2017-05 May Newsletter


News From Monica





In This Month’s Issue



  • Monica’s Chatter
  • Giveaways
  • Recipes
  • Regan Walker Spotlight
  • New-to-you Authors
  • New Bonus Content Feature!


Summer Fun Ahead!


It’s official, the start of the summer season took place this weekend. I don’t know about you, but I always feel a bit odd greeting the summer with a holiday that exists to honor the loss and sacrifice of brave men and women who fought to protect our freedom.

As a veteran myself, I’m very cognizant of the sacrifice that has been made on our behalf, and in my heart I honor each and every life given to protect the way of life in my country. If you have suffered the loss of a loved one in the service of the U.S. Armed Forces, please know I am grateful for your sacrifice and that of your loved one.

I’m pleased to report the house has been restored to order. New carpet is down, and although I didn’t think it was necessary to replace, I can’t deny that it’s blissful against my bare feet (I only wear shoes when I go out, and generally it’s flip flops. *grin*).

As always, I am frantically trying to keep up. Do you ever feel as though there aren’t enough hours in the day? For me, even working 16-18 hours every day isn’t enough. Believe or not, that’s been my schedule for the last month or so on a daily basis. Last night was the first time I slept more than six hours in a night. I got ten good hours. The body finally said, that’s it, you’re done for a while! But my brain just said HA this morning, and I was back in the saddle as soon as I got out of the shower!

Writing is Hard

One of the hardest parts of writing is staying connected to readers, as well as cultivating new ones. While Facebook, Twitter, and other social media are good venues for fun when it comes to chatting with readers, it can get out of hand. So I’ve been working hard to cut back on my online time, which leaves me with a dilemma. How to stay in touch with readers to let them know what’s happening in my world and with my writing?

I’ve always enjoyed entertaining people, but for a newsletter, content for me is always a challenge. I want to keep things fresh and fun, but let’s face it, I lead a REALLY  boring life. Other than the drama Baby generates in the house, the only excitement I have is in the pages of the book, whether I’m reading or writing it at any specific moment in time.

Sad, I know, but it’s 100% true! So because I do lead such a boring life I’ve been trying to figure out how to write entertaining newsletters that you want to read, while keeping my writing productivity up.

Then a fellow author indicated they were writing a serial in their newsletter. The first thing I said was BRILLIANT!! The next thought was wow, I wish I could write fast enough to do that AND keep working on whatever book I’m writing. Suddenly, it hit me! I already had a serial I could use.

Monthly Bonus Content

Months ago, I went back to do a stronger edit of the story so I could publish it. I was appalled. I mean seriously, the book was horrible. Okay, not the story, but the writing was poorly constructed and immature. So I put the book aside thinking I’d get back to it when I had time. As I’ve said, time is at a premium for me. Then last week I realized it was perfect for including in the newsletter as an ongoing serial until the book was completed, and I could publish it in whole when revisions were done.

So that’s what I’m going to do! Over the next couple of months, I’m going to revise the old book and include them in the newsletter for you to read. It will give readers a chance to see how my mind works when I’m writing. You’ll see all the typos, missing words, the occasional funny messed-up-words sentences. I can’t tell you how often I’ll write something sexy only to see it transformed into something that you laugh at.

The Reckless Rockwoods

Another cool thing about this serial is that it’s set in the Reckless Rockwoods world! Yep, there are at least two Rockwoods who make an appearance, and I might even add an extra chapter into the book with a mini-story with one of the Rockwoods. We’ll see how my brain works when I’m working on revisions. *grin*

I also think it will be fun to read your thoughts on what you’re thinking about the book. What you expect to happen next, whether I need a new title, not to mention you pointing out typos!

One of things that will change is Lady Quicksilver’s column. Eleanore will continue to write the occasional monthly column of gossip in the Victorian era, but I’ve invited a couple of my author friends to write the occasional column in the world they write in. I think it will be a great way for you to get to learn about new authors, and I get to entertain you even more! So buckle your seatbelts, it’s going to be an awesome roller coaster ride!

