Lady Smoke Book Review

Lady Smoke Book Cover

Lady Smoke

by Laura Sebastian

The Kaiser murdered Theodosia’s mother, the Fire Queen when Theo was only six. He took Theo’s country and kept her prisoner, crowning her Ash Princess–a pet to toy with and humiliate for ten long years. That era has ended. The Kaiser thought his prisoner weak and defenseless. He didn’t realize that a sharp mind is the deadliest weapon.

Theo no longer wears a crown of ashes. She has taken back her rightful title, and a hostage–Prinz Soren. But her people remain enslaved under the Kaiser’s rule, and now she is thousands of miles away from them and her throne.

To get them back, she will need an army. Only, securing an army means she must trust her aunt, the dreaded pirate Dragonsbane. And according to Dragonsbane, an army can only be produced if Theo takes a husband. Something an Astrean Queen has never done.

Theo knows that freedom comes at a price, but she is determined to find a way to save her country without losing herself.

Thoughts

I enjoyed Lady Smoke more than the first book of this series. Theodosia is free of the Kaiser and is on the run. She is set to take on her title as the Queen of Asteria, but her people are still enslaved. She has no allies, no army, no means to fight for her people’s freedom. She is a queen with only hope, and good friends.

This book is about Theodosia finding out where she stands with her people. She works to gain power, and enough strength to fight for her people’s freedom. She must also convince her people who have been long enslaved to fight for their freedom. That there were will be a time they will be able to feel and hold that freedom. In many ways, Lady Smoke describes that coming-off-age stage perfectly and finding inspiration to fight for a worthy cause.

Murdering Romance by Kendi Karimi- New Book Alert!

Murdering Romance Cover

Murdering Romance

by Kendi Karimi

Murdering Romance is a fictional story about one woman whose love for peanuts unknowingly sealed her fate, her missing father who had a lot to say about his absence in her life, and a little time to say it, then suddenly none at all, her ex-lovers who had a lot of her to kiss, but not to love, never to love.

Mukami wants to understand love and has spent all her life understanding death, like picking up yellow flowers from the brown earth and having them turn a pale blue in your hand. And she has lived a long life. And she is tired. She has been brave and is tired of that face. She has written herself to fame and is tired of the fame.

Available at these places –> Amazon.com | Nuria the Honest Store, Nairobi | Naivas supermarkets | Writer’s Guild Kenya bookshop | Kibanga books | Candy and Books Kenya


Book Review

Murdering Romance is about Mukami, a woman in a quest to discover and experience authentic love, freely given by a father, or even a lover.  She has wondered where to find this love, for what she has seen and experienced for herself does not compare to her imagination.  She has also always wondered why her father left, why he didn’t stay and make a family with her mom. Perhaps his love and care would have taught her more, shown her how to find an authentic love for herself years later.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mukami starts a conversation with her estranged father via email, in which he tells her about the past, and she does her best to tell him about her present. She works at understanding his choices while doing her best to resolve a longstanding grudge over his neglect. Their conversations are fresh and revealing.

As these conversations unfold, Mukami shares her own experiences with love, or the lack of it, in the form she imagines authentic love should be and exist. The most disturbing of these accounts is a relationship with ‘Peanut Man’. An experience that is treated as best as it can be. I do feel as though the Peanut Man’s saga should be an entire book plot on its own, complete with a therapy session for the character, but I digress. Thankfully, Mukami does move on from Peanut Man to other relationships.

There is a rawness to Murdering Romance. Mukami does her best to share and unpack her life and the experiences she has lived. Each one made her wonder, making her wish and hope for the right one, the perfect moment. The conversations with her father become important. Murdering Romance is a story about Mukami who simply wanted to experience an actual authentic moment of genuine love and call it her own.

Print on Demand – Book Publishing in Kenya

Q. Should I Use Print on Demand for Book Publishing in Kenya?

Answer: Yes. It is a reasonable and affordable way to print your books on a budget.

Here is a scenario. If you have tried to publish a book in Kenya, chances are you have approached a large printing press and they have quoted for you a minimum of 100 books. (500 copies in our case). The price of this entire job comes to around Kshs. 100,000 or more depending on the size of the book, color requirements, etc. If you do not have this amount, you will feel instantly discouraged and think, “Ah, publishing in Kenya is very expensive!

