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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wednesday's Writer - Mona Risk

Today's guest is award-winning and best-selling author Mona Risk talking about series in general and her own latest series in particular.  

Series by Mona Risk

Years ago I read a series of six Regency novels by Stephanie Laurens who at the time was my favorite author. Later I became disappointed with series where the books tend to have similar stories and similar characters. I promised myself that if I wrote a series, my stories would be completely different from each other and would suit the character of each heroine.
When I published CHRISTMAS BABIES as Book I of the Holiday Babies Series, it was received with a huge success. I couldn’t believe the number of emails requesting Book II. So I wrote VALENTINE BABIES. The story flew from my mind and practically wrote itself. Readers loved it and asked for the next story.

CHRISTMAS BABIES is Madelyn’s story, the hard-working Dr M. Ramsay who suffers from an unexpected health problem. 

VALENTINE BABIES is Roxanne’s story, the head-strong and independent, second Ramsay daughter, who roams the world as a TV reporter. 

MOTHER’S DAY BABIES is Barbara Ramsey’s story, the mamma who looks like her daughters’ oldest sister. Barbara is attracted to Roxanne’s boss, Lou Roland, the powerful TV director. But how can a mother of five grown up daughters and a widow loyal to her husband’s memory abandon her kitchen’s haven and jump into dating mode after so long? 

My stories are heart-warming but funny. You may wipe a tear but you’ll laugh and smile a lot. The heroines have only one common trait: They are strong and won’t let obstacles stand in their ways. The heroes are very different from each other. Dr Nick Prescott who’s been in love with Madelyn for several years is a charming playboy, dedicated to his patients. Dr Greg Hayes is a quiet, reserved young man who can’t help falling in love with the sassy Roxanne at first glance. Lou Rolland, the powerful TV Director, longs for the cozy family atmosphere the vivacious Barbara creates around her.

And there may be more stories to come with two daughters still not married.

A heartwarming holiday story, set in South Florida, CHRISTMAS BABIES spent two months on the bestsellers' list with an Amazon rank between 200 and 500 and garnered 95 reviews. 

Dedicated to her patients, the serious Dr Madelyn Ramsay never had time for fun. An unexpected health problem jolts her into the realization that there's more to life than just work. She longs to surrender to the magic of Christmas. But can she handle the charming and secretive Dr Nick Preston who carries his own package of disillusions? Can she allow two newborn twins to worm their way into her heart?

VALENTINE BABIES is a heart-warming story that will take you from the heart of Kentucky to South Florida and Atlanta, and then to Iraq and Germany.  VALENTINE BABIES spent one month on the bestsellers' list with an Amazon rank between 300 and 500, and garnered 44 reviews.

Fearless reporter, Roxanne Ramsay, doesn’t think twice before traveling for important assignments, even in a war zone—until her last trip leads her to a life-altering mistake.

At his best friends’ wedding, Dr Greg Hayes, who has a serious phobia of planes, can’t take his eyes off the lovely maid of honor. But why is Roxanne blinking away tears? Getting involved with the strong-headed and too generous reporter involves more complications than the bright doctor has ever faced in the OR. Yet what wouldn’t he do to save the love of his life and her baby?

Excerpt from Chapter One of VALENTINE BABIES:

“Go now. And smile for heaven’s sake,” the wedding coordinator sputtered against Roxanne’s ear. “It’s your sister’s happiest day.”

The Mendelssohn Wedding March chimed through the Cathedral of Christ the King in Lexington, Kentucky.
Roxanne Ramsay plastered a wide smile on her face and clutched her poinsettia bouquet to stop the trembling of her hands. God only knew how happy she was for Madelyn and Nick.

But why did she have to receive that horrible email yesterday? Two days before Christmas. Last night, she’d claimed to suffer a twenty-four hour bug to avoid the church rehearsal and dinner. Honestly, she didn’t have to fake stomach cramps. Her guts had twisted the moment she read and re-read the missive announcing Nabil’s death. Alone in her room in the big empty house, she’d cried her heart out.

A new bout of tears invaded her eyes. She blinked furiously and shuffled forward. Had the aisle lengthened all of a sudden? Gliding on the white carpet, she thought she’d already covered a mile. Behind her, the four bridesmaids progressed at the same snail’s pace.

Finally Roxanne reached the altar and sidled to the left. The fresh pine scent of the Christmas trees decorating the church mingled with the sweet fragrance of white roses in two vases adorning the altar. A delightful smell. Her stomach heaved.

Oh God, no. She braced herself and swallowed. The nausea passed.

The ushers and bridesmaids smiled as Nick took Madelyn’s hand. Roxanne’s face hurt from the effort of stretching her lips. In the first row, Mom sniffled and wiped her eyes with a lacy handkerchief. Could the sister of the bride cry as freely without attracting attention?

Why should she smile? There was no groom and no happy ending in her future.

