The ‘Why’ behind the Africa Online Book Fair: Romance Authors & Books

Africa Online Book Fair Facebook Cover 2 (2)(1)

It’s an understatement to say I am excited! The online book fair is a first for me and I am are ready to start.

But before I get into giving you the details of the where and the when, I’d like to explain the point behind #AfricaOnBookFair.

I grew up in Apartheid South Africa, mostly at the end tail of the Struggle. In 1994 when we had our first democratic election I was still in primary school. Buying books, much less writing books weren’t something that was encouraged for any person of color. Yet authors of color prevailed.

They wrote books about the history of the country, books about their daily struggle. Wonderful Drum Magazine writers wrote some of the most memorable short stories that opened up worlds for me when I studied them in high school and university. Poetry like To Whom It May Concern by Sipho Sepamla still touches many around the world. But…yes there’s a but, I didn’t come across prolific romance stories set in my country and the rest of Africa, that didn’t have tinges of colonialism or was written for a specific audience that didn’t include readers outside of it.

The stories weren’t inherently diverse. Stereotypical roles for people of color littered these romantic texts and even till this day when I go to my local library and bookstores I have to hunt for romances written that’s multicultural or even interracial, romance that showcases the beauty and scope of the landscape as well as the people of this continent, and also the authors that come from it.

Romance authors in Africa don’t just write contemporary/historical novels in bush settings or urban settings, they write steamy reads about fairies and werewolves too. Local heroes and heroines making a life abroad. Nail biting suspense and mystery romance novels. Science fiction and fantasy. Young adult and new adult stories. They even interpret characters from different genders, races, cultural backgrounds and religions.

And I asked myself, where can you find these books and authors with so much diversity among them? Where is a place you can walk into and have a good fun old time getting book deals and meeting your next favorite author? You guess right. A book fair.

But because Africa is a really…really big continent, how do you get all of these terrific romance authors and their stories together in one spot for readers to discover them?

Thank God for the invention of the military programme that became the internet! Online is the easiest way to find things you’re searching for. Whether it’s the definition of a word (so guilty of that) or buying a pair of shoes, online shopping, buying and selling, and researching are things we consider common. Even in Africa.

Everyone owns a device they can use to access the internet.

And that’s how the #AfricaOnBookFair was created. It stemmed from this need to say, “If you’re looking for romance stories set in Africa or want to find out who your next favorite African author in every romance genre out there is, here they are. Online. Easy to access. You don’t have to pay to get in. You don’t have to stand in a queue. You don’t have to feel hot and sweaty. Or cold and tired. You sit in your home or wherever you might find yourself and check out what’s on offer.” Money you would’ve spent on gas, food and tickets to get in can go into buying extra books! As a bookworm, that makes me extremely happy.

And I know every little bookworm heart is giving a fist pump *laughs*

The Africa Online Book Fair aims to bring African romance authors and readers together. In a nutshell it is as simple as that. And I really hope you’ll come meet every single one of them.

Event date: Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th June 2017.

Starts: 10:00 am ( Cape Town time)

Ends: 22:00 pm (Cape Town time)

 

So without further adieu, here they are:

Aziza Eden Walker

Bailey Quinn

Elaine Dodge

Inge Saunders

Jayne Bauling

Joanne Macgregor

Kathy Bosman

Leenna Naidoo

Marie Dry

Nana Prah

Sherita Singh

Theresa Beharrie

TM Clark

Link to the Event Page:  https://www.facebook.com/events/372063406523550/

Twitter: @AfricaOnBookFr

Instagram: @africaonlinebookfair

Meet the Character– Damian Davidson

I was tagged by fellow ROSA member Louise Rose-Innes to take part in the Meet the Character Blog Hop.

Louise writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Born in sunny South Africa, she`s a lover of sunshine and the sea, and this is often reflected in her novels. After completing a post graduate in Marketing Management, Louise headed off to the United Kingdom to gain work experience and travel. She now lives with her family in leafy Surrey, and when she`s not writing, is traipsing through the countryside, or kayaking on the river Thames.

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Her debut romantic suspense novel, Personal Assistance, has recently been published through Entangled Publishing. She`s a member of the Romantic Novelists` Association (RNA) in the UK, and the Romance writers` Organization of South Africa (ROSA). You can visit Louise at www.louiseroseinnes.com
So without further introduction, there`s someone here who can`t wait to for me to introduce him to all of you.

Everyone, meet Damian.
*Damian steps up, signature smoldering dark gaze in place*

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Damian, this is everyone.

