Smorgasbord Short Stories – Diana Wallace Peach – March’s Speculative Fiction – A Moment of Alignment by Sally Cronin

There are a number of very good reasons to participate in writing challenges. It hones your skills, it showcases your writing, and it forges connections with other writers here in blogland.

One of the challenges that I am enjoying is from Diana Wallace Peach and here is The March speculative fiction prompt

A moment of alignment

The child walked the darkened streets unafraid of the shadows. With bare feet, she disregarded the grit and gravel underfoot, and skimmed across the surface of the odd puddle or two in her path. Her shoulders were back, and her head held high, with arms swinging confidently by her side. A faint smile touched her lips as the ring around the moon glowed brighter.

It was almost time for the perfect alignment of sun and the moon and for a brief moment there would be a window of opportunity. She only had minutes to reach her destination and she quickened her pace. From the shadows a dog barked in warning to those within their homes to remain inside. The animals knew how special this event was and were unafraid, but knew their human masters would cower in fear of the unknown.

Inside a house in the square, a woman sat in a rocking chair before a dying fire, tears falling onto her chilled hands as they rested on her lap. The house was silent except for the ticking of the grandfather clock in the hall; a sound that reverberated around the empty rooms. Empty of life, but also of love and hope, snuffed out like a candle a year ago when her daughter had been taken by scarlet fever. Her beautiful child, the light and love of her life, gone with a last faint breath.

The girl reached the edge of the deserted square and hurried towards the blue door so rarely opened to the light these days. As the two celestial orbs reached their perfect conjunction in the sky, she knocked three times with her small knuckles. She heard footsteps on the tiles of the hall behind the door, and then a click as the latch was raised. The door opened and the woman stood silhouetted against the gas lamp on the wall. She gasped and fell to her knees at the sight that greeted her.

In the diffused light from the hidden sun, she saw her lost daughter smiling at her, and warmth spread through her body and into her broken heart. She reached out a hand to touch the girl but it passed right through her. Mesmerised she stared at the apparition as it began to fade.

‘Mama, I can only stay for as long as the moon is ringed by fire, but I came back to see you for this brief moment, to tell you to grieve no more.’

As the sun began to peer around the moon’s edge, the girl turned to walk away, but looked back once more. ‘You have love to spare mama, give it to others who need you.’

With that she disappeared completely, and the woman remained on her knees for a long time as the street became bright with sunlight.

The years passed and the house in the square became a sanctuary for many homeless children, and the rooms and halls were once more filled with love and hope. But on the days when the sun and moon were in perfect alignment, there would be three taps on the door, and for a brief moment, mother and daughter were reunited.

©Sally Cronin

I hope you have enjoyed this little bit of fantasy prompted by Diana Wallace Peach’s lovely image… Why not have a go at the challenge:

If you would like to browse through my books and their latest reviews then please head over to My books and reviews 2019

I am joining a growing number of our blogging friends on MeWe and I invite you take a look… a different approach to users.

I would be very grateful if you could share where you can.. many thanks Sally.




Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Getting to Know You with author D.Wallace Peach

My guest this morning is author Diana Wallace Peach who enchants and enthralls young readers with her fantasy and science fiction series. Apart from YA novels, Diana has recently written and illustrated her first children’s book. More about her work later.

The official biography.

About D. Wallace Peach

D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked. Diana lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s Coastal Mountains with her husband, two dogs, and Pinky the Cat.

For book descriptions, excerpts, maps, and behind the scenes info, please visit:

Now it is time to find out which of the questions Diana had chosen to answer….including phobias, dress sense, town or country and water skiing!

Welcome Diana and perhaps you could start by telling us if you have a phobia and do you remember how it started?

In 1975, the movie Jaws hit the theaters. I was 16 and loved going to the beach with my friends to roast in the sun and swim in the swells. That movie scared the heck out of me, and for the next 15 years, I didn’t go in the ocean deeper than my kneecaps.

Zoom ahead to 1990, I found my self divorced, a single mom, and all my friends had been his friends. I needed to get a life! The local community pool offered a free “Discover Scuba” event, and I figured why not? Three months later, I waded into the deep, dark, shark-infested ocean for my open-waters in order to get my certificate. Somehow, I escaped a sure death as shark snack food.

A year later, as a certified deep diver, rescue diver, and dive master, I went swimming with sharks. About 2 miles from shore, the crew of the dive boat threw chum (fish guts) into the water to attract about 20 wild sharks. I jumped into their midst and kept my fingers tucked… except for the times I reached out to pat one as it swam by.

Sally here: the best I could do Diana….. very brave of you…..thanks to Wise Wanderer

How would you describe your fashion sense?

