Tuesday, May 8, 2018

My Reader Story

As writers, we are also often avid readers too.

And we each have a reader story.

I'm keen to know what yours is.

Here is mine in summary (as it's a lot more complicated than I remember, probably). It's always evolving.

When I was a kid, I developed a deep love for books and used to walk to the library every week to get a whole lot to read. My dad kindly fuelled the passion by subscribing me to the Puffin book club where I received a couple of classics every month. I loved getting new books every month. Oh, the smell of a new book. I devoured most of them.

As a teenager, my taste for reading was deeply affected by my religion. I became very religious as a teenager and I felt I should only read Christian books. There were some great ones at the time - stories of young girls from difficult backgrounds who came to Christ. And I read sagas like "This Present Darkness" by Frank Peretti, which were gripping and rather scary! They did upset me at times, especially since we were told to be afraid of the devil. I read a lot of Christian teaching books too.

Towards the end of my high school years, I didn't read much at all - I actually became too religious for my own good. Then I went to Bible college and after that, worked. A little later, I fell in love, got married, and moved to Zambia where we soon had our babies. I began to read again while breastfeeding my babies. I found the hours spent breastfeeding them a great time to read. I only read Christian books though, most of them sweet, inspirational romances. This grew when we moved back to South Africa and I joined the wonderful Newcastle library.

After I wrote my first romance, I met other writers, and learned about other romance genres. I read their books and began to open my mind to reading non-inspirational books. I devoured the romance genre, even dipping into the erotic romance genre.

Then I deconstructed from my strict religion. The divorce happened. Suddenly, I couldn't read romance anymore. And that was the only fiction I really enjoyed. I became stuck. But then I began to devour self-help and general spiritual books. So, that is my current reader status - I'm really into spiritual books at the moment. They are my usual fare. I do read a novel from time to time, but I've become a lot fussier about what I read. I'm just tired of the same old thing. Also, I read romance almost every day for my day job. As an editor, I've become extra critical about the genre too and have to read high quality for me to finish a book.

I also really struggle to read a novel on the kindle. For some reason, it loses its magic. But if I find a good physical book, I can get really into it.

What about you?

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Indie Editing Chick Offer

I am so blessed. I get to read books as my day job. Okay, sometimes, when on a tight schedule, it can be really intense!

I've been running Indie Editing Chick for over a year now and have some amazing clients who send me some beautiful books. I feel so honoured to have played a part in several Amazon bestsellers.

I didn't even realise that I'd be good at editing because I find my own books need thorough editing before they go out there. But I think that's actually part of the reason I've become a successful editor - I know what it's like to be on the other end. I also know what it's like to have difficult editors who want to change your wording or voice, or those who don't bother to check your grammar and wording properly.

Editing other people's books has taught me so much about writing. It's taught me how to see a good story or a diamond in the rough. My favourite part is when I fix up a glaring inconsistency or character flaw in the story. I actually really like it when something needs a good fixing. 😊 It makes me feel useful. (I know, it's hard for the authors to sort out, but it's also a chance to make the book shine.)

Please pop around to my website to take a look at what services I provide at reasonable rates:

Indie Editing Chick

I'm offering a half-price proofread of a book of no more than 50K to one lucky person who comments on my blog or Facebook post.

Self-Love vs Self-Esteem

Growing up, we were often told the importance of self-esteem. Self-esteem is absolutely wonderful and we all need to learn more of it. We need to believe in ourselves and our strengths and abilities. But self-esteem isn't enough. There's more.

To be whole as human beings, we need to truly love and accept ourselves. Loving ourselves is one of the best ways to have a healthy mind and heart. As I've started to learn to love myself in a deep and transformative way, my life has blossomed. I've grown in happiness, peace, and confidence. I've become less judgmental of others as I've become more respectful and kind to myself.

