered love. Discover – The Secret about Eleanor’s mother Edith, which took her seventy-five years to reveal. Step into Serena’s world as The Healer who heals the sick while keeping a low profile in doing so for safety reasons as she works as a nurse in a free clinic. The Home Help gives a twist on caregiving (no spoilers).There is something for everyone here, and all guaranteed to touch your heart.
Sally Cronin is known for her short stories that pack a punch, grab at our heartstrings, and often end with an unexpected twist at the end. This new collection is a comforting read guaranteed to stir the soul.
About the collection
Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.” Arthur Brisbane 1911.
An image offers an opportunity to see endless possibilities depending on the viewer’s perspective. Where some might see beauty and joy, others imagine sadness and loss of hope.
In this collection, images and syllabic poetry are brought together to tell a story based on the author’s perspective. The poetry explores our human experiences such as love, happiness, hope, aging, friendship, new beginnings, dreams and loss.
The world around us is an amazing playground and source of all our essential needs as well as sensory experiences that bring wonder into our lives. What lies beyond the horizon? What surprises will we discover as a garden bursts into bloom? Where do the night creatures live?
At the end of the collection there are some longer poems celebrating memories of the author’s life of travel, teenage exploits and love of food!
One of the recent reviews for the collection
Life is Like a Mosaic is a lovely collection of poetry that lifts the heart and the spirit. The author has the innate ability to create beautiful poems, thoughts, rhymes with words as if she has a magic wand.
She weaves ordinary words and creates the extraordinary before our eyes. There are fifty poems to enjoy covering feelings, experiences, hope, love, heartache, joy, friendship among others. She recalls her childhood memories, holidays, friends and other thoughts in flowing and creative rhyming poetry that takes one away to his/her own childhood nostalgically.
The colorful cover tells a tale all its own of life that can be so fractured yet somehow comes together in a beautiful way. The poems she creates give us hope in a troubled world of what is possible if we think positively. As she says in the poem, ‘Hope, Hope still springs eternal’.
I enjoyed all these wonderful poems but especially enjoyed ‘The Sunflower – One, and Sunflower – Two.’ In these two poems Sally expresses her thoughts – ‘Witness the sunflower as she swivels to stare and worship the gold god. Symbol of health and life the sunflower brightens every field that she graces.’
As I read all these poems I fell uplifted and free, all my troubles melted away. It was a beautiful feeling as I traveled along her words to float and flitter, my heart beating rhythmically with her lilting words. I highly recommend this beautiful collection. Thank you, Sally Cronin!
About the collection
Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet is a collection of short stories with scattered poetry, reflecting the complexities of life, love and loss.
The stories in the collection dip into the lives of men and women who are faced with an ‘event’ that is challenging and in some cases life changing.
Even something as straightforward as grocery shopping online can be frustrating, and a DNA test produces surprise results, the past reaches out to embrace the present, and a gardening assistant is an unlikely grief counsellor. Romance is not always for the faint-hearted and you are never too old for love. Random acts of kindness have far reaching consequences and some people discover they are on a lucky streak. There are those watching over us who wish us well, and those in our lives who wish us harm.
One of the recent reviews for the book others can be found on Amazon and Goodreads
A delightful collection of short stories and poems by the indomitable Sally Cronin. Each story is a slice of life, some bitter, some sweet and others bittersweet. The author cleverly depicts ordinary loves in an extraordinary way. I particularly loved how pets are portrayed as important, a cat comforts a care home resident and a dog saves a marriage. These are stories of love, loss, joy, abuse, despair and most of all, hope. Enjoyable nuggets to savour and return to.
About Life’s Tapestry
Life’s Rich Tapestry is a collection of verse, microfiction and short stories that explore many aspects of our human nature and the wonders of the natural world. Reflections on our earliest beginnings and what is yet to come, with characters as diverse as a French speaking elephant and a cyborg warrior.
