Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – Mary Smith, Diana J. Febry and Sally Cronin


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

First Mary Smith whose book set in Afghanistan, No More Mulberries continuous to receive fantastic reviews… and I can personally recommend.

About the book

Scottish-born midwife, Miriam loves her work at a health clinic in rural Afghanistan and the warmth and humour of her women friends in the village, but she can no longer ignore the cracks appearing in her marriage. Her doctor husband has changed from the loving, easy-going man she married and she fears he regrets taking on a widow with a young son, who seems determined to remain distant from his stepfather.

When Miriam acts as translator at a medical teaching camp she hopes time apart might help her understand the cause of their problems. Instead, she must focus on helping women desperate for medical care and has little time to think about her failing marriage. When an old friend appears, urging her to visit the village where she and her first husband had been so happy. Miriam finds herself travelling on a journey into her past, searching for answers to why her marriage is going so horribly wrong.

Her husband, too, has a past of his own – from being shunned as a child to the loss of his first love.

One of the recent reviews for the book.

Thru the eyes of a converted Scottish midwife and her 2 husbands. Miriam is an highly trained midwife who meets an handsome Afghani engineering student in Edinburgh University. They fall madly in love, she converts to the Muslim faith for him and they marry and have a child. Not too long after their son is born, tragedy strikes and she is widowed. She marries again and the story, “No More Mulberries”, is the intricate unwinding of these lives in the midst of a war torn country.

The writing is rich with descriptions and emotion. The characters are well fleshed out, complex and burdened. This is not a one sided political treatise but rather an inside look from the vantage point of a common village family and some slightly higher up; but only slightly. Life in early 1990’s for the Afghani people was akin to 1890’s America, extraordinarily so for the women.

Altho’ M. Smith portrays the realities in her book, this story is not without a feeling of love and hope. These are resilient people in tragic circumstances trying to maintain families and some semblance of normalcy. There are moments of humor to relieve the tension so deftly written about.

There is nothing offensive in this book. All the language, violence and sexual content are easily within a PG rating with nothing being gratuitous or overly descriptive. You will get the picture without being given a high-def, 4K, knockout punch. This book will effect you, I know it did me. The invasion of Afghanistan was almost 25 years ago and the battle still rages. “No More Mulberries” will give you a chance to see what it might be like on the inside, from the inside.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/No-More-Mulberries-Mary-Smith/dp/1849234205

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/No-More-Mulberries-Mary-Smith-ebook/dp/B005RRDZ12

A selection of books by Mary Smith

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mary-Smith/e/B001KCD4P0

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Smith/e/B001KCD4P0

Read more reviews and follow Mary on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5239367.Mary_Smith

Connect to Mary via her new blog: https://marysmithsplace.wordpress.com/

The next author is Diana J. Febry with a review for The Skeletons of Birkbury.

About the book

When the body of a teenage girl is discovered in Birkbury, the villagers close ranks. Gossip turns to fear and suspicion as they realize the killer is one of them and is prepared to kill again.

DCI Peter Hatherall must fight his past and class divisions to find the killer.
All must decide which secrets are worth dying for.

A recent review for the book

A good mystery  on 20 September 2018

The novel is a cold case detective story focusing on a dead girl who vanished twenty years earlier. This lends the story a slower pace than if it had been a recent murder, but that’s okay. In the small, slightly suffocating, rural community, we have plenty of suspects, and you’ll take against one or two right from the off. We certainly get a lot of detail about each character, possibly to make them all seem important (and therefore worthy of our suspicion), and we hop between points of view, even within a scene. The detectives work well together, although their off-topic back stories occasionally took centre stage, which may not suit an impatient mystery fan. All in all, a good mystery that keeps you guessing until the end.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Skeletons-Birkbury-Peter-Hatherall-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07CYQDHHJ

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Skeletons-Birkbury-Peter-Hatherall-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07CYQDHHJ

The other books in the DCI Peter Hatherall series

 

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Diana-J-Febry/e/B00J7AG9U4/

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00J7AG9U4https://www.amazon.co.uk/Diana-J-Febry/e/B00J7AG9U4/

Read many more reviews and follow Diana on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5989441.Diana_J_Febry

Connect to Diana via her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/dianaj.febry.9

Now for some self-promotion as I am thrilled to have some lovely reviews coming through for Tales from the Irish Garden..and this came in on Saturday.

About the book.

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

Arriving on the backs of geese and swans, they seek sanctuary in the magic garden of The Storyteller who welcomes them to the Emerald Island, a place where rain is almost a daily feature. Grateful for their safe haven and the generosity of their host, the queen and her courtiers embrace their new surroundings with delight.

As the seasons change throughout the year, they come into contact with many of the human and animal inhabitants of the garden and the surrounding forest, all of whom have a story to tell. This is a magical fairy story infused with fantasy and romance, as well as opportunities for mischief in the company of goblins, witches and Lerpersians. Suitable for ages 10 to 100 years old…..

The most recent review for the book..

Tales from the Irish Garden is a wonderful book. It has the magic of the Narnia Chronicles, the mystery of The Secret Garden and the delight of Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland.

As I read this book I became completely immersed in the world of Fairy Queen Filigree and her court. I shared her anxiety as she searched for a new home where her people and bees could be safe and participated in her delight when the perfect spot is found on the faraway Emerald Island.

It is not an easy task to undertake such a big move but the fairies managed it admirably with the help of some of their friends. The Storyteller, a delightful elderly man, is a wonderful new character you will meet and get to know and he proves himself to be kind, thoughtful and understanding. In no time at all the fairies are settled into their new home, kitted out in clothing more suitable for the colder, damper weather and even aided in meeting new friends.

Of course, life is never straightforward and Queen Filigree and the fairies experience their ups and downs, losses, romances and worries as they adapt to their new environment. There are plenty of celebrations and happy moments to smooth the way and it all makes for a very entertaining read.

The illustrations in this book are deserve a mention as they are amazing. They are the creations of talented illustrator Donata Zawadzka.

I rated this book five out of five stars on Amazon.

You can read all the reviews on: https://www.amazon.com/Tales-Irish-Garden-Sally-Cronin-ebook/dp/B07HMXTFKG

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tales-Irish-Garden-Sally-Cronin-ebook/dp/B07HMXTFKG

A selection of my other books that are in Kindle on Amazon and available in Print from me directly via Paypal.

All my books in Ebook are available for Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

You can read more reviews and follow me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin

Print books can be sourced directly through me and paid for at Paypal.. Please email sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Thank you for visiting today and I hope you will explore the books further.. thanks Sally

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews for D.G. Kaye, Sally Cronin and Don Massenzio.


Welcome to the first of the author updates this week and some reviews for authors on the shelves of the bookstore. The first author is D.G. Kaye with a recent review for her memoir Words We Carry.

About Words We Carry

“I have been a great critic of myself for most of my life, and I was darned good at it, deflating my own ego without the help of anyone else.”

What do our shopping habits, high-heeled shoes, and big hair have to do with how we perceive ourselves? Do the slights we endured when we were young affect how we choose our relationships now?

D.G. takes us on a journey, unlocking the hurts of the past by identifying situations that hindered her own self-esteem. Her anecdotes and confessions demonstrate how the hurtful events in our lives linger and set the tone for how we value our own self-worth.
Words We Carry is a raw, personal accounting of how the author overcame the demons of low self-esteem with the determination to learn to love herself.

One of the recent reviews for the book

I purchased this book months ago, and for whatever reason, let it languish in the dusty corners of my Kindle. What a mistake! My eyes have been opened…

D. G. Kaye bares her soul by sharing some of the experiences she endured as a child and onward into her adult years, at the hands of a narcissistic mother. It’s all there, in excruciating detail, the shaming and the harmful words used to inflict pain resulting in the author’s low self-esteem.

She says:

“Many factors contribute to the complexities we experience throughout our lives, all of which aid in shaping our self-perception. We tend to carry baggage from our wounded egos—from the slights, injustices, and teasing of our pasts—which, when harbored internally, can fester into a damaged soul.”

Needless to say, I can relate to her experiences from my own upbringing. I immediately felt an empathetic connection to the author as a person, and that is where this author excels in her writing. By sharing her experiences, she appears to have found the formula for how to deal with her own issues head on!

Words We Carry is jam-packed full of sound “girlfriend” advice for those of us who are ready to change our perceptions. In fact, D. G. Kaye suggests that we learn to “become uplifted and inspired by positive people instead of clinging to negative people who will suck us dry of energy and, in the process, take us down with them.”

Real change is brought about when we learn to deal with ridicule and rejection. The author stresses an attitude of “self-love,” something we all need a healthy dose of at least once a day.

I didn’t feel like this was a “self-help” book, instead, I found this book to be more inspirational in nature. It gave me hope that I can learn to let go of the hurt from my own past. This is the third book I’ve read by D. G. Kaye. The author touches a chord in me every time. 

