Celebrating POC Authors in Fantasy: Moni Boyce





Moni Boyce is a writer, filmmaker, poet and author of contemporary and paranormal romance. After working in the film industry for fifteen years, helping others bring their visions to life, she now creates characters of her own and brings them to life on the page. She considers herself a bookworm, film buff, foodie, music lover and an avid world traveler having visited 33 countries and counting. She currently resides in Virginia, but considers Los Angeles her hometown.


Interview with Moni Boyce


What genre(s) do you write in?

Contemporary and paranormal romance

When did you decide that you wanted to write in your Genre?

I always knew I would write contemporary romance. In middle school, I wrote short stories that centered on romance and I have always been an avid reader. It wasn't until I'd become an indie author and was reading more paranormal and urban fantasy stories that I fell even more in love with the genre. I already watch so many paranormal/UF TV shows and movies, and wanted to create characters in this genre with their own mythology.

What things in your life do you draw inspiration from?

Everything. I'm inspired by everything: art, music, movies/TV, articles, real life stories, travel, conversations, my own life experience.

What is the purpose of your writing? Is there a specific message that you hope to convey?

Given everything that's going on in the world right now, I want people to read my books and be inspired by love. It's a universal thing we all seek in life. All of my books tend to involve different themes. My first novel, Redemption of the Heart had a huge them about forgiveness and of course redemption. In The Oracle Chronicles some of the themes are belief in yourself, your abilities, the meaning of family and ultimately the choices and sacrifices we make for the people we love.

How much of yourself is reflected in your writing?

I think there is a lot of myself in my work. I try to make sure that every character has their own voice, but I do think I bleed over into my work because these are characters I've created. I think each of them have pieces of me.

What can readers expect to see from you in the next year? Any new releases, features or celebrations?

Tons of new releases. I have a contemporary romance release on June 23rd, called Love Delayed In Dublin. I'll be releasing the 1st books in 2 more contemporary romance series later this year. A collaboration with another author on an alien sci-fi romance. I have two novellas in anthologies coming out. The 1st book in an Oracle Chronicles spin-off series and a Christmas novella.




Check out The Oracal Chronicles






Secret lineage, a ruthless vampire, and forbidden love.


Willow Stevens dreams of stardom are eclipsed by the real nightmares of a sinister man haunting her dreams. Unbeknownst to her, Eli Walker, her hot but snobbish co-worker, may know the reason nightmares plague her, but their history shows he is more prone to reject her, than help her.


Then Willow passes out at work only to wake in Eli's apartment. There she has her chance to learn more about her heritage. But, knowing why the vampire king stalks her doesn't make the nightmares disappear. If anything, they become more real as she now faces off against a slew of creatures she'd always believed were myth.


That Eli is one of those creatures is just her luck. Secret witch guild or not, his natural ways are casting spells her heart can't escape. As a Protector his only focus should be her safety. Anything else is forbidden. He plans to stay on task, but some women break a man, or tempt him to break the rules.


Can Eli keep Willow alive and safe from the vampires long enough for her to grow her own powers or will both cast aside rules for a reckless passion that will only lead to danger?


From the book:


Enlightened: The Oracle Chronicles Book 2

CHAPTER 17

Willow


The apartments they were shown to were nice and entirely furnished from Ikea. Each apartment had two bedrooms. Zoriana took the other bedroom in the apartment with Eli and Willow and the others shared the second apartment. Everyone was so tired after nearly two days of travel that they said quick goodbyes to Gamal and Anippe and made plans to contact them tomorrow.

Willow realized that if each apartment only had two bedrooms, Ulrik would be relegated to sleeping on the floor. When she stepped outside to knock and find out about the sleeping arrangements that’s when she saw Anippe and Ulrik down the hall. He had his arm slung over her shoulders. Guess she didn’t have to worry after all, he was definitely going to be well taken care of.

It was comforting to be in a new place and know you were in the company of people that sympathized with what you were going through, had walked a mile in your shoes. She hoped that the pair would have happiness even if it was only for a few stolen moments.

