Book Reviews , , ,

Author Spotlight: Remi Roy

Hey guys,
I would like to introduce you all to a new author friend of mine, Remi Roy. She’s a fantastic new Christian author with two books out already. I have read the first one, Ms. Unlikey, which is a sweet romance about a girl trying to work out what she wants to do in life and falling in love. I’m currently reading the second one, From the Sidelines, which is Biblical fiction from the point of view of Bible characters who don’t usually get much attention. Both are great books. Remi is definitely one to watch, and she’s on my list of authors I read when I’m between book projects of my own.

Without further ado, here’s Remi…

Ms Unlikely by Remi RoyMe: Thanks, Remi, for stopping by. It’s great to have you on my blog. First, I’d like to ask a personal question. What are your hobbies?

Remi: Hmm, let’s see… I like to read. I like watching movies that make me laugh and relax. I like browsing through books shelves and store aisles (I think I prefer the latter. It’s therapeutic. Haha). I like solving jigsaw puzzles. And, most recently, I like looking for new ways to cook and eat healthy.

Me: Yeah, I like funny movies too. I don’t understand why anyone would want to watch something that scares them or makes them cry–unless it’s sweet romance that pulls at the heartstrings 🙂 Moving on, any interesting facts about yourself?
Remi: A few, I guess. I didn’t walk until I was three-years-old. [Don’t ask why.] I’m a night owl. I can read a single book or watch one great movie a gazillion times and never get bored. I can have fried plantains for breakfast, lunch and dinner, all day every day. I hold back now though. Trying to eat healthy.

Me: Plaintains, mmm. I prefer them boiled or grilled though. Tell us about your family.

Remi: I’m the last of four children and my siblings were the first best friends I ever had. We grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, a simple, fun, God-loving family.

Me: How did your interest in writing begin and what inspired you to write your first book?

Remi:  I got interested in writing mostly because I grew up reading a lot. I started actively writing sometime in 2008 even though I’d been scribbling stuff long before then.

My first book was inspired by personal struggles with defining my life and career. It was something I came to realize that other young women like me had: this uncertainty about the future, the desire for success and finding fulfillment in life. The story came from that struggle.

FTS COVERMe: I think that’s a struggle most people experience. I certainly experienced it. Who is your intended audience and why should they read your books?

Remi: My first book was primarily written for a young, female demographic. However I believe anyone who picks up my books will be entertained and ultimately have something helpful to take away from them.

Me: What books have influenced your life most? 

Remi: So very many. Children’s books by Charles Dickens. African Fiction by Chinua Achebe and Elechi Amadi. Christian Fiction by Karen Kingsbury and Francine Rivers. Romance Series by Heart Song Presents. And most recently books by fellow female authors working hard to make a difference with their gifts.

Me: As a writer I’m always interested in the writing process of other writers. Do you outline your books before writing them, or make things up as you go? How long does it take you? How many drafts do you do?

Remi: My writing process is an amoebic thing. It takes different forms and shapes but the goal and end result is the same. I didn’t outline my first book. I just wrote. I’m more of a ‘pantser’ and the ideas just flow when I put my hands to the keyboard.

However, I have come to learn the benefits of outlining. It gives you a bird’s eye view, if you will, of the world you’re creating and makes it easier to see the trouble spots. I also think your work might require less rewriting and changes when you start with an outline. So needless to say I now combine both methods and I find it works great for me.

My first book took me about seven months. And I still say it felt like an out of body experience. My second book was a collection of short stories I had written for a period of time.

As for drafts, after I hit publish I always have to rid my computer of several drafts just so I don’t mistake them for the final one.

Me: Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing? 

Remi: Yeah, it’s that thing called writing. Lol. Being descriptive in my scenes is a challenge but I find it gets better the more I write and tweak and work on my output. And really finding the time to write amidst all of life’s demands. But we do what we must, don’t we?

Me: We certainly do. Name one person that you feel supported you with regards to your writing. 

Remi: My Husband! 🙂

Me: What book are you currently working on?

Remi: I have two works-in-progress, the second volume of my Historical Flash Fiction series and a story that’s making me both smile with joy and pull out my hair in frustration.

Me: Ah, I’m glad I’m not the only one who finds writing to be an emotional roller coaster. I would like to end with a few quick-fire questions. Ready?

Remi: Sure!

Silver or gold? Silver
Casual or formal? Casual every day!
Summer or Winter? Fall. Sorry 🙂
Chocolates or flowers? Neither.
Books or movies? No…Do I have to choose?
Reading or writing? I will not choose! Haha
Pen or Pencil? Haven’t used a pencil in ages.
Tea or Coffee? Smoothie.
Early bird or Night Owl? Night Owl
Ice-cream or yoghurt? Smoothie? 🙂

Me: Thanks Remi, it’s been a pleasure talking to you.

Remi: Thanks for having me.

Remi RoyAbout Remi Roy

Remi Roy was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. Her love of books and reading blossomed into a desire to tell stories. In 2013 she moved to the United States for a Master’s Program in Emerging Media and Communication.

Her books Ms. Unlikely and From the Sidelines are available on Amazon. Remi lives in the United States with her husband.

Check her out on Amazon!