Monthly Giveaway

For this month's giveaway, how about a heroine who needs redeeming? Actually, Rhea doesn't need redeeming so much as Percy Rockwood needs to convince her that there's nothing she needs to be redeemed for. This month's giveaway is One digital copy of Redemption to one winner.



Last Month's Winner



Congrats to x***72@XXXX on winning a copy of His To Command!  An email has been sent to you with instructions. Be sure to check your inbox.

My Grandmother’s Easy Apple Kuchen


Mixed -up Coffee Cake

This recipe serves as the foundation for the Apple Kuchen recipe here as well as a few others I have.


Text —  MasterCook 1-4

MasterCook 5-9  —  MealMaster

Apple Kuchen

When making this recipe it calls for the Mixed-up Coffee Cake recipe as its foundation.


Text —  MasterCook 1-4

MasterCook 5-9  —  MealMaster



Regan Walker

What is the one story you wish you’d written? Why?

The Lord of the Rings… ha! It’s one of my very favorite adventure sagas with a wonderful romance in it too. It’s based on solid research and creates a world none of us will forget. And it speaks to higher values of courage, honesty, loyalty and friendship.

Do you find it harder to write a full-length novel or novellas?

Novellas are harder because I want to deliver a satisfying story for my readers but have limited pages in which to do it. Hence, sometimes it is necessary to “jump” a bit when in my novels, I never do that. My readers still enjoy the shorter stories but I prefer the longer ones. It’s why on my blog, with rare exceptions, I review only novels.

Who are your favorite literary characters and Why?

As long as I’ve mentioned Lord of the Rings, I would say Aragorn, because he is humble as well as strong. Both he and Arwen make great sacrifices for their love and I like that they were willing to do that. They also had to wait to be together.

If you could co-write with another author who would it be and why?

There are many who come to mind. Writing with someone else depends on how well you work together, how well you complement each other’s skills. My strengths are world-building, character development and vivid action scenes. I am a storyteller. I would work well with an author who is more of a writer, one who has a talent for the turn of a phrase. I love the work of Elizabeth Stuart (Where Love Dwells, Heartstorm, Without Honor) and would be excited about the opportunity to work with her. Alas, she is no longer writing.

How much research do you have to do for your books and what’s the one thing you love about it and the one thing you loathe about it?

I do hundreds of hours of research for my stories. As my readers can tell you, historical authenticity and real history are important to me. I love the research. It might be the lawyer in me, but hunting for the hidden truth, the rare facts, is a delight. One of my readers once told me how surprised she was to realize the inn in my book is a real inn. I told her, every inn, every tavern in my stories actually existed and may still exist today.

Do you have a favorite book/hero of any of your titles?

This is a hard question. I have a special love for each one. I think I felt the most emotion writing Rebel Warrior set in Scotland in the 11th century. I did much research for it, reading everything I could get my hands on dealing with Scotland in that era and Margaret, Queen of Scots. In addition to online research, I do a lot of library research, keeping my local librarians chasing rare books.

If you were able to afford a second home anywhere in the world where would you choose and why?

I used to think it would be in the Western Highlands of Scotland, but as an American (and a patriot), I think it might be in the Pacific Northwest. In the summer there is no place like it on earth.

Tell us about your featured book.

The Red Wolf’s Prize is book 1 in my Medieval Warriors series. It’s set in 11th century England, two years after the Norman Conquest. As history tells us, William the Conqueror rewarded his favored knights with lands. And so he rewards Sir Renaud (called “the Red Wolf” for the wolf he slayed with his bare hands whose pelt he wears) with Talisand and orders him to wed the English heiress who goes with them. This, too, happened in history. Serena of Talisand has no intention of complying and marrying a dreaded Norman who may be the one who killed her father. Disguising herself as a servant, she lives among her people but not unnoticed by the new Norman lord. Deprived of his bride who has disappeared, he wants the comely servant girl. And so the story begins. There is real history in this book: the Siege of Exeter and the Battle for York.

