I’m absolutely delighted to share the news that The Senator’s Daughter is a finalist at the Next Generation Indie Book Awards for the romance category! Yay!
This is my first international accolade and I’m so pleased.
When a stranger contacted me directly on Goodreads with so much praise for the novel, and even suggesting that I put it up for an award, I was sceptical about it. Not because I didn’t believe in the quality of my story, but because I’ve read a lot of books with award tags on them that didn’t hit the mark for me.
I always think there’s something else these judges look for that I don’t quite understand.
I ruminated on this suggestion for a few weeks and decided to go for it in December. After entry, I simply forgot about it, not really hoping for much.
To my uttermost delight, I received a congratulatory email and a certificate pronouncing me as a 2019 finalist.
This is an amazing news for me, and a huge encouragement. It makes me feel positive about the decision I made in 2016 to start this journey of sharing my stories with the world.
It’s never too late!
Even though I didn’t win, being a self-published finalist with other international romance writers is a massive victory for me.
Thanks to Jess for encouraging me to just go for it, to my family and friends who have my back and most of all, to all my readers. You all rock!
God is good.
Click the link below for a comprehensive list of finalists and winners.
This week, I’m sharing a bit from the scene of the first encounter between Onome and Nnamdi from Starting Over Again.
They met at a job interview where Nnamdi was one of the interviewers for a job Onome desperately wanted.
This encounter didn’t go well at all, but I enjoyed writing the tension between them.
It was about four in the afternoon when the tall lady called Onome in. She was the last person to be interviewed. Typical. The only female in the cohort, yet the last person to be interviewed. These people knew nothing about the concept ‘ladies first’. Now she would be late picking up Fejiro from Madam Bisi’s place.
As she rose, clutching her folder tightly, she held her breath. She followed the lady into a spacious room. The tall lady announced Onome’s presence and exited the room.
Three men occupied executive seats across from where she now stood nervously. The fourth executive seat was empty. Onome briefly wondered who had occupied that seat and where he or she was. She was yet again the only woman in the room.
Great, she thought, dismayed. Do I really stand a chance?
With her heart pounding ferociously, she took the leather seat opposite the six peering eyes. This was it. Her chance to dazzle these people. She could do it. She had the qualifications. A second-class upper degree in banking and finance from the University of Benin, a master’s degree in finance from the University of Lagos. Yes, she could do it. After all, what a man can do, a woman can do also, if not better.
One man cleared his throat, indicating that the interview was about to begin.
“Good afternoon,” Onome said, trying not to sound nervous.
All three men nodded in response.
“Tell me about yourself,” the man sitting beside the empty seat, said. His name and position were written in front of him on a small wooden desk wedge. Mr. Rotimi Falade. General manager, finance division.
“My name is Onome Odafe. I graduated from—”
“I can see you have started without me,” a baritone voice interrupted her words, causing Onome to turn her head sharply towards the entrance of the room. Her heart almost stopped.
The most handsome man she had ever seen in her life had just walked into the room. He was tall with broad shoulders encased nicely into a perfectly tailored black suit and silver tie. He had light brown skin. Onome was not usually attracted to light-skinned guys, but his skin was evenly smooth, like butter. And his face—almost pretty. Thick curly hair, thick eyebrows, long lashes, dark brown eyes, a strong long nose and full pink lips. He was beautiful. Not handsome. Beautiful. Yet, there was no denying that he was all man. A firm strong jaw, a strong neck and large hands and feet. Yes, he was all man.
“So, Onome, continue telling us about yourself,” Mr. Pretty said, a small smile playing on his lips.
It was obvious that he knew he was stunning and was used to rendering women speechless by his beauty. He took the empty executive seat and Onome quickly glanced at the desk wedge in front of him. It read, Mr. Nnamdi Obi, CEO. She was face-to-face with the owner of this establishment. Now, she knew she did not stand a chance.
