Z is for Zinfandel

Zinfandel is a variety of black wine grape grown in California and from which a type of red wine is made. Why this word for today? Join me to toast to the successful completion of the A - Z Challenge!


It has been a hectic ride, lol...and I'm happy I stuck to the end. Congrats to all the other challengers, and thanks to everyone who has been following and commenting. To all my new followers, you're welcome and I'll be back to regular programming soon.

In the meantime, I'm taking a couple of days off! :)

____________

Picture from http://www.ryhanestate.com/scripts/wineList.cfm

Y is for Yellow Tulips

This year, as spring progresses and the weather starts getting better, we decided to be part of the Skagit Tulip Festival. The festival is more like a pilgrimage by people from across Washington State, the US and even other countries to visit the Tulip fields and admire the beauty of nature. It was a great day and a lovely outing. Enjoy the yellow tulips today, more pictures of red, pink, and moi coming soon.








You can read more about the the Tulip Festival HERE

X is for X-Rated


In a recent interview with Pamela Stitch which you can read and listen to HERE, I was asked the following;
In ‘A love rekindled’, we see more explorations of adult themes compared to ‘A heart to mend’. I am talking about sex scenes - how was it writing those sex scenes?
I replied that it was like any other writing. I mean sex is part and parcel of life and relationships, and my books are all about that. I also added that I had three other sex scenes in the book which were cut when I was editing because I believe sex in writing should move the story forward.

Today for that hard letter X in the A - Z challenge, I bring you one of the deleted scenes. Writing for me is about connecting, making my readers feel - cry, laugh, think, and enjoy. Yesterday I made some of you cry, today, allow me to ..........


****

For a long time they just kissed and Efe enjoyed every second of it. Kevwe moved his hand over her breast. The touch caused Efe to move backward slightly as she was surprised by it but just as quickly she pushed her breast back into his hand wanting more of the touch. Through the sweater, she could feel his hand moving ever so slowly over and around her breasts, first one then the other. And then his fingertip pushed lightly against her nipples. Efe felt as if her nipples were straining under the touch try to force themselves through the fabric of her bra and into Kevwe’s hand.

Kevwe stretched out on the bed and Efe moved fully into his arms. She wrapped herself around him and their arms and legs tangled. Kevwe went back to her lips and they began kissing again. But then he moved the kiss from her mouth to her cheek and then down to her neck and stopped there. He pushed her wrists above her head and held them firm. His mouth moved slowly over the stretched muscles of her neck till he guessed it was well sensitized.

When he started to bite softly, Efe felt hot shivers deep down in belly to her core, and she gasped out loud. He came back up and they kissed. His free hand began to wander again over the full curves of her breasts, squeezing slightly and rubbing his hardness into her thigh, brushing his palm over the hard nub of her nipple through the bra.

Suddenly, Kevwe stopped the kiss and sat up on the bed. Without saying a word or removing his eyes from Efe’s, he unbuttoned his shirt and removed it. Kevwe thought if Efe was going to object, this would be the time. He of course hoped that she wouldn't and as he removed he threw the top to one corner, he saw her eyes drop from his and down to his now naked torso. When he saw her smile, her smiled back and joined her on the bed. She was still dressed in his sweater but he didn’t mind.

Efe had seen his naked chest before but had never watched him undress. Usually, she would have averted her eyes. Now she could take it all in and she found it arousing. He was well built, the width of his chest narrowing down to his hips, with chest hair following the same path. When he joined her on the bed, they lay down next to each other and embraced once again. It was Efe who initiated the kiss this time and began moving her hands all over him.

She stroked his muscular chest and pushed her hips into his, she wanted to feel as close to him as she absolutely could. As she rubbed up on him, she could feel the bump of his arousal as it brushed against her. Efe was pleasantly surprised by how erotic it felt. It was also nice having her soft breasts pressing into his hardness. Not only was it a feeling she had never felt before, it was something she’d like to have a lot of. Their kisses became more passion filled and Efe stopped thinking.

