A Day In the Life…Pass it on.

I stole this idea from the blog of Kimberly Kinrade.  I enjoyed hers so much I thought yeah, we should all do that!  The question that I get asked most as a writer is…”How do you have time?”.  If you read Kim’s blog you will see she doe  A LOT.  I don’t have nearly the projects she has going, but I do work full-time! 

The whole point behind this is that if you WANT to do something you can find time to do it.  I think that 99% of moms are  super moms.  You may not be writing books, but how many things did you volunteer to do at the school this year?  How many friend’s weddings/birthdays/christenings/retirement parties, did you help plan? 

So here it is, a day in my life!  I’d love to read yours:

6:00 AM – alarm goes off – Keith is long gone by now so I roll out of bed and stumbled towards the kids room where I flip on the light and rip the covers off of them.  Baby girl will inevitable swear she didn’t sleep and a twenty-minute argument ensues.  If I give up and leave the room they will get dressed, so I do.  Back to my bathroom to dress, then feed the animals, pick up all the trash the kids left all over the house and scoot them out the door.

7:00 AM –  Kids have been dropped off and I start my hour commute to work.  This is usually when I catch up with my best friend or call my Dad.  Sometimes I have literal conversations with said BFF and others we are talking about characters in my latest work in progress.

8:00 – AM  Sign in at JOB – I go through all my outstanding work, check renewal dates, scream, cuss and cry.  This goes on until Noon when I finally get from behind my desk.  (Now we all know that in here somewhere you get a call from the bill collector, the kid at school that forgot their project, and your husband who wants you to keep a mental list of things to pick up at the store – go Blackberry!)

Noon:  Grab a bite to eat and walk around with a notebook jotting down ideas for blogs, my WIP, or books that I’m helping my friends critique.  Sometimes I get to sit down and write and at this point I do it long-hand, in a notebook, as people walk by and say,  “What ya doin?”

1-4:30 – More Insurance work.  Every now and then I get to slip in a blog or read a chapter for a friend and do a quick critique.  In the mean time, I’m jumping on and off Facebook because you have to keep up with the readers, bloggers, reviewers, and fans.  I try to share something, say hello, and make sure my reviews/blogs/etc, posted.  Facebook will suck you in and so will Twitter!

5:00 PM Home – Hour and half commute home if there is no wreck on the Interstate! Thank you Lord, Keith cooks!  Homework check and a quick episode of Wizards of Waverly Place, unless of course Keith gets the remote then we are watching Two and Half Men reruns. 

6:00 PM – The kids have generally lost interest in me by now and are on computers and cell phones.  I get to write for about an hour!

7:00 PM – Facebook sucks me in for 30 minutes until I peel myself away and go make sure everyone is bathed and hang out with Keith for a bit.

8:00  PM  Write blogs for the following week, send review request off to bloggers, try to check my publisher’s websites and do some critiquing.

9:00 PM Must hang out with Keith.  Kids are usually in bed (ours or theirs).  We watch some show about hillbillies with no teeth that make moonshine in the mountains.  Keith is snoring by 9:45.

10:00 PM – Until  – I get to write again!  I usually write between 10 PM and whenever.  I try to get in bed by midnight, but if I walk in the kitchen and the dishes need to be done or there is a pile of laundry that needs to be folded it may be later.  This is the worse time to get sucked into Facebook so I try to stay away!

Finally! Bath and sleep only to hear the alarm go off again before I’m really sleeping.  As Kim said in her blog, this doesn’t account for sick kids, laundry day, family night, time with friends, and the unexpected things that happen every week. 

The truth is, if I’m not doing something 24/7, I’ll go insane…so I was thinking about going back to school….Hmmm.  🙂


Monique O’Connor James

Author of The Keepers, Jamais Vu, The Mulligan Man & Deja Vu – published by Astraea Press

Coming Summer 2012 – Becoming Jolie – published by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing


Review for Hurricane By Jenna-Lynn Duncan

I anxiously looked around, my heart palpitating, just in time to see an alligator slink into the green algae covered water that was on either side of us. I swallowed hard, and my heart raced even faster. Alligators were a different type of predator—the one thing I was afraid of. Now I was on my own personal swamp tour. What if my kidnappers left me in the middle of a swamp with five of
them creeping up on me? I’ve had that nightmare before and—oh no, if my dreams really are a sign of the future—I couldn’t breathe now.

