Sunday, 24 June 2018

Carole's Sunday Review: The Gilded Shroud

Author: Elizabeth Bailey

Title: The Gilded Shroud (A Lady Fan Mystery #1)
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, and Romance
Pages: ebook
Expected publication: 1992
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my unbiased opinion)

When the marchioness is found murdered at Polbrook mansion, the Dowager Lady Polbrook's new companion, Ottilia Draycott, finds herself in a house of strangers and every one of them a suspect. Only she can unmask and outwit a desperate killer and keep a Polbrook family secret buried.

Mysteries are so fun especially a good one like this!

The story follows Ottilia who is the new companion for the Dowager Lady Polbrook. The first morning after she arrives, Emily (the daughter-in-law) is murdered and her husband disappears around the same time. Chaos indeed! However, this family is in luck because Ottilia enjoys good mysteries and decides to help them solve this murder. 

I am very surprised this family was so kind to allow Ottilia to help. She is a virtual stranger and is a woman. She makes some good points so I guess it makes sense to let her loose. What is the worst that could happen? 

Ottilia was an interesting character. She was smart, but she had her moments of silliness. There were times I was surprised they kept her on. 

The romance aspect was done well I feel. It didn't at all take over the story. It was SOOO slow and took a back seat when it had to. It also felt real for these two characters because they have more important things to worry about. I do wish there had been a couple of other moments to feel the chemistry. There was chemistry missing between the two. Maybe the next book will show this more. 

The mystery was good. I guessed who it was but I was not confident in my guess. Much like our heroine. The hints were there, but I was unsure until a certain scene. When it was revealed I huzzahed. I was happy I got it. 

In the end, I really did enjoy this. I wanted more chemistry between Ottilia and Francis, but I liked how the romance was mixed in with this murder mystery. I am curious to read the next one. I'll stamp this with 4 stars. 

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Audibook Month. Narrators

Today I thought I would talk about narrators. I am SO not the person to ask. I am very new to all of this and I do not feel it is fear to say someone is great if you have only done one book by them.

But since I did try another one of Vikas Adam's books I can say that yes, he is lovely to listen at.

Amy Melissa Bentley has such a fun voice and she is perfect for YA and romance.

James Langton has this lovely voice for historical romance, all proper and perfect for Grace Burrowe's books

Justine Eyre is a new one that I kept thinking I like this voice and it always took a while to realise where from I had heard her.

Ruth Urqhart is someone I would like to listen to more...(could not find her on soundcloud)

There you go, a few that stood out. Sure there are other voices I like, but these are the ones whose name I remember :)

Friday, 22 June 2018

I am still Celebrating Audiobooks

I am borrowing this from Sophia over at Hot Listens, and she took it from Books and Thing's youtube channel.

1. Have you always listened to audiobooks or when did you begin?

To be honest, I am an oldie! But I had a long long break. When I was little I used to listen to anything the library had, Astrid Lindgren and stories from Greek mythology. I used to fall asleep to those and I loved them.

Then I stopped. I can not say when that was. Was I even in elementary school? But yes it took me ages to start again and mostly cos awesome bloggers around me kept raving about audio. That was like 2-3 years ago.

2. What is your favorite audiobook?
I think everyone knows that by now. Tadaa, Heartstrikers! DO not make me pick one. But if I must I will only narrow down to 2 3 and 4. Maybe 3?

 Check out my great audiobooks post

3. What is my least favorite thing about audiobooks?
I need a good voice. Most of the time I like the voice. But there has been instances when I just could NOT. It got on my nerves.

They also take longer even though I up the speed

4. What do you think is the difference in experience between physically reading a book and listening to it?
I seem to feel the books more in audio format. As you have noticed I have listened to a lot of YA nd I have given out a LOT of 4s. Would those books still be 4s if I read them...I doubt it.  I have given out so many 4s and 5s since I started listening to audio so yes there must be something that just grabs my attention more than a physical book

5. How and when do you listen?
When I take S out for her nap, I try to walk for an hour. MIL keeps telling me that I should like push the stroller for 5 min and I am  all I need my audio fix woman! lol. But yes then. And when I am putting her to sleep and if I wake before her but just want to chill. See, all my listening time is focused around her.

