Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – March 8th – 14th 2020 – Elephant Ears, Crispy Chicken, Funny Girl, Music, Guests, Books and Humour

Another wonderful Weekly RoundUp post on Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord blog. Do check it out, and don’t forget to watch a couple of the lovely videos, too. They will give you some lovely smiles to start your day. Hope you’ll pass this along to all your social media friends, too. Thanks, and thanks, Sally. You ROCK, as always! 🙂 ❤

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the Smorgasbord weekly round up with posts that you might have missed.

A tough week for everyone and even more difficult if you have family and friends who might be in the middle of the worst infection rates of the Coronavirus pandemic. Whilst we have been used to being in an isolated environment and with only two of us to worry about, my heart goes out to young families coping with not only making sure they have food to put on the table and other essentials, but with the childcare dilemma that they have to manage.

I also think that the healthcare staff who are exposed to the virus on a daily basis and who are working extra shifts to care for those infected should be recognised as being angels. Many of them are being infected themselves, and being overworked and probably not taking care of themselves as…

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Week in Review

A very quick note to let you guys know Joan Hall has a fun Week in Review post this time around, featuring some tidbits about Friday the 13th, and links to some cool blog posts, too. Check it out. Thanks, and thanks, Joan! 🙂 ❤

Joan Hall

Hey, Everyone. Happy Friday the 13th! Thirteen is a number surrounded by superstition. While I come from a long line of superstitious people, I’m not one of them. I’ll purposely do things such as walk under a ladder, open an umbrella in the house, or cross a black cat’s path.

I have a cousin who claims she isn’t superstitious but “just cautious.” Once when I visited her, I made the mistake of placing a hat on the bed. She promptly removed it, saying it was “bad luck.” Another time when she visited us, she tipped the salt shaker, spilling some on the table. Immediately she sprinkled salt in her hand and threw it over her shoulder. On the floor, mind you! Ridiculous.

However, I do enjoy hearing the stories behind the superstitions. Oh and speaking of black cats (I’ve owned several in my lifetime) I haven’t posted a photo…

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Temporary Change In Posting Schedule

Just a quick heads up so you won’t wonder where I’ve disappeared to. Mark and I have both been under the weather with a bit of a cold (nothing serious, I promise!) and though he is much improved, I’m still dragging.  I’ve fallen even farther behind with things  that aren’t optional, so I’ve decided to give myself a bit of a break for a week or so with the things that are.  My regularly (mostly 🙂 ) #ShareAReviewDay, #ThorsDaySmiles, and #FirstLineFriday posts are on hold as of now and through all of next week. I do have a guest poster next week, but it’s already been scheduled, as have my upcoming posts on Story Empire, so those will run as planned. Hope you’ll tune in for each.

I’ll try to resume my normal schedule here on TWS  during the week of March 23, assuming I’m feeling much better. Will give you a heads up when it’s time to submit any reviews you’d like to share after that date. 

I may pop in with a short post here or there during this interim, if I feel well (and energetic) enough for it. And if you need to contact me, please feel free to do so. I’ll still be sitting here at my desk most of the time, trying to attend to some of the things that have fallen through the cracks as I’ve been plodding my way through this “bug.” Progress is slow and often interrupted by naps, but I’ll be able to respond either here or via email. I just don’t feel quite up to assembling any larger posts yet. Thanks so much for understanding.  

Here’s to your health! (And mine!)

Nothing like a cup of “Earl Grey, hot” to soothe what ails ye. 🙂

 

#GuestPost #C.S.Boyack #LisaBurton Talks About #Grinders

I’m so pleased to announce we have a first-time guest on The Write Stuff today, and what a guest she is, too! Some of you may have met her on other blogs, but for those who haven’t, please welcome Lisa Burton, Craig Boyack’s personal assistant and spokesmodel. (Oh, and I should probably mention Lisa is a robot, in case you’ve never run into any personal assistants who have that distinction.) 

