Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Now lets talk about Kim Kardashian

Every media outlet, new paper, blog and pop culture medium is talking about Mrs. West and her nude pics. You can't escape it, even if you tried.  If you are on any form of social media you will probably come across the very interesting picture . Heck you can't escape it if you live in the United States of America.
I don't particularly dislike Kim Kardashian nor do I like her either. To me, she’s like a mildly entertaining circus performer, like background noise of the television while you surf the internet on your laptop. She’s not supposed to taken seriously nor does she act like she is to be taken seriously. I think we  have too much time on our hands and we  give her the attention she craves. What is so shocking about Kim posing nude? With her barely there outfits and increasingly provocative photo shoots, she has left little to the imagination. To be honest, when I actually saw the pictures, I yawned. Quite frankly I had seen it before. Its not like Michelle Obama decided to pose nude or Malala Yousafzai or even the everyday woman who manages to work  a 9 to 5 job, keeps a home and also 
has a side business decided to pose nude.  

Then that would be something.

We as a society gives Kim K this attention. This is exactly what keeps her relevant. If she released the picture and  no one even bothered to blog, tweet or even criticize her about it, she would think twice before doing so again. But alas my blog post is an oxymoron, by writing this I am feeding into her social media machine. The last person on the planet who is blissfully unaware of the pictures  will click on my post, probably google the pics, giving her name more hits on the internet and help fulfill the obnoxious  #breaktheinternet hashtag.  
I believe as a society we have lost our moral core. I believe we have lost sight of what is wrong or right . Most importantly there are no role models for anyone to look up to. I am honestly speaking to myself . I do watch the Kardashian shows on E! not religiously  but for background entertainment. In some ways I am also fueling the Kim K machine. I am part of the problem I watch her because pop culture interests me. 
Kim K is a passing fancy, no matter how famous she is, she will not live an everlasting legacy.Ss her former bff Paris Hilton waned in popularity, so will she.
So I ask myself why do I waste my precious limited time on her or her brand?
Maybe its time to really keep that promise to myself and read about someone that did live an everlasting legacy you like  maybe Jesus, Esther…….
Why am I writing about her again?

Monday, August 11, 2014

I have a heart!

I would like to think of myself as cynical or hardened I really would like to…most of the time I am.  I started residency in the CCU ( Cardiac Care Unit) and while it wasn’t as horrendous as I thought it would be. I realized that my break from medicine has made me a little soft or maybe just very soft. As a medical student, I saw patients die. When I was an AI,  I signed out a patient when I was done for the day. When I came in the next day he had died. He was 95  and his family seemed to take his death well.  They were  other instances of death in different rotations. I was generally unaffected by them.

Maybe you become a little blunted when death surrounds you.  By generally unaffected I mean empathizing with the family but not getting emotionally entangled with the family.

A really young patient coded and died minutes after she was transferred to the CCU and I was holding back tears. For another patient, I skidalled away as family hugged each other and cried. I did not want to burst into tears. It makes me wonder if I am really cut out for this medicine stuff.
I don’t have any profound answers.
It’s ironic.

I realized I DID have a heart in the unit for bad hearts. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Thank you

A big thank you to everyone who bought a copy of my novel and who supported . Most of all I would like to thank all the bloggers who participated in the tour. I am grateful and exceedingly thankful!
The  lucky and favored winner of the tour has been chosen and will be notified.

I know I should write something more meaningful, but after a whole day of orientation I am exhausted.  And with CCU being my first rotation, cobwebs may soon start growing in the  blog.

I will do my best to update regularly about residency and ideas I have for Still. The process has been both elating and somewhat painful.

Once again, thanks a lot! May God support you the way all of you have supported me!