So, I decided to write a book about it. My book Falling in Love with Me - 30 Days of Self-Love is now complete and has been sent to a publisher. It's a 30-day devotional for spiritual seekers. Thirty days of learning how to love yourself more. I'd love to give you a sneak peak from inside the unedited version:

Day 15 – Have Fun

I have this beautiful oracle card deck by Gabrielle Bernstein called “The Universe Has Your Back.” I read her book of the same title, and it touched me deeply, so I couldn’t resist getting the deck to remind me of the truths. Lately, I’ve been picking one of them frequently which states: The Universe Works Fast When I’m Having Fun.
That saying sounds like a lot of nonsense when you read it offhand. I mean, how do we get our dreams to manifest and save up for our future when we’re having fun? We need to work hard to make our dreams come true. Everything in life requires hard work.
Of course, hard work is important, but there’s a subtle truth in the saying which I’ve been pondering.
When we only think of our duty and all the things we need to do, when we forget to relax and enjoy our life, we become less and less effective. We lose touch with our intuitive, creative self. I don’t know about you, but the times I am least creative are when I’m overburdened and overly stressed. Creativity flourishes when we’re relaxed and having fun.
How do we have fun?
I know this sounds like a silly question, but honestly, as adults, it’s quite hard.
What do you enjoy?
When you’ve been ignoring your own needs for so long, this is a hard thing to know. Why don’t you go on a self-discovery journey to find out what you do enjoy? Take up some hobbies, try some creative projects—they don’t have to be elaborate. Join a group if you are energized by being around people. Do something in nature. The earth is very grounding and supportive and heals us emotionally.
I think the hardest thing for me was to lean into fun and relax. It takes time to find a rhythm. And hey, if you don’t have enough fun and you start to run yourself ragged, be easy on yourself. It’s a learning process. You’ll get there.
Try to emulate a child. Get in touch with your inner child—that innocent, free, uninhibited self. Children are fascinated with the world around them and they don’t feel guilty about enjoying simple things. Really, you don’t have to do anything huge and momentous to have fun. You could walk around the shops and check out purses or belts—buy a couple you like or even start a collection of snowglobes or postage stamps. You could watch a different series on Netflix. Or you could experiment with all the things you could do with a glue gun. Make origami with colorful papers or take the plunge at something radical like joining a dancing class or going parasailing.
It may take you months before you actually start to enjoy it. Hey, it may set you free straight away. Be patient with yourself. You just need to explore a part of The Universe you’ve ignored for so long in the name of being sensible and good and responsible. Like learning to ride a bicycle, you may not get it right straight away, but you’re getting out there (the proverbial there) and making an effort to get in sync with The Universe. You’re getting in sync with the way fun makes us change, makes us happy, and heals us. And teaches us to be stronger human beings.
Try to find things to do on your own too. If you have a partner, you may be tempted to only ever have fun when they’re around. As good and vital as this is for your relationship, it’s equally important, and in some ways, more important, to find that sweet spot alone. That thing you do for you and no one else.
We give a lot to those around us. It’s wonderful and beautiful.
Give to yourself too.
Find fun in everything you do—the mundane, the hard work, and the routine. Listen to your favorite podcast while doing chores or errands. Meditate while you do your workout at the gym. Listen to music.
Enjoy the journey of self-love too. Yes, it can be hard to face the lack of love we’ve had for ourselves for so many years, even our whole lives. Yes, it can mean a bit of shadow work, but it needs to be fun too. It needs to be exciting. It’s all part of the journey to getting there—to being in radical self-love mode. Falling in love with yourself is the dance of a beautiful, most perfect, life-altering romance. Maybe it’s not as outwardly noticeable to others as you don’t have a new beau on your arm, but that inward glow is bound to radiate somehow.
Daily Affirmation: I want to have more fun. I’m going to have more fun. I didn’t come to this planet just to learn hard lessons; I came to revel in the joy of being a human being. There is so much to explore. I learn best when I’m having fun, whether in work or play, whether in spiritual development or practical day-to-day. I was made for fun. I’m a master at discovering new ways to have fun.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Patriarchy Poison of Fundamentalist Religion

Post below is 18+ only:

I am branching out on the non-fiction front and I plan to write more articles on my blog about real-life issues, especially along the lines of self-love and feminism, and possibly, environmentalism. These are things I'm passionate about, and I believe that I've been given a chance to speak my truth and to have a voice in the world. My opinions may be strong at times, but they are just opinions. Yes, they may change over time, but I believe they are part of my evolution and growth as a human being. I hope they can help some people to change their ideas and find healing.

