Smorgasbord Laughter is the Best Medicine – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – ATM’s and Spaghetti


Firstly, some funnies from Debby Gies followed by some funnies from Sally. Thanks to those who share the funnies on the internet.

D.G. Writes is where you will find an archive full of wonderful posts across several subjects including writing tips, social issues and book reviews.

My thanks to Debby for excellent foraging

D. G. Kaye – Buy: Amazon US And: Amazon UK Blog: D.G. WritesGoodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads – Twitter: @pokercubster

Debby’s new series Spiritual Awareness.. Spiritual Awareness – Empaths and Energy Sucking Vampires and Narcissists

Now for some fun from Sally….

As you know I do like to pass on pearls of wisdom and marriage is one of those topics that everyone tends to talk about!  Here is part two I have found to share with you.

Marriage!

For several years, a man was having an affair with an Italian woman. One night, she confided in him that she was pregnant. Not wanting to ruin his reputation or his marriage, he paid her a large sum of money if she would go to Italy to secretly have the child.

If She Stayed In Italy To Raise The Child, He Would Also Provide Child Support Until The Child Turned 18.

She agreed, but asked how he would know when the baby was born. To keep it discrete, he told her to simply mail him a post card, and write ‘Spaghetti’ on the back. He would then arrange for the child support payments to begin.

One day, about 9 months later, he came home to his confused wife. ‘Honey’, she said, ‘you received a very strange post card today’.

‘Oh, really? Let me see…’, he said. The wife gave it to him and watched as her husband read the card, turned white, and fainted. On the card was written: ‘Spaghetti, Spaghetti, Spaghetti. Two with meatballs, one without. Send extra sauce.’

Thank you for joining us today and we hope you are leaving with a smile on your face.. Debby and Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! – Guest Round Up – Part Two – D.G. Kaye, Sandra Cox, Roberta Eaton Cheadle, Stevie Turner, Dorothy Grover-Read, Terry Tyler, Alex Craigie, Jacqui Murray, D.L. Finn, Rebecca Budd


Over the last three months, I have been privileged to share the thoughts and wisdom of friends within the writing community in response to the prompt ‘I Wish I Knew Now What I Knew Then!’. In case you have missed any of these guest posts I will be sharing their links in this catch up series.

Today my friend and fellow collaborator and non-fiction author D.G. Kaye (Debby Gies) shares her thoughts on learning from life lessons.

#Life – I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by D.G. Kaye Posted on June 2, 2022

Author Sandra Cox relives those days of manual typewriters and correction fluid that made creating a manuscript so interesting, especially when you needed to correct a paragraph halfway through the book!. Not to mention the snail mail approach to getting a publisher!

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! #Pre-historic #Publishing by Sandra Cox

Author, blogger and master baker Roberta Eaton Cheadle shares how it is important to grab opportunities when they present themselves as they open doors to not just successful careers but the fulfillment of other passions such as baking, poetry and publishing.

#Life – I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Author Stevie Turner shares her experiences with dentists in her teenage years and the probable devastating effect it had on her health.

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! #Dentists by Stevie Turner

Newspaper and radio reporter, music promoter and hotelier Dorothy Grover-Read New Vintage Kitchen  shares a letter she would write to her younger self.

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! #Letter to my younger self by Dorothy Grover-Read

Author Terry Tyler addresses a number of issues facing us as we grow up including the generation gap, affairs of the heart and making the most of your roaring twenties…

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! #Life by Terry Tyler

Author Alex Craigie shares some of her childhood escapades and encounters with nature, and how a regret still remains with her 47 years later regarding a family rift and the impact on what should have been the happiest day of her life.

Wedding – I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by Alex Craigie

Author Jacqui Murray shares the five things, that as a writer she wishes she knew then…wonderful insight for new authors about to begin their journey and a great review of useful tips for more established writers.

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! – #Writing, #Genres, #Indie Jacqui Murray

Author Denise Finn looks back on her teenage years that whilst rebellious in some respects also held some dark times. As an adult, she wishes she could go back and reassure her younger self that it would all work out fine.

#Life – I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by D.L. Finn

Writer, blogger and podcaster shares her thoughts in wonderful style by video, Rebecca Budd… Rebeccas believes one of the key elements to a happy life, is to live in the present and make every moment count.

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by Rebecca Budd

 

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have caught up with any of the posts in the series you might have missed. Thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Travel Column Rewind with D.G. Kaye – San Juan, Puerto Rico


Welcome to this month’s edition of the Travel Column. Today I’m going to talk about San Juan, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico (Spanish for ‘rich port’), is an unincorporated territory of the United States, although it currently resembles a country that stands alone.

