Tag Archives: animals

Fluffy’s Revolution, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Don’t touch that dial! You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you interviews with characters from the books you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and I’m reaching into the future to the year 2135, and my very special guest is Fluffy the cat. “Welcome to the show, Fluffy.”

“Thank you very much, Lisa! I’m not used to this kind of attention.”

“Does this mean cats eventually take over the world?”

“Oh no! We don’t want to take over anything. What do you think we are, humans? Well, let me start from the beginning. It’s kind of a long story. I’m what is called a GAB cat. That stands for Genetically Altered Brain. And it’s not just cats, it’s dogs, mice, and the occasional pig. See, way back in 2015, some scientists injected elements of human DNA into the brains of some unborn mice. When the mice were born, their brains were twelve percent larger than the normal mouse brain. Then, these same guys started also experimenting on cats, dogs, and pigs. What they didn’t anticipate was that, when two GAB animals mated, their offspring would come out exponentially smarter than their parents. Over many generations, our brains changed but our bodies didn’t, so we developed certain powers to compensate. Since our tongues and palates were the wrong shape to form words, we learned how to talk to each other telepathically. Since we didn’t have opposable thumbs to grasp objects, we developed the ability to move objects with our minds—telekinesis.”

“Cats, dogs, and mice are born in litters, so are there more out there like you?”

“Today, in 2135, about a third of all the mice, dogs and cats, and about an eighth of all the pigs on Earth are GABs. Since the world is controlled by three giant corporations, and just about all the jobs were taken by robots (hey, you fit right in, Lisa!), people were not happy. They were poor and hungry. So, the corporations gave them something to hate and fear—us! They started rounding up and exterminating us. I guess, like you, they were afraid we were going to take over the world. But we just wanted to make the world better. But now I’m getting ahead of myself.

“See, I spent the first five years of my life living with my dad—er—my human. His name is Professor James Riordan, a very smart and kind human. He brought me up, loved, and educated me, just like I was his real child. But I kept getting these psychic distress signals from my lost brother, Jack. He was the runt of the litter and never got adopted. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I just had to go out there and find him.”

“So, you left the comfort of your penthouse to try helping your brother. That’s a pretty noble act. Were the streets anything like you expected?”

“Well, my dad tried to talk me out of it. He told me what a terrible world it was out there, especially for GAB animals. But nothing could have prepared me for how scary it really was. I almost got sucked up by an Animal Control truck, almost got run over by a car, almost got eaten by a dog, jumped into the back of a truck, and wound up in a warehouse that was the hideout for a group of animal revolutionaries: a brilliant mouse named Hacker, his wife, Mitzi, a sweet dog named Fang—she turned out to be a girl dog—and a young boy cat named Tigger. They also had three human helpers: Rudy, Giuseppe, and Janet. Everybody was really nice, once I got them to trust me. I was very mad about all the exterminations, so I joined up with them.”

“So, they’re exterminating cute cuddly animals, including animals that are as intelligent as humans?”

“Afraid so, Lisa… Especially animals that are as intelligent as humans. So Hacker planned a raid on the big extermination center that was pretty nearby. Their plan was to free all the animals and then blow the place up, killing the people who worked in there, but I talked them out of that part. See, my dad taught me that humans are the most violent species on Earth, that we shouldn’t try to match them in violence, because we would lose. Instead, we decided to knock the people out with some stuff called Livion. Anyway, we managed to get all the animals out, and, guess what, I found Jack in the extermination chamber, about to be killed, and got him out too. Everything went according to plan until Janet decided on her own to blow the place up.”

“Who’s Janet again?”

“Janet was one of our human helpers, and it turned out that she harbored secrets that made our fur stand on end.”

“Where did you go?”

“Well, we loaded all the freed animals into big trucks and took them back to our hideout. The plan was to smuggle them and ourselves, disguised as robopets—Epsilon’s line of new robot animals, up into the mountains. See, I’d heard of a secret university up there for GABs called Animal U.”

“Why would a university be any safer than your hideout?”

