Smorgasbord Bookshelf – New Book on the Shelves – #Anthology – Distant Flickers: Stories of Identity & Loss

Delighted to share the news of the release of the anthology Distant Flickers: Stories of Identity & Loss – authors

About the anthology

  • 8 Accomplished Authors
  • 10 Memorable Stories
  • Compelling Characters at a Crossroads
  • What Choices Will They Make?

The emotive stories in this anthology take readers to the streets of New York and San Francisco, to warm east coast beaches, rural Idaho, and Italy, from the early 1900s, through the 1970s, and into present day.

A sinister woman accustomed to getting everything she wants. A down-on-his luck cook who stumbles on goodness. A young mother who hides $10 she received from a stranger. The boy who collects secrets. A young woman stuck between youth and adulthood. Children who can’t understand why their mother disappears.

The distinct and varied characters in Distant Flickers stand at a juncture. The loss of a spouse, a parent, a child, one’s self. Whether they arrived at this place through self-reflection, unexpected change, or new revelations—each one has a choice to make.

One of the early reviews for the anthology

This is a fascinating collection of what I consider to all be five-star stories. They all involve loss and identity but are delightfully varied in plot and location. For those of us who write or try to write, it’s a master class in storytelling from eight talented and accomplished authors. I’ve highlighted a few of my favorites below, but they are all wonderful. At the end of each story is a biography of the author and spotlights of their other written works.

In “Norfolk, Virginia, 1975” by Elizabeth Gauffreau, BethAnn is coming to terms with being a young military wife, trying to scrape by with little pay and realizing things aren’t going the way she dreamed. It evoked a lot of feelings in me, as I was also a young military wife. It is a realization that actual love is different than dreams, that marriage can be tough, and that “happily ever after” in a marriage includes hard times and many shades of gray. I am already a fan of Elizabeth Gauffreau, and I highly recommend her book Telling Sonny, set mostly during a Vaudeville tour in the 1920s.

“The Coveting” by Carol LaHines blew me away. It is about a woman who takes what she wants, no matter the cost. Despite the fact that it has an unlikable main character, I found this story riveting. This woman knew exactly who she was, and the loss incurred was always the loss of others. It evoked powerful emotion in me, and although it wasn’t always good emotion, the feelings I came away with were very strong. It was the standout story for me in an amazing collection. This and LaHines’ other story in this collection, “Two Boys,” are the first works of hers that I’ve read, but I will definitely seek out her other work.

Idaho Dreams by Joyce Yarrow is a fascinating tale of a woman who begins to realize that the life she is living is quickly turning into something else, something she is not sure she wants. Then she learns that her husband, who has been unexpectedly changing before her eyes, has been keeping a major secret. It is a fascinating tale of preppers in Idaho, but it becomes so much more. In the end, she has to try and separate fact from fiction and make a choice. What would we choose?

A Spoonful of Soup by Rita Baker is such a heartfelt and compelling story. It is about the life of a homeless man and a reminder that anyone can fall into bad circumstances or make mistakes. It is a reminder that the person you pass on the street has had a life full of rich and varied experiences, no matter where they may be now. It is a call to say we all matter, whether we’re sitting in a warm house or panhandling on the street. I absolutely loved it, and it warmed my heart more than a cup of soup on a cold day.

Every work in this ten-story collection is expertly written and will stir up emotions and sometimes nostalgia in the reader. I highly recommend everyone read these stories, get to know the authors in their accompanying bios, and check out their other work. It was a rewarding experience for me. 

Head over to buy the anthology: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK – Read reviews: Goodreads

About the authors

Rita Baker has lived in Canada since leaving England with her husband to follow their two sons. Reading has been her passion from an early age, Somerset Maugham, H. G. Wells, and, of course, Shakespeare that was drummed into her at school, whose works she also happened to love. Baker writes, “While being a wife and mother is most fulfilling, writing has been my vocation since the age of six when I used to sit before the fire and dream of princes and princesses as depicted in the fairy-tale books that were my passion, and as I grew, so my stories grew with me until, at last, I was able to fulfill my heart’s desire to write. Happily, my life has been full of all the things necessary for a writer to draw from, love, joy, heartrending moments of immeasurable pain and heartache, loss, and happily, fulfillment. Everything that living is about, the living that is so necessary to fulfill a writer’s heart and mind.” Her short story “A Spoonful of Soup” appears in Distant Flickers. Amazon and Twitter

