Book Review: Heka and the Colour Thief – Local Talent at its finest!

I was fortunate to attend the first Readers and Writers Festival in January, where I picked up this novelette by a local author.

Please pop over to my site to read the full review.

Two posts in one week! Editing, and Publishing

I completely forgot to share the link to my post on editing last Sunday, so this week you get two posts!

First: Editing: Enrich your story by showing, not telling

And Second: Publishing in South Africa and Abroad: Do I need an ISBN and where do I get it?

Have fun!

Published: “Beneath the Wax” by Nthato Morakabi


In October, I was thrilled to publish Beneath the Wax, the first novella in Nthato Morakabi’s sci-fi horror series! With the latter half of 2018 proving to be a very busy year, the publication of this book ranks as one of my highlights!

Beneath the Wax 03 Kindle Cover 01

With a gorgeous cover design by Nico Venter (who is currently working on the artwork for Jozi Flash 2018 – YAY!), and exceptional story-telling by Nthato, Beneath the Wax is a perfect Christmas gift for fans of horror and sci-fi.


1723: Constantine Bourgeois is a man of many secrets. Artisan by day, killer by night, he turns his victims into wax figures for his shop.
2045: Richard Baines works for the renowned Anthony Garfield Historical Museum. His mundane existence is a stark counterpoint to his fascination with serial killers and science fiction.
Constantine’s nightmares drive him to undertake a journey to uncover a long-forgotten secret. Richard’s research uncovers a company secret and the mystery of Madame Bourgeois.
Two men, two timelines, and truths that will only be revealed when they look Beneath the Wax

Purchase the novel on Amazon* today, or if you’re a book blogger and would like to review the novella, please leave a comment below and I’ll get in touch with you ASAP.

*I would like to state that Chasing Dreams Publishing operates as an independent publisher, and 100% of royalties earned from the sale of Beneath the Wax go to the author. If you would like to make his Christmas that much more festive, please consider supporting him by purchasing a copy. If you’d like to make it doubly festive, an honest review on Amazon would be even more appreciated!



Blog Tour Promo: “Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Nine Worlds” by Columbkill Noonan

I’ve just started a new full time job, so reviews are on hold for the moment, but I’m still participating in tours hosted by Rachel’s Random Resources with some promo posts. This is a sequel to the first Barnabas Tew novel, and I can’t wait to dive into them!

Hold your flying horses!
Barnabas and Wilfred, two earnest but bumbling Victorian detectives, travel through the Nine Worlds of Norse mythology, trying to stave off the impending end of the world, an event which the locals call “Ragnarok”. This time around, however, the intrepid twosome has some help: a brave Viking seer named Brynhild and her flying horse.
Can the two plucky detectives and the fearsome Brynhild outwit those who would bring about Ragnarok? Will they survive the harsh conditions and terrifying creatures of the Norse afterlife? Will they save the world…again?

As with the first novel, this book just appeals on so many levels. Norse mythology is a personal favourite for me, so I can’t wait to see how Barnabas experiences it after his adventures in the Egyptian underworld!

Purchase the novel on Amazon US or Amazon UK.

About the Author

Barnabas Tew - ColumbkillNoonanPhoto

Columbkill Noonan lives in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, where she teaches yoga and Anatomy and Physiology. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines. Her first novel, “Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Missing Scarab” by Crooked Cat Books, was released in 2017, and her latest work, “Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Nine Worlds”, is set to be released in September 2018.

In her spare time, Columbkill enjoys hiking, paddle boarding, aerial yoga, and riding her rescue horse, Mittens. To learn more about Columbkill please feel free to visit her website (, on Facebook ( or on Twitter (@ColumbkillNoon1).

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*Blog Tour Review: “The Last Plantagenet?” by Jennifer C. Wilson

The Last PlantaganentToday I’m fortunate to be reviewing the novella The Last Plantagenet? written by Jennifer C. Wilson. Hosted by Rachel’s Random Resources I’m thrilled to be part of this three day blog blitz.The last plantagenet-FinalCover-jcw small for 3d


The fireplace hadn’t looked like a time-portal.
All Kate had wanted was a fun, relaxing day out, watching the knights jousting at Nottingham Castle. What she ended up with was something quite different.
Transported in a heartbeat from 2011 to 1485, how will Kate handle life at the Ricardian court? Even more importantly, how will she cope when she catches the eye of the king himself?

Quill ReviewsI have to admit, when I was given the opportunity to review this story, I had to look up the word Plantagenet. I wasn’t sure what it meant, but assumed it had something to do with plants and some sort of science-fiction gadget. Needless to say, it didn’t, but I’m not surprised I hadn’t heard it before because it turns out it’s a royal title!

