Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Thursday 26th September 2019 – Jane Risdon #Interview – Olga Nunez Miret and Amy M. Reade #Reviewing Books


The first post is an excerpt from an interview with Jane Risdon about her books including her short story collection Undercover Crime Shorts, and an introduction to one of her characters from the book, Lavinia Birdsong.

Chatting to Sahara Foley about writing and getting inside a character’s head…

So, let’s get started. What inspired you to start writing?

I’ve always wanted to write. Even as a child I used to make up stories – in my head at first – and when I could write properly I scribbled them down. I kept them secret for fear of ridicule.
Because my career in the international music business kept me busy 24/7 I had little time to write and so I had to wait until I retired to seriously begin to write full-time.

What’s your favorite book you’ve written and why?
All my books are my favourites: Only One Woman and Undercover: Crime Shorts – I love them all of course I do!

I have 5 more waiting to be published and I have to say that of all my books it would have to be Ms Birdsong Investigates Murder in Ampney Parva: Operation Matryoshka, which is the first in the series of novel about a former MI5 Intelligence Officer, Lavinia Birdsong, who is drummed out of the Intelligence Services after a joint operation with MI6 goes belly-up.

What are the best and worst aspects of writing? To find out,head over to read the rest of the interview: https://janerisdon.com/2019/09/24/chatting-to-sahara-foley-about-writing-and-getting-inside-a-characters-head

Jane Risdon, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Only-One-Woman-Christina-Jones-ebook/dp/B075D88JBP Blog:https://janerisdon.wordpress.com/Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5831801.Jane_Risdon

The next post is from Olga Nunez Miret and the snippet is from her regular Tuesday book review this week for Picasso’s Revenge by Ray and Caroline Foulk

I bring you another review on behalf of Rosie’s group. This is a labour of love, and I hope you find it as interesting as I did.

In the early 1920 s, immaculate gentleman, Jacques Doucet descends into the world of anarchist art, the occult and the dark turmoil of his past involving the death of his beloved Madame R. A disastrous journey leads the couturier and patron of the arts to confront the celebrated bohemians of the city, including Max Jacob, André Breton and Picasso. When troubled Doucet acquires the world’s most dangerous painting, it causes him to hack at the root of Picasso s darkest secrets, unveiling modern art’s incredible genesis.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Picassos-Revenge-Ray-Foulk-Caroline/dp/1911487345/

https://www.amazon.com/Picassos-Revenge-Ray-Foulk-Caroline/dp/1911487345/

https://www.amazon.es/Picassos-Revenge-Ray-Foulk-Caroline/dp/1911487345/

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43975881-picasso-s-revenge

Head over to read Olga’s review of this fascinating book: http://www.authortranslatorolga.com/2019/09/24/tuesdaybookblog-picassos-revenge-by-ray-and-caroline-foulk-picassonovel-for-lovers-of-cubism-eager-to-experience-the-1920s-and-30s-paris-art-scene/

Olga Nunez Miret – Buy: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B009UC58G0
Blog: http://www.authortranslatorolga.comGoodreads: Olga on Goodreads

A selection of books by Olga Nunez Miret

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And finally today, author Amy Reade with her recommended reads for September… looks like a great collection of five books.

It’s the last Tuesday of September already, but there’s still almost a week left in the month! I intend to keep reading and adding to my Goodreads tally, but for this post I’ll summarize what I’ve finished reading since my last round-up. I’ve read a couple things outside my normal genres, and I was glad I did.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

This book, set in the Alaskan wilderness of the 1920s, was the author’s retelling of a fable about a man and a woman who want a child so badly that they make one out of snow. To their surprise, the snow child comes to life and…well, you’ll have to read it if you want to find out what happens. Spoiler alert: it’s not a happy ending.

Here’s the review I posted on Amazon and Goodreads:

“Sometimes I read a book and I don’t quite know what to make of it, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The Snow Child is one of those books. It’s beautifully written and I could feel the raw emotions and the deathly cold of the Alaska winters as I read it.

I think I’m still processing my feelings about this enchanting book. It teaches poignant lessons about learning to love what we have while we have it, because nothing is certain in this life. It teaches us that love doesn’t mean ownership. It teaches us that hardships are easier when they’re shared.

I’m not sure I would recommend this to someone who normally reads genre fiction, but I would recommend it to someone looking for a book of literary fiction that evokes deep feelings and haunting questions.”

Head over and check out the other four books that Amy has read this month: https://amreade.wordpress.com/2019/09/24/reading-round-up-september-edition/

Amy Reade, Buyhttp://www.amazon.com/Amy-M.-Reade/e/B00LX6ASF2
Blog: www.amreade.wordpress.com – Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8189243.Amy_M_Reade

2013 154851dikCmd-RL._UY250_House of the Hanging Jade cover with USA Today

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

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Jane Risdon, D.G. Kaye and Balroop Singh


Welcome to the second of this week’s Cafe and Bookstore updates with recent reviews for some of the authors on the shelves.

The first review is for Jane Risdon.. Undercover: Crime Shorts her short story collection.

About the book

Under one cover for the first time a collection of Crime Shorts from Jane Risdon featuring previously unpublished stories which will have you on the edge of your seat. There is an extract from Jane’s forthcoming novel (series) Ms Birdsong Investigates Murder at Ampney Parva: Operation Matryoshka – with the title of Undercover – for those who’ve been awaiting this series about a former MI5 Intelligence Office, Lavinia Birdsong. There’s something for everyone who enjoys a good yarn and more twists and turns than Spaghetti Junction.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

I received “Undercover Crime Shorts” by Jane Risdon yesterday in my mailbox.
As I waited for some potatoes to boil, while I was cooking dinner, I took a peek into the book to see the first sentence. I kept thinking, “I’ll just finish this page,” but I kept reading at every spare moment. After only putting the book down to do chores or to sleep, I can say it took less than a day to read from beginning to end. It was like I was lassoed in and I couldn’t stop reading until I found out what happened next!
I highly recommend “Undercover Crime Shorts”, by Jane Risdon. You won’t be able to put it down.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07RFRVL4P

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RFRVL4P

Also by Jane RisdonRead the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jane-Risdon/e/B00I3GJ2Y

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Jane-Risdon/e/B00I3GJ2Y8/

Read more reviews and follow Jane on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5831801.Jane_Risdon

Connect to Jane via her blog: https://janerisdon.wordpress.com/

The next author with a recent review is D.G. Kaye for Twenty Years: After “I Do” : Reflections on Love and Changes Through Aging.

About Twenty Years: After “I Do”.

May/December memoirs.

In this personal accounting, D.G. Kaye shares the insights and wisdom she has accrued through twenty years of keeping her marriage strong and thriving despite the everyday changes and challenges of aging. Kaye reveals how a little creative planning, acceptance, and unconditional love can create a bond no obstacle will break. Kaye’s stories are informative, inspiring, and a testament to love eclipsing all when two people understand, respect, and honor their vows. She adds that a daily sprinkling of laughter is a staple in nourishing a healthy marriage.

Twenty years began with a promise. As Kaye recounts what transpired within that time, she shows that true love has no limits, even when one spouse ages ahead of the other.

A recent review for the book

DG Kaye beautifully chronicles twenty years of her marriage and along the way encapsulates the heart of unconditional love amid life’s challenges. What I loved so much was her honest retelling of those years, both good and challenging. I found myself nodding again and again while I read as she honed into what the fundamental requirements were to maintain a healthy relationship. Respect, laughter, intimacy and patience are the cornerstones of a solid foundation that can withstand the trials of daily living. This is, or should be required reading for anyone in a relationship whether married or in a partnership. The author touched on so many issues that impact all relationships. This novel is a keeper and one I will return to over and over again. I extend a heartfelt thank you to the author for her candor and the gift to all of us for this remarkable book.

Read the other reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077V386TL

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B077V386TL

Other books by D.G. Kaye

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Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

Connect to Debby Gies on her blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com

The final review today is for Balroop Singh and her recently released poetry collection Moments We Love

About the collection

Moments of fragrant love that stand frozen in time, of dreams that dare not unfold, of passion that fleets by, of erratic joy that we meet at the crossroads of life, butterflies of time that add color to our dark moments to scare the demons away – I have gathered all of them in this book. Some of them whisper softly to create a magical aura while spring of life sings with them, trying to wipe silent tears. Mother Nature steps in with all her grandeur to breath quiet messages of tranquility.

Each poem would soothe your emotions with élan and add a dash of color to your life. Life – that doesn’t halt for your sad moments; that just floats by. You just need to dive in to soak in myriads of moments to discover how it could ignite positive tones. All the poems in this collection are imaginary but inspired from people around me, some of whom chose to share their frustrations and tremors with me. Sometimes I could read between the lines to pen my thoughts down.

Memories and moments merge here
Today when I return to share
The glow of rainbows
Embers of emotional entreaties
And smoldering debris.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

I find reading poetry extremely relaxing. It’s not something I read frequently, but when I do, I enjoy the moods verse conjures. Balroop Singh weaves words like a tapestry, In Moments We Loveshe touches on multiple aspects of love, the people we love, and events which shape our lives. Divided into three sections: Moments of Love, Moments of Harmony, and Moments that Make Life, each segment is supported by poems matching the theme.

Each reader will find verses that resonate with them. Plenty stood out for me but my two favorites have to be Do You Remember?and Spring Memories.

