Smorgasbord Blogger Daily Thursday 14th November 2019 – #Review Noelle A. Granger, #Dawn Sue Vincent and #Tarot Jan Sikes


This series is an opportunity to showcase posts from around our community and the brilliant bloggers who share with us. It would be amazing if you would follow the links to the post I have highlighted and whilst visiting follow and support the blogger.

Even if you are not British there is a good chance that you have heard of the legendary Robin Hood.. and the first post is from author Noelle A. Granger who reviews a book on the subject of this English Outlaw by Richard Denham.

Robin Hood: English Outlaw (the origins of the legend and the search for a historical Robin Hood) by [Denham, Richard]

Richard Denham’s latest book, Robin Hood, English Outlaw, follows the investigative procedures he laid down in his previous publication, Arthur: Shadow of a God. Robin Hood is a later, but equally shadowy historical figure, based on medieval rhymes and gests (tales of adventures). Robin Hood’s existence was common knowledge by the 14th century, figuring in The Vision of Piers Plowman, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, and The Gest of Robyn Hode, lengthy at 14,000 words, all from around the same time.

I grew up with Robin Hood on TV and in the movies and love this character, so reading this historical research book was fun! The author begins with placing Robin in England in ‘the greenwood.’ Where was this greenwood? In the late 11th century, about fifteen percent of the country was covered in dense forest – so where did Robin live? The author gives us a romp through the various places he might have existed.

Please head over to read the post in full : Noelle Granger reviews Robin Hood by Richard Denham

Noelle A. Granger Books: Amazon US – Blog: Sayling Away – Goodreads: Noelle A. Granger

For those of you, who like me, hunker down into the duvet until way passed dawn….Sue Vincent graciously shares images of her early morning photo shoot… and beautiful it is too. I really must get out more and earlier!

dawn-dog-001Every morning, the first thing I do is open my bedroom curtains to take a glance at the day. I rise early, usually before dawn at this time of year. When clouds obscure the horizon, all I can see is the darkness and I do not know how the day will begin. The view is not particularly inspiring… a tiny, fenced lawn gives on to flat fields bounded by hedgerows and young thorn trees. And yet, my room looks east, and whatever the day may offer, in that first moment I greet the light; a new day is beginning and the seasons are moving, slowly but inexorably in an eternal dance.

dawns-001

Head over and enjoy all the wonderful images and Sue’s commentary which is not to be missed either: Land of Living Light

Sue Vincent  Buy: Amazon UKBlog: S.C. VincentGoodreads: Sue Vincent

Please visit Amazon or Sue’s blog to view all her books and those written with Stuart France.

And finally today author Jan Sikes introduces us to another Tarot card as part of her weekly series. Find out how the Ten of Wands might impact you this week.

Welcome to another Tarot Tuesday!

If you are just joining me, let me explain the inspiration to begin these posts. In Texas, and all across the country, Taco Tuesday is a popular day when Tacos are usually 99 cents. So, I had the inspiration, or Angel nudge as I like to think of it, to create a Tarot Tuesday. Each Tuesday I will post a different Tarot card and give its meaning. I pray and ask for the right card that will bring a universal message.

I created a short video to demonstrate how I pull the card for the posts. If you’re interested, here’s a LINK.

I was hoping for a lighter card this week, but the cards can only tell us the truth. So today, I’ll talk about the Ten of Wands.

Head over to discover more: Tarot Tuesday – The Ten of Wands

Jan Sikes, Buy: Amazon US Website: Jan SikesGoodreads: Jan on Goodreads

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that you will head over to enjoy these posts in full.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Wednesday October 23rd – John W. Howell #WhiteHouse -Lisa Thomson #Divorce – Jan Sikes #Nashville


This series is an opportunity to showcase posts from around our community and the brilliant bloggers who share with us. It would be amazing if you would follow the links to the post I have highlighted and whilst visiting follow and support the blogger.

I missed some great posts last week and so I am doing some catch up today… and starting from this entertaining piece which is part of Top Ten Things Not to Do from John Howell.. and this week the most famous house in the USA…

Top Ten Things Not to Do at the Laying of the White House Cornerstone in 1792

White House

Yes, this week marks the anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone of the White House by George Washington in 1792. I’m sure you want to be there, but before you go, take this list and maybe avoid making social or time travel mistakes.

Top Ten Things Not to Do at the Laying of the Cornerstone of the White House in 1792

10 If you go to the cornerstone laying, do not think the silver trowel is a souvenir. If you do, at best, a kindly George Washington will ask you to put it back. At worst, the Navy men in attendance who are also celebrating the founding of the Navy will help you put it back. (It seems as if those Navy boys have had a little too much rum, Jakome. They are serious about your yardarm swing.)

9 If you go to the cornerstone laying, do not sit in Tiny the WWF champ’s seat. If you do, at best, he will find another. At worst, Tiny, who missed his Anger Management support group that morning, will not be able to control himself. (If you can hold on for another minute, Jalen, Tiny will grow tired of spinning you around above his head. Of course, your landing after that helicopter experience might be a little rough.)

Head over and check out what else you shouldn’t do: https://johnwhowell.com/2019/10/14/top-ten-things-not-to-do-at-the-laying-of-the-white-house-cornerstone-in-1792/

John Howell, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/John-W.-Howell/e/B00HMRWO6CGoodread: John Howell Goodreads Blog: https://johnwhowell.com/

The next post is from Lisa Thomson who shares the ins and outs of marriage..i.e. divorce on her blog. This is my second marriage, the first lasted 7 years in total (I must have broken a mirror) but this time around 39 years. Many of my friends are also enjoying their second permanent relationships, but Lisa explores the option of getting married for the third time!

Third Marriages, Yeah or Nay?

A second marriage is a gimme while a third marriage is akin to a Mulligan.

You’ll notice I didn’t ask about a second marriage because that’s practically a Gimme. It’s expected, even. It’s considered a sign of moving on. A third marriage? That’s more like a Mulligan (you will use it judicially and with caution). Why the golf analogy, you may be wondering. I don’t even know, it just popped into my head. Maybe because my ex was an avid golfer.

But back to third marriages, some say “third time lucky” but I’m more skeptical. If you’ve shanked your first two attempts at this institution, should you really keep trying and furthermore continue to drag a second person into your sub-par game of marital woes?
Third Marriages, Yeah or Nay?

What are your thoughts on this over optimistic choice to marry a third time when the first two ended in divorce? Head over and let Lisa know: https://www.lisathomsonlive.com/third-marriages-yeah-or-nay/

Lisa Thomson buy: https://www.amazon.com/Lisa-Thomson/e/B007HNG4CQ/ Blog: https://www.lisathomsonlive.com/Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6692957.Lisa_Thomson

The third post is from award winning author Jan Sikes who shares an article that she wrote for the Buddy Magazine.. and I am sure you will enjoy Taking Texas to Tennessee. As a long time Country music fan, I had no idea about the rift within the industry and was fascinated to find out the background. And delighted to see that the rift has been healed..