She was all feeling as Kevwe’s palm moved between her legs. Nimble fingers slid easily into the cleft between her upper thighs. Kevwe’s hand began slow steady swirls, round and round, pressing hard against her softness. Strong fingers probed through her panties, and soon a slow sensual rhythm developed. Her breathing became shallow and almost hesitant as he began to speed up. Her desperate cries echoed in the small room as an orgasm built in her belly. A tight coil of passion made her body tremble as it spread through her limbs like liquid fire, her cries growing louder, regular. Her breathing quickened and her body arched in a bow of tension. The pleasure was intense, and she didn’t want it to ever end. When it passed, she collapsed on the bed, weak as a kitten.

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

Were you able to fill in the blank? :)

W is for Writing - Inspired by A Love Rekindled

Do you remember Twin Bonds from Honing my Short Story Skills? The complete and edited version was published today on Bellanaija.com.


I buttoned my tuxedo, and looked back with a tight smile at the man who stood behind me. The wedding was in an hour, but it wasn’t nerves at seeing my lovely bride that choked my throat. Painful memories swamped me from all sides. My best man was supposed to have been my brother, my twin brother, Odion. Our plan was either to get married on the same day, or be each other’s best man.

Odion and I were identical twins. Mama bought us the same clothes when we were children, and made sure we were in the same class throughout primary school. We went everywhere together. We got on very well together and so we didn’t mind. We loved the same type of food, and wore the same clothes most of the time. We shared one of the rooms in our house, but where we spent most of our time was in a field not too far from our back door playing games together. In the rainy season, the grass in the field was so tall, you could play hide and seek there. But it wasn’t difficult to find each other so we rarely played on our own.

Read the complete story on Bellanaija.com

V is for Voter Violence - Nigeria


And a community response to it.

So the presidential elections led to some violence, especially in the northern part of the country. Sectarian violence has always been a part of the history of Nigerian, right from Amalgamation, and then independence in 1960. Always, there would arise a reason for the (usually) Muslim northerners to attack the Christian southerners among them and unleash mayhem and death. The worst in recent history was in 1967, and led the civil war in which Biafra tried to secede from Nigeria. The war ended and the NYSC started as one of the strategies to broker complete peace.

Unfortunately this same scheme, and worst of all, the young people that are it's lifeblood, was the target of rioters and murderers who took to the streets to protest the outcome of the presidential elections. These malcontents were offended that their Muslim candidate did not win, and blamed the youth corpers who had been in charge of the polls. Within hours, and lasting for days, youth corpers were pursued along the roads and butchered, locked up in their lodges and set ablaze, and had other atrocious acts perpetrated on them. No official number has been released so far of the number of people who died in the outrage, and no definitive action has been taken by the government so far.

And so Nigeriavillagesquare.com is sponsoring a petition for;

- All youth corpers serving in these volatile states be withdrawn immediately.
- All youth corpers serving in these volatile states be redeployed to other states of their choosing, or be excused for the rest of the service year.
- All youth corpers be excused from serving as electoral officers in the upcoming governorship elections as we are not convinced that adequate and confirmed security can be provided for them.
- The identities of all youth corpers who lost their lives in this violence be made public.

You can click here to sign the petition.

U is for Unhealthy Relationships


So, one of the stories going through my head has to do with someone who has experienced and abusive relationship, and is wary of investing in any other person. As I've tried to write a profile for her, I had to do some little research on this issue.

Unhealthy relationships are those ones that mentally stress you out, and they can also sabotage your physical and emotional well-being. And I'm not just talking about romantic relationships, it could also be with parents, siblings, friends, co-workers or bosses, etc. it may be easy to define, but how exactly can one know that they're in an unhealthy relationship? The following are some specifics;

- You feel afraid, and your heart races when the person is around.
- You think that you and your opinions do not matter in the relationship.
- You emotions do not count, and are actually disrespected
- You are always worried about the future or nature of the relationship
- You both have very different ideas and values and you're always the one to compromise
- The other person's anger overshadows you, and you change your actions, or lie to escape their wrath
- You feel you deserve the criticism you receive from them.

If you feel like this in your current relationship, it may be time to assess why you remain in that position. Whether at work or at home, you deserve peace of mind, and a optimal health. You may confide in a trusted friend, family member, pastor, or consult a therapist for counseling.

Usually, the first way forward is to improve on  communication between you and the person aggravating you. Be honest with them about how you feel, and how you expect to be treated. Here, you can try listing the behaviors that hurt you, and a better way the person could have phrased it that you would prefer.

