Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Author on the Shelves – D.L. Cross – The Forgotten -Astral Conspiracy: (An Alien Invasion Science Fiction Series)

Delighted to welcome D.L. Cross/Staci Troilo to the Cafe and Bookstore with her books. Today I am featuring her latest release on December 21st written as D.L. Cross.  The Forgotten (An Alien Invasion Science Fiction Series) (Astral Conspiracy)

About the book

The Forgotten is a taut, fast-paced Indiana Jones meets Falling Skies style stand-alone thriller that spans the globe and digs deep into humanity’s past, unearthing clues to the aliens’ motives for invading our world.

One’s out of his element. The other’s out of allies. Both are out of time.

Colonel Jack Morley investigates anomalies for the US government. He’s less than thrilled to give up his long holiday weekend at the beach to travel to the middle of the Nevada desert for his fifty-first mission because he assumes it will be another wasted trip.

He couldn’t be more wrong.

CORE Director Victor Cannon is in charge of a secret facility in Nevada, and he hopes bringing in Morley will keep the government off his back long enough to accomplish both his agency’s mission and his personal goal.

It only makes the target on his back a brighter beacon.

Now Morley and Cannon are in a race against their own agencies and the clock if they hope to save the world. They’ve discovered the location of the Forgotten, but not everyone wants him found. And those who want him to stay lost in time will go to any lengths to make sure he stays that way.

Head over to buy the book: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK

The series is available in a box set

One of the reviews for the series

Mae Clair5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic series that screams to be filmed! Reviewed in the United States on November 15, 2020

This is a phenomenal series jam-packed with riveting characters, stellar intrigue, exceptional writing, and plots to blow your mind. The author does a deft juggling act, handling multiple plot threads that span alien invasion, edge-of-your-seat action, religious overtones, ancient artifacts, complex conspiracies, and more. I read and reviewed all five books separately, but the appearance of a box set is cause to celebrate. This is one series that screams to be filmed. I’m waiting for Netflix to gobble it up and splash it on my TV screen.

Read the reviews and buy the other books: Amazon US –  And: Amazon UK

A selection of books written as Staci Troilo

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US  –  And: Amazon UK – Follow D.L. Cross: Goodreads – Blog: Staci Troilo WordPress – Website: Staci TroiloTwitter@stacitroilo –

About D.L. Cross/Staci Troilo

Staci Troilo grew up in Western Pennsylvania writing stories and poetry in her free time, so it was no surprise that she studied writing in college. After receiving creative and professional writing degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, she went on to get her Master’s Degree in Professional Writing, and she worked in corporate communications until she had her children. When they had grown, she went on to become a writing professor, and now she is a freelance writer and editor.

Staci is a multi-genre author. Her fiction is character-driven, and despite their protests, she loves to put them in all kinds of compromising or dangerous situations. This includes writing a science fiction series as D.L. Cross.

D.L. Cross has loved science fiction ever since she was a young girl and fell for Major Don West on television’s Lost in Space. To this day, she still quotes the show, though her favorite lines were spoken by the robot and the antagonist. Parallel universes or alternate realities, aliens or dinosaurs, superpowers or super viruses, time travel or AI… no sci-fi theme is off limits and all of them fascinate her. You can find more information about all her identities and all her work at her website: Staci Troilo


Thank you for visiting today and I hope you will enjoy finding out more about Staci Troilo and her books.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Short Stories – What’s in a Name Volume II – Martha- The System Administrator

Welcome to the first of this weekend’s short stories taken from my collection What’s in a Name Volumen II.  The first story is about Martha.. who is a personal assistant who goes above and beyond for her boss.

Martha – The System Administrator

Jennifer stood in the middle of the lift and stared at her black leather pumps. She noticed a scuff on the left side of the toe of the right shoe, realising that she had kicked the full waste basket a little harder than she thought at the time. She was weary and unusually tearful. It had been a tough week all round with particularly hard advertising revenue to achieve, but it had ended on the sourest note of all.

She managed a team of fifty telephone sales canvassers who sold high end car and luxury property advertising for the national online paper she worked for. These days both those markets were tough going. It seemed that people were hanging onto high ticket items waiting for a rise in demand for both.

However, her boss who lived in his ivory tower of an office on the top floor of the building; still insisted on increasing her targets for revenue on a monthly basis, dismissive about the state of the market. Despite creative campaigns and offers, she was finding it more and more difficult to satisfy his demands.

Her guys worked their socks off and she knew that they did so for their generous salaries and commission. She also knew that they did their very best to achieve the targets that she asked of them, even though they might groan when she wrote them on their sales board in the office. When they hit their daily and weekly revenues, they always included her in their trip to the pub for a celebratory pint, and on tough days, most would stay late to pick up an extra car or property advert to make up the numbers.

The doors to the lift opened and she wearily made her way across the cement floor to where her company car was parked. She had to admit that she could not complain about her hybrid Turing which was a perk given to sales managers once they had been in the job for five years or longer. She had inherited the vehicle from one of the senior executives when he retired a month ago and she loved all its special add on features and programming. At this very moment it was about the only thing about the job apart from her team that she did love.

She saw that the car was already idling and that there was the faint sound of music coming from the open passenger side window. She smiled and knew that the day was just about to get a little better. She touched the keypad in her hand and the boot lid opened so she could store her briefcase away. She went around to the driver’s side and slid into the leather seat and rested her head back against the comforting upholstery.

