Self-publishing might seem like an uphill battle, but with experience, it gets easier to get into on this sunny part of the world. There is no reason not to write. A few years ago, the only way to access your money after you sold e-books and your money was in your Paypal account was through a bank. It took eight days for it to process. Such a long time. Well, that’s changed now, thanks to Safaricom’s Mpesa. So, I thought I should post this little how-to today, coz I’m excited about it.
So, Simple how-to self-publish your e-book/book in Kenya:
Write your book. – I advocate fiction books because that is what I primarily publish, but this works for non-fiction books too. Your book must be entertaining, engaging, and in the case of non-fiction, informative. Don’t cut corners. Find an editor, pay them, do the work and get your book to perfection.
Design your cover – Great Covers are essential. Find a graphic designer who can create a cover that will market your book in the best possible way. Discover more about genres, and how covers play a role in distinguishing them. If you’re writing non-fiction books, make sure your cover speaks to your audience, and the topic you are discussing.
Write a Blurb – When you go to the bookshop and are browsing books, you pick one out, read the back, if you don’t like what it says, you return it to the shelf. If you do like that small paragraph in the back, you immediately head to the counter to pay for it. Hehehe…Now, take your book that you’ve spent months writing, and come up with a great blurb to entice your readers with one glance.
If you’re publishing this book as an e-book on Smashwords/Amazon’s KDP, you are good to go. The next step is to log on to your account, and start uploading the files as specified by each site. Set your price, and hit publish. Then start marketing your e-book like there is no tomorrow.
If you’re publishing your book as a physical book, get in touch with the copyright board, get your ISBN, and make sure you have crossed your T’s with them. Then consider your printing options. There are many different types of printers in Nairobi. Some are efficient, others not so much. You need to find your perfect fit, money wise, and emotional-wise too.
The rest is marketing and awareness. Don’t forget that your book is a product. Create a brand, embrace every reader who comes to you, and give them more with lots of love. Share your work, and if readers love it, they will pay for it.
I write these little how-to’s because I believe the fiction/non-fiction books market is growing in Kenya. We need more authors writing fiction and publishing it. We need a bigger presence in the e-book market, and authors to take ownership of their fiction. Then we can really have a vibrant industry, enough to entice more readers. So, if you’re a writer reading this, get started today. Get published!
Victoria headed to Ronald’s office spurred by aggravation. She had avoided facing Ronald for two months, even if they worked so close, it was surprisingly easy to go weeks without seeing him. Entering his office without knocking, Victoria stopped before Ronald’s desk, annoyed by his nonchalant expression. Fighting the urge to smack the knowing look off his face, Victoria stood her ground.
“What brings you to my office, Vicky?”
“Stop bullying Anita,” Victoria said.
“She’s not a good worker.”
“That’s crap talk,” Victoria sighed. “You’re not being fair to her. She did nothing wrong.”
“If I don’t fire her, will you come back to me?”
“No.” Victoria flashed him a smile. “I will, however, start thinking of you as a human being.”
“I see you’re still deluded by the photographer. What can he give you?”
“His time,” Victoria said. “If nothing else, at least Eric is honest with me.”
“I was honest too,” Ronald said, cocking his head to the side. “We had it good, Vicky. Dump that rough boy and come back to me.”
“I’m not here to talk about us.” Victoria placed her hands on her hips. “You’re the manager here, I work for you and so does Anita. Keep things professional, or I’ll be forced to go above you with this.”
“You wouldn’t dare,” Ronald scoffed.
“Try me, Ronald,” Victoria snapped.
His expression dared her to try, and God help her, it worried her to tangle with her boss this way. She didn’t want to lose her job. After all, she needed to pay rent, there was her car payment, water, electricity, and future projects…her job was important to her. Still…she would fight for Anita.
“Fine,” Ronald said, his tone cold. “Anita can stay. Don’t expect anything from me, Vicky.”
“I never did, Ronald.”
As she left Ronald’s office, Victoria realized that in truth, her attachment to Ronald was superficial. The fear of being alone had kept her with him. Clinging to a partner who cared nothing about her, she smiled as she entered the elevator.
That had changed now. She wasn’t afraid. There was nothing wrong with being single. Despite her mother’s wishes or what everyone around her thought, it was pleasurable being by herself. There was confidence in that knowledge.
On her way down to her office, her phone buzzed a message and she smiled when she saw a reminder from Eric. Well, she reminded herself, there was now Eric. They were visiting his house this weekend.
Saturday dawned sunny and beautiful, the light a golden yellow, turning the yard behind Eric’s house magical.
Eric, for once without a camera, carried two rose
plants, one white and the other pink. They were in black bags, and ready to be transplanted into their new home. He hurried to Victoria’s side where she was crouched in the flower garden, making sure the holes they’d made were deep enough. He stopped beside her, placing the plants on each hole.
“How long until they bloom again?” Victoria asked. “I’ve never known how long.”
“I don’t know either. We can discover together,” Eric said, crouching beside her. “What flowers do you like Victoria?”
