Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – M.J. Mallon, A. T. Balsara, Robbie and Michael Cheadle and Richard Ankers


Welcome to the first of two Christmas Book Fair’s today.. I am aware that if you would like to buy a print version of a book then you will need to order soon. Expect a few double days going forward.

The first author with a book that would make a great gift for young adults who enjoy fantasy and science fiction is M.J. Mallon for her book The Curse of Time: Book One – Bloodstone 

About The Curse of Time

On Amelina Scott’s thirteenth birthday, her father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Saddened by this traumatic event, she pieces together details of a curse that has stricken the heart and soul of her family.

Amelina longs for someone to confide in. Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.

Dreams and a puzzling invitation convince Amelina the answer to her family’s troubles lies within the walls of the illusive Crystal Cottage. Undaunted by her mother’s warnings, Amelina searches for the cottage on an isolated Cambridgeshire pathway where she encounters a charismatic young man, named Ryder. At the right moment, he steps out of the shadows, rescuing her from the unwanted attention of two male troublemakers.

With the help of an enchanted paint set, Amelina meets the eccentric owner of the cottage, Leanne, who instructs her in the art of crystal magic. In time, she earns the right to use three wizard stones. The first awakens her spirit to discover a time of legends, and later, leads her to the Bloodstone, the supreme cleansing crystal which has the power to restore the balance of time. Will Amelina find the power to set her family free?

A YA/middle grade fantasy set in Cambridge, England exploring various themes/aspects: Light, darkness, time, shadows, a curse, magic, deception, crystals, art, poetry, friendships, teen relationships, eating disorders, self-harm, anxiety, depression, family, puzzles, mystery, a black cat, music, a mix of sadness, counterbalanced by a touch of humour.

The most recent review for the book

Enjoyable on 19 November 2017

The Curse of Time is a young adult fantasy novel set in Cambridge, England. This book has a complex mix of themes running through it, and at times my head did spin as I tried to keep up. Amelina is a likeable character. She receives enchanted gifts and dreams about an elusive cottage. Her parents can’t offer her the support she needs, and instead, she turns to Esme, a friend who lives in the mirror.

As a qualified crystal therapist, I liked the inclusion of crystals throughout the story.

Our clasped hands shook with fear. I waited, afraid to witness the effect the Black Obsidian would have on my friends and me next. Our eyes met, and we strengthened our hold, clasping our hands tighter. The blackness of the moment grew. A flowing ribbon of dark, velvety light encircled our hands and bound our palms together sealing our bond.

There is also a strong personal development theme running through the book which I enjoyed. As with all coming-of-age stories, Amelina grows as the story unfold. Learning who to trust, and how to use her gifts.

Enjoyable novel. I reviewed The Curse of Time as part of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team #RBRT

Read the other reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B074CDJPY9

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L

Follow M.J. Mallon on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Connect to Marjorie Mallon via her website: https://mjmallon.com/

The next author with a brand new release is A.T. Balsara with The Great & The Small which she has written and illustrated…published at the end of October.

About The Great & The Small

Deep below the market, in the dark tunnels no human knows exist, a war has begun. Led by the charismatic Beloved Chairman, a colony of rats plots to exterminate the ugly two-legs who have tortured them in labs, crushed them with boots, and looked at them with disgust for as long as anyone can remember.

When the Chairman’s nephew is injured and a young two-leg nurses him back to health, however, doubt about the war creeps in. Now the colony is split—obey the Chairman and infect the two-legs with the ancient sickness passed down from the Old Ones, or do the unthinkable…

One of the early reviews for the book

The Great and The Small by A.T. Balsara spins a narrative that intertwines the adventures of Fin, a Tunnel Rat, and Ananda, an adolescent artist, as they negotiate the ups and downs of their respective communities. The framework of Stalinist political oppression and the Black Plague of fourteenth century Europe provide a backdrop for the dramatic, high stakes commentary on interpersonal relationships. Not only is the reader led into the complex intrapersonal angst of the characters in the story which triggers deep reflection along relatable themes of bullying, loyalty and free will, but also led to consider the thread of hope offered by complex iterations of love, sacrifice and service. All this, in an engaging, action driven story that is at once visually stimulating and acoustically active: Balsara’s descriptions and dialogue make the context and characters jump off the page.

