Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Spring Showcase – Deborah A. Bowman, C.S.Boyack, Linda Bradley, Sarah Brentyn, Christine Campbell, Anne Casey, Luanne Castle, Robbie Cheadle, Colleen Chesebro and Billy Ray Chitwood

Welcome to spring….. and there might be a hint of colour in the garden, as daffodils push their way to the surface, but there is plenty of colour on the shelves of the bookstore that I thought I would share with you over the next week.

If you are looking for you next book to read then look no further than these talented authors and over 600 books currently on the shelves.

Instead of the usual Cafe and Bookstore updates on Friday and Monday.. I will be featuring a number of authors each day with their updated reviews.

I will give you their listing which also includes a link to buy the books but also discover others that they have written but are not listed. You will also find a link to their website or blog to find out more information, and as you can imagine… they write great posts too.

Here is the next ten featured authors from the Cafe and Bookstore.

Deborah A. Bowman, Buy:

Please visit Deborah’s Amazon page or her blog to view all her books.

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One of the recent reviews for Annie’s Story

on March 20, 2018

Annie’s Story is a magical tale of a wee lass born into harsh times in the colonial colonies of America. Born stunted and without hope, she blossoms into a wonderful child who is loved by all in her Scottish colony. The story follows Annie and her grandmother who is the healer and wise woman of the colony as they walk through the hardships and horrors of this time.

I adored Annie and her grandmother and the other characters in the Scots colony. The characters are so well written that I moved with ease through the book, sometimes moved to tears by the horrific events in the American colonies and Scotland.
The author doesn’t hold back and although painful at times, a strong voice is needed to write about the horrors of sectarianism which is still so much a part of Scotland today.

I highly recommend this book, it is not a weekend read, rather it is a novel that you lose yourself in.

C. S. Boyack, Buy:

Please visit Amazon to view all of Craig’s books.

N.B – The Enhanced League is FREE until Friday 30th… get your copy now..

One of the recent reviews of The Hat.

The Hat by C.S. Boyack is such a great read. The main characters are a young girl, Lizzie St Laurent, a twenty-one-year-old college dropout whose grandmother has died and who has been left to fend for herself in a city far from home and the Hat. Lizzie is working a couple of jobs to pay the bills and keep a roof over her head. She also has a deal with the landlord whereby she keeps the garden tidy and trim in return for free utilities. Lizzie is struggling and when her uncle doesn’t want to give her a keepsake from her grandmother’s estate, she helps herself to one from the back of the removal van. Boy, does she make a good choice. She ends up acquiring a hat that can communicate with her, transform its shape, transfer her to a “safe house’ built by her grandfather and teach her how to play a musical instrument. What is even better is that the Hat is magically bound to Lizzie’s family and is there to assist her out of tight spots in life. When the baby of a friend of Lizzie’s is stolen, the Hat is right there by her side to help her rescue the babies form a band of ruthless kidnappers.

Along the way, Lizzie will have some fun experimenting with great fashion items and meeting some interesting musicians. The Hat is a fast-paced novella which will keep you turning the pages, giving you lots of laughs along the way. I rated this book five stars out of five.

Linda Bradley, Buy:

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A recent review for A Montana Bound Christmas.

Uncaged Review: When we last left John, Maggie and Chloe in the Montana Bound three book series, we had our happy ending, and it ended in a good place, I was happy with the series. Imagine my excitement when Ms. Bradley sent me this fourth installment – and a Christmas one at that!

I’m not going to give a lot away, but I think I see even better closure for a couple more characters. This book alternates point-of-views each chapter – and I liked seeing in the thoughts of the other characters like John’s father and his ex-wife. If you’ve read the Montana Bound series, this is a welcome addition, and if you haven’t – you can read it as a standalone, but to get the full impact of what these characters have been through, start at the beginning, Maggie’s Way.

