Author Spotlight – Samantha Ford

February 25, 2013 in Articles, Author Spotlight

Authors from AfricaHaving lived a truly cosmopolitan lifestyle, it is hardly surprising that Samantha Ford didn’t settle for life in the humdrum environment of English suburbia. No instead she lives and works in Africa, in the Safari industry to be precise, and spends her life mingling with the rich and famous. She has become an author who writes about contemporary romance in the 21st century and she does it very well.

It was with great anticipation that I looked forward to reading her answers to the questions posed about the aspect of her life spent as an English female author, but one who gets her inspiration from the deepest parts of Safari Africa. A lifestyle that is far from conventional  and that not too many people will be privy to.

For Samantha the answers to her questions will no doubt feel like an honest appraisal of what, for her, is normal everyday life but for most of the rest of us will be a description of an exciting life in a far away place. I love the fact, for example, that one of her biggest problems she has as a writer comes in  the form of noisy monkeys.

So without further ado, have a look at her answers to the questions posed about how she came to write her first book and what life is like as a published author living in Africa.

Q) How did you come up with the story for your book, what sparked it off?

 A) I was looking after Giraffe Manor (a hotel) in Nairobi and decided, because of my unusual childhood in the Far East, Middle East and Africa, to write a series of letters to my daughter describing my life. Then out of the blue someone I had not seen for 35 years tracked me down in Kenya. This was when I decided to turn my “letters” into a novel.

Q) Did you need to do any research for your book? Read the rest of this entry →

How to Transfer eBooks to Kindle

February 25, 2013 in Articles, eBook Management, Kindle Devices

Calibre File ConversionOne of the simplest ways to transfer an ebook to a Kindle is to use a conversion program and save the file in a .mobi format.

One of the best conversion programs available, as a free download, is the Calibre Program

Calibre will handle many different ebook formats and once you have added a book to your list you can then use the conversion tool to change it to your desired format. There are a couple of choices for reading books on a Kindle, you can either opt to save the file after conversion as a .azw file, which is Amazon’s own format or you can save it as a .mobi file (recommended) which is a generic format that can be read on a Kindle and for all intents and purposes is pretty much identical to the azw format. The only difference is that they use different DRM (digital rights management) schemes.

But don’t be confused by that if a book has had DRM applied you will not be able to convert it easily using this method, the whole point of DRM is that it prevents the simple sharing of ebooks. There are methods of removing DRM which you can work through if you want to, but I am not sure how good the results will be.

If on the other hand the files are not DRM protected then Calibre is a very good option for the file conversion process. Read the rest of this entry →

Tuscan Cats get into Mischief

February 18, 2013 in Books, Childrens Illustrated Books, Fiction, Pets and Animals

Italian Cats Making MischiefThe Naughty Italian Cats Go on Holiday

This is the second in the series of popular childrens books by Laura Graham describing the adventures of the dancing, talking cats from Tuscany. The cats take charge as they spend a mischievous holiday in the sun at the country residence of their English mama and Italian babbo (Italian for father). But now there is a new usurper on the scene in the form of Spiritino, a tom cat from the local farm and a very attractive ‘Tom’ as far as Julie is concerned.

Talking Cats From TuscanySpiritino is no stranger to naughty behaviour himself and he sets himself the task of getting to know Rosetta and Julie a little better. Romantic cats, it could only happen in Italy, like a bit of adventure and before you know it all three cats are getting into all sorts of trouble, there is definitely a scent of amore in the air. But which of the girls gets the guy?

Julie is besotted with Spiritino, but Rosetta is not at all seduced by a common farm cat. Still Spiritino is not put off, he gets to know Julie and Rosetta a little better then introduces the ladies to a little wine and teaches them how to celebrate in a country style. So will a little merry making and a few well placed compliments change a girls mind, can Spiritino turn the girl’s heads and convince them that a life in the country may be just what they are looking for.

It goes without saying that these tales of cats misbehaving and the  games they play will have an appeal to all cat lovers. So can you resist the urge to find out what the outcome is? The cats in the eyes of their adoring owners can do no wrong, so how do they deal with the amorous advances of Spiritino? You will need to read the book to find out and I am willing to bet that even if you buy the book for one of your children, you will be the one that finds it very hard to put down!

 Purchase this Book

Available now from Amazon, you can purchase this tale of dancing cats, and read all about their antics and the mischief they get up to.

Book Reviews

Eagerly awaited by me and my 8 year old granddaughter is Laura Graham’s further adventures of the marvelous speaking Tuscan cats! Now Spiritino enters the story and romance comes with him. Rosalbo’s charming illustrations enhance the characters of the cats, although they appear almost human with such clever linguistic skills too. Laura takes one into a magical world – but beware – once you start reading this glorious book you’ll find it impossible to put down!  – reference Francesca from amazon.co.uk

To see more reviews like this one, click Here

The Author

To find out more about Laura Graham, how to follow her and a little more about her life you can visit her author page – Laura Graham Children’s Author and Expat Writer An interesting lady who has managed to change her career from that of being a successful actress to one as a successful writer.

Related Books

Italian Cats from Tuscony Italian Cats Making Mischief Tuscan Cats

Goodread’s Review

Tuscan Cats Get Into Mischief (The Dancing, Talking Cats)Tuscan Cats Get Into Mischief by Laura Graham

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A slightly more adult theme to this second in the series. Still a lovely book for children but with the introduction of Spiritino, the drinking of wine and amorous intentions, the appeal to adult lovers of cats definitely goes up a notch or two.