For those of you who aren’t sure what it means either:

adjective: Plantagenet
  1. 1.
    relating to the English royal dynasty which held the throne from the accession of Henry II in 1154 until the death of Richard III in 1485.
noun: Plantagenet; plural noun: Plantagenets
  1. 1.
    a member of the Plantagenet dynasty.
from Latin planta genista ‘sprig of broom’, said to be worn as a crest by and given as a nickname to Geoffrey, count of Anjou, the father of Henry II.
Now that we all know what it means, onto the story! I thoroughly enjoyed the novella – at 68 pages it’s a lovely, quick read that’s well-written and easy to enjoy.

I found it a bit bizarre that Kate wasn’t worried about her friends and family back in her own time, and there was a certain lack of depth throughout the story – but again, it’s under 100 pages and there’s only so much you can explore while still moving the story forward.

The insight into the life of a king, the conspiracies at court, the realities that nobility might have faced – they were all touched on and given a new perspective that made the story that much more intriguing.

I loved the twist! I can’t give anything away because no one likes spoilers, but the twist at the end made the story for me. The realism of the ending was; in my opinion, perfectly executed. Not only that, but there’s an element of mystery to it that makes me wonder if the author intends to build on it and create a new world featuring the characters. I certainly hope so.

Overall, The Last Plantagenet? gets four out of five feathers.

Purchase the novel from Amazon UK.

*I received a free copy of the book from Rachel’s Random Resources in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author

The Last Plantagenet - JenniferCWilson-NewPhotoJan2018

Jennifer is a marine biologist by training, who developed an equal passion for history whilst stalking Mary, Queen of Scots of childhood holidays (she since moved on to Richard III). She completed her BSc and MSc at the University of Hull, and has worked as a marine environmental consultant since graduating.

Enrolling on an adult education workshop on her return to the north-east reignited Jennifer’s pastime of creative writing, and she has been filling notebooks ever since. In 2014, Jennifer won the Story Tyne short story competition, and also continues to work on developing her poetic voice, reading at a number of events, and with several pieces available online. Her Kindred Spirits novels are published by Crooked Cat Books and available via Amazon.

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*Blog Blitz Review & Giveaway: “The Gathering” by Bernadette Giacomazzo

The Gathering

Today’s book review is for the one day blog blitz of The Gathering by Bernadette Giacomazzo, hosted by Rachel’s Random Resources.

The Gathering Ebook

The Uprising Series tells the story of three freedom fighters and their friends in high — and low — places that come together to overthrow a vainglorious Emperor and his militaristic Cabal to restore the city, and the way of life, they once knew and loved.

In The Gathering, Jamie Ryan has defected from the Cabal and has joined his former brothers-in-arms — Basile Perrinault and Kanoa Shinomura — to form a collective known as The Uprising. When an explosion leads to him crossing paths with Evanora Cunningham — a product of Jamie’s past — he discovers that The Uprising is bigger, and more important, than he thought.

Quill Reviews

The Gathering was a bit of an odd read for me. Aimed at new adults, it’s a strange mix of first person narration, with several flashback scenes, foul language, and a sense of confusion overall.

Unfortunately, as much as I tried to enjoy it, I just didn’t feel invested in the characters. I felt that there were scenes deliberately designed to shock the reader, and while I don’t want to give away any spoilers, I felt that they could have been handled with more subtlety.

On the other hand, The Gathering deals with some very real issues and confronts them head-on; there’s no chance of burying your head in the sand and pretending the world is idyllic with this book. It made a refreshing change from dystopian fiction that shies away from actually dealing with the issues that created the mess in the first place.

The elements that Giacomazzo has combined to create a science-fiction world are fascinating, and I’m curious to see what she has in store for the rest of the series. I particularly liked the elements of Rock n Roll, and the psychic abilities, but I felt the latter was only hinted at and hopefully will be explored in greater depth in the rest of the series.

Overall, The Gathering receives three out of five feathers.

Purchase the novel from:

International Giveaway

Win a paperback copy of The Gathering (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Winner will be asked if they prefer a paperback or a digital copy.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.


*I received a free copy of the book from Rachel’s Random Resources in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author

The Gathering Author

With an impressive list of credentials earned over the course of two decades, Bernadette R. Giacomazzo is a multi-hyphenate in the truest sense of the word: an editor, writer, photographer, publicist, and digital marketing specialist who has demonstrated an uncanny ability to thrive in each industry with equal aplomb. Her work has been featured in Teen Vogue, People, Us Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and many, many more. She served as the news editor of Go! NYC Magazine for nearly a decade, the executive editor of LatinTRENDS Magazine for five years, the eye candy editor of XXL Magazine for two years, and the editor-at-large at iOne/Zona de Sabor for two years. As a publicist, she has worked with the likes of Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and his G-Unit record label, rapper Kool G. Rap, and various photographers, artists, and models. As a digital marketing specialist, Bernadette is Google Adwords certified, has an advanced knowledge of SEO, PPC, link-building, and other digital marketing techniques, and has worked for a variety of clients in the legal, medical, and real estate industries.

