I have a fabulous book to introduce today! It actually just released this week and already is ranked by Amazon as a “#1 New Release” in its category. So a congratulations goes out to author Sinmisola Ogunyinka both on her release and on her novel’s progress! I met Sinmisola through our publishing company’s Facebook page. That fabulous Clean Reads site that allows us to share information and encourage one another. Priceless, I tell ya’. Priceless. But, I won’t ramble on, I’ll get right to Sinmisola.
Than you again for being on the blog! First things first, can you tell us a little about your novel?
My novel, Under a Red Delta Sun, is a Young Adult African Suspense Thriller centered around three teenagers, all from wealthy families, but with different life issues. Two girls, Temly and Asabi are childhood friends with a secret between them: Asabi is being sexually abused by her stepfather, and planning to run away from home. Temly’s family could help but Asabi made Temly promise she would not tell her parents. On the day Asabi finally agrees Temly could let her parents in on the matter, Temly goes missing.
Fela, the third teenager is a pastor’s son struggling to follow his father’s faith. When he discovers some secrets about his father’s occultism, his life is thrown into a tumult. He finds himself in an evil forest with Temly and the two must find a way out or die trying.
Wow! Sounds rather complex and layered. And deep. Just how I like my stories! What was the inspiration for Under a Red Delta Sun?
I always tell people I don’t have a particular form of inspiration except the Holy Spirit. This novel particularly started as just a gem and I started asking my many “what ifs.” The teenagers in the novel inspired me to write more than any other thing I can point to.
Don’t you just love it when the characters run away with the story? It’s fascinating to me how they do that.
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer?
Writing, like many other creative jobs, needs constant training and interaction with other writers. To become a better writer, I would suggest you engage with other writers, attend conferences, and allow other reads influence you.
Great advice. Love it!
How about your process… Do you have a favorite time of day to write? What about a favorite place?
My favorite time to write is in the night when my kids are asleep, and everywhere is quiet. Unlike many writers who may like to play music while writing, I like total silence, and I write best at my desk.
Gotta have some space from the kiddos for sure 🙂 They sure can play keep away with the “muse”.
How long does it take you to write a book?
It varies. I wrote 90,000 words in two months some years back. I could also write 20,000 in a week. All depends on how “fevered” I am. But on the average, I write a book in a month.
That’s fast, Sinmisola! But I know how that is. Sometimes the story just “pours” out of you, doesn’t it?
Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.
Well, the novel sounds dark a lot when you read the blurb but there is a little romance, and filial in the book, which I find warming. It’s not all dark.
Good to know. Do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?
I am currently working on a contemporary women fiction novel set in Manhattan. It is my first book set completely in the United States, which I find quite exciting. The novel is about a Christian woman whose husband is arrested on charges of murder and child trafficking. Her peaceful safe world is suddenly thrown into confusion. The worst in all of it is that she believes her kind, loving, Christian husband has been wrongly charged.
Interesting. Thank you again for being on the blog and for sharing about your release. I am going to turn things over to more information about the book (and an excerpt!). But keep reading and you’ll find information about a GIVEAWAY!!!
Under a Red Delta Sun
The day starts as any other for fifteen-year old Temilola (Temly) Cole, but ends in an unknown forest. She has made a stop at her best friend Asabi’s house and missed the school bus. The taxi she got into is filled with evil men and Temly will spend the next two weeks fighting for her survival.
Asabi has been sexually abused by her stepfather for ten years. In all that time, she has carefully sought out her biological father, and planned to run away from home. The day she chooses to execute her plan, however, turns out to be a nightmare. Temly goes missing. Asabi is conflicted between going on with her plans, and staying back to help search for Temly.
Fela Peter was always seen as the black sheep of the family. He refuses to conform to the strict standards of his fanatic father and overtly submissive mother. However, he is sure at least his father is into something more than the Christian faith he professes. Encouraged by his older outcast friend, Law, Fela goes in search of the truth about his father and ends up in an evil forest.
Under a Red Delta Sun weaves a beautiful, heart-stopping, suspense-filled adventure for three teenagers who have done nothing wrong except being right.
Enjoy an Excerpt
Tuesday, May 8, 2012 0650 hours
Her friend sat on her bed, staring out the window. She was dressed in her uniform, black sandals, and light-colored tights.
Temly feared the worst. She sat on the bed beside Asabi and tapped her shoulder. “Hey.”
Asabi regarded her with soulless eyes, her lips slanted upwards in an apparition of a smile. “Hey.”
“Why weren’t you outside waiting for the bus?”
“I decided to stay home.”
“Where are your parents?”
Asabi folded her hands on her laps and took a deep breath.
“What’s wrong? When we spoke this morning, you were fine. Where’s Missis?” Temly’s hand rested on Asabi’s shoulder.
“Missis was already up, cleaning. I heard her somewhere in the house.” Asabi continued to stare. “He came in—this morning. Just after we spoke.”
Temly spun her around and summoned control in her voice. “How? I called about half an hour ago.” She couldn’t believe her ears. A deep anger rose within her belly, and for a moment, a thick lump hung in her throat.
