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Tut tut tut. I know that’s exactly what you’re thinking…not another SFTH update! The real thing is close to finished. You just can’t rush these things.

Especially since most of the story itself turned into blog posts which I’ve now had to painstakingly compile into a whole package.

Okay, I know – more excuses! But when you’re working on four or more different writing projects all at once, with different themes which make tough creative demands on you…Well keeping to a schedule will be well-nigh impossible.

The upside is that it’s closer to the finish line than ever before. I’m pumped up, are you?

Some have written me personally just to say what’s up! Which is cool, I appreciate that. Also, for those who can’t seem to submit their replies on the blog, my apologies. Honestly don’t know how to fix that at present.

Soo much on my plate sometimes it makes me feel my head will explode. The crazy part is, I don’t know how to relax. So free time is actually like a stint in rehab for me. I wouldn’t know what to do with myself hah-ha.

So for someone who thrives on pressure, maybe this is just me deliberately cutting things too close to the fine edge just to bring out my best. If not for me, then for those who really put Something from the Heart top of their faves on the blog. I guess that’s even more pressure for me to soak up in – awesome!

More to come…

All-new snippet – From the Heart

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(…I did say I’ll post up never-before-read snippets from FTH. Short and hopefully, sweet…)

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Telling her mother the news was a hurdle Feyi was dreading to face – but it had to be done. Lanre had made it clear he wanted his plans to get underway as soon as possible.

Feyi could hate it all she wanted that he was in charge, but there was nothing she could do but play along – for now.

“Married? How can you possibly be getting married?” Wunmi Daniels asked her young daughter in bewilderment.

“Well, I am.”

“But…you aren’t seriously seeing anyone are you? Surely you can’t mean Tobi Coker, that friend of yours from school?”

Feyi hid a grimace at the mention of Tobi. That was another person she wasn’t going to relish telling about her upcoming ‘marriage’.

Not quite her boyfriend and not quite in the friend zone, he’d been asking her out for years, ever since they’d both started out in the same class in the university. He’d been calling non-stop since Feyi had to return home when her father died. She knew he’d have wanted to be closer to her during this trying time, but like all her other friends, she’d kept him at arm’s length. The last thing she wanted was for them to be troubled by her own issues.

“Actually, it’s someone else entirely,” Feyi said with deep reluctance. “His name is Lanre Vaughn and I…we met about two years ago – at the Waziri’s wedding anniversary. Remember them?”

“Of course I do – they’re good friends. I even remember that night; I was really ill and couldn’t make it, so you went in place of me and your father. But you never mentioned you met someone special. Lanre, you said?”

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Her mother still looked perplexed, and Feyi knew she had to sound more convincing.

“I know it seems so out of the blue, mom. But Lanre is really serious about us getting married.” That was the truth, at least, thought Feyi ruefully. “And…and he’s even with one of the banks that have bothered us about the debts dad left. After dad’s passing, Lanre and I met up again, purely by chance and well…we’re getting married. Isn’t that great?”

Feyi forced a cheerful smile, sitting right next to her mom and squeezing an arm around her shoulders. “I thought you’d be happy I want to settle down.”

“No, well, yes but…” Wunmi sat back against the sofa, shaking her head as if still in a daze. “I just think maybe you’re rushing things. A little bit.”

“Lanre sees no point in waiting too long. Considering what happened, with dad and everything, he’s ready to have things reach a smooth conclusion,” Feyi babbled, then bit on her lip, adding, “Besides, he promised to help with our um…financial problems.”

Her mother’s eyebrows rose. “How do you mean?”

“He’s one of the bank’s vice presidents. He has a lot of pull and well, he’s going to fix things with the bank and make sure we have some breathing space. In fact…he wants to see to it the debts get cleared as soon as possible.”

“Oh.” Wunmi’s eyes widened even further. “You mean he’s that loaded?”

“He must be. All this was his idea,” Feyi said with another lame giggle. She felt her mother’s acute stare and Feyi tried to fight off the sensation of sweat beating at her brow.

“I’m happy if that’s the case but seriously, Feyi,” her mother said soberly, “I hope you aren’t pushing yourself into this just to get us through the mess we’re in. That’s never a good reason to marry someone. I’m talking from experience; because marriage to your father was the most beautiful gift to me. Trust me love counts above everything else.”

