Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Monday 21st August 2017 -Robbie Cheadle, Yvonne Payne, Teri Polen/D.Wallace Peach and Norah Colvin

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Welcome to the first of the week’s look at some of the blog posts I have enjoyed over the weekend. There were many and it is always difficult to pick just a handful but I hope you too will enjoy these when you head over.

Robbie Cheadle and her family are touring England at the moment and are taking in some of the historical monuments, including the home of Charles Darwin.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Who hasn’t seen this graphic depiction of the theory of evolution?

According to Wikipedia, the essence of Charles Darwin’s ground-breaking theory is that all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual’s ability to compete, survive, and reproduce. Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution challenged the established religious dogma of creationism.

Who wouldn’t want to learn more about this fascinating man and see his famous home? Of course we wanted to and that is exactly what we did. We went to visit Down House in Kent; the home of this very controversial and amazing scientist.

Darwin’s house is incredible. A truly beautiful English manor house with an outstanding and interesting garden and hot house.

Head over and discover more about the home of Charles Darwin and his life and family:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Yvonne Payne​ meets up with a blogging pal and author Krystina Kalapothakos in Crete whilst on holiday and talks about Krystina’s cookbook.

One of my first blogging pals was Krystina Kalapothakos, who has a great foodie blog, Kouzounas Kitchen.

Krystina is currently on holiday in Crete from her home in California. Here, to my delight, is a photo of Krystina in my Kritsa kitchen gifting me a copy of her Greek recipe book, Back to my Roots.

We had a fabulous day together along with her friend and my husband…more of that in my next post. Today it’s all about the cookbook.

Check out some of the recipes and the cookbook which is available in Kindle:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Teri Polen interviewed Diana Wallace Peach in her regular Friday spot and talked about the first in her Rose Shield Series – Catling’s Bane.

In the tiers of Ellegeance, the elite Influencers’ Guild holds the power to manipulate emotions. Love and fear, pain and pleasure, healing and death mark the extremes of their sway, but it’s the subtle blends that hook their victims’ hearts. They hide behind oaths of loyalty and rule the world.

A child born in the grim warrens beneath the city, Catling rues the rose birthmark encircling her eye. Yet, it grants her the ability to disrupt the influencers’ sway. Established methods of civil control disintegrate before her. She’s a weapon desired by those who reign and those who rebel.

Head over and find out more about Catling’s Bane and enjoy Diana’s interview with Teri:

And last but not least Norah Colvin interviews children’s author Aleesah Darlison about her wonderfully illustrated book Stripes in the Forest.

This month, it is my pleasure to introduce you to award-winning Australian author Aleesah Darlison. Aleesah writes picture books, chapter books and novels. Her much-loved stories promote courage, understanding, anti-bullying, self-belief, teamwork and environmental themes. In 2015, she won the Environment Award for Children’s Literature (Non-Fiction) for her picture book, Our Class Tiger. She has won numerous other awards for her writing.

Aleesah has written over thirty-five books for children and in 2016, she set up Greenleaf Press, a business designed to provide critical support services to authors and illustrators. The company also acts as a booking agency for school and preschool visits.

Today, Aleesah and I are talking about her picture book Stripes in the Forest. With National Threatened Species Day just a couple of weeks away on 7 September, it is a timely interview. Stripes in the Forest is the story of an iconic species lost.

Head over and find out more about Stripes in the Forest and enjoy the interview with Aleesah:

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you enjoy these posts as much as I have.. thanks Sally


Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Thursday, 17th August 2017. Cook and Enjoy Recipes/ Jennie Fitzkee, Lisa Burton/ Vashti-Quiroz-Vega, Colleen Chesebro/ Richard Ankers and Teri Polen

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

If you are a regular visitor you will have seen some of Jennie Fitzkee’s posts either reblogged or here in the blogger. Jennie teaches pre-school and has done for thirty years. Generations of children have grown up loving books and words thanks to her passion. This time Jennie is a guest herself and talks about her early years as a teacher and how very quickly she discovered how her children absorbed the stories from books and simple storytelling.

Thank you, Esmé, for having me as a guest on your wonderful blog. First, let me introduce myself. I am Jennie, a long time preschool teacher, 30+ years is definitely a long time, and… well, that’s what I want to talk about.

My first day of teaching was filled with fear (of course). My co-teacher had a plan, I was to read books to the children every day. I had not been read to as a child, except for The Five Chinese Brothers from my grandmother. This was the one and only book, and to this day I remember it vividly. That first day my co-teacher handed me Swimmy by Leo Lionni. It was magical for me, and for the children. It was a taste of something I knew I had to have. And, I couldn’t get enough.

