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?
In this week’s #LAP love notes, I’m turning up the heat with a snippet from Unexpected Love, one of the 5 heartwarming love stories from the anthology, Be My Valentine by Love Africa Press.
She suddenly reached between them and grabbed his crotch, squeezing his erection.
“Rush me, please,” she whimpered.
He groaned. “Don’t play with fire, sweetheart.”
“Who is playing, Vin?” Her eyes were fierce and challenging. “Now, are you in or out?”
His breathing became laboured, his nostrils flaring. “Open the fucking door before I attack you in the hallway in front of your neighbours.”
Yemi’s husky laughter sent a jolt of pleasure down his body. Holding her close from behind, he nibbled her ear as she pulled a bunch of keys from her sling bag and opened the door, his pulse pumping with excitement and anticipation.
I hope you enjoyed this sexy snippet. Please Leave a comment. And stop by Love Africa Press #Lovenotes to see more snippets.
In this week’s #LAPLovenotes, I’m sharing a snippet from Thorn’s and Roses.
“Thanks for forcing me to take today off,” she murmured, a soft smile curving her lips. “I enjoyed being with you today, the conversation, food, wine and the fact that I could forget all my worries.”
“I’m glad you enjoyed yourself. You should take more time off,” Chuma replied, smiling back at her.
She remained standing there, as if immobilised. With the wind scattering her hair over her face, her creamy skin glowing in the illumination provided by the setting sun and the flush on her face, she looked almost ethereal.
Chuma stood beside her and inhaled deeply.
“I want to take care of you,” he said, his voice deep and low.
After a very public and humiliating break-up, Yemi Okeke quits her job and accepts the position of Chief Surgeon at St. Andrews Hospital in Lagos. It’s an amazing opportunity to start afresh and get away from all the embarrassment … except, her gorgeous new employer, Vincent Mba, knows all about the incident she ran away from.
Vincent is intrigued by Yemi. She is smart, beautiful, and just the kind of woman he wants to get to know better. But they started off on the wrong foot, and recently heartbroken, she is wary about trusting him.
Society says she is past her prime, and that is just one obstacle thrown along their path. He must find a way to overcome all of that, but perhaps the most difficult task of all? He has to win Yemi’s trust and convince her to give their love a chance this Valentine season.
About Amaka Azie
Amaka Azie writes romance fiction set in tropical West Africa. She explores the beauty and intricacies of the continent in her sweet and sensual love stories.
Born and raised in Nigeria, West Africa, she developed a passion for reading at the age of twelve. Her interest in writing began in secondary school when she joined the press club, and her active imagination has captured the interests of many.
Apart from getting lost in creating fascinating fictional characters, Amaka enjoys reading, painting and travelling with her family.
She lives in the United Kingdom with her husband and daughters and where she also practices as a part-time family doctor.
Amaka was named one of the Most Influential Authors Under Forty by the Nigerian Writers Awards (NWA) for the years 2017 and 2018.
When Dr Aliya O’Henry meets Professor Jack Larrimore, there is an inextricable bond. Baby Star’s arrival brings them together in facing their inhibitions which have been an obstacle in moving forward and finding love. Aliya’s loss and Professor Larrimore’s abandonment, are issues they must resolve before they succumb to the inevitable attraction.
Bitter Sweet Symphony is a sweet romance filled with angst and compassion, the endearment of parenthood and it resonates on the lyrical innocence of love found within the four-part harmony of music. Dr Aliya and Professor Larrimore learn the lesson of never overlapping the past with the future, when the future is a beautiful gift.
About Fiona Khan
Fiona Khan has been lauded with many awards and accolades as an author, poet, environmentalist and in spreading Language, Literacy and Literature. Her short stories, poems and articles have been published in many literary magazines around the world. She has 20 titles to her name and has won many awards over the past 27 years for her leadership and penship. Fiona has written the first HIV/Aids book with emotional intelligence for children, a book that is fully illustrated.
Fiona is the founder of the Global Forum 4 Literacy specialising in free digital and mobile downloads of literature and literacy in many languages, globally. The Global Forum 4 Literacy has now become a brand to be reckoned with as the forum was presented at the UNESCO conference for 2018 as part of the Creative Cities Network and has now collaborated with StoryWeaver in translating books into different languages on a digital platform.
Sena Ewuram’s upcoming travels will take her far away from the man her father saved from his abusive uncle. The same one who sees her as surrogate sister category rather than a love interest. The opportunity to leave Ghana to further her education should help cure her of those unrequited feelings.
