Smorgasbord Blogger Weekly – January 2nd 2022 – #Pinenuts Carol Taylor, #Reviews Gwen Plano, Colleen Chesebro, Jan Sikes, #Spotlight C.S. Boyack

A small selection of the wonderful posts I have enjoyed and I hope you will head over to read in full.. thanks Sally.

A new series from Carol TaylorFriday Food Review and this week the expensive but versatile Pine Nut.. apart from detailed information about the pine nut there are some fabulous recipes to try out, including enhancing dishes you already prepare for some extra flavour.

Welcome to Friday Food reviews where I will be covering a different food or product each week and looking at… what are they? where do they grow, what can we substitute them for in a recipe, are they safe to eat, how to store them, how to use them, cook them, anything connected to that food. or product..all the why’s and the wherefores…it will, of course, be mainly my own opinion or a known fact…good or bad…there may even be a tried and tested recipe…or three…

This week it’s…The Pine Nut. 

Head over to discover how to use this small nut to enhance the flavour of your dishes: Carol’s Friday Food Review – Pine Nuts

The next post is from Gwen Plano who reflects on the 70 books she has read during 2021.. some of which I have read but many that I will add to my TBR…

Hello dear blog friends! It’s been quite the year, hasn’t it? If nothing else, 2021 prompted many of us to read more. I’m not a prolific reader, but this past year I enjoyed almost seventy books – non fiction and fiction. Today I’d like to share a few of these blessings with you.

The first four books are ones that deeply touched my soul. Each involves choices, each deals with threat and fear, and importantly, each underscores the resilience of the human spirit.

The Choice by Dr. Edith Eva Eger is a memoir of surviving Auschwitz. The circumstances are horrifying, but they bear relevance to today’s embattled world and that is what grabbed my heart and wouldn’t let go. This is a powerful and transformative book, one you will not forget.  

Head over to read more about Gwen’s reflections on her reading in 2021: Blessings from 2021

The next post is from Colleen Chesebro with her review for the poetry collection – Think Tanka by Annette Rochelle Aben.

Significant Poetry Reads: “Think Tanka – Vision in Verse,” by Annette Rochelle Aben, 

Head over to discover Colleen’s thoughts about Think Tanka: Colleen’s Review for Annette Rochelle Aben

The next post is from Craig Boyack and is a spotlight for a fellow RRBC author Marlena Smith.

One of the benefits of membership in the Rave Reviews Book Club is the ability to host other authors. Today it’s my turn to bring you Marlena Smith, one of the hardest working members in the club. Please give her a warm welcome in the comments and with the sharing buttons.

To kick this tour off, I thought some Q&A would be fun, your chance to get to know the author!

1. You have been writing for a long time now, since you were a child. What were some of your first story ideas?

Head over to discover the answer to that question and more about Marlena Smith: Craig Boyack welcomes Marlena Smith #RRBC

Some more books for your TBR (there is a mute button if it is groaning too much!). This time from Jan Sikes with a round up of her December reads, including for C.S. Boyack, Yvette Calleiro, Jacquie Biggar and Teagan Geneviene.

Head over to enjoy Jan’s reviews for these books: December reviews by Jan Sikes


Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to enjoy the posts in full.. .Sally.



Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Tuesday 26th October 2021 – #Reviews James J. Cudney, Colleen Chesebro, D.G. Kaye, #Story Elizabeth Gauffreau, #Storms John W. Howell.

A small selection of posts I have enjoyed over the last few days and I hope you will head over to enjoy in full.. thanks Sally.

The first post is from James Cudney with some great reviews to share for for the week ending October 16th..

Book Reviews: 5 Books – Charles F. French, Lynn Cahoon, SA Krishnan, D. Wallace Peach & Jody Gehrman (Week Ending October 16th)

The week kicked off with some short stories by fellow authors I met through the blogging world. First up was The Phone Call by Charles F. French, a short story about an adult man connecting with his deceased father, who has some advice to share before his son falls down a pit of darkness. I rolled right into SA Krishnan’s short story from her mystery series with A Little Doublecross.

