Sunday Book Review(s) – Five Book Reviews to Round Up 2022

Welcome to my Sunday Book Review. To end off the year, I’m sharing my reviews for five different books I read this year that I hadn’t had a chance to feature yet on my Sunday reviews – The Worst Noel by Amy Reade (A Christmas Cozy Mystery), Life Work by Lesley Hayes (A women’s relationship character study), It’s Okay to Laugh by Nora McInerny (Finding laughter even in grief), Baking Bad by John Dolan (An off the wall diary of a crazy guy) and Clay Tongue by Nicholas Conley (Mysticism)

The Worst Noel

The Worst Noel is a cozy mystery, perfect read for the holidays or anytime – Book 1 of the Juniper Junction cozy Holiday mysteries by Amy Reade.


On the busiest shopping day of the year, Lilly opens her jewelry store to discover it’s been burgled. Then she trips over a body. Talk about a Black Friday.

When a second victim is murdered, Lilly finds herself squarely in the crosshairs of suspicion. The clock is ticking as Lilly tries to unwrap the mystery of the real killer’s identity.

As the bodies pile up like so much snow, Lilly is shocked to discover her ex-husband has returned to town after a fifteen-year absence. Could his reappearance have anything to do with the murders? One thing is sure: Lilly doesn’t want him anywhere near their two teenage kids, neither of whom remember him, or her mom, whose mental health is declining.

Can she figure out who killed the victims before she becomes one herself?

Find out if Lilly is about to have herself a merry or scary little Christmas in this cozy, small-town mystery. Recipes included!

My 5 Star Review:

A fun cozy mystery read with mom Lilly as the protagonist divorced mom with two teenagers, her mother with early dementia, and her jewelry store on main street in the cozy town of Juniper Junction. Just as Lilly has prepared her store for the big day, Black Friday, she discovers her store has been broken into and one of the town’s other store owners was found dead in her store. The woman was not well liked among the chamber of commerce circles and besides this fact, Lilly’s store is closed down by the police for the investigation, Lilly finds she is also a suspect in the mysterious murder case because her fingerprints were found on a pearl necklace, but heck, it’s her store where she helps customers try on her jewelry. It’s a good thing her brother Bill is a cop who also keeps her in the loop and safe from an elusive ex-husband who mysteriously shows up at the same time-frame as the murder. But wait, there is another murder. Herb the yoga instructure from down the road of businesses is also found dead. Lilly didn’t particularly like Herb, so she may again be a person of interest.

All kinds of characters and shenanigans are happening. While Lilly is ridiculously, a suspect, someone is also after her. Her house is broken into, her dog goes missing, and then she is ultimately, kidnapped. What else could go wrong? Every few chapters the author will have us sidetracked choosing a new suspect.

With the colorful characters and all the mayhem around the snowy holiday season, this cozy little whodunit will keep you turning the pages as we read along to try and figure out what is going on in Juniper Junction. A perfect read for the holidays or anytime.

It’s Okay to Laugh

This is the third book I’ve read from Nora McInerny, who I refer to as the ‘grief author’ who shares slices of humor in her heartfelt and sometimes funny stories in the midst of her grief, It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too)




“Thank you for the perfect blend of nostalgia-drenched humor, wit, and heartbreak, Nora.” — Mandy Moore

comedy = tragedy + time/rosé

Twenty-seven-year-old Nora McInerny Purmort bounced from boyfriend to dopey “boyfriend” until she met Aaron—a charismatic art director and comic-book nerd who once made Nora laugh so hard she pulled a muscle. When Aaron was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer, they refused to let it limit their love. They got engaged on Aaron’s hospital bed and had a baby boy while he was on chemo. In the period that followed, Nora and Aaron packed fifty years of marriage into the three they got, spending their time on what really matters: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, each other, and Beyoncé. A few months later, Aaron died in Nora’s arms. The obituary they wrote during Aaron’s hospice care revealing his true identity as Spider-Man touched the nation. With It’s Okay to Laugh, Nora puts a young, fresh twist on the subjects of mortality and resilience. What does it actually mean to live your “one wild and precious life” to the fullest? How can a joyful marriage contain more sickness than health? How do you keep going when life kicks you in the junk? In this deeply felt and deeply funny memoir, Nora gives her readers a true gift—permission to struggle, permission to laugh, permission to tell the truth and know that everything will be okay. It’s Okay to Laugh is a love letter to life, in all its messy glory; it reads like a conversation with a close friend, and leaves a trail of glitter in its wake.

This book is for people who have been through some shit.