Since not everyone gets to see the Buddy Magazine publication I decided to post a recent article I wrote after my trip to Nashville. So far, it’s getting some good attention and feedback!

A Tale of Two Music Cities Divided

On the heels of the Ken Burns sensational documentary about the evolution of country music on PBS, the one undisputable fact is that country music has been and is a large part of American history.

At one time during that history, Nashville was the only place to go if an artist wanted to break into the business. However, over the years, that changed and Texas played a large part in that change.

It is no secret that there has been a complicated rift between Nashville and Texas music artists ever since Waylon bucked the establishment, insisting on making music his own way and Willie took his music home to Texas.

I compare it to the famous stand-off between the Hatfields and McCoys. Shots were fired, and many folks threatened, but now the dust has cleared, and hands shaken. Judging by the recent spate of Texas Musicians who’ve made the trek to the famous city to perform on the Grand Ole Opry, I’d say there is at the least, a truce.

Could it be that the Nashville heads are watching the flourishing Texas music industry with some envy? Or perhaps they are only seeing dollar signs.

Head over to enjoy this post in full: https://rijanjks.wordpress.com/2019/10/20/taking-texas-to-tennessee-buddy-magazine/

Jan Sikes, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK
Website: https://www.jansikes.com/Goodreads: Jan on Goodreads

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

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Jan Sikes, M.J. Mallon and Marina Osipova


Welcome to the first of the author updates this week and the first author with a recent review is Jan Sikes for one of her recent short story releases Voodoo or Destiny: You Decide.

About Voodoo or Destiny

Claire Winters is heartbroken when her husband of many years says he’s found a new love and wants a divorce. While having a pity party with her best friend, Jade, they come up with a daring idea. Together, they construct a Voodoo doll and with the help of several bottles of wine, create a ceremony to bring the same heartbreak to Daniel Winters as he brought to Claire. But do they go too far? You decide!

One of the recent reviews

M. Smith 5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Short Story July 23, 2019

This was a fantastic short story! It made me want more after that last page, but it also left it open for the reader to create their own outcome. There was suspense and even a little humor. Personally, I’ve always been fascinated by Voodoo, so I was excited to read this story, wondering how involved it would get. It was better than I imagined! A lot of research and time went into this story. The author even mentioned one of the well-known Voodoo Queens of New Orleans, Marie Laveau. This earned major brownie points because she was always one of the main reasons I wanted to visit NOLA.

Overall, the writing was flawless, and the story flowed as it should. I have other works by this author on my Kindle and can’t wait to dive into the next!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TMQJKSS

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Voodoo-Destiny-Decide-Jan-Sikes-ebook/dp/B07TMQJKSS

A selection of other books by Jan Sikes

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

And find more reviews and follow Jan on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7095856.Jan_Sikes

Connect to Jan via her website: http://www.jansikes.com

The next author with a review to showcase is M.J. Mallon for The Curse of Time : Book One – Bloodstone a YA fantasy and science fiction adventure.

About The Curse of Time

On Amelina Scott’s thirteenth birthday, her father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Saddened by this traumatic event, she pieces together details of a curse that has stricken the heart and soul of her family.

Amelina longs for someone to confide in. Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.

Dreams and a puzzling invitation convince Amelina the answer to her family’s troubles lies within the walls of the illusive Crystal Cottage. Undaunted by her mother’s warnings, Amelina searches for the cottage on an isolated Cambridgeshire pathway where she encounters a charismatic young man, named Ryder. At the right moment, he steps out of the shadows, rescuing her from the unwanted attention of two male troublemakers.

With the help of an enchanted paint set, Amelina meets the eccentric owner of the cottage, Leanne, who instructs her in the art of crystal magic. In time, she earns the right to use three wizard stones. The first awakens her spirit to discover a time of legends, and later, leads her to the Bloodstone, the supreme cleansing crystal which has the power to restore the balance of time. Will Amelina find the power to set her family free?

A YA/middle grade fantasy set in Cambridge, England exploring various themes/aspects: Light, darkness, time, shadows, a curse, magic, deception, crystals, art, poetry, friendships, teen relationships, eating disorders, self-harm, anxiety, depression, family, puzzles, mystery, a black cat, music, a mix of sadness, counterbalanced by a touch of humour.

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

For lovers of fantasy with supernatural characters, in surprising settings.

A fantastic encounter with a strong character, teenager Amelina, a character that draws you into the story. She is courageous and resourceful and proves herself able to see past the obvious to find answers and solutions to the problems those dear to her heart are suddenly facing. And does this in a supernatural way.

I enjoyed the poetry that opens each chapter.

Young adults who enjoy fantasy stories with supernatural characters, in surprising settings will love this book.

Read the other reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B074CDJPY9

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

Follow M.J. Mallon on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Connect to Marjorie Mallon via her website: https://mjmallon.com/

The final author today with a recent review is Marina Osipova for How Dare the Birds Sing.

About the book

Are Lyuba and Günter star-crossed lovers? When they first meet in 1933 Soviet Russia, their young love is filled with hope and naiveté until Günter disappears. Her fleeting relationship with him has devastating consequences, forcing her to take a humiliating way out to save herself and her family. This choice unleashes a sequence of fatal events that shatter her life, affecting everyone involved.

In June 1941, World War II comes to Russian soil, hurling Lyuba, along with millions of others, into the inhuman grinder, testing the limits of her strength and resilience of her heart. Will it be strong enough years later to allow her to reveal the ugly secret she has buried from the only person the war has left for her to love?

One of the recent reviews for the book

How Dare the Birds Sing – indeed, how dare they? The extent to which man can be cruel to his fellow man never ceases to amaze me, as does the distance people will go to survive in the face of unspeakable cruelty. As a teenager, Lyuba and her best friend Natasha meet two student pilots. Stepan is Russian while Günter is German, studying in the Soviet school. It’s 1933 and Germany and the Soviet Union are on good terms, after all. Long story short, Günter has to return to Germany and everyone who has known him is under a cloud of potential espionage. Stepan, by then a Hero of the Soviet Union, has a privileged status. Turning his back on Natasha, he forces Lyuba into marriage, in significant part to protect Lyuba and her mother.

Then Germany and the Soviet Union have a falling-out and war comes. Lyuba, her mother and adopted daughter are on their way to join Stepan when the Germans attack. Lyuba is spared by a fluke. From there, the war takes charge of her life. Brief instances of happiness punctuate major periods of horrible danger, misery and even virtual torture.

Still the birds sing.

When the war finally ends and Lyuba is free to return home, her first objective is to find Natasha. Suffice it to say that Natasha’s war wasn’t Lyuba’s, and when Lyuba leaves the town where Natasha had lived, she sets out with Natasha’s daughter. Arriving in her home town, she finds her home still untouched and with several years’ accumulation of mail. Stepan’s letters are a cruel punctuation to her own journey, but she has the little girl, who finally calls Lyuba ‘Mama.’

