Meet the Author: Sarah Daltry

 This week my featured author is Sarah Daltry and instead of the usual  interview and Top Writing Tip, I’m joining in the celebrations of her latest book, Primordial Dust, by presenting an excerpt of the book. You can also find out Sarah’s Top 10 Fantasy Movies. First, a little about Sarah…


Sarah Daltry writes about the regular people who populate our lives. She’s written works in various genres – romance, erotica, fantasy, horror. Genre isn’t as important as telling a story about people and how their lives unfold. Sarah tends to focus on YA/NA characters but she’s been known to shake it up. Most of her stories are about relationships – romantic, familial, friendly – because love and empathy are the foundation of life. It doesn’t matter if the story is set in contemporary NY, historical Britain, or a fantasy world in the future – human beings are most interesting in the ways they interact with others. This is the principle behind all of Sarah’s stories.

Sarah has spent most of her life in school, from her BA and MA in English and writing to teaching both at the high school and college level. She also loves studying art history and really anything because learning is fun.

When Sarah isn’t writing, she tends to waste a lot of time checking the internet for pictures of cats, shooting virtual zombies, and simply staring out the window.

She has written several books, most notably Bitter Fruits, an urban fantasy in the Eden’s Fall series, Backward Compatible: A Geek Love Story, and the six-book New Adult Flowering series, including Forget Me Not, Lily of the Valley, Blue Rose, Star of Bethlehem, Orange Blossom, and Ambrosia.


Find out more about Sarah on her website:

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Sarah’s Favorite Fantasy Movies:

  1. The Princess Bride
  2. Labyrinth
  3. The Neverending Story
  4. Brave
  5. The Wizard of Oz
  6. Shrek
  7. Pan’s Labyrinth
  8. Harry Potter (all of them)
  9. Bridge to Terabithia
  10. Mirrormas


young pretty kissing wedding couple against skyBook Byte

Primordial Dust

Genre: Fantasy (Romance/YA)

A princess, trained to behave. An assassin, betrothed to her. A thief, whose eyes she dreams of at night. A kingdom at war, torn apart by the suppression of magic and truth, as well as family secrets that threaten to destroy decades of peace. Questions of loyalty, of morality, and of free will culminate in a fantasy novel about forging one’s own path and choosing one’s own destiny.

Here’s a brief extract from the book:

Alusia smiles wanly. “What happened in Kooram?” she asks.

“There was a party. We were dancing. Seamus and I were celebrating our engagement…” I pause, ashamed. He sits beside me, unaware of my role in this, oblivious to my own deception. “It was my fault.”

Seamus takes my hand. “Alondra, stop. You know this has nothing to do with you.”

“It has everything to do with her,” Alusia interrupts. “And her mother.”

“Look, although Alondra seems thankful for whatever you want to share with her, I don’t care what these secrets are. This is not her fault and she does not need you blaming her.” Seamus’s anger is new to me. I have been so amazed by his calm, his kindness; he is more like a Demorian now than I have ever seen him, and I have watched him cut a man’s throat.

Alusia sighs. “I do not mean to assign blame. But we can no longer pretend that this was a rogue attack, that these events have not culminated in bringing you here, that fate has not worked its magic to get this book into her hands.” She runs her fingers along the book on her lap.

“It’s fine,” I say. “But it was not fate. Maybe I did not make the only bad choices, but choices got us here. And I, for one, am tired of hearing about fate.”

“The attack,” Seamus continues. “It was sudden. A siren spell warned us before the mages were slaughtered. I don’t know how they breached the Demorian guard, but without the dying spell of an elder mage, no one would be sitting here right now with you.”

“So you ran?” Alusia asks.

“I don’t run,” I argue. “In fact, I am only here because someone kidnapped me in my sleep.”

“It was her father’s wish,” Seamus mumbles.

“The forces came quickly. We spread the word to meet in the caves and Kooram split into two groups: those who were running for the caves, and those who would stay behind. My parents were with those running, but I stayed. Ereditus, our commander, rallied the troops. Seamus was already by my side. My friend, Lormander…”

I stop and think of that moment. Sanara’s face, broken by the choice he was making, is etched into my memory. I watched her fingers slowly fall from his hand and the agony in her glance as she turned back to see him one last time tore me asunder. And now, somewhere, are they reunited? Did she lead everyone to Tallagut? Did he stay behind in the caves to face his death, remembering her kiss as the blade entered his heart? I choke on the images and tears rest on the precipice of my eyelids.

“We stayed,” I repeat. “There were so many of them. It was chaos. Smoke billowed from the streets, from our homes, from everything that was my childhood. I saw young boys, thinking they were brave, split in twain as the attackers stepped over the corpses, trailing death. What I remember most was the sound. The crash of swords, the screams of the fallen, the crackle of burning. The details are hazy. We left Kooram in ruins when we saw that we were outclassed. I walked through fields of carnage to the caves, only to wake on the other side, in a mirror world, yet untouched.”

