Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Monica Burns GuestBlog: B(C)FF*

CONTEST TODAY!!! 1 LCB wins a copy of "Dangerous," and another LCB wins a copy of "Mirage" courtesy Monica! Non-US rezzies win e-copies. Pls. include email addie in comment or profile to enter.

From Monica: Some of you Bellas I’ve had the pleasure of meeting face-to-face, LeeAnn, Evie, JulieO, MaryKate, Rach, Stace, KateP, Portia and others. And there there’s Queen Bella who I met way back when, 2005 I think. QB, has it really been that long? For those of you I’ve yet to meet in person, I’m certain we’ll meet one day. It’s inevitable that women who love romance will meet and become friends.

That’s what I thought we’d chat about today. Friendship. Meeting women like the Bellas is something I never dreamed of when I first started writing/reading romance. Growing up, I had no one to talk to about romance books, and I sure as hell couldn’t tell anyone I was writing romance. People laughed at me all the time for reading “those sappy” books. My grandmother, who loved romance, was 1000 miles away. And back then, they didn’t have unlimited calling plans! LOL I wonder what my grandmother would think about my upcoming Berkley Sensation, "Kismet." It might have been a bit too risqué for her, but we’d definitely have something to talk about *grin*. (See why here.)

So imagine my delight, when I discovered there were readers and writers of romance on the Internet. It was like hitting the Mother Lode. I mean I’d finally found a place I could call home. I felt like Altair, the hero in my current print release "Mirage ." Altair didn’t really belong anywhere at all until he met my heroine Alex. When these two got their happy ending, he realized he’d finally come home. Home to a woman who was his best friend/lover forevah! Naturally, they go through a lot of shitake mushrooms to get their HEA, and there’s lots of excitement to be had in reaching that final ahh…sensation. But the key moment for me in "Mirage" is when Altair knows he’s really come home. Friendship’s like that.

Here on RBTB and in other sectors of the romance community, I’ve developed friendships with others who love talking romance and having thoughtful, funny, warm and insightful debates about the genre. As a writer, I’m lucky to know so many with whom I can share my love of storytelling. I get a kick out of sharing my excitement with people who understand why I’m pumped about any new story I write. You understand and want more when I tease you with tidbits about my alpha heroes. Who else but friends will listening to me wax ad nauseam about my 2010 paranormal series set in places like Chicago, Rome and Venice. Who else will “get” the line that sword play for survival and loving is a given with these alpha males. I’ve been deeply enriched by being able to share my love of romance with so many. And you, Bellas, are part of that wonderful tapestry that encompasses all my romance community friendships. Thank you for the friendship.

So tell me as a romance reader or writer, have you developed strong, lasting friendships in the romance community? Ever met a cyberspace buddy in person? Were you nervous when you met face-to-face? Have your cyber friendships evolved to daily emails, phone calls or weekly Starbucks meets if you’re in the same town?

*Best (Cyber) Friends Forever
Historical romance like Monica's rocked the Historical Novel Society's North American conference last weekend. Check out Michelle's take on why HNS respects romance here, and if you love historical romance fiction, think about joining this awesome group.
Click here for agent/author Deidre Knight's important article on e-publishing.


Myrin said...

Hi Monica, good to have you here! I love getting to know new-to-me authors and fall in love with their work (matches the topic, doesn't it?).

As for your questions, I could write a book about it (no romance, though,*g*).

I never would have though I'd ever have something like cyber-friendships, I'm not usually the kind of girl to chat.

I started reading romance at 15 and I think I've been pretty alone with it, then. I'm still alone with it, I presume, or at least no one of my friends or acquaintances have ever admitted to read romance. I was a very loney girl...

Okay, stop that, of course not, but I really had no one to talk with about my reading passion. But then I started reading English romances (I'm from Germany) and gradually got to visit the websites of my favourite authors. And tadaaaah, a new world open to me! There were people like me who've read the same books as I have and with whom you can chat about it all.

I'm a regular visitor of The Goddess Blogs and by now (besides RBTB and RNTV) it's my favourite place to hang out in the web. It's so cool that there are some people you meet again on different sites, that always makes me feel like I knew them in person.

I just like that you can depend on their like or dislike of a book. Some of my friends here ("real" people, *grin*) read some kind-of romance novels some months ago and were all hooked on it. I was thinking about buying the books myself but was never sure (that alone should've told me that I should not buy it) but when quite a few guys on TGB said that the books were so-so, okay but not brilliant, I knew that I wouldn't buy them because I could spend the money for other (better) books. I love that.

Okay, now I've taken the space of what would normally be ten comments, I think. Well, as I said, I could write a book about it!

Margay Leah Justice said...

I have met a lot of wonderful people online and some of them have developed into email-trading friendships. I have yet to meet any of them in person, but think it would be cool to do so.


David B. said...

I am constantly amazed by and impressed with the friendships you all have developed here. It's certainly about the love of romance, but it's clearly about the internet's ability to allow for community building around all kinds of subjects and interests.

I'll bet you that in some ways, online community friendships are easier than face-to-face ones. They can be conducted on your own schedule and pace.

Male Perspective Guy

Portia Da Costa said...

Oh, absolutely, Monica, re. finding friendships that last in the romance community! I've got to know quite a few people online who I now consider real friends, and have had the pleasure and priviledge of meeting some of them in person. Meeting Queen Bella Michelle and the Bellas over that delicious and hilarious breakfast at RWA last year was the highlight of the conference, and even though you weren't at the brekkie, Mon, it was wonderful to meet you too when we crossed paths at the Librarians' event. :)

I also got to meet other online friends too, many of them from the Romance Divas board and Passionate Ink, and everybody was extraordinarily sweet and welcoming towards me.

