Empi Baryeh in da House!

Love is in the air and guess who just landed at Lara Daniels Writes? It’s none other than the very talented Empi Baryeh whose novels are making ground breaking strides in the African Romance genre. Empi is an author of multicultural love stories tender enough to warm your heart and erotic enough to ignite your passions. I wrote about her two books a couple of weeks ago and she kindly agreed to come here today and talk more in detail about her books and her writing journey with the hopes of encouraging another African Writer out there. So please join me today in welcoming Empi Baryeh! (Loud applause, everyone :))


Thanks for inviting me over to your blog, Lara. Hello and welcome to everyone. Lara asked me to share my journey so far as a writer, so I’ll begin with that and then I’ll talk a little about my latest release. I started writing when I was about thirteen, but it wasn’t until another thirteen years later that I decided to write a romance novel. My first task was to read a few, so I went online, and after some research, I found Harlequin’s website. They had a ‘two free books’ subscription offer, so I got my first two free books and enjoyed them so much that I decided to keep my subscription. About a month later, I received my first set of six books.

Once I started reading them, I had a concern that I’m sure most aspirant African writer have: it occurred to me that I hadn’t seen any books with African characters or settings. While I’d seen many non-US/UK settings, I realised that most people didn’t think ‘romance’ when they thought about Africa.

But first of all I needed to know if my stories had international appeal. I decided to become a premium member of FanStory, which turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made regarding my writing. If you visited my blog on Friday, then you know Most Eligible Bachelor started as a short story for a Valentine’s Day writing prompt on FanStory. Those were exciting times.  FS allowed me to share my stories with and receive feedback from a global community—US, UK, Europe, Asia, Australia, South America…you name it, they are all there. And guess what! The response was positive.

I was now much more confident about submitting to publishers and agents. And that was when the Rs started. Yes, I’ve had a lot of those, but of course, I was in good company: Ernest Hemingway, J. K. Rowling, Stephen King, Meg Cabot…these are only a few famous writers who are equally famous for the Rs they received before hitting the big time. That’s not to say I didn’t get discouraged—I did. Many times. Especially with form Rs, which don’t tell you what you need to do to improve the story.

But I did have a few trusted writing buddies and critique partners who helped me in fine-tuning my story and turning it from a first draft to a published novel.

As an African writer, especially one living in Africa, it hasn’t been easy. There are many opportunities out there that exclude us – especially writing contests. Many African countries are not on PayPal’s system, which is very limiting in today’s increasingly digital society.

The good news for us, though, is that the digital age, while having limitations, has brought a lot of other opportunities. I think the benefits far outweigh the losses. Also, there’s been an increase in the demand for variety in romance (and other genres of) fiction. That means this is the time for African writers to excel.

So if you’re an aspiring author, my advice is to keep writing, join a good writing/critique group or two, actively search for and enter writing competitions whenever you can. If you choose to self-publish, do your research, make sure your manuscript is thoroughly edited. There’s nothing worse than paying for a book that’s full of typos. Most of all, take a break if you must, but don’t stop writing.

Before I sign off, I want to talk about my books and writing projects. I’m celebrating the release of my debut novel, Most Eligible Bachelor, which is about Chantelle Sah, a magazine columnist who’s been burned by love, and Lord McKenzie, a wealthy playboy, who’s never been in love before—until Chantelle, that is. My heroine is low on trust where men are concerned, but she meets my hero and finds herself unable to keep her heart safe from falling in love again. Throw into the mix is the little fact of the hero holding on to a secret that could be fatal for both their hearts, and you know there’s going to be some trouble brewing before a happily-ever-after can be achieved. The story is a sweet romance that packs enough heat to satisfy readers who want a little sizzle with their romance.

Most Eligible Bachelor is Book 1 in a 3-book series titled, Men of Distinction. Each book can be read as a standalone, but if you’re like me, you’ll want to read all three since you’ll get to see characters from each book playing a secondary role in the other books. I always find that to be a lot of fun. The heroines of Books 2 and 3 are introduced in Most Eligible Bachelor, so I hope they make a positive impression on readers. I’m working on Book 2 of the series, which is currently titled, Dinner and a Kiss, while Book 3 is untitled at the moment.

Without further ado, here’s a sneak peek at Most Eligible Bachelor:


Magazine columnist Chantelle Sah doesn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day—not since her fiancé’s betrayal three years ago—and after botching her first assignment as a feature writer, she’s more than willing to put in a hard day’s work this Valentine’s Day; even if it means going on a date with gorgeous construction Tycoon, Lord McKenzie, and opening herself to an onslaught of all things love.