Read the rest of this wonderul look at a lifetime of inspiring children to love books:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

The rare ones amongst you who have as yet not met the acquaintance of Ms. Lisa Burton, radio presenter extraordinaire.. have an opportunity today. She is interviewing the angel Lilith of the book The Fall of Lilith penned by Vashti Quiroz-Vega.. Things get a little heated as it does when talking about celibacy and obedience..oh and Craig Boyack snuck in there too…

Don’t touch that dial. You’ve found Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you the characters from the books you love. Today my very special guest is an honest to God angel, or former angel, I don’t know how that all works, but we’re going to find out. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl. “Welcome to the show, Lilith.”


“Lilith, my bio says you have a problem. There are rules in place that an angel must follow in order to stay in heaven. You disagree with those rules. Can you explain to our listeners what those rules are?”

“I reside in the lowest level of Heaven called Floraison. There are many laws for my kind but the two greatest pledges an angel makes are obedience and celibacy, which make for a boring existence.”

Head over and be prepared to be shocked and thrilled at the same time..fallen angels are so tempting:


You now get to enjoy a magical story from Richard Ankers who is a guest of Colleen Chesebro today.  Colleen is spotlight fairies and magic in her guest posts and today certainly fits perfectly into that theme.  A story not to be missed.

The Charcoal Nomads by Richard Mark Ankers

Our parents called them the Charcoal Nomads, as had theirs, and theirs before that. A bustling caravan of mysterious folk, they’d slide into our small town at midnight, always midnight, stay awhile, then slide away.

Like all things containing an element of the unknown, shade and shadow, their presence held a certain allure. Forewarnings heralded forth like divine covenants from our parent’s mouths, but they did nothing to assuage our curiosity only fuel it. I would lie in bed and picture the steepled caravans with their minarets and towers, more gigantic tents than mobile homes. I’d imagine the horses – jet-black stallions clad in each nomad’s colours marching beneath the storms that signalled their arrival. And, of course, I imagined the young ones, those mysterious, concealed children. Did they dream as I? Did they wish for more as they travelled a world I’d only imagined? The Charcoal Nomads, those who had revealed themselves to just one man, became my obsession.

A Judge Roberts, lawman and sole landowner of Shadowmoor was the sole citizen brave enough to have challenged the night tribe. He’d clashed with the nomads over road tolls, although others wished him not. One tar-pit midnight, he’d headed out beyond the woods on his favourite jet-black mare intent on confrontation; neither came back. In such ways are legends made.

Read the rest of this magical story that will entrance you:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

We move onto #Horror and #Thriller now with Teri Polen.. Teri is featuring her Bad Moon Rising month of horror and thriller books and authors from October 1st -31st and needs to hear from you now.. Spaces are filling up fast. So if you want to showcase your book head over and get in touch with Teri directly.

For the month of October, Books & Such will again be featuring Bad Moon Rising, 31 days of horror/thriller writers! If you’re an indie author of horror/thriller books, and would like to be featured, send me your info. This is an opportunity not only for free publicity and book sales (hopefully), but also to crawl out from under your colossal TBR piles and buy more books!

Head over and get your name down if you are a horror or thriller author:

Some not to be missed posts and I hope you enjoy your visit to their bloggers. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Friday August 4th 2017 – Ian Hutson, Ritu Bhathal, Teri Polen and Lucinda E. Clarke

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

I have been a little pushed for time this week for one reason or another, including two trips to the dentist in the next town along. I am not sure that I could go into a profession where I was automatically feared, but I have to say that this new dentist was terrific. Completely rebuilt a tooth that had fractured and knowing the state of my teeth that is akin to building a pyramid.

I hope you have an amazing weekend..

Anyhow here is a brief selection of stories that I have read over the last couple of days…

I lived in Wales for three years and although working in a hotel and only having one day off a week, I still managed to hit all the highlights of that amazing part of Britain.

Ian Hutson takes us on a train journey on the Llangollen Steam Railway. This part of Wales is not known for its temperate climate .. more temperamental but it always looks stunning whatever the weather.

One of the rewards at the end of the Llangollen Canal, if rewards there need be, is the Llangollen Steam Railway. Trains that run on boiled water! Well, if truth be told they run on tracks, but it’s the over-excited H2uh-oh that moves them along. Tap water usually, not Perrier. Perrier gives the engine the burps.