The beauty of the prose, crafted as carefully as the illustrations, is matched by the engaging pace of the plot. Complexity is woven through creative use of dreams and flashbacks, a sophisticated switching between various points of view and quotes from fourteenth century witnesses at the beginning of each chapter.

I enjoyed the honesty of the motivations of the characters and their setbacks throughout the narrative. Social commentary was provided through character voices that were not paternalistic or preachy, and bolstered by the credibility of them being immersed within the web of crisis and triumph that peppers the plot. The development of character from beginning to end was believ- able, with realistic twists that relaxed any sense of contrived messaging. I find it noteworthy that a YA dystopia is couched within our shared human history, rather than a futuristic fantasy world: a valuable takeaway about the treasury of our common global experience to date.

This book is like a Z is for Zacharia meets Stuart Little mash up, with a touch of Harry Potter resilience mixed in. If I had to put it down, I couldn’t wait to get back to it. It’s suitable for classrooms, families and those who enjoy a dynamic story that will explore the complexities of individual freedom, trust and love as it relates to social welfare and global consequence.

And, if you weren’t a rat lover before this book, you might find yourself reconsidering, after the final chapter.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Great-Small-T-Balsara-ebook/dp/B07543NL6H/

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/A.-T.-Balsara/e/B077THW3QL/

Also as Andrea Torrey-Balsara for children.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Andrea-Torrey-Balsara/e/B077TKWPBY/

Connect to Andrea via her website: www.torreybalsara.com

The next authors with a whole shelf of children’s books that would make great presents for Christmas are Robbie and Michael Cheadle.

One of the excellent reviews for Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Dough Bees story and cookbook.

Who could not pick up Robbie and Michael Cheadle’s story-and-baking book, Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Dough Bees Story and Cookbook (TSL Publications 2017) after reading this blurb:

“A greedy snail damages the flower fields and the fondant bees are in danger of starving. Join Sir Chocolate on an adventure to find the fruit drop fairies who have magic healing powers and discover how to make some of his favourite foods on the way.”

This is a fun poetic story about the adventures of Sir Chocolate interspersed with wonderful recipes parents and kids create together–foods like Cheesy Bread and Butter Biscuits–accompanied by cute real-life pictures of the sugar dough creations, I have never seen a book that blended recipes and reading. How clever is that! Kids love cooking with parents, and now they can blend that with a favorite pastime: reading.

One more note: Robbie and Michael are mother-and-son. Not only will kids be inspired to cook with parents, but write and publish a book.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Chocolate-Sugar-Dough-Story-Cookbook/dp/1911070649

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chocolate-Sugar-Dough-Story-Cookbook/dp/191107064

Other books by Robbie and Michael Cheadle

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ

Read more reviews and follow Robbie on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle

Connect to Robbie and Michael via their blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

And the last author in this morning’s book fair is author Richard Ankers who delights his followers to his blog with his flash fiction.

The next author celebrating not just the release of his latest books but fantastic new covers of his other two books, is Richard Ankers whose third book in The Eternals Series was published in July of this year.

About the book

Queen Serena and her allies have fled the Nordic massacre, taking Princess Linka with them. For Jean, it’s heartbreak; for Merryweather and the abandoned Aurora, far worse. Not even the return of a broken Prince Grella and a dramatic escape from an obliterated Hvit softens the blow of their loss. Tempers flare and the pursuit resumes.

Leaving the Arctic ice behind, Jean and the others must reconcile with both current and past deaths, as they close in on the Baltic home of the hated Duke Gorgon. Here, their enemies gather and confrontation is inevitable.

Under Merryweather’s frustrating tutelage, Jean marches from one infuriating revelation to another, but as the lies unravel and the truth unfurls, he discovers the Britannian is not the fool he’s taken him for. The enigmatic Merryweather appears the key to the greatest mystery of all. But will he ever show his true colors?

