May Wrap-Up

May 2020 is honestly, a month I will never ever forget in my lifetime. This month that just passed is the craziest month so far in 2020 and I just feel like 2020 isn’t done bringing us surprises.

Different triggers upon different triggers for me. At a point, I just wanted to throw my phone away and go live in the middle of nowhere. I even imagined that I will probably come out of that house only when there is a book club meeting and then I go back to my house in the middle of nowhere, where I interact with no human and I just work remotely all day but really, this past month has been exhausting. The world is exhausting, everywhere is so exhausting, people are exhausting.

Sorry, another bad news. I fell into a reading slump as you guys probably know. I couldn’t concentrate on any book. It was horrible. I had to focus on social media and social media was exhausting too. I got out of my slump few days ago and if you have been following this blog, you will see that I shared 10 things to do when in a reading slump. The last suggestion particularly helped me.

Moving on to the books I read. I read 7 books in May. It was supposed to be 8 but I haven’t finished the 8th and I had dumped it for some days now.

The books I read are:

• Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert. I love this book. I shared my unbiased thoughts on it on my bookstagram. Check it out.


• Tamed by Emma Chase. A good read. Funny hero, sassy heroine. A rom-com.

• Keep Forever by Alexa Kingaard. I shared my review on it this month. Click here to read.


• Born A Crime by Trevor Noah. This is such an awesome book. Touched so many sensitive and thought-provoking topics like race, colonialism, apartheid in South Africa, women battery, e.t.c. I shared quotes from this book on my bookstagram. I read it here. I really recommend it.


• Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas. Light read. 3 stars.


• Rebel Heir by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward. Light read. I was surprised when at the end I realised it was a book one of a series. It ended in a cliffhanger. That’s how I was sucked into a series, y’all.


• Smart Money Woman by Arese Ugwu. This book is what you need for financial intelligence, sis. It doesn’t exempt men too. Don’t be carried away with the book title, you can gain value from it. I reread it again this month after reading it few years ago and it is still valid.

My favourites for May are: Born A Crime by Trevor Noah, Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert and Smart Money Woman by Arese Ugwu.

Highlights of the month

• StoryStoryOh clocked a year. I shared lessons I learnt since the past year. I hosted a bookish giveaway that ended yesterday to commemorate it.

• I interviewed Lara Kareem for Author’sDelight. It was such an insightful conversation. Read the discussion here.

• I had a book talk with Ernestine of Time With Ernie. Read it here.

May’s Literary Gist

Lara Kareem published her book, Not Just Another Interlude this month. She spoke about it in the discussion we had and now it is available on Okadabooks. Go read it.

So that’s it for my May wrap-up. Tell me, how are you faring?

10 things to do when in a reading slump

Hiya people!! I just got out of a terrible reading slump and it really really sucked. I tried so many things so I could get my reading groove back. So, I thought, some persons might also need this help and then I decided to share 10 things to do when in a reading slump.

Note: Reading slump is basically the inability to read anything you want to and you if try to force yourself, you might end up hating the book you normally would have enjoyed reading. It is when a reader wants to be able to read and enjoy a book but just can’t.

First thing to do is to acknowledge the fact that you are in a reading slump. It sucks, I know but as people will say, the first step to overcoming a problem is to identify and acknowledge that you have the problem.


Second, Contrary to what people say when one is in a reading slump, if possible, do not read anything. Take a break. Reading slumps, sometimes, are indication that your brain is taking an overload of information and you need to chill and process those information.


Read what you like! You are probably in a reading slump because you are reading what you don’t like to read. Please do not do this. Read what you like to read. Read what pleases you. There is a difference between branching out your reading culture and forcing yourself to read what you don’t like. Perhaps, you are reading what you don’t like to please someone, girl, I’m telling you, reading what you want to, read what you like! I can’t stress this enough.


Switch to a genre you don’t read normally. While in the vein of reading what you like, you might be in a slump because you are tired of that which you like. If this is the case, then you can switch up. Please don’t switch because you want to please someone or seem smart to a certain group of people or even in a community you belong to. Switch because you are tired of what you are reading and are genuinely looking for a change.


Declutter your bookshelf or reading nook. This can also help in putting you out of your slump. While decluttering or rearranging your bookshelf, you can find a book that will interest you and spark your reading fire again.

P.C: Pinterest


Read something light. This is also important. You can fall into a reading slump because you have been reading books with pretty heavy themes. If this is the case, you can chill out by reading a cheesy rom-com or even a graphic/comic book.


Re-read one of your favorite books. This can also help get you out of that reading slump. Check your bookshelf, look for a favourite and read. This would either give you a new perspective of the book or also make you thirst for more of that kind of book.


Read short books. Perhaps you are in a slump because you have been reading big books lately, bro, chill out! Find a short story or a collection of short stories to read and enjoy yourself.


Discuss books with a fellow bookie. There is so much joy in discussing books with a fellow bookie. I mean, the vibe is not from this world at all, especially if you both like the same books. Doing this can rekindle your reading spirit and so, I encourage it. I’m also here if you need someone to discuss books with. ❤️


Listen to music or an audiobook. You can relax your mind by listening to music. It is even better if the songs you are listening to are ones recommended by an author or the ones an author listened to when writing their book. You can also listen to an audiobook and relax in your reading nook too or while doing this, you can do other productive things. Listening to an audiobook of a physical book I was reading helped me with my slump.

P.C: Pinterest

So there you have it, dearies. If you are in a reading slump, I implore you to try any of this to get out of your slump. If you are in a reading slump, share with me how you have been coping.

Bookie Talkie with Ernestine, @tha.tbookishgirl on IG

Hiya people!!! Today, I have a guest with me, Ernestine Okofar!!! She is a fellow bookstagrammer and book blogger. Her handle is @tha.tbookishgirl and her blog is Time With Ernie.

We decided to share our different rants/reviews on a book we both read at different times. I will be sharing Ernestine’s view first.

We will be sharing our views on The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren. Enjoyyy!

Picture credit belongs to me.

Book: Unhoneeymooners by Christina Lauren
Genre:Romance / Contemporary fiction
Pages: 400 pages
Publication: 14th May, 2019 by Gallery books
Goodreads rating: 3.99
Format: Ebook

Ernestine 😍❤️

Ernestine’s review on bookstagram

The Unhoneymooners is a Romantic Comedy that takes a twist in the end but all the same, ends in a cliche manner. To me, the characters having to be so close to each other or related is even what makes it weirder. I’m not really a fan of contemporary romance but even then, it doesn’t sit right. Only the travel in the book and concept of the unplanned honeymoon kept me going.

The highlight for me in the book is how Olive tries to navigate her life and make choices on her own. Impressive!


If you like romcoms and you’re a sucker for contemporary romance and love traveling then this book is for you. I’d totally recommend it. A good read either way. I expected so much from this book but it took me by surprise.

(Ernestine’s rant: May 24, 2020)

I rated this book 3 stars ⭐️
To be honest , the reason why I even added one extra star was just because of the vacation part and the fact that it was so cute and very enjoyable to read.

“I can appreciate my body in a bikini and still want to set fire to the patriarchy.” – Unhoneeymooners by Christina Lauren


This is one of the best quotes in this book and I do not stand corrected. Olive’s character development is all that I can accept and say really shaped this book.

I don’t even know, till now, what was it about this book that irked me asides from the fact that it was so cliche and honestly so bland. So many pages filled with unnecessary info. I was so disappointed because I had heard so much about the book and seen ratings before starting it! Yet, it was something I would DNF if not for Olive.

Ethan, omg! He was so annoying. I understand that all these fine boys have skr skr in their brains oh but abeg, his own was so rushed and annoying. I’m also not denying his sweetness 🥺✨ and disciplined straight forwardness which I adored.

The twists in the book ended up not even being fascinating. I mean ! What was that about the Boss about to hire her and even from the beginning ill luck as a twin. I still don’t get the hype sha oh😂.


Dane is an asshole to me. His character really irritated me through out and her twin sister too. At a point, I wanted them to just be together forever because they fit . So arrogant, only that Dane’s own is juju because his brain wasn’t functioning well and back to Ethan Thomas that didn’t believe the love of his life, Olive, instead believed Dane who was using all their heads to play ten ten. Let me even drop this here, this was what made me rate it too , because there was a lot of emotion and I loved that part a lot.


The vacation was so soothing to read probably because I’m a traveling person (I mean vacations ). I loved it . Then the romance in the book was actually sweet . It’s a lovely read and I know you will enjoy it.

Fav Excerpts

The pain is part of the experience,”

Nothing is harder in a relationship than not respecting the person you’re with.”

“I mean, you’re not horrible to look at.”
“Neither are you.”

But some things are infinitely better when they happen behind closed doors.”
Even Ore can agree that, this is the best excerpt from this book. The scene and everything was just right😻.

I will still end with the fact that I don’t get the hype but we should all read this especially on Vacations. I like the fact that there’s different opinions to this book and will encourage you to read to see from your own point of view.

—Ernestine

MY POINT OF VIEW

“Nothing is harder in a relationship than not respecting the person you are with.” — The Unhoneymooners, Christina Lauren.

My review (written on the 24th of March, 2020. First posted on my bookstagram page)


Wow. This book is nothing short of amazing. I started it last night and I finished it midnight. I. Was. Sucked. In. This social distancing thing has been of great advantage to me as I have read three books in 24 hours+. I read Odriel’s Heirs by Hayley Reese Chow. It is YA fantasy and I loved it. I read My Favourite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren and then The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren.


I think Christina Lauren writes some of the best enemies-to-lovers and friends-to-lovers romances. The Unhoneymooners is light while subtly dealing with the issue of self-esteem and spousal abuse (emotional abuse and infidelity in this case). I love the sense of family sticking together I got in this book though in Ethan’s case (the hero🙄) he kinda fell my hand at a point. I mean what his brother was doing was glaring but in a false sense of loyalty, he chose to believe his brother over his girl and I like what Olive (the protagonist and my God, I think I fell in love with this name) said to him. She said: “You think I’m lying because our relationship is new?” This is why trust is very important in EVERY kind of relationship and Ethan actually over-trusted (if that’s a word. I don’t think it’s a word) his dick of a brother.

I love the fact that I could feel the plot development and I could see the character growth of Olive. It was amazing! And this book is funny too. I laughed multiple times while I was reading in the midnight, not caring who might have heard me laugh😎😎

Have I talked about how the plot angst made me happy?!! 😂 It was slow and deliberate and I liked the way it finally blew up. Kudos to the writing besties, Christina Lauren.

I totally recommend if you want something light amidst all the heavy reading and you just want a good laugh.

My Rant (written May 24, 2020)

Smh, Olive.

The way Olive was going on about how privileged her sister is was just crazy. This was in the beginning of the book where I remember rolling my eyes a lot. Everytime free, free, free that, free this. She reminded me of those who complain about those who go for their gold instead of them doing the same!

But all the same, I loved this book. It’s the kind of book that you need to just cuddle up with on a rainy Saturday with hot, milky black tea on your nightstand. It’s cute and I love the angst. At least, for once, in romance novel, na the Bobo fuck up (which was bigggg time.)

If you have read The Unhoneymooners, please share what you think with us and and if you haven’t, please do asap so we can know your thoughts on it.

Ciao.

One year and counting: Lessons I have learnt and a bookish giveaway

Readers of StoryStoryOh!!! It is one year!!!

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How time flies!

I’m gonna be cliche and tell the story of how I was nervous when I first wanted to start this blog and [my bookstagram]. I was anxious if I was going to get views and how this was going to be received because it is not a regular blog where people come to share their everyday lifestyle! It is basically, mostly only books! I still get nervous! But over the past year, I have found my audience, people with actual interest in what I love to write about and it is so beautiful.

As at now, I have written over fifty blog posts and gotten more than three thousand views, I must be doing something right, lol!

I am just glad that I took this step and through this, coupled with my bookstagram, I have met so many amazing people! So many!

And guys, guess what? I passed 1k followers on bookstagram too. It has been a lovely learning curve this past year, honestly. I have had conversations, learnt to be more open minded and also go for my gold. If someone had told me about two years ago that I would have entered some people’s dms, never will I believe 😂 because I am a kind of a person who doesn’t like to leave her comfort zone, not gonna lie.

 

This is my precious baby haha. The blog logo I started with May 22, 2019.
and then I moved to this
this is the one I’m currently using as you have probably noticed.

THESE HAVE BEEN MY BLOG LOGOS SINCE I STARTED.

Lessons I have learnt on this literary blogging journey

• Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for help. You can’t do anything alone.

• Curiosity doesn’t kill the cat every time, haha.

• Just do it. Cliche but honest.

• Literary blogging is not easy and not everyone will be interested.

• Be kind to others.

• Don’t follow the crowd.

• Read what you like.

• By all means, shame book bullies. I’m not even joking. There is something like this and when you meet a book bully, girlllll, shame that person.

• Enjoy the process! This one is quite important to me.

• Stay true.

• Shamelessly self promote yourself and what you do.

these are some of the highlights of my lessons on this journey so far

To commemorate this milestone as well as reaching 1k amazing followers on bookstagram (Instagram), I will be hosting a juicy bookish giveaway in a few days time so you might wanna stay tuned for that one.

Let’s connect on Instagram!

To everyone who has shown love over the past year by visiting this blog, sharing my blog post links, subscribing/following my blog, recommending my blog, commenting on my posts and just being there, I do not take you for granted. Thank you. You are the real MVPs!

Cheers🥂

P.S. I made a bingo. Click on the image to download.

Book Review: Bad Boys Don’t Make Good Boyfriends

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Book: Boys Don’t Make Good Boyfriends (Life Lessons #2)
Author: Melanie A. Smith
Publication date: May 19th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Synopsis:

From best-selling author Melanie A. Smith comes the second book in a new series of steamy contemporary medical romance standalone novels about life lessons that break all the rules.

Even when you know better, sometimes it’s simply too tempting…

Hospital work isn’t for the faint of heart. Becca Dillon knows that firsthand, having worked as a medical assistant in the cardiac unit at Rutherford Hospital for longer than she cares to think about. What she does care to think about is having fun, gossip, and … guys. Her favorite of the three. And why stick to one, when you can sample them all?

That’s exactly her plan when a workplace crush on a mysterious bad-boy orderly unexpectedly takes a very steamy turn. But Vincent DeMarco turns out to be nothing like she expected, and before she knows it, she’s falling hard and fast. She wants him in ways she’s never wanted anyone before, but there’s something he’s keeping from her. Something that’s holding him back. And Becca is going to find out what.

Even though she knows that bad boys don’t make good boyfriends, he seems like he might be so much more. Will her quest unlock the truth behind who he really is? Or will it end their relationship for good? Either way, ready or not, Becca’s world is about to change.

 

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My Review
“It is always ‘until,’ my dear. Until you value yourself. Until you find someone who values you. Until you stop letting your past dictate your future.”
Bad Boys Don’t Make Good Boyfriends is that light book you just wanna cuddle up with in your reading book when it is sunset.
It is the story of Becca Dillion from Never Date a Doctor by Melanie Smith and Vincent DeMarco. Becca is someone who on the surface is a ‘feel good’ girl but deep down, she wants more. In this book, we see Becca more than what was portrayed in Never Date a Doctor. She is more complex and has unresolved issues with her immediate family which her trust issues stems from.
Becca’s story is interesting but at a point, I got infuriated by the back and forth between her and Vincent.
However, I learnt lessons from the book. 
Some of these lessons are quotes from the book which I highlighted.
“You gotta go after what you want sometimes, even if it’s scary. Even if you need help to do it.” 
“There is no one model for a perfect relationship. It’s just loving someone enough to get up everyday and decide to be with that person. Despite the weirdness. Or maybe because of it, I don’t know. That’s it.” 
“I knew from the start he had “bad boy” written all over him. But that’s just a label. And you fall for a person, not a type.” 
Purchase:
Giveaway
Tour-wide giveaway (US only)
  •  A signed paperback and matched bookmark, a “Book Boyfriends do it better” tote, a “F*** Off I’m Reading” mug, a gorgeous skulls and roses book sleeve by Rockpaperwords, and a handmade “Read or Die” skull bookmark by BookticketsByAM

Author’sDelight #8: “Romance novels need to project female friendships more. The bitchy female antagonist trope is getting boring” — Lara Kareem, author.

Hello everyone👋🏽👋🏽 I’m so excited to share with you the things I learnt from talking to the newest author in town!!! Drumroll🥁🥁🥁 LARA KAREEM!!! You guys, I learnt quite a lot from this conversation and also Lara cracked me up.  Continue reading annnnnd enjoy!

lara-1

 

Oreoluwa Eunice: Hello. I’m Oreoluwa Eunice from StoryStoryOh. It’s a delight to have you here. Can you please introduce yourself.
Lara Kareem: Hey Ore, I’m Lara. I’m thrilled to be here and doing this.

Oreoluwa Eunice: Same here. So, Lara, what are your book interests as a reader and as a writer?
Lara Kareem: My book interest varies, I would read anything as long as I find it entertaining but I find myself leaning towards romance books more than anything, due to this I tend to write love stories.
Oreoluwa Eunice: I also love to read romantic stories. As a reader, what trope annoys you the most?
Lara Kareem: I don’t know how to explain this but I hate when there’s that designated woman or girl that’s meant to be the enemy of a female main character, whose purpose is to just be a bitch, sabotage and antagonise the mc. I hate it more than I hate love triangles. We need more positive portrayal of female friendships.
Oreoluwa Eunice: There are a lot of books like this. Too much, in fact. I agree with you on that. So, are you currently reading any book?
Almost everyone I know seem to hate love triangles too, haha.
Lara Kareem: I find love triangles to be unnecessary because I am a huge fan of reverse harem haha. I am meant to be reading With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo, but I stopped to read a couple of other books, but I’ll go back to it now.

Oreoluwa Eunice: I am yet to read With The Fire on High but I started Poet X a while ago and I enjoyed the writing style. My next question is cliche but I would like to know the answer. What inspired you to write your new book, ‘Not Just Another Interlude’?

not-just-another-interlude
Lara Kareem: Well, you’re a poet right? Finish the book it’s amazing.

I am a romance reader and I read a lot of romance books, especially ones written by whites because they have everything I look for in romance unlike the Nigerian ones I picked up to read which were always preachy in nature and came about as always judgy. The girls were always in distress and then a man would come to the rescue and the icing on the cake having terrible portrayal of female friendships or relations. They were always pushing one agenda or the other, to be honest reading the books felt like one giant propaganda.

Although since I discovered books published by Love Africa Press, it’s different now, I can read and enjoy the romance stories of Africans by Africans, which purpose is just to get us to swoon and be in our feels.
I wrote Not Just Another Interlude because it’s the kind of book I want to read.
Oreoluwa Eunice: This reminds me of Toni Morrison’s quote which says, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it,” so I am glad you took the step. Do you see a future for the romance genre in Nigeria, and Africa as a whole? I feel like it is seen as fickle or frivolous while it is actually one of the realities of most people’s lives.
Lara Kareem: Honestly, it’s quite sad how many people are quick to dismiss romance novels. So many times I’ve been looked down on by Nigerians for enjoying and being a loud advocate of romance novels. Meanwhile there are thousands of us that enjoy romance but suffer from herd mentality.

But I believe many people are finally embracing being them self and enjoying what they like without a care, so yes there’s still hope but within the literary space itself especially concerning the publishers, I don’t know when because the people behind Ankara Press have done a very terrible job.
Oreoluwa Eunice: I totally agree with you. The only reason people book shame readers of romance is because of herd mentality. I also read something somewhere that problems people have are too much for a reader to be book shaming another reader. It is totally appalling. There are a lot of lessons to learn from these books. This is for another day though, haha
I wouldn’t lie, I did not even now that there was anything like Ankara Press until I was researching Nigerian romance books. Publishers here need to do better.

What are the lessons you learnt in the course of you writing and publishing Not Just Another Interlude?
Lara Kareem: Lessons? Writing Not Just Another Interlude was fun all through, I lightly touched on various of the things many Nigerians are quick to condemn women on, by putting a positive spin to it, because we women should be allowed to make mistakes, grow from it and live our lives freely, rather than being punished eternally.

When it comes to publishing, I sent my manuscript to two publishers. One was American and before I found out about Love Africa Press. I passed the first stage of querying with the American publisher but ultimately my book was too Nigerian for them, because our reality is so hard for them to relate to. Luckily I had already sent my manuscript to Love Africa Press while I was waiting for their response. In fact I got their rejection about a month after I had signed the deal with Love Africa Press. It didn’t hurt because I had forgotten I sent my manuscript to them lol
Oreoluwa Eunice: 😂 I’m so glad it turned out well. What is your writing schedule like?

Lara Kareem: I don’t have one, I’m currently not writing 😊
Oreoluwa Eunice: Apart from Not Just Another Interlude, you wrote A Guide To Self Publishing which I enjoyed reading. How was that experience for you, putting all you knew about publishing together…

a-guide-to-publishing
Lara Kareem: It took me about 3 months to gather all the information in one place. I write according to my mood, there are months where I just have to do something and my mind won’t let me rest until I have finished, that’s what happened with A Guide to Self Publishing.

It was easy, I felt like it was a necessary service for people who wanted to self publish here in Nigeria, due to the amount of slightly clueless independent authors I have come across working at bookstores.

Many of them think after writing the story that’s it. To get a cover and print it, not realising there are several processes that have to be taken before they publish their books.

I majorly wrote A Guide to Self Publishing for my consulting sessions. Many authors are always trying to pick my brain for free when it comes to publishing their books and I knew I had to gather it all in one place.
Oreoluwa Eunice: Brilliant idea. There is nothing wrong in monetizing your services. I’m going to be asking a couple of fun questions. Are you ready?
Lara Kareem: Please go ahead.

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Oreoluwa Eunice: What book do you regret reading?
Lara Kareem: It’s very easy. Omo by Alexander Emmanuel. Till date, it’s one book that gets me annoyed when I think about it.
Oreoluwa Eunice: 😂😂
Next question, what book do you think is underappreciated?
Lara Kareem: There are a lot of books that I feel are under appreciated but I’ll stick to David Mogo, Godhunter by Suyi David Okungbowa. I know I’m always shouting about this book.

Oreoluwa Eunice: Haha. Chocolate or Ice-Cream?

Lara Kareem: Vanilla Ice-cream. I’m not really a fan of chocolate.
Oreoluwa Eunice: Mention three of your absolute favorite books.
Lara Kareem: 1. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
2. David Mogo, Godhunter by Suyi David Okungbowa
3. The Book of Night Women by Marlon James
Oreoluwa Eunice: I LOVEEEEEEEE It Ends With Us. Such an heart wrenching book. So, if you were to give one out with ever having a copy again, re-read one but still own a copy or keep one forever; which one will it be?
Lara Kareem: The one I’ll keep forever is David Mogo, Godhunter. Re-read is The Book of Night Women and Give out without owning a copy again is It Ends With Us. But honestly that’s never going to be possible ☺️
Oreoluwa Eunice: 😂😂 would you rather have endless supplies of historical romance or endless supplies of romantic suspense?
Lara Kareem: Easy romantic suspense, who wants to be stuck in the problematic past.
Oreoluwa Eunice: Your responses are killing me😂😂😭 Last one, Beach or Mountain?
Lara Kareem: Beach
Oreoluwa Eunice: Before we wrap this up, what do you wish you knew before you took step into publishing your book?
Lara Kareem: Is it possible to say, I knew what I was doing? I did my research and I have worked in publishing as well so I didn’t go in blind and unprepared. Maybe months from now my answer would be different, but right now I can’t answer this question because so far I haven’t encounter anything new or unexpected 😊

Oreoluwa Eunice: Great. So, what advice will you give to other persons hoping to get published?
Lara Kareem: It’s important for authors to understand and know what they’re going into when it comes to publishing, they should research on the publishers who are best for the genre they’re writing, and they should try to get a literary agent if possible because these agents will give them access to publishers that aren’t even within their reach.

When it comes to self-publishing, they should follow the due process, research and be very aware of the fact publishing isn’t cheap.
Oreoluwa Eunice: I honestly have learnt a great deal from our conversation, Lara. Thank you for your time. I wish you the very best in all your endeavors in the literary scene.
Lara Kareem: Thanks, Ore 🥰

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Visit Lara Kareem’s website for more info at  www.larakareem.com

Not Just Another Interlude

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release date: May 25, 2020

BLURB
Sewa’s decision to steer her love life in the direction she wants instantly backfires, prompting her to halt her quest for love and focus on other more important things like getting a job. Fate has its own plan and puts her in the path of the man of her dreams, Jide.

Jide isn’t afraid to go after what he wants. Crossing Sewa’s path more than once, he doesn’t leave it up to chance because there is something special about her.

When their budding relationship suffers a huge blow, Jide will have to prove that love is worth fighting for, to Sewa.

ADD TO GOODREADS TBR

 

A Guide To Self-Publishing

For months you’ve worked diligently, dedicated time, stayed up late, overcame writer’s block and finally, you typed the last word and finished writing your book.

Now that you’ve finished writing your book, you’re anxious to know what comes next? You look up publishing firms accepting the genre of your manuscript and query them, hoping they’ll publish your book and you’re on your merry way to the life of authordom.