Please check on travel restrictions before booking your holiday: Puerto Rico – Travel Guidelines

The island is also affectionately dubbed, ‘La isla del encanto’ – the island of enchantment. Founded by Spanish colonists, Puerto Rico is also considered a Caribbean island located approximately 1000 miles southeast of Miami, Florida and just east of the Dominican Republic. It is also one of the smallest islands in the Greater Antilles being only 100 miles long and 35 miles wide. Puerto Rico is home to almost three and a half million people. The language spoken is predominantly Spanish and the capital city is San Juan.

Puerto Ricans have been considered American since 1917, although it is not recognized as a state, nor do Puerto Ricans have a voice in congress or get to vote in American elections. Puerto Rico’s political status has always been a bone of contention and an ongoing matter of significant debate.

The island was named ‘Porto Rico’ by the U.S. after the Treaty of Paris, signed by Spain and the U.S., ending the Spanish/American war. And its name was changed back to Puerto Rico in 1931 giving it the official name – the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

One of the many remaining fortress walls still standing.

A bit of History

Puerto Rico was colonized by Spain after the arrival of Christopher Columbus circa 1493 and became populated by the Taino people, an indigenous people who became the main inhabitants of the island as they did in various other Caribbean islands. This island endured several other takeovers and wars through the years until 1898 when poet, journalist, and politician – Luis Munoz Rivera among others, tried to persuade the Spanish government to grant Puerto Rico as a self-governing island, ultimately organized as an overseas province of Spain as of July 17, 1898. This turned out to be short-lived as the United States was determined to take over the island and finally did so by invading on July 25, a mere week after Puerto Rico acquired autonomy, during the Spanish/American war.

In 1914 the Puerto Rican House of Delegates voted unanimously to separate from the U.S., but this was never to be. In 1917 the U.S. passed the Jones Act, which deemed all Puerto Ricans born on or after April 25th 1898, a U.S. citizen. This prompted the natives to believe citizenship was granted in order to enlist more soldiers for their war.

Since 2009, Puerto Rico and U.S. have had many sorted issues and referendums with Puerto Rico wanting to become a fully recognized state of the U.S. Ultimately, in June of 2016 the Supreme court ruled that Puerto Rico is a territory and lacks sovereignty, and although on Obama’s watch and him promising to deliver a clear decision on them becoming a state, it never happened.

Disaster

We’d have to have been sleeping under a rock if we aren’t aware that the island of Puerto Rico was ravaged by two hurricanes, Irma and Maria on September 6th of 2017. Irma hit first as a category 5 hurricane, recorded as the most powerful hurricane to ever hit the island, devastating much of the north east of the island where San Juan is situated, causing catastrophic damage. The island’s electrical grid was mostly destroyed causing the biggest power outage in the history of the U.S. Maria hit shortly afterward, completely knocking out what was left of the power grid and killing approximately 3000 citizens, mostly from the aftermath of having no power for food preservation and medical attention.

Recovery efforts were and still are slow and had some 200,000 residents moving to the mainland state of Florida. As of January 2018, 40% of Puerto Rico was still without power. Total damage estimated to the island was 95 billion dollars. A November 2017 report by the Sierra Club stated: “It will take years to rebuild Puerto Rico, not just from the worst hurricane to make landfall since 1932, but to sustainably overcome environmental injustices which made Maria’s devastation even more catastrophic.” In May 2017 the defensive council of natural resources claimed Puerto Rico’s water system is the worst as measured by the Clean Water Act, leaving 70% of the population who drank/drink water that violates U.S. law.

Climate

The climate of Puerto Rico is considered – tropical rain forest. Temperatures range from mid to high 80s all year long with a rainy season which stretches from April through November, and a total of approximately 196 rainy days per year.

Culture

Puerto Rico is rich in culture. Their art scene is packed with history with their Museum of Art hosting classical pieces dating back as far at the 17th century as well as galleries and street murals which timelessly represent the island’s culture and history.

Music and dancing are part of the island’s culture with traditional salsa to its traditional African roots music – bomba y plena, their music will have you dancing the nights away.
Festivals are a weekly thing with Puerto Ricans offering live bands, parades and amusement park rides. Every festival relates to one of their many traditions. Most festivals are held in San Juan, but many other smaller towns participate and are said to be worthy of traveling to, to experience their culture.

