Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Round Up – 17th – 23rd October 2021 – Pink Floyd, Movies, Short Stories, Books, Reviews, Anti-Aging, Health and Humour


Welcome to the round up of posts you might have missed this week on Smorgasbord.

Another week flown by and well and truly into autumn.. This week a major job in the garden with the side and back of the house now fully lawned. Not that I can claim any credit except for buying the biscuits to go with cups of tea, but the team who were doing the work barely stopped for a break. Very impressed with the result and they did an amazing job.

That is the last of the major jobs before tackling the internal decoration and waiting for the guy to come and repair the wood stove.. we now have all the spare parts and it will be great to get them off the dining room table…

I have finished my clothes, bags and shoes declutter and next week I shall be starting on the kitchen cupboards…that will be interesting…

The Blog

I am also working on the blog format and plans for 2022.. I shall be entering my 70th year and I have an urge to complete some online and offline projects  to celebrate. I also would like to revamp the blog in some areas, particularly if they are going to drop the classic editor completely so need to get that done before 31st December.

If you do visit the Cafe and Bookstore, you will see that for the rest of the year I won’t be accepting any new authors. My focus will be on the existing authors, their new books and reviews, and I am planning to feature everyone in the annual Christmas Book Fair.

Next year I want to up my own reviews for authors to hopefully help get their books noticed, and I will be doing some new features throughout the year to promote those in the Cafe.

I will do more on my podcast as well and also I plan on turning some of my own books into audio versions.

I began the blog in 2012.. so a ten year anniversary and in whatever the format it might take,  I am looking forward to sharing it with you.

As always my thanks to William Price King, Debby Gies and Malcolm Allen for their contributions this week.. and to you for visiting, sharing and commenting.

On with the show

– Chart Hits 1980 Part Two- Pink Floyd, Billy Preston and Syreeta Wright, Irene Cara, The Detroit Spinners

Yves – Be careful what you wish for! by Sally Cronin

Zoe Looking to the Future

#Choka – Dress Rehearsal by Sally Cronin

1967 – Portsmouth – Englebert Humperdinck – the Graduate

Turning Back the Clock – Part Five – The Hormone Factor Part Three – by Sally Cronin

Women’s Health – The Heart and Stress – Foods and nutrients needed to support you

Weekly Grocery Shopping List by #Nutrient – Part Three – #Calcium to #Manganese

Over the counter eye drops and possible side-effects by Sally Cronin

#Branding – Psychology and Business by Claire Plaisted.

Emotional Challenges of Being a Writer by Jan Sikes

#Pot Luck – #Short Story – Just My Luck by Abbie Johnson Taylor

Making Annual Plans 2020- Darlene Foster

#Poetry – Behind Closed Doors: A Collection of Unusual Poems by Robbie Cheadle

Book Reviews – Rewind 2017 – #Thriller – His Revenge (John Cannon Book 2) – John W. Howell

Tuesday 19th October 2021 – #StudentAchievements Robbie Cheadle, #RoundUp Carol Taylor, #Editing Paula Readman, #Vancouver #Art Rebecca Budd

#Shortstories #Fairies D.L. Finn, #NewBooks Norah Colvin

New Book on the Shelves – Pre-Order – #Romance -Love, Me: A Christmas Wish Novel by Jacquie Biggar

– #Fantasy Richard Dee, #Horror #Suspence Audrey Driscoll, #Paranormal Romance Marcia Meara

#Poetry Annette Rochelle Aben, #Memoir #Flash Pamela S. Wight, #Western #Folklore Staci Troilo

#Transylvania #History Patricia Furstenberg, #Thriller #Haiti Mark Bierman, #poetry #Shortstories Sally Cronin

October 19th 2021 -Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Security blankets and Dog Days

October 21st 2021 – Malcolm Allen – Typos and Exposure

 

Thanks very much for dropping in and I hope you will join me again next week… Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – September 5th -11th 2021 – Crow Tales, Contributions, Chart Hits, Book Reviews, Podcast, Short Stories, Health and Humour


Welcome to the round up and the posts you might have missed during the week.

Hope you are all doing okay….Another week and already the second week of September. They joke about time speeding up as you get older seems to be true. Either that or I am losing the plot!

Update on Charlie the Crow (Rook)

Charlie has become more independent and is flying better and in fact the last couple of nights he has found himself a roost, we think in the hedge which is very thick around the back garden but enables him to climb up into the top branches out of the way of cats.

However, his beak is still not opening fully and finding food difficult.. so he arrives in front of the kitchen window looking expectant. He manages soft stuff and his favourite is seeded bread and butter, cut up in small pieces and soaked in raw egg or a half piece buttered that he can stand on and peck away..  Soft crumbly fat balls are acceptable as is a small pile of meal worms. No wonder he has put some weight on.

He took his first bath earlier in the week and has been going for a daily dip which is very important to improve the condition of his feathers and despite his beak problems is starting to preen a little.

Anyway.. I took some photos yesterday when he enjoyed a piece of bread and butter.

Denise Finn very kindly shared her recent review for Life is Like a Mosaic in a post, and I was in great company with Jacqui Murray and two of her books that I can also highly recommend.

D.L. Finn September Reviews Part 1

William Price King has returned from his summer break in the mountains and lovely to have him back. Carol Taylor gave us a lot to think about and a wonderful bread recipe in The Green Kitchen and Debby Gies and Malcolm Allen have brought smiles to our faces. As always very grateful for their contributions… Thanks to you for all your support and comments.. they do make my day.

Chart Hits 1977 – Part Two – Stevie Wonder, Manhattan Transfer, Elton John, Barbra Streisand

Banana Bread, Neem Oil, Homemade Beehive, Lemongrass, Snail Mail, Cider Vinegar and Reef Shampoo

Martha – The System Administrator by Sally Cronin

Norman An Old Soldier

Turning Back the Clock – The Guidelines by Sally Cronin and Kelli Brett

If you have five minutes to spare.. there is another short story – The Psychic Parrot on my podcast

Dogs #Mountains #Humour – Olive, Mabel and Me: Life and Adventures with Two Very Good Dogs by Andrew Cotter

Book Reviews Rewind – #Scottish #Historical – Fireflies and Chocolate by Ailish Sinclair

robbie a ghost and his gold

Book Reviews Rewind – #Paranormal #Historical #BoerWar A Ghost and his Gold by Roberta Eaton Cheadle.

