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Numen Yeye Series

It is my new year. On the first Saturday of this month I turned 65. Nothing new in that as one day looks very much like another eh? For me though, birthdays are markers and I have a habit of looking forward to them. You know, do reviews and previews of my the past months and years sometimes. It was special for me this year because I had a chance to formally unveil to my own circle of friends my book two of the Numen Yeye series. Rose of Numen had been releases a couple of weeks before then.
I am using the instrument of fiction and facts to tell my people a story, and it is with a longing that we will dispense with the false façade we give the world. We are Nigerians, and I know that deeply ingrained in every Nigerian is a search for the Truth.
Why did I start these Numen series?
I spent my early years in the Northern part of my great country. I was used to walking wide open spaces in the blistering sun , the wild windy storms that will stop as abruptly as it had started.. We lived in Kaduna and I spoke the Hausa language instinctively with family and friends. I listened to tales of the dark south as I heard tales of rituals, dark medicine and held the southern peoples specifically my Yoruba homeland in dread.
When my policeman father was transferred South, we thought we had received a veritable death sentence. I had a sense of being closed in. Then I met my maternal grandmother and heard a story that opened a love for my tribe, a questioning of the very things that had kept me frightened. She was a priestess, a love and mystic that in the very simplicity of her life showed I had nothing to be afraid of. She told me about the pantheon of the gods of my ancestors and how it is I could find the same in any particular religion in any particular part of the planet Earth. Above all, these gods in a single thread led straight to Olodumare, the Supreme One.
So I wrote the Numen Yeye series first as a play, in the same trilogy as I later did in prose.
Last Saturday, I presented to my own community of friends and fellow authors, the second in the series…ROSE OF NUMEN.Rose of Numen front cover
Let me share one of the comments of Lloyd Weaver an African-American, when I gave him the book to read before coming to the presentation:” I am totally stunned. There is nothing more to be said. I thank the Mother of All.. You have put your soul on the line and rendered your life sacred.”

Lloyd Weaver

Lloyd Weaver


Quite heavy words for me but I understood what he meant for Lloyd is an Ifa priest of a reputation that earned him a chieftaincy title from the accepted cradle of Yoruba land, Ile Ife. I felt excited when he came to the launching and spoke glowingly about the book. His comments underlined the comments of the book reviewer, a head of the department of literature, Dr. Sola Owonibi.IMG-20151005-WA0029

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In the words of Dr. Owonibi, “I am a teacher of Literature, I should know about Literature and with all sense of responsibility, the book Rose of Numen, is a great work of Literature. It is a great work of literature, a book that I am proud to recommend to anyone. I congratulate the author on a well written book and the publishers for a great cover and layout.”
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I felt like I was floating on a cloud and listening to accolades for someone else. I will continue next week . I hope you will order for your own copy.
You can buy a copy from ifwgpublishing.com
Or at amazon.com

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To the Survivors…..Interview

I love reading. It is an opportunity to escape into another world and be somebody else for a change and for me it is an education. Well, this piece is about an education that I will not be flippant about. I review books because it helps me learn about concepts. I enjoy the books and also sometimes I get to make friends. I also have certain self imposed guideline I have given myself. I simply read as the intended reader and share how the book stands with me as a person.
Now that is off my chest, couple of months ago, I got books to read and review. Great I said to myself and read the first two and loved them. Quickly sent the authors questions I wanted them to answer. I like staying in touch with them. I have known authors who did not bother with me again after I had reviewed their books. Suits me fine.
In one of those batches of books I received was a book that I was horrified to learn I had missed for weeks as it sat in my computer overlooked. Couple of weeks later a guy sends me an email asking if I had read his book? What? I apologized, assumed it was one the books that I did not enjoy and told the fellow I had no understanding of the subject matter, so I wrote a nice email back that I could not get a handle on the book and explained my reasons. He gave me a nice reply and wondered what I could not understand about rape. I was shocked. Did he write about rape somewhere in that book? I stared at his name again really puzzled.
I went backtracking my emails on books to read, it was not on my downloads. I was getting ready to email back that he must have sent it to someone else but I wanted to be sure so I started checking my back emails…and there it was. I stared at it in shock. Downloaded and there was the name Robert Uttaro.. To the Survivors..blimey! I started to read.
To the Survivors…..To the Survivors
I opened page one and was sucked in. I raged, cried, was angry and Bobby had me.He took me through the minds of people that made me look at a crime, that for us in my corner of the world we have been unable to define properly let alone classify and give it a name. Bobby’s book is about rape. It is a tough subject for a woman to treat, either personally or even to read. I had a tough book on my hands. I HAD to read, felt it, cried over it and was raw with a myriad of emotions for days..
Thank you Bobby, I almost didn’t like you but I do love you and I will like every human being to read this book. It is not fiction, when you read it, you will half wish you can dismiss it as fiction. Bobby’s confusion, and compassion glows through and also his sincerity and honesty.
I want you to meet Bobby and I hope his answers will help us.pic
1. Welcome Bobby to Ephesus.