Always good to learn about a different culture’s police practices! I then turned to fantasy for my next full-length novel with D. Wallace Peach’s first story in the Unraveling the Veil series, followed by Jody Gehrman’s latest thriller release, The Summer We Buried — a AMAZING title. I ended my week with a cozy mystery novella in Lynn Cahoon’s Kitchen Witch series. I haven’t read many cozies lately, so it was good to get back to my favorite genre. I have a bunch coming up next week too. On to the reviews! 

Head over to read James’s reviews: five book reviews by James J. Cudney

The next post is about Elizabeth Gauffreau who has had a horror/crime story published in The Chamber Magazine... and you can read the full story by following the link at the end.

“New England Gothic” Dark Fiction by Elizabeth Gauffreau

Image The Chamber Magazine

Do you remember reading “A Rose for Emily,” in high school English class? You know the story: William Faulkner’s tale of a prideful vestige of a bygone era who kills her lover and lives with his corpse in her house until she dies, the townspeople’s discovery of the lover’s skeletal remains at the end of the story all Southern Gothic and delightfully chilling? Well, our town too has its story of a woman who killed a loved one and kept the corpse in her house as she went about her business–although in our case, there was nothing Southern, Gothic, or delightfully chilling about it. You must have heard about the case. It made the national news.

Head over to read Liz’s story in full… keep the lights on: The Chamber Magazine – New England Gothic, Dark Fiction by Elizabeth Gauffreau

The next post is from Colleen Chesebro and shares her reviews for some seasonal Halloween fun…..

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read! 

Just in time for Halloween, (I fought with WordPress all day and you can see the quotes just won’t work) I’m sharing some paranormal novels to help you get into a seasonal mood. I’ve warned you… remember to read with the lights on!

Head over to read Colleen’s reviews in full: Colleen’s reviews M.J. Mallon, Mae Clair, Deborah Harkness

And another review this time by D.G. Kaye for Yvette Calliero and her short story Breathless

Bitmo Sunday book review

Sunday Book Review – Breathless, #Shortstory by Yvette Calleiro

My Sunday Book Review is for Yvette Calleiro’s short, powerful story – Breathless. This is a fun read involving witchery, karma and a twisted surprising end. A lovely sampling of Yvette’s writing, and I know I’ll be reading more from her.


What if the fairy tale kiss that always awakens the damsel in distress takes a sinister turn? What if prince charming’s kiss no longer produces a happily ever after? Silena’s infatuation with William hits a speed bump when he rejects her. After all, she is just a maid, and he is a young, rich aristocrat in the 1920s. Why would he have any desire to waste his time with the help?

On one particularly lonely day, Silena calls upon her magic to transform into a sexy flapper for the night. Her dream to enjoy one night with William is finally in her grasp, but her magic comes with consequences that neither William nor Silena could ever imagine.
BONUS! This short story is followed by a preview of a book written by the author.

Head over to read Debby’s review for the book: D.G. Kaye reviews Breathless by Yvette Calleiro

And to wrap up the post today…with wild weather around John Howell has reshared an earlier post…

Top Ten Things Not to do During a Storm

Photo by Henrieke Fischer on Unsplash

This post originally ran on October 26th, 2015. Since we all have been through some storms this year, I thought it would still provide a chuckle.

* * *

The inspiration for this list is a recent three-day storm here in Texas. Although I had enough sense not to do these things, they did come to mind as I was going through various circumstances.

10  If you are in a storm, do not decide to drive around to check out the damage. If you do, at best, you may find yourself stranded by high water. At worst, you might be trying to explain to the grumpy-looking national guardsman why you didn’t heed the warnings to stay inside. (You have to wonder if that rifle has real bullets) 

Head over to read the other 9 things not to do in a storm: Top Ten Things Not To To In A Storm by John W. Howell.


Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to enjoy these posts in full.. thanks Sally.


Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Thursday 23rd September 2021 – D.Wallace Peach, Valentina Cirasola and Robbie Cheadle, Olga Nunez Miret, Colleen Chesebro, Jennie Fitzkee

A small selection of posts I have enjoyed over the last few days and I hope you will head over to enjoy in full. Thanks Sally.

