Smorgasbord Christmas posts from My archives – The Leftovers by Sally Cronin


 

The Leftovers

I opened the fridge this morning
To check on the state of the world,
I hoped to see that the turkey,
Was not all shrivelled and curled.

It peaked from its packet of foil,
Still juicy and raring to go
I shredded it into some sauce
With some shrooms and onions for show.

I took the spuds, carrots and peas
And slathered with butter and oil.
The brandy was down to the dregs,
I added and brought to the boil.

But what to do with the trifle
Still lush with custard and berry
Guess I shall just have to eat it
Topped with a schooner of sherry.

So if I sound a bit pickled
The leftovers carry the blame.
Since to throw good food in the bin
Would be a dire waste and a shame.

My waist has expanded to fit
All the goodies that have been served
But thankfully my beloved,
Likes his women rounded and curved!

©sallycronin 2015

Please let me know if you have any leftovers that required consuming in the comment section of the post and be kind!!

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Smorgasbord New Book for Christmas – A Tanka Picture Book by Annette Rochelle Aben


A perfect gift for poetry lovers for Christmas, this is the latest collection from Annette Rochelle Aben with A Tanka Picture Book.

About A Tanka Picture Book

Life is alive with poetry; all the sights, sounds and smells. Blend it all together in your mind and you will begin to sing songs in your heart. You deserve a reason to smile, to feel good while pondering the magic of your world. You are closer than you think.

Open, A Tanka Picture Book! Consider the story each picture shares through its visual. Enjoy how each is enhanced with a tanka poem. Engage your senses while on a journey of passionate creativity. To feel the excitement found in even the simplest of sights is why A Tanka Picture Book was created.

Tanka is a form of traditional Japanese lyric poetry that uses 31 syllables spread out over 5 lines, to convey its message. The word “tanka” translates to “short song.” The short songs of this book elevate what may be considered average, to a new level of appreciation by connecting imagination and emotion.

Those wishing to be inspired, those seeking an uplifting read and those who are simply curious to see if they might enjoy poetry will love A Tanka Picture Book. You can add this happy, little book to your print or electronic libraries. Be sure to pick-up an extra copy for someone who can use a thoughtful gift.

An early review for the collection

This beautiful little book will warm your heart and stir your soul. A Tanka Picture Book by Annette Rochelle Aben is a treasure trove of inspiration, filled with picturesque images overlaid by touching verse. The author explains that Tanka means “short song.” I find this the perfect description, considering I felt my heart singing while I read. Compassion, encouragement, and gratitude create a texture and mood that will leave you feeling both peaceful and exhilarated. Whether your spirit needs fortifying or you’re simply looking for a splendid gift, this book is sure to deliver.

Buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Tanka-Picture-Book-Annette-Rochelle-ebook/dp/B077MWZXVQ

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tanka-Picture-Book-Annette-Rochelle-ebook/dp/B077MWZXVQ

 Also by Annette Rochelle Aben

The most recent review from Colleen Chesebro for Perspective https://colleenchesebro.com/2017/10/25/colleens-book-reviews-perspective-by-author-annette-rochelle-aben/

Perspective is an uplifting collection of poems, meditations, stream of consciousness prayers, daily affirmations, and photos compiled by an author who possesses the soul of a true spiritualist.

Each selection is loving written, encouraging readers to get in touch with their feelings and to embrace the positive. The message is clear, we define our own reality by the thoughts we choose. When we shift our perceptions our vision clears and we find truth and wisdom.

I’ve read this book twice as it is a short read. Yet, each reading has given me insight into something I didn’t catch the first time around. At times, I felt the author’s words were written primarily for me. What a fantastic connection to experience.

Annette is a prolific author and has published many books of poetry and inspirational books. If you are looking for a bit of magic to help you through some tough days, this book will wrap you in a warm glow.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Annette-Rochelle-Aben/e/B00MSQTGUY

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Annette-Rochelle-Aben/e/B00MSQTGUY

Find more reviews and follow Annette at Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8262554.Annette_Rochelle_Aben

About Annette Rochelle Aben

Allow me to introduce myself, I am a writer, an author, a wordsmith and perhaps find myself to be more interesting than is necessary. So I shall NOT go into grand detail as to what I have done in my 40 + career of writing and instead shall use various pages of this blog site to reveal this energy. As with most writing it may take some time, so please bear with me.

In addition to writing I am also a guide, a muse and a mentor and to that end I am available to work with YOU! So please reach out when you are in need of my services and allow me to use my talents, skills and above all compassion to help you in your personal or professional life.

For years I have enjoyed being part of the “traditional” broadcasting industry, you know, the kind where one simply turns on a radio or television and there you are! Many people I would interact with would tell me how much THEY wanted the chance to be a part of that world and yet there were only so many jobs, so many chances to work in their own home towns doing something they really wanted to do with their lives. So when I found the world of INTERNET RADIO I was thrilled because here was something people could DO to fulfill their dreams and do it in a way that allowed them to have CONTROL over the broadcasting process. Naturally I started doing my own internet radio program and fell in LOVE with the FREEDOM and EASE of it all and was eventually hired by a company to TRAIN others how to do their own shows and I did this for years with wonderful results. (I will add testimonials soon) and when that company and I parted ways, I decided to continue offering the TRAINING and SUPPORT to those who also wish to CREATE and HOST their own internet radio programs.

