Sunday, 9 December 2018

Ends, beginnings, and some crazy mixed in-between!

You know when you tell people that life is crazy busy and then deep inside you wished it was because you were busy doing something significant, and then wasn't? Well, I am going to tell you that my life was crazy busy the weeks since I last talked to you. Here is how things went and then you can decide if I was just making excuses, or doing something worthwhile:
  • I challenged NaNoWriMo - and won again. You might think that I usually do, and you would be right. Except at 8 days in, I heard about a course I wanted to do, and it started on the 25th of November. Suddenly my NaNoWriMo had shortened to 50k in 24 days! It wasn't easy, but I managed.

  • Come the 25th, the course - Modern Stoicism - kicked-off and now I had new things to learn, different meditations to do, and a daily self-assessment to do on top of that! It is now the start of week 3, and I think that NaNoWriMo was easier. I do hope, however, that as an aspirant Stoic, the choice had been a good one and I will benefit from the course's teachings.
  • While I usually post on Sundays, I missed last weekend because my gorgeous husband of almost 25 years, thought it best to surprise me with a weekend away for my birthday. The 'official' celebration of my birthday is 1 December, but this year I feel like it has been my birthday for months! Francois has been spoiling me with all kinds of lovely things, and last weekend being the cherry on the cake. I hate surprises, and he knows that, so I wasn't quite ready to be happy about it. Until it happened. It was really something special to celebrate my 50th birthday in Dullstroom and with two friends too. Only three days ago did I find out this 'surprise weekend' had been in the making for almost 6 months - Francois showed me the Whatsapp group that plotted my surprise. Thanks, love, it was an absolute weekend to remember!

Francois and me (photo taken by Phenice Rothman)
  • And no, it doesn't end there. I handed in my resignation this past Tuesday. On the day I had lunch with a few colleagues and other friends, for another celebration of my birthday. (One only gets to be 50 once after all!) If you had been following the news, you would know that several State Owned Enterprises in this country have severe financial difficulties for various reasons, including corruption. I work for one of those companies and have been for a bit over 10 years. Your first thought might be that it is the state of the company that made me hand in my notice, but to be honest, it was merely the last straw. I was self-employed before joining the company, and it had always been my plan to go back to working for myself. While it hadn't been my plan to wait 10 years (time does fly, doesn't it?), I do believe that God had a better plan for me, and in August I knew it was time to get ready to make the change. If I hadn't been such a coward (fear is a horrible thing, but I have to tell you it is still there despite my faith in my new future), I wouldn't have waited four months. But now it is the future that matters, not the past.
For my lovely readers: yes, I will continue to write. In fact, my next book is due out in January, so watch this space.
For my colleagues, past and present: I am back in the engineering game and looking forward to working with you once again.
Crazy life? I am looking forward to all what the future holds for me!
Until next time!
💜 Linzé

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Book Feature: DARKER DAYS by Kenneth W Cain

Darker Days by Kenneth W Cain, speculative fiction, horror fiction
Pre-order link:

Now that you’ve warmed by the embers, submerse in darker days.
The author of the short story collections These Old TalesFresh Cut Talesand Embers presents Darker Days: A Collection of Dark FictionIn his youth Cain developed a sense of wonderment owed in part to TV shows like The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, One Step Beyond and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Now Cain seeks the same dark overtones in his writing.
There’s a little something for every reader within this collection. These 26 short speculative stories arise from a void, escaping shadows that ebb and weave through minds like worms, planting the larvae that live just under the skin, thriving upon fear. These are Cain’s darker days.
In this collection, Cain features stories from the Old West, of past lives and future days, the living and the dead, new and unique monsters as well as fresh takes on those of lore. Once more he tackles themes of loss and grief and the afterlife, always exploring the greater unknown. In “The Sanguine Wars,” Cain takes us to a future where soldiers are made to endure the horrors of war. He explores the complexities of global warming and what lengths men and women alike sink to in “The Reassignment Project.” And, as often is the case, he ends on a lighter note, with “Lenny’s New Eyes” and “A Very Different Sort of Apocalypse.”
When the darkness comes, embrace it. Let it wrap you up in cold. Don’t worry, it’s not your time…yet.


