2016-05 May Newsletter

Monica Burns


Looking for Prom DressNot


Note the mismatched socks? That’s her personal style! LOL She was supposed to be looking for a prom dress not other clothes.

Okay, it’s a new day, and I believe the technical difficulties have been resolved. I apologize again if you’ve recevied this email yesterday. The new system was written by programmers whose version of English doesn’t mesh with mine. 
I hate that my learning curve might be possibly be overloading your inbox. 
I’ve some new and exciting things planned in the months ahead, and I’m starting with them this month. It’s why I’m trying so hard to get this newsletter thing up and running properly. So hang on for a long, but chewy newsletter this go-round. First, my mug shot. I’ve heard people like to see the person talking to them, so there it is. It’s fairly accurate, although I’m seldom that serious. *grin* Of late, I’ve been struggling to find new ways to connect with my regular readers and reach out to new ones. We all know that blogging, Facebook, Twitter, and every other social media outlet on the planet is blaring in everyone’s face. The problem is with so many horns going off at once, how do you build relationships with readers that way? Well, you don’t. You have to pick one and stick with it. It’s why after a lot of sputtering starts and shifting gears, this old Model T is settling in to reach my readers at least once a month via this newsletter. It’s the best method for my overwhelming schedule. I’m going to cut back a lot on Facebook and Twitter. I actually already have. I’ll do some video chats though they’ve been popular, but I’ve just not had the time to keep them up like I’d like too. So, I’m going to stick with what I do best. Chatting with you all like I used to when I first started out in this business. A monthly newsletter that has more than just sales stuff. For example, as you can see by the pictures to the left, I’m showing off Baby. She’s my youngest daughter (hence the name Baby LOL), and she’s graduating high school in a couple of weeks. I can’t believe she’s all grown up, although she works diligently to remind me of that fact every day. *sigh* But she’s very excited about the changes to come.

Greg and I are just as happy. Five years ago we wondered if she would even graduate. Her mental illness has taken it’s toll on the entire family. But thanks to two great doctors, medication, and some hard work on Baby’s part as well as the rest of the family, she’s made it!! YAY! Baby is also on the verge of getting her driver’s license. We deliberately held back on this particular teenage ritual because her ADD makes us terrified she’s going to have an accident as her ability to focus on what she’s doing is difficult for her. She gets distracted way to easily! And she’ll have to drive mom’s car, and mom is not wild about that idea—I can tell you!! LOL 

As I was hashing out what sort of road to take when it comes to reaching readers, I reviewed the content I include here in the newsletter, and realized I had the opportunity to give back a little bit to fellow authors, while helping my readers out as well. I thought it would be a great idea to help you find new authors without the hassle of cruising Amazon or Goodreads. 

Free books are a great way to find a new author, but there are a lot of authors that readers miss with or without a free book promotion. It’s how I came up with the It’s All About The Book spotlight for my newsletter. 


A lot of authors spotlight Free and .99¢ books in their newsletter, and I wanted to do something different. I wanted to give you exposure to books of all price ranges, because…well because I don’t think price should keep us from finding a good read. Some books are well worth their asking price of $4.99. However, there had to be some parameters set, since I am not giving my personal recommendations of these books. I don’t have that much reading time!! But I did know I  wanted books that had been vetted by other readers. I’m a firm believer in the old adage that you get what you pay for, so I’ve made sure that the books I spotlight are worthy of your exploration based on what other readers think.

Books spotlighted here, in the newsletter, must have 25 or more reviews on Amazon and/or Goodreads. AND they have to have a 3.5 star rating or higher. This way some of the test driving has been done for you. If you know of an author you think readers would love to read, have that author email me, and I’ll send them a link to the form I use. 

Another new feature is a special monthly recipe (or two). Some of these are from memory and have no measurements. They’re simply made based on taste and they’re foods I grew up with for holidays and other daily meals. I’m hoping you’ll test out this month’s recipe for your Memorial Day cookout. Food isn’t the only thing the newsletter is going to offer you.


