Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Author on the shelves for Christmas – The Rhino Whisperer by Evadeen Brickwood

A warm welcome to a new author to the Cafe and Bookstore. Evadeen Brickwood has just released The Rhino Whisperer a mystery set in the Shangari Safari Park in South Africa.

About The Rhino Whisperer

Another mystery novel set in modern South Africa. This time, the murders of a ranger and a rare black rhino in the idyllic Shangari Safari Park rattle the local community of Rutgersdrift. Sofia Helenius from Finland lives at the lodge with her boyfriend Tom Rutgers, the owner of Shangari. Sofia is tormented by a secret she yearns to share with Tom, but the cruel events grab the limelight and put everything else in the shade. One of the native Khoi-San families is known to communicate with wild animals, but what if the criminals get wind of this gift?
When another murder happens in the city of Johannesburg, smouldering secrets begin to unravel. How are the murders connected and will it be possible to halt a relentless crime-syndicate in order to save an African paradise?

One of the early reviews for the book on Goodreads by Phyllis Hyde on November 10th.

I found this book interesting and exciting and it was hard to put down. It captured the African spirit well and cleverly managed to weave the various forms of crime, corruption, drug/alcohol abuse together with rhino poaching

Buy the book:

And Amazon UK:

Also by Evadeen Brickwood

One of the reviews for Singing Lizards

Misfits farm 4.0 out of 5 stars A delightful enjoyable read September 21, 2016

Set in Botswana this rather reminded me of “Out of Africa” (which is mentioned in the early part of the book itself). Bridget goes out from England initially to look for her twin sister Claire who has mysteriously disappeared and then discovers so much more. The police are not in the slightest bit interested and she is left to do things for herself which in a foreign country with no language skills she obviously finds frustrations. Her sister’s disappearance soon takes a back seat, other than the odd visit to places and the mystery soon becomes her secret. The story is really of her adaption to life out there and the transformation from the erstwhile naïve person to a more streetwise woman living alone in Africa. That said this is an enjoyable read with wonderful descriptions of the landscape and scenarios that bring it to life. Bridget is a likeable character who you can take to easily even though at times you may want to shout advice to-like when she takes a total stranger in! An enjoyable easy read.

Read the reviews and buy the books:

and on Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Evadeen on Goodreads:

About Evadeen Brickwood

Evadeen Brickwood grew up in Karlsruhe/Germany, studied languages and cultural sciences in Marburg and Berlin and, an adventurer at heart, settled in Southern Africa more than 20 years ago to work as a teacher and professional translator.

She started writing youth novels in 2003, was published in 2005 and 2007, writes mystery fiction with an adventurous twist in German and English and has been a member of PEN South Africa since 2006.

Her works published to date in the “Remember the Future” youth series include: “Children of the Moon”, “The Speaking Stone of Caradoc” and “The Secret of the Bird God”. The stories are set in prehistory and the genre is time travel/fantasy.

Her adventure mystery “Singing Lizards” is set in Botswana and her latest novel, a South African crime mystery novel, titled “The Rhino Whisperer”, has just been released.

Evadeen lives with her family in Johannesburg.

“Children of the Moon” won the 2017 Book Talk Radio Club award in the the Science Fiction category.

Connect to Evadeen.

Website 2: http://www.evadeen.wixsite.youngbooks

Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you could spread the news of Evadeen’s latest book. thanks Sally

Music that Means Something Challenge – Day 1 – Younger than Springtime – South Pacific

Sue Vincent kindly nominated me for this challenge.  Music that Means Something to You which entails posting a song a day with the reasons behind your choice… this might include the lyrics or the style of music or perhaps an event that this piece reminds you of.

To read how it should be done here is Sue’s Day 1 – with the music and profound lyrics of Leonard Cohen.

The rules of the challenge are simple:
Post a song a day for five consecutive days.
Post what the lyrics mean to you. (Optional)
Post the name of the song and a video.
Nominate 1 or 2 bloggers each day of the challenge.

