Thursday, September 15, 2011

Q&A Interview and Giveaway with Monica Burns

Hey there Book Monsters and Literal Addicts! Book Monster Reviews and LITERAL ADDICTION are very pleased to welcome award-winning author Monica Burns to our sites today.

An award-winning author of erotic romance, Monica Burns penned her first short romance story at the age of nine when she selected the pseudonym she uses today. From the days when she hid her stories from her sisters to her first completed full-length manuscript, she always believed in her dream despite rejections and setbacks. A workaholic wife and mother, Monica believes it’s possible for the good guy to win if they work hard enough.

Monica is a survivor, and it’s a topic she has become well versed in. A survivor of date rape at the age of 19, writing erotic romance has aided her in the life-long process of healing. Her writing has helped her reclaim some of her self-worth. Read more...
Monica has suffered from bipolar disorder since childhood, but was not diagnosed until much later in life. The condition according to the National Institute of Mental Health affects 5.7 million American adults or about 2.6% of the population (18 years and older). Read more...
Her most recent tale of survival is her diagnosis of the genetic disorder Long QT syndrome and subsequent heart defibrillator implant. Her determination to overcome these challenging life experiences is a reflection of her belief that there truly are happily ever afters. Writing romance is a therapeutic process as it allows Monica to explore the themes of hope, trust and love in her work. She believes romance books empower women to believe in themselves and that their only limitations are the ones they set for themselves.

Monica made her first sale in 2004. She is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and was a 2005 RWA Golden Heart Finalist, as well as winner of the 2009 EPPIE for Best erotic historical romance. In June of 2011, she received the PRISM award for Best of the Best and first place. She has consistently earned top reviews from RT BOOKreviews and other reviewers.
Monica holds a bachelors of science degree from Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Mass Communications.

Monica writes historical and paranormal romance novels.  Her paranormal romance series the ORDER OF THE  SICARI  has won numerous awards and has gotten rave reviews.  It has been said that the ORDER OF THE SICARI is  “A uniquely smart, erotically sexy stand-out read!” and that  “This is a definite reread. The series is on line with the Black Dagger Brotherhood...give this series a try, it won't disappoint.” 

Well, I know after that statement you will definitely want to learn more about the Sicari Brotherhood so let's take a look at a brief synopsis of the first two books in the series "Assassin's Honor" and "Assassin's Heart" and the upcoming release "Inferno's Kiss" which will be released on October 4, 2011.

Assassin's Honor (Book #1) synopsis -

Archeologist Emma Zale sees the past when she touches ancient relics. It’s how she uncovered evidence of an ancient order of assassins—the Sicari. When a sinfully dark stranger shows up on her Chicago doorstep demanding an ancient artifact she doesn’t have, he drags her into a world where telekinesis and empaths are the norm. Now someone wants her dead, and her only hope of survival is an assassin who’s every bit as dangerous to her body as he is to her heart.
Ares DeLuca comes from an ancient Roman bloodline of telekinetic assassins. A Sicari, he’s honor bound to kill only in the name of justice. But when the woman he loved was murdered, Ares broke the Sicari code and used his sword for revenge. Love cost him dearly once before, and he’s not willing to pay the price again. At least not until hot, sweet, delectable Emma walked into his life. Not only does she hold the key to a valuable Sicari relic, she might just hold the key to his heart.

Assassin's Heart (Book #2) sysnopsis -
The truth of the soul. 
Lysander Condellaire never understood why he had telepathic and telekinetic powers until the night his Praetorian father tortured him and left him for dead. Now, the half-angelic, half-demonic face he sees in the mirror is a reminder of the monster he must keep hidden or face expulsion from the order of assassins know as the Sicari. But his dreams of Ancient Rome hint at a destiny he finds hard to accept, especially when it involves the woman he loves, but can never have.
The consequences of desire.
A gifted healer in the Order, Phaedra DeLuca witnessed her mother’s murder when she was just a little girl. The haunting memory makes her loathe everything Praetorian. When she travels to Rome in search of an ancient artifact, she must work alongside a man who once cruelly rejected her love and healing touch. But her dreams of Ancient Rome tell of an irreversible and possibly dangerous future. For the distant past and present are about to collide--with the one man she is destined to love.