I have deconstructed out of a religion that messed me up in so many ways. One of the ways was in my sexuality and womanhood. I respect those who have a spiritual practice and believe in the divine, and I don't want to discount their beliefs in any way, but I do want people to be careful of what they are taught in religious communities. They can be deeply harmful. The points that I want to address in this blog post refer to the effect that fundamentalist Christianity had on me as a woman (in the past).

We were taught several things as Christian women. I'm going to list the ideas below in bold and deconstruct them:

1. A woman leaves her father and mother and joins or becomes one with her husband.

We were taught that we were under the authority of our parents until we got married. When we married our Christian man, then he became our authority. He was our support, the one we were to look to for guidance and the one who was to ultimately make all the decisions in the home. We became one with him and were now under his spiritual leadership and umbrella. The basic idea was that our lives would now become complete once we married our good Christian man. He became our "lord", our everything.

As "romantic" as this may seem, it breeds codependency big time. Instead of teaching young women to become financially independent and to develop their own sense of self and autonomy, we're basically taught that we need our parents to tell us what to do and straight after that, we need a man to tell us what to do and make decisions for us. He becomes our "lord", our everything, instead of us learning to find ourselves as well-rounded and happy adults.

So, basically you become dependent on this man and when he leaves you, you're pretty much in deep trouble.

It also creates an imbalance in the marriage, where it's no longer a partnership of equal, adult, mature human beings, but an authoritarian hierarchy where the man is in charge and the woman must listen.

2. A woman is to submit to her husband and respect him. That's her wifely duty and Christian duty to God. Even if she doesn't agree with him, she must submit with gentleness and reverence.

As "beautiful" and "godly" as this may sound, it's also deeply flawed and dangerous. Sure, it's good to respect your partner, but when that respect is required of you, it's very different and scary. Respect is rather a mutual thing that both partners should enjoy from each other - something that comes from friendship and partnership, not subservience.

What happened in my marriage is that, in order to be this good Christian wife, I lost myself in the relationship. I gave up many of my needs and wants to make him happy. Or if I did put my needs first I felt so guilty about it. At first, I felt really good about my "goodness". Well, let's say I felt really good about my behaviour throughout most of the marriage. I felt good about being sacrificially kind toward him. But in the end, it didn't get me anywhere. He left me anyway. And, once I'd begun to heal from the divorce, I realized how much of my own power I'd given away to make him happy. How I'd bent over backwards for him oftentimes, at the expense of just saying no and taking time for myself. Yes, I fully blame myself. I gave my power away. But my actions were directly related to how I'd been taught in my religion to act as a woman.

What this idea also pushes is that women end up accepting abuse in the name of submission and "reverence". Then the woman can't get out of the relationship because she's supposed to be this good wife, who loves unconditionally forever, no matter what.

3. Masturbation or self-pleasure is wrong and is a doorway to lust.

So, we were told we shouldn't pleasure ourselves because it leads to fantasy about other men and therefore lust, which ultimately will lead to adultery.

This is total codswallop.

On so many levels.

Firstly, not getting to know my own body, away from the relationship and even before the marriage, made it harder for me to navigate the sexual side of our relationship because I didn't know my likes and dislikes, at all. I was taught to be ashamed of my needs. I was a stranger to my own body.

Secondly, self-pleasure does not lead to lust. It enhances self-love and self-discovery. In fact, it actually reduces lust because your sexual needs are met.

Thirdly, it puts a strain on another person to meet all your sexual needs, which leads to...

4. As partners in a marriage, we must never say no to sex, unless it's to fast from food. 

Yes, this is actually in the bible. The only time we were allowed to say no to our partners is if we were fasting from food or very ill. Or upon doctor's orders, like after having a baby.

And because we were told that men had higher sex drives than us and only felt loved by their wives if they were given sex, we basically felt that we couldn't say no - that it was the worst thing we could ever do to our husbands. (It also makes a man think that he must only get sex to find love, but I strongly believe men are much more well-rounded than that.)

I was told at a lady's group once that I'd better give my husband sex whenever he wanted it, else he would eventually have affairs and leave me for someone else.