Monday, May 26, 2014

Book launch post! - Excerpt of Chapter 1


I confidently opened the white twelve by fifteen inch envelope with Stedman College of Medicine emblazoned on the middle in big bold letters. The large envelope was always a good sign, since rejection letters were sent in smaller envelopes. The letter said what I hoped for and expected: “Congratulations Fadesola Cardoso, you have been accepted into Stedman College of Medicine.”
 I stepped into the next four years of my life with a little trepidation, naivety and optimism. I wonder what I would have told a younger Fadesola at that moment. Truthfully, I don’t know what I would have told a younger me.
She would not understand anything I had to say.
But that day, prodded with the excitement of an uncertain but certainly bright future, she took a leap of faith.
 We all took a leap of faith.
Get your copy here on Amazon and here on smashwords.
Enter the giveaway on the blog too!

Monday, May 19, 2014

I saw a girl crying on the street.

She wasn’t crying dramatically, a la dramatic Nigerian  mommy or creating a scene.

We were at a crosswalk ready to cross and the light turned red then lit up for pedestrians.

I was walking in the opposite direction and she was walking opposite to the other side of the street.

She walked along with the other pedestrians  and… cried.

She resonated with me because I have been that girl crying on the street on the bus on the train. I cried openly knowing that on a busy street no one cares enough to stop and ask or even worse no one notices. I wondered if anyone noticed.  Maybe that’s why I really look at people. I want to know if someone may have seen me  as I cried like I saw the girl.

In some ways, I believe humanity is losing our humanity.

Let me bring it home and say sometimes I fear that as much as I would like to think otherwise my heart is not what God wants it to not what Christianity intends it to be.

I write this blog in a journey of self discovery so in some ways as I make my mistakes in life, someone else doesn’t have to go down the same path.

Even now, in retrospect, I would not have stopped the girl and asked her why.

She may not have felt comfortable opening her heart to a stranger in the middle of the cross walk.

And as life usually goes, her answer, if she chose to answer was probably going to be complicated.

However, there is an element of desperation in her act, a silent cry to be helped, so visible in the cross walk.

I don’t know why she was crying but at some elemental level , she wanted someone to ask her why.

To at least show they cared.

Every day I pray that my heart does not become hardened and calloused

I know you can do what is right or what is “Christian” and not care.

I give money to beggars without caring, donate clothes without a moments thoughts, listen to patients and not form any connection.

Maybe I am more powerful than I give myself credit. I always judge based on my own experience. I have wept silently on trains, in buses, while walking on the cross walk and made it through.

She will make it, too” I reason with myself.

But what if she doesn’t. 

What if she didn’t.

What if one act of concern could have triggered a domino effect of her downward spiral?

I really don’t know.

Every day I am realizing it’s really not about me.

It’s about the girl who is an oxymoron in itself, crying silently in the cross walk, asking the girl who calls herself apprentice of God

Do you really care

Does your God really care?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Still Media




A broken soul,
an alcoholic,
a certifiable genius,
a  Christian man,

and a secret that will destroy the bonds of their friendship.
When self-proclaimed atheist Fadesola, gets into medical school she believes that it’s a fresh start of sorts for her. Until she discovers her class mate is charming and handsome Tayo Smith, a man she encountered in a violent moment years ago. This revelation shatters Fadesola’s already fragile emotional state but hope comes where she least expects it. A seemingly innocent friendship with Tayo’s friend, Ladi, slowly develops into a smoldering relationship with both afraid to acknowledge their mutual feelings. Things get even more complicated when Nikky, Fadesola’s classmate and friend, ignores her desperate warnings and decides that Tayo is the man she is meant to be with. However, within the complexities of this friendship these flawed individuals will experience God’s redemptive grace in a setting each believed his love would never find them. Still, the first book of a four part series is a coming of age story about navigating through medical school in the first year, complete with hilarious hook ups and breaks ups, legendary parties and incessant studying, and experiencing the triumph of success and disappointment of failure.

Still is available on amazon in paperback for  $9.99 and in kindle for 2.99  here

Its available on Smashwords in multiple formats including epub here  

On B&N nook here

Also available on appleibook! 