But I'd also met online romance writing friends before RWA. My two best writing buddies, Saskia Walker and Madelynne Ellis are friends I met online before I ever got to meet them in person. Saskia lives barely ten miles away from me, so we meet quite often for fantastic girly author lunches. I don't live quite as close to Madelynne, but we're still able to meet up now and again and have a good natter. I also have lunch occasionally with yet another romance writing friend, Lindsay Townsend, who I met via the Romantic Novelists Association.

I'd be lost without my cyber/IRL pals now.

Kati said...

It's Mon! Hi Mon! *waving*

Not to brag (but I'm TOTALLY bragging), Bellas, but I've read Kismet, and it seriously kicks ass. It's a superbly written, wait for it...SHEIK romance! Woo hoo!

I have a really awesome group of online friends, from the girls I met here at Michelle's, whose friendship I cherish. To the reviewers at the romance blog where I review. To those who visit my blog.

I got into blogging because my sister has a voice disorder which makes it hard for her to talk on the phone, so we started blogging to keep in touch. But now I blog about oh, anything, but mostly romance and pop culture topics. And I find that folks from all over visit me.

I honestly cherish my blog friends, but most especially those I met here at RBTB. They are probably my closest blog friends, the ones who I just couldn't do without. And I owe that to Michelle for giving us a place to gather and chat about things we love to talk about.

Mon, congrats on all of your success this upcoming year! I think 2010 will be the Year of Monica Burns!

Julie in Ohio said...

HI, MON!!!! Morning, Bellas!!!

I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOUR SUCCESS!! I can't wait to snag a copy of Kismet. It sounds so yummy. ;o)

The bestest in town are the Bellas I've met here.

I think MPG hit the nail on the head when he said that in some ways that cyber friends are easier than face to face. At least that's true for me. It can't be stressed enough the importance of being able to put your thoughts in order before they are put out there.
However the day I got to meet a handful of Bellas is mentally marked as the biggest, most nerve wrecking time of my life. Not only was it the first time I'd ever been on a plane (thanks again, Stace, for sticking with me at the airport) but I was very nervous about meeting them. (to say I'm socially inept is not that wrong) Thankfully that didn't last very long and hilarity ensued. I just adore all of you gals.

What was the question again???

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buongiorno, Bellas (and Bello!), and welcome Mon, wearing your author hat today (and at such a jaunty angle). :) The last time anyone christened a "Year of" around here as Kati has today, it was our "Year of Vivi Anna," and that worked out pretty dern well.

I'm thinkin 2010 definitely will be your year, though 09's looking mighty fine, what with "Mirage" out now in print! How cool is that? And this "Kismet" cover is exceptionally gawjus, lucky girl. You have to tell us a little about that book, plus your upcoming series, cause it heads into, well, Italia...

So glad you're here today! Mon!!!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

JulieO, you so are not socially inept. You're a total hoot to talk to, whether hilarity or deep, meaningful, my-kids-are-total-goofballs sharing ensues. (those goofball kids would be mine, of course). But you're right about our Inet relationships really bringing us out of our shells, or at least challenging us.

MGP reminds me of what I used to say about Inet girlfriends, "close enough to be tight, but not so close that anyone asks to borrow your clothing."

It's that cyber space that makes up for that awkwardness that can be present in real life. Yet I've found that when I meet most cyber friends in real life, there's little to no awkwardness. I always think of it as back inthe day when folks corresponded regularly through the mail. Folks did it for years and often never met. We see the scenario in historical romances often. The Inet is pretty much like that, I think.

The Reading Frenzy said...

Good morning Bellas,
Oh my gosh yes I have many friends that I met on various romance web-sites, and alas many of them are still just web buddies. But maybe soon I'll be able to meet some of them face to face.
And then there are friends I met through my library and just people I know who also love romance. Romance readers are a huge and gregarious bunch and we all believe the more the merrier!!
Oh and btw, Kismet looks delicious yum!!

Fedora said...

Hi, Monica!

As a romance reader, I've definitely found some wonderful friends--mostly in the on-line community, but a few in person, too. I have yet to meet a cyberspace buddy in person, but I have introduced a couple of in-person buddies to some favorite cyberspace haunts :D I do hope to meet some on-line buddies someday, maybe at one of those lovely conferences I keep hearing so many fun and terrific things about!!

So, uh, we have to wait until next YEAR for Kismet? ;p *sigh*

amy kennedy said...

Monica--or, in true Monica fashion:
{{{Monica}}} I'm thrilled for you and the expcerpt from Kismet is sososo making me want to get to 2010 so I can buy it.

I {{loved}} Mirage. And the paranormal series? Very cool.

Where to start with this whole cyber thing. The people I have met online here at RBTB are so dear to me. I was fortunate to meet some at RWA last year--the breakfast was a gas--wish you had been there Monica.

Monica and I rub elbows occasionally at an RWA online chapter too.

Julie, you're right, I love being able to get my thoughts (if not my spelling) together--and to able to get an entire thought out too.

Yes! Michelle, correspondence by mail--it's just way quicker these days. Debbie, the library is a great place to meet people.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

LisaK, we're so glad you hang with us, now, and miss you when you're not able to make it. The Godesses rock. It is lonely when there's nobody to talk to about romance, or at least nobody who 'gets' it. I'm so glad you found online friends. My Inet romance friends and experiences definitely have changed my life, and I'm so thankful for it. I'd love to talk to you about getting some romance books in German. will you write me at if you have time, please?

