Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Aretha Franklin, Late Spring Bulbs, Corned Beef and Esme’s Party Piece.. and that’s just for starters…

Thrilled to be a part of this weekly roundup. Thank you, Sally!

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Welcome to the weekly round up with the posts that you might have missed. I have been editing Tales from the Irish Garden and breaking that up with time in said garden, planting pots and (if I am honest) sitting in patches of sunlight reading! It is another lovely day here so will be doing the same, as around here one is not really sure if this is ‘summer’ and you need to make the most of it.

We have some major work coming up with contractors in to lay a lawn and add some new fencing. We have been in the house two years in June and these will be the last of the major renovations…really looking forward to having the garden in bloom again.

As usual the posts this week do not all originate from my keyboard, and a huge thank you to the contributors for their commitment…

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Lyn Horner, Sandra J. Jackson, Mae Clair and Lucinda E. Clarke.

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Welcome to the Friday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore author update and time to share the recent reviews for more talented authors on the shelves.

The first author is multi-award winning  Lyn Horner with her latest release Tempting Adam: Romancing the Guardians, Book Seven

About the Book

He walked away from her once meaning to protect her and broke her heart.
Can she forgive him and overcome his stubborn resistance to love?

Guardian of Danu, Adam Dvorak has the power to make plants grow with a mere touch, but will he allow love to grow? An agronomist teaching better farming methods in a semi-desert region of northern Kenya, he has an accident and ends up in the local hospital where, to his shock, his former love Ellie Graham is a nurse. He’d never expected to see her again.

Ellie is equally shocked to see him. How could fate be…

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Smorgasbord Weekly Update. – Aretha Franklin, Restoration Women, Hot Soup and Texas Thunderstorms

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Another week gone but one with some sunshine which is always worth celebrating. I have also finished writing Tales from the Irish Garden and phase one is over. Catching my breath and then back into each chapter to tidy up and elaborate before another run through for the first edit. I really don’t mind this part and at least I am on target to publish mid-summer.

I am so grateful for the amazing columnists who contribute to the blog each week and it would not be the same without them.

Great to have William Price King back after his week away and we just have one more post to come in the Aretha Franklin series. I am delighted that it has brought so many memories back and thank you for your comments.

Paul Andruss posted on his own site this week.. Plight of the Restoration Women.. when your money…

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Unlikely

This week’s challenge – unlikely

When I went for a walk on my lunch hour yesterday I expected to see birds and squirrels, maybe a baby snake (saw one the other day) crossing my path. What I didn’t expect and seemed unlikely was meeting a wild turkey as she strolled down the path toward me. I stopped and watched as she meandered the pebbled trail, stopping occasionally to peck at the ground or look around. As she neared she peeped quietly, looked at me a couple of times completely unfazed by me or that I was taking pictures of her with my cell phone.

I zoomed in and out as I took the pictures. She got so close to me that she barely fit in the frame. I didn’t want to back up for fear of scaring her and took the picture anyway.  And then she continued her journey.




Author Interview Shan. L. Scott

My author interview for April is Author Shan. L. Scott. Her first novel was published in September 2017. I find both the book’s cover and the blurb very intriguing and I will definitely be taking a look at this book.

Check out Shan’s interview, bio, and links below.


  1. Do you remember the first book you read that had an impact on you – in what way and what was the name of that book?

I remember it vividly, the book was called “Remember Me” by Christopher Pike and it was about a young woman who died. In her spiritual form she had to find her killer and unravel the mystery of her family before someone she loved was also killed.  I think it stuck in my mind because it challenged my learned notions of spiritual beings, having been a devout Christian in a small rural town throughout my younger years it was interesting to me that they were other forms of belief and other means of expressing spiritualism outside of the church. It was a book that I borrowed over and over from the school library and although I bought a copy I loaned it to a friend who never returned it, though I remember the story practically word for word.


  1. When did you first realize you wanted to write?

I started writing in around grade two, simple poetry and short stories to entertain myself and my family. These stories and poems were picked up by my school teachers and resulted in them encouraging me to participate in writing competitions and attending writing camps from a young age. With this encouragement I went on to pursue more writing activities and was highly successful in public speaking, essay competitions, poetry competitions and the like. In high school I took higher level English classes and did well in my Higher School Certificate. After this, due to working and study commitments I took a break from creative writing and it was only in 2011 that I started again, penning the outline for my first full length novel, “See Me”.


  1. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?

I have a plethora of favourite authors! My top three would have to be Terry Pratchett, Alison Croggon and Guy Gavriel Kay. There is something about being immersed in a foreign world where you have never been and feeling entirely at home. Like visiting old friends and making new discoveries all at the same time. All three of these authors do that for me, I can smell, hear, feel, see and almost touch their world. It’s incredible. They inspire me to write.


  1. What is your favourite thing about writing? What is your least favourite thing writing?

My favourite thing about writing would have to be taking my characters on a journey. I know them so well, they are a part of me, but it’s incredible to watch them grow and change and learn new things about themselves as their story unfolds while I write. While I have an overall idea about where each story is headed I am often surprised with how my characters react to certain situations, I learn and grow along with them as I write and I think that is the most beautiful thing.

