Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Naijastories Christmas Nostalgia Contest

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NaijaStories.com is pleased to announce another online writing contest titled “Christmas Nostalgia”. The purpose in running this particular contest is to encourage Nigerian narratives in Non-fiction even as we celebrate the season. There is just something very heartwarming about reading true to life recollections.

In Nigeria, only politicians and war generals seem to write or need (auto)biographies, but this should not be the case. In order to prevent collective amnesia, a communities memory is painted in by the personal stories of the individuals that make it up. Naijastories therefore, wants to encourage memoirs, diaries, and non-fiction of the personal variety.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year Giveaway - Win a copy of one of my books

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This New Year giveaway blog hop is hosted by I Am a Reader Not a Writer with several blogs taking part - Check the full list of participants. My Giveaway is open to people in the US, UK, Canada and Nigeria between Dec. 30 - Jan. 3, 2012. Winner will receive a paperback copy of either of my two novels; A Heart to Mend or A Love Rekindled. You can read the books' synopsis on my Free Reads Page.

Also, to thank you for coming, my novella - Scores to Settle - is FREE on Kindle for the duration of this giveaway. Both Scores to Settle and Love Happens are also available in the Amazon Prime lending library. I hope you enjoy. :)

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Today, I'm going to be featuring Nigerian musicians who have caught the Christmas fever. In the picture is Goldie Harvey, whose single, "We no be mate o", was fixed in my mind for a while. Eva Alordiah and Ese Peters in the video are lovely friends on Facebook and Twitter. They also have loads of talent and I know that much accolades await them in the coming years.

So here's wishing everyone a Fabulous Christmas and a great New Year in advance. Be safe and have fun, but don't forget, this is a season for giving. :)

I love you all. Mwah!

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Chika Onyenezi - Sea Lavender (Guest Author)

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Chika Onyenezi was born in the idyllic city of Owerri, December 1986. He grew up in Amakohia a little village with a cool, pure stream running through it northward into the West. His literary career began very early as a child poet. Later he tried the short stories genre and penned Whiteman’s Blood. His very first short story, Whiteman’s Blood has been anthologized and critically acclaimed. It achieved “second runners-up status” in a short story competition sponsored by Spiderthief Publishing. It was then published in an anthology, Funeral Pants and other Stories. Later, he wrote his first novel, Locust Invasion. An undertaking that encompassed six years.

During the writing, he met an American poet, John E. Cashwell and his wife Anna online. They volunteered to edit the full manuscript of Locus Invasion because of its historical significance and creative ingenuity. Kimpa Vita Press, Norway, will publish Locust Invasion with more than fifty percent of the profits supporting special projects in Africa. During his Bachelor’s degree study in Computer Science at Caritas University, Onyenezi co-founded CAULA (Caritas University Literary Association) and raised a literary spirit among many students there. He is currently in European Peace University for a master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies.

Enjoy my interview with Chika below....

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mid-Winters Eve Giveaway - Gift Card Amazon US, UK, Canada

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As this year winds to a close, I have been taking stock and counting my blessings. Writing-wise, it has been a marvelous year for me, with my first book, A Heart to Mend becoming an Amazon UK #1 Bestseller for Romance. I want to use this opportunity to thank all my subscribers (You can join by email or GFC), and book lovers everywhere who spread the word and made that possible for me and my books.

This Gift Card giveaway blog hop hosted by I Am a Reader Not a Writer and Oasis for YA. Several blogs are taking part, with lots of amazing gifts for book lovers. So if you're interested, Check the full list of participants.

In my giveaway, 3 lucky people will each win a $10 Amazon Gift Card (US, UK and Canada). To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter Form below. There are 4 entries, and you must leave a comment on this post to qualify.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Romance Writers of West Africa Bumper Christmas Giveaway

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The RWoWA (Romance Writers of West Africa) Bumper Christmas Giveaway is still ongoing. There will be 12 books by 5 authors and 7 winners!

- His Treasure by Kiru Taye (eBook to x1 International winner)
- Love in Paradise and Love at Dawn by Lara Daniels (Paperbacks to x1 US/UK/Nigeria winner)
- A Heart to Mend by Myne Whitman (Paperback to x1 US winner)
- His Sin and Obsession by Netty Ejike (Paperbacks to x2 Nigerian winners)
- Stormy Defence and Beyond the Lady by Stella Eromonsere-Ajanaku (eBooks to x2 International winners)

How to Enter:

1. *Subscribe to the RWOWA website by completing the Email Subscription form on the website.