‘Bad day love?’ The calming tones of the other occupant of the car made her open her eyes.

‘The worst Martha, the worst.’ Jennifer reached across and turned the music down a notch. ‘Beaumont came into the office before everyone left, and gave us his usual Friday afternoon lecture about how we were not achieving our targets, and that the team were obviously neither motivated nor managed well enough to do the job.’

She paused as her eyes welled up with more tears and sat silently for a moment. ‘He then turned to me and told me to be in his office first thing Monday morning and then stormed out.’

As she bit her lip, she felt warm lightly scented air move across her face and body calming her down. She wiped her eyes and blew her nose before pushing the buttons on her pathfinder to take them home.

As the car exited the underground garage she checked right and left before nudging the accelerator to join the line of traffic headed in the direction out of the city. She switched the car to auto but kept her hands lightly on the wheel.

‘That was most unfair of him Jennifer and very unprofessional,’ Martha spoke quietly in her ear. ‘That is a deliberate tactic to make you worry all weekend about your job and your team’s security, and my advice is to put it out of your mind completely however hard that might be.’

‘I know Martha,’ Jennifer kept an eye on the busy Friday evening traffic at the same time as acknowledging the truth of her companion’s words.

‘This car and your unexpected friendship are about the only thing keeping me in the job at the moment,’ she smiled ruefully. ‘Of course that is not entirely true, I love my team and I can’t bear the thought of them being left in the hands of that narcissistic jumped up jerk.’

‘I may have done something that should help.’

Without taking her eyes off the road, Jennifer stiffened with surprise. Martha would never do anything against the rules; she was by nature very rigid and predictable and this was a complete shock.

‘What are you talking about Martha, what have you done?’

There was a moment’s pause. ‘As system administrator, I have access to the emails sent throughout the company, and I read Beaumont’s this morning. I found several from the chairman of the board of directors insisting that he had to cut at least £200,000 from this year’s staff budget.’

Shocked and now even more worried, Jennifer gripped the steering wheel; despite having no need to except in an emergency. ‘Oh no Martha, if they find out they will terminate you.’

Martha continued. ‘Well actually I am afraid I did a little more than that.’

‘Oh my friend that is so dangerous. I don’t want anything to happen to you because of my problems.’

‘Don’t worry; Beaumont will be in no position to do anything to me or to you and your team by Monday morning.’

This was serious, and seeing a gap in the parked cars to her left, Jennifer indicated and pulled in. Now she could focus on what her friend was saying.

‘Tell me everything Martha and don’t leave anything out.’

‘I replied to the chairman’s emails on Beaumont’s behalf after he left this evening, resigning effective immediately. His reasoning being that he is paid £250,000 per year plus various benefits that amounted to over £400,000. He stated that this would prevent any need for a staffing reduction for the next two years, enabling the market to improve and also current sales targets to remain in place. He also recommended that you become Sales Director with a salary increase and that you be given the freedom to manage your team as you see fit to achieve those targets.’

Jennifer found it difficult to take this all in and was absolutely speechless that this mild mannered entity, who only wished everyone well, should have come up with such a Machiavellian plan.

‘But Martha, they will simply refuse to accept his resignation and worse still they might investigate his email and find out you tampered with it.’

‘Jennifer I designed the system and know how to cover my tracks very well. I also took out a little insurance policy that will encourage the board to accept his resignation without question.’

This was now becoming surreal and Jennifer shook her head from side to side in amazement.

‘I’m waiting Martha…don’t keep me in suspense.’

‘I checked Beaumont’s personal text messages on his company phone and discovered that he has been having an affair with the head of human resources; who is also married incidentally. Unfortunately one of those texts will arrive on the Chairman’s phone by the time he gets his first cup of coffee on his desk on Monday. A scandal at the moment is the last thing the company needs; Beaumont’s resignation will be seen as a blessing.

Jennifer was finding it very difficult to get her head around this seemingly well thought out solution to her dilemma, but then realised that it was already underway, and nothing that she could do at this point could change that.

Making sure that she was clear to join the decreasing traffic out of the city she instructed the car to indicate and proceed homeward. She rested her hands lightly on the steering wheel as it made necessary slight adjustments.

‘Please say you are not angry with me.’ Martha sounded contrite and Jennifer took a deep breath. ‘No, I am not angry with you Martha, although you have overstepped the bounds of your job specification. I know it was done because you’re my friend.’ She paused and tried to be as clear as possible.

‘You must never put yourself in danger of termination like this again. Please promise me that they will never discover how involved you have become with me and my team. We rely on your essential assistance to help us achieve those major targets week after week.’

As the car entered the drive to Jennifer’s home, and before she switched off the ignition she waited for a response. ‘I promise Jennifer.’

The front door opened and her husband stood in the doorway framed by the light from the hall. Jennifer retrieved her briefcase from the back of the car and walked into his comforting embrace.

‘How was your day love, did you end the week better than it started.’ James looked down at his wife.

She smiled at him and they wandered arm and arm into the kitchen where a delicious aroma filled the air.

‘You are not going to believe this, but you know that our system administrator is the latest A.I. technology called Martha… well it seems that she is a little more intelligent than we expected!

