Welcome to the last of the meals to celebrate the end of summer. Sunday Lunch is a meal that brings family and friends together and I hope you enjoy the food and company here today.
I asked my guests if there was one particular food that they could not live without and hopefully I have catered for all of their tastes. I have also asked for their music requests and I have drawn four of the choices out of a hat to play today.
Those tracks that there is not time for will be shared during next week in special editions of the Blogger Daily.
With that out of the way I hope you will enjoy this opportunity to meet blogger friends in a slightly different setting, and also new contacts that will increase your blogging pleasure.
This is a party and if you are popping in then please do not leave without leaving you name, a little bit about yourself and the link to your blog and to Amazon if you are an author.
Before we get seated for lunch, please help yourself to some canapes there are some roasted cashews on the platter, especially for my first guest who cannot live without nuts!
Meet Annette Rochelle Aben who is a shining light of kindness and someone who daily encourages to be grateful. A talented poet, Annette has published several collections that reflect life around us and usually accompanied by beautiful images.
Annette spent many years in the broadcast industry and has used her expertise to create an online platform for authors and artists to showcase their talents. You can find out more about how to join Annette on the air Where the Magic Happens
She is a very generous supporter of everyone that she connects to and her daily affirmations on social media bring a spark of inspiration to all who follow her. You can find more posts and poetry on Annette’s Blog
Here is a selection of Annette’s books and them all and read the reviews on Amazon
One of the reviews for A Tanka Picture Book by Tina Frisco A Song for the Heart
This beautiful little book will warm your heart and stir your soul. A Tanka Picture Book by Annette Rochelle Aben is a treasure trove of inspiration, filled with picturesque images overlaid by touching verse. The author explains that Tanka means “short song.” I find this the perfect description, considering I felt my heart singing while I read. Compassion, encouragement, and gratitude create a texture and mood that will leave you feeling both peaceful and exhilarated. Whether your spirit needs fortifying or you’re simply looking for a splendid gift, this book is sure to deliver.
Annette has requested Let it Be by The Beatles and she has a fascinating story to tell.
I actually made a recording of this song at a Beatle Convention in Detroit, in the 90’s The song had always touched me emotionally but that day a very special person heard me sing it, approached me and offered to change my life forever. Mike McCartney was there (Paul’s brother) asked for the tape and the person who paid for the tape refused to turn it over. True Story…
Here are the lads singing live in Spain…You can buy The Beatles on Amazon
Time for the guests to take their seats and enjoy a selection of starters including these wholemeal bruschetta with ham and mozzarella especially for my next guest who would never give up eating bread.
Time to meet author Stevie Turner who works part time as a medical secretary in a busy NHS hospital and writes suspense, women’s fiction, and darkly humorous novels in her spare time. Her award winning books are also in audio and For the Sake of a Child has also been adapted into a screenplay and won a silver award in the Spring 2017 Depth of Field International Film Festival. ‘A House Without Windows’ gained the attention of a New York media production company in December 2017. You can read more at Stevie Turner
Stevie has a wonderful blog and you will find short stories, interviews, posts on writing and also ones that give you something to think about such as this one on education: Exams fiasco
Here is a selection of Stevie’s books, find them all and the reviews Amazon
Here is an extract from a recent review for A House Without Windows which has achieved over 500 reviews on Goodreads. Jul 31, 2018 Frank Parker reviewed the book
Inevitably this book invites comparison with the award winning Room. Both were suggested by real life situations in which a woman was abducted and held captive for a number of years during which she gave birth to one or more children.
I have to say that Turner’s imagining of such a scenario is very different – and none the worse for that. This is true both in the way the child’s behaviour in captivity is portrayed and in events subsequent to the escape. Rather cleverly Turner allows the child, Amy, to acquire an Enid Blyton story book and her understanding of life outside the ‘house without windows’ is framed by the adventures of the fictional children.
Stevie mentioned Rimsky-Korsakov’s ‘Scheherazade’ as her favourite piece of music and I will be playing part of the 2nd movement of the suite during the week in the Blogger Daily.
The guests today have been offered a choice of two roasts and a vegetarian option for the main course and here roast beef with all the trimmings along with some seasonal vegetables.
I hope that my next guest author Jaye Marie will enjoy the roast beef as her go to food is steak… there is some mustard available is she enjoys that too. Jaye will often be found around the blogging community and social media and is very generous about sharing all our posts.
