Thursday, December 20, 2012

Merry Christmas and all that Jazz

Deck the Halls. Deck the halls with boughs of holly.
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
'Tis the season to be jolly.
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
So as the festive season approaches, your jeans get tighter and family arrives from all corners of the earth to squeeze your cheeks and hand you too-thick jerseys that took the entire year to knit.  The festive season is my favourite time of the year.  It boasts plates full of turkey and cheesy Christmas songs that threaten to pop your eardrums, but I love it.  I love the glow, the decorations, the food, the loud and embarrassing family, and the horrid gifts.
So as the year draws to a close, I have to pop my collar and boast at how proud I am of this blog.  From Author's Pie - that allowed me to showcase and chat to some of SA's local authors; to the competitions; to all the books received and reviewed; to Tarryn Talbot, Melissa Davidson, and Bradley Lutz for their amazing reviews; to i want a dodo, Tamarin, for everything and the baked goods!; to being a featured reviewer in Teenzone; to reviewing for the amazing Tammy February at Women 24; to being apart of Exclusive Books' Boeke Prize; to all the Publishers who have supported, cheered on and cultivated the blog (Jacana Media, Jonathan Ball, Penguin Books South Africa, and Pan Macmillan South Africa); to the South African Bloggers - god, there is so much love and books in my hear for you all; to Exclusive Books who started my career in books and now continue to hoist me and my blog in the air with great books and events; and finally to each and every follower, reader, contributor, commenter, stopper-byer, fallen-upon-your-blog-er, authors, publishers - each and everyone of you who just make blogging that much more worth it.
So to all of you, readers or not, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Crossfire Trilogy by Sylvia Day

Picture from

The world is in a vice!  The mommy pron train is pulling into the station - you'll have seen my Jane Eyre Laid Bare by Eve Sinclair review - so sit back and enter the giveaway... but first feast your eyes on the the new additions to the newest phenomenon...

Bared to You (Crossfire #1)


Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness… He was beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I’d never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily…

Gideon knew. He had demons of his own. And we would become the mirrors that reflected each other’s most private wounds…and desires.The bonds of his love transformed me, even as i prayed that the torment of our pasts didn't tear us apart...

Reflected in You (Crossfire #2)
Gideon Cross. As beautiful and flawless on the outside as he was damaged and tormented on the inside. He was a bright, scorching flame that singed me with the darkest of pleasures. I couldn’t stay away. I didn’t want to. He was my addiction … my every desire … mine.

My past was as violent as his, and I was just as broken. We’d never work. It was too hard, too painful… except when it was perfect. Those moments when the driving hunger and desperate love were the most exquisite insanity.

We were bound by our need. And our passion would take us beyond our limits to the sweetest, sharpest edge of obsession…

Releasing 2013
Entwined with You (Crossfire #3)
The third book in the New York Times bestselling Crossfire Trilogy following Bared to You and Reflected in You!



So now for the fun stuff... Penguin Books South Africa has generously given It's a Book Thing a copy of Book 1 and Book 2 of Sylvia Day's the Crossfire Trilogy...
Fill out the form below and answer the very easy question!

Note this giveaway is now closed

Friday, November 30, 2012

Author's Pie: Rosamund Kendal

Welcome to the final Author's Pie for the year.  CHRISTMAS PIE! So as the aroma envelopes you and the Christmas carols swell in the background; crack those crackers and let's get this pie served up ...
Part writer, part doctor Rosamund Kendal decided, after six years of studying medicine, that she wanted to tap into her creative side.  Author of three books, Karma Suture, The Angina Monologues and The Murder of Norman Ware.

So let's welcome Rosamund to the pie plate ...

1) When/What was the crowning moment when you decided you wanted to be a writer?
We had to write a short story when I was in Standard 3. I remember sitting down to write and completely losing track of anything and everything around me. It was the most incredible experience. The final product was ten pages long, a decent effort for a 9yr old. I handed my finished product in and declared that I wanted to be a writer. My teacher read the short story and made some very gentle and valid criticisms about the ending (She woke up and it had all been a dream!) and, in a fit of despondency, I crumpled up the manuscript and threw it away, swearing never to write again. But I think the seed had been planted.

