Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday Morsel of Lily & Justin Are Getting Married ~ Wk 5 #amwriting #romancereaders #RomCom #Books

Yay! It's Monday again. Time to chill out for a minute with this week's Monday Morsel of Lily & Justin Are Getting Married.

Lily & Justin Are Getting Married 

~ Monday Morsel ~
Week 5
(Life is perfect ... until the wedding plans begin!)

© Monique DeVere 2013
Crystal Swan Publications
All Rights Reserved

The hall wasn’t drafty, but it wasn’t as warm as the kitchen where they usually congregated. As he knew she would, Faith shepherded them to the kitchen. 
Bright and welcoming in shades of pistachio, avocado, taupe, and yellow, the multi-tone blend bathed the heart of the Harper house in colour and warmth, invited hours of fun conversation around the breakfast table. 
Two pairs of eyes focused on Lily. Ken raised the champagne bottle, while handing Faith the flowers as Lily and Justin pulled out chairs and sat at the table. 
"Is this for a celebration? Or shall I put it in the fridge until we have something to celebrate?"
"You can open it, Dad." Lily reached for Justin's hand across the table, closed icy fingers around his.
For a woman claiming to be excited about their news, she certainly frowned a lot.
"Well?" Faith unwrapped the flowers, stared over her shoulder as she blindly reached for one of the vases she kept in the cupboard beside the large fridge. "Are you going to tell us? Or keep us in suspense?"
Lily glanced at him and ... hesitated? 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Monique's Monday Morsel ~ Wk 4 #amwriting #romancereaders #RomCom

Lily & Justin Are Getting Married 

~ Monday Morsel ~
Week 4
(Life is perfect ... until the wedding plans begin!)

© Monique DeVere 2013
Crystal Swan Publications
All Rights Reserved

Julie tossed her head back and laughed. “I can totally imagine you on the slopes.” She made the swish-swish motion of a pretend skier.
Lily joined in the laughter as she lowered herself onto her cream leather high back executive chair. “If you picture me sliding head first down a half diamond slope, you’d be bang on.”
“I would have paid good money to see that.”
Julie dropped onto a chair in front of Lily’s desk. “So, I’m waiting.”
Lily unzipped her laptop bag and extracted her tablet and keyboard case. “For what?”
She withstood Julie's intense scrutiny for several seconds as she offloaded her paraphernalia from the bag.
“Oh my goodness!” Julie sprang forward. “Why didn’t I guess straight away? It makes perfect sense now I think about it." She swept her arms in a dramatic arc through mid air. "The glow ... the blissful smile ... the pretending not to know what I’m talking about. You’re pregnant!”

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Congrats To Both My Weekend Winners! #ebooks #Romance #Giveaway

Thank you everyone who entered this weekend's Giveaway for the chance to win 1 of 2 Ebook copies of Let's Pretend. We have two winners!

Huge congrats to both my winners. You will each receive a personalised autographed copy of Let's Pretend. You'll discover who you are via email! J

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Win one of two #ebook copies of LET'S PRETEND this weekend! #Readers #RomCom #Romance

I have a Giveaway over at Sammie's Book Club this weekend! 

All you need to do to be in the running to win 1 of 2 ebook copies of Let's Pretend is enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway on Sammie's Book Club, for book lovers on Facebook. Click to ENTER. The Giveaway ends on Sunday night.

Good luck!

* ~*~ *

True love needs no pretence

When A&E trauma surgeon, Dr. Isobel Murphy, married sexy Irish firefighter, Lucas Delaney, she knew it was going to be forever. Unfortunately, she didn’t realise forever would only last five short years. 

Keeping her failed marriage from her family seems like a piece of cake, until her grandmother calls a family gathering and Belle suspects she’s about to announce a critical illness. Making excuses for Luc’s absence, she flies home to Connecticut. Then delicious Lucas arrives for the three-day get-together and Belle knows things are going to get dicey. Especially since he still has the power to make her heart miss a beat, and her stomach bottom out. 

When Belle asks him to pretend they’re still deeply in love, Luc doesn’t have a problem. He sees an opportunity to reclaim the love of his life. And he goes all out to remind Belle how it used to be between them, before long work hours and clashing schedules invaded their marriage. What he needs to know though, is, once the pretence is over, will Belle be applying for her decree absolute? Or will they be renewing wedding vows?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Monique DeVere Has A New Facebook Author Page! Would love 'Likes' #Readers #Romance #RomCom

I have a new Facebook Author Page!

