Wednesday, 30 October 2013

THE GARDENER's ICE MAIDEN #Excerpt


At the foot of the stairs, Olivia came to a screeching halt. The sight, a few yards in front of her, left her totally speechless and breathless...

   In her opulent bespoke kitchen, the man she’d seen picking weeds and digging flower beds only an hour ago wearing stained green tee shirt, dark trousers, muddy boots and gloves is now preparing breakfast as if he's a celebrity TV chef on live television.

   Oliver looked up in time to see her drooling mouth. He flashed her a winning grin as he stirred the bubbling liquid in the milk pan. She looked to her left, on the island extension were they ate quick meals, were two plates complete with cutlery and mugs.

   Taking in the scene, she understood why her son had dismissed her belated offer to prepare his breakfast.

   Contrary to the instant guilt that came over her at Shawn’s outburst earlier, she realized her son hadn’t suffered neglect at all. Mr. Gardener had extended his scope to providing breakfast for her son and doing school runs behind her back!

   Oliver's practically taking over the running of her home. She covered her face with her hand. No, it is more of acute embarrassment. And perhaps, with a tinge of anger? She couldn’t put her finger on exactly what she found so appalling about the scenario playing out in front of her.

   While she stood like a robot at the foot of the stairs, Shawn came bounding down the stairs, looking at his wristwatch at the same time.

   ‘Hi mate,’ Oliver called out animatedly at the sight of her son pulling his schoolbag over one shoulder.

   Oliver’s voice was like hot, liquid honey flowing through her veins…

   This is all going badly this morning.

If she asks Oliver to get out of her kitchen, she risks offending her son who’s obviously settled into the routine of eating hot, freshly prepared meals for breakfast.

   ‘Come over and join us mum,’ her son called out as he dumped his bag on top of the kitchen worktop. ‘Never mind, am sure Oliver doesn’t have enough for three.’ She said faintly when she found her voice.

   ‘There’s always extra. Isn’t there an extra portion left, Oliver?’ her son asked, as he went round, pumping the gardener on the arm like chummy friends do.

   Her stomach almost fell out at the sight...
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Sunday, 27 October 2013

Do You #Snoop on Your Partner's #Phone?

Playing detective around your partner can only mean one thing, trust is out! Suspicion is in!

Have you heard a tale or two? Or did you sniff a
strange fragrance on the clothes? Add to that, your partner's being keeping late nights.

Aha! You overheard your partner's lewd phone conversation last night.

Your nose wrinkle with suspicion and your heart bleeds with disappointment and mistrust.

You set the wheels in motion to catch your partner out. You say to yourself, "I've got to find out!"

When your spouse isn't in the same room, you snatch the phone, look around and tiptoe out of sight. Sure you're alone, you swiftly scroll down the phone flipping through text messages, photo album and call log.

Your heart races with fear, anger...venom...at what you might find.

You read a text message with a few ****, or you see a photo of a half clothed woman or man...staring back at you.

Bile rushes to your throat, raw pain slashes through your chest, you struggle to breathe...

Feeling dazed, the phone slides out of your quivering fingers...


*******

Was it a great idea to have found out or should you have left the phone alone?

What do you think? Please share your thoughts.

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Tuesday, 22 October 2013

HUSBAND to RENT: Will he grant her unreasonable request? #Romance









Fara noticed her as soon as she walked through the door. He had been fully listening to the clerk giving him useful tips at the Registry office.

  
His goal in Benin City Nigeria is straightforward.  

   At present, his senses were partially held spellbound by the eggshell brown skinned woman in white, wet silk blouse.

  
Otasowie

Photo is courtesy of Bellanaija

Her skin glistened with rain drops as she shuffled her high heel clad feet on the foot mat.

   And her hair wasn't spared the wrath of the tropical August downpour.

   His eyes feasted on the outline of her white, lacy bra visible through her soaked blouse.

   Everyone in the room, inquirer and official snatched a discrete look at the lightly drenched, shapely woman whose eyes searched the square, carpeted space for a chair.

  
The three, tired looking seats for visitors were occupied. Her painted fingers clutching a clean, white handkerchief dabbed gently at her face, before sliding across her cleavage. Blood swept through his vital organs in a dizzying rush.

