Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Monday June 5th 2017 – Tina Frisco, Joyce Gatschenberger, Ali Isaac #BloggersBash and Take Five Authors

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome to the first Blogger Daily of the week and sadly it follows a weekend of more violence in London. But also the coming together of thousands in Manchester to demonstrate that fear will not prevent us carrying on with our lives and supporting those who are a victim of mindless terror.

The first post today is by Tina Frisco who urges us to take another path towards resolving this centuries old feud based on the belief that only one religion can be the true faith.

The hatred evidenced by terrorist attacks around the world could easily be met with equal hatred, should we allow it. But how would that identify and inform us as a species? What would that do to the hearts and minds of individuals as well as society? What do we want to teach our children, and what kind of world do we want to leave them?

It is a challenge to keep our hearts open amid such unconscionable acts of violence. Yet it is our only hope of survival. Meeting these despicable acts with an equal amount of aggression could lead to our annihilation in this nuclear age. At the very least, it could alter our consciences and consciousness to a degree beyond repair. And that is as unacceptable as the terrorist act itself.

Read the rest of this thought provoking post:

Next Joyce Gatschenberger, author of Listening Between the Lines reminds us of our extended family both at home and work and the changes to the dynamics in our modern world.

During the summer months some families celebrate reunions. In today’s society the definition of family seems to include an extended vocabulary. The definition may include the traditional – mom, day and the kids. Or the blended family may be more current with a step mother, step brothers and sisters. Possibly, a set of two mothers who are raising an adopted, foreign-born child, is the most descriptive of family. Or even the more extended definition should include the “family” we belong to in our public life – school and work.

Read more about our extended family at home and at work:

If you are heading to the #BloggersBash this Saturday in London and missed this post over the weekend.. here is the agenda for the day from Ali Isaac… already thinking about what to pack.. but don’t think there will be a need for sunblock!

So, are you joining us at the Bloggers Bash? Have you got your ticket, booked your transport, and decided what to wear? If not, it’s still not too late to get yourself a ticket. You can do that here.

Curious about what we’ve got planned for you on the day? Here’s what we’ve got lined up…

Head over to get the agenda for this exciting day:

As authors working to a budget it is tough to decide which of the professional services you can afford to give your book that final polish. In this post from Take Five Authors, written by the ChickLitSisters, the options are reviewed.

So you’re hot on language, your grammar is impeccable, your style puts Strunk and White to shame and like Akeelah you could win any old spelling bee. Why would you, as an indie author, need to pay for outside help? Well, you only have to read a few Amazon reviews to know that readers can be an unforgiving bunch, quick to spot a typo or a missing space between paragraphs. As an indie author you have to make some difficult choices about how much assistance you can afford to enlist. We wrote a whole post on the importance of a good book cover and we still feel that unless you’re amazingly hot stuff at art, you’re probably wiser to leave that to a professional. But here’s Ellie Campbell’s take on things.

Read the rest of this very useful post:

Thank you for dropping in today and don’t forget to pop the link to your latest post in the comments. Thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Author Update – Ali Isaac, N.A. Granger and Sally Cronin

Sally's Cafe and Bookstore Update

Welcome to the first Cafe and Bookstore author update for the week.. My aim is to share updates for all the authors in the bookstore every four to six weeks but it is very useful if you will let me know if you have a new release or an amazing review for one of your existing books.  This does not have to be a review on Amazon or Goodreads but perhaps a review in a blog.

  Just email me... new address for you

51erbryflwl-_uy250_The first author today is Ali Isaac whose blog and books take us all back in time when Ireland was a wild place, governed by many kings and faeries.. Myths and Legends abound about the Emerald Isle and Ali has an amazing talent in bringing them to life for us. The book I am featuring today – Conor Kelly’s Legends of Ireland: A Collection of Irish Myths as Told in the Tir na Nog Trilogy takes us back thousands of years and introduces us to some of the magnificent characters that populated the Irish landscape.

About the book

Come with me on an epic journey four thousand years back in time to the shadowy past of Ireland’s long-lost legend, where fairy kings and Goddesses walked amongst mortals, where love and passion held sway, and where feats of magic, swordsmanship and courage were customary. The Sidhe are waiting to tell you their stories, and you are very welcome..

Two of the reviews for the stories.

I’ve already read two of the ‘Conor Kelly’ trilogy books that mix ancient legends with the adventures and trials of a modern day descendant of the heroes mentioned; and eagerly waiting for the third / final book to become available.
Meanwhile, it was nice to be able to revisit some of the legends by themselves, told in author Ali Isaac’s distinctive and easy to read style and also to find some new stories to enjoy.

I especially appreciate the Glossary of People, Places and Pronunciation at the back of the books. I’d like to see more of Ireland’s legends retold in this way, by this author.