If the person is apologetic and willing to work with you, you can then decide on ways forward. Try to schedule times just to talk. Also make time for both of you to simply have fun. If you're using a professional counselor, it may be time to meet them together, and try to work out if there are underlying issues that need to be solved.

If none of the above works, it may be time to end the relationship. Leave that boyfriend, husband, partner, resign from that job, or just begin to put some distance between you and the person if you cannot leave them entirely, like a co-worker in a job you may not afford to quit.

This is a serious post because I believe this is a sensitive issue.

_____________________

image source - nyblogs.net

Happy Easter Everyone!


This is my day off for good behavior remember, and I want use it to wish all of you my wonderful friends and blog readers a special Happy Easter! I wish everyone a day filled with enjoyment, friends and family.

I want to also use this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has kept following and commenting on my blog this April. I know my posts have been more frequent than usual, with the A - Z challenge (thank God that is coming to an end soon, lol) and my book promotion. I'll be coming back in May with the regular posts you enjoy, and some new ones, so keep following.

In the meantime, Happy Easter!!

T is for Trailer - Somewhere in Africa

I saw this trailer on Youtube and I just had to share it. The movie is not out yet but if I may say so from the trailer, this may be one of the best and soul-stirring movies coming out of Nolly/Ghanawood. I want to assume that if the producers could get a trailer like this from the movie, it is an award winner.



Nollywood is not known for socially conscious or political features so one like we have in this trailer needs as much promotion as possible. No, I do not know the producers, and they have not paid me. I first saw the trailer on Celebregion.com - one of my favorite sites - and was very moved. Below are some transcriptions...

Text intro - "Much of these, facts; some of these, fiction. The last two decades however, are unarguably the most turbulent of times for most African nations. Blood like a pond filled our streets, terror like the rising sun greeted our eyes. Somewhere and everywhere in Africa, a dirge was being sung."

Though the movie is set in a fictional country, I couldn't help but think of the ongoing conflict in places like Sudan, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Tunisia, and in the wake of the current elections, in Nigeria. So much pain, tears, blood, and much too death! To be honest I shed tears as I watched the trailer, and I had to offer up some prayers.

In conclusion, the movie calls to mind another movie, Sarafina, and like that one, it bears a motivational message, a hope for tomorrow. I pray that hope materializes.

S is for Stanley Adetiba

He is the 'other guy', the one who almost made the love between Kevwe and Efe a love triangle. But he's so cute! Check him out below.

Actor- Joseph Benjamin

- How would you describe yourself? 
Smooth, handsome - so women tell me, successful at what I do.

- How does it feel to be back in Nigeria after a while away?
Well, it's not been long since I returned - just a couple of months - so I'm still settling down, getting to know what's happening, and getting a feel of things. I left Nigeria just over ten years ago, and things were very different then, so there's quite a bit to adjust to.

- We hear that you're quite a sharp dresser. Any recommendations on style?
Well, you can never go wrong with designer brands. My favourite are Hugo Boss and TM Lewin shirts for that formal look. Then when you want to go casual, Ralph Lauren or Tommy Hilfiger are the go-to guys.

- What do you think about the idea of second chances in love? 
They say that sometimes, the ex is an ex for a reason; other times, it could just be a misunderstanding, and you should hear the person out and give them another try. But when two people are really meant for each other, they find themselves getting second or even third chances - things just keep pushing them together.


______________

When my sister first read a draft of A Love Rekindled, she mentioned that usually most "other guys" were mean and that Stanley was different that way. Honestly, it wasn't me. When I brought in the character, he was supposed to be bad, and actually put more obstacles in the way of love. But as I wrote, the character took over. For the writers, has that ever happened to you?

R is for Rom Isichei


Rom Isichei is an amazing Nigerian painter, and someone I know personally.

His works blow me away, though I'm still saving up for the day I'll be able to afford the ones I really like. I recently found out that he was having his third Solo exhibition titled Quiet Spaces in Lagos;

Date and - Saturday, May 14, 2011
Time - 4:00pm
Venue - Nike Art Gallery, 3rd roundabout, Lekki, Lagos

Rom was kind enough to let me have some behind the scene pictures for my blog. Enjoy...



preliminary sketch (i) for "habits and rituals", 2010


preliminary sketch (ii) for "habits and rituals", 2010


preliminary sketch (iii) for "habits and rituals", 2010



habits and rituals (bag ladies), 2010, oil, acrylic, glitters on canvas, triptych, 102x65 in

You can see more of Rom's work on his WEBSITE.

