Monday, September 02, 2013

Island Girls (from the IG Trilogy) tell their 3 wishes! [Three Wishes Blog Blitz]

Today I’m participating in the Three Wishes Blog Blitz, hosted by author Juliet Madison! From 2nd to 6th September you’ll have the chance to win some awesome prizes at all the blogs participating in the blitz, including mine. All you have to do is follow my instructions below for winning the prize I have on offer, and then you can click over to Juliet’s blog to enter her prize draw, and see the list of all other blogs taking part and enter their giveaways as well. How cool is that? Why is it called the Three Wishes Blog Blitz? Juliet’s new romantic comedy release, I Dream of Johnny, is about three wishes, a high-tech genie in a lamp, and one very unfortunate typo that proves magic isn’t all it cracked up to be…
~~~~~

Hey peeps!

I was wracking my brain trying to come up with a topic for this blog blitz, when it suddenly hit me - my Island Girls Trilogy features the stories of 3 sisters. So why not ask each of them what their 3 wishes would be, and in the process, get you acquainted with these ladies (and see the hunks they end up with!)? Here we go - meet the Hemant sisters.

Lara Reddy (born Hemant). 29 years old, divorced, Managing Director of an international conventions centre in Mauritius. Her story in a nutshell?

"...Divorce painted a scarlet letter on her in Indo-Mauritian society, but her newly-single status shines as a beacon of hope for the man who never stopped loving her. Twelve years later, will second time around work for these former teenage sweethearts? ..."

Her 3 wishes?

1. Some peace & quiet (especially from her overbearing mother who is intent on making Lara's life a hell of proper customs and outdated tradition)
2. A chance to wipe the slate clean...esp where the choices she made in her life are concerned.
3. Ice cream that doesn't make women go fat.

Meet Lara, and Eric, a paediatrician, and her first love (imagined in the likeness of actress Lara Reddy & actor Forbes March)...


THE OTHER SIDE (Island Girls #1) - Out Now! Amazon ~ B&N ~ ARe ~ Decadent Publishing

***

Diya Hemant. 24 years old, desperately single, Interior Designer who co-owns her company with her bestie. Her tale?

"... It is a truth universally acknowledged that, to find a prince, a girl has to kiss a few frogs. But what happens when a modern-day princess comes face to face with... an ogre? ..."

Diya's 3 wishes?

1. A man. Preferably handsome, rich, courteous, super-sexy, will have eyes only for her, drop dead gorgeous (did she mention that?)
2. The ability to wipe her car insurance record with the snap of her fingers; this way, her risk cover won't be going up with every accident she gets involved in.
3. A man to love her (yes, already mentioned, but a girl can never be too sure...)

Meet Diya, and Trent, the surly, ogre-like British widower & single dad to 2 young boys who becomes her new neighbour (imagined in the likeness of actress Sonam Kapoor & actor David James Elliott) ...


LIGHT MY WORLD (Island Girls #2) - Releasing September 30, 2013!

***

Neha Hemant (should be Neha Kiran, but her husband refused she take his name when they married). 34 years old, housewife, slowly spreading her wings after more than a decade of being nothing else but a wife and mum to 3 kids. Her story?

"... Perfect, widowed housewife & mum of 3 teens meets reformed bad boy. Together, they create magic... but such a good thing has to be wrong... right? Or doesn't it? ..."

Neha's 3 wishes?

1. World peace? *receives a glare from her 2 sisters* Uhm, for the kids to grow up into wonderful adults.
2. A reason to exist beyond being a wife and mother.
3. *whisper* A man to love her, and only her, the way romance heroes love their heroines...

Meet Neha, and Logan, former heavyweight boxing champion from New Zealand, and her boss (imagined with the likeness of singer Tina Arena & actor Sam Worthington)...


WINDS OF CHANGE (Island Girls #3) - Releasing November 2013!

***

There you are - the 3 wishes from the 3 Island Girls.

GIVEAWAY

Comment & win either a 50-page editorial critique or a cameo appearance in one of my small-town series set in England (prize is winner's choice). Answer this question for me:

If you could have 1 wish, what would it be?

Let me jump with my answer already: I'd wish for... the ability to stop time so I can get everything on my plate done. *grin* I know, sounds silly, but I could really do with 48 hours in a day, esp to write all the stories that are hogging my brain cells and making me look like a vapid airhead on most days.

Once you’ve entered my giveaway, visit Juliet’s blog & enter her giveaway too, and visit any or all of the other participating blogs to enter more prize draws. You could potentially win a whole heap of prizes! Good luck! Visit the official Blog Blitz post here.

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Friday, August 23, 2013

Noble Romance Publishing closes...& I get 2 series/3 books back!

A few days ago, Noble Romance Publishing authors received an email stating the house was closing, and that rights for all stories by every author will be reverting to them automatically; books to be removed from sales outlet between now and October, tops. Authors who wished for an official Return of Rights letter simply had to request one, and it would be delivered.

I received my Return of Rights letter yesterday morning, on the following titles:

Walking The Edge (Corpus Brides #1)
Before The Morning (Corpus Brides #2)
Calling Home (A Destiny's Child Book)

These books are back to being unpublished manuscripts on my hard drive, and will be going out on submission again shortly.

It all sounds so simple and breezy, innit? Sadly, it was not the case....

I signed with Noble Romance Publishing back in February 2011. The previous year, I had thrown off the mantles of my pen names and decided to publish under my real name, with the kind of wholesome-plot stories I loved and not the drivel I had been encouraged to write previously. Let's keep things short - today I have no clue why I went with Noble... They looked like a solid house, and I suppose I still didn't trust myself enough back then to reach for 'higher'. I thought Noble would be a good place to be at. I mean, hey, they paid advances, so the place had to be solid to be able to afford that, right?
Little did I know... The writing was going up on the wall even back then, but all this happened behind the scenes.

Still, I went on with them, not hearing any of the ramblings behind the scenes, and the minor glitches I faced along the way really looked like human error that could be forgiven. Over the course of the next 15 months, I signed 2 more contracts and had 2 more books released with them, on top of that first one that gave me in in there. I was getting ready to write the following books in each series I had with them...when the sky fell on our heads.

July 2012, Jill Noble, whom we (and I mean everyone, from authors to readers) thought to be the owner of Noble Romance, waltzed out without looking back. Can anyone hit the panic button quick enough? Authors started hyperventilating, and then we were told the company was bringing in a new CEO, someone whose expertise was in rebuilding companies on the brink of collapse.
