Q and A with D.G. Kaye featuring Author, Blogger and Promoter Sally Cronin

I’m thrilled to be featuring Sally Cronin here today. Sally is always so busy promoting the work of other authors, it’s her turn to shine in the spotlight today! For those of you unfamiliar with Sally (is that possible?), she has authored a dozen books, both fiction and nonfiction. She is a nutritionist who shares lots of health information on her blog – Smorgasbord Invitation, along with featuring authors and their books in  her Smorgasbord Cafe, lots of entertainment and monthly columns from featured guest writers (which I’m delighted to be one of them), and so much more! The title of Sally’s blog was the perfect name for a blog full of so many interesting, informative and delightful articles churned out on a daily basis. You can visit Sally’s blog and learn about all her author promotion offerings.

 

 

Sally Cronin Author

 

 

About Sally:

I have enjoyed a nomadic existence living in eight countries including Sri Lanka, Malta, South Africa, USA and Spain, before settling back here in Ireland. My work, and a desire to see some of the most beautiful parts of the world in the last forty years, has taken me to many more incredible destinations around Europe and Canada, and across the oceans to New Zealand and Hawaii. All those experiences and the people that I have met, provide a rich source of inspiration for my stories.

After a career in customer facing roles in the hospitality, retail, advertising and telecommunications industry, I wrote and published my first book in 1999 called Size Matters, about my weight loss journey, losing 150lbs in 18 months. This was followed by 11 further fiction and non-fiction books, including a number of short story collections.

My first book release resulted in a radio interview in Spain that led to four years as a nutritional consultant for an English language station, and this was followed by four years with my own health show and Sunday morning show on local radio station in the UK and then as station director, newsreader and presenter for an online television station.

As a writer I know how important it is to have help in marketing books and from 2002 I have been working with authors on their book launches and publicity. At that time it was very much physical book launches and press coverage locally to stimulate national interest.. Today it is very different with a global market via the worldwide web.

As important as my own promotion is, I believe it is important to support others within our community. I offer a number of FREE promotional opportunities on my blog, 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.

 

 

Blurb:

 

 

My 5 Star Review:

Sally Cronin certainly is a master at weaving with words. No matter how many or few, her words will paint a complete story and leave us with a satisfactory optimism or a tug at our heartstrings.

In this author’s newest release of tales to inspire, we’ll find a smorgasbord of forms of writing from various forms of poetry – Haiku, Etherees and Cinquain poetry to condensed micro fiction, where stories are wrapped up complete despite a minimal word count, to short stories on speculative fiction. A wonderful mixed bag of tales covering topics such as: random thoughts, seasons, aging, nature, holidays, fairies, romance, pets, to the human condition and life lessons.

My favorite Flash Fiction story – The Witch’s Handbook Spell #356 – Removal of Inhibitions for ‘The Devilish Mojito’, and her heartwarming short stories like The Ugly Mutt that will keep you engaged as evil doers try to do harm, kept me cheering for Brian. One story in particular had me glued from beginning to end – Great Aunt Georgina. This story begins with a little girl and her family visiting her Grandma. The little girl looked forward to those visits where Grandma would pull out the old photo albums and introduce her to family of the past era. In later years, after Gran is gone the girl now in her twenties learns a never told family secret, discovered by looking through old letters sent to her Gran Elizabeth by her sister Georgina. From the letters we learn about betrayal, grief, karma, and reckoning (no spoilers), and ultimately, forgiveness.

The last half of the book is focused on the short stories. Among them, I also enjoyed the story about Onions that ended a marriage, a magical tale – A Moment of Alignment – about love, loss and a chance to meet up with a lost loved one when the sun and the moon align, and The Enhancement Project– a sci-fi short where Cronin manages to zing in her ‘known for’ sentimental ending.

Sally Cronin has the knack for bringing in emotions to her stories no matter the genre. She wraps up the book beautifully with a fashionable tribute to ‘The Duchess‘, a tribute to Cronin’s mother.

A wonderful book with something to satisfy all genre readers. I highly recommend.

 

Now, let’s see what Sally is up to!

 

How lovely to be invited over to your house Debby and thank you for the opportunity to talk about myself and my writing.

D.G. – My absolute pleasure to have you over and share some new things about yourself and your work Sal. It’s a treat to put you in the spotlight after all you do for so many of us at your Smorgasbord Invitation.

