Upon reading and reviewing ‘Once Upon A First Love‘ and ‘I’ll Keep Loving You‘ (follow links to read my reviews on these books – https://rovingbookwormng.com/2018/11/28/once-upon-a-first-love-by-tope-omotosho/ and https://rovingbookwormng.com/2019/07/26/book-review-ill-keep-loving-you-by-tope-omotosho/) by Tope Omotosho, I felt compelled to interview the author as I was fascinated by the themes and strong message of God’s love for humanity especially through works of fiction.
As a Christian and an ardent lover of the Christian fiction genre, I am always interested in the back story, the inspiration and the passion behind an author’s writing and I am grateful to God and Tope for the opportunity to conduct this online interview.
Tope Omotosho is passionate about impacting the world through timeless wisdom and knowledge found in her thought-provoking stories and writing that applies to all ages. Her stories and articles cut across love, relationship and romance in a way that does not deny the relevance of God in our everyday life. She is a devoted Christian passionate about bringing people to the knowledge of God’s true and unfailing love. You can read more of her stories and articles on http://www.lifegodandlove.com/
RBWNG: Why do you write?
Tope Omotosho: I write because I love it. Ever since I was a child, writing had been a way of escape for me; an opportunity to journey into another world where everything is as I would like. It used to be a safe haven for me at a point in my life. Due to my family background, I accepted writing as a way to pour out my feelings and try to be happy. A way to find my greatest satisfaction or meaning to my life. But now, since I wrote Once Upon A First Love, it has changed. I have come to discover that God is my greatest satisfaction and, just as I am, my writing is a tool in His hands.
RBWNG: Who is your ideal reader? Who do you write for?
Tope Omotosho: Well, I believe I write for both Male and Female. Teenagers and adults. Let’s say from sixteen and above. I believe love is paramount in all ages and from the age of sixteen is where hormones are raging and crying out to be explored. Having teenagers read my books should help enlighten them as to what true love, God’s love, is all about.
RBWNG: The Christian themes and messages in your stories are strong. What has been the feedback especially from non-Christians?
Tope Omotosho: (Laughs) I haven’t had any negative feedback. Well, except the one where I was told Once Upon A First Love was too religious but the story was still enjoyed. The truth is, I expect to be lashed out at, because not a lot of people would resonate with the Christian messages.
RBWNG: Do you view writing as a spiritual practice and if yes, how?
Tope Omotosho: Absolutely Yes! I don’t know how to explain it, but each story I write . . . God teaches me new things. When I wrote ‘Always One More Time’ four years back, I didn’t know how it would end. Didn’t know what the lesson of the story was. But I felt God telling me to trust Him as I wrote. It was at the very end that I got to understand the message of the book and up till this moment, the book still speaks volumes to me when I go through it. So writing for me is totally spiritual. There are times I’m praying in the spirit as I write and God specifically tells me what music to listen to as I’m typing. Music helps me flow as I write.
RBWNG: Do you think that Christian Fiction or stories written with Christian values will gain mainstream acceptance?
Tope Omotosho: I honestly don’t think so. The world we’re in is only getting darker but as Christians, our light must keep shining for all to see and for the people to be led to God. Furthermore, the Bible has already said that people would prefer listening to non-gospel themes than the Words of God. However, I think we can’t rule out the fact that God can and will do what He will do. Who are we to limit the move of God? If He wants to use stories to transform the world and minister to the unsaved then my response is, use me Lord.
RBWNG: What has been the greatest challenge in your writing process and how have you been able to write regardless?
Tope Omotosho: I won’t say it’s my greatest challenge, but then I can say I struggle with how people would perceive it. When I’m writing around a theme I know God wants me to, it takes me a little while to get with the program. Call it fear of what people would say. But at the end, God encourages me with His Word or sends people who encourage me. My husband helps out a lot in this. Constantly reminding me why I do what I do and our ultimate goal is to lead others to Christ. Another major challenge is time. There are a million things seeking attention excluding the lure of social media. But God has been helping me (smiles).
RBWNG: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Tope Omotosho: It was my first time printing so I came to terms with everything that goes into self-publishing a book and I wouldn’t say it’s a walk in the park. It was, and still is, hard work. Running it financially is a heavy toil. Thank God for all those God laid on their hearts to help out. I remember telling my husband I wasn’t going to publish another book in a couple of years. Little did I know God had other plans. So when I’ll Keep Loving You was going to be written . . . it was tasking for me. I kept thinking if the next book would meet the expectations of the readers and if people would like it. I almost let that be my motivation for writing but I was reminded of my purpose.