Sadly, that person, Mr Jean Gombart, turned out to have no experience whatsoever with the world of publishing, and proved himself to be a corporate shark of the most ruthless kind. While I have 'only' had emails ignored, my fellow author friends have not been so 'lucky' - the new CEO had set out to "teach authors how to behave".

Emails ignored, certified letters ignored, communication channels closed, contract breaches galore...then royalty statements stopped coming. Royalty payments also trickled or altogether stopped. Some authors even had monies paid to them...to later be told those 'monies' had been errors and these sums would be held from their next paycheck. Third party sites could prove that they had paid royalties to the company, and these royalties never made it to the authors.

All this is only the tip of the iceberg; I will let my fellow authors come out and tell you, each in his/her own words, what their ordeal with Noble Romance has been. Mine have been contract breaches and ignoring all communication coming from my end. Needless to say, this was enough for me to want my rights back, for my association with Noble Romance terminated. Sadly, Mr Gombart and the head honchos at NRP didn't seem like they'd ever cut anyone loose, so I resigned myself to wait out the rest of my contract before I could legitimately pull out. I'm from Mauritius, and not only can't I afford to attempt something legally against NRP in the US, I have just enough money to make life a tad easier for my family (after our early days of existing the second half of the month only on a diet of potatoes, this kind of financial liberty is not something I'll give up, esp not when I can pull my patience in and wait for another few years).

Thank goodness I didn't have to wait, and now my books are mine again. All 3 of them were close to my heart.
Calling Home, I started while on the hospital bed following surgery after my second bout with breast cancer; I wrote much of that book on my phone while waiting for daily radiotherapy treatments at the hospital. I had always loved stories with children at the heart of the romance, and Destiny's Child would've spelled that from my brand.
The Corpus Brides series is what trailblazed me into the world of mainstream writing. I had found an angle (edgy heroine-centric espionage from a dangerous clandestine agency, all with a splash of hot romance) and was determined to pursue that. To this day (and yes, you might say I didn't have so many stories out, lol), the Corpus Brides series is the one that garners most of my fan feedback and mail. My readers love this story, and clamours were going up as to when Book 3, and the last in the series, rounding up the intrigue set out in the first 2 books, would be coming out.

Well now I cannot say when these books will be coming out again, but I can assure everyone that I will be writing Book3 of the Corpus Brides series, Let Mercy Come, asap! With NRP being in such a precarious position, it didn't make sense for me to write that story and invest my time and energy in there only to have to hand it to an unprofessional publisher.

Look forward to the re-release of both these series, peeps! I, for one, am definitely looking toward the future. Onwards & upwards!

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Spotlight: Cosmo Red-Hot Reads from Harlequin! + #Giveaway #Cosmopolitan #Harlequin

Hey beautiful people!

Absolutely thrilled to have been asked to showcase this new venture between two giants of the women's entertainment world! I can ramble on and on about this (and trust me, I've seen the books, and they are simply a-ma-zing!). Here we go: the promo material speaks for itself.
And read to the bottom (haha *evil laughter*) - there's a Giveaway!

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Harlequin + Cosmo= the hot new hookup!

How did these two not get together sooner?!

Like peanut butter and chocolate, like Beyoncé and Jay-Z, like Friday and cocktails, Cosmo and
Harlequin just belong together. The world’s largest women’s magazine pairing up with the publisher that’s synonymous with romance fiction? Talk about a hot relationship!

Together, these international entertainment empires are launching a line of books, Cosmo Red-Hot Reads from Harlequin, that will get ladies around the world hot and bothered—because what two
brands know women better?

“Cosmo readers love sexy fiction,” says Editor in Chief Joanna Coles. “Our Red-Hot Read in the magazine is one of the most popular features each month among our 18 million-plus readers. This exciting partnership will satisfy their demand for modern erotic fiction byoffering two steamy new tales each month.”

Harlequin wrote the book on series romance, offering readers an instantly recognizable brand that consistently delivers a satisfying consumer experience keeping readers coming back for more. Says Harlequin Publisher and CEO Donna Hayes: “Women look to Harlequin for the same qualities that Cosmopolitan provides—entertainment, enjoyment and inspiration—so it’s a natural fit.”

Fiction for the “fun, fearless female.”

The editorial experts at Cosmo and Harlequin have designed a series readers will anticipate with pleasure and return to every month: bite-size and dangerously delicious, like so many addictive
delights.

Cosmo Red-Hot Reads from Harlequin are stories with fastpaced plots, contemporary settings and crackling dialogue. Sexy stories you totally wish would happen to you. Daring women meet desirable
men—sparks fly!

Our leading ladies are young, adventurous, independent women who know what they want—from their careers, their lives and their lovers. They’re not afraid to pursue their desires. Our heroes are as varied as women’s fantasies: bad boys and business tycoons, brooding loners and wolves in nerds’ clothing. These guys are fun to chase and are weekend-in-bed-worthy, every one.

Oh, and did we mention that these reads are RED-HOT?

The love scenes in these stories are plentiful, detailed and thrilling, exploring fantasies and pushing boundaries in ways that are fun, sensual and always satisfying. That’s Cosmo Red-Hot Reads from Harlequin.

A whole new meaning to “Launch Day!”

Sylvia brings readers a sizzling new miniseries about unexpected reunions, bittersweet revenge and the fight for redemption!



We’re so excited to have America’s premier author of provocative fiction, #1 New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Sylvia Day kicking off Cosmo Red-Hot Reads from Harlequin! Talk about putting your best stiletto-clad foot forward!

“My stories are known for featuring fun, fearless Cosmopolitan-type heroines as well as delicious, dangerous heroes synonymous with Harlequin. Afterburn and Aftershock will be no exception. I’m excited to share these sizzling new romances with readers and to do so hand in hand with Harlequin and Cosmopolitan, powerhouse brands known for giving women exactly what they want.”

Sylvia brings readers a sizzling new miniseries about unexpected reunions, bittersweet revenge and
the fight for redemption! You’ll meet Jackson Rutledge, a man who’s equally dangerous in the boardroom and the bedroom:

The inner circle of glamour, sex and privilege was Jax’s playground—but this time, I knew the rules of the game. In the cutthroat business world, one adage rules all: keep your enemies close and your ex-lovers closer….

GIVEAWAY!


Comment and enter the draw to win this Goodie Bag from Cosmopolitan (US Only, sorry). What do you think of this new venture?

