First time encounters— Love At First Sound

This week, I’ll be sharing the first encounter between Emem Akpan and Yomi Oladipo from the romance novel, Love At First Sound published by Love Africa Press

In this scene, Emem was in the process of moving into a block of flats where Yomi also lived.

He was only trying to be a friendly neighbour. Or was he flirting? Hmmmmm…

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A slow warmth swept over her. Maybe everything would turn out okay. Maybe I’ll finally move past this.

Just as the comforting thought entered her mind, a man emerged from the opened front door.

No. A god. Almost too stunning for words. Tall, with broad shoulders, smooth, golden skin, too light for her usual taste, but the complexion on him enhanced rather than deterred from his good looks. With a long nose and fine facial features, he looked biracial, posh, and out of place in a local area like this.

As he strutted towards them, she found herself instinctively holding her breath, everyone fading away from her line of vision as her gaze narrowed on him. Such a knockout. The long, jet-black dreadlocks with blond highlights hanging from his head down to his shoulders reminded her of Ziggy Marley.  

He was dressed in a pair of ripped blue jeans and a black tank top, which brought attention to strong, muscular arms showcasing large Chinese calligraphy tattoos on each side.

Embarrassed to be staring at his arms, she jumped her gaze back to his face, and heat burned her cheeks at the arrogant glint in his eyes. He obviously knew how stunning he was, and probably got this same reaction from women.

A quick side glance at Natalie’s rigid posture told of her own awestruck response to the man’s beauty.

“Welcome to our block of flats, beautiful ladies,” he said, standing right in front of them, legs akimbo. Confident. Rugged.

Both still speechless, they didn’t respond. And he didn’t seem to be bothered by their silence. He swept his gaze to the movers who had begun pushing the trolley towards the front entrance, and then back at them.

He cast a quick glance at Natalie before he focused his attention on her. His lips parted in a slow grin, exposing white teeth and gorgeous bilateral dimples.

“I’m Yomi Oladipo, and I live upstairs in Apartment Eight,” he said, an arrogant drawl in his voice as he offered her his hand.

Emem ignored it, but Natalie reached out and shook it vigorously, allowing her fingers to linger for moments.

“I’m Natalie,” she gushed, grinning from molar to molar.

He smiled at Natalie, his dimples making another stunning appearance.

“Hello, Natalie. I can’t believe how lucky I am to have a beautiful lady like you moving into this building,” he drawled, a slight British accent in his intonation.

Natalie blushed, and Emem felt like slapping her across the face. You have a man, girl, she thought bitingly, not wanting to analyse the annoyance dripping through her at seeing her friend flirting with this stranger.

“I’m not moving in.” Natalie sounded disappointed. “I’m helping my friend, Emem, move in.”

His gaze moved back to her, and Emem’s chest spasmed.

“Emem … a lovely name for a beauty,” he said, shoving both hands into his jeans pockets, as though accepting her refusal to shake.

Emem fought back the desire to roll her eyes at his cheesy lines. A fuck boy. A young fuck boy who didn’t think twice about making a pass at older women. Nope. Not interested. No matter how handsome, she was not in the mood for this.

“Can I help you move in, too, Emem?” he asked, his tone dripping with honey.

“No, thank you. We are fine,” she answered curtly.

“Oh, my … yes!” Natalie said at the same time in a shrill voice.

The man’s gaze jumped to Natalie and then settled back on her. His thick, perfectly carved eyebrow arched.

“One Yes and one No,” he drawled, seemingly unfazed by her rudeness. “Which is it, ladies?”

Emem shook her head. She really had no time for this young dreadlocked fuck boy. She had stuff to do. “Thanks, Mister, but I’m good.”

She threw an exasperated glance at her friend who still appeared spellbound by the stranger.

“Natalie, abeg, let’s go and bring the rest of my stuff from the car.” 

Sucking her teeth, Emem walked around the man, aware she was being rude but not caring. She needed to nip this right in the bud. He lived in the apartment just above hers, and she didn’t want him becoming too friendly.

The move to this place was for her to heal and regain her focus. Not to have to deal with an overtly cocky neighbour knocking on her door whenever he felt like it, thinking he could get lucky.

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I hope you enjoyed reading. Please leave a comment.

