Related to: 'Any Bitter Thing'

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.

Headline Review

Ernie's Ark

Monica Wood
Authors:
Monica Wood

A heart-wrenching story collection from the acclaimed author of THE ONE-IN-A-MILLION BOY Monica Wood, ERNIE'S ARK tells the story of a small town's people, determined to survive... Perfect for those who love reading Anne Tyler, Joanna Cannon and Emma Healey. 'Loving character portraits... help us understand the human condition' Boston GlobeAbbott Falls, Maine, a town once drenched with ordinary hopes and dreams, is now praying for a small drop of good fortune. Ernie Whitten - out of a job and tending to his ill wife - needs it more than most. Struck with sudden inspiration, Ernie builds a giant ark in his backyard. It is a work of art, a vessel to carry them both away, and a plea to God to spare Marie, come hell or high water.As the ark takes shape, the rest of the town carries on. There's Dan Little, sent to fine Ernie for building the ark, who makes a significant discovery about himself. Francine Love is a precocious thirteen-year-old who longs to be part of a family. And CEO Henry John McCoy, an impatient man determined to be a good father to his twenty-six-year-old daughter. The people of Abbott Falls will try their best to hold their community together, against the fiercest of odds...

Headline Review

My Only Story

Monica Wood
Authors:
Monica Wood

MY ONLY STORY is a moving, funny and bittersweet novel by Monica Wood, the acclaimed author of THE ONE-IN-A-MILLION BOY, sure to appeal to fans of Anne Tyler and Maggie O'Farrell. 'Captivating... warm and wise and beautifully written' Richard Russo, author of STRAIGHT MENRita Rosario has a gift, a way with people. She listens to them and really sees them for who they are - warts and all. Women, even men, come to Rita's beauty shop for perms, town gossip, and makeovers of their very lives.John Reed first appears to Rita in one of her dreams. When they meet at a town gathering a few days later, she immediately offers him a haircut, and a heart. As they share stories, Rita helps John fill a void by reconnecting him to his only family - a young niece he nearly lost in a heartbreaking tragedy.While inspiring John out of loneliness and into reconciliation, Rita begins to come to terms with events in her past... and discovers things about herself she never realised, including her own intimate role in John's unfolding story.

Headline Review

Secret Language

Monica Wood
Authors:
Monica Wood
Headline Review

When We Were the Kennedys

Monica Wood
Authors:
Monica Wood

WHEN WE WERE THE KENNEDYS is a brilliant, award-winning memoir about the death of a father and the healing of a family, by the acclaimed author of THE ONE-IN-A-MILLION BOY, Monica Wood, for those who loved Cathy Rentzenbrink's THE LAST ACT OF LOVE or Helen Macdonald's H IS FOR HAWK. 'Stunning. The ordinary and extraordinary Wood family will capture your heart... It's by far one of my favourite books and I recommend it to everyone I know. Wonderful, and full of everyday wonders' Julie Cohen1963. The Wood family is much like their neighbours, all dependent on the fathers' wages from the local mill. But when Dad suddenly dies on his way to work one April morning, Mum and the four deeply connected Wood daughters are set adrift. And then, come November - the family still overwhelmed by grief, the country shocked by the assassination of President Kennedy - Mum announces an unprecedented family road trip. Inspired by the televised grace of Jackie Kennedy, herself a new widow with young children, Mum and her girls head to Washington, DC, to do some rescuing of their own. WHEN WE WERE THE KENNEDYS is a funny, moving and imaginative memoir about how one family and one country, each shocked by the unimaginable, find the strength to move on. 'Intimate but expansive ... A tender memoir of a very different time' O, the Oprah Magazine

