Sunday, December 21, 2014

Happy Holidays! Onward and Upward

So much has happened in 2014 that it is a bit bittersweet to see it close. So much in my writing world has been accomplished. Some of those celebratory moments weren't planned, but were opportunities that I stepped up and grabbed, while, for other milestones, they were part of my goal plans.

For The Readers in 2014

  • Into The Pride was my first foray in urban fantasy, which earned an Evernight Reader's Choice award. 

  • One of A Kind (1st book of Meadows Family), published with Kimani Romance, featuring four cousins and their bid to be independent and finding love on their own terms.

  • Part of the Executive Assistant anthology, as Michelle Rhys, an erotic romance set in the corporate boardroom.

  • Carnival Temptress, part of the Revelers series, on my self-pub platform.

  • Part of the free Tiny Treats Holiday micro reads with A Holiday Miracle.

  • Read and recommended over 150 books for the USA Today Happy Ever Blog

Behind the scenes:

  • Finished writing two out of three novellas for Boroughs Publishing
  • Participated in NaNo with a 50K word (rough draft) book completed
  • Jotting down ideas, collecting several research books for big project.

And what does 2015 bring?

So far it will be...

  • On self-pub platform: Something To Hold, Making Promises, Island Rendezvous (backlist from BET Arabesque books by end of January)

  • One To Love (March), which is the 2nd book of the Meadows family series.

  • Two of three novellas from Boroughs Publishing to hit digital shelves. Release date to be announced.

  • Participating in St. Patrick's Day Tiny Treats Holiday Collection.

  • Participating in 12 Alphas/ 12 Months multi-author box set (July); sequels to my story will be in separate box set in September

  • Participating in Bad Boys on Vacation multi-author box set (July); sequels to story will be in separate box set in September
I look forward to continuing reading and recommending books for USA Today Happy Ever After Book club. And you can be sure that I'm also working on a variety of projects, behind the scenes. Thank you for your support. Feel free to join my newsletter email list to keep updated with my busy schedule.

All the best,


Monday, December 15, 2014

Fall Out Boy -- American Beauty/American Psycho Album

Fall Out Boy is back with a new album: American Beauty/ American Psycho. Earlier this year, they released Centuries. What do I think? My daughter shared her FOB love with me when she was in middle school. We went to their concert at Merriweather about five years ago when they headlined with Hey Monday, Cobra Starship, All Time Low, & Fifty Cent.  Absolutely loved them. Didn't get to the concert this year, timing didn't cooperate with her college classes.

I'm no expert on indie rock. Do I like the songs? Yep. And pretty much that's enough reason for me...cause I said it's good. LOL

Patrick Stump is quoted as saying: "All I can say is, some people will love it. Some people will hate it. The four of us like it a lot, so we're happy."

Pretty much my sentiments with my books, too LOL 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Celebrating--Best Urban Fantasy: Evernight Readers' Choice Awards

Thank you to the readers who remembered this short story, INTO THE PRIDE, and thought positively enough about it to nominate the title in Evernight Publishing Readers' Choice Awards under the urban fantasy category. I'm truly honored and especially appreciative of winning the category.

I look forward to writing more stories that both entertain and remain happy memories with each of you. Cheers, my friends.

Available at major e-retailers and at Evernight Publishing site

Monday, December 1, 2014

December 1 -- Day after NaNoMo2014 Completion

Last year, 2013, I participated in NaNo. I started the process of writing a daily minimum of 1,667 words for 30 days with great enthusiasm. In the first week, I delivered double, even triple the word count. I felt invincible. Second week hit, and the story started flagging. I was writing aimlessly only thinking of the daily goal, instead of the story plot. My project veered in all kinds of directions as I tried to stay the course. But by the end, November 30, I was done. Crawling to the finish line, gasping on fumes, the so-called victory was not pretty. My vow when I hit the button to verify my word count--I would never do this again.

That 2013 novel still sits in a computer file waiting for massive editing to be done. It hasn't quite made into the top five priority of works in progress. But the basis of the story was good and I'm not giving up with getting it polished and salvageable.

So when 2014 NaNo announcements and euphoria hit the social media platform, I screamed, No and Hell no. Never again. That is, until I tried it under Savvy Authors, which is a separate writing circle and a potential feeder pool for submissions to Entangled Publishing imprints. I thought, okay, why not? They had a system in a place, not just to write randomly but to approach the exercise with more focus and better preparation. Synopsis and beat sheets were read and feedback provided, with any more questions welcomed and answered throughout the process.

By the time, NaNo started on November 1, I had a road map of sorts to begin the process. Working in teams, for the various imprints, also provided a lot of support, especially after the initial excitement waned and the hard work was ahead of continuing beyond chapter 3. I love my TeamHussy, we rocked it.

However, I still crawled to the end. But what it did, once again, was show that I can sit down long enough to write substantive words on the screen, every day. This time I also used Scrivener because of a 50% deal they had for the winners, another incentive for me to tackle this software that so many have been encouraging me to use. And I'm now a convert to the software.

So now December is here and it's going to be mainly the editing month for this project. I won't let it sit and grow dust bunnies.

I don't know what the future holds for this particular work. I do like it. I do think it has potential. And I'm looking forward to nurturing it until it bears fruit. Check out my Pinterest inspiration page for the book, temporarily titled Aja and The Bounty Hunter.

Will I participate in NaNo 2015? I have no idea, but I didn't finish the year with a No, never again approach. The exercise did what was probably intended, which was for me to challenge myself to write a 50K (first draft) book in a month. Mission accomplished.

Visualize your unique dreams in your mind, set a timeline, commit the game plan on paper, and proceed one day at a time, one task at a time, then see how far you go to accomplishing it.

One of my dreams -- to be a kick-ass edgy, push-those-boundaries paranormal/urban fantasy author like Sherrilyn Kenyon.

Wishing you (and me), Good luck!

Michelle Monkou


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 ...