Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Roberta Flack, Roses, Bacon, Cruise Ship Tips, Jersey and a whole bunch of other stuff!!

The Music Column with William Price King – Roberta Flack – Part Two.

The Gardening Column with Paul Andruss

This month a look at the history, myths and truths behind one of the most popular flowers in the world. The Rose.

The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor

There are not many of us who don’t love a piece of crispy bacon or tender boiled ham, and this week Carol shows us how to cure our own bacon and prepare ham for our summer salads.

The Travel Column with D.G. Kaye – Cruise Ships – Part Two – Ship Tips

This week Debby shares her insider knowledge about dining, tipping, excursions and shopping. Invaluable advice before you take that cruise.

Getting to Know You – Sunday Interview with Darlene Foster.

Darlene shares a favourite childhood song, an action hero she would like to be, something that she could never learn….you will be surprised considering the number of books that she writes! And the animal she would like to have a conversation with..

Travel Posts from Your Archives Sherri Matthews – A Tour of Jersey and the history of the island during World War Two.

Corbiere Lighthouse, Jersey (c) Sherri Matthews 2015

Personal Stuff

Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story Serialisation

Chapter Seven – Snow and Favourite Things.

Chapter Eight – Language

Odd Jobs and Characters – Department manager for a store leads to crime solving!

Letters from America – 1985- 1987 – Hawaii

Poetry and Haiku

Sally’s Drive Time and Playlist

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

Author updated reviews

The Blogger Daily and Meet the Reviewers.

Cathy Ryan

Health Column

Magnesium is one of the minerals that is likely to be deficient with a resulting long list of health problems.

Often mis-diagnosed Interstitial cystitis is difficult to treat.




Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – Music, Food, Travel, Legends, Books, Special Guests and Stories

Welcome to the weekly round up and some posts that you might have missed. It has been another glorious week here weather wise and I will admit to having put off some of the writing tasks that I set myself, in favour of being in the sun. You only live once….

It looks like a mostly sunny week again next week so I guess I will continue to be distracted.

This week saw the last in the Josh Groban series and William Price King will be taking his usual Summer break. He spends some time in the mountains with his family but is also wrapping up work on a new series of videos with his new accompanist.. I shared a taster a couple of weeks ago, and I am certain that you will enjoy the full length versions when available.

In the meantime I will be sharing a couple of previous series in a new time slot of just after midnight on Tuesday mornings. When William returns we have a new theme for you to enjoy as we introduce you to the top jazz instrumentalists. From accordion and banjo to the violin, fabulous artists who have evolved the style and backed the top names in the business. We hope you will enjoy learning more about this wonderful expression of music.

The Music Column with William Price King – Josh Groban up to date.

Writer in Residence – Paul Andruss #BookCovers – Persuasion.

This week Paul explores the increased sales that result from a perfectly executed book cover. One that engages, connects and perhaps titillates. What would Ms. Jane Austen say about her makeover??

The Cookery and Food Column with Carol Taylor

This week Carol elevates the delicious duck to new levels with some piquant sauces. Also an interesting way to preserve duck eggs…. really!!!

The Travel Column with D.G. Kaye.

And last but definitely not least, a warm welcome to author D.G. Kaye – Debby Gies, with the first post in the brand new Travel Column. To get you into the swing of things, Debby will post three articles on the popular vacation on the high seas. In the first post she looks at types of cruises, cabins and where the best place to sleep is in choppy seas. Plus some of her usual tips and strategies.

The Sunday Interview – Getting to know you with John W. Howell.

Posts from Your Archives – Travel – This week Sherri Matthews gives us a guided tour of Lake Garda in Italy with some stunning photographs.


Personal Stuff

Letters from America – short hair, hurricane Danny and trivia pursuit.

Odd jobs and characters…. behind the scenes of my various occupations that provided me characters and events for my short stories. This week hotel assistant manager and a whirlwind romance.

Sally’s Drive Time Playlist – Hot Chocolate and Judy Collins.

Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story – Chapter Three – My First Real Friend

Chapter Four – Henry’s Story

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

Author Update #reviews

Meet the Reviewers

Cathy Ryan

Smorgasbord Health Column -Nutrients the body needs – Vitamin K1 and K2

Research is identifying that Vitamin K2 deficiency could be contributing to higher rates of dementia, prostate cancer and kidney disease.

Ancient healing therapies – Tai Chi.

Great for posture and for strengthening the core whilst losing the stress.

Organs of the body – The Kidneys – function and structure

Kidney - macroscopic blood vessels

Humour and afternoon videos

Thank you so much for dropping in this week and being so supportive here and on social media.. I am very grateful. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and the coming week.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Reblog – What’s in a Name – @Pokercubster – Twitter Handles by D. G. Kaye

D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies shares the background to her Twitter handle @pokercubster and her views on the importance of having one that reflects your work. Like Debby I had a Twitter handle that has ended up on on all my marketing material including in books and it would be very tough to change now. Certainly a valuable post for anyone about to begin branding their work on social media.

world series of poker 2010

What’s in a Name – @Pokercubster – Twitter Handles by D. G. Kaye

Branding ourselves as authors on our platforms, social media and blogs with alias names or unrelated names for the work we produce, sometimes becomes an oversight as time passes and we connect with a growing readership. It’s essential to build a platform as published authors to gain new readership and let the world know that us and our books exist. But many of us don’t realize that not using our name (or pen name) for these purposes, can potentially present problems down the line.

