Tag Archives: Lord-David-Prosser

Reviews of Vokhtah

I”ve been very quiet about the reviews of Vokhtah. Not because they were bad, far from it, but because I grew up in an era in which boasting was considered to be very rude. “Only uncouth people boast.” So I hoarded my wonderful reviews like a miser.

I know, I know… missed opportunity, stupid, old-fashioned. I could live with all that but I suddenly realised how ungrateful I must seem. Three generous people have spent time and effort creating reviews for Vokhtah, reviews that may sway more readers to the world, and I’ve barely acknowledged them publicly. That’s just not right.

So I’m not boasting. Okay? The only people who deserve a pat on the back are Ilil Arbel, Lord David Prosser and Rod Scoullar. I’ve provided links where I could and I hope you visit their sites because Ilil and David are both great writers and their work deserves recognition. Rod Scoullar is that rare breed – a reader who likes sci-fi.

Ilil Arbel

‘Vokhtah is a rare book of extremely high quality. It is science fiction at its best, with a tight plot, an alien civilization and world frighteningly real and three dimensional, and a fast pace that makes it hard to put the book down…’

Lord David Prosser

‘Be prepared to be surprised. Be prepared to read of a planet like no other. Be prepared to read of species like no other. All contained within this beautifully yet intricately plotted masterpiece…’

Rod Scoullar

‘”Vokhtah” is fantasy, very good fantasy. In reading I found myself transported to a fantastic, alien world. This world can be forbidding. Bitter cold, searing heat and vicious predators await those who travel its paths. I was taken on such a journey…’

You can read the full reviews here. All three make me blush, and I thank their authors from the bottom of my heart!

I’m not going to get all mushy but… knowing people have read my book, and enjoyed it,  is like having Christmas all through the year.



An alpaca update and… a favour

I’ll start with two pictures of our alpacas minus their winter coats. And yes, I am trying to butter you up. 😦

mother and son

They’re strange looking beasts without all that wool aren’t they? Like a cross between a giraffe and a deer.

This first photo is of one of the females with her cria, Andy.

Andy isn’t the sharpest tool in the box, but he is kind of sweet in a very dopey sort of way.

alpaca portraitI don’t think Mamma was terribly impressed with her radical do but she did come up to the fence to say hello. Ah well, at least she’ll be cooler for what’s left of summer.

January is a bit late to be shearing alpacas, but unfortunately the one alpaca shearer in our area is in such demand that we couldn’t get him to do it any sooner.

The weather is meant to be hot again tomorrow so we got them done just in time.

And now for that favour I mentioned. -squirms in embarrassment- Um… if there are any Goodreads members out there, could you possibly vote for Vokhtah on these lists?

2013 Release books to read, and

Best Sci-fi of 2013

My undying gratitude to Lord David Prosser for doing what I didn’t have the guts to do.

-huge hugs-


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. 🙂



Vokhtah is on Indies Unlimited!

Sorry guys, I know you must be getting sick of this by now, but…  I really am on cloud nine at the moment so bear with me, please!

I’ve mentioned Indies Unlimited [IU] quite a lot in the past because it’s a fantastic place to learn, and hang out with other writers. The regulars are warm, generous with their knowledge and just plain funny. IU is also a place where I have found some brilliant books to read. I’ve reviewed many of them so indie authors like M. Edward McNally, Laurie Boris, J.D.Mader and John Barlow [to name just a few] should be at least a little familiar to you.

Well, IU now has an even more special place in my heart because Vokhtah is featured there. If you have the time, please drop in and have a look. Better yet, join in one of the many conversations that are always happening at IU!

The link to my little piece of IU is here.

Before I go I’d like to send a huge thank you to Lord David Prosser who began one of the best weeks of my life with his interview yesterday. On the off chance you missed it, that link is here.

I may have missed my birthday deadline for publishing Vokhtah [by a couple of days] but I am always going to remember turning 60 as one of the very best times of my life.

-huge hugs to all-


I’ve been interviewed!

