Monday, December 31, 2012

Bye, 2012...Hello, 2013

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 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 of fear and hesitation. I truly believe what we do, how we treat people, how we live in the present, lay the groundwork for our future. So I choose to live a life full of meaning and deliberation.

These are my three fave messages that I sign in books for my readers:

Celebrate love!

Celebrate life!

Follow your dreams!

Michelle Monkou

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Racing Hearts...Excerpt


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 guaranteed him financial success.

In the competitive inner sanctum of the industry, a few critical sportscasters shared their belief that he hadn’t earned his stripes as yet. That was real BS. Every accolade he’d earned by rolling up his sleeves and working hard, putting in the long hours running his business, and being disciplined. No way would he apologize for his success.

His rise to the esteemed top fifteen started as a driver struggling to get experience first in the local and regional races and then on the bigger tracks and speedways. He wasn’t part of a family dynasty, nor had he nurtured business contacts to give him a leg up on the inner workings. Rather it was through dogged determination that he’d earned enough money to take the next step and serve as president of his own small company, Newton Enterprises. He also took on the double role as the key driver for his fleet.

His dream hadn’t changed since the first time he spent the day with his father at a car race. Nothing beat the roar of the engines, the electrifying speed of the cars shooting out onto the track. Each time he got behind the wheel, he channeled that rush of adrenaline to fuel his senses as he strategized his path to the finish line.

Some days he got to the finish line with a few bumps. Then there were those days when nothing fell into place and his car hurtled like a bumper car down the track. The last race shook and rattled his body like a rag doll between a Rottweiler’s teeth. A reaggravated neck injury now had his board of directors and sponsors wringing their hands like nervous Nellies. The investors pushed him to get a quick check-up by one of their recommended specialty doctors.
For Marc, the whole ordeal was a big waste of his time. He was willing to try anything to get out of the doctor’s appointment. However, since he couldn’t, the next strategy was to twist the female doctor around his finger. A flash of his smile and wave of tickets usually netted the results he wanted. And now he wanted a quick exam and an official release to race.

Monday, December 3, 2012


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, Marc's suddenly competing in the most important race of his life…to finish first with Erin!

Also check out my Q&A with USA TODAY's HEA blog where I was the one answering, instead of asking, the questions.

RACING HEARTS is available in book stores and online at the major e-retailers.

Last bit of news...for the moment: SCANDAL, SECRETS AND SEDUCTION is my first e-book published with Amazon and Barnes & Noble. This re-release (formerly Open Your Heart) is also significantly re-edited to create a new series.

Welcome to the Thornton family. On the outside, they are the ideal unit. On the inside, high-level drama runs through the family’s veins.Will Shelly Bishop bring them down? Will they let her? Let the sparks fly.

Past Desire…

Years ago, nurse Shelly Bishop didn’t escape a brutal assault by someone she trusted. She was determined to continue rebuilding her shattered life and confidence, but she never expected that her new patient would be the father of old acquaintance Justin Thornton—or that the brief desire she and Justin once shared would become dangerously irresistible passion.

Forever Love…

Burned by betrayal and heartbreak, Justin had put his entire life into his family’s banking empire and swore to stay clear of emotional complications for good. Little by little, however, he found himself drawn to Shelly’s gentleness and quiet honest—and hoped for a chance to lay both their unhappy pasts to rest. Now, with buried secrets, threat of scandal and a ruthless business rival, Justin and Shelly must risk their fragile trust to at last find the love of a lifetime.

Story content: Explicit language; graphic sex scenes; happy ever after

Enjoy the read; don't forget to hit that "Like" button (online venues).



Book Release: To Tempt A Billionaire

Have you ever had an item on your to do list that never seemed to get completed? For a while To Tempt A Billionaire was on the to do list ...