The Governor’s Wife- excerpt

The Governors Wife is finally out!

Enjoy an excerpt.

As soon as he touched her, Philip realised he’d been lying to himself for the past seven years. Sharp shards of desire, hot and raw, cascaded all over his body, leaving him helpless. He wasn’t over her. Not yet. Maybe never.

The sensible thing would be to let her go immediately, remove his hands from her narrow waist and walk away. But sensible didn’t seem to be in his skill set anymore. Maybe never had been regarding Ogonna. Being this close to her, touching her, had scrambled his brain. All he could do was douse himself in her aura.

Slowly, he slid his palm from her waist, eyes fixated on hers. His hand glided up her back until it rested on the softness of her long graceful neck. With deliberate intent, he moved his thumb over the gentle angle between her ear and jaw. Deftly, he stroked the area with a light pressure and watched keenly for her response. Ogonna’s hot spot. Haunting memories of her whimpering restlessly against him when he touched her there filtered through his heated brain. Did it still turn her on?

Her breath hitched sharply. “Oooh,” she moaned. A primitive sound which caused his penis to throb, pushing against his unyielding black jeans. Apparently, it still did the trick—for both of them.

The knowledge stoked his arousal. Unable to resist, he lowered his eyes to her full parted lips…red, soft, tempting. God, he wanted to kiss her. Badly. A deep part of his subconscious rose up in protest. This was Ogonna, the woman who broke him by running off to marry someone else. He shouldn’t want to have anything to do with her, let alone kiss her. He needed to bring this madness to an end, turn and walk away.

But Philip remained rooted to the spot, deepening the pressure of his thumb instead, and then trailing it slowly across her full lower lip. Her tongue darted out, flickering lightly. A bold move. Unexpected.

His eyes swept to hers and he froze. They were wide as saucers, as if startled by her own boldness. It would have been easier for him to let her go if even an iota of repulsion or uncertainty registered in their dark depths. Instead, something primal flashed in her pupils. His breath trapped in his chest. Ogonna wanted him, too. The realisation sent a wave of need through him, weakening him.

Another soft moan came from her. His nostrils flared, and he let out a groan from deep within his throat. Almost roughly, he reached for her face, cradled it in both hands and brought his mouth down on hers.

Purchase links below

Amazon US / Amazon UK SmashwordsKoboiTunes/Okadabooks/BambooksNook

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I made a book recommendation list! Yay!

I am so excited to share this: The Senator’s Daughter was listed amongst the recommended 28 billionaire romances for 2018 by bookriot.com! 💃🏽💃🏽💃🏽

Now, this may not mean much for others, but for me, it’s very encouraging.

This is the first time any of my books has been recommended by a non-African book blog.

So, permit me to do cartwheels 🤸‍♂️ all day 😊

Click here to see the list.

The Senator’s Daughter is available on Amazon, Okadabooks and bambooks.

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The Governor’s Wife— Preview

Hello everyone

As promised, here is the preview of The Governor’s Wife.

Chapter One—Part 2

“I’m sorry, Phil, but I can’t wait for you any longer. Our plans just aren’t practical. It will take years. You have no job, and I’d be waiting for a dream that is totally unrealistic.” She took a deep breath, as if afraid to utter her next words. “Deputy Governor Uchendu is ready to marry me now. Not years from now, and it’s an opportunity I can’t pass up.”

Like a play, her words came out with practiced clarity, as if she had repeated them to herself over and over and over again…as if trying to convince herself the explanation carried a scintilla of plausibility and absolved her of treachery.

She gathered in another breath, let it out and continued. “I’m the only daughter in my family and almost thirty. Almost past my expiration date. So, my family approved the wedding, the bride price has been paid, and the traditional rites done.”

Philip swallowed hard. Tiny spikes of pain tore at his heart with every word she uttered. Yet he couldn’t seem to overcome the cold shock that transfixed him. He stared at a complete stranger.

“I came down to tell you personally. I didn’t want you to hear it from someone else…because of our history. Our love.”