Today I nominate Tina Frisco who is a singer/songwriter who has a wonderful repertoire of music to choose from (I have listened to one of her tapes) and I hope that she will have the time to post if not five then one of two of her musical choices. Tina is hugely supportive of everyone in the community and here is one of her book reviews.

The twist in the challenge is that the lyrics should mean something….

As you can tell from the little wordcloud thingy I have knocked up my taste in music is all over the place. My key words would probably be dancing, dancing and dancing!  I have thousands of tracks now digitised onto my computer and my iPod is never far from my ears. I was probably firmly fixed in the 1970s and 1980s with my music preference but then I started working on radio from 2004 to 2011 and got renergised with current artists. Now I check the top 40 entries regularly and if there is something I like I buy and that seems to be a lot of country music at the moment.

Anyway… luckily for me I had actually posted a musical memory every week for a year which means that I have 52 of my favourite tracks and artists to choose from for this five day challenge.  And the first song that I have chosen is about falling in love for the first time at age 10 and being devastated 90 minutes later.  My first crush was on Lieutenant Cable and here is the background to our love affair.

Younger Than Springtime – 1949 Rogers and Hammerstein from the musical South Pacific

In 1963 shortly after my 10th birthday my father was posted to HMS Afrikander in Simon’s Town, Cape Town, South Africa.

We had an eventful flight from the UK in an RAF transport via Nairobi and Johannesburg before arriving in Cape Town. Because our family quarters were not ready yet we lived in a hotel for about four weeks whilst my brother and I were found schools. In the meantime my mother was introduced to the local culture by the seemingly endless number of divorced ladies who lived in the hotel permanently!

Scan4a Nov 1963 South Africa JM&S

We finally moved into our bungalow in Newlands and settled in for two years of sunshine and in my case learning Afrikaans which was necessary at the local school that I attended.

Apart from his other duties, my father was base film officer. After the weekly showing on base, he would come home with a projector and the current film, for a Sunday night curry party with naval couples who lived around us. We children were sent to bed as usual, but once I heard the sound of the projector being switched on, I would creep to the end of the corridor and sit cross legged watching through the crack in the door left open to ventilate the room. Necessary in those days when everyone smoked!

Although the narrow field of vision was not ideal, it did mean that I was able to watch the films, and during the interval when more drinks were served as my father changed a reel and people would pop in and out of the room, I would scurry back to my bedroom and pretend to be asleep should my mother check on us. As soon as everyone was resettled and the projector switched back on I would return to my position on the floor and resume my viewing.

This weekly film show created a lifelong love of cinema and of all the movies that I watched through the crack in the door one has remained one of my favourite musicals of all time.

South Pacific, music composed by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein, had been written for Broadway in 1949 and brought to the screen in 1958. The story was based on Tales of the South Pacific written by James Michener who introduced the world to Bloody Mary, Liat and Bali_ha’i  providing the inspiration to Rodgers and Hammerstein for the musical.

An American nurse Nellie Forbush (Mitzi Gaynor) of the U.S. Navy falls for middle-aged French plantation owner Emile De Becque (Rossano Brazzi) when stationed on a South Pacific island during the Second World War. Apart from their problematic relationship there was also another romantic plot which captured my young imagination and heart. Lieutenant Joe Cable and a beautiful young Tonkinese girl called Liat.

Out of all the wonderful songs in the musical there is one in particular that has always stayed with me. Younger Than Springtime set the gold standard for romance as far as I was concerned as a ten year old and also inspired my first serious crush for the gorgeous Lieutenant Cable!

I still feel a stirring in my heart when I listen to this song over 50 years later and I still cry when I lose Lieutenant Cable an hour later…….

Here is that original version of Younger Than Springtime and I cannot tell you the flood of memories that watching this has brought back.

To give you a longer introduction to the wonderful film score here is a 15 minute video with some of the most iconic songs from the musical and I hope if you have never seen the original film that it will enchant you enough to get hold of a copy. There was a 2001 remake with Glenn Close but to my mind it was not as magical as the original.

