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

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