About Judith Barrow

Pattern of Shadows was my first novel, the sequel, Changing Patterns was published in May 2013. The last of the trilogy, Living in the Shadows was published July 2015. In August 2017, the prequel to the trilogy, A Hundred Tiny Threads,was published. In March 2010, The Memory was published by Honno, a contemporary family saga. I also have an eBook, Silent Trauma, a fiction built on fact novel, published as an eBook. I have an MA in Creative Writing, B.A. (Hons.) in Literature, and a Diploma in Drama and Script Writing. I've had short stories, poems, plays, reviews and articles published throughout the British Isles, notably in several Honno anthologies. I am also a Creative Writing tutor and run workshops on all genres and available for talks and workshops.My blogs are on my website: https://judithbarrowblog.com/ where I review mainly for #RBRT. and also interview other authors. My personal posts are on, https://www.judithbarrow-author.co.uk/ . It would be great if you could check me out there. When I'm not writing or teaching creative writing I spend time researching for my writing, painting or walking the Pembrokeshire coastline

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round up 9th- 15th May 2022 – Ella Fitzgerald, St. Thomas, Magnesium, Short Stories, Podcast, Health, Travel, Books, Reviews, Health and Humour

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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

I hope you are doing well in your neck of the woods. In this one we have had some glorious weather this last week and I have taken advantage of the garden. Decorating is going well with the dining room now pearl grey and white woodwork.. Awaiting the floor to be sanded and I am off to buy new curtains during the week.

The young plants I potted a couple of weeks ago are beginning to flower and it is a bit of mystery as to the colours as I bought variety packs and in a week or two I will share the results.

On the blog front

I am delighted that I Wish I Knew Then series is being enjoyed and there are several more scheduled for the coming weeks and so grateful…

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Just an Odd Job Girl – Serialisation – #Romance, #Humour – Chapter Eight – The Steak House by Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

This was the first novel that I wrote back in 2001 when I first moved to Spain to live. I had written short stories before and non-fiction health books, but felt the need to bring a little romance and humour into my writing.. the result was the semi-autobiographical Just an Odd Job Girl.

About the book

At 50 Imogen had been married for over 20 years, and was living in a big house, with money to spare. Suddenly she is traded-in for a younger model, a Fast-Tracker.

Devastated, she hides away and indulges in binge eating. But then, when hope is almost gone, she meets a new friend and makes a journey to her past that helps her move on to her future.

Last time  Imogen causes ructions in the cosmetic department as she meets a wonderful group of new clients looking for beauty enhancements.

Chapter Eight –…

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Smorgasbord Book Reviews – #Psychologicalthriller – Means to Deceive by Alex Craigie

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Delighted to share my review for the gripping psychological thriller Means to Deceive by Alex Craigie

About the book

Eighteen months ago, Gwen Meredith left the job she loved and came back to Pembrokeshire to help support her irritable and increasingly confused grandmother.
But someone is pursuing a vendetta against her.

As the attacks become more malicious, her old anxieties begin to build.
She’s attracted to her new neighbour who is keen to help…but can she trust him?

When those closest to her are threatened, her desperation mounts.
Who can she trust?

Gwen has a dark secret of her own.
Can she even trust herself?

My review for the book May 14th 2022

You know you are in the hands of a master storyteller when you are so engaged by the story that you want to reach in and offer hugs to the main character and some swift justice to…

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Tales my Great Aunt told me. 2: fame and infamy.

Thorne Moore

My colourful great aunt in Cardiff passed on many tales about my Welsh family, and I quickly concluded, even as a child, that they were mostly fairy tales. Her stories did not begin with “Once upon a time,” and end with “They all lived happily ever after.” They were more hints, a word or sentences dropped, with a knowing look, raising all sorts of questions which she then declined to answer, because “curiosity killed the cat.”

One that she particularly enjoyed involved a suggestion of scandal, although she would never say what the scandal was. One of my great-grandfathers was called Samuel Perry, but she claimed that the name had originally been Parry and the family had been obliged to change it. Why? She wouldn’t say but she let it be understand that it had been necessary in order to avoid some unspecified notoriety.

Years later, when I got sucked…

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My Review of Where There’s Doubt by Terry Tyler #psychological thriller


Book Description

‘I can be anything you want me to be. Even if you don’t know you want it. Especially if you don’t know you want it.’

Café owner Kate is mentally drained after a tough two years; all she wants from her online chess partner is entertainment on lonely evenings, and maybe a little virtual flirtation.

She is unaware that Nico Lewis is a highly intelligent con artist who, with an intricately spun web of lies about their emotional connection, will soon convince her that he is The One.

