Saturday, 31 August 2013

Guest Post: Lesotho - Expect the Unexpected!

It is my pleasure to host the first guest post by my husband, Francois Venter, who is a passionate photographer. You can see more of his photographs here. Enjoy!

In 2012 a group of us undertook a trip by road to Lesotho. We were going to stay at the Katse Village. Katze village is approximately 110km from the Caledonspoort border post outside Fouriesburg in the eastern Free State.

We should probably have realised during the trip to Fouriesburg that the trip will not be what we expected. At Frankfort we saw the temperature drop to -7°C. And when we entered Clarens we saw our first real snow. The freshly ploughed fields were covered in snow. Even the golden gate national park mountains showed mountains covered in snow. It was roughly at this time that we did start to worry about the road ahead.

But wait more was to come. Nothing prepared us for the snow and ice that we would be driving on for the next 6 hours. As we drove along it just became worse and worse, testing a number of photographers who tried a 4x4 trip for the first time. There is however one point that nobody could argue with, and that was the beauty of the surroundings. In the short periods of time when you were not trying to keep the car on the road, you could admire the beauty around you.

From deep soft snow that is untouched to grass that peaked through the snow. Photographically you asked yourself a number of time where you should start. There was so many beautiful scenes. Travelling on through the mountains, ice and snow, you eventually reach Katse dam. When you see the dam for the first time, you think: We are there !!! Well you are so wrong. At that stage you are at least 40km away from your overnight village, such is the vastness of Katse dam.

Katse dam is 42km in length and 135m deep in places. It easily measures 500 to 800m wide in most places. Around every corner there is a new view of the dam. It is here where you start to realise that this country is presenting a face that you did not expect. It is barren, it is harsh but its natural resources are well utilised. These resources have be gathered and provide a number of excellent opportunities to its people. 

We later learned how poor the rural people were. However, many of the poor households in rural areas had electricity, stone built toilets and access to water for their farming activities.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Blog Tour: My Mr Manny by Jennifer Garcia


Mia Balducci misses her childhood days and yearns for the big, Italian family that she left behind in small town Massachusetts. At the tender age of sixteen, Mia moves with her bachelor father to Los Angeles, but no matter how many years pass, it never becomes home to her. The years spent living with her father aren’t easy, especially since she can’t stop thinking about what she once had. Her enrollment in the University of Southern California promises to bring exciting changes to her life, but Mia winds up with big problems instead. When she runs into an old friend from her old hometown of Winthrop, she gets swept up in nostalgia, and she soon loses herself in a quickly-progressing romance. When the fantasy falls apart, she is left to raise her precious little girl, Lucia, on her own. The demands of Mia’s work schedule and Lucia’s needs increase, and their lives become increasingly hectic. It is soon clear to Mia that she needs help. Luckily, her life-saving cousin saves the day and brings the mother and daughter a male nanny – their new “manny.”
After losing his high-pressure job on Wall Street, Dominic Roberts wants to follow his dreams to have a family. He’s already one fiancée down, and there are no likely prospects for another. In order to find the family he so desperately wants, he finds himself getting into the manny business. Since he is fully qualified to provide child care and is eager to leave New York City behind, his sister-in-law is able to land him a job in California working for his first client – the beautiful and intriguing Mia Balducci.
Will Lucia like the new man in her mother's life? Will Mia? And will this new trio discover the happily ever after they all so desperately seek?

Buy Link for My Mr. Manny on Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Bio:

Jennifer Garcia’s (aka Forbes Arnone) love of travel began when she went to the West Coast to visit her father at the age of three. Her home until she was sixteen was a small coastal town near Boston. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband, two sons, and two dogs.

Her lifelong love for reading and writing was put aside for many years while she made her way in the world and nurtured her young family. Even though she is older, and life never seems to settle, she’s finding her way while attending college full-time in pursuit of a B.A. in English Literature. She also runs a business, and is still caring for her family. Believing she can do it all, with the help of her family, she worked on her first novel during the late hours of the night while balancing the rest of her life during the day. Her hard work paid off, as her first novel, My Mr. Manny, will be published August 2013.

Find Jennifer on:

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Sign-up to host the Render blog tour!

Hey, blogger friends, listen up! I've got a chance for you to receive a free eBook and to compete for over $750 in prizes, and it's so easy to participate. Read on for more...