So, you'd better give your husband sex. All the time. Whenever he wants. If you don't, it's your fault if he cheats on you. (I was even asked by some Christian ladies after my divorce if I'd made my husband happy in bed. They basically implied that it was my fault he cheated on me.)

This idea needs some serious deconstruction.

For one, no one else is responsible for our sexual fulfilment. We are the ones who are responsible for our own bodies and pleasure. It is just wrong to place this burden on another human being. If your partner is not meeting your sexual needs, yes, it would be wise to communicate this problem in a loving way, but if they can't oblige for some reason, a compromise needs to be reached. If your partner has a lower sex drive than you, then you should find your own way of meeting those needs without comprising the integrity of the relationship. Cue in the self-pleasure thing. (Yes, you won't die without sex. Many single people survive, or actually thrive for years without sex.)

Sex is supposed to be a gift. It's something we offer our partners because we love them. It's not something that they should demand or that we owe them. And women thrive on the pleasure just as much as men.

For two, not being able to say no puts a damper on the sex drive. It makes sex an obligation and a means to keep someone happy. That's not a great way to fuel passionate love. Sure, if the couple agree mutually to work on that side of their relationship, to improve frequency - wonderful. But as soon as it becomes one partner's duty to keep the relationship going by being some type of sex-slave, something is seriously out of balance.

Thirdly, this whole mindset is fear-based. It creates a dynamic of insecurity and possessiveness in the relationship which doesn't enhance love.

Importantly, it teaches us to put our partners needs above our own, constantly. This is very unhealthy for a person's well-being and a relationship. It will eventually lead to resentment or dis-empowerment.

I remember how I always felt like I couldn't go to sleep without my partner in case he wanted sex that night. When he used to stay up really late at one stage, it was exhausting. I could never just relax in bed at night. It was always my wifely duty to wait up for him, just in case. Eventually, it became too exhausting to live like this.

And lastly, it made us think that we had to go with whatever our partner wanted in bed. This is a scary thing and can lead to abusive situations where a woman accepts things that she doesn't enjoy. That doesn't enhance the relationship and leads to resentment. It also weakens the woman and makes her unable to express her needs and say no. It enables men to always dominate and encourages narcissism and abuse.

Patriarchy is often a subtle thing. Be careful if your religion teaches things that dis-empower women, wrapping it up in flowery spiritual language and self-sacrificial urgings which can appeal to people who have a yearning to be good and faithful to their faith. When women are dis-empowered, men suffer too. Relationships suffer and so do families and communities. Women and men are equal. Yes, we are different and we should embrace those differences, but in a relationship, we should be equal partners who love and respect each other - individuals who are entitled to say no and entitled to time out and space and being selfish sometimes.

Friday, April 6, 2018

One of the Main Reasons I Don't Write Erotic Romance Anymore & Was Never Really Good at It

18+ only. Please don't proceed further if you're under 18.

I want to share something that I deem very important for the well-being of the females on this planet. What I write below may not resonate with you, and that's fine. I write this to help people and in no way to judge anyone else and the path that works for them. Everyone is an individual and has their own story, and that's what's so beautiful about being on this big blue and green orb - we get to learn from each other and learn to be tolerant with each other.

Something happened after the sexual revolution of the 60s - women were liberated. And men. Women were suddenly allowed to enjoy sex. And explore their sexuality. What a wonderful thing!

Then pornography happened (or maybe it had always been there). I don't know exactly when pornography started up, but I suppose it grew more with the advent of the internet. Before it was just those magazines teen boys used to slot under their mattresses. Now it's full-on videos of the act. People got access to finding out about sex without having to read dry literature or ask their elders (blush, blush). Soon after e-books came out. Erotic romance was written and published, and read, long before Fifty Shades of Grey caught the world alight.

I'm not a fan of pornography and will give my reasons below. But with regards to erotic romance, there is much good in it. I find romance is pure feminism. It shows us ladies that we are meant to be loved, pampered, and pleasured. We are important and we don't just exist for the purpose of our husbands' sexual pleasure. We are to be honoured and pleasured too. Nor are we here just to propagate the human race. Erotic romance can put a woman in the mood and can show her what a good lover is all about. But...