This is for people who aren’t sure if they’re saying or doing the right thing (you’re not, but nobody is). This is for people who had their life turned upside down and just learned to live that way. For people who have laughed at a funeral or cried in a grocery store. This is for everyone who wondered what exactly they’re supposed to be doing with their one wild and precious life. I don’t actually have the answer, but if you find out, will you text me?

My 5 Star Review:

This is the third book I’ve read by Nora. As a new widow myself, I find Nora so relatable and her stories, although heartfelt and crushing, always offer something humorous betwixt her grief that sparks a light. Nora tells stories of her past through her triple journey of grief and loss, losing her her father, her husband, and a miscarriage, all in the span of a very short time.

I love how Nora tells us how she creates her own kind of grief therapy, whatever works for her, escaping to the gym or into a TV program to take her away from herself. I also love how she explains, she is not depressed, just sad. These two emotions are very different. She explains the difference between ‘clean pain’, the actual pain of loss, and ‘dirty pain’, the part where us grievers go through the pain of guilt for 101 different things we shoulda, coulda done, as we beat ourselves up mentally. She touches on some of the small things that are very big – like coming home to an empty house and upon entering, shouting, ‘I’m home’. This is me. Nora talks about all the things she does to vent frustrations and a good list of things to do in those moments – as well as, what not to do.

One of my favorite lines, “Marry someone who thinks you’re funny.” Such an important piece of advice. I am blessed that I did, and my husband found me equally amusing. It was our sense of humors that brought and kept us together.

Nora talks about the difficulties of being around family when there is a loss, because everyone’s grief is personal. That of a parent’s grief is different to the grief of the spouse left behind, how lonely grief leaves us, not feeling like ourselves anymore, the loneliness of once being someone’s person and now we aren’t. Nora uses her great sense of humor to emphasize all the emotions a griever endures and more, by sharing some of her crazy stories about trying to find herself back in social standing – and The Widow’s Club.

While the book reads as though it’s about her life with Aaron, it encompasses much more of her personal life, other people, her family, other relationships she’s had, and stories about her growing up and being a blacksheep.

From Nora:

“I wrote this book in the six months after my husband and father died, right after my miscarriage. What you read is me sifting through emotions and memories.”

The author has learned how to move on with her life and is remarried with more children. Her words about doing so are: “This is not moving on. This is moving forward. Aaron is forever a part of my life, and a part of me. Falling in love again didn’t mean replacing him, because there is no replacing the people we love. It meant finding space in my heart to fit all of us.”

Nora on people who never know the right things to say to a griever: “It can be hard to know what to say to a person who is going through something difficult, but you can probably wipe these options from your list of conversation starters.” She proceeds to list quite a few common things that come out of people’s mouths – some with good intentions, some without thinking how silly they sound.

All round, this was an entertaining read that had me nodding my head in agreement to plenty, and appreciating some of the interlude stories with humor, to lift weight of grief a little.

Life Work

I was drawn to Life Work by Lesley Hayes because of my interest in observing relationships – both the functional and dysfunctional. This fictional book involves six different stories and romantic relationships depicting different women, all with a story to share – their struggle and how they handled their situations.


Women – looking for, disappointed in, and learning about love. Some are mothers, while others are lovers. Friendships with other women reveal that not all are loyal to the sisterhood, especially when it comes to men. A new collection of stories from Lesley Hayes that opens windows into the minds of six different women, caught in the searchlight of romantic realism as they navigate the turbulent waters of relationships.

My 4 Star Review:

Hayes takes us into various short stories about women and relationships. In each of these stories we get to stand outside the box and glimpse in at how a woman values herself in romantic relationships. In the first, Placebo – Caroline complains to her best friend Imogen how she is tired of being taken advantage of by men, not treated well, used, unappreciated, and always left ghosted. She pines for a man who will treat her right – ironically, when she meets the perfect man, Andrew, who treats her like royalty, she feels smothered and breaks up with him. It leaves me thinking that she was so used to being treated like crap that she couldn’t handle a good man. In Double Dealing, we learn that Chrissie is either under a spell or has such low self-esteem when her cheating husband Jack talks her into thinking it’s cool to have affairs as Jack says, they have an ‘understanding’. Oddly enough, he gets tossed by all his conquests. In Springtime, a nameless woman sharing a flat with her friend Jane, complains about her studious boyfriend Mike coming back home from university. She’s been fooling around on him all the while he’s been gone and makes it clear to her friend Jane that she couldn’t care less anymore about Mike, that is until Mike notices the change in her and lets her know he’s been seeing Jane now for sometime. Just desserts.