When applying for this job, her research into Zenith investment and mortgage firm had revealed a little bit about him. She had read from a few gossip blogs about his total lack of respect for women. His social media pages depicted him as a relentless womanizer and a brutal heartbreaker. In fact, she found his twitter post following his latest breakup with a prominent socialite very distasteful. He had tweeted, “another “hoe” bites the dust.”
Sighing inwardly, Onome turned her attention to the other interviewers.
“I’m a graduate from the University of Benin—” she resumed, her pulse rate quickening.
This man’s presence had increased her anxiety a thousand-fold. She never expected the CEO to be carrying out interviews himself. She couldn’t afford to let herself get overwhelmed by this man. She needed this job badly.
“We know who you are, we can read,” Mr. Pretty CEO interrupted again, quite rudely.
Onome immediately disliked him. Although he was attractive, he was rude and obnoxious.
“Tell us why you think you will suit this role?” he continued, rolling his pen between his fingers and reclining in his seat.
“I’m passionate about banking. Especially mortgage banking. I know how difficult it is to own a home or any property for that matter. Mortgage banking has transformed the way Nigerians view home ownership.” Onome paused, focusing her attention on the other interviewers’ expressions for a clue on how she was performing. Their bland expressions gave nothing away. “During my youth service, I got a few farmers at Irrua to mortgage farming land so they could own the lands they had been borrowing for farming—”
“Impressive, but we have seen all that. You dropped your CV with us, Onome,” Mr. Pretty CEO cut in, shaking his head. Onome turned towards him fighting the irritation creeping up her spine. “Tell us things about you that will convince us you can work with this firm, the best mortgage bank in Lagos and, soon, in Nigeria.”
Onome hesitated, then looking boldly into his eyes, she said, “I don’t take no for an answer. I fight tooth and nail to get what I want and I won’t accept bullying of any kind from anyone.”
I hope you enjoyed reading this. Please leave a comment.
Heartbroken after discovering her fiancé’s double life, Emem Akpan ends the relationship and moves into an apartment at the other end of Lagos, determined to get her life back on track with no more diversions.
However, a massive dose of distraction bumps into her in the form of Yomi, a sexy younger man who has set his sights on her and will stop at nothing to get her attention.
Yomi Oladipo has always harboured a crush on Sasha, the anchor of his favourite radio show …. who happens to be none other than Emem, his new downstairs neighbour. Enthralled, he wants to get to know her better, but just when she decides to give them a chance, a troubling secret about her shatters his heart.
After experiencing a savage betrayal by someone he once trusted, will Yomi be able to overcome Emem’s devastating revelation?
This week, I’m posting a snippet of the first time Chuma met Ifeoma from Thorns and Roses.
He’d been patronising her restaurant for months before actually meeting her. She’d been ogling him from behind the serving counter before they met.
This was one of my favourite first encounters between my main characters to write.
Feeling slightly irritated that a waiter hadn’t shown up yet, Chuma rose from his seat intending to find out why. However, before he could take a step forward, a slender light-skinned lady he’d never seen there before, rushed out from behind the partitioned serving counter.
“I’m sorry for keeping you waiting, sir,” she muttered. “We are short staffed today.” She appeared nervous and fidgety.
Chuma sat back down.
“What can I get you?” she asked, rubbing her hands on her apron. He couldn’t see her face clearly because of the way she had positioned her body while she talked to him. She appeared to be avoiding eye contact with him.
“Oha soup, please,” Chuma replied and then added, “some garri as well.”
She turned her face towards him abruptly as if his order had surprised her. A series of rapid emotions registered in her expressive eyes. First, surprise, then panic, and finally fear. She was afraid of him. He caught his breath, caught off guard by her reaction. He was sure that he had never met her before, so why was she frightened of him? Did she think he was upset about the delay in attending to him?
His need to assure her of his state of mind was immediate and unexplainable. He reached for her hand.
“I’m not upset—” he began, but she snatched her hand away swiftly.
The dim lighting in the room made it difficult for him to see her facial features distinctively, but she looked young. A colourful scarf covered her hair, and baggy clothes and a faded blue apron enveloped her slim frame.
