Friday, 23 December 2011

Merry Christmas from me


   Merry Christmas to all my readers!

Don't forget to claim my free gift to you. My holiday novella THE GIFT OF CHRISTMAS is free to everyone who buys a copy of HIS TREASURE this month. Email me with your proof of purchase to receive the ebook. The offer is valid till the end of December.

Whatever you're doing this festive season, have fun and stay safe.
I love you all.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Stuff Your Stockings Blogfest Winners

Before I announce the winners of the Stuff Your Stockings Christmas blog hop, I want to say a big thank you to Drea at the Blog Hop Spot for organising the fabulous event. I would also like to thank all the bloggers/authors who signed up and of course all the readers who participated in the hop especially those who stopped over here.

Thank you so much. Now on to the main event.


Thursday, 15 December 2011

Stuff Your Stockings Christmas Blog Giveaway

Welcome to the Stuff Your Stockings Christmas blog giveaway hop. This is running from the 16 to 18 December 2011.


I have a $10 Amazon gift card to give away to one lucky winner. I will also give away 2 eBook copies of my debut book His Treasure to 2 lucky runner ups.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

The Gift of Christmas


Hello readers! I hope your December is going great so far. Mine’s going brilliantly but still hectic. I don’t think my feet have touched the ground since the release of His Treasure. Whilst it’s still early days I’m delighted to say that I’m happy with the progress and daily interest in the book.

It’s still sitting in the top 5 Bestsellers over at Breathless Press and has been since before its release date. It’s currently a Bestseller over at All Romance eBooks in the Historical Ancient category. It’s in the top 20 in its categories (Historical & Interracial) over at the Bookstrand 30-day bestsellers made a brief entrance into the Amazon UK 100 best sellers in Adult Erotic Fiction. So all in all, I’d say we’re having a good month so far.

Friday, 2 December 2011

HIS TREASURE - Book Release Day & WD12


Finally, the day has arrived. My first book, HIS TREASURE, is out there, now available for readers to buy. I am excited and jubilant, humbled and thankful. Getting to this day has been quite a ride. There have been good days and bad days, happy days and sad days, writing days and procrastinating days.

I really have to acknowledge Nkem, Sukhi, Henza and Queenie who read the very first rough draft, liked it and pushed me to polish it for submission. I’m totally grateful to you and the others who saw the gem in the rough for its true potential.

I also have to mention my editor, Kristie, whom I must say is fantastic. One of her first comments back to me when we started editing was just so fabulous I feel like printing it out and framing it. LOL. But I’ll settle for sharing it with you here.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Winners, Free books & Good cheer!


Hello readers! It’s December 1. Yippee! A very exciting month for me this year and not just because of Christmas. But before I get to the good things coming this month, let’s have a quick recap of the successes from November.

I’m a NaNoWriMo winner! Despite all the other deadlines that I had in November, I still managed to meet the 50k word challenge for the month. I have to admit I only managed to hit it at 10pm last night (I typed about of 6k words yesterday) but I did it.

I’ve also completed the first draft of a story to be published in a Valentine Anthology by Romance Writers of West Africa. I just need to work on polishing it off now. An excerpt of the first chapter of the story titled A VALENTINE CHALLENGE is available here.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Guest Author Interview - Delaney Diamond


Hi Kiru! Thank you for letting me take over your blog today. I’m looking forward to meeting your readers and I hope you receive a warm welcome from the ones on my blog.

1.     Tell us about yourself.
I was born and raised in the United States Virgin Islands and currently live in Atlanta, GA. I enjoy reading and writing, and when my head’s not buried in a book, you’ll find me in the kitchen cooking. I also love to travel, and if I had more money, that’s the one thing I would do more. I speak French and can get by in Spanish.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Thrusty Thursday - Gratitude


In celebration of Thanksgiving, I’d like to share some of my reasons for being thankful this year.

1.     I am thankful for the gift of storytelling.
2.     I am thankful for the opportunity to tell stories I love to others in the form of my romance novels.
3.     I am thankful for a loving husband and kids who support my ambition.
4.     I am thankful for my fabulous friends who cheer me on and provide timely kicks up the back side when I need it.
5.     I am thankful for all the other great writers who provide sound advice and inspiration.
6.     I am thankful for my lovely beta readers who go through the gruelling feat of reading my draft manuscripts before they are polished.
7.     I am thankful for my fabulous editor who always manages to put a smile on my face even when she’s giving me more editing work.
8.     I am thankful for my publisher who has an eye for greatness (hey, I’d like to think I’d be great one day ;), spotted the potential in my work and offered me the contract.
9.     I’m thankful for all you wonderful readers who’ve followed me right from the beginning and kept faith with me, who went over and pre-ordered my book as soon as it became available, and who I know will continue to show their support.
10.  I am thankful for all these and more.