Inferno's Kiss (Book #3) synopsis -

The laws of desire…
 Dante Condellaire, heir apparent to the Sicari Lords, knows that being a true leader means sacrifice. For Dante it was relinquishing all erotic pleasures. But he never expected his willpower to be tested so fiercely by Cleopatra Vorenus, expert assassin of the Order, and daughter of the man he is positioned to succeed. 
The rules of battle…
 Cleo prefers working alone—until she meets Dante who shares her goal: to destroy a Praetorian stronghold where Sicari women are imprisoned for devious purposes. Bringing the mission off without a hitch pumps up more than their resolve. It sets off a sexual spark too combustible to ignore. 
Are all made to be broken.
 As their attraction flares like an inferno, the stakes are raised. So are the risks. Before the mission is over, Dante and Cleo will be plunged into a dangerous conspiracy where a traitor threatens the very foundation of the Order, as well as the fiery bond between Dante and Cleo—warriors and lovers now torn between duty and desire.

WOW!  They sound great don't they?  Let's get to the interview now so we can learn more about the Sicari Brotherhood and the amazing woman behind the books….


Book Monster Reviews/LITERAL ADDICTION:  Hi Monica!  Thank you so much for stopping by and chatting with us!  We’re so happy to have you with us today!

Monica:  Thanks for having me. It’s always fun to chat romance, especially when I can remember a time when I had *no one* to talk with about my love for the genre.

Book Monster Reviews/LITERAL ADDICTION:  We always like to start out by getting to know you a little bit better.


Q1):   Can you tell us 3 things about yourself that we can't find out on the internet, in your bio, etc?

Monica:  Three things. That’s hard because I’m pretty open online (Read - I can’t keep my mouth shut! LOL) Let me think.
I hate bananas. Same for peanut butter. Can’t abide the smell or the taste of either one.
I went skiing on the Zugspitze (the highest mountain in Germany), and came down on a stretcher with a sprained ankle. Was on crutches for the rest of my stay there, but it didn’t stop me from visiting Neuschwanstein Castle or Linderhof the same weekend.
I have walked on fire, 1300 degree coals to be exact. I did a firewalk in the early 90s.

2)  You wrote your first romance story at the age of 9, thats amazing!   Do you remember what the story was about and can you share it with us?

Monica:  I can only remember a couple of things. One it was a pirate story and two, I remember the heroine being tied to the mast while there was some sort of battle going on. I do remember the hero vividly. Tall, dark, and handsome. LOL

3)  When did you know that writing was something you wanted to do as a career?

Monica:  I’ve always known it was what I wanted to do. I just had too many people telling me I couldn’t do it, and I didn’t have any connections with other romance writers for support. So I bought into the idea that I’d never sell. Only one person (my Baby sister) ever believed in my ability to be published. It’s why I dedicated my first NY traditional publishing book, Kismet, to her.


4)  What inspired you to write a novel in the paranormal romance genre?

Monica:  Truthfully? My agent suggested I write paranormal because that was what was selling so strong. The popularly of Historicals was declining, and my agent wanted to sell me to New York.

5)  What are some other hobbies and interests you like to do when you're not writing?

Monica:  Camping, although I still write then, sitting in the fresh air working on my laptop listening to the quiet sound of distant voices, wood being chopped and the scent of a campfire. I also love rollercoasters and try to ride as often as I can, DESPITE, my cardiologist’s wish for me not too. I have a defibrillator in my chest.

6)  Do you have any interesting writing quirks?

Monica:  I write best in complete silence, and when my desk gets too cluttered, it’s impossible for me to write.

7)  Who are some of your favorite authors and series?

Monica: I love Anna Campbell, she writes angsty historical like me. As for paranormal. Christine Feehan and Anne Rice. Ever read Rice’s The Mummy!?!? It’s a wonderful romance with some truly dark undertones.