RBWNG: Do you hide any secrets in your books only a few people will find?
Tope Omotosho: (Smiles) Maybe. Only those who know would know.
RBWNG: What one thing will you give up to become a better writer?
Tope Omotosho: Interesting question. T.V. I love watching movies and some programs. I would have to sacrifice that time to write more.
RBWNG: What would you view as personal success in your work as a writer?
Tope Omotosho: Souls. Winning souls for God. Also, for people to get to know the love of God more, be blessed and transformed. For me? That’s success. Oh yes, I would love to make money while doing it.
I hope you enjoyed reading this interview with Tope Omotosho as much as I did. Her books are available on http://www.okadabooks.com and at the Rovingheights Bookstores in Lagoa and Abuja (You can contact them on instagram on @rovingheights).
“Like the worthless dogs that are his countrymen, my husband believed that his penis was wasted if he was faithful to just one woman” – At The Sound Of The Last post
In my quest to find new authors to add to my list of favorites, sometime last year I discovered Petina Gappah when I read her book titled ‘The Book of Memory’ and I absolutely loved it (click on this link to read my review on the book – www.rovingbookwormng.com/thebookofmemory). Based on this experience, I was delighted when I stumbled on ‘An Elegy for Easterly’ and looked forward to a great read and I was not disappointed at all.
This book is a collection of thirteen (13) short stories which borders around the struggles of the average Zimbabwean in post independence Zimbabwe, a country now saddled with poor governance, corruption, hyperinflation, poverty, dilapidated infrastructure, bureaucracy, AIDS epidemic, marital affairs and sycophancy (which mirrors the current situation in many African countries in an extreme form). In satirical stories, Gappah brings to life the realities in the lives of the poor, the rich, conmen, politicians, women kept in ‘The small house’, Zimbabweans in diaspora, the married and unmarried. To say that these stories are well written is an understatement as they had the right amount of humor, irony and melancholy.
To pick a favorite was hard, but I settled for ‘The Negotiated Settlement’, a story about a marriage gone soar fueled by the loss of dreams, promises and a child. My favorite quote from this story would be –
“Thulani had once asked for a divorce. She had felt then a wave of rage so sharp it threatened to cut her sanity, but she forced herself to speak slowly, calmly. In his language she had told him, ‘First you undo me this scar, then you unlearn me this language. After that, you can come back and we can talk about divorce”.
My other favorites were At The Sound Of The Last Post, An Elegy for Easterly, Something Nice From London, Aunt Juliana’s Indian and My Cousin-Sister Rambanai. I do not have a story I did not like, they were all interesting and entertaining in their own rights but some are always loved more than others.
Petina Gappah has wowed me with her debut, colored with themes that are relatable and fresh . It is little wonder it won the Guardian first book award. I rate this book a big 4.5 stars and I recommend it to everyone.
Published: 2009 by Faber Faber
Genre: Fiction (Short Stories Collection)
Purchase @ www.amazon.co/anelegyforeasterly
The Author: Petina Gappah is a Zimbabwean writer with law degrees from Cambridge, Graz University, and the University of Zimbabwe. Her short fiction and essays have been published in eight countries. She lives with her son Kush in Geneva, where she works as counsel in an international organization that provides legal aid on international trade law to developing countries.
“Do you know why I had to listen to Uncle Dickson? Because we are destitute. Because your father was a fool and, yes, money is everything. Because the consequences of disrespecting a man like Dickson are always disproportionate to the sin. A grenade in retaliation for a slap. A world undone for a girl’s mistake” – Buchi’s Girls
This is one book I have had on my shelf for quite a while and if you have followed this blog for some time you will know that I am just beginning to warm-up to reading short stories so it was wayyy down on my TBR. However, when I heard the author who has been honored by numerous awards was going to have a book reading and signing event on Sunday August 11th, I was excited to attend and attending meant reading the book (I dislike attending readings for books I haven’t read).
