To delete or not to delete...by G-Func + Myne

So that's it folks. We have come to the end of Season one of our interactive story. To round up, we need a name for the series. Suggest a title in the comments and there'll be a final vote. Enjoy...

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"Damn! My fist is bleeding."

Chinedu had hurt himself while trying to "express his anger" about Iphey leaving like that but hadn't even noticed until his eyes caught the blood on the floor.

He walked into the house and went to the toilet to fix it up. He had just finished washing his hands and was about to wrap it his fist in bandage when his phone rang. He immediately ran out to look for it thinking it was Iphey. He pressed on the screen to answer.

"It's not what you think, I’m not..." he began.

The voice on the other end broke him off saying, “Chinedu, it’s me Aisha.”

“Oh, Aisha. How are you? You’re calling so late, is everything all right?” He sank back on one of his armchairs and tried to breathe more calmly.

“I’m fine, only I just wake from sleep.” He heard her yawn on the other side of the phone. “Iphey still dey there? She texted that I should call her in thirty minutes but her phone is not going through. You sabi where she dey?”

“So she told you she was coming here?”

“Yes now. She usually does that when she’s out late.” Aisha laughed. “Nothing personal to you…”

Chinedu grimaced. “Do you know whether she told someone else? Like Bisi for example?”

“It’s possible since Bisi knows you too but I think she’ll rather let her sister know.”

“I see.” Chinedu replied. “So was it just for Iphey you called?”

“Yes but now you mention it, I still dey vex Habib. How could he say I should not expect to hear from him in the next month and not say anything else? If you can, please speak with him o. This one is a new thing he wants to start. Abeg I no like am o.”

“I told you not to worry when we spoke earlier. But I will talk to him.” Chinedu knew her brother who worked for the EFCC had just gone undercover but he wouldn’t tell her that.

“OK, make I go back to sleep. TJ go call me any moment from now. Goodnight.”

“Goodnight,” Chinedu replied, “and greet TJ for me.”

He dropped the phone and his mind went to Iphey. The scene with Bisi began to make sense now. Iphey must have told her she was coming and the girl decided to ruin it for them. It was lucky Aisha had added the last bit about why Iphey let people know where she was. He had almost begun to wonder if they were back to his checkered past. The truth was he really admired girls who had character and virtues like Iphey.

There was just something about her that made him weak, she had that "damsel in distress" look but somehow still managed to take care of herself. He also thought she was incredibly cute, even cuter than his kid sister, who he had thought before then was the cutest person in the world.

He still didn’t know what Bisi’s reason could be to mess them up. He’d never dated her so it must be something to do with the office. And then she had mentioned their bank manager. What did she mean? That Iphey was sleeping with the man? He decided he wouldn't think about all that, if Iphey wanted to think that he was fooling around with Bisi, so be it.

"If she can't trust me now, what makes me think she will in the future?"

He was never one for drama. He picked up his phone and scrolled to the phonebook. According to Aisha, Iphey had switched off her phone. He guessed it was so he couldn’t reach her.

Over the years in his life, he had learnt one policy. He never pursued something he couldn't let go of whenever the moment demanded it. So now he scrolled to her name and chose the option delete. He hesitated, and then he pressed on the button. The phone asked him if he was sure he wanted to delete that contact and all their details. He closed his eyes and...

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Hahaha, nice ending right? Remember to suggest titles for the series in your comments. There'll be a public vote for the best...LOL.

This was a collabo I did with G-Func of I CALL ME G_FUNC He is one talented writer blogger and also one of the hot bachelors in blogsville according to The Gist. The ending was his idea and this is from his profile;

"I've been told a couple of times I'm handsome hehe. I also have a funny sort of humour about me some of the time and also ... real importantly.... heaven and maybe hell knows that I'm not stupid GOD didn't make me that,on the contrary..."

Office Politics: Hell hath no fury...by Devine

So one more chapter to go before the end of Season one but keep an eye on this space. As part of my Month of love Extravaganza, I will co-host the I-LOVE-YOU radio show with Vera on Feb 6. Details soon...

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Bisi drove away smiling but she had not smiled over her glass of Vodka at SWE Bar that night. Vodka wasn’t really her thing, but the way her life was going these days, a daiquiri didn't cut it.

When everyone had gone from work earlier today, Funmi had called her in to say that her name was on the list of those to be fired soon. Iphey was to have been laid off due to lack of experience but Ayo had exchanged their names. Imagine! She tossed back her drink and gestured the bartender for another. Look at that ‘miss goody two shoes’, the small girl had scattered her life.

Bisi remembered the party last Friday and it pierced her heart. First Ayo and then Chinedu fawning over that small girl! Both men could have been hers. She had slept with Ayo a few times soon after getting her job but he’d dumped her for Funmi. She had got her own back when he married someone else. And it helped that Funmi was on her side. But now for the Bank Manager to put her job on the line for Iphey.

“Damn!” Bisi tossed back another drink.

Then Chinedu, they met at Cubes Lounge and he’d been paying her some good attention. They’d talked, they'd danced, they'd laughed. And then he’d asked of Iphey. From then, he was no longer looking into her eyes, no longer flirting, no longer touching her hips, no longer wanting her. And why? Always Iphey, Miss’oh look at me, I’m all innocent, I don’t know why men run after me.

The Bartender shoved the drink into her hand and walked away. First Vodka and Coke, now Strawberry daiquiri. She’d asked for a Vodka! Bisi hissed and wished she could throw the glass at his thick head, but knowing Lagos clubs, she’d hit someone else and the end wouldn’t be pretty.

Bisi hissed again and walked to the opposite end of the bar.

“Vodka.”

“What would you like that mixed with ma’am?” That bartender replied.

“Just give me Vodka jo!”

She’d been about to gulp it down when her phone buzzed. It was her Nemesis. “I’m on my way to Chinedu’s place just in case. Call me in thirty minutes.” Bisi shook in shock and horror.

“Oh, no.” She gulped her Vodka and stormed out.

“You’ve taken over my work, everything that’s good, but you won’t go scot free.” She knew Chinedu’s address, had asked that first night. She was closer and would get there first.

“Danladi, I wouldn’t need you tonight.”

“Eh, Madam.”

Bisi hissed, slow people irritated her and this old man was painfully slow.

“Go home ladi, I’ll drive myself.”

