Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Smugglers, Spies, and Sizzling Romance. Meet Barbara Monajem #Giveaway

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with 4 comments

Meet Barbara Monajem, and her latest lighthearted Regency romance, The Smuggler's Escape.  Barbara, please tell us a little about yourself.
I write too many different kinds of stories. I’ve done vampires, regular Regency romances, Regencies-with-Magic (semi-paranormal and truly paranormal), mysteries with romance, romances with mystery, even a children’s fantasy and a time travel short story. In other words, I’m all over the place and don’t know how to settle. I mentioned this on a Facebook takeover the other day, and one reader told me not to settle—to write whatever I like. Which was kind of her and very encouraging, because although my current release is a Regency romance with lots of adventure, I have a ghostly romance coming out in an anthology in October, the aforementioned time travel story in December, and a Regency mystery in April 2020. Like I said, all over the place! I love it. I'm a little all over the place myself.

I love firsts, so tell me about the moment when a publisher told you they wanted to publish your book.
Hmm. There were three of these moments. The first was eons ago, when my kids were little and before e-books happened. That was for my children’s fantasy, and I think it must have been via snail mail. One of these days I will have that story scanned in and made available as an e-book.
 The second time, the phone was ringing as I got home from work. I ran to answer it –- this was before the time when 9 out of 10 calls were from telemarketers – and the screen on the phone read “Dorchester Publishing.” Eureka! I was thrilled when editor Chris Keeslar offered me a contract on my contemporary vampire romance, Sunrise in a Garden of Love and Evil, as well as two more in the same series.
The third time was at the Romance Writers of America national conference. An editor from Harlequin Mills and Boon emailed, saying they wanted my Regency novella, Notorious Eliza, and asked to meet me that very day!

If it isn’t too nosy. How about the first time you kissed your true love?
It’s way too nosy! The answer is: It was amazing!! I dare not say more.

Who are your favorite writers in your genre?
I have too many favorite writers to mention. Here are a few: In Regency romance, the late, fabulous Georgette Heyer. She is my go-to for comfort reads. (yes!) More recently, my favorite author of historicals is Joanna Bourne. In mystery… hmm. Lately I’ve been reading classic romance from 80 to 100 years ago—such as Dorothy Sayers and Margery Allingham—as well as recent Regency-era mysteries by Ashley Gardner and contemporary police procedurals by Anne Cleeland. In scifi/fantasy, Lois McMaster Bujold is one of my favorites. Her recent series of fantasy novellas about Penric the sorcerer and his demon Desdemona are wonderful. I have the latest waiting on my Kindle now.

What is your favorite pastime, other than writing?
I don’t have time for any pastimes! I love to cook, but since I do it almost every day, it doesn’t feel like a pastime. In what little downtime I have, I read, read, read.

How do you motivate yourself when inspiration takes a vacation?
When inspiration takes a vacation, I don’t need motivation – I need brainstorming. I discuss my story ideas with my daughters. They are hugely helpful! I’m so grateful for their help.

Tell us about The Smuggler's Escape.

After escaping the guillotine, Noelle de Vallon takes refuge with her aunt in England. Determined to make her own way, she joins the local smugglers, but when their plans are uncovered, Richard, Lord Boltwood steps out of the shadows to save her. Too bad he’s the last man on earth she ever wanted to see again.
 Years ago, Richard Boltwood’s plan to marry Noelle was foiled when his ruthless father shipped him to the Continent to work in espionage. But with the old man at death’s door, Richard returns to England with one final mission: to catch a spy. And Noelle is the prime suspect.
 Noelle needs Richard’s help, but how can she ever trust the man who abandoned her? And how can Richard catch the real culprit while protecting the woman who stole his heart and won’t forgive him for breaking hers?

Short teaser:
“Open it, my love,” Richard said. “If you don’t like it, the jeweler will allow us to exchange it for something else.”

Slowly, almost reluctantly, Noelle opened the little box. Nestled inside was a delicate necklace of diamonds and sapphires. “It’s beautiful.” She didn’t touch it. She returned it to his hand.
“Take it, sweetheart. It will suit you admirably and as befits my wife.”
She sighed. “As I have told you over and over, I will not marry you.”
He tried to drum up his usual lighthearted retort, but fortunately, she forestalled him.
“I will accept your gift under one condition,” she said.
He managed a smile. “A condition. How delightful! Do tell me.”
Noelle, his darling, the love of his life, said, “Will you take me as your mistress instead?”

 I love your writing. I am adding this to my TBR list on Goodreads.
Buy links:

What’s your current WIP?
There are three: a Regency-with-Magic, a Regency Christmas novella with secondary characters from The Smuggler’s Escape, and the second book in my Regency mystery series. I’m busy – hence no time for pastimes! Wow. You are one busy lady. I applaud you.

And finally, where can we find you?

Thank you for being here, Barbara. Barbara is giving away Book one of her Scandalous Kisses series, To Kiss A Rake 


Melinda Starling doesn’t let ladylike behavior get in the way of true love. She’s secretly assisting in an elopement . . . until she’s tossed into the waiting coach and driven away by a notorious rake.


Miles Warren, Lord Garrison, comes from a family of libertines, and he’s the worst of them all—or so society believes. When Miles helps a friend to run away with an heiress, it’s an entertaining way to revenge himself on one of the gossips who slandered him. 

Except that he drives off with the wrong woman . . . and as if that wasn’t scandalous enough, he can’t resist stealing a kiss.
You can enter below. Happy reading.

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  1. Thank you for inviting me to your blog, Susan. :)

  2. How wonderful that your daughters can help you brainstorm!! Love your books! Best of luck with this new one.


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