Smorgasbord Sunday Interview – The Ultimate Bucket List – Something close to my Heart by Paul Andruss


Welcome to the Sunday Interview and the theme is The Ultimate Bucket List.

In this interview series I would love to know what your top TWO items are on your bucket list and if you have not written one yet, then perhaps it is time to get your thinking caps on.

Here is more about how you can participate here:https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/09/05/new-sunday-show-interview-series-the-ultimate-bucket-list-a-test-run-with-sally-cronin/

Today my guest is our own Writer in Residence, Paul Andruss with his two top bucket list items. And whilst you might think that Paul might like to travel back in time and resolve the mystery of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table once and for all…… he actually wishes for something much closer to his heart.

Something Close to my Heart.. by Paul Andruss

I don’t have a bucket list. I guess I am quite accepting of what life throws at me. Perhaps I’m a reincarnation of some old Buddhist or something.

So let me see…

Regrets?

I’ve had a few.

But then again too few to mention!

Oh Lord! Not the Frank Sinatra song!

Sorry… Zilch! Nada! Diddly squat!

Mind you that’s not to say if someone offered me a free trip to Machu Picchu or Mars or somewhere I wouldn’t bite their hand off. It’s simply that if I don’t, then I don’t feel my whole life has been a wasteland.

When I was younger there were lots of people I wanted to meet. But as the decades passed and the great and good took the one way trip through the protecting veil in ever increasing numbers, my old bucket list became a post-bucket list.

To be frank, I’m not terribly sure what lies beyond kicking the bucket, or shuffling off this mortal coil, or any one of the numerous euphemisms we use to face the unfaceable. But I know this. Eternity or oblivion, it’s a win-win situation.

If it’s welcome to eternity, I shall be one busy little bee catching up with my heroes. I certainly believe any afterlife is better than this world. No loving creatrix, no Great Mother, would be so pretty to her children as to punish us for our failings. After all if she does not make mistakes, she knew exactly what she was doing when she gave us our flaws and foibles.

On the other hand, if I’m destined to be extinguished like a candle-flame then I cannot find much wrong with that either. Remind me to ask an ex-candle-flame what the afterlife feels like next time I meet one.

So where does that leave my pre-bucket (as opposed to my post-bucket) list?

Well, given death is a part of life…

(Look on it as God’s final surprise.)

After careful consideration, my top two are:

One. Dying at the same time as my partner.

We’re best friends, pretty inseparable for decades and have had lots of adventures together. So to be blunt, why should this one be any different?

Two. Choosing the time I go and making it as quick and painless as possible.

I realise that might shock you. We tend to look on suicide as a big old mortal sin. But, do you know the story of Pandora’s Box? I mean, do you really know it?

In the Greek myths, Pandora (All Gifts) was given a chest by the gods and told not to open it, which of course… she did!

Wouldn’t you?

Out came all the evils the gods had thoughtfully locked up away from man. The last out of the box was hope.

According to the Christian version, the gods put in hope as a remedy so mankind would not give in to despair.

In the original Greek version, hope was out last because it was the most despicable evil of all. When all is lost, hope stops you walking away from the inevitable.

In my defence, all I can add is this…

Hey, you read my stuff. You should have known I’d be controversial.

© Images Paul Andruss 2017

About Paul Andruss

Paul Andruss is a writer whose primary focus is to take a subject, research every element thoroughly and then bring the pieces back together in a unique and thought provoking way. His desire to understand the origins of man, history, religion, politics and the minds of legends who rocked the world is inspiring. He does not hesitate to question, refute or make you rethink your own belief system and his work is always interesting and entertaining. Whilst is reluctant to talk about his own achievements he offers a warm and generous support and friendship to those he comes into contact with.

Paul lives in Wales with his partner and they are avid gardeners. As you can see from some of the photographs I have shared of their garden in this post.

Paul is a modest but very talented author and he has two books currently available. Thomas the Rhymer – a magical fantasy for ages 11 to adult about a boy attempting to save fairy Thomas the Rhymer, while trying to rescue his brother from a selfish fairy queen.

Here is the most recent review for Thomas the Rhymer

Jack Hughes witnesses the abduction of his brother Dan by the wicked fairy Sylvie. Nightmares and visions of a mysterious tramp take over his reality and he becomes torn about sharing the truth behind his brothers disappearance. Catherine, Ken and Ken’s mystical mother Rosie become his confidants and join Jack in searching for clues on breaking the wicked fairies hold over his brother .

The tramp’s true identity soon unfolds when the team offer him food and shelter; he is Thomas the Rhymer, Prince of Elphane, who speaks in Rhyme:

“Yesterday upon the stair, I met a man who wasn’t there. He wasn’t there again today. I wish that man would GO AWAY!”

The author takes the reader on a series of adventures through ancient ley lines, bathed in milky blue light that cross a fairy hill, churches and open countryside.
We meet the mysterious Horatio Grin and Agnes Day, whose sister Poppy was also abducted by the faeries. But can they be trusted? And can Jack and his friends find his brother and bring him safely back home?

I read this book slowly as there were so many mystical layers to Jack’s adventures. It is well written and will appeal to both young and old.

Thomas the Rhymer Paul AndrussPaul also has a pdf file available and you can read for FREE by obtaining a copy from Barnes & Noble for Nook readers and also from Kobo.

You can find out how to download from Paul’s site and also links to the other options at this link. http://www.jackhughesbooks.com/amazon-links.php

It would be amazing if you do download and enjoy the book as much as I did. If so then it would be great if you could put a review on Amazon by adding in a sentence at the beginning – Disclaimer: I was gifted with a copy of this book from the author..  Or you can leave a review on Facebook and tag Paul in the post by using his full name Paul George Boylan.

Finn Mac Cool

Paul’s second books is Finn Mac Cool – rude, crude and funny, explicitly sexual and disturbingly violent, Finn Mac Cool is strictly for adults only.

Connect to Paul on social media.

Blog: http://www.paul-andruss.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/paul.andruss.9
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Paul_JHBooks
Google+  https://plus.google.com/s/+jackhughesbooks

You can find all of Paul’s posts in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/writer-in-residence-writer-paul-andruss/

Thank you for dropping by today and please feel free to share the post on your own blog and networks. If you would like to participate in the Ultimate Bucket List series please contact me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com Thanks Sally

 

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Smorgasbord Writer in Residence – The Glastonbury Zodiac by Paul Andruss


Time for one of Paul’s original posts for Smorgasbord and today he explores the legend of King Arthur further and reveals some of the links that have been made to Arthur and the giant figures formed from features in the landscape around the mythical Glastonbury Tor. This includes writings from nearly 500 hundred years ago that seems to support more modern theories.

The Glastonbury Zodiac by Paul Andruss

Image from theholisticworks.com

In 1929, local artist and mystic, Katherine Maltwood was commissioned to illustrate ‘The High History of the Holy Grail’, a French medieval Arthurian romance recently translated into English. While involved in this work she discovered the Glastonbury Zodiac, which she called the Temple of the Stars. It consisted of twelve giant figures, plus the Zodiac’s guardian the Girt Dog of Langport, formed from features in the landscape across an area 11 miles in diameter around Glastonbury Tor.

The High History claimed it was written in Glastonbury Abbey and conflicted with accepted Arthurian tradition. In it, Arthur’s foster brother Kai murders Arthur and Guinevere’s son Loholt and the queen dies from grief. So, there is no affair between Launcelot and Guinevere and no fateful Battle of Camlann, caused by Arthur’s nephew (or illegitimate son of incest) seizing the queen and the throne while Arthur is fighting Launcelot.

The High History may represent an occult treatise preserving garbled pre-Christian Celtic and Gnostic Christian beliefs. There is some archaeological evidence from Christian Late Roman Villas, uncovered in Southern England, hinting the Holy Grail legend may be linked with the gnostic influenced early Celtic Church, which did not submit to the Pope until the Synod of Whitby in 664AD: over a century and a half after Arthur was supposed to have lived.

In an article from a 1969 magazine Gandalf’s Garden, Katherine Maltwood’s successor, Mary Caine, explains how Maltwood discovered Glastonbury’s Temple of the Stars by mapping the journey of the grail knights from Cadbury Castle, an iron-age hillfort across the valley from Glastonbury.

