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  • Blog

    An Introverted Writer’s Very Extroverted Week

    8/27/2016

    Thanks for the explanation Myers-Briggs
    Beach and Pier - 2016
    I am a a very friendly person. That’s a fact. I really like people and it breaks my little heart to see someone sitting alone or sad in a corner. My husband can tell you I’ve ruined more dinners with my anxiety over the fact that the couple at the next table don’t seem to be talking – it freaks me out.

    As a result people are always amazed when I describe myself as an introvert. There is universal confusion about the fact that introverts are shy people. I’m not shy but if you meet me I’d much rather talk about you than me. I’m going to ask you questions and maybe not give very long answers when talking about myself and my real interests. (Though I will usually share a cracking yarn with you).

    Those Myers-Briggs tests explain that introverts need time to recharge between events and experiences. We need some space around us. Hence you’ll find a lot of writers who are introverts. It doesn’t mean we lack social skills (although some absolutely do) but it means we work well alone and we’re not that excited to be the centre of attention. We like a little quite around us. Turn off the radio and television when we come to visit please!

    With all that in mind I find August to be my most taxing month. I think half of my known universe has a birthday in August (including my daughter and I) which means a whole lot of socialisation – lunches and parties – and I usually attend the Romance Writers of Australia Conference. I’m already at capacity normally.

    So let me tell you about my week.

    This time last week I was at the #RWAus16 Conference in Glenelg, South Australia. On the Thursday I somehow managed to be organising a lovely Barossa Valley (wine country) tour for fifteen people, ten of whom I had never met. That really was fun but when you put your hand up to organise something you feel responsible for other people’s enjoyment and that can be stressful.

    As it turned out we had a great day and I think everyone got along well. Having left home at four in the morning to get there some of the details are a tad sketchy for me but I think everyone had fun.
    Next up we checked in to our apartment which was awesome. Five women in a four bedroom apartment, five women who didn’t all know each other and I was the only link through. Again – no pressure. I’m so lucky to say that almost everyone I’ve met on my writing journey is a delight and these ladies, many of whom are already in my writing group, were no exception but that’s a lot of togetherness.

    Friday was all about meeting people – I did a pitch, I helped a friend who came in as a journalist find her contacts for her story and I met writers I only knew from the internet. That’s a lot more for one little introvert.

    And then Friday night we dressed up for the cocktail party – fancy dress is actually good for introverts in my opinion. Dressed as someone else you can relax. Three of us went as old-fashioned cigarette girls and won second place in the fancy dress competition. Introverts don’t really want to go on stage and get a prize in front of 400 people but they do it.
    The rest of the conference is a bit of a blur but it was lovely to make new friends and catch up with old and see some good presentations. I especially enjoyed presentations by Kerri Arthur, Fiona McDonald and an intimate session where the publisher Esi Sogah from Kensington, New York. It’s a blur because that’s a lot for an introvert to take in.

    Then I came home and it was my birthday. It’s lovely to have a birthday and in a world where people are increasingly disconnected birthdays make people reach out and touch base.

    Finally I started a new role at a non-profit – in their office, with actual human beings, as opposed to working from my home office which I have done for years.

    That’s epic for an introvert. It’s a really positive move for me. You can have too much alone time. It makes you stagnant. Sometimes we need people to recharge us. (Maybe not so many people as I had this week but still it’s a good plan).

    Yes that was certainly a big week for introverted old me. It was a good week and a varied week and I don’t regret any of it but I sure was ready for a nice, quiet weekend.
    Turns out life didn’t get any quieter after that
    I wrote this blog post a month ago – a whole month. I guess that tells you how life has been tracking for me.

    This week I actually feel I might be finally getting my rhythm back and a sense of normalcy. Hopefully that means I can get my writing and blogging back on track too.

    This year has been one of those where every plan I’ve made has pretty much had to be changed at the last minute – from what I make for dinner to when I’ll release a book.

    I’m rolling with it but I do hope to get some control back soon.

    I have two more Upper Crust books and a Christmas novella I’d like to release this year….perhaps only two of those and the Christmas anthology I’m in is a more realistic goal.

    For those of you who have hung in with me, thank you.

    Now I better get my introverted self out of the house for the day.

  • Blog

    Launch day for Catch a Falling Star by Geralyn Corcillo and a guest post about spin-offs in TV and books

    8/26/2016

    Spin Off into Fictional Worlds of Wonder! by Geralyn Corcillo
    Catch a Falling Star - Cover
    Hey, Monique! Thanks for featuring me today on your delightful blog! This is a big day for me, and I am so happy to be here.