What are your reasons for being thankful? Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Something for the weekend - WIP excerpt


Hello readers, how are you all doing? I'm doing great. I've been busy, writing book 3 of Men of Valor series titled His Princess, working on editing book 2, His Strength, and of course preparing the PR for the release of book 1, His Treasure. It's only a few more days to 2 December. I can't wait. :o)
Darrin Henson as Michael

Just to let you know I haven't forgotten you all, here is an excerpt from a story I'm writing for an anthology coming out in February next year. It's a contemporary romance novella set Enugu, Nigeria titled A Valentine Challenge. In this excerpt H&H meet for the first time. This is just a first draft so bear with me. I hope you enjoy it. 

Oh, in case you're wondering why I have an image of Darrin Henson up here. It's because he's the inspiration for Michael in this story. 

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Thrusty Thursday - Books, Award Winner and More


Hello readers! Just a quick update before I return to my writing cave.

This week you have to live on Mars not to know that NaNoWriMo has started. It’s a yearly challenge where thousands of participants attempt to write a novel of 50,000 words in the month of November. I did it for the first time last year and I’m doing it again this year. If you haven’t joined in yet, it’s not too late. Just click the link to go to the NaNoWriMo website and register. To all participants, happy writing!





On other book news, Nnedi Okorafor’s fantasy novel Who Fears Death, set in post-apocalyptic Africa, has won the Fantasy Novel of the Year award. Indeed it is a book that has won several awards and critical acclaim.  I highly recommend it if you haven’t read it already. Check our Nnedi’s website for more about the book. You can also read the news article in the Guardian.





Friday, 28 October 2011

The Healer’s Warrior WIP excerpt Part 2



My image of Ugo. The Protector by Sterling Brown 
This week I’m sharing an excerpt from my paranormal romance work-in-progress The Healer’s Warrior. To find out more about the story and read the first part of the excerpt, click on the link to go to yesterday’s post.

To read the other submissions for Romantic Friday Writers, go here. The theme for this week is Haunting in celebration of All Hallows Eve.

To read the other submissions for Weekend Dirty Dozen, go here. I’m sure there’ll be a few spooky stories with bite there too.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

The Healer’s Warrior WIP excerpt


My image of Ebube. Illustration by Jenny Dolfen
In honour of All Hallows Eve, I’m sharing an excerpt from my paranormal romance work-in-progress titled The Healer’s Warrior. This story is part of a paranormal series I hope will be published next year. It is set in medieval Iboland. Whilst I've based the story on certain Igbo mythologies and traditions, it is wholly a work of fiction and fantasy.


The story so far: Ugo is a young woman who has been ostracised by her community. She is an outcast living with her paternal grandmother on the edge of society. She is also gifted with healing powers. One day she finds a strange injured warrior, Ebube, in the dark forest. She patches him up temporarily and takes him home. That night she dreams a demon is going to attack Ebube. She wakes from her dream and tells her grandmother and Ebube. They both urge her not to worry, so she returns to sleep only to be woken later by her grandmother.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Whispers - snippet from His Treasure


Hi readers, this week I’ve got a double challenge.

The first 12 sentences of this snippet are for the Weekend Dirty Dozen blog hop. It is a blog fest for romance and erotic writers to share 12 sentences every weekend for promotional purposes on their websites and blogs of their new releases and WIPs. Please use the link when you’re done to visit the Facebook page or blog to see who else is participating in the hop.

For Romantic Friday Writers, each Friday members post 300-400 words of romantic prose or poem on own blog based on a theme for the week. This week’s theme is Whispers. Use the link to see other submissions for the week.

I’m sharing a snippet from His Treasure, my debut historical romance novella set in pre-colonial West Africa. It is published by Breathless Press and out in December 2011. Click here to read the blurb.

For this scene, Adaku is with her friend Ifeoma at the New Yam festival when she hears worrying rumors about her husband Obinna that could change their marriage.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Romantic Friday Writers - First Love


Hi all, I’ve been quiet on the blog for too long. In between trying to write book 3 of the Men of Valor series and completing line edits on Book 1 for a deadline on Sunday, I’ve come up for air. So you know I’m alive and well, albeit harassed.

This week the Romantic Friday Writers challenge is to post 400 words of flash fiction/excerpt/poem with the theme of First Love.

I am sharing a snippet from my second ever contemporary novel titled Reunited. This book is due out early next year – date to be confirmed. The story is in Lagos, Nigeria. This scene is part of the prologue. Ike Thomas, the hero, is a new graduate on youth service at Lara’s (the heroine) school as a geography tutor. Lara is a final year senior school student and develops a huge crush on him.

I’m sure a few of us can remember having crushes on young teachers at school. Well for Lara there’s a happy ever after, though it came ten years after this scene. I hope you enjoy this snippet.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Thrusty Thursday - Debut Book Cover


Hello readers, welcome back to Thrusty Thursday. I have exciting news today.

Apart from the hard graft of editing and revising a manuscript in preparation for publication, other things happen in the background. Like reviewing and signing off the final cover art for the book. For me this is the most anticipated milestone outside of the publication date. As a visual person, covers are what attract me to books. They lead me to read the blurbs and find out more about the content of the book.

