Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Xane J. Fisher

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Xane J. Fisher

Originally from the Salt Lake City area, Xane Fisher has spent most of his life living out of a backpack or suitcase. Along his travels, he has been blessed with an amazing family, a college education, and the opportunity to see the world from the skyscrapers of Abu-Dhabi to the third world markets of Angola. From a young age, he has felt compelled to write and share experiences through a pen or keyboard. He is currently living in southwest Germany, serving in the United States Air Force with his wife Autumn and their son Judah. He hopes to have his first novel completed soon.

Website: https://poetryforpeopleihate.com
Twitter: @XaneFisher
Facebook: Facebook profile
Blog: https://poetryforpeopleihate.com


Book Review

BoyzNite

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Law school wonder student Ian Peters chronicles his first night home for the summer in Piedmont, Washington. What starts with a pleasant drive up the Pacific Northwest Coast leads him into a night of self discovery, contemplative self-assessment, and ultimately the question of what kind of man does he want to be? Along the way, he reconnects with friends, family, and an old flame who changes his world forever.

What started as a typical night of partying quickly becomes BoyzNite.

 

 

 

 


I was part of the Blog Tour for BoyzNite, hosted and run by Royal James Publishing. I was surprised by the amount of work and effort that was put in to this very short story, but an upcoming author with a hesitant traction in the world. It was nonetheless a great experience, the story was emotionally gripping and very well written.

Nthato MorakabiAuthor Spotlight: Xane J. Fisher
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Author Spotlight: J.T. Lawrence

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JT Lawrence

JT Lawrence is an author, playwright and bookdealer based in Parkhurst, Johannesburg. She is the mother of two small boys and lives in a house with a red front door.

She has written various plays for SAFM including ‘The Shelter’, ‘Unspilling the Milk’, ‘Every Breath You Take’, and serials, the most recent being the crime drama ‘Jigsaw’. Her short story collection ‘Sticky Fingers’ was broadcast in the last quarter of 2015, and will be available as a paperback and ebook in 2016.

Her first novel, ‘The Memory of Water’ (2011), is about a writer who would do anything for a story. Her 2015 offering, ‘Why You Were Taken’is a pre-dystopian sci-fi thriller starring a synaesthete, and takes place is a futuristic Jo’burg burdened by infertility and a water crisis. It was optioned by the national broadcaster, SABC, for a radio adaption.

She is currently working on her new novel, ‘Grey Magic’, slated for December 2016, about an eccentric modern-day witch, accused of murder, who must explore her past lives in order to keep her freedom — and find her way back to magic.

Website: Pulpbooks

Amazon: J.T. Lawrence

Twitter: @pulpbooks

Facebook: facebook.com/JanitaTLawrence

Instagram: pulp_junkie

 


Book Review

Sticky Fingers

Stick Fingers - JT Lawrence

Diverse, dark-humoured, and deliciously bite-sized, this compelling collection of 12 short stories by JT Lawrence include:

‘Escape’ — a story about about a suicidal baby who knows he was born into the wrong life, and has to get creative to take measures correct the mistake, much to his mother’s horror.

The Itch’ — a story about an intense, uncontrollable, unexplainable itch that lands the protagonist in a mental institution.

‘Bridge Gate’ — In this poignant and charming short story, a daughter yearns to connect with her absent father through the letters they exchange. She’s not put off by his pedantic corrections of her writing, despite the slow reveal that he is less than perfect himself.

‘The Unsuspecting Gold-digger’ — a woman gradually poisons her husband so that she doesn’t have to break his heart.


A wonderful collection of short stories that still make me scratch my skull from the insistent non-existent itch.

Nthato MorakabiAuthor Spotlight: J.T. Lawrence
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Author Spotlight: Angela Meadon

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Angela

Angela started writing stories when she was 8 years old. Her first story was about Indiana Jones and she wrote it on pages she tore out of her school books. She has come a long way since those early days. She invents her own heroes now, but she tries to keep the sense of passion and wonder that infused her early forays into the craft.

When she’s not herding her three children through the garden of their Johannesburg home, Angela surrounds herself with words in all their glorious forms. She is the submissions editor for an online magazine, the lead technical writer for a fast-growing software company, a dedicated author and a voracious reader.

She tends to write darker stories, and enjoys experimenting with genre. Horror and fantasy will always be her first loves (yes, she can have two), but she also enjoys science fiction and thrillers.


Strong Medicine

Book Review

Strong Medicine Erin du Toit’s 9-year old daughter has been kidnapped by Johannesburg’s most powerful witchdoctor. Can Erin save her child before she’s chopped up for muthi?