I’m relatively new to Irish mythology and having read several posts on Ali’s blog I became rather intrigued and just had to read this… I’m glad I did. This short work is full of intrigue.

I found myself drawn in and quickly became engrossed as the fantasy world engulfed me. Ali Isaac is a truly gifted story-teller.

The entire work is very well constructed. I especially enjoyed looking through the pronunciations at the end and chuckled at my own which were rather amiss. The work is also grammatically sound.

Buy the book:

Also by Ali Isaac

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Read all the reviews for the series and buy the books:


Connect to Ali via her website:

Sally's Cafe and Bookstore Update

My next update is for N.A. Granger (Noelle) and her book  Death by Pumpkin: A Rhe Brewster Mystery (Rhe Brewster Mysteries Book 3) –  E.R. nurse and Police consultant Rhe Brewster is enjoying one of the local events when screams alert her to a tragedy. Noelle has just received another terrific review for the book.

5122bdbz7ql-_uy250_About the book

At the annual Pumpkin Festival in the coastal town of Pequod, Maine, Rhe Brewster, an ER nurse and Police Department consultant, responds to screams at the site of the Pumpkin Drop. Racing to the scene, where a one-ton pumpkin was dropped from a crane to crush an old car, Rhe and her brother-in-law, Sam, Pequod’s Chief of Police, discover the car contains the smashed remains of a man’s body.

After the police confirm the death as a homicide, Rhe embarks on a statewide search to identify the victim and find the killer. During the course of the emotional investigation, she survives an attempt on her life at 10,000 feet, endures the trauma of witnessing the murder of an old flame, and escapes an arson attack on her family’s home. There is clearly a sociopath on the loose who is gunning for Rhe and leaving bodies behind. With Sam unable to offer his usual support due to an election recall and a needy new girlfriend, Rhe realizes that the only way to stop the insanity is to risk it all and play the killer’s game.

Maine’s most tenacious sleuth is back, this time to confront a menace that threatens to destroy her life and those closest to her. The latest installment of the Rhe Brewster Mystery Series, Death by Pumpkin, is a murder mystery and thriller that tests the limits of Rhe’s strength and resolve like never before.

The latest review for the book

Crime fiction with engaging characters and a great plot, set in Maine. By Luccia Gray on January 27, 2017

Death by Pumpkin is the third novel in the Rhe Brewster Mysteries, set in Pequod, a fictional town located in the coast of Maine. It can be read as a standalone, but the main characters are so engaging you’ll enjoy the series more if you start reading from book one, Death on a Red Canvas Chair, I loved them all!In book three, Death by Pumpkin, Rhe is recovering emotionally from her husband, Will’s unfaithfulness and murder, while she’s coping with two jobs, as a nurse at the local hospital and as a police department consultant, where her brother-in-law, Sam is the police chief.

She also has a son, Jack, with ADHD, who is her priority.However, Rhe doesn’t wait for life to happen, she is a Rhe is intelligent, resourceful, brave, adventurous, determined, resilient and very loving and generous. In fact, she only has one negative quality is that she’s a terrible cook, although she’s learning!There’s lots of adventure in this instalment, too. A near plane crash, kidnapping, murder, being stalked by a deranged childhood friend.

Rhe will also have to cope with Sam’s unusual emotional coolness due to his new girlfriend, as well as student protests leading to a recall of his job as chief of police, which he’ll have to reapply for, with uncertain results.The plot is neatly wrapped up at the end, but how will Rhe’s emotional life move forward? And which new crimes will she have to solve? Looking forward to book four, Death in Mudfat.Anyone who likes crime fiction set in an American town with engaging characters and a great plot will enjoy this novel.

Read all the reviews and Buy the book:

Also by N.A. Granger

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Read all the reviews and buy the books:


Connect to Noelle via her website:

Sally's Cafe and Bookstore Update

As I prepare for the release of my latest short story collection in a few weeks, it was lovely to receive this review of my last baby.. Tales from the Garden. We all get wrapped up in our latest project and it is easy to forget that there is an ever evolving audience online who may not have heard of your book yet..It is important to remind people from time to time about these older books and give them a chance to shine again. If you have more than one then it is quite useful to put them all together in a composite image..


About the book

Tales from the Garden 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.

Fairy Stories for children of all ages from five to ninety-five that will change the way you look at your garden forever.

The latest review from Paul Andruss – January 31st 2017 –

Sally Cronin is a superb short story writer. Her work effortlessly uses an uncluttered economical style to create charming classic narratives; rich in description and punctuated by subtle humour.

Tales from The Garden is a book of 9 short but delightful modern fairy stories and concludes with her mother’s reminiscences of a lifetime of gardens. It is fitting Sally finishes her book with the tale of her mother’s life because the stories contained in Tales from the Garden are meant to be passed down the generations.

