“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.




Should P’kaboo authors get a Thunderclap?

“Thunderclaps” – ROARS of Silence.

Thank you, Silver Threading, for this post and the feedback of how your authors did on Thunderclap.   I think, even though 2 did not reach target, the results are still pretty inspiring.

Now my question to my P’kaboo authors:

Should we thunderclap our books?

It is a program with intense author involvement, but we’ve done that type before, with our facebook & twitter “likes” campaign and others.

Oh, ok, second edit:  Here is how it works.

It’s like crowd funding, except that the currency targeted is not money but publicity.  If you reach a certain number of supporters, Thunderclap publicizes you to a large social network.  If you don’t make target (even if you’re only short by 1), then nothing happens.  I think it’s worth a shot, especially if we can pair it with some other publicity push?

Oh, and 4th edit:  It’s a free program, at entry level.  Your supporters don’t have to fork out a cent, they only have to “fork out” a click.  (I haven’t checked out the other levels.)

Let me know if you’re in.  If you’re self-conscious, email me instead of commenting.

… gipsika


Friends, fellows and co-creators.

I implore you, who are published by P’kaboo, to make use of the following structures for news and updates on your writing, promos, and whatever else relates to your books.

1)  The P’kaboo Blog.  Each one of you is a quality blogger; I’m not worried that you’ll post anything sub-standard on the official blogsite of P’kaboo.  The blog has views; possibly more than the “red ant”.  They are also most probably much more diverse views as they come from places all over the world; besides, there are many links on external places pointing to the website and the blog, so you can do worse for exposure than chatting up readers of the P’kaboo blog.  It is the blog of a publishing site.  Would you agree it is likely that readers read there?

What to post here:  Updates on your latest opus; sweet reviews you received; speaking engagements or poetry competitions you have fared well in or want to promote, etc, etc.  Go look – there are already some up there.  You are welcome to repost things that you’ve blogged on your personal blogs, with a link leading the engaged reader to your own blog; as long as whatever you post is relevant either to your books, or to your writing (processes etc).

2) The P’kaboo Book Club on Facebook.  This is where you can connect on a very eye-to-camera basis with real fans of yours as well as fans of other P’kaboo authors, and of some authors who are in fact not even with P’kaboo but who come and play in the Book Club.  While we do play games in there (and yes, sometimes they get a little banal as the evening gets late), we also hold interviews, and the best is, you can set up your own initiative or start something in your own style there.  I’m aware of at least 3 book reviewers that also come checking in every now and then, and a number of people involved with book promo sites.

Once again, if you got a lovely review you can post it in there and invite discussion.

3) The P’kaboo Facebook Page.  Here you can post links to your latest reviews (which you can and should on the other two sites, as well).  The sad thing is that the FB page doesn’t necessarily put your posts centre-stage; however, alert me to them and I can come and lift them into full view.

I also strongly encourage you to get involved and visit each other’s Goodreads profiles, and boost each other by posting each other’s links.  We are a small number of writers, and we need to make the most of the little community we are.

My friends and authors, I set these places up for you to use.  Blow your own horn and each other’s – I’m already blowing your horn for you but need your backup.  We’re a small, indie house.  We need to create the wave; and believe me when I say, I can actually see a wave building.  It’s a social media wave and a clicks wave, and I want you all to participate, none to be left behind.  Because TV ads are not yet on the cards.

If you find interesting places like Bookarma and iAuthor, post them to the Book Club so that the other authors can explore and discover, and just as importantly, so that the friends and readers too can explore.  If you tweet something relevant to what’s happening, copy it to the Book Club for discussion.   None of those sites are temples; they are more like workshops.  And readers love watching something as it is happening.  Let’s give them lots to watch.

Remember always:  First comes the publicity, the sales follow.  Sometimes it takes a LOT of publicity to generate sales.  And publicity in networking is exponential.  Like the dwarves in Spellforce say:  “Everrra lattle bat counts!”

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!