Adriana couldn’t decide what was worse—that Hurricane Katrina was heading for
New Orleans, or that she might not survive her kidnapping to see its potential
effects. She had trusted Hayden, even fallen for him, and now he and his
brother Luke were taking her deeper and deeper into the Bayou. Why had two of
her classmates, the mysterious Boudreaux brothers, kidnapped her? Why had
Adriana’s dreams started predicting the future? Most importantly, would she
make it out of the Bayou alive…

My Thoughts:

Adriana’s mom has never been part of her life, and her father is slowly backing away.  Life with nothing, but a catastrophic hurricane looming down on the city she loves, allows her to yield to the opportunity to find out about another world that exists; a world she is a part of.  Being a lover of all things, Louisiana, made this one a no-brainer for me.  Jenna Lynn’s descriptions of the city of New Orleans made me long to walk the French Quarter and nostalgic for pre-Katrina days.  Jenna Lynn is a wonderful storyteller and you will be sucked into the new world she has created and left wanting more.

Don’t miss this one!!!

Monique O’Connor James

Author of The Keepers, The Mulligan Man Available @ www.astraeapress.com

Coming Soon:  Jamais Vu

Six Sentence Sunday – Jamais Vu Coming in September!

Enjoy this excerpt from Jamais Vu….Coming Soon.

Someone had forced me to doubt myself, and it was difficult to find my self-worth again. In past conversations, I’d rallied against the selfishness of the act of taking one’s own life. I’d sworn I’d never be the person who cared so little about others as to act on those thoughts. Yet, here I was in the parking lot of my shrink’s office, contemplating what could have driven me to do the very deed I’d mocked. He was wrong. There was no possibility I’d shot myself on purpose.

Jamais Vu will be out in September 2011!

Monique O’Connor James

Twitter:               mjames13
WordPress:         www.moniquejames.wordpress.com
Website:             www.moniqueoconnorjames.com

Characters to Love

While I’m on vacation I thought I’d leave you with a couple of blogs so you don’t completely forget me!

Every couple of days in the writer/reader community on social media the following question is posed:  Who is your favorite character and why?

We all aspire to have a character or two that gets mentioned in every one of these threads.  How does one create characters who stick with readers, you ask?  If you google the question, you will get the same answer phrased a million different ways. But, I believe there are several things which come together to make  life-like and lovable, heroes/heroines and villains we can love to hate. Most of them are not covered on these lists.

If you’re like me you love to people watch.  Every person in the world has some habit or idiosyncrasy which makes them unique.  Remember in the movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith, when Jane realized the other spy was John?  She saw him wiggle his leg in a video and recognized him immediately.  These things make people interesting to look at and endear them to our hearts, whether we know it or not.  Does your hero chew on his thumb?  Does your villain bite his lip right before he tells a lie?

You can tell tons about a person by the way others react to him/her.  Does your heroine adore your hero?  Or does the sight of him make her skin crawl?  Your readers will react to all of characters’ feelings about each other, so craft these thoughts carefully.

What goes on  in your MC’s head?  I find the thoughts and questions which formulate inside a characters mind really tie me to them.  Make sure you sprinkle some of this inner dialogue in your story so your readers know precisely how he/she thinks.

When you are writing dialogue make sure you take into consideration the players background, accent, and geographical location.  Read it aloud and ask yourself if that person would really say those things.

Finally, have the character achieve some emotional or intellectual growth throughout the story.  The person doesn’t even have to be aware they have changed. However, within the paragraphs of your tale you can illustrate the differences in their reactions and ideals from the beginning of the story to the end.

Hope these suggestions help!


Monique O’Connor James

Twitter:               mjames13
WordPress:         www.moniquejames.wordpress.com
Website:             www.moniqueoconnorjames.com
Check out my novel The Keepers at Amazon, B & N, Astraea Press, or my website www.moniqueoconnorjames.com

Next time your wondering what the two women in the booth are saying…El MexicaNOOOOOOO! – Adventures of the dynamic duo.

Tamara and I weaved through the parking lot headed for lunch.  We couldn’t go far because the glass company had just put a new windshield in my car, and the black tape didn’t, in fact, look like racing stripes. However, I think Tamara believed me when I told her it did, because she agreed to drive so I could pretend it wasn’t my car.  We were supposed to be running errands, but I was struck by a brilliant idea.

“Let’s go to that new Mexican restaurant.”  I said, as I hunched further down in my seat praying no one could see me.  Never mind that everyone knows my car because of the big sticker with my daughter’s name on it. I was still hiding.    

