Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Book Reading and Interview – Sandra J. Jackson

Sally's Cafe and Bookstore

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:

Amazon author page:

Follow Sandra on Goodreads:

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.

©SandraJJackson 2017

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

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – 1066 by Jack Eason

I am very happy to welcome Jack Eason to the Cafe and Bookstore with his new historical novella 1066. I am also delighted to include my review for the book.

About the book

Down the centuries the British Isles has always been seen by invaders as a legitimate target for exploitation. This novella concerns the last few weeks of Anglo-Saxon occupation, ending on the 14th of October, 1066. In Autumn 1066, author Jack Eason gives a great sense of ‘place’, of detail. The reader is right ‘there’ in that poignant year, marching, shivering with September cold (as ‘…no warming fires were allowed lest ‘enemy spies would soon spot their approach.’) From the very first few lines, Eason, practising his unique drycraft, begins to weave his particular brand of magic on his reader. Eason glamour’s with well-crafted dialogue, drawing his reader into the time and into the action. To accomplish this, the author proffers a gentle blend of informative nomenclature coupled with familiar speech, to ease the reader into his story without distancing with words too unfamiliar, which is a criticism frequently made of Bernard Cornwell’s epics. I long to read more Martin Bradley
My review for 1066 May 18th 2017.

Prepare yourself to stand in the shield wall.

This novella may be a short read, but it so packed with authentic detail and action, that you feel you are reading a much longer book.

Our heritage is founded on the backs of ordinary men such as Aldred and his nephew Cynric pressed into service as were thousands of farmers and craftsmen who were sworn to the feudal Anglo-Saxon lords. The story is factual but told through the eyes of these two fictional characters as warring armies battle to gain control of Britain.

One army is led by the barbaric King Harald of Norway or Hardradå as he is known by his men. He has formed an alliance with the Anglo-Saxon Tostig, claimant to the throne, now held by his brother King Harold, following the recent death of Edward the Confessor. This invasion force has the backing of Duke William of Normandy who has made promises to Tostig should there be victory.

With all the various factions identified, the story then takes us through the build up of forces led by the Norwegian king in southern Scotland, the defeat of the army entrenched in York and the significant and decisive victory by the forces of King Harold at Stamford Bridge.

This leads to the battle that was to change the life of every man, woman and child in Britain on October 14th 1066.

The main characters are portrayed vividly, and their backgrounds and involvement in this pivotal time in history, demonstrate how human traits such as greed, revenge and jealousy leads to the deaths of thousands who follow them.

The battle scenes and the acts of barbarism are very realistically portrayed both through the eyes of Aldred and Cynric, as well as those leading the various forces. The action maintains its pace throughout the story and Jack Eason has recreated the terrifying and brutal results of hand to hand combat and archery.

This was a dark time in our history and 1066 was a turning point for a Britain about to move into the Middle Ages, Jack Eason has captured this moment excellently.

If you enjoy a fast paced story and historical accuracy then I recommend you read 1066.

Buy the book – Amazon US –

Amazon UK

A small selection of other books by Jack Eason

One of the reviews for Turning Point

I have been brought up on the legend of Mu and Atlantis, the secrets of the Giza Pyramid, universes that exist and contain intelligent life, planetary travel etc. It was therefore easy to appreciate the breadth of vision of Turning Point, a fable and a science fiction novella by Jack Eason. The story is based on the legend that planet earth had been seeded by intelligent life from other planets and universes. So we have here an alien race of people known as the Drana, and a subordinate race they seeded known as the Khaz, to rule over our ancestors, and who still control our very existence by manipulating our governments (the cartel who call the shots on earth?).

We have here an explanation for ancient secrets like the electromagnetic grid which surround the earth, the reason for the pyramids, the seeding of the earth, the limited use of our minds capacity. We have here remnants of a peaceful people known as Nephile (Mu) who want to contain the Khaz and the secret designs of Drana to return to earth and form armies and slaves to conquer and colonize other planets. But they find that they are incapable of performing that task, without the supporting DNA of earthlings who have acclimatized themselves to the pollution and life on earth. This can only be accomplished by choosing earthlings who is more conducive to their needs (traces of Shambhala here).
Enter Tom, a man on a holiday in New Zealand, who does not know that he is being watched and manipulated, so that he finds the entrance to their homeland.
You will be enthralled by this story as I was, and appreciate the deeply researched book, the scientific mind of Jack and a possible explanation for the seeding of man on planet earth, and other scientific folklore.

I highly recommend Jack’s book, Turning Point. It will a turning point in your life, from the mumbo-jumbo that is today passed off as science fiction.

Discover all of Jack Eason’s books and read the reviews:

Follow Jack and read other reviews on Goodread:

About Jack Eason

Jack Eason lived in New Zealand for forty-two years until 2000 when he returned to his birthplace in England. As far as he is concerned he will always consider himself to be a Kiwi. After military service in the 1960’s, he travelled the world, visiting exotic lands and making many friends. Now in his mid-sixties he is content to write and travel via the Internet. Besides writing novels and short stories, he contributes to his own blog “Have We Had Help?” Some of his short stories and numerous articles appear in the No: 1 online E-zine “Angie’s DIARY”.