Jaye is one-half of the writing partnership, Anita & Jaye Dawes, and you met Jaye’s sister-in-law yesterday at Brunch. Since Jaye’s retirement she has been enjoying reading books, developing an online platform and getting to grips with publishing Anita’s books. With all of that under her belt, she discovered that she too had a story that needed to be told which was her first book, a mystery thriller The Ninth Life. You can find out more about Jaye and enjoy posts and book reviews on her blog
Jaye’s books and reviews can be found on Amazon
An extract from a review for The Ninth Life by Louise Wyatt An addictive and rollercoaster of a read
If you like the thriller genre that keeps up the momentum then this would be a good read for you. The pace never falters, building up the plot and characters with timely intervention. The author cleverly keeps the story centred around the main character, with the other players coming into the story and yet there are no plot holes or false timings.
Not once did I get bored reading it or find the story faltering at all – definitely one of those where ‘you need to know what happens next’ but I think the author’s gift when writing this is to keep the protagonist centre whilst keeping the reader constantly hooked. The antagonist is typically a nasty character, one whom the reader takes an instant dislike to and the edge he adds to the story is almost palpable.
Jaye requested something from the 1980s and I will be searching through my favourites to play during the week on the Blogger Daily
For the vegetarian option I have prepared tortellini stuffed with mushrooms, in a tomato and basil sauce.
Although my next guest said that she enjoys salads and desserts the most, I am hoping that she might enjoy eating a little tortellini as well.
Balroop Singh is another supportive blogger and also inspires by sharing her poetry on social media. She is a former teacher, an educationalist, a blogger, a poet and an author always had a passion for writing. The world of her imagination has a queer connection with realism. She could envision the images of her own poetry while teaching the poems. Her dreams saw the light of the day when she published her first book: ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life.’ She has always lived through her heart and you can find out a great deal more, including wonderful book reviews and heartwarming posts on Balroop’s Blog
You can find all of Balroop’s books and reviews on Amazon
Here is an extract from an early review for Balroop’s latest collection Timeless Echoes by Jacqui Murray VINE VOICE Deep emotions uniquely revealed in Balroop’s poetry July 7, 2018
When Balroop Singh’s latest poetry book, Timeless Echoes (2018), published, I planned to savor it slowly, bring it out for those moments when I needed a boost or a cheer up. That didn’t happen. I ended up devouring it. I know from her blog that Balroop has incredible insights into the human condition. When she puts these in context with the flow and rhythm of poetry and the connotative depth only a poet can pack into a few words, this becomes a truly important book of poetry:
“It seemed so fascinating
To tread the unknown trail
How could I forget the elation?
The warm words of assurance!”
Balroop has a preference for soft and sentimental music which had me scouring my playlists and I hope that she and the other guests enjoy this visually stunning piece from Gloria Franchi
Time for another of the roast dishes which is roast pork with crackling, served with roast potatoes, seasonal vegetables already on the table and apple sauce..
Lisa Thomson is a recent and welcome addition to the Cafe and Bookstore and was born and raised in B.C., and eventually moved to Edmonton, Alberta. As a graduate of University of Alberta, with a BA, she worked in Recreation Administration for several years. Lisa’s passion for writing began during her divorce and has blossomed into more creative pursuit without losing that drive to help others. Her two self-help books, “The great Escape; A Girl’s Guide To Leaving a Marriage” and “A divorce Companion”, help economically-dependent women going through divorce. “Hearts Unbroken-short stories”, is her first published fiction. Lisa now resides in Vancouver, British Columbia. You can find out more about Lisa on her website
You will find self-help articles on divorce but also on other topics such as social media including this post on Instagram
You can find and read the reviews for Lisa’s books on Amazon
Here is an extract from one of the early reviews for Hearts Unbroken from the guest sitting next to her at the table. Balroop SinghRealistic and Engrossing July 14, 2018
Hearts Unbroken’ by Lisa Thomson is an anthology of short stories that tug at reader’s heart, as they talk about human emotions and relationships, some of them so fragile that they need a solo long drive to figure them out. Sarah’s marriage is a façade and she discovers it the day she decides to attend her family reunion without her husband who has no respect for her emotions and desires. He shrugs her off with an insensitive remark. No less poignant are the questions of Samantha who is too little to understand why her mommy is not coming home to tuck her in her bed. Lisa excels in bringing out raw emotions without letting them melt into a melodrama. Her characters move on with their life despite heavy baggage of betrayal and internal strife.
Lisa loves chocolate and I have made sure that the dessert selection contains plenty of it…
She also requested American Pie by Don McLean and I will be playing that during the week in the Blogger Daily.
