Monday, 24 December 2018

Have a Very Very Merry Freaking Christmas

Hi guys. How are you doing? Are you well? I know for some (like the Smiths) Christmas is a joyful time, but for others, it's stressful as hell. I just want to remind you of one thing. You matter, self-care matters. On this day when love was allegedly born, remember to love yourself first. So whether you are in the thick of family drama or drowning in a love fest, take care of number one.
Don't you forget, okay?
So, on to the purpose of this post.
Allow me to use pictures because they're worth a thousand words.
Yay! Yes, your time has come. If you were waiting for books to be discounted before you buy, this is your chance. Four books, each 99cents. Is there anything better you could get for Christmas? I think TF not!
Which books you ask? Well, first off the block, we have my postapocalyptic, gay, African romance, In Search of Paradise! *boxing announcer voice*


If you click on the link TOMORROW, it will be 99c. I mean...is that a steal or what?
Next up, my literary masterpiece. My infidelity romance. My young adult erotica. My nineties nostalgia story. Child of Destiny defies description.


Hol' up, hol' up...we're still rolling. The goodies don't stop there. The first in series. The ghost romance to end all ghost romances. The one you just can't predict or won't expect non' of what you read. The masterpiece - according to my editor. In the Shadow of the Styx.
You know what this means right? You don't? Okay, let me tell you. It means that for Christmas and Boxing Day, the Child of Destiny boxset is only FOUR FREAKING DOLLARS. Oh my! *clutches pearls* Can this really be?
Yes, yes it can. So exciting I might need a cup of tea to survive it.



Aaaannnndddd....finally. Last but not least. The Stepchild. The one that gets ignored. The emotional terrorism known as Single Mumhood Unplugged. Read at your own risk.


Are these not sufficient gifts to end 2018 with? Okay then, bonus.
New Release Announcement!
Cinderella By Any Other Name will be available to you, Valentine's Day, 2019. You can preorder it now on my book page at a reduced price.

That's all folks! Have a Blessed Holiday.


