Thursday, 30 July 2015


Its been a very crazy week. I have a book to finish, in the middle of trying to be there for the family in this difficult time and dealing with a new thing I'm calling feelings for lack of a better word. I had my weekend really well planned; close the door, sit at my laptop and write. Finish this new story in record time; make a list of people who'd bought Between Death and Heaven that I knew of so I could gift them The Swamp is Full of Mystery. It was a very full, well planned schedule.

Then shit happened and the rug was literally pulled out from under me. I didn't know what to think, what to feel or what to do. Its like whoa, here's a bomb, catch; as its lobbed into your hand. You know its about to go off but you don't really know if you should put it down slowly or throw it far away or even if you're just not going to have enough time and its going to explode in your hand. You're just in this place of suspended belief, offline, without frame of reference or protocol as to suitable response to this.

I lost my mother fourteen (FOURTEEN??? Feels like last week sometimes) years ago but it was different for her. There were just so many things that had to be taken care of; lives were changed; there was almost no time to wallow in emotion. I remember doing a lot of running away from feelings; not so much wallowing in them.

But this time, there was really nowhere to hide; although I have observed his family doing its best to do just that. I don't blame them. My cousin was just thirty four. THIRTY FOUR. He has a one and a half year old daughter and his marriage is just seven months old. Its a suckfest any way you look at it. We tell ourselves that its not the days in our lives but the lives in our days...and we tell ourselves that he was remarkable already, and he has a huge legacy and he'll never be forgotten. But the truth is that those things just make the loss bigger, not more bearable.

So I'm sitting here, trying to write and I'm restless and annoyed and unsettled. I can't really settle to anything, my limbs hurt, my head aches; its cold, its hot. I don't like it at all; I'm confused.. I want to escape from my body but more importantly from my mind. I'm thinking that this would be a good time to start smoking weed but I don't want to be arrested. Supernatural, my go to escape doesn't work. Neither do the fan fictions I like to get lost in. But then I start to pay attention to a word I'd previously dismissed because I never really understood what it meant; Angst.

Supernatural fan fiction writers like to write about it a lot; which makes me assume that they're all a bunch of teenage goth girls. They love to wallow in it - I never understood the attraction. Still don't. But I understand the word now; I understand what it means. I can at last label this mass of unsettling...stuff that's been happening in my head. I am filled with angst.

Strangely enough, it makes me feel better to put a name to the emotion.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Escaping Real Life Through Stories

The day before yesterday, I was sitting in my living room, trying to gain traction on the story I was writing and watching CNN. The whole 'Kenya is so excited about Obama coming to Kenya' thing was being nicely contrasted with the inconveniences people were going to go through. On my whatsapp timeline and facebook page, people were either talking about their disappointment that it wasn't a public holiday, excitement at half work days or how they won't be able to go somewhere because roads were closed. You know; just basically life being lived.

Then at six am in the morning just as I'm thinking that I should go to bed, I get a text from my sister saying that my cousin is dead...just like that. Over. Done. The fat lady sang. Its not a mistake; this has really happened. Road Traffic Accident and words like 'body' and 'mortuary' being thrown about. And suddenly the world went left and the little every day and not so every day things people were worried about faded into insignificance.

Some things are too heavy to process all at once and sometimes you just need to take a moment and find something happy to think about or do. For some people, they use drugs or alcohol for this escape. For me and many others, its a good story. You find some stories where the hero or heroes go through a lot of shit, sometimes they emerge from it unscathed other times they're bruised and battered; but not broken. Harry Potter, Jamie and Claire, Father Emilio Sandoz, Sam and Dean Winchester, Scott and Stiles...they're beaten down, they get up, they keep fighting.They lose some, hopefully they win more.

So you emerge from that alternate universe with the renewed sense that being beaten down is not the end; its the middle of the story. And even if you don't know how you'll get up again, doesn't mean that you won't. I used to think that escapism was an unhealthy concept in general; maybe because some methods of escaping can be downright dangerous.

 But now, I consider it in the same light as the effects of sleep to the body. Inadequate sleep means that the body fails to repair itself. Fixing those little tears and shoring up whatever needs to be replenished. I consider that escapism does the same for the emotions.

