Sign up for the Color Of Love Blog Hop and Celebrate Romance in Color

Hello World!!!

yes, I’m back after sooo long. It’s been a very eventful few months and I’ll tell you all about it in due course. Today, I’m announcing the 2nd Color of Love Blog Hop!

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We are celebrating romance and characters of colour in romantic fiction in the Color of Love Blog Hop.

Are you an author or blogger who loves writing/reading interracial or multicultural romance novels? If your answer is yes, then this is your chance to tell the world about the books you love and why.

Last year we gave away over $300 worth of prizes in Gift cards and eBooks. This year we are hoping to exceed that total. Would you like to donate to the Grand prize draw? You have the option of donating an eBook or donating towards the Gift Card total.
Each $5 donation will earn you an entry place in the rafflecopter (e.g. Like Facebook page or Follow @Twitter) The cover of the eBook donated will be featured on the Color of Love post page.

LIST YOUR DONATION HERE.

You don’t have to donate to participate in the hop. Simply sign up below for the Color of Love Blog Hop.

PS. This hop is a celebration of book bloggers and authors who enjoy romance books with characters of color, either in interracial relationships or multicultural settings.

SIGN UP TO JOIN THE COLOR OF LOVE BLOG HOP

More information about this blog hop will be provided closer to the date.

Ciao!

Empi

Spotlight: The story behind the story of Keeping Secrets by Kiru Taye @KiruTaye #TheEssienTrilogy

In 2011, Harlequin Desire put out a submission call for new writers to pitch their story ideas to their editors. At the time I was a new writer and had only ever written two romance stories previously. But I was a huge fan of the Harlequin Desire line with some of my favourite authors being Day Leclaire and Brenda Jackson. So you can imagine how excited I was to pitch a story to them.

The pitch event went well and I can still remember how excited I was when I messaged Empi to say they had requested the first 3 chapters of the story, which meant I had to actually write the full story. Yikes!

Anyway, long and short of it, I wrote the draft while blogging it and a few of my online friends read the story as I went along and gave me helpful pointers. I submitted it to HD. Eventually they came back and said it wasn’t for them.

At the time, I had just signed a contract with Breathless Press, so I decided to park the story and concentrate on completing the Men of Valor series which I had just sold to BP.

Fast forward to 2013 and I dusted it out and revised it, subbed it to a couple other publishers. They both liked it, but the direction they wanted to take the story didn’t suit me. So I cancelled the offered contract and decided to go it alone. So here we are.
And I hope you’ll all love Felix and Ebony’s story, the first of an exciting new series, The Essien Trilogy, bringing you Secrets, Scandals, and Seduction under African skies.

Book 1 - Keeping Secrets is out now
Book 2 – Making Scandal is coming Aug/Sept 2014
Book 3 – Riding Rebel is coming Nov/Dec 2014

KEEPING SECRETS - Book Blurb

KEEPINGSECRETSCOVER600pwHave you ever loved someone and didn’t even know it?

That’s the dilemma facing Felix Essien when he wakes from a coma to find he is married to the most beautiful and sensual woman he’s ever known. He cannot remember her or their wedding; he who had sworn never to get married or to give his heart to another. Yet, he feels an intense bond with her that he intends to explore fully.

Ebony can’t believe her good fortune when her paper husband wakes not remembering the temporary marriage arrangement with no intimacies he’d proposed, and is now the adoring husband she’s always dreamt of.

She plans to make the most of the passion blossoming between them. However, would he still feel that way when he regains his memory and realises she’s been keeping secrets and their marriage is not what he thinks it is?

 

BOOK EXCERPT

Chapter One

“Mrs. Essien, your husband is out of his coma.”

Phone pressed against one ear, the other hand reaching for the remote control, Ebony bolted upright. Her hand shook as she fumbled to mute the television news channel she’d been watching. The discarded controller clanked onto the clear, glass-topped side table.

Felix-Ebony-Sittingroom400pw“D…did I hear you correctly? Felix is awake?” She couldn’t hide the tremor in her voice, nor relax her tight-knuckled grip on the overstuffed arm of the upholstered cream sofa. Disbelief warred with hope, trampling all over her troubled mind.

“Yes, madam,” the nurse said at the other end of the line.