Q is for Queen Ovie

No she isn't a real queen, but that was what she would be if she had anything to do with it. Ovie is another of the old friends that support Efe in A Love Rekindled. Hear her;


Movie Director/Producer/Actor - Emem Isong

- How would you describe yourself?
I am street-smart, I tell it like it is, and I am unapologetically ambitious.

- How do you manage to live such an active life?
 That's part of my street smarts. I was brought up in the inland towns of Benin city, and dem no dey teach dat ting o. As someone who hopes to be very successful, I have to know how to work hard and play hard - I'm hoping to become a branch manager in my bank.

- Some people have said that you are too brash and talkative. What do you say to this? 
Well, na dem sabi. That's me, and who no like am dem fit go hug transformer!

- How do you tell whether a club is a good place to hang out? 
Oh man, it depends on the music. If they are laying down solid dance tracks, that's where the party is going to happen. Then I look at the atmosphere - is the place bubbling, with people having fun? Then of course, they have to have a good variety of drinks - me, I like Bailey's Irish Cream.

________________

Verdict? Do you have friends like Ovie, who even when they seem flighty, always got your back?

O is for Ofure Mukoro

Ofure is the twin of the main character in A Love Rekindled, and the one that first appears at the beginning of the book.


Actor - Desmond Elliot (no he is not a twin...)

- How would you describe yourself?
Cool, calm and collected - very cliched, right?

- Can you tell us what Kevwe is thinking about right now?
Ha! Do you think I'm going to tell you? That guy hardly ever lets anyone into his head. And even if I did know, I wouldn't tell you... OK, OK, let me tell you. I think he's in love - again.

- What was it to live apart from your twin for such a long time? 
Well, we grew up together, but we'd been in boarding school for a while, so living away from home wasn't such a big deal. Besides, we're not so 'twinny' as to feel we need to be everywhere together. And we didn't really feel so far apart anyway, because we had enough opportunities to chat over the phone.

- We hear that you're something of a ladies' man. What's the secret? 
Well, the ladies like me; I like them too, and there's no crime in that, is there? As to the secret, it's not a big deal, really. You just have to know how to show the right mixture of charm and aloofness.

____________________

Lady charmer he is indeed. I have news for him. He's definitely getting a lady to cut him down to size. LOL...What about you, can you fall for a player?

N is for Nneka Dozie

Continuing in the dream cast series, Nneka is the best and longest friend Efe has ever had. First meeting in their first year at the University of Benin, they friendship is over 11 years now.


Nigerian Actress - Monalisa Chinda

- How would you describe yourself in three ways? 
Bubbly, friendly, loyal.

- What do you love about your baby, Anuli? 
She's the sweetest thing, the best thing that has ever happened to me. She brings me so much joy! When she smiles, I just feel my heart melt. She's my biggest responsibility, but she's also the greatest achievement of my life.

- Can you tell us how you met your husband, Dozie? 
That is a long story, and I hear that Myne may be writing the full book. Anyway, I first spoke to him on the phone when I travelled abroad for my holidays in the US. Next thing I knew, he wanted to marry me! Of course, I couldn't accept that when I hadn't even met him - all this happened in the nineties when there was no Facebook, no mobile phone, no nothing - so I told him to forget it. But he was persistent; he returned when I was much older and ready for love, and continued with his pursuit. He wowed me, took me travelling, and when he finally proposed again, I said 'yes'.

- Someone told us that you have a talent as a wrestling commentator. Could you tell us more? 
Hahaha! Oh, I know what you're referring to, when Efe managed to get herself into a fight, but that was just a joke. But I did watch some WWE matches with my brothers when I was much younger, so I may have picked up the language from there.

______________________

Doing these interviews with Atala, he mentioned that Nneka was very traditional in terms of her answer about her baby. And that was what I was going for. For a lot of women, marriage and motherhood are the pinnacle of achievement. Do you know any such women?