A huge thank you to Lord David Prosser for making me feel like a real author! The interview is here. I don’t sound like too much of a dork do I?

Work-in-progress Blog Hop

Just when I think I’m starting to understand the blogging world, something happens and bam, I feel like a nOOb again. Today though, I’m more than happy to be a nOOb because I’ve finally found out what a blog hop is all about. I’ve also been nominated for this particular blog hop by a buddy of mine, Alex Laybourne. Alex is a writer, a kindred spirit [even though he writes horror -gasp-] and a participant in this year’s nano marathon, so basically he is an all-round great guy. Thank Alex. 😀

Now, is there anything a writer likes to talk about more than their current work-in-progress [WIP]? That was a rhetorical by the way. Clearly, the answer is no, so it should be obvious why I jumped at the chance to wax lyrical about my WIP. My only problem is… which WIP? Technically I should be talking about Vokhtah, book 2 but, I’d rather talk about the story I’ve been ‘plotting’ ever since I decided to do nano this year.

I hate the straitjacket feel of an outline which is why I am a pantster through and through. This time however,  I’m not allowed to jump in and start writing until November 1st, so I’ve been scribbling ideas down instead. Some of these ideas relate to the plot, so technically I am outlining something,  but I fully expect most, if not all, of this pseudo outline to disappear after the first 1000 words. Imho, logical outlines lead to predictable plots and I hate reading those, so I encourage my inner pantster to take me in unexpected directions. -cough- End rant.


***Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (Work In Progress) on your blog.
***Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

What is the working title of your book?

Innerscape. Or possibly Mira. I may just go with Mira because it’s shorter. 🙂

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The idea for the character of Mira came from the very first short story I wrote – 2080. But I’ve been thinking about the evolution of online gaming and virtual living for a very long time. Tad Williams explored the idea in his wonderful series called Otherland, and I’ve read other sci-fi versions as well, but I wanted to push the concept a little further.

What genre does your book fall under?

Hmmm…. the closest definition I can think of is ‘soft-ish’ science fiction. No two writers agree on exactly what soft sci-fi is but the definition I like the most is psychological, social sci-fi. I’m going to be adding a bit more speculative tech to the mix but the overall focus will be soft.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Ugh, this is a question I don’t even want to think about. The minute you visualize an actor in the part, some of their quirks and mannerisms inevitably colour the character’s development. I really don’t want to do that, especially at such an early stage.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Another problematic question this one. And no, that was not my answer! Just sort of thinking aloud. Okay, this is the best I can do for now : ‘If you could extend your life by entering a digital reality, would it become heaven or hell?’

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

As this will be a nano project I don’t expect the story to be ready for publication for a very long time. However, once it is, I expect to publish as an indie.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Oops. As this story is still just a twinkle in my eye, I can’t really say anything about the gestation period. Knowing me, however, I’m sure it will take years!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

The obvious choice is Otherland, by Tad Williams. One of my favourite series 🙂

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

My direct inspiration was Lady Julia Prosser. She is fighting a losing battle with cancer, yet she lives each day to the fullest. Being a writer, I couldn’t help wondering how I would spend my time in similar circumstances. That’s the underlying thread of the story.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Despite my hard-baked, cynical facade, I am a romantic at heart, so there will be a romance of sorts in the story. Hmmm… correction, there will be love in the story and there may be a bit of romance as well but please don’t expect it to be the focus; you’ll be disappointed!

My 5 nominations are:

[This is hard as so many of my friends have just published so I’m not sure if they have WIPs or not but I hope they do!]

Candy Korman

Ilil Arbel

Laurie Boris

M. Edward McNally

Lord David Prosser

How to send money using Paypal

Many years ago the only way you could send money overseas was by telegraphic transfer and even with e-banking it was a convoluted process involving scary things like SWIFT codes. It was also expensive as each transaction cost about $20. Today I’ve discovered a cheaper and easier way using the Paypal ‘Send Money’ feature.