MY RATING: Character Believability: 5 Flow and Pace: 5 Reader Engagement: 5 Reader Enrichment: 5 Reader Enjoyment: 5 Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 STARS

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Words-We-Carry-Obsession-Self-Esteem-ebook/dp/B00OQJGE42

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Words-We-Carry-Obsession-Self-Esteem-ebook/dp/B00OQJGE42

Also by D.G. Kaye

Read the reviews and buy all of D.G. Kaye’s Books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

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

Read more reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7390618.D_G_Kaye

Connect to D.G. Kaye through her website.https://www.dgkayewriter.com

Colleen Chesebro is also an author in the Cafe and Bookstore.

Colleen Chesebro, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Stone-Chronicles-Swamp-Fairy/dp/1541015967Goodreads: Colleen at Goodreads
Website: https://colleenchesebro.com

This week I received a wonderful review for Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story from Paulette Mahurin.. delighted that the old boy is still touching hearts.

About Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story

The true story of Sam, a rough collie, written from his perspective. A tribute to a true friend and a genuine family member.

Millions of families around the World believe that their pet, dog or cat is the most intelligent, beautiful and loyal friend that anyone could have. And they are absolutely right.

From the first moment that I met Sam, when he was just three weeks old, his personality and charm shone from his button eyes. Like many pet owners, we were convinced he understood every word we spoke and he actually could say one or two himself. Rather than tell his story from our perspective I have given him a voice and let him tell his own.

I can only imagine what he really thought about his two and four-legged friends but I do hope he loved us as much as we adored him and the time he spent with us shining brightly in our lives.

If only our pets could talk how much richer the world would be, and funnier.

The most recent review for the book

I’m in love with Sam  on September 21, 2018

What a wonderful find. Being that I’m an animal lover and have spent a great many years involved in dog rescue, I was instantly drawn to the cover of this book. The beautiful photo is of Sam, who I instantly fell in love with as the pages unfolded in this marvelous story. From puppy-hood to a new home, new friends, Sam’s first language is cat. And it’s understandable when in the story we meet Henry, the toothless, feral cat, that Sam’s mistress Sally rescued. This friendship was funny, and sweet, and poignant–everything that makes up a beautiful friendship. It also served as a vehicle to introduce us to Sally’s heart–one filled with compassion. I could go on and on and on but then this review would be longer than his sweet, short read. But I can’t leave without mentioning how this book made me smile: from Sam’s retelling of his first wee-wee in the house to that never happening again; to his going outside and along with the piddle leaving a “fragrant parcel” (he uses Sally’s words); to the soot on his snout from diving into the fireplace, etc. This book is an absolute uplifting treat.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Sam-Shaggy-Story-Sally-Cronin-ebook/dp/B00GM0HPQE

and at Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sam-Shaggy-Story-Sally-Cronin-ebook/dp/B00GM0HPQE

A selection of other books by Sally Cronin

To read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2/

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Read more reviews and follow me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin

Paulette Mahurin is an author in the Cafe and Bookstore

Paulette Mahurin, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Paulette-Mahurin/e/B008MMDUGO/
Blogsite: https://thepersecutionofmildreddunlap.wordpress.com/

Profits from her books go to help rescue dogs from kill shelters.

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The next author with a recent review is Don Massenzio for his latest book Extra Innings.

About the book

Joe McLean hates his life. A lonely, divorced, middle-aged man, stuck in a cramped apartment, the only bright spot in Joe’s life is cheering on his hometown baseball team. Now, the local stadium, the place of many childhood and adult memories is being replaced. Joe desperately wants a piece of this iconic venue to preserve his memories and have some memorabilia from his happier past. That’s when unusual things begin to happen, and Joe begins to rethink the direction his life has taken. Can Joe take a different path in life? Can he use the special ability that he has acquired to change the course of his life? Will he realize the truth about old adage, you can never go home again? Follow the twists and turns in this supernatural story, Extra Innings, to find out.

A recent review for Extra Innings on Goodreads

Hugh Roberts‘s review Aug 02, 2018

When I first saw that this book had a ‘baseball’ theme, my heart dropped. Being British, I know little, if anything, about baseball. However, the ‘time-travel’ theme kept me interested, and I opened up my kindle copy and started reading it.

Although the story is centred around a ‘baseball’ theme and plays an essential part in the whole book, my worries of not finishing the book soon disappeared as I became hooked by what was going on in the plot, and what barriers Joe, the main character had to overcome. Being dyslexic, I find many plots too challenging to follow, but Massenzio wrote this book in a natural smooth way that never once had me querying what was going on. Yes, I had lots of questions while reading the book, but they were all answered in the story by the time I got to the ending.

Joe was a loveable character, as was his brother Mike, and I could visually see them in a movie version of this book. The chapters were a perfect length, and the whole thing flowed perfectly while reading.

I loved all the trips Joe took back to his past. It was great knowing the exact dates he was travelling back too, although the author does not always give the exact dates.

The book certainly got me thinking about what would happen if being able to travel back to the past to alter your timeline. I always thought it impossible to do (even in stories) and still question plots and say, ‘that’s not possible.’ However, reading this book has shown me something different and that it is possible to do in fiction. For me, that showcases how excellent the writing is in this book.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Extra-Innings-Can-Home-Again-ebook/dp/B07DHZ1SQC

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Extra-Innings-Can-Home-Again-ebook/dp/B07DHZ1SQC/

A selection of other books by Don Massenzio

Read all the reviews and find all the books: https://www.amazon.com/Don-Massenzio/e/B00JJVN0UI

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Don-Massenzio/e/B00JJVN0UI

Read more reviews and buy follow Don on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8157756.Don_Massenzio

51w8ilqqnkl-_ux250_Connect to Don via his website: https://donmassenzio.wordpress.com

Hugh W. Roberts is an author in the Cafe and Bookstore.

Hugh Roberts, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Hugh-W.-Roberts/e/B01N40ZABP
Bloghttp://hughsviewsandnews.com/

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Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will explore these authors and their books further. Also you might find your next book to read on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore, and details of how you can add your books.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-free-author-promotion/

Smorgasbord Posts Revisited – Cook from Scratch with Sally and Carol – Salmon – Omega 3 on a Plate


Carol Taylor is taking a break this week due to a laptop breakdown so I had decided to share the first of the Cook from Scratch posts that we collaborated on last year.

Some of you are familiar with my Medicine Woman’s larder and Carol and I have teamed up to provide you with recipes to make the most of these amazing foods.

I am providing the ingredients and sharing their nutritional and medicinal properties and Carol is taking them to a whole new level with her delicious recipes. You can find out more about Carol at the end of the post.

Today we are going to be looking at salmon and because most of these foods are very nutritious the posts with the recipes will be even longer than my usual offerings. I suggest you bookmark for a time you can put your feet up with a libation and enjoy at leisure.

Salmon – Omega 3 on a plate.

Much of the salmon available today comes from fisheries and conditions and feed of these farmed fish have improved through regulation in recent years. However, I am not convinced by the publicity and prefer to eat fish that has been caught in the ocean and to me there is definitely a difference in the taste of this salmon. You can buy ocean caught fish frozen or fresh, but be prepared as Salmon prices have been higher in the last couple of years due to longer winters and shorter fishing seasons in the north.

There is always some concern about the levels of mercury in fish and studies indicate that ocean caught salmon from the northern seas and rivers have levels that are considered to be low and safe for more regular consumption.

There are a number of health issues apart from heart function that eating salmon benefits including weight loss, bone health, a healthy immune system and brain health. The nutrients in this important source of protein are also helpful in preventing cancer and diabetes.

I will begin with Omega 3, which is abundant in fatty fish such as Salmon. Omega-3 (Linolenic Acid) is the principal Omega-3 fatty acid and is used in the formation of cell walls, improving circulation and oxygen. It is important that your overall cholesterol is kept to a normal level but it is equally important to ensure that the balance between the LDL (lousy cholesterol) and the HDL (healthy cholesterol) is maintained with a lower LDL to HDL ratio.

Omega 3 appears to maintain that correct balance. LDL (low density lipoprotein) has smaller particles than the higher density lipoprotein and when oxidised becomes dangerous. Because it is smaller it is able to clump and attach to the walls of the arteries and cause a dangerous narrowing. Pieces can also break off and travel in the bloodstream to major organs like the brain and the heart. An added bonus in eating salmon muscle is that it contains peptides that may also lower blood pressure.

Omega 3 is linked to brain health in a number of ways. The brain contains a large amount of fat especially Omega 3 fatty acids in particular DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). In studies DHA levels determined levels of brain activity and cognitive function and is thought to be essential for the growth and functional development of the brain in babies. This ability is not limited to young humans as it is vital that this brain activity and function is maintained into old age. Including Omega 3 fatty acids in our diet therefore may well decrease our risk of developing degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Carrying additional weight can certainly contribute to strain on the heart muscle and the salmon has a rather unusual property that whilst yet unproven may help in weight loss.

There is a protein that is released when we begin to eat called amylin. This protein travels to the brain where it is measured and the brain then decides when we have eaten sufficient food and should stop eating. Unfortunately we have got very adept at overriding this message from the brain and consequently we tend to eat more than we actually need leading to weight gain.