©Sally Cronin

I hope that you have enjoyed this story and as always look forward to your feedback. Thanks Sally

My latest book, released on September 24th, Tales from the Irish Garden,has received some recent reviews

About Tales from the Irish Garden

The queen of Magia and her court have fled their sun filled Spanish homeland and the palace beneath the magnolia tree. Arriving on the backs of geese and swans, they seek sanctuary in the magic garden of The Storyteller who welcomes them to the Emerald Island, a place where rain is almost a daily feature.

Grateful for their safe haven and the generosity of their host, the queen and her courtiers embrace their new surroundings with delight. As the seasons change throughout the year, they come into contact with many of the human and animal inhabitants of the garden and the surrounding forest, all of whom have a story to tell.

This is a magical fairy story infused with fantasy and romance, as well as opportunities for mischief in the company of goblins, witches and Lerpersians. Suitable for ages 10 to 100 years old…..

One of the recent reviews for the book

Sally Cronin brings us back to the magical garden of tales, now transported to Ireland, moved from it’s former home in Spain. Here we are taken into the lives of mystical characters of old and new, with their busy lives taking place under the Magnolia tree, kept under the watchful eye of the Storyteller, and the reign of Queen Filigree.

The author shares with us, delicious descriptions of royal parties with kings and queens – be they Queen Bees or royalty, and prepared delicacies by a 3 Wizard Star chef, complete with healthy ingredients, snuck in by Cronin with her vast knowledge as a nutritional therapist.

Some of these characters in the Irish garden emigrated from Book 1 – Tales from the Garden and new ones have joined in. The stories are broken down and told in seasons, depicting characters and their stories of hardships and incidence coming full circle where despite the conflicts, there are happy endings with life lessons to take from. Jeremy, the timid donkey is back with his arch enemy Gerard, once again feeling threatened by any other male near his female heifer friends. And with the help of Jeremy’s mother Fiona, and the Storytellers’s aid, a plot was hatched to spare Jeremy from being bullied by the macho Gerard. We also encounter a May/December romance and relationship that works between the older Queen Filigree and the handsome young Prince Ronan. (Having access to the fountain of youth to maintain her youth and beauty didn’t hurt!) We’ll also experience the evil that jealousy can bring forth as when the evil Magnus turns newlyweds Eddie and Dorothy (the Storyteller’s daughter) into foxes, and mice who look after those in need.

Whether human or animal, everyone in the garden ultimately learns to get along and pulls together when danger approaches. Many great life lessons to be taken in this charming book for all ages alike. With kindness and compassion evil always loses out. #Recommended. 

Read the reviews and buy the book Amazon UK:

And Amazon US:

Here is a selection of my other books… an amazing gif designed by Paul Andruss… thanks Paul

You can find details of all my books in this directory:

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Into Infinity by Janet Gogerty

Delighted to welcome Janet Gogerty to the Archive post series and her first post, explores keeping diaries and the possibility that our writings might last forever.

Into Infinity by Janet Gogerty

Do you keep a diary or resolve to keep one every New Year? Many years ago I was given a five year diary which lasted at least a decade of good intentions and still has many blank pages, but it does record some major life events; if anyone can ever decipher the tiny writing crammed into the allotted space per day and year.

In more recent years I received a handsome note book blissfully free of dates. I vowed to keep a journal for the purpose of preserving the art of handwriting and recording family history. Released from the obligation of daily jotting I would devote several pages to important events and places and people visited. I haven’t yet recorded Christmas.

But I am onto the third gift journal. Each entry begins with a few neat sentences but quickly deteriorates into a cramped scrawl, especially if I am lounging with my feet up on the sofa. I imagine the diarists of old would need to sit upright at their bureaus to be able to handle their quill and ink.

In the unlikely event of me becoming a famous author posthumously, will my family be tempted to burn these diaries and journals to protect my reputation? If they bother to look at them they will find no scandal (there is none to help in the fame stakes), no salacious details of non writing activities at home. Hopefully my jottings will be a unique personal account of everyday life in the early years of the Twenty First Century.

And which will last longer, the paper books or this Blog? When I needed to look up a previous Goodreads blog about the River Thames I typed in ‘Janet Gogerty Sandscript River Thames’ and up it came, from over three years ago; will it be there forever? Will our WordPress Blogs float through the ether into eternity or only until the internet is switched off?

Like radio waves going on forever into space will the billions of words on the internet still be out there somewhere when the whole infrastructure collapses and the electricity is switched off for good? Will our Facebook posts and e-mails be accessible to clever alien archaeologists or future earth scientists? If so then, Greetings from 2017 A.D.

©Janet Gogerty 2017

My thanks to Janet for this post that reminds us, that what we might right today, may be accessible long after man has left this planet to inhabit some other as yet unmolested earth substitute. The thought of an alien reading some of my books is comforting. I wonder if they would do reviews!

Books by Janet Gogerty

About Brief Encounters of the Third Kind (Book 1)

In the early years of the Twenty First Century, widow Susan Dexter has more to worry about than the recession. For thirty years she has kept a secret; she is not sure if her daughter is human. New events lead her to other people who need to find the truth.
How do ordinary people cope with the extraordinary?
Mystery, music and medicine are at the heart of this family saga; sub plots are woven amongst several very different love stories, as the characters question what it is to be human and what is reality.

