Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Round Up – 11th – 18th December 2021 – Chart Hits, Christmas Book Fair, Book Reviews, 12 Days of Christmas and Funnies.

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

I find it hard to believe that it is Christmas next Saturday and as expected a lot of confusion and new restrictions to navigate before the big day. It looks like at the moment, despite some tweaks to the policies in place families can still have Christmas together here in Ireland, but the signs are that it will be a lockdown in the New Year as a result.

The scientists are warily predicting that this is Covid’s last wave as it burns itself out, and we can only fevently hope that is the case and 2022 will prove them right.

In the meantime.. I hope you will enjoy some of the Christmas celebrations during the week.

Thanks to William Price King, Debby Gies and Carol Taylor for aiding and abetting the shenanigans… and to you for dropping in and joining in with the festivities.

On with the show…

The Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Chart Hits 1984 Part Two – Cyndi Lauper , Tina Turner, Lionel Richie, Kenny Loggins-

#Christmas #Family – Mountain Laurel Christmas by Jan Sikes

Cook From Scratch Rewind – Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – #Turkey – Perfectly Roasted

– What about us? – Christmas treats for pets and homecooked dinners

#Review Olga Nunez Miret, #Roundup Carol Taylor, #Funnies Story Reading Ape, #Interview Rebecca Budd and Debby Gies, #Family Pete Springer

The First Day of Christmas with guests Mary Smith, Jacquie Biggar #Food Carol Taylor – Mince Pies and Egg Nog

The Second Day of Christmas with guests Darlene Foster, Miriam Hurdle #Food from Carol Taylor, Christmas Pudding and Margaritas

The Third Day of Christmas with guests – Jennie Fitzkee, Lisa Thomson #Food Carol Taylor, Camembert Puffs and Mulled Wine

The Fourth Day of Christmas with guests Norah Colvin, Amy Reade #Food Carol Taylor, Carrot Soup and Champagne

The Fifth Day of Christmas with guests – D.G. Kaye, Lizzie Chantree, Joy Lennick, #Food Carol Taylor, Bread sauce and Snowballs

The Sixth Day of Christmas with guests William Price King, Annette Rochelle Aben, Jan Sikes, #Food Carol Taylor, Ricotta, Blackberry and Walnut Toasts and Cranberry Cocktail

Books by Sally Cronin – Free Book Give Away

#Shortstories – #Canada M. L. Holton, #Crime Jane Risdon, #Multigenre Jean Wilson and Joy Lennick, #Flash Sarah Brentyn, #Suspense Audrey Driscoll

#Children’s – #Seadog Patricia Furstenberg, #Ghosts Emily-Jane Hills Orford, #Environment Kathleen Jae, #Poetry Victoria Zigler

#Mystery #Thrillers – Mary Anne Edwards, D.L.Finn, Joan Hall, Daniel Kemp

#Children’s – #History Barbara Ann Mojica, #Mystery Elizabeth Merry, #GuineaPigs Jemima Pett

Drama Mary Crowley, #Thriller Gwen Plano, #Poetry Miriam Hurdle, #Gothic #Supernatural Adele Marie Park

#Fantasy Charles E. Yallowitz, Lorinda J. Taylor, #Shortstories J. E. Spina, #History #Communism Mark Lee Myers

#TimeTravel Rob Shackleford, #Historical, #Spiritual K. Lewis Adair, #ComingofAge Nancy Blodgett Klein

December 14th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin- Blame Game and Optimism vs. Pessimism..

December 14th 2021 – Santa Shenanigans and Festive Mishaps Part Two


Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed.. please join me again next week for some more fun and games. Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up- 28th November – December 4th 2021 – 1980s hits, Wales, Book Reviews, Christmas Book Fair, Blogging and Humour

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

At last we can celebrate Christmas, online at least without feeling too guilty…now we are in December.

An early start here with the Christmas Fairs to make sure that I feature all authors currently in the Cafe and Bookstore and in The Children’s Reading Room.. The fairs will be posted until Christmas week.. so warn your Kindles that there will be  influx of books.. I hope lol..This week is a taster of what is to come..

In 2018 and 2020 I featured the twelve days of Christmas and I am going to do so this year but I have amalgamated the two. In 2018 I shared guests each of the days with their most special Christmas gifts and as the guest included the contributors over the last nine years, I thought it would offer me another opportunity to thank them. Because of the time lapse I have updated bios, books and links (hopefully)… and I hope you will enjoy seeing them again or for the first time if you are new to the blog. There will be music, food courtesy of Carol Taylor on most days and my favourite drinks for the holidays.