But, there’s no response from these publishing firms or many apologise but aren’t sure you’re the right fit for the firm and now you’re stumped. Don’t fret too much because there is another way, which is where this book comes in.

Do you really want to publish your book? Self-Publishing is the path to take and this book is filled with all the necessary information needed to get your book ready before hitting the publish button.

 

Add on Goodreads

Buy on Okadabooks

Buy on Amazon

Buy Ebook

Buy Paperback

Book Review: Keep Forever by Alexa Kingaard

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Book: Keep Forever

Author: Alexa Kingaard
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: March 28th 2020
Genres: Historical Romance, Women’s Fiction
Synopsis:

“Unlike some war stories that focus on intense, harsh and graphic depictions of post-combat trauma, this tale unfolds gently, like an Edna Ferber novel, spread across many decades, detailing the impact this soldier’s illness has on an entire family, including children and grandchildren. KEEP FOREVER is a wonderful, emotionally satisfying read that I highly recommend. ”
GARY SEIGEL, author of “Haskell Himself”

Paul O’Brien’s idyllic childhood in Southern California comes to a halt when his mother dies in the summer before his senior year of high school and a very different persona of his father emerges – isolating himself inside the house, turning to alcohol for comfort, and barely noticing his only child. Simultaneously, the war in Vietnam is sending shock waves around the world and young men from one coast to the other are being called upon to serve. Paul enlists in the Marines before receiving his draft notice.

Elizabeth Sutton is eager to gain some independence from her father’s old fashioned notions and looking forward to her first year in high school.  At fifteen years old, tragedy strikes with the loss of both parents in an auto accident, turning her childhood into one of responsibility and worry overnight.  The four siblings are scattered when her nine-year-old twin sisters are sent to live with their Aunt and Uncle on Nantucket Island, and Elizabeth is left behind in Boston with their grandmother.  Her older brother, Sam, enlists in the Marines, eager to join the conflict a world away as opposed to dealing with the one unfolding at home.

A bond develops between Paul and Sam in Vietnam, and both are injured in a bloody battle that costs Sam his right hand and sets the stage for a lifetime of nightmares and sleepless nights for Paul.  Matched by similar tragedies at a young age, Elizabeth and Paul’s first introduction by Sam upon their return from Vietnam is the beginning of friendship and love that survives five decades.

After marrying, welcoming their first child, and inheriting a small beach house, the couple adapts to their new surroundings, but distant memories of Vietnam continue to haunt Paul.  In an era when veterans refuse to speak of their pain and the government denies that thousands of soldiers are coming home irreparably damaged, he is left to deal with the challenge of caring for his loved ones amidst his his erratic flashback episodes and moods. As their lives unravel from the lingering effects of PTSD,  Elizabeth learns to accept the burden that Paul brought home, and together they make their own memories to keep forever.

Inspired By A True Story

Check it out on Goodreads
Purchase on: 
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My Review
“You don’t know dark. Dark is a jungle, a long line of weary, battle-scarred comrades, stealthily trudging a breath away from one another, seeking out an enemy you can neither see nor hear. Dark is fear and uncertainty and knowing that death can grab you in an instant. Dark is hearing your heart beat like a giant kettle drum and feeling the blood rush through your veins because there is no sound, no light, and no sense of anything around you but your own terrified soul. That’s all I’m going to say. This backyard is not dark.”
Keep Forever is inspired by the true story of Alexa Kingaard.
She tells this story in character of Elizabeth. This book starts from where Elizabeth lost her parents to discovering that her brother had joined the Marines. From the point onward, it was a ride.
We see young people, some barely out if school, fighting wars; fighting in the jungle and fighting the memories all through the lives. This is not just for the ones on the battlefield, even for people living around them. There are invisible demons as well as visible scars!
This book reminds me a song titled, “Soldier” by Chike. He was telling the soldier not to go to war.
Most times, when soldiers go to war, they don’t leave the war at the warfront. They carry it back home with them.
This book is a necessary read for those who have no idea what war does and who love to be there for those who still carry war and the memories of it in them everyday.
This book is a necessary read for everyone.
About Alexa Kingaard

ALEXA KINGAARD, a California native, currently resides in Carlsbad and is the mother of a son and daughter who continue to be her biggest fans and cheerleaders.

October 13, 2011, was the day that changed her life forever when her ex-husband, a Vietnam veteran, took his life during a PTSD flashback episode. Inspired to share this tragedy that continues to rob husbands and wives of their spouses, children of their parents, mothers of their children, brothers and sisters of their siblings, and comrades of their friends, Kingaard relied on her own experiences to shed light on this crisis. The burden brought home is not partial to Vietnam, but is an insidious aftershock endured by combat veterans of all conflicts.

Kingaard continues to pursue her literary career, writing about nostalgia and the human condition, the common denominator of our lives.

April Wrap Up

Hello everyone. It’s been a crazy month. With the lockdown, alarming, skyrocketing number of cases in Nigeria and other countries, security issues and other happenings, 2020 is not even giving us a break. Phew.

I really, really pray this would be over soon. Please just do your part by observing the set rules and regulations.

God bless us all.

 

Guys, I am in a reading slump. I do not even want to read anything. Not my books, not my school books but I’m working towards it because it is “jengalous” (if you know, you know haha) if I don’t.  

I was able 17 books in April before my slump started. Yay, me. 

1. Paper Heart by Aseoghena Happiness (Wattpad) Office Romance. Light Read with relatable humor.

2. Daughters of Nri by Reno K. Amayo. This one is a fantasy that involves two black girls. Igbo themed fiction. Beautiful read all round but I don’t like the way it ended. I think a second book is coming. It better be cos the ending was not it at all. It was rushed.

3. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang. You guys. I love this book. Discusses autism and things it encompasses. Such a cute read.

4. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang. Wanna see how arranged marriage played out in this century even with the male mc being autistic and struggling with his emotions. This is the book. I love it.

5. Ask For It by Slyvia Day. Sigh.

6. 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne. Lovely book all round. At the beginning I wanted to dump. Just like how I felt when I was reading The Hating Game. But I was slowly sucked in.

7. The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai. Nice read. Strong female character. Talks about sexual abuse and threats that come with it; the blow to one’s self esteem, the new way one sees the world. I don’t think how I’m explaining it does justice to the book. It is a good read if you can looking for themes like this in a book.

8. Marry Me Not by Andrea Hare (Pabpub) A very short read. A female character who is afraid to get married due to her father’s cheating ways. This reminds of how much the female MC’s father irritated me. Talmbout giving the girl advice when he is such a fuck up. (Pardon my French, duh)

9. Butterfly in Frost by Slyvia Day. Long hiss.

10. Seven Years to Sin by Slyvia Day. I struggled to finish this. Not that it was bad. I think I read this when my slump began to set in.

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11. Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits by Laila Lalami.  Everything you need to know about what I think is in my review.| Read my review here

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12. The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams. Imagine a couple of guys forming a book club to read romance novels that will help them sustain their marriage. Haha. The book was so much fun. It was more about repairing a relationship than the normal building a relationship; “boy meets girl” romance we know. I totally recommend if you are looking for a fun, light read. 

13, 14, 15. Royally Series, Book 1-3 by Emma Chase. Just light reads for my slump. I didn’t need to read something heavy. My slump was dealing with me y’all.

16. Rich by Janet Elizabeth Henderson. A book about sexual abuse. Everything else you need to know is in my review. | Read my review here

17. Erotic Stories For Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal. See this book here. I love it. Tool me days to finish it die to my slump but I’m glad I took it slow. Talks about dealing with patriarchy and patriarchal humans. About Indian women who love in Britain and their community. Wow. This book is huge. Talks about honor killings too. Now, that  reminds me I wanna do some more research on honor killings. 

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My favourite reads of the month were The Kiss Quotient, The Bride Test and Erotic Stories For Punjabi Widows.

The most annoying read was Butterfly in Frost by Slyvia Day. I had to force myself to finish it. It was just not it. At all.

Moving on, I also compiled a list of 50 books you might enjoy reading during this lockdown season and even beyond. I suggest you check it if you need recommendations. Read it here.

For April Author’sDelight, I interviewed Hayley Reese Chow. She shared how she balances being a daytime engineer and a nighttime writer. Read the interview here

April Literary Gist

Just so you know, if you haven’t heard by now, Ake Fest 2020 has been cancelled. It will no longer hold physically this year due to the pandemic but it will be online.

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So, that’s it for April Wrap Up.

Stay safe.

Ciao.

Author’sDelight #7: “It was enormously freeing when I realised I could self-publish” —Hayley Reese Chow

Hi everyone. Thank you for reading on StoryStoryOh today. I have with me…drumroll🥁🥁🥁🥁 Hayley Reese Chow!!! Author of Odriel’s Heirs which I absolutely love. You can read my review on it here. Continue reading to know more about Hayley and the deets she has for us! 

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Oreoluwa Eunice: Hello. I’m Oreoluwa Eunice from StoryStoryOh. Can you please introduce yourself?
Hayley Chow: Hi! I’m Hayley Reese Chow. I published my debut YA Fantasy, Odriel’s Heirs, in March, and I’m in the middle of revising my first MG Fantasy. I work as an engineer during the day and spend a lot of evenings running after my two wild boys.
Oreoluwa Eunice: It’s a delight to have you here, Hayley. I read your book and enjoyed it. You mentioned working as an engineer during the day. How do you balance that with being a writer and a published author?
Hayley Chow: It can be tough, but it’s easier with more practice. Basically, I try to write (or revise or edit or outline) between 7-9PM most nights. It’s not a whole lot, but someone once told me that writing is 90% thought and 10% actually writing it down. I’ve got writing on the brain more than I’d like to admit, so that mindset really helps me keep moving forward.

Oreoluwa Eunice: That’s commendable. Well done, Hayley. As a writer, do you have particular genres of books you like to read? Tell me about your reading interest as a reader too.
Hayley Chow: Oh man. I’m all over the place as a reader, but I definitely go through phases. Young adult science fiction and fantasy are definitely my favorites that I come back to the most often. But, I definitely get into more classic literary choices sometimes. Historical fiction, mysteries, action (especially with a side of romance) can all grab my attention too. Basically if someone recommends a book, I’m willing to give almost anything a try. I am extra partial to fast-paced reads with lovable characters and a sweet romance subplot, though.
Oreoluwa Eunice: Beautiful. So are you currently reading any book?
Hayley Chow: Absolutely! I’m actually into two right now: Down a Darker Path by Laura Maybrooke and A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer. Can never get enough Fantasy!
Oreoluwa Eunice: Haha, true. I have heard of A Curse So Dark and Lonely but I haven’t read it yet. My next question is cliche but I would really like to know the answer. What inspired you to write Odriel’s Heirs?

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Hayley Chow: I actually wrote Odriel’s Heirs back in 2012 when I’d just graduated from college, but I feel like the story came to me even before that. Really, I think its heart came from my experiences as a fencer in college and on the US World Cup team. A lot of the thoughts or feelings that Kaia has are things I saw or experienced as an athlete. Dealing with intense pressure, prejudice, training partners, mentors, and even feeling like you’ve lost your skills—those are all things I had a lot of experience with and I think I was still processing at that time in my life. I wrapped it all up in a new fantasy world with magic and strange creatures, and wrote the book I needed to read.

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Oreoluwa Eunice: This reminds me of a quote by Toni Morrison. She said, ‘If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.’

In this course of writing and publishing this book, what lessons did you learn?
Hayley Chow: Fabulous quote! I learned a TON while writing Odriel’s Heirs. Gosh, where do I even begin!?

When I wrote Odriel’s Heirs, I’d never taken a writing course, never spoken to an author, and didn’t really know what to do with it (if anything.) Then, 5 years later, I found the writing community, and my learning curve took off!

Through Twitter, I really learned how to cobble together a team to make a book shine—critique partners, beta readers, an editor, a cover artist, arc readers. I learned about querying and timelines and self-publishing. Sometimes it just felt like a firehose of information, but that was just the nuts and bolts.

I think one of the most important things I learned was how to deal with rejection and how to measure success. Rejection is so hard. Getting a full request from an agent or a publisher and then getting that “sorry, but…” email can be crushing.

Once I realized I just really wanted to connect with readers, and that I had the power to self-publish—that was enormously freeing. Rejections stopped feeling like a failure and more just like another step towards the finish line.

Having the courage to put it out there was the ultimate success, and I’m so thrilled with how it’s all turned out.
Oreoluwa Eunice: Wow. This is huge. Publishing can be daunting but I’m glad you took the bull by the horn. How soon are we getting the second book in your series?
Hayley Chow: Excellent question! While I have the second and third books plotted, drafting is still in the early stages. The sequel will be quite a bit different than Odriel’s Heirs, so I’m trying to get a little distance from it before diving in. I’m hoping to query my new middle grade fantasy this summer and turning my full love and attention to Idriel’s Children. I’m really hoping for a 2021 release, but we’ll see how things go!

 

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Oreoluwa Eunice: I wish you the very best as you write and in the publishing. Who was your favourite character apart from Ka’ia? Lovely character name, by the way.
Hayley Chow: Thank you so much! Isn’t Kaia just a beautiful name? I love it!

But don’t make me play favorites! I love them all! 😭

But I do love Shadmundar whole lot. His cynicism is just such a great balance to Kaia’s naivety, and he’s full of all these years of knowledge, and yet mostly… he just likes to sleep. 😂 He’s definitely one of the characters I want to dive into more in the sequel.
Oreoluwa Eunice: I enjoyed his character too. Sleep is very important😂

Alright, I would ask a couple of fun questions now. Are you ready?

Hayley Chow: So ready!

Oreoluwa Eunice: What book do you think is underappreciated?
Hayley Chow: There is a book called Luthiel’s Song: Dreams of the Ringed Vale by Robert Marston Fannéy. That was really the first indie book I really loved, but it’s super under the radar.
Oreoluwa Eunice: What will you not be caught dead eating?
Hayley Chow: Hmm… that one is tougher. I’m not super picky, but I really can’t stomach Vegemite. Yuck! Sorry, not sorry!
Oreoluwa Eunice: I don’t know what that is I but believe I am going to check the internet after this😂

Chocolate or ice-cream?
Hayley Chow: Chocolate!
Oreoluwa Eunice: Mention three books that are your absolute faves
Hayley Chow: Off the top of my head:
The Legend of Muirwood, Sabriel, and Six of Crows.
Oreoluwa Eunice: So, if you were to never re-read one, give one out without getting another copy or keep one forever, which will it be?
Hayley Chow: I’m keeping Legend of Muirwood, I will give away Six of Crows, and I guesssss physical pain I’d never reread Sabriel. 😭
Oreoluwa Eunice: 😂😂😂Last one, would you rather be invisible or be able to read minds?
Hayley Chow: Eek! That’s hard. If I had control, I’d rather be invisible. If I had to be invisible all the time (that would suck), I’d rather read minds, but it seems like that could really wreak havoc on your sanity too. 

Oreoluwa Eunice: haha! Absolute truth. So, one more question before we wrap this up. What advice will you give to people hoping to get their works published?

Hayley Chow: Keep at it! No matter how good your story is now—if it’s a train wreck or if it’s already fabulous—with work and time and maybe a few extra pairs of eyes, it can always be better.

Remember to enjoy the journey, because beyond this finish line, you’ll find another.

Remember that resting is not quitting. You can always come back to it.

And lastly I’d say if traditional publishing doesn’t pan out, I’d definitely recommend self-publishing. It’s in your power, and the joy of your work connecting with readers is indescribable.

Oreoluwa Eunice: 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽thank you for these words, Hayley. It was fun chatting with you. I enjoyed our discussion.

Hayley Chow: Thank you so much for having me, Oreoluwa! It’s been my pleasure!

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Buy Odriel’s Heirs by Hayley Reese Chow

Synopsis:

The brave, burning with fire, harnessed the Dragon’s Rage….

As the Dragon Heir, seventeen-year-old Kaia inherited the power of flame to protect her homeland from a godlike necromancer’s undead army. But after centuries of peace, the necromancer has faded to myth, and the Dragon Heir is feared by the people. Persecuted and cast out, Kaia struggles to embrace and control her seemingly useless gift while confined to her family’s farm.

But when the necromancer’s undead terrorize the land once again, Kaia runs away to join the battle.

With the help of her childhood rival, the handsome Shadow Heir, and a snarky, cursed cat, Kaia must figure out how to control both her fire and her confidence in time to save Okarria. If she fails, she will sacrifice her family, her new friends, and the enchanting world she has only just begun to see.

And time is running out.

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P.S. Vegemite is a thick, dark brown Australian food spread made from leftover brewers’ yeast extract with various vegetable and spice additives. It was developed by Cyril Callister in Melbourne, Victoria in 1922.
(Wikipedia is my friend, haha!)

50 Book Recommendations for this lockdown season

Hiya people! How have you been doing? I hope you are staying at home and staying safe.  This time is trying and I hope we come out of this soon.

I have been getting book recommendation requests from few people who are hoping to do a bit of reading this time and I decided to compile a list of book varieties where you can pick whatever rocks your boat as a reader.

Enjoy.

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1. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
2. The Mountains Sing by Nguyen Phan Que Mai
3. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
4. Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo
5. The American Marriage by Tayari Jones
6. She Would Be King by Wayetu Moore
7. Odriel’s Heirs by Hayley Reese Chow
8. My Favourite Half Night stand by Christina Lauren
9. Born A Crime by Trevor Noah
10. Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo
11. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hosseini
12. Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls by Mona Eltahawy.

13. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

14. My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

15. Kintu by Jennifer Makumbi

16. Travellers by Helon Habila

17. Manchester Happened by Jennifer Makumbi

18. Be(com)ing Nigerian by Elnathan John

19. New Daughters Of Africa edited by Margaret Busby

20. The Half-God of Rainfall by Inua Ellams

21. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

22. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

23. I Do Not Home To You By Chance by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani

24. Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones

25. Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi

26. Erotic Stories For Punjabi Women by Balli Kaur Jaswal

27. 29, Single and Nigerian by Naijasinglegirl

28. November 9 by Colleen Hoover

29. The Scarlet Thread by Francine Rivers

30. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

31. David Mogo Godhunter by Suyi Davies

32. Easy Motion Tourist by Let’s Adenle

33. When Trouble Sleeps by Leye Adenle

34. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

35. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

36. Thirteen by Steve Cavanaugh

37. The Governor’s Wife by Amaka Azie

38. The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

39. Circe by Madeline Miller

40. You by Caroline Kepnes

41. The Girl With The Louding Voice by Abi Dare

42. Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

42. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika Sanchez

43. Depression and Other Magic Tricks by Sabrina Benaim

44. Becoming by Michelle Obama

45. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

46. Like Bringing A Mule To The Sun by Sarah Ladipo Manyika

47.  A People’s History Of Heaven by Mathangi Subramanian

48.  The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

49. Girl by Edna O’Brien

50. The Only Child by Mi-Ae-Seo

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With these 50 book recs, I’m sure you will find a book you will enjoy. There are more books I can recommend to you if by any chance, haha, read all the books I have listed. Just tell me in the comments and I will send more recommendations your way.

You can find some of these books on Scribd, in case you are hoping to read e-books.

And as anyways, Pabpub is a great place to find your love for African literature. You can find the app on Playstore for Android users. Sorry, iOS users. You can always visit the website too.

Happy reading!!!

Stay safe!!!

Book Review: Rich by Janet Elizabeth Henderson

Book: Rich

Author: Janet Elizabeth Henderson (Benson Security, #5)

Publication date: April 23rd 2020

Genres: Adult, Thriller

Synopsis:

Rachel Ford-Talbot has nothing to do with her family or their pharmaceutical business. And she likes it that way. As one of four partners who own an internationally renowned security business, Rachel prefers to leave her past, with all its secrets, deeply buried.

But when a series of thefts reveal that the family business is being targeted for industrial espionage, her father begs Rachel to investigate. His illness makes it hard for her to refuse, but Rachel wonders if he truly understands what he’s unleashing on his company. Because she isn’t the same bright-eyed graduate that walked through their doors years earlier. Now, she’s strong, powerful, and somewhat terrifying. A woman who doesn’t suffer fools lightly and who is afraid of nothing.

She also isn’t alone.

This time, she has the might and expertise of Benson Security at her back. And an ex-CIA agent at her side—because Michael “Harvard” Carter has appointed himself her bodyguard for the duration. Even though Rachel doesn’t need, or want, the annoyingly sexy man’s help. But while the world sees a first-class bitch when they look at her, Michael sees only someone who intrigues him. Which makes him the biggest threat of all.

Purchase:
AUTHOR BIO:
Janet is a Scot who moved to New Zealand fifteen years ago. Among other things, she’s been an artist, a teacher, a security guard at a castle, a magazine editor, and a cleaner in a drop in center for drug addicts (NOT the best job!). She now writes full-time and is working on her 19th book. Her books have won several awards, including the Daphne du Maurier award for excellence in mystery and suspense. When she isn’t living in her head, she raises two kids, one husband, and several random animals. She survives on chocolate and caffeine.
Author links:

Facebook

My Review

“Greed doesn’t need to be logical…It’s nasty and dirty, and it doesn’t care who suffers because of it. Greed is always hungry and no amount of feeding can satisfy it.”

This book is such an exciting read. From the beginning where I was introduced to sassy, beautiful Rachael, I knew I was in for a ride. Rich is a romantic suspense that deals with heavy themes such as racism, rape and trauma amongst others.

The female main character built a wall of bricks around herself after she experienced very traumatic experience which is rape ten years earlier. It was also used as an incentive to threaten her not to return to the company she so much loved. But ten years later, everything is unravelled and Rachael finds the love of her life even.

“Rape isn’t sex. Don’t ever confuse the two”

“Why should I hide from the words? Why should I be ashamed of saying them aloud? Would a person who’d been stabbed of robbed or shot have the same problem? No. It’s only the victims of sexual assault who’re expected to carry the shame for their attackers.”

I love how the author dealt with the themes of rape and trauma and also, racism in this book. It also serves as a reminder that victims should NEVER, EVER be blamed for rape or any type of abuse.

If you are looking for an exciting read that is neither too light or too heavy, Rich is perfect.

3.7 stars.

Giveaway

 

Tour-wide giveaway (INT)
  • 5x winners for an ebook copy + a $10 Amazon gift card. It ends April 30th.

Book Review: Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits by Laila Lalami

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Book: Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits

Author: Laila Lalami

Genre: Literary Fiction

Publisher: Algonquin Books

Publication day: First published October 7, 2005. Published with a new cover April 14, 2020.

Description:

Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits begins as four Moroccans illegally cross the Strait of Gibraltar in an inflatable boat headed for Spain. What has driven them to risk their lives? And will the rewards prove to be worth the danger? There’s Murad, a gentle, unemployed man who’s been reduced to hustling tourists around Tangier; Halima, who’s fleeing her drunken husband and the slums of Casablanca; Aziz, who must leave behind his devoted wife in hope of securing work in Spain; and Faten, a student and religious fanatic whose faith is at odds with an influential man determined to destroy her future. Through the diverse stories of these deeply sympathetic characters, Moroccan writer Laila Lalami sensitively evokes the grit and enduring grace that is modern Morocco.

Author Bio:

Laila Lalami herself was born in Rabat and educated in Morocco, Great Britain, and the United States, a background that informs her nuanced understanding of the human condition. She is a winner of the American Book Award, the Arab-American Book Award, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and the National Book Award in Fiction. She has received fellowships from the British Council, the Fulbright Program, and the Guggenheim Foundation and is currently a tenured professor of creative writing at the University of California at Riverside. Even more importantly, she is a champion for African stories and own-voice narratives.

My review

The first thing that drew me to this book was the title — Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits. It left a lot to my imagination and fired up my thinking process. Who are the hopeful? Why is it a dangerous pursuit? What other dangerous pursuits are therein?  

This book is such a unique one. It deals with immigration, fanaticism, hypocrisy, abuse, queerness and many more themes. So many questions were asked in this book and some were answered while some were left to the reader’s thoughts and ability to talk it out with other readers. Questions on the use of hijab, morality of human and their beliefs; questions on the unknown and “mystical” happenings; the role of women and at large, gender roles.

Lalami’s writing is brisk, thoughtful, straightforward and the review by The Washington Post on the new cover is the utmost truth, it is braving and beautiful. Utter beautiful.

This book is divided into two parts; before and after, and every story is vivid and exposing. I love the title each chapters had. Some titles are The Fanatic, The Odalisque, The Storyteller and more. At first, when I saw the content of the book, I thought it was a collection of short stories then I had to reread the synopsis again.

This book was centralized on four peculiar citizens of Morocco hoping to migrate to Spain and their lives before and after The Trip was brought to focus. Murad, (He is my favourite out of the four of them. I guessed I’m biased because he studied English and Literature and that’s what I am also currently studying in the university) Faten, Halima and her children and Aziz went on The Trip and each of them became different. So so different. Life and its different strokes had sharpened them into new beings.

“His future there stands before him, unalterable, despite his efforts, despite the risk he took and the price he paid.” 

This book certified the popular slang, “It is what it is,” for me.

Solid 🌟🌟🌟🌟 stars.

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Get Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits by Laila Lalami on Amazon

 

 

 

 

Thanks to Algonquin Books for sending me an an e-copy in exchange for a honest review.