    Spin Off into Fictional Worlds of Wonder!
    by Geralyn Corcillo

    When the boys you used to hate you date
    I guess you best investigate
    The facts of life
    The facts of life

     

     

     

     

     

     

    -From the theme song to The Facts of Life by Al Burton, Gloria Loring, and Alan Thicke
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDVpP7fWurA

    The TV show The Facts of Life was a anchor in my childhood – I watched with devotion from the first season when I was in 3rd grade and Molly Ringwald was on the show to the later seasons when I was in high school and George Clooney was on the show and I was crushin’ on him as hard as Mindy Cohn’s character Natalie was.

    And it was a spin-off.

    The character Edna Garrett, played by Charlotte Rae, was the housekeeper on the show Diff’rent Strokes. She got her own show after the first season and became the house mother at the all-girl boarding school in The Facts of Life. And thus, one of the most successful sitcoms of the 1980’s launched into my childhood and adolescence.

    Throughout my life, some of my most beloved television shows have been spin-offs. The hilarious Laverne & Shirley, a spin-off of Happy Days. Frasier, a spin-off of Cheers. Angel, a spin-off of another love of mine, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. My favorite British detective show (and yes, I like it even better than Sherlock) is Lewis, a spin-off of the incomparable Inspector Morse.

    As a fan and a viewer, I adore stretching into the individual worlds of characters I’ve come to cherish. And these new realities are fashioned by the talented people who created the original shows, so we all get to enjoy more genius entertainment coming from the same brains. Yay!

    Recently, as an author, I’ve come to realize the wonder of the spin-off from the creative side. My third romantic comedy novel released today is called Catch a Falling Star and it’s a spin-off of my second romantic comedy novel Queen of the Universe. Many reader reviews of Queen mention how they would love to read more about its lead characters, TV writer Lola and handyman-turned-leading man Arlen. But Lola and Arlen have their arc in Queen, so I’m just not inspired to write a sequel with them. Sure, as the one who created them, I think about Lola and Arlen all the time and about their life together after the end of Queen. But as much as I love fantasizing about it all, none of it whips up into a compelling story. But I do so love the world I created around Lola and Arlen.

    So … not a sequel, but a spin-off. Catch a Falling Star is the story of TV superstar Wendy Hunter and Lola’s brother, southern high school football coach Colin Scott. So, now I’ve got a new, compelling story that can be read entirely on its own, but in a wonderfully familiar world. And yes, we get to see a lot of Lola and Arlen in Catch, this time as supporting characters. We get to catch up with them, in fact. And not just them …

    I am having so much fun crossing the stars and the paths of my different characters. And I hope that readers and fans love the spinning off as much as I’ve enjoyed my favorite TV spin-offs throughout my life.

    What spin-offs do you adore? TV? Books? Cartoons, even? I’d love to hear what spin-offs, what fictional worlds, have brought you joy. When it comes to fiction, I am all about bringing on the joy!

    Thank you for featuring me today on your delightful blog, Monique! I look forward to comments from your fans so we can talk about some of our favorite spin-offs!

    Book Blurb:
    When TV star Wendy Hunter is about to have her most closely guarded secret viciously exposed by the paparazzi, she desperately tosses out a juicy bone to distract them: she announces her engagement to southern high school football coach Colin Scott. One problem. She’s not really engaged to him. In fact, she barely knows him. Um … barely. But will one unforgettable night last year be enough to get him to go along with her charade?

    Wendy goes to Louisiana to see him and discovers that Colin is not so thrilled to be suddenly “engaged” to her. He’s got some secrets of his own that his famous “fiancée” is putting in serious jeopardy. Still, he agrees to her fake engagement … as long as she agrees to play by his rules. And with the whole world watching, she’s got no choice. His demands? That Wendy stay in town for three weeks to play the part of Colin’s one true love, all without wrecking his life.

    Let the games begin. But when their time together is up, will either of them be able to—or want to—go back to the way things were?

    Queen of the Universe - Cover

    Miss Adventure - Cover

    Geralyn CorcilloAuthor Bio
    When she was a kid in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Geralyn Vivian Ruane Corcillo dreamed of one day becoming the superhero Dyna Girl. So, she did her best and grew up to rescue animals and constantly pick up litter. At home, she loves to kick back by watching black & white movies, British mysteries, and the New York Giants. Corcillo lives in a drafty old house in Hollywood with her husband TV writer Ron, a guy who’s even cooler than Kip Dynamite.

