Monday, March 15, 2021

The Place Beyond Her Dreams by Oby Aligwekwe

 Welcome to the book tour for The Place Beyond Her Dreams by Oby Aligwekwe! Today you get to read an excerpt, but also some sage advice from the author on being a writer. Be sure to follow the tour for even more. Best of luck entering the giveaway!

“We are most courageous at our weakest; when we believe we have faced what we fear the most and have nothing more to lose.”

At the sudden death of her grandfather, Ona’s pain transports her to mystical Luenah—a place of infinite possibilities, free of turf wars and other ills that plague the earthly dimension she lives in. In Luenah, where her grandfather awaits her, Ona learns she is an Eri, one bestowed with unique intuitive and spiritual gifts passed down from generation-to-generation.

On her eighteenth birthday, she returns to Luenah and is handed a box to deposit her ‘exchange’ for love and happiness—her great desires.

Burdened by her quest, Ona crosses paths with danger and heartbreak as the two men that love her dearly are viciously pitted against each other. As evil looms, she learns that dreams carry a hefty price, and no one is who they seem. Now, she must unmask the villain and save the one she loves, even at the risk of losing everything she holds dear.

Set against the backdrop of two warring towns, Oby Aligwekwe’s Young Adult debut—told from the viewpoint of her main character—is inspired by her West African heritage, fables, and spiritual beliefs. Ona’s journey reveals the power of choice, the true source of happiness, and, most importantly, the transformation one must go through to realize and eventually occupy their purpose.

Read an excerpt:
Death was nothing new to me as living with my grandparents gave me the experience of witnessing village elders passing away. My grandfather was always in attendance to support families who had lost loved ones, and I sometimes accompanied him. Unlike the others, his death was more than a passing experience. This was no ordinary man. This was my Papa—a six-foot-six gentle giant, the head of our family. Since my grandfather was a chief, layers of rites were performed in keeping with the tradition of Ntebe. All the other chiefs in the town, twenty in total, lined up in their full chiefly regalia to pay homage to their fallen comrade. For a full twenty minutes, they danced and made ritualistic sounds around the casket that bore the body of my grandfather. I remember being in complete awe of their attires and flamboyant displays.

They placed the casket in the ground at midday. I stood next to my grandmother and my parents at the graveside. My parents had been in Ntebe since the day before. For the first time that day, I saw a physical reaction from my grandmother. Wailing from deep within her lungs, she threatened to throw herself into the six-foot grave if my grandfather didn’t return to her. As the gravediggers worked desperately to cover the hole with a mound of red dirt, a group of men tried to prevent her from jumping in.

“Stop her!” I heard several people screaming.

Since I had always known her to be dramatic, I doubted she was going to carry out her threat. And I was right. As gunshots to commemorate the occasion tore through the air, my grandmother abandoned her display and ran for cover.

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Advice for writers

My advice for writers is the same advice I always give myself—to enjoy the journey because it’s as important as the destination. Many people, I included, focus so much on where we need to go that we forget to stop for a moment and ask ourselves why we do what we do. For me, I write because I love to write. It’s therapeutic, it’s entertaining, and it keeps my mind sharp. It also gives me an avenue to entertain and educate people, help them get motivated, and most importantly, help them find and occupy their purpose.

Secondly, there’s so much involved in being a professional writer, especially with self-publishing. At times the list of tasks you need to accomplish can leave you exhausted to the point of considering quitting. If one is writing for the right reasons, they should be able to push through any frustrations they experience along the way. The key is to give yourself permission to take a break and then return when you feel re-energized. I had so much fun writing all my books that when I was done, I experienced an explosive hangover that only disappeared after I decided on which idea to explore next.

My third piece of advice will be to delegate. Get all the help you need. Hire a cover designer, hire a graphics person. Hire a publicist if you can. Hire someone for everything, so you can find time to do what you do best. The process for publishing a book is quite daunting, and if you don’t rely on others to do the things you couldn’t possibly do yourself or get little enjoyment from doing, you may find yourself disoriented and frustrated, making it difficult to accomplish your goals.

Oby Aligwekwe is the author of Nfudu and Hazel House. The Place Beyond Her Dreams is her Young Adult debut.

Oby’s first novel, Nfudu, a romance set in 1960’s Paris, received critical acclaim and was featured in publications such as Excellence Magazine and Mosaic Editions. Her second novel, Hazel House, paints a vivid portrait of how the needs of humans collide amidst intense desire and the quest for power. In her Young Adult debut, The Place Beyond Her Dreams, the protagonist Ona goes on a transformative journey to discover her purpose.

A talented writer, Oby is also an inspirational speaker and a chartered accountant. She lives in Oakville, Ontario, with her family and supports her community through her charity Éclat Beginnings.

When Oby is not working on her day job or whipping up stories, she enjoys traveling to exotic locations and bringing pieces of her travel with her. She lives in Oakville, Ontario, with her family and supports her community through her charity Éclat Beginnings.

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One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card. Follow the tour for more chances to win!

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