Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Heart to Mend - Now available in Nigeria

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To read the chapter one - CLICK HERE. To get your advance copies of A Heart to Mend in Nigeria;

For those in Nsukka, UNN, call 08065200621;
In Onitsha/Asaba, call 08066158599,
In Abuja Call 08036289794,
Port Harcourt 08136477573
Lagos Ikeja; 08098643221, 08059864322,
Festac 08069508842, 08023815724
For Agege Lagos 07034591699,
Iyana Ipaja Lagos 08084575936,
Ikeja Lagos (Computer Village) 08033556152,
Egbeda Lagos 08056387855...
Lagos Island Locations coming soon.

The first 500 copies of the book come with a free bookmark/ Raffle Ticket. The first prize to be won from the raffle draw will be an Ipod Shuffle. Other prizes include a Thesaurus, Memory Cards, internet modems, and Flash drives. The book presentation will hold at The DSAN center 43 Adegoke Street, Surulere Lagos on Thursday April 22, 2010 by 11am. For more information call the publicist, Ahaoma Kanu 08037487286.

On the Back Cover;

Sheltered Gladys Eborah has spent most of her life in a suburb of Enugu brought up in a deprived single parent household after losing her father as a young girl. After finishing her education, she moves to Lagos to seek a job and moves in with an estranged aunt who now wants to be forgiven for all perceived wrongs. Gladys suspects Aunt Isioma abandoned them out of disdain for their poverty, and has the uneasy role of the bridge between both families.

Her new friendships and career achievements gradually transition Gladys into an independent young woman. Soon, she begins to fall for wealthy Edward Bestman who, though physically attracted to her, is emotionally unavailable. Edward is very wealthy, but he is haunted by the past of his illegitimate birth and other secrets he will not share.

The themes of premarital sex, social class mobility, and romantic ups and downs that mark a budding love are fully explored. However, Myne Whitman takes the story even further. Some unnamed people are about to take over Edward’s business empire and Gladys is implicated. Who are these people who want to betray him and destroy their happiness? 

“Written by a Nigerian…with Nigerian characters and setting, “A heart to mend” is a fun and fast read.” – PAMELA STITCH, African Loft Magazine
“…a powerful story of how love doesn’t strut, never gives up, never looks back and keeps going to the end.”  - SHOLA ADU-OKUBOTE, Femme Lounge Online
…something different. Some may say it is ideal to think about love…but love (romance) still exists against all odds.”  - TEMITAYO OLOFINLUA, Bookaholic
A Heart to Mend will bring tears to the eyes and cheers at the end especially for those who have experienced the search for a career or tumultuous family and emotional relationships.” – LAN THANO, Seattle
"A Heart to Mend is certainly a romance story laddered with emotion...and already the suspense is building..."AHAOMA KANU, National Daily Newspaper
“Nigerian readers can now satisfy their yearning for well written, homegrown romance stories while the foreign readers can treat themselves to a different kind of romance--one made in the highly boisterous commercial Lagos.”  - NEXT Newspaper

What the reviewers are saying;

"Only few writers that spin this kind of tale... For once, we get the feeling that we are treading this path of love with the characters and again, we try to be one with the city, which is a character on its own. Truth is; Whitman has charmed me. Enthralling!" - Onyeka Nwelue, author of The Abyssinian Boy

“Nigerians and indeed Africans are not known for romance writing. The reason can be attributed to the sense of morality (real or apparent) that seeks to relegate issues of love to the secrecy of bedrooms and treats sex as something to be talked about only in hushed tones like it were some mysterious sacred ritual...Myne Whitman’s book, A Heart to Mend, makes a bold statement to the contrary.” - Sylva Nze Ifedigbo, Author of Whispering Aloud

“…the beauty of this book, is that there is redemption for all…in tandem with the title cover, that there can indeed be mended hearts” - Ify Malo

“…love (even with all its problems) can transform a person and heal them enough to allow forgiveness in a heart.” - FFF, www.shotmusinz.blogspot.com

“The book has been buzzing and is a definite buy.” - Arinze Obikili, www.jaguda.com

"A HEART TO MEND narrates the relationship between Gladys and Edward and offers a unique reading experience. Direct and action packed, the masterful use of emotion and suspense will keep readers totally engrossed and guessing till the end." - www.werunthings.net

“Filled with questions and themes of clashing backgrounds, societal class, premarital sex, family feuds and personal scandals, this book will have you flipping through the pages anxiously…It brings you back to the realities of life: how fragile love can be and the realizations of trust and fear.” - Mariam Olagunju, www.gidilounge.com

“Myne Whitman has written a captivating first novel…” - Linda Ikeji, www.lindaikeji.blogspot.com

“…it is the journey, not the destination that entertains in this novel, and the author has done a great job of creating a story of two characters who engage our sympathies and who we find wanting to triumph over the odds that are thrown their way.” - www.nigeriavillagesquare.com

“More than anything this book is a breath of fresh air - very different from the stereotypical images portrayed in most books regarding the continent...this is just plain easy feel good read like a top selling novel sitting on the Romance aisle at Borders or Barnes and Nobles.” - Olamild Entertainment, www.olamildentertainment.com

A captivating contemporary African love story, A HEART TO MEND is best described as heartwarming, vivid and charming. Myne Whitman delivers romance in her first and newly released novel with such practicality and skill. It is an unforgettable love story weaved together by a quixotic and imaginative mind that is both believable and relatable! - N Amma Twum-Baah, Founder and Editor, Afrikan Goddess Online

"A Heart to mend is a fearless tale about love….an unbiased story of the struggles, failures, victories, strength and harsh decisions people face at some point because of those they love. This book has a story that has been broken down and told with smooth and simple language. A Heart to mend is a delicious and beautiful story." – Chizitere Ojiaka, www.courageousfingers.blogspot.com

Monday, April 19, 2010

Operation gone wrong...by Atala Wala Wala.

