Updating the website…

This has taken long, but it is in its last throes.  I’m refreshing the P’kaboo Bookshop page so that it is mobile compatible.

A sneak peek behind the scenes:  I’ve broken the page into 5 genres (to be divided further as they grow).  One of our pet peeves has always been a too-slow-loading page.  I know that the connectivity isn’t always that great here; we often wait for a page to load, but it’s a point of pride trying to avoid this on our own website.  (Inevitably, what slows down the loading are the social media buttons, and occasionally the Paypal buttons.  There isn’t much we can do about that.)

The whole idea is to get the shop mobile-friendly without it losing its appeal on the PC.

What is already updated, mobile-compatible and active:

The home page (www.pkaboo.net); the “about” page; Submissions; Contact Us, and Review a Book page.  Furthermore the Young Writers’ Contest (a temporary page); and a few other less important ones.

The Bookshop:

The big project was the Bookshop page (the actual web shop).  It was (in its current upload) based on a tables layout.  This was the best and most visually logical layout for a decade, until some trendy web teccies decided for no conceivable reason that it’s not “cool” to use tables as a basis for web pages.  They changed the way browsers read things, and now tables “break” on smaller screens, i.e. they end up with a load of nonsense stuffed into them sideways by default by the browser.  I discovered this, as Murphy’s Law will have it, in the conceivably most embarrassing moment of trying to show off my page to an important mentor.  I still don’t know what he was doing with an inferior-sized screen, but just as well, as I would not have discovered this otherwise.

A table was the logical layout of the shop, it made things easy to find.  Never mind, check out the nifty accordeon with the links, on the left.  All the books are linked into that table.  They are still easy to find.

Conceptualizing this and trying out three other (non-successful) options for layout was what took so long with the web shop.


The 5 genres are:  Children’s books (including picture books, readers and children’s novels);  Science Fiction & Fantasy (a lot of books here!);  Poetry and shortstories (lumped together for now, soon to be joined by esoterica); “general” (meaning “other”) and then the music shop (which includes both original music CDs and music books).  I am still brainstorming on how to include the imprint of Honeymead into the web shop, and what to call our music imprint.

The music shop is a tough issue, as it contains both “A Tensional Guitarist” and “Krag en Ander Stories”.  It doesn’t, and will now never contain the comprehensive guitar method Iain wanted to write.  It doesn’t yet, but will in time contain his other originals, an early album he called “No Imagami”, and whichever of his originals he made recordings of, bundled together in a tribute album.  This is a project I have not yet started and it may take a long time as it is very emotional.  But except for me, there is nobody to do it.  And he would definitely want his songs out there.  He was such an extrovert.


This page was one of the first that went up on P’kaboo. I think it dates back to 2011. I have not had the heart to remove it; I don’t think I will, but I’ll put an updated page in between linking to this one. R.I.P. Mello Muso.

Book and Author Pages:

These will be the last things I’ll update, and I’ll be selective.  Unique and quirky is currently fashionable, as is “retro”.  Different authors have different pages, even from different eras of the website; I don’t want them to lose their unique touch; only update them to work on mobiles.  But they are right in the back of the queue, as I’m updating the functional pages first.

The new bookshop is of course not yet live, and I’ll have to fix up all the Paypal buttons to reflect the correct pricing and only sell available products.  For books that are available in paperback in South Africa, I’ll have to add something into the buttons.

New Books:

Not so much to do with the website but yes, there are a number of them!  Even across a number of genres.  But I’m also in the deep of setting up processes here in Ireland.  If I don’t, I’ll never find my way out of the forest of admin and what-needs-to-happen-next.

Affiliate Program:

Thinking of offering one of those.  Keep your eyes peeled for the options.

… and that’s the news with me and the website.  Keep your ears peeled and your eyes…  er…

🙂  … signing of







Got to love Mother’s Day.

We’re getting 2 Mother’s Days this year:  The Irish one (31 March) and the South African one (second Sunday in May).

So as a beautiful gift, why not get your mom an ebook for her Kindle.

Nobody told P’kaboo there’s an upper limit on promotions, so the promo code for deep discounts over at Smashwords is:


It’s valid until 31 March (end of), giving you a week to plan your surprise.

The discounts are deep (40% on ALL our Smashwords books).  There’s a nice variety too.


(Image by Mystic Art Design from Pixabay)

So here are the links:


Still out there…

Hey, just wanted to let everyone know… the St Paddy’s Day promo is still on at Smashwords, it will hold until the end of today (18th).  So if you missed your discounted book, here’s the code again (but it actually shows up on each of the books when you check out, anyway):




Have fun.

Let the Leprechauns dance!


Image by TeroVesalainen from Pixabay

From tonight until the end of St Patrick’s Day, we’re running a promotion on Smashwords, of all our ebooks available on that platform.

The coupon code is GQ68E.  Simply apply this code at the checkout to get at least 50% off the price of ALL of our titles.

Here are a few links to various parts of the promotion.  Have fun!


Other updates:

We are right now reading all the submissions we received for the Young Writers’ Contest.  Well done, kids!  But I have to emphasize that next time we will not accept hand-written submissions when it is specified in the competition that they have to be in a text document, at least a .txt file.  It is very time-consuming to key them all into the word processor.  Let’s get real:  Who of you kids does not own a smartphone?  Every smartphone has a facility of notes, and of emailing.

Working on our website, have a look here:


(Why?  Because, mobile phones.)

