Smorgasbord #Blogger Daily and Meet the #Reviewers – Cathy Ryan, Sue Coletta and Iona Jenkins

Welcome to the first of blogger daily, with the added feature of book reviews that have been posted on blogs. Just catching up after the weekend and as always some fantastic blog posts on offer… Here is just a small selection that you might like to head over and enjoy.

The first post is one from a book reviewer who consistently brings us books to add to our TBRs and  this is  About Cathy Ryan of Between the Lines.

Cathy Ryan

Cold Granite (Logan McRae #1) by @StuartMacBride ~ Scottish Crime Fiction set in Aberdeen #Mystery #Thriller #Review by Cathy Ryan

DS Logan McRae and the police in Aberdeen hunt a child killer who stalks the frozen streets. Winter in Aberdeen: murder, mayhem and terrible weather!

I’m very late to this particular party, the result of buying a book I didn’t realise was part of a series, so on a recommendation from Eva (Novel Deelights) I’m starting with book one. What’s another dozen books added to the reading pile 😅

After a vicious attack that left DS Logan McRae fighting for his life, resulting in twelve months recuperation, he’s back on the job with the Aberdeen police force, and immediately catches an appalling case. It seems children are being targeted, the victims of a serial killer, much to the horror of the investigating officers. Dealing with the reality of a new boss, not to mention the fact the chief pathologist is his ex girlfriend, Logan is struggling to get his self-confidence back.

The press are causing problems too, obviously privy to leaked information they are getting to the crime scenes almost before the police and reporting the details before the families can be informed. Logan bears the brunt from one explosive situation. It’s the middle of a freezing cold, miserable and relentless winter to matters even worse, the only bright light in Logan’s return to work is his new partner, WPC Jackie ‘Ball Breaker’ Watson.

To read Cathy Ryan’s review please head over:

My next post is by crime thriller and murder expert Sue Coletta….who explains the crucial distinction between you and a psychopath: The writer!  It is well worth heading over and finding out where you stand! And Sue would like to hear of your misadventures when grilling an suspecting victim…

Separates Us From Psychopaths: Writer

Real life offers inspiration when we least expect it. That moment can also be awkward, especially if you forget to mention one crucial distinction between you and a psychopath: the word writer.

A service person comes to your home. While you’re watching her — yes, a woman — do her job, a brainstorm strikes you out of nowhere; it rounds first base, second, and third, and charges at full speed for home plate. But you need more information to flesh out the idea, mentally draft the story from beginning to end to see if the premise has merit.

So, you drill her with questions, lots of questions, dark probing questions, and then you feel like you have to explain, but you’re so focused on the story — the story is all that matters — you blurt out, “It’s for a murder.” But you don’t expand, so now, this woman who’s working in a male-dominant field starts to twitch, flinch, her eyes pleading with your husband to stop you if things take a turn for the worse, her protective posture praying to God that you won’t snap right here, right now. Or maybe, she’s contemplating whether or not to call the police.

Whatever. You’ve been down this road before. At the same time, you’re not oblivious to the woman’s uncomfortableness. After all, you’re not a monster. You just need facts, and she’s the perfect person to give them to you.

Head over and read the rest of this fascinating post:

Sue is an author in the Cafe and Bookstore

Sue Coletta, Buy:

Now for a little travel.. they say it is one of the wonders of the world…the undersea world and here is a post on the Great Barrier Reef. – I saw a documentary recently about the damage to the reef.. hopefully this amazing wonder of nature will be preserved for generations to come.

IMG_2176 - Version 4

Poseidon’s Kingdom: The Great Barrier Reef by Iona Jenkins of Letters from a Wanderer.

We set out at an ungodly hour for the marina, and hopped on a little cruise boat. I was so excited to get my first glimpse of the reef after a long journey through rather rough waters.

Amazing shelf corals, soft corals with floating tentacles, hard sponge-like corals, huge boulders and classic spindly and branching corals fall shapes and sizes were inspected eagerly and regarded with awe and care.

underwater photograph of the great barrier reef

Image Iona Jenkins – Letters From a Wanderer

When the sun came out every few minutes, the reef was transformed into a fishy paradise, with astounding corals, electric blue fish, anemones and creatures of all the colours of the rainbow all lying tube found in the sparkling turquoise waters. It was pretty dazzling in these moments, and very magical.

Head over and read the rest of the post and enjoy the photographs:

I hope you have enjoyed today’s selections and as always please feel free to drop you links into the comments for your latest post. Thanks Sally


Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Open House Sunday Interview – Writer, traveller and wild west nut Jo Clutton

Welcome to the Open House Sunday Interview and this week my guest is Jo Clutton.. who manages two blogs covering her eclectic range of interests from travel and adventure to Wild West enactment. Before we find out more let me introduce her to you.

About Jo Clutton.