    Find Geralyn online
    Website: geralyncorcillo.com
    Universal Amazon Author Page: http://author.to/GeralynCorcillo
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/geralyncorcillothewriter/
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/geralyncorcillo

    Book links:
    Miss Adventure Universal link: http://getBook.at/MissAdventure
    Queen of the Universe universal link: http://myBook.to/QueenUniverse
    Catch a Falling Star universal link: http://getBook.at/CatchStarQueen

     

    Comments

    Geralyn Corcillo
    8/26/2016 04:20:26 am

    Monique! Gorgeous post! Thanks! I had such fun being in the box set Have Chick Lit, Will Travel with you a few years ago, and I really appreciate your hosting me on Release Day for my third RomCom novel! And what a bizarre connection we have! I surprised you with a post about spin-offs and Facts of Life, and you were a unique little part of Facts of Life when it aired! Even back in the eighties, we were connected across the globe!!!!! I’d love to hear what spin-offs your fans have enjoyed … come on, everyone, let’s dish!!!!!!!!!
    Reply
    Monique
    8/26/2016 04:24:39 pm

    Congrats on your new book Geralyn. So exciting! Yes the connection is deep with us. I did help the Australian author who wrote the character with background on the Pippa character who appeared in Facts of Life late in it’s run. There was a little bit of me in Pippa. I think Private Practice which spun off from Grey’s Anatomy was a great spin off. And I was a huge Buffy fan and loved Angel when it spun off…

    Geralyn Corcillo
    8/26/2016 09:46:34 pm

    I googled Pippa and it turns out she’s had a pretty successful country music career over here in the States. Yes…Buffy and /angel. I loved the episode where the Buffy folks come to Angel’s place – I forget why. But Willow has a conversation with Wesley (they’re married in real life) and they are talking about people they have killed and terrible things they have done. almost as if they are trying to one up one another. And the chemistry between them is just so hot! I remember Wesley says how he chained a woman in his closet and tortured her for information, but Willow one ups him by saying how she killed a guy by ripping all his skin off. Good stuff!

  • Blog

    Advice for my daughter on turning 16

    8/11/2016

    Happy Birthday CakeToday is my daughter’s 16th birthday. As a parent that’s a crazy thing to process. CRAZY!

    I remember my own 16th birthday very clearly. I was an exchange student in the USA…I had brought presents from home that I didn’t even sneak a peek at for the month I had them. I sat on the bed and opened them alone. Then I got in a station wagon with 13 other people (highly illegal I’m sure) as my then host-family drove us from Boston to New York City. It was nuts.

    It was also part of a grand adventure. And isn’t that what life is supposed to be? Shouldn’t it be a wonderful journey full of crazy memories, good friends and exciting challenges?

    So here is my advice for my daughter on her 16th birthday – some of which I’ve followed and some of which I should have.

    1. Start at YES.
    Don’t have your first impulse when asked a question or offered an opportunity be NO. Please let it be YES.
    Say “Yes” even if it’s a soft yes followed by, “now how can I make that work for me?” Yes people have the most fun.

    2. Don’t be afraid.
    People will try and tell you the world is a horrible, scary place full of bad people and dark forces. Ignore that. Ignore those people. Don’t let fear be your guide. That doesn’t mean don’t use common sense. Don’t go looking for trouble but don’t assume trouble is looking for you either. Trouble has bigger fish to fry.

    Most people are basically decent – even the ones you don’t agree with – approach people with that attitude/idea in mind and in my experience, at least, they treat you with decency. So get out there and meet new people, try new things and have adventures.

    3. It is okay to make mistakes.
    If you’re not making mistakes you’re not doing it right. Remember when I took you ice-skating and I said “If you won’t let go of the edge, if you don’t risk falling down you won’t be able to skate?” Well, that applies to lots of areas of life. As we like to say here “Have a crack, kid.” You don’t get good at things or even mediocre (and that’s okay as well for lots of things – better to be a mediocre player than not on a team) without trying and sometimes you will fail when you try. That’s okay.

    4. Be more like your father
    Your father doesn’t give a toss what anyone thinks of him. Your father throws himself into everything and he has a crack.
    He lives in the moment (yes we all know that annoys the snot out of me but that doesn’t mean he’s wrong). Be friendly, be kind, be happy and act as if everyone is lucky to make your acquaintance, because they are. You’re awesome.

    5. Ignore the haters
    Negative people are unhappy people. If anyone throws hate your way just remember – they have to live with themselves and you get to walk away. You’re not going to like everyone and that’s okay but don’t be a hater and ignore those that are. They’re not worth the energy. (I’m not saying let people treat you badly but don’t put too much energy or thought into anyone who does.)

    6.Friends are important
    Friendship is a rare and nebulous thing. You’ll be amazed at who will stay in your life and who will drift out of it. You’ll be blown away by what people treasure about you and why people are drawn to you. Be friendly and make lots of friends that nourish the different parts of who you are – friends to dance with, friends to cry with, friends to share hobbies and travels with – sometimes one person is all these things and sometimes you have friends for a reason or a season. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – or pin all your hopes on one person – the world is full of amazing and interesting people, try and get to know as many as you can.

    7. Trust your instincts
    If it doesn’t feel right don’t do it. If your instincts tell you a situation is off, then go with your gut. Your gut is almost always right. (It’s not as reliable as your mother who we know is always right – okay that might not be true – but it probably is). Learn to listen to it and honour it. (As a teenager especially there’s a lot of pressure to go with the mob – the mob is definitely not as smart as your gut, that doesn’t mean never run with the mob, just pick your moments).