Elizabeth Gauffreau writes fiction and poetry with a strong connection to family and place. She holds a B.A. in English from Old Dominion University and an M.A. in English/Fiction Writing from the University of New Hampshire. Her fiction and poetry have been published in literary magazines and several themed anthologies. Her debut novel, Telling Sonny, was published in 2018. Liz lives in Nottingham, New Hampshire with her husband. Two of her short stories appear in Distant Flickers. Amazon and Twitter

John Casey is a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet and novelist from New Hampshire. A Veteran combat and test pilot, Casey also served as a Diplomat and International Affairs Strategist at U.S. embassies in Germany and Ethiopia, the Pentagon, and elsewhere. He is inspired by the incredible spectrum of people, places and cultures he has experienced in life.  His poem “Distant Flickers” inspired the anthology’s title. Amazon And Twitter

Carol LaHines is an award-winning author whose fiction has appeared in Fence, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Denver Quarterly, Cimarron Review, The Literary Review, The Laurel Review, Sycamore Review, Permafrost, redivider, Literal Latte and elsewhere. She is the recipient of the Lamar York Prize for Fiction. Her short stories and novellas have also been finalists for the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction from Sarabande Books, the David Nathan Meyerson fiction prize, the New Letters short story award, and the Disquiet Literary Prize, among others. Two of her short stories appear in Distant Flickers. Amazon and Twitter

Keith Madsen is a retired minister who lives in East Wenatchee, Washington with his wife Cathy. He serves with AmeriCorps, teaching English to immigrants and helping low-income families with financial asset-building. He also teaches children and youth chess. He roots for the Seattle Mariners and enjoys the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. He has published short stories in Mobius: The Journal of Social Change, Talking River, Short Story America,and Adelaide.  His story “Where Secrets Go to Hide” appears in Distant Flickers. Amazon and Facebook

Jim Metzner is a sound recordist and radio producer, best known as the host of the Pulse of the Planet radio series and podcast. He’s currently working on a memoire, “Adventures of a Lifelong Listener,” which weaves together sounds and stories to explore the mystery of listening.  His story “The Woman in Question” appears in Distant Flickers. Jim Metzner Website  and Twitter

Donna Koros-Stramella is a novelist whose short pieces have appeared in anthologies, literary magazines, and national online and print publications. She is a previous award-winning journalist and scriptwriter who spent decades as a communication strategist and senior writer in the corporate and government domains. A Maryland resident, she received her MFA from the University of Tampa. Her first novel, Coffee Killed My Mother, was published by Adelaide Books in 2020, and she is nearing completion on her second book, Among the Bones.  Her story “Hendrix & Wild Ponies” appears in Distant Flickers. Amazon and Facebook

Joyce Yarrow is a New York City transplant now living in Seattle. Joyce began her writing life scribbling poems on the subway and observing human behavior from every walk of life. The author of five novels, she is a Pushcart Prize nominee with short stories and essays that have appeared in Inkwell Journal, Whistling Shade, Descant, Arabesques, Weber: The Contemporary West, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. Her short story “Idaho Dreams” appears in Distant Flickers. Amazon and Twitter

Amy E. Wallen is the author of the best-selling novel, MoonPies & Movie Stars (Penguin 2007), and the memoir, When We Were Ghouls: A Memoir of Ghost Stories (University of Nebraska 2018). Her sardonic look at writing and its demands, and her mad love of pie come together in her third book, How to Write a Novel in 20 Pies: Sweet & Savory Secrets from the Writing Life (Andrews McMeel October 2022). As writer-in-residence at Ocean Discovery Institute, Amy teaches personal storytelling to young people traditionally excluded from science due to race, income status, and educational opportunity. She also provides book editing services for persevering writers.  Amazon and Facebook


Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with a copy of Distant Flickers.  Sally


Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Thursday 9th September 2021 – D.G. Kaye, Elizabeth Gauffreau, Jim Borden, Pete Springer, Carol Taylor

A small selection of posts I have enjoyed over the last few days and I hope you will head over to read in full.. thanks Sally.

The first post is from earlier in the week from D.G. Kaye (Debby Gies) who shares the meaning of Jewish New Year – Rosh Hashanah and what it means to her personally.

Rosh Hashana

Jewish New Year – Rosh Hashana, What About it?

Jewish New Year came early this year. Every year it falls on a different date because the holidays are based on the 10 month Jewish Calendar. It begins on the Jewish Calendar in the 7th month, Tishrei, which typically falls in September or October on the Gregorian calendar. It is believed to have begun as far back as 6th century BC. Ever wonder what to say on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, when you meet a Jewish person? The Jewish New Year is not just about vowing new goals to lose weight or work out at the gym. 

