The Zanzibar Affair – Book Review

The Zanzibar Affair - Book Review
The Zanzibar Affair

The Zanzibar Affair

Author: Samantha Ford

Publisher: Moulin Publications (April 26, 2012)

Buy it Here: The Zanzibar Affair on Amazon

An enduring, sophisticated love story spanning decades and three continents.

Set against a spectacular backdrop of Safari Africa, New York and France, the love stories from Africa are the very essence of this remarkable debut novel. Love, betrayal, passion and death are woven into this romantic novel with exquisite skill. A book to read and to relish. Samantha Ford is destined to become a contemporary romance bestseller with her stories from Africa on this form.

Love and Betrayal
A letter found in an old chest on the island of Zanzibar reveals the secret of Kate Hope’s glamorous but anguished past, and the reason for her sudden and unexplained disappearance. Ten years previously Kate’s lover and business partner, Adam Hamilton, tormented by a terrifying secret he is willing to risk everything for, brutally ends his relationship with Kate leaving her devastated and feeling totally betrayed by her former lover .

A woman is found murdered in a remote part of Kenya, bringing Tom Fletcher back to East Africa to unravel the web of mystery and intrigue surrounding Kate, the woman he loves but hasn’t seen for over twenty years. In Zanzibar, Tom meets Kate’s daughter Molly. With her help he pieces together the last years of her mother’s life and his extraordinary connection to it.

The Zanzibar Affair Review

The Zanzibar Affair is a different view from mine, so far removed; I feel that I might not quite understand what Africa means to other people. This is the thought that filled my mind at the ending of this story. For Kate Hope, Africa is a place where she found love, lost it, lost it again, and then it found her. Love found her in the most unexpected person.

This book is a jaunt into the life of an expatriate living life from one African Country to the next. It spans a lifetime of life in Lagos, Swaziland, Cape Town, the beautiful Diani beach, and ends off the coast of Tanzania. Kate lives an adventurous life exploring the lush wildness of the continent. She has three loves, in the space of the three decades, but her second love damages her soul, so much that her last love almost loses her entirely.

This story is about Kate’s quest to find happiness and love. She has a passion for tourism, and the tourism business in Africa. This passion made her successful in business and in her career, but this same passion brought her the most pain. She has three loves. Her first love gave her a daughter, Molly, but he wasn’t strong enough or committed enough to stay with her. Adam, her second love, was the one she lost herself in. He broke her heart and her spirit so deeply she might have died. She found great joy with him, but he broke her heart so deeply she never found happiness until the last minute, and from someone she thought she’d lost. Her third love was probably her first love, but he’s the one who cared enough to go chasing after her at the end. This is the reason he is her third love, and the last one.

When I was reading this, I kept hoping for relief for Kate, just a sense of hope or light at the end of the tunnel. Tom, her last love, quickly became my favorite character, to me; he was the beacon of hope in the entire story. I kept wishing he’d find and rescue Kate. Therefore, the ending relieved me.

This is a story of a woman who has lived, and lived hard. She made tough choices, survived great tragedies, and endured the most heart wrenching love stories. It’s all very realistic and heart wrenching. It is definitely a revealing view on what life can be like for an expatriate living in Africa.

 Check it out!!

(I got this book through Moulin Publications, thank you Brian ^_^)


The Nairobi Cake Festival – Unexpected and Delightful

cake festival

I was pleasantly surprised on Tuesday 22nd, when I got a message on my Facebook page from Edumed Trust.  The lady in charge of the Nairobi Cake Festival  had found my post on the cake festival 2014 and left me an apology for my strange experience to do with an Orange Tag.  I gave her my number, and she actually called me back.  She was amazing and apologetic.  It was great talking to her because it washed away that whole experience for me.  I’m grateful that she called me.  The Cake Festival 2015 is on the way back next year, and I look forward to it, so should you.

The Nairobi Cake Festival

Exif_JPEG_420The festival is a premier industry event in Nairobi. It offers a unique opportunity for industry gurus; home based traders, as well as starters to not only open up their service to thousands of visitors but also establish links in the industry under one forum from hospitality, wedding business, catering, latest cakes, designs and dessert to beverage and kitchen equipment. The festival is enriched with healthy options, education about the industry & wide range of opportunities that draw thousands of visitors.  All this makes it the perfect place to reach the retail or food service.