“I’m sorry for the delay again, I’ll get your food now, sir,” she replied, scurrying away.
Chuma shook his head swiftly to clear his mind of that strange encounter, although he did wonder about that expression of fear that he had seen in her eyes. He searched the inner recesses of his memory trying to recollect if there was any possibility that he had met her before today, but he kept coming up empty. No, he had certainly not met her before.
Maybe she thought I was someone else, he concluded within himself.
But soon, wondering led to intrigue, and he waited with anticipation for her to return with his meal
I hope you enjoyed reading this. Please drop a comment.
Two enchanting stories about loss and love: In Ere’s Secret, Ere has a life-changing decision to make. In 223 Bonny Street, Ikenna wakes to the joys and challenges of being a woman.
I have a secret. In three days, I’ll be turning forty, and I’m in love for the first time. Decades ago, I sacrificed my life for the good of my family. But tragedy struck too close to home, reminding me of the brevity of life. Now, I have a choice to make: continue living in the shadows, or allow my true self to emerge.
223 BONNY STREET
After an accident, waking up in another person’s body seems like a dream until Ikenna realizes that he is faced with the stark reality of Nkechi’s life, the woman whose body he occupies. He experiences the pains and joys, the strengths and sacrifices of a woman.
The two of them make a connection beyond the physical, but matters of the heart are delicate. When secrets from the past are revealed, will their connection be strong enough to survive?
Firi has been an avid reader since she could read mostly because I caught the reading bug from my dad and mum. With reading Roots by Alex Harley and the Odessa file at 8, reading was her mode of escape.
Firi loves all fiction but enjoys being curled up under the duvet reading a hot sizzling romance novel when what being a mum, an adult, a wife, a sister and a daughter.
Writing this book has been a dream come true so I hope you’ll love it as much as I have love writing it. Please do not forget to leave a review on Amazon. You can follow me on for more updates on my incoming books.
Other interesting facts about Firi: she paints ceramic and glass mostly but everything can be her canvas so we would not be surprised seeing that she has painted a plane. You can find her paintings on her Instagram page.
Firi has always dreamt of becoming a pilot. Let’s see how this goes.
Love Africa Press presents Volume One of its Queer and Sexy Collections exploring queer sensuality.
In this debut edition of three Queer and Sexy interwoven stories written by Eniitan, we explore pleasure, desire, love, human nature and godhood. Follow the lives of Ufuoma, Larrie, Ariyike, Fausiat, Halimat and Uduak as they experience the magic that is the otherworldly Tara.
Ufuoma was the last off the plane. She had shunned her usual garb of comfortable jeans and tees and worn a cream skirt-suit that clung to her voluptuous figure like wet on water.
The cream showed off her dark skin, and to drive the point of her femininity home, she had the first three buttons of the white shirt open. Her bra pushed up the mounds of her breasts, leaving onlookers in no doubt of the gifts hidden underneath her clothes.
On her feet was a pair of heels, making her appear even taller.
She was determined to make the best of this long weekend away from her regular life.
This would be her first time at an all-female party, and although Loretta had assured her that it would be fun, she was still a little anxious, so she fell into the default of looking extraordinarily good to boost her spirits.
One of the best things, and the worst, was her ability to ‘pass’ and be taken for a heterosexual, cis-gendered woman, but it also made her invisible to other queer women. A blessing and a curse in a country like Nigeria. She remembered her university days with a shudder. Those years she’d spent listening to ‘godly advice’ from classmates and lecturers about how she should stop hanging out with her more masculine-presenting friends, the rumours they felt comfortable sharing with her about how these women were all a bunch of lesbians and that she should avoid being inducted into the ‘cult of lesbianism.’
To worsen her situation, bonding with women was not her strong suit, maybe because she was not primarily attracted to men, not sexually or emotionally. She’d never felt invested in them enough to mind their vagaries; she could take them or leave them, without a backward glance. But with women—she was always so scared, had always been, of the different ways loving women could drive you to a point of madness, of how invested she became in their lives, their well-being. But most importantly of the powerful way a woman could break you … but that hadn’t stopped her from wanting them, loving them.
