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About the Book

Goal/Wish List

Mini Cooper that I didn’t buy with my own money. Check.
MSc from London College of Fashion. Check.
Become a millionaire, not just because of dad’s money. Check.
Have at least five thriving businesses. Check.
Get married to the love of my life. FUTURE IMPOSSIBLE TENSE!

Regina has everything she possibly wants. At least almost everything. Two things elude her.

One. Dapo.

Dapo is all shades wrong and not hers. He’s her sister’s man, yet her heart can’t stop beating for him. Why? Maybe because he has the other one thing she knows she can never have—a relationship with God. Something she once had but foolishly threw away.

Rachel is wife material. Not just any wife material. Pastor’s wife material. She’s godly, calm, and reserved. She loves the Lord, and she’s pretty enough that they’d both look good on a church poster. Dapo’s plan to become the youngest youth pastor at Solid Rock Assembly is set in motion and meets an abrupt end when his fiancée marries Brother Bisola instead.

Enraged and heartbroken, Dapo finds himself nursing a heartbreak and feelings towards his best friend’s baby sister, Regina. Regina is all shades wrong. She’s loud, impulsive, has close to zero interest in the things of the Lord, wears skimpy clothes, and is too beautiful for her own good. Despite all the red flags, he can’t stop himself from loving her. And three words ring loud and RECIPE FOR DISASTER.

Regina believes in fate. Could it be fate bringing them together? Or is there something else, something more powerful intent on weaving something marvellous out of that disaster?

Love’s Beacon is a Nigerian contemporary loose retelling of the Hosea and Gomer story.

Excerpt

Chapter One

REGINA

2017

Nothing in the world could beat walking into a neat office on a Monday morning to find a tidy desk and a steaming hot cup of your favourite coffee. It screamed productivity like nothing else. Give Regina a tidy desk, and she could draft a plan to solve Lagos’ traffic problem. If a mathematician were to write an equation about her love for things being spick and span, then it would be directly proportional to her productivity levels.

Nothing in the entire world could ruin Regina’s day like a pen out of place or the leaflet that sat next to her laptop’s cooling pad. The good mood and euphoria she walked to her desk with dissipated faster than she could read the Heaven is Real typed on the tract in red, you-are-going-to-hell-if-you-don’t-read-this-now letters. Regina dropped her blush pink leather work tote on her desk and picked up the intercom receiver.

“Get your butt in here, right now,” she barked at the person on the other end.

Seconds later, her assistant, Apunanwu, stepped into her office. If you thought her uncommon name was weird, then you hadn’t seen her fashion sense in action. If anyone needed a dictionary meaning of SU[1], Apunanwu fit the bill. Her dresses, at least three sizes bigger than her, looked like clothes she pilfered from her grandmother’s forsaken Ghana-must-go[2] bag of clothes she donned as a youth. Regina had gotten tired of asking her to change her wardrobe and only put up with her because Apunanwu was also the definition of efficient. She anticipated Regina’s every need and met them.

But she had crossed the line, today.

“Is there a problem, ma’am?” Apunanwu pushed her glasses up her bridgeless nose.

“What the hell is that?” Regina said, pointing at the tract desecrating her organised desk.

“Ehh…I…” Stuttering and scratching her head, Apunanwu struggled to find words.

“In your life,” Regina spat, sticking her right index finger out in warning, “I repeat, in your life, if you ever do this again, you can forget about working here. Do you understand me?”

Apunanwu nodded, and Regina picked up the tract and squeezed it into a ball. She threw it on the floor before her zealous assistant.

“Get it out of my sight and get back to work,” Regina snarled.

Apunanwu apologised and picked up the lump on the floor. She turned to leave, and Regina escorted her to the door with a prolonged hiss.

Just come to ruin my day.

Regina stalked to her seat and sat. She took in deep breaths in a bid to calm herself. Calm enough to get some work done, she pulled her laptop sleeve out of her tote and fired up her laptop. She put on her wireless, pink Beats headphones and selected her favourite song to start the day, Migos’ Bad and Boujee.

She wouldn’t let a misplaced tract or whether heaven was real, ruin her day; she had bigger fish to fry. She was done with that life. If heaven was real, she’d rather live her life on her own terms and miss it.

***

DAPO

“We would like to announce the workers and lead pastors of the new youth church cell,” Pastor Agbaje said.

For the first time in his life, Dapo wished he wasn’t in church. Anywhere else would be a great alternative to church right now.

He didn’t always feel this way. No, since he was a little boy, Dapo loved church. He loved worshipping with fellow believers. He loved teaching his Sunday School class. Most of all, he loved being under the tutelage of a seasoned teacher of the word like Pastor Agbaje. But today, the first Sunday of November, he wished he was far away from the house of God. Or better yet, that Pastor Agbaje hadn’t made the announcement that shattered his soul.

Taking in a deep breath, he hoped his emotions were not evident on his face. The man and woman the pastor called out walked to the altar hand in hand, and the church erupted in applause.

That was supposed to be him beside her. Dapo gulped and clapped alongside everyone else in the church auditorium. He wasn’t happy. Not in the least. The man in front was living the dream Dapo had had since he was a teenager.