Ten miles of delicious eccentricity runs from Llangollen town to Corwen, and it runs past several sheep, a bit of the River Dee and a spot of countryside. To web from the quotesite:

Llangollen Railway is the only standard gauge heritage railway in North Wales. We are located beside the historic Dee Bridge (built in 1345) in the centre of Llangollen town. The journey is a relaxing 10 miles travelling through the stunning Dee Valley to the lovely town of Corwen the cross roads of North Wales. …


Read the rest of the post and enjoy some of the photographs of the route:

Smorgasbord Blogger DailyNow time for Ritu Bhathal with a wonderful story about a saree… many of us noticed a stunning picture of Ritu heading out for an event in this beautiful blue saree and asked about the colour.. Here is the story.

Yes, that is me, all glammed up for an engagement party we attended.

Aside from all the lovely compliments I received, someone mentioned the colour of the saree, and how lovely it was.

I replied that the story of my saree could be a post of it’s own so here goes!

Way back, before the days of me planning to get married, my family went to Kenya to to attend a wedding. It was the wedding of my cousin, my mum’s niece. My dear maternal grandma was still around at that time, and she decided to open one of her trunks (a special occasion indeed! Nanima’s Sandookh(trunk) contained some beautiful treasures!) to gift her granddaughters.

I am not going to share this fabulous photo.. you need to head over to see it and read the rest of the story :

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Teri Polen interviews Lucinda E. Clarke with an overview of her books as part of her Indie Author Friday series.

Today’s author, Lucinda E. Clarke, has lived a colorful life so far – and after reading this interview, I’m inclined to believe more adventures lie in her future. She shares with us a variety of award-winning books a special talent I can identify with – ‘I’m a very average cook and my claim to fame is I’ve not poisoned anyone yet.’ My family can confirm this.

What do you love most about the writing process?

Power! Now, this is going to sound awful, but I promise you I’m quite a nice person and would never do anyone any harm or hurt them in any way – but the same cannot be said about my writing. I just adore creating characters and then doing exactly what I want with them. I can put them in wheelchairs, give them a fatal disease, transport them unwillingly across the world and then, if they begin to annoy me I can kill them off after they watched the love of their life being tortured to death. As a writer I can do all those things I would never dare – or possibly want to do – quite safely, and know I’ve not broken the law.

Read the rest of the interview and discover the wonderful books of Lucinda E. Clarke:

I hope you will head over and read the entire posts of these talented writers.  thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Teri Polen, Colleen Chesebro and Sally Cronin


Welcome to the first update of the week.. and as an author on the bookshelves I get to share my news too today.  But first a catch up with two other authors.  I am taking a look at some of the authors who have entered the bookstore since the begining of December over the next week. Unless of course any of you reading this who are in the bookstore have news of a recent release or great review.  Get in touch

The first author update is for Teri Polen who released her debut novel Sarah at the beginning of December 2016. Since then she has received 26 reviews and here is one that is right up to date.


About Sarah

Seventeen-year-old horror fan Cain Shannon thought helping a ghost find her killers would be the supernatural adventure of a lifetime. Now, he just hopes to survive long enough to protect his family and friends from her.

A bet between friends goes horribly wrong, resulting in Sarah’s death. When she returns to seek justice against those responsible, Cain agrees to help her. But when he discovers Sarah has been hijacking his body, he realizes she wants retribution instead of justice.

Terrified of what could have happened when he wasn’t in control, Cain commands Sarah to leave his house – but exorcising her isn’t that easy. She retaliates against her murderers in bloody, horrific ways, each death making her stronger, then sets her sights on Cain. With the help of friends, Cain fights to save himself and his loved ones and searches for a way to stop Sarah before she kills again.

 A Spine-Tingling Tale You Won’t Want to Miss on February 5, 2017

Teri Polen’s SARAH is the stuff that will keep you up at night. It’s the perfect blend of lighthearted teenage banter and blood-curdling horror elements. Shades of the television show Supernatural will keep fans of theWinchester brothers engrossed from the beginning through the last spine-tingling word of the epilogue.

Cain starts out as an affable teenage boy who too soon has become the man of the house because of the untimely death of his father. The addition of his best friend Finn creates a dynamic duo—the two clearly are as thick as biological brothers and their interactions are so enjoyable. Cain has typical teenage problems—love, academics, sports—until his life changes for the worse.

There is a ghost in his house.

The ghost, Sarah, has a dramatic character arc, something that infatuated me. Her change from beginning to end was something I couldn’t tear my attention from. Cain, Finn, and Lindsey are a trio that rivals Harry, Ron, and Hermione. The barbs they exchange are funny and believable, but these kids are loyal to each other to a fault. Watching those relationships solidify was a true pleasure.