This book is a short read with some well written stories about various relationships, human nature, and characters that make us think.

Baking Bad

I am going to preface my review here by saying – Baking Bad – Notes from my Diary by John Dolan is definitely not for everyone. Dolan writes this short book with a warped sense of humor including some very dark comedy, definitely not for the faint of heart.


“I need to spend some time reburying in the garden. Next door’s dog has dug up a foot.”

Thus begins a surreal journal the like of which (if you’re lucky) you have never encountered before.
Author John Dolan’s unnamed diarist plumbs the depths of black comedy in a way that might make your hair stand on end. Not recommended for the PC-aware or those with a weak stomach.
Contains helpful tips on cooking and on murdering people.

My 4 Star Review:

I’ll preface my review here by saying, this book will not be for everyone, but if you appreciate dark humor, a bizarre telling, and far from politically correct, there is laughter to be had in this book.

The diary is written by an unnamed character who enjoys stalking the internet, indulging in unhealthy habits and people as he rolls through the days in his bizarro life. He shares his deranged accounting of daily observations, which are sometimes crude and even vulgar, as well as some farout characters, shady women, a few horrifying events, and throws in a little murder and some interesting recipes in between, mostly all taking place in his neighborhood, and a crazy 60s themed party he holds in his home, where one may risk their life just eating or drinking at the venue. If you think that’s a crazy mixture of happenings in one short book, it is. But if you are a fan of Dolan’s tales, which I am, you will find this book a hilarious smorgasbord of entertaining weirdness. Beware of some strong language and sexual content.

Clay Tongue

Clay Tongue is a beautiful novella by Nicholas Conley. The author writes compassionate stories that usually contain a bit of mysticism. In this case, we’ll learn about an inquisitive girl who searches for what is known as the mythical Golem that she discovered was hidden in her own backyard – at least, that’s what her grandfather’s writings in his notebook told her.

For those of you who aren’t familar with the term ‘golem’, there are many said myths, mostly from Judaic mysticism, said to be a human like structure built of clay and given life and human abilities, created by mysticism. Alice Hoffman uses a golem in her story I reviewed a few years ago – The World That We Knew.


From the author of the award-winning Pale Highway and the radio play Something in the Nothing comes a short fantasy of love, shyness, and the secrets of human communication.

Katie Mirowitz is a small little girl with an even smaller little voice. She possesses a deep love for her grandfather, who suffers from aphasia after a bad stroke cuts loose the part of his brain that processes verbal language. When Katie uncovers a miraculous secret inside the pages of her grandfather’s old journal, as well as an ancient key, she goes out into the woods in search of answers — hoping to uncover a mythical being that, if it exists, may just have the ability to grant wishes.

My 5 Star Review:

Ten year old Katie loved her grandfather who’d recently returned home to live with her and her parents. This home was originally grandfather and grandmother’s house. Grandfather suffered a stroke and was left aphasic and in a wheelchair. He couldn’t speak, only in garbled words, but Katie knew from his animated facial expressions everything he was trying to say when he spoke.

One day Katie found a notebook on her grandfather’s desk, knowing her grandad could no longer speak or read she was curious to see what he was writing. But grandpa noticed her eyeing the book and snatched it away and put it in his drawer. She glimpsed the title – The Golem from Abeodan.

One night Katie awakes in the wee hours to take the book out and read it. She discovers the story is about her grandparents when they first were about to buy the house she was now living in. The realtor told them there was a cave way back on the property and gave them the old rusted key that belonged to it. Grandma thought it was crazy and didn’t believe in any folklore, but grandpa was mystified and kept the key – right beside the book in the drawer. The legend said, a mad scientist, Aszerowicz, had been exiled from the community after trying to erect a 50 foot tall golem there that could grant wishes – only one wish per person. As Katie continues to read, she discovered that when grandpa realized grandma couldn’t have a baby, he decided to take that key to the cave to find the golem to ask his wish for a child. And boom! End of writing! Katie was left hanging (and so were we).