Asabi winced. “These days he’s a bit faster. He came in as you hung up. I was dressed. Went into the bathroom—” She wound her arms around her waist.
Temly’s eyes pooled. She swallowed and fought for words. The look in Asabi’s eyes hurt the most. Empty. Defeated. “I can’t believe this,” she whispered.
Asabi shrugged again. “Such is life.”
Temly sprung to her feet and paced the small room. “Let me tell my parents. Please, Asabi, I can’t take this anymore.” Pain in her heart made her fight for air.
“What can your parents do?” Asabi’s blank expression had not changed since Temly walked into her room. “I just want to live free of him.”
Temly fought tears. “Okay, let’s go to school. At least, we can think about this. If you don’t want my—”
Asabi laughed for the first time, but it was forced. “Temly! All ready to push on, take action. Why am I not surprised?”
Her almond eyes twinkled the way Temly always loved. She was so pretty when she was happy, and it made Temly’s heart bleed. “You don’t deserve this pain, Asabi. A pretty girl like you doesn’t.”
“And ugly girls do?”
“You know what I mean.”
“You’re good at thinking, aren’t you?” Asabi’s words laced with sarcasm. “It’s not so easy, young lady.”
“This is not funny anymore—”
“Go.” Asabi lifted her chin, but her lips quivered. “Come here after school, and we’ll talk. I have a plan.”
Hope swelled in Temly’s heart. At least now Asabi wanted to do something about her situation. She took a deep breath. “Now you’re talking.” She laughed and tickled Asabi. “I’m glad you’ve found a way to escape this.”
“I’m still thinking, and I have to be ready to act today. So, you go on. When you come back from school, we’ll talk.”
“No, tell me now.”
Asabi shook her head.
“I know I may never understand what you go through when he touches you, but trust me, I will help you any way I can. What’s your plan?”
From the first day she learned Asabi’s stepfather sexually abused her, Temly vowed to do something. At the time, all Asabi asked was sworn secrecy. She couldn’t even bear to let her mother know.
“With the message you got yesterday, I have a plan, too. Did you reply?” Asabi drew in a shuddering breath and shook her head. Temly sighed. “Wait a minute. Is your mother not home? Where was she when he—he came?”
Asabi exhaled. “She slept in the house last night. With him, too.” She swallowed. “I don’t know where she is now.”
“And he had the guts to come to your room this morning? With her just across the corridor?”
Asabi nodded. “He’s quiet about it most of the time. Except when she’s not home.” She choked on her words. “Go to school, Temly. You’re running late—”
Temly wrapped her arms around her. “I’ll have to get a taxi. The bus probably left without us.”
Asabi drew in another ragged breath and pulled Temly closer. She explained her plan.
Temly nodded. “I understand. Leaving sounds fair.”
“I can’t—don’t want to come to school today. I just want to gather my thoughts.” Asabi moistened her lips. “So, you just go on, okay?”
“Sure. See you later.”
Asabi nodded and waved her off. Temly stopped at the door to say something, but Asabi sat staring out the window just as she had moments before. Temly felt her friend’s pain on a new level and swore to help.
She walked out of the house, running her hand over the textured surface of the walls, ruminating over her discussion with Asabi. Her heart raced in fear and excitement. “It is a good plan,” she murmured.
As expected, the bus had left, so she waited by the road until a taxi approached. She waved it down and negotiated the fare. One of the two men in the taxi sat in front with the driver, while the other sat alone at the back. Temly joined the man in the back with a soft greeting. The man mumbled a response. She hoped she would get to school before the assembly in the school hall was over. Her school treated tardiness as a serious offence, and Temly would rather avoid discipline today.
A few meters down the road, the taxi driver stopped to pick a pregnant woman. The man beside the driver got into the back of the taxi with Temly and the other man to allow the pregnant woman to sit in front.
The man pushed Temly in, and squeezed her against the other man. She started to protest, but the strange look in his dark eyes made her shudder. A sneer etched his face.
“This one will bring a good price.”
More About the Author
My name is Sinmisola Ogunyinka. I like people to call me Sinmi (See-me) I am originally from Nigeria, West Africa. I came to live in America January 2017, and so all of my formal education was in my home country. I majored in Economics from the Obafemi Awolowo University, and later got into the Jerry B. Jenkins’former Christian Writers’Guild courses. I have worked in accounting, office and human resource administration, property management and facility management. I married my college sweetheart, Afolarin, who studied civil engineering but later became a pastor full time. We lived in Calabar in the Southern part of Nigeria for about sixteen years, had four kids, and several foster kids. Then we moved to Pretoria, South Africa to plant a church, and now we are in the United States. My husband is an ordained apostle and a church planter.
I started writing at a pretty young age. I wrote my first story at the age of ten. My reading teacher was quite engaging, and she sparked my first thoughts about creating stories of my own.
Connect with Sinmisola
Sinmisola is offering a digital copy of my book, Under a Red Delta Sun, to one (1) winner. Just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter to enter.