I can't begin to tell you guys the nightmare I've lived through the last three years. Praise God, all is perfect now and life is looking so bright for the future. If you've never had an extremely ill child, you can't know the awful, debilitating sadness it brings to your life. 

As a result, you can imagine how my writing career got shoved aside while I dealt with what I needed to, to ensure my little girl's full recovery. All is well, now, and I'm back to focusing on building my writing career. I've got a couple book out under consideration and, if you read this blog on a Monday, you'll know I'm currently working on a new book.

Here is where you come in. 

I've created a Facebook Author Page, and I'd love it if you would pop over and 'Like' it. There you'll be kept up to date with my books, enter draws for FREEBIES, get autographed books and anything else I feel would be fun to do.

Click HERE to go to Monique DeVere facebook author page.  I can't wait to see you there :)

Thank you so much for your support!

Love & hugs x   

Monday, December 16, 2013

Monique's Monday Morsel ~ Wk 3 #amwriting #romancereaders #RomCom

It's Monday again and time for this week's Monday Morsel from Lily & Justin Are Getting Married, the sequel to More Than Friends.

Thank you everyone who so kindly interacted with me last week! I heart Y you!!! 

Here is this week's morsel. Hope you enjoy it and please don't forget to say "hi" below.


Lily & Justin Are Getting Married 

~ Monday Morsel ~
Week 3
(Life is perfect ... until the wedding plans begin!)

© Monique DeVere 2013
Crystal Swan Publications
All Rights Reserved

“We haven’t even told our parents yet.” Lily let her lips trail his newly shaved jaw, breathed in his light aftershave. “We can’t just up and leave without giving them an opportunity to share the day with us.”
They were supposed to be getting ready to go out to dinner with the others. But as she’d grown to accept, Justin’s insatiable appetite for her made them late for everything. 
“Okay, we’ll tell our parents.” He lightly clasped Lily’s upper arms and held her so she met his uneasy gaze. “But don’t be surprised if my mum tries to take over.”
Lily smiled, fizzing with love and confidence. “Don’t worry. I can handle your mum.”
Justin’s chuckle was full of doubt. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you, Lil.”
She had no worries.
She and Justin were getting married and they’d have the exact wedding they wanted. She welcomed that both their mums would want to help plan the wedding. After all, she was her parents’ only child and Justin was a first-born. Of course, the mums would be excited about the nuptials. But ultimately the day belonged to Lily and Justin and they’d have their perfect day.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Pull Up A Chair With Mon Blog Series. Let's Talk About: Asking/Paying For Reviews #Authors #Writers #Blog

Asking/Paying For Reviews

A while back, this was a big discussion amongst many author groups. While many authors vary in their opinion and level of sheer gumption of how far they’re willing to travel down the road of dishonesty to sell their books, I think many are missing one simple fact.

I don’t see the point of having my “friends” say something nice about my books just because I smile, say pretty please and they like me enough not to want to hurt my feelings. I’ve had one or two requests for reviews on books I really couldn’t bring myself to give. I consider myself an honest person and one who has a code of honour. I can’t in all honesty say wonderful things about a book when I just deleted it off my Kindle because it was a waste of valuable megabyte space.

It’s all well and good to snag yourself a bucket load of 5* (star) reviews, but have you thought beyond the initial—My-book-has-a-trillion-5*-reviews?

What happens once all the 5* reviews do the job you hoped they would, and increase book sales? What happens when real readers read your amazing can’t-dare-put-it-down-and-go-to-sleep book?  

Personally, I think every author is entitled to conduct his/her business as she sees fit. However, I would never go that route to obtain reviews because there’s one thing most authors forget—and this is the fact I mentioned above—you can fool SOME of the people SOME of the time, but you can't fool ALL of the people ALL of the time.

What do I mean by this?

It’s all well and good to get favoured-reviews by friends or by payment, or nice-nice exchange. You know the ones I mean: you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours—wink-wink ;)

But the public will then purchase, and read, your fantastic book on the strength of those reviews. Impartial, she reads your book and decides for herself if the reviews are true. If the book doesn't stand up to her preconceived expectations, she will do one of three things.

1. Give you an awful review, in which she warns other readers that the reviews aren’t true reflections of the book. (I've seen this several times).


