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I Belong


Guest Author: Monica Burns (Guest Post & Giveaway)

Please join me in welcoming Monica Burns here today to Dark Faerie Tales.  The second book in her Order of the Sicari series, Assassin’s Heart, is scheduled to be released on September 7, 2010.  You can read the first four chapters here and the first three chapters from Assassin’s Honor here.

Berkley has generously provided several copies of both Assassin’s Honor and Assassin’s Heart.  Four lucky commentators will have a chance to win a copy of both Assassin’s Honor and Assassin’s Heart.  As always, details are listed at the end of the post.

Welcome Monica!

It’s so nice to be here visiting at Dark Faerie Tales to talk about what inspired me as I wrote my upcoming release, Assassin’s Heart. A warm thanks to Angela for arranging the post. When I first developed my Order of the Sicari series, I wasn’t really sure what I was doing. I just knew I wanted to write something different. Big, bold and sweeping as my agent calls it.

Over a period of about two and a half years, while writing other things, I worked on the details of my new paranormal series. Some of the first things to roll out of my head in June 2005 were prerequisites that I wanted in my series. I wanted hot guys carrying swords. I also wanted it to be as different as possible because it’s hard to follow really talented authors who write such wonderful vamps, weres, or magical creatures.

In truth, I was struggling to write something paranormal that would be different. Something that would live up to my agent’s expectations of big, bold, and sweeping. I kept digging deep into the depths of my creative mind, and I finally came up with five pages. Five pages about a Roman general and his wife. WHAT??? I was trying to write a paranormal series, not a historical for heaven’s sake. Then I suddenly realized that I had actually written my backstory for the Sicari. I had my bloodline, I had my hot guys carrying swords, I had the perfect villains, and I had a great backdrop on which to bring my heroes/heroines forward into present day times. So I wrote the first book, Assassin’s Honor, which was released this past June.

When I finished Assassin’s Honor, I knew I had to write Lysander’s story. As second-in-command to Ares, my hero from Assassin’s Honor, I knew Lysander was going to be tortured, but I wasn’t really sure how. On top of that, I kept coming back to those five pages with the Roman general and his wife. I loved the connection this couple had with each other. It was evident that the love they had for each other was deep, powerful, romantic, and incredibly sexy. I wanted to use those pages, but the question of how to integrate those five pages was something I had to stew over.

So there I was, ready to write Assassin’s Heart (it was called NO TITLE at the time), and I had zip, zilch, nada. I knew both Lysander and Phaedra as well as my Roman couple (Maximus and Cassiopeia) were critical components of what was happening in the Sicari world, both past and present. But sometimes, it’s really hard to see the forest for the trees one’s lost in.

Nonetheless, I kept plugging away, asking all kinds of questions about the characters, and then it happened. I suddenly realized that the ancient Roman couple were Lysander and Phaedra reincarnated. Writing this book was difficult and easy at the same time. Actually, the ancient Rome pieces of the book just rolled off my keyboard with the ease of slicing soft butter. Lysander and Phaedra’s HEA in modern-day Rome, Italy was more difficult, primarily because of all the plot points that were happening in addition to them realizing that they are the reincarnated founders of the Sicari dynasty. Pretty mind-blowing news for anyone, I think.

One of the reasons why I used the past life twist was because my personal belief structure is such that I believe I’ve lived before. I’ve had too many moments of déjà vue or simple knowing of things that I hadn’t been educated in to not believe. I’ve had moments when writing my historicals I’ll write something down as fact with the intent to research it later. These small minutia are facts I’ve never read before, and my knowledge on them is non-existent. Yet, all of the minutia winds up being dead on target. Some people might find that a bit eerie, but for me, I find it fascinating. I mean look at these two pictures.


A lot of people have told me they find them uncanny likenesses. The girl is me at 14 years of age, while the portrait of the two boys was done by Sir John Millas in 1878. It’s a portrait of the two Princes Edward and Richard who were allegedly murdered by their uncle, who took the throne of England as Richard III (Shakespeare anyone?).

