Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Summer 2020- Pot Luck- #FlashFiction – Friday Flash Fiction 575 – Bonfire by Janet Gogerty

Today is my second week being a guest at Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord where she is sharing bloggers’ posts from earlier this year. Here is a pre Covid flash fiction…

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives… and I will be picking two posts from the blogs of those participating from the first six months of 2020. If you don’t mind me rifling through your archives… just let me know in the comments or you can find out the full scope: Posts from Your Archives – Pot Luck – 2020

This is the second post from author Janet Gogerty and this week I have selected a flash fiction piece from January 2020 when Brexit was looming and we thought that was all we had to worry about.. until March came rollicking in….

Friday Flash Fiction 575 – Bonfire by Janet Gogerty

I walked down the hill to Tuckton Village and passed boarded up shops; as I rounded the bend I saw the guards at the bridge over the River Stour turning people away; it was true…

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Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Summer 2020- Pot Luck- #Travel – Au Revoir or Adieu? by Janet Gogerty

Sally Cronin is sharing recent posts from other bloggers – read how I saw Covid earlier this year!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives… and I will be picking two posts from the blogs of those participating from the first six months of 2020. If you don’t mind me rifling through your archives… just let me know in the comments or you can find out the full scope: Posts from Your Archives – Pot Luck – 2020

This is the first postfrom author Janet Gogerty and this week a post from Janet’s archives in February of this year.. which, six months later is still very current.

Travel – Au Revoir or Adieu?

Whether you jet set on business or love going on cruises, you can’t have failed to notice there are more hazards to travel lately. Your cruise ship may weigh anchor and keep all the passengers hostage – in quarantine because of Coronavirus, which we now have to call Covid19, though…

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Friday Flash Fiction – 700 – Bookshelves

Vivienne waved goodbye to her daughter’s family with relief, the sun shone on her front garden once more now their campervan was gone. Peace in her little road did not last long as a large white van pulled up outside her front gate. What on earth had her son ordered this time? Yesterday it was a big bag of clothes and a large box of books from Amazon, she had not realised James was so fashion conscious and intellectual. A skinny young chap was hefting a huge box from the back of the van, fortunately James appeared at the front door and rushed out onto the front path.

Can you make sure the front door stays open Mother?’

Vivienne wedged open the door then retreated upstairs to the sanctuary of her front bedroom and gazed out of the window in amusement at the two men’s body language. Customers were not supposed to help, but stay a safe distance; now the delivery driver was taking a picture of the box on the garden path as proof of delivery, he hadn’t made it as far as the front door. As she turned away from the window she noticed the ironing board was propped against her wardrobe and her sewing machine was stuck on top of the chest of drawers. It was bad enough having a divorced son in his forties taking over her sewing room as a bedroom, now he was throwing her stuff out.

There was banging and huffing coming from the landing as the box made it to the top of the stairs, followed by James.

‘I’ll have to unpack it on the landing, make sure all the bits are there.’

‘What on earth is it and where is it going?’

‘In my bedroom, so it won’t affect you. It’s a stylish bookcase.’

‘For all your new books? At least they won’t be cluttering up the living room… have you joined The Open University?’

‘I have already got a degree Mother, remember. I might even read them, but the main task is to get them ready for my television appearance tomorrow. Cassie and I will be on Breakfast Television as representatives of MPJ and important businesses in general.’

Television really, oh I must phone…’

NO, no, it might be only a brief clip, but they will probably replay it all day.’

‘So is Cassie coming here?’

‘No, it’s all remote television now, Cassie will be in her living room with the vivarium and her interesting plants as background. She’s going to talk about MPJ helping the homeless, while I discuss the challenges of getting people back to work versus encouraging them to work from home, with the added bonus of the homeless staying in redundant office buildings.’

‘Well that won’t work, I was just reading in The Big Issue that converting office blocks into totally unsuitable homes is not the way forward.’

‘Perhaps you could get the BBC to interview you… in the meantime I have to create a new aesthetic for my office and the right image for me.’

Vivienne retreated to the garden to inspect the damage done by the grandchildren. From upstairs came much banging and swearing. When that was over James appeared with a cup of tea for her.

‘Where’s that nice photo of the twins, the one in the brass frame?’

‘I thought you had seen enough of Justin and Jacintha this week?’

He laughed. ‘I have, but they would look good on the bookshelf and what about that unusual ornament you brought back from Greece and the Buddha your friend gave you?’

On Friday morning Vivienne was up early, sitting in the living room with a cup of tea; she had crept around, not daring to make a sound in case broadcasting had started upstairs. It was a few moments before she realised it was James talking; she did not recognize her back bedroom sewing room at all. ‘The Office’ had sophistication and character. James should have been a set designer and he himself looked very suave, she felt rather proud. She had no idea what he was talking about, but perhaps the presenters and other viewers would.

Janet Gogerty: At The Seaside Nobody Hears You Scream

Novelist and blogger Carol Balawyder reviews my novel.

