Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – D. G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships – Rewind – Know when it’s time to go – When giving becomes one-sided


As many of you already know that D.G. Kaye’s husband passed away on April 7th and our thoughts are with her during this sad time.

Debby will be continuing with the Realm of Relationship Column  but rather than have the pressure of a deadline, we thought we might share the first posts of the series which began in January 2020 every Monday to bring new readers to the blog up to speed

Relationships – Know when it’s time to go – When giving becomes one-sided

Welcome back to The Realms of Relationships. In this edition, I’m going to talk more about friendships. I talked about keeping friendships healthy in my previous post. In this post, I’ll share some of the flags that indicate when friends may be taking advantage of us.

Friendships are special to us because they are the people we choose to let into the most personal and intimate part of our lives, the people we trust most. But sometimes in our lifetime of relationships and friendships we may realize that a certain friendship becomes all give and no get back. Today we’re going to take a look at some of the signs that tell us that a friendship we may have with someone is not as fulfilling as it once may have been, how to attempt to repair, and how to decide if it’s time to sever ties.

Friends are those we permit into our personal spaces and hold dear to us. Friends are the ones we share common bonds with, share our world, our homes and often our hearts with. Friends are ones we can rely on for uplifting, favors, companionship, and the ones who have our backs. Do something to betray any of these bonds, it puts a dent into a friendship, and if we let misgivings escalate without confronting our friend about issues bothering us, or better yet, if we have confronted a friend over an issue and they tend to blow it off or ignore our concerns, consider petty, it may be time to re-evaluate that friendship.

As with everything that works smooth in life, there is balance. We take the good with the bad in stride and go about life. Sometimes there are obstacles we learn to work around, sometimes the obstacles must be confronted in order to resolve issues to restore an even balance. If the balance of a friendship begins to teeter, yet one party of the friendship doesn’t see it, someone must alert that person that more effort must be put into that relationship or it’s going to fizzle out. When one party is doing all the giving and supporting and there’s nothing in return – giving back, this is not a friendship. Make sure you’re not doing all the giving and being sucked into an energy vampire sucking relationship.

As a lover and not a fighter, I require peace in all my relationships. I’m a passionate person who cares about all people. I’m also a great communicator, which I learned to become as I’ve spent most of my life observing people and their behavior. If I detect an imbalance or a missing ingredient within a close friendship, I’m going to bring it up for discussion so we can get to the root of a problem to find resolution to continue on with the friendship, hopefully, strengthening the bond once the imbalance is corrected. But what if the other party doesn’t see our side or perhaps thinks we’re making too much out of something insignificant? Or, what if that person is completely blind to a troublesome situation and what if we become tired of rehashing the same issues that never seem to change? Are we just supposed to sit back and live with the lumpy situation, continuing to make excuses to pardon that friend from their faults, or can we keep making excuses to not be available for them? That becomes our decision. But for me, I learned a few relationships ago, when you become a doormat, it may be time to leave.

My Story

It wasn’t the first time I had to lay a friendship to rest. It happened maybe 3 times in my life when I decided it was time to part ways with someone who I’d considered a good friend but realized I was doing all the ‘friendy’ work. But leaving became easier to do with each friend because as the years progressed, I’d learned better to stand up for myself and to not be so easily roped in by people’s antics. Being an empath makes the process doubly hard because my whole life I allowed myself to get sucked into people’s drama because I felt sorry for them. Sure, they may not have been adding anything of value to our friendship at the time, but they were lonely, had a lot of bad breaks from life, and sometimes it was just convenient to have someone to hang out with, which some of us think may be better than being alone – but no, it’s not. I finally learned that being alone without a sidekick was better than being used, taken for granted and not appreciated.

One relationship I ended with a friend almost three decades ago was a smart choice. Amy was a friend I’d met within my circle of my closest oldest friends. I kind of inherited her as when we met through mutual friends, we were both single at the time and lived close to one another, which made it too convenient for her to pop over – a lot.

Amy ‘dropped’ by my place lots – especially when she was in between dating her ex- boyfriend and her ex -ex- boyfriend. I got to listen to the whining and complaining and felt compelled to come up with solutions to her problems. I got to cook her dinners, and rarely did I get to share anything about how I felt about things going on in my own life. And never would she ask.

Initially we were good company for one another – someone to have a meal with, go for a drink or watch a movie with. But after 2 years of it, my ear was getting too full of the ‘woe is me’ stories and zero growth in our relationship. Oh sure, after some time had passed, I did broach the subject with Amy, but I also grew to realize that whatever I’d discussed seemed to pass directly through both her ears, and she didn’t understand what being a real friend was. I call them fair-weather friends.

Fair- weather friends are those who come around or call when they have a need to be fulfilled – when it’s convenient for them. They aren’t necessarily bad people, more like self-centered, selfish, and often clueless when it comes to maintaining healthy relationships – romance or otherwise. These types of people will not go out of their way for someone else, usually have trouble in their romantic relationships for same reasons, and deny what they don’t like to hear.

Amy treated me like her personal Shrink or a sounding board for all her dilemmas – and there always seemed to be one with her. Me, always feeling as though it’s my duty to fix people, was kept in the vortex way too long.

Eventually, as that time in my life became a huge growth spurt in growing my self-esteem in both friendships and a crappy relationship I was in at the time, I realized then that it was time to unload the pressure of that relationship too. Without a fight or a phone call, I just slithered away. I first took her calls, but made myself consistently unavailable to her ‘drop over’ requests. Then eventually, I just stopped answering her calls and faded out. A good indicator I was right in doing so was that she made no attempts to further contact me or even questioning why I just cut her out. This was a confirmation it was time. There was no need to second-guess.

Friends who suck the life out of us are what I call energy sucking vampires. They are needy people who will swoop right in on us if we offer them a cushy nest. They are the ones who will ask for favors, visit and forget to leave, borrow things and never return them, and most known for draining our soul. And if you are an empath who constantly finds yourselves attracting these types of people, it’s time to become more aware of these behaviors and how much you will allow. Weigh out the pros and cons of a relationship. If you’re finding the con column getting a little too top heavy, it’s a good idea to consider cutting the ties.

If you find that you’ve discussed your feelings with your friend and they deny any actions you’ve pointed out, become defensive and/or accusatory as a lame defense, deny or blame you without admitting, apologizing, or ultimately, getting angry because you brought up the discussion, it’s pretty clear that your suspicions were right in the first place and it’s time to go. Empaths in particular, tend to let things drag on a little too long because we will do our utmost to keep from hurting anyone’s feelings, often taking the zings ourselves to keep the peace. But if it’s not peaceful, we need to leave.