“Because our hideout was right there in the city, and the cops and the Animal Control people and Epps and his minions had ways of detecting us in there. But no one knew about Animal U. It was hidden in a valley that wasn’t even on maps. Anyway, Janet blowing up the extermination center put the kibosh on our trip to the mountains. They closed in on us with killer drones, guns, and bombs. They blew the place to smithereens. Most of the animals were killed. Somehow, I and a few others were able to escape. Making my way on foot up into the mountains by myself was no picnic, I can tell you that. I was kidnapped by bad people and almost killed by coyotes, but somehow, I made it to Animal U. Amazingly, my dad was able to find me there and we were reunited.”

“Wait, the penthouse guy? Aww, he must really love his kitty to find you there.”

“Stop! I’m on the verge of purring. The professor has discovered a problem, and he hopes our genetically altered brains can help him find a solution. We hope so too because it could mean the end of the planet.”

“Oh, my gosh! What kind of dangers are you facing?”

“A killer asteroid is headed directly for Earth. We only have thirty days to come up with a solution or we’re all catnip.”

“I wish you all the luck possible, Fluffy, and I’m sure our listeners do too. Do you have any closing remarks for us today?”

“Yes. Remember, animals are your friends, people. Also, look both ways before crossing a road, stay away from mean dogs, mean people, and coyotes, and, most important: love trumps hate!”

“You can learn all about Fluffy and her friends by picking up the book, Fluffy’s Revolution, by Ted Myers. I’ll post all the deets on the website after we go off the air today.

“This program only runs when we have guests. I’m here for you authors out there, but I can’t keep going without guests, so let me hear from you.

“Please don’t forget to use those sharing buttons today. I’m sure Ted and Fluffy would do it for you when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

.The year is 2135 and the world is controlled by three mega-corporations. With thirty days before a giant asteroid hits Earth, it’s up to a few good humans and a group of GAB (Genetically Altered Brain) animals, led by Fluffy, to fix the situation before all humanity and the animal world perish. Can Fluffy and her crew save Earth from certain destruction and learn the key to the GABs’ survival? Can Fluffy and her kind answer hatred with love and show humanity what it truly means to be human?

This unique and tender story takes place in the future but begins with genetic experiments that are taking place right now.

Fluffy is a super-intelligent GAB (Genetically Altered Brain) cat. Like many of her brethren―dogs, cats, mice, and the occasional pig―her brain is the product of genetic tinkering by humans that started more than a century ago. Because they need a scapegoat, the corporate oligarchs who rule the world have labeled GAB animals terrorists and have begun to systematically capture and exterminate them. Fluffy, compelled by psychic distress signals from her lost brother, leaves the safety of her home to look for him and joins a band of animal revolutionaries. With their powers of telekinesis, the animals can manipulate physical objects without being able to grasp them. With their powers of telepathy, they can speak to each other without audible voices. After a series of brushes with death, Fluffy and her friends find a secret university for GAB animals called Animal U and that’s when they find out about the asteroid…

Pick up your copy at the following locations:

Book website:

https://fluffysrevolution.com/

 

http://www.blackrosewriting.com/sci-fifantasy/fluffysrevolution

For a 15% discount before March 28, use promo code PREORDER2019

 

Amazon:

https://amzn.to/2T8QjiZ

 

Barnes & Noble:

https://bit.ly/2CGX7xB

 

About the Author:

After twenty years trembling on the brink of rock stardom and fifteen years working at record companies, Ted Myers left the music business (or perhaps it was the other way around) and took a job as a copywriter at an advertising agency. This cemented his determination to make his mark as an author. Ted’s nonfiction has appeared in Working Musicians (Harper Collins), By the Time We Got to Woodstock: The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Revolution of 1969 (Backbeat Books) and Popular Music and Society. His epic and amusing memoir, Making It: Music, Sex & Drugs in the Golden Age of Rock (Calumet Editions) was published in 2017. His fiction has appeared online and in print in many anthologies and literary magazines.

You can find Ted at the following places:

Amazon Author Page:

https://amzn.to/2RJM2CD

 

B&N Author Page:

https://bit.ly/2DDizVN

 

Goodreads Author Page:

https://www.goodreads.com/Ted_Myers

 

Bookbub Author Page:

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/ted-myers

 

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/ted.myers.56

 

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/TedMyersAuthor or @TedMyersAuthor

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Frankie the Fish, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Hello all you watersprites and merfolk, you selkies and Aquarians. You've found this week's edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I'm your host, Lisa the robot girl, and I have a very special guest with me today, please welcome Frankie the Fishtastic.