As usual, it was a delight to be in the same space with such an acclaimed author and listening to her speak about her writing and this collection in particular helped me to put some of the stories I didn’t feel I connected much with in perspective. Lesley also highlighted her journey as a writer and gave really good advise to budding/aspiring writers who look up to her and her work. I must admit that attending this book reading made me understand the collection in a better way which led me to come back to my review of the book (which I had written before the event) and change a few things.
My thoughts on the book: When I put this book down at the end, I had to spend some time to ponder on the 13 stories I had just read. Some of which I spent more time trying to get my head around the whys and hows but ultimately it was worth my time.
What It Means When A Man Falls From The Sky is a collection of short stories that centers mostly around mother – daughter relationships amidst other themes. The first story in the collection ‘The Future Looks Good’ had me with my mouth wide open in shock at the end and after that I couldn’t stop reading the book which was a quick one for me. I was particularly captivated by the story ‘Second Chances’ and I think I can pick it as my best in the collection but I personally connected more with the story ‘Light’ as the mother of a teenager who travels quite often for work and does the occasional chastising via video calls. I find myself struggle with the guilt of being away from her often and try to find better ways to bond with her which I have come to learn that I have to be deliberate about.
A common theme in the collection is the conflicts between mothers and daughters, and how, if they are unhealthy, they will cause deep and long-lasting dysfunction. As expected, this theme has given me plenty to think about in my relationships as a daughter (my mum passed on last year) and a mother to two wonderful daughters.
I also loved reading others stories like Windfalls, Buchi’s Girls, Wild, War Stories, Redemption and Glory. I am intrigued by the writer’s mind and her writing style, quite literary but nice to read and well written.
There were a few stories that didn’t really make the cut for me particularly ‘What is a Volcanoe?’especially as I have never been a fan of speculative fiction but ultimately it was a good collection to read. I am beginning to find myself being drawn towards reading short story collections these days as they are quick to read and give you the same satisfaction you may get from reading a longer form.
I also went ahead to read her short story which won the 2019 Caine Prize “Skinned” and I found it very thought provoking and engaging. I would have loved it to be in this collection. In my opinion, it is one of her best.
I enjoyed reading this book as it was a quick read with a good number of stories that I will be keeping in my mind for a long time. I rate it a 3.5 stars and I recommend it to people looking for a quick read or love reading short stories.
Published: April 4th 2017 by Riverhead Books
Genre: Fiction – Literary/Speculative (Short Stories)
Purchase @ www.amazon.com/whatitmeans
The Author: Lesley Nneka Arimah was born in the UK and grew up wherever her father was stationed for work, which was sometimes Nigeria, sometimes not. Her work has received grants and awards from Commonwealth Writers, AWP, the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Jerome Foundation and others. She currently lives in Minneapolis.
The winner of the 9Mobile Prize for Literature was announced yesterday as Ayobami Adebayo for her book, ‘Stay With Me published by Ouida Books.
The Author: Ayobami Adebayo’s stories have appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, and one was highly commended in the 2009 Commonwealth short story competition. She holds BA and MA degrees in Literature in English from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife. She also has an MA in creative writing from the University of East Anglia where she was awarded an international bursary for Creative Writing. Ayobami has been the recipient of fellowships and residencies from Ledig House, Hedgebrook, Threads, Ebedi Hills and Ox-Bow. STAY WITH ME- UK (Canongate, March 2017), Nigeria (Ouida Books, April 2017), US (Knopf, August 2017), KENYA (Kwani?, August 2017) is her debut novel.
I am particularly elated by this news because this book literally pushed me to start this blog (see my first blog post/book review – www.rovingbookwormng.com/staywithme. I read the story and never wanted to forget it so I decided to start a journal which will serve as a reminder of the stories I read. This book has birthed a blog which has become much more than I ever imagined it to be and is hopefully growing into something bigger and better for everyone. This is why the news of it’s success makes me also feel like a winner with Ayobami and I congratulate her on her win. It is well deserved.
Ayobami Adebayo is a writer that we should all look out for as I strongly believe she has many more stories to tell and I am looking forward to reading more from her work in the future and wish her the best in all her endeavors.
