The Blood Trilogy Reviews and other stuff

Hi there everyone,images-6

It has been awhile since I last posted on my blog and I beg your forgiveness but my excuse is that I was so involved in finishing off my latest novel that time just flew by, but now I can sit back and relax for a few days…heck who am I kidding…I have already started on my next creation and this time Piet van Zyl is really going to be in the thick of things.

Without giving away too much the title of my new project is…”The Sting of the Scorpion” and so far I am having fun.

The Ibis Lounge 12032068_772899666189902_3816294409974603633_nis also keeping my loving wife, Lucie and I busy as well and as far as that goes, we are enjoying this new part of our lives very much and just love interacting with the guests that grace our doorway from all parts of the world…I guess I am going to have to learn to speak, German, Russian, Dutch…but we get by and everyone seems to enjoy their stay with us…so I guess I will put the learning new languages on hold for the time being.

I have not given up on finding a new publisher for my books…in fact I have been asked by a couple of reputable publishers to submit full manuscripts for previously unpublished works and there seems to be a bit of interest out there so it is just a question of wait and see…but now the problem is…I can’t wait so I have also taken the step into the Indie publishing world and just released my Blood Trilogy on Amazon Kindle…BookCoverImageso those of you out there that never got a chance to read my books can now start at the very beginning and get to know Piet van Zyl and company.

If interested here is the link; https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSBYSWM

One thing that is now missing is the awesome reviews that I got for the three books that make up the Blood Trilogy, so never one to miss out on a chance, I have added them to this blog…at least you will know what is in store for you if you decide to go ahead and get a copy for yourself…one thing I can promise you…you will not be disappointed.

These reviews are from Amazon. Smashwords and from Beta Readers and I thank one and all for their very kind words.

Amazon Reviews

Blood Moon Over Africa (The Blood Trilogy Book 1)Kindle Edition

by Paul Zunckel  (Author)

5.0 out of 5 starsA MUST BUY

By Kathy Neilson on April 20, 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

This is a great book for Africa and the things that go on in Africa including the animals and the locals and their beliefs. It was a thriller and scared me at times. But a great ride. Thank you Kathy

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4.0 out of 5 starsSupernatural horror powers this story.

By FSW on February 20, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition

*I bought this book from Smashwords.*
Supernatural horror powers this story and delivers chills running down your spine.
The story is gripping, impossible to put down, and the prose is very descriptive. The author describes horrifying scenes without diving into over-the-top gore.
The story is a chiller with great characters, believable tragedy and nail-biting suspense.
I am looking forward to reading the rest of the books in this trilogy.

 

Blood Moon Over Africa

“…you cannot help but be compelled to read on…”

reviewed by Lilian Flesher

This review is from a gifted ebook reviewer copy.

 

 “You will be taken on a journey, an adventure, a scary trip that will have you rooted to the spot, whispering to yourself, WATCH OUT, perhaps yelling at the kindle like me!!! This is a fabulously well-written story, it tells the story of the old ways,  witch doctors, medicine men, of tribal beliefs, the things that scare the tribes, the information is endless, you cannot help but be compelled to read on, to follow the journey to the end, keep praying for a miracle because these pair along with their friends and helpers are going to need more than help, they are going to need every ounce of their wits, their courage, their skills, and prayers to protect them.!”

 

 

“Short pithy chapters driven by fast and furious dialogue…Zunckel’s plot is engaging and brilliantly executed… a must read”…reviewed by VLY, Thailand

 

Ravenna Young rated it it was amazing FIVE STAR*****

As I lay in bed, totally freaked out, I’m trying to think of how to best convey the awe that I’m feeling towards this book. I don’t like being freaked out and normally I would chicken out on a read like this but I kept reading, even though I lost sleep. I’m not sure how it happened but I finished this book…
Zunckel has magically described Africa, Zambia, in such a way that I became absorbed in the story of a newly married couple determined to habitate a home that is cursed by a nasty half hyena As I lay in bed, totally freaked out, I’m trying to think of how to best convey the awe that I’m feeling towards this book. I don’t like being freaked out and normally I would chicken out on a read like this but I kept reading, even though I lost sleep. I’m not sure how it happened but I finished this book…
Zunckel has magically described Africa, Zambia, in such a way that I became absorbed in the story of a newly married couple determined to habitate a home that is cursed by a nasty half hyena?/human beast. Zunckel doesn’t sugarcoat anything and the result is a terrifyingly authentic experience.
The writing is clean and straightforward, unlike any style I’ve read to date and the characters are quirky and stupid and stubborn like most horror story characters…personally, I’d have been gone after the croc defiling.
I think what I loved most is the genuine connection I felt to the scene, to Africa, and its wild nature which served as the perfect backdrop for this story.
I’m stuck because I’ve been left with questions but not sure if I have the nerve to read the next in this series…oh, I’ll read it because I’m a sucker for punishment and have to follow it through.

 

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Terrifiant à souhait… 19 septembre 2015

Par LORIN PHILIPPE

Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié

Paul Zunckel tient toutes ses promesses et nous tient en haleine tout au long du livre. Si comme moi vous aimez L’Afrique et ses rites les plus noirs, vous adorerez vous plonger dans l’action et partager les nuits blanches de Piet et ses ami(e)s. L’Amérique a Stephen King, l’Afrique a Paul Zunckel, et il est bien parti pour conquérir le monde. J’espère qu’il sera rapidement traduit en français pour le plaisir du plus grand nombre. Un immense plus: Paul Zuncker est un auteur à l’écoute de ses lecteurs et vous pouvez lui envoyer des messages sur Facebook, réponse assurée ! J’ai commencé à lire Blood démon revenge, les frissons sont au rendez vous. J’ai un nouvel ami, merci Paul.

