Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore Update – #Reviews – #Vaudeville Elizabeth Gauffreau, #Scifi #Crime Natalie Cammaratta, #Poetry Colleen M. Chesebro

The first book today with a recent review is Telling Sonny by Elizabeth Gauffreau, a wonderful novel about Vaudeville in the 1920s and the story of life and love on the road. One I can highly recommend.

About Telling Sonny

At nineteen, pretty, vivacious Faby Gagne is still waiting for her life to begin. The time is 1924, the place Enosburg Falls, Vermont. With school over, her time is now occupied with mundane chores and avoiding the crossfire of resentment between her mother and her grandmother.

As the time approaches for the annual vaudeville show to arrive in the village, Faby watches the posters go up with increasing excitement. She is the best kind of audience for the Small Time: she does not discriminate.

When the show comes to the Opera House at last, Faby catches the eye of charming hoofer Slim White, who sets a course for her life that she never could have imagined.

A recent review for the book

Reviewed in the United States on July 21, 2021

If you’ve ever pinned a photo from Tiger Beat to your wall as a young girl, you can relate to Faby Gagne. Though the time is the 1920s, Faby’s star-struck infatuation with small time vaudevillean hoofer, Slim White, is perfectly relateable – except that Faby is a high-school graduate, not a pre-teen. Her naivete is exposed when Slim turns his attentions on her, solely to suit his own purposes.

In Telling Sonny, Gauffreau creates complex and believable characters and evokes a distinct sense of time and place. I adore small-town America and enjoyed following the path of the entertainment circuit of the day. Faby’s experience as an unexpectedly pregnant, married woman – ill-prepared for either role – makes the reader wince in sympathy. We want to prevent her from making these mistakes with her life, but are powerless to do so. And we understand that this sort of situation has been all too common in our nation’s history.

This book is an absorbing read and includes interesting twists up to the end. We find that Faby has found success as a mother, but we are left wondering if she could have found a way to invite more love into her life. Even her equally naïve sister seems to have managed to achieve that much. Though the story is melancholy in many ways, it leaves one feeling hopeful in the end.  

Also by Elizabeth Gauffreau

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – and : Amazon UK – follow Elizabeth: Goodreads – Website/blog: Liz Gauffreau – Family History: Liz Gauffreau – Facebook: Liz Gauffreau – Twitter: @lgauffreau

The next book with a review is the debut novel by  Natalie Cammaratta – Falling and Uprising.

About the book

My star is rising, and I shine. Always.

Serenity Ward is the golden girl of Kaycie. She never questioned her city’s status as the last dry land on earth. The Establishment takes care of its citizens…or so she thought. But now she’s seen the map!

Why would they lie about other islands just beyond the horizon? In a city built on falsehood, figuring out who to trust is its own challenge, but Serenity pulls together a feisty group who all want the same thing—an end to the government which has hidden a world from them.

Bram’s anger drives his own desire for revolution. Being from another island, he was selected to be a brainwashed marshal in service to Kaycie, but he knows what’s going on all too well. Hidden in plain sight, he is ready to draw blood to free the islands. Only dealing with Serenity is the one thing he wasn’t prepared for.

Can two people who were never supposed to meet stop fighting each other long enough to remember who the enemy is?

One of the recent reviews for the book

Ricky and Taryn 5.0 out of 5 stars Top 10 list  Reviewed in the United States on September 13, 2021

I have been a fan of dystopian novels my whole life, from Hunger Games and Divergent to Brave New World. Falling & Uprising hits that sweet spot for me. There’s just enough unknown, enough romance and friendship it has landed itself among my top 10 favorite books/series. A lot of events went in directions that were unexpected and the end was just enough of a cliffhanger to leave you wanting more. Really hating that I have to wait for the next book in the series  

Read the reviews and buy the book:Amazon USAmazon UKFollow Natalie: Goodreads – BookBub: Natalie Cammaratta – Facebook: Natalie Cammaratta – Instagram: Natalie Cammaratta Writes – Twitter: @bynataliecamm

The first author today is Colleen M. Chesebro with a recent review for Word Craft Prose & Poetry. This is another book that I can highly recommend.

About the guide and collection

Are you ready to learn how to craft Japanese and American poetry? Consider this book the first step on your journey to learning the basics of how to craft syllabic poetry. Inside, you will discover many new forms, syllable combinations, and interpretations of the different Japanese and American forms and structures of haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, renga/solo renga, gogyohka, haibun, tanka prose, the cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, nonet, and shadorma poetry.

So… what are you waiting for? Let’s craft syllabic poetry together!