As always a big thank you to William Price King, Debby Gies and Daniel Kemp for their contributions.. they are amazing.

Thanks to you for dropping in, liking, commenting and sharing.. it means a great deal.

On with the show….

Chart Hits 1983 Part Two – Spandau Ballet, Michael Jackson, Bonnie Tyler, The Eurythmics

1979 Part One – The Lady Magazine, Into the Unknown, Queen and Rocky

1979 Part Two – Bontddu Wales, Anne Murray and Star Trek The Movie

November 2021 – #Mystery Joan Hall, #Western Sandra Cox, #Children’s Toni Pike, #Poetry Elizabeth Gauffreau, History Patricia Furstenberg, #Poetry Colleen Chesebro, #Anthology Allan Hudson and Other Authors

Cook From Scratch Rewind – Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – Cranberries, Sauce, Camembert Puffs, Apple and Cranberry Roast Pork

#Children’s – New Book on the Shelves – Wilbur’s New Home: A Surprise for Wilbur (Wilbur the Tractor) by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair – New Author on the shelves – #Thriller – The Hurler by Jack Talbot

#Children’s – My Baby Bear Brother and Kong and The Hungry Crocodile by Joyce Murphy

New book on the shelves #Mystery – The Waiting House: A Novel in Stories by Lisette Brodey

#Memoirs – D.G.Kaye, Pamela S. Wight, Cynthia Reyes, Karen Ingalls, Marian Longenecker Beaman

#Contemporary – #Community Jessica Norrie, #Mental Health Anne Goodwin, #LGBTQ Stevie Turner, #Thriller Alex Craigie

#Paranormal – John W. Howell, Jan Sikes, JP McLean, Roberta Eaton Cheadle

#Children – #Chocolate Robbie and Michael Cheadle, #Tractor Deanie Humphrys-Dunne, #Monkey Donald Lloyd jnr #Fairystory Wanda Luthman

#Mystery Novels – Sharon Marchisello, Harmony Kent, Geoff Le Pard, Amy M. Reade

#Children’s Books – Emiliya Ahmadov, B.C Byron, Dawn Doig

#History – #Britain Mike Biles, #Russia Marina Osipova, #Transylvania Patricia Furstenberg, #Witchcraft Nancy Kilgore, #StephenFoster Sarah Taylor

Thrillers – Carol Balawyder, Sue Coletta, Terry Tyler, Mark Bierman, Jaye Marie

#Poetry – #Tanka – Dancing in the Moonlight by Gwen Plano

#PickleBall —A Growing Sport by Pete Springer

#Dogs – The Frustrated Hunter by Annabelle Franklin

#LunarDiary – January – The Wolf Moon by Joan Hall

#Reviews Colleen Chesebro, #Guestpost Marcia Meara, #Christmas Eat Dessert First, #WATWB D.G. Kaye, #MeatFree Carol Taylor

December 3rd 2021 – #RoundUp Carol Taylor, #Christmas Donna Parker, #Guest The Story Reading Ape, #Children’sbooks Jennie Fitzkee, #Guest Colleen Chesebro with D.L. Finn

November 30th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Houses and No Good Deed

December 2nd 2021 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp – To Do Lists and Police visit


Thank you very much for dropping in today and your support during the week.. have an amazing weekend and I hope you will join me again for more festivities soon.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up 21st – 27th November 2021 – Thanksgiving, Relationship WrapUp, Toto, Christmas Book Fair, Book Reviews, Memories and Humour

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

I hope those of you celebrating Thanksgiving this week managed to do so with family this year. Christmas here in Ireland is looking a little dicey with rising cases in line with the rest of Europe. I am grateful to have had my booster this week and it looks like the majority of Irish people are taking advantage of the opportunity.

The weather has turned very cold but it is dry with some bright sunny days… the birds are hungrier now that the harvest is over and there is less food available. This has led to an attempt at the world record to see how many starlings and sparrows you can get in our homemade pyramid bird feeder at one time… and I counted more or less 20 at one time the other morning.. The bird bath is still very active despite the cold snap and it can fit a similar number at one time being a metre square. I am having to refill at least twice a day as most of the water ends up being splashed across the concrete.. Better than Netflix… and when the crows come down to see what they can scrounge it is somewhere between Game of Thrones and a Carry On movie.

