Reviews Published

Friday, May 27, 2011

Chapter Short Story Competition

I'm delighted... nay... try jumpring up and down screaming EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! ... to have won the RWNZ short story competition sponsored by Chapter Book Store.

Yvonne Eve Walus...

... is reading Malcolm Gladwell's BLINK (The Power Of Thinking Without Thinking). Perhaps not as gripping a read as OUTLIERS, the concepts are fascinating nonetheless. Watch this space for more details.

(now how's that for a blog Facebook-style?) 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My guest blog on writing

I'm blogging at Savvy Authors today. Come check me out!

"If I were to tell you that you should write with both sides of your brain, you’d get offended, right? Of course, we all use our brain, both sides of the brain, all the time, whether we’re driving or cooking or writing. Still, most people will have a tendency to favour one hemisphere over the other." more

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Ten Digital Diet Rules to Live By

Today we're hosting Daniel Sieberg, the author of THE DIGITAL DIET: The 4 Step Plan to Break Your Tech Addiction and Regain Balance in Your Life

This book is for anyone who is finding that technology is taking over their life – cell phones, computers, social media, and so many other items. Are you finding that you can’t communicate with your friends without sending a text message? Do you postpone plans to harvest your crops on Farmville? These are extreme examples, but we all know people who seem to be tied to their technology. But there is a way to get this situation under control and Daniel Sieberg shares his 4 step plan to help people with their tech addiction. It is not anti-technology, but can help us get our use of technology under control and take back our lives.

Daniel's 10 rules to help you with your e-addiction:

1. Avoid tech turds. Don’t just dump your smart phone on the table at a restaurant or at home. Keep it in your pocket or purse unless it’s critical to have it out. If you must have it out, acknowledge its presence and inform your companions that you’ll check it only in an emergency. It’s a courtesy that you’d appreciate, too.

2. Live your life in the real world. If you must post a status update or tweet or blog about something in your life, then make sure it’s something you’d be willing to announce to anyone you know face to face.

3. Ask yourself whether you really need that gadget. There are tons of cool stuff in the tech world, and some of it might even improve your or your family’s life, but don’t feel compelled to buy every new toy that comes out. Before you make a digital purchase, question its necessity.

4. Seek tech support. Navigating the wilds of the wired world can sometimes be too much to handle alone. It’s okay to ask for help and it’s also okay to use technology to help “outsource self control” when needed. Check out the many programs that can assist with budgeting your time online.

5. Detox Regularly. Once you’ve completed the Digital Diet, return to the detox phase one day a month. You can do this as a family, too. Use that day as a touchstone to remember what life can be like without technology.

6. Sleep device-free: Move your chargers out of the bedroom to another room in the house, and let your devices live there overnight. They need a break from you, too.

7. It’s either the human or the device. Work toward choosing people over the device. Yes, there’ll be times when it’s tricky or nearly impossible to choose between your smart phone or laptop and paying attention to your child or your loved one or your friend, but try to use your devices more on your own time rather than during the time you share with others.

8. Remember the “if /then” principle. Choices that you make in the virtual world can have an impact in the real one. For example, if you don’t find the time to put down the gadgets and log out once in a while, then you might lose the ability to appreciate the finer moments in life.

9. Structure your e-day. Work toward a finite beginning and end to your connectedness. In other words, dive into the gadgets and the e-mail and the texts only when you’ve composed yourself in the morning. When you’re ready to unplug in the evening, do it without reservation and focus on what—and who—is immediately around you.

10. Trust your instincts. If you think you might be spending too much time being a voyeur on social networks or playing online games or endlessly texting, then you probably are. That little voice knows when it’s all become too much. Listen to it. Pursue the ultimate goal of balance and awareness.

For much more information about Daniel Sieberg and The Digital Diet: The 4-Step Plan to Break Your Tech Addiction and Regain Balance in Your Life visit For your own copy, visit (print) and (Kindle)

Thursday, May 05, 2011


I liked "Live Wire" well enough, though I'm not sure I like where the story's gone or - indeed - going. SPOILERS AHEAD, so please click here if you haven't read the book yet.

  • Yummy Win with reading glasses is still every bit as f***able as ever, though I confess I worried about his chances of winning a fight for the first time ever.
  • While his devotion to Mee is charming, why can't he get it on with Wendy from Caught?
  • I don't think what he did in "Live Wire" is any worse than what he'd done in previous books. Come back, Win, all's forgiven. Myron's an idiot....
  • ... OK, no more criticising the plot line. I loved the twist on Wire and his sidekick.