Category Archives: Uncategorized

Release day – Where the river bends (Tule Publishing)

Where the river bends (Tule Publishing)

It’s finally publication day! I cannot thank the Tule Publishing team enough for all their wonderful help with this whole process.

I hope you enjoy Kalinda and Zach’s story and of course also Suzie’s story!

Don’t stop reading – there is a short blurb below 😊

It would be lovely to hear from you!




Kalinda Evans works for the Anglo-Boer war foundation in Canada. She’s sent to South Africa to make sure everyone who lost their lives in the war will be remembered. On her drive to the guest farm in Kimberley, South Africa, Kalinda picks up a female hitchhiker and is startled when just moments later, the woman vanishes. Kalinda would be convinced she was dreaming…except there’s still a white lace handkerchief on the passenger seat.

Extreme sports enthusiast and computer game designer Zack Carter is always after the next big challenge. He’s far too busy for romance and adheres to a three-date rule, until he meets his parents’ latest guest. When she relays the story of her mysterious experience, Zack’s family shares the local ghost story. Kalinda and Zack work together to solve the puzzle of the ghost and how it all ties in with the war and the work Kalinda is doing.

As their attraction grows, Zack realizes he no longer feels the need to prove anything to himself. He only needs to prove to Kalinda that he’s more than a good time.

A short blurb:

Relieved, Kalinda nodded. Her insides were still shivering from the shock. She wanted to get to the little museum as quickly as possible and start on her assignment. She didn’t want to stay one minute longer than necessary. At the moment Toronto sounded much more normal.

She glanced up. Zach was staring at her. Again there was the strange shift inside of her. How did the song put it? Easy on the eye, hard on the heart. Yep, that was Zach Carter. She didn’t have to guess whether he was a flirt – the damn dimple seemed to appear just too readily. Dimples? Seriously?

“A last comment about Suzie,” Luke said.

Kalinda swallowed a groan. Enough of the ghost stories, already.

“Apparently she only appears to people who are getting married soon.”

“Well, that cannot be true, because getting married is definitely not on my agenda,” Kalinda said firmly.

Madeline giggled. “Well, my dear. It was also the last thing on my mind. And then I met Zacharias.”

Kalinda smiled vaguely, but didn’t react to Madeline’s words. She focused on her plate, fervently hoping all talk of ghosts and weddings was finished.

“I still don’t understand how you ended up on your hands and knees on the road,” Zach interrupted her thoughts.

Kalinda frowned, trying to remember exactly what had happened. “I fell, I think.”

“But why?” Zach insisted. “You were driving …”

“I got out of the car to look for her. She was walking towards me when I heard the car behind me. When I turned around, the car was nearly on top of me. And then—” She inhaled sharply. “She pushed me out of harm’s way,” she finished softly.

“Otherwise our car could have hit you.” Madeline had also turned pale.

For a few minutes it was quiet around the table. Then Zacharias cleared his throat.

“Tell us how you ended up living and working in Canada,” he asked Kalinda, clearly trying to change the topic.

“Erica, a cousin of mine, moved there about five years ago. We grew up together. Her parents took me in when mine died in a motorcar accident. So, two years ago I followed her. We’re very close and I missed her.”

“So what happened two years ago?” Zach asked.

“Zach,” Madeline scolded, but he ignored his mother.

Kalinda shrugged. “I got divorced.”

Buy links

Amazon UK
Amazon USA
Amazon Australia

Thanks for stopping by!

Touched to the core – the 3rd story in the Touched series

TouchedToTheCore-ByElsaWinckler-800x1200It’s release day for Touched to the core – the 3rd book in the Touched series about the South African billionaire hotel tycoon Cavallo brothers. This story is about David and Dana.







He gave her his heart, but can he give her the truth?

Schoolteacher Dana Roux doesn’t need sexy hotel tycoon David Cavallo to add to her troubles. They have absolutely nothing in common—she’s a simple schoolteacher in a small coastal town, and he has more money than he knows what to do with. Besides, as a former journalist, he’d remember the news stories about her dad’s alleged involvement in a dirty, Ponzi-like scheme, and his subsequent suicide. The last thing she wants is for the dark shadow of that scandal—and tragedy—to fall upon her once again. Especially since she knows her dad was innocent.

