Book Recommendation

I recommend these reads.

Hot Love Inferno

Hot Love Inferno by Nicky Blue

“Maybe that’s what being ‘at one’ with yourself means, to collect all other versions of you in existence.”

I clapped when I finished reading this novella and grinned. What’s not to love about this novella! Comedy, Action, Deadly Samurai warriors, Multi-dimensional Basset Hound, Descriptive goodness, Time travel and a Countdown to save Barry’s world. There is actual comic relief amidst bad situations and near death experiences. The author was kind to explain British references so you are immersed. It’s a quick, humorous read that will have you tensed in action also.

Check out about my Reading Update here!

Book Blurb

When seven-foot ghost warriors are trying to kill you, a multidimensional Basset Hound might be the only friend you need.
A half-woman, half-cockroach fused in a bizarre gardening accident? That would be Mrs Jittery Twitch, dwelling in the shadows of our misdeeds. If in danger, you can call upon her help… all she asks is your soul as payment. But she’s just a legend, so no need to worry.
Barry Harris is a 28-year-old man, still living with his dear old mum in a little flat above a hairdresser. His obsession with Star Trek and the martial arts won’t help him when he’s forced out on a date.
And nobody knows about the weird string of events that’s about to put everyone’s lives in danger. A trio of samurai warriors and the strangest offer of help lead Barry on a perilous mission to save the day.

(This book is the second in the Prophecy Allocation series but works fine as a standalone read.)

Categories for Hot Love Inferno:
Dark humour books, Comedy Fantasy, Fantasy Adventure, Time Travel, Dark Comedy,
Comedy, Humorous Fantasy, Humorous Fantasy Books,
Urban Fantasy Humour, Comic Fantasy,sci fi comedy books, sci-fi comedy,

Culled from Amazon.

It’s initial chapters dragged on. I was bored with Barry’s routine life in Portsdale. But then during his movie date with Jo, things switched up. Then got gory and Barry had to get past the shock and begin a perilous mission to save everyone. At this point I missed the “boring” routine.

It is narrated by Barry and a third person who explains terms, cultural references of the 90s and some jokes in footnotes. I was curious about this third person narrator, the footnotes narrator. I had a suspicion who it was and was correct. But I won’t give spoilers. One of the main characters is Keith, an multi-dimensional Basset Hound, who has numerous time/multiverse altering lights on his collar. Plus he talks and is another hero in this story.

Molly, Barry’s mother and her friend Merritt who is Jo’s aunt will make you smile. Jo herself is an interesting but random woman who is enough motivation for our save-the-day team. Besides having a dog as a character, there is a community of active elderly characters-Dr Harper was a delight! I love how the book highlights on how to treat your pets, sex positivity and BDSM kinks, how the police attend to complaints, unhealthy eating, dating someone with an illness, gardening, etc. It set in Portsdale, a small British town in 1995.

There is the sci-fi, fantasy bit that impressed me. Prophecy Allocation referred to in the novella, “You know I said the multiverse only has two dimensions? The Prophecy Allocation Department links them both together. Essentially, it is an
office block at a crossroads between the seen and the unseen worlds. The Department owns the fabric of existence, and they control everything within it.”

The ebook typesetting is artsy. Novella’s descriptive imagery is really enjoyable. “The Factory’s doors flung open, and fog slithered in, slowly engulfing the aisles of erotic delectation.” A lot old English phrases and slangs matched the geographical and time setting of the book. I couldn’t locate wher its title came from. You know I love find this out. But a plot resolution came with the Pleasure Factory blowing up.

There are loose ends in the plot but it’s safe to presume new novellas in this Prophecy Allocation Series will tie them up. I look forward to listening to Keith again, Mrs Jittery Twitch and Barry and Jo’s buddy romance. I recommend this book with 3.5 fireworks.

Do buy it here on Amazon

More info..

Join Nicky Blue’s reader’s list here to get updates about book three. Connect with him on Instagram.

The first book in the series is Escape from Samsara. A Watched pot published under the pen name, Mr Blue are worth checking out.

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Spotlight Read: The Small Margins of Friendship

ONLINE SHORT FICTION REVIEW

The Small Margins of Friendship by Tolu Daniel

It wasn’t like I didn’t believe in prayers or in God or any of those things, I just didn’t agree with mother’s notion of continuous badgering of God for answers I can use my brains to birth.”

This short story is necessary, intrigue-filled, sad and painfully relatable. But before it became that it was beautifully sad. Yemi’s patience, naivety, forgiveness, longing were endearing and upsetting.