Fifteen years later … you’ll have to read it to find out what happens then and has happened in the interim. It’s a compelling read, although it’s emotionally difficult. A fabulous book, overall. 

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07N2BDF9

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dare-Birds-Sing-Book-Love-ebook/dp/B07N2BDF91

Also by Marina Osipova

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Marina-Osipova/e/B0778W8MHS

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Marina-Osipova/e/B0778W8MHS

Read other reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29457862-the-cruel-romance

Connect to Marina via her website: http://www.marina-osipova.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with a book or two under your arm.. .thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Jan Sikes, Balroop Singh, Vashti Quiroz-Vega, Annika Perry


Welcome to the first of the author updates this week with recent reviews for authors on the shelves of the bookstore.

And the first author today is Jan Sikes,  with a recent review for Flowers and Stone...

About Flowers and Stone

The epic love story begins here!

A hot Texas summer, dim-lit honky-tonk bars, a young naïve fledgling go-go dancer and a wild rebel Texas musician set the stage for this story.

1970 in Abilene, Texas finds young Darlina Flowers trying to figure out how to fit into the world she is most attracted to – the nightlife, live music and go-go dancing. Luke Stone, a veteran Texas Musician believes he’s lost all reason to care about his music career, his health and most especially his heart. A chance meeting with Darlina changes everything. But, is it too late? Has fate already determined the outcome? Join Luke and Darlina on a passion-filled journey up and down Texas roads while Luke and his band entertain crowds along the way.

Can Darlina Flowers ever hope to fit in to this strange new world and even more important, can she trust Luke Stone with her heart?

Luke Stone, a good man who has made a career of bad decisions, falls as completely in love with Darlina as she does with him. But is it too late?

Will their eternal unyielding love survive the test of time, distance and iron bars?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Flowers and Stone is the first book of the series I read. This fictional novel is based on the real lives of Jan and Rick Sikes portrayed as Darlina Flowers and Luke Stone. The story quickly revealed that the nineteen-year-old girl Darlina fell in love with the thirty-six-year-old country western singer Luke Stone the first time of meeting him. She soon found out he was married with children and seeing another woman, but it didn’t deter her love for him. Luke had drinking and other problems but fell that Darlina was the best thing happened in his life. Luke was in jail for a crime he didn’t commit, but Jan’s love was deep and strong and knew that he was the man she would love forever.

Jan’s excellent writing takes the readers to the scenes and shows the twists and turns of their journey. I look forward to reading the rest of the series. 

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00G062JBG

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Flowers-Stone-Jan-Sikes-ebook/dp/B00G062JBG

Also by Jan Sikes

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

And find more reviews and follow Jan on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7095856.Jan_Sikes

Connect to Jan via her website: http://www.jansikes.com

The next book with a recent review is Allow Yourself to be a Better Person by Balroop Singh.

51hws7e9y-l-_uy250_About the book

Do you think you are a good person? Would you like to meet your better self?

Welcome to the vast vistas that this book unravels before you by highlighting the shaded areas that could never get your attention.

Enhancement of personality is a long process, which starts only when we acknowledge the need for it. Often we detest looking at our imperfections and if somebody is professionally successful, the thought doesn’t even strike.

This book enlightens you about the goodness, which lies dormant within us till we make an effort to explore it. It exhorts you to introspect and accept natural human failings. It guides you towards the metamorphosis that could make you an endearing personality.

One of the recent reviews for Allow Yourself to be a Better person

As a follower of a blog written by Balroop Singh, I decided to purchase one of her non-fiction books this month: Allow Yourself To Be A Better Person. In this self-help and advice collection, Singh provides readers with ~100 pages of her thoughts and research on how to live a better life. By sharing personal stories of her own life and those of people she’s met, Singh offers ways for readers to consider changing behaviors so that they are happier and stronger individuals.

Every once in a while, it’s good to pick up a book like this; much of the content are things we know or have been taught over the years, but that we also forget. Singh adds context and value behind the words, ensuring we have example and clearer understanding of different interpretations. We know not to take our anger out on others, but we do it still… sometimes unwittingly, and at others, on purpose. Singh reminds us why, shares alternative approaches, and provides a way of reacting to our own emotions with a twist.

I enjoyed reading this extension of her blog so that I could be reminded of a few things that are always a benefit to our lives. It’s obvious that she took a lot of time to craft the structure and advice, and she should be commended. I’m glad I took a chance on reading her book and recommend it to others who are struggling to find a bit of light or think differently about some problems and painful situations in their life.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MR1WGC3

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Allow-Yourself-Be-Better-Person-ebook/dp/B01MR1WGC3

Also by Balroop Singh.

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Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

Read more reviews and follow Balroop on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7340810.Balroop_Singh

61ebbw1tqhl-_ux250_Connect to Balroop via her blog: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com

The next author with a recent review is Vashti Quiroz-Vega with her latest release – a short story – Memoir of a Mad Woman.

About the book

A novelette from the award-winning author of The Fall of Lilith and Son of the Serpent, Vashti Quiroz-Vega.

Who can explain how madness begins?

This is the story of Emma. Reared by a religious fanatic, orphaned at a young age and sent to a mental institution and an orphanage. Molested and betrayed by the people who should be watching over her…

Who can say that madness has no logic?

During a fight, Emma’s best friend punched her in the abdomen. Since then, Emma has believed there’s something damaged inside of her.

Every month… she bleeds. She tries to fight it all her life, but the pain and the blood return twenty-eight days later… and the cycle begins again.

But Emma, even in her madness, knows how to take care of herself.
She knows how to make things right…

You may not agree… But, who can reason with insanity?

Read this tragic but fascinating tale and traverse the labyrinthine passages of madness.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Wow! Such a powerful story, deeply rounded characters and a plot sewn up beautifully at the end in this short novelette. The subject matter is disturbing and I found myself skimming over the torturous parts because this is normally a genre I try to stay away from because of the disturbing abuse. But I felt compelled to read this because Vashti Quiroz-Vega is one of my favorite writers to read.

The mood is dark, and poor damaged Emma definitely was born into a world of hard knocks. Emma orphaned as a young child, ends up in an orphanage where people do bad things to children. She endures bullying, abuse to the max, yet something within her gives her the courage to soldier on until that one spark of madness brings out the revenge in her – the just desserts deliciously deserved for all those who inflicted pain on her.