Katie surmised her grandpa couldn’t finish the story because of his stroke, so she took the rusted key, put it in her pocket, and wandered down outback in the still of night to find the cave. She had to find out what happened. As she approached the cave and entered dark caverns she heard voices telling her not to be afraid and sees electrical torches leading a path through a grotto like cave, rocky walls and a pool of water glowing blue. She discovers a small clay sculpture that looked like a baby swaddled in a blanket. Then an enormous stone carved face with Hebrew characters engraved in its forehead, jutted out from the rock wall, and a heavy noise calling her name. The tall golem was made of clay with some resemblance to man. He offers Katie a wish, adding that he’d granted her grandfather one years back. But only one wish. Katie feels as though she’s in between two worlds when the golem asks her to take a piece of his clay and mold it to her wish and witnesses her grandfather as a younger man molding a piece of clay into a baby, signaling he got his daughter, who was Katie’s mom. Katie begins trying to mold a mouth to resemble her grandfather’s so that he may speak again, but her compassion gets the better of her as she felt for the poor golem trapped in this rock wall for decades, so instead, wishes she could free the golem. The next thing she knew, she woke up back in her bed, and that is where I will leave it to learn what happens next.

I hope you enjoyed my Sunday book reviews throughout the year. I managed to exceed my Goodreads Reading Challenge by 22 books this year. Stay tuned for next year’s mixed bag of genre reviews.

Merry Christmas


Sunday Book Review – #HolidayReads – Christmas Heartfelt Reads -The Christmas Bird by Robbie Cheadle – #microfiction and, A Long Walk Home by D. L. Finn

Welcome to my Sunday Book Review. Two seasonal reads, today I’m sharing. Two heartfelt short story reads by Robbie Cheadle – The Christmas Bird, and D. L. Finn’s – A Long Walk Home. These are two short reads that are sure to touch our hearts and remind us about the spirit of Christmas.


Get this book on Amazon



The Deanne family is having a difficult time financially. Mr. Deanne’s business has failed and there is no money for Christmas presents and other luxuries. The family’s undernourished dogs discover a bird’s nest on Christmas Day and attack and kill the chicks. All except one tiny ball of fluff with luminous bright eyes like drops of oil. The baby bird is in shock, but the four Deanne girls try to save it. Will the Christmas Bird survive?


My 5 Star Review:

My 5 Star Review:

Hard times in the Deanne family. Mr. Deanne scrounges up what he can, enough to buy two chickens and cherries for Christmas. This would be a great treat for the family with four daughters who haven’t had the luxury of a savory meal in awhile. Even their pet dogs were emaciated looking from a non substancial diet. So no doubts they found the nest up on a tree tempting and killed the brand new baby chicks – except one.

When the girls hear all the commotion out front with the dogs barking, the one tiny Hoopoe bird is still alive. The girls take care of him and nurse him back to health and name him Hoopie.

A few months later, Mr. Deanne picks up a new job, and the eldest daughter, Stella also gets a part-time job. When Easter rolls around, the mother announces they are all going on a beach holiday for school break. By then, Hoopie is home- trained, and they of course take him with them on vacation. Hoopie enjoyed flying around there freely. The girls worried he may fly away now that he learned to forage for his own food and they hadn’t seen him now for a few days. Hoopie does return and he goes back home with the family. Later Hoopie meets a mate. The girls are sad for Hoopie’s new independence, but realize he is a creature of the skies who must make a family of his own, so they build a nest in preparation for the one day Hoopie will come back to nest with family. Will he?

This is a lovely story about a loving family with kindness and nurturing for each other and their feathered friends.


Get this book on Amazon


All alone on Christmas Eve, Kenzie was feeling the betrayal of her recent break-up. While the sky was heavy with the dark clouds of an impending storm, she walked home from work to clear her head. Lost in her memories, Kenzie was completely unaware she was being followed by a man with green-eyes. Was this not-so-human being the good or evil that lurked around her? On the most magical night of the year, will Kenzie be able to save herself from that evil or will she need some divine inspiration? The outcome will depend on whether she can find the strength to forgive as the storm not only rages outside, but deep within her soul.


My 5 Star Review:

This is a short heartfelt Christmas story with all the elements of the season – a blustery cold almost Christmas day, friendship, angels, furry friends, and one evil man to disrupt hearts, but is eventually rewarded with his due karma.

Kenzie is not having a good Christmas. Her fiance has dumped her, her parents are dead, and her best friend has betrayed her, leaving Kenzie feeling there isn’t much left for her to live for, when her guardian angel gives her a new reason to want to continue on.

Kenzie was ‘left at the altar’ so to speak, when her awful fiance Heath stiffs her days before her Christmas wedding day. If that wasn’t bad enough, she discovers her best friend is now the one to marry Heath. That’s a hard pill to swallow. But just as a furry litter of kittens has given Kenzie a new reason to soldier on, she discovers her now ex-bestie was dumped just as she was – a suspicious pattern of women being used. We discover more dirt on the dastardly Heath as the two girlfriends meet up serendipituously on a blustery Christmas Eve and discover Heath’s evil pattern. Will the spirit of Christmas bring these two friends back together? You will have to read on to find out.