“Lavender,” Victoria smiled. “You can use lavender for a whole bunch of stuff, it’s a multipurpose flower.”
“You always need to justify why you like something. Say, you like lavender. Leave it at that.”
“Fine, I like lavender flowers.”
Eric shook his head.
“What now?” Victoria bumped his shoulder with hers.
“Now you’re saying what I want to hear.”
“I’m going to throw dirt under your shirt.”
“I’ll stick earthworms in your hair.”
Eric lifted one out of the manure and Victoria fell back on her butt, with a strangled scream. Eric laughed and brought the wiggling fat earthworm closer to her face. Victoria screamed and scrambled away.
“Why are you freaking out? You had your hands in the manure minutes ago.”
“Stop torturing tiny animals,” Victoria said getting to her feet. “Eric, put the worm back in the soil.”
“Fat chance I’m getting close to you right now.” Victoria pointed at the squirming earthworm. “That looks too disturbing. Drop it in the soil, Eric. Come on.”
“Say please,” Eric teased.
“Please?” Victoria begged, her eyes so wide and pleading, he dropped the earthworm in the hole they’d made for the roses.
“Babe, you beg prettily.”
Victoria scoffed and came at him. She grabbed a handful of dirt and poured it down his shirt before he could react. She ran off with a happy laugh and he stood still.
She giggled and raced toward the hose pipe fitted to the rain water tank by the house.
Eric ran after her, removing his t-shirt and throwing it on the grassy lawn. He caught her just as she picked up the end of the hose. She started to spray water at him, but he pulled her close and kissed her hard. She dropped the hose and clung to his shoulders.
The compound was private, thanks to the live green fence he planted years ago. The only gate was locked. There was no one to interrupt them. Eric smiled and kissed Victoria until she was breathless, her arms locked around his shoulders.
She broke the kiss first, burying her face into his shoulder. He held her trembling body against his thinking his control was slipping. Then, Victoria gasped her fingers digging into his skin.
Victoria tapped his shoulder, doing her best to step out of his embrace. Eric turned to see what had her so panicked. He gaped when he saw his four sisters standing a few feet away in a row. All he needed was his mother behind them and the family would be complete.
How had they gotten in again?
“Eric?” his youngest sister said. She had just finished high school.
Eric cleared his throat and took Victoria’s hand when she started to edge away.
“Mimo,” Eric said, pasting on a wide grin. “Hi, this is Victoria. I was removing an earthworm from her hair.”
Victoria groaned when his sisters burst into uncontrollable laughs.
“You couldn’t have come up with a better excuse?” Victoria whispered, she scowled at him and he smiled.
“This earthworm must have been tiny,” Waceke, the oldest sister, said.
“The size of wheat grain, he was searching so hard,” Njoki said.
Christine laughed the hardest at this comment. She was the third born sister, always so amused, but the easiest to conquer. Eric looked at her for support. He gave her a pleading gaze and she giggled, hurrying to his side.
“Oh, look, you have soil on your back,” Christine said. “You’re working hard, Eric. Hi Victoria, I’m Christine. Third sister on the line. Hope you’re now free of earthworms.
Victoria scowled at Eric, and then smiled at Christine.
“Thoroughly free,” Victoria answered.
Mimo launched herself at Eric and he braced for impact as she hugged him hard.
“What are you ladies doing here?” he asked, not willing to give up the privacy he’d carved out this weekend.
“Mum bought veggies from the market for you. She said to drop them off,” Njoki explained. “Didn’t think you’d be home at this hour.”
It was only nine-thirty in the morning. Eric had hassled Victoria out of her house at eight wanting to spend the day with her. They had gone to buy the flowers along Ngong road, then come straight to his house.
“We started out early,” Eric said, locking his arm around Victoria’s waist. “Want to share a late breakfast with us, since you’re here?”
“Yes,” Christine said, she moved fast, pulling Victoria out of Eric’s reach. Christine led Victoria to the house.
“Why don’t you wash up,” Njoki said, giving him a small smile. “We’ll get breakfast started.”
Before Eric could protest, his sisters were gone toward the house, and he was alone with the hosepipe. He wondered if he should invest in a new better lock for his gate. Staring at the blue sky, Eric groaned.
Thank you for reading….to be continued ^_^!
Special thanks to Ngatia Edwin for reading this story this year, and inspiring me to continue posting it on here! I will work hard to post it all.
Editing is lifesaving to writers. A good editor will make your work shine, and help you tell your story in the clearest way possible. A good editor will ensure you are bringing out the best of your content.
Here is why:
Editors will make sure you have structured your sentences, full stops, commas, ellipses, dialogue tags…all these important tools and ingredients in the right way. This is no excuse for you to ignore the rules of language. A writer should be well-versed on language, and the tools it requires to write a good story. The editor helps you refine your language. You don’t want to punish your editor, you want to inspire them to help you polish your work.
