more monkey business

What’s inside: monkeys (you know how I feel about them) + more book deals

It turns out that African kites aren’t the only predators interested in weaver bird eggs. A few days ago, something leaped into the trees by our balcony. Howling in outrage, my dogs started hurling themselves at the trunk. As I wondered if the dogs would attempt to climb the tree, the branches above began to shake as something moved through them.

The shaking increased in violence as a creature approached the balcony. The various residents of the weaver bird colony began to fly around in agitation, and I wondered what new egg-stealing beast was threatening my little weavers.

With one final branch-bouncing motion, a monkey emerged among the foliage, clearly eyeing the various bird nests littered among the branches. Between the birds’ screeching and the dogs’ barking, it was audible chaos.

Then my son, concerned for the wellbeing of the next weaver generation, began tossing dry dog food pellets at the invader. Eventually, the monkey got the message and leaped through the trees and onto the neighbor’s roof.

All I can say is it’s a good thing monkeys don’t eat books or kindles. Then we’d really have a problem. But enough monkey business.

Check out the March Cozy Mystery FREE for All, running 5th to 9th March. Every book is free for a limited time. You can also enter in the draw to win a $25 Amazon gift card. More info is over here:

How about a round of applause for all those Women in Mysteries (including but not exclusively our very own Beatrice Knight). I’ve teamed up with more than 45 fantastic women sleuth mystery authors to give away a huge collection of novels to 2 lucky winners, PLUS a Kindle Fire to the Grand Prize winner! Find out more over here:

I do adore the Victorian era. Here’s a dark Gothic fantasy set in Victorian London that looks interesting, and at 99c, it’s hard to beat price-wise. Could mankind’s greatest enemy also be its only hope? Find out here:



Posted in Gifts & Treats

Out of Africa & into my home

Some of you have asked for photos. I don’t usually include these in my emails, because some email providers don’t like photos (they either block them or spam the whole email). So I’ve put some up here for your visual enjoyment!

In a previous post, I mentioned an adorable, vicious carnivore that likes to hang out on our balcony at night. Here’s what small spotted genets look like.

Speaking of wild animals in the neighbourhood, this hyena was caught on camera while strolling down our street! We were warned to keep a close watch on our small kids and smaller dogs. Eventually the hyena was captured and relocated.

Here’s our balcony. When I’m at home, I tend to be found in the corner seat.

And here’s the view I get from my balcony seat.


Not quite so wild, Mara (black dog) & Pluto defend the territory.

Pluto is a Great Dane – Rhodesian Ridgeback mix, and weighs only 60 kg (130lbs).

We love bougainvillea. The hardy plant is at its best in the dry season.


Over the December holidays, we packed up the family and dared to take them to Aberdare National Park where there was no electricity and – gasp – no internet. We all survived. I also managed to take a very rare photo of my 16 year old son Jalal. Those are water buffalo in the background.

Despite an altitude of 3,187m (10,500ft) and nights cold enough to leave ice sheets on the cabin roof, elephants roam the area. This photo isn’t about elephants, but I did like the waterfall!


Here is the hubbie protecting me from rampaging wildlife…

Can’t get enough hugs. Here my daughter, Kiara, and I admire a waterfall.




Lots of great hikes to enjoy!


On a totally different note: as part of a school project, my daughter Kiara and her friend set up a website on food waste. Go give it some love! End food waste now!

Also don’t forget to listen to Ghosts of Tsavo on Amazon’s Audible. If you download the free Kindle version of the book over HERE at Amazon, you get the audio book version at a 78% discount!!!

You can also find the audio HERE on iTunes.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Sound of Stories

Long before we invented written language, we were telling stories. The urge to share the details of an event or the latest gossip is part of human nature.

Oral story telling is still an integral part of many African cultures. And now it’s making a resurgence in other parts of the world through the advent of audio books.

I’m super excited to announce that ‘Ghosts of Tsavo’ is now available in audio! And the narrator is awesome. She sounds just like Beatrice Knight. Alison Larkin is an internationally acclaimed comedienne and an award-winning audio book narrator. She also happens to adore ‘Pride & Prejudice’ as much as I do, and does a brilliant job at narrating Victorian culture. It helps that she has a delicious British accent.