~~~~~

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Monday, August 05, 2013

#SummerLovinHop: Welcome to #Mauritius in @ZeeMonodee's culture-based #contemporary #romances!


Welcome to the Summer Lovin' Blog Hop.
Over fifty authors and bloggers have joined together to give you the chance to win an awesome bundle of books as well as read some great posts. Be sure to go to each blog  and comment with your email to up your chances of winning. Each comment counts as an entry! Our lovely bloggers are also offering individual prizes so be sure to check them out.



Hey beautiful people!

Today, I am taking you to a slice of summer on a tropical island in the southern Indian Ocean - Mauritius, my homeland. Lol, *cue the geography lesson* I suppose many of you in the UK will prolly have heard about Mauritius, but if not, it is a tiny speck of a land almost smack dab around the center of the Indian Ocean. A land devoid of natives, it is peopled by immigrants who have been coming to the island since the 17th century.
Black, White, Brown, Yellow, mixed race...Catholics, Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Tamils, Jews - you'll find them all on the island that boasts a 'rainbow nation'.

So, summer... Summer here, since we're in the southern hemisphere, is during September to April. And yes, temps do get scorching! This is where you want to be when the sun is blazing (and baking you like a dry lizard!)



Most of my stories take place in the Mauritian summer, but here's the trick - what else does summer mean on the island?
With heat scrambling your brain, tempers can get hot, desire can simmer, tension can explode....

And this is totally the case in my latest release, The Other Side (Book 1 in the Island Girls trilogy). The heroine, Lara, is a British-born divorcee of Indo-Mauritian origin. She returns to the island in January of 2000 - in the full of summer! - and lands herself into a snakepit of outdated customs, stuffy tradition, and high&mighty mores and values.

All this is not helped when she finds herself smack into the path of her teenage love, the one that got away - Mauritian-born White boy, Eric Marivaux.

Along a sizzling summer - complete with extreme thunderstorms the kind we experience here - come see how Lara will navigate along the tricky edges of Mauritian society...and hopefully, find a second chance at love, on the other side.

(Ebook available at Decadent Publishing, Amazon UK, and also at the discounted price of $2.99 on Amazon US)

Summers also mean cyclones - those big storms that turn up the heat & humidity while wrecking chaos. And what happens when the storm outside is also brewing inside you?

This is what my characters from the 1NightStand series face, firstly, Once Upon A Stormy Night, then secondly Once Upon A Second Chance.
In case you're not familiar with the 1NS series, at it's heart is a blind date service directed by the mysterious Madame Evangeline, who pairs unlikely people together for a one night stand date...but more often than not, her effort spells commitment for more than a night of pleasure.

Meet my couples who went through this dating service:

On the paradise island of Mauritius, British billionaire Lars Rutherford isn’t looking for a woman, and corporate law executive Simmi Moyer isn’t looking for a man. But when a matchmaker pairs them on a blind date, both face open doors toward a future they refused to contemplate...until now.


Khalid abandoned Leila the morning after their wedding night, because he hides a deep, dark secret. Leila is adamant on getting answers; Khalid wants nothing but salvation. Will a second chance be possible for this couple, when they meet again through a blind 1NightStand date?

Giveaway Alert!

On top of having 3 of my backlist titles in the Grand Prize, 2 random commentors will win an ecopy of either one of my 1NightStand stories!
Don't forget to leave your email addy in the comment so I can notify you if you have won :)

And also, don't forget to check all the amazing peeps taking part in this hop. You can find them all on this list.



Question: What does summer symbolize for you?

For me, it's little dresses, tank tops, and shorts, while drinking virgin mojitos and delving into a good book. In short, Heaven on Earth! *grin*

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Other Side (Island Girls #1) is now Available! Help me celebrate its release!

Hey beautiful people!

I apologize for being MIA here lately. I got roped into creating promo for this release, and would you believe it? Idiot me thought July 30 was Thursday! So I thought I had 2-3 days to put it all together...then I realized July 30 was Tuesday! Gaaaahhhh! Can you say panic attack? :)

And add to these jitters the fact that book is...Already Available For Sale! Big huge thanks to Lisa Omstead and all the crew at Decadent Publishing for making this happen. Gosh, peeps - I am soooo excited!

So here's a little more about the book, and where you can find it, too. I hope you'll enjoy the excerpt and take a chance on this one.
The Other Side is the first book I ever wrote; back in 2005, when my diagnosis of breast cancer made me reach out for the dream of 'one day' writing a story. 'One day' is when we decide the right time is here; not some distant point in a hazy future. You choose your path and make your decisions to have this 'one day' happen now!

I love Bollywood vibes, and no story attracts me than that of former sweethearts getting a second chance... Add to it showcasing my little island and my slice of the world, and you get The Other Side.

*grin*

Blurb:

Divorce paints a scarlet letter on her back when she returns to the culture-driven society of Mauritius. This same spotlight shines as a beacon of hope for the man who never stopped loving her. Can the second time around be the right one for these former teenage sweethearts?
Indian-origin Lara Reddy left London after her husband dumps her for a more accommodating uterus—at least, that’s what his desertion feels like. Bumping into him and his pregnant new missus doesn’t help matters any, and she thus jumps on a prestigious job offer. The kicker? The job is in Mauritius, the homeland of her parents, and a society she ran away from over a decade earlier.
But once there, Lara has no escape. Not from the gossip, the contempt, the harassing matchmaking...and certainly not from the man she hoped never to meet again. The boy she’d loved and lost—white Mauritian native, Eric Marivaux.
Back when they were teens, Eric left her, and Lara vowed she’d never let herself be hurt again. Today, they are both adults, and facing the same crossroads they’d stood at so many years earlier.

Lara now stands on the other side of Mauritian society. Will this be the impetus she needs to take a chance on Eric and love again?

Check the trailer:



Did you know?
The trailer features images of locations mentioned in the story. The second image, at 0.08, is of the Grand Baie beach, where Lara lives. At 0.58 is the Swami Vivekananda International Conventions Centre located inland in Pailles, that I used as the inspiration for the centre Lara manages in Grand Baie. 2.09 features the Coin de Mire Island, a visual that can be admired from the terrace of Eric’s residence in Cap Malheureux.