In the stunning climax to The Eternals Series, a brooding Jean must do what he’s never done before: place his trust in others. For only at the end of all things, as the sun dies and Shangri-La falls, will Jean know what it means to step Into Eternity.

One of the recent reviews for the book

C. Morgan 5.0 out of 5 stars A Vampire-Introspective-SciFi-Mindbender! November 9, 2017

So this is what Eternity looks like.” I felt the jaded disappointment in those words. I understood the sensation of wonder and the longing that could never be fulfilled. Although these words are spoken by a supporting character that only comes into the story in the second book of the series, they carry the sentiment of the entire trilogy.

Into Eternity took me on the final leg of a journey I never expected and could not have anticipated. It swept me off into lands unknown that were hauntingly familiar. As the dystopian landscape unfolded before me with horrifying clarity, the poignancy of this Vampire-Introspective-SciFi-Mindbender became all too clear and, like the masterfully developed characters that drew me into their tale, I experienced their terror, bitterness, and skeptical hope right along with them through page after page of plot twists that kept me guessing, literally, right up to the closing chapter.

Richard M. Ankers has woven a unique and unforgettable saga through the voices and lives of those we typically fear or despise; altering our own perceptions right along with the characters of this brilliantly penned epic.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Into-Eternity-Eternals-Book-3-ebook/dp/B073PT8XYR

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Into-Eternity-Eternals-Book-3-ebook/dp/B073PT8XYR

Also by Richard Ankers

 

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Richard-M.-Ankers/e/B01GEM7690

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Richard-M.-Ankers/e/B01GEM7690

Follow Richard Ankers on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15271976.Richard_M_Ankers

Connect to Richard via his bloghttps://richardankers.com/

Thanks for dropping by for the first of the Christmas book fairs today… I hope it has given you some ideas for gifts.. thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – Mary Smith, Richard Ankers, Charles E. Yallowitz and Robbie Cheadle


It is a bumper edition this week with a FREE offer and three NEW books on the shelves. First Mary Smith whose book set in Afghanistan, No More Mulberries is FREE to download until Sunday 9th of July.

About the book

Set in Afghanistan, British-born Miriam finds her marriage to her Afghan doctor husband heading towards crisis. She has to journey into her past to understand how unresolved issues are damaging her relationship. It is a story of commitment and divided loyalties, of love and loss, set against a country struggling through transition.

One of the 133 reviews for the book.

Recommended!  on March 26, 2015

Miriam is a midwife and left her native Scotland to marry an Afghan after waiting a year to seek approval from his parents. Their love prevailed and they had a son, Farid, together. When Miriam goes back to Scotland to visit her father she receives the devastating news her husband, Jawad, has died. She can’t go back as a single woman but Afghanistan is the home of her heart and she wants to help its people. When she meets an Afghan doctor, Iqbal, who needs a wife she finds herself thinking that the ways of an arranged marriage with common interests and goals at its core isn’t such a bad way to start a marriage. She also wants her son to know his homeland and so she marries her doctor and they set off on a new life where she looks forward to helping him run his clinic in his poor village.

However, customs, traditions and culture can not be so easily ignored. Even though they have a daughter, Ruckshana, together, and he seemed to be less inclined to follow strict Islamic traditions when they met, once he is surrounded by rural life again saving face becomes his priority. Or so she thinks. Iqbal’s own past and fears catch up with him and, in the shadow of Jawad’s ghost, he falters.

This novel is chock full of Afghanistan culture and is an absolutely brilliant read. It really is hard to believe this is a debut novel. Educational as well as entertaining from a fictional point of view, Mary Smith shares her unique perspective on the politics, culture and people of Afghanistan brought about by her years working in the area. The sights and sounds of the country come alive in this tale and I was engrossed from the start. This is a book which makes you think and also, if you look deeper, gives you answers to questions we ask when faced with a culture which is so different to our own. Mary Smith brought the country of Afghanistan alive for me in a way no news article could ever do.