 

 

 

Book Review: Odriel’s Heirs by Hayley Reese Chow

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Book: Odriel’s Heirs

Author: Hayley Reese Chow

Genre: YA High Fantasy

Publication Date: March 1st, 2020

Blurb:
The brave, burning with fire, harnessed the Dragon’s Rage….

As the Dragon Heir, seventeen-year-old Kaia inherited the power of flame to protect her homeland from a godlike necromancer’s undead army. But after centuries of peace, the necromancer has faded to myth, and the Dragon Heir is feared by the people. Persecuted and cast out, Kaia struggles to embrace and control her seemingly useless gift while confined to her family’s farm.

But when the necromancer’s undead terrorize the land once again, Kaia runs away to join the battle.

With the help of her childhood rival, the handsome Shadow Heir, and a snarky, cursed cat, Kaia must figure out how to control both her fire and her confidence in time to save Okarria. If she fails, she will sacrifice her family, her new friends, and the enchanting world she has only just begun to see.

And time is running out.

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My review

“To win on the battlefield, you must conquer the fear within”  — Odriel’s Heirs, Hayley Reese Chow.

Odriel’s Heirs is such an intriguing book. It has lovely character growth especially when it comes to Kaia, the protagonist of the book.  When I started reading, Kaia was a girl timid to use her powers. She was curious but allowed people’s thoughts and actions get to her. Bram, her twin, is a prime example of an idiot who would never let her live down the fact that she came first so therefore she had the powers he didn’t get, even to the point of shaming her as a girl. I. Did. Not. Like. Him. At. All.

The book is divided into three parts and it taught me that courage is the way to go. Kaia, at several occasions doubted her own ability. She was afraid of hurting her own people and she was afraid of letting them die. At the end, she had to be courageous and boy, was she!

This book also taught me that people will always be people even after you have done something good for them, so you would rather do good without expecting them to do the same in return.

At various times, this book reminded me that there are still good people in this world.

One thing I especially loved about Odriel’s Heirs are the beautiful quotes I was able to highlight. Some of them are:

“If ever you need light, just remember the one that burns within you never goes out.”

• ” Though you may have fallen in battle, your spirits join the wind on our faces, the air in our lungs,and together, we fight as one for eternity.”

• “Wherever there is light, there is shadow.”

• “To keep the dead from our doorstep, I must ride out to meet them.” THIS ONE GAVE ME SERUOUS GAME OF THRONES VIBES. I LOVE IT!

• “Why do the best of us have to die?”

• “There was history before humans, and there will be history after.”

Wow. Wow. Wow.

The covers, too?! Absolute delights.

This book was such an enjoyable read. I love the beautiful infuse of the enemies-to-lovers trope between Kaia and Klaus too. It was a delight to read.

4 shiny stars for me.

I can’t wait to read more from Hayley Reese Chow.

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Get your copy of Odriel’s Heirs by Hayley Reese Chow from Amazon.

 

 

 

I got this arc from Hayley Reese Chow in exchange for a honest review.

 

 

 

 

March Wrap Up

Wow, who else feels liberated from March cos I sure feel like it. Forget it was my birth month, March felt like 90 days and counting. How are you guys? Truly, how are you coping with the lockdown and social distancing? (this is also for my readers who are not in Nigeria)

I hope you are taking extra precautions. I hope we all laugh and be full of joy when this passes and it will surely pass. I heard of people who have had panic and anxiety disorders since this whole pandemic started, please hold on tight if this is you, too. It will be well in the end.

If you have lost a loved one to the corona virus pandemic, I’m so so sorry about that. I know there is absolutely nothing that can bring them back but I hope you find strength to continue. You are loved.

And yes, there is something I want to bring to your notice. You may or may not have heard about it but it is very crucial; of topmost importance if you may. It is called SHARE THE MEAL. SHARE THE MEAL is a United Nations World Food Programme to help alleviate world hunger. You can donate as low as $0.50 or simply as small as 100 naira to help someone eat.

This initiative is good for everyday but it is even more important now that there is a pandemic and some people literally have no where to go.

So, please I’m imploring you, help. SHARE THE MEAL is an app sponsored by the UNITED NATIONS WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME (WFP) (so you know it is not scam) that you can get from Play Store or your App Store. If you want to donate, download the app and go from there. To download the app from Play Store: click SHARE THE MEAL

To learn more about SHARE THE MEAL, Click here.   

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How was your reading month?! Mine was pretty good. I was able to read 13 books!!! Though when the social distancing thing first started, I was having a good reading time then I suddenly fell into a reading slump. I couldn’t really focus on a particular book enough to enjoy it so I started writing. I was glad to discover that I was out of my writing slump.

These are my March hopefuls  according to February’s Wrap Up. Click HERE if you missed it.

• Roomies by Christina Lauren.

• Beautiful Stranger by Christina Lauren.

• An American Marriage by Tayari Jones.

• The Mountains Sing by Que Mai Phan Nguyen.

• The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang.

• Seaplanes Don’t Fly At Night by Jeff and Clare Curtis.

•Odriel’s Heirs by Hayley Reese Chow.

And I was able to read:

•Beautiful Stranger by Christina Lauren

•Roomies by Christina Lauren

•Neckline Of Colours by Chiziterem Chigozie | Read this on pabpub.com

•Black Rainbow by J.J. Avoy

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•Sea planes Don’t Fly At Night by Jeff and Flare Curtis | Read my review on it here

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•The Mountains Sing by Nguyen Phan Que Mai | Beautiful Book! Read my extensive review here.

•Beautiful Player by Christina Lauren

•Odriel’s Heirs by Hayley Reese Chow | I loved this YA Fantasy. Review to come.

•My Favourite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

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•The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren | posted my review on my bookstagram — @a_lit_babe if you want to check or follow!

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•Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jallaluddin

•Tangled by Emma Chase

•Hero by Samantha Young | rolled my eyes a lot while reading this one.

(Picture credit goes to me so please tag me if you are gonna be using them!)

You can say that I had a Christina-Lauren-kinda-month. I enjoyed reading their books. Note: Christina Lauren is the pen name  of two writing buddies; Christina  Hobbs and Lauren Billings.

For March’s  #Author’sDelight, I interviewed Adaeze Feyisayo aka Amethyst Saw. You can check the interview HERE.

I also compiled a list of Nigeria Women Writers to celebrate International Women’s Day which was March 8. The list can be found HERE.

I do not have any April Hopefuls. I just want to read as my mood allows.

Have you read any of the books I mentioned or do you plan on reading any of them? Which one caught your eye? Let me know in the comments.

Don’t forget to always wash your hands with soap and water for at least 30 seconds and in the absence of water, use alcohol-based sanitizer. Try not to touch your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth and avoid crossed places. Seriously, stay safe!

See ya. 👋

 

 

Book Review: Sea Planes Don’t Fly At Night by Jeff & Clare Curtis

 

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Book: Sea Planes Don’t Fly at Night
Authors: Jeff & Clare Curtis
Genre:  Non-Fiction Mystery/ Thriller
Release Date: October 2019

Summary:

It was a small decision that changed their lives forever.

Successful young couple Jeff and Clare Curtis are enjoying a romantic babymoon in the Maldives when Clare goes into premature labour, nine weeks early. The nearest hospital is a storm-ridden boat ride away, as it soon becomes clear that the lives of mother and child are in jeopardy. Can they get medical help in time?

With the storm continuing to rage, the events that follow stretch Clare and Jeff’s mental, emotional and physical limits to breaking point. Working as a team, they call on their own resources, the assistance of strangers and even divine intervention – whatever it takes to save the life of their unborn child.

Clare and Jeff have written this book to thank the many people who did what they could to help save the life of their premature baby. In a world where segregation and violence are often seen as commonplace, the world they discovered was one of kindness and support. Join them on their personal journey back into the depths of their worst fears, as they retell their quest to save the life of their child and bring him home alive.

My Review

Sea Planes Don’t Fly At Night is one of the most engaging books I have read in a while. This book. Is. A. Rollercoaster. I felt a rollercoaster of emotions while reading this book. I don’t usually read memoir but this one is nothing short of amazing. The book took me on a ride from the first page to the last. Starting from where Clare started to discuss about how she and her husband had gone through a lot to conceive a child to when she started having labour pains on a remote island with very little medical care to the different intervals she and Jeff thought they would lose their baby. Wow. This book was such a ride for me. So I thought, if reading the book could make me this anxious, how much more the people who actually went through this dilemma?!

I admire the strength of Clare. So so much. I mean, it’s jarring to think that one’s child would not survive but to see your one’s child struggling for survival is absolutely horrifying. I love that in this book there was so much honesty in the accountability of the writers, Jeff and Clare. They shared their utmost feelings and I loved how Clare shared how she was irritable, annoyed, angry, happy, resigned, sad, grievous. I felt like I was living in her mind. There were many times I wanted to give Clare a knock and tell her, “Come on, you are doing so well. Don’t be so hard on yourself.”

“I had never met the woman before, nor did I know whether she knew my whole story; but I felt an overwhelming urge to be hugged, and for the first time since it had all begun, hot tears stung my eyes as they began to roll down my cheeks. The kind woman held out her hand and I hung onto it as if it were a life preserver. I felt a connection that could not be explained, a consummate bond with a woman who knew I was a new mum without words being spoken.” 

This book reminded me of the fact that there are still kind and good people in this world. Shout out to all the amazing people in this book. Wow. Wow. In a way, they restored my faith in humanity. I read and “saw” honest relationships grow in this book. It was amazing.

“This is not how we will start the evening together. Right now, I need you to be positive. If you are positive, everyone around you will act the same way.”

There was a lot of positivity in this book, especially from Jeff Curtis’ side. He was the perfect example of  “if the going gets tough, the tough gets going.”  I learnt a lot from his personality and I am really glad he was there for his family. I loved it when he said, “There is no glass half-empty in this room tonight. There is not even a  glass half-full. Our glass is overflowing and I need you to have so much positive thoughts that it will be impossible for anything to go wrong.”  I can say that it was this positive outlook on their situation that helped them in the long run because many things could have gone wrong.

Before this book, I used to think lives first, paperwork later (in “advanced” countries) but boy, was I sooo wrong? Jeff and Clare Curtis had to weather through the storm of paperwork and formalities before being attended to. It was very very annoying for me. At a  point, I was screaming in my mind, “Can you just take care of these people first?!!!” I understand they might be trying to follow procedures but then not at the expense of loosing lives.

I also want to use this opportunity to tell women you are not the cause of someone’s or most importantly, am abuser’s disgusting and abusive behavior. It’s all them. Please don’t enable their behavior by not speaking up or blaming yourself. That Clare, who had just given birth and was still weak was sexually molested was just so appalling. Appalling in every sense and the woman in me just wanted the abuser to be arrested and thrown in jail but I got where the Clare was coming from as she didn’t want attention on her after the rigours of the past days. Still, I could help but wonder how many other women the abuser could be accosting and assaulting. I hope he gets caught soon.

I loved this book. It was written in simple and straightforward English to help the reader understand better. It is un-put-downable and fascinating and I’m so glad that The Curtis’ overcame in the end.

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Purchase Sea Planes Don’t Fly At Night by Jeff and Clare Curtis on Amazon.

 

Thanks to Jeff and Clare Curtis and YA Book Bound Tours for gifting me an e-copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.

Author’sDelight #6: Write, even, especially when the words are not perfect — Adaeze Feyisayo, author, poet.

Helloooo readers of StoryStoryOh. I’m so glad you are here, reading on StoryStoryOh. Warms my heart a great deal. With me on the 6th Author’sDelight is amazing Adaeze Feyisayo who you might have heard of or known as Amethyst Saw (her pen name). I can’t wait to you read and know the awesomeness she embodies. Leggo!

 

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Oreoluwa Eunice: Hello, I’m Oreoluwa Eunice from StoryStoryOh. It’s good to have you on Author’sDelight. Can you please introduce yourself?
Adaeze Feyisayo: Heyy Gem! I’m Adaeze Feyisayo with the pen name, Amethyst Saw.
Oreoluwa Eunice: Nice to meet you, Adaeze. I would like you to share with me your book interests. What genre of books do you read?
Adaeze Feyisayo: Okay, I read African literature, creative nonfiction pieces, poetry romance and erotic novels, queer fiction, chicklit, oh and psychological thrillers or crime action occasionally.

Oreoluwa Eunice: So, are you currently reading any book?

Adaeze Feyisayo: I’m proofreading a friend’s unpublished historical, queer, romantic short story. I’ll admit I love it so much, I’m dragging it on. I don’t want it to end, at all.
Oreoluwa Eunice: That’s cool. I also can relate to the feeling of not wanting a book to end.
So, Stab Love With Flower Stalks, your beautiful collection of poems. I loved reading it. What is the inspiration behind it?

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Adaeze Feyisayo: Stab Love with Flower Stalks is a collection of flash stories and poems. It was inspired by my observations and experiences with love, its fluidity, falling in love and its pains, the erotic and of course exploring queer passion.

I felt a need to document these in a few flash stories and poems here and there. Then boom a book was born.
Oreoluwa Eunice: 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽Amazing. Were there any lessons you learnt in the course of writing and publishing this book? Please share.
Adaeze Feyisayo: A few. On writing, I learnt I should write. Especially if it feels like the words aren’t perfect. I should just write them first. Find a great publication team. My work was edited by Amaka Amaku (Editor, Communications Consultant, Serial Entrepreneur) and Logan February (Poet and Author, in the Nude) The editing process taught me a fresh, professional pair of eyes are always needed.

 On publishing, I self published this collection. A lot of help came from Lara Tommy Kareem’s A Guide to Self Publishing. A lot goes into publication especially self publication. I’ll advise anyone interested in self publishing to buy her guide. She hosted my wonderful book tour and I’m humbled.

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Oreoluwa Eunice: How then is your writing schedule like?

Adaeze Feyisayo: Well I don’t have a structured writing schedule currently. I’ve been on a blogging/writing break.

I’ve run a Literary Blog (amethystsaw.wordpress.com) where I share erotic flash stories for the past 2 years. I write blog content during the weekends or at night during weekdays. It depends on my day job schedule itself or how inspired I am to write at the moment.
Oreoluwa Eunice: Alright. I will be asking some fun questions now. Are you ready?
Adaeze Feyisayo: Yes, Go!
Oreoluwa Eunice: Who are your favourite authors?
Adaeze Feyisayo: Yo! Don’t do this to me!  Really? I can’t pick.

Oreoluwa Eunice: 😂 Just mention three authors you look up to.
Adaeze Feyisayo: I’ll pick these three from my favourite genres; Logan February’s poetry is phenomenal. I highly recommend Painted Blue with Saltwater and In The Nude. Ayodele Olofintuade’s writing warms my soul like a bowl of soft goat meat peppersoup. I recommend Lakiriboto Chronicles. Tolu Daniel writes creative nonfiction spectacularly. Check out his pieces online, I recommend; What Does it Mean to Survive and The Photograph. He examines unique, difficult life experiences and I love it.
Ayodele Olofintuade weaves Yoruba History and Spirituality into narratives that explore queerness, realities of girls and women. She is so brilliant.
Oreoluwa Eunice: Now, if you have Logan February’s In The Nude, Ayotunde Olofintuade’s Lakiriboto Chronicles and Tolu Daniel’s What Does it Mean to Survive, which one will you definitely keep; give out; never re-read?
Adaeze Feyisayo: Hahaha. One experiences Logan February’s poetry once and never forget so I never re-read that one. I’ll keep Lakiriboto Chronicles. I’d give out What Does it Mean to Survive. I’d like whoever receives it to introspect on death, unearthed trauma from surviving danger/ violence like this piece does.
Oreoluwa Eunice: 👏🏽👏🏽😁 Brilliant.

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Oreoluwa Eunice: What is your favourite color?
Adaeze Feyisayo: I don’t have a favourite really. I love vibrant colors if my creative space is any indication.
Oreoluwa Eunice: Okay, if you were to describe a mix of nude and red to a visually impaired personnel, how will you describe it?

Adaeze Feyisayo: Nude, the smoothness of skin. Red, I’ll say is the colour of intense anger or pain.
Oreoluwa Eunice: Amazing. Would you rather live on the beach, in the mountains or in the sky?
Adaeze Feyisayo: On the beach facing a mountainous range under the sky.
Oreoluwa Eunice: 😂😂 I like it. Last one, chocolate or ice-cream?
Adaeze Feyisayo: Always both. Forever and ever. Always both!
Oreoluwa Eunice: Haha. So, any advice for writers hoping to get published?
Adaeze Feyisayo: Set goals. Research on publishing (Lara’s book is a great guide) Explore your options. Read contracts carefully if you are publishing with a publishing house. Write with your authentic voice. You have what it takes and the world is ready for you.
Oreoluwa Eunice: Thank you, Adaeze. It was a delight discussing with you.
Adaeze Feyisayo: It’s been fun spending time with you, Ore. Thanks for having me, Gem.

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Get Stab Love With Love Stalks on Okada Books

Synopsis:

Journey through time with a Flower Goddess as she grapples with love. Be enamoured with the fluidness of her relationship with love as its vividly painted with fiery passion.

Stab Love with Flower Stalks by Amethyst Saw is a debut collection of 13 flash stories and poems, which are mostly queer romance and erotica, narrating the delicate beauty and jarring pains of falling in love.

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Are you a young author interested in being featured on Author’sDelight? Send a message to oreoluwaogunsina@gmail.com and let’s do it.

Book Review: The Mountains Sing by Nguyên Phan Quê Mai

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Book: The Mountains Sing

Author: Nguyên Phan Quê Mai

Genre: Fiction

Publication Date: March 17, 2020

Publisher: Algonquin Books

Summary:

With the epic sweep of Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko or Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing and the lyrical beauty of Vaddey Ratner’s In the Shadow of the BanyanThe Mountains Sing tells an enveloping, multigenerational tale of the Trần family, set against the backdrop of the Việt Nam War. Trần Diệu Lan, who was born in 1920, was forced to flee her family farm with her six children during the Land Reform as the Communist government rose in the North. Years later in Hà Nội, her young granddaughter, Hương, comes of age as her parents and uncles head off down the Hồ Chí Minh Trail to fight in a conflict that tore not just her beloved country, but her family apart.

Vivid, gripping, and steeped in the language and traditions of Việt Nam, The Mountains Sing brings to life the human costs of this conflict from the point of view of the Vietnamese people themselves, while showing us the true power of kindness and hope.

Author’s Bio: 

Born into the Viet Nam War in 1973, Nguyen Phan Que Mai grew up witnessing the war’s devastation and its aftermath. She worked as a street seller and rice farmer before winning a scholarship to attend university in Australia. She is the author of eight books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction published in Vietnamese, and her writing has been translated and published in more than 10 countries, most recently in Norton’s Inheriting the War anthology. She has been honored with many awards, including the Poetry of the Year 2010 Award from the Ha Noi Writers Association, as well as many grants and fellowships. Married to a European diplomat, Que Mai is currently living in Jakarta with her two teenage children. For more information about Nguyen Phan Que Mai, visit her at www.nguyenphanquemai.com.

 

My Review

“Human lives were short and fragile. Time and illnesses consumed us, like flames burning away these pieces of wood. But it didn’t matter how long or how short we lived. It mattered more how much light we were able to shed on those we loved and how many people we touched with out compassion.”

The Mountains Sing is one book I will forever be grateful for. It brought me to tears severally and I know it would stay with me for a long time.

Written in the point of views of a Grand-mother and her grand-daughter, I was taken through the years of pain, anguish, devastation, hunger, suffering and even love. Their story is gracefully told. The Mountains Sing is deep, engrossing and captivating. War is one thing that will always and forever displace families and cause deep sadness and pain. I could not help but shed tears as I read through this multi-generational story of Diên Lan and her grand-daughter, Hú’óng.

“Oh Guava, I used to think that we were the ones in charge of our destinies, but I learned then that, in time of war, normal citizens were nothing but leaves that would fall in thousands or millions in the surge of a single storm.”

The story showed me the devastation of war and the illnesses it brings with it in form of hatred, grief, blaming self and many more. It showed me  the uncertainty of life, the loss of loved ones and even oneself. “If I had a wish, I would want nothing fancy, just a normal day when all of us could be together as a family; a day when we could just cook, eat, talk and laugh. I wonder how many people around the world were having such a normal day and didn’t know how special and sacred it was.” 

This book also taught me the importance of family, sacrifice and intimacy and also telling them and showing them how much we love them and care for them. This is very important and makes me understand that the only certain thing about life is death. “I know now that true love is rare and once we find our true love, we must hold on to it. I just wished that when Hùng was alive, I’d told him more often how much I loved him.”

“Looking at my children, the desire not just to live, but to thrive, surged into my heart. If those evil people wanted me to surrender, they couldn’t be more wrobg. As long as I was a mother, I would never, ever, give up.”

This book is gold. It also emphasized the beauty, pain and sacrifice that motherhood entails. Diêu Lan is the perfect example of the kind of mother who will do anything to save her children. She is very fierce, strong and amazing all-round.  Diêu Lan showed me that mother’s love is the strongest there is. “Being a mother is not easy though, it is about falling, learning, and then falling again.”

“If our stories survive, we will not die, even when our bodies are no longer here on this earth.” The book teaches hope, healing despite the violence and also that not all humans are unkind. I was particularly grateful for people the amazing people Diêu Lan met in her journey of fleeing the land where her head was desperately wanted. Mentioned more than once in this book was this quote: “As long as I have my voice, I am still alive.” This would stay with me a long time.

There were many other quotes as well as meaning of their local names that I highlighted in the course of my reading of this book and here is a few I’m sharing.

Gieo gió gãt bão — He would sows the wind will reap the storm.

Tú — refined beauty

Hú’óng — fragrance

And also where the book got its name: So’n ca which means The Mountains Sing. It is a name of a bird that sings beautifully.

“Words are like water: once they have escaped one’s mouth, they’ re onto the floor. Words are like knives, leaving invisible wounds that continue to bleed.” Lastly, I learned that we should be careful of words we speak while in pain or on grief. While we are in grief, we must be careful not to also hurt people around us who love us as they are already hurting because of us.

This book will stay with me a long,  long time. Five shiny stars!

Get your copy through Amazon

(Quotes in Bold and Italic formats are from the book, The Mountains Sing.)

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Praises For The Mountains Sing

“…lyrical, sweeping… In a subtle coda, Nguyễn brilliantly explores the boundary between what a writer shares with the world and what remains between family. This brilliant, unsparing love letter to Vietnam will move readers.”

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A sweeping tale of one family’s shifting fortunes in Vietnam across half a century. …invitingly and gracefully told. [Nguyen] is particularly adept at weaving in folktales and aphorisms to create a vivid sense of placeA richly imagined story of severed bonds amid conflict.”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“An engrossing story of family, adversity, war, loss, and triumph… Recalling Min Jin Lee and Lisa See, Nguyen displays a lush and captivating storyteller’s gift as she effortlessly transports readers to another world, leaving them wishing for more. This may be Nguyen’s first novel published here, but one can only hope it will not be the last.”

Library Journal (starred review)

The Mountains Sing is an epic account of Vietnam’s painful 20th century history, both vast in scope and intimate in its telling. Through the travails of one family, Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai brings us close to the horrors of famine, war, and class struggle. But in this moving and riveting novel, she also shows us a postwar Vietnam, a country of hope and renewal, home to a people who have never given up.”
Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of The Sympathizer, winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize

“A sweeping story that positions Vietnamese life within the ​rich and luminous history of national epics like The Tale of Kieu and the Iliad. Expansive in scope and feeling, The Mountains Sing is a feat of hope, an unflinchingly felt inquiry into the past, with the courageous storytelling of the present.”

—Ocean Vuong, 2019 MacArthur Fellow and author of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

“Good literature frees us from

being trapped in our own skins by allowing us to identify with characters and see the world through their eyes. Reading this novel, I was moved by Nguyen Phan Que Mai’s beautiful, even poetic, depictions of enduring courage. I came away with a deeper understanding of the war in which I fought.”

—Karl Marlantes, bestselling author of MatterhornWhat It’s Like to Go to War, and Deep River

“Quế Mai tells the story of the war that tore apart Việt Nam, and of the generation lost to the war, by braiding around it two beautiful strands told by the older and younger generations of a family. This book is an act of love, compassion, and ultimately healing, and very much needed by all who survived the war.”

—Thi Bui, illustrator, and author of The Best We Could Do

Marvelous…The Mountains Sing is a beautiful story of the simple challenge of keeping a family together and the courage of perseverance.  It is told with the sureness of a master storyteller who has the spirit of a poet. A large and complicated story, marvelous to read.”
Larry Heinemann, author of Paco’s Story, winner of the 1987 National Book Award

“In this moving family saga, author Que Mai gives us a rare glimpse into the lives of ordinary North Vietnamese as they struggle to survive the calamities that descend over their country – from the Japanese occupation during World War II, to the harsh and ideological rule of the communists, to the American bombing of the North, and to the shocks and aftershocks of the Vietnam War.  It is a story of loss and sorrow, of longing for peace and normalcy, and—above all—of the triumph of hope over despair, told in the authentic voices of a resilient and resourceful grandmother and her granddaughter. “

—Mai Elliott, Pulitzer Prize Finalist for The Sacred Willow: Four Generations in the Life of a Vietnamese Family

 

“Over the last two decades we have been gifted with works by Vietnamese writers who have brought us into the consciousness of those that Americans saw only as backdrops for their own stories. Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai not only adds to that rich body of work, she daringly Trầnscends it.”