Book Reviews , ,

Author Spotlight – Ava Bleu

Hi guys,

It’s been a while since I posted on my blog. Things have been so busy, but I will update you properly in a subsequent post in a few days. In the meantime, I have an awesome author to present to you. To date, my author spotlight feature has been an interview with the author, but this time, the author will be guest posting. She is truly inspirational, and her blog is a must-read. For those of you who read my blog all the way from Nigeria and other parts of West Africa, I think you’ll like her upcoming book 🙂
Ladies and Gents, without further ado, I present to you…Ava Bleu.


Why I Like Edgy Inspirational Romance – Ava Bleu

diva of peddler's creekSome time ago I was exploring my own faith and wondering how far on the spectrum I would travel. I am plenty flawed but imagined that someday I would become so wise and strong in my faith I would barely resemble the person I am today.

But then I asked myself, do I really dislike the person I am today? If a part of me cringes every time I think of becoming more immersed in faith, does that mean I’m going to hell or does it just mean the authentic me doesn’t want to be a hypocrite?

So the question became, do I want to travel further on the spectrum to become more Godly or am I just Godly enough for me?

I happen to pray quite a bit (yes, God knows all about me, thank you very much). I ask lots of questions and analyze a whole lot of things. I explain a lot (yes, I know it’s kind of pointless to explain yourself to God) and I ask forgiveness a lot. And when all is said and done, the more I think about changing me the less I want to. Yes, I will always try to be a better person, and I will pray for grace. But I will still be myself.

When people meet me they automatically assume I’m a church girl (I have a deceptively sweet face), but I didn’t grow up in the church. I learned my faith mostly through hard knocks and hard times. I don’t like to represent myself as something I’m not. Truth is, I am skirting the edge of faith: I am hopeful and aspirational, but I also dip my toe in the wild side from time to time.  My characters are just the same.

There is something to be said for admitting what you are and what you are not. Because I know what it is to feel awkward, misunderstood, self-conscious and to want the world to love you, I create characters who feel the same. You may not like my heroines, but you will darn sure identify with them. And there’s no telling, maybe the introduction to faith by my flawed characters will spur someone else to explore more of their own.

I like where I am right now and whether it’s contemporary romance or edgy inspirational romance (with or without fantasy), I am telling the stories that make me smile and bring a little light into my flawed life. I sincerely hope in my own way I am bringing just a little faith to the faithless and doing it in my own unique way.


Ava’s upcoming book is called Glorious Sunset and will be released August 26, 2014 (Urban Christian/Kensington. ISBN: 978-1601626707)


glorious sunsetAfrican King Taka Olufemi has traveled over four hundred years to find the woman who holds the soul of his murdered queen and he’s a little cranky.  With a ruby brooch as his vessel, the former king is forced to grant wishes to ungrateful mortals hoping to one day find, and win, the heart of his lost love.

But it will take more than good looks, superior intelligence and an impressive pedigree to earn the love of Violet Jackson.  The ambitious interior designer doesn’t remember Taka or their history.  Love—with its inevitable heartbreak chaser—has no place in Violet’s immediate life plan.  All the handsome “genie” can do for her is pony up on the three wishes he’s promised and try not to be a pain while he’s at it.

While the arrogant king is praying for his submissive queen and the faithless object of his affection isn’t praying at all, guardian angel, Aniweto, is praying for them both.  With Ani’s help, Taka and Violet’s epic love will be rekindled and this royal couple-behaving-badly will finally earn their happily-ever-after through the grace of the Almighty.


1600 A.D., Jaha, West Africa

The acrid smell of a burning village brought King Taka Olufemi awake, sputtering, coughing and wincing in pain as he did so.  Slowly memory returned and with it the horror.  He cracked his eyelids open, his eyes immediately burning with the pebbly smoke that floated in a low hanging cloud.  Pushing himself upright from where he lay causing sharp pain to streak through his torso and the agony brought his gaze down as he sucked in his breath and jerked his hands to the source.  Seeing the jagged, torn flesh of the wound in his side, the rest of his memory came and with the memory…

“Oh no … no, no, no….”

He forgot his pain.  He fought off the sway of the world as he stood, struggling to focus and see through eyes watering with smoke and something else he didn’t dare identify.  He didn’t need to see when he could smell.  He was a king and warrior; battle was in his bones and death always a close companion.  He smelled both here.

He looked around.  Men, women, children; the massacre was complete.  Beyond the hall huts and houses of his village were blackened ash.  The air still burned with the stench of fire.  He couldn’t understand this.  In all his life he’d never seen such brutality; never known such dishonor.  Still, he firmed his jaw and kept looking, turning in a wide circle until his feet staggered to a stop before his brain could even register.

His body knew how to find its heart…

You can pre-order Glorious Sunset at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author…

croppedpicava[1]Ava Bleu lives and loves in the Midwest, countering bitter winters with smooth jazz and tasty edibles. Ava Bleu is the author of the contemporary romantic comedy, The Diva of Peddler’s Creek, and Glorious Sunset, an edgy inspirational romance with a time-traveling king, an angel and a love for the ages.

Ava can be found in bookstores and the public library camped next to the cookbooks and/or on the town keeping an eye out for hero-material.  She can also be found at her website.