Thank you for having me. It’s a blessing and honor to speak with you.

2. Can you define rape in all its ramifications as you understand it?
In my opinion, rape, especially child rape, is the worst crime human beings commit against each other as it causes the most damage to a person’s mind, heart, and soul over significant periods of time. People who are raped have their power and control taken from them. Some believe they will die during a rape and others want to die after. Think about how terrifying and sad this is. The pain and suffering that rape survivors experience can often last many years to a lifetime. But the damage caused does not just hurt the survivor; it hurts that person’s family and friends as well. Significant others are often devastated, sometimes more so than the survivor. I know of a man who was so broken after he learned that his girlfriend was raped years before. He didn’t know what to do. He didn’t know how to process it. It was as if nothing in life made sense anymore.
There are so many ramifications of rape, probably too many to list now. In my experiences, I have yet to see a crime that causes so much shame. If one feels shame, one will inevitably have serious health problems. Many, if not all rape survivors at one point in their lifetime, possibly even for years, have suffered deep shame. This is so incredibly sad because on top of being raped, a person most likely lives with shame for years. Shame is crippling and paralyzing. Think of the suffering people who have this undeserved shame live with and how it affects their lives and the lives of those around them.

The ramifications of rape are vast, but I will mention a few. Rape is linked to shame, anger/rage, depression, insecurity, anxiety, fear, suicidal thoughts and suicide, eating disorders, and other health issues. It causes low to no self-esteem. It can alter people’s perceptions of themselves and the world around them. Many rape survivors live in fear. Many rape survivors are physically and spiritually shackled. Rape can shatter the soul. And on top of all of these horrific effects and sufferings, many rape survivors blame themselves. But I want everyone to know that it is not their fault and that they can regain control back. Their lives can be happier and healthier if they are unhappy and suffering. The soul can be strengthened and healed.
Lastly, there are many societal and financial ramifications from rape. Rape can be linked to drug addiction, prostitution, organized crime, and our prison populations, to name a few. For example, I had a meeting at a women’s prison in hopes of getting the book To the Survivors to the inmates. At the time of my meeting there were approximately 100 women incarcerated inside. The Director of Women’s Programming told me roughly 75% of the women had been raped. Also, the Director of Mental Health Services told me 99% of the women had been raped. Why were they incarcerated? The majority were incarcerated due to drugs and prostitution. There is a clear correlation between our female prison population, prostitution, drug addiction and rape. This is also true for some of our male inmates as well.
Ultimately, rape causes more damaging ramifications than I can answer in your question, but hopefully this is a good starting point and answers some of it.

3. Is Sexual assault, rape or sexual violence graded?

Some people grade different levels, but I don’t think that it is necessary to do. I don’t think we should. Every sexual assault, molestation, or rape, is a crime that causes suffering. We should help anyone affected and not grade their experiences.

4. Rape is not gender sensitive and is prevalent in every society on the earth, what can be done to stop it?

The prevalence of rape can decrease if more people make changes within their own hearts. I believe that we can stop and prevent some acts of rape, but I do not believe we will stop rape entirely. I believe rape will exist as long as human beings live on this earth. This is not meant to sound hopeless. I am very hopeful of what can be done and I know more people can heal. I would not keep doing this work and be speaking with you if I did not see real human and spiritual growth within people. But I do believe it is important to be realistic about the world we live in and the evil atrocities that will continue to exist.

Rape is the most prevalent and least reported violent crime throughout the world. The majority of people do not even speak about it, let alone get active and help people affected. Minimal rape crisis centers exist worldwide and too many people don’t want to deal with the realities.

It is believed by some that the second most lucrative illegal business in the world is human trafficking. Billions of dollars are made every year off the sale of human beings who are forced into sexual slavery. In addition, little boys and girls are raped in homes by relatives. People are raped by their spouses. And we know that even some individuals who work in the most trusted public service positions – from law enforcement to religious clergy – rape. How will this stop? I don’t believe it will ever stop, but we can help people in their healing process and we can raise awareness through education.

