Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – #Offer Marcia Meara, #Teaching Pete Springer, #Writers D.G. Kaye, #RoundUp Carol Taylor, #Halloween John Howell.

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

The first post is from Marcia Meara with a great offer for books 1,2,3 in her Riverbend series.. all at 99c/77p until October 15th so you have a few days to get the books at this terrific price.

#Sale – #Riverbend eBooks 1, 2, and 3 – $.99/77p

Still celebrating my escape from the world of Breakthrough COVID. Thought I’d offer another sale for you guys, only this one is going to last through 10/15, or ten days. So, if you’ve been curious about life in this little Florida town, replete with all the weird folks who live there, now’s your chance to download these books for $.99 each, or under $3.00 for all three!

Swamp Ghosts – Riverbend Book 1

Wildlife photographer Gunnar Wolfe looked like the kind of guy every man wanted to be and every woman just plain wanted, and the St. Johns River of central Florida drew him like a magnet. EcoTour boat owner Maggie Devlin knew all the river’s secrets, including the deadliest ones found in the swamps. But neither Maggie nor Gunn was prepared for the danger that would come after them on two legs.

On a quest to make history photographing the rarest birds of them all, Gunnar hires the fiery, no-nonsense Maggie to canoe him into the most remote wetland areas in the state. He was unprepared for how much he would enjoy both the trips and Maggie’s company. He soon realizes he wants more than she’s able to give, but before he can win her over, they make a grisly discovery that changes everything, and turns the quiet little town of Riverbend upside down. A serial killer is on the prowl among them.

Head over to read the blurb and reviews of all three books that are on offer: Sale Riverbend Books 1,2 and 3 until October 15th.

The next post is from Pete Springer who reflects on his life as a teacher and the changes in the five years since he retired to focus on his own wellbeing.

I’m Still a Teacher

Photo Credit to Sani Anas on Pexels

The other day it dawned on me that it’s already been five years since my wife and I retired. I taught 31 years in grades 2-6, and my wife was a preschool teacher and then became director of the same preschool. I’ve volunteered a few times each year at my old elementary school when my former colleagues needed a little extra help with something, but since Covid began, they haven’t called. I understand that; it’s a new world.

One of the reasons I liked teaching was I loved being around children. In a lot of ways, I’m still a big kid. I was that teacher who enjoyed running around with his class at PE time. When we played a game, more often than not, I was a part of things. It was one of the ways I bonded with my class. Having fun with my students? It was one of the things I looked forward to each day. A classroom is more than a place to learn academics. It’s a place to create a love for learning and teach life lessons.

Head over to read Pete’s story of life after retirement and how he is still a teacher: I’m Still a Teacher by Pete Springer

The next post is from D.G. Kaye (Debby Gies) and his her monthly Writer’s Links… as always jammed full of useful articles to make our job easier, more effective and safer…

Writer's Tips

Writer’s Tips October – #Memoir Writing, #Canva, #Scamalert, Createspace, Google, Blogging, and Free Promotion Offer 

Welcome to October edition of Writer’s Tips. In today’s post I’m sharing a new author scam alert, Seven S’s of writing Memoir, problems for authors who didn’t move their books themselves to Amazon, a tutorial on how to add video to Canva, marketing with Google, reusable block making on the Gutenberg editor, and two invitations where you can promote your books.

First one is a brand new author Scam Alert. Anne R. Allen keeps us abreast the latest scams and book steals. Today she shares the danger of Facebook, and advice on choosing an Editor who won’t scam.

Head over to Debby’s recommended writer’s links for October: Memoir Writing, #Canva, #Scamalert, Createspace, Google, Blogging, and Free Promotion Offer

Catch up with Carol Taylor and her week with the round up.. a welcome to October, Pumpkin soup, the culinary alphabet ‘P’, The Green Kitchen and all about shoes on the Saturday Snippets.