Some notable festivals: Third week of January in Old San Juan celebrates Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastian where locals celebrate the end of the holiday season by throwing parties with live music, artists and circus performances.

Visit art fairs, workshops, theatrical performances and more between May 3rd to 5th as La Campechada festival brings together these performers and musicians with intent to educate the public about their Puerto Rican culture.

June 23rd in San Juan, take part in the Noche de San Juan where locals celebrate the nativity of Saint John the Baptist. Take part in the annual tradition where hundreds of people line the beaches partying till midnight and then jumping backwards into the ocean 7 times to ensure good luck.

There are many more traditions held on this island where you will find celebrations at least once a month, and many more at Christmas time.

Recommended Places to Go

Old San Juan is a must see with its cobblestone streets and unique architecture, spanning 500 years of history. Trolleys are free and you can also book guided tours to learn more about local cuisine and historical background. Besides being noted for being one of the best preserved Spanish colonial cities, San Juan has many historic landmarks, museums, galleries, many are free of charge to enter. It also hosts two famous forts built during the 16th century.

Visit El Yungue Rainforest – the only rainforest part of the U.S. National Forest System where you will find waterfalls, rivers and over 200 species of birds. As this rainforest is approximately an hour drive from San Juan, you can choose to get there by car, horseback or ziplining!

Pinones, Loiza is minutes away from San Juan where you’ll encounter an Afro-Caribbean neighborhood complete with authentic street food and a nearby beach to take a dip in between exploring.

How about spelunking, rock climbing and rafting? Discover the caves of Puerto Rico and discover indigenous hieroglyphs. Cueva Ventana (Window Cave), located in Arecibo, approximately an hour away from San Juan, is one of the most notable caves in Puerto Rico, which isn’t an underground cave but overlooks the Rio Grande de Arecibo valley, creating a window frame-like opening on a mountain overlooking the river below.

San Juan also offers, golf at various hotels, and casinos. And Puerto Rico is very welcoming and embraces their LGBTQ community.

Shopping

San Juan offers lots of duty-free shopping close-by to the cruise ship port as well as many other quaint boutiques worth visiting scattered around Old San Juan. Besides current trends in clothing and jewelry also offered at the ports there is a huge outlet mall for some of the big designer names we’ve all come to know. They also have a massive Marshall’s store, similar to the brand Winners and TJ Max. And along strolling around you will find various souvenirs, local arts and crafts, panama hats, local hot sauces, spices, handmade jewelry and more!

Beaches

Puerto Rico boasts almost 300 beaches! The island attracts many avid water sport lovers. El Escambron in San Juan is one of the most picturesque beaches in San Juan where you can stroll the beach, snorkel and swim. A few more notable beaches around Puerto Rico you can read more about HERE

You can find an extensive list of where to stay when visiting Puerto Rico HERE

Fun Fact! The famous Pina Colada was born in Puerto Rico!

On a personal note, I have always been fascinated with Puerto Rico but have yet to get there. This past winter we had previously booked a cruise which had a stop in San Juan that we sadly had to cancel. But I fully intend on visiting that island one day.

Here is a video of some of the recommended places to visit courtesy of K-nep Images

Have any of you ever been to Puerto Rico?

Please let us know if you have experiences of visting Puerto Rico that you would like to share, and as always a huge thank you to Debby for sharing her own travel expertise.

©D.G. Kaye 2019

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.

I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:

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

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

Books by D.G. Kaye

One of the reviews for Have Bags Will Travel

marjorie mallon5.0 out of 5 stars A fun travel/shopping memoir which will have you laughing Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 21 February 2021

This is such a hoot, what a laugh!

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

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

Have Bags Will Travel gives a historical account of how much easier it used to be to take overstuffed baggage through airports in the good old days. Now, it seems that D G Kaye will resort to anything to get her shopping home.

Zan and D G Kaye also travel to Paris and end up shopping for shoes!

There are manmade toboggan rides in Muskoka, Canada.

Trips to Venezuela: Margarita Island and Caracas with cousin Eileen.

Las Vegas, Then and Now – gambling/casinos, fond memories of the author’s love of the desert.

Have Bags Will Travel is just what we need right now, a good giggle! There is also a section at the back of the book with Helpful Travel tips.

A short, entertaining read. Highly recommended, especially for the shopoholics and travel enthusiasts in your life!

