Smorgasbord Saturday Meet and Greet – At the Watering Hole this week – Hugh W. Roberts, Rosie Amber and The Story Reading Ape

Welcome to the Saturday morning post where bloggers who have recently followed the blog can introduce themselves.  Each week I will share a small selection of bloggers at random.

Basically this is a watering hole for bloggers across all the areas of interest. Watering holes are very useful for meeting like-minded people and also a way to grow a supportive and sharing community.

If you are NEW to smorgasbord it would be great if you could introduce yourself in the comments.. a brief intro and then a link to the post that you feel best represents your blogging style.

If you are a REGULAR visitor to the blog then please do leave a link to your latest post too, so that we can visit and share.

The idea is to encourage more readers to your posts and an opportunity for us to get to know you better.

The community that kindly supports me is always welcoming, and you will find a great deal of support and encouragement especially for new bloggers.

I look forward to finding out more about you.  Sally

Over the next few weeks I thought I would feature some of the bloggers and reviewers who have watering holes we should all gather around. Some for the very useful information that they provide to help you blog effectively, and others who accept books for review. There are also bloggers who offer an amazing opportunity to be seen around their watering hole in the form of guest posts. This brings new readers to the blogs you have worked so hard to research and write.

I have a list of bloggers that I already follow who offer these services and will be sharing over the following meet and greet posts, but please feel free to add your links to the comments section if you would like to be included.

The first author and blogger, who provides excellent posts on blogging for new and those of us who have fallen into bad habits!!, is Hugh Roberts.

Hugh W. Roberts

Here is a recent post that has some excellent advice for all bloggers.

13 Free Blogging Tips For Every New Blogger

If you are new to blogging or are even thinking about starting a blog, here my thirteen quick blogging tips to get you on your way.

  • It’s all about me. Ensure you have an ‘about me’ page. Tell visitors a little about yourself and at least give them a name by which they can call you. However, don’t have an ‘about me’ page that starts off by saying ‘This Is An Example Of An About Me Page’. Click here to read about setting up an ‘about me’ page and what it should include.
  • Make a journey outside of your own blog. I’ve always been amazed by just what information is out there in the blogging world. I’ve learned how to self-publishing a book, how to use social media and make it work for me, how to bake gin & tonic cupcakes, take great photos and, of course, picked up lots of blogging tips. Reading other blog posts can also give you ideas for writing your own posts. Even if you can only spare a few minutes a day, make sure you visit, read, and comment on other blogs.

Head over to read the other 11 essential blogging tips:

Hugh Roberts is also the author of a short story collection – Glimpses.

One of the reviews for the collection

Do you like doing cryptic crosswords, do you love horror stories, enjoy thrillers or are you romantic at heart? Stories for everyone in this collection; tales that are snappy, but require your undivided attention if you are to work out what is going on.If you are a cat lover there is one story to be avoided, but I am not going to spoil the fun by revealing which. As I also enjoy writing about the dark and the unexpected I loved this collection.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And on Amazon US:

Read more reviews and follow Hugh on Goodreads:

The next blog that it is essential for any author who blogs to follow is Rosie Amber who has gathered together a team of experienced book reviewers. It is very important when submitting your book for review, to follow the submission guidelines. Receiving the seal of approval from the Rosie Amber Book Review Team is a major step to promoting your book and obviously sales.

Here is feedback from some of the authors reviewed by the team which is followed by details on how to submit your own book.

Any author with faith in the strength of their work understands the importance of honest, critical reviews. As an author and reader, I trust in Rosie’s Book Review Team, knowing the reviews are written with genuine criticism, and praise given only when warranted. Authors seeking reviews that hold weight with and impress readers should look no further than Rosie’s Book Review Team.” H.A Callum, author of Literary Fiction

I rely on Rosie’s review team for honest and thoughtful reviews. I know they love reading and the reviews they post express both that love and their opinions of my (and other writers’) novels. Long may they continue. Their support has been invaluable.’ Carol Hedges, author of Victorian murder mysteries and YA

As well as introducing me to talented authors in other genres, I’m grateful to Rosie’s review team for helping raise awareness of my books to new readers.Tony Riches, Amazon best-selling historical fiction author.

Read the rest of the feeback and the submission details:

And here is a snippet from a recent review by Teri Polen for Ghosts of Manor House by Matt Powers.


