Post from your Archives – How are you spending your most valuable time on #Social Media by D.G. Kaye

Delighted that Debby Gies, author D.G. Kaye has sent me some links to share over the next four weeks (or more) from her archives.

We all have posts that we wrote a year or so ago, or even longer, that are not read as much these days, as new posts take up your readers time.

However, why not share them over here to my readers?

Not only is this a chance to showcase your posts, but also your blog and books. Start off by sending me four links to the posts you would like to see given another boost and if you like the experience you can always send me more –

In this post Debby Gies clearly lays out the social media platforms that can help you establish a presence online… that big break into the bestselling market or even a film deal… You will be searched for online, to see if you already have a following of some kind, to make it easier to market you. If you are not there, how will they find you?

Over to Debby Gies…

As writers and authors, many of us use various social media channels to help brand our names and blogs. The age old question that seems to plague many of us is, what’s working for us in terms of gaining more following and readership?

The question may seem simple, but the fact is, different platforms seem to be more and less effective for each one of us. I’m no SEO expert by a longshot, but from what I’ve gleaned from my own experience, and from reading about some experiences of others, certain platforms just seem to work better than others, depending on the type of posts made and sometimes depending on the genre we write in.

The first step to success in gaining followers is to engage with readers and commenters when they do visit our posts. Depending on the genre we write in, and the particular social site we’re posting in should dictate what types of things we should post. We can all try out different sites to see what the feedback is, but keep in mind the more sites we’re on, the more sites we have to babysit.

There’s nothing wrong with posting on many sites and weeding out where we’ll find our most engaged readers are. From there we can decide where to focus more of our attention. Remember, readers want informative information, entertaining posts, and posts pertaining to writing. And when posting about our books, we should be focusing on an interesting element of our book, or perhaps a promotion we’re running to inform readers about the opportunity. Also keep in mind that social media works by informing and sharing. This means, sharing posts from others too because that will bring us more connections with others, and in turn, these people will eventually become willing to share back our posts on their channels.

Every platform seems to have their own niche and focus. The main thing to keep in mind is not to push people by constant posting to buy our books. Nobody wants to be sold to. If we put out good info and engage with our readers and they like what they see, then we can talk about our books, share a promo on our pages and gain more interest because once a follower enjoys our posts they may very well be interested in our books and letting them know our books are on sale is a good thing.

What and where should we post for effective engagement?


I recommend posting things that are relevant to the things we write about, and gear the posts to the type of social media we’re posting on. When I say this, I mean, take LinkedIn for example, LinkedIn is a site to make connections with others in our field, ie: writers, editors, publishers, artists, promoters, etc. LinkedIn is also a place that anybody can look at our resume and works and take opportunity to contact us for a potential job or interview related to our expertise, etc. So I post my blogs there and articles of interest related to the writing field that I come across.

You can also write, post and publish your own articles on your page there. There are numerous groups we can join and interact with others there. I’ve met many new interesting people on that site. Another important aspect of LinkedIn is that connections can endorse us for skills. That can look attractive to someone who is sniffing out our profile. When I first began learning about self-publishing, I spent a lot more time on LinkedIn participating in group forums with other writers, and I can say I learned a lot from them.

I find now that I don’t have the time to spend in forums, but I still check in every day, as new people request to connect with them frequently, and I also receive messages from connections, sometimes asking to participate in a group or an invitation to connect or to an event. LinkedIn should be a site that all professionals join. One never knows what opportunity may be offered us from there.


Twitter is great for sharing posts to bring blog traffic over to our site. It’s a great site to gather like-minded followers who like to read what we’re putting out. We can link to anything from there and using the appropriate hashtag to gain specific readers to the type of content we’re posting is just one way of gaining new readers of our content. We can advertise our books sales, post quotes and add links to our websites for those who like the meme or quote we posted the link to, to draw them over to our blogs, just to name a few things to do there.

The point is to respond to tweets, share back by tweeting posts of others who take the time to retweet us and follow. I spend 20 minutes every morning catching up on notifications and checking out new followers and sending out tweets.

That’s all I can manage in my busy days, but there are apps such as Hootsuite and Buffer that allow you to pre-schedule posts at various times. Those are apps I haven’t mastered very well because I’m not a pre-planned tweeter. But throughout the day and evening, when I’m reading an article or blog of interest, I’ll always hit the ‘twitter’ button to tweet out the post I’m reading, so in essence, I still tweet intermittently through the day and night, but I only go there once a day to respond and check out new followers, and after looking at their profiles, decide if I will follow back. I say this because, we all get those ‘followers’ who sometimes have no connection to our writing world. We’ll all learn how to sniff out these followers by clicking on their profiles and most of the time they have no avatar, no website, and an ‘egg’ is representive of their avatar. That’s usually a flag for me not to follow.


Facebook is an interesting platform. Before I began writing books, I had de-activated the app because I didn’t enjoy the world seeing my posts, but that all changed when I wanted to start selling books and had to put myself out in the public eye. If we’re writing books, we should have a Facebook author page, and in order to get that you must first open a personal page. Personal is a word I now use lightly because once upon a time, that’s what my page there was for, personal friend’s and family to share family photos, events, milestones, etc. I opened my author page to post my blogs, articles pertaining to writing, promotions, anything to do with my books, you get the picture.

What happened? Well it seems that many of my followers from my author page had found my personal page and began ‘friending’ me and I felt I had to friend them back. So ultimately, over time, my postings have changed on my personal page to more posts related to the things I believe in, and things I write about. I’ll post all my blog articles on that page since I’ve found my readers coming there more than to my author page. I post memes that are funny pertaining to women, aging, menopause, etc. And I post many quotes and memes on kindness. I usually go there in the evenings when I have some time after blog reading to check out other posts, see who has ‘liked’ my posts and thank them, and scour around to some of my favorite pages on Facebook to find some inspiring or funny post to post on my page.