2) Name one guilty pleasure?
Just one?! Single Malt Whisky. Or watching repeat episodes of The Mentalist. That probably comes a close second.

3) What is your favourite thing about writing?
Writing is the way I make sense of my life. It's my therapy. I'd probably have been admitted to a psychiatric unit long ago if I didn't write. My favourite part of writing is the final editing. I love it when the story is in place and I can play around with the language.

4) Do you watch medical shows on TV?
Yes, but selectively. I only like The Green Wing and Scrubs. I'd rather hammer a nail very slowly into my head that watch Grey's ... which is ironic, I know, since my first two novels have been described as Grey's Anatomy in SA.

5) Your new book is very different to your other works, tell us about it?
It's a murder mystery set in a luxurious eco-estate on the KZN North Coast. The story line is based around the chain of events, circumstances and characters that lead to the murder of Advocate Norman Ware. The novel is populated by some bizarre characters: a BEE business tycoon who has styled himself on the American mafia; a philandering plastic surgeon; a serial killer with a penchant for teenage girls; a witch doctor and a harvester of body parts. These characters and their relationships form the background against which the murder takes place. The novel is very cheeky, quite dark and a little bit twisted. It provides a discrete but piercing social commentary, while remaining an easy read. Because I had no plans initially to publish the novel, I could play around with the language, story line and characters and the result was that I thoroughly enjoyed writing "The Murder of Norman Ware'. I think that this comes across in the novel. I believe that it's my best work yet and I hope that my fans will feel the same way.
Rosamund's Books
Sue Carey is a driven, twenty-something doctor struggling to preserve her sanity, sobriety and humanity in the corridors of one of Cape Town's biggest public hospitals. Finding imaginative ways of saving patients is her life's work. Finding a man who wants more than a one-night stand would be nice as well. Sue's journey of self-discovery is both harrowing and hilarious. The Karma Suture visits the bedsides of the patients who make her weep and the men who make her weak. She discovers that all she ever wanted is waiting for her ...if only she can learn to see beyond the hard science into the mysteries of the heart.
See my review here
In The Angina Monologues three female medical interns from vastly different backgrounds are sent to a rural KZN hospital where gang assassinations and rogue snakes are facts of life and AIDS simply does not exist.
Life in the San le Mer golfing eco-estate on the KZN north coast seems idyllic. With its diplomatic-level security, smarmy country club and resort-style pools and restaurants, it is home to the rich, famous and infamous. But beneath the luxurious and well-manicured surface, corruption, lechery, evil and debauchery seethe. It is in this rotten stew that a series of seemingly random and coincidental events leads to the murder of one of the estate's most respected residents: Advocate Norman Ware.
As Detective De Villiers sifts through the witnesses and suspects - a philandering plastic surgeon, a harvester of body parts, a BEE property tycoon, a serial killer with a penchant for teenage girls, a recluse with ophidiophobia, and a queer, cross-dressing homophobe - the pillars of lies and deceit upon which the exclusive estate residents' lives have been built start collapsing. Who is the killer? Is Norman Ware really an innocent victim? And what is the link between all the different players? The Murder of Norman Ware is an essentially South African novel, twisted around the outrageous inequalities that exist in this socially, economically and culturally diverse country. It plays with the ideas of fate and of action and consequence. It's clever. It's macabre. And it's very, very black.
Don't forget to check out Rosamund's books at your nearest Exclusive Books
Have a great Christmas pie slice!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Oblivion by Anthony Horowitz

About the Book

Having escaped from Hong Kong, the Five Gatekeepers - Matt, Pedro, Scott, Jamie and Scarlett - are scattered in a hostile and dangerous world. As they struggle to re-group and plan their next move, the malevolent King of the Old Ones gathers his forces in Oblivion: a desolate landscape where the last survivors of humanity must fight the ultimate battle.