About the Prize: The 9mobile Prize for Literature (formerly the Etisalat Prize for Literature 2013–16) was created by Etisalat Nigeria in 2013, and is the first ever pan-African prize celebrating first-time African writers of published fiction books. Awarded annually, the prize aims to serve as a platform for the discovery of new creative talent out of the continent and invariably promote the burgeoning publishing industry in Africa. The winner receives a cash prize of £15,000 in addition to a fellowship at the University of East Anglia. The 9mobile Prize for Literature also aims to support publishers by purchasing 1000 copies of all shortlisted books, to be donated to various schools, book clubs and libraries across the African continent. In 2017, Etisalat Nigeria renamed itself 9mobile and the award name changed at the same time.
Reading (or I should say listening as It was an audio book) ‘The Bride Test’ was a learning curve. I enjoyed the experience and always looked for any spare time I could grab to listen to the story.
This is a love story about Esme and Khai. Khai has autism but is a successful accountant living in California who doesn’t believe he has the ability to love. Esme is a poor girl living in Vietnam with her daughter, mother and grand-mother who has been hand-picked by Khai’s mother as a candidate to marry and live with Khai in America.
This book gave me a better understanding of how people with autism may view our world. How different their thought life is from the average person and how they process their feelings. This was a huge eye opener. It has increased my empathy for those who are on the spectrum and not only them but also people who find it hard to express their feelings to their loved ones. The experience revealed to me how impatient I have been with people who are less expressive with their feelings than me and I honestly had to take a repentance on my thoughts and behavior in this regard. This is because I was frustrated many times when I expected Khai to act in a certain way towards Esme and he didn’t but had to constantly remind myself that he doesn’t see, feel or react to things like most people do.
I loved the way the writer developed each character and her style of writing which made you feel like you knew what each character thought or felt. How the love story between Khai and Esme blossomed even though they were worlds apart and always misinterpreted each other’s actions. Esme was my favorite character for so many reasons. She was able to rise above all her short comings and mistakes and have the courage to hold on to her dream to make a better life for her daughter and her family. In spite of Khai’s shortcomings, she was still able to love him with all her heart and draw him out of his shell which was not an easy task at all. I will have to confess that I had some teary moments reading this book which is a rare thing in my years of reading fiction, but this one really tugged at my heart strings in some parts.
I also loved Khai’s mother’s character (reminds me of a typical overbearing African mother) and his big brother who brought a lot of wit to the book. I was also entertained by the Vietnamese style weddings and a small introduction to their culture especially those who live outside Vietnam and still hold the culture, especially their food dear to their hearts. I don’t have any part of the book I didn’t like although the sex scenes may be a bit too steamy and descriptive for some readers.
In a nut shell, It was a good read and I have already put another book by the author ‘The Kiss Quotient’ on my TBR. I rate this book a big 4 Stars and I recommend it to everyone!
Published: May 7th, 2019 by Berkley
Genre: Fiction (Contemporary Romance)
The Author: Helen Hoang is that shy person who never talks. Until she does. And the worst things fly out of her mouth. She read her first romance novel in eighth grade and has been addicted ever since. In 2016, she was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in line with what was previously known as Asperger’s Syndrome. Her journey inspired THE KISS QUOTIENT. She currently lives in San Diego, California with her husband, two kids, and pet fish.
Happy New Month Bookworms! This new month is promising to birth some awesome reads that will keep you asking for more. With a mixture of different genres, there is definitely a book for everyone.
Looking for new books to add to your TBR this month? I have made a list of the top 10 must-read new releases expected to be published this August just for you!
1. The Reckless Oath We Made by Bryn Greenwood
Expected Publication Date: 20th August, 2019 by G. P. Putnam’s Sons
Genre: Fiction (Romance)
Purchase @ www.amazon.com/therecklessoath
Publisher’s Blurb: A provocative love story between a tough Kansas woman on a crooked path to redemption and the unlikeliest of champions, from the New York Times bestselling author of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things. Zee is nobody’s fairy tale princess. Almost six-foot, with a redhead’s temper and a shattered hip, she has a long list of worries: never-ending bills, her beautiful, gullible sister, her five-year-old nephew, her housebound mother, and her drug-dealing boss. Zee may not be a princess, but Gentry is an actual knight, complete with sword, armor, and a code of honor. Two years ago the voices he hears called him to be Zee’s champion. Both shy and autistic, he’s barely spoken to her since, but he has kept watch, ready to come to her aid. When an abduction tears Zee’s family apart, she turns to the last person she ever imagined–Gentry–and sets in motion a chain of events that will not only change both of their lives, but bind them to one another forever.
