Reading Lark is excited to welcome author, Monique Domovitch, to the Nest today. She stopped by with a guest post and an excerpt from her novel, Scorpio Rising, for our readers to enjoy. She is having an exciting 99 cent promotion for her books, Scorpio Rising and The Sting of the Scorpio and is also doing a mega giveaway on her blog. Go check it out to win gift certificates to Amazon and free books!
Deciding to become a writer was a natural extension of falling in love.
By: Monique Domovitch
People often ask me what attracted me to the life of a writer, and I have to say it was a natural extension of falling in love…with books, which I have been for as long as I can remember.
I remember my mother taking me to the public library when I was as young as four years old. That was when she introduced me to Madeline, the little schoolgirl. As teenager, I discovered Nancy Drew and Cherry Ames, and then Harlequin books. And then I really fell in love for the first time. I was in England where my friends introduced me to a book by Wilbur Smith. I think I hadn't read ten pages of his book--can't remember the title anymore--when I knew this was it. I could spend the rest of my life in bed with this writer's books.
Over the next few years, Wilbur Smith’s books made me discover Africa, where I met animals I'd never heard of, and villains the likes of which I hope to never meet. I was swept into his stories of love and passion and greed; stories from which I never wanted to walk away. I devoured book after book of his, until, of course, the inevitable happened. I caught up with every last one of his books and was facing a long void until his next book hit the stands. And I, fickle reader that I am, had an affair with a few other authors, and then it happened again. I read Dominic Dunne. And wham. I was in love again.
With Dominic Dunne’s books, I spent time with the truly rich and the truly manipulative. How can anyone forget books like The Two Mrs. Grenvilles, or An Inconvenient Woman, or A Season in Purgatory? Once I discovered them, I was hooked. Forgive me Dominic, for I betrayed you too when I discovered my next big love, Nelson De Mille.
De Mille is a master of sharp, snappy talk, and he makes all those words come out of the mouth of a sexy good cop with a bad attitude--John Corey. Now here's the funny part. I don't really know what John Corey looks like, except that he has scars on his chest from some bullet wounds. I also know that John Corey is almost as fickle when it comes to love as I am when it comes to favorite authors. He seems to fall in love with a different woman in almost every one of his adventures. That is, until he met and married Kate. But who knows, so far she's only been around for a couple of novels. For all I know she'll be dropped off, maybe even killed in the next book, and then sexy John will be available again and I can go on dreaming.
Now here's something you might not know about me. I'm married, and—get this—my husband doesn't mind my little dalliances with all these authors...as long as I don't meet them in person that is.
And why am I blabbing about all these loves of mine? Because, every time I start a new project, I hope with all my heart, that I infuse my novel with enough passion and ambition and greed that when you, dear reader, read my work, you will fall—perhaps just a little bit—in love with my characters. And I promise to love you right back, even knowing that I will never be able to write fast enough to keep your from someday leaving me for some other writer.
C’est la vie!
Monique Domovitch lives with her physician husband and their three dogs. They divide their time between their homes in Canada and La Jolla. Find her at http://MoniqueDomovitch.com
Brigitte's new apartment in Montmartre could not have been any more different from the one she had just left. The main room was the size of the kitchen she'd had on George V. In it was an old ice box and a double burner, a couch, a small table and a few wobbly chairs. The only other room was what would have been the bedroom, if she could have afforded a bed. I don't need more than this, she thought. I can sleep on the couch. Since she had moved into her new home, she felt stronger and happier than ever. Life would not be easy, she knew, but she also knew that she would manage somehow.
She threw herself into her project. She had a home to make for herself, and after paying for the first two month’s rent, she only had a few thousand francs left. It was more than enough to live comfortably until her baby was born. After that… God only knew how she would survive.
I'll find a way, she told herself optimistically. She used her imagination and came up with dozens of inexpensive ideas to decorate the apartment. A lace table cloth from the flea market dressed the small window, hiding from view the battered brick wall across the alley. She painted the walls a sunny shade of yellow and covered them with her own paintings. On the old couch, she threw a bright floral sheet, then stood back to study the results. The small room looked warm and inviting.