The salmon produces a hormone called calcitonin, which has the same effect on animals as amylin does in humans. There is no conclusive proof but it is felt that this hormone when eaten might result in us consuming less food.

As we get older the risk of bone fractures increases with many women particularly suffering from hip joint disease after menopause. Omega 3 may be instrumental in decreasing bone loss and therefore osteoporosis.

Salmon is high in selenium,which is a very important trace mineral that activates an antioxidant enzyme called glutathione peroxidase, which may help protect the body from cancer. It is vital for immune system function and may help prevent prostate cancerin particular.

Overall, the salmon contains many nutrients in the flesh and also in parts of the fish such as bone that is often included in canned fish. It is an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, iron, iodine, manganese, copper, phosphorus and zinc, some of which are of particular benefit for the cardiovascular system and the heart.

You can read more on the health benefits of Salmon at this link: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2016/08/25/medicine-womans-larder-salmon-fresh-from-the-sea-or-wild-is-an-amazing-food/

Now I will hand you over to Carol who is sharing some wonderful salmon recipes to whet your appetite for this versatile and nutritious fish.

Fish one of my favourite foods and cooked with fish sauce, chilli, lime and coriander it’s to die for….. so yum. My favourite is Loch Fyne Salmon Trout which I can get it here but when I do it is a welcome treat.…Salmon is so good for you in many ways and Sally explains that very well so between the two of us Sally will give you the astounding health benefits of Salmon and I will provide some easy to follow healthy recipes all cooked from scratch.
Firstly we have Salmon done the Thai way very tasty, very easy and wherever you are you should be able to easily obtain all the ingredients.

Ingredients:
180gm Salmon Trout or Salmon fillet.

For the topping:

  • 1 spring Onion finely chopped.
  • 2/3 stems Coriander chopped finely…i use stem as well.
  • 1 red bird’s eye chilli finely chopped.
  • 1 tbsp Fish Sauce.
  • A cheek of lime.

To prepare

  1. Put fish on foil and spoon topping on. I reserve some of topping to add when serving. Seal foil and put in oven on 180 for 10/15 mins until cooked.
  2. This of course depends on thickness of fish.
  3. When cooked remove from oven and serve with rice.

Enjoy!

Another favourite is Salmon with Linguine.

Ingredients

  • 180gm Salmon
  • 2tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/4-1/1/2 tsp of red chilli flakes. or 1 fresh chilli finely chopped. (you can omit this step)
  • 2/3 large cloves of garlic, crushed.
  • 2 small shallots finely chopped.
  • The zest of 1 lime or you can use lemon.
  • 3/4 tomatoes chopped.
  • Chopped parsley.
  • Fresh parmesan as desired.
  • 400gm of Linguine or pasta of your choice.

To Prepare

  1. I lightly steam my salmon and set aside to cool.
  2. At the same time cook your pasta in boiling salted water as per the packet instructions.
  3. Heat your oil in a pan, add the garlic and the shallots and chilli if you are using cook for 2-3 minutes being careful not to burn the garlic.
  4. I often just add a small piece of butter to this…it stops the olive oil burning.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for two minutes then add the flaked salmon, the lime zest and parsley and cook for a further 2/3 minutes.
  6. Drain the pasta and reserve 70 ml of the cooking water.
  7. Add pasta to the salmon mix and gently combine.
  8. Season and add some freshly grated parmesan cheese…this is where I can get a bit over zealous as we love parmesan, also adjust seasoning if required.
  9. Stir in all or some of the reserved pasta liquid and sprinkle with parsley to serve…with a lovely green salad or some lightly steamed vegetables and of course a glass of your favourite vino.

Enjoy!

Snacking

Sometimes you just want a little snack and this one is quick and easy to do…Most of us have a packet of rice cakes in the cupboard don’t we?…Well lets jazz it up a little and take it from the boring to the sublime.

Just mash an avocado coarsely add some black pepper, lemon juice and a little mint if liked or maybe a little crumbled feta.

Spread on the rice cakes and top with a little smoked salmon…divine.

Having a BBQ?

Then skewer the salmon with some small onions and lemon slices if doing chunks or cut salmon length ways and thread on to the skewer and then brush them with this lovely dip when you turn them on the BBQ or grill.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 2 smashed garlic cloves
  • ½ tbsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Large pinch of black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil preferably light as extra virgin tends to burn.
  • 2 tbsp lemon or lime juice

Salmon is very versatile and goes with lots of combinations of sauces with oil, white sauces or burnt butter sauce there are many ways you can dress up that lovely salmon

I hope you enjoyed this selection of recipes and reading about the health benefits of the Salmon.

I will be sharing more Cook from Scratch in coming weeks

About Carol Taylor

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

My thanks to Carol for these wonderful recipes and I hope you will join us again next week another Food and Cookery Column….Please feel free to share thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update #Reviews – C.S. Boyack, Karen Ingalls and Sally Cronin


I have decided to consolidate the Meet the Reviewers and the usual twice weekly posts to maximise exposure for both author and reviewer.. I will however, include reviews for non Cafe and Bookstore authors in the new series of The Blogger Daily.

My aim with these posts and by using the Cafe as a focal point is to give authors a regular spot to show case their reviews… and with the New on the Shelves their recent releases. I do catch many of them by seeing notices on social media, but it does help if you drop me a line, particularly with your new releases.

The July Summer Sale for authors in the Cafe is beginning on July 9th.. with follow up posts on 13th, 16th and 20th. There were originally 20 slots available for those of you who would like to offer your books at a discounted rate during that period and for the following week or so. There are now only five slots and if you are interested here is the post.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/27/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-summer-sale-july-9th-july-20th-what-do-you-think/

Now time to share today’s recent reviews and the first author is C.S. Boyack with a recent review for The Yak Guy Project.

About The Yak Guy Project

Imagine waking up in the desert with no idea what happened to you. You have clear memories of situations and places, but a complete loss in personal matters… like your own name. This situation is bad, and you have no idea how to get home.

When you’re rescued by a talking yak, the situation gets exponentially worse. You’ve obviously lost your mind. The immediate needs of a ride off the salt pan and searing heat, along with a drink of water, outweigh the concerns about your mental state.

This is exactly what happened to the Yak Guy. In fact he’s been placed in an alternate world and given a chance to start over in life.

Can this selfish, almost parasitic, young man learn to start over in a world where charity is hard to find? Life is brutal and short here, but he’s going to have to adapt or perish.

The Yak Guy project is loosely based around The Fool’s Journey from the Tarot. Those with experience in Tarot will spot people and situations from the Major Arcana.

One of the recent reviews of The Yak Guy Project on Goodreads

Jun 23, 2018 Karen rated it Five Stars

This book introduces you to a man who gets a second chance and to a yak.

With The Yak Guy Project, C. S. Boyack presents us with an entertaining and sometimes pretty funny dystopian story. The story is skillfully elaborated and has a great flow. Ernest Hemingway once stated “When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.” C. S. Boyack shows this masterly with this story – he created living people (and an amazing yak) instead of mere characters; even if the yak is not human – it has personality. I was drawn into the story right away, very close to the man and – the yak. The protagonists’ personalities are complex, the others of sufficient depth according to their relevance. Protagonists who grow with their tasks and a yak as a moral guide will take you on an unforgettable journey. I could easily envision the characters and locations. I had a wonderful time reading The Yak Guy Project; it is a highly entertaining read.

This is for you if you like great story-telling, dystopian stories, interesting personalities to cheer on, as well as thought-provoking, and fun moments. This is a book to read again. Highly recommended! 

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Yak-Guy-Project-C-Boyack-ebook/dp/B07D1QY9Y7

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Yak-Guy-Project-C-Boyack-ebook/dp/B07D1QY9Y7

For all other Amazon Bookstores: http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B07D1QY9Y7

A small selection of other books by C.S. Boyack

 Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/C.-S.-Boyack/e/B00ILXBXUY

And on Amazon UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/C.-S.-Boyack/e/B00ILXBXUY

Read more reviews and follow C.S. Boyack on Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9841203.C_S_Boyack

Connect to Craig via his blog and website: http://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com

The next featured author is Karen Ingalls with her book Davida: Model and Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens

About Davida

Augustus Saint-Gaudens was the premier American sculptor from 1880-1920. Though married he fell in love with his model, Davida Johnson Clark and their love affair lasted more than twenty-five years. This fictionalized account will introduce the reader to some of the great art, historical facts, and the moral values of that era.

The author is the great-granddaughter from this union and her purpose in writing the book is to bring recognition to Davida and remove any negative stigma to her. Her grandfather suffered his whole life from being labeled a bastard while growing up and this story is intended to remove that label.

How can a love affair last for such a long period of time? What affect did it have on his career? How did his wife and son cope with their being a second family?

This is a compelling and beautiful love story that has needed to be told.