From Do You Remember:
Do you remember the days?
When we played with clouds,
Rolled in colors,
Wore them around
Drenched and smiled
When we splayed colors at each other.

The imagery throughout easily transports the reader to the setting or moment in time the author conjures. Some are filled with whimsy and wonder, others with melancholy, but all are beautifully rendered.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07W57M462

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07W57M462

Also by Balroop Singh

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

and 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

Connect to Balroop via her blog: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with some books under your arm – thank you Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Bette A. Stevens, Jane Risdon and Christina Jones, Sally Cronin


First an author with a book that continues to receive outstanding reviews is Bette A. Stevens and 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

Poverty and Prejudice on December 2, 2018

Stevens takes us back into the 1950s, depicting the Daniels family – a poor and dysfunctional family. This very short story introduces us into the life of two brothers, Shawn and Willie, indicating a snippet of what their lives entail living in not the most idyllic of situations.

We get descriptive bits of background sprinkled through this story, indicating the poverty these boys live in and small insights into their parents’ lives. The father is an alcoholic and doesn’t leave an impression that family needs come first when we learn he has bought himself a television, while the home sounds like it could use some financial investment to bring it up to modern day living. I don’t think I had enough to read to get emotionally invested in the story, but I did feel for the boys who seemed so far, not to complain about their meager lives and looked forward to weekends where they could get away from chores and out bike riding and fishing.

In this particular story, the boys are riding when little Willie get’s into a biking accident and is hurt. Big brother Shawn runs to a close by home to seek help for his injured brother as he remembered a woman from his church lived nearby. Despite the woman showing some compassion and helping out Willie with his wounds, she didn’t hesitate to show her prejudice for poverty by letting us know with words she felt these children and their family were beneath her.

I haven’t read the full book version yet of Dog Bone Soup, so I really didn’t grasp the whole essence of the story, merely a short glimpse into the theme of the story – family dysfunction, poverty and prejudice, based on description of the boys’ home, their passions and the reaction of one towns woman when confronted with having to help the boys out. Based on the theme of the story, I’m sure I’d enjoy learning more about these boys and how they manage to get on with their lives despite their upbringing and the stigma of poverty that surrounds them.

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/

The next authors with a recent review for their 60s, music and romance Only One Woman are Jane Risdon and Christina Jones.

About the book.

Two women, one love story.

June 1968. Renza falls head over heels for heartthrob guitarist Scott. But after a romantic summer together they are torn apart when Renza’s family moves away.

December 1968. On the night she believes to be her last, Stella meets Scott at a local dance. He’s the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and if this one night is all they have, she’ll take it.

As the final colourful year of the sixties dawns, the question is: can there be only one woman for Scott?

One of the recent reviews for Only One Woman on Goodreads

Dec 29, 2018 Michele rated it Five Stars

What a great read for me, specially, as it brought back many memories being aged 14/15. Remembering the music and fashion mainly. The two authors really worked hard on this and made me feel as if I was back there amongst everyone, and have very cleverly put this book together. R enza and Stella are two fabulous girls, but im not going to spoil this for you, but can highly recommend you purchase, read and enjoy the book. Congratulations ladies, very well done with this book.

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Only-One-Woman-Christina-Jones-ebook/dp/B075D88JBP

Read more reviews and follow Jane on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5831801.Jane_Risdon

Connect to Jane Risdon via her blog https://janerisdon.wordpress.com/

A small selection of books by Christina Jones.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christina-Jones/e/B001K8U57Y/

and Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Christina-Jones/e/B001K8U57Y/

Connect to Christina via her blog: https://christinajones-writing.blogspot.ie/

And thrilled to receive another new review for my latest book is Tales from the Irish Garden – posted byOlga Nunez Miret on her blog.

About the book

The queen of Magia and her court have fled their sun filled Spanish homeland and the palace beneath the magnolia tree.

Arriving on the backs of geese and swans, they seek sanctuary in the magic garden of The Storyteller who welcomes them to the Emerald Island, a place where rain is almost a daily feature.

Grateful for their safe haven and the generosity of their host, the queen and her courtiers embrace their new surroundings with delight.

As the seasons change throughout the year, they come into contact with many of the human and animal inhabitants of the garden and the surrounding forest, all of whom have a story to tell.

This is a magical fairy story infused with fantasy and romance, as well as opportunities for mischief in the company of goblins, witches and Lerpersians. Suitable for ages 10 to 100 years old…..

Please meet Queen Filigree as created by Donata Zawadzka

One of the recent reviews for the book

I have followed the author’s blog Smorgasbord Invitation for quite a while. She is an expert on many topics, including health, media, publishing, and she is a great supporter of other writers and artists. She has also published a large number of books, non-fiction and fiction, and she has shared many of her short stories in her blog. I read and reviewed her book Tales from the Garden a while back (you can check my review here) and had been looking forward to this book since I heard about it.

While the original book contained pictures from the author and her relatives’ gardens, for this book she counts with the collaboration of talented illustrator Donata Zawadzka, who provides a black and white ink illustration for each one of the stories/chapters of this enchanting book. The style of the illustrations suits this wonderful realm perfectly, and the images helped bring the stories to life more fully.

The book follows on from the stories of the fairy realm of Magia. Queen Filigree and her subjects have to leave their garden in Spain due to a new property development. Although some of her stone guardians cannot follow to the new location, in Ireland, we get to meet some fantastic new characters, like the Storyteller, a man with his own magic, who helps our friends in need. We have a prince charming for the queen, magical dressmakers; we also learn more about how the palace works, from the royal pigeons and their carer, to the magical spiders, Queen Bee and her subjects, and the frogs who also help with pest control and building work. Some of our old acquaintances are up to no good, and we also learn more about the queen’s daughters (pretty but not always wise).

The stories follow the seasons of the year, and we have many occasions to join in their celebrations, with new musicians and banquets, and we can enjoy stories set in particular times of the year, from local fairs to Halloween. I cannot choose a favourite because I enjoyed them all, from the piglet races to the touching story of the Storytellers’ daughter.

The style of writing is accessible, fluid and suitable to all ages. These fairy-tales contain gorgeous descriptions of places, costumes, foods, and also characters that go beyond the standard cardboard cut-outs we have come to expect. We have witches suffering from age-related aches and pains, princesses who care for each other but can get into serious trouble, fairy queens concerned about their age, foxes that refuse to kill other animals, jealous bulls… Only some human beings are allowed into the magical realm, and I felt privileged to be one of them.

Another magical book from this author, suitable for anybody who is a child at heart and needs a little inspiration to recover the sense of wonder. Queen Filigree has a magical fountain, and we have Sally Cronin’s books to ensure our imagination keeps us forever young. Highly recommended to everybody.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tales-Irish-Garden-Sally-Cronin-ebook/dp/B07HMXTFKG

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Tales-Irish-Garden-Sally-Cronin-ebook/dp/B07HMXTFKG

A selection of my other books

You can read all the recent reviews for the books: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019/

Thank you for dropping in today and hope you have found a book or two to your liking. Have a good weekend.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Music Column – 1992 – London Docklands, Roy Orbison – Request from Jane Risdon – Gloria Estefan


Welcome to 1992 and we have just celebrated our fifth Christmas in our house in South Woodford. I was working job hunting and at the same time helping a couple of friends with their respective business start-ups. David was now Engineering Director of the cable and telecommunications company in the Docklands and although he was working long hours we did have a great time popping into the cinema in the centre of London most weekends.

We also would have gatherings to our house from time to time as we still missed the progressive parties that enjoyed during our time in Houston. The house would be packed out with friends and David’s colleagues and buckets of frozen margaritas were prepared and waiting to be consumed. Ice cold Corona beers sweated in iced baby baths and plates of food were placed around the kitchen, dining room and lounge for people to help themselves whenever.

It was all very informal with dancing in the big old Victorian kitchen with its creaky wooden floors. Not that anyone noticed by the time the dancing started. We also had some Karoke tapes that were well used and it was not unknown for me to grab the mike and belt out Heartbreaker or Crazy.

But by the Easter I was well and truly into job hunting and a chance conversation the CEO of David’s company who we had known for several years led to a three month contract to develop the current customer service team of ten into twenty to handle the growth of the telephony services now being offered.

That three month contract would turn into over four years with various changes of location and roles in the rapidly expanding company.

It was now not only UK owned as two new partners would join in the next year. A major cable television company from Colorado and Telephony company from Canada. It was to be an interesting time but the immediate job for me was to move from a paper based billing system and to grow the team.

We were in the heart of the Docklands and our customers were in the partly gentrified East End of London. Some wonderful people and some who frankly could be pretty scary. Customers for the cable television were given a couple of weeks grace period when the bill was not paid and then disconnected. There would be a queue around the block next morning and on occasion I arrived in my office to find that there had been visitors in the night.

My window was broken a couple of times and because my door to the rest of customer services was securely locked, they would content themselves with wreaking havoc in that small space. I would also receive the occasional death threat when a disconnect took place during a particularly riveting event such as a Las Vegas Heavy Weight title fight!

Things rarely became physical, although verbal fisticuffs at the front desk sometimes needed the intervention of a rather large and miffed manager who sometimes had to suspend the more conventional rules of customer service. Once however, I had to bang on the counter rather loudly to get a 7 foot gentleman to remove his hands from around our receptionist’s neck and offer to take it outside with him. This I did to the entertainment of the queue waiting to pay their suspended accounts. We were nose to nose for about five minutes before he apologised to me and then to the receptionist who was unharmed and gracious enough to accept his assurances that he would never be in arrears again.