 

 

 

Blood Spoor in the Dark

Book 2 of The Blood Trilogy

“…superstition and the suspense it creates grips you as a reader…”

reviewed by Sub01

 

 

A very well written follow up to his Blood Moon [Over Africa]. The characters in the novel are believable and I found them growing on me. The story is fast paced with twists and turns. The use of superstition and the suspense it creates grips you as a reader and makes it a very worthwhile read. All the best to the author.

 

 

Blood Demon: Revenge

Book 3 of The Blood Trilogy

“…I was selected as a Beta Reader and WOW!…”

reviewed by S. Dale

 

 

I’d read the first two after release and loved them both, so when I contacted the publisher to ask if they needed Beta readers, I was very pleased to be invited to read Blood Demon: Revenge. WOW! Any time a writer can make me miss dinner because I am reading, that is a huge deal, and Paul Zunckel did just that! Each scene is one of those that makes a reader squirm and the tension is fantastic. Thank you!

Blood Moon Over Africa

By Paul Zunckel

Rated 5.00/5 based on 4 reviews

Review by: trebor58 on Sep. 17, 2016 : (no rating)
This is second I have read from Paul and I have to say it won’t be the last. This book had me gripped from the start, trying to figure out what they were up against, and I have to say I was wrong. This book will have you sitting on the edge of your seat form the moment you start reading. There is laughter there are tears, there is sadness and Joy, but most of all it’s packed with suspense.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: AngelikaB on July 28, 2016 :
I love Veronica with all her knowledge about witch craft and her ideas on how to deal with it. Very interesting from beginning to end! Wish I had so much courage……. or maybe rather not! I rather read about it, so much safer
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Aileen Friedman on July 26, 2016 : (no rating)
This is my review on all the Piet Van Zyl series books; they can also get read as stand-alone stories. Piet is a very likable character and certainly makes the stories entertaining. The stories are very easy reading and of a short story length so they can be read in one go. The stories flow with ease and are comfortable to follow. Always remember; in beautiful Africa, there is always something lurking in the dark, or the bushes, be aware!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Flamingcrystal on Feb. 20, 2016 : (no rating)
Supernatural horror powers this story and delivers chills running down your spine.
The story is gripping, impossible to put down, and the prose is very descriptive. The author describes horrifying scenes without diving into over-the-top gore.
The story is a chiller with great characters, believable tragedy and nail-biting suspense.
I am looking forward to reading the rest of the books in this trilogy. I am giving this book a well deserved 4 stars!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: renier smith on Jan. 13, 2016 :
I have met paul zunkel about a year ago. I did deliveries for him.
I got to know paul as a humble person, that will accept you as a friend
No matter from wich walk of life you derive.

It is with fondness that i can say i have even met pooch. Seems that he likes me

Now that our roads have parted i wish you many more stories my friend

Renier
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Sub01 on Jan. 13, 2016 :
Yesterday I downloaded this book. Last night was a late night as I could not put it down until it was finished. To sum up this author and the book in one word, WOW!, Bring it on, and this is a debut novel, who are you kidding. Mr Paul Zunckel, where the hell have you been?
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Philippe LORIN on Jan. 05, 2016 :
Paul Zunckel tient toutes ses promesses et nous tient en haleine tout au long du livre. Si comme moi vous aimez L’Afrique et ses rites les plus noirs, vous adorerez vous plonger dans l’action et partager les nuits blanches de Piet et ses ami(e)s. L’Amérique a Stephen King, l’Afrique a Paul Zunckel, et il est bien parti pour conquérir le monde. J’espère qu’il sera rapidement traduit en français pour le plaisir du plus grand nombre. Un immense plus: Paul Zuncker est un auteur à l’écoute de ses lecteurs et vous pouvez lui envoyer des messages sur Facebook, réponse assurée ! J’ai commencé à lire Blood démon revenge, les frissons sont au rendez vous. J’ai un nouvel ami, merci Paul.

Blood Spoor in the Dark

By Paul Zunckel

Rated 5.00/5 based on 3 reviews

Review by: AngelikaB on July 28, 2016 :
This book taught me a lot about superstition and rituals in Africa, coming from Germany I have never thought about these things really but now I understand it much better. Hope I will never meet one of those leopard men! Interesting read
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Aileen Friedman on July 25, 2016 : (no rating)
This is my review on all the Piet Van Zyl series books; they can also get read as stand-alone stories. Piet is a very likable character and certainly makes the stories entertaining. The stories are very easy reading and of a short story length so they can be read in one go. The stories flow with ease and are comfortable to follow. Always remember; in beautiful Africa, there is always something lurking in the dark, or the bushes, be aware!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Sub01 on Jan. 28, 2016 :
This was gifted to me by the author asking for a review. I have one word for his work. “BRILLIANT”.
He has the ability to paint a picture with his words and lead you into the story, leaving you breathless at the end,wanting more.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Philippe LORIN on Jan. 05, 2016 :
Comme pourrait le dire Piet en s’adressant à Paul Zunckel :”baie dankie my vriend, ‘n baie goeie boek, lekke lekke 😉 ” Deuxième livre de la trilogie, l’auteur nous emmène au coeur d’ une Afrique encore plus noire et plus terrifiante, d’autant plus que l’intrigue s’appuie sur des faits réels . Le héros Piet aurait pu remplacer Johnny Weissmuller dans un de ses films tourné en 1946…sauriez vous dire lequel ? pendant que vous réfléchissez, moi je vais dévorer avec plaisir Revenge qui boucle la trilogie.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Blood Demon: Revenge