She got there fast and pressed the doorbell. She heard a crash followed by a curse and there he was.

“Hi, may I come in?” she said.

“Sure, come on in.”

Bisi chuckled knowingly. Her blue camisole always did that. She dropped her jacket and sat down uninvited. “I know I should have called first, but...”

“It’s no problem.” He cut her off.

“Are you okay? You seem aloof.” He was still standing.

“I’m good. How may I help you?”

“I would you like something to drink.” Bisi smiled, “A glass of you would be nice.”

“Excuse me?” Chinedu jumped a foot as though burnt.

“See, I don’t usually do things like this but I really like you and...” Bisi got up and placed her hands on his chest. “...I find you attractive and I...”

She kissed him slow at first, tasting, savouring and then hot, passionate like he was her sustenance to life.

The alcohol fueled her ardor till there was no possible way to turn back. She played the imaginary encounter, conversation and well, the aftermath until it seemed to materialize itself before her. In her mind, he deliciously responded in kind. She could feel his muscles tense as he made intense love to her.

“Blood of Jesus!” He shoved her so hard she toppled over the futon.

“Ouch! Hey...”

“I’m sorry Bisi. But what are you doing? You know I like your friend. I don’t want this. I want Iphey.”

It wasn’t like her thoughts. There was no Iphey in her thoughts

Bisi shook in pure rage.

“Ha!” she spat. “Iphey? You want Iphey don’t you? Ha!” She exhaled in pure anger.

“I’m sorry. Bisi, I really-“

“Shut up! You’re not sorry, not as sorry as you will be when I walk out that door!”

“Now Bisi, I don’t understand-”

“I said, shut up! You want to be with Iphey huh? Ask her about the Bank Manager.”

“Bisi what is wrong with you?!”

“Aw, baby, I love you too.” She hissed and stormed out.

Now she smiled as she recalled the expression on Iphey's face. Served her right!

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Our contributor is DEVINE of Be-e. I liked this post, Bisi being the woman scorned. It reminds me of Devine's last post on her blog called Playing with fire:

"I'm playing with Fire and I cant stop.
I see the flames but its kinda fun!
You know how you strike a match and watch it burn to the tip and quickly shake your hand before it gets to the tip of your fingers?
But has it ever happened that you got so caught up in watching the flames burn that you forgot the plan and it burnt the tip of your finger?"

Cupid's Comedy 2...Mr. FunnyHoneyMoney

So more people want to hear about Iphey and Chinedu. Enjoy...

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If there was anything worse than shit, that was what Iphey felt like as she drove back home that fateful Monday night. It was almost eleven and she was still out. And tomorrow was another work day. At least her car had been repaired. She tried not to think of the incident with James and then Ngozi, and remembered she had wrapped the day up by ‘cooking beans’, a banker’s slang that meant she and thus the bank had not been able to balance their books for the day. She prayed she wouldn’t lose her job for that.

Just as she was wondering what else could possibly happen, her phone buzzed and began to ring. Instantly she knew it was him. It was Chinedu again. She hadn’t realized how much she had been waiting for his call until it actually came while she was with James earlier. She couldn’t take it then and had switched off the phone while with Ngoo but now she would. She immediately parked by the side of the road and started rummaging through the junk she had dumped on the passenger seat for her phone.

“Damn” she thought, it was now when she really wanted to pick a call that the phone would be under the pile. By the time she found the phone the call had finished, she read the text and decided to pay him a visit. She sent off a text to Aisha and then Bisi as back-up of where she was going.

It took half an hour before she got there. As she parked her car outside, she noticed a car that looked somewhat familiar but she didn’t pay it much attention. Just as she was getting to the door it suddenly opened; and out came……

“Bisi?” Iphey couldn't believe her eyes.

“Oh, hi Iphey how you doing?” replied Bisi with a smile on her face.

“Wha…what are you doing here?” asked Iphey.

“I just came to pay Chinedu a visit. You nko?”

Chinedu came out with a jacket in his hand “Bisi, your…” The words were stopped in their tracks by the sight before him

“Thanks darling.” Bisi collected the jacket with a smile and walked away.

Chinedu walked closer to his new visitor. “Iphey…” She stood there in his driveway like she had just taken a bullet to the heart.

“Is that all she forgot?” There was so much shock in her voice.

“Iphey I can explain…”

“There’s really nothing to explain,” she scratched the back of her neck. “I guess I’ll just be on my way, goodbye.”

She turned away quickly to hide the tear that was making its way down her cheeks.

“But you came here for something…”

“It doesn’t matter anymore!”

“No, wait. Iphey, it’s not what you think. Nothing happened I swear it.”

“Funny, I don’t remember saying anything.” She ran the final steps to her car. To think that she had thought to ask his help for her sister's problem. She had been so excited to read his text, but it was all a sham.

“SHIT!” shouted chinedu as he punched his palm and let out a string of curses.

Cupid must sure be having a very good laugh with himself playing these silly games. He wished he had never opened that door, damn he so wished he had never opened that door.

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Our contributor again is Mr FunnyHoneyMoney of A PEN IN THE RIGHT HAND OF A LEFT HANDED GENIUS. He wrote the first part and so had to complete it. Also, some others have sent in parallel chapters, so there won't be any votes for now. The next chapters will be up on Friday and Sunday.

ps, The first series of the interactive will go on break soon, I want too do a small project in February. Topic: LOVE. Watch this space.

pps, Enjoy the rest of the week people...

Why isn't he here?....by Neo

Iphey shook her head not quite looking her in the eye, “Is Obi sleeping?”

Ngozi peered at her closely as though she could read something off her face “Obi is sleeping. Iphey, please go on. O gini?”

Iphey sighed, “Ngoo, I don’t know how to say this…”

“I don’t like all this suspense o. Whatever it is, just say it.” Ngozi snapped, her patience running thin.

“James came to my house.He’s alive and has been in Lagos I…I bumped into him…in a taxi. Ngoo he looked different but I confronted him, initially he denied it but later he came and...”

Nothing could have prepared Ngozi for those words; she stiffened barely allowing herself to breathe. In silence, her eyes willed Iphey to continue.

“I told him I’d have to tell you, I even suggested we come together but he said he couldn’t face you after everything that’s happened.”

“Where is James?” her voice was surprisingly calm and sounded strange to her. “Is he here? Outside?”

