A Golden Age for Dystopian Fiction


Dear Readers
Thank you to everyone who ordered / reviewed / listened to the audiobook for ‘Why You Were Taken’. It’s doing well and has a 4.5 star rating on Audible. Yay!

We’re busy redesigning the cover (again!) to freshen it up for the release of the third book in the series and to make sure it’s signaling the correct genre. Of course, once we have the new cover finalised, you’ll be the first to see it.

(If you haven’t yet read ‘Why You Were Taken’, you can grab it for 99c till the 1st of September.)

It’s a great time to have a set of dystopian thrillers published: Entertainment Weekly reports that dystopian lit is enjoying a surge in popularity. Classics like George Orwell’s ‘1984′ and Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ are doing especially well.


Interested in reading more?

The New Yorker: A Golden Age for Dystopian Fiction (June 2017)

BookBub: 12 New Dystopian Books Not to be Missed (February 2017)


I’ll be handing over the manuscript for the third book in this series to my editor next week. It’s called ‘What Have We Done’ and it’s available for pre-order already. Eeek!

Next month I’ll start work on the prequel novella, and hopefully I’ll be able to share that with you before the end of the year. Itll make a great December freebie.



I’ve just published an excerpt from ‘Grey Magic’ as a standalone short story on Amazon. ‘Fenrir (free till the end of the week) is about a viking who is called to fulfill his bloody destiny despite his desire to stay home with his love.
(Warning: Contains V/S/L)




The Given (FREE)
Colby R. Rice
4.4 star rating (85 reviews)
THE GIVEN is a fast-paced, post-apocalyptic survival tale, set in the streets of a dying city that has been crushed by alchemic law. Layered with the elements of gritty crime drama, dark urban fantasy, hard sci-fi, and horror, it’s a wild ride to the end of a young girl’s sanity as she struggles with an impossible choice.

The Last (FREE)
Michael John Grist
4.5 star rating (201 reviews)

The Last man alive vs. 7 billion zombies. Action, gore and ingenuity. How would you survive?

Nineveh’s Child 99c
Gerhard Gehrke
4.5 star rating (6 reviews)

They told me the world above was dead. They lied. It was their world that was dying. Six years later, Nineveh came for me. And nothing would stop them from trying to take me back…


If you do end up ordering the ‘Why You Were Taken’ audiobook, I’d love to know what you think of it! I’ll be thrilled if you email me, or leave a review on Audible.



That’s it for now. Happy reading / listening!

• JT Lawrence •
Author / Playwright / Bookdealer

Why You Were Taken 

How We Found You

What Have We Done

Grey Magic

Sticky Fingers

The Underachieving Ovary

The Memory of Water

Every Breath You Take

The JT Lawrence Suspense Box Set

PS. Want to make sure you never miss a release? Follow me on Amazon or BookBub.

They Never Found the Bodies


How We Found You
Chapter 1:

They Never Found the Bodies

Kate looks up from her holoscreen and blinks hard. How long has she been online? She only meant to look up a recipe for a quick dinner but has fallen into a rabbit hole quilled with xlinks. The open tab leaves all nipping for attention. Animated 4DHD in hypercolour floating before her – or as Seth calls it: Rainbow Crack.

The twins are far too quiet. They must be getting up to something. Defacing the walls with chocolate glitter? Baking their Lego cake in the real oven? Kate sighs, rubs her eyes and lets her warm hands rest on her neck. She pictures the multicoloured plastic blocks sagging through the metal grid. Caramelised Lego lava. She hopes the smell of burning plastic is a figment of her synaesthesia.

“Silver?” she calls. “Mally?”

No answer.


Part of her wants to pretend she doesn’t notice the quiet. Peace is difficult to come by when you’re the single mother of four-year-old twins. Well, not quite a single mother, and not quite twins. Not quite four years old yet, either, but this is how life is: a series of not-quites and half-broken dreams.

The silence hovers around her like a fresh white cloud (Bleached Bliss).


She unclips her feet from the pedals and climbs off her cycling desk. The holo leaves wink out, making the silence seem somehow louder. She calls again. “Silver?”

Maybe they’re watching something with their earbuttons in. She checks the games room. An animated film is playing silently on the cinewall, but no eyes are watching it. The bedroom floor is an obstacle course of discarded toys and clothes. She picks up Alba, Silver’s cuddle-bunny, and lays it gently on her pillow. The HappyHammox are empty, although Mally’s is swinging slightly, as if someone has just brushed past it. Kate stops its motion with her hand.

There is a mewling from the corner. She spins around and dread tingles in her stomach. Another sad cry escapes from a heap of teddies and trucks. Kate tip-toes over to the wailing pile and picks her way through it, discovering a Bébébot of Silver’s. Registering that its been picked up, the playbot stops crying and blinks at her.

“Mama,” it says. “Mama.”

The infant’s silicone limbs are warm to the touch. Its lips open and close, looking for its pacifier. Kate has never liked the soft robotics doll. It’s not the toy’s fault; something in her is just revolted by its similarity. Uncanny valley, they call it, when a robot bears a resemblance too striking for comfort.

“Mama,” it says again then roots for something to suck.

Kate turns the doll around, unbuttons the cotton onesie and lifts up the fabric to reveal the switch on its back. A shot of yellow adrenaline spikes her blood. It’s already off.


Kate almost drops the thing. She toggles the switch on and off again, turns the doll around. It blinks at her.

Faulty wiring. Her heart is hammering. She takes a step and cobalt stars rip into her foot, and looks down to see that she’s stood on a toy Volanter. Curses crowd her head and she shakes them away.

She calls louder now, in a voice that’s not quite hers. “Silver?”