 

If you weren’t a writer what else do you think you would do?

I think that ship might have sailed now, as apart from being a bit long in the tooth to be embarking on a new full-time career, I am obsessed with writing. However, despite working in a number of different industries, if I had my time over again, I would have chosen the police force as my career. It was an option when I was 18 years old, but women in the police force nearly 50 years ago did not have the same opportunities as they do today. However, if I was that age again, I would certainly apply to be a police officer and would welcome the opportunity to work hard and become a detective. I have always enjoyed reading detective and crime novels and also real crime stories. I find it fascinating and I think I would have been good at the job.

D.G. – Whodathunk? I would have never figured you for a police officer – but a detective – oh ya! Lol.

 

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

As an author and a person I have gained a huge amount from blogging over the last seven years. And you Debby have been a major part of that journey for the last five years, and along with other supportive and generous bloggers, it has provided a safe and creative environment to write and experiment with different styles and genres.

Interaction with others is so inspiring and motivating, and the encouragement of people you respect is essential for a writer. Importantly, especially for those just starting out in blogging or their writing career in general, it must be a two way street. That is the only way strong and long lasting relationships are developed. If you want to reap the benefits of blogging you need to reach out, connect, and offer the same level of support to others that they offer in return.

I feel very strongly that moving passed our immediate circle of friends and family, out into the global village of blogging, is a way to keep young in heart, body and mind. It is a social, stimulating way to build friendships and keep learning and writing our entire lives.

D.G. – Thanks for the kudos Sal. But, it’s no wonder you and I connected because we have so many of the same beliefs in common, especially when it comes to blogging protocol. Like anything in life – you get what you give. 🙂

 

Do your books have messages in them? If so, what are the messages you feel are well received by your readers?

Being a perfectly flawed example of humankind myself, I am reluctant to preach to others on any subject. I do however feel that as a writer we have a responsibility to ensure that whilst there is evil in the world, there is also justice. Not all my stories are happy ever after, but I do hope there is satisfactory closure.

Far too many people these days think they can behave as they wish without consequences, and it is not a good message to spread. You cannot love or agree with everyone, but I was brought up to believe that ‘If you cannot say something nice about someone, don’t say anything.’

This is not to say that I don’t occasionally have a rant about some things on my blog, but hopefully I also offer what I consider a suitable solution to unacceptable behavior. I will admit to being a little non PC with some of my forms of retribution!

D.G. – Lol, sorry, just had to laugh, because, well, you know me! We are both justice seekers and I too sometimes have a very difficult time keeping my opinions to myself, lol.

 

Do you watch TV? If so what is your favorite show and why?

We have not had mainstream television service for over twenty years. Living in Madrid we were not interested in having local programming so invested heavily in DVDs including boxed sets for wonderful shows such as the West Wing. We don’t watch soaps or sport…shock and horror… but we do enjoy good quality drama series and films.

I cannot abide the adverts and with some stations as it is every ten minutes for five minutes. I have bought all the major items that I am going to buy in my lifetime and I don’t need to be reminded to buy toilet paper, bleach or chocolate. I certainly don’t need the drug peddling that is carried out from pain relief to pre-dinner antacids! (Sorry, I did say that I do have a rant sometimes!)

With streaming services now it is easy to grab a whole series when you find one with high ratings, and recently we have become addicted to the Scandinavian television series and I can highly recommend them. They do have sub-titles but after a few minutes you really don’t notice, and they are well written, great story lines and cast. And best of all…there are no adverts.

We will binge watch a series in the evenings and weekends and have a movie night a week.

Michael Connelly

 

And as to the question about which is my favourite series…. Tough one but I get quite excited when I see there is another series of Bosch…based on the series of books by Michael Connelly (one of my favourite authors) about an offbeat L.A. Detective. https://www.amazon.com/Michael-Connelly/e/B000APETH0

 

D.G. – I hear you loud and clear Sal. I catch my series I enjoy on HBO – particularly documentaries, my fav. If I add any other streaming channels, I may never get anything done, lol.

 

Which author friends of yours inspire you by being supportive to your writing?

Well, where do I start…I feel like I am doing an acceptance speech and terrified I am going to leave everyone out! Going back to my note on the benefits of blogging, it is amazing the people you meet who are so supportive and generous with their time and willingness to promote you. I think that holds true for the vast majority of authors who connect on blog sites and social media.

