If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

September Interviews

9/2 Dianne Freeman, A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Murder

9/9 Ellen Byron, Murder in the Bayou Boneyard

9/16 Marilyn Levinson, writing as Allison Brook, Checked Out for Murder

9/23 Rhys Bowen, The Last Mrs. Summers

9/30 Sherry Harris, From Beer To Eternity

September Guest Bloggers

9/19 Judy Alter

WWK Weekend Bloggers

9/5 V. M. Burns

9/12 Jennifer J. Chow

9/26 Kait Carson


Keenan Powell recently signed with agent Amy Collins of Talcott Notch. Congratulations, Keenan!

KM Rockwood's "Secrets To The Grave" will appear in the new SinC Chesapeake Chapter's new anthology Invitation To Murder, which will be released by Wildside Press on 10/6.

Congratulations to our two Silver Falchion Finalists Connie Berry and Debra Goldstein!

Paula Gail Benson's "Cosway's Confidence" placed second and Debra Goldstein's "Wabbit's Carat" received Honorable Mention in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2020 short story contest. Congratulations, Paula and Debra!

Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.

KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.

Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!

Look Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. Margaret's story is titled "4BR/3.5BA Contemporary."

Grace Topping's second novel in Laura Bishop staging series, Staging Wars, was released by Henery Press on April 28th. Look for the interview here from April 29th.

Annette Dashofy's 10th Zoe Chambers mystery, Til Death, will be released on June 16th. Look for the interview here on June 17.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Author Barbara Monajem

Last year, I focused on the Daphne contest’s unpublished finalists, Ann Charles and Polly Iyer. This year, I’ve interviewed published finalist Barbara Monajem for her novel, Sunrise in the Garden of Love & Evil. Please welcome Barbara to WWK.

EBD: Since I’ve never entered a novel contest before, I’m unsure of procedure. Do authors submit their books for consideration or are they nominated?

Barbara: We submit them – or at least that’s the case with the contests I’ve entered. It’s much like entering an unpublished contest – entry form, fee, and fingers crossed!

EBD: Under what category of the contest is your book and why?

Barbara: Paranormal, because Ophelia, the heroine, is a vampire. She’s not the usual undead type, though – I don’t find the idea of undead appealing. (Bad breath! Smell of rot!) Ophelia is a hereditary vampire. She grew fangs at puberty and became sexually irresistible, and it’s made life crazy, to say the least.

EBD: Can you give us its hook?

Barbara: Dark secrets abound in the town of Bayou Gavotte, Louisiana, from blackmail to fetish clubs to murder, and when blood-and-love starved vampire Ophelia Beliveau calls in the police to scare away whoever is desecrating her garden, Detective Gideon O'Toole unearths more than he ever dreamed...

EBD: How will winning a contest help an already published novel and its author?

Barbara: There are two advantages to entering a contest. One is that the judges have to read your book (g), so you get new readers, and if they like the book, they may want to read more. The other is that if you final (and especially if you win), your name and book title will be found in many places as a result – on writing loops, on website announcements, in magazines such as Romance Writers Report and Romantic Times. This differs from contest to contest, but the main thing is that the more often a reader sees a name or title, the more likely it is to stick in her mind.

EBD: The book is available in print and electronic versions. How do you like your publisher, Dorchester Publishing Company, and Love Spell, its imprint?

Barbara: Dorchester is undergoing a major reorganization at the moment. They switched from mass market paperback to e-book / trade paperback the very month my second book, Tastes of Love & Evil, came out. That was disappointing, because the trade paperback will not be out until this fall (a year late) and an anthology I was scheduled to be part of has been postponed. But apart from this, they’ve been great, particularly my editor, Christopher Keeslar, who’s delightful to work with.

EBD: I understand that this book is the first in your Bayou Gavotte Series, and that the second book of the series is now available as an eBook. What’s the title and hook?

Barbara: Here’s a blurb for Tastes of Love & Evil:

Rose Fairburn is on the run. Her vampire nature can’t protect her from everything, especially not herself. Now, when she should be worried about escaping her past, she can only think about one thing. Her kind can’t live without blood or sex. Love they must forego.