By Paul Zunckel

Rated 4.80/5 based on 5 reviews

Review by: AngelikaB on July 28, 2016 :
What a thriller from the beginning to the end. I love the characters, especially Piet, he is so real. Definitely a book that you don’t want to stop reading. Well done!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Haydn Johns on July 24, 2016 :
Paul has done it again! This book has enticed and thrilled me. An excellent read which I could not put down. Darkness, danger and action packed. I am also thoroughly enjoy the character of Piet. I highly recommend the Blood Trilogy to all!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Flamingcrystal on May 01, 2016 :
The background folklore/mythology is really well developed with vivid descriptions.
I love the characters and especially the rustic Piet’s way of thinking. Sometimes he doesn’t want to acknowledge the danger they are in, therefore the bigger the danger, the better his hilarious sayings gets. The opening pages really did a lot to get me invested in the main character. Authors sometimes don’t realise that their first two pages are the most crutial pages to get their readers hooked. Not only did this author succeeded in that, he kept my attention right until the end.
The author succeeded to create very loveable characters.
If Piet did not wear a wedding ring, I would have fallen for him too. Head over heels of my size 4 boots, but I am the opposite of those female tourists in the story. It is only crows that are drawn to rings, whether it be wedding rings, toe rings and heaven forbids: men wearing belly rings.
From the very beginning the lines between good and evil were drawn in such a captive way that I got angry when my reading got interrupted by visitors… I got chills running down my spine when reading about how this blood demon was summoned.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Sub01 on Feb. 02, 2016 :
The author takes you by the throat and shakes you. This final to his Blood Trilogy is one of the best closures I have ever read. He takes you by the hand and leads you as promised, into the dark.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Philippe LORIN on Jan. 05, 2016 :
ça y est, j’ai réservé mon safari photo avec Piet !

j’emmène un petit sac avec de bonnes chaussures de marche, un appareil photo et de la lotion anti-moustique…plus une grande valise remplie de crucifix, d’eau bénite, de pieux en bois, de chapelets d’ail, de balles en argent et tout ce qu’il faut pour un exorcisme… Avec Piet, on ne sait jamais sur quoi on va tomber en brousse, et pour l’aider Paul Zunckel a décidé de rendre tous les livres sur la faune africaine obsolètes: j’en ai plein qui parlent des Big Five ( les 5 animaux les plus dangereux à chasser à pied), mais maintenant grâce ou à cause de Paul nous avons les Big Six! Il a ajouté sa création, le plus terrifiant et le plus vicieux de tous les “animaux” à la liste, et celui ci hantera vos nuits à jamais. La trilogie est bouclée de main de maître, mais je sais déjà que les aventures de Piet et ses ami(e)s ne s’arrêtent pas ici. Merci Monsieur Zunckel.
PS: Paul, les amoureux de la brousse attendent votre mise à jour des Skinner et Smithers , hunter’s handbook et autres field guides car maintenant il y manque votre créature.

If you made it this far…Thank you.

Take Care and remember, you never know what is watching from the shadows.images kk(31)

God Bless

 

The Flight from The Ibis.

Good Morning and a Happy and Safe weekend to all,

Life is very strange, you just have to take the rough with the smooth and that seems to apply to all facets of life…you get knocked down, get up, brush yourself off and start again, what the heck you say, “That’s Life”.

Life at The Ibis Lounge 12032068_772899666189902_3816294409974603633_nis really going along smoothly…admittedly there was a heck of a lot of systems that had to be put into place to ensure that all runs according to the requirements of the owners of this awesome guest house and that took my beautiful wife just ages to sort out, but I do believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and soon it will be a breeze keeping records, but I will admit that these past weeks have not been easy as there has been so much to do and record.

We hit the ground running when we arrived and are now only starting to slow down, but all in all it was great fun dealing with the avalanche of guests during December and January, and all I can say is…”Bring it on”. Lucie tells me that apart from breakfasts for guests as well as casual visitors I prepared in the region of 100 three course meals, now how is that for a rookie in the kitchen?12439157_817891198357415_5937114245725992189_n

I have to admit, I did have fun.

Now if you would like to see more about this awesome guest house, sitting in the amazing village of Nieu Bethesda 12003371_700178953446259_1368152052017028245_nand are possibly thinking that this sounds like the place for you to spend a night or two, here is the link to the web site…www.theibislounge.co.za  …peace and quiet…star filled sky at night, the bark of the baboon…neigh of the horse and the odd cry of the jackal…what more could you want except maybe something cold to drink…well that can be arranged as well.

During the period that Lucie and I have been holding the reins all our guests have been just wonderful and it has been a really wonderful experience apart from two gentlemen who decided to skip out under the cover of darkness without paying. Now we were fully booked on the night they left, yet they claim they banged on doors, did the war dance, hung from the shower, which they broke  trying to attract attention as they wanted to pay. The amazing thing is that not one soul heard them so you guessed it right…bullwhat a load of bull.