There are also writers who challenge you to step outside your comfort zone, such as Colleen Chesebro with her Tuesday Tanka Challenge – https://colleenchesebro.com/blog/ and Charli Mills of Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction – https://carrotranch.com/flash-fiction/ .

I am grateful to both, as my latest book Life’s Rich Tapestry, would not have been created without my accepting their challenges over the last two years.

Many others spring immediately to mind but I would be here until next Christmas if I was to mention everyone, but I hope I show how grateful I am to them on a regular basis.

But without a doubt, and not just because I am here as a guest today, one of the most generous and supportive authors for me and so many of you reading this is D.G Kaye… Debby Gies. A one woman PR machine who relentlessly spreads our work around social media… brilliant.

D.G. – You are good for the soul Sal. I’m truly humbled. Yes, maybe I got in the wrong business too, as I am a bit of a social butterfly, lol. But thank you. And I agree, Colleen’s poetry challenges have taught me a lot about poetry, still a long way to go. ❤

 

Thanks Debby for this opportunity to talk about things close to my heart.

My absolute pleasure having you over today Sally

 

Now Sally is generously sharing an excerpt from her newest book – Life’s Rich Tapestry

 

The Superiority of Cats

The Maine Coon King

There was no doubt that Napoleon, the Maine Coon cat, was from a long line of aristocrats. His owner Hermione Jackson had gone to great lengths when searching for the perfect kitten, to obtain one with the right pedigree. She had in fact travelled to Maine after consultation with a renowned breeder and had paid a small fortune for a male ball of fluff. She was looking for a companion after her husband Warren had wandered off with his personal assistant, so enamoured that he had happily allowed her to keep their magnificent home and a substantial annual income. Whilst she was happy to be relieved of his more boorish behaviours, she did miss the presence of another being in the massive mansion, and she reasoned that a cat would be less arduous than a dog, and better company than her erstwhile spouse.

Napoleon had grown into a stunning adult with the breed’s large, wide ears with soft hair tufts and regal lynx tufts attached to the tips. Even as a kitten he had assumed an all knowing expression that could convey pleasure or displeasure depending on his mood. He would turn his head and stare at you with his coppery gold eyes and bore deep into your soul. Woe betide any delay in producing his favourite lunch of fresh sardines.

Every summer day, Hermione would spend an hour or so in her expansive walled Florida garden in a hammock slung between two convenient coconut palms and Napoleon would vocalise his request to join her, at first politely and then more emphatically if he was ignored. His mistress was grateful that he chose to ask rather than pounce, as he was the weight of a medium sized dog by the age of two. She would struggle to lift him up into the hammock without falling out of the contraption, but once settled they would nap for an hour before their late afternoon dip in the pool.

It had become the custom early on in their relationship to swim a few lengths as the day cooled down, before lying out in the final rays to dry themselves off. Napoleon would then lead the way into the house for dinner. The menu usually included some carefully prepared chicken or beef ground up with a few recommended additions, such as spinach and fish oils. Hermione even began to follow the same diet to make food preparation less complex, and would simply add some rice or pasta to the same dish.

 

Thank you so much for being my guest today Sal. It’s always a pleasure to have you over.

 

Visit Sally on all her social platforms:

 

Blog: Smorgasbord Invitation

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/sgc58
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sally.cronin
LinkedIn: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/sallycronin1
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ie/cronin1423/

Some of my printed books are available from me directly at sally.cronin@moyhill.com, but here are the books that you can buy from Amazon in E-book.

Visit Sally’s Amazon Author Page where you will find all her books.

Books by Sally Cronin

 

Copyright
© D.G. Kaye and DGKayewriter.com, 2014 – 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to D.G. Kaye

 

Q & A with D.G. Kaye – Interview with Featured Author Marian Beaman –

Welcome to my Q & A Interview Series and book Promotion. I am delighted to be interviewing writer, blogger, and newly published author, Marian Beaman. Marian has very recently published her debut book – Mennonite Daughter, her memoir, which I highly recommend. Marian grew up as a Mennonite girl while all the while yearning to shed her plain Mennonite clothes for a more stylish and fancier wardrobe. Her book takes us through her strict upbringing to her eventual emancipation from the norms she grew up with while still keeping the faith.

