Tuesday 30 April 2019

A-to-Z Blog Challenge: Z is for...zarf

Aww, this is the last post for this year's A to Z blog Challenge and I chose a word post to complete my participation in this year's challenge.
Something I made myself, which I have been using extensively for all the writing in April.
And here is my zarf, an ornamental holder for a hot coffee cup 😁😁😁😁

Until next time!

Saturday 27 April 2019

Book Feature: WILLOW by Grace Parks

X is for...xoxo

He’s everything she’s not.
He’s serious, unsociable, unfashionable, and dead set against social media.
She decides to take him on as a client despite his refusals.
She wants the challenge, and she wants to prove to him that he needs her help.

We all need a little romance, right? 😉 Until Monday!
💜 Linzé

Friday 26 April 2019

A-to-Z Blog Challenge: W is for...writing inspiration - a guest post by Vida Li Sik

As an avid reader, I’ve always wondered where Stephen King, a writer I greatly admire, got the ideas for his stories that scared theheebie-jeebies out of me. The same goes for James Patterson or Nora Roberts. I’m sure you can add the names of your own favourite authors too.
When it comes to inspiration, writers are often encouraged to “write what you know”. And if you’ve been on earth for a while, there certainly are plenty of life experiences to draw from.
But, for fiction writers, it’s not always that easy, especially if you have to create a new world to go with the story.
So where does one find inspiration?
When you look at the movies that Hollywood keep trotting out, you’d be amazed to see new takes on old stories. Think about it. How many modern day Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty stories have we seen in recent years? These were great stories that simply got an updated 21stcentury setting and details.
What helps me, is to ask the question “what if?” For example, we sometimes hear about men who escape from prison. You hardly ever hear about women doing the same. So what if your character decides to plan a daring prison break? This idea formed a part of the storyline for my mother/daughter story, Aching Heart.
In romance, thrillers or spy stories, why not flip the stereotype? What if your “007-type” main character happens to be female, or she is the one with the dangerous job?
The news can also be a great source of ideas. Why not turn that dastardly politician or crook into a character who becomes the villain of your thriller? We are sometimes reluctant to do so, because the real life story just sounds too unbelievable.
A few years ago, there was a big story surrounding one of the country’s police commissioners. One newspaper had all the people involved laid out in a diagram, with little biographies underneath and arrows showing their connections. I thought ‘What a great character portfolio’. And I’m not even a crime or thriller writer!
I once had a dream (two days in a row) about characters in Sweden (of all places) - a country I have yet to visit. The characters stayed with me for a few weeks, to the point where I started jotting down notes and researching the country for more information on possible settings.
Sometimes a conversation you overhear can set your imagination racing off with a million and one ideas. There are just so many different and unexpected sources for inspiration. Remember: everyone has a story to tell.
What is important to do, when inspiration strikes, is to jot down the ideas. Use a sticky note, a small notebook or the notes feature on your phone. Do it immediately before the idea disappears, as it will.
So, as a writer or would-be writer, where do you get your inspiration from?

Find her on www.vidalisik.com   👈👈👈

Thursday 25 April 2019

Book Feature: ACHING HEART by Vida Li Sik

Available on Amazon

Nursing sister Hannah Dervain functions best by following a set routine. That leaves her little time to drown her sorrows in alcohol over what she has lost.
Her orderly life is turned upside down when her annual check-up reveals she has cancer. Now Hannah has to fight for her health and to heal her relationship with her estranged daughter, Savanna, who is in jail.
Hannah’s bombshell tugs at her daughter’s heartstrings. Overturning Savanna's ban on visiting her in prison is the easy part. Their past disappointments, hurts and pain rear up once more. They are tougher to tackle as Savanna confronts challenges of her own.
Her daughter’s latest ill-conceived scheme threatens the progress they are making. Can Hannah find the courage to take a stand and be the mother she longs to be?

Until tomorrow, when Vida joins us again with a question...

See you then!

Wednesday 24 April 2019

A-to-Z Blog Challenge: U is for...unbelievable

I chose unbelievable for my word today, because that is how I felt when I saw the list. Yesterday, I posted my 750th post to this blog. It's true, even though I am not sure quite how all that happened.
Number of posts
per year
I suppose it happened the usual way - one at a time! 😉
Thank you for reading and here is to the next 750. May I continue to strive to not bore you to tears 😂 Cheers! 🍸

💜 Linzé

Tuesday 23 April 2019

A-to-Z Blog Challenge: T is for...thank you

Today's post is for saying thank you. I decided to make a list, because this kind of post requires a list.