Sarah Brentyn, Buy:

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An extract from a recent review for On the Edge of a Raindrop

I enjoy reading short story collections and was intrigued by this anthology. This was my first introduction to flash fiction and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Not only did I find the cover intriguing, but the book’s title reached out and grabbed me. And yet, it was the introduction to the book that really drew me in:

“There is a world inside a drop of water. Molecules desperately clinging to one another to keep the surface tension strong. To keep from being broken. That bond is at once sturdy and fragile. It keeps the drop together but, with one seemingly small act, can burst. These are the lives depicted in this book. On the Edge of a Raindrop explores the darker elements of human nature.” Author, Sarah Brentyn

Brentyn sections this flash fiction collection into three categories: Mindscapes, Lifelines, and Microbursts featuring stories that evoked emotional responses from the reader. The first two sections feature stories around 100 words each. The last section was filled with 50-word snapshots of micro-fiction, much like mind-photos, whose mental images literally flashed in my brain.

I read these stories slowly savoring the words and connecting to her prose much in the same way I do with poetry. These story impressions led me into the dark recesses of the author’s mind, ever mindful of the lives of her characters and how they hung at the edge of the raindrop.

Christine Campbell, Buy:


A recent review For What It’s Worth.

A brilliant read. I am so tired coz i just couldnt put it down at night. Kept saying just one more page and then another and another. This author’s use of language and descriptive text transports you in all her books and she has done it again with this one. I was so impressed with how this author portrayed real life events. Real sensitivity and knowledge. Well worth the money. I can not wait for her next book.

Anne Casey, Buy:

A recent review for the poetry collection

This is just absolutely gorgeous poetry; really touches your heart, touches your soul. Loved it. Julia

Luanne Castle, Buy:

A recent review for Kin Types

With the prose and poetry found within Kin Types, Castle enters the lives of her ancestors with prose by exploring their pasts through genealogy and the family stories, photographs, and ephemera that reveal that genealogy. However, because the past is often defined by what little we know of our ancestors, that knowledge can be scanty. That’s my situation.

So I ordered Luanne’s book to gather ideas for my own family history writing project. All I have left of the tragedy are photographs, letters of sympathy, yellowed newspaper clippings, locks of hair. How can I ever understand this history fully? Perhaps by doing what Luanne did, that is, entering the lives of her ancestors via genealogy, photographs and ephemera.

Kin Types will inspire you if you wish to research your own family history or simply desire to connect with your ancestors through the power of writing.

Robbie Cheadle, Buy:


A recent review for Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Dough Bees

Deborah A. Bowman, author 5.0 out of 5 stars A Work of Art; Sweet Treats of Magical Creatures; Recipes; and a Darling Story in Verse! January 11, 2018

This is the most creative children’s and bakers’ heavenly book I’ve ever experienced! This is definitely a one-of-a-kind treat!

There are no illustrations, just incredible photographs of “… visions of sugarplums that dance in their heads …”; made of chocolate with vivid colors and totally edible.

What an amazing collection of literature with uniqueness I’ve never encountered before, and I’m a collector of classic and unusual books as well as an avid reader and reviewer!

This little book is a treasure of mixed art for all ages. This BOOK is for families and generations to come. An incredible, delectable keepsake.

Colleen Chesebro, Buy:


One of the most recent reviews for The Swamp Fairy

A beautifully told tale about an orphaned teen, Abigale Forester, who is uprooted from her home in Illinois after her mother’s death and her father’s disappearance. She is sent to live with her Aunt Magnolia in Florida where she is given a plot of land owned by her mother. This land is more than just a swamp.

Abigale realizes the value of this plot of land when she experiences its magic. It is inhabited by fairies and plants that have magical healing properties. She soon realizes through some ethereal visits from some of these fairies on the land that her role is to protect the swamp and all its creatures and plants from harm.

When Abigale and her aunt receive threats to their lives if they do not sell the land, Abby turns to friends for support. Abby’s mother gifted to her a magical necklace made from the calcite stone in the swamp to give her strength to do what she needs to do in her role as protector.

The author has created a lovely tale of the magic and mystery of fairies. This is an enjoyable read not only for middle-graders, preteens and young adult girls but also for adults like me. I thoroughly enjoyed this fascinating tale and look forward to more in this series. This talented author enables the reader to see the fairies as real creatures who are benevolent and only want to help mankind.