Purchase links:

➡️AMAZON US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SSLYX6P?tag=hubp0a34-20

➡️AMAZON UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07SSLYX6P?tag=hubp0a34-20

➡️AMAZON CA:  https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07SSLYX6P?tag=hubp0a34-20

➡️AMAZON AU:  https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07SSLYX6P?tag=hubp0a34-20

➡️AMAZON DE:  https://www.amazon.de/dp/B07SSLYX6P?tag=hubp0a34-20

➡️LOVE AFRICA PRESS: https://www.loveafricapress.com/product-page/love-at-first-sound

➡️OkadaBooks: https://okadabooks.com/book/about/love_at_first_sound/27759

➡️KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/love-at-first-sound

➡️B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-at-first-sound-amaka-azie/1131999149?ean=2940163246694

➡️SMASHWORDS: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/943238?ref=loveafricapress

➡️WATERSTONES: https://www.waterstones.com/book/love-at-first-sound/amaka-azie/9781916154605

➡️EXCLUSIVE BOOKS: https://www.exclusivebooks.co.za/product/9781916154605

➡️BOOK DEPOSITORY: https://www.bookdepository.com/Love-At-First-Sound-Amaka-Azie/9781916154605 

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First time encounters— Unexpected Love

This week, I’ll be sharing the first encounter between Vincent Mba and Yemi Okeke from Unexpected Love, one of the stories from the anthology, Be My Valentine published by @LoveAfricaPress.

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A sound at the door jarred her from her musings. She turned towards the entrance, and her heart lurched. 

A good-looking, athletic man dressed in an impeccable black blazer walked in. His skin was smooth toffee brown, his head shaved bald, and a well-groomed beard and moustache surrounded perfectly shaped full lips.

Embarrassed to be focusing on his mouth, she jerked her attention up to his eyes, and her breath trapped in her chest. Stunning intense dark eyes. No man had the right to have such thick and curly eye lashes without using a mascara, or wonderfully carved eyebrows that should be on a woman.

“Yemi Okeke? You are the orthopaedic surgeon, Yemi Okeke?”

The man’s deep baritone voice flooded the room. Such a sexy sound. Her throat went dry, screaming hoarsely from a sudden need for water. 

“Yes, I am.” She nodded, surprised to see the spark of recognition reflected in the man’s eyes. She hadn’t met him before. Had she? Although there was something vaguely familiar about him, she couldn’t quite place it.  “I have a meeting with the board of directors … or Mr. Mba.”

“I am Mr. Mba,” he said with a smile. “Vincent Mba.”

“Oh, hello, sir.”

Butterflies skittered all over her tummy, making her even more nervous now that she realised he was indeed the man she was here to meet. What a stunning male specimen. And young, too. Probably less than thirty. He was certainly nothing like what she’d expected a hospital manager to look like.

“Vincent. I hate people calling me ‘sir’.”

He lowered his eyes to her left hand briefly and then held her gaze.

“Hmm … Seems like the fool still didn’t man up and wife you?” he said, broadening his grin.

“What?” Her forehead furrowed in confusion, unsure she had heard properly.

“Oh … I was there in the restaurant … you know, when you proposed to your boyfriend of six years.”

Blood drained from her brain, making her feel lightheaded. She quickly pulled out a seat and slumped on it.

So much for having a fresh start in Lagos.

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I hope you enjoyed reading. Please leave a comment.

Purchase Links:

 Be My Valentine 

Love Africa Press:

https://www.loveafricapress.com/product-page/be-my-valentine-volume-one

Okadabooks: https://okadabooks.com/book/about/be_my_valentine_a_love_africa_press_collection/25725

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/921736

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07NDHCVP2

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NDHCVP2

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07NDHCVP2

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07NDHCVP2

Amazon FR: https://www.amazon.fr/dp/B07NDHCVP2

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First time encounters- The Governor’s Wife

This week I’ll be sharing the scene from The Governor’s Wife where Philip sees Ogonna again for the first time in seven years— seven years after she abandoned him. 

Although not their first time meeting, it is a dramatic encounter after years of not seeing each other.

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A few seconds later, Philip glanced up at the sound of his office door opening. At first, he thought he was seeing things—hallucinating—and his heart dive-bombed in his chest. It simply couldn’t be. Philip blinked, and opened his eyes again. It was…it really was Ogonna. Walking into his office like a hurricane about to upend his life. Again.

Time stood still as he took her in, almost greedily. Stunning. As always. Tall and slender with smooth ebony skin. With her heart-shaped face and deep brown hue, he’d often told her she looked like the Nollywood actress Genevieve Nnaji. Her hair was shorter now, styled in a fashionable bob, bringing attention to her fine facial features—nicely carved eyebrows over large charcoal eyes, a cute nose, and that mouth. Oh God—full and pouty lips, coated with a startling bright crimson tint that contrasted sharply with her skin tone. 

Philip’s heart continued to fibrillate violently in his ribcage, his body immobilized by the shock of seeing her again. Unexpectedly. Unprepared. 