A few weeks ago Diana Wallace Peach shared her trial period using Vella to publish a serial once a month with Amazon… this is here update on the experiment.

Why I deleted my Kindle Vella story

I tried, I really did try.

Kindle Vella is an Amazon beta program in the US which allows authors to post serial stories in episodes. The mechanics of setting up a Vella story, posting episodes, and editing them is easy. There aren’t any deadlines, and there isn’t much of a risk since stories can be deleted and republished later as a book.

I was undecided about whether Vella and I were a good fit, but committed myself to giving it a try…

Until yesterday.

I sent Amazon an email, and they deleted the story for me.

Why did I give up?


Head over to read the post in full and find out why Diana gave up, especially if you are considering using Vella to publish: Why I deleted my Kindle Vella Story by D.Wallace Peach

Valentina Cirasola interviews Robbie Cheadle as part of her series Autumn With An Author.. Robbie shares the background to reading and writing from a young age, her books so far and her WIPs which are all very interesting..

Autumn With An Author : Robbie Cheadle 

I would like to introduce a multi-talented Author Robbie Cheadle from South Africa. She often writes with her son and participates to anthologies. Her talents show up in various expressions of life, I will let her telling the rest.

Books by Roberta Cheadle

Words have power. When did you realize you could use the power of words in your own book to tell people your opinion, feelings, ideas or fantasy?

Head over to discover the answer to that question and the rest this lovely interview with Robbie Cheadle by Valentina Cirasola: Autumn with an Author – Robbie Cheadle.

The next post is from Olga Nunez Miret who hosted a leg of the book launch for The Sound of Violet by Allen Wolf.. Now a major motion picture..

Hi all, as you can see, I’m participating in a Virtual Blog Tour today. This one is a bit special, as you’ll soon realise:
Desperate to find a soulmate, Shawn goes on one awkward date after another until he encounters the alluring Violet. He starts dating her, but his autism keeps him from realizing that she’s actually a prostitute. Shawn thinks he’s found a potential wife while Violet thinks she’s found her ticket to a brand new life. This hilarious and dramatic award-winning story has been adapted into a major motion picture.

Head over to find out more about the book and read Olga’s review: Olga Nunez Miret – Review The Sound of Violet

This week Colleen Chesebro Tanka Tuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge is a photoprompt.. courtesy of Merril D. Smith and it is an intriguing lithograph..head over to find out more about the Ekphrastic nature of this prompt.

Details of how to participate, cheat sheet, poetic forms and the larger image of the photoprompt are here: Colleen Chesebro Challenge 244 – Ekphrastic Photoprompt

This post by Jennie Fitzkee shares some wise words by Robert Fulghum about what real life lessons children should learn in kindergarten.. and with over 30 years experience of teaching children of this age group, Jennie concurs 100%… the life lessons could well be applied to adults with a little tweaking.

The Most Important Things in Life

Bottom line = times have changed, but children have not. What they need and want is the same as it has always been. Academics are one thing, but in order to get there, children have to be grounded in the most important things in life.

I have taught preschool for over thirty years, and I know children and what they need. It’s all the little things that mean the most, as they become the big things in life.

A few years after I got my feet wet teaching, I read Robert Fulghum’s book, All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten. That had a profound influence on my career. His opening essay seemed to take all the stars in the sky and bring them to earth in a simple package; for me it validated what I was learning, and how I was teaching children. 

Head over to discover these important life lessons and enjoy the post: The Most Important Things in Life with Jennie Fitzkee


Thanks for droppin in today and I hope you will head over to read the posts in full.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Thursday September 16th 2021 – Colleen Chesebro, D.G. Kaye, Valentina Cirasola with Teagan Riordáin Geneviene, Balroop Singh, Rebecca Budd with Miriam Hurdle

A small selection of posts I have enjoyed this week and I hope you will head over to enjoy in full…. thanks Sally.