OBLIVION is packed with adventure, adrenaline rushes, baddies taken to a whole new super-natural level, a world filled with magic and a group of five (The Five) very different, unique characters who you cannot help but want to be friends with. 

Ashamedly, this was my first Anthony Horowitz but now I am certain, this won’t be my last *to be read while raising fist to the air, triumphant music blaring*.  

Horowitz has a gift. There are not many authors who can write so many different plots, various dark and tumultuous set ups, and still remember which character is who and where. Especially while throwing in some time-travel, blood-shed and a three-ton wall-crawling spider. 

Horowitz takes us on a journey through a post-The-Old-Ones-apocalypse world, visiting destroyed cities of Brazil, England, Italy, Egypt and, interestingly, Antarctica (which I now believe makes the most sense for where an evil force out to destroy man-kind will set up camp. Just FYI). 

Through adept story-telling via the voices of The Five, the reader follows them through harrowing tales of shadow escapades to try and stop this new world they have created of hunger, torture, evil, slavery and a desperate desire to claim back the human world.  

On a side note, a trend that I am noticing through adventure, kids-save-the-world-stories, is that five seems to be a good number if you have to fight a mean and powerful ‘you will never succeed’ ‘it is impossible’ all-powerful force (Famous Five, Legacies series, The Power of Five, Baker Boys, and Scooby Doo). Best I start picking out my Top Four best friends! Just in case. 

But back to OBLIVION. Horowitz has turned me into a fan (the ‘the call is coming from inside the house’ type of fan). The final book in The Power of Five series can be read as a stand-alone (though I really wish I had the previous four first, and I would recommend you do so just because you want to pick up another of Horowitz’ books straight after the final page of the last one). 

Fans of The Power of Five series have been waiting patiently for this final installment for four years. Worth the wait! One of the countless things that I loved about this book is what I think Horowitz did, by analyzing our current political and climatic flux and writing a resulting story of ‘what if this doesn’t get fixed?’ 

Yes, OBLIVION is 650 pages in length, which I l know can be quite daunting to some. But once the book has been picked up, and you’re three pages in, the other 647 pages fly by.  

Speaking of flying by, a little criticism that I have (note, just one) is that the end-scene, the battle between The Five and the Old Ones, ended a little too soon for my liking. It took 640 pages to get to that scene and within three pages, it was all over. However, it is a small niggle and not something to focus on as it is overpowered by how fabulous the rest of the book is. 

The book has been pushed as young adult fiction but it is definitely for adults as well, and my favourite cross-over for 2012.

Again, I reiterate that I am looking for another four people to stand beside me during the possible world apocalypse. If you can control the weather, read minds or lift buildings, please inbox me your details. I will be in London, scouting out the Horowitz home for all alarm systems and entrance points.
- Review by Tarryn Talbot

About the Author

Anthony has written over 35 books including the bestselling teen spy series Alex Rider, which he adapted into a movie that was released worldwide in 2006. The Alex Rider series is estimated to have sold 13 million copies worldwide. Anthony is also an acclaimed writer for adults and was commissioned by the Conan Doyle Estate and Orion Books to write a new Sherlock Holmes novel. The House of Silk was published in November 2011 and was internationally lauded as the top title of the autumn. His next novel, Oblivion, is much anticipated for October 2012.

Find the Author


Here is where it gets gripping, Pan Macmillan South Africa are giving away 3 (yes, three) copies to three winners of Anthony Horowitz's new and final installment of the Power of Five series, Oblivion. All you have to do is fill out the form below and rub that genie's belly ... GOOD LUCK!

Note this Giveaway is Closed

Friday, November 23, 2012

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Well, I have been lazy.  *Shamefully shuffles up, head bowed*

I have to announce the winners of the Exclusive Books Gives Back giveaway.  So with all the drum rolls you can muster this fine Friday morning.


Tasneem Thomas
Hannelie Hugo
Happy shopping guys
(make sure you wear protective gear incase others hunt you down!)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ada's Rules by Alice Randall

About the Book

Ada Howard, the wife of the preacher at Nashville’s Full Love Baptist Tabernacle, has a whole lot of people to take care of. There’s her husband, of course, and the flock that comes with him, plus the kids at the day care where she works, two grown daughters, and two ailing parents. It’s no wonder she can’t find time to take care of herself. And her husband’s been so busy lately she’s suspicious some other woman may be taking care of him . . .

