Saturday, February 20, 2021

Pre Order My Latest Release!

It's been a while since I've had the pleasure of announcing anything, really let-a-lone something to the magnitude of the excitement I am feeling right now. 

So what is it? 

I'm having a short story published in 5 days!! The Wicked End by Monique Cherie (me) will be published in Tangled Rhythm due be released on February 25th. The good news? you can pre-order it now!

Yup! you read that right, this little old author is jumping back into the publishing game with my first short story in several years. 


Here are the details. 


Myself and 11 other authors have been graciously accepted by the amazing R&R Publishing Company to submit our music-themed stories to this publication with all proceeds going to the charity: Notes For Notes - More about them in a moment.


Add it to your Goodreads here: Tangled Rhythm Goodreads

You can Pre-Order it Here: Tangled Rhythm Pre-Order



R&R Publishing company are an indie publishing house that has chosen to focus on anthologies. They are an amazing, helpful, easy to work with crew that I feel honoured to have shared this experience with. the best part about R&R is their efforts for charities. All royalties earned from their anthologies get paid directly to charities. what's to hate?



Notes for Notes:  (Copied from their about me section on their website)

Notes for Notes® (N4N®) was founded in Santa Barbara, CA in 2006 as an answer to the lack of contemporary musical equipment and programs in public schools in order to provide youth with music and production instruction that produces both positive social-emotional and creative growth. Inspired by their time as Bigs in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program the Founders were focused on creating an environment with zero barriers to entry. Youth could have access to top of the line instruments, gear and Producers that would always be there to help them realize that talent inside themselves, all for FREE.


Today, N4N provides access to high quality, recording studio environments, but more importantly, access to positive and encouraging relationships to over 8,500 youth in 23 studios across 11 states/14 cities. Located inside Boys & Girls Clubs/ youth facilities (and soon public schools) N4N Studios are gateways to exploring music, careers in the industry and producing original music that empowers young musicians to realize their identity.


Added by me: 

Notes for Notes is an amazing company that I have been following for some time. When I joined this anthology I was doing it to get my name back out in the publishing industry. I had no problem letting the proceeds go to charities. my previous publications, the proceeds went to cystic fibrosis. The donation and the portfolio were a win-win for me. When I joined this anthology and looked around. I was ecstatic to see the charity they were supporting was something I already cared deeply for. Notes for Notes as such an amazing team on their advisory board, names like Slash, Kenny Loggins, Richie Sambora, Jack Johnson and one of my favourite people in the whole wide world Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco. I'm so ecstatic to be helping a charity that these names are associated with. 


Please click here to check out everything Notes for Notes does. 

 


I was hesitant to submit my story 'The Wicked End' to the anthology. The theme is music. The way I thought of The Wicked End originally I believed the music was not enough to be a part of this. I decided to give The Wicked End a read over before I made my final decision. When I read over it, I came to a realisation. Music is not just about what comes out of our mouth, or what is played by our fingers. Music isn't always what we hear but what we feel. As you read over this section of Clementine's story I hope to portray to our readers that Music is something that we do not control, we do not dictate what we feel when we hear it. For me, music is a spiritual connection that builds a foundation to help me navigate whatever terrain lays ahead of me. Writing is my soul, as much as being a writer is engrained in who I am, and how I exist Music is just as virtual. Without writing and Music, I can't help but wonder how oxygen would continue to exist in my lungs. 



Don't forget!!


Add it to your Goodreads here: Tangled Rhythm Goodreads
You can Pre-Order it Here: Tangled Rhythm Pre-Order







Saturday, January 23, 2021

My High School Expierence

A lot of people look back and think of their high school experience with a smile from the warm feeling of a fond memory. Most of us would agree that high school is a time we would probably rather forget. We had weird crushes, super bad acne and were emotional over EVERYTHING. Like most people, I experienced all those things. 

My mum and two of my brothers. 
Like many of you, I had good friends: I was in year seven when I made a first decent group of friends, by year 8, we dwindled down to a group of three, for transparency, I will call them Jade and Leigh. Though I am not in contact with either of them ladies anymore, I am grateful for the things they helped me through, the lessons we learned and the good times we shared. 

Jade, Leigh, and I were inseparable, we loved music, writing and being dramatic. At time
s, that is all I thought that mattered. Sure, it has been something like 19 years since I started high school. Yeah, high school is something I would rather forget, but for some reason, I cannot help but feel bitter about it. In this post, I am going to tell you why. 