The first post is from Colleen Chesebro with this week’s Tanka Tuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge. It is synonyms only… with the prompt words Family and Peace… Many a poetry collection has been inspired by those of us participating in Colleen’s challenge and worth remembering that by writing a poem every week, at the end of the year you have 52 ready for a collection.. Colleen has a number of pages which provide the details of the various forms and links to other sites to help you create your poem. Also check out the next post which is a five star review for Colleen’s definitive guide to syllabic poetry which I can also highly recommend. Word Craft Prose & Poetry


Head over to read the post in full, particularly if you have not participated before: Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge

Following on from the post above, here is the 5 star review for Colleen’s guide to syllabic poetry by D.G. Kaye.. Debby Gies.

Bitmo Sunday book review

Welcome to my Sunday Book Review. Today I’m thrilled to review Colleen Chesebro’s latest book – Word Craft Prose & Poetry – The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry. If you are a lover of poetry writing, I would highly recommend this book. You’ll have to read my review below to find out why! 

Head over to read the post in full including Debby’s review for the book: Sunday Book Review – Word Craft Prose & Poetry by Colleen Chesebro

The next post is from Valentina Cirasola and is her interview with fantasy author Teagan Riordáin Geneviene who shares the background to her books and in particular the serieal novellas being published monthly on Amazon.

Today, my guest is an author from New Mexico with a vivid imagination. She writes fantasy books for adults. When I saw her on Google+ I was attracted to her unusual name Teagan Riordáin Geneviene and the striking cover of the book she was writing “The Delta Pearl”. The sepia tone of the cover and the entire imagery made me fantasize being on the river boat and immediately took me back to that Jazz era I like so much. People say don’t judge a book by the cover… I let Teagan speak. 

Head over to enjoy this interesting interview and discover more about Teagan and her work: Autumn With An Author: Teagan Geneviene

The next post is a very powerful poem by Balroop Singh that I believe should be shared far and wide. For too long the powerlessness of woman around the globe in war torn and violence dominated societies has been allowed to fester..

Photo credit: SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images) 

Despair and suffering has been the fate of women for centuries. I am dismayed that it still is in many parts of the globe. The long, endless battle against conservative forces that take pleasure in subjugation continues! The following poem is inspired from this thought.

Head over to read this powerful call to action: Seeking by Balroop Singh

And the final post today is from Rebecca Budd interviewing poet Miriam Hurdle who shares her positive approach to the devastating cancer diagnosis and treatment and how her gratitude inspired her collection Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude. Miriam shares some of her poetry and you will also find some wonderful examples in the post.

I am your host Rebecca Budd, and I am looking forward to sharing this moment with you. I am delighted and thrilled that poet and writer, Miriam Hurdle and I are connecting California and British Columbia to discuss how nature’s capacity for healing has ignited her poetic journey. Miriam’s book of poetry, “Songs of Heartstrings: Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude” is an exploration into the breadth and depth of the human experience, of feeling the joy of being alive, of living with hope even when faced with difficult pathways.

Head over to enjoy the interview and to listen to some of Miriam’s wonderful poetry: Miriam Hurdle on Poems of Gratitude and Beatitude


Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to enjoy these terrific posts in full.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Thursday 10th October – D.G. Kaye Interviews Marian Beaman – Jane Sturgeon and Friendship and Colleen Chesebro Gutenberg

This series is an opportunity to showcase posts from around our community and the brilliant bloggers who share with us. It would be amazing if you would follow the links to the post I have highlighted and whilst visiting follow and support the blogger.

The first post is another of D.G. Kaye (Debby Gies) Q &A and last week it was with debut memoir author Marian Longenecker Beaman. This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase your work and I know that Debby is getting booked up.. so head over and ask if she can fit you in before Christmas (sorry about mentioning that word!).

D.G, Kaye Book Promotions

Welcome to my Q & A Interview Series and book Promotion. I am delighted to be interviewing writer, blogger, and newly published author, Marian Beaman. Marian has very recently published her debut book – Mennonite Daughter, her memoir, which I highly recommend. Marian grew up as a Mennonite girl while all the while yearning to shed her plain Mennonite clothes for a more stylish and fancier wardrobe. Her book takes us through her strict upbringing to her eventual emancipation from the norms she grew up with while still keeping the faith.