The most interesting truth about the printing press’s quote is, that it is cheaper to print a large number of books with them. It also guarantees the availability of the book.

However, Smaller Printing Press shops offering Print-on-Demand are the best for authors who are growing, starting out, and hoping to get out there in the market. They need an affordable starting-out option that will not make publishing seem impossible and obliterate the savings account amounts.

What is Print on Demand?.

Print on demand in book publishing is the production of a small number of books as requested by the publisher, author, or customers.  The printing happens at a fixed cost per copy each time regardless of the size of the order that is, 1-5 books or 50 books. It allows the author to keep up the availability of their book for their customers, and have a dependable printing source who will always make the books as needed at the same price.

The author’s biggest challenge is finding a Print-on-Demand company that will keep the fixed cost per copy reasonably intact. There might be fluctuations as per current inflation challenges in Kenya, but there should be no life-changing increases.

For example, a book first printed at 180/- per copy cannot suddenly change to 350/- per copy the next time it is needed for print.  Such a change would increase the retail price and the author might have a hard time finding customers with a new price to match the new printing cost. The author might not be able to afford this change of printing cost either.  It is important to find a Print-on-Demand shop that will work with you and keep prices reasonably intact for your book.

Kenya has gone through a very large shift in terms of offering Print-on-Demand Services. There are more Print-on-Demand printers, alongside the Offset Printing shops.

So, if you’re on the verge of finding a printer and your budget is not at the 500 copies level, find a Print-on-Demand shop. I will shamelessly plug Publish4All Kenya here.  They have been quite reasonable to us and always fulfill our orders without issue. They are the best printers we have dealt with so far.

An author hoping to put out books can easily find a printer who is willing to print out 5-10 copies of a book at a reasonable price. The author can then sell the books and return to print another set. The more the book’s demand grows, the more you can print. In time, you can work up to getting the 500 copies, of which you’ll find an offset printer to keep you stocked at mass-printing levels.

For entrepreneurs in Kenya, the Print-on-Demand industry has a clear existing gap waiting for you to fill it.  Affordable printing prices are attractive to budding authors. The existence of these services at reasonable costs and offering quality end-products will also encourage more people to print their books.

Are you interested in printing a book, You can email Publish4All Kenya for a quotation. – p4akenya@gmail.com

June Adventures and 2o22 so Far!

June is a great month to reassess plans and ideas. 2022 has been a series of small and massive changes, from stocking up on cooking oil to learning how to seriously create TikTok vids, trying not to binge on Stranger Things on Netflix, and seriously failing, the ’80s were fun.  The year is on a roll, and it’s all about managing everything in your life to keep moving forward.

Here are a few updates from our corner. June is dry for us in Nairobi this year. I garden and we have to water veggies and flowers on a serious note to escape drought. In any case, putting in some effort with watering has gotten us some pretty results. Mom harvested some bananas, and the flowers are looking pretty.  I miss the rain. Wondering if we should learn how to do a rain dance…hahaha.

I got to work on a very simple book cover this past month. We create content and make eBooks for sale at The Amari Baking Center. Here is a look at the pricing eBook we put out lately.  It has great content about how to manage your product pricing if you’re thinking or working on starting a small business. You can get it here. Pricing Book/Amari

On my reading list, I’m caught up in the Ash Princess Trilogy for the month of June. Ash Princess and Lady Smoke are read, and I’m left with Ember Queen. Can’t wait to get to the end of this series. I have a plan to read Wings of Ebony, I’m hoping it is an interesting read. My book count is slowly going up. I hope I’m at 52 by the end of the year.

On writing, I think I’m doing better this year than I did last year. I have a lot more chapters out than I expected. It does take effort to add in the word count between daily life activities, general chores, and that fabulous villain called procrastination. I hope to keep winning on the word count as the year continues. Wouldn’t it be fabulous to put out a new ebook in December 2022? Let’s do this!

June is at the end and six months of 2022 with it. I hope that I’ll manage to make the next six months more productive for this blog. On the plus side, I’ve finally learned how to make a blog calendar work for me! Which is an accomplishment I really cannot explain, just know it is a big, BIG thing! I’m too excited about it. That’s my happenings for the year.