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Rock your Curves - Omotola, Mercy Johnson, and Toolz

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I was doing some blog rounds the other day when Atala looked at my screen and did an imitation of a whistle. He was looking at this picture of Omotola Jalade, and asked if her backside was for real. I looked at his popping eyes and laughed assuring him that it was.

So, this post is an ode to curvy women. If you've got it, flaunt it. That's what Dunni in the book I'm currently writing does, and I tell you, Babs her love interest, definitely can't keep his eyes, or his hands, away.

If like me, your figure has the makings but is not really a coke bottle or an hourglass, be proud of what you do have. I promise you, everyone will still say you look good, if you carry yourself with enough confidence. Patapata, use Victoria's Secrets and Body Magic to create some wonderful illusions. I do think the ones below are real, if just a bit photoshopped. :)

Continue reading for the pictures, and do have a great weekend...

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

How to Raise Kids without Losing it - Pamela Evbota (Guest Author)

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Pamela Evbota is passionate about helping women discover their purpose and she blogs at www.ladiesnetworking.com. Today, she shares with us some tips on purposeful parenting. Pamela is also an author, and her "Define Success on your Terms, 25 Simple Tips" is available on Amazon Kindle for $0.99. Her new book, ‘How to Raise Kids without loosing it’will be available  for online purchase this week via Creatspace as well as on Kindle. To win a free PDF copy of the book, leave a comment on this post sharing any tips on how you parent your own children, and still manage to stay sane. :) Enjoy Pamela's article...

Four Ways to Parent like a Small Business Owner

It is time to take parenting like a small business - with a strong desire to succeed and achieve desired success daily. Our modern day lives are daily bungled by various activities and we are pulled in several directions as mothers. The guilt is piling up about our inability to be at our kids’ school events as working mothers or the inability to sit and enjoy sweet nothing conversations with our kids. Parenting requires innovative ways and support to turn our feeling of being overwhelmed and inadequate to feeling strong as to what direction we want our lives to be.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

On the Budget and the Removal of Fuel Subsidy - EiE Nigeria

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Some days ago, I got this press statement from EiE Nigeria (Enough is Enough) on the current national debate about the planned removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government. While I ultimately believe in the restructuring if not removal of the fuel subsidy, I believe EiE makes some valid points in this release. The budget has been released now, and it is even more obvious that the economic team of President Goodluck Jonathan haven't done much work in replugging the funds from the proposed subsidy removal into relevant sectors of the economy. Read the statement and tell me what you think.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What do you think of Adoption - will you adopt a child?

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So there was this discussion where a woman asked if she should leave her husband since they're childless. Apparently, there's nothing wrong with her fertility but the husband has low sperm count. I was surprised at the number of comments that called on the woman to consider adoption because I somehow assumed that most Nigerians do not accept or support adoption.

I've heard of some couples who secretly adopt and try to pass the child off as their own. I've heard people say they can never adopt, or advice people they know to adopt. They bring up all sorts of reasons why it's a bad idea to adopt, most of them emotional and maybe based on tradition. We don't do it in our family, they say, or what will people say? Others ask, what do you know of the child, and what if his/her parents have a shady past or background?

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Big Love Christmas Giveaway - Nigeria

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The BIG LOVE Christmas Giveaway - Making a wish come true, will run from the 1st to 31st December, 2011 providing an opportunity for Companies, Individuals, Families, Groups and Celebrities to give back, no matter how little. Their aim is to improve livelihoods by creating access to items/products/support services that some people would otherwise not have access to/ or be able to afford.

To achieve the needed reach, this initiative is driven by technology through a comprehensive website portal – ‘www.thebiglovegiveaway.org’; where the givers can register their gifts and potential receivers can also register to get specific gifts based on the stipulated criteria for each one. A mobile phone application has also been developed to serve smart phone users and get more people to participate.

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Six out of Ten women in Nigeria are Unfaithful?

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I don't know what to say to this news which has been floating around recently. The Durex Sexual Well-being Global Survey conducted by the condom manufacturer, interviewed 26,000 people in 26 countries and ranked Nigerian women as the most unfaithful in the world.

Daily Times reports  that "the top two countries with cheating women are Nigeria, with 62 percent, and Thailand, 59 percent. 39 percent of Malaysian women also confessed to having betrayed their partners. Russian women came fourth at 33 percent while Singaporeans are fifth at 19 percent." From a link I got in the comments, I went to the Durex survey methodology page where I found the following information.

