Romantic Geek Girl

Danielle Monsch takes you through the softer side of geek

Archive for the category “Personal Ramblings”

12 Days of Halloween

From about mid-October until Christmas was always a magical and much anticipated time when I was young.

Probably not an uncommon statement from a kid. My mom should have been a party planner, because our house was always decked out for the season. We were the house that people do that double-take with, because looking only once wasn’t enough to take it all in.

Mom’s favorite holiday was Halloween. Since I’m a fantasy/paranormal writer, it’s safe to say that rubbed off on me, and with kids of my own, I enjoy Halloween in a completely new way, with my kids excitement about dressing up and their enjoyment in the *fun* scares.

While her favorite might have been Halloween, Mom excelled in overall holiday planning. My mom was a generous lady. She never liked cooking, but she loved to bake the holiday pies and cookies and other goodies that come with the season, and everyone who knew us came away during the holiday season with loads of culinary delights. If you ask me to name my favorite food ever, it would have to be Mom’s pumpkin pie.

It’s probably because this time was usually so joyous that one memory sits there, lumpy and misshapen and not a fit with the rest.

Don’t ask me how old I was, but I came down the stairs one night – going to get some water I think – and Mom was on the couch, staring at the Christmas tree. The packages weren’t under the tree yet, which was odd since Mom tended to put them under as soon as the tree went up (Mom is not a last minute shopper – in fact, I’m pretty sure her shopping is done in July.) Now I haven’t believed in Santa ever, so it was no question in my mind about who presents come from.

What set this memory in my mind so sharply was my mother’s face the few moments before she realized I was in the room. At the time I didn’t have the words or the emotional knowledge to name what emotions were in play. All I knew was it wasn’t good.

Several years later we were talking, and in the way of conversations everywhere, somehow that night came up, and I asked Mom what was going on.

She confided that when I saw her, the reality of our situation was none of us kids were going to get Christmas presents. It had been a bad year with lots of doctor bills and not as much work as they hoped to get. Maybe they would be able to get a practical clothing item, but certainly nothing beyond that. Then she told me that a couple days after I saw her that night, her uncle heard about our situation. Without her or my dad asking, he went out and got presents for us kids and told her that it was his early Christmas gift to her and he would not accept any money or repayment.

Mom told me she cried while she wrapped them. She told me it was the best gift she’d ever gotten.

While my childhood would never fit in a Dickinson narrative, there were a few years there where we did with minimal, so hearing after-the-fact that no presents was a possibility didn’t surprise me. What did surprise me was the lurch in my chest at the thought of it as a near reality. That didn’t make sense – after all, we were several years past by then, and I was a grown person who understood economic realities.

That lurch, though, was real. And as time has marched on, I think I understand the reason for it, just like now that I’m a mother I understand the look on my mother’s face that night. The holidays were a safe and sacred time. The rest of the year – okay, it’s life, and life happened. But in my memory, the holidays were apart from that, not touched with the ickiness that could happen at other times.

If I didn’t getToys for tots presents that year, I think that safety and warmth that the holidays (or the thought of) always caused would have disappeared. I wouldn’t have had that protective bubble anymore that helped get me through bad times, and the loss of that would have been a greater tragedy than not getting a doll under the tree.

So while Toys for Tots was not responsible for me getting presents that year, I recognize in a deep and personal way the very good work they are doing.

Toys for Tots is my favorite holiday charity. There are many excellent charities I celebrate and give to, but this time of year my thoughts and my wishes are for the kids who are not in the best circumstances and are in danger of not having a gift under their own tree. It’s not the material item that matters (though it’s always nice to get a great gift, right?) What I never want them to lose is that safe warmth that should categorize the holidays, a warmth that sometimes might be the only thing that gets them through the rest of the year.

Which leads me to the 12 Days of Halloween!StoneGuardian800

12 Days of Halloween is my (and many other excellent authors) way of having a great time and celebrating the beginning of this wondrous time of year – with giveaways and gifts and raising money for Toys for Tots!

What is involved?

First! My novel Stone Guardian is on a very special sale. From now until Halloween, it is half-off with part of the proceeds going to Toys for Tots! So you get a book for cheaper than usual, and a chunk of the money will be going to an amazing cause! Huzzah!

And on the other side, I’ll be sharing lots of giveaways! Ebooks (donated by many generous authors) gift cards, swag sets, a Coach (!) bag, and finally…

apple-ipad-mini-2An iPad Mini!

Yes, you read that right – an iPad mini with a special Entwined Realms designed cover set is the grand prize.

So if you are interested in ALL THE GOODIES (I did mention lots of ebooks and giftcards which will be given away throughout the celebration, right?), please keep up with me at twitter, facebook, or right here on Romantic Geek Girl with all the ways to win.

Let’s celebrate the beginning to this great time of year, have a great party, maybe win some stuff, and most important of all – support Toys for Tots and make sure they can help a lot of kids this year!

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COVER REVEAL! Stone Guardian – First book in my Entwined Realms series!


