In This Month’s Issue
- Monthly Chatter
- Bonus Read
- Lady Quicksilver’s Tidbits
- Monthly Giveaway
- Monica’s Chicken Picatta
- New-to-you Authors
Happy Valentine’s Day
Ok, yes, that’s a bit premature, but the holiday will have passed by the time I get the next newsletter out to you. Do you expect anything special from your significant other? I doubt I will. Life is just too intense at the moment.
Before I go any further, I have to give a shout out for my cover artist the fantastic Viviana Izzo of Enchantress Design & Promo. The cover she designed for REDEMPTION finished in the top ten of the 2016 Preditors & Editors Poll! Congratulations to Vivi for the final. It’s tough to make it into the top ten of this poll. Personally speaking, I’ve NO idea how her cover didn’t land in the number one slot. I think it’s amazing!
I’m hard at work on Book 1 of the Rochester Sisterhood. I’m working on Chapter 5 at the moment, and I’m really liking this couple. But I really want to finish Lincoln’s and Jane’s story, because I’ve got an awesome story pounding at almost every door in my head.
Anna & Sebastian’s Story
For those of you who’ve read FOREVER MINE, you’ll know that Nora (Nicholas’s sister in the present) was Anna in 1897. Yes, that sounds confusing, but work with me here! LOL When I wrote FOREVER MINE, I didn’t expect it to grab my heart the way it did. I thought I could let it go, but I can’t. I love the characters so much.
I’ve been toying with Anna’s (Nora in a past life) and Sebastian’s romance for a while, and it’s been falling into my lap piece by piece when I least expect it. The story will take place before Victoria travels back in time to 1897. I’ve not worked out all the logistics, but I’m looking forward to writing this book. It’s just screaming at me to hurry up and finish the current contemporary.
In fact, I even wrote the prologue to Anna’s and Sebastian’s story. It’s been included further down in the newsletter. The couple in this image is what I’m using for inspiration to start out with, but as I start to flesh out the characters, I’m sure I’ll wind up finding specific images to work off of. I’m so eager to get going on this book, but I’ve made a pact with myself that I’ll finish Rochester Sisterhood #1 first.
I began writing this newsletter last Wednesday with hopes of sending this out before the weekend. Life has a way of throwing obstacles in your path that forces you to make adjustments. That happened this past Thursday. My mother-in-law had been living with my father-in-law in an assisted living apartment. On Thursday she crossed over to the other side.
Unfortunately, my mother-in-law never liked me, so our relationship was never all that good. But I did what I could to help make her as comfortable as possible over the past three months as she declined swiftly. I feel a great sadness for the things that could have been in our relationship that never were.
Over the weekend, we moved my father-in-law into our house because with his wife gone, he no longer has a combined income to draw on to stay in the assisted living facility. I’m happy to welcome him into my home, but I know my life is going to be very, very different, just as I know it’s going to be equally different for him. Something I discovered last night when he fell and broke his wrist and shoulder. It’s like having a child again. Thank god for my writing, because my stories help me escape.
If you’ve read FOREVER MINE, you’ve probably figured out that I have strong beliefs about past lives. I am also a firm believer in Karma. I believe that if one extends positive vibes, the positive forces of love and compassion will multiply and return to you.
Death comes to us all, but I’m convinced we have some say in how we go. So I’ve made up my mind that I will leave this earthly plane with a bang and not a whimper. By this I mean I shall be either bungee jumping or skydiving at the age of 83. *grin* Until next month, may you be blessed with happiness and romance.
Bonus Read – Preview Anna’s and Sebastian’s Story
Sooo…..this came to me right out of the blue. For those of you who loved FOREVER MINE. This is Nora/Anna’s and Sebastian’s story prior to Nicholas’s and Victoria’s romance. This time travel is going to be quite different from FOREVER MINE, but then most of my books are different from my usual fare. *grin*
“Grandmama. Grandmama.” The childish cries of excitement echoed in the hall outside of Anna’s bedroom.
“Girls, stop.” Anna’s granddaughter called out her command.
Harsh coughing wracked Anna’s body, but she managed to push herself upright in her bed. Just as she’d settled into the pillows, Annabelle and Frances bolted into the room. The weariness and pain assaulting her body vanished at the sight of her two great-granddaughters. Arms outstretched, she welcomed the girls as they launched themselves up onto the bed beside her. With a child on either side of her, she wrapped her arms around them and held them close.
