KokkieH Reviews Firelands: A Post-Apocalyptic Tale by Piper Bayard

Firelands by Piper Bayard

Used with permission

Eighty years in the future, America has devolved into a totalitarian theocracy. The ruling Josephites clone the only seeds that grow in the post-apocalyptic climate, allowing their Prophet to control who eats and who starves.

Subsisting on the fringes, Archer risks violation and death each day as she scours the forest for game to feed her people. When a Josephite refugee seeks sanctuary in her home, Archer is driven to chance a desperate gamble. A gamble that will bring down the Prophet and deliver seeds and freedom, or end in a fiery death for herself and for everyone she loves.

Seeds are life. . . . Seeds are power. . . . Seeds are the only hope of a despairing people. What will Archer do for the seeds of freedom, and what will she justify in their name?
 - Online book description

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Winter is coming…

…to the Northern Free State.  Or rather, it has come.  Suddenly.  So suddenly that I keep looking out the window for a sign of the White Walkers while fretting at the total absence of obsidian in the house.  I don’t like it.

Just yesterday I was still walking around barefoot and in shorts.  Actually I did today as well, but today I seriously questioned the wisdom of that particular choice of attire.  Right now I’m sitting typing this with slippers on my feet and a little blanket covering my legs.  One would think I’m living in an old age home, for crying out loud.

I have a feeling we’re going to pay this year for the very mild winter we had last year.  Luckily we’re temporarily migrating to warmer climes for a few days before we have to surrender to the rigours of not-summer (and without the benefit of central heating and double-glazed windows, I might add).

It’s at times like these I wish hibernation was an option.

In two weeks’ time South Africa is having our national elections…

SA Flag ballot box…and initially that was all I was going to say about that.  I don’t want to sully this blog with local politics, which can really take anything good and utterly corrupt it (but I suppose that’s true of local politics everywhere, isn’t it?)

But last week there was a new development that piqued my interest.  Someone said something that got me thinking about the meaning of words, and George Orwell, and the abuse of language to manipulate people.  And my hammer started vibrating (and if you know anything about hammer-lore you’ll know that means it’s time to whack something).

What was said that awakened the urge in me to apply some percussive maintenance?  Someone accused a group of people trying to bring about change of being counter-revolutionary. Continue reading

Song Title Challenge #44: Flushed From the Bathroom of Your Heart – Johnny Cash

It’s time for this week’s Song Title Challenge.

To take part, write a short piece of fiction, about 300 words, using the song title as your story title but without listening to the song.  You can pick your own genre or use the one suggested to me.  Leave a link to your post in the comments section.  You’re also welcome to comment on my attempt which appears below.

If you would like to suggest a song title for a future post, you can do so from the challenge page.  You can also leave a suggestion on the Facebook page.

This week’s song is Flushed From the Bathroom of Your Heart by Johnny Cash, an oldie this time from the inestimable bumblepuppies.  The genre is Horror/Thriller.

Advisory:  Today’s story is a bit disturbing in terms of content and contains some foul language.  Sensitive and younger readers might want to skip this one.

The song is great, though, which is why I’m putting it before the break.  Enjoy.


 

Flushed from the Bathroom of your Heart

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KokkieH Reviews Grave Peril by Jim Butcher

Grave Peril - Jim Butcher

Harry Dresden’s faced some pretty terrifying foes during his career. Giant scorpions. Oversexed vampires. Psychotic werewolves. It comes with the territory when you’re the only professional wizard in the Chicago area phone book.

But in all Harry’s years of supernatural sleuthing, he’s never faced anything like this: the spirit world’s gone postal. All over Chicago, ghosts are causing trouble — and not just of the door-slamming, boo-shouting variety. These ghosts are tormented, violent, and deadly. Someone — or something — is purposely stirring them up to wreak unearthly havoc.

But why? And why do so many of the victims have ties to Harry? If Harry doesn’t figure it out soon, he could wind up a ghost himself… - Book description on cover

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On another workshop

Goodness!  I seem to be doing a lot of these things lately.  But that’s what one does if one wants to become competent in a certain field, isn’t it?  Train, train, and train some more.

This time round I’m doing an advanced workshop in clinical pastoral counselling.  For the practical component we’re working in a hospital with intensive care and terminal patients, which is daunting to say the least.  I’m writing this over the weekend, and by the time you’re reading this I’m already more than halfway with the workshop, so hope with me that I’m still holding up okay.  These things tend to be emotionally draining.

I’m pretty sure by now I just can’t wait for tomorrow so I can get back to my wife and my home, though the thought of navigating the Easter weekend traffic in the most densely populated hundred-and-fifty kilometres of South Africa is already giving me a headache as I write this post.

Oh, well.  At least there’s nothing planned for the long weekend.  I probably need to try to catch up with my writing for Camp NaNoWriMo, but I’m so far behind now…I think I’ll try again in June.  And there’s my actual studies also still crying out for some attention.  It just never ends, does it?

Song Title Challenge #43: Boulevard of Broken Dreams – Green Day

It’s time for this week’s Song Title Challenge.

To take part, write a short piece of fiction, about 300 words, using the song title as your story title but without listening to the song.  You can pick your own genre or use the one suggested to me.  Leave a link to your post in the comments section.  You’re also welcome to comment on my attempt which appears below.

If you would like to suggest a song title for a future post, you can do so from the challenge page.  You can also leave a suggestion on the Facebook page.

Thanks to bumblepuppies for this week’s very tame suggestion (compared to past titles) of Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day (not that I’m complaining – I think Green Day makes some pretty decent music and am very thankful to have a band that I’ve heard of before for a change).  The genre is Fantasy/Sci-Fi.

Boulevard of Broken Dreams

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KokkieH Reviews The Spy Who Came In From The Cold by John le Carré

The Spy Who Came In From The Cold book cover

Alec Leamas is tired. It’s the 1960s, he’s been out in the cold for years, spying in Berlin for his British masters, and has seen too many good agents murdered for their troubles. Now Control wants to bring him in at last – but only after one final assignment. He must travel deep into the heart of Communist Germany and betray his country, a job that he will do with his usual cynical professionalism. But when George Smiley tries to help a young woman Leamas has befriended, Leamas’ mission may prove to be the worst thing he could ever have done. - Online book description

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