I have chosen a medium dry white wine to accompany lunch today and there is also some very robust red to accompany the roast beef.
Meet award winning and prolific author Janice Spina who did request lobster which are a bit difficult to find here, but she also mentioned wine… so hope she will indulge in a glass or two of the above.
Janice has written 17 children’s books including her latest, illustrated as always by her husband John – Abby & Holly School Dance, book one of a brand new series, a spin off from Davey and Derek Junior Detectives. Janice has published three novels under J. E. Spina, a paranormal/mystery/romance novel, and a short story collection. You can find out more about Janice and her books, as well as enjoy guest posts and interviews with the authors that she supports so generously on her Blog
Here is just a small selection of Janice’s books and you can find them all and reviews on Amazon
One of the recent reviews for Abbey & Holly by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne An entertaining book with a valuable lesson! July 19, 2018
I loved Janice Spina’s new book “Abby and Holly, School Dance.” The writing style made you feel like you were enjoying the adventures of Abby, Holly and their friends. You’re sure to smile at the twins Derek and Davey’s shyness around Abby and Holly. It’s a delightful story. Trouble comes when one of their classmates, Justine, mysteriously becomes sick. How is the mystery solved? When Justine is bullied, how does the group of friends encourage the bullies to change their behavior. This is an enjoyable book teaches, families, and teens are sure to love and they are likely to remember not only the entertaining adventures, but the important message the story shares. Another wonderful book by Janice Spina.
Janice has requested Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You and explains why – my husband and I danced to that song at our wedding. It said everything that we felt for each other.
Time for the first of the desserts and perhaps some water to cleanse the palate, infused with fruit. Who does not love Tiramisu …. there are certainly a few chocolate lovers dining here today.
Time to meet Dolly Aizenman of Kool Kosher Kitchen blog and cookery book who loves anything chocolate so I hope she is tucking into the dessert..
Here is a little bit about Dolly in her own words. It wasn’t easy to keep kosher in communist Russia, where I was born and lived for 27 years, until I was allowed to leave. You couldn’t go to a kosher store and buy anything, from soup to nuts, with a Hecksher (kosher certification), the way it is in the US. Here, chicken is already shechted (slaughtered) for you, and cows conveniently label their own parts as “beef for stew.” As Yakov Smirnov used to say in the eponymous TV sitcom, “What a country!” After teaching for almost 40 years, I am now semi-retired, I love to cook, and I have time on my hands to share recipes and exchange new food ideas. Find out more, including the fabulous recipes from around the world on Dolly’s website
You can find Kool Kosher Kitchen and reviews on Amazon
One of the recent reviews for the book Linda H. Gershater MORE THAN A COOKBOOK, FOOD FOR YOUR SOUL! June 10, 2018
So much more than a cookbook. This is a book to warm your heart and soul! I have been privileged to know Mrs. Aizenman for a number of years. Her stories are so warm, heartfelt and sincere. I sat down to look it over, and ended up reading it from cover to cover, enjoying her wonderful stories and anecdotes. I hope that you will add this very special book to your collection of cookbooks, but remember to sit, make a cup of tea (or two, or three) and just enjoy the read. Her recipes are terrific and very true to the way that she cooks. You won’t be disappointed.
Dolly requested Yesterday by The Beatles and I will be playing that later in the week in The Blogger Daily.
Since there are so many chocolate lovers here today I have included this rich chocolate cake served with strawberries and someone better pass my next guest some whipped cream to go with it. She is off this particular treat at the moment, so let’s see if we can tempt her.
Time to meet Ritu Bhathal who is a poet, who fits in writing somehow into a busy life as a full-time teacher and mum. She is also a very active member of our blogging and social media community and she generously shares a great many of our blog posts each day. I loved meeting her in person at last year’s Blogger’s Bash and I am sure she will be adding some laughter to today’s lunch.
Ritu was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970’s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with Indian origin. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her. From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is mostly credited to her mother. The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her own writing, from fiction to poetry. Winning little writing competitions at school and locally gave her the encouragement to continue writing.
Ritu also writes a blog, But I Smile Anyway, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which was recently awarded The Best Overall Blog Award at the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards in 2017.
Ritu’s collection of poetry and its reviews can be found on Amazon
One of the reviews for Poetic Rituals A delightful book of metrical poetry with some haiku celebrating the family
This book contains about 120 pages of poems celebrating family and its joyfulness. Most of the poems are metrical and many of these rhyme. This book, for the most part, provides the reader with a traditional poetic, sound experience. The book also contains haiku and other such forms. These are also witty and enjoyable.