Then it comes: the announcement of her twenty-five-year college reunion in twelve months’ time, signed with a wink by her old flame. Ada gets to thinking about the thrills of young love lost, and the hundred or so pounds gained since her college days, and she decides it’s high time for a health and beauty revival. So she starts laying down some rules. The first rule is: Don’t Keep Doing What You’ve Always Been Doing. And so begins a long journey to a new look and a new perspective—on what she wants, and on what she’s always had.


What woman hasn’t stood before the mirror and jiggled unwanted bits – love handles, or flabby arms – I know I have! I still do!

Ada’s Rules is a book that rolls up the unhappiness of being ‘stuck’ in life with the invigorating feeling of doing something that makes you look and feel good – you know that shopping spree where you buy those shoes you have always wanted, or taken yourself on that long-saved for trip, or lost that 10kgs ... This book is all those moments rolled into approximately 300 pages.

Ada is the wife of a preacher in Nashville; she is overweight and suspects that her husband is having an affair. With two grown daughters, a job at the local crèche and two sick parents – Ada has no time for herself. It’s only when she gets an invite for her twenty-five-year renunion from an old flame that Ada starts putting herself first. She starts writing down rules rule 1: Don’t Keep Doing What You’ve Always Been Doing, all the way to rule 53: Do it for you. 

You can find all Ada’s Rules here

Being on a strict diet myself, Ada’s Rules is the perfect read to ease your waistline into that desired dress size! The only shaking flabby-bits you’ll have will be from laughter and motivation.

So before you hate yourself for your flabby thighs or that chocolate you ate for breakfast, why not pick up this gorgeous read by Alice Randall. Take Ada’s Rules (all 53 of them) to the gym this summer!

About the Author 

Alice Randall is the author of The Wind Done Gone, Pushkin and the Queen of Spades, Rebel Yell, and Ada's Rules. She is a Harvard educated African-American novelist who lives in Nashville and writes country songs. Randall has emerged as an innovative food activist committed to reforms that support healthy bodies and healthy communities.
Find the Author



Friday, November 16, 2012

Author's Pie: Nerine Dorman

The thing I love about pie, besides the warm delicious crust, is the different flavours - savoury or sweet.  The warm steam seeps up into the air and gives away it's flavour. LOVE IT.  The same goes for authors - Author's Pie has showcased different authors from Fiction to Non-Fiction (Mainly Fiction).
This week we host Nerine Dorman, an editor, author, musician and reviewer.  This multi-published author has a repertoire of amazing genre fiction books published in various formats (print and eBook).  You can find Nerine on her blog and on twitter - don't forget to stop by and say HI!
So let's tuck into this pie!
1) You are a writer, editor, publisher, artist and digital enthusiast. How do you manage it all?
The truth? It's not easy. In fact, last year a bunch of events conspired to a mini meltdown because I was trying to take on too much, was stressed at my day job then ended up having a seizure followed by a stint in hospital with liver problems thanks to medication I had been on for the seizures. So, I've learnt to cut back and to ask myself what I want out of all of this. The answer: quality, not quantity. It also helps that both my husband and I are not all that big into socialising much. We prefer being at home and being involved in our creative endeavours. I'm now very selective about what work I'll say yes to.  
The days of me working for a pittance are long over, and in this industry there are a lot of people who try to get you to do work for free, or on the promise of making lots of money. I don't do that anymore. I simply cannot have people take advantage of me. I won't do work for next to nothing just for the supposed "honour" of having my name attached to a brand. And if I am going to do something for free, like running SA HorrorFest's Bloody Parchment event and short story competition, for instance, it's because I *want* to, and I'm damn proud of what I've helped create, and that it's a project with long-term benefits for myself and authors.  
Disclaimer: I don't have kids. I don't know whether anyone who has kids would be able to pull off this kind of lifestyle. Because I'm almost always glued to a computer. And if I'm not glued to the computer I'm either washing the dishes, cooking or playing my guitar. Occasionally I walk my dogs. That's on top of having a full-time day job of newspaper sub-editor and writer.
2) Do you have any favourites when it comes to your characters? 
This is a tricky question. I love them all, but some are more pushy than others. For instance my debut novel has a rather bitchy bisexual black magician named Jamie, who gets up to all the mischief I wouldn't dare catch in real life. Considering that he regularly crops up in cameo roles in my other novels, I'd say I'm quite fond of him, though he's a complete tart. He's morally ambiguous but readers can't help but cheer for him.
My latest favourite would be my Inkarna, Ash. He's somewhat awkward and well-meaning, but is a delightfully complex character as he tries (and often fails) to do the right thing. I love the fact that he might have the body of a 20-something metal head but he thinks and acts like the old woman he was in his past life. Some of my readers found  *that* concept very difficult to process, and if I've made them uncomfortable about some of the schmex scenes, then I consider it a job well done. 
3) You write amazing sci-fi/fantasy.  What inspires your stories?
Probably my thorough disenchantment with reality. And the fact that I keep asking "what if". If anything, it all started when I was a kid who preferred hanging out in the library reading books than playing with other kids. And stories like JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings; Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles; Neil Gaiman's Sandman graphic novels; and Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern novels all kindled a love of myth and magic that I felt was lacking from the real world. I could get lost in those worlds rather than the dreariness of my real world. And often I'd tell myself stories when I went to sleep at night, where I could do all sorts of amazing stuff. 