Education and people intervening if they see something inappropriate is necessary for the prevention of sexual violence. Sadly, many people don’t see the signs of a rape or sexual assault before they occur. If we educate people on some of the signs, we may be able to prevent some crimes. For example, there were many signs of early troubling or inappropriate conduct in the lives of Jim and Chris, who are speakers with individual chapters in To the Survivors. If people around them were educated on the signs and empowered through that education to act, those innocent boys may not have been sexually abused. However, no one noticed, or some noticed but did not intervene, and these boys suffered.
I don’t believe we will ever eradicate rape on this earth, but I believe that we can help people in their healing process and live healthy and productive lives. We can listen to each other, show each other compassion, and empower each other. Too many survivors suffer in silence alone. But I want to tell people that they do not have to suffer in silence. They can heal and they can also help others if they choose to. Our voices are incredibly important and valuable. We can make a real difference in the lives of those who are struggling and suffering. I hope and pray for more of us do that.
Ultimately, rape can stop if human beings stop raping. It is a choice. Sadly, it is a choice that people will continue to commit and many others will continue to not speak of.
5. Would it be right to say that as much as the assaulted is counseled, the aggressor also needs assessment and managing?

So many acts of sexual violence are hidden from others. This, of course, makes assessing and managing a perpetrator exceptionally difficult. How do you assess and manage a person abusing another person when no one knows or speaks about it? This happens too often. The majority of rapists are not arrested, let alone convicted and then sent to prison. And even those who are sent to prison, how long is their prison term? The majority of those convicted come back into our society. Should more be done to manage them? Yes. But the majority of rapists freely walk this earth and commit vile crimes.

I do believe the aggressor needs counseling, but only if the aggressor wants counseling. Sadly, some people commit these crimes with no remorse. I believe remorse and redemption exist for those who want it, but not everyone wants it. If you read all of To the Survivors, you will see that none of the perpetrators showed any true remorse for their crimes.

In order for people to change, they must first make a change in their own heart.

6. Is the rapist mentally deficient and may be classified as disabled?

No. I do not believe we should call rapists disabled. People in wheelchairs are disabled. People with autism who can’t adequately communicate to others are disabled. Rapists choose to commit a crime. Some doctors, teachers, lawyers, police officers, politicians and religious leaders, to name a few, commit rape. Do we look at those professions as disabled?

7. In your book you are neither a rapist nor a victim so why did you write about it?

God. I did not consider myself a writer and never once tried to write a book until the experience of an intensely vivid dream one morning changed my life. I woke up from this dream and said, “I have to write a book.” I interpreted this dream as a vision from God. I prayed to God, moved from the bed to the computer, opened up Microsoft Word, and continued to pray. That is how To the Survivors began. To the Survivors would not be helping the amount of people it has helped if it weren’t for God. I would not be speaking with you now if it weren’t for God. There are too many people suffering, and I know this book can help with that suffering.

8. Some cultures really do not believe in marital rape as rape as they argue it is a male right to enforce their conjugal rights, what do you think?

I think this is horrible. Words cannot fully describe how awful this belief is. This absurd belief and reasoning allows for women to get raped. This kind of thinking accepts rape and too many people suffer as a result. Where does this ludicrous belief come from? Rape is rape. It is an evil crime. I believe it is a demonic and satanic crime. It does not matter if you are married or not; no spouse should rape or endure being raped. No one should be raped. What makes men inherently superior to women? Nothing. Why should a man have the right to rape his wife? He shouldn’t. There is no logical or rational explanation for this and it should not be condoned. Unfortunately, it is.

You say that some cultures do not believe in marital rape as they argue it is a male’s right to enforce his conjugal rights. I know it is hard to believe, but some women do rape men. Should women rape their husbands? Of course not. So why should a man be allowed to commit an evil crime against his wife? Why would he even want to? The belief that men can rape their wives due to their “conjugal rights” is wrong and it sanctions rape. Marriage is supposed to be about love, not rape, and complete dominance of one over another.

9. The first thing that happens to a person that has been sexually assaulted, molested or harassed is to hide, keep quiet or feel shame and they go into hiding the event, how do you identify that to help?
It is not for me to tell people how to act. It is solely up to the survivor to do what he or she wants to do. Personally, I would like more and more people to open up to a trusted individual in their lives, but I cannot make a survivor do that. Rape and sexual assault are so incredibly hard to talk about. But I believe we have to be there for each other and let others know that we will sit and listen to them if they ever need anything. I pray that more people create loving and safe environments in which people can disclose their stories and pain if they choose to. More people will come forward as more people come forward.
10. Your THP sounds wonderful, have they thought of extending their great work to other countries? Through affiliations, overseas training to create awareness to communities?

No, but I will. I try my best to get this book and these messages to countries throughout the world and will continue to do so. You are a big part of that Abiola. God bless you. Thank you for this connection and opportunity.