Cover Reveal – New Book Coming Soon!

I’m not quite sure where this year has flown to, but I also never mentioned I’ve been working on getting my book I finished writing in 2019, published this year. Seems I’m cutting it to the last days of 2022, but it’s coming.

The eventual coming of a new book … In 2019 I finished writing a little memoir called Fifteen First Times – Beginnings: A Collection of Indelible Firsts. It was late fall and my plan was to let the book marinate through the winter of 2020 while my husband and I went to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for two months to dodge the worst of winter here. Little did I know, that would be our last vacation together, and I discovered he wasn’t looking well. We got home just in time – the day before Covid lockdowns began here, and coincidentally, my husband’s scheduled hospital checkup was cancelled.

The year 2020 became a difficult one as the days, weeks and months passed and I had yet to know that I was losing the love of my life to cancer and I couldn’t get him into the hospital until is was much too late. I digress. Needless to say, the last thing on my mind was going through edits, which requires concentration, and all the tedious bits that go into publishing. The year 2020 passed, and in spring of 2021 so did my husband. Needless to say, I was non productive in 2021.

I promised myself I’d publish this book in 2022. Edits began, and in between book stuff, was life, and learning to do podcasts, and writing for them, and well, as you know, before we know it, year’s end is approaching. And so now as we near the end of 2022, I will be publishing this book by hook or by crook before the calendar flips to 2023.

My spiritual Sister, Colleen Chesebro of Unicorn Cats Publishing designed this cover for my book:

Here’s the blurb:

This book is a collection of stories about some of Kaye’s first-time experiences with life’s most natural events. Told through the intimate conversational writing we’ve come to know from this author, poignant personal stepping-stones to learning moments are revealed. She encompasses the heart of each matter with sincerity and sprinkled inflections of humor.

From first kiss to first car to walking in the desert with four-inch heels, Kaye’s short coming-of-age stories take us through her awakenings and important moments of growth, often without warning.  Some good and some not, life lessons are learned through trial and error, winging it, and navigating by the seat of her pants.


I’m aiming to publish somewhere within the next two weeks. I hope once published that some of you in this wonderful community will help spread the word. 💜



Q & A with D.G. Kaye – Featuring Sally Cronin #Booklaunch – Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries

Welcome to the last – but not least, edition of my Q & A for 2020. I’ve been saving this spot for quite some time now for one of our most starred bloggers and author of our community – Sally Cronin. Yes, Sally has worked diligently to get her #NewRelease out – Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries, before this year ended, and this spot was awaiting her visit. So without further ado, I’m beyond thrilled to be featuring one of my dearest friends and author who knows how to touch hearts with her words – Sally Cronin. Today we’re going to learn a little more about Sally in some Q & A, and get a glimpse into her new release, which I will be featuring my review for this Sunday on my Sunday Book Review, so stay tuned!


Sally Cronin Author


About Sally Cronin

I have been a storyteller most of my life (my mother called them fibs!). Poetry, song lyrics and short stories were left behind when work and life intruded, but that all changed in 1996. My first book Size Matters was a health and weight loss book based on my own experiences of losing 70kilo. I have written another thirteen books since then on health and also fiction, including five collections of short stories. My latest book is a collection of verse and speculative short stories titled Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet

I am an indie author and proud to be one. My greatest pleasure comes from those readers who enjoy my take on health, characters and twisted endings… and of course come back for more.

As a writer I know how important it is to have help in marketing books.. as important as my own promotion is, I believe it is important to support others. I offer a number of FREE promotional opportunities on my blog and linked to my social media. If you are an author who would like to be promoted to a new audience of dedicated readers, please contact me via my blog. All it will cost you is a few minutes of your time. Look forward to hearing from you.


Sally Cronin's Books

Visit Sally’s Amazon Page!


New Release Fresh Off the Presses!



Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet is a collection of short stories with scattered poetry, reflecting the complexities of life, love and loss.

The stories in the collection dip into the lives of men and women who are faced with an ‘event’ that is challenging and in some cases life changing.

Even something as straightforward as grocery shopping online can be frustrating, and a DNA test produces surprise results, the past reaches out to embrace the present, and a gardening assistant is an unlikely grief counsellor. Romance is not always for the faint-hearted and you are never too old for love. Random acts of kindness have far reaching consequences and some people discover they are on a lucky streak. There are those watching over us who wish us well, and those in our lives who wish us harm.