You’ll be hearing more about her later (she’s working on the second book). For now, I’d love you to listen to a sample of ‘Ghosts of Tsavo’ on Audible (Amazon’s audio book store).

Go to Amazon’s Audible and listen to a sample of ‘Ghosts of Tsavo’.

And here’s a sweet deal: if you download the free Kindle version of the book over HERE at Amazon, you get the audio book version at a 78% discount!!!

You can also find the audio on iTunes

Let me know what you think. Can you picture Miss Knight as you listen?

Posted in African stories

These stones may break your bones

The time is now: Stones of Nairobi has been officially launched! I am SO excited to share this story with you. If you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it, you’re going to love it. Reviewers are saying it’s the best book in the series so far.

For the next 48 hours, everyone who purchases a copy also gets access to seven more books.

To get this 8-book awesomeness, follow these steps:

1) Purchase a copy of Stones of Nairobi (links are below).
2) Download your copy as soon as possible.
3) Go to the Table of Contents and click on the Bonus chapter (it’s at the end of the Table).
4) Follow the instructions in the Bonus chapter to download your seven free books.
5) Do all of this before the wee morning hours of 31st January.

Remember: you’ll have only 48 hours to download the seven free books. After that, the Bonus chapter will be removed, and the books return to whatever price they were before the launch.

Stones of Nairobi can be purchased in most online stores:
for Amazon, click HERE
for Kobo, click HERE
– For links to iBooks, Barnes&Noble and Smashwords, click HERE

Cheers and happy reading!


Posted in African stories, Gifts & Treats

When a spotted genet eats your bird…

What’s inside: 8-for-1 book bonus & launch info; A cute, fuzzy carnivore

One evening, I received a phone call from my husband. This isn’t unusual. The strange thing was that he was downstairs when he phoned me.

After urgently whispering to me that I had to come downstairs, he hung up. Wondering what I would find, I hurried down and saw him peering out a window at our balcony.

And that’s when I saw the Small Spotted Genet.

At the time, we had no clue what it was. It looked like a super cute cross between a ferret and a house cat, with leopard spots on its body and racoon rings on its bushy tail. It was incredibly agile, leaping back and forth between furniture and the balcony rail.

Oh, and did I mention this adorable creature was trying to eat “our” bird?

Numerous birds have created nests in the Bougainvillea that is wrapped around sections of the balcony. One of these birds was flying about frantically, trying to discourage the genet from eating it. After a while, the nocturnal carnivore appeared to abandon the hunt and clambered down the side of the house.

The next morning, we found several feathers on one of the chairs, so I can only suppose that the genet was finally victorious.

I’m sure there are a few lessons to be learned from this story. My take-away: hunters come in all shapes and sizes, and even the cute little ones have teeth.

Speaking of dangerous carnivores, we left our heroine Miss Knight in the company of the she-demon, Koki. As you remember, Koki has a nasty habit of turning into a giant Praying Mantis and decapitating her enemies.

On 29 January, you can find out what happens next in Case 7: Stones of Nairobi. And for those who purchase and download the book in the first two days, you’ll have access to seven free books as a bonus. Seven authors kindly agreed to give away their books to my readers in celebration of this event. I know – awesome, right?!

There’s only one catch: you’ll have only 48 hours to download Case 7, and then click on the Bonus section and download the seven free books. Given the diversity of the books being given away, I know that at least a few of them will catch your fancy. So watch out for my email in a few days with the links.

If you want to read an extract, hop on over HERE and enjoy.

Speaking of book launches, I want to give a shout-out to a fellow author. Her new book, PROTECTING HIS WOLF, has just been released: Down on her luck, werewolf Lexi Laramie is on the run from her enemies. Fearing all is lost, Lexi puts her trust in a mysterious stranger. But when Lexi’s past comes back, will she shatter her own heart to save the man she loves? Click on your favorite book store to find out more: Amazon, Kobo and iBooks



Posted in African Animals, Gifts & Treats Tagged with: ,