For David, flirting with a beautiful woman comes as naturally as breathing. So when he winds up kissing his sister-in-law’s best friend, he realizes Dana isn’t just another pretty pair of lips. But things between them get complicated quickly when he discovers who her father was, and that it was David’s own news story that blew the case wide open and sent her father to jail—and to his death. David’s not sure what to believe, but he knows he can’t let Dana blame him forever. Especially since she insists her father was an innocent man. But when Dana’s life is threatened, he realizes that he might not have uncovered the whole story. And that now, older and wiser, he just might be the only one who can uncover the truth.

Short excerpt:

“What are you doing?” he asked and hurried over to her.

She wouldn’t look up at him and turned her back on him when he was close.

“I’m phoning Caitlin to come and pick me up,” she said in a clipped voice and lifted the phone to her ear.

He grabbed it and ended the call.

“What are you doing?” she cried out, her eyes suspiciously bright.

Were those tears?

“You don’t have to phone Caitlin, I’ll take you home.” Why the hell was she upset?

She made a grab for her phone but he held it above his head.

“David!” she called out. “My phone, I…” A tear escaped and rolled over her cheek.

Angrily, she wiped it away and whipped around. “Fine. Then I’ll walk.” She sniffed and marched toward the front door.

David stared at her for a few seconds before his brain registered what she was doing.

With two strides, he reached the door before her and moved in front of it.

“David…” she began and another tear slipped on to her face.

Frowning, David pulled her closer. “What the hell is going on? Why do you want to phone Caitlin to pick you up? What happened between last night and now?” he growled.

“You tell me!” she nearly shouted. “This morning you…” She hiccupped and wiped a hand over her eyes. “This morning and last night, you couldn’t get enough of me and now you…you don’t even want to look at me!”

“That’s not true!” he shouted, upset because she was crying, upset because he wasn’t quite sure what exactly was going on.

She sniffed, wiped her face before looking him straight in the eye. “If you’ve had enough of me, you can tell me,” she said, just a slight tremor still audible in her voice. “I’m a big girl, I can take it. I’ve always known this can’t last. But I didn’t think you’d be too much of a coward to tell me to my face.”

And suddenly he was the hell in. This damn woman had him all tied up in knots and now she wanted to tell him what he was feeling as well. “Oh, you’ve always known, have you? And why is that?” he asked.

She rolled her eyes. Rolled her eyes!

“Because, David, I’m a school teacher from Hermanus, my dad was in jail. You are a Cavallo, you probably have more money than you know what to do with. I know I’ve only been a temporary diversion for you. One that you are now clearly over. Let’s leave it at that,” she said in a cold voice and tried to move past him to the front door.

He was so astonished at the drivel she was talking, he was speechless for a number of seconds. But then he saw her eyes, bright with tears and a slither of hope had him swallowing a grin.

Buy Links:

Amazon Germany:

Amazon France:


French Earl Grey tea and a rich Shiraz with Eva Scott

Tea with Elsa Wine with Elsa

Eva Scott photoToday I’m having French Earl Grey tea and a rich Shiraz with the gorgeous Eva Scott and we’re talking about her new Rural Romance, Red Dust Dreaming (Escape Publishers).  And I’m thrilled to be able to tell you that Red Dust Dreaming is topping the Western romance charts!

But first, let’s get to know Eva by looking at her answers to my questions!





A. Quickies

  1. Tea or wine?

Both! French Earl Grey for my tea and a nice rich Shiraz for my wine.

  1. Read or jog?

Most definitely read. Jogging will kill you

  1. Cats or dogs?

I adore both but at a push I’d have to vote for the humble and loyal dog.

  1. Heels or flats?

I have a wardrobe full of towering heels I’m slowly coming to realise I will never       wear again. I get about almost exclusively in Birkenstocks. When did I become that person?????

  1. Boxers or briefs?


  1. Milk, dark or white chocolate

Forget all your posh choccies, give me good old fashioned Aldi milk chocolate any day of the week. Delish.