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It was the evening of what had been a dull and rainy day. Chinedu was waiting in a room with two other men; he had been asked to 'report for duty', as an operation was scheduled for this night. He was nervous, because unlike the past few operations, he had not been given any details. While he waited, he tried to pry information from the other two men. Serubawon, tough and surly, ignored him altogether; Chancer, quiet and tense, told him to wait for their leader, Dabaru, to come - he would tell him everything. Chinedu was edgy because the people he was more familiar with, Gbenro and a few others, were not there.

About an hour later, the door opened, and Dabaru entered, followed by Okey, another member of the gang. Dabaru was a tall, rangy man who had the air of someone scenting for danger around him. He had been involved in armed robbery for over five years; more than once, his sharp instincts had helped him evade capture. He called them all to gather round so that he could explain the night's operation.

"We are going to this address in Lekki tonight. I hear that someone there is keeping some money there this night." He stared fiercely at one of the other boys, "Okey, you know the place, right? The place I showed you when we were driving in the area the other day."

Chinedu was puzzled. "Is Okey driving tonight?" he asked.

Dabaru turned to him and smiled. "Yes, Okey is driving instead of you. I think it's time that you took part in a actual operation." He turned back to the others and continued explaining details of the operation, but Chinedu's mind was elsewhere. He knew that this day would come one day, but he hadn't thought that it would come so soon. His heart beat faster as he thought of what would happen. He had gone on shooting practice sessions with the gang before, but practice was one thing; real life was something else.

Eventually, Dabaru finished with the explanations and told them all to get into the car waiting outside; the guns they needed were already in the boot. As Chinedu passed him, he put his hand on his shoulder and said "We will make six million naira from this operation; I know you will not disappoint. Just be strong like you were in the last operation." Then he followed them out and entered the car, which promptly revved and sped off towards Lekki.

Chinedu shook his head as he recalled how horribly wrong the operation had gone. His role had been to climb over the wall of the compound at the address, then threaten to shoot the compound guard if he did not open the gate for the rest of his colleagues. Unfortunately, the guard had panicked and run towards the house, raising the alarm. Chinedu had him in his sights; but he found that he could not bring himself to pull the trigger. He stood there, sweating and trembling, as the rest of the gang shouted at him to let them in. Suddenly, there was a gunshot, and he felt a sharp pain in his leg. The robbers heard the shot, and that was their cue to flee. Chinedu collapsed and as he lay on the ground, blood seeping through his jeans, he heard the wail of sirens in the distance growing louder.

He woke up the next day at Apongbon. Five days later, the police doctor had bandaged the flesh wound on his leg inflicted by the house owner's pistol but the pain in his heart went deeper. While his answers to the interrogations had saved him some beating, he had been charged for armed robbery. His mother had visited once but there was nothing she or anyone could do. He was not up for bail and the police were were almost ready to transfer him to Kirikiri. He was sitting quietly while the other inmates raved and ranted, when a couple of prison guards approached his cell and unlocked it.

The prisoners began to chant at the guards, but they glared fiercely back and pointed to Chinedu.

“You... come with us. Oga wants to see you.”

Which oga, and why does he want to see me? Chinedu wondered, as they walked down the dark corridors that led to the prison’s chief superintendent’s office.

The guards knocked and entered. Two men were sitting at the table; one was dressed in uniform - Chinedu guessed that he was the superintendent - and the other was tall, dark and wore an expensive babanriga.

“Is that the boy?” the tall man asked, pointing at Chinedu.

“Yes, sah,” one of the guards replied.

“Hmm...” The man stroked his chin for a while, and then he spoke. “You... you were brought in from an armed robbery, right?”

Chinedu, staring in astonishment could only nod his head.

“I am Alhaji Galadima,” the man continued. “I am here to talk about the gang that you were part of...”

It turned out that the Alhaji, who was a police officer, was looking for information that would help him end the operations of Chinedu’s former gang, who were still active in the area. On inquiring, he learnt of Chinedu who had been part of the gang, but was now in custody. Galadima realised after talking at length with Chinedu that he had no great loyalty to the gang members, as they had abandoned him the moment he had been caught, and had not contacted or been to see him since. Chinedu said he would co-operate with the police in supplying information. Galadima also saw from the conversation that Chinedu was quite an intelligent person, and soon teased out the circumstances that led to him joining the gang.

His co-operation led to two members of the gang, Serubawon and Okey, being caught. It also meant that the Alhaji was able to arrange for him to be released sooner, and in addition, he volunteered to fund Chinedu’s education to university level “because it would be a shame for such a fine young mind to go to waste.” Chinedu’s eyes misted over as he remembered the Alhaji’s benevolence, but he quickly wiped the wetness away, as he slowed down his car to park at his office.


So that's it folks, vote on the left for the next person you want to hear from.

