On occasional Saturday nights, selected clients of Sarah Joy's salon convene for haircuts and socializing. One evening, a shotgun pressed against Sarah's forehead changes their little paradise forever.

1. You're tired of conventional adversary/hero stories.
2. You want to read something different.
3. As you get older you are learning to appreciate both the concept and the idea of "quirky".
4. You're intrigued to know that there are parts of this book that you will love and parts that may mildly offend you.
5. You have hair.
6. You periodically get your hair cut.
7. You like to actually get to know characters, and settle into a book.
8. You like to feel, when you're reading, like you're either in front of a raging fire or on the beach.
9. You want to figure out who's holding that shotgun.
10. You want to figure out where the fictional salon, The Conscilience (Sarah Joy, Proprietor) is located.
11. You want to buy the book now, just for the cover!
12. You're trying to figure out what to do with the Amazon gift certificate you got for Christmas.
13. YOU'RE LOOKING FOR THE PERFECT SUMMER READ - everyone will be talking about it, you know!
14. Every purchase helps residents of the Jersey shore in their rebuilding efforts. Please buy two!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Read an Interview with John Allison and Saturday Night at Sarah Joy's

Early August, 2013, the Infinity Publishing blog posted "John Allison, Author of Saturday Night at Sarah Joy's" as part of their Author Interview Series.
You can find it at:
You can also find it, published Nov. 2013 on Infinity's Blog for Authors and Writers, at

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Buy a Book - Help the Shore

Buy Saturday Night at Sarah Joy’s now, and make an important donation.

All royalities will go directly to Hurricane Sandy Recovery in New Jersey.

Through 4 July, 2014, all of the royalties will go to THE HURRICANE SANDY NJ RELIEF FUND (a 501(c)3 non-profit organization).  Many people and coastal communities still need our help.  Cleanup and rebuilding after Sandy is far from over.  We can't forget that many people are without their homes, the coastline has been severely damaged, and Barnagat Bay may never be the same again.

Paperback copies can be purchased through the publisher's website, infinity  Paperbacks and an e-book for your Kindle are available through  E-books for your Nook are available through  E-books are also available through  They offer a free e-book reader for a variety of devices - desktops, laptops, tablets and phones.

Monday, December 17, 2012


People who do book advertising suggest that a chapter or perhaps the first ten pages be shared. Since, it is common, we won't do that.  Instead, what follows are some lines found in the book. They should give you some kind of taste of Saturday Night with Sarah Joy's. Perhaps.  Here you go:

If you know someone who can replace the windows, please let them know that there is probably a fox living in the basement, and I'm pretty sure he's pissed.

William was grateful that he lived in a place where italics were so easy to hear.

Claudia has four distinguishing, memorable features: her hair, her dress, and her chest.

On the table was a head.  No dead body, no corpse.  A head.

"We only serve nice people? Where in the world did that come from? Sarah Joy didn't say while not lightly banging her forehead against the nearest purple wall.

"God you white people are so slow."

"Well," she sighed, "Mom wants me to keep my 'long beautiful hair.' She can keep it in a baggie if she wants.  I'm sick of it.  It takes forever to wash, forever to dry.  I just hate it. Can you cut it off?"

"Wasn't Brie the redhead in Desperate Housewives?"

"Who's there?" Sarah Joy politely asked.
"Lesbians!" was the giddy reply.

Gary looked at the puke and wondered what kind of three year old eats shrimp and feta cheese.

He grabbed an impressive, expensive-looking bottle, wound up nicely, as though he were on a pitcher's mound, and threw the bottle against the wall.

Ever since she had arrived, Calluna had been carrying a polished mahogany box in front of her, using both hands.  She sat with it in her lap.

Instead of his usual "be careful out there," he just said, "Badass."

Sarah Joy found out why Millie had gone through this exercise when she handed Sarah Joy a bullet. A marble for a bullet. Quite a trade.

"And that is Sarah Joy's story of becoming a salon owner," Diane deadpanned.  "Pushed over the edge by a fat woman with a squishy head."

His clothes were half off, and he was just so casual, so cavalier.