Today I can finally reveal the cover for my debut book titled His Treasure due out in December 2011. It’s a historical romantic fiction set in the region now referred to as South Eastern, Nigeria or Igboland and is part of the 3-book Men of Valor mini-series.

I am so excited about this book, in fact the whole series, as it would be the first of its kind to be published for the romance reading mass-market. Where else would you find a purely African historical romantic book or series? If I’m wrong, I’m sure someone will correct me.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s the cover for His Treasure. Ta-da!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Romantic Friday Writers - Blue Moon


This week I’m posting my entry to Romantic Friday Writers a day early. Since I did a post on Monday, I’m skipping the ThrustyTM Thursday post this week.

The RFW challenge this week is to write a piece of flash fiction/poem/excerpt of 400 words max with the theme of Blue Moon.

I’ve chosen a snippet from my current work-in-progress, a contemporary romance titled Just My Luck. To see the previous snippet from this manuscript go to Romantic Friday Writers: Lunch Date.

In this scene Wale and Trina are still having lunch in the restaurant. Unable to resist her effusive charm, he kisses her. However they are interrupted by an unhappy customer. I hope you enjoy it. Let me know what you think at the end.

Monday, 19 September 2011

The Winners are...

It's a happy Monday over here.

Before I announce the winners of the 18 & over book blogger giveaway hop contest, I want to say a big thank you to Bitten by Paranormal Romance and Reading between the wines bookclub for organising the fabulous event. I would also like to thank all the bloggers who signed up and of course all the readers who participated in the hop especially those who stopped over here.

Thank you so much. I was so excited to see all your comments and following this morning.

Now on to the main event.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Friday, 9 September 2011

Romantic Friday Writers - Lunch Date


Welcome back to Romantic Friday Writers. This week the challenge is to write flash fiction/poem/excerpt for the theme of Lunch Date. I'm sharing a snippet from a story I started writing on Wednesday. It is a contemporary romance set in Lagos, Nigeria titled Just My Luck.

A brief summary of the story so far: Trina has a flat tyre. Wale, a stranger who happens to look like her favourite actor, stops and helps her out. He invites her out to lunch. It’s the next day and she’s currently waiting for him in the restaurant after taking a phone call from her ex who she’s now termed ‘stalker’ Steve. This bit is the first time she sees Wale after last night. I hope you enjoy it.

Word Count: 400 (MPA)

Thursday, 8 September 2011

International Literacy Day


Welcome back to Thrusty Thursday. Did you know? Today is International Literacy Day. Some of you will know that I’m very passionate about literacy as an issue and support campaigns to improve literacy within our communities.
                                      (Image source: google.com)

Friday, 2 September 2011

Romantic Friday Writers - Heart Stopper


Welcome back to Romantic Friday Writers. This week's theme is heart-stopper. I’m sharing a snippet from HWB. In this scene, Kola does something he’s never done with any other woman. He kisses Tari of his own volition. It’s a heart-stopping moment for him. I hope you agree. Enjoy.
Word Count: 400 (MPA)

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Hello Smouldering September


It’s a new month. The washout summer is over. Someone has to tell me what happened this summer because I barely noticed it. I was practically chained to my laptop. It didn’t help that it was overcast and rainy most of the time. That’s the British summer for you. LOL. Anyway, enough about the summer. It’s gone now.

Say hello to September, the start of autumn and the first of the ‘ember’ months. It’s time to stoke our reading and writing passions. Things are certainly smouldering gently over here. There are loads of things to keep you fires burning through till December when my book His Treasure comes out.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Sneak preview of WIP

Welcome back to ThrustyTM Thursday.

Gosh! Thursday comes around pretty quickly these days. I feel as if I only did a post a few hours ago. It’s been one thing or the other this week. And I’ve been shoulders deep in editing, not just one but two books.

As some of you know already, I’m currently working on a historical romance series set in pre-colonial West Africa (the region now known as south-east Nigeria). The stories deal lightly with cultural issues at play in those days – including arranged marriages, polygamy, the importance of lineage, etc. These issues make for interesting conflicts with heroes and heroines that don’t always play by the rules. But we like rule-breakers in fiction, don’t we?

Friday, 19 August 2011

Romantic Friday Writers - New Horizons

Hello readers, welcome back to Romantic Friday Writers. You will have to forgive me as I've been bogged down with writing and editing I've been unable to post regularly for RFW. It's redlines and deadlines for me at the moment.
This week's theme is New Horizons and I've chosen a snippet from one of my completed novels title The Tycoon's Spurned Bride. It is set in Lagos, Nigeria. In this scene, the heroine Ebony meets the hero Felix for the first time. Or so she thinks. I hope you enjoy it. Of course let me know what you think at the end.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Poll Results and Book Blurb

Hello Readers, last week I asked you to vote in a poll to decide what kind of excerpts you liked to read on this blog. You voted and the results are in. Thank you to everyone who voted and commented.

The question was ‘What kind of scenes do you like to read in excerpts?’
The choices were:

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Have your say in the Poll and HWB Excerpt 6

Welcome back to ThrustyTM Thursday.
Last week one of my readers contacted me to say that I had taken my foot off-the-ball with the last excerpt and it was too slow a scene. The comment gave me food for thought.

