Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share an Excerpt from a previous books 2021 – #Fantasy – The Sorcerer’s Garden by D. Wallace Peach

We put a great deal of effort into promoting our new, recent and upcoming books but often our previous releases get sidelined.

In this latest series I am offering authors in the Cafe and Bookstore a chance to promote an earlier book (not your most recent) by sharing an excerpt from the book of 500 words. At the end of the post you can find out how to participate.

Today an excerpt from The Sorcerer’s Garden by D. Wallace Peach

About the book

Recently fired and residing with her sweetly overbearing mother, Madlyn needs a job—bad. In a moment of desperation, she accepts a part-time position reading at the bedside of adventurer and amateur writer Cody Lofton. A near-drowning accident left the young man in a vegetative state, and his chances of recovery wane with each passing day.

Cody’s older brother, Dustin, and eccentric grandmother aren’t prepared to give up on the youngest son of Portland, Oregon’s royalty.

Dustin’s a personable guy, bordering on naïve, and overwhelmed by familial corporate duties and cutthroat partners. Grandmother Lillian’s a meddler with an eye for the esoteric, dabbling in Dustin’s life and dealing out wisdom like a card shark. One innocent conversation at a time, she sucks Madlyn into the Lofton story, dubbing her the princess and bestowing on her the responsibility of both grandsons’ destinies.

And all Madlyn wanted was a simple reading job.

Uninspired by her self-imposed stack of literary selections, Madlyn opts for Cody’s work-in-progress. Fantasy isn’t her favorite, but with only four chapters completed, reading The Sorcerer’s Garden should be no sweat, right?

Little does she realize, the story will begin writing itself and, by the hand of destiny, become her own.

An excerpt from The Sorcerer’s Garden

This scene takes place early in the book. Madlyn is interviewing for a job with Lillian, the matriarch of the wealthy Lofton family. The job involves reading to Lillian’s comatose grandson. We start a few paragraphs into the strange encounter:

“Sit with me, dear. I’m Lillian. We have so much to discuss.” She patted the seat beside her and gestured toward a low table set with a silver tea service. “Tea?”

With a shake of her head, Madlyn shuffled to the settee and sat, her reading material gripped in her lap like a life vest. On the table beside the tea service, a crystal ball lay nestled in a driftwood stand. The size of a cantaloupe, the stone appeared only partially translucent, its center a nebula of fiery stars and swirling matter held in eerie stasis. “No, thank you,” she remembered to say to the offer of tea, her attention caught by the crystal’s bronze depth.

“Isn’t it magical?” Lillian’s fingers grazed the orb’s smooth surface. “It’s called phantom quartz. The inclusions inside are quite rare. I experience the most amazing insights in its company.”

This whole Lillian Lofton encounter felt a tad surreal. Madlyn pulled her gaze from the crystal to study the woman. “How did you know I worked for Global Recapture?”

“Why, Candice, of course.” She smiled at the obviousness of her reply. “And Tristan does a little checking, simply to assure himself that you’re not a dangerous criminal on the lam from the law.”

“Did he investigate me?” The mere thought of someone digging into her private life set her nerves on edge. She twisted her lips in a bit of a pique, not caring if Lillian noticed the hackles rising on her neck.

“Goodness, no,” the woman said. “He’s not lurking in your shrubbery or interrogating your kindergarten teacher. Cody’s vulnerable, so Tristan insists it’s his duty. Though I must admit, after observing you outside the grocery, I advised him that a background check was plainly unnecessary.”

“But…” Madlyn furrowed her brow. Something about the conversation screwed around in the back on her head. “But…I’d only been fired…How did…? You couldn’t have known…Did Dustin…?”

“Dear me.” Lillian chuckled, her empty teacup returned to the tray. “You’re overthinking it, Madlyn, attempting to organize the unplumbed wisdom of the world into a corporate procedures manual. Destiny is playing her hand, and she’s under no obligation to uncover her cards. At the great age of ninety-two, I’m an adherent of the premise that there are no accidents, no coincidental meetings. In my mind, episodes of chance and happenstance are illusionary, merely misperceptions based on our limited knowledge of the all-embracing story.”


“Some believe in chaos, dear, that the details of life are utterly random, without a grand cosmic plan. Others, with whom I agree, believe that, over time, chaos can’t help but fall into a cohesive pattern. The universe isn’t arbitrary; it is, in fact, sublimely precise.”