I used to hate reading it sometimes because it made me feel like such a failure as a woman. I always struggled with multiple orgasms, and didn't really like a lot of the things that instantly worked for other women. It was made out to me by the books and my partner that there was something inherently wrong with me. When I took up writing erotic romance books (under a pseudonym), more to please him than myself, although I was curious about the genre, I tried to bring some realism into them. That backfired. My books didn't sell well at all. I struggled so much to write the genre. It was like wading through thick vegetable soup. I wasn't idealistic enough. And seeing it was a reflection of my real life, I wasn't sexy enough. I was just poop as a woman. Because our womanhood is totally based on how sexually acquiescent we are. (Sarcasm siren going off, big time.)

But when my relationship fell apart, a seed got planted in my psyche that maybe I wasn't the problem after all. That maybe it had to do with unrealistic expectations.

And since then I've read and heard of several things about the dangers of pornography. It's not like I've actively gone looking for this info, although at times I've tried. It's just popped up, as though my eyes have been opened and as though The Universe wants to assure me that I am wonderfully created and good enough just as I am.

Pornography is not based on real relationships and real sexuality; it's done according to a standard system, and the women are chosen according to a certain look (not just in their shape but also in their more intimate visuals). A lot of the time, these women hate their jobs and do it for the money and not for pleasure. It often objectifies women, revealing them as merely objects of pleasure and not human beings with moods and different tastes. (I'm sure it does the same for men but that's not what this article is about.) It shows seamless orgasms, without any issues, and need for patience and communication, and taking time to discover your partner. And MOST OF ALL, it doesn't represent the sexual tastes of the whole population.

And I'm afraid to admit that erotic romance sometimes does this too. Yes, it shows things from a woman's POV, how she gets pleasured. It helps us ladies know that we do deserve pleasure and a good man to give that to us. But it also often shows women who always have multiple orgasms, always orgasm (and in a violent, life-changing way every time), and always have every single need and desire met perfectly with every sexual encounter they have with their partners.

This sets up the stage for very unrealistic expectations.

But it's fantasy, you say.

Sure, it's fantasy, and if you can just see it that way and not let it influence your own relationship with your partner or with yourself as a human being, great, and good for you. But if it in any way makes you feel unworthy and inadequate as a woman, there is something intrinsically harmful about it for you. And if it makes your partner unhappy with you and messes up your relationship, because they have unrealistic expectations of you, then it's not healing womankind at all.

Today, I heard a podcast of an interview with feminist and sexuality educationalist, Melissa Fabello http://www.melissafabello.com/ https://summerinnanen.com/117/

The biggest thing I got out of the podcast was that not all women like multiple orgasms (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_sexual_response_cycle) and not all of them have bigger-than-life experiences when they orgasm - for some it's just a simple feeling of satisfaction. Also, every one likes different things and it doesn't make you a bad or un-sexy person because you don't like certain things. It's not like your body is deliberately choosing to spite your partner. Sometimes, in erotic romance, the women seem to like everything. Every single thing. And the partners seem to instinctively know what they like without asking. I'm not criticizing the authors as you can't write a sex scene with stumbling and with a woman saying, "No, please don't do that. It's not nice." Because that wouldn't be very swoon-worthy to read. But hey, it would be really nice if someone could write a book like that one day - how a relationship actually wasn't perfect in the beginning, but the couple learned to communicate and work with mutual pleasure in a loving, patient, and understanding way. To me that would be the most romantic erotic romance ever!

That said, there are many amazing, beautiful, touching erotic romances that I read in my day job which I wouldn't want to change at all. I just want women to learn more about themselves and educate themselves so they are more able to love themselves and have healthy relationships with their partners. Melissa recommends this book, which I'm quite keen on reading. I can't vouch for it. https://www.amazon.com/Come-You-Are-Surprising-Transform

I'd love to hear your comments.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

New Writing Direction

If anyone has been following my blog and Facebook posts, they'll know that I've struggled with writer's block for the last two years or so. My painful divorce only served to exacerbate it, especially my ability to write romance. I managed to write one romance - Cat Therapy - a story I adore, but for some reason I'm struggling to find a home for it. I know I will eventually, but it's been a struggle.