Excerpt:


She shouldn’t have come. The sound of her mother’s high-pitched voice crept over the din, asking if someone had heard a car stop in the driveway. They’d come out in the next minute.
Picking up her courage, and wishing it were Dutch courage despite her not being a drinker, she tore her fingers and head from the wheel and threw the door open. Lara peeled herself out of the vehicle at the same time a chorus of gasps resounded in the garden.
All three older women were over her like a bad rash. Hugging and kissing her cheeks, holding her face in their hands while they exclaimed how beautiful she had become. All of which were simply tactics to lull her into complacency for when they’d really pounce on the meaty topic—her divorce.
With their deceptively frail-looking hands on her shoulders, they pushed her toward the back door to the kitchen. A memory of being pushed around in the same way toward the altar on her wedding day, the glittery gold and red veil over her eyes, assaulted her. She stopped in her tracks, the pain coming in from nowhere to slice through her heart. The biddies must not have noticed her stilling; they simply continued to steer her inside until she was seated at the table. A plate of towering hot bhadias appeared in front her, along with a bowl of satini cotomili, the coriander, tomato, and chili paste-like dip Mauritians ate with all their fried foods.
Auntie Ruby, resident gossipmonger, lived up to her reputation. She had been the first to mention Lara’s failed marriage before they made it back into the house.
The sound of the grating voice droned on, Lara choosing to ignore it, before her mother gave her a small slap on her shoulder.
“You wicked girl. You said you were coming on Monday, and here you are surprising us now.”
She sighed. This was code for “how could you have kept this a secret and made me lose face in front of everyone, when I’ve been telling them you are coming on Monday?” Her mother lived for hearsay and the general idea of “what will people say.” In fact, most people in Mauritius lived by the standard. Whoever said the ton and all its silly rules had died in the Regency era had not taken a trip to Mauritius, in eighteen-ten or the year two thousand.
“But my poor little girl,” Auntie Ruby said in a cajoling tone bringing nothing but danger to mind. “Of course you wanted to come home earlier. Who wouldn’t? Look what that awful, awful man has done to you.”
Translation: “And here’s your cue to air out the laundry, from the sheets to the knickers, you silly goose.”
“Our hearts went out to you, dearest girl, you who are like a daughter to us,” Auntie Zubeida chimed in. “We never saw this coming. How could you not have told a soul you and that scoundrel were having problems? We would’ve spoken to him, set him right, showed him this is not how he is supposed to treat our daughter.”
“Tsk-tsk. And what a beautiful couple you two made. How could anyone have thought you would break up?” Auntie Ruby added.
Lara forced a small smile. Damn, how she wanted to be out of here. She had a duty to do, though—the sooner she was done, the better, so she could run back to Grand Baie and leave those old cows behind. And yes, in that lot, she included her mother, who had yet to speak out. Bad vibe.
“I’m doing fine, Auntie,” she said. “That’s what matters.”
All three women watched her with narrowed eyes. No way was she doing away with the Inquisition.
“How can you be fine?” Auntie Ruby asked. “We have been so preoccupied with your plight. How on earth are you going to get along? How will your parents bear all this? To think they still have an unmarried daughter on their hands, now they are ending up with two daughters. Oh what fate God has dealt them.”
Lara bit her lip to keep from answering back. Right, the ton must’ve been more solicitous than this. The aunts were simply nosing for gossip. But then, that’s what Jane Austen wrote in her subtext, too. The concern was merely the polite way of enquiring about gossip in their society.
*** end of excerpt ***

Get it at Decadent Publishing & at Amazon (at the reduced price of $2.99!)


From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Great Indie Authors Book Sale: Get INESCAPABLE for #99c only! #Eternelles by @ZeeMonodee & @Natalie_g_owens

Hey beautiful people!

Join me and Natalie in the Great Indie Authors Book Sale going on between today, July 11, to July 15. Many books, most of them by bestselling indie authors, at 99c or even FREE! So what are you waiting for? :)

Natalie and I are offering Inescapable, Book1 of the PNR/UF (with NA vibe) Eternelles series. An ongoing series with an arc spanning 15 books set up in 'seasons' mimicking TV shows, these books have cliffhanger endings are better read in sequence.

More about Inescapable:

INESCAPABLE (Eternelles: The Beginning, Book 1):
If you like TV series like Supernatural and Charmed--with an ultimate HEA; or kick ass heroines and sweeping, ongoing magical sagas like Game of Thrones (without the gratuitious killing of likeable characters) but in an urban setting, then this series is for you!

Download this novel for only $3.99 99c until July 15th!

An immortal born from an unlikely alliance...

Beautiful mythic Greek heiress Adrasteia 'Adri' Dionysios has roamed the world for millennia, taking her pleasure where she wanted. Until one night, when Fate drops a baby wrapped in fire into her arms. Motherhood is a formidable challenge, but so is figuring out the identity of a mystery man who makes her pulse race.

A vampyre’s obsession…

Seraphine 'Sera' Dionysios' origins are shrouded in mystery. Torn between a mother whose blood saved her life, and a man who now possesses her soul, the only thing Sera can still cling to is her heart.

One rule matters above all others: Always protect the portal…

When Evil comes to Adri and Sera’s hometown of Shadow Bridge, a place where the mortal human world ends and the supernatural realm starts, it’s up to them to stop a prophecy as old as time itself...or die trying.

Excerpt - from Adri's POV

“Adri, I suppose you have already met but allow me to make the formal introductions. This handsome rogue here is Desmond Roxburgh.”
“Des, please,” he said.
Adri wanted to kick him in the shin at the silky way he wove his spell on Susan. Wait a second—wove a spell? Was he really a sup, then?
“Des, this young lady here is Adrasteia Dionysios, the famous relic hunter.”
Des Roxburgh put out his right hand. “You go by Adri, if I’m not mistaken.”
She’d look like an impolite bitch if she refused his handshake. No matter how loud something inside of her screamed in warning to not let him get too close to her. Why, she wanted to know? Because he was dangerous? In that case, with the merest contact against his skin, she would be able to figure out what he was.
So she resolutely took the outstretched hand, and quelled the shock that coursed through her system when they touched. His eyes darkened, she couldn’t help but notice, and in that split second before he released her, she glimpsed prairie fields and rock walls, desert sand and calm lakes, beautiful gardens redolent with sunshine and the fragrance of flowers.
All of them places she had been in throughout her existence. How could he have the same memories? Or else, how could he evoke such remembrances in her? These were all moments when she had felt at peace with herself and with the universe.
And if she probed deeper, she would also remember that one time when her world had tilted on its axis—the moment on a dark terrace under a moonless sky when a masked man had pulled her into his arms for a dance away from the prying eyes of the ball’s guests, when this complete stranger had kissed her, and seared his presence into her heart. If she were to look the truth in its face, she would acknowledge that she had spent the past thousand years looking for hints of that masked man in the face of every male she encountered.
His kiss and his touch had ruined her for others, and she still had no clue who he was.
“...looking for a scroll and I told him you would be the authority on that,” Susan said.
Adri blinked out of her memories, to realize her hand had limply fallen to her side when Des had released her. A soft tingle remained in her fingertips. Definitely strange, but not enough to suggest that he could be a supernatural creature. This man was as human as one could get.
Not a threat, then. Or was he?