Based in New York City, Bernadette is the co-author of Swimming with Sharks: A Real World, How-To Guide to Success (and Failure) in the Business of Music (for the 21st Century), and the author of the forthcoming dystopian fiction series, The Uprising. She also contributed a story to the upcoming Beyonce Knowles tribute anthology, The King Bey Bible, which will be available in bookstores nationwide in the summer of 2018.

Social Media Links –


*Blog Tour Review: “The Haunting of Hattie Hastings – Part Three” by Audrey Davis


The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part 3

In a strange twist of fate, I’m reviewing Part Three of The Haunting of Hattie Hastings by Audrey Davis from the same location as Part Two. Hosted by Rachel’s Random Resources I’m thrilled to be part of the publication day push.

No elephant pictures for this post, but we’ve seen some crocodiles in the river, and heard baboons. Entering the park last night, we were fortunate enough to see one of the rarest sightings in Africa: the honey badger!

Add to that the fact that all my cousins are spending time together for the first time in 20 years, and I’m in a happy place.

But now, onto the review:



Nothing lasts forever … Gary’s time on earth seems to be coming to an end. His visits are less frequent and his visibility is fading fast. But he still has a mission to accomplish, which involves Hattie and her ability to pass on a heart-rending message.

Best friend Cat’s ex-husband is determined to prove that he deserves another chance, but do leopards really change their spots?

Times are tough for Hattie’s mother Rachel, but where there’s life, there’s hope …

Meanwhile, is there someone already in Hattie’s life who can help her move on when it’s finally time to say goodbye?

Get your tissues at the ready – both for laughter and tears – with the final instalment of a trilogy that has been hailed ‘brilliant’, ‘hilarious’, and ‘a great feel-good read’.

Quill Reviews

Part three of The Haunting of Hattie Hastings did not disappoint. It was at times heartwarming and funny, devastatingly sad, and overwhelmingly real.

I loved how human the characters were: they weren’t heroic, they weren’t stunningly good looking, they didn’t try to save the world. They were just average people living their lives (or deaths in Gary’s case), and trying their best to be happy despite the obstacles thrown at them.

Dealing with themes of grief, love, betrayal and healing, the author tells a story that culminated in a feel-good ending. It tied up the story neatly, but left the impression that it was far from the end for the characters.

The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part Three gets four out of five feathers.

Purchase the novel from Amazon UK.

*I received a free copy of the book from Rachel’s Random Resources in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author

2017-04-13 19.43.40

Audrey Davis survived secondary school on the West coast of Scotland. Rubbish at science but not too bad at English, she originally wanted to be an actress but was persuaded that journalism was a safer option. Probably wise. She studied at Napier College in Edinburgh, the only place in Scotland at that time to offer a journalism course.

Her first foray into the hard-nosed newspaper world was as a junior reporter in Dumfriesshire. Duties included interviewing farmers about the prize-winning heifers to reporting on family tragedies. She persuaded her editor to let her launch an entertainment column which meant meeting the odd celebrity – or just the downright odd. From there, she moved to the loftier rank of senior reporter back in her home patch. Slightly more money, less farm animals but a higher crime rate. As Taggart would say: ‘There’s been a murrrrder!’
After a stint in London on a video magazine – yes, she is that old – Audrey moved to Singapore with her fiancé. She tried valiantly to embrace the stinking heat, humidity and lack of jobs, although she did work briefly on a magazine which was banned by the government for ‘artistic’ use of naked men’s bottoms.

Next on her adventures was a land Down Under where her main focus was raising Cost Centre One (aka firstborn) and coming to terms with the imminent arrival of Number Two. Still, she loved the Aussie way of life – BBQs, beaches and bring your own booze to restaurants – so it came as a blow when OH announced a move back to the UK. Not a job between them, the climate a possible deal breaker and an Exorcist-style vomiting infant on the flight home didn’t bode well …

Always a survivor, Audrey sought out similar-minded friends (i.e. slightly bonkers), got the children into a good school and thought about taking up writing again. Sadly, thinking about it was as far as she got, unless you count shopping lists. Then, hubby drops another bombshell. Switzerland. As in – it’s packing time again. Off to the land of cheese, chocolate, scarily efficient trains and a couple of teeny, tiny issues. Like driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road and speaking a foreign language (French). The former was conquered fairly quickly (we’ll skip over the wall demolition in week two), the latter remains an ongoing battle of the hopeful against the hopeless. At least she provides amusement for the local workforce.
It wasn’t until 2016 that Audrey rediscovered her writing mojo with an online Writing Fiction course. From there, her first novel – A Clean Sweep – was born, although it took a bit longer than nine months from conception. A short, darker prequel – A Clean Break – followed, and in November 2017 she published the first in a novella trilogy, The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part One. Part Two is published on 21 March 2018, with the conclusion following in May/June. After which she might have a wee lie down …

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