Join us for the XPRESSION ON THE BEACH launch of Shadow Flicker by Melissa A. Volker

Shadow Flicker Xpression

In our author interview, Melissa told us about the place surfing holds in her life:

… I suspect it’s more of an obsession, a compulsion, much like writing, but possibly less plagued by self-doubt? I’ve been married to a surfer for more than twenty years, and initially I acquired a good beachside understanding of things. But four years ago, I stepped off the beach and learned to surf a stand-up paddle board. I have not looked back; I now plan my week around the surf report. Surfing is a most empowering experience; it has taught me that I am stronger and braver than I ever thought. I am grateful to have the opportunity to be in the water whenever it presents itself.

Significantly, the first editor who did NOT reject my writing was Calvin Bradley, of Zigzag Surfing Magazine. I entered a competition called Write To Surf, and wrote a story about my life as a surf widow called ‘The Thinking Girls Guide to Life with a Surfer‘. I didn’t win the competition, but they published the story online. It was my first ever published story and when it got over 1000 likes on Facebook I was beyond stoked. It’s been epic to subsequently write pieces for The Inertia, Zigzag and Wavescape, especially when I have had the opportunity to write about women’s interests in surfing. We have a bunch of smart and funny surf writers in South Africa and I enjoy reading their work and learning from them as well.

In some ways surfing is like writing. It’s almost impossible to impress your will upon a wave, instead you have to be in tune with it and adapt your movement to the possibilities the wave is revealing to you. Much like a story. Sometimes you can’t impress your will upon it or force it in a certain direction. You have to be present, mindful and in tune with the possibilities that lie before you on the page.

Surfing features strongly in Shadow Flicker. It plays an important role in the protagonists’ lives, but both Kate and Matthew have to battle through loss and pain to return to the waves.

Shadow Flicker quote

Thus, it is with great pleasure that we invite everyone to join us for a launch of Melissa’s Shadow Flicker at the iconic XPRESSION ON THE BEACH: “We are more than just a ‘SUP and Surf Shop’ – We are a community.”

XPRESSION

Melissa will be in conversation with surfer, writer & historian Glen Thompson, who had this to say about the novel:

Melissa A. Volker deftly weaves romance, eco-fiction and surf noir into a gripping saga in Shadow Flicker. In the small coastal village made popular by The Endless Summer, the restless wind brings waves, haunted memories, and the promise of a green energy future. Volker takes you to the heart of the turbulence.

We can’t wait to catch this wave! See you on the beach …

 

Review competition: Natasha Alexander reviews A Fractured Land by Melissa A. Volker

A Fractured Land_LR for web A Fractured Land_2018I love a good romance but this book is so much more, filled with suspense and a gripping story, to say the least. Melissa’s scenic description is so wonderfully written, you can almost smell the dust and feel the blazing Karoo sun on your skin.

The two main characters are Carter from Texas, a former musician, trying to start over in the family oil business; and Lexi going back to her Karoo routes to rebuild her life, after a heart-breaking divorce which left her bankrupt. Their paths cross, at what seems, the worst possible time but as their story unfolds, Melissa keeps you hooked through their journey. Another character that kept me on the edge of my seat was Paul, the best friend/infatuated admirer of Lexi. Don’t want to give too much away, but his story/journey was brilliant too.

This is a must read, 5-star novel and I can’t wait for Melissa’s next one. (So, please hurry…no pressure.)

One more thing, LOVED the music references, Jack Johnson and Pearl Jam, two personal favourites.

Thank you for an awesome read, Melissa A. Volker.

Review first posted on Natasha Alexander’s blog, Goodreads & Amazon.

Karavan Press title: Breaking Milk by Dawn Garisch

Breaking Milk by Dawn Garisch

DESCRIPTION

So many women down the ages have lain awake in the earth’s great shadow, insomniac over their progeny, their sons and daughters intent on escaping their mothers’ intractable worry.

Don’t come, Kate is told by her only child. Jess is keeping her mother at a distance on the day that her own children, conjoined twins, are to be separated during high-risk surgery in London.

Kate wakes on her farm in the Eastern Cape, torn between respecting Jess’s wishes and a longing to rush to her estranged daughter’s side.

A former geneticist disillusioned by the pressing ethical questions posed by her job, Kate is now an award-winning maker of organic cheese. She relies on the farm’s routine and the people and animals in her life to hold steady as her day teeters on a knife’s edge.

Meanwhile, her employee Nosisi’s son is undergoing initiation. Forbidden to have contact with him during this traditional passage into the world of manhood, his mother anxiously awaits his return.

Breaking Milk, Dawn Garisch’s seventh novel, is an evocative exploration of the divisions and connections between humans, animals and the environment.

ISBN: 978-0-6399942-2-2

Publication date: 1 September 2019

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dawn Garisch by AJ Wattamaniuk

DAWN GARISCH is the highly acclaimed author of a non-fiction work, a memoir and six novels, three of which were published in the UK. She has written for television and has had five of her plays and a short film produced.

Her poem Blood Delta won the DALRO Prize in 2007 for best poem, and Miracle won the EU Sol Plaatje Poetry Award in 2011. Difficult Gifts, her debut poetry collection, was published the same year. She also writes short stories and her What To Do About Ricky won the Short.Sharp.Story competition in 2013.