2. Tidelands by Philippa Gregory
Expected Publication Date: 20th August, 2019 by Simon & Schuster
Genre: Historical Fiction
Purchase @ www.amazon.com/tidelands
Publisher’s blurb: England 1648. A dangerous time for a woman to be different . . .
Midsummer’s Eve, 1648, and England is in the grip of civil war between renegade King and rebellious Parliament. The struggle reaches every corner of the kingdom, even to the remote Tidelands – the marshy landscape of the south coast. Alinor, a descendant of wise women, crushed by poverty and superstition, waits in the graveyard under the full moon for a ghost who will declare her free from her abusive husband. Instead she meets James, a young man on the run, and shows him the secret ways across the treacherous marsh, not knowing that she is leading disaster into the heart of her life. Suspected of possessing dark secrets in superstitious times, Alinor’s ambition and determination mark her out from her neighbours. This is the time of witch-mania, and Alinor, a woman without a husband, skilled with herbs, suddenly enriched, arouses envy in her rivals and fear among the villagers, who are ready to take lethal action into their own hands.
3. King’s Shadow: A Novel of King Herod’s Court by Angela Elwell Hunt
Expected Publication Date: August 6th, 2019 by Bethany House Publishers
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Purchase @ www.amazon.com/kingsshadow
Publisher’s Blurb: Two women occupy a place in Herod’s court. The first, Salome, is the king’s only sister, a resentful woman who has been told she is from an inferior race, a people God will never accept or approve. The second woman, Zara, is a lowly handmaid who serves Salome, but where Salome spies conspiracies and treachery, Zara sees hurting people in need of understanding and compassion. Powerful and powerless, Idumean and Jew, selfish and selfless–both women struggle to reach their goals and survive in Herod the Great’s tumultuous court, where no one is trustworthy and no one is safe.
4. Life And Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins
Expected Publication Date: August 6th, 2019 by Berkely Books
Genre: Fiction (Romance)
Purchase @ www.amazon.com/lifeandother
Publisher’s Blurb: Emma London never thought she had anything in common with her grandmother Genevieve London. The regal old woman came from wealthy and bluest-blood New England stock, but that didn’t protect her from life’s cruelest blows: the disappearance of Genevieve’s young son, followed by the premature death of her husband. But Genevieve rose from those ashes of grief and built a fashion empire that was respected the world over, even when it meant neglecting her other son.When Emma’s own mother died, her father abandoned her on his mother’s doorstep. Genevieve took Emma in and reluctantly raised her–until Emma got pregnant her senior year of high school. Genevieve kicked her out with nothing but the clothes on her back…but Emma took with her the most important London possession: the strength not just to survive but to thrive. And indeed, Emma has built a wonderful life for herself and her teenage daughter, Riley. So what is Emma to do when Genevieve does the one thing Emma never expected of her and, after not speaking to her for nearly two decades, calls and asks for help?
5. Things You Save In A Fire by Katherine Center
Expected Publication Date: August 13th, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Fiction (Romance)
Purchase @ www.amazon.com/thingsyousaveinafire
Blurb: Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she’s seen her fair share of them, and she’s excellent at dealing with other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to uproot her life and move to Boston, it’s an emergency of a kind Cassie never anticipated. The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew, even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the handsome rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because she doesn’t fall in love. And because of the advice her old captain gave her: don’t date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping…but will she jeopardize her place in a career where she’s worked so hard to be taken seriously? Katherine Center’s Things You Save in a Fire is a heartfelt, affecting novel about life, love, and the true meaning of courage.
6. The Turn Of The Key by Ruth Ware
Expected Publication Date: August 6th, 2019 by Gallery/Scout Press
Genre: Fiction (Thriller)
Purchase @ www.amazon.com/theturnofthekey
Blurb:When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family. What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder. Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant. It was everything. She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is. Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, The Turn of the Key is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.
7. House of Salt and Sorrow by Erin A. Craig
Expected Publication Date: August 6th, 2019 by Delacorte
Genre: Fantasy (Young Adult)
Purchase @ www.amazon.com/houseofsaltandsorrows
Blurb: Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods. Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with? When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.