It’s not very often we find ourselves rooting for evil, but when you’ve glimpsed into the life of this poor, neglected and abused little girl, you too will find yourself screaming for justice as each horrific event done onto her becomes a spectator event. Emma’s eventual unleashing becomes the only way to end the never-ending madness of her world. A most chilling read that kept me reading till the end in one sitting. #Recommended.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MLYP5XP

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Memoir-Mad-Woman-Vashti-Quiroz-Vega-ebook/dp/B07MLYP5XP

Also by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Vashti-Quiroz-Vega/e/B00GTXG5W4

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Vashti-Quiroz-Vega/e/B00GTXG5W4

Read more reviews and follow Vashti on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7122693.Vashti_Quiroz_Vega

Connect to Vashti via her website/Blog: https://vashtiqvega.wordpress.com/

The final author with a recent review is Annika Perry for her collection of stories – The Storyteller Speaks.

About The Storyteller Speaks
It only takes one event to change a life. What is that action, decision, occurrence? Whose life is affected? Changed forever?In this eclectic mix of 21 short stories, flash fiction and poetry the pendulum swings between first love and murder, from soul-destroying grief to reconciliation. The tales veer from the sweet satisfaction of revenge to new beginnings, from heart-breaking miscarriages of justice to heart-warming Christmas misadventure.One common thread binds them all; the belief that there is no such thing as an ordinary life; they’re all extraordinary. Open your hearts and minds as The Storyteller Speaks.

A recent review for the collection on Goodreads

Jun 20, 2019 Darlene Foster rated it Four Stars

Sometimes it is good to sit down and read some short stories. So much can be said in a few carefully chosen words. Which is the case in this delightful collection of stories and poems. Stories about a first and forever love, stolen flowers, forgotten chillies, frozen landscapes and a miscarriage of justice evoke a wide range of emotions. My favourite story is the Loss of A Patriarch, depicting a family saying goodbye to a much-loved family member told in such a heartwarming manner it is sure to produce tears. For a first time author, this is a wonderful collection showing a range of writing skills.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0789KZVF8/

and Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0789KZVF8

Read other reviews and follow Annika on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17498437.Annika_Perry

Connect to Annika via her blog  https://annikaperry.com

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with a few books under your arm… Sally…

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update- #Reviews – Robbie and Michael Cheadle, Toni Pike and Jan Sikes


Welcome to the second Cafe and Bookstore Update this week with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

Delighted to share a recent review for the 6th book in the Sir Chocolate series of stories and cookbooks by Robbie and Michael Cheadle.

About the story

Number 6 in the Sir Chocolate series: Five zoo animals go missing and Sir Chocolate needs to find them. Includes five lovely new recipes. Not only a storybook but a wonderful opportunity for parents and children to create wonderful recipes together.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Robbie Cheadle and her son Michael, in the delightful book Sir Chocolate and the Fondant Five Story and Cookbook, combine children’s story, poetry and recipes together. The story is about a zoo in Chocolate Land with Fondant Five, namely the lion, king of the jungle, the gentle elephant, the elegant leopard, the bulky rhino, and the buffalo. Sir Chocolate cares for them. One day, these five fondant animals disappeared. Sir Chocolate found Fondant Cat who could help to find Fondant Five.

This fun story book includes recipes for Lady Sweet Rusks, Buffalo Coconut Cake, Rhino Soetkoekies, Cheetah Cheese Scones, and Sir Chocolate Peppermint Caramel Pudding.

The book has beautiful photograph of the fondant animals and desserts. Students in the classrooms will enjoy the story, poems and photos in this book. I will read this to my granddaughter. I also love the idea of parents doing the cooking with their children using these recipes.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PVKZ851

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chocolate-Fondant-Five-Story-Cookbook-ebook/dp/B07PVKZ851

A selection of books by Robbie and Michael Cheadle

Read all the reviews and buy the books:https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ

Read more reviews and follow Robbie on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle

Connect to Robbie and Michael Cheadle via their Blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

Now for a recent review for the recently released  thriller from Toni Pike…..Desolation Bluff

About the book

Blind romance author Oliver Cameron uses the pen name of Fidel Amore and thinks he has the perfect life at his country estate near Desolation Bluff. After a honeymoon in Paris, his wife Vanessa continues her work as his assistant. His friend Ray is the business manager who lives in the gatehouse and also acts as the public face of Fidel Amore, doing all those book-signing trips that Oliver never wanted to attend. Helen Dunkley is the housekeeper devoted to him since childhood – but she detests the two newcomers.

Complications set in when Ray, working on his old car, accidentally backs into Oliver. His injuries appear minor but the next day he suddenly regains his sight. Oliver wants Ray and Rachel to be the first to hear his good news, but when he finds them he uncovers a shocking betrayal.

A game of cat and mouse begins – and with the arrival of a mysterious stranger, it turns deadly.

A short suspense novel that will keep you guessing right to the very end.

One of the recent reviews for the book

May 03, 2019 Debbie Harris rated it it was amazing  · 

I have enjoyed Toni Pike’s books before, particularly Dead Dry Heart and when she asked if I’d read her new novel Desolation Bluff I was pleased to do so for an honest review. I received an ARC at no cost from the author.

This story was interesting, riveting and full of suspense. The fact that Oliver Cameron was a romance writer and blind as well, made for an intriguing main character. When he was able to ‘see’ what was happening around him with his new wife Vanessa and friend Ray, it all became clear!

I enjoyed the location as I know the area quite well and could imagine it all happening there. The characters were well drawn and the story moved along at a good pace. It was all a bit over the top at times but this fitted in with the whole romance writing genre and made it a fun read. It wasn’t all happiness and light with a few deaths, but well written and highly enjoyable.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RCDRF86

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Desolation-Bluff-Toni-Pike-ebook/dp/B07RCDRF86

Also by Toni Pike

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Toni-Pike/e/B009I70E8Y

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Toni-Pike/e/B009I70E8Y

Read more reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14736589.Toni_Pike

About Toni Pike

Connect to Toni Pike via her website: www.tonipike.com

And for the final author today, Jan Sikes, a recent review for Flowers and Stone...

About Flowers and Stone

The epic love story begins here!

A hot Texas summer, dim-lit honky-tonk bars, a young naïve fledgling go-go dancer and a wild rebel Texas musician set the stage for this story.

1970 in Abilene, Texas finds young Darlina Flowers trying to figure out how to fit into the world she is most attracted to – the nightlife, live music and go-go dancing. Luke Stone, a veteran Texas Musician believes he’s lost all reason to care about his music career, his health and most especially his heart. A chance meeting with Darlina changes everything. But, is it too late? Has fate already determined the outcome? Join Luke and Darlina on a passion-filled journey up and down Texas roads while Luke and his band entertain crowds along the way.

Can Darlina Flowers ever hope to fit in to this strange new world and even more important, can she trust Luke Stone with her heart?

Luke Stone, a good man who has made a career of bad decisions, falls as completely in love with Darlina as she does with him. But is it too late?

Will their eternal unyielding love survive the test of time, distance and iron bars?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Flowers and Stone by Jan Sikes is a passionate love story that raises some questions. Since this is a true love story, I was all the time thinking how naïve young lovers are, why their decisions are capricious and why can’t they see reason. Love is said to be blind and if this is true, no story can ever illustrate it better than this one. I wonder how could Darlina continue to love a person who didn’t confide his dark secrets to her? I couldn’t relate with either of the protagonists, Darlina is too emotional and immature and Luke, a married man with children seems to be a womanizer. This love story may seem charming to young lovers.

