Related to: 'Fire and Brimstone'

Author of the amazing One Week Girlfriend series

Behind the scenes with Monica Murphy

We love Drew and Fable’s story and the evolution of their romance in One Week Girlfriend and Second Chance Boyfriend. When did their story begin to take shape for you? Thank you! I love Drew + Fable too. The story began to actually take shape back in 2009 ― well, Fable took shape. I tried my hand at a YA idea with the main character named Fable Maguire. It didn’t pan out (quite frankly, it was terrible). But Fable stuck with me. Fast forward to late 2012 and (sort of a spoiler alert!) I saw a story on my local news about a young, pretty female teacher who was arrested for having sex with her 17-year-old male student. It got me thinking. When females are victims of this sort of thing, everyone’s appalled. When it happens to a male, a lot of the time he’s made out as a guy who just scored with an older woman. So I wanted to write a male victim and a strong female who comes along and saves him. You’ve written numerous romance books both as Monica Murphy and Karen Erickson ― did you find you approached writing a new adult romance differently? Yes! First of all, I’d never written in first-person point of view (POV) before so that was a challenge, but one I enjoyed immensely. I prefer writing in first-person POV now! Also, with a new adult title, all emotions are heightened. It’s a very dramatic time of our lives and everything has a newness, a freshness to it. First time away from home, first real job, first real love, and first chance to make major mistakes and have to fix them on your own. I wanted to capture that — as a writer, there’s a lot to play with during this time period. And with a new adult, it’s not just about the romantic relationship either. There’s so much more going on. Yes, the romance takes priority (and with Drew + Fable, how could it not, considering the situation they’ve thrown themselves into!) but there are other things happening. Family responsibilities, school, family trouble (ooh lots of trouble), jobs — it’s all an important part of their lives. We never imagined that the word ‘marshmallow’ could be so romantic! You made it so special for Drew and Fable ― what inspired you to pick this? It’s so random it’s almost embarrassing. I wrote OWG during the holiday season. I got to the part where Fable suggested they needed a “rescue” word to send or say to each other, and I paused. Glanced around my desk. Saw the box of caramel covered marshmallows (that I kept to myself for fear my children would eat them all) sitting there and thought...marshmallow. I never meant for it to become this THING. It’s so awesome. When Drew + Fable get married, they need a marshmallow wedding cake, right? *winks* Drew and Fable’s romance is powerfully moving ― were there particular parts of their story you found emotional to write? Yes, definitely. As I wrote OWG and got closer to the end, I kept thinking, should I go there? Should I take it there? I hesitated for a bit and then thought, I’m going for it. I’m so glad I did. I think it made the story that much more emotional. What Drew has to deal with is pretty difficult. My biggest fear was that he’d look like a wimp. So glad readers didn’t think he was one. And when I wrote the end of Second Chance Boyfriend, I burst into tears. Those two are buried so deep in my brain it’s sort of scary. It was hard to let them go. I still haven’t. They make plenty of appearances in both Three Broken Promises and Four Years Later, especially Fable. Have you always wanted to be a writer? What do you love most about your job? I’ve always been a reader and when I was in high school, I took journalism classes and was on the school newspaper. I became an intern at my local newspaper in college. So yes, I always wanted to be a writer. I discovered Jude Deveraux and Judith McNaught books during my teen years and I remember thinking, ooh I could do that. But then life got in the way for many years. Back in 2005, I was at home with my two youngest and I decided to try my hand at writing again. I was first published as Karen Erickson in 2006. I’ve been working hard ever since. I have the best job in the world. Where else can you work at home, be there for your kids when they need you and fall in love with a different guy multiple times a year, yet you’re not cheating on your husband (LOL)? Oh, and search the web for pictures of hot men and call it “research”? You can’t beat that! Do you have the most fun creating your heroes or your heroines? Do you have a favourite hero or heroine? It really depends on each book I write. Sometimes the hero speaks more to me and sometimes it’s the heroine. Lame answer, I’m sorry… My favourite hero and heroine? Why, Drew + Fable of course. Those two changed my entire career. I adore them. Who are the authors you read for pleasure? There are a ton of authors I read for pleasure. It would take me a month to list them all. But the one I read without fail? The one who I make sure and preorder so when I get the notice the book is on my Kindle, I drop everything to read her latest? Jill Shalvis. Ack, I love her books so much! What are your guilty pleasures? Chocolate, pedicures and purses. We are so excited to read Three Broken Promises and Four Years Later! Can you give us any hints of what you have planned for Jen and Colin and Owen and Chelsea? I’m excited for everyone to read TBP and FYL too! Okay, hints… Jen and Colin’s book is by far the sexiest of the series. I think it’s because they’re an older couple and Colin is rather demanding (heh heh). Owen and Chelsea’s book is the longest book of them all. Chelsea is the complete opposite of Fable and Jen. And Owen…Owen was a joy to write. I just turned the book in and I’m a little in love with him. Okay, I’m a lot in love with him. And we have to ask – will we get to see some more of Drew and Fable in books three and four?! As I mentioned, YES. Yes, Drew + Fable are all over books three and four. Especially Fable — she’s in the opening scene of TBP. She plays a huge part in Owen’s book because, well, she’s his sister. I hope readers will love those glimpses of D+F.