I hope your next six months are full of productive and amazing events that fill you with accomplishment by December 2022.  Work on finishing that book you’ve been writing, get your projects done or plan one you’ve been thinking of getting done.

Fiction Snippets – Zev’s Afrotheria Part 6

In a blink, Zev joined the most powerful army in the Afrotheria Empire at the age of seventeen. He had chosen to become one of those most feared and revered gangs of the land: The Theria Guild Guardians.

In his heart, he knew his choice had to do with the need to expend the rage that now ruled his life at the memory of watching a pack of ghost wraiths attacking his brothers and Gen.

If it weren’t for those ghost wraiths, he would have been there for Amare. He would have been able to keep her safe. A dark cloud of grief threatened to take him over.

Zev shook his head, pushing the constant grief aside.

His lungs burned for air, and sharp pain on his right side made it harder to run. Zev ignored the pain and powered through, his gaze on the red line drawn across the track ahead. He pushed his body harder and managed to run across the red line just as his body felt like it might collapse. He fell to his knees on the track and sucked in harsh breaths, hoping to relieve the pain. His t-shirt was soaked with sweat.

“Again, Mablevi! You’re too slow,” the instructor shouted, blowing his whistle. “One delayed second and you’re ghost wraith meat. Push harder. Get up and do it again!”

Zev glanced at his training officer standing on the sidelines caught between hate and worship.

Zev was in a class of fifteen cadets. Their instructor was a no-nonsense slave driver. The instructor subjected them to relentless running drills to improve their speed. Every part of Zev’s body felt sore, and his muscles burned. He took in air, his lungs desperate for it.

 Zev worried he would never get up to run again.

A strong hand gripped Zev’s left arm, pulling him up before he decided to lay down on the tarmac and give up. On his feet, Zev tugged down his sleeveless gray t-shirt and turned to his left to find an older boy grinning at him.

“He keeps yelling until you stop collapsing at the finish line. Hi, I’m Saul. I joined a month ago The trick is to remain standing at the finish line.”

Zev nodded.

A second boy around his age came up on Zev’s right and gave him a nod in greeting.

“I’m Noah. I will pace you so that you cut your time,” Noah said.

They headed back to the starting line, and Zev was oddly glad that he was not doing this alone. Noah and Saul each took a spot on each side of him. The instructor blew his whistle and they took off, Noah and Saul running next to him in camaraderie. It suddenly felt like training might turn manageable.

Three days later, Zev decided he was in over his head.

Zev stood in a Santi Corp Simulation Training Room. He was dressed in his white cadet armor, smart VR glasses clipped on the bridge of his nose. He held a Santi Sword, the blade designed to work in the simulation world.

“Mablevi, you’re seventeen, and you’ve never been in a simulation room. That means you’re late to the party. You have to work harder to catch up. We are starting you at the basic level,” the instructor’s voice rang through the large dome-like room. “This is your first test. Scenario: A forested village in the hills of Teru is facing a ghost wraith reap. There is no way to know the size of the ghost wraith pack. You only know the pack is traveling fast heading to unprotected villages. Your goal is to take down any ghost wraiths coming your way. Mission Commence: Cadet Mablevi, Basic Simulation 001, Start.”

Zev had no time to think, as the room turned dark and vegetation filled his vision.

The call of birds filled his ears with the sun high up above him. Zev imagined if he closed his eyes, he might inhale the scent of fresh crisp air. He took one step forward, and a ghost wraith jumped out of nowhere. He had no chance. The ghost wraith crushed him and the simulation ended.

 “You are dead,” the instructor said. “You have failed an entire village, Cadet. Only one rule matters: Stay focused, Mablevi. This is not a game. There is no one coming to save you. You are doing the saving. Do it again. Mission Commence: Cadet Mablevi, Basic Simulation 002. Start.”

Zev died ten more times in the simulation managing only two steps.

At the fifteenth session, he managed five steps, hoping by the thirtieth session, he would be able to see the ghost wraith coming at him. The realization of how fast a ghost wraith moved had Zev wondering if he could make it as a guardian.

***

Find the rest of this chapter on Wattpad or here: Zev’s Afrotheria Chapter 6

What Information Goes on the Copyright Page of a book in Kenya?

