Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Travel Column with D.G. Kaye – Welcome to St. Martin – Two Countries – One Island

Welcome to St. Martin – Two Countries – One Island by D.G.Kaye

Welcome to this month’s edition of my travel column here at Sally’s Smorgasbord. Today I’ve chosen to share some interesting facts about the beautiful Caribbean island of St. Martin, affectionately named ‘The Friendly Island’.

The island of St. Martin is shared between two countries – French and Dutch. The island is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Caribbean to the west in the northeast of the Caribbean Sea, approximately 190 miles east of Puerto Rico. The whole island is approximately 34 sq. miles with the ownership of each side is usually said to be a 60/40 split, with the French owning approximately 20 sq. miles and the Dutch 13 sq. miles. Although smaller, the Dutch side boasts a heavier populated side than the French side.

History and Legends

The French call their island Saint Martin and the Dutch call it Sint Maarten, and no matter what you choose to call it, it’s one of my favorite islands in the Caribbean.

The island was divided back in 1648 after being taken over several times by various conquerors. The capital of the French side is Marigot and the capital of the Dutch side is Philipsburg. Legend says Christopher Columbus first discovered the island back in 1493.

After several take overs the Dutch built a fort to assert their claim and control access to the island. In the 18th century, a massive influx of African slaves, were imported to the island to develop the sugar cane plantations. On March 23, 1648, the kingdom of France and the Dutch republic agreed to divide the land and created what is still known today as The Treaty of Concordia

There’s an old legend that speaks about how the land was decided to be divided.

Apparently, the natives of each side were asked to choose a ‘walker’. The two walkers began standing back to back and were instructed to walk in opposite directions – no running! At the point where the two met up again was to be declared the dividing line for each one’s country. According to legend, the Frenchman walked faster because he drank wine before the race and the Dutchman drank gin, supposedly the gin was more tiring than the wine. But ultimately, the Dutch accused the Frenchman of running, which apparently didn’t seem to matter because the new perimeters were set with each country officially being deemed with their respective land official.

About the Island

Climate – The dry season with sporadic rain runs from December through May, and the hurricane season typically runs anywhere from June through November where one can also expect tropical storms, particularly in September. Daily annual temperatures typically range anywhere from mid 60s to high 80s throughout the year. Visitor guides will state that mid-November and December, and May and June are the best times climate-wise to visit the island. While November through May will cost more money to visit there, the price for hotels goes down considerably May and June and likewise for the summer/early fall months because of the unpredictable weather. Many hotels on the Atlantic side, in particular, close down during hurricane season.

St. Martin has been hit by several hurricanes through the years, namely, Maria in 2017, which was reported to damage approximately 95% of the French side and 75% of the Dutch side. I was stunned to hear that the island was re-opened for tourists shortly before Christmas of 2017, although it was still in need of major repairs.

Tourism – The main industry for the island relies on tourism. The Dutch side is best known for its beaches, duty-free jewelry, native guava berry liquors, casinos and nightlife. The French side is known more for its nude beaches, clothing, outdoor markets and French and Indian Caribbean cuisine.

Languages – The two official languages spoken on the island are French and Dutch. But there are also French based, Creole and Spanish languages spoken from the emigration of natives from surrounding islands. Many other immigrants from the ABC islands – Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, living there, speak their traditional Papiemento.

Shopping – You will find some of the world’s best prices on this duty-free island, especially for fine jewelry – gold, diamonds, watches, and just about every piece of jewelry you could possibly imagine for less than half of what you’d pay at home. Many of the jewelers are wholesalers and distributors, so as consumers, we bypass the middlemen retailers and resellers, and of course the import and export taxes.

Other items of note to be found on the island for some great discounts are liquor, tobacco, leather goods and many designer goods. To give you a rough idea of deep discounts, you can still pick up a carton of cigarettes there for $15 – $20! Liquor is ridiculously cheap. Before my husband was informed he can no longer drink alcohol due to his health issues, he enjoyed the odd glass of Johnny Walker Blue Scotch – the highest grade of that brand’s label. Here in Canada, that bottle would run close to $350 – I kid you not. But every time we’d visit the island he would pick up a bottle for approximately $115 US. A ring my husband once bought me for $2200, came in at $5500 dollar upon the appraisal I obtained once at home.

The main street – Front St. in Philipsburg, is located directly in front of Great Bay beach where the cruise ships dock. It’s a long street lined with jewelry store after jewelry store so it’s good to have a recommendation from someone where to shop for best value because it can become very overwhelming going into every store with all those sparkly trinkets beckoning your attention.

Currency – Although the Euro is used on the French side and the Dutch Netherland Antillean guilder used on the Dutch side, the whole island also operates with U.S. dollars.

Airport – Princess Julianna International serves the entire island, and people can pass freely with no border checks between the two countries. The airport hosts many major airlines and St. Martin’s short main runway is known for its specific location between a large hill and the beach, attracting many tourists to watch some spectacular landings and takeoffs flying just above sunbathers on Maho Beach. There is also a paid tour offered complete with cocktail on the beach to watch the low flying planes and listen live between the aircraft and control tower.

Beaches – St. Martin is known to have some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, and there are many of them. For an island of only 34 sq. miles, the island has 37 gorgeous beaches to sunbathe, swim, snorkel, parasail, you name it- your choice of watersport is there. On the French side, you will also find the famed nude beach- Orient Beach located on Orient Bay, known as the St. Tropez of the Caribbean, also known for its nude beach.

My first visit to St. Martin was over twenty years ago. I wasn’t quite adept at investigative research as the computer era had yet to hit. We were hoping to book an all-inclusive property, which back then was rare for that island, and we chose a hotel situated on Orient Beach. Little did we know after our first morning of walking that beach, that hub and I would feel a little out of place as we strolled with our shorts and bathing suits on while passing many sunburned bottoms and breasts taking in more sun. We ultimately decided that we’d still go for our morning walks on the beach but decided to sunbathe at the pool during the day with our swimsuits on.

Dining – St. Martin is known as the culinary capital of the Caribbean with a variety of cuisine choices available. Besides the many delicious French restaurants in Grande Case on the French side, you will find many other popular restaurants and ocean side dining offering Dutch, Creole, Italian, Jamaican, Indian, Vietnamese. Japanese and American food. A true culinary experience to suit an array of palettes.

Sightseeing – There’s plenty to do in St. Martin if you’re feeling energetic and ambitious to get up off your beach chairs. This small island packs a punch of fun things to do besides visiting beaches and shopping. You will find tours to Rhum distilleries, ATV adventures, evening cruise sails with dinner, drinks and dancing, a wide array of water sports, jet ski rentals, swim with the dolphins, wine tasting, the double-decker bus tour. and even smaller group tours that will take you by boat to close-by neighboring islands – St. Barth’s and Anguilla.