8. The Right Swipe (Modern Love #1) by Alisha Rai
Expected Publication Date: August 6th, 2019 by Avon
Genre: Fiction (Contemporary Romance)
Purchase @ www.amazon.com/therightswipe
Blurb: Rhiannon Hunter may have revolutionized romance in the digital world, but in real life she only swipes right on her career—and the occasional hookup. The cynical dating app creator controls her love life with a few key rules:
– Nude pics are by invitation only
– If someone stands you up, block them with extreme prejudice
– Protect your heart
Only there aren’t any rules to govern her attraction to her newest match, former pro-football player Samson Lima. The sexy and seemingly sweet hunk woos her one magical night… and disappears. Rhi thought she’d buried her hurt over Samson ghosting her, until he suddenly surfaces months later, still big, still beautiful—and in league with a business rival. He says he won’t fumble their second chance, but she’s wary. A temporary physical partnership is one thing, but a merger of hearts? Surely that’s too high a risk…
9. The Seduction Expert By Saya Lopez Ortega
Expected Publication Date: August 25th, 2019 by VSP Publishing
Genre: Fiction (Romance)
Purchase @ www.amazon.com/theseductionexpert
Blurb: She’s cold, narcissistic, conceited and she has no redeeming qualities. She doesn’t care, she’s gifted. She doesn’t care, she’s the seduction expert. Women contact her to take over their love lives. She steps in when they’re lost, she’s supposed to succeed where they failed. She handles their single status, their relationships, their breakups, and very often their partners’ affairs. Her job is a life priority, she spends most of her time at the office or between two flights in business class and the fact of having a sports car that can reach one hundred kilometers in less than six seconds often make her feel like a superheroine in service to women. Anyway, take her card. You’ll see, it’s much better than spending holidays in St Barts.
10. A Fire Sparkling by Julianne Maclean
Expected Publication Date: August 1st, 2019 by Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Historical Fiction
Purchase @ www.amazon.com/afiresparkling
Blurb: After a crushing betrayal by the man she loves, Gillian Gibbons flees to her family home for a much-needed escape, but when she finds an old photograph of her grandmother in the arms of a Nazi officer, Gillian’s life gets even more complicated. Rattled by the discovery, Gillian attempts to unravel the truth behind the photos, setting her off on an epic journey through the past… 1939. England is on the brink of war as Vivian Hughes falls in love with a handsome British official, but when bombs begin to fall and Vivian’s happy life is destroyed in the blitz, she will do whatever it takes to protect those she loves… As Gillian learns more about her grandmother’s past, the old photo begins to make more sense. But for every question answered, a new one takes its place. Faced with a truth that is not at all what she expected, Gillian attempts to shine a light not only on the mysteries of her family’s past but also on her own future. This gorgeously written multigenerational saga is a heart-wrenching yet hopeful examination of one woman’s struggle to survive, perfect for fans of The Nightingale and Beneath a Scarlet Sky.
I hope you find something you like from this list and I wish you a slpendid, bookish month ahead!
Unlike some would think, reading books is not only a “Nerd thing”. It is a habit that has so many benefits which help you not only mentally, but emotionally and physically. Reading books (a wide variety) opens your mind to a whole world of information, fantasy, love, heartbreak, history and lots more.
Here are 8 ways you benefit from reading books.
If you haven’t been reading books, what are you waiting for?
Start Today and be a better version of You!
I will start by saying that this is a good book. No! This is a really good book!
I had read the first book in this sequel last year titled “Once Upon A First Love” (Click “Book Reviews” on the homepage and you will find my review on it) and as soon as I heard there was a second book following the story, I was thrilled.
This book continues with the different paths the lives of my favorite characters, Peju, Abdul, Eliana, Anthonia and Femi took after OUAFL. This is not your typical Christian fiction novel that is usually straight forward most of the time. It came with a lot of twists, turns and surprises (Some which I wasn’t quite happy with) and most importantly, the message of redemption in Christ Jesus and the knowledge that it is only God that fills any and every void in your life. What I think this book may have over the first one for me is the fact that you can actually use this book as a tool to minister to an unbeliever because in several places, it explained how and why we should give our lives to Christ and serve God wholeheartedly without it sounding preachy.
Eliana has always been my favorite character out of the lot from the first book and her story and the challenges she faced here resonated so much with me and my journey as a christian and wife. I understood her naive understanding that because she got married as a Born Again Christian, everything was supposed to work out smoothly. The high expectations she had of her husband and the grave disappointments she faced when he failed her. The ways her emotions played on her mind causing her insecurities to fuel a behavior that was even foreign to her until she didn’t seem to be the sweet God fearing girl that married Oba. The joy in her realization that God is her only pillar and teaching her to love and see her husband differently – the way God wanted her to see him.This was my best part.
