Problem with McVitie’s Thins… It does not do what it says on the box!
The publication date for “Alice”, my new psychological drama set in Cape Town, South Africa, really could not be any more fitting. I couldn’t have planned this better if I’d tried, and believe me I did try! I had great ideas about how I was going to publish “Alice” towards the end of 2017. But, no matter how much effort and sheer will and determination I mustered, I could not, for some reason, get “Alice” to progress any faster than it has. And that has been a good thing too, because now publishing “Alice” can coincide with and mark the momentous occasion of my 20 year anniversary of leaving South Africa – to go backpacking in Europe and get a bar job in London!
I never intended to leave South Africa permanently on that day, all those years ago. I was just going on a round-the-world trip abroad, to see what the world outside SA was like. So my reason for not having returned yet…? Well, I’m still looking for that bar job and unless I find an agent or a publisher soon, I will have to redouble my efforts in that regard!
Despite having been away for two decades, my heart has never really left South Africa. It is a beautiful country with so much to offer despite its troubles and challenges of the past, present and near future. Every few years I return gladly, to visit my friends and family and relish in the familiar landscape, sunshine, and fresh sea breeze – a pet hate from when I was young and living in the path of the brisk South Easter.
And when I now have the pleasure of meeting a fellow South African abroad, regardless of how long they have been out of the country, there is an instant, unbreakable, visceral bond because they know, they feel and understand in their bones what it means to be South African — something impossible to explain.
The one thing that saddens me when I return to the UK is that I’m unable to share my beautiful country and all that is has given me with my foreign friends. If I won the lottery, that is what I would do: take all my friends on an extended trip to Cape Town, Camps Bay, up the garden route, through game parks, to Victoria Falls, peep in at Kimberly, stop off at Bloemfontein, and venture up to Namaqualand….
In many ways, writing and publishing “Alice” is an attempt to do just that in the smallest, humblest of ways. By telling a story set in Cape Town, Camps Bay and the Cape Flats I hope to give my friends and readers a tantalising glimpse of my beautiful and complex country and what it’s like to live there.
Although the characters, businesses, organisations and legal entities in my book are entirely fictional, most of the locations are based on and inspired by existing places. Later, I aim to write a post giving a little insight into my research trip to Cape Town last year, with some photographs and images that inspired the fiction.
So, until then, be sure to get your copy of “Alice” here: >> http://Dukebox.life/Alice
Just received this wonderful review on Amazon. Thank you Ellie!
“I loved this book! A really compelling and original plot, full of twists and turns that you won’t see coming. Most of the action takes place in Cape Town, SA, and the writer really brings the city, culture and landscape to life throughout the novel. The characters are well-drawn and develop in really interesting ways – I found myself very quickly invested in their fate and keen to read the book as quickly as possible to find out what happens to them! This book is an excellent, character-driven thriller that will keep you guessing right up until the last page!!”
To find out more about “Alice: A Woman’s Flight for Freedom” and get your copy look here http://dukebox.life/Alice
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#MyOffice 8 weeks ago… I didn’t think I would actually finish “Alice”… #SamsStudy #AmEditing http://SamSkyborne.com
“Alice: A Woman’s Flight for Freedom”, my latests psychological drama is out today! Hurray! It has taken a long time to get here, but it was one hell of a journey! A very big THANK YOU to all those lovely people who have helped me get here!
You can find out more and get a copy of the ebook, paperback or LARGE print here: >> http://Dukebox.life/Alice
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I have written a short little fic distantly related to the Toni Mendez (RISK) universe called “Stakeout”.
It’s a steamy little dream Toni had about her long term friend and occasional colleague, Lizbeth, one night on a stakeout and what happened afterwards during the early days of her realising her own feelings…. There is no hiding from one’s own unconscious!
Not only because it’s Christmas… but it is a small token of my gratitude to you all for your kindness and support.
So.. some of you might have heard of the odd book reading or two.. and let’s be honest mostly they can be rather dull… but not always. Here is a clip taken of one of my readings in Skala Eressos in September during the Sappho International Women’s Festival.
Get your copy here: Simulation: The Dawn of a Superhero my futuristic lesbian sci-fi fantasy.
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It is a true story, even though the telling of it is creative…
He was a tall (2.5 meter long) dark stranger. We met one morning in late September just off the shore of a beautiful tropical island. I can honestly say, for me, it was love at first sight.
As often happens in these situations, when they sneak up on you, I was not looking at my best. I was wearing an ill-fitting bikini which was clinging a little too snugly across the bulges that had come to rest on my midriff during the recent over indulgent summer holiday. To add to the ensemble, I had a red over sized life-jacket tightly strapped over the top making me look like a beached baby whale in a corset. I had patiently waited my turn to take the plunge off of the twelve foot luxury yacht that had brought us out for our morning snorkel excursion. When it came to it I tried, but I suspect failed, not to plop too inelegantly into the azure water.
I was still catching my breath from the shock of submerging my small rotund self in the chilled salt water, bobbing uncontrollably like a buoy, when he glided up next to me, catching me by surprise. In contrast to my frenetic splutters and splashes, his large, lithe form was confidently languid, moving with effortless grace. His wise but little eyes gave me the once-over and then with an imperceptible nod he invited me on a tour of his world. Yes, he invited me, or so it felt, even though there was a whole gaggle of snorkelers clambering over each other (literally swimming over one another, fighting, flapping fins in faces) to get closer to him.
Very, very calmly and considerately he took the lead, gently guiding our path. Like a true gentleman, he’d slow down when I could not keep up, or I got water in the spout, or I steamed up my goggles. Once I’d caught my breath or he thought I might be getting bored, he’d speed up again, alternating in just the right proportions between diving down, swimming deeper to show me interesting things on the ocean floor, and surfacing to snuggle in closer for a more intimate exchange. Together we danced an intoxicating dance through the cobalt blue of the Indian Ocean and for three short hours I felt like the queen at the prom and he was my king.
Then, when it was over and my ride was ready to leave, I thanked him and blew him a kiss. Like the mysterious tall dark stranger he is, he nodded, bid me farewell “until we meet again” and disappeared off into the deep blue distance.
And we, Hooky and I, will meet again. I’m sure of it.
It was a brief but awesome encounter – the type that will feed fantasies for a lifetime.
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