Thank you to you:

  • If you have read one of my books;
  • My writers group members for your continued support of each other;
  • My online friends and followers for allowing me to be part your lives;
  • Friends, family, colleagues, every book lover and fellow artist - you make my world alive with life, creative expression, contentment and happiness.

Thank you!
💜 Linzé

Monday 22 April 2019

A-to-Z Blog Challenge: S is for...special mention

And the award goes to Francois! Ha, I thought to make this post a dedication to my husband, Francois.
He is a terrific photographer in several genres. Here is a picture of him holding the award for portrait photographer of the year for 2018. The award was made last week.
Well done!
Francois holding his award and certificate

Saturday 20 April 2019

A-toZ Blog Challenge: R is for... - a guest post by Mari Reiza

Welcome to my guest
 - Mari Reiza
… Reflection - Rejection - Remorse - Revolution. Reiza's Ritual.
It’s upon Reflection that you become a writer. Your life is boring. You yearn for prime shakers replacing the herd around you. Characters who drive, the car, the boat even, a Super Tritone, and know where they're headed in the weekend, Capri. That’s amore! Take stunningest, cleverest Ivanka, in Opera, a no-nonsense prima donna who abhors losers and always gets her way. You love her instantly. You’ll never again wonder aimless, unshaven and unshowered up-and-down the corridors of a second-rated mall in a sorry town on Sunday, as she takes control of your life.

After a bit though there’s Remorse, the realisation you should have dug deeper. Why? You have aimed for paradise, likeable perfection. Guilty as charged. It’s not real. Perhaps men and women with only enough good in them so you can live in their company for the duration of the story are best. When you start observing their evil you like it. Take cute Marie, in the Retreat, with a sexy gap, a secret passage between her upper incisors; like Ivanka she's headed somewhere, hellish, and it's magnetising to watch, an accident you can't look away from. We should embrace flawed humans, especially women. Who on earth wants Barbie! It’s my personal objective to put such ladies forward, not for tête-à-tête martinis but it’s entertaining to see them wreck the world from afar.

Alas. Regardless of your hard work comes Rejection, claims your hero is as boring as chewed cardboard. And your narrator over-judges him/her when inner life should be hush-hush rather than clumsily revealed. Or readers don’t even get who’s the protag, like it’s not clear to them, not out of the gate not mid-novel not ever. ‘Who’s this novel about?’ Take Physical; you think it’s about Kiki, anarchic with curly hair and thick-rimmed glasses, and snap, it's about Fátima, straightforward, rational and practical. Sacré bleu! Readers advise against it but beware most advice is overrated: remain as deaf as to random tips on how to make lust last.

Okay so I'll rewrite my character as per my critics. Nonsense I will not. I resort to Revolution. Let the bloody things do as they please, anything, act upon their world. Soon Ivanka miscalculates. Marie as anticipated goes into butcher frenzy. Fátima who was totally stuck burns her kitchen. Ass kicking moment. You like her now? And Kiki becomes a lesbian after falling on a cow dung as she's being dumped with child; the shit she's landed in changes her fate. Whilst the comatose wife in Room 11 wakes up. I bet you didn’t expect that cause neither did I. But the rule is if the hero does not change the world, the world changes them. See the wife's nurse who lacks courage, she stays poor and alone, doomed for years to foreign cornflakes for breakfast. Good. Prod your hero! Have them crash, cause if you've done it right you’ll finally get to your reader. The fun can start!

R for the ritual. R for Regards to the Reader.

Cheerio. Mari.

Read more about Mari  👈👈👈

Friday 19 April 2019

A-to-Z Blog Challenge: Q is for...quignogs

Welcome to the first playful post for the month. Q is such a problematic letter sometimes so when I came across this Q-word, I couldn't resist.
😄😄 Quignogs is an old Cornish word for pipedreams, or ridiculous thoughts or ideas.
Do you like searching for or finding words that you didn't know?

Thursday 18 April 2019

Book feature: PEACH COBBLER POISON by Diana DuMont

book cover, Peach Cobbler Poison by Diana DuMont

Today is a book feature in one of my favourite genres 💜

P is for Peach Cobbler Poison Check it out on

See you tomorrow for the letter Q!
💜 Linzé

Wednesday 17 April 2019

A-to-Z Blog Challenge: O is for...obfuscate

Today's word is well-known to the NaNoWriMo community. When uploading a novel the website to verify the word count, obfuscation of the text may be used to prevent anyone else seeing what you wrote (even though the text is not saved on the website). And if you're not familiar with this technique, I will demonstrate with a simple sentence.
Sample sentence: I love my sketchbook and pencil.
Obfuscated text: o oooo oo oooooooooo ooo oooooo.
The text is then hidden away by replacing every letter with the letter O (or any other letter of the alphabet). The word counting software will then count the words because with NaNoWriMo it is not about the contents, but about the number of words.
Keep writing!