Headline Review

The One-in-a-Million Boy

Monica Wood
Authors:
Monica Wood

THE ONE-IN-A-MILLION BOY by Monica Wood is for anyone who loves to laugh, cry, and think about how extraordinary ordinary life can be. Not to be missed by readers who loved THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY, ELIZABETH IS MISSING or THE SHOCK OF THE FALL. 'A lovely, quirky novel about misfits across generations' Daily MailThe story of your life never starts at the beginning. Don't they teach you anything at school?So says 104-year-old Ona to the 11-year-old boy who's been sent to help her out every Saturday morning. As he refills the bird feeders and tidies the garden shed, Ona tells him about her long life, from first love to second chances. Soon she's confessing secrets she has kept hidden for decades. One Saturday, he doesn't show up. Ona starts to think he's not so special after all, but then his father Quinn arrives on her doorstep, determined to finish his son's good deed. The boy's mother is not so far behind. Ona is set to discover that even at her age the world can surprise you, and that sometimes sharing a loss is the only way to find yourself again.

Headline Review

A Woman in a Million

Monica Wood
Authors:
Monica Wood

An e-short story.If you loved The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and The Shock of the Fall, this is for you...There's someone you should meet. But, before you do...She's just turned one hundred. She doesn't want a birthday party. Or a TV interview. She's too busy practising for her driving test. And hoodwinking church visitors with magic tricks. She's Miss Ona Vitkus. And she's one in a million.Warm, funny and heartbreaking, this short-story prequel to THE ONE IN A MILLION BOY - the book destined to be on everyone's lips this summer - will make you laugh and cry with the turn of a page.

Adele Parks

Adele Parks worked in advertising until she published her first novel in 2000. Since then, her many Sunday Times bestsellers have been translated into twenty-six different languages. Adele spent her adult life in Italy, Botswana and London until 2005 when she moved to Guildford, where she now lives with her husband and son. Adele believes reading is a basic human right, so she works closely with The Reading Agency as an Ambassador for Reading Ahead, a programme designed to encourage adult literacy.Meet Adele! Visit her website for the latest news on her upcoming events: www.adeleparks.com, head to Facebook for exclusive extras: facebook.com/OfficialAdeleParks and chat with Adele on Twitter @adeleparks.

Anne Baker

Anne Baker trained as a nurse at Birkenhead General Hospital, but after her marriage went to live first in Libya and then in Nigeria. She eventually returned to her native Birkenhead where she worked as a Health Visitor for over ten years before taking up writing.

Bernie McGill

Bernie McGill was born and raised in Northern Ireland and attended Queen's University, Belfast. Her first novel, The Butterfly Cabinet, was published by Headline Review in 2011. Bernie is also the author of Sleepwalkers, a collection of short fiction (shortlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize) and a contributor to The Long Gaze Back (New Island, 2015), an acclaimed anthology of Irish women writers spanning four centuries, and has numerous theatre credits to her name. Bernie lives in Portstewart, Northern Ireland, with her family.

Beth Kery

Beth Kery is the New York Times ebook bestselling author of Because You Are Mine and recipient of the All About Romance Reader Poll for Best Erotica. Beth lives in Chicago where she juggles the demands of her career, her love of the city and the arts, and a busy family life. Her writing today reflects her passion for all of the above. She is a bestselling author of over thirty books and novellas, and has also written under the pen name Bethany Kane.You can read more about Beth, her books and upcoming projects at www.bethkery.com, discover her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/beth.kery, or follow her on Twitter @BethKery.

Caroline Graham

Caroline Graham, the creator of Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby, was born in Warwickshire and educated at Nuneaton High School for Girls, and later the Open University. She was awarded an MA in Theatre Studies at Birmingham University, and has written several plays for both radio and theatre. She has been dubbed by The Sunday Times as, 'Simply the best detective writer since Agatha Christie'.