Head over to read Debby’s informative and personal observations about this important festival: D.G. Kaye – Jewish New Year – Rosh Hashana – What about it?

The next post is from Liz Gauffreau who demonstrates the effectiveness in writing a story in two genres.. in this instance a Tanka and a non-fiction story. N.B Liz has a new poetry book out later this month that is receiving great advance reviews – Grief Songs on pre-order – Amazon USAmazon UK

Youth Group Picnic: A Tale of Two Genres

My dad is the fellow in the middle. According to his Aunt Louise, the crew cut he is sporting made him look “defective.”

Genre Revisited

I have always been fascinated by one of the most basic aspects of the writing process: deciding which genre will best align with the experience I feel inspired to write about. Am I trying to convey a particular emotion? Am I trying to work out the mystery of why people behave the way they do? Am I trying to impose some order on a series of seemingly random events? Do I just want to have some fun and play?

Head over to enjoy both Tanka and story and share your thoughts: Youth Group picnic – a tale of two genres

Something from Jim Borden on the problems that are arising during school board meetings that are turning fractious and sometimes even ugly.

School board members are typically unpaid volunteers, often parents who step forward to shape school policy, choose a superintendent, and review the budget. In most places, and during most times, it was a relatively unremarkable, yet vital position, one that few people paid attention to, or even knew who the members of the local school board were.

But times have changed, reflecting the divisiveness that exists when our country at this moment in time. Look at some of these examples: 

Head over to read the rest of Jim’s post and share your thoughts: Why Would Anyone Want to Be on Their Local School Board?

Next Peter Springer with a thought provoking and reasoned article on the point where we realise we need to act not just on our own behalf but on behalf of others around us. Particularly in relation to the vaccination programme against Covid. I do recommend you head over to read in full.

Photo Credit from CDC

Stop the Madness

When it comes to most matters, I’m one of those people who can typically see both sides of an issue. For example, I don’t own a weapon, but I understand and respect the right of others who own a gun to protect themselves or use a rifle for hunting. I believe an organized society needs fair laws that protect its citizens, and we need the police to uphold those laws. I am a big supporter of law enforcement. I generally think they do an excellent job doing a difficult task, especially given their decisions must happen in a split second. The actions of a few bad ones shouldn’t cloud our judgment of the profession as a whole. At the same time, we can’t bury our heads in the sand as some officers use their positions of authority in abusive ways.  

Head over to read the rest of Pete’s post on this contentious subject: Stop the Madness – Pete Springer

And to finish off today a recipe… as always from Carol Taylor, it is cook from scratch and is delicious. Coconut biscuits/cookies. Carol has also been getting out and about to up her fitness levels.. a reminder to us all (me included) that it makes a difference.

CarolCooks2…In my kitchen…Coconut Biscuits/Cookies…

Coconut Biscuits

I don’t make biscuits very often…I love a homemade cookie/biscuit far more than my waistline does…over the last 18 months I have not walked as much and the pounds have crept on…as I am very close to my 70th birthday…yikes…the motivation to get those pounds off has increased.

I have started walking again however because my feet have gotten soft I gained a glorious blister the other day although I did push it and walked further than I should have… however as it was my first week back on the exercise circuit I know it was stupid of me..

Head over to save the recipe and catch up on Carol’s fitness programme: CarolCooks2…In my kitchen…Coconut Biscuits/Cookies…


Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to enjoy the posts in full..thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Easter Parade Blog Party April 11th/12th 2020 – #Flashback with Annette Rochelle Aben, Darlene Foster, Toni Pike, D.Wallace Peach and Elizabeth Gauffreau.

Welcome to the Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Easter Parade with music, guests and some Easter food… and an opportunity for you to introduce yourself in the comment section along with your blog URL and one for Amazon for your books. I hope you will enjoy the next couple of days and for a brief moment it lightens the separation we are all experiencing from our normal lives, away from family and friends.

The theme for the parade is ‘Flashback’ and my guests have all sent in a photograph from the 1960s through to the 1980s, along with a music request. There will be singing along and dancing, and I hope you will join in.

Please help yourself to a free coffee as you pass by.