They must have danced like fairies because no one heard a thing.

What they did is called Bilkering, and I wonder if that is how they paid for their trip…bilk here, bilk there, bilk everywhere. In short they committed fraud and are guilty of such an offence and will be brought to book. I was advised by the one that his husband is an advocate … now that is really taking a chance…a man who works within the law, breaking the law…himmmmm  makes one think what side of the law he is on and what it would do to his reputation if it was made public that he was involved in fraud. Anyway I have been promised that the outstanding amount that they tried so hard to pay on the morning they slunk out will be settled soon

Promises…what the heck is that…most of the time empty words just to keep someone else happy. As an Author, I make my income by the sale of my books, be it e-book format or hard copy. In this case when my first four books were released in print I was asked by various friends for signed copies which I duly did and posted it off to them all. Everyone who asked for copies paid up front for the books as well as postage, apart from one…I waited one full year for payment but it just never arrived yet the books were posted, collected and now more than likely are gathering dust.

It materialized that said “friend” was unemployed so I took pity on him and offered him a chance to rather post a review on my books in lieu of payment due to his situation…to date no reviews or payment but lots of posts on Facebook about some rather awesome holidays, trips etc so guess who has been taken for a ride. The fact is that this also falls under the title of Bilkering…committing fraud and I am sorry to say it also makes this person a liar, but I forgive him as I have already killed him off in my latest novel…not a nice way to die, but someone had to.

Thanks for reading my blog, take care and stay safe…remember, you never know what is watching from the shadows.

God Bless you All.

Power of Positive Thinking

Hi One and All,h

Well it is the weekend and we have had a fairly good run at The Ibis Lounge for most of January, but the good news is that I have also found the time to complete my latest novel…Fangs of Fury…download-1and I must say it took me along a road I have never travelled…at times it was a dark journey, but the words just flowed and the pictures painted until I reached the point where it was right to type…The End.

Now the real work begins…edit, proof read, and grammar check and only then will I be ready to submit the full manuscript to a publisher. Now as you all no doubt know by now… a publisher is something that I no longer have in my life, but all is not lost…there is light at the end of the tunnel and certain publishers out there in this big wide world of ours have expressed an interest and asked for samples of my work…so, who knows…just maybe big things might happen.

Anyway, the real purpose of this blog is to tell you a little story…ha ha ha…I’m a writer…it is what I do, you might say…well let’s get on with it.

This one revolves around a car…my car in fact that was left to me by my departed Mother…Bless you Mom, and Thank You. Now my Dad was a practical type of man and living in South Africa where car hijackings and theft of cars is almost a national sport he wired up the car with an alarm plus immobilizer…but not only that he went ahead and fitted his own modification to the whole thing and added a anti-hijacking button…now to cut a long story short, the computer that controls all this decided to go rouge on me and from having a car that would pay attention and allow me to use it for what it was intended…I ended up with a car that would not play the game…the computer had decided that this vehicle would not start again and the alarm would ring out at the slights touch…great way to get friendly with the neighborhood…I was stuck with a vehicle that I could not drive as the immobilizer could not be deactivated…wonderful stuff.

Now we live in a village in the Karoo called Nieu Bethesda, population around 70, and the nearest mechanic/garage/workshop is found in a town called Graff Reinett which is a 45minute drive depending on if you stick to the speed limit or not…problem…how do you drive a car that will not allow itself to be driven due to the immobilizer playing up. Help is at hand in the form of a man who goes by the name of Kemp…one phone call later and the hood of the car is up…the alarm is shouting out for all to hear…the man looks at wires…shakes his head…ends up looking all over for the small computer that has now taken control until finally…we find it, but now we have a problem.

The problem being that my devious Father had done his own modification to the system…he had put in three booby traps insuring that there was no way to override this immobilizer or alarm and by now the noise is threatening to drive us all crazy…but never underestimate the power of the human mind or the inventive thought. After scratching his head and remarking more than once on how clever my Dad was the man called Kemp asked me if I had a light switch.

The light switch was wired up to the starter…the alarm wire cut…and for now, until I can get into civilization and get the alarm sorted out this car now starts with the flick of a light switch…amazing you say…well I’ve never seen anything like this before…the only drawback is that the car battery has to be disconnected when not in use but who the heck cares…the car can start and be used.

In my novels I use the term…”n boer maak n plan”…well I saw that in action last night and it amazed me at the initiative that was used to bypass the problem and I take my hat off to Mr. Kemp.

Well that is me done for today…I’m going out for a drive on a wonderful Karoo morning…feel the sun on my face and feel the engine purr under my feet. Take care out there and remember there is always a way when there is a will to succeed…oh yes and one more thing…you never know what is watching from the shadows.

God Bless you all.

images-6

Bloodied but Not Down

Hi All,ctssydfwaaa0n6f

I might be bloodied but I am certainly not down and out…in fact my resolve and ambition to make it in the world of writing and publishing is even greater now than it was when I signed my first contract for Blood Moon over Africa.images-3

Life is really funny, and what I have done is step back…take a long hard look at how the last year and a half has gone and realized that some people are equipped to deal with an author who is breaking through the ice barrier, an author who gets five star ratings and awesome reviews and some are not geared up to take on that kind of responsibility no matter how well they treat you…the work load is just too much and what happens…the author suffers in the end and is left hangingimages (34) not knowing how or what his or her books are doing out there.