Jack Tallis can slake her thirst. Tall. Handsome. Trustworthy. And not a man alive can resist a vamp’s allure. But…Jack can. And he has other secrets, like why underworld hit men are on his trail. How he can vanish into thin air. Love suddenly seems possible, but the shadows hide mysteries darker than Rose can even dream, and all will be revealed in the fetish clubs of one strange Louisiana town…

EBD: You also wrote an award winning historical novel. Tell us about this book. Will you continue to write in both genres?

Barbara: Notorious Eliza is a Regency e-novella published by Harlequin. Here’s a brief blurb:

Patrick needs a respectable new wife to be a mother for his daughter.
Notorious Eliza paints nudes to support her young son.
They should resist their mutual attraction. (They don’t.)
They dare not fall in love. (They do.)
And they must not marry…for Eliza’s most scandalous secret will surface and destroy them all.

Another historical e-novella, The Wanton Governess, will be out in August. Here’s a blurb:

In exchange for a few days’ shelter, dismissed governess Pompeia Grant pretends to be the wife of a man who spurned her years earlier. James Carling, the man in question, is in America, so he’ll never know. And it’s only for a couple of days. And she’s helping a friend, so she’s doing a good deed… But the next day, James comes home.

I have written the third book in the Bayou Gavotte series, and will be writing at least one more. I’m currently working on a couple more Regencies for Harlequin, both of which are sequels to The Wanton Governess.

After reading Sunrise in the Garden of Love & Evil, I can attest that Barbara’s writing is hot and spicy so you may want to sip a cool Mint Julep while reading this Southern flavored novel. Look for Barbara on Facebook, on Twitter @BarbaraMonajem, at her webpage.
E. B. Davis


Polly Iyer said...

Oh, Barbara. Fetish clubs. I must tell Maryn. I love complicated plots, and yours sound intriguing.

What I like about Barbara is that she didn't wait for an agent to fall in love with her books. She forged ahead, found a publisher, and is doing quite well indeed. Good for you, Barbara.

E. B. Davis said...

I read Sunrise in the Garden of Love and Evil. What I liked? The writing and tone of the book fit the plot and characters to a "T." It was a lovely darkly gothic writing style and fit the setting as well.

LOL! Polly-do tell Maryn. It will give her such ideas!

Barbara Monajem said...

Polly, I love complicated plots, too, but they get me into a lot of trouble! Gathering up all the ends and reaching the conclusion - whew! Writing the historical short stories has been good for me -- I had to learn how to write something simple.

I had a hoot writing my postponed novella -- there's a food fight club.:) Maryn is welcome anytime!

Kaye George said...

Congratulations on your successes, Barbara! Put me down for the contest, please. This book has been on my radar for awhile!

Kara Cerise said...

Thank you for sharing information on entering novel contests, Barbara.

I need to figure out how to make a Mint Julep then read Sunrise in the Garden of Love & Evil.

Barbara Monajem said...

Thanks, E.B. It's fun to hear you describe my writing style, because from the inside, so to speak, I have no idea what it sounds like. :)

Barbara Monajem said...

Kaye -- I'm glad to know I'm on somebody's radar! I hope you enjoy Sunrise.

Kara Cerise -- LOL. A tall iced tea would do as well. Or a frozen fruit bar...

E. B. Davis said...

Kara, here's a recipe for a tall mint julep: Crush 4-5 mint leaves with a teaspoon of powdered sugar. Dissolve. Top with a jigger each of water and Bourbon. Mix well. Fill with ice, and drink with attitude!

Kaye George said...

I just printed this out, E.B.!

E. B. Davis said...

It's actually Heather Graham's recipe (in the back of her latest) but I didn't want to mention a competitor's name in Barbara's interview.

But that's an idea for next time Barbara--How do you feel about recipes in the back of books? Nothing whatsoever to do with the writing-but they are kindof fun.