I broke the rules before I even published my first book.

My Twitter handle is pretty out there when I share links and retweets. In fact, if you’ve ever read any guest posts by me and saw my shared social links below a post, you’d see a little tag line beside my Twitter URL stating: “Yes, there’s a story to this name.” – Pokercubster.

I’ve had that on my links for so long, but only recently while I was guest posting at Esmesalon, did I get questioned about it from Esme and Carol Taylor of Retired and No One Told Me. I thought it was funny because nobody ever cared to ask until then.

When I began writing my book and working on my platform by adding new social media accounts, I already had a Twitter account I’d opened in 2010, so I was good . . . or so I thought. As I was getting closer to publication date and adding my social links to the back of my book, I began to question myself about keeping that handle I’d already established on Twitter. I already had a few hundred followers and wasn’t sure if I should start fresh or grow it. The problem was the name I went by, that handle was related to my name I went by when I used to play online poker and went to Las Vegas frequently to play in some live tournaments. I also visited the World Series of Poker there two years in a row where I’d befriended some pro poker players, so I didn’t want to lose the connections.

Head over and read the rest of this excellent post:

If you missed the first in Debby Gies new Travel Column on Smorgasbord you can find here:

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

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

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will head over and check Debby’s post. thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – #Reviews – Stevie Turner, D.G. Kaye, Terry Tyler and Bette A. Stevens

Welcome to Monday’s Cafe and Bookstore Update. The first author with recent review is Stevie Turner for her book Mind Games.

About Mind Games

Frances Andrews is sick of her husband Martin’s addiction to pornography, and has lost her trust in him. Martin views porn as a harmless pastime, but when Frances threatens to leave, he is distraught and begs her to go with him for marriage guidance therapy. Counsellor Rhona suggests they take a holiday in the first instance, and start talking to one another again. Frances just wants out of the marriage, but finally agrees to go on a cruise…as long as they have separate cabins.

Told from both Frances and Martin’s perspectives, Mind Games shines a light on the effect that an addiction to pornography can have on a previously happy marriage.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Mind Games is the story of the life of Frances and Martin Andrews. Their story is one of a marriage that has been destroyed by Martin’s addiction to porn and the loss of trust that comes from addiction.

The story is told from both Frances and Martin’s perspectives. Throughout the story you begin to see life through the eyes of Frances, with occasional views through Martin’s eyes. The character of Frances really grows throughout the tale, and I found myself really rooting for her.

It is a fast moving story, and I found myself making my way through the book in a short time. Although the story is about porn addiction, it is not an erotic or sensual book in anyway. At times the book is hard to read simply because porn addiction is a tough subject to read about. But the story line is interesting, and I wanted to know the outcome of their marriage and where life takes them.

I think the author did a very good job telling an interesting, fast moving story about a very complex, yet believable situation.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And Amazon UK:

A selection of books by Stevie Turner

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

And Amazon UK:

Follow Stevie Turner on Goodreads:

Connect to Stevie via her website:

The next author with a recent review is D.G. Kaye for her memoir P.S. I Forgive You.

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 recent reviews for the book

Heartfelt on May 13, 2018

The author’s honest account of her relationship with her mother is a deeply emotional read. The unresolved longing of being loved by the person who, by nature, is the most capable of it.

A thought itself of such a mother D.G. Kaye was unfortunate to have is disturbing. Yet I can’t help but express my sadness about her mother’s plight while she, herself, was a victim of the unloving family.

The scene where the mother wanted to console her daughter at the news of her (daughter’s) upcoming heart surgery and was denied by her broke my heart.
I think the book will appeal to the broad readership – who suffered in a dysfunctional family may find inspiration in the D.G. Kaye’s story, who grew up in a loving family may appreciate it even deeper.

Read the 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 via her website/blog:

Marina Osipova is also in the Cafe and Bookstore

Marina Osipova, Buy:

The next author celebrating recent reviews for her latest release is Terry Tyler for UK2 (Project Renova Book 3)

About UK2 (Project Ronova Book 3)

‘Two decades of social media had prepared them well for UK2.’

The pace steps up in this final instalment of the Project Renova trilogy, as the survivors’ way of life comes under threat.

Two years after the viral outbreak, representatives from UK Central arrive at Lindisfarne to tell the islanders about the shiny new city being created down south. UK2 governor Verlander’s plan is simple: all independent communities are to be dissolved, their inhabitants to reside in approved colonies. Alas, those who relocate soon suspect that the promises of a bright tomorrow are nothing but smoke and mirrors, as great opportunities turn into broken dreams, and dangerous journeys provide the only hope of freedom.

Meanwhile, far away in the southern hemisphere, a new terror is gathering momentum…

‘I walked through that grey afternoon, past fields that nobody had tended for nearly three years, past broken down, rusty old vehicles, buildings with smashed windows. I was walking alone at the end of the world, but I was a happy man. I was free, at last.’

Although this concludes the Project Renova trilogy, there will be more books in the series. A collection of five side stories is planned, and another novel, set far into the future.

One of the recent  reviews for the book

I couldn’t wait to get started on the final book in the Project Renova series. Having followed Vicky, Lottie, Dex, and the rest of the bat fever survivors I was desperate to know what they had in store for them this time.