The biggest thing with writer's block, I think, is that you start to write from your head instead of your heart and the story no longer flows. That has been what's been happening, except for Cat Therapy and one short story I wrote.

Yet, a totally different genre has started to happen for me. I'm writing about something that is close to my heart and which I'm passionate about. Maybe it's just for a season, but this book is flowing. I'm letting it flow from my intuition and I'm just writing. I still suffer from self-doubt, but I'm just going with the flow and letting it happen.

Here is an except from my book, The 30-Day Self-Love Devotional for Spiritual Seekers.

It's not a religious book and will appeal to spiritual people and those of all faiths.

Photo by Ylanite Koppens from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/stack-of-love-wooden-blocks-810036/

Day 1

Put Yourself First

Just this once. Try it.
I’m a busy mom. I’m a single, working, homeschooling mom. This is an almost impossibility, yet it’s about survival. But more than that—it’s radical thriving.
I’m not saying you must drop all your responsibilities and go on a twenty-day tour all over Europe, spending every last cent of your savings, forgetting about the attention your son needs with his schooling for the next few months.
No, I’m saying, think of your needs for a change.
Take time out to do something just for you.
Something you love.
But don’t stress about it having to be something perfect. It doesn’t have to make you euphoric. It may even frustrate you because you’re trying so hard to enjoy yourself.
Do it anyway.
Do it often. Spend a few moments every day doing something you love, whether it’s reading that latest Mills and Boon, chilling in front of Netflix with your favorite series, or cooking up that batch of double-choc biscuits that you want to imbibe several all in one go of with your favorite caffe latte. Use a gorgeous coffee mug and your favorite plate.
Or go outside on a warm summer’s night, set up a beach towel on the grass, and stare at the stars. Even if you’re in the city, you’ll still see a few from your window.
Pamper yourself.
I’m not saying splurging so that your finances cause you stress; I’m saying treat yourself to something so lovely and romantic—albeit small and simple—fulfil that longing that you have to be loved, adored, and cherished. Do it to yourself. Even if you have a fantastic partner, find the time to give yourself this gift today. Pleasure yourself. Revel in it. Find what you enjoy.
But by all means, splurge if you can. If you wish.
And the greatest gift you can give is to make it a habit from now on.
Sure, you’ll have some difficult days when you don’t get a chance. That’s not for you to feel guilty about. Accept it and plan to do it the next day. We all have very busy days at times or days that hit us hard with challenges and experiences that leave us dry and battered. It would be wonderful if you could pamper yourself on those days too, because it would restore you a bit, but if you can’t, no stress.
Be your own best friend.
Be your lover.

Daily Affirmation: I am wholly loved and adored by The Universe. I am worth receiving everything good. I am worthy to be cherished and pampered. I am a vessel of pure love to myself and the world.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Introducing Zaheera Walker and Her New Novel - Desecrated

Today, I want to welcome fellow South African writer, Zaheera Walker, who is spotlighting her new women's fiction novel, Desecrated. This book is packed with raw emotion! It also highlights the horrors of violence against woman. I had the privilege of being the editor for this amazing work. Note: it is 18+ and tread carefully if you are a sensitive reader.


Rosina Khan has scars on her heart – a secret from her past. Risking everything she makes a run for her life – fleeing Johannesburg for Durban. Welsh-born cardiologist Dylan Evans is in town for two reasons, to care for a patient and to heal his broken heart. Dinner is on his mind and he needs a date – nothing more. Just one fleeting moment under the moonlight is enough for Rosina to fall chin-first for his propriety and charm. Dylan can’t stop thinking about her once home in the UK and takes a chance at love again. They meet up for a getaway in Cape Town. Their flirtatious game of pretend comes to an end. This is real! They were destined to be together by the Fates but one thing stands in the path of their happiness – Tradition. The family Rosina ran from insists she marry her own kind. They desecrated her past and now they intend on destroying her future too. Rosina is in conflict - be a good daughter or stay true to her own heart. It took a heart whisperer to heal her heart from all the trauma; the choice should be easy. The problem with life is the path to happiness is rarely obstacle-free.

Short Excerpt:

“The best love is the kind that awakens the soul, that
makes us reach for more, that plants the fire in our hearts
and brings peace to our minds. That’s what I hope to give
you forever.”