Hiya, margay. It's always nice to have your friendship here. Isn't it nice when the step is made from blog friend to email friend?

I'm so jealous of your outings w/Saskia and Madelynne, Portia. I want to go to pubs and look at pretty young men (for research), too. Dang this economy, cause I'd so planned to make a trip cross the pond.

Never knew that's how you got into hanging online, Kati. That's really remarkable. It's so amazing to think of the power of the Internet to do such powerful things, to bring people together in such positive, spiritually healthful ways.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

That's so cool, flchen, about introing rl pals to Inet ones. Funnily enough, I'm always talking to new bloggers about how numbers of comments aren't that important, it's who any commenters and viewers are talking to that's important, and you've just proved the point. (Of course, the commenters and viewers as humans are always important, but I'm talking in terms of when new bloggers worry about effectiveness of blogs as marketing). And, yeah, this waiting a year thing stinks.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Ames, mon and I got the times mixed up on the breakfast last year, but she's set for this year. :) We all were bummed she didn't make it last year, but I think she was 'sploring w/her family.

Honest ta gawd, debbie, you're so right. this romance community thing is so wonderful. and I met my best friend at the library; i kept worrying that she was gonna lose her job cause we'd always gossip for so long in the romance stacks. :)

Monica Burns said...

{{{{{Bellas}}}} I'm sorry I'm late, but I had to take notes at the Board meeting this morning. It was long and drawn out,and I'm sooo glad to be done with the financial talk. Oy!!

QueenB, I forgot that pic of you an me! You looked fabu as always, I OTOH, well, we'll not go in that downward direction. *sigh*

On to answer all the comments I see here!! It's so wonderful all of you came out to meet/greet!

amy kennedy said...

Luckily, I do my job so well when I'm not nattering (I've always wanted to use that word in a sentence, Portia) on about something--they wouldn't dream of it.

And then you moved--so now I can't borrow any of your clothes anymore...who am I kidding? Michelle would never loan me any of her clothes...she'd give me her clothes.

Kati, I didn't know that either, it's lovely.

LisaK, that's the other thing I love--I have cyber friends from all over the world, how cool is that? I love the way the inet shrinks the world and makes us more aware of our global communities.

Monica Burns said...

LisaK -

I don't think we've officially met here, so HI!

I ADORE Germany I lived there for a year many moons ago. I was in Mainz-Finten outside of Weisbaden. I also have distant family up near the PiedPiper's town (Bremen?) in a small village called Wedem.Forgive the spellings. Tell me where you're from, I did a wine/beer fest every weekend for that year. I might have been to your place! LOL

And YES, having friends share their likes and dislikes about a book is so important in these economic times. I know I have to rely on folks impressions about books, because I've a double whammy, money AND time. As a writer, my time is really limited for reading, so I need to know whether a book is one I'll devour or one I can leave in different rooms around the house, for the occasional read. *wicked grin*

Monica Burns said...

Margay, I'm CERTAIN you would love meeting your new friends. When people have something in common, it's a wonderful bond, and romance in particular makes people just up emotionally, which increases the pleasure of friendships

MSP - You know we adore you here on the blog! Your comments are always insightful. And yes online is easier time wise, Facebook has become my New BFF! LOL

Monica Burns said...

Portia, Hasn't it been wonderful meeting people you chat with online. I've noted that when I do meet others I've chatted with at length online in person, it's like we've known each others forever. It's totally awesome. And I got a huge kick out of meeting you at RWA too. I got there late, and I remember rushing forward to meet you, then later think oh yeah, that's you're stereotypical Yank for you, shoving their way into a conversation. Honest, I was just excited to meet you!


Monica Burns said...

Kati, *blush* Stop! You helped me raise the bar. I only hope others like it as much as you do.

And yes, I love how Michelle has created this warm, comfy home for us to come in and chat romance. I didn't have that before Michelle.

And thank you for your best wishes, although I'm not sure I'm ready for 2010 to be my year. That's a pretty scary thought. Don't things that start out with a bang usually fizzle! LOL


Miranda Neville said...

Hi Monica. I know you from the RWClist loop. I'm very excited about going to RWA for the first time and meeting a ton of people I only know electronically. Especially Michelle :)

Michelle - I'm glad you had fun at HNS. I went two years ago and met one of my best critique partners there. She happens to live outside DC so that's another contact to look forward to in July.

Monica Burns said...

JulieO - that's how I'll always think of you here on the blog. Can you believe we've been hanging here for so long, and do you remember the phone call where it was all about me and you didn't get a word in edge wise. You sweet to say you were generally shy and didn't talk much.

You're the sly one, when we met last year, you had some of the best one-liners, and always perfect timing. I wish I could do that. I'm only capable of carriage wit as Richard Grant says in The Scarlett Pimpernel. I only think of witty things to say AFTER the party! LOL

And YES, YES, we had an outrageous time at that restaurant. What was our waiters name. It was an awesome name that had distinct s*xual connotations. All I can remember is something about bulls. Refresh my memory! LOL

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Mon, we subscribe to the HBO method around here: start slow sizzle, build the burn, then go for it! That's how the Year of Mon will go. Jan is a great month for historicals; we're all looking for excitement after the holiday letdown.

I'm really glad you feel like we've built something special around here. It feels nice and comfy again now that we're back in the pink.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

and, mon, that night at Deidre's anniversary party in Atlanta where the pic is taken was kind of magical, the guitarist and beautiful southern weather, the great company and bellinis...

