Category Archives: Africa

The Dreamer Falls – Cover

Here’s the final cover for The Dreamer Falls, the third book in The Secret of the Tirthas. I’m very happy with this. What do you think? I’m doing a final proofread at the moment and aiming for the book to be out in the next 3-4 weeks. A perfect read for the beach!

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The Dreamer Falls – little excerpt

A little excerpt from The Dreamer Falls, due out within the next month or so (photo from Murchison Falls, Uganda):

“She must have dozed off for a while because when she opened her eyes again she found herself staring at something she recognised, lying on a bare patch of yellowy-brown sand, beneath the hanging fronds of a palm. It was something she knew very well, long and squat, a creature she knew from stories, right from childhood, and one that she had seen before in… zoos!

‘A crocodile! It’s a crocodile!’ she screamed. The boat lurched suddenly as she scrambled to sit upright.

‘Sit still!’ shouted Zuri. ‘We’re all dead if we go in the water!’”

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The Dreamer Falls – African photoblog

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The Dreamer Falls, the third adventure in The Secret of the Tirthas, is now in draft and due for publication this summer. It’s set mainly in the jungle in Cameroon, where Lizzie has to go to save a local village boy who’s accidentally discovered one of the portals in her garden.

I decided to set The Dreamer Falls in Cameroon for two reasons: 1) I was keen to bring into a story a Nkisi fetish and some other interesting African artefacts I’d seen at an exhibition in The National Gallery and 2) I wanted Lizzie to experience the awe and mystery and hardship of traveling through the jungle. And particularly, I wanted her to encounter a few (but not all) of these beautiful creatures, captured on a trip to Uganda a few years ago:

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And some of this magnificent scenery:

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Lastly, I couldn’t resist including this photo of the group that went looking for gorillas – the rangers carried guns because of the danger from poachers and armed rebels.

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The Dreamer Falls

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This is a Nkisi, a fetish statue used in parts of Africa to summon ancestor spirits to your aid. You enact its power by licking then bashing in nails.

A Nkisi statue turns up as an Artefact of Power in The Dreamer Falls, the third book of The Secret of the Tirthas, which is now in its first draft and will be out this summer.

In the book Lizzie’s sense of duty once again gets the better of her as she heads through a tirtha into the Cameroonian jungle to rescue hapless village boy Thomas Bennett. In a cruel twist of fate Thomas has become the new wild boy of the woods (or rather rainforest), following his accidental discovery of the tirtha.

The quest to find Thomas tests Lizzie to the full as she encounters gruelling dangers, both physical and psychological. She’s accompanied by two teenagers, Zuri and Malika, although whether Zuri with his exacting, often cruel intentions is a help or hindrance is difficult to tell.

And only when she’s at her furthermost point from home, deep in the jungle, does she once again find herself up against the deadliest of foes.

Which is where the Nkisi might or might not come in helpful.

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