Talking with Sonia Main, Love at War.

Talking with Sonia Main, Love at War.

Sonia Main, Red Cross Nurse, now living in the USA.

Sonia is everything I thought she will be. Well dressed and sophisticated, she gave nothing away of her experiences. Her confidence was visible in every gesture. 

Her curly hair falling from the loose bun and the green eyes sparkled with wisdom and joy. One cannot help but respect her. Strength resonated from her.

The story made many changes before it settled into the plotline it is. Even your name had undergone a few changes until Sonia stuck. What is your take about all the changes your character underwent? 

Sonia smiled, her eyes squinting before she replied. “Lynelle underwent a painful time when she had written the first draft back in 2012. Her mindset far removed from the person she is now. My character experienced each painful step until we both found our feet. The way the story developed came as a surprise, but I am satisfied so, I never had a problem with the changes. My character always grew through it all until the end.” 

There are many topics covered within the book, but the major one that stands out is abuse against women. Young and old experience it. We can never say enough about it. Even now, in 2020, we still need to address it.

“That is true.” Her attention returns to me. “We must talk about it till every person has taken note. And the culprit paid. With all our advantages of today, we misuse free will. Under the free will umbrella, some will use it as they see fit. Abusers, bullies, rapists and murderess roam free while we must stay behind locked doors. There are organisations and people willing to help. Women need to know this.”

It seems this is important to you.

“Yes, I feel passionate about it. My time on the streets and in Africa taught me we do not do enough for women and children. They are the most vulnerable to live’s turnings. When you add war into the mix, it becomes harder for them. We all need to survive. Gender equality is important. 

All women want to feel safe, know we care for them and grow. No matter race or skin colour. We are so much more than the colour of our skin or our past. That does not define us. Our willingness to be the best sets us apart. Without knowledge, she will remain in her situation without hope.”

What does hope mean to you?

“The Bible says, ‘Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen’. When our faith is obscured with the worries of the world, we lose hope in everything around us. Then you become an unbalanced person with no steering wheel and no direction. I was like that long before my story began in Love at War. When Lynelle changed the name of the book, it changed everything in my story. Gone was the lost girl that had no anchor. Lynelle made it possible for me to find my legs again. She helped me to grow, I just did not always do it the way she did it, but I trusted her.”

Do you think Lynelle experienced something similar?

“No, not exactly like me. Her story differs from mine, but she and Phillip Burger’s life stories are strikingly comparable. The reason she created Phillip’s character. He is the anchor within the story with wisdom that blows my mind.”

What do you mean?

 “Phillip’s experiences grounded me and Curt in so many ways. Other than the Father, he became our go-to guy when life presented us with curveballs. No one can be like that if they did not undergo their own turmoil. Only when we have overcome, can we give.”

What does your faith mean to you, now?

“in the beginning my faith was meaningless. But God had a way of getting my attention. Once he had it, I learned to depend on him more. The six-month-plotline was an eye-opener. It cleansed me, healed me, and taught me valuable lessons I would not have learned any other way. My faith is my secret weapon and I go nowhere if God is not with me.”

Once we find our feet and tap into the bigger part of us, then we become more focused, I have learned.

“That is true. Once we tap into the Lord and who He is, we cannot go wrong. We must have a childlike faith, otherwise, we will lose the fight.

You and Lynelle come a long way—from 2012, I believe. She wrote the first draft back then. What have you learned about her?

“Lynelle is a passionate woman that feels deeply, loves deeply and gives unconditionally. Her faith tested severely, and she had lost everything, and her confidence and faith. Her trust went through the fire, and she turned her back on God. I sensed that during all the changes Curt and I had to go through. When she struggled with her marriage, it was visible in the story. It reflected every struggle in the book. She had to find her feet in a gloomy street in Pretoria, to continue with the story.”

It seems Pretoria is significant for both of you.

“Pretoria has no wonderful memories for both of us, it was much like a sweet and sour time and left its mark on us. Life continues no matter where you are. The secret is to connect with God again. He is the same as yesterday, today and tomorrow.” 

What did you learn about yourself during this time?

She giggled, fell silent and then blush. “It is so easy to judge a person when you don’t know the full story. I think Lynelle touched it very well by showing the effects of every character’s choices. It forces us to do things, even when it goes against the norm, but we achieve the result and not only survive. No sorry, not survive but walk in victory. That is the key message of the story. No matter where you are, what you face or how bad it gets, there is always hope. Love at the end is a war you first need to conquer within yourself before you can win. It is an apt name for the book. 

The book has four pivotal parts: Love in conflict, Love’s decisions, Love’s betrayal, and Love’s Victory. Love can be our anchor, but it can also deceive us. Only when we grow in ourselves do we understand love. 

Time plays a big role in the story itself. Love and time, a unique combination that not only tells of a deadline but what can happen in a short amount of time.” 

At times we think we have all the time in the world till time becomes a definite schedule.