“Girls, get off that bed this minute,” Sarah Jane Marberry scolded.
“Granny isn’t feeling well.”
“Leave them be, Sarah Jane,” Anna rasped. “You know how much I love having them near.”
“You should be resting.”
Her granddaughter’s gentle chiding was followed by a tender kiss on the Anna’s forehead before Sarah Jane busied herself adjusting the pillows to make Anna more comfortable.
“Grandmama, we found turtles down by the pond.”
“You did?” Anna said with a small laugh.
“Grandfather says they’re probably the grand babies of the turtles his Uncle Edmund used to find in the pond.”
“I’m sure they are. What else did you do at the pond?”
“We had a picnic with apple cake,” her namesake said with a grin as she pressed her small body into Anna’s side. “It was very good. We saved some for you.”
“Then I’ll have it for dessert tonight with my dinner.”
“Grandmama will you tell us the story, please?” Frances asked in a pleading voice. Tall for her nine years, the child had the same beautiful auburn hair and sapphire eyes as her great-grandmother.
“Now you know better than to ask that Frances Nora Marberry,” her mother said sternly. “Granny hasn’t been feeling well.”
“Are you saying you don’t want to hear the tale again?” Anna asked with a small laugh, followed by a cough, as she looked at her granddaughter. “As I recall, you begged me to tell you the story on a regular basis when you were little.”
“You weren’t ill then, either,” Sarah Jane said with a look of fear. Anna reached out and caught her granddaughter’s hand.
“And we both know that it won’t hurt to tell the story one last time.”
“You mustn’t say that Granny.” Tears welled in Sarah Jane’s eyes as she shook her head in protest. Gently squeezing the younger woman’s hand, Anna smiled.
“How many times do I need to remind you that the parting is only for a brief time?”
“Energy doesn’t die. It just changes form.” Annabelle said in a matter-of-fact fashion that was reminiscent of Sebastian.
Anna closed her eyes as a familiar wave of pain and longing swept through her. The image of her husband filled her head, and tears pricked at her eyelids as she struggled with the hole that had opened in her heart the night Sebastian had died.
“That’s quite enough from the two of you. We’re going to leave Granny—”
“No,” Anna whispered as she opened her eyes and met Sarah Jane’s gaze. “I want to tell them the story one last time.”
“Oh please, mama, please let her tell the story.”
The childish chorus of voices made their mother hesitate as Sarah Jane looked at Anna. Fear flashed in the younger woman’s eyes, and Anna squeezed her granddaughter’s hand in a signal that all would be well. With a slow nod, Sarah Jane gave her permission, and Anna turned her attention back to the girls curled up on either side of her in the large bed.
“Let me see, where should I start?” Anna said quietly.
COMING in 2017 – No set date at this point in time
Lady Quicksilver’s Society Tidbits
Winter has fully taken root in London as the Season is in full swing. I consider myself a fortunate woman as my darling Hugh is a wonderful dancer. The fact that he enjoys it as much as I do means we enjoy three or four dances together in an evening. Of course, that does raise eyebrows as it’s unusual for a husband and wife to dance together, and more than once is a rarity. But Hugh knows how much I love to dance, and he has always told me that my happiness is his first priority.
Lord Quicksilver spoils me greatly, but he does fuss so over my dressmaker bills. The last bill he received from the House of Worth had him bellowing in his study. I tried to explain that as a Minister of Parliament, I must do him credit. The gown below was by far the most expensive gown I’ve ever bought, and Hugh was quite put out with me at what I paid for the dress.
He was not persuaded until later that night when the Princess of Wales graciously complimented me on my new gown. She told Hugh that I was a credit to him. Naturally, I made certain to remind him of that fact on our way home that evening. His reaction was to tell me I was the most beautiful woman in Great Britain, and what woman would not fall at the feet of a man who says such a lovely thing.
I think perhaps my darling Hugh has found one of Miss Burns’s books and secretly read it. He has always been a romantic soul, but on occasion he sweeps me off his feet when he declares how deep his affection is for me. I cannot begin to tell you dear reader how wonderful it is to hear Hugh speak his heart with such eloquence and passion. I blush to think of it
There is little gossip to share with you this month, but I did hear that Viscount and Viscountess Newcastle are expecting a new arrival in a few months. It will be their fourth child, and I plan to call on her in the next day or two to offer my good wishes. You may recall Miss Burns shared Lord and Lady Newcastle’s story in her book Kismet.