   Heat suffused his hairy dark skin as he wondered if she had any idea how desirous she looked standing there wet, and unfazed.

   There’s no point pretending. He was no longer listening to the clerk's reply on how the plan to help him will pan out. He jumped off his seat, his gaze never leaving the tall, dark haired woman still standing by the entrance.






  




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Friday, 18 October 2013

Issues Affecting Having Children - #Africa vs #UK

Welcome to Advice Bench! 





I have opted to blog about having children, their gender, childlessness and single motherhood. I have lived in the UK for almost six years and my mind willingly draw comparisons on a few touchy issues.

WHEN TO HAVE KIDS?

In Africa, having children immediately after wedlock is not only expected, but
extensively celebrated.

Having children is the next step after tying the knot.

Having just one child is frowned upon because every child needs a playmate. One child family ranks only slightly higher than childlessness.

In many cases, to be in the good book of your in-law, your family and well wishers, you should aim to have three kids within the first six years of your marriage.

Here in the UK, the story is different. Couples have a wide range of options - not to have kids, to have only one child or to wait for several years before deciding to have kids. There's no societal or family pressure to have kids. Or is there?

1. NUMBER OF CHILDREN

In Africa, ideally, after having three kids, you can take a deep breath. You're let off the hook from family & societal pressure. You're respected and honoured as a deserving wife.

The number of children to have in the UK is not up for discussion. It is the prerogative of the couple.

However, the media and public get involved when couples with large families (e.g. seven children) 'harass' the Council to give them a bigger house at the expense of the tax payer.

2. GENDER OF CHILDREN

In Africa, you're also let off the pressure pot if you have three boys or two girls and one boy, or two boys and a girl!

If you have three girls, you will need to go back to the birthing table in no time at all.

Except of course you want to hear the usual rhetoric about girls being unable to perpetuate the family name. You'll be told that boys carry on the family name.

In other words, if you don't have a male child, you're treading on shaky marital ground.

A family member had two girls. She toyed with the idea of not having any more kids. She was called aside and advised by a 'concerned' in-law to try again. She was told in clear terms, 'if you don't
have a son, you have no hold on your husband'. And so, she tried and had a son. The relief was palpable.

While in the UK, gender is not even a talking point. Male or female children are entitled to the same rights and consideration. The Queen recently made a proclamation. If Prince William had given birth to a daughter, she would have been third in line to the throne.

3. CHILDLESSNESS

Ohhow the woman without child suffers emotional trauma in Africa! My late mother-in-law was childless for ten years! I have heard about her many unbearable sufferings at the hands of many who insulted, mistreated and cursed her. God blessed her with two kids eventually.

Childlessness is almost intolerable in Africa. Other options such as adoption and surrogacy is still fairly unpopular because of cultural & other issues.

No matter how poor a family is in Africa, they will not deliberately decide to remain childless. Never! We learn that children make the family complete.

In the UK, couples can decide not to have a child. It could be for health or selfish reasons, or the high cost of child care. How can that be? What if their parents had decided not to have kids?

Adoption, Surrogacy and IVF are normal options to explore for childless couples without facing stigmatization. Mothers who adopt babies are entitled to maternity leave. That's commendable.

4. CHILDREN DISCIPLINE

In Africa, children are scolded and flogged when they act foolishly. Children are routinely rebuked by any adult, teacher, neighbour or relative. Children can be whipped into line in public places without fear of being cautioned or thrown into jail for assault.

Teachers in Africa have the power and authority to discipline children. They just need to be better remunerated for their good work.

In the UK, the story is the exact opposite. A child being rude to elders in a London bus is overlooked by all. How can this be?

In schools, children have more rights than the teachers employed to teach and discipline them. Teachers are stressed and their hands are tied when students continually offend. Thankfully, in my children's school, letters of good or bad behaviour are sent home. For that, my husband and I are grateful. This helps us keep a tight rein on their behaviour.

We need to make teaching honourable by giving teachers more power to discipline students.

At home, neighbours are silent when kids exhibit anti-social behaviour. Children freely ring the Police for help when they are spanked by their parents.

