Please give a warm welcome to Sandra J. Jackson who is joining us at the Cafe today for the book reading. Sandra is the author of Promised Soul and Forever an Echo and we will take a more detailed look at those shortly.
First however the official biography.
A graduate of a 3-year Graphic Design program, Sandra J. Jackson has always been creative, from drawing and painting to telling stories to her children when they were young. Her wild imagination lends itself to new and exciting ideas. Sandra’s debut novel, Promised Soul, was released in 2015 by Fountain Blue Publishing. A short story, Not Worth Saving, appeared in New Zenith Magazine’s 2016 fall issue. She also has had several sports articles published in a local newspaper. She holds a professional membership with the Canadian Author Association and is a member of Writers’ Ink.
Sandra lives with her husband and two young adult children in a rural setting in Eastern, Ontario. She is currently working on the third book of her first series.
Books by Sandra J. Jackson.
About Promised Soul
Just as Krista’s summer plans are finalized, she is suddenly plagued by strange dreams and intense feelings of déjà vu. Feeling as though she’s losing her mind, she visits a psychic medium, only to feel more confused. When Krista arrives in England, her dreams persist, and she finds herself at the doorstep of another psychic; she needs clarity. Finally, the words she was afraid to say out loud, are spoken. Now Krista has to figure out what it all means. Promised Soul is the story of the past, the present, and the future of two souls that have been bound together by eternal and transcending love.
One of the reviews for the book
Krista has disturbing dreams about a girl named Mary and her unrequited love for man named Thomas. As she prepares for a planned summer long vacation in England, her dreams grow stronger and more demanding. In an effort to discover what they mean, she seeks a Medium, who leads her to believe she’s had a past life. But who is this mysterious man Thomas, and what does he have to do with the charming British tour guide she meets across the big pond?
A cozy romance, filled with hope and belief beyond the living world, “Promised Soul” plumbs the depths of love between two star-crossed souls who will not be denied a reunion.
As a reader, I found the beginning to be a bit choppy in that the author switches between first and third person point of view. And there were times when I was thrown off a bit by flashbacks, as I didn’t know I was in one until I had read a third of the way in. This could’ve easily been rendered more comprehensible with a bit of formatting (i.e. use of italics). But once I became comfortable with the characters and the style, the story rolled along.
I look forward to more works by Ms. Jackson.
About the short story Forever and Echo.
Only three weeks into college and Abby has found the guy of her dreams, but sometimes dreams just aren’t meant to be.
Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Promised-Soul-Sandra-J-Jackson-ebook/dp/B00UY0PVSC
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Sandra-J.-Jackson/e/B00UZJO5DY/
Follow Sandra on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13681910.Sandra_J_Jackson
Now it is time to put Sandra in the hot seat. She is looking forward to your questions in the comments section.
Welcome Sandra and can you tell us what genre do you read and your favourite authors?
I read many genres, but my favourites have touches of the strange and unknown, the unexplained, paranormal, magic and fantasy. I enjoy stories that stretch the imagination and make you wonder – what if…?
My favourite authors are Diana Gabaldon, J. K. Rowling, and Suzanne Collins, to name a few.
If you could be a character in any book you have read. Who would it be and why?
I went back and forth on this one. There are a few characters that I’d like to be, but they all have faced some rather unpleasant situations. So, if I could be any character it would have to be without the bad stuff. Anyway, I think Claire Randal from the Outlander Series (Diana Gabaldon) would be an interesting character. She travels back in time 200 years (from the 1940’s) to Scotland. And while I don’t think I would like to live in the 18th century, I’m sure Jamie Fraser (also from the books) would make the transition much easier.
Do you have a favourite quote? What does it means to you as an individual?
As a child, Winnie the Pooh was my favourite animated show. When I grew up and had children of my own, Winnie the Pooh was the theme for the nursery. So it is fitting that my favourite quote is from A. A. Milne, author of the Winnie the Pooh stories.
“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.” ― A.A. Milne – Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh
I sometimes get teary-eyed when I read this quote or at the least it gives my goosebumps. These words are powerful to me; they make me believe in myself.
As well as your novel you have written many short stories. What do you consider to be the key elements in creating a story of that length?
At first, I found writing short-stories difficult. I wasn’t sure how to tell a story with a limited amount of words. With practice and a little research, I learned the best way to write a short story is to start as close as possible to the climax. The shorter the story the closer you have to be. When I write novels, I usually just come up with an ending first and then the story seems to write itself. With short stories I need to have a basic idea for the beginning, middle and end.
You graduated from a graphic design programme and you enjoy drawing and painting. Can you share one of your artworks and tell us why it holds particular significance?
Funny thing is, I don’t have a lot of my artwork around. I usually end up giving most of my art away as gifts to family and friends. I do have a few things but the most recent is a mural I did on the wall of my “office” (really our storage room but I rearranged it and set up a desk in front of a small window). I wanted to give my office an outdoor / jungle like feeling so I decorated with a few things and painted a waterfall on the wall. It’s peaceful and great place to work.
Can you tell us something more about your next writing project?
I am working on the 3rd book of my first trilogy. Originally it wasn’t supposed to be a trilogy and in fact, the first book has changed quite a bit since the first draft.
My editor has labelled the genre as YA, mystery, but it will have a bit of an apocalyptic feel in the other novels. I also think it’s suited for a broad audience and not just YA. The first book Playing in the Rain (Book 1 of the Escape Series) is due out sometime this year. I have sent in my revised galley edits, and I am waiting for the next step. I have also been working on the book trailer which I hope to release soon.
Sandra has selected and excerpt from the upcoming Playing in the Rain for her book reading.
From Chapter 17
His raspy voice brought my attention to the folded piece of metal he pushed into the room with a mattress stuffed in the middle. Bethany and I stood by the table as he rolled it towards our mats and unfolded the cot. The worn mattress looked inviting.
He turned and stepped towards us, beads of sweat dripped down the sides of his face. I backed up as he approached and bumped into the table behind me. He stopped inches in front of me and glared down, a sneer fixed to his face. His breath was foul, and I could as much taste it as smell it. He reached up and brushed a lock of hair from my cheek.
Goosebumps rose on my skin. Had there been anything in my stomach it would have been all over the floor. Instead, only bile burned at the back of my throat. I swallowed it down and met his grey gaze. I was not going to allow him the satisfaction of knowing my fear.
“I’ll let him know you’re concerned.” He smiled; a small bit of some food had caught between two of his teeth. Before I could respond, a coughing fit racked Cecil’s body. Beth and I watched, and it wasn’t until he’d regained control that my eyes left his crumpled form.
My gaze drifted over to the wide-open door; we’d missed our opportunity to run.
My thanks to Sandra for joining us today and please connect to her if you have not already done so at these links.
Sandra would love to answer your questions so please leave them in the comments for her to answer over the next few days. Thanks Sally