Finding the right number of syllables for a Haiku, Tanka, Etheree or Cinquain focuses the mind; as does 99 word microfiction, bringing a different level of intensity to storytelling. You will find stories about the past, the present and the future told in 17 syllables to 2,000 words, all celebrating life.
This book is also recognition of the value to a writer, of being part of a generous and inspiring blogging community, where writing challenges encourage us to explore new styles and genres.
One of the recent reviews for Life’s Rich Tapestry August 29th 2021 Annika Perry – Review – Life is Like a Tapestry
Thank goodness for the blogging challenges that inspired Sally Cronin’s Life’s Rich Tapestry Woven in Words. An enriching and engaging collection of verse, micro fiction and short stories, her work is mesmerising, always uplifting and often humorous. Throughout humanity and the spirits of humans (and some animals) is a beacon of hope for us all.
Sally’s poetry is enticing, thoughtful and soothing; they are written tightly within the framework of syllables for various formats such as haikus and tankas yet explore a vast range of topics encompassing the wonder of the seasons, recognising human frailties and celebrating the warmth of togetherness. She manages to take us on a journey from cave drawings to digital code across the universe, from the mystical of the ugly troll with his bewitching music in The Moonlight Concerto to the enchantment of Fairies!
As a writer, one poem – an ode to writing – particularly struck a chord with me:
The Freedom to write
and time to create
to be read
by those open to our thoughts
by Sally Cronin
Sally Cronin is a master storyteller and I was immediately drawn into the lives of the characters in all her short stories. Her writing flows with ease and self-assurance within this diverse selection of short stories. I was moved by the reunion of siblings, impressed how a story told through the point of view of a polar bear both touched me and touched on environmental issues. The reason for a black sheep was raised in one story and had me smiling as did My Mouse, a clever play on words and a predicament experienced by most of us!
The superb stories in The Underdogs section had me in awe of the strength of the individual personalities of the dogs. Later, in For the Love of Lily, I was cheering on as eighty-year-old Millicent found her courage to stand up to her overbearing son with the help of her cat Lily and her kindly neighbour Eric. This was an excellent depiction of what I hope isn’t a scenario that takes place often.
The final longer pieces in the book are under the title of Speculative Fiction and these are all exceptional and shows Sally Cronin’s incredible imagination and ability in writing across all genres.
A moment of alignment is superlative and left me with goosebumps (of the happy variety!) as a child, following her death, manages to cross from the other world for the briefest of times on certain occasions to talk to her mother. Great Aunt Georgina left me tear-eyed and is a wonderful and powerful story partly told through the use of old letters; a deft use of an evocative writing technique. The Enhancement Project combines the tantalising hint of romance between a surgeon and her patient cyborg, all against the backdrop of the end of civilisation. It is a terrific blend of human and futuristic, of dark and light, love and destruction.
I can’t recommend Life’s Rich Tapestry Woven with Words highly enough and look forward to reading more of Sally Cronon’s books.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Amazon :Amazon UK
Amazon US : Amazon US
The queen of Magia and her court have fled their sun filled Spanish homeland and the palace beneath the magnolia tree.
Arriving on the backs of geese and swans, they seek sanctuary in the magic garden of The Storyteller who welcomes them to the Emerald Island, a place where rain is almost a daily feature.
Grateful for their safe haven and the generosity of their host, the queen and her courtiers embrace their new surroundings with delight.
As the seasons change throughout the year, they come into contact with many of the human and animal inhabitants of the garden and the surrounding forest, all of whom have a story to tell.
This is a magical fairy story infused with fantasy and romance, as well as opportunities for mischief in the company of goblins, witches and Lerpersians. Suitable for ages 10 to 100 years old…..
Please meet Queen Filigree as created by Donata Zawadzka
Once again Ms. Cronin creates a heartwarming story for the young-at-heart.
Queen Magia must move her court from her beloved Spain to Ireland. In the process she encounters love, new friendships and magical challenges, that the author tells in vivid detail bringing the story to life.