They are your first audience:
A good editor will resonate with your work. If they read it, engage with it, and interact, then you’re one step closer to reaching a wider audience. Do listen to their advice, even when you don’t want to. It will help you in the long run.
Your Editor will help guide you in the right direction
Depending on the relationship you develop with your editor, any conversation you have with your editor can help the direction you take with your work. They will challenge you to break long time habits, explore your talent, and push it beyond the limits you have set yourself as a writer. Be careful to choose an editor you can communicate with. Don’t forget, Editing is a service, shop around until you find the right fit for you.
Editors keep you honest – If you’re writing fiction, and your editor knows your style, the moment you start to cut corners, your editor will call you out on them and keep you honest.
They are always right, not always, but most times– This is the hardest thing to take for a writer. The moment your editor reads your work and you find a series of red marks, suggestions and comments. Do not lose your head. Take a walk, then return to your document and give it a second look. You may argue a point out with your editor, sometimes, you may win, most times, you won’t as they are only trying to help you tell your story in a clear manner.
Once you have finished writing your fiction, or non-fiction book, get yourself an editor. Do not mind the cost and take it as an investment. To ensure the fiction/poetry or non-fiction book you produce is polished, and readable. Remember, your book is a product, you want to produce the best content quality possible.
Track 19 : No matter how crazy I get, I’ll come home to you
Danny and Nic drove Tyler to Danny’s garage, where they cleaned the cut on his forehead. Once they drilled the truth out of him, Nic decided to call a criminal investigator who worked with his father. Jimmy caught up with them as they waited for the investigator to show up.
Danny sat with Tyler, unable to understand why such a young man would want to get into so much trouble. Adrian ordered Tyler to cause trouble at the racecourse, hoping an accident would occur that would bring in a police investigation. Apparently, Adrian wanted to buy the racing grounds from Danny and Jimmy. He figured if enough troubles arose, and police got involved, Danny would cut his losses and put up the business for sale. As if, Danny scoffed. He had worked too hard to give up what he had now.
“You could walk away,” Danny pointed out to Tyler.
“Have you met Adrian?” Tyler scoffed. “He controls my life, Danny. It’s not like I can say no.”
“Hiyo ni ufala,” Danny said, staring at him. “You’re weak, that’s why you can’t say no. He is not forcing you; you’re allowing him to control you. What do you lose if you walk away?” (That’s stupidity)
“I heard you’re finally dating Jasmine,” Tyler said, meeting his gaze.
Danny was surprised to read jealousy in Tyler’s eyes.
“What does that have to do with anything?”
“Adrian threatened to hurt her when we were together. I’d found the strength to walk away from him then, I really thought I could make it work with her. Then Adrian showed up, and I had no choice but to walk away. To protect her,” Tyler said. “I broke her heart.”
Danny sighed, not sure what to say.
“You should thank me,” Tyler said, with a small smile. “She always did like you, never had the courage to tell you though. Guess she got it somehow.”
Danny thought about Jasmine’s pleading gaze when he refused to listen to her. She was going to be so angry with him.
“Now you get out of town,” Nic said, coming into the office with his CID friend. “You’re going to help this man bring your brother in to the police. I hate thieves, and bastards who think they’re entitled to anything they want. If I was a more cruel man, you wouldn’t have lived tonight.”
Tyler sighed, and turned to Danny.
“I suppose this is what I deserve for what I did earlier. I wish you were handling this instead of him. Nic frightens me, more than you do,” Tyler said. “Can you tell Jasmine something for me?”
Danny frowned. “Why would I do that?”
“Because.” Tyler shrugged. “My head hurts, and she was the last person who cared about me. Tell her I was wrong. She was worth fighting for.”
“Okay, Casanova,” Nic said, coming to grip Tyler’s left arm and pulling him up to his feet. “Let’s go. Danny, the Andersons will be history in a few. I’ve cleaned up the races this time. That means you now owe me a favor.”
“Good. I love your car. Got you around really fast,” Nic said, with a grin as he left the office. “Care to race for logs?”
“I’ll consider it,” Danny said, glad when Nic disappeared with Tyler and the detective with no further comments.
Danny stared at the keys he still held, the skyline was full of luck.
He sat back in his seat and looked at Jimmy who was leaning on the doorjamb.
“She’s with Terry, at your house. She was not happy,” Jimmy said. “She looked pissed off with you, you have your work cut out for you.”
Danny stood, and stretched his arms above his head.
“We’ll get through this,” Danny decided.
Jimmy grinned. “All I can say is good luck.”
Danny drove home at six in the morning. He parked his car and hurried into the house, anticipation coursing through him. This was the first time Jasmine would be staying over his house, as his girlfriend. She had stayed over before, but with Terry. Now, it was for him, he smiled as he closed the front door.
He was surprised to see Terry relaxing on the couch, watching a home-makeover show. She hugged her pillow, and was still in pajamas. This soft, disarrayed side of Terry was rare. He only saw it when she was worried. Danny walked over to her and touched the headscarf covering her hair. She looked at him with bleary eyes. Clearly, she had not slept.