HWB is a steamy romance so the sexual tension between the two main characters is a key part of the story. It is also still a romance with a developing emotional journey between Kola and Tari. So while I will endeavour to post some of the best sizzling scenes on here, there will also be ‘slower’ scenes that don’t involve a lot of sexual tension.


Friday, 5 August 2011

Romantic Friday Writers - Voices

This week on Romantic Friday Writers the theme is voices. 
My submission is a piece of prologue I wrote a few weeks ago when an idea came into my head. It’s starts of a bit on the dark side but don’t worry it’s ultimately a romance. The title of the story is His Captive. But I also think this piece works well as flash fiction. So join me as we take a walk on the dark side on RFW.

Word Count: 399
***
                              Image is courtesy of jamesloveless.com

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Book Release Date and HWB Excerpt 5

Welcome back to ThrustyTM Thursday. This week I’m happy to announce the release date for my first book. It is a historical romance novella titled His Treasure and set in pre-colonial West Africa. The release date is 2 December 2011. Yay!
Can you tell I’m excited? LOL.

It’ll be out just in time for Christmas, so now you know what’s going on your list, right? Mark the date.
I’m especially excited about seeing the cover art and can’t wait for that. And of course I’ll be bringing you the latest news here as soon as I get it.
Before I forget, you can now sign up to receive my blog via email. Simply fill in the box in the right hand column. Thanks.
For now, let’s have a little bit more HWB. I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Thrusty Thursday - News and HWB Excerpt 4

This week on ThrustyTM Thursday I’m sharing some good news. Well, if you’ve been following my FB updates or tweets then it’s not so new to you.
The news: I’ve been offered a publishing contract for one of my historical romance novellas. Yay! In fact, as I type this, the contract is open on my desktop. Pages of legalities that boil down to one phrase – my work has been recognised as good enough to be put on a bookstore shelf alongside other great romance books out there for customers to buy.

You know what? It’s a fantastic feeling to have a publisher validate my near obsessive yearning to write and be published. In fact, I don’t think words are enough to describe the incredible feeling of elation and relief.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Romantic Friday Writers - Coming Home

This week on Romantic Friday Writers, the theme is Coming Home. My contribution is a new story that came to me last night.
Tonye Hume, the prodigal son, returns to his childhood home in Port Harcourt, Nigeria for the first time in fifteen years. In his case, he is back successful and wealthy. And his father is dead. Yet his return awakens so much from his past that he’s kept buried – secrets, betrayal and pain.

The scene I’ve chosen is when he sees his former youthful crush Kambili for the first time after so long. She is one of the reasons he left his home in the first place.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Hanging out with Lara Daniels

We're taking a break from Thrusty Thursday this week as I'm hanging out with Lara Daniel's at her blog. We're talking about what I've been up to recently and why I write. Show some love by popping over there and saying hello.

Check back tomorrow to see my submission for Romantic Friday Writers. Thrusty Thursday will be back next week.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Romantic Friday Writers - Surrender

This week you’re getting a double whammy as I’m participating in Romantic Friday Writers. This week’s theme is Surrender and my submission is the first kiss from Her Weekend Bodyguard my current contemporary romance work in progress.

For previous excerpts, go here.


 Here it is:
***
 “Kiss me. You know, lip to lip.”

“I don’t do kissing or cuddling for that matter,” Kola’s gruff response back.

“No? Even for me? Just this once? You did promise to give me whatever I asked for. Was that a lie?”

Kola shook his head, a frown marring his features. “You don’t know what you’re asking, Tari.”

“I know exactly what I’m asking for. You make it sound like it’s something greater. It’s only a kiss, Kola.”

“And if I kiss you, you’ll stop this silly game you’re playing?” Kola’s eyes turned a deep dark chocolate hue with need that matched her own.

Tari nodded. She’d do anything to get him to kiss her, even if it meant playing dirty. “You’re such a spoilsport. Just kiss me, will you.” Flashing her best sexy smile, she bunched her fists in his t-shirt to pull him closer.

Kola lowered his head and she knew he was going to oblige her. Standing on tiptoes, she leaned into him meeting him halfway. He growled before their lips met. At the same time he pushed her backwards until her back hit the wall behind squashing her in a sandwich between the firmness of his body and the plaster of the kitchen wall.

When their lips connected, it was a possession, an incursion. Kola’s heat invaded her. Sensation flooded her body. Placing both hands against the wall, he pressed into her. The rigid wall of his chest pushing against her hardening nipples, his burgeoning arousal pressed against her belly, his day growth rubbing against her cheeks. She had never been so turned on. Combusting on the spot, she felt heat throbbing incessantly between her legs. All she could think about was getting to the bedroom, the large bed in it and having this hunk of a man quenching the ache between her thighs.

Then he broke off the kiss and stepped back. It was like stepping under a freezing cold shower after being under the baking heat of the sun. She had been that engrossed, that overwhelmed, that lost in the kiss.