“Everything revolves around time. From the moment we are born, time measures us. Right at the beginning of the book Lynelle had written, ‘Measured in seconds, time’s algorithm captures infinity within each movement. Worlds changes and fragments become relics. Fashioning a new set of rules to profit from your only choice.’ I thought about those rules she referred to. It is only through a higher source that we can find an extra set of rules. As a child, we learn a set of rules from our parents, school and church and add our own because of experiences. But once life confronts us, then we need to tap into the higher source, receive an additional set of rules and live. The time has a different meaning, and it becomes wiser in its application. In our case, our connection with God made the difference. It gave us the freedom to grow and find ourselves. “

In closing, without giving away any spoilers, what can you share with us about the book?

She laughed, an uninhibited laugh of one who is at ease with her life. “Love at war is a love story with many layers. It promises adventure, tension, turmoil, pain, and some lighter moments as you move from South Sudan to Iraq to America through the different stages of the story. It is a global story, and any reader can relate to it. Abuse, abortion, rape, fear, pain, divorce, and the search for more in life a universal connection that binds us all. My story is not unique but the powerful message a lasting memory long after the book is done.”  

Read more HERE

You can purchase the book at these online shops.

Store / Amazon / Smashwords / Ns. Skrywershuis / Webnovel / Barnes and Nobel / Kobo / Booktopia

Day 3: Direction of Thoughts

Day 3: Direction of Thoughts

There are two directions of thoughts to consider: in or out. The OUTs are thoughts that are outside of the Word of God. They are also outside of who God created us to be. The ‘out’ thoughts are coming at us and coming against us. These thoughts are lies and steal, kill, and destroy our soul. These thoughts are trying to find a home in our soul, but we cannot allow them. They will accuse us, put us down, and will try to enter any way possible. They try to enter by our own words or words from others, but they are never, ever true. The source of these words is the enemy, “our adversary.” He waits for any moment to attack us with ‘out’ thoughts.

The INs are thoughts that are in line with the Word of God. They are also inside of us because of the mind of Christ that we have been given through salvation. Jeremiah said, “When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight” (Jeremiah 15:16 NIV). The ‘in’ thoughts are coming from our spirits that are rooted in Christ and are always for us. These thoughts speak truth and are what God says about us. They are thoughts that build us up, strengthen us, renew our strength, and bring us joy. These thoughts already have a home in our spirit and a desire to make a home in our soul. These thoughts purify our soul (even in correction) and bring life to broken and dead places. They will silence all the ‘out’ thoughts and allow us to hear the voice of God clearly. God is the source of these thoughts. The ‘in’ thoughts are always speaking in us (by the Holy Spirit) and we have to pay attention to them. The ‘out’ thoughts are loud and coming at us.

When we focus on the ‘in’ thoughts, they will silence the ‘out’ thoughts and block their attack. When we think thoughts and hear words, we need to ask, “Are these thoughts or words coming at me from the outside? Or are these thoughts and words coming from within me?”


Jeremiah 15:16: Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became a joy to me and the delight of my heart;
For I have been called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.
1 Peter 5:8-9: Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour. 9But resist him, be firm in your faith [against his attack—rooted, established, immovable], knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being experienced by your brothers and sisters throughout the world. [You do not suffer alone.]

Think About It

1. Can you identify whether your thoughts are coming from within or out? Think about how you identify them.

2. Do you pull out your ‘out’ thoughts like weeds or do you water them?

3. Speak two to three ‘in’ thoughts over yourself or your current situation right now.

Taken from SoulSister: Renewing Your Soul With the Word of God by TiaMarie Arnold

To continue reading this Bible plan and many others join You Version and look underneath the Bible plans for this plan. 

Day 2: Sweet to the Soul

Day 2: Sweet to the Soul

It’s easy to take offense when someone says or does something to you that you feel you don’t deserve. Our soul, in those situations, wants to do the natural thing: take offense and clap back. Yup, I said clap back!

Clap back in the urban dictionary means, “a comeback, most likely pumped with attitude, sass and or shade.” Yeah, that sounds pretty natural to me, but Proverbs tells us to do the opposite of clapping back. It tells us to use kind words. Why? Because kind words are sweet to the soul. Remember, we are taking this journey to renew, reprogram, and to be transformed in our souls.

The Bible teaches us about seedtime and harvest. In situations where we must make a choice on what type of seed we are going to sow, sowing kind words will result in reaping a sweet soul and a healthy body. I think it’s safe to say that if we do the opposite and choose to sow the clap back seed, we will reap a bitter soul and an unhealthy body. Clapping back is a good sign that there is hurt that has led to bitterness that now provokes a bitter action. Bitterness leads to stress, stress leads to mess, and mess (waste) is unhealthy. We, as believers, need to forgive. We must lead by example. Having a sweet soul, a healthy soul, and a renewed soul must be important to us—not clapping back. I know that’s hard at times, but we can do it. Let’s lead by example today by choosing kind words even in the face of offense. Do this and your harvest will be good and sweet.


