July 2016 Newsletter

Happy July,

I hope your summer is going well and that your vacation has been awesome or if you’ve not left yet, that it WILL be awesome. I’m staying on the homefront. Like a lot of people these days, funds don’t allow me to go anywhere. But I keep busy with my writing, working on graphic design projects with my small business, and swimming at the pool. Like the muggy weather outside, I’m just moving slowly through the summer.

I’m adjusting the newsletter somewhat. Apparently, according to my mail list server monitors, I’m long winded. Go figure. *grin* Anyway, I’ll be providing links in the newsletter email to a webpage that mimics this email, but has full content. I’m going to be writing the Reader’s Digest version in the newsletter emails. All of the links to the spotlight books will be on the webpage. I’m sure there will be other modifications in the future as the newsletter evolves.

FREE BOOK

I’ve been working to build my mailing list, and I’ve been doing that by enticing readers to join the list in exchange for a free digital copy of LOVE’S REVENGE. If you’re a long time newsletter subscriber, you can still download the book for free. Visit the link below and download your copy if you don’t have one already on your eReader.

If you already have your copy, no worries there will be other freebies in the future. In the meantime, enter your name in the Inferno’s Kiss giveaway (see below) as I’m giving away one digital copy of that book.

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INFERNO’S KISS IS NOW AVAILABLE!

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INFERNO’S KISS GIVEAWAY
ONE (1) DIGITAL COPY WILL GO TO ONE WINNER OF THE DRAWING.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER YOUR NAME (I ask for email so I don’t have to go hunting through the database 🙂)

I love this book. Cleo is who I’d be if I were a Sicari and were drop dead gorgeous. She and Dante are perfectly matched!

Can the truth of the soul — Conquer the pain of its ancient past.

The laws of desire…

Dante Condellaire, heir apparent to the Sicari Lords, knows that being a true leader means sacrifice. For Dante it was relinquishing all erotic pleasures. But he never expected his willpower to be tested so fiercely by Cleopatra Vorenus, expert assassin of the Order, and daughter of the man he is positioned to succeed.

The rules of battle…

Cleo prefers working alone—until she meets Dante who shares her goal: to destroy a Praetorian stronghold where Sicari women are imprisoned for devious purposes. Bringing the mission off without a hitch pumps up more than their resolve. It sets off a sexual spark too combustible to ignore.

Are all made to be broken.

As their attraction flares like an inferno, the stakes are raised. So are the risks. Before the mission is over, Dante and Cleo will be plunged into a dangerous conspiracy where a traitor threatens the very foundation of the Order, as well as the fiery bond between Dante and Cleo—warriors and lovers now torn between duty and desire.

LOOKING FOR A TITLE!

Percy’s story is going well. Percy decided to stop being obstinate, and I’m moving along at a faster clip. Not as fast as I’d like, but it’s progress. I still don’t have a title yet. I asked readers on Facebook for some suggestions. There were a couple of possibilities I liked, but I can always use some more inspiration. No promises on using yours, but if I do, your name is added to the credits! How cool would that be?

So below is the draft blurb, which is pretty much the final, although I might tweak it slightly before release.  I prefer single word titles because it’s easier with marketing in tweets, instagram, etc. BUT, I’m not closed off to something a little longer. If you want to take a shot at giving me some ideas, click here!

DRAFT BLURB FOR PERCY’S STORY

As a Reckless Rockwood, Percy has a tendency to find himself in situations that aren’t good for his health. Unfortunately for him the an dara sealladh (the “sight”) showed him a beautiful pair of violet eyes that he found at the same moment he was shot. Left for dead, he survived the bullet and a year later meets Rhea Bennett and her violet eyes. Her connection to the man responsible for his attempted murder makes him determined to find the bastard, but he’s even more resolved to save and protect the woman at the heart of the matter.

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Sold into slavery at nineteen, Rhea Bennett escaped the horrors of prostitution and thievery, but there are children she knew during that dark time that need to be saved. Rhea’s rescue operation is well underway, but Percy Rockwood’s reappearance in her life is making matters difficult. Rhea never thought

it possible to feel anything again when a man touched her, but Percy is different. She feels things when he touches her. Emotions dangerous to her heart and soul, but even more dangerous for Percy if her enemies learn she cares for him.