In 1542 the antiquarian, John Leland reported the locals referred to Cadbury Castle as Camelot. When he came to excavate the summit of the hill, an old man asked if he came to take away the King. According to tradition Arthur and his Knights sleep inside the hillfort, waiting for the call to defend Britain.

It is said each Midsummer Eve they emerge, pausing only to let their horses drink from the spring at the southwest gate. An old lane at the hillfort’s base is called King Arthur’s Lane. Locals claim on wild winter nights the king and his hounds are heard rushing along it.
Caine tells how Maltwood, with the help of ordinance survey maps and, later, aerial photographs, soon identified each figure, sometimes miles across, by tracing tell-tale features in the landscape; ancient boundaries, hills, earthworks, paths, field borders and waterways. She claimed if you overlaid a star chart on a map of Glastonbury the figures matched the size and shape of the zodiac constellations in the heavens with the corresponding stars falling within each figure’s outline.

Inside each figure, ancient place names give clues to the house of the zodiac, e.g. Fisher’s Hill is within Pisces. According to Maltwood, Arthur is the horseman archer Sagittarius. The horse mounted archer of Sagittarius, representing King Arthur, has the horse’s tail resting on Arthur’s Bridge, and includes Canter’s Green. Virgo as Guinevere (located by Queen Camel) faces Leo who is Arthur’s foster brother Sir Kai.

Some early traditions, before Launcelot was introduced into the developing legend, claim Guinevere and Kai were the original adulterous couple. Arthur and Kai represent the summer and winter kings vying for the ancient White Goddess. Sagittarius is threatened by the claws of Scorpio, representing the treacherous Mordred.

The earliest traditions of Arthur suggest he was a Celtic divinity rather than a Dark Age warrior. Arthur battles supernatural monsters and raids the underworld to steal Gwyn Ap Nudd’s Cauldron of Inspiration from his glass castle. In old stories Glastonbury Tor is called the Isle of Glass and associated with the underworld and Avalon.

Similarly Arthur’s foster brother and rival Kai appears to be a Celtic sun-god as he can grow to the size of the tallest tree, radiate sun-like heat and has a round mirrored shield.
Guinevere means ‘White Phantom’. She is the triple faced moon goddess: full moon, old and new. ‘The Triads of the Isle of Britain’ say Arthur had three wives all called Guinevere, and all faithless.

The Easter sacrificial lamb of Aries is the young impetuous Gawain, found in a later version of the battle between spring and winter. ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’ says Gawain preferred to fight before noon. After mid-day his strength waned with the weakening sun. Gwain represents returning summer while the Green Knight, armed with an evergreen holly bush, is winter.

Maybe through changes in the topography of the landscape, Cancer the crab is now a ship. Its earlier shape is perhaps still discernible in the curved hull and raised prow and stern signifying the crab’s shell and claws. The same has happened to Libra, now a dove rather than scales, and Aquarius, now an eagle or phoenix.

Cancer is Arthur’s ship Prydwen, which sailed his knights to Annwn to steal the Cauldron of Inspiration. Its name means ‘white face’. It is the moon ship that sails the sun-god through the night from dusk to dawn. Its presence led to claims of a much older origin for the Glastonbury Zodiac.

The Libran dove symbolises the spiritual quest for the Holy Grail. Holy Spirit takes a dove’s form. Known in the Genesis creation story as the ‘spirit that moves across the face of the waters’, the Holy Spirit was originally female. She is Sophia (Wisdom), whom ancient Jewish mystics considered to be God’s wife.

Aquarius is either an eagle or phoenix. An eagle represents the hero’s soul ascending to heaven. Roman historians mention seeing an eagle soaring over the Emperor Augustus’ funeral pyre as he ascended to take his place among the gods. Lleu Llaw Gyffes, the Welsh hero from the Mabinogion, was also changed into an eagle after his rival Gronw murdered him.

The phoenix, a legend from ancient Egypt, is reborn from the flames of its own funeral pyre. The sun bird is from Heliopolis; one of the oldest cities in ancient Egypt, dating back to the pre-dynastic period, possibly 10,000 years. It represents the reincarnated Summer King as Sol Invictus – the triumphant sun returning in the spring. In its beak it holds the Holy Grail or at least the Chalice Well where the grail was reputedly hidden by Joseph of Arimathea.

The thirteenth figure of the zodiac’s guardian is the Girt Dog Langport, which we will look at another time.

Critics deny there is a Glastonbury Zodiac. They say there is simply no evidence to support its existence and dismiss the Glastonbury Zodiac as coincidence, fantasy, or fraud. Bearing this in mind, how do they account for the following?

In 1580 the English magician Dr Dee, scientist and astronomer to Queen Elizabeth I, wrote, somewhat mysteriously, about constellations lying mapped on the ground.

‘the stars agree with their reproduction on the ground… all the greater stars of Sagittarius fall in the hindquarters of horse while the others fall on its chest… exactly married and measured in a scientific reconstruction of the heavens.

No one is sure what Dee meant. Much of his magical work remains obscure. If the Glastonbury Zodiac was something Katherine Maltwood invented in 1929, then how do you explain Dr Dee’s words from 350 years earlier?

(Download here: http://www.heroofcamelot.com/docs/High-History-of-the-Holy-Graal.pdf)

©PaulAndruss 2017

About Paul Andruss

Paul Andruss is a writer whose primary focus is to take a subject, research every element thoroughly and then bring the pieces back together in a unique and thought provoking way. His desire to understand the origins of man, history, religion, politics and the minds of legends who rocked the world is inspiring. He does not hesitate to question, refute or make you rethink your own belief system and his work is always interesting and entertaining. Whilst is reluctant to talk about his own achievements he offers a warm and generous support and friendship to those he comes into contact with.

Paul is a modest but very talented author and he has two books currently available. Thomas the Rhymer – a magical fantasy for ages 11 to adult about a boy attempting to save fairy Thomas the Rhymer, while trying to rescue his brother from a selfish fairy queen.

I have read and reviewed Thomas the Rhymer earlier in the year, and here is the link to download the epub version of the books for FREE.

Thomas the Rhymer Paul Andruss

Paul also has a pdf file available and you can read for FREE by obtaining a copy from Barnes & Noble for Nook readers and also from Kobo.

You can find out how to download from Paul’s site and also links to the other options at this link. http://www.jackhughesbooks.com/amazon-links.php

It would be amazing if you do download and enjoy the book as much as I did. If so then it would be great if you could put a review on Amazon by adding in a sentence at the beginning – Disclaimer: I was gifted with a copy of this book from the author..  Or you can leave a review on Facebook and tag Paul in the post by using his full name Paul George Boylan.

Finn Mac Cool

Paul’s second books is Finn Mac Cool – rude, crude and funny, explicitly sexual and disturbingly violent, Finn Mac Cool is strictly for adults only.

Connect to Paul on social media.

Blog: http://www.paul-andruss.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/paul.andruss.9
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Paul_JHBooks
Google+  https://plus.google.com/s/+jackhughesbooks

You can find all of Paul’s posts in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/writer-in-residence-writer-paul-andruss/

Thank you for dropping by today and please feel free to share the post on your own blog and networks. Thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Writer in Residence – The Gift by Paul Andruss


It is Paul’s birthday tomorrow, and I thought I would share this post with you, that he sent in addition to his Ultimate Bucket List Interview which is scheduled for 22nd October.

If you are a regular reader of Paul’s posts, you will know that he writes with one eye firmly on the truth of the matter, and the other on the unusual and often humorous elements he has unearthed on the subject. He always leaves you with a feeling that you have had an intimate audience with the legend or infamous person he has written about, and in The Gift he draws us into a story from his life with the skill we have come to expect from him as a writer…

I am sure you will join me in wishing Paul a very happy birthday and since Paul is such an avid gardener.. here is a cake I found on Pinterest.

The Gift by Paul Andruss

There is the argument that life is a gift and therefore not yours to squander. To this I would counter that any gift you never asked for and given with conditions attached, is not so much a gift as an obligation.

Let me tell you a story.