My first guest today is author and poet Annette Rochelle Aben with her unmistakeable smile and blonde hair, with a photo taken at the start of her broadcasting career. About Annette Rochelle Aben

Annette has an attitude of gratitude that she spreads around on a daily basis… Annette’s Blog and also by interviewing authors on radio Tell Me A Story with Annette Rochelle Aben | The Magic Happens (TMH)

A love of writing, began for Annette when she was but a small child. Of course, she gives all the credit to her parents, who read to her and her siblings from the moment they were born. Once in school, teachers took over the roles of main influencers, as they required the students to do a lot of (wait for it… wait for it…) WRITING!

Over the years, Annette has been blessed with having both hobbies and jobs that required her to write. This resulted in her winning the admiration of peers and industry professionals alike. Publication lead to awards, which provided even more encouragement and now, Annette Rochelle Aben is a #1 Best Selling Author!

These days, Annette writes poetry books, coaches others through the writing of their books, and edits articles for the digital magazine The Magic Happens.

Along the way, Annette found time to explore the worlds of Aroma Therapy, Astrology, Bach Flower Essences, Crystal Therapy, Feng Shui, Hypnotherapy, Music Therapy, Numerology, Reiki, and Tarot. Guided by her Angels as to what to study and with whom, Annette turned many of her studies into sideline businesses.

A small selection of Annette’s books, Buy: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Annette: Goodreads –  Blog: Annette Rochelle Aben WordPress


Annette has selected John Parr’s St. Elmo’s Fire for her music from the 60s -80s

My next guest is children’s and YA author Darlene Foster with a lovely photo taken on her 18th birthday…

About Darlene Foster

Growing up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing, travelling the world, and meeting interesting people. She also believed in making her dreams come true. It’s no surprise she’s now the award-winning author of Amanda Travels, a children’s adventure series featuring a spunky twelve-year-old who loves to travel to unique places. Readers of all ages enjoy following Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another. When not travelling herself, Darlene divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca, Spain with her husband and entertaining dog, Dot.

A selection of Darlene’s Books, Buy: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Website/BlogDarlene Foster WordPress – Goodreads: Goodreads


Darlene’s chosen track is Teach your children well Crosby Stills & Nash

Hot cross bun anyone…

Author Toni Pike shares a photograph taken in 1983 when she stopped off in Singapore on her way to the UK.About Toni Pike

Toni Pike enjoys writing exciting thrillers and non-fiction books. She also loves travelling and being with family and friends. She lives in Australia and firmly believes that coffee and long walks are an essential part of any day.

Do you like books that you can’t stop reading? Pike is the author of Dead Dry Heart – a psychological thriller, and The Jotham Fletcher Mystery Thriller Series: The Magus Covenant, The Rock of Magus, The Magus Epiphany and Holy Spear of Magus.

She’s also the author of two non-fiction books. The One Way Diet is a no-nonsense guide to losing weight and coping with the journey. Happy Travels 101 is a short book of travel tips with great advice for anyone who wants to travel overseas.

By the books byToni Pike : Amazon US – And : Amazon UK –  Follow Toni: Goodreads – Website: Toni Pike


Toni’s music choice from the era is that romantic classic Up Where You Belong from An Officer and a Gentleman.

Now author Diana Wallace Peach shares a beautiful photograph from 1977 and her music choice.

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.

A selection of books by D. Wallace Peach Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Follow Diana: Goodreadsblog: Myths of the Mirror


And Diana’s track that she has selected is In My Life by The Beatles from their channel The Beatles

The final guest today is author Elizabeth Gauffreau who shares a photograph from 1960 with the family dog who has decided to mark the occasion… it.

About Elizabeth Gauffreau

I have always been drawn to the inner lives of other people–what they care about, what they most desire, what causes them pain, what brings them joy. These inner lives become my characters. I write to tell their stories.

My fiction and poetry have been published in literary magazines, including Rio Grande Review, Serving House Journal, Soundings East, Hospital Drive, Blueline, Evening Street Review, and Adelaide Literary Magazine, as well as several themed anthologies. Telling Sonny is my first published book.

I hold a B.A. in English/Writing from Old Dominion University and an M.A. in English/Fiction Writing from the University of New Hampshire. Currently, I am the Assistant Dean of Curriculum and Assessment at Champlain College Online in Burlington, Vermont.

Elizabeth Gauffreau, BuyAmazon US – and : Amazon UK – Follow Elizabeth: Goodreads –  blog: Liz Gauffreau

Liz has selected Michael Row The Boat Ashore by The Highwayman which she says reminds her of that era…

My thanks to my guests for sharing their photographs and music and to you for dropping in. As always love to hear from you and don’t forget to drop your links in the comments.

Happy Easter and Stay safe….Sally