Apparently my Anglo-Saxon terminology did the trick, not just with the gentleman concerned, but with many of those who were disconnected regularly, and the next month we had remarkably few to pull the switch on. I had reason to be grateful for my time as the landlady of the pub on the Isle of Wight where I had to deal with skinheads every weekend!

That aside, I loved my job and when later in the year the position was made permanent I was delighted.

Despite both of us working long hours we were in the same building and sometimes we would leave the cars at home and travel by train and light railway. That way in the evenings we could go to dinner in the centre of London and get the last tube home.

The music that we played at the parties were a mixture of good old 70s, 80s and 90s hits that I have showcased in previous weeks. But there were some new albums and singles in the collection from 1992, including these classics.

Shakespear’s Sister Stay, Whitney Houston I Will Always Love You, Wet Wet WetGoodnight Girl, QueenBohemian Rhapsody/These Are The Days of Our Lives, UndercoverBaker Street, The TemptationsMy Girl, Billy Ray CyrusAchy Breaky Heart, Michael JacksonHeal The World, Mariah Carey I’ll Be There, Guns ‘N RosesKnockin’ On Heaven’s Door, Take ThatA Million Love Songs and the wonderful Roy Orbison – I Drove All Night.

Buy Roy Orbison Music: http://www.amazon.com/Roy-Orbison/e/B000APV9FU

If you have a favourite track that you would like to share.. please put the title and artist in the comments section. Thanks Sally.

This week’s request is from author Jane Risdon who has had a long career in the music industry and has actually met Gloria Estefan.. and has asked for this hit from this amazing artist’s long career

My thanks to Jane for suggesting this track.

Jane Risdon, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Only-One-Woman-Christina-Jones-ebook/dp/B075D88JBP
Blog:https://janerisdon.wordpress.com/

One of the recent reviews for Only One Woman –

An interesting read I wasn’t sure how it would work with two authors, but it is cleverly written like a diary of the two girls Renza and Stella who become involved with Scott the sexy guy from the band. Set in the late sixties there are lots of references to music and magazines and general things of these times. Renza can’t believe her luck when the band move in next door to her. Her life isn’t that exciting and she has to help her Mum a lot with the rest of her large family when all of a sudden she’s popular with the girls at school who want to hang out in her garden to see the boys. After falling for Scott Renza unfortunately has to move to Germany with her Dad as he is in the army. Stella comes into Scott’s life slightly older then Renza who will Scott choose. It was good reading the story through the eyes of both girls in their diary. I won’t give any spoilers to say who Scott ends up with. I wonder if there will be a second book following on so we can see if he made the right decision.

Don’t forget to leave your request in the comments… thanks Sally

Smorgasbord End of Summer Party – #Music requests from Sue Hampton, Janet Gogerty, Jane Risdon, Gigi Sedlmayer and Jena C. Henry


Unfortunately there was not the space or time to play all of the guest requests at the four meals over the weekend but I promised to do so during the week. Here were the missing tracks from Brunch.You can find more about these guests in more detail Afternoon Tea

My first guest whose request I did not have time to play is Sue Hampton whose website is Sue Hampton Author and you can find her books and reviews on Amazon

Sue requested Bach’s Concerto in D minor for two violins, second movement, because it played at the end of her wedding to Leslie Tate.

The next request comes from Janet Gogerty who blogs at Tidal Scribe  And here is a selection of books by Janet and you can discover more on Amazon

Janet requested Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams and she explains why. When I first returned to England I went to visit my great uncle in Minehead, Somerset and he took me walking up in the Mendip Hills and pointed out a Skylark. I knew nothing about birds, not a lot now, but skylarks are unique perhaps, ordinary brown on the ground, so high you can hardly spot them in the sky and yet you can hear their beautiful song if you stop and listen.

I found this lovely version by a very accomplished young violinist and his channel is Stepan violin

My next guest is author Jane Risdon who shares a little bit about herself on her Blog.  You can find Only One Woman and anthologies Jane has contributed to on Amazon

Jane requested Never My Love by The Association and says: It is THE song – OUR song for Husband and I. the words are wonderful.

Both my next guests requested the same artist so I picked one of the tracks out of a hat… Children’s author Gigi Sedlmayer’s website is Gigi Sedlmayer and you can find all of Gigi’s books at Amazon

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Gigi requested Faith of the Heart by Rod Stewart and found it has been a great comfort when things have been tough.

Jena C. Henry is an author, blogger and reviewer at Jena’s Books  and you can find her books on Amazon

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Jena requested Tonight’s the Night by Rod Stewart and shared that if it was Friday night in my college dorm, this song was popping and calling us to action!

And the winner is…. Tonight’s the Night.. but I hope Gigi will enjoy as well.

I hope you have enjoyed this selection and will join us tomorrow for the Saturday dinner music selection and another request from a guest who could not make the party. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Jupiter, the Moon and Herstmonceux – tales from my ‘jolly’ part two by Jane Risdon


Last week Jane shared her experiences visiting the home of Rudyard Kipling and an encounter with a banana skin and a sleeping policeman.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/15/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-sleeping-policemen-banana-skins-and-kipling-tales-from-my-jolly-part-one-by-jane-risdon/

This week the ‘Jolly’ continues….

Jupiter, the Moon and Herstmonceux – tales from my ‘jolly’ part two by Jane Risdon

My Birthday Jolly part two

Before I start let me assure you – I didn’t fall over again! No embarrassing views of me flat on my face – breathe easy.

I should point out that I am not posting these in any particular order. So the visits on my ‘jolly’ are not consecutive or in sequence. I thought I’d mention this in case my sister is reading this and it confirms what she is already thinking, but is too polite to articulate; her elder sister really is losing it!

Possibly the very best part of my week away and something I shall never forget.

The Open Evening at The Observatory Science Centre at Herstmonceux.

The Observatory Science Centre, Herstmonceux. (c) 2010 Science Projects Ltd

The Observatory Science Centre, Herstmonceux. (c) 2010 Science Projects Ltd

Nope we didn’t pop across to France, Herstmonceux was originally built as an Observatory in rural East Sussex – the site is a ‘hidden treasure,’ with few signs showing the way. There is a castle, Herstmonceux Castle, but we didn’t get to see it because our visit was in darkness (obviously) but I am told it is a splendid.

Herstmonceux Castle was once the headquarters of the Royal Observatory Greenwich and official residence of the Astronomer Royal and provided accommodation for staff and visitors.

The Royal Observatory at Greenwich moved to Herstmonceux (beginning of 1947) due to the expansion of London in the 20th century, the light and smoke pollution meant that astronomers could not study feint objects in the night sky and the rural Sussex countryside provided the answer. The move was completed in 1958 and the Royal Observatory Greenwich was fully up and running at Herstmonceux.

There will be castles later, I promise, in my next post.

In 1990 the Royal Greenwich Observatory moved to Cambridge, leaving its historic telescopes behind, and it was thought that Herstmonceux would be abandoned as a research centre. This has not happened and it is now an important science exhibition, second to none.

I was thrilled to be attending an Open Evening at the Observatory, not just because I love anything to do with Astronomy and Science, but because this is somewhere my hero, Sir Patrick Moore, spent a great deal of his time. Since a small child I have tuned in to his BBC2 Television programme ‘The Sky at Night,’ which is still running well over 50 years after the very first broadcast in black and white.

He presented the programme up until his death a couple of years ago but the programme lives on with new presenters, still following the same simple, informative manner so that anyone watching – even those with limited knowledge of Astronomy – can understand and follow what is being shown and explained.

My visit to Herstmonceux filled me with such excitement I cannot describe. They have historic telescopes at the Observatory in full operation, including the Thompson 26-inch Refractor which Patrick Moore used when undertaking his extensive mapping of the Moon – long before Neil Armstrong took his ‘one small step’ on the Sea of Tranquillity.

Earth in the distance seen from the Lunar surface (c) NASA 1969

Earth in the distance seen from the Lunar surface (c) NASA 1969

I could write lots about the Observatory and what they have achieved and about the 6 telescopes there; 3 reflecting and 3 refracting, in the 6 green domes known as the ‘Equatorial Group’ after the way they are mounted, but I don’t want to bog you down with the science. You can always visit their website for more information, photos and dates for more Open Events.

http://www.the-observatory.org

Herstmonceux, East Sussex BN27 1RN – (Wartling Road, Wartling – for your SatNav)

My sister shone a torch to help us avoid mud in the car park and potholes on the road. Her husband nearly jumped out of his skin when a voice from the darkness enquired if we were heading for the Open Evening. This dim figure waved its arms in a general direction to our right and disappeared suddenly.

We walked up to the Observatory along a rough road in the pitch black with only the dim red glow of the Observatory buildings to our right, once we had parked a little way from the main entrance.

I didn’t trip or fall over once.

The domes eventually loomed up out of the blackness like giant green ice-creams, slowly becoming larger and larger as we got closer to the main buildings.

The sky was clear of any light pollution. Only the odd screeching owl and other unidentifiable birds chirping happily somewhere in the darkness, along with the cries of foxes far off in the woods, was all we could hear.

Yep, it was eerie.

There were stars twinkling above our heads and the Moon was coming and going behind high fluffy clouds which could be seen drifting cross its face now and again.

I couldn’t help thinking what a great place for a murder! Murder in the Observatory – hmm, still thinking about that one.