Marian Beaman

Head over to find out more about Marian and her recently published memoir Mennonite Daughter:

D. G. Kaye – Buy:
Blog: Goodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads

Catch up with Debby’s Travel Column here every month:

The next post is from Jane Sturgeon and a lovely reminder how important it is to have people around you that love and support you..

The Wind Beneath Our Wings

I saw an oldie but goodie this morning and it made me chuckle. Thank you, Debby and Sally. ❤

Women are angels and when someone breaks our wings, we simply continue to fly, on a broomstick. We’re flexible like that!

Yesterday I played hookey and went with lovely friends to visit a wonderful converted old mill in Flintshire, North Wales, where all the stone buildings are filled with yarn, fabrics and craft supplies. There is also a restaurant selling yummy homemade food on-site, which will not come as a surprise to any of you.

The day was filled with support for each other while we chose the things we needed for future projects, bounced ideas around and at times were bent double with laughter. Plus, there was a sale on, so the bargains we found were a bonus.

Head over to read the rest of this lovely post:

Amazon: sturgeon/e/B07X251GLP/ – Blog: Facebook:

The next post is part two of a guide to the Gutenberg Editor that Colleen Chesebro has now been testing for us over the last few months. It looks like the classic editor so beloved my millions of us will be put out to pasture by the end of 2021.. so two years left. At some point if we wish to continue blogging here on WordPress we will be using Gutenberg… so no better person to talk us through it than Colleen with her detailed guide. I have bookmarked.

The Basics of Gutenberg Part Two

Don’t let the new WordPress Editor Scare You!

I hope you all found the time to create a test blog where you can experiment and play with the Gutenberg editor basics. Not sure what I’m talking about? Click HERE to read the first post.

I was thrilled to learn that some of you jumped right in and created your test blog so you could experiment with the new editor. When I first started blogging in 2014, the very first blogger to follow me was E.C.

Here are her comments from the first post:

Thanks for posting this. This is the first I’d heard of a date they’d plan to end my blogging comfort and joy discontinue the old Classic Editor. Thanks for trying to help make the changes for me and other like me, easier. I really appreciate it. Thanks so much.

Update: I went and made a test blog and tried the new editor.

It’s going to take some time for me to get used to it. But it’s not nearly as scary as I had feared. Thanks for suggesting making a test blog. It’s going to be a huge help in getting me comfortable with the new system.

Thanks again.
E.C. from

The WordPress editor is here to stay and we must all learn to function in a blogging world filled with blocks of data. Can you do it? Of course, you can!

Head over to read the entire post and follow Colleen’s excellent instructions:

Colleen Chesebro, Buy: – Goodreads: Colleen at Goodreads Website:

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that you will head over to read these posts in full.. thanks Sally



Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Tuesday October 1st 2019 – #Challenge Special – Colleen Chesebro, D.Wallace Peach,Charli Mills and Carol J. Foster

Today I would love to encourage you to delve into the world to online challenges and have some to recommend. Not only is it great writing practice but it also pushes a few creativity buttons, especially when it is outside your comfort zone.

The first is Colleen Chesebro’s Tuesday Tanka Challenge and I have two links for you. The first is the announcement of the poet of the week plus honorable mentions from yesterday and the second is this week’s challenge.

Poet of the week and Honorable Mentions – with links to last week’s participants.

Congratulations, and many thanks to all the participants! Please visit the challenge post comments HERE and HERE where you’ll find the links to everyone’s poetry. Stop by and say hello!

The Poet of the Week

This week, I’ve chosen H. R. R. Gorman as the Poet of the Week for his Haibun/Cinquain poem featured below. I see he followed the Haibun directions to a tee! Here are my observations.

Haibun poetry must have a title. Structure your prose with short descriptive paragraphs written in the first person singular. Remember, when you write a Haibun the experience must unfold as if you are observing the occurrence before you.

The poetry portions should never repeat what you’ve already stated in your prose. The poetry should reflect another aspect of your prose. The two pieces are different – yet somehow connected.

