Note: This article first appeared on Cate Masters blog October 2015 – catemasters.blogspot.com
Cate: Please welcome Monica McCabe to my special Halloween celebration. Monica, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Monica: I’m a staff accountant at a truck leasing firm by day. Just about every other minute I spend either traveling or writing romantic suspense novels. My perfect world would be to combine the two…travel, then write about it! I love going places, both in person and in my books. I tend to research the stomp out of anywhere that catches my fancy, I can stare at maps for hours, and am addicted to travel review sites like Trip Advisor. I firmly believe I’ve either been a gypsy in a past life, or there’s gypsy blood somewhere in my family tree.
Cate: What do you love most about Halloween?
Monica: I’ve read that Halloween is when the veil to the other side is at its thinnest. Wouldn’t it be cool to catch a glimpse of that travel destination? From the safety of this side, of course. Not sure I’d be game for that kind of extreme adventure. But who knows?
Cate: Ever gone on a ghost tour? Or ghost hunting on your own?
Monica: Hubby & I went to Salem, MA recently and we took a nighttime ghost tour (are there any other kind?). We visited many witchy locations, a spooky old graveyard, and ended it at a freaky Victorian mansion where murder most foul happened in the late 1800’s. The house and its grisly events has even been featured on one of those ghost hunting TV shows. Intrepid explorer that I am, I wanted to go inside. But alas, we could only stare at the darkened windows from the shadowy street. Might be for the best though. I mean look at this house…would you go inside?
Cate: Have you ever had an unusual experience you couldn’t explain?
Monica: I used to live in a haunted house. I swear. Not the Amityville horror kind of haunted, more like Casper the friendly ghost. My two cats were always watching an invisible someone cross the room, but it never bothered me, just made me curious. Eventually Casper started to play tricks. I’ve a nightly ritual of washing my face before bed and sometimes I’d finish, head for bed, and a few minutes later I’d hear water running. I’d totally turned it off, I know I did, but I’d get up and go shut it off again. Stuff like that happened a lot until I started talking to the ghost. I had many one-sided conversations with him as I made dinner. I’d tell him to leave the water alone so I could go to bed, that sort of thing. I felt like I had a new friend, though I never saw him. But one night I was home alone as hubby was out of town. I’d fallen asleep on the couch and something woke me up around two in the morning. The cats were beside me staring at the front door and I heard two guys out on the porch, talking. That’s when I got scared. Then one of the guys shouted, ‘What was that?’ They got all agitated and fled. I believe Casper scared them off. Who knows, he might’ve saved my life that night. A year or so later we had to move and I was so sad to say goodbye. I felt like I was leaving a good friend behind.
Cate: Tell us about your latest release, and where readers can find it online.
Monica: Well, there are no ghosts involved, but there is a monkey in jeopardy! Diamond Legacy is my debut novel and a romantic suspense that faces the harsh reality of conflict diamonds. It’s a serious subject and I try to do right by it. There’s all the fast-paced action you’d expect, including gun battles, explosions and government corruption. But my writing also has a humorous undertone. I can’t help it. It just happens. And I didn’t start out to write a serious novel about gun runners and blood diamonds. I had this idea about an animal dentist. I saw a newspaper article where our local zoo had an orangutan in need of a root canal and they had to fly in specialist. I was fascinated. Before I knew it, I’d hatched a plot with a dental zoologist heroine who flies to Botswana to help a hippo in need, and ends up clashing with an undercover agent on the trail of diamond smuggling.
Cate: Care to share a blurb or excerpt?
Monica: Absolutely! Here’s the back cover for DIAMOND LEGACY…
Africa–where diamonds are the currency of the weapons trade, and trust is the only option between two strangers…
Miranda Parrish is a world-renowned veterinarian specialist with expertise in endangered species. She’s fearless and will go anywhere an animal is in need. But when she journeys to Katanga, an animal sanctuary in the heart of Botswana, she lands in the middle of a blood diamond smuggling operation. And there’s only one man who can help her.
Special agent, Matt Bennett’s parents were murdered by a ruthless arms dealer when he was fourteen. He’s devoted his life to avenging their deaths and ending the cycle of violence threatening southern Africa. Undercover at Katanga, he clashes with Miranda. He’s never met a woman so stubborn, who’ll let nothing stand in the way of what she believes in. But he’ll let no one come between him and the vengeance he craves.
Matt and Miranda will have to work together if they want to save Katanga, and both of their lives, before it’s too late.
Thanks for the interview, Cate!