How can the society rely on the Police to discipline all the children who misbehave? Is this a sustainable model for children discipline?

Parents need to have freedom to discipline their children for the good of the society.

I know from media reports that children abuse exist, but this is an exception rather than the rule. Is this enough reason to bar parents from executing their given role to discipline their children?

We need an academy to train parents on how to raise children successfully. Without previous experience to rely on, parents do the best they can.

5. SINGLE MOTHERHOOD

The question then arises of why are many men refusing to take responsibility for their kids in the UK? Were they unaware of the pregnancies ? Or do the mothers
refuse to allow their involvement? Or are they simply running away from their responsibilities?

The group of people confidently having kids in the UK are the young girls.

There's no stigma associated with single motherhood. Many celebrities are children of single mothers. Thankfully, single mothers get financial help from the State.

In Africa, many married couples stay together for the sake of their children. There's stigma associated with single motherhood. African culture takes pride in families holding together in the face of infidelity, polygamy & other difficulties.

Young girls who fall pregnant instead of completing their academics are aware of the heavy price to pay. They risk being disowned by their parents, face societal rejection and ridicule. There's no welfare from government to help them out.

Fathers must try harder to be part of their children's lives. If they made out with their kids mums, they should put in a lot more effort to shape their children's future.

African countries should make provision for the many mothers (especially widows) toiling to raise their children.

In my fourth novel - THE GARDENER'S ICE MAIDEN, single mum, Olivia Gleaves had been initially forced by her mother to abandon the care of her baby to her aunt so
she could continue her education.

When she eventually took responsibility for her nine year old son, she faced the uphill task of trying to understand him, establishing a relationship and setting boundaries.

Adding the distracting and unwanted attention from her Gardener to the mix presents tingling challenges. Who says parenting is an easy task?

Find out how Olivia copes...in THE GARDENER's ICE MAIDEN.

    Available on


 
 
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Thank you for stopping by. Please share your comments, so I know you stopped by. It gives me great pleasure to read your views.
 

You remain unforgettable.
  
Love 
Stella 

Flirty & Feisty Romance 


Our promise...is to deliver an intensely emotional experience you'll never forget.

 
 











 
 


Friday, 11 October 2013

Rich or Poor Who Will You #Marry?

 
Welcome to Advice Bench! 





The size of a man's wallet or bank account is usually a touchy subject.

The question is, should a man's bank balance be the number one criteria to earn an 'I do' reply from your lips?

You meet a man you have several things in common with, a man you fancy and think you can be with long term but he has no savings stashed up at home or abroad. He lives from hand to mouth. The future looks bright because he's employed, hard working and ambitious.
You ask him how the wedding ceremony is going to be funded. He tells you to settle for an austerity inspired, low key wedding.

Are you going to kiss your teeth at him, walk him out of  your life, advising him to increase the perimeter of his bank account or are you going to give him a kiss and scream 'Yes, I will!'

I don't discount the truth that women perceive men who earn more money as more attractive because of the stability and security money provides.

MY ADVICE

If you have considered other factors such as family background, education, emotional maturity, personal responsibility, outlook on life, and the only reason you have cold feet is the reality that he has no car, no financial asset or amazing income, RECONSIDER!

Here are a few facts to help you:

1. Globally, women's economic power is soaring.

2. Women make 80% of all buying decisions around the world.

3. Women bring in half or more of the household income.

4. Women control most of the spending in households.

In other words, countless women around the world are marrying men with less income and bank balance.

Women have become high income earners! The days of relying solely on a man's income is fading away.


You get to 'control' buying decisions in your new home anyway.

If your husband-to-be has small amounts of wealth, you can help by combining resources.

Marry the man your heart chooses instead of dithering and holding out for Mr. Wealthy.



Flirty & Feisty Romance wishes you the very best in deciding on Mr. Right.

* * * * * *
Thank you for stopping by. Please share your comments, so I know you stopped by. It gives me great pleasure to read your views.
 

You remain unforgettable.
  
Love 
Stella 

Flirty & Feisty Romance 


Our promise...is to deliver an intensely emotional experience you'll never forget.