I’ve always loved Terry Tyler’s writing voice and find her novels thoroughly enjoyable. UK2 was no exception. Every chapter is told from a different characters POV. Dex is first up, and I’m quickly reminded why I started to despise him about half-way through Lindisfarne (book 2)! Every novel needs a bad guy, and Dex is that guy. He is that character you really wish someone would kill, but they keep on surviving.

My favourite character throughout the series has been Lottie, and we see how much she’s grown in UK2. She bursts onto the scene holding a knife to someone’s throat with a calm control that should be alien to a teenager. She’s witnessed too much, lived through the worst of times, and has secrets that are eating away at her and yet she’s one of the strongest and wisest characters on the island. Lottie’s mum, Vicky goes through some serious changes of her own in UK2, and I was pleased to see an inner strength begin to emerge.

We meet new people, and we lose old friends as the truth about bat fever, and Project Renova unfolds. I loved the way each character realises what’s happening almost too late and how they deal with the circumstances they find themselves in. I could picture the scenes like I was watching a dark and disturbing film. There are plenty of ‘gasp’ moments as the twists fall into place. I especially loved Flora’s development as she slowly understands that all is not as she believed.

UK2 contains a mix of themes from building friendships to conspiracy theories, and murder to romance. It’s all seamlessly blended to give the reader an extraordinary experience.

We are left with a perfectly crafted ending (and deeply satisfying in some areas) but with enough little threads to leave you wondering what happens next. UK2 is one of those books that stays with you long after you finish reading.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And Amazon US:

A selection of other books by Terry Tyler

Read the reviews and buy the books:

And Amazon US:

Read more reviews and follow Terry Tyler on Goodreads:

Connect to Terry via her website:

Bette A. Stevens created the magical world of Amazing Matilda the Monarch Butterfly and it continues to entrance its young readers of all ages.

About Amazing Matilda

Inspire the Kids with an Award-winning (Excellence in Children’s Literature) Monarch Butterfly Tale.
In this age of instant gratification, there’s an award-winning children’s picture book out that teaches kids that patience and hard work really do pay off.

‘AMAZING MATILDA: A Monarch’s Tale’ is a timely tale that follows MATILDA, a tiny monarch caterpillar, from the time she hatches from her egg on a giant milkweed leaf until she realizes her dream to fly. The story provides challenges and adventure at every turn.

Grandparents, parents and teachers will find that AMAZING MATILDA is a book that kids will want to read themselves and hear read to them again and again.

Get your FREE Authorgraph for your digital copy from author/illustrator Bette A. Stevens at

One of the recent reviews for the book

Amazing Matilda by Bette A. Stevens has been on my list for a long time. I had been waiting for my grandchildren to grow up a little to understand the process of change that occurs in a caterpillar to transform into a beautiful butterfly. I am proud to read this book to my grandchildren who want me to read it again and again.

The story of Matilda, with beautiful illustrations has been told in an engrossing manner, with encouragement from her friends, the wise sparrow who advises her to listen to her instincts and have patience, a toad who agrees that patience pays and another friend rabbit shares his story of hopping. This is not just a cute story that tells children about the cycle of a butterfly, it hints at following your dreams and cultivating patience. Highly recommended for children.

Read all the wonderful reviews for the book:

And on Amazon UK:

Also by Bette A. Stevens

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

And on Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Bette on Goodreads:

Connect to Bette via her website:

Balroop Singh is also an author in the Cafe and Bookstore.

Balroop Singh, Buy:


Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed the selected books and reviews.  Thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Book #Reviewers – Colleen Chesebro with D.Wallace Peach, Olga Nunez Miret with Mallory James, Richard Blake with Joan O’Hagan and D.G. Kaye with Michael Wolff

This series is aimed at promoting and celebrating those that review books regularly. Especially those who do so via their blogs, as it would be great to create more traffic to their sites. I am happy to also showcase those that are put directly on Amazon. The details are here in this first post with an example..

And here is last week’s post:

The series is already evolving as predicted and we will just see where it goes.

  • If you click the images of the books you will be taken directly to Amazon.
  • Where an author or reviewer is in the Cafe and Bookstore I will include their entry.
  • If a review has been posted to Amazon directly without a blog post, I will share the entire review with a link to the reviewers blog.

The first reviewer today is Colleen Chesebro with the review for Eye of Fire: Dragon Soul Book 2 by D.Wallace Peach – click on the image to be taken directly to Amazon.

Here is an extract from the review and a link to read the rest on Colleen’s blog.

Eye of Fire is the second book in the Dragon Soul Quartet Series, following book one, The Myths of the Mirror, which I reviewed HERE.

The story begins as the ancient Droom, the seer of the stones, she who guides the myths and the people of the Tie retrieves a stone from the embers of a fire. Partially blind, the seer’s prophecies come from deep within her soul expressed as messages etched upon her Runestones. The directive she receives is clear. Change is in the air and new beginnings have merged into the people’s current reality.

As the mountain dragons who fly freely in the skies over the Mirror arrive in Taran Leigh, Conall and Torin are merged with the belonging, sitting astride their own dragons. The people waiting to attend the yearly dragon expedition are filled with awe. They feel the songs of the dragons pulling at their hearts. Soon, the community will experience what it feels like to touch the resplendent dragons and to feel the belonging surge into their hearts for themselves.

Finally, the time had come for the dragons of Taran Leigh to be freed from the confines of the lair. Once Earlin’s plan was set into motion there was no turning back. Meanwhile, in the dragon’s lair, Haral waits for the signal to swing open the doors so he can release the magnificent creatures and set them free.

