BLOG TOUR REVIEW – Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly

Jan's Book Buzz

image001 (1)What a thrill, as well as an honour to be kicking off the blog tour today for Michael Connelly’s latest book, Dark, Sacred Night!

In this police procedural, Connelly teams up his well-known and familiar detective Harry Bosch, who’s now left the police force, with his fairly new character, LAPD detective Renée Ballard.

After a run-in with her previous superior, Ballard’s now working the ‘late show’ i.e. the night shift, at the Hollywood Station. One night she’s sitting at her desk, minding her own business when she hears a noise, indicating that someone else is nosing around in the work area. It’s nobody she recognises, but it turns out to be none other than Harry Bosch … and so begins what we hope will be a long-standing and successful partnership.

Bosch is looking into a cold case that he just can’t let go of. Nine years ago a young girl…

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Jan Hendrik Launches ‘JAN the JOURNAL’

Jan's Book Buzz


Michelin-star chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen needs no introduction to the Foodie Brigade! So they’ll be thrilled to know that following the success of JAN, his debut television show on VIA (DStv 147) last year, he’s now launching a luxury publication called JAN the JOURNAL on May 9, 2018.

Like his bestselling recipe books, the JOURNAL, a bi-annual publication, will be a rich, visual feast – part coffee-table cookbook, part luxury lifestyle magazine and part-travelogue. With more than 250 pages, the JOURNAL promises to take the reader on an epicurean voyage of discovery, exploring the big wide world of what we eat and where it comes from, with a special focus on South African ingredients and recipes: a feast for fans to luxuriate in!

With over 50 recipes in this epic volume, the JOURNAL promises to be the culinary event of the year.

Van der Westhuizen explains: “Nothing…

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The-Hitmans-Bodyguard-2017-movie-posterThis is one of those movies that audiences are going to love, and critics are going to slate!

Who are you going to listen to … the critics who are rating it at 2 to 3 stars out of 5 (or possibly less), or the audiences who sent it straight to the top of the box office charts in its opening weekend? Exactly!!

To give you some background, if you don’t already know it, this is what’s it’s all about:

The world’s top protection agent, Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) inexplicably botched a high profile job and fell from grace. 2 years later, he’s asked by Interpol agent Amelia Roussel (Elodie Yung), who also happens to be his ex-girlfriend, to guard the life of his sworn enemy, Darius Kinkaid (Samuel L. Jackson) one of the world’s most notorious hit men. The reluctant, but relentless bodyguard and happy-go-lucky assassin are thrown together for a roller-coaster 24 hours. They need to get from England to The Hague, but encounter every possible obstacle en route: high-speed car chases, bizarre boat escapades and the numerous (seemingly endless) henchmen of a cold-blooded Eastern European dictator (a chilling Gary Oldman) who is out for blood – he’s not really concerned whose!

Action fans will love it, and let’s face it, they aren’t going to care about low ratings. It has a stellar cast, lots of stuff gets blown up, the banter between the main protagonists is witty and sharp, and for the girls who’ve schlepped along to see Ryan Reynolds there’s even a bit of a warm and mushy love angle too! Generally it’s just loads of fun and makes for an enjoyable night out. If you’re looking for a movie where you don’t need to think, and where you can just sit back and watch it all unfold on the screen, then this is really perfect.

The Hitman's Bodyguard

Thanks to Ster-Kinekor for treating us to a great preview night at Eastgate Prestige: complimentary bottles of Hunter’s Edge, amusing large, bouncer type men at the door (no really, a fabulous, cheeky touch), and hamper giveaways very cleverly executed.  It really was a thoroughly enjoyable night out!

The Hitman’s Bodyguard gets 4 glittery stars from me!

A Gloriously Fresh Approach at Sum Ting Fresh Norwood

Sumting Fresh Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A tiny little gem of a place tucked away in plain sight in the hectic main street of Grant Avenue, Norwood. Their menu is limited – they do fried chicken in a variety of ways, and boy, do they do it well! The aioli is something out of this world (yes, I asked for more) – they definitely worked some sort of magic on it!


Sum Ting Fresh 2

Gujon Chicken with Aioli

And the chicken is of course, fresh, crunchy and just moreish. The aim here is to provide good quality, wholesome food and to focus on what they do best rather than to provide a wide variety on the menu and focus on quantity, which is when quality often suffers. It’s obvious that the two guys who started this (with food trucks at festivals and markets) realised that they’d found something they did well and decided to stick with it! Good for them!

And don’t forget to try an amazing Jam Jar – the watermelon one was absolutely delicious!

Sum Ting Fresh 1

The staff are friendly and obliging and the service is efficient. You have to go and visit. It’s fun, and probably not what you usually have in mind when you think of ‘eating out’, but you definitely have to try it. And once you do, you’ll be hooked!



This live appearance will include a Q & A session and messages from the other side


The seminar will begin with an interactive question-and-answer session, after which Edward will then connect with the Other Side and give messages to the audience from family and friends who have crossed over.

No one attending the seminar is guaranteed a reading.

Bookings will be open from Tuesday 21 February 2017. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.johnedward.net or www.computicket.com/

John Edward has brought a fresh, honest and thought provoking attitude to the world of psychic phenomena. As a medium, author and lecturer, he has, over the last three decades, helped thousands with his uncanny ability to predict future events and communicate with those who have crossed over to the Other Side. Deeply compelling, often startling and occasionally humorous, John’s down-to-earth approach has earned him a vast and loyal following.