Neither does Kate know that his schemes involve women who seek love on dating sites, as well as his small publishing business. A host of excited authors believe Nico is about to make their dreams come true.

Terry Tyler’s twenty-fourth publication is a sinister psychological drama that highlights the dark side of internet dating—and the danger of ignoring the doubts of your subconscious.

My Review

One of the certainties about any of Terry Tyler’s novels is that there will be individualistic characters that, from the moment they are introduced, come to life. Another of her talents is that she tells a great story, whatever the genre. I can say that, in all honesty, having read every one of her books. Whether it’s sagas, psychological fiction or dystopian, it’s the strength of the plots, the characters and the relationship between the two that draw in the reader from the first page. And Where There’s Doubt is no exception, as a psychological thriller this is both powerful and complex.

I love stories told from a variety of first-person points of view; for me it adds to the narrative if it is revealed in this way. We get to know each character, through their voice, through their behaviour, through their perception of the world, of life. In Where There’s Doubt the author introduces trust and gullibility, motivations with coercions, honesty with lies, and weaves them together. All of which kept me guessing. And usually getting it wrong.  

The main characters are multi-layered, from the wary protagonist, Kate, to Nico, the smooth conman, and the three diverse women he meets on an online dating site. And, in the background, adding authenticity to the plot, there are other characters: the would-be suitor of Kate’s, the  friend whose loyalty may be questionable, Kate’s employees in the café, the unpublished and naïve authors – preyed upon by Nico and his claims to be an independent publisher.
There are many settings, but the main background, the seaside town and café, give a unsafe validity to the criminality that is a fundamental theme throughout.

This is a contemporary read, with an all too familiar aspect of deceit and misrepresent in both internet dating and vanity press. But there are always possible consequences with both. I try not to give spoilers with any of my reviews – but I will say that love, loyalty, and justice are also threaded through this book..

 I admire Terry Tyler’s writing style, ability to produce impressive stories, and this thriller doesn’t disappoint. I would highly recommend Where There’s Doubt to any reader who is looking for a fascinating read.

About Terry Tyler:

Terry Tyler is the author of twenty-four books available from Amazon, the latest being ‘Where There’s Doubt’, about a romance scammer. Also recently published is ‘Megacity’, the final book in the dystopian Operation Galton trilogy. She is currently at work on a post apocalyptic series, which will probably take the form of three novellas. Proud to be independently published, Terry is an avid reader and book reviewer, and a member of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team.

Terry is a Walking Dead addict, and has a great interest in history (particularly 12th-17th century), along with books and documentaries on sociological/cultural/anthropological subject matter. She loves South Park, the sea, and going for long walks in quiet places where there are lots of trees. She lives in the north east of England with her husband

Country wisdom… or not

Thorne Moore

Oak before Ash, we shall have a splash.
Ash before Oak, we shall have a soak.

This, according to country lore, dictates whether the British summer will be a time of scattered showers or torrential downpours. If there were any truth in it, we are about to experience a phenomenally dry few months. I have known years when the oak and ash were running neck and neck, though the oak invariably won by half a leaf, but this year there’s no contest. We are into the second week of May and the ash leaves are just beginning to sprout from their black buds. The oak trees were already greening up a month ago and most are now in full leaf.

Gabriel Oak, in my lane, is a solitary green beacon amidst the sullen bare branches of Adam, Eve and Methuselah Ash. The forest across the valley looks like an incomplete…

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Sherry & Sparkly raises money for Cancer Research UK

Patricia M Osborne

Cancer touches us all in one form or another and it is for this reason that Maureen Cullen and I decided to use our sale proceeds from Sherry & Sparkly (published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press) to donate to Cancer Research UK. We started fundraising in January 2022 and to date we have donated £385 to the charity in memory of our sisters, Heather and Bernie, who lost their battle to cancer.

We still have a few copies left. Proceeds from any future copies sold (via this website) will go to Cancer Research UK.

READ Nigel Kent’s review HERE – and if you fancy ordering a limited edition copy use the link below and order safely via PayPal.

ORDER YOUR LIMITED EDITION COPY HERE

Sherry & Sparkly makes a perfect keepsake

Please note that proceeds to Cancer Research only apply to copies sold via Maureen Cullen…

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Post – I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by Darlene Foster

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

I am sure like me, there have been times when you have wondered what difference might have been made to your life, if your younger self had been gifted with the experience and knowledge you have accumulated over the years.

I invited several friends from the writing community to share their thoughts on this subject which I am sure you will enjoy as much as I did.