Novel Publicity is currently recruiting for one of our gigantic whirlwind tours. YAY! Each whirlwind tour boasts hundreds of dollars in cash prizes and autographed books, sometimes even Kindle Fires. NP also provide eBook copies for all reviewers. This time, they're touring the debut YA novel by Stephanie Fleshman, Render.

Choose to be one of the first to read this awesome new book, or, instead, host an excerpt, interview, or guest post. That’s right, you don’t even have to read the books to participate–although that's definitely an option. Novel Publicity will provide your choice of a pre-formatted excerpt, interview, or guest post to make participation easy.

Render A Recompense 600x800 
Tour Dates: September 9 to 13, 2013
Genre: Paranormal YA
Page Count: 399

The Prizes:

* $100 Best/ most creative entry
* $100 Random commenter prize
* $50 Rafflecopter (2 prizes)
* $50 Random blogger award
* $50 GoodReads party prize
* $50 Facebook sharing contest
* $100 in the special author contest
* Kindle Fire in the special author contest


About Render

A betrayal born of blood

A curse for a gift

A love worth saving

Friday, 23 August 2013

Blog Tour: Everything Bared by Kristine Cayne

Two polar opposites—she’s kinky, he’s uptight—discover they share a taboo desire that may destroy both their futures. 
Firefighter Dani Harris has always wanted a family, but doesn’t think it’s possible because of her demanding, high-stakes career. Her sex life is as high-adrenaline as her job, and that’s just one more thing that makes her unsuitable to be a wife and mother. Her secret kink—exhibitionism—has gotten in the way of more than one relationship. Will she ever find a man who not only shares her wild fantasies, but loves her for them?

Burdened with ensuring the success of the struggling family business, William Caldwell IV needs a wife suited for a CEO—one with money and connections, who can manage his busy social life and raise their 2.5 children. He’s got everything all mapped out, but when he meets Dani, a woman who’s every kind of wrong, she taps into desires he’s only half-recognized and long-suppressed. Suddenly his carefully crafted five-year plan feels as confining as a straightjacket. 

As Dani and Will’s sexual experimentation escalates, they test the limits of polite society by baring all and risking exposure—an exposure that could cost them their reputations and careers. 

Buy Link:

Author Bio
Award-winning author Kristine Cayne is fascinated by the mysteries of human psychology
—twisted secrets, deep-seated beliefs, out-of-control desires. Add in high-stakes scenarios and real-world villains, and you have a story worth writing, and reading.

Kristine’s heroes and heroines are pitted against each other by their radically opposing life experiences. By overcoming their differences and finding common ground, they triumph over their enemies and find true happiness in each other’s arms.

Today she lives in the Pacific Northwest, thriving on the mix of cultures, languages, religions and ideologies. When she’s not writing, she’s people-watching, imagining entire life stories, and inventing all sorts of danger for the unsuspecting heroes and heroines who cross her path.

To learn more about Kristine and her stories, visit her website:

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

INVITATION: Guest Posts to Celebrate Spring

In the southern hemisphere we look forward to the advent of spring with all the fresh air, and cleansing Highveld thunderstorms and the blooming flowers and greenery that result.
Our summers are hot and as soon as the weather starts to warm up, people are planning and looking forward to their holidays over Christmas.
To help me celebrate this time of year, I am looking for 6 guest posts in September for this blog from my fellow authors, or aspiring authors.
Consider your life and writing and tell me and my readers about your time management, social media management. marketing your book, choosing editors, proofreaders, cover designers, ie all the activities that are involved when you write, publish or market your book, except the writing itself. What works for you and what doesn't.
Leave a comment, tweet me (no DMs please) or PM me on Facebook to pitch your idea. Remember our summer holiday is coming, so your bio and the details of one book should accompany your post.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Remember to sign up for my newsletter for notification on any future events.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Happy Birthday Mom!

This week my Mother is celebrating her 72nd birthday! She is one amazing lady, having survived cancer last year, it is my absolute pleasure to have her on my blog today.

In honour of her, I am offering my scifi romance short story, PERFECT, for free this week.

You can use the coupon code, NA54E, from 19 to 24 August 2013. The free ebook download is only available here on Smashwords.

