Tag Archives: Candy-Korman

A steampunk submarine?

steampunk submarineI love all things tech, even weird tech, and the star of Candy Korman’s post today is perhaps the weirdest I’ve ever come across.

The Duikboot model was based on the innovative design for a submarine by Antoine Lipkens and built of copper, brass, iron, lead glass and rope by Olke Uhlembeck in 1835/40.’

The steampunk submarine was never built – for obvious reasons – but just the thought of it makes me smile. There’s a picture of it on Candy’s blog and I strongly suggest reading the whole thing:


I hope this makes you smile too. Cheers,


Vampire realestate

vampire bat picCandy Korman is running a competition to find the ‘best’ location/setting for a vampire story. The competition ends on October 31 so why not pop over and enter your inspired location? Just imagine you’re a vampire with special needs…

-grin- Go on. It’s fun!




The Sunshine Award – aussie style

I love the idea of these awards because they allow us netizens to show appreciation for each other, and like the ripples in a pond, that little bit of love can have wide-reaching effects. I, personally, have met some very interesting people via awards.

So I do like awards, especially when they’re given by good friends like Candy Korman – that was a back-handed thank you Candy! – but when I looked at the list of questions that go with the Sunshine Award I literally came up blank:

What is your passion?
Favorite time of the year?
Favorite book?
Favorite movie?
Favorite animal?
Favorite time of the day?
Favorite Flower
Favorite nonalcoholic beverage?
Favorite physical activity?
Favorite vacation?

I could literally name at least 10 things for each and every question. 😦

I was just starting to panic when I remembered I’m an aussie. We live upside down to the rest of the world, and we tend to do some other things backwards as well, so why not this?

So instead of telling you about my favourite things I’m going to tell you all the things I absolutely hate!  -evil chuckle-

Pet hate?

For those of us DownUnder, September is Aussie Rules Football Month. You can’t get away from it. Blah blah about the footy is on the news, current affairs, panel shows, radio… ad nauseum. Great for those who live and breathe sport in general and footy in particular. Not so great for people like me. 40 years ago I was dragged to a couple of matches by my then boyfriend and his family, and I’ve hated the sport ever since. So my pet hate at the moment is footy. [I’m bracing for the backlash].

Least favourite time of year?

Summer, hands down. Living on the fringe of Melbourne as I do, summer equates to fire season, and a low grade fear from October to March.

Least favourite book?

Even in reverse, this question is impossible. I have read books I hated, but I can’t remember them precisely because they were so emminently forgetable. Pass.

Least favourite movie?

Easy – Starship Troupers. This was a movie that was just one long gore-fest. Sadly the special effects were so bad, I couldn’t even feel horrified. I only remember it because I couldn’t believe anyone could make such a movie with a straight face.

Least favourite animal?

Another easy one – spiders. -shudder-

Least favourite time of day?

3 – 4:00 pm when your brain tries to tell you it’s nap time. 😦

Least favourite flower?

Wattle. I know, I’ve just committed Aussie sacrilege, but wattle causes the most exquisite hay fever imaginable. Sorry.

Least favourite non-alcoholic beverage?

Coca Cola? I don’t mind the taste, but I do hate the whole empty calories thing. Plus I hate the brainwashing that goes with the advertising. When I absolutely have to have a cola drink I’ll buy a chinotto. It’s the Italian version of cola and has a slightly bitter after taste. Real grown-up cola. 😉

Least favourite physical activity?

Vacuuming. Okay, I know vacuum hurling hasn’t made it onto the official list of Olympic sports yet, but honestly, don’t you wish it had?

Least favourite vacation?

Camping. I suspect I’ve just burnt all my bridges with this last answer. Any moment now, our Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, is going to knock on my door to hand deliver my expulsion order, and I’ll probably be banned from all bbq’s for life, but… dammit! I do hate camping. I hate having to squat over a log in the dark, I hate sleeping on groundsheets that feel as if they’re laid on top of boulders, I hate not being able to stand upright in a freakin’ tent, I hate the flies, the mosquitoes, all the other assorted bugs. And I hate not being able to have a shower when I need one.