©D.Wallace Peach

One of the 5 star reviews for the book

I approached The Sorcerer’s Garden by D. Wallace Peach with a sense of trepidation, knowing well that I was wading into deep waters where I might flounder for breath as dark fantasies scare me. Each time I have tried to read this genre, I have dropped the book halfway. I resisted the urge this time mainly because of the magnificent language Peach uses and the story does return to the real aspects of life. At places I felt very much like Madlyn.. “determined to get to the bottom of the creepy book or quit the Loftons.”I tried to search the deeper idea, the real one behind this fantasy.

This book is a subtle comment on modern life though Peach banks on an imaginative world to convey it. It is a brilliant portrayal of shrieks that never get heard. When Madlyn who has been fired by Dustin’s company is employed by his grandmother at home, that gives you the first cue that she is no ordinary character. In no time she hogs the limelight and even gives ethical advice to Dustin against his partner who manipulates the sales for financial gains. It is a battle against “high principles and virtue” as pointed out by Alexandra. It is an attack on Warson and his cronies “for their callous betrayal of dreams.” It is just a nightmare of Madlyn to deal with conspiracy theorists, bigots, racists, polluters and our own fears!

It is not just a breezy or adventurous story that can be read within a day or two. The flow of the book is slow due to the focus on the creation of lilting prose, which seems to be the forte of Peach besides the serious theme that she handles dexterously.  

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK 

A selection of other  books by D.Wallace Peach

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Diana: Goodreadsblog: Myths of the Mirror – Twitter: @Dwallacepeach

About Diana Wallace Peach

I didn’t care for reading as a child – I preferred Bonanza and Beverly Hillbillies reruns, Saturday morning cartoons and the Ed Sullivan show. Then one day, I opened a book titled The Hobbit. Tolkien … literally changed my life.

I love writing, and have the privilege to pursue my passion full time. I’m still exploring the fantasy genre, trying out new points of view, creating optimistic works with light-hearted endings, and delving into the grim and gritty what-ifs of a post-apocalyptic world. Forgive me if I seem untethered in my offering of reads. Perhaps one day, I’ll settle into something more reliable. For now, it’s simply an uncharted journey, and I hope you enjoy the adventure as much as I.

I hope you will participate in this series.. there are currently 130 authors on the shelves with reviews within the last six months and you can check your entry at this linkCafe and Bookstore

How to participate in this series

In this latest series I am offering authors in the Cafe and Bookstore a chance to promote an earlier book (not your most recent) by sharing an excerpt from the book. Please check the link if it has been some time since you were promoted in the Cafe.

The aim of the series

  1. To showcase a previous book and sell some copies.
  2. Gain more recent reviews for the book.
  3. Promote a selection of other books that are available.
  4. Share an excerpt from the first book in a series to encourage readers to buy following books.

I will top and tail in the usual way with your other books and links, bio, photo and social media. I will also select a review that I feel has the best selling pitch for the book.

  • This series is open to authors in the Cafe and Bookstore who have more than one book (as this already gets promoted on a regular basis) and have reviews for that book I can select from. Cafe and Bookstore
  • I suggest an extract of 500 words or a poem that you feel best reflects the theme of your collection. This is a PG rated blog and there are younger readers so it would be great if you could bear that in mind.
  • If you have an illustration or images you can attach to the email for me to include. No need to send the cover as I will have that or will access from Amazon.
  • I will check reviews on Amazon sites as well as Goodreads and select one I feel is a great advertisement for the book.
  • As an author in the Cafe and Bookstore I will already have all your details, links and covers of other books so need to send anything further.
  • Please send your excerpt and any accompanying images to

N.B..If you participated last year in the two series and would like to check which book you shared, please email and I will let you know.

Look forward to hearing from you.


26 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Share an Excerpt from a previous books 2021 – #Fantasy – The Sorcerer’s Garden by D. Wallace Peach

  1. I’ve read the first two books of Diana’s Unraveling the Veil series and they’re stunningly good. Balroop speaks of Diana’s lilting prose and she’s so right. The plot is clevery woven but the words with which its told make an impact, too. In the introduction to this extract we have the unusual but effective juxtaposition of sweetly overbearing, and that simile of ‘dealing wisdom like a card shark.’
    I’ll definitely be reading this book, too! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up 11th April -17th April 2021 – Mystery, 1960s Hits, Relationships, Green Cooking, Reviews, Stories and Humour | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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