His literary interests include science fiction, history, both ancient and modern, and humorous tales like those written by his fellow writer Derek Haines, such as “HAL”. He lives in semi-retirement in his home town surrounded by his favourite books, ranging from historical fact to science fiction. His literary icons are J.R.R Tolkien, George Orwell, Arthur C Clarke and John Wyndham.

Connect to Jack


Please help spread the word of Jack Eason’s new book and if you would like to join the other 200 authors in the Cafe and Bookstore and enjoy regular updates then please take a look at how easy it is to do that. Thanks Sally


Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Marcia Meara and Shehanne Moore

Welcome to the first of the cafe updates of the week and the first author to showcase is Marcia Meara with the third book in her Riverbend series, That Darkest Place.

About the book

In Book 3 of her popular Riverbend series, Marcia Meara, author of Wake-Robin Ridge, A Boy Named Rabbit,and Harbinger, takes another look at the lives of the Painter brothers—Jackson, Forrest, and Hunter. While Hunter is home again and on the mend, the same isn’t true for his oldest brother. Jackson’s battle has just begun.

“There are dark places in every heart, in every head. Some you turn away from. Some you light a candle within. But there is one place so black, it consumes all light. It will pull you in and swallow you whole. You don’t leave your brother stranded in that darkest place.”
~Hunter Painter~

The new year is a chance for new beginnings—usually hopeful, positive ones. But when Jackson Painter plows his car into a tree shortly after midnight on January 1, his new beginnings are tragic. His brothers, Forrest and Hunter, take up a grim bedside vigil at the hospital, waiting for Jackson to regain consciousness and anxious over how he’ll take the news that he’s lost a leg and his fiancée is dead. After all, the accident was all his fault.

As the shocking truth emerges, one thing becomes obvious—Jackson will need unconditional love and support from both of his brothers if he is to survive.

Just as he begins the long road to recovery, danger, in the form of a sinister, unsigned note, plunges him back into bleak despair. Scrawled in blood red letters, the accusation—and the threat—is clear. “MURDERER!”

Will the long, harrowing ordeal that lies ahead draw the Painter brothers closer together, or drive them apart forever?

Suspenseful and often heartbreaking, this small-town tale is a testimonial to the redemptive power of love and paints a story filled with humor, romance, and fierce family loyalty.

An early review

That Darkest Place, a mystery that looks at a family dealing with a variety of real-life problems – with angst, humor and love.on May 14, 2017

Having been one of Marcia’s beta writers on her last novel, I was unavailable for this one, but I so looked forward to her next Riverbend novel that, as soon as she posted her completed novel – I immediately ordered it, sat down and completed it in three evenings of reading. The characters’ lives picked up from where her last novel ended, and I was immediately drawn into the waiting game played by so many as they await the outcome of and recovery of a family member from a serious medical trauma. Add to that the tight relationship between brothers who, in spite of totally different personalities and perspectives on life, none-the-less stick together and support one another as they deal with their own unique troubles.

Hunter, Forrest and Jackson Painter, like all of us, struggle with getting it right in dealing with life, friends, and loved ones. Throw in a vindictive mystery letter writer and you have another great Riverbend story. I thoroughly enjoyed her book and look forward to her upcoming novella, as well as her next full novel. Way to go Marcia – you give us other old timers (Marcia and I are the same age!) a boost in confidence and incentive to follow our dreams no matter what.

Buy the book:

Also by Marcia Meara

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

Follow Marcia Meara on Goodreads:

Connect to Marcia via her website:

Our next author update is for Shehanne Moore who has a brand new release, Splendor (London Jewel Thieves Book 2) which hit the shelves on the 18th of May.

About the book

The only thing he hates more than losing at chess is marriage…

For Splendor, former servant to London’s premiere jewel thieves, pretending to be someone else is all in a day’s work. So when she learns of a chess tournament—a men’s chess tournament—with a ten thousand pound prize, pretending to be a man is the obvious move. The money will be enough to set her fiancé up in his own business so they can finally marry, and more importantly, it’ll pay off her bills and keep her out of debtor’s prison. But she doesn’t plan on her opponent, the rakish Kendall Winterborne, Earl Stillmore, being a sore loser—and a drunken one, at that. But before she can collect her prize, she finds herself facing the most merciless man in London across a pair of dueling pistols at dawn. Chess may be Splendor’s game, but she’s never fired a pistol before. And dressed as a man with ill-fitting shoes on the slippery grass and borrowed glasses that make it hard to see, she’s certain she’s finally tipped her own king.