While reading I kept falling into reverie. Sometimes I felt like a youngster. Then I could hear my grandmother’s voice reading the stories to me at bedtime.

At other times, my point of view abruptly shifted; often prompted by Sally’s gentle unobtrusive humour, unashamedly aimed at adults. Now I was a parent or even a grandparent reading the story in a cosy lamp lit bedroom on a long winter evening, breaking only to steal swift affectionate glances over the top of the book, watching the new generation, wide–eyed with wonder, fighting not to fall asleep.

At such times, it felt like I was not reading a story at all. Rather, it was though I knew it by heart and was now passing down some precious whispered secret as it had once been passed to me.

So what is it about this book that casts such a spell?

As the title says the individual but thematically related stories centre round a verdant summer garden with stone statuary, old and new. This magical place has a life its own, hidden from the mortal owners, except for once every 500 years when the two worlds collide – no doubt precipitated by the long anticipated return of the Emperor. And just who that is, you will have to find out for yourself.

Guarded for centuries by two stone lions the garden is not only a place of sanctuary for wild creatures, but also shelters a bona-fide fairy kingdom within an old magnolia tree. Comic elements are introduced into the stories in the form of a rock band, who hang out with a totally unexpected hippy. The rock band was banned from playing at fairy balls because… And now perhaps I am giving too much away.

Queen Filigree, who rules Magia, told me in no uncertain terms she would much prefer you to discover the adventures of her subjects and the garden’s motley denizens for yourself, rather than learn them second-hand from an old gas-bag who should know better.

As ever your majesty, you wish is my command.

But being an old gas-bag, as you so kindly pointed out, let me just have one final word on the last chapter.

In my heart, I felt the book is really all about Mollie Coleman. An ordinary woman of extraordinary life and beloved mother who just like a fairy queen, once upon a time, and long, long ago, spun a spell on a little girl who grew up to write…

Read the other reviews and buy the book:

Also by Sally Cronin


Read all the reviews and buy the books:

I have a space left in Friday’s Cafe and Bookstore update if you have news about your books.. Please check your entry in the directory to make sure it is still correct and then email me on

If you are new to the blog and would like to join the other authors in the bookstore which leads to regular promotional updates then please look at this post.

Thank you for dropping by today and I hope you have enjoyed the updates for us all.

Thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Book of the Week – Grá mo Chroí: Love Stories from Irish Myths by Ali Isaac and Jane Dougherty

sally's cafe and bookstore

Today a book about love.. Ancient Irish style with passion and more than a little magic.  Grá mo Chroí: Love Stories from Irish Myths is a collaboration between two authors Ali Isaac and Jane Dougherty, each bringing their own writing magic to the collection.

51z5skuc3xl-_uy250_About the Book

Long ago in a green island surrounded by protective mists, a people lived among the relics of a bygone age of which they knew nothing, not being archaeologists, but around whom they created a mythology. They were a volatile people, easily moved to love or war, and motivated by a strict sense of honour. They had women warriors and handsome lovers, wicked queens and cruel kings, precious heroines and flawed heroes. Magic was in the air, beneath the ground, and in the waves of the sea, and hyperbole was the stuff of stories. They were the Irish, and these are a few retellings of some of their beautiful stories.

A selection of the reviews including my own from last year.

This collection includes three tales by Ali Isaac and two tales and a poem by Jane Dougherty, all of which retell Irish mythical love stories. The retelling of myths is one of my favorite themes in fiction, and these tales do not disappoint. I haven’t read the source materials that the authors draw upon, so I can’t verify their accuracy to the original, but I found them to be a moving blend of the dreamy atmosphere of fantasy and the harsh realities of lost loves. In places I was reminded of the style of one of my favorite authors, Evangeline Walton, in her wonderful adaptations of Welsh myth. Also, I found Jane Dougherty’s poem “Deirdre Wishes for Death” to be excellent, and I’m very fussy about the quality of poetry. I recommend this collection as a satisfying quick read for anyone.

There are many millions of people around the world who proudly claim Irish ancestory. With its rich Celtic history, myths and legends, Ireland has given the gift of literature to the world for hundreds of years. Grá mo Chroí: Love Stories from Irish Myths continues that tradition in this short collection of stories adapted from ancient tales and crafted beautifully by Ali Isaac and Jane Dougherty, both accomplished writers. Even in ancient days romances did not run smoothly or necessarily end happily, but they were full of daring men and women who fought for their love and sometimes died in the attempt to be together.. In the stories of Grá mo Chroí there is the added element of the mystical, other world influences that set them apart from our modern day love stories. I hope that the authors will consider publishing volume two now that they have worked so well together to such good effect.