  1. Sweet or savoury

Savoury – preferably a little spicy.

  1. Sea or mountains

Sea. We thought about moving inland to the hills but I go into withdrawal if I can’t wander down and visit the sea daily. It’s my therapy.

B. Five likes and five dislikes


  1. The way the fruit bats eat all my mangoes from my backyard then drop the debris in the front yard by way of insult
  2. People’s undies hanging out in public
  3. The way my fingernails will not grow no matter what I do
  4. Unkind gossip
  5. Mowing the lawn


  1. Mangoes
  2. The way my boys go out to get me coffee on a Sunday morning leaving me with half an hour home alone to read
  3. Paddle boarding on a calm sea
  4. Yoga class
  5. A good dinner party

C. Three things on your bucket list

  1. See the Aurora Borealis
  2. Get married (been engaged for years)
  3. Have a book made into a movie

D. What triggered this specific story?

My mother has a friend who is a professor of art history at a local university. Dr Sally very kindly took my mother around an aboriginal art exhibition at the state art gallery, and then my mum took me! I was enthralled by the art, so vibrant and colourful. I was also intrigued by Dr Sally and her visits to the aboriginal art community located in the centre of Australia. Coupled with an old Sophia Loren movie about a girl who fights to keep her sister’s son…well, the alchemy fizzed away inside my brain and came up with a story about a girl who goes to get her sister’s son and along the way rediscovers herself through her art.

EVa Scott cover Red Dust Dreaming CoverBlurb:

In the battle of duty versus desire, only one can survive the hot Australian sunshine.

Elizabeth Langtree’s has her life in order – safe, organised, planned. Sure, she has her troubles, but they are nothing she can’t handle. Then everything is turned upside down when her family send her to Australia to collect her orphaned nephew.

It all seemed so simple in New York, but Australia is nothing like she expected, and she soon falls under the spell of the Outback – the station, the lifestyle, and the seriously sexy owner who has been caring for Luke since the death of his mother.

Elizabeth soon discovers that what seemed simple a world away is anything but, and her duty is at odds with the dictates of her heart. She must choose, knowing that a mistake will not only cost her everything, but destroy the future of a devastated little boy.

Buy links

Escape Publishing:

Amazon US:

Amazon Aus:


Short bio

Eva Scott writes contemporary romance set in her homeland of Australia and historical fiction set in the Ancient World. Her books offer passion and adventure in some of the most beautiful and intriguing places in the world. Her heroes and heroines are strong, sassy and ready to rise to their challenges, and learn a little bit about themselves along the way.

Having lived overseas for several years, Eva returned to study Anthropology before heading off to live in Papua New Guinea for a year. There she met the love of her life, author G.W. Gibson, who was stationed there with the Australian Defence Force. The rest is history, romantic history.

She now lives on the Redcliffe peninsula with her husband, small son and an assortment of animals. When Eva is not writing she enjoys mentoring first-time authors, cooking up a story, practising yoga and getting out on the bay on her stand-up paddle board.

Media links:




Thanks for chatting to us, Eva, so lovely to know more about you. And let me know when you’re going to see the Northern lighs – I’d love to join you!

Written Fireside: I looked away


This is my bit of Lori Connelly’s Written Fireside story with the title I looked away

Garrett froze. Ice cold fingers closed around his trachea, making breathing difficult. Those words again. Swallowing a swear word, he jumped up and walked towards the river, trying to calm himself.

Madeline was a beautiful woman, even while crying. For a minute there, that was all he was able to see. Until she’d uttered those dreaded words. Why did people have children if they didn’t want to look after them? The little girl was five years old, damn it to hell!

He knew he had to go back to ask the mother more questions but he needed another minute.

Confused, bewildered, Madeline stared at the game ranger’s back. He wanted an explanation and now that she was trying to tell him what had happened, he was walking away? They had to find Megan, what was he doing?

“What did you tell him?” a voice asked behind her and Madeline turned around. Judy was standing behind her.

Madeline got up and gestured wildly. “Just that I looked away, but only for a minute, I just went back to fetch our jackets, it had started to rain …”

Judy drew in her breath sharply and Madeline stopped talking.