One of the recent reviews for Davida:  Model and Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens

While a bit slower paced than my usual reads, I did enjoy Davida. It is a tale of forbidden love during a time of extreme social conservatism.

The main character, Albertina, has a sweet innocence and charm that capture the reader’s adoration.

Her lover, Gus, is a driven artist who is torn between his desire for Albertina and his passion for art. He’s already married and has a son. If he chooses Albertina exclusively, his career as a sculptor is over.

I would highly recommend Davida to anyone who is a fan of romance, history, and art.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Davida-Model-Mistress-Augustus-Saint-Gaudens-ebook/dp/B01DA963A8/

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Davida-Model-Mistress-Augustus-Saint-Gaudens-ebook/dp/B01DA963A8/

Also by Karen Ingalls.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Karen-Ingalls/e/B009KT5QWY

Read more reviews and follow Karen Ingalls on Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/kareningalls

Connect to Karen via her website: http://kareningalls.blogspot.ie/

Now time for me to show off my most recent review for Just an Odd Job Girl which delighted me this week from Robbie Cheadle.

About the book

At 50 Imogen had been married for over 20 years, and was living in a big house, with money to spare. Suddenly she is traded-in for a younger model, a Fast-Tracker.
Devastated, she hides away and indulges in binge eating. But then, when hope is almost gone, she meets a new friend and makes a journey to her past that helps her move on to her future.

The recent review for the book

Imogen has been rejected by her husband of 20 years. She discovers that he has been having an affair, that the woman has become pregnant and that he wants a divorce all in one go. It is devastating to Imogen who has devoted her life to building her home, raising her children and being a good wife and mother. Somehow, along the way, Imogen seems to have lost all her vitality and spunk and changed into another, less vivid, version of herself. Although she knows this, Imogen struggles to overcome her depression and feelings of inadequacy until she makes a impulsive decision to go for an interview with a placement agency for older women and find herself a job.

The man who interviews Imogen is interested in her and her past jobs and life. He spends time talking to her and draws her out of the shell she has crawled into. As Imogen starts to remember her previous challenges and triumphs in her jobs as a younger person, her resilient character and determination start to resurface. Imogen embarks on a wonderful make-over and shares her numerous entertaining jobs with the reader. They range from a young girl selling trinkets on the beach, to the resourceful manageress of a steakhouse and lastly, to the manageress of a hotel in Cornwall [which I have not been to but which sounded quite rural and remote to me and the thought of arriving on my own at such a place, by train and late in the evening, gave me the shivers], with many other interesting experiences in between. Things in Imogen’s varied roles don’t always go smoothly and her mishaps and slightly reckless decisions will have you howling with laughter.

I really enjoyed this book and reading all about the various odd jobs Imogen had in her youth. The ending is very satisfying and leaves you with a very happy and uplifted feeling.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Just-Odd-Girl-Sally-Cronin-ebook/dp/B00M10F4O4/

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Just-Odd-Girl-Sally-Cronin-ebook/dp/B00M10F4O4/

A selection of other books by Sally Cronin

To read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2/

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Read more reviews and follow me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin

Robbie Cheadle is an author in the Cafe and Bookstore

Robbie Cheadle, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ
Blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

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Thank you for dropping in today.. and don’t forget if you are an author in the Cafe and Bookstore and you want to get your news out there… get in touch at sally.cronin@moyhill.com

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-free-author-promotion/

Smorgasbord Short Stories – Flights of Fancy – The Sewing Circle – Part One by Sally Cronin


Welcome to another story from Flights of Fancy .. this is novella length so I will be spreading it over several days. I hope you enjoy.


The Sewing Circle – Part One

The sewing circle met at Betty’s flat on the ground floor of Malcolm House, every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. There were six regular members, and the odd person who dropped in, who appreciated the group was the source of gossip and information about the Redgrave Estate.

Copious cups of tea were provided with members taking it in turn to produce homemade cakes that were judged critically during the course of the afternoon. Recipes were swapped and toppings envied as the ladies knitted and embroidered the hours away. All of the members were over eighty and had lived varied and sometimes tragic lives. They had been born and brought up in this deprived area of South London, and the fact that they still participated so fully in their lives, was a testament to their strength of character.

The tenant of the flat, and gracious hostess, was Betty Smith. She had been lucky in as much as her husband had lived long enough to enjoy ten years of retirement with her. They had lived in the annexe of their son’s lovely house near Chelmsford, but after Arthur’s death, Betty felt lonely and isolated, especially with her son and daughter-in-law out at work every day. She moved into the flats five years ago, and was delighted to find that several of her old friends were not only still alive, but resident on the estate. She was now eighty-six and a firm favourite with the younger children on the Redgrave; eager recipients of her cupcakes.

Mary Jones was eighty-three, had lost two husbands in the Second World War, three children as babies, and had toiled into her seventies as a cleaner at an office block in the heart of the City. Her wrinkled face identified a life-long affair with nicotine and her skin had the patina of a well-polished piece of walnut. Mary was the matinee-jacket expert, having knitted for four generations of the offspring of her two surviving daughters. Her eyesight was not all that it used to be but her loving family forgave her the odd dropped stitch. Arthritis made it difficult for her to get out on her own. The other more mobile members of the circle would walk with her to the post office to collect her pension on Thursdays and to the convenience store on the corner of the estate. She had recently started using a wheeled stroller and was very pleased with her new-found independence. With the help of her neighbour, she had even made it down to the Red Lion pub for the pensioner’s special one week, and was planning to make this a regular outing.

Sylvia Ross, the youngest member of the circle, was a bit of a mystery as she always changed the subject when asked about her early years. She had no family it would seem, and even when firmly pressed, refused to give details of where she was born or brought up. She once let slip that she had been married, but then changed the subject, which of course elevated the curiosity of her fellow members to extraordinary levels. This resulted in a certain amount of behind the scenes digging, and once or twice snippets of an enticing nature were ferreted out, only to fizzle away from lack of information. She was just eighty and extremely elegant. She always wore a smart suit to the sewing circle, although it was obvious that the classic clothes were decades old.

Her blonde hair was touched up every month by the hairdresser in the high street and her nails were the envy of all the teenage girls in her block. The circle marvelled at her ability to embroider with her extended, red talons, but liked her too much to pass comment. They doubted that they would ever get to the bottom of the mystery, but Sylvia was a lively and generous member of the group who was always there if one of them was ill or needed assistance. She truly had a heart of gold.

Maggie Baxter was originally from Jamaica, and had married a seaman from Hackney in the fifties. She had the most wonderful laugh and her generous spirit was well known throughout the estate. A trained nurse, she had acted as the community midwife for over twenty-five years, and even now, at eighty-five, was called upon regularly by the young mother’s on the estate, for help and guidance during and after their frequent pregnancies. Nothing shocked Maggie, and she could be relied on to keep a secret. She was not above giving some of the younger, more obnoxious, residents of the estate a quick smack if they got out of hand on the stairwells, but on the whole even the toughest of adolescent boys who roamed the estate, jobless and bored, knew that Maggie Baxter would be there any time of night or day.

Her friends in the sewing circle warned her that she needed to be careful when out and about in the area. In recent months, several new families had been housed on the estate and their rowdy kids were an unknown quantity. In fact, petty crime was on the increase, despite the fact that they had their own community police presence, and on two occasions recently elderly residents had been mugged and injured on their way back from the local shops.

The frailest of the group was Flo Miles, a tiny little woman who had amazingly borne twelve children, all of whom had survived wars and sickness. She had thirty-six grandchildren, fifteen great grandchildren, and at ninety years old was considered the queen of the Redgrave. She had lived there since it was built, twenty years earlier, and knew every little bit of gossip there was to be had about the residents. The other members even suspected she knew more that she was telling about Sylvia Ross, but on this subject, she was strangely close-mouthed. She was also fearless, and despite her fragile appearance, walked herself to and from the local Bingo Hall; despite her friends’ insistence that she go by taxi. The fact that she was a prolific winner also worried the members of the sewing circle. She did make the compromise, that on nights that she won money; she would get a cab home, getting the driver to walk her to her ground floor flat, conveniently close to the parking area.

Sarah Dempsey, or big Sal, as she was known to her friends and neighbours, was a gregarious and fun loving Irish woman, who had come over to London as a spinster of thirty-eight, in the late 1950’s. She had cared for her parents until their death and then found herself evicted from her family home by her brother who had inherited the lot. He had begrudgingly given her forty pounds and bought her a one-way ticket to England. Luckily, Sal found a job as a waitress in a large department store in Knightsbridge, and being the hard worker that she was, she remained in that job for over thirty years. She had a lovely little pension as well as her state benefits, and she adored giving unusual and unexpected gifts to every one of her acquaintance. She was treasured by everyone, especially when she burst into song at quiz nights, and other functions held in the community centre.

So, here was the sewing circle, a group of friends who were independent and who took care of each other lovingly. All very different, but all intent on one thing, ending their lives with dignity, and in the company of people they cared for.