D. W. Peach

Reviewed in the United States on December 15, 2020


Anyone who knows Sally’s writing knows how her stories and words tug at our heartstrings – that is of course, if she isn’t writing a health and wellness article which she is also known for her expert advice in the world of natural healing, among many other topics, as Sally is often quite the Jill of many trades! So let us dive into more wonders from the indelible Sally Cronin.




Thank you so much Debby for inviting me over today and some great questions.


Thank you Sal, let’s get this party started!


What is your favorite social media network as an author, and why do you find it effective?

I keep an eye on my blog stats regularly to identify where the traffic is coming from, and the biggest referrer by a huge margin is WordPress Reader. This is followed by Facebook and then Twitter. I also have a LinkedIn account but it is not in the running as far as referrals. I am not on Instagram or any other platform, as I don’t have the time to deal with any more. It already takes at least three hours throughout the day to respond and promote on the ones I do maintain (you know all about that and must spend longer), so I spend the time available on platforms that offer the best referral rate.

At the moment, I would be hard pressed to call any of my social media my favourite, as they have all undergone facelifts this year, and have the appearance of being injected with too much Botox, filler and have lost their character in the form of their functionality.

They are however necessary for bloggers and authors to get themselves out there. From that perspective I would say that Twitter has the biggest reach as far as potential readership is concerned. It can become very time consuming keeping up to date, but it has to be worked like a muscle to keep it functioning and effective when promoting your own books or other authors.

Despite my misgivings about the Disneyland format of Facebook, and its draconian Bots, who you have come across Debby, I would miss friends and family who I keep in touch there, some going back nearly ten years. I also find the groups very useful for specific posts, particularly when sharing book related links.

These days the majority of authors are also undertaking their own book marketing. It is tough enough as it is, without having some online presence. As a book promoter I notice the difference in the level of response to posts for authors who are not on Twitter in particular, and if I was to recommend one platform that would be it.

D.G. – I would certainly take that as expert advice Sal, because as you know, we tend to travel in same circles. Thanks for the kudos, and yes, sharing and promoting is time consuming, but something that comes naturally to both you and I. We learn the ins and outs and circumvent where appropriate, lol. You know I’m 1000% with you on the Facebook front – so not my fav, but where the writers hang out, and a place to keep connections with readers and the people in our lives.


What can you tell us you’ve gained from blogging as an author?

I have never taken for granted the special nature of the blogging community, and the relationships I have formed over the last seven years. This includes you Debby and the level of support that you offer to so many of us, including today’s Q&A.

This last nine months it has become clear how special the connection and support the community provides is for us all. Especially for authors who have struggled to launch their books without doing book fairs, readings and other events. The blogging community has stepped up, and it has made an enormous difference.

WordPress is another platform that is determined to give us a futuristic interface, but whilst I don’t like the new block editor, as it does not fit my needs, I still believe it is the most effective blogging platform available. I doubt that I would have sold a quarter of the books I have without fellow bloggers who are also my readers. If every author who blogs did an analysis of where their sales came from, I am sure that like my statistics, they come from bloggers or their support in promoting our books to their own readership in combination with Twitter and Facebook.

D.G. – Thanks for the kudos Sal, but you are the rockstar! And as usual, I agree with you on all you said from Facebook interaction to our blogs. In fact, I’ve read quite a few bloggers posting on how their best audience comes from blogging. I have to agree. What would we be without community? Like the old saying goes – ‘It takes a village’. And our community is blessed to have you. ❤


What would you like to see change to make the world better?

Oh my Debby, how much time have you got lol? I would say that I have a long list of small changes in mind that taken as a whole might just make the world a better place. At the heart of it is the fundamental necessity to communicate. People are shouting, at each other, over each other and about each other. And nobody appears to be listening to anyone. It happens in families, in communities and in countries. The shouting needs to stop and we need to sit down calmly and agree that history cannot be changed, but the present and future can. Everyone has an agenda and we have become a ‘MeMe’ and ‘MeToo’ culture. All we are going to end up doing is going around in circles, and without the leadership at the top showing an example of how these changes can be accomplished, things will remain the same. There has to be a shift in the language we use with each other so that it becomes ingrained.

‘What changes do WE need to make?’

 ‘How can WE work together to make sure WE ALL have a better future?’

Going back to the question about how I have benefited as an author from blogging, there is no doubt I have also benefited as a person. I have met so many people from around the world who go out of their way to help, counsel and support their fellow bloggers, irrespective of culture, religion or race.  If we can do this and maintain positive communication, collaborations and courtesy, the surely those in the wider world can too.

The last nine months have been unbelievably tough for most sectors of the populations in our individual countries, and for many the isolation would have been unbearable without this blogging community, and I for one am very grateful to be a part of it.