Prov 26: 24: Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweet and delightful to the soul and healing to the body. AMP

Gal 6: 7-10: Do not be deceived, God is not mocked [He will not allow Himself to be ridiculed, nor treated with contempt nor allow His precepts to be scornfully set aside]; for whatever a man sows, this and this only is what he will reap. 8For the one who sows to his flesh [his sinful capacity, his worldliness, his disgraceful impulses] will reap from the flesh ruin and destruction, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9Let us not grow weary or become discouraged in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap, if we do not give in. 10So then, while we [as individual believers] have the opportunity, let us do good to all people [not only being helpful, but also doing that which promotes their spiritual well-being], and especially [be a blessing] to those of the household of faith (born-again believers). AMP


Think About It

1. Is it your natural instinct to clap back? If so, think about when you wanted to clap back, but God helped you sow a seed of kind words instead.

2. Pray about the difficulties you face when wanting to overcome hurt and bitterness.

3. Think about areas in your life now that you need God to uproot the bad seeds and plant good seeds.

4. Do you struggle in giving kind words? Practice now and say something kind about a person who has hurt you.

Taken from SoulSister: Renewing Your Soul With the Word of God by TiaMarie Arnold

Day 1: Finding Rest

Day 1: Finding Rest

Finding Rest

A soul resting in God says, “I don’t need to know the details, I just need to trust in God.” Trust that at the right time, God will make things clear in His timing. He may not answer all the what’s, why’s, and how’s in our timing, but He will eventually make it clear. The only way to find rest for your soul is by entering a spiritual rest. The only way to enter a spiritual rest is by trusting in God. Our soul is where the spiritual battles are taking place. There is a constant pulling of thoughts, emotions, and wills. When we trust, pray, and wait on God, we will find rest for our soul.

He will lead, guide, and never leave or forsake us because that’s what He promised us (Deuteronomy 31:6). All the noise, all the thoughts and emotions will come under submission of the supernatural peace of God, which is found in His rest. If you’re seeking direction, rest in Him.

You can’t hear God and wait on Him if you’re consumed with all your thoughts and your busyness. The world says work, worry, and wonder, but the spirit of a SoulSister says wait, worship, and watch.


Ps 62: 1: "For God alone my soul waits in silence; From Him comes my salvation." AMP
Phil 4: 6-7: "Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. 7And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours]." AMP
Deut 31:6: "Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble in dread before them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not fail you or abandon you.” AMP

Think About It

1. Think about a time where you went from work, worry, and wonder to wait, worship, and watch.

2. What are some ways that you can command your soul to rest?

Taken from SoulSister: Renewing Your Soul With the Word of God by TiaMarie Arnold

Feeling stuck? Release your creativity.

To begin your journey, download the introduction booklet, print it, sign the contract (you make this with yourself) and let me know your thoughts or if you want more information. Or visit the coaching page.

The 12 week course is a manual that will take you through the process of creativity.


  1. Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy: pure creative energy.
  2. There is an underlying, in-dwelling creative force infusing all of life—including ourselves.
  3. When we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to the creator's creativity within us and our lives.
  4. We are, ourselves, creations. It means that we should continue creativity by being creative ourselves.
  5. Creativity is God's gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God.
  6. The refusal to be creative is self-will and is counter to our true nature.
  7. When we open ourselves to exploring our creativity, we open ourselves to God: good orderly direction.
  8. As we open our creative channel to the creator, many gentle but powerful changes can be expected.
  9. It is safe to open ourselves up to greater and greater creativity.
  10. Our creative dreams and yearnings come from a divine source. As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity.

The purpose of art is not a rarefied, intellectual distillate—it is life, intensified, brilliant life.


What to expect during this journey.

While there is no quick fix for instant, pain-free creativity, creative recovery (or discovery) is a teachable, trackable spiritual process. Each of us is complex and highly individual, yet there are common recognizable denominators to the creative recovery process.

  • Working with this process, I experienced a certain amount of defiance and giddiness in the first few weeks. This entry stage is followed closely by explosive anger in the course’s midsection.
  • The anger is followed by grief, then alternating waves of resistance and hope.
  • This peaks-and-valleys phase of growth becomes a series of expansions and contractions, a birthing process in which students experience intense elation and defensive scepticism.
  • This choppy growth phase is followed by a strong urge to abandon the process and return to life as we know it. In other words, a bargaining period.


“People are often tempted to abandon the course at this point. I call this a creative U-turn.”

Julia Cameron

  • Recommitment to the process triggers the free-fall of a major ego surrender.
  • Following this, the last phase of the course is characterized by a new sense of self marked by increased autonomy, resilience, expectancy, and excitement—and by the capacity to make and execute concrete creative plans.
Time wasted is being untruthful to myself.
  • If this sounds like a lot of emotional tumult, it is. When we engage in a creativity recovery, we enter a withdrawal from life as we know it.