We have not yet formatted the bookshop page for mobile phone or tablet.  Do not attempt to view it on a too-small device – it will break, because in the “upgrade” from html4 to html5 that every browser forcibly made, tables were “depreciated”, meaning that the code now is messed up where it worked perfectly in the previous version of html.  This is simply because some fancy-pants trend-setters decided without holding a general vote on it that html-tables are “not cool” to use for websites.  (It wasn’t broken.  They didn’t need to “fix” it.)  Tables were a brilliant tool for layout, but… oh well, they are gone.  There’s no changing the world-wide web from the position of one lone hard-coding webbie.

4 new authors and 2 old ones, in the cooker.

The mix includes 3 beautiful, fully-illustrated children’s books, a sequel to a previous YA book, a Science Fiction, and a Dark Fantasy with magecraft and all sorts of devilry going on.

They will be ready at different times.  Build the excitement so long!  🙂


… gipsika …

Groundhog Day

… or, St Bridget’s Day. Depending where you are.

A peep inside P’kaboo Publishers at this moment:

I’m in the woes of fixing up the website to work on mobile.  Needed a few puzzle pieces, have them now.  The Index page is done (in any case I like keeping that fresh if possible), the Young Writers’ Contest page is done and so is the Contact page. The page that will take the longest, is the bookshop, because though I have the method down pat now, it’s a lot of books that need to have their info and everything changed to the new format.  The current shop may look tidy but it fails on certain screen widths, where the perfectly correct HTML4 table has been depreciated in HTLM5 to some form of abomination.  Some clever developer changed the way browsers read tables and added extra fields in that are absolutely invisible in the source code.  To support the new religion that tables are “no good” for creating websites.  It’s just a fashion statement, but now it’s a tyrannical one.

Also working on a few books by a few authors.

If you like, you can go over and look at the work-in-progress the site is at this point.  Mobile, PC or tablet, feel free…


We did collect some entries for the Young Writers’ Contest, which I’ll be reviewing.

The next project I’d like to put out there is something for the summer, I’ll have the details to you all really soon.  It will be for adults, not children writers; ebook only for now, a collection of short stories similar to Mercury Silver, but this time with a theme.  The theme would be a quirky, offbeat romance for a light summer read.  Feel free to use the emails on P’kaboo to contact me and ask for more details, or ask here in the comments if you like.

Got to run now.  “Keep rocking”, like Iain used to say.


Some music

Thought I’d catch up on things today, instead things caught me…


Learning this piece on the viola via memorizing.  I don’t have the sheet music and see no reason to get hold of it.

Violin can be a pretty emotional instrument, but a lot of the time it can be used to project sparkly and fun music.  The viola is more serious, contemplative, almost troubled. The problem with this piece is that it stays with one long after one has stopped playing it or listening to it.

Remembering Iain…

… would imply that at any point we might have forgotten about him.

Tonight we honour him for the sacrifice he made, putting his life on the line (and laying it down) to chase a deadly threat off his wife and children.


We focus on remembering his life, not his death – but every night it haunts me, is there anything I could have done differently and he’d still be alive today?

The short answer to that is:  No.

It could have gone differently.  But not in the positive sense.   He did save our lives.  None of us could have acted differently than we did.

Two years tonight.  I have learnt a lot about all sorts of people in the interim.

And I feel that he has never left our side, since.  When I want to cry, I hear him say, “shhh…  I’m here!”  When I talk about him, he says (like he used to in life too, when his mom brought out stories of him while he was listening) “don’t talk about me as though I’m not in the room!” or “I can hear you!”  Tongue-in-cheek, with humour like he always did.  This brings it very near to me that he is involved in our lives.

If people differ from this view, namaste. This is just the way I am experiencing things.  I doubt anyone will want to lock me up or exorcise me for it.

I need to sleep.  Tomorrow will bring its own worries.  Goodnight, Peeps.


It Is Done!

So I’ve decided it’s going to be “Raider!”

Discount: 100%!

Coupon code: FK96V

Link:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/620780

Expires: Feb 1.

There’s a limited number of these coupons, so if you want your free copy, go geddit, Tiger!



Alien Touchdown!

If the crew of the Solar Wind thought the Unicate and the Rebellion were tough cookies, they haven’t yet met the Danaan – from Planet New Dome. Coming to take over Earth – or destroy the planet. Or alternatively, for a mango daiquiri in the subtropical paradise of Southern Free. And then destroy the planet.

January can be dry…

…which is why, unilaterally as owner and CEO, I decided to give peeps access to ONE of my books for free again, just for now…  but promise me… you won’t allow it to interfere with homework!

I’m also curious how many people, downloading a free ebook, will actually read it.  If you end up actually opening it and reading the first chapter, and you find time, please leave a little comment – “Read chapter 1” or something.  If you finish the book, it would be cute to leave a little message here in the comments, “reddit” or similar.  This is just to satisfy my curiosity, will you play?  (It’s a funny psychological effect that people will download a free book in a heartbeat, because it is free.  Whether or not they then end up reading any of it or even the first page.)

Now, the only question:  Which one?  Could you leave a comment for me which of my books you’d like me to throw out there for free until end of January?

Here are the choices:

  • Solar Wind 1 (“The Mystery of the Solar Wind”)
  • Solar Wind 4 (“Raider”)
  • “The Family Pool”  (low word count)
  • “Chiaroscuro” (short-stories)
  • “Arcana” (~60 000 words)


Let me know in the comments.

~ gipsika ~