“Jasmine went home.” Terry stated. “She couldn’t stay here, kept freaking out that you might kill yourself racing the streets of Nairobi after a psycho who tried to kill you.”
“Why didn’t you talk her into staying?”
“Because, I’m sure if I tried, she’d talk herself into the reasons why she can’t be with you,” Terry snapped.
“I love her,” Terry said. “She’s like a sister to me, Danny. I love you too. You’re my brother. So fix it so I don’t have to choose which one of you I have to give up. I stayed up to tell you that, now I’m going to bed.”
Two hours later, showered and changed, Danny walked up to Jasmine’s front door. He contemplated unlocking her door with the spare key she gave him, but then he thought it was better to knock, and ended up pressing the doorbell.
The door opened, and Danny stared at a younger version of Jasmine.
“Wow, you are Jazz’s secret, aren’t you?” She grinned and leaned on the doorjamb. “Oh Jasmine, kuna stori ha uja twambia. Guys, come out here.”
Footsteps, and in seconds, Danny stared at a younger boy who also looked like Jasmine. Her brother and sister, he assumed. The older woman behind them all studied him with a suspicious gaze.
Jasmine’s mother, Danny thought, when she narrowed her gaze at him.
“Morning,” Wanja said, pushing her son and daughter aside. “Call me Mama Jazz. What’s your name?”
“Danny, why don’t you come inside,” Wanja said, her smile a tad too inviting.
Danny wondered where Jasmine was, but decided to take the plunge and give Jasmine a reason to forgive him. Taking Wanja’s hand, he allowed her to lead him into the house.
Jasmine flung the driver’s door open. Her hands shaking when she saw Danny slumped over the steering wheel.
“Danny.” Jasmine touched his shoulder and he sat back with a harsh curse. “Oh thank God! Are you hurt? Anything broken? We should get you to the hospital.”
“Jazz, I’m fine. Jimmy, who was that bastard?”
“Nic went after him.”
“Damn it!” Danny gripped Jasmine’s hand. “Take her home.”
“No.” Jasmine leaned into the car, looking into Danny’s dark eyes. “Whatever you’re thinking, no.”
“No.” Jasmine shook her head, wrapping her arms around him in a tight hug. “Danny, take me home, and I’ll check to make sure you weren’t hurt. Don’t do this. Not right now when you’re pissed off.”
Danny tightened his arms around her, squeezed her tight, and then he pushed her into Jimmy arms. Not giving her a chance to fight back, Jimmy lifted her up, moving her away from Danny’s car. She screamed and kicked the driver’s door when Danny closed it and revved the car.
With a final glance at her, Danny sped out of the field in a cloud of dust and she pinched Jimmy’s arm so that he could let her go. Terry reached them, her gaze meeting Jimmy’s for a second, before she pulled Jasmine into her arms.
“I’ll drive you guys home,” Jimmy said.
“I brought my car,” Terry said, leading Jasmine toward the exit.
“I’ll make sure it gets home to you,” Jimmy said.
Jasmine tuned them out, her thoughts on Danny. Jasmine couldn’t stop thinking about
Danny’s gaze right before he drove off. Dark eyes filled with anger, and this dark…she couldn’t describe it. His temper was short, she knew that, and someone cutting him off like that in a race deserved it. But then, what would happen if he caught up with that bastard and ended up facing Anderson?
Jasmine allowed Terry to help her into the backseat of Jimmy’s car. She wrapped her arms around herself, suddenly freezing. Terry must have seen her shiver as she draped Jimmy’s jacket over Jasmine’s shoulders. Jasmine stared out the window, her thoughts on Danny, until she realized Jimmy wasn’t driving her home.
“Where are we going?” Jasmine asked.
“Danny’s house,” Jimmy said. “I need you to stay with Terry. I’m going out to find Danny, when I drop you off.”
“Why did you let him go then?” Jasmine asked, meeting Jimmy’s gaze in the rear view mirror. She couldn’t help the accusation in her tone. Jimmy was Danny’s best friend. Best friends did not let each other rush headlong into trouble.
“Danny knows what is right and wrong, Jazz.” Jimmy narrowed his gaze at her. “Learn to trust him.”
Jasmine looked away unable to hold his gaze. She did trust Danny. She did. She couldn’t love him without trusting him, but—
Jasmine bit her lip, tears stinging the back of her eyes.
If something, happened to him…how would she live then?
Danny locked his phone on its dock on the dashboard, and pressed the speaker feature. Nic’s voice filled the car.
“I’m almost caught up, but he’s headed for the southern bypass fast. We’re on Gitaru road. Bastard doesn’t care if he hits people. His speed is on another level.”
“What do you see?”
“Almost to Kinge’ero stage,” Nic said.
Danny swerved his car into the next small road he found and concentrated on driving fast. Roads in residential areas were great in the middle of the night. No one walking in the night, cars locked away safe in compounds, unless one counted patrol units. The skyline would hold up in a chase, and it was a while since he’d given it the chance to open up and test its limits, no patrol unit would reach him. Changing gears, he took a turn too fast, burning rubber. He increased speed and raced toward the cutoff point.