When Lord—his given name, not a title—sets his sights on Chantelle, it isn’t just work he has on his mind. But even he couldn’t have predicted the magnetic attraction between them when they meet, nor the evening ending with more than an interview. Now he has to convince Chantelle that their one-night stand wasn’t a mistake. Can he win her love without revealing a secret from their night of passion, which could prove fatal for both their hearts?



Lord McKenzie knew he was in trouble the moment he reached for the door and found Chantelle’s hand instead. She turned, her almond-shaped eyes widening. Their hazel intensity met his gaze, and he knew he was done for. Energy passed between them, zapping his will to resist.

“Chantelle.” His voice came out heavy, having forced its way out of the vise gripping his throat.

He pulled her, intending to have one more taste of her luscious full lips. He felt no resistance on her part as she stepped toward him. Her bag dropped to the floor just before her body slammed against his, every soft curve fitting perfectly into him as he laid claim on her lips.

She kissed him back with the same hunger with which he devoured her. Fire ignited, took over. She gripped his t-shirt, tugging it out of his trousers in the process. He became instantly hard. When her hands grazed his skin, he lost hold of any control he had tried to maintain. A kiss wouldn’t be enough to douse the inferno of desire consuming them. Something it seemed she’d already realized, because she pushed the t-shirt up his torso.

Their breathing and moans mingled as they attended to the multiple tasks of kissing, shedding their clothes and finding a place to settle. Chantelle’s top came off first, followed by his, then her jeans and his. Stumbling urgently to the loveseat, they continued their kissing and frantic groping.

With one snap, her bra came off, making Lord pause. He needed to take in the sight before him. In nothing but a flimsy pair of lacy white panties, she was a vision of perfection, her body a work of art. Her tall frame ordinarily projected an impression of slimness, but underneath her clothes were curves, lush and feminine, ample hips narrowing into a small waist and firm breasts proudly pouting at him, all wrapped in flawless milk-chocolate skin.

“You’re incredibly beautiful,” he whispered.

He couldn’t wait to taste her. But first, he needed to touch.

Reverently he cupped her breasts and kneaded them gently, drawing a soft moan from her. His hands travelled down her flat stomach to her hips, enjoying the feel of her curves. His mouth followed with kisses, along the same path to her navel. Reaching for the hem of her panties, he paused, raising his eyes to meet her gaze.

She watched him with sultry eyes, her pupils dilated. Seeing the desire in their depths caused several ounces of restraint to slip from his grip, but he needed to know they were on the same page. He wasn’t going any further if she had doubts.

“Tell me to take this off.”


I hope that excerpt has whetted your appetite for more. If so, use any of these links to buy a copy of Most Eligible Bachelor:


Also, coming 17th March through Black Opal Books, is Chancing Faith, an interracial romance about an American ad exec who travels to Ghana, on business, and finds himself wagering his heart.

Here’s a blurb:

He didn’t do short-term relationships…

American ad exec, Thane Aleksander, doesn’t date co-workers either—until business takes him to Ghana, West Africa, and he meets Naaki. Now he’s at risk of breaking all the rules. Can he stop this headlong fall before it’s too late?

Until he met her!

Naaki Tabika has a burning need to prove, to herself and others, that she’s more than wife and mother material. To do so, she’s prepared to give up everything for her job. Meeting Thane, however, makes her want to get personal. But falling for her boss could destroy her career. Will she be willing to risk it all for the one thing that can make her truly happy?

Two divergent cultures, two different races, two career-driven professionals, only one chance at true love—will they find the faith to take it, or will their hearts be sacrificed on the altar of financial success?


Where else to find me online:

Thanks, Lara, for hosting me on your blog, and thank you, readers, for stopping by and sharing this exciting moment with me. Don’t forget to leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a free copy of Most Eligible Bachelor. Enjoy your week!

Categories: Author spotlight | 30 Comments

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30 thoughts on “Empi Baryeh in da House!

  1. 🙂 hey, Lara. Looking fwd to spending all day here with you. Hugs

    • Hugs rignt back at you Empi. Thanks for your inspiring story. I know someone is just going to read this and go “Oh, I can too!”

  2. omolara

    The excerpt is delightful. Want more. Each time i read any literary work by an African am always proud to be an African. Good job and really can’t wait to read the whole series. Guess i have to start with ‘most eligible bachelor’.

