Feb 23, 2010

Barbara Monajem - Guest Blogger

Please welcome Barbara Monajem, author of Sunrise in a Garden of Love and Evil.  She is here to tell us about her new vampire book and offer a contest. Sunrise is a terrific vampire love story told with lots of humor.

[This contest is closed]

Being Irresistible Sucks
I’ve always thought that being extremely attractive must be inconvenient, to say the least. Not only do beauty and virility fade, but it’s too easy for people to look on the surface and see no further. What about intelligence and sense of humor? What about strength of character? What about genuine mutual liking? The whole idea of being irresistible is fascinating to me, because instead of encouraging true love, it might just get in the way.

Ophelia Beliveau, heroine of my upcoming novel Sunrise in a Garden of Love and Evil, is a vampire, but not really your standard vamp. I’m not crazy about the concept of undead. I’m fine with reading it, but I don’t feel comfortable writing it. There’s always this faint whiff of rot at the back of my mind, making it difficult to concentrate on the romantic aspects of the story. I keep worrying that my vampire will have bad breath! Weird, I know, but there you go. Although Ophelia is definitely amongst the living, she does have fangs, and she loves (and for her own sanity needs) sex and blood. Easy enough for an irresistible woman to get plenty of, right?

Nope. Being irresistible has caused her nothing but trouble – such big trouble that she’s sworn off men forever. This is awfully stressful for Ophelia – she has a drawer full of sex toys and eats a lot of raw meat, but she’s chronically unsatisfied, poor girl. When her garden is vandalized and her life is threatened, hunky cop Gideon O’Toole swears to protect her and get to the bottom of the threats. That’s not all he wants to do, of course, but Ophelia has secrets that mustn’t be revealed, and letting a cop into her life can only bring catastrophe. She’s determined to drive him away.


Gideon left the headlights on and the engine running, got out, and held the door open for his dog. “Put the gun away, Ophelia.” He walked calmly toward her. “It’s only me.”

“I know who it is.” Ophelia’s voice broke, and a tear spilled treacherously down her cheek. “Go away!”


“Don’t call me that! I am not sweet.”

She watched Gideon control himself and start again. “I brought Gretchen to stay with you. She’ll warn you if there’s any danger.”

How had he come up with such a blessed idea? “I don’t need her. Take your dog and go home.” Ophelia bit down hard, piercing her lip, ignoring the blood, fighting tears, wanting the dog like crazy. She felt so alone.

Anguish in his voice, Gideon said, “Ophelia, don’t cry. Honey, you can’t think I’d harass you after what you’ve been through tonight.”

“You are harassing me,” she choked out. “I am not honey. I am poison. Get the hell away.” Gretchen trotted up and stuck a cool nose under her hand. Ophelia’s fingers moved by instinct toward the dog’s curls, but she yanked her hand away, clenching and unclenching her fist, needing and wanting the animal so much it hurt. “Gretchen doesn’t want to stay with me. She’s yours. Take her and go away.”

“I discussed it with her on the ride over, and she agreed to stay with you.”

“That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard in my life.” Ophelia cocked the shotgun. “Get off my property and don’t come back.”

Gideon swore under his breath. “Stupid or not, Gretchen is staying with you.” As if on cue, the dog planted her butt on the drive.

“Damn it, Gideon!” Ophelia let out a scream of rage and fired, kicking up gravel far too close to Gideon’s feet. He didn’t flinch. He didn’t move a goddamn hair. “Don’t you get it?” she yelled.  “I’m trying to protect you from yourself. I am not safe!”

“‘That’s the stupidest thing I ever heard in my life,’” Gideon echoed in bitter mockery. “You could at least come up with an intelligent lie.”

Ophelia opened her mouth and shut it again. Pissing him off was what she wanted. Still, the disgust in his voice tore into her.

“I’m out of here,” he said. “I won’t come back unless you need me.” He turned to the dog. “Stay, Gretchen. Stay with Ophelia.” He got in his car and backed into the turnaround, flinging his last words through the window. “What makes you think I give a damn about being safe?”