Bitter divorcee Kendall Winterborne, Earl Stillmore, is the ton’s most ruthless heartbreaker. And he’s got three pet peeves: kitchen maids, marriage…and losing. So when he realizes the “man” opposite him has entered the chess tournament under false pretenses, he’s in the perfect position to extort the little chit. But that’s before the exasperating woman begins to slip beneath his skin, and soon all he can think about is slipping beneath her skirts. But the confounded woman is engaged to someone else, and worse—she’s nothing but a former kitchen maid, just like the one that lured his father into the marriage that ruined the family name. And his ex-wife taught him more than he cared to know about why marriage was the worst kind of checkmate of all…

Buy the book:

Also by Shehanne Moore.

One of the latest reviews for The Writer and The Rake

Give me an historical romance with pale, delicate heroines and alpha heroes flexing their six packs and I’ll hand it back to you. Unread. But give me a historical time travel romance by Shehanne Moore and I’ll grab it with both hands, dive in there and have a whale of a time. I certainly did with The Writer and the Rake, as I have with all the author’s previous books. 100% entertainment, with the ‘bad girl’ unwitting time traveller, Brittany Carter and the Georgian rake – Mitchell Killgower – sparring off each other… when he’s not stealing her cigarettes.

Add Francis Dashwood and his notorious Hellfire Club, a son Mitchell cannot stand, plus a distinctly dodgy ex-husband, and this novel takes the reader on an often hilarious journey with a heroine your mother would not want you to be friends with but with whom you’d be guaranteed a rollercoaster time. This is the second in series but reads as a standalone. Loved it and looking forward to her next book.

Discover all the books, read the reviews and buy:

Read more reviews and follow Shehanne on Goodreads:

Connect to Shehanne via her blog:

Thanks for popping in today and please help spread the news of these two new books by fantastic authors. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Stevie Wonder, Justice ‘East End’ Style, Skin and Bones

Welcome to the round up for the posts this week just in case you missed any. I feel a little guilty since I spent quite a bit of time off line and not spending time with your blogs but I promise that just another week to go and I will be more attentive.

The plan was to get the next volume of What’s in a Name finished.. I have two more stories to go Y and Z… already in my head and then I have some surprises to add that will be revealed when it is published.  A slightely different appoach to the names from K to Z with just ordinary people doing something they will be remembered for.. Even if it is only by those they love.

Some of you may remember that I wrote a story using an illustration by the very talented Donata Zawadzka.

This story along with 24 more make up the sequel to Tales from the Garden but this time set in Ireland. Queen Filigree is forced to escape from the palace beneath the magnolia tree in Spain and to seek refuge with her Irish cousin.

I am working with Donata who is producing four central illustrations that head up the four seasons in the book and I am very excited by the project. And I have to thank Paul Andruss for introducing us. It will be in print as well as Ebook and is the first book of mine to be written in Ireland since 1999.

You can find out more about Donata at her website and her sales site:
Buy her work on Redbubble:

I have managed to get some gardening done this week which has a duel purpose.. I pot plants and plot stories!  I am going to do the same this week whilst I finish the current projects but I will be in each day to check up on things and have a chat.

Thank you for all your wonderful support and wonderful comments… I am hugely grateful.

Now for a look at the posts from the week… with additional thanks to my two collaborators.. William Price King and Paul Andruss.

William Price meets the Legends

A brand new series and this time the artist is the amazingly talented Mr. Stevie Wonder who has entertained us for over 50 years. His first performances at age 11 propelled him to early stardom and some of his most iconic hits were written when he was a teenager.  To get you in the mood is one of my all time favourites.

Writer in Residence – Paul Andruss

Paul explores the origins of music and you might look at chimpanzees in a different light.

The Colour of Life – by Geoff Cronin

Just a few more chapters to go in my father-in-law’s memoir but since so many of you have enjoyed I will also be serialising his second book of tall tales.. This week too I pay tribute to my mother-in-law Joan who would have been 97 yesterday. A lovely woman with the most infectious laugh you will ever hear.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Book Reading and Interview

Just  a reminder that if you are in the bookstore you are welcome to do a book reading and interview. The details of how to do that are in this post.  My guest this week was Richard Ankers and next week Sandra J. Jackson and C.S. Boyack.

Sally's Cafe and Bookstore

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore New on the Shelves

If you are not already on the shelves of the bookstore then please pop in and take a look at this post which has a link to what you need to send me.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update

If you are in the bookstore you can enjoy regular updates of new releases, great reviews or offers.. Just send me an email to

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air your Reviews

This is open to all authors on the bookstore shelves or not… just send the link to your latest great review to

Jessica Norrie

Smorgasbord Poetry

My thanks to Robbie Cheadle for her contribution to this post this week.. In a dilemma about which cake to bake for her husband’s birthday she took to verse…

Smorgasbord Short Stories

The Sewing Circle is about a group of elderly residents of an East London estate whose lives are devastated by the actions of a family of thugs.  Here are all three episodes. More stories from this collection next week.

Some personal stuff

I was delighted to be interviewed by two writers this week. The first was with Amy M. Reade.

And the second was with Lisa Burton.... courtesy of Craig Boyack.