Download your copy of No More Mulberries FREE until Sunday: https://www.amazon.com/No-More-Mulberries-Mary-Smith/dp/1849234205

Also by Mary Smith

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Smith/e/B001KCD4P0

Read more reviews and follow Mary on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5239367.Mary_Smith

Connect to Mary via her website: http://www.marysmith.co.uk/

The next author celebrating not just the release of his latest books but fantastic new covers of his other two books, is Richard Ankers whose third book in The Eternals Series was published this week.

About the book

Queen Serena and her allies have fled the Nordic massacre, taking Princess Linka with them. For Jean, it’s heartbreak; for Merryweather and the abandoned Aurora, far worse. Not even the return of a broken Prince Grella and a dramatic escape from an obliterated Hvit softens the blow of their loss. Tempers flare and the pursuit resumes.

Leaving the Arctic ice behind, Jean and the others must reconcile with both current and past deaths, as they close in on the Baltic home of the hated Duke Gorgon. Here, their enemies gather and confrontation is inevitable.

Under Merryweather’s frustrating tutelage, Jean marches from one infuriating revelation to another, but as the lies unravel and the truth unfurls, he discovers the Britannian is not the fool he’s taken him for. The enigmatic Merryweather appears the key to the greatest mystery of all. But will he ever show his true colors?

In the stunning climax to The Eternals Series, a brooding Jean must do what he’s never done before: place his trust in others. For only at the end of all things, as the sun dies and Shangri-La falls, will Jean know what it means to step Into Eternity.

Buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Into-Eternity-Eternals-Book-3-ebook/dp/B073PT8XYR

Also by Richard Ankers

A recent review for Hunter Hunted, Book Two of the Eternal Series.

Having thoroughly enjoyed my initial foray into author Richard Ankers unique vision of a futuristic vampire tale brimming with gothic imagery, steampunk ingenuity, and engaging, well-developed characters; I was eager to immerse myself yet again into the shifting landscapes of Earths far distant future. Told in first-person voice by the lead character who is neither grotesque vampire nor human, Eternal Lord Jean relates his tale through a seductive combination of cynical mirth and revealing honesty.

In this second installment of the distinctive trilogy that seamlessly pairs a vampire tale with dystopian, sci-fi and steampunk elements, Jean finds himself in the legendary city of Hvit, home to the incomparable Nordic Royalty: Albino Eternals who live amid the wastes of the Arctic in a close-knit community and unexpected brutality. Jean quickly discovers how valuable any alliance with the Nordics can be, particularly the newly introduced, mysterious Nordic Princess Aurora.

For me, the graceful, immensely powerful, often stoic Nordics ‘stole the show’. I found myself repeatedly reading the passages that described their super-human (and even super-vampiric) capabilities; their enigmatic home deep in the ice of the Arctic plain, and their shocking hunting prowess. Nordic Prince Grella became an immediate favourite, as his brooding personality and unpredictability left me eager to know more about him.
Jean’s quest to understand the truth about those who try to manipulate him, as well as the truth of his own life, leads him full circle, which is as metaphorically ingenious as it is compelling reading. I highly recommend delving into this little-know gem of a tale!

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Richard-M.-Ankers/e/B01GEM7690

Follow Richard Ankers on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15271976.Richard_M_Ankers

Connect to Richard via his bloghttps://richardankers.com/

The next author with a new book is Charles Yallowitz with The Life and Times of Ichabod Brooks. Enter the world of Windemere with 11 action adventure short stories featuring a man who is out to make an honest living.

About the book

Some heroes seek fame. Some seek fortune. Others simply want to save the world. Ichabod Brooks only wants to put food on the table for his family.

Known and respected as the man who can get any job done, Ichabod has seen his share of adventure. Most of which have been highly exaggerated by bards. Still, the man has his famous reputation for a reason. Whether it be climbing a temperamental mountain for eggs or escorting orphans to their new homes, Ichabod takes every job seriously and makes sure he is as prepared as he can be. Not that it helps since things always take a turn for the worse.

Two of the early reviews

What a great collection of short stories! Ichabod is an interesting character that has many years of adventuring under his belt. I liked the different fantasy creatures the author came up with and the flow of the stories. I really think Ichabod’s wife needs her own set of stories though and after you read these you will see why. Creative stories, fun adventures and smart writing. I hope there are more of these books to come. Recommended to anyone that loves fantasy adventures.