Many people are born leaders but never receive the opportunity or recognition for work done. Many are not even allowed the freedom to be authentic. And to be honest, you still lack that WOW aspect that will propel you to higher heights. Especially into your craft of choice. The reason you stumbled on my website or joined my news feed

There are many careers that allow you the freedom of creativity. Yet you feel stuck and not appreciated. Whatever the case, maybe you are here, searching for that WOW aspect. For many, it is hard to define for others the most obvious thing. But for you it is lingering in the background, and you are unsure how to tap into it without some guidance or even for confirmation of your feelings.

We are all created in the image of God; therefore, we can create. Our interests and passions make this clear when the topic comes up, you light up. In return, you will receive the peace you crave.

Maybe you have done nothing before according to what you understand is creativity and have this intense desire to create, but never find the outlet or time to do so. It remains on your dream board/to-do-list/new year's resolution. If that is you, then you are at the right place.

Even when I was a homemaker for nineteen years and did many things in that period, I was unsatisfied. To pass the time I baked, cooked, canned, painted, studies the bible, did gardening, meditated, connected with people through church, was a taxi-mum, helped with schoolwork, paid the bills—in short: a jack-of-all-trades but still I felt I missed out. The closest I came to being satisfied with my life was when I home-schooled my children. My creativity was peaked, my curiosity stimulated and my yearning to do more than just housework satisfied. During that five-year period, I could be myself, relax and enjoy the path before me. With the freedom of imparting into them while I learned. I became self-disciplined in the tasks laid upon me. Took my role as mother and teacher seriously and fully committed to all three. Once my children moved on, I became stuck with the normal everyday life of being a homemaker, again. There were no challenges or opportunities for creativity.

The following year we began a business which pleased my adventurous spirit. I learned about computers, cell phones and the basic understanding of electronics. It had felt as if a new world had opened, as I added new skills to my curriculum vitae. I was proud of my accomplishments, and it gave me a sense of freedom. Six years later it all collapsed, and I was back at square one.

The question always unanswered. Why do I constantly feel I am missing something?

After a time of searching, sometimes in the wrong places, I met up with a previous mentor and friend in early 2020, who encouraged me to connect with God once more. During that same time period, I discovered The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron, and it finally fitted together as a gigantic puzzle. I was getting somewhere. Connecting with my spiritual side, which was dormant for many years, I understood that the two walk together. Through the morning pages, my inner child was re-introduced to me, which revealed my creative path.

During a Life Coaching course, I discovered some core beliefs that kept me blocked. Once it became unblocked, I became receptive to creativity. Once I faced theses blocks small synchronicities happened which opened me for bolder steps.

The reason it blocks you is that you believe in half-truths which cause you to put off till next year. Till we shift it to the back. We drown the creative voice and tell it to be still.

Once we submit to the Source, it reveals the power of creativity. I call it Source because I don't just want to reach Christian believers, but all people. We all believe in a Higher Power, what we call it doesn't matter. What does matter, is that the connection between you, your Source and your creativity is vital for your growth. Once that is sorted you can create effortlessly: no matter the medium you choose.

Whether it is to create beautiful sculptures, icing on cake, barista, architect, writer, screenwriter, mother, father, entrepreneur, or the CEO of a big company, you can put your creativity to good use and experience the freedom of the river to flow with ease.

Creativity Implies: The Possibility of Personal Accountability.

"You mean if I have these gifts, I'm supposed to use them?" Yes.

"Creative power is mightier than its possessor."

C.G. Jung

The heart of creativity is an experience of the mystical union; the heart of the mystical union is an experience of creativity. Those who speak in spiritual terms routinely refer to God as the creator but seldom see creator as the literal term for artist. I am suggesting you take the term creator literally. You are seeking to forge a creative alliance, artist-to-artist with the Great Creator. Accepting this concept can expand your creative possibilities.

Creativity is an experience — a spiritual experience. It does not matter how you think of it: creativity leading to spirituality or spirituality leading to creativity. In fact, I do not distinguish between the two. Faced with such experience, it renders the whole question of belief obsolete.

As Carl Jung answered the question of belief late in his life, "I don't believe; I know."

It is this knowing that we are after. When I know, I am. We learn this principle within the scriptures. When truth becomes yours, you don't quote someone else, you speak now with conviction.

"Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth."

Rumi, The Essential Rumi

If interested to learn more hop over to the resource page and download your manual.

The book is a process. As I learn I add or remove.

Here are more resources that will help you on your journey.

Or visit the coaching page.

The 12 week course is a manual that will take you through the process of creativity.

Empathy. Books. News

ℍ𝕠𝕖 𝕘𝕒𝕒𝕟 𝕕𝕚𝕥? ℍ𝕠𝕨 𝕒𝕣𝕖 𝕪𝕠𝕦?

Drie Woorde. Three Words.

