An Experiment Where There Will be Coffee Because Cafe

AntonellicoffeYou might know how I’m all about coffee. This explains why, when presented with a writing opportunity that mentioned the word ‘cafe,’ I jumped at the chance to write a short story that’s set in a cafe, because a cafe is A PLACE THAT SERVES COFFEE.

That place is Cafe Nix.

The trick here was to write a story that starred coffee and some driving smallcharacters from my novel Driving in Neutral, and link it to other short stories that take place at Cafe Nix.

This means, Fourteen authors with Escape Publishing, one contemporary romance, and fifteen happy endings. It’s coming soon. And this is what’ll happen when 14 Escape authors eye off Wattpad and wonder how to play: What we have is an experiment in a short story continuity.

Did I mention it was COMING SOON FOR FREE?

teaser 2Meet Nix and characters from the novels of favourite Escape authors in fresh original shorts, and experience a day in the life of Cafe Nix.

Authors in order of appearance:
Nicole Murphy
Juanita Kees
Sandra Antonelli (that’s me)
Jane O’Reilly
Nicole Flockton
Cate Ellink
Ros Baxter Ink
Jenny Schwartz
Ainslie Paton
Jennie Jones
Lee Christine
Lily Malone
Rhian Cahill
Amy Andrews

Building up the Stockpile

Wielding my Shield of Smartass

Wielding my Shield of Smartass

Hey, Kids!

I’ve updated the “Mature” Content Stockpile, thanks to everyone’s favourite librarian, Vassiliki Veros, reminding me of an article I read back in November.

Hit the “Mature” Content Stockpile up there on the menu bar or here to read the updates.

Remember: If you ever come across an article you think I could add to the stockpile, please give me a heads up!

The Australian Battle Cry Brings Romance and Prizes

AUSSIE! AUSSIE! AUSSIE! Oi! Oi! Oi! It’s Aussie Month at AusRom Today!!!

AusRomToday badgeAusRomToday showcases the published Australian romance industry to readers WORLDWIDE. AusRomToday supports and celebrates the Australian romance literature industry and community. The aim is to draw attention to the achievements and acclaim of Australian writers. And, boy howdy, let me tell you AusRomToday loves us Aussie Romance writers.

This month, AusRomToday is all about the LOVE! Have a look here for January! You’ll see just how much LOVE there is– and it runs all month long. And there are prizes. BIG prizes.

I’m proud to be included in the Aus Rom Today showcase, I’m thrilled to be considered ‘hot,’  and I’m proud to be a part of the HUGE BASH where YOU ARE THE WINNER! ?????

You do want to win, don’t you? Hit the link below to take you to you chance to WIN!

There’s a $1000 CASH prize pool competition —have you entered to win? There’s three major cash prizes to be won:
1st: $700 CASH
2nd: $200 CASH
3rd: $100 CASH

Go forth support the romance writing and reading community. Go forth and support reading! Go forth and WIN!Sandrabooks


Thirty-one Days of Halloweenie Day 31: NEWSFLESH! THE RANDOM BOOK GIVEAWAY!

multipbudHowdy Halloweenies!

Welcome to the bottom of the pumpkin! I’m all outta candy and pumpkin pie, and Halloween blog posts, but I still have goodies to giveaway.

No, it’s not a trick, it’s totally a treat. It’s a treat for those of you who love Halloween and it’s a treat for those of you wouldn’t want to touch Halloween, even if you’re wearing an Ebloa-rated HAZMAT suit.

Today (31 Oct 14) from 8:30am AustralianEST/6:30pm US EST) to tomorrow (1 Nov 14) 8:30am AustralianEST/6:30pm US EST,  I’m giving away RANDOM copies of my smartassed rom coms for grown-ups and peanut butter lovers.  In the next 24 hours you could win e copies of Driving in Neutral, For Your Eyes Only, or A Basic RenovationSandrabooks

Here’s what you do: Leave a comment (and this is SO TOTALLY EASY) about your favourite candy. Yep. Tell me what your favourite candy is and WHY you love it so. I’ll choose winners at random. Be sure to include your email address so I can contact you when you win. If you post anonymously I can’t contact you and call you ‘WINNER.’

candycornySee? No doorbells ringing, no kids knocking. No pumpkins, no Draculas, no kids dressed like Olaf from Frozen coming to your door. It’s simply HALLOWEEN MADNESS! Nothing scary about this random giveaway–except that it is scarily easy to WIN.