Now before everyone jumps down my throat, I know you can camp in a camping ground with toilets and showers, but what’s the point of being utterly uncomfortable just so you can be squashed in with hundreds of other, uncomfortable people? ‘Ah, the serenity’ -snort-

Anyway, apologies if I’ve offended anyone, but there you  have it, I’m a failure as an aussie. -glum- I do like the odd bbq-d snag though. Does that count?

Now to nominate my vic other bloggers for this award!

Chazz Writes – for the best zombie story I’ve ever read

EllaDee – because she’s just married, and an aussie, and may not kill me if I’m nice to her… -runs-

Chris James – because he’s a sci-fi writer and NOT an aussie so I’m pretty sure he won’t kill me. 🙂

Christie Meierz – because she’s a writer of SFR – science fiction romance – and not a camper as far as I know.;)

Pinky [aka The PinkAgendist] – because he writes a fun blog, shares my love of food and speaks French.

Kathryn Chastain Treat – a powerful writer, a generous friend and an incredibly gutsy lady who battles life threatening allergic reactions every day.

Right. I’m done. Now I just have to let all my nominees know that I’ve, um, nominated them.

Anyone seen my hardhat?


The Queen of twist

Candy Korman is best known for her Monster novellas, but she is also a highly talented short story writer, and her stories always have a twist at the end. I’ve read quite a few of them now, so I know what to expect, yet the twists still take me by surprise.

I particularly enjoyed this one, so I thought I’d be nice and share. 🙂


Immortal Stranger

by Candy Korman

Very early in her life, Sonia began to entertain the notion of her immortality. When she was five, she received news that she took as a definitive confirmation. Her mother, then unexpectedly pregnant, told Sonia that she was adopted.

“We chose you, Sonia. You were a tiny, little baby and we picked you to be our daughter.”

The speech had the feel of something that had been rehearsed before a mirror many times. Her mother also seemed to expect a number of questions about the new baby, the origins of babies in general and about the nature of family. But Sonia only smiled. As far as she was concerned this simply added credence to her observations. She was not like her parents. She was smarter, braver, more important and definitely immortal. At this point, she wasn’t sure how to define her condition. Was she a creature from a fairy tale? Perhaps. Or an alien spawn from a movie on TV? Either way, she was an immortal stranger lodging with this human family.

When Jared was born, Sonia became a devoted older sister. She felt that she had to protect him and guide him. The extended family was very impressed by this. They’d expected some form of extreme sibling resentment, if not outright rivalry. As Bette, Sonia and Jared’s mother, was 46 and their father, Ben, was 45 when Jared was born there was chatter about the difference between accidents and surprises.

Grandma Anne, Bette’s mother, was appalled by the perimenopausal pregnancy. She continued to dote on Sonia, but was always a bit cool toward Jared. In this, she was not alone. Jared was a difficult child.; he was intelligent, but socially awkward; large and strong, but uncoordinated. This disturbed his sports-loving father. Jared bit another kindergartener during playtime, wet the bed until he was eight, was caught snooping in his grandmother’s medicine cabinet at nine, and walked in his sleep. Sonia was his only friend. Even the family’s cat didn’t like him. Fluffy slept in Sonia’s room and hid under her bed if Jared visited…


The link to the rest of the story, and the twist at the end, is below. Enjoy!




p.s. While you’re visiting Candy’s new website, have a look at some of the other goodies you’ll find there. 🙂

Dr Jekyll and Dr Hyde

The Robert Louis Stevenson classic, ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ tells the story of Dr Jekyll and his beastly alter ego Mr Hyde.

It’s an old story, and there have been many versions of it brought to the big screen – over 123 according to Wiki – but the version I want to tell you about today is very new, and very different. In fact, it’s not a retelling of the old story at all. It’s Candy Korman’s latest, thoroughly modern Monster Tale!

dr hyde picAs with all her Monster Tales, Korman turns the original, tired idea on its head. For starters, Hyde is neither evil, nor male. Hyde is Dr Emily Hyde, a young, highly respected skin specialist who treats melanomas.

But after spending her whole life being a good girl, Emily Hyde feels as if she’s missed out on something. While her friends were out raging at parties, and having adventures of one sort or another, Emily had her head stuck in a book. The rebellious teens passed her by completely.

Now Emily wants to make up for lost time, but being Emily, she doesn’t turn to drugs. Instead, she buys a motorbike, goes dancing, and meets Dan.