“Lunch will be ready in five minutes,” his voice was husky as he turned away from her and went back to sorting out lunch as if nothing had happened. She leaned against the wall, mouth swollen, her core throbbing, her body trembling like a leaf.

She wanted Kola now more than ever.

***

So as first kisses go, do you think it hit the spot? Share your thoughts.
Don't forget to check out who else is participating this week by clicking on the Romantic Friday Writers link above when you've commented.


Thursday, 14 July 2011

HWB Excerpt 3

Today at thrustyTM Thursday I’m celebrating completing the first draft of my 2nd historical romance short story. I really enjoyed writing that story. Of course the work isn’t done yet as I still have to polish it up for submission. But in the meantime, join me in celebration with another excerpt from Her Weekend Bodyguard, back by popular demand.

For previous excerpts go to Excerpt 1 and Excerpt 2.

Enjoy!

***



“Would you like some more wine?” Kola asked as he lifted the wine bottle from the ice bucket. Tari nodded and he refilled her glass before refilling his. They were having lunch at the kitchen table.

In his head he’d been cursing the fact that he’d kissed Tari. As he told her earlier, he didn’t do kissing. Hadn’t kissed a woman in years. It didn’t mean he didn’t have sex with women or touch their bodies with his lips. It just meant there was never any mouth to mouth contact. Kissing usually meant a lot more to women and he never needed that kind of complication. All he was ever interested in was giving and receiving pleasure. He could do that quite easily without any mouth to mouth.

So he had known it was a bad idea kissing her. However, a part of him had wanted to shut her up so she would get off his case for good. And when she’d looked at him with those doleful eyes, his already thin resistance had vanished.

The kiss had burned him so deeply it was all he could do not to unzip his jeans, rip her shorts and knickers off and take her against that wall. He’d known she was dripping wet. He could smell her sweet intoxicating arousal all around him. Even as he sat down here in front of her pretending to eat, his arousal was pushing against his jeans as he recalled her lush moist lips and the warm depths of her mouth. He’d had to pull away from her when a part of his brain that was still functioning remembered that this was Tari. That she would regret this whole thing later. The last thing he wanted to do was to add to her hurt. But she was driving him crazy. He was going to have to find a way to keep her at a distance. His control was wearing thin.

“Do you have a girlfriend?” she asked him putting her fork down on her plate.

“Drop it, Tari,” Kola flashed her with his don’t-go-there glare but she ignored it anyway and carried on.

“Is that a no? I only ask because I want to know what you’re afraid of.”

Kola felt her hand on his thigh under the table. He had to clench his teeth to stop himself from groaning at the heat he felt straight at his groin.

“I’m not afraid of anybody.” He knew his voice sounded husky but couldn’t control it.

“You could have fooled me there. I mean, if you have a girlfriend, you can tell me and I’ll back off.”

She started drawing slow circles on his thigh with her finger and his jeans suddenly felt very tight.

“I don’t have a girlfriend,” he said in resignation and placed his hand on top of hers, lifting it off his leg.

“If it’s not a girlfriend then who. Because I know you’re not afraid of my parents or my cousins. I also know you want me. So what’s stopping you?”

“If this is about the kiss, forget it. It was wrong. It shouldn’t have happened. You are like a kid sister to me.” He had to keep reminding himself she was a member of the Essien family, a family that treated him like one of them. He shouldn’t be lusting after her.

Tari placed her hand on top of his on the table and heat shot through his body again.

“I’m not your kid sister. Neither am I your blood relative. What I am is a woman with needs and I want you, Kola.”

“It’s not going to happen, Tari.” Kola pushed back his chair, stood up and walked out of the kitchen. He didn’t have to sit there and listen to her slowly drive him insane.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Her Weekend Bodyguard (WIP) - Excerpt 2

It’s thrusty Thursday again. This week let me introduce you to the heroine of Her Weekend Bodyguard, a contemporary romance I’m currently working on. To see the previous excerpt go here.

Tari is the heiress to the Akan Oil and Gas fortunes. Beneath the femme fatale exterior, is a compassionate woman who loves easily and would do anything to protect those she loves. When pictures of her fiancé in a compromising position with a call girl are published in the gossip press just a few weeks before their wedding, she needs a place to escape the pressure from family, friends and the press for a few days. She calls up Kola, her uncle’s chief of security, whom she’s known most of her life.   

Here is my visual inspiration for Tari.

Now for the excerpt...

“Something smells good,” Tari said when she walked into the kitchen to find Kola busy preparing lunch. He was now dressed in a white t-shirt and blue denim, a manly apron wrapped around his waist. He looked gorgeously edible and a brief image of him in nothing but the apron flashed through her head.

“I hope you’re hungry. There’s plenty of food here,” he replied flashing a boyish smile that had her heart tripping over itself. It was official. This man affected her tremendously.

“I sure am. All that swimming gave me an appetite. But I have to wonder if you have what I really want to eat though.” She turned on a smile she hoped was sexy as she walked to the fridge and took out a bottle of water. Opening it she drank straight from the bottle, letting some of the water trickle down her chin as she gulped it down.