Also--there was this little card that readers could fill out for 2 "free" books and 2 gifts (a $10 value folks!). I read the fine print and they send you the books, yours to keep, but unless you told them otherwise, were signed up in a book club--for purchase of course.

Has anyone every been involved in a book club like that? Why would I let someone choose my books?

Donnell Ann Bell said...

Oh, Puhleeze, Barbara, you're on a lot of folks radar, have been for some time. I'm thrilled at your success, having seen this book in unpublished form and thinking... holy cow... she's good! I expect great things from Barbara Monajem. She's an author to watch!

Kaye George said...

Long, long ago, I belonged to the Book of the Month club. If I did nothing, I'd get the book they picked. If I were on the ball, I could pick a different one.

Recently, BN sent me a coupon for $100 worth of wine! It would be applied to a shipment costing $160 and would sign me up for a case of the month, or something. Into the trash.

Barbara Monajem said...

E.B., I love recipes in the back of books. I've tried some of the ones in Sheila Connolly's orchard mysteries, because I love apples so much.

I think I need to put more food in my stories, if I want to do recipes. I blogged at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen a little while ago. My original plan was to give a recipe for banana cream pie (the food fight club's specialty :~)), but when that story was postponed, I had to struggle to find something related to my new historical instead. Since I'm a total foodie, I have no idea why I forget to dwell on food in my books. :(

Barbara Monajem said...

Donnell -- Thanks! (blush)

I've read part of Donnell's debut novel, out next month -- it's going to be really something! I can't wait to read the rest of The Past Came Hunting...

E. B. Davis said...

OMG-Donnell, I didn't know. Congratulations. You romantic suspense gals stick together, or is this a different genre?

Meanwhile, I realized I'm writing a supernatural romanic mystery-for which there is no shelf in the bookstore! Either more sex and turn it into supernatural romantic thriller or cut out the romance and just have a supernatural mystery--why didn't Charlaine Harris have this problem?

Maryn Sinclair said...

Fetish clubs? I must know more.

I'm thrilled for you, Barbara. Any time you want to swap ebooks, let me know.

Also, Donnell. I think a lot of people are waiting for your book to come out. I know I am.

Kara Cerise said...

Thanks for the mint julep recipe, E.B. A trip to the book store for Barbara's book and I'll be all set for a great weekend:)

Congratulations, Donnell!!

Barbara Monajem said...

E.B. -- Forget the bookstore shelves and write what you want to write! I love mixed-genre books, and I think with the e-pub revolution it will be easier and easier to get the unusual published, even by the big publishers. I sure hope so! I'm always up for something different to read.

E. B. Davis said...

Barbara-After reading agent blogs, one of the first questions they want answered is how do I categorize it. Now I see more paranormal in the mystery section, but anything with romance seems to end up in the romance section even if there is a mystery element. I don't care where it goes. I'm planning on contacting romance agents and mystery agents that have authors who write paranormal. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Barbara Monajem said...

E.B., I seem to find it hard to stick to any one genre, even within a romance series. Sunrise is a mystery, Tastes is more of a thriller, and the next one (Heart of Constantine is the title as far as I know) is about the rock star, Constantine, and I think maybe it's partly psychological thriller, although there's definitely a mystery... hard for me to say where it fits. I think it's normal NOT to write the same thing all the time, which is why I get impatient with the industry wanting too much of the same thing. Not that I don't sympathize -- it's all about what sells -- but it's frustrating all the same.

E. B. Davis said...

Yes--taking a year of your life writing something that won't sell seems like a stupid thing to do. And yet, if you are the one to create a new trend it pays. I hate gambling, and it is a gamble (even if you do gain experience for the next time).

Barbara Monajem said...

E.B., have you considered writing two stories at the same time -- one more the norm, the other less so? I find jumping back and forth between genres or at least ms, although exhausting at times, is actually helpful because when I'm stumped I'm not at a standstill. Each story gets its chance to sit and stew, and by the time I get back to it, I'm ready for it again and it's ready for me.