Day 17 Michelle Monkou – Crafting New Worlds Through Romance

Romance Stories – The Special Key To Unlock Minds And Hearts

Ever thought of romance stories as the special key to universal communication? Here’s the thing, binge watching Doctor One_Of_A KindWho threw me into an introspective state of mind. While the Doctor has his handy sonic screwdriver that opens doors, creates new paths, provides nail biting escapes, we have equally powerful instruments known as romance stories doing the same.

As an avid reader and a 12 year-career writer of romances, the magic and power of those stories are no secret from those within the community. Check out any social media site, reader event, writer conference, and review site for the addictive impact of a popular author, riveting series, or great reading experience. We romance bookaholics agree that the influence is more than feeling good, more than wanting to escape, more than playing in make-belief land—those are the simplified, and more than often, condescending views of these stories.

More than a romantic journey, we build worlds. A small town tale with its quirky candidates may sit on the same shelf as a story capturing a vibrant, exciting cosmopolitan city, or a saga set against the large acreage of the family ranch. Other stories are filled with fantasy, paranormal, or a touch of science fiction for epic-scaled universes equipped with their own laws for existence.

In these diverse worlds, the reader enters through the door for a unique view of life. Belief systems aren’t put on hold, instead they are engaged to learn about philosophy, mythology, inspirational tenets. They are challenged with the what ifs, with testing and pushing against boundaries. You see, the romance story comes with a special invitation from the author to Michelle Monkou book coverponder the universal messages resting among the pages.

Here, you will meet people of all walks of life. Characters are created with unique recipes that resemble the results of a master chef at work. There may be a dash of sass, or a touch of alpha, or two dollops of sexy. There are stories told from various points of view based on gender, sexual orientation, races and cultures, from the blue collar to the billionaire, from the casual religious to the religiously dedicated.

These universal keys to communication are ready to bridge gaps, heal wounds, and open minds and hearts. There’s nothing more special than readers who share how a character or plot touched them in a personal way. In many cases, the stories inspired purpose to their lives. For others, they were shown a path to forgiveness and hope. We know that the stories aren’t the magic pill to people’s woes. But they do come packed with benefits for the mind, body and soul to live, love and sometimes, laugh at who we are and will become. Share a few of those books that opened your heart and mind.

Grab your supply of the universal key…buy an armful of romances. Happy reading!


I’m always happy to share and recommend authors who are also crafting their special keys to unlocking hearts and minds. Multi-published author Marcia King Gamble – – has a wonderful mardi-gras themed carnival series that is fun, sexy and suspenseful. And erotic romance author Bridget Midway – – rocks with her highly sensual stories that are yummy-licious.

Questions for the Author:

1 – Describe the most daring, adventurous or inspiring thing you ever did.

Getting in line at the amusement park to bungee jump with my husband. The forty-five minutes it took to get to the front provided enough time for me to think that this was stupid. What if the tether snapped? Why was this an important thing to do? What if I peed myself out of sheer terror on the drop?

Just before I had to make the commitment, it started to thunderstorm. The ride was closed. Others moaned their disappointment. I did a fist pump in the air and smiled. It took an hour for the adrenalin to recede. And I’m fine with my scaredy-cat self.

2 – Tell us about your journey to becoming a writer. (How did you decide to get started? Did you always know or was there a specific moment when you knew?)

I always liked writing stories, even as a child. My huge appetite for reading then fueled my imagination and stirred the desire to tell my stories. After I had my children, and during my professional career in the legislative field, I knew it was time to embark on the passion to be an author.

3 – Tell us about The (or A) Book That Changed Your Life. (Why?)

“Changed my life” may be a bit much in my case, but the books that inspired me to write stories were written by British author Enid Blyton. She had a prolific pen and crafted wonderful stories about childhood friends in various settings, whether it was in the countryside solving mysteries, fun times in boarding schools, or the tight fun bonds of family. I was always in a wonderful happyland when I had any of her books in my hand.

Michelle is generously giving away two digital copies of One To Love or Into The Pride, winner’s choice, one to a U.S. reader (entry below) and one to an international reader (enter here).