—Wayne Karlin, author of Wandering Souls: Journeys with the Dead and the Living in Viet Nam, editor of Curbstone’s Voices from Vietnam series

“A poignant and vivid portrayal of a brutal slice of Vietnamese history from a perspective that is so rarely heard abroad: that of the Vietnamese themselves. We are starkly reminded of how those wars—and wars everywhere—wash over and drown both the guilty and innocent alike.”
Doreen Baingana, author of Tropical Fish: Stories out of Entebbe, winner of the 2006 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize

“Based on Quế Mai’s family history and on the lives of the people around her in village and city life, The Mountains Sing is the story of four generations of the Trần family told from the point of view of the family matriarch and her granddaughter, a wise young girl who provides, in contrast to her grandmother’s rich and moving story, the perspective of the generation that literally grew up with the war. But this is not simply another war story, or another example of so-called ‘Vietnam Lit’ because this is a manuscript distinct in its story-telling techniques. This is a story about the power of hope and love in the face of the worst imaginable circumstances, framed by a beautifully clear arc and peopled by the fully developed characters of the Trần family who come alive and seem to sit right there beside us to tell their story. In The Mountains Sing, Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai has found a true and clear voice in English that is rich and compelling the way only those who come to English as a second language can sometimes manage.”
Bruce Weigl, Pulitzer Prize Finalist and author of the bestselling memoir The Circle of Hanh

“Although I am hesitant to use the word, this is an epic novel. Quế Mai has pulled off something rather extraordinary here—she is teaching her readers large swathes of Vietnamese history, while never losing a novelist’s connection with the emotional reality of her characters. Since she is writing not simply about a war but one still in living memory, parts of this story are very painful and dark but she neither shies away from this nor alienates the reader from it. There were points when I wanted the horror to stop, but I never wanted to stop reading. The structure is clever, the writing often evocative, the characters convincing and very touching and the whole narrative deeply engaging. And this is a first novel! Impressive.”
Sara Maitland, author of seven novels includingDaughter of Jerusalem, winner of the Somerset Maugham Award

“The Mountains Sing is an enthralling family saga, set against the turmoil of war and a changing political climate. Inspired by real life events, Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai’s story will thrill, shock and terrify the reader in equal measure. It will also inspire them with its life-affirming qualities of everyday heroism and survival against all the odds.”
Philip Caveney, author of twelve adult novels and winner of the 2016 Scottish Children’s Book Awards

Thanks to Algonquin Books for sending me an e-copy in exchange for a honest review.

List Of Nigerian Women Writers | Happy International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day, everyone!!!

Here is to every woman out there, winning against all odds and paving ways, I love your resilience. Remain strong. The world is at your feet, god.

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To celebrate this day, I compiled a list of Nigerian Women Writers. Enjoy.

  • Hafsat Abdulwaheed
  • Ayobami Adebayo
  • Catherine Acholonu
  • Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi
  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Abimbola Alao
  • Lesley Nneka Arimah,
  • Nana Asma’u
  • Sefi Atta
  • Ayo Ayoola-Amale
  • Akachi Adimora Ezeigbo
  • Simi Bedford
  • Buchi Emecheta
  • Bilkisu Funtuwa
  • Karen King Abishala
  • Sarah Ladipo Manyika
  • Amina Mama
  • Nkiru Njoku
  • Martina Nwakoby
  • Flora Nwapa
  • Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
  • Taiwo Odubiyi
  • Molara Ogundipe
  • Ifeoma Okoye
  • Chinelo Okparanta
  • Ukamaka Olisakwe
  • Ayodele Olofintuade
  • Nuzo Onoh
  • Osonye Tess Onwueme
  • Ifeoma Onyefulu
  • Bukola Oriola
  • Ayisha Osori
  • Helen Ovbiagele
  • Helen Oyeyemi
  • Charmaine Pereira
  • Abidemi Sanusi
  • Mabel Segun
  • Taiye Selasi
  • Lola Shoneyin
  • Zulu Sofola
  • Grace Oladunni Taylor
  • Teresa Meniru
  • Ada Udechukwu
  • Adaora Lily Ulasi
  • Rosina Umelo
  • Chika Unigwe
  • Molara Wood
  • Myne Whitman
  • Balaraba Ramat Yakubu
  • Bassey Ikpi
  • Elizabeth Isichei
  • Betty Irabor
  • Rosemary Esehagu

Do you have any favourite on this list? Please mention them. Is there someone I didn’t add? Let me know.

Enjoy your day!

February 2020 Wrap Up

Happy new month. I’m so so glad we are in the third month in 2020. This year is running so fast, don’t you think? Anyways, I love it that way. Another reason I’m so excited is because the Longlist for Women’s Prize for Fiction was released 2 days ago and some books I am hoping to read are part. This is just going to speed up my reading on them at this point. In Women’s Prize, the winner gets to take home £30,000 and this award celebrates “excellence, originality and accessibility in writing by women in English from across the world”. The 2019 Women’s Prize winner is Tayari Jones’s The American Marriage.

Here is the list of the books that made the cut. You might wanna add any of them to your To-be-read (TBR) list.

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Picture credit – goodhousekeeping.com

• Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara

Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner

• Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

• Dominicana by Angie Cruz

• Actress by Anne Enright

• Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

• Nightingale Point by Luan Goldie

• A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes

• How We Disappeared by Jing-Jing Lee

• The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo

• The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel

• Girl by Edna O’Brien

• Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

• Weather by Jenny Offill

• The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

• Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

The Women’s prize will also be celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The shortlist will be announced on 22nd of April, 2020 and the winner will receive an anonymously endowed cheque for £30,000, on 3rd of June, 2020.

Moving on, in my January Wrap up, I posted my February Hopefuls and there were just 5 books but I’m here to tell you I read 15 beautiful books in February.

February Hopefuls according to my last wrap up: 

• Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren
• Heaven’s Open Book by Sheldon Peart
• Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor
• Regretting You by Colleen Hoover
• Lie to Me, Dan by Longtrin Wentrin

What I actually read:

• Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren |4 stars

• Keeping Secrets by Kiru Taye | 4 stars

• Making Scandal by Kiru Taye | 4 stars

• Heaven’s Open Book by Sheldon Peart | 3.5 stars

• No Strings Attached by Uwanma Odefa |4 stars

• The Judge’s Secret by Amaka Azie | 4 stars

• Sins of Omission by Catherine Lanigan | 5 stars

• Jagua Nana by Cyprian Ekwensi | 4 stars

• Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor | 3.5 stars

• Regretting You by Colleen Hoover | 5 shiny stars

• Lumberjack by Jenika Snow | 3 stars

• Virgin by Jenika Snow | 3 stars

• Baby Fever by Jenika Snow |2 stars

• Feral by Jenika Snow |3 stars

• Viking by Jenika Snow | 3 stars

My favourite reads for February are Sins of Omission by Catherine and Regretting You by Colleen Hoover.

My March Hopefuls are:

• Roomies by Christina Lauren.

• Beautiful Stranger by Christina Lauren.

• An American Marriage by Tayari Jones.

• The Mountains Sing by Que Mai Phan Nguyen.

• The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang.

• Seaplanes Don’t Fly At Night by Jeff and Clare Curtis.

•Odriel’s Heir by Hayley Reese Chow.

What book are you hoping to read this month? Are there any books you have read in the all the ones listed above or you have some of them in your TBR list? Tell me in the comments.

By the way, you might want to use the pictures below as wallpapers or even your display pictures on your social media handles. Click on them to download. Don’t forget to tag me @a_lit_babe or use the hashtag #storystoryoh when you post it on your social media handles!

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Have an amazing month!

 

 

 

Book Review: Heaven’s Open Book by Sheldon Peart

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Book: Heaven’s Open Book

Author: Sheldon Peart

Publication Date: December 11, 2018.

Length: 190 pages

Synopsis:

Welcome to a peek into the lives of some devout Christians. Meet Clifford and Sandra Campbell, happily married for ten years, until Sandra ‘gives her heart to Jesus,’ and her body becomes the ‘temple of the living God.’
Listen to the charismatic Pastor Gerald Panton, as he electrifies his congregation, and wrestles with his educated and outspoken wife, Catherine. The charming Timothy and Beatrice Henriquez, will impress you with their dogged determination, simplicity and piety. And you may like, or even dislike the uncompromising Deacon Barrington Duncan and his sophisticated wife, Cindy. But, Hector and Jasmine Blackstock, will serve you a treat you’ll never forget.
When deep spiritual thoughts heighten Clifford Campbell’s search for the path to heaven, he is raptured in a startling vision. But Clifford’s wife, Sandra, and some Christian stalwarts from Earth, are missing from the heavenly throng. What will Heaven’s Open Book divulge?
The revelations are instantaneous, detailed, and shocking. But when the smoke clears, Heaven’s Open Book, is a blessing in disguise.

My Review

“You have preached numerous sermons, denouncing society which openly commits or condones such sins as fornication, adultery, homosexuality, abortion drunkenness, drug use, avarice and other outrageous sins. But, because you don’t commit those “horrible” sins, you think you are morally superior and look with disdain on those who do. You forget that your own life  is not without sin, although you choose to consider yours to be petty.” — Heaven’s Open Book, Sheldon Peart.

If there is any adjective to describe Heaven’s Open Book, it’s eye-opening. This book sheds light on the hypocrisy of believers and how most believers tends to feel and act superior to each other and non-believers because they feel they are more righteous and more deserving of the kingdom of God.

This book highlights many atrocities believers commit in the open and also in the secret. From people who are so self-absorbed to the overly righteous to the unforgiving ones and even to those who commit sexual sins on the “altar”.

Heaven’s Open Book is a wake up call for every believer to sit aright and know what they are doing. It is also a signal to everyone that the second coming of Christ is near. Very near.

One thing I like about this book is the author’s easy to read writing style and while it might have some plot holes, I believe the message the author was trying to pass across was the most important.

It’s a good read. 3.5 stars for me.

Get Heaven’s Open Book by Sheldon Peart through Amazon.

This book was sent to me by the author, Sheldon Peart in exchange for a honest review.

Book Review: Never Date A Doctor by Melanie Smith

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Book: Never Date a Doctor
Author: Melanie A. Smith
Publication date: February 25th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Synopsis:

From best-selling author Melanie A. Smith comes the first book in a new series of steamy contemporary medical romance standalone novels about life lessons that break all the rules.

What’s the first rule of nurse’s club? That’s right: Never date a doctor. Which Sasha Suvorin has no intention of doing anyway, since she’s a nurse at Rutherford Hospital by day and working on her master’s degree by night. Who has time for dating, much less dating someone you work with? Bad idea much?

That is, until the sexy British Dr. Caleb Thompson starts at her hospital. It also doesn’t help that he’s exactly her type with his dark hair, blue eyes, and rockin’ bod. Or that he’s not your typical arrogant and bossy surgeon. But Sasha isn’t so easily convinced, and she soon discovers Dr. Hottie has a past that puts a stop to whatever she might have been feeling before anything ever starts between them.

Unfortunately, working together means facing temptation. Every. Single. Day. Is Sasha strong enough to resist what might just be the perfect man? And if she gives in, will Cal’s past stay in the past? Sasha may be used to playing it safe, but life has a way of teaching its lessons … one way or another.

My Review
Looking for a steamy, fast-paced,  will have you gasping at the slightest provocation? Then Never Date A Doctor is for you. The heroine, Sasha is not the kind that believes in casual flings, she wants the whole connection and this, she gets in the whole meal Caleb Thompson is. What makes it more special was the last time she had such connection was when she was still a teenager.
Never Date A Doctor is one book with a guaranteed happy ending. After the tries of all antagonists to destroy what Sasha and Caleb had, they still came out so in love.
Lessons I learnt in this book are:
1. Don’t let what has happened in the past be the hindrance to your future or happiness.
2. Communication is key. This is one thing every relationship counsellor will say and this does not apply to romantic relationships alone but also our platonic relationships.
If you are looking for some medical hullabaloo, you may not find what you are looking for in Never Date A Doctor. It is plainly a beautiful “office” romance with lots of steam 😎😎😎
In the spirit of love, make sure you read this book. Don’t say I didn’t do anything for you.
💉💉💉💉/5
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Giveaway
Win:
•A peacock book sleeve by SewHappyStitchHappy.
•A peacock artmark by Bookartbookmarks.
•A “Book Boyfriends do it better” tote bag.
•A signed paperback with matched bookmark.
Giveaway is international.

Book Blitz: BE MY VALENTINE

BE MY VALENTINE, VOLUME TWO
A LOVE AFRICA PRESS COLLECTION

 

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Life is beautiful especially when you’re in love.
Dive into these hand-picked contemporary romance novellas and fall in love this Valentine’s Day.

Featured stories:
The Curse of Valentine by Glory Abah
She will be loved by Zee Monodee
When Love Happens by Rosemary Okafor
Until Morning by Mukami Ngari

THE CURSE OF VALENTINE by Glory Abah

Jane fell in love in January, to a man she glimpses every evening after work on the way home. Not bold enough to talk to him, she’s content with just staring at her daily fix from afar.

Until one stupid February day when he approaches, starts a conversation and she bolts.

Because February is the worst month in the history of months. And she’s cursed. Cursed to be dumped and left broken-hearted on Valentine Day.

Can she break the curse of Valentine and keep the man she loves?

SHE WILL BE LOVED by Zee Monodee

This Valentine’s Day, the music scene’s hottest artist, DJ Den, is set to perform his worldwide smash hit in Mauritius. Jaeden Kang—the man from Shetland behind the stage name—is looking forward to a break and some inspiration before his tour gobbles him up again.

Tanzanian medical doctor Zenobia Hashemi is visiting her brother on the island when her path crosses that of Jaeden and they’re off to a rocky start.

Neither of them ‘does’ love … but life has other plans for them during this trip!

WHEN LOVE HAPPENS by Rosemary Okafor

Morgan is ruthless and plays dirty to protect his billion-dollar conglomerate. However, he holds a dark secret that could destroy him if exposed. His relationships with women are about pleasure alone until one weekend with the beautiful Eno leaves him ready to risk everything for her.

Eno was a young journalist when she witnessed Morgan murder his wife. Six years later, she’s ready to do anything to make him pay for his crime. Until she falls for his charms. Now she’s torn between destroying the proud billionaire and allowing herself to fall in-love with him.

UNTIL MORNING by Mukami Ngari

Following a devastating relationship breakup, Zawadi is out on a girls’ night out with friends when she meets a sexy stranger with a deep soulful voice created for baby-making music, the handsome face and hot body of a potential cult leader and who rides a motorbike like a speed demon. He becomes her first one-night stand.

Soon she discovers the sexy stranger is her new investor, Gerald. Things deteriorate when he pretends he’s never met her and then she discovers his unfathomable secret.

Will love win this Valentine season?

 

AVAILABLE ON

AMAZON (US) | AMAZON (UK) | SMASHWORDS | OKADABOOKS | BARNES & NOBLE | APPLE | KOBO

ADD ON GOODREADS

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

GLORY ABAH

Glory Abah is a die-hard romantic whose head has always been in the clouds. She started reading books from a very young age and finally, decided to pen down the love stories she fantasizes about. She lives in Nigeria and loves to hear from her readers.

You can reach her at (cue social media handles and email address)

Join her mail list to have first access to free stories, book releases, discounts and many more exciting offers, including a FREE book. Click the link ( http://eepurl.com/dnpV-r)

ZEE MONODEE

Of Indian heritage & a 2x breast cancer survivor, Zee lives in paradise (aka Mauritius!) with her long-suffering husband, their smart-mouth teenage son, and their tabby cat who thinks herself a fearsome feline from the nearby African Serengeti plains. When she isn’t in her kitchen rolling out chapattis or baking cakes while singing along to the latest pop hit topping the charts, she can be found reading or catching up on her numerous TV show addictions. In her day job, she is an editor who helps other authors like her hone their works and craft.

AUTHOR SITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM

ROSEMARY OKAFOR

Born in Nigeria in 1987, Rosemary Okafor graduated from Rivers State University and has since been employed as a broadcaster, news writer, radio script writer, stage play writer and a shop keeper. She writes short romance and other genres on social media for her followers. This would be her first official published prose. When she is not writing, she is busy as an online marketer, a wife and a mother.

FACEBOOKTWITTER | INSTAGRAM

MUKAMI NGARI

Mukami Ngari is from Nairobi, Kenya.

She is the author of the critically acclaimed novel, Pharaoh’s Bed.

She enjoys telling sweet passionate romance and women fiction stories set in Africa.

When she is not writing or reading, she enjoys practicing yoga and watching supernatural T. V shows.

Follow her on her social media account to connect with her and to find out about new releases.

FACEBOOKTWITTER | INSTAGRAM

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Author’sDelight #5: “I believe love is possible for everyone.” — Andrea Hare, novelist, poet.

Hello, readers of StoryStoryOh. I bring yet another amazing author to you. It is the month of love and who else would I interview, if not someone who “grew up on love”. Read through and enjoy the beautiful person Andrea Hare is. 

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Oreoluwa Eunice: Hello, I am Oreoluwa from StoryStoryOh. It’s pleasing to have you on Author’sDelight today. Please introduce yourself.
Andrea Hare: Hi. My name is Andrea Daphne Hare and I’m a romance author. My pen name is Andy Hare as my readers know me.
Oreoluwa Eunice: It’s very good to have you here. You said you are a romance author… Is there a reason you are specific about the kind of books you write?
Andrea Hare: Yes, actually. Since I was little, I’ve always been caught up in the idea of fairy tales and happily ever after. I spent all my lunch money on romance novels throughout high school. I preferred them to food. So I grew up on love, so to speak. I write my genre because I believe in love wholeheartedly and I believe that it’s possible for everyone.
Oreoluwa Eunice: Wow. It’s rare to find someone in this age and time to totally believe in love and believe it for everyone. So can I conclude that your book reading interests do not surpass romance? Do you read other genres?
Andrea Hare: Oh no. I mean, primarily romance novels are my go to. All the time. But I enjoy a little fantasy and sci-fi as well. Both genres are intriguing.
Oreoluwa Eunice: Good to know. So, Andrea, are you currently reading any book?
Andrea Hare: Yes I am. It’s a little slow because I have a lot to write but I’m making my way through it steadily. I’m reading Like Dejavu by Paul Ezeodili. It’s truly an amazing book.
Oreoluwa Eunice: This is my first time hearing about it. I hope I get to read it soon. Among all your books, which one do you think is your best and why?

Andrea Hare: This is a tough one. Okayy. If I absolutely had to choose, I would say Syrtis. I wrote Syrtis after being taught in the Fresh Writers Community. I got better as a writer in my time there. So the plot is more rounded and my writing is way better.

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Oreoluwa Eunice: Are there any specific lessons you learned while writing Syrtis? Please share them.
Andrea Hare: Oh. Okay. Well? My paragraphing is way better and I learned to better place my punctuations. In my other works, I got reviews that my dialogues were confusing and readers couldn’t tell who was speaking at what time . So, I fixed that as well.

For the plot, I learned a lot of things. The book is based off of a real happening in my country.
In summary, a Lebanese establishment banned Liberian women from entering without a male escort.

The idea of Syrtis came to me and I decided to run with it. I had to study our constitution to get the women’s rights and do a ton of research also on women’s rights.
Oreoluwa Eunice: Wow. That’s a lot of development on your side. I’m glad you listened to your readers’ reviews and decided to get better. This shows how amazing you are as an author.
Have you then been able to educate people on women’s rights in your country? Did you get any feedback in that aspect?
Andrea Hare: Yes, I did. The few that have read my book, the readers of the book in my country, especially the women, are thrilled that I wrote it with them in mind.

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Another of Andrea Hare’s books

 

Oreoluwa Eunice: Great. Who are your favorite authors?
Andrea Hare: Okay,  let’s see. I really, really love Colleen Hoover. Her books really speak to my soul; she keeps me believing in love.
I absolutely adore Nicholas Sparks. He’s an amazing author.
Danielle Steele is also a favorite; J. K Rowling; R. L Stine and a few others.
Oreoluwa Eunice: Alright. I want to ask a few fun questions. Are you ready?
Andrea Hare: Yayyy yeah!
Oreoluwa Eunice: What book do you think is very underappreciated?
Andrea Hare: Hmm. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. It’s a really good book; the right amount of intensity and love.
Oreoluwa Eunice: If there is one thing you can change about the world, what would it be?
Andrea Hare: I would change the distinction between rich and poor. People should just be people, what you have shouldn’t affect your attitude towards another human being.
Oreoluwa Eunice: What is your favorite color?
Andrea Hare: Yellow. Definitely yellow.

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Beautiful Andy

Oreoluwa Eunice: Which animal is your spirit animal, if there is?
Andrea Hare: I’d like to think of myself as a dog😅
I’m fiercely loyal and I’ll love you to death.
Oreoluwa Eunice: chocolate or vanilla?
Andrea Hare: CHOCOLATE
Oreoluwa Eunice: would you rather be able to sleep for 10 years without disturbance or travel the world without disturbance?
Andrea Hare: Travel the world 😅
Oreoluwa Eunice: Definitely what I would want to do too.
Oreoluwa Eunice: So, Andrea, what advice do you have for other writers hoping to pursue their dreams like you do yours?
Andrea Hare: I want to let them know that it’s tough out here but if the passion is strong enough to withstand the pressure that’ll hit from all over, it’s beautiful.✨ Oh, and write from the heart. Always.

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Oreoluwa Eunice: Thank you, Andrea. It was really a delight discussing with you. I wish you the best in everything you do.
Andrea Hare: Thank you as well 🤗

 

Links to Andrea Hare’s books

SYRTIS

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COLOR ME INTRIGUED

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CHRONIC INSOMNIA

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Author’sDelight is a platform where young and budding writers are interviewed on StoryStoryOh. If you want to be featured, send an email to oreoluwaogunsina@gmail.com I will be delighted to have you. 

January 2020 Wrap-Up

Hello everyone, happy new month!! Welcome to the month of love and Black History Month. (Black History Month is an annual observance originating in the United States, where it is also known as African-American History Month. It has received official recognition from governments in the United States and Canada, and more recently has been observed unofficially in Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. It began as a way of remembering important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. It is celebrated in February in the United States and Canada, while in Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom it is observed in October.    ~Culled from Wikipedia. Read more about this on Wikipedia. 

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Moving on to the books I read in January

• Wallbanger by Alice Clayton
• A People’s History Of Heaven by Mathangi Subramanian | ARC read |  A re-read
• The After Wife by Melanie Summers | ARC read | Published January 10th, 2020
• Never Date A Doctor by Melanie Smith | ARC read | To be published February 25th, 2020
• Revved by Samantha Towle
• Rival by Penelope Douglas
• Longthroat Memoirs by Yemisi Abishala | DNF

On my five stars list, I have:

A People’s History Of Heaven by Mathangi Subramanian. Click to read my review on it.

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• Wallbanger by Alice Clayton. A beautiful enemies-to-lovers romance. Super slow burn yet satisfying and filling in the end.
• The After Wife by Melanie Summers. I wrote a review on it. Read my review.

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On my four stars list, I have:

• Revved by Samantha Towle | I had issues with the hero in this book but I liked how the author worked on his character growth.
• Never Date A Doctor by Melanie Smith | Look out for my review. I will be posting it here this month.

On my three stars list is Rival by Penelope Douglas.

I did not finish Longthroat Memoirs by Yemisi Aribisala. I cannot really pinpoint why I didn’t. I guess I wasn’t just in the mood for a memoir. Every book has its own time and I will read it again sometime because it is one beautiful book but not anytime soon.

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My best read from January is A People’s History Of Heaven. Read my review on it. I recommend it over and over and over. If you are planning to read any book this year, A People’s History of Heaven should be a part.

February Hopefuls

• Beautiful Bastard by Christine Lauren | Read this already
• Heaven’s Open Book by Sheldon Peart | ARC read | watch out for my review
• Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor | Currently Reading
• Regretting You by Colleen Hoover
• Lie to Me, Dan by Longtrin Wentrin

I would also be reading The Mountains Sing by Que Mai Phan Nguyen. It is set to be published March 17, 2020 and is an ARC sent to me by Algonquin Books.

I would also be reading any book I want to  read. 😁 I am a mood reader. 

Did you read any book in January? Do you have any 2020 reading goals? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Let’s discuss in the comments.

ARC — Advance Reader/ Review Copy.

DNF — Did Not Finish

Book Review: A People’s History Of Heaven by Mathangi Subramanian

Book: A People’s History Of Heaven

Author: Mathangi Subramanian Pages: 209

Genre: Literary Fiction

Synopsis:

A politically driven graffiti artist. A transgender Christian convert. A blind girl who loves to dance. A queer daughter of ahijabi union leader. These are some of the young women who live in a Bangalore slum known as Heaven, young women whom readers will come to love in the moving, atmospheric, and deeply inspiring debut, A People’s History of Heaven. Welcome to Heaven, a thirty-year-old slum hidden between brand-new high-rise apartment buildings and technology incubators in contemporary Bangalore, one of India’s fastest-growing cities. In Heaven, you will come to know a community made up almost entirely of women, mothers and daughters who have been abandoned by their men when no male heir was produced. Living hand-to-mouth and constantly struggling against the city government who wants to bulldoze their homes and build yet more glass high-rises, these women, young and old, gladly support one another, sharing whatever they can.