2. Never purchase another book by the author. She feels betrayed and let down by the reviewers, the author, and the book.


3. Do both of the above, but make waves (troll) until she feels satisfied.

Like I said, you can only fool someone once. Imagine if tons of 5* reviews came from friends, or readers who were cajoled in some way and feel obligated to say something nice about the book. Or from paid reviews, plus one or two 3* or 4* independent reviews. Other readers will go ahead and buy the book. If they hate it, they will never purchase another book you write. Eventually, in order to sell again, you’d have to change your name. :)

This is only my opinion and a worst case scenario. I guess ultimately, the author needs to decide if her book is indeed fab enough to withstand the weight and expectations of all the 
5* reviews.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Wait: Seven Weeks And Counting... #Romance @MillsandBoon #Books #HarlequinKISS

It's now been seven weeks since I emailed my partial of Sexiest Eye Candy To Lust After to Harlequin Mills & Boon. 

I was fine to wait the 24 weeks they advise, until someone mentioned that one of her friends heard back within seven weeks! You can imagine now I've hit the seven week mark, I've started writing my latest WIP with one eye on my Inbox. 

I keep telling myself it's unlikely I'd hear so soon. 

Why doesn't that assurance work??

On one hand, I like the wait because it gives me a chance to finish the two projects I'm working on, then possibly have a second finished MS for the KISS line by the time I hear back on the partial of Sexiest Eye Candy

The flip side is that I'd love to hear quickly so I haven't got a polished MS sitting on my hard drive collecting cyber dust-bunnies. You would think the pressure of getting out two new MSs would keep me too busy to Inbox watch, wouldn't you?


I'm a seasoned Inbox Watcher, me. Day and night my email Inbox is on full stalk alert. And the great thing is the new Yahoo email auto-refresh so I don't have to waste time doing the job. 

I'd like to say I'm not chewing my nails and drinking way too much tea, but sadly that is the place I'm at. I'll let you know the outcome of my sub as soon as I know.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Monique's Monday Morsel ~ Wk 2 #amwriting #romancereaders #RomCom

It's Monday again and time for this week's Monday Morsel of Lily & Justin Are Getting Married.

Thank you everyone who so kindly interacted with me last week and for all the birthday well wishes--here, privately and on Face Book. I treasure your support.

Here is this week's morsel. Hope you enjoy it and please don't forget to say "hi" below.


Lily & Justin Are Getting Married 

~ Monday Morsel ~
Week 2
(Life is perfect ... until the wedding plans begin!)

© Monique DeVere 2013
Crystal Swan Publications
All Rights Reserved

He removed the engagement ring from its nest, held it out to Lily who offered him her left hand. He took her trembling hand in his steady grasp and positioned the ring at the tip of her third finger. 
Lily held her breath, heard Mel’s low murmur of awe. 
Sandy’s, “This is so romantic.” 
And just as the ring approached her second knuckle a snowboarder whisked past them, spewing a tidal wave of snow over Lily and Justin.
“Watch it!” Cam shouted after the snowboarder who was too far away to notice, or care, that he’d just ruined Justin’s proposal.
All the while Justin stared at Lily open-mouthed.
When Lily got over the initial shock, she gasped. The sudden arc of snow pelting over them had jolted her and she’d knocked the ring out of Justin’s hand. It was now somewhere in the snow between them.
“Don’t anyone move!” She hardly dared to breathe in case it somehow buried the ring further into the snow.


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Pull Up a Chair With Mon. Let's Talk About: Character Emotion vs Reader Emotion #amwriting #Writetip #blog #writers


“It’s not about what happens to people on a page; it’s about what happens to a reader in his heart and mind.”~Gordon Lish

I agree with Gordon wholeheartedly. While we as readers enjoy reading about people we like to feel something. It is the author’s job to fulfill that longing in his/her reader. Character emotion does not equate to reader emotion.

If a character laughs in a novel I’m reading, it doesn’t make me laugh. It simply points to the fact that the character finds something funny. However, if the character does something that tickles me, I’ll be sure to giggle.

If you are relatively new to writing you might be wondering how do we, as writers, engage our readers emotionally?

I would say visceral reactions are the answer.

Surprise your reader. Make her curious, get her involved enough to become interested in what will happen next. Encourage her to anticipate what the character’s subsequent action might be. Get her excited, make her fear the worse, ramp up the tension, make her laugh, amuse her, make her empathize with your characters, fascinate her, intrigue her, give her hope and make her care.