Jewellery designer, Yiko Ayoma, would never betray the man who helped him survive. Falling in love with his mentor’s daughter is something he can’t help but is doing his best to resist acting on. When tragedy strikes on Valentine’s Day, both are tested and must each decide which is more important, their friendship or taking the risk to be more.
About Nana Prah
Nana Prah first discovered romance in a book from her eight-grade summer reading list and has been obsessed with it ever since. Her fascination with love inspired her to write in her favourite genre where happily-ever-after is the rule.
She is a published author of contemporary, multicultural romances. Her books are sweet with a touch of spice. When she’s not writing she’s, over-indulging in chocolate, enjoying life with friends and family, and tormenting nursing students into being the best nurses the world has ever seen.
She’s a big-bodied beauty with weight issues. He’s a dreamy hunk with an unsavoury agenda.
For the first twelve years of her life, Amaka Dilibe lived in an orphanage, abandoned by her mother. Now she has finally achieved success with her home décor business.
Life should be great. Only, it isn’t.
Full-figured Amaka has been the butt of jokes for a long time. Dumped and humiliated by her ex-boyfriend because of her weight, she’s eager for a change.
She enrols in a weight-loss boot-camp owned by Tiago Omole, a coffee-skinned, bearded hottie with a penchant for wearing t-shirts with funny slogans.
Amaka is blown away the first time she sees Tiago. Dreamy. Yummy. Yes, please.
Facing the loss of the business he’s worked hard for, Tiago is desperate too. And when someone presents him with a way out: seduce Amaka and get her to give you money, he is sorely tempted.
Should he do it? After all, it’s just sex, isn’t it?
What could go wrong?
About Sable Rose
Hi, my name is Sable Rose and I revel in being different. I’m a romance writer and the author of erotic M/F contemporary and paranormal romances and action adventures.
My books feature outspoken, independent and intelligent women who know what they want (and what they don’t want), and who are not afraid to make the first move to get their man, if they have to. Their men are always swoon-worthy hunks, each a blend of naughty and nice that women find so irresistible.
My passion is writing and I write only what my characters tell me to write. I write morning, afternoon, night. Who needs sleep? Yes, I’m a writing addict.
In between writing-phew-I also read-a lot. And watches lots of TV and movies. I love dancing, listening to great music and I dream of one day being able to find time to learn both pole-dancing and belly dancing.
I adore traveling, and have visited over 15 countries and have formed friendships with people of varying cultures. I use these experiences to craft my stories.
I live in Lagos, Nigeria. No dogs yet. Definitely, no cats…
Ama Sarfoa believes in love, though she hasn’t been lucky at it. She returns to college for a master’s degree after being on the work force for five years. Three chance encounters in one day with a handsome stranger has her entertaining thoughts of him being Mr. Right.
Until he turns out to be one of her professors.
Adinkra Kusi-Andoh has been burned by love before, but his student, Ama, stirs desires in him he’d long given up on feeling again. However, she’s his student and their relationship skirts the fringes of professional ethics. Yet as Valentine’s Day approaches, he can’t help but as her out on a date.
When their budding relationship threatens his career, Adinkra has to choose between saving his career and the woman he loves. Will he give up on love or risk it all for the woman his heart desires?
About Empi Baryeh
Empi Baryeh is the award-winning author of Most Eligible Bachelor (Book of the year, 2017 Ufere Awards). She writes sweet and sensual African, multicultural and interracial romance, which happens to be her favourite genres of romance to read. Her interest in writing started around the age of thirteen after she stumbled upon a YA story her sister had started and abandoned. The story fascinated her so much that, when she discovered it was unfinished, she knew she had to complete it. Somehow the rest of the story began to take shape in her mind and she’s been writing ever since. She lives in Accra, Ghana, with her husband and their two lovely kids.
It’s an honour to be nominated alongside other awesome authors. This is a dream come true. I started my journey after another wonderful author, Tolulope Popoola, encouraged me to dust off my manuscripts and go for it. Since then, I haven’t looked back.
Thanks for buying my books, reading them, talking about them and reviewing them. I’m grateful for all your support.
Now, I need your votes to get this award. Please click the link below to vote. Thanks.
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.
I am still in my writing cave battling with fictional characters in my head. Nonetheless, I have an interesting experience to share with you.
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.
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.
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!