Praise for Still


“A spell-binding prose of love, pain, and self-discovery that will draw you to its characters and leave you pondering and entertained. Prentice, indeed, is an author to look out for."—Miranda A. Uyeh, 2014 INSPY Award Judge and Author of To Die Once: Child of Grace, #1


Still is a fusion of two of my dearest institutions - Medicine and Christianity. Within this setting Eniola explores Christianity, suicide, alcoholism, relationships, the dark world of secrets and mental illness in a way that has never been done before. Bumight Heparin MD,

"The reader will empathize with and relate to each of these characters, cheering them from the sidelines.  This debut novel by Eniola Prentice is commendable." Nike Campbell -Fatoki Author of Thread of Gold Beads. 

"Still has a myriad of colorful characters, so colorful that you'll find yourself laughing, crying, cheering and if honest, you just might catch a glimpse of yourself as well."

"A Bible would symbolize the very real and active faith of the lovely author of this book. Its threads are woven throughout this book in a way that is authentic and refreshing. Just as you can see the hand of God in the book’s character’s lives, we can all see it on her as well."

"This is more than just a love story, it is a story of friendship, pain, loss, success, failure, joy and grace; a fine cocktail that just about sums up life." Kovie at FutureNewyorker

"I warmly recommend this book if you like romance fiction WITH BRAIN (plus, there's a nice international flavor)." Mintu at IammrsK

"This novel is written with an unusually creative and dramatic style. Its intriguing,hilarious and keeps you longing for more." Tosin at Chaviva'

Still Blog Tour schedule

05/23   Preview Author Interview by Lottie at inspiration by truth here 

05/26 Guest post hosted by Yumi on  Mademd here  

05/28th Author interview by Hopeful doc here 
Book review on mountmom here
05/29th  Book review by inthemidstofher here

05/30 Book review by  Bunmi  on  Bumighttheheparin MD here 

Book review by  Miranda Uyeh at  To be a person here 

5/31  Author interview by  Amber of Season of humility here

Author interview by Myne Whitman of Romance meets life here 
Book review by Nike Campbell -Fatoki. author of Thread of goldbeads here

06/01   Book review by Itunu of Glowing Scenes here

06/03    Book review by kovie at future New Yorker here
Book review by Mrs K at IammrsK here
Book review by Tosin of Chaviva here

06/06 Author spotlight by Zakiya at Bookstvme here
Author interview by Embassie Susberry at remaininhislove here 

06/08 Book review by MJ at MD School Mrs here

06/07 Book spotlight by Wanda at The Watered Soul here
Book review by Brandi Hawthorne at Woman, Live here

06/11 Guest post hosted by Emma at Your doctors wife here

06/12 Book spotlight post by Grace Thorson at A paradise of colors here

Women who write feature at Femme Lounge  here

Friday, May 2, 2014

Book review: To die once

Indie publishing can be very lonely and when I found another blogger/author named Miranda A.Uyeh I clung to her like white on rice, almost like an annoying younger sister. Anyway she's a geology lecturer based in Makurdi city  and To die once is her debut novel. Let's all show her some love and support her.

About the novel


Two men, one woman, a rosebush …

… a terrible past, an uncertain future

Jennifer, a woman unexpectedly trapped in a path of love and passion against everything she believes.

Rodrigo, a man set to get what he wants at the cost of what matters most.

Stefano, a man with a past, a story to tell and passion to offer.

Chidi, a friend in need, a friend indeed. Or not?

From a culture where good girls follow the norm and live as they’ve been told, Jennifer is no different from any other girl until by happenstance, she meets and falls in love with Rodrigo, a man who’s handsome, rich and foreign. Different. She has no idea who he is or what he does, and is swept into a world of romance and passion. It is not long before she discovers a shocking truth that shakes both her world and his.

Then he is gone.

Stefano shows up at a time when Jennifer has made up her mind about the rules of life. He thinks she’s beautiful and is in love with her. In a bid to convince her to give him a chance in her life, old memories once buried are brought to life. And the events that follow don’t leave anyone unaffected by the truth of the past that was left unsettled.