This island also holds its annual Carnival celebrations complete with feathered costumes, reggae music and local bands performing on the streets. The French side celebrates during Lent and the Dutch side celebrates for 17 days and nights when the island comes to a standstill for over 17 days and nights. Locals prepare for this festive event by sewing costumes and preparing to party hardy. If you aren’t able to attend one of these fabulous celebrations, make sure to visit the Jump Up Casino in Philipsburg to see a display of photos and items from previous parades.

I love St. Martin for its beautiful beaches, the best shopping deals, their beautiful island temps, great food and one of the friendliest islands in the Caribbean. I’ve been there many times as I’ve been on many Caribbean cruises and never choose an itinerary that doesn’t include visiting that island. If I were to take a solo island vacation again, I would definitely consider going back to St. Martin for a winter vacation instead of just a day or two stop-over on a cruise ship.

Have any of you ever been to St. Martin?

©D.G. Kaye 2018

Another amazing article from Debby for the travel column and I know that she would love your feedback and questions on St. Martin or any other travel related subject.. I am sure she will have the answer for you.

About D.G. Kaye

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.

“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?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Books by D.G. Kaye

About Twenty Years: After “I Do”.

May/December memoirs.

In this personal accounting, D.G. Kaye shares the insights and wisdom she has accrued through twenty years of keeping her marriage strong and thriving despite the everyday changes and challenges of aging. Kaye reveals how a little creative planning, acceptance, and unconditional love can create a bond no obstacle will break. Kaye’s stories are informative, inspiring, and a testament to love eclipsing all when two people understand, respect, and honor their vows. She adds that a daily sprinkling of laughter is a staple in nourishing a healthy marriage.

Twenty years began with a promise. As Kaye recounts what transpired within that time, she shows that true love has no limits, even when one spouse ages ahead of the other.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Canadian author, D. G. Kaye has written a heartwarming memoir in “Twenty Years After I Do,” detailing the ups and downs of marriage to an older man. I was eager to read this book because I am married to a man who is older than me by a decade. I wasn’t sure what I’d find, but having read other books by this author, I knew I was in for a treat.

Kaye shares how she met her husband, Gordon, chronicling how he swept her off her feet with his captivating personality, and how he made her laugh. With a sense of intimacy, the writing draws you in, as if you are listening to a good friend. Their connection, a true love story, (so rare these days) was a joy to experience through her words.

This book is a memoir in the real sense of the word, where the author details her relationship with her husband based on her knowledge of his battle with prostate cancer. As time trudges along, and more health issues crop up, this couple finds themselves confronting their mortality head-on. Most people would crumble under the stress of these burdens, but not Kaye. Because of the love that she and Gordon share they discover that they can overcome whatever life throws at them.

What I enjoyed was Kaye’s willingness to share the innermost details of her life experiences so others could learn from her example. There was no glossing over here, and she does tell it like it is. Ultimately, she leads the reader to the conclusion that love and humor conquer all. I’ve taken many of her insights and tucked them away for future reference.

A quick read, “Twenty Years After I Do,” will touch you with warmth and sincerity, as the phrase “…till death do us part…” takes on new meaning.

MY RATING: Character Believability: 5  Flow and Pace: 5 Reader Engagement: 5 Reader Enrichment: 5 Reader Enjoyment: 5 Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Stars

Read the other reviews and buy the book:

and Amazon UK:

Other books by D.G. Kaye


Read all the reviews and buy the books:

and Amazon UK:

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads:

Connect to Debby Gies

Come and visit me at our Literary Diva’s Library group on Facebook

About me:
Twitter: (yes there’s a story)

Thank you for dropping in today and please help spread the news of Debby’s travel column and we look forward to your questions and comments. Thanks Sally and Debby


Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Tuesday, September 4th, 2018 – Sue Vincent, Don Massenzio with Victoria Zigler and D.G. Kaye

We often hear the expression ‘follow your instincts’ which can be confusing advice, as most of our natural instincts have been suppressed by ‘civilisation’ and the rules of the society we happen to live in. Sue Vincent explores the value in opening up to those gut feelings or instincts when presented with something or somewhere new.

Have you ever done something completely illogical, just because it ‘felt right’? Chances are that you have, and that it turned out that listening to that inner, elusive prompt was the best decision you could have made. In bypassing the circuits of habit and the imposed logic of the everyday world we sometimes manage to tap in to a deeper understanding and a clearer vision, one that sees beyond the boundaries we tend to impose upon ourselves all our lives.

We build our vision of reality based on the interpretation of events, both through our own eyes and the filters we impose on ourselves, and through the interpretations we are taught as we grow and learn how to live in a society that has its own rules and preconceptions.

When we are taken out of our accustomed milieu, perhaps travelling to a foreign land where the culture, habits, manners and morality even are different, we notice things we would not have seen in our own habitual places. How we see them depends largely on our own reactions and choices. As a simple example, I remember well the reaction of someone I know to travelling as close to home as France. She found the French to be rude, unmannered and did not enjoy her time there at all.

Head over and read the rest of the post and open your mind to allow your gut feelings a go at the helm:

Sue is an author in the Cafe and Bookstore.

Sue Vincent and Stuart France, Buy: Blog:

Please visit Amazon or Sue’s blog to view all her books and those written with Stuart France.


The next post is from author Don Massenzio who interviews Victoria Zigler, children’s author and poet. Don is also looking for authors to interview, so if you have a new release coming out or would like to take advantage of his hospitality, I am sure you would be very welcome.

If you haven’t been interviewed, or even if you have and you have a new release coming out, please feel free to contact Don to be interviewed at He will send you the information and get you scheduled. You can check out the 2108 author interviews conducted thus far on his Author Directory page HERE.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I don’t really intentionally set out to do either, though I’d say I’m more likely to try to be original than to try and give readers what they want.

I obviously hope my stories and poems are what readers want, because then they’ll buy them, read them, and – if I’m really lucky – enjoy them enough to tell their friends and family about them. But I write what I want/need to write.

I don’t base my writing projects around what topics and themes are popular right now, or worry about writing in a genre that generally sells best.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Head over and read the rest of the interview:

Both Don and Victoria are authors in the Cafe and Bookstore.

Don Massenzio, Buy:
Blog: Please visit Don’s Amazon page or his blog to view all his books.

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Victoria Zigler, Buy:
Website: – Please visit Amazon or Victoria’s website to view all her books.