If you could have one irresistible quality, what would you pick? A beautiful face? A compelling voice? Undeniable wisdom or genius? Do you think it would be more trouble than it was worth?

Author Bio
Barbara Monajem wrote her first story in third grade about apple tree gnomes. After dabbling in neighborhood musicals and teen melodrama, she published a middle-grade fantasy when her children were young. Now her kids are adults, and she writes paranormal and historical romance for grownups. She lives in Georgia with an ever shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays.

Now for the contest
[This contest is closed]

One lucky commenter will win a copy of
Sunrise in a Garden of Love and Evil and with it a pair of women's Valentine's Day socks!

The contest is open worldwide.

To be eligible do one or more of the following:
* Answer one of Barbara's questions - 1 chance
* Ask Barbara a question - 1 chance
* Link this interview to your own site or a social network site, and be sure to let me know the URL - 1 chance for each link.
*Be a follower - 1 chance
*Be an email subscriber - 1 chance
If your email is not associated with your ID, please put the address in your response.

Contest ends March 9, 2010 at 11:59 PST


Cats on the Shelf said...

Well I would so rather be a genius than a pretty face. Being a genius would rule, I could fly through college and get a nice job!

I'm a follower

catsontheshelf at gmail dot com

mariska said...

+ 1 Answer one of Barbara's questions
==> I would choose be A genius, since pretty face only a skin deep.

+ 1 Ask Barbara a question
==> What's your favorite scene(s) on this book ?

+ 1 http://twitter.com/becunique/status/9515784058

+ 1 a follower

+ 1 email suscriber

cuniquas at gmail dot com

Kimberly B. said...

This book sounds like a lot of fun! If I had to choose an irresistible quality, I would probably choose intelligence. But I think that all of the choices would have their drawbacks, and I'd worry that being gifted with amazing intelligence like that would be cheating.
I'm a follower.
And I subscribe by email.
Thanks for the great giveaway!

Julie S said...

Having a special "power" like that would definitely end up being more trouble than it's worth. But.. I think having a little extra wisdom and beauty never hurt anyone ;)

I'm a follower and an email subscriber. juliecookies(at)gmail.com

SandyG265 said...

I would go for wisdom. It would last longer than beauty.

I'm a follower
Email subscriber

writtenwyrdd said...

+1 What special trait would I like? Intelligence before beauty, because if you are smart, you survive longer. On the other hand, I wonder how bored a smart vampire might get over the millenia versus someone with echoes between their ears?

+1 I follow this blog already.

That excerpt makes me want to read your book!

writtenwyrdd said...

My email's linked to my id, but just in case: writtenwyrdd AT live DOT com

Barbara Monajem said...

Cats - Any edge would be useful in today's job market...

Mariska - I have to pick a favorite scene!!?? Well, now... One of the secondary characters, Ophelia's niece Zelda, gets a lot of exciting moments near the end of the book, and writing her was a blast! I like the kind of scene that sets my heart a-thumping (whether reading or writing), and those certainly did.

Kimberly - LOL. I don't think it would be cheating, because some problem would come along with it, like being too intimidating, for example.

Julie - A little wisdom might make beauty easier to handle...

Sandy - One of the fun things about fiction is that characters can have qualities like wisdom just given to them. We poor mortals have to earn it!

Beth Trissel said...

Hi Barbara! Sounds super! I enjoyed your excerpt and the socks are swell tooo. :) How's this for shallow, make me beautiful!

Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

I'd rather have a sense of humor and intelligence. People that can laugh at themselves and the world seem to be much less stressed and carefree.
Any chance this will be a series?

I'm a follower at Goggle Connect


email subscriber
alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

Pamela Cayne said...

Can I just be Wonder Woman instead? Golden lasso, invisible jet, descended from Amazons--yup, I'll take that, please.

SUNRISE sounds awesome, Barbara, and I can't wait to get a copy. And speaking of beautiful and compelling, how about that stunning cover? Lucky girl!

tetewa said...

I'm a subscriber, count me in! I'd rather be a genius than have a pretty face. tWarner419@aol.com

Andrea I said...