The themes of toxic friendship, infidelity, missing an abuser, domestic violence and deception make this short story powerful, shocking and just sad. I love that its themes address violence and abuse men face from female partners in romantic relationships. I won’t lie I don’t like Toyin and all the shit she put him through. I wanted to throttle Ade, such a scandalous man. I buddy-read with my book girlfriend, Habeebah the weekend the story debuted.

The language is simple. Flashbacks, imagery, rhythm are employed to richen the plot. The story is mostly narrated in first person by Yemi. I love how his narration would shift from the church during the wedding to the past that built up to the present. I finished reading and reread it refusing to believe who the groom was. Like why are some people toxic?

Read here

More info..

Tolu Daniel is is a writer and editor. His essays and short stories have appeared in numerous literary magazines, journals and publications. This short story is published on Scarlet Leaf Review.

PAINTED BLUE WITH SALT WATER

PAINTED BLUE WITH SALT WATER by Logan February

Firstly, I have to say I love this poetry chapbook’s cover! It was so calming and represents its themes.

Secondly, I honestly read the poems in Logan February’s voice. The privilege of listening to him read erotic poems during Poetry After Dark during #LIPFest18

Thirdly, I’ve learnt, “Know yourself and do not be ashamed of what others think. Fly above shackling realities.” from this book.

My favourite poems are; The Ghost of Valentino, Ixora, Self Portrait as a Pussyboy, Lonesome Bodies, Black Hoodie, Wolfboy, Heartache and

In The Light of the Prayer Room, ‘Where I pray/ is the kind of room/ whose walls should be painted blue/ with saltwater.’ I was excited spotting the title of the chapbook.

A Night of No New Things, ‘Dissolve two fallen stars in a cup of chamomile/and it tastes a lot like sweet deception.’

Self Portrait as a Rainbow Boy, ‘From the Prisma of the swirling,/I learn that you can still look pretty/in the middle of ruin.’ There were a lot of self-portraits that made me wonder how many ways can I examine myself.

I read this chapbook filled with 30 poems of varying lengths twice. It’s a book I feel I can travel with. It’s so refreshing! With themes of love lust, hope and flight, fluidity, queerness and family. The poems are honest, imaginative, self-reflective, intimate with vivid imagery. I liked the references of the sea. The way these poems painted stories of queer love, acceptance, hidden affairs, homophobic violence was moving. I highly recommend this poetry chapbook.

More info.

Logan February is a poet, co-editor in chief of The Ellis Review and happy Nigerian owl. Say hi to him here. This is his second poetry chapbook. Published by Indolent Books, Brooklyn, New York, 2018.

It Wasn’t Exactly Love

Stories From the Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop 2012

This book has been referred to as an anthology by Farafina Books and Tsitsi Dangaremgba. But also a short stories collection by Ama Ata Aidoo and I. Either way it features 13 captivating short stories from various genres, written from different timelines and set in mostly African countries. They all use literature to tell fantastic stories about human relationships. I bought this book in June, if my memory serves me well. Its been on my TBR since then.

I began reading it late last week. One of the reasons I bought this collection is because certain authors I love and know are featured. Eghosa Imasuen, author of Fine Boys wrote the foreword. Nana  Darkoa Sekyiamah, African Erotica and relationship writer has a feature story. Her erotic short fiction, Fucking Ghana Into Me was my first review on the blog. She is one of the reasons I go back to Adventures From The Bedroom of African Women. Yewande Omotosho, author of novels that explore South African, adult fiction narratives. I noticed two things about these stories. To sit was spelt seat and most of the setting and character descriptions were slowly narrated over the duraton of the story. It helped the story unfold into a more vivid mental image.

 

Alpha’s Gambit by Mazi Nwonwu turned out to be my favie favorite story in this collection, Which is funny because I couldn’t figure out what the title hints the story was about. After reading its first two pages I stopped, oh Fantasy I murmured to myself. Flipping pages to Yewande Omotosho’s odd adult fiction. I returned to it some days later to fall in love with the futuristic Nigeria setting. This work isn’t fanatasy but biopunk sci-fi, afrofuturism and queer erotica. But if it’s one thing Anuli Alpha taught me is that labels aren’t important especially if they restrict you. All those sub fiction genres are my favorites! Without the labeling genres, Anuli Ezile, Nigeria’s extraordinary agent, non-binary, pheromone emitting beauty tells an unforgettable story. She was shocked that Anna (Major Anna Momoh) messed with her mind, wanted her to be male and tried killing her. I said Ghen Ghen when infatuated, hopeful and shocked Alpha turned angry at her lover’s deceit. ‘The last wing beats faded from my mind and where love once existed, a hollow that anger started to seep into appeared’. My Mum has the ability to read minds. Its really delightful to find unique African experiences narrated so beautifully. A Nigeria where the laws,companies, government and military protect the interests of everyone including LGBTIA residents. Dope!