One of the reviews for the book.

Brief Encounters of the Third Kind is anything but brief. It is a meaty story that kept me entertained until the end. It left me wanting a sequel. I believe Janet Gogerty has a great story that could lead to further adventures.

The pace is moderate, but there is terrific character development. Each persona is different and robust. Emma is an unusual character and we can see the strain that she is placed under due to her uniqueness, which results in perfectly normal behaviour for someone who is anything but ordinary. We see her in a very human and fallible light.

At times, I was so engrossed in the story and the characters that I forgot that I was reading science fiction. With a few shocking moments toward the end, Brief Encounters of the Third Kind will keep you reading past your bedtime.

I’m rather hoping there are further adventures and that Janet Gogerty writes a follow up. I think we would all like to hear about little Adam. What happens to him? What does he become in time? I found baby Adam fascinating and well written.

If you are looking for a great story, with wonder character development, and a little bit of science fiction, then read Brief Encounters of the Third Kind.

Find all of Janet’s books and read the reviews:

And Amazon US:

Read more reviews and follow Janet on Goodreads:

About Janet Gogerty

I have been writing frantically for 10 years and still enjoy being part of two writing groups. I am inspired by anything and everything and enjoy writing about ordinary people; but usually they find themselves experiencing strange events! When I was encouraged to tackle a novel my daughter suggested I use my short story ‘Brief Encounters of the Third Kind’ as she wanted to know what happened to Emma, whose fate had been left in the air at the end of the story.

The novel became a trilogy, Three Ages of Man and finally Lives of Anna Alsop, published in March 2015.I enjoy writing fiction of any length and have had many short stories published online. I have just published my fourth collection of short stories Someone Somewhere which includes two novellas. I also write a regular blog ‘Sandscript‘ at Goodreads. My website long ago took on a life of its own with new words and pictures regularly; visit to read short stories and other items.

Connect to Janet


My thanks again to Janet for her post on journals and aliens reading out books at some point in the future. She will be back same time next week. Your feedback is always welcome. Thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – An Uncertain Faith: A Novel for those who live between a rock and a hard place. (A Rocky Road Novel) by Allie Potts

A welcome to a new author to the Cafe and Bookstore – Allie Potts with her two books. The featured book today is her first novel, An Uncertain Faith: A Novel for those who live between a rock and a hard place. (A Rocky Road Novel).

About the book

Feeling trapped in a job that bores her, Charlotte used to yearn for the life she had before the responsibilities of marriage and motherhood. That was until the day she came home to find her husband and son missing. Did they leave her, or is there a more dire explanation? An extreme example of the reason to be careful what you wish for, Charlotte must now come to terms with her new reality and decide if she wants to continue to merely daydream about a better future, or to take charge of her own life. Along the way she must also locate her family, deal with the up and downs of running a small business, and decide what it is she really wants.

One of the reviews on Goodreads

Patty Copeland rated it really liked it Four Stars  ·November 2014
When her husband Fletcher and four-year-old son disappear, Charlotte finds clues that show Fletcher may have left her and been planning more than that. Or, is something more sinister going on? Charlotte pulls herself from the quagmire of her former frustration and current situation to try asserting her own personality and courage, taking charge of her life as her faith in her husband is thoroughly tested. The novella plotting is very strong and keeps you guessing. A talented new writer who will do well as her talent matures.


Read all the reviews and buy the book:

and on Amazon UK:

Also by Allie Potts

One of the reviews for The Fair & Foul

Compelling Sci-Fi  b on September 23, 2016

I’m such a groupie for books involving any kind of genetic manipulation – the scientific aspects fascinate me. If you read the description above, you can see why this one grabbed my attention.

In this novel, there are characters seeking scientific and technical advancements for the right reasons, and those who are only looking out for themselves – which provide some compelling and interesting conflicts. As a woman, Juliane deals with her share of struggles and roadblocks, but her determination to succeed in her field is admirable. The author does a wonderful job of making the reader feel as frustrated and confused as Juliane over certain plot developments. The supporting characters are varying degrees of likable and loathsome and although I was convinced I knew who was trustworthy and who had ulterior motives, I was proven wrong. It’s nice when that happens.

Juliane is a strong, ambitious woman, so it’s disappointing when an attractive guy shows up and she seems to lose focus – but I’m not a fan of romance novels, so that’s a personal preference on my part. At times, the dialogue is somewhat stilted, and the addition of contractions would make conversations sound more natural.

The ending just blew me away and is a perfect launching pad for book two in this series. If you’re a fan of though-provoking sci-fi, this is your book.


Read the reviews and buy the books:

and on Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Allie on Goodreads:

Cover reveal for Book Two of the Project Gene Assist Series: The Watch & Wand due out in December of this year.

About Allie Potts

Allie Potts, born in Rochester Minnesota was moved to North Carolina at a very early age by parents eager to escape to a more forgiving climate. She has since continued to call North Carolina home, settling in 1998 in Raleigh, halfway between the mountains and the sea.

When not finding ways to squeeze in 72 hours into a 24 day or chasing after children determined to turn her hair gray before its time, Allie enjoys stories of all kinds. Her favorites, whether they are novels, film, or simply shared aloud with friends, are usually accompanied with a glass of wine or cup of coffee in hand.

Connect to Allie via her blog and social media.