I knew it was a mistake to mention it to them both as we crept along the road trying to find the way in to the main complex. For some reason they both shivered and walked faster, a little ahead of me!

Seriously, as if I would – well, really.

We headed for the presentation tent where a huge electric generator nearly drowned out the very eccentric looking young scientist welcoming an audience of about 30 – all ages and sexes, but a good many more women – as the machine valiantly tried to warm the freezing tent. His presentation was on Jupiter and with diagrams and slides he took us through everything we needed to know about the planet.

Jupiter and the Great Red Spot (c) NASA 1979

Jupiter and the Great Red Spot (c) NASA 1979

Close-up of Jupiter's Red Spot (c) NASA 1979

Close-up of Jupiter’s Red Spot (c) NASA 1979

I was amazed to discover that there is not just one red spot but three and these change size and move around. The red spots are anti-cyclones.

Unable to take photos I’ve uploaded some which were sent to us by a family member back in the late 1970’s. I hope you like them. Of course today technology has meant that the photos taken by Hubble are much more detailed and clearer.

The lecture about Jupiter coincided with Jupiter being very close to the Earth on the night of 6th March and therefore easier to view. Unfortunately we missed the chance to see Jupiter as we arrived after the viewing and only just made the lecture. But it was a wonderful lecture full of new information and I am now sure where to find Jupiter in the night sky a lot faster than I have before.

Following the lecture we made our way to another tent. This time set up inside one of the classrooms and, I must say, I felt as if I were on a polar expedition.

The tent was one of the huge blow-up varieties which has an outer and inner opening through which you have to squeeze yourself. Think air-locks on a spaceship if trying to envision the narrow space and the close proximity of one slit opened into another. Squeeze being the word! It was really taxing and as we had huge quilted parkers on because of the freezing cold air outside, and having been warned to wear something warm, we came prepared; our coats kept sticking to the sides of the opening so it was a bit like trying to walk through treacle.

I didn’t fall over though I nearly disappeared forever in-between the two openings and I shall be eternally grateful to whomever it was gave my rear a hefty shove. I arrived inside the igloo in a most undignified manner – but I was not the only one!

Just thinking about a body wedged in-between the two openings – oh well…..

Luckily we were snug and warm in our polar outfits as it was freezing inside too.

Seated on the ground around the sides of the igloo about 20 of us sat and watched an amazing show of our night sky, the Universe and various planets which was projected by a new state-of-the-art gizmo on to the walls and ceiling of the tent so we felt as if we were in space and close enough to everything that we could set foot on them.

Oh and we were told that in the event of fire or an emergency not to bother trying to squeeze back out through the tight double entrance but to just lift up the sides of the igloo and wriggle out underneath. Yep! I can just see me doing that. I had a job getting in through the entrance, let alone scrabbling on my hands and knees under the damn thing.

We saw Saturn and its rings and went in close courtesy of the Hubble Telescope, to get an almost birds-eye view of the individual rings and the ice and dust which makes up the rings.

Saturn viewed from Voyager 1 in 1979 (c) NASA 1979

Saturn viewed from Voyager 1 in 1979 (c) NASA 1979

The young lady giving us our demonstration and talk answered questions and explained what we were seeing. She was very clear and concise and it made the whole event really pleasurable considering our cramped and rather basic seating arrangements. If you ever get the chance to attend an event I really urge you to jump at it.

We went all over the Universe, to the Milky Way and back again. She told us of the discoveries and research undertaken at Herstmonceux – measuring the ‘proper motion’ of the stars and for observations within the Solar System, principally brighter Asteroids – for example.

Solar System (1979) from various NASA spacecraft  (c) NASA 1979

Solar System (1979) from various NASA spacecraft (c) NASA 1979

Following on from our presentation and talk about the Solar System and the possibility of life out there somewhere – apparently not frowned upon but embraced, though of course it is most likely going to be ‘a form of life Jim, but not as we know it,’ we made our way to one of the 6 telescopes housed in the green domes, thinking about her parting words, that some planets have water and ice and therefore it is possible there is something there.

I do hope I live long enough to find out.

Several of us climbed in the dark up steep metal stairs to the top of the dome and gathered around a telescope, barely able to make out the young man with wild hair who had enthusiastically battled the generators earlier when telling us all about Jupiter. He waited until we all settled down, trying not to trip over each other in the gloom.

He began telling us about the Moon ( his main area of expertise and fascination) and how Sir Patrick Moore had inspired him and generations of astronomers – professional and amateur – and how his mapping of the Moon is still used by NASA today.

One by one we got to look at the Moon through the huge telescope which I have since worked out is in Dome E on the site – the Thompson 26-inch Refracting Telescope. It was too dark to see if there were any notices etc.

Wow! It was amazing seeing the Lunar surface in such close-up detail and to be told what we were looking at and getting expert information with it.

Then we all went outside and with a laser pointer (green) he pointed to all the stars and planets visible above our heads with the naked eye; Sirius the brightest in the sky and then Mars – glowing a dim red above our heads. He pointed out Orion’s Belt and The Plough and many others too numerous to list here.

The Moon was partially covered by cloud and so we went back into the Dome and had another look at the Moon – this time a different area – and he answered the many questions we had regarding the Moon Landings and whether or not he thought there was life on other Planets; he, did but again, not as we might expect it to be.

I thought of an old friend of mine Barbara Jacques, sadly no longer with us, and how she nearly burst a gasket when she met Alan Shepherd following his Moon landing and when she related the meeting and her conversation with us much later, was still overcome by the whole experience, almost jumping up and down as she spoke.

What would she have made of all of this I wondered.

I said I thought it made us all look so insignificant and small and our young lecturer said he didn’t agree. He said that any civilization or life-form that could imagine, invent and create the technology we have done here on Earth, to do what we have done here and in Space, cannot possibly be small and insignificant and that we should rejoice in this.

Looking up at the Sky at Night, it feels proud to be part of it all – the most important and amazing part of it all; a human-being – without us Space would have remained a mystery and many discoveries in medicine and other areas would never have been possible without those who looked to the heavens and wondered and dared to dream.

Eventually the event closed and we walked back along the pitch black road to the car park all the time looking up at the heavens and trying to remember what we had been told.

It was one of the most enjoyable and exciting evenings I have ever spent and I am really grateful to my sister and her husband for taking me there for my birthday treat. I would not have missed it for anything and I really do hope that if you ever get the chance to attend one of their many Open Evenings/Events you jump at it. You won’t be disappointed.

I shall be back with more about my ‘jolly,’ soon and I promise there will be Castles and Seed Banks.

Meantime I do hope you enjoyed this and will investigate Herstmonceux and Sir Patrick Moore and his wonderful programmes, ‘The Sky at Night,’ on BBC2 if you get time. It is still running, monthly.

All photos used here (c) NASA 1969/1979 except the photo of The Observatory (c) Science Projects Group 2010

©Jane Risdon 2014

My thanks to Jane for a very interesting and informative post. This looks like an amazing day out for all ages.

About Only One Woman

Two women, one love story.

June 1968. Renza falls head over heels for heartthrob guitarist Scott. But after a romantic summer together they are torn apart when Renza’s family moves away.

December 1968. On the night she believes to be her last, Stella meets Scott at a local dance. He’s the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and if this one night is all they have, she’ll take it.

As the final colourful year of the sixties dawns, the question is: can there be only one woman for Scott?

One of the recent reviews for the book

A charming and truly well-written book by Jane Risdon and Christina Jones that takes you through a carefree period of the 60s as Renza and Stella vie for Scott the Rock God’s affections. My usual genre is crime thrillers, but the pure escapism of this wonderful read took me to a far nicer place, but with realism to ensure it’s authenticity. The characters are solid and well-drawn which is testament to the skill of the authors. The headiness of the time is finally balanced with the strait-laced attitudes of parents of that era which reminded me of my own childhood.

The way the narrative is split between the two main characters – Renza and Stella – is cleverly done with the use of first-person POV which draws you intimately deeper into their hearts and minds. An excellent job, well done, and heartily recommended.

 Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Only-One-Woman-Christina-Jones-ebook/dp/B075D88JBP

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Only-One-Woman-Christina-Jones-ebook/dp/B075D88JBP

Read more reviews and follow Jane on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5831801.Jane_Risdon

About Jane Risdon

Jane Risdon began writing five years ago having had a successful career in the International Music Industry which has taken her all over the world working with everything from Rock, Thrash Metal, and R&B/Pop to Chinese Opera. Her work has taken her to North America, Europe, and Singapore: even to Taiwan.

She’s been involved in Television, Radio, and the Movies around the world.

Travelling extensively and living overseas she draws upon her life experiences when writing Crime/Mystery novels, short stories in all genres – including humour, and she has dabbled in flash fiction.

Some of these experiences have found their way into her short stories about the Music Business, and she is presently working on a novel which will bring a lot of her more crazy ‘rock ‘n roll’ experiences into one tome.

Her main focus remains crime however, and she is working on a series of novels called ‘Ms Birdsong Investigates’ centered around a glamorous ex MI5 Officer forced into early retirement, who is trying to keep a low profile in a rural village in Oxfordshire. Her past experiences come to the fore when she finds herself investigating murder. Soon she finds herself back on old territory with Russian Mafia, Ukrainian People Traffickers and an old flame to deal with.