Elke woord van hierdie eenvoudige vraag het 'n 𝓲𝓶𝓹𝓪𝓴 wat 'n reuse verskil kan maak in mense se lewens.

Those three words are so powerful but yet we forget the 𝓲𝓶𝓹𝓪𝓬𝓽 that it can make in another person’s life.

Ons gaan elkeen deur dinge waaroor ons nooit praat nie maar die seer en verwarring en selfs vrae bly daar. Dit knaag aan jou en jy wens net eenmaal dat iemand jou wil vra, raak sien en werklik omgee.

Everyone experiences life differently. We never talk about it but the questions remain.

So, om die 67-minute te 🆅🅸🅴🆁 vertel vir my in 𝟔𝟕 𝐖𝐨o𝐫𝐝e: Hoe gaan dit met jou. Sonder om bang te wees vir 'n skewe antwoord. Sonder om sarkasties te wees.

Hier is jou kans om te sê hoe dit werklik gaan. Ek is net 'n oor wat luister. Al kan ek niks doen om jou te help nie, kan ek luister en bid.

Let us 🅲🅴🅻🅴🆁🆃🅴 these 67 minutes and tell us in 𝟔𝟕 𝐖𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐬 how you are without the backlash or judgment or sarcasm that accompanies it.

I might not be able to help but I can pray.

Almal begin altyd met die huts en dit versprei soos 'n veldbrand so kom ons blaas weer lewe in die huts: #hoegaandit #howareyou

Hashtags spread like wildfire with every campaign so let’s begin to revive #howareyou and start to really take care of each other.


I am busy with the next book, the first book in a five-book series inspired by my son when he left for America 12 years ago.

I am currently looking for bet readers, so if you are interested have a look at the link and Let me know if interested. I can send the manuscript via Google Docs.

Just email me for the link at lynelle@kreativecollectiv.com.

I try to add a chapter a day so any feedback will be appreciated.

So far it is a 90k draft.

Genre: multi-generational family saga, Christian fiction, romance, mystery, and adventure.


Questions to consider throughout the storyline:

  1. How realistic do you find the characters?
  2. Is there any part within the story that's unclear?
  3. Since I know little about America or ranch life in general, your input in any of these topics will be taken into consideration. I try to do as much research as possible, but it's possible to still miss something. This will help to make the story more believable.
  4. Are the characters realistic and relatable?
  5. Does the storyline have a good flow or are there areas that needs to be rewritten?

Kreativ Collectiv - https://www.kreativcollectiv.com/.../the-connection-series/

The e-book July book sale at Smashwords is in full swing.

Follow the link, download the book or books of your choice.

And when you are done, leave a review.

And in South Africa, these books are available in paperback, and on sale. Visit my website for more information.



SKRYFKUNS in 'n roman en ander genres

Uitsoek boeke by ons aanlyn winkel in alle genres - van digbundels tot rillers, 'n romanza tot nostalgie, kinder- en jeugverhale.

'n Goeie boek is 'n goeie vriend. 'n Kwaliteit boek is 'n kosbare lewensmaat.

LOER GERUS HIER https://nskrywershuis.co.za/jou-boekwinkel-jou-uitgewer/


#nskrywershuis #AfrikaanseBoeke

SKRYWERS Ronél le Roux | Schonrad Jordaan | Riekie Greyling | Lynelle Clark | Karien De Wet - Skrywer | Jeanita Le Roux | Logan Adams | Ernest Loth


July Book Sale

July Book Sale




The e-book sale is in full swing at Smashwords for this Winter / Summer.

Follow the link, download the book or books of your choice.
And when you are done, leave a review.
And in South Africa, these books are available in paperback, and on sale. Visit my website for more information.


1. A Pirate’s Wife. Do not judge a book by its cover.



2. Bella's Choice Two roads. One choice.



3. Blood Mines


4. GedagteKringe, 'n Afrikaanse Bundel


5. Juweel van die Oosgrens.


6. Love at War. A love story.

7. Nonfictional books available on author’s website:

Writing Journal for beginners
Creative Writing Free Ebook R100

So, you want to be a writer?
Creative Writing $0.99 Ebook R100


A treasured memory

A treasured memory

Recently I was asked about a happy memory and though there are quite a few in my life, this memory stands out.

Back in 2012, I released my first book, A Pirate’s Wife and was invited to be part of a launch for first-time authors in Randburg.

It was a difficult time financially, and I had to borrow a dress from my mother to fit in with the dignified crowd. Because we had no car, my dad offered to drive me, and I was chauffeured to this beautiful occasion feeling like a million bucks.

The day was covered in dark clouds, rain pounding the car from the moment we got in until we reached our destination. We were drenched once we stepped out of the car. But when I stepped into the hall, I couldn’t believe my eyes. There, on a poster, was my book and my name printed in bold letters. A Pirate’s Wife by Lynelle Clark.