Cupid's Risk + Naijastories Website Launch Contest

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CUPID'S RISK SERIES - So the action continues on the interactive. Is Chinedu about to reveal this secret he has kept for so long? Go over to the blog and find out. Remember to leave your comments.

On other news, some of you may know of Naija Stories and the contest I was running there over the past month. Well it is all over now and I'm happy to announce the winners. You may recognize some of the bloggers among them and so tell them congrats when you see them or go over and celebrate on their blogs. I know a lot of us supported the poem for Jos by 2cute4u and so it is congrats to us all. From the website;

After one month and three rounds of judging, the Naija Stories Website Launch Contest is now complete. It was a fierce competition and the judges also had a tough time deciding on the best out of so many excellent entries. All who have got to this final stage have a lot to take pride in. You may not have won the prize but that means little but the judges opinions. I hope the posted judging sheets will help all contestants improve on their writing craft as well the comments received from other readers. Thank you all for taking part in the contest.
And the Winners are:
First place: Durosinmi by Ayobami Adebayo
Second place: Born to Die by Funmi
Third place: Reliving Christmas by FFF
Added Prize for Poetry: Harridan by Adekemi Adeniyan
People's Choice Award: For you me and they by Chacha Wabara

Prizes :
First place winner - $150, plus their entry edited by the Naija Stories Team and it will remain on the Featured Stories List for one month.
Second place winner - $100, plus their entry will be edited by the Naija Stories Team, and it will remain on the Featured Stories List for one month.
Third Place winner - $50, plus their entry will be edited by the Naija Stories Team and will remain on the Featured Stories List for one month.
- Added Prize for Poetry - $50, their entry will be edited by the Naija Stories Team and will remain on the Featured Stories List for one month.
- People's Choice Award - A free copy of the Nigerian Edition of A Heart to Mend by Myne Whitman and their entry will remain on the Featured Stories List for one month.

To join the website and take part in other contests, contact info@naijastories.com. Read those great winning entries HERE.

Have a great week and check out some new blogs from the right sidebar.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Ten Things I love + Blog Rolling

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So I have been tagged by F and M of Half and Half to take part in this 101 award. These are the 10 things I love;

Music - I just love listening to music, sometimes it doesn't even matter the genre or language. I prefer ballads and soulful melodies, if the singer has an amazing voice, even better. I have to say that some Naija artistes have broken my mould for only slow songs, like Dbanj and his crew, I even danced to Fall in Love at my reception, lol. But you can guess the person wey dey do me Strong thing.

Writing - This is no surprise is it? And it should be obvious I'm not talking term papers here, I only do that when I have to. I love writing out all the people who populate my day dreams and imaginations. Writing is like magic to me, you put down these thoughts and it becomes a story that people want to read and enjoy too.

Atala Wala - 'Nuff said.

Movies - I love watching TV and the moving pictures on them but the best of the experience is sitting in a darkened cinema with over 50 feet tall images flitting before your eyes. I really love animated features but the movies that will get me any time are big block busters, lots of CGI, plenty of action, and the longer the better. You can imagine that I was in movie-watchers heaven when I saw Avatar in IMAX 3D. It even still shivers me timbers when I think about it.

Ice cream/ Chocolate - What can I say, I'm a sweet tooth. I'm working on my self control bit it's best if I don't have any of these two permanently around or someone would have to pay. Probably my tummy bursting my buttons, lol.

New experiences - I sometimes say in this regard that it's like being an adrenaline junkie. I love trying out new things, going to new places, meeting new people, experiencing diverse cultures. Even sometimes just reading about it or seeing pictures can do the same thing. When that is not enough, I do it myself - kayaking, bungie-jumping, roller-coasters, doing Europe on a students budget, and lots more.

Intelligent people/conversation - Does someone feel me?

Reading - This is related to some of the others like intelligent conversation, new things and writing. And that is why you will see me at your blog, absorbing everything. I don't do as much book reading as I used to but I'm getting back there small small.

Dancing - This is a new one, I mean me doing it. Or maybe not. I danced on my secondary school's traditional dance troupe way back when. Now I'm a fan of ballroom dancing from watching too many Dancing with the Stars. Recently, I put my money where my mouth was and we're taking lessons. I enjoy it, but I have to confess that even Kate Gosselin is still better than me.

Charity - Last but not least, I love giving to charity. It doesn't have to be masses of money cos I don't have much but even an hour of my time to make someone else happy, that will always make my day. I believe that is the best way of showing our thankfulness for what God is doing in our lives and I take advantage of every opportunity I can to give back.

So now I tag, Fabulo-la, Suru, Funkola, GidiasianBabe, Tina, NaijaWebGeek, Blessings Outlet, Diamond Hawk, Mamuje, and All the Right Words.

So these are also the places for today's blog rolling, so please roll over to theirs and say Hi. I assure you, they're all wonderful blogs. Have a nice week all, take care...

A Dangerous Invitation ...By Atala Wala Wala

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The car pulled up just outside the bank, and Iphey stepped out, anxiously glancing at her watch again.

The window on her side slid down, and Chinedu peered through it. "Are you sure you'll be OK? I hope your boss won't eat you alive for this," he asked.

"I will be a few minutes late, but I should be fine; I'll find an excuse that will work. At least, as far as I know, there's no meeting that I need to be present at."