I ended up reading this before bedtime last night after opening it up for a quick peek and then reading it to the end. I do like this sort of medieval story; the romance, the heroes and heroines and the style of the writing. This is a short collection and I would have loved more of it.

These stories reminded me of a Kate Rusby song: so moving and lyrical. I couldn’t stop reading. Jane Dougherty and Ali Issac give you a taste of Irish tales that is sure to be pleasing. If you like Irish lore, handsome heroes, and tragic love stories, I recommend this collection.

Buy the book;



Also by Ali Isaac


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Find out about Ali Isaac, read the reviews and buy the books:

Follow Ali on her blog:

A selection of books by Jane Dougherty



Find out about Jane, view her books and read the reviews:

Follow Jane on her blog:

There are a number of ways to promote your books, blog, art, music, poetry and photography and you can find out more here:

Thank you for dropping by and we would love your feedback.  Sally

The Annual Bloggers Bash Awards – #ABBAs are back and you are invited to vote.


Absolutely thrilled to have been nominated in some categories in this year’s Bloggers Bash Awards and delighted that Smorgasbord Invitation has been placed in the Best Overall Blog category.  I am very grateful to everyone who nominated me and to be in such great company in this award.

best-overallThere are some incredibly talented bloggers in all the categories and I had a really tough time voting for just one in each.  I am sure you will also have the same problem.

Head over and vote for your favourite, Funniest, Best Book Review, Best Dressed, Best Newcomer, Most Inspirational, Hidden Gem, Service to Bloggers, Most Informative Original Content Blogger, Best Pal and Best Overall Blog… Vote at the ABBAs

It is a huge shame that the organisers of the event have excluded themselves from the nominations and therefore the awards

Sacha Black

Ali Isaac

Hugh Roberts

Geoff Le Pard

Whilst you are working your way through the categories here is some music in tribute to the four dedicated followers of fashion blogging. Thanks for the hard work guys.. You are Simply The Best.

Thanks for dropping by and I hope that you will head over and show your support to the work of Sacha, Ali, Hugh and Geoff as well as the bloggers who have kept us all entertained this year.   Sally








Some Funnies from Facebook in the last few weeks.

I have been a bit lapse in the last few weeks but here are some funnies from Facebook that I saved and I hope that they end the weekend on a bright note for you.

Ali Isaac and Judith Barrow with Angry DrunkAli Isaac and Judith Barrow shared Angry Drunk’s grammar contribution.

cathy Blackburn

Cathy Blackburn

The changing face of Irish Weather (and Welsh)

Ali Isaac with Iradio...

Ali Isaac with Iradio

Judith Barrow with Funny Fecker

Judith Barrow with Funny Fecker

Angela Snyder

Angela Snyder

Yorkshires Reyt Good shared by Moyra Hughes

Moyra Hughes shared Yorkshires Rety Good

Judith Barrow, Ali Isaac and many others with Laughing Buddha

This had multiple donors including Judith Barrow and Ali Isaac and gave me the biggest smile of the week….I reckon I have one or two left myself to think about!

I hope you have enjoyed this little humerous interlude.. spread the smiles.. Sally

Mention in Dispatches – Peacocks, Heads of Saints and Play dough!

mention in dispatches

My recreation this week has been taking a break with a cup of coffee or green tea and indulging in snacking on WordPress.  Sugar free but sweet just the same. Some have said that I should not bother with blogging during this very rapid and busy move from our house here in Spain and return to Ireland… but nothing de-stresses me more than taking time out to read and write the talented, entertaining and thought provoking posts by you all.

Here is a small selection of posts from the week and my thanks for the calming influences they have provided.


Bunkaryudo with some thoughts on birthdays… brilliant… I would just add that being 13 years older that with memory lapses each birthday can be treated as the first one and celebrated accordingly.

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Judith Barrow​ with a wonderful look back at the joys of having a holiday let in the stunning countryside of Pembrokeshire… Tales of the Unexpected.

Ali Isaac

Another fantastic post from Ali Isaac on the subject of ancient Ireland and having lived in Drogheda was fascinated to know that I missed viewing Sir Oliver Plunkett’s head in St. Peter’s Church….

sue vincent

Sue Vincent​ with stunning photographs of one of the most beautiful and dramatic birds – A flirtation of peacocks.


Stevie Turner with news of an exciting author book signing event in Manchester in August and some of our blogging favourite authors will be there too including Olga Nunez Miret and Christoph Fischer… Sounds like a great day.


Christine Campbell author of Traces of Red, with a review of a book by Tamie Dearan Get your romance fix!
Do you love that “ahhhh” feeling you get when you read a sweet romance? Especially when you get to that inevitable happy ending? Tamie Dearen’s new Romantic Comedy, A Rose in Bloom can satisfy that craving.”