A People’s History of Heaven centers on five best friends, girls who go to school together, a diverse group who love and accept one another unconditionally, pulling one another through crises and providing emotional, physical, and financial support. Together they wage war on the bulldozers that would bury their homes, and, ultimately, on the city that does not care what happens to them.

This is a story about geography, history, and strength, about love and friendship, about fighting for the people and places we love–even if no one else knows they exist. Elegant, poetic, bursting with color, Mathangi Subramanian’s novel is a moving and celebratory story of girls on the cusp of adulthood who find joy just in the basic act of living.

“Education is the reason we moved to the city in the first place,” her father tells her mother. “We never had it. Our child deserves it.” By child of course, he means his son.

A People’s History Of Heaven – Mathangi Subramanian

 

My Review

A People’s History of Heaven by Mathangi Subramanian is a book filled with rich, lyrical and dreamy goodness. Mathangi is a demi-god when it comes to descriptions and exposition. With each vibrant word put together, she gave us the readers alive characters in five bestfriends: Joy, Rukshana, Deepa, Padma and Banu. I couldn’t even pick a favourite because they were all wonderful, beautiful and impacting in their own way.

Mathangi explores lives of the castaways and people seen as nonetities in India and instead of the depressing lines I thought I would thread in this book (because she wrote about people living in slums… I thought I would need my box of tissue nearby), I walked through colourful spaces Mathangi created. The people of Heaven are unabashedly living, hopeful and content despite their living conditions. They have ambitions, dreams, lives and hopes.

Boys will be boys, after all. But daughters are not too be trusted. When you are a girl in Heaven, someone is always watching. 

A People’s History Of Heaven – Mathangi Subramanian 

Gender is also a huge discourse in this book. Wavering from how female children are killed at birth because they are female, disregarded if they can’t bring money or food to the table, or are strewn off to their husbands at very tender ages, all these pointed fingers at the fact that daughters in India (and worldwide) are perceived as worthless in every other sense (except for what their vaginas can bring). The boys are allowed to play around, climb trees, man major businesses, live lives but the girls are to sit at home, close their laps and wait for Prince Charming.

 Neelamma Aunty had always thought of motherhood like marriage: a set of duties and obligations, a series of defined tasks. But clutching Deeps to her chest, she realized it was something more. Something she would have to learn. Not the way she had learned tailoring to bring in money but the way she had learned to raise herself.

For days, she waited for the gravity of her epiphany to weigh her down but all she felt was lightness. 

A People’s History of Heaven – Mathangi Subramanian 

Mathangi Subramanian brings to limelight the mothers women of Heaven are. As incapacitated as they might seem, they protect what’s theirs and as much as they follow the narrative of what the female life is “supposed” to be, there was a steady growth in their mentality.

This book is poetic and refreshing and inspiring and joyous. It’s a thin line between light and heavy; not too light you find it fleeting, not too heavy you find it depressing.

A People’s History Of Heaven has all my damn five stars. Truly deserves it.

 

Love isn’t running away to save yourself. It’s staying together to survive. 

A People’s History Of Heaven – Mathangi Subramanian 

Get it through Amazon and give yourself a treat. 

Blog Spotlight: A People’s History Of Heaven by Mathangi Subramanian

Paperback Publication date: January 14th, 2020.

Genre: Literary Fiction.

Publisher: Algonquin Books

Synopsis:

A politically driven graffiti artist. A transgender Christian convert. A blind girl who loves to dance. A queer daughter of ahijabi union leader. These are some of the young women who live in a Bangalore slum known as Heaven, young women whom readers will come to love in the moving, atmospheric, and deeply inspiring debut, A People’s History of Heaven.
Welcome to Heaven, a thirty-year-old slum hidden between brand-new high-rise apartment buildings and technology incubators in contemporary Bangalore, one of India’s fastest-growing cities. In Heaven, you will come to know a community made up almost entirely of women, mothers and daughters who have been abandoned by their men when no male heir was produced. Living hand-to-mouth and constantly struggling against the city government who wants to bulldoze their homes and build yet more glass high-rises, these women, young and old, gladly support one another, sharing whatever they can.

A People’s History of Heaven centers on five best friends, girls who go to school together, a diverse group who love and accept one another unconditionally, pulling one another through crises and providing emotional, physical, and financial support. Together they wage war on the bulldozers that would bury their homes, and, ultimately, on the city that does not care what happens to them.
This is a story about geography, history, and strength, about love and friendship, about fighting for the people and places we love–even if no one else knows they exist. Elegant, poetic, bursting with color, Mathangi Subramanian’s novel is a moving and celebratory story of girls on the cusp of adulthood who find joy just in the basic act of living.

About Mathangi Subramanian:

Mathangi Subramanian is an award-winning Indian American writer, author, and educator. She is a graduate of Brown University and the Teachers College of Columbia University, and the recipient of a Fulbright as well as other fellowships. Her writing has previously appeared in the Washington Post, Quartz, Al Jazeera America, and elsewhere. This is her first work of literary fiction.

Praise for A PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF HEAVEN:

“The language [takes] on a musicality that is in sharp contrast to the bleak setting…refreshing…a strong debut.”

—New York Times Book Review

“Subramanian writes with empathy and exuberance, offering a much-needed glimpse into a world that too many of us don’t even know exists. This is a book to give your little sister, your mother, your best friend, yourself, so together you can celebrate the strength of women and girls, the tenacity it takes to survive in a world that would rather have you disappear.”

–Nylon

“The novel tenderly guides the reader into and through the struggles of lives lived at the margins, with a sensitivity to experience that can’t be reduced to an apolitical and static image of slum life. If anything, Subramanian deftly explores what political solidarity can look like…A People’s History of Heaven does not reduce its characters to dozens of fists raised in the air, but instead gives a full account of the extraordinary lives that stand shoulder-to-shoulder in the wreckage of a wealthy city, ready to fight against the bulldozers upon the horizon.”

—Believer

“A vibrant novel…a beautiful story of love, loyalty, and female friendship.”

—HelloGiggles

“[A] colorful, dramatic coming of age story.”

—Ms. Magazine

“This novel features a wide cast of characters and each girl has a unique perspective to offer. This book highlights many themes such as poverty, feminism, transgender issues, and living with disabilities. This beautifully written novel follows these girls as they navigate life’s obstacles with the love and support of their friends and family… I also fell in love with each character very quickly. Each girl in the story is very compelling in their own way, and I kept turning the pages to learn more about them…Perfect for readers who want to learn more about Indian and South Asian culture, or for readers who love stories featuring strong female friendships.”

—Reading Women

“Subramanian’s observations are sharp, witty, and incisive; her writing is consistently gorgeous. She is passionate about the plight of Indian girls subjected to a patriarchal system that ruthlessly oppresses and devalues them…In depicting the societal ills that oppress India’s women, Subramanian refuses to acquiesce to the plot that fate seems to have written for these girls. With the assistance of each other, their mothers, and a particularly dedicated headmistress — and in ways that stretch credulity — each girl overcomes seemingly intractable obstacles to face another day.”

—Washington Independent Review of Books

“Spending time with this fearsome five is…just plain fun. Slum life is never romanticized. The narrator, an unnamed member of the girls’ inner circle, delivers enough cynical wisdom and pithy commentary to show just how wise these girls are to their plight without dismissing how insidious cultural messages are. What crystalizes is the sure knowledge that none of them are powerless…A People’s History of Heaven forefronts human dignity and the intelligence it takes to survive at the intersection of so much society uses to set people apart, while also making it clear that, ‘in Heaven, anger is not about any one person. It’s about the whole world.’”

–Foreword Reviews

“Poetic…Subramanian’s rich imagery conjures up the bustle of a diverse city where children live in poverty mere blocks from three-story homes where their mothers work as maids. With its heroic young cast, A People’s History of Heaven has huge YA crossover potential, and its social commentary makes it a wonderful book club selection. As colorful as a Rangoli design, this bittersweet coming-of-age story will linger in the reader’s mind.”

–Shelf Awareness

“Wonderful…The stories of these young women…are full of emotion and drama, and also fierce power and hope. Their relationships and support for one another is inspiring, making this a beautiful testament to friendship and individuality. More LGBTQ+ novels about people of color, please!”

–BookRiot

“Subramanian sets her story within the harsh reality of Indian slum life but neither sentimentalizes the poverty of the girls nor dwells on it. Instead, she shows their potential and the joy that they can find with each other.”

—Real Change News

“Tackling some of the most trenchant issues facing Indian women in particular—casteism, arranged marriage, forced sterilization—as well as women all over the world…It has the heart-on-its-sleeve melodrama of some of the most successful teen novels and films, though it will likely also appeal to adults wanting to tuck in to a novel which is like the brainy big sister of a Lifetime movie. A girl power-fueled story that examines some dark social issues with a light…touch.”

–Kirkus Reviews

A People’s History of Heaven forefronts human dignity and the intelligence it takes to survive at the intersection of so much society uses to set people apart.”

–Foreword Reviews

“How can a novel about a group of daughters and mothers on the verge of losing their homes in a Bangalore slum be one of the most joyful and exuberant books I’ve read? Subramanian writes without a shred of didacticism or pity, skillfully upending expectations and fiercely illuminating her characters’ strength, intelligence, and passionate empathy. A People’s History of Heaven should be a case study in how to write political fiction. Each page delighted and amazed me.”

–Heather Abel, author of The Optimistic Decade

“Strong debut…Subramanian’s evocative novel waves together a diverse, dynamic group of girls to create a vibrant tapestry of a community on the brink.”

–Publishers Weekly

“Everything about A People’s History of Heaven is wonderful: the lyrical, light touch of the narrator, the story, the humor, and most of all, the girls. This novel—as shiny and crinkly and heartbreaking as “cellophane the color of false promises”—overflows with girls I want to meet, befriend, celebrate, and shelter from the ills of their world. But they don’t need me to do that! Faced with bigotry and bulldozers, these girls know exactly what to do: stick together and help each other learn, love, see, fight. These are girls who ache, girls who build, girls who claim or escape girl-ness. Read about Banu, Deepa, Joy, Rukshana, Padma, and Leela: These are girls who save the world.”

–Minal Hajratwala, author of Leaving India

“What a thrill to read a novel as daring and urgent as A People’s History of Heaven. It’s a story about defiance in the face of erasure, about the survival tactics of an unforgettable group of girls. I can’t remember the last time I encountered a voice of such moral ferocity and compassion.”

—Tania James, author of The Tusk That Did the Damage

“Everything about A People’s History of Heaven is wonderful: the lyrical, light touch of the narrator, the story, the humor, and most of all, the girls. This novel…overflows with girls I want to meet, befriend, celebrate, and shelter from the ills of their world. But they don’t need me to do that! Faced with bigotry and bulldozers, these girls know exactly what to do: stick together and help each other learn, love, see, fight. These are girls who ache, girls who build, girls who claim or escape girl-ness. Read about Banu, Deepa, Joy, Rukshana, Padma, and Leela: These are girls who save the world.”

—Minal Hajratwala, award-winning author of Leaving India

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Book Blitz: The After Wife by Melanie Summers

Book: The After Wife
Author: Melanie Summers
Publication date: January 10th 2020
Genre: Women’s Fiction


Synopsis:

From bestselling author Melanie Summers, comes a heartfelt and uplifting tale of love, loss, and letting go…

After losing her husband, writer Abigail Carson has all but given up on life. Having spent the last year cocooned in her Manhattan apartment, Abigail is suddenly forced to find a new home where she can stretch her dwindling savings. Intent on isolation, she moves to a tiny village in Nova Scotia where she’ll have no one to interrupt her solitude.

Little does Abigail realize that small-town life offers far less privacy than the big city. With neighbors knocking on the door bearing homemade treats and invitations, Abby soon finds herself immersed in the lives of the people of South Haven. She forms an unlikely friendship with Liam Wright, the handyman renovating her dilapidated cottage, and his daughter, seven-year-old Olive.

As the dark cloud engulfing Abigail lifts, she begins to believe she may have found love again. But just as Abigail is ready to leap, she discovers Liam carries with him a shocking secret that will ultimately cause everything to unravel. Abigail must decide if she will turn away from his pain or open her heart in the most hopeless of circumstances.

Insightful, enchanting, and filled with hope, The After Wife reminds us of the importance of human connection and the inseparable nature of love and survival.

Read an excerpt from the book

The After Wife – Melanie Summers

Why do I not drink more often? I’m almost through my second pint and I honestly can’t remember feeling so good. I don’t even care how out of place I am. Instead, I happily devour a slice of homemade lemon meringue pie. Dinner service has ended, and most of the guests have filed out, replaced by several locals bearing instruments. A new feeling takes over the restaurant. It’s an easy, relaxed vibe full of inside jokes and laughter as they rearrange the tables into a large horseshoe. I rush to finish my dessert, hoping to make my exit before I attract the attention of every snoopy musician in the village.
Peter gives me a nod. “Liam’s just come in now.”
I turn and see a man standing at the entrance. He looks to be in his early forties. Medium height, with the sturdy build of a fisherman or maybe a miner in days gone by. He has shaggy sandy-brown hair and thick stubble that’s somewhere between needing a shave and needing another couple of months to grow. His eyes, though. There’s something about them that makes me stare a moment too long. They’re the shade of ice blue usually reserved for wolves.
He looks straight at Nettie and Peter, and my gaze follows his. They are standing side by side with matching hopeful grins. They look at me, then back at him, and when I glance in his direction again, I’m met with a look of dread. It doesn’t take me more than a second to figure out he thinks he’s about to be set up and he’s absolutely horrified at the thought of having any of his parts touch any of my parts.
And here I am gawking at him like a moron.
Blue sweater vest woman walks by and touches my arm. “You’ve got a bit of a mustache, love.”
She hurries off in the direction of the ladies’ room while I dab my upper lip with a napkin, confirming that I did, in fact, have a frothy white beer mustache.
Well, that’s that, then. The Millhouse boys it is.
“Liam! Come over and meet Abby!” Peter calls.
No. Please don’t. I swivel my stool to face the bar, and in my overly enthusiastic effort, I swing it too far and bang my left knee on the wood bracket. The force of it causes my body to jar and jerk back to my right and I plant my left hand in what’s left of my pie. I’m a regular Princess Di this evening, all elegance and grace.
Check, please.
Nettie gives me a concerned look. “You all right, love?”
“I’m fine. I just remembered I have to make a phone call. Can you put this on my room?” I smile too brightly as I slide off the stool and start for the side door as fast as my legs can carry me.
“Well, come back when you’re done so you don’t miss the music!” Nettie calls.
“And you still need to meet Liam!” Peter yells.
“I most certainly will!” Not.

Giveaway (International)

Win $100 Amazon gift card & a signed copy of Melanie Summers’ book, The After Wife. Enter Giveaway, ends January 16th.

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Book Review: The After Wife by Melanie Summers

Clicking on book cover to go to Goodreads

The After Wife
by Melanie Summers
Publication date: January 10th 2020
Genres: Women’s Fiction
Synopsis:

From bestselling author Melanie Summers, comes a heartfelt and uplifting tale of love, loss, and letting go…

After losing her husband, writer Abigail Carson has all but given up on life. Having spent the last year cocooned in her Manhattan apartment, Abigail is suddenly forced to find a new home where she can stretch her dwindling savings. Intent on isolation, she moves to a tiny village in Nova Scotia where she’ll have no one to interrupt her solitude.

Little does Abigail realize that small-town life offers far less privacy than the big city. With neighbors knocking on the door bearing homemade treats and invitations, Abby soon finds herself immersed in the lives of the people of South Haven. She forms an unlikely friendship with Liam Wright, the handyman renovating her dilapidated cottage, and his daughter, seven-year-old Olive.

As the dark cloud engulfing Abigail lifts, she begins to believe she may have found love again. But just as Abigail is ready to leap, she discovers Liam carries with him a shocking secret that will ultimately cause everything to unravel. Abigail must decide if she will turn away from his pain or open her heart in the most hopeless of circumstances.

Insightful, enchanting, and filled with hope, The After Wife reminds us of the importance of human connection and the inseparable nature of love and survival.

My review

The After Wife is a profound story of love, loss, fear, what ifs and more. Melanie Summers does a good job in the character growth of Abby. We are first introduced to her reclusive self; one who repels human contact, doesn’t have the best relationship with her family especially her mom and also would rather bask in memories of her husband than live life. She is angry, sad, depressed and not honest with herself, especially when it comes to how she feels. I love how Abby grows to be better and stands on her own feet. It taught me being courageous is hard but either done with your eyes closed or wide open, at least you have done something to move forward.

I love that Melanie Summers did not rush things between Abby and Liam. She makes room for development on Abby’s part and realisation on Liam’s. It was not just the lets-feel-good-now. Their coming together, their love was that of a slow burn, we-need-to-relish-this-and-know-what-we-are-doing.
Part of Abby’s growth was that she realised she had lost herself and she saddled through the mud to find herself and she did. I also love how she slowly came on good terms with her mother and her family. There is no rush in this book, only growth and growth and more growth, enough to teach us it’s okay not to have all the answers.
This book taught me it’s okay not too feel good all the time. It’s okay to be afraid. It’s okay to feel and that courage is a step at a time.

Has all my five stars.

Purchase Links

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Author’sDelight #4: “There is nothing like the best in art” — T.J. Martins, author, poet.

Happy new year, lovelies. It’s Author’sDelight’s time again and the author gracing this interview is no other person than the orchestrator of the “Relationship” genre, T.J. Martins!!! 

If you remember, I wrote my first Spotlight! post on Why You Should Read Every Book Written By T.J. Martins. You can go ahead to read that post after digesting the deets he has for us about writing and books. 

Leggo! 😀

Oreoluwa Eunice: I’m Oreoluwa Eunice and I am pleased to have you on StoryStoryOh’s Author’sDelight. Please introduce yourself.
T.J. Martins: Okay, um, where will I start from?
Isn’t it funny how straight forward questions, are the most difficult to answer? Lol. Like there is no efficient way, to introduce myself wholly in a few words, but I’d try my best.

I’m T.J. Martins, and I’m a novelist who is fascinated and obsessed, with the complexities and intricacies of the vices of human relationship vices, and so I write on them. I’m 19 years, studying Physiotherapy at Redeemers university and I’ve been writing since when I was 16. I’ve written nine books in total—8 novels and one novella, which doesn’t include my collaborations alongside other authors, on some short story anthologies. I’m also a creative writing coach and an ambassador, in the Fresh Writers Community. I like to see myself as an advocate for some causes, like Human relationship vices—which I champion in my works, and mental health also. I’m also a huge Marvel Fanboy, and a music junkie.

I hope this wasn’t too much? Because, well, I don’t exactly know if your question was gunning for just my writing identity solely.

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Oreoluwa Eunice: This is overwhelming. Nine books excluding collaborations. Impressive! Since you have been writing since you were 16, how do you juggle this with Physiotherapy, your youth and other “distractions”?
T.J. Martins: Yes! I intimidate myself a lot, when I reflect on my bibliography, I’m like, “whoa, I’ve written all of that shit?” Lol, sorry. Pardon my language, but you get me. And if I wasn’t someone, who prioritizes quality, over quantity—i’d have most definitely churned out more works than that. So, how do I juggle it with life?

Er, physiotherapy. Well, I just recently gained admission into the university, so I’ve not done any major writing since then. This hiatus is of course, intentional and something I planned well to co incide with school. Right now my priority is bagging a contract with an acclaimed global publishing company, so currently, its more about making some moves and strides towards that venture.

Youth?
Thing is, my persona compliments my art, pretty well. I’m introverted, and so I hardly fancy outings, or social events—and I’d rather stay home, watch a movie and hang out with my small circle of friends, with no interest whatsoever to broaden said circle. And as we all know, being a creative is like, a very consuming and fazing work. Like, it requires a lot from your cognitive and mental faculties, and takes a huge toll on it all. I guess what I’m saying is that, being highly prolific as a writer hasn’t exactly really had a detrimental effect on other parts of my life, like let’s say, my social life—because its not so alive, lol. And as far as “distractions” are concerned, I guess its all about discipline, and how much the art means to you. My art means everything to me, so its that clear cut.
Oreoluwa Eunice: What kind of books do you love to read? Genres? Particular arc you love to see in books? And what kind of books do you stay away from?
T.J. Martins: Ah, one of my favorite questions.
Like I said earlier, I write books on human relationships, where characters are the bedrock of the plot and it thrives on their vices and the varying sort of dynamic relations that they all have with one another. So its natural, that I love reading the type of stuff I write.

So, yeah, basically any book where, amazing characters shine forth and beautiful stories about human struggles are told, I love them. And these kind of stories, you can’t exactly label them and put a genre on them. I’m not a fan of classifying things, with just one word, because its never adequate, but that’s a story for another day. I just love books with compelling stories on people and family.

Most of these type of stories are usually found in Romance. I’m a fan of romance though, as long as its well executed and realistic to a good extent. I mean, most of my books are on romantic relationships also. But it doesn’t stop at romance, and it could extend to any genre, as long as its under the scope of human relationships.

Particular arc? Not really. I love coming-of-age YA stories though, but there really isn’t any particular arc I love to watch out for. Unless you’re talking other elements of art, like music, playing a huge role in the story, then I’m all for it.
Not exactly.
I’m pretty open minded, and would take a chance on any type of story, if I have the conviction that I could like it.
Oreoluwa Eunice: Great. Talking about the Relationship genre, what does this genre have to offer our society?
T.J. Martins: A whole lott!

First and foremost, entertainment. Because, come on, let’s be honest—why splurge a couple of bucks on a novel, if you’re not seeking for a thrill. Great art entertains, before it provides any other beneficial value.

And to educate, also? On what?
On human relationship vices. Vices are the woes and throes, that plague human relationships. Its ups and downs. Basically, its “problems” and numerous challenges that people have to contend, in their day to day relations with fellow humans. And that’s what the relationship genre addresses.

It brings these vices into light, in an unadulterated, unapologetic truth. Gripping, realistic but still retaining its fun element. The relationship genre, is like the perfect bridge between literary fiction and genre/commercial fiction. Because it has the complex, deep themes of literary fiction that explore deep topics of the human condition, while placing characters in the center stage, but still seeks to entertain and place the reader on one helluva rollercoaster ride, in the process of unraveling these mysteries. So, yeah.

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Oreoluwa Eunice: Can I conclude that this is what prompted you to write the Repel Series? Or are there other attachments to it?
T.J. Martins: Yes, you can say that.
But something inspired it, of course.

When I was writing my first two books, I wasn’t exactly conscious of a brand. Just writing what I felt like writing. It was until I stumbled on a novel titled, “Kissing Is The Easy Part” on Wattpad, that I realized my brand. I was absolutely blown away by the book. The realistic relationship portrayed, and the complexities it introduced. I hadn’t seen such in a romance book before. Its usually the “star-crossed” lovers stuff, I usually read, so this was refreshing for me. “Rebellion”, my third novel, which is the first in the Repel Series was basically experimenting, on writing my own take on realistic romantic relationships, and because it received the best, overwhelming reception I ever got, when I put it out—that coupled with the fact, that it felt right, writing on that—i decided henceforth to build my brand on that.

In fact, looking back, my first two books before then were even loosely based on characters and complex relationships. So I was writing relationship already, without being conscious of it. So yeah, it is indeed what I was born to write. I believe that.

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Oreoluwa Eunice: I must say that I absolutely enjoy reading about the complexity of relationships and human nature and reading your books help me see the truth of reality. Not many books or authors achieve this, so kudos!
Are you currently writing any book or are you on a hiatus?
T.J. Martins: No, I’m not actively writing any book now.
Because like I said earlier, my priority for the moment is getting a contract, hopefully. I think I already have enough material out there, to help build a solid following that would propel my cause. Plus, I still have like, three works I haven’t put our there.

But I’m already working on the plot draft of my ninth novel, and its shaping up nicely and I can’t wait to write it. Its not going to be anytime soon though, so I’m taking my time.
Oreoluwa Eunice: Would you like to share with us details about this new novel or it is still best kept a secret?
T.J. Martins: That’s as far as prose is concerned.
For poetry, which I’ve dabbled into once—i have a poetry anthology—I’m currently working on collaborating with a friend and colleague of mine, who is a brilliant poet. I don’t want to disclose the identity of said person now, though.
Oreoluwa Eunice: Alright. A little bird told me Black Rose will be released “properly” on Pabpub this year. How do you feel about this?
T.J. Martins: Haha.
Well, its the second in “The Serenade EP” after “Black Rose”, my seventh novel, and its a spinoff. It follows the life of two teenagers, trying to discover themselves, while battling teen Strifes, parents impositions and pressure—just a classic, coming-of-age story that’s very, very multifaceted and heartfelt.

Yep, released properly, because it originally it was uploaded to Swoon Reads, in the ploy of getting a contract, but since that didn’t come to fruition, I’d be taking it off there to PabPub, since many complained of the problem of even accessing the story on the platform.