A recent review for the guide and poetry collection on Goodreads

Sep 11, 2021 D.G. Kaye rated it five stars it was amazing
If you’re a lover of poetry and are interested in learning how to write syllabic poetry, or even just as a reader to discover all that’s involved in writing in the various styles of syllabic poetry, this is the book for you. Yes, there are plenty of books written on the subject for sure, but this author has a gift of born ‘teaching’. Her tutorials on how to, as well as great direction in explanations and wonderful use of examples allow us to clearly see what the author is explaining.Syllabic poetry encompasses various styles and syllabic counts with succinct descriptions, from both the English and Japanese style of writing Haiku. The author explains the differences in syllabic counts to various versions of Haiku, as well as teaching us the difference between poetic prose which requires no syllabic count, such as Gogyolka or Tanka Prose. We’ll also learn about many of the various forms of Haiku and Tanka with Haibun, which styles are written from a personal point of view, and writing about nature.

Chesebro takes us through all the various forms of writing syllabic poetry and shares with us the importance of writing poetry, “When we create poetry, we become better writers.” She goes on to explain that we learn from poetry, the brevity of words, urging us to use stronger word choices with minimal words that evoke vivid images. A wonderful guide book to introduce us to the meaning of syllabic poetry and the differences between Japanese and American Haiku. This author runs a weekly poetry challenge that I urge anyone interested in learning to write poetry from the basics and forward to visit her blog.

Also by Colleen M. Chesebro

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US And:Amazon UKGoodreads: Colleen at Goodreads – Website Wordcraft poetryAuthor blog: Colleen Chesebro Twitter: @ColleenChesebro


Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books…. thanks Sally.


Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore Update – #Reviews – #Poetry Colleen M. Chesebro, #psychologicalthriller Lucinda E. Clarke, #Memoir Brigid P. Gallagher

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

The first author today is Colleen M. Chesebro with a recent review for Word Craft Prose & Poetry.

About the guide and collection

Are you ready to learn how to craft Japanese and American poetry? Consider this book the first step on your journey to learning the basics of how to craft syllabic poetry. Inside, you will discover many new forms, syllable combinations, and interpretations of the different Japanese and American forms and structures of haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, renga/solo renga, gogyohka, haibun, tanka prose, the cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, nonet, and shadorma poetry.

So… what are you waiting for? Let’s craft syllabic poetry together!

A recent review for the guide and poetry collection

Jul 26, 2021 Adele Marie Marie rated it five stars

Whether you already write poetry or, like me, want to learn how to create poems, then this book, Word Craft Prose and Poetry by Colleen M Chesebro is the only book you need.
The chapters are introduced with the history of the poetic form which is fascinating and useful. The author takes care to gently introduce you into the world of the form and then gives coherent examples and easily followed instructions.

I adore this workbook and will enjoy trying out all the poetry forms contained inside. 5 stars for Colleen M Chesebro as she works tirelessly to bring poetry into the mainstream showing that, if you wish, you too can write beautiful forms of poetry with words that will lift the spirit or give understanding. Truly a magical book. 

Also by Colleen M. Chesebro

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US And:Amazon UKGoodreads: Colleen at Goodreads – Website Wordcraft poetryAuthor blog: Colleen Chesebro Twitter: @ColleenChesebro

The next author with a recent review is Lucinda E. Clarke  for the psychological thriller – A Year in the Life of Belinda Brand.

A Year in the Life of Belinda Brand by [Lucinda E Clarke]

About the book

Belinda Brand becomes an overnight sensation when Hollywood offers to make a film of her runaway bestseller. A confident, modern woman, she has the world at her feet – and a secret she is convinced no one will ever discover. Leah, her gentle and long-suffering stepmother will guess, but she would never betray her, or would she?

When menacing notes appear after the Awards ceremony in London and then follow her across the Atlantic, Belinda realizes someone is threatening to expose her.

As she struggles to stay calm, her best friend disappears, Belinda’s celebrity life turns into a nightmare and there is no one she can trust.

If the Brand family thought they could lead a quiet, normal life, they were wrong. Danger continues to lurk in the shadows.

A fast-paced, page-turning psychological thriller, full of surprises, twists, and turns.

For fans of Karin Slaughter, Claire McGowan, Valerie Keogh, and Liane Moriarty.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Rebecca H 5.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced and fantastic!  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 July 2021

This is the fourth book in this brilliant series of psychological thrillers. This time it’s Belinda, Leah’s errant stepdaughter who features in the starring role. Amazingly, she has written a bestselling novel and won an award. Fame beckons and soon she is winging her way to LA as the film rights to her book have been sold and she will be fêted as the author.

Ostensibly in charge is her rather devious agent Pamela, who also has her own problems.
Naturally, things were going wrong before Belinda even left London. She had been receiving threatening letters and foolishly believed that she would be safe in America, especially with her friend Rosheen for company. How wrong could she be?

This is another fast paced and well plotted story with so many twists and turns I was quite breathless! I really didn’t want to put this book down at all. Kidnappings, crooks, car chases, sleazy film moguls what a roller coaster of a tale. I loved seeing Leah making an appearance towards the end and let’s hope all’s well that ends well but … who knows with a master storyteller like Lucinda E Clarke in charge. A super series. Highly recommended.