A simple sales report would do the trick…it keeps the author in the loop which is where he or she belongs…after all it is their work.

Funny thing, books…they cost to be translated into another language…and I’m sure that before a publisher takes that plunge they make sure the author is selling…or else they are taking a huge risk or know something the author is not aware of.

Just to put it out there…I have no hard feelings towards the publishers, after all they are only human, and humans also make mistakes…I wish them all the best for 2017 as well as all the wonderful authors they represent and staff…you were all really great to be a part of…Thank You.

Anyway the purpose of this blog is to let you all know that although I have had no communication from my publisher since the 27 September 2016 regarding my status or position with them I have been informed by the awesome Readers Gazette on Twitter that it would seem as if all my published books have been withdrawn from Amazon, Smashwords etc etc…but not to worry dear readers and supporters, plus all of you who love Piet van Zyl…there are four novels that are unpublished plus my latest one is almost ready to be sent off for proof reading to France…so there is plenty still to come.

The titles never published are as follows.

Man in the Shadows…a stand alone

Whispers in the Wind….Piet van Zyl Adventure

Shadow of the Leopard….Piet van Zyl Adventure

Silent Hunter….Piet van Zyl Adventure

Still to come…Fangs of Fury…a stand alone

Anyway you take care out there and thanks for joining me. Remember…you never know what is watching from the shadows.CROC

Never give up on your dreams…reach for the stars but keep you feet on the ground…dreams do come true…watch this space.

God Bless you all.

 

The World is made up of Hellos and Goodbyes

Hi Everyone,images-6

Well it is that time of the year again…”Good will to all mankind” and that sort of thing….so without any further to do, I wish you all a blessed Christmas and a Wonderful 2017. May all your dreams come true in the year to come? Remember to keep your feet on the ground when you reach for the stars.

Well, it has been quite a year for me, eight books published by Vanilla Heart Publishing, along with awesome covers which I thank them very much and some really awesome reviews and ratings for my work…what can I say but I have been blessed from above, and I thank our Lord and Savor for the blessing and guidance along this rocky road.

As you all know my loving Mother passed away on the 9th of September this year and on top of all that we were under all kinds of stress over the four weeks leading up to her passing as we watched her just fade away…it was not a happy time and during that time mistakes were made.

I suppose under that kind of stress people do not think clearly but one thing that was bothering the family over and above Moms condition was the fact that I had never received a sales report regarding my books nor had any distribution avenues been opened and as my only avenue to survival in this big bad world of ours is through my writing a letter was sent off requesting the latter but it would seem as if this letter has been taken completely out of contest and I no longer have a publisher.

Well the world is made up of hellos and good bye’s…that is life and when a curved ball is thrown at you…hit it out of the park, it only makes you stronger images (28)and believe me, Lucie and I have had plenty of those during our marriage and we are yet to stumble on this rocky road.

So now I’m a free agent…busy with book number fourteen and a further five books that have never been published…what is an author to do? Well I will tell you…carry on following my dream and hit the publishing world with everything that I have. Like I have said in the past, “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade”, and that is exactly what I intend to do, stay tuned it will not be long before ‘Fangs of Fury’ download-1ends up with a publisher.

It is with a heavy heart that Vanilla Heart Publishing is only going to be in my past and not my future as I really enjoyed the ride, loved my author family and really respected my publisher so I leave their world with no bitter thoughts or words, only regret that a few things could not be tackled head on and sorted out.

I thank them from the bottom of my heart for the opportunity, encouragement and support that they gave me. They are awesome in their own way and will always hold a special place in my heart…Vanilla Heart Publishing…stay safe and take care…you took me on a great ride…Thanks.

I would like to end off this blog with something that is very special to me. It is from a man who is not only a fan of my work but who has also become a friend, and is a fellow author. He asked me for my phone number a few months back, which I let him have reasoning that it costs too much to call from the other side of the world…the phone rang one day and I answered it to be greeted by a broad American drawl.

The reason he wanted to call was to tell me three things.

  • He worked on the set of “CARRIE” with Mr. Stephen King and wanted me to know that my writing reminded him of a young Mr. King.
  • He also told me that a writer like myself only came along every 35 years…I must embrace what lies ahead of me, accept it but do not let my ego get the better of me…I must hold on for a ride of a lifetime.
  • I have been given a special gift…use it wisely. He once had it but it has gone now. It is now my time.

Well I am still the boy next door, I get very self conscious when people ask me to sign a book or take a photo with them although I love talking about the books which I suppose is natural as the books along with my loving wife, running The Ibis Lounge and writing are my life.

I would like to say Thank you to the man from Thailand for taking the time to place that call and for his high praise and support regarding my work. I would also like to say a special Thank you to Angel and Philippe for their wonderful support on this journey.

I thank all of you who have supported me, not only in buying my work, but also giving me such strong support on Twitter with the RT’s and Follows, and Face Book with the post shares. To those of you who have left reviews…you are too kind and your time is appreciated as a review on any Authors book is so important to the Author and for that, I thank you.

Until next time, Take care out there, stay safe and remember, you never know what is watching from the shadowsLion10 (3)…God Bless You All.