6. What style/genre do you prefer?
Romance is just lovely in audio! And YA fiction keeps surprising me. Who knew YA was this good!

7. What are some audiobook/narrator recommendations?
I really like Vikas Adam cos he voice is soooo lovely. (Heartstrikers!!) When it comes to female voices I like Amy Melissa Bentley because she is great in YA, Starry eyes! and I love her romance voice (Her Lauren Layne ones)

Also check me out today on Hot Listens! I am answering a rather well known question by now ;)

Also read all their June posts as they are celebrating Audiobook month :D

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Iron and Magic - Ilona Andrews

Hugh d’Ambray, Preceptor of the Iron Dogs, Warlord of the Builder of Towers, served only one man. Now his immortal, nearly omnipotent master has cast him aside. Hugh is a shadow of the warrior he was, but when he learns that the Iron Dogs, soldiers who would follow him anywhere, are being hunted down and murdered, he must make a choice: to fade away or to be the leader he was born to be. Hugh knows he must carve a new place for himself and his people, but they have no money, no shelter, and no food, and the necromancers are coming. Fast. 

Elara Harper is a creature who should not exist. Her enemies call her Abomination; her people call her White Lady. Tasked with their protection, she's trapped between the magical heavyweights about to collide and plunge the state of Kentucky into a war that humans have no power to stop. Desperate to shield her people and their simple way of life, she would accept help from the devil himself—and Hugh d’Ambray might qualify. 

Hugh needs a base, Elara needs soldiers. Both are infamous for betraying their allies, so how can they create a believable alliance to meet the challenge of their enemies? 

As the prophet says: “It is better to marry than to burn.” 

Hugh and Elara may do both. 

ebook, 322 pages
Expected publication: June 26th 2018
The Iron Covenant #1, Kate Daniels #9.5
For review

My thoughts:
Aaaaaaargh, Baby S deleted my review. SIGH. I so do not want to write this again. I am already two days behind on writing it.

What else to do then to write it again. Now 3 days late.

I did not like Hugh at first, but then something changed. I liked him even though he was evil. Aint that always the story. 
Here he is messed up cos Roland dumped him. Until his people tell him to shape up and save them. So he tries. 
I liked that we got a bit of his backstory and understood why he is all Roland is my god! And get to see that there is still light in there.

Elara was pretty cold as Hugh said. I get that she has a lot of responsibilities, protecting her people, living in their castle, hiding from baddies. So it took a while to warm up to her, if I ever did, but I get why she and Hugh fit together. I can not tell you, cos spoiler. But she has another side to her.

She hires him. He goes fighting. There are baddies. They argue. The end.

I do like Hugh ;) 

Nice story, Even if not as good as Kate, but then neither of the sidestories has been to me

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Audio: What happens in Summer - Caridad Pineiro

She knows the kind of man he is;
The kind who breaks hearts.
But a hot summer at the Jersey Shore
Might be just what they need to light up their lives . . .

As the only daughter of a single mom, Connie Reyes swore she would never put herself or her child in a similar position. But when she runs into oh so tempting Jonathan Pierce at a wedding, she knows she must stay away. She'll fall for him—hard. And he's not the type to stick around.

Ever since he left town after their teenage fling, Jonathan hasn't been able to forget about Connie. He can't wait for the wedding—to show her the man he's become. And when the night finally comes, their mutual desire will lead to unexpected consequences neither of them were prepared for . . . 

Audio CD, 8 pages
Published June 5th 2018 by Tantor Audio
At the Shore #2
Contemporary romance
For review

MY thoughts:
Oh Connie! I get that your dad left, but that does not mean that Jonathan is just like him. Walking out on your family is not the same as travelling the world and finding your passion. But hey a book needs drama so let us begin.

Connie and Jonathan shared a summer long ago. But he dropped out of College and she went on to become a lawyer cos she wanted stability.