    8.You are loved
    On any given day please know that there is a whole community of people on this planet that love you (Okay none of them love you as much as I do but they really do love you.) We all have days where we feel sad and lonely and rather tragic and that’s okay, normal even, but you are never alone because there are people near and far who adore you.

    9. Nobody gets to touch you without your permission
    I know you know this but remember it. Not a friend, not an enemy, not a man, woman, adult or child is allowed to touch you without your say so. If anyone is in your space – even a little too close- tell them to back off and if necessary use that back belt in karate you earned. (I’m sure it won’t be necessary but that’s a handy skill to have).
    (See above trust your instincts)

    10. I’ve got your back
    Not in a crazy vigilante way – you know that’s not exactly how – I roll but I’m here for you unconditionally. You are my greatest joy. I want you to have all the good things you want (except maybe not the piercings and tattoos if I’m totally honest) and I will try and help you get them. I will help you dream, I will encourage you, I will laugh with you (and sometimes at you), I will lift you up and I will always be your soft place to fall.

     

    Comment

    Pamela Cook
    8/15/2016 07:11:23 pm

    Beautiful Monique. I got all choked up at the end.

  • Blog

    Finding your writing tribe online or the value of Facebook Groups for Writers

    7/24/2016

    Where is my tribe?
    Laptop and Coffee CupSocial media is an interesting thing – some people love it, some people hate it. I get both points of view but at least for now it isn’t going away.

    I’m on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. I find each of these has a place.

    I’m not entirely sure I’m using Twitter properly and I’m quite certain I’m not making the most of the other three. It’s a little bit like I’m standing in the library and I know the perfect book is inside but no one has taught me how the books are catalogued so I’m wandering around a lot scratching my head. I do find what I need usually but I’m sure there’s more that I could utilize if I only knew how.

    Facebook however I feel like I get. you all know I have a Facebook author page but that’s not what I’m here to talk about today.

    Today I’m talking about Facebook Groups and how great they are for writers. There are two sorts of Facebook groups that authors can utilize groups the first is where other writers (and sometimes readers) of your genre or with similar interest gather to support each other and share information. The second are groups where authors can promote their books to readers.

    Let’s talk about the first and what invaluable resources they are. I’m a member of several groups and the sorts of information and support available varies. What you need will determine what groups are good for you.

    For instance I started the #1000wordsaday Facebook group. We have just shy of 250 members whose aim is to write #1000wordsaday. Pretty simple. We start a daily thread and share our numbers and cheer each other on. Writing can be lonely having people who “get you” makes it less so. That’s all that group does. And that’s enough.

    I’m a member of several other groups for romance authors, indie authors, chicklit authors, #NaNoWriMo and they provide a variety of opportunities and information depending on the group but here are some examples:

    – People will help you pick your next book cover
    – Recommend promotional opportunities
    – Put together a short story collection or box set
    – Help you write your blurb
    – Cross-promote your book
    – Run an online party
    – BETA read your books
    – Help you if you’re having issues with uploading a book
    – Marketing advice

    You get the idea right? Depending on the group, where you are on your journey and what you need to know you can find people to help you. That’s pretty cool.

    A note of caution – not all groups are created equally and some of the people in some groups can be negative at best and nasty at worst. I don’t stay in those groups. I do not engage. So there can be some trial and error but I’ve met lovely supportive writers from all over the globe this way and the advice I’ve received is priceless.

    The second lot of groups are pretty much groups where readers go to find new release, free and discount books. Again these are not all created equally and some are populated almost entirely with other authors and some are populated with people who like to share porn so choose wisely. They really can help you sell books if you know which ones to choose.

  • Blog

    Release Day Blitz for Friends ForNever by Melissa Baldwin

    7/18/2016

    Friends ForNever Release Blitz Banner
    Friends ForNever - Cover
    Summary
    Erin Taylor is a hard-working journalist with a serious TV addiction and lack of a social life. She’s focused on her career and determined to leave her tiny cubicle behind for a fabulous corner office! But when a new co-worker, a friendship drama, and a hot workplace crush collide, Erin finds it harder and harder to focus. Especially when that crush on the oh-so-yummy Aiden Thomas starts to materialize into what feels like a magical relationship. Erin’s life seems to finally be heading in the right direction…until suddenly friends aren’t such great friends after all, her magical relationship hits a bumpy road, and her career could be derailed by it all. Erin learns a lesson the hard way: Sometimes people aren’t who they seem to be. With her happiness on the line, can Erin rise above her disappointments and create the life she’s always dreamed of or will she be stuck being Friends ForNever?