You can find out more about Annette’s radio programmes here: https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/the-magic-happens/

Connect to Annette via her blog: https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/YouAreTheExpert
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annetterochelle.aben
Google + https://plus.google.com/117587381760910538120/posts

Thank you for dropping by and it would be great if you could spread the news about Annette’s latest release.

If you would like to be included in the various book promotions in the run up to Christmas then please check out this post and get in touch. thanks Sally

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/24/starting-monday-27th-november-smorgasbord-free-christmas-book-promotions/

Smorgasbord Poetry – Happiness by Balroop Singh


Delighted to welcome Balroop Singh to the series with one of her beautiful poems.

Happiness by Balroop Singh

They lived in the valley of happiness
Away from the hypocritical world
A valley, surrounded by flowers
Welcoming sunshine, rain and snow.
They had braved the storms of life,
They believed in themselves!
Broken dreams didn’t bother them
Happiness was not a destination
It was harmony with their thoughts
It was absorbing the radiance of stars
It was merging into the dark clouds
It was reveling in the glory of the rainbow.
The door to happiness was always ajar
The key to that door… in their hearts
Happiness just sneaked in!
Sometimes the door was left unlatched
Serenity and calmness tiptoed
To warm their hearts with inner peace!

© Balroop Singh
All rights reserved.

This poem is an excerpt from my book ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life’

Are you happy? What does happiness mean to you? Have you ever added happiness to somebody’s life? Please share your thoughts.

About Balroop Singh.

61ebbw1tqhl-_ux250_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.

Books by Balroop Singh

A review for Sublime Shadows of Life

First of all, I would like to congratulate one of my best English teachers – Balroop madam for her sheer will and effort to come up with this poetry book. I read all the poems in this book. All the poems are beautifully written with my teacher’s soul into them. The language is very articulate. There are some poems which I felt are straight away lifted from my life experiences so far. I could relate the journey of my life to these poems. Specifically, I loved the poem on ‘Hollowness of Life’ that talks about ‘Attachment’ and ‘Detachment’.

I feel attachment only brings pain and suffering because it is very difficult to outgrow this emotion and the more attached we become to a particular situation, the more is the work to be done by our soul to eradicate feelings of attachment and grow in detachment. I would recommend everyone to read this book as one will surely discover some deeper part of oneself in these poems that display myriad of emotions.

I immensely liked the parts that focus on growing in human and spiritual values of unconditional love, hope, faith, determination, patience, generosity and many others. These are the values that are going to enrich our human life and will go with us once we leave this life rather than our power, prestige and material possessions.

It is my honor to write this review for my venerable teacher who has been an integral part of my existence as a human being. I am grateful to you for reposing your faith in me and considering me worthy of writing this review. I apologize for the delay on my part. I wish you the best in your future endeavors.

Wishing you and everyone associated with this book real peace, happiness, harmony, bliss and liberation.

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

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

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

Connect to Balroop Singh.

Blog: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BalroopShado
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emotional-Shadows/151387075057971
Google: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+BalroopSinghsrao/posts
Pinteresthttps://www.pinterest.com/balroops/

My thanks to Balroop for sharing this poem and if you would like to share your books of poetry here, with one of your poems then please email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Smorgasbord Reblog – Elderly Health Care: Keeping colds at bay by Sally Cronin


Last week I was the guest of Christy Birmingham on her eclectic blog – When Women Inspire. Christy invited me to write a post on the subject of elderly care and in particular in relation to keeping colds and flu at bay.

My thanks to Christy for inviting me to write a post on the health challenges that face the elderly as we move into the winter months.

In most of our countries there is some form of elderly care system in place, either in a person’s own home or care facility. However, wherever an elderly person might live, apart from a natural reduction in immune system efficiency, at this time of year, there are many more opportunities for pathogens to take advantage of a weakened host.

I looked after my mother full-time for four years until she died at age 95. She loved visitors and there would be a lot of hugging and kissing of cheeks with people sitting to chat and holding her hand. It was great for her morale and the subject of much discussion long after they left. But unfortunately, sometimes they left more than their kindness behind. That first winter, my mother had two colds and a respiratory infection that lingered for weeks.

Christmas was the biggest challenge as she wanted to go to the church gift fair, the pensioners’ lunch and the coffee mornings. Although there were many of her old friends there, she was also greeted by strangers wanting to shake her hand and spend time talking to her. As with any event where there are a great many people, some around her were coughing and spluttering; inevitably she would be under the weather within three days.

After that first year, I knew that we needed to put some safeguards in place. It is difficult to build an elderly person’s immune system back up when their appetites are not as great as they used to be. Some may also have certain food restrictions due to dentures or other dental issues that make eating difficult.