Much later I used to hang out with a bunch of fantasy role-playing enthusiasts, and eventually started writing my own campaigns, but got a bit miffed with the players who'd systematically overturn all my carefully crafted plans for them. So I started writing novels instead, where I was in control of what happened. The need to tell stories is very great. 
4) Why do you like to write sci-fi/fantasy?
Pure and utter escapism. I'll be upfront and say I'm not going to write the next great work of literary merit that's going to win awards, but I want to create a world where my readers can be filled with as much of a sense of wonder as I am. I want so share my characters and my love of strange landscapes and beings. I like sci-fi/fantasy because anything can happen. 
5) Which book would you run into a burning building for?
My netbook. I'm very precious over my little netbook. I've had her for three years and have written and edited countless novels on her. I'll be pensioning her off later this year and I'm so sad to do so because she's been so good to me. 
Nerine's Books
How far will you travel to lay your dead to rest?

Struggling to come to terms with her boyfriend Aidan’s death, Chloë is ill prepared to deal with the violent murder of his best friend. When tantalizing evidence suggests there is more to Aidan’s apparent death than meets the eye, Chloë will not let her lack of material resources keep her from uncovering the truth, even if the truth proves far more dangerous and with a far more sinister nature than she bargained for.

Some explicit sexual content and reference to violence.
(Writing as Therese von Willegen)
Retrenched and persuaded to participate in amateur night at a strip club all in one day, Marianne discovers she’s actually a damn fine stripper, and baring all brings in far easier money than dying by degrees as a temp in a cubicle farm.
But things between her and her ex-boyfriend, Carl, have gone horribly sour, and there’s no denying that her fascination with Brett Gentle, the owner of Imperial House Gentleman’s Club, will bring more complications than she has bargained for.
Even as she gains confidence in tantalising men with her sex appeal on stage and on laps, Marianne’s life starts spinning out of control, tainting the love she has dared to taste.
A Siren Erotic Romance
(Writing as Therese von Willegen)
Sometimes trouble comes in a very appealing package.
It's never nice when your boyfriend leaves you for someone else. It's even more of a slap in the face when he leaves you for a man. Emily Clark has put her wild years and the boyfriend she considered "safe" behind her, ensconcing herself in a Luddite lah-lah land centered on her second-hand bookstore.
But when her self-absorbed sister runs away from home to end up on her doorstep, Emily discovers the past has a funny way of creeping back into her life. And when an alternative musician uses her shop as a hideaway from a nosy reporter, Emily finds herself falling for the enigmatic man. By the time she realizes his celebrity status, it's too late--she's head over heels for Simon van Helsdingen, a
notorious shock-rocker. Not only must she deal with her sister's delinquent ways and their dysfunctional family, but Emily must navigate the stormy seas of being with a man whose reputation for trouble puts Ozzy Osbourne in the shadows.
Music brought them together, but can it set them free.