    Book Links
    Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28671232-friends-fornever
    Amazon US: https://amzn.com/B01IFN4D6K
    Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01IFN4D6K
    iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/nz/book/friends-fornever/id1111577622?mt=11
    Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/friends-fornever-melissa-baldwin/1123769151?ean=2940153008486
    Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/634668

    Melissa Baldwin
    Author Biography
    Melissa graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications; she has always had a love for writing. An avid journal keeper, she took her creativity to the next level by fulfilling her dream with her debut novel, An Event to Remember . . . Or Forget. Since then, she has written and published four more novels, Wedding Haters, See You Soon Broadway, Not Quite Sheer Happiness, and Friends ForNever.
    Melissa resides in Florida, with her husband and young daughter. When she isn’t writing, this multi-tasking master organizer is busy being a mother, wife, chauffeur, PTA President, and Fitness Trainer.
    When she has free time, she enjoys traveling, running, fitness, fashion, and taking a Disney Cruise every now and then.

    Social Networking Links
    Website: http://www.authormelissabaldwin.com/
    Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8297292.Melissa_Baldwin
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormelissabaldwin
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/mpbaldwinauthor
    Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/mdpb/
    Amazon Author: http://www.amazon.com/Melissa-Baldwin/e/B012M1S100/

    #keprtour Banner

  • Blog

    Zigging and zagging and keeping on going

    7/5/2016

    Can you even believe it is July? No really, can you? I just can’t.

    I used to believe that old adage “time flies when you’re having fun” but this year has been boring at best and craptastic at worst for me – depending on the day, and I still can’t believe it’s half-done. So I guess time waits for no man or woman to get herself together and start moving forward. Good to know.

    It’s summer of course where many of my readers are but it is winter here in Sydney and I am just not a winter girl. I like my sun shining, my breezes warm and my toes not frozen thanks very much. I’m lucky I don’t live in Norway or Wisconsin because I for sure would suffer from seasonal depression and I really feel for those people who have to endure long, dark winters.

    Really here in Australia we are very lucky that our climate is so mild. On the other hand where I live half the people don’t have decent heating and most of the cafe’s are designed as if the temperature was never below about seventy-five degrees or the mid-twenties in celsius so venturing outside can be chilly.

    Still this is good writing weather.

    I am about to send book 5 in the Upper Crust Series off to the editor. I’m a bit behind but it’s coming and Book 6 is ready to go behind it. I also have a Christmas novella ready to be edited and I have a story going in a New Year’s multi-author box set so there will be a few new releases from me in the latter part of the year. Oh and I have a Valentine’s novella ready to go too.

    A few people have said The Upper Crust Series needs a seventh book to tie up all the loose ends so I better get working on that as well.

    Meanwhile I have started a new series I’m really excited about and I hope my readers will be too. I’m writing the first two books simultaneously (I do like a challenge) and I’m going to be pitching it to a few traditional publishers and if they’re not keen that series will start releasing in 2017.

    I always feel like I’m marking time but I guess maybe I’m zig-zagging rather than running on the spot.

    And if you do like my Upper Crust Series all the books are on sale now so….pop over to Amazon and grab yourself copies while they’re a bargain. Author.to/MoniqueMcDonell

    The Upper Crust Series Promo Banner Original Covers - Autumn

  • Blog

    Q&A with Kristina Knight author of Protecting the Quarterback and an excerpt from her new release

    6/25/2016

    Protecting the Quarterback Promo
    Q&A with Kristina Knight

    1. What was the inspiration for your novel Protecting the Quarterback?
    Football, all the way! I’m a football girl, and I wanted to dive deeper into the sport, the injuries, and the men and women who make the sport so much fun to watch.

    2. When did you take up writing?
    I’ve been writing off and on for most of my life, but I began working toward publication about ten years ago; my first book was published in 2012.

    3. How important is setting/place in your writing?
    Very important! I’ve had readers tell me that the setting of my books is like another character. I love setting, so hear that is always a boost!

    4. Do you have a favourite character (s) in your current novel?
    Jonas and Brooks were equally favorites – because each of them is so strong. They can definitely survive on their own, but their willingness to change, to bend to become part of a couple made them so special to me.

    5. What’s the best piece of writing advice you were ever given?
    To keep trying, and to find the right beginning point!

    6. Do you have a schedule for writing?
    Yes and no. When my daughter is in school, the schedule is easier because I write while she’s at school and my husband is at work. Summertime is totally different, and I try to keep a schedule, but having an 8-year-old in the house can throw a wrench into the best of schedules.

    7. Are you a plotter or someone who tends to wing it?
    A bit of both – I create a rough outline that gives me direction, but most of the plot points are a mystery to me.

    8. Can you name three of four of your current favourite books?
    Part-time Cowboy by Maisey Yates, The Collector by Nora Roberts, Every Time We Say Goodbye by Liz Flaherty and On Writing by Stephen King (I know that one isn’t technically ‘current’ but it’s a good one!).