This is a fun collection of short stories involving my favorite Windemere character. Ichabod has to test his skills against monsters, competitors, devious employers, and false employers, all while keeping his loyalties to his family at the forefront.

I love short story collections, and recommend this one fully. I was provided an advance copy of this book with no anticipation of a review.

Buy a copy of the book: https://www.amazon.com/Life-Times-Ichabod-Brooks-ebook/dp/B073NR7XK

A selection of books also by Charles E. Yallowitz.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Charles-E-Yallowitz/e/B00AX1MSQA

Read more reviews and follow Charles on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6965804.Charles_E_Yallowitz

 Connect to Charles via his blog –  www.legendsofwindemere.com

Time to end on a sweet note with the latest children’s book by Robbie Cheadle. Silly Willy goes to Capetown also contains the recipe for five fun party cakes.  Bake and Write are the key words.

About the book

When the George family go on holiday to Cape Town, Cautious Craig cannot believe what he has to endure at the hands of his naughty and wilful younger brother, Silly Willy, Willy throws tantrums at the most embarassing and inappropriate times, causes a commotion on the aeroplane and tries to steal a chameleon from Butterfly World. What is a poor older brother to do in these situations.

Buy the book and bake the cakes: https://www.amazon.com/Silly-Willy-Goes-Cape-Adventures/dp/1911070770

The latest review for Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Dough Bees story and cookbook

Who could not pick up Robbie and Michael Cheadle’s story-and-baking book, Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Dough Bees Story and Cookbook (TSL Publications 2017) after reading this blurb:

“A greedy snail damages the flower fields and the fondant bees are in danger of starving. Join Sir Chocolate on an adventure to find the fruit drop fairies who have magic healing powers and discover how to make some of his favourite foods on the way.”

This is a fun poetic story about the adventures of Sir Chocolate interspersed with wonderful recipes parents and kids create together–foods like Cheesy Bread and Butter Biscuits–accompanied by cute real-life pictures of the sugar dough creations, I have never seen a book that blended recipes and reading. How clever is that! Kids love cooking with parents, and now they can blend that with a favorite pastime: reading.

One more note: Robbie and Michael are mother-and-son. Not only will kids be inspired to cook with parents, but write and publish a book.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ

Connect to Robbie and Michael at their blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and if you are an author on the shelves of the bookstore then please let me know if you have a new release, great review or an offer. sally.cronin@moyhill.com

If you would like to join these authors and more than 200 others on the shelves of the bookstore then please take a look at what I need to showcase your work.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore/

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: https://www.amazon.com/Richard-M.-Ankers/e/B01GEM7690

Richard Ankers on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15271976.Richard_M_Ankers

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.

“Jean.”

It could have been me, the name sounded familiar.

“Jean.”

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.

Blog: https://richardankers.com/
Creativia Landing Page: http://www.creativia.org/paranormal-fantasy-gothic-setting-yorkshire-author-richard-ankers.html
Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/richardankers/?hl=en
Facebook Author: https://www.facebook.com/richardmankers
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/richardankers/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RichardAnkers

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 – Richard Ankers, Linda Bethea and Sarah Brentyn


Welcome to the first of the review posts this week which is open to all authors and reviewers of books. Those authors in the Bookstore are also featured here between posts.  This is an opportunity to give your previous books a boost and if you have just received a great review in a blog or on Amazon or Goodreads drop me a line. Sally.cronin@moyhill.com

The first recent review is for Richard Ankers and his dark fantasy Hunter Hunted: Book 2 in the Eternals Series

About Hunter Hunted

As soon as Jean stands in the sun’s ruby light, a world of darkness draws him and Princess Linka in. The Nordic royalty – albino Eternals of myth – transport their guests deep beneath the Arctic ice to the legendary city of Hvit.