Handsome, seductive, mysterious Dan invites Emily to a party at the Club, and that’s when life starts to take a strange turn.

At first, Emily is sure her life has taken a turn for the better, but those odd memory lapses are a bit of a worry…

And that’s all you get. Sorry. 😀

Those of you who’ve read Candy’s earlier Monster novellas know what to expect. For everyone else, you will find a beautifully written story with strong, 3D characters, a tight plot, and odd little homages to other stories. I found one that made me lol [laugh out loud] with delight.

Needless to say, I couldn’t put ‘The Strange Case of Dr Hyde and her Friends’ down, and I’d recommend it to anyone who doesn’t mind staying up late to finish a damn good story!



All Hallows Read

scary halloween pic

Famous, and rather cute author, Neil Gaiman, has come up with an idea to spread the love of books. He calls it All Hallows Read and the idea is to give scary books instead of chocolate and candy for Halloween…

Okay, I think we can add the word ‘and’ to that equation : This Halloween give scary stories AND chocolates… and candy. Ahem.

Anyway, talented author and blogging friend Candy Korman has taken Neil Gaiman at his word. She’s giving friends and family scary stories and wants the rest of us to do the same. You can find her All Hallows Read post here :


Although Australia isn’t as big on Halloween as the US, I rather like the idea of reducing cavities by giving books so this is a tradition I wouldn’t mind promoting.

I’m going to get the Daughter some ‘nice’ scary reads. Plus I have some friends in mind as well… mwahahahaha!

I’ve got some great titles from Candy’s post but if you know of any other scary reads in the free or 99c area could you let me know in comments?

Oh, and if you get a scary story this Halloween, don’t blame me, blame Neil Gaiman… and Candy .:D



What makes a great story?

Yesterday I pontificated about what makes a great game, for me at least. Well today I’m waxing lyrical about stories and genres on Candy Korman’s blog.

What can I say? She did ask me to do a guest post. Mwahahaha… ahem.

For those who don’t know Candy, she is a writer obsessed with Monsters. Thankfully none of them are sparkly. Instead, Candy takes inspiration from classical monsters – such as Frankenstein and Dracula – and weaves their essence into stories set in the modern world. Each one is unique. And each one has a wicked twist.

Candy’s Monsters are very different to mine, but we both explore the darker side of the human psyche.

So hop on over to Candy’s blog and let’s get some interesting discussions happening!

Best un-review ever!

Author Candy Korman posted this article on Candy’s Monsters, and used Vokhtah as one of her examples. I am so chuffed I just had to copy/paste the whole article.

A Sense of Time & Place
Posted on May 16, 2013

When I read, I really enjoy a clear sense of time and place. This goes for all genres. If your ghost story is set in a lonely mansion on the coast of Maine during WWII — make sure I believe the setting is truthful and I’ll believe that the ghost is real, too.

I’ve recently read fiction by two new authors — new friends from blogging, Twitter & LinkedIn — and I’m pleased to report that these two entirely different writers have both produced settings that were vivid and so real that the characters actions ring true.

As I don’t review books on this blog and don’t want to start. I’m not going to do full out reviews of “Such is Life” and “Vokhtah.” I will simply use both of these new books as examples of the best use of distinctive settings.

In her science fiction book “Vokhtah” A. C. Flory invites the reader to a hostile planet “peopled” with creatures best described as winged sociopaths with Machiavellian motivations, a fully-realized cultural mythology, a hierarchic society and an unusual manner for procreation. Vokhtah is a brutal planet and survival of the fittest (shrewdest, most devious & cunning) code underpins all the characters interactions.

The sense of place is so clear and finely drawn that the actions of the characters flow as a consequence of where they are in geography and the rigid caste system of the planet. A less complete environment might have made the creatures a bit comical or, worse, two dimensional. A.C. Flory’s achievement is in creating a credible, incredible world.

Jeri Walker-Bickett didn’t have to create her lonely landscape — she found it in various locations here in the United States. Her hyper-realistic short story collection “Such is Life” is set in a range of places — a suffocating small town in Montana, New Orleans, a suburban community determined to protect their children from outside influences, etc. It’s America today.