PabPub has a lot of potential, and its future is very bright, as a pioneer of the next generation of brilliant African stories. If you’ve been watching, you’d see Africa is making a statement. The huge phenomenal success of comic book material, loosely based on our culture, like “Black Panther” in cinema, which is also the same thread of artistry, Tomi Adeyemi has her blockbuster, “Legacy of Orisha” series pillaged on. And let’s not forget the new Chuck Lorre show, “Bob loves Abishola” that’s gradually becoming another cultural phenomenon, all in this same thread of afro cultural diversity. So I think this is the perfect time for any foreign author, especially Africans to crossover to the western world. And that’s the cause, PabPub is championing for African literature, so I believe its going to be huge. So I’m thrilled to be a part of it.

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Oreoluwa Eunice: I am thrilled also and I’m also glad excited about the amount of work going into Pabpub.
Moving on, you use T.J Martins as your pen name. Why? Also, I would love to know, as well as your readers, what those initials stand for?
T.J. Martins: The funny thing about my pen name, is that those initials don’t exactly stand for anything.

I mean yeah, one half of my surname is ‘Martins’ and my name does start with a ‘T’, but the J doesn’t really stand for anything.

T.J. Martins just came to me, as the sort of name that is strong enough to uphold a brand, you know?

That’s basically it.
Oreoluwa Eunice: I personally think it’s a cool pen name. So, T.J., are there any authors you look up to or enjoy their books?
T.J. Martins: Thank you.
I also like to go by the nick, “Reed”. That’s where I coined out the label, “Reeder” for anyone, that’s a fan of my works.

Well, I do have writers I look up to, and sadly none of them are African/Nigerian, because I have a had time vibing with publisher African works. Asides the ones written by my own colleagues, who are aspiring published authors, like myself.

So, authors I look up to; there is Erin Hahn, Emery Lord, Jamie Reed, Lisa Kleypas, Jennifer Niven, Shelby Mahurin, John Green and some handful others.

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Oreoluwa Eunice: I am familiar with some of the authors you mentioned and they are awesome writers.
I will be asking a couple of fun questions. Are you ready to answer them?
T.J. Martins: Haha, press on.
Oreoluwa Eunice: What was the last gift you gave someone?
T.J. Martins: Um, I’m really not the gift-giving type, so I do it very rarely, but the last time I think I did gift someone something, it was most definitely chocolate chipped cookies. Which is a lot coming from me, because I love cookies a lot also.
Oreoluwa Eunice: If you were a rainbow colour, which colour would you be and why?
T.J. Martins: Definitely Blue, because of the fact that it portends something pleasant, and dear. I like to think of myself in that light, and its also a melancholic, sad color. I’m a very emo/sensitive person, and my emotions are very tumultuous at times, so yeah, blue.
Oreoluwa Eunice: If you could time travel, where will you go?
T.J. Martins: Back to the medieval times! I didn’t mention this earlier, but I love historical romance! So please take me back to the time of horses, and breathtaking castles. The time of ruthless lords and brute rakes. The time of ball gowns and debutantes, and scandals.
Oreoluwa Eunice: I love historical romance too. So, E-book or paperback?
T.J. Martins: Yap. 😂
Actually, I prefer hard copy, so deffs paperback. I prefer hardcover to paperbacks, though.
Oreoluwa Eunice: What was the last awesome book you read?
T.J. Martins: Keep Me In Mind by Jamie Reed.

Its a gripping, heart wrenching story of these two teens, madly in love with each other, and the ensuing change, an accident brings to their relationship.

The girl loses her memory, and battles amnesia, therefore forgetting everything about their relationship and what it was. And the boy, has to contend with giving her space to heal, while still making efforts to make an imprint, and ensure he doesn’t fade away totally. It touches on mental illness, and its one arc that makes it more endearing for me, because I love books that act in that capacity, of creating awareness.
Oreoluwa Eunice: Sounds great. What advice do you have for other young writers like you hoping to get published?
T.J. Martins: What I tell every of my mentee at the FWC. Three things are very vital in becoming the best version of yourself.

1. Perseverance.
This art could be very daunting, when it comes to the area of rejections and disappointment. Every great artist is going to be barraged by rejections, at some point. So there is a need to be dogged and determined, and not to be put down by the constant let downs.

2. Diligence.
Be hardworking, and always give your all. You are contending with hundreds of thousands—if not millions, to win the interest of that publishing agency or agent, so you must be working harder than an awful lot of people. Writing is difficult, and I’m sorry to say this, but lazy people can’t find success in it.

3. And last, but not the least, which is also incredibly important, be unique. Build your own brand. Harness your own artistic voice. Stand out. Write the stories, that only you can write. Don’t write the story, your role model is writing—because you can’t write your role model type of stories, better than your role model. You can only write your own stories, best. So, discover your voice and use it to build your own distinguished brand. There is nothing like the best in art. There is only something as being different and unique, and being really good at uniqueness.
Oreoluwa Eunice: We have come to the end of our discussion. It was delightful discussing with you. Thank you for having me.
T.J. Martins: I’m honored to be featured on your platform. Thanks for the opportunity. 🙃

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Links to read T.J. Martins books

RESURGENCE on PabPub:

https://pabpub.com/books/17/

RESURGENCE on Wattpad:

https://my.w.tt/ZMHPkNunI2
REVOLT on Wattpad:  https://my.w.tt/L0tdijiJp2
REVOLT on Pabpub: http://pabpub.com/books/47/

You can read it on PabPub, if its not going through.
REBELLION on  Wattpad: https://my.w.tt/JxKHGRAnI2

Are you an author interested in being featured on Author’sDelight? send a mail to oreoluwaogunsina@gmail.com and let’s get to it! 

Five Stars Predictions (Thrillers I want to read soon)

Happy new year, everyone. I hope you are already enjoying bit by bit the 75 days January has for us. Today’s post is about thrillers I want to read soon and the star predictions I have for them. I present to you five thrillers I want to read with the hope that I will be giving them 5🌟 when I’m done reading. (Watch out for my reviews.)

Clicking on the book covers will take you to their Goodreads page so you can read their blurbs.

  1. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Published February 5th, 2019.

2. The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Published January 9th, 2018.

3. You by Caroline Kepnes

Published August 28th, 2018.

4. The Woman In The Window by A.J. Finn

Published January 2nd, 2018.

5. The Defense by Steve Cavanagh

Published May 3rd, 2016.

So there you have it. I’m really anticipating reading these books 💃

I read Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh last December and it. was. mind-blowing. So I can’t wait to read Defense.

Other honorary mentions are The Wives by Tarryn Fisher and The Only Child by Mi-Ae-Seo.

Click on book covers to read blurbs on Goodreads.

Published December 30th, 2019.
To be published February 11th, 2020.

If you are into mystery and thrillers and you also want to read any of these books, say hi and let’s buddy read. 😀

2019 Wrap-Up: My Year in books, shout-outs, some loving, heartfelt prayers and more books


Read More »

Book Review: When Trouble Sleeps by Leye Adenle

Book: When Trouble Sleeps

Author: Leye Adenle

Publisher: Cassava Republic Press

Year of Publication: September 2018

Synopsis:

Amaka Mbadiwe returns in this gripping sequel to the award-winning Easy Motion Tourist, and trouble isn’t far behind her. The self-appointed saviour of Lagos’ sex workers, Amaka may have bitten off more than she can chew this time as she finds herself embroiled in a political scandal. When a plane crash kills the state gubernatorial candidate, the party picks a replacement who is assured of winning the election: Chief Ojo. But Amaka knows the skeletons that lurk in Chief Ojo’s closet, including what took place at the Harem, the secret sex club on the outskirts of Lagos that he frequents.

Amaka is the only person standing between Chief Ojo and election victory, and he sends hired guns Malik and Shehu after her. Caught in a game of survival, against a backdrop of corruption, violence, sex and sleaze, Amaka must find a way to outwit her bloodthirsty adversaries.

Leye Adenle pulls back the curtain on the seedy underbelly of Lagos once again in this gritty and compelling thriller.

Alùjònú bí owó ò sí,” he said. “There is no spirit like money. There is enough here to buy private jets, entire estates in Osborne, and still have enough change for hundreds and hundreds of Mercedes cars. And if you stand in front of those things and look at them, you will not feel anything. But when you stand in front of money like this, if your heart is not strong enough, you can run mad. That is because of the spirit that lives inside money. Money is power and yet it is just paper. (When Trouble Sleeps — Leye Adenle)

My Review

When Trouble Sleeps is the second book in The Amaka Trilogy, with Easy Motion Tourist being the first.
It is equally thrilling, fast paced and set in the city of Lagos.
Amaka, the protagonist has seemingly bitten off more than she can chew and the big guns are out for her. She has to be smarter and faster than them.
I absolutely love this book. Leye Adenle does not hold anything back in writing this sequel. He explores the theme of mob violence and with his descriptive prowess, I could almost taste the burning flesh of the victim of my tongue, I could feel the heat of the fire!


Themes like power, money, prostitution and many more dominates the book.

[…when trouble sleeps, yanya go wake am.]

When Trouble Sleeps — Leye Adenle


This book is a page turner and it will make your hear race. Leye Adenle is the king of Nigerian crime fiction, y’all show your respect!


I recommend this book to everyone. If you enjoy crime fiction, thrillers and mystery that will turn your heart beat into a pulsing rhythm and make your mouth salivate, this book is for you.


My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

You can get this book from your nearest booksellers.

Book Review: My Life As Marlee by Victoria Anders

Just because you think something is too good to be true doesn’t mean it isn’t. Never lose hope. Because sometimes, hope may be all you have. (My Life As Marlee – Victoria Anders)

Book: My Life As Marlee

Author: Victoria Anders

Year of Publication: 2019

Genre: Young Adult

 

My Review

This book is what I call a sad good book.

First off, I absolutely love the cover and it does not give away the fact that the book is a rollercoaster.

I love the character development of Marlee. How she grew from being unsure of herself to standing up for herself is just amazing.

This book discusses themes like mental health, self confidence, self love, death, friendships and healthy relationships.

I love how Marlee’s relationship with Noah proceeded. It seemed rushed at first but later in the book, I realized it was to project the intensity and absoluteness of their love and relationship.

I must also commend the author for adding Marlee’s life lessons.

They come in handy.

This book is amazing and I recommend it to anyone who loves to read teenage romances and young adult books with realistic themes.

Warning: This book contains lots of cute and cheesy scenes so get ready to smile a lot. Enjoy!

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

You can get your copy from Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

I received an advance review copy for free and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

List Of Christian Fiction Authors you can read this December

Hello people!! Happy new month! Welcome to the last month in this decade 💃 I hope you had a nice November. I’m glad that you are reading on StoryStoryOh today.

I am a lover of Christian Fiction and I have read a lot from some particular authors but before I knew about this authors, I used to have difficulty in knowing Christian authors (maybe because I was really young then and I had no access to the internet) and their books were not everywhere unlike other novels you see flying all around.

So I decided to compile a list of Christian Fiction authors, some of which I have read their books and enjoyed.

So enjoy!

• Francine Rivers
• Karen Kingsbury

Francine Rivers and Karen Kingsbury are my top Christian Fiction authors. I love their books so much!! I also have copies of their books. 


• Beverly Lewis
• Tracie Peterson
• Ted Dekker
• Janette Oke
• Terri Blackstock
• Frank E. Peretti
• Dee Henderson
• Melody Carlson
• C.S Lewis
• Tim LaHaye
• T. Davis Bunn
• Joel C. Rosenburg
• Lynette Eason
• Irene Hannon
• Jerry B. Jenkins
• William P. Young
• Wanda E. Brunstetter
• Lauraine Snelling
• Susan May Warren
• Tamera Alexander
• Lori Wick
• Mary Connealy
• Jody Hedlund
• Angel Elwell Hunt
• Jonathan Cahn
• Rachel Hauck
• Julie Klassen
• Robin Lee Hatcher
• Denise Hunter
• Kim Vogel Sawyer
• Lori Copeland
• Gilbert Morris
• John Bunyan
• Amy Clipston
• Robin Jones Gunn
• Bodie Theone
• Ann Gabhart
• Suzanne Woods
• Shelley Shepard
• Beth Wiseman
• Lisa Wingate
• Dani Pettrey
• Karen Witemeyer
• Cindy Woodsmall
• Deborah Raney
• Kristy Cambron

You can visit your nearest bookseller or make your way over to amazon and buy any of their books that catches your eyes.

Book Review: Easy Motion Tourist – Leye Adenle

Picture credit: Me

Book: Easy Motion Tourist

Author: Leye Adenle

Year Published: 2016

Publisher: Cassava Republic Press

Pages: 327

My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Ouote from the book

Everywhere you look in Lagos, there’s a church’, she said. New churches appear every day. The people are poor, they are desperate. They turn to God for help and when that help doesn’t work, they turn to crime. The young boys become fraudsters, armed robbers. The girls become prostitutes. Some turn to black magic. Just like they believe in God, they also believe in the devil. God asks them to be patient but the devil says, “I will give you what you want; you only have to do one thing in return.’ (Easy Motion Tourist, Leye Adenle)

My Review

Easy Motion Tourist is a page turning and engaging crime novel set in Lagos, Nigeria. This book explores the issues in our present day Nigeria such as prostitution, bribery, drug peddling, ritual killing amongst others.

Amaka, the female protagonist deems herself the keeper of these prostitutes. She looks out for them and is so bent on bringing down the perpetrators of evil in the society, not only to these girls but all round. Guy Collins is the British journalist that gets caught up in all the drama. He sees the mutilated body of a dead girl outside the bar he went to, he gets picked up by the police and from there, his life becomes a rollercoaster.


Easy Motion Tourist is a rollercoaster of a book. I got sucked in the beginning of the book. It has tides and turns that makes you keep wanting more. It also reveals prostitution in a different light.


The plot of this book is thoroughly written and well researched. The mannerism of a average Nigerian is well protected and the book is so relatable. The dialogue has an easy flow to it and it keeps you on the edge of your seat.


I love the way the characters came to life in this book especially those ones I thought will be so flat such as Inspector Ibrahim.

I especially love the character development of Guy Collins. He goes from this naive Briton to someone who becomes aware of the environment he is in.


I really enjoyed reading this book. It’s one of the few Nigerian crime books I’ve read and it’s worth every hype. It’s worth every minute I spent reading it and it definitely has my five stars.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoy books that keep them on the edge of their seats and makes their eyes wide and makes them say, “Wow!” and “What?!” at any provocation. You will definitely enjoy Easy Motion Tourist.

It is the first book in The Amaka Thriller Series. The second is When Trouble Sleeps.

Picture credit : Me🤗

Book Review: Diary Of A Wallflower by Glory Abah

Book: Diary Of A Wallflower

Author: Glory Abah

Year of publication: 2019

Publisher: Love Africa Press

My review

They say you never forget you first love; they have a point. I used to be so emotional then. I used to feel things so intensely. Sometimes, I wonder where all that passion, that drive went to. I even miss the blissful ignorance. There’s something about falling in love without any bad experience getting in the way. It means you get to live freely, without any barrier or fear. It’s why first love is unforgettable. Because it was the one and only time you loved freely. (Diary of A Wallflower, Glory Abah)

Diary of a Wallflower centers around Glory Owhor, a girl who is a total wallflower and not the one to be found frolicking around. So when Alex, her school’s popular and fine boy notices her, she wonders what he sees in her since he was normally found amidst people like him. She finds it unbelievable at first and this shed light on the way Glory sees herself. Glory’s life becomes interwoven around Alex and his friends only and there is a disconnect between her and her former friends. Alex then leaves for the States while Glory remains in Nigeria. This causes a rift in their relationship and soon, Glory went on with her life.

The next phase work the book brings us to when Glory is all grown and working and apparently looking for a partner. Alex shows up but then they are unable to resolve and fully understand themselves. Glory who is the queen of assumption concludes that her male best friend is in love with her and is also trying to win Alex back. Glory can be pretty annoying with her assumptions and I could almost conclude that she didn’t know what she wanted. The plot also contains sub plot where the issues of Glory’s family is portrayed but then you will have to read this book to know.

Diary of a Wallflower is a book that deals with the innocence of first love, coming of age, self esteem and the consequence of assuming and concluding for people.

What I loved

This book is a light read and it’s easy to read. The punctuations were on point and it was well edited. You can also read this book in one sitting. This book can also help you take your mind off reality temporarily.

The book also helps people who lived their secondary school life in boarding school also reminisce.

This book is a HEA. This means Happily Ever After.

What I didn’t like

I didn’t like the fact that the protagonist, Glory was mindless. I felt like the phase of “Alex loves me, He loves me not” went on for too long but I guess there are people who think in this manner. Also, the author didn’t really shed light on some themes that are bones of contention in our present world like gender disparity, self image and so on. Mostly, the romance in the book covered these themes and I felt it would have been better if Glory Abah had blended these themes with the romantic part of the book well. I guess that’s why it is a light read.

I was also a tad bit disappointed. I was hoping to read a diary format in this book. This would have been so interesting.

I also was concerned about the violent behavior Alex exhibited in the beginning of the book and later, he came back and just became a sweetheart and there was no back story about how he changed or his growth or something. This put me off.

Recommendation

I recommend this book to teenagers, young adults or people who are new to reading. It’s a short and a fun read.

Rating

It’s a 3.5/5 for me.

 

I got this book as an e-arc from Glory Abah in exchange for a honest review.

Mini Reviews: Books by Colleen Hoover

Hi, I am so glad you are reading on StoryStoryOh today. I hope the past few months has been good to you. I did a lot of reading in July and a particular author took up quite a few days out of my July. I have been hearing good things about her books and so I decided to give them a trial. When I did, believe me, I could not stop. I started reading her books from one to the other.

Her name is Colleen Hoover.

Colleen Hoover is one author I am so grateful I discovered. She is such a meticulous writer and her books were more than entertaining, they all had things I learnt. You should know, Colleen is a Romance/ YA/ Women’s Fiction author.

On July 14, I started with Maybe Someday and it made me realize that I have been missing out. Maybe Someday isn’t just an average young adult love story. It emphasizes the complexity and ability to recognise love when it’s come. Ridge, the male protagonist is a deaf songwriter and a guitarist and oh my God, this made me appreciate music and my ability to hear it and I love the way Colleen did justice to both the characters of the male and female protagonists.

I moved on to It Ends With Us. I had been seeing a lot of great reviews on this book and I can say it’s worth every hype it gets. This book is amazing, yo! While reading this book, my heart broke a thousand times and the pieces found their way back to each other again. This. Book. Is. Amazing. Full stop. It’s Women’s Fiction and there are great lessons to learn on love, marriage and letting go. It is told from the perspective of battered women in marriage who still stay in abusive marriages despite it all. I recommend it for everyone, male, female, everyone. You’ve got to read this one.

After reading It Ends With Us, I moved on to reading Confess. The concept of this book is mind blowing. Dazall I can say.

Now to my love of all Colleen’s books, November 9. This book is all shades of amazing, mind blowing, beautiful, sweet, special. In fact, I rate it 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟/5. The way it is written and organised is so wonderful I wished I wrote this book. This book will teach you forgiveness, self acceptance, self love, self love, self love, self love, love, love, love, self control and many more. The humor too. I love this book and I am looking forward to rereading it. I don’t know how many times my heart stopped and started while reading this book. I had many “drop the book, stare at the wall for a while to reminisce” moments while reading this book.

Now, to the craziest of them all, Verity. Verity should have come with a big disclaimer. This book, this book, ohmygosh, it will leave you questioning your sanity and humanity literally. It is so twisted and you wouldn’t even know who is villain and who is victim. It’s such a well written book. If you like twists spiced with a bit of villainous lifestyle, scare and romance, then this book is for you. My eyes widened so many times while reading this book. This doesn’t even do it justice. You have to read it, maybe we can discuss it, who deserves what and all. You can hit me up on any of my social media sites.

After reading Verity, I had to quickly read something sweet and Finding Cinderella did it for me. Very short and sweet Novella, it would leave you swooning.

Then I read All Your Perfects. This book is so beautiful, mehn. It explored the crevices and complexities of marriage when the going gets tough. What do you do when you want children at all costs and you are unable to get them? What’s the cost of this on your happiness and marriage? How do you and your spouse withstand this? This book has the answers to these questions. I like that Colleen’s books deal with everyday issues. They are beautiful.

“Yes. It’s kind of embarrassing how excited I am to be a mother. Most girls grow up dreaming of a successful career. I was always too embarrassed to admit that I wanted to work from home and have a bunch of babies.”

“That’s not embarrassing.”

“Yes it is. Women nowadays are supposed to want to amount to more than just being a mother. Feminism and all that.”

Graham scoots me off his chest to tend to the fire. He grabs two small logs and walks them over to the fire pit, then reclaims his seat next to me. “Be whatever you want to be. Be a soldier if you want. Or a lawyer. Or a CEO. Or a housewife. The only thing you shouldn’t be is embarrassed.” (All Your Perfects, Colleen Hoover).

I particularly love this conversation.

I read Losing Hope also and this book is wonderful. It deals with suicide, child rape and self realization. I love, love, love this book. She wrote another book from the female protagonist’s perspective but I haven’t read it. It’s titled Hopeless.

I particularly saved the Slammed Series for the last because I wanted to savour them and Colleen didn’t disappoint. They are three amazing books through and through. The Slammed series include Slammed, Point Of Retreat and This Girl. The humor is great, the writing style is amazing and they all deals with different things that happen in human lives like loss of loved ones, burden of sudden responsibilities, love, growth and everything it entails.

 

The one I read recently is Maybe Not and it is a sweet, funny and interesting novella. It is from the perspective of Warren, Ridge’s friend from Maybe Someday. Warren is such a funny guy and Bridgette is such a fireball. As short as it is, it deals with mental health and growth.

I also read Too Late and this book is also so wonderful. I seriously can’t get over Colleen Hoover. Say I am officially a fangirl and I will stan her forever because she writes so beautifully. Too Late is amazing! I just love how Colleen’s plots were very unconventional. Too late deals with guilt, regret, self image and of course love.

One thing I appreciate about Colleen Hoover is that you can’t read her book and not end up feeling empowered in the end. She is that good.

Colleen Hoover is one author I am glad I discovered and I am certainly now a big fan. Have you read any of her books? If you have, which is your favorite? If you haven’t, which one intrigues you out of these titles? You can also binge-read like I did. I read those books in the space of a week and some days. Nah, I’m not gloating.

Maybe I am. Hehe.

Which of these books have you read? How did you feel after reading? What lessons did you learn?

If you have not read any Colleen Hoover’s book, what are you reading? 😭

Note- She has a new book coming December. It’s titled Regretting you. I can’t wait to read it. 💃

5 reasons you should read every book written by T.J. Martins.

Who is T.J. Martins?

T.J. Martins is a Nigerian, author of 9 books (8 novels, 1 novella) all based on a central theme of the vices of human relationships and their overall impact on the society. Although their glaring genres seem to range from YA to Romance, he thinks the term – Relationship is more appropriate but wouldn’t legitimately claim its the genre since he is yet to ascend into a domineering or influential capacity in the literary society, where he could propound a new genre. When he isn’t writing or fantasizing about winning the Nobel prize—he could be found lamenting that The Sims 4 video game isn’t an improvement on its predecessor and needs a plethora of packs to make it wholesome.

T.J’s favorite books are: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Public Relations by Katie Heaney & Ariana Rebollini (I got help from swoonreads.com)

So why should you read every book written by this young author?

  1. T.J. Martins is an awesome writer. Yeah, cliché, I know. If you are gonna hype someone, you call them awesome, great, wonderful and all sweet names but I’m not joking here. T.J Martins is totally and absolutely and completely an awesome writer. A young and self aware writer, T.J. Martins is someone who knows his onions in the world of writing. If you have read the Repel series, especially the arc I got from him which is the last book in the series, Revolt, you would understand what I am talking about.
  2. Grammar 😍😍: T.J Martins is someone who is good at utilising grammar. Sometimes, I have to check my dictionary when I read his books and when I am done reading, I feel a lot more intelligent so I am not just reading, I am also improving on my vocabulary and that’s awesome for me. Talk about killing two birds with one stone.
  3. T. J Martins’ books have a bit of everything. I love the way he especially discusses topics in his books, from the mundane ones to the ones that carry a lot of weight. You are always bound to learn something and yes, his books are not your typical romantic books. In fact, he created his own genre, Relationship, making us understand the complexities of human relationships and minds and also letting us know that romance is more than what we see with rose colored glasses.
    This is simply killing many birds with a stone.
  1. Sweet names. Look at Anjola Adeite and Lekan Keye from Revolt, Tari Ibiyemi and Lani Olaere from Resurgence and Dayo Tijani and Tiolu Keye from Rebellion. I honestly have not heard some of these names before and they actually grew on me. Other ones are Naade and Adaure from Revolt too.
  2. T.J. Martins is the next best thing. When you start seeing him everywhere, don’t say I didn’t tell you! He has about nine books now, so you can as well pick any of them to read. If you go to Pabpub.com, you will surely find his books there. His books have words of about 178k, 180k or 188k upward but don’t fret, every of his work is worth the hype.

Here’s what, Andy Hare, author of some awesome books like, Color Me Intrigued and Chronic Insomnia which you can find on Wattpad and They Called Her Sunshine, a collection of poems you can find on Pabpub.com had to say about T.J Martins: “TJ Martins is determined. He has been writing for a good amount of time and at his age, he has written more words than some accomplished authors.