Dawn’s novel Trespass was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in Africa in 2010, and Accident was longlisted for the Barry Ronge Sunday Times Fiction Prize in 2018.

She is part of the medical humanities movement and a founding member of the Life Righting Collective where she runs courses in memoir writing. Dawn is also a practising medical doctor and lives in Cape Town.

Breaking Milk, published by Karavan Press, is her seventh novel.

Author photograph by AJ Wattamaniuk.

Competition: Review one of Melissa A. Volker’s novels and stand a chance to win a book voucher worth R1000!

Review or comment on Shadow Flicker or A Fractured Land on an online platform of your choice (Amazon, Goodreads, Twitter, FB, Instagram, your blog or website, etc.), send the link to your post to karavanpress@outlook.com, and stand a chance to WIN a book voucher worth R1000* for a South African bookshop of your choice.

 

Reviews/comments have to be at least 150 words long to qualify.

We encourage reviews/comments that reflect your true opinions and feelings about the novels. (But we strongly discourage unkindness!)

Where applicable, use #KaravanPressReviewCompetition.

Use ‘Karavan Press Review Competition’ for the subject line of your email containing the link to your review/comment post.**

We will publish all eligible entries on karavanpress.com.

The winner will be drawn at random from all eligible entries.

Competition ends on 15 October 2019.

The winner will be announced on 16 October 2019.

 

*The book voucher is sponsored by Karavan Press.

**Your email address will not be used for any other purposes than to communicate with you should you win the competition.

Shadow Flicker by Melissa A. Volker launched at the Book Lounge

davIt was quite a while ago that Melissa A. Volker and I sat at Jonkerhuis, discussing over cake and coffee a version of the manuscript that would eventually become her novel Shadow Flicker. During that conversation, I mentioned my dream of becoming a publisher. I also told her that I’d loved her novel; that it needed some work, but that I was convinced it would be published one day and that she should not give up on it… Over the years that I have known Melissa and her writing, I have also been telling her that one day I would be attending her launch at the Book Lounge.

Shadow Flicker has been published, and last night, this beautiful novel was launched at the Book Lounge like I have always known it would be. What I could not have predicted was that I would be the publisher launching it with her, and that it would be a first for both of us. But we all know that the best stories are full of unexpected twists and turns, and that they have satisfying endings. And this one is only a beginning, for Melissa and for Karavan Press.

Shadow Flicker launch at Book Lounge2

The Book Lounge was packed for the event last night, the warmth of the welcome palpable throughout the evening. Melissa was in conversation with Jacqui L’Ange, the author of the exquisite The Seed Thief.

Shadow Flicker launch at Book Lounge3‘I’m usually not a romance reader, but I gobbled these up. These are eco-romances. But they are also thrillers. They are eco-romance thrillers,’ said Jacqui, coining a wonderful term that describes Melissa’s work.

‘I would like readers to understand the issues without having to listen to an environmental lecture,’ Melissa explained. ‘If you package it all into a good story, you can get the word out.’

And a good story is what Melissa tells, in A Fractured Land and Shadow Flicker. May there be many, many more. For her and Karavan Press!

‘I hope that my writing makes people smile,’ Melissa said. It does. Thank you!

Shadow Flicker launch at Book Lounge4

Book delivery: A Fractured Land and Shadow Flicker by Melissa A. Volker

cofCelebrating our first booksIt is always a magical moment: holding your first book copies in your hands. They never feel entirely real, but the joy that is bubbling inside you is overwhelming so, always. Yesterday, that moment was particularly exuberant because Melissa and I were experiencing it together: she as author, I as publisher. Karavan Press’s first ever titles: A Fractured Land and Shadow Flicker.

Ready for distributionAfter the initial trouble with the binding of the first printrun, the second turned out to be perfect and so worth waiting for. The delay was daunting and frustrating, but both Melissa and I knew that what we had imagined for these novels had to become reality in order for us to be able to share them with our readers with all the exhilaration these special books deserve. And now, they are here. And they are everything we have wanted them to be.

Salieri and first copy of Shadow FlickerWe hope to see the first copies in bookshops countrywide sometime next week, and we hope to see many enthusiastic readers at the launch of Shadow Flicker at the Book Lounge on 16 July. Melissa will be in conversation with the fabulous author and journalist, Jacqui L’Ange.

The feline community is already reading and we have the first paw of approval from Salieri, one of our literary cats. We can’t wait to see what Melissa’s Frosty has to say.

Karavan Press to publish Lester Walbrugh’s debut collection of short stories

Karavan Press is excited to announce that we will be publishing the debut short story collection by the excellent local writer Lester Walbrugh. We signed the agreement last week at Liberty Books, a cosy bookshop in Grabouw, Lester’s hometown.

dav

Lester’s short stories have been published in several anthologies and literary magazines. This year, his “The Space(s) Between Us” has made the longlist of the prestigious Short Story Day Africa Prize and will feature in the SSDA anthology, Hotel Africa; and his “Hairs and Graces” will be published in Hair: Weaving and Unpicking Stories of Identity in September. We look forward to putting together a selection of his best published and new work and sharing it with lovers of the short story. Watch this space for further details!