Connect to Jane Risdon

Blog:  https://janerisdon.wordpress.com/ 
Facebook: http://wp.me/2dg55 http://www.facebook.com/JaneRisdon2 
Accent Press: http://www.accentpress.co.uk/jane-risdon
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jane_Risdon

If you are interested in joining Jane and the other writers who are sharing posts from their 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 Archives – Sleeping Policemen, Banana Skins, and Kipling – tales from my jolly….part one by Jane Risdon


Time for another post from the archives of Jane Risdon – In this post Jane shares the ‘calamity’ side to her nature and also the visit to the splendid home of Rudyard Kipling.

Sleeping Policemen, Banana Skins, and Kipling – tales from my jolly….part one by Jane Risdon

I should come with a Public Health Warning!

Sleeping Policeman (c) Jane Risdon 2014

Do not go anywhere with this woman for fear of being embarrassed – she is an accident waiting to happen!

Sleeping Policeman - a/k/a a Speed Hump (c) Jane Risdon 2014

Whilst out for a stroll enjoying the countryside and a lovely local village I came across a sign I have not seen for many years warning motorists that there was a Speed Hump across the narrow road.

It read ‘Dead Slow – Sleeping Policeman,’ warning those tempted to put their foot down along this quiet road that they would get a nasty jolt if they passed over it at speeds greater than a crawl.

In England we call these humps ‘Sleeping Policemen’. I have no idea why – I long gave up trying to fathom my own language. I can only guess that being forced to slow down by something called a ‘Sleeping Policeman,’ must force some naughty drivers to ease off the juice just in case there really is one lurking across their path.

This particular ‘Sleeping Policeman’ is situated just outside this pub. The pub dates from about 1340.

Local Pub circa 1340 (c) Jane Risdon 2014

Anyway, as you know from the post I published before going off on my ‘jolly,’ I have been away for a few days staying with a relative in the heart of the English countryside and, as planned, we spent the time walking, visiting gorgeous places, and doing the rounds of the National Trust, houses and gardens. Heaven!

More about all this later.

The very first morning of my stay we set off early to walk to one of my sister’s favourite places. The roads were muddy from all the recent rain we’ve been experiencing and the paths underfoot were slippery with leaves, mud and water. We both made our way with caution.

Walking in the Spring sunshine (c) Jane Risdon 2014

We walked into another village nearby and then set off along some long winding lanes to where there was a windmill and grazing sheep. Apparently you can climb the hill to the windmill, via the field in front of it, when it is dry and easy to walk. On this day it was not dry and the field was a mud-bath waiting to happen. I wish I had taken the camera because the windmill was so perfect and the setting was magic.

Anyway, we left visiting the windmill for another time.

Sheep in the wet fields (c) Jane Risdon 2014
We passed some dog-walkers and ladies leading their horses from the near-by stables, but otherwise we were alone with the birds singing, the sheep bleating and the odd aeroplane high in the blue sky droning on its way to somewhere exotic – most likely Gatwick airport – but I prefer to think it was transporting its passengers off on an adventure.

Busy nattering about this and that, as you do, I kept an eye on the muddy path as we came to a main road and walked behind my sister where the pavement narrowed and the grass verges were churned up from farm vehicles entering and leaving the fields hidden behind the high over-grown hedgerows along one side of the path.

The traffic became heavier as we progressed along the pavement, the road on the right of us separated by a muddy verge but not wide enough to prevent both of us keeping a wary eye on the cars and lorries as they passed really close to us, buffeting us.

One moment I was chatting about Sleeping Policemen and how you don’t see them so often these days, and the next I was falling flat on my face on the muddy grass verge in full view of the passing traffic. When I say flat on my face, I do mean flat on my face. My flaming cheeks were covered in mud, leaves and goodness-knows-what, my knees were soaking wet and muddy and so was my jacket.

Embarrassed or what! I wanted to crawl under the nearby hedge.

My poor sister was speechless, horrified.

I am sure she was thinking about Boxing Day 2012 when I fell head first down her stairs and the consequences of that little visit.

I couldn’t get up for laughing.

She looked mortified.

Once she’d helped me up and I’d checked myself over, painfully, because of course I have still got a broken shoulder and collar-bone from my last ‘trip,’ to see her, and everything still hurts like hell, I knew that nothing new was broken.

She looked relieved.

She wasn’t the only one!

I don’t know about her, but I was beginning to think visiting her is jinxed and I am fast becoming the ‘Guest from hell!’ What else is there to trip over, fall down or fall over I thought as she helped brush me down.

As I checked my trousers for mud and possible holes I noticed that under my foot was a brown rotten banana skin. All thoughts of getting my inner ears checked for balance problems disappeared as we both gazed at the culprit. I had skidded flat on my face on a banana skin which was hidden in some mud on the path.

I can now face The Mater with confidence. When she asks me if I’d been ‘drinking,’ I can answer no. All I’d had that morning was a cup of tea. Not that I am always half-cut I might add. It’s just that The Mater seems to think that accidents don’t ‘just’ happen!

When I fell down the stairs on Boxing Day (11am in the morning, just after breakfast) none of us could convince her I’d not had a drop of the hard stuff and fallen down drunk!

As if!

The walk back to my sister’s cottage was rather quieter and a lot brisker than our outward walking pace. I think she wanted to get me safely inside before I could do anything else embarrassing.

After a much-needed cuppa we decided to go and visit some local places of interest and I shall write about them in another post.

The following day we spent a fabulous time at a wonderful country house with gorgeous grounds, called ‘Bateman’s.’

For those of you who are fans of Rudyard Kipling, you will know that his was his home, in Burwash village, East Sussex, and where he wrote many of his poems.

Batemans: Home of Rudyard Kipling (c) Jane Risdon 2014

One of the greatest writers of our time; Rudyard Kipling, lived modestly in comparison with some of his contemporaries. His family home is gorgeous but simple and comfortable and we got the feeling that we could have lived there very easily. It looked as if the family had just popped out for a while.

I could’ve screamed because my camera decided to fail (battery flat) just as we arrived and began to take some photos of the delightful 17th century sandstone house which is surrounded by the most tranquil and lovely gardens I have seen in a long time.

They also have their own mill in the grounds which are surrounded by farmland where, in the summer, you can find French Limousin cattle grazing on the estate which is managed by tenant farmers, and there is an orchard, herb garden, pond and wildflower meadow surrounded by an old stone wall. Rudyard Kipling’s Rolls Royce is still in the garage.

A perfect place to find a nook and a seat where one can sit and read in peace whilst munching on a bag of liquorice!

But we didn’t sit or munch.

Batemans (c) Jane Risdon 2014

We had a good look round and chatted to some of the National Trust staff about the family and Rudyard and his writing, and one of them even knew his daughter Elsie, quite well, so she gave us some interesting insights to the family.

The sun was very bright and the home dimly lit and so the few photos I managed to take are either very dark or far too bright. I am crossing my fingers I can go again some time in the future and this time I shall make sure that the camera is fully charged.

The rooms are much as he left them; oriental rugs and artefacts from his Eastern adventures, a book-lined study, illustrations from the Jungle Book on the walls, Victorian toys in the nursery all make for a comfortable family home.

Some of the grounds and gardens at Batemans (c) Jane Risdon 2014Grounds of Batemans © Jane Risdon

His memorabilia from India reminded me of my own father (born in India too) and Grandfather who had lots of similar possessions brought back from there when he retired from the British Army in 1947 after 30 years serving out there.

Rudyard Kipling was 36 when he purchased Bateman’s. He stayed at the local pub in Burwash village, The Bear, for a while before moving in. By this time he was the most famous writer in the English-speaking world – with his enormous success he was earning £5,000 per annum at a time when a secretary might have expected to earn £80 per annum!

Bateman’s was purchased for £9,300 and came with 33 acres of land. As more local land became available it was acquired by Kipling and today there are 300 acres of gorgeous countryside beyond the gardens.

It is thought that Bateman’s was built by a Wealden Ironmaster. In Norman times it is thought that the now quiet serene village saw the growth of Iron production which lasted for about 400 years and we were told that the tell-tales signs of iron production can still be seen in the woods if one looks hard enough. Sadly we didn’t manage a walk in the woods due to the late hour and the failing daylight. Next time perhaps.

Bateman's (c) Jane Risdon 2014

Grounds of Batemans © Jane Risdon

 

If you are interested in knowing more about the National Trust, Bateman’s or Rudyard Kipling you can visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/batemans

They are open March to December 7 days a week.

Bateman’s Lane, Burwash, East Sussex TN19 7DS

Well, I hope you find the first part of my ‘jolly,’ interesting and that you will tune in again for the next instalments:

As always all photographs are (c) Jane Risdon – All Rights Reserved.

My thanks to Jane for sharing her adventures with banana skins and Kipling and now time to check up on latest reviews for her novel published at the end of last year in collaboration with Christina Jones.

About Only One Woman

Two women, one love story.

June 1968. Renza falls head over heels for heartthrob guitarist Scott. But after a romantic summer together they are torn apart when Renza’s family moves away.

December 1968. On the night she believes to be her last, Stella meets Scott at a local dance. He’s the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and if this one night is all they have, she’ll take it.

As the final colourful year of the sixties dawns, the question is: can there be only one woman for Scott?

One of the recent reviews for the book

A charming and truly well-written book by Jane Risdon and Christina Jones that takes you through a carefree period of the 60s as Renza and Stella vie for Scott the Rock God’s affections. My usual genre is crime thrillers, but the pure escapism of this wonderful read took me to a far nicer place, but with realism to ensure it’s authenticity. The characters are solid and well-drawn which is testament to the skill of the authors. The headiness of the time is finally balanced with the strait-laced attitudes of parents of that era which reminded me of my own childhood.