My mum was a part time nurse. She became close friends with two long-time close friends, Neave and Maggie. Neave was a state registered nurse and Maggie was the departmental sister. Apart from their jobs, the two women could not have been more different.

Maggie came from a comfortable background, happily married to a successful businessman and lived in a large detached four-bedroomed house in the affluent Liverpool suburb of Woolton. Neave lived in a rundown 3-bed council terrace in a neglected urban overspill called Cantril Farm, which in those days went by the name Cannibal Farm. I never lived there, so I can’t comment. But there must be some reason why the name vanished from history for the more salubrious moniker of Stockbridge Village.

I never met Maggie but Mum, Neave and I spent the day at the Liverpool Garden Festival in May 1984 before going back for tea at my new flat, close by, off the Aigburth Road, up Parkgate Drive.

When I met Neave, I immediately saw the attraction. Neave was my Nan, my mum’s mum. She had same tiny wiry build and the delicate faded beauty worn down by life and smoking too many Woodbines. There was the same dyed jet-black hair, piercing dark eyes and that quick witted, slightly self-disparaging, wicked humour characterised by hard times and hash upbringing.

That humour, which possibly originated among the Celts, is now so all pervasive many places claim it as their own. But to us Scousers, it’s Scottie Road – the old working class ghetto outside the city centre, leading up to Everton Heights. It was the place Cilla Black grew up. My Nan knew her mother.

My Granddad was a womaniser. Mum once disgustedly shared a story from when she was a girl. She overheard her Dad trying to arrange an assignation with her horrified 15 year old best friend. In his defence, perhaps it was a bit of banter. Those were different days. In mum’s eyes, worse than his womanising was the fact he kept Nan short of money, so he could spend it on the gee-gees and splash it round down the pub.

I never knew my Granddad. He was a builder and had an accident, falling off some scaffolding before I was born. It sent him loopy, or violent, or a bit of both. All I know is one day the two older girls (Mum and Aunt Eleanor) and my Uncle Frank came home from work while he was beating on my Nan. It looked like he was ready to kill her.

Although they were terrified, they ganged up on him. I think the back of a frying pan was involved. They tore him off, threw him out and locked the doors while he raged like a madman outside. My Uncle Frank was always a bit of a hero in our family after that.

All I remember of Granddad was a half-heard whisper to my Mum from Uncle Paul (four years older than me and more like a brother). People forget you’re there when you’re little.

He saw Vernon in town. Don’t say anything, Mum said. And nothing more was said.

Like my Nan, Neave had a similar hard life, except she had no one to throw out her old man. Neave had two sons. The eldest was a chip off the old block, except unlike his dad he couldn’t hold down a job so all the money he squandered on betting and drinking was his mother’s. The youngest boy was a bit backward, as we used to say in them days. It was a terrible story told to Mum by Neave and repeated by Mum to me. It might have even been to make sure I was in the right frame of mind to like Neave. If it was, it worked.

Brian, Neave’s youngest, must have been about 3 years old when it happened, a lovely lad and bright as a button. Her good-for-nothing husband was watching the footie on the telly in the large kitchen-living room, just like in my Nan’s house. The parlour was kept for best in them days, for sitting in at Christmas and New Year. And it was the place they put the tiny coffin when the undertaker brought my Nan home. I remember the room always being cold.

So it’s Saturday night and Neave, making dinner, puts a pan of water on the stove to boil while her lout of a husband is watching the football. When it starts to rain she runs out to get the washing in: as naturally he does nothing around the house. Watch the baby, she shouts dashing out.

Moments later there is terrible screaming. Brian pulled the pan of scalding water over on himself. There’s a terrible argument, a bit of a fight. The husband storms out. Neave is left trying to get to hospital with a black eye, bruises and two young sons in tow, carrying the badly scalded baby and no money in her purse for a taxi.

Eventually she gets there. Then the bad news: somehow the little boy is now brain damaged. Neave works full time for the rest of her life because her husband won’t tip up any more of his wages for special care for their ‘spassie’ child. Worse, what he pays barely covers the rent and utility bills. Her eldest grows up worse than his dad, who at least can hold down a job: a right ‘waster’ as we say.

And now dear readers for the punchline: remember Maggie, Neave’s friend, back in paragraph one? I said Maggie was from a comfortable background, so when an aunt died she inherited a packet. It was an embarrassment of riches.

She and Neave had been friends over 20 years at this point, and she knew full well the dog’s life Neave had. Thinking she had all this money. And given Neave never had nothin’. She decided to give her £10,000, which probably would have bought Neave’s council house in them days.

There was only one proviso, well more than one really. Neave must not tell her older son or husband about the gift. And if they found out she was not to give them anything, no matter how they wheedled, threatened or blackmailed. The money was for her and Brian.

Well you can imagine Neave’s response. Naturally it was…

You can stick your money. If you give me something, that money’s mine and you’re not telling me what to do with it. So you can shove it up your arse!”

And from that day on Neave and Maggie never spoke.

So, if life is a gift, it is one given without being asked for and without consultation about what you want. It is also one into which we are not born equal. There is no equitable distribution in terms of family, location, opportunity and inherited wealth, or even talent, intelligence, health and able-bodiedness.

In my humble opinion, as long as you do no harm to others, no religion, claiming to represent the Godhead, should be able to put stipulations on how you live your life, simply because it is a gift from above. And when they do, just remember Neave’s wise words and think: If that’s the case… shove it up yer arse!

©Paul Andruss 2017

Image: Pinterest.

I would imagine that like me that gave you something to think about when giving and receiving gifts!  Thanks Paul.

About Paul Andruss

Paul Andruss is a writer whose primary focus is to take a subject, research every element thoroughly and then bring the pieces back together in a unique and thought provoking way. His desire to understand the origins of man, history, religion, politics and the minds of legends who rocked the world is inspiring. He does not hesitate to question, refute or make you rethink your own belief system and his work is always interesting and entertaining. Whilst is reluctant to talk about his own achievements he offers a warm and generous support and friendship to those he comes into contact with.

Paul is a modest but very talented author and he has two books currently available. Thomas the Rhymer – a magical fantasy for ages 11 to adult about a boy attempting to save fairy Thomas the Rhymer, while trying to rescue his brother from a selfish fairy queen.

I have read and reviewed Thomas the Rhymer earlier in the year, and here is the link to download the epub version of the books for FREE.

Thomas the Rhymer Paul Andruss

Paul also has a pdf file available and you can read for FREE by obtaining a copy from Barnes & Noble for Nook readers and also from Kobo.

You can find out how to download from Paul’s site and also links to the other options at this link.

http://www.jackhughesbooks.com/amazon-links.php

It would be amazing if you do download and enjoy the book as much as I did. If so then it would be great if you could put a review on Amazon by adding in a sentence at the beginning – Disclaimer: I was gifted with a copy of this book from the author..  Or you can leave a review on Facebook and tag Paul in the post by using his full name Paul George Boylan.

Finn Mac Cool

Paul’s second books is Finn Mac Cool – rude, crude and funny, explicitly sexual and disturbingly violent, Finn Mac Cool is strictly for adults only.

Connect to Paul on social media.

Blog: http://www.paul-andruss.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/paul.andruss.9
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Paul_JHBooks
Google+  https://plus.google.com/s/+jackhughesbooks

You can find all of Paul’s posts in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/writer-in-residence-writer-paul-andruss/

Thank you for dropping by today and please feel free to share the post on your own blog and networks. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Paul Andruss, D. Wallace Peach and Christina Steiner.


To kick this post off I am featuring our Writer in Residence, Paul Andruss and a new review for his fantasy novel Thomas the Rhymer.

I have read and reviewed Thomas the Rhymer earlier in the year,  here is the link to download the epub version of the books for FREE.

Paul also has a pdf file available and, you can read for FREE by obtaining a copy from Barnes & Noble for Nook readers and also from Kobo.

You can find out how to download from Paul’s site and also links to the other options such as Kindle on Amazon at this link.

http://www.jackhughesbooks.com/amazon-links.php

About Thomas the Rhymer

When Fairy Queen Sylvie snatches his brother, schoolboy Jack is plunged into a sinister fantasy world of illusion and deception – the realm of telepathic fairies ruled by spoilt, arrogant fairy queens.