“He found the little boy last year,” Judy said, staring at Garrett’s back.

“What little boy?” Madeline asked, exasperated. She wasn’t sure what was happening, all she was interested in was finding Megan.

“One whose parents used the same words,” Gareth said in a clipped voice behind her.

Madeline turned and looked at him. And it finally dawned on her what he was thinking.

“You think I wasn’t looking after her?” she whispered dumb struck.

“Where exactly did you see her last?” Garrett asked, ignoring her question.

Don’t forget to read the next installment by Aileen Harkwood:

Meet the character – Don Cavallo

There’s someone very dear to me I’d like to introduce to you all.

Everyone, meet Don.

Don, this is all the people.

Today, I’m joining a Meet the Character bloghop to introduce you all to my favorite main guy, Don Cavallo from Touched to the heart which was released in July 2014.

Thanks to Louise Rose-Innes for tagging me in on the fun.


Louise Rose-Innes writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Born in
sunny South Africa, Louise is a lover of sunshine and the sea, and this is
often reflected in her novels. After completing a post graduate in Marketing
Management, Louise headed off to the United Kingdom to gain work experience
and travel. She now lives in leafy Surrey with her family, and when she’s
not writing, is traipsing through the beautiful countryside, or kayaking on
the river Thames.

Her debut romantic suspense novel, Personal Assistance, has recently been
published through Entangled Publishing. She is a member of the Romantic
Novelists’ Association (RNA) in the UK, and the Romance Writers Organization
of South Africa (ROSA

You can find out more about Louise on her website

Thanks again for letting me join the fun, Louise!

Meet the Character

What is the name of your character? Is s/he fictional/historical?

I’m going to let Don introduce himself…

My name is Don Cavallo. Our mother has a restaurant, Rosa’s in Cape Town and I’ve always felt right at home in the hospitality industry. My three brothers and I now own boutique hotels in South Africa and on the Seychelle Islands. Life is busy, challenging, exciting and I love what I do. To relax and get away from everything business, I cycle and take part in as many races as possible. And it’s during the challenging Wine to Whales race that I hurt my back and ended up in a tent where a sexy physiotherapist puts her hands on my back.

When and where is the story set?

The story is set in the here and now. When in South Africa, my brothers and I mostly stay in Cape Town and I have just inherited a house in Hermanus, a beautiful coastal town an hour’s drive from Cape Town. We also have two hotels on the Seychelles, on Praslin and one on Mahé. And have I mentioned that the physio, Caitlin Sutherland has rooms in Hermanus?

What should we know about Don?

I love what I do. I love my family. And I love women. It’s just that lately I’ve become a bit wary of them. It seems most of them are only interested in what I own rather than in who I am. This woman, Caitlin, the one I can’t stop thinking about, is probably the same. But I think I want to find out.

What is Don’s goal?

We are talking about plans for a new hotel near the Kruger National Park. But I’m struggling to concentrate on anything lately. Blue eyes. She has gorgeous blue eyes. And her hands … I don’t know whether she always gives a massage like the one I received in her rooms, but I’m a bit freaked out at my reaction. I should stay as far away from her as possible. That’s a goal, right?

What is screwing up Don’s life (main conflict in writerly speak)?

I know I should have stayed away from Caitlin. But of course I haven’t. I’ve taken her on a date, I want to get to know her better. Only to discover she has trust issues. Huge trust issues. And then there is the thing between her sister Hannah and my brother Darryn – just the mention of Hannah’s name gets Darryn all riled up. But he’ll have to sort out his own problems – I have my own.

What is the title?

Touched to the heart. Because that’s what happened when she put her hands on my back for the first time. She not only touched my body, but also my heart.

When can we expect the book to be published?

It was published in July 2014. Touched small cover_Final200







Meet Next Week’s Author 

Téa Cooper’s Jazz Baby releases this month!




In the gritty underbelly of 1920s Sydney, a fresh-faced country girl is about to arrive in the big, dark city – and risk everything in the pursuit of her dreams.

