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Bye, 2012...Hello, 2013

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Happy New Year!

Feliz Año Nuevo!

Heureuse Nouvelle Année!

새해 복 많이 받으세요!

Until there is a time machine, we go with the flow of time and continue with our future one second, one minute, one hour...one year at a time. On the cusp of a new year, some may feel the need to be reflective and analytical. Others may view the coming of the new year with hope and an eye on opportunities.

Charles Dickens wrote his 13th novel, coming-of-age Great Expectations. I prefer to temper my expectations with simplicity. My expectations are about enjoyment, celebration, praising, uplifting--all things that come my way. Yes, the good, bad and the ugly. We don't live in the make-belief world of Disney, as we've seen in the tragic headlines throughout the year. And we are also not going to experience winning it all in a lottery, a beauty pageant, a talent contest. For many, just holding down a job will be the biggest accomplishment.

Therefore, I step toward 2013 with an air of embrace and welcome, instead o…

Racing Hearts...Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

Marc Newton wished he could run his race car business without sponsors. An illogical thought considering how much cross-marketing was done, making each side dependent on the other. Besides, the cold, hard reality for him came down to his ability to generate revenue. Especially now that his body threatened to punk out on his plan to dominate the auto racing landscape.
The business relationship, however, exacted a heavy debt. Sponsors wanted a chunk of his flesh with their legal teams pushing meetings that elicited endorsements for their various products, crafting deals for bigger profit margins, and pushing their cause for partnerships in other business ventures.
One day he awoke and his name was more than his identity.His fairly new iconic status had escalated on a steep incline and was now a viable brand. Sports pundits predicted that his income potential had only hit the tip of the iceberg. Being one of the top fifteen drivers in the National Car Racing Federation guarantee…

SCANDALS & RACING HEARTS...Oh My!

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These days have been busy, sometimes hectic, but very fruitful. Every Monday, I blog with USA TODAY's Happy Ever After, an online column featuring romance fiction and its authors. I do enjoy reading all those wonderful books and chatting with authors. Stop by every week for my Monday recommended reads.

Next up on my list of accomplishments: RACING HEARTS -- my December Kimani Romance.

Dedicated doctor Erin Wilson lives her life cautiously—the opposite of Marc Newton, world-famous race-car driver and her newest patient. Resisting the seductive millionaire playboy's advances takes sheer grit, but Erin's determined to keep him off the track so he can heal from an old injury. Marc is set on racing again…and winning her heart.

Marc's relentless drive to win is second nature. But his world is turned upside down when a fiery crash sidelines him from the sport he loves. As Erin works her soothing, sensual healing, Marc has a new goal. With his career and legacy at risk,…

Excerpt - Scandal, Secrets and Seduction by Michelle Monkou

Excerpt from upcoming novel -- Scandal, Secrets and Seduction
(formerly Open Your Heart) (c) Michelle Monkou
Warning: explicit language ONE October 30

Happy Halloween! Party tonight at the Frat House. Going as Halle Berry ‘Storm’ from X-Men. Planning to get my groove on. Can’t wait for the girls to come over. We’re going to dress, put on our make -up, and get ready for the party in my dorm.
So many hot ass sexy men to meet, so little time LOL.
October 31

That punk bitch. Motherfucker.
November 1
My body hurts. I still can’t sleep. Can’t eat. Can’t stop crying.
How could I be so stupid to trust him? To trust them?
To them it was all a big joke. Club initiation, my ass. I was the joke. He never wanted to talk to me. He had a plan. I was the bait.
November 7
Now they want me to become a sweetheart of their damned fraternity.Like hell. Warning me to keep my mouth shut. Girls who I thought were friends will not have my back if I tell. Rumor has it that there are photos or video taken for insurance.
Don’…

Work In Progress--The Journey, Part 1

Normally, I don't post about the intricate details on how I begin a book to the final product. No special reason. 1) I don't think anyone really cares. 2) I switch what I do depending on how close the deadline. 3) I'd have to be organized enough to tell my story. 4) What if I did explain in great detail and the final product still sucked?

Obviously by sharing all of this, I'm disregarding #4 because there is always someone or lots of someone who will not like what I write; will wish that I return to my day job; will wonder how on earth did I get published. For #3, since I am going backward with ruling out the objections, being somewhat organized does help cut down with inefficiencies while writing and as I'm desperately trying to find out a detail or description buried in stacks of research material. For #2, this goes along with #3, where I should have an organized method to approaching a book. I do believe there can be a happy medium between plotting and writing b…

Back In The Saddle--Writing, Dieting, Exercising

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The big writing conference is over. I'm back home and settled into a daily routine.  Can't really say that I've returned to MY daily routine, though, because four days of being "on" during conference was just long enough to shake up my regular programming.  Not only did the break affect my writing schedule, but it also did a number on the eating and exercising gig that, incidentally, I must do for the rest of my life. But this isn't a complaint, just an acknowledgement of how I'm hardwired. Breaks in routine = falling off the horse.

Eating healthy away from home is possible, but wasn't probable for me. And I wasn't going to feel guilty over the realization, either. I ate my way through the breakfast buffets -- filled up so I didn't have to buy a big lunch; industry receptions -- filled up so I didn't have to buy dinner; and late night feedings with  my buddies -- eating and chatting go hand-in-hand. Oversized portions and desserts were my …

RWA Conference Recap…Of Sorts

Romance Writers of America (RWA) hosts an annual conference for its members, although the public can also register to attend. The event is always well-attended by its members and industry professionals, such as agents, editors, librarians, to name a few. Approximately 1,700-2,000 attendees descend on a city to get the latest industry news, pitch proposals, attend workshops, and catch up with fellow writers, who also just happen to be avid romance readers.
I arrived on Tuesday to beat the rush of registrants. It also provided the opportunity to volunteer set up labor for the literacy autographing session. That chore included placing the authors’ books on the table where they would sign in a room that had Brazilian Amazon humidity and temperatures. This annual bonanza launches the conference where 400 authors autograph and sell their books with monies donated to literacy foundations. Unsold books are donated to state libraries. To date RWA has donated over $770,000 to literacy efforts,…

Kudos to College's Stance on Mental Wellness

I'm in college mode. First kiddie-wink is heading off to college. I'm excited and petrified at the same time, as I recall my college adventures and a few mis-adventures. I went the route of the Freshman Focus program where they hand hold the incoming freshmen with a detailed, multi-day orientation process about the college and services.

At first, I moaned the fact that I'd be sitting through boring accounts and testimonies of college life. Should I bring my Nook to read as they waxed poetic about the founder and his contributions to the community? Should I have a secret stash of candy to inject needed sugar into the system after faculty number 15 talked about what he/she did at the campus? Should I skip the entire thing and just deal with stuff as it happens?

I was a good girl. I attended, paid attention, and actually learned a thing or two.

By the time the administration had completed the session, I wanted to re-enroll and enjoy the college experience again. As a parent, …

Resuscitating My Blog

It's never too late for a little spring cleaning. I decided to clear out the old posts. They'd served their purpose and I didn't like the feel of being a hoarder of old news. Plus with my new blogging gig over at USA TODAY's Happy Ever After blog, my personal platform was a bit neglected.

Once again, I raise my hand to say that I'll make the weekly effort to say something. Hopefully, whatever I do manage to say will be of some sort of value.

Stay tuned.