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Gift Card Giveaway - International

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WINNER ANNOUNCED - Congrats to Jacqui Odell : USA

This Gift Card giveaway blog hop hosted by I Am a Reader Not a Writer. Several blogs are taking part, with lots of chances to win gift cards and book prizes. Check the full list of participants for more opportunities to win. My giveaway is one $10 electronic gift card from Amazon.com/ co.uk/.ca. The rules are;

1. You must be a follower of my blog - the Google Friend Connect gadget is to the right,
2. Leave a comment with your Country/Continent and your email address.

Thanks and good luck!
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

White Trousers no go put me for trouble!

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Dat morrin as I wan baff na so I dey put ear for dis babe music, Omawunmi, dat song wey she sing say, ‘If you ask me, na who I go ask?’ My madam don comot tey tey and I know say before she go come back e go still tey, so I say before I baff make I carry my body go upstairs for her and oga room. E get one fine white trouser wey she buy and I be one go taste am because I hear say person yansh dey come out well well for white trouser especially if you no wear pant or you wear g-string. Before I go continue my tori make I talk about my madam and oga dem.

My Madam: She no too good, she no too bad. Sometimes when I go market come back late, she no go even send me. She go just talk say, “Ehen, I know you went to see your boyfriend. Thank God you didn’t stay too long. Now hurry into the kitchen, my baby would soon be back.”

And sometimes when I wash clothes and the ting still get small stain, she go talk say, “You are too dirty Mary, sometimes I wonder if your undies are even clean”; and the annoying ting be say na infront of oga she go shout the whole ting so tey my oga come dey look me one kain.

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Help me win $1000 from the World of Betters Campaign

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Some of you may know about my work with Naijastories.com. The website is now about a year and half and still going strong. We are currently working to publish an anthology of the best stories in the first year. We hope to get the best quality book we can, and also ensure that we can distribute and promote as widely as possible. We would equally like each writer whose story was selected to receive a paperback copy for their libraries. However, our budget is small and I've been thinking of a way to raise more money to ensure these goals.

I believe that by publishing and promoting this anthology, we will be making the world better for both the readers and the selected writers. We'll also be encouraging other upcoming writers, both on Naijastories.com and beyond, to keep writing. If this makes sense to you, vote for my entry at the World of Betters website.

Thank you.
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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How to ensure other bloggers can follow you back

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Hi everyone, hope the new week has started well?

Today, I'm sharing a blogging tip. This it is something I had come across quite a number of times and never knew how to get in touch with those involved to let them know. You see, new people join my blog regularly and most times, I want to check out their own blogs and see if I want to follow back. What I usually do is to click on their profile picture in my followers box and follow their linked blog back to them. While the curious part of me wonders why some people have locked profiles, I just assume they do not have a blog most likely.

But I'm really frustrated when the follower is not linked to any blog at all. If it so happens that they've allowed to receive mail from blogger, I'll send them a welcome and thank you message. Depending on how much time I have then, I might also check out the recent blogs the person has joined to try to track them. One thing that makes it easier is when they leave a comment, either on my blog, or on one of the other ones. Unfortunately, I don't have that luxury of time, or the follower just doesn't leave any crumbs for me to follow.

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

NaijaSistas Christmas Book Reading Fiesta

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I was in Nigeria last Christmas and had loads of fun meeting so many lovely people. I attended a lot of book events, and this will be a one of those events that will make me rue not being able to travel this time. The 1st NSBS Book Reading held in September and everyone agreed it was great. The organizers say this one will usher all who attend into a Christmas brimming over with plenty of fresh hope for the new year.

Date - Saturday, December 17, 2011
Time - 2:00pm until 7:00pm
Venue - Radisson Blu - Lekki Room, Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue, Victoria Island, Lagos

Please visit the Facebook Event Page for more details. Some things to note;

1. NaijaSistas runs a book stop for member authors and many of them are running Christmas discounts and giveaways. You'll also find my books there, visit NSBS at 26 Festival Road, VI or call Ms. Goodness on 0806 427 5401 to order your books!

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Saturday, December 3, 2011

All Thing Fab - FabXchange Forum and Fabulosity Galore!