I would love to have wisdom. It would be nice to know what decisions should be made or path to follow.
I noticed you live in GA, north, south or central? I live in metro ATL area.

I'm a follower and subscriber.
Shared on Facebook
http:/facebook.com.Andrea Infinger


katsrus said...

* Answer one of Barbara's questions - 1 chance
I would choose wisdom.
* Ask Barbara a question - 1 chance
Do your ideas just come to you easily?
*Am a follower - 1 chance
*Am an email subscriber - 1 chance
Your book sounds wonderful.
Sue B

Toni V.S. said...

I think I'd rather have a winning personality because even if you're not the most attractive person in the world, if people like the way you act and speak, they'll still flock to you.

My question to you Barbara: What kind of dog is Gretchen? I immediately thought Doberman but you say she has curly hair so she can't be a DObie.

I'm a follower.

I'm also an e-mail subscriber.

And I'd love to have this book. (Laying it on thick.) It's really caught my imagination.

Barbara Monajem said...

writtenwrydd - If a smart vampire gets old and bored, bored, bored, would it be a sign of intelligence to get careless and meet up with a stake? I don't know, but asking questions is fun.

Beth - You already are beautiful, and brilliant, too!

Lisa - Thanks! Sunrise is the first book in the Bayou Gavotte series. The next one is scheduled for September.

Pamela - I hereby grant thee Wonder-Womanhood. What are you planning to catch with that lasso?

tetewa - If I were a fairy godmother, I would give you both. Easy to say, though, because I don't have a magic wand.

Andrea - I live in the Metro Atlanta area, too (waving enthusiastically).

Mona Risk said...

Cute blog and cuter excerpt. Ophelia is an adorable vampire. I am tired of always doing the right thing. For a change let's be wild and give me beauty.

Mary Marvella said...

Well I suppose I might want a special power since I'm beautiful and brilliant. (Didja choke on your drink on that one?)

Were you a good kid or were you into mischief?

This book sounds like a keeper.

The Fuzzies are proud of you.


Barbara Monajem said...

Sue - Ideas are unpredictable. I think the best way to get ideas is to notice all the strange things that happen around us every day and add "what if...?"

Toni - Gretchen is a mutt. She's based on a real dog who belonged to a friend. I'm glad the story caught your imagination!

Mona - You're wild and beautiful - what a dynamite combo!

Judi S said...

This book sounds great! Can I have all of the above? Or how about intelligence to make enough money to make me beautiful? *Grins*

Thanks for the giveaway. I'm a follower and a subscriber.


catslady said...

I like wisdom - geniuses don't always know what to do with it. I think wisdom would cover everything lol.

How many cats own you? - strays or otherwise lol. I have 6 inside cats at the moment and take care of ferals/strays. Love the socks.

I am a subscriber and follower.


Barbara Monajem said...

Mary M - You forgot to mention charming, too!

I was mostly a good kid, but now and then I lost it and did something crazy.

Judi - Have anything you like, but use it wisely, LOL.

Catslady - I have one persnickety house cat and one very affectionate stray who's not really a stray (belongs to someone else) but likes to come begging just to see what he can get.

Spav said...

- I think I would choose to be a genius.
- What were your favourite books from 2009?
- I'm a follower
-I'm a email subscriber


Barbara Monajem said...

Hi, Spav - I read many, many great books last year! However, one book I will mention here is Hope's Folly by Linnea Sinclair. I had never read sci fi romance before, and I just loved it! So now I am savouring my way through all her other books.

donnas said...

I would choose wisdom. Although with perfect hair wouldnt hurt any. :)

What is you favorite part of having a book in print?

Linked here: http://donnasbloghome.blogspot.com/2010/02/contests-found-this-week_22.html and on the sidebar.

Tweeted - http://twitter.com/DonnaS1/statuses/9561787511

I am a follower.

I am an email subscriber.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

buddyt said...

I agree with what most commenters have said so far. I think I would choose wisdom. Everything else could end up being a disaster unless you have the experience and wisdom to use them wisely.

I am a Follower.