Edumed Trust is a Kenyan Christian Charitable Trust that grants secondary school scholarships to bright needy students. The trust established in 1996 has been working with various disadvantaged and needy communities in Kenya. The trust found it necessary to expand its support base beyond education of children to also offering small and home based businesses marketing and advancement opportunities.

The focus area is the food industry specifically baking owing to its potential through an annual event dubbed The Cake Festival. In doing this, The Cake Festival not only helps Edumed in creating awareness about being our brother’s keeper but also helps small scale vendors realize their potential and also participates in the achievement of Vision 2030’s economic pillar and social pillar which states that no society can gain social cohesion if significant sections of the population live in abject poverty and hence exclusion from available opportunities.

Join the Cause, Sign up Next Year as a Baker, or just go and enjoy the Day eating Free Cake.  See you at the Nairobi Cake Festival 2015.

Related Posts:

The Nairobi 2014 Cake Fest & An Orange Tag Lady

Blog Week – Everyday Kenyan

Everyday Kenyan by Elma Wambui.

picturesA blog that gives insights on every-day stuff that happens to normal Kenyans like me and you. Kenyans who experience the rough of doing things on their own. Those who walk the streets haggling for bargains, looking for deals or seeking inexpensive ways to meet their domestic needs. Here we go!! See Kenya in My Eyes

I found this blog when I needed to find a matatu to take me to Strathmore.  Sometimes navigating the streets of Nairobi can get you lost, and knowing the right route number can make all the difference.  This blog post was very helpful to me, and I just love Elma’s blog for the little tidbits she shares on daily life in Nairobi.  I hope she keeps writing.  #Keeping it real.

H_ART the Band Answers my Question.

Two weeks ago, I posted the lyrics to H_ART the Band’s Ask My shoes (Uliza Kiatu).  I’d also asked the guys on their Facebook Page what had inspired their song.  I’m glad to say that they responded today, so I can share their answer with you.

Elly in Nairobi’s Question:

Hi Guys, I love your music!! I’m doing a small project called Poetry Week and I wanted to ask you one question, Which I hope you’ll answer.
What inspired Uliza Kiatu?

Hart the band



H_ART the Band’s Answer:

The journey we go through in life to be who we are and get what we want.  We were going through our first phase in our musical journey, trying to find ourselves as a band and we had a few struggles here and there.  No one really would understand fully what we were going through hence the idea came up.  What if shoes could speak on our behalf???




And what if indeed!! I just love their answer.  There are so many things we go through, and sometimes it is hard to articulate the struggle, and the journey.  My friends used to say if the walls could talk, when we were in a room, so in this case, H_ART the Band says, “Ask My Shoes (Uliza Kiatu)” what my struggles have been like.

Thank you so much @H_ART the Band for answering my question.

Please support their music: – Uliza Kiatu (Ask My Shoes)

Like their page: H_ART the Band

Follow them on Twitter:  @H_ARTTHEBAND

Immortal Blood- Book Review

Immortal BloodImmortal Blood

by Magen McMinimy

A perfect night on the town turns out to be her worst nightmare. A date with a handsome man is the catalyst for events that she thought only happened in fairy tales. Thrust into a world of danger, Isabelle has no idea what is in store for her as the Light and Dark Fae fight over her future.

Isabelle Moreno is a young woman working her way through life, finding little time for love and adventure. Until she agrees to a date with a mysterious stranger, only to find out the secrets this man holds are something she could have lived her entire life without knowing. The Dark Fae Luck Eater has found something enticing in Isabella’s humanity.

Bain is an arrogant playboy and an Immortal Light Fae Warrior. He and his four brothers fight for the safety of the human race while remaining something of myth. After weeks of tracking the Dark Fae Luck Eater, Bain comes across yet another victim, in Isabelle.

Bain has finally found his match in this feisty human as she fights against him and her ever growing attraction to the Immortal who is bound to protect her.

Book Review:

The story starts with Izzy going on a date with a handsome man named Zander.  This is her first date in a while, and she only agreed to it because her younger sister Marie urged Izzy to enjoy the last year of her twenties and put herself out there.

She’s liking this Zander guy and agrees to a nightcap with him, so off they go.  In comes two warriors, Uriah and Bain, who are hot on Zander’s heels.  Apparently, Zander is a vicious thief who steals luck from successful women.  Why?  Because he is a leprechaun and therefore Fae…for a moment, my mind flashes back to Lost Girl and the bi-Succubus who rules that town…lol…back to Immortal Blood.  Poor Isabelle is saved by Bain and Uriah, but they were a tad late and she’s lost a lot of her luck.  She’s falling on her face, almost getting knocked by a truck, and generally her happy date has turned into a nightmare as Bain and Uriah unveil great huge wings, that leave her disbelieving.