My Culinary A-Z, Music from Dido and Elvis…in the US it’s National Pumpkin and Apple month…From Carol’s Green Kitchen…Yeast Free Raisin Bread…

Welcome to the round-up of posts you might have missed this week on CarolCooks2…
Time is marching on we have now nearly two weeks into October…the month for Halloween Festivities… where the last of the summer sun for some of us is on the wane and where for others spring has sprung…Soups and salads are on the tables around the world…for some, the leaves are starting to turn into glorious shades of oranges and reds elsewhere the spring bulbs and beautiful flowers are unfurling their leaves and petals both showing how beautiful this world is in its changes of seasons…

Find out some facts about October and enjoy the other posts from Carol’s week: Music from Dido and Elvis…in the US it’s National Pumpkin and Apple month…From Carol’s Green Kitchen…Yeast Free Raisin Bread…

The final post today is from John Howell, who shares some great images of the preparations in his neighbourhood for Halloween..and breakfast is provided…

Views of the Neighborhood – A Taste of Halloween

Hello. Today we are going to go out and find a taste of Halloween. Some may say it’s too early, but I can tell you, Lakeway goes all out for Halloween, and to see it all, we will have to make a few trips.

We are being catered by Cafe No Se in Austin. Yes, they have catered to us before, but we all liked their simple menu and terrific food. We also have invited Fleetwood Mac to play.


  • avocado toast, soft boiled egg, crème fraîche, arugula, Aleppo carrots
  • smoked salmon bagel, salmon, hard-boiled egg, pickled onion, tomato, caper scallion cream cheese, everything bagel
  • lemon-ricotta hotcakes, apple-thyme chutney, pecan butter, maple syrup
    café scramble, roasted wild mushrooms, Fresno pepper, spinach, fresh ricotta, sourdough toast
  • sweet potato hash, two sunny eggs, crispy pork belly, kimchi, mustard greens, jalapeño, kale
  • cowboy breakfast, two sunny eggs, bacon, confit pork, borracho beans, tomato, roasted jalapeño, cilantro butter

Head over to enjoy the other Halloween preparations in John’s neck of the woods: Views of the Neighbourhood, a taste of Halloween


Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to enjoy the posts in full… thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily 20th February 2021 – #Teaching Pete Springer, #Betrayal Abigail Johnston, #Hitching Andrew Joyce

I hope you will head over to read these posts in full that I have enjoyed over the last few days..thanks Sally

The first post today is from retired teacher Pete Springer and reflects on the last 11 months of school closures, home schooling the role of the teacher is keeping this generation of students on track.

Looking Out For Your Students

Photo Credit to Max Fischer on Pexels

Jean Baptiste Alphonse Karr, a French writer, once wrote, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” I was thinking about his words today, wondering how I might be doing if I were still teaching during the pandemic.

This past year has been unlike any other for teachers, students, and parents as schools have stopped and started in various forms. Some places have managed to serve all students at school, others have taught exclusively online, and most have had a combination of distance and on-site learning. It’s challenging enough to meet all your students’ needs, even when things are going perfectly. Throw in a pandemic, and the difficulties become even more problematic.

Obstacles and hurdles are everywhere and read more about the issues facing teachers, students and parents: Looking out for your studens by Pete Springer

The next post will resonate with many I am sure as betrayal comes in many forms and across all areas of our lives. Sometimes it is something you can push to one side but often that betrayal stays with you for a lifetime.  Abigail Johnston of No Half Measures explores this toxic element of relationships and I am sure she would love your views.


Definition of betrayal

1: the act of betraying someone or something or the fact of being betrayed : violation of a person’s trust or confidence, of a moral standard, etc. the betrayal of a friend, a betrayal of trust, a betrayal of one’s principles.