Lisa, we are delighted to have you join us, so step right up. You have the floor!

~~~

Wow, Marcia, it’s such an honor to finally meet you. I haven’t been to Florida in ages, and hope to do some poking around when we’re finished. Maybe we can go hug one of those cute manatees or something. 

Craig sent me here to plug his new book, Grinders, and I’m kind of excited about it. Robot girls love science fiction, and as a cyberpunk story it scratches that itch. There are even robots in the story, but that isn’t my topic today. 

My assignment is to talk about the antagonist in the story, which I usually don’t do. This guy is kind of quirky and it’s hard not to feel the pressure he’s under. His name is Leonard, but he goes by Nootropic. It’s a nickname based upon a kind of drug he abuses. These are performance enhancing drugs for brain power, and he’s going to need all he can get. He also lives off something called 48-hour energy drinks, because in the future five-hours is old school. 

Needless to say, he doesn’t get much sleep. He is a grinder himself, but it’s mostly the research and development of new techniques. He discovers new ways to implant humans with small bits of technology and they’re willing to pay big bucks. As one example, he has these spiral coils implanted in the back of his hands. They function like the inner ear, and he can detect vibrations just like you or I might hear something. Makes him kind of hard to sneak up on. 

He’s under a mountain of pressure, because his wife is dying. She’s kept alive in a tube full of perfluorocarbon, which humans can actually breathe in. Of course he needs to keep filtering it and maintaining it. 

See, she needs a new liver or she’s going to die. Since they are both wanted by the police, he isn’t willing to turn her over to modern medicine. Back when he held a real job, he developed a technique for growing a new liver for a pharmaceutical company, but they rejected it based upon profit and loss statements. It’s basically abandoned intellectual property, but could save his wife’s life. 

He hatches this scheme to steal the notes, and perform the procedure himself. There is another problem though. His name is Georgie, and he’s a toddler. While working himself to death, Nootropic has been neglecting Georgie something awful. In his mind, Georgie will get over it after he saves his mother and reunites the family. 

Nootropic is dealing with this ticking time-bomb, because his wife will die if his scheme doesn’t work. They’ll both go to jail if he takes her to the hospital, and Georgie will wind up as a foster child somewhere. Like I said, some real pressure. Then again, despite the nootropic drugs and 48-hour energy drinks, he has to sleep some time. 

Without knowing it, the heroes in this story are closing in on him the whole time. Might not give him any added stress, but the readers will understand. 

Nootropic Faber isn’t a particularly nice guy, but there are times when you feel for him. I think that makes him kind of cool. 

On my visits, I always bring around a poster to share. This is me posing as Nootropic’s wife, floating in her tube. Some people collect the posters, and it’s fine if they want it as a phone screen or anything like that.

Funny story about this poster: robot girls don’t have to breathe. We used Kool Aid in the tube because it was cheaper than perfluorocarbon. We also don’t float, so I had to keep propping my butt up with a glass roasting pan until Sean could make his sketches. 

Hope your fans enjoy the poster, and that some of them check out Grinders.

~~~

Thank you so much, Lisa! I’m so glad I finally had a chance to meet you in … erm … person, and it has been a delight to have you with us today! You’re always welcome here on The Write Stuff, and we look forward to your next visit!

BLURB:

Jimi Cabot made one mistake as a starving college student. When she went to work for the San Francisco Police Department, it nearly cost her the job. The union stepped in and they had to reinstate her. They did so by assigning her to the duty nobody wants, Grinder Squad. 

Grinders are people who use back room surgeries to enhance their bodies with computer chips, and various kinds of hardware. Jimi is sure that if she can just bust one grind shop, it will be her ticket back. 

Paired with veteran cop, she soon learns that Grinder Squad is a cash-cow for the department. They are nothing more than glorified patrol cops, and generally get the worst assignments. 

Matchless is the most wanted grinder of all time. He disappeared years ago, leaving only the evidence of those he enhanced during his career. With these pieces, Jimi picks up the cold trail to try working her way back to more respectable duty. 

Grinders is a cyberpunk story set in a world where global warming has eroded coastlines, and society has solved many of our current problems by replacing them with new ones. There are cyber shut-ins, cyber-currency skimming schemes, and more in this futuristic tale. 

This book also takes the opportunity to poke a stick at current issues that seem to have lasted into the future. Entitled people, helicopter moms, overzealous homeowner associations, and lack of decent jobs are all present. Never preachy, these issues make up the day to day work of a patrol officer. 

I hope you enjoy Grinders as much as I enjoyed bringing it to you.

