Sleepless in Pretoria

Tomorrow, term 2 starts.

A term I’m a bit apprehensive about.  It’s an enormously long term (12 weeks).  A lot has to happen – studio concert, ceilidhs, exam entries, that’s just on the studio side.  The agenda for P’kaboo is equally packed if more exploratory and not quite as crisply defined.  So I’m sitting here unable to go to sleep though I should (early start tomorrow).  Looking at the overhauled P’kaboo Bookshop page and wondering if it is at all accessible on mobile or if it breaks.  Looking at that lovely review Nikki Mason wrote for “The Morrigan”, wondering if I ought to post it to the P’kaboo Blog (of course I must).  Looking at what Smashwords is doing and how the books are performing, and knowing I need to move to a publisher account so I can give those benefits to all our books.  Looking at my cats and wondering if I can trust them to be good tonight.  They have been naughty a lot, lately.  I don’t understand why.  And then there is the homeschooling syllabus I must finally at least try to put together…  We’ve got 5 subjects already:  English & Math, both with the formal state syllabus books; art (as taught by Oldest, who took it as her main course in high school, to Wildest One), music (of course), and now, zoology.  No, I do mean, zoology.  My homeschooling has mostly been modular.  It works well.

I have to go sleep.  In the interim, pls have fun clicking around in my newly upgraded P’kaboo Bookshop.

Screenshot (100)

Or go preview “Nix Romipen”, the 6th in the Solar Wind series (and the bridging sequel to the Shooting Star series).

Nix Romipen

nixromipen-front2Romania. A place of harsh contrasts; dangerous and beautiful wilderness; a silent invisible people. This is where Federi was born; and this is where he takes Paean in their breakaway from the Solar Wind, their bid for freedom. But Federi is hunting big game now, unravelling the curse of Falco. And something is watching from space…

(The cover is temporary; I don’t have the final cover yet.  The release for this book is scheduled for 1 November this year, it can be preordered or previewed on Smashwords who make these options very accessible.)



“Well, Sally’s gone, but I’m still here…”

Just an update:  The promo at Smashwords has come to an end.

But do not fear.  My experiment with x free downloads of Solar Wind 1 is still going, so you can still grab a copy of “The Mystery..”, and “The Assassin” (the second book) is still priced at the experimental “Reader sets price”.  So you can, if you feel like it, set the price at $0.

This “Reader sets price” is a puzzler, because it leaves the reader to guess how much $ equivalent of enjoyment they will get out of a book.  It would make more sense to have them first read the book and then decide what it was worth to them.  This is why I have it on the second of the series.

Regardless, enjoy!  And the next post is going to be a normal blog post again.  Promise.

Click here to pop over to Smashwords, to find the series.




Thank you Silver Threading: Introducing Carmen Capuano

How I Wrote “Split Decision,” by Carmen Capuano.

SplidDSilver Threading, an awesome blog supporting authors (whose author is in the process of becoming an author herself 😉 ), introduces our own Carmen Capuano who is having such a rush of success with her extremely fast-paced novel, “Split Decision”.ccapuanowSD

Go and have a read, enjoy!

So quiet, so long….

So quiet, so long….

Hi Blogpals.  Sorry, I’ve been snowed under, over and through, therefore not much chance to blog.

I now have 3 offspring in 3 different schools.  A far cry from the snug little homeschooling family!  (Oh man do I miss those days!)

The Studio is kicking off, like every year, with some retained students and some new.  We shall see what this week brings.  In January these things change rapidly.

P’kaboo Bookclub will resume its coffee chats on Monday nights.  Please keep in mind:

  • Every “player” who enters, influences the conversation.  Come!  We need more voices!
  • Where the conversation goes, is up to you.
  • You are also welcome to start extra conversations.  The whole idea with authors and readers meeting up in a virtual book club is to have fun together.  Authors are welcome to exchange notes and crits on writing styles and techniques; readers are welcome to let rip about what books they’ve read and what they liked (or not) about them.  I’ve seen discussions in Goodreads forums that nearly turned into blog wars.
  • Go for it, throw in your ideas.  It’s a platform.  For instance:  What’s your stance on fan fiction?  Don’t wait for me to come up with new thoughts – go wild!  It is your club.