Iphey still wondered whether Funmi had a nasty shock waiting for her when she got back, but that was something she could worry about later. Right now, she felt so happy at the prospect at starting something really solid with Chinedu that everything else paled in comparison.

"OK. Oh - before I forget - can I get your number? You can be sure that I have no intention of deleting it this time - but I'll make up a song with the numbers in it, just in case I lose the phone," he joked.

Iphey laughed as she gave it to him. "Please call me, and let's set something up."

Chinedu smiled back. "Yes, let's see if we can start afresh. Actually, I just remembered that you don't have your own transport to get back. How about we kill two birds with one stone? I can pick you up this evening, we can go somewhere nice and then I can drop you off at home."

"That sounds like a great idea."

"Yes, I thought so too. OK, I'll see you later." He waved at her, and watched admiringly as she walked towards the bank entrance. Then the window slid back up, the engine revved and the car took off towards his office.


As he drove, Chinedu was lost in thought. He really wanted to make things work with Iphey, and he was glad that he had this chance... but he recalled her unease about his history as an armed robber.

“Sometimes, I wonder why I had to go and say that. Perhaps things would have been better if I had kept this close to my chest,” he mused.

The more he thought about it, the more he felt it would be better to make a clean breast of things and tell her what had happened in his earlier years...

Chinedu and his four younger siblings were had grown up in Ajegunle, where their father worked as a clerk in an office and their mum sold provisions in a small store. But it was not a happy marriage; the money both their parents brought in was rarely ever enough to feed them all, so there were always rows over why the children did not have school uniforms and books, or when the rent was going to be paid so that the landlord would stop harassing them.

Chinedu remembered those rows with a shudder; they were violent, searing affairs that left him with ugly memories. He also remembered his father often saying to him and his siblings in a bitter voice: “See the suffering that being poor can bring. If you know what is good for you, make sure you study well so that you can get a good job and live in a big house, not this..” gesturing around their cramped one-bedroom apartment. So he coped in his own way by immersing himself in his studies; perhaps he could spirit them away from this miserable existence if he became a doctor, or an engineer. Fortunately for him, his ability matched his desire, and he excelled at school, so it looked like his hopes might become reality.

Unfortunately, at the end of his second to last year in secondary school, his parents separated. His father was tired of being belittled by his wife and left to stay with another woman he had been having an affair with; his mother was only too glad to see him go, as it would mean an end to the endless beatings and abuse. But that meant that the burden of looking after the five of them weighed even more heavily on her, and in the end, this meant that Chinedu had to help to augment the family income by acting as an Alabaru, a load porter at the local market. Needless to say, this meant an end to his studies.

Chinedu recalled his time at the market with mixed feelings. He missed going to school; in addition, the work was hard and competition for customers was fierce. However, he soon realised that the place was alive in a way that he had never experienced as an ordinary market-goer. There was always something going on; in addition, there was a whole underside to life in the area that he had never realised existed until he started hearing stories from the sellers and other regulars who frequented the place.

He soon made two friends, Polycarp and Gbenro. Polycarp was a friendly, rather quiet boy who had also been working at the market as a porter for two years. But Chinedu was more more drawn to Gbenro, a much livelier person who always seemed to have a ready jest on his lips. One of the area boys, Gbenro was his nickname, no one seemed to know his real names. Chinedu also noticed that although Gbenro was not much older than him and did not always do any specific job with the area boys, he always seemed to have a good deal to spend. His curiosity pestered him to find out more; he still longed to return to school, but the meagre tips he got from his work meant that this would be a long time coming.

“So Gbenro, how you come get all dis money wey you dey spend yanfu-yanfu for here, now? No be only this area boy work you dey do here?” he asked one day, after his curiosity would give him peace no longer.

“Ah, bro... dat one na special ting...” Gbenro looked shifty all of a sudden. “I fit tell you, but...”

“But wetin?” Impatience joined curiosity in prodding him.

Chinedu gave a deep sigh. This was the moment he often replayed in his head; the moment his life took a dramatic turn, as a sequence of events began to unfold. It turned out that Gbenro, who ran errands for a gang of armed robbers in the area, had actually been waiting for an opportunity to recruit him to be a part of the gang. So Chinedu started out as an errand boy, passing along information; due to his popularity and having grown up in the area, he knew almost everyone. With time, he graduated to being a participant in the actual robberies, either as a lookout or driver. It had all been part of the excitement of being a teenager, he played cops and robbers and saved some money for his GCE exam. He assuaged any lingering doubts by thinking that no one was being hurt. Until the day everything had gone horribly wrong.


That's it folks. This is a two-part chapter so there'll be no votes today. Check back on Tuesday for the next installment.

Our Contributor is Atala Wala Wala aka Tola Odejayi. For those that asked, the name AWW comes from a childhood song and has no particular meaning, or none that he can remember. I myself think it is poetic with all the alliteration and assonance going on but don't let him hear that. Atala prefers writing prose and editing, he was my editor for A Heart to Mend.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend people.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

IT TAKES YOU (A Book of Inspiration) by Linda Ikeji

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Linda Ikeji is one of the bloggers I look up to. She inspires me with her humility, can-do-spirit, her consistency and the open mind with which she draws in people. She doesn't mind helping where she can and sometimes offers. She has done asomething similar to this blog roll that is currently running in the side bar(BTW, how many links have you visited?). You know that mantra, let's all be great together? That is Linda. Linda happily and without stress or asking for payment put up the press release for my book A Heart to Mend in January HERE, so I can only reciprocate. I am not in Nigeria now but I look forward to meeting Linda and getting a signed copy of her inspirational book. For those in Lagos and around, put down the dates

It Takes You (A Book of Inspiration) is a 130-page book of 30 inspirational, motivating and life changing articles, written by Imo State born ex-model, entrepreneur and blogger, Linda Ifeoma Ikeji.