Buy Grinders HERE

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#ShareAReviewDay – #AmandaInAlberta by #DarleneFoster

Today, please help me welcome back one of our regulars, Darlene Foster, whose Amanda series of children’s books always garners wonderful reviews. Today, she is sharing one for Amanda in Alberta. I know you’ll enjoy this one, and will be happy to pass it along on your favorite social media sites. Thanks so much!

REVIEW:
By Jacquie Biggar

Amanda is excited to show her friend, Leah (visiting from England), the sites in southern Alberta.

While at the Calgary Stampede Parade, a clown drops a stone with strange markings. Amanda rescues the stone from the road and tries to get the clown’s attention, but he’s gone. She decides to hang onto the rock to see if her Great-Aunt Mary, a famous paleontologist, might know what the markings mean.

Strange and frightening encounters occur while the girls are sightseeing the Stampede, a working cattle ranch, Drumheller with its world-famous dinosaur museum, and Writing on Stone Park- a Unesco World Heritage site. Someone wants the stone back and they aren’t above hurting the girls to get it!

Amanda in Alberta is a fun, page-turning mystery with interesting tidbits of indigenous history along with Alberta landmarks thrown in.

While geared toward the pre-teen age group, this book has something for every reader to enjoy.

I give Amanda in Alberta four lovely kisses- Traveling with Amanda is an adventure!

BLURB:

Amanda is delighted to show Leah around Alberta during her visit from England. They take in the Calgary Stampede, go on a cattle drive, visit Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, spend time with the dinosaurs at the Royal Tyrrell Museum and explore the crazy Hoodoos. When Amanda finds a stone with a unique mark on it, she doesn’t think it’s important until everyone seems to want it – including a very ornery cowboy. Is this stone worth ruining Leah’s holiday and placing them both in danger? Spend time with Amanda as she explores her own country while attempting to decipher the mysterious writing on the stone and keep it from those determined to take it from her.

Buy Amanda in Alberta HERE


Author Darlene Foster

Darlene Foster grew up on a ranch outside of Alberta. She dreamt of writing, travelling the world and meeting interesting people. She also believes everyone is capable of making their dreams come true. It’s no surprise that she’s now the award-winning author of a children’s adventure series about a travelling twelve-year-old-girl. A world-traveler herself, Darlene spends her time in Vancouver, Canada and Costa Blanca in Spain with her husband and amusing dog, Dot.

You can reach Darlene here:

Amazon Author Page

Website  |  Goodreads | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Tips for Writing Action Scenes

Want to improve the action scenes in your writing? Mae Clair has some fantastic (and easily understood) tips on Story Empire today. Check out her great post, and then pass it along so others can enjoy it, too! Thanks, and thanks to Mae for sharing these terrific and helpful pointers! 🙂 ❤

Story Empire

Hi, SEers. You’re with Mae today for a look at writing action scenes. Of all the types of scenes that go into constructing a novel, I used to dread action the most. Not so much these days, but they’re still the scenes I tweak and re-tweak most during editing.

When writing an action scene, there are a few tips to keep in mind:

Use Short Sentences
Short sentences generally work best in action scenes. Keep your reader pumped up and immersed in the moment. Don’t leave them stumbling over a tangle of lengthy sentences. Intersperse longer sentences with dialogue and/or shorter sentences to propel the action forward.

dog running toward camera, with open mouth, all four paws in air above groundAvoid Weak Verbs
Actions scenes call for strong verbs. Avoid verbs that are overused (turned, pulled, looked, moved). A trick I use when I write action is to focus on the urgency of the moment. As an example, people don’t just turn or

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March Promote Your Book Party!

Author Charles French has a wonderful way to celebrate the month of March by self-promoting our books like crazy and helping each other get the word out. Stop by his blog, read the post, and then join the party! I did! Thank you, Charles, for such a fun, easy, and totally free way to promote our books and help others, too. 🙂

charles french words reading and writing

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(https://pixabay.com)

It is the beginning of a new month, of March, so let’s self-promote!  It is time to stand up and shout for your books! Come and join this party, and celebrate your writing. Do not be shy–you must be your own biggest promoter!

So, regardless of the genre, tell about your book.  Include where it can be found, and be proud of your writing! Then, so as many as possible can see this promotion for all, please reblog and tweet this post! Let us all help each other as much as possible!

Proclaim your book to the world!

And remember, always, keep writing!

GallowsHillFinalCoverEbookGallows Hill can be found here in ebook.