M is for Model

My name is Myne Whitman and I am a model. A role model I mean, lol...not that you could think otherwise. Atala doesn't really like the picture below, he thinks I look too 'serious' and calls it my Maya Angelou picture. Of course Maya A is a truly inspirational role model, and I tell him it's an honor to be compared to her.


I hope you don't think I'm trying to be big-headed by saying I'm a role model? The truth is that most of us are role models whether we realize it or not, even if only to one or two people, friends, family etc. And that is not a bad thing, and should not be regarded as a burden like some people do. I believe that thinking yourself a role model gives one the inspiration sometimes to keep going.

Also, the importance of role models cannot be overestimated. It is crucial for a lot of us, myself included, to be able to have people we look up to, people we can identify with, and people who inspire us. When we can do this, we are energized because we can see our paths more clearly, and our goals are focused.

As a female writer, I'm never tired of mentioning those whom I've read and enjoyed, and those whose books have shaped me. By acknowledging them, I am acknowledged. As the Igbos say, "He who respects the king will one day be king." Some of them are already recognized but it never hurts to add your voice. So reach out today to your role model and say, "you motivated me".

And before I sign off, I have to say this you reading. Yeah you, you motivate me. :)

Have a great weekend!

For those in Nigeria, hope you're planning to vote?

Love - The one that got away.


You know how they say there's always that one person that you should've/ could've spent the rest of your life with? In A Love Rekindled, that could have been the case until fate brought Kevwe and Efe back together. This is a topic that engulfed me while I wrote the book, and I have agreed to discuss it with radio host and presenter, Vera Ezimora. We'll both be dishing on the main characters of A Love Rekindled, and will also take calls and questions from listeners!

You can E-mail all your questions/comments/stories about this show to radio@verastic.com or text 1.443.934.9039. You can also join the conversation by calling 1.646.929.1905 during the LIVE show. Time and Date is Saturday, April 16 by 10am EST, and 3pm GMT. For more information, visit the Verastic Channel on BlogTalk Radio.

To start the discussion, and to have the opportunity to get quoted during the radio show, leave a comment below. Do you have "The One" that got away? Ever heard of it, and what do you think?

L is for Love


Of course, LOL...

Wait a minute though, what is love? How will you describe love?

Is it a feeling or an action?
Is it to love or to be in love?
Can one do without love?
A cool love or a fast love?
Which is the better love?
Why do we even love?
When does love start?
Where does love end?
Have you ever loved?


Over to you...

K is for Kevwe Mukoro


Nigerian Actor - Desmond Elliot

Kevwe is one of the main characters in my new book, A Love Rekindled, and below he answers some questions.

- How would you describe yourself?
Confident, a go-getter, caring

- Is it true that you enjoy spending hours and hours in your engineering design studio?
Yes, I do. After all, my job is my passion. I've been dreaming of having my own company for two decades, and I'm proud of how far I've come in setting it up and growing it to this extent, in spite of all the challenges I've had to face. My vision is to make this the number one engineering design company in Nigeria, so I have to put in a lot of work in pioneering new products to achieve this dream.

- A little bird tells us that you're technophobic. Is that true? Well, I'm not the kind of person to go crazy over the latest gadgets. After all, what is technology for but to enable us to be more productive in our work and lives? I use AutoCAD on my computer at work, but I don't see why I should spend hours on Facebook and Twitter when I shoudl be working on a design project.

- What's your idea of a romantic evening with a loved one?
I'd take my loved one out to a quiet place for dinner and drinks. Then we'd move on from there to a nightclub where we could end the evening dancing the night away.

- Who is more impulsive - you or your twin brother?
I have to say that I am - he's the level headed one, whereas I sometimes fly off the handle. But we're not that different - I can also be composed when I want to be.

_________________

What do you think of him?

J is for JOY!

This is going to be a mostly wordless post. It is getting to that time of the year when the drizzling Seattle rain moves from calming to boring, and I begin to fret for warmer weather. So I was going through some summer pictures on my files and these reminded me to look forward to better days ahead. While I'm thankful for spring, and the beginning of all things new, I can't wait for summer, and hopefully some travel time. Yay! Joy!






*pictures taken in Chicago last year.
Enhanced by Zemanta

I is for Interview - Paschal Obinna Ozoigbo

And today, my guest is Paschal Obinna Ozoigbo, Author of The Dust Must Settle. Enjoy...

1. Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
There is no gainsaying the fact that Africans are where they are today, especially intellectually, as a result of the collective effort of the colonial administrators.

2. Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
Yes, I have one. Glittering Sword is the title. I have quite a lot of projects lined up. And I don't write just to win awards. I write to affect lives, and also to give a message from my satire. My banking job, which kept me extremely busy and therefore out of writing for close to 15 years, squeezed out all the youthfulness in me and made me sort of redundant as a writer. Nevertheless, at 39, I think I have practically nothing to lose. The late Sidney Sheldon, after all, started his writing career in his 50's, and today he is a celebrated writer, the most translated author in the whole world, according to The Guinness Book of World Records.

3. What inspired you to want to become a writer?
Naturally, I am a chronicler. It is a gift from God. Unfortunately, however, I cannot tell it. I can only pass it across in black-and-white. Whenever I read a novel, I always tell myself: but, boy, I can do better.

4. Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Seeing my brainchild finally in print form, well-bound, ready to be launched to the world through Amazon, the biggest online bookstore in the whole world, and Barnes &Noble. I have attended speaking engagements in Lagos and Abuja as a result, and offers have come from Hollywood, through my publishers, to get The Dust Must Settle from book to screen. I have had a good time speaking with the Africa Regional Chairperson for the The Commonwealth Prize, Ms. Ayeboah-Afari, and also with the Commonwealth Foundation in London. The Dust Must Settle got to them late as an entry for the 2011 Commonwealth Writers Prize. Ayeboah-Afari took her time to placate me, because I was really mad with the publishers in the US for submitting my entry so late, long after the deadline given. You see, in life, on must count it all joy, even when things seem to be going haywire. These therefore constitute my most rewarding experience since being published.

5. If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world.. which would it be?
Barbara Taylor-Bradford's Voice of the Heart.

6. What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?
Cyprian Ekwensi's Jagua Nana's Daughter, which was made into a TV miniseries in the 80's or thereabouts by some Nigerian soap producer/director.

7. What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Don't write with winning an award at the back of your mind, otherwise when the awards seem not to be forthcoming, you may get frustrated and may stop writing as a result. It has thought me a bitter lesson. Write, just because you want to write. And I tell you, someone out there would see your work(s), fall in love with it(them), and find you--wherever you may be.



8. If you could choose only one time period and place to live, when and where would you live and why?
NOW!!!! . . . In London. You see, literary London to me is the best in the world, irrespective of genre, irrespective of where you come from, irrespective of race.

9. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
London.

10. What is your favorite Quote?
Martin Luther King, Jnr's "I have a dream . . . "

11. When you were little, what did you want to be when you "grew up"?
A medical doctor. With a tremendous amount of passion.

12. If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play the lead role and why?
Djimon Hounsou, because he is African, and appears to be shy at times.

13. How did you know you should become an author?
Having read the works of the following Nigerian authors in the global market, as a teenager and as a full-fledged man now, I told myself that I can make it, too:
i. Chinua Achebe
ii. Flora Nwapa
iii. Buchi Emecheta
iv. Cyprian Ekwensi
v. Ifeoma Okoye
vi. Dillibe Onyeama
vii. Elechi Amadi
viii. Ben Okri
ix. Chimamanda N. Adichie
The list is endless . . . let me stop here.

14. Who are your favorite authors of all time?
1. Dickens
2. Sheldon
3. Ekwensi
4. Taylor-Bradford

15. Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
No. I create my characters by my imaginative powers. I don't even know myself to that extent.

16. What's the craziest writing idea you've had?
Writing about cities and/or countries I have never been to in person, and writing about my white characters. I think that is why Hollywood wants me to negotiate a deal with them through my publishers with regard to The Dust Must Settle. You see, I research these cities on the internet, and I see myself physically there, walking in their streets. And thank God for it; it saves the writer a lot of money, a lot of trouble with embarking on a research trip, a lot of risks and stress.

17. What's the best advice anyone has ever given you?
To reduce the rate at which I spend, and the rate at which I spank my kids whenever they do those petty things that kids do. Thanks to my wife, to whom I dedicated The Dust Must Settle.

To those who did not get it the first time, The Dust must Settle is available via Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and major bookstores in Nigeria and around the world.

