Wednesday 8 April 2015

Crystal Blogs Books

Crystal inspires me. She keeps count of all the books she's reading and that is impressive. I have a huge desire to blog about the books I read too, but I don't have her discipline. Oy!

It's quite an honor to be featured on her site.

On the note of reading, I will say I'm in the middle of enjoying Lily Harlem's book Breathe You In. It is so wonderful. If you're looking for a great read, I'd recommend it. Well, that and Worth the Wait.

Monday 6 April 2015

The Challenge of Writing Desire in long term Relationships

Can we desire what we already have? Or is desire by nature a yearning for something more? I'm struggling with this question in my writing right now. I have been reading a 'for Dummies' book on writing and it breaks things down in such a simple way. Who is your main character? What does he/she want?


Or is it? The challenge with writing is that characters are so much like human beings and we are so annoyingly complicated. My latest heroine is giving me some challenges because it is not clear exactly what she wants.

This is the first time I'm working with the idea of a fresh spark within a longterm relationship. I'm desirous of writing this plot line because, well, I've been in long term relationships most of my adult life. In my own way, I've been asking this question all along. How do you want what you already have? How do you keep the desire?

I'm guessing that creating that spark requires seeing things in a fresh way. Maybe remembering how things were in the beginning when you couldn't live without the other person. Or thinking about what it would be like if you met for the first time right now.

She wants him to look at her the way he used to. She wants to see him the way she used to. That's it right there. That's the desire. In a sense, it is to go back to how things were at the beginning while still maintaining the sense of intimacy that has come from all the years together.

Dang, this one's not going to be easy to write.

Blog Tour April 6 - 9, 2015

It's been a good spring and I'm so excited about everything that Totally Bound has done for me in terms of putting together a blog tour for Worth The Wait, my latest release. It just came out this week and I could not be more excited. Here's what's coming up:

Friday 21 November 2014

Sexy Teaser - Worth the Wait - forthcoming


His voice was deeper than ever as he said, “Monique, you are out of this world. You are off the charts hot. I mean, wow. I can’t even talk.”
Once the dress was on the couch, and my corset exposed to him, I saw that he was shaking his head in disbelief and staring at me as though he couldn’t fully comprehend what he was looking at.
“You like?”
He nodded and closed his mouth that had fallen open earlier. “Oh, I like.”
I smiled and put my hands on my accentuated hips. I caught a glimpse of my contours in the glass of his bookcase and, even though I could only see my own silhouette, I knew what I looked like and I felt hot.
“You’re right out of my wildest fantasy.”
“Oh?” I said, trying my best to sound coy and innocent. “What are you going to do about it?”
“Get down on my knees and thank God.” He laughed.
“I like the part about you getting down on your knees.”
He took my guidelines seriously then pulled me to him. He cradled my ass in his hands as he held my hips so close that his mouth was practically touching my pussy.
“I can’t believe you had this on the whole time. If I’d known, I don’t think I could have made dinner.”
“Why not?” I, again, tried to sound na├»ve.
“Baby, you are incredible. I want to lick you and explore every inch of you and I do believe I made you a promise about providing you with the biggest orgasm of your life.”

Release Date: 

Preorder: 28th November 2014
Early download: 12th December 2014
General release: 9th January 2015

You Have to Love It

I really believe that no matter what you do in life, you have to love it. When I had my first inclination that I wanted to write, erotic romance was the genre I was most interested in. I was a huge fan of Angela Carter and Pat Califia and a number of other incredible authors. I felt that the genre could  push the envelope, that it was  important to assert one's sexuality as a woman. I wrote a few stories and some even got published in anthologies. It was an exciting time.

Then I drifted away from it and wrote other stuff. That stuff got me attention and a relative amount of prestige or respect amongst a small gang of writerly folks. (In my "serious" alter ego, I am very obscure. I like it like that.)