The American cinquain is an unrhymed, five-line poetic form—the first line has two syllables, the second has four, the third six, the fourth eight, and the fifth two (2-4-6-8-2).

I also think a Haibun pairs well with any other syllabic form, except a Haiga, which should standalone – Just my opinion. 😀

Head over and read this lovely poem by H.R.R. Gorman and those of the honorable mentions (I am one!):

And find out about this week’s challenge, which is Poet’s Choice, where we can choose our own prompts:

The next challenge is the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction inspired and curated by Charli Mills and each week the participants follow a prompt with 99 words no more no less. Here are some of the submissions for last week to give you an idea of the amazing stories in the challenge.

Between the big moments in life, there are interludes. Like the sweet piece during an orchestra’s intermission or the pause between acts in a play, these interludes set a different pace. Perhaps the temporal episodes add up to characterize more than a transition. They can even become more important than the significant markers of life.

What will writers make of interludes? You can count on variety and enlightening ideas.

The following are based on the September 19, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about an interlude.

PART I (10-minute read)

Sweet Interlude by Ritu Bhathal

Sophia leaned against the headboard, taking a drag of her cigarette.
She smiled at her reflection in the mirror; hair messed up, lipstick a mere stain left on her lips.
She watched him pull his pants back on.
“Hurry, Sophia!”
Marco slipped his shirt on, still buttoning as he left.
Voices. Her supervisor was coming.
She flushed the cigarette down the toilet, changed, and flung the door open.
“Oh Sir, these guests, too much! Smoking in here. Smell it!”
She bustled out, to the next room waiting to be cleaned, wondering when her next interlude with Marco would be…


A Woman Scorned by TN Kerr

It was early morning when Enrique crept home. Treading softly and turning his key slow; he eased the door inward. He started when a heavy glass ashtray bounced off the wall and shattered. Mesmerized, he watched as pieces of glass scampered across the dark blue tile floor. It brought to mind ‘la galassia via lattea’ it was beautiful. So was the dark-haired fury who came in quick and attacked.

“Ma il mio amore, eravamo in pausa.” Enrique shouted as he tried in vain to dodge her blows.
Marida continued to pummel him. Her fierce countenance set and forbidding.


Head over and read the other submissions:

This week the challenge will morph into a contest for October with a judging panel and prizes and you can read more about that in last week’s challenge post:

And the third challenge that I personally have been participating in is the monthly speculative fiction originally on the blog of Diana Wallace Peach but due to commitments the baton has now passed over to Carol J. Foster.

In the form of a photo prompt, the challenge give you the freedom to write within any genre that you wish, poetry etc without word restrictions. Keep your eye out for October’s challenge and here is a little bit about Carol Foster.

me newport show

Carol Forrester is a writer trying to be a better one. She’s currently working on her first novel ‘Darkened Daughter’ and attempting to put together a collection of poetry in the hopes of submitting to publication in 2020.

She has a 2:1 BA degree in history from Bath Spa University, enjoys judo at least twice a week, and tries to attend poetry events around the Midlands when she can.b4b80-chiaroscoru

Her flash fiction story ‘Glorious Silence’ was named as River Ram Press’ short story of the month for August 2014 and her short story ‘A Visit From The Fortune Teller’ has been showcased on the literary site Ink Pantry. Her poems ‘Sunsets’ and ‘Clear Out‘ were featured on Eyes Plus Words, and two of her poems were included in the DVerse Poets Pub Publication ‘Chiaroscuro’ which is available for purchase on amazon.

More recently her poem ‘Until The Light Gets In‘ was accepted and published at The Drabble and her poem ‘Newborn’ was published by Ink Sweat & Tears.

She has been lucky enough to write guest posts for sites such as Inky Tavern and Song of The Forlorn and has hosted a number of guest bloggers here on Writing and Works.

She hopes that 2019 will be the year that she finally sees herself as a proper writer.

Find out more and join the challenge:

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope to see you during one of these challenges or all of them… a great opportunity to share your writing skills and keep you out of mischief!! Thanks Sally