And last but not least…. a post from Debby Gies, D.G. Kaye on her experiences with Carbon Monoxide. One of which could have been fatal if Debby’s detector had not alerted her to the problem. The message needs to be repeated frequently, as far too many people do not have a detector in their homes.

I read a scary article last week over at Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord Invitation, about her near fatal experience of discovering carbon monoxide gas leaking in her home. Besides the frightening story, Sally has a added a great list of tips to follow in that post to ensure your home stays safe from this deadly gas.

While I was reading Sally’s article, it brought back two memories of my own where my own carbon monoxide and gas leak detectors went off in two of my homes. Gratefully, nobody was hurt, and equally grateful, both my situations ended up in laughter.

One Friday night back in early 2000, a girlfriend was visiting and we were in my basement drinking wine and gabbing in my fairly new home. It was approaching midnight and my husband had long gone to bed when I heard something beeping in the storage room where the water heater was hooked up in. I followed the sound and saw an alert button flashing as it beeped. I tried to read the tiny fine print on the sticker to look for some instruction if it were to beep but couldn’t make it out. Rather to be safe than sorry, I went back in the other room to pick up the cordless phone and came back to punch in the phone number listed for the gas company to call in case of emergency gas leak.

I reported what I saw and heard with the beeping and flashing warning light. The agent said it was good I called and the problem must be investigated pronto, and until the gas company and the fire department were to arrive I was instructed to get everyone out of the house. I knew my husband was snoring like a buzz saw upstairs and wouldn’t be a happy camper if he were to be awakened, but I wasn’t leaving him behind.

My girlfriend ran outside and I ran upstairs to shake my husband awake. As I alerted him to what was going on he mumbled back to me that he was going back to sleep. I was in panic mode and he couldn’t give a crap. He was adamant that he wasn’t getting out of bed and as I kept urging him to get up I could already hear the sound of sirens. So I left him in bed and ran downstairs to greet the crew.

Head over and read the rest of Debby’s story about this silent killer and make sure that you have a detector in both your home and any holiday accommodation, such as motor homes and boats:

D. G. Kaye is an author in the Cafe and Bookstore

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

Thank you for dropping in and I hope you will head over and read the posts in their entirety..Thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews #News – D.G. Kaye, Victoria Zigler and Anita Dawes

Welcome to the first of the updates this week and the first author who has received not one, but four great reviews recently is D.G. Kaye and her memoir – Twenty Years: After “I Do” : Reflections on Love and Changes Through Aging.

About Twenty Years: After “I Do”.

May/December memoirs.

In this personal accounting, D.G. Kaye shares the insights and wisdom she has accrued through twenty years of keeping her marriage strong and thriving despite the everyday changes and challenges of aging. Kaye reveals how a little creative planning, acceptance, and unconditional love can create a bond no obstacle will break. Kaye’s stories are informative, inspiring, and a testament to love eclipsing all when two people understand, respect, and honor their vows. She adds that a daily sprinkling of laughter is a staple in nourishing a healthy marriage.

Twenty years began with a promise. As Kaye recounts what transpired within that time, she shows that true love has no limits, even when one spouse ages ahead of the other.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Canadian author, D. G. Kaye has written a heartwarming memoir in “Twenty Years After I Do,” detailing the ups and downs of marriage to an older man. I was eager to read this book because I am married to a man who is older than me by a decade. I wasn’t sure what I’d find, but having read other books by this author, I knew I was in for a treat.

Kaye shares how she met her husband, Gordon, chronicling how he swept her off her feet with his captivating personality, and how he made her laugh. With a sense of intimacy, the writing draws you in, as if you are listening to a good friend. Their connection, a true love story, (so rare these days) was a joy to experience through her words.

This book is a memoir in the real sense of the word, where the author details her relationship with her husband based on her knowledge of his battle with prostate cancer. As time trudges along, and more health issues crop up, this couple finds themselves confronting their mortality head-on. Most people would crumble under the stress of these burdens, but not Kaye. Because of the love that she and Gordon share they discover that they can overcome whatever life throws at them.

What I enjoyed was Kaye’s willingness to share the innermost details of her life experiences so others could learn from her example. There was no glossing over here, and she does tell it like it is. Ultimately, she leads the reader to the conclusion that love and humor conquer all. I’ve taken many of her insights and tucked them away for future reference.

A quick read, “Twenty Years After I Do,” will touch you with warmth and sincerity, as the phrase “…till death do us part…” takes on new meaning.

MY RATING: Character Believability: 5  Flow and Pace: 5 Reader Engagement: 5 Reader Enrichment: 5 Reader Enjoyment: 5 Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Stars

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And on Amazon UK:

Other books by D.G. Kaye


Read all the reviews and buy the books:

and Amazon UK:

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads:

Connect to Debby via her website/blog:

Colleen Chesebro is an author in the Cafe and Bookstore.

Colleen Chesebro, Buy: Colleen at Goodreads

The next author with news is Victoria Zigler celebrating her series Zeena the Faerie Dragon, now in audio.

Zeena and The Dryad Amazon

About Zeena and the Dryad

Zeena the faerie dragon doesn’t think she’s special, even though she’s the only one of her kind to have mastered the magic for all five elements equally. But when a dryad named Kishi comes to her for help, she doesn’t hesitate.

Together with her best friend – a mischievous pixie named Saarik – Zeena sets off to free Heidi the earth fairy, as well as to save the woods and the creatures of Earth.

This is the first audiobook in the Zeena Dragon Fae series. The titles and links to the other books in the series in audio are as follows

Zeena and the Gryphon
Zeena and the Mermaid
Zeena and the Phoenix

A small selection of other books by Victoria Zigler

You can download all the other audio books from Amazon:

and Amazon US:

Victoria has a great many reviews on Goodreads and I suggest that you head there first to read:

Connect to Victoria via her website:

The next recent review is for Anita Dawes and Secrets.A Paranormal thriller

About Secrets

and some are about someone who is already dead.
A mother must find the truth before the secrets destroy her family…

One of the latest reviews for the book

I finished reading this in the middle of last night; though it is not unusual for me to turn my Kindle on in the early hours, this is not the sort of novel you should be reading in the dark watches of the night! It is a good paranormal thriller, but more than that it will make you reconsider all our childhoods. How responsible are children for what they do and what is really going on in their minds? In some ways I felt most sorry for Jack’s parents, a poignant back story gradually revealed, an event that ruined any chance of his father continuing the life he loved or his mother coming to accept their rural life. There is a lot going on in everyone’s lives, but Jackie is a reminder that those of us who have led ordinary lives cannot know what others have had to overcome.