***end of excerpt***

And we also have Freebies, peeps! Want to check out what Eternelles is about but not sure yet? Then grab these prequels, best read in the following order: Adrasteia (Book 0 of Eternelles) and Seraphine (Book 0.5 of Eternelles)


Adrasteia 'Adri' Dionysios, daughter of a Greek god, has lived for twenty-eight centuries and her existence as a flighty, conniving, and wicked creature is starting to get tedious. Can a heathen like her ask for something more, and deserve it?
When her prayers are answered, all plans for any future change. For the best? Time will tell.

ADRASTEIA is a prequel to INESCAPABLE (Eternelles: The Beginning, Book 1) and an accompaniment to the second free prequel to this series titled, SERAPHINE.

Fans of J.R. Ward, Karen Marie Moning, Christine Feehan and Sam Cheever will enjoy this new series featuring a kick-ass mother-daughter duo, the men who love them, fast action, a different take on myths, and an amazing cast of characters.

Get the FREE prequel here


Séraphine "Sera" Dionysios has everything she could ever wish for--a nurturing mother, a privileged life, a man who loves her. But, who is the mysterious stranger who keeps staring at her during dinner on the eve of her departure toward a new life? As she prepares to embark on an equally exciting and frightening journey with her husband-to-be, her world comes crashing down and leaves her reeling.

SERAPHINE is a prequel to INESCAPABLE (Eternelles: The Beginning, Book 1) and an accompaniment to the other free prequel to this series titled, ADRASTEIA.

Get it FREE here



And don't forget to check the other fab indie authors taking part in this hop. You can find them all here, or easier still, follow the links from the list below.


Hope you'll take a chance on us, peeps! We're counting on you. *grin*

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Tasty Summer Reads Blog Hop: Feat. The Other Side, Book1 of the IslandGirls trilogy by @ZeeMonodee with @Decadentpub

Hey beautiful people!

I got tagged by two lovely ladies I'm honoured to call friends - Rae Rivers & Kathy Bosman - onto this blog hop.

What is it about? Well, all about a recipe revolving around an upcoming release or a WIP that you have this summer.

It's smack dab the middle of winter here in the southern hemisphere, but luckily, a tropical place like Mauritius still gets some decent sunsine on the coasts, where this recipe can still be downed without causing you to get penumonia (like it could be the case where I live, on the higher plateaus, with our 12-14C temps right now).

So which recipe am I sharing, and how does it tie to my upcoming release?

The recipe is for an Oreo+HaagenDasz super indulgent milkshake. Loaded with calories, definitely a once-every-often treat, but at the end of a long, hard, and hot day (and especially when you've had your mother breathing down your neck all day, like my heroine, Lara, often has to put up with), something decadent and sinful is always welcome. And sadly, when there is no hunk who can play out the cabana boy theme to you (sadly, too, Lara's case. She's a workaholic, btw), this milkshake is the next best thing.

What is this story really about? Well, titled The Other Side, it is the story of divorcee Lara Reddy who comes back to the land of her parents, the island of Mauritius, to take up a prestigious job after the demise of her decade-long marriage to a 'proper' Indian-origin boy in London. Lara knew Mauritius wouldn't be easy - after all, her mother is there (the woman makes shark-infested waters look like a midsummer pond!), but she hadn't counted on the traditional, almost-backwards society that casts her away, because she has the dirty tag of 'divorcee' on her back now.
Amid all this Bollywood-style drama, Lara comes across the first -and only- boy she ever loved, Eric Marivaux. The problem? He is white, and from a totally different culture as her own. As teenagers, they had no hope of a future in Mauritius. But maybe as adults, they can make this work again...

So the hop also has a few questions I should answer *rubs hands with glee!* Let's roll!

1. When writing, are you a snacker? If yes, sweet or salty?
Not a snacker per se. I'll only get crumbs into my keyboard, and that's not really pleasant (or hygienic...) I do have this huge, 1-pint+ cup of green tea next to me, that I'll sip from time to time to keep me from getting parched.

2. Are you an outliner or someone who flies by the seat of their pants? Are they real pants or jammies?
Outliner, definitely. I have to know everything that'll happen from start to finish and only then can I write. It helps my compulsive nature, but it also works in giving me a timeframe for writing, because I often deal with deadlines. Knowing where I'm going takes the stress out of wondering whether I'll be able to make my deadlines or not.
But still, my outline is very loose, a scene put down in 1 sentence or 2. The actual writing is totally off the seat of my trousers.
And they're rarely jammies (must be during school vacation, when I don't have to go out). They'll usually be shorts in summer, thick yoga-pants style in winter, or if I'm feeling glam, MANGO skinny jeans. *grin*

3. When cooking or baking, do you follow the recipe or wing it?
I used to be an awful cook, so I always followed recipes to the dot. Then I started learning how to cook properly, and found out I loved it. So now, the first time I make something, I'll follow the recipe. The second time, I'll adjust it most probably (like too much butter in the recipe for the cake, so I cut back until I'm satisfied with the end result. A lot of trial and error. I also cut down like one third of the sugar in any recipe.)

4. What is next for you after this book?
My next release will be Book2 in the Island Girls trilogy - it follows Lara's youngest sister, Diya, in her quest to find a modern Prince Charming in the sea of frogs that is contemporary Mauritian society. Unfortunately for Diya, though, she meets...an ogre! The title is Light My World, coming in September 2013.
WIP-wise, I am on the second book of the collaborative indie PNR/UF series started with my bestie, Natalie G Owens, titled Eternelles.

5. Last question...On a level of 1 being slightly naughty and 10 being whoo hoo steamy, where does your book land?
Hmmm... I'd say somewhere around a 2 or 3. The Other Side is more a romantic comedy with Bollywood drama than a hot and heavy romance. To me, the love scenes are more sensual than raunchy, though the chemistry and tension between Lara and Eric are (I hope!) scorching. *grin*

Recipe

Oreo+HaagenDasz Decadent Milkshake

A handful of Oreo cookies (the original, dark choc one with vanilla cream)
HaagenDasz Cookies&Cream ice cream - about 2 scoops
1 pint cold milk
Whipped cream (Optional)

Place cold milk in your blender. Add ice cream and crushed cookies. Pulse.
Pour into tall glasses. Top with whipped cream and a glace cherry.
(Optional - if you want this less buttery, scrape off the cream from the Oreos before adding the cookies to the blender)

A little more about the book, releasing July 23, 2013:

Divorce paints a scarlet letter on her back when she returns to the culture-driven society of Mauritius. This same spotlight shines as a beacon of hope for the man who never stopped loving her. Can the second time around be the right one for these former teenage sweethearts?

