Barbara Monajem

Barbara Monajem has been a joy to watch as her writing takes center stage. Equally passionate about paranormal and historical romance, she joins GLIAS to talk about her August 1st release, THE WANTON GOVERNESS, part of Harlequin Historical Undone series.
What's happening in Barbara's world...

Sunrise in a Garden of Love and Evil
finaled in the Daphne du Maurier Contest, and Tastes of Love and Evil received an Award of Merit from the Holt Medallion Contest!

Both Notorious Eliza and Tastes of Love & Evil finaled in the Golden Quill Contest, and Sunrise in a Garden of Love & Evil, the first book in my Bayou Gavotte series, finaled for the New England Reader's Choice Bean Pot Award.

Notorious Eliza won in the Historical Romance category of the Epic e-book contest.

What the critics are saying:
Bayou Gavotte Series
"...a fresh and sultry voice joins the paranormal romance genre..." -- Romantic Times

"...charming, offbeat characters..." -- Patricia's Vampire Notes

"A breath of fresh air, in the spirit of Charlaine Harris's Dead Until Dark."
-- New York Times Bestselling Author Susan Squires


In exchange for a few days’ shelter, dismissed governess Pompeia Grant pretends to be the wife of a man who spurned her years earlier. James Carling, the man in question, is in America, so he’ll never know. And it’s only for a couple of days. And she’s helping a friend, so she’s doing a good deed… But the next day, James comes home.
Setup for the excerpt: Clarabelle is James’s mother. Sally is his sister, who asked Pompeia to pretend to be James’s wife for a couple of days. The Wanton Within is the voice of Pompeia’s sensual nature, which she has tried very hard to suppress for years…
“What in hell’s name were you thinking?”
At this furious bellow all the ladies froze, then gaped. “Who was that?” Clarabelle faltered.
Pompeia rose in horror. She would know that enraged shout anywhere. She had heard it only once before, and she would never forget it.
But this time it was surely directed at her.
Footsteps hammered on the staircase, and her heart abandoned itself to terror. She had to run. She had to flee.
No! She had to do something.
“James, wait!” That was Sally’s voice. “Please, just let me—”
“James wasn’t supposed to be home yet,” Clarabelle moaned, and meanwhile the footsteps pounded down the passage.
Think, think! There must be some way to avert disaster. Not to Pompeia herself—that was impossible—but to Sally, to whom the vouchers for Almack’s meant so much. But there wasn’t time, because it would mean convincing Sir James to talk to her privately before exposing the deception. It would mean making him want to. Inexorably, the footsteps approached the drawing-room doorway.
I know how to make a man want to, said the Wanton Within.
Not that! Pompeia’s rational mind screamed. Not now! But after a second’s furious pause, she realized that for once the Wanton might be right. She got her feet moving and went straight for the door.
Too late.
Maybe for Pompeia.... But not for Readers... Let's learn about Barbara!!
DONNELL: If you could live anywhere on earth, where would it be?
BARBARA: Sigh. I want to go home – Vancouver, that is. I really, really miss the mountains and ocean. I’m not usually a sentimental person, but I get tears in my eyes when I see Vancouver from a plane – especially when I’m leaving. Sniff.
DONNELL: What/Where’s your favorite room in your house?
BARBARA: The kitchen – so much good stuff happens there!
DONNELL: Have you ever written a character who wasn’t meant to be a hero but he wouldn’t go away?
BARBARA: This happens all the time. In the historical romance I’m working on right now, I dreamed up a mean, nasty, downright horrible cousin of the hero to try to steal away the heroine and debauch her – who turned out to be a real sweetheart the minute I started typing. He’s so adorable he’ll have to be the hero of his own book, even if he does some questionable stuff in this one.
DONNELL: Do you read reviews of your books?
BARBARA: LOL. Yeah, because the good ones make me really, really happy, and the not so good ones… well, I don’t like being told that my story’s “ho-hum,” but I sometimes feel like that about books that others love, so it’s bound to be the same with mine.
DONNELL: You’re trapped in a building about to be demolished. Who’s with you?
BARBARA: No, I’m not, and neither is whoever’s with me. Just not going to happen. On the other hand, if it’s one of my heroines, she might be with a brawny, kilted Scotsman with a magic stone that transports them both to the 13th century. I’m not planning to write one of these dudes, by the way, which makes it even more fun – historical accuracy not required.