I’d like to go on record as saying Tamara readily agreed.  If she doesn’t want to do something she just says it, but she jumped on this idea, so I refuse to take the blame alone.  It’s always an adventure when we go places together so I really didn’t think anything about the fact that it took nine minutes to park.  Tamara couldn’t get the car between the two yellow lines, but this is nothing new.  I just kept wondering if the people in Payless Shoe Store were all gathered at the window watching her struggle to get more than two inches space between my car and the Suburban next to it. 

I tried to duck around the other side of the oversized SUV, but I heard Tamara say, “What are you doing.”  I just laughed and sprinted for the door.    

Now we should have known right away there was something off about the place.  No other females were  in the building.  All the waiters were male, and otherwise there was a table full of burly construction workers and a couple of old men in the corner.  Of course we both picked this day to wear summer dresses cut above the knee, and as we walked across the floor all eyes followed us to the table.

Tamara stopped in her tracks and glared at the table.  I snorted knowing she had no intentions in keeping her mouth shut.  The benches were hard wood and straight back, with slats on the bottom which were so far apart a small child might fall through them.  Her mouth fell open. “Do they expect us to sit there?” 

 Tamara chuckled under her breath and ordered our drinks.  “Did you see the way he looked at you? I think he wants to eat you.”  

Involuntarily, my body convulsed into a full body shiver as I glanced over at the table of construction workers.  They were all still, eyes wide, staring at our table.  Honestly, I felt like I’d drifted onto another planet where women were alien.  Tamara picks this time to lean across the table and say, “You know, I feel lucky that we haven’t been shuffled off to the human trafficking warehouse in the back.”    

“They won’t stop staring,” I say, as I send the table of goons the stink eye.  None of them react.  Maybe we are visiting another universe.

“Let’s just eat and get out.” Tamara slurped her Dr. Pepper while remaining focused on my face.    

This is the exact moment when the waiter comes back with our food and leans in once again. His hair scrapes my cheek, and I make a noise similar to a whale giving birth…or so I imagine.  Tamara opens her mouth, and I can see the words before they leave her lips.  “Why don’t you just lick her?”    

Mortified, I slide down, until I’m sure only the two old men in the corner can see my face turn blood-red.  The waiter smiles and slithers away.  I can’t think of anything to say so I shovel a bite of food in my mouth expecting to be saved by wonderful Mexican cuisine.  But, no.  The cosmos are not lined up for this cloud to have a silver lining.  I chewed carefully, as if the speed at which my mouth moved had some effect on the horrible taste pooling in my mouth.

Surely, I was overreacting, still freaked out about the run in with Senior Pervert.  Nope, that’s not the case, because as my eyes trail from my plate back to Tamara, she’s trying to look sophisticated while spitting her food in a napkin.  “Oh my God, are you kidding me?”  She didn’t scream, but it was close enough.

“Let’s just get the check and get out of here before I die.” I offer as I dig for my wallet.    

“I don’t want to pay for this.”  She complains while staring at her plate, which is still full. 

In a gust of wind, the waiter comes back and looks down at our plates.  He doesn’t ask if it was okay, or if there is something wrong, he simply whisks our dishes away and plops down the bill.  I know at this point I’m walking a fine line with Tamara.  There exists, in her psyche, a tiny line which once crossed, will send her into a raving fit.  She has that crazy corner smile. It’s getting close.

I whip out my card and push it to the end of the table and in swoops the man to rush it off.  In seconds, he’s back and we are scurrying for the door.  As we pass the cashier, he leans over and says something like, “MMMM, later ladies.”    

Tamara casts a wicked eye back at him, and I grab her arm and push her out the door.  In the parking lot, she was almost laughing, but still obviously irritated.  “We shouldn’t have paid!!”  

“Get to the car. Hurry before we have to go back.”

By now, tears are running down her face as she shoves the key in the ignition and looks up at the tape still on my window.  “You should have let him lick you…then we wouldn’t have paid.”


Monique O’Connor James
Author of:  “The Keepers”
Twitter:               mjames13
WordPress:         www.moniquejames.wordpress.com
Website:             www.moniqueoconnorjames.com

Add my cover for The Keepers as your Profile Pic and Win!!!!

I was goofing on FB and tried to hypnotize everyone into adding my cover as their profile picture. What do you know?  It worked!! I’m leaving to go on vacation 6/16, so I’ll make this a quick contest with a great prize!  Here’s the deal.