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

I'm so glad you'll be at RWA, Miranda! I'm looking forward to meeting you, too. I need to contact you about your Novak auction winner, who'd like you to bring her book to rwa. I'll write later in the week...:) I'm DYING to go to another HNS. I really couldn't believe how they support romance. It was, like, surreal. And for romance chicks who dig history, it's, like, nirvana. I was all a-tremble. no kidding. I had to sit and have a cocktail with Babs Vey just to get a grip. Well, not really, but it was as good an excuse as any for wine int he afternoon...

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

JulieO is the queen of one liners, and I wish everyone here were able to meet her in person. maybe we all should try to get to next year's foster/castell get together so we can hook up and put JulieO on the spot?

Miranda Neville said...

I was wondering about the Novak auction book, Michelle. It's heavy so I'm glad not to mail it.

Monica Burns said...

Michelle, What can I say about how generous you've been to me and other ePubbed authors. Your support has meant so much, and your friendship even more. I know I sound like I'm waxing poetic, but I think those of you who've met me in person know I speak the truth. Sometimes to my detriment *groan*

Thanks for asking about all my books. Mirage has finally seen the shelves given it came out in ePub in 2007 (almost TWO years ago). It was up for a couple of special programs Samhain had in the works, but when those didn't come to fruition, then they had to work it into one of their bookseller programs, hence the long road to print.

I was lucky enough to final in RWA's Golden Heart contest with Mirage and it's the book that landed me my agent, the FABULOUS, WONDERFUL Deidre Knight. Talk about LUCK!

Mirage is the story of a man who's half Bedouin, half English. I did some extensive research for the book, and I was pleased with the manner in which I was able to get the ambiance of the desert. One of the highest compliments I got was from Kerin Hanson who's family is from the region. She said it made her want to go home for a visit. Now THAT is the best kind of praise.

Kismet is in a similar vein to Mirage. The difference is it has some darker undertones. Shaheen is an Englishman who wound up in the desert wanting to die. Allegra is a courtesan who's taken her life into her own hands and chooses her lovers. These two people are stubborn and not willing to give way too much. Thus the sparks fly.

Kismet was a cathartic experience for me, because of a couple of things I tried to do in the book, and the initial result was dismal. But I fell in love with the characters and had to share their story so I went back and rewrote the first half of the book. I'm hoping readers will be pleased. Yes Kati, I know you love it. And thank you for being my unpaid publicist. I adore you for it.

Next post a little about my Sicari heroes. this one's soooo long! Queen Bella is going to be sorry she asked me to visit! *sigh*

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

Good morning Monica and bellas. As a romance reader I first met romance friends on Writerspace and other romance forums, here @ RBTB, The Pink Heart Society. Then I joined my local RWA chapter here in Seattle and met authors, readers, bloggers and this year went to Celebrate Romance in Portland Oregon and to their RWA Spring Luncheon and met more new friends.

The romance community is a wonderful place, a very warm place indeed.

Jody F. said...

It's always fun seeing familiar names on the boards and interacting with one another. But I haven't meant anyone in person yet.

Stacy~ said...

Hey Mon! Doing a drive-by from Oakland but I wanted to stop by and say "hey". Congrats on your upcoming release. I am so green w/ jealousy that Miss Kati has already read it, and since her reading tastes are similar to mine, I know I'm gonna love it too.

I started out online visiting places like Lori Foster's Yahoo group, and I am still friends with many of them today. I value these friendships and am fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet many of these wonderful people. These friendships have extended to blogs and other romance avenues where I've been lucky enough to find readers and writers who live close and we occasionally get together and chat about our favorite books and authors. I am so grateful for the romance community and the friendships I've made because of it.

LuAnn said...

As a reader, I've met many writer on their blogs and others that I follow or visit regularly. I've won some of their books and commented many times. For those of us who read any genre, the birth of these blogs has been a wonderful addition to our love of books.

Monica Burns said...

Ok, Michelle asked me to tell you a little about my May 2010 paranormal series. This is always the hardest part for me, because my books tend to be hard for me to describe without droning on and on and on about the story lines.

Sicari is Latin for assassin. My heroes are called Sicari and they have telekinetic abilities. They're hunting for a lost artifact that they don't know much about except that they have to get to it before the Praetorians do and possibly use this artifact to commit genocide of the Sicari. The background for the books is that these heroes and villains are descended from the time of Alexander the Great and his generals. So I've been learning a little Latin and more Italian, which I've relied on Michelle for some pointers with the Italian. So I can get around most of the foul language using Italian and Latin. I mean WTF sounds so much more sexy when its Che (Ke) Cazzo (Kah zo)

My heroes in the new series are also an extended arm of justice. They take out drug dealers, gangs, etc. when the cops can't get them convicted for all the bad things they do. They fight with swords and have a culture that's based on honor.

I'm excited about the series because I love the world so much and how people interact inside it.

Monica Burns said...

Yet I've found that when I meet most cyber friends in real life, there's little to no awkwardness. I always think of it as back inthe day when folks corresponded regularly through the mail. Folks did it for years and often never met.

Michelle, I was thinking this just last night while watching an awesome video about cyber communication and how social networks are connecting people via the Inet. I think it's awesome. Look what you've done here when it comes to connections.

Monica Burns said...

Debbie H - It's always possible that those cyber buddies you have may one day hook up with you in person. You never know how or when.