For self-preservation, he had avoided any news about Ogonna. He hadn’t wanted to hear about her happily living a blissful life with the governor who could buy her the world. He prohibited close pals from even mentioning her, had cut off most of his friends from university precisely to avoid running into anyone offering information about her. 

When he had inadvertently seen a photo of her standing beside her husband on the front page of a newspaper last year, smile bright as the sun and looking like she’d won the lottery, he’d experienced weeks of intermittent heart palpitation episodes that had made him physically ill. Panic attacks, the doctor had diagnosed. 

He’d managed to get over that period after months of isolating himself. Now, within a few seconds of seeing her again, his pulse jerked uncontrollably, his breathing became laboured, frighteningly similar to how he’d felt then.

“What are you doing here?” he sputtered, jumping to his feet.  His annoyance wasn’t just with her, but with himself…for his weakness, for allowing her mere presence to destabilise him. “I was expecting Funmi Adelaja.” 

“Hello, Philip,” Ogonna answered. Her gaze slowly swept over him, widening in guileless admiration.

An intense surge of anger rose up inside him. Ogonna had no right to look at him this way, no right to walk into his life again like a beautiful apparition and mess with the armour he’d carefully constructed around his emotions after her betrayal.

“I haven’t scheduled a meeting with you. If you need to see me, book an appointment with my secretary. This slot is allocated to Funmi Adelaja.” 

Her breath hitched sharply. She appeared startled by his gruff tone. He was determined to ignore it. 

“I am a busy man with no time for drop-ins.”

“I have an appointment, Phil, I’m not a drop-in.” 

He must have been mistaken thinking his demeanour had startled her. She sounded calm, together, and completely unfazed by his dismissal. Which made him even angrier. 

Phil? Phil? Is she kidding? How dare she call him Phil as if they were old friends catching up over lunch.

“Philip. My name is Philip to you,” he snapped. “Actually, scratch that. You may call me Mr. Adamu.” 

She heaved a deep sigh before she spoke again. “Mr. Adamu, I have an appointment with you. I booked it under the name Funmi Adelaja…because I didn’t think you would want to see me—”

“You’re right as hell about that,” he cut in. Pointing to the door, he added in a biting tone, “This meeting is over. Please leave now, before I call for security.”

She didn’t budge.

“Listen, Phil…Mr. Adamu. I know we have our differences, but I’m here strictly on business, to discuss renting the property I’m interested in.”

“Differences? Is that what you call cheating on me and running off to marry the next money pot that crossed your path? Does your husband know you are here? Or do you cheat on him, too?  I thought you live in Ebonyi state. What are you doing in Abuja?”

A pained expression crossed her face. For a moment, Philip felt himself weaken. Even after all these years, despite his rage, her pain got to him. Clenching his jaw tightly, he pushed the emotion aside. Anger was his weapon. He needed his fury, so he didn’t crumble in front of her.  

“My husband doesn’t know where I am. Or maybe he does. It matters little. We are getting a divorce.” Her soft voice brought his mind back. 

Silence. The air in the room seemed to have been sucked away, leaving Philip feeling a little dizzy. Divorce? When? Why? He shook his head rapidly to clear it. He shouldn’t be even remotely interested. Nor should the news be flooding his senses with profound joy. Ogonna’s marital status was no longer a concern to him.

“Now, isn’t that something. Found a richer one, have you?” His lips tilted into a sardonic smile. “Frankly, I don’t care about you or your life, Ogonna. So, like I said before…leave.”

Her jaw dropped open, a shocked gasp escaping her parted lips. “Won’t you even hear what I have to say? I need this property.” 

“What part of I don’t care didn’t you get? Nothing you have to say interests me in the least. I won’t rent to you. Ever. So, you’d best spend this time looking elsewhere.”

“You think I didn’t search for an alternative, Phil…Mr Adamu? I really need this, please,” she said in a broken voice, the last sentence a shrill, frantic plea. 

Philip suddenly burst into humourless laughter. “Good God, how ironic. I remember asking you not to marry the governor years ago. Pleading with you…just like this. Desperate. But you did it anyway. Now, here you are, begging—”

“I’m not begging for anything,” Ogonna interrupted him tersely, flashing dark eyes at him. She squared her shoulders, lifting her chin with the spirited confidence he’d always known her to have. “I’m interested in renting…and I will be paying.”

“Well, I don’t need or want your money.” He pointed to the door again. “Leave now or I truly will call security.”

“You don’t even know why I need the property.”

“Don’t know. Don’t care. Out!” 