When you've been hit hard by something that has happened to you, and you turn your back on it and dive into some alternate universe consisting of Diagon Alley or Lallybroch, The Men of Letters bunker or Beacon Hills...or all of the above; it gives your emotions a chance to fix those tears, and shore up strength for the battles ahead.

That's why I read. And that's why I write. Hopefully my stories can do for others, what these stories have done for me.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

The Evolution Of A Series

I dreamed a dream one night about a guy and a girl. The guy was white and the girl was black and they absolutely hated each other. There was magic. There was a series of 'coincidences' which snowballed into a series of consequences. Leo, who never expected more from life than to be rich and famous, and Mya, who didn't want anything other than to get out...Well, let's just say that fate had other plans.

What do we think about this cover?
I woke up from my dream and put the story down on paper. Okay not paper; word document. Then I sent it out to everyone I could think of or extract from the Internet. While I was waiting for someone to notice me, I began to write again. What happened after...we'll call it. While I was writing this increasingly complicated book (still writing it) because its not easy to write in an authentic voice of a baby without exploding anyone's mind...I came across two minor characters who seemed like they were asking me to write them into their own story. So I did. And Between Death and Heaven was born. Ironically, since Child of Destiny was in a competition, this story was published first. I call it fate working on its own behalf to tell its story the way it wanted.
Excerpt from Between Death and Heaven
But now, we have all these stories and we need to know how they tie together yeah? Well while Child of Destiny - Marcus Devereux (still writing) did provide a lot of answers, there was still room for one more book squeezed in between Between Death and Heaven and Child of Destiny...The Swamp is Full of Mystery. I must say, how it turned out surprised even me, the conduit for fate to tell the story. I did not know it happened like that. Don't even look at me; I'm as surprised as you. Well anyway, here it is, only 99c or free if you bought Between Death and Heaven. Seriously, Enjoy.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Uploading Your Ebook: It Can Be As Frustrating As Fuck

I'm exhausted. I finished my manuscript yesterday, thought about getting it critiqued further on scribdophile but then felt like I absolutely did not have another edit in me. So I shrugged my shoulders and began the process of uploading it on smashwords absolutely FILLED with excitement at how the story had turned out.
I upload it for the first time and it was smooth sailing until they emailed me to say, hey...we can't have you advertising other sites in your books. The distributors won't like it. I sigh...I have to go and remove all references to where a fellow author advertising in the flap of my book had put in her locations for where to buy her book.
That done, I re-upload the document. But wait, now it refuses to convert to kindle and epub. Bish whet?
Eight times I tried to upload; it rejected it every time. I tried contacting customer care but they have a 72 hour turn around time and I'm impatient as fuck. I tried removing the ad for the other author's book; I tried changing joy. It was sooo frustrating. At some point I considered just giving up on smashwords and going to lulu. (I actually did go to lulu) but I love smashwords; it's so hassle free. Ha ha! did I say hassle free? It was...

I finally go to bed having done nothing all day and night except try to upload this book and angst. When I wake up there is an email from smashwords waiting, telling me I'm running behind schedule on uploading my manuscript to fill the pre-order requirement. Now this makes me want to cry because I'd messaged them continuously asking for help with no reply. Nevertheless, I reply to apprise them once again of the problem and this time I get an answer. This is day two; I'm supposed to be doing other work but I'm still trying to upload my stuff...

Finally I get help from 'Kevin' from customer care. He tells me to remove my Table of Content tabs, any images (from the other author) and page numbers.
 'But I need a table of contents' I say.
 'Watch the youtube video  on how to insert one' the FAQ replies.
So I watch the video and make the corrections and voila! At last, 48 hours after I've started the process, The Swamp is Full of Mystery is successfully uploaded. And I need a drink.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

A Message From A Fellow Author; Support the Movement

Hello Peeps, me again.
 I have just completed the first draft of The Glass Beacon, a WW2 spy thriller.
 As the ending drew closes and closer, I still had no idea how the story would end.
 I discussed different outcomes with my wife Carole during the closing chapter, but still the devastating ending had not revealed itself.
 Sentence after sentence dropped on the page and now the finale had to be typed.
 So many twists, turns and questions to be answered in this dramatic tale and now the concluding paragraph will let the reader put the book down at last.