DONNELL: What’s in your refrigerator right now?
BARBARA: You want a list? Last year our electric power went out during a storm, and was out for several days while we happened to be out of town… so by the time we got back both the fridge and freezer were full of rotten food. We had to compile a list to give to the insurance company, so I called the items out piece by piece while putting them in trash bags, while my daughter (safely in the other room away from the stench) wrote the long, long list.
DONNELL: Are you an organized individual or a packrat?
BARBARA: It depends. If I have to be organized, I am, but as soon as I don’t have to be…pfft. I learned this the first time I left home. Without my mother telling me to clean my room… LOL. What a mess! I wouldn’t say I’m a packrat, though. I don’t want to keep all that junk – but I’m not interested in going through it, so there it stays.
DONNELL: Is Elvis really dead?
BARBARA: He may be dead, but he’s not gone. I hope he has a good time on whatever plane of existence he finds himself.
DONNELL: High heels or Tennis Shoes?
BARBARA: Depends on who’s wearing them. I love looking at high heels. In a moment of madness before an RWA conference one year, I bought a pair of gorgeous black high-heeled slip-ons covered with shiny beads, size 8. Anybody want them?
DONNELL: What was your proudest moment as a writer?
BARBARA: My proud moments slip by so fast I don’t notice them. I’m more likely to fret about what’s coming next.
DONNELL: What do you do to unwind and relax?
BARBARA: I don’t remember. No, I do, sort of – I used to read. I used to sleep. Now I agonize over the next plot hitch, take some melatonin, and hope for the best.
DONNELL: Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
BARBARA: Not really. Sometimes I don’t know how to get out of a fix I’ve written myself into, but usually I just push and push and push until I find my way. Thank God for willing-to-listen daughters and editors.
DONNELL: Are you superstitious?
BARBARA: I am very stubbornly Not Superstitious, but some freak occurrence could easily feed my deepest fears, shatter my determination, and make me wallow in guilt for life because I didn’t give in to some dumb superstitious impulse.
DONNELL: What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing/researching a book?
BARBARA: That sex was mentioned, joked about, and generally seen as normal and enjoyable in the “olden days.” There have been both repressive periods and permissive ones in the past. When I was young, I thought sexual liberation was something new -- but now I see it as cyclical.
DONNELL: Which era would you least liked to live in, fashion-wise?
BARBARA: The Victorian era. Even when I was young and scrawny, I had a biggish waist.
DONNELL: You've entered a time machine. Where are you going?
BARBARA: Wherever Dr. Who takes me!
DONNELL: If you could interview anyone for a day (and it doesn’t have to be a writer) who would it be?
BARBARA: There’s a good reason I’ve never interviewed anyone and probably never will – I would run out of steam in about ten seconds. Hi, how are you, I feel really, really uncomfortable asking personal questions…Bye now. Now, if Paul McCartney wanted to chat, I’d listen. And, since I enjoy British history, I’d love to spend some time as a fly on the wall in the courts of William the Conqueror, Henry the Second, and Charles the Second. Oh, and I’d like to see what John Donne and the Earl of Rochester were really like. And so on, all in the name of historical research.
DONNELL: If you could tell Readers one thing about you, what would it be?
BARBARA: I wouldn’t. I’m shy about talking about myself, but stuff I care about comes out in my books.
Barbara, thanks for such great answers. We promise not to make you interview anyone, save one. It's time for you to ask the readers one little ol question. Readers, Barbara would like to know:
I’m always looking for something new and different to read. What books have you enjoyed recently? (Any genre, fiction or non-fiction.) Thanks!
Mentioning to Barbara what you've enjoyed recently will enter you in a drawing for a free download of THE WANTON GOVERNESS, either from e-Harlequin or Amazon, winner's choice.
Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only. If an electronic Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) is available, the author may utilize that option for International participants. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.
To learn more about Barbara, check out: http://barbaramonajem.com/ or follow her on Twitter @BarbaraMonajem
Tune in tomorrow Friday when Superromance Author Angel Smits joins us.