 *me shaking my head as Damian flashes his killer smile* *face in palm*

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Today, I`m joining the Meet the Character Blog Hop to introduce all of you to my favourite leading man Damian Davidson from Falling for Mr. Unexpected (set for a SA Spring release 2014).

Meet the Character

 

What is the name of your character? Is s/he fictional/historical?

I`m going to let Damian introduce himself…

 

My name is Damian Davidson, I was born and raised in South Africa, Stellenbosch, but moved to Los Angeles in pursuit of my acting career. I was supposed to follow in the footsteps of my brother and father, and become a surgeon, but I caught the acting bug when I took part in my senior showcase.

I did try to appease my father by enrolling for medicine at the University of Cape Town *shrug*, but it had only lasted two years. Needless to say, my father disowned me and I ended up penniless on the streets of LA, working as a waiter and then model before I got my first break in a French film.

I`ve been nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award, so I`d say switching medicine for acting hadn`t been such a bad idea *grins*

 

When and where is the story set?

I live in LA, but a recent *ahem* sex-tape scandal has forced me back to SA, to Strand, a coastal town in the Western Cape where I own a beach house. I hadn`t been there in years, so I figured it would be safe from the paparazzi. I was hoping after a couple of weeks out here the story would blow over and I could go back to LA. Alas I got more than I bargained for.

 

What should we know about Damian?

I`m a very private person. A career in the public is probably not the most logical thing for someone who loves to lead a private life. I don`t mind interviews, obviously *smiles* and talking about my acting roles, but the paparazzi can be very invasive and tabloids have a way of getting their facts wrong. The image they portray of a celebrity isn`t always accurate.

 

What is Damian`s goal?

The goal is to get away from everything Hollywood since the movie I`ve been working on was brought to a stop because of the scandal. The idea is to have a couple of weeks of relative peace, which also means, and I honestly love my fans, but I need a reprieve. The sex-tape seemed to have sparked a rise in fans sending underwear in the mail and posting naked pictures of themselves on my car`s windshield *clears throat* Which is probably why I mistook my brother`s sister in-law, Emma Cupido, as an *ahem* obsessed fan.

Our first meeting wasn`t pretty- me, in nothing but a towel, her half-naked clutching her clothes against her body, she had taken a dip in the ocean on my private beach. Something my brother failed to tell her when he offered for her to use the house for the school holidays. He`s been taking care of the place while I was out of the country.

 

What is screwing up Damian`s life (main conflict in writerly speak)?

Emma Cupido and her bruised feet *grimace* Who knew a box filled with hardcovers could cause so much damage. She even has a broken pinky-toe *ouch*

I had initially shown her the door, but I couldn`t kick her out after the ‘accident’. Imagine the headline. Damian Davidson throws out injured woman on the streets. So no peace for me, since in spite of her miniature size, Emma does have a way of taking up a lot of space. Most disturbingly in my head.

Oh and have I mentioned that because of Emma, I now have to inform my parents, with whom I haven`t spoken to in four years, that I`m in SA? No, well the word awkward doesn’t even begin to cover the situation.

 

What is the title?

Falling for Mr. Unexpected– I guess I`m Mr. Unexpected *grins*

Falling For Mr. Unexpected-highres

 

When can we expect the book to be published or when was it published?

Happy to meet all of  you Spring 2014.

 

 

Meet Next Week`s Authors

Zee Monodee is an author who grew up on a fence – on one side there was modernity and the global world, on the other there was culture and traditions. Putting up with the culture for half of her life, one day she decided she’d stand tall on her wall and dip toes every now and then into both sides of her non-conventional upbringing.

From this resolution spanned a world of adaptation and learning to live on said wall. The realization also came that many other young women of the world were on their own fence.

This particular position became her favourite when she decided to pursue her lifelong dream of writing – her heroines all sit ‘on a fence’, whether cultural or societal, in today’s world or in times past, and face dilemmas about life and love.

Hailing from the multicultural island of Mauritius, Zee is a degree holder in Communications Science. She is a head-over-heels wife, in-over-her-head mum to a tween son, best-buddy-stepmum to a teenage lad, an incompetent domestic goddess, eternal dreamer, and an absolute, shameless bookholic.

Zee Monodee
Zee Monodee

 

Marie Dry- Ever since she can remember Marie wanted to travel. She had the privileged of living in Zambian, Morocco and Spain and sees herself as a bit of a gypsy. Every few years she gets restless and has to be someplace new.

All her life she has read romances and was fairly young when she decided she would write the perfect story that had all the elements she looked for in a romance. Marie found it a wonderful experience to see the characters in her head coming to life on the page. So being published by Black Opal Books is a dream come true for her.