 

Marian Beaman

 

About Marian:

Marian Longenecker Beaman is a former professor at Florida State College in Jacksonville, Florida. Her memoir records the charms and challenges of growing up in the strict culture of the Lancaster Mennonite Conference in the 1950s. Marian shares her story to preserve these memories and to leave a legacy for future generations.
Find her weekly blog at https://marianbeaman.com. She lives with her husband Cliff in Florida, where her grown children and grandchildren also reside.

 

 

 

Blurb:

What if the Mennonite life young Marian Longenecker chafed against offered the chance for a new beginning? What if her two Lancaster County homes with three generations of family were the perfect launch pad for a brighter future? Readers who long for a simpler life can smell the aroma of saffron-infused potpie in Grandma’s kitchen, hear the strains of four-part a capella music at church, and see the miracle of a divine healing.

Follow the author in pigtails as a child and later with a prayer cap, bucking a heavy-handed father and challenging church rules. Feel the terror of being locked behind a cellar door. Observe the horror of feeling defenseless before a conclave of bishops, an event propelling her into a different world.

Fans of coming-of-age stories will delight in one woman’s surprising path toward self-discovery, a self that lets her revel in shiny red shoes.

 

Time to get to know more about Marian:

 

1. Do events in your daily life inspire your writing ideas?

Yes! When my sisters and I cleared out Aunt Ruthie’s house, I discovered her diaries.
Entries in these pages from the 1930s have become fodder for blog ideas. Also, I write about events in my current life. Not long ago, I accidentally smashed two traffic cones meant to block a set of gas pumps at the WaWa Station. The aftermath of that
embarrassing experience became a blog post with loads of comments.

DG – Okay, you know I read your posts weekly, I seemed to have missed that one. Now I’m curious, be right over to check it out!

 

2. What prompted you to write in your chosen genre?

For years, I wanted to leave a legacy of stories for posterity, my grandchildren especially. Memoir is the genre most suited for stories inspired by memory. Meeting scores of memoirists online gave me the courage to begin, and then to persevere. Writing of any sort, especially memoir, is not for sissies.

DG – Ain’t that the truth Marian! Lol, I hear you loud and clear.

 

3. Do your books have messages in them? If so, what are the messages you feel are well received by your readers?

I told the story of my Mennonite girlhood, recording both the charms of a sheltered life and the challenges I faced, challenges I did not sugarcoat. I had an adversarial
relationship with my father, a theme traced from the first to the last chapter. The message of forgiveness emerged as I wrote, one told (I hope) without sounding didactic or resentful.

DG – Yes, I got that in the book – the struggle for forgiveness. Like you, that was exactly when I learned forgiveness for my mother, while writing P.S. I Forgive You.

 

5-Star Review by Laurie Buchanan, author of Note Self: A Seven-Step Guide to
Gratitude and Growth and The Business of Being: Soul Purpose In and Out of the
Workplace

I expected to find kindness in Marian Longenecker Beaman’s memoir, MENNONITE DAUGHTER: THE STORY OF A PLAIN GIRL. And I did. The unexpected — abuse — came in gritty remembrances of a young girl’s search for identity, one that isn’t plain.

In this captivating look at a patriarchal culture, Beaman’s writing imbues simple scenes with complex emotional undercurrents that kept me turning the pages right to the satisfying end. I highly recommend this book.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2883117995?book_show_action=true&from_review_page=1

 

My review for Marian’s book:

DGKaye

September 13, 2019

Mennonite Daughter is a beautifully written story about the growing up life and aspirations of one feisty and longing-to-be fancy girl who although practicing her faith obediently, longs to be free from some of the conforms of the Mennonite lifestyle.

Beaman, a girl, not unlike any other girlie girl, striving for her chance at a life free from head coverings and traditional clothing, as her desires since childhood grow to break free from tradition. We learn a lot about the Mennonite way of life, Beaman’s life, the close knit family and community life, and the antiquated punishments inflicted on her by her father, and about the mother who  never interjected on those punishments, all because she spoke out for her convictions. The whippings and being locked in a dark, scary basement were the weapons of choice as punishments and discipline for her non-compliance in a world of which we’d now consider as child abuse. One heart trembling sentence that stood out to me, “I always watched for signs that Daddy was about to explode, so I wonder why I didn’t stop before I ignite the fire.” We’ll learn once again, as many writers like myself have lived and wrote about, if we search for the ‘why’ in someone’s behavior, we’ll almost always find the root cause.