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OTHER NEWS IN MONICA’S LIFE

In other news, Marie (our oldest) is getting really excited about her upcoming nuptials in October. I’m planning a surprise for her and the future son-in-law. I’m creating a video for them that follows them through childhood up until their wedding day. We haven’t been able to contribute to the wedding expenses, so I figured a work of love is better than any money we could throw at the event. 🙂At least I’m hoping Marie will think that. 🙂

20160613_175621Shortly after graduation, Baby became the proud owner of a used, oops I’m sorry, pre-owned car. We were really proud of her for doing it all on her own. It’s completely in her name. But she’s not having a good month since getting the car. She’s been involved in two fender benders, and has received two parking tickets. She had the audacity to comment on my doing 11 miles over the speed limit on the interstate the other night. I glanced over at her, and said, “You’re actually going to go there after everything that’s happened to you in the past month. Silence, then “yeah, you’ve got a point.” You bet Mom does. LOL

On top of that she did a face plant a week ago in the road when her skateboard went off balance. When I took her to the minor emergency clinic, they thought she’d been in a car wreck and then they said she needed to go to the hospital for a CT scan to ensure there wasn’t any cranial damage. I wasn’t worried until that point. But all’s well that ends well. She had six stitches to get her chin closed and she looked like Rocky after a bout with Apollo Creed. I don’t do blood well, and when the doc was sewing her up, I had to leave the room for a moment to stop the queasiness. By the time I went back in, the doc was almost done. Thank goodness!

So that’s how my summer has been lining up so far. I hope your’s has been quietly pleasant. Have you seen any good movies or TV lately?? I’ve included a little mention about StarTrek on the expanded newsletter on the website. Until next month have a great time in the sun! Monica

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FreebieAlert

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IT’S STILL FREE, but time is running out!

WICKED TEMPTATIONS is a box sex of five full-length novels from Erica Ridley, Anthea Lawson, me, Katy Madison and Sandra Schwab. This box set is a limited time offer that’s going away really soon!! If you’ve not downloaded it yet, be sure to pop over to your vendor of choice and download yours today! Also  be sure to pass on this newsletter to a friend so they can download it as well!!

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Cheesy Spaghetti — Family Favorite
This meal is quick, fairly inexpensive, and feeds at least four or five depending on the portions. I got this from my paternal grandmother. It’s been a family favorite for more than 50 years

2 pounds of ground beef
1 small brick of Velveeta Cheese
1 large can of tomato juice
1 box of spaghetti
Salt to taste

Brown the ground beef. Add cheese little bit at a time to and let it melt until the ground beef is coated, but you can still see the beef. You might not have to use the entire brick of cheese. Pour in one half to three quarters of the tomato juice and bring to a low boil. Add the spaghetti and cook. It will take the noodles longer than if they’re being cooked in water as the tomato juice shouldn’t boil too hard. Stir constantly from the bottom of the pan to keep it from sticking. As the juice boils down you can add more, a little at a time. You want it moist, but not soupy. Add about 1-2 teaspoons to taste. Serve with garlic bread fresh from the oven.

Wow! I’m starving now! LOL

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AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT

A.D. Ellis

I thought it would be fun for you to not only discover highly-rated books you might find want to read, but learn more about the authors behind the book I share in the newsletter. This month the book spotlight is on A.D. Ellis, Bronze Medal Winner in the Readers’ Favorite 2015 International Book Awards in the contemporary romance category.

Here’s what A.D. has to say about her two interconnecting series. The first is Torey Hope and the second is Torey Hope: The Later Years. The focus on three families, The Morgans, The Deckers, and the Jordans. The books are about love of family and friends, standing up for what is right, giving second chances, offering forgiveness, and finding the strength to move on through difficult times.

In the Torey Hope: The Later Years the focuses on the same families and friends, but the books are about the children introduced in the first series who are now grown and back home. The majority of these books are contemporary romance, however, one has a bit of a paranormal twist and one is a contemporary male/male romance. (Sounds like some good diversity there!)

Loving Josie is book four in the first Torey Hope series. Its themes include overcoming heartache and loss, the importance of friendship, and cherishing the past while embracing the future. While the loss experienced by one of the main characters is not verbatim what I went through, I based many of the scenes on my own personal loss of a dear family member. The emotion of saying goodbye to that person played out painfully on the page and I cried almost as many tears writing this book as I cried when I lost my dear family member.

