So, three months ago, I got a message on Instagram asking me to take part in a book project, an African Christmas Romance Anthology. The sender went by the name The Eccentric Diva (Youtuber) aka @camaa_pearl. Eccentric indeed! When she said the title of this Christmas anthology would be “Hell Hath No Fury”, I was even more uncertain. That doesn’t sound like a book I’d buy, not to mention read, at Christmas, I thought.
Well, it turns out that that title is a banger, and most people I’ve asked said they’d be curious to know what the book is about and would buy it. That was good to know.
I took a while to come back with my decision. I had my own book plans and deadlines, and I wasn’t sure how this whole collaboration thing would work. How we would calculate and pay royalties was top of my concerns. But still, the opportunity to meet other talented writers and work together and learn more about book publishing proved too promising!
A few weeks later, I made my decision to drop my hat in the ring! I rarely take risks, and as far as risks go, what did I have to lose anyway? All I had to do was write a short story between 7,000 and 10,000 words… It gave me the opportunity to look through my drafts and finally write one of the many titles I’d saved to write later.
On the 22nd of September, I decided to revisit a story I’d saved two years prior to write. And the funny thing, it was exactly on 22nd September 2018 that I’d saved the story! Why? I’d been inspired by my own 20-year reunion, which was set for December 2019, and I had just been invited to join the alumni WhatsApp chat group. It was a sweet story I’d been eager to write at the time, but never got around to. So, that’s how I picked The 20-Year Reunion as my contribution for the Hell Hath No Fury anthology.
Margaret Adetimehin (aka Camaa, aka The Eccentric Diva) later went on to feature my story on her blog, as she reviewed it and talked about our upcoming production. And what a production it is! She has brought so much energy, skills, and vision into the anthology, using her many networks, channels, and platforms to develop and promote it. I’ve learnt a thing or two, and I’m now certain it’s a going to be a huge success. And did I mention that the anthology is a collection of TWENTY African women’s stories?!
These are amazing talented women of African origin, based all over the world, telling our stories, experiences, beliefs, and lessons, as diverse as they come. Not all the stories are Christian or PG 13, so parental guidance is encouraged. Some stories are actually quite paranormal, like L. Leigh’s contribution, which is titled after the book; Hell Hath No Fury Like A Mother Scorned.
For a generally youthful group, these ladies show a lot of understanding and insight into the state of their world, touching on a lot of relationship and heart issues. Honestly, I’m yet to read all the stories. I’m taking my time to savour them.
Today, I want to review a story by Glory Abah, who wrote How To Break A Woman’s Heart. I was given this story to edit, as we were all assigned stories to edit. I thoroughly enjoyed the process, and shared my commentary with the author as I read. She made a fan out of me!
From the first page to the last, I was enthralled by the story. I fell in love with the main character easily and felt like strangling her boyfriend, who had taken advantage of her youth and naivety. After finding wedding invitations in the closet, and being dumped by the man she’d given up so much to be with, including a career and two babies she’d aborted, Miriam is out for blood, this time, for Akin’s blood!
What got to me was his absolute lack of remorse and regard for Miriam, a lady he had professed to love, right up to the point his treachery had been discovered. Glory’s story truly brings out the “hell hath no fury like I woman scorned” theme, in this Christmas love story. But will Mimi get over her rage to see the blessed opportunity right in front of her, as she seeks comfort in her best friend’s house? He he he!!! I’ll leave that for you to discover.
Well, I can’t tell you the anthology won’t make you wanna kill somebody… All the stories I’ve read so far left me feeling good and optimistic, even though there were a lot of smh moments along the way. But that’s life, isn’t it? We live and we learn!
So, if you’ve got the heart and stomach for it, do get a hold of Hell Hath No Fury, An African Christmas Anthology, published by Camaa, this Christmas! The book will be out next Friday, the 27th of November, but you can preorder it now… Follow this link – https://msha.ke/blackfemaleauthors/#links – to learn more and how to obtain paperback copies in Nigeria, if you’re local.
I hope I have whet your appetite about this unique publication. I sincerely look forward to more opportunities to collaborate with these and other amazing authors, near and far. Have yourself a restful weekend and a Merry Christmas in advance!
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