“Where are you?” Nic asked, sounding annoyed.
“In just a few,” Danny said, cursing when he tried to avoid a porthole but failed.
He hoped Jimmy wouldn’t yell at him too much for the damage, and increased speed. Relief flooding him when he finally saw gitaru road ahead. In six seconds, he raced into the major road, glad there weren’t cars to halt his progress. On his left, he saw the rogue car almost upon him. Danny gave it a deliberate tap on the right front bumper, and the driver lost control and spun out of the road and into the open space filled with kiosks and electric poles. For Danny, it took skill to control his car out of the way, so that their cars didn’t tangle. When he was free, Danny slowed down, and came to a stop a distance away from the car spinning out of control.
Their rogue driver panicked, his grip on the steering wheel unsteady, he drove right into an electric pole, and that’s what stopped him. Danny got out when he saw Nic’s car come to a stop behind his. Gripping his car keys, Danny hurried to the rogue car, peering into the driver’s side from the passenger window.
“Get out,” Danny ordered when he saw the man in the driver’s side moving. “Don’t make me get you out.”
Nic had no patience, so he went around, pulling the driver’s door open, and dragging the driver out, holding him up with a fist on his clothing.
“Who the hell are you?” Nic asked, directing light from his phone on the driver.
Danny walked around the car and stopped, staring at the bloodied face looking back at them.
“It’s Tyler Anderson,” Danny said, when Nic started to shake the poor man into submission. “He is Adrian’s brother.”
Today, our favorite companions, two white cats, with the most expressive eyes. I, most times, believe they understand every word we say. They’re both girls and get those moments when they huff and walk away…..clearly, they’re speaking here.
I saw them playing in the flower garden and it reminded me of another Saturday not too long ago. As mentioned before, I love gardening, flowers growing around the house, digging fingers into the dirt…all of it is therapeutic and a great mind-clearing exercise, as Mum says.
So, on this Saturday, we (Mum and me, worked in the flower garden, while my sister baked) spent time weeding, loosening dirt for the flowers, kneeling right in to pull out weeds. It doesn’t take long. Afternoons are the best around three p.m., going into dinnertime. It’s funny, but when we start working, everyone in the compound gravitates to that spot, and wild conversations arise. The last time, my sister (the bakerette), was reminiscing on when we were kids and each of us got a small patch to dig and plant. We each had digging tools, and even planned out what to plant. Of course, Our Mum would be supervising, and we grew flowers mostly, while she planted veggies, but it was a fun way to keep us occupied. Many years later, looks like we’re all still tending to flowers, and pretty grass. Of course, our little helper, Bindi the cat, always inspects the job, to make sure it was done right.
Bindi checking progress
Mum trimming the fence
Afterwards, we all sat on the stairs having tea with pancakes made by our in-house bakerette. Thinking about gardening today, I went to check the flower gardens thinking next Saturday, we need to do some garden work…the cats seem to agree.
Starting my year with a bit of fun! Thank you Dora of Nilichoandika for the award nomination. It was a great surprise to discover as I jump back into the blog for 2018!
What’s The Liebster Award all about?
The Liebster Award is a blogger award for new bloggers, those with few followers, who are still getting the hang of this dynamic industry. It is a fantastic way of giving exposure, recognition, and motivation to these talented newbies so as to keep their blogging fire blazing!
Rules of the Liebster Award
Create a new blog post with the graphical image of the Liebster Award as the one above.
Thank the blogger who nominated you while also providing a link to their blog.
Answer the Questions you had received from your Nominator(s).
Nominate 10 bloggers and share your blog post with them so that they can accept their awards.
Create a set of questions for your Nominees to Answer.
Fantastic, let’s get started!
What would you say has been the highlight of your blogging experience this year (2017)?
The best part of blogging in 2017 was getting personal messages in my email from readers who discovered my stories. I can’t begin to express how exciting that gets, and I felt truly happy. Getting fiction out there is hard work, and it was good to get such positive feedback from readers.
If you could pick a theme to blog about, any theme that scares you or you know very little about, what would it be and why?
Stocks and Bonds!! Hahaha…Okay, to be serious, anything IT oriented. Stuff is changing so fast, it’s hard to keep up I think.
What’s the best and the worst part of being called a blogger?
The best part comes from someone following your blog, and connecting with you, truly. The worst part…I haven’t discovered it yet. Honestly. I will update that when it comes to me.
What Fantastic thing do you want to accomplish with your Blog this year 2018?
What is your favorite topic to blog about?
If you were to go on an adventure then blog about it, where would you go?
How has your passion influenced what you blog about?
I would love to know more from these great bloggers:
Heartbeat electrified, Jasmine followed Terry into the racing grounds Danny owned with Jimmy. They had to park their car outside the gates because there was no space left inside. Jasmine glanced at the time on her phone. Eleven
o’clock in the night, and it felt like she was walking through a busy street during the day. Danny’s races drew a crowd of spectators. It was a revelation to discover such a following in Nairobi for the races.