(During my formative years I went through major childhood trauma. I might talk on this later in another post, but I just wanted to mention it here as it affects a lot of the events from this time period.)

In year 7, I was a bright kid. Like I mentioned, I had some things going on at home, my choice at this time was to dive into my schoolwork. Stories of typical high school laughs and betrayal and memories of o-so-fun teen drama fill my mind when I think about how much of that year played out. Isn’t puberty fun? 

By year 8, our trio’s personal struggles were starting to take hold, it is not my place to talk on what the other two were going through. I personally was really starting to struggle, inwardly and outwardly. At the mid-year parent-teacher interviews, my mum was impressed. Jade and I were constantly first and second in science class. Leigh and I were almost always high up in our maths class. Teachers had respect for me, it was looking like I was going to be moved up into the intermediate level of our year, mum was so proud. 

Then it all went downhill, fast. 

I do not know the exact date or time of year that it was, I felt as low as I ever had at that point in my life. I attempted to self-harm at school. It is not something I am proud of. The look on my mum's faces when she arrived to take me home is something that I have experienced twice, it is something I will never forget. To this day, roughly 18 years later, I still get tears in my eyes if I think about that look for too long. After this, I had a couple of days at home to get my head sorted a little and went back to school. Things went back to ‘normal’ fast before we knew it, we were levelling up into year 9. 

During the first week or two of year 9, Jade and I were called up to see one of the headteachers of the school. We were given a letter to take home to our parents. The letter was offering us a place in a “life skills” class. This class was explained to us as something amazing. We were told… no our parents were promised that we would have all of the same learning experiences as all of the other kids in our grade. The trade> We would not have to sit our school certificate tests; we would get an ‘average’ mark instead. We would also get help in certain ‘life skill’s’ that we were struggling with. 

It sounded amazing to Jade and me. We were being able to be in all classes with our best friend, all day every day, who could ask for more? Of course, we talked our parents into letting us do it. At some point over the next two years, we had even talked the school, Leigh, and her parents into letting her in the class with us. Oh, what a massive mistake that was, on my behalf at the very least. 

Other than our electives we were never given any worthwhile work. I specifically, remember that the sheets we were given to work through matched up perfectly to the work my brother was being given in the second grade. 

I gave up. 

The home was hard, the school was pointless (other than literally socializing) what was the point? 

My mum and I on my 14th Birthday
My personality changed a lot.  I became an aggressive, argumentative, disruptive kid, these things were extremely hard to grow out of as an adult, some-days, I still struggle holding these things in. So much for life skills, huh?

Our days consisted of a couple of things… wagging… sitting in the corner of the room (because we were bullied if we left it) and writing. Oh, and talking to random (probably creepy) strangers, as well as working off detentions by covering textbooks. Oh, and arguing with whoever would argue. 

We were in a class of kids who were constantly in trouble or causing a ruckus, misfits. I used to think that the three of us were better than that, but I realize now that I personally fitted into the misfit label with a shiny badge. 

I do not feel proud of being so bitter toward something that was a part of my life that ended 16 or so years ago. I honestly think back and believe that the promises that my high school broke are a big part of the reason that I struggle with a lot of the things that I struggle with today.

 They should have taught me how to write an essay, so I did not need to spend endless hours researching them taking away from actually doing my assessments. They should have taught me how to structure a paragraph or a sentence, so I did not have to lose marks on things like that. I never understood the ‘there, they’re and their’s’ or the ‘your, you’re’ until I was 21. Sure, they are something that I should have learned in primary school, they should have been picked up in high school. 

There are so many things that they should have helped me learn so I would be able to grow. Things that would help me today, especially in my writing career.  

Even with all the actions, I did show, they should have certainly picked up that I was ADHD before I was diagnosed at 31. 

My Little Brother and I
I am not saying that I am completely faultless after I gave up and learned how to argue, I was an asshole of a person to deal with and I enjoyed it... mostly. I am also not trying to say it was completely negative. I got my passion for music because I was put in that class. I started writing in year 7 but it really became ‘my thing’ in year 8. It became my lifeline and how I coped, it could have been nurtured a lot more by them, but it was not. 

  Whether it was because of the home issues or the situations we were put in at school, I grew up fast in high school. Is that a positive or a negative? I am not sure. 