“No, he was gone before I could convince him…” Iphey leaned towards her, “Ngoo, it’s a very serious matter…infact we have to….”

Iphey was still talking as she rose to her feet and started walking towards her room.

“Sister, where are you going?”

Ngozi turned and smiled at her, it was a bitter smile that left her eyes cold and empty “Iphey, you just told me that my husband who has been missing for three years is alive and well. And not only has he been in Lagos the entire time, he’s also not here to tell me himself. I’m going to bed and maybe tonight I won’t dream of him or wake up in tears and cry to God for him…”

Iphey stood up, “Sister, you have to hear what happened...”

That was the trigger, it was enough for her to lose it and for all the emotions that had been locked up inside her to burst forth like a broken dam. She threw the mug she had been holding against the back of the settee. Iphey cringed as it bounced and then fell to the ground. Water splashed all over the light blue fabric sofa and the matching floor tiles as the cup rolled to a stop.

“Hear what?!” Ngozi tried not to scream, to keep her voice low for Obi’s sake. “When he doesn’t want to see me? I have cried every night for the past three years! I fought off his family who wanted to declare him dead! I held our son at night watching to make sure he’s still breathing! And James is not here. He’s alive, not decaying in a grave, he can walk and he can speak so why isn’t he here? Iphey why isn’t he here? He left us, he left me….” She let herself crumble to the floor as the sobs filled her throat.

When Ngozi looked up, tears had started to run down Iphey's face. She hated her sister seeing her like this, so broken. She was supposed to be the older one. Iphey crossed the distance between them, sat down and wrapped her arms around her.

“I have to see him Iphey, I have to see him.” Ngozi mumbled into her shoulder.

“You will, we’ll find him” Iphey said firmly.

After she left, Ngozi watched as Obi slept, noting the rhythmic rise and fall of his small chest. She remembered the scare when those doctors had told her to prepare for the worst, when she thought that her world was coming to an end. If she had lost Obi, she would have had nothing left to live for. Luckily they passed through it. Obi slept now his face creased into the deep frown that signaled he was in deep sleep. These days he insisted on sleeping only in his pyjama bottoms and though he had been asleep for just a few hours, his small bed looked like a riot scene with his tiny frame sprawled diagonally across the bed.

As she wandered into the kitchen to fix herself a cup of tea, she tried not to blame James but it was hard, especially having had to bear this burden of worrying about their child alone. After James had disappeared, their friends had been supportive, offering words of comfort and prayers but after a year the tune had started to change. No one could explain why he abandoned his wife and child leaving them in such financial insecurity. They said he was dead and advised her to remarry while she was still young, while Obi could learn to accept another man as a father. She had refused and slowly one by one the friends grew tired and began to keep away.

Iphey and her mother helped out as much as they could but she couldn’t depend on them solely, so she had fallen back on one of her hobbies and turned it into a lucrative career. She worked from home as a baker, and on her own terms so she could keep an eye on Obi. It had been hard when Obi had constantly asked after his father and she had told him the same thing each time, “Daddy traveled”. But now that he had stopped asking, how was she going to tell him the truth. What would she even tell him? Where was James?

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So another angle of the story comes to a wrap. What next? Vote on the left side for the upcoming chapter of your choice.

Our Contributor today is Neo of PLETHORA - ME AND MY EXCESSES. She is currently giving up on love but heart mender that I am, lol, I can't allow that now can I? Go over to her blog when you can and show her some love.

Lately i have become a cynic (i was always the realist though but i think i'm being pushed over the edge) especially when it comes to love. I have just become so disillusioned with it that i have decided i can do without it. Dont get me wrong o, i'm not about to dash off to the pound and pick myself up a litter of kittens. I'm not saying i want to be the spinster-aunty forever knitting horrible sweaters nobody likes.

Tell me everything...by Vivianne

Iphey picked up her car keys from Musa at the gate and drove out of the compound on her way to her sister Ngozi's place in Surulere.

Ngozi was puttering about her home getting ready to turn in for the night. She felt exhausted and drained after the events of the last few days and especially after the rousing party her mother held this past weekend. Although it was a great distraction, she felt overwhelmed by the loud music and gaggle of people with their mundane conversations. The emotional roller coaster she endured while her son Obi was in the hospital left her feeling hollow and somewhat vulnerable.

As she dried the last few dishes and placed them into the cupboard, Ngozi breathed a deep sigh as she realized she missed her mother already. She had been a great help to her during Obi’s illness and despite her nosiness, it had been nice to have another adult in the house to talk to. She shook her head ruefully as she recalled her mother’s scheming to bring Chinedu and Iphey together at the party.

She walked around her home switching off the lights. It was quiet and Obi was fast asleep in his bed. She stood for a moment by the windows in the dark, and stared into the moonlit sky. The stars were twinkling and the sky was midnight blue. A thought entered her mind and a wave of loneliness washed over her, nearly knocking the breath from her lungs.

“Where are you?” she choked out between clenched teeth as grief overcame her. “I miss you, James, I need my husband back.” She wondered if he was staring at the same stars, or if he laid in the ground cold somewhere. It was the not knowing that killed her, an answer that never seemed to come.

At that moment there was a knock on her door. Who could that be? She wondered. It was late and she certainly wasn’t expecting anyone. She opened the door to find Iphey looking distressed.

“Ngozi! I must talk to you but you need to sit down,” Iphey told her as she rushed into her living room.

“Ah! Iphey, Na wetin? Why are you coming here so late?”

Iphey took her hands into her own and led her to the couch. “Tie your sokoto. There is news I must share with you. Ngozi… James is alive! I saw him!”

Ngozi’s hand flew to her mouth as she held back a cry. She didn’t want to wake Obi.

“How? Where? Where has he been? Where is he?” She stuttered, her words tumbling over themselves.

She looked at her sister and began to feel faint and the edges of her sight began to darken. Her sister‘s mouth was moving as if she was talking but Ngozi heard nothing. She was back to the day before the Monday her husband went off to work and disappeared.

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That Sunday, she and James had lingered in bed late into the afternoon. Obi had gone to church with her mother and after that they were to visit and sleep over at a friend’s so there was no fear of interruption. Obi was growing fast and strong and she very happy at how proud James was of his son. Her wish was that a sibling would be made that day.

She turned to James, wrapped her arms around his waist and buried her face into his broad shoulder. “Let’s make a baby,” she whispered quietly. Just saying the words made her glow with hope.