God, help me.

The couple knelt. For a moment, Sister Rachel’s eyes met his before she bowed her head. Dapo hoped she couldn’t see the pain swirling behind his eyes. He bent his head, trying hard to pray for the couple who would head the new youth church. A handful of words left his lips before he stopped.

“God, help me. Help me, please,” he prayed instead. Over and over.

***

Dapo’s week started typically the same way. He had forgotten to do his ironing, something he forgot to do rather often. With Chris Delvan’s Bread of Life as the soundtrack, he got to pressing his trousers. Thankfully, he still had an ironed shirt. He belted out the lyrics of the songs in a key as different from the singer’s as the Sahara desert was different from the North Pole.

He put on a little dance show for the furniture in his room, shimmying, popping, and locking off-rhythm, as he smoothened out the wrinkles in his trousers. Dapo continued singing off-key till he was done ironing. Turning off the iron, he draped the crisply ironed trousers over an arm and moonwalked to the bed where he laid it beside his pristine white shirt. Standing over the clothes with a hand on his chin as the song faded into the outro, Dapo intuited that the sky blue and navy British Regent striped tie his bestie gifted him would be a nice fit.

Lara George’s Hallelujah came up next on the shuffled playlist, and Dapo did a little jig before he turned to face his wardrobe. He wasn’t exactly sure why he woke up so happy, especially with how the previous day had gone down, but he was.

As he neared his wardrobe, a familiar whisper flitted into his ears.

Son, it’s time.

Dapo paused, unable to believe what he just heard.

Time, as in time, time?

He knew the one time he had been praying for and looking forward to. If this was it, he’d be grateful. A deep knowing within him answered yes, and Dapo jumped, punching the air.

Thank you, Jesus.

He rushed to where his phone laid on his dressing table and scrolled through his playlist to find Don Moen’s Give Thanks. He had grown up listening to his father play Give Thanks whenever he was grateful for a blessing, and it became his go-to thanksgiving song.

The smile on his face widened as he replayed in his head the voice that brought the best news ever to him. He hummed along to the song and walked back to his wardrobe to pick out the tie from his tie drawer.

Dapo couldn’t believe this moment had come. It seemed surreal. The past seven years had been a gruelling waiting period, and he was grateful it was over. Thank God for God, his family, and his best friend, Tomini. Without them, he didn’t think he would have been able to survive the pain of being dumped by the woman he was supposed to marry.

The song playing stopped, and Hezekiah Walker’s I Need You To Survive came on, the tune he had assigned to his best friend’s calls. He walked to his dressing table, answered the call, and placed it on speaker.

“Hey, Dee,” Tomini greeted.

Omo oko ni e[3]. I was just thinking about you,” Dapo said as he picked up his shirt and slipped his arms into the sleeves.

“Awwn. Happy New Month by the way. Birthday things loading.”

Dapo laughed lightly as he buttoned up his shirt. “Happy New Month, dear. I’ve even forgotten about my birthday.”

She laughed. “You’re turning thirty-five, Dee. It’s a big one.”

He chuckled and picked up his trousers. “Every birthday is a big one in Tomini Oduah’s dictionary.”

“Touché. But considering the fact that I’ve missed every major birthday since you were sixteen, this is huge. Do you have anything planned?”

He shrugged as he fastened his fly. “I’ll probably spend the day at work or I’ll treat myself to a movie.”

“Why did I think otherwise?” she asked, and he could picture her facepalming and shaking her head.

Birthdays weren’t his thing. Rather than a funfair, he preferred to spend the day alone.

“What’s up with you?” He steered the topic back to her. He didn’t need her sermon on how monotonous and drab his life was. She once said if a serial killer was trying to kill him, it would be super easy. He’d either be at work or church.

“I got called by some Italy-based Nigerian cobbler last week. They want me to shoot for them. And—”

Oshey[4],” he hailed, laughing, “ore mi[5], the star.”

Star ko, Gulder ni. They haven’t even called me back yet. I’m not sure if they’ve finalised their decisions.”

“Don’t worry. They’ll call.”

“Hey, let me start packing my bags. Ore mi the prophet has spoken,” Tomini said, giggling.

Prophet ko, evangelist ni.”

“Leave the sarcasm to me, Dapo. It doesn’t suit you.”

He scoffed and put on his cufflinks, hating the fact that she was right. Changing the subject, he said, “I saw your husband at the cinema the other day.”

Tomini yelped.

His heart raced. “Hello, Tomini. Are you okay?”

She let out a harsh breath. “Yeah, I spilled my coffee and burned my hands,” she said, and he heard what sounded like the rushing of water.

Pele[6], you can—”

“Thank you. W-which husband were you talking about?” she asked and the rushing stopped.

“Timi Clarke nau[7],” Dapo put in, wondering which husband she thought he was referring to.

Timi Clarke was the only man she referred to as her husband. She once bumped into the British-Nigerian Hollywood star while shooting in Cape Verde and grew a ridiculous crush on the actor.

“Oh,” she said.