But they always meet again since her BFF is neighbor to his family, and cos her BFF Maggie and Owen, J's brother hooked up in book 1. 

They banter, they want each other. I want her to let loose and forget about her big plan. I like how he does not give up because he know they are meant to be. I do like a man who gives chase and is not the one running away.

The book actually takes place at the same time as book 1 did. So the big thing I already guessed there. It makes me wonder if book 3 takes place at the same time too since they seem to be doing a dance around too.

But cute and nice

Narrator Veronica Worthington
I was not totally on board with book 1, I felt like her voices blended together and everyone sounded the same. But here they do not. Maybe she got better. Cos here everything fits and i like her narration and voices


Tuesday, 19 June 2018

TMST: Cliffhangers

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings where Rainy discuss a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.

June 19th: Cliffhangers: Do they compel you to read more or steer you away?

I do not know how to answer this one. I would rather not have cliffies. Sometimes they are so unnecessary!  I get it, you want us to read more, and then it takes like 3 years before the next book is out, or the book never comes cos the series was put on ice. When I only have to wait a year it is better, but the cliffie does not make me buy it. Of course, if it is a great series I would buy it, cliffie or not. When that year has gone by the cliffie is forgotten and I only get the book cos I want to see how the series progress.

I have read semi interesting books with cliffies, if the book is not good, then screw the cliffie. Nope. Not getting the book. In the end the cliffhanger does nothing for me, except making me really worked up for a week and then it is forgotten.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Audio: Love and First Sight - Josh Sundquist

On his first day at a new school, blind sixteen-year-old Will Porter accidentally groped a girl on the stairs, sat on another student in the cafeteria, and somehow drove a classmate to tears. High school can only go up from here, right? 

As Will starts to find his footing, he develops a crush on a charming, quiet girl named Cecily. Then an unprecedented opportunity arises: an experimental surgery that could give Will eyesight for the first time in his life. But learning to see is more difficult than Will ever imagined, and he soon discovers that the sighted world has been keeping secrets. It turns out Cecily doesn't meet traditional definitions of beauty--in fact, everything he'd heard about her appearance was a lie engineered by their so-called friends to get the two of them together. Does it matter what Cecily looks like? No, not really. But then why does Will feel so betrayed?

Audiobook, 6 h 25 min
Published January 3rd 2017 by Hatchette Audio
YA fiction

My thoughts
This is written by a youtube personality...never heard of him. Moving on.

Will is blind but he wants to go to a mainstream school and try to make it on his own. I did like Will, and I do get that he gets tired of his mum. But at the same time I really understood the mum, she just wants what is best for him. She wants to be in the office when he talks medical issues, I mean I would want to be there, even if my kid wasn't blind. So this time I did connect wit the mum. I got it. 

I can not know for sure since I am not blind, but it did feel like the author did his homework. Many think they know what is best, or how to help someone who is blind. But Will in his inner voice shoots down all those things people think they know. And how people often just make it worse. There were many aha moments. Cos how could someone who is blind understand depth? And so many other things.

Will gets friends, meets a girl and thinks about having an operation that might give him sight.

But, there was this one thing that bothered me and since it is in the blurb you have guessed it. How can he be upset cos someone did not tell him about their "defect". I mean whatever man, maybe you are ugly too! But at the same time, it is written well so I forgive him.

A good story that gave me lots to think about

Narrator Pat Young
I have the most boring things to say, I always say the same thing. He did a good job...well he did do a good job!

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Audio Discussion: When Dimple met Rishi

Hello all! Carole and I will be discussing "When Dimple Met Rishi" by Sandhya Menon. I am in orange and Carole in red. 

Author: Sandhya Menon
Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Genre: YA & Romance
Pages: audiobook
Published: May 30th 2017
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Freebie)

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

Look, for June is Audiobook month Carole and I will try our first Audiobook together! We chose this one cos I had heard great things about it. And yes, it was actually that good too, at least I thought so ;)

Happy Audiobook month! And yes! I enjoyed it a lot!! Good pick ;)

We did good for once, phew! I guess this was the only good book this year then. WHat should we discuss first?