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – follow Debby: Goodreads – Blog: D.G. Kaye Writer – About me: D.G. Kaye – Twitter: @pokercubster Linkedin: D.G. Kaye – Facebook: D.G. Kaye – Instagram: D.G. Kaye – Pinterest: D.G. Kaye


 

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


Today I am sharing some of the memoirs on the shelves of the bookstore often poignant, heartwarming and always inspiring. Great gifts for lovers of real stories.

The first memoir is by D.G. Kaye and is a self-help book which will strike a chord with all women of a certain age! Meno-What?: Memorable Moments of Menopause.

About the book

“I often found myself drifting from a state of normal in a sudden twist of bitchiness.”

From PMS to menopause to what the hell?

D.G. adds a touch of humor to a tale about a not-so-humorous time. While bidding farewell to her dearly departing estrogen, D.G. struggles to tame her raging hormones of fire, relentless dryness, flooding and droughts and other unflattering symptoms.

Join D.G. on her meno-journey to slay the dragons of menopause as she tries to hold on to her sanity, memory, hair, and so much more!

One of the recent reviews for the book

D. W. Peach 5.0 out of 5 stars A memoir/guide filled with good humor and good sense Reviewed in the United States on September 27, 2021

I tried to read this book in bed before nodding off, but my husband made me go downstairs… apparently my laughter was keeping him up. As someone who’s gone through “The Change,” I found this book highly relatable and, at times, laugh out loud funny. Kaye recommends laughter as a way of dealing with this shocking stage of life, and her account of her own battle with menopause and post-menopausal changes demonstrates that conviction.

Kaye gives an overview of the biological changes, reminds us that she isn’t a doctor, and clarifies that every woman will experience this misery in different ways. Besides offering plenty of opportunities for laughter, she provides suggestions for ways to manage our changing bodies. I especially related to her discussion of post-menopausal changes that begin with a stage called “What the Hell?”

Her anecdotes are relatable… the covers on/covers off routine… opening the car window to let the snow blow in… “alligator” skin… sagging, spots, you name it, she covers the gamut and all with sardonic wit, disbelief, good sense, and a determination to fight back. This book is a memoir but one that doubles as a guide for women during their menopausal journeys. Highly recommended.

Also by D.G. Kaye

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – follow Debby: Goodreads – : Blog: D.G. Kaye Writer – Twitter: @pokercubsterLinkedin: D.G. Kaye – Facebook: D.G. Kaye – Instagram: D.G. Kaye – Pinterest: D.G. Kaye

Our lives collect moments that stand out in our memories…as in the case of  Flashes of Life: True Tales of the Extraordinary Ordinary by Pamela S. Wight

One of the recent reviews for the collection

Oct 15, 2021 Darlene Foster rated it five stars

I was taught if you look hard enough, you will find something in common with everyone you meet. I haven´t met Pamela Wight in person but I feel like I know her well and it didn’t take much looking to find I have a lot in common with her. I love these vignettes of life that she describes so well. She had me laughing and crying, often at the same time. Who hasn´t been caught dancing around the house to a favourite song, embarrassed their children or longed for a heart to heart with a young adult son. The author´s love for her mom, spouse, children, grandchildren and dogs pours off the pages. These ordinary stories prove that when we put together the pieces of our life, we can see it is an extraordinary life after all. A feel good read.

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

Also by Pamela S. Wight

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Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – follow Pamela : Goodreads – website:Rough Wighting – Twitter: @pamelawight

Next Cynthia Reyes with a recent review for her memoir which is her journey from early life in Jamaica to North America… A Good Home.

About the Book

A Good Home is an addictive read, a profoundly emotional book about the author’s early life in rural Jamaica, her move to urban North America, and her trips back home, all told through vivid descriptions of the unique homes she has lived in — from a tiny pink house in Jamaica and a mountainside cabin near Vancouver to the historic Victorian farmhouse she lives in today, surrounded by neighbors who share spicy Malaysian noodles and seafood, Greek pastries and roast lamb, and Italian tomato sauce and wine (really strong wine).

Full of lovingly drawn characters and vividly described places, A Good Home takes the reader through deeply moving stories of marriage, children, the death of parents, and an accident that takes its high-flying author down a humbling notch. Its pages sparkle with stories and reflections on home as:

A foundation on which to build connections with children, relatives, and friends
A place to celebrate the joys of elegant design, overflowing gardens (except for the wisteria vine, which cannot be coaxed into blooming), and the sharing of good food
A wise teacher, showing us who we really were — and who we really are

When this brave, clear-eyed, and honest book returns, full circle, to the way it began, readers will want to read it all over again.