Lara Reddy left London after her husband dumps her for a more accommodating uterus—at least, that’s what his desertion feels like. Bumping into him and his pregnant new missus doesn’t help matters any, and she thus jumps on a prestigious job offer. The kicker? The job is in Mauritius, her homeland, and a society she ran away from over a decade earlier.

But once here, Lara has no escape. Not from the gossip, the contempt, the harassing matchmaking...and certainly not from the man she hoped never to meet again. The boy she’d loved and lost—white Mauritian native, Eric Marivaux.

Back when they were teens, Eric left her, and Lara vowed she’d never let herself be hurt again.
Today, they are both adults, and facing the same crossroads they’d stood at so many years earlier.


Lara now stands on the other side of Mauritian society. Will this be the impetus she needs to take a chance on Eric and love again?

Excerpt (from the start of the book):


Don’t give in, Lara Reddy repeated like a mantra. Whatever you do, don’t give in.

But who was she kidding? She blew out a deep breath, warm air that feathered through her long fringe and settled the straight black locks in disarray over her eyes, obliterating her vision. Damn, she didn’t need this. She had to see her surroundings, so she could blank out the image burned inside her mind.

As she closed her hand on the smooth, glossy cardboard of the cigarette box in the deepest corner of her Hermès Birkin, she shuddered.

 You have to fight, Lara.

Fight the urge to have a smoke when she’d been off fags for over a year. Fight the memory of that indelible sight, of Roy, formerly her husband, with another woman. A very pregnant woman. He hadn’t lost any time, the pig. Barely eleven months since he served the divorce papers, and he had remarried and the missus was expecting.

Everything Lara had failed to be as his wife.... You are not at fault. She hadn’t been ready for children. Right?

Her hand trembled, and she bit back the sob that threatened to fall from her lips. The cardboard box still in her grip, she pulled her hand out, to stare at the pale gold, sealed Benson & Hedges packet.

The plastic wrapper on the box screamed at her to open it, to peel away the layers until she reached the salvation inside.

Perdition, you are. Was she crazy to imagine an evil snicker in her head?

***end of excerpt***


From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Sunday, June 30, 2013

From #Free #Eternelles Prequel: ADRASTEIA - Adri's origins #snippetsunday

Hey peeps!

Finally having some sun shine down on us. Cold, yup, but at least when it's bright, you are able to power on and forget the dreary temps.

So, back to books... I am having so much fun sharing excerpts from our free prequel with you. when Natalie and I wrote them (Adrasteia & Seraphine), our goal was to offer our readers a little glimpse into the past, into how everything came to be what it is for our two main protagonists.

Today, I tell you more about Adri's origins. You know she descends from a maenad and can thus manipulate people, in crowds. Here's some more about how she came into being (Last week's excerpt here).

'...
Adri winced. Her mother had been a maenad, a human woman who had become a follower of the Greek god of wine and revelry, Dionysos, and who had achieved power over crowds as a result. Usually barren to the god’s seed, this maenad had miraculously borne him a child; a baby daughter he’d wanted sacrificed on the altar of his greatness mere minutes after her birth. Had the mighty Zeus not stepped in to save her, she would have died that day.
Or would she? Because in her nearly three millennia of existence, nothing had managed to kill her. Fine—she hadn’t tested the guillotine, but maybe that, too, wouldn’t have worked on her.
She’d never known her mother, had never even found out her name, and her biological father had only sought her out once in all these years, and that, too, to taunt her about possessing as vile a heart as his. She shivered as she remembered his words.
“You’re cold,” Ares said.
....'

Get your free prequels here!
 
Smashwords ~ Kobo ~ iBookstore ~ Amazon US & UK (Not free in UK yet; please report for price matching) ~ Barnes & Noble


And don't forget to check the official Snippet Sunday group on FB. They are here. Peeps to check out are Linda, P.T. Wyant, Mona Rodriguez, Siobhan Muir, & Kate Wyland.

Happy Sunday, ye all!

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Saturday, June 29, 2013

#MySexySaturday: When they meet again - The Other Side, IslandGirls Bk1 (Decadent Publishing, July 2013)

Hey beautiful people!

I missed the meme for a few weeks, but so happy to be back today. It's awesome to see the list of participants has grown - Lynn Crain can be proud of herself *wink*

Anyhow, back to the story I'd been featuring on here. Again, let me point out my brand of sexy is more atmospheric and sensual than true body action - so if you're looking for that, sorry... You will however find this at many of the other blogs on the list (link following at the bottom of this post - do check them out!).

So my heroine, Lara, loved Eric when they were teens. 12 years later, with an awful breakup in between & a shattered arranged marriage on Lara's side, they meet again.

The scene I am highlighting follows where their paths cross again. Catch the earlier postings here...
And we follow right from where we left off!

'...
 
Lara took a deep breath and gathered her courage. She would have to face him sooner or later. A part of her had always known she ran the risk of coming across him on the island. She’d preferred to hide from such probability, but she couldn’t run anymore.

So she lifted her head. A frown marred the wide forehead on the face she encountered. As devastatingly handsome as ever. Or maybe, even more than ever. His features were arresting, masculine, adult. No longer those of a teenager.

Her mouth went dry again, and her heart beat faster when the straight line of his lips broke into a large smile a few seconds later. His eyes lit up as well, and widened.

“I’ll be damned! Lara? Is it really you?” he asked, switching effortlessly to English.

She forced her lips into a smile and took a deep breath. “Hello, Eric. How are you?”

She couldn’t have sounded more like a cold, distant bitch if she’d tried.

He stared at her for long seconds. Would he brush her off, get up, and leave her stranded again? He’d be well within his rights to do so, after her stilted greeting.

...'


The other participants (and there's quite a list to choose from - or visit all! Best of everything, lol) can be found at this week's official list for the MySexySaturday meme. Among them, my faves are Lynn Crain, Krista Ames, Stacy Juba, Sam Cheever, Layna Pimentel, TMonique Stevens, MaryJ. McCoy-Dressen, Taryn Kincaid, Melissa Keir, Jennag Scott, & Louisa Bacio.

Hope ye're all having a lovely Saturday. For once, the sun is shining here in our blustery winter.

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

#SummerBookCrush - A Book Boyfriend for Everyone: Get Rafe & Des from #Eternelles at 99c only!