Look at that work of art, that beautiful beautiful expression of talent. Have you ever seen anything so amazing in your life? Of course you haven’t! Impossible, that.

In case you couldn’t tell, my giddiness upon looking at this cover is unending. This here is the cover to my very first novel-length work, a story that is dear to me.

Stone Guardian is the first book in the Entwined Realms series. It is my modern-day sword & sorcery fantasy paranormal romance series (I dare you to say that three times fast – go on, I’ll wait.) What does that craziness mean exactly? It means awesomeness, that’s what! Of course, if you want a little more explanation that that, let this blurb help a tad:

Gryphons flying past Skyscrapers? Wizards battling it out in coffeehouses? Women riding motorcycles with large swords strapped to their backs? All normal sights since the Great Collision happened twenty-six years ago.

Well, not normal for everyone. Larissa Miller may have been born after the Great Collision, but as a history teacher who lives in the human-only city, she has never come into contact with any other race or species. That is, until one day is walks out of her apartment and is attacked by a mob of Zombies but then saved by a Gargoyle.

Leader of the Gargoyles, Tarek has been watching over the human woman for months. Gargoyles trust no one outside their Clan, but something about this woman stirs every protective instinct within him, and when he realizes the danger to her is real, he refuses to allow her to explore this new world without him at her side.

In the course of their investigation Tarek becomes entranced by his little human. But when he discovers why Necromancers want her and the great reward that awaits him if he betrays her, he must choose between the welfare of his Clan and not only Larissa’s life, but the fate of this new Realm as well.

What does this mean exactly? It means I get to put all my geek loves into one series, that’s what it means! It means people will fall in love, there will be swordfights and magic fights, bad guys will be killed off… occasionally good guys will be killed off.

There will be kissing and snarkiness and magical creatures and the ever-popular Elven drag show – though who can tell the male elves from the females, right?

In short, we are going to have a good time, and I hope you’ll join me for the adventure.

Stone Guardian will be available in July! Don’t worry, I promise I won’t forget to tell you when the time comes  🙂


Another Star Trek Into Darkness Trailer – and oh look, it’s a nearly naked woman!

I’ve made it no secret that I am going to see the new Star Trek movie for one reason and one only – Benedict Cumberbatch as the film’s antagonist. My fangirling of BC has not diminished these last several months since I first caught him in Sherlock and it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Otherwise, I wouldn’t bother. I found the first film full of ridiculous (Sure, any Cadet just out of school goes on to Captain a Starship – awesome!) Beyond the plotholes and the fact Vulcan’s are as good as extinct as a race, I also didn’t agree with the reboots of the characters. Neither the new Kirk or Spock embody the complexities that made the characters so fascinating in the original series. While I like a good summer blockbuster as much as the next person, I thought they could have done more. In my mind, they capitalized on the Star Trek brand without respecting what made it so nifty in the first place.

But again, Benedict Cumberbatch, so I’ve probably watched the trailers more than would be considered normal. And the more I watched, the more some things imprinted in my brain – namely the way women are portrayed.

In the first trailer (you can find it in a previous post of mine) you saw two instances of women. One was Uhura kissing Spock (we see her face and only the back of his head – probably wouldn’t know it was Spock if you weren’t familiar with the first movie and knew they were put together romantically in it), and the other was a blonde woman screaming. All the other scenes were men doing manly things like firing guns and jumping off skyscrapers and cliffs and looking very determined.

Now here comes the newest trailer (at the end of this post for your enjoyment) and I was curious. How were the women going to be portrayed now? By this time I’ve seen a few articles, and the actress who plays Uhura has made a statement that she gets to fire guns and be tough and proactive – would I see any of that here?

What I saw – Uhura talking about how they were all going to be killed and in general being a wet blanket to all these manly men who wanted to shoot things and get vengeance…

… and we see the blonde woman in her underwear.

This is how women are portrayed in the second trailer.


The blond woman, BTW, is Dr. Carol Marcus. Carol Marcus was originally introduced in The Wrath of Khan as a former lover of Kirk, yes, but also the scientist behind the creation of the Genesis project – you know, that little project that essentially can BRING A DEAD PLANET BACK TO LIFE. So it’s not like the woman is smart or anything.

Look, I get it. I know showing somebody is smart is tough in a 2 minute trailer. I get that she’s Kirk’s love interest in this movie. I get it that it’s a summer blockbuster.

But this is still wrong. If there had been one quick-cut of a woman which was not either love interest, helpless bystander, or nagging worrier I wouldn’t feel this heavy WTF sensation. This is a universe where women are supposed to be strong, and the fanbase, while I don’t doubt it skews male, is far-and-away from predominantly male. And why do women like Star Trek? Because it has shown itself to have strong female characters.

Though you wouldn’t know it from these trailers – and honestly, that was one of my problems with the first movie too. Uhura was under-developed spectacularly and most came into play as Spock’s girlfriend.

But hey, enjoy Benedict Cumberbatch as the villain. Any other BC fangirls out there?

The Princess Bride celebrates 25th Anniversary!