Give me a book featuring an eerie house and I’m a happy reader. Ghosts of Manor House appealed to me based on the title alone.

The author does a wonderful job at conveying the emotions of grieving parents who’ve lost a child – my heart broke for them. I also liked how the gruesome history of the tree was established in the prologue and gives a foundation for the mysterious happenings. Once the family arrives at the house, you just know nothing good is going to happen.

After the first few chapters, there’s a sudden shift and for a while, it allows the reader to feel disoriented along with Edmund. It’s easy to predict the path this story will take, but there are some tense, chilling moments along the way.

Read the rest of the review:

The third blog that I would like to feature today is The Story Reading Ape. Guest posting on Chris’s blog is a wonderful way to get your blog or your book noticed. His Hall of Fame is legendary and you won’t find a more helpful or welcoming host.

If you are new to guest posting there are a couple of things to remember.

  • It is always a good idea to check out the blog that you are hoping to be a guest writer first.
  • Check out the submission details carefully to make sure that you are supplying all the information required in the right format and with all the links requested.
  • Think carefully about the subject matter of your post. This is a showcase for your writing skills be it as a blogger, author or poet and the post should reflect that. This is your sales pitch and needs to be interesting, informative, entertaining and well written.
  • Be prepared for a delay before posting as busy blogs such as The Story Reading Ape have a waiting list of eager guests. So make sure that your post is not out of date.
  • You have a responsibility as a guest to be proactive in the post’s success. This means sharing on your own social media and responding to all comments individually over a number of days. You can click the button to be notified when new comments come in. Reblog the post and I recommend one or two days later so that it extends the life of the post. This is important if you want to make the most of this opportunity.

Head over and find out how to submit your guest post to Chris:

Here is an excerpt from a recent guest post on The Story Reading Ape

Got this email from none other than the lovely Lisa Burton, the most advanced robot girl on Planet Earth, and spokesmodel for Craig Boyack.


Hi, everyone, and thanks for having me over Chris.

I’m here promoting Craig’s newest book, The Hat.

This one is kind of a paranormal superhero origin story.

You have the cover and blurb to whet your appetite a bit.

One of the little games Craig and I fall into sometimes is casting the movie, if someone were ever to produce it. I’m sure all authors have this daydream at some point, but it’s fun to talk about. I mention this, because this story is a little bit different.

The main character, Lizzie St. Laurent, is also a singer, you know, eventually. This means if anyone were to play her in the movie, she would have to sing at some point. Craig thinks maybe a Disney alum of some kind could fill the role. The only physical descriptions are brunette and a long face.

The long face might be the hard part, but there have been plenty of attractive actresses who fit this description. Lizzie is in her early twenties, but Hollywood can add or remove a few years. They can also create brunette hair with ease. Our only holdup was most of the Disney alum have chubby cheeks, like Brenda Song, or Selina Gomez.

Read the rest of the post from C.S. Boyack:

More blogs that have incredible watering holes next week..

Just a reminder that this too is a watering hole and a place to share your latest post and introduce yourself if you are new to the blog or would like to mingle with the other guests.

If you offer guest posts, reviews or other promotional services then please drop your contact or submission links in the comments.

Thanks for dropping in and look forward to hearing from you. Sally


The Annual Bloggers Bash Awards – #ABBAs are back and you are invited to vote.


Absolutely thrilled to have been nominated in some categories in this year’s Bloggers Bash Awards and delighted that Smorgasbord Invitation has been placed in the Best Overall Blog category.  I am very grateful to everyone who nominated me and to be in such great company in this award.

best-overallThere are some incredibly talented bloggers in all the categories and I had a really tough time voting for just one in each.  I am sure you will also have the same problem.

Head over and vote for your favourite, Funniest, Best Book Review, Best Dressed, Best Newcomer, Most Inspirational, Hidden Gem, Service to Bloggers, Most Informative Original Content Blogger, Best Pal and Best Overall Blog… Vote at the ABBAs

It is a huge shame that the organisers of the event have excluded themselves from the nominations and therefore the awards

Sacha Black

Ali Isaac

Hugh Roberts

Geoff Le Pard

Whilst you are working your way through the categories here is some music in tribute to the four dedicated followers of fashion blogging. Thanks for the hard work guys.. You are Simply The Best.