One of the recent reviews for the book

This is the second of the author’s three non-fiction books purchased and read over the summer – what a gift!

There are three themes:

1. How your physical and emotional environment becomes you and vice versa

2. How one’s faith is messy at times – we are not promised an easy road, just company along the journey

3. How life’s trials do not come in neat little packages, but persistence and love will help you unwrap them

All three themes resonated with me. I loved learning about the author’s early days, family tales, homes, and gardening, some different from mine, many the same. I also love how she is candid about struggles with faith and openly expresses her questions, not suppressing them as most do. In turn, she is provided with candid responses that support her journey. I also read with tremendous interest the author’s experience with post-trauma recovery which is oftentimes messy and requires sheer persistence during the “going-through” phase until the light breaks through the clouds. I found myself cheering her on as she navigated and negotiated her recovery process!

Such rawness is rare and a sublime talent to do so with poignancy. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us!

Also by Cynthia Reyes

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – Amazon CA – And : Amazon UK – Follow Cynthia : Goodreads – Website:Cynthia ReyesTwitter: @CynthiaSReyes

The next memoir with a recent review is written by ovarian cancer survivor, author and retired nurse.. an inspiration Karen Ingalls – Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Survivor.

About Outshine

When Karen Ingalls was diagnosed with Stage II Ovarian Cancer, she realized how little she knew about what was once called ”the silent killer.” As Ingalls began to educate herself she felt overwhelmed by the prevalent negativity of cancer. Lost in the information about drugs, side effects, and statistics, Ingalls redirected her energy to focus on the equally overwhelming blessings of life, learning to rejoice in each day and find peace in spirituality.

In this memoir, Karen is a calming presence and positive companion, offering a refreshing perspective of hope with the knowledge that ”the beauty of the soul, the real me and the real you, outshines the effects of cancer, chemotherapy, and radiation.”

Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir is a story of survival, and reminds readers that disease is not an absolute, but a challenge to recover.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Robin McGraw 5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational and well guided Reviewed in the United States on June 28, 2021

I have had the pleasure of meeting Karen Ingalls at a few of the support groups recently. I am a one year survivor of endometrial cancer. Karen has been so very helpful to myself and many other survivors as this I am sure of. She is there for any question or encouragement you may need. She is truly an inspiration to be positive and on the right path with my journey going forward. I read her book Outshine recently and find her even more amazing as she has shared her inner thoughts and own journey with us. The book is very well written and very interesting to read as she takes you through a life with Cancer and the challenges it faces for many of us. Thank you Karen for being so thoughtful, caring, inspiring and truly a wonderful human being!!! I look forward to reading more of your books in the future. Much Love to you and your family.

Other books by Karen Ingalls

All proceeds from the book sales go to gynecologic cancer research.

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Karen: Goodreads – Blog: Karen Ingalls – Twitter: @KIngallsAuthor

The next memoir is by  Marian Longenecker Beaman the story of her life growing up within the Mennonite community… Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl.

About the book

What if the Mennonite life young Marian Longenecker chafed against offered the chance for a new beginning? What if her two Lancaster County homes with three generations of family were the perfect launch pad for a brighter future? Readers who long for a simpler life can smell the aroma of saffron-infused potpie in Grandma’s kitchen, hear the strains of four-part a capella music at church, and see the miracle of a divine healing.

Follow the author in pigtails as a child and later with a prayer cap, bucking a heavy-handed father and challenging church rules. Feel the terror of being locked behind a cellar door. Observe the horror of feeling defenseless before a conclave of bishops, an event propelling her into a different world.

Fans of coming-of-age stories will delight in one woman’s surprising path toward self-discovery, a self that lets her revel in shiny red shoes.

One of the recent reviews for the memoir

Different moments in Mennonite Daughter: The Story of a Plain Girl stood out to me such as running through old tombstones from the Revolutionary War (the fact that they were just there on the path Marian played on really captured my imagination), the unfortunate relationship with her dad who was so unreachable and the frustrating showdown over her completely appropriate clothing choices with the “leaders” of the school. I also enjoyed the “everyday” photos from her life like the kitchen utensils and recipes. They, quite literally, brought me into her home. But I think Marian Beaman’s love story with her husband Cliff and how it led her to exactly where and who she was were supposed to be is what stays with me the most. And his drawing of Marian is beautiful.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Marian : Goodreads – blog: Marian Beaman – Facebook: Marian Beaman

 

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books… thanks 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.