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Before I introduce the two new fabulous places you should definitely check out on the web, allow me to cry a little. Yesterday, I wanted to crow that I have 1000 subscribers, now they're back to Zero. *Wiping tears* is no one reading my blog anymore? If you're still there, please come over and leave a comment, or reply to this email, I'm so sad :(

Anyways, I've previouly told you about the FabXchange swap events in London. The fab duo are now moving their success online in order to reach more people. Fashionistas can now swap and giveaway fashion items such as clothes, shoes, bags, accessories including books to other fashionistas on the FabXchange Online Swap forum from the comfort of their homes. The FabXchange Online swap forum kicked off on the 21st of November 2011 and already boasts a growing customer base. The online forum gives its members a wider base of fashionistas to swap with and can take part from anywhere and anytime. It allows swaps between members across their country of residence with swappers exchanging fashion items by mail or pick up.

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Kiru Taye's His Treasure and RWoWA Bumper Giveaway

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Don't you just love that cover? It gives me ideas, lol. Well, Kiru Taye's book is out now and you find out what lies between the covers.

Amazon - $2.99
Breathless Press - $1.99

FYI: rating is steamy *wink*

You also stand to win a copy of His Treasure through the RWoWA - Romance Writers of West Africa's bumper Christmas Giveaway this December. There will be 12 books by five authors and 7 winners! And you can be one of the lucky just by subscribing to our newsletter. The books on offer are:

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Book Lovers Holiday Giveaway - USA

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UPDATE - CHANGE OF RULES

Welcome to December everyone, I'm so excited for Christmas. Hope you are too. To celebrate,  I'll be running giveaways in addition to regular posts throughout the month, so stay tuned.

Today's giveaway is a blog hop hosted by I Am a Reader Not a Writer. Several blogs are taking part, with lots of chances to win book prizes and maybe gift cards. Check the full list of participants. If you’re new to my site, welcome. You can subscribe to the right, and also check out my books.

I'm giving this giveaway a Nigerian spin and 3 lucky people will win any of the books below by Nigerian writers. Winners must live in the USA. Don't worry, I'll be having giveaways for those in the UK, Nigeria, and international before the month is out. Continue reading for entry rules for today's giveaway.

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Humor in Nollywood - PHONE SWAP BY KUNLE AFOLAYAN

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I'm not usually a big fan of what passes for humor in Nollywood movies, it sometimes gets too manic for me with people screaming or shouting. It's either pint sized Aki and Pawpaw are spoofing as children or adults, or other comedians are speaking strangely or grabbing crotches and breasts. Osuofia (Nkem Owoh) has been lucky with some good scripts but I don't know how that is going. These days, I just opt for the dramas and stay away from the so-called comedy. Even in Hollywood movies, I don't go for movies with crude toilet humor, or unwarranted slapstick, they just come off as cheap laughs.

In the trailer below, Kunle Afolayan presents Phone Swap.

Synopsis - An arrogant business executive and a warm hearted fashion designer exchange lives after accidentally swapping their mobile phones at a busy airport...
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Bringing out your inner extrovert

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I used to be very introverted. Still am, sometimes. But only when I want to be. Most people who meet me in company these days would be surprised to hear Myne and introvert in one sentence. I can laugh and make conversation like the next person, even dance and get some PDA going where it is possible. Starting this blog wasn't such a big deal, and I only thought about it for a few days before I opened up my Facebook page and my Twitter account to the public. Now I tell my readers what I put in my meatpie, and chat with complete strangers on Facebook on a daily basis. On twitter, someone even caught me whispering about Atala's beard. So what happened? The following are some of the ways I have learnt to bring out my inner extrovert;


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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Do bad girls really get all the guys?

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"Why do millions of smart, savvy, successful men fall helplessly in love with women who are destined to break their hearts? Who are these Bad Girls, poised to pounce on the next nice guy just waiting to become their prey? While Bad Girls have different strategies for manipulating nice guys, they share certain alluring traits. Irresistibly exciting, clever, flirtatious, and seductive, they make their man feel like the sexiest, most invincible stud on the planet! They take what they want---money, sex, drugs, or other objects of desire---and leave these unsuspecting men in the dust."

Above is from the description of one of the books below by Dr Carole Lieberman on lessons other women can learn from Bad girls. There are even more books saying the same thing. But before we go into all that, is it true that they really get all the guys?

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Weekend Pictures - US Space and Rocket Center, Alabama

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Some of you might know that I have some family in Alabama, we visited them last a couple of years ago and last month we went down south again to catch up. My older nephew wanted to see the space center and we decided to take him and it was also an opportunity for us to see the place. We were planning to go to the Seattle Flight Museum after one of the decommissioned shuttles from NASA got there but that did not happen. So seeing the hefty machines in Huntsville was quite a treat.