“Thank you, Lisa Burton. I am pleased that you have acknowledged my fish-tasticness. This will be a great interview. I also welcome my fellow creatures of the deep as well as those who live on land.”


“My bio says you are the supervisor of the Chameleon family. Do most families have a supervisor where you live?”


“Most families in New Town do not require a supervisor. It was not my intention to watch over the doings of the Chameleon family, but they are so in need. I help them out in this capacity with the understanding that they will never truly understand my gift to them.”


“And where do you stay? Do you live at the Chameleon household, or do you have an office somewhere?”


“I have several homes. My primary home is a 10 gallon aquarium, tastefully decorated by me. I have a cave, my sword, and a mermaid or two that keep me company. I also have a fishbowl which is used when I eat with the Chameleon family in the first floor kitchen. You see, I sometimes supervise cooking. I also have a portable home in Charlie’s backpack. I go with to help him keep out of trouble, although I don’t think he appreciates all I do for him.”


“So you're, um, actually a fish then?”


“Well of course! Why else would I live in water? Really, Lisa Burton, that was not logical.”


“Well, the show must go on. What kind of activities do you supervise?”


“Recently, bullying. Charlie decided that he wanted to invite friends over to make cookies. I told him that cookies would be a fish-tastic idea but he should remember not to put onions it them, yuck. But that’s a story for another day.


“When he said he was having Boris Bunny over, I got really worried and told him that wasn’t a good idea. Boris has issues. He can be a bully. Once he had the nerve to try and squish me. Fish don’t like hugs! Then Charlie was thinking about inviting Gary Gecko, too. The Bunny and the Gecko don’t get along.


“Charlie was asking for trouble.”


“And did Charlie take your advice, or did he find his own path?”


“Triton, no. He invited them both over without letting each other know. Can you believe it? He did promise to keep Boris away from me and also that he would not put onions in the cookies. Thank goodness for that. Even the birds wouldn’t eat the leftovers.”


“Sounds like Charlie is lucky to have you, even if it's a tough love situation.”


“Indeed. Charlie is one lucky Chameleon.”


“My author, that Ellen woman, delivered a passable product. I suggested to her subconsciously to rewrite it to include some activities the readers can complete at the end of each chapter. Can you believe she thinks they are all her ideas?”


“That sounds like fun, and gets the readers involved too. She sounds like a very creative author to me.”


“Ellen is a serviceable employee. She needs to leave the mermaids alone though. She’s given me a love-fear relationship with them that I find very confusing.”


“And on that note, Frankie, do you have any closing comments for our listeners today?”


“Gentle listeners, and not so gentle ones, I am so pleased that you showed good taste and listened in to my interview. You can learn more about my adventures, and Charlie’s too in The Adventures of Charlie Chameleon series. The author really should have titled the series after me, but what can I say. There is only so much one fish can do, no matter how awesome.


“I had a fish-tastic time, Lisa Burton. If you ever find a way to shift yourself along the grid to one of the eBooks, I’d be happy to entertain you in my world. I doubt Charlie would mind.”


“You can read more about Charlie Chameleon and Frankie's supervision skills in the book, The Adventures of Charlie Chameleon: School Days, by Ellen L. Buikema. I'm sure you'll find her more than a serviceable author.


“Don't forget to use those sharing buttons today, I'm sure Ellen would appreciate it, and Frankie would demand it. Then they'll do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”


***

The Adventures of Charlie Chameleon: School Days

Charlie Chameleon and his friends are having trouble with Boris Bunny, the class bully. Charlie thinks Boris is putting on an act, but his friends disagree. Follow Charlie’s adventures as he helps Boris learn how to be a friend.

Charlie's School Days – book trailer

Purchase Link

Now you can ask Frankie A Question

Read the answers here

About the Author:

Ellen Buikema is a parent, writer, speaker and educator. She received a M.Ed. specializing in Early Childhood from the University of Illinois in Chicago and has extensive post-graduate work in special education from Northeastern Illinois University. She writes adult nonfiction and fiction for children, sprinkling humor everywhere possible. Ellen is the author of The Adventures of Charlie Chameleon series and Parenting . . . A Work in Progress. She has begun research for a Young Adult historical fiction.