Yess the first really good one of the year so far and we are in June! WOAH! But let us see….let’s start with the narrators. We had two of them. One for Dimple’s POV and one for the cutest guy “alive”. I adored the narrators. What did you think?

Obviously I am not the person to ask, I have the BIGGEST voice crush on Vikas Adam *happy sigh* I kind of wanna make babies with his voice. There I said it. I love his voice. Love love love love it. Hihi. Ok yes I am smitten. So yes he was good, ahem.

*serious face* The other narrator whom I can not even recall the name of, sorry! But Vikas! Was good too.

Omg yes. His voice was beautiful and smexy. Hehe. He really was the best pic for our male hero. His girl voice made me chuckle though. 

I thought the same when I listened to a certain other series he narrated, and then I got used to it, but yes they are still amusing ;) I did like that they did it this way. Cos it really was HIS and HERS pov so they could not have done it any other way.

Agreed. I must listen to more by both of them. They really brought the characters alive! I did not feel like I was listening to an audiobook. It felt like I was listening to a show. So good, so good.

Then we both agree, great narration :) And sure, maybe I would have liked it as much if I read it, or maybe I would not have. I feel like the narration pushed it for me to great.

Yes. The story was good, but I feel the narration gave it an extra star for me. The story was good from page one. Those darn parents ;) I felt bad for Dimple, but she made me mad being all mean to Rishi!!!! HE IS AN ANGEL YOU WICKED WOMAN! *shakes fist*

I did wanna slap her at the end. Rishi loves you you stupid idiot! *shakes fist too* But I did like her parents, sure, it was not cool what they did, but they would never have forced her. They just tried to nudge her and it gave us the BEST opening. Omg I snorted when they met.

I did fall for her parents and especially her dad. They are just trying to help wicked Dimple. It was rude not to tell her, but they know she would’ve just said forget it. And yes, that meeting was the best in romance history. And he still wanted to stick around!!!???? Love him.

Oh yes, adore him! If I had met a Rishi, awww, a cute nerd! Gold! He tried so hard, gotta love him. I liked how he loved his own culture.

Yes, I liked that too. They are sooooo different, but so similar that they are the perfect couple. What did you think of his brother and Dimple’s roomie?

I was not sure about him at start, but then we saw this other side to him and I got him. The roomie, well I wanted to kick her too. Stupid idiot. But then I forgave her.

Agreed. A part of me thought the brother was going to fall for Dimple and Rishi would have to kick his little butt. Hehe. But yes, the roomie was sweet but blinded by lust for the “cool” kids. Sighs. Poor girl.

I did love how they called them Aberzombies (the bad peeps in the story). Hehe, cos they so were! Ugh, I hated them

Me too. They made good “baddies” though. I was hoping one of them who seemed to be not TOO bad would change sides and lead the charge against them. Not real life though. WHICH I must say...the author did a good job keeping this realistic. All the awkward 18 year old moments and dramas that seem so serious but isn’t.

It did give good normal drama. I got why the roomie wanted to be cool. It was all well written and felt real.

Yes, I understand her wanting to be friends with them. Things change out of High School...but at the same time they don’t.

I am stuck now, nothing more to say, ugh, think think…..heeeeelp!

Ooo. I was reading some reviews on Goodreads. There were some complaints about how people felt that the author didn’t spend enough time with the app and their development about it. They complained that the author glossed over it just to get to the romance parts. What do you feel? I felt it was well balanced and I came to read a romance...not a story about how to code an app….

They did not spent a lot of time on the app no, I mean they did, but not in the story. Though would we really want page after page about coding? I was fine with the romance. They still talked about it.

Yes, there was a good balance. The author would spend a couple of pages throughout the book about their class and app and whatnot. Also, this is a YA, but it never felt YA.

I guess it is NA *eyeroll* I just do not get NA! Sorry NA lovers. The edges tend to be so blurry there.


New adult. Out of HS and in the world. Which they were, but it still could be YA. But not really adult.