Thursday, 6 December 2018

Points On Forgiveness to Ponder

My son isn't speaking to me right now. 
I forgot to mail success cards to his girlfriends so now he says they're not speaking to him - so he's not speaking to me. I don't know if I can say I forgot so much as I just didn't find the time or energy to do it.
I don't see what the big deal is; I still have the cards - he can just give them to them...but he's never stopped speaking to me before so I guess it is a big deal to him. 
It's all relative right?
I did tender my sincere apologies and then proceeded to troll him on Instagram to get him to talk to me. He's not very good at this 'not speaking to you' thing because he keeps replying to my posts with things like 'no' and 'I'm not watching this'.I'm enjoying this a little too much.
But I am sorry. 
Sincerely.
And I said so.
Just watched the Facebook Live of this week's Red Table Talk; the topic, forgiveness (and yes, I did slide into my son's DMs with the link)and I love to read the comments on any post that covers a topic close to my heart. They are generally disappointing but the RTT really makes people open their hearts and they outline some situations they're going through that make you just go 'ack'. 
Y'know?
"How can I forgive my father for abusing me for years? and he's still doing it?"
"How do I forgive my husband for continuously cheating on me?"
And sometimes I want to reply with things like, "Leave. him." But if RTT has taught me anything is that everyone has their own journey and you have to do what feels right for you.
Anyway, I was pondering on the relativity of hurt and forgiveness and forgiving others and the Grace that makes that possible. I think the one thing that did not come up in the discussions was how forgiveness, like grief, is a never-ending process because emotions are versatile things.
 The best example I have to explain that is actually from a fictional work - the Outlander Series. Jamie Fraser was raped by Black Jack Randall in a way that destroyed not just his body but almost destroyed his spirit and left him with little will to live.
With time, he got over it and moved on with his life. About three or four books later, his daughter was raped and she came to him to ask him if killing the guy would make it better. She was having a hard time forgiving herself for 'letting it happen' especially since she was pregnant with maybe his baby.
So...that of course brought his own situation back to swirling life and in order to help his daughter, he had to deal with his own feelings. He had to forgive Black Jack Randall all over again. 
And he prayed for the Grace to do that and he received it when he remembered Black Jack's grief at the deathbed of his brother. 
He did it by reducing the monster in his mind to a mere man. 
He did it by being able to see that man in the fullness of his flaws and failings. 
To realize that the shadow of an evil, monstrous, giant that the abuse Jamie was subjected to had made Black Jack Randall into, was actually a small, damaged thing deserving of pity but certainly not fear or anger.
In my own life, I have used this method in order to let go of anger and bitterness and live in a more positive space. For the sake of my sanity, I had to. 
The best way to illustrate this is Donald Trump and his army of white supremacist weirdos. They use fear as a weapon to hide their own. 
They are cavalier with black lives and use the police to intimidate. They use every institution to instill in the black psyche that they/we are less than. Because they are afraid.
I say 'we' because it's the same method colonialists used/are still using to pillage our resources while we clap for them. Some colonialists are not even foreign.
Did you see the video of Meek Mill on CNN talking about how he did not know any better? That he accepted the false charges the police put on him when he was nineteen because that's normalized, that's just every day in America. 
Police will arrest you and charge you for shit you didn't do. You will watch at least one of your friends die violently and very young because that's just life.
No honey, it's not.
But you're indoctrinated into believing that that's how life is and you should accept it. Unless you're Will Smith who decided that the only way out was to become so famous that he moved from the back to the front of the line. That if something happened to him, those institutions would hasten to his aid rather than let him die. 
But we can't all be Will Smith, right?
And so people are walking around with this cloud of inevitability, of the non-sanctity of their own existence. Of the evil monstrous white supremacists looming like a shadow over every aspect of their lives. They use the word nigger as the trigger to remind you that you are nothing.
Here's a reminder; You're not nothing.
But if you stop a minute and really study these people you realize just how small and pathetic and quaking with fear they are. They cling to these false beliefs they have so tightly in an effort not to face themselves and what they have done. 
I'm not even talking about slavery here. I'm talking lynchings and false arrests and false accusations and petty little everyday shit that they do so they can tell themselves they're top dawg. 
It's pathetic.
It's sad.
They have nothing but this. Absolutely nothing. Look at Donald Trump; he's an idiot. That's their savior. That's the best they can do. There's nothing to be scared of. They are relying on your own lack of self-worth to keep them right where they are.
If everyone truly woke up and saw them for what they were, they would not survive for very long.
This past weekend, the world was in South Africa celebrating 100 years of Mandela. And I saw a lot of talk on Instagram about how 'Africa is changing'.
Not really.
The perception to Africa is changing but we been here; grinding, working, freeing our minds from colonialism, having ideas and innovating in our small ways. We been living...
The difference is that the world is now aware of it. I blame Wakanda. And Instagram.
Okay but really, I think that Africans in the diaspora have reached a critical mass now that they can't be ignored; and they are impacting the world in positive ways. 
People from Barack Obama (yes, he is half-Kenyan by blood, accept it) Lupita Nyong'o and her academy award, but more importantly her eloquence and black (dark) African beautiful excellence, Danai Ngurira, all these Nigerians taking over the world from Idris Elba to Jidenna to Wizkid; The Shaderoom is owned by a Nigerian; and let's face it, they're the premier source of news for black people worldwide and other gossip sites (be they black or white-centric) tend to be two or three days behind them with news. 
It's difficult to ignore that there's a lot more to us than hunger and disease. Hell the entire French National Football  Team is made up of Africans. They won the World Cup this year.
Trevor Noah said a very deep thing during his stand up special Son of Patricia. 
By the way, if my son ever speaks about me the way Trevor speaks about his mother, I shall know that I succeeded in raising him right.
He said that his mother was crazy but also he understood what she meant when he became an adult and she said that when someone comes at you with racism, the thing to do is mix it up with the blood of Jesus* (*insert whatever religion you follow here*) and give it back to them. 
And the words they use will lose their power. 
To me, 'mixing it up with the blood of Jesus' means looking at the person abusing you and seeing their inner pain, fear, and anger; and knowing that it's not about you - it's about them. That's how you find the Grace to not only forgive them but feel compassion for their patheticness. In that way, they can't infect you with their unhappiness. Who knows, you might be the one to infect them with your joy.
Guard your joy with everything you have. Don't go giving people the power to take it away from you. Right now, my son wants to take away my joy with his 'silent treatment' but I'm mixing it up with the blood of Jesus and sending it right back to him with trolling.
Have a joyous day, won't you?
Oh and...
Visit my Author Page


Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Be Happy, Don't Worry

You know for a person like me who suffers from anxiety disorder, doing as the title says is easier said than done. I shouldn't say I suffer from anxiety disorder; I haven't been diagnosed by a shrink. I'm gonna say I'm a terribly anxious worrier type person instead.
Ugh, such a rabbit hole, can we get back to the topic?
Okay so as I was saying, I'm like a dog with bone when it comes to anxiety, just worrying it and worrying it and worrying it...whether my issues are legit or not.
So today it hit me, after blowing off work all day and just having some 'me time' that I was doing life wrong. I mean, look at me; I am living my dream life (except that I don't have a horticulture farm which was a completely unrealistic dream considering the total absence of a green thumb that I have). Hell, some things I never thought to dream of; who could have imagined I'd have authored eight books under my own name (actually make that ten, Cinderella by Any Other Name is finished as is a short story in the In Search of Paradise Universe) in my lifetime? Who'd a thought I'd make a living writing books for other people?
Not me.
Yet here I am.
I live in the house. The one I always wanted; yeah it's not mine but it's mine y'know? My son turned eighteen this year. I have managed to grow him to adulthood without irreparably damaging him.
I legit have not searched for new clients since September. They all are looking for me now.
Life is GoodT.
*spits, knocks on wood, throws salt over my shoulder and all other superstitious nonsense*
So why do I wake up worried, spend my days anxious and go to sleep worried? It's such nonsense. Today I just stopped. No actually it started yesterday. I was so tired after my locum at a hospital pharmacy that I stopped at a fast food shop to eat dinner so I could go straight to bed as soon as I reached home. (Yeah at seven pm, what of it?) And she knows me so the cashier asks if I'll have a warm apple juice since there are no cold ones. And I was just like FUCK IT, give me a fanta.
Do you know the last time I drank a fanta?
Yeah, neither do I.
Everywhere people always posting about how bad soda is for you blah blah blah. I grew up drinking fanta. It never made me sick. I stopped because well, peer pressure.
Fuck peer pressure.
Fuck worrying about mythical health problems I might get.
Imma enjoy my fanta.
I didn't finish it because well, sugar is not my friend these days but I enjoyed it. I even enjoyed the little sore throat I got afterwards because Freedom bitches!
Anyways so this morning I woke up with that anxious "OhgodIhavesomuchworktodowillIfinisitontimeImalreadylate" mantra going through my head coupled with "shitIneedtofinisthisgotbillstopay" that accompanies it. But I was still reeling from the weekend. So I said, hey, let me take some time to just be. I'll get back to work. But first, breathe.
And I did.
Imagine the world didn't end.
Yeah, mind boggling, I know.
But I really have to get back to work now; the difference is, I'm looking forward to it. I love writing, I love stories. I get to write stories for a living. Imma enjoy it.
And for you other writers who seem to live under the illusion that you HAVE to think your writing sucks in order to be a "legitimate" writer; and also you have to post about how much you suck on social media...man, look...if that is supposed to get me interested in your work, it doesn't. If you don't love what you write, why should I?
I love my stories. I think they're epic. I think they convey important messages without being weighed down by too much seriousness. Average Joe can enjoy them and they would still make her think. You have to be careful of that negative self talk. If you tell yourself you suck enough times, you start to believe that shit.
It's up to you if you want to be Cardi B or Azaelia Banks.
Rihanna isn't my fave just because of the songs...when it's 3am and I'm flagging, I tell myself that Rihanna's day isn't over yet either and she's much richer than me. Whatever you need to tell yourself to keep going.
Anyways, for real, gotta get to work.
The rent is always muh'fuckin due.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Of Clouds and Silver Linings