Was that relief he heard in her voice? As she giggled, he shrugged it off.

“When did you see my bobo[8]?”

“You have that stupid grin on your face, don’t you?”

He walked to grab his perfume and spritzed some on his clothes.

“Of course.” Tomini giggled.

Dapo rolled his eyes as he wore his socks and shoes. “Two weeks ago. Ayanfe and Tarami came to drag me out to a movie. I got an autograph for you by the way.”

He cringed in anticipation of her high-pitched squeal which was sure to follow. The long ringing came, and he was grateful not to be holding the phone to his ears.

“Oladapo Olu-Philips, you are the best friend ever,” she squealed, and he smiled.

Dapo remembered how he told Tomini he didn’t know what Timi Clarke looked like two years ago. She had gasped and looked affronted as though he had slapped her. She flooded his DM with pictures of the actor, telling him he had to know what his future brother-in-law looked like.

Dapo donned his navy V-neck sweater and a black saxony blazer and walked to the watch case with over thirty-five watches. He picked up the one with a black leather bund strap and slipped it on.

After a short silence, Tomini sighed. “I really miss you, Dee. We rarely get to spend time together.”

Dapo sighed too. Somehow, they were always so busy with other things.

“You know what?”

“What?”

“Let me take you out on Saturday. My treat. Anywhere you want to go,” she said with a joy that permeated through the phone to him.

Dapo grinned. Tomini believed if she loved someone, no amount was too much to spend on them. Maybe because she grew up with a platinum spoon in her mouth, money wasn’t an issue to her.

Before he could respond to her invitation, Tomini yelled, “Regina, put it back. The one you borrowed the last time; you didn’t return it.”

Dapo’s grin faded.

“Dee, please hold on.”

“No problem,” he said coolly and cracked his knuckles before making sure he had packed his laptop and phone chargers.

“Why are you my older sister if I cannot borrow your clothes?” Regina squeaked over the phone.

Dapo chuckled lightly at the childish whine of her voice.

“Regina, I won’t have a problem lending you clothes if you return them.”

“Do you want people to say you’re wearing your younger sister’s clothes? If I wear it and they see it on you, that’s what they will say.”

Dapo laughed as Tomini sputtered in shock. The argument sounded like one Tarami, his baby sister, had with his mother over a piece of jewellery.

“Get out of my room,” Tomini ordered.

“Dapo, please nau. Help me beg her.”

“T—”

“Stay out of it,” Tomini ordered. “And you, small rat, vamoose.”

Reggie’s grumbles trailed in over the phone, and he heard a door slam.

Borrow-borrow make me shine[9],” Tomini shouted after her sister. “Where were we?”

“You should have borrowed her nau.”

Abeg, abeg, abeg[10]. That girl is something else. She has a closet full of clothes, but she likes to borrow or rather steal mine. Anyway, what about our outing?”

Dapo laughed. “Sure, nau. It’s not every day an internationally acclaimed photographer decides to treat me.”

Tomini laughed and told him she’d text him the details of their outing later during the week. He agreed and told her he had to leave for work.

No p[11]. Have a nice day.”

“You too. Love you.”

“Love you more,” she said and blew him a kiss.

He smiled and padded to where his phone was and hung up. He put off all the lights and sockets and left the room.

[1]              A Nigerian slang used to refer to overly spiritual people with archaic fashion sense.

[2]              A popular sac-like load carrier used in Nigeria.

[3]              You’re your father’s daughter.

[4]              A Nigerian slang used when you think something is really cool or amazing.

[5]              My friend.

[6]              Sorry.

[7]              A word used for emphasis.

[8]              Boyfriend.

[9]              Someone who looks good in borrowed items.

[10]             Please, please, please.

[11]             No problem.





Books in This Series

Cover of Love's Direction, a contemporary Christian women's fiction novel.

Love’s Direction

Book 1 of The Way Home Series – A Nigerian Christian Women’s Fiction Novel

Reviews

Oruare Ojimadu
Oruare Ojimadu
Goodreads Reviewer
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Love's Beacon is filled with drama, edge-of-seat suspense, and unquenchable love. The love story of Regina and Dapo spans years, filled with different characters and situations. When you think it’s about to climax, the story takes another twist and starts another chain of events. I love how IyanuOluwa Olorode wove the story of God's unfathomable love despite our flaws. The beauty of Nigerian lingo and life shines through...
Jemimah “Stories and Scribes”
Jemimah “Stories and Scribes”
Goodreads Reviewer
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As soon as I finished Love's Direction, I jumped on this and loved the story, this one got my heart in the right places, and wow!
Dabby's Bookshelf
Dabby's Bookshelf
Goodreads Reviewer
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Love's Beacon is a story of redemption and restoration. So beautifully written. IyanuOluwa Olorode brought the love of Christ to tangibility all over again.
Lo-La Soda-Pereira
Lo-La Soda-Pereira
Goodreads Reviewer
Read More
I love how realistic and relatable the story and the characters are. The themes of love redemption, restoration, forgiveness especially forgiving yourself after a mistake resonates with me. Also how to handle the period of waiting.

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