There was just one problem, and that was the Jackson family. The Jacksons had moved onto the estate after being moved from two other communities because of their unreasonable behaviour. Archie Jackson was in prison for violent offences more than he was out, and his wife Sharon was a loud-mouthed harridan who could be heard through the thin walls of the flats, shouting and swearing throughout the day and long into the night. They had five children; although it was a mystery to everyone, how she had so many, bearing in mind that Archie was inside most of the seventeen years they had been married. The more uncharitable amongst the residents speculated on the difference in look and colour between the offspring, and there were certainly enough suspicions to cast doubts on Archie’s participation in some of their conceptions.

Everyone on the estate gave the Jacksons a wide berth. Since their arrival, petty crime on the estate had risen dramatically, and the residents’ committee had even requested a meeting with the Police representative, to try to stem the tide of thefts and muggings that suddenly affected the area. The police did what they could, and in fact, they did catch the older Jackson boy, Darren, red handed shoplifting from the corner shop. But because he was only fifteen he was let off with probation. Next, the committee tried the council who said that having moved the Jackson’s twice already they were running out of options. There were suggestions from some of the residents, that a prison ship or deserted island would be a suitable place to move the family, but in the end, the council promised to try to find alternative accommodation away from the Redgrave.

Hoping that a resolution was only a matter of weeks away everyone on the estate held their collective breath, trusting that not too much damage would be inflicted on property, or themselves, in the meantime.

This wish was not to be granted, and for one of the members of the sewing circle, life was about to take a desperate turn.

©sallycronin Flights of Fancy 2009

Other short story anthologies.

You can find all my books at these links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Smashwords for Epub: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/SallyGCronin

More reviews can be found on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin

Thank you for dropping in and as always I value your feedback. Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Frank Parker, Gigi Sedlmayer, Sally Cronin and Andrew Joyce.


Welcome to the Friday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore Update. The first author who has been enjoying recent reviews is Frank Parker for the historical novel Strongbow’s Wife.

About the book

Do you have Irish ancestry? How much do you know about the act of treachery that gave rise to the centuries long conflict between Ireland and the English?

A century after the Norman conquest of England, the men entrusted with suppressing the Welsh were invited to bring peace to Ireland. The result was the opposite: the commencement of a tumultuous period in the relationship between England, Wales and Ireland that began 800 years of subjugation of the Irish by the English.

Little is recorded about the life of the woman who married Strongbow in return for the latter’s assistance in her father’s quest to regain the kingship of Leinster. The activities of Strongbow, and the other Cambro-Normans who took part in the occupation of Ireland in the twelfth century, have been written about extensively. Of Aoife we know only that she accompanied her father on his year long search for assistance, that, when Strongbow eventually arrived, the marriage took place days after a massacre in Waterford.

This account of those events is presented through her eyes. First as a teenager trying to understand the politics behind her father’s downfall. Then as a young wife caught up in the rivalry between her husband and the other leaders of the invading army. Finally, as a widowed mother worried about her children and the future of her native land.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Strongbow’s Wife by Frank Parker is a sprawling saga of 12th century Irish history as told through the eyes of Aoife MacMurrough, daughter of Dermot MacMurrough, King of Leinster. Though a work of fiction, it is evident that Parker used extensive research to bring to life the challenges of ancient feudal clans fighting for cultural preservation.

Parker’s story begins in 1152, when Aoife is a child watching her father struggle to maintain his kingdom. She travels for several years with her father and mother in search of the King of England who might be able to provide support for Leinster. The plan fails, and Dermot MacMurrough plots another strategy, offering Aoife in marriage to Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke. In return, de Clare would lead the Norman invasion to fend off feuding usurpers of Leinster. Aoife MacMurrough marries Richard de Clare, also known as Strongbow, in 1170. The union assures the sovereignty of Leinster and leads to greater stabilization of peace. The story ends in 1187, the year before Aoife, princess of Leinster and countess of Pembroke, died.

In addition to remaining true to historical events, Parker uses sensory descriptions of locations to provide context. His dialogue seems to fit the period, and his metaphors are rich and colorful. These are definite strengths. I thought it was good to have the story told by Strongbow’s wife, and Parker tried to present a woman’s perspective. At times, that fell short for me. For example, Aoife only “paled” when she received word that her husband died. Other times, such as when Aoife’s son died, Parker did an excellent job of presenting the grief of a mother.

Some sections are somewhat boring, without much detail to provide an understanding of this period of medieval Irish history. Characters are mentioned, but I didn’t know enough about them to comprehend their importance. For example, Thomas Becket was presented early in the story. I’m aware that he was Archbishop of Canterbury until murdered in 1170, but I’m not sure of his connection to MacMurrough or Strongbow.

Overall, I liked Strongbow’s Wife. It would not normally be my choice of reading with battles, and decapitations, and fighting for dominance or control. But such is the history of mankind. The story’s strengths outweigh my minor criticisms. Well done, Frank Parker.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Strongbows-Wife-Frank-Parker/dp/1499601220

and on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Strongbows-Wife-Frank-Parker/dp/1499601220

Books by Frank Parker

Read the reviews and buy the books:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Frank-Parker/e/B0076JVE5I

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Frank-Parker/e/B0076JVE5I

Read more reviews and follow Frank on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7834486.Frank_Parker

Connect to Frank via his website and blog: https://franklparker.com/

Gigi Sedlmayer has received recent reviews for Come Fly with Me the first book in the Talon Series. She has also entered her fourth book in the series to the Authorsdb for the First lines and Cover competitions …you can find how to vote after the review.

51jo3ypdlbl-_uy250_About Come Fly with Me.

Talon, come fly with me is a delightful middle grade story set in Peru with a family of condors and missionary Australians.

Is it possible for condors to understand humans?

Suspend your beliefs and watch how an under-size girl, Matica, finds friends with a family of condors, after being rejected by the Indians because of her size.

There are beautiful descriptions of the flight of the condors, and more so when Talon is cared for by Matica. The language suits this age group and does not talk down to the reader.

This is a great inspirational story for everyone. It will lift you up and make you believe in adventures, friendships, acceptance in a whole new light.

Come and take the journey that is called Matica’s life. It is filled with rejections, heartbreaks, growth and loneliness, but through it all, it will make you feel stronger.
Talon, Come Fly With Me is the first book in this series and you will be blown away!!!
In a world full of pain this story gives ones hope

One of the recent reviews for the book

In life there are so many things that can weigh us down. Some times it is our circumstances and other times it might be ourselves. What matters most, however, is that we realize that we can soar in life if we don’t give up.

That to me is one of the big messages of the book TALON: Come Fly with Me by Gigi Sedlmayer. It takes you into the journey of Matica and Talon, both of him are not expected to do or be much because of circumstances but together realize that they are powerful. I love how this story evolves in such a way that it is great for readers of all ages. It reminds me that there is nothing that is truly impossible if we choose to believe that you can accomplish a goal. Maybe Matica couldn’t change how others saw her, but she could change how she chose to see herself. That empowered her to help Talon do the same, allowing them to show everyone why you shouldn’t count a girl (or bird) down.

Inspiring and a great reminder for everyone who has been told who they are not. TALON: Come Fly with Me reminds us to see who we are.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Talon-Come-Fly-Gigi-Sedlmayer-ebook/dp/B00J2643PG

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Talon-Come-Fly-Gigi-Sedlmayer-ebook/dp/B00J2643PG/

Also by Gigi Sedlmayer

Gigi has entered Talon Connected – The Fourth book of the series in the Authorsdb First Lines Contest: https://authorsdb.com/2018-first-lines-contest/24853-first-lines-contest-2018-talon-connected

And also into the cover contest: https://authorsdb.com/2018-cover-contest-results/25756-cover-contest-2018-talon-connected

She would be grateful if you could find the time to vote for the book.. Thanks

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Gigi-Sedlmayer/e/B003U8G4WC

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gigi-Sedlmayer/e/B003U8G4WC

Read more reviews and follow Gigi on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4405791.Gigi_Sedlmayer

71xvkajfzxl-_ux250_Connect to Gigi via her website: http://gigised.com/

And the next author is me… I have received a number of lovely reviews in the last month for What’s in a Name Volume 1… and am really delighted.

About the collection

There are names that have been passed down through thousands of years which have powerful and deep-rooted meaning to their bearers. Other names have been adopted from other languages, cultures and from the big screen. They all have one thing in common. They are with us from birth until the grave and they are how we are known to everyone that we meet.

There are classical names such as Adam, David and Sarah that will grace millions of babies in the future. There are also names that parents have invented or borrowed from places or events in their lives which may last just one lifetime or may become the classic names of tomorrow.

Whatever the name there is always a story behind it. In What’s in a Name? – Volume One, twenty men and women face danger, love, loss, romance, fear, revenge and rebirth as they move through their lives.

Anne changes her name because of associations with her childhood, Brian carries the mark of ancient man, Jane discovers that her life is about to take a very different direction, and what is Isobel’s secret?

One of the recent reviews for the collection.