There are no age limits, time limits, friend limits. You shouldn’t put a timeline on a friendship – meaning: Just because you’ve invested ‘x’ amount of years in a friendship and it doesn’t feel right anymore, doesn’t mean you must remain because you’ve put in the time. No. If you’ve put in the time and the friendship and it’s not growing or feeding you back in any way, it’s time to move on.

Do you have a sticky friendship experience you’d like to share here?

You can find the other posts in the series: D.G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships 2020

©D.G.Kaye

I’m a nonfiction memoir writer who writes about life, matters of the heart and women’s issues. My intent is to inspire others by sharing my stories about events I encountered, and the lessons that come along with them.

I love to laugh, and self-medicate with a daily dose of humor. When I’m not writing intimate memoirs, you’ll find me writing with humor in some of my other works and blog posts.

When I was a young child, I was very observant about my surroundings. Growing up in a tumultuous family life; otherwise known as a broken home, kept me on guard about the on-and-off-going status of my parents’ relationship. I often wrote notes, and journaled about the dysfunction I grew up in. By age seven I was certain I was going to grow up to be a reporter.

Well life has a funny way of taking detours. Instead, I moved away from home at eighteen with a few meager belongings and a curiosity for life. I finished university and changed careers a few times always striving to work my way up to managerial positions. My drive to succeed at anything I put my mind to led me to having a very colorful and eventful life.

Ever the optimist, that is me. I’ve conquered quite a few battles in life; health and otherwise, and my refusal to accept the word ‘No’, or to use the words ‘I can’t’, keeps me on a positive path in life.

I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

“For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling. Find out more about D.G. Kaye: D.G. Kaye Writer

Books by D.G. Kaye

One of the recent reviews for Have Bags Will Travel

marjorie mallon 5.0 out of 5 stars A fun travel/shopping memoir which will have you laughing  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 21 February 2021

I read this as part of #ireadcanadian., @ireadcanadian #nowmorethanever.

This is such a hoot, what a laugh! Have Bags Will Travel is such an entertaining read which gives you an insight into D G Kaye’s character, her shopping obsession, packing troubles, germaphobia, and brushes with airport security. Enjoy her recollections on the glamour and glitz, her love to travel and a nostalgic aspect to it all.

Her friend Zan shares her shopaholic tendencies too. The two of them together… can you imagine? A red head, blonde explosion of zaniness! I love the part when they end up at Buckingham Palace and chat to a Beefeater, the royal guard and after which… it gets funnier by the moment.

Have Bags Will Travel gives a historical account of how much easier it used to be to take overstuffed baggage through airports in the good old days. Now, it seems that D G Kaye will resort to anything to get her shopping home.
Zan and D G Kaye also travel to Paris and end up shopping for shoes!
There are manmade toboggan rides in Muskoka, Canada.
Trips to Venezuela: Margarita Island and Caracas with cousin Eileen.
Las Vegas, Then and Now – gambling/casinos, fond memories of the author’s love of the desert.

Have Bags Will Travel is just what we need right now, a good giggle! There is also a section at the back of the book with Helpful Travel tips. A short, entertaining read. Highly recommended, especially for the shopoholics and travel enthusiasts in your life!

If you have not discovered the non-fiction books by D.G. Kaye: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK Blog: D.G. WritesGoodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads – Twitter: @pokercubster

 

My thanks to Debby for taking on the challenge of exploring the complexity of relationships, and sharing strategies to improve the way we manage those important to us. As always your feedback is very welcome and Debby will respond to you comments when she can. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – Pre-Order -#Crime – I Am Mayhem: The Mayhem Series: #4 by Sue Coletta


Congratulations to Sue Coletta on the forthcoming release for I Am Mayhem: The Mayhem Series: #4 – On pre-order at 99c/99p for April 20th

About the book

As bloody, severed body parts show up on her doorstep, Shawnee Daniels must stop the serial killer who wants her dead before she becomes the next victim.

But can she solve his cryptic clues before it’s too late? Or will she be the next to die a slow, agonizing death?

With crows stalking her every move, Shawnee can barely function. Things worsen when body parts show up on her doorstep. An unstoppable serial killer wants her dead. Mr. Mayhem threatens to murder everyone she loves, sending Shawnee a piece at a time.

As Mr. Mayhem sits in judgement, his cryptic clues must be solved before the final gavel drops. The game rules are simple—win the unwinnable or submit to a slow, agonizing death.

When Shawnee tries to fight back, she discovers her very existence is based on lies. But the full impact of the truth might become the headstone on Shawnee’s grave.

Head over to buy at the pre-order price 99c: Amazon US –  And at 77p: Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Sue Coletta

One of the reviews for Silent Mayhem Book #3 of the series

Sherry Fundin5.0 out of 5 stars BEST VILLAIN EVER!!!!! Reviewed in the United States on April 26, 2019

OMG!!!!! Mr Mayhem is one of the best villains, serial killer, ever! Is it possible to love a villain for his goodness, while hating him for his badness? And the crows…do they seek revenge when slighted?

Shawnee is a fabulous character. If I am ever in trouble, I want her at my side. I love that Levaughn, her cop boyfriend accepts her with all her foibles. I worry for her friends and family, afraid Mr Mayhem or Poe will seek retribution for perceived wrongs.

Sue Coletta pens some of the best stories and is at the top of my reading list, one of my go to authors. Her writing shines with the research and details included in her work. I love the use of the crows and the Indian folklore. Her writing speaks to me and I respond with delight.

I kept putting the book down, because I didn’t want to finish it. I wanted to savor each word, letting my mind mull over what would happen next. Loaded with surprises, Sue Coletta’s imagination knows no bounds and I marvel at how her mind works. Read her biography and you will see how she manages to cover the subject matter, serial killers, so well.

Bring on the next one…soon, please.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – follow Sue : Goodreads website/blog: Sue ColettaTwitter: @SueColetta1

 

About Sue Coletta

Sue Coletta is an award-winning crime writer and an active member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. Feedspot and Expertido.org named her Murder Blog as one of the “Best 100 Crime Blogs on the Net” (Murder Blog sits at #5). Sue also blogs at the Kill Zone, a multi-award-winning writing blog.