There are several wonderful moments in her life that she would never trade for anything. One of them is meeting President Nelson Mandela and the second, being published.

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Kathy Bosman loves reading and writing even more. She homeschools her three kids, so in between unsuccessfully explaining the difference between subject and predicate or how to divide fractions, she enters an imaginary world of troubled and passionate characters whose stories take over the page.

 

Kathy lives in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa, where the summers are hot the winters cool, and bugs thrive. Her first published novel, Wedding Gown Girl, came out in 2012 with Astraea Press. She belongs to the Romance writers` Organization of South Africa (ROSA) which has been her greatest support and inspiration the last few years.

 

Nana Prah is a multi-published author of contemporary, multicultural romance. Her books are sweet with a touch of spice. When she’s not writing she’s reading, indulging in chocolate, and enjoying life with friends and family.

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Contact details:

Blog : http://www.nanaprah.blogspot.com

Twitter: @NanaPrah

Facebook: Nana Prah, Author

Goodreads: Nana Prah

Google + :  Nana Prah

 

Book Review & Spotlight : Midwife To Destiny by Nana Prah #Giveaway

Nana is no stranger to Inside These Lines, so this time I opted for a book review and a spotlight on said book, Midwife to Destiny. Raffle giveaway at the end of the post! Do enter! *wink*

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Midwife to Destiny

by

Nana Prah

Destiny Series, Book 1

Contemporary Romance, Multicultural

 

Here`s the Blurb:

Ghanaian nurse Aurora ‘Ora’ Aikins never expected to find the love of her life while on vacation in South Africa. Engaged to another and believing that love has no place in her life, she returns to Ghana, and puts duty and honor first.

Three years later, Dr. Jason Lartey still can’t get Ora out of his mind or his heart. After learning she never married, he takes a risk and moves to Ghana hoping to rekindle what they started. His sudden appearance in Ora’s Emergency Department sends sparks flying all over again.

They’re in the same country, working in the same hospital, and together but distance creeps between them. Can they make their destined love one for the ages?

 

Review:

If you want sweet, mushy, kind and honest to God-good-feel- kind of book, than it doesn`t come any better than Midwife to Destiny. If you`re in the mood for a hunk of a man who`s a splitting image of Will Smith, with more charm to boot, than in these pages you`ll find him.

This contemporary romance set partly in SA, Cape Town and then Ghana, giving the reader a diverse cultural taste as well as a modern view of both countries. But I have to say, what intrigued me was the charm you`ll find in most African/South African authors writing. There`s a honesty that strips the characters bare, revealing their flaws. I`ve always noticed this and I have to say it is a continent thing *smile*

Ora`s perfectly flawed. And if you don`t reside in Africa, don`t worry, her flaws are universal. Daddy-issues has found its way to the African continent too *wink* This is one of the major themes/conflicts in the book. Ora need`s to deal with past demons in order to move forward with Jason. And like in real life this is not easy. Ora simply can`t trust herself. Her inability to love fearlessly has been compromised and she has to face a couple of hard truths about herself.

I found Jason endearing. His relentless pursuit of Ora, breaking down her walls etc. He simply didn`t give up. It paid off in the end. Like I said before, Midwife to Destiny, checks all the boxes. It is a feel good story, it will satisfy your ‘pink cheeks and shy smiles’ yearning. But it will also have you slapping your forehead going ‘Come on girl, he`s right there! Seriously? Come on!’ Yep I`m with Esi *laughs*

Midwife to Destiny get`s a 4 out of 5.

Buy Links

Amazon | Decadent |ARe | Barnes and NobleSmashwords

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt:

The pain pulsing through Aurora ‘Ora’ Aikins’ injured wrist transitioned into a delicious, unfamiliar tingle when Dr. Lartey touched it.

“It’s just my luck to come on vacation and get hurt,” she huffed in frustration as she forced herself to not sigh at the pleasure his gentle probing touch evoked.

“You were very lucky. The x-ray shows your wrist isn’t broken, but you sustained a very bad sprain so you have to be careful with it,” he said, sounding all business-like.

Each time he touched her wrist, her stomach twisted and her awareness of him as a man, with the need to get to know him better, intensified.

These sensations unnerved her but the gorgeous man she had the privilege of calling her doctor seemed unaffected.

His confident stride had drawn her attention when he’d entered the consulting room. His spicy, with a citrusy undertone, cologne filled the sterile hospital air, making her nostrils flare to take in more of his unique scent. Deep brown eyes had perused her chart as she’d taken in his short-cropped hair, high cheekbones, and thick lips that brought kissing into her mind. Dark smooth skin rivalled the richness of high quality chocolate.

