Hey y’all. writing is going really well. Picked this project back up last Sunday and I’ve made considerable progress. Here’s the first unedited sample from To Breathe Again.
Her boss ignored her plea. “Yes, that’s why I expect you and Lara to get together to exchange notes and all the contacts she has lined up.” “But Sir…” “No buts Isoken, you’ve always been one of the best. When you decided to come back, I was excited. You can do this.” Isoken’s eyes diverted to Tekena who refused to meet her eyes. Instead he scrolled through his phone casually. “Based on yesterday, I think you know enough to go over what I’ll need before next week…” Dismayed by his audacity, Isoken forced on a smiled but narrowed her eyes at him. Wasn’t this the same man that insinuated she might not know what she was doing? The glint in his eyes told her that he knew he had her stuck. “Sir, Lara will be back Monday…” Isoken tried again. Tekena lifted his eyes to Mr. Gambo. “I’m a busy man and every hour is precious. If it’ll be a problem, I can let the Co—” “Oh no that’s no problem at all,” Mr. Gambo hastened to reassure him. “Miss. Adolo here will be your contact from now on.” He then turned to her. “She’ll make this campaign her utmost priority.” I can’t believe this clown just threatened our contract. There was no way Mr. Gambo believed he had that kind of power. But then, one could never be too sure. A smooth American accent and loads of money could make anything happen in Nigeria especially from a famous son of the soil. One thing was for sure, no matter how smooth he was, she was cursing him out after this stunt. “Good,” Tekena met her eyes for the first time. A smile lingered on his lips. He looked at his watch. “If you you’re free for lunch, we can get started on what needs to be done.” “Now?” Isoken shook her head. “I already ordered something from across the street. I have another meeting in an hour. And a couple more after that. Besides, I haven’t gotten myself acquainted with the campaign.” In all honestly, she spent a considerable amount of time the previous evening getting familiar with the project, but she didn’t want to give Tekena the satisfaction. She’d rather eat sand. “Don’t worry about it. I’ll have my secretary move your calendar around.” Mr. Gambo immediately picked up the receiver, dialed his secretary and gave her instructions. Isoken glared at Tekena who winked at her. She felt like a prostitute whose pimp was offering her to the highest bidder. “Okay, that’s settled. Lara should be forwarding her files to you as we speak.” Isoken turned to leave the office. “Great, I’ll go get my purse.” She knew her voice held no excitement but at this point she no longer cared. Lara would be excited to let this go. Now it was her headache. “Oh, Isoken, you can also take the remainder of the day off.” She paused, took in a breath then turned to face both men, with clenched teeth, she responded. “Thank you.” I guess I’m having sand for lunch.
Drop a comment, let me know your thoughts. I’m shooting for a November release day. It’s been a long time coming. But it’s coming.
Hey, welcome to another Sample Sunday. Today, we’re going to visit my book To Live Again.
I loved writing Itohan & Osaro’s story. To read more about the book click here. Now though, we’re going to visit a scene from a typical Sunday morning from a still bitter Itohan.
Sunday morning, Itohan used her spatula as a microphone as she danced around her kitchen to “I Wish” by Waje. It was one of those days where she woke up feeling like the songstress who wished she didn’t possess a heart. She wasn’t keen on it being filled with stone as the singer suggested. But if it meant she could forget the pain and despair that accompanied it being misused, she was all for it. In her tank top and sweat pants, she rocked her body to the beat and scooped a mid-sized portion of the bean paste mixture. She tucked a strand of her hair back underneath her silk scarf then put the scoop into the hot peanut oil in the frying pan. She moved back to avoid the splatter.
I’m going to pause here and tell you that akara and custard was my all time favorite breakfast growing up. Here’s the recipe I got from 9jafoodie. Please go and check her out for all things Nigerian cuisine.
1 cup peeled beans
1 raw hot pepper (Ata rodo) – chopped
Salt – to taste
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (optional. This helps to make the exterior crunchy)
1/2 of a medium onion – chopped
oil for frying
Combine the beans with 1/4 cup water in a blender.
Puree the mixture to a smooth paste
Pour the pureed beans into a bowl. Mix for 5 minutes with a whisk or mixer. This is to incorporate air into the batter.
Set a deep pan on medium heat, add in some oil. Heat until oil
Add in the salt, baking soda, chopped pepper and onions. Stir
Scoop 1/2 cooking spoon of batter into oil. You do not want to spread out the batter in the oil, you want to pour batter directly on itself (the way you would pour water into a narrow bottle).
Fry on each side until golden brown .
Lift the akara balls out with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper towels.
Repeat the process until everything is fried
If you try out this recipe, let me know…Now let’s get back to our sample….
Itohan fried up the remaining akara as the water for the custard came to a boil. Lifting the lever to the electric kettle, she poured and stirred, watching the white powder turn into the yellow pudding she loved. Her thoughts turned to Mr. Ikimi. The person she met at the beach and the person who was in her classroom, as well as the one who used his eyes to stomp her into the ground in the restaurant were all different people.
Men were trouble. She had that inscribed in her left brain. Now her right brain was taking over and she saw herself struggling to hold on to the mantra. Her heart quickened in fear as she was coming to the realization that her new student’s uncle was about to mess up the system she had going.
“Jehovah abeg, please, I still haven’t heard that my ex’s life has been destroyed. If he could buy his father a car, he’s doing well. Since I’m still waiting on my payback, please keep this man from me…abeg,” she murmured.
To Live Again is available on Amazon. Free on KU if you have a subscription. Get to find out more about this couple and the scars Itohan refused to leave behind.