Please help N.A. Granger (Noelle) out with choosing the cover of her latest book.


For those of us who find the workings of the American election process slightly mystifying here is an excellent tutorial Beth from I didn’t have my glasses on.


As Angie Quantrell says ” Play dough is one of the absolute best toy/manipulative/sensory activities available to kid-dom! This is the best and most versatile recipe I’ve found. I have used it for over 20 years and have only rarely uncelebrated failure.



Jo Robinson shares an amazing book with us:  ‘The Voynich Manuscript that I’m sure a lot of you will find fascinating too. It’s been carbon dated to the early fourteen hundreds (1404 to 1438) and is named after the man who bought it in 1912. It’s written in an unknown alphabet – one that to this day has yet to be deciphered even though the most talented code-breakers and linguists have tried since its discovery.’

Jo also unveils the new logo for her author services, designed by The Story Reading Ape. Jo is one of my personally recommended author services and you can find out about those on her blog when you follow the link to the post.


Sam is guest posting on The Story Reading Ape and again provides us with a thought provoking article on mental health and in particular suicide. It is a topic that tends to be swept under the carpet from the reasons that Sam cites in the post. But depression and mental illness can impact our own lives and the lives of those we love at any time. There is no shame in needing help and if someone is in such a dark place they cannot see that, then as their family or their friend you need to support and encourage them to do so. Please go to Chris’s blog and like and share from there to spread the word.. also there is a link to another post on Sam’s blog that is important. Thank you.

As I said just a small selection from the week and I hope that if you missed these posts you will visit and enjoy.

Be back later with the Saturday Round up.  thanks for dropping by.  Sally



Mention in Dispatches – Zombies, Goblins and Humming Birds.

mention in dispatches

Welcome to this week’s very small selection of blogs that I have visited this week. Such a wide range of topics available, and a huge volume of work that even five years ago we would not have had access to. It has been a very busy two weeks and thank goodness for this talented group of writers that have given me an excuse to down tools for short periods and recharge my batteries.

chris_the_story_reading_ape.jpgThe Story Reading Ape with author and actor Jack Wallen who brings us the alternative afterlife with his Zombie and horror books.. Thirty of them so far… that is what I call prolific.

Ali Isaac

Ali Isaac​ with another wonderful post on Ancient Irish Culture. Most of the codes of conduct still exist today with a warm hospitality and loyal friendship.   There are some codes that should still be practised today and illustrate how civilised our ancestors were in that age.


Meet the cast of the Hummer movies courtesy of Cindy Knokes. It is an aeronautical display that few of us are privileged to see but in the Holler these beautiful birds gather in the spring migration and can be seen through the magic of Cindy’s camera lens.. Meet Star, Piloto, Darth, Flash and Star


A very in depth article on the pros and cons of submitting your manuscript to a large publishing house or going the Indie route. In fact traditional publishing was always self-publishing. I believe that a successful indie author with two or three books out there proving themselves with good independent reviews and reasonable sales is more likely to do well with a major publisher. The experience is certainly worthwhile as it gives you a better perspective on the benefits of both.


Jack Eason is offering his Goblin Tales FREE over Easter.. And to whet your appetite

The Siren’s Song In which Globular Van der Graff, (Glob), Makepeace Terranova (Make), Byzantine Du Lac (Byz), Eponymous Tringthicky (Mous), Bejuss the one eyed lisping raven with the twisted beak, and finally, curmudgeonly old Neopol Stranglethigh (Neo) are visited by a beautiful stranger. Read the short story over at Have We Had Help


Annette Rochelle Aben with a response to Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge with the theme #Magic.. And some great background stories as well as her thoughts on the subject.


Some Truisms about aging from Elfkat.. I can relate to most of them… What fun it is to be old and cranky.


Deanie Humphrys Dunne posted a blog on Thursday that I think is worth reading by all parents not just those with children facing challenges through physical or mental disabilities. As Deanie writes…“As some of you may know, I was born with cerebral palsy. It only affects my legs, so I’m blessed in that regard. One of the most amazing benefits I had was my parents’ philosophy. They constantly reassured me that I could do anything. Admittedly, certain things would take longer, but they never focused on my limitations.”

Jo Robinson

Every day millions of people are looking for new books to read. Getting their attention is a challenge but with the Internet at our fingertips there are strategies we can use to bring them to us. Read Jo Robinson’s very useful post and put her strategies into action.

D.G. Kaye Author

Debby Gies – author D.G. Kaye reblogs a post that will strike a chord with many writers who face similar comments even from friends and family… I certainly would be a little miffed if I overheard this particular comment and would not be half as restrained!!