That elevation boosted my frail ego tremendously. I never thought I would ever witness the day where I would see my book on a table for all to see. Among fellow writers, equally excited about this big event.
The hall itself was flooded and the organizer and her helpers had a mop drying the floor as quickly as possible. Can you imagine the scene?

Here we were all dressed in bling with mops and brooms to save the day… But yet everyone’s books remained dry, including my poster, neatly printed on a large canvas.

At the time, I couldn’t afford to print the book, but the organizer show-cased my book in such a way that everyone could see it. The pride that swept through me I cannot put into words. I thought nothing could beat that at all.
Once normality returned, photos were taken. Those interested in my book asked about the conception, and I could relive the process and story once again. Connecting with readers felt terrifying but fulfilling simultaneously.

A few years later, I finally held the paperback in my hands and that feeling came close to that first impression of that event.
There are no words that can describe how you feel. Seeing, feeling, and leaving through your own book leaves you speechless and thrilling at the same time.

Now, after seven books, I still feel the same every time I hold a book. It is the result of hard work, hours of labour and dedication that no one can take away from you.

No matter how it looks around you, that feeling surpasses that and boosts you in a way that nothing else can. It gives you the freedom of expression without the judging. Liberating you from the hold we sometimes put on ourselves.

And the feeling that propels you to begin the entire process once more.

Chapter 12

Synopsis  Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11

Tripp Calloway

A Whiff From The Past

After dinner, the three men went their separate ways and Tripp went outside. His coffee mug going with him to the bench overlooking his beloved mountains.

He is just stretching his leg when he hears the faint sounds of a car approaching. Then the click-clack as they cross the cattle grid. He stands up and leans against the porch post and takes the last of his coffee as his eyes penetrate the darkness.

The door opens and Travis comes over and stands next to him.

“Who is it, dad?”

“Don’t know.” Tripp walks down the steps as a taxi stops in front of him and the back door opens. Travis appears next to him, and they glance at each other. They freeze and stare at her, dumbfounded as the woman closes the door. She places a small overnighter on the gravel and the taxi speeds away. Leaving them in a dust cloud. But none of that does the son and father notices.

They haven’t seen her in twenty-four years. The black hair is shorter and as she comes closer, they can see it has turned grey. The rest of her looked the same and once she stops inside the pocket of porch light, they take a deep breath.

For Travis, it felt more like a stab in the gut and his face turns silent, his jaw locking shut.

“Travis. Tripp.” She says carefully and moves her shoulder bag to the other shoulder.

“Sonja, what are you doing here?” Tripp asks. Travis disappears into the darkness without another word. Tripp watches his son, then glances back at her. And stands to the side for her to get up on the porch.

“I know this is unexpected, but I wanted to see Travis.” She begins, her Mexican accent rolling easily from her mouth. As if she was back from her day trip.

“I don’t think you have any business seeing him. Or pitch up here.”

“He is my son, Tripp. I have a right.”

“You have no right. You signed that away years ago. Remember?” Tripp says and clutches his mug tighter. His knuckles turn white before he let go of the excessive hold. The mug dangling on a fingertip.

“Yes, but much has changed. I need to see him.” She says and cranes her neck. Her face was now fully exposed in the light. Huge brown eyes imploring him to understand. Life has made a permanent mark on her. Her skin seemed healthy, but underneath the makeup, signs of neglect were visible. Two tooths were missing from the front.

“That I cannot help you with, Sonja. He is a grown man now.” Tripp says, turns and opens the door.

“Tripp, please. Is it possible to stay the night? I promise to be gone by tomorrow.” She says, stopping him before he put his foot over the thresh hold.

“That’s not a good idea.”

“Surely you won't expect me to leave at this time of night?

Tripp turns around slowly, then stares at her for a while before he responds. The sharp replies that tumble in his mind, threatens to spew from him in icy bitterness. But he decided to change not too long ago. God has a way of putting him on the spot. When he turned a page, he never even thought of his ex. She hasn’t featured in his mind in a very long time, and to see her face to face brought all the ugliness back. Even his parents warned him about her. His mother was correct in her observation, and she didn’t prove them wrong. Travis was just a baby, still in need of the nurturing care of a mother. But she left. No one forced her. She made the decision.

He didn’t want her here. He didn’t want her back in Travis’ life. She caused enough damage to their son. He straightens his shoulders then moves into her line of sight with a blatant stare.

“What did you expect, Sonja? A warm welcome and all is forgotten?”

“No, but at least a chance to explain.”

“The time you had to explain also expired a long time ago. We have moved on. You should do the same.” He turns and disappears into the house. The bitter words on the tip of his tongue. Leaving his ex-wife on the porch is a way to protect himself but also her. He made his peace with her.

“Tripp!” she calls but gets no reply. She looks around the neat yard, now so different from when they moved here years ago. She was wide eyed and expectant to live the life of a rich ranch wife. But things didn’t change overnight, and she left without a second glance.