But most of all entertain her! You do that, and chances are she won’t be able to put down your book. She might even find it unforgettable.

It is not enough to hope that by making your character laugh, cry, get mad, that your reader would experience the same emotion. Because your character is scared doesn’t make the reader scared. To draw the reader’s reaction we must tug at their visceral emotions.

Visceral emotions are the emotions/feelings you wish your reader to experience while reading your story. The ones you experience when reading a good book. The ones I mentioned above.

Ernest Hemingway said something that many new writers don’t realise. “When you have learned to write for the reader, it’s no longer easy to write.”~Ernest Hemingway.

As a teen, I remember when I first started writing, I found it so easy to bash out a story. I had nothing to consider except my own entertainment. Writing seemed effortless and I fell in love with everything I wrote. Then the rejections started flooding in and I soon learned the fundamentals of creating a story. All the rules, techniques, and craft of storytelling. Then it wasn’t so easy to dash off a story anymore. I now had to consider the reader. Examine every word and scene to ensure it comes over smoothly for my reader. That she might experience emotion and entertainment when she reads my book.

The last thing I wanted was to fall prey to the thing Larry Niven warns about: “The reader is entitled to be entertained, instructed, amused, maybe all three. If he quits in the middle feeling his time has been wasted, you’re in violation.”~Larry Niven

Give your characters compelling conflicts, make them change and grow. Use subtext, set up and reveal, back-story (filtered in, not info dumped J), give your characters traits, flaws, motivations, wounds and goals.

This biz is about delivering emotion and woe to us who forget that fact!

Here is your mission should you wish to accept it: evoke strong, vivid emotions in your readers! Take them on a roller-coaster ride of emotional ups-and-downs, the pull/push of tension and release. In other words, give her a memorable experience!

I leave you with this quote from Paul O’Neil as inspiration. Like any great piece of writing, it’s very evocative:

“Always grab the reader by the throat in the first paragraph, send your thumbs into his windpipe in the second, and hold him against the wall until the tagline.” ~Paul O’Neil

Monday, December 2, 2013

Monique's Monday Morsel ~ Wk 1 #amwriting #romancereaders

So I promised my readers a weekly morsel of Lily & Justin Are Getting Married, starting on my birthday--TODAY! Yay!!

Each Monday, I shall give a morsel of the story as I go along. I hope you enjoy glimpses of Lily & Justin's follow-up story. We first met the couple in More Than Friends. Now we're revisiting them to see what happens next.

I'd really love to interact with you, so please let me know what you think of each Monday's Morsel in the comments section below. Please don't leave without at least saying hello :).

Lily & Justin Are Getting Married 

~ Monday Morsel ~
Week 1
(Life is perfect ... until the wedding plans begin!)


Life with Justin Knight is fantastic. Lily Harper couldn’t have chosen a more wonderful man. He’s attentive, charming, and successful, and he loves her as much as she loves him. He even proposes on a ski slope in the French Alps.

So what’s the problem?

Nothing about their wedding plans is as Lily imagined. For starters, she hasn’t factored in the possibility of Justin’s mother hijacking the wedding, or Justin’s former girlfriend turning up to make a play for him. Soon, everything Lily holds dear starts to unravel and her old insecurities and doubts return to plague her. 

Justin can’t believe his luck in finding a woman like Lily, or that he got her to agree to marry him. Things couldn’t be more ideal...until the wedding plans begin, and he discovers a secret that could change everything. 


Chapter 1
© Monique DeVere 2013
Crystal Swan Publications
All Rights Reserved

There was nothing ladylike about the tumble Lily Harper took. 

Perhaps if she’d listened to Justin’s instructions, rather than gawp at him like a love-struck snow bunny, she would now have the skills she needed to control her skis on the slope without pitching headfirst down the snow-covered hill. 

It wasn’t her life that flashed before her eyes, as she plummeted down the Alpine ski slope, it was her romance with Justin. Theirs had started with complications. When they first met, Justin had been dating her best friend, and she’d been in a relationship, too, yet it hadn’t stopped the spark of attraction between them. An attraction they’d both ignored until the night they were single and she’d gotten drunk, catch a cab to his swanky apartment, and offered to bop him on the nose for dumping her friend.


Do come back for the next Monday Morsel instalment.