Photos with Captions, To Make You Smile and Think

Here we are, Friday before the rescheduled Spring Break. The kiddos will be off next week, but we are under a ‘stay at home’ order from the government. They don’t call them ‘lockdowns’ anymore. Probably sounds too negative, and morale is not exactly pie in the sky, these days.

Well, how about some photos with captions, to lift your spirits.

Parents of grade schoolers will get this one.

Review of Hanging Stars on Big Willow Creek, by Sarah Hill

Spring has sprung, the robins are hopping about our yard in search of food and nesting materials and the lawn is beginning to green and grow. That means I’ll soon have to pull the lawn mower from winter hibernation. I love this time of year, a time of new beginnings.

Speaking of which, as of late, I’ve been delving into the genre of romance, something I’ve never done before.

Today, I present my review of Hanging Stars on Big Willow Creek, by Sarah Hill.

Here’s what Amazon says:

Rylie Johnson is living her dream as a best-selling author in New York with her husband, Spencer and their imaginative little boy, Alex. As she prepares for the release of her newest book and upcoming book tour, her world is turned upside down when she receives a phone call from home. She must return to Idaho, the place she left twenty years ago and help care for the woman who raised her. Rylie comes face to face with the past she worked so hard to forget and learns things aren’t always as they seem.

My Turn:

The story speaks volumes about the human condition. How we perceive our world, based on childhood experiences.

Sarah does an excellent job of creating characters that are realistically human and are easy to become emotionally invested in. There are no true villains in this book, but that makes them all the more relatable.

Rylie grows up in a home that is both materially and emotionally impoverished. The object of ridicule and bullying, she understandably grows defensive and cynical of those she deems to be, ‘one of them.’

This story speaks to anyone who’s ever felt isolated, unworthy, and unloved. It reminds the reader that there are still good and caring souls out there and that everyone has potential, despite their circumstance.

A gently rolling plot, with a down home feeling, that will appeal to those who enjoy a good heart tugging read.

I give this, FOUR STARS!

Meet Sarah:

SARAH HILL, lives in Idaho with her husband, 3 dogs and cat. When she isn’t feeding, playing or doctoring one of her fur babies, you can find her watching a chick flick or favorite Hallmark movie, hanging with family and friends, reading or taking pictures (because photos are important!) Some of her favorite things include the world of Harry Potter, Mexican food, camping, playing pranks, laughing and kissing her husband.

Sarah is also the author of Call of the Blue Heron, her debut novel, which was published in November of 2019. She continues to listen to the characters who find her and whisper their stories in her ear and plans to get their stories out to the world.

Connect with her and purchase a copy:

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‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge 2021.’ Week #39. By Mark Bierman @mbiermanauthor #IARTG #WritingCommunity #WritingPrompts #FlashFiction

HELLO EVERYONE AND WELCOME TO AUTHOR SUZANNE BURKE’S “FICTION IN A FLASH CHALLENGE!” EACH WEEK SHE FEATURES AN IMAGE AND INVITES EVERYONE TO WRITE A FLASH FICTION, OR NON-FICTION, PIECE INSPIRED BY THAT IMAGE IN ANY FORMAT AND GENRE OF THEIR CHOOSING.  MAXIMUM WORD COUNT: 750 WORDS. IN ADDITION TO RUNNING A WONDERFUL BLOG, SUZANNE HAS WRITTEN MANY EXCITING BOOKS. PLEASE A HAVE A LOOK AT HER SITE: WECOME TO THE WORLD OF SUZANNE BURKE

Here is my contribution, enjoy!

“Thirty-three!”

“Huh? What? Aghh! Not this again! How do you even know? Oh, you did not just roll your eyes at me!”

“Look behind us.”

“I’m looking.”

“You see that second light on the structure, behind our car?”

“It’s out, so what?”

“Well, Freddo, that’s one thing, and bad enough. Also, your cranial excellence, that’s how I can tell we’re in car number thirty-three.”

“Gosh, Jake. You need serious help. Not everything has to be an even number.”

“Nice redmark on your left check, where you slapped it. Want me to give you one on the right, to match? It’s driving me crazy.”

“Ha. Ha. Funny guy. You know that those scissiors are probably sticky, from the cotton candy, right.”

“Nope. I carry wipes, for just such an occasion. Already cleaned them while we were standing in line.

“I guess you would have had time, since you let that family of six go ahead of us, because you wanted to be an even number in the lineup. You should have just waited until then, to give your cotton candy a trim.”

“Don’t know how you ate that bird’s nest. I mean, the stuff was so . . . poofy!”

“Hey, we’ve stopped.”

“You know Fred, your ability to state the obvious is astounding. Wait, we’re  sitting at forty-one degrees!”