I think my Instagram is seeing all the action my blog should be.
I'm sorry, but when I'm writing in the moment, Instagram is faster. And sometimes, I even get comments *side eyes all of you*.
How are you doing? How have you been? Are you practicing self-care? Are you asking for help when you need it? It's not a crime to ask for help. It doesn't make you weak. It doesn't mean you're failing.
but I'm asleep tho...
I just read the interview Oprah did with Michelle Obama about her book, Becoming. It really gave me insight into something I've never understood. How fatalistic African-Americans are and how sure they are that everything is NOT going to be alright. Why they only think they can succeed as entertainers or sportsmen. Why the majority of black NFL players do NOT kneel.
It's an insidious thing that American society does.
It's easy for me in my majority black country to judge and say, 'why do you not have the self-worth to fight for yourself?'
But wow, it's complicated.
The American mid-term elections were just carried out and wow, they really took a page from the Kenyan election when it came to rigging. Can I ask politicians a favor? Could you at least try to pretend that you're not totally stealing votes? Like, try to make it less obvious, please. It's insulting to the inelligence of voters. People keep asking why white women keep voting against their interests. The truth is that there are interests and there are INTERESTS. And making sure white supremacy remains the status quo is an INTEREST. Just like Kikuyus do in Kenya. When people have been on the top of the totem pole, they will literally cut off their own feet just to remain there. It's stupid, but apparently, its human nature.
Anyways I'm not going to go and on about it because this post isn't about wallowing in the things we cannot change. It's about figuring shit out.
I've kind of dropped off the face of the planet because thanks to my Upwork score shooting up to almost perfect, I have suddenly become very popular with employers. You'd think it'd make me happy but no, I'm salty because I was this same person when my score was 82% but now, suddenly, I'm a valuable commodity. I'm salty because I'm tired of things that are circumstantial defining who we are; who I am. I use the same samples, I have the same profile, I deliver the same level of service but thanks to a circumstance over whose control I had little, I am now an MVP rather than that chick from Africa who might not even know how to write in English.
So anyway, my scope of job offers has widened, as has the challenge of successful completion. Two weeks ago, I got invited to bid for a regency romance. Now I've never written Regency books before mainly because I've never been shortlisted before. The amount of history you have to study is crazy and the word choices you have to use are a challenge. You have to check that the words you're using were in use at that time and the context was the same.
it was a circle of hell
I prepared by listening to an audiobook while I washed dishes, letting the words permeate my subconscious. I also read a bit but time was an issue; I had seven days to produce twenty thousand words of story.
I thought many times of just throwing in the towel. For the first time in my writing time I thought to myself, "Maybe I can't do this."
Then into day five of my seven day Odyssey, my arms went on strike. They were like, "We are not the ones. You will not do this to us." They do that sometimes when I push them too hard. Nobody tells you how taxing typing is. The pain gets so bad, is unrelieved by painkillers and makes you want to cry because a. I can't work and b. it hurts.
So I couldn't type and I was floundering and I was behind deadline. I've tried to use voice typing before, in genres I'm actually familiar with. It didn't work. The words don't arrange themselves the way they were supposed to. The poetry disappears.
But I was down to the wire and there was no other choice. So I closed my eyes, thought of what I wanted to say, constructed a sentence in my mind and then spoke it aloud. Even that way, it was still faster than typing. My hands were grateful.
It got easier.
I finished behind deadline. By twenty-one minutes. Unfortunately, my client and I are on the same time zone if very many miles apart.
Still.
I did it!
I got the job done.
I figured it out.

Now as I await the verdict; did I succeed in creating a story worth pursuing? did I fail?
I am still changed forever. Because I did something I didn't' think I could. And to be honest, in my humble opinion, I did a good job.
The other thing that resonated with me about Michelle's interview was being a 'box checker'. For sure any African with parents will tell you it's all about the box checking. Go to school, excel, find a job, get married.
Unlike Michelle's, my life didn't follow the script. I was flailing like Barrack. I feel like flailing enables you to really find out who you are if it doesn't destroy you.  Basically, I can't wait to read the memoir.
While we're on the topic of reading, have you visited my author page yet?

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

All or Nothing

Undoubtedly you've seen the new episode of Red Table Talk. Its probably gonna be the most watched episode of the series simply because people love mucene (gossip). Any chance to get into people's business right?
I wasn't intending on watching it because there is such a thing as knowing too much about a bunch of essentially strangers. But my friend texted me about it and I saw that Colton Haynes tweeted about it; how helpful it was to him etc and the cat of my curiosity was definitely dead.
So I watched it.
And then I read the comments because I am addicted to reading how brain dead people can be. I long ago gave up on ever seeing a comment I could nod at and say 'how insightful.' People are just so caught up in their own heads and their worldview that they can't see in an objective way; they can only subjectively twist what they see to fit their own fears and issues. 
For me, what I saw, was that it is possible.
I have long harbored this concept of what I would like in a relationship. The kind of communion and honesty and total giving and acceptance. I called it all or nothing. 
I have long been resigned to nothing because finding 'all' has seemed all but impossible beyond fictional characters like Jamie and Claire.
But Will and Jada found it.
Granted it took twenty years and a whole hell of a lot of pain and suffering but they did it. And even with those twenty years it took, there was still a commitment to and value for the relationship.
In my experience, I can't even date someone without them already trying to change who I am.
"Oh, Annemarie you read too much."
"Stop working so much and cook me food."
"You can keep your dreadlocks but only because they look nice."
"You shouldn't dress like that at your age."
And on. and on. and on. 
I just want to be free to be me and accepted as such. No, not just accepted, loved for it.
Even my son who should know better tries to tell me to tone it down, make other people comfortable in my presence. I told him to take me or leave me, I'm not changing for him or anybody.
You see, I scare people sometimes. Too bold, too blunt, too outspoken. I tried for many years to cover up that part of me. To only show the amiable, smiling, harmless me. But then as the fucks I gave slowly dissipated and my need to be liked disappeared, I found that I was not ready to give up any part of me. 
I think this is the beginning of self-actualization.
The relationships that I write about, all have some aspect of this idea - take me as I am. And that's why the characters are flawed and yet the love is true. I'm a secret romantic.
So what I learned from that episode is what I already knew; the only way to be happy in a relationship is to know and accept yourself and be willing to know and accept the other person, just as they are. And if you know you can't do it, just say so and leave.
So if there is someone out there, who relates to this message and feels ready to embark on that journey with me...well...
Just remember its all or nothing.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Oh So You WRITING Writing?