11. Do you have any plans to make your book available to Africa and Nigeria?

Absolutely. One way to make the book available in Nigeria and Africa is by talking to other people, posting on social media sites and through this great interview. This interview will raise awareness of the book’s existence to people in Nigeria, and I thank you for that. To the Survivors can be found online at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, kobo.com, smashwords.com, goodreads.com, and other online retailers. The e-book can also be found on my website for free at http://www.robertuttaro.com if people cannot afford the book. I want anyone to be able to get a copy of To the Survivors should they have an interest. People can contact me directly through my website if for some reason they cannot obtain a copy. Lastly, I would love to travel to Nigeria or anywhere else if anyone ever wants me to speak about these issues.

12. Share your thoughts on what you hope your book might achieve?

I have many hopes for what the book might achieve in the lives of others, probably too many to list here. I will try to answer as best as I can:

I hope people keep breathing and do not choose to kill him or herself.
I hope people will not feel shame for being raped or sexually assaulted.
I hope people will not blame themselves for being raped or sexually assaulted.
I hope people understand that they are not alone.
I hope people connect on some level with at least one person in To the Survivors.
I hope people understand that they can grow and heal from any pain they experience.
I hope people who have not been raped or sexually assaulted become more educated on how to respond to incidences of sexual violence and the suffering of survivors.
I hope people stop raping and assaulting.
I hope people understand that God loves them more than they can even fathom, even if they do not believe in God.
I hope people talk to God and listen to God.

These are some of my many hopes.

Will you be willing to answer questions on your book after this time, if you will please tell us how we may do that.
Yes. People can email me at info@robertuttaro.com if they want to ask me anything.
Thank you being on Ephesus.
Thank you for having me. It’s been a true blessing. God bless you, Abiola.