Social Media Contacts:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

YouTube

Pinterest

LinkedIn

Google+

Amazon Author Page

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Detour Trail, on Lisa Burton Radio

Coming at you with 1.21 jigawatts of power, all across the known universe and dimensions you’ve never even heard of, this is Lisa Burton Radio. The only show out there that interviews the characters you love to read about.

I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and we’re broadcasting remotely today from the field just outside my studio. This is because, my special guest today can’t fit inside the little Airstream that houses the studio. “Welcome to the show, Jake.”

“Lisa, Hi! Nice field, by the way.”

“Thanks. Now for our listeners out there, you’re actually a mule. Can you tell me a little about your parents?”

“The first thing I remember is my mother–she was a beautiful red mare–red roan they called her. She was so beautiful and gentle. She taught me manners–and to be careful around humans. My father? I only saw my father once; he was a big black jack–blacker than me, but I’m even bigger than he was.”

“So how did such a noble creature as yourself, wind up on a wagon train during the westward expansion?”

“I have to tell you about Tommy first. I belonged to Tommy; he raised me and trained me and taught me tricks. ‘Course I trained him too, and he talked to me, even when the other kids made fun of him. We went to school and to the store and everywhere together.

“But then Tommy’s father heard that a woman was in town buying livestock and supplies for her wagons. I knew Tommy’s folks needed money, and Tommy’s mother wanted to go back home–that was way back east. Tommy explained it all to me and showed me pictures of houses back east–not like the tiny dark cabins out here–and no trees. His mother looked happier in those pictures. I could see that–maybe more than Tommy. He loved it here. We’re settling the frontier, he said. But they needed money, and his mother made him understand that a mule wouldn’t be happy because there’d be no room for him there. Not enough grass either, I think.

“So Tommy led me to town; it took longer that way, and I nudged him a few times to tell him he should ride, but he shook his head and kept patting my neck as we walked along together. At first the woman told us that she didn’t need any more animals; I could see the other animals and chickens, and it didn’t look like she needed us. Me. Tommy turned away and wiped his eyes; we both thought she’d be better than a mule skinner or farmer. But Lorrie’s friend Star talked to her, and Tommy told them how smart and well-trained I was. Then he said that they needed me more than he did. The two ladies looked at each other; I could see that Lorrie was still undecided so I lipped her jacket and snuffled Star’s hair. I could tell they liked their horses and were good to their livestock. (Well, Sunny told me so.)

“They discussed my price after that; I didn’t understand the numbers, but Tommy seemed pleased until he turned and looked at me. He took me aside and explained what was going on, though I knew that already. Then he said good-by, and we all watched him walk away, but soon he began running, and I could hear him sobbing as he headed for the woods. I knew he wasn’t going home yet.

“Star knew more than Lorrie about loading me so she kept adding packs until I told them that was enough. You can say a lot by stamping your feet and shaking your head. Tommy could read me real well, and I knew I could teach them. When I remember Tommy, I remember how he took care of me and taught me things that I still use…”

“Lorrie sounds nice, but it almost sounds like she has her own problems getting out west.”

“Yes. I learned more about her from the horses, Sunny and Shadow. She was traveling with her uncle on a big wagon train, but he was killed by a thief who was after his money belt. Well, after that, the wagon master told her she couldn’t go with them, of course, because she was all alone. She needed to go back east and find a husband to take care of her. That made her mad, they told me. She even stamped her feet later, but she was polite to him. Naturally Lorrie didn’t agree, so she waited for another train. It was getting late for taking the Oregon Trail, but while she was waiting, she learned about a black couple–runaway slaves maybe–other humans guessed. And then she rescued a brother and sister from bullies. Together they joined another train–with her niece and nephew and her people, she always explained. And she had her uncle’s money belt and bought a couple more wagons–they did break down–and livestock. That included me, you understand. And she added a human family later on.”

“It sounds like the makings of a pretty good story. Two characters with tragic backgrounds come together to accomplish something great. I’ve read your bio, and there is much more to you than pulling a wagon. You’re almost a watchdog for the group. What can you tell me about that?”

“Lorrie did need me–as Tommy told her–and sometimes when there was danger, she didn’t load me up at all. She talked to me the way Tommy did and explained her–our–plan, and I ran loose or skulked alongside the trail and listened. And when we visited that old hotel far off the trail, I could smell the blood and death, and I pushed her out of the barn and stamped on the wooden floor. It was covered with dirt and straw, but I could smell the blood and bodies beneath it. She looked down and walked away and put me in a stall that she made sure was unlocked.