Colleen Chesebro’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge Tanka Prose

Authors Pamela S. Wight and her guest Amy M. Reade

Authors in the Sun – #Hawaii #Family The Dolphin by D.L. Finn

#Influencers – A Tribute to One of My Role Models by Pete Springer

Tuesday 7th September 2021 – Patricia Furstenberg, Darlene Foster, Robbie Cheadle, Rebecca Budd, Terry Tyler, Jan K. Sikes

Thursday 9th September 2021 – D.G. Kaye, Elizabeth Gauffreau, Jim Borden, Pete Springer, Carol Taylor

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Women’s Health Month – Hormones and the Endocrine System by Sally Cronin

New Book on the Shelves – Age 6-12- A Cat Named Lump: 48 Poetic Tummy Turners by B.C. Byron

New Book on the Shelves – #Scifi #Adventure – The Great Between (Happy Tales Young Reader Collection) by Doug Parker

New Author on the Shelves – #AlternateHistory Shakespeare’s Twin Sister by Richard Seltzer

#Reviews – #Fantasy Jan Sikes, #Historical Ailish Sinclair, #Poetry Balroop Singh

#Reviews – #Dystopian Teri Polen, #Mystery Amy M. Reade, #Historical V.M. Sang

#Dystopian #thriller Terry Tyler, #Fantasy D.Wallace Peach, #Shortstories Sian Turner

September 7th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Diet Tips and Life Observations

The Irish View on Life, Bars, Accents and Heaven and Hell with Sally Cronin

September 10th 2021 – Malcolm Allen – Confession and Operation

 

Thanks very much for dropping in and I hope that you will join me again next week.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Update – July 25th – 31st 2021 – Billy Joel, Short Stories, Poetry, Book Reviews, Pet and Human Health, Funnies


Welcome to the round up of posts you might have missed this week on Smorgasbord.

Another week flown by and the summer is half way through in the Northern Hemisphere anyway. Nothing much to report from HQ.. my laptop that I use for the podcast in my mini-studio blew a gasket on Friday…the hard drive failed but the in house technical department has the matter in hand and I should be adding some new posts to the podcast again soon.. I do have some already pre-recorded which I will filter through in the meantime.

Thanks to William Price King for his selections for the Breakfast Show this week and Debby Gies and Malcolm Allen for their funnies. Debby has been whizzing around blogworld this week and a special thank you for all the posts she has shared this week around the usual haunts.

My thanks to you as well for all the lovely comments and shares this week of the posts, it is appreciated and keeps me motivated.. Have a lovely weekend…Sally

Chart Hits 1974 Part Two – Elton John, The Hues, The Hollies, Billy Joel.

What’s in a Name? Volume One – What’s in a Name?- Francis – Forging New Bonds by Sally Cronin

Tales from the Spanish Garden – Special story – Mollie (The Duchess) Coleman – by Sally Cronin

New Review – Balroop Singh – #Poetry Slivers: Chiseled Poetry

Book Reviews Rewind – #Paranormal #Romance – Ghostly Interference: (White Rune Series Book 1) by Jan Sikes.

Book Reviews Rewind – #YA – Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady (An Amanda Travels Adventure Book 8) by Darlene foster

Etheree – Peaks by Sally Cronin

Some Health Hacks for everyday niggles such as Pins and Needles by Sally Cronin

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The Kidneys and Urinary Tract – Urinary Tract infections by Sally Cronin

Ticks – What, When and How to remove safely

Grazzi hafna from Sally aged seven to the old Prickly Pear farmer and his donkey #Influencers Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Podcast – Who are you writing your book for?

Smorgasbord Coffee Morning – Bring a Guest – Authors Darlene Foster and Nancy Blodgett Klein

Conversational Italian for Travelers: Just the Important Phrases (with Restaurant Vocabulary and Idiomatic Expressions) by Kathryn Occhipinti

New Book on the Shelves – Existing Creatures Living Dragons by Leyla Cardena

#Reviews – #Poetry Balroop Singh, #YAFantasy M. J. Mallon, #Romance Jacquie Biggar

Cafe Update – #Reviews – #Family James J. Cudney, #Paranormal John W. Howell, #WW2 #Russia Marina Osipova

– #Reviews – #CrimeThriller Carol Balawyder, #Poetry Victoria Zigler, #Family Lisette Brodey

Wednesday July 28th 2021 – #WriterLinks D.G. Kaye, #Poetry Robbie Cheadle, #Reviews D.Wallace Peach, #Finances Jim Borden

Thursday July 29th 2021 – #Olympics Pete Springer, #Patchwork Jennie Fitzkee, #Research Jacqui Murray

July 27th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Shoes and Bricks

July 29th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Dogs and Tact

July 30th 2021 – Malcolm Allen – Zoom Meetings and Restaurants

 

Thank you very much for dropping in and I hope you will join me again next week.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 4th – 10th July 2021 – 1970s Music, Green Kitchen, Poetry, Short Stories, Book Reviews, Children’s Books, Health and Humour


Welcome to the round up of posts you might have missed during the week.

I hope you are all well.. as in the UK, Covid cases are on the increase here as expected, although they have been quite strict about non-essential travel. That all changes later in July and thousands of Irish families are heading off on holiday… long awaited. I think we will be sticking around in our coastal backwater and keeping out of the way.

The garden has been watered naturally for the last two weeks without my intervention and despite the sparcity of sunshine…has continued to blossom.. I have a number of lilies that I have cultivated from bulbs over the years and then divide and repot at the end of the season. This last two weeks has seen them bloom and this year I used a different potting soil and instead of orange they have emerged as dark red…

I was delighted to be invited to join Rebecca Budd on her podcast Tea and Trivia to talk about memories, writing and book marketing. It was a wonderful experience and Rebecca did a wonderful job of making it seem like a chat between two friends. Her husband Don is also a technical genius who edits and produces the broadcast.  I hope you will head over to join us.

