Smorgasbord Blogger Weekly – November 19th 2022 – Staci Troilo, Darlene Foster, Dorothy Grover-Read, Judith Barrow with Phil Rowlands, Cheryl Oreglia, Robbie Cheadle with Daniel Kemp

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

First calling all cookie bakers... Staci Troilo hosts a cookie exchange every Christmas and it is a wonderful way to spread the festive spirit and share fantastic recipes you have inherited from family or discovered along the way.. here are the two links to visit.

This year’s introduction post: Staci Troilo’s Second Cookie Exchange

The sign up form for the Cookie Exchange: Register The Cookie Exchange

Darlene Foster takes us on a tour of Prince Edward Island and if you are a fan of Anne of Green Gables in the next post Darlene will be paying Green Gables a visit. In the meantime some wonderful photographs and facts about the island.

Head over to enjoy this tour of Prince Edward Island: A Province Fit for a King by Darlene Foster

Sadly Dorothy Grover- Read  lost her beloved sister Jan the morning after Halloween and in her honour shares a special family recipe for parsley and cheese bread. A bittersweet post that makes you appreciate the time you have with sisters all the more.

Head over to read this heartwarming post and get the recipe: Jan’s Parsley and Cheese Bread.

Judith Barrow is joined by author Phil Rowlands who shares his memories of childhood holidays in Wales with plenty of adventures and seals… a lovely read

Head over to enjoy Phil’s adventures in Wales: Places in our Memories Judith Barrow with Phil Rowlands

Cheryl Oreglia comments on the division within our society over many issues and explores the approach taken by Lady Bird Johnson both as a wife and First Lady, to bring conciliation and a way to move forward with grace.

Head over to discover more about Lady Bird Johnson and her life: Cheryl Oreglia and The Lady Bird approach

Robbie Cheadle shares her fantastic review for the thriller The Widow’s Son by Daniel Kemp, who many of you are familiar with as our open mic contributor with some of the best funnies around. This book sounds like a compelling read.

Head over to discover more about the book and read Robbie’s review: Robbie Cheadle’s review The Widow’s Son by Daniel Kemp


Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will enjoy these posts as much as I have. Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! – Guest Round Up – Part Three – Jacquie Biggar, Harmony Kent, Jan Sikes, Gwen M. Plano, Darlene Foster, William Price King, Toni Pike, The Story Reading Ape, Jennie Fitzkee

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

Romance author Jacquie Biggar shares a short story based on the prompt, that reaches out to those who are trapped in addiction and scared to reach out for help.

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! #Shortstory by Jacquie Biggar

Author and poet Harmony Kent shares what wisdom she would impart to her younger self as she struggled to find her own way in the world.

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by Harmony Kent

Author Jan Sikes shares how her experiences in life may have benefitted her as a teenager in tenth grade.

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by Jan Sikes

Author Gwen Plano shares her appreciation of the love and strength she received from her father throughout her life and the lessons she absorbed.

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by Gwen M. Plano

Author Darlene Foster admits to coming from a long line of worriers and wishes she could pop back and tell her younger self that it is largely a futile exercise.

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by Darlene Foster

Jazz singer and composer, and permanent contributor to Smorgasbord, William Price King, explores dancing and its benefits, in particular tap dancing which he wishes his younger self would have taken more advantage of.

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! #Tapdancing by Jazz singer and composer William Price King

Author Toni Pike shares a number of areas that she feels have impacted her life and would have benefited from her experience gained over the years.

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by Toni Pike

Chris Graham is more frequently referred to as The Story Reading Ape. Chris has been a huge supporter of my blog since the early days and this support extends out across the writing community. Chris shares his thoughts on the prompt in the form of a delightfully thought provoking piece of poetry.

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by Christopher Graham – The Story Reading Ape

Pre-school teacher Jennie Fitzkee shares her thoughts about the narrow views we tend to hold as children and young adults, and how life and experience teaches valuable lessons…

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by Jennie Fitzkee



Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you have caught up with any posts you might have missed.. The final recap will be next week.. I hope you will join me and my guests again.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Bookshelf 2022- Share an Extract from your latest book – #YA – Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady (An Amanda Travels Adventure Book 8) by Darlene foster –

In this series you are invited to share an extract of 500 words from your most recent book published within the last 12 months. Details at the end of the post.

The aim of the series

  1. To showcase your latest book and sell some more copies.
  2. Gain more reviews for the book.
  3. Promote a selection of your other books that are available.

Today I am sharing an extract from the YA adventure by Darlene Foster. Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady (An Amanda Travels Adventure Book 8) – I have read the book and can highly recommend.

About the book

Amanda receives a postcard from her best friend, Leah, and is surprised to learn that she is in Malta with her aunt. Reading between the lines, she senses Leah is in trouble. Desperate to help her, Amanda travels to Malta with her classmate Caleb and his parents.