It is a gripping spy story, that is true. But it also draws the reader into the lives, hopes and dreams of the main characters. You get to know them, or you think you do. Something happens to them and you see the real person emerge.

 Plans are made and betrayal changes everything. There is revenge and murder, but also love in its different forms.
 Like in real life, tragedy can strike at any moment.

I have done my best to lure the reader to the brink, time and time again. Cruel perhaps, but you deserve it.

 All the best books and films do the same.

The release of the book is drawing ever closer, so watch this space, and please, do tell all your friends.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

New Release: The Swamp is Full of Mystery

Leyla met Matia at the grotto, picking her herbs.
“Was this what you meant?” she asked tearfully, “When you said my loved ones were in trouble?”
Matia straightened up from her digging, “I am so very sorry for your loss”, she said softly, shaking her head, “I wish I could tell you definitively that the danger is past…but I can’t.”
“No!”, Leyla shouted, tears streaming down her face, “You can’t just give me vague warnings and then….and then…not..”, she choked as her crying overwhelmed her. Matia sighed deeply, and watched her sob her way to silence.

“You have no idea what I would give to not have had this happen. And it was my food that was poisoned…I don’t understand at all. Some bad juju was at work here”, she murmured mostly to herself.

“So now what? What do we do? Do we just go about life like two people weren’t just fucking…killed?”Leyla asked.

Coming soon on smashwords.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

International Authors Day

Today is International Authors Day and I'm participating in the blog hop hosted by book r3vi3ws. I love to get lost in the worlds created by books and today I will be appreciating Maria Doria Russell who is one author who created a totally new world in her books Children of God and The Sparrow.
These books follow the journey of Emilio Sandoz who starts out as a Jesuit priest. Now just because he's a Jesuit, I have like a thing about Jesuits these days. If I was a man I'd totally want to be one. They seemed so evolved. Anyway, they discover an inhabitated planet named Alpha Centauri and its all about how God's will works and the myriad of 'coincidences' that bring about an event. Its crazy, its epic, it makes you think in a way that you hope will happen when you pick up a book. It absorbs you in a new alternate universe that you hadn't previously imagined. I highly recommend it and appreciate Maria Doria Russell for penning it.
Fill in the Form Below to enter the GiveAway contest for my Book; Between Death and Heaven and a 50% discount on the next book in the series.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Single Motherhood Unplugged; Now Live

Child of Destiny - The Summary

The story is set in a small fictional town near New Orleans named Le Marais, which is predominantly populated by descendants of French immigrants who settled in the area in the seventeenth century. The African American residents are a serious minority and even though racism is not blatant, there are definitely different classes of citizens. It is set in 1990.

Leo: He is a seventeen year old high school basketball superstar with unusual athletic prowess and of Caucasian persuasion. He lives with his mother who is a drunk, mourning her abandonment by Leo’s father nine years ago. Because of his depressing home life, he wishes to escape Le Marais and go to live a more secure and successful life in New York City using his rich girlfriend, Charlotte. 

He comes off as a selfish asshole who cares for no-one but himself but really he’s just a victim of circumstances who has received very little love in his life, and is doing the best he can with the tools he has. He comes together with Mya, in desperate circumstances in which Charlotte is close to dying as a result of having fallen in a mysterious magic pool. Nobody knows how or why the pool appears, but Mya is the only witch about that anyone knows, and so they turn to her to help. 

Mya, who lives with her grandmother, is descended from two separate lines of witches, whose origins are in Africa. She can save Charlotte, but only if she has passion from a lover’s embrace. An ingredient which Leo reluctantly provides. Much to their horror, the kiss turns into something else altogether.

Release Date: August 8th 2015

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Customer Reviews

Finally they took down the old version of my book. Which means customer reviews are lost. I thought I'd put them here....