I was also very honoured to be nominated in the Most Informative Category for the #BloggersBash this year and voting is now open. There are ten categories and some wonderful nominees.. Please head over and vote for your favourites.

Smorgasbord Health – Let’s Walk a Marathon Challenge

This week.. how to burn extra fat…

Smorgasbord Health – Top to Toe.

Smorgasbord Health – Cook from Scratch

I would love to hear from you if you have a recipe made from fresh ingredients that is a favourite..


Put your troubles away for a little while and enjoy the outlook of a pug who has a neural problem but does not let it get him down..

Thanks for showing up, commenting, sharing and being so supportive.. hugs Sally

Keep smiling




Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Book Reading and Interview – Richard Ankers

Sally's Cafe and Bookstore

Welcome to the Saturday edition of the Book Reading and Interview and today my guest is Richard Ankers, author of the two books so far in the Cyberpunk, Science Fiction The Eternal Series.

Please leave your own questions for Richard in the comments section of the post and he will respond to you over the next few days.

First the official background for Richard Ankers.

Richard M. Ankers was born a dreamer. From an early age, if Richard was not out in the fresh air playing sports, he was lost inside a good book or secretly writing his own. A lover of everything from Marvel comics to classic Fantasy and Science Fiction, he allowed his mind to wander to these fantastical places and never quite came back. Heavily influenced by authors ranging from Michael Moorcock and Gene Wolfe to such wonders as Haruki Murakami and Margaret Atwood, Richard enjoyed being entertained, whisked away to places unknown. Every book had something to offer, snippets of the unimaginable, twists of fate and spectacular universes and Richard soaked them up like a sponge. These were the makings of his mind.

When Richard is not tapping out stories on his laptop, or adding poetry and writing to his own website, which he nearly always is, you’ll find him running and taking in the scenery. Running has offered a sense of peace and relaxation only ever matched by writing. A lover of the great outdoors, he is lucky enough to have visited many of the world’s most beautiful countries such as Norway and Switzerland both of which he could happily have never left. If he could sit with a view of the mountains with a river flowing by and birdsong, a quiet corner set aside in which to write with a view of the former, you’d probably never see Richard again.

Books by Richard Ankers

About the Eternals

The Eternals, neither human nor vampire, are the last inhabitants of a dying Earth.

In the face of a slowly perishing sun, some have accepted their fate while others are ready to fight for their future. It is to this ultimatum that Jean, the last Eternal lord, is born.

Jean’s life changes drastically after his bite takes the life of Princess Chantelle of The New Europa Alliance. Suddenly, he’s a man on the run, falling in love and rediscovering his humanity.

With the sun’s clock ticking, Jean stumbles from manipulated mishap into age-old conspiracies and beyond, as he tries to reconcile his sordid past.

One of the latest reviews for The Eternals

Jean is a charming, erudite bloodsucker. He inhabits a world ruled by vampires. He engages the reader on page one, drawing us into his world. He is amusing and clever, a gentleman who happens to be a vampire. The writing is as elegant as he is.

His is an intriguing world, one in which the reader immediately feels a part of. I kept imagining the novel as a film, seeing the characters interact with one another. It was that well-written.

I understand it is the first in a trilogy and I’m glad about that because I’m looking forward to more of this.

Good novel, great writing, highly original with stand out characters. Loved it.

And one for Hunter Hunted.

This was truly a book I found hard to put down. Having read the first in the series, I wasn’t sure if the sequel would be able to match the tension and excitement created by the author in The Eternals. In fact, Mr. Ankers exceeded all expectations with this breathtaking, pulsating follow up to his initial work. Accompanied by the almost ethereal Nordic Princess Aurora, Jean, the stoic, attitude laden Eternal sets out on a quest to try and discover just who is trying to manipulate his life, and why.

The surprises come thick and fast in a true roller-coaster of an adventure that left me breathless at times, eager to turn to the next page to see what would happen next. Jean’s old friend/Nemesis, Merryweather makes an appearance with Jean still unable to decide just whose side he is on and yet again the mysterious monks, the Sunyins have a part to play. In a world teetering on the edge of annihilation, Jean makes uncomfortable discoveries about his past as he attempts to shape the future of his dying world. Another triumph for the author with an ending that leads perfect into the third book in the series. I can’t wait!

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

Richard Ankers on Goodreads:

Now it is time to welcome Richard to the bookstore and get on with the book reading and interview.

Richard has chosen an extract from Into Eternity (Book 3 In The Eternals Series) due to be released shortly.

This is from the book’s opening scene:

“Why do your hands tremble so?”

I heard the words, plucked them from an intangible distance.


It could have been me, the name sounded familiar.


Like an island lost in a sea fog, I remained remote.

“Jean, you are shaking. You’re scaring me.”

That felt wrong. The girl who owned that ice-cool voice feared nothing, or so I recalled.

“Take my hand,” she said.