Instead, the plan goes awry, and Earlin finds Haral’s crumpled body; the victim of a horrible murder. His death is the catalyst that forces the people of the Tie to grapple with the knowledge that they’re connected through the belonging to every living being. They must establish a balance within the world. However, this responsibility comes at a cost.

Head over and read the rest of post and the review:Colleen Chesebro review of Eye of Fire

Colleen Chesebro, Buy:


D. Wallace Peach, Buy:

Please visit Amazon or Diana’s website to view all her books.

book photo51om2I6e0kL._UY250_61abvx-feql-_uy250_

The next book is reviewed by Olga Nunez Miret on her blog – Elegant Etiquette in the Nineteenth Century by Mallory James. A fascinating look into the past and a great source for writers and social history researchers

Elegant Etiquette in the Nineteenth Century by Mallory James. Book reviewAnd extract from Olga’s review

Thanks to Alex and the rest of the team at Pen & Sword for providing me a paperback copy of this book that I freely chose to review.

I am a big fan of Pen & Sword books and I have learned a lot on a variety of subjects thanks to their great selection, but I must admit to having a soft spot for social history. Although I love history books and have recently become keen on historical fiction, I think that social history helps us get a better sense of what life was like in the past, not only for the kings, aristocrats, and powerful people but also for the rest of the population. The everyday life of going around one’s usual business, talking to people, working, rarely makes it into the big books, but it is what life is truly about. And those are the details that bring the past to life. As I have mentioned in previous reviews, these books are also great to provide background to writers, filmmakers, and, in general, artists looking to create works set in a particular time in history, as it helps them gain a better understanding of what it would have been like to live then.

This particular volume is a delight. I have read a number of novels set in the era and watched uncountable movies and television series that take place in the XIX century as well, and although I thought I was familiar with the customs, social rules and mores of the time, I was surprised by how truly complicated following proper etiquette was. As the author often explains, rules were not set in stone and they changed throughout the century. What was a must at the beginning of the XIX century would have been out of fashion by the end, and rules were open to interpretation, as sometimes different sources offered completely different advice. Should you eat fish with a fork and bread, two forks, or a fork and a fish knife (the answer depends on at what point of the XIX century we were eating it)? Would it have been proper for you to introduce people you knew, or even greet people you met in the streets even if you had been introduced? What was the best time to go for a walk or to visit your acquaintances? What did it truly mean if somebody was ‘not at home’?

Head over and find out more about Mallory James and her book: Olga Nunez Miret – Author and Translator

Olga Nunez Miret – Buy:

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


The next review is for Jerome & his Women by Joan O’Hagan posted by Richard Blake on his website.

An extract from the review for Jerome & his Women by Richard Blake

This novel explores the background to one of the most important events in history. When Constantine established Christianity as the preferred state religion in 313, he was saving Western civilisation. Until then, the religious settlement in the Roman Empire was divided both vertically and horizontally. The vertical division marked off the educated elite. For those at the top, the pagan cults were approaches to the concept of a Supreme Being and a universal moral law. Those at the bottom took these cults at face value, with their alarming or simply scandalous mythologies, and their frequent lack of mutual sympathy.

Christianity was a universal religion. For all its sectarian tendencies, it crossed every boundary of language and race and class. It was a way of life, and it had philosophical content. Once spread beyond the frontiers, it did much to humanise the barbarians, who would otherwise have invaded as pure savages. It also provided a check to misgovernment. The Jews aside, it is hard to think of any religious group that had been able to face down a determined pagan emperor. Once Constantine himself was dead, the clergy could rally the faithful as they pleased – usually for the Empire that they now dominated, but also against any emperor who in their opinion went too far.

The Christians did nothing to bring on the fall of the Western Empire. That was an effect of climate change and military blunders. But their wholesale conversion of the barbarian invaders, and their establishment of schools and libraries, led Europe seamlessly into the decentralised and highly creative civilisation of the middle ages.

Head over and read the comprehensive review in full: Richard Blake reviews Jerome and his women

Joan O’Hagan, Buy:

The final author today is D.G. Kaye who read and reviewed the controversial but eye-opening Fire and Fury – Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff.

Here is an extract from Debby’s post on Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff.

Today’s review is on Michael Wolff’s politically intriguing and informative book – Fire and Fury. This is a personal accounting of what he witnessed while having ease of access and being privy to the shenanigans that is currently ongoing in the Whitehouse.

Since the day Trump ran for president I’ve been fascinated with US politics. I follow journalists in the media, have acquired a lengthy reading list of political books, and my heart aches for the all that is going on in the US now from broken policies to the potential dangers of the world at Trump’s fingertips.

If you think you’ve seen or heard it all by watching the news, you couldn’t have because in this presidency there has been ongoing breaking news daily since Trump’s inauguration. In this book, Wolff shares his findings from when he had a ringside seat as to what on earth is going on in the Whitehouse. A play by play accounting is shared on the inside chaos that continues under Trump’s regime and the shameful and clueless shenanigans that continue to go on – a good who’s who in the zoo starring a plethora of unsavory characters.

Please head over and read the post and review in full: D.G. Kaye reviews Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff

D. G. Kaye – Buy:

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

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will check out both the books showcased today and their reviewers.

