Wednesday, February 22, 2012

TBR welcomes Shelley Munro

TBR: Welcome to TBR, Shelley. Will you share a little bit about yourself?
Shelley: Hello, and thanks for having me to visit today. I’ll give you my official bio:

Shelley Munro is tall and curvaceous with blue eyes and a smile that turns masculine heads everywhere she goes. She’s a university tutor and an explorer/treasure hunter during her vacations. Skilled with weapons and combat, she is currently in talks with a producer about a television series based on her world adventures.
Shelley is also a writer blessed with a vivid imagination who lives with her very own hero and a rambunctious puppy in New Zealand. She writes mainly erotic romance in the contemporary, paranormal and historical genres for publishers Carina Press, Ellora’s Cave and Samhain Publishing. You can learn more about Shelley and her books at and you might even find her lurking at Facebook or Twitter

TBR: Tell us about Cat Burglar in Training and where it's available.
Shelley: Cat Burglar in Training is a contemporary mystery set in England. It’s told in first person and tells the story of a woman who returns from France to find her family in peril. Due to circumstances beyond her control she’s dragged kicking and screaming into the traditional family occupation and takes on the mantle of The Shadow, a cat burglar.

TBR: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Shelley: Here’s the blurb:

Eve Fawkner had no intention of following in her father’s footsteps. But when the thugs harassing him to repay his gambling debts threaten her young daughter, Eve is forced to assume the role of London’s most notorious cat burglar, The Shadow. The plan is simple: pull off a couple of heists, pay back the goons and go into permanent retirement. But things get messy during her first job when Eve witnesses a murder, stumbles across a clue that sheds some light on her past and, worst of all, falls for a cop.
Inspector Kahu Williams would be the perfect man, if Eve were looking, and if there wasn’t the little matter of their career conflict. The man is seriously hot—and hot on the trail of a murderer. A trail that keeps leading him back to Eve…

And a short excerpt:

Just one job to clear the debt of ten thousand. They’d rejected every single one of my solutions and wore me down. They’d cut straight to the heart and guilted me into helping them. Some girls attend society balls to snag a rich husband. Not me. I was stuck in work mode with beginner’s nerves lurking under the surface. Lady Eve Fawkner—reluctant cat burglar in training.
Tonight, it was the London Charity Spring Ball held each year in early April at the Ritz. The women standing in the chatty cluster nearest to me wore diamonds, emeralds and sapphires, mostly teamed with classic gowns. One woman wore a radical leather dress from a new star on the designer front. I hummed along with the Michael Bublé pretender who fronted tonight’s band while my gaze wandered from jewel to jewel. No rubies to report back on yet. A pity, because Father’s contact had requested red stones.
Hark, listen to me. I still couldn’t believe the terrible trio had coerced me into the family business.
“Lady Eve Fawkner! What are you putting in your mouth?
People turned to stare while I froze. My ears vibrated. I swear the woman’s shriek swept to all four corners of the Ritz Ballroom, probably halfway across London as well.
The spoon I held in my left hand came to an abrupt halt three inches from my lips. The chocolate confection on the spoon wobbled precariously as I intercepted the shocked expression of a new acquaintance. Jessica, no…Jemima.
I’d encountered her at two society bashes this week, and no doubt we’d keep bumping into each other for the rest of the season. The horror emblazoned on the woman’s face was worthy of a photo. I wanted to laugh but sensed she was going to make a scene.
Bloody hell, after all the terrible trio’s lectures on the correct behavior for a fledgling cat burglar, I wasn’t doing well on the execution. “Do the blonde-bimbo act,” Father had directed me earlier in the evening. “That always works. They’ll think you’re too stupid to execute a job.” Yeah, right, Father.
Too bad. I was it whether I wanted the job or not.

TBR: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Shelley: I watched the movie To Catch a Thief, staring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, during my teens, and the movie stuck with me. I wanted to read other cat burglar stories, and when I couldn’t find many, I decided to write my own. Cat Burglar is about revenge and truth. It’s also about love for family and new beginnings.

TBR: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Shelley: When I first started writing I was a definite pantser. As time has passed I’ve adapted my writing method, trying things and discarding while keeping others. I’d call myself more of a hybrid—a writer that falls between a plotter and a pantser.

TBR: How do you develop your characters?
Shelley: I don’t do much plotting because it spoils the story for me. I like to be surprised as I write the book. Usually I start off with a vague idea of where my plot might go. For weeks and sometimes months, I’ll percolate the story in my mind during any spare moment. I twist the plot and think of characters and possible scenarios before I write a word. I’ll brainstorm my hero and heroine and think of conflicting goals for them. Once I have my goals and internal conflict set, I’ll start writing. I tend to discover my characters as I go. Sometimes this means I need to do some rewriting or layering to portray this new information.