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The Dead Pass

Bateman
Authors:
Bateman

Hired to find the missing son of retired political activist Moira Doherty, Dan Starkey knows his new case is going to be challenging. Billy 'the Bear' Doherty isn't an easy man to find - a criminal with a nasty drug habit, his mum is convinced he's been murdered.But when Moira herself is killed, her body found floating in the waters under Londonderry's Peace Bridge, Dan finds himself in the middle of a deadly game of cat and mouse. Already in unfamiliar territory, Starkey is quickly embroiled in the city's porn and drug fuelled underworld, where a new generation of gangster terrorist is intent on creating mayhem their predecessors could only dream of ...

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The Prisoner of Brenda

Bateman
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When notorious gangster 'Fat Sam' Mahood is murdered, the chief suspect is arrested nearby. But he seems to have suffered a breakdown. Incarcerated in a mental institution, he's known only as the Man in the White Suit. The suspect remains an enigma until Nurse Brenda calls on Mystery Man, former patient and owner of No Alibis, Belfast's finest mystery bookshop, to bring his powers of investigation to bear... However, before our hero can even begin, the Man in the White Suit is arrested for the murder of a fellow patient. But is he a double murderer or a helpless scapegoat? Intrigue, conspiracy, and ancient Latin curses all combine to give the Small Bookseller with No Name his most difficult case to date.

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Empire State

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Cycle of Violence

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Bicycling journalist Miller is exiled from his big-city paper to small-town Crossmaheart. There, he is to replace another reporter, Jamie Milburn, who has disappeared. Not that anyone's all that surprised, since Crossmaheart is a notoriously fatal place in which to ask questions.Miller aims to keep his head down, but as soon as he gets involved with Jamie's girlfriend Marie, that plan, and much else besides, begins to fall apart.Bateman is a master of storytelling, and CYCLE OF VIOLENCE is dark, disturbing and hugely enjoyable.

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Maid of the Mist

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Not a lot happens in Niagara Falls. It's a sleepy Canadian town full of honeymooners and tourists, and that's how Inspector Frank Corrigan likes it. He saw enough trouble as a cop in Northern Ireland. Now he's happy dealing with parking offences and the odd drunk, although since his wife left him and took their daughter, 'happy' may not be quite the word.Then a reincarnated Native American princess by the name of Lelewala canoes over the Falls - and survives. Or so she says. And Frank falls in love. And finds himself confronting the greatest terrorist of the age at an international gathering of drug dealers.And that's before the music starts...

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Wild About Harry

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Mohammed Maguire

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When the Marines destroy a terrorist training camp in the Libyan desert, they also kill both the parents of a ten-year-old boy, Mohammed Maguire.Brought back to Ireland, the land of his mother's birth, young Mohammed is treated as a public relations commodity by both sides of an argument that he doesn't understand - but which he can see with the clear eyes of a child.Wickedly funny and wonderfully abrasive, MOHAMMED MAGUIRE is Bateman at his very best.

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Shooting Sean

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Turbulent Priests

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Is she the new Messiah, or just a very naughty girl?Dan Starkey arrives on Wrathlin Island - meteorogically wet but alcoholically dry - to investigate the residents' belief that the Messiah is alive, female, and about to start school there: it's not a commission that turns up every day. With wife Patricia and her baby Little Stevie, he finds himself caught up in a mess of religious intolerance, blokes with shooters and illicit drinking in a tiny community that is big on religious fervour but small on hospitality. Apart from the Messiah's mum of course, who's clung to her sanity. And her lager.

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Of Wee Sweetie Mice and Men

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Nine Inches

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Divorcing Jack

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'I was upstairs with a girl I shouldn't have been upstairs with when my wife whispered in my ear, 'You have twenty-four hours to move out'. The book that started it all, Bateman's first novel published in 1995. It introduced the world to the hapless, endlessly wily and witty Belfast journalist Dan Starkey. Dan shares with his wife an appetite for drinking and dancing. But when he meets Margaret, things get seriously out of hand. Terrifyingly, unbelievably, she is murdered. Before long Dan is a target himself, racing against time to crack the mystery.

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The Day of the Jack Russell

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Black Books meets Lead Balloon meets Gavin and Stacey in this hugely entertaining follow-up to MYSTERY MAN, from acclaimed author Bateman. The Small Shop Keeper With No Name is back. Hired to find the vandals responsible for spraying graffiti on an airline mogul's advertising hoarding, he soon finds himself up to his ears in intrigue and battling to solve murders which echo in the corridors of power. With MI5 getting involved and everyone on the hunt for a missing Jack Russell, can Our Man Behind the Counter stay alive as well as keep his world renowned but criminally ignored No Alibis mystery bookshop afloat?

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Dr. Yes

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Chapter and Verse

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The Horse With My Name

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Belfast Confidential

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Driving Big Davie

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Murphy's Law

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His thick and fast-growing medical file says he should be retired, but Detective Martin Murphy wants to get back on the streets, doing what he does best.Murphy has been given one last chance. After a terrible experience working undercover in Northern Ireland, he's in London, and about to fail another psychological assessment. While his life spirals out of control, his boss sends him back undercover to expose a gang of diamond thieves who have just burnt a security guard alive. As he gets closer to the gang's leader, Murphy realises their plans are more ambitious and more deadly than anyone could have expected...

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I Predict a Riot

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