Thursday, March 21, 2013

On My Blog Tour (18 - 25 March)

Hi everyone! Hope your week has been going well. My blog tour began on Monday this week, but as I've been having problems with my laptop, I haven't been able to keep you updated on all the features. Never mind, I've got my laptop back, and you can still take part in the tour. Click on the links below to read and comment on the posts.

"Nothing Comes Close" Blog Tour 

March 18 - Chick Lit Plus - Review

March 19 - Dewumni Nation - Review

March 19 - Dewumni Nation - Excerpt 

March 19 - Samantha March - Excerpt and Author Interview 

March 20 - Karma For Life Chick - Review

March 20 - Dewumni Nation - Interview

March 21 - Jersey Girl Book Reviews - Review, Guest Post and Excerpt

March 21 - Laurel's Open Page - Review and Author Interview

March 22 - Storm Goddess Book Reviews - Guest Post

March 25 - Lavender and Chamomile - Excerpt

I'll post the links to them, as soon as they're updated.

Bonus: If you leave a comment on the tour page here you'll be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card!

Also, if you purchase a copy of Nothing Comes Close before March 25 and send the receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, you'll get five bonus entries!

Thank you!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

WiP Meeting and an Epiphany

Last night (as part of my ongoing efforts to get out more and meet like-minded people), I attended a meeting organised by Women in Publishing (UK). I first heard about them last year, when I was shortlisted for an award, and since then, I've learnt more about the organisation, and the brilliant work they do to promote the interests of women in the publishing industry.

Tolu and Joanna
This month, I was particularly excited because one of the guest speakers was Joanna Penn! She's an author, blogger, speaker, marketing guru and entrepreneur and she's the person behind The Creative Penn website and blog . I've been following her blog for a couple of years now and it's such a helpful site for authors like me who are going down the hands-on, DIY route to getting our stories published.
The other guest speaker was Maia Walczak who is a writer and illustrator of children's books.

Joanna was of course, lovely in person, with such enthusiasm and passion about sharing all that she's learnt in her journey to becoming a published author. She talked about the business of writing, the way self-published authors are bringing big changes into the publishing industry, she shared lots of advice and tips on self-publishing, including the things that writers should never skimp on: a professional editor and cover design!After the meeting, I had a brief chat with Joanna, and I'll be doing a guest post on her blog sometime next month.

Something else I wanted to share: I had a bit of an epiphany on my way to the meeting which was at the Strand. I took the underground to Liverpool Street, and decided to come out to take the bus to the venue instead. As I came out of Liverpool Street station, it was 6.09pm which is peak closing time rush hour. So the station concourse was full of the 9 - 5 commuters rushing to and fro, mostly trying to get home. I stood watching them for a while, remembering that this was my life, only five years ago. I too, used to stand on the concourse, waiting for my train and platform number to be displayed on the train. I felt really grateful and  free at that moment, realising that I was out of that miserable 9 - 5 madness that I'd been stuck in, not knowing that there is another way to live. If someone had told me then, that I would see things differently a few years down the line, I wouldn't have believed them.

Of course, I'm not (yet) making as much money as I would like to, but I can now see that life is not just about how much money you make. There's more to life than being a slave to a job you hate. You have to see your life as a whole. The fulfilment I get from loving my career, and the flexibility of being able to work from home while looking after my baby, are things that mean a lot more to me. 

As I walked away and got on my bus, I told myself to remember that moment whenever I start feeling discouraged or upset that I'm not where I thought I would be yet. I have to learn to enjoy the journey and progress that I've made so far.

Monday, March 04, 2013

"Nothing Comes Close" Blog Tour

In a couple of weeks, I'll be doing a short blog tour with Nothing Comes Close. It's organised by CLP Blog Tours and you can find out more HERE

The tour commences on the 18th of March, with a review by Chick Lit Plus. There'll be guest posts, excerpts, reviews and interviews on other blogs. I'll keep you up to date with where I'll be and what I'm doing next. I hope you guys would follow me and enjoy the posts!

Giveaway Winner Picked!