I have also heard that Lady Westbrook , the youngest Rockwood sibling was seen in the company of a handsome stranger recently. I know very little at this time, but I hope to have more substantial information to share next month. Until then, I remain your faithful servant,
In honor of Redemption’s cover finishing in the top ten best covers 2016 preditors & editors poll this month,I’m giving away a digital copy REDEMPTION to TWO winners.
December Giveaway Winner
A different twist on historical romance. This book has all the things I like in a historical novel: drama, danger, sensuality and love.
—Amazon reviewer, Nancy Perry Johnson
OMG, you will love this book
—Amazon reviewer, Joy Brown
Monica Burns writes so wonderfully and with such detail, I now need to read the first three books!
—Amazon reviewer, Stupid Shiny Designs
Due to long recipes, and layout issues, I’ve chosen to provide you with files for you to download rather than typing out the recipes here on the page. Both of these recipes are easy to make, and they’re both delicious.
Monica’s Chicken Piccata
I tried my hand at making a dish I’d had at a restaurant here in Richmond. It was run by an old Italian couple, and they used veal instead of Chicken. So I looked up a couple of different recipes, mish mashed ingredients, and I came up with something I love. NO PROMISES you’ll like it. I should also state that the quantities are often ignored by me, which makes the dish different every time, but still delicious.
Aunt Ruth’s Cream Cheese Mints
If you have a baby shower, bridal shower, engagement party, or other type of event that you want to provide a little bit of candy for, I can promise you that these mints will be really popular. They’re exceptionally easy to make, and they melt on your tongue. The only thing required that you might not have is a flexible candy mold. Here’s a link to this particular set of molds. CLICK HERE
This month, Jenn LeBlanc is in the house. With all that’s been going on in my life, I threw the ball at her, and she ran with it. She answered a LOT of my questions, and there are more than the usual few. So sit back and enjoying reading about Jenn, who she is, what she loves, and what she writes!
The cover here on the left is the Illustrated Romance version of the The Duke and the Domina. There are awesome photos inside this version of the book that illustrates the story.
Could you tell us where you were born and what it was like growing up there?
I was born in Denver, Colorado and it was perfectly normal. Because that’s all I ever knew. It’s a beautiful city in a beautiful state that’s much more inclusive than other places I’ve been. I feel blessed to have grown up in a state that was so very open and beautiful.
What is the one story you wish you’d written? Why?
I don’t know… I’ve never thought about another story like that. If I love a story I’m grateful for it and the author who told it. If I like a story and feel like I could have told the conflict or some other part of it better I use that to fuel my own work.
Do you find it harder to write a full-length novel or novellas?
I, for the life of me, have yet to write a novella. My books are on the long side to begin with, and novella length stories are still escaping me at this point.
If your friends were asked to describe you in one word what would it be?
Who are your favorite literary characters and Why?
My favorite story of all time is Alice in Wonderland. I love everything about it, even though Alice has always gotten on my nerves a bit. The characters in Wonderland are amazing. The Cheshire Cat is my favorite though I’ve always loved Caterpillar as well.
As for mine, Calder has always been very dear to me. He’s made an appearance in every book I’ve written and my readers absolutely adore him. I knew his story would be difficult to tell considering the time period and what he has to deal with, but his story has ended up being one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever had the honor of telling.
If you could co-write with another author who would it be and why?
Oh wow, that’s difficult. I’ve never thought about co-authoring and when I consider it I think of everything behind it, like writing style and technical habits and all the things we, as readers, don’t know about writers going in. I think I would say my friend Tiffany Reisz because her writing is so rave and genuine and beautiful and I mostly just want to learn from her. I do know that she’s a pantser, like me, so at least there’s that.
Is there an author that makes you go all “fangirl?”
to be perfectly honest all of my friends turn me into a fangirl. Being behind the veil changes your perspective of things and I’ve made such amazing friends in this business that I’ve actually gone full fangirl on most of the authors already. Courtney Milan was the first author I ever wrote to, Pamela Clare, Thea Harrison—I would have fangirled but I read her after we because friends. Nalini Singh, I shoot covers for her and she is so incredibly sweet but she is definitely fangirl-worthy. Delilah Marvelle was probably one of my first moments, as was Teresa Medeiros. Tessa Dare, the first time I met her I didn’t realize who she was but she looked so beautiful after the Rita awards I asked to take her picture and then realized I’d missed a fangirl opportunity. Mary Balogh, I had breakfast with her but totally kept my cool. I mean, I’m an author but I still love my authors.