I love sharing information so I thought I’d do a step-by-step tutorial for anyone else not familiar with the process. And if you are one of those wonderful people who would like to donate to the Pennant Park Project that I posted about yesterday, then this is for you as well!

[Note : the following presumes that you have a Paypal account already. If your recipient doesn’t have an account they will be prompted to open one so they can receive the funds.]

Step 1  Log in to Paypal

Step 2  Click on the Send Money tab next to ‘My Account’.

Step 3  Enter the email address of the person you wish to send money to.

Step 4  Enter the amount you wish to send.

Step 5  Click on the small arrow next to the currency box and scroll down until you find the currency you wish to use. [I use Australian dollars so I don’t have to mess around with currency converters. This way Paypal will do the conversion for me.]

Step 6 Near the bottom of the window you will see two tabs : Purchase and Personal. Click on the Personal tab.

Step 7 Click on whichever Personal option you prefer. I chose ‘Other’.

Step 8 Click the orange Continue button.

One last window to complete and you’re done!

Down near the bottom third of this new window is an area called ‘Email to recipient’.

Step 9  Type ‘Pennant Park‘ in the subject line.

This is very important as it will tell your recipient what the funds are for. If you leave the subject line blank your money/donation will still reach your recipient but they may have a hard time knowing it has arrived and there’s nothing worse than having to go through a bank statement line by line.

Add a message if you wish.

Step 10 Click the ‘Send Money‘ button and that’s it, easy peasy!

So next time you want to send someone a gift or to make a donation to a worthy cause all you will need is Paypal and the email address of the recipient. It really couldn’t be any easier. 😀

An achievable dream and a very good cause

Lord David Prosser has been a generous mentor and an all-round good friend to me for some time now so when I read his post this morning I knew exactly what I had to do. This post is about Lord David, his wife Lady Julia and a small, very worthy dream we can bring to life – if all of us work together.

The story begins with Lady Julia – who loves horses and all creatures great and small – and the pancreatic cancer she has been battling for about a year. I’ve never ‘spoken’ to Lady J but I feel as if I know her through Lord David’s books. She is a plucky woman who has continued to follow her dream despite the disease that has been whittling away at her strength.

For Lady J the dream is to keep riding horses for as long as possible but riding with pancreatic cancer requires the kind of support only available at riding schools certified for the disabled. The place where she is riding at the moment is called Pennant Park. I’ll quote Lord David about the problem :

‘We really do need to try and get the arena [at Pennant Park] enclosed and a hoist fitted. Once done they can apply for RDA accreditation and Julia will only have a small distance to travel while she still can, but the place can bring pleasure to untold numbers of disabled people as well.’

Retrofitting Pennant Park will cost 20,000 pounds. That is not a huge sum in the grand scheme of things. It is an achievable dream and one that I support 100%. I hope that some of you will agree that it is a good cause as well.

At the moment Lord David is looking at ways to allow friends and well-wishers to make a donation to the Pennant Park project and as soon as he has that sorted out I’ll write another post with the details of where and how we can make donations.

In the meantime I’m asking you all to spread the word. The most wonderful thing about online communities is that we are less than 6 degrees of separation from everyone else so please, follow this link to Lord David’s blog, read about this gallant fight and do what you can to make Lady Julia’s modest dream come true!

Huge hugs to all of you,


Dr Horrible’s blog award

My blogging schedule is completely up the spout this week and I shouldn’t be posting today but Daud [aka Lord David Prosser] sent me such an interesting award nomination that I simply couldn’t resist. Thank you Daud!

So, what makes this award so interesting? Well, there is no set number for how many other bloggers you can nominate. If you’ve ever spent hours agonizing over who to nominate you’ll understand what a joy this is.

The second interesting thing about this award is that it’s like a mini interview with three set questions to answer. Again, this makes life so much easier, especially as the questions are kind of fun. I’ll list them before I answer them.

And of course there’s the graphic of the award itself. I’m a bit of a graphics whore so this one really appeals to me. 😀

And the 3 questions are :

a) If you ran the world, what would you outlaw immediately?
b) Boxers or briefs?
c)If you made a Nobel speech, who would you thank?