I love a good ghost story, and SARAH is one of the best ones I’ve read in a while. I blew through it—it was such an easy and exciting read that I finished it in one afternoon. But I’m left fervently wishing for a sequel, because I don’t want to say goodbye to these characters.

If you like horror, you’ll love SARAH. It’s a must read.

Read all the reviews and buy the book:


Connect to Teri via her Website:



We head over to Marjorie Mallon’s wonderfully eclectic blog about books, writing, photography, magic haiku and inspiration. Not only has Marjorie posted a terrific view for the recently released The Heart Stone Chronicles – The Swamp Fairy by Colleen M. Chesebro, but she has also availed herself of the exclusively designed pendant.

the-heart-stone-chroniclesAbout The Heart Stone Chronicles – The Swamp Fairy

Fourteen-year-old Abigale Forester, recently orphaned and a ward of the State of Illinois moves from Chicago to Florida to live with her aunt, her last living relative. Magnolia Forester becomes her legal Guardian, and together they claim an ancient inheritance; land that belonged to Abby’s mother’s family for generations.

Holding onto the only piece of her mother Abby has left, a calcite pendant and her mother’s most sacred possession, she discovers the truth of her legacy. The pendant is more significant than she could possibly imagine. Forged from a giant mystical heart-shaped stone found on the very swamp land Abby now owns, it holds the power of her ancestors.

But with that power comes greater responsibility, one that pits her against Rafe Cobb, a greedy land developer, who will stop at nothing to own Abby’s swamp land.

As Abby learns to be part of a family again and explores her love of horses with friends, Savanna, and Blake, the swamp slowly gives up some of its secrets. She is summoned by a primeval nymph, who teaches Abby that her true destiny is to protect the nymphs from evil in an ever-changing modern world.

Can Abby save the swamp and the Naiad Nymph Clan from certain destruction before it is too late?

Marjorie Mallon’s Review for the book.

What’s not to love? I knew I would love The Swamp Fairy and I did. For me, it has two magical ingredients: a crystal pendant, ( I just love crystals!!!) and fairies! My only regret is that when I turned the last page of The Swamp Fairy I was left feeling bereft. I wanted more!!! Thank goodness Colleen will satisfy this sense of loss with the second book in this series…

I’d recommend The Swamp Fairy to young ‘tween’ girls who love the magical realm of fairies, and the power and mystery of crystals exemplified in Abigale’s pendant , a precious piece of the sacred calcite heart stone.

Gutsy young heroine Abigale Forester will do anything to save the swamp fairies and the Pink Sundew plants. Right from the start, it’s obvious that she’s no pushover, even though she has had to deal with more pain and loss than the average fourteen-year-old. After her mother Kathryn’s death and her drug addict father’s disappearance she is sent away to stay with her distant aunt Magnolia. It’s not just the weather that changes. Chicago girl Abigale’s new destination is Blackberry Ridge, Florida. She has to get to know her aunt, acquaint herself with a new school, meet new friends, Savanna Brook, Blake Barrett, and Cash Book, (Savanna’s brother.) But all that’s nothing compared with having to cope with the nasty jibes of the mean Kramer brothers, and it doesn’t end there. A greedy, ruthless land developer, Rafe Cobb is determined to get hold of the swamp land bequeathed to her by her deceased mother.

Abigale refuses to buckle under Rafe Cobb’s threats even when she realises that he will go to the most desperate and deadly ends to get what he wants.

Abigale has a special relationship with the fairies, (the Naiad Nymph Clan,) a unique bond with horses, (especially Sand Dollar,) and the many other animals in the story. She can hear what they are saying, and can speak to them too!

This is such an enthralling, sweet story, with excitement a-plenty. There are beautiful descriptions of the swamp fairies, dragonflies, and hummingbirds. Plus the added bonus of beautifully crafted haiku poems at the start of each chapter.

Read the other recent reviews and buy the book:

colleen-author-picConnect to Colleen Chesebro via her Website:


Now I get to do a little self-promotion since I am on the shelves of the bookstore!  I released my latest short story collection, What’s in a Name, last Friday and was delighted that Linda Bethea dived in and gave the book its first review over the weekend.. Absolutely thrilled as you can imagine.


About What’s in a Name

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

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

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

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

I rushed to buy this as soon as I saw it was released. I have read and loved Sally’s books before and this one did not disappoint. Read it through in one sitting. I loved the crooks and twists. The characterizations are wonderful. Do yourself a favor and grab this one, but I doubt you’ll get much done once you start!

Buy the book:


Connect with me here and on social media:

If you would like to be in the bookstore then here are the promotions that might interest you.

Thank you for dropping by and as always your feedback is appreciated.