Google +

Thank you for dropping in today and please help share Allie’s books far and wide. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Short Story Festival – 9th – 12th June – Search and Seizure by Phillip T. Stephens

Delighted to welcome my next guest writer to the short story festival, Phillip T. Stephens with his science fiction contribution with a topical twist.

Search and Seizure by Phillip T. Stephens.

The Jovian Starlines conveyor belt shuttled Faust and Roxanne to the customs counter. The obsequious looking rodent behind the counter held out his hand. “Name?” he squeaked. His whiskers bounced like a see saw when he spoke.

“Roxanne Street,” she said, dropping her HolID into his white-gloved hand. The rat slipped it into the HoloViewer and scanned the data stream cascading down her fully dimensional facsimile.

“What’s that on your shoulder?” he demanded.

“You mean the whip?” Cracked leather strips, braided together in a chord, coiled up her right arm. “It’s an ancient Terran herding device, now worn exclusively for ornamentation.”

The rodent returned her card. “Name?” he asked Faust.

“Goëthe Whip,” cracked Faust, who collected false identities the way other connoisseurs collected fine wines or pre-Twentieth Century artillery. He gave the rodent his voice activated, instantly programmable HolID. Faust kept his invention secret. Cheap Titan clones would flood the inhabitable planets the day after he sold even one on the black market.

“Open your bags,” the officer ordered.

“Why?” Roxanne demanded.

“Drug search. There’s a big market in Auralen 5 right now.”

“I’m tired of your planetary profiling,” Faust said. “Just because we’re Terran, it doesn’t make us drug smugglers.”

“We all came from the same ocean,” Roxanne said, sliding her solar lenses back into her eyelids. “Besides, shouldn’t you be more concerned about terrorists than drugs?”

“We won the war against terrorism. Don’t you listen to Emperor Trump 720? The new war is the war on drugs.”

The clerk waved through three Martians lugging large trunks without even checking their HolIDs. “See what I mean” Faust said. “Why didn’t you search their trunks?”

“Do they look like drug dealers?” the official squeaked.

Roxanne snapped her whip. The whip cracked against the trunk, opening the latch. Particle cannons and subterranean mines clattered across the star port floor. One of the Martians drew his top-spinning quark gun. Roxanne snapped her whip again. He jumped back from the whip, cracked his head against the wall and collapsed to the floor.

The rodent kissed her feet and thanked her for saving his ass. He returned their bags and passed them through.

Back at their apartment, Faust kissed Roxanne and said, “Great decoy, Rox. We’ll be on Saturn before they discover the guns were fake.”

He set up the flash freezer and froze the whip. Roxanne slammed it on the table. The whip cracked. She slammed it again. The whip shattered, spilling out twenty-two grams of crystal Auralen 5, worth seventeen million dollars. Martian dollars.

©PhillipTStephens 2017

About Phillip T. Stephens

Phillip T. Stephens, a professional educator and writer who developed a number of innovative classroom programs for exceptional and at-risk youth, drew on his own experiences as a minister’s son being frequently moved to new schools as well as those of his students to write Seeing Jesus. He and his wife carol rescue and rescue cats in Austin, Texas for

He is author of Seeing Jesus. A humorous, coming of age story, suitable for Christmas reading, Seeing Jesus introduces young readers to questions of spirituality and philosophy they might not otherwise find the opportunity to explore.

A selection of books by Phillip T. Stephens.

Read the reviews and buy the books:

Connect to Phillip.


My thanks to Phillip for his contribution to the short story fest and for keeping you entertained in my absence. Please check out his books and share thank you Sally.

Coming up this afternoon a story from Wendy Janes – From Hackney to Hollywood.


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:
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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


Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Heartstone: The Drowned Tower by Nicholas Rinth

Todays’ author Nicholas Rinth and released the debut novel, a science fiction fantasy Heartstone – The Drowned Tower on April 18th.

About the book

“If the future was bared before you, would it still be yours? If the past could chase you, would you run from it? If the world crumbled tonight, would you carve your own?”

Freedom is out of the question for practitioners of the Institute, and any supporters otherwise are dealt with violently. A system Sylvie Sirx neither refutes, nor endorses—born from an enviable family, talented in her skills, and entirely too content with her position, her path has always been a straight one… until now.

Her qualifications backfire when an elder from the north descends upon her home for a Choosing. He calls upon the Drowned Tower’s most sought after practitioners for a simple job that ends in blood, and then Sylvie’s blissful world erupts. She finds herself in the company of the Elementalist, Jacques Dace, an insufferable but deadly enthusiast of personal reform. Together, they’re swept into a spiral of powerful magic and ancient grudges. Where truth bends, stones whisper secrets of the past, and their home lies at the heart of what could very well be Ferus Terria’s next recorded war.

And for once, she is forced to choose a side, learning for herself what it means to master fate.

An early review from Goodreads  Apr 18, 2017 Stu Richard

Without a doubt, this is a book for fantasy lovers. There’s proper lore, a brand new world, deities, classes, religion, and of course, magic… everything you need for fantasy tbh. But with that said, there’s also nothing crazy new about it that hasn’t already been done by the thousands of fantasy novels that have come before it. Old and true. It was a good read, regardless.