“I realize that, mom,” Feyi said softly, lowering her gaze. What more could she say? That love was the last thing on her so-called suitor’s mind? That simply over a mistake Feyi had made two years ago, he was determined to keep her underneath his control, using the marriage as a trap?

No, she definitely couldn’t break it down to her mother like that. Until Feyi found a way out of this mess – and there had to be – she’d keep as many secrets as it would take to ensure her mother never suspected the sacrifice she was about to make.

“So…when am I going to meet him?” her mother was asking with interest, a smile playing on her lips as she seemed to have bought the whole story.

Shaking off her depressing inner thoughts, Feyi put up one more smile that didn’t reach her heart.

“Soon, mom. Very soon.”

“From the Heart” Quickie

Babyrocka is still on track! So are the many projects I’ve lined up to complete before the end of the year. Namely, taa-daah…From the Heart!

I really had to put up a quickie update, as the blog hasn’t been seeing much action of late (shame face). Big thanks to Kemi who always drops a comment or two, much appreciated! And everyone looking out for the release of the first title in the series of stories I’m bringing out soon – thank you. Every encouraging word is truly welcomed.

Below is a semi-reveal of the cover I’m hoping to use finally for the book. This is one of my ultimate favorite stories/characters. Lanre strikes a balance between unyielding yet passionate. While Feyi has that indomitable fire, though deep inside, longs to succumb to the tumult of emotions threatening to overpower her body and soul. The cause and effect rising from the very first time they met holds consequences neither of them could have foreseen…

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Okay, so I promised myself, no more fiddling with the cover! Now I need to focus on the story itself. At around 50k words, it’s not going to be the simplest task to get it ready, but I’m on it. September is officially the now or never month to get this done.

I’m already thinking which title I’d like to do next. I simply can’t wait to start on Flawed – the cover and story itself. I loved the characters there too – Lucas (yummy) and of course Abae. Soon we’ll discover if they ever did find love together at last…

It’s back to work for me. Really sad I couldn’t put up any updates for The Token. Hoping to have some material ready to put up on it soon. You never know! Anything can happen on Babyrocka. What really matters is there’s still you out there looking out and wishing the best for the blog. Can’t help but be glad about that!

Sneaky Peek – FTH Prologue…

Yay! Since I decided to get this done, I’ve made progress. Hopefully it picks up from its snail’s pace soon! After waiting this long to get down to business, so to speak, I’ll hate the thought of rushing things and then having it all fall flat. Especially when the story had such a great response on the blog!

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The original had a lot more chapters and back-story at the beginning, which didn’t get to be seen on the blog. “From the Heart” is definitely still work-in-progress. The characterization needs development, no doubt about that. What’s gladdening is that even at its raw stage, it still got readers on the blog caring about the people in the story. So thanks for that, and it makes me want to go hard with it. Every scene has to count.

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Still just having fun with the covers. Nowhere close to completely satisfied yet, but it’s great to just get familiar with more and more tools. Probably going to go for something simple and to the point, no fancy-pancy! Okay, so below is a peek into the first few lines of the project; something of a rough prologue. I’ll be putting up never-before-seen content from the FTH story when I can. Enjoy!

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PROLOGUE

The tall, broad-shouldered man stood in front of the window, a brooding expression on his handsome face as he viewed the city skyline.

Just then there was a knock on the door before a beautiful woman walked in, her greeting sing-song and cheery, breaking the silence in the office.

Lanre Vaughn turned to face her, his face schooled in welcome as he dutifully kissed her proffered cheek. The scent of her cloyingly sweet perfume filled his nostrils, and for a moment she pressed her voluptuous body against his.

“You work too hard, Lanre,” Ada teased. “It looks like all you have time for these days.”

She pouted, but looked pleased when his lips tilted in a slight smile. “Obviously it’s not, since I’ll be taking you to lunch at Candide today.”

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“Oh goody! I love French cuisine,” Ada cooed, going to perch on the edge of his desk. Her skirt rode up to show more than a hint of inner thigh, and she sent Lanre a coy look but his attention was elsewhere, flicking through a file on his desk before he closed it and carefully locked it in a drawer.

That was when Ada’s eyes caught sight of the newspaper open on his desk, the page showing the latest news on a recent local plane crash.

“How sad, about the crash,” Ada said. “There’s so much of the bad going on in the news these days. Sometimes I just switch it all off.”

“Well some of us don’t have that luxury,” Lanre said drily, sitting behind his desk.