Erin’s first instinct is to go to the police, but the South African Police Force is paralyzed by corruption and overwhelmed by hundreds of open cases. Cases just like Erin’s.

Erin delves into the dark underbelly of Johannesburg to find the man who took her daughter. When she realizes that the police are protecting him, she must decide between disobeying a violent police force and giving up on her daughter.

Author site: Meadon.co.za

Amazon: Angela Meadon


The number of times I squirmed reading this book is too high, and so close to home too with Muthi killings and cultural superstitions that can lead to doing something inhumane. A truly chilling novel.

Nthato MorakabiAuthor Spotlight: Angela Meadon
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Author Spotlight: Warren Hately

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Warren Hately

Warren Hately lives with his children in Margaret River, Western Australia, where he works as a journalist and sub-editor. Previously, he has been a freelance travel writer, photographer and academic. He holds a doctorate in English and Comparative Literature for his dissertation The Discourse of Conflict, which reworked post-Foucauldian semiotics to examine the predominance of language-like models in the resolution of conflict (with the case study of the 1981 prison conflict in Northern Ireland). Warren also has an English with First Class Honours in post-structuralist theory and cultural studies specialising in the work of French philosopher Michel Foucault.

Twitter: @wereviking

Amazon: Warren Hately

Website: zephyr.warrenhately.com


Zephyr I

Book Review

Zephyr

Zephyr is an ongoing series that has been favorably compared to Alan Moore’s Watchmen and similar classics. Like the comic books to which it owes a debt, Zephyr is episodic with an open narrative. It is written for grown-ups.

It’s 2013 on the eastern seaboard of the United States. The place is Atlantic City: a sweeping longitudinal metropolis rebuilt following widespread devastation in 1984. Superhumans are not only real, they’re human. All too human, as Nietzsche would say.

Zephyr is an alt.superhero adventure influenced by postliterary writing and Sturgeon’s law. The style is cynical, cinematic and systematically against standard expectations of the genre. Imagine if Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho was about costumed vigilantes rather than stockbrokers and you have half the idea.

Zephyr tells the story of a major, if somewhat jaded superhero in an alternate universe where New York City has been abandoned and the Beatles were a superhero team. Zephyr is a regular guy, but with powers, and it’s easy to wonder if his life might have been better without them as supervillains and other problems that only superhumans can deal with derail his efforts handling life.

In Volume 1, Zephyr tackles the pressure to reform his old Sentinels superhero team for financial gain, saves his best friend Twilight, endures sexual blackmail, reconciles his daughter’s expulsion from high school, and deals with a close betrayal, all as the star-god Hariss as-Sama prepares for its assault on Atlantic City.


Zephyr I, was an enjoyable comic-book style narrative that put me right into the world, rub shoulders with the characters, hurtle through the air as Zephyr, and all without speech bubbles.

Nthato MorakabiAuthor Spotlight: Warren Hately
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Author Spotlight: Sukanya Venkatraghavan

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Sukanya Venkatraghavan

Sukanya Venkat is an Indian writer, partial to the fantasy genre of fiction. Currently based in Mumbai, Sukanya lives with her husband and a large congregation of cat and owl figurines collected from all over the world.

Sukanya’s first brush with fantasy was as a film journalist in Mumbai, covering the glamourous, yet daunting world of Bollywood with publications like Filmfare and Marie-Claire. Having grown up listening to tales of Indian mythology and folklore narrated by her grandfather, as well as reading western classics from the library in the attic of her childhood home in Kerala, it was but natural that her progression to life as a writer would revolve around gods, apsaras, rakshasas and the like.

These days, her waking hours are spent trying to balance out the magical and the mundane. Between painting, tarot reading and writing, she enjoys toeing the fine line between fantasy and reality. She slips through the veil sometimes and brings back tales from elsewhere. Dark Things is the first one.­­­­­

Twitter: @Sunbloom Succubus

Amazon: Sukanya Venkatraghavan


Dark Things

 Book Review

Dark ThingsSomewhere on Prithvi, a mortal survives a supernatural attack. In the dark realm of Atala, an evil goddess prepares to do the Unspeakable. And a Yakshi finds herself at the heart of an other-worldly storm. Ardra has only known life as a Yakshi, designed to seduce and kill men after drawing out their deepest, darkest secrets for her evil mistress Hera, queen of the forsaken realm of Atala. Then, on one strange blood moon night, her chosen victim, Dwai, survives, and her world spins out of control. Now Ardra must escape the wrath of Hera, who is plotting to throw the universe into chaos. To stop her, Ardra needs to find answers to questions she hasn’t dared to ask before. What power does the blood moon hold? Is the sky city of Aakasha as much a myth as its inhabitants – the ethereal and seductive Gandharvas and Apsaras? Who is Dara, the mysterious monster-slayer, and what makes Dwai impervious to her powers? A heady concoction of fantasy and romance, Dark Things conjures up a unique world wrought of love and sacrifice, of shadows and secrets, of evil and those who battle it.