 After conversations with my mum, Jade (and probably Leigh, but I do not recall) we…I believe that it was the actions I attempted against myself, as well as the struggles I was having at home that flagged us to be in that class. I believe that they wanted to watch us

make sure we were kept in line. Instead, they put us in the corner of the school and forgot about us. We did not even get a notification/letter whatever about when our formal was on, we found out the next day at school, and that was unfair. (my mom was heartbroken) 

Honestly, I’m not sitting here wishing warts on anybody’s grandchildren or anything, but I feel like as a place of education, they really let us down. They made the mountain of life harder than it needed to be. 

 


Saturday, January 16, 2021

Life updates



Once again, it
has been a while since I posted consistently on any of my platforms. This time I am feeling confident that I am setting up a routine that I can stick too. A routine that I feel can help stop being consistently inconsistent. I am sure I was just as confident last time, but I feel like I have a greater sense of what I want this time.

So, I am guessing you are all wondering where I have been? I would like to give some epic answer about some epic pandemic adventure I had been on that was super fantastic but, in all honesty, I have no idea where I have been. I would love blame 2020 but to be fair, 2020 hurt my feelings a whole lot less than 2019 did. In all fairness though, 2020 was still a whirlwind.

 

Branding and Name change:

You will probably notice that some things have changed around here. I have changed my pen name from Monique Diplock to Monique Cherie. There are a million and one reasons why I have decided to do this.

One of the biggest reasons is to distance me from 99% of the people I am related too. I know, that sounds pretty harsh, but let me explain the parts that I am able to explain.

All my life I was raised by my mum. My father skipped out when I was less than a year old. I have tried on a gazillion occasions to get to know him, but it is just something that is not meant to be. Of course, there are a lot of personal reasons for this, but that is a big one that I have mulled on for a long time.

I considered taking my mother’s maiden name, McIntosh, which I would have zero problems doing but on the off chance that I decided to get married one day that would probably mean another name and branding change. After a lot of thinking I decided to use the two names that I was given at birth. The two names I would keep unless I was whisked away into some random witness protection programme. They are the two names that will stick with me for life.

Monique Cherie.

I believe I have changed 99% of my branding. I will keep making changes as I remember places. If you do happen to notice something I have not changed yet, please feel free to let me know.

 

What am I working on?

So, what about the other stuff? The important writing stuff…?

I am currently working on completing a short story called ‘The Wicked End’ that I plan to submit to an anthology. I am hoping to have that completed, well and truly sent to the people who need it by the end of January.

Once that is done, I plan to spend February, March and April getting my new adult fantasy ready for Beta readers. My original plan was to have Iridescent ready for publishing by May, but I realized with everything that is going on both professionally and personally that was a little bit of a pipe dream. Even if I was not going through a truckload in both of those categories, it was still a massive pipe dream.

 

Goals:

My goals for 2021 are a little bit more specific than my new year goals have been previously.

Writing:

Iridescent: As mentioned, I would like to have Iridescent ready for hard Beta circulation by May.

I would like to have book one published or have a clear path to publication.

I would like to have the Iridescent series mapped out for at least 3 books.

Other writing:

I would like to have a bank of short stories that I can publish in other anthologies and in/on multiple platforms that can help me build my author brand.

Vlogs, Blogs, and community:

I would like to post weekly on both this blog (my personal one) and my book review blog (The Book Mystress)

Social Media:

This year I would like to build an awesome community around myself. One like what I had when I first started blogging back in 2010.

I would like to promote my content well but not annoy people. I want to use my social network as a network, not just a platform to throw something in people’s faces.

By the middle of the year, I would like to be posting regular videos to my YouTube channel. To do this I need a new computer with bigger space. So, we will see what happens.

Reading:

In my office, I have books, like most people. Among those books I have two exceptionally large shelves that are doubled up with lots of books that I’ve either saved from going to the dumpster or I thought had a great cover. None of those books is particularly appealing. Although every time I attempt to purge them, I find myself feeling guilty about not having read them. A big goal of mine this year would be to read as much of these two shelves as I can so I can feel better


about moving these books on.

I have set a total of 24 books for my goal on Goodreads. I am one and a half books in on the 10th of the first…. I am feeling pretty hopeful, we’ll see.

Personal goals:

I could bet that I could come up with a new personal goal every day. But that is not how this thing works is it? So, my top three personal goals for 2021 are as follows.

Freelance:

I would like to build up a good income by doing the types of things I enjoy. I would love to be able to do them from my home… because you know… introvert… So, I would like to set up and sustain a freelancing business this year.