“All the articles in the book are inspirational but I also share my life experiences with readers. I hope more than anything else that everyone who reads this book learns something from it. I hope it changes their perception of some things and more than anything else I hope it inspires them to go out there and make something of themselves. ” Linda said.

An official book launch/presentation has been scheduled for -
Date: Wednesday May 5th 2010
Venue: Theatre 5, Genesis Deluxe Cinema, The Palms, Lekki.
Time: 5pm

Book signing session – Saturday May 8th, 2010
Venue: The Hub Media Store, The Palms, Lekki
Time: 2pm

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The two Lovebirds + Blog Rolling

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“What is so funny?”

Chinedu let out a quiet laugh. It was that of a confident and mildly amused man. “So you sabi Ibo like that?” Iphey hadn’t realised she had been cursing in Ibo at her choppy day, her manager and her car. They both burst into laughter. The tension brewed by all the day’s previous events melted into oblivion. There was something about him that always put her at ease. It was the same calm she felt when he comforted her during Obi’s hospitalisation. Her mind drifted, envisioning being held in his arms, totally at peace without a care in the world.

“You always know exactly what to say or do. When you aren’t having strange women over or robbing people at gunpoint, of course.”

The laughter died at once. A feeling of intense stupidity enveloped Iphey. She had no idea why she had said that. Before she could take it back, Chinedu had veered off the road, stopping sharply by some roadside stalls. He was visibly angry.

“Who do you think you are? You no get secret? You no get past? The fact that you know mine does not give you the right to throw it in my face all the time."

He threw his hands up. "Women! You say you want honesty, then you run when you hear the truth. You say you are not interested in me, then you freak out at the sight of another woman. What the hell do you want from me?”

Iphey was dumbfounded. He was irate. She couldn’t bring herself to look at him, reverting to a childhood habit of playing with her fingers when nervous. She now looked down at them.

“Answer me! Answer me now!”

“A chance?” she whispered.

Chinedu thought he was hallucinating. He could feel everything inside him softening, turning to mush. “What?”

“I said...a chance. I’m sorry for joking about that. It sounded funny in my head.”

She laughed awkwardly in an attempt to minimise the gravity of what she was saying, and looked down at her fingers again. “I was scared. I still am. You know how they say, ‘Be careful what you wish for’? Well, I wished for someone who made me feel safe. And you do. The violence of your past scares me. But I could work through that. I just want a chance with you...” CONTINUE...


Go over and find out what Chinedu and Iphey are up to, a reconciliation at last? You tell me.

On other news, here are more blogs to discover and follow. You can click on the links in my side bar.

Half and half is run by two bloggers F and M. Their profile says "we decided to start a blog but with a different point of view. We are very weird people therefore look forward to Interesting issues raised or old issues raised in an discussed with a fresh perspective." I enjoy their debates where they usually present a topic from differing points of view. F is also an aspiring writer and has a story up for a contest on Naija Stories, you can go vote for her.

Kaleidoscope is also run by two friends who study in Hungary. They "decided we wanted to start blogging to keep our memories alive, share our stories and views with our friends family and to whoever cares. give opinions on certain matters, talk about what has caught our eyes...We both study (for now) in debrecen, hungary. It is a very unique place not every one is gonna have the oppurtunity we have so we r sharing the debrecen experience." I love their blog for their travel notes and pictures and they're both beautiful and hardworking ladies too.

Le Dynamique Professeur is a charming young man, an inspiration and a teacher. "His vision for life is to motivate, encourage and make men believe in who they were born to be. He carved out his vision statement thus, “to bring my world to heights yet unattained and grounds yet uncovered. To fabricate ease from complexities and put smiles on the face of my generation and the ones to come”.

Cinema and Fiction is a blog that stays true to it's name: "'cinema' and 'fiction'; terms which I use to refer broadly to filmic and written fictional narrative, focusing primarily on film, tv, novels, and short stories." The blog author contacted me from Australia to add to an article he was writing and when I had a look at his work, I was impressed.

Confessions in Scarlet is "a butterfly who's burst out of her coccoon. I'm very quiet but when i get talking i never shut up. I'm so many things to so many people. Most of all i just try to be me not who other want me to be."

This I promise (Poem)

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I want to be good to you
A promise I’ll keep to
Even when things are tight
Our life will turn out right
My heart will bear the seed
To fulfill your every need

You’re always there for me
And so I’ll make you see
That I’ll continue to be here
To show you that I care

I’ll do anything you desire
Light up your fire
I’ll treat you just right
So happiness fills our sight

Our love was meant to be
You are the world to me
This I want you to know
That as we continue to grow
I’ll heartily cherish you
I will to you be true


In my nine months of blogging, Blogville, especially the Naija community has been there for me and I appreciate it. I often like to say I am a lover, not a fighter. I try to stay out of controversy cos it really makes me uncomfortable but I hope no one thinks that makes me weak. I was really upset yesterday but writing the rebuttal took a lot of it off my chest. I won't lie and say I'll simply forget this incident or that there are no thoughts that have come out of this. One thing I'll say though, please if you do not want me on your blog, if my comments on your posts rub you the wrong way, please do let me know and I'll stop. I'm not blogging to steal anyone's thunder or dim their light.

