Gratitude to Other Writers and a #Giveaway

Every writer starts out as a reader. I’m eternally grateful to some of my favorite authors not only for hours of entertainment, but for educating me about other countries, cultures and eras, for delighting me with mystery, magic, adventure and romance—and for inspiring me in many, many ways to write stories of my own.

Arthur Ransome Picts and Martyrs

At the moment, I’m especially grateful to Arthur Ransome, a British author of children’s books. His Swallows and Amazons series was published in the 1930’s and 40’s. They’re about some children who spend their summers sailing, mostly in the Lake District in England. The children get to camp by themselves—no grownups—and have all sorts of fun adventures. (My personal favorite is The Picts and the Martyrs, but they’re all wonderful stories.)


I’m thanking Arthur Ransome today because it was his books about the Lake District that inspired me to write a story that takes place there. I’ve visited the Lake District, although not for long enough to get a true feel for the region—but I got it another way, from reading Ransome’s books over and over as a child. Writing Lord Quickthorn’s Bargain, my novella in the anthology Passionate Promises, was a true joy, because I could put myself into that beautiful natural environment about which I’d read so much. Of course, my story is for adults, but the lakes and becks and fells are a perfect backdrop for a love story. And for a bit of magic, too!

Passionate+Promises+Final+Box+2500x1600 - Copy


Here’s the blurb:

Sensible Gwen Appleby is aghast when her foolish sister vows to pursue the notorious rake, Lord Quickthorn. To save her sister from certain ruin, she turns to her friend, the custodian of the fairy well. A simple spell, making Lord Quickthorn indifferent to her sister’s beauty, is all that’s required.

But Gwen’s friend is no longer at the well, and the new, mischievous, very male custodian agrees on one condition: Lord Quickthorn will turn his seductive wiles on Gwen instead. To save her sister’s virtue, must Gwen sacrifice her own? Worse, will the promise of passion make her long to do so?

Passionate Promises isn’t out till next week, but since I love doing giveaways, I’ll give the choice of another of my books to one lucky commenter. Here’s my question: Is there a particular author or authors for whose books you’re especially grateful? Why? Is it the story itself, or what you learned, or how it inspired you, or how it comforts you? I would love to know – and hope to get some reading recommendations, too!

~ * ~

PASSIONATE PROMISES: An Embracing Romance Anthology

Nine Promises to Stir Your Passions from award-winning, bestselling authors. Enter the dazzling world of brawny Vikings, Regency rogues, and dashing scoundrels as they take you on one romantic journey after the other in historical novellas filled with betrayal, intrigue, and passion.

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Follow Barbara Monajem:

Barbara Monajem started writing at eight years old. She has wandered from children’s fantasy through mystery to paranormal and historical romance. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with an ever-shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays.

26 Responses

  1. Patricia B.

    I am ever thankful to Julie Garwood for her historical romances. I did not read romance until at least my late forties, if not later. I picked up her THE PRIZE and once I finished, I went out and got all her other books (which at that time were just historicals). I enjoyed every one of them and started looking for more authors who wrote similar books. I have since sampled all the other sub-genre of romance, but historicals are still my favorite.

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Patricia. Kudos to Julie Garwood for hooking you on historicals!

  2. Melinda

    Hello Barbara
    I can’t say that I have one favorite book, that would be a sin 🙂 . But I am grateful for many of you authors. I started with Julie Garwood. She is my pioneer in Historical romances section. Since then my life is addictional with reading, not just historical romances, I love to explore further, what was really going on in history, geography,… So I can say, that books make my world go round! They are my getaway and my window. And my addiction to reading – gave me a small library. Call me selfish, but it’s only my library and that is all I need :D.

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Melinda! Kudos again to Julie Garwood. 🙂 Yes! Isn’t reading a wonderful window onto the world?!

  3. jerrybruce50

    I guess I can say my favorite book is The Wolf and The Dove by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. I started with Kathleen Woodiwiss, Barbara Cartland, Julie Garwood and a few others. I guess I have branched out a little now from historical romance and I am reading some Paranormal Romance books. One of my favorite authors of Paranormal Romance books is Donna Grant. I am grateful to all authors for all there hard work putting out such awesome books for me to read. Barbara you are a new author for me and I look forward to reading your books. Thank you for your giveaway and a chance to win. I pre-ordered Passionate Promises.