Many thanks to MissJ, Michael Onobote and Lady in Black for entering my valentine giveaway! You all gave excellent responses, and I couldn't choose so I used a random number generator:

So Michael, you've won a free copy of Nothing Comes Close! To claim, please send me an email to favouredgirl @ gmail dot com with your details and I'll get the book to you.

To be fair (since I'm so nice) if Lady in Black and MissJ don't mind, I'll be happy to send you Nothing Comes Close as an ebook. If you wish to claim, please send me an email as well.

Thanks again, and I hope you enjoy reading the story.

Friday, March 01, 2013

New Reviews for "Nothing Comes Close"

Hi everyone! Hope you've had a great month in February! I can't believe it's over already. It's been a busy month for me, with work and personal stuff. I've slacked a bit on some of my fitness goals, but I think I'm making some good progress on my reading and writing.

So far this year, I've read:
The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away by Christie Watson
Thursdays in the Park by Hilary Boyd
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
and I'm currently reading The Rice Mother by Rani Manicka

I've also started working on my next novel. I have to do some research but I'll focus on getting the first draft done before I start filling in the background details, otherwise I'll never finish. I can't wait to get to the end of that process!

In other news:

Nothing Comes Close recently received four great reviews from different readers and publications. As a writer, it's great when readers connect with something you've written, and explain it from their own perspective. So it's perfectly possible to have two different readers interpreting your work in different ways. I enjoyed reading the reviews below, and they've given me a few things to think about. I hope you enjoy reading them too.

BN Reviews on BellaNaija ~ A truly African love story, Nothing Comes Close shows us how African women fall in love—cautiously but completely. It is London sometime in the 2000s. Four young women—Lola, Funmi, Temmy, Maureen, and Titi—are caught up in the usual London hustle, doing the career thing and still finding time to look pretty at parties and bars. But their lives aren’t perfect, especially for Lola, who is nursing a broken heart and hanging on to a job—as a financial analyst—that she doesn’t like. At a house party organized by one of the girls, she meets Wole. The attraction is instant, but in her classic Nigerian-girl approach to romance, she is hesitant, always worrying about “losing all sense of caution.” But when unexpected tragedy strikes in the form of a murder, the force of desire heightened by the pain of loss drives Lola into Wole’s arms. From that point, the driving question of the plot becomes: will Wole reward her need for comfort with love or will his dark past destroy their chance for happiness? 

OnePageWeekly ~ The romance between Popoola’s protagonists hits a rough patch when a murder investigation threatens to unearth some unpalatable details from the male protagonist’s past. The depth of trust, love and faith that was deposited in the relationship goes through an unfair test. Throw in a meddling relative; Lola’s sister who in the process of being protective almost murdered the relationship that Popoola got us rooting for. There, we have us a typical romance story. The good thing is that this novel is more than the conventional romance novel. 

Critical Literature Review ~ Nothing Comes Close flexibly narrates love with the complex mishmashes of life as its characters battle different torments. It is in the battling that the reader is hooked to the book. He suddenly sees his life in scattered shards in the characters’. In Lola; you will be the lady thrashing around to be loved, hurting with every move… In Nothing Comes Close, love twirls everything, leaving in its wake disgusts, pains, hurts and fulfillments as the chapters in the books are skillfully divided between Lola’s and Wole’s point-of-views. 

Just Read It ~ The novel is a typical boy-meets-girl story but fused with twists and turns, interfering relatives, jealous friends, unexpected deaths and more than a few secrets, lies and revelations along the way. Lola is an attractive independent, confident young woman who likes to hang out with her three best friends. She meets Wole at the party of one of said best friends and is immediately charmed by his good looks and cool mysterious demeanor. Wole too is taken by Lola and the two very quickly develop a relationship. But the course of true love does not run smooth because Wole despite being Mr Perfect is a man of several unbecoming secrets which are slowly revealed as the novel unfolds, leaving Lola to wonder if she can really trust him. The evidence and her sister (the interfering relative) says not. But Lola wants to follow her heart, and without wanting to give too much away she does but not without cost.