I will be also sharing other recent reviewers for authors in the Cafe and Bookstore this week in the updates on Monday and Friday. I do check regularly but it helps if you email me with a link to any reviews on Amazon or Goodreads that you would like me to share.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Sally’s Book Reviews – Twenty Years After ‘I Do’ by D.G. Kaye

If you are a frequent visitor to the blog you will have seen D.G. Kaye… Debby Gies here many times as a contributor, commenter and supporter. It is no secret that we are friends. This however, does not influence my views on her books, and this applies to her most recent release. 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.

My review for Twenty Years After “I Do”

The emphasis on partnership is present throughout D.G. Kaye’s story of her 20 year marriage to Gordon. Whilst it is clear, that theirs was a wonderful love affair from the beginning, she does not flinch from describing the various aspects of their relationship in a very forthright and honest way.

Their relationship is a May/September love affair that was put to the test from very shortly after their marriage. Despite the nearly 20 years age difference, it was Kaye who suffered a near fatal medical emergency, which brought home the fact, it is not necessarily the older partner, who will be the first to suffer ill health.

The book does highlight that in a relationship where there is a significant age difference, issues arise that might not for a couple the same age. Having children for example, or the dynamics in a relationship after retirement  and natural aging; reversing the traditional roles, as one becomes more dependent on the other.

D.G. Kaye allows us an intimate view into her marriage, encouraging us to look at our own relationships, appreciate how they have triumphed over challenges over the years, and to celebrate the love that endures.

I certainly recommend the book for those who are about to embark on a relationship, whatever the age difference. In this modern day and age, when the pressures on couples and families are ever present, it is very useful to be offered the experience and guidance from someone who has successfully navigated their way through those same obstacles.

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:

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.

Connect to Debby Gies

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

Thank you for dropping in today and as always your feedback is gratefully received.. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Flight Manifesto with D.G. Kaye…Debby Gies

Time for the third of Debby Gies, D.G. Kaye’s travel posts. I would love to be a fly on the wall when she is traveling. Apart from her usual finesse with the check-in and carry on bags, there is the matter of the toxic passengers and glares over protective masks.. You don’t mess with Debby that is for sure.. As to the bathroom facilities…..aghhhhhhhh.

D.G. Kaye Arizona

Some of you may have read my book, Have Bags, Will Travel (see details below), and could consider this post as a little side chapter to that book. And for those who haven’t, you will find a detailed accounting of my flight home from Phoenix, Arizona.

Arizona baggage with D.G. Kaye

My usual bag of tricks worked in preparation for airport packing strategy 101:

Hub had limited me to three bags between us instead of the allowable four. Although I’m not sure why he was so adamant because I became the lifter and schlepper of all bags. We were each allowed one carry on bag and one personal item. Said personal item for me is my purse, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t put whatever I needed in it, mainly another purse. I’d also brought with an extra folding bag for another carry on we may have needed for our return. Hey, it was regulation size and after all, hubby doesn’t carry a purse so surely he was allowed another ‘personal’ carry on item.

purse in a purse

Each suitcase is allowed up to 50 pounds weight. I had purchased my new trusted mini scale to weigh the bags before setting off to airport to avoid unpleasant surprises once the bags were ‘officially’ weighed. As it turns out, each of my three bags came in weighing 49.5 pounds. What a miracle. And thank goodness I brought that extra carry on, for a good 10-15 pounds weight of gifts I’d purchased.

I also had with me a huge plastic shopping bag with handles. This baby I use to put the extra carry bag inside along with coats, cowgirl hat, water bottles and any incidentals that wouldn’t fit my purse, just until I got to the boarding gate to avoid having to carry all that extra stuff. I know that big plastic bag would be a huge flag to boarding attendants, so for boarding purposes, the carry on comes out, the coats and hat get put on, and all other incidentals get thrown in wherever they may fit. Smaller purse had already been neatly tucked into bigger purse (okay, maybe it was a tote bag, disguised as a purse), where all other items that didn’t fit the smaller purse went : sunglasses, phone, kindle, notebook, water bottle, jewelry roll, make-up pouch, two masks, and some other crap. Smooth boarding!

Organized travel

Once on the plane, the hackers and sneezers begin their symphony of song. Besides the fact that I can’t stand the sight of blood, I know I couldn’t be a surgeon because I spent the better part of the flight adjusting my mask so I could breathe properly avoiding the fog up of my glasses. Hub and I had previously inhaled our Colloidal Silver spray in our mouth and nostrils as instructed by the naturopath, before boarding to prepare to fight off the germs circulating the airplane. (We weren’t interested in a repeat of last year’s return when we contacted influenza on the airplane.) I felt secure with the Colloidal Silver circulating my throat and nasal passages and almost hesitated to wear the dreaded mask until Mr. Winnipeg sitting two seats away by the window began his sneezing and coughing repertoire and other sickies soon followed suit. I didn’t dare eat and barely took sips of my bottled water for fear of staying out of the mask too long. So I remained fussing and pulling at the mask to breathe with ease, already surrendering myself to odd looks from other passengers, where I no longer cared about their wondering looks about what disease it was that I may have had.

I caught my other seat mate, Miss Badly Glued on False Eyelashes, glancing at me, peeking through the corner of her eyes while on her Ipad. Her questioning eyes wondering why I was wearing a mask. I finally positioned my mask in a bearable position when I had to lift it when the stewardess passed by asking if I’d like to purchase anything from her cart of microwaved meals to eat. As I did so, I couldn’t help but wonder if the various orange marks from my lipstick had stained the mask and left their mark on various parts of my face as I politely declined her offer.