Breath rushed out of her lungs. The living room turned blurry. She lowered her lashes and slumped backwards, the velvet cushions a haven of soft comfort. A tear seeped from the corner of her eye and rolled down her cheek. She didn’t bother to wipe it. This didn’t represent sadness. No. This spelt relief—pure and simple—at prayers answered. At last.

“Hello? Are you still there?”

Eyes flickering open, she took in the bare cream walls of the living room and her gaze landed on the pile of framed wedding photographs in the far corner, overshadowed by a dark wood sculpture of a couple cinched in passion.

Since she’d taken delivery of the photos, she hadn’t been able to bring herself to put them up.

“I’m still here.” She swiped another tear with the back of her hand and cleared her throat.

“How is he? When did he wake up?” The words rushed from her lips, relief now overtaken by excitement.

Soft laughter filtered through the phone. “Take it easy, madam.”

Ebony grimaced. The respectful term for a woman only made her feel ancient; she’d prevented her household employees from using it to address her. But she didn’t tell the nurse on the phone.

“Sorry,” she said instead as she curled her lips with joy for the first time in weeks. She could forgive the woman who delivered such delightful news.

“No need to apologise. I understand, Madam,” the nurse continued in a cheerful voice. “Your husband woke a few minutes ago. The doctor is with him now and he seems okay, considering his condition. There is a request on his note to contact you as soon as he wakes up. This is the reason for my call.”

“Thank you so much, Nurse. I’ll come to the hospital straight away.” Ebony ended the call and sprang to her feet, ready to race to the bedroom to change.

Bad move. Her head swam, making her nauseated by the sudden movement, her stomach heaving like a turbulent sea.

Sinking back into the sofa, she breathed through the queasiness, head tilted slightly forward on her hands.

Oh, Lord. I hope I haven’t picked up a stomach bug.

It’ll teach her to buy street food. Last night, she’d craved Kilishi so much, she had to stop on the way home from hospital to pick up the beef jerky-style food cured and seeped in spices.

The omelette and toast she’d had for breakfast hadn’t stayed down, to the dismay of the housekeeper. The poor girl had looked appalled at the notion she may have poisoned her mistress. Hence the reason Ebony had been sitting in the living room when her phone rang, instead of being already at the hospital, her usual routine.

Perhaps, the stress of the past few weeks finally caught up with her. Long days and even longer nights, staying up worried about Felix.

Her chin dipped into her chest and her shoulders slumped as a wave of guilt hit her.

I should’ve been there when he woke up. He should’ve seen me first. Not the nurse or doctor. Me, his wife. Today of all days, too. Is it fate that he woke on Valentine’s Day?

“Aunty, are you okay?”

Ebony exhaled a sigh and lifted her head. The word ‘aunty’ gave her familial closeness to the addresser, a sense of not being alone in this mansion or dealing with faceless employees, but rather engaging with a member of the family.

Bisi, the housekeeper, stood beside her sofa twisting her hands, her anxiety plastered on her round face, her outfit—a blue check dress, white pinafore, and white sandals—creaseless and stainless, her hair plaited in neat straight cornrows, pulled into a bun at the back. The twenty-year old girl always took pride in her appearance. Living in meant Bisi became part of their household, which made her family.

Ebony curled her lips into a reassuring smile. “I’m more than okay. Stop worrying.”

She stood carefully and this time, the world stayed the right way up.

“Just tell Kola that I’ll be ready to go the hospital in thirty minutes.”

“Yes, Aunty.” The girl nodded. “I’ve packed the bag ready for you. Do you want me to skip class tonight, in case you need me?”

“No. There’s no need for you to miss your lesson.”

Ebony paid for Bisi to study Home Economics at their local college, with emphasis on Cookery after she discovered the girl’s interest in food and flavours. She should tell her Felix woke up. But after waiting so long to get some good news, she wanted confirmation with her own two eyes before announcing it to the rest of the household staff.

“Thank you for packing the bag.”

She patted the housekeeper on the shoulder and headed upstairs, bare feet slapping on cold marble. Crockery tinkled behind her as Bisi cleared up the teacup and saucer from the side table.

 

BUY LINKS

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kiru Taye’s Booklist

 

AUTHOR BIO & CONTACT LINKS

A lover of books, as a teenager Kiru Taye used to read novels under the blanket with a torch at night. These days, with a young family to take care of, she’s still sacrificing sleep for the pleasures of a good book.