Blurb:

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 Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 3rd – 9th October 2021 – James Bond, 1979 Hits, Green Kitchen, Stories, Book Reviews, Bloggers, Health and Humour


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

We have been busy enough around here with final end of summer jobs in the garden… more topsoil and the turf coming in next week to complete the lawn work in the front of the house.. and then we finish the back in the next month. They need to be done before we put the house on the market next year and then we can start on the redecoration inside… it is five years since we did the last round and it needs freshening up.

We have been talking about where we go next, it will still be in Ireland and we are leaning towards the coast between Wexford and Waterford giving us access to both of them but still in a rural or coastal location if possible. The motorway that now goes all the way from Dublin to Wexford is to be extended on to Waterford in the next few years and that will make it very much easier to travel that southern coast.

My mother’s family originate from a small hamlet called Ballinacura in cork. Having managed last year to gain access to some records from the 1820s, it looks like the men in the family were pilots who would row out to ships and bring them into harbour. They also worked on the river.. When we move we are going to explore further in person which is much more effective. David’s family moved to Waterford from Cork and so we both have our origins there.

Just a note about the next couple of months. I am in writing mode at the moment and so I am scheduling non time sensitive posts out two weeks or so. If you are in the Cafe and Bookstore and have a new book due to be released.. either on pre-order or available in the next month or so, please email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com so I can put a date in the diary to share the news.

 

We went to see No Time To Die the latest Bond film on Wednesday. It is a long film 2hour 45 minutes but it is action packed and the time flew by. It was certainly a great send off for Daniel Craig as James Bond and tied off quite a few loose ends with some surprises along the way. We had recently rewatched Spectre and this film picks up where the story left off . I still think Skyfall was the best of his films but can recommend this to all Bond fans and it will be interesting who picks up the 007 designation next.  Here is the official trailer courtesy of James Bond 007  

Gwen Plano shared her reviews for three poetry collections in a lovely feature this week and I was in great company with Elizabeth Gauffreau and Colleen Chesebro...

I hope you will pop over to read Gwen’s reviews: Gwen Plano – Reviews for Colleen, Liz and Sally

This week William Price King, Carol Taylor and D.G. Kaye have done an amazing job with their contributions and so grateful to everyone who has visited, liked, commented and shared the posts.

And congratulations to contributor to the laughter series Malcolm Allen and his long term partner Sarah who married earlier in the week. Here is a lovely photograph of the occasion.

On with the show

Chart Hits 1979 Part Two – Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand, Earth Wind and Fire, Abba and Dire Straits

Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen – October 2021 – Yeast Free Raisin and Cinnamon bread, Hair Conditioner, Fabric softener, World Food Day

Usher Taking Things for Granted

Vanessa – In a Dilemma

1965 – Lancashire – The Sound of Music – Something Good and The Lonely Goatherd

Turning Back the Clock – The Hormone Factor Part One – by Sally Cronin

#Anthology – The Shadows We Breathe (volume 1) Edited by Sarah Brentyn and contributing authors

New Review #Memoir – Flashes of Life: True Tales of the Extraordinary Ordinary by Pamela S. Wight

Book Reviews Rewind – #Children’s #Adventure – Felix Finds Out by Elizabeth Merry

September Recap – #Children Dawn Doig, #Dogs Andrew Cotter, #Fantasy Richard Dee, #Poetry Annette Rochelle Aben, #Murder #Mystery Sharon Marchisello

Weekly Grocery Shopping List by Nutrient – Part One – Vitamins A – B by Sally Cronin

Meet My Best Friend San by D.G. Kaye

The amazing Jennie Fitzkee who delights us with her stories from her classroom came to the attention of the producers of the Kelly Clarkson Show and that began a wonderful adventure with the culmination in Jennie’s appearance on the show.

Jennie Fitzkee is a guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show..

How To Write The Perfect Titles For All Your Blog Posts #BloggingTips by Hugh W. Roberts

#Writing and our #Health by D.L. Finn… on Story Empire

#Finance -Squeeze the Most out of Your Money – Part 1 by Sharon Marchisello

Tuesday October 5th 2021- #Connections Jane Sturgeon, #Cats Nikki Fries, #Food Carol Taylor, #Launch Chris Hall and Elizabeth Gauffreau, #Revews Diana Peach

Thursday 7th October 2021 – #Haunting Rebecca Budd, #Reviews Sandra Cox, #Interview Melanie Stewart with Sharon Marchisello, #Update and #Llamas Mary Smith, #OracleCards D.G. Kaye

Old Dog Tray by Sarah Taylor

New Author on the Shelves – #Historical #Witchcraft – Bitter Magic by Nancy Kilgore