Links to buy South Pacific

I am now off to delve into my memories for another four songs that bring me smiles and also tears to my eyes… thanks for joining me in the nostalgia and to Sue for the challenge. Sally



Creative Artist Interview – Poet, storyteller and blogger Kim Blades.

Welcome to this week’s Creative Artist Interview and to my guest Kim Blades. I am sure that once you have enjoyed reading more about Kim and her work you will have some questions for her.. This is intended to be an interactive interview and your participation is really appreciated.

First I asked Kim to tell us a little bit more about herself.

Hello, my name is Kim Blades and I have lived in Durban, South Africa, since I was three years old.  I was born in England. I am married, with two sons aged 18 and 20.  We have five dogs and two cats.

Since my early childhood I have loved to read and write – poems and stories.  English and History were my favourite subjects at school and I was encouraged to take up Journalism as a career by my high school teachers and parents (more about that later when I answer the  questions).

My favourite poets are the Romantics, especially those who wrote about the beauty of Nature like William Wordsworth in his poems:  To A Butterfly I Wandered Lonely as A Cloud, and many others.

As can be seen from my blog, I also like to write poems about the natural world and am inspired by simple everyday things that we all take for granted, like sunsets, flowers, birds and bugs.

I enjoy reading most genres but especially adventure, romance, family sagas, crime and detective stories.  Maeve Binchy, Ruth Rendell, Martha Grimes, Elizabeth George and lately, Lee Child, are amongst my favourite authors.  I have also read and thoroughly enjoyed all the Harry Potter books and I have reread Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and C. S. Lewis’s Narnia series, many times since first becoming enthralled with them as a child.

I enjoy writing romantic, adventure and family sagas and also want to try my hand at crime writing.

I have chosen an excerpt from a romance that Kim is currently writing which has recently been retitled Bushveld Dawn.

Chapter Four

Scarlett spent three glorious days and nights at Berg en Dal. She took drives out into the veld early in the morning, arriving back at camp at lunch time. The hot afternoons she spent planning a route for the next morning’s drive. Aiming to explore as much of the surrounding area as possible. After examing the Park map in detail and making her route choice, she snoozed in the delicious coolness of the air-conditioned chalet.

In the late afternoons she went on ‘sunset’ game drives with half a dozen other tourists and two rangers. One was a driver and spoor spotter and the other the actual ‘guide’ and a font of useful and interesting information regarding the animals, plants, geology and history of the region.

The lone diner that Alfred had wanted her to befriend the first night in Berg en Dal, was absent on all three evening game drives and the tall, dark haired ranger that had piqued her interest that first night, was not one of the rangers on any of the drives either. She was surprised that she felt a little let down by the ranger’s absence.

But Scarlett did see the lone diner as she exited the camp at on two of her three early morning drives. He was ahead of her in a dark green mud-spaterred Range-Rover. The first time she had not known it was him until he had pulled over to the side of the road and stopped. When she passed him she noticed that he was talking on his cell phone. His window was open and she heard his angry tone but not what he was saying. He had been staring, unseeing out of the window and she knew that he was totally involved in his phone conversation and oblivious to her and the three other cars that passed him by behind her.

His eyes were very pale, grey or pale blue and his hair light brown. He would have been good-looking if he hadn’t been so irate. She wondered for a few seconds what the problem was that had made him so angry, but quickly forgot all about him and his troubles when a large bachelor herd of impala trotted across the tarmac in front of her and then stopped on the verge to browse and drink from muddy puddles. She had stopped and admired their statuesque handsomeness and taken some photos before they had receded deeper into the bush.

Read the rest of this episode:

Links to the previous episodes

Kim is looking for feedback on her story so far and so it would be great if you could read the story to date and share your comments.

Now it is time to hand over to Kim to and please leave your questions for her in the comments section of the post.

What are your plans for 2017 for your work and blog?