I also tend to use my page as a sounding board for little incidents I encounter occasionally that I want to rant about or share a laugh with others about. Facebook is also good for creating an event page when we’re running a promo, and you can pay for ads where they will ‘boost’ your post to get more eyes on it. The ad thing isn’t always a success for everyone. Some authors say it was a waste of time, some like it. From what I gather, depending on the genre we write in and the audience following us is what makes those ads more or less successful. I haven’t tried it yet, so I’m no authority.


Instagram, I feel, is a more personalized type of site geared toward people’s passions. I am by no means a pro on that site but I was curious to join because I’d heard that many writers like that site to post personal pictures, book photos, quotes from their books, and snippets of personally liked things there. Apparently, many readers love to get to know more about their favorite authors and snippets from their everyday life. I believe Instagram has recently begun allowing us to make short little videos now we can post there as well as letting us post live links. I haven’t tried the videos yet. Instagram is mostly a mobile based app.

So it’s quick and easy to add a photo from your phone or a video you’ve made on your phone, add a caption or a link to your post or book, or your website, etc. to gain more followers of your work and make friends. I often send a photo from my Facebook page over to Instagram and write a caption with a hashtag because just like Twitter, if you hashtag your posts, people who follow those hashtagged categories will be able to see them.

I don’t go to Instagram nearly enough to use it to its full potential, but I am there and so are hundreds of my photos. Once or twice a week I go there to see how many ‘likes’ I’ve received and to check for messages.


This is another interesting app I use. Again, I don’t spend much time going to my actual site but I have 40 boards set up there with categories I like to post in. When I come across a blog post I enjoyed and think it would fit one of my boards, I always ‘pin it’ to one of my Pinterest boards. I send all my own blog posts there. I have a board where I send all my author friend’s book covers to, and a board with everything to do with my own books: excerpts, interview links, book covers, etc. There is a myriad of things you can pin there, and other people who enjoy our pins sometimes invite us to be able to pin articles to their boards. It’s great because we can create our own boards of interest and those who are interested in our board topics will see our posts. Again, don’t forget to edit before pinning with your website or a link, it’s just another outlet to draw readers to our work.


I send all my posts and many blogs I read to Google. Besides being another place where readers can find us, Google is one of the biggest search engines in town, and the more you feed it, the more discoverability you will have on the web. When I Google my name, D.G. Kaye, I come up on the first 19 pages of Google, that’s good stuff!

So these are the sites I use to send my posts and other interesting articles I come across, to. There are many other social sites around, but I have my hands full keeping up with these, and for now, I have my time allotment system in place for all of them. But I know in the near future I am going to want to revamp my system and probably delve a bit more into getting more out of social media than I’m currently taking from it. At least I’m linked up and gathering followers in the mean time and that’s a big plus for us to keep building our platforms.

What’s working for you?

If you aren’t already connected with me, please visit me at any of my sites and let’s connect!

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

Thanks to Debby for sharing this post from her archives and I am sure it will to clarify which social media platforms are of most use and interest to you.

Books by D.G. Kaye


A recent review for the memoir, Conflicted Hearts on Goodreads.

Lisa Thomson rated it 5 Stars

D.G. Kaye takes you into her life in an irresistible way. You feel like a fly on the wall of her childhood home(s). She had many homes and consequently, young Kaye had not known a world of stability. Ever since she could remember as a small child, her parents fought and often her narcissistic mother ‘won’. She didn’t know from one day to the next whether her father would leave them.

As a child and adolescent, Kaye had no understanding of her mother’s personality. On the one hand, she admired her mother’s beauty and on the other, she feared her temper. The relationship was one fraught with contradictions beyond comprehension. All Kaye wanted was to make her mother happy and keep her from destroying her father’s emotional health. This is far too much for any child to bear, but Kaye did for many years.

The memoir takes the reader through her childhood difficulties, her adolescent rebellion and finally freedom, into her young adult romances and career. Finally, D.G. shares how she met the love of her life but as well, the ongoing heartache of dealing with her narcissistic mother and her own health issues. Kaye is not only a fabulous writer, but she is a true warrior. If you want inspiration for overcoming life’s challenges, or if you are dealing with a narcissistic parent, then this is a must read

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

and Amazon UK:

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads:

About D.G. Kaye

d-g-kayeI’m a nonfiction memoir writer who writes about life, matters of the heart and women’s issues. I write to inspire others by sharing my stories about events I encountered, and the lessons that come along with them.

I love to laugh, and self-medicate with a daily dose of humor. When I’m not writing intimate memoirs, you’ll find me writing with humor in some of my other works and blog posts.

When I was a young child, I was very observant about my surroundings. Growing up in a tumultuous family life, otherwise known as a broken home, kept me on guard about the on-and-off-going status of my parent’s relationship. I often wrote notes and journaled  about the dysfunction that I grew up in. By age seven I was certain I was going to grow up to be a reporter.

Well life has a funny way of taking detours. Instead, I moved away from home at eighteen with a few meager belongings and a curiosity for life. I finished university and changed careers a few times, as I worked my way up to managerial positions. My drive to succeed at anything I put my mind to led me to having a very colorful and eventful life.

Ever the optimist, that is me. I’ve conquered quite a few battles in life; health and otherwise, and my refusal to accept the word No, or to use the words ‘I can’t’ have kept me on a positive path in life.

I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences.

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?”

Don’t forget, if you have some posts in your archives to share to a new audience them please send four to me at

Thanks for dropping by…


Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – D. G. Kaye and Mary Anne Edwards

Welcome to the showcase for recent reviews. If you are not in the Cafe and Bookstore then you are still very welcome to share your latest review here and go into the bookstore as well.

First review is for the memoir P.S. I Forgive You: A Broken Legacy by D.G. Kaye.

About P.S. I Forgive You: A Broken Legacy

“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.