Sweeter than any angel, her words mingled with the stinging winds that swept through the chamber. With a vacuum of kindness, she sought to cleanse my mind. But my mind, as ever, remained beyond such aid.

“Jean. Look at me, Jean!” a command, not a request.

I opened heavy eyes to the letter clenched in my left hand and the balled fist of my right. The slender, delicate fingers of an alabaster hand interlaced and unlocked mine offering a strength alone I lacked. A second raised me by the chin, a most delicate ascension, and there she stood. Aurora took me in with those sapphire eyes. How I longed for them to shine green.

Thank you for joining us Richard and can you tell us what genre do you read and your favourite authors?

I read everything from the Classics to Sci-Fi, but would say Fantasy is my most read genre. I prefer a certain style of writing rather than the topic or genre itself. The author’s words must soothe my soul. I know that sounds dramatic but it’s true. My favourite authors are Michael Moorcock, Haruki Murakami and Gene Wolfe.

What appeals to you about writing short stories?

This might sound flippant, but I promise you it isn’t meant to. I like writing short stories because they’re short. I think a short story allows a writer to get something out of their head and onto paper without it crucifying them. When I write a long story, I become obsessed with every detail. You don’t get chance to with a short one, and so they become quite a relief in many ways.

Is there any invention that is a major part of our lives that you wish had not been invented?

Cars. I spent twenty years driving a long way every day. I could quite happily never see a car again in my life. They pollute, make us lazy and it often feels like there’s more of them than there is of us! And no, I’m not a hypocrite because I now don’t own one.

What are your plans for 2017 for your books and blog?

In an ideal world it would be to not have to blog at all. I am prolific in output and just feel that if I could write without the distractions of self-promotion (I am inherently shy and private. I don’t find it easy) I could do so much more. As it is, the books now come first and I feel better for it. I hope it shines through in the writing.

You write excellent 50 word stories. Most of us find writing short stories of 1000 + words daunting. What are the key elements to writing a story of this length?

It’s hard to say, but there are a few tricks. Firstly, write about anything that takes your fancy and in any style. Always bear in mind to keep it short, but DON’T write to the 50 limit. When you’ve finished writing, then edit it down. Remember, adding apostrophes (ie would have – would’ve / I am – I’m) can quickly trim your story. Also, read your story whilst removing words, or even sentences, that might be unnecessary and see if it still works. These tricks soon shorten an already short story.

You are a runner and love the outdoors. You mention that you have travelled to some beautiful parts of the world and that you might just find such an idyllic spot we might not see you again. Can you describe what that perfect spot might look like?

That’s easy. There’d be mountains, lots of mountains, clean air, great views, quiet and either a river or a lake not too far away. I love nature and I love my solitude. That would be perfect.

Can you tell us about your next writing project?

Well, the final part of The Eternals, Into Eternity, is about to be released (very soon), but I am always writing. So I have lots on the go. However, I have written many Steampunk shorts and have compiled these into a single story which will be called Britannia Unleashed. I have plans to use the characters from this anthology in all my near-future writings. Foremost amongst these will be a trilogy called The Theatre of the Moon. I have already accumulated close to fifty-thousand words of this Dark Fantasy. Anyone who knows me will know that I never preach about my own writing even the stuff that’s done great, but I can tell you all now, The Theatre of the Moon will be exceptional.

Thanks Sally….

Here are Richard’s links for his blog and social media.

Creativia Landing Page:
Facebook Author:

My thanks to Richard for his interesting responses and he would be delighted to answer your questions if you would leave them in the comments.. thanks Sally


Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Annette Rochelle Aben and Hugh W. Roberts

Welcome to the review post and the first author celebrating some great feedback is Annette Rochelle Aben. Her book Angel Messages: A Wing and a Prayer was reviewed this week by Robbie Cheadle on her blog.

About the book

This book is a terrific way to share some Angel love with someone who needs a lift, a hug, a smile or that person who loves Angels. It is filled with pictures, prayers and poems that bring the Angel Messages to you.

From the Author…

Angels are real! Some say Angels have saved their lives, comforted them in their darkest moments and even appeared before them in physical form. I am one of those who believes in Angels. My personal testimony is here in Angel Messages, along with prayers that I have used to thank, summon and to send Angels to others when asked.

The beautiful photographs of Angels inside, are designed to evoke deep personal connections. Allow yourself to be inspired with a wing and a prayer by the love of the Angels. Share this book with others. Keep a copy close to you so you will always have an Angel at the ready. Let it refresh your body, mind and spirit Believe that Angels and Spirit guides are always there for you whenever you call, and so they shall.

Robbie Cheadles Review:

Have you ever felt sad and alone? Do you ever feel as if life is overwhelming you and you need someone or something to lift you up and help you conquer adversity? Do you believe in the inherent goodness of humans and life?

We are all people living in a very fast paced world and we all have times when we feel sad and alone, stressed and anxious and as if everything we touch turns out negatively. It is at these times that you most need a wonderful book like Angel Messages: a wing and a prayer to lift you up and restore your faith in life. I can remember my oldest son telling me one Christmas time that Santa Claus is the milk of human kindness and that is why he is so magical. Angel Messages reminds me of that comment.