James drew away quickly then kissed her gently. As he drew his face away from hers, he stroked her curly hair and stared at her brown eyes wistfully; it seemed a thousand thoughts had passed through his mind. She wondered what he was thinking. He looked like he was struggling to say something but couldn’t get it out.

“I love you Ngozi,” he said instead in his gravelly voice, as he nuzzled her neck and caressed her body. He deeply inhaled and a deep growl rolled from his throat. For once she was grateful for her mother’s meddling ways, because if not for her, they never would have met. Although they had been married only a few years, in that short time she had never felt happier and more content with her life.

“Ngozi… I want you to remember this-“

“Shhhh, I will. I love you too,” she said. No more talk. She only wanted to focus on the feelings he stirred in her.

She looked at his face colored like dark chocolate. She had memorized every fold, every crease and every expression on it. He then kissed her forcefully until their breaths became ragged. She would never get tired of this. Hunger quickly overcame them both and the afternoon flew by colored by passion, love and togetherness.

When he disappeared the next day she often questioned the meaning behind that afternoon. What was it he struggled to say and didn’t? Were there secrets he hid from her? Was the love she thought they shared really true? These questions had plagued her incessantly for the years she failed to hear from him again. Maybe he became victim to the ravages of an unsafe city. Or let’s face it, sometimes you can live with someone and not really know them.

“Ngoo, Ngozi! Are you listening to me?” Iphey exclaimed worriedly. She rubbed her sister’s cold hands and brought her a drink.

Ngozi snapped back to the present, “I’m fine! Bodi just weak me small.”

“Are you sure?”

“Wetin dey do you sef! Tell me everything!” She took a deep drink and waited for her sister to explain James’ sudden reappearance.

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So that's it folks. This has a follow up chapter and that means no vote today. I have scheduled the next next part for Wednesday.

Our contributor is Vivianne of VIVIANNE'S VISTA. I guess she is a very good person to start off this chapter which focused on Ngozi. Vivianne is a single mother who has gone through a lot but continues life with her two kids and "a basket filled with hope". I love her writing and her spirit as she rediscovers herself. I was impressed by how she follows the story and her use of pidgin in her contribution even though she is one of the non-Nigerian readers of this blog. Go over to her blog and show her some love.

Have a nice week everyone.

Results + In My Dreams (The Book)

So the votes are in and more people want to see what happens with Iphey. Does she tell her sister, does she confide in someone else or does she decide to keep it to herself? Our next contributor is Vivianne and the post will be up by Sunday. Remember the giveaway is on till Jan 31 and the first person to comment on the next chapter wins a free copy of my eBook "Love Happens" or you can download it on lulu. The paperback A Heart to Mend is available online at Amazon US, UK and Canada, Barnes&Noble and Borders. Find out more information on my website or enjoy the book trailer video on Youtube.

Another good news for blogsville fiction writers and readers. Some of you read the series blog 'In my dreams it was simpler'; the writers are great and the story was gripping. Now the collaborators have put it in a book form and published it. Check out the blurb...

"Sometimes Life Doesn't Happen the Way We Dream"

Six Best Friends... A Man... His Wife... His Mistress... A Mystery Hunk... A Man with a Shady Past...

The main characters are: LOLA, TITI, FUNMI, DOLAPO, MAUREEN, TEMMY, WOLE, DAYO and FOLAKE.

Get a glimpse into their crazy lives in this exciting new series!!!
They are thrown together in a series of events and twists that will leave you intrigued and hanging off the edge of your seat! How will they deal with life's ups and downs? How will they handle their relationships, careers, and family pressures? How will they make the most of the situations they face?


You can read chapter 1 here and buy the book from LULU.

Once a gambler...by JuaNita

Both stared at the phone and boy was it a tense moment “Well? Answer it.”

She gulped, “No I'm not going to. I want to know what you did.”

“You don't even want to know who your caller is?”

Iphey snatched up the phone and checked the ID. Her stomach plummeted when she recognized it but she wouldn't allow herself to be deterred. “Look, don’t change the subject.”

James remained silent and she summoned all the firmness within her, "James, what did you do?"

"Iphey I- It was- I had to -for the sake of my family. I borrowed money…” He was stammering in anxiety, nonetheless his eyes held a mysterious glint, one too dangerous for comfort.

“That doesn’t sound too bad,” she shrugged, regaining her composure.

“Iphey, stop interrupting me please, just listen…” demanded James. “At first it was from the bank but when their payments came up, I couldn't make it. And the last thing I wanted was for them to start sending letters to my office or the house. I had to find somewhere else to get the money. Look, it was my only choice; either that or the bank would sue me or Ngozi would find out. I wanted none of that to happen”

It began to dawn on Iphey what might have happened. The suspense was driving her insane. She wanted to wring his neck to get the truth out but simply gestured for him to continue.

“I had been gambling heavily, losing a lot of money but still hoping for my big win. Luckily the owners of the place agreed to loan me money in advance to pay off the bank. I would then owe them...wait before you say anything!” Seeing Iphey about to talk, “I now know I was stupid, but then I was like a man possessed. I won a little sometimes, and it felt good at that time because I could pay off some of the debt, I could buy stuff for your sister and pay my son's bills. It felt like I was working again, like I was a man...” He leaned back with a faraway smile on his face.

Without warning, she sprang from the sofa, towering over him. Iphey’s mind raced a hundred ways and her heart pounded with seething ferocity. This was too much too bear. “Of all people James, you should know better than to stoop so low. How could a man in his right mind abandon his wife, and don’t let me get started about Obi. You allowed yourself to be sucked into gambling? As a man my dear in-law, family must always come first, regardless of any financial woes you may have incurred.”

He stood abruptly, fuming “What would you have done in my shoes? Gone to church to pray for your debts to be cleared in an instant?”

“You abandon your loved ones and you stand before me expecting pity? So now, have you paid off your debt? HAVE YOU?!" Unable to control her thoughts, the damage was done as the bile spilled out.

"DON'T YOU DARE JUDGE ME!" His voice was raised to match hers. "Tell me what to do because I have waited for God to send money down and it hasn't happened. He may have answered your prayers but not mine. So NO! I have not paid it back."

She backed down shaking, however, he had set her mind in motion; she had judged Chinedu too. Acted as an arbiter and almost written him off because of his past. And here she was doing the same to James, will she never learn?