    9. Can you tell me a little bit about what you are working on now?
    I just turned in the first book in a brand new series (set in small town Missouri and with another football-ish theme!), and I’m nearly finished with the third of my Billionaire Cowboy books. Busy, busy!

    10. What advice would you give to a fledgling writer to assist them on their journey?
    Don’t every quit. Rejections happen to all of us and continuing to push forward in the face of those rejections is what takes all of us from unpublished to published.

    Protecting the Quarterback - CoverBook Blurb:
    This is more than just a game…to her
    Sports broadcaster Brooks Smith has always been more involved with the game than the players. But after she shares the spotlight at an awards ceremony with tabloid sensation Jonas Nash, one night of letting her guard down around the infamous quarterback spirals into many heated days and nights together when she gets assigned to the story of the year…
    The hottest player in professional football is hiding a secret that could end his career for good. Now Brooks is caught on the sidelines between the job she loves and the man she is falling in love with.

    Excerpt:
    “I’m assigned to the Kentuckians, not to one player.” Brooks sat up straighter in her chair. Hard gaze or not, these two were not going to derail her assignment. With the veritable all-access pass she had with the team, she could create real buzz. Maybe land a spot at the network sports desk or maybe even in the booth during games. “I can’t report on the other players if I’m all the way in—” she looked from man to man.
    “Hyde Park,” Jonas said, reluctantly. The neighborhood was a ten-minute drive from the training camp facility. Not so far away she couldn’t report on what was going on, but something was off about this request.
    “And several team staffers will be on hand, talking to the boys about nutrition and proper training as well as the sport fundamentals,” Earl added. “Think of it as a team training camp, but with an emphasis on kids, not professional athletes.”
    With the right angle, this could be something the network would be interested in. There were several initiatives the league was involved in to get kids more active, and this camp sounded like a way to bridge league and team programs. But it could just as easily be covered by the local affiliate. They didn’t need her, and she did need an interview with Jonas. “Why me?”
    Earl studied her for a long moment, which was odd because Jonas seemed to be making a point of not looking at her. Not even a sideways glance. His chocolate-brown eyes were focused on the corner wall seam as if something magical might appear at any moment. Weird. He’d had no problem giving her a hard time in the locker room yesterday. He might not like her reporter side, but he liked other parts of her. After yesterday’s locker room incident, Brooks knew where she stood on the personal like-o-meter of Jonas Nash.
    The thought sent a shiver of excitement up her spine.
    She wouldn’t do anything with the knowledge; she’d stopped dating jocks in high school. But it was still nice to be noticed by a man like Jonas.
    “The interview.”
    Brooks’s breath caught in her throat. “I get the interview when you get the coverage for the charity camp.”
    “It’s not a charity, these kids deserve better than pot-holed streets disguised as basketball courts or football fields.” Finally, Jonas joined the conversation, although he still wasn’t looking directly at her. Instead, those deep, deep eyes were fixed on something just above Brooks’s head.
    “Again, not my assignment. I’m the beat reporter assigned to report on your team, not your charity work.”
    Jonas clenched his jaw. “You can report on the charity work or you can deal with a locker room full of men who won’t give you the time of day through early February,” he said. “Assuming we’re playing for the championship.”
    “You can’t shut me out.”
    “Oh, you can walk that fine ass into the lockers any time. Finding someone who will talk to you, that’s a whole other subject.”

    Buy Links:
    Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/Protecting-Quarterback-Kristina-Knight-ebook/dp/B01767FSZQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1451499304&sr=1-1&keywords=protecting+the+quarterback
    BN: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/protecting-the-quarterback-kristina-knight/1122856806?ean=9780373609598
    iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/protecting-the-quarterback/id1052693233?mt=11
    KOBO: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/protecting-the-quarterback
    Harlequin: http://www.harlequin.com/storeitem.html?iid=64371

    Author Bio:
    Once upon a time, Kristina Knight spent her days running from car crash to fire to meetings with local police–no, she wasn’t a troublemaker, she was a journalist. Her career took her all over the United States, writing about everything from a serial killer’s capture to the National Finals Rodeo. Along the way, she found her very own Knight in Shining Cowboy Boots and an abiding love for romance novels. And just like the characters from her favorite books, she’s living her own happily ever after.
    Kristina writes sassy contemporary romance novels; her books have appeared on Kindle Best Seller Lists. She loves hearing from readers, so drop her a line!

    Author Links:
    Website: http://www.kristinaknightauthor.com
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kristinaknightromanceauthor
    Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/authorkristina
    Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/authorkristina/
    Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5827833.Kristina_Knight

    Comment

    Isabella Louise Anderson
    6/24/2016 07:51:11 pm

    Thanks for hosting!