Bought myself an old-fashioned hard-cover diary today.  Those who know me:  I’m not 100% a technophobe, really not, I probably have some good background about computers, growing up with a father who was in software development from 1970.  (You ask, “software? In 1970?”  That’s what I mean.)  I was the first kid who knew about mainframes, magnetic strips, punch cards, Ascii code, Unix “machines” etc.  This was way before the Commodore 64.  And one doesn’t figure out web design in “hard code” by being a technophobe.  But:

Having used Nokia phones for 15 years now, I got to the top of their bloom – and that’s the phone that was stolen.  It had no touch-screen; it had buttons plus a super camera.  I could sms with 2 thumbs faster than you can type with 10 fingers.   I waded into the sea with it and got it soaked in salt water and it still worked.  But they stole it.  And so, with a great sigh, I accepted my “up”grade…

Why would one want a qwerty keyboard that is so flippen’ tiny that one cannot work it with 10 fingers?  How is that an improvement over the buttons and fast text?  Now I have to type click-by-click, vulture-style, and the auto-correct really messes it up if I’m typing German or Afrikaans.  They’ve slowed me down!!  That’s not the idea behind an “up”grade!  Putting a qwerty keyboard onto a nano touchscreen is not an improvement; it’s a square wheel award.

square tire

What else is on the agenda for this year?  I’d be scared to say.  We shall see.



One of the great philosophers said something about being happy like a child:  For no reason.  Because if you have a reason you’re in trouble as the reason can be taken from you.

Updates, RELEASE dates and fresh dates from Woollies

First of all I need to apologize about the lie in the heading.  There are unfortunately no fresh Woollies dates on sale at P’kaboo.

P’kaboo:  Release of “From my Cold Undead Hand” imminent

FMCUH bookseeker imageOn the 15th of September, ebook copies will be available for the first time from the P’kaboo shop, of the brand new vampire-fiction novel by Marie Marshall, “From My Cold Undead Hand”.

grinI’m still pretty chuffed about the way this author, with her exciting and fast-moving style, responded to my “vampire challenge” with a novel that will leave you checking under your bed at night.  That is, if you’re brave.  Otherwise it might take some rescue remedy to get you off to sleep – plus a night light and a handgun loaded with a silver b…  wait, that’s werewolves.

Did I mention that the ebook is available for pre-orders?

Please note:  The ebook is available for pre-orders on the P’kaboo Bookshop site.  Pre-ordering will mean you receive your copy as soon as the ebook is released.  

There is also a surprise waiting for the first 25 copies ordered.  

Read more about this book here.



Honeymead Books:


The inimitable Douglas Pearce.  We meet again, with his second novel published by Honeymead Books:

The Pourne Identity.

If John Pernelli believed in doppelgangers he might well have had second thoughts about boarding British Airways flight 226 from La Guardia airport. Mind you, even if he had had a last minute change of heart, it is doubtful whether the two grey-suited men in dark glasses sitting either side of him in first class would have allowed him not to board. 

If you enjoyed “Almost Dead In Suburbia”, get ready for an even faster, funnier and more confusing trip, this one taking you into France, to meet with secret police, fat-cat politicians, and…  aliens…

Some people have compared Douglas Pearce’s style to that of Terry Pratchett.  Personally, it reminds me more of Douglas Adams, in its way-out ideas and fast execution of the same.

They say laughter is good for your health.  Do yourself a favour and get a copy of this vitamin D.  You will not regret it.

For a limited time, all ebooks on Honeymead Books will be priced at $2.99 to fit your pocket.  

Talking of challenges, Pearce is right now working on a book that will be a little bit – on the juicier side, if you like.  It too started with a challenge.

Honeymead is ideal to represent books such as his:  Rebellious political viewpoints, highlighting the thorns on religious rosebushes, and thoroughly challenging your view on reality evolutionsmileywithout the author having to look over his shoulder to see if any parents are offended every time he wants to write “merde! Le cochon a croupi dans la boue!”.   (P’kaboo would never allow his piggies to get away with that kind of wallowing. )

winkWe are considering restricting Honeymead to readers who can prove that they are not currently raising, or involved in raising, children (own or otherwise).  This will rule out parents, teachers, sports coaches, child psychologists and occupational therapists, and in short, everyone involved in any way in the under-16 industries.

P’kaboo:  Mercury Silver


For a limited time we are making FREE EBOOK COPIES of the short-story collection “Mercury Silver” available on P’kaboo.  They are free right now.

8 authors contributed wildly varying shortstories to “Mercury Silver” which was named after the Roman messenger of the Gods, winged Mercury, who is the patron god of writers, poets, merchants and…  thieves.  (Yeah.  Well.  Those Romans are crazy.)

These stories are a very good combination for readers who love a varied diet.  Explore, experience!  Enjoy a stress-free Saturday afternoon.


The Case for the Waterproof Kindle

Very nearly ready with “From My Cold Undead Hand”

FMCUH bookseeker image

“From my Cold Undead Hand” by Marie Marshall

is a short, fast-paced YA novel.  The story sprang forth from the writer’s (totally not cold or undead) hand as a result of a challenge set to her by yours truly.  We were commenting on the “Twilight” series (who doesn’t) and both of us were convinced each could write something faster, pithier, something with more gusto than the epic teen/vampire romance series.