Sue lives in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire and writes two serial killer thriller series published by Tirgearr Publishing. She also writes true crime for Globe Pequot, the trade division of Rowman & Littlefield Group.Coletta is a proud member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, and the Kill Zone, an award-winning writing blog where she posts every other Monday.

Sue’s a bestselling, award-winning, multi-published crime writer in numerous anthologies and her forensics articles have appeared in InSinC Quarterly. She’s also the communications manager for the Serial Killer Project and Forensic Science, and founder of #ACrimeChat on Twitter.

On Murder Blog, Sue shares crime tips, police jargon, the mind of serial killers, true crime stories, and anything and everything in between at https://www.suecoletta.com. If you search her archives, you’ll find posts from guests that work in law enforcement, forensics, coroner, undercover operatives, firearm experts… crime, crime, and more crime.

For readers, she has the Crime Lover’s Lounge, where members will be the first to know about free giveaways, contests, and have inside access to deleted scenes, when available. As an added bonus, members get to play in the lounge. Your secret code will unlock the virtual door.

BONUS: When you join Sue’s community you’ll receive two killer reads!

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to buy Sue’s latest book at the pre-order price.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Poetry – Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday Challenge – Double #Etheree – Hope by Sally Cronin


This week for Colleen Chesebro’s #Tanka Tuesday Challenge 220 it is Poet’s Choice and I have written a double etheree…

Hope

Hope
still springs
eternal
in human hearts
sustained by poets
across the centuries
showcasing their heartfelt wish
for a more auspicious future
penning verses with aphorisms
to bolster their own confidence and ours.
These wise words they share often have merit
but hope is no better than a wish
needing effort to make come true.
So take the poet’s promise
determine your own course
to turn thought to deed
change your future
and fulfill
all your
dreams.

©Sally Cronin 2021

There is still time to participate in this week’s challenge Colleen Chesebro’s #Tanka Tuesday Challenge 220 it is Poet’s Choice

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you enjoyed my etheree… thanks Sally.

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…4th April-10th April 2021…#Recipes, Whimsy, Music and Lifestyle Changes


Time to catch up with Carol Taylor in Thailand as she share recipes and culinary terms.. along with some homemade coconut cream as an alternative to dairy..and on Fruity Friday… bamboo..head over to enjoy.

Retired? No one told me!

Recipes, Whimsy, Music and Lifestyle Changes…

Welcome to this week’s edition of my weekly roundup of posts…Especially for you just in case you missed a few posts during this last week…we are now into April…Time is marching on…thus far we had some humdingers of storms and the thunder here is certainly the loudest ever…a burst pipe…WP to deal with and their planned and unwanted changes by us the loyal customers…a plethora of sad news all in all one of those months so far…

Just in case you missed any or love to catch up like I do… snuggle deep be kind to yourselves …I think we all need to do that… get comfy in your favourite corner with your favourite drink tea/coffee or hot chocolate although depending on where in the world you live it could be a glass of wine or two…Cheers!

Meatless Monday’s…

Where I shared one of…

View original post 606 more words

Smorgasbord Stories – A return to Tales from the Irish Garden- Summer: Chapter Thirteen – Trouble in the Rose Garden by Sally Cronin


Yesterday The Storyteller with a little help, releases his daughter and her family from an evil curse and there is much celebration in the magic garden.. this week more trouble on the domestic front…

Summer: Chapter Thirteen – Trouble in the Rose Garden

©image Tales from the Irish Garden

After a month of honeymooning at the Royal Palace in Meath, and enjoying the company of King Phillip and Queen Seren, the happy couple returned home to their own realm beneath the magnolia tree. To be honest for the first few days they were rarely seen as they kept to their chambers, fortified by exquisitely prepared meals by Chef Marcelle accompanied by copious amounts of the restorative mead, made from the fermented honey of the royal bees.

The two princesses were, of course, impatient to hear all about Prince Ronan’s family holiday home, and after much persistent chatter, and in an effort to remove them from their chambers, he promised to take them there the following summer.

The magic garden was overflowing with colour and glorious scents that were hypnotic. The Storyteller would wander through the long meadow grass to the secret nooks and crannies where herbs and spices grew untamed and vibrant. His favourite place however, was in his rose bower, where every bloom was lovingly tended on a daily basis. After his breakfast of oatmeal and prunes, he would make his way into his sanctuary with secateurs and a wooden trug to fill with the fragrant blossoms. He knew that Queen Filigree was enamoured of the colour and scent of the Papa Meilland Rose that he had cultivated from a bush his French cousin had sent him. The rose loved the warmer dryer climate, and would not normally thrive where rain and cold winds could lash the delicate flowers. However, in this magic place, all plants grew and flourished, especially when touched by the hands of this gentle gardener.

On this particular morning, as the sun shone on dew covered leafs and petals, the Storyteller eagerly anticipated an hour or so amongst the roses, inhaling their aroma and listening to the royal bees as they collected sweet pollen.

This morning the peace of the garden was shattered by a roar of anger, and the sound of the trug and implements hitting the stone path that wended its way through the bower. The Storyteller stared around him at the devastation. Beautiful, but wilting red flowers littered the earth around the rose bushes, which stood sadly and partially naked in the sunlight. In despair the old man raised his hands and bowed his head in sorrow. He took a deep breath and raised his head to see if he could find what or who had done this to his treasured roses.

‘I have to find the perfect one… it has to be the best or she won’t grant my wish… oh I can’t decide… what am I going to do?’

The Storyteller turned towards the voice and spotted a black and white flash partially hidden beneath the hedge that bordered the garden. He moved towards the intruder with retribution on his mind, pulling the leaves of the hedge apart to reveal the suspected culprit of this carnage.

There sat a young badger sheltering from the daylight surrounded by rose heads and a big, juicy wriggling worm that he had clearly dug up fresh from the vegetable patch.

‘What have you done you miserable broc,’ the Storyteller was beside himself. ‘You have ruined my rose garden, for what exactly? And it better be a good reason, or I will turn you into a statue for pigeons to poop on!’

The young badger pushed back into the foliage and stared up at the angry old man, who even he knew, had powers beyond belief.

‘Please, please, I am sorry,’ he held up his long clawed paws pleadingly. ‘My family are being kept captive by a witch that has taken over our part of the forest, and she said that unless I get a king’s ransom of royal honey for her arthritis, she will turn them into the only moles in Ireland.’