Their mother, Queen Serena, offers the pair sanctuary, but all is not right. Betrayed by the royal family and almost drowned in an orca hunt, Jean must leave Linka behind. His mood is darker than ever and the world will feel his fury. Renewing old acquaintances, both good and bad, Jean must solve the mystery of who manipulates him and the deepening saga of his parents’ deaths. Now, Jean fights for more than just himself; he fights for love.

Once again, aided and abetted by the increasingly manic Merryweather, and the mysterious beauty that is Princess Aurora, Jean seeks retribution. Both hunter and hunted, trapped between wolves of land and sea, all directions point north. Jean must return to Hvit, the cloying, lavender stench of death, and the never-ending quest for blood.

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 the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Hunter-Hunted-Eternals-Book-2-ebook/dp/B01N8ODF9T

Also by Richard Ankers

Read more about Richard Ankers, read the reviews and buy the books : https://www.amazon.com/Richard-M.-Ankers/e/B01GEM7690

Connect to Richard Ankers via his Website: https://richardankers.com/

Now for an April 1st review for Linda Bethea’s very popular book Everything Smells Just Like Poke Salad.  And author Patricia Salamone highly recommends.

About Everything Smells Just Like Poke Salad

Born to a struggling farm family in the deepest of The Great Depression, Kathleen enjoys a colorful childhood, enhanced by her imagination, love of life, and the encouragement of her family.

She’s determined to build a better life for herself, getting herself into hilarious situations all along the way. Distinguishing herself in school and the community, she never takes her eyes off her goal.

Just as she’s about to get started, she meets Bill, the man who is going to help her on her way. Everything changes. And then changes again. The true story of a remarkable woman who will inspire you, make you laugh, and see life from a new perspective.

The most recent review for the book

I highly recommend “Everything Smells Just Like Poke Salad”

Linda Swain-Bethea comes from a long line of wonderful storytellers and weaves Kathleen Holdaway-Swains memories into a delightful look at what life was like being raised during the Depression. Living in Cuthand, Texas a small out of the way town, considered the low country. Despite hard times, Kathleen’s parents made sure their children always had a roof over their heads, clean clothes and food on the table, including Poke Salad and received an education. Her detailed description of her family and life in Cuthand will have you laughing and yet there leaves a sadness that folks had to live through such hard times when every penny counted. You will meet the family and neighbors, friends and enemies through the eyes of a youngster from a poor but loving home. How the years of WWII affected her family and her future.

Kathleen gets herself into some precarious situations as a child due to her strict moral values instilled in her by her parents. It will keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next. Her dreams for her future take twists and turns as she forges into the unknown and winds up in Louisiana and finally realizes her dream, only not quite the way she thought it would be.

Kathleen is alive and well and has not lost her sense of humor. She is surrounded by her loving family including her great-grandchildren.

There are also several photos included which put a face to some of the real people in this memoir.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://http://www.amazon.com/Everything-Smells-Just-Like-Salad-ebook/dp/B01IVUXROQ

Connect to Linda via her very entertaining blog: https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/

The final review today is for the short story collection Hinting at Shadows by Sarah Brentyn.

About the collection

No One Escapes Life Unscathed

Delve into the deeper reaches of the human condition and the darkness that lives there.

A girl haunted by her sister’s drowning. A boy desperate for his father’s affection. A woman forced to make a devastating decision. A man trapped by his obsessions.

Experience tales of love, loss, murder, and madness through this collection of flash and micro fiction.

Take a peek behind the smile of a stranger. Get a glimpse inside the heart of a friend. Scratch the surface and discover what is hidden beneath.

These stories will open your mind, tug at your thoughts, and allow you to explore the possibility that, even in the brightest moments, something is Hinting at Shadows.

Each selection is approximately 100 words, with a bonus section of Microbursts in which each story is told in 50 words or less.

The most recent review for Hinting at Shadows

I actually read this book some weeks ago, but it has taken me a while to reflect on it. In fairness, it took me a while to read it, but that was a deliberate choice I made.