8)  You have a very inspirational story of surviving and overcoming some horrible and challenging events, and I must say that we truly admire the strong, determined woman you are.  Is there any advice you can give to others out there that may be struggling with the same or similar situations?

Monica: It’s not your fault. Do not take the blame for someone else’s act of violence. That’s the hardest thing to do, and that challenge will never go away. That idea that “if I hadn’t done this…” Strength comes from within, and you can and will survive.

9)  Can you please give us some more detailed information about who the ORDER OF THE SICARI are and what it is that they do?

Monica:  That’s a tall order given the scope of the series, but here goes. My heroes and heroines are descendants of ancient Romans who were once members of the Praetorian Guard, before there was a power struggle in the Guard. The fight revolves around the ability to possess both telekinetic and telepathic abilities.

The villains in the series are called Praetorians who hid behind the cloak of faith and abused the power of the Church to label the Sicari as outlaws and hunt them down.

My Sicari have been fighting to survive for almost 2000 years. In the beginning they became assassins to survive. Now they assassinate only the dregs of society from drug dealers, sexual assailants, mobsters and other vermin.

9) Where do you get your information or ideas for the series?

Monica:  I was watching HBO’s series ROME. I needed to pause the DVE. I reached for the remote and realized it was four feet away on my desk. When I got out of my Laz-Boy armchair to get the remote I was wishing I had telekinetic abilities. That’s when it hit me.

10)  How many books do you have planned for the series?

Monica: Unfortunately, Berkley hasn’t expressed any interest in continuing the series. I’m hoping that as time progresses, I’ll have writing time to write several more stories. There are a couple that I’d love to do about an inner power struggle with the Praetorians themselves. I’d like to show more of who they are. There is always good and evil in everything, and so far, all I’ve been able to show are the evil Praetorians.

11)  What can we expect as the series progresses?

Monica:  If I’m able, I want to write Marta and Draco’s story. Marta is a survivor and Draco is the man who struggles to save her.

12)  Who is your favorite character amongst the Sicari Brotherhood and why?

Monica:  Lysander. I love all my characters in the Order of the Sicari series, but there’s something about Lysander that grabs my heart. His story practically wrote itself. It was the easiest work I’ve ever written I think. It just flowed, and I think it’s one of my best books ever.

13)  Is there a character in the series that you are finding it a challenge to write about?

Monica:  I found Dante to be a challenge. I’d just finished writing one virgin hero, and here I was attempting to write another. A man who “chose” to take a vow of celibacy, and how he deals with his growing attraction to Cleopatra, the daughter of the Sicari commander-in-chief who is also his mentor. I was also going through a difficult personal struggle at the time I wrote this book

14)  What's next for Monica Burns?  What do you have planned in the upcoming months?

Monica:  Later this month, I’m reissuing a really hot historical novella, first published in 2005. Love’s Portrait is one of my favorite novellas. Morgan is ALL alpha and incredibly sexy. I love him. Then, as you know, the third book in the Order of the Sicari series, Inferno’s Kiss, will be released October 4th.

I’ll be attending Lora Leigh’s RAW (Reader Appreciation Weekend http://www.readerappreciationweekend.com/) in October, Readers & ‘Ritas in November, and I’m planning on attending RT in Chicago this coming April.

I’m also currently working on a proposal for a historical series, so I’ll be pretty busy for the next six to seven months.

15)  Is there anything specific you would like to say to your readers?

Monica:  Thank you. Without your support in buying my books, I wouldn’t be able to keep writing. There are few writers who are able to actually earn a living writing. Most writers, like me, work full-time day jobs then come home to write in addition to other family responsibilities. I thank you for your support. It means a great deal to me on so many levels. And if you love to chat like I do, be sure to visit me on Facebook. I post every day, sometimes two and three times.