The Storyteller beckoned the nervous animal out from under the hedge, and with the waddling creature following behind him, he headed for his deckchair where he enjoyed secret naps in the afternoon. He noticed that the badger was holding a very large, red velvet rose between his paws and reached out to remove it from his claws.

‘No please, no… I think that this is the one that will persuade the fairy queen to let me have some of the royal honey, please let me keep it.

Begrudgingly, the old man sat back in his comfy deckchair and gave an exasperated sigh.

‘Okay, out with it, give me the full story, otherwise I can’t help you.

The youngster inhaled the scent from the rose in his grasp and then lifted his head and looked at the Storyteller with tears in his eyes.

He explained that two nights ago as he and his brothers and sisters were playing outside their sett in the moonlight, a great black object flew down from the tree tops and landed with a thump right in front of them. Their parents and the other adults had just returned from the forest after digging up roots and finding fresh grasses for their bedding. They had left the youngsters working off some of their energy, so that they would sleep through the long day to come, and were deep underground in their soundless world, oblivious to the danger to their offspring.

Before the terrified young badgers, crouched the ugliest crone imaginable, waving her gnarled and blackened broomstick around threateningly.

‘Now you little flea ridden bundles of joy,’ the old woman waved her broom at them to make sure she had their attention. ‘I am in desperate need of the royal honey made for the fairy queen for my dodgy knees and you are going to get it for me. Stop bleating and tell me you understand me!’

Cowering together for comfort, the four of them nodded in agreement. ‘You, the cocky looking one at the end, what’s your name?’

‘Basil your worship, and may I say that you are extremely beautiful and fragrant.’

‘Flattery will get you nowhere you little vermin… but you will do.’

With that she approached the four of them, and nudged Basil’s two sisters and brother tumbling into the entrance of their home. With a wave of her broom the earth caved in and he could hear muffled cries from behind the wall of earth.

‘And don’t think that I have not blocked all the secret entrances to this foul den of iniquity either.’ She cackled to herself until she began coughing and spluttering.

‘You need to go to the palace under the magnolia tree and tell that uppity Queen Filigree to give you three walnut shell halves of the best royal honey she has, otherwise your family will be trapped underground for all eternity.’

With that she mounted her broomstick and made her pre-flight checks. ‘I will be back tonight at midnight and if you haven’t got my honey, you will be very sorry.’

Off she flew into the dark night, narrowly missing a tree as her wonky knees failed to correct her trajectory.

The badger looked up at the storyteller pleadingly. ‘I know the queen would not let me have the honey for nothing, and I had heard that she would do anything for one of these luscious roses, so that is why I was trying to find the best.’

You would have to be a very hard man to ignore those brown eyes and beguiling features. And we all know that the Storyteller was a push over when it came to the creatures in and around the magic garden. With a sigh he rose from the bench and lifted the young badger into his arms.

‘Right, young man, we have work to do, but first I need to fix this mess you have made.
Close your eyes so the flash doesn’t blind you.’

Basil rested his head thankfully against the rough material of the old man’s jacket and closed his eyes. It was daylight and he should have been fast asleep in the safety of his sett with his family, and he gently began to snore.

The Storyteller smiled down at the little chap and placed his hands over the furry ears. There was a large flash and a clap of thunder and the rose garden was restored to its former glory, except for one bush that was missing a large, velvety red rose that was still clasped between the paws of the sleeping badger.

Two hours later, the Storyteller, with the young badger still asleep in his arms, was ushered into the courtyard of the palace where the queen and Prince Ronan were enjoying a late breakfast of homemade scones, strawberry jam and fresh cream. The couple were delighted to see their friend and bade him join them at the table. At this point with the smell of strawberry jam permeating his sensitive nostrils, Basil woke with a sneeze and froze in awe of the esteemed company he found himself in.

Stroking the black and white fur gently, the Storyteller related his tale to the increasingly astonished audience.

‘Blast,’ spluttered the queen unregally.’ She looked across at her new husband. ‘I thought we had dealt with that old besom wielding crone once-and-for-all last year in Spain.’ She smiled warmly at Basil, reaching out to tease the beautiful red velvet rose from his clasp.

‘I believe that is for me young man,’ she smiled gently at him. The young badger, frozen in adoration, reluctantly gave up his prize assisted gently by the Storyteller. ‘Breathe young fellow, breathe, the old man whispered in his ear.

After smelling the fragrant rose and nodding in appreciation, Queen Filigree called for her lady-in-waiting, hovering outside the door to the courtyard, eager for snippets of gossip to relay to her nearest and dearest.

‘Stop listening at keyholes Lady Ellie otherwise I will send you back to that garden as a dog and slave to the humans.’ Lady Ellie sniffed defensively and curtsied as low as she could manage with her stiff back.

‘Your wish is my command your majesty, and I am eager to do your bidding.’

‘Please summon the captain of the palace guard, request the presence of the Queen Bee and alert the Eagle guardians that they will have a long night ahead of them.’ Bristling with importance, Lady Ellie scurried off on her errand as the queen turned to her husband.

‘My darling,’ she placed her hand on his muscular arm. ‘Are you up for a little mischief in a good cause?’

‘Always with you my dearest, always.’ He stood and headed for the door. ‘I will just go and get into something more appropriate for the adventure ahead.’ With that he winked at his queen, waving goodbye to the Storyteller and his furry companion.

To be continued next weekend…..

I hope you have enjoyed and will join me next weekend for more adventures in the magic garden.

My latest short story collection is Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

MacTrish 5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, entertaining and delightful. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 March 2021

I bought Sam, a Shaggy Dog Story by this author partly because it featured the same breed of dog that had been cherished pets of ours. That book held me spellbound. When I discovered the existence of this one, I bought it despite the fact that short stories are not my usual genre. It turned out to be a perfect escape from a pandemic.

This book is a little gem! Each tale is different. I was impressed by the range of moods – comic, poignant, vengeful, futuristic, romantic – each one gripping in its own way. It’s hard to pick favourites but it opens with a humorous story about AI and its thwarting of a dieter craving a treat. Another one concerning domestic abuse has a delicious twist. I had intended putting this book by the bed and dipping into it on those nights when sleep doesn’t come easily. Well, sleep suffered considerably. I read the entire book in one sitting!