Michelle MonkouMichelle Monkou is a multi-published author with 20 books in print and digital. She began her writing career in 2002 with Black Entertainment Television (BET) Books. Now, she writes for several publishers and self-publishes her backlist and original stories on her independent digital platform, Stella Maris Publishing. Michelle served on the board and as president of Romance Writers of America. She’s a weekly contributor on USA TODAY’s Happy Ever Blog. Her website is



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  • Sara Underhill

    Oh my goodness, Enid Blyton wrote some fantastic books, didn’t she? I remember to this day, my grandparents gave me some cheaply published versions of a few of her books when I went to visit them. I was in tears when I forgot to bring them home with me (New Jersey to Florida) so I made my poor grandmother ship them down to me. Those books are more than likely still boxed up somewhere in my parents’ home. Thanks for reminding me how good they are!

  • Tammy H

    I love your daring adventure story! Thanks for the giggle.

  • Patty Vasquez

    Oh boy, I love your essay. Authors and readers, cities and countries apart who’ve never met each other, connect like friends who’ve known each other forever over a well-crafted character or plot. It’s amazing. I have been part of that wonderful feeling, but I’m not sure a book or character has ever changed my life except in the way that all books can help us to be kinder, more loving, and more empathetic. In thinking about books that opened my heart, two series come to mind. One written by Linnea SInclair is a 2-book series, Gabriel’s Ghost and Shades of Dark. The books are told in the first person and are so lovingly written, that you ache for the couple at the end of the second book. The second series is written by Megan Whalen Turner, The Queen’s Thief. She is a very slow, deliberate writer and has yet to finish the series- ugh. But the series is a masterpiece of twists and turns, and also a very deep love story told from several different perspectives.

  • Piper Huguley

    So cool that you were inspired by Enid Blyton. Very well said about why everyone needs to shake up their TBR piles a bit with diversity! Well said, Michelle!

  • Thank you for your words! Books that opened my heart are surely those that I read as a young girl, such as The neverending story and the Earthsea series by Ursula K Le Guin, some romances by Marion Zimmer Bradley and poetry. But for the romance category, I’ll never forget Dance with the devil by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I hope to read your books soon!

  • M Kuxhaus

    I love your answer to the first question!

  • Debbie Fuller

    I loved your words “These universal keys to communication are ready to bridge gaps, heal wounds, and open minds and hearts.” You just got added to my TBR list.

  • Emmel

    I never thought I’d hear that watching Doctor Who puts one into an introspective state! 🙂 But have a feeling you’ll be more excited than introspective on Saturday!

  • Cindy A

    I love the bungee jump episode!!!

  • Joan Varner

    I love most of the romance genres whether it is contemporary, historical or paranormal. I like to think that my TBR pile is filled with diversity and I do love it.

  • Martha B

    The bungee jump story was priceless. Thanks for sharing it. 🙂
    (I wouldn’t have even been waiting in line.)

  • mariannewestrich

    No bungee for me! 😎

  • Courtney Cogswell

    Haha, I am binge watching all of my favorite Doctor Who episodes right now in preparation for the new season. Rose and the tenth doctor is one of my all time favorite TV romances–I’m not a crier, but that scene on Bad Wolf Bay gets me every time. That being said, I completely agree with your essay above. I love being transported into the worlds of romance writers whether it is historical, fantasy, contemporary or whatever. And the happy ever after is what keeps me reading time and again. Great post and I look forward to checking out your books 🙂

  • Stephanie M.

    Thank you for your post today. II am new to your books and will add them to my ever-growing TBR list. No bungee jumping for me, either. 😉

  • Eileen Aberman-Wells

    Great post! Thank you. You are a new to me author so I will be checking out some of your books. Love your philosophy about romance books.

  • Jen C

    I love all the worlds the authors build for me! That’s my favorite part.

  • Pamby50

    I like that you write that a good romance can take you anywhere. That is why I enjoy reading them all. No bungie jumping either.

  • Tina B

    One of the first books that I remember reading is Lasher by Anne Rice and I LOVED it!! I used to read a lot of Christopher Pike as a kid. I didn’t really start reading romance until about 7-8 years ago. I think I started with Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series and never turned back. 😀 I will have to check out your recommendations.
    You are brave for even attempting to bungee jump, in my opinion. I would have told my hubby to do it on his own. Lol.

  • Ruth

    I also love the romance books know no bounds. It’s open and diverse. Thanks for the sharing.