Tuesday 16 April 2019

A-to-Z Blog Challenge: N is for...newsletter

This is a tiny post to remind you that if you sign up for my newsletter in April, you can win one of my latest ebooks. Nothing more complicated than that.
My newsletter is called Grains of Sand for a reason: it is very short, and drops into your inbox once a month. What can be more easy than that?
And that is that for today.
And a few special mentions again for you to click and visit:

Until O!

Monday 15 April 2019

Book feature: MURDER MISUNDERSTOOD by Susan Bernhardt

M is for Murder!
A book in a favourite genre of mine. Check it out on Amazon

See you tomorrow for the post of the letter N!
💜 Linzé

Saturday 13 April 2019

Guest post: L is for Love + ... + ... + ... by Leenna Naidoo

L is for Leenna's
Love post 💖
You would think writing about love is easy. Everyone knows it. It’s a universal feeling—akin to occasionally choking on water or tearing when dust gets in your eye. You just can’t go through life without having some dramatic and automatic response to it: first love, love at first sight, love/hate, second chance at love, puppy-love, mature love... The range, range within ranges, and unpredictable twisting into new forms and equations, that’s where it gets complicated—just like all love relationships, no matter how simple they seem. Why?
Because Love + Two Hearts = Messy Stuff where Messy Stuff = misunderstandings + wild hopes + irrational thoughts and behaviour + jealousy + adoration + gooey feelings + outside intervention + ... + ... + ...
So, when writing a story, all plots and intentions for a love relationship (or what loved crazed, infatuated, manipulative individuals will do) tends to go out the window. Characters (good guys and villains) want their stories told, their behaviours explained, and their happy-ending—no matter the cost. They are all in pursuit of True Love (or its most durable facsimile) just like you. And unlike you, they can break the rules (and sometimes the law, or even the laws of physics) to do it. Why?
Because Fiction.
But a writer of romance, suspense, and sci-fi/fantasy with romantic bits, needs to write believable love fiction. Why?
Because Love is a process. If you don’t show or allude to the process and its stage, the story implodes leaving you and the reader with >0 (or less than zero).
I admit, I don’t always get the equations right, but when I do, it is hugely satisfying! I got close to getting it right in my first season of Quest For The Wholly Pale. I had not anticipated Silverbirch stealing Emrys’ heart while swigging beer in the student Ref. But she did, changing the path of the story. Lucky for me, that was in Episode 3 and I thought I foreshadowed their hidden feelings well. Sadly, not all readers picked up the clues. Why?
Because Subtlety-in-Love can = Invisibility to persons-concerned where: persons-concerned are oblivious or misunderstand or disbelieving. And Emrys and Silverbirch were very subtle, being friends first.
I got closer to getting it right in the series Settle Down Now. InUnsettled-The Prequel, I tried the following:
Falling in Love+Break-up = competition + attraction + misunderstanding + deception + jealousy + fear
I tried perfecting it in Settle Down Now (the novel) with the following:
Reconciled Love = maturity + proximity + danger + jealousy + sincere love + teamwork + communication
think I got it right, but Love (as I said before) is messy with endless permutations. Then again, I was never good at Maths. Why?
Because Mathematics = Not Fiction (with the exception of Unreal Numbers).
Fortunately, Love is Real, even when it is fiction. No prior mathematical knowledge needed.
See if I got close to your right equation in Settle Down Now the series, No Distance To Run, and Quest For The Wholly Pale.
And let me know what is your equation for Love, in fiction and real life. Why?
Because: everyone loves a good Love story, even ones with strange equations.

About the Author
Leenna writes cross-genre suspense, romance and dabbles in sci-fi/fantasy. Her episodic fiction includes Quest For The Wholly Pale.
Her short stories have appeared in The Mad Scientist Journal, SciPhi Journal and Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores.
Her novels include No Distance To Run and Settle Down Now.
She blogs on www.leennanaidoo.wordpress.com and
Leenna’s most unnerving experiences include: looking a red kangaroo in the eye, flipping pancakes for the first time ever in front of her class, interviewing Alan Dean Foster by email, and teaching a hellhound how to share a biscuit. Sometimes she writes about these and other less nerve-wracking things; sometimes she doesn’t.