 


A fantastic tale of drama, intrigue and Indian mythology and fantasy. A brilliant novel with plot twists that even caught me off guard. Also, the author is incredibly sweet, not only sending me a copy, but a signed copy from India all way to South Africa.

Nthato MorakabiAuthor Spotlight: Sukanya Venkatraghavan
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Author Spotlight: David Meredith

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David Meredith

David Meredith is a writer and educator originally from Knoxville, Tennessee. He received both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts from East Tennessee State University, in Johnson City, Tennessee as well as a Tennessee State Teaching license. He is currently a doctoral student in Educational Leadership. On and off, he spent nearly a decade, from 1999-2010 teaching English in Northern Japan, but currently lives with his wife and three children in the Nashville Area where he continues to write and teach English.

Amazon Author Page

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Web Site – davidmeredithwriting.com


The Reflections of Queen Snow White

Book Review

The Reflections of Queen Snow WhiteWhat happens when “happily ever after” has come and gone?

On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven’s wedding, an aging Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven’s fiancé, is a fine man from a neighboring kingdom and Snow White’s own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better, in fact, except for one thing:

The king is dead.

The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old.

It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what “happily ever after” really means?

Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.


A unique take on the only fairytale, with quite a heavy storyline richly told in beautiful descriptive writing.

Nthato MorakabiAuthor Spotlight: David Meredith
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Author Spotlight: Michael Smorenburg

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Michael Smorenburg

Michael Smorenburg (b. 1964) grew up in Cape Town, South Africa. An entrepreneur with a passion for marketing, in 1995 Michael moved to California where he founded a business consultancy and online media and marketing engine In 2003 he returned to South Africa.

Michael’s published works include: Business Buyer’s Kit (Career Press, 1997), The Everything Sailing Book (Adams Media, 1998), The Everything Sailing Book – Part 2 (Adams Media, 1999).

Michael is represented in non-fiction by Keller Media of Malibu, California. Michael’s greatest interest is the ocean, keeping up with the latest breakthroughs in science, understanding the cosmos.

FaceBook: MichaelSmorenburgAuthor

Twitter: @SmorieTheWriter

Amazon: Michael Smorenburg

Author website: MichaelSmorenburg


The SKA at Carnarvon – A Trojan Affair

Book review

the-ska-at-carnarvon-a-trojan-affair

Dara Singh is seventeen. Gregarious and with an Oxford accent, he carries the dark Indian skin and fine features of his evolutionary psychologist father. He is dangerously innocent to the fundamentalism and dogma of the predicament he’s suddenly thrust into.

His American astrophysicist mother, Marsha, has taken on a contract to help build the SKA, the $2.5-Billion Square Kilometer Array radio telescope network.

This sees the family relocate to the dusty desert town of Carnarvon in South Africa’s arid Northern Cape. It delivers Dara into the heartland of a staunchly conservative culture.
Next year he’s off to finish school in the city, but with 3 months to kill, he’s made the fateful decision to seek new friends by enrolling at the local school. Alas,

The Dominee, the town’s preacher, considers the SKA a direct challenge to Genesis.
Better yet, only the preacher knows that an Evangelic group from America’s Bible Belt has secretly offered to bankroll his struggle, and the cantankerous old man is already well advanced in mounting a renegade resistance against the vast scientific infrastructure.

On sight, in Dara, the SKA now has a face for the preacher—a dark dark foreign face.
Neels, the preacher’s youth leader and school bully, targets Dara, not just to exact revenge for the town’s anguish, but because his pretty girlfriend, Sonja, moves to protect the outsider… an action that will bring scorn from her father if he finds out her alliances may be suspect…

And so unfolds a cascade of intrigue, agendas and unusual alliances.


If you read my Book Review of The S.K.A at Carnarvon, you will be aware that, although I utterly loved the book, I found the argument between the religious folk and the scientists too one sided, more inclined towards the science rather than the religious. If you’ve read the book, you might know that the debate was excluded from the book but Michael Smorenburg has made it available on the S.K.A website: Removed Chapter 38a & 38b

Share your thoughts on the debate if you’ve had the opportunity to read the book, or heard the debate elsewhere.

Nthato MorakabiAuthor Spotlight: Michael Smorenburg
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