P.S. Remember I’m not down and outcb34xc5wwaeazpj…I’m only starting to warm up and there are plenty of books yet to be written and Mr. Piet van Zyl and company have plans for me in the future…Africa is a big place, with myths and legends waiting to be exposed.

The Ibis Lounge

 

Hi Everyone,cb34xc5wwaeazpj

Man I am bushed and for those of you who think that I am surround by thick vegetation and stumbling through the wilds of Africa, you have got it wrong…I’m tired, but a very pleasant tired, the satisfied tired that you get when a job has been well done and you realize that you  have achieved your objective  and at this point I just have to say a few words about my amazing wife, Lucie…boy  she jumped into the deep end and is holding her head above the water…what a lot to absorbed in a few days as far as admin is concerned, but she has taken  the bull by the horns and as you guys in the U.S.A. would say…”Ride em Cowboy”…and she is doing just that…Lucie I’m proud of you and so very happy to have you at my side.images-8

To Terry and Layton, you guys are wonderful and just have so much experience and knowledge to share with us, and for that we thank you…over and above all your packing and getting ready for your big move to the Big City…heck guys you are going to be blinded by the lights. We also thank you for trusting both of us with your awesome Guest House.

Now, what is all this about…a new chapter in our lives…and I’m not talking about a new chapter in one of my books but a new chapter in the book of life. Lucie and I have been given the amazing opportunity to look after and run a wonderful guest house in the middle of the Karoo….a lovely village that goes by the name, Nieu Bethesda…and wait for it…the name of the guest house is…The Ibis Lounge…Right I got your attention….great name huh?

Check us out on Google…have a look and if you are really looking to experience something different…never seen the stars at night….never heard the bray of Donkey as you lie in your bed or woken to the sound of a horse galloping past…or just want to step back into the past where family values are what they are meant to be…and if you are willing to test my cooking…then this is the place for you.

The Guest house consists of three bedrooms…The Amour Room,img_7387 The Happy Room img_7414and The Karoo Room.img_7460 The dining is exclusive for The Ibis Lounge Guests only, and we offer Bed, Dinner and Breakfast.img_7545 Youimg_7520 can book directly with us at “manager (at) theibis.co.za” and we will make sure that you only leave your footprint and take happy memories away with you.

I will admit that I am not sure if my cooking is as good as my writing… (that is one thing that I have been asked) but never fear, I have been given instruction under the watchful eye of Terry, and am confident that the kitchen will maintain the high standard that she has set, plus I am lucky enough to have the backup from Lucie, but then if you feel the meal is not up to scratch…you can always eat up a good book,new-pin11 one of mine I hope.

Take Care and Stay Safe, you never know what is watching from the shadows.

God Bless

Moving On

images-6Heck it has been awhile since I last touched the keys to the lap top and did any writing at all and I mean no writing. My current work in progress…”Fangs of Fury” download-1has been left on a hanger in the cupboard for now, currently sitting on 46k words and only halfway done, and I know that there are certain people out there who have been privy to a glimpse of the story-line that are jumping up and down for me to complete my latest so they can get their sticky hands on the published copy and I have to say to those eager beavers…sorry guys, I have had to take time out from writing to attend to other matters, but I did make a promise in my last blog, and I will keep to that promise. The books are lining up to be written, and believe me, I am going to write.

Now, the title of this blog is ‘Moving On” for more than one reason, so let me explain.

Firstly, after the passing of my Mother, my wife and I found ourselves drifting in a sea of uncertainty and doubt about the future. Now you might find yourself saying…”but you are an author, you’ve got eight books published, they are out there, they are selling.”new-pin11

That may be the case, but an author can’t live on promises and dreams, waiting for that illusive Best Sellers list…images-3the books need to be distributed, they need to be in your face or else they just do not sell, no matter how hard you work at promoting them, looking for reviews and relying on your publisher…at the end of the day the time comes when you have to look out for number one, and in everyone’s case, number one is self.

The world spins around on empty promises, believe me Lucie and I have been down that road on more than one occasion. For example in 2001 we were the proud owners of a 150ha farm in the foothills of the Katburg Mountains…we ran it as a guest farm and it was a wonderful life until September 2003 when Mother Nature with a little help from unknown persons decided that the gale force wind hitting the farm could do with a bit of fire and we lost everything. Now the empty promise at that time came from the government…it was declared a natural disaster and we were promised disaster aid. It is now 2016 and to date we have never been compensated for a loss of over R1mil.

The point of all this is that although you get empty promises from various parties in your life there are still some very good people out there which brings me to our decision which I will now share with you. After some soul searching and debate between ourselves we decided that we needed to uproot and move to a more affordable home. The decision was made to sell up everything that we owned apart from the clothes and a few necessary items.

A company based in Port Elizabeth called “Moving On” was contacted and a young lady by the name of JUANITA came calling and placed value on each and every item we wished to sell…she took photos of everything and before we knew it, we had a price-list in our hands and the date of sale was confirmed. Everything was taken out of our hands on the day of sale and the turnout was awesome.

They promised they would sell everything and they missed the mark by 4% . High praise for the team from “Moving On”. They were professional in their approach, and wonderful to deal with…we slept on a blowup mattress that night as that was all that was left…the next day Lucie and I “Moved On.”imagesd-3

To all the many good people living in Gamtoos who made us feel so welcome…we might be gone but your kindness and friendship will not be forgotten.