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Jerry. I don’t think I have read anything by Donna Grant. I’ll go look her up now. Thanks for pre-ordering Passionate Promises! 🙂

  4. Linda

    I’m grateful for all the wonderful authors out there whose books have given & continue to give me many hours of enjoyment. I can’t say that there’s a particular one author I’m especially grateful for.

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Linda. Me, too — there’s a whole long list of authors to whom I’m grateful. 🙂

  5. Rebecca Bell

    I am very thankful to Julia Quinn for her historical romances. Once I finished her book everything and the moon I went and bought all of her other books. I enjoyed everyone of them and started to look for other authors who wrote similer books. I now have over 100 historical romance books from different authors. 😊😊

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Rebecca! Kudos to Julia Quinn! I’ve enjoyed several of her books, too, and like you, I have quite a collection of historicals (way more than I have room for). 🙂

  6. Victoria Vane

    The Lake District sounds lovely! It’s so fun to explore unusual settings. So cool that you found inspiration in books from your childhood!

    • Barbara Monajem

      It’s lovely, Vicki. I wish I could go back and really spend some time there.

  7. Karen

    Amanda, I love how you are always searching.

    Two people inspired me. My Grandmother inspired me to read. Before she died at Easter in my first grade year, I had excelled in reading so much that I had moved through all ‘the bird reading groups.’ Remember those? Based on abilities, kids moves from one bird to another. Until she got sick, Grandma would sit with me each afternoon – before I started going to school, teaching me how to learn to read. She taught me my letters, how to sound out the letters, and how to put sounds together. She wasn’t educated herself, but believed in education. Losing her was a huge loss to me. Then, when I was in my late teens I discovered Kathleen Woodiwess. She inspired me with her book, ‘Ashes in the Wind.” I loved her when I read ‘Shanna.’ I had read GWTW as a rather young girl – and even today still watch the video whenever I am sick. But when I read Ashes, I saw a different perspective of he North/South conflict. I started voraciously reading all books on the topic. I love that era. Until I began reading Regency- no other era caught my eye or imagination nearly as much. It was the struggles- both the moral and the physical struggles. It was the lifestyle differences. And it was the regional differences. We were one country under God, yet we were tremendously different- from the way we spoke to the way we thought about things. It all had to do with the economics, the religious beginnings, the original settlers, and the resources available to the area- just to name a few things. Luck also played a role. The war erupted slowly- but it changed not only the latest landscape but the lifestyles of vast amounts of the country. I was fascinated, saddened, enchanted, and hungry for all the information I could find. I have read tons of historicals, as well as history books related to this. I’ve explored all types of eras, but seem to come back to these two. So there we are. Karen

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Karen. Isn’t it amazing how an era of history can really grab onto one? I am fascinated by the historical conflicts between England and Ireland (and dealt with that a little bit in The Rake’s Irish Lady), and also the Roman and Anglo-Saxon eras in England.

    • Barbara Monajem

      I don’t know whether I’ve read anything by Johanna Lindsey. Must take a look!

  8. dholcomb1

    I loved reading as a child–any book… Nancy Drew, Misty of Chincoteague, the Little House series, just give me a book. I don’t think I would have made it through middle school without books.


    • Barbara Monajem

      LOL, I totally relate, Denise. Books are a lifesaver!

  9. Kate Sparks

    My parents were readers, as were my grandparents.. We lived one small town block from the library! As the youngest, there were plenty of books for me to read. I got started in romance with Georgette Heyer and never looked back. I still read mostly romance, but will occasionally dip into science fiction [thanks dad], history [thanks to my granddads – one a politician and the other a lawyer/judge],, cooking books come into play also!

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Kate. Wow, one block from a library, what could be better? I was about three blocks from a bookmobile (once a week, I think) or a couple of miles from a library. Once I was old enough, I would ride my bike to the library quite often. Happy memories!

  10. Nan

    My first romance read was Angelique series by Sergeanne Golon. It has the dash of aristocrats, kidnapping, romance, and travel, with a HEA in book 9! My second was another series (6 books) by Bertrice Small called Skye O’Malley. Again this had the same as above but was heartbreaking at points and very frustrating with the heroine. I would reread both series in a heartbeat.

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Nan — Wow, I don’t know if I could wait for the HEA in book 9. Even 6 books seems too long to me. OTOH, these series both sound enthralling! Thanks. 🙂

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Jessica. Yes, Kathleen Woodiwiss is a favorite for good reason.

  11. Barbara Monajem

    And the winner is: JerryBruce! Jerry, I will email you about how to claim your prize. Thanks for the comments, everyone. 🙂