I hope you will enjoy the story and give your Mom a hug too!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Follow Me @ Mabula Private Game Reserve

For the past few days I had been to Mabula, just a couple of hours north of Pretoria, with the absolute intention of writing and finishing my current work-in-progress, Michael's Mystery (excerpt here).
What I did do was take a few photographs of birds and animals that visited me at the  bungalow where I was staying.
While my word count was a pathetic 2600 words in four days (head hanging in shame), I have come to the realisation how hypocritical humans have become.
The photographs you see here are of animals that approached me!
They should have been running or flying their little legs off to get away from the highest predator in the food chain!
Instead they approached me, because people who come to the reserve (that focuses on conservation I have to stress here) feed the animals because they are cute.
I beg to differ.

While a small antelope might not be a predator, it is still dangerous. I had a run in with a male impala when I was younger and almost got run through by it horns.
The birds and animals are fed things that could potentially be poisonous to them. Or their babies. But no, we feed them because they are cute!

Tell that to the next woman whose child is bitten by a baboon, or gored by a sharp horn. And it is always the animals that get put down because people never think about the consequences of their actions.

The warnings are there for a reason, don't ignore them.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Blog Tour: Embrace Me by Rebecca Turley

What will happen to the girl who has everything?

After a rough start to life, Shannon Downing finally has it all. She has her Mr. Notice Me, she has reconnected with her long-lost mother, and she is the sole heiress to a multi-billion dollar company. The only problem is going public with that information.
Hidden away at a ranch in Texas at her mother’s insistence, Shannon’s world starts to crumble. Not only does she learn of Maisy Field’s kidnapping, but she hears a secret that could destroy everything and everyone she loves.
What will happen when news comes out that she is the missing heiress to Downing International? Will she become the next target for the elusive kidnappers? And what about the secret she overheard? Will the love that she and Mr. Notice me share be enough to hold them together?

Some parts of my New York life were the same. The main thing being that my dear friends Lorna and Bradley were still a big part of my life. Charlie and I now lived in his stunning penthouse flat together in Brooklyn. By far, the best part about living there was waking up every morning in Charlie arms with the New York skyline surrounding us. I always felt as if I was home.
Luckily, I had seen nothing of the Field family; my mother made sure of that. I could only imagine what she must have said to them in their board meeting once we left our island. A few months later, I noticed the Fields lost a lot of stock in some unstable deal, which would have cost them dearly. I had a feeling my mother was making her point.
The only major change in New York was my high powered job and how much I loved it.
Charlie had been right, and I threw myself into making Headcom the best marketing front line company New York had ever seen. Contracts were coming in from all over the world. As the workload began to double, I took Lorna on as my Assistant Director. She almost squashed me to death in celebration.
No way! Are you being serious?” she screeched as her long red hair danced frantically behind her back.
Yes. I couldn’t think of anyone else I’d rather work with.”
You do realise you don’t have to do this? I mean, I know you are grateful that I helped save you from the evil William Field and find your mother, but I did it because you are my friend. You don’t owe me anything.”
I know that, silly,” I laughed. “I am doing this because you are the best. You have had input in every major contract we have gained. Lorna, you deserve this.”

Author Bio
Rebecca Turley lives in the captivating town of Malvern in Worcestershire with her husband Jon and cat Millie. With a view of the Malvern Hills from her writing desk, all she needs for inspiration is to look out of her window. A hopeless romantic like most women, she enjoys becoming lost in a love story almost as much as writing one

Embrace Me is the sequel to her debut novel Notice Me.


Links to buy
Notice Me:
Embrace Me:

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Coffee, Trains and Statues

We needed more coffee at home, so Francois (alias Hubby) and I hopped onto the Gautrain this morning to Sandton as it is our closest mall to get hold of the brew we prefer.
But first we had to get breakfast! As always the restaurants on the Nelson Mandela Square were quickly filling up with locals and tourists (heard quite a few foreign accents this morning) in search of something to fill the stomach.
It was not our first visit to Sandton, and it never seizes to amaze me how many people take photographs of their friends or family members next to the statue of Nelson Mandela.
This morning I dug out my Samsung S3 (having recently discovered its panoramic setting) and took this 180 degree view of the Square from left to right with the statue in the middle. I was even impressed with the way the camera handled the light changing from sunlight to shade.
We got our breakfast, bought the coffee and made our way home just as the lunch crowds were pouring into Sandton. It was a lovely outing, and one we will do again soon!