1. Make sure I’m your friend on FB (not part of the contest, but it makes it easier).

2. Make the cover for The Keepers your profile picture until Friday July 15, 2011. 

3.  Send me a message or comment me that you did this. 

4.  I will do a random drawing Friday afternoon 6/15/11 for the winner.

Winner receives:  Drum Roll Please…………………………………………………………………

(If you are confused about how to do this go to my profile pics and click on the cover (or cropped cover) and click make this my profile picture.  If you already have one, win it as a gift for someone else 😀

A signed copy of The Keepers IN PRINT

Have Fun and Good Luck


Monique O’Connor James

Twitter:               mjames13
WordPress:         www.moniquejames.wordpress.com
Website:             www.moniqueoconnorjames.com

Fan-tastic Fans #2 with Kimberly Miller-Callegan

Welcome to another addition of my FAN-Tastic Fans Blog Posts. As you know this a tribute to my fans and readers and a way to allow them to receive the recognition they deserve!

This week I got to interview Kimberly Miller-Callegan.  If you like YA this girl is your best friend…she really knows her books!!!  Kim and I only met a few months ago, but we became fast friends.  I work with Kim’s sister-in-law, Elizabeth.  One day Elizabeth told me about Kim and that she was writing a YA novel.  She asked me if I would mind if Kim called or emailed me because as a new writer she had a million questions and not many people to get information from.  Kim called that weekend and the rest is history.  She has been a great friend and a rabid supporter of my books and me personally. The first time I read her WIP I cracked up when a line of her dialogue actually said “Squee”. Ever since, she has been lovingly known in my house as Squee!    Hope you enjoy meeting her!

First tell us a little about yourself:

Squee!:  My name is Kimberly Callegan. I am happily married to my husband of twelve years and a mother of two. I am in my early thirties and am having the best time of my life! Reading is my passion and I am an aspiring author. This girl doesn’t buy clothes, jewelry and shoes, well… maybe if I find a good sale, but I prefer BOOKS, BOOKS and more BOOKS! The smell of a book when you first open it is the best smell in the world! My friends say I’m one of a kind… I take that as a compliment, I think? Reality TV entertains me (Big Brother premiers this week- yes!!) and everything stops for True Blood and Vampire Diaries.  I enjoy listening to music, preferably of the rock/alternative/punk genres. Throw a little hip hop in there and I’m down with dropping it like it’s hot!

Yea I can totally picture you droppin’ it ….lol!  When did you first develop your passion for reading?

Squee!: I’ve only been reading since last summer! I finally broke down and watched the movie Twilight. I loved it so much (maybe Robert Pattinson had a little something to do with it), I rented New Moon the following night. I then bought the series to read and I went HAYWIRE from there! I went on a reading frenzy and to date have read 95 books. That’s a lot considering I work full-time, am a wife and a mother of two young children. I’m such an avid reader, I decided to write my own novel.  It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Writing is totally therapeutic and provides me with much delight.

I’ve really enjoyed watching your writing blossom. It’s amazing that you really just got into reading. Do you have any other hobbies?

Squee!: I enjoy hanging out with my friends and laughing. I’m learning acoustic guitar and hope to get a good rhythm down. It’s not as easy as you think!

OH my fingers always hurt when I tried to play!  You go girl! Who is on your list of favorite authors?

Squee!: Well of course I have to mention Monique O’Connor James (wink, wink)! Currently, may faves are Cassandra Clare, Becca Fitzpatrick, Alyson Noel, Melissa De La Cruz, Lisa McMann, Lauren Kate, Kelley Armstrong, P.C. & Kristin Cast, Richelle Mead, James Dashner, S.L. Naeole, Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl, Maggie Steifvater, Suzanne Collins, Stephanie Meyer, Gena Showalter (YA series), Shelena Shorts. Of course, the more books I read (405 on my “to be read list”) the more authors to add!

Do you find yourself getting emotionally attached to characters if a book is well written?  Sometimes I feel like I’ve lost my best friend when I finish reading a book….do you do that?

Oh my gawd yes! Like big time! I love getting lost in the author’s world. It takes you away from the everydayness of life. And… book boy crushes are the best! I’m emotional for days after reading the end of a series!

Out of all the books you’ve read if you could have dinner with a character who would it be and why?