Billy Ray Chitwood, Buy:

Visit Amazon or Billy Ray’s blog to view all his books.

A recent review for Stranger Abduction.

“Stranger Abduction” is a well-written novel based on an actual event. A mother and daughter walk from their home to a store in Arizona and never make it back. Mr. Chitwood gives a very viable and chilling account as to what might have happened next. Doris and Deena find themselves thrown into the human trafficking trade, while the Deputy Jack Kiefer never gives up on finding them. The details and characters kept this a page turning book as well as the side story with the Deputy. This is a glimpse into an evil that is going on around us as “products” (a label used for Doris and Deena) are being drugged and used for other’s gratification or service. I highly recommend this book, because even with a dark subject matter there are always heroes.


Smorgasbord End of Summer Party – Music, Dancing, Headliners and You…and #Free books

Welcome to three days of activities where I hope to introduce you to some headlining acts who have contributed and supported the blog since the early days in September 2013. These last four years have been such an adventure and I hope that it will continue for many years to come.

However, I have to say a huge thank you to everyone who has dropped in and left their mark on the blog. That interaction has motivated me to keep writing and to continue to build a book promotion site that helps other authors get their books noticed. With hundreds of thousands of new titles each week it is a challenge to grab the spotlight, but I hope that in some small way, I can help with that.

In September I will be increasing the number of opportunities to showcase your work with a new author interview series.. with a difference. Keep an eye out in the next week or so as I shall be interviewing myself so you get an idea of the format.

My experience with most of you reading this, is that you are very modest, and have trouble blowing your own trumpet. So to help you with that, here is a short quiz with one word answers to put in the comments alongside your links. The answers I receive may be used against you in the posts on Sunday and Monday


  • Which is your favourite recording artist or band
  • Pizza or Pasta
  • Favourite Film
  • Person you would most like to meet Dead or Alive.

Then please leave your blog or website, Amazon, Facebook and Twitter Links.

I am all dressed up and ready to go… well if I am honest this photo is a few years old but hey.. it’s my party.  Welcome and come on in.

To get the party started I am going to share a track from my favourite band – Status Quo.. with Looking Out For Caroline and then time to showcase a contributor who has been providing the music content for the blog for the last three years.

It is time to put some people in the spotlight for their long term contribution and support for the blog.

William Price King is an American Jazz singer, composer and musician who I first met t through Twitter, and asked if he would be one of my first interviewees. This elegant artist trained as a classical singer and toured in North America and Europe. Eventually he morphed into jazz smoothly and with great style, and has been entertaining audiences and his fans in the South of France and other European countries for over thirty years. William is also a coach and mentor to a number of young singers who are starting their careers, and will jet off to watch their performances, very proudly I am sure. He has a wonderful family that also includes a world class opera singer and grandchildren who he spends the summers hiking with in the French Alps. Oh and he is a cat lover.

William and his wife Jeanne (who also writes wonderful lyrics for William’s own compositions) have become much loved friends. I am so pleased that we will beginning a brand new series in September with that international, hip swivelling, Welsh sensation, Mr. Tom Jones. You can find all of William’s past series in the archive, and you can perhaps browse that while you listen to this compilation video of William’s incredible performances.

William Price King – A Man and his Music

And before we meet another regular contributer to the blog, here is Robbie Cheadle who has popped in from South Africa to drop off some refreshments.

Perhaps before we meet my other guests today we might have some refreshment courtesy of the lovely Robbie Cheadle who with her son Michael, is the author of the Sir Chocolate series and has provided some excellent guest posts for the blog.

You can buy Robbie and Michael’s books here:

Follow Robbie on her blog that shares post on traditional food, crafts and culture of South Africa and of course amazing recipes to enjoy:

Please help yourselves and enjoy.

Time to meet another contributor to the blog.

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My next headliner is Paul Andruss who I met through the lovely Sue Vincent, where he had been featured with several of his posts. One thing led to another, and following his first post at the beginning of December last year, Paul accepted the position of Writer in Residence. Paul is a man of many parts… this is not just an observation on his good looks alone or the fact that he does have an odd physical feature… being his green thumb.