I invite you to put the kettle on and add to this exciting conversation on Tea Toast & Trivia: Sally Cronin on Writing, Marketing and Telling your Story.

Recently I ran a series Public Relations for Authors which focused on how we are perceived by those who view our profile photographs, biographies and presence on social media. This included guest posts on other writer’s blogs. Here is an opportunity to not only promote your own blog or books, but those of someone you admire as well. Instead of Sunday Lunch with a guest, this year I have cut back a little on the food side, but you will get a slice of cake!!

Is there an inspiring individual, blogger or an author you would like to give a boost to who might enjoy joining you for a coffee and a piece of cake with us all?

 For the first post in this new series, editor Alison Williams has brought author Norman Matheson as her guest. Norman as you will discover, is an inspiration to all of us who might think we are too old to take on a new challenge.

Details on how to participate are at the end of the first post in the series on Tuesday.

This week I was joined by my friends and collaborators William Price King, D.G. Kaye, Carol Taylor and Daniel Kemp and my thanks to them for their wonderful contributions.

William is off for the next few weeks on his annual summer break with family but he will be back in September. In the meantime he has left his selections and thoughts on the chart hits which will go out as normal on Tuesdays…Wishing him a wonderful summer.

Time to get on with the show….

Chart Hits 1973 – Part One – Billy Paul, O’Jays, Elton John and Helen Reddy 

Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen – July 2021 – Plastic Free, Buttermilk Bread, Buying Bulk, Stuffed Mushrooms, Grow Your Own, Conservation. 

Elaine, A Shining Light

Chapter Nine – The Boy, his Dog and a Fairy Princess

#Historical – Sheep On The Somme: A World War I Picture and Poetry Book by Frank Prem

#Dystopian #Scifi – Megacity (Operation Galton Book 3) by Terry Tyler 

Book Reviews Rewind – #1960s #Thriller – Paris Escapade by Ted Myers 

Book Reviews Rewind – #Teaching #Memoir- They Call Me Mom by Pete Springer

Choka… Spices

Hip Dysplasia – A good reason to meet your puppy’s family  

Antibiotic, Antioxidant, Aroma

Family Health – Nothing more common that a cold

#Poetry Balroop Singh, #Shortstories #Crime Jane Risdon, #Thriller Gwen M. Plano 

#YAFantasy Deborah E. Bowman, #Psychological #Thriller Lucinda E. Clarke, #Adventure Audrey Driscoll. 

#Contemporary Anne Goodwin, #Historical Joyce Hampton, #Family Saga Margaret Lindsay Holton 

#Adventure Annika Perry, #Bears Sue Wickstead

#Biographical #Fiction – Ever Rest by Roz Morris 

#NorthernIreland #Thriller #Romance – Stones Corner Turmoil by Jane Buckley

#YA #Magic #Mystery – Bloodstone (The Curse Of Time Book 1) by M.J. Mallon 

#Fantasy K.M. Allan, #Fantasy C.S. Boyack, #Poetry Colleen M. Chesebro

July 6th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Handwriting and more Oddities 

July 8th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Senior Jeopardy and even more oddities

July 9th 2021 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp – Brooms and Coffins

 

Thanks very much for dropping in today and I hope you will join me again next week…Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – June 20th – 26th 2021 – Helen Reddy, Short stories, PR for Authors, Pet Health, Book Reviews, Funnies and much more.


Welcome to the round up of posts that you might have missed this week on Smorgasbord.

Another week that has flown by and cannot believe it is July next week. Our Met office has promised another tropical air mass and I excitedly checked the ten day forecast for our part of Ireland…I am sure you can see why I am not getting over excited…

Today is windy and 15 degrees although it does promise bright sunshine from 6pm this evening.. luckily we have two extensions at the back of the house which is a little sun trap and offers some protection from the wind, and I will attempt to top up my Vitamin D this afternoon with a good book.

I invested in another seed tray to create another bird bath for our garden birds which is proving popular. When the sun is out the starlings in particular enjoy a bath but do tend to be like a bunch of teenagers, trying to achieve a Guinness Book record. The sparrows are much better behaved and the second pool has been a quieter place for them to frolic.

Even though the sun was not out during the week I did manage to snap this shot off to give you an idea of what life is like at Sally’s Spa and Bird Cafe.  I did not even have time to move the hose before there was a dash for the pool.  Sorry it was not a sunny day but they don’t seem to mind.

They are great entertainment as are the antics of the crows who try but fail to get to the seed tray in the middle of our purpose built bird feeder..

I have been out and about again this week as the recipient of a lovely feature by Diana Wallace Peach.. Diana has always been a supporter of my books and in this post she shares all her reviews over the years.. ending the week on a high..  I hope you will head over to say hello..

My 5 Star Reviews of books by Sally Cronin: D. Wallace Peach feature

My thanks to William Price King, Debby Gies (who is moving this weekend and hard at work) and Danny Kemp.. the place would not be the same without them..

And of course to you for dropping in, liking, commenting and sharing…it is much appreciated.

Chart Hits 1972 Part One – Roberta Flack, Don McLean, Elton John, Helen Reddy 

Chapter Seven – Little Girl Lost

What’s in a Name? Volume One – Clive – The Debt  

Part Four – Social Media – The Pros and the Cons as an Author  

#Mystery #Thriller- The Vanished Boy by Harmony Kent. 

