Tuesday, January 12, 2016

HAND-ME-DOWN PRINCESS - Carol Moncado - One Free Book

Dear Readers, when I first saw the cover of this book, I contacted Carol and asked her to be on the blog. I read the book, and I loved it. I’m really into royalty novels, contemporary, historical, or like a fairy tale. This one is unique, with so many different plot lines and intrigues and a marriage of convenience romance. The characters are multi-dimensional and really drew me right into the story. I can hardly wait to read the next book in the series.

Welcome, Carol. I know my readers will enjoy chatting with you in the comments.
Lena – thank you so much for having me today! I appreciate the invitation!

Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I think pretty much every character has a little bit of me. Some characters have more than others, of course. Dorrie, in Finding Mr. Write, has a lot of me in her – a writer struggling with whether or not she’s good enough to make it in this industry and everything else that goes along with that, along with struggling with feelings of self-worth. Others, like Jessabelle Keller in Hand-Me-Down Princess, deal with some of the same issues but with a different perspective. While Dorrie’s issues are universal, Jessabelle’s come more from the place of finding worth in our identity as a child of the King – the One True King.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Um … I’m really not that quirky ;). We moved into our first house on Friday the 13th … on Elm Street. Put the offer on our second house on 06/06/06. Good thing we’re not superstitious! :D I talk to myself sometimes, but I think that’s pretty endemic of writers in general.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’ve been telling stories most of my life. I wrote some of them down in junior high. I started writing for fun off and on starting in 2001 and got serious about writing for publication during NaNoWriMo 2009.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I read a fairly wide spectrum, though not as wide as some. Most of what I read is romance – contemporary or historical – but I also read some romantic suspense, suspense, historical, occasionally speculative fiction. Almost everything is Christian, but not always. There are a few secular authors I enjoy sometimes – Grisham, Clancy, etc.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Spending time with God is always a big one – Reading my Bible, time in church, etc. Spending time just being with family and friends is huge, too. Plus reading. Reading a good book is a great way to just kind of be for a little while!

How do you choose your characters’ names?
There are lots of different ways. Sometimes, it’s a character named after a friend who helps with research questions (Jason the Paramedic comes to mind!) or because my favorite Panera manager insisted I needed to name a character after him (Travis Harders gets his story this summer!) or because it’s an oblique reference to a popular TV show (Duke Alexander and his twin brother Christopher (Winning the Queen’s Heart) have the initials A and C because of the assorted references to Saved by the Bell in that book – and AC Slater). Other times it’s me telling a friend (or my street team) that I need a name and picking one I like (or sometimes … one I don’t hate and hope it grows on me – it usually does! ;)).

I had the owner of Chan’s Mongolian Grill ask me to name a character after him. Tony Chan is in both Mary’s Blessing and Catherine’s Pursuit in my McKenna’s Daughters series. What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Two things immediately come to mind. One is my kids. I’m incredibly proud of all four of them. From their swim team accomplishments to my 14-year-old’s tenor saxophone, my 12-year-old’s compassion, my 10-year-old’s determination in the face of her academic challenges and her horsemanship skills, and my 8-year-old’s ability to make a friend wherever he goes. Plus – my husband and I have been married nearly 19 years. I’m pretty proud of that ;).

The other is stepping out in faith a little over a year ago. I started my own publishing company, CANDID Publications, and “went indie” rather than continuing to pursue traditional publication for the time being. While I’m not going to be on any “top 100 indie earners” lists, it’s gone far better than I could have anticipated, and I’m loving (almost ;)) every minute of it!

I’m a hybrid author, both traditionally published and Indie. I’m planning to do more than one Indie this year. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I asked a friend of mine what she thought. She said “horse?” I came back with “sloth” (because naps!). She laughed hysterically and pointed out that tigers nap all the time, too ;). I kind of like that. So a tiger – because I can nap regularly but can be fierce when it’s called for. Come to think of it, my 5 lb Shorkie fits that bill, too. The tiger would be scarier though!

What is your favorite food?
Andy’s Frozen Custard, peanut butter cup concrete or Peanut Butter M&Ms.
Real food? Spaghetti and three cheese tortellini with orange sauce and shredded Colby Jack on top. That real food sounds yummy. I might have to try it.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
One thing I struggle with regularly when it comes to writing is focus. Treating it like a real job because it is. When I wasn’t publishing my own books, I had no real deadline and could be less diligent. Now that I’m publishing and have deadlines (real ones, even if self-imposed), I’m having to learn how to treat it more like an actual job than a hobby. That means I don’t answer the phone every time someone calls if I’m working. Or that I can say no to people who want me to do stuff “since you just sit at home all day” because this is a real, paying job for me now. It also means less time binge watching Dr. Who, NCIS, or Big Bang Theory ;).

Tell us about the featured book.
Hand-Me-Down Princess started with the title. Why would a princess feel like a hand-me-down, like clothes? What circumstances would lead to that? Plus I’d been watching Married at First Sight and wondered how I could work in a meeting at the altar. Without spoilers, it turned into something I didn’t expect – exploring how important it is to find our identity in Christ, as a joint heir, a child of the One True King, and not in our earthly roles (child of an earthly king, wife of a prince, author, teacher, speaker, parent, spouse, etc.). More than one person ends up needing to come to terms with that – and to be honest, I often do, too.

Eventually everyone will have to. Please give us the first page of the book.
Nothing like being a hand-me-down Princess.

The words mocked Jessabelle over and over as she stared at her reflection in the mirror.