In 2000, John pioneered the psychic phenomena genre with the television program Crossing Over with John Edward on the Syfy network. It was the first television show syndicated worldwide devoted to psychic mediumship and it would go on to run for four seasons. John followed up the success of Crossing Over with John Edward with another television program, John Edward Cross Country, which debuted on the WE network in 2006 and ran for three seasons.


Big Day for Dapper Dogs

Every dog, as the saying goes, has its day.

The pooches of Parkview – whether pretty, pug-faced or pedigreed – are being pampered, preened and prepared for their big occasion.

It’s the inaugural dog show being held at the Parkview Golf Club on the afternoon of Sunday, 25 September (starting at 14:00) as part of the club’s year-long centenary celebrations.

“It’s one of several events the club has arranged for the year to involve local communities in the celebration of our 100 years,” said Franco Pellegrini, chairman of the club’s centenary committee. “Of course, we welcome domestic pets and their owners from all the suburbs around us.”

He stresses that the accent is on fun rather than stringent examinations of breeding and appearance.

“The pooches will be judged in categories including puppies, the ugliest and cutest dogs, dogs who resemble their owners, the best six legs shared by dogs and their owner, and the dog the judges would most like to take home.  And we’ll have some great prizes for them,” Franco says.

The afternoon will include displays by the Marks Park All Breeds Canine Club Johannesburg and Dancing with Dogs.  There will be other attractions for children and food and drinks will be on sale.

“Most pets are part of the family,” says Franco, “so we’re looking forward to a great afternoon for everyone.”


All set for the big Parkview dog show … Rocky, the Yorkshire terrier and Zuzu, the daschund, with Ella Schonborn (left) and her friend, Sophia Pellett

To enter before the day, please phone the club at 011 646 5400 or email tracey@parviewgolf.co.za.

For images or further information please contact Theresa Gibbon on 082 820 8437 or theresa@theresagibbonpr.co.za

Distributed by Behind the Scenes Communications on behalf of Thresa Gibbon PR.



BEAUTIFUL BARBRA – The Barbra Streisand Songbook

Performed by Cat Simoni with Original Orchestration by Johan Laas

Devised and directed by Paul Spence

Presented by Daphne Kuhn at Auto & General Theatre on the Square

Cat Simoni

Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s (especially if you grew up Jewish), Barbra Streisand was a standard feature in just about all of our parents’ music collections. Whether they loved her or hated her (and really, how could one every really ‘hate’ Barbra?), she just couldn’t be ignored. After all, who could ignore the only artist ever to receive Oscar, Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Directors Guild of America, Golden Globe, National Medal of Arts and Peabody Awards and France’s Légion d’Honneur as well as the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award? Okay, so she hadn’t won all of those quite yet back then, but she was well on her way from the very minute she started performing in the late ‘50’s.

So one would expect, as tribute shows gain increasing popularity, that vocalists of every ilk would be clamouring to mimic the award winning Diva. However it seems this isn’t the case. It would take a very unique voice and a very bold performer to be able to execute Barbra’s timeless classics in a style anywhere close to those of the original.

And here we have Cat Simoni, who arrives with the voice, elegance, poise, and just the right amount of chutzpah to tell Barbra’s story and sing her songs with the precise measure of passion and intensity that they were composed for. This is a treat for true music lovers; the combination of a voice that understands the notes, together with musical arrangements created by Johan Laas, who South African muso’s appreciate for the maestro he is.

Simoni is so comfortable, both on stage and with her audience. From the minute we hear the first strains of ‘Something’s Coming’ (Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim), and she appears on stage it’s clear that she is at home. She jokes easily with Laas (“a man of few words”), hams it up in a Bronx accent, and gives a blazing rendition of ‘Don’t Rain on My Parade’ (Jule Styne, Bob Merrill) from Funny Girl, the story of the life of comedienne Fanny Brice, and the film that truly launched Barbra’s career (I have to admit, I can’t hear that song and not think of Lea Michele’s version in the TV show Glee).

But then, as you’re sitting there, nodding to yourself and admitting just how good Cat Simoni really is … she ups the ante. Her haunting version of ‘Memory’( Andrew Lloyd Webber, Don Back, Tim Rice) from Cats, gave me goosebumps, and as if that wasn’t enough, she really came into her own when she sat down and played her own solo piano accompaniment to ‘Pappa can you Hear Me?’ (Michel Legrand, Alan & Marilyn Bergman) from Yentl followed by ‘Avinu Malkeinu’ – a version of the Jewish prayer that Barbra had sung at Shimon Perez’s 90th birthday in Israel, and that Daphne Kuhn had asked to be added into the show. Simoni’s intonation and timing are pure perfection. Once again in the second half, she plays the piano for her own perfectly comic version of ‘Second Hand Rose’ (James Hanley, Grant Clarke) and this is where she truly shines.

The favourites are there, sung with such faultless clarity, and accompanied by short snippets about Barbra’s life: ‘Evergreen’ (Barbra Streisand, Paul Williams), ‘The Way We Were’ (Marvin Hamlish, Alan & Marilyn Bergman), ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ (Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Harold Arlen, Yip Harburg), ‘Send in the Clowns’ (Stephen Sondheim) and more.

The intricate musical arrangements by Johan Laas are a sheer labour of love. He doesn’t say much, he gives a wry smile here and there, but when his fingers hit those keys, he can transport you into a musical wonderland!

There’s not much in the way of a set, just a couple of leather chairs, some flowers and some velvet draping on the keyboard. But you’re not there for the scenery … this is all about the music, and boy … does it deliver!

Beautiful Barbra is on at the Auto & General Theatre on the Square in Sandton until the 30th of July. Book your tickets at www.StrictlyTickets.com or call the theatre on 011 883-8606.


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