Jace Wayland from the Mortal Instruments! EEP! The boy is totally bad-ass and swoon-worthy. He’s snarky, but compassionate. I tell ya, I have a wonderful image of him in my head. He’s definitely a character I’ll always remember! (Too bad I can’t mention Matt from Jamais Vu- Sha-wing!) <—- I left this in… because Kim got a sneak peek at my September Release Jamais Vu and she um…has a crush 🙂

What are you currently reading?

Squee!: I am currently reading The Wicked Lovely Series by Melissa Marr. I’m on book 3- Fragile Eternity.

Any strange habits while reading?

Squee!: I’m like a zombie when I read. Everything else is tuned out. My husband and kids know if they need my attention, they need to tap my shoulder because I do not hear their words. I don’t even know if my eyes blink while I’m reading!

How much description do you like in a book?

Squee!:Well, I think it’s important you have it so you can visualize. Sometimes, there is too much and you’re like “Geez, get on with the story, I don’t care!” But then in some instances, there isn’t enough. It’s very important to describe your characters, emotions and places so you feel as if you are present in the book.

What genres do you like best?

Squee!: Definitely Paranormal, Dystopian and Urban Fantasy Young Adult. I’ll eventually venture into adult books. Anything outside of those genres, I’m really not interested in at this time. Reading young adult makes me feel like a teenager again and I love it! There’s also morals in just about every young adult novel that teens or no matter how old you are can relate to. It’s a beautiful thing. I wish all these wonderful books I’ve read were out when I was a teenager. Things could have been… let’s just say, easier!

Anything else about you, you’d like to share with us?

Squee!: Not about me, but I’d like to mention one more thing… Monique O’Connor James is fabulous! If you haven’t read The Keepers, you are totally missing out!

 Ya’ll add her to your FB and Twitter and keep up with this girl! She’ll be making waves soon!


Twitter:  Kimberdee

Thanks and Cheers!

Monique O’Connor James

PS!  This blog is being posted on 7/9/11 The Keepers Ebook is on Sale for $1.99 at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Astraea Press.  Sale goes through Sunday then its back to $6.99! Catch it while you can.

Twitter:               mjames13
WordPress:         www.moniquejames.wordpress.com
Website:             www.moniqueoconnorjames.com

My Guardian Angels Are All Drifters

I’ve told this story before, but I can’t remember where.  It’s a testament to inspiration and moreover, to seeing things for what they’re meant to be.  The title of this blog is funny, but it’s the truth too.  You’ll see what I mean.

As you all know I’ve written a story or two about angels and therefore, I guess they cross my mind a lot.  My mom was obsessed with them.  She had a curio cabinet full of her favorites, and the statue of a black winged angel, that sits on my bathtub was once hers.  Perhaps because she had breast cancer, the sight of them brought her some comfort, but I can remember her talking about the winged creatures long before she was diagnosed. 

After I wrote The Keepers, there seemed to emerge a theme in my life; what I considered to be guardian angel sightings. You will notice in my stories the angels are all male, and thusly all the sightings have been the same.  It  happens that for me, each time I have a run in with a guardian they are all drifters or maybe even homeless. Maybe, they are not celestial beings; perhaps they are mere mortals and this is all coincidence, but that is neither here nor there.  The point is, if we open our eyes, there are people, and maybe even something higher, looking out for us.  Enjoy their stories. 

The first protector appeared in just the nick of time. I’m convinced  he saved my life.  I’d pulled in to the convenience store after a busy day of work and absent-mindedly dug my wallet out of my purse.  I shoved it under my chin, turned the car off, pulled my keys out, and locked the door.  I’ve heard you should always be aware of your surroundings, but this particular day I had my head in the clouds. I was probably thinking about the mound of laundry on the floor in my kitchen, or what we were going to eat for dinner.

I pushed through the glass door and glanced up to see a reflection behind me.  A young man, perhaps in his early twenties, was standing dangerously close.  I could feel his breath on my arm and smell his cologne.  I glanced over my shoulder and he greeted me with a warm smile.  Being a normal woman, in this day and age, I was unnerved and pushed my way inside and hurried over to fix a fountain drink, thereby putting space between me and the stranger.

I couldn’t help but watch him though. He looked like he could be my brother, with the same skin color, dark eyes, and dark hair.  I fiddled with the plastic lid trying not to be obvious about the way I stared at him. His eyes were on me though, and I knew I’d been caught. I spun around glancing at the clerk, as a group of young men came in and started harassing her.  Without pause, my body reacted to the scene by cutting my oxygen supply and rendering me frozen.  There was something wrong, and something bad was about to go down.