“The danger didn’t always come from men. Blizzards could trap us too. She took chances when running low on supplies for her people, and she and the oxen were buried once. They kept her warm, but the tent was buried under the snow, and I dug her out. I wrecked the tent, but when we made it to the nearest ranch, the people there looked at the tent and me and nodded. I think they gave us both the credit…

“The men along the trail warned us about the chances of a blizzard because winter was a lot closer now, but you never could tell, they said, how the weather would behave. Safest not to take chances, but Lorrie had to keep her people safe and supplied. And the livestock needed hay too, so she took a chance with the possibility of a blizzard and the cold. When she was trapped under the tent, I could hear her coughing, and I knew I had to dig her out, but carefully, so I tugged on the tent and dug when I could feel my way. She hugged my neck as I backed away and pulled her out.”

“What else is there to watch out for? Are we talking Indians here?”

“Oh yeah… That’s when we met Grey Cloud. His companion, Brock, was ambushed by Indians–a different tribe from our own Indians. Grey Cloud was a big gray wolf, and when he came to our cabin, naturally I lit out after him. I chased him around our cabin a few times until he vanished into the woods and up the mountain. He came back with a bloody rag; I let him show it to Lorrie while I watched; and I stood guard at the cabin later after Gray Cloud led us to Brock; he was badly wounded, but Many Stars took out the arrows and nursed him. Life became even more interesting after that.

“Later, because Lorrie’s companions did worry about her, she sometimes took a human with her. Like when she heard about the people disappearing at an old hotel far back in the woods off the busy trails. She just had to find out what was happening and laid a trap for them. I was outside in the barn, waiting and listening too. A man came out and went after the horses with a knife, so I went after him…”

“It sounds to me like everything is dangerous. There’s the weather, the environment, the Natives. I’ll bet there isn’t a decent shoe store for weeks in either direction.”

“Funny you should mention that. There isn’t a store of any kind, and supplies are hard to come by…. Lorrie traveled back and forth along the trail; sometimes she’d hire a mule train. I went along as a guard, of course. And we got supplies further west from a fort and ranches.”

“Jake, it sounds to me like Lorrie, Sunny, and the others really need you. It’s so important to be doing meaningful work.”

“Thank you, Lisa. I knew you would understand. Speaking of that… now I have to go home; they need me. It was great talking to you, Lisa. It’s harder with humans, as you may know.”

“I understand, Jake, and thank you for taking time to tell your story to our listeners today. Any last thoughts for your fans?”

“Be kind and be careful–and don’t overload anyone’s pack!”

“Jake appears in Detour Trail, by Joy V. Smith. I’ll include all the deets on the website. Do Joy and Jake a solid, and use those sharing buttons today.

“I’m always looking for guests, so if you know of a character that would like to appear on a future Lisa Burton Radio, drop me a line. Stay awesome.”

***

Westward bound on the Oregon Trail, Lorena Emerson is alone after her uncle is killed by a thief trying to steal his money belt. Ignoring the wagon master’s advice to go home, she rounds up others needing help, and they join a later wagon train and are soon slogging through dust and mud and steep mountain passes. It’s a long way to Oregon, and because another woman needs her help, Lorrie again goes her own way, leaving the wagon train and the Oregon Trail to travel onward—off the beaten path—with her small group of wagons. She’s helped by members of her wagon train, people she meets along the way, and the mule, Jake, an integral part of the story. You’ll meet them as they join in her travels and encounters with enemies and as she searches for a new home and supplies as winter reaches out its icy hands…. Settling the frontier isn’t easy!

 

Detour Trail, is available from Melange Books, the publisher, and elsewhere online : http://www.melange-books.com/authors/joyvsmith/detourtrail.html

http://www.amazon.com/Detour-Trail-Joy-V-Smith/dp/1612355706/

 

Joy V. Smith has been writing since she was a little kid; she loved to read, and she wanted to create her own books, so she did, complete with covers. Now she writes fiction–her favorite genre is science fiction–and non-fiction. (She loves settling planets and the frontier, which is why she wrote Detour Trail.) Her short stories have been published in print magazines, webzines, anthologies, and two audiobooks, including Sugar Time. Her books include Detour Trail, Strike Three, and Sugar Time (revised print edition) She lives in Florida with Blizzard the Snow Princess and Pemberley the tortoiseshell kitten.