Now that Zander has her luck, Bain is tasked to protect Isabelle as Zander will want to come back for more. And because she refuses to leave with Bain, he is forced to stay at her house until she agrees to leave with him.   Bain is a spoiled brat, a playboy, and the most arrogant man Isabelle has ever met, and because of that, she makes it a point to be as stubborn as she can be, when he makes unreasonable demands.  The best part of this story is the dance between Bain and Isabelle.  He likes her because she stands up to him, she does her best to counter his arrogant ways, and grudgingly likes him as she gets to know him.

I love the twist on the Fae world. I find the funny play on Vampires and Bain’s Immortal Warrior interesting.  The writer paints her own take of the magical world, giving it an identity that’s refreshing and at the same time familiar.  The plot is strong, and the characters lovable.  I had no problem reading through this in one sitting.  I’d recommend it to anyone who loves a good fantasy novel.

I got this book from Amazon.

Currently available on your Kindle: Here 

Writing Resources – Quick Edits – Grammar and Punctuation

download92Quick Edits

This  post will help you edit and format your work as you write.

Grammar and Punctuation.

Direct Speech

a. We use speech marks (” “) at the beginning and end of the words that a person says, including the sentence punctuation. For example:

“Are you going home?” – The question mark is included in the speech marks.

b. When a different person speaks, we begin a new paragraph.

For Example:

“I want to eat spaghetti tonight.  What about you?” she asked.

“Me too,” he said.

c. When the spoken words are split (as example below), as in, the spoken words are one sentence, but written in a spit form,

e.g. “Come back at once,” he screamed, “or I’ll have you executed!”

In this case, we put a comma before the first closing speech mark and after such words as said, shouted, asked, e.t.c.

If the spoken words are two sentences ( as example below), we put a full stop, exclamation mark or question mark before the first closing speech mark and a full stop after said, shouted, asked, e.t.c. 

For Example:

“Come back!” she shouted.  “Come back at once!

So if  you’ve written a story, your completed work should look something like this:

It had been a rainy day, she’d stood at the KenCom bus stop waiting for a citi-bus at around five-thirty in the evening.  She’d been holding her umbrella tight hoping to catch an empty bus.  Timothy had walked up to her and asked to share her umbrella.  Too startled by the tall handsome stranger, she’d agreed.  She’d bitten back a smile when he’d had to duck to fit under her umbrella.  When he’d kept bending, she’d felt pity on him and handed him the umbrella.  The fates must have been on her side because he could have been one of those that just run off with the umbrella.

“Where are you headed?” he’d asked making sure the umbrella covered her.

“Forty-six, my stop is in Kilimani” she’d said shyly.

“Great, we’re on the same bus.  I’m Timothy,” he’d said offering her his free hand in greeting.  “Timothy Limpo.”

“Janet Kerira,” she answered.

“Nice to meet you, Janet,” he’d said giving her a bright smile.

They’d sat on the same seat on the way home.  They’d talked about the weather, moved on to business and what each of them did for a living.

The spaces between the dialogue allow the reader to understand who is saying what.

Further Reading: (Make sure to Further Read, because Grammar and Punctuation is a pet peeve for any Editor.  They want you to know the rules, and know them well.  It definitely makes editing your story easier so make a little effort.)

Six Easy Tips for Self-Editing Your Fiction

How to use Quotation Marks

Brief Overview of Punctuation

The Punctuation Guide

Chicago Manual of Style FAQs –This source will answer any questions you might have.


Writing Resources: Self Publishing in Nairobi- Fun Post

Hey, Hey, Hey!

I got emails asking a lot of questions on how self-publishing works.  How to do it, and why.  So, I thought this post might answer all these questions at once.lonely girl

Publishing in Nairobi, and I mean like getting a hard copy, honest to goodness paper book,  is hard, and challenging.
I think you need to be holding at least Kshs. 100,000 (this is me guesstimating it could cost more) to get a book published, then there is the footwork getting bookshops to buy the books, and then advertising to get the people buying your books.  Unless you get lucky and get your book published by the mainstream publishers in our country, things look bleak for you right?  Especially for
 someone writing Fiction.  Things might feel like the girl in the picture but don’t despair just  yet.


