Thursday, 20 October 2011

Whispers - snippet from His Treasure

Hi readers, this week I’ve got a double challenge.

The first 12 sentences of this snippet are for the Weekend Dirty Dozen blog hop. It is a blog fest for romance and erotic writers to share 12 sentences every weekend for promotional purposes on their websites and blogs of their new releases and WIPs. Please use the link when you’re done to visit the Facebook page or blog to see who else is participating in the hop.

For Romantic Friday Writers, each Friday members post 300-400 words of romantic prose or poem on own blog based on a theme for the week. This week’s theme is Whispers. Use the link to see other submissions for the week.

I’m sharing a snippet from His Treasure, my debut historical romance novella set in pre-colonial West Africa. It is published by Breathless Press and out in December 2011. Click here to read the blurb.

For this scene, Adaku is with her friend Ifeoma at the New Yam festival when she hears worrying rumors about her husband Obinna that could change their marriage.

Word count: 399
As she glanced over at Ifeoma, who was blooming, the swell of her pregnancy just beginning to show, a sliver of desperation travelled down her spine. Soon people would start looking at her with pity in their eyes—as a woman who couldn’t conceive or bear a child.

“Adaku, are you all right?” Ifeoma words drew her out of her reverie. She shook her head before replying.

“Why do you ask?”

“It’s just that you had a frown on your face. You aren’t concerned about the rumors, are you?”

Dread traveled down her spine. She knew it wouldn’t be a good thing. “What rumors?”

Ifeoma went pale. “Sorry. Don’t mind me and my big mouth. It’s nothing. Just hearsay.”

She watched the way her friend’s stare darted away briefly to where another group of women sat together. Something was up.

“Ifeoma, you have to tell me what you’ve heard. Right now,” she urged, keeping her voice low.

“If you’re sure.” Ifeoma fidgeted with her clothes, her eyes fixed on her restless hands.

“Go on. Tell me.”

“I heard that Nneka, Ofonna’s widow has been released by her in-laws after completing her mourning period. So she’s free to remarry,” Ifeoma whispered.

Adaku couldn’t figure out how this affected her. Some widows, if they were still young enough and without children, were released by their in-laws to remarry another man of their choice. In most cases, they ended up as second or third wives to one of the dead man’s brothers.

“And?” Adaku persisted. There had to be more to the story.

“And it’s well known that she had a soft spot for Obinna before she was betrothed to Ofonna. It’s rumored he may take her as a second wife.”

It was Adaku’s turn to feel faint as blood drained from her head. She gripped her seat to stop herself from toppling over. Taking a few deep breaths, she glanced over at Nneka, who looked happy chatting with her friends, oblivious to the thoughts churning in Adaku’s head.

Was this true? Had Obinna been lovers with Nneka before he married me? Did he still have a fondness for the widow?

She glanced over to where Obinna sat chatting with his friend, Ikem. They both were looking at the group where Nneka sat.

Her heart dropped into her stomach. Jealous rage washed over her, clouding her vision in red.

It's true!

I hope you enjoyed this snippet. Does it fit the theme? Share your thoughts as usual.
Have a great weekend.


  1. Certainly fits the whispers theme, Kiru. I like the moving 'shots' between what's going on in Adaku's mind and the dialogue and outer scenes. You've also covered a lot of ground on some African (Igbo) cultural traditions within the confines of the 400 word limit. Well done.

  2. Dear Kiru,
    Yes! This definitely fits the theme 'Whispers'! Gossip and heresay abound here. Good pacing between Adaku's inner thoughts, what she observes, and the confirmation of her worst fears by what she hears from Ifeoma.

    You have packed a lot of important information in this short snippet, for example the fact that Ifeoma, the gossiper, is pregnant, while Adaku, our heroine, may have trouble with fertility and this could be to her disadvantage in this particular society at this time.

    I am not familiar with these African names.(Pardon my ignorance.) But your very clear writing made it easy for me to figure out who was a man and who was a woman. No confusion here.