With a rope around his neck, he was being dragged along behind her, and he clearly wasn't happy.

"I told you I want her out here, honey," Miss Pleasant flatly stated.  "I've got a short fuse and I'm through with you.  It's your move."

"See this one?  She has some lipstick on her moustache."

"Haven't I seen all of you people stuffing money into red kettles at Christmas or helping old ladies across the street or giving warm coats to homeless people?"

"When I was in college, the fraternity decided to buy-sorry, Miss Florrie, no disrespect-a penis pump."

"You must think people with guns are fucking stupid," (a character) yelled.


And off they both went, on their adrenalin highs, now knowing that a new adventure can find you at any time, even when the sun is just rising on a new chapter of your life, on a very new day.

Thursday, November 22, 2012



You should be asking yourself some questions about this book—questions such as “Why should I read this book?” “What is this book about?” and “Why would someone write this book?” If those are the questions that you came up with as well (on your own, not copying from anyone), good job! We’re going to get along well. Let me comment here, possibly addressing these questions. 

A good place to begin is the title. The story takes place, for the most part, in a salon called The Conscilience, owned and operated by a woman named Sarah Joy. Like most normal people you run into with your cart at the Food King, she’s an interesting person, one worth getting to know. She has this in common with most of the other characters you will meet.

Since this letter is an unlikely place to introduce her to you, I will. Characters in stories usually don’t come alive to the reader until the storyteller provides a description. Since this is a work of fiction, perhaps you can take a moment to picture your own Sarah Joy. When you leave her salon, you’re looking forward to the next time you see her. What would that person look like to you? Who could give you the hint of a head and neck massage before your haircut begins, and make you feel special and appreciated? Who would you feel completely comfortable talking to? Perhaps you just need to picture a face—one that you can look in the eye. Perhaps you just need to picture a smile. Can you imagine a laugh so infectious that, if you heard it, you could find its owner in a crowded room? Can you feel the touch of two hands on your shoulders that makes you instantly relax and look forward to an hour of pampering and good conversation? This should be all the description you need to get started.

Since we’re discussing a beauty salon, realize that, by the time you finish this book, you will think differently about them. You will have a template for operating a successful business. If you are a salon owner, you’ll come up with many new ideas for your own place. If you’re someone who has hair and gets it cut, you’ll be pissed that so little is done where you go, so you’ll be pointing out their shortfalls from now on. Keep thinking about what more can be done where you get your hair cut, to get them closer to the ultimate (Sarah Joy’s). There is a sea of ideas to sail in here for you. 

In further dissecting the title, the phrase “Saturday Night” appears. On some Saturday nights, when Townsend’s Florists is closed, when Sheffield’s Drugs and Sundries is snoring, and when Just Lamps is dark for the day, The Conscilience is open for business by appointment only. Regulars are scheduled in, frequently as couples. Friends work to secure the four or more time slots; then they all show up at 5 PM with wine and cheese, and settle in for a special evening. Not many people, I would guess, develop social situations around getting one’s hair done as extensively as do some of the Saturday night groupies at Sarah Joy’s. It’s a night for talking and imbibing. Sarah Joy knows how to be the catalyst to make everyone talk a little too much. Usually that makes the night even more fun, or so I’m told.

I heard some male eyes roll when I told you that the story takes place in a salon, possibly suggesting that this book is written primarily for female readers. This is, honestly, BS. If you’ve ever gotten your hair cut, this book is for you. I know a woman (unidentified) who was reading the book and enjoying it—until she made the mistake of sharing a few paragraphs with her husband. She’s now waiting to finish the book because her husband stole it and he’s reading it! I rest my case: this book is not written for “the ladies". This leads to my advice. For your personal sanity—buy two copies right from the start, and squelch the endless arguments that erupt when there’s only one copy in the bedroom. While the book has not even been printed at the time of this writing, there are rumors that some small Caribbean countries are actually requiring that the book be sold in pairs! I should also point out that it is the perfect book to be read anywhere—whether you’re cuddled up by the fire, on break at work, “working” at work, or by the pool! No, I don’t have a pool either, but with your help …

