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For the second consecutive year Lucy Monroe's output has hit double digits. In both 2006 and 2007, the spicy and prolific romance novelist released nine novels and one novella. And it's not as if she didn't
have anything else on her plate. Not only is she the mother of three teenagers, Monroe and husband Tom are also housing two foreign exchange students and the author's 20-year-old nephew.
But if she's as fast a writer as she is a talker -- and the words come flowing with enthusiasm and energy -- readers can expect
a long and prolific career from the 40-year-old Oregonian, who's dipped her hands into a variety of genres, including contemporary,
historical, paranormal, series and inspirational romance in the four years since her first book was published. "I believe in what I write,"
says Monroe, who's been married for 19 years. "I don't think romance is fantasy, I think it's the way most people live their lives. Love will find us. And love is the biggest joy in life, whether it's your kids' love or your husband's love or whatever."
Even if next year won't be as fertile as the past two -- "I had some health issues and everything just came together and whacked me upside the head," she explains -- Monroe still expects to release about four or five novels. And she ends this year with two new December titles, the scorching Deal With This (Brava) and The Rancher's Rules (Harlequin Promotional Presents).
In the former, Monroe reconnects readers with actress Jillian Carlyle, a much-loved character from 2004's The Real Deal,
and pairs her up with secret agent Alan Hyatt from this year's Satisfaction Guaranteed. "I had reader letter after reader
letter asking me to write her story, but I didn't feel like there was a story strong enough for this really fun character."
She ended up working Jillian into her Goddard Project series, about agents who safeguard technological secrets. These unlikely lovers meet when Alan is sent to Vancouver to investigate film-industry espionage. "Jillian's very open with herself and with the people around her, but she's not so open to love. And that's where Alan comes in," Monroe previews. "He's my typical alpha hero. He finds her fascinating, but he's also not really sure what to do because he's used to having transitory affairs. I really enjoyed writing them because they were like an accident waiting to happen, and that's my favorite kind of book."
And the kind she's been writing since the start of her career. Her other December title, The Rancher's Rules, was actually the first contemporary series romance she ever wrote (for Harlequin's now-defunct Temptation line). The heroine, Zoe, gets evicted from her apartment because she just can't say no to a pet in need of a home. But as luck would have it, her best friend, Grant, is a millionaire Oregon cowboy who takes her in.
Since 2003, Monroe has written 16 of the emotional, escapist Presents novels, and praises the line for allowing her to write about issues like domestic violence and female sexual dysfunction in books featuring alpha heroes. "Probably one thing Presents readers love the most is reading about a man that can be so strong and yet is brought to his knees because he loves this woman so much."
-- Diane Snyder
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