“The king, he asked that we come here. He said you had the answers, the only weapon we could use against him,” Seamus adds. My shattered body sits beside him, but my mind and my soul are still with the dead.

“I am an old woman, and a forgotten mage,” Alusia says. “I am also the keeper of secrets and memories. I do not forge steel. My only weapon is knowledge. But that I have in abundance, and I believe it is time Alondra take her share.”

She rises from the dusty chair and approaches. I sense my hands as they lift to take the book she offers; the leather cover is hardened, but smooth to touch. I run my hand along the spine and trace the embossed seal.

“Please take this to your room. You will need time, and you will need privacy. When you are done, I will be waiting for your questions.”


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Meet the Author: Noelene Jenkinson

NOELENE’S TOP WRITING TIP: Like me, if writing is what you HAVE to do, don’t struggle, give in and do it. We must all follow our heart for personal contentment. I believe we’re all born with certain gifts and inclinations and meant to be true to living our own life. If writing is in your DNA, then go for it.

Noelene & ValMulti published women’s fiction author, Noelene Jenkinson, has published 10 novels. Her latest releases are Grace’s Cottage, Wombat Creek, an Australian historical romance A Gentleman’s Bride, and an Australian saga Peacocks on the Lawn. The first volume in her outback romance duo, Whispers on the Plains, is scheduled for release on 31 July. She has just completed the second volume.

Noelene  is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association UK and the Romance Writers of Australia. As a keen genealogist and historian, she has researched, compiled and published three family histories and numerous local histories. She is married to her own hero of 40 years and lives in a passive solar home with a native garden. She has two adult daughters and five grandchildren.

Find out more about Noelene and her books by visiting her website, blog and Facebook


Why do you write? Just always have. The natural instinct was there. I was born with the urge and scribbled as a child, wrote stories for my own children when they were young, and have been writing romance and historical fiction since the 1980s.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? Oh, bite your tongue. I’d hate to imagine my life without words, a notepad and pen in my hand. Or tapping away on my laptop. But if you really need an answer then I guess it would be music [I learnt piano as a child and now play keyboard] or crafts [crocheting afghan rugs and cardmaking] or gardening [we have 1.5 acres of native garden]. I seem to be a creative person in all my pursuits.

What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? Writing enough words until my work reached a high enough standard to be published. A loooong journey. And the determination to persevere. I aimed at Harlequin Mills & Boon for years until I realised it wasn’t my own natural style and was immediately published when I rewrote all the manuscripts I had previously sent to them and had rejected. Those were my first novellas and Outback Hero is still my bestseller even today, 14 years later.

What’s the best aspect of your writing life? Being my own boss and indulging a passion I love. Working my own hours. Not having to dress up to go to work, boiling the kettle for endless cups of tea and coffee throughout  my working day. Sometimes that kettle is a distraction when the words aren’t flowing but, often, taking a break is what you need. Plus over two decades I have met some lovely fellow writers and am part of many writer communities of like minds. The women’s fiction and romance writing community is generous and welcoming. I am a member of the Romance Writers of Australia and the Romantic Novelists’ Association [UK].

—the worst? “Life” interfering, which happens for all of us, of course, when it could be days or weeks until I can get back into my office to write again. I get very grumpy when my brain is not releasing all the stories locked up in my head. I can’t focus unless I shut my office door and block out everything. But within five minutes, I’m absorbed and in my characters’ world.

What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? Write more, sooner. Be brave enough to give my writing priority. Be a bit more selfish. Go with my heart and tie my hand down from shooting up to offer “I’ll do it!” Life is short and you don’t get time back or a second chance.

What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author? Not sure it would have been wise, but to be made aware perhaps of just how long and difficult and frustrating the journey is to publication. If publication is what one seeks, and that was always my secret wish. Fortunately, I have achieved it if only in a modest way. But if you have the bug of writing in you, you’ll do it anyway.

What’s the best advice you were ever given? Nothing specific that I can recall but I remember a quote of Nora Roberts from an early RWA conference in Sydney, “You can’t fix a blank page”. Motto – sit on butt and write. But attending conferences, reading text books and generally learning my craft to hone it was time well spent. Plus reading anything and everything to see how other authors get their words on paper. To check how they characterise, set a scene, slip in description amid snappy dialogue. Reading fellow authors’ fiction can be your best teacher.


Layout 1Grace’s Cottage

Noelene Jenkinson

A cottage, a secret and a betrayal. For Jennifer Hale, the cottage in the small Australian country town of Bundilla holds the key to a dream. For city architect, Sam Keats, it unlocks a secret stretching back to the Vietnam war. Brought together by fate, can Jennifer and Sam find the courage to rebuild their lives and open their hearts enough to build a future together?

Available from Amazon [Kindle and Paperback]

Book Depository [Paperback]

Smashwords  [Ebooks all formats]