I come across things like this all the time, and it’s one of the reasons why I’ve had past life regression done. I’ve experienced three past lives under regression, and they were hard lives and all of them ended violently. Two of the deaths involved the neck. In one life I was hung, and in the other I was sent to the guillotine. Personally, I think it explains why I’ve never being able to wear a turtleneck or any kind of jewelry around my neck. I wind up clawing at it and feel like I’m going to suffocate.

I tried to transfer these same type of small details between my characters in ancient Rome and their counterparts in present day Rome. Lysander’s horrible scars are very similar to the ones Maximus received in ancient Rome. Using past lives in Assassin’s Heart gave me the chance not only to show the very beginnings of the Sicari, but to explore the concept of soul mates that we see in so many romances. And for Lysander and Phaedra, they have to go to hell and back to get their HEA, but I think what they go through makes their HEA that much sweeter.

Author Bio:

An award-winning author of erotic romance, Monica Burns penned her first short romance story at the age of nine when she selected the pseudonym she uses today. From the days when she hid her stories from her sisters to her first completed full-length manuscript, she always believed in her dream despite rejections and setbacks. A workaholic wife and mother, Monica believes it’s possible for the good guy to win if they work hard enough.

You can visit Monica around the web here: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

GIVEAWAY GUIDELINES:

Four lucky commentators will have a chance to win a copy of Assassin’s Honor and Assassin’s Heart .

To enter, leave a comment below answering the following question:

So tell me, do you believe in past lives? Soul mates? Have you had a past life regression? Would you even want to know what your past lives were?

1. +1 entry for answering the question (required).

2. +2 entries for becoming a follower of this blog and Dark Faerie Tales on Twitter.

3. +3 entries for tweeting about this contest, blogging about it, linking via your sidebar etc…(please tell me where!).

4. Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada residents only.

5. Please include your email address in your comment.

6. Giveaway ends Monday, September 13th at 11:59 PM EST.

7. The winner will be picked with the help of Random.org.


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43 Responses to “Guest Author: Monica Burns (Guest Post & Giveaway)

  1. Jessica RabbitNo Gravatar
    1

    This is such a kick a$$ giveaway! Thanks for hosting it, and thank you Monica for offering it up to us. To answer your questions, I do believe in past lives and soul mates. I haven’t had a past life regression, but I would like to know what my past lives were. I think it would be neat.

    + 1 for commenting.
    I am already a follower.
    and + 3 for blogging about giveaway. :)

    http://j-rabbits-corner.blogspot.com/2010/08/guest-author-monica-burns-giveaway.html

    littleredride.nhood[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  2. Julia S.No Gravatar
    2

    At this point, I’m not sure whether or not I believe- but I’m very opened minded and it wouldn’t surprise me. I do, however, believe in soul mates and would love to have a past life regression. The whole subject is incredibly fascinating!

    +1 – question
    +2 – following via GFC & Twitter
    rexreadingrobot at gmail dot com

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  3. Monica BurnsNo Gravatar
    3

    Hi Jessica, now that the regression is behind me, I think it was a positive thing, but the experiencing last moments in the French Revolution was actually terrifying, and it still disturbs me even though the regression was more ten years ago.Thanks for dropping by.

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  4. sue brandesNo Gravatar
    4

    Hi Monica. Don’t enter me as I just won a book from you.
    I’m not really sure if I believe. I guess I would need to see for myself. I sort of believe in soul mates but: I have never found mine. Never have a past life regression done. It would be interesting to find out even though I am kind of a skepic. Very interesting post. I have never really thought about if I was ever someone else in a past life. I cannot wait to read your books. They sound wonderful.