Haunted by nightmares about his brother and pursued by a mysterious tramp (only seen by Jack and his friends) Jack fears he too will be stolen away.

The tramp is Thomas the Rhymer, who only speaks in rhyme. Lost and frightened Thomas needs Jack’s help to find his way home.

The race is on for Jack and his friends to save Thomas from the wicked Agnes Day (who wants to treat Thomas like a lab rat). And save Jack’s brother from Sylvie.
To do this they need the help of Bess – the most ancient powerful fairy queen in the land.

But there is a problem…
No one knows where Bess is… or even if she is still lives.
And even if they find her… will she let them go?

The most recent review for Thomas the Rhymer by Brigid Gallagher‘s Five Star  Sep 12, 2017 On Goodreads.

Jack Hughes witnesses the abduction of his brother Dan by the wicked fairy Sylvie. Nightmares and visions of a mysterious tramp take over his reality and he becomes torn about sharing the truth behind his brothers disappearance.
Catherine, Ken and Ken’s mystical mother Rosie become his confidantes and join Jack in searching for clues on breaking the wicked faeries hold over his brother.
The tramp’s true identity soon unfolds when the team offer him food and shelter; he is Thomas the Rhymer, Prince of Elphane, who speaks in rhyme:

“Yesterday upon the stair, I met a man who wasn’t there. He wasn’t there again today. I wish that man would GO AWAY!”
The author takes the reader on a series of adventures, travelling along ancient ley lines, bathed in milky blue light that cross a fairy hill, churches and open countryside.

We meet the mysterious Horatio Grin and Agnes Day, whose sister Poppy was also abducted by the faeries. But can they be trusted? And can Jack and his friends find his brother and bring him safely back home?

This book is both clever and well written, and will appeal to both young and old.

Buy the Kindle Thomas the Rhymer at all online bookstores including your local Amazon: http://www.jackhughesbooks.com/amazon-links.php

Now would be a good time to read and there are two more books to be released in the series.

Also by Paul Andruss

Finn Mac CoolFind out more about Paul Andruss and his books: http://www.paul-andruss.com/about/

The next author with wonderful reviews to share is D.Wallace Peach for the fourth and final book in The Rose Shield series, Kari’s Reckoning, by D. Wallace Peach published in April this year.

About Kari’s Reckoning

The epic adventure concludes as the Shiplord vies for what he desires—the throne of Ellegeance. Their power in jeopardy, influencers surrender their oaths, their loyalties fractured. Rose, a child of untrained and reckless talent, once again becomes a pawn in the quest for control.

As the Cull Tarr solidify their rule, Guardian plots rebellion. Catling and Whitt, each gifted with singular skills, seek to sway the course of the conflict. Oathbreakers, traitors, and those desperate to save Rose collide in a final battle for the realm.

Yet, a third player emerges in the deadly game. The kari, spirits of a sentient planet, command the air, water, and land. They manipulate events to satisfy their sovereign designs and care not who survives the human war.

One of the recent reviews

I just finished reading the entire Rose Shield Tetralogy, and I am both very satisfied and more than impressed. The author mentions ‘balance’ often in the books, and I believe she truly achieves this herself with this series. Love, intrigue, nostalgia, tenderness, death, war, spirituality, brutality, humor, intensely varied and interesting characters you can’t help but get wrapped around, and plot twists that are surprising again and again and never disappoint.

And that’s the thing – if you do a lot of fiction reading like I do, its unavoidable to be on your guard for turns of direction in the works you are reading that seem contrived or false, disappointing or just plain dumb. None of this happens in Peach series – there are no disappointments.

That is not to say that there wasn’t more than once that I had to stop reading and let the book go for the night, because something happened that I wasn’t sure I could deal with right then. But I kept it up, and I’m glad I did. Writing this at the end of the last book, I am filled with this complex mix of emotions, one like she deftly describes, and it is not bad – it is welcome. She describes herself as a ‘fledgling’ writer and I say NO, she is not. There is too, too much here, far beyond fledgling. The books are not flawless, but I found myself forgiving the small errors immediately to keep on with the story. In my opinion, these books, just like the world she created, are imbued with luminescence.

Read the reviews and buy Kari’s Reckoning: https://www.amazon.com/Karis-Reckoning-Rose-Shield-Book-ebook/dp/B06XJY77CF

The other three books in the Rose Shield Series

A small selection of other books by D.Wallace Peach

To discover all the books and read the reviews and buy: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Connect to D. Wallace Peach via her website: http://mythsofthemirror.com.

The next book is for children and is The Fantastic Travels of William and the Monarch Butterfly by Christina Steiner.

About the book

The Fantastic Travels of William and the Monarch Butterfly, Christina Steiner’s newest children book with illustrations from Mary Manning, focuses on the incredible life of the fourth generation, eastern Monarch butterfly.

Steiner’s chapter book, a fantasy story, offers a look into the lives of Monarch butterflies through the eyes of William. When William captures a butterfly for a show-and-tell at his school, he has no idea how special his trophy will become. Much to his surprise, the captive girl butterfly, Anka, is able to speak. With a sad, trembling voice, Anka, pleads for freedom so she may fulfill her life destiny. Worried to show up at school empty handed, William resists her pleas. But clever Anka bargains for her freedom by enticing William to accompany her as a passenger on a fantastic journey. There is one catch, though: William has to shrink in size and become a miniature boy in order to ride on Anka’s back.

William faces a dilemma. Should he set Anka free and show up at school empty handed? Or should he join this girl butterfly on an adventure to an unknown destination?
Intrigued, he agrees to join Anka on her special trip. Whisked away on the wings of a butterfly, a whole new world unfolds for William. Together, he and Anka soar south-southwest from North Dakota to the Oyamel fir forests in central Mexico. A strong friendship develops as they depend on each other for survival.

They stay for five month at their destination high up in the mountains of central Mexico – the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve. There, William learns much about Monarch butterflies, about survival, and about himself. But most notably, it is during their return travels in the spring that the true purpose for Anka’s urgency for freedom reveals itself. It is then that William personally witnesses nearly the full life-cycle of Monarch butterflies – from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to stunning Monarch butterfly, the ultimate tale of the circle of life.

The most recent review for the book

A Lovely Tale  on September 8, 2017

Christina Steiner has written a lovely tale that weaves real life science with fantasy. It not only explains the life of Monarch butterflies it also teaches children to respect, appreciate, and enjoy nature. William and his butterfly friend Anka develop a trusting and sweet friendship that takes them on a great adventure. A wonderful book to help children understand the sequence of life and the joy that happens along the way.

Read the other reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Fantastic-Travels-William-Monarch-Butterfly-ebook/dp/B00W88EDL4/

Also by Christina Steiner

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Christina-Steiner/e/B00IUZNJXC

Read more reviews and follow Christina Steiner on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4516146.Christina_Steiner

Connect to Christina via her website:  www.christinasteinerwriter.com

Thank you for dropping by and it would be great if you could spread the news of these authors and their books. thanks Sally

If you have a new release or a fantastic review please let me know and I will find the most effective promotion to feature you in. sally.cronin@moyhill.com

 

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Ancestry DNA Results, Ultimate Bucket List and Black Cats


Welcome to the weekly round up and my posts from the week that you might have missed.

It has been a quiet week with lots of rain but instead of complaining as we usually do here in Ireland there has been a recognition of how lucky we are not to be living on Islands and low lying coastal regions of the United States. Each day brings more news of devastation and loss of life and we all hope that that this present set of storms will die away soon.

As always my thanks to guests and long-term contributors such as William Price King, Paul Andruss and to Julie Lawford and Carol Taylor who have been lighting up the blog with their posts. Julie finishes her summer of lifestyle posts next week, but we hope she will come back soon with another series. Carol is going from strength to strength and we hope you love our collaboration as much as we do.

Another series coming to an end is Geoff Cronin’s stories on Saturday and Sunday with the last, and most poignant one to us, this morning. it is nearly seven months since Geoff died and yet it only seems like yesterday that we were laughing at Bradley Walsh on The Chase. I know that if he is able to see the comments you have left on his posts, he would be delighted. So thank you on his behalf.

