Thank you so much to The LovecatsDownunder and Rachel Bailey for having me visit, I’m so thrilled to be on this blog as a guest! Wahoo!!!
Living in Australia for 14 years, I often forget that I still have a different accent, since I have been a citizen for most of those years. And while I am Australian in many ways, some of my own mannerisms are still different to those of my adopted country. E.g. If I was to suddenly ‘dunk’ my biscuit in my hot chocolate at lunch, my friends would be horrified, and yet – in South Africa, this as a totally acceptable custom to dunk your ‘rusk’ into your beverage. I also eat biltong and love droë Wors (sort of like beef jerky, and dried sausage), South African snacks at their best…
A few years ago, I was with my writing friends at lunch. (Yes lunching again…) I was planning a trip home to South Africa and Zimbabwe, and I passed an innocent comment that I was thinking of ‘arming up’ so that if I came into a difficult situation, I was armed and could fight for me and my children, if I had to. I still have the horrified expression of my author friends imprinted on my mind forever with the realisation that not only was I prepared to carry a gun, and the fact that I knew how to use the weapon too. The fact that we actually were had a shooting team, and our own range at school was a concept that to them was as foreign as snow in The Simpson desert.
|droë Wors: Photo: http://munchiesbiltong.wozaonline.co.za|
|Biltong: Photo: http://munchiesbiltong.wozaonline.co.za|
Much of what they had simply assumed as ‘research’ in my work, was real life experience, and knowledge. I was suddenly an alien to them, because to my passive and peaceful friends, this was a part of me I had never revealed before, and by then I had known some close on ten years…without conscious effort, I had blended into the society I was in now.
But what if you can’t?
What if you have a compulsion so strong that you would say ‘damn you’ to society, and just do what you wanted... or were driven to do?
In Shooting Butterflies, two of my characters, Buffel and Shilo Jamison, are involved in horrendous war crimes against humanity. But once the war is over, they integrate into society once more. Well one of them does… and you learn that he’s a good man, a man of heart, courage and honour. But the other one, he is caught between the belief of an ancient culture and religion, and what’s acceptable to modern society. But the conviction to hunt down the butterfly is stronger than the pull of society and you travel the slippery road of PTSD with him. And along the way you meet some pretty strong other characters who will try and stop him killing the butterfly.
This is the official blurb for Shooting Butterflies:
He sees ‘the butterfly’ in his dreams.
She is the key to setting a child’s soul free.
She is the perfect sacrifice.
Ex-soldier Kirkman ‘Buffel’ Potgieter lives by the motto of his former military unit: Tiri Tose, which is Shona for ‘we are together’…but also for ‘there is no escape’. So when Shilo Jamison Khumalo betrays Buffel by saving a neighbour’s child, Tara Wright, from becoming the latest addition to his sinister ‘butterfly’ collection, it sparks Buffel’s obsession with hunting them both down.
After Tara witnesses the murder of her father and uncle, she and her remaining family leave Zimbabwe for a new life in South Africa. There, a teenaged Tara meets Wayne Botha, but finds she isn’t prepared for the price she is asked to pay for falling in love. After Tara secretly flees the conservative rural community, Wayne never gives up hope of ever seeing his one true love again.
But years later, out of the blue, Tara makes contact with Wayne to reveal a secret and some potentially devastating news. In a twist of fate, Wayne and Jamison find they have far more in common than just a passion for African wildlife and join forces to protect Wayne’s new family. But the threat of Buffel is still looming and Jamison knows only too well that there will be ‘no escape’ for him and Tara, ‘The Butterfly’.
I’m writing this on a day when I am as hyped up and totally amazed that I have been nominated for the People Choice Award, in the Queensland Literary Awards. This is an amazing recognition for my previous book, My Brother-But-One and I am grateful and humbled by this, but I’m also looking at it as the ultimate in an acceptance of me, the person, as a ‘fair dinkum’ Queenslander. So now I can finally call Australia home, despite the accent! LOL... If you are an Aussie, the public get to vote for your favourite book, would love it if you could nip over and cast your vote for me.
So its my turn to give away a book… as I have won a number from this very blog, and loved every one! My new book Shooting Butterflies, published by Harlequin Mira will be released on 1st December 2014, if you would like to win a copy please comment below and we will draw the winner tomorrow evening. And when I get copies, I will sure be sending the winner out one...
Thanks for visiting with me and thank you again Rachel, for having me on this blog!
Thanks for dropping by, Tina! And if anyone wants to check out Tina's new book, you can find it at Harlequin, Amazon, iTunes, Booktopia, Kobo, and, if you live Down Under, you'll find it on the shelves of Target, K-Mart, Big W and all good bookstores!