You have completed your book.  You are now ready for publishing in our beautiful country of Kenya. You need a copyright page in both the e-Book and Printed Format.  The copyright page is the second or third page depending on the items you have planned for the first pages. It should contain the following information:

1. Title of the Book

– This one is easy. Your Book’s Title and the Subtitle if you have one.

2. Name of the Author

– The author who has written the book.  Make sure to add in all authors and contributors if there is more than one.

3. Copyright Holder

  • This looks like this: Copyright © Year by (Name).  If there is more than one author, include their names.
  • Copyright holders should be named for the text contributed, and images found in the book or the book cover. Sometimes, the image owner may give copyright to the owner but require a credit on this page for producing the image.
  • Copyright holders can be authors, publishing companies, businesses, and organizations.

4. ISBN Number

  • If you have an ISBN from the Kenya National Library, include it here. You can write the number and/or include the barcode that comes with it.
  • If you are internationally based, you might have a Library of Congress number, which you can include on this page too.

5. Rights & Permissions

This is the paragraph that reads, All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. There are different variations of this paragraph, ending with the means to contact the copyright holder for permission to quote, use or adapt the content in the book.

6. Contact Information

  • You will most likely put down the contact information of the person who will be responsible for handling the permissions in the Rights & Permissions paragraph. This can be the publisher’s contacts or the author’s contacts.

7. Permissions

  • If you quote or use information from another publication, author, or image copyright owner, you need to credit their work. You can use this page to include the permissions given or granted to you by the owner of the borrowed content.
  • This includes lyrics from songs, which do have copyright ownership.  The Kenya Copyright Board has a site for these registrations and searches. Consult with the site to check out who owns what and how to get permissions.

To remember:

  • If the author is the writer/ editor/ and publisher, then he or she will include their information in all the parts mentioned.  Otherwise, include the names of those who have contributed, depending on agreements of services rendered.
  • If more than one author writes the book, make sure to add in all authors.
  • Images and book cover creators may ask you to credit their names on the Copyright page.
  • A Printing press/ book formatting service may include their logo on the copyright page, as well as their information.

Here is a copyright page sample to see what it should look like:

Title
Author

Copyright © 2022, Author
Cover Art © 2022 (Moon Artist)

Edited by Awesome editor
Published by (Abc Publishers)
ISBN Number: 
(ISBN barcode) optional
Library of Congress Number:

All Rights Reserved.
All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole
or in part in any form.
Or
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book
with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each reader. If
you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your
use only, then please purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard
work of these authors.

For Permissions reach out to Abc Publishers info or Author’s Information/ email and phone number and/or Address.

You can include a disclaimer if you have written fiction.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual
events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Some publishers in Kenya do include the Kenya Copyright Law that governs copyrights on this page. You may include this part depending on how much space you have left on your book’s page.

The copyright page is there to say who the copyrights belong to, and who to contact for permissions to reproduce, copy, adapt, quote or reuse the content found in the publication. It also helps to know who has contributed to the work.

Do not forget to visit the Kenya Copyright Board website to copyright your work.  You get a certificate for your efforts, and your rights are searchable in the database.

3 Popular Questions Asked about e-Books in Kenya

Question 1: How do I create an e-Book in Kenya? Is it easy?

A. This depends on the type of book you want to create. A book filled with prose like a story, or a non-fiction book with no graphs, tables, and pictures is easy.  You only need Microsoft Word/Apple’s Pages to create an e-Book.  You can turn your word document into a PDF, and/or ePub with Pages, and voila, you have an e-book.

The challenge starts when you have graphs, tables, and pictures that need specific formatting and layout requirements.  You then have to think of how your readers will access the e-book and the type of app they will use to read your e-book.