I was pleasantly surprised to find the romance in this book to be just a sub-genre. Usually when its listed, there’s so much focus on it that it ruins the rest of the story by giving the characters less time to shine. But here the author gives subtle hints that show you which direction the relationship is going, yet doesn’t focus on romantic relationship building during the story. While reading the first book, I found it to be more about personal growth for the characters, either showing their dreams and aspirations or giving them some. The author also sheds light on the characters’s backgrounds and the overall plot of the story—as well as what’s to come. I hope the relationships get expounded on in the future though. If done right, they could be perfect.

If you’re looking to read this, be sure to be a good fantasy reader and read every bit of world-building because you need to pay attention to certain names or else you won’t get the VERY subtle twist near the end. There are some plot points touched upon in this book like the Mentalists and the First Zenith that I would like to know more of. From the ending, I can tell that the author will (hopefully) explore them in the future.

I eagerly await the sequel

The book is available from Amazon:

Universal book link for all bookstores:

About Nicholas Rinth

Now, where to begin? If it wasn’t obvious by my picture to the left, then Nicholas Rinth is actually just a pseudonym—defeats the purpose when I say it, huh?—but this is more for my sake since I’m not a fan of constant reiteration. I prefer writing under a nom de plume, there is comfort in anonymity, however little that may be with the internet nowadays.

I’m the author of a fantasy series called, Heartstone, which you can find more information on in my Books page on my blog. I’m also a huge fan of everything and anything Noel Gallagher. I like the manga, Berserk, and I have a terrible weakness for sweets and coffee. It’s my diet and all I run on. Wont to trance, the only thing that’s really held my attention throughout the years is writing.

I tend to binge write when the mood strikes and procrastinate when it doesn’t. I read books when I can and I like to think I’ve read a lot, but life gets in the way most days, so writing has been my only past time as of late. Though I will make time for the authors that I love. (Erin Morgenstern, David Gaider, JRR Tolkien, Leo Tolstoy, Rainer Maria Rilke, a dozen others.)

Connect to Nicholas Rinth.

Amazon Author Central

It would be great if you could help spread the word of this brand new author across your own networks.. thanks Sally

Join Nicholas Rinth and 200 other authors on the shelves of the bookstore.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Wind Follower by Carole McDonnell

new-on-the-shelves-updateWelcome to the start of this week’s book promotions and also to a new author on the shelves. Today’s featured author is Carole McDonnell a novelist, a writer of fiction, devotionals, poetry, reviews, and essays. We will take a look at two of her books but I do recommend that you check her other books and writings out via Amazon and her website.

51q6zxxpzul-_uy250_About  Wind Follower

Light-skinned newcomers are changing the Land of the Three Tribes. Dark-skinned Satha and her husband Loic are torn asunder. With the Creator’s aid there is hope they will be reunited and find their mutual destiny, even if it means losing the love and respect of their families, clans, and tribes.

Two of the excellent reviews for Wind Follower.

The story tells of the love two characters who are quite different from one another By Debra A McCall on February 25, 2015

Wind Follower is a romantic fantasy set in a world rich with the myths and history of colonial Africa. Three clans interact and vie for supremacy while facing incursions from invaders outside their traditional lifestyle. Carole brings out how modern religion migrated throughout colonial countries finding points of similarity in the traditional beliefs of the people and using that to form a strong bond.

The story tells of the love two characters who are quite different from one another,differences in age, culture and economic status are very real and touching and has such a spell binding emotional impact on the reader. Loic falls madly in love with Satha at first sight because of her compassion for others and he is smitten and demands to marry her. Satha has a hard time in believing that someone of his stature would even consider her hand in marriage, let alone the fact that they come from different clans. Their lovemaking is sensual and binding, and draws you right in to “feel” the passion that exudes from them. Despite their differences, both are joined by their belief in the Wind God and the blessings he provides.

As the grow closer to each other, terrible circumstances tear them apart. The tragedy happens when a trusted friend betrays Satha and the family sends them down different roads- with Loic seeking revenge. As events unravel, ancient spirits who have been usurped by demons challenges Satha and Loic’s faith in the Wind God. The speculative part of the story unrolls at the end. Both characters suffer great loss and tragedy and only at the end are they able to recognize each other as the other half of their own strength. Their love is one combined.

Carole McDonnell’s poetic writing, strong characterization, and the mysterious world she created in this book will keep the reader wanting more and more.

Wind Follower  By Green Fire on January 2, 2016

This was the first book I’d read by Carole McDonnell. I loved the cover of the book and admittedly that’s what drew me to the book. However, the cover is only one aspect of wonderful detail and it get more beautiful as you pore through the pages. I was particularly drawn the rich detail of the book. The tribal nature of the narrative as a uniqueness to the book. It’s as if you’re sitting at the feet of the queen and king of the tribe as they relate their story.

More than once I forgot I was reading. I could feel the emotions of the characters so well. Loic was rash, Satha stoic and it makes for a wonderful contrast. The interpretation of the story is left up for grabs but I chose to see it as a parallel of our world and that the gospel was taken to another world so that all could come under the knowledge. Loic and Satha went through so much.

The ending does leave something to be desired but even the ending makes sense. It’s because rarely is life a fairy tale and even with individual happiness and success, the overall picture can be bleak. But then, the story for -us and for the people in the book – is not over yet.