“Love…our love,” he repeated. “Osanobua! What a beautiful love story. Someone will surely compose a love song about us.” A harsh laugh rose up in Philip and spilled out like red hot magma from a volcano.

“How dare you even say the word. You know nothing about love.” He took a step back from her, quarantining himself from her and his feelings. “While I’ve been here, trailing from one interview to the next, practically begging anyone who would listen for a job, you’ve been securing your own future by selling yourself to the highest bidder.”

She sucked in her breath. Her eyes widened, and he could see the shadow of hurt in them, but he was too far gone to care.

“We both know the waiting isn’t the problem. It’s the money. He is a rich Deputy Governor and I’m not.” He clenched his jaw until it ached. “And we both know your age has nothing to do with this. You’re only twenty-five, a long way from thirty. Which even if you were, doesn’t justify rushing into marriage blindly. So, don’t tell me it’s about your age. It has never been a problem for us. Never!”

Philip strode slowly towards Ogonna again and halted right in front of her, pinning her with his eyes.

“If this isn’t about money, Ogonna, call off the wedding now. We’ll get married, if it’s marriage you want. Let’s do it. Call this rubbish off, and let’s go to court. We could live here in this BQ.” He waved his hand around the small self-contained, one-bedroom apartment he shared with a former classmate and friend. “I’ll ask Femi to move out. I have a job interview next week, and if I get it, the salary is enough to kickstart our future.”

His hopes came alive when he saw her eyes mist and spark with possibilities. Encouraged by this, he continued. “Call the wedding off, Ogonna, I’ll marry you today.”

Silence. For a brief moment, he thought he noticed the familiar tightening of her jaw…saw a rock-hard determination that always etched her features when they talked of their future plans, both personal and professional. They had talked constantly about their dreams of building a real-estate empire. And their four children, for whom they would create a legacy…together. While other couples lived moment to moment, he and Ogonna had been Mr. and Mrs. Power Couple in university. Philgonna, their friends had christened the pair, as if they were a celebrity couple.

Hope seemed to wrestle in her eyes for a few seconds. Then, a sob broke free. Confused, Philip took a step closer to her. She moved back, as though his nearness scorched her.

“Ogonna, please tell me. What’s going on?”

“I’m sorry, Phil. It’s too late.”

“Too late…what does that mean?” A sudden bout of nausea rose to his throat as a horrifying possibility popped into his head. He became very still.

“Are you pregnant?” The question came out in a low growl.

“No!” she denied sharply. “No!”

“Then why…why are you doing this? Nothing makes sense. I have been faithful to you. Never once strayed. And I know you have been faithful to me, too. Until now. Why? Why this governor? Why now?” He paused, his chest heaving with the emotions charging through him. Nothing was adding up.

He half expected her to break into a laugh. To shout April fools! before pulling him into her arms and assuring him it was all a joke. But it wasn’t April. And even a bat could see the tears in her eyes were real. And the engraved invitation card lying on the floor…frighteningly real, too.

“Because he can offer me and my family stability,” she muttered. Tears streamed down her cheeks in a sad trail. “And I need that.”

And here he was, right back to the beginning—unable to believe what he was hearing from the woman he loved.

“Need it more than you need me…more than you need our love?” he asked in a low voice, afraid to hear her answer.

“Yes, yes, yes,” she screamed, the words seeming to come from the bowels of hell. “More than I need you or our love.”

And then, without warning, Ogonna turned and fled from the room as though the hounds of hell pursued her.

Philip stood staring at the door for long seconds after it slammed shut in his face. Tears he’d been holding back fell freely from his eyes, and he made no attempt to wipe them away.

Slowly, he walked over to the corner of the room and picked up the elegantly designed white and gold wedding invitation off the floor. He stared intently at the words typed in bold italics as though the more he looked, the sooner the nightmare would end.

             The families of Chief and Lolo Moneke and Chief and Lolo Uchendu,
invite you to the holy matrimony of their daughter, Ogonna Moneke
and son, Deputy Governor Kene Uchendu
on Saturday, November 12, 2011.