2: revelation of something hidden or secret a betrayal of one’s true feelings

Betrayal is such a tricky thing. The definition is seemingly straightforward; yet the experience of betrayal is often murky and emotional. For me, I often feel betrayed, get angry, and then don’t stop right away to go back to figure out what it was that upset me so much. I’m not good at identifying a betrayal in the moment. Is anyone really that good at it?

No betrayal is easy to handle, despite what some people say, and I can’t tell whether a known or expected betrayal is worse or better than a surprise. Maybe the time to adjust to the idea or expectation of a betrayal makes the experience of it less horrible? I’m not sure if that is true.

Head over to read the post in full and leave your comments for Abigail: No Half Measures – Betrayal

And last but not least today Andrew Joyce with a story of a teenager and an old man of the road and how each brought something special to their relationship as they hopped trains, and traveled the country over a period of months.

He Let Go a Laugh

Those of you who have read my “official” bio know that I left home at an early age seeking adventure. And I had some luck in finding it. I’ve written about those adventures in these very pages. But now, I have a new one for you. I haven’t told it before because I get emotional when I think about it.

It was 1967, and at the tender age of seventeen, I was away from home for the first time. Home was Miami, Florida. During summer vacation between my junior and senior year in high school, I decided I wanted to see the world – or at least that part of the world bordered by the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans on the North American continent.

So, I stuck out my thumb to see where it would take me. As it turned out, it took me to many magical places and a few really scary places, but ultimately my thumb took me to a land of discovery. I met people from all walks of life. I spent time on Indian reservations, in hippie communes, riding the rails with hobos, in different jails jammed in with good and bad people. I hustled food at back doors of restaurants. I spent time with one or two millionaires; one nice lady living on the Upper East Side of New York City comes to mind.

Head over to discover how these two travelers connected and shared life on the road: He Let Go a Laugh by Andrew Joyce


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

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Release – #Romance #Saga The Heartstone by Judith Barrow, #Myths Barbara Spencer, #Teaching Pete Springer

Welcome to the Friday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore updates with a new release and some recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

Delighted to share the news that Judith Barrow has a new book on pre-order for 18th February…a romantic historical saga…The Heartstone,

About the Book

1914. Everything changes for Jessie on a day trip to Blackpool. She realises her feelings for Arthur are far more than friendship. And just as they are travelling home, war is declared.

Arthur lies about his age to join his Pals’ Regiment. Jessie’s widowed mother is so frightened, she agrees to marry Amos Morgan. Only Jessie can see how vicious he is. When he turns on her, Arthur’s mother is the only person to help her, the two women drawn together by Jessie’s deepest secret.

Facing a desperate choice between love and safety, will Jessie trust the right people? Can she learn to trust herself?

Head over to pre-order the book for February 18th 2021: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US

Also by Judith Barrow


One of the recent reviews for The Memory

Dec 22, 2020 Christine rated it five stars

A great poignant and moving story!  As a mother of a child with Down syndrome, I was attracted by this book as it depicts the life of a little girl, Rose, born with trisomy 21 in 1963. I was interested in what impact her birth had over her family, her relationship with her sister, her parents and grandparents. I wanted to know about educational opportunities of the time and her place in society at large. That was very informative.

However, the book has much more to offer. Told in the first person by Rose’s sister Irene, and in two timelines, the story is about a rainbow of emotions acutely felt by the reader as well! Irene is tied to her family by strong bonds of love and duty. Her unselfishness in forgetting herself to remain faithful to the value of Family is remarkable and makes this book very special.

Read the reviews and buy the books:Amazon US – and:Amazon UK – Follow Judith: Goodreadsblog: Judith Barrow – Twitter: @judithbarrow77

Now time for some reviews

The next author who has a recent review is Barbara Spencer for The Year the Swans Came.