Whether your faith in the milk of human kindness is in desperate need of restoration or you just want a happy and uplifting start to your day, Angel Messages is a superb read. Filled with Annette Rochelle Aben’s beautifully crafted haiku’s, poems and messages of encouragement, it is a book to treasure. I am using it as a book of meditations.

One of my favourite haiku’s in the book is:

“Angels blend right in,

Awaiting your call for help,

With wings to lift you.”

Also by Annette Rochelle Aben

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

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The next author to receive a terrific review is Hugh W. Roberts for his short story collection Glimpses.

About the collection

After publishing some of his short stories on his blog, Hugh W. Roberts, who suffers from dyslexia, received numerous requests to publish his short stories in a book.

Here, at last, are 28 short stories that will take your mind on a rollercoaster of a ride into worlds that conceal unexpected twists and turns.

‘Glimpses’ allows the reader a peek into the lives of everyday people who are about to have life lead them on an unpredicted path. From a mysterious deadly iPad app, to a hole in the fence that is not all it seems, to a strange lipstick that appears to have a life of its own, you will encounter terror, laughter, sadness, shock and many other emotions on journeys which promise a thrilling and gripping climax.

If you are a lover of shows such as ‘The Twilight Zone’ and ‘Tales Of The Unexpected’, then you’re in for a real treat with this first collection of short stories from Hugh.

Dare you take a glimpse into the lives of these unsuspecting characters?

Colleen M. Chesebro rated Five Stars on Goodreads.

I was excited to begin reading Glimpses because recently, I have found a new love for short stories – especially written by a British author. I lived in England for a few years back in the early 1980’s, and I think my love of the country and people is rekindled by these stories. I could quickly read a few stories each night which fit my schedule perfectly. The author writes in numerous genres which I also found to be a pleasant surprise.

Glimpses literally gives the reader a brief look into the lives of everyday individuals who experience anything but the ordinary. Each story leads you into a different situation with different characters. Although, there is a four-part murder mystery included that I found to be an extraordinary read. I almost fell out of bed with the final reveal in the serial!

One of my favorite stories was The Last Train to Aldwych, where Grace Simmons meets the same ghost every year on the same date on the London Underground. I shivered in delight anticipating how the story would be told. Instead, I found a surprise ending that left me excited to read more. In fact, each tale had a twist or surprise which made for a satisfying read.

A couple of the stories evoked scary memories of Rod Serling and the Twilight Zone, a show I had watched as a teenager. Don’t be surprised if you don’t hear the haunting melody of the introduction music playing in your mind as you read. I know, I did!

I enjoyed this collection of short stories and if you love your fiction filled with a hint of suspense along with some “shock and awe,” Glimpses is the book for you.


Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

 Read all the reviews on Goodreads:

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Hugh W. Roberts

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Thank you for dropping by and if you have just received a great review, don’t keep it to yourself.. share it with me and my readers. Send me a note with a link to

Smorgasbord Poetry – Which Cake? by Robbie Cheadle

Today Robbie Cheadle ponders the question about what cake to bake for her husband and his impending birthday. There is already so much baking going on in the Cheadle household that coming up with something special to surprise him is going to be a challenge.

Which cake?

My hubby’s birthday is coming
I must make him a cake,
It really hard to decide,
Which one I should bake.

Should it be chocolate
Decorated with cherries,
Or a meringue tower
With cream and wild berries.

A gingerbread house,
Covered in bright sweets,
A selection of pastries,
Filled with sweetmeats.

Something quite tart,
Like lemon and lime.
Or a baked cheesecake,
With tastes quite sublime.

Something quite simple,
Like scones, jam and cream.
Or a yummy treacle pudding,
Cooked in a basin, over steam.

So many delicious choices,
What would he like best?
I’ll conjure up a surprise,
And put it to the test.

©RobbieCheadle 2017

About Robbie Cheadle

Robbie Cheadle was born in London in the United Kingdom. Her father died when she was three months old and her mother immigrated to South Africa with her tiny baby girl. Robbie has lived in Johannesburg, George and Cape Town in South Africa and attended fourteen different schools. This gave her lots of opportunities to meet new people and learn lots of social skills as she was frequently “the new girl”.

Robbie is a qualified Chartered Accountant and specialises in corporate finance with a specific interest in listed entities and stock markets. Robbie has written a number of publications on listing equities and debt instruments in Africa and foreign direct investment into Africa.

Robbie is married to Terence Cheadle and they have two lovely boys, Gregory and Michael. Michael (aged 11) is the co-author of the Sir Chocolate series of books and attends school in Johannesburg. Gregory (aged 14) is an avid reader and assists Robbie and Michael with filming and editing their YouTube videos and editing their books.

Books by Robbie and Michael Cheadle.