See you tomorrow for another post in the A to Z challenge!
💜 Linzé

Friday 12 April 2019

A-to-Z Blog Challenge: K if for...kindle

As a bibliophile I love reading, but I only have so much space at home to store the paperbacks I read. To this end, I have decided to keep buying the paperback editions of the series (several of them!) I am busy reading. But if I find a new author or an author I like brings out a new series, to buy their book in e-format instead. And it's not just about space and saving a few rands, but also doing a little bit for the environment too.
My kindle - almost
10 years old too!
But today I am celebrating my kindle - I bought it on 22 January 2010, and while it is perhaps not the fastest device on the market these days, it still works perfectly. With 656 books uploaded, it better be because there are more coming!
Whether you love a paper copy or an ebook, I am sure that you will agree that nothing is as satisfying as a hot cup of coffee (or tea) and a good story to relax with for a few hours.
Want to see how many bloggers are taking part in the A to Z Challenge? Click here and be prepared to hang on to your chair!

A special guest post coming tomorrow 💟 until then!

Thursday 11 April 2019

A-to-Z Blog Challenge: J is for...journaling

Writing can be an intimidating activity, especially if the words end up in the public domain such as a blog post, or a published book. Many people want to write a book, few sit down to do so, and even less gather the courage to take it to its conclusion: publication.
But there is one type of writing where there are no boundaries, no editors, no critics, no readers. Journal writing. Even if you are not a writer, and have no desire to be a writer, published or not, keeping a journal can also be for you.
Journaling has many benefits, including things that have nothing to do with words. Some kinds of journals don't even use words, and yet the practice seems to be foreign to many. As a journal writer of many years experience, I have experimented with these styles - words and no words - and decided to write a book about it.
It is available as an ebook, and by subscribing to my newsletter in April, you stand a chance of winning a copy of the ebook. The winners will be announced in the May newsletter. Read a sample here if you cannot wait that long.

Wednesday 10 April 2019

A-to-Z Blog Challenge: I is for...instinct

The Letter I in the world of words are usually associated with inspiration. Personally, I am tired of hearing it, reading about it, and trying to explain to new writers that inspiration is nothing more than an excuse not to write. So today the letter I is for instinct.
I started my writing life as a pantser (someone who writes without planning anything about the story), and I have to say that it worked well for me. There are some drawbacks, as there are with being a planner, but overall no problems for me.
But as I became more experienced, I realised that there is a golden middle way that eliminates some of the negatives associated with pantsing, it is called plantsing. Not too original I grant you, but it has added another level of creativity to my stories which I didn't expect at all: instinct.
Doing the planning around the setting and characters of my stories, allows those details to sink into my subconscious. The information is there, a part of my creative mind, and no longer requires the rational part of my brain to take such an active role in the writing process. I can now trust my gut, my instincts, as I write the words of my story. The details are embedded so the creative energies can flow uninhibited, without overthinking every word or detail.
Is this inspiration? Nope. People waiting for inspiration don't do anything until the muse whacks them upside the head. Instinct, to me, is more fundamental. I cannot not write, or be creative in some way since I also like to draw. Fundamentals don't need to wait for inspiration to act. It is in itself a driving force for the creative side of me to get its voice heard, and its desires to be acted upon.
Instinct or inspiration? I know which one I will listen to every time.

Tuesday 9 April 2019

A-to-Z Blog Challenge: H is for...habit

As a word addict - reader and writer - I know that often it is our habits that drive our choices. But it is not only the things we choose to do, such as writing every day but also the things we have to do - like brushing our teeth. Personal care and wellbeing should be at the top of our daily habits, and yet they are often the things we neglect. Not the cleaning habits I think so much as the activities that require an effort from ourselves. Exercise? Meditation? Preparing healthy food? I wonder why that is. 
I write every day. I meditate five to six times a week. Since adopting a vegetarian diet, I am more aware of what I eat. I also have to cook at home more than I did before the lifestyle change, purely because the convenience of takeaway food is focused on people who eat meat. I am not a health nut, but it is my awareness of my longterm health that influences my choices now.
If we live healthier (mentally and physically) we are probably going to live longer and be more successful, so why the neglect? Is it pure laziness, or have we just become so disposable in our thinking as we have in the way we treat the things we own? New phone every two years, a new car every three to five years, new wardrobe every six months.
The list goes on, and I would love to hear your opinion: the general population don't want to die (we are going to, but that does not negate our fear of it) and yet we do nothing to enable us to live a better quality life until we leave this life. So why does the human species manufacture its own demise, one body at a time?