A selection of books by Lucinda E. Clarke

Read the reviews and buy the books : Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Blog: WordPress Lucinda E. Clarke — Follow Lucinda: GoodreadsTwitter: @LucindaEClarke

The final review is for Brigid P. Gallagher for her memoir that shares her experiences and also strategies to overcome chronic illness in Watching for the Daisies.

About the book

Millions of people around the world suffer from fibromyalgia; the majority of them are women. As yet, there is no cure.

In this memoir, Brigid P. Gallagher shares her experiences on:

  • The busy life she followed before succumbing to this debilitating disease
  • Stopping and soul searching for answers to her vast array of symptoms
  • Entering a new life of SLOW

Drawing on her knowledge and experience as a Natural Medicines therapist, she seeks out therapies to aid her healing and integrates a variety of self help techniques and lifestyle changes. She also unearths a love of solo travel including Egypt, India, Rome, Lourdes, Carcassonne and Bali…

Brigid learns many insights about LIFE on her journey, the most valuable being: “First learn to love thyself.”

In 2006, she began a new career in Organic Horticulture eventually teaching part time in schools. Although she has now retired from teaching, she continues to pursue her lifelong passion for gardening and watching the daisies.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Helen Stephenson 5.0 out of 5 stars A healing journey shared Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 July 2021

Watching the Daisies is a gentle description of Brigid’s pursuit of both spiritual and physical healing. Throughout her healing journey she posts little tips, those insights which have been prompted by that phase of her life.

I was delighted when she turned to gardening, a skill which she shared with many children through her work.

Brigid’s family, and her various homes, are described with real love and she delights in describing all the beautiful places she has visited and people she has met.

A gentle read, with a charming guide who is continually adding to her treasure trove of healing knowledge, with a totally open mind.  

Brigid P. Gallagher, Buy: Amazon UK – and: Amazon US – Follow Brigid on : Goodreads – Blog: Watching the Daisies – Twitter: @watchingthedai1


Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with some books..Sally




Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Weekly News – #Reviews – #Fantasy K.M. Allan, #Fantasy C.S. Boyack, #Poetry Colleen M. Chesebro

Welcome to the weekly news with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author today is K.M. Allan with a recent review for Blackbirch: The Dark Half

About the book

Now that the origins of his power have been revealed, Josh Taylor’s search for answers continues with the arrival of Kallie-a girl he thought only existed in his dreams.

Running from her own secrets, she shows Josh how to use his gift in ways he didn’t know were possible. But, as they push the limits of their abilities, they discover there are consequences to messing with magick.

Security guard Kered knows the repercussions. Finding a power-filled crystal, he starts a chain reaction that brings a dangerous foe from Kallie’s past to Blackbirch and forces a devastating choice. Is Josh and Kallie’s bond strong enough to save them? And wi

One of the recent reviews for the book

May 08, 2021 Katya Dibb rated it Four Stars really liked it

After the cliff-hanger of book one, how could you not be hanging out for book two?

Excited to see all the gang again as their adventure deepens and more mystery abounds. A lot of my questions from book one were answered but new ones woven in through an exciting witchy adventure mean I’m now dying for book three – why do you keep doing this do us, K.M?!

Definitely worth picking up if you enjoyed book one and want to know more about the magic that binds Josh and Kallie together 

Also by K.M. Allan

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow K.M. Allan: Goodreads – Instagram: K.M. Allan Writer – Facebook: K.M. Allan Writer – Twitter: @KMAllan_writer

The next author with a review is  C.S. Boyack for Lunar Boogie (The Hat Book 4)

About the book

Lizzie and the hat are back in action, only this time they’re up against the most tragic monster of all, a werewolf.

This adventure is more like hunting an animal, and the werewolf is unlikely to come to any of their musical performances. This puts Lizzie out in the dark corners and wooded areas of the city. It may be more beneficial to get the monster to hunt Lizzie than to stalk him on his own turf. All she has to do is be quicker on the trigger than the wolf is on his feet.

At the same time, the police think they’re after a serial killer. Lizzie tries to keep them alive while also keeping them out of her way. As the body count rises, so do the pressures. It doesn’t help that people are blaming Lizzie and the hat for the killings. This involves an urban myth about them that the locals call Hellpox.

Pull on your boogie shoes and join the hunt. Designed as an afternoon read, this one is tons of supernatural fun.

An recent review for the book

writester 4.0 out of 5 stars Things Just Got Real!  Reviewed in the United States on June 18, 2021

In the latest installment of this must-read series, Boyack upped the stakes. The creature on the loose is a werewolf, which means Lizzie is hunting a mindless killing machine—who is human the rest of the month. That weighs on her conscience. Especially when she fears the monster might be a dear friend.

Boyack also adds a new character to the mix, a detective who talks to the spirit of his dead wife. This is a supernatural franchise, so I can see this becoming a storytelling device, and I’d love to see it develop further as the tales continue.