    • Omolara…namesake, glad Empi’s story touched you and that you enjoyed the excerpt. I forgot to mention that there’s a chance of winning a free ebook when you comment under this post. so kindly leave your email here or send it to empibaryeh@gmail.com.

    • hey, Lara #2 🙂 thanks for the comment. I hope you *do* start with Most Eligible Bachelor. Glad you liked the excerpt

  3. chuchu

    Wow! This is great, awesome if I wasn’t reading this on your blog I would argue that an african couldn’t write this good & tempting! But after reading Lara’s blogs n stories & now reading Empi’s no doubt jst addiction. When I was growing up I read some mills n boons & some Harlequins but growin up in a separated home, havin a gay sister & being a Virgin with all the guys n offcos my stepfathers wantin 2 get in my pants made me stop believin in books lik dat though they were good reads but I turned 2 other books but 4 som reason I always dreamed bout happily ever afters though b4 dat it wud always b rough n tough n I never stopped buyin all d romance novels I saw. 2day my library takes up 2rms in my flat though not all romance but trust me u can’t go thru 5bks w/o seeing a romance bk. But I always psyched myself that mayb its a waste of time cos it never happens in africa cos the africans r always either hittin their wives, havin multi wives or cheatin. Or jst separated. But then I met mummy & daddy (my aunt n her husband) & Dele n sally( older friends) who all hav weathered the storm & best of all both of U. Thank u very much. Keep up the great work. I’m inspired

    • Chuchu wow…your story is an inspiration on its own and I’m soooo glad that Empi and her writing has reinforced the belief that there is indeed a happily ever after for every one of us, regardless of our pasts. Thank you for sharing your story. Blessings….and hugs!

      • One more thing: There is a prize to be won for commenting under this. Empi has so graciously voluntered to give out a copy of her book to one commenter on this post. So please send your email to empibaryeh@gmail.com. thanks

    • Chuchu, thank for your comment. Your story is inspiring and I’m glad my story has in some way helped. You know, fiction often takes its cue from reality. So even amidst the not-so-happy stories, happily-ever-afters do exist in Africa.

  4. Well done, Empi. You are certainly proof that it can be done. Aspiring authors, take note! 🙂

    • It surely can be done, Kiru…and I’m hoping the many aspring authors…especially of African descent living within our African continent will read this and know that too. Thanks dear.

    • Thanks, Kiru 🙂 So are you, my dear!

  5. Pingback: Word Wednesday: Key, Quay, Cay, Qi, Ki « Empi Baryeh's Blog

  6. Empi, we in Ghana are so proud of you. Frankly, you inspire me a lot and I’m going to take a leaf from your book. I’m also happy to announce here that I’m a proud winner of Empi Baryeh’s giveaway for Week 1. I won a kindle edition of Most Eilgible Bachelor!! And I’m loving every bit of it. The suspense is kiling!

  7. Congratulations, Empi! Loved the excerpt! Best of luck with both releases. xo

  8. I love that there are more and more African romance writers out there. Thanks for sharing your story. Great pick LD

    Muse Origins

    • Adiya, yes, This is really the time for African writers to shine. Glad there are readers out there making it all worthwhile

  9. Hi! Great post! Love the excerpt! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Congrats, Empi. You’ve shown that persistence really is very important. All the best on your book tour.

  11. Kehinde bamidele

    This excerpt is a very interesting one.who would have thought that an african can write such a lovely novel.this is not to say that we are not intelligent but we all almost all grew up knowiñg/reading only mills and boons but these days with writers like you, the tides have turned. I´ll indeed love to read the whole story-it sounds very african,like our own african story.Emphi,keep up the good work.we’ll meet at the top.

    • Amen oo, Kehinde. Thanks for your wonderful comment. We shal surely meet at the top 🙂

      As for reading the whole book, I hope you do. Keep your fingers crossed, since I will be giving a free copy out on Saturday.

  12. Pingback: Blog Tour Winners: Week 2 « Empi Baryeh's Blog

  13. And the winner is…

    Kehinde Bamidele!

    Congrats on winning. Please PM me your email address (u can use the contact me form on my blog or Twitter @empibaryeh), and I’ll drop it in your in box.

  14. Pingback: Blog Tour Winner: Week 4 « Empi Baryeh's Blog

  15. Visit my blog for a review of Empi Baryeh’s MEB

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