“I know! I just feel so sorry for the victims and their affected families,” Ada said with a heavy sigh. She picked the paper and idly flipped through, her expression changing to interest as she stared down at a photo. “Oh, so tragic. This lovely girl lost her father in the crash. That big-shot entrepreneur, Dayo Daniels. I didn’t know he had such a beautiful daughter.”

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Ada was busy reading through the article and didn’t see the sudden twitch in Lanre’s jaw or the way his fists clenched tightly on the desk. However his voice was mild when he said, “Yes, it’s such a tragedy, especially since her father’s untimely death has left her and her widowed mother in debt.”

“That’s going to be tough, more so for her being a silver-spoon kid. Anyway, with her looks I’m sure she’ll have some rich knight with a shiny wallet ready to make her troubles all go away.”

At Ada’s airy words, Lanre’s eyes narrowed speculatively. A sudden thought seemed to flit through his mind, causing another smile to cross his lips, this time with dark, hidden purpose.

Rising fluidly to his feet he buttoned his suit and went to draw Ada off his desk, leading her with him to the door. “Now you, woman have too much of a vivid imagination,” he murmured, placing a kiss on her temple. “Let’s head out or we’ll be late. I got us a fantastic table.”

Ada smiled with delight, letting Lanre guide her from the office.

Ipad 2014 collections from BB 2104

The Token – Mastered by Passion

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The layer of panic had never cloaked their village so darkly.

The patriarchs of both the Habu and Batata clan met with their sons and topmost officials. “The news of the raids have spread wide. The next settlement to be struck seems to be the Wambe village. They have sent for help. We have to heed their call.”

The consent around the room was unanimous. But then Ikaka Habu turned to his old comrade Banjo Batata. “My friend, this is not your concern and we can’t ask you to risk your safety in this way. As the king has directed, my sons and I will join with the best warriors and help with these raids and kidnappings. You should return to the Western lands and let them know of this just in case the trouble spreads.”

Banjo was shaking his head. “You dishonor me if you believe I would turn my back when I can be of help. I will send for more fighters from our homelands while I join in ridding our lands of this scourge from the foreign attackers.”

There was much back and forth, till Banjo finally agreed it would be prudent to return to their western kingdom and warn of the strange raids. In addition, he promised to return with a sizable army to help with the cause.

Preparations for the Batata’s departure began, as well as readiness for the Habu’s to join their fellow warriors to head for the nearby villages to face the intruders, before the threat reached their own lands.

“We will leave many warriors to guard our homestead while we are gone, so you need not worry,” Ikaka was saying to his young wife some time later as they met in her quarters.

Saleya felt relieved at such reassurance. Knowing that the grown men of the family would be leaving for battle soon had unsettled her somewhat. Much as she was glad that the Batata’s were at last ending their visit, she still worried about the latest news.

“I’m more concerned about you, going out to battle at such short notice,” she whispered, turning to her husband with a wavering smile.

“Don’t be, dear wife,” Ikaka said, gathering her curvy, petite frame into his muscular arms. “I will have my able sons with me. And we’ll be back before you know it. We must let these intruders see that we will cower beneath them. We will fight to protect our own.”

“I am so proud to have such a brave husband,” breathed Saleya, resting her head upon his chest. “I will count every minute that passes till you return safe.”

“And I dream of good news at last; to finally know that you are with child. What a perfect coming home present that would be, or don’t you think so?” Ikaka smiled broadly, his hand resting on her belly meaningfully. Saleya’s lips curved wider in an answering smile, her breath catching as that huge hand shifting up to cup her breast.

“Why don’t I make double sure of such an outcome?” growled her husband, his gaze smoldering as Saleya was backed into the room till she fell unto the waiting bedding beneath. Her husband’s huge, muscular body followed after, covering hers with passion and heat.

*

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“I always wished for the time we would at last join in battle – fighting a common enemy shoulder to shoulder. Seems that day is to be postponed just that bit further,” said Kwen jovially as he walked beside Danga. “I will definitely return, brother, and bring more warriors along with my father as soon as we can.”

“I have never doubted your integrity, Kwen,” said Danga, turning to face Kwen as they firmly squeezed their forearms in a warm shake. “Our fathers fought together in the fields of war. I know I can count on you when the time comes. One day, we will indeed by brothers in arms.”