The result of this challenge is this story.

Better hold on, crawl in under the blankets and put the Kindle light on.  Don’t read it while you’re alone.  The story is set a few decades in the future, with the protagonist a young girl in high school who does martial arts and knows how to “dock” a vampire.   Her feisty warfare is backed by a “cell” of vampire hunters, and opposed by other young people who seem to be more of the “Twilight” persuasion, idolizing the vampires.

But Chevonne Kusnetsov has more than vampires to fight.  Teenage mood swings, uncertainty about friendships and a very remote relationship to her mother give an ominous background to the plot.  Throughout the book she is in fact discovering herself and her own family’s history, as well as having to get behind what the vampires are planning.  They are organized, far too organized to be mere mindless predators…

You readers, safely under your blankets reading with the Kindle light on – be afraid.  Be very afraid.

For those of you who loved the “Everywhen Angels”:  This one is even better, and the best news is that there may be sequels.

Well done, Marie!

The Assassin: Reviewed

Another beautiful review by Nikki Mason

The Assassin – Lyz Russo

13503733What they say:
‘”Remember who you are!” His sister died with those words on her lips. Something sinister lurks in his psyche. Something that loves killing. Can he complete his mission without selling out to this entity? The voyage of the Solar Wind continues…’
Darker and even more intriguing than the first Solar Wind novel, this second book in the series is a real treat for lovers of adventure and sci-fi.
The fascinating gypsy, Federi, takes centre stage in this book when the Captain of pirate ship The Solar Wind is prematurely forced to go ahead with a mission to protect the world from the lethal plans of the deadly Unicate.


And another review!

The Mystery of the Solar Wind – Lyz Russo

 June 16, 2014  BestChickLit  Book Reviews  0

12876378What they say:
‘The year is 2116. Captain Radomir Lascek sails his pirate ship, the Solar wind, around the oceans, collecting outlaws and fugitives and dodging the authorities. But then he hires three young musicians in Dublin – the Donegal Troubles. Radomir Lascek, with all his wily schemes, is about to learn the real meaning of “trouble”.’
What we say – review by Nikki Mason:
I know I’ve mentioned before that I love all things pirate (and a yo ho ho and a bottle of rum) so imagine my delight on startingThe Mystery of the Solar Wind: pirates, with gypsy magic, set in the future??? Yes please!And this is a truly exciting and engrossing YA novel. It might take the reader  [CLICK HERE TO READ MORE]


Lyz Russo

Thank you Nikki Mason for these super reviews!  🙂

I thought this is a good moment to revisit the sweet review “Lupa” got from “BestChickLit” a while back:


Lupa – Marie Marshall

 August 26, 2013  BestChickLit  Book Reviews  4

Lupa cover © P'Kaboo Publishers2What they say:
‘What is reality, what is illusion? A lost circus girl in late 20th century Rome; a female gladiator in ancient Rome. What connects these two very different women over two millennia? In her riveting novel, “Lupa”, Marie Marshall takes us through two contrasting versions of Rome and shows masterfully how people tend to see only what they want to see.’
What we say – review by Nikki Mason:
In Lupa, Marie Marshall has created a poetic and intriguing novella that gives us a glimpse into the lives of two women from different eras. Marshall constantly asks the question: what connects these lives?In the present day Jelena, an injured Serbian circus performer, is struggling with life in Rome. When she meets handsome native Vittorio, she cannot help [CLICK HERE TO READ MORE]
Marie Marshall is such a private person that the best shot we have of her is this one, when she was a child. 😉 Don’t ask for her photo, ask for her poetry!


Nikki Mason also did this author interview with Marie Marshall:

Interview with Marie Marshall

 September 6, 2013  BestChickLit  Author Interviews  3

After reading Marie Marshall’s book Lupa, BCL reviewer, Nikki Mason, decided to put the multi-talented author through her paces with an author intervie [Click the heading to read.]

Thank you, Nikki:  P’kaboo seriously appreciates your effort & input, and your boundless enthusiasm and vibe!


Bookseeker Agency:  Leslie Noble – a professional editor for your manuscript

Bookseeker Agency: Leslie Noble – a professional editor for your manuscript

Leslie Noble – a professional editor for your manuscript.

Dear Bloggies: Do head over to the Bookseeker Agency’s blogsite to have a peep at this beautiful article on our chief editor, Leslie Noble (better known to our “crowd” as Colonialist).  Les is a prolific writer himself; still he finds the time, patience and heart to deal with other authors’ work in detail, with great sensitivity to each author’s unique voice. Thank you, Bookseeker, for featuring him!

Leslie Noble

Leslie Noble – Editor with a difference!


Colonialist’s Blog

Book Launch Durban

Leslie Noble at a book launch of 4 of his novels