Friday, 2 August 2013

Blog Hop: 7 Sinful Secrets Anthology by Various Authors

Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Erotic romance, Anthology, Short stories
Heat level: 3/4
Available to buy now from: Evernight Publishing | Amazon US | Amazon UK and other eBook retailers.
Blurbs for 7 Sinful Secrets

Overall Blurb:
Seven marriages—seven sinful secrets.
Marriages shouldn't have secrets, should they? Follow our seven couples, as they come to terms with the fact that their partner has been holding something back from them. Will it make or break their relationship? Read on to find out, and have your fan at the ready, because these secrets are hot!

The Knickers by Doris O'Connor
Discovering frilly French Knickers in your husband's dry cleaning can only mean one thing, right? They're certainly not Mareijke's! Devastated at this find, she returns home early and walks in on the unmistakable sounds of Stefano in the throes of passion… but things are not what they seem…

Behind The Mask by Raven McAllan
When Daisy went on holiday she did not expect to return with a drop dead gorgeous husband. Life is great until she meets a masked stripper at her belated hen night. She knows the eyes behind that mask, doesn't she?

Bit on the Side by Jorja Lovett
Helen thought she'd lost her husband to depression after he lost his job. Now he's back, happy, horny and ready to play. But Carl's spending so much time on his computer she's worried he's got something to hide. Will his secret tear them apart, or bring them closer than ever?
Domination Dreams by Michaela Rhua
Nicholas Cole has been married to Marissa for twenty years, and he dreams of being dominated by his vanilla wife. When he returns from a business trip, he is in for one heck of a birthday surprise.

Anniversary Gift by Cherie Nicholls
Cleo knows her wife is up to something, and she is determined to find out what it is. When she walks in on Marie and some bloke at a hotel room, she thinks all is lost. And then Marie orders her to stay… And when your Domme gives you an order…

Sex Tape by Kiru Taye
Juan Roberto's unexpected arrival home turns on its head when he discovers his wife Noni has a mind-blowing surprise she's been hiding from him. Discovering secrets and sex tapes have never been hotter or more pleasurable…
Contains: a naughty video and an even naughtier married couple rediscovering each other.

Tassels by Alannah Harte
Harrington loves his new wife Penny. So much so that he puts his own desires for a more exciting sex life to one side. Their lovemaking may be vanilla, but it's all he needs, or so he thinks, until the suitcase breaks and he discovers her secret.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Blog Tour: The Howling Heart by April Bostic

Paige Donovan is an ambitious college graduate who aspires to reach the top of the
corporate ladder. She’s climbing fast when given the promotion of a lifetime at a prestigious fashion magazine in New York City. Her bright future comes to an unexpected halt after news of her father’s death. She inherits his old cabin in the Colorado Rockies and just when she thinks her luck couldn’t get any worse, she has a car accident in the mountains and awakens in the small, remote community of Black River. Soon she’s engulfed in the mystical world of Varulv—wolves descended from 12th century Scandinavia and blessed by Norse gods with the ability to appear human. Paige is desperate to return home, but never expects to fall for her rescuer, Riley Gray, a charming young werewolf from England who offers her an alternate future with his pack. Now she must choose between the career she’s always wanted and the love she’s always dreamed.

Goodreads Link:
Author Info: April Bostic is a New Jersey-based romance author who enjoys unleashing her creativity and letting her imagination run wild. Her love of romance books inspired her to become not just a reader, but also a writer. In December 2008, she self-published her first novel, a contemporary romance with a supernatural twist entitled "A Rose to the Fallen". Her first short story, "Right Here, Right Now", released in January 2012 is an erotic romance with a dash of S&M. The following year, she released two more short stories: a romantic urban fantasy inspired by the Greek myth of Eros and Psyche entitled "Eros, My Love", and a sexy romantic comedy entitled "Love Addiction". After five years, she will release her second novel "The Howling Heart" in August 2013, a paranormal romance that delves into the mystical world of werewolves and Norse gods.

Contact Info:
Amazon (All Books):

The CreativeLife in review - planning, time management, and the creative life

  Hey there, creative friend! It's been a week or more since my last post but mostly because I have been taking time to do other things....