Monday, May 21, 2012

Kate Gomolemo Mysteries are Now Available as Ebooks!!

My Kate Gomolemo Mysteries have only been available as paper books- that is until today! Three of the four books in the series are now available as ebooks at Amazon!

Murder for Profit (Book Number 2)

Something is not right in Mogobane. With a note scribbled in a child’s hand, Detective Kate Gomolemo is drawn into the dangerous, brutal and horrific world of muti killing.

Four children and their grandmother are burnt to death in their mud hut at the lands. The local police constable writes it off as an accidental fire, but within a few hours of her being in the village, Kate realises that can’t be right. She soon realises that the people in Mogobane are not always who they appear to be- from the local business man, to the dark traditional doctor, she even begins to suspect the police constable.

Despite the danger in the air, Kate sets out to find the killers. She will not rest until the murderers of the five innocent victims are put behind bars, but will she have to pay the ultimate price for her stubborn search for justice.


Anything For Money (Book Number 3)

Detective Kate Gomolemo is not sure what to make of Helen Segole’s wild allegations. She’s claiming government ministers and high-ranking civil servants are behind the cold-blooded murder of her father, but Kate wonders if Helen is not confused by the grief she’s feeling.
Against her better judgement, Kate agrees to do some investigations and suddenly she’s swept into a high-rolling, dangerous game of power, greed and corruption. The people behind it will stop at nothing to get what they want. How many people will have to die before Kate finds Goitsemang Segole’s killers? How far can greed push a person?


Claws of a Killer (Book Number 3)

Everything is going great for Detective Kate Gomolemo. The second love of her life, John Mogami, has stopped pushing her to set a date for their wedding. Her son and his wife are both nearby in Gaborone and they have big news- she's going to be a grandmother! Things are going well until a young University of Botswana student is found dead. Raped, with three odd claw marks down her body.

Botswana is not the home to serial killers, Kate is sure of that. But her certainty is shaken as the bodies pile up. And to make matters worse, her new partner, the annoying Ntoko, realises the killer is working to a schedule. Every fourteen days he must kill.

As the days pass, the pressure builds. Will Kate be able to stop him before this monster kills again? She'll risk everything to catch him and in the end she almost does.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What's Gwaning?

My blog has gone all silent, and I apologise for that. You may wonder what is taking up all of my time.

First, I am doing maintenance on my house, or rather I've hired people to do maintenance on my house. This is eating into my time. Running up and down buying things. Making sure they don't paint the cat blue (they seem to be very keen on painting everything they can blue. I'm keeping the cat nearby just in case). So that's time eater number one.

Second, after living nearly alone for the last year or so, everyone is suddenly home on university holiday. Though I have my nice little office ( the most wonderful gift for a writer) I still must socialise with my family.

Third, I've been having teeth things going on. A tooth pulled out and then a temporary tooth put in and then that one taken out and everything made very sore and then another temporary put in and now waiting for the final thingy to get sorted. The process has made me cranky and lazy.

And lastly, I'm busy learning how to self publish at Amazon's Kindle Direct Programme. I am publishing the last three novellas in my Kate Gomolemo Mystery Series: Murder for Profit, Anything for Money and Claws of a Killer. Two of them have been published in paper but I wisely kept the ebook rights. (I didn't do that for the first one in the series though- The Fatal Payout). I hired someone from Gaborone to do the book covers, Alastair Haggar ( . I wanted them simple with a common theme. I've posted only one of them above. Let me know what you think.

My plan is to publish them all at once, hopefully in the next couple weeks.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Botswana and its Beauty Contests- NI Column 2

(This is my second column in New Internationalist. They don't put everything online and since many of us don't have access to the print magazine I thought you'd like to read my column here)

When I first moved to Mahalapye in 1989, most Saturday nights, especially at the end of the month when everyone got paid, you would find a beauty contest at our community hall. It might be Miss Mahalapye or Miss Madiba (our local senior secondary school) or even something commemorating an event, Miss Independence Day or Miss Mahalapye Agriculture Show. It didn’t matter. These contests consisted of local young women putting on their best dresses, getting their hair done, and then parading around on stage to music at eardrum splitting levels. The height and weight of the contestants was not important. The clincher was always the smile. If you had a good smile, you had a good chance. Judges were picked from local VIPs, people like ward chiefs, a councillor’s wife, or teachers. The winner won a blanket or an iron. After the formalities of the beauty contest were over, the night turned into what everyone had pitched up for – a disco.

But all of this changed in 1999. For the first time in history, Botswana sent a young woman, 20 year old Mpule Kwelegobe, to the international Miss Universe contest. She got to the finalist stage and then was asked the question that sealed the deal-“Should Miss Universe step down if she should become pregnant during her reign?”

This was just about the best question to ask a young Motswana woman from a country that views all births, no matter inside or outside of marriage, as a blessing, and where it is estimated more than half of households are female headed.

Her answer? “I think it should not in anyway interrupt her duties, she should celebrate her femininity. Having children is a celebration of womanhood for all females, including beauty queens.”

And with that Botswana erupted into cheers of joy when Mpule was crowned Miss Universe 1999, and beauty contests in Botswana were given an adrenaline kick they haven’t yet recovered from.
Where they used to be casual affairs organised the afternoon before the event, they now became serious with marketing budgets and big prizes. Miss Botswana winners nowadays win a car and a flat in Gaborone. The standards of who is beautiful have changed too. Tall and thin is in, and though a smile is important, sadly, it isn’t going to win you a Mercedes Benz unless you have the other requirements.

In 2006, I was asked to be a beauty contest judge. We were living in the tiny village of Lecheng where my husband was the headmaster of the secondary school and as his wife I was a prime target for the position of beauty contest judge. It was for “Miss Lecheng 40th Anniversary of Independence”. It was a post-Mpule beauty contest so I expected the regular kind of thing, but as soon as the contestants walked on the stage I knew something else was going on, at least I hoped so. The age range of the women was about 18 to 60. The weight and height range was just as varied.

I realised then these were the women from Ditshephe, a local traditional dance troupe. I’d seen them dance many times before and I had my favourite in the group, Thatayaone. She was about 30, with large breasts and an equally large bum, who, when not dancing, you might not even notice in her doek and letaise, but once she began, you saw no one else. As her feet stamped across the dusty ground as if possessed, the entire time she smiled and she was transformed.

I hadn’t noticed her at first, not in the fancy dresses, mostly satin in colours not seen outside of weddings. It was only when she put on her traditional dance uniform and she came stamping across the floor, her wide smile in place, that I knew my judging was done. She would be my winner, and across the form I gave her ten, ten, ten. We were back to those early days when the smile was the clincher. I was sure of it.

Sadly, in the end, my co-judges clung to the more western standards of beauty, ala Mpule, and my woman came second despite my best effort. Apparently, a smile just wasn’t good enough anymore that was all part of the past now.