Now for the answers. Daud’s answers were witty and b) in particular was very funny as he interpreted ‘boxers’ as pugilists [e.g. Muhamed Ali] and ‘briefs’ as lawyers [I think that might be English only].

I can’t do funny, except by accident, so I’m going to be super serious. 😀

a) If you ran the world, what would you outlaw immediately?

Meeks : Well, I believe food is the single most basic thing that all living things need, apart from air, so I would ban GMO’s of all descriptions. [GMO = genetically modified organism]. Food ain’t broke, it don’t need fixin’ so leave it alone Monsanto!

b) Boxers or briefs?

Meeks : Hmmm…. I’m female so sorry, not going to wear either, however on a guy it would just have to be boxers! Briefs are what my late father wore. No contest.

c) If you made a Nobel speech, who would you thank?

Meeks :  I thought this one would be easy but it’s not! I mean, what am I winning a Nobel prize for? Peace? Neuroscience? [rofl] I’m sorry, I did say I’d be serious.

Ok, I’m going to thank fate for all the kicks and shoves that pushed me out of my comfort zones and made me think. Why? Because no-one ever achieved anything of lasting value by sitting in a comfy chair with fluffy slippers and a glass of shiraz.

And now for my nominations. After due deliberation I’ve decided to nominate 3 bloggers who will all be launching new books in the near future :

Alex Laybourne – Alex is a writer of horror.

Candy Korman – Candy writes literary thrillers on a monster theme.

M. Edward McNally – Ed writes epic fantasy.

All three of my nominees push the boundaries and innovate. They also write damn well.  Check them out!



Illuminating blogger award

I’m not sure what it is about these awards that turns me into a fumble-fingered ignoramus but I inevitably mess up in some way and today has been no exception. I tried to follow the instructions to the letter and thought I’d succeeded until, shock horror, I realised I’d put my acceptance comment in the wrong award.

So before I do anything else I must apologies to Food Stories Blog for being an idiot. As Bluebottle* would say – “I feel a proper fool.”

Now that I’ve confessed I can move on to step 2 of the instructions. I’d like to thank Lord Daud for nominating me for this award.

David is one of those incredibly generous people who spend a great deal of their time helping others achieve their dreams. His most recent gift of friendship was to email me with a long list of short story competitions. He did this because he knew that I would skin a cat* forever before finding the courage to look for them myself. That gentle, not so subtle nudge pushed me into entering 2080 into not one but two competitions. I don’t expect my first short story to win anything but just entering it was a huge achievement for me and will give me the courage to enter other competitions in the future.

Now, according to step 3 of the instructions I have to reveal one thing about myself. I doubt that anyone will be surprised when I say that I’m a little challenged in the courage department. I’m a miniature tiger when it comes to defending others but I’m a chihuahua when it comes to promoting myself. This is not a good trait in someone thinking about becoming an indie author. All I can say is that I’m working on it. Baby steps so far but I am trying. So thank you David. 🙂

This is my third award and I would really like to say thank you to everyone I’ve met online but I’m limited to nominating just five bloggers. This makes things bloody hard I can tell you. In the end I decided to go with the theme of indies, so now I would like to celebrate bloggers who have shown me that being an indie author can be synonymous with innovation, beautiful prose and a level of quality that puts many traditionally published authors to shame. They’ve inspired me and I’ve loved reading their books. Thank you one and all.

Illuminating Blogger Nominees :

Candy Korman for her innovative fusion of literary monsters and crisp, modern prose.

Lord David Prosser for his gentle humour and wonderful way with words.

Rachel Abbott for her compelling thriller that took the genre to a whole new level.

Stephen Faulds for his beautiful portrayal of love and falling from grace.

M. Edward McNally for creating the kind of fantasy world I would love to live in.


*Bluebottle : a favourite character from the 1950’s radio show The Goons.

*Skinning a cat : procrastinating.

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