The plot moves slowly as it revolves around two lovers and their world of music and nightlife but the good part is that it is unpredictable. It is Sikes’ simple and honest style of writing that would keep you engrossed. Having said that, I must mention that it is repetitive; uses too many curse words and doesn’t tell anything about the most crucial part of the story. Evidence details are missing and the ending is too abrupt. I closed this book, longing for more. Probably the next book contains the answers. 

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00G062JBG

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Flowers-Stone-Jan-Sikes-ebook/dp/B00G062JBG

Also by Jan Sikes

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

And find more reviews and follow Jan on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7095856.Jan_Sikes

Connect to Jan via her website: http://www.jansikes.com

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books under your arm.. thanks Sally.

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – #reviews – Bette A. Stevens, Fiona Tarr and Jan Sikes


Welcome to the first of the Cafe and Bookstore updates and the first author with a recent review is Bette A. Stevens for her book Pure Trash: The Story

About Pure Trash: The Story

It’s PURE TRASH (Historical Fiction/short story), a Compelling Prequel to the novel DOG BONE SOUP. The year is 1955. Remember the Good Old Days? You know, the 1950s and ‘60s, when America was flying high. The All American Family lived a life filled with hopes and dreams and life’s necessities too. Shawn Daniels isn’t your typical American Boomer Boy. No, Shawn is a poor boy. He can’t join Boy Scouts or sports teams. There’s not even enough money for necessities. Besides, Shawn doesn’t have time for that. But when chores are done, there’s always fishing!

In this short story, Shawn and Willie Daniels are off on a Saturday adventure in search of trash to turn into treasure. It is going to be a great day. Shawn is sure of it. No school and no bullies to remind him that he’s not one of the crowd. This is a story about bullies and what it’s like to be bullied (and not just by kids). It may redefine your definition of bullying. If you were a child who was thought of as “different” in some way, you know what bullying is about: torment, persecution, intimidation, to name a few of its synonyms. For Shawn and Willie, their difference was based upon the social status of a dysfunctional family and the alcoholism and abject poverty in which they grew up.

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Jan 01, 2019 Darlene Foster rated it Five Stars

A wonderful story written from the point of view of a child growing up in poverty. The author does an excellent job of depicting discrimination and how a child deals with living within a dysfunctional, poor family. Kids are kids no matter what the situation and can be very resourceful. In few words, the reader gets a clear picture of the life and times. Well worth a read.

Read reviews for the book and buy: https://www.amazon.com/PURE-TRASH-Bette-A-Stevens-ebook/dp/B00EH0RV6K/

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/TRASH-Historical-Fiction-Short-prequel-ebook/dp/B00EH0RV6K

Also by Bette A. Stevens

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

Read more reviews and follow Bette on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6037707.Bette_A_Stevens

Connect to Bette via her website: https://4writersandreaders.com/

Now something for fantasy lovers from Fiona Tarr with a recent review for Call of the Druids ( The Priestess Chronicles – Volume 1)

About Call of the Druids

When an Angel answers your prayers, you had better be prepared!

All Ariela has ever wished for is to be treated like all the other Priestesses and be given a chance to use her powers to fight evil. Until now, her parents have held her back, treated her like a Princess and kept her from danger.

Now she is eighteen and believes she will finally be allowed to embark on her first quest. But when Ariela’s uncle the King sends word that he has promised her in marriage, Ariela’s hopes are shattered.

She prays for an escape. When the Angel Raziel offers her a divine quest, she must choose!

Stay, marry and never be the Priestess she longs to be or leave everything she has ever known, for a quest she knows nothing about—to a place and time she has never seen—for people she is yet to meet.

One of the recent reviews for the book

This is the first book in a new series from Tarr, which for those who have read the Covenant of Grace series, will feel as though they’re right back on familiar track. This book follows the daughter of two very well-loved characters from the Covenant Series, however, this one is not set in ancient Israel but rather during Roman times! Now how this comes about I’ll not reveal but the epic ideas and the engaging characters are just as good as ever. This is a must read for any fans of historical/religious fiction, but if you are just looking for a bit of adventure with a touch of the supernatural, this will do you just as nicely!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07JN8W5CG

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Call-Druids-Priestess-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B07JN8W5CG

Also by Fiona Tarr

Read all the reviews and buy the books including a box set: https://www.amazon.com/Fiona-Tarr/e/B00KOL7XI2

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fiona-Tarr/e/B00KOL7XI2

Read more reviews and follow Fiona on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8423164.Fiona_Tarr

Connect to  Fiona via her website: http://atime2write.com.au

A recent review for the short story collection Two Shorts and a Snort from award-winning author Jan Sikes.

About Two Shorts and a Snort

This book consists of two short stories and one poem from award-winning author, Jan Sikes, in response to a writing challenge from the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB.

Obsessed:
How far will one man go to satisfy an obsession? The price could cost him his life.

Maggie:
Is it possible to pray up a baby? Frank and Mary Pyburn are convinced that is what they’ve done.

Friends Instead of Lovers:
Sometimes it’s better to remain friends, instead of giving in to desires and crossing a line.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Heather Kindt 5.0 out of 5 stars Messed Up But Marvelous January 10, 2019

Sikes has a way with words. This collection of two short stories and a poem keep you riveted. Charlie’s life is so messed up that you have to keep reading to see what’s going to happen to him. I really enjoyed Maggie’s story, too. Pick up these quick reads, you won’t be disappointed.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DY8FSWL/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Two-Shorts-Snort-Jan-Sikes-ebook/dp/B07DY8FSWL

Also by Jan Sikes.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

And find more reviews and follow Jan on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7095856.Jan_Sikes

Connect to Jan via her website: http://www.jansikes.com

Thank you very much for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with a book or two.. thanks Sally.

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Christmas – The Sixth Day of Christmas with Guests William Price King, Annette Rochelle Aben and Jan Sikes


Welcome to the sixth party in this series and today my guests are the amazing William Price King, American Jazz singer, crooner and composer who has been providing the music content for Smorgasbord for over four years. Joining him today is friend but also new and very welcome collaborator, who has a background in broadcasting and music, Annette Rochelle Aben who will be writing her own Numerology column from the New Year. Also with a wonderful career in both publishing and the music industry, is my third guest, Jan Sikes.

All will be sharing their most cherished Christmas memories throughout today’s post.

My Christmas memories…

In early 1965 a film was released in the UK that was to be a turning point for me and the start of a lifelong crush on the lead actor. Christopher Plummer was 36 at the time that The Sound of Music became available to the general public and not just musical theatre goers. I was just twelve but I saw myself as Maria from that moment on. I saw that film three times in the next 18 months and I could rattle all the songs off at a drop of hat including The Lonely Goatherd with requisite yodelling.