Thank you so much Monica for taking time out of your busy schedule to sit down and talk to us.  We wish you the best of luck with the release of "Inferno's Kiss" on October 4 and we would love to have you back again in the future.
Monica:  Thanks so much for having me and spotlighting Inferno’s Kiss. I hope everyone enjoys the new book and be sure to look for Love’s Portrait on sale at the end of September for $.99

If you would like to find out more about Monica and THE ORDER OF THE SICARI series you can visit her at any of the sites below.




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CONTEST:  Monica is giving away a copy of "Assassins Heart" to a winner from Book Monster Reviews.

To Enter: Make sure you are a follower of the BMR Blog and then post a comment on the interview and make sure you leave a valid email address. Any comments without an email address will NOT be entered into drawing. You must also be a follower of the BMR blog. GOOD LUCK!!!!
Don't forget to drop by the LITERAL ADDICTION website (http://www.literaladdiction.com/) and follow the directions and links to enter their contest for an extra chance to win!!!

23 comments:

Cecilia said...

Awesome interview! Definitely a series to check out

ceciliajansink@gmail.com

SdyLion said...

What an incredible looking series! I cannot wait to check it out. Thanks for the interview, sdylion(at)gmail(dot)com

Ren said...

Thanks for sharing your experience and for the interview too. If Berkley no longer interested to continue Order of The Sicari, are you plan to self publish it?

Thanks for the giveaway!
Ren

sawamura_foxman AT yahoo DOT com

Na said...

Thank you for the interview. You have touched on so many genres with your stories I am going to need to read one of them soon. I admire both your personal and professional accomplishments. Very inspiring.

Cambonified (at) yahoo (dot) com

Victoria said...

Thanks for the great post. This looks like a wonderful series. Will check it out. Thank you .

vsloboda(at)gmail(dot)com

elaing8 said...

Enjoyed the interview.I have this series on the TBR list.Those are hot covers too.
elaing8(at)netscape(dot)net

Proserpine said...

Hi! These books sounds great! Like the interview! Thanks! :)

proserpinecravedfor(at)hotmail(dot)com

Danielle Gorman said...

Great interview. I can't wait to read this book. I actually have the whole series on my wish list and hope to pick it up soon.

iqb99@yahoo.com

Mary said...

Hi Monica!
Don't enter me in the giveaway..I already have 2 autographed copies of Assassin's Heart...LOL :)

You don't like peanut butter or bananas? Elvis is not gonna be happy to hear that. LOL

Lysander is my favorite too.

LIESA said...

Wonderful interview! I can't wait to read these books!!


liesa008@comcast.net

Cath said...

The best stories come from those who have lived....triumph over adversary :)
Great interview
cbcowley@gmail.com

Sheree said...

Thank you for sharing your life experiences.

ironss [at] gmail [dot] com
GFC follower

alainala said...

these books look really really good, and thanks for the interview as well as the contest..

alainala@ hotmail DOT ca

kayla said...

i would love to win this

kaylalovesandrew09@yahoo.com

Lori in Philly said...

Well Tall dark and handsome sure works for me short is not bad either (Hubby was peeking over my shoulder) Thanks for writing ,the covers look very inviting can't wait to peek inside.
Lilcrowgifts@aol.com

Anonymous said...

Would love to get this!

mks29303@yahoo.com

Marsha said...

Would love to get this!

mks29303@yahoo.com

*yadkny* said...

Great interview! I've not read anything by Ms. Burns, but after reading this post... I really want to now:) Thanks for the giveaway!

*BMR Blog Follower
yadkny@hotmail.com

Linda said...

I have to say that even at the tender age of nine you sure had good taste in men!

thumbelinda03@yahoo.com

Trish said...

Thanks for the interview!

trishlynn321(at)yahoo(dot)com

MamaBear41499 said...

Im so looking forward to getting started reading some of her books ! They are definitely on my to be read list !

Laurie Foley

MamaBear41499@aol.com

Michelle said...

I haven't read these yet but they do sound good. Nice covers too! I hope you do get time to write the next books so you can finish the story.

mmcmichael79(at)googlemail(dot)com

winnie said...

I have heard great things about these books. Thanks for the giveaway!

GFC follower
chibipooh(at)gmail(dot)com