However, it is important to make sure that any food they do eat is nutrient rich and full of anti-oxidants.

It is better to provide six small meals a day rather than one or two larger ones that might go unfinished. It is also easier for an older person’s digestive system if they eat smaller but high nutritional density meals, and this is how I worked with my mother to improve her immune function.;

Find out about my adventures with my mother and keeping her immune system firing on all cylinders: https://whenwomeninspire.com/2017/11/09/elderly-health-care-colds-at-bay-sally-cronin

My thanks to Christy and I hope you will head over and read the rest of the post. thanks Sally

About Christy Birmingham.

Christy Birmingham is a freelance writer in Victoria, BC, who has a BA in Psychology and has taken professional writing courses at the University of Victoria. She is the author of Pathways to Illumination (Redmund Productions, 2013), her first poetry book. Her work also appears in the Poetry Institute of Canada’s From the Cerulean Sea: An Anthology of Verse (2013) and the literary journals The Claremont Review and Tipton Poetry Journal.

Books by Christy Birmingham

About Pathways to Illumination.

Pathways to Illumination is the debut poetry collection from Canadian writer Christy Birmingham. The book follows one woman’s journey following the end of an abusive relationship. Read how she struggles to rise from darkness, a soul reaching for light, with words that weave hope and despair through the pages.

A review on Goodreads for Pathways to Illumination

By Rolly A… Five Stars.

I have been reading Christy Birmingham’s poetry and writings for the past three years. This is a work of art at its finest which paints a riveting story of a journey she has travelled filled with what was thought to be love, but resulted in pain, suffering much emotional trauma and eventually finding her way out to live with freedom and an amazingly positive outlook.

Through Christy’s book, we are able to live the fear, trauma and eventual healing we see in the closing poems. Poetry that touches the heart of the reader as it is written from the heart of someone who has been through a great deal.

The greatest blessing is to know Christy and the heart and willingness she has to share in hopes of helping others who suffer. It is my pleasure to call her a truly gifted writer and friend I admire and a person who many look to for strength, courage and support.

Never stop writing Christy, you have been given a very special gift and a gift which will bless many. 

Pathways to Illumination is available exclusively at Redmund Productionshttp://redmundpro.com/book-store/pi/ (less)

About Versions of the Self

Imagine a shift to the way you see the world that arises through poetic narration. Imagine the world, at its base level, is a collection of selves. These selves collide, disperse, intermingle, and share themselves in lines of free verse. Such is the premise of Versions of the Self, poetry that assumes multiple types of selves exist and relate in ways that alter them. Each of the eight chapters looks at a different type of self, including the singular “I” and romantic interactions. These unique 80 poems definitely color themselves outside of the lines.

One of the reviews for Versions of the Self

Versions of the Self is a collection of poetry that inspires and enthralls. Each thought-provoking piece is one to be savored. A variety of topics are explored, from nature (Painted Mountains) to simple pleasures (A Sundae Type of Day), from love to heartbreak. Ultimately, this collection is about relationships in all its forms. Christy Birmingham delves deep into the bonds of family (Tender Hands) and friendship, and she also examines the many ways love can go wrong (and right). But the most important relationship she writes about is the relationship we have with ourselves, or more specifically, with the many versions of ourselves that reside within us.

I have so many favorites within the pages of this book. In “Equality and Vision,” Christy honors women from our past, present, and future. Beautifully and delicately woven, “Introspection and Suffocation” resonated with me for many reasons. “Beauty, In Pursuit” examines our society’s relationship with trends and obsession with outer beauty. I could go on and on. If you love poetry, or if you are interested in branching out and reading more poetry, I would highly recommend this book.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Versions-Self-Christy-Birmingham/dp/0994094906

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Versions-Self-Christy-Birmingham-ebook/dp/B00XQOH3IE

Connect to Christy

Blog: https://whenwomeninspire.com/
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7177834.Christy_Birmingham
Websitehttps://poeticparfait.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/christybis
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/christy.d.birmingham

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Can you Hear the Rumbling by Patricia Salamone


Welcome to the series where you can share four of your links from your archives here on my blog to a new audience. Perhaps posts that you wrote at the beginning of your blogging experience that deserve another showcase. If you have book promotion posts then please contact me separately for other options. Details of how to get in touch with me at the end of the post.

Today Patricia Salamone shares something that she wrote in the 1970s which has as much relevance today as it did then. A short post but a powerful message.

 Can you Hear the Rumbling by Patricia Salamone.

Can you hear the rumbling?
If you listen close you might.
Can you see despair and poverty?
It is an awful sight!
Can you hear the children crying out in pain?
Can you see their faces as they’re calling out in vain?

Each day you line your pockets. Is that your only goal?
Is human life so meaningless you let degradation take its toll?
Do you see how you are destroying the only world which we know?
We trusted you to lead us and this is all you have to show?
You keep your little circle tight, with nothing but the best.
Once this world is finished, you’ll go down with all the rest.