Hey beautiful people!

I'm new to the indie world, and this is my first big promo splash. so please bear with me. :)

But listen to this - there's this Summer Book Crush event where authors have gathered together to offer 50+ books at 99c each on Amazon. I dunno about you, but I looooove a good book deal, so I am definitely checking this one out.



Did I mention INESCAPABLE, Book1 of the our Eternelles PNR/UF series, is featured in this event? So you can grab the book at 99c here!

So what's this whole deal about? Read on!

Hot sun, hot sand, cool drinks, dark tans. Ahhhh. But your summer won’t be complete until you land a new BOOK BOYFRIEND, right? Lucky for you, we’ve got you covered!

 

 
SUMMER BOOK CRUSH offers 50+ titles in many genres. This means 50+ chances to (fictitiously) fall in love. And the best part? Each of these gems is only 99¢, but for a limited time only. The SUMMER BOOK CRUSH event starts on June 26th and ends (yes, even the best things in life end at some point) on June 28th.

So don't wait up! Mingle with our BOOK BOYFRIENDS and invite all your friends to participate too. There are plenty of BOOK BOYS to share!

Button_who is your book crush
 

Find your summer’s fling between the pages of a book. And don't stop on one - after all we have many BOOK BOYFRIENDS for you to mingle with.
 
* HAPPY READING * HAPPY SUMMER *
 
From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Sunday, June 23, 2013

From #Free #Eternelles Prequel ADRASTEIA: Adri's darker side...

Hey beautiful people!

Still frightfully cold here. Guess what? We're under the influence of an anticyclone (meaning biting winds, lots of humidity, no sun, lots of rain) and this cold front built up from...Antarctica! Whoo-hoo...NOT! Blastedly cold right now here - heaters working overtime and not cutting down on the bite any. *sigh* So this means no better time to hunker down with fatty comfort food, hot chocolate or chai, and a good book or movie from under a heavy quilt or afghan. Hello, life of decadence...while you're hunkering down with cold!

Anyhow, it's Sunday, and it's time for a snippet. Good news - ADRASTEIA, my prequel for the PNR/UF series Eternelles co-written with my bestie Natalie G. Owens, went free on all platforms last Sunday. Yep, it is now available for free on Amazon! Still no luck on the UK link, but we're working on it. Thank you to everyone who reported for the price matching! You've been amazing!

Last week, I showed you Ares, Adri's foster brother and the Greek god of War. The sibling duo got into a 'serious' talk, and today's snippet follows from where we left off. Adri's thoughts veer back to her life so far, as well as the reality of her origins. Not too pleasant memories for her...because they bring forth the darker side of her psyche that she has indulged in so far.

Here's a glimpse for you:

'...
He frowned as he reached for her hand. “More of what?”
“Life. This. Everything.”
She wasn’t making much sense. How could she have gotten so overwrought all of a sudden? She had lived for nearly twenty-eight centuries on this earth, notwithstanding her first hundred years spent on Mount Olympus in the home of her foster father, Zeus. Living—thriving more than surviving—had always been a piece of cake. Adri didn’t kid herself; she wasn’t a saint. She loved manipulation, plots, secrets, affecting potential outcomes. Yes, she loved to play, and with people, at that. She didn’t run away from her maenad side, embracing it instead. Maenads held mystic power over crowds, able to bend the will of groups and mobs alike whenever it suited them.
She closed her eyes. The reality she refused to face most of the time, the one of her origins, slammed straight into her consciousness, and the energy to brace for the shock couldn’t be summoned. No way out of facing her truth.

...'

Grab the free prequel at the following places!
 
Smashwords ~ Kobo ~ iBookstore ~ Amazon US & UK (Not free in UK yet; please report for price matching) ~ Barnes & Noble

And don't forget to check the official Snippet Sunday list on FB. Awesome peeps on there are Sarah Wesson, Karen Michelle Nutt, Joanne Stewart, Mona Rodriguez, Lorraine Paton, Joyce Scarbrough, and Linda.

Hope ye all are having a warmer Sunday than us here.

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Link Thursday: Raising A Girl - 16 Things You Wish You'd Known

Hey peeps!

Sorry for yesterday - Blogger would not let me in! I had this post lined up about letting your readers down; guess I'll have to post it another Wednesday now.
And if it's not one thing, it's the other. Today, Twitter won't let me in, giving me it's huge whale picture instead. Growing tired of seeing that one!

Anyhow, it's Thursday, so it's time for me to post a linked article about something that's caught my attention lately.

I was browsing and came across this one. I don't have daughters (just son & stepson) and I don't think I'll ever have another kid, let alone a girl. So this one doesn't strike personally with me...but it does where my writing is concerned.

You see, I write about love, life, and relationships...and family, motherhood, can/will be at the heart of my plots. My latest contracted book, Bad Luck With Besties, finds the hero being the single father of a 14-yr-old daughter. The kicker? He is 31. Yep, he was 17 when she was born. Enter the heroine who, to be with him, will automatically step in as 'mum' to this teen, too.

Got me thinking - how much do we really know about bringing up daughters, especially those of us who don't have girls? How different is it from having little boys in your household?