Thanks for dropping by and I hope that you will head over and show your support to the work of Sacha, Ali, Hugh and Geoff as well as the bloggers who have kept us all entertained this year.   Sally








The Sunday Show – A funny thing happened to me… with Hugh Roberts.

Welcome to the Sunday Morning Show and this week a writer and blogger who not only manages to make us smile with his witty posts but also provides interesting articles on a wide variety of subjects. Of course I can only be talking about Hugh Roberts.

Things that I managed to discover about this lovely Welsh blogger… He likes the pop group Bananarama…hates gardening has recently taken up photography and lives in Hove in East Sussex with his partner John. A part of the world that I know quite well.

Hugh has a great sense of humour, supports other bloggers whole heartedly on WordPress and social media and has offered to be my PR agent should I ever consider turning to stand-up comedy to make a living.

He also throws great parties and at the end of March he threw a blog party that attracted guests from all around the world to enjoy great company food and conversation.

The writer.

Hugh has a wonderful selection of short stories on his blog and they range across a number of genres and here is the link to a very poignant tale of undying love and dancing. He also has a love of Flash Fiction and treats us to quick and insightful slices of life.

The Blogger

Hugh has a wonderfully eclectic blog and even more so since he began to explore photography further in recent months. You will find reviews, poetry and also a chance to take a step back in time in his feature Digging Deep… A trip in Hugh’s time machine to explore such programming delights such as Thunderbirds… And films such as Muriel’s Wedding an Australian film that was brilliant.

The funniest and most creative post that I have seen for quite a while was The Mildred Awards. For those of you who like me watched Man About The House from 1973 onwards with Yootha Joyce as Mildred Roper you will love the witty setting for showcasing Hugh’s favourite bloggers. I recommend that you pop over and read the post for yourselves.

Hugh is also a guest reviewer over at Lit World Interviews which is great resource for authors and readers alike.


As well as humour we also share a love of dogs and Hugh has a muse in the form of a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. A breed that has recently hit the headlines due to the rapidly diminishing numbers and the news that her Royal Majesty the Queen will not be bringing any new Corgis into the Royal Household. She is concerned that at 88 she will find it difficult to cope with a puppy underfoot.


Hugh’s assistant is called Toby and as he himself revealed recently there were only 99 of his breed born in the UK last year. Toby has his own posts that are worth reading to get an insight what it is like to live with a writer and blogger.

Perhaps time to welcome Hugh and to get this interview started.


Toby is a wonderful looking dog but perhaps Hugh you could give us some key reasons for having a corgi as a pet. Why is the breed in decline?

It was my partner John, that first spotted The Cardigan Welsh Corgi a few years ago while watching Crufts. He immediately declared to me when we got a dog, that was the breed of the dog we would have.

Unfortunately both Corgi breeds are in decline in the UK due to many people believing that the Corgi is not a family dog. They have a little bit of a reputation for being unfriendly, especially towards other dogs, but we’ve never found that with Toby. He’s a great socialiser and loves nothing better than meeting and being chased by other dogs (the bigger the better). Corgis are also known for moulting all year round, so they need a lot of grooming and owners will need to use the vacuum cleaner everyday. Dogs such as the Labradoodle, who do not moult, seem to be far more popular as pets these days.

When were you diagnosed with dyslexia and how did it affect your schooling and life since?

I was only properly diagnosed with dyslexia a few years ago. When I was at school, dyslexia was something that most people thought did not exist. I struggled at school and it was thought that I was just not very bright or clever. I often found myself in the lower groups during lessons because I struggled with reading and writing.

One of my biggest mistakes is that I never sought help with having dyslexia when I left school and entered the workplace. I struggled on as best I could and would hide it as much as possible. However, I had a real passion for writing fiction and one of my life’s ambitions has always been to write a book. The days of computers helped with spell checks and the likes, but it wasn’t until last year when I started blogging that I finally began to overcome having dyslexia. I was amazed by the support I was and am still getting from other bloggers which has helped me to overcome having dyslexia and doing what I have always wanted to do and write.

What advice do you have for parents following a diagnosis for their child?

Don’t ignore the diagnosis. Help them as much as possible with their reading and writing and, if possible, seek out groups where anybody with dyslexia can go and meet other people with the condition and where extra lessons are available to help with reading and writing. The condition is so much more accepted now than it was when I was a child.