  • Blog

    36 Real Authors Talking Writing and Publishing – a book #giveaway

    6/21/2016
    How to Be An Author - CoverEarlier this year I was on one of the many Facebook groups for authors that I belong to and another member Ashton Cartwright asked for people who’d like to be involved in a book to help other writers.

    Naturally I said yes and now the book is available as both an e-book and a paperback. I’m one of the 36 authors who contributed to the book.

    (If you’d like to win a copy enter below).

    Now that the paperback is available I thought I’d ask Ashton about how the project came together. Don’t you just love the cover? So pretty!

    1. Ashton, how did you get the idea for the book?
    I’ve been writing and publishing books now for about four years, and I get asked a lot of the questions, generally the same questions and fairly often; things like “How hard is it to become an author” or “I’ve got a good idea for a book, but don’t know how to start.” or even “I’ve written a book, but don’t know how to get people to buy it.”

    So I thought it might be a good idea to write some of my answers down, in the hope that new authors would get a bit of benefit from it, and would hopefully avoid some of the mistakes that I’d made in my own publishing career.

    2.Where did you find the authors?
    I was very fortunate to be a part of several excellent online author groups, both for Australians and for international authors. Writing and publishing is a community in which everyone tends to do their best to help one another, particularly for self-published or indie authors. When I mentioned in a couple of places that I was looking for some authors to give their advice to new writers, there were lots of people very happy to oblige. (35 plus myself in fact!)

    3. Did you learn anything interesting about the authors – something that they all had in common, something that separated them or anything surprising?
    The thing that most hit home with me was that even though we each had a different story to tell, we still had a lot of similarities. Nobody in the book had written an instant bestseller and made millions of dollars. Some of us were able to write full time, but we worked really hard at it to make it happen. Some of us were just starting out, and were also working really hard at it to make it happen. I think a lot of times people assume that if you write a book, your work is done. You just get to sit around at home, waiting for handsome royalty cheques, and signing autographs when people meet you in the street. The truth is usually far different from that. Every author I know that has had even a modicum of success has had to work hard for it; they’ve had to stay focused, stay committed, and just keep learning, writing, and moving forward. Being a writer is definitely not a quick path to success, but it is definitely worth all the effort. 🙂

    If you would like to get your own copy either e-book or paperback you can buy it here.

     

    Comments

    Renee
    6/19/2016 04:58:20 pm

    I’d love to know, when did you decide to start writing an actual book? Was there a defining moment?
    Reply
    Monique
    6/22/2016 10:23:39 pm

    Renee, I always wrote but I took a course at the NSW Writers’ Centre – First Page to First Draft, where you would write a novel in that year so that was when I decided to take it seriously…that was about 10 years ago and that book became Mr Right and Other Mongrels.

    Jean
    6/21/2016 03:13:42 am

    This sounds inspiring, I’d like to know how authors stay so focused and get things finished
    Reply
    Monique
    6/22/2016 10:25:18 pm

    That’s a great question and I think (as reading this book with feedback from so many writers will show) everyone is a bit different. In my case I hate to fail at something – so once I set myself a goal I like to get there. I’m not always there in the desired time-frame but I do get there. Focus is really hard. Some people find it harder than others.

    Susan Mehr
    6/21/2016 01:15:03 pm

    Do you find writing a journey inside your own imagination?
    Reply
    Monique
    6/22/2016 10:26:07 pm

    I have a very active imagination, which is a good and a bad thing I suppose.. Writing gives that a nice focus.

    Valerie
    6/21/2016 04:18:06 pm

    Sounds like a great book. Can’t wait to read it.

    Heather Goldsmith
    6/22/2016 02:33:39 am

    One, only one? Um, ok, how long did it take from when you wrote your first book to when it was ready to be sent to a publisher, and was it accepted? Ok, that’s two really, sorry. 😉
    Reply
    Monique
    6/22/2016 10:28:15 pm

    From the time I started my first novel until I started sending it out was about 3 years. That book was Mr Right and Other Mongrels. It made it off the slush pile at agents and publishers all over the world (well UK, US and Australia) and they all said – we like your writing, send us whatever else you have, but we can’t sell chicklit. That’s what I write so I went the indie publishing route instead.

  • Blog

    Sometimes it is easy to forget – why I write

    6/15/2016

    Hearts AfireYesterday I was responding to a blogger about an upcoming promotional opportunity and she wanted a summer themed book. My Upper Crust Series isn’t especially seasonal (except Book 6 which isn’t out yet) but lots of my stand alone novels are.

    It got me to thinking about those books and how I got started writing and well, why I write.

    Reasons I don’t write (ie thinks that are not motivation for my writing):
    – financial success (Despite what you think most writers don’t make a living from it)
    – fame (For every author’s name you know there are thousands you don’t)
    – recognition (Ah considering at social gatherings even the people who know and love me barely acknowledge my writing we can leave this off the list)
    * Disclaimer at various times I have thought my writing might bring me one or more of these things but I no longer believe that.