We get all the elements we’ve come to expect from hat stories: a great musical playlist, witty banter between the hat and Lizzie, Internet jokes, the return of some favorite recurring characters, and even the radio show continues to speculate about their alter ego. These callbacks make each installment of the hat series extra special and more fun to read.

But Lizzie is getting further steeped in the supernatural world, that that comes with dangers and horrors, which means the story gets a little darker. And while I don’t mind dark, readers should know the light-hearted tone they’ve come to expect won’t always be there this time.

Lunar Boogie didn’t end on a cliffhanger, but it definitely told me there was more to come. This world is growing and changing, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

A selection of other books by C.S. Boyack

C. S. Boyack, Buy: Amazon US – and :Amazon UK – Follow Craig: Goodreads – blog:Cold Hand BoyackTwitter: @Virgilante

The final author today is Colleen M. Chesebro with a recent review for Word Craft Prose & Poetry.

About the guide and collection

Are you ready to learn how to craft Japanese and American poetry? Consider this book the first step on your journey to learning the basics of how to craft syllabic poetry. Inside, you will discover many new forms, syllable combinations, and interpretations of the different Japanese and American forms and structures of haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, renga/solo renga, gogyohka, haibun, tanka prose, the cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, nonet, and shadorma poetry.

So… what are you waiting for? Let’s craft syllabic poetry together!

A recent review for the guide and poetry collection

Andrea L. Stoeckel 5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing resource  Reviewed in the United States on June 9, 2021

“Syllabic verse is all about the brevity of words. For this reason, we’re forced to choose words pregnant with meaning to get our experiences across to our reader.”

Poetry is a very personal form of art (Yes, word craft is art) that blossoms from emotional stuff both positive and negative. From the 17th century haiku master Basho to today’s ad jingle we are in contact with it more than we may notice. Syllabic poetry is both easy and hard as Chesbro challenges the reader to look beyond haiku to other forms such as tanka, haibun, renga, cinquain shardoma, nonet and others.

This is a very well written, easily accessible book that if I had the resources would sit on my shelf in paper form. Colleen Chesbro is a writer I have followed and communicated with through Tanka Tuesdays and other forums. I’ve even been prompted to restart my own poetry journey [ note I am an award winning poet on my own merits published in 2 anthogies in the 1980s and 90s]. I love the fact that this book being a non fiction contemporary look at a very old form of art as communication also reminds the reader to keep trying. one of the best non fiction books I have read this year and highly recommended. 5/5 

Also by Colleen M. Chesebro

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US And:Amazon UKGoodreads: Colleen at Goodreads – Website Wordcraft poetryAuthor blog: Colleen Chesebro Twitter: @ColleenChesebro


Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you are leaving with some books.. Sally.


Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors 2021 – #Poetry Colleen M. Chesebro, #Scifi Teri Polen, #Paranormal Stevie Turner,

Over the summer I will be updating author’s details in the Cafe and Bookstore and also sharing their bios, books and recent reviews with you in this series…

Meet Colleen M. Chesebro

Colleen M. Chesebro is a Michigan Poet who loves crafting syllabic poetry, flash fiction, and creative fiction and nonfiction. Colleen sponsors a weekly poetry challenge, called Tanka Tuesday, on where participants learn how to write traditional and current forms of syllabic poetry.

Along with JulesPaige, Colleen is also a co-editor of “Word Weaving, a Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse,” at The debut issue of this journal will publish in October 2021.

Colleen’s syllabic poetry has appeared in various other online publications. Recently, she created the Double Ennead, a 99-syllable poetry form for Carrot Ranch. Colleen’s poetry has poetry in various anthologies and journals including “Hedgerow-a journal of small poems,” and “Poetry Treasures,” a collection of poetry from the poet/author guests of Robbie Cheadle on the “Treasuring Poetry” blog series on “Writing to be Read” in 2020.

Colleen published “Word Craft: Prose & Poetry, The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry,” which illustrates how to write various syllabic poetry forms used in her Tanka Tuesday challenges; and a collection of poetry, flash fiction, and short stories called, “Fairies, Myths & Magic: A Summer Celebration,” dedicated to the Summer Solstice. She contributed a short story called “The Changeling,” in the “Ghostly Rites Anthology 2020,” published by Plaisted Publishing House.

Books by Colleen Chesebro

One of the recent reviews for Word Craft: Prose and Poetry

May 21, 2021 M.J. Mallon rated it Five Stars it was amazing

This is a comprehensive guide covering both American and Japanese poetry including Haiku, Senryu, Haiga, Tanka, Gogyohka, Haibun, Renga, Crapsey Cinquain Etheree, Nonet, Shadorma, and variations, as well as examples of all the forms and recaps to refresh the memory too.

It is written in such a way that it is easy to understand and get the most from.