Put this under “Man, I think I’m getting old” BUT what is arguably the most quotable movie of all time, The Princess Bride is celebrating its 25th Anniversary!

I have yet to meet the person who doesn’t love this movie. What has always stood out to me though is everytime I get into a conversation about it, each person has their own favorite quote. Some movies have that “One Quote” where the second you mention the title, it’s the next line said. Not The Princess Bride. This movie has probably hundreds of quotable lines of dialogue, all of them sublime.

“My name is Inigo Montoya…”

“Have fun storming the castle.”

“Rodents of unusual size? I don’t think they exist.”

“When I was your age, television was called books.”

“Death can not stop true love. It can only delay it for awhile.”

“As you wish.”

Sigh…  I could go on and on, but I think I’ll leave it there.

My love for this movie has few contenders. It’s one of those movies where it might not be my go-to, but I am always in the mood to see it.

How about you? What’s your favorite quote?

The Neverending TBR Pile

I once had a t-shirt with the words “So many books. So little time.” I really need to find one to replace it because it sums up my life. Whether reading or writing them, my world revolves around the bound and printed page or the splash of e-ink across a grey screen.

Here are some what are closer to the top of the TBR (to be read) pile, though my mind changes in an instant – ask the poor hubby. So subject to change without notice:

First up, this came through as an advanced reader copy and I snatched it up. The Orphanmaster  is a debut novel by Jean Zimmerman. It’s set in the 1660’s in New Amsterdam (now known as Manhattan). It features missing children, a serial killer, possible demon possession, cannibals, spies, and a love story. It’s a little different than my usual fare, but in this case I think (hope!) that different is good and pray it’s as meaty and rich as the cover copy promises.

I met Karina Cooper at the RT Convention this year. She was looking smashing walking down the hallway in a steampunk-y/gothy ensemble, and I had just had to extend my compliments. That led to an extended talk session where I learned this woman was an author as well! Of course, I got the book. Since RT, I’ve been following Karina on the social media loops and she tickles me greatly, so I have very high hopes the wonderful writing voice of hers will be evident in the book. If so, I will be a very happy camper.

Finally, lately I’ve been in the mood for a sexy, growly, possessive werewolf, so after flipping through a few books, I went with Omega Mine by Aline Hunter (you may also know her as writer J.A. Saare.) Again, this is a case where I have *met* J.A. through social media and we’ve discussed a bit back and forth, but I haven’t yet read any of her work. I’ve heard lots of good stuff though, so I’m not too worried.

That should keep me busy for awhile, especially considering I need to be writing my own stories in the midst of all this!

Karma is Happy with Me

I could have been selfish. Think of the opportunity – read a Meljean Brook novella two months before release and get the previous books in the series?

My little devil side fought me hard about spreading the news – plenty of people are talking about it LD said. But my good angel told me to spread the word, because it was too awesome an opportunity and everyone who could get their name in deserved a chance.

I followed GA and crossed my fingers.

Well, my good deed was rewarded. I was picked at random as one of those who will get to read the novellas! I’m so excited, I yelped when I saw my name.

Beyond awesome all around.

Geek Love

Hubby has a degree in Metallurgy and we play D&D together. So what better gift to show him my love?

  This is the man who said he knew he wanted to marry me when I told him I’d love to join his weekly game.

Remember, no matter where you go, there you are… in other words, Welcome to Romantic Geek Girl!

It’s been a long time coming, but Romantic Geek Girl is finally here! Yayyyy!!!!

Let me introduce myself to yinz out there. I am Danielle Monsch, a Romantic Geek Girl Writing in a Fantasy World. I am a writer of fantastical stories full of magic, mayhem, romance, monsters, adventure… and the occasional naughty part. Ah yes, it’s good to me.

I currently have a couple stories published and available for your e-reader, with more coming soon. You can find my stories at Amazon, B&N, or any other e-commerce site which sells e-books.

I’m also a geek married to an uber-geek. A proud otaku, you’ll usually find me reading my manga or watching my anime (including the occasional hentai.) I play D&D, I love going to the yearly Renaissance Faire, and if it involves dressing up in some sort of costume, I’m there.

So why did I start Romantic Geek Girl and what is it all about?

Romantic Geek Girl is my blog and (coming in two weeks!) my podcast showcasing the Romantic Side of Geek. With “Geek” losing it’s negative connotations and all the peoples (men and women) embracing their dorky sides and proud of their crazy hobbies, it feels like everyone is starting to loosen up – expand their definitions of what is allowed in the Geek world.

And with women (and yes, some men) embracing the geek and making it part of their life, romance and love and sex are all becoming more and more part of the geek culture.  We love our Superheroes because they kick tushie, but that doesn’t mean we don’t also want to see some sort of relationship mixed in with that. Love and romance doesn’t lessen the geek experience, it enriches it.

You’ll find on Romantic Geek Girl my ramblings on geek life and the stories that make it great. Expect reviews of books, movies, manga, and other entertainment that will appeal the romantic side of every geek out there.

It’s going to be a fun ride. I hope yinz all will stay with me and get your Geek on!

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