Three weeks away. The wedding was only three weeks away. He stood there in utter disbelief.

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The Governor’s Wife — Preview

Hello everyone.

I’m releasing 2 parts of chapter one of The Governor’s Wife this week in preparation for the upcoming book release.

Here’s the first part. Enjoy 😊

Chapter One (Part 1)

Seven years ago

His fingers trembled so badly that the small white card almost slipped through them. His eyes moved from it to the woman who’d just handed it to him.

“This…it’s a joke, right?” Philip asked. He couldn’t believe what he’d just read. Icy chills twined with a volcanic heat to run up and down the nerves of his body.

“No, Phil, I’m sorry, but…”

A loud grunt unbound itself from deep within him, and Philip flung the card across the room. He leapt from his chair and cuffed each of her arms with his hands. “Please, Ogonna. You can’t. How can you do this to me…to us? How can you marry this man?”

Her muscles stiffened at his touch, and she shifted her eyes from him.

“Thirteen years, Ogonna. You’ve been my girlfriend over thirteen years. We have a plan…you and me—”

“Exactly, Phil. Thirteen years a girlfriend. A big difference between that and wife,” she retorted.

“Is that what you want? For us to marry…now? When I have no way to support us?” Philip asked, his eyes wide with disbelief. “You’re still in university. I’ve only just graduated. You know I’m here in Abuja looking for a job. Trying to better myself…for our future.”

“This isn’t about you…”

“Not about me?” He tightened his grip, his eyes flashing and his nostrils flaring. “My girlfriend just hands me an invitation to watch her marry another man, and it’s not about me?”

“Phil, let me go,” she said, trying to shake herself free of his grip.

“No!” he growled. “You are mine. If you think I’m going to let you marry anyone else…”

She let out a low cry, more of a whimper. She sniffled, and then slowly turned her head back towards him. Her eyes, brimming with tears, released large glistening drops from their corners to stream in a trail down her cheeks.

Those tears where his undoing. Philip loosened his grip on her arms and forced himself to let her go. He took a step back, his muscles tense with conflicting emotions. Shock, anger, and fear battled in his chest, each fighting for dominance.

“I’m sorry,” he muttered. Pushing back his anger, trying to understand what was happening, he reached up and gently brushed her tears away with the pads of his thumbs.

“I’m sorry,” he repeated.

Slowly, he tilted her tear-stained face upwards. “But why, Ogonna? Why are you doing this?” He searched her face anxiously. “Please tell me.”

Her expression darkened with uncertainty. Her shoulders bowed, almost turning in on themselves. And her lips trembled as if she were chilled to the bone. Her usual self-assurance seemed to have been snatched from her, leaving a broken shell—a stranger— standing before him.

The girl he had dated for almost fourteen years had disappeared, like she’d gone up in smoke. And Philip didn’t know how to get her back.

Since secondary school, Ogonna had been his support system. She’d been right there by his side through all the significant events from adolescence up till now. Like two peas in a pod, they had been inseparable. Whenever he needed her, she came through for him, no questions asked.  His entire world. Since the day he’d set eyes on her, there had never been anyone else. And the same for her—or so he’d thought, fool that he was.

They had plotted and planned their lives with the precision of a military operation. After graduation, he would move to Abuja to find a job. Once she’d completed her studies a year later, she would join him.

They were almost there—their end game in sight. He had a job interview scheduled for next week, and her final exams were only two months away. They’d executed the plan to the letter.

But now, here she stood dropping a bombshell in the middle of their lives.

Philip felt he’d been transported to an alternate universe—one where nothing added up. He’d just visited her two weeks ago, had spent the entire weekend in her off-campus flat. Everything had been as it always was between them. Perfect, normal, happy.
Absolutely no indication she had someone else. So, how the hell could she be getting married? And to the Deputy Governor of her home state. Where did she meet the guy? When? His eyes widened.

“How long have you been cheating on me?”