Thirty-one Days of Halloweenie Day 29: S. E. Gilchrist’s Oweynagat

driving smallFear. It’s ll about fear again today. For some of you Halloween is all about those scary spirits, dressing up as Dracula, and HORROR movies. Or maybe even claustophobia, like Driving in Neutral’s Emerson Maxwell’s which started because of a horror movie views in his youth.

But there are geeks, like me, who love the Science Fiction angle, as Rebecca Turner suggested with the movie THE THING, which may have more to do with Kurt Russell’s beard being my idea of a Halloween treat. Anyhow, S.E. Gilchrist faces fear in SPACE!

Halloween has never played a part in my childhood and looking back I see that possibly is why it doesn’t play a role in my adult life. Of course, growing up in a small coastal town in Australia in the 60’s guaranteed very little exposure to the fascination some people feel for this celebration.

Research reveals Halloween may have stemmed from pagan beliefs when at Samhain the portals between the mortal world and the immortal were open for a brief time, allowing passage between.

OwenagcatThis is Oweynagat (meaning, Cave of the Cats) and which is believed to be one of the many gateways to the Otherworld from where beings and spirits were said to have emerged on Samhain. That sounds fantastic in theory – I mean who wouldn’t want to meet a hunky viking or a hot elvish warrior?

Knowing Murphy’s Law and my luck, I’d be stuck with a knife-wielding troll on a blood rampage.

Halloween is definitely not celebrated in the Seven Galaxies, the setting for my science fiction romance stories. But there is a large dose of the fear factor especially in my latest release When Stars Collide.

Here’s a little glimpse taken from When Stars Collide © S. E. Gilchrist 2014:WhenStarsCollide_Final compressed

The door opened and they both glanced over. A female Relic Ensign strode onto the deck and stopped three paces from them.
Excitement glittered in her pale blue eyes. ‘The smuggler’s ship approaches. Commander Kondo requires your attendance in the hangar bay.’
‘What?’ Heart racing, Nina didn’t wait to hear any more. She rushed past and hurried to the closest chute. Bansell. He’s back.
‘Come on, come on,’ she muttered, thumping the panel until after what felt like a week, the door slid open.
‘I will go with you,’ said Sherise, slipping in beside her.
In silence they travelled to the hangar level.
Nina’s head whirled. I should be feeling happy but I’m not. Instead her earlier feelings of dread had returned in full measure.
The chute opened and she stepped out into the corridor.
Every second dragged at her soul. The clatter of their boots as they hurried down the passageway was like shards of crystal falling like broken glass. There was a buzzing noise in her ears that made it hard for her to think straight. Her hands clenched and unclenched over the material of her beige knee-length tunic. Why do I feel something is wrong, terribly wrong?
Longing to vomit and with tremors racking her body she stumbled after Sherise who had marched ahead. Behind them tramped the two Relic female guards.
One foot after the other. Nearly there. Nina clutched the railing as she all but fell down the stairs to the main deck that looked out over the hangar.
All about her were smiling people, laughing, jesting, gesturing towards the shuttle now powering down on the runway below. The smugglers emerged from their ship and the hangar erupted into roaring cheers.
Standing back from Sherise, her minders and Kondo and his officers, Nina gripped her hands together and battled her erratic breathing. Her heart beat with painful strokes. Icy sweat trickled beneath her arm pits. She stared with burning eyes as a group of males climbed the metal steps to the deck where they all waited.
Closer. Closer.
Bansell. Oh, Bansell.
The buzzing inside her head intensified.
Bansell, a broad grin on his face clapped his hands on the Relic leader’s shoulders. A gesture returned with enthusiasm by Kondo. Then everyone stepped aside.
Kondo waved Bansell forward to where Nina stood alone.
Their eyes met and held.
Something in his gaze flickered.
Her heart seized.
The noise in her head drowned out all else.
She couldn’t move.
Couldn’t breathe.
Grappling with the insane thought screaming inside her mind.