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


Story Post: From ‘Arcana’ – by gipsika


Arcana – by gipsika


Rain was sheeting down in a never-ending grey haze when Ivy Pennington opened the front door of her 4th level flat to brave another workday. Papers to file, files to study, she thought with irritation. When she’d set out on her career as a young accountant, she’d expected that companies would be a lot more up-to-date where e-filing was concerned. So she had to have the sodding luck to sign up with a store that had apparently never heard of computers yet – and in this day and age! She stepped out into the passage and turned in a fluid movement to close the door, her above-knee navy skirt swishing just a little too flippantly for the gravity of her professional image…


That was when she glanced down. At the toes of her stiletto shoes sat a small, black kitten, staring at her with intent green eyes. The poor little fellow looked bedraggled from the rain. Ivy reached for it, meaning to scratch its ears; it backed away a little before allowing her to touch it.

You poor little thing!” She put her briefcase down and returned inside to pour some milk into a flat tupperware, for lack of a saucer (she didn’t own such old-fashioned things). When she put it down on the floor she realized that the kitten had followed her into the flat.

Ha, flat, she thought sarcastically. This was not a flat. It was a box. The walls were painted ever so tastefully light-grey in keeping with modern interior decorating, and while Ivy subscribed to everything that was fresh and young, somehow the colour grey didn’t seem to make the grade. She wasn’t even allowed to repaint.

Later, she thought impatiently, watching the little fellow – she didn’t even know if it was a tom or a jenny – thirstily lap the milk. Her thoughts were working on hyperdrive now – she was running late. She’d need a place for him to sleep; and he needed to get out, to do his business – that would be a problem, on the fourth floor! And when she came home from work, she’d have to find out where he belonged…

The green eyes lifted to stare at her again, and a tiny pink tongue slipped out and licked a small black nose. There was a lot of milk left in the saucer, but the kitten seemed to have quenched its thirst.

Have you lost your mommy then?” asked Ivy. “Did you lose your way? Where are you from?”

Meow,” came the quiet response.

Ivy decided that this couldn’t wait. She took out her smartphone to text her boss – then remembered that the boss only had a landline. With an exasperated grunt she dialled his number.

Oates and Son, how can we help you?” chirped the voice of the chicklet who manned the receptionist desk.

Biljana, please tell Mr Oates I’m only coming in at noon,” said Ivy. “Family crisis.”

Shall I put you through to him, Ivy?”

Those honeyed tones! As though being under twenty gave Biljana a preferred – hmm. Maybe it did, thought Ivy.

No, just relay my message to him please,” she said but realized she was speaking to a line in transit.

Graham Oates; good morning.”

Ivy gnashed her teeth.

Morning, Mr Oates. I have to solve a family crisis this morning, it really can’t wait – so I’ll only be able to come in to work at noon – is that alright?”

There was a heavy sigh.

Oh dear, Miss Pennington. There’s a lot of work. I hope it’s nothing too serious?”

No – that is, not that serious for me, but it might be in future,” she waffled frantically. Just accept it and let me go, boss!

What’s the matter?”

She had so hoped he wouldn’t ask! It was none of his business; but to say that to your boss’s face…

My niece,” she invented. “She’s going to have a baby and she’s still in school. I have to prevent greater disaster.”

A momentary shocked silence, then, “Well, I’ll see you at noon, Miss Pennington. Good luck!”


Ivy ended the call and stood for a moment, disoriented. How on Earth had that lie slipped off her lips? She was a dead-honest person, she never lied! Well, scrap that good record, she thought acridly. She gazed down at the kitten, unable to understand herself. She wouldn’t have studied financial science if she’d had a dishonest hair – hmm. Maybe she would have, she thought with irony. Maybe, specifically.

Come, baby,” she murmured to the little black cat and scooped him up. He clung to her collar with little claws, his fuzzy baby hair tickling her neck. “Let’s find out where you belong.”

The funniest little sound came from the cat. It sounded like a mini motorbike trying to start its engine. She realized he was learning to purr, and it made her smile. Well, she’d better come up with a good explanation for her boss, backtrack and let him know that it had turned out to be only a scare and that her niece would be staying with her for a while until temperaments had cooled… gosh! She was spinning the lie further! She shook her head at herself, changed her shoes for more comfortable walking pumps, and left the flat – this time with a handbag rather than her briefcase, and the kitten nestling cosily inside on a towel.