About the book

Growing up amidst the ruins of war, four children play among the bridges and cobblestone walkways of an old city, using them as a backdrop for their games. Pieter Bader, the eldest, wants nothing more than to work with their father in the family business, designers of mirrors for royalty since the 17th century, while his young sister, Maidy, dreams of becoming a writer. She has her own special bridge, the smallest in the city, around which she weaves stories of swashbuckling pirates and princesses, dressed all in silver, who wear sandals made from the silken thread of a spider’s web. Her best friend is Ruth, a young Jewish girl whose family returned to the city as refugees after the war. Slightly the older, and both rich and very beautiful, Ruth dreams of marrying Pieter, only for him to vanish from their lives late one night.

Is his disappearance linked to the arrival of the swans, feared as cursed and birds of ill-fortune? What will happen when they return six years later, on the morning of Maidy’s sixteenth birthday? And who exactly is the charismatic and mysterious Zande? Follow Ruth and Maidy’s cursed tale of love as they discover what happened to Pieter, how the appearance of Zande will affect both their lives, unleashing events as tragic and fantastical as one of Maidy’s stories

One of the recent reviews for the book

Lizzie Dee 5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully written story wth a hint of mystery  Reviewed in the United States on December 31, 2020

What I most enjoyed about Barbara Spencer’s novel was the beautiful descriptions and the warm family scenes she created in a post-war city, which I presumed to be Amsterdam. With hints of the past occupation but a determination to carry on and try to forget about the past, it was still evident that the scars of the past were not quite healed. I kept thinking I must pass this on to my Dutch friend, who grew up in a Dutch town and now lives close to the Anna Frank house. I think she’ll love it for the memories it would evoke. I have walked along those streets and canals many times and so I felt close to the family. I could picture the father working down in his basement, making mirrors. There was a hint of mystery about the past, particularly about the main protagonist’s brother who returned to the family home after a long absence. This made me curious. What was going on here? And who were these beautiful young men who were in love with Maidy’s best friend, Ruth. There’s a tale of love, sadness and betrayal, wrapped in beautiful prose and a lingering mystery throughout. I honestly didn’t see the ending coming until the final couple of chapters. I am reminded of a similar bit of folklore involving swans and one of the lakes near where I grew up in Ireland.

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

A selection of other books by Barbara Spencer

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US – Follow Barbara: Goodreads – Blog: Barbara Spencer Author – Twitter: @BarbaraSpencerO – Facebook: Barbara Spencer Author – Facebook: Barbara Spencer

The final author today is retired teacher Pete Springer with his memoir They Call Me Mom

About the book

Who Will You Inspire Today? Teachers face this challenge and responsibility each day, but in the process, the author discovers that his students can also have a profound influence on him. Pete Springer takes you on his memorable thirty-one-year journey in education as an elementary school teacher and offers the many valuable life and teaching lessons he learned along the way. Get ready to laugh out loud at some of the humorous and memorable experiences that all teachers face, feel inspired by the inherent goodness of children, and appreciate the importance of developing a sense of teamwork among the staff.

Learn valuable tips for working with children, parents, fellow staff members, and administrators. This book is ideal for young teachers, but also a reminder to all educators of the importance and responsibility of being a role model. This book is a must-read for all new teachers and those teachers that need a reminder they are human! Mr. Springer educates others in his easy-to-read, story-like, first-hand manuscript. You will laugh, cry, and get motivated to be the best educator you can. After reading this, I have a better outlook on relationships with my colleagues and am reminded to savor every moment. -Tami Beall (Principal, Pine Hill School)

One of the recent reviews for the book

P. Wight5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read for All who Teach/Parent/Love Children  Reviewed in the United States on January 8, 2021

I ordered Pete Springer’s book as a gift to my daughter’s in-laws, who are both retired elementary school teachers. I follow and read Pete’s wonderful blog and knew that his book would “speak” to this couple who devoted their lives to teaching in the Cape elementary schools and raising a son (and now being amazing grandparents to three children). Now the secret: I read They Call Me Mom before I wrapped up the book as a gift. It held my attention every page. I wish every future and present teacher would read this book about the ways to love and teach children through caring structure, lessons, and kindness mixed with strength.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – and:Amazon UK – Read more reviews:Goodreads – Website: Pete Springer WordPressTwitter: @OfficerWoof


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


Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Sunday 17th January 2021 – #Teaching Pete Springer, #Review Alison Williams, #Scams Stevie Turner

Welcome to the blogger daily and to a small number of the blog posts that brighten my day…if you don’t already follow these writers then suggest you do…

The first post today is from author Pete Springer, who shares a wonderful story about Lily, a young student with a very determined attitude to a goal she had set herself.