The book is a collection of short stories or, more accurately, flash fiction, a style of writing that I’m not overly familiar with. I have rediscovered my appreciation of short stories in recent years, which was what brought me to this book. What I found inside was an experience I hadn’t had before. Stories that were over in minutes (sometimes seconds), but that left me thinking. So, although I started out with the intention of ploughing my way through it, I came to realise that I could only read a few at a time. Like a fancy box of chocolates, if I’d wolfed those stories down, I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate them.

As the title suggests, dark places are visited throughout the book. What Brentyn has done here is create intricate experiences that touch nerves through some carefully crafted narratives. This is not a book that will appeal to everyone. My own feeling initially was one of uncertainty. Yet, by being patient, and savouring the morsel-sized tales, I came to appreciate the author’s mastery as a storyteller. There are lessons to be learnt here for all writers.

Read all the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Hinting-Shadows-Collection-Short-Fiction-ebook/dp/B01N0DVWKO

Connect to Sarah Brentyn via her blog: https://sarahbrentyn.wordpress.com/

Thanks for dropping by.. The next Air your Reviews is Thursday if you would like to share your latest review please email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com

New Series – Sally’s Cafe & Bookstore Christmas Update – New books and Reviews


sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-updateWelcome to Sally’s Cafe & Bookstore Christmas Update. Recently I asked  the 120 authors in the bookstore to check their entries to make sure that I have their latest books on the shelves.. If you did not check perhaps you could do so and then let me know sally.cronin@moyhill.com

During the next six weeks to Christmas I will be posting an update two or three times a week featuring as many of the authors on the shelves as I can.. I will be checking each author on Amazon for latest books or reviews of their most recent published book but it would be helpful if you could give me a heads up in advance.  Just email me with your Amazon Link and I will do the rest.

To be in the bookstore you will need to have been promoted during the year at some point.

On with the update….

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A new release from Richard M. Ankers. Book 2 in  The Eternals Series – Hunter Hunted.

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About the book.

As soon as Jean stands in the sun’s ruby light, he and Princess Linka are drawn into a world of darkness. The Nordic royalty – albino Eternals of supposed myth – transport their guests deep beneath the Arctic ice to the legendary city of Hvit.Their mother, Queen Serena, offers the pair sanctuary, but all is not right.

Betrayed by the royal family and almost drowned in an orca hunt, Jean is forced to leave Linka behind. His mood is darker than ever and the world will feel his fury. Renewing old acquaintances, both good and bad, Jean must solve the mystery of who manipulates him and the deepening saga of his parents’ deaths. Now, Jean fights for more than just himself; he fights for love.

Once again, aided and abetted by the increasingly manic Merryweather, and the mysterious beauty that is Princess Aurora, Jean seeks retribution. Both hunter and hunted, trapped between wolves of land and sea, all directions point north. Jean must return to Hvit, the cloying, lavender stench of death, and the never-ending quest for blood.

Also by Richard M. Ankers.

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Buy the books and connect to Richard

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Richard-M.-Ankers/e/B01GEM7690
Websitehttps://richardankers.com/

sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-update

Great reviews for Linda Bethea’s first book Everything Smells Like Poke Salad

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About the book.

51qb8fm4dql-_ac_us240_ql65_1Born to a struggling farm family in the deepest of The Great Depression, Kathleen enjoys a colorful childhood, enhanced by her imagination, love of life, and the encouragement of her family. She’s determined to build a better life for herself, getting herself into hilarious situations all along the way.

Distinguishing herself in school and the community, she never takes her eyes off her goal. Just as she’s about to get started, she meets Bill, the man who is going to help her on her way. Everything changes. And then changes again.

The true story of a remarkable woman who will inspire you, make you laugh, and see life from a new perspective.

One of the latest rave reviews.

Definitely 5-stars   By Dr. M on July 31, 2016

Very nicely woven tales of one family through the eyes of one girl born in depression era and still alive. She not only shares the stories but also helped illustrate the book. The author paints a very vivid yet poignant picture of what went on in lives of ordinary Americans during depression, such that it seems that you actually seeing the scenes happen rather than just reading.

Even the epilogue is a memorable one in its own way. Kathleen, now in her eighties says this about not remarrying after death of her husband decades ago, “There’s nothing wrong with men. I just don’t want to marry another one. They keep breathing in and out!”