What I didn’t like about this story (SPOILER ALERT) was the love triangle or I should probably call it a square between Peju, Abdul, Femi and Anthonia. Most of all, I do not believe that Peju was still bound to Abdul since he was the one who decided to leave the marriage as an unbeliever and I quote 1 Corinthians 7:15 that says “But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace”. I say this as Femi had to quench his hopes of ever having Peju because “God” told him she was still Abdul’s wife. I would have preferred the story to go another way instead but as usual I am not the writer and I guess in the end I understood her perspective. Nevertheless, I look forward to have an opportunity to sit with the author and talk about this face to face. Tope is such a talented writer and I hope that God will continue to place more stories in her heart for our pleasured reading.
Once Upon A First Love and I’ll Keep Loving You are books I would definitely be reading again soon and gifting out to people because these books are interesting, engaging and uplifting. Go get a copy and If you haven’t read the first one, purchase two of them.
I give this book a big 4 stars and I highly recommend it to everyone.
Published: May 2019 by Leverage Press
Genre: Christian Fiction
Purchase on http://www.okadabooks.com; @rovingheights on Instagram
The Author: Temitope Omotosho is a loving, caring, friendly person. She is passionate about impacting the world through timeless wisdom and knowledge in her thought provoking stories and writing that applies to all ages. Her stories and articles cut across love, relationship and romance in a way that does not deny the relevance of love in our everyday life. She is a devoted Christian, passionate about bringing people to the knowledge of God’s true and unfailing love.
Do you remember?
Those days when your heart was always in your chest,
The days of confidence and courage,
Like an eagle soaring in the sky.
The days of wild ambition and accomplishments,
The days that were never enough for things to do.
When your mind knew the future,
And your brain ran on overdrive.
You! The Bower bird working hard at his craft.
The days and nights of prayer,
At sunup and sundown,
The word of God always fresh on your lips,
quenching the fiery darts of the enemy.
Do you remember?
The days you never wondered if you were beautiful,
Like a golden Pheasant,
The days you never second guessed yourself,
And wondered if you were making the right decisions,
When you wondered if you were good enough, smart enough or fair enough.
The days you stood tall and proud,
A peacock spreading her wings.
The days when gossip plunged you ahead to shore,
leaving the culprits to drown in their envy,
A brave and fearless Water Dikkop.
The days when mediocrity was beneath you,
And excellence was your motto,
When you laughed in the face of adversity,
Always coming out stronger.
The days without broken dreams and broken promises.
Those days! Those days!
Because broken wings heal,
And healing takes time,
But time flies,
And fly again, you will.
Or will you stay down forever?
Will you? Will you?
You will not!
You will fly again,
You will flap those beautiful wings,
You will spread them out and glide in the air,
Higher and higher,
Above every fear, every shame,
You will shame, shame.
You will grow,
You will bloom,
You will laugh,
You will! You will!
Broken wings can fly again!
A few months ago, I read ‘The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*ck’ by this author and I really enjoyed reading it (you can read my review by clicking “book reviews” on the homepage menu).
However, I didn’t t really feel the same way about this one. There were some good points here but generally it was a disappointing read. It felt like I was being given history lessons that were somewhat disjointed and in some parts I wasn’t even sure of the direction the book was taking.
What I got from this book is a better understanding of behavioral patterns in human beings and why they exhibit these behaviors. It gives advise on realistic expectations that we should have of ourselves and others and understand that happiness or joy does not necessarily mean a lack of pain but “trying to see the glass half full than half empty”.
The part I didn’t like at all (amongst others) was the “how to start your own religion”. At some point I had to skip the entire chapter as it didn’t resonate with me at all.
I rate this book a 2 stars however, listening to the audio book was a good experience because it encouraged me to listen to the whole book on the go.
Published: May 2019 by Harper
Purchase @ http://www.amazon.com
The Author: Mark Manson (born 1984) is a professional blogger, entrepreneur, and former dating coach. Since 2007, he’s been helping people with their emotional and relationship problems. He has worked with thousands of people from over 30 different countries. He regularly writes and updates his blog at: http://www.markmanson.net