Amanda is intrigued by this exotic island in the middle of the Mediterranean, full of colourful history, sun-drenched limestone fortresses, stunning beaches and fascinating birds. But…who is killing the protected birds? Who stole a priceless artifact from the museum? And why is Leah acting so strange? She couldn’t possibly be involved in these illegal activities, or could she?

Join Amanda and her friends as they visit ancient temples, an exciting falconry and the enchanting Popeye Village, as they try to get to the bottom of the mystery of the Sleeping Lady.

An extract from Amanda in Malta

Amanda bit into the warm, fluffy pastry formed in a triangle and stuffed with ricotta cheese. “Yum, this is good!” She wiped her greasy hands on a napkin.

A small boy scurried by their table, bumping into it.

“Hey, watch where you’re going!” shouted Caleb as he grabbed his drink before it fell over.

“Sorry.” The Afro-headed child stopped himself by clutching Amanda’s hand. He gave a weak smile and strode off down the street. Before he turned the corner, he looked back and stared at Amanda with intense brown eyes and nodded.

“Kids! They’re the same everywhere.” Caleb’s mom shook her head while mopping up tea with her napkin.

Amanda slipped the piece of paper the boy had discreetly placed in her hand into her jeans pocket.

“There is so much I want to do here. I was only here for one day on a cruise stop a few years ago and always wanted to return and explore.” Mrs. Sorensen took a sip of tea.

“There are so many interesting churches and old temples here. The Museum of Archaeology is supposed to be amazing and just look at this architecture.”

“Mooom, I don’t want to spend all my holiday in churches and museums!” Caleb groaned.

“Don’t forget you promised me we would go to Popeye Village.”

“Don’t worry, son. We’ll go to see Popeye.” His father nodded.

“What do you mean, Popeye Village?” asked Amanda.

“It’s the movie set of the Popeye movie from 1980 starring Robin Williams. It was filmed here in Malta and the site was built specifically for the movie. Instead of taking it down, it’s now used as a theme park,” explained Mr. Sorensen.

“I love that movie.” Caleb puffed out his chest and flexed his muscles. “I yam what I yam. I’m Popeye the sailor man.”

Amanda giggled at his antics and for the moment forgot about finding Leah.

They picked up a few grocery items and some brochures from a travel information booth, then returned to the rental.

Amanda studied the postcard from Leah. The green door looked similar to the one she had visited, except for a different door knocker. The one on the door of the postcard was a dolphin while the one at the address was a lion’s head. Was Leah trying to tell her something through the postcard? Amanda turned it over and examined the address again.

It was the same address they had visited.

How was she going to find Leah?

She felt prickles behind her eyes, sniffed, and pulled a tissue out of her pocket. Out fell the folded slip of paper the little boy had given her at the café. She slowly opened it. Scrawled in messy magenta lipstick were the words, TRY AGAIN.

Amanda gasped and touched her finger to her bottom lip.

Was this a message from Leah?

A recent review for Amanda in Malta

Jjspina 5.0 out of 5 stars Another intriguing adventure with Amanda!  Reviewed in the United States on January 6, 2022

A fun adventure series for middle-graders/preteens that both girls and boys will enjoy! This book, Amanda in Malta, was like traveling to Malta with Amanda and her friend, Caleb and his parents.

The author described all the sights and fascinating places to visit if you ever get to travel there. I felt as if I was along for the trip and enjoying everything that was described in such deep detail from the birds that inhabit the island to the historical museums and plenty of great places to eat.

With the extensive traveling this author has done, it is clearly evident that she pays close attention to detail wherever she travels and incorporates her love of travel with an intriguing mystery for her Amanda series.

This was a quick and enjoyable read. I look forward to traveling along with Amanda to some more interesting places in this delightful series. 

Head over to read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – And:Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Darlene Foster


Find out more about Darlene’s books and read the reviews: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Website/Blog: Darlene Foster WordPressGoodreads: Goodreads – Twitter: @supermegawoman

About Darlene Foster

Growing up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing, travelling the world, and meeting interesting people. She also believed in making her dreams come true. It’s no surprise she’s now the award-winning author of Amanda Travels, a children’s adventure series featuring a spunky twelve-year-old who loves to travel to unique places. Readers of all ages enjoy following Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another. When not travelling herself, Darlene divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca, Spain with her husband and entertaining dog, Dot.

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

What will be in the post and how to get in touch

      • I will top and tail in the usual way with your other books and links, bio, photo and social media.
      • I will also select a review from Amazon or Goodreads that I feel has the best selling pitch for the book.
      • If your book is very recent and as yet has not received a review then I will share one from a previous book.
      • This series is open to all authors both those on the Bookshelf or new to the blog
      • I suggest an extract of approximately 500 words or a poem that you feel best reflects the theme of your collection.
      • If you have an illustration or images you can attach to the email for me to include. No need to send the cover as I will have that or will access from Amazon.
      • If you have not featured on the blog before then I will need Amazon link, Goodreads, blog or website plus your social media links (main three you use)
      • Please send your extract and any accompanying images to

Smorgasbord Special Feature – Understanding: An Anthology of True and Significant Life Events- Contributors, Bernard Foong, Darlene Foster, Janet Gogerty and Debbie Harris

Over the next two weeks I will be featuring the contributors to this anthology of true and significant events. Writers share intimate and life changing events in their lives with courage and honesty whilst inspiring others.

