Smorgasbord invites you to a Halloween Fancy Dress Party on Wednesday 31st October –

Thanks to Sally Cronin at Smorgasbord for this promotional opportunity.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

I am sure that there will be many posts on 31st October celebrating Halloween and I thought I might have a party too.

Since this holiday is about dressing up, I thought that I would make this a Fancy Dress Party and you have to be suitably attired to get through the door.

The good news is that you can send in a photograph of you in fancy dress at any age… as a child or adult and even a special selfie you have taken just for this party.

It is really simple to participate…..

  1. Send the photograph (please not too small)
  2. Your link to your Amazon Author Page or your Blog
  3. Send both to

I will provide the food, music and goodie bags to take home with you and spread the news of your creative talents far and wide on my broomstick.

I will fit in as many…

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Open Book Blog Hop – 22nd October

This week’s topic is:

Do you believe everyone deserves a second chance?

For many years I have lived my life by the motto ‘Do as you would be done by’.  This means that I would always like to be given a second chance myself, and therefore I would do the same for somebody else.

It’s never a good idea to say or do something in the heat of the moment.  More often than not the action or words are regretted later on, with a long slog ahead in order to repair the damage.  It’s better to take some time to think clearly about whether that person deserves a second chance, or if he/she has had too many chances before and whether the time is now right to break free.

I’m so glad that back in 2011 Sam and I gave each other a second chance.  Life is good, and we’ve sorted out all our problems.  We even went so far as getting married again in a most unconventional setting at the ‘Bestival’ festival on the Isle of Wight.  The bride wore wellies, a long creation from the dressing-up box, and the groom wore jeans, a tweed jacket and wellies.  The congregation all wore shorts and wellies, and were slightly inebriated.  We did not know any of them.   The vicar was quite genuine, but was very loud and uncharacteristically rude.  Rock music blasted from huge speakers inside a bouncy castle in the shape of a church.


Would you give somebody a second chance?  Click on the blue button to discover other blog-hoppers’ views, or add a blog of your own.

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.

Breaking News! 5* review: Simple by Anita Dawes #FamilyHorror

A great review by AEM for Anita Dawes’ novel ‘Simple’. If you would like to join my Verified Purchase Review Group and gain reviews for your book too, please click here:

anita dawes and jaye marie

Look what I found this morning….

A wonderful poster, created by Amy Elisabeth Miller (AEM) @magicalworldweb to celebrate the arrival of her incredible review for Anita’s second book, Simple…

5.0 out of 5 starsLife’s Choices
20 October 2018Published on
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Simple is a story told by a young girl living in the woods with her family, which is made up of mostly harsh characters, who are contrasted by Simple, and then later Amber. It’s a story of love and loss and family and living with the decisions we have made. I had a very hard time putting this book down. I got the majority of it read in one day because I just had to know what all the mystery was. It snags you right away, and holds you tight for the ride. There were some harsh moments in the book…

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For Your Information


This is a scam that has been going around lately.  I received this email yesterday, but have checked it out on the AskNetSec site as these scams are getting more sophisticated, especially as he had an old password of mine (AskNet gives the answer to this as being from an old site where I had an account that had been compromised), so don’t worry if you receive an email like the one below.  As for the porn sites… well, I think he was definitely groping in the dark there, if you’ll excuse the pun!

My nickname in darknet is ryley58.
I hacked this mailbox more than six months ago,
through it I infected your operating system with a virus (trojan) created by me and have been monitoring you for a long time.

So, your password from is …(he gave an old password that I had used last year).

Even if you changed the password after that – it does not matter, my virus intercepted all the caching data on your computer and automatically saved access for me.

I have access to all your accounts, social networks, email, browsing history.
Accordingly, I have the data of all your contacts, files from your computer, photos and videos.

I was most struck by the intimate content sites that you occasionally visit.
You have a very wild imagination, I tell you!

During your pastime and entertainment there, I took screenshot through the camera of your device, synchronizing with what you are watching.
Oh my god! You are so funny and excited!

I think that you do not want all your contacts to get these files, right?
If you are of the same opinion, then I think that $859 is quite a fair price to destroy the dirt I created.

Send the above amount on my BTC wallet (bitcoin): 1NXNt72qfMhPZDffUEqryCYpEUzyR6LmgH
As soon as the above amount is received, I guarantee that the data will be deleted, I do not need it.

Otherwise, these files and history of visiting sites will get all your contacts from your device.
Also, I’ll send to everyone your contact access to your email and access logs, I have carefully saved it!