The heartaches in this book are palpable through the pages for this straight A student who received no recognition or validation from her parents; and the welcomed tender mercies she did receive from her dear Aunt Ruthie and her paternal grandmother Longenecker. It seemed any moments the little girl felt excitement for were often quashed by disappointment. One example of this was in the chapter – ‘Tomato Girl gets a Bike’ – Young Mennonite Marian helped work the tomato farms tirelessly, both planting and reaping the fruits of labor. She received 10 cents a basket for her labor from her frugal father, and as reward for her upcoming birthday he promised he would buy her a bike. She held her excitement in anticipation until she felt as though she wasn’t worthy enough when her father eventually presented her with a well worn bike instead.

The author takes us through her life with a giant glimpse into the Mennonite world, sharing the religion,  her beliefs, chores, and family gatherings – even photos and recipes are included, to demonstrate her world of godliness and her struggle to endure conformity, hoping that some day she will get to wear those red shoes! I loved this book! #Recommended.

 

Marian is sharing an Excerpt

Chapter 25, Great Grandpa Sam: A Hoot and a Holler

 

“There’s no feller quite so yeller like my liver,” I repeated out loud one of Great Grandpa Sam’s silly sayings. What color should liver really be? I wondered. But a yellow liver must be funny because Grandpa laughed loud when he said it.

Grandma Fanny Longenecker’s father, Samuel Brinser Martin, who moved from the farm in Hillsdale and lived with Grandma and Aunt Ruthie close to Rheems in his late eighties, figured large in my childhood as the Martin family patriarch.

A still “snap” from Aunt Ruthie’s movies shows Grandpa in a blue denim jacket buttoned up to his neck and a denim hat with a long, wide farmer bill, which his daughter, Grandma, referred to as a “schnovel.” In movie footage when Aunt Ruthie, the eye behind the camera lens, must have prompted him to walk, he held his body erect, taking sure steps even though blind, his arms swinging like a pendulum. Then, swiveling on the ball of his foot, he turned to retrace his steps.

Wiry Great Grandpa Samuel B. Martin, a jolly little man, had an Old MacDonald-type farm with chickens, a couple of cows, two horses, and maybe a pig, though, I never heard an oink-oink-oink either here or there. Grandma and Grandpa Martin’s was a Jack Sprat-type union, with his wife Mary as generous and open-hearted as she was ample. I heard this description so often as a child, it has since become fact in my mind. She loved to cook and eat in large portions. Great Grandma Mary died the year before I was born, so I never met the hospitable woman whom I’m told often invited strangers to the family table and made space for the homeless to sleep upstairs in a family bedroom. A portrait of the extended family “freindschaft” of at least thirty gathered in front of lilac bushes showed bunny-cheeked Great-Grandma Mary Horst Martin in the first row, with a crinkly smile, her laughing eyes in sharp contrast to her prayer-capped head and a long, dark dress topped with a cape shaped like a triangle, pointed to a “V” at her waist.

Until he died at age ninety-four, my Grandma Longenecker’s dad, Great-Grandpa, lived with his daughter Fannie and granddaughter, my Aunt Ruthie. My sisters and I thought him curious and amusing. We usually found him sitting on his cushioned chair between the door and one section of the bay window in Grandma’s kitchen, turning the huge knobs of a blaring radio, loud, louder, and extra loud.

Great-Grandpa had no teeth to speak of. What he had were rotted, drawing his mouth into an “O” like an old mountaineer’s. After meals, he shook some salt into his hand, threw his head way back, opened up and sucked in the salt. It made a loud pop!— his mouth an echo chamber. Long since retired from the rigors of farming, Great-Grandpa could afford the time to be a one-man comedy show for my sisters and me. . . .

 

You can find Marian on her blog and social media:

Blog:
https://marianbeaman.com

 

Amazon author page URL:
https://www.amazon.com/Marian-Longenecker-Beaman/e/B07X7JK2S3/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

 

www.Facebook.com/marian.beaman

www.Twitter.com/martabeaman

www.Instagram.com/marianbeaman

 

It was a pleasure having Marian over today to showcase her beautiful book. If you love memoirs, family stories, and success stories, I highly recommend this book.

 

Copyright
© D.G. Kaye and DGKayewriter.com, 2014 – 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to D.G. Kaye