There were only a few things that jarred – I thought it was likely the social services would have got involved, Maggie did not guess an obvious pointer as Jack’s story was revealed and some dialogue and characters’ thoughts could be confusing in the pace of the story. But overall I really enjoyed this unusual novel.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And Amazon US:

A selection of other books by Anita Dawes

Read the reviews and buy the books:

And Amazon US:

Read more reviews and follow Anita on Goodreads:

Connect to Anita via her website and blog:

Janet Gogerty is also an author in the Cafe and Bookstore

Janet Gogerty, Buy:

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

Thank you for visiting today and I hope you will explore these authors and their books further. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Update – Music, Cookery, Travel, Health and Books

Welcome to the weekly round up and a catch up on the week’s events here on the blog.

Most of you will know that as of August 1st – our Facebook profiles are not longer linked automatically. In itself it is not a problem because it offers an opportunity to personalise the post when sharing to FB. However, many of my posts, including the columns that are written by William Price King, Carol Taylor, D.G. Kaye and Jessica Norrie, are scheduled to go out at just after midnight. Around 65% of my readers are from North America and they are usually checking the WordPress reader, and also their email notifications during those overnight hours. With the loss of the link to Facebook where I have a substantial amount of followers, this meant that the post would not be seen until the following night, and would most likely be long lost in timelines and on the WP reader.

Despite my reluctance to have two accounts with FB… I have weighed up the pros and cons and have established a page, which by the new rules is linked directly. A great many of my posts are author and blog promotions, and I want to achieve the most effective reach I can for those I promote. I hope that this will help me do that. I have sent invitations out to my current FB followers, but if you are not connected there, perhaps you would like to head over to the new page and join me there:

In September I will be introducing new promotional posts and I am also very interested in developing new collaborations in the form of monthly, fortnightly or weekly columns to join the already established Health, Music, Cookery, Literary and Health posts.

There are a number of options to think about. Do you have an expertise in a particular area of writing, publishing, film or a hobby that you are passionate about? If you write about health you can write under the Health Column umbrella as a guest.  You may have a series of posts on a particular subject that you have already published on your blog in the past and would now like to share with a new audience.

If you are interested in talking further then please email me on with a view to posting at the end of September either monthly, fortnightly or weekly.

Posts from Your Archives – Blogger promotion

Earlier in the year I featured over 200 posts from your archives. I will be bringing this feature back from October and so I am giving you plenty of time to check your archives and find posts that you feel could use some more attention.

If you would like to participate in this series of Posts from your Archives here are the details.

All of us have posts that sit idle in our archive with perhaps a handful of visits from readers who are browsing on our blog. But I would like to offer you the opportunity to share some of your posts that you feel would be enjoyed by a different audience.. Mine.

I am happy to share posts on any subject including short stories, writing, publishing, pets, health, personal experiences with life and events, films and music. If you have travel posts that have a great many photos, then I will feature those as a reblog post with up to four of the photos and then a link to go to your blog to read the rest.

Apart from sharing your post, I will of course share your bio, any book links, social media and of course your blog so that readers can head over and enjoy your more recent hard work. Currently my readership across the blog and Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest is 36,000, many of whom are readers and authors.

If you are interested all I need is the links to four posts you are interested in sharing and then I will take it from there. Most of you have already sent me your links but if we have just met I may come back to you.

Okay.. time to get on with the posts from the week that you might have missed.

The Music Column with William Price King – Diana Krall the Finale – New series on Jazz Instrumentalists beginning next week.

The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor

Carol mentions the ‘C’ word this week as she shares the recipe to make your own version of the festive classis, sweet mincemeat.

The Travel Column with D.G. Kaye

Off to Mexico in the company of travel expert Debby Gies – Where it is safe, shopping wining and dining, excursions, accommodation and health. Read before you book, and get the most out of your holiday.

Getting to know you – Sunday Interview – With N.A. (Noelle Granger)

I had the pleasure of meeting my guest today at the Bloggers Bash in 2017 and discovered a delightfully charming person and also had the privilege of meeting her husband. Noelle Granger is the author of the Rhe Brewster crime thriller series and has recently published Death in a Mudflat

Smorgasbord Health Column

Nutrients the body needs to be healthy – Zinc

The blood – oxygen distribution and waste disposal.

red blood cells

Personal Stuff…Letters from America – my parent’s visit in November 1985 and our trip to The Alamo in San Antonio and the deep and amazing Natural Bridge Caverns.

What’s in a Name? – Short Stories

Celia – A Crisis of Faith

Clive – The Debt

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Reviews.

Pure Trash Bette Stevens

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Humour and Afternoon Video

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Olga Nunez Miret, D. G. Kaye and Linda Swain Bethea

Welcome to Friday’s edition of the Cafe and Bookstore and the first author with a recent review is Olga Nunez Miret for Escaping Psychiatry.

About Escaping Psychiatry

‘Escaping Psychiatry’ is a collection of three stories in the psychological thriller genre with the same protagonist, Mary, a psychiatrist and writer. She is trying to develop her literary career but circumstances and friends conspire to keep dragging her back to psychiatry.

In ‘Cannon Fodder’ Mary has to assess Cain, an African-American man accused of inciting a religious riot when he claimed that he could hear God and God was black. He might not be mad, but Mary is sure he’s hiding something.

‘Teamwork’ sees Mary hoodwinked into offering therapy to Justin, a policeman feeling guilty after his partner and ersatz father was killed on-duty. Before Mary can extricate herself from the case, things get personal.

In ‘Memory’ Mary goes missing after an incident with Phil, who is manic as he hasn’t been taking his medication. When she is found, she has been the victim of a horrific crime, but they soon discover she was luckier than they had realised.

The epilogue revisits Mary at the point of the trial of her abductor and sees what changes have taken place in her life. Will she finally manage to Escape Psychiatry?

One of the recent reviews for the book

I listened to the audio book of Escaping Psychiatry by Olga Nunez Miret. The reader had a pleasant speaking style which made the audio book enjoyable. My only criticism is that in some parts the narration felt a bit rushed.

This book comprises of three short stories all featuring Mary Miller, a single female and a well known psychiatrist and writer of non-fiction, as the main protagonist. Each of the stories has a completely different setting, perpetrator, victim and set of extenuating circumstances which made them compelling and believable. In the first two stories the perpetrators are also victims and that creates emotional conflict for the reader because, while you want to see justice done and the victims are innocent, the perpetrators are the results of their unfortunate backgrounds and their own inability to rally mentally against the stresses and strains of their childhood abuse.

Mary is portrayed in both of these stories as a strong and independent woman with a talent for making people feel comfortable and share their concerns and problems and an ability to help the perpetrators to make the right social decisions.