Promises you made mean nothing anymore.
You will say anything you need to get you in the door.
If you think we’re not aware of what is coming down.
If you think this can go on, you really are a clown.
Quietly we gather; one by one we come.
Silently we move while all of you are having fun.

We are tired of your grabbing, and never giving back.
We are angry you’ve betrayed us. We are about to crack.
You have lost sight of what you’re there for; to lead, and not to take.
Your Greed has taken flight.
Can you hear the rumbling? If you listen close you might

©Patricia Salamone 1970

My thanks to Patricia for sharing this post from 40 years ago that illustrates how little somethings have changed… when it comes to those who lead us.

About Patricia Salamone

Patricia Salamone was born in 1943 in Queens, New York. She has 5 siblings. Her mother was Italian and her father German. The Italian influence always dominated in her home. It was from that seed that the “Italian thing” was born in her. Being a middle child of six children, entertainment was self-reliance. She started writing when she was eight years old to entertain her siblings and the rest of her family.

Patricia and her siblings attended St. Mary’s H. of C. Catholic School and Grover Cleveland High School. It was then off to work to help the family. She married at age twenty and raised three children. She was determined they would attend university, and saw that goal achieved while she worked for AT&T and continued writing. In 2002, a trip to Naro, Sicily changed her life, culminating in her first memoir, “The Italian Thing” in 2008. Patricia was featured as Author of the Week in the Palm Beach Post, and her poem, “Angel Dear”, was published in the poetry book, “Shades of Expressions,” by Gerl Publishing.

Patricia Salamone is the author of The Italian Thing an entertaining account of a family reunion in Italy with all its unexpected and glorious memories.

About The Italian Thing

Join me in my hilarious recount of how I explored my heritage during a more-than-memorable trip to Sicily. I detail our adventures and misadventures as my husband and I visited our relatives in Naro. I share how we got to know the locals, their customs and lifestyle, and how everyone seemed to think that “everything will be fine” no matter what troubles they were in. During those weeks, we went through culture shock despite the fact that we are both Italian. In the end, it was “the Italian thing” in all of us that made ours an unforgettable trip!

One of the recent reviews for the book

In the spirit of Mark Twain’s Innocents Abroad, Patricia Salamone decribes her trip to Sicily with her husband Mike to visit for the first time his Italian relatives for the Christmas/New Years holidays.

Their experiences, told through her wry eyes, are just delightful. Patricia has a sly sense of humor and as she encounters the familiar as well as the differences of the Italian experience, we learn as much as she does as she gains confidence not only in her limited ability in the language but in driving their rented van through the narrow streets of the villages of Sicily and in coping with bathrooms very different from her own back in Florida. Her love of the various relatives they meet (all of whom seem to have variations of the same names) and the cuisine are contagious.

Readers of this book will begin to feel they know these people, and also Patricia and Mike, as members of an extended family. And one’s mouth begins to water when reading of the meals and all those delicious pastries. This is a book anyone who loves family as well as traveling will enjoy. I highly recommend spending time with the Salamones on their journey back home for the first time.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Salamone/e/B00E6ZLPY0

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Italian-Thing-Patricia-Salamone-ebook/dp/B00EL0AGIG/

Read other reviews and follow Patricia on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7515864.Patricia_Salamone

Connect to Patricia

Blog:  https://the-italian-thing.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/patricia.k.salamone
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Pattisalamone

If you would like to share some of your archive posts from when you began blogging, then please send up to four links to sally.cronin@moyhill.com.

Please do not send self-promotional book posts as there are several other ways to promote your books here. I am looking for posts on life, relationships, health, creative writing, food, music and travel.. If you have a short story to share that is great too.

 

 

Smorgasbord – Posts From Your Archives – A Poem for Grandparents by Robbie Cheadle


Today a special treat with a poem from Robbie Cheadle from her archives.

My mother thought last weeks poem entitled “Who’s really free” was depressing. She said I should write something more cheerful and amusing. My Michael was tasked with learning a poem by Roald Dahl this week, entitled “Television” from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Roald Dahl’s hilarious style of writing appealed to me and got me in the mood to attempt a more amusing poem. For some reason the concept of grandparents seems very topical in my life at the moment. It is my mother’s actual birthday tomorrow and this event is closely followed by the birthday of our Granny Toot’s the following week. My husband’s mother’s birthday rings up the rear on 4 December. With all this focus on celebrating the birthdays and lives of the older members of our family, I decided it was appropriate to write about grandparents. My latest creation in this regard is set out below. Please comment and let me know what you think of my attempt at a different style and flow.