“Philip, I haven’t…it’s not what you think…” She sniffled again.

“Don’t lie to me!” he snapped. “How else can you explain a sudden engagement? Eh?”

“Philip…” she said, starting to say more, then closing her mouth. Her face fell to her feet again.

“Oh, my God!” Philip felt his throat close in. “How long?”

Again, she parted her full lips to reply, but shut them again. A strained silence stifled the atmosphere for a few seconds more until a new bout of frustration rose inside him.

“Answer me…now.” His voice came low and gravelly, delivering the command with a deadly calm that startled her.

Ogonna heaved a deep sigh of resignation, as though she could no longer hold back the truth from him. “I only met him a few weeks ago,” she responded, trailing a trembling finger over her upper lip.

A sign of anxiety. He knew that gesture all too well. He had on many occasions soothed her unease by simply lifting her finger to his lips. But now, he stood frozen. Her revelation rendering him speechless.

Yes, he’d heard her admission, but his subconscious couldn’t immediately process the information. This entire thing seemed like a distant scene unfolding before him. A scene he had no part in. Still immobilised by the shock of her betrayal, he didn’t respond.

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Cover reveal- The Governor’s Wife

The cover of The Governor’s Wife is finally here! Yay!

Blurb

Newly separated Ogonna Moneke has come to Abuja to open a safe house for abused women. Luck is on her side when the perfect site falls into her lap…until she learns who owns it. The chances of Philip Adamu renting to her are slim to none. Why would he when she dropped her financially struggling college sweetheart like a hot potato to marry someone else?

Real estate tycoon Philip Adamu can’t believe his eyes when Ogonna struts into his office. Seven years earlier, the gold digger had kicked him to the curb to marry a wealthy politician. Now she needs him, more like needs his property. Vowing not to rent her so much as a dog house, Philip shows Ogonna the door. But can he resist the feelings he’s denied for so long when he sees her flirting with a rival developer?

Sparks fly the moment they meet again. But he’s engaged and she’s still hiding the dangerous secret about her marriage.

Can love and forgiveness overcome the lies and deceptions?

Can they trust each other and the future they’d once dreamt of?

Coming Soon…

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Acknowledge Progress to encourage more progress!

Hello everyone

I’m still in my writing cave. Both manuscripts are with editors. Yay! So, I am busy and loving it.

On Saturday, I glanced up from the book I was engrossed in and noticed a cartoon playing on the TV screen. I was so excited to see the faces of 2 brown-skinned ladies with braids as part of the cast, that I asked my kids to pause it for me to take pictures.

They couldn’t understand my excitement until I explained. Growing up, the only images of cartoons that I saw on television or even storybooks, didn’t include people who looked like me. There were no cartoon characters with brown skin, let alone wearing braids.

Back then, when I wanted to draw a princess, I could only reproduce images I saw on the television and books—Drawings of ladies who looked nothing like me.

This got me thinking about how much things have improved since then. My daughters draw princesses of all races—Black, Brown, White, Asian—without much thought. This is really encouraging.

Maybe pointing out these amazing advancements instead of hammering on the negativity and division amongst us would promote further awareness and inclusivity. Maybe if we commended television program writers and producers, doll makers, publishers etc, for promoting diversity in a positive way, others would be encouraged to do so.

It may be naive of me to think major changes will take place rapidly. But I choose to keep hope alive and encourage the small steps made to showcase diversity in a positive light.

So, in my own little way, I want to thank the producers of Girls on a mission, for this amazing picture of lovely looking brown skinned ladies in this cartoon and for lifting my spirit up.

Below is a picture of a few dolls in my children’s doll house. I’m loving this…more, more, more!

 

Happy dolls. Different outside, yet good friends.

 

 

 

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Teaser from Melodies of Love

Hello everyone

To usher in the weekend, here’s a little hot teaser from Melodies Of Love. Enjoy.

The car had stopped moving and the sound of the gate opening signalled to them that they had arrived at Adaora’s place. Adaora gathered her purse, and the moment the jeep came to a stop, she jumped out and ran.