What do you like best about your hero?

His is a leader of men, an honorable man and could only love a strong woman.

Do you have a recipe to share?

I have recipes on my website, some tied to my stories. Among my favorite is the one for honey curried chicken You can see it here: http://www.reganwalkerauthor.com/regans-curried-honey-chicken.html

What’s the first line of a book (yours or another author’s) that has stuck with you and why?

Most historical romances are, with the first lines, setting the stage. Therefore, the first line may not stick with you but may pull you in. I know publishers these days like a first line that grabs you, but some don’t deliver in the pages that follow. I like this one from The Red Wolf’s Prize: “Wolves!” Renaud de Pierrepont’s voice was a low hiss as the howl of a wolf pierced the thin night air, setting every nerve on end.”

It’s not so much first lines of a story as first paragraph that sticks with me. I still recall the first paragraph of Kathleen Woodiwiss’ The Flame and the Flower. It was so descriptive.

Do you have a favorite memory of meeting a reader?

I love meeting readers. One reader in San Diego with her mother for a few days called me and asked to meet for coffee. I did and enjoyed it tremendously. We began by talking about my books (they had read all of them), but then we went on to speak about their lives and found we shared much. We are still close friends today.

Do you listen to music when you write? Favorite genre of music to write by? Have a playlist to share?

Oh yes, I do. My favorite composer is Alexandre Desplat. You might not know his name but I’m certain you have heard his music. He is one of the most acclaimed composers of his generation. When I listen to his scores, I feel the emotion and it helps me to envision the stories I am reading and those I am writing.

On my 3-hour playlist, I have these from his scores:

Coco Before Channel
Girl With a Pearl Earring
The King’s Speech
The Twilight Saga: New Moon
Lust, Caution
The Painted Veil
The Golden Compass
The Queen
Extremely Loud, Incredibly Close
Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I also write certain scenes to specific songs. You can see the other songs I write to in the full post here: Regan’s Music List

What is next for you book wise in 2017?

If all goes well, I will have two books out: Echo in the Wind, book 2 in the Donet Duology, a Georgian romance with a pirate captain hero turned nobleman, and A Secret Scottish Christmas, book 4 in the Agents of the Crown series where the Powell twin brothers vie for the love of a tempestuous Scottish lass.

What inspired you to write this new book/series?

I love ships and the sea. I have three stories set partly on ships. Echo in the Wind, the book I am writing now, is the second in a seafaring duology. To Tame the Wind was the first. There’s just something about a man who can command a ship that makes him a compelling hero.

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“…an exciting tale and a passionate love story that brings to life England after the Conquest—medieval romance at its best!” –Virginia Henley NY Times Bestselling Author


Sir Renaud de Pierrepont, the Norman knight known as the Red Wolf for the beast he slayed with his bare hands, hoped to gain lands with his sword. A year after the Conquest, King William rewards his favored knight with Talisand, the lands of an English thegn slain at Hastings, and orders him to wed Lady Serena, the heiress that goes with them.


Serena wants nothing to do with the fierce warrior to whom she has been unwillingly given, the knight who may have killed her father. When she learns the Red Wolf is coming to claim her, she dyes her flaxen hair brown and flees, disguised as a servant, determined to one day regain her lands. But her escape goes awry and she is brought back to live among her people, though not unnoticed by the new Norman lord.

Deprived of his promised bride, the Red Wolf turns his attention to the comely servant girl hoping to woo her to his bed. But the wench resists, claiming she hates all Normans.

The Red Wolf's Prize



4 Flames — 4.5 Stars

As the passion between them rises, Serena wonders, can she deny the Norman her body? Or her heart?

As always I found some books from other authors you might not know. All of these books have at least a 3 Star rating with 5 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.

To Tame The Wind

The Donet Trilogy, book 1, and the prequel to the Agents of the Crown series


All Claire Donet knew was the world inside the convent walls in Saint-Denis. She had no idea her beloved papa was a pirate. But when he seized Simon Powell’s schooner, the English privateer decided to take the thing his enemy held most dear…her.