Jean Cogdell with an excellent post on the debate of writing in the first person or third person. I prefer to write my longer stories in the first person but tend to write my short stories in the third person.. I am just on book 8 of Bernard Cornwell’s The Last Kingdom series and they are all in the first person.. I know Uhtred far better because of this technique that I ever would if written in the third person as I get inside his head. So much so that my husband now fails to react when I say I am off to bed with Uhtred and that I will see him in an hour or so!!

So there is a small selection from the week of bloggers who have kept me sane!  A couple of posts coming up today that I have scheduled and I will back in with my coffee and tea to make sure you are all behaving yourselves….or not!

Please feel free to comment and share.  I’ll be back!  Sally



Mention in Dispatches – Irish Ablutions – Lollipops – The Camino Trail- Copycats

Welcome to this week’s mention in dispatches. As always I could populate the post with so many more blogs but I hope you will enjoy this small selection and head over to read the posts themselves.

mention in dispatches

Another fascinating look at the ancient world not just in Ireland but also in the Orkneys that had a fully functioning sewage system 5,000 years ago… or if you prefer… Roman style where you could have a chat and conduct your business at the same time! Ali Isaac brings all this together in a great post.

I also shared this post by Steph Richmond on Facebook and judging by the comments there were several people who felt the same way. Life is way too short. I have outgrown many things now and no doubt there will be more along the way.

Teresa Karlinski wrote a delightful story this week from the prompt Lollipops which i am sure you will enjoy. Tess is one of my favourite bloggers and we have travelled together virtually through China and now Newfoundland. A lovely lady.

Linda Bethea with more memories of her childhood and today her father’s various forms of manipulation when getting the yard cleared of leaves. Excellent as always.

Nick Verron suffered catastrophic head injuries in 2009 and the fight back to this point in his life has been challenging and required a massive amount of commitment by this extraordinary young man, his family and medical team. He talks a great deal of sense and although most of us never experience that level of devastating event in our lives, it is still easy even on a daily basis to forget to ‘live’.

There seems to be a theme developing this week with the posts that I have particularly enjoyed and they involve memories or aspects of life that we sometimes take for granted. This guest post of Frank Parker on The Story Reading Ape is a wonderful story about a man who changed a family’s life. Excellent.

Sacha Black is compiling a list of the top 100 problems that writers come across in the course of their work. In Sacha’s own words.

Have you ever, or do you currently have a problem with your writing? It could be ANYTHING. From pesky crutch words, to not being able to blend between scenes or chapters. Maybe you just can’t get your character arc right. Or perhaps its dialogue that plagues you. Is it the outline? The synopsis? Or just plain old fight scenes that bug you. Whatever your writing woe/s, I am desperate to find out.

Head over and help Sacha out.. Details in the post.

I enjoy walking and in earlier years we have done our fair share of hikes and trails but Jane V. Blanchard has gone the extra mile (sorry) her books give detailed accounts of some of the more famous walks including the Camino Way in our neck of the woods. A highly interesting interview with Fiza Pathan.

And finally for all you cat lovers out there… Double trouble courtesy of the Blue Bird of Bitterness… Lovely photos thank you.

Guest Dispatch. If you come across a post within your own community that you think might enjoy a little extra push then please send a link in the comments section and I will feature alongside your own link.

Thanks for dropping by and enjoy the weekend..


Mention in Dispatches – History, Irish for Love, Rats in the Rafters -blog posts in the community.

pink rose cropped

Time for some of the posts from our blogging community. I use the term community because that is what it is. Apart from being great writers with interesting posts, the bloggers that I meet every week are supportive, they comment, like and share. It does not matter that I am on a mountain with wind howling around the house and minus 8 degrees forecast for later in the week.. I know that I only have to pop into a few friends houses for a warm welcome!

Obviously there have been some great posts related to St. Valentine’s Day some of which I have included in this week’s round up of the posts I have read this week. But there are also some posts that struck a chord because of their content. Teachezwell with silver linings, Edwina’s Episodes and vivid childhood memories and that feeling as a writer that despite all the advances in modern technology in some respects publishing has not moved on as far as it might with Van by the River. We begin with an historical novelist Bill Douglas interviewed by Christoph Fischer.

“Mad Worlds: A Tale of Despair and Hope in 1950s England” by Bill Douglas is a very memorable and emotional read about mental health care in Britain during the 1950ies. It tackles an important and difficult subject and handles it very well with believable characters and excellently researched details.

Two terrific Children’s authors together in one post. Janice Spina interviews Annabelle Franklin about her books. The role of a children’s author is not just to entertain but to stimulate the minds of those that read their books. This is not just limited to children but to adults who feel the need to recapture the magic of a time when belief was a simple as trusting there are fairies and mischievous goblins.

If you missed this short story by Teagan Geneviene for Valentine’s Day then I recommend you head over and read. You can always rely on Teagan to come up with a unique and fantastical story and this is no exception with a hauntingly beautiful tale of trickery, gods and goddesses and the power of love.

