1 1. I live in a city - Vancouver - but I often set stories in small towns for the sense of community which echoes what I find in my downtown neighborhood. What about you? Where do you live and where do you set your stories? And why?
Guess what? I grew up in Vancouver! It’s the most wonderful city in the world. Yes, I’m prejudiced, and I miss the mountains and ocean every day. However, so far I haven’t been tempted to set a story there. Now I live near Atlanta, and I’ve never set a story here, either. Instead, I set my stories elsewhere –- such as the imaginary town of Bayou Gavotte, Louisiana, where my paranormals take place, or Regency England for my historical romances. I think this may be because places I know too well don’t allow my imagination to work -- they are way too real to me. I need some distance from reality so I can make things up. :)
2. What's your favorite book ever and why? I have 2 or 3 books that I read over and over again - including Jane Austen's Persuasion. I love it because the characters are older and their relationship isn't easy, but you know, when they do finally get together, they're grown-ups and they know exactly who they are.
There are way, way too many of them. For example, there are at least ten romances by Georgette Heyer that I would call my favorites. I’ve read them all over and over. Same goes for the children’s stories by Arthur Ransome and the mysteries by Dorothy Sayers… and those are only a few of my best-loved authors. More recent authors whose books I love are Loretta Chase and Joanna Bourne (romances) and Lindsey Davis (mysteries).
2. What's the story you've always wanted to write but somehow can't? For me, it's a story about World War I. I'm fascinated by the stories I've read about it but I'm pretty sure I'm never going to write a real war story. I've just finished a book that is set partly during World War I but a very long way away from the battles. I think that's as close as I'm going to get.
I understand your fascination with World War I. I devoured the WWI trilogy by Pat Barker, but I don’t think I could write about that era. It’s just too close and painful. As for what I’d like to write but haven’t… well, I’d love to write historical novels about Anglo-Saxon England and Ancient Rome, but that would involve a lot of research, and research takes a great deal of time. I don’t know if I will ever manage to write them, but it’s fun thinking about those stories all the same.
4. Finally, do you have a routine? If so, what is it and how easy/hard is it to stick to it? I try to have one, but because I work as a freelance paralegal and teach paralegals occasionally, my schedule tends to change from week to week, if not actually day to day. I'm always buying lottery tickets, hoping to win just enough money not to have to work and write to a regular schedule though I'm pretty sure that even if I did have the money to write nine to five, I wouldn't, as I've been scrambling like this forever :)
No routine. If I wake up early enough, I try to delve right into my writing. Otherwise, the day just seems to slip by with other work, chores, etc. I’m pretty useless in the evening, so poof! The day is gone, just like that. I try to catch up during the weekend. (Big sigh.)
My latest release is a Regency Christmas novella, A Lady’s Lesson in Seduction. It will be out on October 1st.
Once a notorious rake, Camden Folk, Marquis of Warbury, is now consumed by desire for only one woman: beautiful young widow Frances Burdett. The Yuletide festivities at his country estate present the perfect opportunity for seduction…
After her brief, unsatisfying marriage, Frances swore never to become tied to another man. Then a passionate kiss under the mistletoe reawakens longings she thought buried forever. Can she give in to the pleasures of the body with a rogue like Cam—without losing her heart?
Frances should never have agreed to go to the orchard with the Marquis of Warbury—to gather mistletoe, of all things. She sent him a fierce, furious glare. “If you must have it, I don’t enjoy kissing.”
He eyed her from behind the apple tree. “Not at all?”
“No.” She pressed her lips together.
“Come now,” he teased. “Surely you’re exaggerating.”
Her voice was low, suffused with passion. “You can’t possibly judge how that—that invasion made me feel.”
“That bad, was it?” The marquis reached up and snipped with his shears. “You’re right, I can’t judge, but the general popularity of kissing tells me you were merely unlucky.” He came around the tree, a sprig of mistletoe in his hand.
What a fool she was; in spite of bitter experience, she wanted to kiss him, wanted kissing to be wonderful. How stupid! She was much better off—much safer—as she was.
He kissed the fingertips of his gloves and blew. “That wasn’t so bad, was it?”
He picked a berry from the mistletoe and dropped it. “We’ll make it a very light kiss,” he said, coming closer. “Short and sweet.”
She didn’t trust him; she wanted yet didn’t want—
A flurry of snow tumbled from the branches above, distracting her. He swooped in, dropped a swift, cold kiss on her lips, and drew away—but not far. “Was that too unbearable?” Another mistletoe berry fell to the snow.
“No, of course not,” she said, “but—”
“Well, then.” He took her hand and pulled her behind the tree. “If you don’t want me to invade you—accidentally, needless to say—you’ll have to keep your mouth shut.”
“You mustn’t do this—”
“Of course I must. No talking.”
She gave up, shutting both her mouth and her eyes. It was her own fault for coming to the orchard this morning, but she’d enjoyed their time together in the middle of the night so very much. It was only a kiss.
Nothing happened. She opened her eyes again. He was contemplating her mouth from under his lashes. “You have lovely lips.”
Through her teeth, she said, “Get it over with.”
“I’ve never kissed a martyr before.” His lips curled in a lazy smile, and then he pressed his mouth coolly to hers and withdrew again. “It requires a more careful approach than we disgustingly hasty men are used to.” He flicked another berry off the sprig.
She couldn’t help but watch his mouth. What was he going to do, and when?
“Close your eyes, and whatever happens, keep your lips together.”
This time his mouth lingered on hers a few seconds, then pressed light kisses from one corner of her lips to the other. Kiss. “One.” Kiss. “Two.” Kiss. “Three.”
My website: www.BarbaraMonajem.com
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