Alissa Baxter

Guest Post: Chick Lit From South Africa by Alissa Baxter

4/15/2014

The Blog Affair Book Tour

Let's all welcome Alissa Baxter, author of The Blog Affair, here at My Book and My Coffee. Today's guest post from Alissa is really inspiring and, personally, it makes me want to know more about South Africa and her book! Check it out!

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Thanks so much for welcoming me to your blog!  It’s a pleasure to be here.  I’m going to tell you a bit about growing up in South Africa, which is where I hail from. The first few years of my life were spent in Swaziland, a small African country bordering South Africa. When I was four years old my parents bought a farm across the border in South Africa and we moved there. My dad is a poultry and cattle breeder, so I grew up on a farm surrounded by chickens, cattle and hay bales! I remember building hay forts with my brother, and riding quad bikes around the farm at the age of ten. I attended the local primary school in a small town called Piet Retief, and in summer the school kids attended classes barefoot. We only wore shoes in winter when it was a lot chillier. 

When I was thirteen years old I went to an Anglican private boarding school for girls four hours away, in the province of Natal. It was a shock to my system to be so far away from my family, and I didn’t adjust too well at first to the change in my circumstances. We had to wear formal uniforms, and when I climbed a tree once, in order to get a better vantage point for a tennis match, I was told to get down from the tree as “ladies don’t climb trees!”  I was quite a tom boy when I arrived at the school but was slowly tamed into a lady.

Holidays were spent with my family, and one of our favourite family holidays was to visit the Kruger National Park (http://www.sanparks.org/parks/kruger/default.php/), a two million hectare national park in the South African lowveld. The Park was established in 1898 to protect the Lowveld wildlife and it’s a great holiday destination for South African families.

I’ve always loved books, and as our lifestyle on the farm in the school holidays was quite isolated, I spent many hours reading novels as a teenager. I knew from the age of seven that I wanted to write stories, and wrote a number of short stories during the school holidays to keep myself entertained. 

When I left high school, I attended university in a town called Pietermaritzburg. I started writing my first novel in my second year at university - a Regency romance called THE DASHING DEBUTANTE. After university, I travelled overseas and lived in Lausanne, London and Dubai, before returning to South Africa and moving to the coastal city of Durban, where I wrote my second Regency romance, LORD FENMORE’S WAGER. I then movxed to Cape Town, where a local publisher contracted me to write a chick lit story called SEND AND RECEIVE, which I set in Durban.  My next book, THE BLOG AFFAIR is set in Cape Town. I like to set books in cities I’ve lived in, as I can then portray a unique sense of place. Of course, a lot of writers set books in places they’ve never visited and with the internet (and Google Maps!) at our disposal it’s becoming easier and easier to do so.  

South Africa is a wonderful country, and is, I believe, an underused setting in romance and chick lit novels. I hope overseas readers will enjoy the Cape Town setting. THE BLOG AFFAIR was such a fun book to write, and even though the South African setting may appear exotic, women across many cultures experiences very similar up and downs when it comes to dating. Anyone who’s been on the dating scene knows that there are sometimes so many frogs out there that it should be called a dating pond rather than a dating pool! 

My main character, Emma Bradshaw, has a pattern for falling for unsuitable men and decides to start a blog about these so-called “serial datists” in order to make sense of her dating past. 


Technology has changed the way we communicate with each other. On the one hand, social media is a very open platform where people often reveal intimate details of their lives. There is also a more secretive side to online communication, however, where people can post their innermost thoughts anonymously. This anonymous form of communication became the premise for my novel, and cyberspace is the place where Emma vents all her pent up feelings about the men she’s dated. However, when an anonymous male reader of her blog challenges her on her ideas about men, Emma realises she must confront her past before love can blossom again in her future…

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Alissa Baxter
Chick Lit/Contemporary
Ubuntu line from Decadent Publishing
Escape to Africa
246 pages

Blurb: 
Twenty-something, white, South African Emma Bradshaw has a pattern of falling for unsuitable men and starts a blog about these so-called “serial datists”. Her search for new beginnings takes her to Cape Town, where she gets a job working for sexy author, Nick Reynolds. Romance with her boss is a no-no, but slowly, Nick works his way around her defenses. Trust him, or not, especially with her awful track record with men? 

When an anonymous male reader of the blog challenges her on her ideas about the male species, Emma realises she must confront her past and find her true self before she can move forward...and love can blossom again in her future.
About the Author: 


Alissa Baxter was born in South Africa, and grew up with her nose in a book on a poultry and cattle farm. After school and university, where she majored in Political Science and French, she published her first novel, The Dashing Debutante. Alissa travelled to London, England, and did an odd assortment of jobs while researching her second novel, Lord Fenmore’s Wager, which she wrote after she moved back to South Africa and settled in Durban. Alissa then relocated to Cape Town where she wrote her third novel, Send and Receive, before moving to Johannesburg, where she currently lives with her husband and two sons.
Connect with Alissa: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Website

By the way, the author is giving away a $20 Amazon Gift Card to 1 (one) lucky winner. Enter the giveaway here

Ara of My Book and My Coffee

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1 Dazzling Comments

  1. Hi Ara, thanks for welcoming me to your blog! :-)

    ReplyDelete

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