My ardour did not diminish, and when we returned to Portsmouth in 1967, I managed to coerce a school friend into forming a double act. At age 14 we were encouraged to reach out to the community at Christmas, and undaunted by the prospect of performing publicly, my friend and I dressed ourselves in replicas of the film costumes. Actually my mother was missing a pair of old curtains, so we did not stray too far from the script…and we offered our services to three old people’s homes in the local area.

We would turn up after school in the weeks before Christmas and join the residents for a cup of tea and a piece of cake before performing our repertoire of songs from The Sound of Music. I must admit that a couple of songs in and there was a fair bit of nodding off…not to be outdone I would burst into The Lonely Goatherd and it served to enliven the audience who would look around bemusedly at the sound of a strangled cat in between the verses.

I did however have a ‘moment’ in my early 40’s. We were on holiday in the French Alps one summer and had hiked up one of the surrounding mountains. We reached a plateau that was dotted with alpine flowers and after we had consumed our packed lunch and with no one else in sight, I took my chance. I stood in the middle of the meadow and gave the title song as loud a rendition as I possibly could. I threw my arms wide as I finished and turned in a slow circle to receive the applause of my husband, only to find that a large group of Japanese tourists had just reached the edge of the plateau and were snapping photographs and clapping madly…I think they thought that it was especially laid on for their lunchtime entertainment. A quick descent was called for in the opposite direction.

As my first guest is William Price King it seems more than appropriate to get the party started with one of his own performances. We will meet him in person a little later.

My thanks again to Why Christmas for their detailed information on the traditions around the world. The Falkland Islands are in the South Atlantic Ocean about 300 miles from the east coast at the bottom of South America. They are a British Overseas Territory even though they’re about 8,000 miles away from the rest of the UK. There are only around 3,000 residents of the Islands with most living in the capital Stanley, and considering the land mass occupies around 4,700 square miles, it is hardly over populated.. But there 150,000 sheep.

It is summer in the Southern Hemisphere and being British the Islanders share many of the traditions with the UK. It is very windy which means few trees, but artificial ones are on display. As you might guess roast lamb is the most likely Christmas dinner and it is very expensive to fly turkeys in from South America.

As at home, pantomime is very popular and children on the more remote parts of the islands get their presents flown in from the capital. Carol singing takes place under a ‘Whale Bone Arch’  constructed from the jaw bones of two blue whales… and on Boxing Day the horse races attract punters and spectators from all over The Falklands.

Time now to meet William Price King and find out about his most favourite Christmas gift ever..His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour. You can find out more about William and his career in his latest Music Column

William shares his most treasured Christmas memory...

It was Christmas Eve. Before starting the day I called our youngest daughter who lives in Germany to wish her good luck for her performance as Rosina in “The Barber of Seville” that evening and to get confirmation that she and her boyfriend were still planning to celebrate Christmas at his parents’ home in Düsseldorf. She answered affirmatively and said that they were looking forward to it as they had done in the previous years. We spoke for a moment and then I wished her a good show and said we would call them on Christmas.

I finished decorating the tree and put the presents in place. Wakanda, our cat, took quick possession of her Christmas box and happily installed herself under the tree. In the meanwhile my wife and I continued preparing for the big day and began making the final touches, reminiscing over the good old days when we had the entire family at home for Christmas. Those days were gone.

Around midnight we went to bed happy that everything was ready for our Christmas celebration in anticipation of seeing the grand kids frantically open their gifts. Around 6 a.m. my wife woke me up and said that she heard someone walking in the house. I told her it must have been a dream, as we live alone. Plus, why would Santa be walking around in our house at 6 a.m. on Christmas day, right? My wife insisted it wasn’t a dream. She really was frightened and believed that someone had broken into the house. A bit annoyed I lurched downstairs, opened the living room door and there stood our opera singer with her boyfriend. “Merry Christmas!” they shouted gleefully. My mouth dropped in disbelief. I pinched myself to make sure it wasn’t I who was dreaming this time around. I knew that life could yield unexpected surprises but this one beat them all. It was the first time that she had come home for Christmas in 10 years, a gift from the stars, and the best Christmas gift I ever had.

Definitely a wonderful Christmas memory and I can imagine that the celebrations were fantastic.

I spent some time wondering what William might enjoy for his Christmas gift… and I hope that he will enjoy something from his home town. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra with O Come O Come Emmanuel. Courtesy of Thomas Trimborn

The Sixth day (30th December) is dedicated to St Egwin of Worcester. Egwin was of noble if not royal blood and was born in the late 600’s and became a monk. Because of his lineage the royal court and hierarchy in the church pushed for his elevation to Bishop in in 693. He had strict moral code and was a benefactor for the poor and orphans. He was also very strict with worshippers and clergy alike and became increasingly unpopular when he began insisting that marriage vows should be taken seriously and that the clergy should be celibate… In the end tired of the resistance to his firm stance on these issues he took himself off to Rome to get the blessing of the Pope.

A number of ‘miracles’ occurred on the route and having received vindication from the Holy Father he returned to Evesham. He lived until between 917 and 920 bringing about many changes including founding Evesham Abbey which was one of the most important Benedictine Monasteries of medieval times. He died and was buried there but all was destroyed in the purges in the 16th century.

 

Six geese a laying – some say this symbolises the six days of creation but most assume it was a continuation in the bird theme from the Four Colley Birds, Three French Hens, Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree…..

Time to meet my next guest, the delightful Annette Rochelle Aben – Annette has an attitude of gratitude that she spreads around on a daily basis… Annette’s Blog and also by interviewing authors on radio Tell Me A Story with Annette Rochelle Aben | The Magic Happens (TMH)

Over the years, Annette has been blessed with having both hobbies and jobs that required her to write. This resulted in her winning the admiration of peers and industry professionals alike. Publication lead to awards, which provided even more encouragement and now, Annette Rochelle Aben is a #1 Best Selling Author! These days, Annette writes poetry books, coaches others through the writing of their books, and edits articles for the digital magazine The Magic Happens.

In the New Year Annette will be joining the team here with her own column Universal energy – Numerology and I am delighted to welcome her to the blog.

Annette shares her most treasured Christmas Gift

Seventeen years ago, at our Christmas gift exchange, I opened the lovingly wrapped package from my nephew Danny, to find a statue of a black cherub sitting on a cloud. I choked back tears because I knew he originally planned to give it to my mother, but she rejected the gift because Angels couldn’t possibly be anything other than white you know.

As I drove home, I hit an ice storm and what would have taken me 45 minutes, took me over 5 hours. The whole way, that Angel sat on my dashboard. I made it home safely.