The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry begins with an introduction to how Colleen’s journey began – her poetry community, and goes on to discuss definitions of “meter, syllable, and stresses,” and the hard work required to find your creative soul. She suggests ways to encourage creativity, and talks about figurative language too.

It is clear that author Colleen Chesebro has put her heart and soul into this guide and loves helping others to be the best poets they can be. She runs a wonderful community of poets with weekly prompts, (which again must be an incredible amount of work,) and is now expanding her repertoire to include online submissions to her poetry venture with poet JulesPaige. Colleen is also a co-editor of “Word Weaving, a Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse,” at more about that below in her Bio.

What an incredible amount of work, dedication and research has gone into this book and into everything that Colleen Chesebro does.

It is a wonderful resource for both new students of poetry to learn and to refer to whilst writing poetry and for old hands, (such as me,) to jog our memories and to avoid making careless mistakes about the forms!

There is a bibliography at the end with the names/links/detail of all the poets who have contributed to the anthology. I’m delighted that my #Garland #Cinquain poem is included amongst this section along with so many awesome contributions from poetry community members.

My recommendation: This is a fabulous book, and one that Colleen Chesebro should be very proud of.

5 stars. I’ll be buying a paperback to use as a resource. 

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US And:Amazon UKGoodreads: Colleen at Goodreads – Website Wordcraft poetryAuthor blog: Colleen Chesebro Twitter: @ColleenChesebro

Meet Teri Polen

Teri Polen reads and watches horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. The Walking Dead, Harry Potter, and anything Marvel-related are likely to cause fangirl delirium. She lives in Bowling Green, KY with her husband, sons, and black cat. Sarah, her debut novel, was named a horror finalist in the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Books by Teri Polen

One of the recent reviews for Subject 36

Feb 23, 2021 Jacquie rated it Five Stars it was amazing  · 

When young Asher Solomon is forced to take his two sisters and run for their lives from soldiers of The Colony, he knows inside he’ll likely never see his parents again. And then his sister falls, injuring her ankle, and he knows all their lives are about to change forever.

Years later, Asher is an operative with the insurgents, fighting to protect civilians from The Colony.

Now that scientists have figured out a way to rid the population of diseases and therefore lengthen lives, the echelons of society pay them to strip the desirable genes such as favored eye or hair color, intelligence, or strength from captured civilians, leaving the hostages to die horrible deaths.

Twenty years ago, a few years before my birth, scientists developed and perfected the process of gene editing in embryos, which changed the futures of the unborn population. Genomes that carried both life-threatening and non-life-threatening diseases could be altered before a fetus was born. Changing the DNA of an embryo, or germline engineering, meant genes for that disease would never be passed down to any subsequent offspring.
Subject A36- Teri Polin

Ash and his team work hard, and often endangering their lives, to protect the outliers and their families. When a terrible secret comes to light, Asher is tested in ways he never could have expected.

I’d learned that promises were like a beacon in a storm—things to cling to and place our hopes in
Subject A36- Teri Polin

There are so many layers to this story, it gripped my attention from the start and kept my interest to the end. The author created a believable- though horrifying- concept for the future of mankind. I can only hope there are brave heroes like Asher ready to save the day should this come to pass!

A must-read, I can’t wait for the next book in this series!

Read the reviews and buy the books : Amazon US – And:Amazon UK – Follow Teri: Goodreads – website: Teri PolenTwitter: @Tpolen6

Meet Stevie Turner

Stevie Turner is a British author of romantic suspense, humour, paranormal stories, and women’s fiction family dramas. She is a cancer survivor, and still lives in the same picturesque Suffolk village that she and husband Sam moved to in 1991 with their two boys. Those two boys have now grown, and she and Sam have 5 lovely grandchildren.

One of her short stories, ‘Lifting the Black Dog’, was published in ‘1000 Words or Less Flash Fiction Collection’ (2016). Her screenplay ‘For the Sake of a Child’ won a silver award in the Spring 2017 Depth of Field International Film Festival, and her novel ‘A House Without Windows’ gained interest in 2017 from De Coder Media, an independent film production company based in New York. ‘Finding David’ reached the quarter-finals of the 2019 ScreenCraft Cinematic Short Story Competition.

A small selection of books by Stevie Turner

One of the recent reviews for Finding David

Mar 05, 2021 Patricia E Yarian rated it five stars it was amazing

There are those with a very special gift. The gift to “see”. There are also those that don’t welcome that special gift…but here, the telling of the story is because of the gift..

David, a young boy is “lost”. Taken by a nasty evil see David won’t be back ..except thru the gift and a Spirit Guide. Even though the Guide has informed the psychic that yes, David has grown and isn’t the 9yr old that he was at time of abduction, he presents his spiritual self as that 9yr old in order to be recognized by his mother…

I can continue on, but I’ll end up blabbing the whole story to you! And we don’t want to spoil your reading pleasure…..what I will say is this…

Go ahead, grab a bit cuppa java juice, a snack and settle in with your feet up and enjoy the story!!  