What a delightful read! Despite reading good reviews, I really didn’t know what to expect when I began the first (name) short story in this collection. I was enthralled immediately. Sally Cronin has a way of writing that invites you in with a cozy cup of tea and a biscuit, and then she weaves her tales about each person so succinctly, yet so elaborately at the same time, that by the end of the story, you don’t want to let go of that name. Of that character. Clever idea – to write a story for a person with a name. Think about it – what’s in YOUR name? .

You can read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N6Y8BK1/

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Whats-Name-Sally-Cronin-ebook/dp/B01N6Y8BK1

A selection of my other books

All available in Ebook from:  http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

And Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

And you can read more reviews and follow me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin

Pamela Wight is also an author in the Cafe and Bookstore

Pamela S. Wight, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Pamela-S.-Wight/e/B00AYXT6R6
Blog:https://roughwighting.net/

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The final author with today is Andrew Joyce with a recent review fo Ellis: One Man’s Remarkable Life

About the book

From a rich tradition—from a fearless and audacious heritage—came forth a man who would be the embodiment of the Gloucester fisherman.

Ellis Hodgkins caught his first bluefin tuna at the tender age of fourteen, using only a hand line. It weighed 750 pounds. He did it by himself, fishing out of a ten-foot skiff. That feat earned him the title of Boy Wonder in and around Gloucester.

For those who marvel at the deeds of the men of Wicked Tuna, Ellis did it all before those guys were born.

This is the true story of one man’s remarkable life—a life lived on its own terms.

“Ellis is my hero.”—Dave Carraro of Wicked Tuna

One of the recent reviews for the book

Andrew Joyce is an American historical fiction author who creates tales as large as the characters in his books, and Ellis Hodgkins is definitely one of those characters.

At fourteen, Ellis caught his first bluefin tuna by hand, which was no easy task considering the fish weighed over 750 pounds. That single feat of strength initiates the teen on a path to fame and fortune.

“Ellis,” is the character study of a man motivated by an inner determination to succeed which follows him throughout all the stages of his life. Descended from tough Gloucester fishermen, Ellis is constantly evolving and changing which I found to be part of his allure. This young man embraces change. He has the foresight to recognize the big picture in many of his adventures resulting in even more opportunities. Nobody could ever say Ellis was a slacker.

Andrew Joyce follows the path of Ellis’ life journey in three acts, incorporating a rich historical perspective which serves to set the scene for each new location. I loved the history of the Seminoles in South Florida. Those historical tidbits were woven into Ellis’ story bringing a sense of the past to the future.

I’m not much of a sailor, but if you love sailing, this book contains rich descriptions that will put you in the middle of the action. I also loved the ending which inferred that Ellis’ story isn’t yet finished.

The book is a quick read, more the size of a novella, which is perfect for bedtime reading. At $.99 for the Kindle version, it is well worth the price. Drop anchor and have a read!

MY RATING: Character Believability: 5  Flow and Pace: 5  Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5 Reader Enjoyment: 5 Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 STARS

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Ellis-Andrew-Joyce-ebook/dp/B079NSFK86

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ellis-Andrew-Joyce-ebook/dp/B079NSFK86

Also by Andrew Joyce

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Read the reviews and buy all the books: https://www.amazon.com/Andrew-Joyce/e/B00EUCFDTM

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Andrew-Joyce/e/B00EUCFDTM

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

Colleen Chesebro is an author in the Cafe and Bookstore.

Colleen Chesebro, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Stone-Chronicles-Swamp-Fairy/dp/1541015967
Website: https://colleenchesebro.com

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Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed the selection of books on offer. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Odd Jobs and Characters – The Steak House


This series shares some of the jobs I have turned my hand to over that fifty years, and some were very odd. Not many have sat at a table between two teams of champion dairy cows, selling bull semen!  Over the years I have accumulated a massive dossier of characters and events that now take centre stage in my short stories.

If you have read my novel Just an Odd Job Girl you will have met some of them but over the next few weeks I hope to bring you some of the others that inspired and stimulated my imagination.

Not all these posts appeared on Smorgasbord as some fantastic blogging friends allowed me to guest post. If that is the case of course I will include their books and links.

You can find the previous odd jobs here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/short-stories-odd-jobs-and-characters-2018/

This episode was kindly hosted by John W. Howell and you can find out more about John and his books later in the post.

I began my training as an assistant manager in a steak house in Kent in 1974. For the six months, I would rotate around through the two bars and two restaurants that served a simple menu of steak, chicken, and fish. Most dishes came with either French fries (chips) and peas. For the more health conscious there was a jacket potato option, but by the time several pats of butter had been added, it was as fattening as the fries. Dessert options were ice cream with chocolate sauce and sprinkled nuts, or apple pie and cream. The wine menu was short and featured the German white wines so popular at the time, with much touting of the young French red wines with alleged body and clarity.

However, despite not being a Michelin starred establishment, the training was considered to be one of the best in that particular area of the hospitality industry. It was certainly intensive, and when you consider the hours we worked daily, six days a week, the six months training was actually something you would normally complete in twelve months.

The building itself had been built in 1812 and sported the red flocked wallpaper so fashionable in the 1960s and 1970s. Smoking was still in its hey day and the ceiling was a curious shade of tobacco after 150 years of nicotine exhalation. The smell that greeted you in the morning was ‘eau de tabac’ laced with beer overtones. When you had been working until after midnight, had barely six hours sleep, you found yourself declining anything but black coffee until lunchtime.

I have to say that I loved it, despite the hard work and long hours. We had some very interesting regulars, and the locals embraced the concept of the steak house with gusto. It was cheap and cheerful, and as music blared out on a Friday and Saturday night, both downstairs and upstairs bars and restaurants were packed. The waiting list for a table could be an hour or more, but beer and schooners of sherry (lethal), dulled the senses sufficiently for the wait to be quite jovial.

During the day, only the downstairs restaurant was in use and was consistently busy. This offered the assistant managers time to do the usual administrative work needed to run the steak house, such as ordering food and spirits and cleaning the bars after the night before.

In the evenings it was my job to run the upstairs restaurant, with a team of waitresses waiting on the tables, and two bar staff, who alternated between serving pre-dinner drinks and after dinner liqueur coffees with assorted spirits (this is pre-drink-driving laws!).

The waitresses were rushed off their feet as they juggled three or four large plates laden with steak, chicken, and sides. My job to help in reducing the waiting list was to clear the tables as soon as the diners had paid, and re-equip with cutlery, glasses, and napkins as rapidly as possible. I would then dash back to the bar and announce the name of the lucky party over the tannoy system, who could now stagger after me into the restaurant.

One Saturday night in the middle of a very busy service, I had to handle a potentially difficult situation that could have ended up in the papers (thank goodness there were no mobile phones in those days). As you will remember this building was old, and there were dark recesses within the walls and ceilings, that you would have been wise to avoid for what might reside there.

I was checking the state of play on progress at a number of tables where the patrons were wiping away the evidence of their chocolate sundae. I noticed a man at a table with a party of six, bend down to retrieve his napkin. Instead, he came up with something smaller and definitely furrier than the paper serviette. I suspect that as a natural reflex, he stood with his arm held straight out from his body, clearly amazed at his catch. From my vantage point at the entrance to the restaurant, I identified the rotating body of a dead mouse.

There is a split second between shocked discovery and the public announcement of the find. Although never great at school at the 100 metre dash, I now excelled myself. Dropping the waiting list on the bar, I rushed through the restaurant and snatched the unfortunate deceased rodent from its captor, continuing on to the kitchen at warp speed. I deposited the mouse in the bin and turned and raced back the other way to find the patron staring at his hand and looking around in confusion.

Lighting in the restaurants was provided by dim wall lights in order to provide a romantic and intimate feel to the experience. It also served to conceal the tobacco infused ceiling and rather dodgy carpet. It also thankfully managed to befuddle the diner, who thankfully had not only consumed four pints of beer in the bar beforehand, but also a bottle of our best Liebfraumilch. I added to the befuddlement, by handing him his fallen napkin, and asking if the party would be interested in some liqueur coffees on the house, to compensate them for their long wait before dining.

An exterminator was called the next day and traps were hidden in all the usual haunts. But there was a postscript to this story.

One of the waitresses was a bit of a madam and was always giving the chef grief. As part of the staff’s pay, supper was included before the restaurants opened in the evening. The day after the incident, this particular waitress retrieved her indicated supper from the hot plate, and on sitting down, removed the cover. She issued a piercing scream that probably cleared the rodents from the building far more effectively than the traps. I came over to find out what the problem was, to discover her staring at her plate of battered mouse, French fries, and peas.

©Sally Cronin – 2017

 Next week – The Steak House Part Two – originally hosted by Sue Vincent.

Short story anthologies.

You can find all my books at these links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Smashwords for Epub: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/SallyGCronin

More reviews can be found on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin

About John Howell

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Books by John W. Howell.

One of the recent reviews for the first book in the series – My GRL.

My GRL pulled me in from abrupt murder at the start of the story and didn’t let go until the spectacular unexpected ending.