Buy Links: Nook, Amazon US, Amazon AU, Amazon UK, Kobo, iBookstore 

segilcrestS.E. Gilchrist lives in the Hunter Valley, Australia with her family, both two legged and four. S. E. loves to write books that embrace a sizzling love story with action, adventure and often, danger.
She is keenly interested in the environment, animal welfare, bush walking and kayaking. Several of her books have finalled in writing contests and she is currently hard at work with a NA apocalyptic story and a new science fiction romance series.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon | Goodreads


Thirty-one Days of Halloweenie Day 28: MJ Scott Wards off The Dark

driving smallDriving in Neutral is all about learning to face your fears. It takes a while for Emerson Maxwell and Olivia Regen to figure that out, but fear, if you will, is the key to their romance. Halloween, while focused on warding off fearful things, is also about facing fearful candy or cookies you’ve never seen before punkinbudand may be wary of trying, as with Cat Poop Cookie post from two days ago. How do you know you won’t like it if you don’t try it? It’s the idea that’s the scary thing about Cat Poop Cookies, not really the banal ingredients.

Ideas. Sometimes the idea of something is enough to spur other ideas, as my guest MJ Scott explains.

I’ve always liked the idea of Halloween but in reality, like most Aussies, it’s never been a big thing in my life. Oddly enough, the town where I lived when I was very young did Halloween. I think there was a big population of people of Scots descent in the area (Scottish dancing was also big) and that might explain it—it is, after all a Celtic festival So I have very vague memories of stumbling around someone’s house at night dressed in as a ghost with a bunch of other kids mjscott2_300_600wwithout much idea what was going on (partly because I would have been three or four). But no memories of actual trick or treating. The town I moved to after that was in a completely different part of the state and Halloween may as well not have existed.

These days, now that it’s becoming more popular here, I sometimes get kids knocking on my door (but must confess I’ve usually forgotten to buy chocolate and have to send them away) but otherwise it passes me by. Which is sad. As eating lots of candy and having fun sounds good to me!

To me, the idea of the actual origins of the festival in Samhain, a night where people prepared for the hard winter to come (which really doesn’t make sense at this time of year in Australia) and stayed by the fire warding off their fears is more interesting than the modern version. Though, as a writer, I have to say that it’s my job to open that front door and shove my characters out into the cold dark night away from the fire and the light and let them face those fears they’re trying so hard to ward off. Make ‘em earn that good harvest and happy ending.

TheDarkSide_300_600hIn my next book, The Dark Side, which is book 2 of an urban fantasy trilogy, my heroine, Ashley Keenan has to do just that. Just when she thinks she’s dealt with the worst fear she had, life turns around and make her face another trial by fire. Which is when the interesting stuff always happens. Definitely no treats until she handles all the stuff life is throwing her way!

M.J Scott is an unrepentant bookworm. Luckily she grew up in a family that fed her a properly varied diet of books and these days is surrounded by people who are understanding of her story addiction. When not wrestling one of her own stories to the ground, she can generally be found reading someone else’s. Her other distractions include yarn, cat butlering, dark chocolate and fabric. She also writes contemporary romance as Melanie Scott ( She lives in Melbourne, Australia. Her website is

Get The Dark Side for

Kindle US


Thirty-one Days of Halloweenie Day 27: It’s All About The Cookie, Not the Legs

pinupwitchweenI feel as if I need to apologise for yesterday’s Cat Poo Cookie post.

Okay, not really.

I merely want cookies I can share and know people will eat. Plus, these cookies are a cookie that Australians seem more willing to eat than Halloween pumpkin cookies.

AlsoSandrabooks, Peanut butter. Yes, you know, peanut butter makes an appearance in all my books, which, by the way you can check out here and buy.