If you are selling your e-book yourself, there are decisions to make, for example;

  • Do you want the e-book printable? If you do, the PDF version is sufficient.  You only need to make sure it is formatted correctly so that the graphs fit within the margins and are readable on a phone/tablet/ laptop etc.
  • Do you have a print book and do not want the e-book printable? My advice would be to keep the book in print form. Do not turn the print book into an e-book if you’re absolutely against getting it in an e-book and having it printed out by readers that way. I tell you this because a motivated reader will find a way to turn your unprintable e-book into a printable version. We are in an age when there is always software somewhere that can do the conversion.
    • In any case, if you must turn the e-book non-printable, ePub is your best option.  ePub allows you to disable the printing option at creation ePub reading apps do not provide a means to print the eBook. Once again, it depends on the platform you have chosen to use to distribute your ePub.  When you are creating PDFs, you do get to choose whether to make the PDF nonprintable too, but you have to have software that allows you to lock up the contents.  Otherwise, as I said earlier, motivated readers will find a way to bypass the password version. ^_^

I hope this sheds some light on this constant question in my inbox. ^_^

Question 2: What type of software do I use often to make e-books?

  1. Microsoft Word

The most basic and easiest way to create an e-book in Kenya is to use Word from Microsoft Office, or its equivalent on Apple called Pages.  This is because I have used Word for a long time, since my school days, so I find it easiest to use.  I am able to make the necessary formatting changes on Word without problems. It is also easy because platforms like Smashwords take the word documents and turn them into PDF/Epub/and all other types of formats for the different types of devices on the planet.  Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing can also use .docx for their Kindle Create software to make upload files for Kindle. Word is quite diverse and easy to use.  Microsoft Office 360 is also a great way to save documents online so I don’t worry about crashing laptops and loss of work.  You can also do that with Google Docs, though I rarely use google docs as a way to work on ebooks to publish unless I’m doing a collaboration with someone else and we’re storing notes or giving feedback that needs everyone’s input.

  1. Publisher

I love Publisher for when I’m creating mini books that will not be uploaded online, or used as e-books. I use this software for little books we are printing ourselves.  It has a lot to offer in terms of formatting, and the little bubbles and asides and graphs and ways to arrange pictures excite me.  It’s my favorite for brochures, info notebooks, or just a short printed book.  I do not use this for e-books though.  I also do not use this software when sending a document to the printers.  The few times I tried it, we had great and epic mix-ups with formatting issues, so I reverted to word, and shifted to Indesign.

  1. Adobe Indesign

This is my favorite software.  It offers a very wide range of possibilities and is perfect for magazines, novels both non-fiction, and fiction, brochures, ebooks, and anything you can think of creating that will open like a book.  It is important to note that it also has a wide learning curve.  You’ll need to take the time to get to know how to format paragraphs, shapes, designs, images, and all that, but once you master it, anything is possible.  You can save your documents as per the printer’s requirements, and create ebooks turning them into PDFs or ePubs. The only limitations with this software are caused by the wallet ^_^. You can work on upgrading it as you grow.

Question 3 – Where do I sell my e-Book in Kenya now that I have made it?

Everywhere!  There is no limitation on where you can sell your e-book or printed book for that matter.  What I can do is give you three ideas on how you can create outlets for your ebook.

There is no limitation on where you can sell your e-book

  1. Create a Page on your preferred Social Media Platform. There are very many: Facebook /Instagram/ Tiktok/ Twitter to name some of the most popular. Discuss and talk about your book on your pages.  Facebook/ Instagram allows you to create a shop and you can sell your book through them.  Tiktok allows you to direct your followers to your Instagram page. Well, you can also Tweet the process of how to get the book. (This is the least amount of work for setup) You can also sell your ebook through Whatsapp.
  2. Create a website and make a landing page for your book.  Do you know how to create a website? If you do, then we’re halfway there. Create a landing page highlighting your e-book. I’m hoping you have a following or have at least been marketing it by this point. Explain to your potential readers how to buy your Printed Book/e-book. Provide an email, phone number, and how to pay for it.  Please make this process seamless for the reader. (An Mpesa plugin allows you to set up a seamless payment system. This method does require a considerable amount of knowledge when it comes to setting up a website. You can learn to do it yourself, or reach out to the website designer of your choice.)
  3. Signup on an ebook selling platform like OkadaBooks/ Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing/ Smashwords / Draft2Digital/ Litireso.  What these platforms allow you to do is upload your word document or pdf, please check their requirements, and sell your book through their shops and/or distribute to other ebook selling shops like Barnes & Nobles and Apple Books, etc. This method is the easiest as you rely on already established resources.  The cost of this is that each of these platforms does take a percentage of your sales. Decide which platform best fits your needs.