  • “A Ring For His Own”
  • “Heirloom”
  • “Rust Colored Rain”
  • “Prey”
  • “Passing Time”
  • “What Mama Needs”
  • “My Brother Bit Your Honor Roll Student”
  • “Outcasts: The Sick and Dying 1 – Henry Wentworth”
  • “The Sanguine Wars”
  • “The Hunted”
  • “Her Living Corals”
  • “Puppet Strings”
  • “The Trying of Master William”
  • “By The Crescent Moon”
  • “Mantid”
  • “The Underside of Time and Space”
  • “Outcasts: The Sick and Dying 2 – Gemma Nyle”
  • “The Griffon”
  • “Adaptable”
  • “When They Come”
  • “The Reassignment Project”
  • “Presage”
  • “One Hopeless Night by a Clan Fire”
  • “Lenny’s New Eyes”
  • “Outcasts: The Sick and Dying 3 – Anna Kilpatrick”
  • “A Very Different Sort of Apocalypse”

“Wildly varied and always surprising, Darker Days is a fantastic collection of dark wonders. Cain is a gifted storyteller and a writer to watch.”  Jonathan Janz

“I’ve said before that the way to assess the health of a genre is to look at the number of excellent young writers it attracts. There is a new wave of excellent writers showing up in Horror. Kenneth W. Cain is one of these very good writers. His prose is precise, his plotting and pace move seamlessly and quickly, and his stories are compelling. Darker Days is a good example of some of his best work—highly recommended.” — Gene O’Neill, The White Plague Chronicles

“A feast for the senses no matter your tastes! Kenneth W. Cain does it again with Darker Days: A Collection of Dark Fiction.” — Rena Mason, Bram Stoker Award® winning author of The Evolutionist and East End Girls

Darker Days, the latest collection of short stories by Kenneth W. Cain, delivers on its title’s promise. From the very first story readers are dragged into seemingly ordinary situations that serve as cover for dark secrets. Ranging from subtle horror to downright terror, from science fiction to weird fantasy, Cain demonstrates a breadth of styles that keeps you off balance as you move from one story to the next. There is something for everyone in this collection—as long as you don’t want to sleep at night!” — JG Faherty, author of The CureCarnival of Fear, and The Burning Time

Kenneth W. Cain is the author of four novels, four short story collections, four novellas, and several children’s books among his body of work. He is the editor for Crystal Lake Publishing’s Tales From The Lake Volume 5 and When the Clock Strikes 13. The winner of the 2017 Silver Hammer Award, Cain is an Active member of the horror Writers Association, as well as a volunteer for the membership committee and chair of the Pennsylvania chapter.  Cain resides in Chester County, Pennsylvania with his wife and two children.

Monday, 29 October 2018

Book Feature: TALES FROM THE LAKE - Volume 5 (pre-order)

“If you’re a short story reader, this is an absolute must-read. Volume five is even better than the four preceding volumes, which is a very hard bar to hit. Go buy this!” — John R. Little, author of The Memory TreeMiranda, and Soul Mates


The Legend Continues…
In the spirit of popular Dark Fiction and Horror anthologies such as Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories and Behold: Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders, and the best of Stephen King’s short fiction, comes Crystal Lake Publishing’s Tales from The Lake anthologies.
Where are the real horrors? Whether they be a family member returning from the dead, exploring the depths of depression or the deterioration of the mind, you’ll find them here.
This anthology contains twenty-two tales and three poems to elicit unexpected emotions, to bring you into the story. Welcome to my lake, where dreams really do come true…
As nightmares!
This fifth volume of speculative fiction contains:
  • “From the Mouths of Plague-Mongers” by Stephanie M. Wytovich – A wonderful look at our world and the cruel reality of it all.
  • “Malign and Chronic Recreation” by Bruce Boston – Where Internet addiction meets sexual addiction.
  • “Final Passage” by Bruce Boston – A breakdown of mental acuity as it leads to the inevitability of death.
Short stories:
  • “Always After Three” by Gemma Files – A young couple discovers that in a downtown condo you almost never know who your neighbours are, or what they might be doing.
  • “In the Family” by Lucy A. Snyder – A former child actress reveals dark family secrets to her long-lost niece.
  • “Voices Like Barbed Wire” by Tim Waggoner – Sometimes forgetting is more painful than remembering.
  • “The Flutter of Silent Wings” by Gene O’Neill – A heartbreaking tribute to a Shirley Jackson classic.
  • “Guardian” by Paul Michael Anderson – Even creatures beyond time and space need friendship.
  • “Farewell Valencia” by Craig Wallwork – When you’ve got no reason to live, there’s a hotel that can give you every reason to die. So book in, unpack, and prepare to be checked out, forever.
  • “A Dream Most Ancient and Alone” by Allison Pang – A lake mermaid with a penchant for eating children forms a tenuous friendship with an abused girl trying to escape her past.
  • “The Monster Told Me To” by Stephanie M. Wytovich – In order for Bria to deal with her past, she must confront the ghosts of her present.
  • “Dead Bodies Don’t Scream” by Michelle Ann King – If the universe won’t give her a miracle, Allie will make one for herself. But dark magic has a price, and paying it is going to hurt.
  • “The Boy” by Cory Cone – Grief-stricken from the sudden loss of her husband, a young woman fears she may lose her son as well, if she hasn’t already.
  • “Starve a Fever” by Jonah Buck – Fleeing down a bayou highway with a sick criminal in the backseat, a getaway driver must sate his passenger’s horrifying needs while evading the police.
  • “Umbilicus” by Lucy Taylor – A father becomes involved in a scheme to rescue a friend’s lost son—with terrifying results.
  • “Nonpareil” by Laura Blackwell – Maisie’s wedding cake business needs every client it can get—especially rich ones—but between the groom’s unpleasant family and the mysterious bride’s strange requests, Maisie has a tough job baking a cake that will please everyone.
  • “The Midland Hotel” by Marge Simon – If walls of a hotel could talk is one thing, but what if it happens to be a sentient collector of souls?
  • “The Weeds and the Wildness Yet” by Robert Stahl – Still reeling over the sudden death of his wife, Charlie stumbles across a mysterious object at a yard sale—a monkey’s paw, like the one in the legendary story. Despite the terrible events that befall that fictional family, he can’t help but want to give it a try.
  • “The Color of Loss and Love” by Jason Sizemore – A couple set out to rescue an unfamiliar couple, only to face an airborne disease that overtook the world.
  • “The Loudest Silence” by Meghan Arcuri – A woman is trapped by her worst enemy: her mind.
  • “The Followers” by Peter Mark May – The Followers are slow, but they never tire. Nor do they or have to stop to drink, eat or sleep like us living. They are on a relentless death march and we are only delaying the inevitable.
  • “A Bathtub at the End of the World” by Lane Waldman – A little girl plays with her toys in a locked bathroom. Everything is fine, except for the zombies outside.
  • “Twelve by Noon” by Joanna Parypinski – An old farmer goes about his routine tending to the nine scarecrows that preside over his field, when three college student show up and cause a strange disturbance.
  • “Hollow Skulls” by Samuel Marzioli – When Orson’s son is born, the memory of a tragedy creeps back into his life, threatening his very sanity.
  • “Maggie” by Andi Rawson – An intense, disturbing relationship between love and murder is exposed.
With an introduction by editor Kenneth W. Cain. Cover art by Ben Baldwin. Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing – Tales from The Darkest Depths.

Sunday, 28 October 2018

The Life of a Writer, and Blogger
November is almost upon us, and in that month I hide in my writing cave, aka my study, to take part in the writing challenge more affectionately know as NaNoWriMo.
Tomorrow there is a book feature post, if you crave the adrenalin rush of being scared (horror fiction), and be sure to get a copy. These authors don't pull any punches, guaranteed!

If horror is not your thing, so much, you can read a few short stories I wrote in the Writers Write 12 Short Stories Challenge so far this year. Varied prompts, varied story lengths and a mix of genres. I took the challenge to stretch my creative wings in this challenge. I hope you will find something you will like too.

If you prefer something a bit more real, my other blog might interest you. Why not have a look?

Enjoy the break, and if you are writing along with the rest of 300 000+ Wrimos in November, all the best to you.

Until December!
💜✒️🙋‍♀️ Linzé

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Cover Reveal: THE HIDDEN CHILDREN by Reshma K. Barshikar

~ Cover Reveal ~
The Hidden Children (The Lost Grimoire #1)
by Reshma K. Barshikar

What price would you pay to be extraordinary? What would you do to speak to a butterfly? 

Shayamukthy cruises through life: shooting hoops, daydreaming and listening to her favourite books. Even moving from the US to India, to a new school, a new culture, hasn't really rattled her. But something isn't right anymore and it begins when 'New Girl' joins the school. 

She pulls Shui into a world of magic and wonderment, a world she has been hidden from all her life. What starts as a quest to look for a lost book, hurtles Shui into a world where people live in trees, talk to the dead and speak to butterflies. 

But like all power, magic comes at a steep price, and under all things wondrous lie demons waiting to crawl out. The more Shui learns, the more she doubts everything and everyone around her.   

Will she be able to master her powers, or will they devour her and everyone she loves? 

Releasing on 10th November

About the Author:

Travel writer and novelist Reshma K Barshikar is
an erstwhile Investment Banker who, as she tells it, ‘fell down a rabbit hole
and discovered a world outside a fluorescent cubicle.’ As a travel and features
writer, she contributes to National Geographic Traveller, Harper’s Bazaar,
Grazia, The Sunday Guardian, SilverKris, The Mint Lounge and The Hindu. Fade
Into Red, published by Random House India was her debut novel and featured in
Amazon Top 10 Bestsellers. She also holds well renowned workshops for young
adults at both BDL Museum and Kala Ghoda and is keen to build a strong Young
Adult reading and writing community to fill the desperate lack of young adult fiction
in the Indian Market. Her new Young Adult novel, The Hidden Children, will be
launching at the Vizag Junior Literary Festival. Reshma is from the ISB Class
of 2003. She calls both Mumbai and the Nilgiris home. 

Contact the Author:

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