Grandparents by Robbie Cheadle

You’ll find them everywhere you look;
Quietly observing from every cranny and nook;
Drinking tea with friends in a local tea house;
In a pet store showing the children a mouse;
Cheering on the team at a school hockey match;
In a chicken coop, helping the chicks to hatch;
At the hospital, bringing flowers to a friend;
At a play, watching until the very end;
They take the grandkids overnight;
They help resolve a sibling fight;
They build a pirate island in the sand pit;
They search and find missing soccer kit;
They teach our children not to stare;
And sooth them after a horrid nightmare;
They help us with our daily grind;
To our pressures and stress they are not blind;
They support us through our daily toil;
Although their comments can make the blood boil;
Their selective hearing can be hard to take;
You shout so loud, the dead could wake;
“No need to shout”, they say, “we heard you clearly”;
Sometimes its lucky for them, we love them so dearly;
The dinner is too salty, the cake is to sweet;
“Where did you find such frightfully tough meat”;
Its easier to sit back and let them cook the dinner;
Although watching them makes you feel like a sinner;
And their criticism of our parenting style;
Is enough our delicate feelings to rile;
There are so many positives to their involvement;
You couldn’t possibly bear any resentment;
I salute the moms and dads of the post war generation;
Who changed the world with their determined inspiration.

©Robbie Cheadle 2017

Books by Robbie and Michael Cheadle

One of the recent reviews for Robbie and Michael’s latest book Sir Chocolate and the Condensed Milk River Story and Cookbook

on 11 October 2017

I just love these rhyming stories about Sir Chocolate and his adventures. I could almost taste the “enormous milky jewel” condensed milk river! The recipes look delicious and so easy too.

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

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

Connect to Robbie and Michael at their blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

My thanks to Robbie for sharing this lovely poem and please do go over to her blog and enjoy all the wonderful recipes and articles.

I am so delighted that so many bloggers are sharing posts from their archives that deserve another audience.. MINE.. if you are interested in participating just send four links to sally.cronin@moyhill.com. I am looking for human interest, informative, entertaining and humour…if you would like to promote your books.. then still email but we will look at doing a FREE promotion instead.

Smorgasbord Air Your Reviews – Balroop Singh and Robert Eggleton


Welcome to Thursday where I share recent and past reviews for authors in the Cafe and Bookstore. First is for Balroop Singh with a recent review for her poetry collection Emerging from the Shadows.

About Emerging from the Shadows

From darkness into light, from despair onto the wider ways of hope…life oscillates between sunshine and shadows. Emerging from shadows is a choice, which lies dormant, which can be gently inspired by self-talk. Each poem in this book banks on the hope of emerging stronger, saner, positive and resilient. Each poem in this book would talk to you, revealing layers of enclosed emotions. Each poem would divulge a secret path that could lead you into the world of poise and serenity.

When turbulences hit, when shadows of life darken, when they come like unseen robbers, with muffled exterior, when they threaten to shatter your dreams, it is better to break free rather than get sucked by the vortex of emotions.

 And here is the review

“Beneath that beauty lie broken dreams
Beneath that smile recline unspoken words
That gentle caress hides frozen fallacy
Feigning to hold forlorn finesse.”

These delightful words are the opening stanza of the first poem, entitled When Darkness Deepens, that feature in Balroop Singh’s new book of poetry.

Each poem featured in the book comprises of beautifully constructed phrases which together tell a story. Some of the poems are sad and some are happy, all are filled with mystery and delight.

My interpretations of three of Balroop’s poems are as follows:

The poem Emerging from Shadows encourages the reader to be brave and rise up above obstacles in your path, grasping at life and making the best of it.

Why I walked away …. teaches the reader how to turn your back on negativity and sadness and how to break free from the shackles of unhappy past events. It is a joyous poem of a search for liberation.

Outside and inside – a tale of that illustrates that settling for the deception of second best and the sanctuary of the easily attained leads to perpetual self doubt and anxiety.

Each poem in this book is a voyage of self discovery.

Head over and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Emerging-Shadows-Poetry-Balroop-Singh-ebook/dp/B073YLWLG1

Also by Balroop Singh

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

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

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

And now for the most recent review for Robert Eggleton’s book Rarity from the Hollow which has just passed its 100th review.

Author proceeds have been donated to a child abuse prevention program operated by Children’s Home Society of West Virginia. http://www.childhswv.org/

 

About the book

Lacy Dawn’s father relives the Gulf War, her mother’s teeth are rotting out, and her best friend is murdered by the meanest daddy on Earth. Life in The Hollow isn’t great. But Lacy has one advantage — she’s been befriended by a semi-organic, semi-robot who works with her to cure her parents. He wants something in exchange, though. It’s up to her to save the Universe.

To prepare Lacy for her coming task, she is being schooled daily via direct downloads into her brain. Some of these courses tell her how to apply magic to resolve everyday problems much more pressing to her than a universe in big trouble, like those at home and at school. She doesn’t mind saving the universe, but her own family and friends come first.

Will Lacy Dawn’s predisposition, education, and magic be enough for her to save the Universe, Earth, and, most importantly, protect her own family?

Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy, comedy and satire. It is a children’s story for adults, not for the prudish, faint of heart, or easily offended.

Robert Eggleton’s humorous science fantasy follows in the steps of Douglas Adams, Tom Holt and Terry Pratchett.