  1. Good morning, Barbara. Oh my gosh, that's a fabulous cover and you have the prettiest smile! A wanton. I love the idea. That could present problems, though along the way, which is why I imagine Harlequin Historical was intrigued by the idea.

    I do a lot of Advanced Copy Reads....

    I'm reading in a Treacherous Court right now by Michelle Diener. Lovely writer and a fabulous story.

  2. Hi, Donnell!! Thanks for having me this morning. I'm about to begin reading Practical Widow to Passionate Mistress by Louise Allen.

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  4. Barbara, your book sounds great, Cannot wait to read it!
    I read Gone with a Handsomer Man, by Michael Lee West, recently and loved it. Cannot wait to read more Teeny adventures. I also loved Cold Touch by Leslie Parrish. These two books were on opposite sides of the reader spectrum, but the emotions and story line were great.

  5. Sherie, both those books have great titles. Gone with a Handsomer Man makes me smile, and Cold Touch makes me shiver!

    Donnell, I heard about A Treacherous Court at RWA National, when I was sitting next to the author's agent at lunch. Thanks for reminding me!

  6. Donnell does well choosing her questions. Barbara, your answers were excellent.

    I'm reading The Sweethearts Knitting Club by Lori Wilde. I read The First Love Cookie Club a week ago. Next I'll read a paranormal book or three, then maybe a romantic suspense.

  7. Mary M - Aren't they fun questions?

    Are there knitting patterns and cookie recipes in the books you're reading?

  8. Hi Barbara,

    If Dr. Who happened to drop you off in late Victorian London, you could become a suffragist, lose the corset and ride off on your bicycle...in search of the blue phone booth so you could return to present time!

    Your books sound delightful!

  9. Gjillian -- You bet I'd be looking for the phone booth!

    I've often thought I'd like to go back to Restoration London, but it would probably be a bad idea -- plague, fire, and a permissive society in reaction to the Puritan rule -- plus the usual filth and disease -- but it's a time that makes for good stories. :)

  10. Hi Barbara!! I loved the premise of "The Wanton Governess"! And beautiful cover too!

    Great to know about you! I too <3 the kitchen :-D

    Thanks for the fab giveaway. Count me in. judimello AT gmail DOT com

  11. Thanks for coming by, Barbara. I could smell the rotten food from your description. :)

  12. Hi, Ju -- Thanks! The cover definitely shows Pompeia's nature. ;) Kudos to the Art Department.

  13. Hey, Maureen -- Yeah, the stink was pretty vile. We put ground coffee in the freezer, which sucked up the leftover odor very well.

    Love your covers!

  14. Nice post, Barbara! I love the plot of this book...such fun! I think you're going to do very well with this and pull in good reviews, like you normally do!! Congrats!!

  15. Great post! I love the sound of this book, I'll bet its great. An author I have found that her books are very good is Kaki Warner. I got hooked on her books last year and have read them all. You may want to try her if you like the western type of romance books.

  16. Barbara, you really are one heckofa good author and I can't wait to read this one! Great blog ladies!!

  17. Didn't realize that you had another blog, Donnell. Great questions! I'll look for more of your books, Barbara. Enjoy the rest of the summer.

  18. Any of Kristan Higgins books is great. They are funny and romantic contemporaries. I really like her latest, "My One and Only which involves a couple getting a second chance at love. As always there's a cute canine in there.

  19. Virginia -- Thanks for the recommendation. I don't think I've read anything by Kaki Warner before, but I'll go take a look.

    Mary R - Thank you for stopping by. You're a sweetie. :)

    E.B. - Don't you just love Donnell's questions? They sure were fun to answer.

    Na -- I love stories about second chances (The Wanton Governess is one of those). I'll check Kristin Higgins's stories out. Thanks!

  20. Great interview. Thanks for being our guest on GLIAS, Barbara.