Sydney is no place for the fainthearted—five shillings for a twist of snow, a woman for not much more, and a bullet if you look sideways at the wrong person.

Dolly Bowman is ready and willing to take on all the brash, bustling city has to offer. After all it is the 1920s, a time for a girl to become a woman and fulfil her dreams. Turning her back on her childhood, she takes up a position working as a housemaid while she searches for her future.

World War I flying ace Jack Dalton knows he’s luckier than most. He’s survived the war with barely a scratch, a couple of astute business decisions have paid off, and he’s set for the high life. But a glimpse of a girl that he had forgotten, from a place he’s tried to escape suddenly sets all his plans awry. Try as he might he can’t shake the past, and money isn’t enough to pay the debts he’s incurred.

Short Blurb

In the gritty underbelly of 1920s Sydney, a fresh-faced country girl is about to arrive in the big, dark city – and risk everything in the pursuit of her dreams.

ISBN: 9780857991928

Publication Date: October 22nd, 2014

Harlequin Escapeéa-cooper




For reviewers: NetGalley


Five things to do in Hermanus, South Africa


Caitlin, the heroine of Touched to the heart, lives and works in Hermanus, South Africa. Don inherited a house from an uncle of his and he visits Caitlin’s physiotherapy rooms in Hermanus.

Way back when, Hermanus used to be a small fishing village but over the last few of decades it has morphed into a bustling town, bursting at the seams over weekends and holidays.

Futunately, some things haven’t changed and when I thought of possible dates Don could take Caitlin on, these are a few things I think any heroine would enjoy:

  1. Take her to see the Old Harbour
  2. Watch the whales in September
  3. Go for a leisurely lunch to one of the many wine farms in the Hemel and Aarde Valley (Heaven and Earth).
  4. Take her on a hike in the Fernkloof Mountains – a magical place
  5. Take her to watch the waves at Kwaaiwater (angry water) where the waves are enormous and the sound deafening.


Whales in Walker Bay in September

Kwaaiwater Hermanus
Kwaaiwater Hermanus


Whales in Walker Bay in September






Fernkloof, Hermanus
Fernkloof, Hermanus
Hemel and Aarde Valley near Hermanus
Hemel and Aarde Valley near Hermanus








Old Harbour, Hermanus
Old Harbour, Hermanus

Vanilla tea with Vicky Ballante

Tea with Elsa

Kathy At-Second-Glance300x450

Today I’m having vanilla tea with Vicky Ballante, another lovely Romance Author of South Africa. Her semi-erotic romance At second glance (Decadent Publishing) was released on 5 September 2014. There is a surprise at the end of this post, so make sure you read right to the end! Before we take a look at a blurb and excerpt of the story, I’ve asked her some questions: Questions: A. Quickies

  1. Tea or wine?

Um, I’d love to drink wine more, but I get a severe reaction to it so I’ll stick to tea. Ginger or vanilla tea is great!

  1. Read or jog?

Read, of course.

  1. Cats or dogs?

Cat person.

  1. Heels or flats?

Flats, for sure.

  1. Boxers or briefs?

Um, I like briefs. They show more definition…

  1. Milk, dark or white chocolate

Dark and dangerous

  1. Sweet or savoury

That’s a hard one. I have a sweet tooth but also like savoury.

  1. Sea or mountains

Another hard one. I like both but probably would choose sea if I had to. B. Five likes and five dislikes Five likes: Lazy Sundays Lying in the sun Reading a good book on my Kindle Knitting Friends and family Five dislikes: Rude and manipulative people Driving Committee or business meetings Religious bigotry or prejudice Roaches, ants and maggots C. Three things on your bucket list Visit Paris and go to the Louvre Write a best seller Learn Mandarin or French (yes, I keep on putting them off) D. What triggered this specific story? Um, I’ve always secretly wanted to help people who struggle with their sexuality. Maybe because I had so many issues as a young adult, so I wrote this book about Merryn who had come out of her shell and wanted to experiment.