The most recent review for the book

Lacy Dawn is a gifted ten-year-old human girl with a dysfunctional family, an android boyfriend and a difficult life. She lives in a place called the Hollow where she converses with the trees and with her best friend’s ghost. Lacy has witnessed many traumatic events in her young life; her father is a veteran of war with severe PTSD, her best friend was a victim of various types of abuse and her mother suffers from depression. She’s got one thing going for her though: she’s going to save the universe.

I must say that this book is unlike any other story I’ve ever read. It’s unique in so many ways! It’s the first time I’ve read an adult novel that was written from a child’s perspective. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever even heard of another! We also get to see into the thoughts of other characters like Dwayne (her father), Jenny (her mother), DotCom (her android boyfriend) and even their dog, Brownie! It’s super neat.

There are a lot of touchy subjects that are brought up in this novel such as violence, substance abuse, sexual abuse, and self-harm but the use of satire and the interesting narrative help keep things less negative and more on the lighter side.

I really enjoyed reading Rarity from the Hollow. It’s so different and so well-written. I also love that it creates awareness in readers about mental health and different types of abuse and that it’s told in a way that isn’t too heavy. There wasn’t a single dull moment and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for something out of the ordinary.

I give this novel 5 out of 5!

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Rarity-Hollow-Robert-Eggleton-ebook/dp/B017REIA44/

Other buy links

http://www.doghornpublishing.com/wordpress/books/rarity-from-the-hollow

http://www.lulu.com/shop/robert-eggleton/rarity-from-the-hollow/paperback/product-22910478.html

Connect to Robert Eggleton via his website: http://www.lacydawnadventures.com

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will explore these authors and their books further. Thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Poetry – #Haiku – Honouring Feng Shui


I am very lucky to have access to Paul Andruss’s photos that he takes when he is visiting gardens around Wales and the rest of the country. This photograph is of the Chinese Garden at Bidulph Grange.  

You can find out more about this stunning place in Staffordshire at this link

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/biddulph-grange-garden

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Witchlet (Book One The Magical Chapters Trilogy) by Victoria Zigler


Welcome to poet and children’s author Victoria Zigler who will be joining the other authors in the Cafe and Bookstore with her book Witchlet: Book One The Magical Chapters Trilogy.

About Witchlet

In a world where everyone thinks witches are warty old women, a powerful and short tempered 9 year old is trying to find her place in the world, and make amends for something that happened when she was only 3. Her name is Paige, and she can bend the elements to her rather strong will. But can she convince people to accept her for who she is?

This is the first book in the “Magical Chapters” trilogy. The titles in the series are as follows:

1. Witchlet
2. The Pineapple Loving Dragon
3. A Magical Storm

Two of the reviews for Witchlet from Goodreads and Amazon

Thomai Dion rated it Five Stars on Goodreads

I am the mom of an energetic toddler who is eager to explore the world around him. In addition to helping him discover all of the cool and interesting things he could learn about, one of my top priorities as a parent is also teaching him that everyone is unique and therefore different, and to both appreciate and cherish those differences. “Witchlet” is an endearing book that strives to deliver that exact message — Everyone is not exactly like you and that is OK.

Paige the witchlet is a great example of how a person’s differences and unique abilities are not an exception to be noted; rather, they are exceptional and should be celebrated. A heartwarming read for parents and kids alike!

Have you ever noticed that when you hear the term ‘Witch’, you automatically think of a grey haired, gaunt-faced, warty, scary old woman who wears a black, long sleeved dress with an equally black, tall pointed hat, gets about by riding on a willow garden-brush type broom and is usually accompanied by a black cat?

Paige is none of these things, she is 9 years old, has long blonde hair, dresses in normal clothes, travels by foot, or, if in a hurry, gets the wind to fly her and has a vegetarian Dragon called Daisy as a friend!

This is a pleasant little introduction to the Magical Chapters Trilogy, well thought out and written in a descriptive, Hans Christian Anderson like, language children will understand and can use to allow their imaginations to take hold.

Even though I am well past my sell-by date, the child in me is looking forward to reading Victoria’s next book in the series, The Pineapple Loving Dragon.

Read the reviews on Amazon and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Witchlet-Magical-Chapters-Trilogy-1

Read many more reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14743914-witchlet

The other two books in the Trilogy

A selection of poetry books by Victoria Zigler

A selection of other books for children.

All of Victoria’s books are currently in paperback but some will also be available in audio in the future. Victoria has a great many reviews on Goodreads and I suggest that you head there first to read: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5852247.Victoria_Zigler

You can also buy the books from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Victoria-Zigler/e/B00BHS9DQ6

N.B.. Before the audio versions are released, Victoria would love to have some more reviews for the books and you can contact her directly via her website.

About Victoria Zigler

My name is Victoria, but most of my friends and family call me Tori. Feel free to do the same.

Born in the shadow of the black mountains in Wales, I now live by the sea in the south-east of England with my husband, Kelly, a degu named Joshua, a pair of chinchillas named Mollie and Maizie, and a West Highland White Terrier named Lilie.