Meanwhile, Jennifer with her friend Chidi, find themselves on a self-discovery journey that has one of them raising questions.

Some just have to ask, where is God in all this?

… an inspirational romance, from Lagos to Italy.


Praise for To Die Once

"A little mystery, a bit of intrigue, a lot of romance. To Die Once is a Christian romance with real characters facing deep issues. The emotional writing is truly heart-felt. This is Ms. Uyeh's debut novel and thankfully, this won't be the last." —K. Victoria Chase, Bestselling author of From Across The Divide, Virginia Justice, Raphael: volume 1, Santiago Brothers book series.

"Miranda Uyeh has penned a novel full of heart. To Die Once is a story alternately thorny and tender that tackles the various forms of love - romance, friendship, and faith - in unique settings and situations. Often surprising, consistently intriguing, Uyeh's debut is a bold start to her blossoming writing career." — Amber Stokes, Author of "The Heart's Spring" Series


"A fun inspirational romance read" — Rektok Ross, Best selling YA Romance author of Prodigal
My review
The characters in this novel were very intriguing to me. It is set in Nigeria with Nigerian characters but is not typical. Most of the action takes place in Italy. It made me feel that I needed to be more open about who I thought a typical Nigerian was. Its not the typical Naija Lagos girl that is the norm. :) Anyway I enjoyed how  Miranda portrayed the passion and uncertainty one feels during a budding relationship. I  could relate with Jennifer's reluctance to give in to her emotions. In my head, I was like hmm girl you shouldn't have let him in. It taught me about letting go and actually trusting God and a few human beings.  The Christian themes in the novel were also very apparent.  You could feel the hand of God through out the novel. You could almost feel the desire of the writer to speak God to the readers.  The biggest message in the novel was grace and its ability to reconcile us back to God again. However, it was not  overpowering or preachy.  It was actually very passionate. The scenes between Jennifer and Rodrigo were  smoldering yet clean. You have to read it to really understand where I am coming from.  :) There was also a twist in the novel which I did not see coming and that is rare in romance novels.  Kudos to Miranda for her stunning debut. You can visit her  blog with  the link below to enter a giveaway to celebrate the release of her novel.  She's giving away 10 ebooks !  You can enter the giveaway below