The proceeds from this anthology will be going to Cancer Research and it is a very worthy cause.

Here is the link to the previous post where you can also find the link to the first: Contributors part two

About the anthology

The following authors and bloggers answered questions posed by Stevie Turner regarding significant life experiences they had undergone. These events include sexual abuse, a near death experience, alcoholism, being diagnosed with cancer, depression, losing weight, getting married, being a mother to many children, being the daughter of a narcissistic mother, and many more!

In the coming week I will feature the other authors in separate posts.

All proceeds will be donated to Cancer Research:

You can buy the anthology for only 99c:

And on Amazon UK for 99p:

More of the contributors.

The first contributor is Bernard Foong who shares what is a remarkable story of being initiated into a secret society at an elite private school that led him to serve in several wealthy and aristocratic harems.

About Young alias Bernard Foong

By Christine Maynard (screenwriter and novelist).

“Young alias Bernard Foong is, first and foremost, a sensitivist. He finds nuance in everything. To experience the world he inhabits is an adventure which is mystical, childlike and refreshing. He has a rare ability to create beauty in a unique fashion. His palettes have been material, paint, words and human experiences.

While attending an elite private school in England, some 40 years ago, he was swore into a clandestine sexual society that soon spirited him away to the Middle East to serve in several wealthy and aristocratic harems. He never thought he would be telling his story, but he believe now is the correct time to share his unique experiences.

A selection of memoirs by Young

Read the reviews and buy the books:

And on Amazon UK:

The next contributor is a familiar face here on the blog, Darlene Foster who writes about grief and the tragic loss, and impact on her whole family, of her brother when he was only 19 years old.

About Darlene Foster

Darlene Foster is a writer, an employment counsellor, an ESL tutor for children, a wife, mother and grandmother. She loves travel, shoes, cooking, reading, sewing, chocolate, music, the beach and making new friends. Her 13-year-old grandson called her “super-mega-woman-supreme”.

She was brought up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, where she dreamt of traveling the world and meeting interesting people. She currently divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca in Spain, with her husband Paul.

“Amanda in Arabia-The Perfume Flask” was her first published novel. Once bitten by the travel bug, Amanda travels to other interesting places, sticking her nose in other people’s problems and getting herself in trouble. Read “Amanda in Spain – The Girl in the Painting”, “Amanda in England – The Missing Novel”, “Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone”, and “Amanda on the Danube – The Sounds of Music” and “Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind”  to find out the adventures Amanda has as she travels the world.

A selection of other books by Darlene Foster

Read the reviews and buy all of Darlene’s books:

and Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Darlene on Goodreads:

Connect to Darlene via her website:

The next contributor is author Janet Gogerty who covers the subject of getting married. Janet was born in the UK but moved to Australia when she was 11 years old, returning to Britain when she was 20 for a visit but marriage changed the course of her future.

About Janet Gogerty

I have been writing frantically for 10 years and still enjoy being part of two writing groups. I am inspired by anything and everything and enjoy writing about ordinary people; but usually they find themselves experiencing strange events! When I was encouraged to tackle a novel my daughter suggested I use my short story ‘Brief Encounters of the Third Kind’ as she wanted to know what happened to Emma, whose fate had been left in the air at the end of the story.

The novel became a trilogy, Three Ages of Man and finally Lives of Anna Alsop, published in March 2015.I enjoy writing fiction of any length and have had many short stories published online. I have just published my fourth collection of short stories Someone Somewhere which includes two novellas. I also write a regular blog ‘Sandscript‘ at Goodreads. My website long ago took on a life of its own with new words and pictures regularly; visit to read short stories and other items.

A selection of books by Janet Gogerty

Read the reviews and buy the books:

And on Amazon US:

Read more reviews and follow Janet on Goodreads:

Connect to Janet via her blog:

The next contributor is Debbie Harris who shares a horrific accident on a school trip in France when she was aged 17, and the impact on her life. Despite this experience Debbie enjoys travel and adventures which she posts about on her blog.


About Debbie Harris

This is the world according to me…in photos, words, stories and sometimes even poetry. It’s a fun creative outlet, and as a bonus I get to meet some amazing bloggers from all around the world.

I love an adventure and I always seem to find one – or it finds me! It keeps me feeling young 🙂 I’m living life to the fullest and embracing the challenges that come with midlife! I’m now a new grandmother as well and I am as happy as a pig in mud. Please take your time exploring my world – it’s full of stories, travels, adventures, photos and love.

Find out more about Debbie and enjoy her posts on her blog

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that you have enjoyed meeting some of the contributors to this anthology…I will be featuring more of the contributors next week.

 I hope you will purchase a copy and contribute to a great cause… thanks Sally.