D.G. – Amen to all you said Sal. Our online community and friends have definitely helped to maintain my sanity! And you have spoken the words I mumble to my hubby daily – the world has grown to greed by the higher ups and big corporations. Wherever they can take more from us they will – cost of living, food, taxes and more. It’s time THE WORLD relearns compassion! ❤


Sally is sharing an excerpt with us from one of my favorite stories:


The Date


Elsie Windsor was just about to sit down to eat her sausages, mash and baked beans for her supper, when the phone on the wall by the kitchen door rang. She counted to ten, but when the ringing didn’t stop, she pushed herself upright and crossed the tiled floor to grab the receiver off the hook, betting it was another scammer. ‘Who is it?’ she barked down the line. She counted to three as the silence was a sure sign it was some automated solicitation call.

‘Hello Mrs. Windsor.’ That stopped her in her tracks, and she decided against using her favourite swear word and slamming the phone down just yet.

‘It might be,’ she said hesitantly.

‘My name is Antonio Carlucci and I am your date for Saturday night.’

‘I beg your pardon, but you are no such thing young man,’ highly indignant Elsie firmly put the caller in his place.

‘I assure you Mrs Windsor I am, you won me in last Saturday’s tombola at the church fair.’ She had to admit this Antonio did have a rather pleasant voice.

‘Young man, I am 95 years old and have not dated since 1945 when I met my late husband Frank, and I certainly am not going to start again now.’ She tried to remember back to last weekend when she had gone to the church fete with Ethel, her best friend. . .

D.G. Says: Get this book and find out how ‘the date’ went – I think it’s my favorite story! 💕

~ ~ ~


Thanks so much Debby for being such a wonderful friend to us all and for such a lovely boost to get the new collection of stories on its way… 💜💜


It was my absolute pleasure to have you and your lovely new book over here today Sally. You never disappoint and I loved, loved your book! ❣


Visit Sally on Social Links:

You can connect to me on the blog: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine 

Twitter: @sgc58 – 

Facebook: Sally Cronin –

LinkedIn: Sally Cronin



bitmo live laugh love


Sunday Book Review – Amazing Matilda – A Monarch’s Tale by Bette Stevens

Welcome to the Sunday Book Review. In between reading my current read, I had to give this book a quick read before I gifted it to my young grandniece. The book is Amazing Matilda – A Monarch’s Tale by Bette Stevens. A short and beautiful tale about Matilda the caterpillar, eagerly awaiting her transformation and wings so she could fly.




Inspire the Kids with an Award-winning (Excellence in Children’s Literature) Monarch Butterfly Tale. In this age of instant gratification, there’s an award-winning children’s picture book out that teaches kids that patience and hard work really do pay off.

‘AMAZING MATILDA: A Monarch’s Tale’ is a timely tale that follows MATILDA, a tiny monarch caterpillar, from the time she hatches from her egg on a giant milkweed leaf until she realizes her dream to fly. The story provides challenges and adventure at every turn.

Grandparents, parents and teachers will find that AMAZING MATILDA is a book that kids will want to read themselves and hear read to them again and again.


My 5 Star Review:

What a beautiful book this is – both in story and illustration. Stevens has written a clever story about Matilda the caterpillar who is anxiously awaiting her transformation into a butterfly. The story is engaging and educational. Besides evoking the transformational process from caterpillar to butterly in a clever and conversational manner between Matilda and her friends Sparrow and Rabbit, there are lessons in the story to be taken.

As Matilda laments on about her excitement waiting to transform, her friends give her friendly reminders to both – have patience, and to trust her instincts. Worthy advice in life. And as Matilda finally begins growing her first pair of wings and attempts to fly, but not quite ready yet, her friends advise – “If you try long and hard enough, you can accomplish anything.” Alas Matilda could fly!

This is a wonderful book to teach children about the butterfly transformation. I’d say from six or seven on, children can enjoy this book reading by themselves, but also a great book for parents to read to their younger children, accompanied by beautiful pictures. A sweet story for the young ones.


Before I sign off, I wanted to share a link to Diana Peach’s blog MythsoftheMirror where she shared a great list of reviews for books she read in November. And I was thrilled to find one of my books included on her read list. Diana is a wonderful reviewer and her monthly reviews are partially responsible for my bursting at the seams Kindle. 🙂



More books



25 Books for Christmas, The List #GiftIdeas #FeedYourKindle – Authors and books

I’m happy to be sharing this wonderful Christmas Book List author Patricia Furstenberg has put together beautifully. And I have to admit, I was elated when Patricia invited me and one of my books to be part of. Enjoy this fantastic smorgasbord of books!