About the author and interview

Miranda A. Uyeh is an assistant lecturer at a local college in Makurdi City, Nigeria, where she teaches two geology courses. Her love for books goes as far back as when her father placed Disney’s Rapunzel in her hands—her very first storybook! By the time she was thirteen she knew she was going to be a writer. You can find Miranda on her blog where she shares her love for books, entertainment and Christian spirituality with her readers. Miranda holds a B.Tech (Hons) in Applied Geology from ATBU, Nigeria. To Die Once is her debut novel, #1 of the Child of Grace book series.
Author Interview
Tell us a little more about yourself?
A – A little? Okay! I’m blogger, book/entertainment reviewer for Christian works, a judge for the INSPY Book Awards, a professional blurb/premise/promo sentence/sales handle constructor for Christian works, and an assistant lecturer at a college. I know! It sounds like an essay.
What inspired you to write this story?  What was your underlying message? 
A – Nothing in particular. Lots of books/movies came together in my head and gradually formed a plot. I did, though, have a burning desire to write for God. So I prayed fervently that He’d take control of my story and turn it into His masterpiece.
My underlying message is grace. I want people who read this book to walk away with the knowledge of the saving power of God’s grace. I want them to know that no matter how low a person sinks, absolute restoration is possible by the power of God’s love. There’s no sin God can’t heal; there’s no mistake He can’t repair; there’s absolutely no situation He can’t turn around. What’s impossible with man is very possible with God. You just have to be earnest and willing. Even when you’re not, He’s working in the background to lead you to the point that you’ll realize that you should be.
Tell us more about how you created Jennifer and her back ground? Is there a little of you in there somewhere in the mix? :)
A – When I first started creating Jennifer, I wanted a heroine that was a Christian, but one who would fall from grace and rise again stronger, through the power of God’s grace. The fleshing out and details came in later. And oh, there’s a lot of me in Jennifer, far more than I recently realized. I have her dreamy nature and adventurous heart. I don’t believe so much in keeping to the norms if it will stand in the way of God’s truth and human progress. But I promise, I’m not as crazy as she is—a money launderer? No way!!
Why do you write?
A – Without blinking, I write for God! I’ve always desired that God would use me to bless, encourage, uplift, and tell people the truth using entertainment and books! I, personally, have benefited much from other wonderful authors like Francine Rivers, Karen Kingsbury, MaryLu Tyndall, Julie Lessman and Janet Oke. God has provided answers, comfort, and cleared some of my confusions through their work. I could see that their writing was God-inspired. I wanted the same with mine, and I prayed that God would turn me into a wonderful fiction writer that would pass on healing and truth to whomever would pick up my book/s. You can find a post about my journey to writing in this post, Why I Believe In Christian Fiction.
What’s next for you?
A – Presently, I’m working on book #2 in the Child of Grace Series, To Lie Once. The story is centered on Jennifer’s sister, Joyce. It’s a “good girl gone bad” story. The prologue will be in the last pages of To Die Once. I’m truly excited writing this one! I also hope to begin another series soon.
What is your story?
A – How in the world do I answer this? Let me try … I can’t say that I have a story—not really. I’m just an extra-ordinary girl leaving in an ordinary world, with a super extra-ordinary God as her Lord and Savior—her King, Father and Closest Friend! Believe me, I’m still scratching my head on this question.

Author Pages


Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Is anyone else watching Married to Medicine? I missed last season ;however, I plan to watch the foolwangery this year. *covers head in shame*  I cannot look away from train wrecks. *shrugs shoulders*

However the show got me thinking.

When the show premiered last year, there was a lot negative press associated with it. A couple of students and alumni in my medical school started a petition to have the show boycotted citing that the show perpetuated negative stereotypes. Of course, Bravo TV  was not going to stop their money train because of a few disgruntled people in the medical community. I really did not understand what the whole hullabaloo was at that point. Now I realize the show was/is more dangerous than I realized.
Every thing we watch, hear and read sows a seed in our heart and mind. These seeds take root ( make a foundation), germinate and grow.  When the seed grows into a plant it produces more seeds.  The bible puts it aptly with “ out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6 vs 45)”
My classmates were rightfully angry that another negative seed was being sown into the hearts of millions of people. This could have been set up for positive portrayal of a story that is seldom  told. The story of  black female physicians with black male physicians and their wives. I went to a medical school that is not representative of how few minorities there are in medicine. Do not underestimate how dangerous these portrayals are. To me each is a single alphabet of a word in a sentence that says  black people are a certain way.
If you are told something or shown something or read something often enough, without having valuable insight, you will begin to believe it.

That is why I started taking more concerted steps to watch what I allow into me. I wont lie to you and say I listen to Christian radio and tv 24/7. To be frank, there is an inauthentic portrayal of Christianity that I feel Christian radio purports that I dislike. However, I noticed that despite the positives in my life I was prone to swings in my emotion and moods. Instead of “riding it out” or dismissing it as my normal disposition I began to wonder why. It dawned on me , definitely from revelation from the holy spirit, that I was allowing negative seeds to be sown in my life.

I watch entirely too much ratchet reality tv to be considered healthy .