David Churchill

David Churchill is the pseudonym of an award-winning journalist, who has conducted several hundred in-depth interviews with senior politicians, billionaire entrepreneurs, Olympic athletes, movie stars, supermodels and rock legends. He has investigated financial scandals on Wall Street, studio intrigues in Hollywood and corrupt sports stars in Britain, and lived in Moscow, Washington DC and Havana. He has edited four magazines, published seventeen books and been translated into some twenty languages. The Leopards of Normandy trilogy reflects his lifelong passion for history and his fascination for the extraordinary men and women of the past who shaped the world we live in today.

David Gibbins

David Gibbins is the author of twelve novels that have sold over three million copies in thirty languages. He has been on both the New York Times and the Sunday Times top ten bestseller lists, and he has been a Newsweek number one bestseller in Poland. As well as nine novels in his Jack Howard series of archaeological thrillers, he has written two novels set in the world of ancient Rome. David has a PhD in archaeology from Cambridge University, is a passionate diver and derives much of the inspiration for his novels from the many expeditions he has led around the world to investigate ancient shipwrecks and other archaeological sites. His awards have included a Fellowship and Medallion from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. For his latest discoveries and more about David and his novels, visit www.davidgibbins.com and www.facebook.com/DavidGibbinsAuthor.

Dean Koontz

Dean Koontz is an international household name whose novels have sold many millions of copies worldwide and have appeared on national and international bestseller lists, selling millions of copies each year. He lives with his wife Gerda, their dog Anna and the enduring spirit of their dog Trixie in southern California.

Emma Hannigan

Emma Hannigan is the No. 1 bestselling author of eleven novels including The Wedding Promise, The Perfect Gift, and The Summer Guest. Her bestselling memoir, Talk to the Headscarf, has now been updated and revised as All To Live For. Emma lives in Co. Wicklow, Ireland, with her husband, two children, two cats and their Labradoodle Herbie.For more about Emma, visit her website www.emmahannigan.com or follow her on Twitter @MsEmmaHannigan.

Gregory Maguire

Gregory Maguire is a bestselling author who has earned rave reviews and a dedicated following for Wicked, the first novel in the Wicked Years quartet (which also included Son of a Witch, A Lion Among Men and Out of Oz), that was made into an award-winning musical. He received his doctorate in English Literature from Tufts University, and has taught at Simmons College and other Boston area colleges. He has also served as an artist-in-residence at the Blue Mountain Center, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the Hambridge Center. Gregory has lived in Dublin and London, but now makes his home near Boston, Massachusetts, with his partner, their two sons and daughter.

Hannah Tinti

Hannah Tinti grew up in Salem, Massachusetts and has worked as a writer, editor and teacher. She is the author of the short story collection ANIMAL CRACKERS and co-founder and editor-in-chief of One Story magazine. Her first novel, THE GOOD THIEF, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, winner of the Centre for Fiction's First Novel Prize and a recipient of the American Library Association's Alex Award. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Harriet Evans

Harriet Evans is the author of seven previous novels, Going Home, A Hopeless Romantic, The Love of Her Life, I Remember You, Love Always, Happily Ever After and Not Without You. She lives in London with her family.

Jill Mansell

Jill Mansell is the author of over twenty Sunday Times bestsellers including MEET ME AT BEACHCOMBER BAY, YOU AND ME, ALWAYS, THE ONE YOUR REALLY WANT and THREE AMAZING THINGS ABOUT YOU. TAKE A CHANCE ON ME won the Romantic Novelists' Association's Romantic Comedy Prize, and in 2015 the RNA presented Jill with an outstanding achievement award.Jill keeps in touch with her readers on Twitter - @JillMansell - and Facebook - /OfficialJillMansell. She lives in Bristol with her family.

Jill Shalvis

New York Times bestseller Jill Shalvis is the author of many romance novels including her acclaimed Cedar Ridge, Lucky Harbor and Animal Magnetism series. The RITA winner and three-time National Readers Choice winner makes her home near Lake Tahoe. Visit her website at www.jillshalvis.com for a complete book list and daily blog, and www.facebook.com/jillshalvis for other news or follow her on Twitter @jillshalvis.