When all else fails…

…visit a bookshop. One with a cat!

Bikini Books is one of my favourite second hand bookstores and fortunately it’s only a short drive from home. An added bonus is that it’s right by the ocean, with a fabulous view all the way across False Bay to Cape Point. The beach was completely empty since it, like almost every beach on our beautiful coastline, is currently closed for Covid.

It’s not the kind of store where you can go looking for a particular book. It’s a bit chaotic.

Francois and Jackie vlogs

You just have to run your eyes over the titles and wait for the books to choose you!

Here’s the book haul. All of them, apart from the art books, cost the equivalent of $3 or less, which is huge bargain, since new books are very expensive here. As always, my taste is eclectic.

I really ought to have read Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie before now: such an important book. There’s a Barbara Kingsolver, Flight Behaviour, with a climate change theme. She’s such a good writer. I’ve read La Lacuna and The Poisonwood Bible in the past and loved them both. Then there are a couple of books set in South Africa, to keep my promise of reading more books by local and Southern Hemisphere authors, Andalus by Jason Webster, who wrote Duende (another past favourite) and a collection of short stories by Sara Paretsky involving her feisty private eye, V.I. Warshawski, one of my favourite fictional characters (apart from my own, of course).

Under ‘normal’ circumstances, we would have been on a little summer break to a beautiful West Coast town on the banks of the Berg River, but the new lockdown last week scuppered that plan. Never mind. That’s what photos and imaginations are for… and, of course, books.

I’ll be taking you with me to that very town at the end of this week, when we visit the location where I wrote the first words to my new novel, Song of the Sea Goddess – available on pre-order now.

USA ~ UK ~ IND ~ AUS ~ CAN ~ ESP ~ South Africa and the Rest of the World

ARC Invitation

This is the novel I started to write during NaNoWriMo last year. I’d already discovered a few of the key characters early on that year in a handful of short stories I wrote, set in a fictional town located somewhere on the beautiful west coast of South Africa.

Some of you might remember Albertina, Auntie Rose and Auntie Grace, Jannie, Sam and the Professor from those stories; some of you also know that my characters have a habit of plucking at my sleeve, reminding me that they more of their stories need to be told.

And so now, it is with the greatest pleasure that I can tell you that Song of the Sea Goddess is ready to share with you via the ARC: simply click here to download your copy and get started.

Here’s the blurb:

Sam thinks his problems are over when finds his fishing bucket filled with gold coins. There’s a problem though. The gold burns the fingers of anyone who touches it. His unlikely find coincides with the appearance of a mythical sea creature on the headland overlooking the town and the resumption of quarrying up in the mountains that is poisoning the streams and contaminating the town’s water supply.

Determined to keep his coins hidden, Sam goes up-river to bury them. There he encounters a beguiling young woman called Shasa, who lives by one of the tainted springs and just happens to have a fish’s tail.

As the blasting continues, the discovery of a series of recently-made drawings in the cave under the headland reveals a terrifying prophesy that will result in the earth spilling apart. Fearing for Shasa’s safety, Sam sets out find her again, only to meet the danger head on, as nature takes its revenge for the damage being wrought by humankind.

Will Sam and Shasa survive?

Set in a fictional location on the West Coast of South Africa, this moving story blends the charm of small town life with the threat of ecological disaster at the hands of a powerful force beyond human understanding.

Come the New Year the ebook and paperback will be available to buy on Amazon and I’m already excited!

Now I must get back to writing the so far untitled sequel… be right with you, Albertina!

What I’ve been reading #2

chris's #armedwithabingo book update Q2

 

#ArmedWithABingo is a year-long reading challenge hosted by Kriti Khare & Ariel Joy and this is my end of June update. 

The books I read for the challenge in this second quarter of the year are outlined in yellow, and straight away I’ll tell you that my stand out book was Trevor Noah’s ‘Born a Crime’. If you’re curious to know what I thought of this or any of the books I’ve read, pop over to Goodreads where you’ll find my reviews. I do think it’s important to support authors with reviews – I know how much it means to us.

You can also find out more about my reading habits and my response to the #ArmedWithABingo challenge in an interview I did with Kriti Khare at the beginning of this month.

And now, with only four more books to go to complete the challenge, maybe I’ll try do a second bingo board for the second half of the year. Meanwhile, if anyone has a suggestion for a book with a food in the title, please let me know.


Footnote
How much the world has changed since I did my first ‘check in’ for the challenge. Here in South Africa we were about to go into lockdown. We thought it would be for just 21 days, but it continued for 100 days. Like most of the rest of the world, the country is only just beginning to open up.

My reading has continued and so has my writing. Most of all though, I’m so grateful to all of you, my online friends, for being there and being you! 

Stay well, stay safe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bunnies Abound!

Bunnies abound on lunasonline image courtesy of Beyond the Sphere
‘White Rabbit’ by Tom Merriman at Beyond the Sphere

Easter Bunny
Mad March Hare
Celebrating Rabbits Everywhere!

What’s this all about?
Well, spring (for most of you) is just around the corner and the Easter Holidays will follow hot on its heels. Maybe you have children? Grandchildren? Friend’s children?

Why not get them something original for Easter? It’s bunny-related…

Following the Green Rabbit by Chris Hall order on Amazon


Following the Green Rabbit

It’s my children’s fantasy historical adventure story for ages 9 years and up (and that includes the grown ups too).

It’s a book for adventurers everywhere!
You can read a bounding bunny bit here.
Order from Amazon

publicity pic


…for young adults upwards:
The Silver Locket
There was a little rabbit in my first novel too. With summer on it’s way, why not grab a copy for that lazy afternoon you’be been promising yourself?

Read a rabbit related snippet here.
Order from Amazon

Ever wondered what I sound like?
You can hear me rabbiting on about my books in a recent radio interview on Chat and Spin Radio, an internet radio station, based in the UK with a worldwide audience. I
t was my first live radio interview and a little bit daunting, but Ron and Ian who host the programme made it very easy.

My five minutes of fame start 42 mins into the programme after Diana Ross and before Sheena Easton so I was in good company.

And remember…

A child that reads will be an adult who thinks