Bolt by Ejike Kanife was hilarious. It begins with them having passionate, erotic, sex. I love the way Emeka, the doomed protagonist uses his Naija youthful lingua to tell a comical story of his sexual journey into Hadiza’s marital home. He fights off his attraction to Alhaji’s wife for a while.. In the end they fuck each other’s lives downside up. I loved the erotica, it was pure, raw and intense. The narration began during doggy style and ends in Hadiza’s cowgirl halted ride. ‘I just lay back on the bed fully aware that my life, Hadiza’s and maybe Alhaji’s would never be the same again.’ 

Ladies Night by Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah is set in Ghana in 2013. It reminds me of my married bestie. We have a meet-up spot to discuss our love lives. Other than that, he’s a responsible, attentive, present and loving husband, father and friend. His devotion to his family is one of the things I love about him.  Kweku is a comfortable married man with a devoted wife. Comfortable enough to have extramarital affairs. The story begins with an hilarious police chase that ends ladies night. We meet Afua, his best friend, single independent woman who has sexual trysts in her car and other odd placaes. She still lives with her parents. Hotels don’t help, neither do the broke small boys she has sex with. I can really relate to their ordeals. I live with my sister. When people ask where I live I state that. I still get people insisting they want to know where my parents live. Why can’t they assimilate a young, unmarried, African woman can live alone? Yes, it can be annoying walking into an hotel with a beautiful exterior that has a irky smell, coarse bedding and no service delivery. Anyway, the story soon changes for Kweku when Maame says. “We need more than your money. I need more than your money. I need a husband in every sense of the word. Fix up or lose us.’ This reminds me of many discussions my sis and I have had about Nigerian men thinking financial provision/support is their only marital responsibility.

Bride’s Gift and Every Thing Counts analyse women’s relationships with society, empowerment, sexual expression and love. They both encourage you to live, sexy free, your truths but make healthy compromises. Every Thing Counts by Chika Oduah reminds me of Dear White People because of the heroine’s controversial interracial relationship. I was awed with Ada’s certainty of herself and her sextuationship with Calvin. This story made me smile because the oddest things or deepest thoughts go through my mind while I’m having sex. The story traced the history of her self, childhood, growing up African in Southern America, black nationalism, sexual assault of minority women. This history is given in flashback, thoughts during erotic sex. I loved it! Bride’s Gift, is narrated by a young Cameroonian bride to her companion, her diary on her wedding day. “It was on the tip of my tongue to ask about the “Groom’s Gift” did it exist?’ The pressure from “concerned” family and sexist socio-economic realities on young African women to settle for less than their dreams is a theme in this short story. This theme questions patriarchy and how women compromise to survive or give in totally. ‘That’s how I feel now, like I sold myself cheap. Only its not my body I traded away, it’s my dream, my hopes.’  At least she got her dream wedding if not her dream man, Alphonse. ‘The guy knew how to make me want him, he just didn’t want me enough to share more than kisses.’ How she lost her virginity was just insensitive of the groom, Conrad. Men need to stop silencing female pain especially during sex.

 

This anthology is filled with puzzling adult fiction pieces like There Was A Man by Yewande Omotosho which took me into Nina’s mind. She’s a middle aged South African woman. Her sexless-loveless marriage, therapy with Dr Needles, and the traffic newspaper man. With stream of consciousness and humor, Yewande Omotosho drives me through South Africa.  Reading An Autodidact’s Guide To Sex Ed by Mona Zutoh Opubor made me gratefully reminisce about my honest, open, empowering upbringing.

There were compelling coming of age stories like A Taste of It by Martin Chinagorom, Bound by Ese Lerato Emewua and Under The Surface by Efembe Eke. Finding Courage by Richard Ali made me gasp wow, it was a disconcerting story of loss of love, faith and courage in people, causes and a nation. “With the loss of Tamara , I lost my faith in love, then in my country. Faith fuels,it is faith I am disposed of.” Aside, Born On A Tuesday  haven’t read about the Nigerian Government detention and tortured interrogation of political critics or Boko Haram suspects that got me gasping.  I was like, wait Tamara isn’t Tamara but Aisha, a spy? There I was touched that there was a character with a disability in the anthology. You Take Me For A Goat by Samuel Kolawole is a honest shot of domestic violence. Beatings one minute, sex the next. Psychological abuse and bullying of an enduring partner by a frustrated partner is also common.  I highly recommend this anthology with 4 fireworks. Its a symbol of why I love anthologies and short stories. I loved that the female characters were empowered or learning to come into their own.