Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives #Family and #Friends – Chess by Stevie Turner

Thanks to Sally Cronin at Smorgasbord for delving into the archives and coming up with this post I wrote about playing Chess back in 2017.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the new posts from your archives with a theme of family and friends. Very important as our support system at the moment as many of us are isolated and out of physical touch. If you would like details on how to participate here is the link:Posts from Your Archives April 2020 Family and Friends

Author Stevie Turner shares her memories of being taught to play chess by her father and the subsequent losses and victories over the years as she mastered the game.

Chess by Stevie Turner

My father unfortunately died far too young at only 49. However, he was a great teacher, and when I was about 8 or 9 he taught me how to play Chess.

20487182 - young boy playing chess on the competitions

Licence Obtained Copyright: photozi / 123RF Stock Photo

Most early evenings we would sit opposite each other at the chessboard after I had finished playing outside. Internet, together…

View original post 983 more words


What’s a Biblet, I hear you ask?  Well, I didn’t know what one was either until yesterday.

In the past I have bought my own ISBNs from Nielsen, and recently Nielsen sent me an email advertising another way of promoting books through Book2Look Biblets. They also sent me 3 free Biblets as a goodwill gesture.

Book2look is a way to read and share excerpts of your own or your favorite books, and is also a marketing tool for publishers. Books, audio books or other media are presented in the form of “Biblets”, little widgets that can be easily shared in social networks, embedded in blogs or recommended via email in a unique and personal way. The book2look website offers a wide range of book excerpts from popular fiction to scientific literature by leading national and international publishers. 

Book2look has different types of users such as publishers, authors, bloggers, retailers (communities) but also normal users, that register on the book2look home page because they want to discover books or use their own personalized book wall.  Each type of user has different requirements and hence book2look provides different functionalities for each type of user.

I’m still getting my head around it, but here’s a link to the first little Biblet I’ve just published on the Book2look wall for ‘A House Without Windows’:

Spring into Romance!

Here’s another one of those Book Funnel promotions for you. This time it’s for fans of the Romance genre. This particular promotion features 176 books, and one of them is mine.

‘A Rather Unusual Romance’ is now just $0.99/£0.99 until 15th April (previously $2.99/£1.99):

A Rather Unusual Romance small

Erin Mason, divorced and with two teenage sons, finds her world starts to fall apart when she undergoes what is termed a “life event”, and is diagnosed with cancer. Not too far away somebody else, Alan Beaumont, is also suffering a similar fate. Their paths slowly come together in this inspiring and humorous tale which is partly based on actual events, and shows how love can flourish in the most unlikely of circumstances (the actual events are from my own cancer journey).

5 star review by ‘Arlena’:

This was one of those reads that I was a little not sure about reading due to its subject matter but I will say I am so glad that it did read it. The story really presents finding love after both of the main characters had health issues [cancer]. How the author was able to give the readers a read that will capture your heartstrings, offering even some humor that seem to helped balance it all out was simply well done. It was definite that these two people were in need of someone who would understand just what they’re going through. With Erin and Alan having this same aliment [‘life event’] made their story really look at this picture where the reader could see just what was happening for each other as they went through this ordeal together. Will they find love? How will each of their children take to the newness in each of their parents new life? I don’t think that Erin’s ex should have have had anything to say one way or the other due to what he had done. To get all of this story the reader will have to pick up this extremely good read and see how well this author gives such a well written story that definitely shows ‘how love can flourish even in the unlikeliest of circumstances.’ There was really something about this read that I really liked! Would I recommend? YES!


Total Lock-Down?

Boris Johnson’s symptoms have worsened, and now another member of the Cabinet, Michael Gove, is self-isolating.  The virus has been quite prevalent among members of the Cabinet, including ironically the Health Secretary.  Before ‘virtual’ meetings were carried out remotely, the Cabinet were all ignoring their own advice and gathering together in one room to work out the next steps in fighting Covid-19.

I’m sure Boris is receiving the best of care at St. Thomas’ Hospital, and is currently in intensive care in case he needs a ventilator.  His pregnant fiancee has spent a week in bed with Covid-19 symptoms, and so far in the rest of the UK there have been over 51,600 people who have been infected and over 5300 deaths.

I’m not sure some people here are taking this virus very seriously.  It is a killer, and none of us have any immunity to it.  If it can affect the most powerful man in the UK, formerly hale and hearty, then it should be a lesson to  us all to practice social distancing instead of going to the beach or parks in this unusually hot April weather.

