Wednesday, 16 January 2008

The Wednesday Interview

Tomorrow January 17 To Love A Hero by Mona Risk is released at Cerridwen Press. I have been lucky enough to have had a sneak peak of this book and I can tell you it is excellent. You will want to snap it up. Mona was gracious enough to stop by and answer some deep, meaningful questions…

The Interview

What star sign are you? Name one fabulous characteristic of this sign.

I am a Capricorn. Capricornians are hardworking, responsible, persevering, and cautious to the extreme. They are capable of persisting for as long as is necessary to accomplish a goal they have set for themselves. Absolutely true for me. For four years, I edited and revised my first book To Love A Hero. I would have continued if Cerridwen Press hasn’t offered a contract. Capricornians are also confident, strong willed and calm. Huh? I wish…I wish…

2. On your wedding day the man you have secretly lusted after turns up as one of the guests and declares he loves you. What do you do?

I did invite my first boyfriend to my wedding. A guardian angel made sure I had the wrong address on the envelope and I never noticed he didn’t show up. Seriously. I lusted after my fiancé for two years before he proposed (at the foot of the Great Pyramid of Cairo) and I didn’t want anything disturbing my happiness. Now you are giving me a good plot for my next story: The ex-boyfriend showing at the heroine’s wedding and she eloping with him. Hmm, I like it. For my heroine, of course.

3 You get the call – “We want to make your book into a film. We’ll give you $10,000 for the rights." Are they kidding? Just how much is your writing worth and do you settle for less?

Oh my God. Yes, yes. Make my book into a movie. I’ll pay you to do that, especially if you choose George Clooney to play my General Sergei and Kate Hudson to play Dr. Cecil Lornier, the pretty chemist. Of my God, my book, TO LOVE A HERO, has been playing in my head like a movie for so long. Now $10,000? Once the contract is decided, maybe we can negotiate again.

4. The UN needs your help to make peace a reality. What is the first thing you would do?

Make a list of the things I have to do and the people I have to contact. And then close my eyes and say a prayer to succeed.

5. Do you think the heroine in your book is like you and if so why?

Physically, no. I used a very pretty colleague for model. But I gave her my education, tastes, opinions and drive, and through her I again lived my fantastic trips to Belarus. We were both career oriented women sent on assignment to a country we didn’t know anything about. We met handsome officers, struggled with male chauvinistic environment and successfully accomplished our missions. I even threw my heroine in some of the situations I faced. BUT when Cecile literally fell in the arms of General Sergei, every moment turned into a passionate adventure, and her whole business trip culminated into a sizzling romance.

6. What do your friends think of your writing?

My critique partners like my voice, the fast pace of the story and the emotional conflict. Those who read my manuscript, TO LOVE A HERO, whether to judge it in contests, critique or mentor it, loved the Russian setting, the clash of two very different cultures, the alpha character of Sergei, the strong career-oriented Cecile who hid her inner vulnerability and found herself trapped between the rational dictates of her mind and the passionate impulses of her heart and body. TO LOVE A HERO won first place in the FTHRW Wallflower First Kiss contest.

7. How do people find out more about Mona Risk?

Please, visit my website;
drop by my shared blog,
and on January 17, 2008 stop by and order my new book TO LOVE A HERO.

To Love A Hero - the blurb -

An American chemist, on an official mission to Belarus, finds more chemistry than she bargains for, and the Major General now has more on his mind than nuclear pollution. Our heroine must choose, whether to betray the general’s trust, or abandon him to the evil plot of a rival determined to destroy his career.

The excerpt -

"Welcome to Minsk International Airport," the loud speaker announced as the aircraft bounced on the runway before coming to a halt.

Cecile Lornier rubbed her ringless finger, her spirit buoyant with triumph. "Belarus, here I come. Finally," she whispered, her nose pressed against the plane window for a first look at the remote little country, located south of Russia. Not much to see. But the gloomy sight of gray sky, barren trees and drizzling rain couldn't dim the joy that exploded in her heart. After a twelve-hour flight, she'd made it to Minsk. In spite of her ex-fiancé's dirty dealing. For the millionth time, she cursed Rob Spenser, the worthless creep who'd snatched her promotion and almost foiled her first international assignment.

With a sigh of relief, she hung her purse on her arm and collected her hand luggage to exit the plane. Dragging her carry-on suitcases, she proceeded up the bumpy ramp of the jetway boarding bridge.

A group of people clustered in front of a sign affixed on the sidewall. Russian or Belarussian? Might as well be Chinese as far as I'm concerned. Unable to decipher the foreign script, Cecile shrugged and followed the line of passengers through the arrival gate, toward an escalator.As if this rickety machine could be called a mechanical escalator.

The uneven steps jolted with a grinding noise, bouncing and shuddering downward. Cecile scanned the area for an elevator or stairway. There were none in sight. Was she expected to negotiate this crooked roller coaster with her luggage in hand? Apparently, yes. The passengers were carefully holding the railing, men helping their female companions and children as they went down. She eyed the rattletrap contraption. Her first taste of Belarussian obsolete technology. This was exactly why her company had been chosen to help modernize the local environmental laboratory.

A military officer dressed in khaki passed her. Cecile's gaze fixed on his large back and decorated epaulets. He was tall, solid. A brick wall of a man. The wobbly escalator didn't seem to bother him but then he didn't have two suitcases hindering his movements.

Cecile bit her lip, imagining the sneer on Rob's face if he could see her now, hesitating so long in front of the first step of her mission. Literally the very first step. She shifted her two carry-ons to her left hand and followed the officer onto the jerking stairway, hoping for the best. Wishful thinking. Her short heel caught between the steps of the damned escalator. Gripping the railing for dear life, she let her luggage slip out of her hand as she pitched forward.

"Welcome to Minsk…" the airport speaker roared in broken English.

A sturdy back blocked her fall. The officer turned and circled her waist with brawny arms, welding her to his rock-hard frame. She stopped moving, stopped thinking, stopped breathing, until the officer lowered her to stable ground as they reached the end of the escalator.

Her head still pillowed against the muscular chest, she took a breath, inhaling the scent of soap and spicy cologne. She was alive all right and oddly secure in this stranger's arms.

He said something in his native language. She tilted her head back. Her gaze collided with deep -blue eyes shadowed by long, black lashes. Still floating in a peculiar haze, Cecile squirmed to free herself. She gasped for air to clear her head and squeaked, "I'm sorry."

He stared at her, a glint of interest under the scowling eyebrows. "Americanka?" His baritone voice echoed against the metallic escalator's crunch. "Here, let me help you."

**Now, I would normally say 'Click on the cover to buy the book'. You can still click and go to Mona's website and take a squiz. Or better still, go to your diary, calendar or pop up email reminder and mark down "Buy To Love A Hero tomorrow."

5 Reasons to buy –

- Everyone loves a hero
- The book is set in an exotic location
- The author writes from experience and you can't beat that
- The romance is hot and sweet and it will make you feel good
- Because you deserve a great book to relax with. Go on, treat yourself.

Remember to wander over to
www.annycook.blogspot for Anny's take on the blog serial and then to to see what Kelly is spruiking on today.

Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?


Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Sounds great, Mona! Best of luck on the new release!

Mona Risk said...


What a beautiful blog you did. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about my book and thank you for summarizing so well the five reasons readers should buy TO LOVE A HERO.

Mona Risk said...


Thank you. It's finally coming, finally true. I'm glad I'm sharing the excitement with my friends.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful book, Mona. This is a real winner, and a book everyone will love.

Anny Cook said...

Excellent excerpt. Congratulations on your first book! May you sell many. Good blog, AJ!

Molly Daniels said...

I'm going to have to update my TBB list. I know I wrote it on there somewhere...time to turn it into a Word document, so I can read my own handwriting!

Congratulations, Mona! One more day:)

Unknown said...

A proposal in front of the pyramids. I am so jealous.

Your book sounds great! Congratulations.

Bronwyn Green said...

Awesome interview and I loved the excerpt, Mona! Wishing you scads of sales and reader mail!!!

Mona Risk said...

Waving to Cindy, Anny, Joanne, Molly, Georgie, Bronwyn, and of course my host the lovely Amarinda.
And counting the hours now. Will I see my book on the to-buy list at 7am? 9 am? 11am? It's been a long journey, bumpy but fun. I enjoyed writing this book. I have a feeling you will like it. Let's go for it.

Unknown said...

Rest assured Miss Mona, I will be mentioning THE book TO LOVE A HERO on the next blog. I expect you will kick arse in sales.

Sandra Cox said...

Great interview, ladies.
Mona, wishing you many sales. Enjoy your day tomorrow, and mine for that matter:)

Phoenix said...

excellent blog as always. And your subject is fascinating... you rock Mona!

Jacquéline Roth said...

Looks great my release twin. I'm in line to buy it tomorrow.

Helen Scott Taylor said...

To Love a Hero is my favorite of Mona's books and I've been looking forward to seeing it in print. A to die for hero and a feisty heroine in the exotic locale makes for a compelling read.

Congratulations on your first book, Mona. I'm sure it will be the first of many!