25 books for Christmas, The List


25 Books for Christmas, The List, Gift Ideas #GiftIdeas #FeedYourKindle


Are you in need of a gift idea for a child, a captivating YA or Sci-Fi for your teen, a romance or a Rom-com, a humorous book, poetry or memoir, a captivating historical novel, crime, contemporary fiction or maybe psychological horror? I hope you will find it in this hand-picked 25 Books for Christmas, The List, Gift Ideas or Feed Your Kindle – celebrating engaging stories by talented authors. Christmas stocking fillers or a last-minute e-Book to feed your kindle are right here. The books on this list are written by gifted authors with vibrant personalities and talents that extend beyond these publications.


Happy browsing and a happy holiday! Thank you for visiting.


In 25 Books for Christmas, The List, gift ideas to feed your kindle. You can choose from:

Please hop over to Patricia’s blog to be enticed by a most delicious selection of books. And don’t be surprised authors, if you find one of your own books listed there too! It’s time to #FeedYourKindle


Source: 25 Books for Christmas, The List #GiftIdeas #FeedYourKindle – Authors and books



Fairies Myths and Magic – Colleen Chesebro has both her books on #Sale now, just 99 Cents!



Just wanted to share this fantastic offer. Colleen Chesebro has both her books, Fairies Myths & Magic, and Swamp Fairy on sale now for just 99 cents. I’ve read them both and highly recommend, especially if you love all things fantasy and magical!



“The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy,” and “Fairies, Myths, & Magic ~ A Summer Celebration,” are both on SALE for $.99 each for the entire month of December 2018.

It you haven’t had a chance to experience the magic, now’s your chance!




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?





Step into a world where fairies, dragons, and other magical beings converge in a collection of poetry and short stories inspired by the celebration of Litha, the Summer Solstice.

Meet Drac, a dragon cursed by his own poisonous deeds, and two pixies who help an old man remember a lost love. You’ll meet a pair of fairies with a sense of humor, and a young girl who fulfills her destiny after being struck by lightning. Learn what happens when a modern witch’s spell goes terribly wrong. Meet the Sisters of the Fey, a group of Slavic Witches who sign a pact with the Rusalki Fey to preserve their magic for the good of all.

Atmospheric and haunting, the prose and poetry, will rewrite the mythologies of the past bringing them into the future.


Original Source:

We are the World Blogest – #WATWB – Our Story – 4ocean – Saving the Ocean One Pound at a Time

We are the World Blogfest


It’s that time of month again when our group of #WATWB – We are the World Blogfest writers share a post about something good going on in the world to deflect from the negativity and highlight some of the goodness going on in the world.


Buy a bracelet, pull a pound of plastic. 4 Ocean is a project where two men went on a surfing trip to Bali and were astounded by the amount of plastic floating in the ocean. They began the project of selling 4 Ocean bracelets. For every bracelet sold, one pound of plastic is removed from the ocean. Please continue reading.


4 Ocean


O – Optimizing technology

C – Creating jobs

E – Education

A – Awareness

N – New global economies


“The story begins when Alex and Andrew take a surf trip…

to Bali Indonesia that would inevitably change their lives and the fate of the ocean. Devastated by the amount of plastic in the ocean, they set out to find out why no one was doing anything about it. One afternoon they came across an old fishing village where fishermen were literally pushing their boat through piles of plastic that had washed up on shore. The two surfers realized that the proliferation of plastic threatened both the ocean environment and the fishermen’s livelihood. Could the fishermen use their nets, they wondered, to pull the plastic from the ocean? This idea stuck with the 2 surfers and they knew it was time to hit the drawing board. After realizing that the demand for seafood was driving the fishermen to focus on fish instead of plastic, they knew they had to create something that could fund the desired cleanup efforts. This is how the 4ocean Bracelet was born.


Made from recycled materials, every bracelet purchased funds the removal of 1 pound of trash from the ocean and coastlines. In less than 2 years, 4ocean has removed 2,290,962 pounds of trash from the ocean and coastlines.” Please visit the website HERE for more information.


You can also visit the page where you can ‘Buy a bracelet and pull a pound’ HERE


If you would like to take part in this worthy event, feel free to share a post of your own at the linkup HERE.


Hosts for this month’s WATWB are: Eric Lahti Inderpreet UppalShilpa GargPeter NenaDamyanti BiswasPlease link to them in your WATWB posts and go say hi!



Source: Our Story – 4ocean