Move:

If you know me at all, you will know that the house I live in is not a castle. Not in the way it looks, and certainly not in the safety surrounding it. Since I moved in here almost 9 years ago, I have been broken into more times than I can count. I have had tree’s lit on fire, windows smashed, fences broken. It is insane. On the 31st of July 2019, I came home to feed my animals after my brother aka best friend’s funeral to see yet another window had been broken. I cannot take my dog outside unless she is on a leash, even then it is still dangerous for her with the number of strays around. So finally, I am in a position to move to a new house. *massive celebratory fanfare* I had the goal to have this done by Christmas 2020, but Covid-19 and Now I just want to do it ASAP. This is my biggest goal for 2021.

Routine: I have an insane want inside of me to build a good wholesome routine. The routine I want to build will encompass my family, career, health, hobbies, self-care, fun. I just need to feel a little less chaotic. I might have dyed my hair blond and have a radiant smile (don’t know if I do, just assuming) but I’m pretty sure I’m 87 under this 33-year-old exterior.

I am sure there is a lot more I could put in this blog post. Like health goals, house goals, but I am sure I’ve bored you enough at this point. Of course, if you’re interested in that sort of stuff, feel free to let me know.

 

X Monique Cherie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Book Review: Pistol Daisy by Natalia Leigh

                                                                  What's it about?
The year is 1880, and outlaw gangs roam the West.
When Daisy Allen’s family is brutally murdered by the infamous Hopkins gang, she’s left with two options: drown in a bottle of whiskey and grief, or saddle up and hunt the killers down. Accompanied by strangers in pursuit of the same outlaws, Daisy takes to the Colorado plains with an old revolver and a hunger for revenge. But the Hopkins gang isn’t easily found, and as their pockets run dry and the trail goes cold, Daisy and her companions may be at the end of the road. She must learn how to survive in this dangerous world of outlaws and gunslingers, or her only chance at avenging her family may be lost.

Don’t miss Whiskey City, the next book in Daisy’s cutthroat quest for revenge.






Disclaimer: I was given an ARC copy of Pistol Daisy in exchange of an honest review. 
                     This review was originally posted to my book reviewing blog: The Book Mystress


Review: I’ve been wanting to read the work of Natalia Leigh for sometime now. I’ve had her previous novel Song of The Dryad on my wish list for a while but when the request for review was made I jumped at the chance to see if Natalia’s work was everything I had built it up to be in my mind. I’m delighted to say I wasn’t disappointed.
I received my E-copy of Pistol Daisy in mid-May. When I saw it was on my kindle, I opened it up (like I do with most books I receive) to read the first couple of pages to get a feel of the story and how it’s written. I had every intention to just read the first chapter, maybe the second. The next time I looked up from the pages, it was 45% through the novel. I took a couple of days off to finish the book I was currently reading. When I picked Pistol Daisy up, I finished it just a few hours later.
Pistol Daisy is an extremely captivating novel. I felt deep sorry for Daisy as she endured the events thrust upon her through out this journey. I came to admire her for fighting through the travesties put in front of her to at each turn she took and becoming a strong willed character that can stand up to the gnarliest men.
Natalia Leigh’s writing is seamless. You can tell that a lot of research, thought and time has gone in to sewing together such a fine piece of art.
I thoroughly enjoyed Pistol Daisy. Since reading I have managed to get my hands on Song of The Dryad and will be reading that as soon as I can in hope it will be able to tied me over until I can read more in Daisy’s journey in the upcoming sequel, Whiskey City.


Interested? Check Pistol Daisy out on Goodreads for all the places to purchase it from.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

My Wild Secret.




Hey Buddies!