The most recent review for the book

A Courageous Revealing on September 1, 2017

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 other reviews and buy the book:

and at Amazon UK:

Also by D.G. Kaye

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

and Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow D.G. Kaye on Goodreads:

Connect to D.G. Kaye through her website.

Flirting with Time is the 5th book so far in the Charlie McClung Mystery series by Mary Anne Edwards.

About The Charlie McClung Mystery series

The Detective Charlie McClung mysteries are gripping yet tender novels. The books are set in the early 1980s, a time without cell phones or laptop computers making life more simple but solving crime more difficult. The plots are filled with twists and turns. The characters are believable yet complex. They are people you know or want to know.

About Flirting with Time – Book Five of the series

Do you know what it’s like to feel someone stalking you, shadowing every move you make?

For months now, Detective Charlie McClung and his wife have been tormented by an elusive figure, toying with them, almost daring the detective to catch him.

Any hopes that this is the work of a harmless prankster vanish when an innocent man is found brutally murdered.

McClung will go to any lengths to protect his family, but how far is too far?

The most recent reviews for the book

Another Great Book on September 2, 2017

This is the fifth book in the Charlie McClung Mystery series by Mary Anne Edwards and it was another great story. They just keep getting better and better. There was suspense with a dash of romance. I loved this book. A must read!

I have enjoyed the progression of Charlie and Marian’s ‘love affair.’ Something or someone is always trying to inflict harm on one of them. This just serves to strengthen their relationship. Their friends all rally around to try to protect them. The characters are believable and the reader can ‘picture’ what they look like and their personalities. I like the continuity and progression of a series. While it is a big help to have read them in sequence, the reader can pick up on the characters and their relationships quickly.
I can’t wait for Mary Anne’s next Charlie McClung Mystery. Charlotte Pinkston


Read the other reviews and buy Flirting with Time:

and at Amazon UK:

Also by Mary Anne Edwards

Read all the many reviews and buy the Charlie McClung Series:

and Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Mary Anne Edwards on Goodreads:

Connect to Mary via her website:

Thank you for dropping by today and I hope you will check both these authors and their books out.. Thanks Sally


Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Tuesday 12th September 2017 – D.G. Kaye, Sue Vincent/S.C. Skillman, Alethea Kehas and Gary Loggins

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

The first blog post today is from Debby Gies with her Sunday Review.. Sounds like a very useful book for authors .. new and those of us who still have challenges with writing a blurb.

Today’s book review is on a great little read I’ve had on my Kindle for awhile now, How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis by Bryan Cohen. Bryan is an author, podcaster and writing coach. For you authors who want to learn a couple of good tricks for writing a good blurb, I highly recommend this short but informational book.

Read more about the book and Debby’s 5* review:

Now time to share a guest post that Sue Vincent hosted from S.C. Skillman as part  of her guest series on unusual experiences that have raised questions about our definition of the world we occupy.

Sheila Skillman sent me her account of two strange experiences to which I can relate. As Sheila says, such stories, on their own, may be explained away by those who look to psychology or physiology… there is always a plausible explanation if you want one badly enough, just as there is always a supernatural or paranormal explanation to be found, if that is what you seek. Much depends on what we are willing to accept as possible and we will each bring our own experience of life and its stranger aspects to bear on that decision.

Whatever the true nature of these experiences and encounters, they are undeniably real to those who live them and their effects may be far-reaching. The more I read and learn of the experiences of others, the more convinced I am that we know only a fraction of what is truly possible. It is in spirit that I will continue to share those experiences that are sent to me for this series.

 Find out about Sheila Skillman’s unusual experiences:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Now time to welcome a new author who has just published her memoir and is a little reticent about self-promotion so I thought we might all lend a hand with that. A girl named Truth by Alethea Kehas.

It’s not easy for me to self-promote my first published book, which I have held close for so long. Yesterday, a friend on Facebook asked me how long it took me to write my memoir, and I told her a partial truth. That I started A Girl Named Truth ten years ago, nearly to the day I hit the button to birth its release on the night before my 44th birthday two weeks ago. This is true, but the journey leading up to putting the words on paper is perhaps what is most significant, for it is a journey of silence. A journey that started at my birth.

Even when I was a young child, I knew what I wanted to do with my life. Some may call this lucky, but it is also a bit of a curse. Putting words onto paper, even in journal form, always felt like exposure. It felt hugely vulnerable, like I was opening myself up to censorship in the worst possible kind. Instead, I wrote stories and poems inside the pages of my mind and kept them neatly tucked into the folds where no one could venture but me. Then, one day, after enduring two years of debilitating IBS, I decided I need to write. Really write, the words waiting, not too patiently, inside the folds of my body.

How about you head over to Alethea’s blog and read the post and then spread it far and wide on your own networks:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

And finally today, if you enjoy classic films then you will enjoy following Gary Loggin’s blog.. And I noticed that he had done a feature on The Searchers with John Wayne and I loved it. My father was a huge John Wayne fan and when any of his films came on T.V it was mandatory family viewing. My father liked company when he watched movies and Westerns were his genre.

Ride Away: John Wayne in John Ford’s THE SEARCHERS (Warner Brothers 1956)

John Ford’s THE SEARCHERS is without question an American Film Classic. I’d even go as far as saying it’s my second all-time favorite film, directly behind CASABLANCA. Every shot is a Remington Old West masterpiece, every actor perfect in their role, large or small, and not a minute of footage is wasted. The film has also stirred up quite a bit of controversy over time for John Wayne’s portrayal of the main character Ethan Edwards.

Read the rest of the post and find out more about The Searchers:

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over and enjoy the full posts… See you around and thanks Sally



Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Friday 8th September, 2017 – Jay C. Wolfe, Norah Colvin, D.G. Kaye and Barb Taub

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Jay C. Wolfe has identified six perks of writing that she shares in this post. I have added another into the comments and I am sure Jay would love to hear from you over on the original post too.

