Thursday Word-Slingers – Guest Zee Monodee

Welcome back to another exciting, fun-filled Thursday edition of the Word-Slingers. Minor business, then on to the guest, Zee Monodee. There is a contest (I love these!), so be sure to check it out toward the bottom. Today is the last day to comment for a chance to win a copy of Empi Baryeh’s debut, The Most Eligible Bachelor. Winner to be announced tomorrow. Also, I’m running a contest at Shannan Albright’s blog for Rage & a gift card, along with one at Alexandra O’Hurley’s blog for a copy of Rage. If you haven’t visited/commented, don’t miss out!

Without further ado, I give you Zee Monodee!

First of all, it’s lovely to be here! Thanks for the invite, Tory J (I love having you, Zee!)

1) How long have you been writing?

 Let’s see…About 7 years now. Can’t believe it’s been so much time, yet at the same time, it feels like I’ve been writing forever. I was always story-inclined, and most of my English and French essays at school resembled what we writers would call a synopsis for Harlequin/Mills&Boon J

But actively writing towards publication – that’s 7 years. I started penning a story, with no intention to write more, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I had to do something to keep myself sane between chemo rounds. Somehow, that story veered into a 3-book series on me, and I haven’t looked back ever since.

2) How many balls do you juggle on a daily basis, and how do you manage to keep them all in the air (usually), (ball = work, writing, family, etc.)

I actually wonder if they’re all in the air… JI’m basically a stay-at-home-mum, to not say a “kept woman”, lol. I don’t hold a day job, yet I’m not a desperate housewife either. Hopeless housewife, yes – housework and domestic work mix with me like water and oil. I’m also the designated chauffeur, taking our 2 boys (son is 9, stepson is 13) between school and the gym and jujitsu lessons, etc. 

But the trick, I’ve found, is to have a solid schedule in place. I take care of all my “roles” at their designated time in the day. After being the mum and chauffeur in the morning, I come back to an empty house and immerse myself into being the author and person actively on social networks. Then when it’s time to pick the kids up again, I’m back again into Mummy skin, and once home, I head into the kitchen, until dinner, after which the kids are in bed. If I’m on a deadline, I’ll head back to the laptop to work, if not, you’ll probably find me either spending some time with my husband, and reading a book when he heads to bed at the ungodly hour of 9PM. J 

So yes, it’s all about planning and organizing for me.

3) When is your next release due out and can you tell the audience about it?

I don’t have the release date yet – but in the coming months, Book 2 of my Corpus Bridesseries will be out. Corpus Brides is a romantic suspense/espionage thriller series that focuses on the lives, and love interest, of the clandestine agents in the Corpus Agency, a fictional secret operatives’ agency I invented.

So Book 2 is titled Before The Morning, and though a stand-alone book, it actually is the prequel to Book 1, Walking The Edge, and sets up the events that take place in Book 1. Corpus Brides is a 3-book series, and Book 1 delves into the backstory of the happenings at the heart of the agency that year. It also focuses on Rayne Cheltham, operative name: Kali, a clandestine agent who’s also a highly trained, super-efficient assassin.

When the story starts, Rayne is undercover on a mission when she comes face-to-face with Ash Gilfoy, her childhood best friend, and the only man she has ever loved.

Meeting Ash again tilts her world on its axis, and Rayne knows she can no longer continue being the cold, heartless killer working for the greater good. Yearnings to be a woman – to be Ash’s woman – take over her heart, and this is what she sets out to do, reel Ash in to her side, where he was always meant to be.

Ash however has no clue that Rayne is a spy and an assassin, and without realizing, he falls into the trap Rayne has set for him, ending up as her husband. Suddenly in a squeeze, he also knows he has to make the best of the situation, because sweet and innocent Rayne deserves all the happiness and love in the world.

But hiding your past is hard, and living day-to-day life under a borrowed persona is tedious – as Rayne discovers when she and Ash return into her family’s fold for her sister’s wedding. Yet, her crazy-as-loons family and sociopathic in-laws are nothing compared to the threat that profiles itself on the horizon. Someone from inside the agency does not want Rayne out of the game – they want Kali back, working for them as a mercenary.