In each story, the sense of time and place anchors the story. The story “Leaving Big Sky” begins in a laundromat. The protagonist is watching laundry tumble in a dryer because, unlike the laundromats in Butte, this one has no TV, magazines and coffee to keep people entertained. The sense of abject loneliness is so much a part of the environment that the author doesn’t have to tell the reader what John is feeling. We feel it with him. The squeaky clean town in the story entitled “Not Terribly Important” hides a cruel streak of bigotry beneath its family friendly veneer. For a moment I wanted to shake the protagonist’s shoulders and tell her that the writing was on the wall.

By inviting the reader into specific and coherent environments, both of these authors give their characters real places to come to life.

For those who may not have read Candy’s own writing, she creates thoroughly modern stories inspired by classic ‘monster’ fiction such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula. And when Candy talks about ‘time and place’ it’s because she herself is a master at making the incredible feel utterly real. 

Cheers from Meeka doing her happy dance. 🙂

Apologies, Reviews and Thanks!

I promised some reviews at least two weeks ago now and I still haven’t delivered. Sorry about that. Easter and The Daughter’s birthday did conspire against me, but I cannot tell a lie, I have been writing Book 2 of the Vokhtah saga, and just haven’t had enough brain cells left over to do justice to the books I want to review.

Top of my review list is a rather ambitious comparison of the three, Hugh Howey books I’ve read so far. ‘Molly Fyde vs Wool vs Half Way Home’ is coming. Soonish.

I also have to apologize to a couple of lovely bloggers who have nominated me for awards. Those are coming too!

And now for some heartfelt thanks. Kathryn Treat, and Candy Korman are both bloggers, writers and dear online friends. Their tastes in reading are different to mine, yet they both stepped outside their comfort zones to read my book, Vokhtah. And they left reviews on Amazon.

Those reviews mean a lot to me because I knew I was taking an almighty risk by writing a story about aliens rather than about humans reacting to aliens. So Candy and Kathryn, thank you. You have both given me a huge boost.

If you’d like to read these reviews they are here

Goodnight all!


Meeka’s Maintenance

This post is going to be full of bits and pieces. I thought of calling it ‘housekeeping’, but that had negative connotations coming from someone who hates housework, so I opted for the more blokey ‘maintenance’. Imagine me with an oil can instead of a feather duster. 🙂

At the very top of my to-do-list are some thank yous. They go to my blogger friends who have taken me under their wing on Twitter. While I’ve been fluffing around learning how to use Twitter, they’ve been out there, including Vokhtah in their tweeting schedules. They are all brilliant writers in their own right and have more than enough to do promoting their own books, so that’s friendship above and beyond. Candy, David, Laurie, Carol, Ilil – you guys truly are the best!

While I’m at it, I’d also like to thank the nice people at Novelspot who have given Vokhtah an extra home and a bit more visibility!

Next on my list is Hootsuite. For those who’ve never heard of it, Hootsuite is like a social media organizer. It allows you to access all your social media applications from one place. It also filters tweets into sensible categories that make Twitter so much easier to use. I’ve only been on Hootsuite for one day but I’m already loving it. If, like me, you find Twitter rather chaotic, give Hootsuite a try. [You were so right Candy!]

And now for a weather report. Big chunks of northeastern Australia are once again under water. Many of the people affected have barely recovered from the last flooding. In southeastern Australia [where I am], we are still living with the threat of bushfires because down here, the bloody rain just won’t fall. We’ve had a few, welcome days of cooler temperatures and overcast skies, but no rain.

The two pictures below provide a sharp contrast.

warrandyte view

This was what my block was like in late December 2011. Not lush by any means but okay. Thanks to the terracing I put in over the years, the rain that did fall stayed in place and kept the grass alive.

dead grass

This is roughly the same view today. The narrow band of green in the foreground is from grey water. The band of green in the distance is from the septic line providing some moisture. Most of the blocks around me have no green at all.

In Australia, the grasses always go brown over summer but spring back as soon as we get some rain. At the moment the grass is so dry it crumbles to dust when you walk over it. It’s a bit grim.

All is not gloom and doom however because I have just bought the latest Two Steps From Hell album called Skyworld!

Whatever kind of day you’re having, I hope this track gives you a lift. 🙂



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