Being a writer can be just as rewarding as it is frustrating, and if you can power through its challenges, you’ll find an incredibly adventurous and fulfilling path ahead. So for those of you who choose to follow this path, here are six perks of being a fiction writer that you can look forward to. Happy writing!

Writing Perk #1: You have the power to create anything.

In a way, fiction writers make up their own class of superheroes. Some people have super strength, others are incredibly smart, and still others excel at almost everything they try. But writers? We have the ultimate gift: the power of creation.

While I envy visual artists for their ability to draw, I’d still favor being a writer any day. The ability to paint vivid images with language is a special form of art with its own challenges, and when done right, it can be even more effective. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but imagery through words alone is an exercise for the imagination.

Anyone who’s ever tried writing a novel—especially a fantasy or science fiction novel—is familiar with the concept of “world building”. There’s much more to storytelling than conflict; you must create characters and settings to bring that conflict to life. And in my experience, there’s nothing quite as thrilling as the power to create an entire universe and direct the fates of its inhabitants any way you want. Besides, at what other job can you openly say you kill people for a living? Writing may not be the highest paying job in the world, but it certainly has benefits you can’t get anywhere else!

Find out about the other five writing perks:

My next post is from Norah Colvin who writes on the benefits of parents volunteering at their child’s school and how helpful that can be to teachers.  As the children head back for this next term it might be something to think about if you have the time.

I have always welcomed and appreciated parent volunteers in the classroom. The value they add to the classroom program and children’s learning is enormous. I always loved that we could do much more with the assistance of parent volunteers than we could without.

But effective use of the parent volunteer’s time requires a certain amount of organisation and preparation. Just as there is little point in a parent volunteer turning up at a scheduled time if you are unprepared; there is also little value in a parent appearing at the door during class time and asking, “Can I help?”

Parent volunteers can play a very important role in the classroom, especially with group work in literacy and maths, assisting with art lessons, outdoor activities and work in the computer lab. They may also help in administrative-type roles such as changing reading books and checking sight words. Perhaps they could read to groups or individual children, or listen to children read.

Find out more about how you as a parent could contribute to lessons at your child’s school:

The next post is the Friday author spotlight by Debby Gies for her fellow writers and today it is Vashti Quiroz-Vega and her new book The Fall of Lilith.


Vashti blogs at The Writer Next Door where you will find her posting beautiful Haiku and other colorful posts as well as guest authors, artists, and poets she features on her blog. She writes in fantasy genre, as well as short story horror fiction. Vashti is a prolific writer and her bubbly and warm personality has many bloggers visiting her blog. Vashti explains why she named her blog The Writer Next Door:

“Why is my blog called ‘The Writer Next Door‘? I consider myself a people person and someone who’s very approachable. I try to see the good in people. I’m not easily influenced and I hate malicious gossip. I believe in ‘girl power’ and sisterhood between women, but I also respect and admire men. I’m not scary, although I can be a little weird at times. I’m a kid at heart and love to have fun, but I also take my responsibilities very seriously and work hard to achieve my goals.”

Read the rest of the interview and an extract from The Fall of Lilith:

This is hilarious and I do recommend that even if you have not enjoyed the process of socialising your own children that you will appreciate the effort involved. Barb Taub takes us through some hair-raising etiquette lessons in restaurants as well as a lesson in manner for us all from her husband.. personally I do love spitting out watermelon pips at the person opposite me.

We were celebrating my birthday last week at a lovely London restaurant, and my toddler grandchild could not believe her luck when the waitress set a plate with a hamburger and french fries in front of her. She beamed at her new best friend, and confided the numbers one-to-ten in English and Spanish. (Minus the number six, of course, because for reasons we don’t quite understand, that number is dead to her. It must never be mentioned.)

The beginning of this beautiful friendship was cut short, however, when the waitress came back later and took her plate away. The baby fixed her with a glare so terrible paint cracked on the wall behind her. Grown men turned white and headed for the bar, while a nearby dog hid under a table. The focussed power of the stinkeye leveled on our server was so alarming, the accompanying wail so ear-piercing, that the plate-thief stumbled back to the kitchen for safety. While my kids tried to apologize, I thought about the process of civilizing small children.

Read more of this entertaining manual on bringing up children:

Thank you for dropping in today and please head over and enjoy these posts in full..Thanks Sally



Smorgasbord Reblog – Guest Feature, The Kindlepreneur Dave Chesson by D.G. Kaye

Today a reblog from Debby Gies — D.G. Kaye whose guest feature last week was for The Kindlepreneur Dave Chesson.  The person to follow for all things Kindle and book marketing. In this post Dave covers the topic of outlining and how very important it is to have some idea of how your story will develop.

I was ecstatic when the Kindlepreneur – Dave Chesson asked me if he could guest post on my blog today. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Dave, he’s known as the Kindlepreneur. His website is a wealth of information for Indie authors where he covers everything Self-Publishing.

How Outlining Boosts Confidence by Dave Chesson.

It can be tempting to sit down to a new writing project and just let the words pour out.

After all, isn’t that how it’s supposed to be? A pure, free-flowing act of creativity unstifled by any form of restraint?

At first, I believed this. I felt any form of plotting or outlining was antithetical to the purity of creation. I felt that it was somehow ‘nobler’ or ‘truer’ to write without restriction.

The trouble was, it just didn’t work! I eventually ended up stuck too many times, and had too many half-written projects just sitting on my hard drive without a hope of being finished.

I’ve since come to believe that outlining or plotting is often the right way to go. It’s massively helped my writing confidence and productivity and I’m going to share the hows and whys with you today.

Even Famous Authors Outline

One of the major stumbling blocks that held me back from outlining was the belief that it was somehow amateurish to do so. I felt that ‘real writers’ wouldn’t need an outline and therefore I shouldn’t either.