Mr. Germy Winnipeg in his shorts and sandals ( what’s up with these diehards wearing summer attire coming home to winter?), sat by the window and decided to shut the shade as the plane took off, keeping me from having my last arial views of the beautiful Arizona mountains. He was yapping to Miss False Eyelashes in the middle seat about having to fly all the way to Toronto just to connect and fly west back to Winnipeg. The lady in front carried her tiny poodle in a bag on her lap as she flapped away about how small the ‘doggy toilet’ area was in the airport and that she expected it to be much bigger so her dog could run around at leisure before the flight. Really?

The stewardess later came by to bring us our customs declaration forms to fill out, my favorite part . . . Not! I’d kept the receipts as I’ve learned to do, from my many purchases of various shopping ventures, but had yet to sort them out, and took them out of my purse to calculate and write down the value of goods I was bringing back on the customs form. I’ve found this procedure to be helpful, by keeping all receipts in hand to hand customs officer if asked what I purchased, showing I’m organized with receipts in hand, it somehow makes my claim more certifiable. (I may accidentally on purpose omit some receipts.) I thought nothing of my method of receipt accounting when I felt Miss False Eyelashes watching me and my thick wad of receipts when she uttered her first words to me, “Oh, you’ve been busy.” Sheesh! That’s what I get for minding my own business!I turned my head around to acknowledge her comment with my smiling eyes while my mouth stayed tight under wraps.

Poodle lady in front was driving the stewardess crazy with dog questions and poo issues. I tried hard not to listen. Hubby slept most of the four hour flight home, cramped in his seat, waking to the sound of each cough and sneeze echoing through the plane, turning his head to look at me to ensure I had my mask on.

Day dreamer

I kept busy reading on my kindle and drafting this post in my trusted ‘Professional Day Dreamer’ notebook to document the flight home. Miss False Eyelashes kept eyeing my writing through the corner of her eyes as she continued crushing candy on her Ipad. It’s a good thing my handwriting is atrocious, I thought, as I couldn’t help but wonder if she was wondering if she was about to be put into my story.

We were almost ready to land after a last 20 minutes of frantic turbulence when I decided I should use the washroom before having to wait in customs lines and for baggage to come out. I took the opportunity to go when there was nobody in line and the seat belt sign was still on from the rocky ride. The stewardess standing there warned me that I should be sitting as I warned her that I should be using the washroom. I won.

If any of you know my phobia about germs, you will know that my bladder has to be bursting before I’ll even consider using the germ infested airplane toilet. After watching half a plane load of passengers use the stall for the previous 3 1/2 hours, without going into great detail, I’ll just say that it was wet, cramped and sparse of toiletries in there. I lift the lid with toiilet paper, carefully pull down my pants to a grinding halt just before they reach my ankles so no part of my clothing touches the floor or bowl, and do the proverbial squat. As I get myself put back together and wash my hands, I discover no paper towels to dry hands. I become more grossed out thinking how many people have used this toilet and didn’t wash there hands because of no paper towels. How long were there no paper towels in this washroom? I wash my hands and rip off a long stream of toilet paper to dry them and then to open the lock and door handle with before disposing of it. I alerted the stewardess there were no paper towels and she nodded in agreement telling me she knew and they ran out. I shook my head in disgust and walked back to my seat wondering how they ran out. When did they run out? Aren’t they supposed to clean a plane after each landing and check supplies, especially ones which pertain to cleanliness?

The plane was finally approaching landing, My sister had told me that spring had come early the last week or so in March and they were already wearing sweaters. We sailed through customs. I handed the officer my declaration form and he didn’t so much as ask me one question this time. Usually I’m asked, what did I buy, how long was I gone for, am I carrying any liquor or cigarettes, bla bla bla. Nada. I handed him the form, he looked up at me, stamped the form and said, “move on.” Hubby and I understand one another’s looks well. We looked at each other with questioning eyes, careful to never speak until we’re out of custom’s orbit for fear of microphones and/or cameras. We were both wondering if the quick pass through meant we’re good to go, or if the officer didn’t even bother asking a question because he automatically decided we should be further investigated.

We collected our bags with a porter in waiting to help us out, and when we got outside it was freezing rain. The limo took us home on a slow crawl through the snow covered and icy highway. I looked out the window questioning myself, Are you kidding me? I wasn’t away long enough to avoid winter’s wrath? I thought my sister said it was spring? Was this a Karmic payback for being away and avoiding most of winter?

Once home, I called my sister. I asked her what the weather was all about. She told me it was payback for me, and I brought it on for having so much sunshine throughout the winter on vacation. Nature’s little joke. The next day was mild and rainy. By Sunday the sun was back and the temps reached the high 50s, and supposedly it’s supposed to stay that way. Onward into spring!

©D.G. Kaye 2017

My thanks to Debby for another of her entertaining and useful traveling posts. I have read Debby’s book Have Bags Will Travel and I am sure you will enjoy.

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.

Debby has written a book about her travel adventures – Have Bags Will Travel

About the book

D.G. Kaye is back, and as she reflects on some of her more memorable vacations and travel snags, she finds herself constantly struggling to keep one step ahead of the ever-changing guidelines of the airlines–with her overweight luggage in tow. Her stories alert us to some of the pitfalls of being an obsessive shopper, especially when it comes time for D.G. to bring her treasures home, and remind us of the simpler days when traveling was a breeze.