Our move brought us out of the Gamtoos area where we spent two wonderful years into a country setting just outside Port Elizabeth called Theescombe, where we thought that we would remain until the new year and then take up a caretaking position of a Guest House in a small town in the middle of the Karoo called Nieu Bethesda, but before I get to that, I would like to thank Paul and Janice Vice for the awesome welcoming committee when we arrived and making us feel right at home, and the cottage we are staying in at present just says…”live in me.”

We were all geared up for a bit of a break here,images-8 gazing out at the horses, donkey, geese and ducks, being taken for a DRAG by Pooch and just recharging our batteries when we were blessed by the Lord our Father. No sooner had we unpacked when we received an e-mail asking us if we would consider the following proposal. “How did the two of us feel about running the Guest House as Managers?”

We jumped at that suggestion, and now will be leaving our country setting on the 13th of this month to start a new chapter in our lives, thanks to a wonderful couple, Layton and Terry. Our thanks go out to you two for seeing the potential and for making us feel so welcome in your lives. The two of us are very excited at the prospect that lies ahead and the path we are going to walk.

So all of you out there, looking for a break, looking for something different and would like to meet the face behind Piet van Zyl…our location will be revealed to you shortly and I can promise you this…you will not be sorry…pack your bags and get ready for a trip to the Karoo.

In the meantime, take care and stay safe, you never know what is watching from the shadows.Cd4ca8GWoAAkylT

God Bless You All.

The Sounds of Silence

Hi All,images (34)

My last blog that I managed to get around too was all about how I felt about being ripped off…well this one is not much different…in fact it still centers around being ripped off, but in a more subtle way and the way I am talking about is as my heading says…The Sounds of Silence.

It is a funny thing, human nature but the minute someone is in the wrong, whether that party owes you a service, money, contractual obligation, feedback, report…whatever and you ask for it in a decent nice way without being pushy…they just clam up and all you get back from them is The Sounds of Silence, that is after they run out of excuses, forgetting that you also have obligations, payments to make, a living to strive for, a family to support.

It makes me feel like I am being screwed over.screwed-2

Now that is the thing about The Sounds of Silence…it shows that the party concerned is liable…instead of coming to the party, admitting that they are in the wrong and sorting out the problem, they hide behind a curtain of silence, hoping that you will just go away…Why?…Because they do not have the decency to respect you as a person, to respect their obligation or give a damn about what they owe you. In short they just do not give a damn about you as a person, colleague, friend or anything else that might come to mind…all that matters is them and what they are about.

The Sounds of Silence have an amazing effect on a relationship, whether it is in a marriage, business or friendship…it just makes things unpleasant and icy, and there is just no need for that as most problems that end in The Sounds of Silence could have been avoided if the one that has suddenly gone mute had paid the money due, done what they were meant to do instead of a steady stream of excuses.

Honesty is a virtue but when The Sounds of Silence are invoked…honesty is kicked out the backdoor and with it you find yourself losing something that is also a virtue, and that is trust. Trust your fellow man and woman but ask yourself, how can you do that…you have been taken for a ride so you end up painting everyone else with the same brush…a small voice in the back of your head screams out when you get involved with someone new…”Don’t trust…they will take you for a ride again.”…and that just sucks because that person could be the next best thing to happen to you, but thanks to The Sounds of Silence, that is just what you do do…you don’t trust.

Trust is something that is earned…trust is an important part of a relationship, no matter what type of relationship, trust must be there between the parties…without trust you are not going to develop as a human being, not going to forge friendship and not going to move forward…so I have this to say to the people out there that hide behind the curtain of The Sounds of Silence…stand up to your obligations…do what is right and admit you are in the wrong…you slipped up…no big deal.

Another virtue is Forgiveness, but you have to be big enough to ask for it before it is given. Admit that you are in the wrong and stop hiding your guilt behind The Sounds of Silence…you stand a very good chance of losing something’s that are precious…think about it…your own self esteem, self worth and respect for yourself. Guess what people…you can’t hide from that one. One more thing you also stand to lose is a trusting friendship or a trusting working relationship…at the end of the day, you lose.

God Bless you all.

 

 

A Rip-Off & A Promise

Hi All,download-1

As far as this blog is concerned, it is something that has been simmering on the back burner for awhile now and I felt that it was just not my place to go out there and have my say, but then two weeks ago I went out and paid good money for a so called…”BEST SELLER.”download-1 In fact I bought three books, each one from a big name author.

Now my first question is this. How the hell can it be called a Best Seller until it has topped the charts…come on guys…on the front cover in big bold words…BEST SELLER…then the authors name takes up most of the cover with the title of the book coming in at a dismal last.

So I ask you just what are the publishers selling…the authors name with scant regard for the title. I had to pick the book up to see the title, but I had no difficulty seeing who was being promoted. To cut a long story short I started the first bookimages-3 because this particular author has always been one of my best reads and I was keen to dig in and be carried away.

After struggling through the first three chapters, download-2without going anywhere I decided to read the reviews for this particular book…you know the ones from Sunday Times,images-6 Washington Post, etc, etc and I found myself wondering if these people even bothered to read the book before doing their review, but why should they, after all the author is a big name in the game. The same can be said for the publishers…did they read the manuscript or just see dollar signs in front of their eyes…I reckon they just saw the dollar signs. Hell once the book has been paid for that is it…you can’t return it to the book store and tell the lady behind the counter you want your money back…so you have been ripped off and you are stuck with a book that is worthless to you.