Carol Balawyder

janet-gogerty At The Seaside Nobody Hears You Scream

Toby Channing, a young psychologist, is on a mission. His girlfriend Anna has gone missing. The problem is that he was the last person to see her alive and so her family (along with others) suspect him of murdering her. Did he or didn’t he?

In an attempt to find her, he uses his camping van and poses as a private investigator specializing in missing persons. As he tours around the many different areas he has gone with Anna, a slew of different characters approach him with their own cases of missing persons (one being even a robot). As Toby solves these cases his search for Anna intensifies.

Janet Gogerty  takes us into Toby’s head – his fears, his loneliness, his unpleasant relationship with Anna’s parents – especially her father who wants nothing to do with Toby as he suspects him of murdering his daughter, his relationship with his parents…

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Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Meet the Authors – #Mystery Barbara Silkstone, #Mystery Janet Gogerty, #Thriller Eloise De Sousa

Today I am once again a guest of Sally Cronin at Smorgasbord. In her current series she is sharing the bios of more than 150 of us who enjoy belonging in her café and bookstore, so don’t forget to drop in regularly.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

There are over 150 authors in the Cafe and Bookstore and I wanted to keep it to key pieces of information such as buying links, recent review, website and covers. However, I know that readers also like to know more about the background of authors.

In this series during June and July I will share the bios of all the authors in the cafe in a random selection. I hope that this will introduce you to the authors in more depth and encourage you to check out their books and follow them on their blog and Twitter.

Meet Barbara Silkstone

Barbara Silkstone’s most current series is COLD CREAM MURDERS ~ GLOSSY LIPS, SMOKEY EYES ~ SOAP ON A ROPE ~ SUN SCREAM ~ LAVENDER TOES. And a bonus novella GRAMS’S CHRISTMAS BABY. This series will have at least 6 books when complete. The adventures take place in the imaginary burg…

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Silly Saturday – Round Cubes

Day three experimenting with blocks. As it’s Silly Saturday it doesn’t matter what happens. So far I have managed to put words on the page and give them a nice yellow background. On the previous blog I turned my pictures round. Now I’m going to see what else I can do with pictures. If you are not reading this, it hasn’t worked.

A Whale’s Jaw

Now I have managed to shrink everything on my screen so can’t see what I am doing…

Sorted my screen, not WordPress’s fault, but have lost all the other stuff so here are some more pictures – let’s have a theme – places you could socially isolate…

Why go on a cruise when you could go on a container ship?
If you pass someone coming the other way on the footpath don’t forget to keep your two metre distance!

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates – #Reviews – #Thriller John L. DeBoer , #Drama Elizabeth Gauffreau, #Thriller Janet Gogerty

Today my novel is one of those featured by Sally Cronin on Smorgasbord. Three very different novels and many of us have plenty of time to read while we are in isolation, not to mention how easy it is to download e-books when you can’t get to the shops!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the first of the author updates for the week with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author today is, John L. DeBoer  with a review for his most recent thriller Deep Cover.

About the book

As his 40th birthday nears, former Navy SEAL Adam Taylor faces a desk job in the paramilitary security firm he works for – a sedentary executive position devoid of the exciting missions he’d craved during his entire professional life. So he joins the U.S. Marshals Service, hoping to get selected for the elite Special Operations Group of the Service. Soon thereafter, he finds himself involved in a hunt for Russian spies.

Espionage agents trained to pose as Americans in a secret base near Irkutsk, Russia have been inserted into the United States. Their mission: gather information concerning the political and social views of their neighbors and manipulate them to…

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Friday Flash Fiction 636 – Bicycle

Cassie logged off her computer with relief, another work week at an end. She rotated her shoulders and stretched her back, longing to get out on her bike; she smiled to herself, it was like being a child again, out on your bike when you have done your homework and chores.

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It wasn’t quite the freedom of childhood, she mused as she pedalled and picked up speed. The roads were quieter, but there was the added hazard of pedestrians suddenly darting across the road to avoid other walkers. Quiet lanes and cycle paths were busier than they used to be and passing other cyclists or overtaking while keeping a distance was awkward. She wondered where James rode, she had never spotted him among the other cyclists out and about. Perhaps they wouldn’t even recognise each other in their safety helmets.
Cassie braked suddenly as a child wobbled off its scooter onto the road in front of her. The seemingly unaccompanied child lay sprawled near the gutter with no sign of getting up. She glanced back up the road; the parents were chatting across a garden wall to someone standing at their front door, two more children were clambering on the wall. No one in the family had noticed anything amiss, if indeed this child of indeterminate sex and age actually belonged to them. What to do now? If Cassie helped it up she would be breaking the two metre rule of social distancing, but what if a car came speeding along? Delayed shock set in and the child suddenly started bawling. The parents looked up and came rushing along the pavement. Cassie’s relief was replaced by annoyance as they glared accusingly at her.
‘Lucky I managed to brake in time’ she stammered as she hopped back on her bike to distance herself.