What got me started up in erotic romance again was actually quite traumatic. I don't want to get into the painful details. Let's just say I lost a lot. The world around me felt unstable and I knew that if I wasn't careful, I could sink into a deep depression. In my time of need, I turned to what I love the most. It's funny how that works. When life throws shit at you, you really figure out who your friends are and what matters most. I fell out of touch with quite a few of the above-mentioned writerly types. I also stopped reading "serious" fiction and nonfiction. When the big sad wolf comes a-calling, the last thing you need is to be beat over the head with some politically charged 'important' work. Eff it. Give me a Reese Witherspoon movie or a novel by Nora Roberts. I have always loved romance. I'd just neglected it for a while.

Anyway, I wrote All I Ever Wanted in that first challenging winter and it really cheered me up. Every day, I woke up excited to find out what would happen next. I was thankful for the distraction my characters gave me. It was a form of self-care to write. I wanted a happy ending between these two and I worked toward it. I didn't know exactly what would happen along the way. I was thrilled that Totally Bound accepted it. My editor was actually so supportive that she wanted me to write another novel about the best friend of the main character, whose story is the subplot. That novel happened in the spring. It was equally fun and rewarding to write and it's about to come out. Won't be long now. And, appropriately, it's called Worth the Wait.

These days, I'm over the bad stuff that happened a couple of years ago. Romance helped me move forward. My characters gave me plenty of great stuff to think about and that's what you need with the going gets tough. We all crave happy endings. It's human nature, at least for optimists.

Thursday 20 November 2014

Forget Serious Writing - Romance is More Fun

Okay, so today two things happened. My best friend called me to tell me she'd finished reading All I Ever Wanted and she loved it. She went into great detail and I'm so relieved and happy that she liked it. It's really all I ever wanted (har har). But seriously. She's kind of my target market. When I first started in this genre, I knew I could count on her to be honest because she's a romance expert. It's her favorite genre. Today I heard that I passed that test and I was elated. Seriously. I mean there are very few people in my life who even know about my secret career as a romance author. My friend's review meant the world to me and I was on cloud nine.


I got the harshest rejection letter ever. It wasn't just a standard 'no thanks, not for us' that publishers so often have to send out. I'm over those. No biggie. This was a two page essay about why my book was horrendous. And, yes, you guessed it, this was no romance. This was a "serious" novel. In fact I'd spent a few years on it. Granted, the editor had a number of valid points, and part of me expected that there were plenty of aspects that still needed work, but man. What a burn! I'd quote specifics but I don't want to scare any writers out there off submitting.

So all this has me in deep contemplation about my two "careers". When I write romance, I'm always in a great mood (even if I was irritable before sitting down to write). I love my characters. The plots are fun and always surprising. The sex is great - and inspiring in my real life. There are so many good aspects to it. Plus, I can actually finish a book. In my more 'serious' attempts at fiction, I find myself endlessly rewriting scenes I'm never really happy with. I'm insecure about how my work will be received and I'm forever obsessing over every detail. It doesn't make me happy. It never really has.

Today that really clicked. I was walking home from work in the rain and it was cold out and I was thinking about how challenging it is for the many homeless folks who live near me when the seasons change. Poverty is a terrible thing. My community is severely affected by it, not just the folks outside in the streets, but my artist/writer friends who can barely make rent. It really got me wondering.

If the path of 'serious' writing is paved with rejection and poverty (at least for most writers), and it doesn't make me happy, what the hell am I doing it for?

Then there's my love of writing romance. Super fun. Makes me happy. Potentially quite profitable. I know a number of authors who live on it. Put a ring on it, I say. I am ready to declare that this is my genre. I'm committing.

If this was a choice between two lovers, let's say, the first one sounds like a deadbeat drunkard who'll never change. He'll just keep on pissing me off forever. The second one is suave and promising. He makes me feel good about myself.

I know I don't have to choose.  In the wise words of my bud, "It isn't either/or. It's both and more." I don't have to choose one type of writing over another. I can keep on writing whatever I'm inspired to write, but these days that is romance. I just want to be perfectly clear about how much I adore erotic romance.