Read the rest of this informative post:

Read the reviews and buy the books:

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – The Good Life #Waterford History and amazing guest writers

Welcome to the round up and some posts that you might have missed. Especially if you have taken my advice and have not signed up for notifications. You would be so stressed!  I know that I blog a great deal but by now you are used to that by now.. Popping in on a Sunday is probably your best bet so that you can select the posts that you are interested in.

Next weekend there is going to a change to the programme as it will be a three day party on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Unfortunately I may have tipped our summer into its own pity party when I announced this last week, as it has been blowing a hooligan and pouring with rain ever since!  However, we will not let a little moisture get in our way.

My intention is to mention as many of those people who have been with me since the beginning of my blogging adventure in September 2013 with some specially prepared snippets. I also plan to do some introductory pieces on my regular guests as well with interludes for music, humour and of course food and drink. There will be a post each day and in the tradition of all good parties, mingling and exchanging details in the comments is to be expected.

Paul Andruss has prepared two posts which will go out in the week about some of the music he feels will get you in the mood and he will also round off the party with a post on Sunday Afternoon.

I hope that whatever your actual plans are for next weekend you will be able to pop in to one of the posts over the three days and leave your details in the visitors book.

My thanks as always to my guests this week and food was definitely on the agenda with the wonderful recipe for Babotie which is a traditional South African dish that I enjoyed as a child. My thanks to Tandy Sinclair for sharing.  As you will have seen, Carol Taylor and I have teamed up for a new series on healthy foods alongside delicious recipes. This week the versatile banana received the Carol treatment.

And to encourage you not to let all this wonderful food cause a disruption to your waistline, Julie Lawford shares 50 benefits that demonstrate the positive effects of healthy weight loss.

And of course thanks to William Price King for his wonderful series on Tony Bennett first aired in 2015 and now taking us through the Summer (a term used loosely around here).

Now on with the show…..thanks for dropping in and please sign the guest book at the end. 

Summer Jazz with William Price King and Tony Bennett

Milestones along the way by Geoff Cronin

Guest Post – Julie Lawford – Lifestyle – Weightloss

Guest post – Carol Taylor – Health benefits of Bananas and recipes.

Guest post – Tandy Sinclair – Traditional South African Food – Babotie.

The Odd Jobs and Characters series here on Smorgasbord. Posted on D.G. Kaye’s blog.

Smorgasbord Reblogs

Paul Andruss takes us back to the Roman Empire and the origins of the expression ‘Crossing the Rubicon’

Thomas the Rhymer

Book and author promotion – Cafe and Bookstore Update

New book on the shelves

Air Your Reviews

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Smorgasbord Entertainment Movie Review – I give The Mummy 4/10… find out why.

Smorgasbord Health – If your teeth are suffering from acid erosion it may be your bottled mineral water!


Words of wisdom from the head of the household – Dear Kittie with Morgan Freeman

Doggie Day Camp and the School bus.

Meet George the Service Dog on his special day out.

Smorgasbord Pet Health

Weekly Image and Haiku

I hope that you have enjoyed this week’s posts and thank you so much for your visits and sharing across your own sites.. It is much appreciated.

Odd Jobs and Characters – The Shoe Department – Hosted by D.G. Kaye

Up to now I have shared the first three posts in this series on my own blog. As part of my launch of my new short story collection – What’s in a Name Volume Two – the remaining episodes are kindly being hosted by some of my fellow writers.  I am very grateful for their ongoing support and I hope you will head over and read of my misadventures.

You will find all the episodes to date in this directory which includes my jobs along the seafront and two posts at the dental surgery:


This week I handed the next episode to D.G. Kaye (Debby Gies) who added some accessories to the Shoe Department in the form of a wonderful intro and the story Xenia which is from the new collection. One of the most difficult stories that I have written as it is very close to my heart.

My thanks to Debby for making me feel like visiting royalty… so touched and grateful.

Here is an extract from the post and I hope that you will head over and read my episode and the bonus story Xenia.

Now, without any further ado, Sally has generously offered to share one of her short stories for this post and she has cleverly picked out a story about shoes because she knew shoes are a subject close to my heart. Sheesh, my shoe-lovin’ reputation has certainly been made known, even in the virtual world. In one of Sally’s other books, Just an Odd Job Girl, Sally tells the story about a girl named Imogen, which includes many odd jobs she worked along the way, rising above many sticky issues. The book is written in the fiction genre, but it didn’t take me long to figure out that Imogen was indeed Sally! Today, Sally is sharing a story about one of those jobs she had from the real life version.

Odd Jobs and Characters – The Shoe Department by Sally Cronin

My thanks so much to the wonderful Debby Gies.. .D.G. Kaye for her continued and much appreciated support for my blog and books.

I loved working in the dental surgery, but I felt that I would like to take the medical side of my training further. I decided to follow in my father’s footsteps and join the Royal Navy as a nurse in the Queen Alexandra’s Nursing Service. I applied and was accepted for an interview which I attended at Haslar Naval Hospital. It was a bit of an ordeal as it involved a written exam, physical exam and an interview with senior nursing and naval officers. I returned home and waited for the outcome. A letter arrived a week later, to say that I had been accepted, but not for another eighteen months.

This left me in a quandary, and being the age I was, I felt that before I joined up I should see a little more of life. I handed in my notice at the dental surgery, applying to the local department store for a temporary job whilst I decided on my strategy for the next year or so.

I have to point out that I am one of three sisters, with a mother who loved shoes and handbags, and it appeared that she had passed those particular genes onto us. I can remember at a very early age spending many happy hours in the bottom of my mother’s wardrobe, rummaging through her high heeled dancing shoes and trying them out for size. Not very elegant at five years old, but habit forming.