If you have watched cookery programmes you will notice that there is a trend to deconstruct everything from strawberry cheesecake to bubble and squeak. Paul does this expertly with myths, legends and the famous and infamous. From the Ancient Greeks to David Bowie he goes behind the story and then reconstructs it to illuminate all the precious nuggets we might have missed before. He has an encyclopedic brain that transcends normal human minds and we are grateful for it along with his wicked sense of humour.

Thomas the Rhymer

He is also a wonderful author, and I read and reviewed his book, Thomas the Rhymer several months ago. I can highly recommend you read this fantasy novel, and it is FREE to download on his site. Also, many of you enjoyed the essays of Horatio Grin recently and that too is an eBook and pdf that is FREE to download. Follow these links to the archives and also to Horatio’s work.

Legend busting and Paul’s bio and links

Horatio’s Essays and FREE book

It is safe to say that I am delighted that I stumbled across this talented writer, legend busting friend who also supplies me with amazing images from his garden for my haiku.(Thank goodness for that green thumb).

Time for a little more music before I introduce you to one or two people who were the first to welcome me to the world of blogging.

Another of my favourite artists and one of the songs that I have sung in some very strange places!! The wonderful Bette Midler


Where are they Now!  Part One.

When I first began blogging in September 2013 I was faced with not only a blank page to fill but nobody to share the final post with. Like millions of bloggers there is a period of time when you wonder if anyone is going to notice you…. and then one day you get a like or two that turn into a comment and it is a wonderful feeling. A number of bloggers took me under their wing and are still there in my archives with their early motivational comments they are also now friends and still part of my blogging adventure. Over the next three days I will share them with you and hope you will return the favour and follow them.

So where are those early supporters of the blog today?

Irene of Irene Design 2011 is a wonderful jewelry creator who sells across most of the popular selling sites. Originally from Denmark, she moved to Spain in 2012 with her boyfriend and lives there with her two cats Bølle and Hvide and her dog Odin. Unfortunately earlier this year Irene was very unwell and offline for a number of months. But she is back online now and although she is not back to making jewelry, she has some wonderful pieces that are on sale on various selling sites.

Check on Irene’s fabulous jewelry and get to know her better:

Anne Casey was not only one of my early visitors she was also my first guest writer with a number of articles on her adopted home Australia. Last month Anne published her debut poetry collection ‘where the lost things go’ to great acclaim here in Ireland and she has her Sydney book launch on September 2nd.

Anne Casey’s poems have been published in The Irish Times, The Murmur Journal, The Incubator, Other Terrain, Backstory, Into the Void Magazine, ROPES Literary Journal, The Remembered Arts Journal, Dodging the Rain, Tales from the Forest, Luminous Echoes: A Poetry Anthology, Deep Water Literary Journal, The Blue Nib, Visual Verse: An Anthology of Art and Words and Thank You For Swallowing, among others.

Find out more about Anne and enjoy examples of her poetry:

Jo Robinson was also one of the first to encourage me to keep going with my blogging and she has continued to be a wonderful supporter. This despite having a two years that would have extinguished the life in most of us which began with the tragic loss of her husband on Boxing Day. This very warm, funny and supportive author, illustrator and book designer has been challenged on every level, and she now lives on a game ranch in the bush in South Africa. This has come with the very obvious problem of connectivity and with roads out with the rain at times, I mean total lack of connectivity. This has not been great for so many reasons, including trying to establish a book design and formatting business. But, great news that Jo emailed me this week and she is online with a new modem and looking forward to be back communicating with us via our blogs.

I will let Jo tell you a little bit about the last two years in this post:

More about my long-term friends in tomorrow’s post when you will discover the Three Musketeers! 

Time for some more music and then news of a FREE book.

Dedicated to all of you who take the time to comment, like and share the posts so often Thank you.