I subscribe to the emails.



buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

booklover0226 said...

+1 The irresistible quality I would like to have is to make witty and intelligent small talk. I'm such a wallflower and I have a hard time chatting with folks face-to-face.

+1 My question is, what is your opinion on book trailers? Do you think they help in book sales?

+1 I posted on Twitter...http://twitter.com/bl0226/status/9567701883

+1 I am a follower.

+1 I am email subscriber.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Barbara Monajem said...

donnas - My fave part of being in print is that people like reading my stories. That is a huge thrill.

Carol - Interesting that you mention experience along with wisdom. Now that I think about it, wisdom seems sort of hollow without experience. It might be fun to write about someone who has all the right answers but has no idea why. :)

Tracey - I wish I had an informed opinion about book trailers. All I can say is that although now and then I find one intriguing, I've never bought a book because of a trailer. But then, I don't usually buy a book because of its cover, either (although sometimes the art will get me to pick it up and take a look). Often I will buy a book *in spite* of its cover. So... I'm probably the wrong person to ask.

However, my feeling about book trailers is that if an author enjoys the process of making them, if she finds it creatively challenging and fun, she should do it. That creativity and joy will show through and interest readers in her books.

Janet Robinson said...

Where is the setting for SUNRISE IN A GARDEN OF LOVE AND EVIL?

Barbara Monajem said...

Janet - The story takes place in an imaginary town called Bayou Gavotte in south Louisiana, not far from New Orleans.

SiNn said...

If you could have one irresistible quality, what would you pick? A beautiful face? A compelling voice? Undeniable wisdom or genius? Id have to say honestly it would have to say a beautiful face is onlyskin deep undeniable wisdom a nd genious would maybe be hard to contend with so i think id pick a compelling voice cause if i got tired of it i could speak less

Do you think it would be more trouble than it was worth?It would be because well lets be real humans have a weakness for exploiting others

what a beautiful cover whats your favoritebook covers in all generas and authors

*Im a follower - 1 chance
*Im an email subscriber - 1 chance

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

No need to enter me, ladies. I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you.

Barbara Monajem said...

SiNn - You have an interesting take on things! Hiding a compelling voice would be a lot easier than concealing a pretty face, and power does indeed corrupt, and has a lot of karmic consequences. Maybe we're all better off as we are. Sigh. Fortunately we can be both powerful and perfect in fiction.

Susan - Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I would pick a wonderful singing voice as an irresistible quality.

Barbara, what do you like to do when you're not writing?

I just became a follower of your blog.

I am an email subscriber.


Barbara Monajem said...

Wanda - I like reading! That's about all I get time for. I do like cooking and baking, too, and fortunately that's necessary, so I get to do some of that. And walking the dog, who's a sweetie and great company.

Miss Haley said...

+1 weelll let's see. my fave irresistable quality wouldn't be physical, it would be character. he'd have to be a romantic. because i'm a diehard romantic too :)

+1 what do you think about the cover for your book? did you have any say in it? do you like it? i know authors often don't get much say in the cover :\

+1 old faithful follower :)


Barbara Monajem said...

Haley - I love the cover! I didn't really have any say, but the artist did a beautiful job. I was totally blown away when I first saw it. It still makes me smile.

Katrina said...

I would probably choose to be a genius as well....would be a more fulfilling life and I could make my life better for myself

ykatrina at hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Barbara, sorry I missed the blog on the 14th.

I want to be wise. I always worry about whether I'm making the best decision, be it buying a car or picking a melon.

Connie Gillam

Barbara Monajem said...

Katrina - I love your profile pic! What a happy face.

Connie - Knowing what you don't know sounds like wisdom to me.

misskallie2000 said...

Hi Barbara, I also live in GA so you live in the best State.,,LOL

I would rather be a genius than a beauty. Beauty fades but genius, until old age sets in, stays. LOL

I am a follower

I am a subscriber

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Barbara Monajem said...

Misskallie - Hello, fellow Georgia dweller! Hopefully a lucky genius will age beautifully and stay brilliant. We can always hope!

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