Inspired by a post on Instagram by Romance Writers of West AFrica, I’ll be posting a series about first encounters between main characters in my novels.
In this scene from Melodies of Love, Ikenna is meeting up with Adaora again at his work place after 12 years of not seeing or hearing from her following a bitter breakup.
Although this isn’t the first encounter between them, it certainly felt like one.
Ikenna’s heart lurched in his chest. It had been twelve years since he’d last seen Adaora. She was still beautiful. His mind had not prepared him well enough for today even though he had planned this meeting for the past four months. He studied her as she stood across from him.
She was still petite, about five feet four inches, barely reaching his chest, but she was no longer thin. Her body had matured into lovely curves which suited her small frame. Her blue silk blouse with colourful embroidery at the top hugged her slender waist, and her black knee-length skirt fitted her round hips perfectly. She looked confident.
His eyes roamed to her feet which were perfectly tucked into a pair of blue four-inch heeled stilettos. It gave her some height, but it was still not enough to match his slightly-above-six-feet height. He had always towered above her. At one time, she had told him that it made her feel safe.
Ikenna stared at the face that had haunted him for the past twelve years. Her beautiful heart-shaped face, her dark luminous eyes which were large for her face, her small nose and full lips coated with pink lip gloss. Lips he had kissed countless times, twelve years ago, until they were swollen. Lips he had a sudden uncontrollable urge to kiss now.
Her hair was done in tiny braids which she had packed into a single bun. She had always liked braided hair. His Ada, the girl who had driven him to succeed because he never felt like he was good enough for her. The girl who made him feel insecure. The only girl who made him want to be better.
“Ikenna…” she whispered with a smile, jolting him out of his reverie. “I can see you are still never without your saxophone!”
The butt (ass) grab is a common scene in romance fiction novels.
Depending on how it’s written, it could be either sexy or sleazy.
In this week’s #LAPLovenotes i’m sharing a butt grabbing scene from The Senator’s Daughter
“I’m having such a lovely time, Nosa. Thank you,” Rita whispered, her eyes shining.
Unable to resist, Nosa lowered his head to her lips. He intended just a quick kiss, but when her tongue brushed over his lips, he needed more.
Capturing her mouth with his own, he drew her closer, roaming his hands over her delicate back, grabbing and squeezing her bottom through her dress. The taste of her was a drug, powerful and addictive—he wanted all of her and would always come back for more.
“Kissy-kissy people, get a room jor,” joked a group of teenage passersby.
Their loud laughter jerked Nosa to reality. He pulled back, cradling Rita in his arms. “We…” He cleared his throat. “We probably should go home now.”
Hope you enjoyed this snippet. What’s your verdict? Sexy or sleazy? Yay or nay? Please leave a comment.
I sent my manuscript out to beta readers last week and I’ve been jittery with nerves since then.
I’ll explain why. The current romance novel I’m working on dragged me off my pre-planned outline and far off the tangent for weeks. It took me a long time to go with the flow and accept my characters’ lead.
Eventually, I managed to complete the manuscript, but without confidence, because it didn’t follow my initial plan.
I recently received feedback from my first beta reader and I’m feeling energised again about the manuscript.
It wasn’t a “throw the entire story away” kind of feedback. And that’s a good start.
The plot is not bad at all. In fact, it was described as solid by the beta reader.
Based on that awesome and honest feedback, I only have to work on fixing a few plot holes, clarifying timeline issues, and getting rid of all my unnecessary adverbs. A mistake I often make.
All in all, I want my readers to know, I’m back on the grind, and I’m still at it.
Hopefully, you’ll get to share the journey of the characters in this story with me.
Till then, if you haven’t already read any of my stories, they are available on online platforms like kindle, nook, kobo, Okadabooks, Bambooks, iTunes, and as paperbacks from Amazon and RovingHeights, Nigeria.