He began talking once again “I messed up big time, borrowed more money from the group and couldn't pay because I kept losing...”

"That's still not enough reason. James...” She began more gently, “Whatever action you took in the past is in the past. I’m not in the position to blame or point a finger at you, but please let's go see Ngozi..."

“Iphey the people I owe are after my family. I owe them millions! The gang are after Ngoo and Obi. That's why I had to leave, for the protection of my family. ”

Her mouth fell open. "Oh my God..."

James turned sideways and glared at her with dark eyes, coming closer till they were an inch apart “You see why I left them? Why I cannot go with you? Not this time and not ever. You never saw me, I was never here and I don’t exist...are we clear on that?”

Iphey nodded vigorously. He’d changed. She was right, the James everyone knew, the kind-hearted one who humbled most with his modesty, was gone and so was the spark in his eyes, in their place was the remnants of a wounded man and shattered dreams.

"Don't mention this to your sister. If you do, I know she'll come looking for me and I can't allow that. That was why I followed you here. I managed to get away before the gang could trace me or my family. Still I remained in Lagos to keep an eye on all of you just to be sure. Coincidence rocked the boat when we met this evening. Don't tip it over. It would be disastrous."

Iphey was speechless. What on earth was she supposed to think at a time such as this? Waving away her thoughts, she willed herself back into reality to see James storming out the door in a hurried manner.

"Why?" she mouthed at his retreating back. The heavens sympathised and joined in her despair, a drop at a time. She stood at the door unable to close, knowing she had to go out again. She couldn't keep it to herself, she had to tell Ngozi. Nausea flooded her every being, overcoming her senses but she wouldn't allow it.


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So that's it folks. James is gone (for now) but the story continues. Vote on the right side bar for the next chapter.

Our contributor this week is Nita of Fafali's Boredom Maximus. She is a talented writer and I just love the poems she shares on her blog. She has this to say about herself...

"Alright here goes, Im a jalapeno sized mouth teen who cannot stop raving about her life and how she prefers to write poems about her conconbulated( ehn?) life whiles being bored at the same time."

My Book is on Amazon! (US, UK and Canada)

Firstly, the votes are in and more people want to have go back to what's happening with James and Iphey. We already know that she does not pick the phone. So what does James say? What insane thing did he do? Why did he leave his family? Our next contributor is Juanita and the post will be up by Wednesday. Remember the giveaway is on till Jan 31 and the first person to comment on the next chapter wins a free copy of my eBook "Love Happens" or you can download it on lulu.

On another news...drumroll...MY BOOK IS ON AMAZON! Do you know how I found out? On Vera's blog! I sent her an autographed copy as a birthday gift and she linked the amazon site on her post. Wooohooo...thank you girl. OK I'm very excited forgive me but this is a biggish deal for me. It's like a milestone. Get published, go on sale, be on Amazon, get to Nigeria...and so on, LOL. OK we're getting there small small. So right now, the book is available in the following places online. I think this is just in time because the book will make perfect Valentine's day gifts (hint**hint, LOL.)

My website $14.99 (Autographed Copy)
Publishers: Authorhouse $13.50
Amazon.com $18.50
Amazon.CO.UK GBP14.49
Amazon Canada CDN$19.08
Barnes & Noble $16.65
Borders: $37.78 (Crazy right? I don't know who's selling their copy.)
Kalahari South Africa R254.66

Hopefully, the list will continue to grow. Thanks to all who have bought their copy. Please leave reviews on the amazon page including those who won the Part one and have read it. For Nigeria, the plans are still under wraps but sometime in February for sure. Remember, you can still read the first chapter and share to your friends by using the widget below. Thank you all so much. I am grateful for your support, it motivates me to do more.

Cupid's comedy...by Mr. FunnyHoneyMoney

The phone rang through without any answer.

*Sigh*

She was still not picking his calls.

“There could be a hundred different reasons. I know she wouldn't just ignore my calls,” he told himself.

Chinedu ignored the part of him that said maybe she was angry with him and wanted nothing more to do with him. There must be something else. He had not talked to Iphey since the party incident. He had tried to call her but never seemed to be able to hit the green button each time. However, today at work after his conversation with Aisha, he had managed to press it but the call didn’t go through; the network was busy or her phone was switched off.

One hour passed in which he kept staring at his phone on the table. He had been trying since with no luck and now he sighed. That was all he did: call, no reply, sigh, scratch his head, sigh, stand up, pace the length of the room, sigh, sit down and do it all over. He battled the temptation to get into his car and drive over there. Was she with someone else? According to Aisha, the man at the party was her Bank manager going overboard with unwelcome advances.

He called again. She didn't pick as before but this time he managed to send off a text message. He felt like someone was playing a game with him as the guy who always got something wrong. He still couldn’t explain to himself why he had been so angry when she had kissed him. Maybe she'd done it to annoy her manager but he had really enjoyed the kiss. He could still feel it even days after; he even remembered the stray strand of hair that had brushed against his face when they kissed. God he needed to talk to her. He knew though that this time there was no beating about the bush. They both spoke their minds or forgot it. It was all or nothing.

Thirty minutes later, he was still sighing and pacing. He picked up the phone and decided to try again. As if on cue the slideshow he had put as his phone’s wallpaper changed to the only picture he had of her. Iphey sleeping, a smile on her lips. He sighed once more and began to dial.

His doorbell rang.

He knew she was the one even before he got up from his chair.

“She has come, God she has come.” He banged into a stool in his zest to get to the door in record time and cursed. He opened the door and there she stood looking so beautiful, prim and proper in her suited banking attire. She looked like she just got ready to go to work instead of after a hectic day at the office.

“Hi,” she said, “may I come in?”

Every cell in his body screamed for him to refuse, talk with her right there, close the door and run back into the house. Instead he said, “sure, come on in.”

He wasn't as happy as he thought he would be. That was because it wasn’t Iphey shrugging off her jacket right from the door, it was Bisi.

Straight away knew he would regret that decision; more and more he felt like some unknown force was playing a game with him.

*******************


So that's it folks. Please vote on the left side bar for the next chapter. One thing I can say is that things are really heating up. I tell you don't miss it! LOL...it will be up by Wednesday.