My thanks to Marsha Ingrao for her guest post sharing her visit to Maui. What an amazing place. I love Hawaii.. and it might just go on my bucket list to visit again… see the next item!

New Series

From next week there will be a new series beginning on Sunday. Time for a new theme to the Author Interview and this time it is The Ultimate Bucket List and you can find all the details in this post.

I am looking to find out more about your top two ambitions to complete before you die… a long time in the future I hope of course.  This is about you… and even if it is a wish to bring about global change, you will need to convince us that you have given thought to the why, the how and the when. Take a read and if you would like be on the guest list, my email address is in the post.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/09/05/new-sunday-show-interview-series-the-ultimate-bucket-list-a-test-run-with-sally-cronin/

I am also inviting all of you who might have posts of recipes that have involved natural, fresh ingredients to share with us and get some promotion for you blog and books at the same time.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/09/04/cooking-from-scratch-2017-guest-post-invitation-to-those-who-love-to-cook-fresh-food/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/09/04/cooking-from-scratch-2017-guest-post-invitation-to-those-who-love-to-cook-fresh-food/

And here are the other posts that you might have missed.

William Price King meets some Legends is back with a brand new series this Wednesday. Be prepared to swivel those hips as you enjoy the life and music of Sir Tom Jones.

Writer in Residence – my review for Thomas the Rhymer and two FREE books.

Thomas the Rhymer Paul Andruss

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/09/08/writer-in-residence-paul-andruss-my-review-for-thomas-the-rhymer-and-free-downloads/

Milestones along the way by Geoff Cronin

The buying and renovations of a family home in Waterford.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/09/09/milestones-along-the-way-the-saga-of-selby-and-snippets-by-geoff-cronin/

The story of how Geoff met Joan his wife of 50 years.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/09/10/milestones-along-the-way-how-i-met-her-by-geoff-cronin/

Lifestyle and guest posts by Julie Lawford.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/09/07/smorgasbord-health-2017-guest-post-on-getting-away-with-it-by-julie-lawford/

Cook from scratch with Sally and Carol Taylor

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/09/06/smorgasbord-health-2017-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-asparagus/

Author Marsha Ingrao on Maui at the Ka ‘Ikena O ‘Iao state park

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/09/05/smorgasbord-guest-post-kalkena-o-lai-state-park-on-maui-by-marsha-ingrao/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/09/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-brigid-p-gallagher-jacquie-biggar-jaye-marie/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/09/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-update-amy-m-reade-seumas-gallacher-and-nicholas-rinth/

Smorgasbord book promotions – Air Your Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/09/05/smorgasbord-book-promotion-air-your-reviews-richard-m-ankers-judith-barrow-and-sacha-black/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/09/07/smorgasbord-book-promotion-air-your-reviews-bette-a-stevens-stevie-turner-and-andrew-joyce/

Some Personal Stuff

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/09/06/a-strange-encounter-this-morning-that-brought-a-smile-to-my-face-cats/

My latest DNA results are in and I now know where I originally began my journey.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/09/08/my-latest-dna-results-are-in-and-i-now-know-where-i-originally-began-my-journey-and-yes-i-am-a-little-bit-viking/

Book Lover’s Tag nominated by Brigid P. Gallacher

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/09/09/book-lovers-tag-for-lovers-of-reading

Odd Jobs and Characters – hosted by Sue Vincent

The latest episode of my series on some of the quirky jobs I have held was hosted by Sue Vincent this week – Stock taking Peas and Ghosts.

Please head over to Sue’s blog to read the post: https://scvincent.com/2017/09/04/guest-author-sally-cronin-the-steak-house-counting-peas-and-a-ghost-story/

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/09/04/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-monday-4th-september-2017-paul-white-john-howell-jennie-fitzkee-paul-andruss/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/09/05/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-tuesday-september-5th-2017lizzie-chantree-debby-gies-olga-nunez-miret-the-story-reading-apediana-wallace-peach/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/09/06/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-wednesday-6th-september-2017the-write-life-lillian-csernica-natalie-ducey-and-toffeefee/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/09/07/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-thursday-7th-september-2017-john-fioravanti-dinasaurs-donkeys-and-ms-herbal-sheila-and-hugh-roberts/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/09/08/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-friday-8th-september-2017-jay-c-wolfe-norah-colvin-d-g-kaye-and-barb-taub/

Smorgasbord Health

Gluten Free products and consumption in the news.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/09/06/smorgasbord-health-2017-food-in-the-news-gluten-free-products-and-health/

Smorgasbord Laughter academy and afternoon videos

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/09/04/the-afternoon-video-do-not-try-this-at-home-in-your-paddling-pool/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/09/05/smorgasbord-laughter-academy-archives-one-liners-part-five-and-some-snippets/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/09/07/smorgasbord-laughter-academy-one-liners-part-six-and-some-snippets/

Thank you so much for joining me this week and contributing by liking, commenting and sharing.. I really am very grateful… Thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Monday 4th September 2017 – Paul White, John Howell, Jennie Fitzkee and Paul Andruss


Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome back to Blogger Daily which was on a break last week as we worked through the playlist from the party.

My first post today is from Paul White from Wild Geese Travel.. not a travel agent but a free agent, who enjoys exploring England, Scotland and Wales. This post is about the wonderful ageless village of Beamish, an open air museum, where you can visit the environment, sights and sounds of the last two centuries. As you walk through the streets of Beamish and its surroundings you will find a working 1940s farm, houses from the 1820s and 1900 pit cottages.. A great deal more to see.

Because I live in England and generally travel abroad whenever I can, most of my travel writings are of places far from my home.

The places I consider close, such as Wales and Scotland, I rarely consider as a holiday or vacation, even though much of these countries are closer to my house than some parts of England.

This is not to say I do not ‘get out and about’ frequently. But what I have been remiss in doing is sharing some of the places I visit.

For me, many of these ‘near-places’ are simply a day out. But if you are visiting England, many would make wonderful destinations, so I shall include various locations in England which I would recommend on a personal level.

Head over and discover this wonderful open air museum and the wonders it contains: https://wildgeesetravel.wordpress.com/2017/08/30/closer-to-home/

We have all been horrified by the newspaper and television coverage of the loss of life and the ongoing crisis in Texas.. John Howell, whose home is on the Texas coast is safe inland but this post reflects the fact that life is more important than possessions and pays tribute to all the first responders who are risking their lives 24/7… Thanks John, Stella, Lucy and Bailey.. so happy you are all safe and well…

Stella

“Okay, John. Let’s chat.”

“Alright, Stella. What do you want to talk about?”

“Being a refugee.”

“We are not refugees. We are evacuees.”

Read the rest of the post: https://johnwhowell.com/2017/08/31/thursday-a-little-personal-fur-kids-in-exile/

The next post which I thought was brilliant was from Jennie Fitzkee. Jennie is a pre-school teacher of over 30 years experience and I have often featured her posts on how to engage young children with reading and books. The teachers have returned to school before their students and are working on their programmes for the coming term. Jennie shares an earlier post of hers which outlines the methodology needed to teach young minds to allow them to translate their thoughts into images and artwork.  So next time you are a little unsure of what your child has drawn.. remember this post.

Today was the first day back to school for teachers. You’d think that I would be drained and overwhelmed with all the teacher work that needs to be done.

Nope. Not at all. We talked about growing; both children and ourselves as teachers. We watched a flower bloom. We listened to a TED Talk on children learning. The message encouraged learning by challenging children. What if? and Why not? questions are critical. Ask, question, learn.

The very first thing I wrote as a teacher thirty years ago spoke to the same subject:

Process Vs Product

When your child proudly shows you his/her art creation, and you can’t even begin to see or guess at what your child has made (“Oh, that’s a boat? I thought it was a penguin!”), trust that his/her finished product is far better than if it really looked like a boat. How can that be? Isn’t something that looks like a boat better than something that doesn’t look like a boat? Absolutely not!

Head over and read the rest of this post, especially if you have a young child heading to pre-school or primary..https://jenniefitzkee.com/2017/08/28/the-important-things-dont-change/

Thomas the Rhymer Paul Andruss

Paul Andruss has written a companion piece to Friday’s post here on Smorgasbord.. It explores the rivalry and resulting battles between the old and the young pretenders and between seasons that have been told and retold for centuries and sometimes thousands of years.

