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These books are back to being unpublished manuscripts on my hard drive, and will be going out on submission again shortly.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

~~~~~



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
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