#Fantasy #Supernatural – The Ballad of Mrs. Molony (The Hat Book 3) by C.S. Boyack 

Smorgasbord Book Reviews Rewind – #Western #Romance – Gwen Slade: Bounty Hunter by Sandra Cox 

Colleen Chesebro’s Tuesday Tanka Challenge 231 – #Choka – Discovery 

Mosquito season and the dangers of Heartworm in dogs 

bronchitis

Family Health – Bronchitis 

#Thriller Mark Bierman, #Fairystory Cathy Cade, #Family Alex Craigie 

#Scifi #Shortstories ACFlory, #Historical Noelle Granger, #Poetry Jude Itakali 

#Southernculture Claire Fullerton, #Shortstories Joy Lennick and Jean Wilson, #RussianHistory Marina Osipova 

Thursday 24th June 2021 – #Environment Carol Taylor, #AuthorQuirks Marcia Meara with Harmony Kent, #Floral #Syrups New Vintage Kitchen 

Meet the Authors – #Travel #Mystery Darlene Foster, #Travel #Puppy Patricia Furstenberg 

#Poetry Pawfect Pet Poems and Born from Stardust by Victoria Zigler 

Historical – Jealousy of a Viking (A Family Through The Ages Book 2) by V.M. Sang 

Prehistoric #Adventure – Laws of Nature (Dawn of Humanity Book 2) by Jacqui Murray 

#Dystopian #Scifi – Megacity (Operation Galton Book 3) by Terry Tyler 

#Wine Linda Sheehan, #Fantasy Barbara Spencer, #Fantasy Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene 

June 22nd 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Anti Chew Toys and Book Titles. 

June 24th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Texts and Eye Tests 

June 25th 2021 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel  

 

Thank you for your support and I hope to see you again next week….Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 23rd – 29th May 2021 -1970s hits, short stories, book reviews, Bloggers, health and funnies


Welcome to the round up of posts you might have missed this week on Smorgasbord.

Nothing really of great interest to report around here this week. I am trying to keep calm and avoid overdue excitement as there is a promised whole day of dry and sunny weather tomorrow from 5 a.m to 10 p.m – no guesses as to where I am going to be and I will be taking photographs as proof of the sunshine to pin on the wall in case it is the only summer we get!

I will be applying for a hair appointment this week as they have been open since 16th May and hopefully all the ladies who wanted their colour and streaks done have been accommodated and I can get in for a cut and blow dry. Last year I managed two appointments in the brief hiatus between full lock downs and I have been cutting my own hair now since July!  David has been tidying the back with the clippers and all in all we have managed quite well.. But it looks like I have been pulled through a hedge backwards.

I will celebrate with a new profile photo when it is done… I know you can’t wait! lol

Just a reminder that Meet the Authors begins tomorrow featuring current authors in the Cafe and Bookstore through the summer..

My thanks to William Price King, Debby Gies, Daniel Kemp and Malcolm Allen for providing the music and laughter.. and to you for all your support, comments and shares during the week.

1970 Part One. The Carpenters, Jackson Five, Edison Lighthouse, Brotherhood of Man 

Chapter Three – The Last Emperor  

Anne – Favour and Grace 

©Image Trent McDonald

Etheree – Cascade by Sally Cronin

Past Book Reviews 2020 – #WWII – While the Bombs Fell by Robbie Cheadle and Elsie Hancy Eaton. 

Past Book Reviews 2020 -#Murder #Mystery – Secrets of the Galapagos by Sharon Marchisello 

Past Book Reviews – #Memoir #Hitchhiking – A Backpack, A Chair and A Beard by Eamon Wood 

Laughter is the Best Medicine – The health benefits 

Family Health A-Z – Anemia – Foods to boost your blood health #Anaemia #Fatigue

Allergies – Scratching, itching, sneezing – Industrial Pet food vs. Homecooked  

#Huguenot #History – A massacre which will always be remembered – St Bartholomew’s by Joyce Hampton 

#Hawaii – My Aloha experience by D.L. Finn 

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Le Périphérique, Congested Beltway Of Paris To Become Greenspace by Carol A. Seidl.

Book Reviews: Their Importance and How to Write Them by J. Q. Rose 

Monday May 24th 2021 – #Tributes Stevie Turner, #Authors Donna Parker, #WritingTips D.G. Kaye 

#Photographers Cindy Knoke and Wayne Barnes Tofino 

#Profiles – Bloggers – Motivators and Inspirers – The Story Reading Ape, Annette Rochelle Aben

#Travel #Mystery Darlene Foster, #Fantasy Maria Matthews

#Contemporary The Gilded Beaver by Margaret Lindsay Holton 

#Historical – Turn of the Tide (The Munro Scottish Saga Book 1) by Margaret Skea 

#Fantasy – Lunar Boogie (The Hat Book 4) by C.S. Boyack 

New Book on the Shelves – Pre-Order Price – #Crime #Thriller Death Beneath the Covers (Foxy Mysteries Book 1) by Fiona Tarr 

#Afghanistan Mary Smith, #Poetry Elizabeth Merry, #Historical J.E. Spina, #Psychological Joan Hall

May 25th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – The Glories of Maturity Part One 

May 27th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – The Glories of Maturity Part Two

Malcolm Allen – #Literature – A Novel Approach and Fighting Words

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines Extra – May 28th 2021 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp – Extra Cash and Army Life 

 

Thanks very much for joining me today and I hope you will drop in again next week.. enjoy your weekend.. Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up 21st -27th March 2021 – Editing, 1960s Music, Ball Boys, Reviews and humour.


Welcome to the round up of posts that you might have missed this week on Smorgasbord

I hope you are all well and have some decent weather. Ours is still mixed at the moment with freezing showers forecast for tonight. The sun is shining at the moment and whilst still nippy it is a welcome sight.

As you know I prefer the Classic Editor. I did a trial of the block editor and whilst I appreciate that many are very happy with it. I don’t find it helpful for me, because of the posts that I upload. For example this weekly round up which I try to update daily as even with the original classic editor it would usually take an hour. There was an update about three weeks ago which added more steps into the process. Whilst they have said they will not support the editor I had hoped they would have the decency to leave it alone.

But no..on Thursday without warning and in the middle of a post everything changed into an abomination that has removed all functionality and has added many more steps into the process.

I have approached WP who keep bombarding me with ads to upgrade and they tell me that if I go to the Business plan I can have their own classic editor plug in.. It is 300 dollars a year and the only thing that I want is the plug-in for the classic editor. I don’t want to monetise the blog as I don’t wish to sell any books or my services through it. I just want to be able to provide free book marketing for authors current and new. Post health blogs, music and funnies for people to enjoy.