This is a companion to The Dancing Floor on Glastonbury Tor featured on Sally Cronin’s stupendous Smorgasbord blog

I am fortunate to have artist Jane Brideson’s  beautiful art work illustrating the post (full details below)

 

The myth of a young successor murdering the old king was discussed in Sir James Frazer’s scholarly work ‘The Golden Bough’. From time immemorial it was a core belief in the mythologies of many different cultures across the Mediterranean world.

The idea perhaps reflects the way bucks battle the old dominant male for territory and breeding rights in spring and autumn. It might also explain rebellious teenagers. Boys invariably direct their resentment to the father and girls to the mother.

It led Sigmund Freud to postulate the Oedipus Complex, the son’s desire to replace the father in his mother’s affections (from the Greek myth of the foundling Oedipus who unwittingly murdered his birth father, the king, and married his mother); and the Electra Complex (she plotted revenge when her mother murdered her father). But let’s save the minefield of psychoanalysis for another day.

In the section called ‘The Battle of Summer and Winter – the Killing of The Tree Spirit’, Frazer examined parallel myths involving the rivalry between brothers such as Cain and Abel, or the twin founders of Rome: Romulus and Remus, which he saw as a battle between the spirit of summer and winter typified by the evergreen holly and the summer oak. At the midwinter Yule feast, the Holly King is at his strongest, while the Oak King is weak. The Oak King only begins to regain his power after the Spring Equinox with the coming of the New Year at May Day.

Head over and enjoy finding out more about sibling rivalry and ancient battles of will and with sword: http://www.paul-andruss.com/the-holly-and-the-oak-king/

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

Smorgasbord Reblog – Fantastic Beasts Four – The Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger) by Paul Andruss


Thylacine (Cryptic Images)

The Thylacine or Tasmanian Tiger was not a tiger but the largest surviving marsupial predator in modern Australia, and its outlying islands of Tasmania and New Guinea.

It was called a ‘tiger’ because it had stripes across its lower back which faded with age. It was also called the Tasmanian Wolf, which seems a more likely description given its looks. It does superficially resemble a dingo, being much the same size and colouring. The dingo is a domestic dog (sub-species of the Grey Wolf) introduced to Australia some 40,000 years ago by the people now considered the aboriginal (as in original) settlers.

Thylacine & dingo Comparison (Brown University)

Thylacine skulls were used once used in comparative anatomy examinations because they are virtually indistinguishable from a wolf. This is an example of convergent evolution where two unrelated animals with similar lifestyles closely resemble each other. In truth Thylacines could not be more unrelated to dingoes and wolves as they are marsupials, like the majority of native Australian mammals. The Thylacines closest living relative is the Tasmanian Devil.

Comparison of Wolf and Thylacine skulls (from Wikipedia)

Around 170 million years ago, during the dinosaur dominated Jurassic, primitive mammals diverged into placental and marsupial. It was once believed placental mammals had an advanced reproduction system and we out competed marsupials. These days both methods are considered equally effective. Extinction is often a matter of environmental change and bad luck.

Placentals are us, dogs, cats, sheep, cows, elephants, whales: almost everything in fact. The females have specialised wombs allowing them to extend pregnancy until the foetus is almost fully developed. We placentals evolved in China and spread through the rest of the world where marsupials became extinct, leaving us dominant.

Head over and read the rest of this fascinating post: http://www.paul-andruss.com/fantastic-beasts-where-to-4/

And you might also like to buy the book that has been recently published by childrens author Aleesah Darlison: https://www.amazon.com/Stripes-Forest-Story-Last-Thylacine-ebook/dp/B01KJ4F27M

You can find all of Paul’s post written for Smorgasbord and also treasures from his archives: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/writer-in-residence-writer-paul-andruss/

Writer in Residence – And to bring the party to a close – Home Thoughts From Abroad by Paul Andruss


Paul Andruss takes his role of Writer in Residence very seriously thank goodness, and he did an amazing job with the pre-party preparation.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/21/smorgasbord-invitation-to-end-of-summer-party-26th-28th-august-lets-dance-with-paul-andruss/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/25/smorgasbord-invitation-to-end-of-summer-party-august-26th-28th-far-from-this-thing-by-paul-andruss/

Now it is time to start the clear up and gather up the remaining guests who are lingering in the garden, for a final dance and fond farewells… you know some people they never know when to leave!

Paul has a few words he would like to share and I would like to add my thanks to all of you who turned up and shared your music favourites, food, links and alcohol.. always graefully received.. now over to the scribe.

Home Thoughts From Abroad

…And now pop-pickers!

Eh! Eh! Eh! I’m not deaf you know!

What do you mean, who put you in charge of the disco?

The way I sing just be grateful it’s not a karaoke machine!

It’s almost the end of the party and time to get emotional and a little reflective. So grab your partner and dance so close it’s like your life depended on it. And if your partner is no longer here, don’t be ashamed to dance by yourself and whisper all your thoughts, as if you were whispering in their ear.

This beautiful love song of longing, regret and hope, evokes the great romantic poets of the 18th century: Byron, Shelly, Keats, and of course Robert Browning who famously wrote the original poem that begins…

Oh, to be in England
Now that April’s there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware…

Home Thoughts From Abroad by Clifford T Ward

I could be a millionaire if I had the money
I could own a mansion, no I don’t think I’d like that
But I might write a song that makes you laugh, now that would be funny
And you could tell your friends in England you’d like that
But now I’ve chosen aeroplanes and boats to come between us
And a line or two on paper wouldn’t go amiss
How is Worcestershire?
Is it still the same between us?
Do you still use television to send you fast asleep?
Can you last another week?
Does the cistern still leak?
Or have you found a man to mend it?
Oh, and by the way, how’s your broken heart?
Is that mended too?
I miss you
I miss you,
I really do.

I’ve been reading Browning, Keats and William Wordsworth
And they all seem to be saying the same thing for me
Well I like the words they use, and I like the way they use them
You know, Home Thoughts From Abroad is such a beautiful poem
And I know how Robert Browning must have felt
‘Cause I’m feeling the same way about you
Wondering what you’re doing and if you need some help
Do I still occupy your mind?
Am I being so unkind?
Do you find it very lonely
Or have you found someone to laugh with?
Oh, and by the way, are you laughing now?
‘Cause I’m not,
I miss you
I miss you,
I really do.
I really do.

Clifford T Ward (1944 –2001) was a British singer-songwriter who became a teacher after deciding he better get a proper job to support his family. He wrote Home Thoughts From Abroad before he trained as a teacher while touring US Army Bases in France with his band. As he famously said in one of his concerts, ‘This is a song I wrote for my missus while working abroad.’

In 1987 Ward was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and cared for at home by his ‘missus’ Pat. In 1995 he recorded his last album, even though he on some days he had to crawl on his hands and knees into the recording studio. In 2001, Ward died in Kidderminster Hospital of pneumonia aggravated by his condition. He was 57.

Here is Clifford T. Ward with Gaye and you can buy his albums: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Clifford-T.-Ward/e/B002E4LGPI

Thank you Paul for bringing the party to a close in such a wonderful way and thank you all for dropping in and sharing this weekend’s rave with us.

Thomas the Rhymer Finn Mac Cool

You can find out more about Paul and read all the posts so far: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/writer-in-residence-writer-paul-andruss/

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – End of Summer Parties, Great guests and Music


Good morning from Ireland and you might wonder what the round up is doing here at just after midnight on a Monday morning. After the first two party days of the rave on the blog I thought it might be better sent out after the revellers had gone home. However, there appear to be some who are in not just a time zone of their own but a world of their own.

It has been an amazing weekend and wonderful to see so many bloggers from the last four years dropping in with their links and music requests. So many requests in fact that I will be scheduling a couple of music posts later in the week for the tracks that I could not feature over the three days. Including of course everyone’s links and books etc.. Still time for you to put yours into the final party post later today.