I enjoyed the writing style and humor. The plot had enough twists to keep me guessing and engaged in the story.

If you are looking for an unpredictable thriller to get lost in for a day or two, I’d recommend you giving this book a try. I’ll be picking up the other books in the series

You can read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/John-W.-Howell/e/B00HMRWO6C

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/John-W.-Howell/e/B00HMRWO6C

Read more reviews and follow John on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell

Connect to John.

Blog: http://www.johnhowell.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HowellWave
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed finding out about the background to some of my characters.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update – Matthew Drzymala, Deborah A. Bowman, Christine Campbell, Angie Dokos and Sally Cronin


Welcome to Friday’s update and time to catch up with some of the talented authors on the shelves with news to share. The first author is Matthew Drzymala with a new release, the sixth in The Bumpkinton Tales – short story series – The Fantastical Gregory Shortbread.

About the book

World-renowned author Sara Hawthorne has chosen the village of Bumpkinton to launch her new book.

However, as the writer arrives, all hell breaks loose as the community faces its worst crime wave in living memory. Even the church roof tiles have been stolen!

The time has come for a fundraising event the likes of which Bumpkinton has never seen. But when the big night turns sour, the village needs a hero.

It needs a run of spectacular shows orchestrated by a theatrical genius.

It needs the fantastical Gregory Shortbread.

Buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fantastical-Gregory-Shortbread-Bumpkinton-Tales/dp/0995499322/

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Fantastical-Gregory-Shortbread-Bumpkinton-Tales-ebook/dp/B07BB2FM1F/

Also by Matthew Drzymala

 

Here is a review for Volume one of The Bumpkinton Tales on Goodreads.

Aug 07, 2016 K.F Pharrel rated it Five Stars

Filled with wit, and good old English humor. This was a very smooth, enjoyable read. A great book to grab and go to the beach, you can pick and choose which short story to enjoy. The characters were all very unique and had that typical small-town mentality, which I can relate to.. seeing it and growing up around it. The small town talk, radiated with humor, and you found yourself chuckling to yourself, because it is oh so accurate!

Everyone focuses on the “exciting/different” person/couple in town, talk and create more drama surrounding the topic at hand, because they are bored and that is what small town minds do, and then the next week they forget about it and chose another victim haha. All of the characters were a reflection of the small town characters in any town. Everyone is unique or weird in their own way, and people seem to talk about who ever is the most exciting/strange in that moment. I have always loved small towns, and will continue to love them, because of this simple aspect.. I think it’s absolutely hilarious. And to really truly laugh about it, you have to not care what people think of you, and never participate even though they will always try to suck you in and pull you down to that level.

The author did an excellent job in connecting the reader to the characters in such a short time frame, that is not easy to do. Everyone has their own story and the author communicated this across in a beautiful way. And of course there is always more to it. Definitely a great read, and I recommend this to anyone who loves small towns or is interested in their functioning.

You can read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Matthew-Drzymala/e/B00HGBB17W

Find more reviews and follow Matthew on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7583918.Matthew_Drzymala

Connect to Matthew via his website: http://matthewdrzymala.com/bumpkinton-comedy-books/

And now a recent review for Deborah A. Bowman with Annie’s Story: Blessed with a Gift which was released in 2017.

About Annie’s story

This story of love and faith by “different” people—now called “special” people—begs to be told. “Annie’s Story” is about a dwarfed, mentally slow child growing up in Colonial America, who is “Blessed With A Gift” from the Spiritual Universe. In Annie’s lifetime, babies born with birth defects and their mothers were banished or put to death—their names cleansed from all church and legal records. Annie’s message is timeless, and her shining spirit reveals that “History Does Repeat Itself” in the treatment, abuse, labeling, and bullying of women, children, and individuals with special needs.

Factual research has confirmed what many generations have tried to eradicate or conceal as was done in the Salem Witch Hysteria of 1692-93, nearly half-a-century “after” Annie lived. JOIN THE ANNIE MOVEMENT to continue the fight for women’s rights, cure birth defects, and stop bullying. Have perceptions changed all that much since the mid-1600s? Have they changed enough? Sadly, they have not. Purchase the book to support women and children. Please, write a review and contact the author. Fundraiser opportunities available.

One of the recent reviews for the book.

This was a fascinating account of a young girl’s life growing up in a Scottish clan in Colonial Massachusetts between 1630 and 1648. Annie is born to parents who are dying of a disease. Through a stroke of good fortune, she is rescued from the house of death before it is torched to prevent the spread of the illness. Annie, who is also suffering from the disease, is delivered to her aged grandmother, the clan’s healer, who manages to save her from an early death. The illness, unfortunately, leaves Annie deformed and mentally slow but she is a delightful child who shows signs of a second sight and healing ability early on.

The story delves into the lives of the people who are close to Annie, including a married minster masquerading as a Catholic Priest and a young Indian squaw whose parents die during the measles epidemic, and goes back in time to give an insight into the terrible reign of fear in Scotland due to religious persecution of Catholics during that troubled time.

There are some very disturbing scenes and descriptions about the horrific treatment of women deemed to be witches and their families. This information provides a lot of background to the circumstances that gave rise to the Puritan settlement in Massachusetts at that time and their fanatical and ultra conservative outlook. The book provides fascinating detail about life during that time in both the Scottish Catholic settlement and in the nearby Puritan settlement and is heart wrenching in its descriptions of the rejection and ill treatment of people born with disabilities during that period of history and also the plight of ordinary men and women who are believed to have gone against the religious law.

While the story does have some focus on Annie’s extraordinary healing and spiritual talents, it is also a well research historical account of life in the early 17th century in Massachusetts and has an interesting love story which reminded me a bit of Romeo and Juliet.

I enjoyed this book thoroughly and rated it five out of five stars.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Annies-Story-Blessed-Deborah-Bowman/dp/1520487398

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Annies-Story-Blessed-Deborah-Bowman/dp/1520487398

A selection of other books by Deborah A. Bowman

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Bowman/e/B00MDD6QMS

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Deborah-Bowman/e/B00MDD6QMS

Read other reviews and follow Deborah on Goodreads : https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7980347.Deborah_A_Bowman

Connect with Deborah via her blog: https://www.bowmanauthor.com

And next a release by Christine Campbell at the end of last year – For What it’s Worth.

About the book

Yvonne’s biological alarm tells her it’s time to start a family before she’s past her prime, but first her husband, Hugh, must find a job. But will any job do?

When Hugh seems to be taking his time to find one, Yvonne finds one for him, but is it the right job? Will it cause more stress when she is already juggling two jobs herself and is trying to hold on to their flat?

When things start to go wrong, Yvonne finds herself facing a choice no woman should ever have to face – her marriage or a baby.

When she met Hugh, Yvonne was working as an Edinburgh tour guide, so she knows the city well and has a great fondness for it, taking us to some of her favourite places as she tries to work out what the important things in her life are worth: her dreams, her plans – and her marriage.

For What it’s Worth is contemporary women’s fiction with more than a touch of romance, seasoned with a sprinkling of humour, a spot of drama and a splash of tears.
It is not part of The Reluctant Detective Series by the same author, but it is a spin off where we get to know Mirabelle’s sister, Yvonne, better. Mirabelle has a part to play in For What it’s Worth, but in a supporting role rather than the main character.

Although it is a stand-alone novel, those readers who have enjoyed the earlier series will no doubt enjoy being reacquainted with many of the characters and finding out what Mirabelle has been up to since finding Summer, but the main storyline concentrates on Yvonne and her husband Hugh and explores themes familiar to many young thirty-something couples when they decide it’s time to expand their family.

Life is complicated, love is complicated, must our dreams be complicated too?

A recent review for the book

A brilliant read. I am so tired coz i just couldnt put it down at night. Kept saying just one more page and then another and another. This author’s use of language and descriptive text transports you in all her books and she has done it again with this one. I was so impressed with how this author portrayed real life events. Real sensitivity and knowledge. Well worth the money. I can not wait for her next book.

Buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/What-its-Worth-Christine-Campbell-ebook/dp/B075PG334N

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/What-its-Worth-Christine-Campbell-ebook/dp/B075PG334N

A selection of other books by Christine Campbell.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Christine-Campbell/e/B00BRGC0C2

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christine-Campbell/e/B00BRGC0C2

Read more reviews and follow Christine on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7126731.Christine_Campbell

Connect to Christine via her website: http://cicampbellblog.wordpress.com

The next author with a recent review is Angie Dokos for her book Roadside which tells the story of Serena and her journey back from violence with the help of a stranger.

About the book

Zayne finds Serena’s lifeless body off the side of the road one morning. She has been beaten and left for dead. As she recovers, they become the best of friends. It doesn’t take long for Zayne’s feelings to grow stronger. Will the fear of ruining their friendship keep them from taking a chance on love?