Heyyy!
It's been a long time, I shouldn't have left you...
Sorry, sorry. I have my own mirror bitch. She sneaks into my writing sometimes.
Undoubtedly this sounds like gibberish to you if you don't watch Insecure. So let me explain; mirror bitch is your reflection with whom you share all sorts of affirmations including rapping if that's your thing. Usually, mine consists of lectures and dancing.
Well, anyway...
I haven't just been ignoring you out of laziness or meanness or neglect. I have actually been super-focused on several kinds of writing; which made finding the mental energy to write you the kind of blog posts you deserve, hard. I'm gonna tell you all about them and maybe they will help you on your own writing journeys if you have one, or your life journeys as well. Those are important too.
First of all, it was my birthday last week. I'm now officially forty-four.
Yes.
You read right.
I'm 44.
I'm writing it many times so I can begin to believe it.
I don't know what I thought 44 would feel like but I know this ain't it. For one thing, aside from the maybe increase in aches, pains, and that I can actually see grey hairs on my head; I feel just the same as I did when I was 24. And by just the same, I mean I don't feel like an adult yet...
Yeah, it's true. I'm middle-aged and still struggling to adult. I was going to write that my outlook is the same, and I don't feel wiser but that's not true. I can look back and see my journey and it's progression.
When I was younger, I was in a lot of pain, all the time.
Emotional pain, not the annoying, inexplicable physical pains I experience now.
I was angry at how 'the world had treated me'. All I wanted to do was be left alone and just get on with it and raise my child. I didn't understand why bad things kept happening to me. A lot of that is chronicled in Single Motherhood Unplugged and if you read that you know it's a river of pain and horror.
I read it the other day/year/whatever when I was transferring my titles to a new home and I was so glad that I didn't even recognize that girl that used to be me. I'm grateful to her though. Without her, I would not be.
So yeah, there has been growth.
There has been development.
Yet I still feel that I am just on the cusp of understanding who I am. Of getting to know who is the real me.
Do you watch Red Table Talk? Jada Pinkett Smith has become my guru on how to listen to yourself and navigate this thing called life. And as I listen to her realize things, I, in turn, come to realize that I am in a better place than even she is in some ways. Not all mind you, she's taught me a lot that I still hadn't grasped. Especially when it comes to sons and their mothers and their stepmothers.
It's a bit mind-boggling to tell you the truth. I read through the comments after each episode and come to realize how much a lot of people are still in that place that I have put behind me. It makes me so thankful...and also a bit smug.
Gratitude, honesty and not suffering fools gladly is the mantra that I live by.
Moving on swiftly...
I've been looking more and more into other markets for writing. It's great, putting out your work on ebook retail sites and waiting for readers to find them.
Really great.
Especially with Amazon's ever-changing algorithms and other shady practices that keep being exposed. In spite of how great it is, I thought that I would expand my out-of-the-box thinking to include things inside-the-box such as answering calls for submission. From flash fiction to niche stories, I've been compiling and submitting to magazines et al, because getting an entity to pay for your story is good for your street cred. It's also another source of income which I never sneeze at. Having good street cred is good for ALL your stories and so that's what I'm cultivating now.
I actually finished Cinderella By Any Other Name.
Yeah! Imagine.
It's so good. It made me cry. I was triggeredT. I submitted it to a magazine so we'll see how that goes. Fingers crossed for me?
A blog named Worthing is going to publish Sixes of One next month. I will be sure to link you on the day.
I also participated in this year's Wincest Big Bang for the Supernatural fandom for the first time. It was a weird experience in that I was probably the only black person there and very definitely the only African. I could see how different they treated me like maybe I was a lost chimpanzee that needed to be protected but obviously had no clue what was for its own good. I don't even think they realized their little patronizings.
The mod was very nice to me. Nice like you treat the 'special' kid in class. I thought that I just might be seeing what I expected to see - given twitter - but I was also doing a Malec Big Bang and a Malec Xmas anthology at the same time. The Shadowhunters fandom is a little more multifaceted, with people really from everywhere on earth.
There was such a hugely tangible difference in the dynamic.
I was just another person in the group. One or two were interested in coming to Kenya and asked me some questions but otherwise, just...general camaraderie. Anyway, I rolled my eyes and kept it moving.
Both of my Big Bangs are now up. You can read the Wincest here and Malec here.
I also entered my book In Search of Paradise for a novel contest on inkitt. You can read the story here and then leave a review. Honeypies, darlings, sweethearts, I'm asking, in honor of me birfday and turning FORTY-FOUR, please go leave me a review?
Thank you, here's a chocolate.
Muah.
Lastly, I want to end this post with gratitude. Thank you for reading all the way to the end, you're truly the best and I appreciate you. Have a good day.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