Please head over to Debby’s for the rest of the post and bonus story – Thanks Sally:

Thanks again to Debby for such a wonderful start to the series tour and please check out her books available:

Next week – The Cosmetic Department – Hosted by Diana Wallace Peach.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Friday 18th August, 2017 -Tony Riches/Wendy Janes, D.G. Kaye/ Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, Dan Alatorre/ Heather Kindt, Christy Birmingham

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome to the last of the week’s blogger daily posts and perhaps you can enlighten me as to how Friday has come around so quickly!  Anyway I have been offline quite a bit today but I have a small selection of posts you might enjoy from around the community.

The first is from Wendy Janes who is not only an author but a professional proofreader too. This is part three of a series that she has been sharing and if you confuse your its and it’s and other transgressions, this is a post for you (and me). This is posted on Tony Riches blog.

The odd thing about grammar and punctuation rules is that they are a bit of a moveable feast. Some change depending on whether you’re using US or UK English and others are flexible depending on context, style and genre. Sounds like a can of worms, if you ask me. But let’s dive in and try and make some sense of it all.

First, I’d like to select the three rules that I see authors breaking most often. These ones are non-negotiable.

Use of it’s and its
it’s = it is (It’s raining)
its = belonging to (The creature protected its young)
The easy way to remember correct use of it’s and its is to say ‘it is’ whenever you come across either version. If the sentence makes sense when you say ‘it is’ then the correct term is it’s.

Get the rest of the three rules that are most commonly broken:

We have had a post on the subject of writing and now we have one on the topic of reading and how important it is to keeping our brains engaged and active. Madelyn Griffith-Haynie is an authority on the brain and its functions and she was a guest of Debby Gies a couple of days ago.

Madelyn has written a fantastic article on the importance of reading books and explains in her post, just how far the information we retain from reading can help us relate to others, how reading benefits us as we age, the beneficial impact reading has on warding off Alzheimer’s disease, and much more!

Thanks to our ability to scroll through endless words on our computers, tablets and smart phones, more people are reading than ever before.

Still, while the act of reading itself has increased, there is a significant difference between reading anything and reading a book that pulls you into the mind of the author as you take a mental vacation.

Even hours of reading on FaceBook, or skipping from blog to blog reading multiple articles on various subjects, does not seem to have the same positive effect as reading a novel, a memoir or a carefully curated collection of short-stories.

And the more time we spend online, the less time we have for reading those wonderful books on our TBR lists (“To Be Read”).

That’s a real shame, too, because reading a good book is not only an enjoyable, affordable “vacation” that broadens our perspective, it turns out that science has discovered that it actually improves our brain functioning in ways that translate to improved thinking, mood, functional intelligence, more positive and productive connections in our lives, and so-much-MORE.

Read more about the benefits to the executive function of our brains of reading effectively:

Now that the winners for the Word Weaver competition that was created by Dan Alatorre have been announced, it is a great pleasure to share the beginning of the winning story by Heather Kindt.  As the first prize we are looking forward to working with Heather when she is ready to publish her book.

Ruby Slips and Poker Chips  by Heather Kindt

“It was Toto that made Dorothy laugh, and saved her from growing as gray as her other surroundings.”

July 1995

Quandary Pond was situated between my house and the tiny one-bedroom shack that sat five minutes down the road. The shack was a rental, and a poorly cared for one at that. Our neighbors didn’t stay there much longer than a barefoot on the pavement outside Price Chopper in July. The house appeared lopsided to me, shingles falling off, and the siding was worn with time. Grass grew as high as my thigh and Uncle Embry often stated his intention to go over there and give the yard the weed whacking it deserved. The last residents had left in the middle of the night. I overheard Aunt Henrietta say something about drug charges.

“I’m going down to the pond!” The screen door shut behind me. Uncle Embry was at work at the air-conditioned post office and Aunt Henrietta reclined in the oversized Lazy boy trying to stay cool in the heat of the Kansas afternoon. The fan that oscillated next to the chair made more of a racket than what it was worth.

I preferred cooling off by the pond. Dressed in cutoffs and a tank from the local thrift store, my braids bounced against my back as I skipped down to my favorite hangout.

Making my way down the path from the house to the pond, I glimpsed a red station wagon sitting in front of the shack. New renters. I never really took the time to get to know anyone who lived there, since they’d probably be gone in a couple of months. Removing my shoes, I dove into the pond, no longer worried about the leeches that some of my girlfriends squealed about. After a short swim, I trudged out, settling on a drip dry as I made my way to the tree where I hid my stash. The hollow in the tree contained a jar for bug catching (usually fireflies at night), a couple bottles of water, a net, a pail and my science journal (which I kept in a plastic bag in case it rained). I picked out the net and started to creep around the reeds looking for Old Bill, the bull frog that was as large as a grapefruit and had so far avoided capture. My goal was to sketch and categorize each frog in the pond, as well as many of the insects. Rounding the bend by a large tree, Bill sat on a rock sunning himself. This was going to be the day. A crop duster flew overhead masking any sounds my feet made in the grass. I lifted my net at the perfect angle for frog catching, ready to pounce.

This is really a terrific story and I am sure that the book will be a winner too:

For many people who are recovering from operations or illnesses the thought of bed rest can be attractive initially but then boredom sets in. Christy Birmingham looks at the issue and comes up with some strategies to stay sane.

There are numerous reasons why you might find yourself confined to your bed for a period of time. The most obvious are those regarding health; an injury or illness that means you have to follow doctor’s orders until you’re back to your best.

The idea of being on bed rest sounds, to the average busy person, pretty ideal. Bed is the space we all love; that we have to reluctantly drag ourselves from every morning, and leave behind when we go to work with a forlorn last longing glance. How could bed rest – staying in bed because you’ve been told to! – ever be a bad thing?

What at first feels like a luxury has a tendency to soon feel stifling. Being confined to a single room becomes boring; you find yourself wanting to get up and about, just see something different. While there is an element of enjoyment to be found in a period of bed rest – especially if you are usually always on the go – it’s not quite so enjoyable when you have to be there.