Loud music filled the night, it was lucky the property was removed from any residential areas. Excitement skated down Jasmine spine, increasing with every step, bringing her deeper into Danny’s world. Thrilling and frightening at the same time.
Terry took her right hand and squeezed, twining their fingers.
“Don’t be nervous,” Terry soothed, as they weaved their way through a sea of souped-up cars.
Gazes followed their progress. Jasmine suspected it was because she was a new face in the very tight circle. Despite the number of people in the place, they all knew each other. As if on cue, a short man in shiny white leather, who looked like he had married a gym and lived in it day and night, stepped in their way. His hair dyed blonde, Jasmine thought he would fit right in to a boy band.
“Who you with?” he demanded, his expression forbidding.
“Back off,” Terry said, her tone bored. “Rick, run back to your master.”
“No strangers allowed, Terry,” Rick insisted, his gaze on Jasmine.
Jasmine started to explain, but then Danny’s arm slid around her waist and she looked up in surprise when he pulled her against him possessively.
“Ricky, are you giving my gal a hard time? Coz, you know what that means.” Danny kept his tone low, his stance deceptively calm. His eyes though spelled doom. Jasmine hoped Rick saw it too.
Rick’s eyes widened and he took a step back.
“Danny,” Rick said, his tone apologetic.
Danny’s eyes narrowed and Terry sighed when Nic Mugera came to stand beside Rick, placing his arm on Rick’s shoulders.
“Do we have a problem here?” Nic asked, meeting Danny’s gaze.
“”I don’t know, Nic, do we?” Danny asked, his arm still around Jasmine.
She moved closer to Danny and Nic’s gaze shifted to her. Jasmine found she wasn’t afraid of much standing beside Danny. She met Nic’s gaze and smiled.
“I don’t think we do,” Nick said, returning her smile. “Rick, get back to the pit. Make sure everything is running fine. Danny, I apologize for my people. Jasmine Lima, welcome to the fold.”
Danny watched Nic stride away before he pulled Jasmine into his arms. Wanting to make a point, Danny kissed Jasmine. She clung to his jacket and gasped when he stopped the kiss as abruptly as he had started.
“Well,” Terry said, smiling. “You’re in good hands, Jazz. I’m gonna go mingle.”
Danny kept his gaze focused on Jasmine.
“I’m sorry for that,” he said.
“No need to apologize,” Jasmine murmured. “I suppose that makes me one of the babes. I’m not sure how to feel about that.”
“You’re not one of the babes,” Danny said, smiling. “You’re my woman, Jazz. My woman.”
“As long as you don’t call me the little woman at home,” Jasmine said, pulling back. “Now, let’s get this show on the road. How much money are we winning?”
Danny chuckled. “Babe, I like how you think.”
Jasmine frowned at him. “I thought you said I wasn’t one of the babes?”
Danny grinned and lifted his hands up in surrender when she threatened to punch his arm.
“No money tonight,” Danny said, taking her hand and leading her toward his spot. “We’re racing for a log book. Nic has a very smooth running Nissan Skyline. I want it.”
“Nice,” Jasmine said, excited.
“I’ll introduce you to my crew. By the way, my girlfriend, you get to start the race.”
Jasmine gasped at that. “What?”
“You look sexy,” Danny said, running his hand over her hip.
She had worn a short leather skirt and a light blouse for the occasion. Her feet in ankle-length heeled boots.
Danny grinned when she looked like she might stop breathing.
“You’ll love it.”
Yep, he had stolen her heart, she decided when all it did was flip-over in excitement instead of freak out. He was right about the start.
There was something absolutely exhilarating about standing at the starting point while five supercharged engines growled like beasts, itching for take off. Jasmine stood between Danny and Nic Mugera’s cars, her hands raised while Jimmy counted down on the sideline. When he got to one, she dropped her arms and the rush of cars whipping into motion past her let her breathless.
Terry rushed to her side jumping in excitement. They moved out of the road, to the closest screen to watch the race, documented by strategic cameras placed along the circuit. The competition was high-powered energy; Jasmine could feel the current on her skin. Everyone around them vibrated with it, watching with bated breath, she could hardly stay unaffected.
Watching Danny’s car muscle its way along the course was both hard and exciting. She clung to Terry’s arm when Nic’s car got too close to Danny’s or when the curves they took looked too dangerous. Danny was a great driver, but the maniacs racing him worried her. They drove aggressively, and seemed uncaring of safety. A green car tried to overtake Danny on a narrow part of the road, and for a full two minutes, Jasmine couldn’t breathe.
Danny freed himself from the crazy driver in the green car, edging ahead with Nic behind him in a white car.
Then, when Danny started on the last stretch, a brilliant blue car broke into the race. Forcing Danny to swerve out of the road to avoid a crash. The rogue blue car followed him, forcing him into the dirt field in the middle of the racing course. One moment, Danny seemed in control of his car, and then the blue car tapped his back and sent him into a wild spin.