Without hesitation, the young man who’d followed me in, charged across the store, grabbed my arm, and marched me to the door.  He followed me to my car and said two words, “lock it.”  I got in, cranked it, and then looked up to say thank you, but he was gone.  I didn’t have time to peer in the store or search for him; instead, I drove off feeling sure I’d avoided something horrendous.  That night my husband stopped by the same shop and was told they’d been held up earlier in the day.  So here’s to the stranger who saved me.

Fast forward several years and I’m sitting at a red light on a particularly gloomy day.  I was thinking of my brother.  I hadn’t laid eyes on him in fifteen years.  I was kind of sad, because we hadn’t had the opportunity for the relationship most siblings have, and he was weighing heavy on my heart.  Two young men crossed in front of my car as I stared off into space. One crossed the street and stood waiting in a parking lot, while the other stopped by the center of my hood and smiled at me. 

I remember him to this day, in detail.  He had curly brown hair, which peeked out from under a brown baseball cap, blue eyes, and a wickedly perfect smile.  When I glanced up at him, he spread his fingers wide and signed with one hand that I was beautiful.  He stood there several seconds and then crossed the other lanes of traffic.  I watched him walk away, his back pack hanging from one shoulder, and wondered who was missing him.  This guy became Kasey Kibodeaux in my next release (9/7/11) – Jamais Vu.

Finally, a few weeks ago I was having one of those days.  The mortgage company had taken my payment out of my account twice!  I don’t know about you, but I can barely afford one payment.  I’d spent the day on the phone arguing with the bank and the mortgage company, and as I exited the interstate, a stream of tears smudged mascara down my cheeks.  I glanced up in the median and there stood a man.  You know the one…holding the sign for money?  He had a dog with him, and the dog looked happy and well fed, but my mind was not on him. It was on the music playing while I was on hold, yet again, for the mortgage company. 

However, I couldn’t take my eyes off of him, and as he watched me,  his face  turned beautifully serene.  I thought there was something to be said for the anguish I was suffering while he seemed so calm.  He put his sign down and reached into his bag and pulled out a deflated mylar balloon.  The balloon was yellow and adorned with a huge smiley face, and he held it for me to see.  I couldn’t help but smile.  Then he set the balloon down and laid his hands out flat reaching them for the sky.  “God will lift you up,” he mouthed.

After turning the corner, I set the phone down and smiled.  I thought about all the wonderful things I had in my life, and I let go of the anxiety I’d been carrying all day.

The purpose of my stories is not to be preachy, but just to illustrate how sometimes in my life, for sure, I find comfort in the oddest places.  Maybe, that’s where the inspiration for writing angel stories comes from?

Everyday I look out for that guardian who has been placed in my life to make something that’s terribly wrong feel right.  Ninety-nine percent of the time, I find them.  Hope you do too!


Monique O’Connor James


Always feel free to share my blog with others 🙂
Twitter:               mjames13
WordPress:         www.moniquejames.wordpress.com
Website:             www.moniqueoconnorjames.com
The Keepers is currently on sale for $1.99 hurry and get your ebook copy or order the print copy at regular price on my website!  🙂 

Chapter 4 Meet Justin – The Keepers get a peek then go buy it for $1.99!!!!

The sale on The Keepers has been extended through this week!  It’s $1.99 and the price will go back to $6.99 after the sale!!

Read this excerpt and then go get a copy for your e-book reader or phone!  🙂

Earlier, Justin had sat alone in his bedroom watching rain trickle from the roof line onto the patio outside, where it collected in an empty Coke bottle. He’d planned to be knee-deep in a pity party by the time his brother Rory returned from work.

It was difficult not to feel sorry for himself. He was utterly surrounded by the stench of humanity. He had asked for this very thing. He’d wanted to commune with them, be part of their world, but he’d soon discovered they repulsed him. He watched the human race and wondered how they managed to take their faultless existence and make it complete crap.

So he passed his time on days off watching the horrid humans, and even he found it pathetic. If he wasn’t dealing cards at Harrah’s, he sat on the couch in the French Quarter townhouse he shared with his three brothers and loathed his circumstances.

Dealing cards at the casino kept his mind from lamenting on things over which he had no control. Cards distracted him from the examination of mankind. They held no surprises and fell in predictable patterns. The stability comforted him. The notion that something so simple calmed him was ridiculous, but the serenity he found behind the table was the reason he returned to the casino night after night.

