Book Tour: Lawrence Amaeshi’s Sweet Crude Odyssey


It’s a cool Thursday morning, and what better day to host Lawrence Amaeshi as he talks about his expository novel, Sweet Crude Odyssey?

As I said in the announcement, the book exposes the inner workings of the illegal bunkering going on in the Niger Delta, and leaves you wondering about two things: how did the author know so much about the business and how does the Niger Delta, and in fact, the country rid itself of this chaos?

Before we go further, let me share an excerpt from the book:

B&N Sweet_Crude_Odyssey_Cover2

I felt uneasy. I couldn’t shake the thought that someone was watching me. Someone was.
The man staring at me was European, probably British from his stiffness. He wore a long sleeve shirt rolled up at the cuffs with corduroy pants. The smile on his face said he knew something he wasn’t willing to share.
He wasn’t alone. There were two women with him, clad in tight-fitting clothes – miniskirts and transparent blouses. Their table was heavy with drinks and food, but he was more interested in me.
The bar’s clientele was split between indigenous and expatriate oil workers, all in search of a good time. It was a melting pot for lovers of local music, drinks, aquatic delicacies, and assorted meat sourced from the thick mangrove swamp. Women of the night hung in the shadows along the drive-in.
It was way past midnight and guests had begun to leave alone or with company.
The clock hit 2:00 a.m. Daisy, my companion, had already retired to the hotel room, and I reluctantly rounded up for the night as well. Nocturnal insects hovered round the incandescent light bulbs and mosquitoes converged in the darkness under my table. They would have to find another victim tonight. I was done.
Then the white gentleman sat down at my table, opposite me. His cologne was a heavy, flowery fragrance with a touch of cider.
“Hi’ya, mate?” His cockney accent was thick.
I was not in the mood for small talk; I was plastered from downing two bottles of Hennessy. I looked on at the deep orange glow of my cigarette as I inhaled, aware that the bar almost empty, and brushed off a beetle that had fallen on my shirt.
“The name’s Steve,” said the Brit. “I couldn’t help but notice you. Can I bum one off you? I’m out.” He helped himself to a cigarette from my packet, lit up, and took a deep drag. “Been watching you.” He let the smoke out of his mouth as he spoke. “Judging from the way you guzzled those bottles, I can tell you need a life coach.”
He glanced around the bar, his distaste visible. “Continue down this path, my friend, and you’ll burn out fast. This is the land of not enough – near misses, misery, and strange bed fellows, ain’t it?” He jerked his head at the prowlers in the shadows. “Only so much your body can take. Would be a waste of the wonderful life you’ve never had the chance to enjoy. The one I know you’ve dreamt off everyday, Bruce.”
My head jerked up in reflex. How did he know my name?
“I can make you rich. Richer than you’ve ever imagined.”
I was dead sure I had never met this stalker before – drunk or sober. Was my situation so dismal everybody could see it? “Mister, did I ask for your help? Mind your business.”
Steve didn’t flinch. “You are my business.”

 

You’ve just met Bruce,  the protagonist of the novel who gets embroiled in the dangerous world of illegal bunkering. Now, meet General Jojo in this audio recording:

 

The book intrigues you with vivid imagery,  efficient language and plot twists. I could hardly set it down until I was done with it.

 

Authors photoThe author, Lawrence Amaeshi writes prose fiction and non-fiction. His first novel, Sweet Crude Odyssey, was published under the Prestige label of Kachifo Ltd. His book has been featured on Vanguard, Kirkus, Clarion, Creative Writing News, Reader’s View amongst other renowned literary review critics. He is rounding off a long-distance learning novel-writing course in Stanford University. He lives in Lagos with his wife and kids. He is working on his second novel.

The amazing Sweet Crude Odyssey by Lawrence Amaeshi is now available on Barnes&Noble, Amazon and Okadabooks.
A review of the novel was recently published in the Arts and Culture section of the Vanguard Newspaper.

Now’s the time to welcome the author,  I hope you’re ready with your questions!

 

 

Announcement: Book Tour of Lawrence Amaeshi’s Sweet Crude Odyssey

Hi there!

It gives me great pleasure to announce the tour of Lawrence Amaeshi’s expository novel, Sweet Crude Odyssey. The tour will come here, lolaopatayo.com, on Thursday, 3rd of August, 2017.

B&N Sweet_Crude_Odyssey_Cover2

 

Here’s a brief description of the book:

In the international market, they call it sweet crude – crude oil with low sulfur content. It flows in the oil rich Niger Delta region and is targeted by oil thieves, who siphon it from the pipelines and sell to the highest bidder.
Crude oil black market is staked with blood and immense wealth, encircling rich barons in international cities and savage militants down at the Niger Delta creeks. This is the world Bruce Telema is lured into. Spurred by desperation and pulled by the allure of immense riches, Bruce plunges into this dark abyss of betrayal and destruction, striking illicit million dollar deals and battling security forces and rival militants. But steadily, even as he outruns poverty and gains a fearsome reputation in the oil cabal, death, karma and the law stay close on his heels.