Since I’m talking food a little further down in the newsletter, question for you. Are you a cheese fan? What’s you’re favorite type of cheese?? Romano’s probably my favorite. It’s flavor is really pungent and has a nice bite to it.

Believe it or not Dawg likes it too! 🙂 See how she’s laughing below! 🙂 Actually, that’s her hopeful expression, please feed me expression. LOL The dog lays at the foot of my chair whenever I eat lunch in hopes of my throwing her a proverbial bone. *grin*

There will also be special pre-orders on my new books. The low-price notification will be announced here in the newsletter and nowhere else. It’s my way of saying thank you for your support. You’ll be able to get the newest release at a low price before I bump up it up. I hope you enjoy these new articles I’m going to be including in the newsletter going forward. If there’s something you think might be fun for me to include her, drop me an email. No promises, but I’m happy to include what I can to make your newsletter more appealing.
Inferno's Kiss - The Order of the Sicari Cover Soooo, here it is!! Dante’s cover! The INFERNO’S KISS cover hasn’t been seen anywhere else except here!! I won’t roll it out on Facebook or the website until Friday.Ya’ll are the first to see it! Isn’t it gorgeous! I can only say WOW! every time I look at this cover! It’s just so perfect. Viviana Izzo from Enchantress Design & Promo (she does all my covers and some promo work for me) did a fabulous job with the covers for these first three books in the Sicari series, and I think I love this one the best!!

The guy here looks a little young, but Viviana and I picked this model for a very good reason. The hero is…wait for it…

a virgin!! *gasp* I never thought I’d write another male virgin after Garrick in Pleasure Me, but I did. Dante, while lacking bedroom experience is one incredibly hawt, sexy, alpha male who learns really quickly exactly what it takes to make his heroine happy. *wicked grin*

Inferno’s Kiss is due out in a couple of weeks, this is the third installment of the series. Anferno’s Kiss has received a large number accolades from different readers and blogs. I hope you’ll try it out!

Book four in the series will be out in early 2017 or earlier. The fourth book is set in ancient Rome and is about how the Order came into being. While the main hero/heroine in book four are Claudia and Valarius, the story line also follows Maximus’s and Cassiopeia’s son Demetri. He’ll have his own story later in the series. I’m excited to be writing about the orgins of my Sicari, and with ancient Rome as the setting. That’s something for those of you who prefer my historicals to get excited about! 

My Italian roots show every time I get in the kitchen (so do my hips, Oy) The kitchen in the muted picture up above is my dream kitchen. I know exactly what it will have and what it will look like, and I’m definitely getting my SubZero frig and ice maker!! LOL

When it’s a special weekend, I spend the day in the kitchen cooking up family favorites. Although Baby has been taking over that chore quite a bit of late. Memorial Day is coming up in a few days, and here’s what’s on the menu at Monica’s house.


Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, California Baked Beans, Potato Salad,
acaroni Salad, and Deviled Eggs

I thought I’d share two of my menu recipes with you. Maybe you’ll feel like
trying them out for your holiday and the start of the summer season.

California Baked Beans Macaroni Salad
1 cn Pork/beans
1 cn White beans
1 cn Red beans
1/2 cup Grated cheddar
4 Tbs Butter
Onion, chopped
1/4 cup Catsup
1/4 cup Hot jalapenos, or to taste
3/4 cup Brown sugar
Saute the onion in the butter until soft. Do not brown.Combine all of the ingredients and place in a 9 X 13 pan. Bake at 350^ for 30-60 minutes. Bake until they are thick and bubbly.This recipe came to me by my grandmother’s cousin, Evelyn. Several years after my grandmother died, I traveled to California where Evelyn lived (she’s unfortunately gone now). I’d never met her before, and when she came walking out to our car, I burst in to tears. She was the spitting image of my grandmother, and it was such a shock for a split second thinking my adored grandmother had suddenly returned. Naturally, the resemblance isn’t suprising since they were cousins, but it was completely unexpected.
Green Pepper
Elbow Macaroni Noodles
Hellemann’s Mayonnaise
White Wine Vinegare
Cut up vegetables into small, bitesize pieces. Cook noodles according to box. I like to use 3/4 a box.When the noodles are cooked, rinse under hot water to remove excess sugar (this is my way of telling myself that I’m eating healthy LOL) Next run noodles under cold water until the noodles are cool. Mix the vegetables. Add mayo a little at a time until the noodles and vegetables are lightly coated. Mix in the white vinegar to taste and to thin out the mayo. Not too thin, you want there to be consistency. Chill for several hours and serve. The girls and I like to add more vinegar when we serve it up as it appeas to our tastes.
New Authors