This week has seen another wrap up post for the year from D.G. Kaye.. Debby Gies and a wonderful summing up of the impact of Covid on key members of the community. As the world, despite rising cases is opening up again with a few fits and starts….we are repeating Debby’s Travel Column from three years ago which many of you may not have seen at the time… Starting in January 2022.

My thanks to William Price King this week for his great selections for The Breakfast Show… our weekly dip in the charts through the years… It is wonderful to be working together still after seven years…

And of course there would be no blog if it was not for your kind support throughout the week.. thank you.

On with the show….

Chart Hits 1983 Part One – Marvin Gaye, Toto, Irene Cara, David Bowie

Wrapping up the Year and Covid Lingering Effects

Thanksgiving Special – #WritingCommunity #2022 #Gratitude by Sally Cronin

1977 – Break-up, Kenny Rogers, Staying Alive by Sally Cronin

1978 – Boarding School, Sussex, John Travolta, Olivia Newton John, Gloria Gaynor 

#Anthology – Autumn Paths – Seasonal Collective of Nine Authors

Word Weaving #1: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse – The Moons of Autumn. – Colleen Chesebro and other Poets

#Preorder #Crime – Deadly Deceit (Foxy Mysteries Book 3) by Fiona Tarr

New Book on the Shelves – A Lake Sambell Walk: Picture-Poetry en plein air (Picture Poetry) by Frank Prem

New Book on the Shelves – #YA #BlendedFamilies – Hype by Yvette Calleiro

#Poetry – Colleen M. Chesebro, Annette Rochelle Aben, Balroop Singh, Elizabeth Gauffreau and Robbie Cheadle.

#Fantasy – Richard Dee, D.Wallace Peach, C.S. Boyack, Vashti Quiroz- Vega, Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

#Romance – #Western Sandra Cox, #Crime Jacquie Biggar, #Paranormal Marcia Meara, #Contemporary Lisette Brodey

#Children – #History Antoinette Truglio Martin, #Fairies D.L. Finn, #Adventure Darlene Foster, #Safety Miriam Hurdle.

#BrainHealth – Another reason to read and write…by Gwen Plano

#Reviews – March Book Reviews by D.Wallace Peach

#Culture – Why I never liked Czech and Slovak Easter and it won’t change. Still true in 2021 by Eva Hnizdo

#Teaching – How to survive the Supply Teaching Challenge by Sue Wickstead

#BookReview from Harmony Kent for #Memoir – P.S. I Forgive You by D.G. Kaye

November 25th 2021 – #Writerstips D.G. Kaye, #RoundUp Carol Taylor, #Pilgrims Noelle Granger, #Gratitude365 Pete Springer, #Canada Rebecca Budd

November 23rd 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Something to be Thankful for…


Thanks for all your support during the week and I hope you will join me again soon..enjoy your weekend… Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – #FamilyDrama Anita Dawes – #Memoir Chuck Jackson – #Mystery Sharon Marchisello and #Mystery Olga Nunez Miret

Welcome to this year’s Christmas book fair where I will be sharing the books of all the authors on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore with their most recent review in the last six months. I will be selecting authors at random so that there is something for everyone in the post.

The first author with plenty of books that would make great gifts this Christmas is Anita Dawes and her featured book is Let it Go.

About Let it Go

Mary Flanagan lives in south London with her ordinary family. Mum and dad, a stroppy older sister and an aging grandmother who lives across the road.

Her life is not so ordinary, but not as good as it could be. What with her dad spending all his wages in the betting shop, and the almost constant fighting with her sister Sally.
Her dad comes home with the keys to a new life in his pocket. A guest house on the Cornish coast acquired under dubious circumstances from old Tom, a drinking pal.

Mary knows she has no choice but to go with her family and hope for the best. Maybe the change would be good for them all. Maybe her dad will settle down and stop gambling, and her sister stop going through men like they were going out of fashion. Maybe her mum could be happy for once and stop worrying about all of them for once.

But trouble follows them in the shape of old Tom’s grandson, Spike, who says the guest house is his by rights. And Sally upsets the local teenagers with her lusty appetite. When her grandmother dies, Mary knows they have jumped from the frying pan straight into the fire, for life is no better in Cornwall and is likely to get worse.

Mary finds an old diary, written in 1936 by a girl called Morgan, who tells the story of betrayal and murder, the rescue of a baby right there in Cornwall. The story haunts Mary, and she resolves to find out if it could be true and if any relatives still exist.