I can picture this story in a beautifully illustrated hardcover. Though, I need to add, it does have lovely black and white drawings. For folks that are Sally Cronin fans you won’t be disappointed in TALES FROM THE IRISH GARDEN. And if you happen to read this while sitting under your favorite shade tree, keep a look out for fairies. You just never know when one might pop out.
The book is now available in Kindle on :Amazon UK
And :Amazon US
What’s in Name – Volume Two – Stories of life and romance. The print version of combined volumes one and two is available in the UK and Ireland
About What’s in a Name Volume Two
Our legacy is not always about money or fame, but rather in the way that people remember our name after we have gone. In these sixteen short stories we discover the reasons why special men and women will stay in the hearts and minds of those who have met them. Romance, revenge and sacrifice all play their part in the lives of these characters.
Kenneth watches the love of his life dance on New Year’s Eve while Lily plants very special flowers every spring for her father. Martha helps out a work colleague as Norman steps back out into the world to make a difference. Owen brings light into a house and Patrick risks his life in the skies over Britain and holds back from telling a beautiful redhead that he loves her.
Meet Queenie and Rosemary who have both lost their husbands and must face a very different future. One that will take courage and the use of new technology.
Sonia is an entitled princess whose father has reached the end of his tether and Theresa has to deal with a bully in the checkout. Usher is an arrogant narcissist with a docile wife and is used to getting his own way and Vanessa worries about the future of her relationship with her teenage son.
Walter is a loner and is happy with just his dog for company, Xenia is the long awaited first baby of a young couple. Yves is a dashing romeo who has the tables turned on him unexpectedly and Zoe… Well she can see into the future.
In one way or another all these characters will be remembered by those whose lives they have touched.
One of the recent review for the collection
This book was as enjoyable as the first. In these volumes, Ms. Cronin takes a name and writes a short around the character. All of the narratives fascinating. They range from a ghost that comes back once a year to visit his beloved to a man who vanished during the war and is finally reunited with his family. All the stories are unique and have an unexpected twist, while telling a tale that warms the heart. The author excels at world building and character development. I’ve never read anything by Ms. Cronin that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy. So, grab your copy and your beverage of choice, put your feet up and submerge yourself in a great read.
and: Amazon US
I really enjoyed this short story collection. it’s different from others taking a person’s name as the starting point for creating a story. There is a wide range of variety in this collection but all share one thing in common: these are about life, love and humanity. The range of topics in the stories will appeal to all from amusing, sad, emotional to happy stories. There is even a story about a nun, Celia, leaving her calling which remained with me a long time after reading. The twists at the end of the stories were entertaining too, especially loved the one in ‘George!’ and ‘Isobel.’
Another favourite of mine was ‘Clive,’ about a boy taking a walk in the tropics and walking into a whole lot of trouble – the little ‘un meets a cobra! But, the moment when the boy and cobra look into each others’ eyes is just priceless. Loved it. Cobras are not that uncommon a sight in the tropics, my mum’s step mum came face-to-face with one too! And, in ‘Eric,’ you’ll smile at the tale of a widower who learns to live again through his cat, Doris. in ‘Grace,’ the moving yarn of a young girl in an orphanage ticked all the boxes for me. And the tale of the drunk driver and ‘Hannah,’ was fantastic.
Highly recommended to short story enthusiasts and to all who enjoy well written tales.
You can read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US
Sam – A Shaggy Dog Story
Millions of families around the World believe that their pet, dog or cat is the most intelligent, beautiful and loyal friend that anyone could have. And they are absolutely right.
If only our pets could talk how much richer the world would be, and funnier.
As an animal lover, I was charmed by this story of the author’s beloved family pet. It’s told in first person, from the point of view of Sam, a Collie. The tale begins when he was a puppy, figuring out life with his mother and sisters.