As writers we often have a little whinge about the fact that it is tough to get noticed and that these days we have so much more to do than just right. The editing, design, marketing and dealing with Amazon’s new and more delectable refinements to their terms and conditions. However, can you imagine what it must have been liked to be the first woman published in England or The New World? Here is a terrific post by Van about Ann Dudley Bradstreet (1612- 1672)

Ali Isaac has posted a couple of posts on Valentine’s Day and here is one from today that is perfect if you are looking for a slightly different approach than roses and chocolates.

If you want to tell someone special how much you care this Valentine, here are some things you could say in Irish…

Some thoughts on the difficulty of romantic gestures when you are taxi mum but also some great photos of Sydney and family life courtesy of Rowena on Beyond the Flow.

Katharine Everson of Teachezwell with a post that challenges you to find the positives hidden inside lifes’ little curve balls! I like her answers.

Linda Bethea with more stories from her childhood. Post war years in Northwest Louisiana.. Violent storms, drunk drivers and tempremental washing machines! There were some upsides; hoping to see rats appear in the rafters..

Judy at Edwinas Episodes took on the challenge this week in the Great book of lists to come up with favourite screen kisses. I think that Rachel McAdam and Ryan Gosling in the Notebook was pretty good and I think I thought Richard Gere and Julia Ormond in first night was pretty good.. Certainly another rain scene so perhaps it is the rain that catches my attention!

I am sure that if you have not already read these posts you will enjoy them.  Have a great week and I hope you will pop in from time to time.

Thanks Sally




#Girllove Blog Challenge – Thanks Marjorie Mallon and D. G. Kaye

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#Girllove Blog Challenge

I was very honoured this week to be nominated for the #Girllove Blog challenge by two exceptional fellow bloggers. Marjorie Mallon and D.G. Kaye also known to us as Debby Gies.

I realise that some of those that I nominate may not accept awards or may be too busy as this time but I would like you to accept instead my gratitude for your support and that this is recognition for your great blog. I will leave some flowers for you at the end of the post.

#Girllove challenge, launched by Lilly Singh, a.k.a. Superwoman, on her YouTube Channel. Lilly Singh is a Canadian vlogger, actress, comedian, and rapper, age 27. She is tired of ‘girl-on-girl hate’ in schools, workplaces, and social media, so she decided to reverse trends by promoting #GirlLove. In her empowering video young women speak out about their respect and gratitude for other women in their lives. Proceeds from video views will go to the Malala Fund to help educate girls around the world. The goal of the fund is to “enable girls to complete 12 years of safe, quality education so that they can achieve their potential and be positive change-makers in their families and communities”.

Lilly’s challenge was to compliment other women in social media using the hashtag #GirlLove.

Firstly I would like to thank Marjorie Mallon or Marje at whose blog is all about the magic of writing, her love of books and the intriguing elements of crystals. Marje has completed one YA fantasy novel and is in the process of writing her second and if that was not sufficiently busy, she also is very active and supportive here on WordPress. She enjoys a cross section of genres including YA, Contemporary, Romance, LBGTQ, Fantasy and Science Fiction.

She loves travel and visits her relatives across the globe as far flung as Australia and Singapore which is her birth place. She is married to a Black Sheep (read more about that in her post she seems very happy with this arrangement and has two lovely daughters. You will be entertained and also value Marje as a good friend her in our online community.

The second empowered and empowering lady that I would like to thank is Debby Gies, author D.G. Kaye who combines her commonsense writing on relationships and life’s adventures with a terrific sense of humour. She is a sun-loving traveller through the world and life and shares those experiences with us on her blog and in her books. This includes her latest Have Bags, Will Travel.. A must read for all packers, shoppers and lovers of airport protocol! Buy all of Debby’s books from her author’s page on Amazon.

Debby must have jet fuel instead of blood in her veins as she manages to zip in and out of our blogs with supportive comments and shares across social media. Her sense of humour is definitely evident in her Facebook posts and you will find her here: I am particularly grateful for her motivational comments that make blogging even more of a pleasure.

If you do choose to pass this award on then please take a look at these guidelines and please mention the outstanding work of Lilly Singh.

Here’s what you do for the #GirlLove Challenge:

1 Tell your followers who inspires you, a famous woman who may be dealing with negativity on a daily basis.

2 Tell your followers who inspires you in real life, a woman you always interact with.

3 Tag five women bloggers who you love. Compliment them and tell them why you love them, and comment under their latest post with the link to your #GirlLove post!

 If you get tagged, do the post on your own blog. If you want to do it anyway, do it anyway! Add the tag ‘Girl Love’ to your post, so we can see them all! Let’s start 2016 with LOVE for each other!

My thoughts……..

