Black Dog Summer

Miranda Sherry Black Dog Summer

Miranda Sherry
Black Dog Summer

Miranda Sherry will take you by surprise. She is this gentle, beautifully spoken, pretty blonde whose path intersects with mine in a class we sometimes have the privilege of sharing. I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to read a book written by someone you actually know on a casually social basis and enjoy it. It would be dreadful for me if I had read this book and thought, eeeeuuuuwwww, how do I fake my way through this, but reading it was not like that at all.
For all that looks can be deceiving Miranda, looking very much an unassuming and gentle soul has written a tale that doesn’t spare you from the harsh realities of crime and life in South Africa. Yet, at the same time the book enchants you as all the threads come together and suck you into the story.
I am not sure what genre to slot this book into, I don’t think that it really needs to be put into a box but for the purposes of this review, shall we say it is an incredibly dramatic suspense thriller or something of that sort.
It took me a little while to get into but once I was in, boy, was I in, and I spent the entire night reading to finish the book.
The writing style is elegant and easy to read. The story poignant but visceral. It is told mostly from the point of view of Sally, the deceased mother of teenager Gigi as she watches her former world in slightly detached fashion. Is it a ghost story? No, well, I don’t think so, but is very much a South African story.
I did have a little giggle because the Silverman family pops up in this novel, not the same branch of the family as in A Beautiful Family by Marilyn Cohen De Villiers, but Silvermans none the less. I got to wondering how come the Silvermans have become the only Jewish family to have achieved debut novel literary fame twice in the last couple of months 🙂

I don’t know if you heard Miranda being interviewed on Classic FM a couple of weeks ago, I did. She read a couple of pages of Black Dog Summer on air and that beautiful voice is a perfect accompaniment to her novel, in fact, I think that is the voice I heard in my head whilst reading her book!
Miranda Sherry’s debut novel is well worth a read and welcome to the new South African talent on the block.

Miranda will be coming to chat to us at Indulgence Cafe, Northcliff on the 15th of November at 2pm. Feel free to come and join us.
FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1494981960758865/

Festival of Fantasy and Horror

Indulgence Cafe's Halloween Tree

Indulgence Cafe’s Halloween Tree

There is something very special about spending an evening chatting to young, vibrant and talented people about genres of books and movies that are very close to your own heart.
I had the total luxury of having such an evening on Wednesday night at Indulgence Cafe with three of Gauteng’s writers, authors and bloggers.
With thunder and lightening as the perfect eerie backdrop to an evening spent discussing the joys of horror and fantasy from writing writing it to books and movies, Joan De La Haye, Monique-Cherie Synman and Dave De Burgh held center stage and captivated the sadly small but very avid audience with their engaging personalities and views on writing today. No writer, no movie and no book was sacred as we worked our way through the different genres and their meanings.
Surrounded by The Little Shop of Halloween Horrors that haunts Indulgence Cafe’s walls and rafters at the moment the subjects of ghouls and zombies was definitely not out of place.

From left Joan, Dave and Monique

From left Joan, Dave and Monique

Dave who runs the most amazing fantasy and sci-fi section of Exclusive Books at the Colonade in Pretoria is incredibly knowledgeable on the topic and I find myself left wanting to spend a whole bunch more time engaging him on the books we both seem to enjoy so much. He is a fount of amazing info which he appeared to just pull out from under his pumpkin hat with no problem at all. Dave is already a published author and blogger and has signed a deal for a 3 part fantasy series which I really looking forward to reading. It was quite funny that a man so eloquent struggled just a bit to give me a synopsis of his up coming book, maybe he just wanted to keep it under wraps for now! We look forward to hosting him and his lovely other half at again when his book hits the shelves (maybe we will manage a sneak preview before anywhere else gets a look in)

Dave and Leanna

Dave and Leanna

Monique who though Afrikaans speaking, writes and blogs in English, is also a very fascinating young lady in her very elegant but awesome hat, with her first book out now. I got myself a copy and have added it to the extensive shelf of books in my house that screams out to be read really soon. Monique is not one to hang back in a crowd I am happy to see and has some definite views on books particularly erotica, however I do wonder if she doth protest a little too much. I am happy to report that she is not above watching the odd B grade movie and can sadly report that we have both seen and enjoyed The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes………..watch it at your own peril, I will admit to being 25 years younger when I watched it

Monique-Cherie Snyman

Monique-Cherie Snyman

Joan De La Haye, dynamite in a small package and high heels is no stranger to Indulgence Cafe. Apart from coming here previously to chat about her horror novel, Shadows, she has also celebrated her birthday at Indulgence Cafe and spent many an AuthorTalk here in support of other South African and one or two international authors. Joan is charming and funny and her Creulla De Ville wig hides a brain of remarkable scary talent. It is no surprise that one of Joan’s favourite authors is Stephen King although we do have Clive Barker in common as well, an author who manages to have equal footing in both the fantasy and horror genres.

The Killer High Heels

The Killer High Heels

Thank you to Marcia of Skoobs, Theater of Books for setting up a very enticing table of books, I was hard pressed to not haul out the credit card but did succumb to to a vintage collection of tales by HP Lovecraft which I believe was evening appropriate and look forward to one day reading.

From left Monique, Joan, Mandi and Dave

From left Monique, Joan, Mandi and Dave

To say it was a delightful evening is an understatement, it was an absolute blast. There was lots of fact exchanged, lots of fiction discussed, copious amounts of happy laughter and some serious wine quaffing took place. This is an evening I would repeat in a heart beat and quite frankly I think we can now refer to this as the First Annual Horror and Fantasy Festival at Indulgence Cafe.

For the YouTube snippet of the fun http://t.co/VlnLRMwQLa