You have some wonderful collection of stories on your blog Hugh and I understand that you are working on a book can you tell us more about the project and at what stage you are at with it.

I started writing the book a few years ago. It is about my life when I went to live in London during the late 1980’s and has elements of fact and and fiction in it. Unfortunately, the project came to an abrupt halt when I started my blog because blogging was allowing me to interact with other writers and authors. I started writing short stories for my blog and discovered that my real passion for writing was whenever I was writing a short story. Some of my short stories have had wonderful comments from authors who have published books and some have recently encouraged me to publish my short stories on ReadWave. I’ve published my last two short stories on Readwave and was delighted when both stories started trending on the site. ReadWave is all very new to me and I need to look into it further as it seems to be another great avenue for getting my short stories read.

I am sure that your short stories would be very popular in a published collection. Have you plans to do that at some point?

I have been challenged by another blogger to have a short story collection published by the end of the year, but I’m at a bit of a loss as to where to start with it. I also want to write a few more short stories to add to my collection before I begin the process of publishing them in a book. I understand it also takes a lot of time to put a book together for publishing, so I know my blog would probably have to suffer a little neglect from me, and I hate the thought of that. In answer to your question, yes I do have plans, but they are only plans at the moment and I have no idea if and when I will put them in place.

You have mentioned that you can be inspired to write by household chores such as ironing. WordPress challenges and prompts but also music which I would like to explore further. Apart from Robert Miles which other artists over the years have you enjoyed and collected?

The first ever single I purchased was Dancing Queen by Abba. It was released some years after they won the Eurovision Song Contest, but it was the song that got me interested in music and I have since been a huge fan of theirs. Other music I love to listen to is anything from the 1980’s especially by Stock, Aitken, and Waterman. The music they produced brings back so many happy memories of my early years in London and also inspired me to start writing my book. I am also a huge fan of High Energy music, which was very popular with Gay Men back in the 1980’s and 90’s. It never made it big in the UK, but artists such as Eartha Kitt, Sylvester, Patrick Cowley, Miquel Brown, Boys Town Gang, and The Weather Girls, all did very well with it.

And just for Hugh here is Stock, Aitken, and Waterman with Roadblock which will also bring back memories of traffic jams in London in the 80s.

A funny thing happened on the way to…

The central theme of this series is ‘A funny thing happened to me on my way to…….. ‘ It really does not have to be anywhere exotic but I am hoping Hugh will share his experiences of travel and perhaps the people he has met along the way which have added a smile to his face.  Over to you John.


Last November, John and I took our niece, Anna, to New York. The flight over to New York was rather a bit of an eye opener and below is an extract from one of the posts I published about our trip

“Once onboard the flight we were treated to more drinks and another menu offering us delights such as roast beef, chicken with sun-dried tomatoes and a salted chocolate caramel pudding amongst other things. I settled into the on flight entertainment and started to watch the first of three movies.

However, I and the rest of the passengers in our part of the cabin were treated to rather more entertainment than we had bargained for when two of our fellow passengers started to hold hands, tell each other they loved each other very much, and then proceeded to get on top of one another on one of the seats which had now become a flat-bed. Fortunately, one of the cabin crew saw what was happening and asked the man to remove himself from the lady he was laying on top of.

Settling down to continue to watch ‘The Inbetweeners 2’ movie, it was not long before the couple were at it again and the same member of cabin crew was once again tapping the man on the shoulder asking him kindly to go back to his own seat. Wow, was this the kind of thing that went on in Upper Class I asked myself? By this time, Anna was fast asleep and I was concerned that the guy might come over and try to get on top of her, but fortunately it seems he only had eyes for his new wife. Before the end of the flight, the couple had to be removed from each other twice more, the latter by the Cabin Services Director.”

My thanks to Hugh for sharing that, puts a whole new slant on onboard entertainment! Usually my only excitement in a flight is to spot the one person who takes ten minutes to stow is carry on and blocks the aisle.

Here are links to connect to Hugh and please feel free to reblog and share across social media to introduce this charming blogger to others.

Blog –
Twitter –
Google+ –

Now that you have seen the first show in the new series in action perhaps you would like to participate. I have a great line up of bloggers and authors in the next few weeks including Jane Dougherty and Judith Barrow coming up in following weeks. Here is the link for the details. Look forward to hearing from you.