Tuesday 26 May 2015

Crossword Puzzle - May 2015

So I made a concerted effort this month to make my clues as easy as possible; I was beginning to get the idea that they've been far too difficult of late, and that's why people haven't been entering.

If this is your first time, welcome! Here's how it works: Solve this puzzle before Tuesday 23 June 2015, and e-mail me your answers. On the 23rd of June, I will post the answers on this blog. If you were the first person to send me yours, I'll publish your name in that post, along with a link to your website, Twitter profile, blog, or whatever other online presence you would like.

Sound fair? Here we go:


1 Preparer of food (4)
7 Pier (4)
8 Help (3)
9 Hard bench in church (3)
10 Snake from the Jungle Book (3)
12 Your father's brother (5)
13 Gordimer (6)
15 Of the young (6)
18 ... of your being (5)
19 Mafia Boss (3)
21 ... you're it! (3)
22 Evil intelligent fantasy creature (3)
23 You don't want to find it in your apple (4)
24 Belonging to you (4)


2 Dutch hill (5)
3 "War is a Machine" (6)
4 Barbie Girl band (4)
5 Whisky and ..., the day the music died (3)
6 Tropical American agave plant (6)
11 One less than two, Afrikaans (3)
14 Latin for neediness or poverty (6)
16 Or best offer (abbr.) (3)
17 Gossiping women (Yiddish) (6)
18 An old-fashioned person (5)
19 A lady (4)
20 It's company (3)

Remember, I'll be posting the answers on Tuesday, 23 June 2015.

Ready? Set? Go!

Tuesday 19 May 2015

Crossword Puzzle - April 2015 Answers

Anybody looking for answers?

Well, you found them!

No, not the answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything. The answers to the April 2015 Crossword Puzzle.

Hope you all had fun filling it in. I promised that the winner of this month's crossword would receive a free electronic copy of my latest book, Heaven and Earth: Paranormal Flash Fiction. And the winner is...


Sorry the puzzle was so hard for everyone - or maybe you got it right, and were just shy?

Whatever the case, here are the answers:



1 Writer, Hamlet (11) Shakespeare 
8 No problems here (3) A-OK
9 '80s mountain bike (3) BMX
10 Informal, you (3) thy
11 Grain or corn (4) curn
13 Joe Dever's monastic order (3) Kai
14 Precious stone (3) gem
15 The zest of a lemon (9) lemon peel
17 South African police (4) SAPS
18 Often eaten with gravy (3) pie
19 Soap (3) sud
20 On top of (4) upon
23 Mother Theresa (9) wise woman
25 de Janeiro (3) Rio
26 Slang for steal (3) cly
27 Expressing surprise (4) egad
28 Modern symbol of slavery (3) tie
29 Salty water (3) sea
30 To row a boat (3) oar
31 Dissipation of heat from the body (adjective) (11) thermolytic 


2 Japanese Samurai sword (6) katana
3 Earliest ancestor of the horse (8) Eohippus 
4 Why is it blue? (3) sky
5 To do exceptionally well (5) excel
6 Of Einstein (11) Einsteinian 
7 Complete removal (11) abolishment 
12 Said while scratching your head (2) um
13 Afrikaans food (3) kos
14 Prefix denoting past tense (Afrikaans) (2) ge
16 Better than usual (8) especial 
21 Nocturnal bird's abode (6) owlery
22 To vex (3) noy
23 Broader (5) wider
24 Blind Discworld god (2) Io
25 Sun god (2) Ra
28 Also (3) too

See you next week, for the May 2015 puzzle!

Tuesday 12 May 2015

Tales from Virdura: Pretty Pilfered Things

The short, skinny, balding man smiled, showing many gaps in his yellowed teeth. He chuckled as he held up the bright blue jewel; the sound was something between a horse’s whinny and a hippopotamus’ grunt.

“See here?” he said to his friends. “I told you so – the treasure of Artheros is ours! And nobody will ever be any the wiser. Now, wasn’t it worth all the spelunking, Sam?”

A man to his left clapped him on the back, then reached into the bag on the ground and pulled out his own stone, a translucent yellow one. “That’s for sure, Jack. Our only problem now is how to spend it.”

Enthusiastic nods and agreeable noises erupted from the seven other people sitting around in the circle. A silence fell upon with group, punctuated by satisfying sighs as people took various jewels and gemstones in their hands and admired them.

After a while, another man spoke. “Tell you what, though,” he said. “there is one among us who doesn’t deserve but a single stone.” He turned to face one of his peers, a small man sitting silently in the corner. Pointing at the man, he said “Martin. What did you do to help us win this treasure? Why, when that giant spider attacked, you cowered behind me, that’s all you did!”

At that, Martin leapt to his feet and exclaimed in a voice far louder than his stature would suggest, “I did not cower, Devon! I was using my superior intellect, and waiting for a chance to sneak around the spider and claim the treasure. And I did, didn’t I? I could’ve carried it out again too, and you’d have been none the wiser, you were too busy wasting your time with the spider.”

Devon, the man who had accused Martin, drew his sword and pointed it at Martin’s throat. “You take that back!” he said.

All at once, the entire company was on their feet, standing in a circle around Martin and Devon. “Fight! Fight! Fight!” they chanted.

But before the fighting could commence, a loud voice was heard from outside their cave. “Jack the Pilferer! You are under arrest, by order of the Queen of Virdura. We suggest you come quietly, or we will come in and get you. And in case you haven’t noticed, that bag you claimed from Antheros is full of nothing but worthless glass baubles.”


A young boy looked away from the scene, up at his father, and giggled. “That was funny, Father!”

The boy’s father looked down at his son and smiled lovingly. “Yes, it was. But it’s also quite serious. You see, Solon, one day, you will perform these divinations as well. You will serve the next queen of this fine kingdom, as I do today, and as your grandfather did before me. It’s a big responsibility, not to be taken lightly.”

Solon looked up at his father in awe. “Really, Father? I get to help catch rotten crooks like Jack the Pilferer?”

His father laughed a hearty laugh. “Yes, indeed, my son. That, and a great deal more.”

Tuesday 5 May 2015

Results of 2015 E-Book Piracy Survey

For the whole of last month (April 2015), I ran a survey where I asked people four different questions about their e-book piracy habits. Here are the results:

Have you pirated an e-book in the last twelve months?

I got a total of twenty-five responses to this question. Four people said that yes, they had pirated an e-book in the last twelve months.

Why do you pirate e-books?

This question was only answered by people who answered Yes to the above question. Two people said they did it because the e-books they wanted weren't legally available in their country of residence, and another two said it was because they felt the prices of e-books were too high.

One person said that pirating e-books was more convenient than obtaining them legally, and another said it was a moral or ethical decision to pirate e-books instead of paying for them.

Have you ever pirated one of my e-books?

Hooray for me! Not a single respondent said yes to this question. I must be doing something right!

Which of my e-books have you pirated?

This question was supposed to only be answered by people who answered Yes to the previous question. Nonetheless, one person who filled in this survey, said that they had pirated Heritage of Deceit

Thank you to everyone who filled out the survey. I promise to use your responses to inform the way I market and sell my books, moving forward.

If you missed the survey, I'd still like to hear your responses. Please post your comments below, and let me know what you think.