This I promise is a poem I wrote for the one I love but it can be read to you guys. YOU who follow this blog, who leave comments, both personal and critique. You who send emails, subscribe to my posts and most importantly, believe in my work and support me in any way you can. I do not take lightly the trust you have resided in me, by making this blog and Naija Stories what they are. I am sure it is not just me and I couldn't have done it without you. I care about you all and I care about our community here online. If anyone has issues, comments, questions, etc, my email is myne@mynewhitman.com. Please feel free to contact me. I would love to hear from you.

On this note, I ask that we please move on. I have disabled comments on the previous post. Thanks to all those who commented, one thing shines through. The sky is wide enough for us all and there can never be too many opportunities.

This I promise you. I will keep blogging with an open mind.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Rebuttal - When Someone steals your ideas.

Posted in:
This is a response to the post by Sugabelly alleging plagiarism or something similar. It might be a long one but I'll try not to rant and keep it short and to the point.

I'll say it upfront, I'm a doer not a talker. I like to walk the talk and I will not apologise for it.

I started this blog and titled it Myne Whitman Writes. The primary aim was to share MY writing and get feedback on my journey to print. I have said in several interviews that I was motivated by FFF and Favored Girl. Before August 2009, they were the only steady fiction bloggers I knew except for the 14th and serenity effort. (Yes I have been reading blogs that long). Once I started blogging, the response was awesome, followers, feedbacks, and most of all community. I got to know more writers and I began to get ideas.

After discussing my ideas with SO, my partner, I launched the blogville interactive story on November 11, 2009. That collaborative is now known as Cupid's Risk Series. Again the response was amazing and even more of an inspiration to me. In the first series, there were more than 15 contributors and sometimes over 50 comments on each post. It was a revelation to me that there were so many Nigerians online who liked to write and even more important read naija stories. I saw so much talent and I knew there was a market for it. While this gave me hope for the Nigerian Launch of my book A Heart to Mend, it also gave me ideas for something even bigger.

I will like to bring this clip from my interview with Spesh's World last year. It appeared on Spesh's Blog on Saturday December 12, 2009. Please pay attention to the bold and highlighted words.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
I hope to have published more books by then and still remain in the midst of my readers and fans. Co-ordinating the Blogsville Interactive Story has shown me so much talent and given me some ideas for a writing/publishing collective. I'm still playing with those thoughts for now and will broach them to the necessary people in due time.
My goals when we entered the new year were several. The major ones of course were to release A Heart to Mend in Nigeria, and then complete and publish my next novel. With regards my blogging, first was to move the Cupid's Risk series to another blog. I wasn't the only writer and I did not want it to appear under Myne Whitman Writes. Another goal was to set a website where Nigerians but especially bloggers could come to share their writings without the constraint of a fixed story someone had already chosen.

So through out January and February, I discussed this idea with my main cheerleader and a couple of other bloggers, authors and publishers. The consensus was that seeing was believing. Stakeholders would be more impressed by a thriving community than an idea on paper or discussion. So while Cupid's Risk was on break in Feb, I had more time to brainstorm and I decided to roll out a pilot for my idea. This pilot would be on the blogger platform and if it works, we can move to a domain. So that led me to Feb 27, 2010 when I made the first post on the Naija Stories Blog.

Imagine my surprise and even joy when I came across a post by Sugabelly, a blogger I admire, sometime in March. I am a follower of her blog and I usually enjoy her posts, her writing and her drawing. One day I saw a picture of her laptop opened to a Nigerian Fiction Website. I wanted to visit the website immediately to see what they were about, offer my ideas to work with them or simply to read any writings on the site. The following are the comments I exchanged with Sugabelly.

Blogger Myne Whitman said...

...What is that Nigerian Fiction website? I already googled and couldn't find it. What's the URL?
March 6, 2010 12:56 AM

Blogger Sugabelly said...

@Myne Whitman: It's a website I'm building so people all over the world (mostly Nigerians though) can read and write Nigerian Fiction. Basically you sign up and you start writing a story, uploading it chapter by chapter and other members comment on each chapter of your story and cheer you on and fave their favourite stories, and we have Awards every quarter.

I did a post about it a while back. The url is www.nigerianfiction.com but I haven't put it up yet so you'll just get a Parked by GoDaddy page or something. Don't worry, I'm working on it and by God's grace it will be up by summer.
March 6, 2010 10:59 AM

Blogger Myne Whitman said...

That's a great idea. I'm also working on a similar thing. But mine needs to involve the editors, publishers and agents. I like your domain name though and hopefully people buy in and it pulls together all we fiction bloggers. Well done, will definitely join once it's up.
March 6, 2010 1:25 PM

Blogger Myne Whitman said...
... BTW, was wanting to talk to you about the fiction site. Maybe we could work together? Send me an email at myne@ mynewhitman.com
March 10, 2010 1:07 PM

Blogger Sugabelly said...

@Myne Whitman: Sure we can talk. sugabelly@gmail.com. I'll shoot you an email later today.
March 10, 2010 1:07 PM

Blogger Myne Whitman said...