During the day though, she transforms her wildly vivid imagination into sensual, atmospheric romance stories with passionate characters.

When she’s not writing or reading, she’d hanging out with family and friends or travelling. Born in Nigeria, she currently lives in the UK with husband and children.

You reach her via her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest

Follow her blog for latest news and giveaways.

Read book excerpts and free short stories on her website.

Link to her Amazon author page.

 

CONTEST

To celebrate the release of Keeping Secrets, I’m giving away a goodie pack, which includes $20 Amazon gift card, signed paperback of An Engagement Challenge, Keeping Secrets t-shirt and face cap.

Leave me a comment to stand a chance of winning and complete the Rafflecopter to enter the contest.

 

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7 Questions for Chantelle Sah from Most Eligible Bachelor #CharacterInterview

Happy Monday, people! Today, I’m over at the RWOWA (Romance Writers of West Africa) blog with my heroine from Most Eligible Bachelor, answering seven pertinent questions posed by my flirty and feisty friend, Stella Eromonsere Ajanaku.

Anyway, I would love to hear from you about this heroine who snatched the most eligible bachelor, the incredibly hot business mogul, Lord McKenzie. Click here

If you missed the interview Lord McKenzie granted on author Nana Prah’s blog, here’s the link (warning: you may need a cold shower afterward)

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Have a great week.

 

Empi

 

Cover Reveal: Keeping Secrets by @KiruTaye #TheEssienTrilogy

Hi folks! Happy 4th of April.

Today, I’m taking part in a special cover reveal. Keeping Secrets by the fabulous Kiru Taye is coming out on 12th May, 2014, and I am helping her celebrate her brand spanking new cover! *drawing curtains*

Tadaaa!

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Keeping Secrets
By
Kiru Taye

Series: The Essien Trilogy, Book 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance,
Multicultural
Length: Full length novel
Release date: May 12, 2014

The Essien Trilogy – Series Blurb

Secrets, Scandals, and Seduction under the African skies.

The Essiens are the kings of African finance. A close-knit family, their father is the patriarch of a finance dynasty that ranges from retail to investment banking spanning the African continent. Yet all is not as it seems as the three brothers—Felix, Mark and Tony—soon discover when their family is rocked by secrets and scandals. Blood ties or not, family is family.

If you like your book boyfriends to be tall, dark and handsome billionaires, then say hello to the Essien brothers.

KEEPING SECRETS – Blurb

Have you ever loved someone and didn’t even know it?

That’s the dilemma facing Felix Essien when he wakes from a coma to find he is married to the most beautiful and sensual woman he’s ever known. He cannot remember her or their wedding. He who had sworn never to get married or to give his heart to another. Yet he feels an intense bond with her that he intends to explore fully.

Ebony can’t believe her good fortune when her paper husband wakes not remembering the temporary marriage arrangement with no intimacies he’d proposed but is now the adoring husband she’s always dreamt of. She plans to make the most of the passion blossoming between them.

However would he still feel that way when he regains his memory and realises she’s been keeping secrets and their marriage is not what he thinks it is?

Teasers

South American couple hugging

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About the author

A lover of books, as a teenager Kiru Taye used to read novels under the blanket during lights-outs in boarding school. These days, with a young family to take care of, she’s still sacrificing sleep for the pleasures of a good book. During the day though, she transforms her wildly vivid imagination into sensual, atmospheric romance stories with passionate characters. When she’s not writing or reading, she’d hanging out with family and friends or travelling. Born in Nigeria, she currently lives in the UK with husband and children.

You reach her via her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest

Follow her blog for latest news and giveaways: http://kirutayewrites.blogspot.com

Read book excerpts and free short stories on her website: http://www.kirutaye.com

Link to her Amazon author page

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For a chance to win a free copy of Keeping Secrets or a $10 Amazon gift certificate, check out Kiru’s Rafflecopter giveaway.
:-)

 

3 Good Reasons to come to my Book Reading @writersPG

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So my long awaiting book reading is nearly here! If you’re in Accra or can be in Accra on Wednesday, 26th March, 2016, please don’t forget to come.