Read the reviews and buy the books:

Connect to Robbie and Michael at their blog:

My thanks to Robbie for contributing her poem and I am sure she will come up with just the right cake to celebrate her husband’s birthday.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Book Reading and Interview – Join the Guest List

Sally's Cafe and Bookstore

It is hard to believe that we are now four months into the year and the book reading and interview at the cafe has been going very well. I am delighted that so many people are interested in answering their own questions instead of just leaving it to me.

You can find all the previous book readings here from some wonderful authors.

I am now booking a month ahead and getting ready to send out the next phase of interview questions. If you are in the Cafe and Bookstore then please just email me on and let me know that you are interested.

If you are not already on the shelves of the bookstore you will find details below on what I need to provide you with the promotion to get you there.

Author Book Reading and Interview.

If this was a real cafe and bookstore I would set up regular book readings and interviews with the authors on the shelves.. But they is no reason why we cannot do that here.. The only thing missing of course is the customers who would be listening to the reading and asking questions of the author.

But I have that covered.

Here is how it works…

The author will answer three of my general questions. They will also select a short extract from their book to share in the post. I will then ask three personalised questions.

I will then do the introduction, the book blurb, about the author and the book links.

Then I will ask those who read the interview to add their questions to the comments section of the post for the author to answer.

This way we do manage to get some interaction, a wide range of questions and a chance to meet the author is a slightly different way.  So far this theme has proved very popular

First and foremost — the authors must be willing and able to be around on the day or next day of the interview to answer the questions. Most authors pop in once or twice during the evening for the next couple of days to respond to questions and comments. B

For those of you who are not already in the bookstore.


If you are not on the shelves then that is easy to fix.. I will do an individual promotion for you first and the details are in this post.

Look forward to hearing from you… Thanks Sally


Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – 13 Steps to Evil by Sacha Black

Delighted to welcome a new author to the bookstore today with her new release 13 Steps To Evil: How to Craft Superbad Villains by Sacha Black

About the book

Your hero is not the most important character in your book. Your villain is.

Are you fed up of drowning in two-dimensional villains? Frustrated with creating clichés? And failing to get your reader to root for your villain?

In 13 Steps to Evil, you’ll discover:

+ How to develop a villain’s mindset
+ A step-by-step guide to creating your villain from the ground up
+ Why getting to the core of a villain’s personality is essential to make them credible
+ What pitfalls and clichés to avoid as well as the tropes your story needs

Finally, there is a comprehensive writing guide to help you create superbad villains. Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned writer, this book will help power up your bad guy and give them that extra edge.

These lessons will help you master and control your villainous minions, navigate and gain the perfect balance of good and evil, as well as strengthening your villain to give your story the tension and punch it needs.

If you like dark humour, learning through examples and want to create the best villains you can, then you’ll love Sacha Black’s guide to crafting superbad villains. Read 13 Steps to Evil today and start creating kick-ass villains.

An early review on Goodreads

Lucy Mitchell rated it 5 stars

LOVED this book! It gets you feeling excited about writing. After reading a couple of chapters you find yourself getting strong urges to create some villains. Love the author’s witty and engaging tone. She tells you how it is and puts in such a way you can’t help but smile. It’s very readable and the exercises are fun. I am hoping she will bring out a workbook as that would be ideal. A must read for aspiring writers!

And one on Amazon

it takes the unusual approach of presenting the ideas through the lens of writing better villains, on May 13, 2017

I have probably read over a hundred books on writing craft as well as hundreds of blog posts, so I was dubious about whether I would find anything new in “13 Steps to Evil”.

The book does cover a lot of what will be familiar material if you’re well read in this area, but it takes the unusual approach of presenting the ideas through the lens of writing better villains, meaning many ideas are combined and emphasised in novel ways. As a result, I think most readers are likely to get some valuable take-aways.

Having said that, the book is likely to be most useful for novice writers. As well as some more advanced material, it covers many important points that are often overlooked by novice writers, eg villains need to be hard to beat.

Because the whole book focuses on villains, reading it will make you think harder about how (and if ) you characterise your villain (assuming you have one). What Sacha says is true—many writers put effort into developing their protagonists at the expense of developing their villains.

The tone of the book is irreverent and entertaining, and the reader should be prepared for some bad language.

I found the chapter on the mental health of villains most interesting. Villains are frequently written with various mental health disorders, and if this is something you’re considering then this chapter provides some excellent information on things to watch out for: cliches, common inaccurate representations of mental health disorders, and potentially stigmatising representations. Because of the length of the chapter, the information on the disorders themselves is not comprehensive, but the chapter a very good starting point and references for further reading are provided.

Buy the book:

About Sacha Black

Sacha Black has five obsessions; words, expensive shoes, conspiracy theories, self-improvement, and breaking the rules. She also has the mind of a perpetual sixteen-year-old, only with slightly less drama and slightly more bills.

Sacha writes books about people with magical powers and other books about the art of writing. She lives in Hertfordshire, England, with her wife and genius, giant of a son.