I'm glad you think Kismet looks delicious. Shaheen is definitely a hot hero. I LOVE him, but I love Allegra too. She doesn't take a lot of crap from him.

Monica Burns said...

flchen1 - as I just said to Debbie, there is always the chance you'll meet a cyberbuddy in person, and YES you have to go to one of the reader conferences. The smaller ones are relatively inexpensive (depending on who you talk to) Lori Foster's weekend of fun runs about $350-400, room, board and any books you might buy. Transportation isn't included in that figure though.

Lora Leigh has RAW which is the last of September and is $130 registration, with $99 a night for hotel and it includes almost all meals if I recall. This year will be my first, so I'm really looking forward to it.

I hope we'll meet sometime in the future.

Monica Burns said...

{{{Ames}}} You know me so well. My family thinks I'm a drama queen, but that's okay, it's the Italian side of me. Boisterous and a bit crazy. LOL

I'm so glad you loved Mirage. And look up above for comments on the new paranormal series. It's actually got a good dose of history mixed in so I'm happy.

And yes, we do get to bump elbows over at RWAOnline! Isn't that one of the best perks of RWA?

Monica Burns said...

Ames, mon and I got the times mixed up on the breakfast last year, but she's set for this year. :) We all were bummed she didn't make it last year, but I think she was 'sploring w/her family.

Bummed and HORRIFIED on my part. I can't believe I missed it. I was so looking forward to it, but I promised Michelle I wouldn't miss it. I'm thinking about sleeping at the breakfast location! LOL

flip said...

I was thrilled to find fellow romance readers online. Then the writers appear. I have a core of friends, the Intrepids, whom I have been emailing for over 12 years. Some of us have only met online. The best thing about this group aside from the great humor is how we can agree to disagree.

Julie in Ohio said...

:blush: Michelle, you're so sweet. However when put on the spot things tend to go awry and I can not be held responsible for what comes out.
Fun little trivia tibit; Michelle makes the BEST bathroom coffee.

Monica, I can't remember the waiter's name but I do remember thinking to myself, "OMG, they're gonna throw us out!!" =oD
As for the one-sided phone convo, it was a pleasure listening to you. I wouldn't have interrupted even if I could've. ;o)

Portia Da Costa said...

I was excited to meet *you*, Mon! And everyone! I'm so glad you dashed up to me. :) SF was an enormous thrill for me, and I'm horribly disappointed I won't get to meet everyone in Washington, and maybe not even in Nashville. Curse this recession!!!!

But I'm gonna aim for NY in 2011... and am hoping also that 2012 will be *my* year. Even perhaps, '11 if the writing gods are kind. ;)

Portia Da Costa said...

Oh, and lest I forget... KISMET sounds gorgeous! Can't wait for it!

bookeroo said...

Hi Monica! I'm new to this blogging thing. It's tough for me to get updated with the evolving world! I'm usually just hiding in my corner of the world reading my romance. I decided it's finally time to poke my head out and jump into the year 2009 with all it's technology. To some, I'm sure blogging is old news. I hope this works and I know what I'm doing here! I would like to say that I'm in awe of all the romance writers~I know it's alot of hard work and I hope you're having a ball with it! I'm having a ball with it being on the other end of the spectrum~reading! I work at our local Borders Express and I've just been signed up to be our "Romance Expert" and I'm loving it! Keep the HOT ROMANCE novels coming~we love 'em! Shelly

scottsgal said...

I've met some cyberfriends in concert because we had the same musical tastes and met up at some shows. I also met my hubby - not on a dating or match up site but strictly on a board where we had a common interest and it went from there. That was 12 years ago.
Enjoyed reading about this new to me author as well.
msboatgal at

Unknown said...

Wow! What a beautiful cover for Kismet!! I love it! I was quite nervous when I first met Monica because I'd always admired her so much online LOL And we traveled similar paths to getting published and both have the same agent. She is one of those writers who is incredibly generous with her time for other newer writers and I admire that a lot. I've made great friends online to.

Monica Burns said...

Miranda, I’m POSITIVE you’ll have a wonderful time in DC and you’ll come home exhausted yet energized. It’s like having a huge pool of creative energy. It’s totally AWESOME

Michelle, yes, I love pink. And that night at The Knight Agency party was incredible. It was the first time we’d met in person, and despite my boldness in walking up to you. I was like JulieO, there was a lot of inside trepidation.

Hi Marilyn…so nice to meet you. I’m not sure we’ve chatted here on RBTB before. Tell me about the The Pink Heart Society, that sounds interesting. As for Writers Space, I’m hoping there will be a Berkley chat or something in January where I can chat about Kismet.

Jody, I’m certain you’ll eventually meet someone you’ve chatted with online. Thanks for popping in to say hi! And haven’t we met before over on Facebook??? I’m terrible with my memory, but you sig name looks very familiar.

{{{{{Stace}}}}} I missed seeing all you gals at Lori’s deal two weeks ago, but your kids only graduate from high school once. BUT next year I’m there! Thanks for popping in when you’re not in your usual spot.

LuAnn, isn’t it the truth about blogs. They really have been a great boon to readers AND authors. It’s allowed all of us to hook up together and share our love of romance.

Flip, isn’t it wonderful to meet and greet on the Inet. You can do it in your skivvies with your hair in a mess and yet you’re inner self is what shines through when you talk. That’s probably what I love the most. And yes, I think it’s important that we all speak our minds, regardless of disagreements. Humor has a great way of defusing flame wars. LOL

JulieO - "OMG, they're gonna throw us out!!" =oD Wasn’t that because of MY bawdy sense of humor. As I recall you were sitting next to me, and wasn’t Rach across the table next to Kati talking about big boobs??? ROFL THAT was one hell of a conversation! Wouldn’t it be fun if we could get everyone here around a big dinner table like that!

