Michelle Monkou Finders Keepers Guest Feature
Re-edited Finders Keepers debuts Nicole Montgomery, a new B&B owner, who has to deal with the rigors of running a business that she’s uncertain of its future, but definitely passionate for the tumultuous endeavor. Meanwhile, Brad Calverton, travel reviewer, has the power in his hand, or more like his pen, to make or break this B&B’s reputation.
Her gal pals, on the other hand, want to see Nicole take a breather and pursue matters of the heart with the likes of world-traveler Brad. The couple tries, but the past and present demons of greed, betrayal, and heartbreak constantly sabotage their chances…or not.
Meet Michelle Monkou:
What do you want to do different in 2013 that you didn’t do in 2012?
In 2012, I’d talked about what I wanted to do. I had the goals. I had the vision. I had the “talk.”
In 2013, it’s about action. Having determination and having a plan are only parts to the equation. Some of the things that slowed my motivation in 2012 is listening to the noise: statistics of how many books are out there; statistics about how many authors can make it in this business; good reviews, bad reviews, indifference; someone’s arbitrary rules about any and every thing; etc. So, now, I’m walking the walk.
What song would you use as the soundtrack of your life and why?
“What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye. While Marvin sang about the Vietnam war, unfortunately it holds true for 2013. I am constantly in introspective mood about life and it saddens me that our community is still at war with itself as gang bangers from (mostly) broken homes have such a hardened attitude toward their circumstance and life that their actions rob the innocents of their lives. At the heads of these gangs are the top dogs who are quite aware of what they are doing to the community. Their misguided leadership tear down and destroy what many of our past and present contributors have built. And in their gangland tryanny, they have a cult-like hold on young minds who still have potential.
The song also sets the tone that there is no we vs. them; we are all one family under God. I have many influenced by many and much on my life that I refuse to be limited by any one cultural/ethnic/gender, or even occupational identity. I learn from histories ills, am inspired by our heroes’ and heroines’ legacies, and take personal charge of my future. I take it as my sacred obligation to leave a positive footprint, not only in the human community, but more personally as a guide for my children.
What television show best describes your life and why?
When my family are cleaned up and well behaved, we probably could pretend to be like the Cosby family. Behind the curtain, we’re a mixture of several sitcoms. Fresh Prince of Bel Air is one No, I’m not a millionaire. But my son has watched so much Fresh Prince reruns that he has morphed into Will Smith with mannerisms, witty comebacks, and pain in the butt sarcasm. My husband and I dwell in sarcasm land. We have senses of humor that are off the wall and not always fit for all company. So it’s a bit of Nobody Loves Raymond, King of Queens (I love Leah Remini’s character-Carrie), and The Simpsons—my daughter’s favorite show because they say stuff that we think, but wouldn’t dare say.
What’s your favorite quote & why?
“I love you and I’m proud of you” – My mommy – No matter how old I am, I still want her approval.
“If it is to be, it’s up to me” – My high school principal. I know it’s not actually HIS quote, but at every school assembly he would say this after his long-winded speeches LOL and we would all repeat in the most monotone voices. So some 30 years later, it’s still ingrained in the memory.
“Perhaps travel [I switch this to writing] cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends”- Maya Angelou – she is a tribal elder with an electric, inspiring legacy.
“In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true”- In addition to my Christian upbringing, I also read many Buddhist teachings.
What character in your new book could you most relate to?
In Racing Hearts (December release) I think that I could relate to the heroine because she (and the hero) had to learn that just because you are in love, you are still two individuals with separate interests and passions. And you have to learn to be supportive, but still give each other space. My life is very much like that where my writing is a solo pursuit, but my success is directly attributable to my husband’s support. While I don’t go to work and sit next to him with his projects, or agree with the long hours that sometimes are required, or wish they could pay him a gazillion dollars because he’s just so darn fabulous, that’s his career and his path. I support him always, but he charts his path.
Tell readers about your latest release.
Finders Keepers is a re-edited book that debuts Nicole Montgomery, a new B&B owner, who has to deal with the rigors of running a business that she’s uncertain of its future, but definitely passionate for the tumultuous endeavor. Meanwhile, Brad Calverton, travel reviewer, has the power in his hand, or more like his pen, to make or break this B&B’s reputation.
Her gal pals, on the other hand, want to see Nicole take a breather and pursue matters of the heart with the likes of world-traveler Brad. The couple tries, but the past and present demons of greed, betrayal, and heartbreak constantly sabotage their chances…or does it?
What can readers expect from you next?
I have a mix of books coming from my publisher, Harlequin Kimani and from my own Stella Maris publishing. Just like I’ve built an inventory of books with BET Books and Harlequin over my ten year career, I am also concentrating on building my name on the indie platform with books that don’t necessarily fit neatly in a box.
Right now, I have re-edited and uploaded my first two books, which I’d received my rights back from the publisher. Those books,Scandal, Secrets and Seduction and Finders Keepers are available on Kindle and Nook, as e-books. I am also finishing a Kimani project that begins a new 4-book family series for 2014 and 2015. Definitely connect with me through social media to keep track of those details.
But right now, this month, I’ll be publishing the first of several novellas in The Revelers series. This is a project with author Marcia King-Gamble that will mix sexy and saucy romances with the backdrop of Carnivals from all around the world. My book will be the first called Carnival Temptress set in Trinidad. Marcia’s Seducing Circe is a Mardi Gras story that will follow next.
I will also have an erotic romance featuring a modern day Indian princess who rejects her arranged marriage for the alpha male owner of sex toy designing company. This is due out in March. I’m still kicking around titles. Again stay tuned.
Passionate Game (available for pre-order) under the Harlequin Kimani imprint will be available in May.
Two Can Play This Game…
In the boardroom and the bedroom, Grant Benson has all the right moves. The sexy tech bachelor with the mocha-latte eyes has a million-dollar smile and a fortune to match. Grant didn’t gain his riches by being trusting, however-and he’s learned that beautiful and ambitious women usually want only one thing from him.
Committed teen mentor Tamara Wendell knows an adversary when she sees one. If it weren’t for all the students depending on her, she would walk away from the brash millionaire and his defensive attitude. But Grant’s company has a career-making internship program, and she will do whatever it takes to win him over.
Yet neither expects that their rivalry will transform into a deep, heated passion. Now Grant must confront his past hurts or risk losing the one woman who has ever been able to play on his level. Will their games of seduction end in heartbreak? Or will Grant finally win over Tamara and make her his for a lifetime?
- Angelia Menchan – The Regina’s Revelations Guest Feature
- LA Smith Guest Feature
- Passing Love by Jacqueline E. Luckett Guest Feature
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