View all my reviews

A Tale of Two Tuscan Cats

February 18, 2013 in Books, Childrens Illustrated Books, Fiction, Pets and Animals

Italian Cats from TusconyThe Talking, Dancing Cats of Tuscany

Who would have thought cats could talk in one language, never mind two. But these cats don’t just speak in both English and Italian, they are also dancing cats with aspirations to be famous Italian artists, or at least Rosetta is. Julie is a little less ambitious, she is just very gratefull to have been given a home by her beloved English mama. Rosetta on the other hand was born wild, a feral kitten saved from the forest and brought into the home of the English mama and her artistic Italian husband.

Italian CatsShe is very grand, very intelligent and takes life in her stride. She also manages to get Julie into all sorts of trouble with the games she plays. Some might say they were naughty cats that get up to mischief they shouldn’t, but they are both adored by their English mama, who is constantly entertained by their antics. Especially when she discovers just how talented they really are.

If cats could be human, they would definitely be considered prime candidates with their talking, dancing and artistic ambitions. This is a delightful story, written for children yes, but with an appeal to all cat lovers, children and adults alike.

Laura Graham moved to Italy to make a new start in life after working for many years as an actress in the UK. She is an avid cat lover and has an eye for their antics and behaviours which she has captured beautifully in this first of her series of cat stories and adventures in the Italian sun.

Also available is her second books ‘Tuscan Cats get into Mischief’, which is equally as appealing and introduces a male lothorio into proceedings in the form of Spiritino. A tom cat with an eye for the ladies, especially Rosetta and Julie who he discovers when they arrive in the country for a painting holiday with their adored babbo and their English mama.

 Purchase this Book

Available now from Amazon, you can purchase this tale of talking cats, and  be enchanted by their antics.

Book Reviews

A lovely read together book for the young and old who love cats, reading and the pleasure both bring. An ideal book for reading with pre-school children who love colourful illustrations and guessing what the mischievous cats are going to get up to next. Well done Laura, I look forward to more adventures of the Two Tuscan Cats!reference Toonmaker on amazon.co.uk

You can find more reviews like this here

The Author

To find out more about Laura Graham, how to follow her and a little more about her life you can visit her author page – Laura Graham Children’s Author and Expat Writer An interesting lady who has managed to change her career from that of being a successful actress to one as a successful writer.

Related Books

Gay Before God, A Gay Romance Novel

February 4, 2013 in Books, Fiction, Gay Novels, Romantic Novels

Gay Before GodA love letter is written and destroyed; a mother disapproves of her son’s sexual orientation and desperately wants to prevent his gay lover from having any contact with him when he becomes seriously ill.

Gay Romance NovelThe lover is a married man with two children, holds a high position within the church, and needs to know his new lover’s true feelings. He stands to lose everything – wife, children, and his career. But if he knew for sure that this was a real and valued relationship then he might just be prepared to pay that price.

Hypocrisy reigns as members of the church hierarchy take steps to prevent what they see as a looming scandal. Never mind that some of them harbour secrets about their own sexual orientation, they choose to put God before their gay inclinations. They are career men prepared to sacrifice their personal feeling for advancement within the sanctity of the church and take a dim view of anyone who isn’t prepared to do the same. A scandal such as this can damage the reputation of the church, they feel, and that cannot be allowed to happen.

Can I be Gay and Christian?

This is a question that few gay romance novels tackle; to be both gay and Christian for many is considered to be a contradiction in terms, a forbidden love. They will say there is no gay God and there can be no gay church, but real life is not like that. Some Christians are gay and some of those decide to work for the church. This gay love story examines the dilemmas they face. Must they choose to conceal their true feelings in order to pursue a their calling within the church?

Gay Romance NovelsSurely, all Christians have a right to worship their God and live their lives in a compassionate and caring way according to their Christian beliefs, despite their sexual orientation? And even if they work for the church.

The church professes itself to be modern and all embracing, so when one of their flock has a gay awakening, a realisation that his marriage to a woman is no more than a façade for him to hide behind, then surely he has every right to think that this will be both accepted and tolerated. The reality is, however, that instead of acceptance and tolerance, he now faces hostility, not just from his superiors in the church, but also from family and friends. None of this helps him as he tries to deal and come to terms with what is already a complicated and delicate situation.

He has found true love, but the relationship is balanced on a knife edge; serious illness intervenes and the family, with a less than sympathetic perspective on the situation, get control, with one objective in mind: to end this fledgling relationship.

The easy option is to kowtow to the pressure of the church, return to the security of a straight relationship with his wife,  and leave his gay lover to his plight. Certainly that is consensus against him – hardly a Christian posture!

Purchase this Book

Available now from Amazon, you can purchase this story of gay romance in the church, and  be reading it in minutes. Use the links below:

Gay Before God, An Awakening Love Forbidden By The Church – £2.64 from Amazon UK

Gay Before God, An Awakening Love Forbidden By The Church – $3.99 from Amazon USA

Gay Before God can now also be purchased in printed format both on Amazon and on Createspace.

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Book Extracts

~ Yesterday Rachel got a recording of the conversation in the post. Word for word she could listen to what I said to Terry. Victor wrote a note to say it showed I was a serial liar, I had always slept around, and Terry was just one amongst many.”
Charles said nothing to contradict what was said. It suited him to be silent.
“To make a secret recording and use it in that way was so wrong,” went on James “and it is not like Terry.” ~

~At the same time a meeting was taking place in bishop’s study.
“I cannot see why we are discussing this,” the archdeacon was obviously irritated. “There is a full agenda to get through.”
“I just wanted the matter finalised,” said the bishop, somewhat apologetically.
“Well, as far as I am concerned he is out of our hands,” replied the archdeacon. “He chose to resign, and that is that!” ~

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