She stiffened, staring at him in startled disbelief. He noticed tears fill her eyes and his stomach tumbled. Not once in their thirteen years together had he ever made her cry. A part of him wanted to apologise, take her in his arms and comfort her. But another part needed to hurt her, make her feel the pain she’d put him through when she’d deserted him. No true explanation, no remorse, leaving him to draw his own conclusions about their breakup—that he wasn’t good enough, rich enough. What other conclusion would one draw when she’d left him to marry a wealthy governor? The old wounds resurfaced, igniting his resentment. 

“Leave my office, Ogonna,” he said in a low hoarse whisper. 

Their eyes locked for a few moments, hers wet and shiny. A muscle in her jaw worked, as though with the effort of fighting tears. She’d lost—the tears came anyway.

Philip gripped the edge of his desk so tightly that he heard a crackling sound from his knuckles as he fought back the instinct to embrace her. How could he be so angry with her and still ache to take her in his arms?  Why did she continue to have this much power over him?

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Hope you enjoyed reading. Please drop a comment.

purchase links 

The Governor’s Wife 

OkadaBooks: https://okadabooks.com/book/about/the_governors_wife/24176

Amazon UK:  https://amzn.to/2R9E3Ol

Amazon USA: http://bit.ly/TheGovernorsWifeAmazonUS

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/TheGovernorsWifeSmashwords

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-governor-s-wife-10

ITUNES: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/the-governors-wife/id1444922013?mt=11

Barnes and Noble : https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-governors-wife-amaka-azie/1129949624?type=eBook

Bambooks:  https://bambooks.io/Book/BookDetail/The-Governor’s-Wife/11303

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LOVE AT FIRST SOUND BY AMAKA AZIE

Heartbroken Emem moves away to start again. Can sexy younger Yomi rebuild her heart?

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?

AVAILABLE ON:

AMAZON US | AMAZON UK | AMAZON CA | AMAZON AU | AMAZON DE | LOVE AFRICA PRESS | KOBO | B&N | SMASHWORDS | WATERSTONES | EXCLUSIVE BOOKS | BOOK DEPOSITORY

EXCERPT

“He seems like a friendly sort of neighbour,” Natalie mumbled, snagging back her attention. “And even if he is a fuck boy, so what? You may not even be his type. Did he toast you? He could have been interested in me. Or neither of us.”

Emem paused. That was true. The man hadn’t come onto her. He’d actually addressed them both. Except … she glanced at him again, and their eyes met and held. Her heart jumped, and blood rushed to her head. The intensity reflected in his dark eyes made her feel dizzy.

Nope, he hadn’t come onto her. But there was something in his eyes when he’d looked at her earlier that had made her feel exposed. As soon as he’d stepped out of the house, he’d narrowed his attention on her as if he knew her, recognised her. Strange, but she’d felt like he knew her deepest secrets.

Flustered, she looked away. But not before she noticed the slow grin that spread across his remarkably handsome face, and the spark of excitement that registered in his eyes. She had awakened something in him. A connection—maybe. Lust—most likely. Whatever it was, it unnerved her. 

ADD TO GOODREADS

PLAYLIST

Music Amaka listened to while writing Love At First Sound

1.    Brian Adams: Inside Out.

·      This track helped me get over a writers-block midway during the manuscript. 

2.    P-Square: Do Me.

·      Helped me navigate through the first Love scene. 

3.    Toni Braxton: You’re Making Me High.

·      This song was the inspiration for the second love scene.

4.    Brandy: Almost Doesn’t Count.

·      I used the lyrics of this ballad to mirror Emem’s emotional turmoil following her devastating heartbreak.

5.    Nearer My God to Thee: 

·      The instrumental jazz rendition of this hymn always gives me inspiration.

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.

CONNECT WITH AMAKA AZIE

AUTHOR SITE | FACEBOOKTWITTER | GOODREADS

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First time encounters— Thorns and Roses

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. 

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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

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I hope you enjoyed reading this. Please drop a comment.

Purchase links:

Thorns and Roses

Nook:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/thorns-and-roses-amaka-azie/1125829381?ean=2940154019863

Kobo:

https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/thorns-and-roses-1

Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/ThornsandRoses-AmazonUK

Amazon US: http://bit.ly/ThornsandRoses-AmazonUS

Okadabooks: https://okadabooks.com/book/about/thorns_and_roses/13261

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/ThornsandRoses-Smashwords

iBooks: http://bit.ly/ThornsAndRosesApple

Bambooks: https://bambooks.io/Book/BookDetail/Thorns-And-Roses/905

RovingHeights (Paperback): http://rhbooks.com.ng/product/thorns-and-roses/S















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First beta reader feedback received!

Hi everyone.

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.

Thanks for all your support.


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