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  5. debpNo Gravatar
    5

    I am not sure on this one. I have enough to handle with this life, without thinking of past lives. I think soul mates can happen, but I feel that it is really rare.+1
    moc.oohaynull@21dnikafoowt

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  6. Monica BurnsNo Gravatar
    6

    Hi Sue, I like making people think! LOL Past lives aren’t the most popular belief. Interestingly enough, some of the texts of the Bible that were thrown out when the Council of Nicea during Constantine’s rule apparently referenced reincarnation. If I remember correctly, The Gospel of Thomas refers to it. I should look at that book tonight when I get home. Thomas’s book was discarded by the Council. History is SOOO fascinating. Glad you’re excited about the books.

    Debp – I can definitely understand the to much to handle now deal. LOL But I also know that I’ve got it made compared to my past lives. :) Soul mates are definitely rare in my experience, but I do believe they happen. Thanks for dropping by!

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  7. Crystal FNo Gravatar
    7

    Great giveaway. Truthfully I don’t believe in past lives, but I am fascinated reading books that deal with that as part of the plot. I haven’t had past life regression, but I do believe my husband is my soul mate, whether we’ve known each other before, not so sure on that.

    +1 comment
    +2 follower here on on twitter(@cfulcher)

    Thanks!

    crystalfulcher(at)ec.rr.com

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  8. Carol L.No Gravatar
    8

    Hi Monica,
    Love this blog tour. Dying to read this series.
    I’m amazed as I said on another blog the likeness of you and the young Princes. I believe in past lives and also soul mates although I’ve yet to find mine. lol What does a regression involve Monica ? Is it hypnosis ?
    Carol L.
    moc.loanull@0574ykcuL

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  9. Monica BurnsNo Gravatar
    9

    Crystal, Glad you enjoy books about past lives, since that’s a major theme running through Assassin’s Heart. :)

    Carol, A regression is done under hypnosis. You’re taken back past your childhood to whatever/wherever you were before. The therapist watches over to ensure nothing bad happens.

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  10. Amy H.No Gravatar
    10

    I don’t know if I believe in past lives. I don’t think I’d personally want to know what I was in the past because I think it would change who I was currently (or at least could change…).

    I’ve been interested in reading this series. Thanks for the contest!

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  11. Monica BurnsNo Gravatar
    11

    Amy, With my experiences, the only thing it changed was to give me better insight to some of my fears. But everyone is different. *smile* Thanks for dropping in.

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  12. Melissa (Books and Things)No Gravatar
    12

    I’d want to know. Especially to see if friends of mine were right. If they are, I doubt I looked like my past lives since I was told I have been various races. How cool is that? :)

    I follow the blog and twitter
    books (dot) things (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  13. Monica BurnsNo Gravatar
    13

    Melissa, I think it’s totally cool that we might look different! I wonder if I looked similar in my male life as I do now??? No, was big and hairy (dark black hair, swarthy complexion). LOL

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  14. Jeanette JuanNo Gravatar
    14

    I think past lives and soul mates are possible and maybe exist. I’ve never seriously thought about them, but I think anything can happen in the world. I think it would be interesting to know what my past lives would be like, whether they’re exactly like me now or some crazy, wild person.

    +2 GFC follower
    +3 linked to blog sidebar: http://jeanette8042.blogspot.com/

    lilazncutie1215[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  15. Weng-Him C.No Gravatar
    15

    I believe in neither past lives nor soulmates. I have never had a past life regression. If they exist, I don’t think I would want to know what my past lives were like.

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  16. Monica BurnsNo Gravatar
    16

    Jeanette – Based on my past life regressions, I didn’t get the sense that they were just like me as I am now. I think we are who we are based on our current life experiences, so I would think we’d be different. I don’t know. Good thought though!

    Weng-him – sometimes not knowing is a GOOD thing. *smile*

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  17. Marlene BreakfieldNo Gravatar
    17

    Great interview. Yes, I believe in past lives and soul mates. I would be hesitant to get a regression, because I think my extreme claustrophobia may be linked to a past life. I would like to know, who my pasts lives were.
    +1 comment
    +2 follower
    +3 tweeted http://twitter.com/mbreakfield/status/21948223881
    marlenebreakfield(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  18. elaing8No Gravatar
    18

    Great giveaway.