Monday 8 April 2019

A-to-Z Blog Challenge: G is for...goals

Today my post is about goals. I have been reading about goals and why some work and some don't. The success or failure of the goals we set ourselves has more to do with why we set these goals than what the goals actually entail. If our motivation is external (outside of ourselves) the probability of failure is high.
If we are setting goals based on what drives us internally, these goals are important enough to us to make time for us to work on them to make them happen.
I often make a list of the books I want to publish every year, and most often that doesn't happen - at least not all of them get released. But I always, always make my word count target. For me, it is about writing the stories more than publishing the end result. Something to think about...

Sunday 7 April 2019

Another month, another week...

With the A-to-Z blog challenge now firmly underway, life carries on with the usual things and responsibilities. But it is what we make of it and working to make the best of it, takes time and effort.

So here is the A-to-Z schedule for the week ahead:

Have you signed up for my newsletter yet? You should, there is a chance for a free ebook coming your way.

Until tomorrow!
💜 Linzé

Saturday 6 April 2019

A-to-Z Blog Challenge: F is for...fiction

A word post for
the challenge today
While I may not like editing so much, I love writing. Even in the midst of a hectic life of a self-employed consulting engineer, I have managed to keep up with my writing target for Camp NaNoWriMo. For many people, it is a time socialise and support each other on social media. I on the other hand like to hide in my writing cave, i.e. my home office, and work on my next book project.
This April a little romance invaded my writing cave, and as the story unfolds, I wonder how Lucy is going to take it when Craig reveals the family secret to her.
I hope she will be brave enough to handle it! A love story with a dark twist which will leave you gasping when the truth comes out.
Until Monday; when my newsletter will also pop into your mailbox. Have you signed up yet?

💜 Linzé

Friday 5 April 2019

A-to-Z Blog Challenge: E is for...editing

A word post from
me today
Editing is not my favourite activity when it comes to writing a book or blog post for publication, but I do know how important it is. For most of my writing, I use an online application, but the final say for my books is the red pen of a professional editor.
Have a look at this website to find a list of online editing applications. At least one of them would be perfect for your writing (and editing) needs.

Here are today's special mentions:
A Field Trip Life- children's stories
Merely Bookish- writing craft
M. K. Waller- writer
Why not pop over to their blogs to say hi?

Until tomorrow!
💜 Linzé

Thursday 4 April 2019

Book feature: Writing Book Reviews As An Author: Inspiration To Make It Easier by J Lenni Dorner

book cover, Writing Book Reviews As An Author: Inspiration To Make It Easier by J Lenni Dorner

D is for Dorner.
Welcome back to my blog J!

Book feature today - a book for all lovers of books!

Get it on Amazon

See you tomorrow for the letter E!

Wednesday 3 April 2019

Book feature: LOST CHILDREN OF THE PROPHET by Angelique Conger

C is for Conger

The first book feature for the A to Z Blog Challenge on the Broomstick!

Find it on you favourite bookseller's website

See you tomorrow for another book feature, under the letter D.

Tuesday 2 April 2019

A-to-Z Blog Challenge: B is for...bloggers

The blog challenge is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month, and its success is purely based on the support and participation of the bloggers.
People who share a part of their lives and activities with you. All kinds of blogs exist in the blogosphere, and today I am sharing only a few of the blogs of my fellow A to Z blog challenge participants. Over the course of the A to Z blog challenge, look out for some more blog links from other participants.
The Multicolored Diary - mythology and folklore
Getting to the end - lifestyle and social
TravelGenee - Genealogy
Why not click a link or two and say hi to them today?
Until tomorrow!
💜 Linzé

Monday 1 April 2019

A-to-Z Blog Challenge: A is for...author

Today I am celebrating my fellow authors. People who had the guts to sit down and write a book. People who sacrificed their time to plan, research, write, edit, edit some more, edit even more, publish the book, and share their words with you the readers.
Few people grasp the commitments and sacrifices that authors make to bring their stories to you. So today I say thank you to everyone who wrote a book because they brought entertainment, knowledge, and the world to you and me.
To the authors!
cheers, graphic, word, orange

BOOK FEATURE: Master of Rods and Strings by Jason Marc Harris

SYNOPSIS   Jealous of the attention lavished upon the puppetry talents of his dear sister—and tormented by visions of her torture at the han...