Having battled with glaucoma since birth, I now find myself completely blind. But I didn’t let that stop me from chasing the dream I’ve had since I was a young child: the dream of being a published author. I’ve loved to read and write since I learned how, and always wanted to get my work published. Finally, in 2012, I made that dream come true by self-publishing eBooks via Smashwords. Three years later, I began using CreateSpace to make my books available in print. So now I’m a published author of children’s fiction, as well as a couple of poetry collections; all of which are available in multiple eBook formats, and as paperback books.

Reading and writing remain my favourite things to do, apart from spending time with my husband, and our rodent gang, of course. I also enjoy doing crafts (such as card making and knitting). Plus, I dabble in things like roleplaying games (such as Dungeons And Dragons) and figure games (such as BattleTech and Monsterpocalypse) from time to time, and enjoy watching movies and TV shows as well as listening to music. On top of that, I have an interest in history, especially stone age and Egyptian history, and in space exploration. I also love almost anything to do with animals and nature. I have to say “almost” because I’m not too keen on spiders and creepy crawly things, though can pretend they don’t exist if they don’t come too close to me.

Connect to Victoria

Website: http://www.zigler.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/VictoriaZigler
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tori.zigler
Google+: https://plus.google.com/106139346484856942827

Thank you very much for dropping in and I will be letting you know when Tori has her audio books available via the cafe and bookstore updates. Thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Guest Post – Writing all the Wrong Things by Anne Casey


Anne Casey was my first guest writer back in 2013 and I am delighted to welcome her back again with her debut poetry collection “where the lost things go”. Published by Salmon Poetry

Writing all the wrong things by Anne Casey

It is a heart-stopping moment as a professional writer when you realise you have spent 25 years writing all the wrong things. That is the realisation I came to around three years ago. At the time, I could never have guessed the whirlwind journey that lay ahead.

From as young as five or six years of age, I had known that all I wanted to do was write. I had a fake toy typewriter I spent hours playing with, crayoning out my own little storybooks in my small west of Ireland hometown. By the time I was 10, my parents had realised too and they bought me a ‘Lilliput’ typewriter. That was the start of many late nights spent gleefully tapping out poems and stories, the happy ‘ting’ at the end of each line sending my heart soaring.

In my teens, I had various poems published in youth magazines and local publications. My English teacher, Harry Hughes, was very encouraging of my short story writing. But by the time I was leaving school in the mid-1980s, the economic situation was pretty dire in Ireland. Jobs were hard to come by. The reality hit home that my long-held passion for creative writing was not a viable career path.

Determined to carve out some kind of livelihood in writing, I attained a law degree and worked at night to support post-graduate studies in Communications. With part-time work at a small magazine house along the way, I was lucky to land a full-time job in a reputable public relations consultancy. Although it was a compromise, I was thrilled to have swung a position that involved writing for most of my working week, particularly in tough economic times. There happily followed a move into a larger magazine publishing house where I eventually managed two monthly magazines, spending most of my days writing and editing.

In my mid-twenties, I migrated to Australia and pursued a career that has facilitated not just writing, but my second love of travel. Over the past 25 years I have had thousands of pages published. As a journalist, magazine editor, legal author, corporate and government communications director, I’ve written reams. I have been extremely fortunate to meet and to work with some extraordinary people, while travelling across the world and back. I’ve penned speech notes for a nation’s President, government Ministers, CEOs and entrepreneurs; news articles on emerging industries and multi-million dollar business deals; and books on new laws and commercial implications.

Along the way, however, my inner voice never stopped whispering. Sometime in the last few years, it escalated to a shout. Having children and prioritising family over my corporate responsibilities gave me the space to see things a little clearer. In my heart of hearts, looking back over my career I realised I had sold out. For all the ‘important’ things I had been writing about, I realised that none of it really mattered… “Today’s headlines are tomorrow’s fish and chips wrappers”. No-one will remember any of it, not even me.

That’s when I dug out my old notebooks. I carved out some time, set up a blog and some social media sites and started to write. I wrote about anything that wasn’t ‘serious’… the stuff that set my heart alight. I wrote about nature, my children, my family history, even my dog! Soon I was back writing poetry, and letting go of some of my corporate consulting work.

When my first poem as an adult was published, it was in The Irish Times. I had written about my journey as an emigrant against the backdrop of losing my mother. The guilt and grief in that poem resonated with others. The comments section at the end of the article kept filling up until it closed. Then people were tracking me down via Google, my website, Twitter and LinkedIn to tell me how much that poem had affected them.

It was a watershed moment for me. I realised that this was what I had always wanted to do – to write something that touched people’s hearts. To shake people out of the semi-conscious daze we walk around in and wake them up to the things that truly matter.

I set about capturing the things that have really mattered to me. As an emigrant, in returning to my homeland each year I have become acutely aware of the changes. Each time I fly away and come back, I find that another face or another little piece of my growing up years has disappeared. These are the things that sowed the seeds of who I am, growing up on:

“A little street
In a little town
At the wave-washed edge
Of the world”.