At least we’re in a high-rise. A nice safe apartment instead of a house on a road that can coax the kids away with the promise of adventure. Then again, scores of other people live in the block, and in her experience, people are far more dangerous than roads.

Kate hurries to the front door, checks the locks. Seth promised her that his new Safeguard, state-of-the-art security system is “bullet-proof” but she made him install some old-fashioned locks just in case. She doesn’t trust a retina scanner. Tech is wonderful until it stops working. She won’t settle for anything less than an old-school door chain, a deadbolt and panic hardware. Her synaesthesia interprets the sounds of the mechanisms locking as reassuring blocks of grey stacked on top of each other. Click, click, click. Not that it helps her sleep at night.

“Kids? Where are you?”

She scans the lounge, the kitchen, the study, the kids’ bathroom.

“Don’t panic,” she says, but the shooting neon yellow is back.

She checks Seth’s room, her bedroom, her bathroom. The shower door is closed. Did she close it? Is there something behind the frosted glass? A shadow? Her breath catches, heart-in-throat. Kate reaches for the retraction button, but hesitates. Her outstretched fingers tremble.

They never found the bodies.

Shut up. Just shut up.

She could fetch her gun from the safe in her bedroom cupboard but decides against it. Kate presses the retraction button and the superglass partition slides into the wall to reveal an empty cubicle of porcelain tiles.

A spray of relief that the shower is intruder-free. Terror that the twins aren’t in it.

Interwoven with the ribbons of fear is the scent of almond soap. Bad thoughts swarm Kate’s brain. She tries to keep them out but there are too many of them – in her head and in her throat, threatening to cut off her oxygen.

It’s happened again, the voices in her head say. Just like you knew it would.

“Shut up.”

The cold mist of fear rustles on her skin.

They’re gone. They’ve been taken.

• JT Lawrence •
Author / Playwright / Bookdealer

Why You Were Taken
How We Found You
Grey Magic
Sticky Fingers
The Underachieving Ovary
The Memory of Water

Cover reveal — ‘How We Found You’

HWFY Facebook ad VISUAL 2

Hello readers! ‘How We Found You’ (the sequel to ‘Why You Were Taken’) is now available to pre-order on Amazon.

Here is the blurb:

Would you sacrifice your son to save your daughter?

There’s something different about Kate’s four-year-old son. He wasn’t created the old fashioned way. Now a violent cult wants him dead and Kate will do anything to protect him – until they take her daughter.




The pre-order is full price ($3.99) but if you wait till the 19th of May I’ll be running a week-long 99c promo to get it to climb the Amazon charts and gain visibility. As a member of this list you have the inside track, so if you’d like to grab the 99c deal you know what to do!



If you prefer a signed paperback (R248), you can pre-order directly from me. We deliver door-to-door to all major cities for just R39. Order 2 or more for a 20% discount and free delivery.

Alternatively you can get it from Exclusive Books, Skoobs, Love Books, and other local bookstores (RRP R268).

(If you live outside of South Africa, you’ll be able to order the paperback as a POD from Amazon or any major retailer as soon as it goes live.)


That’s it for now! I wish you a fantastic week.

Keep well, and happy reading!


★ The Underachieving Ovary ★ Launch And Thank You


Just a quick post today to shout: IT’S MY BOOK’S BIRTHDAY!

‘The Underachieving Ovary’ is now live on Amazon. What a journey it’s been.

I also wanted to say thank you: I have more pre-orders on this title than any other ebook so far and have pre-sold a third of the paperbacks. Some of the reviews are already in and they are wonderful. Your support continues to boggle my sleep-deprived porridge bowl of a brain.

Alexandra was pretty pleased, too.

Thank you to VIP reader Ryan Krein for this themed onesie. Amazing!

I can’t WAIT to tell you about my next release (info coming soon). I am so excited about this particular suspense novel, but I’ll fill you in next time.

Just like baby Alex, I’m going to keep this short and sweet. I hope the rest of the week is excellent to you.


★ The Underachieving Ovary ★ September update and pre-order info

I’m thrilled to tell you that ‘Why You Were Taken’ made it into Glamour Magazine. They called it “fast-paced, captivating and imaginative.” As you can imagine, I screamed out loud.

‘The Memory of Water’, free on Amazon, is still number 1 on the UK dark comedy bestseller list, and has had over 12,000 downloads in two months. Mind-boggling!

On the home front, Baby Alexandra is now close to four months old and she’s already helped me launch two books. Maybe that’s why she likes to sleep all the time.

Most recently, she’s been helping me get ‘The Underachieving Ovary’ ready to publish. If she understands the irony of the situation, she doesn’t let on.

                      The Underachieving Ovary
                        On sale 29 September

Does the word ‘endometriosis’ make you want to stick a fork in your eye? No? Then perhaps this book isn’t for you. It’s funny, and (sometimes alarmingly) frank. It contains an impressive array of synonyms for ‘vagina’ and it’s certainly NSFW.
Still not sold? Have a quick read of the excerpt called ‘Project Douche’ that had one reviewer spitting tea out of her nose.

For international readers:
• Pre-order the ebook on Amazon at its special pre-order price of $0.99, or
• Wait to order the POD paperback once it launches on 29/09.

For South African readers:
• Pre-order the Amazon at its special pre-order price of $0.99, or
• Pre-order a signed paperback directly from me.

The special pre-order price for the paperback is R199 (on-sale price is R268).
(Courier delivery is R39. Orders of 3 books or more qualifies for free delivery)

If you are on my VIP readers list, you would have received a freebie — a short story called  ‘Travelling Slacks’. It’s the funniest of the 12 short stories in ‘Sticky Fingers’.

Thank you, as ever, for your support. It means everything to an indie author like me.


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