It was mid-morning when Ivy sank into a corner seat at a little bistro. She had asked all the neighbours in the flat block, poster, called the SPCA to hear if there had been a call for a missing kitten, and made the round of all the local vets she was aware of.

Apparently the kitty was a tom. She decided to call him Peridot, after the colour of his intent eyes. If he didn’t belong to anyone, she supposed she could keep him. He had been very well-behaved, sleeping quietly in her handbag. At one stage he had started scratching at the towel; at which point she had quickly put him into a flowerbed, where he dutifully did his business and even covered it up. She made a note to get a cat box on her way home, and a bed for him. And of course cat food.

And the call reached her.


Oh shucks. Here was her own lie, coming back to haunt her! Somehow that bastard of a boss must have investigated with her family…

What’s up, Bonnie?”

Bonnie Pennington, her niece with whom she didn’t have too much contact. Unlike Ivy, Bonnie wasn’t a fiery redhead but a gentle, sweet-natured brunette. The kind of kid one would wish to have. She was fifteen now, and never gave her mother a day of hassle.

That her boss had bothered her niece, irritated Ivy. To cause Bonnie such –

Can I come and stay with you for a while, please?”

Ivy nearly fell off her chair.

No ways! She couldn’t take Bonnie in right now – she’d just adopted a kitten! Argh! What kind of logic was that? But there wasn’t space in her bachelorette box! It was tiny – just a place to crash, until she could afford better!

Why, Bonnie, what’s the matter?”

Well, I’m not sure how it could have happened… there was this boy…”

No, something said inside Ivy, in disbelief. It’s not what I think!

… and … we sort-of fell in love, and we… got together – and… and now…”

…you’re pregnant,” completed Ivy.

No! I mean – yes, but it wasn’t like that! Mom wants to throw me out…”

I’m dreaming, thought Ivy. I’m seriously dreaming.

Come and crawl in with me for a little while,” she offered despite herself. “But Bonnie, there are house rules. Okay? And I have to find us a bigger pad, can’t have you sleeping in the bathtub forever…”

In the bathtub?” squeaked Bonnie, horrified.

Kidding,” said Ivy. “When will you be around?”

After school,” said Bonnie.

Fine.” Ivy hung up and proceeded to stare at the fifth dimension in confusion. Right.

Can I help you, ma’am?”

Oh. She’d been staring at her waiter without realizing it.

The bill please.”

Outside, the rain was still falling persistently.


Copyright © gipsika, 2013

This book can be purchased as ebook from:


The Everywhen Angels: NEW RELEASE AT P”KABOO

NEW RELEASE: The Everywhen Angels


Late last night we completed everything for the first release of

The Everywhen Angels.

Another intriguing novel by our talented Marie Marshall!

Below an introduction to the YA novel by our partners in Scotland, the Bookseeker Agency.
This precedes another YA novel from the same author, for lovers of paranormal and vampire fiction; we are hoping to bring out “From My Cold Dead Hand” early next year.
Read and enjoy:

News, 10th December 2013

December 10, 2013 by

everywhen_angelsWith a fanfare, we can announce that Marie Marshall‘s new novel aimed at older children and teenagers, The Everywhen Angels, is now published. It tells a story of kids in a comprehensive school on the outskirts of London, who find themselves with strange powers. Perhaps they are the first skirmishers in the great battle of Armageddon – but how would they know?

Despite their visions and their adventures, they have to deal with the normal stuff of teenage life – homework, parents, bullying, dating, not talking to strangers, bereavement and so on. But do they really know what is going on?
Angela, the poet with the questioning mind believes they don’t; hers is the first pair of eyes through which we see the story. Charlie, her boyfriend, is a young man with a vision – but does he really appreciate the trouble he’s in? He tells his story backwards, from the last scene to the first and makes the reader question what is good and what is evil. Ashe is the youngest and smallest of the group – diagnosed with Asperger’s, he is in fact the key to everything. But that isn’t to say his path is easy.
The novel is not just a fantasy adventure. It’s action breaks the rules of time, encompassing murder, a bomb outrage, a flood which engulfs London, and the Battle of Waterloo; it’s themes include guilt, courage, cowardice, and delusion. The author says of it: “I believe children can handle difficult philosophical questions. They can handle stories told in a strange way. Young readers are much more intelligent than adults give them credit for.”
The Everywhen Angels is available direct from P’kaboo publishers in eBook form, with possibly more formats becoming available in due course.