This was a place and a time where a child wasn’t brought up by one or two people, but by the many hands of a community and all they had passed down. Every bump in the path had its history and its meaning. I set about capturing and preserving those pieces that were slowly slipping away – the things that made us who we are – people, places and credos.

There are other places and faces that have marked my journey which have also ended up in my poetry. I have never been short on political views but, unshackled from censorship due to work sensitivities, I have a newfound courage to actually write what I really mean!

The west of Ireland wind must have been blowing my way about 18 months ago… With offices a stone’s throw from where I grew up on the County Clare coast, Salmon Poetry has been a tour de force for Irish poets – women poets in particular – over the past 36 years. I am a great admirer of Salmon’s managing director, Jessie Lendennie. She was the first book publisher I contacted with what had grown into a poetry manuscript.

I was blown away when Jessie agreed to meet with me on my visit home in 2016. The possibility of joining the Salmon Poetry family (which includes such salubrious poets as the President of Ireland, Mr Michael D Higgins himself) seemed liked a distant dream. My feet barely touched the ground after I left Jessie’s office with a 10-year publishing deal, my debut poetry collection to be published a year later.

Siobhán Hutson at Salmon Poetry did a stunning job on the design and production of my book, where the lost things go which was published by Salmon in July 2017. And I am eternally grateful to renowned Irish poet,  Eleanor Hooker for her glowing speech at my book launch in Ireland on 6 July.

And so, after all these years, and some major side-tracks along the way, this little girl’s dream has come true. My inner poet has finally emerged from the attic and the whispers have quietened for a little while. But we shall have to wait and see…

To follow are two poems from Anne Casey’s debut poetry collection “where the lost things go” published by Salmon Poetry.

In memoriam II: The draper

“The town is dead
Nothing but the wind
Howling down Main Street
And a calf bawling
Outside The Fiddlers”

My mother’s words, not mine
In a letter, kept in a drawer
These long years
She had a way with words
My mother

That’s why they came
The faithful of her following
Leaning in to her over the counter
For an encouraging word
Or the promise of a novena

Long before we had
Local radio
Our town had my mother
Harbinger of the death notices
And the funeral arrangements

Bestower of colloquial wisdom
Bearer of news on all things
Great and small
Who was home
And who hadn’t come

Who had got the Civil Service job
And by what bit of pull
The Councillor’s niece
Smug in her new navy suit
Oblivious to the circulating countersuit

“Would you ever think of coming home?”
Her words would catch me
Unawares
Lips poised at the edge
Of a steaming mug

Igniting a spitfire
Of resentment each time
Then draping me for days
I’d wear it like a horsehair shirt
All the way back

Until the sunshine and the hustle
Had worn it threadbare
This extra bit of baggage
In every emigrant’s case
Their mother’s broken heart

I never thought to ask her
“Would you want me to…?
So I could look out at the rain
Circumnavigating the empty street
And shiver at the wind
Whipping in under the door…?”

I don’t miss that question now
On my annual pilgrimage ‘home’
My father never asks it
Like me, I know he feels it
Hanging in the air
Alongside her absence

I miss my mother
And her way with words

(First published in The Irish Times, 31 January 2016)

Between ebb and flow

Mist rolls off moss-green hills
Where wind-wild ponies thunder
Manes flying as they chase
Their seaward brothers
Locked in eternal contest
On this deserted grey mile

Past the little stone churchyard
Long-forgotten graves spilling
Stones onto the sodden bog
A soft snore from behind
My two angels sleeping
Thirteen thousand miles

From all they have ever known
Running our own race
To make the best
Of spaces like this
A rainbow rises along the horizon
And I recognise her

Come for my mother
Locked in her own
Immortal struggle
The sister returned
So I know it won’t
Be long now

And I cry a little at
The unbearable beauty
Of these diastoles
When we are all
Suspended
Here in a heartbeat

Between heaven and earth

©AnneCasey

Buy this wonderful collection of poetry by Anne Casey direct from the publisher: Salmon Poetry Bookshop

About Anne Casey

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.

Anne passionately believes that every poem, like all art, should leave you changed by the experience. Her poem, “In Memoriam II: The Draper,” was the fifth most-read item – across all categories – in The Irish Times on the day of publication, and resulted in a furore of social media commentary.

She was shortlisted for the Cúirt New Writing Poetry Prize in 2017 and the Bangor Poetry Competition 2016. Originally from the west of Ireland, Anne lives in Australia. She has worked as a business journalist, magazine editor, corporate and government communications director, author and editor. Anne holds a Law degree and qualifications in Communications.
Connect to Anne Casey via her website and social media.

Website: http://www.anne-casey.com/home.html
Twitter: https://twitter.com/1annecasey
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/1annecasey
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+AnneCaseyWriter
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anne-casey-aa998662/
Videos: http://www.anne-casey.com/videos.html
Publisher: http://www.salmonpoetry.com/

It is wonderful to feature Anne on the blog again and please help spread the news of her poetry collection across your own networks.. Thank you Sally