She finds Samuel, the baby, now elderly, who neither wants or needs to forgive what happened to his mother. Life can be cruel, he tells her, but she should look to the living, and let the dead take care of themselves.

This is the story of growing up, and forgiveness, of accepting the things you cannot change.

A recent review for the book

Right from the start of this story you know you’re off on an interesting journey with a colourful family. The tale is told from the daughter, Mary’s, point of view. She has an older sister called Sally who she doesn’t think too much of because of her promiscuous behaviour. A drunken gambler for a father and a mother with a temper. One day, after the father has gone on a bender and been missing for a few days he comes home having won a guest house in a card game and just like that a whole new life beckons for the family.

Mary loves the new life in Cornwall where she gets to live with her beloved Nan in a caravan at the end of the garden. The village offers her new freedoms and her first fledgling attempts at romance but of course nothing is going to run that smoothly. Sally is soon up to her old tricks which brings trouble for the family and Mary finds a diary the alarming contents of which start to take over her life.

I did enjoy this read which sets off at a cracking pace. The characters are well rounded and interesting and the family dynamic worked well. The pace slowed a little in the second half but there was plenty of interest going on in the story and as added intrigue, throughout the whole book, there hangs that little shred of doubt about how the guest house was won in the first place.

A selection of books by Anita Dawes

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US  Read more reviews and follow Anita: Goodreads

Connect to Anita via: Jaye and Anita’ Blog

The effect of abuse of any nature in childhood is devastating, and can leave scars that last a lifetime. It can be extremely difficult to talk about and it is why memoirs that share experiences but also the transformation into a better life are so important. Chuck Jackson shares his childhood in his memoir What Did I Do?

About What Did I Do?

What Did I Do?  is Chuck Jackson’s true recollection of the abuse he received from both his parents. It is a story where he spent years struggling to please them without succeeding. It is a story where they told him he was irredeemable and unworthy of being their son. When he saw love and happiness in other families, he wondered why not his.

Chuck came out of the darkness to expound on the stigma attached to child abuse. He admitted to the affects of shame, anger, guilt, and depression that he and so many experience. He tells the story of survival where he felt invisible. Follow him where he sought a warm touch and a kind word of praise. Follow his desperation for love from anyone. Follow Chuck’s story and help answer his question, What Did I Do?

A recent review for the book

DJ 5.0 out of 5 stars Great book September 12, 2019

Like how the story was put together and how Ken was able to finely heal from the child abuse. Thanks for telling your story.

Also by Chuck Jackson

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Read more reviews and follow Chuck: Goodreads

Connect to Chuck via his website and blog: Chuck Jackson

The next author is financial expert Sharon Marchisello who has also written a novel, the murder mystery, Going Home.

About Going Home

Michelle DePalma expected to jet into Two Wells, Texas, check on her elderly mother, and hurry back to her orderly life in Atlanta, where she has a happy marriage and satisfying career. Instead, she finds her mother, Lola Hanson, hovered over the bludgeoned body of her caregiver, Brittany Landers.

Since the events of 9/11, one month earlier, Lola’s memory loss has amplified, and the family suspects Alzheimer’s. Now Lola can’t tell anyone what happened to Brittany.

The agency that provides home care for Lola promptly withdraws its services. Michelle is stuck in her home town longer than planned as she cares for a mother with whom she has never been close and tries to prove her innocence. The police officers who investigate the crime are old antagonists from grade school. A secret thought to be long buried—that Michelle bore a son out of wedlock and gave him up for adoption—surfaces when a surprise daughter-in-law and granddaughter show up, distracting Michelle from her quest to solve the murder. And then she stumbles upon a motive which makes Lola look even more guilty.

“Going Home” was inspired by the author’s mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s and explores the challenge of solving a murder mystery when a potential witness cannot rely on her memory. Written from the prospective of a baby boomer forced to reverse roles with her parents, it crosses into the mainstream genre of women’s fiction and touches increasingly common issues such as elder abuse and end-of-life decisions.

One of the recent reviews for the book

May 16, 2019 Lucia Davis rated it really liked it

Michelle DePalma is going home. When she arrives at her mom’s house, she finds her mother’s caregiver in a pool of blood. Her mom, the only other person in the house, is the main suspect. A convenient suspect too, since she’s suffering from Alzheimer’s and doesn’t remember what happened. So it’s up to Michelle to find out the truth. She sets off on a quest to find out who the real killer is, but this unexpectedly takes her on a journey back to her own past—a past that holds secrets and trauma—which she now has to face again.