My favourite #Girllove celebrity who inspires so many other young women to achieve despite physical disabilities is Amy Purdy. Amy is an actress and as snowboarder (would not even attempt with two good legs) and won a bronze medal at the 2014 Paralympics.

When only 19 Amy contracted bacterial meningitis which resulted in the devastating loss of both legs below the knee, both kidneys and her spleen. Sepsis shock causes a shut down of all organs and at one point Amy was only given a 2% chance of survival. She showed how strong she was by surviving that and the following challenges. Two years later she received a kidney from her father.

Apart from her incredible physicality on snowboards, she also proved that she could dance beautifully when she competed in Dancing with the Stars. Very brave young woman and she motivates others with her professional speaking dates and in her writing. Learn more about her at

Here she is in the Freestyle part of the competition with her partner Derek Hough.

My real life #Girllove person is not one person but every single one of the women who welcomed me on my arrival here in blogworld, took the time to teach me the ropes, commented, shared and reblogged. They gave me awards at times when I wondered if anyone was reading my posts or enjoying them, and they did not fall by the wayside but are still with me today. I will mention them in the list of bloggers that I am nominating today and of course one was of course the delightful Debby Gies.

Here are my #Girllove nominees and I could not stop at five or with the names that I have chosen as I have so much gratitude for so many of the wonderful ‘girls’ in the community. As I mentioned earlier there is no need to go further than accepting the bouquet of flowers at the end of the post. This might be the case if you have already been mentioned in another of the #Girllove awards.

Here is a small selection of those that I have reason to be grateful to.

Jo Robinson of has become a dear friend and for those who are regular visitors to her blog will have seen that her husband tragically died on Boxing Day. Although she is not currently online there is no way that I would leave her off this list of wonderful women that are part of my blogging life. Jo has not only written some wonderful articles, posts and books but also freely given her knowledge of formatting and publishing on Kindle and Createspace in a step by step series. This is now a book available on Amazon. The Absolute Indie is a wonderful ‘How To’ for anyone who wishes to self-publish using Kindle. We all hope that she will be back with us soon.

Another blogger who has been by my side for much of the time is Olga Nunez Miret and this talented author has a great deal of offer on her blogs. I say blogs as she has recently moved to a new address so for those of you who have not bookmarked it then here it is. Olga translates all her own books into Spanish and her blog is bi-lingual too. She writes amazing reviews that are in such detail there is no doubt in your mind when you have finished as to whether you will buy or not… Her books can be found on her author page on Amazon and you will find a wonderful eclectic mix.úñez-Miret/e/B009UC58G0

Teagan Riordain Geneviene has been spreading mega hugs around blog world for some time and I was very lucky when she dropped into mine one day a couple of year’s ago. Since then I have been enjoying her weekly serials that take fantasy, ordinary kitchen ingredients and our imaginations to the next level. Here is an example to get you started. you will be hooked. She is a hugely supportive friend to have as a blogger and out of the virtual world. Her debut novel Atonement Tennessee is being followed up with Atonement in Bloom and whilst we wait for the sequel, we are kept entertained with some behind the scenes posts on characters and locations in the town that she has built from scratch. You can buy Atonement Tennessee at her authors page

Judith Barrow is one of my favourite authors and I read her three books that begin during the Second World War through to the 60s in the last few months. I was delighted to review and if you enjoy stories that follow through with their characters over their lifetimes then here is the link start with Pattern of Shadows, followed by Changing Patterns and then Living in the Shadows. Judith can be found on her blog and usually dropping in and sharing those she follows. Please follow and find out for yourself how delightful she is.

Ali Isaac : Ali has brought the wonderful and ancient legends of Ireland to life with her books, articles and blog posts. An ambassador for the home of myths who brings a great deal of knowledge and colour to her tales. I hope to meet her in person this year at the Annual Bloggers Bash on June 11th in London. You can buy Ali’s Conor Kelly books at her author’s page..

Last but not least – Annette Rochelle Aben – who is a more recent acquaintance but very special all the same. Like one or two of the others that are in this list, Annette and I seem to have crossed in a previous life and picked up where we left off. Annetter is an author, broadcaster and has mastered the tricky art of Haiku.. Today I reviewed her latest book released yesterday. PhoKu which marries beautiful photographs with Haiku.

If you enjoy a sense of humour combined with an infinity with the spiritual side of life both in writing and the airwaves you had better head over and follow Annette.


There are so many more women that I could mention and to be fair a list of men who are equally important to me both on and offline. Hugh Roberts recently responded to the #Girllove award with one for the guys which is here.

As promised a bouquet of flowers for all nominees rather than a statue (Oscars coming soon) and if you are not in a position to respond to the award then please accept the blooms with my thanks and recognition of your wonderful support and blogs.