H is for Haircut

Forgive me if there seems no rhyme and or reason to my April challenge posts, I did not win the Versatile Blogger award for nothing, lol.

Today I share with you all, for the first time, and exclusively on Myne Whitman Writes, my new haircut. Yes, it is THE BIG CHOP!

I had a hair accident in March after I removed some weaves, and this led to the worst hair tangling known to man. The only solution? Cut it all off. Well, I'm comforted knowing my hair grows quickly. With time I'll share more with you guys about the hair journey.

Have you ever had a hair accident? Is your hair shorter than mine? Do I look like a boy?







G is for Goodreads

Goodreads is that useful website where you can somehow organize your reading, network with other authors and readers, and even get cool giveaways. Both my books are on Goodreads - A Heart to Mend is HERE, and A Love Rekindled is HERE. If you're on Goodreads, you can add them to your shelf or To-be-Read Pile, and up till June, you can enter for a giveaway of the paperback of ALR.




Goodreads Book Giveaway





A Love Rekindled by Myne Whitman



A Love Rekindled


by Myne Whitman



Giveaway ends June 24, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.




Enter to win




Thanks for visiting, and see you soon. I can't believe how awesome this challenge is turning out to be.

F is for Friendship

This is an old poem of mine, and this is a great time to share it. To friends, old and new - THANK YOU!

You were there in my time of need
Not knowing the meaning of greed

If I need it, you’ll give your last dime
Rich or poor, you gave me a good time

You did everything a friend should
And treated me the best you could

You comforted me when I was sad
And laughed with me when I was glad

I recall the times we used to share
And I want you to know I still care

I will always try to be there
Whenever, wherever you need my cheer

When you need me, I’ll be there in a hurry
When you are down, you don’t have to worry

Though some things you do may be wrong
Our friendship will ever remain strong

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

Please feel free to share your stories of friendship. What was the best thing you did for a friend or a friend did for you? Who is your best friend?

E is for Efe Sagay

Efe is the heroine of my new novel, A Love Rekindled, and her interview is below. Tessa Conte of Tessablurb also did an interview of Efe, and you can find it HERE.


Nigeria Actress - Susan Peters

- How would you describe yourself in three ways? 
Focused, hardworking, a softie at heart.

- You lived out of Nigeria for a while - how did you find it?
I found it very organized. I went to school, I got my first degree and Master's in 5 years, I found it relatively easy to get a job, and I felt comfortable, safe and secure. But I'm glad to be back in Nigeria, closer to my family; I missed them while I was away, because I never returned to Nigeria once during my stay in America. I'm also happy to be working in the entertainment industry, contributing my knowledge and expertise towards its growth.

- It's been said that you're the quiet type. What does it take to get you talking? 
You're right - I'm not a big talker, except when I'm with friends and family, or when the conversation is about interesting topics like music and travel. Current affairs is not really my thing, though.

- We hear that you're an auditing whiz-kid. How did you get to be so good?
I've always been interested in accounting; it's what I studied in UniBen, and I've always been interested in the clues that people leave behind in their financial records. When I travelled to the States to continue my studies, I became even more interested, especially when I took a special course in Forensic Accounting that my school offered. I was lucky to join a whiz team in the Palm Beach Hilton, so I was able to continue feeding my passion and developing my abilities.

- Tell us about your taste in music. Which songs do you really like?
Back in UniBen, I liked soft tunes, R'n'B and easy listening music; I used to follow the UK Top 40, and collected favourites like R Kelly, Mariah Carey, Eternal and Celine Dion. But since I returned to Nigeria, I've been getting into the local popular music scene with D'Banj, Banky W, Asa and Omawumi.

__________

So what do you think of Efe? If you've read the book, do you recognize her? Do you knew a person like her in real life?

D is for Dream Cast

The "Dream Cast" are the people, usually well known, that writers visualize, either as they write or when their book is finished. For me, they're more like the people I could see acting the roles in the book if it ever makes it to the screen. The original idea for a book trailer was to use a variety of actors, and then I came across a picture from the photoshoot done by E4PR, a management company, and it was fixed. They were happy to let me use their pictures, and you'll be seeing more in the course of this month, as I introduce the cast, and my characters individually.


Enjoy the full cast video -

C is for Congrats to the Winners!