Although this is a book of poetry, you should be able to understand every page and find lines and stanzas that make you smile–or at least make you want to highlight them so you can find them again quickly.
Ritu has requested Dhule Ka Sehra and she explains why: It was a song my Pops wanted played at my wedding. It is filled with the feelings of a father upon seeing his daughter getting married. It is beautiful and makes me cry even today!
Here it is performed by Sufi Soul Sangeet
And for the final dessert today I have a fresh fruit salad that you can eat with cream, fresh yogurt or add to your chocolate cake. The fruit was a special request by the next guest at the table.
I have been connected to Jacquie Biggar for a couple of years now and she is a delightful person with a great sense of humour. I recommend that you follow her on her website and also on the main social media platforms as you will find her to be generous with her likes and sharing.
Jacquie is a USA TODAY bestselling author of Romantic Suspense who loves to write about tough, alpha males who know what they want. That is until they’re gob-smacked by heroines who are strong, contemporary women willing to show them what they really need is love. She is the author of the popular Wounded Hearts series and has just started a new series in paranormal suspense, Mended Souls. She has also contributed to several successful anthologies. Jacquie lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her family and loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. You can find out more by visiting Jacquie’s website
You will find guest posts and also book reviews on Jacquie’s blog which is part of her website.. such as this review on Friday Desperate Girls
This is just a very small selection of Jacquie’s books and you will find the rest and reviews on Amazon
Here is one of the recent reviews for Jacquie’s latest release Sweetheart Cove by Colorado Cowgirl A heartwarming and lovely story about the power of love to heal hearts and bodies July 24, 2018
Sweetheart Cove is where wounded hearts get a second chance at love. This is such a heartwarming, lovely story, complete with a moody widower, his disabled sweetie of a young daughter, a cute puppy and a “jilted at the altar” heroine. The setting is an endearing small town in British Columbia, full of noisy and wonderful characters that fill-out the story nicely. There is even a wicked developer lady. Josie’s fiancé cheated on her and her wedding and honeymoon plans crash around her. She decides to retreat to the end of the earth and lick her wounds, while she works as a physiotherapist for a girl in a wheelchair. But she is too young and attractive and threatens to chip away at the ice protecting Jacob’s heart since his wife died in the accident that disabled his daughter. The book is full of charm, romance, humor and heartwarming situations. But the grief and pain is very real too. This is a short “beach read” that you won’t want to put down (watch for sunburn). And the little girl and her puppy steal the show, of course!
Jacquie requested Dance by Garth Brooks and I will be playing the track during the week in the Blogger Daily.
I had some cheese left over from dinner last night which is a good thing since my next guest adores it.
My final guest for Sunday Lunch is Sharon Marchisello who is a travel writer, author of non-fiction personal finance guides, and a murder mystery. Going Home is her first published novel. The concept was inspired by her mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s, which prompted her to wonder what it would be like to interview a witness or a suspect who could not rely on her memory.
Sharon grew up in Tyler, Texas, and earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Houston in French and English. She studied for a year in Tours, France, on a Rotary scholarship and then moved to Los Angeles to pursue her Masters in Professional Writing at the University of Southern California. Now she lives in Peachtree City, Georgia, with her husband and cat. Retired from a 27-year career with Delta Air Lines, she does volunteer work for the Fayette Humane Society. You can find out more on Sharon’s Blog
Sharon has contributed a number of very informative and interesting posts to Smorgasbord including her latest for those of you planning a trip to Cuba Navigating Cuban Currency
You can find Sharon’s books and reviews on Amazon
One of the reviews for Going Home Very Good By Don S and TeamGolfwell
I really liked “Going Home” by Sharon Marchisello, and found it to be an excellent and exciting mystery. I am familiar with the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s Disease and the author wrote an excellent mystery with many interesting characters. Ms. Marchisello has a lot of talent as a writer and I enjoyed it very much.
Sharon has requested one of my favourite songs from The Eagles – Desperado and she explains it is because it took her so long to settle down…..
Here is the track from a live performance of The Eagles in New Zealand
Thank you for dropping and hope you have enjoyed the last meal in this celebration of the End of the Summer and some of the wonderful bloggers and authors in our community.
As with any of these parties, it is an opportunity to introduce yourself and leave your link to your blog and your Amazon author page. It would also be great if you would share the post as far as possible through the web…
My thanks to https://pixabay.com for providing the food that I could not make myself.