Abysmal. I dislike shopping and am perfectly happy with a pair of jeans and a big flannel shirt. It’s all I really need up here in the woods anyway. And that assumes I even bother to get dressed. I’ve cut wood, worked in the garden, and gone to the post office in my pajamas and slippers. I still wear the same clothes I wore as a teenager, and by the same clothes, I mean the exact SAME clothes. I wear them until they fray or disintegrate! About 3 years ago, I bought a shirt. My friends all noticed immediately, and my daughter was shocked. Her jaw dropped, and she declared, “You got a new shirt!” You’d have thought I won the lottery.

What is something you look forward to when you retire?

I’m going to attribute the answer to this question to blogging. As a younger person, I never had an interest in traveling. I hadn’t done much since I was a child, so I didn’t know what I was missing and the bug hadn’t found a chance to bite. And I’m an introvert and homebody who gets anxious and shy when out of my element.

Blogging has expanded my view of the world. I’ve “met” great people, seen amazing sites, learned that the world is wondrous and beautiful and friendly. There are so many places now that I want to visit, people I want to meet for lunch or drinks, cultures I want to explore. Retirement is just a few years away. I’m going to put on my wings and fly.

What was the one thing you could never learn how to do no matter how hard you tried?

How to water-ski. Ugh. I tried, I swear I tried, over and over and over again. When I was a kid, my uncle had a boat on the New Jersey shore where he rented a summer house. My family would drive down visit for a week, and one year, he decided the kids were going to learn to waterski. So, he dumped me in the ocean with all these giant motorboats and cabin cruisers practically running us over. Already terrified, he had me hold the handle of the towrope and lift my skis. Then he’d take off. Every single time, I’d flip right over, land face first, and get dragged through the water until I let go. He made me do that about a dozen times, refusing to acknowledge that someone simply could not waterski, EVER. I made him a believer.

Sally here:  Oops Diana, looks like there was someone with a video camera watching all your attempts (or someone with your talent)….thanks to NeverMindYourOwn

 Do you prefer the big city or country life?

I’m a country girl through and through. Cities make me nervous. I’m afraid I’m going to drive the wrong way on a one-way street, run over a pedestrian, hold up traffic while I try to park, get lost, end up in a bad area, get mugged, get lost, drive in circles, panic, get lost, have a traffic accident, take the wrong bus or subway or train… Did I mention getting lost? But, if I’m not driving and I’m with someone who knows their way around, I’m a kid in a candy shop. I love it! And then I get to go home.

My thanks to Diana for sharing some of the little things we might not have known about her… and looking forward to seeing her here in Ireland when she is on her grand tour.

The first book in the Dragon Soul Series – Myths of the Mirror

About the book

In the distant mountains of the Mirror, exiled skyriders fly dragons in the old Way, merged in flesh, blood, and bone. Twenty years past, they fought for the freedom of the valley’s dragons … and lost.

Imprisoned in the stone lair, the captive dragons beat their webbed wings and thrash serpentine tails. They tear their flesh and batter their bodies against the black bars of their cells, iron grating against iron. The once peaceful creatures howl, tormented by spine and spur, their fury matched only by their despair.

Treasa, the daughter of exiles, seeks the secrets of a hidden past and a father she never knew. Gifted with visions, she glimpses pieces of years long lost and a veiled future that only raises more questions. The dragons visit her dreams, laden with contradictions that tear at her heart—for one day she sails in unfettered flight, her arms thrown wide, and the next she writhes in tortured darkness, desperate to be free.

The lair’s black-garbed riders sense the dragons’ growing savagery. Yet Conall longs to grasp their power, to subdue them and soar. He will endure the reek, filth, and terror of the lair to earn his right to fly. With a heart encased in steel, he masters the weapons of compliance to see his will done. At the cost of the woman he loves.

Then, a curved talon rends flesh and dragon scale, rattling against white ribs. Blood falls like rain and the world shifts. Treasa and Conall must decide who they are and what they stand for. Thus the battle for the dragon soul begins again. Alliances form, old myths are revealed, and new myths are born.

One of the recent reviews of the book

After I finished reading D. Wallace Peach’s The Rose Shield Series, I found myself bereft, desiring more of her storying. A visit to her Amazon Author page gave me everything I needed. I was thrilled to find her first series, Dragon Soul Quartet and couldn’t wait to dive right in.

The Myths of the Mirror, Book One, is a haunting tale of resplendent dragons, exhilarating magic, and how the myths of the people from Taran Leigh and the Mirror intertwine and intersect. Their myths become the allegory from where ancient enlightenment springs.

Far from the village of Taran Leigh is a spot in the wilderness where a bowl-shaped lake, called the Mirror, hosts a civilization of people who ride the bejeweled dragons in the Old Way communicating with their souls as they become one with the dragon’s spirit. This merging of man and dragon comes by invitation from the dragon, signifying a magical union like no other.