Ahhh I am so out of the loop sometimes...I swear I live in a cave. Hehe. But yeah...IDK. It was a good story. The ending had me mad...and then happy...but then mad again because I WANT MORE! I want a short story or maybe Rishi’s bro’s story. That would be fun.

Same. MAD, and then happy. A story about his brother, hmmm, dunno, since we know things that might happen. No surprise there for me.

I am just curious how the bro’s chica (will not give spoilers here) will fit in. I am curious about that aspect mainly. She is not someone the parent’s would’ve picked for him.

True, but then he is not really the “perfect” son either so maybe they are lenient. But yes in that way it would be interesting. But you know we would just get mad if they did not like her. Cos they like each other and they are happy so they should be happy.

I agree. I think the parents will like her after a couple of meetings...but the rest of the family? That will be a bumpy ride. Even a short story will settle my curiosity for sure.

Narrated by Vikas then sure ;)

It better be! He can play the brother. Or just do the whole narration. Haha. I would be fine with that.

Yes! Lol, are we done? Next book will suck for sure now

Don’t say thatttt!!!!!!! LOL! But yes, this was a good one and I am happy our first audiobook discussion ended well.

Yay, yes I am glad it worked out.

The end?

The end, Kaj is looking at me with narrow eyes cos he has waited for us to go grocery shopping. He skipped Coffee for it ;)

Hehehe sorrrrrrrrryyyyyy Kaj! *sips on my own coffee*

Running now, byeeeee


About the Authors
Carole and Blodeuedd have been blogging a long while now. The last couple of years the epic duo have been discussing books, watching movies, and even wetting the pen and sharing their stories with the worldwide web. They both love cats, chocolate, and a good story.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

June is Audiobook Month: Good Bloggers and books

Today I wanted to talk about fellow audiobloggers, and then I thought why not ask them about an audiobook they would recommend to others Well this soon spiraled out of control so I just ended up asking 3 bloggers ;)

First up is Melanie who reviews  at Hot Listens  (shout out to Loupe, I did not forget you!) & Books of My Heart She is the one who is to blame for me writing those crazy reviews for Heartstrikers, all caps and gushing.  I am so used to her listening to books so I honestly can not ever see her reading ;)

And this was her answer:
As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes (Westley)

Then she asked me if she could mention one more and I thought, why not. Oh, I should not have done that.

Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta read by Robert Petkoff
The Martian by Andy Weir ready by RC Bray
The Stranger Beside Me: Ted Bundy The Shocking Inside Story by Ann Rule read by Lorelei King
Plus like 10+ UF and PNR series. 

The Daily Show: An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and Guests by Chris Smith,  Jon Stewart (Foreword) is another good one.


Next up is Sophia Rose, you might have seen her around cos she is eeeeeverywhere!
Shari @ Delighted Reader, Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviews, Sharonda @ Brazen Babe, Lily @ Night Owl Book Cafe, Debbie @ The Reading Frenzy, and Loupe & Melanie @ Hot Listens

She followed the rules and her answer was: Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen and narrated by Janet Metzger

And then we have Jen @ That's what I am talking about

Who recommends:

The Martian by Andy Weir, read by R.C. Bray… 
for UF series: Dresden Files by Jim Butcher tied with Kate Daniels read by Renee Raudman.
Romance: Roman Crazy (Broads Abroad #1)
by Alice Clayton & Nina Bocci read by Randi Geddens.

And as for other bloggers, we shall not forget Felicia at The Geeky Blogger, who is like Queen of Audiobooks
and Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviews

And of course there are many many others out there who share a love of audio :)
Now I get why Jen said these posts takes forever, so I will leave you with just these bloggers cos I am gonna go listen to an audiobook and chill

Friday, 15 June 2018

Author post: Walter Dinjos

Back in April I reviewed the magazine Abyss and Apex, and in there was a story by Walter Dinjos. There he mixed two worlds that have nothing to do with each other and brought them together. I have always liked myths, magic and religion. So today I have a guest post by him.