Betrayed by those closest to her, musical prodigy Tersia is heartbroken. She immerses herself in her music, turning her back on love. However, when she notices Severin at one of her performances, the serious, pale young man makes her want to risk her heart again.

Severinís future as a lackey to the vampire Lord Murray has him chafing at his bonds. That is, until he encounters Tersia, whose rare musical talent captivates him. But Severin is not the only one to notice her. Other, darker forces have taken a sinister interest in her potential.

Tersia and Severin can't deny the spark that has ignited between them, but can they overcome the shadows that threaten to smother their trust?

Khepera Rising

The wickedest man in Africa has problems, and they can't all be solved by magic.

Occult bookshop owner and black arts magician James Edward Guillaume reckons he has it all, and enjoys living up his reputation as South Africa's "wickedest man", a nice house, a business that's breaking even and the pick of all the pretty Goth girls and boys in Cape Town.

Little does he know, a group of violent Christo-militants are panting at his heels, ready to destroy his carefully constructed fantasy world. To add mischief to his misery, he's unwittingly unleashed a terrifying demonic entity, and he alone holds the key to The Burning One's secret. To bring order out of the chaos, all James has to do is conquer his personal demons, teach a rather nasty, self-righteous sod a lesson in humility and find out whether he can win back the trust of an old flame. Only, as James discovers, getting back on top is hell on earth.

Khepera Redeemed (Khepera series, #2)

Just when the wickedest man in Africa thought the nightmare was over... Still recovering from the trauma of his encounter with the Christo-militants who tried to kill him, Jamie only wants to get his life back on track. This is easier said than done when he's essentially blackmailed into helping solve a case involving alleged cult activity. To complicate matters further, the media gets involved and Jamie has to tread carefully. However, soon the hunter becomes the hunted and Jamie faces some difficult choices. Will his uneasy symbiosis with The Burning One save him or will he be tempted to grasp for more power than he can possible hold?

Ashton Kennedy wasn't a nice guy. He cheated on his girlfriend, knocked up a powerful drug lord's sister, and abused vast quantities of illegal narcotic substances. Whoever ran him over with a big shiny SUV was doing the world a favour. His very male, tattooed body is the last place Elizabeth Rae Perry--a member of an ancient Egyptian cult--expected to reincarnate in, instead of the three-year-old girl she'd been promised. Not only must she now come to terms with her new existence in the body of a disagreeable man, and clean up the mess he made of his life, she also has to unravel the mystery of why House Adamastor's chapter house is standing empty and find a way to protect a dangerous secret she had no idea she was supposed to keep. As if fate couldn't deal her another blow, she has also attracted the attention of a malicious and potentially dangerous ghost. And to top it all off, she must deal with the consequences of finding love in a most unexpected place.
You can find other Author's Pie segments here
Happy Pi-day!


Monday, November 12, 2012

Exclusive Books Gives Back

Photo by Shaun Marais - the piles of gingerbread men, waiting to be iced
Every corporate should be giving something back at this time of year,” said Angela Ridge, Marketing Manager at Exclusive Books. “It was a wonderful social activity at our event and just spending a few hours doing something fun for these kids made the day even more worthwhile.”
Photos by Shaun Marais - icing gingerbread men
There is something about Christmas cheer that makes me want to give, and not just to family members, the world.  So jokes in this post, because it is serious - we live in a country where most kids don't get the joy and spirit that December 25th brings with it.  I was fortunate to have the big family and the loud cheer on Christmas, which is why I feel this post is really important.
Last week, I posted about the Exclusive Books Wishlist event, assuming you'd all head out and purchase gifts with your gold credit cards and didn't think once to mention the Gingerbread Men Project
As the entire publishing world gathered to enjoy books and hit off the Christmas Season, Exclusive Books put together a 'decoration' area, where guests (booksellers, media and publishers alike) could decorate as many Gingerbread Men as they wanted.  However, instructed by our Emcee Bruce Dennill that we were only allowed to take ONE Gingerbread Man home 'Or You'll go to Hell!' *unquote* because they were going to a children's home.
Photo by Shaun Marais - the gangs icing away
As we flaunted our icing skills the Gingerbread men bulked up in quantity, all for Ikholwe Children’s Home in Roodepoort - Ikholwe means, hope for our children.