Then he is adopted by a kind couple, Sally and David (the author and her husband) who become his pack. He trains them to provide the treats he loves, and they teach him how to be a good dog (although he never really warmed up to going to the veterinarian). Over the years, he makes friends with cats, other dogs, and pet sitters. He documents changes in the family living situation, such as when David took a job in Madrid and Sally stayed behind in Ireland with Sam. And then later, he moves with the family from Ireland to Spain and enjoys holidays on the Costa del Sol.
The book is illustrated with adorable color photographs of Sam and many of his friends; the reader can’t help but fall in love with him.
Size Matters – Especially when you weigh 330lbs
If I could communicate just a single message to you it is that
obesity, and the misery attached to it, need not be for life.
One of the recent reviews for the book
This isn’t my normal reading fare but I’m so glad I read this. It was emotionally satisfying as I followed the author on her journey of weight loss and was chock full of helpful information.
It talked about vitamins and minerals and the signs to watch for if you are missing them in your diet. On how to approach eating and exercising. On getting to the root of why you have a weight problem (if you do). It breaks down the food groups. Tells how many calories are in what foods and how many calories you burn when housecleaning, exercising etc.
Charts are included at the end to track what you eat and figure out your own plan for weight loss.
I would recommend this for any reader. Even if you aren’t overweight, it gives you plenty of tips on staying healthy. This is an amazing read. Highly recommended.
Turning Back the Clock – An anti-aging programme.
Living forever is not an option!
However, feeling younger and looking younger is an option available to all!
The maximum lifespan a human being can currently expect today is around 120 years. However, not many of us really want to be even 90 or 100 years old, if it means that we are going to end up filled with medication and tucked away in a corner in some nursing home, unaware of our surroundings.
Making healthy diet and lifestyle choices as early as possible will help you get as near as possible to your maximum age whilst enjoying good physical and mental vitality. In my latest book I not only take a look at the physical aspects of aging but also the mental and emotional issues that we should address earlier rather than later.
One of the reviews for the book
This was an unexpectedly quick, easy and enjoyable read. It is written by a professional and offers excellent advice on nutrition, exercise and lifestyle to promote healthy ageing and help to turn back the clock by up to ten years. This should be compulsory reading for anyone who is getting older.
Flights of Fancy
A few years ago I produced an audio CD of 6 short stories and today these stories and another five stories plus my novella The Sewing Circle are published in Flights of Fancy.
Ghosts hint at a chance of coming back to say goodbye, exact a little payback, or simply to help someone else carry on living. Romance is not just for the young and nor are second chances. As for revenge, well … never underestimate a group of elderly ladies with contacts from the past!
One of the recent reviews for the collection
Flights of Fancy is a collection of short stories and one novella. I was hooked from the first story to the last. What a shocking twist the first story delivers. What appears to be a cold-blooded murder is really something else entirely. I don’t want to give it away, I’ll just say be prepared to be surprised. Each story through the collection is unique and different with Sally’s unique way of writing. I think if I had to choose a favorite, it would be the last one in the book, which is actually the novella. What a tragic tale, but as Sally is apt to do, justice is served on a heaping platter.
This is an entertaining read and perfect for a bedtime story or two before lights out. The stories mainly focus on romance, ghosts, the supernatural, sweet justice or, as you might want to say, revenge. I highly recommend it.
Just an Odd Job Girl
Imogen was fifty!
Life is unpredictable and will often throw you a curve ball that knocks you out of the park.
For Imogen this curve ball knocked her out of a twenty five year marriage and a lovingly renovated home into a single life at age 50. She had been a very contented wife and mother of two children, who for every one of those 25 years had thought her husband had been equally as happy. It was a shock to find out that she had been delusional and replaced so easily.
Her confidence was non-existent. She had forgotten any skills she possessed and was totally unprepared to enter the modern job market. Or so she thought.