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

#Reviews – #Fantasy M.J. Mallon, #Poetry Elizabeth Gauffreau, #Suspense Joan Hall

#Reviews – #Fantasy Yvette Calliero, #Romance #Mystery Mae Clair, #western #romance Sandra Cox

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines Extra Rewind- Courtroom funnies host Sally Cronin

October 7th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Baked Beans and Great Expectations

 

Thanks for dropping in today and hope you have enjoyed the posts.. please join me again next week… 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

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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 – Tuesday September 14th 2021 – Jessica Norrie, D.G. Kaye, Joy Lennick, Carol Taylor, The Story Reading Ape


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

The first post is from Jessica Norrie with an interview with one of the authors in her writing group who has recently published a new novel.

News from the writing group

Some authors roam their keyboards alone, but many like the comfort of a writing group. I found mine when, after weeks critiquing each others’ work on a Writers & Artists course, four of us decided to continue.

When the world was normal we met in an art deco cocktail bar in Holborn. Sometimes we’d emailed extracts in advance, sometimes it was more ad hoc. Then in lockdown we read each others’ entire books and commented, raising our glasses on Zoom. It really has been invaluable.

One of us, Sofia Due, has just published an earlier novel. Ed and Lily is a cleverly constructed story of the dangers of “couple fatigue”

Head over to find out more about the book by Sofia Due: Jessica Norrie with news from the writing group

The next post is from D.G. Kaye (Debby Gies) and is her monthly look at the blogs posting on writing..

Writer's Tips

Welcome to September edition of Writer’s Tips. In this edition it’s chock full of goodies for authors. Author Marketing and a new series open for writers from Sally Cronin. Anne R. Allen keeps us up to date on scams against authors. Ruth Harris on writing the danged blurb. How to structure memoir using storyboard. Harmony Kent on writing in 2nd person, and a warning to check your Google extensions so you aren’t auto-opted in to their exploitive policy.

Head over to check out all the posts as some very helpful information provided: Writer’s Tips – Publishing Scams, Google Caveat, Writing the Blurb, #Scammers, Author Marketing

The next post is by Joy Lennick with a wonderfully detailed tour of the home of the Brontes and the background to their tragic lives and their iconic writing.

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The sun slunk behind a threatening cloud as we trudged, slightly out of breath, up the winding, steep hill, past a tea shop which registered and whispered as we passed…My hitherto excited mood, dampened slightly, but I was determined to enjoy the experience. After all, I was about to visit Haworth Parsonage, where a tragic, literary family doggedly wrote their way through too many illnesses and deaths, and a slender-built young woman literally penned one of my favourite books, JANE EYRE.

Head over to read this delightful post and enjoy the photographs: The Brontes World with Joy Lennick

Carol Taylor shares her packed week in the round up with some sobering facts about rainfall.. something we take for granted here in Ireland.. but in some parts of the world there might only be 3 days a year…there is also an update on plastics, a recipe for coconut cookies how to use neem oil, banana flowers and Saturday Snippets…

Welcome to this week’s edition of my weekly roundup of postsEspecially for you just in case you missed a few posts during this last week…Time is marching on…

 We are now just into the month of September time just fliesYesterday was a sad day of remembrance around the world, particularly in the USA…my thoughts and prayers were with you yesterday as was the rest of the world…for those who lost their lives and for those left behind with memories of the horror…God bless you all xx

Head over to catch up with Carol’s busy week and enjoy her informative and entertaining posts: CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…September 5th-September 11th 2021…Culinary A-Z, Coconut Cookies, Ants, Neem Oil and Banana Flowers…

Now time for some words of wisdom from Aunty Acid that are also very funny, courtesy of The Story Reading Ape, Chris Graham…

Head over to enjoy all the funnies: The Monday Funnies with The Story Reading Ape

 

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

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Thursday 9th September 2021 – D.G. Kaye, Elizabeth Gauffreau, Jim Borden, Pete Springer, Carol Taylor


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

The first post is from earlier in the week from D.G. Kaye (Debby Gies) who shares the meaning of Jewish New Year – Rosh Hashanah and what it means to her personally.

Rosh Hashana

Jewish New Year – Rosh Hashana, What About it?

Jewish New Year came early this year. Every year it falls on a different date because the holidays are based on the 10 month Jewish Calendar. It begins on the Jewish Calendar in the 7th month, Tishrei, which typically falls in September or October on the Gregorian calendar. It is believed to have begun as far back as 6th century BC. Ever wonder what to say on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, when you meet a Jewish person? The Jewish New Year is not just about vowing new goals to lose weight or work out at the gym. 