If you’re looking for a multi-faceted treasury of well-written tales about the human condition, then this book is one for you. I raged, wept, laughed and gasped at some of these but there was never a sense of hopelessness or cynicism . Read it and be moved, thrilled, delighted and diverted.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon UK – And : Amazon US

You can find out about my other books and their most recent reviews: Sally’s books and reviews 2019/2021

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 4th – 10th April 2021 – Community, Dusty Springfield, Acne, Cravings, Book Reviews, Humour


Welcome to the round up with posts that you might have missed during the week.

First some sad news that most of you will have already seen. Debby Gies (D.G. Kaye) has been a contributor to the blog with the Travel and Relationship Column for over three years, but has been a wonderful supporter of the blog and friend since 2014.

As many of you will know, Debby has been taking a break from her own blog and also her regular posts here as she cared for her husband in the last few weeks. George passed away earlier this week and the funeral was yesterday. The service was live-streamed and a number of us attended but we wish we could have been there to offer a more tangible support.

Debby has appreciated your kind thoughts and wishes over the last few weeks and I am sure you join me in sending our love and condolences… never has this writing community of ours been so important and needed.

RIP lovely ‘G’

Here is Debby’s Facebook Page

On the home front there has not been a great deal happening. Allegedly 64 – 69 year olds will be able to book their vaccination from April 16th and we shall see how that goes. At least now the cold snap is over for the time being we have been able to spend some time in the garden, and for the first time this year we had the weather to do the winter clear up.

As always I am very grateful to William Price King for his contributions which go back 7 years and I have learnt so much about all genres of music from his wonderful series on musicians, singers and composers. We are having a lot of fun with the Breakfast Show and so pleased that it is bringing back memories of the 1960s for so many of you.

Thanks to a new contributor to the blog – Malcolm Allen is an author who my husband David has worked with for several years and lives in Australia.. He sends a great selection of funnies to us regularly and I am now passing them along to you. You can find out more about Malcolm’s latest book if you click on the link at the end of the posts under Laughter Lines Extra..

Thank you as well for you ongoing support and wishing you a lovely weekend.. thanks Sally

Here are the posts from the week…

The Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Chart Hits 1966 Part Two 

D.G. Kaye Explores The Realms of Relationships – #Friendships – Keeping them Healthy 

Chapter Eleven – Summer: The Foxes by Sally Cronin 

The Foxes Part Two – Chapter Twelve – The Storyteller to the Rescue 

– Tanka Tuesday Challenge – #Senryu – Scepticism 

#Musicians #Covid – Pause, Play, Repeat:The real impact of Covid-19 on musicians by Sammy Stein Reviewed by William 

Past Book Reviews 2020 – #Mystery – Frozen Stiff Drink: A Kellan Ayrwick Cozy Mystery (Braxton Campus Mysteries Book 6) by James J. Cudney 

Past Book Reviews 2020 – #1920s #Familysaga – Telling Sonny by Elizabeth Gauffreau 

#YA D.L. Finn, #Shortstories Mandy Haynes, #Vampires Susanne Leist 

#Children’s Jude Lennon, #Poetry Elizabeth Merry, #Poetry Marlene Mesot 

#Historical V.M. Sang, #Myths Barbara Spencer, #Memoir J.Q. Rose 

#Reviews D.Wallace Peach, #BlackHumour Jacqui Murray, #Haddock New Vintage Kitchen 

Tuesday 6th April 2021 – #Tarot Jan Sikes, #BananaKoftas Carol Taylor, #Funnies The Story Reading Ape 

Wednesday April 7th 2021 – #Limericks Esther Chilton, #Humour Charles Yallowitz, #EggPlant Lisa’s Food Blog 

Thursday April 8th 2021 – #Review by Elizabeth Gauffreau, #Challenge Antoinette Truglio Martin, #FREE Book Daniel Kemp 

What causes your cravings? – Part Four – Coal, Dirt and other strange stuff 

Family Health A-Z – Acne – Teenage and Adults 

Fiction In A Flash Challenge Prompt Week #13 – The Key to Unlock the Mystery by Miriam Hurdle 

Words, Wonderful Words…by Joy Lennick 

Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady (An Amanda Travels Adventure Book 8) by Darlene foster 

Share an Excerpt 2021 – #Family – Brody Cody and the Stepmother from Outer Space by Toni Pike. 

#Poetry – Lines by Leon : Poems, Prose, and Pictures by Leon Stevens 

#Scifi #Cats – Fluffy’s Revolution by Ted Myers 

New Author on the Shelves – #Historical, #Spiritual -The Windmill by K. Lewis Adair 

#Poetry Sue Vincent, #Paranormal #Romance Jan Sikes, #Fantasy D.Wallace Peach 

April 6th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Hindsight and Quick Thinking 

– Open Mic Night – Special Guest Malcolm Allen – #Malapropisms and #Thesaurus 

 

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

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors 2021 – #Historical V.M. Sang, #Myths Barbara Spencer, #Memoir J.Q. Rose


Since the last series of meet the authors in June last year another 25 authors have joined the Cafe and Bookstore. This is an opportunity to get to know them and their books a little better. I will also include their blog social media links and it would be great if you could follow them there too.

Meet V.M Sang

Vivienne Sang was born in Northwich, Cheshire in the United Kingdom. She was educated at Northwich Girls’ Grammar School and at Elizabeth Gaskell Teacher Training College in Manchester. She taught Science, Maths and English in Salford and Heywood, Lancashire until she had her first child.

After staying at home to bring up her two children, a girl and a boy, Vivienne returned to teaching when her son started school. At this time, the family lived near Southampton, but moved to Redhill in Surrey where she taught in Croydon.

When she took early retirement in 2001 Vivienne moved with her husband to East Sussex.
As well as writing and reading, Vivienne enjoys many crafts and also paints. She enjoys cooking and walking on the Downs as well as cycling.

Vivienne enjoys travelling and has visited many countries in Europe and has made two visits to the USA.

A selection of books by V.M. Sang

One of the recent reviews for Vengeance of a Slave

Balroop Singh5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating with subtle messages  Reviewed in the United States on April 2, 2021

Vengeance of a Slave by V.M. Sang highlights historical atrocities of Romans who snatched away children from their parents to enslave them. Adelbhert is six years old and his sister just four when they are sold to a rich merchant. Adelbhert could never forget the trauma and nurses the desire of wreaking vengeance. Every night before closing his eyes to sleep, he chants: “I hate the Romans…” He keeps repeating the reasons of his hatred and grows up with the resolve to plan his revenge. How far does he trek on this arduous journey? Is he happy with stooping down to their level?