Blurb: Four years after her divorce, Merryn decides she’s ready to find someone. Joining an online singles site, she connects with the perfect guy. Funny, sexy, sensitive. When he suggests they meet, excitement compels her to say yes. Kirk pines for his ex-wife, but realizes he must move forward. After several stimulating online chats, he believes she might be the one for him. Smart, sexy, willing to experiment and learn. But when he happens across his ex, all his plans fly out the window. Will Merryn learn to relax and have fun without giving her heart? Can Kirk forget the past and become the man he longs to be?

Excerpt 2 (Semi-erotic – Only for 18+): “Where did you meet this guy?” “Online.” “That’s not safe.” “I trust him.” Fire spurted from her gaze. She’d never trusted him when they’d been married. Never let him take the lead. How come time hadn’t healed the wounds? Instead, they’d festered inside him. Online relationship? He felt the blood drain from his head. “What?” Panic rose in her voice. “Are you Panda?” He considered pretending otherwise. He could make his escape now and forget about the crazy mistake of meeting a strange woman in a restaurant because of an internet connection. Then he wouldn’t remember all those times he’d tried to reach out to her and she’d pushed him away and read her book or gone to sleep. The accusing words when she’d found out he’d been looking at porn. The hatred in her eyes when she’d asked him for a divorce. “Are you?” She collapsed on the chair opposite him. “I…I can’t do this.” He rose. “I’m sorry. You shouldn’t meet guys you don’t know.” “It’s a public place.” There was a catch in her voice. “I don’t remember you being so pale. Blonde doesn’t suit you.” She wrapped her face in her hands and became as stiff as a corpse. A crack of sympathy passed through him for a moment, but he pushed it away. Yet, she was Hedge. The woman who wanted to experiment. Who hurt from a previous relationship. He’d called himself a loser. A laugh came out, sounding out of place, and then he laughed recklessly. She jerked her head towards him, anger evident in the harshness of her features. “I called myself a loser.” “What?” “It’s ironic, isn’t it? If we’d both gotten over all our baggage from our messed up marriage, maybe we wouldn’t be here, digging up all the past hurt.” “I didn’t know who you were. I wouldn’t have said those things to you. It’s the first time I’ve told anyone how I feel.” She didn’t look good with her face screwed up. He glanced at her body. Had that changed? Her breasts pressed tight against the black shirt she wore. He remembered the first moment she’d shown herself to him on their wedding night. Merryn had insisted upon waiting for that special night. Her reserve had made her all the more desirable to him. In the beginning. What if he could have another chance to touch her body? She was still shaped to perfection. None of the other women he’d had compared to the beauty of Merryn’s body. The shape of her twins, those pink taut nipples, and the peaks contrasted against her narrow waist. The gentle dip from her slight stomach to her intimate area. He sighed. “You still want to experiment?” He’d always been impulsive, but seriously, had he said that?

Buy Links

Decadent Publishing:


Barnes and Noble:


All Romance Ebooks:

And – a give away!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hint for question for the Romance Reviews September party

Below is an an excerpt from Touched to the heart. You’ll find the answer to the question for The Romance Reviews September party here :

Touched small cover_Final200

She put more oil on her hands and started again on his lower back. He closed his eyes again. Slowly, very slowly, her hands moved down again until she was once more massaging his right buttock. Firm fingers pressed down on his sore muscles, lifted and pressed down again. And each time they moved ever so slightly down and to the side of his body.

If he’d lift his body slightly, she could… Oh, bloody hell, what was he thinking? He had to get up from the bed in a few minutes. At the rate his body was reacting to this woman, he wouldn’t be able to stand, let alone walk out of there.

There was a commotion outside the tent and then he heard his brothers’ voices. Damn.

‘There he is,’ Dale called out.

‘Doesn’t look to me as if he’s in pain,’ Darryn said.

‘Nope, I agree,’ David added.

Don lifted his head and glared at his brothers. The girl pulled his shorts up and turned to them.

‘Can I help you?’ she asked in a clipped voice.

‘No, gorgeous, we’re fine. But then, we’re younger than our big brother here. Thank you for helping him. Does he have to go to the hospital?’ David asked innocently.