In comparison, the dragons of Taran Leigh are imprisoned, forced to live in a stone lair, and brutalized by their captors, all the while compelled to perform for “coin.” Years ago, the greedy governors tricked the skyriders into believing their lies, looking only for ways to line their own pockets. The people of Taran Leigh have lost their connection to the old ways.

It takes a calamity greater than Terasa and Conall have ever known to teach them the myths of their people. Conall faces his demons while Terasa learns the myths of her father and those of the magical dragons who teach the lessons of “the tie” and of “the belonging.”

I know I’ve written before how I feel like a silly fan gushing over Diana Peach’s work. But, I must share with you that this book touched me in ways I have never experienced before. It was as if I had my own epiphany, at one with the divine truths the author penned in this tome. I can only say that my reading was akin to a spiritual encounter. The entire reason I read is for that magical connection, and The Myths of the Mirror delivers that and more.

I loved this first book so much, I’ve bought the entire series! ❤ Myths of the Mirror (Dragon Soul Quartet Book 1)

MY RATING: Character Believability: 5  Flow and Pace: 5 Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5 Reader Enjoyment: 5  Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Stars

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And Amazon UK:

A selection of other books by D. Wallace Peach

To discover all the books and read the reviews and buy:

And Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Diana on Goodreads:

Connect to D. Wallace Peach 


If you would like to participate in the Getting to Know You series… here is how, with the questions to select your five from:

Thank you very much for popping in today and I know that Diana would love to answer any questions you might have. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Write and Change the World by D. Wallace Peach

A new contributor joins us today for the next few weeks. Author Diana Wallace Peach shares some posts from her archives on Myths of the Mirror.

Today Diana shares her thoughts on random acts of kindness and explores if they can make a difference in this world that is struggling with so many disenfranchised and poverty stricken people. Is there a ripple effect of our efforts closer to home?  Read on…..

Write and Change the World by D. Wallace Peach

Most of us have days filled with small acts of kindness. We smile, kiss hurt elbows, throw tennis balls for our dogs. We pay for a coworker’s coffee and leave a big tip. We call a friend in need, chauffeur teenagers, cook a favorite meal, or pick up ice cream on the way home. These small invisible acts often go unacknowledged, but they travel around in overlapping circles, keep our lives balanced and relationships healthy. We see the results in strengthened bonds, deeper commitment, and abiding love.

But what about those times when we don’t see the ripples? When we toss acts of kindness and compassion into a seemingly bottomless well of suffering and despair? When we perceive no reward for our efforts? When we don’t know if we’re making any lasting difference in our world at all? Some strangers we’ll meet face to face, but most we’ll never know. The poignant tales of their lives will play out in other neighborhoods, other cities, and other lands, unseen and unheard.

In our political landscape, acts of kindness and compassion are often labeled as weak, a waste of time and money, conciliatory, poor investments, and unpatriotic. In a culture that values money over lives, the manipulations are intense.

Yet, I would argue that when we ordinary folk commit small everyday deeds of kindness and compassion, the ripples are there even though invisible to our eyes and silent to our ears. Those random acts are cups of water that we pour down that deep, collective well. They blend and build, until over time, the bottomless well holds a limitless reservoir from which a garden grows. I have faith that no act of kindness or compassion is wasted, ever.

I’m not really surprised that Gandalf sits up there with some of the greats when it comes to quotes regarding kindness. Does it matter that he’s a fictional character? Not really. Through Gandalf, Tolkien’s wisdom reached millions. Such is the power of the written word. Books can and do have the power to change the world…

Thanks to Diana for sharing her post on the importance of our words, spoken and written and the power that they can have to influence the world.

©D.Wallace Peach 2015

About D. 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.

D.Wallace Peach has just released her first children’s book, Grumpy Ana and the Grouchy Monsters. Not only written by Diana but illustrated by her too. An amazing amount of work but as you will see from the cover it is fantastic. Available in print only in US, UK and Canada.

About the book

Grumpy Ana Goblyn is sour, dour, and cranky. Her lips droop in a frown. She’s bored with every place and person in her friendly town. With the help of her father, she builds a spaceship and travels to a soggy planet where she meets her perfect monster playmates. But there’s a problem! The monsters see her grouchy frown and think she’s a monster. In this children’s space adventure, Ana discovers that her attitude affects her happiness, and she can change it if she chooses.

An early review for the book

Lovely, colorful illustrations accompany this book of a spoiled girl with a frown. She’s bored, so bored with the friendly people of her town that she builds a space ship and travels. But her plans turn out different from what she expected. Ana discovers that attitude is everything. Sour will beget sour, a smile will beget smiles. The story is written in four line verses. The viewpoint that the monsters have of the dreaded, spoiled human girl made me laugh.