 

If you head over to the posts you will see that my book Just an Odd Job Girl is FREE for the weekend.. You will need to email me for a copy sally.cronin@moyhill.com and let me know if you would like a mobi for Kindle or epub for all other devices.

Also this week I will be introducing the new series of the author interviews. As always I have changed the theme and I will be interviewing myself to give you an idea of the format. I hope that you will be tempted to participate even if you have been interviewed before.

My thanks to my guests this week. William Price King and Paul Andruss for their regular weekly valued contributions and also to Carol Taylor and Julie Lawford who have become very popular guest in the last few weeks.

I need to get some sleep before the party post goes out at 10.00am.  so without further ado… here are the posts that you might have missed during the week.

Just a reminder of my recommended author services, design, formatting, publishing, illustration, translation and promotion.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/22/author-services-and-promotion-sites-4/

Summer Jazz with William Price King – the 1990’s with Tony Bennett

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/23/smorgasbord-summer-jazz-2017-william-price-king-meets-tony-bennett-the-1990s/

Writer in Residence Paul Andruss get’s the party started.

Thomas the Rhymer

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/21/smorgasbord-invitation-to-end-of-summer-party-26th-28th-august-lets-dance-with-paul-andruss/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/25/smorgasbord-invitation-to-end-of-summer-party-august-26th-28th-far-from-this-thing-by-paul-andruss/

The party posts so far.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/26/smorgasbord-end-of-summer-party-music-dancing-headliners-and-you-and-free-books/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/27/smorgasbord-end-of-summer-party-day-two-three-musketeers-the-a-team-and-free-book/

Milestones along the way by Geoff Cronin – Tales of Waterford and the culture of the 1930s and 1940s – my father-in-law’s final book written at 88.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/26/milestones-along-the-way-the-money-ball-shop-and-snippets-by-geoff-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/27/milestones-along-the-way-the-sailors-mass-waterford-by-geoff-cronin/

Smorgasbord Guest Post – Size Matters by Julie Lawford – How big is your plate and how much are you putting on it?

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/24/smorgasbord-guest-writer-size-matters-by-julie-lawford/

The Odd Jobs and Characters Series- Guest Posts – this week The Cosmetic Department hosted by D.Wallace Peach

Each week I share the story of one of my quirky job that introduced me to the characters that now fill my stories.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/23/smorgasbord-reblog-odd-jobs-and-characters-the-cosmetic-department-hosted-by-d-wallace-peach/

Author and Book promotion – Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/21/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-luanne-castle-teagan-riordain-geneviene-chuck-jackson-and-paul-cude-update/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/25/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-john-maberry-colin-chappell/

New book on the shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/22/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-and-the-whippoorwill-sang-by-micki-peluso/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/23/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-george-washington-from-boy-surveyor-to-soldier-by-gay-ingram/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/24/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-part-of-me-by-deanna-kahler/

Blogger Promotion – Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/21/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-monday-21st-august-2017-robbie-cheadle-yvonne-payne-teri-polend-wallace-peach-and-norah-colvin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/22/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-tuesday-22nd-august-2017-don-massenzio-jena-c-henry-the-recipe-hunter-and-david-prosser/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/23/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-wednesday-23rd-august-charli-millsm-j-mallon-angie-dokos-olga-nunez-miret-story-reading-apeandrew-joyce/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/24/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-thursday-24th-august-2017-colleen-chesebrom-j-mallon-the-story-reading-apeaurora-jean-alexander-lillian-csernica-carolee-croftr-k-lander/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/25/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-friday-august-25th-2017-hugh-roberts-michael-stephen-wills-joann-chateau-and-john-howell/

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air your Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/22/smorgasbord-book-promotion-air-your-reviews-patricia-salamone-d-g-kaye-and-geoff-le-pard/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/24/smorgasbord-book-promotion-air-your-reviews-sarah-brentyn-brigid-p-gallagher-marcia-meara/

I was so delighted to receive two reviews in the same post from Judith Barrow for What’s in a Name volumes one and two.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/24/my-reviews-of-whats-in-a-name-shortstories-and-whats-in-a-name-volume-2-stories-of-life-and-romance-by-sally-cronin-tuesdaybookblog/

Cook From Scratch with Sally and Carol – Carrots from Afghanistan. – The health benefits and wonderful recipes from Carol Taylor

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/23/smorgasbord-health-2017-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-carrots-from-afghanistan/

I was also invited to submit my recipe for brown rice pilaf – Vitamin Supplement on a plate to the Recipe Hunter…And Marjorie Mallon tried it out and sent a photograph..much better than mine and perhaps she might let me use in future.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/22/%ef%bb%bfaugust-guest-13-cook-from-scratch-multi-vitamin-on-a-plate-brown-rice-pilaf-2/

Smorgasbord Health – Preparing for an Operation.

Smorgasbord Health 2017

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/21/smorgasbord-health-2015-peace-of-mind-talking-about-death-and-wills/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/22/smorgasbord-health-2017-preparing-for-an-operation-get-fit-and-make-good-use-of-the-time/

Smorgasbord Pet Health – Herbal Remedies for Pets.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/23/smorgasbord-pet-health-herbal-remedies-for-pets/

Smorgasbord Laughter Academy and Afternoon Videos

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/22/laughter-the-best-medicine-one-liners-part-one/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/24/smorgasbord-laughter-academy-one-liners-to-make-you-ponder-part-two/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/21/the-afternoon-video-do-you-need-to-teach-your-baby-to-crawl-leave-it-to-the-dog/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/25/the-afternoon-video-and-you-thought-teenagers-were-tough-to-get-out-of-bed/

Thank you again for taking the time to visit the blog and you are definitly the reason I keep motivated to show up every day..

 

 

Smorgasbord End of Summer Party – Music, Dancing, Headliners and You…and #Free books


Welcome to three days of activities where I hope to introduce you to some headlining acts who have contributed and supported the blog since the early days in September 2013. These last four years have been such an adventure and I hope that it will continue for many years to come.

However, I have to say a huge thank you to everyone who has dropped in and left their mark on the blog. That interaction has motivated me to keep writing and to continue to build a book promotion site that helps other authors get their books noticed. With hundreds of thousands of new titles each week it is a challenge to grab the spotlight, but I hope that in some small way, I can help with that.

In September I will be increasing the number of opportunities to showcase your work with a new author interview series.. with a difference. Keep an eye out in the next week or so as I shall be interviewing myself so you get an idea of the format.

My experience with most of you reading this, is that you are very modest, and have trouble blowing your own trumpet. So to help you with that, here is a short quiz with one word answers to put in the comments alongside your links. The answers I receive may be used against you in the posts on Sunday and Monday

QUIZ

  • Which is your favourite recording artist or band
  • Pizza or Pasta
  • Favourite Film
  • Person you would most like to meet Dead or Alive.

Then please leave your blog or website, Amazon, Facebook and Twitter Links.

I am all dressed up and ready to go… well if I am honest this photo is a few years old but hey.. it’s my party.  Welcome and come on in.

To get the party started I am going to share a track from my favourite band – Status Quo.. with Looking Out For Caroline and then time to showcase a contributor who has been providing the music content for the blog for the last three years.

It is time to put some people in the spotlight for their long term contribution and support for the blog.

William Price King is an American Jazz singer, composer and musician who I first met t through Twitter, and asked if he would be one of my first interviewees. This elegant artist trained as a classical singer and toured in North America and Europe. Eventually he morphed into jazz smoothly and with great style, and has been entertaining audiences and his fans in the South of France and other European countries for over thirty years. William is also a coach and mentor to a number of young singers who are starting their careers, and will jet off to watch their performances, very proudly I am sure. He has a wonderful family that also includes a world class opera singer and grandchildren who he spends the summers hiking with in the French Alps. Oh and he is a cat lover.

William and his wife Jeanne (who also writes wonderful lyrics for William’s own compositions) have become much loved friends. I am so pleased that we will beginning a brand new series in September with that international, hip swivelling, Welsh sensation, Mr. Tom Jones. You can find all of William’s past series in the archive, and you can perhaps browse that while you listen to this compilation video of William’s incredible performances.

William Price King – A Man and his Music

And before we meet another regular contributer to the blog, here is Robbie Cheadle who has popped in from South Africa to drop off some refreshments.