Passed over.



In less than an hour she would become Princess Jessabelle of Mevendia, wife of Prince Malachi, second in line for the throne. Not because he wanted to marry her, but because Crown Prince William had rejected her.


Prince Malachi only upheld his family’s end of the marriage contract because her father had saved King Antonio’s life when they were teens.

Under no circumstances would Prince Malachi ever have chosen plain, mousy Jessabelle on his own. It was probably just as well the Crown Prince refused to marry her. She wouldn’t have wanted to be queen. Every little girl dreamed of being a princess, right? Most girls wouldn’t be sitting in a bedroom in a house provided for her family by the groom wondering if she could climb out the window. Would anyone notice? Guards had been posted on the grounds to protect the future princess, but she doubted anyone cared enough to sneak in and try to get pictures of her or kidnap her. No one even knew who she was. Would any of them care if she snuck out? Would anyone even realize it was her if it weren’t for the wedding gown?

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I’m on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolMoncado - “follow” over there! You’ll get public posts (most everything) but not questions about whether there’s school tomorrow ;). My website is www.carolmoncado.com – and my newsletter signup can be found at www.carolmoncado.com/newsletter - right now Protecting the Prince, a novella that’s book 2.5 in the Brides of Belles Montagnes series, is free for subscribers! Newsletter subscribers also get special notices on sales, including special preorder pricing! I also blog once a month or so at www.inspyromance.com :D.

Thank you, Carol, for sharing this book with my blog readers. I know they'll love it as much as I did.

Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Hand-Me-Down Princess: Contemporary Christian Romance (The Brides of Belles Montagnes Book 1)

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:


Anonymous said...

would love to win angela in ky

Carol Moncado said...

Thanks so much for having me, Lena! I appreciate you!!!!!

Thanks for stopping by Angela! Good luck!

Today is a working day for me at the day job, so I'll be away from the computer for a chunk of it, but I'll be back later :).

Hugs to all!

collettakay said...

This book looks so good!

Colletta from PA

Connie said...

The cover of this book is so pretty and I enjoyed reading the first page.
Connie from KY

Anonymous said...

This sounds amazing. I'd love to read it.
J.C. -Indiana-

Carol Moncado said...

Thanks Colletta!!!

Carol Moncado said...

Thanks, Connie!!!! I love this cover too!!!

Carol Moncado said...

Hi JC!!! So glad you think it sounds good! I love these peeps!!! (Even though they're fictional ;).)

Melanie Backus said...

Sounds like a good one!

Melanie Backus, TX

Mary Preston said...

It is a great title & I loved the first page thank you.

Mary P


Raechel said...

Lovely title and cover and sounds like a great book!
Thanks for the interview and giveaway!
In Christ,
Raechel in MN

Loraine Nunley said...

This sounds like a good story. I love the idea that she has to find her identity in Christ. Thanks for the interview and giveaway!

Loraine in TX

Beth S. said...

My heart goes out to her, how sad to feel like a hand-me down! I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the story. Thank you for the giveaway!
Beth Schwarzlose
West Salem, IL

BJM said...

I would love to read this story.
Upstate SC

Beth Gillihan said...

Great first page! Sounds like a wonderful read. Thanks for the chance to win!

Beth in Montana

Just Commonly said...

Wow. Great first page. So nice to meet another author. Thanks!
Annie (MD)

Karen Hadley said...

Sounds like a fun and wonderful book. The cover is beautiful!

Kim Amundsen said...

Interesting title for a book. Nice cover. North Platte Nebraska

Carol Moncado said...

Melanie - I'm glad to hear you think it sounds like a good one!! :D

Mary - Usually the title comes to me somewhere in the middle of writing a book. This time the title came first. What could make a princess feel like a hand-me-down? Because PRINCESS! Princesses don't have REAL problems, right?! ;) At least, that's what a lot of us, in our minds at least, tend to think...

Raechel - Thanks :D. I fell in love with that picture when I first saw it!

Loraine - Don't we all have to find our identity in Christ? It's something a lot of us struggle with I think. I know I do! I knew Jessabelle would need to, but it surprised me in what other ways it applied to other characters in the story. Gotta love how God does that ;).

Beth S. - Can you imagine feeling like a hand-me-down? How awful that would be on your wedding day? It hits me that there likely are women (and men, too, I'm sure) who do feel that way, not just when they get married but in relationships in general. Makes my heart break for them...

BJM - I hope you enjoy it when you get the chance!

Beth G. - Thanks! Good luck!

Annie - so nice to meet you, too! Glad you liked it!

Karen - thanks!!!! I love the cover - and the flowers! Oh! I love those flowers!

Kim - the title came to me first - which is super odd for me! But it worked on so many levels! Thanks!

Bonnie Engstrom said...

I seldom read historicals, but this sounds delightful. And, I love stories about weddings. The book cover is fabulous.

Bonnie in AZ

Patty said...

Poor Jessabelle! What a situation to be in...

Patty in SC

Carol Moncado said...

Bonnie - you're in luck then! It's a contemporary! :D

Patty - Poor Jessabelle is right! I promise I'm a firm believer in Happily Ever Afters though!!!

Brenda Arrington said...

This sounds like an interesting story that I would enjoy reading. Thanks for the chance to win.
Brenda in VA

Abigail Richmond said...

Enter me.
Blanch, NC

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me in your amazing contest!!
Conway, SC.

apple blossom said...

thanks for the chance to win this book
live in ND