Written in a simple and straight-forward style, the pace of this book is better than usual historical fiction and keeps you captivated with new developments. The characters are realistic and the settings give you a vivid glimpse of those times. Adelbhert grows up into a kind and responsible young man, wins some good friends and learns to handle the challenges of life.

Sang conveys some subtle but profound messages to youngsters: all people are not alike and it is unfair to accuse all the countrymen for the cruelties of few persons. There are some benevolent persons in every community; hatred disturbs our inner peace and leads us into darker alleys. The story ends well and I liked it 

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Follow: Goodreads – Blog/Website: Aspholessaria – Facebook: Viv Sang – Twitter: @vm_sang

 Meet Barbara Spencer

In 1967, Barbara Spencer hi-tailed it to the West Indies to watch cricket, the precursor to a highly colourful career spanning three continents, in which she was caught up in riots, wars, and choosing Miss World.

A regular visitor to both primary and secondary schools, in 2010, the publication of Running, a Y/A thriller, took Barbara countrywide, her travels eliciting a series of Blogs and short stories which were published in 2017 as Age and the Antique Sideboard. This marked her retirement from writing, since when Barbara has written several books for an older audience.

The first of these, The Year the Swans Came, a magical fairytale for adults/top teens, was published at the end of 2018.

Latest release March 2021 – The Drumming of Heels (Trilogy, The Children of Zeus Book 3)

About the book

1944 approaches and Europe is haemorrhaging under the yoke of their oppressors. Of the three children who survived the massacre, only two remain. Yöst has given his own life to rescue Rico, the boy he loved, and Maestro the musician and, in so doing, has bought himself immortality as people tell stories of the angel who gave them hope. Now it is up to Zande and Tatania to face both the majesty and complexity of the carinatae life – or will they renege, as did Albert Meijer, and choose a human life instead?

A selection of other books by Barbara Spencer

One of the recent reviews for The Year the Swans Came

Lizzie Dee 5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully written story wth a hint of mystery Reviewed in the United States on December 31, 2020

What I most enjoyed about Barbara Spencer’s novel was the beautiful descriptions and the warm family scenes she created in a post-war city, which I presumed to be Amsterdam. With hints of the past occupation but a determination to carry on and try to forget about the past, it was still evident that the scars of the past were not quite healed. I kept thinking I must pass this on to my Dutch friend, who grew up in a Dutch town and now lives close to the Anna Frank house. I think she’ll love it for the memories it would evoke. I have walked along those streets and canals many times and so I felt close to the family. I could picture the father working down in his basement, making mirrors. There was a hint of mystery about the past, particularly about the main protagonist’s brother who returned to the family home after a long absence. This made me curious. What was going on here? And who were these beautiful young men who were in love with Maidy’s best friend, Ruth. There’s a tale of love, sadness and betrayal, wrapped in beautiful prose and a lingering mystery throughout. I honestly didn’t see the ending coming until the final couple of chapters. I am reminded of a similar bit of folklore involving swans and one of the lakes near where I grew up in Ireland.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Follow Barbara: Goodreads – Connect to Barbara Spencer: Blog: Barbara Spencer Author – Twitter: @BarbaraSpencerO – Facebook: Barbara Spencer Author – Facebook: Barbara Spencer

Meet J.Q. Rose

Whether the story is fiction or non-fiction, J.Q. Rose is “focused on story.” She offers readers chills, giggles and quirky characters woven within the pages of her mystery novels. Using her storytelling skills, she provides entertainment and information with articles featured in books, magazines, newspapers, and online magazines.

Blogging, photography, Pegs and Jokers board games and travel are the things that keep her out of trouble. She and her husband spend winters in Florida and summers up north with their two daughters, two sons-in-law, four grandsons, one granddaughter, two grand dogs, four grand cats, and one great-grand bearded dragon.

A selection of books by J.Q. Rose

One of the recent reviews for Arranging a Dream

Rosemary Morris 5.0 out of 5 stars A Young Couple’s Struggle to Achieve Their Dream  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 February 2021

J. Q. Rose’s husband had a full-time job and grew plants in a greenhouse in his spare time. He dreamt of his ‘green fingers’ earning his living. Although it meant leaving their families behind, with J.Q.Rose’s encouragement and enthusiasm he resigned, and they bought what is now described as a garden centre, with greenhouses and a florist shop. They moved far from family and friends to Missouri with their baby girl. With help from the previous owners, and many ups and downs they learnt how to manage their enterprise. Guilt over childcare for their daughter warred with how much the young mother enjoyed her fulltime job managing the shop.

In J.Q’s autobiography she describes being a mother, a housewife, a working woman and, with her husband arranging their dream.

I really like the author’s vibrant voice which kept me turning the pages when I read about their mistakes, the bitterly cold Missouri winters, and how to capitalise on weddings, and important days for their business, for example, Easter, and Mother’s Day.

I recommend this inspirational book which lingers in my mind after I reached the end.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow J.Q. Rose: GoodreadsWebsite: J.Q. Rose – Blog: J.Q. Rose – Facebook: J.Q. Rose Author

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will check out the books by these newcomers to the Cafe and Bookstore.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Book Reviews – #Musicians #Covid – Pause, Play, Repeat:The real impact of Covid-19 on musicians by Sammy Stein Reviewed by William Price King


This week I have handed over the book review to resident music columnist Jazz musician, composer and singer William Price King who has read Pause, Play, Repeat:The real impact of Covid-19 on musicians by Sammy Stein.

About the book

What was the real impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the lives and careers of musicians? In candid interviews, 18 musicians at the top of their game, including Ray Gelato, Tony Kofi, Ivo Perelman, Emm Gryner, Collette Cooper, Adrian Cox, Tara Minton, Champian Fulton, Graeme Flowers, Chris Bestwick, Camilla George, Alex Ward, Elise Morris, Grace Garland, Esther Bennett, Jennifer Lauren, Claire Cope and Beatrice Betley, discuss the impact of Covid-19 on their music, careers and lives.

They discuss the sudden loss of work and income, the closure of venues and rehearsal spaces, the effect on their emotional well-being and the sense of being caught up and overtaken by events completely out of their control. Access to reliable advice, funding and grants as well as support through the music community is also discussed. The musicians explain how they continued to be creative, how new collaborations were formed, the negatives and the benefits of lockdown. The musicians are based in different countries, of various ages and each has their own take on their experiences before and , during the pandemic.