I hope this information gives you some insight into creating your own e-book for distribution to your readers. Find the software you are most comfortable with and work on mastering it, formatting documents, so that you are able to send out beautiful ebooks to your readers. Most of all, I wish you the best of luck on your publishing journey.

Ash Princess

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia’s family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess–a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.

For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She’s endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.

Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn’t always won on the battlefield.

For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.

Summary

Ash Princess is a story about Theo, a princess of Astrean, who is living in an enemy’s palace ruled by the cruel Kalovaxian King. This king has murdered thousands of Theo’s people. He also takes pleasure in humiliating the Astrean Princess, calling her the Ash Princess. Theo even wears a crown forged of ash to parties thrown in her honor. When the man she thought would rescue her from the Kalovaxian King dies, by her hand no less, she is forced to start thinking of the future. Of her people’s suffering and the truth that no one is coming to the rescue, Theo must rescue herself.

I enjoyed the pacing of this novel. Once again, I have picked up a second series that is a quick, don’t-think-too-much kind of story. The plot line is not new, nor is it ground-shaking. It has been done before and reminds me a lot of Red Queen by Victoria A. Still, Theo is her own character and she takes charge in this book, doing what she can to survive her circumstances. Read it for a good easy time. There are heavy nuances of cruel behavior, obviously war, and slavery. It is a Young Adult novel at its fullest fantasy mode.

Caraval – Book Review

Caraval Book Cover

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless, she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval . . . beware of getting swept too far away.

Book Review

Caraval Aesthetic

Scarlett Dragna loves her younger sister Tella very much.  Their father is cruel and abusive, and he uses their love for each other against them. When he arranges a marriage for Scarlett, she decides to go through with it, in the hope that she will be able to take her sister with her. She hopes her arranged marriage will allow them to escape their abusive father.

Scarlett will do anything to protect Tella. It is to the point of giving up her dreams and sense of adventure.  When Scarlett was young, she longed to see the Caraval – the magical, faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the magical show. She wrote letters to Master Legend, asking for the Caraval to visit their tiny island, hoping for a chance to watch the Caraval. She never gets a response and loses hope as she grows up.  And then, days before her arranged marriage, Scarlett receives a letter from the Master of Caraval, Legend, inviting her to the magical show on Isla De Los Suenos. Enclosed in Legend’s letter are three tickets to the show.

Scarlett must now make a choice whether to follow through on the arranged marriage or follow her dreams and whims and attend the Caraval.

It's only a game

A series of events ensues, and after a kidnapping and a near drowning, Scarlett does end up at the gates into Caraval.  The ticket master has a set of rules for Scarlett and her companion.  Most important of all is to remember that it’s all a game.

It all does seem like a game until Scarlett realizes that her dear sister Tella is at the center of the game.  She is missing, seemingly kidnapped by Legend.  The players are in a race to find Tella and win the prize, but Scarlett is in it to save her sister before the day she has to marry a man her father found for her.

I think the rules of Caraval apply while reading this book.  It is simple good fun, and entertaining.  It’s about Scarlett finding a footing, finding what matters to herself and what she wants to do with the rest of her life. She does it while playing a game of make-believe that might cost her more than she bargained. Reading Caraval had me wanting to go to a magic show, or visit the circus. It’s all make believe, don’t get carried away.

I hope your weekend is full of beautiful magical moments.

April 2022’s Reading List

The April Reading List only has two books. ^_^That’s about how many I could get in this April. They were both intense books. I now think I probably needed the month to read both of them. My excuse is very valid. ^_^ Here is my list for April 2022 :


Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

It is about:

Two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.

Book Review

I loved the movement of African history through the eyes of the characters in this book.


A Thousand Splendid Suns Cover

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

It is About:

Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them-in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul-they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation. With heart-wrenching power and suspense, Hosseini shows how a woman’s love for her family can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice, and that in the end it is love, or even the memory of love, that is often the key to survival.

Book Review


On a very exciting note, I would like to thank Christine Warugaba for inserting a few words from this blog’s review of Belonging on her book cover. I’m truly honored.  Thank you for making my month! Belonging is now available for purchase on Amazon, and through Furaha Publishers, Kigali.