Also I am not paying 300 dollars a year, if the classic editor they deliver in the plug-in, is the one that has just been dished up this week. I want the old classic editor with its functionality and customer friendly interface which was easy to use for new bloggers and those less technical alike. The person who responded to me yesterday could not answer that but still urged me to upgrade to the business plan anyway.

I have to say that I am disappointed in WordPress and their approach to this. There are (from what I can gather) five million + people using the classic editor plug-in and I would be very happy to pay 50 dollars a year for example, for a plug-in that gave me the original classic editor..From comments I have received there are great deal of others who would like to go back to it. It seems to me that WordPress are missing a business opportunity here. 5 million+ paying 50 dollars a year is 250million dollars.

I spent yesterday leaning new software offline. This is an open source platform and open to self-hosted blogs. I am too effectively now, as I can now write and format my posts offline and schedule and upload directly into my blog but without a middleman and the hassle of trying to work within this cumbersome framework.

Looking back at the beginnings of WordPress their mission statement was that this was a place where bloggers of every level could post free, creating posts their way using simple coding that was easy to follow. I am disappointed that they have moved so far from this ethos and the platform is now being run by programmers who are determined to show how creative they can be. That is blogging their way…not as promised the users way.

I am determined that until they throw me out kicking and screaming, I will continue to write my blog ‘my way’ so if you don’t see me around next week you will know what happened!!!

In the meantime.. please forgive any format issues etc as I find my way around the new offline editor.

Anyway on with the show…. and as always my thanks to William Price King, D.G. Kaye and all of you for keep coming back.. That does keep me motivated. Sally.

The Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Chart Hits 1965 Part Two

A return to Tales from the Irish Garden- Spring: Chapter Seven – Jeremy the Donkey  

Chapter Eight – The Royal Banquet

#Poetry Challenge No 217 Themeprompt -#Etherees – Immortality 

#Poetry Lockdown Innit by M.J. Mallon

#Short Stories–Undercover Crime Shorts by Jane Risdon

Past Book Reviews 2020 – A Year in the Life of Leah Brand: A #Psychological Thriller by Lucinda E. Clarke

#Quotes D.L. Finn, #Blogging Pete Springer, #BookOffer John W. Howell 

jim bordenclaire fullertonSharon Marchisello

Tuesday 23rd March 2021 – #Accounting Jim Borden, #Ireland Claire Fullerton, #Finance Sharon Marchisello

debby1John Howell Head shotamy-m.-reade

Thursday March 25th 2021 – #Writing D.G. Kaye, #Characters John W. Howell, #Interview Amy M. Read

toni brody cody 2Bette Stevens

#Reviews – #Ghosts Toni Pike, #Butterflies Bette A. Stevens

-#Epic #Fantasy The Goblin Trilogy by Jaq D. Hawkins

New Author on the Shelves – #Musicians #Covid – Pause, Play, Repeat:The real impact of Covid-19 on musicians by Sammy Stein

cafe and bookstore 2021 new book final

teagan journey 3

New Book on the Shelves – #Fantasy Dead of Winter: Journey 3 – The Fever Field by Teagan Riordain Geneviene

stevie Turner new marriage of convenienceEternal road john w. howelljacquie biggar book 7craig boyack 2019

#Family Stevie Turner, #Supernatural John W. Howell, #Action #Romance Jacquie Biggar, #Fantasy C.S. Boyack

Meet the Authors 2021 – #Fantasy K.M. Allan, #Supernatural Jessica Bakkers, #Family Johnnie Bernhard 

chuck new biolisette profileAnn Chiappetta

Meet the Authors 2021 – #Thriller Chuck Bowie, #Family Lisette Brodey, #Guide Dog Ann Chiappetta

What causes your cravings? – Part Two – Need Chocolate? 

Turning Back the Clock 2021 – Part Eleven – Anti-Aging and a nutrient dense diet

Meet the Muse by D. Wallace Peach 

Five Best Endings by Elizabeth Merry

#Pot Luck – #Spain Chronicles, Part 2 by Darlene Foster

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines Extra – Mid-week boost – More humour from the family… Shadows and Full time job

March 25th 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Grilled Chicken and Genies

Open Mic Night – Special Guest Malcolm Allen – Home Depot and Algebra

Thanks very much for visiting this week and all your support.. enjoy your weekend thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Short Stories – What’s in a Name? – Prince Charming by Sally Cronin


At the weekends I will be sharing some of the stories from my collections and also new stories from time to time… I hope you will enjoy..

Today I am  sharing a story  from the What’s in the Name? collection about a beautiful princess being married off to the the most eligible bachelor available, much to her dismay!

Prince Charming.

Sonia looked through the lead glass window of her bedroom, and watched as her three brothers disappeared into the distant forest. The dark trees swallowed them in an instant, and closing her eyes she imagined she was beside them; riding Anica her white filly. How she loved the trails through the dark woods that suddenly opened into sun dappled glades of wild flowers and mushrooms. But her father had banned her from accompanying her carefree brothers, decreeing that it was time at seventeen to adopt a more ladylike and regal demeanour.

Tears filled her eyes at the memory of her last discussion with her father this morning; standing before him in the cold and intimidating throne room.

‘Sonia my child,’ her father scratched his balding head. ‘It is time to forget childish ways and prepare yourself for your marriage to Prince Aleksander on New Year’s Eve.’ Glaring at her from beneath his bushy eyebrows he continued, ‘I will not listen to your complaining and disobedience any longer; is that understood?’

He contemplated his only daughter, and remembered his wife’s wise words on how to deal with their wilful youngest child.

‘You must remember that the security of our kingdom depends on an advantageous union with all of our neighbours. Your brothers are promised to princesses on three corners of our realm, and when you marry the heir to Pokova to the north, we will have peace and prosperity for the future.’

He sighed and steeled his heart as watched her crestfallen beautiful face. ‘Your mother and I did not meet until our wedding day and we have had a most happy union, being also blessed with you and your brothers. We are royalty, and arranged marriages are as much part of our lives as your silk dresses and other privileges’.