Read the reviews and buy the books : Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Stevie : Goodreads blog: Stevie Turner on WordPress – Twitter: @StevieTurner6


Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books… thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Thursday 11th February 2021 – #Poetry Colleen M. Chesebro, #Photography Miriam Hurdle, #Italian Stella Lucente

A small selection of posts that I have enjoyed in the last few days and I hope you will head over to enjoy in full..

The first post is a reminder about Colleen Chesebro’s poetry challenge which this week is synonyms only with a format of your choice withing the diverse choices Colleen suggests. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned poet, it is a great way to create wonderful verse.

Head over to get all the details: Colleen Chesebro’s #Tanka Tuesday Challenge 212 – Synonyms Only

The next post is from Miriam Hurdle and shares the transformation of photographs to unexpected favourites when revisited.

Lens-Artists Challenge #134 – From Forgettable to Favorite

This week for Lens-Artists Challenge #134, Tina invited us to show a few images that may not have met our original expectations but that through editing we’ve turned into “keepers”. I turned two originals into three edited photos. The originals are at the end of the post.

The small Alcatraz island in San Francisco was once a fort, a military prison, and a maximum-security federal penitentiary. The prison is famous because no prisoner had ever successfully escaped. The 1966 American action thriller film The Rock was filmed at this site. The film, stars Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage and Ed Harris, is about the eighty-one civilians on a tour of Alcatraz. During the tour, Marine General Francis Xavier Hummel takes the civilians hostage with the help of other Marines. He threatens the F.B.I. to launch the VX rockets. The F.B.I. is forced to resort to John Patrick Mason, an ex-con who broke out of Alcatraz in 1962, to break into Alcatraz to defuse the launch.

Head over to discover the photographs that received some TLC to become amazing images: Lens-Artists Challenge #134 – From Forgettable to Favorite with Miriam Hurdle

And the third post today is from a new blog to me that I have bookmarked.. Italy is one of the places that we have not visited in Europe so far and I have been learning a little Italian with my online course, but this blog looks like a great resource for not only the language but Italy as a country and destination. And as it is Valentine’s day on Sunday….I will hand you over to Stella Lucente

Italian Phrases We Use EVERY Day! How to say, “I feel…” on Valentines Day with “Sentirsi”

Buon giorno a tutti! How do you feel about Valentines Day? Is Valentines Day an important holiday for you? Does the thought of Valentines Day bring the same feelings as it did when you were younger?

If you want to express your feelings in Italian this Valentines Day, the verb sentirsi is essential! This verb is a part of many commonly used phrases in Italian.

As I’ve said before in this blog series, I believe that “commonly used phrases” are the key for how we can all build fluency in any language in a short time.

If we learn how to incorporate “commonly used phrases” when we talk about how we feel in Italian with the verb sentirsi, we will be able to communicate with the same complexity as we do in our native language!

Head over to discover more about Valentine’s Day, walking tours and also the phrasebook that you can take on your holiday: Italian – How to say I feel on Valentine’s Day


Thanks for visiting and I hope you will head over to read these posts in full.. thanks Sally.


Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors – #Poetry Balroop Singh, #Family Christa Polkinhorn, #Poetry Colleen M. Chesebro

There are over 150 authors in the Cafe and Bookstore and I wanted to keep it to key pieces of information such as buying links, recent review, website and covers. However, I know that readers also like to know more about the background of authors.

In this series during June and July I will share the bios of all the authors in the cafe in a random selection. I hope that this will introduce you to the authors in more depth and encourage you to check out their books and follow them on their blog and Twitter.

Meet Balroop Singh

Balroop Singh, a former teacher, an educationalist, a blogger, a poet and an author always had a passion for writing. The world of her imagination has a queer connection with realism. She could envision the images of her own poetry while teaching the poems. Her dreams saw the light of the day when she published her first book: ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life.’ She has always lived through her heart.

She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. She lives in Danville, California.


One of the recent reviews for Moments we Love on Goodeads

May 26, 2020 Smitha Vishwanath rated it Five Stars

Like the name suggests, ‘Moments we love,’ is a book that captures moments in life where the beautiful feeling of love exists. The book is divided into three sections – Moments of love, Moments of Harmony and Moments that make Life. Before each section is a beautiful personal quote – not more than three lines that sets the tone of the section. The poems follow the free-verse style and are not punctuated making the reading easy. There is a tenderness in each poem which reflects the poet’s nature. Even when the poet is angry about love being bitter, the feelings change but the tone is still gentle and sounds more like a learning. There is an absence of hatred but the presence of an inner strength. The book cover sets the tone of the poems.

If love was a three-dimension object, the poet has covered every side, every angle and every surface – the feeling of first love, the yearning, the doubts that one has when one is in love, the rift (there is a poem by the same name), the memories are some of the themes under the first section – Moments we love.