Loving Josie focuses on Josie Decker and Kyle Martin. Not only does Josie need to learn to love herself, Kyle has to come to terms with loving her as well. They both have painful pasts with haunting memories. But together, they start to find happiness bit by bit. Without giving anything away, there’s a surprise pivotal character in the story. She wasn’t in my rough plans, but as I started writing the story, she took hold and wouldn’t let go. So, instead of fighting her, I wrote her in. And, now, I can’t imagine the story without her in it. A lot of her personality comes from the special person I lost four years ago.

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Could you tell us where you were born and what it was like growing up there?

I was born in a small farming community in southern Indiana. We were forty-five minutes from the nearest mall, movie theatre, and most restaurants. We had a gas station and a small general store. Eventually, we got a bigger gas station and a couple small restaurants, but it’s still a forty-five minute drive to the nearest mall.

Growing up there was great. I mean, I didn’t know any different, but I loved my childhood. Of course, it was a different time then as well. No computers, no cell phones, and Atari could only hold one’s attention for so long. I spent most of my days barefoot outside, playing in the creek, getting dirty, and just being a kid. Saturdays were spent on my grandparents’ farm where my cousins and brother and I would conquer the woods, the fields, and the creeks all before our grandmother called us in for lunch. After taking lunch to the fields for the guys, we’d hit playtime hard again until the sun went down and Dad took us home. I loved those Saturdays. Now that I’m a mom, I have a feeling my mom loved those Saturdays to herself just as much if not more.

While I love the convenience and anonymity of living in a suburb of Indianapolis, Indiana now, I do miss the small town where I grew up. It holds special memories and I enjoy going home as often as time allows. Watching my kids play with their cousins when we’re down home is a heart-warming experience.

How would you describe yourself – temperamental or easy-going?

I’m fairly laid back and easy-going until something strikes me wrong. I’m a teacher, so I can get really worked up about the state of education these days (and who is at fault). Most of the time, I am pretty even-keeled.

What is next for you book wise in 2016 and 2017?

2016 was the beginning of my new male/male contemporary romance series titled Something About Him. It’s a five book series of stand-alone novels. Books one and two are out now, book three is coming in August, and books four and five are in the works.

What do you like best about your hero?

I love Kyle Martin in this story. He’s the bad-ass, tattooed, pierced, black sheep who marches to the beat of his own drummer and doesn’t care a bit about what people think of him. Yet, he’s got a heart of gold. He’s a good guy. Watching him suffer through loss and dark times tore at me emotionally, but seeing him claw his way back from that pit of despair and, at the same time, help Josie break free from the chains of her past, was a very rewarding experience.

There’s also another hero/heroine in this story. I loved her because of her selflessness and her love for Kyle. I appreciated how hard she fought for Kyle and Josie.

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Libby’s Little Butter Cookies
This is the actual name of the recipe passed down in A.D. Ellis’ family, which just so happened to work perfectly for Libby, a character in LOVING JOSIE, to suggest Josie make.

1 cup sugar
2 cups butter
2 tsp water
1 tbs vanilla
4 cups flour

Beat until butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy. Add vanilla and water. Mix in flour.

Put mixture into refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. When ready to prepare, roll into small balls. Place balls 1 1/2 inches apart on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Using a fork dipped into flour press down in one direction and then lift fork/re-dip into flour and press down lightly to form cross cuts.

Bake at 325 for 12 minutes until LIGHT brown.

If you like, ice cookies with a mixture of 1 tbs butter, 3/4 cup powdered sugar and just enough milk to make the frosting slightly runny. Drizzle onto cooled cookies.

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Loving Josie, A Torey Hope Novel

This book is part of a small town contemporary series. The series has several books that are either free or .99¢ Good deal if you ask me. 🙂

BRONZE Medal Winner of the Readers’ Favorite 2015 International Book Awards in contemporary romance category.

Josie Decker is a broken spirit stepping out on her own. Kyle Martin is a tattooed, pierced, bad boy with a heart of gold.

A.D. Ellis may not be on the NY Times bestselling list yet, nor is she a household name, but I guarantee that her books will touch your heart as much as (if not more than) any of the authors on that list!

— Reviewer

Two99

50-100 Reviews

FourPointFiveStars

FourFlames

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BlytheHowtoCaptureaDuke

“Now, I am not one for romantic comedies, but I don’t think I have laughed so hard, as I did with this book. Everything was truly perfect, from the writing to the plot and the characters.” — CARA’S BOOK BOUDOIR.