The part that Tripp’s parents played, the springboard that helped her along. She has a few regrets in her life, but leaving her son was the biggest. If she had stayed, she would have got what she wanted. She knows now she was foolish back then. That one act caused so many other problems in her life.

She didn't know where to go and looked around. The dark blanket that covers the yard gives its secrets away. One light shows it to be a barn. She glances at the backdoor then back to the light. Indecisive on her next step.

Inside, Tripp watches her. The darkness covering him. Then he prays.

“Lord, what must I do? I can’t let her stand there. I can’t invite her in.” He is reminded of a room at the top of the barn. Not the perfect place for a woman, but if he takes a bed upstairs, she can use it until tomorrow. He simply couldn’t let her come in. He has to think of Travis, and it was clear he is shaken by her appearance.

With his mind made up, he walks out and finds her in the same spot he has left her.

“There is a room on top of the barn. It hasn't been used in a while. A storage room, but if you don’t mind sleeping there tonight, you can use it?

“That sounds good. Thanks Tripp.” He stops to say something else but let it go then walks into the house, switched on the light and get a torch.

Chapter 11

Synopsis  Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10


The Chameleon

Simone returns from the spa in high spirits. It feels like she is walking on air. Though she won’t admit it, the pampering did her good and her entire body agrees. After her restless night it helped to mind her at ease. Even the haircut did wonders. It is time to enjoy a light lunch at her favourite restaurant and then spoil herself with a good wardrobe-therapy.

John has made up for his behaviour of the previous night by depositing a few thousand rand into her account. Nothing like a good guilt trip to make the man realise the error of his ways. And she made sure her nest egg is topped up as well.

Her mother once told her it was good for a woman to have a separate account. One that the husband knew nothing about, and she has followed that advice religiously throughout her marriage.

Ready to walk into the restaurant, a shadow covers her from the left and she looks up. The tall man’s face is obscured so that she cannot recognise him as he opens the door for her.

“Thank you.” She speaks first.

“You welcome.” The voice sounds familiar and once inside in the warmer interior, she turns around to look at him as a déjà vu moment slips in shivers down her back.

“Do I know you?” she asks and observes the well-dressed man with keen interest.

“I don’t think so. The name is Dieter Combrinck. I’m new in Cape Town.” His voice had a finishing to it she only heard once before.

“From where are you?” she asks, still baffled about the impression that she knows him from somewhere.

“Originally from England. I live in Johannesburg for the last couple of years. And you?” he explains and shrugs out of his blazer. His shades on the top of a shaven head. A leather cap dangles from his one hand.

“From Cape Town.” She replies.

“Hello Mrs Stevenson. Welcome back.” The concierge says, and she smiles.

“Hello Becca. So good to see you.”

“You too, Mrs Stevenson. Same table?” the younger woman asks. Her ponytail swishing behind her as she turns her head to the interior of the room, then back. She follows her gaze and notice the full tables at once.

“If it is available, I will love that.”

“It sure is. Will the gentleman join you?”

Simone glances towards him, then shakes her head. “No, I will eat alone.” And removes her scarf.

“Now you break my heart. Surely, we can enjoy a lunch together?”

“I don’t know you, Mr Combrinck.”

“Then it is an excellent opportunity to do so, don’t you think?” his polished manner grinds her nerves. The superfluous tangible, and she frowns.

“I am a married woman, Mr Combrinck.”

“And don’t married woman get hungry?” he asks and lifts a bushy eyebrow.

“Yes, we do. But this is inappropriate.” She says and shrugs out of her coat. Ready to bolt to her table.

Becca is watching the entire conversation with indifference, a menu in her hand. Then glances behind her as if she is looking for an escape route. Simone steps to the side when he stops her. A hand resting on her arm.

“Believe me when I say I want nothing more than a table, good food, and companionship. That’s all.” He says and holds his free hand in the air.

“I don’t think so, Mr Combrinck. Good day.” She replies and walks away. Becca covering her back.

“Must I ask security to remove him?” she asks when Simone takes a seat.

“It’s sweet, but I don’t think he will be a problem.” Simone says, then opens the menu.

“Call when you are ready.”

“Thanks Becca.”

“Simone Stevenson. How great to see you?”

Simone looks up from the menu and smiles appropriately. Marjorie is the wife of Benjamin Becker, or Ben, as they all call him. A dull man that can put you to sleep, both in his talk and court cases. Yet brilliant in what he does. He is the partner at Stevenson, Eisenberg, & Becker.

A true socialite from her bottle blond hair to her imported Italian shoes. Marjorie towers over most women without shoes with a body of an athlete and a mind of a bulldog. She is the complete opposite of Ben. Her lively persona has opened many doors for the company, local and abroad. Though she studied law, she never took the bar exams but was a camp fighter for everyone that was wronged. In many cases acting as a paralegal.

Her charity work is another passion of hers and they have worked on several of these charity boards together.

“Hello Marjorie. How are you?”