Justin’s principles had been complicated by the years he had wasted on Earth. The average mortal got out in eighty years, maybe ninety if they lead a mundane existence, but he had been stuck here for over three hundred, and for him the second-hand no longer swept across the clock. The totality of his life was mind numbing, so he tried to block it out with work.

A life lived well beyond the average lifespan, had become redundant, especially given the intense hatred he’d developed for the creatures sharing the planet with him. Rory insisted Justin was a bigot, too preoccupied with himself to understand the human dilemma, but Justin denied it. If he was somehow prejudiced against humans, it was through no fault of his own. They were after all, repulsive most of the time.

He was comforted by the rain as it streamed down the window. It had been a full decade since Justin had experienced adventure. He couldn’t remember the last time something piqued his interest. The music these days was mediocre at best, and it was rare that some poor soul was able to pour their thoughts into a book which could hold his interest.

He would have remained in his room pondering his restlessness, but his brother hauled him to their usual hang out. They were all there together, Blake, Lathan, and of course, Rory. Dez’s was a safety net of sorts, a place where they could drink and talk. Thankfully, the other patrons ignored them for the most part. In fact, Justin couldn’t remember the last time a newcomer graced the place, which is exactly why the girl across the bar
intrigued him. He didn’t know her, but that was only one reason he had spent
the evening absorbed in watching the slim brunette with the haunting sorrow in
her eyes.

He hadn’t heard her name – not yet. She’d wandered in from the rain shaking an umbrella and trying to look aloof. It had taken Vi less than ten minutes to engage her in conversation, and once Vi hooked the girl, they sat together for the rest of the evening. Vi had been his friend for years, and she could unfailingly be counted on in these matters. They often found the same people intriguing, and he knew she would befriend the newcomer.

New Orleans was a sea of appealing women with pleasing accents flowing from pretty lips, but there was something about this girl’s beauty, something that kept Justin’s eyes planted on her. She caught him gawking at her, and he didn’t bother to look away. Humiliation was just another useless human emotion he wouldn’t even pretend to possess.

Rory wanted to introduce himself, but Justin vetoed the plan with a look of warning. Luckily, his brother seemed more interested in Vi and sat down again with an easy grin. Justin was entirely relaxed until Dawson placed himself at their table begging for a fight. Dawson could always be relied on to kill a good mood. His Mohawk was tapered into precise points atop his head, and that alone made Justin want to punch him.

“What’s the matter Justin? Rory baggin’ all the babes or did someone shoot your dog?” The smell of tobacco and wet hair gel clung to Dawson like a disease. Only the fact that he had lost the ability to stave off the odor of humanity, made him less annoying.

Justin didn’t respond. Maybe if he ignored the moron he would take the hint and buzz off. Besides, he couldn’t take his eyes off the beauty with Vi, and Dawson’s gaze followed his.

“Ah,I see. You know she’s off limits.” Dawson leaned in closer, and used his foot to jolt Justin’s boot from the chair next to him. “Don’t touch me again, Dawson. And drop it. She’s human, in case you haven’t notice.”

“A human I bet I’ll take home tonight.” Dawson’s sardonic grin dripped with conceit and punctuated the dramatic wink he granted Justin. Justin slid his palms together as the skin over his knuckles hardened into stone. He allowed Dawson to gloat long enough to take a sip from his drink, and then laid him out with one colossal blow. He didn’t bend over to say all the things he was thinking; he figured the black eye would say it all.
The girl was watching, and Justin nearly felt ashamed, but she was just another
human, and he wasn’t going to concern himself with what bothered her. Not now


Don’t forget a portion of the proceeds for this book will go to Susan G Komen Race for the Cure. 🙂

Monique O’Connor James
Author of:  “The Keepers”
 Twitter:               mjames13

FAN-TASTIC! Fan Interview with Kristina Haecker

I kind of snagged this idea from Kay Springsteen blog.  She is doing a Reader’s Corner weekly and I thought it was a brilliant idea to highlight some of the fans who are so supportive and give them a moment in the spotlight to let you know what they do!

I chose Kristina first, because she is a reviewer and one of the administrators at All Things Books on Facebook.  She is just a genuine southern belle who has done so much for me as far as sharing my links, passing the word on about “The Keepers”, and you can find the review she did on all the major websites.  Enjoy getting to know her and make sure you add her to your Facebook as she will be an up and coming author someday soon!