She watched Kola as he stared at her throat watching its movement while she swallowed, his brown eyes darkening to almost black, his pupils dilating and his nostrils flared. Satisfaction and anticipation washed over her as she watched Kola struggle to control his response to her words and action. She so loved pushing his buttons.

After their earlier poolside encounter she had purposefully kept away from him knowing he’d locked himself away in his study. Following her swim she had taken her book and gone into the living room to read.  The space had been very stark and masculine. Black furniture contrasting harshly against the white walls; the huge flat-screen television dominating one wall. Apart from the floor-to-ceiling mirror on one wall, there had been no pictures on the walls and the space seemed a bit impersonal as there was nothing that seemed to identify the person who lived in it. The other thing that struck her was that for a bachelor pad the house was immaculate. But then again she should have known that would be the case. Cautious and safe Kola was also organised and neat Kola.

Did the man ever let lose, she had wondered.

“Not sure what you’re hungry for but I’m making Shrimp Linguine,” he said and turned away stirring the contents of the pan.

Before Tari could spell her needs out to him, her phone started buzzing in the back pocket of her shorts. She pulled it out and without thinking answered it.

“Hello.”

“Finally, Tari.” The exasperated voice of her fiancé came through loud and clear from the other end of the line.

“Oh, it’s you. Peter, what do you want?” She replied abruptly and rolled her eyes upwards as Kola watched her closely from across the kitchen.

“Don’t be like that. I’ve been trying to call you since last night. I went to your apartment but you weren’t there. Your parents said they don’t know where you are. Where are you?” Peter asked accusingly.

“You’ve spoken to my parents? You have a nerve after what you’ve done.”

“I had to go see them when you wouldn’t answer my calls and you weren’t in your apartment. They understand that it’s all been a misunderstanding,” Peter explained with seeming confidence.

“What?” Suddenly feeling sick, she sat down on the kitchen chair. Surely her parents could see through Peter’s act. See that he was not the choir boy they’d thought he was.

“Your parents were very reasonable. I’m hoping I can see you face to face so I can explain. Where are you?”

“Not that it’s any of your business but I’m with a friend,” Tari snapped back. She was getting tired of the conversation and fast too.

“Which of your friends? I’ve called Tamara and Haleema and they both claim they don’t know where you are. Come on, Tari. We have a wedding in a few weeks-.”

“Well, you should have thought about that before you decided to dip you dick into that Abuja whore.”

“Look here. Don’t talk to me like that. Where are you, Tari? You can’t just ignore me. Don’t you dare mess up this wedding?”

“Or you’ll do what? You can’t threaten me Peter. I’ll see you when I’m good and ready. Goodbye.”

Fuming Tari switched off the phone, her hands shaking. She dropped the phone and it clattered onto the table.

Grrr... That man! She’ll soon show him!

Sensing Kola close presence, she lifted her head. She could intuit his barely concealed rage oozing off him even before he spoke. His fists were clenched at his sides and his pulse was pounding at the base of his neck.

“Did I hear you right? Did that bastard threaten you?” Kola gritted out. She didn’t respond immediately and simply stared out the kitchen window. “Tell me. Did he?”

Tari looked at Kola. Her protector. Always quick to jump up to fight her battles. Except this time she didn’t need him doing that for her. She was an adult and could fight her own battles. Moreover she wasn’t afraid of Peter. She could take care of her fiancé. However she needed Kola in other ways, if only he would oblige her.

Standing up Tari moved closer to Kola and placed her palms against his chest. She could feel the pounding of his heart beat against her hand and heard his breathe hitch at the contact. His skin was warm to the touch even under his t-shirt.

“I can take care of Peter. He doesn’t scare me but I do know of a way you can help me,” she purred.

“Name it.” His response was quick and emphatic. Just what she was hoping for.

“Kiss me.”
***
So having now met both Kola and Tari, do you think they are good match? Share your thoughts on the excerpt and visual inspiration.
Have a thrusty Thursday!

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Books - Memorable Opening Sentences

This week we are discussing my favourite fiction genre – category romance novels. More specifically, the ones you pick up and never want to put down. The ones you go back to again and again when you want to have a good laugh, cry happily or general feel good. The memorable ones.

This time it's all about memorable opening sentences or first chapters. As a writer, I know how important it is to hook a reader within the first chapter, so I'm always interested in seeing how other authors do it so well.

The most memorable opening line I've ever read in a romance novel comes from Mackenzie’s Mountain. It's a romantic suspense novel by Linda Howard.
It's available in 2 anthologies, The Mackenzies (UK) and Mackenzie's Legacy (US).



Here’s the blurb:

Still paying for a crime he didn’t commit, Wolf Mackenzie has a chip on his shoulder the size of Wyoming. But Mary Elizabeth Potter doesn’t see Wolf as the dangerous man the town has branded him. Then a series of violent acts against women makes the townspeople question whether Wolf has reformed – and Mary must prove them all wrong.

