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Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Crossword Puzzle - June 2013

Good day, crossword fans!

I know from the stats of this blog that there are lots of people who keep coming back for my monthly crossword puzzle, but I never get any entries. I don't know if my puzzles are just too hard, or you're all shy.

So here it is, the June 2013 crossword puzzle. If you're playing, please will you pop me a comment in the box at the end of this post? That way, I know that you appreciate all the hard work that goes into pushing this out every month.

As always, if you get the answers, Tweet or Facebook me. Don't post your answers in a comment; you wouldn't want to spoil it for everyone else!

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27
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29
30

Across
1 Pat from Train (7)
5 Not married (5)
7 Ireland in Welsh (4)
9 Small amount of smoke (4)
12 Canned meat (4)
15 Unit of electrical resistance (3)
16 Type of company (3)
17 A cigarette (3)
19 Constricting snake (3)
20 A clumsy person (3)
22 (Of the moon) To increase in apparant size (3)
23 Something owed (4)
24 South African model shot dead in 2013 (4)
27 Greek cheese (4)
29 American jazz pianist, died in 1984 (5)
30 Fourth largest river in Africa (7)

Down
2 Form of cricket match (pl) (4)
3 Bitter, highly alcoholic beer (3)
4 Member of cloistered community of women (3)
6 A sensational success (3)
8 Leading US computer manufacturer (3)
10 Someone who is habitually drunk (3)
11 Doctor of Philosphy (3)
13 Blow smoke in short, sharp bursts (4)
14 Bone in chest (3)
16 Young grazing animal (4)
18 Grissom from CSI (3)
20 Used to steer a small boat (3)
21 Woodcutter's tool (3)
23 Of a pregnant woman, on a date (3)
25 Commercials (3)
26 Canal named after seaport city in Egypt (4)
27 Wilmer Valderrama portrayed him in That '70s Show (3)
28 Long linen tunic, used by Romans (3)

Answers next Tuesday. Have fun!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

How to Write a Dick

For my monthly spot on useful (and not-so-useful) books for writers, I came across this gem on Goodreads. It's called How to Write a Dick: A Guide for Writing Fictional Sleuths from a Couple of Real-Life Sleuths, and it's geared towards writers wanting to incorporate fictional investigators in their stories.

After reading it, all I can say is that this book was fantastic! It's a (I think) really comprehensive look into the lives of real life Private Investigators, the challenges they face and the real legal issues of what they can and can't do.

I'm not sure how useful it would be to a writer outside of the United States, because it's very American in context. However, it does point you in the direction of questions you would need to ask about the similarities/differences in the various laws of your country of choice.

Ultimately, though, I found it incredibly interesting as a book about PIs, and not so much as a writing resource.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help to writers, but it's a great book which stands on its own. If you happen to be a writer in America, though, or writing a story set in America, it may be right up your street!

And while you're about it, have you read my fantasy short story, A Petition to Magic, yet? You can watch a video of me reading the free sample on YouTube, and if you decide to buy it, you can get it from Smashwords, Amazon, or Booktango. South African readers can even buy it from Kobo and pay in Rands!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

A Petition to Magic Free Sample - Read by the Author

I uploaded my second YouTube video this past weekend. It's me, reading out the free sample of my short story, A Petition to Magic. Give it a listen, and if you like it, please consider purchasing the rest of the story from Smashwords, Booktango or Amazon.

Here's the video:

If you'd like to follow along, here's the transcript:

Solon sat on his bed, with his head in his hands. The sun was beginning to come up over the horizon, as he stared out of his bedchamber window. He was a wizard.

Some wizard, he thought. Nobody but he knew what he had done. Nobody but he knew of the terrible secret he kept. He had been in a deep depression for over a month. He never wanted to practice magic again. In fact, he wanted to die–it seemed only fitting. He had after all allowed the queen to die so horribly. But nobody knew that. Nobody could ever know that.

Solon shook the thoughts of dying from his mind. He knew that he had to stay alive. He knew that he had to help Celeste become every bit of the woman her mother had been. Queen Celeste. Her coronation had come the day after her mother's death. It was the way of the monarchy to name a new queen as quickly as possible; she could not stand to be without a ruler for long. Still, the ceremony had pained Celeste terribly, and she had cried bitter tears that night.

Now that she was queen, Solon owed it to her mother to see to it that Celeste became the best queen she could be.

Suddenly, there was a loud banging on the heavy wooden doors to Solon's bedchamber. He looked up and enquired whom it was.

“Master Solon,” came a voice from the other side, “the queen is awaiting your company in the dining hall.” It was one of the castle guards.

“Thank you, Timothy,” answered Solon. “Please tell the queen that I will join her presently.” As he arose from the bed and went to retrieve his tunic and breeches from the armoire, Solon's mind began to wander again. He remembered the times he would bounce the young Celeste on his knee, and tell her stories about the queens of old. She was always enthralled at his stories, and his eyes moistened as he remembered Celeste's big brown eyes staring up at him in wonder.

The old queens had been beautiful, regal women. Benevolent, wise, and just, they had been just like Celeste's mother, Queen Tricia. They were just as Celeste was meant to be; as she would need to be.

After pulling on his boots, he threw on his robes, tying the cord with his large hands, the oversized ring on the little finger of his left hand glinting in the morning light. Regaining his composure, and running his fingers through his hair, he opened the doors of his chamber. His footsteps echoed in the empty hallway, as he made his way to the dining hall.

Hope you enjoyed that small taste. If you want to know what happens next, please buy the book!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Crossword Puzzle - May 2013 Answers

A whole bunch of people contacted me last week, on Twitter, Facebook, e-mail, and in person. They were all trying desperately to get the answer to one or two clues from last week's crossword. The funny thing is, if you put all the answers they did have together, they'd solved the puzzle.

Being a bit evil, as I am, I told them all to wait until today. This post, therefore, goes out to them and all of you who may have also been struggling and didn't ask.

A
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B
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C
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V
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K
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F
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G
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Y
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H
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N
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D
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W
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R
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Across: 1 acne 3 bust 5 caviar 7 dodo 9 elks 10 fir 12 geyser 14 Helene 15 Ida 16 jinx 18 keen 20 assets 21 lawn 22 SARS
Down: 1 axed 2 echo 3 Brie 4 tats 6 inbreed 8 oath 11 ignites 13 rife 16 Joel 17 Xi'an 18 kiss 19 nuts
Hope you all had fun! Look out for the next puzzle at the end of the month!