Wednesday 7 November 2018

A Slice of Cake With... Jeanne Richards

This week I am delighted to be having a slice of cake with indie author Jeanne Richards.

JB Richards is a historian and international award-winning Amazon, Goodreads, and Xlibris author. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and History. She is the founder and driving force behind the Indies Helping Indies Book Review Project (IHIBRP)—which she created and initiated in April 2017 to provide qualifying Indie authors with high-quality book reviews and free promotional services—and the Indieverse Resource Library (IRL)—an online eLibrary for Indie authors and readers who wish to obtain information and guidance on a variety of topics and services. Richards is also the founder of the Indie Fabs—a team of authors equally dedicated to offering free assistance, guidance, and support to Indie (independent) authors with the aim of building strong bonds of cooperation and fellowship within the Indie community. She has been a member of the Women Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) and The International Women’s Writing Guild (IWWG) since 2016.

What kind of books do you write?

I write books that bring history alive! I focus on a specific individual and the world around them, bringing a unique, first-person perspective that is provocative and compelling, but highly relatable.

Can you describe your writing why?

As an author with a degree in both History and Psychology, I enjoy delving into the mind of a specific individual to try to understand their lives—their personal beliefs, political views, familial ties, social status, and influences. I love to see how they became who they are and what their role was in the greater scheme of things. 

I guess you could say that I’m kind of nosy when it comes to larger-than-life, iconic figures in history. I want to know everything about them, and why they made the decisions they made—even when they knew it would result in their ultimate demise.

Share with us your favourite passage from the book you enjoyed writing the most

After more than 25-years of research on the life and times of Jesus, I’ve published two novels as a result of my work, so far: “Miriamne the Magdala – The First Chapter in the Yeshua and Miri Novel Series” and “The First Christmas: A Yeshua and Miri Novel Series Short”. Miriamne will always be the story that remains nearest and dearest in my heart. Below is one of my favourite passages explaining 12-year-old Miriamne’s infatuation with her 13-year-old cousin, Yeshua, as she spies on him from the shadows of her garden balcony. I hope you enjoy it!

It was the last night of the full moon. Small flocks of fluffy grey clouds frolicked above—alternately hiding and revealing their Shepherdess Moon. The pale kiss of light that washed over him cast an ethereal glow, causing his features to appear soft and gentle one moment, but dark and mysterious the next. Caught in the blush of the moon’s reemergence, his eyes glittered like topaz as he lifted them upward to study the stars. The radiant light reflected off his white linen tunic, illuminating my Seraph and cloaking him in heavenly garb. His magnificent crown of loose satin curls gleamed like a halo, framing his gentle face. In all the Good Lord’s creation, I could not have wished to behold a more beautiful angel!

Coo! Coo!

In the midst of Yeshua’s silent musings, the dove called out. Its song was sweet, yet haunting. For an instant, Yeshua paused. His eyes fluttered closed as he listened to the erratic cadences of evening sounds accompanied by the bird’s lilting calls. His soft lips pursed before he drew in a deep breath, and as if in awe to the majesty of Nature, he reverently bowed his head. For a while, he remained motionless—lost in a private world all his own. 

As I watched him, time was suspended. I hunkered down on the floor of the balcony and wound my arms around two of the stone balusters. As I rested my forehead between the smooth columns, I smiled to myself, satisfied that—here in the shadows—I could continue to observe him whilst I remained safely tucked away from his view. Save for my shallow breathing and the low beating of my heart, everything around us was at a standstill. It was almost too much to bear as I closed my heavy eyes and inhaled the cool languid air, savoring the perfection of the moment. 


Tell us about your latest project

Oh, my... You may be sorry you asked, lol! 

Aside from having soundly established my Indies Helping Indies Book Review project (which provides book reviews and promotional services to authors in need), and the Indieverse Resource Library (an online Elibrary geared toward Indie authors and readers) on my website, I’m actually working on a variety of novels right now since I’m hoping to broaden my range into several different genres! 