And here is the opening sentence:

He needed a woman. Bad’

I read that and I was totally hooked. I wanted to know who ‘He’ was and why he needed a woman that badly. LH set my expectation with those simple words. The rest of the chapter goes ahead to introduce the reader to the hero Wolf and heroine Mary. The book did not relent but delivered on the promise made in the first few words of the first chapter. The story was packed with gripping suspense, emotional tension and dare I say hot sex up until the last page. I read it and finished it on the same night.

The book was just that fabulous. Five stars all the way.

In fact this is how Wolf declared his love for Mary on the last page when she refused to marry him because she didn’t want to marry someone who didn’t love her.

“Hellfire!” he roared and jerked her up against him. “Not love you? Damn, woman, you have been wrapping me around your little finger since the first time I set eyes on you! I’d have killed Bobby Lancaster in a heartbeat for you, so don’t you ever say I don’t love you!”

Now, how’s that for a declaration of love? It certainly got my vote. If you haven’t read this book yet, pick up a copy. You'll love it like I do.

So have you read any books where you remember the opening line or the first chapter vividly? Please share them with us.

Have a thrusty Thursday.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Thrusty Thursday - Inspirations

Welcome back to Thrusty Thursday (TM). This week we are talking about inspirations.

What are the things that inspire you as a writer?

I’m a very visual writer. I like to see things, colours, shapes, movement, lines, etc. Most of all as a romance writer, I like to see people and places.

When an idea comes to me, the first thing I visualise is the hero or heroine. In most cases it’s the hero first. Then I scramble around trying to find an image that closely matches what I picture in my head. On days like that I am thankful for Google. I am thankful that I don’t have to trawl through loads of magazines or slide images at the library. I simply have to type in a keyword into a website and my screen is filled with images of gorgeous men instantly.

WARNING: Don’t try this at home with little children hanging over your shoulders. You never know what image would be thrown into the mix. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. LOL

Anyway I digress. So, back to my inspirations. Last week I introduced you to Kola from HWB. This week I want to introduce you to the hero of a paranormal historical romance story I’m also writing. It is set in pre-colonial West Africa and is part of an epic series.

The hero, Ebube, is a fearsome Ure warrior, a guardian of the gateway between the physical and spiritual realm. The precarious peace on earth is under threat and he is on a mission to prevent a war breaking out when he encounters the heroine Ugo.

When I started the story I searched for an image that was close to the one I had in my head and eventually found this. As soon as I saw it I knew it was Ebube. The markings on his body are slightly different from what I had pictured in my head but trust me, everything else is him. It was as if the illustrator (Jenny Dolfen, I think) drew this for me. So say hello to Ebube.


Oh and did you guess right? Ebube is a shifter. His spirit beast is a leopard. So you can imagine how accurate I thought this picture was.

And now for the excerpt

***

 After bathing and getting dressed again, she left the pool and walked towards the stream. A movement in the periphery of her vision made her look upwards. Her footsteps and heart faltered to a halt. At the top of a hill of large boulders that separated the farmlands from the dark forest was a man.

At least she thought it was a man.

He was crouched low on his haunches. He rose slowly and stretched languorously. There was something about the physical dexterity of the man that kept her attention.

Ebube!

Recognition dawned on her. Her heart pounded in her chest erratically.

What was he doing up there? How did he get up there?

The early sun rays shimmered off his dark body and for a moment she held her breath. He was a sight to behold. With a grace she couldn’t describe he stretched out his body upwards again. His muscle movement was fluid as he leapt of the boulder onto another and yet another before landing on the red soil on the bank of the stream. When he looked at her his eyes had the catlike glint she had seen last night. Mesmerised, she stood still as he strode towards her.

He didn’t say anything until he reached her. Heart still pounding, she watched him walk around her slowly his chest brushing her shoulders. The warm tingles swarmed her body again. He sniffed the air around her and she heard something that sounded like a grunt and turned to face him. Filled with expectation but not sure for what, she could feel her body start to quiver, her nerve endings on alert waiting for his touch. She wasn’t sure how much longer she could stand upright.

As if in response to her thought, he lifted her up into his arms. She yelped and hung on to him as he carried her up the rocky hill, her ite abandoned by the footpath.

“Where are you taking me?” she asked with bewilderment.

“Be patient, precious one. You’ll soon see.” His voice had an edge to it like someone was sawing wood.

Copyright Kiru Taye 2011

***

So what inspires you as a reader or writer? Are you a visual reader or writer? Share your thoughts with me.

Wishing you all a very thrusty Thursday.


Thursday, 16 June 2011

Thrusty Thursday


Welcome to Thrusty Thursday (TM) with me Kiru. Yes, and before you say it, there isn’t a word like Thrusty in the Oxford English Dictionary. I made it up. Well... come on. I’m a fiction writer. What did you expect? We make up things all the time, don’t we?

And another thing, you should get your mind out of the gutter. It doesn’t mean what you think it does. *Shakes her head as she laughs*

So here is my definition of the word Thrusty as it relates to me and my writing.