The way the narrative is split between the two main characters – Renza and Stella – is cleverly done with the use of first-person POV which draws you intimately deeper into their hearts and minds. An excellent job, well done, and heartily recommended.

 Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Only-One-Woman-Christina-Jones-ebook/dp/B075D88JBP

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Only-One-Woman-Christina-Jones-ebook/dp/B075D88JBP

Read more reviews and follow Jane on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5831801.Jane_Risdon

About Jane Risdon

Jane Risdon began writing five years ago having had a successful career in the International Music Industry which has taken her all over the world working with everything from Rock, Thrash Metal, and R&B/Pop to Chinese Opera. Her work has taken her to North America, Europe, and Singapore: even to Taiwan.

She’s been involved in Television, Radio, and the Movies around the world.

Travelling extensively and living overseas she draws upon her life experiences when writing Crime/Mystery novels, short stories in all genres – including humour, and she has dabbled in flash fiction.

Some of these experiences have found their way into her short stories about the Music Business, and she is presently working on a novel which will bring a lot of her more crazy ‘rock ‘n roll’ experiences into one tome.

Her main focus remains crime however, and she is working on a series of novels called ‘Ms Birdsong Investigates’ centered around a glamorous ex MI5 Officer forced into early retirement, who is trying to keep a low profile in a rural village in Oxfordshire. Her past experiences come to the fore when she finds herself investigating murder. Soon she finds herself back on old territory with Russian Mafia, Ukrainian People Traffickers and an old flame to deal with.

Connect to Jane Risdon

Blog:  https://janerisdon.wordpress.com/ 
Facebook: http://wp.me/2dg55 http://www.facebook.com/JaneRisdon2 
Accent Press: http://www.accentpress.co.uk/jane-risdon
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jane_Risdon

If you are interested in joining Jane and the other writers who are sharing posts from their 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 Archives – Dancing Around Our Zimmer Frames with Generation Z by Jane Risdon


Delighted that author Jane Risdon has joined us again for the new series of Posts from Your Archives.

Dancing Around Our Zimmer Frames with Generation Z by Jane Risdon

 

Since writing this piece in 2013, I have had several people read it again and mention it to me. The subject often comes up when talking about music and what life in a Residential Home might be for the Baby Boomers when they get to ‘that’ age.

I thought I’d share it again.

I hope you enjoy it and it gets you thinking.

I think we should start a movement to ensure that such places have a decent music collection available for those of us born in the 1950s and after, for whom George Formby and Pearl Johnson and Teddy Carr – wonderful in their day – is the stuff of nightmares.

At primary school we had Country dancing lessons and it was a good opportunity for the boys to grab the girls and fling them from one end of the gymnasium to the other when the ‘Caller,’ shouted, ‘Change partners.’

Later, at the Convent school we didn’t have dancing as it probably meant ‘touching’ each other, but we did dance around the May pole, trying not to tangle the ribbons or go the wrong way, which is a special feat one of my sisters still manages much to the totally cringing embarrassment of her children.

When we celebrated the crowning of Mary, Queen of The May, we sort of skipped about a bit in our white dresses, all very proper, overseen by The Mother Superior, so there wasn’t any opportunity to grab or be grabbed.

Big school saw us learning how to do the ‘Dashing White Sergeant,’ and ‘The Gay Gordons,’ – nope, not a Gay Scottish dance! I was a dab hand at the ‘Valeta Snowball,’ in spite of the boys still wanting to fling me from one side of the Gym to the other whenever we had to be twirled.

About the same time as we were tripping the light fantastic with our pubescent male partners, The Beatles and Chubby Checker were doing ‘The Twist,’ and up and down the country the sexes danced apart and around each other. Our school dances saw us all ‘twisting’ and ‘shaking it up baby,’ and doing ‘The March of The Mods,’ under the watchful eyes of various teachers, ensuring we didn’t ‘shake it up,’ too much behind the bike sheds in between dances.

Meantime, at various family weddings our parents still waltzed up and down, jitter-bugged and attempted to ‘Walk the dog,’ and ‘Do the locomotion,’ much to the horror of their children who watched ‘the oldies,’ making complete idiots of themselves. I can recall my Dad nearly slipping a disc doing ‘The Twist,’ and hobbling off the dance floor much to my great relief, before I died of embarrassment in front of all the eligible young men I’d discovered lurking near the bar.

Towards the middle to late nineteen sixties something called a Discotheque appeared and every town had one so it seemed. Our nearest town had one every Sunday afternoon in the old dance hall where my parents had quick stepped to the likes of Edmundo Ros, and smooched to Nat King Cole, when they were courting.

We were the generation who hoped ‘We all die before we get old,’ and who cringed at anyone over twenty-five, who we deemed ‘too old and over the hill,’ to know anything about life and us – teenagers. We died of shame at them dancing, or behaving like we did.

The Discotheque (not known as a Disco at that time), was a cool place to hang out. We could listen to the latest Singles and Long Playing Records (later known as albums), whilst checking out the opposite sex from underneath our Cathy McGowan fringes and Dusty Springfield blacked eyes, faces pale with Max Factor foundation, across the distance of table and chairs grouped round the outside of the dance floor. There was something we all thought so sophisticated – from Italy – called Espresso (coffee), and we also had Pepsi Cola and Coca Cola in long-necked bottles with straws. Such decadence.

The boys didn’t dance, they just stood and watched the girls and smoked. The girls danced self-consciously in pairs or groups of four or five, around their handbags piled in the middle of them, on the floor. There was a whole lot of shaking going on to The Mersey Beats, The Beatles, The Swinging Blue Jeans, Herman’s Hermits, The Walker Brothers, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, and the latest music from America; Sam and Dave, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, and all the Motown and Phil Spector bands and vocalists who were so new and exciting. Suddenly we didn’t want to listen to Frank Ifield, Matt Munro or Frank Sinatra.

Summer of Love

Woodstock and the Isle of Wight festivals led us into long flowing robes, free love and flower-power and boys with hair to their shoulders and hips to die for. We danced and swayed to Dylan, Joan Baez, and Peter, Paul and Mary and Barry McGuire, who reminded us we were all ‘On the Eve of Destruction.’ No-one held each other to dance, everyone ‘did their own thing.’

It was The Summer of Love and we weren’t going to miss out.

Slam diving, stage diving, and moshing took over eventually and boys were back in the game, dancing on their own, throwing themselves around like the demented. Girls stood and watched and kept money ready to make the 999 phone call to summon an ambulance if one of them misjudged the crowd, and landed on their head and not in the arms of their mates, when they launched themselves off of speaker stacks and high stages.

Disco bounced into our lives with Donna Summer, The Bee Gees and John Travolta and we were all strutting our stuff under the mirrored globes in nightclubs, where lighted floors, strobes and laser lighting created monsters of us all, reflected in the mirrored walls. Everyone dressed to impress. Image was the thing. We all had a swagger to our walk and the boys knew how to swagger the most.

By this time our children were ‘disco’ mad too and it was our turn to be the ‘oldies,’ not safe out alone and certainly not allowed on the dance floor in polite company. They were ‘Dirty Dancing’ to ‘Fame,’ and ‘Grease,’ and holding your partner became all the rage again. But not for parents. That was deemed ‘gross,’ and a step too far.

TV shows featuring ballroom dancing, Latin American dancing and everything in-between has taken off in a big way.

When I was young we could watch Victor Silvester on his TV show ‘Come Dancing,’ – all sequins and taffeta – but only on a black and white set.

Which brings me to afternoon tea dances which are becoming more and more popular now, not that I could ever imagine myself at one, but people are going to them again. I am not sure which generation.

Then I wonder about myself and my generation. We still listen to the music of our youth, and our children enjoy it too, but we also listen to their music as well. I think about my mother’s generation and The Big Bands of the nineteen forties and Rock and Roll of the nineteen fifties.

Whenever you see a nursing home or a retirement home on TV these days, the music they are singing along to is the music of their generation; Sinatra, Crosby and Guy Mitchell, Patsy Cline and so on. They sing along to the piano player pounding out ‘Knees up mother Brown,’ and ‘Roll out the Barrel,’ and I get a funny sensation as I wonder what my generation will be singing along to when we are in nursing homes and the ‘entertainment’ turns up.

I have a vision of a row of tattooed women with face piercings, dancing around their Zimmer frames, watched by rows of elderly men, similarly tattooed and pierced, in sweat-shirts and jeans, longing for a joint and a pint, singing along to ‘Rock and Roll,’ by Led Zeppelin, ‘My Generation,’ by The Who and ‘Dancing Queen,’ by Abba….followed by ‘God Save the Queen,’ by the Sex Pistols. A ‘mosh pit,’ would be in the middle of the room and those brave enough and whose knees still worked, would try to launch themselves off of the leg rests of their geriatric recliners, shouting ‘Up the revolution.’

Outside, Para-medics would be busy loading exhausted ‘Generation Zimmer,’ into their ambulances. For a change they are not being abused and sworn at – shouts of ‘peace and love’ would fill the air with offers to share a spliff – for medicinal purpose of course.

Now there’s a thought.

Rock on.

(c) Jane Risdon 2013

Thanks Jane and count me in and I have brought my own piece of music to be carried out to the ambulance to with……my theme song…..have to got out with Queen.