My least favourite thing about writing is having people quiz me on hat is happening in the second book, wanting to read ahead and find out what becomes of Shelly on her second adventure. Please be patient people! I am working as fast as I can!


  1. Where do your ideas come from?

My ideas come from a range of experiences and theories I have about life and the beyond. Shelly, though she is studying Medicine (which I studied) is not me, rather a vaguely inspired version of what I might have been like had I not made certain choices or taken certain paths. I like to take some inspiration from things that happen in the real world (things like domestic violence, love, heartbreak, these are all common themes in the world) then some ideas are purely thought up, and inspired by my own imagination.


  1. I’ve often found that creative people have more than one talent, what is yours?

Well, I sing, I play eleven instruments, I am a graphic designer, a photographer and I make videos for YouTube. I like to dip my fingers in a lot of pies but I have to say I am actually quite good at all of these things. Indeed I often wonder where I find the time to write!


  1. If you could jump inside of a book for one day (as an observer) what book would it be?

Definitely “The Gift/TheNaming” by Alison Croggon. It is my all-time favourite book! I have the whole series, but how she sets the tone with this first book makes my heart want to burst. I would love to see the amazing scenery, taste the food and meet the wonderful characters that she portrays in this installment of her Pellinor Series.


  1. When you create characters are they completely made up or do they resemble or remind you of people you know?

Most of my characters are entirely made up. There may be one or two who have a certain trait here or there that comes from someone I have met in my extensive travels around Australia however, aside from those little bizarre quirks they are entirely fictional.


  1. Have you ever created a character “out of thin air” only to run into someone in real life that reminds you of that character either in personality or their features?

No I have never experienced that. I think as my characters grow they are always changing to me and I feel it would be difficult to have them match up with someone in the real world. Because the story has an element of fantasy and the paranormal to it, any resemblance to real world people would be a fluke.


  1. What are you working on now and can you tell us about it?

I am currently working on the second novel in my Second Sight series, entitled “I See You”. I can’t tell you much about it except that Shelly, my main character is in for the fight of her life and it’s up to those she loves to try and save her. When a loved one goes missing, Shelly has to try and find him, with the aid of some sorrowful spirits. She gets tangled up in something she cannot get out of and her situation is dire. Will she get out alive?


Shannon Scott is an Australian Author who lives in the Brisbane area of Queensland. She has been writing creatively from a very early age and has recently published her first novel entitled ‘See Me’. Shannon is a creative soul who loves to sing and plays several instruments as well as trying her hand at art and working as a photographer. Shan grew up in a small country town in rural New South Wales and lived on a small farm with a small herd of cattle and many dogs. She finished grade 10 there and then went on to study her Higher School Certificate in a neighbouring town where, at a much larger school, she embraced her creativity at a much higher level. After going on to study at university she then moved to Brisbane and since has lived in several locations along the eastern and central parts of Australia. It was only upon moving back to New South Wales in 2011 that she began writing her first novel which she finished in 2015. When writing, Shannon is always accompanied by her two loyal companions, two cats named Squidgy and Frodo. Together they are working on Shan’s second novel, ‘I See You’.






Instagram: shan.l.scott

Twitter: @shazzaberries

Readers’ Favorite – 5-Star Review

For immediate release:

Author’s new book receives a warm literary welcome.

Readers’ Favorite announces the review of the Fiction – Suspense book “Playing in the Rain” by Sandra J Jackson, currently available at

Readers’ Favorite is one of the largest book review and award contest sites on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the “Best Websites for Authors” and “Honoring Excellence” awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.

“Reviewed By Jamie Michele for Readers’ Favorite

Playing in the Rain: When All That Matters is Freedom by Sandra J. Jackson is the first book in the author’s Escape Series. It starts with an awakening in a sterile hospital after the teen protagonist, A2, is kidnapped. Unable to even recognize herself in the mirror, it is slowly revealed that she is trapped in an aesculapian facility called C.E.C.I.L.: Contagion Eradication Center for Intelligent Life. Attending to her is Jasper, who pumps her body full of pharmaceuticals and occasionally dispenses information, disclosing to A2 that another shut-in named B2 is, in fact, her sister. Hints about the life they had before the experiment begin to intensify following a lab fire and the introduction of the true antagonist, prophetically named Cecil himself, which fuel the survivor’s longing to escape.

Playing in the Rain by Sandra J. Jackson is a slow burn of a story. While it is instantly engrossing, Jackson has masterfully crafted a narrative that unravels itself with each page, which is refreshing in a time where information-dumping has become the norm in the genre as a whole. It would be a mistake to take the unhurried revelations as sluggish; the pacing is absolutely perfect and the building of suspense is first rate. The plot is unique and the writing is tight and crisp, complete with dialogue that comes across as authentic despite an artificially inspired environment. I would recommend this book to readers who adore intelligent thrillers, suspense, mysteries with strong female leads, and a narrative that allows for the measured development of an excellent story.”

You can learn more about Sandra J Jackson and “Playing in the Rain” at where you can read reviews and the author’s biography, as well as connect with the author directly or through their website and social media pages.

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