Her mother, meanwhile, is much worse than she anticipated. This book is a statement of how vulnerable people become when their memory starts to fail. It’s a story about dementia, how it impacts both patient and family, how taking care of a loved one can be a struggle, and how bit by bit, you lose the person you knew, as they slowly fade away. The confusion, the paranoia, and the physical decline—it’s all there.

The mystery had some nice twists and was compelling. The ending, although unexpected, felt a little abrupt to me.

Also by Sharon Marchisello

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – Read other reviews and follow Sharon: Goodreads

Connect to Sharon via her blog: Sharon Blogspot

The next book which would make a great gift for mystery lovers, is by Olga Nunez Miret. The novella Escaping Psychiatry: Beginnings. Currently this book is FREE

About Escaping Psychiatry: Beginnings

How far would a writer go for a killer story? This is the question psychiatrist Mary Miller must answer to solve the first mystery/thriller of her career. You can get to know the main characters of this psychological thriller series for FREE and test your own acumen and intuition in this novella about the price of ambition.

Dr Mary Miller is a young psychiatrist suffering a crisis of vocation. Her friend Phil, a criminalist lawyer working in New York, invites her to visit him and consult on the case of a writer accused of a serious assault. His victim had been harassing him and accusing him of stealing his story, which he’d transformed into a best-selling book. The author denies the allegation and claims it was self-defence. When the victim dies, things get complicated. The threshold between truth and fiction becomes blurred and secrets and lies unfold.

Escaping Psychiatry. Beginnings is the prequel to Escaping Psychiatry a volume collecting three stories where Mary and her psychiatric expertise are called to help in a variety of cases, from religious and race affairs, to the murder of a policeman, and in the last case she gets closer than ever to a serial killer.

If you enjoy this novella, don’t forget to check Mary’s further adventures. And there are more to come.

One of the recent reviews for the book

When I review books and want to focus my review on the author’s particular qualities, I tend to find myself looking for a single word that best sums up the experience I had. Sometimes the word might be ‘thrilling’, sometimes ‘clever’, sometimes ‘imaginative’, and yes, sometimes ‘dull’. I wasn’t long into the pages of Escaping Psychiatry: Beginnings by Olga Núñez Miret when my mind was assailed by the word ‘subtle’.

Olga is a master (or, in these PC times, should that be ‘mistress’?) of the art of subtlety. Her well-written prose sails along at its own quiet pace, but here and there, almost unnoticed, she sows little hints, tiny nuances, like occasional minute breadcrumbs along the way, that will ultimately become significant in the overall spectrum of the story.
In the early pages, during what seems like a normal conversation, Núñez Miret doles out enough information to keep us interested but stealthily, without quite knowing why, the reader finds himself wondering if Paul’s innocuous proposition to Mary is quite as straightforward as it seems.

Mary is being asked to go to Paul’s Law firm and make a psychological assessment of a new client, a writer who, during a sudden fracas, accidentally killed a stalker who had been harassing him for months. She meets Paul’s boss and other colleagues, and eventually the client, but while Núñez Miret records the events in a straightforward manner, she subtly underpins her writing with an aura of doubt that has the reader again wondering if there is something more to all of this than meets the eye.

I really enjoyed this story. It is well told, filled with real characters, but what impressed me most is the author’s restraint when it comes to psychiatric insights. I learnt from her bio that Núñez Miret is a highly qualified academic who has, herself, practiced psychiatry for a number of years. She could have been forgiven, therefore, for padding her story with complex and impressive psychobabble. But instead, and again there springs to mind that word ‘subtle’, the lead character, Mary, uses her insights to ask a simple question of the client. And that was it! It was as if a bomb had suddenly exploded in courthouse’s antechamber.

This is an engaging story, very well written. I would have perhaps liked it to have been a little bit longer but longer books may well be in the pipeline. I have no hesitation is recommending this books to those who enjoy cozy mysteries.

A selection of other books in Spanish or English by Olga Nunez Miret

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Read the reviews and buy the booksAmazon US – And on: Amazon UK – Read more reviews and follow Olga  – Goodreads

Audio books

Connect to Olga via her website: Author Translator Olga

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that you will be leaving with some books tucked under your arm.. thanks Sally.