Another two books later, different high profile authors, one or two chapters. The same story…each book not worth the paper it was printed on but rave reviews from across the world…images-5so tell me am I missing something here? You work your butt off putting out really good stuff…writing that captivates and entertains your readers then once you have made it and you find yourself in that upper echelon of authors…readers and your fans no longer matter…all that matters is making more money and your skill and all your hard work at building a fan base goes out the window and all you do is submit junk to your publisher who in turn sells your name and not the book.

I think that I missed the bus here…an author writes for his or her readers but the three books I bought were not written with any regard for me as a reader…in fact they were an insult to my intelligence and put on the shelves of the book store with one objectivedownload-3…rip off the reader and make money.

Now as an author that is the general idea, to make a living but at the same time respect your reader and give them something that is decent, not the C&%P I paid for. The sad part about it all is that these three authors are not the only ones trading on their name to sell their books…I say good luck to them but as far as I am concerned, I will not be spending hard earned money on supporting them in the future…it is just too risky…I will stick to their earlier work while they were putting out good stuff and before their egos took over their bank account.

They have lost all respect for the person who put them in the top echelon…the reader and that sucks BIG TIME, it also seems as if they have lost respect for themselves if they are prepared to shovel out the trash that gets labeled as a images-1…sit back and watch the sales climb because people out there are buying the name…Sorry guys, you can’t return it…once bought it is sold.

images-4

Anyway, enough of the BIG GUNS taking advantage of the little people…onto another type of RIP OFF. The Rip Off I am now on about is when the author is a newbie…struggling to make a name for himself/herself and orders and sells printed copies of their work to friends and family. Firstly the author under values themselves, so certain people get the books at half their value which is not the crux of the matter. The crux of the matter is when a “friend” insists on getting signed copies of your book with the promise that all costs would be covered including postage as soon as possible, so because you are a nice person you slip in one book at no charge, pay the insurance and postage and sit back and wait for payment. Well this happened to me, and these books were collected from the post office in February 2016. We are now in September 2016 and this person has shown no inclination in meeting the deal…in fact this person will not even talk to me…so I reckon the next one I kill off in a book will be them…don’t piss off an author, we can kill you over and over again, and I promise you, it will not be a nice way to die. Welcome to my Dark Side.

In my case, I form part of the majority of unemployed whites in this country of ours, and by selling my books I am at least trying to make a living, but when someone withholds what is due to me, it hurts in the pocket…more so as they did not put out any money at all…I paid for everything and entered into this agreement in good faith…looks like I’ve been RIPPED OFF.

I live in hope…I hope he enjoyed the books…after all they are my dreams of a better future.

I am not a BIG GUN author, but I have hopes and aspirations for the future, the same as a lot of other authors out there with dreams to share and the most important people in our lives, after family is you…the reader, so I leave you with this.

Thank you for taking the time to write a review, thank you for enjoying my dreams, thank you for buying my books and I hope that you come back for more.

I promise…I will never let you down. I take pride in what I write and value you, the reader.

Thank you for reading this blog.

God Bless You.

 

Flying Free

Hi All,images (4)

For the past five weeks my loving wife and I have had to deal with the steady decline of my 86 year old Mom. It all started when she developed a pain in her side that needed to be attended to, which involved an ambulance, casualties, drip, x-rays and pain tablets…then a trip back home.

That is when it started…the decline…not wanting to walk, drink, eat or be active…almost as if she had made up her mind that enough was enough…no matter how hard we tried to get her to eat and drink, it was a major effort all round.

On Wednesday 7/9/2016 Lucie checked up on her and she was all smiles, coherent and asked me for a magazine to do the crossword…we thought that we had turned a corner and Mom was finally going to rejoin the human race…how wrong we were…half an hour later my Mom had left…all that remained behind was a shell that breathed.

We rushed her to hospital…once again a drip, oxygen, take blood, stand by  bed, watch her chest rise and fall etc, etc but then on Friday my brother Mark and I were privileged to be with her when she breathed her last and we were able to say “Good Bye Mom.”

My Father passed away on the 10/9/2009…Mom joined him on the 9/9/2016.

What is the point of all this…well I suppose it is my way of saying goodbye to a person who had a major impact on my life, someone that Lucie and I loved and cherished and someone that we as a couple were very privileged to have in our home for the past seven years.download (3)

I helped the hospital staff wash Mom’s body and dress her after she passed and the biggest relief I got that day was removing the brace on her right leg…it felt as if I was setting her free, and now I know that she can fly.

After the funeral the most amazing thing happened…we had a pair of Eagles souring in the clear blue skies above the chapelimages…they called out to each other as if being reunited, rushed together and then as a pair flew near usdownloadss-1 and then headed off into the distance.images-1

Mom, we were very blessed to have you with us in your final years…never will a day go by when you will not be in our thoughts. On behalf of your whole family…We love you Mom…fly high in the sky, God Bless you and we will see each other again one day…say Hi to Dad.

Mom supported my writing from the very beginning, and every novel that I have written, she devoured with relish, and I know that she was proud of what I have achieved…my next one will be dedicated to her…she never got to read it in its entirety…but one of the last lucid things she said to me was…”It just gets better and better.”

God Bless you all.