 

Authors photo

Lawrence Amaeshi writes prose fiction and non-fiction. His first novel, Sweet Crude Odyssey, was published under the Prestige label of Kachifo Ltd. His book has been featured on Vanguard, Kirkus, Clarion, Creative Writing News, Reader’s View amongst other renowned literary review critics. He is rounding off a long-distance learning novel-writing course in Stanford University. He lives in Lagos with his wife and kids. He is working on his second novel.

Be sure to join us, and get your​ questions ready for the author. You might also win a free copy in the giveaway!

Remember, it’s Thursday, the 3rd of August, 2017, see you then!

Book Tour: Umari Ayim’s Guardian of the Fall

Welcome to the book tour of Umari Ayim’s Guardian of the Fall. It began yesterday on Creative Writing News and today LolaOpatayo.com is priviledged to host this intriguing writer and her work. I encourage you to participate by asking questions and also join the tour on Open Book Nigeria tomorrow, this will increase your chances to win a free copy of the book.

 

What is Guardian of the Fall About?

Cover_Guardian of The Fall_Front_Umari AyimAs I said yesterday, the book is an exciting mix of mysticism, romance, and suspense. The story is spun around the Guardian, the eponymous character, and keeper of a picturesque forest and waterfall in Agbokim village, in Cross River State, Nigeria. The Guardian is a force, a deity of some sort, which exhibits formidable powers, including shape shifting (appearing as a child, an old woman, an owl, a snake, a satyr-like creature, and a goat with a baby’s face). It attempts to match make its messenger, Erom, with Ken, a developer who wants to build a resort near the falls. Erom, with no say in the matter, is chosen, as a messenger of the Guardian; Ken’s parents decide his profession, university, where he’ll work and even the day he should start work; and the Guardian, through dreams and visions, essentially pulls Erom and Ken together, which, upon introspection, asks the philosophical question – how real and true is human love if it is predestined and fated by the gods? I particularly enjoyed the author’s style of writing and found her descriptions vivid. I have quite a lot of questions for her, but first, here’s an excerpt from page 58 of the book.

Erom climbed off the bus and stretched her stiff muscles. She felt like she had been traveling for a whole day, instead of the three hours it had taken her. The ground was soggy with small circles of muddy water everywhere. Erom looked down with annoyance at the thin line of mud clinging to the hem of her blue trouser. Plucking a tissue from her handbag, she brushed hard at the hem for several minutes. She stopped when her anxious ministrations seemed to produce no result and flicked the tissue into the open mouth of the small green bin in the bus. She walked a few feet from the bus, feeling her confidence return with every step she took. The headscarves that kept her hair hidden had been abandoned in the village, her long hair swept back and held fast at the nape of her neck with a black velvet band. The last time she checked her reflection in the small handheld mirror in her bag, she had been satisfied with the full eyebrows that arched naturally and the pale pink eye shadow on her eyelid. She knew her eyes were brightened with the black of the kohl she had applied and her lips shone with the lip-gloss she carried around with her.

 
She passed a crowd of locals milling around a young food seller heaping rice on plastic plates. The park was fenced, but the wide exit that faced the road was without a gate. The usual rush hour din of taxi horns and several motorcycles, blending with loud music from a music shop beside the road pushed a wild mixture of sounds into the evening air. Erom swung her large black handbag on her right shoulder and held the small bag that contained few clothes in her left hand. It felt good to be away from Agbokim, she didn’t feel so out of place in the city where she had spent five years getting her degree in Mass Communication. She had walked a few steps towards the road beside the park when her phone began to ring.
 
“Where are you now?”
 
The enormity of what she was about to do hit Erom with a force. She had travelled several kilometers without her mother’s knowledge to spend the night with Ofem. What if she was making a mistake?
 
“I just arrived Calabar now.”
 
“Do you remember The Prince Guest House?”
 
Erom remembered. He had tried to seduce her there three weeks after they first met. “Yes I do.”
 
“I have already booked a room.” A pause and then his voice came back on. “Just collect the keys from the woman at the reception when you get there.”

 

Umari Ayim is a lawyer, writer and poet. Umari has always had a passion for writing since she was a little girl Umariliving in the bustling city of Lagos. As a member of the Literary and Debating Society of her secondary school, Umari served as the director of poetry and also wrote stage plays for the society. Her first book, a novel, ‘Twilight at Terracotta Indigo’ won the ANA/NDDC Flora Nwapa Prize for Women Writing in 2011. Her second book, a collection of poems titled ‘Inside My Head’ won the ANA Poetry Prize the following year in 2012. As a social commentator and gender activist, Umari has also published several articles published in both traditional and online media platforms.