As soon as she settled in, Brigitte set up the easel in a corner of the main room and began to paint. More and more lately, the baby moved inside of her, kicking sharply at a spot just under her ribs. Somehow, as uncomfortable as it was, the sensation felt oddly reassuring. “You're a healthy little one, aren't you?” she asked the child. She dreaded the moment she would have to give him over to the adoption agency. For months now, she had kept the number of the agency Director Swanson had given her. She still kept putting off making the call.
Standing in front of her easel, she carefully leaned forward as much as her protruding stomach would allow. She picked up her palette and dipped her brush delicately into the vermilion red, then lathered it into the ochre yellow. She cautiously applied the resulting color to the canvas.
“Merde!” she exclaimed impatiently. No matter how she tried, the results were not what she wanted. In a sudden surge of anger she struck out at the canvas with her brush. Again and again she slashed on the paint. Then, her frustration relieved, she threw the brush into the jar of cloudy turpentine.
This is absolutely crazy, she told herself. She wiped her hands on the paint covered rag reserved for that purpose and strode away. I am not an artist. Whatever possessed me to think I could paint? From across the room she glared at the ruined painting. From where she stood, the angry streaks on the canvas seemed to jump out. Those few splashes of color looked more alive than anything she had ever painted.
She stared in amazement. That's the kind of vibrancy I want to put into my work, she thought. Slowly, she walked back to the easel. Maybe that's what I'm doing wrong. I'm being too careful, too timid. She picked up her brush again, wiped off the turpentine and this time purposely slashed the paint onto the canvas with strong, bold strokes. This is more like it!
Brigitte's brush flew across the canvas. In minutes, flowers sprang to life and blooms exploded with color. The painting was no longer an insipid little still life. Instead, the result was exciting, wildly brilliant foliage. Intoxicated with the thrill of discovery, she worked for hours. Only long after the light from the window had disappeared did she notice it was night. Exhausted, but exhilarated, she stepped away from her finished work. At last she had a painting she was proud of. It was at that moment that the first contraction came. It shot through her like a knife and left her breathless. A few moments later she felt another, and she thought, It's time.
About The Books
Set in New York and Paris amid the glamorous and competitive worlds of art and real estate, Scorpio Rising takes the reader from the late 1940s to the 1960s through the tumultuous lives of its heroes.
There is Alex Ivanov, the son of a Russian immigrant and part-time prostitute. He yearns to escape his sordid life and achieve fame and fortune. His dreams of becoming a world-class builder are met with countless obstacles, yet he perseveres in the hope of someday receiving the recognition he craves. Half a world away, Brigitte Dartois is an abused teenager who runs into the arms of a benefactor with an agenda all his own. When she finds out that her boss has an ulterior motive, she flees again, determined to earn her living through her art. This career brings her fame, but also the unwanted attention of her early abuser.
Monique Domovitch’s debut novel, Scorpio Rising, is a compelling tale filled with finely etched characters and a superb understanding of the power of ambition. Scorpio Rising promises to resonate with all who once had a dream.
In Scorpio Rising, Monique Domovitch presented a compelling tale filled with colorful characters and the manipulation of power, ambition, and greed. Now she gives us its spellbinding sequel, The Sting of the Scorpio, where Alexander Ivanov returns to New York with his new bride, Brigitte.
The real estate industry is ripe with opportunity. Blessed with irresistible charm, ambition, and the single-minded obsession to succeed, Alex plots and manipulates his way to almost mystical success. Everything he touches turns to gold, but it’s never enough. When a hostile takeover bid leaves him struggling to save his beloved company, he suspects those closest to him of plotting his downfall.
Brigitte, the beautiful redhead who abandoned her country and her career to become his wife, feels alone. In return, Alex has betrayed her time and again, each indiscretion cutting deeper into her soul.
Brigitte’s son, David yearns to be an artist, but Alex’s plans leave no room for such frivolous goals. He grooms a reluctant David to become the heir apparent until a devastating tragedy attracts the attention of another young man.
The Sting of the Scorpio is a rich tale of a man at the mercy of his own greed and a woman bound by her need for love.