Tales of Magic, Hearsays, Blind Faith, and All Things Nigerian

If you should ask a group of Nigerians, “Do you believe magic or witchcraft exists?” the majority would reply that they do. Some might even go ahead to narrate how they've witnessed a certain unverifiable individual transform into a reptile (usually a big snake), a bird (usually an owl), or a cat (usually a domestic one). In fact, when an owl alights near a Nigerian house at night and begins to hoot, the residents typically start calling out, “Blood of Jesus! Holy Ghost fire!”

That's how superstitious some Nigerians can get. Or maybe there’s truly magic in that multicultural West African country. I earnestly can’t confirm anything. If you are curious about magic in Nigeria, all I’ve got for you is hearsays and tales of blind faith.

The idea of magic in Nigeria makes me think of the food chain. Call it the magic chain if you will. The gods are at the top of it. Us ordinary folk are at the bottom. Everyone else in-between is a magic-wielding villain. I will tell you about these deities and villains.

The Deities
These are the many gods various communities in Nigeria worshipped prior to colonialism in the region. Among the Igbo tribe in southeastern Nigeria, you will hear of deities like Amadioha, Ozodimgba (this one appeared in my story, The Woodcutters’ Deity), Ikoro, and more. In some places, they are the spirits of dead ancestors. In other places, they are simply gods and are represented with great trees, carved stones, or ancient sculptures.

These deities are believed to own and bestow magic.

The Witch Doctors
These are like the custodians of magic in the land of the living. They serve as a bridge between deities and other humans.

  • When they serve a particular community, they are usually called chief priests, ezemmuo (king of all things spiritual), or ezenwanyi (a woman with immense power perhaps like an ezemmuo), And trust me. They exist. Whether they can truly perform magical feats (like heal, curse, protect with magic on behalf of each community’s deity) is another story.

  • Well, in my story, Middle of Nowhere, magic actually works. You see the savage jujuist  place a curse on the protagonist.

  • When these witch doctors merchandise their magic instead of serving a community, they are often called native doctors or dibia (a spiritual healer). They basically serve their deity’s interests. And they rarely use their magic unless when absolutely necessary, as they understand it isn’t something to be toyed with.

However, if you want it, they will gladly give it along with the price of obtaining it (hideous sacrifices) and wielding it (difficult rules and repercussions).

These Witch Doctors. How Are They Made?
  • Some are osu (outcasts)--people dedicated to a deity when they were little.
  • Some inherit the role from their parents.
  • In the olden days, twins and babies with one disorder or another were either killed at birth or offered to deities in some parts of Nigeria
  • Sometimes grownups ask their deities for a child. In return, they promise the child will serve the deity.
  • Some witch doctors are born dada (that is, with a type of hair that is naturally and untidily matted), and here people believe that children with dada hair are of spiritual origin. I’m dada, but here I am, not serving any deity. In case you are wondering, that’s me in an old picture.


Witches and Wizards
In Nigeria, these are not your ordinary witch doctor. There’s a difference. Of course, they are believed to have powers--usually obtained through initiation, but they serve only their own interests. They thrive by siphoning the life force or imminent success of their prey. People here believe they visit at night, disguised as owls, cats, or wall geckos. And they attack by marking their prey’s body with their claws and from the slit do the siphoning. People who believe they are victims often complain about having bad dreams and the feeling of a pinioning weight swooping on them as they sleep and never letting go.

I just finished writing a story about these beings--How to Nab a Witch.

People That Wield Magic in Nigeria
These people, like the witches and wizards, serve their own interests. They want wealth, power, healing, protection…, and they procure these things through magic, of course, at a price.

They don’t wield magic in a direct sense. They visit a witch doctor, carry out the necessary ritual, which can include sacrificing a goat, fowl, or even a human. Then the witch doctor infuses an object like a ring, bracelet, broom, food, or drink with the particular magic power they need and hand it to them. Of course, with rules of usage like “don’t sleep with a woman,” “never allow water to touch the charm,” “always have the charm on you,” and so on. Breaking such rules could lead to the charm not working. It could also lead to madness or even death. Well, so I heard.