Jasmine stood frozen, screams filled the night but none of that penetrated. The race continued on, but Jasmine’s gaze remained on Danny’s car bringing up a pile of dust in the middle of the field. She started to move, and Terry locked arms around her.
“Let me go,” Jasmine ordered, slapping at Terry’s arms to get free. She needed to get to Danny, save him, make sure he was okay.
“Let them pass,” Terry said, nodding to the oncoming cars.
A bitter taste filling her mouth, Jasmine stopped long enough to let the four remaining cars pass by the tarmac road, and then ran across, heading straight for the cloud of dust.
“Jazz!” Terry screamed.
She ignored the call, and kept going, wishing she hadn’t chosen to wear heels tonight.
Strong arms wrapped around her waist lifting her up.
“You idiot,” Jimmy cursed when she started to struggle. “Don’t go running into a mess you can’t see.”
Jimmy’s hold around her waist was tight, and for a minute, she didn’t understand what he meant until that rogue blue car emerged out of the dust. She felt Jimmy brace to push them out of its way. A scream escaping when the blue car missed them by an inch.
She clung to Jimmy then, her gaze on the blue car driving out of the property in unholy speeds, sending people scurrying out of its way. The driver clearly in a hurry to get away. When she could stand without shaking, she pushed off Jimmy and raced toward the settling dust.
Danny’s car stood still in the middle, parked haphazardly. Heart in her throat, Jasmine raced to the driver’s side in crazed madness.
It feels like it’s been a while since I went on a road trip, so this was incredibly fun. Nothing on the mind, but being on the road, noting random things, lush green scenery and that family of zebras, having their lunch.
What do they do with all these?
They make a picture
Nakuru was rainy when we got there, so our contact sent us a tuk tuk man. I now believe everyone should have Mr. Ngugi when you first hit Nakuru. He got us around town and answered a billion questions with patience.
We had a stress free transport time thanks to him.
The trip was a fun day out, but it was also for a conference, organized by Topserve Baking Accessories and supplies, who have relaunched their shop in Nakuru. The Conference was held at Hotel Waterbuck, Nakuru. While the event continued, it was hard to ignore these gems on the walls of this hotel. So much art, there is no chance you will be bored checking in to this hotel.
Nakuru is about 3hrs away from Nairobi. Very quiet, very laid back, and definitely a lot of fun to be had. New Goals after this trip –> Not to take everything too seriously, gotta take time to have fun.
Track 16 – Did you know there are a million sides to you…?
Later in the day, Danny stood in the pet supplies aisle at the supermarket, staring at the
range of cat litter products. How was he supposed to know which one was the right one? How strange was it to put a litter box in the house? The cat his mother kept had known to go pee outside. Why didn’t Jasmine’s cat know?
“Well, well,” Nic Mugera said, making Danny glance up from his perusal. Nic stood a few feet away, his right brow raised in amusement.
“What are you doing here?” Danny asked with a scowl.
“Seeing it for myself,” Nic replied. “Try the scented. Women like things that smell nice.”
“How would you know?” Danny asked.
“I have three sisters,” Nic answered. “I never imagined a woman would tame you into shopping.”
“Speak your mind, then leave Nic,” Danny said, irritated.
Nic sighed. “You are no fun. Fine. Anderson tried to hit up my warehouse in Industrial Area last night. Security stopped it. You should watch out.”
“What was he after?”
“A new consignment of parts,” Nic said. “You know I don’t get cheap stuff. Losing my stock would have set me back on my profits. Now that we have decided to exclude Anderson, he will try to hurt us.”
“I know,” Danny nodded. “Our best bet is to gather as much evidence as we can. Use it against him.”
“The CCTV feed at the warehouse is a good start,” Nic said. “We need more than that though. I suggest you tighten your security. He’ll hit you where it hurts most.”
“Are you having me followed?” Danny asked, wondering how Nic had known he would be here.
“Danny,” Nic said, his tone teasing. “The same way you’re aware of my movements, I’m aware of yours too. She’s hot by the way. Hang on to her, or I’ll make a move.”
“Don’t even think it,” Danny growled as Nick chucked and raised his hands up in surrender. Nic turned to leave, and Danny said, “Thanks.”
“Yeah, see you around, Danny boy,” Nic said with a wave.
Danny grabbed a bag of scented kitten litter and went in search of Jasmine. He found her reading a gossip magazine in the book section. She almost jumped when he placed the kitten litter in the cart.
Placing the magazine back, she turned on him.
“Where have you been?”
“Getting the litter,” Danny said. “Do you want the magazine?”
“No,” Jasmine said. “Let’s go.”
“You were reading it though.”
“Are you hungry?” Jasmine asked, walking away.
Puzzled, Danny followed her to check out. She was busy putting items on the counter when he reached her.
“Why did you take a day off today?”
“I wanted to spend the day with you. Why did you leave a magazine you were reading? Don’t you want to finish it?” Danny asked, lifting laundry detergent and placing it on the counter.