So if you find yourself in a situation where your life is going to revolve around a bed and not much else for a period of time, here is a simple guide to ensuring you stay comfortable both mentally and physically for the duration.

Head over and get these strategies under your belt.. you never know when you might need them:

Thanks very much for dropping in and I hope you have enjoyed the snippets and feel inclined to head over and read all the posts. There are a few posts over the weekend and the Blogger Daily will be back Monday.. Take care and thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – D. G. Kaye, Deborah A. Bowman and Linda Bradley

Welcome to the first of the updates for autho’s in the bookstore this week and before I get started just a reminder that D.G. Kaye has her book Words We Carry FREE for the next couple of days.

Head over to download your copy: and dowload your copy.

Our first update is for Deborah A. Bowman with Annie’s Story: Blessed with a Gift which was released earlier this year.

About Annie’s story

This story of love and faith by “different” people—now called “special” people—begs to be told. “Annie’s Story” is about a dwarfed, mentally slow child growing up in Colonial America, who is “Blessed With A Gift” from the Spiritual Universe. In Annie’s lifetime, babies born with birth defects and their mothers were banished or put to death—their names cleansed from all church and legal records. Annie’s message is timeless, and her shining spirit reveals that “History Does Repeat Itself” in the treatment, abuse, labeling, and bullying of women, children, and individuals with special needs.

Factual research has confirmed what many generations have tried to eradicate or conceal as was done in the Salem Witch Hysteria of 1692-93, nearly half-a-century “after” Annie lived. JOIN THE ANNIE MOVEMENT to continue the fight for women’s rights, cure birth defects, and stop bullying. Have perceptions changed all that much since the mid-1600s? Have they changed enough? Sadly, they have not. Purchase the book to support women and children. Please, write a review and contact the author. Fundraiser opportunities available.

A recent review for Annie’s story

A unique story on June 25, 2017

Annie’s Story provides a unique insider’s look into the world of newly emigrated people, the Scots, to a free land where they could safely continue worshipping their faith—Catholicism. For Annie, born into a world where one’s physical differences and abilities were considered the child of the devil, it was life threatening.

Annie was raised by her grandmother, a renowned Scottish healer, after her parents died from the plague. This story highlights the hardships endured by immigrants in a world vastly different to their own, who contend with harshness of the land, weather and hiding their beliefs from their neighbours—the Puritans.

Annie was a dwarf and a healer, born in the mid-17th century in Colonial America. Her family left Scotland to avoid the harsh and imperial rule of the English King Charles II, migrated to Massachusetts Bay area, not far from a Puritan settlement. Her grandmother, taught Annie the art and skills of ‘pagan’ medicine after witnessing her miraculously heal a man who almost died.

Annie’s grandmother, her best friend Janey, her parents and the Scottish community protect and shield Annie from outsiders, who don’t understand her physical and mental disabilities. The young girl heals a boy from the Puritan township, which they later become friends and then fall in love.

One of the subjects I am not overly familiar with is American history. The Civil War was perhaps its greatest exponents, as was Abraham Lincoln, and so when I started reading this book, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I read historical fiction, but tend to go for books that predate Christianity.

What intrigued and drew me to the story was that it was premised on a past-life regression, in this case, the author’s. Bowman prefaces the book with background information that she underwent an “age” regression, and in follow up sessions, learnt she lived in another time and went by the name of Annie. The book has facts interwoven within the story, about Annie, the period and the way people who were different were treated. It is evident a great deal of research has gone into the story, describing what life was like during Colonial America for migrants, the Indians and how the Puritans lived.
The use of Scottish phrases and terms is great and it remains true to the characters, but I would have preferred a glossary at the end of the book rather than the explanation within the narrative.

For readers who know little about America’s early history, Annie’s Story is a good introduction to life during a period of unrest in Colonial America. For those who know a lot more, you will enjoy the various historical elements that feature in this story.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

Also by Deborah A. Bowman

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

Read other reviews and follow Deborah on Goodreads :

Connect with Deborah via her blog:

The next update is for Linda Bradley and the third book in her Montana Bound Series: Maggie’s Montana which has received some great recent reviews.

About Maggie’s Montana

Maggie Abernathy, best friend Judy, and Judy’s two young sons travel cross country to visit John McIntyre and daughter Chloe at their Montana ranch. Maggie’s convinced herself that she’s only making the trip to fulfill her promise to visit Chloe, but once there she can’t help but fall in love with the horses, the land, the ranch, and the Montana ways of life. With Chloe’s loving antics, Winston’s gift, and a handful of wranglers showing her the ropes, will Maggie have the heart to say goodbye?

One of the recent reviews on Amazon

I enjoyed this series and the people Bradley brought to life. I have known everyone of them at different times. The story was romantic in it’s restraint, with desire. I do get a little bored with some romance novels repeating the same scene, different people. I also have lost 2 great friends as well as my mother and grandmother to cancer. Sometimes when everything you care about caves in, after the shock, you have to dig yourself out and up. Only you can decide to try to love again. And if you are lucky enough, you will say yes again and again to children, animals, family and friends. But when you find a really good man, a partner, you will understand that it is by far the most Important decision you will ever make, even the second time around.

A recent review on Goodreads

Debbie Oliphant rated it 5 stars.

I was pleasantly surprised by this series and it is highly recommended to read the three books. It is so worth it. The pace of the series keeps you engaged and by the third instalment, I found myself trying to slow my pace so I can savor the ending.

Maggie has battled and survived cancer during the same time her husband leave her. She is unsettled and doesn’t believe happiness is in her future and if it is, could she take the risk of a broken heart. It is during these changes that she befriends a precocious seven year old girl who attaches herself to her. Maggie can’t seem to shake little Chloe and the two find they have a bond. Chloe is finding a place in Maggie’s heart and soon Chloe father, John, is finding his place, too.