Do-As-I-Say Charm
If you should go to a Nigerian native doctor and obtain a do-as-I-say charm, you would most likely be given a ring. It’s believed that should you shake your prey’s hand while wearing the ring, they would become extremely gullible around you. A do-as-I-say charm can also be something you eat, drink, or touch to your tongue before speaking to your prey.

In fact, it’s often said that Nigerian scammers use do-as-I-say charms to make their victims guilliable. I don’t know what to believe, but here is a screenshot of an article about the subject at the Huffington Post. It’s horrible. The idea of magic is exciting, but in the case of do-as-I-say charms, I can't help but hope they are just fictional. 

Anti-Armed Robbery Charm
You could also visit a Nigerian native doctor and ask for protection from armed robbers. After performing the necessary ritual, the witch doctor would likely give you a broom to hang on your gate. The broom could serve as a warning to robbers that recognise the charm. But for those that don’t, breaking into your home would leave them hypnotised. And they would grab the broom and sweep your compound until you find them and release them from the charm.

Odieshi Charm
This is another type of protection charm. It basically makes you invulnerable to bullets and blades. So people here believe.  The ritual involved can be very dangerous. I heard people get buried alive simply to obtain this charm.

Plus, there are rules. The usual includes: “Don’t eat food prepared by a woman in her period” and “Don’t sleep with a woman.” I don’t know about you, but I’m beginning to think that magic in Nigeria has something against women.

Anyway, coming back to rules, it’s believed that  the Bakassi Boys, a vigilante group that operated in Abia, Anambra, and Imo States in Nigeria, used this charm. Eventually they started breaking rules. Also they became entangled with women’s issues and politics, and that led to their fall.

Blood Money
The magic behind this is hideous, whether true or not, and usually involves sacrificing a human being. I won’t go deep into this as what I’ve heard is very disturbing. If it’s any consolation, it’s often said that people that obtain blood money always end up miserable, in spite of their wealth, and their deaths are untimely and very unpleasant.

A man named Clifford Orji was suspected of both cannibalism and merchandising human body parts to blood money seekers.

Settling Disputes
Here in Nigeria, you can settle a dispute before a witch doctor and their fetish god. Typically, you honor the god with sacrifices and ask it to investigate the dispute and curse the guilty party.

Here is the story of how Eze-ego (a wealthy nigerian whom many suspected of having blood money) died after someone reported him to a deity.

Does Magic Truly Exist in Nigeria?
I will tell you a story.

I was sitting by a cement shop one day and two young men approached me, asking if I sold sound systems. I looked behind me and frowned. Then I said no.

They asked where they could buy one and as I gave them directions, one propped himself against the iron beam where I placed my left foot. He then began to move his ringed finger towards the foot.

He touched me, and I felt something. I don’t know what it was. Maybe a tingle or electricity passing through my body. But then last I checked, I didn’t like it when people in general, much less strangers, touched me. Yes, so maybe I was just nervous.

Anyway, his touch made me jerk up. And I quit trying to guide them and snapped, “Don’t touch me!”

They bolted off immediately.

Onlookers started asking why they were running. I explained everything to them. And they said I was lucky. That the boys had a do-as-I-say charm and would probably have made me empty my bank account into theirs if I had allowed them to continue touching me.

Those young men. Their charm didn’t affect me. Well that’s all good. It feels great to be special, believe me.

The truth, however, remains that I don’t believe those onlookers. Not one bit. Most people, if not everyone, in Nigeria have similar stories

Walter Dinjos is Nigerian, a Writers of the Future winner, and a runner-up in the Writers Bureau Writer of the Year 2017 Award. His stories have appeared, or are upcoming, in Writers of the Future Volume #33, Galaxy’s Edge, BSC, Deep Magic, Lamplight, and elsewhere. His poems have appeared in three The Literary Hatchet issues, and he hopes to portray the peculiar beauty of Nigerian cultures through his writing. When he is not writing, he travels across Nigeria, visiting the country’s many historic sites and communities to experience their diverse cultures and traditions first-hand, and when he writes, this rich cultural heritage becomes the heart of his prose.


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