I wish I knew then what I know now! by Darlene Foster

I believe we learn as we go, and specific knowledge appears when we need it. If we knew everything at birth, there would be nothing to live for. But one thing I wish I had learned earlier in life is that worrying is futile.

I come from a long line of worriers; my mother and grandmother were masters of the art of worrying. I’m sure the women who came before them…

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Post – I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! #Tapdancing by Jazz singer and composer William Price King

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

I am sure like me, there have been times when you have wondered what difference might have been made to your life, if your younger self had been gifted with the experience and knowledge you have accumulated over the years.

I invited several friends from the writing community to share their thoughts on this subject which I am sure you will enjoy as much as I did.

Today jazz singer and composer, and permanent contributor to Smorgasbord, William Price King, explores dancing and its benefits, in particular tap dancing which he wishes his younger self would have taken more advantage of.

I wish I knew then what I know now by William Price King

As a performing artist I have always admired dancers. Their professionalism is unparalleled, and they are forever striving for excellence. In New York I had the pleasure of working with a few choreographers who encouraged me…

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Just an Odd Job Girl – Serialisation – #Romance, #Humour – Chapter Four – The Dental Practice by Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

This was the first novel that I wrote back in 2001 when I first moved to Spain to live. I had written short stories before and non-fiction health books, but felt the need to bring a little romance and humour into my writing.. the result was the semi-autobiographical Just an Odd Job Girl.

About the book

At 50 Imogen had been married for over 20 years, and was living in a big house, with money to spare. Suddenly she is traded-in for a younger model, a Fast-Tracker.

Devastated, she hides away and indulges in binge eating. But then, when hope is almost gone, she meets a new friend and makes a journey to her past that helps her move on to her future.

Last time Imogen shares her adventures in her first job at age fourteen in a souvenir kiosk along the seafront of her home town.

Chapter Four…

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – April 25th – May 1st 2022 – Ella Fitzgerald, Chart hits 1993, St. Kitts, Calcium, Poetry, Book Reviews, Guest Posts, Health and Humour

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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

I hope all is well with you and in your neck of the woods.. Still busy in the house and garden and all the potting done now the frosts seem to have finished. This week I get moved out into the dining room as David gives our office a facelift… Luckily he has networked through the house so it does not cause too much of an upheaval.

We are still having issues with the Internet, and it is not giving us the speeds it should and dropped out completely at the beginning of the week. Because I schedule well ahead the posts are not impacted but fingers crossed it behaves better this coming week.

I have been invited to join the hosts Beem Weeks and Stephen Geez on Wednesday on the popular Voice of Indie…

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Unsung books & all the fun of the fair

Making it up as I go along

The recent Big Jubilee Book List is the latest in a trend that’s been around for a while now. ‘Top 100 Books to Read Before You Die!’ ‘The BBC Believes You’ve Only Read 6 of These Books!*’, ‘Most Popular Books of (any year you care to choose!)’ And my particular favourite, ‘An Editor’s Bookshelf, Not Including the Pictures of Her Dog.’

The list, so to speak, is endless.

I’m not entirely sure what purpose these lists serve. That they are informative is a given, but the implied element of competition always strikes me as slightly passive aggressive. If you haven’t read Ulysses, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, or Love in the Time of Cholera, what on earth have you been doing with your reading time?

The books on display at the forthcoming Honno Authors Book Fair are, by and large, unsung…

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Smorgsbord Blog Magazine Podcast – Tales from the Garden – Christmas Under the Magnolia Tree by Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Last time we left Queen Filigree, and her magic kingdom of Magia, recovering from an attack from the Winter Fairy who had threatened to disrupt the final summer ball of the year. Although the danger has passed an even more perilous situation is developing. This next story began the collection Tales from the Irish Garden.

Christmas Under the Magnolia Tree

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Fatal Collison by Thorne Moore Blog Tour

Making it up as I go along

It was an honour to be asked to take part in this event. Today I am delighted to feature Thorne Moore and introduce her latest book, Fatal Collision. To quote, Judith Barrow, Moore possesses ‘a talent for setting the scene . . . Fatal Collision has a strong plot that weaves in and out, juxtaposing the ordinariness of life with disturbing and menacing criminal undertones . . .

Thorne’s back catalogue is equally impressive. Her writing is immaculate and astute. And her female characters in particular have always appealed to me. They are unfailingly interesting and relatable (even the scary ones!), often flawed and above all, authentic. It is no wonder then, that when I asked her to conjure a small essay about writing female protagonists, she wrote this, proving beyond any doubt, she is a woman after my own heart. Welcome Thorne and away we go.

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