Very difficult after that very special memory to find a gift that compares for Annette, but knowing her love of angels and music.. I hope that she enjoys one of my favourite tracks In the Arms of an Angel by Sarah McLachlan

You can find all of Annette Rochelle Aben’s books: http://www.amazon.com/Annette-Rochelle-Aben/e/B00MSQTGUY
Blog: www.annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com

Here is a selection of Annette’s books

booku_cover_for_kindle

A recent review for A Tanka Picture Book

Annette Rochelle Aben writes the most beautiful and heartfelt poetry, most frequently in the form of tanka and haiku verse. Annette bares her thoughts, feelings and soul to the world with her writing and enables you to experience her joy and delight at living with her. One identifying feature of Annette’s poetry is that she appeals to all five of the senses. I frequently find that poems focus on the visual, what the writer sees, but not that many poets manage to capture the smell, sound and touch of life in quite the way Annette does. One of the poems in this book that filled me with delight is this one: We found paradise Filled with rolling hills of green Houses so cozy Paths strewn with flowers fragrant Watercolor painted skies

Over the next few days I will be sharing some of the wonderful Christmas delicacies  that appeared on Carol Taylor’s Vegetarian Christmas Menu 

Ricotta, Blackberry and Walnut Toasts.

• 2 tbsp of maple syrup
• 150 gm blackberries
• 4 slices of your favorite bread I used sourdough
• 100 gm soft ricotta
• 1 tbsp toasted walnuts
• A few mint leaves

To Prepare

  1. Warm the maple syrup in a small pan and add the blackberries cook for 3-4 mins gently squashing a few blackberries with the back of your wooden spoon.
  2. Toast the bread.
  3. To serve spread some ricotta over the toast then spoon over the warm syrup and fruit, top with your toasted walnuts and a few mint leaves.

Enjoy!

And now my final guest today who also has a wonderful life of music and love. Jan Sikes is an Award Winning Author, screenwriter and songwriter. She began her writing career as a young girl. Her first work was a gospel song. She had an uncle whom she loved dearly, but he was an alcoholic and his drinking caused such family discord that at times, resulted in him being banished from their home. So, she wrote a song about Uncle Luke finding Jesus. That is her first memory of feeling the passion deep down to her toes for writing and for music.

And here is Jan’s most favourite Christmas gift of all time

The best Christmas I can remember is 2003. Rick was just finishing the recording of his new music CD and he had a jacket monogrammed for me with the album cover on the back and my name in the front. I couldn’t have been more surprised or proud! That year all of our children, my mom and aunt came to our house for the celebration. There was an abundance of food, laughs and love. It is a sweet memory.

Another tough challenge to find a gift for Jan following that heartfelt memory… but I hope that this will make her smile and remind her of the first song that she wrote for her uncle. A wonderful Gospel Christmas.

Featuring the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra again with The Pointer Sisters and  Adam L. McKnight..- Amen courtesy of Adam L. McKnight

You can find all of Jan’s books here: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK
Website: https://www.jansikes.com/

One of the reviews for Home at Last

Almost Home is the third book in this series and every bit as exciting as the first two books! Mrs. Sikes lets us into their lives, finally lived together, and their love that continues to grow! Ms. Sikes has written each novel with such depth of emotion that I felt virtually every feeling along with Darlina as I was reading! I spent plenty of time with tissues in hand! The pace was very steady and my attention never wavered. As a matter of fact, I couldn’t reach the end of each book fast enough to move on to the next!

It was a mesmerizing story from beginning to end! The story of Darlina (Jan Sikes) and Luke (Rick Sikes) is a love story for the ages and fraught with challenges seemingly every step of the way. This series is made more poignant for me by the fact that it is the true account of two people, fictionalized for the benefit of the author! I give Almost Home by Jan Sikes five cups of steaming hot Room With Books coffee and I highly recommend you read it!

Now time for something to drink…..Whilst it is customary to see cranberries in a sauce on the Christmas Dinner Table, you can also enjoy in a cocktail during the holiday period. Cranberries have a great many health benefits…. which might be slightly diluted when adding alcohol.. but here is a video that will give you a recipe to try.

Thank you for dropping in today and tomorrow my guests are Jessica Norrie and Marjorie Mallon… I hope you will join us.. thanks Sally

 

Sally’s Drive Time Playlist #Music to get the Weekend Started – Requests from Annette Rochelle Aben, N.A. Granger, Jan Sikes, Judith Barrow and Darlene Foster


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.

Annette Rochelle Aben has a music background and I would love to do a road trip with her… I am sure we would have a few laughs and plenty of sing-alongs. Her request was for Michael Franti and Spearhead. Michael Franti and Spearhead Amazon

The next request is from author N.A. (Noelle) Granger who has just posted details of her new historical novel…a departure from her murder mysteries. She has requested Private Dancer by Tina Turner – Buy the music here: Tina Turner Amazon

Next it is Jan Sikes, who too has a music background.. this song was new to me.. “So This is Life” by Courtney Patton and you can buy her music here. Courtney Patton Amazon

The next request comes from author Judith Barrow and is for Willie Nelson and The Traveling Wilburys. End of the Line from the album Roy Orbison Collected

 

The last track today is from children’s author and travel writer Darlene Foster with a wedding song that brings a tear to her eye.. Anne Murray  – Can I have this Dance for the Rest of My Life  — one of my music idols.. and you can buy her music here: Anne Murray Amazon

 

My thanks to all those who requested their favourite tracks.. one more post next week and then back to the normal Friday posts. Thanks Sally.. keep singing and dancing...

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Do What you Love by Jan Sikes


Today an inspirational piece by Jan Sikes, reminding us that however tough things might be there is usually a chink of light to give us something to be positive about.

Do What you Love by Jan Sikes

inspiration

I am thrilled it when inspirations come out of the blue. I have a feeling I will get lots of them living in my new place. But, I digress.

The thought I had was this, “Do what you love. Love what you do.”

“How?” you ask.

We all have to do things in life to put food on our tables that we aren’t particularly fond of, such as going to a thankless job. Maybe your boss is a jerk. Or perhaps your daily commute is grueling. There could be a myriad of negatives about the things we must do to survive.

But…instead of focusing on the negatives, what if we sought out the positives and focused on them instead. So, your boss is a jerk, but the receptionist that greets you each morning is always full of sunshine and smiling. And, yes, the daily commute is grueling, but what about that cool audio book you managed to read in a week just sitting in traffic? Or how about that awesome new song that came on the radio and made you turn up the volume?

2010-clip-art

Sometimes, it’s the little things. Maybe there aren’t any big positives to what you do that you can grasp, but as a wise man once said, “Littles make bigs.” By finding ways to love what we do, we free ourselves to do things we truly love. Writers find more time to write. Songwriters find time to compose new melodies. Families spend more time playing and less time arguing. It’s the proverbial domino effect.

By focusing on the aspects of life that we do love and less on the parts we don’t, the world instantly becomes a better place in which to live.

So, DO WHAT YOU LOVE AND LOVE WHAT YOU DO!