In recent weeks I have been sharing a series called Odd Jobs and Characters which shares my misadventures in some of the jobs that I was lucky to be offered. The people that I met and my experiences morphed into my book Just an Odd Job Girl. As part of this celebration I am offering the eBook FREE for the next three days until midnight on Monday 28th.

I am not part of the Kindle select programme and so I do not run free programmes on Amazon but I do like to run the occasional ‘Friends and Family’ promotion. I have in two formats: Mobi for Kindle and Epub for everything else. I am sorry but this time I don’t have a pdf.. but I can recommend where you can download for FREE and it means you can read on any device.

To get your copy of Just an Odd Job Girl – Email me at

About the book

Imogen was fifty!

Life is unpredictable and will often throw you a curve ball that knocks you out of the park.

For Imogen this curve ball knocked her out of a twenty five year marriage and a lovingly renovated home into a single life at age 50. She had been a very contented wife and mother of two children, who for every one of those 25 years had thought her husband had been equally as happy. It was a shock to find out that she had been delusional and replaced so easily.

Her confidence was non-existent. She had forgotten any skills she possessed and was totally unprepared to enter the modern job market. Or so she thought.

The most recent review for the book

A Real Tonic!  on 17 July 2017

Once I started reading this book, I couldn’t put it down. Imogen feels betrayed, fat and useless when her husband leaves her. She has to find herself a new job after being out of the workforce for twenty odd years whilst bringing up her children and being a dutiful housewife.

Imogen has an opportunity to reflect on the jobs that she had before her marriage and this is where the fun starts.

Sally is such a wonderful story teller who had me spluttering with laughter and cringing with embarrassment at some of the situations that Imogen finds herself in. The characters in the story are some that you would love to meet or love to hate, so realisticlally are they portrayed.i enjoyed this book immensely.;

You can find more reviews here on Goodreads:

To get your copy of Just an Odd Job Girl – Email me at

A reminder of the quiz and about signing the guest book

Here is a short quiz with one word answers to put in the comments alongside your links. The answers I receive may be used against you in the posts on Sunday and Monday


  • Which is your favourite recording artist or band
  • Pizza or Pasta
  • Favourite Film
  • Person you would most like to meet Dead or Alive.

Then please leave your blog or website, Amazon, Facebook and Twitter Links.

Coming up tomorrow... meet more of the wonderful bloggers that came into my life in my first year of blogging with special features on the other two Musketeers… Debby Gies and Tina Frisco..some guest appearances from some of those who were the first to support the blog in the first few months and are still there Janice Spina, Teagan Geneviene, The Story Reading Ape, Ali Isaac and Tess Karlinski... more music and time to get the bottles opened… I hope you will join me again.

And before I sign off a few more guests who are celebrating National Dog Day – they are the proud owners of some pretty great writers, acting as muses, stress consultants, food tasters and bed warmers.Find out all about how you can help dogs and celebrate the day with Tink… special assistant to Madelyn Griffith-Haynie… who wrote a post on the subject today and is here at the party

See if you can guess which adorable fur family member belongs to which blogger?

And here are some more of my dog guests…

Don’t forget to leave your quiz answers and your links in the comments so that I can share some of your music choices in the post tomorrow with your links.




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

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

About the stories

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can read a number of reviews for the book:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Milestones along the way by Geoff Cronin

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

Book Promotion

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

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

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

Cafe and Bookstore Update

Air Your Promotions

Smorgasbord Short story

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Weekly image and Haiku

Humour and afternoon videos

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



Smorgasbord Guest Post – Writing all the Wrong Things by Anne Casey

Anne Casey was my first guest writer back in 2013 and I am delighted to welcome her back again with her debut poetry collection “where the lost things go”. Published by Salmon Poetry

Writing all the wrong things by Anne Casey

It is a heart-stopping moment as a professional writer when you realise you have spent 25 years writing all the wrong things. That is the realisation I came to around three years ago. At the time, I could never have guessed the whirlwind journey that lay ahead.

From as young as five or six years of age, I had known that all I wanted to do was write. I had a fake toy typewriter I spent hours playing with, crayoning out my own little storybooks in my small west of Ireland hometown. By the time I was 10, my parents had realised too and they bought me a ‘Lilliput’ typewriter. That was the start of many late nights spent gleefully tapping out poems and stories, the happy ‘ting’ at the end of each line sending my heart soaring.