Hello everyone. This week, I would like to share a deleted scene from The Governor’s Wife.
My editor and I debated a bit about the scene. We both loved it, but felt that it wasn’t necessary at the beginning of the story because it slowed the flow of romance between Ogonna and Philip.
Although it was sad to say goodbye, I eventually let go and allowed the information in this deleted scene to trickle down in chunks throughout the other chapters.
So, what do you think? It hasn’t been edited, so be gentle.
She had perfected this smile—an automatic stretching of her lips upwards to display dazzling white teeth and a half dimple. Everyone always complimented her smile.
“You should be the face of a toothpaste advert,” she had heard often, ever since she was little girl. She had recieved that praise repeatedly over the years, and believed it.
Smiling had become her way of coping with any ugliness life threw at her. As long as nobody else saw the pain inside, she could trudge on until things turned out fine.
Standing stiffly beside her husband, Ogonna tilted her lips into that impeccable grin as camera lights flashed around them, capturing the perfection.
“For he’s a jolly good fellow. For he’s a jolly good fellow. For he’s a jolly good fellow, which nobody can deny,” the gathering sang, cheering for her husband.
She smiled and clapped, joining the crowd as they congratulated the governor for refurbishing the Library at the only University in her hometown, Ebonyi State.
Grinning from ear to ear, Ogonna dutifully walked beside him, shaking hands, hugging people, making small talk with other wives of politicians, guests whom she knew attended not out of loyalty to the governor, but fear. For who dared cross him.
He whispered something unintelligible into her ear and she laughed in response, knowing that the cameramen covering the event were scrambling to capture every detail, even fighting amongst each other for space to get the right angle for the best shot.
She was great at this. After six years of practice, she had honed down the act of creating an illusion, the image of happiness for the public.
She would see the pictures in the papers tomorrow. They would probably make the front page of most local newspapers.
Magazines—online and printed, would comment on the beautiful sparkly green and gold off-shoulder traditional gown she wore that accentuated her slender but shapely figure, highlighting her smooth chestnut-brown skin.
Young girls would look longingly at those pictures. They would admire images of her standing beside the tall, dark and handsome governor and sigh with longing, wishing and praying that they would end up like her—Mrs Ogonna Uchendu. The first lady of Ebonyi state.
She lived in a large mansion, drove the latest cars, travelled all over the world—had everything. If only they could look beyond the photographs, see past her perfect smile. If only…
“Time to cut the cake,” the MC announced, crashing through her musings.
“A launching party is never complete without item 7.”
Loud cheering followed that comment. Ogonna laughed too, holding her husband’s hand as she accompanied him to the front of the Library hall and to the table where the five-layer cake stood.
“At the count of three, the ever-efficient governor will do the honours of cutting the cake and opening the celebration. For we are here to celebrate the excellence of our great leader.” The MC, a tall broad man with a protruding belly looked as if he kissed ass for a living, a man who waited on, and bowed to anyone offering money. Not loyal to anybody who wouldn’t benefit him. The kind of people her husband surrounded himself with.
A crowd of over 100 guests from all over Nigeria clapped as Governor Uchendu sliced through the cake with arrogant slowness, revelling in the attention he received. All eyes on him. What he lived for. To be worshiped by people. To be revered, even if not honestly.
Ogonna looked forward to the end of the ceremony eagerly. Lately, she’d been getting tired of all the pretence. She couldn’t wait for the entire nightmare of her life to be over. But she had to stick to this façade of the doting supportive wife, to persevere, so that she didn’t end up dead like the governor’s former wife. Ruled as death by natural causes from the Local coroner’s office—A heart attack. Although now, she suspected differently.
Since she couldn’t prove anything based on a hunch, Ogonna had kept her suspicions to herself. She had enough troubles on her own without stirring up more by digging into her husband’s past with no evidence.
Thanks for reading. Please leave your comments. Would this scene have added anything else to the story?