The third story is a bit different as Mary becomes the victim and her views and attitude to life are put to the test. The development of Mary as a character in the last tale is very satisfying and we are proud of her coping skills and ability to pick herself up and carry on. I thought the ending to this story, in particular, had a good twist and was entertaining and clever.

The author has a background in psychiatry and this shows through in her believable and detailed portrayals of the discussions and interactions between Mary and the people she is attempting to help.

Read the reviews and link to all formats:úñez-Miret-ebook/dp/B00HV2IOTY/

And Amazon UK:úñez-Miret-ebook/dp/B00HV2IOTY/

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

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Read the reviews and buy the books Amazon

And on Amazon UK:úñez-Miret/e/B009UC58G0

Read more reviews and follow Olga on Goodreads

Audio books

Connect to Olga via her website:

Robbie Cheadle is an author in the Cafe and Bookstore.

Robbie and Michael Cheadle, Buy:
Blog: Robbie Goodreads


The next author who has received a great review is D.G. Kaye for her memoir Conflicted Hearts: A daughter’s quest for solace from emotional guilt

About Conflicted Hearts – Memoir/Non-Fiction

A Lifetime of guilt — What does it take to finally break free?

“Somehow I believed it was my obligation to try to do the right thing by her because she had given birth to me.”

Burdened with constant worry for her father and the guilt caused by her mother’s narcissism, D.G. Kaye had a short childhood. When she moved away from home at age eighteen, she began to grow into herself, overcoming her lack of guidance and her insecurities. Her life experiences became her teachers, and she learned from the mistakes and choices she made along the way, plagued by the guilt she carried for her mother.

Conflicted Hearts is a heartfelt journey of self-discovery and acceptance, an exploration of the quest for solace from emotional guilt.

One of the recent reviews for the book

I give this author kudos for revealing the deepest parts of her soul and sharing her experience with readers. Many readers, myself included, will identify with many of this author’s feelings of loss and abandonment in childhood. The guilt, anger and resentment felt growing up and the sense of urgency to break free was well-described—even to the point of triggering in me some of the feelings I also experienced. These are feelings that when held inside eat away at us and make us physically and emotionally unhealthy. Letting go of the guilt, anger and sadness is sage advice. This is a must-read self-help memoir for those who have harbored resentment and have yet to let go.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

and Amazon UK:

Also by D.G. Kaye


Read all the reviews and buy the books:

and Amazon UK:

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads:

Connect to Debby via her website:

Luna Saint Claire is an author in the bookstore

Luna Saint Claire, Buy:
Website: Luna on Goodreads

And the final author with a recent review is Linda Swain Bethea for her collection of six serials, Just Women Getting By featuring women of strength,character and bravery.

About Just Women Getting By.

In this collection of six serials, Linda Swain Bethea weaves narratives of women through several centuries. The stories span from 1643 to 1957. Beginning in England in 1643, a young couple travels to Jamestown, Virginia, to begin a new life in the American frontier. The rest of the stories travel from West Texas to North Louisiana to the Texas Panhandle to East Texas.

Disease, death, starvation, and prison are faced with stoicism and common sense, and always, with a sense of humor.

The women in each tale stand tall and possess the wisdom and tenacity to hold families together under the worst conditions. Through it all, they persevere, and Linda Swain Bethea’s storytelling is a testament to the legacy they left.

Conversational and homey, you’ll fall in love with the women of Just Women Getting By – Leaving a Legacy of Strength, which celebrates the courage of those women who had no choice but to survive.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Loved it! I just finished reading this book and didn’t want it to end…then I realized it hadn’t. The characters in Bethea’s book are so real, so captivating, so powerful, that their stories will stay with me even though the last page has been read. If you are looking for great humor, stories of perseverance and triumph, wisdom, and above all, love, this is the book for you!

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And Amazon UK:

Also by Linda Swain Bethea

Read the reviews and buy both books:

And Amazon UK:

Thank you for visiting today and I hope you will explore these books and their authors further. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily # Book Reviewers – Monday August 4th 2018 – Robbie Cheadle, D.G. Kaye and Colleen Chesebro

Welcome to the first of the blogger daily posts of the week and today I am also sharing a couple of book reviews. They are always worth celebrating as are those who take the time to review. You will see that the bloggers today are also authors in the Cafe and Bookstore. I created that as a promotional platform for authors and as many are bloggers too, it is an opportunity to showcase their writing skills.

If you are not in the Cafe and Bookstore and would like to enjoy regular promotions then please take a look at how you can be added to the shelves.

The first is by Robbie Cheadle for Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney… I will start you off and then ask you to head over to Robbie’s to read her review.

What Amazon Says

After 40 years of marriage, Olivia Glass thought she could handle the unexpected death of her husband. But when Ben’s will reveals a life-altering secret, she suffers a blow no widow should ever experience.

Olivia learns that she gave birth to a baby who later died in the nursery. Instead of telling his wife what happened, Ben switched the child with another. And as if that’s not enough, Ben’s will doesn’t reveal which of their five sons is truly not hers.

While an attorney searches for answers, Olivia visits each of her sons to share a final connection before facing the truth that will change their family, and discovers that each of them has been harboring a painful secret, just like their father.

Olivia challenges herself to re-assemble and save their relationships. But will the secrets destroy their family beyond repair?


“Author James J. Cudney’s début novel is both atmospheric and contemplative, and delivers a gut punch of family angst, devotion, and heartbreaking love” – Cammie Adams, Amazon review
“One of the best literary books I’ve read.” – Cathleen Townsend, Amazon review

Head over and read Robbie’s review for Watching Glass Shatter:

Robbie is an author in the Cafe and Bookstore.

Robbie and Michael Cheadle, Buy:


The next author with a great review is Toni Pike for her recently released psychological thriller Dead Dry Heart featured in the Sunday Book Review from Debby Gies.. D.G. Kaye.

My Sunday book review this week is for Toni Pike’s – Dead Dry Heart. This book has all the elements of a captivating read with well developed characters and a rollercoaster ride of lies, betrayal and murder, with the human elements of fear, remorse, and a questioning of truth.


Tyler Thompson is Australia’s young, brilliant and charismatic Prime Minister, riding high on a wave of popularity. But the past has come back to haunt him and there is a shocking secret from his childhood that he will do almost anything to conceal.

The one man who knows what happened twenty-five years ago is back – and he is hellbent on revenge. Tyler’s precious wife and baby have disappeared and their safe return will cost him everything: family, career and freedom.

But even that may not be enough to satisfy his nemesis – and the truth may be more terrible than he could possibly imagine.

A chilling novel about deceit, betrayal and murder, with twists and turns that you will not see coming.