In my teens, I had various poems published in youth magazines and local publications. My English teacher, Harry Hughes, was very encouraging of my short story writing. But by the time I was leaving school in the mid-1980s, the economic situation was pretty dire in Ireland. Jobs were hard to come by. The reality hit home that my long-held passion for creative writing was not a viable career path.

Determined to carve out some kind of livelihood in writing, I attained a law degree and worked at night to support post-graduate studies in Communications. With part-time work at a small magazine house along the way, I was lucky to land a full-time job in a reputable public relations consultancy. Although it was a compromise, I was thrilled to have swung a position that involved writing for most of my working week, particularly in tough economic times. There happily followed a move into a larger magazine publishing house where I eventually managed two monthly magazines, spending most of my days writing and editing.

In my mid-twenties, I migrated to Australia and pursued a career that has facilitated not just writing, but my second love of travel. Over the past 25 years I have had thousands of pages published. As a journalist, magazine editor, legal author, corporate and government communications director, I’ve written reams. I have been extremely fortunate to meet and to work with some extraordinary people, while travelling across the world and back. I’ve penned speech notes for a nation’s President, government Ministers, CEOs and entrepreneurs; news articles on emerging industries and multi-million dollar business deals; and books on new laws and commercial implications.

Along the way, however, my inner voice never stopped whispering. Sometime in the last few years, it escalated to a shout. Having children and prioritising family over my corporate responsibilities gave me the space to see things a little clearer. In my heart of hearts, looking back over my career I realised I had sold out. For all the ‘important’ things I had been writing about, I realised that none of it really mattered… “Today’s headlines are tomorrow’s fish and chips wrappers”. No-one will remember any of it, not even me.

That’s when I dug out my old notebooks. I carved out some time, set up a blog and some social media sites and started to write. I wrote about anything that wasn’t ‘serious’… the stuff that set my heart alight. I wrote about nature, my children, my family history, even my dog! Soon I was back writing poetry, and letting go of some of my corporate consulting work.

When my first poem as an adult was published, it was in The Irish Times. I had written about my journey as an emigrant against the backdrop of losing my mother. The guilt and grief in that poem resonated with others. The comments section at the end of the article kept filling up until it closed. Then people were tracking me down via Google, my website, Twitter and LinkedIn to tell me how much that poem had affected them.

It was a watershed moment for me. I realised that this was what I had always wanted to do – to write something that touched people’s hearts. To shake people out of the semi-conscious daze we walk around in and wake them up to the things that truly matter.

I set about capturing the things that have really mattered to me. As an emigrant, in returning to my homeland each year I have become acutely aware of the changes. Each time I fly away and come back, I find that another face or another little piece of my growing up years has disappeared. These are the things that sowed the seeds of who I am, growing up on:

“A little street
In a little town
At the wave-washed edge
Of the world”.

This was a place and a time where a child wasn’t brought up by one or two people, but by the many hands of a community and all they had passed down. Every bump in the path had its history and its meaning. I set about capturing and preserving those pieces that were slowly slipping away – the things that made us who we are – people, places and credos.

There are other places and faces that have marked my journey which have also ended up in my poetry. I have never been short on political views but, unshackled from censorship due to work sensitivities, I have a newfound courage to actually write what I really mean!

The west of Ireland wind must have been blowing my way about 18 months ago… With offices a stone’s throw from where I grew up on the County Clare coast, Salmon Poetry has been a tour de force for Irish poets – women poets in particular – over the past 36 years. I am a great admirer of Salmon’s managing director, Jessie Lendennie. She was the first book publisher I contacted with what had grown into a poetry manuscript.

I was blown away when Jessie agreed to meet with me on my visit home in 2016. The possibility of joining the Salmon Poetry family (which includes such salubrious poets as the President of Ireland, Mr Michael D Higgins himself) seemed liked a distant dream. My feet barely touched the ground after I left Jessie’s office with a 10-year publishing deal, my debut poetry collection to be published a year later.