I'm glad you feel better. I left you a comment sometime ago on how we can work together on the Nigerian Fiction idea but it seems you prefer going it alone. My site will be launching soon, hope you'll be a part of it. Have a nice weekend.
March 19, 2010 10:10 PM

Sugabelly  to myne

Mar 19
Hi Myne Whitman!!!!!!!!!!

I'm sorry I didn't email you sooner. It's not easy being a junior. There's so much work and so many exams plus I just finished midterms. Either way, I apologize. So............... you said you were launching a website. What is your site about? How is it similar to mine? And what do you have in mind in terms of working together?

Myne Whitman  to Sugabelly

Mar 22
Hi Sugabelly,

The website is now up on www.naijastories.com and hosted by blogger. All your questions will be answered there. I don't know your full vision yet but I think it's about the same, giving Nigerian stories of all genres a platform to be showcased on.

I wanted to see if you could join our team as an editor for the pilot project and since you already have a domain, I can invest in your work and when we're ready to move to a domain, it will be to yours. That way we'll be pulling resources together. I am still interested and if you are, please let me know. Even if not, I do not see a problem as there can never be too many opportunities.

Naijastories is being launched through a contest with cash prizes, I hope you'll get involved.

So fast forward to taday April 12, 2010. Cupid's Risk is in Season Two, Naija Stories is up an running and the Nigerian Edition of A heart to Mend is almost ready. My schedule when I sit to work is usually, check and reply my mails, do some work on the WIP manuscript, check FB and Twitter, do some book promo/publicity, back to the WIP, blog rounds, WIP, you get the idea. So I went on twitter earlier today and saw a DM from a follower asking if I owned Naija Stories (www.naijastories.com). I replied that I managed the website and had secured a domain name for it. I also wrote that I prefer to see it as a collective since there are almost 70 contributors to the site including published authors and aspiring writers. I sent the DM and later went back to writing my next book.

About an hour ago, I decided to do some blog rounds and came across the post referenced in the title and linked above. In the post, Sugabelly alleged that her idea of site was stolen by a blogger and asked if she should go ahead. There have been several replies denouncing the idea thief and the resulting website. No names were mentioned but I did not need names to know what and who she was referring to. These are her exact words;
However, one particular blogger continued to ask me about this project and in my naivety and stupidity I practically revealed almost everything about it to this person in detail thinking that they were just interested and enthusiastic about it. One week later this person went and set up a website that was the exact duplicate of my idea and project that I had just blogged about in excruciating detail.
The fact as I have shown above is that I had discussed her Nigerian Fiction Website with Sugabelly. I do not know where she has blogged about it in detail, all I know are in the exchanges with her. Yes I purchased my domain name in March 2010, however, NaijaStories has been in the pipeline since November 2009 and the first post was made in February even before my exchange with her. There is no law that says  two people cannot have the same ideas at the same time. I wanted to work together with Sugabelly when I found out that we shared a similar passion but she declined. She says in her post she is hurt, disgusted an so on. I wonder why she could not send me an email since March 22 to tell me her feelings.

As regards the allegation of plagiarism, I should ask Sugabelly whether she did not steal her idea from somewhere. The fact is that a website for collecting stories is not a new one. I belong to Writing.com, Author's Den, Authonomy, Createspace, who do essentially the same thing. Other similar sites include Scribophile, Fictionaut, Storywhite, Booksie, Fanstory, Writer's Network, etc. That one person has an idea or has even put it in practice should not stop others. I was really hurt and upset at the tone of Sugabelly's post. If there are 50 sites where one can read American or British stories, why should just two for Nigeria become a matter of theft? I even recently found that on FB, there is a group called Nigerian Writers and there is also a Nigerian Fiction on Twitter.

I will try to stop here. I have sent Sugabelly an email to ask specifically if she were referring to me and Naijastories.com but she has not responded. If indeed she is, then it should be brought to her attention that there is no monopoly on knowledge or ideas. Her ideas were not original and there is not even a website with content that anyone can plagiarize. I do not want her post to remain un-refuted for any period of time since some other bloggers have already seen and commented on it. So I want to put this rebuttal out there. 

Finally to her question on whether to go ahead with her plans. I say that she should please go ahead. I and NaijaStories will do all we can to help and support her. I do not see a problem with having as many opportunities out there as possible for Nigerian writers. 

I just want a chance with you...by F

Posted in:
After her outburst, the silence lengthened between them.

“Ifeoma!" Her mother's scolding voice cut through the charged atmosphere.

"Is that how to greet your mother's guest, ehn? With confrontation?” Letting out a loud hiss, Mama came to Chinedu’s aide, stopping what was about to turn into a train wreck.

“Don’t mind her, my son. How are you?”

If she was a meddling mother, he was gladly an enabler. At least, she came through for him. Guy! You fuck up. Why did you have to go telling Iphey you deleted her numbers? Dear God… Smiling sheepishly, he could have kicked himself for the nearly perfect impression of the awkward teenager he was putting on show. Cupid was surely having another laugh at him.

Highly irritated, Iphey cut Mama's bonding session with her perceived potential son-in-law short. “OK… I really don’t have time for this. I have to get back to work.” She stormed off, leaving Chinedu with Mama. At the door, she hurriedly mumbled some awkward but polite goodbyes and “nice to see you” to Ngozi and Otunba. In truth, she wasn’t totally thinking about her job after that last tidbit about deleting her details. She would have agreed to jump on to a bed of hot coals if it meant avoiding Chinedu.