There is a equal mix of romanticism and rebelliousness in the poems. The poems are a light read and can be read by non-poets as well.

Balroop Singh, Buy: Amazon US – and : Amazon UK – Follow Balroop on: Goodreads – blog:Balroop Singh on WordPress – Twitter: @BalroopShado

Meet Christa Polkinghorn.

Born and raised in Switzerland, I have always had the desire to explore the world outside of my beautiful but tiny country. I traveled in Europe, China, Japan as well as South America. Now, I live and work as writer and translator in southern California. My interest in foreign cultures informs my work and my novels take place in several countries. I published a volume of poetry (The Path of Fire). Now, I write and publish contemporary fiction with a focus on family drama/love stories (The Family Portrait trilogy) and family drama/suspense (The Wine Lover’s Daughter series). Aside from writing and traveling, I am an avid reader and a lover of the arts, dark chocolate, and red wine.

A selection of books by Christa Polkinghorn

One of the recent reviews for The Italian Sister

Kindle Customer LL 5.0 out of 5 stars Who wouldn’t want to live in Tuscany on a vineyard? Reviewed in the United States on February 21, 2020

Nice storyline with a Tuscan backdrop. Makes the reader feel they are with the lead character. Very enjoyable. Interesting into On wine production.

Christa Polkinhorn, Buy: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – follow Christa : Goodreads – blog: Christa Polkinhorn – Twitter: @cpolkinhorn

Meet Colleen M. Chesebro

Colleen M. Chesebro is an American Novelist & Poet who loves writing paranormal fantasy and magical realism, cross-genre fiction, syllabic poetry, and creative nonfiction. She loves all things magical, which may mean she is experiencing her second childhood—or not. That part of her life hasn’t been decided yet.

A few years ago, a mystical experience led her to renew her passion for writing poetry and storytelling. Colleen sponsors a Syllabic Poetry Challenge on her blog where participants can learn how to write traditional and current forms of Haiku, Senryu, Haiga, Tanka, Gogyoka, Tanka Prose, Haibun, Cinquain, Etheree, Nonet, and Shadorma poetry.

Colleen is a Sister of the Fey, where she pursues a pagan path with her writing. Colleen won the “Little and Laugh” Flash Fiction Contest sponsored by the Carrot Ranch Literary Community in November 2017. In 2018, she won first place for the “Twisted Travel” category. In 2019, she placed second for the Three Act Story category, with her piece called “The Game.”

Colleen lives in Arizona with her husband. When she is not writing, she is reading. She also enjoys gardening and crocheting old-fashioned doilies into works of art.
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Books by Colleen M. Chesebro

An extract from a  recent review for Fairies, Myths & Magic

Jan 03, 2020 H.R.R. Gorman rated it it was amazing

As expected, this book is full of sugary sweetness and seasonally inspired poetry and shorts. The haibuns, as a whole, were really thoughtful and calming.

Another reason I was interested in this book has an interesting take on the world, cultures, and human relationships with nature. Written with a loving outlook on magic and paganism, its messages are a far cry from my own upbringing and beliefs, but I still very much enjoyed the educational/learning aspect. Colleen included several mythological teaching moments that makes the book rather accessible to a wide audience. Regardless of your own faith or lack thereof, her book is a gentle way to imbibe a different world view.

Speaking of gentle, the general tone was gentle and relaxing. The hotness and splendor of summer was definitely the star of the show, and the inclusion of many fairies was adorable.

Colleen Chesebro, Buy: Amazon US –  And:Amazon UK   –   Goodreads: Colleen at Goodreads –  Website:Colleen Chesebro – Twitter: @ColleenChesebro

Thank you for joining me today for this series and I will be sharing another three authors and their work every weekday during June and July. It would be great if you could share. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Poetry – Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge #Etheree – The Circle of Life

This week in  Colleen Chesebro Tanka Tuesday Poetry No 162 – Theme Prompt Colleen has offered us a theme – The Circle of Life. 

Etheree – The Circle of Life

frozen ground
dormant for months,
stir in the rich soil,
absorbing nutrients
that enable them to grow
strong enough to push through the earth,
vibrant and colourful in sunlight;
the circle of life in all its glory.

©Sally Cronin 2020

If you would like to participate in this week’s challenge here is the link again: Colleen Chesebro Tanka Tuesday Poetry No 162 – Theme Prompt

You can find recent reviews for my latest release and other books: Sally’s books and reviews 2019/2020

Amazon £3.50 :Amazon UK

Amazon US $4.53: Amazon US

Thanks for dropping by and your feedback is always very welcome.. thanks Sally.


Smorgasbord Poetry – Colleen’s Tuesday Tanka Poetry Challenge – Butterfly Cinquain  – Symbol of our Love by Sally Cronin

This week on Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 158 we have a photo prompt which was selected by last month’s winner Merrill D. Smith.. and a stunning one it is too.

