Author Spotlight: Empi Baryeh

Thanks for hosting me on your blog today, Nana. Hi, everyone, and thanks for stopping by to share in my excitement as I eagerly await the release of my debut novel, Most Eligible Bachelor, a contemporary romance set in Accra, Ghana.

I won’t be pompous and say it is the first category romance novel set in Ghana, but I’m confident that Most Eligible Bachelor is one of a select few (sorry, it’s the excitement getting to my head).

A little bit about me. I started writing at the age of thirteen after stumbling upon a Young Adult story her older sister had started and abandoned. The story fascinated me so much that, when I discovered it was unfinished, I knew the task of completing it rested firmly on my shoulders. Amazingly, once I decided to continue the story, the ideas and the words began to pour into her mind. I’ve been writing ever since. However, it wasn’t until another thirteen years later that the romantic in me geared me toward romance. While I also write mainstream stories, my current focus is on heart-warming romance set in Africa with African heroes and heroines. I write the kind of story I like to read – sweet and tender, but with enough passion to enthral readers who want a little sizzle with their romance. That means, yes, I do have sex scenes in my stories, but I like to think they are tasteful (that means I won’t mind my fun aunt reading it. LOL). I live in Accra, Ghana, which provides the exotic setting for most of my novels. If you hop over to my blog ( on 3rd February (my book release day), I’ll share the story of how Most Eligible Bachelor came into being, some challenges I’ve faced trying to break into the publishing world with this story and what comes next!

Most Eligible Bachelor will initially come out in e-book format only, and knowing how tough it is for those of us living in Africa to buy things online, I’m giving away a free copy of my book to one lucky commenter on this blog post. That’s right – leave a comment or question. I’ll announce winners on my blog on 19th February.

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?

Excerpt – The First Kiss

He seemed amused by her lack of a response as he took her hand and led her back to the dance floor. The music had turned slow.

She hesitated. Slow music meant being in his arms, their bodies touching. She shouldn’t do this. Yet for some ridiculous reason, she wanted – needed, even – the closeness, to feel like a woman again. Just for a moment. Even if she was certifiably insane for wanting all this in the arms of Lord McKenzie.

He pulled her gently, bringing her body flush against his. A tremor rushed through her. His warm breath on her face sent tiny tingles running over her skin. Heat radiated to her from each part of his body touching hers, his powerful thighs, lean hips and firm abdomen, his hand, pressed firmly on the small of her back.

When was the last time she’d been this close to a man? Her breath quickened as raw need surged through her. Far too long. Not since Martin.

Tears stung her eyes as the familiar loneliness accompanying Valentine’s Day closed in. Old love songs always got to her. She turned away from his watchful gaze, focusing on other couples huddled close together on the dance floor. Yearning pierced her heart. She gave herself a mental shake. She couldn’t entertain such thoughts. Once she did, there would be no salvation.

As if sensing her distress, Lord pulled her closer, his hold tightening around her. Every thought flittered out of her mind as soon as their gazes locked, and she began to drown in the deep pools of his dark eyes.

“Happy Valentine’s Day, Chantelle.”

Was it stupid that she liked the way her name sounded on his tongue? She opened her mouth to say something – about how Valentine’s Day had been commercialized to the point of triviality, an occasion for errant lovers to feel better about neglecting their significant others, a day to buy enough credit for another year, one day to make the unloved feel even less loved – anything to hide how hard it was to hear those words, but nothing came out.

His face hovered just inches away. Her heart stutter-stepped; her breath snagged. Without explanation, she wanted to know the taste of his lips. She wanted to erase it all from her mind, her pain, his reputation. She wanted to simply believe he really was just the most eligible bachelor in town, and he had her in his arms.

He smiled, really smiled, not the movie star grins he’d been flashing earlier. His gaze emitted pure heat wrapped around a hint of sadness. What in the world could make a man with his looks and popularity melancholic? Surely Lord McKenzie didn’t have the same kinds of problems as mere mortals.