Buy the book:

And Amazon UK:

A selection of other books by D. Wallace Peach


To discover all the books and read the reviews and buy:

And Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Diana on Goodreads:

Connect to D. Wallace Peach 


If you would like to share some of your festive archive posts for December from when you began blogging, then please send one or two links to

New Book Fanfare Revisited- The Sorcerer’s Garden by D. Wallace Peach

New book fanfare

Welcome to New Book Fanfare revisited and today I am delighted to feature the eighth novel from D. Wallace Peach – The Sourcerer’s Garden.  Since its release last year it has received some great reviews.

Sorcerer's Garden Final ebook

About the Book:

D. Wallace Peach’s eighth novel is a collision of medieval and urban fantasy centered in the Northwest Hills of Portland, Oregon.

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.

Don’t look for a run-of-the-mill fantasy here. This is one tangled tale crafted especially for readers who enjoy plot twists that keep everyone, including the characters, guessing.

About  Madlyn

Madlyn is quirky, blessed with a sarcastic sense of humor, and a tendency to say exactly what’s on her mind. At 28, she’s also abandoned her dreams of a fairytale life. A satisfying career and happily-ever-after romance simply aren’t turning up in her cards, and in fact, her junky car is careening downhill fast. A strong female protagonist with a reluctant streak, she finds herself trapped in a heroic adventure through overlapping worlds, unsure whether one or both are real.

Some of the reviews for The Sorcerer’s Garden.

Who knew I like fantasy? Until I read Peach’s The Sorcerer’s Garden, I never read this genre. Well, kudos to this author, who kept me enthralled each and every page of this fun-to-read, beautifully written, suspenseful and romantic novel. The main character, Madlyn, is flawed yet perfect in her personality as she loses her job but gains so much more as she begins her adventure in a new job that takes her to places she never imagined. This book freed my imagination as I quickly turned each page to follow the action.
The Sorcerer’s Garden is my favorite of Peach’s books so far, though I really enjoyed The Melding or Aeris. This one I read in 4 days, which is a feat when you have a small child. I love reading books that take place in Portland, because who doesn’t like reading something that takes place where you live, recognizing places. It helps with imagining the scenes unfolding. It is easy to imagine The Sorcerer’s Garden being a movie with its vivid descriptions, and the intensity and brutality of the battles. I also enjoyed reimagining Portland in medieval times, the landscape I know with an entirely different feel. I loved feeling transported and feeling the connections between people and their struggles in a way that is timeless.
Fantasy combined with real life By Southern on September 16, 2015 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
“The Sorcerer’s Garden” by author D. Wallace Peach, is a book with an interesting plot, and steeped in both fantasy and reality. The story opens with the main character, Madlyn, losing her job at a large company named Global Recapture. Being that employment is a must-have for her, she takes a job that involves, among other things, reading to a young man named Cody, who is in a vegetative state after nearly drowning. She ends up reading the first portion of a book that Cody had been writing, a fantasy novel of which only four chapters have been completed, and which does not seem like too difficult of a read. Much to her surprise, she finds that she has become a character in that story, namely, the Princess, with the enemies being the executives at her former employer, which had recently terminated her. I think the way this book combined fantasy and reality was really masterful, and the character and story development were especially good. I hope to read more such novels from this author in the future. I received this book for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Buy The Sorcerer’s Garden:

A small selection of other books by D. Wallace Peach.

Sunwielder coverMyths of the Mirror Cover Final


Buy all of D.Wallace Peach’s Books: Amazon author page

About the author

book photo

D. Wallace Peach was a kid with books in her blood, though she didn’t know it until the day she opened a book titled The Hobbit. Tolkien … literally changed her life.

Diana loves writing and has the privilege to pursue her passion full time. She’s still exploring the fantasy genre, trying out new points of view, playing with tense, creating optimistic works with light-hearted endings, and delving into the grim and gritty what-ifs of a post-apocalyptic world. She wonders if one day she’ll settle into something more predictable. Probably not. It’s simply an uncharted journey, and she hopes you’ll enjoy the adventure as much as she.

In addition to writing books, Diana’s a volunteer, activist, gardener, animal lover, and grandmother to the Overlord. She lives with her husband, two mutts, and Pinky the cat in a log cabin among the giant firs of Oregon’s Coastal Mountains. She loves to laugh and enjoys the worldwide connections fostered by writing and blogging. There’s never a dull moment in the pursuit of peace.

Connect to Diana on social Media



Please feel free to like, comment and share Diana’s books.. Many thanks Sally