 If all I watched was strife, hate, rudeness, meanness and people being downright evil to each other then it isn't surprising that I was moody, snappy, critical and mean. I wasn't suddenly going to be speaking blessings to my fellow brother when I wasn't reading, watching and hearing blessings.
I cannot lie and say I have stopped all ratchet reality tv (everyone has to have a little vice J).  These people are utterly ridiculous and  put them selves out there. It’s like a crash on the highway, you cant help but slow down . However, I have drastically cut back. I have gone on television fasts where I abstain from television for a few days.  I replaced the inane pop songs I listened to on radio and replaced with christian messages. I can definitely say there has been an improvement in my emotional health. I am not mother Theresa now but I am not giving everyone within a one mile radius of me a mean side eye.
Well most of the time I am not. J

Monday, March 24, 2014

This one is for the dreamers

The end is always better than the beginning, it doesn't matter how it starts all that matters is how it ends.

Friday was the end or the beginning (depending on how you look at it) of a very arduous journey for me. I found out where I matched for residency. It was quite annoying to go through different variations of this conversation  about 1000 times for the past two years

Me: I am hopefully starting residency in June

Person: Really? Where?

Me: I don’t know. I find out in March

Person: Why.

Me: Grits teeth and begins a long winded explanation of the medical match process (an over the top job hunt) 

I thank Jesus  that I know where I am going, that I was given a chance to go where I am going and this portion of the journey is finally over.

I remember the dream I had and my resolute decision not to give up on it and God.

I remember when  I had both the admission letter for nursing school and medical school. One was easy, practical and reasonable, the other a blank letter, an untraveled road, risky, foolhardy and difficult. One was familiar nursing school  in Chicago, the other not so much medical school in a new city where I knew a handful of people.

I had nothing but I had God

And with God I had the family He gave me and my friends. 

And with God I had Hebrews  11, not a full understanding of it but grasping enough that faith in God can move mountains.Sometimes you just need to grasp a little to move. 

It wasn't easy.  I needed more than faith.   


Dogged Determination

Steel in your spine

A fighting spirit.

And a strong will.

I have realized that there are two people who determine if you  will make it, if you will achieve that dream, get that promotion, start and succeed in that business , publish that novel…. Insert whatever dream you have/had.  I have realized God is always in your corner with a perpetual yes. The rest is up to you.

If you believe you can make it, you probably can.

If you believe you cant, you probably cannot

It does not matter if you are international student, a non traditional student, single mother, orphan, poverty stricken, rich ,  disabled…no matter what odds are against you

Your dream is between you and God., with him you can become an unstoppable force, a unit.

If God wants it, if you want it, pursue it like its already yours.

Pursue it with a single minded focus that is unparalleled.

No matter how many times you fall, get back up again and fight for your dream.

Do what you can humanely do and watch Him do what you cant do.

You will have to fight for it, it will not be handed to you on a platter.

Dream big and fight big because cliche or not you have a big God.

I am a walking and breathing testimony of this.

God loves dreamers.  God supports dreamers. God is a dreamer.

The question will you dream with Him?

Or let the world carve out an apportioned allocation to you based on your race, sex or social class?

Or based on what you don’t have instead of what you do have?

So on the day I had a choice to make between nursing and medicine, I choose to dream with my superficial understanding of Hebrews 11 but with an understanding that I had a God.

And with God nothing truly is impossible.

***** Does holy ghost dance off the stage******

 The mini sermon above is because this past week was match week and my dreams actually became a reality. Now sometimes I spontaneously screech in delight and run around the house every time my room mate isn't home. :) 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A house of cards and narcissists

If you are my friend on facebook or blackberry, then you know that I am currently obsessed with the Netflix series House of Cards. Its about Frank Underwood, a democratic majority whip leader  and his wife Claire Underwood. I am obsessed with House of cards because, I have never in my tv-overload-adult viewing life seen such an evil and ruthless  lead character.  I am basically flummoxed .Maybe it’s because Netflix has given us  the ultimate antihero. When  we watch movies, read novels or books we are supposed to root for the protagonist, support their dreams, hurt  when they hurt, laugh when they are happy and scream at them through the  television set or through the bound pages of the book  when they  make foolish decisions. But in House of Cards we have a protagonist that is deliciously wicked. His ruthlessness is both controlled and on impulse.
He will kill you with no hesitation or meticulously plan your demise, whichever one works for him.
It has turned my television or this time internet streaming experience upside down because I am used to rooting for the main character but I find myself conflicted. I know he makes Hitler look like Mary Poppins yet because my brain has been trained to root for the protagonist, I still hope his downright diabolical schemes work. * COVERS HEAD IN SHAME* I remember had the same “crisis” when I first read Gone with the Wind. My  eight year old brain could not grasp that Scarlett O’Hara was selfish, mean and manipulative. However, it provides a much richer and complex viewing experience when things are not so clear cut and PG.
Quite frankly I love it. I like Frank because he is driven and goal orientated and for some reason I absolutely love ruthless characters. I like people who can manipulate situations and people . I admire them because they display superior analytic skills and intelligence.