Peanut Butter Cookies

½ cup butter, softened         ½ cup creamy peanut butter

½ cup sugar                         ½ cup packed brown sugar

½ tsp baking soda                   ½ tsp baking powder

1 egg                                        ½ tsp vanilla

1 ¼ cups flour                         ½ cup sugar for rolling

A fork for flattening

Preheat oven to 375F/190C

With an electric mixer on medium to high, beat butter and peanut butter speed for 30 seconds.

Add the sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl.

Beat in the egg and vanilla.

Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer.

Stir in any remaining flour. Chill dough 1 hour.

Shape dough into 1” balls. Roll balls in additional granulated sugar to coat. Place balls apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Using the tines of a fork to flatten balls, making crisscross marks on top.

Bake for 7 – 9 minutes or until bottoms are light brown.

Transfer to a wire rack and cool.spidercookie

IF you wannna make these and add a Halloween spin, Add 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. When you remove cookies from the oven, use a toothpick to make ‘spider legs’ from a melted chocolate chip. SCARE ALL YOUR FRIENDS!


Thirty-one Days of Halloweenie Day 26: I Dare You To Eat This

SandrabooksCookies and peanut butter. They are my downfall. I love them. I put them in A Basic Renovation, For Your Eyes Only, and Driving in Neutral.  I am always on the lookout for new cookies, especially when it comes to holidays. In my great search for the ultimate cookie1Pumpkin-free Halloween cookie I could share with my Australian friends and family—because, if you don’t recall, Aussies aren’t much for sweet spiced pumpkin, and prefer it roasted with onions, garlic and potatoes—I came across a recipe for… Halloween Cat Poop Cookies.

Yes, You read that correctly.

I also came across Halloween Cat Poop Cookies II. And Cat Poop Cookies III.

Note the artfully placed scoop

Note the artfully placed scoop

Honest. You can find the recipes from All Recipes here.

Now, before your stomach turds—TURNS, I mean turns, the bar-cookie, or slice as we’d call it in Oz, does not actually contain feline doo-doo. Number one is a mix of honey, butter, unsweetened cocoa powder and a wheat bran cereal.

catpoo2Number two (tee hee hee) has honey, molasses, a mix of spices and the addition of Ramen noodles, for uh, added bulk I guess.

Cat poop cookie number 3 skips the molasses, includes the wholewheat flour, and adds in a wheat and barley ‘nugget-type’ cereal, for, let’s say ‘regularity.’

Holy smokes, kids, I know the photos sure ain’t appealing, but as a catpoo3Halloween cookie they sure are terrifying. And perfect.

The terror, that’s what the point of a haunted house is, right? Kids love the BOO! Kids Love to scream. Kids are ready to have the living culinary crap scared out of them. There’s the Halloween Bowl of Bloody worms (spaghetti with tomato sauce), the Bowl of Pirate Eyeballs (red or black grapes) and Freaky Fingers (Hot dogs wrapped in pasty), so TRY THE CAT POOP COOKIE!

If you dare…

I’m sure you’ve figure out by now that Halloween and Cat Poop Cookies IV, my own addition to the CP Cookie hall of fame, are in a Next to You, the book I’m currently editing. I’ve skipped the molasses and added in peanut butter, but not the crunchy kind.


Thirty-one Days of Halloweenie Day 25: Bek Turner Talks Pyschos and Ironing

SandrabooksI like smartass. I write smartass. I write smartass novels like Driving in Neutral, For Your Eyes Only and A Basic Renovation. I write smart-mouthed, smartassed heroines like Olivia, Willa, and Lesley.OldAd-wowe-e

I like Halloween

I like smartasses and I like Bek Turner because she’s a smartass who likes Halloween and hates ironing.

Halloween was never on my radar. Only in the recent years, with all the spruiking from the shops (Buy this mask! Buy this costume! Buy these lollies!) , has it really bek-profile_2come to my attention. Not that I haven’t been very aware of the holiday. In fact, it’s often the theme of the movies I turn to when my well of inspiration has run dry. That, or when I have to do the ironing.

I love to write dark fantasy stories, and revisiting old horror classics provide great inspiration. Naturally, some of the best movies arChweene based around Halloween and of course, one of my favourites is the John Carpenter classic Halloween.
Grrr! Ironing!