His novels center around human relationships and he has found a way to write about it in a way that is both entertaining and educative. He discovered the relationship genre.”

By the way, he masterminded the book that has been getting raving reviews on Pabpub.com, ” The Gentleman’s Guide to Wooing a Lady,” and co-authored with other amazing guys to bring out this beautiful piece of work. I hope you have read it…

I have more reasons to convince you to read books written by T.J Martins but I believe the reasons are solid and convincing enough for you to pick up one book written by him today.

My August Wrap-up

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Hiiiii!!! Awesome readers and followers of this blog, Happy new month!!! How are you all? How did August go for you? I hope it was amazing or was it just pretty busy and occupied like mine?

My August was just there. It was pretty busy for me so I didn’t read a lot of books as planned unlike how I did in July. July was sincerely a hit, back to back. I had a swell time. But this August, school and other busy stuff did not let me shine but trust your babe, I still made sure I read a bit.

Before I move on to the books I read in August, I would like to show my appreciation to everyone who has always showed love by reading, commenting, even sharing articles, stories, poems on this blog since I started it three months ago. You guys are amazing. Thank you so much. Cheers to more amazing time together.

The first book I read this month was Imagine That by Sade Adeniran. This book was everything and more. So amazing a book. It drew my emotions like moth to flame. Sade Adeniran really did a wonderful job on this one. The language of the book is simple and easy to understand but very evocative and delicious. I love the humor also. It’s definitely a book I’ll recommend to everyone looking for a great read as well as a book that will make them think. This book has my 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌠/5

This is a random passage from the book.

Another book I enjoyed reading was Chimamanda’s The Thing Around Your Neck. This book is a amazing collection of Chimamanda’s award winning short stories. They are chilling, thoughts provoking and I liked a few of the stories. I liked On Monday Of Last Week, Jumping Monkey Hill (really liked this one), The Shivering out of all the 12 short stories.

This book has my 🌟🌟🌟🌠/5

I also read a book from one of my favorite Nigerian romance authors, Amaka Azie. Her books are super, super awesome and this one too didn’t disappoint. I read The Governor’s Wife. I really like this book. The poem in the beginning especially captured my being. This book has my 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 stars.

I also read some books in the Sterling Shore series by C.M Owens and I really really loved them. The humor, the romance, the plot, beautiful! I particularly saw growth in Owens books as the books progressed. It was only one of these book I DNFed and that was Talk Nerdy To Me and I know that probably happened because I wasn’t reading at the right time for it. Every book has the right time to read it.

I got an arc of T.J Martins book, Revolt and it’s has been all shades of amazing. I also want to say big congratulations to him on the release of this amazing book on the 30th of August this year. My review is coming soon and also one of the authors I interviewed here on StoryStoryOh, Glory Abah released another book, Diary Of A Wallflower. I can’t wait to read it and share my thoughts on it with you.

Another of my favorite Nigerian romance authors, Tomilola Coco is set to release her beautiful book, Eyin Ese and I am so giddy. She revealed the cover some days ago and oh my God, it’s so beautiful. I love love love it.

I added some amazing books to my TBR list. I will find time to read them this coming month. They are:

🌟 29, Single and Nigerian by Naijasinglegirl. This book has been on my tbr list for such a long time. I wanted the hard copy but it wasn’t available so I had to make do with the e-book. I am looking forward to relishing it.

🌟 Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okaparanta

🌟Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala. A very good friend of mine sent this to me and I also got to know a movie was adapted from this book.

🌟Kintu by Jennifer Makumbi

🌟Everything Good Will Come by Sefi Atta

🌟Attachments by Rainbow Rowell.

So here is my wrap-up for this month. Which of these books have you read? Or which of them are you hoping to read soon? If you are a non-bookish person, what memorable things did you do in August? What TV shows did you watch or which new food did you try out?

 

Hold me.

Pexels.com

I want you to hold me,
Like you do on those nights
When my fear and pain and anxiety decide to play a game with me.
I want you to hold me,
Like you do when we go see the sights
And make plans on which places to go see even before we left.
I want you to hold me,
Like you did every time, after we had our fights
And we try to make up for it between the sheets
[I think the reason we fight is because the after is always pretty hot, shit.]
I want you to hold me,
Like you do every time I doubt
And you try to make me realise I am worth every second you hold me and more.
I want you to hold me
But most importantly, I want to hold you the same, even better.

©OREOLUWA EUNICE, 2019.

don’t forget to follow my IG page: @mosimi.t for more awesome content.

Let’s Talk On Our Way To The Moon 3

Read the previous episodes here:

Episode 1

Episode 2

I watched warily as other employees exited the boardroom. Mr. Bargon had announced that all department leaders should wait behind because the new CEO wanted to address us.
I sighed as I exchanged looks with Ijeoma who was standing beside me. The tension in the room was palpable even though I knew Mr. Stranger/ new CEO hadn’t seen me yet and I hoped it would remain that way. He was standing at the door with the old CEO and those that came with him. I had no idea what they were saying but it seemed pretty serious as he was just nodding his head intermittently.

Can this just be over already?

Oh shit. I just remembered how dismissive I was the other day. Oh my God, Adeola. I have dug hole for myself o!
My job will definitely be on the line now. There’s no way this guy would not recognise me.


Conceited, much?

You think you are that memorable. What? He saw you for barely five minutes, madam.


While I was chiding myself, the old CEO departed with his entourage and the new CEO sat in front of we departmental heads after asking us to sit.


“Good morning,—“ he started, looking at every face in the room and I was trying to hide mine in my weaves. I bent my head forward and studied my nails. That way, I would not look at him and he would not see me. All will be well.


He continued to speak and I sincerely did not hear anything. All I could hear was the loud beating of my heart in my chest.
Ijeoma nudged me with her elbow and I looked up. Everyone’s eyes were on me. Oh shit. Now I have everyone’s attention.


“Ms., are you with us?” The new CEO asked. He was looking straight at me and at that moment, I felt so open and vulnerable. His eyes gave away no notion that he remembered me so I sighed inwardly. Praise God.
“Y–yes sir. I am with you sir.” I felt like a ball of cotton had been lodged in my throat. Can he stop staring at me already? I shifted slightly in my seat and glanced at the beautiful mahogany of the boardroom table.


His eyes left me and he continued speaking to everyone else in the room. He talked about what he required from us as department leaders. It was just basically what we have been doing with little adjustments. I zoned him out as I thought of Kevin. I wondered what he would say if I told him of the new young CEO. Kevin had always dreamed of getting to the point of a CEO in the company he was working for. He worked his ass off every time and sometimes, his work served as an interruption on our dates. He was just so ambitious. I have always told him to start his own business if he wanted to be a CEO. Not that I don’t believe in his dreams, but fam, this is Nigeria, The owner of the company probably has a son somewhere waiting to take over, just like our young CEO here. I don’t know if he is the old CEO’s son though. I didn’t see any resemblance between them to actually decide such.


“Adeola.”

I heard my name and I turned my head to face Ijeoma. “Hmm?” I answered absentmindedly before realizing that other workers are already leaving the boardroom. I don’t understand this zoning out today. I don’t usually zone out.


“Are you okay?” She looked at me worriedly, getting up from her seat. I nodded and sighed. I got up too and proceeded to leave with her. The new CEO was still in his chair at the head of the table, talking to Mr. Bargon who looked like he had shit his pants. I felt bad for him though. I had the feeling he thought he would be the CEO.


I walked out with Ijeoma and heaved a loud sigh as I closed the door behind me. Mr. New CEO barely gave me a glance as he kept on with whatever serious talk he was having with Mr. Bargon. That’s good, right? He doesn’t recognise and that was certainly good, right?


“Guy, what were you thinking of? You were totally out of it.” Ijeoma prodded as we walked down the hallway. “See, I don’t even know. My thoughts were just everywhere. But I am so glad he didn’t even recognise me,” I said, rubbing my elbow. An action Ijeoma had pointed out to me I did only when I am nervous about something. I dropped my hand and continued walking. I could feel Ijeoma’s eyes on me.


“What?” I asked, glancing at her as we walked towards the elevator that will take us the second floor where our offices were. “I don’t think he did not recognize you, Adeola.” Ijeoma said, pressing the elevator button.


“What do you mean?” I asked as the doors slid open. We entered and the doors closed again. I waited as Ijeoma pressed the button for our floor. She was even taking her sweet time. “Ijeoma, will you talk?!” I asked impatiently, glaring at her.


Ijeoma sighed. “I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who saw the way he stared at you while he was addressing us. I think he recognized you.”
I rolled my eyes. “Guy, I don’t think so. He barely even glanced at me when we were leaving.”
“If you think so,” Ijeoma said and shrugged. I rolled my eyes again and looked at my nails. I needed to file them again. “I will go to Kevin’s place this night. I need to make him see reason.” I blurted out.


I felt Ijeoma’s glare on me. She shook her head. “The guy is a dunce.” I chuckled, saying nothing. “Do you need me to come with you? Girl power and support and all that shit.” She asked just as the doors of the elevator slid open to our floor.


“Nah. I can handle it.” I said, walking towards my office. Hers was in the opposite direction. “Whatever you say, poopy.” She said, laughing.


How I hated this girl. She knew how much I hated being called poopy. Long story. Let me just tell you it involved me, her, party food, uncontrollable running stomach and Ibadan public toilets. I flipped her off as a shudder ran through my head to my toes. May I never remember that event again.


I heard her laughter all the way to my office. Shouldn’t there be a rule against excessive laughter in offices?
I settled down in my chair when I entered my office and continued with the day’s work.


*
I hummed as I found a place to park in the street Kevin lived. I killed off the ignition and sighed as I picked my purse and walked out of the car. I looked at my face in the car’s mirror and saw that my make up was still intact. The primer I just got was the best I have used yet. Technically, Ijeoma got it for me, but whatever.


I walked to Kevin’s flat and knocked. I heard no response. I knew he was at home because I could hear the sounds coming from the television… and why do they sound like moans? I shook my head and knocked again. The door opened just as I about to knock the third time.


Oh.


A girl.


Oh.


I knew her. I remembered her face from the pictures Kevin had shown me. His cousin that was schooling in the UK. What was her name again? Abigail, Annabelle? Apostrophe? I cannot really remember.


“Yes, how many I help you?” She asked as she looked at me from head to toe. Yay. We would bond so nicely. I could feel it. I rolled my eyes inwardly and gave her my sweetest smile.


“Hi. I am Adeola, Kevin’s girlfriend. Is he home?” I hoped to the heavens I spoke in the sweetest voice there was.


She said nothing but yelled at Kevin who apparently was in. “Darling!!”
Darling? How weird. Kevin hated that particular pet name. “Yeah? Sugar, what is it?” He answered from inside. Sugar? The Kevin I know hated calling people pet names too. He felt people’s name were deeper, more loving and original. Whatever that was.


“Someone’s looking for you.” Abigail/Annabelle/Apostrophe replied and looked back at me. Someone? Did she not hear when I said I was Kevin’s girlfriend? A small smirk was on her face as she regarded me coolly. I smiled at her again and tried to not to stare at her nipples that were protruding from her tank top.


Wait, is that not my tank top?


Wow.


I sighed and tried looking into the apartment through the little space “she whose name I knew not” had not blocked with her body.


I smelled Kevin before I saw him. He always smelled like a citrus fruit. He always hated it when I told him. He said he is supposed to smell manly not like some high school girl. Whatever that it is. The point is I liked it.


“Oh.” I heard him say when he saw me. His eyes widened as he looked from me to “she whose name I knew not.”


“Kevin, can I come in? We need to talk.” I begged, looking at him. He opened his mouth to speak but Abigail/Annabelle/Apostrophe beat him to it. “I thought you said you got rid of her. She still regards herself as your girlfriend, Kevin.”


Got rid of me?


“I swear, I did. Tania, believe me. I didn’t even pick her calls.” Kevin replied her, not looking at me. I didn’t even bother to register her name as what was happening dawned on me.


Kevin had been cheating on me. All along. With his supposed cousin.


I laughed, drawing their attention to me. I felt like a fool. A big fool. Here was I, pinning for a bastard.


“Did you plan the set up yourself?” I asked, looking at him through the tears that were already forming in my eyes.


“Kevin? Nah, I did all that. Guy, you have been hoarding my man for too long. I had to do what needed to be done. He wanted to break up with you normally but he didn’t want to break your heart so I offered my help,” Tania said dismissively and moved to where Kevin stood, rigid, still unable to meet my eyes.


“Wow,” I muttered. I looked at Kevin for a moment before pushing my way inside. “Hey,” I heard the idiotic bitch Tania shout.

“Wow,” I muttered. All this while, all this while. Adeola, dem play you. I pushed into the house and walked to the kitchen with a hard glint in my eyes. I knew I looked like a lunatic. I felt like a lunatic even. I didn’t even need to be told.

“Hey,” I heard the bitch, Tania, call as she followed me fast but she stopped immediately she saw the knife in my hands.


“Guy, calm down,” She said up her hands as if in surrender. Behind her, Kevin placed his hands on his head as if he had just heard bad news. I giggled inwardly. Coward oshi. I pointed the knife at Tania and Kevin, swinging it crazily. “Look at me. Look at me very well. I am not your guy. I am not your fucking guy! Just let me do what I want to do and get out of your hair. Who even wants to kill you?”


Who tries to reassure someone while swinging a knife so sharp it’s glinting in the setting sun making its way into the kitchen? Apparently, that’s me.


“Stay there,” I pointed to a side of the kitchen and after they did that, I took the first set of ceramic plates I saw and smashed them on the tiles. I heard Tania’s gasp and smirked. I smashed the next set and the next and I didn’t stop until I had smashed them all, even the cups and everything ceramic in there.


Tania moved towards me and I pointed the knife at her. “Saw the way I smashed those plates, that’s how I wanna smash the heads of you both. Moving closer to me is telling me you want it. If you don’t want it, don’t push me. Just do as I say.”


Kevin gulped and started to say something but I guess the look on my face stopped him. I told them to walk in my front as I made my way to the bedroom. I slashed the bed and the pillows, disfigured Kevin footwear and ripped his clothes in his closet. Especially those ones I bought.


He couldn’t believe his eyes. They were literally bulging out of his sockets at this point. Tania remained silent and we walked to the living room. I slashed the couches and broke the table. I really don’t know where the energy for all this came from but I was not satisfied until I broke the flat screen TV I contributed money for so that he could get it.


At this point, Kevin and Tania’s mouth were hung open and I smirked. “Now that I have destroyed all we had together physically after you destroyed what we had emotionally, you can now have a fresh start with Tania. And by the way, Tania, all these things you see, I helped him with it. I loved him and gave my all while all you did was fuck him.” I moved closer to them and spat on their faces then took my leave.


I definitely felt like a bad “in control” guy.


“Why is this one smiling like a fool? Abeg leave this place.” I heard Tania hiss before slamming the door on my face.


Wait, what? Have I just been imagining all that? As much as my imagination was sweet, I felt the weight of what had just happened drop on my shoulders and I could feel the tears bubbling inside of me, begging to be released.


I retreated and walked back to my car with tears blinding my eyes. I felt like a big fool, an idiot. A mumu. I couldn’t even fight. Ah.


Ehn, if you had fought with them, what would you have achieved?

I rested my head on the dashboard as soon as I entered the car and left the sobs walk through me. How could Kevin do this to me? Why?


Million questions raced through my mind as I fought to accept that I had been cheated on and it went on for so long.


My phone rang and I raised my head and looked at the caller. It was Ijeoma. I picked the call and waited for her to speak. “Babes… how far? You don reach Kevin side?”


A sob broke out of my mouth and I heard Ijeoma’s voice increase in tempo. “Adeola, what happened? Where are you? I’m coming to your place now. Where are you?”


I wiped the tears off my face and inhaled. I probably looked like a panda already.


“The bastard. He… he cheated.”


“Ehn?!!!!” Ijeoma screamed and I rolled my eyes despite myself. Such a character, Ijeoma.


“Where you dey now? I dey come,” she said and I heard rustling from her side. I started my car, “I’m already going home,” I drove out of the street and headed home.


“alright o. I hoped you showed some action to him sha. What is he? What is a Kevin?”


I chuckled. This girl. “In my head, yes.” Ijeoma hissed and said, “what’s this rubbish you just said? Anyways, I will soon get to the front of your house. I already ordered ice-cream. I ordered some wings and burger too. Do you need me to order pizza?”


“Kuku kill me now,” I grumbled. I heard her laughter. I smiled. “I only ordered Ice cream,” she said. “Abeg order burger too na and chicken wings and chips and pizza and peppered snails. Comfort food stuff,” I begged.


Ijeoma hissed. “Get out of here. FFO.”


I laughed because between us, she was the original FFO. She cut the call just as I drove into my street. For those few minutes, Ijeoma made me forget about the bastard and I was grateful. Grateful until I saw the new CEO driving into the house opposite mine.


God, why?

©OREOLUWA EUNICE 2019

❤To be continued ❤

COLD. SomEthinG I Don’t WanT you To Feel. NoT foR me.

Why are you hands cold?
Icy, frosty like the mornings you are not with me…
Did you forget how to put them between my thighs, where it’s all warm, warm, where it can go hot?


Why are you lips cold?
Chapped/peeling like the yellow wall of my room…
Did you forget how to put them on my lips, and let it open like blossoming flower in the summer day?


Why are your feet cold, my love?
Did you forget how to put them on my stomach while you lay across me on the couch we bought in the flea market last year? That couch, do you remember, where memories were made?


Why is your heart cold?
Did you disconnect it from mine?

©Oreoluwa Eunice, 2019.

Author’sDelight #3 – “Creativity is an art that requires your imagination 24/7” – Chiziterem Chijioke, writer, creative artiste.

On Author’sDelight today is Chiziterem Chijioke, the author of one of Pabpub.com’s popular novels. Chiziterem is a sweet soul and she shares with us her experiences, lessons and fun things she enjoys in this interview. Still conducting this interview is your favorite girl, Oreoluwa Eunice. Read on to have a peek into her world.

Awesome Chiziterem

Oreoluwa Eunice: My name is Oreoluwa Eunice and I am so delighted to have you here on StoryStoryOh’s Author’sDelight. Please introduce yourself.


Chiziterem Chijioke: Hello, I’m Chiziterem Chijioke. I’m a student, Writer and Creative Artiste.


Oreoluwa Eunice: A creative artiste, that’s intriguing. Can you please shed light on that?


Chiziterem Chijioke: Creative Artiste in the sense that I create things. Ideas, stories, etc. There’s more to telling stories than simply writing it. When telling a story, you’re creating, not simply writing. That’s why I said, I’m a creative artiste.


Oreoluwa Eunice: That’s really cool. So Chiziterem, what are your book interests? What genres do you like to read?


Chiziterem Chijioke: Well… I read virtually anything actually. I read Fantasy (sometimes) General Fiction, Romance, Mystery… Anything. Just gimme a good book.


Oreoluwa Eunice: What book are you currently reading?


Chiziterem Chijioke: Color Me Intrigued by Andy Hare on Wattpad.


Oreoluwa Eunice: I am yet to read Color Me Intrigued. I definitely would rectify that soon. Andy Hare is such a good writer.


Chiziterem Chijioke: Indeed she is. One of the best I know.


Oreoluwa Eunice: Now to your amazing book, Serendipity. I have read Serendipity and it is such a great book. Sweet and spicy with a bit of everything. What inspired you to write it?

Serendipity (out on Pabpub.com and Wattpad)
It tells a story of Derin and Nonso, two people who despite all the odds fight for what they truly feel.
Derin keeps a secret from Nonso, one that threatens to tear down their reunion and one that keeps her from him. But upon a tragic event, the only place Derin can find solace is in the arms of Nonso. What happens when the secret spills?


Chiziterem Chijioke: I can’t really pin point what exactly. But many things did.
I remember seeing the movie The Wedding Party in 2017. And I remember liking the antagonist, played by Beverley Naya and then all of a sudden I thought, “What if a villain is a hero…what if the protagonist can be her own enemy. A bitchy protagonist.” That was how I came up with the character, Derin. And every other creativity from that story was merely a as-you-go thought. But mainly, Serendipity was inspired by Beverly Naya’s role in THE Wedding Party.


Oreoluwa Eunice: I love Beverly’s role in TWP. It was well delivered and it’s so nice she inspired some creativity from you. Moving on, what lessons did you learn in the writing and publishing journey of this book?


Chiziterem Chijioke: It’s actually funny how, writers, in creating something learn from their own works. I learnt a lot about keeping friendships, trust and what true love really means.


Oreoluwa Eunice: Do you have a writing schedule or are you more of a spontaneous writer?


Chiziterem Chijioke
: I am a spontaneous writer. There are however risks in that aspect. I’m currently not working on any story now, but for my next story coming, I’d have a schedule because I need more organization for it. However, spontaneous is fun and a schedule doesn’t mean I still won’t be spontaneous. Haha.
Being a creative artiste is an art that requires your imagination twenty four, seven. I don’t think we can make a schedule for that. When an idea hits, we move. Sometimes, we need the schedule to stay focused and work effectively. But sometimes, the schedule doesn’t also work in our favour. It depends though.


Oreoluwa Eunice: I totally understand you. I am more of a spontaneous writer myself but sometimes I need to schedule my activities. About Neckline of Colours, what message do you hope to pass across in this your upcoming book?


Chiziterem Chijioke: Neckline Of Colours is a story that hopes to reach out to people who make decisions because of the following reasons:
Society (what people say, what people think) and competition, that is, competing with the people closest to you and thinking, oh I should do this to be like them.
Neckline Of Colours simply preaches to people to be themselves.
Also, on the aspect of love, it tells us that love is very unpredictable… Not always as nice as we think it is. Relationships before anything means committed and understanding before love. I hope that in the case of Nara and Ugochukwu, we learn what that means. The release date is near and would be announced in due time. You can get it only on Pabpub.com

Neckline Of Colours (Coming Soon)
Neckline Of Colours spins the story of two Nigerian love birds in the most unclichéd way I can imagine. I have seen many stories that talk about love and its essence, but in Neckline Of Colours, the Author turns away from every hackneyed trope, to create something simply original.
Meet Nara. Nara is an artist living in Nigeria. All of her friends are getting married, and Nara can’t stop herself from feeling societal pressure pounding on her from every angle.
Then Ugo comes along. He is Nara’s love interest from years ago, and he has just returned from a foreign land seeking Nara’s hand in marriage. His love for Nara still blossoms in his heart, and he envisions a future where he lives happily ever after with Nara.
The problem is, Nara’s heart evolved over the past few years, and she doesn’t love him as much as she used to. Still, to please society, she finds herself say yes to Ugo when he proposes to her publicly, in a very heartwarming proposal scene.
In Neckline Of Colours, we see Nara and Ugo come together and examine themselves for what they really want out of life—if love is enough. We see them discover what love truly means, and every sacrifice that comes with it.

Oreoluwa Eunice: I am so glad about this book. Looking forward to when it would be released. Moving on, I will ask you some pretty fun questions. Are you ready?


Chiziterem Chijioke : I’m readyyy.


Oreoluwa Eunice: What was the last gift you gave someone?


Chiziterem Chijioke : A pair of shoes


Oreoluwa Eunice: What super power would you rather have, being invisible or being able to fly?


Chiziterem Chijioke : Being able to fly… should be super cool


Oreoluwa Eunice: what three books do you consider your favorites?


Chiziterem Chijioke : Colleen Hoover’s It Ends With Us. Adaeze’s Preordained. Harielta James’ Conquering Extinction.


Oreoluwa Eunice: It is so great I have read two of these three books. I love Preordained, ohmygosh, Adaeze did such awesome work and Colleen Hoover’s It Ends With Us is a masterpiece. I am yet to read Conquering Extinction. So tell me, Chiziterem, if you were to keep one book forever, give one book out without ever reading and rewrite one, which of them will it be?


Chiziterem Chijioke: 😹


Oreoluwa Eunice: 😂😊

Chiziterem Chijioke : This is such a hard choice. Um. I’ll rewrite It Ends With Us, only because I just wanted her to end up with the Doctor 😩
I’d give out Preordained, maybe. It’s a good book but it broke my heart many times. So much pain… and love too.
I’d totally keep Conquering Extintion. It made me laugh. I like laughing.

Beautiful Chiziterem


Oreoluwa Eunice: I would totally rewrite It Ends With Us too. I like Ryle too. In fact, I fell in love with his character until his flaws came out. I was really pained. It’s just that the book might lose its message if Ryle’s character is different. I would really love to read Conquering Extinction too. I love a book that makes me laugh.


Oreoluwa Eunice: Chocolate drink or Yoghurt drink, which one?


Chiziterem Chijioke: Chocolate.


Oreoluwa Eunice: which book is your favorite yet underappreciated to you?


Chiziterem Chijioke : Hmm… I can’t think of any…

Oreoluwa Eunice: Alright. Any final words for writers hoping to become authors like you?


Chiziterem Chijioke
: Just be yourself, because even you can surprise you.

Oreoluwa Eunice: Thank you, Chiziterem for having me. It was a delight chatting with you ♥

Get Serendipity by Chiziterem Chijioke using these links.

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Hello, Goodbye.