I’m Jo – quirky artist, writer, traveller, mental health advocate, music lover, wild west nut intrigued by science. Renaissance soul with potty sense of humour. Pleasantly eccentric, I’m told. Five years ago I miraculously recovered from 30 years of depression over a period of three years. I’m blogging about the rebuild of my polymath life on Creating My Odyssey. Five years ago chance led Husband and I to the mental health team who brought me to where I am now. Which proves that provided sufferers of depression know where to look, help is available. That’s the hard part. My blog is a great vehicle for my creativity and life. I’m unleashing everything that was hidden under a bushel! I’ve been writing an epic Wild West novel forever, Alias Jeannie Delaney. Since my recovery I decided it’s time to get it out there. I’m blogging about it and Husband has taken me in hand and we’re slowly editing our way through it.

Now time to explore Jo’s blogs further and discover what other adventures she would like to tackle in the future.

Welcome Jo and could you tell us a little more about your two blogs?

Creating My Odyssey is my creative mental health blog. I’m chronicling the rebuild of my polymath creativity and life after recovering completely from thirty years of depression and anxiety. My posts cover my renaissance soul lifestyle.

Renaissance soul. What does that mean? It’s someone who has many disparate interests. Unrelated to each other. Polymath and scanner are other names for it. People who find it hard to settle for just one or two interests.

Many years ago I decided that I was a renaissance soul. I listed my main interests as ‘artist, writer, traveller and wild westerner’. I loved that thought!

Other interests that I write about are rowing, canoeing, the paranormal, architecture, archaeology, history of medicine and photography, space travel and research, films, reading, walking, yoga, archery and history.

For example my visit to the Victoria and Albert museum last year to see the Festival of Design. They’ve redesigned the museum and it’s fabulous

I would say that the whole blog sums me up! I’m anti-ageist, childlike, and have a potty sense of humour, and I’m pretty feisty!  Creating my odyssey

But here is an excerpt from one of my recent travel posts 


…a bonkers thing to do.
You might fall off,
you might fall in –
it’s better to go to the zoo!

For those of you who do not know,
a Levada is like a canal.
It waters the fields,
the bananas and veg –
it’s good to walk with a pal!

You find them in Madeira,
they follow the lay of the land.
They’re beside the sea,
or scarily high –
hold onto the railings – both hands!

 You can read the rest of the post and see more photographs: Never walk a Levada

My second blog, Kitty Le Roy is dedicated to my wild west hobby.  I’ve been fascinated by the west forever, particularly the rough, tough, sharp shootin’ women of the west. I’ve researched many of these women over the years and did some living history camping in recent years, emulating my western heroines.

I have a cabin in my back garden. It’s well weathered now and filled with western artefacts (goat skull, steer horns, canned grub, whiskey bottles, art by me and western images). I’ve recently replaced the roof, with the help of JC, and intend, this summer to get it in shape again.

This interest has ‘spurred on’ (sorry!) my epic novel writing Alias Jeannie Delaney, the life story of a devastating cowgirl who’s the fastest gun in the west and also bisexual. I’m working on this as we speak, with the help of Husband.

Do you prefer television, film or theatre?

I love films (action, comedy) and television (the same. quiz shows, who dunnits, antique shows, some comedy, Neighbours!) Of the action films that I enjoy I would probably choose Star Trek – any one of the series. Love the characters and the humour, quite apart from the action.

Sally here:  I have found this fight scene between Captain Kirk and Spock… I am a Trekkie..too.  A lovely slice of Ham…..

What is the one big adventure that you would like to experience?

Two big adventures! The first one is to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef. I love water, particularly the tropics, would love to see Australia (we have friends there), and always wanted to try snorkelling. I’d love to have been a marine archaeologist, diving down to wrecks, but the idea of deep scuba diving in a mask is particularly scary, so snorkelling will do nicely!

Here is a short video from Queensland, Australia

And the second adventure would be to see the Aurora Borealis in colour.

Tell us about your work in progress, plans for your blog in the next year any special events that are coming up that are very special to you.

As I mentioned I have been writing Alias Jeannie Delaney forever, on and off for thirty years during depression and young parenthood to help keep me sane! My husband is finally helping me edit it chapter by chapter. I was too embarrassed by it before. I decided after recovering completely from depression that it was time to get it out there. I also want to extend my blog and post pieces about other creatives and renaissance souls.

What is your favourite piece of music?

That  is an impossible question because I love so many, and I enjoy many genres. Some pop, dance, heavy metal, some jazz, some opera, classical, rap, 80s, rock n’‘roll…

With such a wide range of styles to choose from I have picked a classic Western sound track from a film I am sure will fit in with Jo’s and Kitty’s love of the era. The Big Country.


My thanks to Jo for joining us today and I do hope you will head over and enjoy her two blogs. Certainly plenty of interesting topics to enjoy for everyone.

Just a reminder of the blogs and other places to connect to Jo.

Google + : Jo Clutton Google

Thank you for dropping in today and look forward to your feedback.. Thanks Sally