Our contributor is Mr FunnyHoneyMoney of A PEN IN THE RIGHT HAND OF A LEFT HANDED GENIUS. And he is a genius indeed, at least when it comes to writing and rhyming. Check out his blog. When I saw his contribution, I wasn't too surprised, he said this on his page.

"I gained quite the reputation for being a prankster; it just naturally happened that at any given point in time i was always doing some' mischievous."

Results + HAITI + Seun Adebiyi

Firstly, the votes are in and more people want to have Chinedu on the phone. Does she pick the phone? What does he say? Why hasn't he called since? Our next contributor is Mr. FunnyHoneyMoney and the post will be up by Sunday. Remember the giveaway is on till Jan 31 and the first person to comment on the next chapter wins a free copy of my eBook "Love Happens" or you can download it on lulu. Find out more information on my website and enjoy this book trailer video.



Second, I'm sure most people have heard about the earthquake in Haiti. My heart goes out to all the people of that country and I'm praying for them. So many people are dead and more wounded and dying. There are many ways to help and these are just a few. Please do what you can.
Text HAITI to 90999 to donate $10
Text YELE to 501501 to donate $5
Visit www.worldvision.org to donate any amount directly.
Click on the relief button on my sidebar to donate to the American Red Cross.



Finally, I saw this on several places and got this from TORI's blog..."this article online today about 26 year old Seun Adebiyi, born in Lagos, moved here when he was 6 and is a Yale Law grad who is trying to be the FIRST EVER Nigerian Winter Olympian. Except he was diagnosed with cancer. Leukemia.

He's been through weeks and weeks of chemotherapy, but his doctors say his only chance for survival is a bone marrow transplant.

Sadly, only 8% of bone marrow list registrants are of African descent/African American. And for a match, the person needs to be practically IDENTICAL to you. So his chances of finding a match will be upped dramatically if there are more Nigerians on the list."

You can go to Seuns blog to read more. You may be able to help save his life.

A man should provide for his Family...Myne + Aeedeeaee

“What are you doing here!?” Iphey screamed.

“Please let me come in, I have to talk to you.” He pleaded.

“You!?” He looked the same as when she’d seen him earlier in the cab but now his face was softer, more like the brother-in-law she’d known. He was James, her sister’s husband.

Not knowing how to process the information her eyes were feeding her, her first impulse was to choke him by the collar and demand reparation for all the pain he’d caused her family. Since she couldn’t do that, the next best thing was to slam the door smack in his face. She did just that but James caught the door with his foot.

“Iphey! Please wait!” He begged again.

“Are you James or not?”

“Yes…” He breathed with downcast eyes.

“I knew it! I knew it was you.” She opened the door wider. “How did you find me?”

“I knew where you lived…”

“Damn you, James! Damn you to hell!” Iphey cried hitting his chest repeatedly with both hands till he caught them in his.

“Iphey, please calm down… listen to me!”

“Please, shut up! Shut the hell up! Why did you deny it when I called your name in the cab?”

“Iphey…I’m sorry but I had to…” He pushed her back into her apartment and closed the door. “I was shocked as much as you were, Iphey. I needed time to put myself together…”

James had managed to push her into one of the living room chairs at this time but remained standing. A tense silence ensued.

“Where have you been all this while?” Iphey asked in a low voice. Her hands hung between her knees.

“I’ve been here in Lagos…”

“My God! James, you live here? Ngoo waited…she pined for you all this time and you live here in Lagos?!”

Pictures of her nephew in his bed during the most recent stay in the hospital flashed before her eyes…Her sister’s depression…The fear in her mother’s eyes…Her own tears.

“Please Iphey, You need to relax…hear me out at least…”

She sprang to her feet. “How dare you come here after all these years and tell me to relax?! Why are you even here? What am I hearing you out on? That you abandoned my sister and her child, YOUR SON!?”

Iphey knew she was getting hysterical but couldn’t stop it. “How am I going to break this to Ngozi? How will I tell my sister that her long lost husband is infact alive? That he has lived in this same state all the while she was crying herself to sleep?” Several thoughts ran through her mind at once.

James came to stand before her. “See, I had to do what I did…I didn’t want to but it was the best thing I could’ve done at the time.”

Iphey was confused. She hadn't thought there was a happier couple than her sister and James at the time. She’d just gotten into University when they got married seven years ago. A year later Obi had been born and everyone had been overjoyed. He was three when to everyone’s shock, James had gone missing.

James went on...“Almost four years ago, something happened.”

Iphey’s shook her head vigorously. “What is it, James? What happened?” She cried, perplexed.

James breathed out and turned around. “I lost my job.

“What?? What are you talking about?”

“You see Iphey; two years after we got married, I lost my precious oil company job.”

“What does that have to do with it?” A shiver went over Iphey. The talk of job loss was a bit close to home with the recent spate of lay-offs in the banking sector.

“I never told your sister. I kept going out to work for nearly six months afterwards and never breathed a word of it to her. I looked for other jobs, gambled, took to drinking, chased other women. Nothing helped.”

Iphey found the sofa. This is only a bad dream. If I shut my eyes, it will go away.

James continued. “The few people who knew advised me to tell her but I couldn’t face the disappointment on her face. When Obi’s asthma came up while she was still on maternity leave, we had agreed for her to remain at home. So there was no other source of income…”

He looked at her face. “I know what you’re thinking…I wouldn’t be first or last to lose my job but I was so proud! Your sister didn’t know, her behavior didn’t change but I became paranoid. I blamed her for my woes and our sickly son for my quickly dwindling savings. Then I blamed myself but still I did not tell her.”

“Oh my God. Oh my God.” Iphey kept saying.

“I began to resent everyone. My family, you and your mother, you all boasted so much about my status…”

She could see it was very painful for him but she wouldn’t let that go. “Leave us out of this.”

“OK.” He sat down. “The thing was, I was brought up to believe that a man should provide for his family. In those six months, that belief made me mad!" He was crying now, the tears trickled down his cheeks.

“Are you saying…?” Iphey started.

James cut in. “I’m not saying I became actually mad but I eventually did something insane.”

Iphey's phone began to ring.

**********************


And that's it folks. What did he do? Who's on the phone? You have to come back for the next chapter, vote on the left as usual.

This was a collabo I did with Aeedeeaee. I enjoyed the challenge and maybe I'll be doing more of that. My second book is progressing well and I'm loving this interactive story more and more. Thank you all for being a part of it.