Easter is coming up, and therefore 4 non-working days.  Unless the Government bans going outside altogether then I expect even more people will die  as some selfish people do not take any notice of instructions, being only concerned with their own social lives.  Nobody wants to be stuck inside on a glorious day, but the isolation will only be temporary in order to control this disease.  People tend to think oh, it won’t happen to me, but hey, it might well do so.  Nobody is exempt from catching it.

China banned going outside the home except to buy food and medications, and now they have had no new infections today for the first time since January.  Tomorrow people can leave Wuhan for the first time since lock-down began 3 months’ ago.  Total lock-down is the only way to stop this virus.  Unless the Government choose this option, then we will be limping along in partial lock-down for months and months, even years.  Many businesses will go to the wall, if they haven’t already, and the country will once again be in recession.

Cyrus the Virus needs a short, sharp shock!  What do you think?

Update:  Mr Johnson has been ‘stable’ overnight and does not need a ventilator at the moment.  I wish him well for a speedy recovery and to get back to his refreshingly decisive self as soon as possible.



What Do Wanna Be When You Grow Up?

I think this is a great post that shows how we must follow our dreams and live true to ourselves to find happiness. So often as teenagers we’re influenced by our parents and by what they expect us to become, so it must have taken quite a bit of courage for Phil to change direction and branch out on his own. However, I can imagine that even now Mr Huston would give the finger to anything he didn’t want to do!

Not Very Deep Thoughts

Well, I didn’t want to grow up to be a grown up, for damn sure. Seriously. Who wants to be one of those?

“A professional electronic instrument and audio clinician is simply a clueless punk kid who didn’t quit.” – Phil Huston (paraphrased from Richard Bach)

My first real “I wanna be” was cartoonist. Maybe a cartoonist who was a Forest Ranger. I could sit in the fire towers and draw cartoons of my animal friends. Or a football player. Forget that. Or a piano player. Then girls came along. I got a cool, garage band Vox organ, I was going to be Paul Revere and the Raiders, by myself, tri-corn hat and all and the girls would swoon like they did on Where the Action Is every afternoon. It’s good to dream when you’re young, even if you’re clueless.

When I sat down at the piano to play a…

View original post 1,120 more words

A New Side Effect–Snitching!

Some people cannot bear the fact that others are getting away with doing something they’re not allowed to do. If they themselves are not allowed to do it, then nobody else is going to do it either!

I’ve been out on a walk (alone) this morning. Every time I go out now, a police car passes me by at some point. Are they checking out reported sightings of people walking about in groups? Who knows, but there sure are a lot more police cars about.

In Saner Thought

This virus has given us bloggers lots to write about…..the horrible responses…the lack of equipment….the shortages in food and stuff….lots to write about.

There is one aspect that is a by-product of the shelter in place orders all over the country……that aspect is SNITCHING on neighbors…..

Reminds me of the days of the Nazis when neighbors snitched on their friends…..and kids snitched on their parents……or maybe the KGB tactic of employing snitches……anyway we now have our own brand of snitches.

Time calls it “a snitching epidemic.” Slate calls it “when petty neighbors become the social distancing police.” Others think it’s precisely what is needed. As the coronavirus pandemic ravages the globe, neighbors are increasingly tattling on neighbors or local businesses violating social distancing rules. The AP rounds up a number of stories of businesses—bars, a yoga studio, a golf course—that were forcibly shut down, cited, or even saw owners arrested…

View original post 1,006 more words

Open Book Blog Hop – April 6th

Welcome to this week’s blog hop.  The topic today is:

‘What did you want to be when you grew up, vs what you are today?

As an 11 year old, all I wanted to be was a writer when I grew up.  Out of many primary schools that had taken part in a writing competition, I was delighted that my story had won first prize.  The urge to be a writer has never left me.  Okay, so my work isn’t up there with JK Rowling’s, but I bet I get just as much pleasure from writing a story as she does!

As I became older my parents and other family members started to ask me what kind of job I wanted to do.  I was hopeless at Maths, Physics, Chemistry and anything to do with numbers/calculations (still am for that matter – I think I’m number illiterate).  Mum told me quite emphatically that  ‘people like me do not go to University‘, and therefore I didn’t even consider it.  University was for professionals such as lawyers and teachers.  I said I wanted to be a writer, and Mum replied that I could write in my spare time, as she had done, but when I left school I needed to earn some money.

I have always been fascinated by the workings of the body.  I had a pipe dream as a teenager that I would become a doctor.  I volunteered to work in a children’s ward when I was 16, and they gave me a white coat to wear. That was it!  I was going to be a doctor and save people’s lives.  Unfortunately reality struck the next year when I soon found out  I would need 3 ‘A’ levels to gain entry to medical school, and disappointingly they needed to be the maths/science subjects that I was hopeless at.