Enjoy the pictures and have a great weekend. Mwah!

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving and my Meat Pie Recipe

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING to everyone, especially those in America. I made some Meat Pie yesterday for Dinner and I want to share the recipe with you this thanksgiving.

Ingredients

*Dough - Plain Flour – 1 Kg, Margarine – 500g, Salt – 2 pinches, Dry spices - 2 pinches, Cold Water - a quarter cup

*Filling - 500g of minced meat, 1 medium-sized onion, 2 medium-sized tomatoes, Seasoning - 2 Maggi / Knorr cubes and 1 teaspoon of mixed spices, Cold water – 1 cup

*1 egg yolk

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How to Recognize a Player?

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Babs from my upcoming manuscript has got me thinking of players. But funny thing was, when I typed "who's a player" on search, it threw up links to players in sports, including wiki for Most Valuable Player. Of course, I meant a player in the dating game. Isn't it funny how life and society rewards people who play the best game, those who do whatever it takes to win. In dating however, many different opinions abound.

Some people say dating is a game, and so they need to play their best game, or play by the rules. Others say dating should only be a precursor to a steady relationship, like a long-term romance or marriage, and so no hanky-panky should be allowed. Players, and there are both male and female, definitely excel at hanky-panky, and in dating, some of them are as follows;

- They usually don't pick or answer their phone in the presence of their current partner.
- They usually do not like PDA, or may blow hot and cold depending on who's looking. The male player wants to show off to his mates, but not when other girls are around. Same with the girl.
- The above also goes with how they answer your phone, sometimes with all the sweet words, and other times, can't wait to get off your phone with no "I love you" or goodbye.
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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Networking - 9jamom, DuduLove, FabAfriq and Waka-About

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Do you remember 9jamom? They recently had a giveaway to their top ten fans with prizes including Jewelry Sets, Ankara Print Gele, and 9jamom-branded Tote Bags and T-shirts. I managed to snag the jewelry set pictured left which arrived some weeks ago and looks awesome. It is  courtesy of Afrimart, and you can check out their Facebook page for more gorgeous jewelry designs.

On another note, Dudunorth.com is an initiative by a blogger and is solely focused on Nigerian talent in Canada. It is a resource for helping locate needs such as restaurants, salons etc, as well as showcasing upcoming  events in Canada.. Dudunorth aims to bring the Nigerian community to one spot where they can share jokes, reminisce e.t.c. There is also a special section where upcoming weddings would be showcased as well as the "how we met stories".

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Marrying your Baby Daddy - when there's someone else

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The doors opened and “Here Comes the Bride” tinkled from the piano. My dada and I started the customary slow-walk up the aisle. When we had gotten close enough, my dada reached out and gave me a hug and I tried to hold on for as long as I could. He gently disengaged himself and made to leave but I held on tight to his hand. He smiled at me. He had sympathy in his eyes. He understood but then, he discreetly rubbed the bulge that was my tummy and gave me a gentle stare.

I let go of his hand. At that point, it dawned on me that it was not just his hand I let go of. I had let go of part of me, his protection and cover, his name, my hometown, part of my tie to him…….I was leaving my father’s house to be in my husband’s! I stood rooted to the spot for about a minute till I heard my momma clear her throat. I smiled and thought, “I trust my momma to help put things in perspective”. I turned to climb the stairs to where Ranti, my husband-to-be was patiently waiting. My husband-to-be?! Not really. It was more like my baby papa who I am going to spend the rest of my life with.

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Beyonce's I was Here - Leaving footprints on the sands of time

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It's buzzing all over the news how Beyonce revealed clips of her previously secret wedding in her new video for I Was Here. Of course, the highlight is the wedding gown which is shown twice, front and back views (see the video the cut). For me though, the lyrics are more important. I've always believed it is good to have models and to say it when someone inspires me, and I confess Beyonce does, through some of her songs, and even sometimes in her life.

This song contains one of the thoughts that drive how I live my life. It's not all about me, there has to be a purpose for which I'm here that is bigger than what I want or what will make me happy. I ask myself, what about other people? How can I affect their lives, how can I make a difference? For me, that is the best perk of being a writer - creating something, and having the opportunity through my words, to reach out to so many other people. It's not about the money, nor about the fame, even as these can come in useful, but about viral ideas and influence. It's about sharing something you're passionate about, and having other people tap into it or benefit from it.