These sugar fondant delights were set to dry, packaged and delivered by Exclusive Books.  See more books on the Exclusive Books Wishlist.

Exclusive Books is now wanting to give to you dear reader.  We have vouchers up for grabs - all you have to do is fill in the form below and follow @exclusivescoza; competition ends 16 November 2012.  Good Luck!

Note this Giveaway is now closed

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Exclusive Books The Wishlist 2012

If you are anything like me, as the Christmas season descends upon, the idea of gifts is enough to have you breaking out in a sweat and divvying out your salary.  Coming from a big family where book vouchers and shopping vouchers have lost their edge of excitement, but this year I have out-thunked my family yet again. 
Exclusive Books launches THE LIST every year at Christmas time, a MUST HAVE GIFT GUIDE that showcases the best of the proverbial best that publishers have to offer.  While every year has focused more on books ranging from fiction to children's to valued buys - anything that could satisfy a hardcore reader to a reader who just likes pictures. 
Sarel Loots
Held at the gorgeous Good Food Studio, cooking demonstration from Masterchef contestant Sarel van Sabie and guest speaker Xolela Mangcu author of Biko – A Biography, and we got to make gingerbread men!
This year, Exclusive Books is playing Santa by creating a go-to-guide for everything you need for whichever reader you are; from games, to books, to stationery this list has it all.
Usually I'd list the books but that loses the fun of it all (plus, the list itself is more than 50 items - stop salivating!).  So I'll just leave you with my three picks - thanks Exclusive Books...
and remember, you are never too old to ask for what you want! 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Book Signing: Ultimate Braai Master by Justin Bonello

Join Justin Bonello at Pick 'n Pay on Nicol
There is no doubt that I am a Justin Bonello fan - I say fan when everyone else says 'stalker'.  It all started when Dad and I were looking for some cool 'beach' recipes on the BBC channel.  HA! Our Mozambican trip was changed forever, when we came across Cooked in Africa.
Did I mention I am a huge fan?
See I told you, I am a huge fan! This is me (left), Justin Bonello (middle) and Fortunate (right)
So to launch Justin's new book Ultimate Braai Master Penguin books are holding a books signing at Pick 'n Pay on Nicol, on Thursday the 8th of November.
See details below:
So I hope to see you there!
About the Book
They say that the one thing that brings South Africans together is sport. I beg to differ. Truth is, there’s something about gathering around the African TV that is hard-wired into all of us, and the moment we huddle around the fire, we become one nation. 

The Ultimate Braai Master takes you on a breathtaking 8000 kilometre culinary road trip and lets you redefine the rules that govern cooking on the open flame. Join Justin Bonello and his 30 new friends on a fireside journey across South Africa, where the great outdoors becomes your kitchen, your cooler box converts into the kitchen table and the roaring fire replaces your stove. This book is not only about the road trippers and the mouth-watering recipes they create, but also about the astonishing places in South Africa that many of us only get to dream about. The bonus? You get to become the Ultimate Braai Master in your home.
Check out Justin Bonello on It's a Book Thing
Happy Braai-ing!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Author's Pie: Henrietta Rose-Innes

As an avid supporter of local authors, today I am allowed my indulgent pie.  I am a huge fan of Henrietta Rose-Innes, award-winning writer, lecturer and reviewer.  Let’s welcome Henrietta to the table, offering the most gorgeous of pies!