Photo Credit (by Richard Galapte) on Pexels

“I’m going to take my family on vacation this summer, Mr. Springer,” said Lily, packing her belongings at the end of school one day.

As a teacher, I was used to hearing kids’ outlandish tales. “That’s nice, Lily. Where are you planning to go? I asked my reserved 2nd-grade student, half expecting her to tell me she had plans for an elephant ride in Africa or a trip in a spaceship to the moon.

“We’ve never taken a trip before. I’m going to take my family to Crescent City.”

Crescent City is eighty-five miles north, with a population of just over 6,000 people. It’s not a place that most people would dream of going on vacation. While I had always found Lily to be an honest child, I think it was the sincerity in her voice that made me wonder if she could be telling me the truth. “Really? What do you mean you’re taking your family?”

“I’m going to pay for the trip,” she said with certainty.

I felt another wave of skepticism, but I didn’t want to burst her bubble and tell her that 2nd-graders couldn’t possibly take their family anywhere. “Trips cost a lot of money, Lily. How would you pay for it?”

Head over to discover more about Lily’s mission and enjoy this delightful post: The Trip by Pete Springer

Now time for a book review.. and I am always on the lookout for intriguing plots, particularly when they come with personal recommendations.. This is from editor Alison William’s blog.

In rural Virginia, Young and Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment device known as the Miracle Submarine – a pressurised oxygen chamber that patients enter for “dives”, used as an alternative therapy for conditions including autism and infertility. But when the Miracle Submarine mysteriously explodes, killing two people, a dramatic murder trial upends the Yoos’ small community.

Who or what caused the explosion? Was it the mother of one of the patients, who claimed to be sick that day but was smoking down by the creek? Or was it Young and Pak themselves, hoping to cash in on a big insurance payment and send their daughter to college? The ensuing trial uncovers unimaginable secrets from that night: trysts in the woods, mysterious notes, child-abuse charges, as well as tense rivalries and alliances among a group of people driven to extraordinary degrees of desperation and sacrifice.

Head over to read Alison’s review of Miracle Creek: Miracle Creek by Angie Kim reviewed by Alison Williams

And the last post today is an important message from Stevie Turner about the publishing cons out there waiting for the eager but unwary author.

Don’t Sign

Recently I read a blog from a self-published author who was thrilled to bits to gain a publishing deal. She had signed the rights to her book over to the publisher, and of course now looked forward to the royalties from many future sales.

However, I’ve been on a steep learning curve over the past 8 years regarding the integrity of small publishers. In order to satisfy my own curiosity I went on to Google and typed in ‘Writer Beware‘ and the name of the lady’s publisher. As I suspected, there were many complaints about this particular publisher regarding the amount of ‘set up fees’ needed and the lack of any royalties.

I’m sure most of us have been taken in by small publishers at one time or another at the beginning of our writing careers. I know I have, and now unless the day comes when I am taken on by one of the big five then I shall stay self-published. I might have a long wait, but I’m in no rush…

Along with unscrupulous small publishers comes unscrupulous writing competitions. Yes, I’ve been taken in by those as well. Some of them are just money-making schemes by marketing companies to fleece the unsuspecting author.

Head over to read the post in full and check out the links to a site to check if you are offered a publishing deal or writing competitions: Stevie Turner – Writer’s Beware


Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to read these posts in full… thanks Sally.