Who is James?...by Aeedeeaee

“James…?” Iphey stared, mouth agape and eyes wide in shock.

“Wetin be that?" The driver asked. "You dey ok?”

“Are you not James?” She demanded as shock and all kinds of emotions coursed through her body. He looked exactly the same as her missing brother-in-law.

“That no be me oo. Who is James? Madam you well so?”

“I’m alright. It’s just that…you look like someone I know.” She continued looking at him intently. “My sister’s husband…”

“I say no be me,” said the cab driver in an unflinching tone. “Where you dey go?”

He did look different. Thinner harder, meaner. The voice was also a bit different from James'…or so she thought. It had been almost three years. She really couldn’t remember what James’ voice was like anymore; partly because of the time lapse and partly because she had almost believed he was dead…

Stop it Iphey, And tell the man where you’re headed!

“Lekki Phase 1…” She finally replied.

Scratching his head, the driver said “Oh…Sorry o! I no dey go that way…I’m closing for today and na Surulere side am going.”

Iphey pierced him with her gaze but again he remained unmoving, “Madam go now make I fit find another passenger.”

“Oh..ok. I’ll just get another cab.” She jumped out, hunger and tiredness now replaced by angst, memories of the nights when she had to stay with her sister. When Ngozi would cry herself sick; her son sick and her husband missing. Lost in her reverie, Iphey almost got knocked down by an Okada rider…

“See, no be me go kpai you o!” He cursed at her.

“Sorry! Sorry...” said a very confused Iphey. Cursing okada riders were the least of her problems at that point. Damn! This had to be the day devil came out with his entire clan. A stressful day at work and now a James look-alike!

She hailed another taxi. Thankfully, this one was headed her way. The thought of what happened a few minutes ago just wouldn’t leave her.

That driver had definitely put her on the edge. He looked so much like James…but that voice, or maybe that was because of the pidgin he was speaking. She had never heard James speak that before, and the taxi driver seemed very fluent. She cursed her car for not starting. Cursed the mechanic for not fixing whatever the problem was.

“Chei! I must be more fatigued than I thought.” She said aloud.

“You say wetin?”

“Abeg, no vex. I was talking to myself” She said embarrassed.

Something about this entire business smacked of lies…or was she paranoid?

Yes. She was paranoid alright. And hungry. And fagged out.

“Lord Help!” She said aloud.

The cab driver obviously worried about the young lady constantly talking to herself said “Take it easy o madam, It is well.”

The first thing she did when she came in was to call her best friend.

“The strangest thing happened today o, Aisha!”

“What happen…Iphey abeg, Hold on, I don’t know what TJ dey call me for now…”

“No wahala…I’m here.”Iphey said in between nervous laughter. Who would believe it? She thought to herself. Should she tell her sister?

Aisha was soon back on the line, hissing “Walai! Can you imagine! It’s that rubbish Mutallab boy that TJ called me to come see!”

Iphey laughed at her. “Say after me, Mutallab is a mu-mu.”

Aisha hissed again. “Tell me joo, wetin happen today? Has Chinedu finally called?”

“Please don’t talk to me about Chinedu!” She had thought of him at work most of her free time but what happened on the way home had pushed him to the back of her mind. And she preferred him to remain there.

“You want make I speak with him again?” Aisha interrupted her thoughts.

Iphey was mortified. “Did you already call him?”

“I’m sorry Iphey, I called him for something to do with Habib, but your name came up.”

Iphey sighed. “It’s OK. I’m tired of that guy oo, and no I won’t call him. After kissing him in public, I think the ball is now firmly in his court."

Aisha agreed. “So wetin you call to tell me?”

“Aisha you won’t believe it…” Just then her doorbell rang.

“Aisha, hold on, someone is at the door.” Iphey she sprang up off the bed and headed back towards to door. It was just as well she had not changed out of her work clothes.

Aisha went on, mischief in her tone “At this time? Or is it him?”

Iphey was busy peering through her windows when Aisha blared in her ears “It’s him! Bad child! You you were just pulling my legs abi?”

“Aisha please go jo!” Iphey said chuckling, one hand unlocking the door. “I’ll call you.”

She froze when she saw who rang her bell. He who now stood in front of her on her doormat that said “WELCOME”.

“Can I come in?”

************

So that's it folks. This was a long one so I had to split it into two. That means no vote till the next concluding part. And I tell you don't miss it! LOL...it will be up by Wednesday.

Our contributor is Aeedeeaee of THE SOUNDING BOARD OF A BUSY BEE. And while she is a bizzy bee indeed, she is also very creative. Check out her last Dr. Doolittle-type post with the talking books and stuff. Also Aeedeeaee is a trained script writer and writes for both Radio and TV. I'm honored to host her on the blog.

Votes + Award + Book Buzz

So the votes are in and more people want to know what happens with the missing in-law. Is it really him? Does Iphey confront him? Our next contributor is Aeedeeaee and the post will be up by Sunday. Remember the giveaway is on till Jan 31 and the first person to comment on the next chapter wins a free copy of my eBook "Love Happens" or you can download it on lulu. Find out more information on my website



So I got this award from Honey91 of Dear Diary and La-Pimpette of Straight from the Heart. I want to say a big thanks to both of them. I'm glad people think of this blog as a place they can come and read stories, not just Myne but fellow bloggers. I appreciate you all both contributor, commenters and readers. Please keep coming and telling us what you think. I read and comment on loads of blogs and think you all deserve the award. But since I'm limited, I will pass on the award to the following people. They're great bloggers who get me thinking, smiling, laughing or crying with their blogs. I think they're very human and their lives are quite realistic.

Shorty of My Diary
Andrea of My Life
YankeeNaija babe of YNC Lounge
Blowing Blessings of Blessings Outlet
HisTreasure of A Fabulous Mother's World
Neefemi of Diary of an unpaid Intern

And this is what people have been saying about the book. Hope you've bought your copy?

Linda Ikeji: A HEART TO MEND will bring tears to the eyes and cheers at the end especially for those who have experienced the search for a career or tumultuous family and emotional relationships. Readers will be pleasantly surprised by the description of Lagos, the Nigerian stock market, and other business intrigues.

Review on Sylva Nze Ifedigbo's weblog: Myne Whitman’s book, A Heart to Mend, makes a bold statement to the contrary. It shows that we do not only fall in love and marry for love, we also use love to conquer a wide range of situations that could have ordinarily been a bit difficult to shoulder alone.