    So why did I start writing and why do I continue?
    I wrote as a child and in my twenties but then I stopped. Time, motivation and need were all lacking then. (I’ll be honest my twenties rocked. I had a great social life with lots of friends in and out of work and lots of them lived near by me. we had disposable incomes and we ate out, drank like fish and danced until dawn often. Good freaking times!)

    In my early thirties I had a child and struggled with the notion I was lucky to get that one and wasn’t getting anymore, my husband was away around 50% of the time and most of my friends weren’t married or were just married and didn’t have kids. I was alone a lot. And I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t love it.

    Then my imagination came back to help me. Writing allowed me to create the sorts of friends I wanted to hang out with every day, the sorts of friends I had but missed. I got to write fund dates, romantic scenarios and parties. I drew on things I knew from my life, the good bits.

    My early novels particularly Mr Right and Other Mongrels and Hearts Afire had aspects of my personality in them, and my life. Dog phobia is all me. Living by the beach, that’s my life. Meeting a hot guy on a tropical island – hey I did that. My writing was a really good way to draw on my experiences and the better, more fun parts of myself that were kind of taking a back seat to my day-to-day reality.

    Yesterday got me thinking about those characters and how much I loved them. I wondered why and realise it is because they represent the best parts of my friends, my life and my twenties. That’s probably why Cassie and Jack from Hearts Afire remain among my favourite characters. They made my life less lonely more full and they didn’t settle, they were characters who bounced back.

    I’ve always had a vivid imagination and a somewhat quirky world view….drawing on this was a way to connect my past to my future.

    My reasons for writing have changed over the years. I’m more pragmatic – although I still crush on lots of my own characters and mainly write characters I could see myself sharing a glass of wine or a plate of nachos with. Now though, my writing is a daily practice and an extension of who I am now rather than who I used to be.

     

    Comments

    Pamela Cook
    6/15/2016 01:26:22 am

    Great post Monique. Love your honesty. I agree, creating characters we love to hang out with is a huge part of the fun of writing. I always love meeting your imaginary friends. Look forward to meeting many more!
    Reply
    Monique
    6/15/2016 02:22:43 am

    Thanks Pam. That’s the fun part, right? Creating those characters…I have a few more imaginary friends up my sleeve yet.

    Betty Uchytil
    6/15/2016 06:21:21 am

    I loved Mr Right. It was just like talking to you. Now in your later novels it’s like you are telling me an amusing story. I am amazed that you have all of those characters in your head!
    Reply
    Monique
    6/15/2016 04:56:46 pm

    Thanks Betty, I think the voice in Mr Right and Other Mongrels is the closest to mine. Lots of people have said when they read it that it was like talking to me, which I guess is a compliment, if you liked the character 😉

  • Blog

    Release Day Blitz for Not Quite Sheer Happiness by Melissa Baldwin

    6/8/2016

    Not Quite Sheer Happiness Release Bitz 2016 Banner

    Melissa Baldwin

    Summary
    Sienna Harris is back and appears to be on top of the world! Her company, Sheer Happiness Events, is booming, but personally she’s a mess. She never imagined that with amazing success would come tremendous pressure. Although her professional life seems in disarray at times, her relationship with the dashing Ace Eckelund is finally progressing.
    Friendships are tested and so is her relationship when—once again—the past collides with the present. Sienna begins to question everything in her life and wonders if she should throw out her desire for constant certainty and live life on the edge for once. But, will she be able to change the person she has always been for who she wants to become?
    Find out in this captivating third installment of The Event to Remember series.

    Book Links – COMING
    Amazon US: https://amzn.com/B01GQLVE74
    Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01GQLVE74
    Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/641901
    Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29953685-not-quite-sheer-happiness

    Author Biography
    Melissa graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications; she has always had a love for writing. An avid journal keeper, she took her creativity to the next level by fulfilling her dream with her debut novel, An Event to Remember . . . Or Forget. Since then, she has written and published two more novels, Wedding Haters and See You Soon Broadway.
    Melissa resides in Florida, with her husband and young daughter. When she isn’t writing, this multi-tasking master organizer is busy being a mother, wife, chauffeur, PTA President, and Fitness Trainer.
    When she has free time, she enjoys traveling, running, fitness, fashion, and taking a Disney Cruise every now and then.

    Social Networking Links
    Website: http://www.authormelissabaldwin.com/
    Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8297292.Melissa_Baldwin
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormelissabaldwin
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/mpbaldwinauthor
    Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/mdpb/
    Amazon Author: http://www.amazon.com/Melissa-Baldwin/e/B012M1S100/

    Not Quite Sheer Happiness - Cover