  1. Autographed copies: you know you love owning books that have been autographed by the author :-), and since I’ll be there with my special pen, you can buy a copy of Chancing Faith and have it autographed. How awesome is that!
  2. 15% off! I should probably have mentioned this first – print copies of Chancing Faith will be on sale at 15% off their retail price (shhh).
  3. Meet other book lovers and readers: The Ghana Voices Series (which is what Writers Project Ghana calls the book reading sessions) is a good way to meet like-minded people who share your passion for reading and books (like the fact that you love the smell of new books) 

There’s a fourth reason, but it’s a surprise – teeheehee.

Okay, enough goofing around. Seriously, it will be a fun one hour of your time. Don’t miss out.

 

Empi

Author Interview: @NanaPrah talks about her #NewRelease + #giveaway

Hi folks! I am so happy to be sharing this particular book release blog hop with my friend, Nana Prah, because I saw a few chapters of her latest release, Midwife to Destiny, as it was being developed. I can’t wait to experience the journey in full and find out how the HEA happened.

Nana also happens to be a fellow Ghanaian author, so needless to say, I am tickled to bits to introduce you to her and her freshly released novel, Midwife to Destiny, from Decadent Publishing’s Ubuntu line.

Welcome to casa Empi, Nana. It seems not so long ago that we were celebrating the release of your debut novel, Love Through Time. How time flies!

Let’s get right to it:

EB: When did you decide you were going to be a writer? Why fiction? For that matter, why romance fiction?

NP: Writing decided for me. A few years ago I wrote an e-mail to a friend telling her how she would meet her husband (as encouragement, not because I’m a psychic). The tale turned into a novel. Although it never got published, it set me off to write my debut novel Love Through Time.

I write romance because I’m a sucker for happily ever after. For me reading is an escape, and through my own writing I’d like to give people a wonderful place to go where everything ends up as they think it should.

EB: Nice. Do you have any strange habits/quirks when writing?

NP: When things aren’t going well and I’m stuck on a scene, I can clear out my refrigerator and pantry of all junk food. Other than that, no writing quirks for me.

EB: When you say ‘clear out’ do you mean into your stomach? :-)

EB: As a writer, what or who do you think has been your biggest inspiration?

NP: It’s all of the previous writers I’ve read and loved. Dorothy Koomson, Pearl Cleage, Lavyrl Spencer, Julie Garwood, Terry McMillan, Janet Evanovich and I could list a whole lot more, but it would take up the whole post. These are the great authors who I stayed up late at night reading long before I decided to write.

EB: What’s the best comment you’ve ever had about your writing? And the oddest?

NP: My best friend couldn’t stop telling me with awe in her voice how much she enjoyed reading my book, Love Through Time. Every time I see her she mentions it.

The oddest, or rather more interesting was a reviewer who said the dialogue seemed as if my characters were in their twenties rather than thirties. It got me thinking about if our conversations change as we mature as adults.

EB: Good question. I think they do, but that’s just me. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

NP: Read, exercise, hang out with my friends, and lots of social media (I’m addicted).

EB: Let’s talk about your latest release, Midwife to Destiny. Where did the idea come from?

NP: I was an observer of an AFRO Romance Competition (where I met Empi)[disclaimer: I did not twist her arms to say that :-), or did I?], and as I read the entries I knew I’d be able to write a romance set in Africa. I wanted it to be set in Ghana because that’s where I live, but I’m not sure how I got to South Africa. I think my muse forced the idea in me.

EB: (shakes head) the things we blame on muses… What was your favourite chapter/part to write and why?

NP: I absolutely adore the prologue where Jason and Ora meet in South Africa. That part of the novel is immensely sweet and we get to tour Cape Town with them, which was fun. Unfortunately Ora also has her first of two “idiot” moments in that scene, but you can’t always tell your characters what to do, can you?

EB: LOL. (Idiot moments). What was your least favourite chapter/part to write and why?

NP: There’s an emotional scene where Ora breaks up with Jason after they get together after three years. My editor had to pull out the emotions from me so I could do justice to the scene. Just like Ora, I don’t do emotions well, but I had to bring it out in her so that the reader could feel her pain.

EB: I know you are big on ‘reasons why’ so here’s your chance to give us three reasons to read your book.

NP: 

  1. It’s a lovely sweet romance, which will have you engrossed and closing the book with a sigh.
  2. Set in Africa, the reader gets to explore a land they never thought they’d travel to within the context of a good story.
  3. The characters are fabulous. I didn’t want to leave them so I wrote a second book about Esi’s story called Destiny Mine.