First tell us a little about yourself: I am a 20 year old full time college student that works at a Catholic school and lives in Texas with her parents and younger brother. I am a huge Green Day and Lord of the Rings fan! I collect bookmarks and other cool swag from my favorite authors. Basically, I’m a nerd. 🙂 My favorite color is blue and I drive the cutest little blue BMW. I have the two best friends in the world. I have even been labeled “The Optimist Queen” and “too nice for my own good”.

I love music too and Green Day Rocks! When did you first develop your passion for reading? I’ve been reading, well…since I could read. When I was little, my mom would read to me. Both of my parents liked to read in their spare time. It was kind of like a double whammy. Both of them liked to read… So, I LOVED to read.
Reading has always been my escape. When I got home from school or work, I would feel better knowing that I could pick up a book and slide into someone else’s world and forget everything for a bit. I got teased in school for carrying a book around with me, but I was never ashamed of that. Now I have a Nook that I take everywhere. I’d rather stay curled up in my bed with a book or my Nook (hehe, I love how that rhymes!) rather than go out on a Friday night.
  I know you like to design shirts (wink) and read, but what are your other hobbies?
I love to dance. I was on the dance team in high school and have taken some classes in college. Music is a big part of my life. It is my other escape. I put my headphones on and  hear nothing other than the music I choose. I enjoy going to concerts. (I’ve seen Green Day twice!) I like photography. And of course, all of the other things women my age like to do: shopping, hanging out with friends, texting, and facebooking. Traveling, too. Two summers ago I visited England, Whales, and Ireland and after that, I want to see more of the world. I recently just started to review books, and I love it!
I’m so jealous that you went to Ireland!!  Who is on your list of favorite authors? I have a lot, so bear with me. Richelle Mead, Rachel Caine, Colleen Houck, Meg Cabot, Suzanne Collins, Ednah Walters, Deena Remiel, Gracen Miller, Maggie Stiefvater, Ellen Hopkins, Jennifer Laurens, J.R.R Tolken, Shakespear, Becca Fitzpatrick, Karen Kincy and, of course, you! 🙂 There are many others, but those are the ones I can list off the top of my head. 🙂
What genres do you like best? Paranormal romance or just straight up romance. I used to read some mystery too, but I’m a hardcore romantic. 😉
Do you find yourself getting emotionally attached to characters if a book is well written?  Sometimes I feel like I’ve lost my best friend when I finish reading a book….do you do that? If a book is well written, yes! Especially with your book The Keepers. I bawled through the last half of it! Only the best of books can grab a person like that. I was also really attached to the characters in the Tiger’s Curse series by Colleen Houck. (Two more great books I’ve read recently!)
Out of all the books you’ve read if you could have dinner with a character who would it be and why?
That’s a tough one. I think I would say Rose Hathaway from the Vampire Academy books. She’s so fierce and funny. Maybe she could show me a few self-defense moves.
What are you currently reading? I just finished your fabulous book, The Keepers, and now I have no idea what I’ll start. I have so many books on my TBR pile. I guess I should finish Water for Elephants since I am halfway finished. I put it aside to read Trinity by Deena Remiel and never went back to it. If not that, then Slow Burn by Ednah Walters.
Any strange habits while reading? I have to have complete silence to read. I have no idea why, but I just can’t focus with so much going on around me. It’s incredibly hard to read in my house because my family is so loud. That’s why I stay up reading long after they fall asleep, or before they get up. I don’t really like to read outside either, for the same reason.
How much description do you like in a book? I like a good amount. But I don’t want the book I’m reading to be just description. I few weeks ago I read a book that had all the description based on a couple kissing. It made the rest of the book quite boring and I struggled to finish it. I guess you have to have the right amount of description versus everything else.
Anything else you’d like to share with us? I am currently working on a book of my own about a badass female assassin that has to protect a young and handsome weapons dealer on their journey to a secret location. I hope to finish the book and publish it in the next few years!
I am an admin on the Facebook page All Things Books. I also am on the review team of an upcoming author.
Everyone Add Kristina she’s really a great person to know!  Thanks Kristina for taking the time to answer my questions!!! 
Check out my other blog posts as there are two contests going on right now.  One for The Keepers and one for Mulligan Man!!!
Monique O’Connor James
Author of:  “The Keepers”
Twitter:               mjames13
WordPress:         www.moniquejames.wordpress.com
Website:             www.moniqueoconnorjames.com