Baby-Steps – Be Brave

1. Be confident in yourself and share your work.  As long as you’re writing in your notebook and hiding your writing away, no one is going to read it.  So, if you’re worried how everyone will react to your writing, start small, and test out your stories.  If you’re reading this post, that means you’re already online, so Create a Blog.  There are lots of blogging platforms e.g WordPress and Blogspot.  All of which are easy to access.  Post your stories, share them and get other people to read them.  Share your site with friends and family, on Facebook, Twitter, Whats App, geez social media is so vast.  Talk about your stories there.

2.   The importance of step one is to give you a thick skin. People will read your work, some will love it others won’t like it.  And that’s the truth.  Now, the day you meet that first person who tells you that they don’t like your writing, you might think of scrapping that Blog and hiding again, but Don’t.  Don’t do it don’t scrap that blog, just take a deep breath, find your comfort zone, and the courage to ask that person why.  If not, just shake it off, because the same way you find that person who doesn’t like it, you’ll find a dozen others who do.  Be sure to remember that you can’t please everyone.  So my point is, grow a Thick Skin enough to take criticism and not give up.

3. If you’ve mastered the first two, you’re ready to explore the world of Self-Publishing.  Your book is a product.  Take it that way…find out who you want to write for (target audience), what genre you want to pursue, and get started writing.  It’s not an easy industry, and you’ll have many sleepless nights writing a book, but if you’re passionate, then it should be a fun process.  Romance, Mystery, Paranormal, Young-Adult, Contemporary, find out the meaning of these words when it comes to genre, and tailor your stories to it.  And then buckle down for the process.

4. Obviously, the first thing to do is to Write The Story.  Without a story…., what are you doing?  Get to work.  How many words have you written?  Have you finished a story? No? Goodness! Finish it!

5. Once it’s written, find a good editor.  Not someone who’ll put you down, but someone who’ll help you work out the kinks in the story.  A good editor is one who’ll take your story and  help you flesh it out.  Work with him/her, Chapter by Chapter, checking Grammar, Style, Plot Holes, e.t.c until you’re both satisfied.

6. If you’ve gotten your work edited, it’s time to start Self Publishing.  Things you need:

a. You need a Cover – You can do this yourself, or get someone good with Graphics to do it for you.  Do your research and come up with an image that suits your story. Be Creative, and give credit where it’s due.

b. You need a Blurb– This is that paragraph you find in the back of the book.

c. Talk About It – Tell as many people as possible that you’re publishing a book.

d. Choose the Self- Publishing platform that suits you best.  There are a few of them, and each one has it’s merits. So, here are your choices:

1. Smashwords – They offer you two choices, publish for free or put a price.  So, that is up to you. They pay through Paypal after your sales amount to $10.  Equity Bank offers a way to access your funds on Paypal.  So just get a Paypal account and consult with Equity Bank for the rest.

2. Amazon – There is no choice for free eBooks here, so once you publish, you must give it a price.  They pay you after your sales amount to $100 in the form of a check.  Once the check arrives in your mail, you get to cash it at your bank account as per your bank’s procedures.

3. Lulu – You can publish on Lulu.  I’m not so sure about the payment, I’ll check it out more, to better understand the Process.

4. If there are more, let me know….

download4e. Don’t forget to Market your Book.  Talk about it, share it, give it for free, get people to know that you’re writing and publishing.  This is the most important part.  Don’t stop writing!  Don’t publish one book and stop. The best form of marketing is writing more, get as much of your stories published. (Don’t forget to make them interesting and entertaining, because if you’re publishing uninteresting stories, you’re going to have a hard time.)

7. You’re probably asking who’ll read your stories right?  Don’t worry, there are lots of people online, in fact, the whole world is online and extremely curious.  If you have a strong voice, and a compelling story, there are readers. There are also loads of people in Kenya who prefer to read eBooks online.  There is no excuse to say that no one will read your work.  There are people who will read your fiction.

Have you reached here?

Well, if you have and are inspired, I wish you the best.  And once you get that blog running, or that book published, drop me a line.  Strength in numbers right, I’ll share it with everyone I know, and in turn, they too will share it…you get the gist of it, self-publishing is about networking and getting as many people as you can to read your stories.  It’s even better when your stories are amazing, coz then they sell themselves too.

I hope this long Post has given you some direction and I hope to read more fiction from you.