 EB: Can you give us a peek inside Midwife to Destiny?

 Blurb

Ghanaian nurse Aurora ‘Ora’ Aikins never expected to find the love of her life while on vacation in South Africa. Engaged to another and believing that love has no place in her life, she returns to Ghana, and puts duty and honor first.

Three years later, Dr. Jason Lartey still can’t get Ora out of his mind or his heart. After learning she never married, he takes a risk and moves to Ghana hoping to rekindle what they started. His sudden appearance in Ora’s Emergency Department sends sparks flying all over again.

They’re in the same country, working in the same hospital, and together but distance creeps between them. Can they make their destined love one for the ages?

Buy Links

Amazon | Decadent |ARe | Barnes & Noble| Smashwords

EXCERPT

Ora focused on putting one foot in front of the other as if she were a one-year-old learning how to walk. After turning the corner and seeing the back of his head, she froze. She would know that head anywhere. He’d grown his hair out a little, but his adorable, Will Smith ears gave him away. Initiating the process of pivoting and sprinting out of the ED unnoticed sprang to mind when he turned around and his gaze caught hers.

The air became charged with tension and neither of them moved. Her heart threatened to pop out of her chest with the force of each beat. The nurses stood between them, looking back and forth as if they watched a tennis match. They didn’t bother to hide their expressions of curiosity.

They’d never seen Ora behave in such a manner. Not cool as a cucumber super nurse. Like herself, they kept looking at the new doctor just because of his tall, broad-shouldered, gorgeous stature. The past three years had matured him, adding a few lines around his eyes and the new feature of a goatee with a moustache changed his countenance a little. But otherwise, the same man she’d met three years ago, at least in the physical sense, stood before her.

After an eternity, Ora snapped back to attention. “Akwaaba, Dr. Lartey. Welcome to the ward.” Madam Professional stuck out her hand for a handshake.

Her words seemed to drag him out of his own stupor. “Uh….”

She had rendered the man speechless. Ora’s gracious nature—that’s what she blamed it on, anyway—took pity on him and she touched his shoulder. The contact sent sensual awareness through her and she recoiled her hand.

“Hello, Aurora. Please forgive me. It’s just that I’m a little surprised to see you.”

“Not as much as I am,” she muttered, attempting to squash both the joy bubbling up inside of her at seeing him again and the overwhelming sadness of what she’d been missing for so long.

“Pardon me?” he asked.

“I didn’t expect to see you here. It’s a surprise to me, too.” She tried to smile, but it came out contorted, as if she’d been able to have a painful, rocky bowel movement after being constipated for seven days.

EB: Great excerpt. Love the tension. Okay, now that we’ve had our excerpt, I’m sure readers would like to know a little bit about the woman behind the writer:

1. Most romantic movie you ever saw?

There are so many, but I’ll choose The Lake House with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock.

2. Most memorable movie quote

“Kiss this, bitch.” Trinity from the Matrix- she’s my girl.

3. Most vivid childhood memory?

Me and my brother hanging on my mother’s extended legs while she sat and scissored them so my brother and I almost crashed into each other. Good times and lots of giggles

4. If you had to choose a soundtrack to your life’s movie, which three songs would be the most meaningful?

This one is too hard for me to answer. My life has been so diverse that it’s impossible to choose only three.

5. Five question marathon:

  • Fave thing in your closet: A purple and gold kimono my mother sewed for me.
  • Fave ice-cream flavor: Chocolate chip cookie dough
  • Coffee vs. tea: Tea
  • Sweet vs sour: Sweet
  • Guilty pleasure: I have no guilt where pleasure is involved *giggle* 

EB: LOL. That means chocolate, people. Thanks for joining me on my blgo today, Nana Prah. Before I forget, a little birdie told me about a give-away…

NP: :-) I’m giving away a $20 Amazon gift card which will run until the end of April. The rafflecopter link is below:

ENTER GIVEAWAY

Author Bio – Nana Prah

Nana Prah was born in Ghana, West Africa, raised in the US and currently resides in Ghana where she loves her job as a writer and nurse educator. She has been writing since she can remember (in her journal) and has been an avid reader of romance novels since the eighth grade. She has finally been able to utilize the years and years of inadvertent research into writing her own romance novels where love always conquers all.

Contact Details:

Blog | Twitter: @NanaPrah | Facebook: Nana Prah, Author