“Since when were you such a mushy one? You’re crying even more than Mom,” her sister Heather mumbled in her ear.

“Sorry. It’s a... a special moment.” She exhaled and almost hiccupped. Please, God, help me stop crying.
“Still people are wondering,” Heather muttered in the same hushed tone.

“What people? We’re facing the altar. Father O’Brien is too busy reading his holy words.”

“The man standing next to Nick’s dad’s wheelchair hasn’t stopped staring at you.”

Roxanne’s head spun to the right. That gorgeous groomsman in a black tux and neatly combed brown hair?
His hazel eyes captured her gaze. She hadn’t attended last night’s rehearsal and hadn’t met Nick’s friends. His frown relaxed and he smiled. She tried to avert her eyes, and then threw another glance in his direction. He winked.

Her nerves already a shambles, she burst out laughing and caught his silent chuckle.

About the Author
Mona Risk
When her Ph.D. and work in chemistry landed her international contracts to refurbish laboratories, Mona Risk traveled to more than sixty countries on business or vacation. To relax from her hectic schedule, she avidly read romance novels and mentally plotted her own books. Eventually she left a scientific career to share with her readers the many stories brewing in her head. M. Risk likes to set her novels in the fascinating places she visited, from exotic Belarus, and historical France, to the beaches of Greece, the monuments of Egypt and the mysterious Islands of Seychelles. 

Her books have garnered: Top Picks; Outstanding Read; Sweetheart of the Week; Best Book of the Week at various reviewers, received two mentions in Publisher’s Weekly, and have won several awards, from Best Contemporary Romance of the Year at READERS FAVORITE, to Best Romance Novel of the Year at Preditors & Editors Readers Poll.

Mona Risk continues to write and read while traveling and discovering unchartered territories and fresh inspiration for new stories and different settings. 

Find out more about Mona from her website and/or her blog.


ManicScribbler said...

Thank you, Mona. This has been fascinating and I can't wait to get stuck into your holiday babies series - and Valentine Babies in particular.

Mona Risk said...

Hi Lynette,

Thank you for inviting me to your beautiful blog. And thanks for the nice comment.

Beth Trissel said...

Hello Mona! Wonderful post. I enjoyed it, and I am a fan of your work. Always good to learn a little more about you and your latest stories.

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Mona,

Your stories have such heartwarming moments. I truly enjoyed Christmas Babies, and I think I have Valentines Babies around here somewhere. The trouble with the eReaders is that if you go on a book buying binge, some roll off that front screen. Yikes! I'm glad you thought of this series, and I'm very much looking forward to your Mother's Day Babies as well.

Best wishes!

Mona Risk said...

Hi Beth, back at you. I love your stories too. Tahnk you for stoping by.

Morgan Mandel said...

Love the Holiday Babies Series, Mona!

Morgan Mandel

Mona Risk said...

Hi Maggie,

It's strange how the muse hits at the least expected moment. I thought I would take a break from writing, but the new story played in my mind as I did my daily walk. Then I had to stop walking and start writing!

Mona Risk said...

Hi Morgan, thanks. You made my day. Now to finish or rather write the third book.

Celia Yeary said...

Mona--I thought maybe you'd given up blogging! Not really.
Your idea for the series is very smart. Oh, but if I could do the same. I know they've been very successful so far, and will remain so. Well done...

Mona Risk said...

Thank you, Celia. I hope the third one comes well. They all have a major problem facing the heroine at the center of the story, a problem any woman can relate to. Maybe that's why they appeal to the readers.

Barbara Edwards said...

I just read Christmas Babies and loved it. I'll have to get his one, too.

Mary Ricksen said...

Mona, you are terrific. I love your books!

Mona Risk said...

Hi Barbara, the next one is Valentine Baby. You made my day. Thank you.

Mona Risk said...

Hi Mary, thank you so much.The feeling is mutual.

liana laverentz said...

Now there's the travel and to travel and to write...wishing you all the best with your Babies stories and more, Mona!

Mona Risk said...

Liana, what a good surprise to see you here. Thank you so much for your good wishes. One of my babies is named Liana.

Mona Risk said...

Lynette, thank you so much for having me here. I had a fun time and appreciate the comments.

Stephanie Burkhart said...

Mona, I enjoyed Christmas Babies very much. Looking forward to reading Valentines Babies. I think you've got a "winner" here with this series!

ManicScribbler said...

I know I've very much taken a back seat here because Mona has been so wonderfully pro-active and welcoming, but I've read every comment and loved the support everyone has given to her work. Gosh, it must be so good to have your work appreciated by so many.

Very well done, Mona. I wish you the very best of luck with Valentine Babies and the forthcoming Mother's Day Babies. Now, I don't want to panic you, but I hope you are aware that Mother's Day over here usually comes before yours in the US. In fact here I believe it's in a couple of weeks' time...

Just letting you know.

You've been a wonderful and interesting guest, Mona and I hope you'll come back again very soon.

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