Sonia bit her lip and silenced her response. She had been attempting to persuade her parents for the last two months that she couldn’t marry a man that she hadn’t met, and had not even seen a likeness of. Her shoulders slumped wearily and she curtsied to her father, asking permission to go to her rooms. The king waved her away in frustration and watched as the dispirited girl left the chamber.

Petar, Jakov and Henrik would be gone for several hours and she resigned herself to sitting in the window alcove and watching the palace staff going about their preparations for the grand feast tomorrow. The courtyard and kitchen gardens were bustling with activity. The cook and his assistants were unpacking tradesmen’s carts and gathering vegetables to accompany roast venison and turkey. In the distance she could see the giant farm horses pulling the cart holding the majestic tree harvested from the dense forest and destined for the ballroom.

Prince Aleksander was due to arrive today, but protocol demanded that she wait until she was formally introduced to him at the ball. Her brothers had met him at the annual boar hunt in the summer, and she had pestered them to tell her more about him.

Unfortunately her three brothers loved to tease her and refused to talk about the prince at all; making faces at each other in merriment. A thought struck her and she gasped at the possible reason for their silence. He must be ugly, she thought, or perhaps stupid or had a nasty temper. Her nervousness only increased and she clasped her arms around her body in despair.

As she looked out of the window a flash of movement caught her eye. From the cobbled stable yard came a tall blonde man leading a jet black stallion. He was wearing a loose white shirt and leather jerkin, but it didn’t conceal the fact that he was very muscular as well as handsome. Feeling a little flushed, Sonia wondered why she had not seen this groom before. She also wondered why she had not heard the normally observant chamber maids gossiping about the new addition to the staff.

She watched as the man and horse moved gracefully down to the paddock, and she opened the window so that she could see more clearly. The cold winter air rushed into the room but pulling her shawl closer about her shoulders, she settled down to watch the proceedings.

The man released the horse and moved to the centre of the round paddock. He flicked a fine whip onto the sawdust behind the horse, which responded by trotting around the outside of the ring… Another flick and the stallion turned and moved in the opposite direction. The elegance of both man and beast were magnificent; totally absorbing Sonia in the performance. After several minutes, the man dropped the whip to his side and turned to walk towards the gate… The horse stopped in his tracks and followed, gently nudging his shoulder to gain the groom’s attention. At the gate the man pivoted and placed his right hand at the top of horse’s forehead; leaning into him. They stood for several minutes; man and beast as one.

Sonia caught her breath and stuck her head out of the window, better to capture this intense and beautiful moment. The groom turned away from the horse and as he did so he looked up. He saw Sonia inelegantly hanging out of the window and smiled; even from this distance it was devastatingly effective. She ducked back inside and slammed the window shut. The impudence of the man, and to crown it all, this was just the sort of behaviour that her father had been so critical of.

That evening her mother knocked on her door and ushered through two maids with laden trays. She had also brought the palace seamstress who carried a linen wrapped garment over her arm. Sonia loved her beautiful mother and hoped that over their supper she might be able to win her over to her side.

She had heard her brothers arrive back an hour earlier, clattering into the courtyard and calling for Anton the head groom to come and collect their horses.. As they had noisily run up the steps to the main entrance of the palace, Sonia had been tempted to peek out of the window to see if Anton had anyone assisting him. But she had dismissed this foolishness. Tomorrow she would be betrothed, and married on New Year’s Eve. She must put all these romantic notions from her mind. However, part of her wished with all her might that she could be just a simple maid, who could dream of love and marriage with that devastatingly attractive but unobtainable man.

Her mother eventually left Sonia’s chambers having remained resolute on the upcoming marriage. But she had smiled at her daughter’s determined efforts, whilst reminding her that she had a royal duty to obey her father. Hanging on the front of the door to Sonia’s dressing room was a very beautiful pale blue dress. The ball gown was edged with matching satin and violet flowers draped across one shoulder down to the slender waist. However, even this sensational garment did little to lift her mood as she contemplated how tomorrow would change her life forever.

Early the next evening the guests for the Christmas ball began to arrive in their carriages. Whilst waiting to dress, Sonia kept watch from the window hoping to catch sight of the groom as the horses were led away. Her maid assisted her into her ball gown, and gently tucked in an odd strand of jet black hair which had drifted from the elaborate upswept style. Sonia stood in front of her full length mirror and despite appreciating that she looked every inch a princess, she felt coldness deep in her heart. She had to face the fact that she would never know the kind of love that other girls were privileged to receive. Her father had won, and very soon she would be leaving the palace and going to a strange land, far away from those who had loved and protected her until this moment.

Sonia carefully descended the red carpet of the curved staircase, eyeing the clusters of guests in an attempt to identify the man she was going to be spending the rest of her life with. Most were known to her, and as she moved between them they smiled and bowed. She saw that her father was at the end of the throne room with her mother, three brothers and a tall stranger with his back to the room.

Her father looked up and saw her, beckoning her over and touching the stranger on his shoulder. As Sonia reached the group, the elegantly dressed man turned and she looked into startling blue eyes. She gasped as she recognised the shaggy blonde hair and the broad shoulders, blushing to the roots of her hair.

‘Your Highness, may I introduce my daughter, Princess Sonia.’

Her father took her right hand and placed it into the large palm of the man in front of her.

‘Sonia meet your betrothed, Prince Aleksander of Pokova.’

Breathlessly Sonia looked down at his broad and sun-tanned hand.

A deep voice broke into her scattered thoughts. ‘I believe we have glimpsed each other before Princess.’

She looked up into his smiling face and her lips trembled as she fumbled for a response.

Sensing her discomfort, Prince Aleksander continued, ‘ I was working with Kyros yesterday when you noticed us. He is my betrothal present to you and I hope you will ride him back to Pokova with me after our wedding.’

Sonia’s beaming smile and gentle squeeze of his hand gave him his answer, and as he led her off to the dance floor for their first waltz, she heard her father behind her.
‘Somebody get me a brandy… A very large brandy’.