Along with two brand new fantasy series novels—“Kirin’s Vengeance: The First Chapter in the Dragon’s Heir Series” and “Sefer Raziel: The First Chapter in the Heaven’s Guard Series”—I’m also illustrating my first Children’s Book, “Angela’s Apples”, a coming-of-age generational holiday tale about family, patience, and giving. I’ve already drafted my own personal story about childhood sexual abuse. And, as if all that wasn’t enough, I’m developing a cookbook based on my Memere (That’s “Grandma” in French!) Irene’s family recipes—She was THE best cook ever and she and my Dad taught me everything I know about cooking!  

Nearing completion is “Yeshua the Christ: The Silk Road”, the second book in my groundbreaking saga based on the missing years of Christ. In this segment of The Yeshua and Miri Novel Series, Yeshua and Miri set out on a bold adventure as they enter the next chapter of their lives together. For a young teenage couple, the Silk Road—with its small towns, bustling cities, and colorful bazaars—provides many opportunities to learn about this world and its people. Caravan life appeals to Yeshua and Miri as they make new friends, grow closer in their love for one another, and welcome new family members. 

After a while, however, there are times when Miriamne finds herself missing her home and the close-knit family they left behind in Galilee. Yeshua, on the other hand, is smitten with life! Fascinated by the history, culture, and traditions of the local people, he takes every opportunity to learn what he can whenever he is left to his own devices. Still, even as his sponsors—Miriamne’s uncle, Joseph bar Abram, and King Ravanna of Orissa—enroll their prodigy in the finest schools, under the tutelage of the most prestigious and knowledgeable magis and lamas of their day, Yeshua feels the pressing weight of His Destiny. When he suddenly acts against the wishes of the Head Brahmin and takes his revolutionary brand of spiritualism to the common people—something he has been warned against time and time again, his life and the lives of those he loves most in this world are placed in mortal danger. 

Can Yeshua avert the assassins dispatched to destroy him and everyone he loves? Find out in “Yeshua the Christ: The Silk Road”!

It’s a busy and exciting life being an Indie author, isn’t it?! Lol!

What is your favourite cake?

OK, now you seriously have my mouth watering and my memory working overtime! 

The best cake my husband, Dan, and I ever had the pleasure to consume was our wedding cake! It was an absolutely heavenly confection, three tiers high, consisting of 7 layers of the moistest maple walnut spice cake with ground bits of walnut, separated by a luscious maple buttercream frosting, topped with a maple caramel crackle, and of course, my own handmade wedding cake topper—a pair of Precious Moments figurines (a bride and a groom, of course) set among an artful arrangement of silk flowers under a triple-ribbon arch. 

We only had the occasion to eat the cake only 5 times; once at the tasting, once at the wedding, and twice when we finished the top layer on our first anniversary before the 86-year-old lady who made it passed—God bless her! Otherwise, we would have had Margaret bake a lifetime of Maple Walnut Cakes for every birthday and anniversary we would be celebrating during the course of our lives—and she was nice enough to have done it, too! 

This was THE best cake I ever had... And although I’ll never be as great a baker as Margaret, I’m currently working on perfecting the recipe so we can enjoy it once again. When I do, you’ll be able to find the recipe in my cookbook under “Margaret’s Maple Walnut Cake”!


That cake sounds delicious! I am looking forward to having a go at making the maple walnut spice cake, maple buttercream and maple caramel crackle, a perfect autumnal cake. Those who are baking along can try this recipe - Maple & Walnut Cake.

You can keep in touch with Jeanne on a variety of platforms:
Check out her website
Follow her on Facebook
Tweet with her on Twitter
Connect with her on Goodreads 

Join me next week when I will be having a slice of cake with writer Lizzie Page, grilling them gently about their writing life and of course sharing their favourite cake.

If you would like to take part in A Slice of Cake With... please fill in the form found here. I'd be delighted to have you.

Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find all her books on Amazon. Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop.

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