Thrusty (TM) means moving forward with purpose, breaking down barriers, flying high with success and in the process having loads of fun. It’s about writing stories that readers love as well as I do and sharing the fun of getting from ‘Chapter One’ to ‘The End.’

Maybe one day you’ll find the word in the Oxford English dictionary. Just remember you read it here first.

So every other Thursdays I’ll be sharing my writing journey with you here. There will be news about book releases, book reviews, excerpts from my works, my inspirations and much more.

To kick off, I’d like to introduce you to the hero of one of my current WIP titled Her Weekend Bodyguard. It is a contemporary romance set in Lagos, Nigeria.

Kola, an ex-soldier now bodyguard, is dark and dangerous, a tortured soul who finds it difficult to trust anyone especially women. Yet he can’t stop himself falling in love with sassy and troubled heiress Tari, during a sizzling weekend together with her. She is a woman he has known most of his life but believed was out of bounds. Someone he has always protected as a young girl. Now that he’s crossed the invisible line separating them, he wonders who’s going to protect her from the darkness that rages within him.  

Here is an excerpt from my WIP Her Weekend Bodyguard. Enjoy.

***

“What would you like to do today?” Kola asked her as he moved to the table and sat on the chair opposite her.

“I don’t know. I haven’t thought about anything yet.”

Tari’s hazel eyes lifted to look at him. He felt a thrill of awareness unlike any he’d felt before. She lowered her eyes coyly but not before he noticed the way her eyes had darkened and her colour peaked from her neck upwards on her flawless caramel skin. He felt his body tighten in response.

Blast.

He had to get a grip. There was ‘enough on his plate’ right now without complicating it with a ‘roll in the hay’ with Miss Hazel Eyes Heiress here.

Before Tari had called him last night, he’d been on the phone trying to arrange a visit with his daughter Nike. He’d only recently found out he was the father to a ten year old girl. A daughter he hadn’t been aware of until a few weeks previously. The initial shock of finding out via a seemingly casual telephone conversation with his ex-girlfriend Sarah whom he hadn’t heard from in so many years had quickly transformed into anger that she’d kept such a secret from him for so long.

He’d had a right to know something so basic and yet so life-changing as soon as she’d found out she was pregnant. Yet Sarah had chosen to keep it a secret for so long for her own purposes. In the end he had been saddened about all the years he’d missed out with his daughter. He was now faced with having to learn all about a child who would be a teenager in a few years.

Kola physically flexed his shoulders to shake himself out of the dark mood threatening to blanket him and refocused on the woman opposite him.

“You’ve probably already seen the swimming pool outside. There’s also a gymnasium in the basement. Feel free to use it if you wish. If you’d like to go out let me know and I can take you anywhere you wish to go. Do you need anything from the shops?”

“No,” Tari shook her head. “I think I’ll just chill for now. I noticed some books on the shelf in the study as I walked past. Do you mind if I browse and help myself?”

“No, do. If you need me, I’ll be outside in the pool.”

Kola stood up. He needed to get some distance between the two of them. His body was way too aware of Tari – her feminine scent tickling his senses, her body’s warmth seeping into his. If she was staying indoors then he’d stay outdoors. Moreover in the pervasive heat of the day, the swim would hopefully help to cool his body as well as his libido.

“Kola,” her voice was soft and velvety setting the hair on his back at attention. “Thank you.”

Tari reached out and touched his arm before he could move away from the table. It seared him like a brand and sent warm blood rushing off in one direction, straight to his groin. He had to physically stop himself from flinching and pulling his arm away. Instead he stood there and stared at her soft full beguiling lips and wondered why she was thanking him. He hadn’t done anything special. Moreover if she knew what he was thinking about doing to those lips she wouldn’t be thanking him so readily.

“What for?” he asked stiffly and raised his brow.

“You didn’t have to come and pick me. You didn’t have to bring me here to invade your space and disrupt your life with my troubles.”

She looked away from him. For the first time since he’d picked her up he could see how truly unhappy she was as her eyes looked up at him again dolefully. He responded the only way he knew without even thinking about it. There would be consequences later but for now he didn’t care. He pulled her up and wrapped his arms around her.

“You are welcome to invade my space and disrupt my life any day. You should know that already,” he spoke into her dark curly hair gruffly and with a ragged breath inhaled her oh-so feminine fragrance that had a hint of strawberries.

Tari pulled back slightly and frowned up at him. “Do you really mean that? It’s just that last night you were a bit abrupt and quiet. I thought you didn’t want me here. I know I’m imposing. If you want me to leave I-.”

He sighed in resignation. “Stay. You’re not imposing. Last night I had a few things on my mind that’s all.” When she looked like she was going to ask him more he continued. “It’s nothing for you to worry about. You’re welcome to stay here for however long you feel is necessary. If you need anything, all you’ll have to do is ask.”

A smile brightened her face as she nodded. “Thanks, I will.”

“Good. If you need me, you know where I am.”

Kola took one last look at Tari as she walked towards the kitchen sink before walking out. The cautious side of him prayed she wouldn’t be taking him up on his offer anytime soon.

Copyright Kiru Taye 2011