TBR: Do you have a favorite quote you’d like to share?
Shelley: My favorite quote—the one that sets me on the straight and narrow when I really want to procrastinate is stolen from Nike. Just Do It. That’s what I tell myself each day when I’d like to play hooky and do anything other than sit with my laptop and concentrate. Just do it works for me :)

TBR: While creating your books, what was one of the most surprising things you learned?
Shelley: I learned how to break in through a window without making a noise. Let’s say that peanut butter isn’t just for spreading on toast!

TBR: What's next for you?
Shelley: I’m working on finishing some of the series I’ve started. Presently I’m writing book four in my Fancy Free series. This year I intend to write follow ups for my Samhain book, The Bottom Line and also book two in my House of the Cat series. Somewhere in there I also want to write another Cat Burglar story. I have a very busy year planned!

TBR: Any other published works?
Shelley: My first book was published in 2004 and I’ve been writing steadily since then. I have around fifty published titles in various genres. I write contemporary, paranormal, sci-fi and historical so there is something for everyone. You can learn more about my titles and read blurbs and excerpts at my website.

TBR: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Most rewarding?
Shelley: When I considered the answer to this question, I thought of several answers: writing and finishing the first draft, writing a synopsis, writing a query letter, finding a publisher, promotion, thinking up an idea for another story. Heck, the truth is writing is challenging full stop! I like writing and being an author simply because I have to work hard and the creative process is a challenge.

The most rewarding part of writing is receiving an email from a reader saying how much they enjoyed reading your book. Those are really good days. :)

TBR: Where can readers find you on the web?
Shelley: My website is  There you’ll find info about all my books and the ones due to release in the near future. I blog most days, run a contest and have several free stories available for download. I also have a few essays about my travel adventures plus there is a link to join my newsletter.

TBR: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Shelley: Do you follow an author no matter what genre they write or do you prefer to stick to a specific genre(s)?

TBR: Readers, Shelley is giving away an ebook download from her backlist to one lucky commenter... so be sure to leave your email address too. She'll pick a winner on Thursday, Feb. 24 and announce the winner here.
Thanks for visiting TBR, Shelley! Best of luck to you.


  1. Welcome, Shelley. Love that cover!

  2. Shelley! So good to see you here at TBR. To answer your question, I'm a bit of a loyalist to genre but if I find an author I like, I don't care what they write as long as I can get my hands on it.

  3. Loved your bio!

    Enjoyed your blurb and the premise for your story.

    As for your question, I'm like Angela and normally loyal to one genre, but my goal this year is to read from other genres and expand my horizons. I've purchased a historical (which I enjoyed) and also have a sci-fi on my tbr if I find those reads interesting, I'm sure I'll be following those authors more :)

    1. Thanks, Christine. I hope you enjoy your explorations of different genres this year and discover some authors to go on your keeper shelf.

  4. Thanks very much for the welcome. It's lovely to get out of my writing cave!

  5. Hi Angela. It's good to know that you will follow an author if you like them. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Interesting to "meet" you, Shelley. I am not sure. I will sometimes follow an author, but I do tend to glom a genre. I used to read a lot of mysteries and then I just stopped. Not sure why. LOL! I will probably try an author's new genre, but if I found them by genre, then it just depends. Not much help, I know.

    I love To Catch a Thief, too. Very fun! (have you tried Suzanne Enoch's contemporary series? Her heroine is a thief, not an unwilling one, I'm afraid. LOL! And this would be a case where I don't follow an author. She writes historical, but I love just like her contemporaries!)

    congrats on the book!

    1. Hi Pauline,

      Yes, I have read Suzanne Enoch's series and enjoyed it. I tend to glom different genres and then switch. I've always read that way, although I do follow favorite authors too.

  7. I read a gazillion genres, so if I like the author, I'm likely to follow them to whatever genre they try.

  8. Hi,

    We must be related :) Thanks for stopping by today.

  9. That was one inspiring interview! I especially liked the tip on peanut butter. LOL.

    As for your question, if I like the writing, I'm open to other genres. The only time it stops me if it's a subgenre I really don't care for.

    Much like my favorite actors, I'm flexible, but if it's a vehicle I don't like, I'll pass until they star in something I do like.

  10. That sounds a bit like me, Maria. I'm willing to try a genre/author but sometimes the changes don't resonate with me, and I'll wait until something else comes along.


    My hubby picked the winner for me today. And the winner is P Kirby. Congrats! Just email me at shelleymunro AT gmail DOT com (no spaces) with the book you'd like from my backlist, and I'll email you your prize.

    Thanks to everyone for visiting!


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