Since reading this letter you have 48 hours!
After your reading this message, I’ll receive an automatic notification that you have seen the letter.

I hope I taught you a good lesson.
Do not be so nonchalant, please visit only to proven resources, and don’t enter your passwords anywhere!
Good luck!

What Turns You Off?

I (and I am sure you are too) am bombarded every day by emails informing me about hundreds of blogs waiting to be read out there in Cyberworld.  Some I will read, but there are some where even the content of the email turns me off, let alone the blog.  I’m sure you have your own list,  but in the meantime here’s my list of 10 email notifications, messages and blogs that will turn me off from the start:

1.  Blogs and emails that are written in bad English.

2.  Emails/notifications/blogs where EVERY OTHER WORD IS IN CAPITAL LETTERS.

3.  Many email notifications from the same blogger who has obviously posted multiple blogs on one day.

4.  Blogs/email notifications with bad spelling or grammar.

5.  Facebook notifications telling me somebody has added me to a FB group that I had not asked to join.  I will tend to be very inactive on that group, or perhaps even leave it altogether!

6.  Private messages on Facebook and Twitter from authors asking me to buy their book.

7.  Blogs with too much use of the ‘F’ word.

8.  Blogs where the author looks like a porn star.

9.  Any blog title or email with the word ‘God’ in it.

10.  Any blog title or email with the word ‘Brexit’ in it.

What’s your 10? 

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Meet the #Reviewers – Stevie Turner with Robbie Cheadle, Seumas Gallacher and Katzenworld #petsafety

Thanks to Sally Cronin at Smorgasbord for featuring some great motivational words from Seumas Gallacher, and also my review of Robbie Cheadle’s book ‘While the Bombs Fell’. Robbie’s mother Elsie Hancy Eaton also collaborated with Robbie in writing the book.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the blogger daily and a chance to meet some of the book reviewers who are posting on their blogs.

First is a review for Robbie Cheadle who has collaborated with her mother Elsie Hancy Eaton,on While the Bombs Fell – the reviewer is author Stevie Turner.

Description from Amazon:

What was it like for children growing up in rural Suffolk during World War 2?
Elsie and her family live in a small double-storey cottage in Bungay, Suffolk. Every night she lies awake listening anxiously for the sound of the German bomber planes. Often they come and the air raid siren sounds signalling that the family must leave their beds and venture out to the air raid shelter in the garden.

Despite the war raging across the English channel, daily life continues with its highlights, such as Christmas and the traditional Boxing Day fox hunt, and its…

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Friday Roundup -19th October

Thanks to these authors and bloggers for the following writing tips:

1.  Jasmine  Eclipse, guest of Nicholas C. Rossis, for these sites that pay for your writing:

2.  Joanna Penn with 7 tips for selling more books on Kobo:

3.  Stephen Bentley says let experiences and emotions fuel your writing:

4.  Erica Verrillo with 3 new agents seeking submissions:

3 New Literary Agents Seeking Literary Fiction, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Memoir, Women’s Fiction & more – by Erica Verrillo…

5.  Janice Wald in making your content go viral:

5.  Dave Burnham with advice on proofreading:

20 Tips to Proofread Like A Professional

6.  K.M Weiland with advice on structuring your story:

7.  Mae Clair with 5 things every writer needs:

Five Things Every Writer Should Have

8.  Meg Dowell asks writers 3 important questions:

Your Answers to These 3 Questions Will Determine Whether or Not Writing is Your True Calling

9.  Milly Schmidt asks whether you can really make money from blogging:

Ask the blogger: can you really make money from blogging?

10.  Anne R. Allen with advice on publishers:

11.  Caryl Anne Crowne with advice on social media campaigns:

12.  Kristen Lamb with advice on using Twitter to connect with fans:

13.  Nicholas C. Rossis with advice on how to optimise your Amazon book page:

14.  Simkesrb with 8 online platforms to sell  your ebook:

Conversations With Colleen: Meet Author, D. G. Kaye, (aka Debby Gies)

Thanks to Colleen Chesebro for featuring my friend and author D.G Kaye, whose opinions, likes and dislikes, and life experiences are spookily similar to my own!

Colleen Chesebro ~ The Faery Whisperer

Conversations with ColleenThe October Edition

Hello everyone! This week I’m happy to share with you, my dearest friend and Canadian author, D. G. Kaye, (Debby Gies) as my guest. Debby puts up with my silliness every day, so when I begged asked her to pick three or four questions from my huge list HERE she was willing to give it a go.

We all aspire to be successful authors and the best way to learn some of the tricks of the trade is to ask questions. Debby has answered so many of my questions about book publishing that between us, we could write a book!