They think.

I thank God for finding Jesus because honestly I do see certain traits like that in myself. It’s more of an over analytic mind.  I think, think, think , plan and execute.  However nine times out of ten the execution phase is a fail. I guess its Gods way of making me more reliant on him than myself. Of course I would like to think I am not as evil as Frank-Kill-you-without –hesitation Underwood. It brings Proverbs 14 vs 12 to my mind 

There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.
Just because it seems right doesn't mean it is right and it doesn't mean I can or will  get away with it.
It may look glamorous now but Frank Underwood fictional or not will get his on the other side and its not the side with cherubic angels and pearly gates.
In other news, I have an extremely narcissistic and flirtatious  patient in the clinic I work in. He ALWAYS finds a way to remove his shirt, incredible hulk style EVERY TIME I want to take his blood pressure. Today, I was determined to tell him that he didn't have to remove his shirt so I could see his well-defined biceps and solid six pack but did he give me a chance?
Before I could say the word blood pressure, he removed his shirt again. Yeah sure he’s gorgeous but I am a medical professional! I will not fall for such cheap tricks! * flips weave and walks out* 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What I am reading - Finding Grace

For what I am reading, I usually blog about any book that I find interesting, a book that a friend recommends or a book someone sends to me. The first one was Chimeka Garricks Tomorrow died yesterday, check it out here.
Next I am blogging about  a novella  written by Onyih Odunze who sent me a free copy of her book to review.

When I started the book, I was expecting a traditional romance story but was pleasantly surprised. She is a great descriptive writer, the first chapter of the book which describes  the setting of  proper Lagos wedding immediately made that apparent. It was fabulous writing indeed.  In spite of my unconscious mental decision not to get invested in the characters’ lives, I found myself caring about them. Her novella softened my ever so cynical heart… just a tiny bit.  It was a well written romance story with an undertone of Christianity. Onyih should also be put under the super woman category, she is married with two kid, pursuing her master’s degree and has a novella and anthology of short stories published. 

Yeah, I need to do better with time management.
Instead of droning on and on, I decided to just have the writer talk about the book by herself.

Hello Onyih, thanks for stopping by.  We would like to know a little more about you, your likes, dislikes, writers that have influenced you, whether you are a morning person or not etc.

Thanks for having me, Eniola! Hmm…my likes and dislikes? I love reading for one thing. That is a passion for me. I read my first novel – a detective story – when I was about 8 years old. It was my eldest brother’s book, and I still remember curling up on his bed, caught up in a world so different from the one I lived in. I read that book in one sitting and haven’t looked back since.
I also like music, chocolate (specifically Cadbury’s Whole Nut or Fruit and Nut), and I adore ice cream (who doesn’t?). I’m a proper homebody so I love hanging out at home with my hubby and babies.
Am I a morning person? Well, my first inclination when my alarm rings is to shut it off and snooze for another fifteen minutes, so no, definitely not a morning person.
Francine Rivers is a big influence and she is one of my favorite writers. Angela Hunt is another one and I recently discovered Patrick Carr, a Christian fiction fantasy writer.  I admire them because they write about real people, flawed people. I definitely relate to that and it makes me want to create characters that people can also relate to.