As the new owner of two copies of this book, with no questions asked concerning how you got them, you have a few assignments. Your first task, realizing that this is pure fiction (wink), is to determine where the salon and Sarah Joy are. You probably know someone who knows someone who goes there. There are certainly enough hints. The second assignment, for you to ponder while you’re getting your money’s worth in terms of meeting characters, is to think about who may be “the bad guy” in the last chapters. While this is largely a “slice of life” kind of story, with no particular beginning or ending, it also may be more. The end of the story contains the following lines (at least they were in a rough draft, I believe):

No one heard the door open. Sarah Joy was the first to notice the business end of a shotgun coming into her styling room from the main entrance. She raised her hand to silence the group, and they all froze. That shotgun was attached to a very unhappy-looking …

I feel obligated to warn you that this is a bit of a whodunit: not a typical whodunit, but there is a moment when you know there’s a gun but you don’t know who’s holding it—a moment of suspense, confusion, or personal satisfaction if you are anticipating whose finger is on the trigger. I just hate it when writers spring stuff like this on you late in the book and you feel like you need to read it over again, so I’m telling you now. Also, I promise it probably won’t be the guy who is introduced on page 901, who stopped by asking for directions, one page before he returns with an attitude. Keep this in mind as you get to know some of the characters. I’d recommend that you just be suspicious of everyone you encounter—in this book as well.

Thank you for spending some time with all of us whom you are about to meet. We’re glad you’re here. Did you bring any wine? Great!

But seriously …

Textbooks instruct writers on the importance of creating strong protagonists and antagonists when writing fiction. The story must have a pivotal character who wants something more than anything else, and a strong opponent who becomes a dangerous foe. Certainly much exciting and dramatic fiction follows such writing rules. I prefer to live a slice of life with the characters who appear when I write. Life—where you get to know the good from the bad by how they act and how they live. Life—where, if you participate, you’ll find that ordinary people can do amazing and surprising things. It’s easy to develop the story of a hero, different to appreciate that average people in life can rise to become a hero at any moment—or an antihero. For every hero who makes the news, there are thousands who quietly do what needs to be done, usually surprising even themselves.

I hope you will enjoy getting to know the special, average people in this book—except, perhaps, for one or two.


Fiction/Quirky is not a shelf you will find in your local bookstore, or on a web site where books are sold.  You may find sections such as Biography, Non-Fiction, Historical, Humor, Science Fiction, Poetry, or Sports.  There are many websites that outline the many, many categories and sub-categories under which one may list their book.  I initially chose Urban Fiction, and was happy with that until I investigated, and learned that Urban Fiction is inhabited by the stories of hookers and the Mafioso.

For your information, I have personally investigated every possible category, and while one cannot list a book under multiple categories, if I could, my listing would look like this:

FICTION/Action & Adventure                                                                8% 
FICTION/ Coming of Age                                                                        5%

FICTION/ Contemporary Women                                                         10%
FICTION /Erotica                                                                                     1%
FICTION/Humorous                                                                               20%
FICTION/Lesbian                                                                                     5%
FICTION/Men's Adventure                                                                     5%
FICTION/Suspense                                                                                   4%
FICTION/Urban Life                                                                                5%
FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS/Aging                                                    7%
FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS/Children with Special Needs            10%
FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS/ Interpersonal Relationships             15%
FAMILY& RELATIONSHIPS/Life Stages/Teenagers                           5%

Something for everyone - something sure to make everyone think twice.  And you only get charged for one book!


Relax in the world of a unique local salon, and enjoy meeting owner Sarah Joy, her wonderful staff and above-average clients.  Follow Sarah from starting her business, knee deep in dog poop and broken glass, past some disembodied heads, through a ghostly visit, and to a meeting with Miss America.  On occasional Saturday nights, selected clients gather for an evening of haircuts, wine, food and conversation. One particular Saturday night challenges the group, as they find themselves being tested by a shotgun, resting against Sarah's forehead.  By night's end, some are hospitalized, others are arrested, and everyone is changed.