Head over and read Debby’s Five Star review for the book:

Both Toni and Debby are authors in the Cafe and Bookstore.

Toni Pike, Buy:

D. G. Kaye – Buy:

The next post is from Colleen Chesebro and shares her experience publishing a print book with Amazon book templates. Useful for new authors and  those planning to go this route for the first time.


I’ve recently published and (republished one from CreateSpace) both of my paperback books using 6 X 9 Template for a MAC.

After practically pulling my hair out by the roots, here’s what I learned.

If you are starting with a Word document with the intention of copying and pasting into the Amazon template, leave it at the 8.5″ X 11″ size. I used 1.5 line spacing on one book, and 1.15 line spacing on the one I brought over from CreateSpace. I justified the text and added page numbers. On the CreateSpace book, I left it at the 1.15 line spacing with first-line paragraph indents because the size increased.  shares some great tips on formatting your novel. There is a debate right now as to whether or not you need to do a first line indent on paragraphs in fiction books. I did do it for my fantasy book, The Heart Stone Chronicles, The Swamp Fairy.

However, for my short story/poetry book, Fairies, Myths, and Magic ~ A Summer Celebration, I did not. I used block paragraphs. This is acceptable for non-fiction like memoirs, according to what I read at the above site.

Personally, if I’m reading a paperback, I would prefer block paragraphs, but that’s just me.

Head over and find out more from Colleen:

Colleen is an author in the Cafe and Bookstore.

Colleen Chesebro, Buy:


Thank you for visiting and I hope you will explore these posts further… Thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Kristina Stanley, Bette A. Stevens and D.G. Kaye

I am putting up an extra Cafe and Bookstore update this week as there is a bountiful supply of new reviews for authors accumulated whilst the Summer Sale was on.

The first author with a recent review is Kristina Stanley for her book Look the Other Way which I also enjoyed and reviewed.

About Look the Other Way

Submerged beneath the depths is a sea of secrets

A year after her Uncle Bobby mysteriously disappears in the turquoise waters surrounding the Bahamas, Shannon Payne joins her grieving aunt to trace Bobby’s last voyage. Shannon hopes the serenity of the sea might help her recover from a devastating breakup with her fiancé.

Sailing the 38-foot catamaran, A Dog’s Cat, is Captain Jake Hunter, a disillusioned cop who has sworn off women. While Shannon tries to resist her growing attraction to the rugged captain, she uncovers dark truths about her uncle’s death that might send them all to the depths.

One of the recent reviews for the book

I’m always ready to pick up another Kristina Stanley mystery and I wasn’t disappointed with this one.

She takes her diverse life encounters and creates great stories from them – this time tapping into her sailing experience. As a result, the characters, settings and situations ring true, and I was with Shannon Payne in the Bahamas, sailing A Dog’s Cat, attempting to resolve what happened to her Uncle Bobby, and I had to wonder when something might happen with rugged Captain Jake Hunter. Is he what he says he is?

The novel was well-structured, balancing mystery and romance while weaving the plotlines together. As a mystery writer, I attempt to unravel the threads and there were more than enough to keep me reading – even after I worked out who the antagonist was, sometime before the end.

From that point onwards, the suspense element went up some notches as my concern for Shannon’s situation grew. My mind was trying to keep ahead of her…and the villain. Getting that revelation moment right needs skill as not all readers ‘click’ in the same place – keeping them on board takes craft, and Stanley has that in boatloads.

Also, there were some clever red herrings that kept my ‘little grey cells’ buzzing for page after page. All the characters had backstories and depth, with various reasons to suspect them of committing some crime. Their actions were sometimes deceptive and there were plenty of misunderstandings as in all good mysteries.

The Bahamas setting was both enticingly exotic and hidden with subtle threats. Many of the places must be real – or felt that they should be. The author’s knowledge of boats and sailing lent the writing an authentic vibe – and from my limited experience ‘mucking around in boats’, I felt swept along with events of a maritime nature. And the characters’ relevant skills varied appropriately from those that knew their charts to those needing a bottle or a life-jacket – or both.

Look the Other Way is another excellent Kristina Stanley novel that kept me thinking, so if you like a good mystery plus sailing and romance, I would recommend this book – 4.6 stars raised to Five.

I suspect that if this isn’t meant to be the start of a new series, then popular opinion might demand the return of Shannon Payne. However, until then we can anticipate a new Kristina Stanley mystery that is in the works. For now, I’ll just recommend each one she’s already written.

Story – four stars – Setting/World-building – four stars – Authenticity – five stars
Characters – five stars – Structure – four stars – Readability – five stars –
Editing – five stars 

You can read other reviews and buy the book:

And on Amazon UK:

Also by Kristina Stanley

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

And Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Kristina Stanley on Goodreads:

Connect to Kristina via her website/Blog:

The next author who continues to receive excellent reviews is Bette A. Stevens for her book Pure Trash: The Story

About Pure Trash: The Story

It’s PURE TRASH (Historical Fiction/short story), a Compelling Prequel to the novel DOG BONE SOUP. The year is 1955. Remember the Good Old Days? You know, the 1950s and ‘60s, when America was flying high. The All American Family lived a life filled with hopes and dreams and life’s necessities too. Shawn Daniels isn’t your typical American Boomer Boy. No, Shawn is a poor boy. He can’t join Boy Scouts or sports teams. There’s not even enough money for necessities. Besides, Shawn doesn’t have time for that. But when chores are done, there’s always fishing!

In this short story, Shawn and Willie Daniels are off on a Saturday adventure in search of trash to turn into treasure. It is going to be a great day. Shawn is sure of it. No school and no bullies to remind him that he’s not one of the crowd. This is a story about bullies and what it’s like to be bullied (and not just by kids). It may redefine your definition of bullying. If you were a child who was thought of as “different” in some way, you know what bullying is about: torment, persecution, intimidation, to name a few of its synonyms. For Shawn and Willie, their difference was based upon the social status of a dysfunctional family and the alcoholism and abject poverty in which they grew up.

One of the recent reviews

I loved Dog Bone Soup and I love Pure Trash. Stevens captures the essence of childhood with authenticity, yet these are not stories for children so much as for adults who remember what it was like /being/ a child. Brilliant.

Read the reviews and buy:

and Amazon UK:

Also by Bette A. Stevens

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

And Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Bette on Goodreads:

Connect to Bette via her website:

And D.G. Kaye has received a recent review for another book that I can recommend personally.. Words We Carry…

About Words We Carry

“I have been a great critic of myself for most of my life, and I was darned good at it, deflating my own ego without the help of anyone else.”