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Getting to know you Blogfest

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1. Name two [romantic suspense] authors who inspire you.

Nora Roberts and Francine Rivers. I love Nora R. for her versatility and longevity, as well as how prolific she has been. The fact that she uses a pen name in some of her writing, just like I do also means I have a special spot for her.

Francine is just such an awesomewriter, my best romance novel so far is Redeeming Love. The way she plumbs my emotions is almost second to none. She may be considered more inspirational romance than romantic suspense but her books do keep me on tenterhooks till I'm done.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Twilight Saga - Breaking Dawn 1

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The book was supposed to be for teenagers, but it has since moved beyond that. Now we have grown women, including myself taking sides on team Edward or Team Jacob, a fictional vampire and a werewolf. SMH @ Myself. Anyway, who's seeing it this weekend?

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Playing Second Fiddle to your Man's Job

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Read the following story and tell me if you think Vonny did the right thing. What would you do in her shoes?
____

I was feeling real good and was headed out to Beck's Lounge for a little hang time with my gals. As I strolled leisurely along Torres Avenue, someone bellowed my name. I turned and........Christ, I haven't seen this guy in months!

"Steeeeeve!" I screamed as we both ran to hug each other. We were still busy forming 'long lost love' when a car horn blared, forcing us off the middle of the road. Never mind the driver's cursing, Steve and I had a lot to catch up on. With my initial date temporarily forgotten, we headed to the closest eatery. I was still filling Steve in on 'what's new' when my three phones started buzzing all at once. With profuse apologies, I placated my gals and then agreed to come back to Steve in two hours.

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Monday, November 14, 2011

The Son of your Father's Concubine - Seun Salami

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One sweet morning, I opened my email to check for new messages and the first had the same subject as the title of this post. I must confess, my heart sped up. I blinked and opened the email. It began...

Hello Myne, Okay...just to be clear, the subject is actually the title of my new book and nothing else. It is a collection of eight short stories dealing with subjects like rape, faith, the search for identity/adventure, etc but they are all tragedies. Many people have said it's a very lovely title...

I stopped there and had a nice laugh. Lovely title ko, sweet title ni, lol. It is definitely a catchy title though. I was intrigued enough to reply the email and want to know the young man who sent it better. I'll let him take it away now...

My name is ‘Seun Salami, I was born in Ogun State, Nigeria. I have a BSc in Journalism from the Lagos State University and I just concluded an MSc in Mass Communication at the University of Lagos. I’m first a writer and then I also work as an editor at a publishing firm. I read a lot and my job also means that I get to read a lot of books before they are published. My debut collection of short stories has just been published; it’s called The Son of your Father’s Concubine.

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Applicants for US Visa Lottery Reduce, Canada Introduces Super Visa

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One of my relatives applied for the diversity visa lottery last year and got an email around March telling them they got through. A few weeks later, another email came, saying it was a computer failure and they're sorry, the person did not make it. Can you imagine? Anyone who knows how most Nigerians regard the visa lottery as a ticket to heaven will understand what a let down that is.

Anyway, I'm not surprised that as the application period just ended, the US State Department says only 8 million people applied. This is in comparison to last year's figure of 15 million. The Department is saying it is because it removed Bangladesh from the list, but they can go and tell that to the birds. Apart from the disappointment with the system failure, there is the situation of the economy in the United States.

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Book Launch - String Bridge by Jessica Bell

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Today is THE day to help Jessica Bell's debut, STRING BRIDGE, hit the bestseller list on Amazon, and receive the all-original soundtrackMelody Hill: On the Other Sidewritten and performed by the author herself, for freeAll you have to do is purchase the book today (paperback, or eBook), November 11th, and then email the receipt to: jessica.carmen.bell(at)gmail(dot)com. She will then email you a link to download the album at no extra cost!

To purchase the paperbackAmazon USA, Amazon UK
To purchase the eBookAmazon USAAmazon UK
To listen to samples of the soundtrack, visit iTunes.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ashley Billasano - Social Media and Sucide

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I read about the teenager who tweeted and committed suicide on  Bumight's post - For Ashley Billasano. A few months ago it was Motunrayo Ogbara's suicide all over the blogs and Twitter. This got me thinking. Is it that there is more suicide now, or simply that it is more reported in the media? More disturbing, why is it usually so closely related to social media? Is there a danger that people are copying others who they see or hear commit suicide on Twitter or Facebook?