Hugs, light and love sent to you.

love-light-hugs

©Jan Sikes

I am sure that this has inspired you too, as it has me. Thanks Jan.

About Jan Sikes

Multi-Award winning author, Jan Sikes, began her writing career as a young girl. Her first work was a gospel song. She had an uncle whom she loved dearly, but he was an alcoholic and his drinking caused such family discord that at times, resulted in him being banished from their home. So, she wrote a song about Uncle Luke finding Jesus. That is her first memory of feeling the passion deep down to her toes for writing and for music.

When her husband passed away in 2009, she thought someone would come along and write the story of his unique and inspiring life. She awoke one morning to realize she was the only one who could write it, since she was the only one there with him through it all. So, she took several Creative Writing courses at local community colleges and went to work.

Her books are true stories about the journey of two people moving through adversity in order to grow and learn to become better humans. She believes with all her heart there is something worthy of sharing in these stories. Bits and pieces of wisdom, hard-learned lessons and above and beyond all, love…True love that you read about in fiction stories and yet this is truth. The old saying that truth is stranger than fiction fits these stories.

She also releases a music CD of original songs along with each book that fits the time period of the story. Why? Because the stories revolve and evolve around a passion for music.

Jan has also developed several writing workshops that you can get more information about on her website.

She is widowed, lives in North Texas, volunteers at music festivals, has five incredible grandchildren and serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Authors Institute of History, The North Texas Book Festival and the Texas Musicians Museum.

Books by Jan Sikes.

One of the excellent reviews for Til Death Do Us Part.

Oct 30, 2017 D.L. Finn rated it Five Stars

This is the final book in the fictionalized true-story of Luke and Darlina Stone. The story continues where it left off in “Home at Last” for Luke and Darlina. The remarkable journey of this couple comes full circle when music reenters their lives. I loved that Darlina (and their daughter) joined Luke on stage. It was beautiful to read the process of this couple creating music together. I felt every emotion reading “’Til Death Do Us Part”, especially knowing it’s the real story of the author– and it was the last book.

I was heartbroken watching the decline of Luke’s health, but was amazed, again, at how strong their love was. When I hear an owl hoot at night it will always remind me of this couple’s unwavering love. A beautifully written series I highly recommend.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

And find more reviews and follow Jan on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7095856.Jan_Sikes

Connect to Jan

website: http://www.jansikes.com
Blog: http://www.rijanjks.wordpress.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikes
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rijanjks

If you would like to join Jan and the other writers and submit posts from your archives here is the link: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/happy-new-year-and-the-start-of-the-2018-series-of-smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives/

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Achives – The Magic Bank Account by Jan Sikes


Jan Sikes introduces us to an interesting concept.. what would you do with an amazing prize win? Jan explores our options.

The Magic Bank Account by Jan Sikes.

Imagine that you had won the following *PRIZE* in a contest:

Each morning your bank would deposit $86,400 in your private account for your use. However, this prize has rules:

The set of rules:

  1. Everything that you didn’t spend during each day would be taken away from you.
  2. You may not simply transfer money into some other account.
  3. You may only spend it.
  4. Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account with another $86,400 for that day.
  5. The bank can end the game without warning; at any time it can say, “Game Over!” It can close the account and you will not receive a new one.

What would you personally do?

You would buy anything and everything you wanted right? Not only for yourself, but for all the people you love and care for.

Even for people you don’t know, because you couldn’t possibly spend it all on yourself, right?

You would try to spend every penny, and use it all, because you knew it would be replenished in the morning, right?

ACTUALLY, This GAME is REAL…

Shocked ???

YES!

Each of us is already a winner of this *PRIZE*. We just can’t seem to see it.

The PRIZE is *TIME*

  • Each morning we awaken to receive 86,400 seconds as a gift of life.
  • And when we go to sleep at night, any remaining time is NOT credited to us.
  • What we haven’t used up that day is forever lost.
  • Yesterday is forever gone.
  • Each morning the account is refilled, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time WITHOUT WARNING…

SO, what will YOU do with your 86,400 seconds?

Those seconds are worth so much more than the same amount in dollars.

Think about it and remember to enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than you think.

So take care of yourself, be happy, love deeply and enjoy life!

Here’s wishing you a wonderful and beautiful day. Start “spending”….

Hourglass

DON’T COMPLAIN ABOUT GROWING OLD…!

SOME PEOPLE DON’T GET THE PRIVILEGE! 

©Jan Sikes 2016.

I think you will agree that Jan has given us all something to think about..Thank you Jan..

About Jan Sikes

Multi-Award winning author, Jan Sikes, began her writing career as a young girl. Her first work was a gospel song. She had an uncle whom she loved dearly, but he was an alcoholic and his drinking caused such family discord that at times, resulted in him being banished from their home. So, she wrote a song about Uncle Luke finding Jesus. That is her first memory of feeling the passion deep down to her toes for writing and for music.

When her husband passed away in 2009, she thought someone would come along and write the story of his unique and inspiring life. She awoke one morning to realize she was the only one who could write it, since she was the only one there with him through it all. So, she took several Creative Writing courses at local community colleges and went to work.

Her books are true stories about the journey of two people moving through adversity in order to grow and learn to become better humans. She believes with all her heart there is something worthy of sharing in these stories. Bits and pieces of wisdom, hard-learned lessons and above and beyond all, love…True love that you read about in fiction stories and yet this is truth. The old saying that truth is stranger than fiction fits these stories.

She also releases a music CD of original songs along with each book that fits the time period of the story. Why? Because the stories revolve and evolve around a passion for music.

Jan has also developed several writing workshops that you can get more information about on her website.

She is widowed, lives in North Texas, volunteers at music festivals, has five incredible grandchildren and serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Authors Institute of History, The North Texas Book Festival and the Texas Musicians Museum.

Books by Jan Sikes.

One of the excellent reviews for Til Death Do Us Part.

Oct 30, 2017 D.L. Finn rated it Five Stars

This is the final book in the fictionalized true-story of Luke and Darlina Stone. The story continues where it left off in “Home at Last” for Luke and Darlina. The remarkable journey of this couple comes full circle when music reenters their lives. I loved that Darlina (and their daughter) joined Luke on stage. It was beautiful to read the process of this couple creating music together. I felt every emotion reading “’Til Death Do Us Part”, especially knowing it’s the real story of the author– and it was the last book.

I was heartbroken watching the decline of Luke’s health, but was amazed, again, at how strong their love was. When I hear an owl hoot at night it will always remind me of this couple’s unwavering love. A beautifully written series I highly recommend.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

And find more reviews and follow Jan on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7095856.Jan_Sikes

Connect to Jan

website: http://www.jansikes.com
Blog: http://www.rijanjks.wordpress.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikes
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rijanjks

If you would like to join Jan and the other writers and submit posts from your archives here is the link: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/happy-new-year-and-the-start-of-the-2018-series-of-smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives/