Tag Archives: blog swap

Why Did I Go Indie? Guest blog by @ZeeMonodee #ebook #selfpublishing #pararom

Good day!! It gives me great pleasure to welcome one of my critique partners, and a good friend, to my blog today. She’s talking about why she decided to go indie with her most recent release co-authored with Natalie G. Owens, INESCAPABLE.

We’re doing a blog swap, so when you’re done here, be sure to pop over to Zee’s blog for the next stop on the ALIEN ADORATION tour, and to find out why I went indie. 

Take it away, Zee! 🙂

Monodee, Zee

Hey everyone! Pleasure to be here today. Jessica is guesting on my blog, and the lovely person she is offered to host me in return. This also happened because this month, we’re both talking of the same topic – self-publishing.

My bestie (that’s UK slang for best friend, lol) is named Natalie G. Owens and she and I are like identical twins separated at birth (okay, soul and mind-wise. She’s a white Catholic girl from Malta; I’m an Indian-origin Muslim from the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean). Oceans and years separate us, yet it’s amazing how much we think alike, how we conceive of life and career and success under the same strokes. She’s an author, too, so is it a wonder one day we started talking about collaborating on something?

Inescapable by Zee Monodee & Natalie G. OwensFast forward 1.5 years later, and our first collab book is out. Inescapable is Book 1 of the Eternelles series, focusing on the trials and tribulations of a mother-daughter pair. But our slant is that these two women are immortals, share no blood yet bond like family, and it seems like they are at the heart of a conspiracy that can either release Evil that has been locked behind a portal…or unleash the Apocalypse in the process.

Natalie writes horror really well, with a dark vibe and oftentimes, a Gothic slant. I, on the other hand, am a happy-go-lucky girlie girl who loves her light romances. I do, however, have an addiction to the show Supernatural… Put these two together, and you get Eternelles.

But the real question is – why did we go indie? Natalie is indie-pubbed, but I hadn’t crossed that line yet, and was very happy with my main publisher, Decadent Publishing.

The real reason is the utter scope of the Eternelles series that we uncovered once we started plotting. For one thing, we knew this would be an ongoing series. And plot bunny kept calling to plot bunny and before we knew it, we’d ended up with a tentative lineup of 24 books! We’ve whittled it down to 15 now, but the sheer scope of this project? Not for the faint of heart.

So here we were with a series that has the following characteristics:

Ongoing lineup of 10+ books – in this day and age, we couldn’t wait by idle for a publisher to take a bet on us and grab our whole, 15-book series. No, we’re not JK Rowlings…

Arranged in an innovative manner that mimics TV show seasons (we spanned the main story arc over the whole series, but broke it down to smaller arcs for each 3-book season. Exactly like on a TV show, a season takes you through one plot while overarching the series’ arc. Just look at Supernatural, and you’ll know what I mean!)

Both of us pretty much ‘unknown’ names at the time – so if we’d have to do all the work of getting ourselves out there, then why not go indie? In for a penny; in for a pound, right? What did we have to lose? (Yes, we’re both somewhat reckless souls…)

Collaborative work – Nat and I each wrote a POV from the duo that make up the main protagonists in this series. Collab work, even today, is not often heard of. Few pubs take a risk on one author, let alone two. We needed to do this together or not at all, so guess what the compromise turned out to be? *grin*

A mashup of genres and myths – Adri, the heroine I wrote, is the daughter of Dionysos, god of wine and revelry, and grew up on Olympus under the care of Zeus. Sera, her daughter (written by Natalie) has gypsy and phoenix origins. Then there is the town of Shadow Bridge, which is the main stage for this series. All sups you can imagine – vamps, weres, fae, witches, & more – live in that town. We also have a spin on the original vampire myth. To reduce Eternelles to merely “Paranormal romance with fantasy elements” didn’t seem right, and good luck trying to hook an agent or a publisher with a mashup of genres!

Control! – Both of us know exactly what we want from Eternelles, and we have our vision for where the characters and the series are going. No “production team” was gonna come in and tell us to change our setup (for example, throw in more sex! True Blood lost me as a fan for that very reason!). We wanted to showcase to the world Eternelles as we conceived of it, and indie was the perfect route for that.

It’s been a couple of weeks since Inescapable came out, and we’re still finding our footing with indie publishing. But do we regret our decision? Not at all! What’s better than getting to have fun with your soul sister? That’s exactly what Eternelles is to Natalie and me!

And here’s a little more about the book:

INESCAPABLE (Book 1 of the Eternelles series)
Authors: Natalie G. Owens & Zee Monodee

Inescapable by Zee Monodee & Natalie G. Owens

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.

Read the reviews the book has been receiving on the
INESCAPABLE Goodreads page.

Available from:

Amazon USAmazon UK | Kobo | B&N | Smashwords

iTunes, and ARe links coming soon!

View the trailer at http://youtu.be/vXuXBsEaQSw

Is Real Estate Sexy? Guest post by Liz Crowe

Liz Crowe and I are swapping blogs today. So while she’s here, I’m over on her Brewing Passion blog. If you haven’t already, please stop over and visit me. 🙂

Is Real Estate Sexy?

Depending on your perspective…sales of any kind is sexy. Anyone who can make a good living by the sheer force of their personality and creativity– i.e. “sales skills” has got something going on.

I should know.

I got my real estate license after toiling in the non profit fund raising, marketing and promotions fields for a couple of years, then after doing some free lance marketing consulting to a few architects in Ann Arbor, I got some good advice from one of them (my favorite architect—extraordinarily creative AND a big fan of the 2 martini lunch!)

“You’re damn good at this (writing marketing plan, implementing same). You should do it where you can make REAL money. Go get your license.”

So I joined a room full of former teachers, nurses, stay at home moms and other random souls in a week long class where I learned about debt to equity ratios, seller disclosure statements and imminent domain, took a test in Lansing and BAM I was released into the wild, ready to sell. It took me a while to get a handle on the ebb and flow of a Realtor’s week (heavy on the evenings and weekends just sayin’) and the whys and wherefores of the multi list system.

By the time I got it, I was pregnant with my 3rd kid and headed overseas. Flash forward eight years….back in the saddle in Ann Arbor, with the biggest brokerage in the county, and ….. 2008 happened. You remember right? All those loans given to folks whose only qualification was “have a pulse?” yeah. However, believe it or not, 2008 was a banner year for THIS Realtor….my best (six figure) yet.

I still have a real estate license but those of you who already know me can fill in the blanks after that. I got “recruited” to be a “Beer Wench” and never looked back!

My new series “THE REALTORS: LIFE IN THE HOUSE LANE” is something that rattled around in my head for a couple of years before taking shape. I’ll go ahead and answer the inevitable questions now:

YES “Jack Gordon” is based on a very successful local realtor I got to know very well. Kind of…he’s actually an amalgam of two guys but whatever.

YES “Sara Thornton” is based on me. “BASED” on me mind you….
These two folks are very real—with all the trappings of success but nurturing deep flaws and an emptiness that all the six figure closings in the world can’t fill. Until they meet each other…

The Realtors: Life in the House Lane

Love is an easy word to use, a hard one to demonstrate, and sometimes impossible to trust.
The Realtors is a sweeping epic, encompassing over ten years in the lives of two people who know how to love with their bodies, how to please and get pleasure, to control and be controlled. When it comes to the deeper meaning of the one word they both need however, their strong personalities get in the way. While their physical connection sizzles they continue to disappoint one another emotionally.

Jack Gordon has it all–money, success, a string of women—but sustains a deep longing for something more. When he thinks he finds it with Sara Jane Thornton, his world is never the same again. Sara releases his natural Dom, a side of him he’d thought buried out of frustration and unhappiness. Sara learns a true submissive must trust implicitly, something she cannot associate with him, no matter how many times she tries, and he fails.
With a rich cast of secondary characters, including a young man who presents a near-perfect foil to Jack’s intensity, and who falls hard for Sara; The Realtors series is a romantic saga with an emphasis on contemporary life and love, with a healthy dose of white-hot eroticism. Modern, busy, driven characters living lives of purpose and real-time stress, seek the ever-elusive and highly coveted combination –a friend, lover and trusted advisor who will be there for the long haul.

Floor Time (The Realtors – Book 1):

Jack Gordon is Ann Arbor’s most delectable bachelor. At age thirty-five, he’s made millions as a top-selling Ann Arbor real estate broker and has the right connections to close a deal by any means necessary. With his rugged good looks and compelling personality, he has a virtual black book most men would kill for and he uses it often, never settling for one woman for very long.

While his D/s past remains buried, exactly where he wants it, an undercurrent of boredom and dissatisfaction runs through his life now. A disastrous experience years earlier made him swear off the whole scene, but the more Jack suppresses his natural Dom, the more his frustration grows.

Sara Thornton, a rookie in the real estate game, has fast-tracked herself to the top of the Ann Arbor market. Her life reflects a disciplined and focused routine, exactly the way she wants it. However, as her career takes off, the fulfillment she seeks remains inexplicably out of reach. The one thing she knows for sure, she will not join the Jack Gordon groupies in her company, no matter how tempting that might seem.

A chance encounter, then a difficult transaction, throw Jack and Sara together and the sparks fly high and hot and often. Forced to confront the compulsions that gain momentum with each sizzling encounter, their relationship seems to spiral out of control until Jack finally admits what he needs, and shows Sara what she’s been missing.

Releases January 30, 2012 from Tri Destiny Publishing, with an Autography pre-signing party later this week.

 Coming Soon to the Series:


Find Liz Crowe here:

twitter:  beerwencha2