A well written prequel that definately piques your interest for what's to come. Easy to follow, entertaining - will certainly have you wondering what could be in store for you after death. Money well spent

My 3 star rating of this book is a comment on the price. $7.99 for a 95 page book which turned out to be the prequel to some other book is a rather hefty price to pay for a book.
Second, maybe it's naive, but I was kind of hoping that the book would be set in Kenya. I suppose the writer is going for a wider, more international audience (thus, make the characters western, and the setting American), but I don't think the book would have suffered if the characters were in Nairobi. It's exactly the kind of book I'd like with Kenyan characters. A fantasy tale not weighed down with political complaining.
That said; this is probably one of the better written, light reading books I've read this year. The book opens like chapter 9 in a "Mills and Boon", and then totally shift direction with the death of the two main characters, Phil and Lil.
And then things get weird. We're introduced to a whole bunch of very intriguing, very strange characters. Phil and Lil go on a quest, and then the book ends.
The book is very easy to read, and actually quite unputdownable, however, there is too little payback for the effort. The secondary characters remain a little too vague, no mystery is resolved, and there is the kind of feeling that we're still reading chapter 5 of a larger story.
I believe that although books are part of a series, each book should be able to stand alone as part of complete tale. This doesn't quite come through.
Would I read Annemarie Musawale again, yes.
Would I recommend this book? Maybe if it is sold as a package with the next book. (Which I have not read).

Eileen Wainaina
Now I definitely hope that there is a book two coming up. If you want a book that will challenge your way of thinking and raise a lot of questions about life after death...this is it. 


“Leo my man, how’s tricks?” Jon greeted him as he came up to the bar. The man knew well that Leo was under age but he wasn’t really sweating it. It wasn’t like the law was likely to visit any time soon.
“My kingdom for a burger brother man”, Leo replied with a smile. Jon was not immune to Leo’s charms either.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Its A Marathon, Not A Sprint: Note To Self

So I've just re-launched Between Death and Heaven on smashwords. I had a contract with a publisher  and they had my book in their hands for a year and a half; no reports, no information, no promotion that I could see, an allergy to being asked was frustrating to say the least.
So I decided to take my power (and my books) back. After all Type A personality like me; ain't no way I'm going to believe anyone can do the job better than me. Of course, who knew how frustrating it was just to get the publisher to return my fucking book! I'm still waiting for their version to come down from some of the major sites; including Amazon. Instead of progress, I see they've lowered the price...Not as low as the one on my relaunched page but...anyway, so I'm wondering, who is keeping this money that's still coming in. My publisher is acting like she has no clue...

So anyway, my trials and tribulations aside, its a new start, a new day. The book has been relaunched and now comes the hard part. The part where there is marketing and waiting and hoping; all as a side hustle of course because bills still have to be paid and the day job still exists. Don't get me wrong, love the day job which is the same as the night job but for other people. Still, it doesn' t leave much time for anything else. So I'm living in a cycle of guilt, insomnia and muscle pains trying to fit in everything that needs to be done.
But the crux of the matter is that there is a goal to this, and its not a short term one. Its about the long game, the big picture, immortality. Sure I want to sell a million copies, have a best seller and have my book made into a movie. Don't we all? I want my grandchildren to live off my spoils like Bob Marley's do. I want people born in the year 3000 to have heard of my work; to still be reading my book. I want this not just for the money (although that's a nice side effect or whatever) but because I think its a really good story and I want people to read it.
Diana Gabaldon told this story about how she began selling her book by sitting outside the bookshop and challenging people to pick up the book, open it to any passage and read. If they didn't want to know what happened next, she'd give them ten dollars. I thought that was a brilliant strategy even though I'm pretty sure these days people would say they didn't want to know what happened next just to get the ten dollars. I get it, times are hard. 

Twenty years later, there is a hit TV series based on her books. TWENTY years. Seems like eternity seen from the bottom end, but from the top end, 1995 feels like it was just the other day. So I think I could slog, and hustle and try for twenty years. The challenging thing though, is patience. Its something I'm still learning. Some days are harder than others. Oh well. Eyes on the prize.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

It's Heeerrreee! At Last.

Hi! Finally Between Death and Heaven is available for sale today at a new and improved price. Because I'm generous as hell, if you buy it in July, there's a 50% discount if you clink on the book link above. 
Furthermore, send me your purchase receipt and get The Swamp for FREE!

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Outtake...Child of Destiny

This is an outtake from Child of Destiny, the third book in the series a preview of which can be read here.