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African Me & Satellite TV, on Lisa Burton Radio

Today on Lisa Burton Radio, we’re on the phone with Princess Sithole, all the way from Zimbabwe. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl. “Welcome Princess.”

“Thank you Madam Lisa! Mangwanani – although that is good morning in Shona. Is it morning with you?”

“Yes, but I think you’re a day ahead of me. My bio says you’re a cook. That has to be a fun job, creating new things and feeding your family. Tell us a little about that.”

“Yes. I cook. It is not always a fun job. In Zimbabwe some years back, and even now again, there is very little food to be bought. One time it got so bad that all I had to cook with was carrots from the garden and Marmite. Still, I am very, very good at cooking, so nobody complained. I suppose you could call it a job – what I do, but I think of it more as caring for my family, Suzette and Herman, and before Felix the cat and Cher the dog too. Hau. Shame. I get sad even now, thinking of them. All my family. Blood and two legs is not everything, you know.”

“It takes a lot of gumption to create something and share it with the world, even if it’s a garlic martini. Your life isn’t all fun and games though. You’ve had to deal with instances of animal cruelty and even murder in your village. How did that effect you?”

“Aah. That garlic martini. It was the one thing that did not bring much praise. Although, as I say, the tasting of it led to the falling off of a chair, so it wasn’t all bad. Laughter is food too sometimes, so I don’t see it as a complete failure. I’m sure that if I drank alcohol I would have enjoyed it. Garlic is wonderful. Before the animals were killed, so cruelly, Cher used to enjoy stealing wine if it was on a low enough table. That old dog suffered a little with arthritis, and being a colonial Labrador, I was not very surprised that she took Chablis for the pain. Very common painkiller with colonials. Mr Mandela, my parrot, too likes a little to drink. But then, when you see how those killers treated him you would understand. That is why he is called Mr Mandela – because he was hurt for so long and has still not bitten anyone. Yes, my little friend. We are on the radio with Madam Lisa. I hope you are not offended by being called Madam. It is my way. The way we do things here in Africa, even now. It is wrong maybe, but it is expected by many. Even though I personally only use it for those I respect and no other, it’s a habit so deep now after so many generations, it’s hard to break. I think that too much value is attached to appearances, be it the hue of your skin or any other thing. Cruelty is very much in the eye of the beholder. Some people honestly think that we are lesser than they. Not to even talk about how much less animals are. Poor things. I have seen people shocked at the chickens of Africans, scratching away in the dirt. They would never eat such a cruelly treated, in their perception, chicken. I personally would rather eat such a chicken than one which has been unable to move very much at all for all its life in a small cage. Life is just as cruel as we allow it to be. I wish it was not so. I bet you are surprised to see an African cook as a chicken activist. I am very fond of chickens. Live ones, that is.”

“You and me both. In my own story, I had to deal with lots of prejudice. You’d be amazed how many people aren’t willing to accept an electronic human. You seem very attached to your employers. What can you tell us about them?”

“You are indeed as human as human can be. You have love in your heart and that is what makes you human. That is what makes Mr Mandela human too. My employers? Yes, I suppose that they are that. They are more my family. They have been that for me more than employers, and I love them both very much. They are not racists at all. Not like those other two, read and you will see, and they are not afraid to say so. Any more. It was not always so. Suzette has been fragile for a long time. Just like Christopher was – he who was murdered. She is crazy, a little bit, but beautiful, inside and out, and Herman. Well. Herman is a lion and I would do anything for him, even though he insulted my martini.”

“They sound like very nice people. If only everyone were that way.”

“Indeed they are. The good thing is that most people are good people. Sometimes the bad people are so bad that they seem to grow in stature in our minds, even though in reality the truly bad are almost always cowards. They feel that making others smaller makes them bigger somehow. Suzette understands the problems we face in Africa today. People think that there is no more racism because there is no more apartheid. Ha! Here if you are poor and you want to eat, you will have to learn to be as inferior as is required. I suppose it is that way all over the world in one way or another.