Social media guru, Trey Pennington wrote on twitter: 'Sure am thankful for online friends who are real friends offline, too. Love you.' just hours before his death. In Seoul, a former DJ tweeted, “I’m going to commit suicide. To all of you, even those who shared the slightest friendship with me, I love you,” and went ahead to hang himself. Clementi, the guy who committed suicide after being outed said farewell via Facebook: "Jumping off the gw bridge sorry." Some of you may remember Simone black, whose friends did nothing to help after she posted on FB, 'Took all my pills, bye bye'.
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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

How to improve your Alexa Blog Ranking

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In one of the blogging tips posts I did titled "I want more Comments", Amb Caleb commented that he needed some tips on ranking. That got me thinking because I didn't have a ready answer for him. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't as if I hadn't heard of blog rankings before, but, I had never really done anything beyond that.

I had found out about both Pagerank and Alexa earlier this year on one of my blog improvement wanderings around the interwebs. Google Pagerank measures the reputation of your site based on the weight it gets via search engines and is ranked between 1 and 10, the bigger the better. Alexa ranks your place among other sites based on traffic and other indicators and the closer you are to 1, the better. Google.com ranks #1 and some blogs I checked were up to 25 million. When I first checked , I was happy with my Pagerank 4 (both nairaland and Bellanaija are also 4), and though a bit confused by the Alexa ranking of 1.5 million.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

How not to discipline a child - Judge's daughter releases video

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See, I was born and raised in Nigeria where corporal punishment is allowed from primary through secondary school and so I'm a bit immune to beatings (one major disadvantage of punishments). However, my parents only administered the cane when necessary, and there were never whips or belts flying around.

I recently read about how a daughter, now 23, released a video of her father, a judge, whipping her when she was 16. Mike's post on Sparing the Rod was fresh on my mind then and I couldn't help wincing as I watched the blows land on the girl. Why would parents do that to their own child? Why would you vent your anger on a child in the name of punishment? And the mother, telling the girl to take it like a grown woman. What grown woman would take that kind of beating from another person?

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Weekend Pictures - Some thoughts from FaceBook

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So Facebook recently seem to have put more weight in pictures and nowadays, I find my timeline strewn with some of these nuggets among others. Hope you like them too...
Wise words and yes, you are beautiful. Remember, there's sunshine after every storm. Sometimes, we actually need the rain to wash stuff away so we can see clearly. 
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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Nigerian Love - Romantic names in local languages

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I got this email from one of my new readers and I wanted to share with you guys so you can also add your perspective. Now this post is not about inter-cultural relationships or the people in the email in particular, I just want us to share our experiences about Nigerian love and romance. How do we keep our relationships fresh and fun?

Hi Myne! I ran across your very interesting site as I was attempting to find a romantic name or phrase for my new friend, (insert igbo male name here). He is Nigerian... but I am already smitten. We both ... agreed to keep our courtship fresh and fun. i know nothing about African men...what offends them, their culture. Could u help me understand the culture a little better please?! Thanks in Advance...


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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

House of Silk - A new Sherlock Holmes novel by Anthony Horowitz

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I've always been a fan of Sherlock Holmes and devoured all the books I could find growing up. Some were scary, some were blander, but in all, the Holmes was thrilling, his eye for obervation, how he could join the dots, it almost seemed psychic :) I like to think some of it rubbed off on me and will usually joke that I have ESP, Atala calls it jumology, most things don't get past me, lol. Back to Sherlock Holmes, this new novel is not by Arthur Conan Doyle, the original author and creator of that classic detective. I still think I'll go for it...

What about you?
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Signed, Hopelessly in Love - Lauri Kubuitsile (Guest Author)

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Hi Everyone, my guest today is a writer I admire a lot. I found Lauri's blog, Thoughts from Botswana, sometime last year and have followed her since. I knew Lauri was a talented writer from her blog, and knowing she had 13 novels published was an encouragement and a challenge. Now I've read some of her short stories and a couple of her romance novels, it's confirmed. I'm in love! :)

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Lauri Kubuitsile

1. I’m a naturalised citizen of Botswana; I was born in the USA. Botswana doesn’t allow dual citizenship so I renounced my American citizenship more than 10 years ago.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NaNoWrimo 2011