Perhaps before we meet my other guests today we might have some refreshment courtesy of the lovely Robbie Cheadle who with her son Michael, is the author of the Sir Chocolate series and has provided some excellent guest posts for the blog.

You can buy Robbie and Michael’s books here: https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ

Follow Robbie on her blog that shares post on traditional food, crafts and culture of South Africa and of course amazing recipes to enjoy: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

Please help yourselves and enjoy.

Time to meet another contributor to the blog.

Finn Mac Cool

My next headliner is Paul Andruss who I met through the lovely Sue Vincent, where he had been featured with several of his posts. One thing led to another, and following his first post at the beginning of December last year, Paul accepted the position of Writer in Residence. Paul is a man of many parts… this is not just an observation on his good looks alone or the fact that he does have an odd physical feature… being his green thumb.

If you have watched cookery programmes you will notice that there is a trend to deconstruct everything from strawberry cheesecake to bubble and squeak. Paul does this expertly with myths, legends and the famous and infamous. From the Ancient Greeks to David Bowie he goes behind the story and then reconstructs it to illuminate all the precious nuggets we might have missed before. He has an encyclopedic brain that transcends normal human minds and we are grateful for it along with his wicked sense of humour.

Thomas the Rhymer

He is also a wonderful author, and I read and reviewed his book, Thomas the Rhymer several months ago. I can highly recommend you read this fantasy novel, and it is FREE to download on his site. Also, many of you enjoyed the essays of Horatio Grin recently and that too is an eBook and pdf that is FREE to download. Follow these links to the archives and also to Horatio’s work.

Legend busting and Paul’s bio and links

Horatio’s Essays and FREE book

It is safe to say that I am delighted that I stumbled across this talented writer, legend busting friend who also supplies me with amazing images from his garden for my haiku.(Thank goodness for that green thumb).

Time for a little more music before I introduce you to one or two people who were the first to welcome me to the world of blogging.

Another of my favourite artists and one of the songs that I have sung in some very strange places!! The wonderful Bette Midler

 

Where are they Now!  Part One.

When I first began blogging in September 2013 I was faced with not only a blank page to fill but nobody to share the final post with. Like millions of bloggers there is a period of time when you wonder if anyone is going to notice you…. and then one day you get a like or two that turn into a comment and it is a wonderful feeling. A number of bloggers took me under their wing and are still there in my archives with their early motivational comments they are also now friends and still part of my blogging adventure. Over the next three days I will share them with you and hope you will return the favour and follow them.

So where are those early supporters of the blog today?

Irene of Irene Design 2011 is a wonderful jewelry creator who sells across most of the popular selling sites. Originally from Denmark, she moved to Spain in 2012 with her boyfriend and lives there with her two cats Bølle and Hvide and her dog Odin. Unfortunately earlier this year Irene was very unwell and offline for a number of months. But she is back online now and although she is not back to making jewelry, she has some wonderful pieces that are on sale on various selling sites.

Check on Irene’s fabulous jewelry and get to know her better: https://irenedesign2011.com/2017/08/19/jewelry/

Anne Casey was not only one of my early visitors she was also my first guest writer with a number of articles on her adopted home Australia. Last month Anne published her debut poetry collection ‘where the lost things go’ to great acclaim here in Ireland and she has her Sydney book launch on September 2nd.

Anne Casey’s poems have been published in The Irish Times, The Murmur Journal, The Incubator, Other Terrain, Backstory, Into the Void Magazine, ROPES Literary Journal, The Remembered Arts Journal, Dodging the Rain, Tales from the Forest, Luminous Echoes: A Poetry Anthology, Deep Water Literary Journal, The Blue Nib, Visual Verse: An Anthology of Art and Words and Thank You For Swallowing, among others.

Find out more about Anne and enjoy examples of her poetry: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/smorgasbord-guest-post-writing-all-the-wrong-things-by-anne-casey/

Jo Robinson was also one of the first to encourage me to keep going with my blogging and she has continued to be a wonderful supporter. This despite having a two years that would have extinguished the life in most of us which began with the tragic loss of her husband on Boxing Day. This very warm, funny and supportive author, illustrator and book designer has been challenged on every level, and she now lives on a game ranch in the bush in South Africa. This has come with the very obvious problem of connectivity and with roads out with the rain at times, I mean total lack of connectivity. This has not been great for so many reasons, including trying to establish a book design and formatting business. But, great news that Jo emailed me this week and she is online with a new modem and looking forward to be back communicating with us via our blogs.

I will let Jo tell you a little bit about the last two years in this post: https://africolonialstories.wordpress.com/2017/05/02/better-late-than-never/

More about my long-term friends in tomorrow’s post when you will discover the Three Musketeers! 

Time for some more music and then news of a FREE book.

Dedicated to all of you who take the time to comment, like and share the posts so often Thank you.

In recent weeks I have been sharing a series called Odd Jobs and Characters which shares my misadventures in some of the jobs that I was lucky to be offered. The people that I met and my experiences morphed into my book Just an Odd Job Girl. As part of this celebration I am offering the eBook FREE for the next three days until midnight on Monday 28th.

I am not part of the Kindle select programme and so I do not run free programmes on Amazon but I do like to run the occasional ‘Friends and Family’ promotion. I have in two formats: Mobi for Kindle and Epub for everything else. I am sorry but this time I don’t have a pdf.. but I can recommend https://calibre-ebook.com/ where you can download for FREE and it means you can read on any device.

To get your copy of Just an Odd Job Girl – Email me at sally.cronin@moyhill.com

About the book

Imogen was fifty!

Life is unpredictable and will often throw you a curve ball that knocks you out of the park.

For Imogen this curve ball knocked her out of a twenty five year marriage and a lovingly renovated home into a single life at age 50. She had been a very contented wife and mother of two children, who for every one of those 25 years had thought her husband had been equally as happy. It was a shock to find out that she had been delusional and replaced so easily.

Her confidence was non-existent. She had forgotten any skills she possessed and was totally unprepared to enter the modern job market. Or so she thought.

The most recent review for the book

A Real Tonic!  on 17 July 2017

Once I started reading this book, I couldn’t put it down. Imogen feels betrayed, fat and useless when her husband leaves her. She has to find herself a new job after being out of the workforce for twenty odd years whilst bringing up her children and being a dutiful housewife.

Imogen has an opportunity to reflect on the jobs that she had before her marriage and this is where the fun starts.

Sally is such a wonderful story teller who had me spluttering with laughter and cringing with embarrassment at some of the situations that Imogen finds herself in. The characters in the story are some that you would love to meet or love to hate, so realisticlally are they portrayed.i enjoyed this book immensely.;

You can find more reviews here on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23118708-just-an-odd-job-girl

To get your copy of Just an Odd Job Girl – Email me at sally.cronin@moyhill.com

A reminder of the quiz and about signing the guest book

Here is a short quiz with one word answers to put in the comments alongside your links. The answers I receive may be used against you in the posts on Sunday and Monday

QUIZ

  • Which is your favourite recording artist or band
  • Pizza or Pasta
  • Favourite Film
  • Person you would most like to meet Dead or Alive.

Then please leave your blog or website, Amazon, Facebook and Twitter Links.

Coming up tomorrow... meet more of the wonderful bloggers that came into my life in my first year of blogging with special features on the other two Musketeers… Debby Gies and Tina Frisco..some guest appearances from some of those who were the first to support the blog in the first few months and are still there Janice Spina, Teagan Geneviene, The Story Reading Ape, Ali Isaac and Tess Karlinski... more music and time to get the bottles opened… I hope you will join me again.

And before I sign off a few more guests who are celebrating National Dog Day – they are the proud owners of some pretty great writers, acting as muses, stress consultants, food tasters and bed warmers.Find out all about how you can help dogs and celebrate the day with Tink… special assistant to Madelyn Griffith-Haynie… who wrote a post on the subject today and is here at the party https://addandsomuchmore.com/2017/08/26/august-26th-is-national-dog-day/

See if you can guess which adorable fur family member belongs to which blogger?

And here are some more of my dog guests…

Don’t forget to leave your quiz answers and your links in the comments so that I can share some of your music choices in the post tomorrow with your links.