Hello,
When you first said this, it was like I had never heard it before.
He-llo,
Two syllables, rolled between your lips, meshed by your tongue. Your eyes, I remember them twinkling with so much mystery and I felt a thrill of excitement in my bones.
He-llo,
And I melted into a puddle of myself. Did I look right? My hair, my halo, does it look right?
I wondered how I looked in your beautiful brown eyes. Did I look like me or the girl I wanted the world to see?

Hello, hello,
Can you hear me?
Can you? Hear me.
Can you hear?

Hello,
And Goodbye.

Goodbye.
I stared at your lips as you said them to me, piercing me. I remember that moment. Your eyes no longer twinkled. They were dull, lifeless, lifeless. Goodbye.
Good-bye,
I watched your back retreat from me. Each step kneading a knife into my chest. Goodbye. Two words that broke my broken pieces into shards. Shards.
Was I wrong to have shown you me? Was I?
I just wanted you to see me, hear me as I did you.
I just wanted you — it doesn’t matter what I wanted.
It is goodbye now and I will never hear another hello.
I don’t think what’s left of my shards can take it.

© OREOLUWA EUNICE, 2019.

Featured picture gotten from Pexels.com

Rainbow shades of living well.

So every day, each of them told me:
“It’s flying colors or nothing. Read well and don’t sleep too much.”
None of them asked if I was okay, nothing of such.
When they see me, they say: “are you sure you read at all? Look at you, getting all fat and big and voluptuous…”
Oh.
This is not a rant, just me thinking how meticulous people get when they talk of flying colors.
What exactly are flying colors?
Are they the rainbow colors?
If they really care, then they should have also reminded me to live in flying colors.
In red, orange yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet and every shade of living well.

© Oreoluwa Eunice, 2019

Special shout-out to @iamjalicia @iulia_david_photography @karlapowellmua and @ted_retouching (all on Instagram) for creating these awesome, inspiring pictures.

My July Wrap-Up

Hi there, welcome to my StoryStoryOh today and thank you for reading here. Oh and most importantly, happy new month!!! I’m so happy you scaled through July despite the turns and tides. I pray this month brings you all the goodness you desire.

How did July go for you? I told my friends that July was looking ‘booked’ for me and I wasn’t kidding. I read a lot more in July than I did previous months and I am so glad. Apart from my reading, many awesome things happened in July. Beyonce’s Lion King’s album, “The Gift” was released and it took the world by storm. I was particularly glad Nigerian artistes dominated the album and some of them delivered well. Also, the Man Booker Prize longlist was released and three Nigerian books made it. My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite made it to the list. An Orchestra Of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma made it also and lastly, Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo.

I can’t believe we were just in July yesterday. Woah, time really does wait for no man. Tick tock. Anyways, in July, I discovered an awesome author. I had been seeing great reviews on her books and so I decided to give her a try and ohmygosh, I wasn’t disappointed. Her name is Colleen Hoover. I binge read her books in the space of a week and some days. Here’s the list of how I read them accordingly.

Maybe Someday
It Ends With Us
Confess
November 9
Verity
Finding Cinderella
All Your Perfects
Losing Hope
Slammed
Point of retreat
This Girl
Maybe Not

I will be posting my mini reviews on them in few days so watch this space.

I enjoyed some Nigerian books too and I got them from Roving Heights Bookstore in Lagos.

  • The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives – Lola Shoneyin

I haven’t posted anything about this book yet on this blog and I don’t know why cos I enjoyed it so much. Its worth every hype and more. I read it in one sitting, I couldn’t believe it myself. I wasn’t planning on reading it when I did. I just took it along with me where I was going and when I started reading it, I was so glued I couldn’t stop until I was done. For me it’s a 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟/5 book.

  • Be(com)ing Nigerian: A Guide – Elnathan John

I posted my thoughts on this book last month. You can read it here if you missed it.

  • Stay With Me – Ayobami Adebayo

Last month also, I posted seven lessons I got from this 🌟🌟🌟🌟/5 star read and you can read them here if you missed it.

At Every Tunnels End – Fawaz A.H

I got this poetry e-book from The African Writers blog and it had been in my e-book library for quite a while so I decided to give it a chance and I wasn’t disappointed. It deals with the intricacies of mental health, mental growth, depression and everything related. It was so thoughtfully written and wonderful, I had to reach out to the author and thank him for writing it. It’s 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟/5 for me.

Princess Charming – Nicole Jordan
Prince of Pleasure – Nicole Jordan

I enjoyed a bit of historical romance too and when I want something sweet with a bit of spice, Nicole Jordan is my gee.

Eleanor and Park – Rainbow Rowell

This book is one amazing YA novel. It deals with the uncertainty of first love between two social misfits. It taught me your first love might be what will break you or make you and that sometimes, some things have to end before there is a beginning. I will be reading more of Rainbow Rowell’s books this August. Watch out for my review on this book also in a few days. It’s a 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟/5 star read for me.


The Hating Game- Sally Thorne

This book is Amaaaaazzzzinnng!!! I had been reading a lot of great reviews on it and so I decided to read it and I was not disappointed at all. I heard a great news too. A movie is being made on it. Whoop whoop. I just pray that it is delivered well.


Until Harry – L.A Casey

I love this book! I read it quite early in July and L.A Casey did justice to this book. Loss of loved ones, leaving home, new life and seeming unrequited love. L.A Casey delivered well.

So these are the books I was able to read in July. I am a bit annoyed I didn’t get a dose of Sidney Sheldon as I promised myself earlier in the month. I started reading his book, Master Of The Game, but I haven’t gotten past few pages.

Anyhoo, which of these books have you read? What are your thoughts on them? Which one(s) is in your TBR list?

What other books did you read this month? Kindly recommend in the comments.

Seven lessons and some quotes from Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo

Photo taken by me 😋

If the burden is too much and stays too long, even love bends, cracks, comes close to breaking and sometimes does break. But when it’s in a thousand pieces around your feet, that doesn’t mean it’s no longer love.

Stay With Me – Ayobami Adebayo

Stay With Me is a devastating story of the fragility of married love, the undoing of family, the wretchedness of grief and the all-consuming bonds of motherhood (from book blurb). Reading this book was an utmost delight and a dream come true. I found myself sighing intermittently and sometimes, I would drop it because I just couldn’t bear to carry on. It was so heart wrenching. Anyways, I finished it and here are some of the lessons I got from the book.

•Love is not enough, love cannot be enough, love will never be enough.


•As much as you love your family members or you want to respect them, a line should be drawn. Boundaries is not a sign of disrespect. It’s the need for mental and emotional peace.


•Marriage is not beans. Marriage is beyond the glamour of the wedding and yes, marriage is not compulsory. If local man/woman does not marry, local man/woman will not die.

The reasons why we do the things we do will not always be the ones that others will remember. Sometimes I think we have children because we want to leave behind someone who can explain who we were to the world.

Stay With Me – Ayobami Adebayo

•Be sexually informative so that nobody will tell you that not all penises get hard when aroused and you will ‘didirinly’ eat it up like gala inside traffic. It was at this point I got really disappointed with Yejide. I was like whaaatttt?!!!! Man told you this and you did not check that fact yourself 😥(but it was understandable sha)


•As much as it is good to carry our cross, it is important to know when to ask for help. Even Jesus didn’t carry his cross all the way to Golgotha.


•Trust is very important. Do not hide something you are supposed to share with your partner, from your partner especially if it is something that will affect them too in the long run. It is dangerous and the outcome is never palatable.


•Love yourself. I can’t overemphasize this enough. Love yourself enough to know when to give yourself a break. Love yourself enough to know what you deserve and what you don’t.

This is it then – fifteen years here and, though my house is not on fire, all I’m taking is a bag of gold and a change of clothes. The things that matter are inside me, locked up below my breast as though in a grave, a place of permanence, my coffin-like treasure chest.

Stay With Me – Ayobami Adebayo

If you haven’t read this book, I recommend you to do so as soon as possible. It is such a wonderful read.

Let’s Talk On Our Way To The Moon 02

This is the second part of this story series. To read the first part, click HERE.

I seriously cannot stand the callers of the radio station I was listening to. Jesus! Most were spewing rubbish from their mouth and they were doing so happily. Men and women alike. Apparently, over the weekend, a popular social media influencer had said that if he was going to give birth at all, he would rather father boys than girls because of his experience with his uncle’s daughters when his uncle was ailing. So people came for him and sparks went flying and lots of arguments and name calling generated.


I do not understand why the OAP of the radio station thought it would be most pleasant if he raised the topic on air this Monday morning. I was sure other people like me would rather not listen to that kind of story Monday morning. I cannot even deal with the wahala and so, I just switched off the radio and drove in silence to work.


I had settled in my office when Ijeoma peeked into my office. “Knock knock.”


Ijeoma was my best friend and the first friend I met in Ibadan. I actually met her the day I started working in this office. She was the one who showed me around and introduced me to other employees in the office. She was so pleasant that day, I couldn’t help it but be attracted to her personality.


“Aunty, good morning… you have come again abi?” I looked at her with a sly look on my face. A mischievous big grin was on her face and I wondered how it would slowly wipe away if I informed her of what happened between I and Kevin.
She sat on my table and looked at me, saying nothing. “What?” I asked, rolling my eyes. She was just too dramatic. I wonder what she had in mind. “Guy, you know if Mr. Bargon sees you on my table, you will receive some nice spray.”


Ijeoma burst out laughing, a belly laughter that rolled out in pleasant waves and sounded like music to my ears. I chuckled as I thought of Mr. Bargon.
Mr. Bargon was an inside joke between I and Ijeoma. His name was actually Mr. Bayo but because this man could talk and could scold till heaven falls and most importantly, whenever he spoke, spittle flew everywhere and whoever he was scolding would be the recipient of his spittle, he earned the name Mr. Bargon from Ijeoma and I.


“Speaking of Mr. Bargon, Sade from HR is in trouble o. Before I came here, Mr. Bargon was busy spraying her,” Ijeoma informed me. She had found her way to one of the chairs in front of my table now.


“Ehyah.” I said absentmindedly as I picked up as a file from the drawer beside my table. “Now the main reason I came here… Adeola, daughter of Dr. And Dr. Mrs. Arolowo, why would you send me a cryptic message when you know I will be dying to know the news…” She said, crossing her arms against her chest.


I raised an eyebrow at her. “Babe, you and I know how sweet delayed gratification can be.”


Ijeoma hissed and I poked out my tongue at her. She laughed out her sweet music again and I smiled. It was always a delight to watch her laugh. Her eyes would close for a bit and her head will fall back as the laughter rocked out of her. I shook my head. She was such a sweet soul. A sweet soul I was so glad was my friend.
“Tell me jo.” Let me add one more thing. She was also an impatient soul, especially when it came to gist. “Ijeoma, this is Monday morning. Don’t you have clients to call or something?”


Ijeoma rolled her eyes. “Tell me now.”


“Okay, okay… Kevin and I broke up. Not break up, break up o, cos I wouldn’t allow it…” Then I proceeded to give her a run down of what had happened.
“That your sister never gives up, does she?” An angry look was on Ijeoma’s face. She was the only one I had told how my sister had been treating that had totally believed me. Even my parents didn’t and they never curbed Sarah’s excesses.


I shrugged and looked down at the file in front of me, seeing nothing. Kevin had still not replied the message I sent to him since Saturday night and it was unnerving me. “Don’t worry about it, babe.” Ijeoma said softly.


She was about to stand up when she remembered something. “Oh my God, Adeola, how did you now do it with that guy you said you came across?”
Her eyes were sparkling with curiosity and now she was looking at me intently. I hissed. I was still so embarrassed. I was feeling so fly when I went over to meet him. “God, Ijeoma, why did you remind me of that annoying situation?!”


Ijeoma laughed, unable to keep in her amusement. “Keep on laughing at me,” I said but laughter soon escaped my lips too.


I quickly told her how it went down from me realizing my buttons were undone. After I looked down and saw that my buttons were truly undone, I quickly buttoned up in severe embarrassment. I’m sure if I was white, my whole body would be red from how embarrassed I felt. I mumbled a quick thank you to him and rushed back to my seat. When I sat down, I could still feel his eyes on me. I felt like punching myself in the face. I didn’t feel comfortable sitting there anymore so I took my purse and left the Bar.
When I got outside, fresh breeze patted my face and I felt myself go calm until I heard a chuckle beside me. I turned and there he was, smirking again.
Bia, what is the problem? My eyes seemed to ask then as if he could read my eyes, he answered, “Don’t feel too embarrassed, love. Things like that happen.”


I didn’t even know when a hiss left my mouth. I glared at him and walked away from him to my car. Who is his love? See his face! After laughing at me, he said I should not feel embarrassed. Ha!
I got in my car and drove off and the guy still had the guts to wave at me. I have suffered!


Ijeoma held her stomach in laughter when I narrated everything to her. “Shebi I have told you to stop feeling yourself too much. You met your match!” She laughed again and it was that moment, Mr Bargon walked into my office. “Miss Nweke, I can see you are having a pleasant morning in another person’s office.”


Ijeoma looked up with horror on her face. I guess she was the one I needed to sympathize with now and not Sade. “I’m sorry, sir.”
Mr. Bargon shook his head and looked at both of us. “Anyways, I don’t have time for this. You both come over to the boardroom. The new boss is around.” He said and left my office.


New boss? So the rumors that had been flying around the office about the CEO retiring was not unfounded after all. I wondered who the new boss was.


Ijeoma chuckled as Mr. Bargon left my office. “Guy, see as I just loyal. I can’t even deal with that man this morning.”


I shook my head and stood up. “Abeg let’s go to the boardroom o before the man says that we are not serious. But I legit thought that the rumors were just rumors o!”
“The man don old na. He suppose don retire since sef,” Ijeoma said as we walked to the boardroom. Other employees were already there when we entered and there was a low hum as people discussed in hush tones, each of them wondering who will take the seat of the CEO.


It was on my mind too because the CEO is one of the determinant of our fate in this company. He could decide to change how things worked and he could even lay off people and anyone could be affected.


We had been waiting for close to five minutes. Other employees had also come into the boardroom and it was a full house. While waiting, I opened m Twitter app to read what was currently trending. Ijeoma was discussing with another employee so I was just on my own.

Silence suddenly enveloped the room. I put my phone away. Mr. Bargon walked in with the former CEO, some other men I don’t know and a young guy wearing shades.


Why do people wear shades indoors?


“Good morning everyone.” The former CEO greeted. We all replied Good morning sir. The elderly man started to speak and we all listened with rapt attention but as I looked at him and the people he came in with, my eyes kept returning to the young man that walked in with them. There was something oddly familiar about him.


The former CEO then called him forward. He removed his shades and I gasped inaudibly, gripping Ijeoma’s fingers.


“Guy, what the heck,” I whispered to Ijeoma. At the moment, I was glad we were at the back. “What happened?” Ijeoma asked me, whispering too.
“That’s the guy I met in The Bar.” I whispered back, staring at him. The former CEO was still saying something. Wait… I think I heard…


Whaaaaat? He is the new CEO?!!!

To be Continued 🌸

©Oreoluwa Eunice, 2019.

Author’sDelight #2: Mental Health is not a joke. We need to do better in Nigeria – Glory Abah (author, fiction coach)

Hi lovelies. I’m glad you are reading this interview. It’s still your one and only Oreoluwa Eunice conducting this interview and with me is beautiful Glory Abah, an author, crazy book lover and a fiction coach. Come with me and let’s learn.

Glory Abah is a super talented writer and she is a sucker for good romance. Just look at that beautiful smile.

Oreoluwa Eunice: Welcome to Author’sDelight. I’m Oreoluwa Eunice. Please introduce yourself.


Glory Abah: I am Glory Abah, an author, a fiction coach and a crazy book lover. Currently, I have read 100+ books since this year. I released one book this year on OkadaBooks and I have a UK published book coming out August 12


Oreoluwa Eunice: Wow. That’s so amazing. You have read 100+ books this year. I aspire to be like you. Congratulations on your oncoming published book. That’s a great feat. Well done.
So tell me, Glory, what are you reading interests? What kind of genres and themes do you like to read?


Glory Abah: Romance is my reading interest anytime, any day. I can mix it up with historical, suspense, comedy even horror but in the end, I always run back to romance. know most people see romance as an unserious light part of literature yet, it is the bestselling genre of all books or so I think.


Oreoluwa Eunice: You are very right.


Glory Abah: I also read popular fantasy anyways. This year, I read the five Game of Thrones books which had 6k plus pages. Last year, I read the Harry Potter books. My friends want me to read more non-fiction and business books but I am not interested in those genres. I can read drama like Big Little Lies and of course books from African writers like Chimamanda. I have read Fresh Water, My sister, The serial killer but my favorite remains romance.


Oreoluwa Eunice: I totally understand where you are coming from. Romance might be seemingly disdained but it is what sells. Now that we have established that your favorite aspect of literature is Romance, which book can you say is the best romance read you have read till now?


Glory Abah: Every year, I discover authors who are too great for me to pick a favorite , honestly. So for authors, I have three favorite authors and I love ALL their books: Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Sophie Kinsella and Sally Thorne. So far this year, the best romance novel I have read is The Hating Game by Sally Thorne.


Oreoluwa Eunice: Awesome. So which book are you reading currently?


Glory Abah: Julie James, The Thing About Love. I’ve read it before, years back, but I didn’t know what to read next so I am currently re-reading it.


Oreoluwa Eunice: Seems interesting. I love the title.
Let’s talk about your book, The Ones in my Head. This book explores themes people are hesitant to talk about in Nigeria. Why did you write it then?


Glory Abah: I wasn’t thinking of the theme when I wrote it, or how Nigerians will react to it. It was a story that just came to me one evening when I was with my laptop, but during the writing period, the theme grew on me. Mental health is not something that we focus on. In fact, we ridicule it and we ridicule people who visit therapists and those who can help them.

Oreoluwa Eunice: You are absolutely right, Glory.


Glory Abah: But the fact remains that there are people in this country that have serious mental and psychological issues but we call it madness either as a joke, in seriousness or to explain irrational behavior. Most times, our childhood affects us a lot and because we live in a system where we are expected to deal with it quietly and move on, everything is left in our minds and there’s only so much the mind can take.


Oreoluwa Eunice: I read an article about this recently and I cannot but agree with you.


Glory Abah: Sometimes I look at how men and women behave, and I wonder what triggered this behavior or if they even bothered to know why they act or talk or reason like that. They just accept it as who they are and so, they hurt people who in turn hurt others. It’s a vicious cycle. We don’t have a culture of speaking or discussing feelings/issues. We believe it has happened so move on. It’s very dangerous.


Oreoluwa Eunice: This is definitely food for thoughts. We still have a long way to go regarding mental health in Nigeria but I am glad that the gospel is getting to people.
Moving on, what lessons did you gain in the process and after publishing this book?


Glory Abah: In publishing this book, I learned that most Nigerians still prefer hard copies to soft copies. I learned that some Nigerians shy away from topics they don’t understand. I learned that a book cover should be attractive. I learned that you need to be intentional about your marketing and publicity. You need to put in effort, creativity and money too.


Oreoluwa Eunice: Very true. Do you think this writing business is profitable for you?


Glory Abah:
It wasn’t when I first started. I was a struggle to make sales. When you post about it, family and friends will like and comment, even share but most won’t buy. That didn’t bother me because as a reader, I understand that my audience is not just in family and friends circle. So this year, I started making a conscious effort to find my readers where they are. And this year, I have made more sales than I have ever made on a book before. From a self published book. The important thing is to not give up, to try new strategies always.
Oreoluwa Eunice: Is there anything you will choose not to do or will let go or have even let go already so as to be better in your craft?


Glory Abah: I had to let go of distractions and discipline myself to sit down and write. I learned to write even when I was tired or didn’t feel like it.

Beautiful Glory


Oreoluwa Eunice: 😁the almighty writers’ block, eh. Okay, moving on.
I am just going to ask you some fun questions.
What is the last gift you gave someone?


Glory Abah: A skirt.


Oreoluwa Eunice: Pepsi or Coke?


Glory Abah: Coke please.

Oreoluwa Eunice: You are my kinswoman. 😁

Glory Abah: 😀

Oreoluwa Eunice: If you were a color in a crayon box, what color would you be and why?


Glory Abah: Sky Blue because I love my personal space and I love open spaces, fresh breeze and bodies of water like streams, rivers, the ocean including trees and shrubs.


Oreoluwa Eunice: We have so much in common, Glory. I’m giddy. Now, Glory, let’s say you have three books by Chimamanda Adichie: Americanah, Purple Hibiscus and Half of A Yellow Sun but you are to throw one away, give one out without reading and keep one… Which one is it going to be?


Glory Abah: I will keep Purple Hibiscus, give Americanah out without reading and throw out Half of A Yellow Sun.


Oreoluwa Eunice: What is one of your favorite novel but seems unappreciated to you?


Glory Abah: The twilight series. People love the movie but I read some bad reviews about the book and I don’t understand why.


Oreoluwa Eunice: Would you like to say something about your upcoming book?


Glory Abah: My upcoming book is called ‘Diary of A Wallflower’ and it is a book about the shy, quiet, socially awkward girls who bloom after secondary/primary schools. The book is based on my years as a wallflower back in secondary school and it serves as a reminder to every girl out there that their time to bloom will come if they just hang on. Oh and that love is beautiful.


Oreoluwa Eunice: That’s really nice, Glory. Congrats once again.


Glory Abah: Thanks, love.

Oreoluwa Eunice: Any advice for writers hoping to become authors like you?


Glory Abah: Develop your skill. Ask God for great ideas. Work at it till it’s perfect.


Oreoluwa Eunice: Thank You Glory. It was a delight discussing with you.


Glory Abah: You are welcome.

To get The One In My Head by Glory Abah. Click these links:

Payment links:

Paystack: https://paystack.com/pay/theonesinmyhead

Bank Transfer: https://penpalafrica.wordpress.com/2019/05/20/at-last-the-ones-in-my-head-ebook-is-our/

Okadabooks: https://okadabooks.com/book/about/the_ones_in_my_head_-_adult_only_18%2B/27179

Are you an author and you want to feature on Author’sDelight, send me an email @oreoluwaogunsina@gmail.com, lets get to it👏👏

Book Review: Be(com)ing Nigerian: A Guide by Elnathan John

Book: Be(com)ing Nigerian

Author: Elnathan John

Pages: 160 pages

Published: February 6, 2019.

Publisher: Cassava Republic Press

Synopsis:

In Be(com)ing Nigerian: A Guide, Elnathan John provides an affecting, unrestrained and satirical guide to the Nigerians you will meet at home and abroad, or on your way to hell and to heaven. It is a searing look at how power is performed, negotiated and abused in private and in public; in politics, business, religious institutions and in homes. From the exploration of religious hypocrisy to inequality in matters of the heart, the collection is a jab at Nigerian society and what it means to be a Nigerian. Beyond poking fun at the holders of power, it is a summons, a provocation and a call for introspection among all levels of society. As is often said in Nigeria, when you point with one finger, there are four others pointing back at you.

This engrossing read is a must-have for Nigerians on how to move beyond shame and arrogance, and for non-Nigerians, a uniquely informative guide on how to accept their awe and envy of Nigerians. It is an invitation for everyone to embrace and rejoice in their inner Nigerian.

Here is your definitive guide to Be(com)ing Nigerian.

“As a proper Nigerian whose father is God, you must commit all meetings to His hands. You may work hard but it is God that is in charge of blessing your hustle. Never forget to say at least two prayers in every meeting. One Christian, one Muslim.” 

 

My Review

“As a proper Nigerian whose father is God, you must commit all meetings to His hands. You must work hard but it is God that is in charge of blessing your hustle. Never forget to say at least two prayers in every meeting. One Christian, one Muslim.”

Reading Be(com)ing Nigerian: A Guide by Elnathan John was an absolute delight. I found myself laughing periodically while also thinking about the issues with have in Nigeria Elnathan satirically pointed out.

The book cover is one that I found funny yet deep. On it is a police man standing. He also has a beer belly. Hilarious! I resonate more with the back cover. It spoke volumes (pun intended). On the back cover were churches and mosques facing each other with their speakers at seemingly high volumes. These covers totally relate with the complexities of issues that we have in one way or the other disregarded as citizens of Nigeria.

The content of the book is what I call satire at its best. Elnathan carefully brought out the issues that we refuse to speak about in Nigeria. The introduction drew me in. Using eight biblical like ‘chapters’, he spoke on how British created Nigeria and maneuvered her how they liked in ‘verses’. Then he went on to talk about how to do so many things in Nigeria, e.g how to be a pastor, how to show love, how to be a Nigerian writer, how to be a police officer and many more. With bountiful humor, he exposes the deeds of these issues and only if you can read in between the lines would you see the solution to these issues. If you are not open minded, you might even become angry at some of the things because you will definitely catch your sub.

I love the way the end of chapter was about how God will bless one’s hustle. So funny, I am telling you.

At the end of the book, Elnathan wrote Common Nigerian Phrases and Expressions that were absolutely accurate. This book will get you rolling on the floor and also make you think, only if you are open minded.

I recommend this book to everyone because it is eye opening and beautifully written and I definitely don’t want to be the only one to catch sub. Oh, and if you are a non-Nigerian, then you should definitely read this book just in case you are coming to Nigeria and you don’t know how it goes here because

You donno waiz going on 😂
This part is my favorite. I laughed so hard for almost a minute… For the irony in its truth.

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟/5