Do you have any interesting writing quirks?
Oh I don’t actually know what’s quirky or interesting. Um…if I get stuck I like to change my venue. Lately I’ve been writing at a gay bar on Santa Monica where a friend of mine gogo dances. I actually get a lot of work done there.
What is next for you book wise in 2017?
I’m working on the next book in the The Lords Of Time series but this one seems to be more elusive than Warrick and Calder’s stories. This hero is Madoc, someone nobody ever thought they’d see again.
Do you have a favourite book of 2016?
Wow, a favorite book for last year? Two really stand out (technically four) Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins and The Captive Prince trilogy by C.S. Pacat.
What is your favorite food?
Oh man, currently my favorite food is the fish tacos from My Fit Foods in WeHo. But my fave food is generally sushi. I discovered poke this year though and it’s delicious.
If you could share one lesser known fact about yourself to our readers, what will it be?
I’m an award-winning photojournalist.
Tell us about your featured book.
Calder’s story is the second half of a duet. They should be read together. While most of my books can stand alone within the series these two really are a pair.
The first half is The Trouble With Grace and it’s the story of Celeste and her relationship with Quinn, who is both her hero and Calder’s hero, but not quite like you’d think.
The second half is The Spare and The Heir and that’s Calder’s story with Quinn and how they end up with Celeste, but not quite how you’d think.
It’s a painful and difficult journey with these three very special souls.
Calder is very jealous of Celeste because she and Quinn have become close, and they’re able to dance together, flirt and be public with their feelings whereas Calder and Quinn can’t let anyone know about their love for each other. Calder’s jealousy gets the best of him and he leaves and Quinn is left to pick up the pieces, with the help of Celeste. In one unguarded moment Celeste and Quinn are caught in a compromising situation and they’re forced to marry-destroying any hope for Quinn that he and Calder can be together.
This is a story of love, redemption, strength, and a particular knowledge of self. It’s a story of trust and discovery. And it’s going to hurt.
Your heroine has a powerful gift and your hero has a tortured soul. Where did you get the idea to bring the two of them together?
I’m a pantser, so I actually didn’t. I started writing Calder’s story and this woman showed up and demanded screen time. I have it to her, but insisted she would have to leave because I was writing a m/m story and there was no place for a woman. She was determined to stay, however, and while I thought I was writing Calder and Quinn’s story, I was actually writing Celeste’s story. They’re very delicately intertwined giggi, and the one cannot be told without the other.
Can you tell us 3 things about yourself that we can’t find out on the internet, in your bio, etc?
I can’t tell you where I live. Literally. I know the name of the city but I can’t tell you where it is because I don’t know. I can show you on a map, but I can’t point to it, and can’t describe it.
I have four daughters and a granddaughter.
I’m an orphan.
If you were able to afford a second home anywhere in the world where would you choose and why?
Paris. Because Paris.
As always I found some books from other authors you might not know. All of these books have at least a 3.5 Star rating with 25 or more reviews on Amazon or Goodreads OR I happen to know the quality of the author’s work. NOTE: Just remember!! Unless otherwise stated, I’ve NOT read these books, so I can’t recommend them one way or another.
He was out for revenge…
He’s poor. She’s rich. He’s a sub. She’s a switch. It’s not love, it’s a marriage of kink-venience.
BDSM Historical Romance
Falling In Fiji
Corinne Anderson is engaged to marry the man of her dreams, until her engagement explodes. Devastated, Corinne dares a sexy stranger to help turn her honeymoon from broken to breathtaking.
NYT Bestselling and USA Today Bestselling Author
Book 1 in the steamy Regency Noble Passions Series
When Lady Helena Simpson flees an unwanted marriage to a revolting lord, she finds refuge with James, a charming, handsome man unlike any she’s ever known. Helena concocts the perfect solution to her problem. She asks–begs–James to ruin her. Surely her betrothed will repudiate her if she is no longer pure. And if all her efforts fail and she still ends up married to a horrid man until the end of her days, she will at least once have known true passion.
But James is not all he seems. He is, in fact, a wicked lord with a dark fancy. When Helena awakens his desire, he becomes determined to take everything she has to offer and more. No matter the cost.
This book was originally published in 2013 and has been re-edited, re-covered and re-published.