“Annndd, oh, never mind.”

“How do I know? See the strength tester, you know, the game where you use a sledgehammer to ring the bell? It’s ninety degrees, and we are at forty-one, by comparrison.”

“Will you cut that out! Stop rocking this thing! You can’t move it up or down, genius!”

“My scissors! Oh please land straight up!”

“Look out, down there! As if they’re gonna—”

“Yes!”

“Hey, the ferris wheel operator looks mad. He’s yelling up at us.”

“Pshaw! Who cares what a man with an uneven goatee has to say. I mean, look at that thing. Hey! I hope you have a suitable filter on your OKCupid profile selfie! Ouch! That hurts! Gonna leave a bruise on my arm.”

“Would you like one on the other, to match? Oh! We’re moving again. Why are you closing your eyes? I didn’t know that you’re afraid of heights.”

“Not the height. Can’t look at the skyline. I mean, it’s so different from up here. So, chaotic.”

“Those dastardly city planners! I mean, why didn’t they consult you, before allowing such diversity. Jake?”

“Ya?”

“We’re descending. You can look, now.”

“Oh, good. I need to get out of here, ‘cause those corn dog signs are crooked.”

“Don’t look.”

“Don’t look, Fred? You do realize that by saying that, I won’t be able to unpaste my eyes from them. The ground!”

“Hey, Jake. The ride is hardly stopped! You can’t just, sorry folks! He doesn’t mean to shove. He’s just gotta follow the straightest path to the car. Oh man, why through the fountain?”

“I found it Fred! You did a great job parking in section ‘B’! It’s number two in the alphabet, and the bumps are symmetrical. But why, oh why, did you have to buy a hatchback? Five doors? Really?”

“It came out to an even 14,000, after tax. Thought you’d be happy about that, at least. Hey, you know what comes in pairs? Feet! Yours in particular. Get the picture? What’s that? ”

“What’s? Hey! You locked me out! Why are you pointing to the backseat? It’s  got a bench seat, three seatbelts, and way too close to that weird hatch thing. Oh, alright.”

“Umm . . . can you change the radio volume to an even number, please. Ah yes. No! Yes! Knock it off! I can see your crooked smile in the smudgy rearview, you know!”

***On the side***

How many of you actually counted the cars on the ferris wheel? 🙂

Photos with Captions, To Make You Smile and Think

It’s hard to believe that we’ve arrived at March 3, already. Seems like a blink since we were in our homes, ringing in 2021, COVID style. As vaccinations roll out and the most vulnerable are innoculated, we cling to the hope of showing this pandemic the back door.

While you wait, here’s a few photos and captions that I hope will take your mind off things. Enjoy!

I’m hiring them to build our addition. It’s going to cost large, in worms and dryer lint, but so worth it!

There’s nothing wrong with the occassional ‘Dad Joke’. 🙂

Very proud of my daughter, as she learns different forms of art.

Review of Life Is Like A Bowl Of Cherries, by Sally Cronin @sgc58

It’s the start of another weekend and in the early hours of Saturday morning, my thoughts turn to current events. In a previous blog, I mentioned the light verus the dark side of life, and encouraged my readers to watch for the helpers of this world. These people go above and beyond, to serve others and make this world a brighter place.

Today, I have the prvilege of reviewing and introducing such a person. Though, I suspect, she needs no introduction to most. 🙂 Meet Sally Cronin.

Here’s what Amazon says:

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.

My Turn:

The full name of this book is actually, Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries: Sometimes Bitter, Sometimes Sweet. I had to shorten it, because when I put this on my website blog, it limits title lengths.

That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of short stories, sprinkled with meaningful poetry, each pertaining to the pervious story.

Flipping the pages into each new chapter, was to be whisked into another era, another life, a 180 degree ‘about face’ into vastly different circumstances; some good, others, less than stellar.   

What remained constant, was the quality of connection I had with every character. They were real people to cheer on, pity, dislike, and congratulate. Valuable life lessons were skillfully interwoven in the fabric of every tale.

I deal with certain faulty world views, due to past experiences. When I first began to read this book, and things were going right for the character, I honestly waited for the other shoe to drop.

 I was pleasantly shocked and pleased when the footwear remained firmly affixed and tied! My thought, Is this all there is? The question was posed in a positive and grateful way. I was very pleased. Why shouldn’t life be like that? Such a refreshing change!

I finished this book with a feeling of happiness and peace. There is still good in this world.

Thank you, Sally, for the salve. I would highly recommend this book to everyone. This is what the world needs.

There is no question that this book deserves FIVE STARS!

Meet Sally Cronin:

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.

Connect with Sally and purchase her books:

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Amazon.com

Amazon.uk

Goodreads

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