“I am very well. I understand you were away?” she asks and place a strand of hair behind her ear. A large golden hoop hangs from the lobe, catching the afternoon sun.

“Yes, I visited my son in America.” She informs her and place the menu on the table.

“Oh, lovely.” Just then, a man calls her name, and she waves at him.

“We must visit soon and catch up, Simone dear. It was lovely to see you.”

“You too, Marjorie.” Ready to give her order, she sees Dieter Combrinck leaning over his menu and studies him.

“What will you have?” the waiter asks, and she orders a bowl of mushroom soup.

“Will that be all?”

“I will like a macchiato, please.”

“It will be ready soon.” The waiter says and disappears. Simone nods, then returns her gaze to the man across the room. He looks up and their gazes meet. He nods, smiles and lifts his beer glass to her, and she looks away.

Why is he so familiar? I know him, but from where? Never one to forget a face, Simone struggles to pinpoint him. He is familiar but a stranger. The conflicting reaction baffles her.

The one thing that stands out, however, is that he isn’t from England. He is a local and tanned. The inlanders aren’t that tanned, yet he doesn’t look like a surfer. Though in a denim and blazer he looks rough, as if he has seen the worst of the worst. There was nothing refined about him, no matter how hard he tries to say otherwise.

Puzzled, she glances towards him, then returns her gaze to the view outside the large window.

The ocean’s restlessness covers in a grey mist that hung low across the surface. The sun was hidden behind a blanket of clouds. Yet a ray or two slips through between the crevices and touched the earth in pockets of make-believe warmth.

“Here ma’am.” The waiter says and place a cup of steaming coffee before her. Followed by her bowl of soup and a breadbasket.

“Thank you.”

“You have the right idea.” Dieter Combrinck says and takes the empty seat across from her. Placing his beer on the table.

“Mr Combrinck.” Simone's annoyance rising, then looks around the restaurant. At the back, Marjorie was engrossed in conversation, not watching her.

“Call me Dieter. I’m not great with formalities. My mother always insisted on the proper manners, but today it is so old-fashioned.” He says without missing a beat. “My brother, on the other hand, is as stiff as our upbringing demanded.” The condescending smirk hidden behind a hand as he wipes his mouth.

“Please leave or I will call the security.”

“That’s unnecessary. I just want to talk, and you have such a wonderful accent.”

“In that case, I will go.”

“No, please stay.” He insists.

“Is everything alright here, Ms Stevenson?” Becca appears just behind the man and Simone glances up to her. Then return to him. The nagging thought of knowing him prominently in her mind. That she doesn’t trust him, another thought that causes her to stay on alert. Once her stomach growls she decides to stay.

“Please. I won’t be a bother. The lady can trust me.” He insists.

“Ms Stevenson?” Becca asks and raise a manicured eyebrow. Simone looks at her bowl, then at him, and nods. “It’s okay Becca.”

“Does Ms Stevenson have a name?” he begins once Becca steps back.

“Let’s keep it formal.” She insists, and he grins.

“Alright then. Formal it is.” Simone brings the spoon to her and keeps her gaze on the soup. The aroma reminding her how hungry she was.

Dieter Combrinck leans back and takes his glass and remains unnaturally quiet. But not refraining from her. Whatever he is thinking shielded behind years of practise. The beer, though, goes down perfectly, and he smacks his lips and smiles when she looks up.

Simone Stevenson, they are right about you; he thinks. As cold and indifferent as the weather outside. No doubt your husband’s doing, and he grins inwardly. Keeping his face straight. Surely, underneath all the feminine control, must be a woman of fire?

He takes another gulp, then waves the waiter closer.

“Hamburger and chips with all the trimmings. Don’t be skimpy with it either.” He orders. “And bring another beer.”

When Simone places her empty bowl to the side, and glances up at him. Her unease is visible in her straight shoulders and pinched mouth.

“So, what does Capetonians do for fun around here?” he asks. Studying her in such a way that leaves her uncomfortable. She looks around and once she sees the waiter, waves at him.

“Can I have the bill, please?” she asks once he has reached the table.

“Sure. Anything else?”

“No, I am done.” She replies and the waiter takes her bowl and empty cup.

“I hope you are not leaving on account of me?” he says.

“I have another appointment.”

“We should do this again.”

“There won’t be another time.”

“I heard so much about Cape Town's hospitableness.”

“I will recommend going to a local pub or information centre. Excuse me.” She says icily, and gets up, takes her bag, and slings it over her shoulder.

“I hope we see each other again.” He says and watches as she walks away. Entwining the scarf around her long neck.

If Simone looked back, his glare would have frightened her, but she didn't. Pays the bill at the front, puts on her coat and leaves.

Dieter Combrinck, your work is cut out for you. One of these days, she will eat out of your hand. Play it easy. He lifts his glass to the couple staring at him at the other table and they look away. He then sits back when his plate arrives.

His thoughts with his plan.


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