African Loft interview: I was excited when I heard of Myne Whitman’s novel, “A heart to mend”. Written by a Nigerian — under the pan name “Myne Whitman”, with Nigerian characters and setting, “A heart to mend” is a fun and fast read. Myne Whitman was happy to talk to us about her book during the Christmas season. Enjoy the interview!

Youtube: Book Trailer

Jaguda Interview: I know growing up you must've been exposed to a good number of books and authors. From a literature standpoint, who would you say has been your biggest influence?

I wouldn't say I have a single influence, as I have read so widely, but some authors that come to mind are Barbara Cartland, Francine Rivers, Sidney Sheldon, Flora Nwapa, Buchi Emecheta, Cyprian Ekwensi, and more recently Chimamanda Adichie and Jude Dibia. Of all them I identify most strongly with Buchi Emechetas books.

Singing the Monday blues ....by Miss Fab

Welcome back feedbackers. Happy New Year to all and I hope 2010 is already treating you good. As usual vote for the next chapter when you're done enjoying this...

***********************

Iphey was having the worst possible Monday in the history of Mondays.

To begin with, she didn’t hear her alarm ring at 6am and flew out of bed at 6:43 instead. Rushing to get ready and stepping out of the house within an impressive 35 minutes, she was beginning to have faith that the day could still be salvaged when her car refused to start. Her mallam-cum-makeshift-mechanic insisted he could fix the problem in "pife" minutes. "Madam, only pife minutes I need,” he declared but Iphey had neither the patience nor the mood to wait and angrily stomped out into the sunless morning to hail a taxi.

Rapture or something like it must have occurred that morning – that was the only explanation she could think of for the practically standstill traffic, and she spent many angry minutes uncharacteristically cursing the taxi driver, the other drivers, the okada riders, the Lagos state government, the Nigerian government, and every other entity she could think of.

Walking into her 9am meeting at 9:26, she fumbled into the nearest empty seat, muttering a breathless “Sorry I’m late. Got caught in traffic.”

“And they say you're professional,” Funmi muttered. “Do you have the report?” She snapped more loudly.

“I’m really sorry,” Iphey said, shuffling through the papers she held in her hand. She picked out a couple and asked Bisi to pass them down. “Here they are.”

Funmi shot her a withering look before resuming her presentation.

Iphey could not have been more embarrassed. It’s this stupid Chinedu, she thought to herself. She had gone home fuming from the party, thinking she’d made a huge mistake. She didn’t even know what made her kiss him; it wasn’t like her to do so. She was never quite the forward type, but somehow Chinedu had waltzed in on his high horse and messed up her rhythm. She hadn’t been able to get much sleep the past few nights, tossing and turning and staring at the pitch-black darkness way into the early morning.

Feeling cranky from lack of sleep, she willed herself to disappear in her seat. It didn’t seem like she was doing a very good job because she caught Ayo winking at her. Suddenly she was very annoyed. What was wrong with this man? He'd shown up to a party on her mum's invitation as her boss but then proceeded to get chummy at every chance as if he’d just proposed. Had he no shame or sense of decency? Did he not care about his wife? What’s wrong with men these days even? It’s like they don’t know what they want.

She didn’t realize she’d hissed out loud until all eyes in the boardroom turned to her.

“Excuse me, did you have a problem with something I said?” Funmi asked, sounding irritated.

“I’m-I’m sorry,” Iphey stammered and for lack of a meaningful explanation to give, reorganized her papers and tried to look busy.

That was her Monday so far, and it wasn’t even 10 o’ clock yet.

Determined to make up for her double strike at the meeting, she decided to skip lunch and use the time to put in some extra work. Iphey felt upset with herself for being so careless, and she reminded herself that now was not the time to slack off. The recent spate of terminations all over the banking sector was nothing to joke with, especially now that she was due for confirmation.

Around 12:30, Bisi and one of the girls from Accounts Reconciliation stopped by to ask if she would join them for lunch.

“Oh, thanks for the invite,” Iphey smiled, “but I really have to finish all this work.”

The other girl excused herself for a phone call, and Bisi waited until she was out of sight before saying, “So when are you going to gist me about you and you-know-who at your party on Friday?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Iphey laughed nervously, she didn't want to talk about Chinedu.

“Ahahn don’t form for me jo,” Bisi teased. “I heard he was all over you and even gave gifts to your mom.”

Iphey stared back at her blankly for a few seconds before realizing she was talking about Ayo.

“Oh you mean that one?” she said and then hissed. “I don’t understand why he won’t leave me alone.”

“It’s so obvious he likes you,” Bisi said, pausing to add, “He’s really rich you know. And I hear he and his wife haven’t lived together in over a year.”

Iphey was about to ask why Bisi was sharing this information with her when the other girl returned.

“You guys should enjoy your lunch,” Iphey said. “I’ve to return to this portfolio anyway.”

“We’ll talk later sha,” Bisi replied and left.

Iphey turned back to her monitor and thought about the conversation. A nagging feeling at the back of her mind told her trouble was breeding somewhere, but she convinced herself she was being ridiculous and tried to focus on her work.

At 8 pm, she decided to head home. Most of her co-workers had gone by then, so she packed her papers and hurriedly left the building. Stepping outside the gates of the bank, she suddenly realized she hadn’t eaten all day and she stood for a few minutes, the cacophony of the evening hustle and bustle interspersing her angrily growling tummy, until she spotted an empty taxi heading in her direction. She stretched out her hand to flag it down and, without a word, got into the backseat.

The driver turned around to ask where she was going, and Iphey gasped as she recognized the disheveled, unkempt stranger as James, her sister’s missing husband.


***********************

I think we're off to a running start with chapter from Miss Fab. who also writes on her Blog FABULOSITY UNWRITTEN. Go visit and add her to your blogrolls people. She needs feedback for her upcoming novel as she says in her last post excerpt below.

"Writing

I did a lot more creative writing this year than I've ever done
before, and I have you bloggers and readers to thank for that. All of
your feedback and support have been really encouraging, and I'm glad
that I finally rekindled my love for writing. Every year I promise
myself that I'll complete a novel before the end of the year, and
sadly this year, like all the others, I failed to accomplish that.
Hopefully with some support from you guys and a lot more
self-discipline from my end, I won't be saying the same thing this
time next year."

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