(… Excerpt from the Bookseeker Blog)

The Everywhen Angels is available at the P’kaboo shop in epub and pdf ebook format, and will also be available on Amazon shortly, in Kindle and paperback.

– See more at: http://pkaboonews.blogspot.com/2013/12/new-release-everywhen-angels.html#sthash.Wn1GVnkU.dpuf

The trouble with writing

“This novel is a work of fiction. All characters are fictitious.  Any resemblances to persons, living or not, are purely coincidental.  This book is not suitable for you if

  • your name is any of the following:  Ivy,  Alison, Bonnie, Bex, Jake, Bryan, Marc, Janet, Mr Oates, Biljana, Fareed, Neeva or Dayib
  • you have a niece, aunt, mother, daughter, boyfriend, sister-in-law, wife or husband
  • you are in any way related to the author
  • you are sensitive about religion, politics, sex. language and violence
  • you’re younger than 16 (SLVPR)
  • …  (fill in ad lib)”

Had to happen to me that I’ve just polished and finished a beautiful Nanonovel for Iain’s site (Honeymead Books), edited, cover-designed, ISBN’ed and all, and here I get a blog follower who, herself a sweetie, carries the name of the main villainness?  AAARGH!

It’s due for launch on the 5th of December, together with Douglas Pearce’s “Pourne Identity”.

 Honeymead Books to go live on 5 December!



If you ever lose your faith…

in humanity, here’s what to do.

Get stuck with your car on an extremely busy intersection at rush-hour traffic.  (This apparently only works in South Africa, so it may cost you a plane ticket, but it’s still cheaper than prolonged psychotherapy – and more effective.)

One out of three or four cars, as they squeeze past you, will ask with high concern if you are okay and if they can help.

You will be so drenched in good wishes and vibes and strongs that everyone gives you, you cannot help but believe in humans again.

This is what I love about our rainbow nation (I’m not being PC, I really do love this).

Here’s another effect you won’t easily get elsewhere (I presume) :

Spur, Woodlands:  When the staff sing for a birthday boy or girl, they carry on dancing for quite a while; and not only around the birthday child’s table but through the whole shop.

The effect on lifting the mood is incredible.  It really feels like a party – and you can see it’s not put-on, they are enjoying it.

Wouldn’t it be so cool if every company made it policy that once in every random time interval, everyone gets up and dances for 5 minutes?

They would win a health award; and they would have immensely happy employees.  That is, as long as there aren’t any that would feel put-upon by this routine.  People need to realize that good feelings (allow them in your life) are critically important to your health and general wellbeing.  I wonder what would happen to such a company’s productivity?


Btw that’s also my take on Agatha Christie and her quote:

I like “Writers Write” – a very nice site and a good writing school, here in SA.  I pirate their piccies and quotes quite often.  😉  (And of course I link back – just click on the pic to get to her spot.  If she doesn’t want me pirating and back-linking, I figure she’ll tell me quickly.)

But this particular quote…  I feel sorry for Aggie.  Once again I’d prescribe a healthy dose of admin work in a high-pressure environment, or perhaps a sales job in a car parts wholesale shop, to reinstill her sense of wonder and thankfulness for having such a cool profession.  Writers, musicians, artists, designers – we have it good.  We do what we love.


(btw here are the Amazon links for Douglas Pearce’s “Almost Dead in Suburbia”:

Almost Dead on Kindle:

Almost Dead in Amazon Store:
http://www.amazon.com/Almost-Dead-Suburbia-Douglas-Pearce/dp/0620479280     )

And don’t forget to grab your copy of the free downloads while they are still available…


Lupa Tabika

The Mystery of the Solar Wind Almost Dead in Suburbia 


That be all for now…