Those who whine all the time about money issues for no good reason should read the book to see how America survived the depression and came out stronger because of great Americans like the heroine in this book.

Buy the book and connect to Linda.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Everything-Smells-Just-Like-Salad-ebook/dp/B01IVUXROQ

Blog: https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/

sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-update

An update on reviews for Ritu Bhathal’s Poetic Rituals published earlier in the year.

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About the book

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Delve into a book of verse exploring different topics and different genres, all with a RITUal twist.A collection of poetry drawing on the experiences of the writer, ranging from matters of the heart, love for the family, situations in life and some verses written with a humorous twist.

One of the latest reviews.

A woman’s life in poems  By Diana on September 14, 2016

Bhathal’s Poetic Rituals is a collection of poems that explores life’s rituals, those of a mother, wife, lover, and teacher. There are real gems in here with lovely imagery, humor, passion, and ambivalence. My favorite poems were the lighthearted rhymes about being a mother of young children. A great read to visit and browse throughout the day.

Buy the book and connect to Ritu.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Ritu-Bhathal/e/B01H5F3KE0

Blog: https://butismileanyway.wordpress.com/

sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-update

Latest release from Linda Bradley Maggie’s Montana the third in The Montana Bound Series

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About the book

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Maggie Abernathy, best friend Judy, and Judy’s two young sons travel cross country to visit John McIntyre and daughter Chloe at their Montana ranch. Maggie’s convinced herself that she’s only making the trip to fulfill her promise to visit Chloe, but once there she can’t help but fall in love with the horses, the land, the ranch, and the Montana ways of life. With Chloe’s loving antics, Winston’s gift, and a handful of wranglers showing her the ropes, will Maggie have the heart to say goodbye?

The latest review from Goodreads – Kayla rated it it was amazing

This book gave me the feels for the love between John and Maggie. I felt like I was in Montana right along with the characters. You can feel the strain Maggie is facing in deciding what her future holds and you hope that she picks what is best for her in the end. Great book to read to relax!

Also by Linda Bradley

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Buy the books and connect to Linda Bradley.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Linda-Bradley/e/B00JUIS2FS
Websitehttp://www.lindabradleyauthor.com

sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-update

A review update for Untangled by Alexis Rose.

fullsizerenderAbout the book.

516anwju-ml-_uy250_2A story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph.
Recalling her life, the author takes us on a journey of unimaginable abuse with continued explicit threats that eventually led to her being sent overseas on an impossible mission. She repressed the memories of her past until a family tragedy forced her to face what her life had been. A history of abuse, torture, and threats to maintain her silence or be killed could no longer be denied.

This is the story of facing the truth and risking the consequences of breaking the silence. The author learns to accept the effects of the trauma that echo through her daily life as PTSD.
Through years of self-exploration, she learns to live her life fearlessly, with eyes wide open. Ultimately this book is about resilience; hope for victims who have suffered trauma and for the people who support them.

One of the reviews for the book.

Couldn’t Put Down   By Francie Nolan on March 21, 2016

I discovered this book on the writer’s blog. Although I don’t normally read accounts of trauma because they tend to trigger me, I downloaded a sample and found the narrative so compelling, I bought the book.This is an amazing story. I cannot conceive of how the author survived all she went through. An incredibly strong and resilient spirit! The memoir is well-written and the story flows easily. It was a couldn’t-put-down book. When her husband tells the mother she has to leave the house at one point, I cheered. And cheered for the author all the way.

I connected with the author especially when she mentioned the physical pain that manifested at the same time as the unblocking of her emotions and memories. Highly recommended.

Buy the book and connect to Alexis

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Untangled-story-resilience-courage-triumph/dp/1514213222/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Blog. https://atribeuntangled.com/

sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-update

I hope that you have enjoyed this first of the Cafe & Bookstore updates and that it will give you some inspiration for the gift of books for family and friends this Christmas and also your own TBR.

Your feedback would be very welcome and also if you could share on your own social media it would be amazing. Sally