And Here’s Another Excerpt

Erom sighed when the call came to an end. It was too late now. There was no way she could turn back now. She walked to the road with brisk steps and waved down a motorcyclist.
 
“IBB Way,” she told the young rider that pulled up beside her. When the man nodded, she swung her legs over the seat of the motorcycle, straddling it with ease. 
 
“Let’s go.”
 
The motorcyclist revved his bike, turning the rumbling machine in the opposite direction. Just as they surged forward, a man appeared from nowhere, running into the direct path of the motorcycle. Erom’s heart skipped in fear as the motorcycle swerved unsteadily to the side. She felt the world tip and saw the ground rise up to meet her. But just before the inevitable collision, she found herself lifted back into an upright position again. The young motorcyclist expressed his outrage in an expletive laden rant about careless pedestrians while Erom struggled to catch her breath. She looked up to find the man they had almost run into holding on to the handlebars of the motorcycle and looking into her eyes.
 
“Sorry,” the man said to the motorcyclist, his eyes still fastened on Erom. “I did not see you coming.” Her rider straightened and released the handlebars. Dismissing the man’s apology with a careless wave of hand, the motorcyclist commandeered the motorcycle back on the road, continuing their journey. Gripping the bags she heaped on her thighs, Erom looked back at the man the motorcyclist had almost run over. He was fading into a slow walking shadow, yet she felt as if he was just right behind the fast moving motorcycle. She knew that stare – it was the unmistakable eyes of the Guardian looking at her.
Here’s what others are saying about the book:

Umari Ayim is an award-winning writer with a respectable body of work both in prose and poetry. Guardian of the Fall stubbornly refuses to fit into the genre box. Favourite line? When the Guardian tells Erom, “…Not all questions in life will be answered”. Favourite scene? The haunting one involving the murder-sacrifice of a child: for some inexplicable reason, it reminded me of the death of Ikemefuna in Things fall Apart.

– Chiemeka Garricks, author of Tomorrow Died Yesterday

 

The Guardian of The Fall is a beautiful blend of African myth and fantasy colliding with the modern world”. Umari Ayim awakens our five senses in the pages of his book; her words make you see, smell, hear, taste and touch the elements of the pages. She paints a beautiful image of nature encompassed by mystery and takes us an extraordinary adventure through the forests of Cross River.

– Princess Abumere, Founder, The Sunshine Book Club

You Can Get Your Own Copy of the Book Here

Quramo Publishing Limited Office

The Simi Johnson Centre, 13 Sinari Daranijo Victoria Island Lagos

+234 (0) 909 174 0210, +234 (0)1 454 7878

 

Jazzhole

168 Awolowo Way, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria

+234 (0) 803 332 0398

 

Patabah Books

Shop B18, Adeniran Ogunsanya Shopping mall, Adeniran Ogunsanya Street,

Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria.

+234 (0) 709 048 5129, +234 (0) 1 730 7640.

 

Quintessence Limited

Plot 13, Block 44, Park View Estate Entrance, Off Gerrard Road, Ikoyi Lagos,

Nigeria. +234 (0) 802 699 2535

 

Salamander Café Limited

5 Bujumbura Street, Off Libreville Street, Off Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse 2

Abuja, Nigeria.

+234 (0) 809 220 4424, +234 (0) 809 220 4424

 

Roving Heights Books Nigeria

+234 (0) 703 203 8633, +234 (0) 909 215 8968

 

Do you have a question you’d like to ask the author? Please do so in the comment section, and she’ll respond. Welcome Umari!

 

Announcement: Online Book Tour of Guardian of the Fall

Hi everyone,

I know it’s been a while but not to worry, a new series begins today. In the meantime however, I do have some exciting news to share. Lolaopatayo.com is hosting another online book tour and author on Tuesday, 16th of May, and this time, it is all about Guardian of the Fall, written by Umari Ayim. The tour begins today on Creative Writing News.

In a delightful mixture of mysticism, romance, and suspense, the book tells the story of the relationship between Erom, the opinionated messenger of the Guardian and Ken, a young privileged engineer who has been sent to Agbokim village to uphold the family business. Overwhelmed by forces who threaten their relationship and their personal struggles, Umari reminds us of young love and ambition. This is a book you want to read and ask questions about!

Make it a date, and you might win a copy in the free giveaway! You can get your copy here

Online Book Tour: Beyond the Trial by Chigozie Anuli Mbadugha

Hello everyone!

Welcome to the online book tour of Chigozie Anuli Mbadugha’s collection of short stories- Beyond the Trial. The book tells the stories of three women who choose to see life beyond their trials and dare to reach for it. And I must say that I enjoyed reading this inspirational fiction that reminds us that the sun always comes up, even after the darkest night. Continue reading “Online Book Tour: Beyond the Trial by Chigozie Anuli Mbadugha”