What do our shopping habits, high-heeled shoes, and big hair have to do with how we perceive ourselves? Do the slights we endured when we were young affect how we choose our relationships now?

D.G. takes us on a journey, unlocking the hurts of the past by identifying situations that hindered her own self-esteem. Her anecdotes and confessions demonstrate how the hurtful events in our lives linger and set the tone for how we value our own self-worth.
Words We Carry is a raw, personal accounting of how the author overcame the demons of low self-esteem with the determination to learn to love herself.

A recent review for the book on Goodreads

Jul 19, 2018 Lisa Thomson rated it Five Stars

This would make a wonderful women’s book club read! There is so much material in “Words We Carry” that women will relate to, and want to weigh-in on. Physical beauty vs. inner beauty, self acceptance, fashion, make up, relationships and how they all converge to create a positive self image and overall lifestyle.

D. G. Kaye shares her childhood and early adult experiences that shaped her self esteem. She also shares many ways to improve self esteem for anyone who has gone through a tough childhood or devastating relationships. She courageously bares all to help the reader understand that confidence and self esteem are within our own control. I give this a solid 5 stars and highly recommend for women young or old.

Read all the reviews and buy the book:

and Amazon UK:

Also by D.G. Kaye

Read the reviews and buy all of D.G. Kaye’s Books:

And on Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads:

Connect to D.G. Kaye through her website.

Thank you for dropping in today and if you would like to join the other authors in the Cafe and Bookstore and enjoy regular updates here is the link….it is FREE.

Smorgasbord Reblog – A visit to D.G. Kaye and new book excerpt

Was delighted to be invited over to Debby Gies blog as a guest with a post about the changing face of friendship, plus an excerpt from Tales from the Irish Garden due out in September.

Featured author of the week

The Changing Face of Friendship

My thanks to Debby for inviting me over for a chat today on her amazing blog. Her friendship is one that supports and encourages me on a daily basis, and has made me a firm believer in the positive aspects of social media platforms.

I wish that this technology had been around a long time ago. As a child we moved around a lot, and the greatest sadness for me was leaving friends behind. I have met people, who still have a relationship that have lasted 50 years since school because they have remained in their home town, but I am sure many of you have moved and lost contact. I would have two years at most in a school, make good friends and then we would be off to another country, and the process began again.

I did try to keep in touch, especially as I got into my teens, and following our return from South Africa, I corresponded for about a year with my best friend from school. I saved up for the stamps out of my pocket money and on average we would both write once a month. After about 12 months, the letters began to dwindle. Whilst I managed to scrape together the money for one stamp a month to South Africa, there was no way that I could afford five or six to keep up with my other school friends.

This pattern was repeated until I was 14 years old when we returned to Portsmouth from Lancashire, and even though this was the same country, it was still difficult to keep in touch. There was no Facebook, Twitter or any other social media and in our house, and I am sure in many of your homes, the phone was only for important calls and not to be wasted on hour long chit chat with friends!

Recently, I have been sharing the letters I wrote home weekly to my parent s from Houston in Texas, where we lived for two years from 1985 to 1987. As I type them up for the posts, it is interesting how rarely I mention the fact that we had spoken on the telephone, as it was very expensive back then to call internationally, especially for my parents. If we did speak, it would be for a few minutes, and notes would be made beforehand to ensure we got in everything we had to say!

Thankfully by the early to mid-1990s, email became more and more accessible, and that made a huge difference. I was able to get back in touch with the friends that we made in Texas, and several of us are still in touch today. The wonders of modern technology enable us to speak face to face, which adds such an incredible element to maintaining a relationship. And with the added bonus of being able add a number of people to the conversation, you can almost have a party!

Online friends

I hope you will head over and read the rest of the post and enjoy the short excerpt from my next book, along with a sneak preview of one of the illustrations by Donata Zawadzka:

D.G. Kaye is an author in the Cafe and Bookstore.

D. G. Kaye – Buy:

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

Thanks for dropping by.. Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Summer Book #Sale, One of my books FREE,A Writer’s Life,Travel, Music, Cookery, and Guests

Welcome to the weekly round up of posts you might have missed.

There has been some rain this week, nothing to get too excited about, especially as it missed the St. Swithin’s Day curse. For those not familiar, if it rains on St. Swithin’s Day it will rain for 40 days following. That is usually quite difficult to measure here in Ireland as it is extremely rare to go forty days without any rain.

This latest heatwave and dry spell is the longest I think in recorded history for many countries in Northern Europe and certainly whilst most of us take advantage the farmers are being hard hit.

Anyway it has put a halt to our plans to lay a new lawn as there is not point in putting down turf with a hose-pipe ban and no serious rain for another week or so. At least the sparrows are enjoying their dust baths on the wide expanse of dry soil in front of the house. It does mean that David has been able to get the ladders out and start the task of painting the back of the house and all the garden walls. The end is in sight of our two year renovation project and it is only when we look at the before photos that we fully appreciate the difference.. I will do a post when all is complete as a celebration.

Just in case you missed. What’s in a Name Volume 1 is still FREE until officially midnight tonight UK time but if you email me in the next couple of days I am more than happy to send you a digital copy. I am not part of Kindle Publishing so it is the easiest way for me to offer my books free.

If I already have your email address just put your preference in the comments section.

About What’s in a Name? Volume One.

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

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

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

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

One of the reviews for the collection

This was a beautiful collection of short stories with an intriguing premise: each story is titled by the name of its main character, and there is one story with a male name and one with a female name for each letter of the alphabet (through J–Vol. II completes the alphabet).

The way I describe it is far less simple than Sally Cronin makes it. The stories vary widely. Some are funny, some poignant, some teach a lesson. A couple of them made me cry, which is why I recommend that you have a box of tissues nearby when you read the collection.

The one thing that each story does have is a surprising twist at the end–something the reader doesn’t see coming. I thoroughly enjoyed the collection and look forward eagerly to reading Volume II.

To obtain your FREE copy of the collection in either Mobi, Epub or pdf email me or leave your preference in the comments:

In the meantime thank you for dropping in so regularly and for all the wonderful comments and shares. It keeps me motivated.

This week we must say a temporary goodbye to Paul Andruss as he has some offline projects he is pursuing. Hopefully he will be back from time to time and for those of you who have only been following the blog for the last year or so, I will be repeating some of his early posts in his usual monthly slot. I am sure that you join me in thanking him for his amazing posts on legends and myths and the gardening column which has given so much information and pleasure.

Here is his most recent post on Friday with some thoughts on putting a value, not just on our writing but also on the time spent reading.

Three minutes Forty Nine by Paul Andruss.