Between dodging attempts on her life, dealing with a bridezilla’s entourage, and keeping her past and true identity from her husband, Rayne has her work cut out for her. Staying alive becomes a race, one she isn’t sure she will win…

4) What is it about the romantic suspense genre that you like so much?

You know, I fell into this genre without realizing it. JI started writing Book 1 of the Corpus Brides series, Walking The Edge, which features an amnesiac heroine. At first, I didn’t know what Amelia’s forgotten memory held. But little by little, as she went on the quest for her past, and I was right along with her, we found clues that led us to the world of clandestine agents and espionage. It wasn’t a conscious decision on my part to take that route. I only know I needed some really rattling skeletons in Amelia’s closet, and everything spun from that.

But I grew addicted to the edge present in romantic suspense. I’m not a fan of wallflower heroines or women who don’t stand up and take their destiny in hand, and romantic suspense is a genre where the woman has got to be assertive and ready to kick butt if need be. Then of course, there are the dangerous heroes that people romantic suspense JI’ve always had a thing for Alpha, edgy cops and spies, men with brawn, brains, and physical presence.

Romantic suspense combines both of these elements, and I find I also like to up the stakes, put my characters in jeopardy, toy with their lives literally (I know, twisted… but I cannot help it J).

5) Do you think you’ll move to another genre, and if yes, what to and when?

Well, I also write sweet romance, the old-fashioned kind deep on characterization and with closed bedroom doors – my December 2011 release, Calling Home, is one such story. So I already branch into other genres. My next release in 2012 will be a 1NightStand hot short story coming from Decadent Publishing and titled Once Upon A Stormy Night, with an Indo-Mauritian heroine and a Swedish/British hero, set in the multicultural setting of my island, Mauritius.

I won’t say there’s that same edge as in romantic suspense in these stories – the characters’ lives are not in danger at every chapter – but the romantic stakes are high and I do torture them before giving them that HEA J

I still have another Corpus Brides book to write – Let Mercy Come, Book 3, which will be a stand-alone but also the book the ties the whole series together. After that, I don’t know if I’ll write romantic suspense again. Maybe inspiration will strike… I don’t know. J

6) Silliness 1: Sweet or sour?

Definitely sweet! Some days I crave sugar with the desperation of a junkie!

7) Silliness 2: Chocolate or vanilla ice cream?

Chocolate! Everything’s better as chocolate J

FAN INFO
How can people contact you (email)?
My email is zeemonodee@hotmail.comI also have another addy at zeemonodee@gmail.comI love to hear from fans or even readers who enjoy books in my genre, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with me!
My blog is http://zeemonodee.blogspot.com/I use it as my main base of action online, though I’m also active on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads (find me at all these places as Zee Monodee)
  
Here’s some more about Book 1 of my Corpus Bridesseries, Walking The Edge.

The next step might be the last…
 A woman without a past
 Left amnesiac after an accident, Amelia Jamison struggles as her instincts slowly rise from the depths of oblivion, leading her to question her life as the wife of a cold, manipulating and distant man. Wisps of a dream show her another man she may have known intimately, but is he a memory, or a figment of her imagination?
 A man with too much information
 After many aliases, today Gerard Besson is simply a police commissaire in Marseille. When a mysterious woman starts to follow him, he is suspicious – and intrigued. But things aren’t what they seem, and as he reluctantly gets closer to her, dregs of his painful, buried past emerge and make him question her identity.
 Each seems to have led several different lives
 But neither is prepared for what awaits them when they cross the fine line between knowing your true self and that of your alter ego.
 Danger is the name of the game, and as it catches up with them in the French Provence, both know they better be ready for the inevitable fall.

I like the sounds of it! Woot woot to the Zee!
CONTEST
Zee will be giving a copy of Walking the Edge to one lucky commenter. As always, the contest will be open for a week, with the winner announced next Friday! Don’t miss out on this chance to check out her awesome work (I’ve read some of her stuff – we met through critique group and she’s awesome!)
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