    I do believe in past lives and soulmates. I have never had a past life regression.I don’t know if I don’t think I’d want to know what my past lives were.

    +1 entry for answering the question

    +2 follower of this blog and Dark Faerie Tales on Twitter @elaing8

    +3 tweeted http://twitter.com/elaing8/status/21961815321

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  19. Robin KNo Gravatar
    19

    I believe in past lives…I think. I have not done a regression, too scary.

    +1 entry for answering the question
    +2 follower of this blog and on Twitter
    +3 entries for tweeting: http://twitter.com/IntenseWhisper/statuses/21962974175

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

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  20. Monica BurnsNo Gravatar
    20

    Marlene, have you ever considered the aspect of being buried alive? Lots of people were who were sick and thought dead and would be buried. They have evidence of people trying to claw their way out of a coffin. GRUESOME and could definitely cause claustrophobia in a later life I bet.

    Elaing8 – As I mentioned to someone else, knowing can be a good thing, but not always. I think regression is something you have to do with the realization that one may find out something you aren’t going to like.

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  21. Monica BurnsNo Gravatar
    21

    Robin, The scary part I understand. Trust me, when I came out of the regression where I was on my way to the guillotine, I was pretty shook up. The hypnotist had to pull me out quickly because of my reaction during the regression. I remember fighting to get free from the tumbril. I told the therapist this too. I used the word tumbril and to my recollection I’d never heard it before. Nor had I known that victims were tied to the cart. I researched after the event and learned that my experience was accurate. Made it all the more unsettling

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  22. Annie McElfreshNo Gravatar
    22

    The cover is WOW first off! Love it!

    Past lives, I’m definitely intrigued by the idea, not sure how I believe it is real, but I wish it was.

    Old Follower of Blog and Twitter
    and question answered!

    Awesome post! Thanks Monica!

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  23. Monica BurnsNo Gravatar
    23

    Hi Annie, So glad you like the cover, I didn’t when I first saw it, but it’s grown on me, and it’s slightly different in hand, as the Roman red is prevalent in not just Lysander’s shirt, but my name as well! LOL

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  24. lulilutNo Gravatar
    24

    +1 I don’t know if I would want to know about any of my past lives or soul mates. There is a quote from the movie, The Thin Red Line, that goes – “If I never meet you in this life, let me feel the lack” – that gave me goosebumps when I heard it. It has become my favorite quote, it is so powerful yet poignant.

    +2 follower

    +3 http://twitter.com/lulilut/status/22152112508

    d.septer(at)insightbb.com

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  25. Monica BurnsNo Gravatar
    25

    Lulilut, What FAB line!! I think it’s incredibly powerful. Thanks for sharing!

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  26. Melissa RNo Gravatar
    26

    When I was younger I believed in past lives. Now that I am older I am a bit more skeptical when it comes to most things. I sometimes think that maybe my life really sucks right now cause I was a horrible person in a past life. I don’t think I would ever go with regression just because I’d rather not know

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  27. Monica BurnsNo Gravatar
    27

    Melissa, life can be really tough sometimes, but there’s ALWAYS someone worse off than us (and better off too! LOL). I didn’t do regression because I wanted to compare it to my current life. I did it because I was curious. And it’s perfectly find to NOT be curious about everything. hope things get better for you.

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  28. ThrouthehazeNo Gravatar
    28

    +1 I don’t believe in past lives or soul mates

    +2 follow here and on twitter @throuthehaze

    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

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  29. Kristina BNo Gravatar
    29

    +1 – I do believe in past lives, and soul mates. I haven’t had a past life regression, but I think I would want to know what my past lives were — it’d be interesting, to say the least.
    +2 became a follower of blog and on twitter (@frazzletastic)
    +3 posted on sidebar (http://frazzletastic.blogspot.com)

    angelmistress[at]hotmail[dot]com

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  30. Christy MNo Gravatar
    30

    Hey Monica,

    I do believe in soul mates. I haven’t really thought about past lives. a regression may be fun, depending on the outcome. my luck, i would be some king’s fool or done something to get me tossed in the lions den …

    I am a follower.