Siobhán Hutson at Salmon Poetry did a stunning job on the design and production of my book, where the lost things go which was published by Salmon in July 2017. And I am eternally grateful to renowned Irish poet,  Eleanor Hooker for her glowing speech at my book launch in Ireland on 6 July.

And so, after all these years, and some major side-tracks along the way, this little girl’s dream has come true. My inner poet has finally emerged from the attic and the whispers have quietened for a little while. But we shall have to wait and see…

To follow are two poems from Anne Casey’s debut poetry collection “where the lost things go” published by Salmon Poetry.

In memoriam II: The draper

“The town is dead
Nothing but the wind
Howling down Main Street
And a calf bawling
Outside The Fiddlers”

My mother’s words, not mine
In a letter, kept in a drawer
These long years
She had a way with words
My mother

That’s why they came
The faithful of her following
Leaning in to her over the counter
For an encouraging word
Or the promise of a novena

Long before we had
Local radio
Our town had my mother
Harbinger of the death notices
And the funeral arrangements

Bestower of colloquial wisdom
Bearer of news on all things
Great and small
Who was home
And who hadn’t come

Who had got the Civil Service job
And by what bit of pull
The Councillor’s niece
Smug in her new navy suit
Oblivious to the circulating countersuit

“Would you ever think of coming home?”
Her words would catch me
Lips poised at the edge
Of a steaming mug

Igniting a spitfire
Of resentment each time
Then draping me for days
I’d wear it like a horsehair shirt
All the way back

Until the sunshine and the hustle
Had worn it threadbare
This extra bit of baggage
In every emigrant’s case
Their mother’s broken heart

I never thought to ask her
“Would you want me to…?
So I could look out at the rain
Circumnavigating the empty street
And shiver at the wind
Whipping in under the door…?”

I don’t miss that question now
On my annual pilgrimage ‘home’
My father never asks it
Like me, I know he feels it
Hanging in the air
Alongside her absence

I miss my mother
And her way with words

(First published in The Irish Times, 31 January 2016)

Between ebb and flow

Mist rolls off moss-green hills
Where wind-wild ponies thunder
Manes flying as they chase
Their seaward brothers
Locked in eternal contest
On this deserted grey mile

Past the little stone churchyard
Long-forgotten graves spilling
Stones onto the sodden bog
A soft snore from behind
My two angels sleeping
Thirteen thousand miles

From all they have ever known
Running our own race
To make the best
Of spaces like this
A rainbow rises along the horizon
And I recognise her

Come for my mother
Locked in her own
Immortal struggle
The sister returned
So I know it won’t
Be long now

And I cry a little at
The unbearable beauty
Of these diastoles
When we are all
Here in a heartbeat

Between heaven and earth


Buy this wonderful collection of poetry by Anne Casey direct from the publisher: Salmon Poetry Bookshop

About Anne Casey

Anne Casey’s poems have been published in The Irish Times, The Murmur Journal, The Incubator, Other Terrain, Backstory, Into the Void Magazine, ROPES Literary Journal, The Remembered Arts Journal, Dodging the Rain, Tales from the Forest, Luminous Echoes: A Poetry Anthology, Deep Water Literary Journal, The Blue Nib, Visual Verse: An Anthology of Art and Words and Thank You For Swallowing, among others.

Anne passionately believes that every poem, like all art, should leave you changed by the experience. Her poem, “In Memoriam II: The Draper,” was the fifth most-read item – across all categories – in The Irish Times on the day of publication, and resulted in a furore of social media commentary.

She was shortlisted for the Cúirt New Writing Poetry Prize in 2017 and the Bangor Poetry Competition 2016. Originally from the west of Ireland, Anne lives in Australia. She has worked as a business journalist, magazine editor, corporate and government communications director, author and editor. Anne holds a Law degree and qualifications in Communications.
Connect to Anne Casey via her website and social media.


It is wonderful to feature Anne on the blog again and please help spread the news of her poetry collection across your own networks.. Thank you Sally