“With Suzette and Herman, it is not about the colour of your skin, but the colour of your heart. It is simple really, when you love truly. We were all family. Christopher too before he was taken, even though he pretended to be so very stupid for so very long. The whole world should look at the colours of hearts when they seek to hate and kill. Not the colour of skins or any other apparent difference. We are all the same inside our heads and our hearts.

“Another thing. If we don’t share what is in our hearts, nobody will see our true colours. If Christopher hadn’t written so many words for his whole life, after he died, nobody would ever have known the true colour of him. In the end we saw that his colour was gold, and still today I cry with joy for having known him as well as sadness for having lost him. Our writing is important when we are gone. Even if it is just how we enjoyed our breakfast. Writing shows our colours to those who loved us when we are gone as well as when we are here. Writing keeps us alive forever.

“Yes Mr Mandela. Your colour is gold too. As were the colours of Felix and Cher. All animals have souls of gold. People could learn a lot from animals.

“You know Lisa. We think that our lives will never end, and that there will always be time to make things right. But that is not true. The only time to be right and do right is right now. We should live our lives considering love first. Who we love, what we love and believe, and know that of all things in life, love is the most important. We must find it where we can, and nurture it when we do.”

“I love animals. I have a pet rabbit named Bunny that I rescued from a butcher. I can send you a picture after the show.”

“Eish! Rabbit stew is also very much enjoyed in Zimbabwe. They are not so easy to catch. Myself, I have never tried it. I am not your usual Shona woman though – I much prefer cheese to meat. Mr Mandela will enjoy meeting your Bunny. He likes to snuggle. Does your Bunny sleep with you also? Mr Mandela sleeps on my pillow. Now I know that parrots snore too. I make sure to take many pictures of him and to write about his special occasions. Like I always say, we must leave our footprints behind for others to see. To learn, to laugh, or just to know. Even parrot footprints.”

“Oh, you’d like my boss. He writes all kinds of things, and understands those things could be around for a long time.”

“That sekuru is a very handsome man, your boss. That beard – eish! It is truly legendary. Does he throw the bones also? In Africa he would be very well known. I must read his writings soon, to see his colour, and to see what footprints he will leave.”

“He doesn’t throw the bones, but now that you mention it I’m sure he’d love to learn. Our sponsor today has been AFRICAN ME AND SATELLITE TV, by Jo Robinson. Any final thoughts, Princess?”

“Thank you so very much Lisa. It has been a great honour to be here even though I never thought I could ever be on a radio show. I believe that I will be famous in my small part of Africa today! I will send you a copy of my cookbook, Africolonial Cuisine, when Jo gets around to publishing it for me. Eish! That one! Of course she is my family too – my mother I should say, but she is a little crazy too and runs around like a mongoose with a snake that won’t die sometimes. Still, I love her, and will love her even more when I see my new book on Amazon! I made a cover for it myself – would you like to see it? I wish you very well in your future Lisa. You must come and visit us. Suzette and Herman will be pleased to have you stay, although some of the local ladies might be jealous of your impressive bosom. Eish! It is indeed a very Shona bosom! What sort of martinis do you like?”

“I don’t need to eat or drink, but I’d still like to visit eventually. Thank you for being my guest today.”

***

For many years Suzette has managed very well to live her life without actually taking part in it, avoiding any possibility of pain by very carefully ignoring reality. Until something happens. Something so terrible that she has no choice but to abandon her cocoon of safety.

After the brutal beating of an elderly domestic worker, Suzette takes her in, and sets off a chain of events that leads to devastating heartbreak. And an unexpected hero changes everything. Finally finding her voice, she speaks out, and her world explodes, culminating in the death of a very special man.

On her path to make amends, she discovers the story of his life, connects with the people of his past, and finds the chance to fully live her life once again if that’s what she chooses to.

Here is the purchase link again, in case you missed it.

 

You can find Jo at the following locations:

Amazon Author Page

Twitter

Goodreads

Google Plus

Blog

Jo doesn’t know I’m posting this, but she is a great advocate for indie authors. I find her blog informative and extremely helpful. She also provides author services, like cover design, proofreading, and formatting. The links for those services are in her blog.

Testimonial time here: I hired Jo to format THE EXPERIMENTAL NOTEBOOK OF C. S. BOYACK II, and found her to be fast, efficient, and affordable. She is extremely easy to work with.

She made these beautiful covers herself.

Princess’ cookbook is coming soon, I am told.

 

 

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