Gallows Hill in paperback can be found here.

An interview about Gallows Hill can be found here.

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Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal…

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up March 1st – 7th 2020 – #Backup larders #Jazz, Books, Guests, Humour and Health

Time for another jam-packed weekly round-up post from Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord. Check this one out, for sure, and please consider passing it along for others to enjoy, as well. Thanks, and thanks to Sally, as always, for compiling these great round-up posts so we can catch up on everything we may have missed! 🙂 ❤

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the weekly round up of posts that you might have missed this week on Smorgasbord.

I hope everyone is doing well despite the ‘virus’, floods, tornadoes, fake news and politics. It is so easy to become panicked when you see what might be ahead and the papers are doing a very good job of keeping us informed but also creating a fear culture.

Healthy living has never been so important and a fully functioning immune system over the next few weeks and possibly months is vital. Especially for those with underlying health issues, such as the elderly. Apart from washing hands in hot water and soap frequently and avoiding crowds etc, we do need to make sure that we have a nutritionally balanced diet to maintain a healthy immune system system.

The governments are going to do their best to keep food and essential household products on the…

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Week in Review

Check out Joan Hall’s excellent Week in Review post! As always, she’s shared a ton of great links, and I’m so looking forward to spending some time today going through them. Be sure to pass the post along, too, so others can see if they’ve missed anything. Thanks, and thanks, as always, to Joan for doing such a super job of helping us stay up on things we may have missed. 🙂 ❤

Joan Hall

Hey, everyone. Happy first Friday of March. When Bob Dylan wrote The Times They Are a Changin, he spoke the truth. Changes are inevitable. Some good, others not so good.

But change is in the air. We are moving from winter into spring (for which I am happy).

When the weather permits, I enjoy sitting on my front porch. It’s quite and peaceful – a great place to relax, read, or just sit and think. But my view recently changed.

Our new neighbors cleared out the underbrush from their property line and trimmed trees. So now, I have an even better view than before. I took this photo of the sunrise early last Saturday. A few months ago, I wouldn’t have been able to see the sun peaking over the horizon. This is a good change.

Speaking of change, are you ready for Daylight Saving Time? I don’t mind the…

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#FirstLineFriday Submissions Are Now Closed! Here’s the Answer to Our Quiz, and the Name of Our Winner!

Sorry to be so late announcing our winners today. Lost internet reception for a bit, but all is well again, and yes, submissions for #FirstLineFriday are officially closed. My thanks to all who emailed me with their guesses. Today, we have one winner: Priscilla Bettis.  Congratulations, Priscilla, and I hope you enjoy your prize.

And now, here’s the answer to today’s quiz:

“Mr. Utterson the lawyer was a man of a rugged countenance, that was never lighted by a smile; cold, scanty and embarrassed in discourse; backward in sentiment; lean, long, dusty, dreary, and yet somehow lovable.” is the opening line from The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson.

The novella was written by Stevenson in 1886, and has been adapted for film and stage many times over the years.

Dr. Henry Jekyll and his alternate personality, Mr. Edward Hyde, is the central character and is a good friend of main protagonist Gabriel John Utterson. Jekyll is a kind and respected English doctor who has repressed evil urges inside of him. In an attempt to hide this, he develops a type of serum that he believes will effectively mask his dark side. Instead, Jekyll transforms into Edward Hyde, the physical and mental manifestation of his evil personality. This process happens more regularly until Jekyll becomes unable to control when the transformations occur.

AMAZON BLURB

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is the title of a novella written by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson that was first published in 1886. The work is commonly known today as The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, or simply Jekyll & Hyde. It is about a London lawyer named Gabriel John Utterson who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr. Henry Jekyll, and the evil Edward Hyde. The work is commonly associated with the rare mental condition often called “split personality,” referred to in psychiatry as dissociative identity disorder, where within the same body there exists more than one distinct personality. In this case, there are two personalities within Dr. Jekyll, one apparently good and the other evil. The novella’s impact is such that it has become a part of the language, with the very phrase “Jekyll and Hyde” coming to mean a person who is vastly different in moral character from one situation to the next.

A classic that continues to be referenced today, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde will forever be locked in literary history.

Buy The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde HERE

That wraps it up for this week, folks. Thanks so much for taking part, and I hope you’ll stay tuned for another #FirstLineFriday quiz next week. See you then!