They also give their views on the long term effects of the pandemic. These interviews describe the true effects of the pandemic on their lives and how they felt as a musician caught up in a global disaster. Most are jazz musicians but many play across genres. The interviews are profound, open and revealing. With a foreword from Ivors Academy and support across the music industry, the importance of documenting the effects of Covid-19 on musicians is important and necessary.

William Price King’s review for the book April 10th 2021

In her book “Pause, Play, Repeat,” Sammy Stein illustrates how the Covid-19 pandemic brought the live music industry to a standstill for jazz musicians. Through a series of interviews she segues into the lives of successful, touring musicians and documents their experiences during the lockdown. Using their own words, she paints a poignant portrait of how their lives suddenly changed when music festivals and recording sessions were cancelled, and when night clubs and theaters closed down. Their fears, anxieties, and the need to access new platforms to be more creative, resourceful, and collaborative such as on-line live streaming and Zoom sessions are underscored, as well as the desire to boost their efficiency with new recording software for their home studios. In this book Ms. Stein offers great insight into the lives of these musicians, as they try to adapt to their new realities. An enlightening read indeed.

Sammy Stein is no newcomer to the jazz world. She is the author of “All That’s Jazz,” and “Women in Jazz” which won the “Jazz Times Distaff Award,” and was named “Phace Magazine Music Book of the Year.” 

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

Also by Sammy Stein

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK – More reviews: Goodreads – Website: Sammy Stein – Facebook: Sammy Stein 111 – Twitter: @SammyStein111

About Sammy Stein

If you like well researched and cleverly written narrative, you will love Sammy’s work. A writer who is highly respected in the fields of jazz, women in jazz, gender disparity and music. Jazz critic and columnist, one of UK’ S ‘go-to’ authors. Jazz festival curator, radio shows. The writer of series for radio and playlists, many people have enjoyed Sammy’s entertaining and diverse verbal blogs and guest appearances on shows, as well as her Women In Jazz series or shows and articles. . Music is this author’s passion, especially jazz and bringing lesser-known acts who deserve attention to the public arena. Sammy has had 5 books published and many superb reviews, including 2 Jazz Times awards.
Sammy also collaborates with other authors and musicians. She is International Editor at the Jazz Journalists’ Association.

Her columns include Something Else Reviews, Free Jazz Collective and Jazz Views.
Musicians comment on Sammy’s approachability and honesty in her reviews and writing. Her book include ‘Women In Jazz ( 8th House), In Their Own Words ( 8th House) and All That’s Jazz ( Tomahawk) and her passion for music is clear. One commentator said ‘the jazz jumps off the page’ and another ‘she gives clear facts yet does not try to force the reader’s opinion, the depth of research is incredible’. Researchers like working with Sammy, as do many musicians and she is a highly respected author.

William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.

His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.

While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.

Blog– IMPROVISATION William Price King on Tumblr – Buy William’s music: William Price King iTunes – FacebookWilliam Price King – Twitter@wpkofficial
Regular VenueCave Wilson

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to buy Sammy’s book.. and my thanks to William for his terrific review for the book.

 

Smorgasbord Stories – A return to Tales from the Irish Garden- Summer: Chapter Twelve – The Storyteller to the Rescue by Sally Cronin


Last Sunday The Storyteller’s daughter has been cursed and trapped in the body of a fox she must hope for a miracle to be returned to her family.

Summer: Chapter Twelve – The Storyteller to the Rescue

Image ©Tales from the Irish Garden..

As the morning light filtered through the branches above her head, Dorothy watched her three cubs as they wrestled and tumbled around her. Eddie was still not home but she knew that he would fight to the end to return to her and their family. Human tears fell from her blue eyes as she contemplated a future for them without his love and support.

Meanwhile, across the forest and only a few feet from the fence that separated the woods from the magic garden, Eddie lay panting in the damp grass. He had been returning from the village, where he had managed to scavenge half a cooked chicken, and some slightly rancid ham from waste bins behind the Inn, when he had suddenly felt a stabbing pain in one of his back legs. As he collapsed into a heap, dropping his precious food, he felt a sense of doom about the future of his small family.

He was losing strength as he had struggled to release his foot from the snare cutting into his flesh. It was hopeless, as the more he fought against the wire, the tighter it became.
Suddenly he heard whistling nearby and snarled, ready to bite the hand of the hunter who had laid this cruel trap. He looked up and saw a pair of leggings above sturdy boots, and a gnarled hand reaching down towards him. He snarled in warning as the flesh neared his nose, but then heard a voice that he knew.

‘There, there lad, don’t fret now, let’s get you out of that wicked thing my boy.’ Eddie lay back down, worn out from the night’s struggles, and also shocked by hearing the Storyteller’s voice after four long years. He had no way to communicate who he was to Dorothy’s father, but he tried to think of a way to get through to him.

Gently the old man held the fox’s leg in his hand whilst he worked the wire until it loosened. He could see that there was damage to the foot that needed to be treated with some of his magic potions, and having released the animal, he picked him up in his arms and carried him to the cottage.

Within minutes of the wound being washed and coated with the wild herb dressing, Eddie was out of pain and eager to be on his way back to Dorothy and the babies. He knew she would be frantic by now and would not be able to leave the den as the pups were far too young. She would be very hungry, and only have enough milk for another day or so. He wanted to express his gratitude to her father in the only way that he could, by gently licking his hand. The Storyteller reciprocated by stroking the dark red fur of his patient’s head and for a brief moment Eddie felt a sense of peace.

The old man picked him up and walked out of the cottage and down the path to the wooden gate. He deposited Eddie next to the chicken and the ham, which miraculously had not been filched in his absence. He stood back and waited to make sure that the fox would be able to move easily, but was taken by surprise as the animal sat down and looked right up at him with strangely human eyes. The Storyteller was a man of magic, and not one to have flights of fancy, and when the fox stood and ran around him several times before picking up the food and moving along the path, he decided to follow him.

Through the forest they moved, sometimes on the path, and at times through the undergrowth. From time to time, Eddie would stop and look over his shoulder to make sure that the old man was keeping up with him. Eventually they emerged into the clearing in front of the den and he pushed aside the bushes concealing the entrance. He was relieved to see his beloved Dorothy gently nuzzling the babies as they drank their milk. She looked up and saw him, and she gave a delighted yip to welcome him home. He dropped the food in front of her but she was too relieved to see him to eat right then. He stood by her side and nuzzled her neck fur, gently licking her ears in devotion.

