Graham Downs

Monthly Newsletter :: February 2019

Hi there,

Well, the year is well and truly upon us. Have you stopped accidentally writing "2018", yet?

I bet if you were luck enough to take leave in December, you've probably forgotten all about it already, hey? :)

Well, if you're in South Africa at least, there's a public holiday coming up: it's Human Rights Day. Although most of the world celebrates it on 10 December every year, we do it on 21 March, in commemoration of the Sharpeville Massacre of 1966.

Hang Out with Me and Win

In case you missed my e-mail last Monday, I'll be hosting an online "Hang out with the author" session on Sunday 10 March, in The Secret Book Club Facebook group.

Not only that, but I've secured a sponsor. 

That's right - I'll be giving away a R500 Loot voucher on the day, to use for whatever you want from their amazing range of books, electronics, games, and other goodies.

If you want to know how you can win, you'll just have to attend the event on the day. :-)

Just click the picture above to visit the group. If you're not already a member, click "Join Group" and answer their questions. Wait for your request to be approved.

Once approved, go back to the group, and click on Events. Scroll down to my "Hang out with the author" event, and click "Going".

Then, be on Facebook on the day!


Not in South Africa?

If you're not in South Africa, or you'd much rather buy e-books, fear not! I'll also be giving away a gift voucher for the e-book store of your choice, as well as digital copies of my books.

I know you don't want to miss this.

But listen here: do it now, right? So it goes in your calendar, and you don't forget. Follow the instructions above and join the event.

Oh, and just so you know how much time you have left until it starts, here's a handy countdown timer:


Keep this e-mail in your inbox, and check that timer often.

Financial Report - January 2019

(As always, all figures converted to South African Rands)

I lost a bit of money last month. It's not too bad, but I would've liked to have started my 2019 in the green. 

Mainly, the loss was due to me spending a bit more on advertising than I normally do. On the plus side, I sold a copy of Memoirs of a Guardian Angel in the Amazon US store.

I also made a little bit of affiliate income from people buying some books I recommended to them on Amazon. Oh, and a couple of people clicked on Google Ads on my website.

  • Income: R13.38
  • Expenses: R80.54
  • Loss: R67.16

Sadly, February's not looking too great either at the moment (but of course, I won't have final figures on that until the end of March), but there's still a couple of days to go, so if you want me to report good news in my next newsletter, do me a favour and buy a book!

Featured Author: Paula Marais

This month's featured author is Paula Marais.

Paula Marais is the author of several books including her recent novel Shadow Self, which was longlisted for the Etisalat Prize.

She lives in Cape Town, South Africa but spends a lot of time planning where she'll travel next (Panama and the US). She also adores: quality coffee, whiskey, cookery, beautiful views and contemporary art. Paula reads anything but science fiction (sorry!)

Paula is married with two sons and an overly spoilt Jack Russell called Sunny.

She has a Master’s in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town and is an alumnus of Bread Loaf in Vermont, the oldest and most illustrious writing conference in the US.

Click here to visit Paula's website.

Shadow Self

An award-winning dark psychological novel of mental illness and murder.

Suburban family life can be mundane, but it can also push you over the edge. When Thea Middleton finds herself behind bars for an unthinkable crime, she realises she’s become the most hated member of any society: a failed mother.
As she, her husband Clay and oldest daughter Sanusha try to repair their shattered lives, their individual accounts form the pieces of a tragic puzzle that will haunt them forever.


"Written with compelling power and jagged intensity.‚ÄĚ ~ Tony MorpheLiterature Review

Buy the Ebook

Love and Wine

With a shattered relationship behind her, British artist Helen Shaw doesn’t have much solace beyond her landscape painting and brave swims in the icy waters of the Atlantic. That is, until she meets the de Villiers brothers, Max and Jared. Sucked into their very different world of winemaking, wealth and rivalries, her stay at their homestead Bourgogne in Franschhoek, South Africa, is much more than she could ever have imagined. Torn between Jared’s tempestuous unpredictability and Max’s sensitivity and romance, Helen is attracted to both brothers. But a secret lurks at Bourgogne and tragedy is only a harvest away.

Buy the Ebook

Click one of the above buttons to see a list of stores where the book is available.

Blog Posts

Here are all the blog posts I wrote since my January 2019 newsletter. To read one in your browser, click its link:

And the Winner is...

In December, I opened up nominations for your favourite book of all time. In January, the shortlist was out.

Well now, dear readers, the wait is finally over. I can officially announce that you have spoken, and your absolute favourite book of all time is....

Click here to find out ;-)

It's Smashwords Read An Ebook Week Again!

Every year around this time, e-book retailer Smashwords runs a massive sale, with thousands of e-books either free or deeply discounted.

This year, the event will run from 3 - 9 March 2019. Yip, that's right, it starts this Sunday!

Click the image above to view the sales page. Then add it to your bookmarks so you remember to come back on Sunday and see all the great deals.

Also, as I do every year, my books will be enrolled. See below for prices:















Remember, these sale prices are only valid from Sunday 3 March. If you visit the above book pages now, you'll see the full prices.

If you're set to receive Occasional Extra E-mails from me (see the bottom of this newsletter for how to enable that), I'll send you another reminder on Sunday morning.

Month in Books

These are all the books I've read since the last newsletter went out (click on a cover to find out where you can buy the book). Have you read any of them?

How many books did you read in January?

Featured Book: Mind Games by B.B. Griffith

My Review

This is another great psychological mystery/thriller, featuring the guy who's fast becoming my favourite fictional psychologist, Dr Gordon Pope.

I enjoyed the story, and it's a fine continuation of the series, but in my opinion, it's just not as good as The Sleepwalkers. It just seemed very slow. It dragged along and I skimmed a lot, and stuff only really started happening around the 50% mark.

Like the first book, the editing was flawless, and I'll say again that what I like about this series is that the book can be read completely as a standalone. You need to know very little about what happened last time, and what little you DO need to know is explained to you, when you need to know it.

What's more, I don't think you'd miss out on anything at all if you happened to read this book first, and then moved on to Book One afterwards.

I hope Mr Griffith writes more Gordon Pope, and just so I don't miss it, I even signed up for his New Release Mailing List. I NEVER sign up for other authors' mailing lists!

My Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

About the Book

A deadly game of hide and seek with an imaginary friend.
A wealthy family with secrets they'll do anything to protect.
Another day on the job for Gordon Pope.

When Sophie West was a child she used to play hide and seek with her imaginary friend Mo. Now she's thirteen and Mo's games are getting more and more dangerous. She knows he's make-believe, but somehow he seems more real every day.

Sophie's mom, Dianne, doesn't know where to turn for help. Someone is starting fires in their exclusive Baltimore neighborhood, and she's terrified it might be Sophie. Desperate, she calls the only person she can think of that might be able to help.

Gordon Pope is still trying to get his fledgling child psychiatry practice off the ground. When he answers Dianne's call, he thinks he's simply taking on another troubled young patient. What he doesn't realize is that he's about to find out just how deadly Mo's games really are.

Click here to find out where you can get your hands on a copy.

Received this Newsletter From a Friend?

Well, they must be a very good friend indeed, because you've just discovered a treasure trove of reading goodness!

First off, please thank your friend profusely for me. Then, go make sure you don't miss out on any more of these monthly newsletters. You'll also get one of my books, absolutely free, as well as an exclusive invitation to Graham's Super-secret Readers' Circle group on Facebook.

What are you waiting for? Click here to claim your free stuff. :-)

Yours in Reading,

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Graham Downs

South Africa