Portia, If you need to save money, then save it for NY there’s no other city like it in the world. The sights, smells (some good, some ewwwh), sounds. It’s a hodge podge that I love. The energy from the city alone will rev you up! And I’m sorry you won’t be in DC this year. And thanks for the comment about Kismet. Fingers are crossed that readers will enjoy it.

Ok Bookeroo, you need to tell us which Borders you work at. There are Bellas here from all over the world on this blog, and it’s VERY easy that one of us is close enough to pop in and have a coffee or drink with you and talk romance! And what a fab job to be with books all the time!! And blogging isn’t THAT old. I’m still in awe of how many there are and I’m not able to keep up reading or I’ll forget to write. Bad, Bad, Bad Monica (who remembers that you just signed up for my Readers Announcement Loop – THANK you for that!)

Ok, I'm famished. I'm heading off for an hour of writing while I munch on a sandwich. I'll be back around 2:30pm - 3pm to chat with everyone again. Although I think the new boss is getting suspicious of all the wild typing I'm doing!

Myrin said...

Oh my, Michelle, you're such a sweetie!!! *hugs* I LOVE being here and when I can't make it it's mostly because of the time difference and I'm a day too late for a blog.

A big HI back to you, Mon, now we've officially met!
How cool that you lived in Germany!
I live in a little village called Neuhaus in Southern Bavaria (in the very South of Germany, I need ten minutes by car to be in Austria). We're surrounded by the first mountains that belong to the Alps here and have a beautiful little lake. I'm sure you'd love it. It's one hour away from Munich (München) so if anyone should ever be in that region...

amy*skf, you hit the nail on the head (an expression that's exactly the same in German, btw.), that's what I love, too. It always amazes me that I know people from faraway America.

Monica Burns said...

Ok, I made the mistake of checking out for one more comment! LOL Lunch can wait when I’m with the Bellas!! Who needs food anyway. Okay maybe cheesecake!

Oh Scottsgirl!!! What a wonderful opportunity for a romance plot line! How cool to meet your hubby online. I met mine when he worked at Kroger and I kept going through his line whenever I shopped there. He drew me in with his smile. It took him almost 10 months to ask me out and another 2 years to ask me to marry him, although he’d mention it from time to time. He’s always been bad about decisions. LOL

{{{{Kate}}} You’re too sweet to me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You know I’m a big fan of yours, and yes our careers have run parallel to each other including the fabulous Deidre. I’m hoping you’ll be in DC this year. There are so many people I want to have lunch or dinner with. I need to win the lottery and just have a party for all my friends!!! Julie O will have that waiter from the restaurant come serve us ROFL

Monica Burns said...


Aha! Down near Garmish-Partenkichen (sp??) My first experience sking was on one of the Zugspitz’s slopes. I came off the mountain on a stretcher with a BADLY swollen ankle. They had trouble getting my boot off! For those who know me, I’m a pistol. I don’t do things halfway. To the extreme is me. So I Neuschwenstein and Linderhof on crutches. I’m actually glad I messed up my ankle cuz otherwise I would have wound up on the slopes fulltime and missed out on the glory of the sights. You live in a beautiful part of the world. The fest I missed was Ocktoberfest. But I did get wildly into the Fasching party in Mainz. Is that how’s its spelled? Fasching It's the party before Lent – the German Mardi Gras to beat all Mardi Gras!!

bookeroo said...

Hi Monica and all! I work at the Borders Express in the Capital City Mall, Camp Hill, PA 17011 (Make sure you go to the one in the mall~there's another Borders REALLY close). Stop by anytime and if I'm not there, please let me a note you were there! Thanks! Shelly

Myrin said...

It's Garmisch, actually, because the English "sh"-sound is written "sch" in German (can you tell, I LOVE languages!), but you're right, it's two administrative districts west of mine. Mainz and Fasching is indeed how it's spelled. And you should go to Cologne (Köln), that's the stronghold of Fasching ("Fastnacht" they say there, "Fasching" is south German like I say). They are carzy about "the fifth season" there.

And what a memorable experience of your German tour! That's a story to tell the grandchildren!

Something on the actual topic of the post (I don't wanna bore y'all here with my raving about my home). What I think is really cool is that "normal" people like you and me get to meet famous authors via Internet. I've always had great respect for authors and never would've imagined that one day I'd actually be friends with my favourite ones. Makes me feel so very important! :) ;)

Portia Da Costa said...

Oh yes, I would love to visit New York because so many of my favourite shows are set there, like of Law & Order:CI and CSI:NY... 'twill be like a pilgrimage for me! LOL

Joan said...

So tell me as a romance reader or writer, have you developed strong, lasting friendships in the romance community?...

I can answer this question in two words....

Romance. Bandits.

Oh, and one Golden Rooster :-)

Your books sound fabulous, Monica especially the paranormal series. Can't wait to read them!

Tiona said...

Hey, Bellas! Welcome, Mon! Congrats on the new release!
Oh, I just love cyberspace. It just opens up a lot of avenues. And look at us! How many of us are from different countries, but congregating here to talk about our fave subject...romance novels! How awesome is that? I think it's jut wonderful. None of my friends read romance novels and the only one I can really talk to about them is my grandmother, whom I trade romance novels with, so before I found our QB and the other Bellas, I was kind of restricted. Now, I can't wait to fire up the internet explorer and visit the Bellas everyday! It's so loving and you know no matter what your opinion on something, you'll always be accepted here. It's just a great community! Thanks, Bellas! And, though I've never met any of the Bellas, I consider you all my friends and I hope to meet you face-to-face one day soon!