I still wanted to work in a hospital, and when we moved to Suffolk in 1991 I was eventually able to do this after a few other false starts at jobs that did not keep my interest for more than a few years.  I started out as a ward clerk in 2002, progressed up the ladder, and I’ve been working as a medical secretary since 2005.  I finally found a job that suits me!  I been lucky enough to take advantage of free in-house training to gain NVQ qualifications.  I love learning new medical terminology, and what I’ve learned about the body since I’ve been at the hospital has helped me in my daily life.  I’ll stay there typing clinic letters until I decide to retire.  Some people never find their ideal job, but I’m glad to say that I have.

What did other blog-hoppers want to be when they grew up?  Click the blue button below to find out, or just add a comment:


  1. Link your blog to this hop.
  2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
  3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
  4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
  5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Sunday Stills Photography – 5th April

Today the topic on Sunday Stills is ‘Fantastic Florals’.

Every year in March Sam and I and the family make a pilgrimage to Nowton Park in Bury St. Edmunds to see the thousands of daffodils on display there in ‘Daffodil Walk‘.  Cyrus the  Virus has scuppered our plans for this year, but here are some photos from 2016 when we went with our grandchildren.  We’re going to have to find room for another grandchild on that seat next time we go (due July 29th)!

Online Shopping

I had my first delivery ever on Friday evening of shopping I’d ordered online.  Sam, knowing how I like to pick out my own groceries at the supermarket,  had more than an inkling not all would be well when the bags were delivered.  He was right.

I had made the mistake of not un-checking the box that said ‘will accept a substitute‘.  Straight away I could see lots of food that I had not ordered.  I looked at the 4 packs of quorn (4?), a chocolate gateaux (we don’t eat chocolate) and a packet of raw prawns and thought… wtfWas my picker illiterateWas this somebody else’s order?  Why have I received a gi-normous bag of chips that could feed a family of 12?

Sam beat a hasty retreat and left me complaining as I wiped all the cans down with some antiseptic wipes whilst grumbling  that  I could not wait to be able to pick my own food out again!  Of course I could go to the supermarket, but if I caught the plague I’d probably end up on a ventilator and so online shopping is going to have to do for now.

Those of you who are old enough might remember the song’Midnight at the Oasis’, sang by Maria Muldaur.  I’ve adulterated it a little bit and ended up with the following poem…

Online Shopping, by Stevie  Turner


Midnight at the keyboard

Send the kids to bed,

Competition on our faces,

Traces of frustration in our heads.


Heaven’s holding a half moon

Shining on a queue

Thirty thousand virtual people

With lots of shopping to do.


Website’s showing one spot

A delivery just for us

Let’s slip in a shopping list

Type real quick,

And kick up a little fluff.


Come on

Online shopping is our friend

It will point out the way

To fresh fruit, bakery and meat

What a bloody treat



Only one pack of bog roll

And no tins of baked beans

There’s pasta but not enough,

‘Cos hoarders have …

Cupboards of the stuff.


Come on

Online shopping is our friend

It will point out the way

To broccoli, tomatoes and greens

Pears and nectarines.

None left.



There’s a special offer on tofu,

Six cans for the price of two,

Nobody seems to want it

It’s like chewing on a shoe.


Come on

Online shopping is our friend

It will point out the way

To beef, pork and chicken drumsticks

Get in quick.

Too late…


Midnight at the keyboard

Now the kids are awake.

No more online shopping,

All I can buy are whopping

Packs of sweetcorn and tofu bake.


Share Your Short Story Anthology Now Available for Pre-Order.

I’ve finally got around to compiling the anthology of ‘Share Your Short Story‘ winners.  The book is available for pre-order on Amazon until 30th April (publication date is 1st May).  I am not working at the moment and have no idea when I will be, so this time I have used Amazon’s own cover creator for this book and a free pre-formatted template for the manuscript.  However, if any of the authors (or anybody else for that matter) who have taken part in the anthology would like to make a cover free of charge (of course they’ll get credit for their work), then…er….

Below are the names of 12 authors who have short stories or poems in the anthology.  I have also included one of my own stories as an added bonus.  All royalties from book sales will be donated to a charity close to my heart… Cancer Research.


Kelly Artieri:

Richard Dee:

Darlene Foster:

Phil Huston:

Mitch Lavender:

Geoff Le Pard:

L.A Myles: 

Frank Parker:

Ann Richardson: 

Frank Scarangello:

Phill Slater:

Jim Webster: