Monday, 13 August 2018

Follow Me: A long weekend - Part 2

Friday, 10 August 2018

The fog was the consistency of milk soup this morning. I would say denser than yesterday's even.
Driving in the fog
We went to the Wheelbarrow for breakfast this morning. Amazingly enough, I remembered this place from way before. It has a lovely nursery, and the gardens give you a tropical forest feel when you walk through the gardens. They have all these nooks and crannies which are lovely, and secretive(?), to explore.
Do you know what these blue flowers are called? Please leave your answer in the comments, since I have never seen anything like it before and am curious to know.
At least the waiter knew what an Americano was. If memory serves, we still had to explain that style of coffee the last time we were here. But the breakfast was nice, and the coffee good too.
Now we are off to our next adventure, and I am grateful that the sun came out to burn away the fog. We saw too many drivers being irresponsible in the almost zero visibility conditions on the road.
It is 12h27, and we are having lunch at the Eatery in Haenertsburg.
After breakfast, we went into the forest looking for old trees. As in more 100 years old, but we didn't find them. Somewhat tricky to spot very tall trees amongst a lot of other tall trees. Maybe next time.
The entrance to the
"secret nook"
@ The Wheelbarrow
We did see lots of pine trees, masses of them. Okay, they were planted for their wood, so the truck filled with huge logs that drove past should have been my cue. And we also saw blue gum trees. They were huge. When I stood next to one looking up and up towards its crown, I felt slightly sick when I did. Motion sickness kicking in perhaps?
All the off-road driving brought some beautiful scenery too, and real motion sickness for me. That was rather yuck. I told Francois to stop so I could get out and interact with the ground on my own feet. While I sipped a little water, he turned the car around, and by then I felt marginally better.
Spotting the time, we went food hunting in some other parts of the forest area. A wedding venue looked promising, but they only provided the venue for day visitors for picnics and such, so no food in sight.
The "secret nook" @ The Wheelbarrow
Then we went back to the access road to the organic cheese farm we saw on the way in. Missing the turn-off, we went down the access road for busses. Which was funny. To accommodate a bus the road didn't have sharp turns and was a bit longer, but we reasoned that it was going to get us there. It did, right behind the butt of a big bus. My first thought, how on earth? Francois' reply: he is going to get out using the same struggle to get in.
The funny part? The bus access road ran past the homes of the staff working on the farm. There were these small steel rods planted across the road (Francois almost didn't see them in time) with string spun between them. It was a holding pin, if you want, to keep the pigs and a shed full of piglets from running all over I suppose. One of the men saw us, removed a pin for us to cross, and then he chased the pigs. The adults walked off by themselves, but the babies probably thought it was a game and came running towards the car. The man chased them again and boy can they run! If was funny to see those short legs move those round little bodies out of our way.
Amazing blue flowers
@ The Wheelbarrow
Then we got to the parking space and the bus mentioned above. Off to the bathroom it was for me while Francois walked around to spot a picture or two.
Side note: I have been to facilities on this trip that will give most people nightmares. And that is all I am going to say on that subject.
The cheese farm was a short visit. Their food offering looked uninteresting, and their set up not really geared for casual visitors. So we decided to go back to Haenertsburg. And here we are at the Eatery.
The food was delicious, and I liked the interior of the place too. The staff was lovely and knowledgeable about the food on the menu (dairy allergies can make for an exciting test of the waitress' knowledge).
We are now back at the cottage taking stock of the morning's excursions and thinking about what we are going to do after we finish our coffee.
17h19 settled in to wait for our dinner (pizza on both counts) to be served.
After we finished our coffee, we went damming. First off the Ebenezer Dam. To get there, we had to drive on what is known as Blue Gum Lane. It is not the official name of the road (gravel again, but not as bad as this morning's) because of the giant blue gum trees that line it on both sides. I collected a few blue gum leaves from the ground and took a few more pictures. I don't know if you have ever been close to such big trees, not only tall mind you, but they do give one a sense of timelessness. I also felt in awe that such living entities exist and are not cut down when the pine forest is harvested. The people of this country are not known for their environmental awareness, so seeing these beautiful big trees, almost made me cry.
Yes, we have all those national parks, but their existence is no longer because people feel the need for preservation of our fauna and flora, it is money that ensures their survival. These trees, however, have no monetary value, and yet there they stand. Doesn't say a lot about the new South Africa, does it?
Magoebaskloof Dam, photographer taking a picture, Limpopo province
Francois taking a photograph of Magoebaskloof Dam
Our next stop, down the mountain, was the Magoebaskloof Dam. Neither of us had been there, and it is a sight for sure. Especially with all those trees on the opposite shore. The water was mirror calm, and I am sure Francois' photographs (I will steal one with his permission) will tell the story. The angle of the sun made mobile phone pictures challenging, that is why I want one of is.
Back up the mountain, the sun is about to leave us for the day, and we are awaiting our pizzas with hungry anticipation.
Tomorrow morning we take the road back home to Pretoria. One the one hand the break was nice, but I like being home too. Since it is a long weekend, there is still a weekend ahead for doing things like drawing and shopping for supplies for next week. I have laundry to do, and the rest of the house to clean. Long weekends also go by faster than we want them to, don't they?
So this has been a short Follow Me, but I trust that you enjoyed my stories and our pictures documenting yet another beautiful part of my country, South Africa.

Until next time!

💜 Linzé

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Follow Me: A long weekend - Part 1

Women's Day - 9 August 2018
Francois holding the gate for
me at the cemetery
We are in Haenertsburg in the Limpopo province today. Since it is a public holiday here (Women's Day) we both took leave for Friday and turned it into a long weekend. So here we are in one of the most beautiful parts of my country. It is high above sea level, so fog and rain are common occurrences, even at this time of year.
We didn't come with a plan: do this or go there, it was purely a matter of getting away and taking a break. But even without an itinerary, we did quite a bit today. Most of it involved food, but we had to eat after all.
After the semi-breakfast disaster - the first place we stopped was so crowded, and the queues so long, we decided to drive on and go somewhere else. I had a protein bar, and Francois got himself a small pie from the shop, to tie us over. Fifty kilometres later we had to wait a long time for our food to be delivered, and had to ask four times for cutlery (twice asked the same waitress) but we eventually got real food into our starving bodies. The coffee wasn't too bad though.
When we finally reached the region of Magoebaskloof, the fog hit us. In places it was so dense it was difficult to see the trees right next to the road. When we arrived in Haenertsburg, we set off to the cemetery. Trust me, I was just as surprised since neither of us has any relatives buried there.
photograph, Haenertsburg cemetery, Limpopo, South Africa
Fog in the Haenertsburg cemetery
(photograph by Linzé)
But, Francois had been there before (with a few photography friends), so he knew what we were going to find - you guessed it - breathtaking scenery. The gravestones are overgrown with mosses, and some of them are quite old. Add the trees, shrubs, and green grass, and incredible photographs happened. Add to that the skills of a great photographer (nope, I wasn't referring to myself) and you have a few winners on your camera.
A signalling device? (photograph by Linzé)
When we got back into the village, we parked on the main street and explored a few of the quaint little shops we found there. I also spent some time in the local museum where local volunteers documented and maintain the local history of the village. The museum is open to the public but unmanned, so there wasn't anyone around that I could ask about the curious object. 
The unknown device's label (photograph by Linzé)
The label is so worn that I could only speculate that it is something used for navigation or signalling perhaps. If you know more, please let me know since I find old technology intriguing.
After the obligatory browse through the books and antiques shop, we sat down to enjoy coffee and cake for lunch. Something we can only get away with (from our consciences that is) during holidays.
photograph, books and antiques shop, Haenertsburg, Limpopo, South Africa
The books and antiques shop
(photograph by Linzé)
We then went to book into our cottage, unpacked and relaxed for a bit, before heading out to explore the surrounding pine forest on foot. I collected a leaf, some pine needles and took pictures of the wild azaleas growing in abundance around here. They were extraordinarily beautiful with all the raindrops decorating their petals. With nature playing her part, there was no way that even pictures taken with my iPhone weren't going to turn out nice.
Later we drove around and took some photographs at the Ebenezer Dam. The fog was still as dense, if not more, than what we saw when we arrived. On our way back we stopped for a lovely dinner and coffee at Lekwar and decided that we will go back there for breakfast too before we go home.
Now I am typing this post in front of a cosy fire in our cottage. Internet access is limited, so I might only post this once we are back at home. Note to self: check the spelling of Haenertsburg, there is something odd going on in the way different signs and the internet spells the name of the village.
Off to get some coffee to enjoy with my cosy fire. Then I will read my book for a bit, then go snuggle in bed with Francois who has been asleep already for the past half an hour.
Until tomorrow!

💜 Linzé

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Book Feature: IRRESISTIBLE by Stella Eromonsere-Ajanaku

AVAILABLE NOW!
I crave her...” - Jayden
I can’t get him out of my head…” - Tiana

In between looking after his son during the day and living a double life at night, Jayden Donovan shuts out everything else. He does not welcome strays or strangers into his mansion in Buckhead, Uptown Atlanta. So, when he sneaks home and finds a woman with full curves, sun-kissed lips and long dark hair asleep on his sofa, all hell breaks loose. Who is she and what does she want?
Doctor Tiana Seegars ends up where she is not wanted–in an affluent neighbourhood far from home. Waking up to find the intense gaze of a sexy, rough-around-the-edges, tattooed man roaming over her body sends her pulse racing. Though Jayden gets her body hot, he wants her out of his home fast.
Yet his search for answers leads to a growing irresistible passion. Will Jayden and Tiana find what they both need?

~ From the author of “Shocking Affair”: A Sweet & Steamy Romance ~

Purchase Links (includes Paperbacks)


EXCERPT

Inhaling fast, Jayden’s nostrils flared and he swallowed. The tiny knots from earlier strengthened into larger bumps in his stomach.
A groan shipped out of his mouth.
“Please Lord, tell me the woman isn’t cooking in my kitchen.”
Christian had a separate apartment, so his housekeeper knew better than to cook inside his home.
Hastening down the stairs, Jayden charged into his kitchen, stopping short when he saw Tiana bending over in her short dark-blue skirt. She was reaching over to grab the roll of paper napkins on the floor.
The skirt stretched over her round backside and curvy hips like second-skin. His eyes trekked the long length of her legs up to her thighs. Curvy and attention-grabbing were two words that stuck in his mind.
Jayden swallowed at high speed.
Many women had attractive legs, so what? He had never dated a woman with full curves and he had no intention to change his preference. Sharpening his tongue to scare her out of his life, he cut her with his get-lost glower.
“Hello, what are you doing in my kitchen?”
The woman gasped, placing her fingers devoid of nail polish on her cleavage. Her eyes, wide and a dark-brown hue shot arrows at him as if he had intruded on her space.
“Lord, you scared me. Don’t you make any sound when you walk?”
Licking his lips, he averted his gaze from her boobs flashing at him. The pair looked like funbags. Her full lips, free of lipstick fell apart giving him a peek at her white teeth and pink gums.
Rendered almost speechless by her accusation and lovely voice, Jayden sputtered.
“I beg your pardon! You scared the hell out of me when I found you asleep on my sofa. This is my house and I can move around the way I want, don’t you think?”


About Stella

I'm Stella Eromonsere-Ajanaku, author of several toe-curling & heart-fluttering Flirty & Feisty Romance Novels.
I love and enjoy writing Interracial/Multicultural/BWWM & African American Romance as well as Historical & Paranormal Romance Stories. My heroes are super-sexy men with big hearts and the heroines are strong, flirty and feisty. All my stories are page turners, a breath of fresh air, dotted with unexpected twists and are set in fascinating Africa, enticing Europe and enchanting America. You will laugh, cry, get a thrill and a message when you read my books and each novel makes the perfect gift for your family, friends and colleagues. There are now 23 published books so far.
On a personal level, I'm a romantic freak, mother of two vivacious teenagers, married to my gorgeous husband, my hero and best friend and we live in London, UK. Swimming on my back like a star-fish is one of my skills.
Please write or connect with me on social media. I love hearing from you.

Don’t Miss Updates on New Releases and Book Deals. Sign up for Stella’s Newsletter here

Connect with Stella on Social Media

All Flirty & Feisty Romance Novels are available on:  Amazon


Sunday, 29 July 2018

On Camp, my next book, the business, and a book that scared me...

July is Camp NaNoWriMo month, and instead of writing fiction, I decided to tackle my next non-fiction book, Take your Journal to the Next Level. It is the working title for now, but I am already partial to keeping it as the final title of the book. But writing non-fiction is not an easy thing to do for a writing challenge focused on word count, so I needed a backup story for the days where the book wasn't progressing according to schedule.
My word count target per month
It was hard since I didn't have a story I was working on, only editing. Until I got a writing prompt from a writing website I subscribe to and bam! my problem was solved. A murder mystery with a serial killer on the lose. Not sure I am ready for this story, but we will see how it develops after I finish the book and the editing of my fifth novel.
My business as a life coach for creatives will launch soon. Although the company has been going since 2015, I needed to do a few things before it was ready for full-scale activities. Watch this space! Oh, yeah, this blog is not for business, so if you are an indie author or artist, the website for the company is listed under my About page. No need to clutter this blog with that.
While July was primarily spent writing, I also finished a book that I started about a month earlier. Reading relaxes me, but it also provides insight and knowledge, both of which I constantly feel the need to attain. The book is Selfie by Will Storr. I bought the book on impulse thinking it was about our modern predilection for taking pictures of ourselves. Aside from the cover that blinded me each time I picked it up (it is intentional I think, since it is highly reflective, almost a mirror), the book is an investigative piece about of self-obsession. The author did a tremendous job to find out where it all began, where we are now and how this almost narcissistic trend is affecting us, our society and culture and how this vicious circle is feeding on itself. Scary stuff, but a book well worth the time.
One criticism I do have is the layout of the book. It is not easy to read since it was written in six parts, with no chapters. A book of this nature and well over 300 pages, is not a one-sitting kind of read, so it was a challenge to me.
So life is back on the regular daily writing target, with the other things that I have to do. I will post more updates about my current non-fiction project on Medium and the website. If you keep a journal or plan to start, or just want to see what exciting things I dug up in my research, those are the places where I bare all.

Until next time!
💜 Linzé

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Book Feature: A SEASON IN HELL by Kenneth W. Cain

Synopsis:
Just one season can change everything.
When Dillon Peterson is honored for his baseball career, he must face a ghost that has long haunted him. He is transported back through his memories to a single season in the nineties that broke his heart. That was the season he met Keisha Green, the first and only woman to play baseball in the minor leagues. He sees what she goes through, what she must endure just to play the game both of them love, and this struggle leads to their friendship. As matters escalate, Dillon finds himself regretting his role in it all, as well as his career in baseball.
PRE-ORDERhttp://mybook.to/ASiH

Blurbs:

“Kenneth W. Cain takes timely social topics and explores them against the backdrop of America’s pastime. What begins as a baseball story quickly delves into something rich, deep, and dark.” – Mercedes M. Yardley, author of Pretty Little Dead Girls

“A Season in Hell is a gut-wrenching, heartbreaking story. You won’t soon forget Dillon or Keisha. Her struggle is as timely today as ever. A Season in Hell is also a love letter to baseball and how, despite everything, the game can still heal and bring people together who seemed impossibly far apart, and can do so through intimidating odds. A timeless story of true humanity.” —John Palisano, Vice President of the Horror Writers Association and Bram Stoker Award-Winning Author of Night of 1,000 Beasts

“Kenneth W. Cain hits a grand slam with this tragic tale of baseball. As a fan of the game and also such a heart-breaking story I can’t wait to see what’s next from the author!” – Armand Rosamilia, author of A View From My Seat: My Baseball Season With the Jumbo Shrimp

“Cain’s ‘Season’ is a powerful microcosm of what’s wrong with our world. And a reminder of how the courage of one can change things.” — Tom Deady, Bram Stoker Award-Winning Author of Haven


About the Author
Kenneth W. Cain is the author of four novels (The Saga of I trilogy and United States of the Dead), four short story collections (These Old TalesFresh Cut TalesEmbers, and Darker Days) and the novella, A Season in Hell. He is also the editor for Crystal Lake Publishing’s anthology, Tales From The Lake Volume 5. Early on, shows like The Twilight ZoneThe Outer LimitsAlfred Hitchcock Presents, and One Step Beyond created a sense of wonder for the unknown that continues to fuel his writing today.  Cain resides in Chester County, Pennsylvania with his wife and two children.

Behind the story: One of my first years playing baseball, we had a girl on our team. It was a different world back then; you didn’t have requirements on how many innings a kid had to be played or that you had to get them an at-bat, and girls didn’t play baseball. And what that teammate went through just to play a game she loved always kind of stuck with me. So, while A Season in Hell isn’t her story, it’s very much about what I saw and felt, in those days and now.

Follow Kenneth online @ Website l Facebook l Author Page l Twitter l Instagram l Amazon