The man might have been shaky with his words in the beginning, but he definitely wasn’t playing at the end. Even when caught off guard he exuded a natural confidence that couldn’t be taken away from him. He had just told her he had been ready to throw her over and here she was still salivating. The fact that he was just as gorgeous as the last time she saw him wasn’t helping either.


She looked up and Chinedu was in front of her. His eyes looked straight into hers unflinchingly. This was not the right time to be gazing into the eyes of an alluringly attractive man. Sanity had to be preserved. Brushing past him, Iphey dashed into her car.

Let him stew in it. Leaving him like this made her heart ache, but she was too proud. The high of their reconciliation had been dented by finding out that it had been so easy for him to forget her. And it seemed that the pride of her car had been dented as well, her engine spluttered and died when she turned it on. She couldn’t believe what was happening right when she needed to escape the most.

Again and again, the car refused to start. When she turned the ignition, the uncooperative engine made a sound that seemed to be laughing at her futile attempts to get it to work. Iphey felt herself on the verge of explosion. Surely, this much exasperation couldn’t be contained in one body… She was one second away from bursting into a torrential flood of tears when a deep soothing voice came through her window.

“I’ll take you.”

Iphey decided to play the hand fate had dealt her. Whatever her beef with him, the fuming Funmi still waited in the office. She didn't even want to fight him off any longer. She was in Chinedu’s car with all her stuff before she knew it. As they drove in silence, she noticed he was smiling. Out of amusement this time, not awkwardness.

“What is so funny?”

Chinedu let out a quiet laugh. It was that of a confident and mildly amused man. “So you sabi Ibo like that?” Iphey hadn’t realised she had been cursing in Ibo at her choppy day, her manager and her car. They both burst into laughter. The tension brewed by all the day’s previous events melted into oblivion. There was something about him that always put her at ease. It was the same calm she felt when he comforted her during Obi’s hospitalisation. Her mind drifted, envisioning being held in his arms, totally at peace without a care in the world.

“You always know exactly what to say or do. When you aren’t having strange women over or robbing people at gunpoint, of course.”

The laughter died at once. A feeling of intense stupidity enveloped Iphey. She had no idea why she had said that. Before she could take it back, Chinedu had veered off the road, stopping sharply by some roadside stalls. He was visibly angry.

“Who do you think you are? You no get secret? You no get past? The fact that you know mine does not give you the right to throw it in my face all the time."

He threw his hands up. "Women! You say you want honesty, then you run when you hear the truth. You say you are not interested in me, then you freak out at the sight of another woman. What the hell do you want from me?”

Iphey was dumbfounded. He was irate. She couldn’t bring herself to look at him, reverting to a childhood habit of playing with her fingers when nervous. She now looked down at them.

“Answer me! Answer me now!”

“A chance?” she whispered.

Chinedu thought he was hallucinating. He could feel everything inside him softening, turning to mush. “What?”

“I said...a chance. I’m sorry for joking about that. It sounded funny in my head.”

She laughed awkwardly in an attempt to minimise the gravity of what she was saying, and looked down at her fingers again. “I was scared. I still am. You know how they say, ‘Be careful what you wish for’? Well, I wished for someone who made me feel safe. And you do. The violence of your past scares me. But I could work through that. I just want a chance with you...”

Chinedu felt like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders. In their place, an army of butterflies suffused his stomach. Gently, he lifted her chin so he could see her eyes. They were sincere. Afraid, but sincere.

“Iphey, I swear I’m not that person anymore. I promise you. The confusion that led me to that life is not part of me anymore. In fact, I am far from confused. I have never been as sure of anything as I am of us. So if you still want that chance, I can give it to you wholeheartedly. I am serious about you and I need you to understand that.”

Iphey finally found herself submerged in the eyes she had been trying to avoid. Relief and happiness overwhelmed her. Something else did as well. It was lust. She found herself wanting to be lost in more than his eyes. Before either of them could finish their train of thought, they were lost in an intense and passionate kiss. They didn’t even notice the petty traders outside the window until the knocking came.

“Oga, if u go use your enjoyment block customer for me, make you buy something now!”

Chinedu couldn‘t care less. He would buy the entire stall if he had to. Finally kissing Iphey had been bliss. He wanted to do kiss her again and keep doing it.

Iphey smiled widely. The kiss had felt so natural; so right. Chinedu was the man of her dreams. Literally. Those eyes...they smiled into each other's eyes and drew closer again.

Her phone beeped. "Oh no...Chinedu please, let's get to my office."


So that is it folks. No more love interest ish, Iphey and Chinedu are now proper lovebirds, lol. That kiss, hmmmm...sure made me go awwww....Now go over to the left sidebar and vote for who you want to read more of in the next chapter coming up on Thursday.

Our contributor is F, now I wonder what that stands for. She is one part of Half and Half. F is just beginning to tap into her writing talent and I think she is amazing. She has a shortlisted entry in the Naija Stories Contest (BTW, you can go over and vote for her) and a great write-up of a Bar scene on her blog.

Writing about her entry she said, "I've always had it in me to write so I reluctantly put in a few entries over there, and even entered one for the website launch contest which fortunately got shortlisted. Did I mention I was scared out of my mind and DID NOT want to do this? Writing is the easy part, showing it to people is TERRIFYING."