“I don’t want to buy it,” Jasmine said.
“Does that mean if I buy it, you’ll want it?”
“No,” Jasmine said. “Why are we having this conversation?”
“Because it’s fascinating how you start something and walk away from it, without a second glance,” Danny said.
“You’re reading too much into it,” Jasmine said, reaching for her purse.
Jasmine shook her head and turned to the cashier. When she finished with her, and her shopping was all packed up, Jasmine followed Danny out of the supermarket.
“You’re so defensive,” Danny complained, once they were inside the car. When she raised a brow at him, he grinned. “I’m getting used to it.”
“You’re not easy to deal with either,” Jasmine said with a snort.
“You must like me though,” Danny said, navigating traffic.
“I must,” Jasmine said on a smile. “Tell me about racing instead.”
“What do you want to know?”
“Is it illegal?” Jasmine asked, shifting in her seat so that she faced him.
“It depends on the perspective,” Danny answered. “The modifications on the cars are illegal for regular use, things like using NOS—
“Nitrous Oxide Systems,” Danny frowned. “They’re used to increase speed. Say for example you want to increase speed to 65mph in four seconds. You install NOS in to the system, but it has to be able to handle it. Their use is regulated because you can’t strap them into a regular passenger car, or public vehicles.”
“Do you have NOS in your race cars?”
“Yes,” Danny said, he wouldn’t lie to her. It was easiest if she knew every detail.
Jasmine nodded. “Go on.”
“There are many types of modifications. We’d need a separate lesson just for that. We race in the evening most times, in the racing course we developed. Though, there are times when we do close down streets and run a street racing round.”
“So, if police caught you—
“Yes, that part of it is illegal. We all work around it,” Danny gave a small smile.
“Can you use my car?” Jasmine asked. “Can I take my Chevy out there?’
“Your Chevy is too old,” Danny said. “Each car in any particular race has an engine that is built from scratch, tuned and maintained to perfection. So, we would have to change everything in your Chevy’s engine, change the type of tires, suspension, modify the chassis, that way, the car would have a fighting chance in a race.”
“What do you drive?”
“A Nissan Skyline,” Danny said, his voice filled with pride. “Jimmy and I modify and tune it with each race. It’s earned us a lot of money.”
“It must be really expensive doing all that,” Jasmine noted.
“The garage pulls in money, Jazz. We never make any serious financial risks,” Danny assured her. “Besides fixing cars, we also modify and tune other racer cars. We rent out some of the street racing cars we have. Income comes from selling parts in the shop. We keep a low profile, and make sure our tax payments are paid on time. Don’t want the KRA calling.”
“Does it scare you at all?” Jasmine asked. “Ever?”
“Only when my head is not in the game,” Danny confessed. “Driving takes skill, Jasmine. A car is a machine that requires a clear calculating mind behind the wheel. I’m not an idiot.”
Jasmine studied him for a moment. No, he wasn’t an idiot. Far from it. Still, she was scared to think of him at the wheel of a car flying at sixty mph in four seconds. How could he catch his breath under such speed?
Clearing her throat, she asked. “Will you take me on a ride one of these days? I mean not at your races. I couldn’t handle that, but—
She paused when he looked at her, surprise clear on his face.
“When you’re free,” she finished.
Danny smiled wide. “How about now?”
“Really?” Jasmine shook her head, not sure she was ready for this.
“Sure,” Danny said, before she chickened out.
Changing gears, he changed lanes and headed toward the exit that would take him to the racing course.
Thirty minutes later, Danny pressed on the gas pedal, steadily increasing speed and grinned when the hand on his thigh squeezed tighter, then relaxed. They had gone three rounds around the course. Each time, he’d taken them on a faster speed. Jasmine sat silent beside him, her expression one of excitement.
He didn’t talk, just allowed the atmosphere to fill with the sound of the engine, and his woman beside him.
It felt safe, Jasmine thought, her gaze on Danny’s hands as he turned the wheel. The movement so effortless, she wasn’t apprehensive and anxious. It was him. He made her feel safe, happy.
She started to say she loved him, then stopped, surprised that the words had almost escaped. She shut her mouth and turned to look out the window. The world was moving fast around them. Like her emotions, she warned herself.
“You what?” Danny prompted, placing his hand over hers on his thigh.
Jasmine smiled. “I’m glad we did this. It’s exciting.”
“Are you still scared?” Danny asked, easily navigating the car into a fast turn. Jasmine watched the motion, feeling weightless.
“No. Not when I’m with you,” Jasmine said, turning to study his face. He looked so happy, the expression on his face was memorable. She’d definitely never seen this side of Danny before. He was excited, relaxed, and content.
“You make it effortless,” she said.
“Isn’t it?” Danny teased. “You must come to all my races now.”
Jasmine breathed in and squeezed his thigh. She might trust him behind the wheel, but others—
That was another case.
Could she live through that kind of anxiety? Guess she would find out tonight, she thought.