Mari said...

Hi Monica. I am really in love with all of the romance blogs. I have met a lot of friends but haven't met any in person, though!

Monica Burns said...

Bookeroo, I'm not that far from Camp Hill around 4hrs. Nothing's too far from Richmond when you're traveling north or south! I'll put you on my list for goodies when Kismet promo time rolls around. In fact, email me monicaburns @ (no spaces) and will chat Madame Romance Expert!

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Well, first of all, I LOVE your new cover! Gorgeous!

Second, I met Monica YEARS ago when we were both starting out. We're even in an anthology together!

Meeting like minded readers and writers is definitely a fun part of writing romance. I've met many readers and authors throughout the years and I treasure their friendships, however, I wouldn't be completely honest if I didn't say that I wish I had someone or someones close by in which to chat with. the closest RWA chapter is four hours away. And while I could go on-line, it's just not the same as that in person chat.

Thank goodness for the 'net!!!!

Monica, good luck with your new, upcoming releases! And see you at the Berkley/NAL party at RWA!!!

Monica Burns said...

Portia, then you MUST come to NY! You'll love it!

Joan, thanks for posting. Aren't Inet friendships great!

Princess, I think you need to get your grandmother online with you!! I wish my grandmother were still here. She loved reading, and I got my great love of books from her.

Hi Mari, it's easy to make friends when you have something in common. And here in the community of romance, we've got connections. As for meeting some of the Bellas or others, be sure to check around for local conferences. Most always have a book signing, where you can go meet the authors. There are also reader conferences where readers and authors meet. Lori Foster and Lora Leigh both host conferences like these. Lori's is in OH and Lora is in WVA. Maybe someone should start one up out west.

Monica Burns said...

Charlotte *wave* Thank you on the cover. I LOVE that she's on TOP! *wicked grin* Shows she's empowered in their relationship. *grin*

And we have known each other a long time. Seems like yesterday were were writing for NCP, with The Art of Pleasure and Holly, Ivy & Me.

And yes, I'm totally with you on wishing that there was someone in my neighborhood that I could go for walks with and brainstorm with. That would make for a perfect world IMHO.

Looking forward to see you at the party in DC. Less than a month now. I can't BELEIVE IT!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

it was a pleasure listening to you. I wouldn't have interrupted even if I could've.

I believe that's the funniest thing I've ever read.

I have to run out to another appt, but, you guys, this is so much fun to read. I'll check back in right after.

Gawd, that cover is just gorgeous.

Joan said...

Aren't Inet friendships great!

Yes, Monica they truly are! I feel like I have 19 sisters with the Bandits and SO many more through other chapters and encounters.

Hope to see you in DC!

Gail said...

Hi Monica, I love your books, in fact Dangerous was one of the first ebooks I ever bought. I found a whole new world of reading on the internet;-) I love lurking through blogs and groups to see what everyone is reading and talking about. I try to keep up, but sometimes there's just not enough time for it all. I do love the Wicked Writers group;-) I feel like I know some of these ladies better than my neighbors. LOL I haven't been lucky enough to meet anyone I've chatted with, yet. It would be a blast to meet a group and have a roamnce lovers night out.

ev said...

HI MONICA!!!! ::Waves wildly!::

Late to the party but it has been one of those days. Besides the Bellas on the trip, I really haven't had a chance to do more than say hi to one or two romance authors. But with the web and twitter especially, I am able to know when someone will be making an apperance where I can stalk, I mean, meet them. ;)

Almost 20 years ago, when I first got on AOL, on my first computer, I met someone in a chatroom. It wasn't romance, it was an Anne McCaffrey one. (Never did get to meet Anne yet, but do know her son Todd, now.) We have been in that chat, or another version of it, ever since. We corresponded all the time.

This summer, when i took my cross country drive, one of the first things I plotted on the trip was to her house. Finally!!! I even got to meet her hubby,who she actually met in the chatroom years ago too. We had a blast and am looking forward to visiting her in NC again. I can't wait!

I am looking forward to the new release too, Mon. Can't wait! Will it be in digital??

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Hi, Gail! do you mean the 3 Wicked Writers? I love them too. What a nice story, about Mon turning you on to e-books. And I'm with you; there isn't enough time. My husband always laughs at me when I tell him how much I hate the Internet for that very reason. It's kind of a love/hate thing. :)

Joan, you Banditas tend to make us all feel like a sisterhood (with one lovely brother c-, I mean Golden Rooster). I'm waiting on a gorgeous fangirl piccie I had taken w/him at the Foster Get-Together. Total squee moment.

Hi, Charlotte! Great to see you here. I hear you. As Mon says, it's rough when you don't have anyone nearby. I've lived in the Chicago area almost a year and still haven't joined the local RWA, for no good reason. But finding the right person for support also is key, no?

hi, mari. we love having you here.

principessa, I always look forward to your visits everyday, along with your grandmother's wisdom! It's cool you two have that connection. Does she like the really hot ones you do? :)

Booklover1335 said...

Hey Monica,
So glad you could be here today. I am relatively new to the online romance community, so have not formed any longtime friends yet, but I can definitely see that happening in the future.
I love talking to them online about the books that we are reading, what we like, and what we don't. They have all been so friendly and embracing which is really great as a lot of my local friends don't read romance :(

Charlotte Featherstone said...