In her quest to keep from tipping the scales, D.G. strives to devise new tricks to fit everything in her suitcases on each trip. Why is she consistently a target for Canada customs on her return journeys?

D.G.’s witty tales take us from airports, to travel escapades with best friends, to reflections on how time can change the places we hold dear in our hearts. Her memories will entertain and have you reminiscing about some of your own most treasured journeys–and perhaps make you contemplate revamping your packing strategies.

A recent review for Have Bags Will Travel

Super fun travel reading on April 20, 2018

“Have Bags, Will Travel” is a delightful read on the experiences of travel, fashion, the art of packing suitcases with the emphasis on having a good time. Author, D.G. Kaye details her days on board planes to many popular destinations and her vivacious antics with friends. She also relates her solo travels to exotic destinations with steep cliffs and too much baggage. I particularly enjoyed the details of the by-gone, romantic days aboard Wardair, and the exquisite details of vintage Las Vegas.

A consummate shopper, D.G. Kaye relates her rather humorous run-ins with customs officials. How does it feel to be singled out routinely by airline officials? A read through this humorous pages will give you the insight to these first-hand conflicts.

I would say this might be required reading for shoe connoisseurs and fashion mavens especially if they have a plane ticket in hand. Germ avoidance theory is also discussed, and it may never be possible to look at airplane bathrooms the same.

D.G. Kaye brings back the memories of best friends and blazing trips through the desert. Many readers will identify with the struggles of this stylish lady attempting to blend in to avoid a custom’s mishap. A short and super fun read, “Have Bags, Will Travel” is perfect for your next airplane ride.

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

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


How to participate in this series.

The aim of this series is to showcase your blog and any creative work that you do from books, art, photography and crafts. You pick between one and four links to posts that you have written for your own blog since you began blogging up to October 2017 and you simply send the link to those blogs to

You have to do nothing more as I will capture the post and images from your blog and I will then post with full copyright to you.. with your creative work and your links to buy and to connect. I might sometimes need a little more information but I am quite resourceful in finding out everything I need.

So far in the Posts from Your Archives from September 2017, there have been over 600 posts from 150 + bloggers that have reached a different audience and encouraged more readers for their own blogs and current posts.

The deal is that you also help promote the post by sharing on your social media and responding to the comments.

Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Weekly Update. – Aretha Franklin, Restoration Women, Hot Soup and Texas Thunderstorms

Another week gone but one with some sunshine which is always worth celebrating. I have also finished writing Tales from the Irish Garden and phase one is over. Catching my breath and then back into each chapter to tidy up and elaborate before another run through for the first edit. I really don’t mind this part and at least I am on target to publish mid-summer.

I am so grateful for the amazing columnists who contribute to the blog each week and it would not be the same without them.

Great to have William Price King back after his week away and we just have one more post to come in the Aretha Franklin series. I am delighted that it has brought so many memories back and thank you for your comments.

Paul Andruss posted on his own site this week.. Plight of the Restoration Women.. when your money and assets belonged to the man you married. A companion piece to last week’s post here on Barbara Villiers.

Elizabeth Pepys by Rita Greer 2007 (Historical Painter)

Carol Taylor, like so many has been battling a chesty cough but still managed to get into the kitchen and produce some of her delicious soup recipes, it may be spring but the weather is still a bit cool and soups make perfect light lunches.

The Sunday Interview Getting to Know You.

Welcome to the Sunday interview and this week my guest is poet Ritu Bhathal who I enjoyed meeting at last year’s Bloggers Bash in London. And it was fantastic to be there when she won the Best Overall Blog Award 2017. Find out more about her phobias, her love of dusting!…. her passion for singing and meet her cat..

My personal stuff – Letters from America.

The weather becomes more turbulent in Houston. with the hot humid days and we experience our first thunderstorms and torrential rain. My friend Kelly’s due date comes closer.

Posts from my archives – Short stories – Odd Jobs and characters.

This week I work in the shoe department of our local store and find that I am still using x-ray equipment and some ladies do not wear knickers!

Get Caught Reading Month – Authors who inspired me to writer –  The books of Wilbur Smith.

Since my teens I have read and collected the books of Wilbur Smith. As part of Get Caught Reading Month, I will be sharing some of his work and three other authors who inspired me to write.

Sally’s Friday Drive Time Playlist – more of your requests. Howell, Annette Rochelle Aben, D.G. Kaye and Judy E. Martin

Short Stories – Tales from the Garden – Mollie’s Gardens.

My mother loved her gardens and in this post I share some of her memories spanning 94 years.

Posts from Your Archives

Debby Gies, D.G.Kaye shares another of her entertaining and informative travel posts. The joys of carry on luggage and the moving goal posts of their dimensions.

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

Cafe and Bookstore Author Update

Meet the Book Reviewers

Smorgasbord Health Column

Aromatherapy – Marjoram essential oil – Muscles and stress.

Our heart is very dependent on us to provide it with the nutrient it needs to do its vital job of keeping us alive. It does not ask for much…just lots of fresh food, prepared from scratch and less packages, cans and bottles.

Our heart is only as good as the food we eat……


A-Z of nutrients that we need to be healthy – Vitamin B12.

Why we need cholesterol….