His fingers feathered her cheek, sending another wave of tremors through her. When his hand reached her chin, he lifted her face. Her mind barely registered what was happening before the space between them vanished. His searing kiss was nothing she could have imagined. It scorched her, inside and out. A soft moan escaped her throat before she could stop it. She melted into him, curling her fingers around his nape.

When he pulled away, her breath came in fast, shallow bursts. In stunned reflex, her fingers came to her lips, which felt swollen, having not been used for this purpose in a while. Weak-kneed and aroused, she sensed she only remained standing because of his strong arms around her.

One of the couples dancing bumped into them, jerking her back to reality.


Shoot. This evening would be more difficult than she could have guessed. How was she supposed to conduct a professional interview when she’d just kissed the interviewee, and now her mind insisted on dancing around words like ravished?


I hope you enjoyed that excerpt and you’ve marked you calendar to get your very own copy at:

Evernight Publishing: (will be active from 3rd Feb)


All Romance eBooks:

Where else to find me online:

My blog:

My website:


Twitter: @empibaryeh

Thanks again for stopping by and sharing this exciting moment with me. Have a wonderful week!



16 thoughts on “Author Spotlight: Empi Baryeh

Add yours

  1. Thanks for hosting me today, Nana. And thank you, Faisal for giving me my first comment :-). Glad you liked the excerpt. Keep your fingers crossed for the book

  2. As a lover and promoter of African literature, i prefer names used to be African as much as possible. Much as i would have loved to promote this sizzzling romance novel, am putt off by the use of foreign names in a romance novel set in Ghana. Is this an African Mills and Boon? Great idea Empi, just disappointed by the medium used to covey the message as well as the packaging. Trust me i know what am talking about.

    1. Abu, shouldn’t we have room for all types of genres? Why should we limit ourselves? I want to see writers who are Africans rather than having only ‘African writers’, whatever that means. Out there, publishing houses try to define ‘African writing’, but I believe it is time to have writing, out of Africa, in all forms. Let the discussions continue. Thanks for the comment.

      1. I get you but we shd know better by acknowledging names in the respective country of settings, Nana. Am open to other genres and ideas but not a sharp deviation just for being different. We have a McKenzie in Ghana now?

  3. And how many people from Ghana, living in Ghana give their children foreign names??? This should not really be an issue. As long as the book is a good book, I dont care if its set in Liberia with chinese names…an frankly I don’t think many of her fans will either…
    mP…I have seen the early beginnings of your writing in notebooks, you cannot imagine how proud I am that you have gotten to this point.

    1. Nana Damoah, did a great romantic story in his book and it was a great read n many loved it. Chantelle and co, Chichi or whatever you call yourself, doesn’t show our Africanness. In writings like hers, she tried to draw attention to the fact that in the heart of African there is romance and the way it plays. See, we don’t just read for the sake of it but a lot more follows from there.

      Any great read will leave trademarks in your mind especially after reading. So while we are at it we shouldn’t follow what the whites are doing. Would you rather we support our own or something new just for the sake of it? Do you know where in most American movies they show the Manhattan skyline for example?

  4. Actually, I do know of more than one females named Chantelle. But not a Mckenzie, though I have a McCarthy at my work place in IPS and went to school with some McCarthys. I think we should not belabour the name issue. What is important is that the story has Ghanaian/African settings and descriptions that are reall enough. For me as a writer, and a woman who has been in love before, the chemistry described above is real to me, believe you me. I’ve also been where Chantelle has been and if truth be known most women in Ghana who have loved before have been there. So, love is a unversal language. And yes, African MIlls and Boon is not a bad idea.
    Congratulations, Empi, for breaking through. I’ll follow suit soon. You are my inspiration. Many thanks to Nana for hosting you.

  5. I just want to say thank you to Nana again for hosting me today, and to all of you who left a comment here. I’m glad you enjoyed the little excerpt. I hope you enjoy the full story when it comes out on Friday.

    Check my blog for the winner of the free copy on the 19th of Feb.

  6. Just one more thing. I’ve decided to announce winners at the end of each week, so as not to keep people in suspense too long. Winner list for the week coming up soon

  7. And the winner is…

    Congratulations. Send me your email either by the ‘contact me’ form on my blog or PM me on Twitter or Facebook.

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