May I Have Some More?

People can compliment you on your cooking, your writing; whatever creations you make. They can say things like:
"Wow, you're talented."
"That was really good."
"I really enjoyed that."
And they mean it, and they're sincere and you probably believe them half the time. But you know what the greatest compliment a person can give your work is?
"Can I have more?"
It's true for food, movie sequels, and sex. It is most definitely true for stories.
And because a lovely young lady on Facebook asked me this week if I have more of the Ben and Zawadi story (that's what she called it) here is an outtake.
Enjoy.
"Zawadiiii!"
Anders startled awake at the sound of their mother shouting. He blinked a few times, trying to acclimatize to the brightness of the sun, shining through his yellow curtains. There was no response from Zawadi's room, just across from his, and he sighed, slipping out of bed to go shake her awake before their mother decided to do it.
If their mother had to come and find Zawadi, the day would not begin well. He trudged across the darkened hallway and banged on his sister's door.
"Z! Unaitwa," he shouted, telling her she was being called.
He heard some muffled groaning from the other side of the door but not much else.
"Zawadi eh!" his mother called sounding much nearer, "Kuja unisaidie." (come help me)
Anders sighed, deciding to just go down himself and help his mother before everybody's day was ruined. Ever since her father had left, Zawadi had been cold and distant with both of them.
But especially Anders.
She blamed him for their mother throwing her father out.
Thirteen years of doing nothing but drinking mnazi and spending their mother's hard earned money all the while insulting her first born child could not be it. Oh no, it was Anders who made mama chase her baba away!
Anders sighed, shaking his head as dismissed those thoughts. He took a step out the front door to find his mother with her basket of curios, ready to go to the market. He picked up a bag and put it on his head, and gripped another in his hand.
He walked slowly and silently behind his mother as they made their way to the matatu stage. She didn't ask where Zawadi was and he didn't volunteer. They both knew that only time could heal that wound.
They reached the bus stop, Anders' arms aching from the weight of the baskets. He put them both down, standing with his mother as they waited for a matatu to come.
"When you grow up and have your own children," his mother said suddenly, "make sure you will stay with their mother and support her until they grow up."
Anders nodded, his face troubled. He knew his father had gone back to Scandinavia long ago. Now Zawadi's father had left. But...he didn't think he could stay with a woman forever. His eyes slid to his right, where the Akasha boys were hanging out outside their shop like they did every day. There was one, in particular, he was tall and lanky, with light brown eyes and curly soft hair. Anders couldn't help staring every time he passed them. He didn't think he had ever seen anyone so beautiful.
He looked up at his mother, brow furrowed, wondering what she would think if she knew.
Not that he would ever tell her.
Never in a million years.


So in this book, I try to capture the local flavor of life as a Kenyan; although that is not a homogenous experience at all so it's just my interpretation. So there's some Kiswahili mixed in (all of which gets translated if only in the footnotes) and Kenyanisms that other people might wonder at (also check footnotes. My beta was an American so she was really helpful in pointing things out other people might not understand). Yeah, so do get back to me and tell me how I did. I would love to know.
Also, I entered this book in a book contest on inkitt if you wanna like go there and show In Search of Paradise some love.