This article answers those questions. Written by Jenna McCarthy and posted online on June 3, 2013 at the iVillage.com site, you can find the entire article in its original slideshow here.

~~~~~

Wish We'd Known: 16 Things No One Told Us About Raising a Girl


Even if you always dreamed about having a daughter, the experience can be completely different from what you expected. Here's what we wish we'd known about raising a girl

Jenna McCarthy on Jun 3, 2013 at 10:41PM

When you found out you were having a girl, you might have pictured spa pedicures and fancy tea parties and matching mommy-and-me dresses. Since you're a girl yourself, you probably figured you'd have the daughter deal all dialed in. But the truth is, your little lass will have a few surprises up her tiny sleeve. From relentless chatting to the urge to hoard to the nearly universal obsession with all things pink, daughters are a breed unto themselves. Here, a sneak peek into your future.

You'll Buy Her Stuff She Doesn't Need
Feathered hair bands, polka dotted tights, tiny pillbox purses, socks that look like ballet shoes: It won't be long before your tiny toddler has a more extensive accessory collection than you do. That's because when you buy it for yourself it's a splurge; when you purchase it for her, it's a need. (Well, sort of.) When something is impossibly darling and on sale, you may need help restraining yourself from buying her two or three. We've never heard any of our boy-mom-friends confessing they couldn't resist buying another dump truck tee.

She May Be Way Girlier Than You Are
Even if you've done your best to create a gender-neutral play space stocked with trucks, trains and all sorts of "boy" toys, don't be surprised if she develops a passion for princesses and Barbies and pretty pink ballerina gear out of the ether. No matter how hard you try to fight the stereotype, the combination of hard-wiring and clever marketing may just trump your efforts.

Her Desire to Borrow Your Heels, Jewels, Handbags and More Will Start as Soon as She Can Walk And Talk (And Grow From There)
"Going to Costco to get some coffee!" she'll announce, clogging along in your New Year's Eve heels (that, for the record, you rarely wear to Costco). In the toddler years this is silly dress-up at its best, so enjoy it. Soon enough she'll be wanting to borrow these things for real. Be prepared for battle.

You Might Be a Little Jealous of Daddy's Girl
Even if you're not particularly the type, it's hard not to feel tiny pangs of envy when you realize you're not the only female in your husband's life anymore. Oh, you’ll treasure their deep connection and delight in their daddy-daughter games and secrets, but sometimes you won’t love being on the outside of that circle.  And the first time she runs to him -- and not you -- when she's sad or hurt, it will be downright crushing. Just remember, that tiny little heart of hers has plenty of love to go around. You'll have your own unique time and activities with her, too (that will be deeply mysterious and possibly envy-provoking to dad).

Everything Starts Early
Sure, all kids are different, but girls seem to hit the major developmental milestones before similarly aged boys. Your daughter may be off and running while your friend's son is still struggling to master the crawl, or speaking in complete sentences while her boy-buddies are barely barking out coherent words. Rolling over, sitting up, blowing kisses, clapping hands, potty training, reading: Don't be surprised if she masters all of these and more before the boys her age. But try not to gloat too much; it almost always evens out in the end.

She'll Strike a Sexy Pose
She might be dancing or putting on a show, or simply just showing off her new Dora swimsuit when it happens: With her hip thrust out and her head thrown back, you'll do a cartoonish double-take when you realize she looks like a miniature way-too-sexy Victoria's Secret model. You've worked overtime to shield her from celebrity-studded magazines and teenager-y TV, too, so you'll be triply mystified as to where she learned this move. Your heart will break and you'll jump all over her about never doing that again. Ever.

Girl Drama Makes 'The Help' Seem Playful in Comparison
Before you have a daughter, it's nearly impossible to believe that any human being could get themselves thoroughly worked up over something as seemingly benign as, say, the part in their hair or the official words to "This Old Man." Oh, but they can. The vegetables touched the pasta. She can't find her other flip-flop. But she really really super-wants it!!! Eventually she'll chill out. In the meantime, lots of deep breaths.

You'll Relish the Excuse to Read 'Black Beauty,' 'Nancy Drew' and Judy Blume Again
The minute you crack the spine of one of your childhood favorites, you'll be transported directly back to that magical time. Still, you'll pick up details and nuances you either missed the first time around or forgot about entirely.

You'll Hear Her Scolding Her Baby Dolls or Stuffed Animals and Cringe Because She Sounds Exactly Like You
"Do not speak to me in that tone of voice," she’ll insist to Pink Bunny. (Brown Bear, Fuzzy Lamby and Supersoft Giraffe will get the same treatment.) She'll administer stern warnings and lengthy time-outs and you'll laugh (and cringe) as you watch her relish the pint-size power play.

It'll Break Your Heart When Her Chunky Baby Thighs Turn Into Long, Lean Kid Legs
The change is so gradual that you may not even notice it happening. But one day you'll grab onto one of those gams, all ready to pretend-sink your teeth into its meaty flesh, and you'll realize the rolls are gone. Vanished! In their place will be taut, strong limbs that look like they belong on a colt. While you'll pine for the thigh-nibbling days of your past, you'll appreciate her newfound ability to keep up with you when you walk.

She'll Likely Go Through an "I'm Only Wearing Dresses" Phase
Somewhere around the age of three, she'll develop definitive ideas about what she wants to wear that may or may not be in alignment with what's clean, the weather, standards of decency or what happens to be in style at the particular moment. Just when you've rid her wardrobe choices of anything that doesn't have a skirt, her preference may just change to some other curious thing (an inside-out tank top, leopard print rain boots, a bikini top over a turtleneck) for the next stretch. The sooner you realize it really doesn't matter, the happier you both will be.

She'll Hoard... Everything
Pinecones, rubber bands, hair thingies, erasers, flower petals, bottle caps, sea glass, stray buttons, dead bugs: If she can stuff it in a baggie, she'll never tire of collecting it. It's an evolutionary nod to her gatherer-girl roots and she honestly can't help it (much the way her brother likely won't stop slaying imaginary beasts). In other words, be prepared to find these stashes all over your house for the rest of ever. (Hopefully you'll locate the baby-carrot baggie before it putrefies into liquid blue mold.)

You'll Fight Over Her Hair Constantly
It's in her eyes. It needs a trim. You like it up, she likes it down. Yes, she has to wash it. No, she's not going out of the house with that rat's nest on her head. Fine, you'll curl/straighten it just this once. No, she can't do it herself. The hair wars will last as long as you let them (translation: until you realize that it's just hair and decide to surrender). The good news: Eventually she's likely to see the light and realize that clean and combed really is the better look.

She'll Be the Beauty Standard by Which You Judge all of Her Peers
You wouldn't admit it out loud for a lifetime supply of free Spanx, but you'll secretly think she's the most beautiful creature ever to be born. You might even feel bad for her playmates, whose pretty little faces still can't hold a candle to hers. It's normal and healthy to feel this way, but be sure you tell her how smart and kind she is, too -- lest her dazzling head swell to unfortunate proportions.

She May Be a Born Manipulator
Moms with kids of both genders insist that it's their darling daughters who seem to know how to get what they want with a mere look. Do we see right through it? Absolutely. Does it work? Although we don't like admitting it... sometimes it does. (Dads in particular confess they are powerless to resist "the look.") She may have even picked up the move from you (ahem), but the fact that she is already aware of her feminine power can be downright disarming.

You'll Feel a Little Bad for Moms of (All) Boys
When you get together with your mommy friends, you'll wonder if the boy-moms are secretly jealous that you have a girl. (Your close friends might even admit as much to you.) After all, you get to shop for dainty nursery decor and darling dresses and go for manicures together while they're stuck digging for worms and discussing back hoes. Alas, the tables may turn when you find yourself butting heads with a hormonal teenage daughter and your friend is chilling with an even-keel mini-man, so enjoy your day in the sun while it lasts.

~~~~~

From Mauritius with love,

Zee
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