    I really enjoyed reading this; it suits the theme *Whispers' perfectly; and you have used your 399 words well!

    Best wishes,

    Anna's RFWers' Challenge No. 24 - 'Whispers'

  3. No woman wants a man another woman doesnt already want! Haha, this made me chuckle! Can't wait to read your book!

  4. Oh boy, I'd be sick to my stomach for sure. Well written and lots of tension. Great job.
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

  5. Oooo, that's very exciting. What drama! Definitely makes me want to read more. (That and the cover is HOT).

  6. Whispers, rumors, definitely fits the theme.

  7. I wouldn't want to be in Adaku's shoes. Yes, this situation does fit the theme, in the worst kind of way. Gossip, when it affects you and you're the last to know.

  8. Hello Kiru.
    I always love reading your snippets.
    This one certainly fits the theme & what whispers they are too.

    My heart goes out to Adaku...she can't conceive & now she might be losing her husband too.

    Nice flow & conversation.
    I have to agree with cover is HOT...but I already told you that! (smile).

    The Sweet Voice Of Love

  9. Hi Kiru. Whispers, gossip. Great use of theme. I adore reading about the African culture in your snippets. No doubt there's customs here at play which you've weaved cleverly through the plot.

    Re critique. Did you realise you used 'traveled down her spine' twice? Perhaps you could use another image the second time. Also, I'm not sure of the historical period, but would they use the term 'in-laws'? Maybe they did. I'm just curious.

    Love the African names too. Yes, and the book cover is totally like HOT HOT HOT. All the best for its release. I hope you plug it through RFWers associated Witches Lair where we go to buy all our books!

    Thanks for such a great entry for the Whispers theme.


  10. Awwww...I feel so bad for her! Great job on evoking emotions here!

  11. Whispers, rumors, betrayal in the air. Heartbreaking scene. I really appreciated the rich cultural info; it was cleverly inserted as a natural part of Adaku's internal conflict.

    Nicely done. Denise already mentioned my only critique.


  12. Thank you everyone for leaving a comment. I really appreciate it.

    Denise, In medieval Iboland, they only spoke Igbo. I have simply translated the Igbo phrase for 'in-laws' to English. If there's an alternative English phrase then I'd love to know it. Thanks.

  13. Kiru, I've left an award over on my blog! Great excerpt! Good luck with the release. So exciting :D

  14. Kiru: Back for my second read. A stunning piece. Nah, don't know about 'in-laws'. Big help...


  15. Hi Teresa, thank you. I'm off to check it out.

  16. Denise, you're welcome any day. :o))

  17. Great excerpt Kiru, cant wait to read the book :-)

  18. Hello again Kiru,
    I've read your snippet one more time. It's wonderful! I really like it.
    I agree with other commenters that you weave the customs of mediaeval Iboland so well into the text. Very nice flow.

    I would love to write a period piece at some time. It is a balancing act between giving your text the feel of an older epoch and making your characters come alive to the modern reader. I cannot judge the accuracy of the details of African culture, but you have definitely written a compelling story.

    Thank you for your concern for my faerie character, Rosanna, and her jealousy and disappointment over Petrus' proposal to Aurora. I think Rosanna might understand your character, Adaku. But I don't think polygamy is permited in Faerieland!

    Thanks for your encouragement. The tiny winged people keep tugging at me with there tiny hands, telling me: 'Please, write a little more about us!' So there will be more stories. But not next week for 'Haunting'. They have requested that I use other characters for that.

    Best wishes,

    I mentioned RFWers here:
    Anna's SC wk 77 'I planted a little story seed'
    For the benefit of other readers, here is my post for 'Whispers':
    Anna's RFWers' Challenge No. 24 - 'Whispers'

  19. A wonderful piece, evoking the reader, emotionally charged. Great work.

  20. This snippet most definitely fits in with the theme.


I love to read your comments. Please share your thoughts.
If you're having problems using blogger to comment, please use the Facebook comment box at the bottom. Thank you.

The Romance Reviews