©Sally Cronin 2015

I hope that you have enjoyed this story and as always look forward to your feedback. Thanks Sally

My latest short story collection is Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

Feb 07, 2021 Mae Clair rated it five stars

This is an entertaining collection of short stories with several poems scattered throughout. The book is grouped into topics such as Technology, Animal Magic, and Connections (to name a few) with stories and poems related to their header topics appearing underneath. It’s cleverly presented and cleverly written. All of the stories are winners but there were some that really stood out for me, including The Weekly Shopping, The Nanny, The Scratch Card, and The Night Shift.

In The Weekly Shopping we get a taste of what ordering groceries might be like with when we come to rely too much on technology. It’s both hilariously funny and worrisome at the same time. I loved the argument related to the cat!

In The Nanny, a young couple discover who is watching over their baby at night. The Scratch Card left me with a lump in my throat at the generosity of others, and The Night Shift made me appreciate the special love pets have for their owners and the kindness of those who appreciate that bond.

These stories are heartwarming and touching, with scattered poetry further enriching the sections. A lovely collection and a quick read, the stories will lodge in your heart and linger.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: Amazon UK – And : Amazon US

You can find out about my other books and their most recent reviews: Sally’s books and reviews 2019/2021

Smorgasbord Short Stories – Life’s Rich Tapestry – The 1812 Overture – by Sally Cronin


Over the coming weeks I will be sharing some of the stories from my collections new and old… and I hope you will enjoy them.

Today a story from Life’s Rich Tapestry, the original was in response to a prompt by Diana Wallace Peach Myths of the Mirror

The 1812 Overture

Pixabay image by Marianne Sopala

‘Monsieur Henri, Oh drat, I am so sorry, I didn’t mean to sneeze so hard and blow you into the tree with your troupe.’

The little elephant pressed her trunk up against the lopsided house with its trembling occupants clinging to its roof.

Monsieur Henri, the patriarch of the world famous mouse circus act known as ‘Les acrobates de la famille mouskateer’ shuddered in the cold wind that whistled through the woods, and wondered how une éléphant even one as petite as this one, could sneeze harder than the current almost hurricane.

He was about to give this pesky and overlarge teenager a piece of his mind, when he saw tears rolling down her wrinkled face, freezing in mid-air before hitting the ground. He felt the rest of his troupe huddling even closer as they tried to get warm, almost pushing him off the roof of their living quarters, and decided that he needed to remedy the situation rapidement.

‘It is alright Tiffany; I know that it was un accident and that you did not intend to blow us into the next county. But I need to get ma famille somewhere warm before they freeze their derrieres off, and you will need to help us’

Tiffany blinked her eyes a couple of times to clear the tear related icicles from her long lashes; nodding her head enthusiastically and swinging her trunk from side to side; nearly knocking Henri off his teetering perch.

‘Tiffany, Tiffany mon cherie, you must calm yourself, and please if you are to sneeze again, point that cannon in another direction.’

The elephant looked pleadingly at the shivering mouse, stretching out her trunk tentatively towards him. Immediately all the mice pressed backwards towards the trunk of the tree, terrified they were going to be blown to kingdom come.

‘It is okay monsieur Henri, please climb onto my trunk with your family, climb up to the top of my head and then tuck yourselves behind one of my ears. I will keep them pinned back, and curled up at the bottom, so that you are safe and warm inside’. I will then pick up your house in my trunk and return us to the circus as quickly as possible.

Henri turned his head and looked at his family and fellow acrobats as they regarded him with suspicion and terror.

‘My petit choux, I have seen your family in the circus ring, and your speciality act of flapping your ears to the music of the great Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.’ Henri looked up at the little elephant and smiled wryly. ‘Are you sure you can keep those ears of yours still for that length of time?’

‘Monsieur Henri,’ the elephant looked fiercely determined. ‘I promise you that I will not sneeze or flap my ears until you and your family are safe.’

Commandingly the mouse turned to his shivering family. ‘We have no choice mes amours; we will surely die in minutes if we remain in this exposed position, courage and viva la France.’

With that Henri leapt onto the bottom of Tiffany’s trunk and began the scramble up the wrinkled snout, passed the large brown eyes, over the smooth round forehead and down into the pocket formed by one of her massive ears. Within seconds he was squashed at the bottom of a mound of white fur and scrabbling paws as his family jumped into the envelope with him; shrieking in terror and excitement.

Henri managed to fight his way to the top of the pile and peeped out over the top of Tiffany’s ear. Sure enough their house was in the grip of her strong little trunk, and she was now lumbering into the wind and snow, trying to retrace her steps in the tracks she had made earlier. He shivered and tucked himself back down again, curling up with his sons and their wives as they stared wide-eyed at him for reassurance.

It seemed like hours before he felt their mammoth transport stop moving. Despite his reluctance to leave the pocket of warmth created by his furry if fragrant family, he poked his head up over the top of the ear, and saw that they were now in the middle of a clearing in the forest where Tiffany had come to a halt. She was carefully moving her head to one side and then the other as she looked for the right path to take.

‘Oh caca,’ whispered the mouse, so as not to alarm his already hysterical family.’

He was just about to inquire if they were lost, when Tiffany jerked into a run, nearly throwing him out from behind her ear.

In the distance he could hear the sound of trumpeting, and as they smashed through the snow covered undergrowth, he could feel Tiffany’s great heart thumping thunderously against his own rib cage. With a last push they broke out of the forest undergrowth, and the little elephant stopped, breathing heavily, and putting down the mouse house. She lifted her trunk and gave a trumpet of her own, resulting in petrified shrieks and much scrabbling around from the ensemble tucked behind her ear.

Henri, who had been tossed unceremoniously on top of his eldest son’s head, dared to raise himself up to look out at the cause of such a cacophony, and saw massive grey shapes emerging from the snow storm. He watched in wonder as the beasts drew closer and surrounded Tiffany, touching her with their trunks and rumbling gently as they gathered her into their protective midst.