"Psst!", Mya called from inside the janitor's closet. Leo turned around to see who was calling. I mean, of course he knew that voice even when it was hissing but still. His eyes fell on her, head peeking from the closet like a character in The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe or maybe more like a fugitive from high school justice. He couldn't help smiling to see her there but tried to hide his amusement.
 Mya was unpredictable these days; she just might jump down his throat if she thought he was making fun of her.
"Hey. What are you doing?" he asked moving closer to her and trying to keep the laughter out of his voice.
"Its lunch time. We have a whole hour", she hissed back as if that explained everything.
"A whole hour for...?" Leo asked though he suspected he knew. Pregnancy hormones apparently made one very horny. Mya's hand darted out of the closet and pulled him closer; Leo almost tripped, he was so surprised. Almost. Because his lightning reflexes were working just fine thank you very much. Mya pulled him into the closet and slammed the door, plunging them into relative darkness. The closet was not meant for human habitation hence no need for windows, or even a light bulb. Leo had no time to point these facts out to Mya because with the unerring accuracy of familiarity her lips were on his and he forgot all about everything.

Mya's tongue explored his mouth, mapping it lovingly as her hands trailed down his torso and began to pull his shirt up. As her own nipples had become super sensitive to touch, she'd seemed to develop a liking for touching his. It was a little disconcerting but Leo was not in the habit of refusing Mya anything she wanted; not these days anyway. Who knew what Ms. Mood Swings might do if he did? Plus if he was being completely honest, she made him too happy to refuse her anything. Especially a bitty thing like his nipples; besides, whatever she did to them went straight to his dick, and just like that, his jeans were too tight at his crotch. Mya seemed to divine this probably by some witchy sixth sense because her hand was cradling his dick in loving caress before he could so much as gasp. He pushed against it, wanting her to unzip him so he could feel her on his naked skin. Instead the hand reached up and circled his wrist where his hand was inching up to touch her breast, and pulled it down to her own crotch. He wasted no time in unzipping her and plunging his hand into her wet warmth. She was readier than the roadrunner for him and he pulled his hand away so he could unzip his own damn fly.

"Lean back", he ordered, grasping her legs and widening them. She hastened to obey, smiling happily. There was some sort of hoovering device behind her that she could lean on and he took advantage of that to lift her legs and put them around his waist.
"Hold on", he said plunging her depths without further ado. She spread her arms out so she that one was on the wall the other on the door to steady herself. He took hold of her ass, rutting against her and groaning; not really remembering to keep his  voice down.
"Shh, you're going to get us expelled", she breathed even as she threw her head back and arched against him, encouraging him to go harder, faster. He listened to her actions not her words; he was enveloped in her heated softness and there was absolutely no blood in his head for rational thinking  or consideration of consequences. There was only her. and him. In his bubble of lust and love and need and want. Nothing else mattered and no-one else existed. Someone banged on the door as if in warning; probably Miles...and Leo tried, he really did to keep it down. But then she stiffened, and convulsed; internal muscles gripping him so tight he almost screamed.
Then he was pouring himself into her and she was milking him for everything; taking his heart, his soul and his spirit into her along with his sperm.
"God", he whispered afterwards as he slumped against her.
"Tell me about it", she replied.

Rihanna - Bitch Better Have My Money (Explicit)

so and then...and then after that. Then explosions, blood, naked. Knives...hiding wives under water, Rihanna's bum..

I'm incoherent.


Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Getting Book Reviews

People are opinionated right? You'd think it'd be easy to get them to just fucking write down their opinion of your book once they finish reading it but it isn't. At least not in my experience. Even when you offer them the book for free...especially when you offer them the book for free. They're all like, yeah I'll read it. Or they text you or call you to tell you what a great read it was, but actually going to the site and writing down their opinion?

I won't say its impossible, but it just seems to be very very difficult. Its exhausting trying to get reviews. More exhausting than writing, editing, proofreading and marketing put together. Even when you get websites exclusively dedicated to book reviews; its still hard to get them to notice you.

So what is a girl to do? I've never been the wallflower type; I'm not schooled in the art of trying to get people to notice me...I hate forcing on guys. I like things to happen organically, naturally, on their own. But you can't really do that when you're independently publishing your own works. You have to find a way to shout, scream, wave your hands, stand out from the crowd. You can't wait for people to notice you; you have to put yourself all up in they faces...That's modern day publishing for you.
So if you're at all interested in reading great stories then do give me a hollaback.