The waters between France and England roil with the clashes of Claire’s father and her captor as the last year of the American Revolution rages on the sea, spies lurk in Paris and Claire’s passion for the English captain rises.


3 Flames — 4 Stars


Historical Romance

“A sea adventure like no other, a riveting romance!” – SHIRLEE BUSBEE, NY Times Bestselling author

Free Download

Fellow author, Laxmi Hariharan, told me she has a free download of one of her books, and I told her I'd be happy to include in my newsletter for readers to check out.


Sofia stumbles across a revelation that will change her life forever. Will she accept her fate as the chosen human who will mate with an Ascendant to propagate a new species or will she take destiny into her own hands?
IMPORTANT NOTE: Be aware that when downloading this book, you're automatically added to Laxmi's newsletter.

Mercenary Maidens, 1

Historical Romance


3 Flames — 4.5 Stars




Highland Spy



USA Today bestselling author Madeline Martin delivers a captivating novel of passion and intrigue…

Connor Grant is in search of a lady. Not a bride, but a woman to become a skillful and seductive spy in the service of King James. In addition to being the King’s personal assassin, Connor heads a group of female spies who aid him in his work, women with nothing left to lose.

Ariana Fitzroy is the perfect mark. Destitute, orphaned, and completely alone, she’s missed her chance at an advantageous match at court and cheats at cards to survive. When Connor catches her in the act, he threatens to expose her, unless she joins his elite roster of spies.

She agrees and is whisked away to a deserted Scottish castle to begin her training. Ariana quickly takes to her lessons in seduction, deception, and hand-to-hand combat, but less easy to fight are her feelings of lust toward the ruggedly handsome Connor, feelings she suspects may be reciprocated.

When Connor recruits her help on a mysterious task, the pair must work together to track a dangerous target. But Ariana suspects Connor isn’t telling her everything—not just about the mission, but also about his past. Will the secrets between them threaten their mission? And will they be able to fight their attraction as they wonder who they can trust?

Because bonus content is exclusive for subscribers to my newsletter, Ophelia’s and Mathias’s story content is posted on a protected web page. Check your most recent newsletter email for the updated link and current month’s password.

Current Ongoing Serial Story

The following blurb and character information is for the bonus story exclusive to newsletter subscribers. If you’re not a subscriber, sign up for a FREE book, and access to the bonus content. Join Here.

Ophelia Fullerton, Viscountess Havenstock, a penniless widow, is one step away from being homeless when her father loses his small living and her childhood home in a card game to the Earl of Thornbury. Convinced by her dead husband that she is incapable of passion, Ophelia challenges the earl to teach her how to incite passion in a man in exchange for her home. Little does she realize she’s made her bargain with the earl’s brother.

Despite the small difference in their ages, the remarkable likeness between Mathias Gilchrist and his older brother the Earl of Thornbury has always had advantages, except where women are concerned. As the manager of his brother’s business affairs, Mathias is all too familiar with the duplicitous nature of women. The woman he loved used him in her attempt to trap his brother into marriage. Convinced Ophelia is no different from other women, he accepts her offer intent on exposing her true purpose—the entrapment of his brother.

Ophelia is an apt pupil and quickly finds her heart ensnared by Mathias. But she’s not the only one caught off guard when it comes to matters of the heart. Mathias soon realizes he cannot let Ophelia go, but how does he explain his deception? How does he convince Ophelia he’s not a rogue in disguise?

This book is set in the Reckless Rockwoods world of late Victorian England. Louisa is one of the Rockwood siblings that makes an appearance. 

Meet Ophelia Graves, Viscountess Havenstock. Age 29, widow, and determined to make the Earl of Thornbury return her childhood home to her after her father lost it to the earl in a wager.

Meet Mathias Gilchrist, brother to the Earl of Thornbury. Age 32, never married. There is a three-year difference in ages between Mathias and his brother, but they are often mistaken as twins as they look so much alike. And THAT’S where things go awry in this tale!