He had heard, and partially understood, the comforting language of these huge animals as they conversed at night when the circus was quiet, and he gathered that their little friend was advising her family of the traumatic events. Her mother who led the herd, and was the star of the circus, nodded her noble head from time to time and eyed up her daughter’s ear, still firmly plastered to the side of her head. She then picked up the discarded mouse house in her massive trunk, leading the way back through the clearing to a wide path the herd had created, followed by Tiffany and a parade of her sisters and aunts.

Within minutes there were shouts and cries as the circus folk raced towards them from the shelter of the big top and the surrounding caravans. The ring master arrived and took charge, leading the herd into the warmth of the colourful tent, placing a small net beneath Tiffany’s ear which seemed to have gone into a spasm.

‘Someone put on the ‘1812’,’ the ring master bellowed at the assembled circus family, and one of the clowns dashed off through to the back of the tent.

As the sound crashed out of the speakers, the herd of elephants began flapping their ears in time to the music, and with a sigh Tiffany finally relaxed her ear, releasing a white cascade of mice into the safety net. The acrobatic troupe were handed over to their keepers to be rubbed gently with hot towels and given a reviving brandy.

The ring master, who was particularly fond of Henri, held up the mouse in cupped hands and looked him the eye. ‘Well old friend, it seems that you have survived to perform another day, and it has given me an idea for a new act.’

And dear reader, this is how the world famous and most daring mouse act in circus history came to be.

‘Les acrobates de la famille mouskateer’ thrilled the crowds with their tumbling and acts of daring on the backs of the elephants as they paraded around the ring, flapping their ears to the ‘1812 Overture.’

Many years later an old elephant, matriarch of the herd now enjoying their life in a sanctuary, turned to her great-granddaughter who had been listening to her favourite story for the millionth time.

‘Do you miss the circus grandmamma?’ She looked up at the rheumy eyes of the storyteller.

‘I miss some things Gigi, including friends like dear monsieur Henri.’ Tiffany gently touched the little face in front of her. ‘But, we never knew what it was like to roam freely until we were brought to this sanctuary many years ago, when I was still a young elephant. You are lucky that nearly all animal circuses are now gone, and no more of our kind will be taken from our wild homes. But even that has its dangers from humans, and I am not sure what will become of us in the future.’

Gigi leaned into the side of her grandmamma and felt reassured by the gentle rumblings.
The herd began to move towards the buildings on the edge of the sanctuary, quickening their pace and nudging the little ones ahead of them. This was their favourite time of the day when their head keeper, once a young apprentice at their circus, would crank up the old record player attached to two speakers on poles.

The elephants formed a ring with much excited trumpeting and with the little ones running in and out of their legs; they began to flap their ears as the much loved music filled the air.

©Sally Cronin 2019

I hope you have enjoyed the story.. thanks for dropping in… Sally.

About Life’s Rich Tapestry

Life’s Rich Tapestry is a collection of verse, microfiction and short stories that explore many aspects of our human nature and the wonders of the natural world. Reflections on our earliest beginnings and what is yet to come, with characters as diverse as a French speaking elephant and a cyborg warrior.

Finding the right number of syllables for a Haiku, Tanka, Etheree or Cinquain focuses the mind; as does 99 word microfiction, bringing a different level of intensity to storytelling. You will find stories about the past, the present and the future told in 17 syllables to 2,000 words, all celebrating life.

This book is also recognition of the value to a writer, of being part of a generous and inspiring blogging community, where writing challenges encourage us to explore new styles and genres.

One of the recent reviews for Life’s Rich Tapestry on Bookbub by Marina Osipova December 1st 2020

Engaging. Moving. Amazing.
As always, Sally Cronin’s writing (be it verse, micro fiction, or short stories) awoke in me a fountain of emotions. Some manifested themselves in goosebumps (Life’s Greatest Gift, Musical Interlude, Reunion, An Ugly Mutt, A Moment of Alignment-just to name a few), others brought a smile to my face, (My Mouse, Splashing Good Time, The Witch’s Handbook, etc.). The Enhancement Project was frightening in its futurological likelihood. You’ll find the tales grim or sad, yet most promise hope at the end. While reading all these beautifully written stories, I shook my head in disbelief: how is it possible to tell a life story in such a short piece of literature? Take my word, you won’t be unaffected by these poignant snippets of life, and after turning the last page, you will crave more from this remarkable writer. Can’t help but recommend Sally Cronin’s books to readers who seek tales that deeply move soul and heart.

Read the reviews and buy the book Amazon  :Amazon UK – Amazon USAmazon US

My other books and recent reviews can be found on my Books and Reviews Page 2021

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Author on the Shelves – The Places We Haunt: Short Story Collection by Cecilia Kennedy


Delighted to welcome Cecilia Kennedy to the Cafe and Bookstore with her recently released short story collection – The Places We Haunt: Short Story Collection 

About the collection

When a pastry-obsessed ghost follows Audrey M. K. Summons back to her apartment, Audrey feels compelled to write the story—along with a few others she has collected. The resulting manuscript becomes The Places We Haunt, which a literary scholar discovers when Audrey dies. To the scholar’s surprise, the pages magically fill with more stories from beyond the grave, so she publishes the book in order to put Audrey’s spirit to rest. This collection of 13 eclectic dark tales takes place in museums, swimming pools, houses, restaurants, the cemetery, and outdoors in nature. The stories told are sometimes humorous, absurd, pensive, or cautionary. Those who tell them, don’t even realize they’re dead.

Head over to buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

And on: Goodreads

About Cecilia Kennedy

Cecilia Kennedy lives in the Greater Seattle area, where the mountains, pines, and occasional Puget Sound views serve as inspiration. Before moving to Washington state, she taught Spanish and English composition courses in Ohio for over 20 years. Since 2017, she has published numerous short stories in literary magazines and anthologies online and in print. In her spare time, she also chronicles her humorous attempts at cooking and home repair on her blog “Fixin’ Leaks and Leeks.”

Connect to Cecilia

BlogFixin Leaks n Leeks DIY
Twitter: @ckennedyhola
Facebook: Cecilia Kennedy
LinkedIn: Cecilia Kennedy

Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share the news of Cecilia’s new book.. thanks Sally