 

My thanks to Jane for sharing this retro look at the music and dance scene, which she knows very well and shares in her debut novel Only One Woman published last November.

About Only One Woman

Two women, one love story.

June 1968. Renza falls head over heels for heartthrob guitarist Scott. But after a romantic summer together they are torn apart when Renza’s family moves away.

December 1968. On the night she believes to be her last, Stella meets Scott at a local dance. He’s the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and if this one night is all they have, she’ll take it.

As the final colourful year of the sixties dawns, the question is: can there be only one woman for Scott?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Bobbi Lerman  5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful, delicious ride of a read! December 30, 2017

For me, Only One Woman by Christina Jones & Jane Risdon was an absolute delight of a read from the first page to the last. I felt like I was transported back to the rock n roll era of swinging sixties England as I walked along with both coming of age heroines as they meet and fall in love with the same soon to be rock god.

The writers literally take you back in time and into the world of the beautiful, lonely, Renza who is dealing with a mom with serious control issues and Stella, the equally beautiful, slightly more experienced budding journalist with health issues that in the end send her seeking a new life journey. When these two music, musician obsessed, young women fall in love with the same man, well….

Both authors meld their unique voices to deliver a combination of fun, fast paced storytelling that nails the lifestyle, free love attitude of the sixties with interesting, engaging characters that draw you in from the start. Not to mention the quirky cast of characters that people this world. I fell in love the boys in the band.

Nostalgic and delicious are the two best words to describe this story. I highly recommend and can’t wait to see if there is a sequel.

 Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Only-One-Woman-Christina-Jones-ebook/dp/B075D88JBP

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Only-One-Woman-Christina-Jones-ebook/dp/B075D88JBP

Read more reviews and follow Jane on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5831801.Jane_Risdon

About Jane Risdon

Jane Risdon began writing five years ago having had a successful career in the International Music Industry which has taken her all over the world working with everything from Rock, Thrash Metal, and R&B/Pop to Chinese Opera. Her work has taken her to North America, Europe, and Singapore: even to Taiwan.

She’s been involved in Television, Radio, and the Movies around the world.

Travelling extensively and living overseas she draws upon her life experiences when writing Crime/Mystery novels, short stories in all genres – including humour, and she has dabbled in flash fiction.

Some of these experiences have found their way into her short stories about the Music Business, and she is presently working on a novel which will bring a lot of her more crazy ‘rock ‘n roll’ experiences into one tome.

Her main focus remains crime however, and she is working on a series of novels called ‘Ms Birdsong Investigates’ centered around a glamorous ex MI5 Officer forced into early retirement, who is trying to keep a low profile in a rural village in Oxfordshire. Her past experiences come to the fore when she finds herself investigating murder. Soon she finds herself back on old territory with Russian Mafia, Ukrainian People Traffickers and an old flame to deal with.

Connect to Jane Risdon

Blog:  https://janerisdon.wordpress.com/ 
Facebook: http://wp.me/2dg55 http://www.facebook.com/JaneRisdon2 
Accent Press: http://www.accentpress.co.uk/jane-risdon
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jane_Risdon

If you are interested in joining Jane and the other writers who are sharing posts from their 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/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – Jane Risdon and Christina Jones, Andrew Joyce, Helen Jones and John Fioravanti


Welcome to another Christmas Book Fair where authors in the Cafe and Bookstore can showcase their books and remind you of their work in time for Christmas. Books are great gifts for young and old… I am sure you will find something to buy for yourself or family and friends.

The first feature is for two writers, Jane Risdon who contributed some wonderful posts from her archives and Christina Jones who co-wrote Only One Woman released last month.

About Only One Woman

Two women, one love story.

June 1968. Renza falls head over heels for heartthrob guitarist Scott. But after a romantic summer together they are torn apart when Renza’s family moves away.

December 1968. On the night she believes to be her last, Stella meets Scott at a local dance. He’s the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and if this one night is all they have, she’ll take it.

As the final colourful year of the sixties dawns, the question is: can there be only one woman for Scott?

One of the recent reviews for the book

I’m a bit of a fan of the swinging sixties, not quite of an age to fully appreciate it but my sister who is a lot older certainly ‘lived’ it so I gained quite a lot of knowledge from her, clothes, perfumes, music etc

Only One Woman nearly turned me off before I begun when I spotted how long it is. Being a blogger entails reading a LOT of books and I don’t always have time or patience to spend on one specific story if it drags into a lengthy tome. However no such fear with this one, as soon as I read the first few pages I just knew I was going to love it.

You soon become absorbed in the era, transported back to a completely different time. Told in the style of diary entries by Renza and Stella we immediately see into the world of these teenagers, what better way to get a feel for the climate.

Scott the rock god is the central link, Renza falls hopelessly for him but the relationship becomes long distance when her family moves abroad. Scott then meets Stella .. my initial thoughts were typical man, can’t have one girl so leaps at another. But the depth of this story explores the feelings from the trio and as much as it pains me I could almost understand Scott’s actions.

Only One Woman is cleverly written to capture the essence of all characters involved and I really felt connected to them. One moment I was rooting for Stella but in the blink of an eye Renza would be my favourite. I think the fact Scott was a hot musician helped his cause in my eyes, if he was just a layabout slob perhaps I would have given him a slap or two! I particularly enjoyed singing a long with the music and reminiscing about various 60’s products. Plenty of research or very good memories have gone into the writing of this book.

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Only-One-Woman-Christina-Jones-ebook/dp/B075D88JBP

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Only-One-Woman-Christina-Jones-ebook/dp/B075D88JBP

Read the reviews and follow Jane on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5831801.Jane_Risdon

Connect to Jane Risdon via her blog:  https://janerisdon.wordpress.com/

A small selection of books by Christina Jones.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christina-Jones/e/B001K8U57Y/

and Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Christina-Jones/e/B001K8U57Y/

Connect to Christina via her blog: https://christinajones-writing.blogspot.ie/

Andrew Joyce for his recently published Bedtime Stories for Adults and has been enjoying wonderful reviews. A perfect gift for adults… to read at bedtime or anytime.

About Bedtime Stories for Grown Ups.

Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups is a jumble of genres—seven hundred pages of fiction and non-fiction … some stories included against the author’s better judgment. If he had known that one day they’d be published, he might not have been as honest when describing his past. Here is a tome of true stories about the author’s criminal and misspent youth, historical accounts of the United States when She was young, and tales of imagination encompassing every conceivable variety—all presented as though the author is sitting next to you at a bar and you’re buying the drinks as long as he keeps coming up with captivating stories to hold your interest.

Comprised of 218,000 words, you’ll have plenty to read for the foreseeable future. This is a book to have on your night table, to sample a story each night before extinguishing the lights and drifting off to a restful sleep.

Mr. Joyce sincerely hopes that you will enjoy his stories because, as he has stated, “It took a lot of living to come up with the material for some of them.”

Andrew Joyce is the recipient of the 2013 Editor’s Choice Award for Best Western for his novel, Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer.

His book Yellow Hair was awarded Book of the Year by Just Reviews and Best Historical Fiction of 2016 by Colleen’s Book Reviews.

One of the recent reviews for the book.

on November 29, 2017

Enter the creative and factual world of Andrew Joyce where imagination and memories collide in a spectacular volume of short and long stories. This book is a collection of many genres and styles. There is something here for everyone. And, that is one of the author’s gifts – the ability to write stories that capture everyone’s imagination.

I have to share with you that the true adventures the author lived through left me with some jaw-dropping moments. Be prepared for a wild ride. In these hitching tales, the author uses his real name, Billy Doyle, Andrew Joyce being his pen name. I think that fact made the stories even more terrifying for me. I couldn’t help but wonder what motivated the author’s wanderlust and later penchant for falling into tough situations. Yet, somehow, he managed to survive with the will to jump into another wild adventure. I can only attribute his gumption to being young and his willingness to experience life to the fullest.

A segment of the novel was skillfully written by the author’s dog, Danny. These heartwarming tales describe life with Andrew expressed with humor, love, and the kind of patience only our furry companions could have for their humans. Danny is a gem, and his stories are liberally sprinkled throughout this collection. I found that Danny’s take on life took the sting out of some of the real happenings recorded in this tome.

My favorite stories are always the tales of the old west. I’ve read and reviewed most of the author’s westerns: Molly Lee, Resolution, and Yellow Hair. Each novel is outstanding and written with historical facts that leap off the page.

In this collection, Joyce weaves old-fashioned western yarns with the skill of Louis L’Amour. He draws the reader back into time with him and suddenly you realize you are in the wild and often lawless west. I swear I could taste the dust and feel the heat of the old west wrap around me. The stories in this anthology are fabulous with a few new tales that I hadn’t read before.

There are too many stories to mention as the book is a long read. Some tales were quick, and others took a couple nights to read through. The entire volume took me a month of bedtime reading which shows the value and depth written into each of the stories. Don’t let the length deter you; instead read at your leisure, as I did.

I had a couple of favorites where I thought the author’s writing was spectacular, to say the least. He seemed to stretch his wings and venture into new writing territory. “How I became a Detective,” is one (although there are a few more tales related to this genre), and the other story was called, “Conversation with a Friend,” which was my favorite because of the message.

Bedtime Stories reads like a labor of love and a cleansing of the author’s soul. I’ve never read a collection of stories that lets you into the heart of the writer in this way. By the time you have finished the novel, you’ve walked beside the author and experienced life through his eyes which is a rare gift, indeed.