With the world currently in a dark times and all of us being held in place for unusually long periods of time. I have decided it is time to let my readers in on something I hold near and near to my heart.
WildEarth!
WildEarth (Previously known as SafariLIVE)is something I’ve been rather reluctant to talk about to very many people. I found WildEarth in a rather hard time, it helped me through that time and many others over the years. Seeing as the world is going through a unforeseen unpredictable hard time, I thought it was a good time to make my readers and followers aware of this little known gem in hope they can find some solace like I have many times before.
WildEarth - Sunrise Safari - 3 April 2020 - YouTubeWhat is wild earth? 
WildEarth is a South African based company that was Founded in 2006 by Emily and Graham Wallington. The Wallington’s had a vision to produce a product that massively focused on bringing a live, honest, interactive and immersive, experience of the natural world - as beautiful and brutal as it can be - into the homes of many.
With the plight of conservation and education in the forefront, WildEarth attempt to create characters out of the wild animals frequently viewed on the reserves they traverse. By doing this, the presenters are able to create a connection with the viewers to these animals. By doing this, the viewers are able to empathize with the animals through that connection. Therefore, become passionate about the preservation of the multitudes of animals that WildEarth see, as well as other animals all around the globe.
Masai Mara National Reserve | Luxury Kenya Safari | andBeyond
Maasai Mara - Kenya
Do not be mistaken though. The animals presented on WildEarth are not domesticated they are 100% wild animals. WildEarth - as well as countless guides and companies - have spent thousands of hours habituating these animals to the presence of the vehicles. The animals that are viewed frequently learn that these vehicles are not there to cause them harm in anyway. Therefore, they do not care of their presence. Take a leopard’s impala or warthog meal, you might have a whole other issue on your hands.
WildEarth has spent extensive time filming in the picture-esque Maasai Mara, produced under-water content through DiveLIVE, as well as many other places. WildEarth have recently created an amazing partnership with &Beyond, An amazing company that has a large respected place in the safari industry. Through this partnership with &Beyond, WildEarth have recently been privileged to start filming out of &Beyond Ngala, situated along the serene Timbavati river, home of two white lions, two of only three *wild* white lions in the world.
andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge
&Beyond Ngala - South Africa
The traditional home of WildEarth is Djuma Private Game Reserve. Djuma is part of the Sabi Sands. The Sabi Sands holds privilege of some of the most intimate leopard sightings in the world. WildEarth have been overjoyed to spend hours upon hours in leopards sightings, given them the privilege of following the animals from birth through all of life’s highs and lows to death, live in real time.(and not just the leopards). WildEarth have called Djuma home for the best part of 10 years.
 The Sabi Sands, along with the Timbavati and other reserves make up the western fringes of the Greater Kruger National Park. Animals can roam from Kruger National Park to it’s connected reserves with great ease do to the recent drop of many fences.
The team behind WildEarth are like a big cozy family. From the bosses, to the managers, to the directors, editors, cooks, cleaners, presenters and camera operators, you can tell through the live lens that they are a humble cohesive group that care greatly about each other, the animals and the content they produce.
thamba hashtag on Twitter
Thamba (my favorite Leopard)
Djuma - Sabi Sands - South Africa
Photo Taken By: Tristan Dicks
One of my favorite things about WildEarth (besides the leopards) is the focus they put on education of children. As children are the future of our planet, kids questions take preference. On top of that, schools/teachers are able to book slots so their class can take an interactive educational live drive dedicated to the young ones booked in that slot. The privacy of the children and schools is also of importance with the children and their teacher having a place where they can talk directly to the crew to ask any questions their hearts desire.
WildEarth has been and still is such a large a part of my life for many years. I have gained some great friends, obtained an immense amount of knowledge. I have laughed, cried, been angry, surprised, annoyed, thrilled. The adrenaline that course through my veins at times is intoxicating. Not to mention my already extreme fondness for animals has grown to an unmeasurable amount.
Safari Wild: Djuma Clan Hyenas with Plonk, African Wild Dogs ...
Plonk - Spotted Hyena
Very underrated animals
I hope this blog has made you consider joining the addiction that is the WildEarth Family.



While the world is in a stand still you can watch a virtual, live Safari

You can watch WildEarth on: 
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/safariLIVE_SabiSand/live
Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/wildearth
Website:  https://wildearth.tv/

You can follow WildEarth on: 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WildEarthLIVE
Twitter: use #wildearth to ask questions and follow https://twitter.com/WildEarth
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wildearthofficial/?hl=en

When is it on? I got you fam!
The Sunrise Safari:
Central African Time (CAT): 06:00 
Pacific time (PT): 21:00
Eastern Time: (ET): 0:00
Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST): 14:00
New Zealand Standard Time (NZST): 16:00

The Sunset Safari:
Central African Time (CAT): 15.30
Pacific time (PT): 06.30
Eastern Time: (ET): 09:30
Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST): 22.30
New Zealand Standard Time (NZST): 01:30


(if your time or a time near you isn't listen contact me on on of my social media's and I will be happy help you out.)




Thanks for reading, stay safe and healthy.