One of the recent reviews for the book
This is a fun read told through the eyes of a recently divorced middle-aged woman, Imogen. She believes she has a perfect life; her kids have moved out, and she has her dream house, but her husband isn’t on the same page. Out of the blue, Imogen is presented with a divorce because a younger woman, who was humorously labeled a “fast-tracker” has replaced her. Her soon-to-be ex-husband offers Imogen a smaller house. She retreats into this home, comforting herself with food. Finally, she concludes it’s time to work. This is where she goes to her first job interview in years and meets a kind man who asks her to tell him about all the jobs she’s ever had. This journey to her past is not only fascinating, and many times hilarious, but opened her eyes to the person she used to be. She gets through part of her life and then is encouraged to keep reminiscing. There are so many parts that had me laughing out loud, like when she got ready for this job interview or visited the hairdresser. As I was reading, it felt like Imogen was sitting next to me telling her story. “Just an Odd Job Girl” dove into a woman’s journey where she found her strength and perhaps another chance at love. I was completely invested in Imogen’s outcome. I can highly recommend this book.
Forget the Viagra… Pass me a Carrot!
The latest headlines in the Media recently are constantly highlighting the fact that men are at risk as they ignore early symptoms of life threatening disease. Cardiovascular and Prostate disease if caught in the early stages can be treated and managed but surveys indicate that men do not know what symptoms they should be looking for.
Despite the title, Forget the Viagra, Pass me a Carrot! is not just about the physical causes of sexual dysfunction and the dangers of taking a drug that is bought without medical consultation, but about men’s health in general. A workshop manual takes the working parts, describes how they function, what can go wrong and how to prevent problems in the future. This men’s health manual – does just that – takes all the major organs, illustrates how they work, the symptoms to look for and also how to avoid the problems in the first place.
It is never too late to make changes that can give your body a great chance at a long and vital life.
Review Forget the Viagra, Pass me a Carrot – J.E. Spina
This book was chock full of information on the workings and processing of the human body. Sally Cronin, the author, has produced an incredible resource for all. Everything you ever needed to know about diet, exercise, super foods, vitamins, what’s good and bad for your body and even how to breathe more effectively to keep your body working better.
There is a lot to take in but I felt that I gained an enormous amount of essential information that I always wanted to know.
Sally is a wonderful nutritionist who takes her profession seriously and is always available to answer questions or lend a hand to her clients. She also has a fabulous blog which I follow religiously. I love her books and look forward to more from this talented and articulate author.
I have been both sides of the marketing world. Within various businesses I have had to promote services and products through the media and then as an advertising sales executive in print media and as a broadcaster, help others promote their businesses.
Even today with the changing world of print media and broadcasting, it is still important to understand how to gain the advantage when pitching your product, book, charity or service. This is not a marathon read, just 70 pages in fact, but it will give you the basics for developing a relationship with your local media. It will also give you guidelines on how to present your product or service is such a way that they will promote you.
A review for the book
Don’t be fooled by the 42 page count of this gem of a book, which is really a must-have manual with some of the best advice and in-depth examples and information detailing everything you need to know to help spread the word to market both, yourself and your work.This book is a succinct little marketing guide for authors, but can apply to anyone wanting to learn how and where to get the word out. From learning how to step out of our comfort zones and enter the realm of marketing, to putting together a press release, preparing for interviews, and how to put good copy together for advertising, Cronin has created an excellent, jam-packed manual of instruction to help navigate marketing ourselves and our products or books. #Recommended.
Tales from the Garden – Also in Spanish
Fairy Stories for children of all ages, from five to ninety-five that will change the way you look at your garden, forever.
With over 80 photos/illustrations, “Tales from the Garden” by Sally Cronin,reveals the secrets that are hidden beneath hedges and trees.
You will discover what really happens at night as you sleep unaware in your bed. Stone statues and those hidden worlds within the earth are about to share their stories.
The guardians who have kept the sanctuary safe for over fifty years will allow you to peek behind the scenes of this magical place. They will take you on a journey through time and expand your horizons as they transport you to the land of fairies, butterflies and lost souls who have found a home here.
One of the recent reviews for the book.
I do have print copies available of most of my books and you can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in buying a copy..thanks Sally.