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

Twitter

HIIT your writing and watch it improve!

The story line isn’t written on the wall. Unlike the Biblical account, no matter how hard I stare, no hand appears to write Dan out of the tar pit he’s gotten himself trapped in, again. Sheesh!

This is for those of you, if you’re like me, who struggle, at times, to get collect the right words from that pile of scrabble tiles tumbling inside your cranium.

You type, think, type, backspace, type, stare at the wall; time slips past and the hands of the clock have suddenly moved alarmingly close to quitting time. For me, that’s when the rest of the household gets up. It’s that dreadful wormhole again! Sucking time and productivity into an eternal vacuum. There’s no fix for it, no way to simply remove a filter and shake it out. It’s lost, forever.

Those who know me, are aware that physical fitness is a huge part of my life. I devote a great deal of time to developing the three key physical fitness elements: strength, cardio, and flexibility.

Recently, an idea came to me, as I waited for that magic hand to reveal the ‘golden nugget’.

I decided to incorporate a technique I’ve often used in my workouts, into my writing. Some of you may be familiar with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). Simply put, the idea is to go hard for a brief period of time, and then continue exercising, but at a slower pace. This has proven, and I’ve benefited personally, to be a more effective and time efficient way of exercising than traditional forms. The ratio of time spent going hard to slowing down, are dependent upon fitness levels and goals.

I thought you were talking about writing, not running, Bierman. I am, well now I am.  I’ve discovered, for me, at least, that the same principles can be used in writing life.

No more staring at walls or scratching my head, trying to squeeze out the next sentence. These days, I write and read, in intervals. I’ll work on my WIP for fifteen minutes to half an hour, and then switch to reading blogs for about ten to fifteen minutes, before writing again.

I find reading the excellent work of others, and their different approaches to wordsmithing, very stimulating. It gives me a chance to ‘let someone else take the wheel.’  

No matter how much you love to write, and I do, creating something out of nothing can be mentally draining. This method allows for a break, while keeping your creative side working in the background.

I read blogs because they are short, and I can finish them within the allotted time frame. Blogs also give you the chance to read material from different authors, thus stimulating your brain to a greater extent.

You may have your own preference, such as Twitter, Facebook, or some other social media platform.  I would advise against reading a book, as it can get intertwined with your work, and it should be something you can finish within the timeframe.

I hope you’ve found this post helpful. If you have any techniques that you use, please share them here.

Happy writing!  

Photos with Captions To Make You Smile and Think

Hey, just thought I’d bring out some photos with captions for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

Wacky Word Quiz

Happy Thursday! The weekend is almost upon us, so, yay! Today, I’ve brought back the word quiz.

Those who’ve been following my blog for awhile, you know what to do. Well, not that it’s overly complicated. Quite simple really.

Each word will have four possible definitions, of course, only one will be right. You can put your guesses in the ‘Comments’ section, or not, and I’ll be back to reveal (Ta-da!) the correct one.

As before, I’ll ask each of you to practice ‘Googlestraint” (made that one up myself, my Mom is so proud . . . um, I think.) In plain English, please do not ask Google or any other ‘know-it-all’ virtual entity.

Here we go!

Bumfuzzle:

A: to be confused

B: to have social anxiety causing flatulence

C: (19th century slang) to make a huge mistake that cannot be fixed easily

D: the tuft of hair on top of a male baboon’s head

Tarradiddle

A: taking one’s sweet time at a project/activity

B:  the large wheel on a cotton ginny machine

C: a lie

D: navel lint

Sialoquent

A: to speak eloquently

B: tendency to spray saliva when speaking

C: an unruly nose hair that causes irritation and embarrassment

D: to walk gracefully

Ratoon

A: (19th century slang) a derogatory term for a chewing tobacco spittoon and those who use them

B: the massive pin that connects the boon to the bucket on a tractor

C: small shoots that come from the roots of a plant

D: the crease near the thigh, on a leopard frog

New Release: The Rise Of Gadreel, by Vashti Quiroz-Vega #RRBC

Happy Saturday! Please grab your cup of coffee, tea, hot cocoa, or other beverage of your choice. Have a seat in your most comfy chair and put your feet up. Relaxed? Great!

Today I’m introducing a new release by talented multi-genre author, Vashti Quiroz-Vega. I’ll let her take it from here.

Hi, everyone! Thank you for stopping by. I am beyond thrilled to be a guest on Mark’s blog!

Today I’d like to share a snippet from my new release The Rise of Gadreel in Gadreel’s POV.

Excerpt:

On the way to the next village, the tinkling of a bell caught me by surprise. I stopped in my tracks at the strange sound and honed my hearing.

“What’s happening?” Dracúl asked. “Why—”

“Shhh. Listen.” I pointed in the direction of the sound with one hand while pressing the index finger of my other hand against my lips.

The bell jingled within earshot. Golem and Dracúl acknowledged hearing it, and soon after, Sabina did too. I beckoned them to follow, keeping my finger pressed to my lips. We tiptoed toward the sound and came upon a cemetery bordered by woods on three sides.

“This is an odd place for a cemetery, isn’t it?” I whispered. By the looks of them, they agreed. I read nearby headstones, and the bell tinkled again. I straightened my spine, my muscles tensing.

“Oh God! I recognize what this is.” Sabina’s chest rose and fell with rapid breaths as she spoke. “We must find the bell that’s ringing . . . quickly!”

Sabina ran, searching each grave she came across. “A tiny bell with a rope attached to it is tied to a stick placed by the tombstone. That rope extends to inside the casket, so that someone buried alive could ring it.”

“You mean . . . someone is buried alive in this graveyard and is now pulling on that rope?” Golem asked, running beside her.

“Yes.”

Books 1 & 2 of my Fantasy Angels Series will be on sale for 0.99¢ until the end of the month!

Meet Vashti:

Vashti Quiroz-Vega is a writer of Fantasy, Horror, and Thriller. Since she was a kid she’s always had a passion for writing and telling stories. It has always been easier for her to express her thoughts on paper.

She enjoys reading almost as much as she loves to write. Some of her favorite authors are Stephen King, Sarah J. Maas, Anne Rice, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Marc Cameron, and George R. R. Martin.

She enjoys making people feel an array of emotions with her writing. She likes her audience to laugh one moment, cry the next and clench their jaws after that.

When she isn’t building extraordinary worlds and fleshing out fascinating characters, she enjoys spending time with her husband JC and her Pomeranian Scribbles who is also her writing buddy.

Connect with Vashti and purchase your copy:

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VashtiQV

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/vashtiqvega/


Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Vashti-Quiroz-Vega/e/B00GTXG5W4/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1


Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/vashtiwrites


BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/profile/vashti-quiroz-vega