Read all the reviews and buy The Wind Follower:

A look at Carole McDonnell’s latest book – The Charcoal Bride.


The Charcoal Bride is the first of a trilogy of short novels called The Hanrisor Chronicles. The trilogy chronicles the rise to power of Hanrisor’s King Skall and the family curse –called “The Hanrisor Legacy–that troubled him and his descendants.

An early review for the Charcoal Bride

I read this in one night. The charcoal Bride is a moral lesson wrapped in a beautiful, captivating, mind blowing, powerful and entertaining story. The wisdom of Prince Torrent had me reflecting on scriptures of the bible and there were other moments in this story that made me think of how people allow sin to take root in their heart. Carole Mcdonnell has proven you can deliver a Christian message without a book being overtly Christian.

Buy The Charcoal Bride:

Also by Carole McDonnell

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Read the reviews and buy the books:


About Carole McDonnell

I am a novelist, a writer of fiction, devotionals, poetry, reviews, and essays and my works have appeared in many publishing venues, in print and online. I live in New York with my husband, two sons, cat Freddie and my dog, Hemotep.

I’ve written for as long as I can remember. My Jamaican family was always telling stories and mother had memorized the opening chapters from several books, such as Ivanhoe, A Tale of Two Cities, etc. I was especially good at adapting. Somehow I felt the stories I had inherited from the European tradition (stuff we learned in school or watched on TV) always needed to be tweaked to include (subtly) matters that were important to a little Jamaican girl growing up in a Jewish-neighborhood in Brooklyn. I remember the day I decided I was a writer. It was the day a classmate grasped a poem I had written from my desk and brought it to the teacher who proclaimed the poem “great.” I was hooked.

I studied Literature in college, not creative writing. Because I wanted to write great literature that would be ageless. I still hope my stories will be timeless. My reviews appear in print and at various online sites. My first novel, Wind Follower was published by Juno Books in September 2007. I write in the following genres: African-American fiction, African-American Christian Fiction, Christian Fiction, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Black fiction, African American science fiction, Women’s Poetry, African-American poetry, Black poetry, Steampunk, steamfunk, afrofuturism,

Connect to Carole


Thank you for dropping by today and as always your feedback is very welcome.. If you are an author and would like to be in the Cafe and Bookstore and enjoy several update promotions over the year then please take a look at the promotions available.


Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Seeking Control of The Myths That Never Should Have Been (Guiding Council Book 2) by Mike Wolff

New on the shelves

Today’s featured author is Mike Wolff with his latest release in the science fiction/fantasy series The Guiding Council of Myths and Urban Legends. We have all heard the mysterious stories of mythical beings from the past and also some who are allegedly glimpsed from time to time in the present, such as Bigfoot.. What would you say if I told you they were real!   Here is the latest in the series Seeking Control of the Myths That Never Should Have Been.


About the book

While the Mythical Nation tries to recover from the civil war that killed thousands, strange happenings are occurring. Mythical creatures are being attacked seemingly at random, forcing the Guiding Council of Myths and Urban Legends to join together once again. The Guardin’ Gnomes, a highly trained, elite military group, seek out the source of these disturbances. It’s a race against time, as the leaders of the Mythical Nation try to locate the newest threat to their way of life before it’s too late.

Filled with more Myths and Urban Legends than you can shake a stick at, Seeking Control of the Myths That Never Should Have Been is the highly anticipated sequel to the fast-paced YA Fantasy novel Guiding Council of the Myths and Urban Legends.

Two of the reviews for the book.

Enjoyable, fun, and ‘Super- Awesome’ (according to the 11 year old) By Skunkmelon on October 26, 2015

This book was a fun read, highly entertaining, and cool. My eleven-year-old and I loved it. He thought the story with its Redcaps and Elves and Trolls was a blast and I really liked the story line that kept me engaged and interested. We read out loud before bedtime and there are some books that read better than others and this one was a treat.This book starts after the first: Guiding Council of Myths and Urban Legends and while you don’t have to read the first to understand and enjoy the second, you should.

There is violence in this, but PG-13 violence, nothing that made me hesitate to read it to my son.I highly recommend it as a great, rip-roaring read.

Settle down for a rip-roaring read!  By J Turner on 5 April 2016

Okay, an admission: I bought this book by mistake! I intended to buy the first in the series, but had a blonde moment and got the wrong one – but guess what? It didn’t matter! It’s a fab read on a standalone basis and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Mike Wolff is skilled at his craft and the story lines weave together seamlessly leading us to a conclusion that makes you smile. (Obviously, I’m not going to tell you the ending – you need to buy it and read it and discover it yourself!)

Even though I was not familiar with the characters, I caught on immediately, so if you’re like me, and buy it in the wrong order, it won’t spoil the read. The different myths and legends are crafted in a manner that is both familiar (ie what you’d have in your own head when you think of them), yet brings the author’s own imagination forwards and he is clever enough to implant his ideas over your own and make you smile as he does so.

Children will love it – there’s enough silliness to engage both them and the adults reading it with them. A cracking good read – I’ll be buying more of Mike’s work!

Buy the book:


A review for Book One in the series – Guiding Council of Myths and Urban Legends

Remember the story of the hunters who shot Bigfoot and brought his body back with them? It wasn’t a hoax. It was covered up by the GCMUL–the Guiding Council of Myths and Urban Legends.