MY RATING:
Character Believability: 5   Flow and Pace: 5  Reader Engagement: 5

Reader Enrichment: 5  Reader Enjoyment: 5  Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Stars

Read the reviews and buy the book : https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075V8XNTC

and Amazon UKhttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B075V8XNTC

Also by Andrew Joyce

51jymdwgckl-_uy250_ 51wekgjv4l-_uy250_ 511xzy2h0cl-_uy250_Read the reviews and buy all the books: https://www.amazon.com/Andrew-Joyce/e/B00EUCFDTM

and: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Andrew-Joyce/e/B00EUCFDTM

61uytgjxb0l-_ux250_Connect to Andrew: https://andrewjoyce.wordpress.com/

The next author with several books that would make great gifts is Helen Jones and here is a recent review for her book A Thousand Rooms.

About A Thousand Rooms

Katie is thirty-two, single, and used to work in advertising. She’s also dead. A lost soul hitching rides with the dying, trying to find her way to… wherever she’s supposed to be.

And whoever she’s supposed to be with. Heaven, it seems, has a thousand rooms. What will it take to find hers?

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads

Laurie rated it Four Stars on September 5th 2017

Wow! Haven’t we all wondered what happens when our time on earth end?
Helen Jones took the plunge thru a character named Katie who dies suddenly and quite by accident. Obviously, Nobody was expecting her,which causes some problems for Katie as she attempts to find Heaven.

Heaven isn’t about one big cloud we all sit on, but finding peace and complete happiness and forgiveness in those we have left behind. Katie- after visiting so many rooms in Heaven that she does not belong in, finds her room and her complete love.

“Maybe I would have been able to show you a little, but you had to find it in yourself. You’re the only person who can help you, in the end.”  “I was blessed.”

An interesting read that would be an excellent book club discussion. I truly enjoyed it.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Thousand-Rooms-Helen-Jones-ebook/dp/B01MDP0TX9

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thousand-Rooms-Helen-Jones/dp/1539010724

Read many more reviews on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32721282-a-thousand-rooms

Also by Helen Jones

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Helen-Jones/e/B00VG6SWN4

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Helen-Jones/e/B00VG6SWN4

Read more reviews and follow Helen on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13910923.Helen_Jones

Connect to Helen Jones via her blog: https://journeytoambeth.com/

Last for today but absolutely not least is John Fioravanti with an update on his book Reflections: Inspirational Quotes and Interpretations. A book to be dipped into over the holidays and every day afterwards.

About the book

What do YOU think?

Does this question engage you or take you out of your comfort zone? Does it put you on the spot? REFLECTIONS is award-winning author and former educator John Fioravanti’s answer.

Offering his interpretations of fifty quotes by contemporary and ancient thinkers alike, John dives deep below the surface of words and explores the deeper meanings that shape his view of the world.

Deeply personal and presented in a self-effacing manner, these self-aware reflections will encourage you to dig deep within yourself and to discover more about the underlying truths that guide you.

Without trumpets or fanfare of any kind, John Fioravanti aspires to inspire you!

One of the reviews for the book

on May 25, 2017

The author, John Fioravanti, has done a marvelous job is selecting each of the inspirational quotes he has chosen for inclusion in this book.

Starting off with a selected quote and who said it, the author then shifts his reader’s attention to how each quote has come to manifest itself in own existence as he reflects on his personal thoughts. As I read through each of the quotes I found myself experiencing my own contemplations as to how each of the quotes relates to life, with a variety of emotions, from sad to happy, coming up for. I read this book over a course of two days, because I wanted to write my review for it; but I feel, anyone who opts to get a copy of his endeavor by Mr. Fiorvanti, should take their time getting through the book by reading one quote a day, then reflecting on what it means to yourself and finally comparing your experience to that of the author’s. The results I had received on a handful of occasions had paralleled that of the author’s signifying how while we might feel our lives are unique to ourselves, they are in fact, shared by others. For having given me and that of other readers, an insightful reading experience by asking us in the beginning of the book’s description; “What do YOU think?”, how can I not give the author the 5 STARS I’ve given him.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/REFLECTIONS-Inspirational-Interpretations-John-Fioravanti-ebook/dp/B01MSJUPDI

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/REFLECTIONS-Inspirational-Interpretations-John-Fioravanti-ebook/dp/B01MSJUPDI

Also by John Fioravanti

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/John-Fioravanti/e/B00JSAHGAU

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/John-Fioravanti/e/B00JSAHGAU

Read more reviews and follow John on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5246942.John_Fioravanti

Connect to John via his website:  http://fiorabooks.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and I am sure there will be more than one book here that will make it on to your wish list. Thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Only One Woman by Christina Jones and Jane Risdon


Over the last few weeks we have been enjoying the posts from the archives of Jane Risdon. This week however, I am sharing the great news that her new book, co-written with Christina Jones is now available.

About Only One Woman

Two women, one love story.

June 1968. Renza falls head over heels for heartthrob guitarist Scott. But after a romantic summer together they are torn apart when Renza’s family moves away.

December 1968. On the night she believes to be her last, Stella meets Scott at a local dance. He’s the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and if this one night is all they have, she’ll take it.

As the final colourful year of the sixties dawns, the question is: can there be only one woman for Scott?

One of the early reviews for the book on Goodreads

Nov 21, 2017 Linda Hill on November 21st 2017

When band members move in next door to Renza, her life will never be the same again, but Stella could put a fly in her ointment!

What a roller coaster of emotions for Renza and Stella. Only One Woman is a real insight into the lives of these two young women in the 1960s. They experience the whole range of experiences for women of their time with their contrasting families shaping them very differently. I’d much rather have Stella’s family in my life than Renza’s!

Right the way through reading Only One Woman I couldn’t make up my mind about Scott. At times I thought I would like to meet him myself and at others I felt I’d prefer to hit him several times with a very heavy blunt instrument. Even by the end of Only One Woman I hadn’t made up my mind. I think this shows what a good job both authors have done in creating complex and real characters.

However, I have no such vacillations of opinion about the atmosphere and 1960’s setting. Although I was quite a bit younger than Renza and Stella in the 1960s, I remembered so many of the cultural references that give Only One Woman such a vivid era, from the music to world events. The authors deserve great praise for the quality of the research to ensure the accuracy of these details. The music really sets the scene but readers of a certain age need to be careful otherwise they will have earworms for days reading this book!

I also enjoyed the variety of settings and was fascinated especially by the depiction of army life in Germany.

I think anyone who has lived through the 1960s will find so many personal memories are prompted by Renza, Stella, Scott et al so that there is so much more to enjoy than simply reading a narrative in Only One Woman. It’s a highly evocative read.

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Only-One-Woman-Christina-Jones-ebook/dp/B075D88JBP

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Only-One-Woman-Christina-Jones-ebook/dp/B075D88JBP

Read the reviews and follow Jane on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5831801.Jane_Risdon

About Jane Risdon

Jane Risdon began writing five years ago having had a successful career in the International Music Industry which has taken her all over the world working with everything from Rock, Thrash Metal, and R&B/Pop to Chinese Opera. Her work has taken her to North America, Europe, and Singapore: even to Taiwan.

She’s been involved in Television, Radio, and the Movies around the world.

Travelling extensively and living overseas she draws upon her life experiences when writing Crime/Mystery novels, short stories in all genres – including humour, and she has dabbled in flash fiction.

Some of these experiences have found their way into her short stories about the Music Business, and she is presently working on a novel which will bring a lot of her more crazy ‘rock ‘n roll’ experiences into one tome.

Her main focus remains crime however, and she is working on a series of novels called ‘Ms Birdsong Investigates’ centered around a glamorous ex MI5 Officer forced into early retirement, who is trying to keep a low profile in a rural village in Oxfordshire. Her past experiences come to the fore when she finds herself investigating murder. Soon she finds herself back on old territory with Russian Mafia, Ukrainian People Traffickers and an old flame to deal with.

Some of the anthologies that Jane has contributed to

Read the reviews and buy the Anthologies: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jane-Risdon/e/B00I3GJ2Y8

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Jane-Risdon/e/B00I3GJ2Y8/

Connect to Jane Risdon

Blog: https://janerisdon.wordpress.com/
Facebook: http://wp.me/2dg55 http://www.facebook.com/JaneRisdon2 
Accent Press: http://www.accentpress.co.uk/jane-risdon
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jane_Risdon

About Christina Jones

Christina Jones, the only child of a schoolteacher and a circus clown, has been
writing all her life. As well as writing romantic comedy novels, she also contributes short stories and articles to many national magazines and newspapers.

She has won several awards for her writing: Going the Distance was a WH Smith Fresh Talent Winner; Nothing to Lose, was shortlisted and runner-up for the Thumping Good Read Award with film and television rights sold; Heaven Sent was shortlisted in The Melissa Nathan Comedy Romance Awards and won a Category Award; Love Potions won the Pure Passion Award; The Way to a Woman’s Heart was short-listed for the Rom-Com of the Year; and An Enormously English Monsoon Wedding won The Reviewer’s Choice Award.

A small selection of Christina’s books

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christina-Jones/e/B001K8U57Y/

and Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Christina-Jones/e/B001K8U57Y/

Connect to Christina

Blog: https://christinajones-writing.blogspot.ie/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChristinaJonesAuthor/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will help spread the news of this new book and its authors. Thanks Sally