Butterfly Cinquain  – Symbol of our Love

Blood red
the blossom sits
on the melting platter,
waiting to be bathed in blue heat
and wax.
The symbol of our love and joy
will be immortalised,
flowering for
all time.

©Sally Cronin 2019

If you would like to participate in this lovely weekly challenge then please head over to Colleen’s for all the details: Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 158 photo prompt

My thanks to Colleen for kindly including my latest release this week in her new poetry bookstore Tanka Poetry bookstore

Amazon £3.50:Amazon UK

And $4.53Amazon US

Thank you for dropping in today and as always your feedback is very welcome..Sally.


Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Tuesday 26th November 2019 – #Thanksgiving #Soup Linda Lee Greene, #PotatoCake John Rieber, #SnackPlate Home is Where the Boat Is, #Poetry Colleen M. Chesebro

Over the next few days including on Thursday, I hope to share some of the Thanksgiving posts going out in the community.. And I have a lovely treat for you in the form of a delicious soup that you might like to make before Thursday to enjoy with your family and friends. Posted by Linda Lee Greene, here is a Farm House Cheese Recipe.

Winter, and especially the high-holiday season that is winter’s centerpiece, brings with it for me an air of nostalgia, a wistfulness for the Thanksgiving Days of old, the days when at the end of a long country lane, the white square farmhouse of my maternal grandparents came into view, and within its walls my large family would soon gather around an immense table groaning with a homegrown Thanksgiving meal. With the elapsing of time, the torch has passed to my aunts and uncles, and then to the members of my generation. The work of keeping the traditions of our family alive and well continues to be handed down. This Thanksgiving my immediate family will gather at the home of my daughter, Elizabeth, the person who often as not, has hosted our celebration for several years. I am so grateful for the young people of my family, and for the time and space to hunker into the winter of my life, to gather my provisions, as well as to relax into my unbound hours and make the most of them.

Head over to read the rest of this lovely nostalgic post and get the recipe for this delicious looking soup: Thanksgiving Farmhouse Cheese Soup

My Photo

A selection of books by Linda Lee Green

Linda Lee Greene Buy: Amazon US  – Twitter: LLGreeneAuthor

The next blogger with something that is Thanksgiving themed is John Rieber who travels the world looking for great food and events to share with us. John shares two very special side dishes to make for Thursday and here is a spoonful to whet your appetite…You will need to head over to John’s to get the full story and the recipes.

Two Side Dishes To Make This Thanksgiving! Paris Potato Cake! White Castle Stuffing Too!

Bite Into This Iconic “Potato Cake” For Thanksgiving!

Yes, the Thanksgiving Day menu planning is underway.

I love potatoes, and this is my all-time favorite dish – a “gateau de pommes de terre” – a “potato cake!”

It’s a dish I first had in Paris with my wife Alex at the legendary bistro Chez L’Ami Louis, home of the $125 chicken:

Please head over to read more about the origins of the two dishes and grab the recipes: John Rieber with Paris Potato Cake and White Castle Stuffing for Thanksgiving



About John Rieber – @JohnRieber

I love great food, interesting books, fascinating travel, outrageous movies, and bacon, especially when it sits on top of a great cheeseburger! I work in entertainment – and I have been lucky enough to interview some really talented Artists – that guides my posts: interesting and provocative movies, music, social media and of course, food, since I believe strongly in the maxim, “everyone eats!”

I went browsing in the reader and discovered this post which would certainly impress your guests…a great idea for pre-dinner snacks and you could make your own adaptation..this from Mary of Home is Where the Boat is…

 Turkey Snack Board for Thanksgiving | © #thanksgiving

Turkey Snack Board for Thanksgiving

Happy Monday! This turkey snack board is an easy way to entertain family or friends over Thanksgiving, and is as fun to make as it is to eat! To begin, start with a wood board or serving tray of your choice and a pear to create your turkey.

Turkey Snack Board for Thanksgiving | © #thanksgiving

To find out all about the ingredients for the snack board head over to read the rest of the post: Thanksgiving Turkey Snack Board

When you head over check out Mary’s other Thanksgiving posts including one on decorating the table: Home is Where the Boat is.

And this week on Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 155  we have been given a choice.. to use our syllables to create a poem with a ‘Thanksgiving Theme’ or synonyms for two prompt words ‘End and Hurry’. If you would like to participate you have until Sunday..

Hi! I’m glad to see you here. Are you ready to write some syllabic poetry?

This week you have a choice. You can write about the #Theme of Thanksgiving (thankful, grateful, family, etc. whatever that word means to you)


here are your two words for this week:

“End & Hurry”

HERE’S THE CATCH: You can’t use the prompt words! SYNONYMS ONLY!

Please head over to find out more: Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 155

Colleen Chesebro, BuyAmazon USGoodreads: Colleen at Goodreads Website: Colleen Chesebro

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

And if you have written a post on the subject of Thanksgiving please share the link with me in the comments or email me so I can include in the Blogger Daily this week.