An Interview with Paula Youmell

COFFEE AND DONUTS Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00063]
When I got about reading this book, I was genuinely skeptical, first saw it as a labour of love for fellow authors. You know in my fondest dreams I used to imagine myself as an author.
Now I don’t know anything about donuts and coffee. I love drinking coffee, the processed stuff and donuts?
I am generally not into Food or stuff like that, the reason is simple, I live in a part of the world where such things as donuts and coffee looks exotic. Trusting Christine on this I opened the first page and started reading. I must sound a note of warning here. Authors are required to write on what they know, Paula scored that, however if I stayed with the title, I would drop the book. So it might be something worth considering when you pick a title that sends a picture of being a cookery book.
Maybe authors should consider a chat with the publisher. This book on a bookshelf in my world will go unnoticed except for the very curious and yes truly is the coffee and donuts of life. Coffee and Donuts is really hand book that gets you through the day in a wholesome way. I enjoyed myself, and like the author says it is a book you want to read as you get ready for the day. I found myself smiling especially when she insisted I was responsible for my experiences, I love that. She made me believe in her comments, was honest and believable particular when she talked about her fixation with weight and food. I learnt I could forgive myself. That was a cool feeling, to shrug off the weight of guilt and truly accept me, warts and all. Yeah, I could sleep on the darn bed unmade!
Let us have a chat with the authorBasil & I
1. Please tell us a bit about yourself
I am a Registered Nurse, Health and Physical Education Teacher, and a Holistic Healer. I have studied whole food nutrition and natural healing for 28 years. I support others on their path to healing their bodies by working in rhythm with nature.
2. Well I got my peeve out of the way, will you like to let us know why you called it coffee and donuts?
In the very beginning of the book I explain how people like things, foods, that bring back fond memories and create comfort for themselves. Coffee is a morning ritual that is comforting to many, many people around the globe. Donuts, as I wrote in the beginning of the book, are a fond memory for me. My Sisters and I made many a donut with our Gram. People, in the USA, put coffee and donuts together every morning as breakfast food. The two, paired together, seemed like a heart-warming title for morning inspirations; much like the morning cup of coffee and a donut.
3. From my own spiritual background, I am taught not to see the human being as a divine being, and I find that a hard chew for me, will it matter if a portion of your potential readers think like me?
Maybe, maybe not. My life experiences have taught me that the divine, “God -Goddess,” is part of us all, that we were made in the likeness of “God-Goddess;” that our soul is a part of the collective soul, the divine energy of the universe.
Your novel, Numen Yeye, speaks of a Goddess, Priestess. You speak of being a one God centered faith person but also how “man’s search for identity… every human being has a responsibility to have a luminous goal and try to reach it. It is not an issue of religion.”
I too believe healing and spiritual beliefs are not an issue of religion. I think whatever a person’s spiritual beliefs, we can all do deep soul searching to heal ourselves.
(I look forward to reading this novel of yours. Yes, I just ordered it.)
Your book presumes that I have read your first book, that left gaps because it segregated from truly relaxing as it indicated I need to have read book one. Was that deliberate sales style?
No, not a deliberate sales pitch. So many reviews of books on Amazon complain that a subsequent book by the same author were a waste of money as half or more of the information was the same as a previous book. I did not want to repeat information for my readers.
4. I like your comment, ”healing is a journey” and like you stated human beings find that difficult, why do we have it so difficult to start on that journey?
I believe for each person there are different factors that hold them back but that all stem from the fear of change, the fear of stepping out of their comfort zone into the unknown and the unknown consequences of this action of change.
5. Let’s go to Nepal, two basic contrasts, the four month old baby and the 102 year old man, the dramatic similarity is that they are survivors of the earthquake, there is a lot of symbolism in that happening. People were affected by that happening, how do we learn to be healed, mind, soul?
Natural disasters open a whole different world of suffering. As humans, we cannot control what natural weather patterns (obviously human’s modern industrialized existence is having major impacts on our weather system) and earth shifts bring to our daily life. I think any natural phenomena that has the power to take our loved ones and neighbors from our daily existence is deep form of acceptance, recognizing we cannot control everything that happens to us and in our lives. Perhaps this is what the Buddha meant by letting go of our attachments to things.
6. Please explain to us from this side of the pond, whole foods and our perception that civilization means eating the kind of people (food?) Western people eat. Our main diet is more often carbo- heavy?
Whole foods are foods that are minimally processed, cooking and cutting up food is processing, and nothing is removed from the original food and nothing has been added in. For example, refined flour takes the whole grain and polishes off the bran and germ (removing parts of the original whole). This leaves the grain’s endosperm only to be ground into flour. You have lost the fiber source (bran), the fat soluble nutrients (germ), and many minerals and nutrients. On the adding in side of things, let’s take a look at most commercial yogurt. Yogurt is simply cultured milk. Commercial yogurt adds thickeners, stabilizers, refined sugars, and in some cases (cheap brand names) artificial flavors.
Are your Carb heavy diets from whole food carbohydrates; not the refined, packaged food carbohydrates of American culture?
7. How would you want your book to be assimilated by the average African who has lived all his life on the continent?
This is an interesting question as books definitely have an audience range. I do not have any preconceived notions that my book will appeal to all audiences from all walks of life. Industrialized nations, whose people have pulled themselves away from the flow and rhythm of natural living, need to be reminded that we are all a part of nature, all a part of the web of life.
8. Please explain what you mean by holistic healing, do you accept herbs and the use of incantations in place of yoga?
Holistic Healing means using natural means to re-balance the body’s health: herbs, whole foods, energy healing, daily movement, natural lifestyle choices, etc.
9. Do you write only on healing, will you accept clients from Africa? Do you have a regular clinic and is it very expensive?
I would accept any client who wants to work with me if we both agree that my support services are a good fit for the person needing support. I also need to feel comfortable in my ability to help the person. If I think someone else might be better suited, have more knowledge and experience with their challenges, I would not hesitate to refer them to someone else.
I have regular office hours and I do not believe I am expensive. An initial consult is $175 and a person is hiring me for at least 8 hours of my time to review their health history, Basil & Istart a map of their healing plan, meet with them for 2-3 hours, then I do a thorough email follow up with suggested lifestyle changes and healing additions to their lives, and answer email questions for 2 full weeks.

10. Share a typical day with us
Up by 6 AM getting the day rolling, breakfast and lunches made for my kids. I drive them to school by 8:15 and return home to:
• Do laundry, clean house, get in a bit of yoga, etc.
• Review client charts and see clients
• Write books, blog posts, articles for magazines, etc.
• Create and market online courses
• Pick my kids up at 2 PM.
• Walk my dog.
• Make dinner, do dishes, and finish up any business work.
• Bed by 9:30, read, lights out by 10 PM or so.
• It is a fun life!

11. What is next after coffee and donuts?
10 years ago I started a book about working with kids around whole foods, health, and healing. It was a homeschool project with my 2 sons. I would like to finish this book. I also have ideas for 5 or 6 more books. It is a matter of having the time to write.
12. Please give links to where we might purchase your books and blog you have.
My website blog page: http://www.paulayoumellrn.com/blog/
Coffee & Donuts: http://www.paulayoumellrn.com/book-2/
My first book: http://www.paulayoumellrn.com/book/

Thank you very much for being part of this discussion.

Thanks so much for the opportunity to share my work and passions with your readers.

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