Ikenna cursed under his breath and went after her. She ran up the stairs as fast as she could, forgetting to shut the main door to the apartment building’s main entrance. He caught up with her before she got to the final step, and pulled her into his arms.

“Leave me alone,” Adaora said, struggling to loosen his grip on her. The flight up the stairs had caused her to lose her breath and she was panting uncontrollably. “I can’t deal with all of this. You. All those women… Yet you left me.”

Ikenna put her down, his chest heaving as he struggled to catch his own breath.

“I can’t deal with this,” she said again, quietly this time.

“Can’t deal with this,” Ikenna repeated, shaking his head. His voice was rough. “Let’s start with what you can actually deal with Ada, eh!” he growled. “Can you deal with the fact that I want you so badly that I have not been able to sleep? Can you deal with the fact that all I can think about is holding you, kissing you, ripping your clothes off and being with you in the most intimate way possible?”

He paused, his golden eyes darkening with intense emotion. “Can you deal with that? Ada, can you deal with that?”

“Then do it!” she cried. “All you have ever done is tell me you want to do this and that! It’s been twelve years! Do it! Stop talking and do it!”

Ikenna became still. His golden eyes darkened even more that now he looked dangerous. Adaora’s heartbeat drummed rapidly. The look in his eyes reminded her of the lion head sitting at the top of his studio building; alert and ready to pounce. Ikenna closed the distance between them and lifted her into his arms.

“Open the door now!” he commanded in a hoarse voice.

Adaora’s hands shook terribly. She failed to get the door open on the first try. Ikenna grabbed the keys from her shaking fingers, opened the door and carried her inside.

Melodies Of Love can be purchased as ebooks and paper copies via the following links:

Amazon UK  

Amazon US

OkadaBooks

Nook

Kobo

iBooks

Smashwords

Order paper copies in Nigeria from Roving Heights

 

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Blind date disasters: Any deal breakers?

Hello everyone.

I’m currently working on a romance fiction novella. I wrote a scene yesterday that made me chuckle. It reminded me of a horrible blind date I experienced in Enugu, where the nice looking thirty-three year old man I was set up with, told me in a very serious voice that he would never marry a woman his mother didn’t approve of.

Now, I get that people have little mental tick boxes of what they can or can not accept in a future partner, but it was a first date and I didn’t feel it was appropriate telling me that the very first time we met. To be honest, it was a deal breaker for me. I think it’s because I worry about guys whose mothers influence majority of their decisions.

Have you ever had a horrible blind date? Care to share?

 Below is an excerpt of the scene I wrote. I hope you like it. (It’s not yet edited, so, be gentle.)

Gobsmacked, Yemi stared at the man in front of her, unable to believe what she just heard. Where does mum find these men?

“Pardon?” she asked, lowering her fork to her plate, her appetite suddenly diminished.

“I said, if a woman can’t cook a good pot of soup with a thousand Naira, she is not prepared to marry.”

Yemi laughed. “You are joking, right?” she said, lifting her cutlery piece again and digging into her plate of jollof rice. He had to be kidding. Surely, no person could say something so absurd without intending to be humorous.

“I am dead serious. I always set this test for women before I date them…to see if they are wife material,” Dare replied, smiling. His grin exposed perfectly shaped white teeth on a ruggedly handsome face. A shame. For someone so good-looking, his thinking process was gravely flawed.

Although she tried, Yemi couldn’t seem to muster any physical attraction to him. And his chauvinistic remarks didn’t help with the repulsion she felt. This latest comment was the final nail in the coffin. No Bueno. She would rather remain single than be forced to continue to listen to this.

“Since you aren’t married yet, I take it nobody has passed your test,” Yemi said, her brain working fast on the best escape plan she could come up with in this situation without appearing rude.

“Not one woman. And It’s a shame,” Dare said, shaking his head in earnest disappointment. “Women of nowadays know nothing about keeping a home. That is why there is so much divorce in our society today.”