This journey was wonderful and you’re elated as Maggie and John find their way to o e another and you’re cheering for both of them because they deserve this second chance, but the real gem is the relationship between Maggie and Chloe. Chloe has wisdom beyond her years and is so self aware and she seems to find the right words and feelings to reach Maggie. I loved how the story took its time as you begin to love these characters as the author intended

Read all the reviews and buy the book:

Also by Linda Bradley

Read all the reviews and buy the series:

Read more reviews and follow Linda on Goodreads:

Connect to Linda via her website:

Thanks for dropping in today and please help share the reviews for these authors far and wide.. thanks Sally

Are you an author in the Cafe and Bookstore? – Have you recently released a new book or are about to? Have you recently received great reviews? Email me on


Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Wednesday 9th August 2017 – Susan Toy, Annette Rochelle Aben, D.G. Kaye with Tina Frisco, Sue Vincent with Judith Barrow

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome to a handful of blog posts that I have enjoyed over the last couple of days. I hope you will head over and read all the post and also follow the blogger in question.

Susan Toy​ is turning her wisdom about the world of books towards a fundamental ability we all should be thankful we have been taught. Being able to read is a gift that millions around the world do not have. But learning how words are put together to make a sentence is one thing.. understanding that sentence is another.

Here is an extract from the post

READING will now become the focus, and I plan to write a series of posts on various aspects of the subject, both from my own perspective and that of other readers. My recent blog post, How to Help an Author received an incredible number (for me) of views, likes, shares, and reblogs – plus many comments, so I can see I’m heading in the right direction with this idea. (I’ve been trying to get this series going for a long time now … This time for sure, Rocky!)

I won’t be discussing any longer the issues of how to write, edit, get published, or promote books. I believe I’ve written myself out on those topics and there are plenty of old posts in the archives of this blog, in case anyone is still interested in reading what I’ve had to say. Besides, many other bloggers and websites continue to offer great advice. I’ll leave it up to them to tell you how it’s all done.

Read the complete post and find out more about what is to come:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

This week there have been a number of posts that will touch the hearts and minds of all of us. They are stories of people’s lives and how they now look back on times when they felt powerless or treated badly. But they are also inspiring.

The first is from poet, author and broadcaster Annette Rochelle Aben who is writing an open letter to her former husband.

Dear Dan,

Got the call last night, that they put you in the hospital again. This time, they found you lying in bed with a knife by your side. When asked what your intentions were, you told them that you were thinking of hurting yourself. Naturally, the Doctors said to bring you in at once.

They counted your meds and found that it had been over a month since you took them regularly. The hallucinations became your reality and there was no amount of logic that could convince you otherwise. You’ve allowed yourself to shrivel into a caricature of a human being, looking and acting decades older than your 67 years. Your guardians said that we wouldn’t even recognize you. But remember, we saw you at Christmas and while you did look a little worse for the wear, your mind was clearer than it had been in years and you were having a grand time.

You are in the best place possible for where you are mentally and emotionally. They will take care of you, see that you take your medications and that you will connect with people. This may not cure you but it is designed to help you regain your strength so you can live on your own, in your own home.

Read the rest of this letter which whilst very personal to Annette and her ex-husband could well apply to so many battling mental illness :

The next post is from Tina Frisco on the subject of forgiveness and was posted on D.G. Kaye.. Debby Gies blog.

As many of you know, I enjoy sharing posts here by Tina Frisco. And I was elated at Tina’s agreement to write a guest post to feature here today while I’m knee-deep in re-writes on my newest book.

Tina has an inner wisdom, which opens our eyes to simple things we often take for granted, or sometimes hold a place within us that we sometimes struggle with but may not be able to come to terms with. In this post, Tina shares her experience with finding forgiveness and methods she utilizes to delve deep within her soul to find resolution.

We tend to think of the rational as a higher order, but it is the emotional that marks our lives. One often learns more from ten days of agony than from ten years of contentment.” –Merle Shain, Canadian journalist and author, 1935-1989

Forgiveness is the highest form of virtue. It requires a strong and open heart. It challenges faith, trust, and understanding. It demands a willingness to let go of judgment. It moves us into compassion and elevates our consciousness. It fashions a deeper awareness of ourselves and others. Its gift is a more peaceful and fruitful life lived here on Mother Earth.

Forgiving someone a deep hurt is one of the most difficult challenges I have had to face.

Read the rest of Tina’s post on the need to forgive:

Excerpt Week is going very well with many authors in our community sharing excerpts from their latest books. Sue Vincent is hosting Judith Barrow with an excerpt from her upcoming

This morning, I’d like to welcome Judith Barrow, who is sharing an excerpt from her latest book, A Hundred Tiny Threads, which is now available for pre-order. I know you’ll enjoy this one, and will remember to share hither and yon, as you can. Thanks so much, and thanks, Judith, for taking part in #ExcerptWeek. Welcome!


Gritty family saga set in Lancashire in the 1900s and Ireland at the time of the Black and Tans.

Winifred is a determined young woman eager for new experiences, for a life beyond the grocer’s shop counter ruled over by her domineering mother. When her friend Honora – an Irish girl, with the freedom to do as she pleases – drags Winifred along to a suffragette rally, she realises that there is more to life than the shop and her parents’ humdrum lives of work and grumbling.

Bill Howarth’s troubled childhood echoes through his early adult life and the scars linger, affecting his work, his relationships and his health. The only light in his life comes from a chance meeting with Winifred, the daughter of a Lancashire grocer. The girl he determines to make his wife.

Meeting Honora’s intelligent and silver-tongued medical student brother turns Winifred’s heart upside down and she finds herself pregnant. Bill Howarth reappears on the scene offering her a way out.

Read the Excerpt from A Hundred Tiny Threads by Judith Barrow:

Thank you for dropping in and I hope you will follow the links to read the complete posts and leave your feedback.. thanks Sally