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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Paper copies now available for purchase in Nigeria

Hello everyone,

I have excellent news to share!

Paper copies of Melodies of Love, Thorns and Roses and Starting Over Again can now be purchased in Nigeria. Yay!!!

I am so excited about this, because readers have asked me repeatedly to make them available in Nigeria. There is something about holding a book that some book lovers find fascinating. There are people who say that e- books don’t produce the same effect.

For me, as long as the story is enthralling, I don’t mind whatever form it comes in. I am like a book junkie—anything to fix my fiction craving will do.

Well, for those who prefer paper copies and find e-books inadequate, I have got you covered.

Enjoy a blissful romantic escape with this trilogy of sensual love stories from the heart of West Africa.

Just click the links below, order the paper copies and they will be delivered at your doorstep wherever you live in Nigeria. It is as simple as that.

Melodies of LoveClick here to buy Melodies Of Love

Thorns and RosesClick here to buy Thorns and Roses

Starting Over AgainClick here to buy Starting Over Again

 

Paper copies now available for purchase in Nigeria
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My first romance novel written by a man…oops 2 men!

Hello everyone

I am excited to share that I have just ticked off an item from my literary bucket list, and that is to read a contemporary romance novel—not erotica– by an African MAN.

Yes, you read right! I have a literary bucket list— crazy bookworm that I am.

Okay, back to the book…

Title:  Love Eventually by Walter Ude and Chisom Ojukwu

Format /platforrm:  ebook/Okadabooks

https://beta.okadabooks.com/book/about/love_eventually/12452

Verdict:  Loved it!  4 ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️

I must confess I was a little sceptical at first when Literary Everything, an online book review blog for mostly African literature, recommended  this book, because I didn’t know the authors and had never come across their previous books. However, when I found out it was a romance novella written by guys, my interests piqued and I decided to try it.  I’m glad I did.

Storyline:  It’s about Cordelia, a headstrong, bike-riding, lawyer who meets and falls for Philip, a practical, uptight auditor. A typical boy meets girl love story with Nigerian characters. Although very simple, the sheer sweetness of the characters together made me sigh with pleasure.

Dialogue: This is where this book got me— Fantastic, realistic and witty conversations which drew me into each character. I loved that I could feel every lovey-dovey emotion and even the arguments as though I was there with the couple. And the humour is absolutely my kind of humour, which gives this book a plus.

Character development: Well rounded and engaging. I got to understand why Cordelia and Philip became the way they were. They also had endearing quirks that drew me to them.

Writing style: Okay. Not too many unnecessary details, which to me, is a plus.

Down side: Not much, because I’m being picky about this, but I really don’t like simple love stories. I prefer more meat in a storyline. But that’s just me.

Thank you Walter Ude and Chisom Ojukwu for helping me with my literary bucket list 😊

See the review that made me purchase the book in the first place!

http://literaryeverything.com/2018/08/27/love-eventually-by-walter-ude-and-chisom-ojukwu/

Love Eventually by Walter Ude and Chisom Ojukwu
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Break-up scenes are such a thrill to write.

Hello everyone.

I am still in my writing cave and almost done with the first draft of another romance novel set in Abuja, Nigeria.

Yesterday, I wrote a break-up scene.

It amazed me just how much I enjoyed writing it, that I began thinking about the other times I relished penning down scenes with couple fights. I get such a thrill from those emotional and verbal altercations between lovers that it makes me wonder if I’m not a bit of a drama queen myself.

I’ll be honest and confess this; I love reading about couple catfights and watching it on TV, too.

One of my favourite TV scenes ever, was the quarrel between Rachel and Ross in ‘Friends’— when she found out he cheated on her with the girl who worked at the copier shop. It was so well written and acted, that I felt every emotion with the couple and could identify with both Ross and Rachel.

That remark “we were on a break,” from Ross, has stuck with me many years after watching it.

As a lover of romance novels and movies, I always enjoy a good emotional break-up scene.
Here’s a sneak peek of one in my work in progress. Hope you like it.

 

Ogonna rose abruptly, lifting her bag off the bed.

“Okay, then…” She made a move to walk past him.

Philip rushed to the door and slammed it shut, bracing himself against it.

“Step away, Phil. I want to leave,” she said.

“No!” Philip barked, broadening his stance, so she had no room to push him away. “We need to talk.”

“No, Phil. I have nothing else to say except, you can have her…”

“What? I don’t want her.”

“Do you think I’m stupid?”

“No, I don’t…Listen, please. I don’t know what Stella told you, but it’s not what you think…”

Ogonna burst into a mirthless laugh, interrupting Philip…

 

Rachel and Ross from “Friends”
One of my best scenes ever!
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Random weekend musings…Insightful or hypocritical?

Hello everyone,

It’s Friday! I’m particularly pleased about that fact because I’ve had a hectic week and I’m looking forward to the weekend like crazy.

I would like to share a hilarious experience about my  7 year old daughter and I .

A few weeks ago, she walked downstairs, having stayed upstairs quietly for a long time, and the first thing I noticed was the large gash in her jeans trousers.

“What happened to your new jeans?” I asked, completely confused that it was already torn.

“Nothing,” she replied with a cheeky smile.

“What do you mean nothing? It’s torn.” I was still flabbergasted.

“Oh, you mean this?” She pointed to the large gap at the knee area of one leg of her trousers and her smile widened. “I cut it with scissors to make ripped jeans.”

I was utterly speechless. The off-hand way she made the statement was completely unbelievable .

A 7 Year old, cutting off her jeans for fashion? What? Shocking!

As I felt slow rage well up inside me and myself about to lash out, a memory resurfaced, which cooled my annoyance immediately.

I was only 13 years old when I cut off my new shirt to make a crop top so that I could look like Toni Braxton from a music video. I was such a huge fan of hers that I wanted to emulate her fashion sense. My mother had been so angry with me that she punished me severely. I’ll keep the details of that to myself. But let’s just say, I cried for hours.

This got me thinking about the way we respond to our children or the younger generation. It’s easy to forget our own past experiments, delinquencies and mistakes, and judge them or punish them for simply doing what we did—grow up.

I took a different approach from my mother and decided to find out why she did it.

What are your thoughts about this?

Have you found yourself judging or reprimanding a younger person for doing exactly what you did when you were that age?

Do you have another approach?

Does telling them off for experimenting prevent them from making mistakes or does it just highlight our own hypocrisy?

Home made ripped jeans by my 7 year old 😊
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