Quite simply my plans for 2017 for my work and my blog are to finish the romantic story that I am currently busy on entitled A Not so Short Short Story, which I think I am going to call Bushveld Dawn when I finished writing it; and to write more flash fiction, poetry and essays for my blog.  Of course, like all bloggers, I hope to increase the number of followers my blog has.

What would I tell your 16 year old self that might benefit people reading this post?

I would tell my 16 year old self to not be so obdurate and to listen to and follow advice given to me by my teachers and parents regarding my study choices and career (amongst other advice).  Because of my writing skills at school, I was advised by teachers and encouraged by my parents to take up a career in Journalism and study this at University.

But I had other and in retrospect, unrealistic ambitions of becoming an archaeologist.  I had not taken into consideration the fact that studying to become an archaeologist required good mathematics and science grades.  I did not have these and although I was accepted at University to study towards a degree in Archaeology, I failed miserably at the Math and Chemistry components of Geology

This failure destroyed my self- confidence and I couldn’t and didn’t write a word for years. I ended up with a BA degree and teaching Diploma but never succeeded as a teacher either.  It was not until last year when I started my writing blog that my confidence in my writing ability and love of creative writing were resurrected.

Do you have a dream that is waiting to be fulfilled?

This personal resurrection has gone hand in hand with the resurrection of the dream of writing and publishing a book of poetry about Nature and the Natural World, as well as books of fiction, that I have had since I was a child.  Together with this dream of being a published writer is one of living in the bushveld – an environment far from the madding crowd and one in which I am at my most inspired and creative.

When did you become interested in photography and what are your preferred subjects?

Well I am very much an amateur photographer and use the camera on my cell phone to take photographs. I became really interested in photography in my twenties when I dated a professional photographer for seven years.  We used to visit the Kruger National Park and the Drakensburg mountains often as we were both hugely interested in wildlife and beautiful natural scenery.  Wild animals and birds as well as flowers and scenery remain my favourite photographic subjects.  Unfortunately I have not seen my old boyfriend for years and have none of his photographs, so I mostly use photos from the free images and photo sites on the internet in my blog posts.

My favourite photos at the moment are ones of different sunrises and sunsets that I have discovered on and from which the photo below is taken.

The stunning, surreal beauty of these photos are overwhelming.  Every sunrise and sunset is unique.

Can you share one of my poems or pieces of flash- fiction?

A poem which received a good response from readers is: A Summer Garden

The summer garden is a mix of colours and shades
lots of different greens, golds, yellows and reds
with scatterings of white alyssum in shady glades
and yellow roses sunning in brown earth beds

Read the rest of the poem:

This summer garden is my own and I love it.  It is a very natural and sometimes overgrown garden, but very inspiring in spite of or perhaps because of this.

Can you tell us more about where you live and some of the highlights of the area?

Durban is a busy port city on the east coast of South Africa.  It is South Africa’s third largest city and a very popular tourist resort because of its beaches and warm ocean. I live near the University of KwaZulu Natal and because of its proximity, there is a large number of young people living both in the varsity residences and renting rooms in the nearby houses.  We have the normal take-away pizza, KFC, Nandos and Fish and Chip restaurants as well as more formal eating places in shopping centres close to where I live.

The city centre is about ten minutes drive away as are the closest beaches.  One of my favourite places is the Pigeon Park that I visit often and which I wrote about in my post, An Inspirational Place

Even though it borders the University grounds it is very quiet and peaceful as it is rarely frequented by students who prefer more exciting venues.  It is home to a few red duiker (antelope), vervet monkeys and a plethora of bird species.  Because of this it is frequently visited by photographers, both amateur and professional.

Thank you Sally for this interview and I wish all readers of this post inspiration and happiness and success in their writing.

You can connect to Kim at these links:

If you are a poet, visit where Kim has several poems published.
Blog and Website:

Thank you for dropping in today and please leave your questions in the comments section of the post and Kim will come back to you in the next couple of days.

If you are a poet, short story teller, musician, photographer or blogger who would like to take part in the Creative Artist interview then please take a look at this link:

Thank you Sally.