Thank you so much for dropping in today and as always my thanks for the amazing support and feedback. Enjoy your week and see you soon. Thanks Sally

Sally’s Drive Time – #Playlist #Music The Requests Part Two – John Howell, Annette Rochelle Aben, D.G. Kaye and Judy E. Martin

Since the beginning of this series, I have asked you to share your favourite music with links in the comments. I thought I would create a special playlist, sharing the track and link to the latest post of those requesting the song.

The first request from the first post in the series is from John W. Howell who also mentioned Whisky for my Men and Beer for my Horses.. I think we can see where this is going! Here is Willie Nelson with ‘On The Road Again’.

‘Late in the Evening’ by Paul Simon was Annette Rochelle Aben  And you can find a Tanka by Annette in response to Colleen Chesebro’s weekly challenge if you click the  link.

The next track to be requested was by D.G. Kaye.. Debby Gies and is Cheryl Lynn with ‘Got To Be Real’

The next favourite is one of mine too.. Neil Diamond with ‘Song Sung Blue’ requested by Judy E. Martin

I hope you have enjoyed this selection chosen by John, Debby, Annette and Judy… more next week.. Have a good weekend.. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Short Stories – Posts from MY Archives – Odd Jobs and Characters – The Shoe Department by Sally Cronin

This series shares some of the jobs I have turned my hand to over that fifty years, and some were very odd. Not many have sat at a table between two teams of champion dairy cows, selling bull semen!  Over the years I have accumulated a massive dossier of characters and events that now take centre stage in my short stories. If you have read my novel Just an Odd Job Girl you will have met some of them but over the next twelve weeks I hope to bring you some of the others that inspired and stimulated my imagination.

Not all these posts appeared on Smorgasbord as some fantastic blogging friends allowed me to guest post. Where this is the case I will of course provide you with the links to their post.

You can find the previous odd jobs here:

This post in the series was hosted by my lovely friend and non-fiction author D.G. Kaye.. Debby Gies and you can find out about her books at the end of the post.

Odd Jobs and Characters – The Shoe Department – Cheating and Surprises by Sally Cronin

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.

When I was offered a temporary post over Christmas, in the shoe department of Handley’s Department store in Southsea, I was obviously more than excited. Little did I know that I would experience petty theft, a rather revealing encounter and potentially dangerous equipment!

The shoe department was staffed by a manager and a number of assistants, one of which had been there for donkey’s years. She was a spinster lady, who seemed ancient to me at the time, but was probably only in her fifties. She was designated to show me the ropes and duly took me under her wing. One of the bonuses of working in the shoe department was that you received commission on every pair of shoes you sold. You would cut out the front of the shoe box and write your name on it, saving these up until the Thursday and handing them to the manager to be sent up to the accounts department. It didn’t add a fortune to your weekly pay, but a few extra shillings a week was not to be sniffed at.

My mentor told me not to worry the first week, as she would make sure that the box ends were collected and handed to the manager. I kept a record of my sales and was surprised to find that I was missing half my commission on the Friday. I was new and didn’t want to rock the boat, but I obviously looked after my own box ends after that. I later found out that one of the other girls had encountered the same problem when she started. We had a couple more assistants arrive to help over the Christmas rush and we made sure took them under our wings!

Come the sales in January and we were rushed off our feet with high end shoes reduced considerably. I also got staff discount and was in seventh heaven, spending my lunch hours in the stock room trying on everything in my size. One day a very smart middle-aged customer arrived and pointed out several pairs of shoes that she wished to try on. Delighted by my luck in finding a big spender, I set about gathering my wares.

We had short-legged stools with a sloping rubber covered surface on which a foot was guided into shoes with a shoe horn, and if needed a gentle shove. As I helped madam into her first shoe, I looked up to see if she approved, to find her skirt had slid upward to above the knee. She was wearing no knickers, and I have to say that for a moment I had no idea where to look. The customer was completely unconcerned and not wishing to cause embarrassment, I tried to keep my focus on the number of box ends I would be submitting at the end of the week.

This brings me to the piece of equipment that was in my opinion highly unsuitable for use in a department store. Particularly as it was primarily used to identify if a child had sufficient room in their new shoes for their feet to grow. You placed the customer’s feet on a platform underneath the housing of the machine, looking through a viewfinder to see the x-ray. Having worked in a dental surgery with stringent precautions when using an x-ray machine, I was astonished to find one in use in public. I am afraid that after my introduction to this equipment I relied on the safer, tried and tested method of determining fit, by pressing my thumb all around the child’s foot in the new shoe to check for the necessary growing room. These shoe-fitting fluoroscopes were subsequently banned in the mid-1970s in the USA and Europe, and thankfully I only had minimal exposure. There were however grave concerns over the long-term effects on sales personnel who had used the machines over many years.

However, I did enjoy my time in the shoe department and also being in a sales environment. I had made friends amongst the staff (except for one) and asked if I could stay on. They no longer needed me in the shoe department, but I was asked if I would like to be a powder blender and roving consultant in the cosmetic department. My favourite items after shoes… More adventures on the horizon.

©sallycronin 2017

Next week the Cosmetic Department and more surprises

Short story anthologies.

You can find all my books at these links:


Amazon UK:

Smashwords for Epub:

More reviews can be found on Goodreads:

My thanks again to Debby for being part of the original tour and here is more about this amazing supporter of Indie authors.


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 through her blog