Fiona Amberly is more intrigued by the Roman ruins near her manor house than she is by balls. When her dying Grandmother worries about Fiona’s future, Fiona stammers that she’s secretly engaged. Soon she finds herself promising that she will introduce her husband-to-be by Christmas.

When Fiona tries to warn a passing coach about a tree in the road, the driver mistakes her for a highwaywoman. Evidently he’s not used to seeing women attired in clothes only suitable for archaeology waving knives. After the driver flees, Fiona decides she may as well borrow the handsome passenger…

Three99

50+ Starred Reviews

FourStars

FourFlames

KINDLE UNLIMITED ONLY

How about that for a couple of great books to check out?  I love the sound of them both. Be sure to check them out!

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MINI-MOVIE REVIEW

For those of you who’ve followed me for a while, you probably know I’m an avid StarTrek and StarWars lover.I love this franchise SO much, and the 2009 movie blew me away with it’s story and it’s action. This opening from the 2009 movie has to be one of the most gut wrenching of any movie I’ve ever seen. It’s memorable. It takes a lot to bring tears to my eyes, but this one did. Not to mention CHRIS HEMSWORTH!! The dude just rocks the screen!. Now if you’re planning on seeing the latest StarTrek movie, you might not want to keep reading. No real spoilers, but some people don’t like to know anything about a movie.

So why am I talking the 2009 StarTrek movie instead of the new one? I promise there is a tie-in. I went to the first day showing of StarTrek: Beyond opening night (this past Thursday). I don’t miss opening nights for StarTrek or StarWars. I just don’t.

Unfortunately, for me, the two movies that have followed the 2009 reboot of the franchise haven’t lived up to their full potential. The second movie, Into the Darkness, was simply a rehash of the Kahn storyline. As much as I love Cumberbatch, not even he could muster all the arrogance that Ricardo Montalban could. Now don’t go calling me a purist. I’m okay with bending the rules of Star Trek. Deep Space 9 did it all the time. What irked me about the Into Darkness storyline was that it was a remake of sorts. I wanted a brand new story. Brand new villains like I got in the 2009 movie. Instead, I got Cumberbatch as Kahn. IMHO, J.J. Abrams took the easy way out. Maybe he had imposter syndrome and believed he couldn’t come up with something bigger and better than the first movie. All I know is that the movie just wasn’t up to par. Maybe in a few years I’ll see it differently, but I don’t think so. Maybe it’s because the storyline was pretty thin, and the action was over the top.

Despite my disappointment in the second movie, it didn’t deter me from seeing Star Trek Beyond because I will always be a die-hard fan. The third movie in the new reboot is pretty good. It’s definitely better than Into the Darkness. I say that because I didn’t leave the theater feeling cheated Thursday night.

The special effects are awesome, BUT you knew it was coming didn’t you. I think Simon Pegg’s (who plays Scotty) storyline got destroyed. You’re left with two many unanswered character development questions. How did Krall survive all those years? What happened to the Franklin? How did it end up where it did? What happened to the crew? How did Jaylah survive? What species is she? There was sooooo much opportunity to really do some wonderful character development that didn’t make it to the screen. And that’s the biggest flaw of the film. It’s not the action. It’s the failure to expand the storyline at the expense of more action and FX.

I did enjoy the bonding moments between Bones and Spock. It reflects their mutual admiration, yet antagonistic relationship. The most memorable moment was “you gave your girlfriend a piece of radioactive jewelry??” Priceless. But I really, really wish they’d done more character development. The movies have the potential to be so richer and more lasting and impactful.

BIG SPOILER ALERT ——SERIOUSLY!!! How many times do we need to see the Enterprise destroyed?? It’s getting to be old hat. There’s no shock value left too it. It’s like ok, so when are they gonna blow up the ship. It’s nuts.

So that’s my mini-review. Baby did a snapchat after the movie asking me on a scale of 1-10 how it was. I give it a 7.5, but it could have been a 10. It coulda been a contender!

Now I’ll have to wait until December for the next Star Wars movie. It can only go uphill because the one last year hit rock bottom IMHO. LOL

So that’s how my summer has shaped up so far. I hope yours has been pleasant so far and filled with happy moments. Until next month have a great time in the sun!

MonicaFirstNameSig