“And if the heavens will, brothers in kin, as well. Once you take Oiza as bride, we will truly be one big happy family.” His handsome grin flashed white. “But first, she has to be convinced into accepting the possibility of being shackled to the likes of you, my friend.” He sighed dramatically. “I will do my best to aid your suit. Leave it to me.”

Danga could’t help but chuckle. “Thank you for the offer, Kwen but I think I can do my own wooing where your sister is concerned,” was his amiable response.

Yet Kwen’s teasing words struck Danga somewhat as he made to return to his chambers. Everyone seemed intent on matching him to Oiza. Not that he could blame them; he’d aided in his own way to the assumption. And at one time, the thought of marriage to the dark-skinned beauty would have pleased him well enough. He could not honestly say what was different now.

Choosing not to dwell on such matters, Danga swept his mind to thoughts of the raids, and his blood boiled with renewed rage. Once preparations were complete, they would all be setting off to counter the attacks already spreading through the nearby areas. After Wambe, there was no telling who was next. His clan would not sit idle and wait for this unknown enemy to bash through their gates. They would face this threat head-on.

The scent of battle and danger always made his blood rise. The warm thighs of a woman would have been welcome tonight. His eyes narrowed as he suddenly thought of what awaited him in the privacy of his rooms. The thin smile that crossed his lips would have put shivers in the spine of whomever it was directed. However, Danga had schooled his features by the time he strode into the dimmed confines of his chamber…


(to be continued—)

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Ready or Not – FTH Covers Contd.

So I’m back with more covers for F.T.H. Seems like all I have time for at present! Will keep working on getting it right with the covers while compiling the whole story from start to finish. There’ll be the prologue that readers on the blog missed out on. Several other scenes that had to be cut out will be filled back in for the book. Which means a bigger – and hopefully better – “From the Heart” story.

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So I took some advice and toned down the nudity in the cover photo. The female model looks covered better this way. They do say less is more! Have to say I’m glad with the way it turned out; adds to the mystery!

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Ready or not, I’m going to push forward with bringing this out in ebook form asap! Naturally I want every paragraph and chapter to be just right. But is it ever going to be as 100% ready as I want it to be? Maybe not. But if I keep stalling, only goodness knows when or if I’ll ever get it done!

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Independent publishing isn’t for everyone. Sometimes it’s just less hassle submitting a manuscript to an ebook publisher. I haven’t given myself the opportunity to try the latter. There was simply never the right time or the right publisher to go, whichever one of my genres I was aiming to bring out. With independent publishing, it’s somewhat of a struggle but in a feel-good way. You just commit yourself to the knowledge that it’s all up to you now.

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Considering the length of the story itself, I’ve been toying with the chance to split into two parts. Quality and quantity – even though I do say so myself! I’m still considering whether to keep the story with its characters and names remaining the same as in the original, or reworking it into something interracial or even, entirely different culturally. When it gets to that bridge, I’ll cross it. For now, the editing and such gives me a long way to go.

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At least I feel like I’m getting closer and closer to my goal – which is far more than I could say for myself last year or last month! Really glad I can share the journey’s progress right here and I appreciate all the support, both on and off the blog!

The Reinvention – F.T.H.

What if it was “From the Heart” – just not like you’ve ever seen it?

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It feels like I owe it to readers, new and returning to take the “From the Heart” story to a new dimension. Characters, locations and themes switched up, transformed. Taking them – and me – out of my comfort zone. Making this work, flawlessly.

It won’t be the first time I’ve changed up my stories to suit other genres or cultural settings. My characters can be anything readers want them to be. And I think Feyi and Lanre need a total makeover. So does their story!

I’m having an awesome time working on cover ideas for this. I can’t get enough of this photo. I want it to do anything I want. I also want it to look great for the story that’s going to be nothing like its originator.

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Not going to say much more, except that I’m putting some serious elbow grease into this. Which means time for updating the blog might be slim! Will post up some tidbits from “The Token” soon because I can feel some serious vexation from some of the blog readers about why the story isn’t moving along fast enough. Totally not my fault!

Some stories take days to write. Some take months or years. Some never get finished. It’s just a gamble you take when you start that first paragraph or chapter. You just never know where it will lead.

Much as a writer loves to write for the appreciation, sometimes even that doesn’t give fulfillment. Still, we write. And believe. In the mean time, I’m taking “From the Heart” – or as I like to call it, “Something From the Heart” to places it’s never been. I hope you’ll all be there to follow its journey!

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