Then, I fold the paper and tuck it into my pocket.

This is it. The moment I waited for since forever.

“Rosina, meeting you was no mistake. You remind me of
an unexpected blossom in the cesspit of life, a tough yet
tender flower. I did not know what it was like to feel love
until I met you. You have made my eyes smile since that
evening under the moonlight. You have enchanted me,
you have challenged me without knowing it and you have
made me believe in love again. You have showed me that
the gentleness of a woman still exists. My heart skips a
beat whenever you are near. You are my forever friend,
my confidant and a big part of my life. You are the
woman to my man. My Cinderella. With every part of
me, I will love and cherish you. I will protect you and
with my flesh I will honour you. I will support and
encourage you to be all that you can and want to be. I am
so proud to take this journey of love with you.”

About the Author:

Zaheera Walker is a self-published South African author of contemporary romance. In addition, she is the author of DEADLINE, a romantic suspense set in her hometown Durban as well as Beautiful Chaos. Her goals in life are simple – to inspire people to turn their dreams into reality, to write stories that others are too afraid to talk about and to never be on a flight that loses its black box. Follow her blog www.daretobedifferentsite.wordpress.com or drop her an e-mail at zaheera.zn@gmail.com 

Buy Link:


By the Way, Check This Out if You're in Joburg:

Desecration is being launched on Saturday, 24 February 2018 at the Palm Continental Hotel in Mayfair, Johannesburg.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Spotlight - Mission Trip, Genesis and Exodus

Today, I want to welcome fellow Clean Reads author, John Theo Jr. He is putting the spotlight on his Christian Dystopian Novel. The book releases on the 9 January!

Mission Trip, Genesis and Exodus

John Theo Jr.

Can an imprisoned son and a redeemed technocrat rescue humanity?


Mission Trip, Genesis and Exodus is the sequel to Mission Trip. In 2077 Doctor Kyle Faison remains trapped on the west coast of New America with a group of villagers he came to help. His father, Landon, races from their hidden underwater city to rescue his son. When Kyle goes missing, Landon tracks him to the city of New Sacramento, where a charismatic leader holds him captive. Landon must find a way past an army of soldiers to reach Kyle before the onset of another nuclear war.

The origin of the underwater city known as the Atoll is revealed in a prequel flashback woven throughout the story. In 2040, technocrat Josiah Saunders has wealth and power and invests much of his resources into life extension technology. He ruins countless lives trying to reach this goal. The combination of a hostile takeover by his competitor, and a failed assassination attempt, send Josiah fleeing into the subway system of New York where he is attacked and left for dead. The narcissistic man soon realizes God has other plans for him, but first he must be broken and rebuilt as a new creature.

About the Author:

John Theo, Jr. has published numerous articles in New England based newspapers and magazines, and has taught screenwriting at the college level. Mission Trip, Genesis and Exodus is his fifth fiction novel and the sequel to 2016’s Mission Trip (Clean Reads Press). John holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, MA. For more information on John check out www.johntheo.com.

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You can find the book trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1LBjsWLBbY


The next morning, an explosion woke Josiah from his light sleep. The building moved slightly.

“Open daylight,” he said, throwing aside the silk sheets.

The tinted windows in the penthouse bedroom cleared, revealing the gray early morning skyline of New York. Nothing looked different. Had he dreamed of the explosion? A moment later, flaming debris flittered down outside the windows. Josiah’s stomach dropped, as if following the debris toward the street below.

The speaker on his data pad chirped. “Coming up to get you.” It was Ross. “We're under attack. This isn’t a drill.”

Josiah panicked for a moment before he remembered all the reinforcements and safety measures the building had. It would withstand multiple attacks from a varied assortment of artillery and biological warfare. But why hadn't the alarms kicked in? He threw on a pair of dress pants, shoes, and a sweater, and grabbed his tablet. He wasn’t going to wait for Ross. Before Josiah left the apartment, he glanced one last time out the living room window. There were two sparks of light a few miles in the distance. Trails of smoke followed the flashes through the early morning skyline.

The tablet in his hand spoke in a calm male voice. “Warning. Incoming rockets.”