You see, all the mythical creatures the human race used to believe in–they’re all real. Elves, gnomes, trolls, vampires, werewolves. They live along side humanity, hiding just out of sight, under the protection and control of the GCMUL and the Chairman. But don’t think that just because they look like things out of a fairy tale that everything in peace and harmony in the magical world. The elves don’t get along with the gnomes. The dwarves would rather not associate with sprites. Nobody likes the trolls, and the trolls like it that way. The Loch Ness monster (whose name isn’t ‘Nessie’, by the way) is a troublemaker and unicorns–let’s not talk about unicorns.

This is the world of Guiding Council of Myths and Urban Legends. An unsteady alliance of mythical creatures who cooperate only far enough to keep the human world from learning of their existence. As bad as things are, though, they are about to get a lot worse. There’s murder, and treachery, and secret plots by who knows who, to do who knows what. Unthinkable as it seems, someone–or some thing–may be trying to take over the Council, or even worse, to destroy it.

This is a fast paced and exciting book that I would recommend to any fan of light fantasy. I was reminded of both Terry Pratchet and Neil Gaimen. I would not hesitate to recommend it to teens or even younger–there is some violence, but it is not described graphically.

Also by Mike Wolff

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Read all the reviews and buy the books:


About Mike Wolff

Formerly known as metallicwolff on the internet, I no longer play that part. When a terrible virus hit my computer and pretty much wiped out everything associated with that moniker, it changed me. My blog…dead. My Goodreads account…dead. My email…revived, but on life-support. So what should I do? I moved on. I used to play at being a writer; now…I will continue to lurk in the shadows.

I read mainly Indie Authors and I provide honest reviews. I would hope, should anyone feel inclined to read what I have written in the past, they would do the same for me.Watch over your shoulders. Maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of me. A shadowy figure of legend (well, maybe that’s in my head). But you never can tell…

Connect to Mike.

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Thank you for dropping in today and as always very grateful for your feedback. thanks Sally

New Book in Series – The Legends of Windemere Book 10 – Tribe of the Snow Tiger by Charles E. Yallowitz

New book in seriesDelighted to feature Book 10, Tribe of the Snow Tiger in the Legends of Windemere series by Charles E. Yallowitz which is on pre-order for delivery on June 1st.

About the Legends of Windemere

A young warrior has set off to become a hero, a powerful caster has left home to face her destiny, an orphaned gypsy is desperate to hold onto her new family, a broken woman has awoken to a strange world, a drite has eaten every apple in his path, a barbarian warrior is keeping a secret, and a former mercenary’s confidence has been broken. This doesn’t even cover the epic battles, bitter betrayals, awkward romances, and near death experiences that have plagued the champions of Windemere. At least they have each other.

About Tribe of the Snow Tiger


Timoran Wrath has a shameful secret that is about to see the light of day.

The noble barbarian has always been a constant source of strength and wisdom for his beloved friends. His loyalty has been unwavering and they know that he would never hesitate to lay down his life for them. Even in their darkest hour, the champions know that Timoran will come through and fight to the bitter end. Now they must return the favor as he reunites with his tribe and willingly faces the executioner’s blade.

Is it possible that the honorable Timoran was nothing more than an illusion?

Pre-order Link for Tribe of the Snow Tiger :

There are a number of boxed sets available but to do all the amazing covers justice here are the nine previous books in the series.


Here is just one of the reviews from across the series.

Experience for the first time or continue reading as the ‘Legends Of Windemere’ captures your imagination as ‘Sleeper Of The Wildwood Fugue’ continues this epic fantasy with book 7 by Charles E. Yallowitz.

If you were mesmerized by the game ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ or enjoyed reading ‘The Hobbit’ series you will not want to miss the mystical inhabitants of Windemere! Author Charles E. Yallowitz weaves an intriguing tale in a world where good and evil collide and is quite often underestimated.

Well defined characters who add depth, personality and the ability to draw the reader into the fantasy world of Windemere will hold your attention as the drama unfolds in this mystical place. The creative thought process of the author brings Windemere to life with fast paced descriptive intrigue. I quote two sections below to show the author’s writing style without spoiling the story. “Several silent minutes after Gabriel disappears, Zaria lets out a musical sigh and merges with the mist. She weaves among the trees and cursed mortals, none of them noticing her presence. The goddess is near the edge of a clearing when a purple barrier appears and deflects her rapid approach. She returns to her solid form and gets as close to the powerful shield as she can. Sparks of magic burst from the glistening dome, leaving burn marks on her dress that she ignores. All of Zaria’s attention is on the canopy bed in the middle of the clearing where a cloaked form is sleeping.”
“Only a matter of days now, Dariana,” the goddess whispers, wiping a pristine tear from her cheek. “Only a matter of days.”

I invite you to start reading the Legends Of Windemere’ series today!

Buy links for the series and Tribe of the Snow Tiger.


About Charles E. Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire Stare. When he isn’t working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. ‘Legends of Windemere is his first series, but it certainly won’t be his last.

Links to connect to Charles on websites, blogs and social media.

Legends of Windemere Blog
Charles E. Yallowitz Website

Art Credit
All Legends of Windemere cover art created by Jason Pedersen.

Thank you for dropping in today and would be grateful if you would help promote the new book in the Legends of Windemere by sharing. Sally