As many of you know, Debby also shares her goodwill through our blogging community by sharing our posts across the web and in the various Facebook groups, she belongs to, and by always cheering us on. I don’t know what I would do without her love and optimism that she…

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Getting the Needle

Our hospital, along with probably every other UK NHS hospital, is offering free influenza vaccines to all the staff.  An email came round on the system instructing everyone who wanted to get a jab to attend at the main canteen every day at 12.45 until the end of October.

I have a sluggish immune system because of all the radiotherapy I’ve had, and I suffer more than most if I catch a cold or ‘flu.  However, the thought of voluntarily introducing germs into my body fills me with horror.  Last year’s vaccine didn’t match the strain of ‘flu at the time anyway, and so I have decided to give any ‘flu vaccination a wide berth and take my chances with oranges and Echinacea.

My friend Anne decided to go over to the canteen at lunchtime and get her jab.  She, like me, is not on the permanent staff because back in 2014 we had both taken early retirement, thinking at the time that because of health issues we would not be returning to work.  But hey, we made a miraculous recovery and now work when we want to, which suits us both fine.  Anne is 67 and wanted to be vaccinated because her husband also has a sluggish immune system due to cancer treatment.

Anne was soon back in the office looking slightly disgruntled, and told me that when she got to the front of the queue she was sent away because she was too old!  Granted there are not that many over 65s still working in the NHS, but I feel that as Anne is still technically working there she should have been given the vaccination.  She was told to see her GP instead, and I know that GPs give out free vaccinations to pensioners, but Anne was still humiliated in front of her colleagues.

Why is the NHS so ageist about vaccinations?  Anne is made of strong stuff and I know she wouldn’t have conked out after having a jab.  One work colleague who is much younger vomits and faints at the sight of a needle, but Anne I know would grit her teeth and endure the few seconds of pain without turning a hair.

Now I know I only have 4 more years in which to have the ‘flu jab at work, if I want it.  Hmm… I don’t think I do.  What about you?  Would you have a ‘flu jab this autumn?


Review of ‘While the Bombs Fell’, by Robbie Cheadle

Today I’m featuring Robbie Cheadle’s ‘While the Bombs Fell’:

Purchase Link:

Robbie Cheadle’s Amazon Author Page:

Description from Amazon:

What was it like for children growing up in rural Suffolk during World War 2?
Elsie and her family live in a small double-storey cottage in Bungay, Suffolk. Every night she lies awake listening anxiously for the sound of the German bomber planes. Often they come and the air raid siren sounds signalling that the family must leave their beds and venture out to the air raid shelter in the garden.

Despite the war raging across the English channel, daily life continues with its highlights, such as Christmas and the traditional Boxing Day fox hunt, and its wary moments when Elsie learns the stories of Jack Frost and the ghostly and terrifying Black Shuck that haunts the coastline and countryside of East Anglia.

Includes some authentic World War 2 recipes.

My Review:

I was immediately interested in reading this book, as I’ve lived in Suffolk for nearly 30 years, and not too far from Bungay.  I heard lots of wartime stories from my mother who lived in London during the war, but this book was different in that the main character, a child called Elsie, lives in the countryside.  Ms Cheadle has written anecdotes gleaned from family and friends over the years, and has written quite a charming faction book.

Elsie tells of what it was like to live not only through the war itself, but also about food rationing and how her mother made the pennies stretch to feed her family.  There are highlights in Elsie’s life of Christmas Day, and the rich fruit pudding complete with a lucky sixpence that she and her siblings looked forward to, and also at other times of the odd rabbit that her farmer father managed to catch and the rabbit stew it became after her mother had skinned and gutted it.  There is also the alarming sound of the air raid siren, and how she had to flee to the garden shelter with her family, sometimes in the middle of the night.

As Elsie is a child, the book is written in quite a young style that is suitable for older children as well as adults.  She thinks nothing of walking two miles with her siblings to play at a favourite spot, something I think today’s children would not even consider (indeed if they are allowed outside in the first place).  She took as normal today’s privations such as icy bedrooms and having to share a bed with her 2 sisters, but she was glad of them for warmth.

With a diet augmented by rabbits and whatever else her father managed to catch,  Elsie possibly fared rather better than children in London who were not evacuated.  I’m sure she grew up healthier than today’s children, brought up on a diet of fast food and lack of exercise.  Hopefully she would have been too young at the time to let the war’s horrors blight her later life.

I would have preferred the style of writing to be more aimed at adults, but I give this book 4 stars for an entertaining read.