Ora scanned the emergency room cubicle, which had become smaller with the doctor’s broad-shouldered, towering stature, for cameras. Could she be on a reality TV show? Starring in one had never been a life objective, but the crew might have caught her unaware. No visible cameras, but those producers were sneaky and could place one inside a stethoscope.

 

Nana Prah was born in Ghana, West Africa, raised in the US and currently resides in Ghana where she loves her job as a writer and nurse educator. She has been writing since she can remember (in her journal) and has been an avid reader of romance novels since the eighth grade. She has finally been able to utilize the years and years of inadvertent research into writing her own romance novels where love always conquers all.

Blog : www.nanaprah.blogspot.com

Twitter: @NanaPrah

Facebook: Nana Prah, Author

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Spotlight on ‘Midwife to Destiny’ by Nana Prah #Giveaway #$20AmazonGiftCard

Hey everyone! Here`s another fabulous Decadent Publishing Author Nana Prah.  Today I`m placing a Spotlight on her new novel ‘Midwife to Destiny’ from the Ubuntu Line. I`m truly excited about this unique line from Decadent Publishing, not only because I have 2 books contracted to it *grin*, but because it`s stories written by authors from Africa, showcasing our landscape but also how modern and relatable the African people are. Like I recently said to my editor Zee Monodee, I`m a South African author, that writes stories set in Africa/abroad, with a global identity. So without further introduction, here`s ‘Midwife to Destiny’:

Midwife To Destinyhigh-res

Blurb

Ghanaian nurse Aurora ‘Ora’ Aikins never expected to find the love of her life while on vacation in South Africa. Engaged to another and believing that love has no place in her life, she returns to Ghana, and puts duty and honor first.

Three years later, Dr. Jason Lartey still can’t get Ora out of his mind or his heart. After learning she never married, he takes a risk and moves to Ghana hoping to rekindle what they started. His sudden appearance in Ora’s Emergency Department sends sparks flying all over again.

They’re in the same country, working in the same hospital, and together but distance creeps between them. Can they make their destined love one for the ages?

 

Midwife to Destiny

Destiny Series

Buy Links

Amazon | Decadent |ARe | Barnes & Noble| Smashwords

 

About the Author:

Nana Prah was born in Ghana, West Africa, raised in the US and currently resides in Ghana where she loves her job as a writer and nurse educator. She has been writing since she can remember (in her journal) and has been an avid reader of romance novels since the eighth grade. She has finally been able to utilize the years and years of inadvertent research into writing her own romance novels where love always conquers all.

Contact Details:

Blog : www.nanaprah.blogspot.com

Twitter: @NanaPrah

Facebook: Nana Prah, Author

Enjoy the following excerpt for Midwife to Destiny:

 

Ora focused on putting one foot in front of the other as if she were a one-year-old learning how to walk. After turning the corner and seeing the back of his head, she froze. She would know that head anywhere. He’d grown his hair out a little, but his adorable, Will Smith ears gave him away. Initiating the process of pivoting and sprinting out of the ED unnoticed sprang to mind when he turned around and his gaze caught hers.

The air became charged with tension and neither of them moved. Her heart threatened to pop out of her chest with the force of each beat. The nurses stood between them, looking back and forth as if they watched a tennis match. They didn’t bother to hide their expressions of curiosity.

They’d never seen Ora behave in such a manner. Not cool as a cucumber super nurse. Like herself, they kept looking at the new doctor just because of his tall, broad-shouldered, gorgeous stature. The past three years had matured him, adding a few lines around his eyes and the new feature of a goatee with a moustache changed his countenance a little. But otherwise, the same man she’d met three years ago, at least in the physical sense, stood before her.

After an eternity, Ora snapped back to attention. “Akwaaba, Dr. Lartey. Welcome to the ward.” Madam Professional stuck out her hand for a handshake.

Her words seemed to drag him out of his own stupor. “Uh….”

She had rendered the man speechless. Ora’s gracious nature—that’s what she blamed it on, anyway—took pity on him and she touched his shoulder. The contact sent sensual awareness through her and she recoiled her hand.

“Hello, Aurora. Please forgive me. It’s just that I’m a little surprised to see you.”

“Not as much as I am,” she muttered, attempting to squash both the joy bubbling up inside of her at seeing him again and the overwhelming sadness of what she’d been missing for so long.

“Pardon me?” he asked.

“I didn’t expect to see you here. It’s a surprise to me, too.” She tried to smile, but it came out contorted, as if she’d been able to have a painful, rocky bowel movement after being constipated for seven days.

* I’m giving away a $20 Amazon gift card which will run until the end of April. The rafflecopter link is below:

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