Yemi shook her head, flabbergasted. “Hmmm…so, you believe that not being able to cook a pot of soup with a thousand Naira is the reason for the increased divorce rate?”

“That’s not what I mean,” he objected.

“What exactly do you mean, then?”

“A stable marriage depends on simple things like that, a woman being able to manage money. My future wife has to know how to do that.”

“Of course, being able to manage money is a good quality,” Yemi agreed. “My problem with that comment is that in your opinion, the responsibility rests on the woman alone.”

“Yes, it does. A woman is the pillar of every home.”

Oh, lord. I’ll kill mum for this. Yemi couldn’t believe that her mother had tried to convince her this man would be a perfect fit for her. “He is one of the most sought after bachelors in my church,” she had said. Sought after for what? To aggravate women?

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Why romance authors should be taken seriously.

Hello everyone

I was excited to be interviewed by Syncity NG about the role of the romance genre in literature, particularly African literature.

One of the things I hated growing up, was the scarcity of contemporary romance with African main characters. When I was a teenager, I used to walk around the market and bookshops, desperately searching for romance books that had brown people who looked like me on the front covers. I was frequently disappointed because the only romance novels populating our bookstores were Mills and Boons with non-African main characters.

This made me yearn for more. When I came across the pacesetters series in the early 90s and authors like Helen Ovbiagele, who showcased romance in books like Evbu my Love and A Fresh Start, I went wild with excitement like a kid in a candy store. That day, I purchased almost all the books there with my pocket money.

Since then, I have come across other authors like Kiru Taye, Nana Prah, Empi Darko, Lara Daniels, Somi Ekhasomhi who write about love in Africa. I wanted to be a part of that.

Continue for my Interview with SynCity NG

Finalist at the Ufere Awards
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Intertribal relationships: What are the challenges?

More than 300 tribes in Nigeria.

Hello everyone

I am still in my writing cave battling with fictional characters in my head. Nonetheless, I have an interesting experience to share with you.

ENCOUNTER:

A few weeks ago, I met a lady called Bimbo Okoye. When she told me her name, I was instantly confused, and it must have shown on my face because she said, “I get that reaction from Nigerians all the time.”

Her remark caused a bout of shame to hit me, and I found myself mumbling through an awkward apology. Luckily for me, she was gracious. Not only did she laugh off my embarrassment, she also explained that her parents wanted her to know both sides of her culture and insisted that her name reflected that.

Most Nigerians would understand my initial reaction because the combination of her name is quite unusual—A Yoruba first name with an Igbo surname.

For non-Nigerians who may not understand this, Nigeria is an amalgamation of up to, if not more than 300 tribes. Some with similar language and culture, others with quite different ways of life. Names, accents, traditional attire, religion and other subtle qualities can suggest a person’s tribe.

MUSINGS:

Because of my experience with Bimbo, I decided to use the name Yemi Okeke for the new story I have begun working on. She is one of four children born to an Igbo father and a Yoruba mother.

This got me thinking about intertribal relationships and marriages. As a Nigerian from the Igbo tribe whose parents are both Igbos and who married an Igbo man, I have very little experience with the challenges that intertribal relationships can bring.

I know there are many stereotypes associated with various tribes, but I have always considered them all superficial and non-significant when individuals are involved.

Of course, there are constant jokes about the Igbos loving money too much, the Yoruba tribe throwing multiple elaborate parties even when broke, the Edo tribe having supernatural powers, e. t. c. But do the stereotypes really count in the daily living between couples or friends from different tribes?

Not for me. Although I enjoy those tribal jokes, I try not to let them influence my dealings with anyone on a personal level.

The wedding party, a movie I enjoyed tremendously, showcased an intertribal marriage. I loved the humour and the exploration of various cultures.

Do you have any stories to share about intertribal relationships? Have you observed any challenges from any? Do you think cultural differences can destroy a relationship?

I still believe in One Nigeria. However, I also like to celebrate our diversity.

The Wedding Party. A wonderful movie celebrating cultural diversity in Nigeria..

 

 

 

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