What inspired you to write the novel and did you draw from your personal experiences for it.

Finding Grace was actually inspired by a story I heard many years ago about a long-term relationship gone wrong.  Initially, I wrote a couple of scenes back in 2007 and in time, it just grew from that. I think every writer leaves a piece of themselves in their work. I definitely draw from my experiences and from my observations of what other people are going through and how they react in those situations.
Apart from letting go and moving on which I learned from the main character Grace what other underlying themes were you trying to put across to readers in the novel.  I definitely noticed you had a few underlying Christian themes. 
You correctly mentioned letting go…more like, ‘Let go and let God do what He’ll do.” I think sometimes we become so focused on what we want, or how we think our lives should go and that obscures our trust in God. It affects our ability to receive anything good from God because we hold so tightly to what we’ve lost.  Forgiveness was also important in this story. The heroine – Grace – faced betrayal several times and she had to find a way to release those who had hurt her. Writing that story also taught me about trust – trusting God even when things are going haywire. He does know what He’s doing.

Not giving any spoilers away but I wasn't expecting the twist with the sister and I can usually predict twists in a story.  I didn't see that coming it at all. Why was it important for you to add that?

Hmm….you know, that wasn't really part of the original story. I think Sonia’s character sort of drew me in that direction. It definitely added some nuances to the story and I think it makes people sit up and take notice of the sister. I've had people asking me about Sonia’s story and that shows how strong of a character she is. She’s someone that’s used to being the focus of attention.

Azuka is goes through a family tragedy and in some ways  the character Grace gives him grace. How did the tragedy shape him as a character and do you think it propelled him a little faster to find his missing ribs ( as we Christians so aptly  call it.)  J

Azuka’s family tragedy helped him realize how frail life is, you know? Why not go after what or who you want right now, today? Tomorrow is not guaranteed to anyone. It definitely propelled him towards his missing rib much faster, lol! As time went on, he discovered that his need for Grace went much deeper than he initially thought.  

You infused a lot of your igbo culture into the novel and I thoroughly enjoyed that.  How did that influence Azuka  when he wanted Grace. The boy does not play, he saw what he liked and in less than three months he was planning a wedding in his head.

Lol! I’m not sure being Ibo really influence the speed with which he was moving, but I thought it was important to show where he came from, because that really fed into who he was.

What do you love most about writing and what do you struggle most with about writing?

Oh gosh! Writing…I love it because it’s an incredible way to express myself. I have a pretty introverted personality and I don’t think I’m very good at having conversations. So, writing is definitely my way of communicating with people. Some said that a writer is an introvert who wants to tell a story but doesn't want to make eye contact while doing it. That describes me to a t. And, that’s why I love writing. It lets me be who I really am.
On the other hand, I struggle with consistency and procrastination. I have two small children, work full time and at same time, I’m studying for a Masters degree. Between the demands of home and family, it can be really difficult to make time to write. I’m working on that.

What is next for you?

I recently released a collection of short stories, titled ‘Who are You?’ and I’m working on a novel to be released this year.
Thanks Onyih! 

Finding Grace description 

A cutting betrayal. A chance meeting. A heartbreaking loss. Emotionally drained from an impending family tragedy, Azuka Obialor is rocked by an accidental meeting and his thoughts are never far from the woman who crossed his path for the briefest of moments. 

A heartbreaking loss shifts his focus and thoughts of his ‘mystery woman’ are all but forgotten. Another coincidental meeting is almost one too many, and Azuka is faced with the daunting prospect that his reality would fall far short of his dreams. 

Grace Osoka is devastated by a cutting betrayal. Stunned, she retreats into a shell and is hesitant to trust any man again. Will Azuka’s love be enough to bridge her walls? 

From the metropolitan streets of London and the bustle of Lagos to the dusty roads of an Eastern Nigeria village, follow Azuka and Grace on their journey to finding grace in the midst of heartache.

Click here for Finding Grace

Click here for her newly released anthology, Who are you?