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James laughed as she related the story to him later, seated at the computer, glass of wine in hand.
‘Not a relaxing ride then.’
‘No, I was really looking forward to blowing away the cobwebs, the week I’ve had. I almost wish we were back at the office, almost, not quite.’
‘I think I would opt for returning to the office, at least you are in your own home. I feel like an overgrown school boy.’
For a moment Cassie felt a twinge of jealousy, imagining James at work, joking and flirting with the ladies of his department, probably younger and more interesting than her. She dismissed those thoughts and tried to be sympathetic.
‘But it can’t be easy for your mother either if she’s used to living by herself.’
‘That was before lock down, how would she manage without me?’
Very well, thought Cassie. She was feeling more and more sympathy with the mother and irritation with James. Surely moving back home had not been his only option after the divorce.
‘Are you in your old bedroom?’
‘No, no, thank goodness, this is Mum and Dad’s retirement home, downsize, nice quiet little town.’
‘Quiet… that doesn’t sound like anywhere near here.’
James laughed. ‘I’m over the other side of the water, funny we don’t know where each other lives. Stuck over the other side of the water now, ferry hasn’t been running for weeks; I enjoyed that commute to work, bicycle on the boat.’
Cassie found herself feeling relieved. James was at a safe distance in more ways than one, at least while lock down continued. He would remain safely inside her computer screen, no decisions needed yet about whether to meet up. Those blue eyes could not lure her against her better judgement… into what she wasn’t sure…
‘So where did you grow up?’ she steered the conversation back onto safer ground, away from the present or his failed marriage. She sat back and sipped her wine, ready to enjoy one of his funny stories.

Friday Flash Fiction – Shopping Delivery

Tom turned into the quiet road and parked outside number nine. An old lady was standing in the front garden wielding a pair of secateurs, the only sign of life in the street. He wondered if he had the right address, there was a lot of shopping for one old lady living alone and how was she going to carry all those bags inside? Well, not his problem, Tom was just glad to have a job. What a lark, this coronavirus thing was a blessing in disguise. People assumed he had lost work because of the world wide pandemic, not because he was a loser who had never held down a job for more than a year or managed to float a business successfully. What he did have was a clean driver’s licence and enough muscles left to heft trays out of the van.

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‘Good afternoon.’ The woman stood firmly behind a large bush as if that would shield her from the virus.
Tom nodded as he pushed his barrow up the garden path.
‘Just ring the doorbell, my son will be down in a moment. I hope we have free range eggs this time.’
As Tom retreated to the front gate the door opened and a tall fortyish chap stepped out. Tom chuckled to himself, imagine being quarantined with your mother at that age, but he looked fit so surely he could get the shopping for her. The mother was still talking.
‘How many deliveries have you done today?’
‘This is my thirtieth’ he lied.
‘Oh wonderful, a true hero; not that I need a delivery, quite capable of doing my own shopping.’
‘Er hmm, well we have all had to change our routines Madam.’
‘How wide an area do you cover?’
‘The whole town… anyway I must…’
The son was hovering on the doorstep, obviously waiting for Tom to get back in his van and remove the threat of infection.

‘Mother, let the poor chap get on his way.’

11
James sighed, he supposed his mother’s only social life these days was shopping deliveries. She had practically raced to the front door when his Amazon parcel arrived, eager to wave and thank the bloke before he slipped out of the front gate and into his white van. Perhaps he should order some things on Amazon for her, just for the fun of getting parcels of her own, though he couldn’t think of anything she might want or need with a house full of books and CDs, a bedroom full of clothes and a bathroom full of toiletries. Maybe Cassie would have some ideas.
‘There’s enough shopping for a year, James.’
‘We might need it, I couldn’t get any more delivery slots, you’re not vulnerable enough.’
‘I am not vulnerable and you know I prefer to do my own shopping.’
‘We could order some things from Amazon, they never turn you down and you can get absolutely anything.’
‘I can’t think of anything I need.’
‘How about something fun for your birthday, as I can’t take you out for dinner or the theatre.’
‘James, you have never taken me out to dinner or the theatre on my birthday… or any other time.’
‘Erm, no, not when Dad was still alive.’
‘…and you were still married…’
‘Next year then, in the meantime you could take up a new interest.’
‘I have plenty of interests, or did until we all went into lockdown.’
‘Something you could do indoors, I could help you set up a vivarium for example.’
‘You may be forty four, but I can still see through you; the only one who wants a vivarium around here is you, but surely even Amazon can’t deliver geckos.’
Not for the first time James felt himself descending back into childhood, he had to get out of here, get his own place, but when were things ever going to return to normal? He envied Cassie her solitary life in her little house with the large vivarium; it sounded as if she had always been single, though she hadn’t really said. But she would laugh and sympathise with his predicament. Strange that neither of them knew where the other lived; perhaps it would spoil the on line nature of their friendship, put pressure on a perfect relationship. He looked at his watch, an hour till he could log off from work and log on for a Facetime chat with Cassie.