Now that I’ve whet your appetite for some good eating, how about some food for your eReader! I’ve not been genre selective, but let me hear from you if there’s a particular type of book you’re looking for. I’ve go connections. *grin* All of these books have at least a 3.5 Star rating or higher with 25 or more reviews on Amazon or Goodreads. The number of reviews a book has received is just below its star ranking here in the newsletter. 

The best way to make your buying decision is to read the reviews, if there are a lot of top rated reviews, and the book looks interesting to you, odds are you’re going to enjoy the book. Also, be sure to read the sample Amazon provides you. If  you can’t get excited to read beyond the sample, the book isn’t right for you. NOTE: Just remember!! I’ve NOT read these books, so I can’t recommend them one way or another. I’m simply acting as the “middle man” between you and other authors. Helping people out is a part of my life’s journey.

Divider Line

“Start the brand new series by NYT bestselling author  Susan Stoker.

 Ghost is a Delta Force soldier on his way home from a mission. Rayne is a flight attendant trying to decide what to do while in London after her flight is canceled. 

Thus starts a whirlwind relationship that will take them from London to Egypt and back to Texas with terrorists, lies, and kidnappings in between.”

§  §  §

“I LOVED this story!! I can’t wait for book two. There is no cliff hanger but man you will get sucked into this incredible story. Ghost is an incredibly hot alpha male 



150-200 Reviews
Divider Line

Back in town on the secluded Stewart Island, police officer Piper Harland is only sticking around long enough to save her brother from a financial meltdown. Can former flame and local bar owner Ryan Westlake convince her to stay? A heartwarming romance.

§  §  §

This book was so much fun! An all-around great read with fantastic characters, a solid plot, and a delicious romance, …Due South is definitely a fictitious establishment I’m going to be returning to more than once. ~ Becky on Books & Quilts

   Winner of Best First Book in the Romance Writers of New Zealand 2014 Koru Award for Excellence.

250+ Reviews
Feed and author
Love's Revenge eReader Cover


Obsession eBook Cover

Read another of my books you want to review? Click a vendor icon to go to my author page at that vendor and give them your thoughts!



So many of you have emailed, or spoken with me personally, about how much you love my books. Did you know that, except for word-of-mouth recommendations, reviews are the second best way for a reader to discover a new-to-them author? 

While I’m writing the next book I need new readers to be able to find me and help pay next month’s house payment (yeah, I’m not rolling in dough as some people will have you think! *grin*)

You can help me do that! And it won’t cost you a cent, just five minutes of your time. Sound reasonable?

Have you read Obsession or Love’s Revenge? If not, I’m going to give you the chance to read one of those two books for FREE in the very near future. Stay tune to a future newsletter or announcment on that perk.


If you HAVE read Obsession or Love’s Revenge, would you please help me out by clicking on their covers here and posting a short three-to-four line review on the Amazon site if you’re not already reviewed the book.

Just write how you really felt about the story and the characters. What did you liked / not like about the book? Reviews are vital to keep a book visible to other readers on Amazon. No matter what your reaction to the book might have been—good, bad or meh—it doesn’t matter. Just post an honest, short paragraph about the book and give it the star rating you feel it deserves. No matter what your opinion. I’m grateful for reviews.

So, what do you think? Was that a meaty newsletter or what? I can’t promise they’ll all be this stuffed, but I’m working on it keeping it this way. I like being able to entertain you with fun things to read as well as give author friends and colleagues more exposure. There’s more to come in the months ahead, and I hope you’ll stay on board. Until next month, have a wonderful holiday weekend!
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