A recent review for the book

I found this book to be very intriguing and filled with delimas of the characters who know that doing the right things make differences in any situation, sometimes it’s just hard for some to get the nerve to go about it.. While the outcome usually comes out good, I loved the having to wonder about this book! A true page turner with
Mostly compassionate characters.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/ROADSIDE-Angie-Dokos-ebook/dp/B0722T3Y58

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.co.uk/ROADSIDE-Angie-Dokos-ebook/dp/B0722T3Y58

Also by Angie Dokos

Visit Angie’s Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Angie-Dokos/e/B01BLPOZEY

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Angie-Dokos/e/B01BLPOZEY

Read more reviews and follow Angie Dokos on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14905574.Angie_Dokos

Connect to Angie Dokos via her website: https://angiedokos.wordpress.com

And last but not least, I was delighted to receive a new review for What’s in a Name? volume two.

About What’s In a Name – Volume Two.

Our legacy is not always about money or fame, but rather in the way that people remember our name after we have gone. In these sixteen short stories we discover the reasons why special men and women will stay in the hearts and minds of those who have met them. Romance, revenge and sacrifice all play their part in the lives of these characters.

Kenneth watches the love of his life dance on New Year’s Eve while Lily plants very special flowers every spring for her father. Martha helps out a work colleague as Norman steps back out into the world to make a difference. Owen brings light into a house and Patrick risks his life in the skies over Britain and holds back from telling a beautiful redhead that he loves her.

Meet Queenie and Rosemary who have both lost their husbands and must face a very different future. One that will take courage and the use of new technology.

Sonia is an entitled princess whose father has reached the end of his tether and Theresa has to deal with a bully in the checkout. Usher is an arrogant narcissist with a docile wife and is used to getting his own way and Vanessa worries about the future of her relationship with her teenage son.

Walter is a loner and is happy with just his dog for company, Xenia is the long awaited first baby of a young couple. Yves is a dashing romeo who has the tables turned on him unexpectedly and Zoe… Well she can see into the future.

In one way or another all these characters will be remembered by those whose lives they have touched.

The most recent review for What’s in a Name Volume 2

A brief romance that lasts a life time and longer, a poignant story of Easter eggs and then we meet Martha, a colleague we would all love to have… Three stories in and I was already enjoying the deliciously different tales in this collection. Cheer on Norman, admire Patrick and have the last laugh with Rosemary. Dip into this these easy to read short tales any time, but expect some to have dark twists.

You can buy the Kindle version here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0748MLZ1W/

And in print and Kindle here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Whats-Name-Stories-Life-Romance-ebook/dp/B0748MLZ1W

My other books

All my books are available on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B003B7O0T6

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

You can find more reviews and follow me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin

Smorgasbord – Letters from America 1985 -1987 – Birthday, New Car, Galverston and Houston Zoo


Welcome to the next post in the series Letters from America 1985 -1987. Last week we went on a road trip to Dallas and an encounter with a creepy crawler common in Texas… and another post on our Driving Test.

You can find previous posts in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/letters-from-america-1985-1987/

My first birthday in Houston was my 32nd on February 13th and a lot of things came together around that time as we found both our new home for the next two years in the Chancellor apartments, Parramatta Lane. Here is my letter to my parents announcing the good news and sharing a photo of our new car on February 23rd 1985.

Dear M and D,

Just dropped David off at the airport on his way to Kansas, We now have a new car, a Mercury Marquis which is a 3.8 litre version of the Granada and is pretty swish. Very easy to drive and has all the bells and whistles including the cruise control that I told you about in one of my earlier letters. I wondered why you could see drivers on the freeway with their bare feet hanging out the window.. now I know!

As you can see from the above address we have found an apartment. We move in on Saturday. It has two bedrooms with bathrooms en-suite and a large living come dining area. It also has a balcony overlooking a wooded exercise area with the pool opposite. It is on the second floor and quiet.. Having been in this temporary apartment for the last month right next to the children’s pool and play area, it made us realise that it might be a better position away from the public parts of the complex.

This place sounds quite swinging (in the nicest possible way). They are having a Hawaiian Evening soon which made David’s eyes light up!!! However, he is fairly resigned to the prospect, as it will give us a chance to meet our new neighbours. (I will have to go out and buy him a brightly patterned cotton shirt to wear.. that will really make his eyes light up!)

With George Washington’s birthday yesterday, we had a nice long weekend. On Saturday we went exploring up to Lake Conroe, north of Houston. We discovered a wealthy resort on the lake with enormous houses and a marina. We would have given our eye teeth to rent one. They are about 3,000 a month or more but fabulous.

Sunday we went to Galverston, south of the city, on the coast. We walked miles along the promenade, full of machos on rollerskates! It is obviously the pick up place…. We had lunch in a hotel on a pier over the Gulf of Mexico, I had a shrimp platter which turned out to be huge king prawns. Nothing like the tiny things we call shrimp in England.

Yesterday we went to Houston Zoo, the sun shone and it was about 75 degrees and beautiful. It is free to go in and we spent three hours walking around the park and were very impressed with it all. We followed this with a belated birthday dinner and after a very hectic weekend I was in bed by 10.30. No stamina at 32.

 

David is away now until Friday but has left me the new car as I need to buy things for the apartment. It is unfurnished, but when we walked around their show flat, I mentioned that I would like identical set up for our apartment. They are being very obliging and transferring it all across to our new place. Normally it would cost 180 dollars a month to rent the furniture but I managed to negotiate it to 105 dollars. I am obviously getting the hang of things!

Thank you for the photographs and everyone looks in good spirits (whisky and water no doubt) Once we are moved in I will invest in some photo frames.

Will write again in a week. Love from us both as always.

©sallycronin 2018

I hope you have enjoyed my trip down memory lane…….I would love your feedback as always. Thanks Sally

 

 

Smorgasbord Health Column – Pre-diabetes, Blood Sugar Control – Chromium


Last week I posted about the epidemic levels of Pre-diabetes and today I am following up with a mineral that is contained in sufficient foods to include on a daily basis in your diet that helps to control blood sugar levels. And in my experience help to curb sugar cravings.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/30/smorgasbord-health-column-pre-diabetes-the-epidemic-that-goes-unreported/

Chromium.

Chromium is an essential trace mineral that helps the body maintain normal blood sugar levels. A deficiency of the mineral can lead to diabetes and this is where the primary research into this mineral has been directed.

Chromium first and foremost is a component of the ‘glucose tolerance factor’ which is required for maintaining a normal blood glucose balance. Chromium works with insulin to ease the absorption of blood glucose into the cells and it may also play a part in other activities that involve insulin such as the metabolism of fats and proteins.

This last activity has opened a line of research in the effect of chromium on weight loss, building muscle and decreasing body fat and has led to a lot of chromium based products being put on the market in recent years. There is no definite proof that it works although some studies do claim that in a study that people on chromium lost more body fat over three months than those who did not take it.

It is more important to look at the role of chromium as we age, as there is an increasing numbers of patients who are diagnosed with late onset diabetes. This is nearly always related to dietary deficiency and the concern is that with our current trend towards eating processed foods and excess weight are responsible as we are automatically taking in less chromium in raw and unprocessed foods.

Chromium is very easy to lose from the body in urine, sweat and if we engage in excessive physical activity without the appropriate diet. However, chromium is very easy to include in any healthy diet and should not be needed in supplement form.

Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar Levels.

There are still a number of studies looking at the effect of Chromium Picolinate on high blood pressure and the reasoning is that increased blood sugar does increase blood pressure. Additionally high levels of LDL or low density lipoprotein, which has small particles and when oxidised clumps and blocks the arteries, resulting in high blood pressure, may also be reduced by taking Chromium Picolinate. Hence the use of it in this form in supplements especially as it is more easily absorbed by our digestive tracts.

We do not manufacture or store chromium in the body so it is necessary to eat foods regularly that contain it. One concern however, is that the foods that we eat that contain chromium, might not be as rich in the mineral as they used to be. It depends on the levels of the mineral in the soil they are grown in which is variable, dependent on the area and farming methods in use.

Foods rich in dietary chromium.

vegetablesBroccoli has the highest levels of chromium followed by other dark green leafy vegetables, romaine lettuce, onions and tomatoes. Wholegrains, potatoes, oysters and other seafood, liver, cheese, chicken, turkey, beef and lamb also contain. As you can see there is plenty of foods that are usually included daily in our diet but only if we are cooking from scratch. If your diet is primarily industrially produced in a packet you may not be getting the chromium you need.

Just taking a supplement is not the answer and if you are pre-diabetic. The body is used to processing foods to obtain the nutrients that it needs and the first place to start is a review of your diet.

If you have a severe sugar craving then you might then look at taking a chromium supplement to work alongside your diet. Do buy a high quality supplement as they are not all as good for you as you might think.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/25/absorbing-the-nutrients-and-avoiding-the-additives/

If you are a diabetic then you must make sure that you work with your medical advisor before taking any chromium supplement, as it will affect the dosage of any insulin you may be taking.

If you have any questions then please put in the comments section or if you wish to ask me something privately then please email me. sally.cronin@moyhill.com