Also whilst William Price King has been on his summer break I have been sharing the Roberta Flack series with some of her most iconic hits. This coming week it is the start of the Diana Krall repeats, another fabulous artist with a wonderful voice.

This week Carol Taylor shares some colourful recipes for rice. Rice is one of the staples in our home and I am sure in yours, and it is great to get some new ideas on how to prepare.

This week too.. Carol shared one of her travel posts in Thailand to the Red Lotus Sea Lake.


D.G. Kaye shared another very informative and entertaining post for her travel column this week, with a great many tips on how to prepare for any holiday. Security for your luggage and credit cards, valuables and tips for getting the best value for money when booking.

The Getting to Know You Sunday Interview with author Chuck Jackson.

It is my pleasure to welcome author Chuck Jackson to Getting to Know You. Chuck is the author of three memoirs including his latest Guilt: My Companion. On his blog you will find posts on writing, book marketing and also mental health and social issues such as this recent article:

My Personal Stuff

The summer holidays where people are away for a couple of weeks at a time is the busiest time of the year for criminals. Especially when so many of us kindly leave the door open in the virtual world, by announcing our departure and then posting photographs of our fun in the sun!

Letters from America – Seattle and Washington State Park

Odd Jobs and Characters – some I missed out – Advertising Sales and Artificial insemination marketing!

Sally’s Drive time Playlist – 1979 Queen and Dr. Hook

Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story Chapters 12 and 13 – Car Rides and Move to Spain

Chapter Fourteen – Our new home and friends.

My review for The Contract by John W. Howell and Gwen Plano

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Summer Sale.

This last couple of weeks there has been a sale in the Cafe and Bookstore, with books that have been reduced in price or even FREE. Some of those discounts will still apply so please check the posts. In these current posts you will also find links to last week’s sale offers as well.

The Blogger Daily – A small selection of the many blog posts that I enjoyed this week.

Cathy Ryan

Health and Healthy Eating

The Immune System and how it works

Nutrients the body needs – Manganese and the link to Asthma.

Prescribed medication – opioid statistics and our responsibility as a patient


Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Summer #Sale – #FREE books by D.G. Kaye and Steve Boseley

Welcome to the second of the Summer Sale posts where authors in the bookstore are offering their books FREE

You might like to check the other FREE posts out from the sale, I know that some offers have expired but worth checking to see if they are still available.

There are two authors today with books that are FREE to download and the first is P.S. I Forgive you by D.G. Kaye. FREE until July 23rd

About the book

“I hurt for her. She wasn’t much of a mother, but she was still my mother.”

Confronted with resurfacing feelings of guilt, D.G. Kaye is tormented by her decision to remain estranged from her dying emotionally abusive mother after resolving to banish her years ago, an event she has shared in her book Conflicted Hearts. In P.S. I Forgive You, Kaye takes us on a compelling heartfelt journey as she seeks to understand the roots of her mother’s narcissism, let go of past hurts, and find forgiveness for both her mother and herself.

After struggling for decades to break free, Kaye has severed the unhealthy ties that bound her to her dominating mother—but now Kaye battles new confliction, as the guilt she harbors over her decision only increases as the end of her mother’s life draws near. Kaye once again struggles with her conscience and her feelings of being obligated to return to a painful past she thought she left behind.

One of the great reviews for the book

Parenthood does not come with a user manual. Children learn parenting skills from the adults in their lives. They generally emulate what they see and experience. If their lifelong experience is a negative one, they might be inclined to perpetuate it. But this does not have to be so.

In her compelling memoir, P.S. I Forgive You, D.G. Kaye reveals the habitual neglect and abuse she and her siblings suffered at the hands of an envious, threatening, narcissistic, and deceitful mother.

It takes courage, strength, and determination to prevail over hardship, especially when it is a constant in childhood; especially when a parent perpetrates neglect and abuse. But it is not impossible to overcome adversity when one focuses their intention.

Kaye shows us how to take the energy consumed by feeling mistreated, hurt, fearful, and guilty, and instead make it work for us by directing that energy toward building self-esteem, fortitude, and positive intention. She tells us how she reacted as a child, and then shows us how, as an adult, she turned a negative into a positive. Acceptance, compassion, and forgiveness are major players in this scenario, a dynamic that tested the author’s resilience, challenged her conscience, and ultimately allowed her to triumph over the all-consuming adverse conditioning perpetrated by her demanding narcissistic mother.

I highly recommend this book to anyone whose childhood was hijacked by a neglectful and abusive parent, and who would like to learn how to break free and live a happy healthy life.

Read the reviews and download the book for FREE until July 23rd:

and Amazon UK FREE:

Other books by D.G. Kaye


Read all the reviews and buy the books:

and Amazon UK:

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads:

Connect to Debby Gies via her blog:

The next author in the Cafe and Bookstore with a book that is FREE is Steve Boseley with Die, Blossom, Bloom.

About the book

A pensioner with a newfound love of gardening, TED HARRIS is haunted by the memories of his wife’s death. A regular competitor in the village ‘In Bloom’ competition, GERALDINE BUTLER-THOMPSON is keen to put Ted down at any opportunity, and is more than happy to share her thoughts on his garden.

As Ted’s life with his wife is revealed, we get a glimpse into the love that they shared, before things started to go wrong. The choices that he made haunt him still, and Butler-Thompson pushes him to reveal more than he is willing to, leading to a showdown with JORDAN, Butler-Thompson’s grandson.

This confrontation pushes Ted towards what he sees as an inevitable conclusion, and a final showdown with Butler-Thompson.

The annual ‘Haverly in Bloom’ competition is the backdrop for this thrilling tale of love, murder and suspicion that is sure to leave you horrified.

One of the reviews for the book

A gripping look at the flowery passions and life in an idyllic English village that seems like it’s straight out of Midsomer Murders. When I read the first few chapters, I had to look up Boseley – and specifically his age, as his portrayal of the elderly hero’s daily struggles were so convincing that I felt certain Boseley himself would be in his 70s, or even older.

Even though the story starts with a killing, its true meaning only gradually appears in a masterful narration that soon turns surprisingly dark. Too dark, perhaps, for some readers, as this is not a novella for the squeamish. The pace picks up and soon readers find themselves in the uncomfortable position of rooting not for the “good” guys but for the murderer. I won’t spoil the ending, but I will say I wish it were different.

Based on Die Blossom Bloom, I’ll be reading Boseley’s second book soon.

Read the reviews and download the book FREE:

And on Amazon US for FREE:

Also by Steve Boseley

Read the reviews and buy the books:

And Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Steve Boseley on Goodreads:

Connect to Steve via his website:

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will take advantage of these free offers to add the books to your reading list. Thanks Sally