    Christy M
    practimom at yahoo dot com

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  31. JessNo Gravatar
    31

    I am a bit unsure on the whole pass lives thing.. I do however believe in soul mates I found mine at 14.. still together at 26..

    I already follow on Twitter @JessRing84
    moc.liamgnull@48gniRsseJ

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  32. TaffyNo Gravatar
    32

    I get deja vu a lot!

    I twitted:
    http://twitter.com/taffylovell/status/23189609371

    moc.liamgnull@llevol.yffat

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  33. kathleen shawNo Gravatar
    33

    hi this is #1 question. do l believe…… l certainly do believe in the past lives……. and soul mates…. its like your eyes are the soul looking in. l believe in all that and for a experience l allways have da ja vu l deeply feel this is a great part in it also.

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  34. kathleen shawNo Gravatar
    34

    hi l forgot to leave my email ac.wahsnull@wahs_htak and lm a follower now and post to twitter and going to paste on my facebook. l was wishing l could post this to my other comment number 33 . thank you for reading my comment above.

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  35. Dana SandstromNo Gravatar
    35

    I wouldn’t discount the belief that we live past lives or have soul mates, but I’m not an avid believer either. I think I’d rather live my current life without the influencing knowledge of a previous one.
    ten.labolgcbsnull@mortsdnasanad

    +1 question answered
    +2 follower
    +3 twitter.com; profile: Dana_Dee123

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  36. latisha depoortereNo Gravatar
    36

    great giveaway I do believe in past lives and soulmates thank you very much for this contest!
    +1 commented
    +2 follower already on blog and twitter
    +3 tweeted too
    http://twitter.com/latishajean/status/24039525615
    ten.retrahcnull@naejahsit

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  37. LiLiNo Gravatar
    37

    +1 I do believe in past lives because I think there’s a lot of things that people can’t explain in their current, regular lives. I do somewhat believe in soul mates because I believe there is someone for everyone, at least I like to believe that.

    Already a follower on both.
    +3 Tweeted about it: http://twitter.com/Lilixtreme/status/24040969335

    chicareader(at)gmail.com

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  38. Donna SNo Gravatar
    38

    While I like to read about them I do not believe in past lives. I do believe in soul mates though, although I am still looking for mine.

    I follow both.

    tweet – http://twitter.com/DonnaS1/statuses/24072475441

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

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  39. KarenNo Gravatar
    39

    I don’t believe in past lives. Call me a boring person, but it seems rather far-fetched and just simple romanticized longing. I’d prefer to think more logically, but I must admit it does make a passionate love story ;]

    moc.oohaynull@sniarlufssilb

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  40. katklaw777No Gravatar
    40

    I’d luv to know my past lives…I think I remember living in Scotland on the moors back when I am not sure. Also maybe during medieval times or in Egypt, they all strike a fancy in me, thanks.

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  41. Linda HendersonNo Gravatar
    41

    I do believe in soul mates, not sure about past lives. If I had lived previous lives I wouldn’t want to know about them.

    +2 Follow GFC & Twitter (BookOwner)
    +3 Tweeted http://twitter.com/BookOwner/status/24330171279
    +3 Posted on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1232683984&v=wall&story_fbid=160089047338672&ref=mf

    seriousreader at live dot com

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  42. justpeachy36No Gravatar
    42

    I’m not really a believer in that sort of thing.

    Please enter me in the giveaway.

    moc.oohaynull@63yhcaeptsuj

    +2 I follow on GFC and Twitter.

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  43. ArceliNo Gravatar
    43

    I do not believe in past lives or soul mates. However, if past lives actually existed, I would want to know about mine.

    a(dot)long(at)tcu(dot)edu

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