Who doesn’t love a psycho in a mask movie? Though I stress I’m talking about the classic versions. I’m not that keen on the modern, gritty versions of the horror genre, where it seems like everyone ends up dying gruesomely. Not nice! Not nice! And if you’re looking for some recommendations of great spooky movies to watch this Halloween:

Trick R Treat: Four interwoven tales about one spooky Halloween night! Very Trtentertaining.Petsem

Pet Sematary: Stephen King! Zombie cats!(and zombie kids, Bek. Zombie kids saying “I played with Mommy, now I want to play with youuuu”. –Sandra)

The Exorcist: Terrifyingly brilliant! Watch through your exorfingers!


But rest assured, my books, Chaos Born and Chaos Bound, keep to horror killer rules. More or less. My heroine isn’t exactly a blushing virgin, but a cranky bitch with a heart of gold who fights the hordes of evil. If she can’t drink them under the table first.

chaos-born_cvrYou can find a copy of Chaos Born here

And Chaos Bound herebound

Rebekah lives in sunny Queensland, Australia. An avid writer since she could scrawl on her bedroom walls, she has progressed from rainbow unicorn tales to stories of dark fantasy with lashings of romance and a sprinkling of horror.

Her vices include in-depth critiques of B grade action and horror movies and buying stationery she doesn’t need.



Thirty-one Days of Halloweenie Day 24: No One Gnomes Halloween Like Rachel Bailey

Eight more days, Kids! Eight more days til the pumpkin drops! In addition to all those lovely peanut-Sandrabooksbutter cups you bought to hand out to Halloween trick-or-treaters, why not save those for yourself and give the treat of an e-book? You know, like A Basic Renovation, For Your Eyes Only and Driving in Neutral? Dentists, those watching their waistlines, and readers would LOVE YOU!

Or you could give them a copy of Rachel Bailey’s Cover Story, a romantic comedy tale of love and gnomicide.Yes. GNOMICIDE.

I’m assuming by now that you’re ready for Halloween. You’ve put up the decorations, ordered your costume, purchased the candy, planned your tricks. You’ve probably even found the perfect costume for your dogs and cats. You’re all set.Rachel3

But what about those other little members of your household – your garden gnomes? Those little guys don’t want to miss out on all the fun.

(Hang on, did someone just say they don’t have any gnomes in their garden? Get thee to the local store! You’ll never look back after your first gnome.)

There are two ways to get into the Gnomey Halloween spirit.

GnomeZombieFirst – the easiest – you can purchase a gnome who’s already in the Halloween mood. The interwebs are full of zombie gnomes, and other variations on the theme.

The second way is by far the most fun – dress your own gnomes. Not only is this guaranteed to be fun for all the family, but you can undo your work after Halloween and get them ready for Christmas. Bonus!

So now you’ve decided to make your own costumes for your gnomes (you have decided that, haven’t you?). The only question is what character.

The fabulous Tracey O’Hara, author of scary vampire novels, once bought me a gnome, then painted all the coloured bits black and put toothpick ends at the corners on his mouth, with bits of redbat-gnome paint dripping off. She called him Gnomula. I wish I could show you a photo of Gnomula, but worryingly, I can’t find him. Tracey has assured me he’s hiding somewhere in my house, waiting…

I have to tell you, that wasn’t the most reassuring thing she’s ever said to me.doggnome

But what about a less frightening option? How about tying a red cape / piece of red material around his neck? Super Gnome! A little black mask with pointy ears? Bat Gnome! A pretty doll’s party dress? Cindergnoma!

The possibilities are endless, and I’d love to hear your ideas for gnome Halloween costumes. Also, tell me, have you ever dressed up an inanimate object for Halloween or other festivities?

Rachel latest release, Cover Story, follows journalist Tobi Fletcher as she reluctantly covers the story of suburban gnomicides: the wanton destruction of garden gnomes.

It’s out now from Momentum.CoverStorysmall


For ONE Week you can get Cover Story for 0.99 cents! CoverStorySale2(ends 31 October 2014).