Head over to read Debby’s informative and personal observations about this important festival: D.G. Kaye – Jewish New Year – Rosh Hashana – What about it?

The next post is from Liz Gauffreau who demonstrates the effectiveness in writing a story in two genres.. in this instance a Tanka and a non-fiction story. N.B Liz has a new poetry book out later this month that is receiving great advance reviews – Grief Songs on pre-order – Amazon USAmazon UK

Youth Group Picnic: A Tale of Two Genres

My dad is the fellow in the middle. According to his Aunt Louise, the crew cut he is sporting made him look “defective.”

Genre Revisited

I have always been fascinated by one of the most basic aspects of the writing process: deciding which genre will best align with the experience I feel inspired to write about. Am I trying to convey a particular emotion? Am I trying to work out the mystery of why people behave the way they do? Am I trying to impose some order on a series of seemingly random events? Do I just want to have some fun and play?

Head over to enjoy both Tanka and story and share your thoughts: Youth Group picnic – a tale of two genres

Something from Jim Borden on the problems that are arising during school board meetings that are turning fractious and sometimes even ugly.

School board members are typically unpaid volunteers, often parents who step forward to shape school policy, choose a superintendent, and review the budget. In most places, and during most times, it was a relatively unremarkable, yet vital position, one that few people paid attention to, or even knew who the members of the local school board were.

But times have changed, reflecting the divisiveness that exists when our country at this moment in time. Look at some of these examples: 

Head over to read the rest of Jim’s post and share your thoughts: Why Would Anyone Want to Be on Their Local School Board?

Next Peter Springer with a thought provoking and reasoned article on the point where we realise we need to act not just on our own behalf but on behalf of others around us. Particularly in relation to the vaccination programme against Covid. I do recommend you head over to read in full.

Photo Credit from CDC

Stop the Madness

When it comes to most matters, I’m one of those people who can typically see both sides of an issue. For example, I don’t own a weapon, but I understand and respect the right of others who own a gun to protect themselves or use a rifle for hunting. I believe an organized society needs fair laws that protect its citizens, and we need the police to uphold those laws. I am a big supporter of law enforcement. I generally think they do an excellent job doing a difficult task, especially given their decisions must happen in a split second. The actions of a few bad ones shouldn’t cloud our judgment of the profession as a whole. At the same time, we can’t bury our heads in the sand as some officers use their positions of authority in abusive ways.  

Head over to read the rest of Pete’s post on this contentious subject: Stop the Madness – Pete Springer

And to finish off today a recipe… as always from Carol Taylor, it is cook from scratch and is delicious. Coconut biscuits/cookies. Carol has also been getting out and about to up her fitness levels.. a reminder to us all (me included) that it makes a difference.

CarolCooks2…In my kitchen…Coconut Biscuits/Cookies…

Coconut Biscuits

I don’t make biscuits very often…I love a homemade cookie/biscuit far more than my waistline does…over the last 18 months I have not walked as much and the pounds have crept on…as I am very close to my 70th birthday…yikes…the motivation to get those pounds off has increased.

I have started walking again however because my feet have gotten soft I gained a glorious blister the other day although I did push it and walked further than I should have… however as it was my first week back on the exercise circuit I know it was stupid of me..

Head over to save the recipe and catch up on Carol’s fitness programme: CarolCooks2…In my kitchen…Coconut Biscuits/Cookies…

 

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

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – July 15th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Pre-Pandemic Funnies(2) and More Witty Sayings


A look back at the things we found funny a few months before Covid found its way into our funnies each week!

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

Check out Debby’s column here on Smorgasbord D.G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships 2020

Now something from Sally

Financial success will help you find some mighty interesting relatives.

Old Bureaucrats never die, they just waste away.

It isn’t whether you win or lose, but how you place the blame.

Crime wouldn’t pay if the government ran it.

People who live in stone houses shouldn’t throw glasses.

If it was not for the last minute, nothing would get done.

A fool and his money are soon elected

Misers are no fun to live with but as ancestors they are great.

If you can’ say anything nice about anybody, let’s hear it now.

Thanks to Wise Crackers for Smart Cookies 1992, recently found on my shelves..and considering the oddities are nearly 30 years old… it shows how little things have changed…

 

Thanks for dropping in and we hope you are leaving with a smile on your face… Debby and Sally.