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"At midnight on November 1, armed only with their wits, the vague outline of a story, and a ridiculous deadline, more than 250,000 people around the world will set out to become novelists. Why? Because November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, the world’s largest writing challenge and nonprofit literary crusade. Participants pledge to write 50,000 words in a month, starting from scratch and reaching “The End” by November 30." Nanowrimo 2011 Press Release

Yes, I have signed up again this year, and hope to finish the first round editing for A Fiery Love and also have the draft of a new book cranked out this November. I know I'm going to need lots of coffee, caramel ice-cream, and newly discovered yogurt smoothies to get through this. The other thing that keeps me going is your awesome support. Thank you all. I look forward to the coming week and to November. Mwah!
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Monday, October 31, 2011

Top Posts Giveaway - And the Winner is...

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The picture is a screenshot of my stats page with the top posts all time. In a previous post, I listed the top ten posts on this blog (All Time) and asked readers to guess the top 5. A $25 Amazon gift card, and my two books free for those in Nigeria, were up for grabs. Well the following people attempted it and I was surprised at how close they came. The winner is Naija4Life with four correct guesses. Congrats and do send me your email address and how you'll like to receive your prize at myne@ mynewhitman.com. And this is Naija4Life's guess.

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

How to support your Birthday author

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A friend on FB made that picture as a birthday card for me. Afronuts also gave me a Photoshop makeover. Thanks also to Harry and Mike for the shout outs. For those wondering what gift to give, follow these links or go to your nearest book retailer, online or in stores. :)

ALR - (USCanada or UK)
AHTM - (USCanada or UK)
Complete distribution in Nigeria

Teralyn of A Writer's Journey recently listed ways to support your favorite authors, and I knew this was especially important for me as an independent author who does not have the weight of a big-name publisher behind me. I always smile, part happiness and part disbelief, when I receive my sales reports. Who are all these people buying these books, and how did they hear? For sure, I wouldn't be where I am today - bestselling author, public speaker, budding publisher - if many of you had not done the following;
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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Announcing a new online Nigerian News Aggregator

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Zoomheader.com is a new online nigerian news aggregator website for Nigerians both home and abroad. It has a user-friendly interface that will make it easy for readers to find out the latest headlines from top Nigerian sites.

These sites include, 234Next, Sahara Reporters, Vanguard, PM News, Linda Ikeji, Guardian, Compass, TheNET, Bellanaija, Information Nigeria, Kick Off, Celebregion, Leadership, CP-Africa, National Daily, Nollywood, Zazugist, and of course Myne Whitman Writes :), among others.

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Stand a chance to win Love at Dawn by Lara Daniels

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Romance Writers of West Africa (RWOWA) is a group dedicated to the growth of African romantic fiction worldwide and I am one of the founding members, YAY! We have set up our website, and will be rewarding our subscribers each month with a book from the published members. For October, the group will be giving away a free copy of Lara Daniels, “Love at Dawn. How to enter:
- Subscribe to RWOWA. The email form is on the right lower corner of the website.**

- Follow @RWOWA on twitter

- Like the RWOWA page on Facebook.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Birthday in pictures - A Surprise Helicopter Ride

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Thank you all so much for the birthday wishes on my last post. I was blown away by those who actually called, and everyone that sent text messages or email, I appreciate you all.

To be honest, my head is still buzzing from the events of the past two days and I can't coordinate my thoughts. Below are the pictures from the surprise that Atala gave me on Tuesday - a helicopter ride! It was an amazing experience and one I'll treasure for a long time. Enjoy...

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How to find out what your blog readers want

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As a blogger trying to stay on top of my game, one thing I do is look through my blog stats. They give me an idea about what my audience likes, what brings new readers etc. I have a free account with Statcounter.com that gives some pretty robust figures.

Also, the local blogger stats also tells me where most of my traffic come from (Google and Blogger) as well as what they're searching for (Myne Whitman and Relationship questions). These stats help me decide which of my blog ideas to turn to posts and which to postpone, or simply discuss with friends and family.

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Nigerian Residents Only - Write and Win!

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This is a promo for a friend's effort to get people writing and reading in Nigeria. The full details are at her website, Dianah's Place. All you have to do is write a piece with the Theme "Make Each Day Count For Good"

RULES
500-1000 words max
No obscenities
Nigerian residents Only
Full names Must be included in the mail
MAKE EACH DAY COUNT FOR GOOD should be the email subject to dianah@dianahsplace.info
To qualify just follow @diai227 on twitter and follow her blog

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