1) Where is your favourite place to write?

I work at home, in my study in my house in Observatory, Cape Town, in the middle of a distressing blizzard of notes and manuscripts and bills. I close the curtain to shut out my rather noisy road. I occasionally take my laptop out for sushi.

2) Nineveh was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Lit awards, Short Story Poison won the Caine Prize in 2008 and Shark's Egg was shortlised for the MNET Lit Awards. How do you know when your story is GREAT? 

I don’t think I’ve had that experience! Writing is never finished, but I can tell when I’m done with a story. It's when the anxiety of sending the thing off to a publisher / editor / competition seems less than the stress of continuing to write it.

3) How old were you when you first started writing? and what was it?

The first time I composed something entirely for myself, unprompted, was when I was about 11, while hitting a tennis ball repeatedly (and no doubt very annoyingly) against my parents’ garage door. It was a poem about seagulls contemplating a plane crash, which seemed very profound at the time.

4) What is the one book that 'changed' your life?  

One of my first early-reader books was a collection of fairy-tales that included the story of the Hobyahs and Little Dog Turpie – who basically gets chopped up by his owners, the Little Old Man and the Little Old Woman. There were illustrations. That book taught me to read, but it also gave me images of a disarticulated pet that I will never get out of my head.
5) Do you have any favourite author's? who are they? 
I always try to dodge this question - any list seems inadequate. I can tell you what I'm enjoying reading right now, though. I’ve just started Peter Stamm’s novel Seven Years. I’ve been hearing great things about this German author, and so far the book is coolly compelling. An excellent translation by Michael Hoffmann, too, which makes all the difference. On a completely different note, I, like so many others, am addicted to George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire and not quite sure what I’m going to do when I run out of books in the series. I’ve also had the privilege of reading Rachel Zadok’s new novel, out next year, in manuscript. It’s intense and haunting and wonderful.


Henrietta’s Books

There's an out-of-control swarm of insects hampering the completion of Nineveh, a luxury estate outside Cape Town. When Katya Grubbs, proprietor of Painless Pest Relocations, is called in, she discovers far more to exorcise than the mysterious infestation. Her own past returns to torment her in the form of her unruly father and the chaos he creates. With Nineveh crumbling around her, Katya is forced to question her own place in a rapidly changing world. This third novel by the award-winning Rose-Innes confirms her reputation as one of South Africa's most noteworthy literary voices.

A wife lies to her husband, seeking refuge from her dowdy life in the plush hotel that overlooks their home. A man ascends the glass-topped dome of a mall in search of a lost childhood memory. History comes to life for a young boy trapped in the city library. An elderly woman nurses a football star back to health …
In these evocative and exquisitely crafted short stories, Henrietta Rose-Innes gives us an extraordinary glimpse into a selection of ordinary lives. Diverse characters – a teenager learning to be a boyfriend, an ageing copywriter, a girl on the brink of womanhood – are animated in sparse, sparkling prose. The Cape Town they mostly inhabit is both a playground and an obstacle course, filled with menace and delight. Through this landscape, like the pigeons in the title story, they find new paths home – and are themselves transformed by the journey

The discovery of two small children hiding in a cave in the remote Cederberg mountains sets in motion this story of memory, loss, love and reclamation. Brought to live in the city, silent Flin remains an untamed spirit and longs always for the wilderness; while Jean is haunted into adulthood by the voice of his vanished brother. Twelve years later, Ivy catalogues a dusty archaeological collection: her beloved grandmother’s legacy. A trail of the lost artefacts leads Ivy back to the mountains, with their secrets, their hidden paintings and their unearthly light. And to Jean.

A dark coming-of-age story set in Cape Town, Shark's Egg tells the story of Anna's schoolgirl friendship with the magnetic, destructive Leah, and their ambiguous adult relationship. Alan, Anna's first lover, becomes the focus of a moral and sexual struggle between them as adults - played out against the menacing backdrop of the sea.

You can find Henrietta’s books at your nearest Exclusive Books...

You can find other Author's Pie segments here

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