Eddie rose and indicated that he wanted her to follow him into the sunlight and bring the babies with her. The family emerged, and immediately the cubs, full of milk and ready to play, chased each other in and out of their parent’s legs and biting their feathered tails.

On the edge of the clearing the Storyteller paused and took in the delightful scene in front of him. He didn’t want to startle the vixen and her cubs, but Eddie trotted towards him before turning back again in invitation. The man moved slowly, bending down close to the ground to show that he meant no harm and found himself looking directly into a pair of eyes that he had never forgotten. He fell backwards onto his bottom, staring in shock at the two foxes in front of him. He and Eddie’s family had mourned the loss of their children four years before, thinking that some dreadful accident had befallen them or that they had been killed by some passing vagabonds. No trace of them had ever been found and eventually they had to accept that they were gone forever.

Dorothy had been so intent on her three pups that it took a moment before she looked more closely at the man sat in front of her. Tears formed in her blue eyes, revealing the human hidden beneath the russet fur. She left the cubs with Eddie, approaching hesitantly and stood by her father’s knee. He stretched out his arms and she leapt into them so that she could plaster his face and lick away his own tears.

‘Who did this to you child?’ He gently smoothed the rich red fur of the top of her head.

‘Who could be so wicked as to take you both from us?’ he paused as a thought struck him.

‘The only one who would seek pleasure from this would be the Goblin and I suspect Magnus who left around the same time you disappeared.’ Dorothy, still under the curse of silence, nodded her head slowly and the Storyteller put her back on the ground, stood up and dusted himself off.

‘If I carry the cubs, will you and Eddie come with me to the Goblin’s cave and I will make him reverse his curse that he placed on you?’ He walked over to where the now fed and sleepy cubs were lying next to their father, gently picking them up one my one; tucking the squirming fur bundles carefully into the front of his jumper. Keeping one hand beneath them to keep them safe, he and the two foxes headed off to the other end of the forest and the dank place which stank of rancid goblin.

You have already heard and witnessed the persuasiveness of the Storytellers abilities, and the following day a message was sent to Eddie’s parents to come to the cottage in the magic garden for Sunday lunch. You can imagine their shock on arriving to find their son, now a mature grown man, with his arms around the shoulders of the beautiful Dorothy, alongside three gloriously red-headed triplets, tucking into a chicken purée dinner.

As to the Goblin, he has never been seen again. Those that wander into that part of the forest are amused by the statue of stone that looks like an old ugly monkey squealing in terror. The place is no longer dark and dank, but is sunlit and is always covered in a carpet of foxgloves.

©Sally Cronin

I hope you have enjoyed and will join me tomorrow for more adventures in the magic garden.

My latest short story collection is Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

MacTrish 5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, entertaining and delightful. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 March 2021

I bought Sam, a Shaggy Dog Story by this author partly because it featured the same breed of dog that had been cherished pets of ours. That book held me spellbound. When I discovered the existence of this one, I bought it despite the fact that short stories are not my usual genre. It turned out to be a perfect escape from a pandemic.

This book is a little gem! Each tale is different. I was impressed by the range of moods – comic, poignant, vengeful, futuristic, romantic – each one gripping in its own way. It’s hard to pick favourites but it opens with a humorous story about AI and its thwarting of a dieter craving a treat. Another one concerning domestic abuse has a delicious twist. I had intended putting this book by the bed and dipping into it on those nights when sleep doesn’t come easily. Well, sleep suffered considerably. I read the entire book in one sitting!

If you’re looking for a multi-faceted treasury of well-written tales about the human condition, then this book is one for you. I raged, wept, laughed and gasped at some of these but there was never a sense of hopelessness or cynicism . Read it and be moved, thrilled, delighted and diverted.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon UK – And : Amazon US

You can find out about my other books and their most recent reviews: Sally’s books and reviews 2019/2021

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines Extra – Open Mic Night – Special Guest Malcolm Allen – #Malapropisms and #Thesaurus


Delighted to welcome Malcolm Allen again to the Open Mic Night …. Malcolm regularly sends us funnies from Australia and delighted to pass them on.

And last but not least.. don’t eat your words.. just sit on them…

Malcolm Allen’s latest book in print and Kindle

About the book

This is the third book by the author, following publication of his two autobiographies ‘From Birth to Perth – Memoirs of a Nomad’ in August 2013 and ‘World Turned Upside Down – More Nomadic Memoirs’ published in June 2018. This third book in the nomadic series, is a travelogue of the author’s journeys around the world. He shares both his travel experiences and his views on various subjects, with his usual frankness and humour. It’s a tale of the traveller as he moves by air, land and sea with assorted companions. The world of travel has changed the lives of many and continues to delight and surprise the author each time he packs his luggage and passport. As a fellow author, Michael Palin so eloquently said: ‘Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote. I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life.’

One of the recent reviews for the book

Mr. Ian M. Smith 5.0 out of 5 stars A Nomad who really Entertains Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 January 2021

The author has already written his autobiography in two volumes and that is quite a story. He is much travelled and, in this new book, he gives us the benefit of his travels in a novel way. Instead of using a chronological framework, Allen uses an alphabetical format interposing memories of places he’s visited with a miscellany of anecdotes that keep you entertained.

There is plenty of humour and I’ve given the book five stars because of its readability. It’s a winning combination of real world travelogue that puts you right there with the author, and anecdotal humour that will make you chuckle (as well as groan at some of the quips). The result is a book that you will not want to put down. If you enjoy Bill Bryson, you will enjoy Malcolm Allen. He has taken a novel approach to non-fiction that is both entertaining and highly amusing. I now feel that I’ve really been to some of the places that I’ll never get to in person and that must be the highest accolade for a book that is much more than a travelogue.

Buy the book: Amazon US And:Amazon UK – And: Amazon AU

About Malcolm Allen

The author was born in London UK and experienced a challenging childhood, leaving school with no academic qualifications at the age of 15. He had mixed fortunes in his early working days but managed to secure a job in the banking industry at the age of 19. During a period of 32 years he enjoyed a demanding and successful career in London, the pinnacle of which was becoming a Company Director at the age of 37. Following a life changing experience in November 1998 he emigrated to Perth, Western Australia in September 2001, relocating to his current home in Melbourne, Australia in November 2015.

Thanks for dropping in today and I know Malcolm would love your feedback.. thanks Sally