Don swung his legs from the bed and grabbed his shirt. ‘Very funny,’ he snarled. But it was a good thing his brothers had interrupted the massage. Their presence achieved what only a pail of cold water would have been able to do otherwise. At least now he’d be able to stand up.

He turned to the physiotherapist. ‘Thank you —’

‘I’m not done —’ she said.

‘I’m fine,’ he interrupted and turned to leave.

‘You can’t leave, Don, you haven’t introduced us to this beautiful girl,’ Darryn complained and put a hand to his back. ‘Now that I think about it, my back also hurts,’ he said with a big smile.

‘And I have a pain in my leg —’ began Dale.

‘Will you guys drop it?’ Don snarled. ‘She doesn’t even like cyclists, isn’t that right Miss…?’

Her eyes narrowed momentarily, but then she turned to his brothers with a big smile. ‘I’m Caitlin Sutherland. And I never said I don’t like cyclists.’

Coastal Romance Christmas Blog Hop


Growing up, the only source of water I knew about was the Orange River which runs through my home town. People talked about The Sea, I saw pictures of it, but nothing could prepare me for my first sight of the clear blue, endless ocean. I was ten years old and lost a little piece of my heart on that day. A piece I found again only many years later.
When our last kid left home, my husband and I moved to Betty’s Bay, a small coastal village about an hour’s drive from Cape Town. And now I’m fortunate to have the sea on my doorstep, to experience its different moods and to fall asleep every night to the sound of waves crashing in my ears.
Christmas for me means spending time with our children. They all lead busy lives but for a week of two we get to see them, touch them, hug them, hear their stories. Johan, our second son, is working in China this year, so his place will be empty around our table. I’m trying not to think about that too much.
We have been blessed with two grandsons and their wide-eyed wonder about everything adds something special to the whole occasion.
Christmas also means long, warm, lazy days. Strange for anyone living in the northern hemisphere, I know, but a Summer Christmas is enchanting in its own way. There is no snow, just lots and lots of sunshine and clear blue skies.
On Christmas Day all our relatives who live near enough join us which makes the day all the more special. Everyone brings something for the table and for most of the day we eat. A lot. You get the picture.
I’ve published mostly in Afrikaans up till now, and most of the stories I tell happen near the sea. It’s not as if I plan it that way, it just happens. My first English romance, Love, in writing (Escape Publishing) has Kommetjie, another quaint seaside village nearby, as its setting.

Below is an excerpt from it. Enjoy!

Cover, Love, in writing 367 kb

‘Details, my dear, details,’ Jen called out as soon as Margaret walked through the door of her bookshop.
‘I don’t know what you’re talking about,’ Margaret said and with her chin held high, tried to squeeze past Jen. Unfamiliar feelings had kept her up most of the night and when she’d finally fallen asleep, erotic images of her and Graham making love woke her up. Now all she wanted to do was to try and occupy her mind with something normal so that these constant thoughts about a strange man could vanish.
Laughingly, Jen grabbed her arm. ‘Oh no, you’re not getting off so easily. The last time I saw you, Graham Connelly had you in his arms and you looked blissfully happy. What happened?’
Margaret winced. ‘He actually carried me out?’
Jen nodded.
‘I was sleeping?’
‘Snoring. You, my friend,’ Jen said and pointed towards Margaret, ‘were completely and wonderfully sloshed. You did it with style, though, I’ll give you that. No loud singing or dancing on the tables, you just passed out gracefully. A good thing, considering some of the esteemed guests we had.’
Margaret opened her mouth, but then closed it again. She stormed down the corridor to her office. She should find a hole where she could hide out for the rest of the day. Jen’s peals of laughter followed her all the way into her office.
She sat down and cradled her head in her hands. Two glasses were her limit. What was she thinking? And to be so out of it that she didn’t even know Graham of all people had carried her. What must he be thinking? A groan escaped her lips.
Her fingers touched her mouth. She could still taste him, feel him. Who was this man who had, within the short span of a few days, thrown her completely off balance? And why couldn’t she stop thinking about him? Stop dreaming about him?
‘Black coffee?’
Margaret opened her eyes. Jen stood in the door with a cup of coffee.

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