As promised, I'm announcing the winners of the Lost and Found BlogFest today April 3. And what do you know, I made a title starting with C too, lol...


The giveaway was to celebrate my 500 followers, and now I have over 550 followers. You're all welcome. The theme for the blogfest was from my new book, A Love Rekindled, which is a love story of college sweethearts. They lost each other along the way and when they found each other again after a decade, love is rekindled. So I asked bloggers to tell me about anything you've ever lost and found, an object, a person, an idea, anything! And they did.

After doing the rounds, these are the winners -

1. Lost and Found Blog Post $25 cash - Trisha @ Word + STUFF. I loved her story, and was impressed that a wallet lost in the USA was found in Ausralia. Please send an email on how to receive your money via paypal.

2. Random from Comments Autographed ALR - Ayokunle Falomo @ Fellow Writer. Please send an email with your postal address to receive the book.

3. Random from People who signed up for the Blogfest another autographed copy - F @ Half and Half. Also send an email with your postal address. Cheers.

4. Sharing the blogfest button on your sidebar wins $10 Amazon giftcard - BBB of Who Am I?? Please send me an email to receive details of your prize.

5. Tweeting about the blogfest wins a free eBook of ALR - Vyvyka @StrategicChic. Send me an email to get your eBook.

6. Five random followers of my blog win free eBooks - PK Hrezo, Teralyn Rose Pilgrim, Nonye Anike @Life and me Unedited, Darbie @Beads and Jeweleries, and Bimbo @Passions, Dreams and Life.

7. A blogger and FB follower also wins eBook - Remi Roy of Royspace followed and left a comment too. Please send an email to receive your prize.

Thanks to everyone that took part. For the winners, my email is myne@ mynewhitman .com

Have a great week, and the A - Z challenge continues.

Is an Engagement Ring Compulsory?

Before we discuss, do check out a couple of reviews I got for A Love Rekindled. Both were good, and different at the same time. For JEFritz of Still Writing, the style I employed in switching from the past to the present was the best part of the book for her, while Tracy at Tracy's Place didn't really care for it. I am pleased at both reviews, and grateful to the bloggers for their support.

Now to today's topic...


... must  a man buy an engagement ring for the lady he wants to ask to marry him?

To be honest, I got a ring, and those few minutes of the proposal will never be forgotten. However, would I have said NO if a ring was not part of the process? I doubt it.

What I am saying is that I personally don't think rings are compulsory for engagement. The man may decide to use a necklace, bracelet, or any other jewelry, he could also go ahead and ask without using anything at all.

What say you?

B is for Blogger gets a Makeover!

Someone asked someday if I would move to another blogging platform as my blog grows bigger. I was insistent that blogger met most of my needs. Seeing this video makes me even surer that I won't be going anywhere, not unless there's no more blogger anyway. What with last years Template Designer upgrade, where I don't have to do anything HTML to get my blog looking the way I want, and the Comments and Stats inclusion as well.

The only thing left now is to overhaul their comment system so I can reply to individual comments, or easily reply via email. I was thinking of installing an outside app like Intense Debate or Disqus, but maybe that won't be necessary. Do watch the video and tell me what you think.



Sarah Gooding in her post at WPMU helpfully lists some of the new features mentioned in the video.

The ability to easily customize templates without any CSS knowledge
Access to real-time stats
Improved spam filtering
Continued stability (The Blogger service has had zero downtime, according to Pingdom)
Inclusion of web fonts
A sleek mobile experience of the platform
Smart content discovery
Integration of the Google Web Toolkit

Virginia Debolt in her post on BlogHer puts up some cool pictures about the coming changes in look and feel. I think a Blogger staff also commented on the post that they're doing something about the comments. Yippee!

To wrap up the post, allow me to show off with blogger. CLICK HERE. You can get the same effect by typing your own blog address in a browser and adding /view.

A is for Apple


... And A is also for April and the A-Z challenge where, throughout April I will bring you 26 blog posts, with each title starting with the relevant letter of the alphabet. I will be posting each day, and will have Sundays off for good behavior. This is a blogfest, and there are more than 700 bloggers who are taking part in the challenge. I have about half of the posts already scheduled, let's see how well I do.

For Today, enjoy the official A Love Rekindled book trailer...

Elsewhere on the Web