HI Michelle! Thanks for the prezzie in my inbox! :) Monica will attest to this, I'm completely and utterly technically inept. Seriously.

I love your blog, although I mostly lurk. Funny since I'm waxing on about the desire to have more romance crazy friends!

Joan said...

Joan, you Banditas tend to make us all feel like a sisterhood

Aww, thanks Michele! We feel like that with all our BB's.

(with one lovely brother c-, I mean Golden Rooster). I'm waiting on a gorgeous fangirl piccie I had taken w/him at the Foster Get-Together. Total squee moment.

LOL, I've heard about that picture. Quite an honor to be a notch on, feathers.

There are rumors circulating that the golden one is having a family reunion soon, maybe the last day of the month?

Monica said...

{{{Ev}}} AOL??? Let me up the ante, how about Prodigy. The old BB systems, no wait!! The university BBs, which predate Prodigy and AOL. How things have changed! For the better too!
I don’t know if Kismet will be digital or not. I just got the cover yesterday (literally). I imagine it will be eventually, just not sure come Jan 5. WOW! That’s just a little more than six months away.
Booklover 1335 – I’m delighted you were able to pop in and join us here on the blog. I just wish I’d not been at the day job. It’s VERY hectic. I think you’re right, you will definitely make friends. The more you participate the easier it is to make friends.
Monica will attest to this, I'm completely and utterly technically inept. Seriously.
Umm, yes, I can attest to that fact on some level, but she’s learned at lot over the years, so I don’t think she’s as inept as she says. *grin*

Monica said...

Hi Monica, I love your books, in fact Dangerous was one of the first ebooks I ever bought.
Ok, Gail where do you live so I can come hug you for such a wonderful statement! I’m always excited to hear someone say they liked my books. And I adore Lucien (Dangerous).
I do love the Wicked Writers group;-) I feel like I know some of these ladies better than my neighbors. LOL I haven't been lucky enough to meet anyone I've chatted with, yet. It would be a blast to meet a group and have a roamnce lovers night out.
You know we’re going to have to have someone be a planner/organizer and do one of these deals. OR maybe we just get Michelle to start a Yahoo Loop for signing up to meet any bella in their area for lunch or dinner at a specific date and time that everyone is using. Wouldn’t that be a cool thing.

Monica said...

it was a pleasure listening to you. I wouldn't have interrupted even if I could've.

I believe that's the funniest thing I've ever read.
See what I mean about those one-liners I didn’t even catch that until you caught Michelle. She’s our sly one that JulieO and she’s so RIGHT! I remember apologizing to her that night for having run on sentences. LOL
Gawd, that cover is just gorgeous.
I’m so glad you love it, Michelle. Doesn’t it look rich and sumptuous?? And I have to tell you, I REALLY love the fact that my heroine is the one in the dominant position on this cover, because in the book Allegra refuses to let Shaheen rule her. She’s definitely not a pushover heroine. I love both of these characters so much and to have such a rich tapestry of a cover is just sort of numbing to the point that I’m having trouble believing this is all real. Does that make sense?? I’m incredibly lucky.

Joan Hope to see you in DC! Same here. It won’t be hard to find me, just follow the mouth, as the Bellas (JulieO stop laughing) will tell you.

Gia Dawn said...

As early as you bellas get up, you are probably already in bed by now...but a great big late hello to Monica. I met you at the Lori foster conference last year, and have very much enjoyed your work.

Monica said...

{{{Gia}}} You are simply being fashionably dahlink, not late! And I hope I'll see you again next year at Lori's. I couldn't get there this year. But I'm so glad you dropped in to say hello! I'm about ready to call it a night. LOL Exhausting day. And thank you so much for saying you enjoy my work. That always gives me a thrill when I read that. hugs!

orannia said...

Very, very late - mass apologies QB, Bellas and Monica!

Hmmm. I'm met some absolutely amazing people online. Warm, generous people :) Unfortunately I live across the other side of the world from all of them, but...I hope one day I'll be able to meet them in person.

All the best for the release Monica!

Monica said...

Hmmm. I'm met some absolutely amazing people online. Warm, generous people :) Unfortunately I live across the other side of the world from all of them, but...I hope one day I'll be able to meet them in person.

Orianna, if I ever hit the multimillion lottery, I'm going to organize a huge party and offer up airfare and hotel for those who want to come, just so we could all hang together for a few days.
Wouldn't THAT be a totally cool thing!

And here's the real beauty of cyberspace. You live far away from us, but in reality you only live a computer away from us. It's that close. You wait in a few years, webcams will be standard on PC and blogs will have these totally cool conversations going on, just as if you were at a party. Won't that be something!!

Hugs, Mon

Anonymous said...

congratso the books

met some on myspace and chats
great people who like the same books as u do it is fun and nervoues too
we email and trades books which is fun

Laurie G said...

I've met people through blogs and seem to get to know them by their responses. I have not been to any conferences to meet in person.

Monica Burns said...

Hi Laurie,

I think cyberfriends are a wonderful boon for us when it comes to talking romance. Look around for a romance conference near you, I know there are some worldwide too. Thanks for popping in.

Monica Burns said...


I love meeting new people on line. My only problem is that I meet so many wonderful people, it's hard to keep everyone straight! LOL

Thanks for posting

amy kennedy said...

Gia! I love that name. My granddaughter's name is Gia. Just had to add that little tidbit.