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!

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


The future of paper books

Ebook sales down, says Nielsen Research.


Remember that discussion (mostly that worried discussion) about the future of paper books?  Remember predictions how ebooks would “never quite” replace paper books because there would still always be some crazy collectors around?

Well, it seems that worldwide, the crazy collectors are in the 75% majority.

Ebook sales soared exponentially these past few years, but for the first time now they have levelled off and in some places, dropped back.  Why?  Could it be the practices of certain places of removing an ebook off your Kindle without your say-so?  Could it be that readers started to be data-mined for preferences, reading habits, etc while they were reading, and the information used to fine-tune ad targeting?  Could it be that the NSA …  but ah, no, I’m now fantasizing.

Still somehow the feel of a good book between our fingers has not been replaced by, no matter how cute and convenient, a Kindle or Tablet.  Despite market forces doing their worst  best.

Could it be (horrors) that there were links in the text that took you right out of the story and elsewhere?  Could “Vibrant Ads” have got into the ebooks?

I still think ebooks are a fantastic idea.  I wish every school in the world would make them available (and the readers alongside).  For free.  Imagine kids only needing a schoolbag for their writing utensils, art supplies and lunchbox, not to lug tons of books about.  These days they don’t even use schoolbags, they use caddies like in golf.  That stuff looks like dustbins on wheels, but I guess if they’d been around when I was a kid I’d have given my left eye-tooth for one.

It’s funny how a few years back we still stressed whether paper books would be around, and now bold statements are made such as, “we always knew ebooks wouldn’t replace paper books” … really?  Did we?


you know where to get them!!  🙂


And here is a sneak peek into one of our authors’ novels:


by Leslie Hyla Winton Noble




A treat and a music publishing house

Thanks to all my peeps who came by to pat me on the back and give me hugs when I was feeling so down!  You are appreciated!! This morning: A friend organized a gift pack for me (she didn’t know about my attention-seeking misbehaviour, she’s not a blogger) from Isabella Garcia skin care products!  Now, we’re very loyal Amway people for the past 15 years already, and I adore the Artistry skin range, but a gift is a gift and what a delightful one!  Dale Carnegie (so I read on Facebook so it must be true) said that we only really have four contact points with people:

  • what we look like
  • what we do
  • what we say and
  • how we say it.

I’ve been very serious about the latter 3 for ever, but it has to be brought home to a hill-billy like me that (1) is also important, in fact (1) is your first impression. The other thing I found this morning that tickled me absolutely pink:

Rhinegold Publishing

This is a music publishing house in the UK (judging from their website a brand new one).  Those of you who have read or are following updates on my Solar Wind series know the character “Rhine Gold”.  His real name is Reinhold Schatz and he’s a proud Hamburger.  He received his nickname firstly because the crew was too lazy to learn how to pronounce his name, and secondly because of his gorgeous wavy, long, golden hair (he also grows a beard).  The slant at the Nibelungen is of course also there, the whole German descent, heroic “Siegfried the dragon slayer” effect.  Paean (our main heroine) calls him “hero material”.  Here are two scenes with Rhine Gold getting some good spotlight:


The Tall and the Tough

He shook his golden curls out of his face, splattering like a wet dog, and peered up into the rigging with its half-closed booms, hanging onto a line. The sky was grey with dusk now, darkening the clouds further. The white Crow’s Nest contrasted starkly. Yes, that thing was indeed stuck. They’d get to that in a second!

He forged his way forward along the handhold lines, ignoring the water that gushed around his boots. He was a born and bred Hamburger! Bit of sea didn’t frighten him! He dashed a glance over his shoulder to see if Federi was following, wondering how the scrawny man stood up to the job in times like these. 

(read more on SCRIBD)


And in Solar Wind 2:

Hero Material

Paean headed to the snowmobiles.

You can’t go out there alone,” said Itzak. “Too dangerous. You ought to inform Federi and let him go look!”

Federi’s in an officer’s meeting,” snapped Paean. “He’s in enough trouble for us being late! Itzak, it’s my brother out there. I’m going. Reinhold can come along!”

I can’t drive a snowmobile,” objected Rhine Gold.

Neither can I, but I’m about to find out!” She was already in one. “Can’t be too different from the ship console!”

Hoy, Paean! Wait up! Let me at least show you how the controls work!” called Itzak. “First of all, go slowly. And don’t stop anywhere. Keep the com active. There’s going to be a blizzard. Temperatures drop terribly fast in these parts.”

My brother’s out there,” said Paean. “Now how does this vehicle work?”

(read more on SCRIBD)


Rhine Gold is actually one of those characters whom I created specifically, in his case for having a romantic interest for my irascible dynamite heroine Paean.  But he was too perfect.  Firstly he was no ‘genuine pirate’ – he’s no fugitive, he’s properly hired as a deck hand for his capabilities.  Then, he’s just a bit too young, strong and beautiful.  Ouch.  It happens.

So he developed a fatal flaw… and unfortunately it really is a flaw, until he gets over it, in the Shooting Star series.  Besides, the rest of the crew got out of hand…  Paean develops a terrible shine on the scruffy young ship engineer Wolf and starts unearthing his ‘nice guy’ persona.  Also, Federi (who was supposed to be the comic relief) comes down out of the rigging and takes over the plot; he turns out to be a terribly deep character with plenty of fatal flaws.  And… well you’ll have to read on to find out more.


On another note,

both Arcana (by gipsika) and The Everywhen Angels (by Marie Marshall) are available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon now.