When she’s not writing, she can be found laughing inappropriately loud, blogging, sniffing musty old books, fangirling film and TV soundtracks, or thinking up new ways to break the rules.

Connect to Sacha Black


Connect to Sacha.

Thank you for dropping in today and please give Sacha a warm welcome to the bookstore by sharing the news of her new book.. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Jessica Norrie and Sue Coletta

Welcome to the first review post of the week and the first featured author is Jessica Norrie with a review for her book The Infinity Pool.

Jessica NorrieAbout the Book.

In this thoughtful novel set on a sun-baked island, Adrian Hartman, the charismatic director of the Serendipity holiday community, is responsible for ensuring the perfect mindful break, with personal growth and inner peace guaranteed. People return year after year to bare their souls. For some, Adrian IS Serendipity. But Adrian disappears, and with him goes the serenity of his staff and guests, who are bewildered without their leader. The hostility of the local villagers is beginning to boil over. Is their anger justified or are the visitors, each in a different way, just paranoid?

As romance turns sour and conflict threatens the stability of both communities, everyone has to find their own way to survive. This evocative story explores the decisions of adults who still need to come of age, the effect of well-intentioned tourism on a traditional community, and the real meaning of getting away from it all.

The most recent review for the book

By David. M. Prosser on 11 May 2017

I won this book in a competition and had no idea what to expect when I started to read it. Let’s start with the resort. A camp named Serendipity has been set up on an unnamed Island where there seems to be some resentment by the locals to both guests and staff at the camp.The camp seems to be geared to the relaxation of it’s guests via various new age occupations like yoga and hypnotherapy but also with an activity geared towards helping would-be writers. This course is managed by Bernard, a seemingly failed writer who is very introverted.

The camp itself is managed by an aging womaniser called Adrian who has a tribe of children between his various exes worldwide. There’s no malice to Adrian and many would consider him a hippy. He has quite a following with the guests at the camp, many of who return just to take part in his courses.His new temporary love interest is a local girl, daughter of the local cafe owners. There would be much resentment if they knew.
The Infinity pool from which the book is titled is built by Adrian to bring together the various guests at the camp. It is largely ignored in the story but does have a large role to play in the book.

Jessica Norrie is expert at creating her characters and showing the interplay between them. We see the further disintegration of civilities between camp and locals at the end of a season and the reaction by the guests at the start of a new season when Adrian doesn’t appear.. Can these ruptures be repaired? If they can, this is the author to do it.

Not my usual genre and not a book I was expecting to enjoy but I’d happily read anything by Ms. Norrie again.   4.5 stars.

Find out more about Jessica Norrie,read all the reviews and buy the book:

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The next review is from Goodreads and is for Cleaved, the latest release by crime and thriller writer Sue Coletta

About the book

Author Sage Quintano writes about crime. Her husband Niko investigates it. Together they make an unstoppable team. But no one counted on a twisted serial killer, who stalks their sleepy community, uproots their happy home, and splits the threads that bonds their family unit.

Darkness swallows the Quintanos whole—ensnared by a ruthless killer out for blood. Why he focused on Sage remains a mystery, but he won’t stop till she dies like the others.

Women impaled by deer antlers, bodies encased in oil drums, nursery rhymes, and the Suicide King. What connects these cryptic clues? For Sage and Niko, the truth may be more terrifying than they ever imagined.

The latest review on Goodreads

Anita Dawes rated it 5 stars.

This crime thriller opens with a gripping prologue. A woman is trapped inside a steel drum, terrified for her life. You are instantly there with her, experiencing every gruesome and terrifying moment as she tries to escape.

Somewhere in the Lake Region of New England, a ruthless killer is on the prowl. He needs to kill Sage Quintano, the author wife of the Sheriff, Niko Quintano, but his reason is not clear.

Someone starts to follow Sage, tormenting her with a nursery rhyme and then her world starts to fall apart. I loved the way the chapters alternated sometimes, as the two women in the story, Sage and her husbands female deputy, Frankie Campanelli take turns to build the tension and the story, and you couldn’t have two more different women than these.
I thought the plot and storyline were expertly handled, for despite all the confusing clues I couldn’t tell the guilty from the innocent. The dialogue was handled well, with arguments strongly portrayed and believable. The tension builds gradually, almost painfully so. I read somewhere that the author actually experienced being inside a steel drum, for the sake of realism, I hope!

The interaction with the Quintano dogs, Colt and Ruger, was rather special too, the scene where Sage and the dogs comfort one another was really moving.
I would have preferred an English vocabulary, as some of the terms used were unfamiliar to me. And I’m not sure about the over description of the maggots!

I will be reading Marred, the first book in this series, as I know I will enjoy that one too, and I can find out what happened to Sage’s sister…

Read the most recent reviews and buy the book:

Also by Sue Coletta

Read all the reviews on Goodreads for Sue’s books:

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

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Thank you for dropping by today and if you have a recent review you would like to share then please get in touch…  thanks Sally