In the bedroom she was sharing with Eli, she found him stretched out on the bed, fully clothed and fast asleep. He hadn’t slept that well on the plane. She knew he was exhausted. She grabbed her bag and shut the door. It was the perfect time to read some of her mother’s letters. Zoriana had gone in her room and shut the door. She was sure she would not be interrupted by her. After she settled on the sofa, she pulled the bundle from her bag. The letter she’d been reading on the plane was the first one she opened.


May 23, 2002


Dear Willow,


I’ve been in Delphi for nearly two weeks

now. There has been so much to explore.

The plan was to go to Egypt before heading

back to the U.S., but I’m afraid that is no

longer an option. We’ll have to return

sooner than expected. Something is going

on, but I’m not exactly sure what. I

have a bad feeling. Maybe it’s just in

my head, but I can’t shake it. There’s

someone I want you to meet. I’m not

certain you’ll get the opportunity and that

makes me sad, because I think you’d like

him if you did. Continue to be good for

Teresa.


Love,


Mom


Many people would have ended the letter with a, ‘See you soon.’ Or ‘Until we see each other.’ Not her mother. She must have already known she would never see her again. Something in her chest hurt knowing her mother lived with the knowledge of when death would come for her. Everyone was going to die; most people didn’t know the how or the when. Her mother did. For a moment, she just sat there without moving as the light faded from the sky and night descended.

Despite knowing that death loomed, her mother still chose to fall in love. She wished she’d had more time in Greece to talk with Hadrian. Her mother really cared about him. She’d wanted the two of them to meet. That was a big deal. Maybe once all of this craziness was over they could sit down and get to know one another.


***


Someone shook her awake.

“Hmm.” She mumbled, still not sure what was a figment of her sleep addled brain or what was real.

“Wake up sleeping beauty.” The low, sleep-tinged voice that was attempting to coax her awake sent delicious shivers up and down her spine. She smiled with her eyes still closed. “Hmm.”

She could hear the smile in his voice when he responded. “Why didn’t you come to bed? We both ended up sleeping in our clothes.”

One eye cracked open and looked at Eli upside down. He would always be a welcome good morning. She stretched her arms above her head and stared at him.

Often when they woke up together like this, and the day was still quiet and still without a lot of noise, she had the illusion that they were just two ordinary people just living their life. They were going to wake up and prepare coffee and breakfast in the kitchen, laze about reading the newspaper on a weekend morning or kiss each other goodbye as they each headed off to work.

For a fleeting moment, she lived in that fantasy. Then reality crash landed in her lap and reminded her that a vampire was hell bent on making her his servant and possibly his bride, she was half fae and not all of her powers had manifested themselves, he was a witch that had a duty to protect her and they were not supposed to be together.

They were not here in Egypt on vacation. The mission was to find The Book of Prophecy and figure out how to defeat Killian so she didn’t have to be on the run the rest of her life. She sat up and sighed.

“You okay?”

“Yeah, I’m good.” She looked at him. “Let’s shower, eat and figure out how to locate the book.”

A couple hours later they all sat around the living room of the apartment they occupied trying to figure out the best plan for finding the book. They had the riddle The Pythia had given her which is what got them here, but now they had to determine if that was just the clue to get them to Egypt or if the Sphinx figured into all of this.

Gamal and Anippe had provided quite the breakfast spread when they showed up and things seemed cozy between her and Ulrik though they did their best to disguise their amorous looks. Clearly, her coven did not approve. Gamal didn’t seem to mind. Willow returned her attention back to what was being said. It was always so easy to get caught up in other people’s drama than to deal with her own.

“I think we make that the first place that we look for the book. Figure out a way to clear out tourists so there is no one in our way to look for trap doors or things like that. If that doesn’t work then the Great Pyramids are there in Giza next to the Sphinx. We make those the next location to search. I believe the book is probably hidden at a high profile destination. An area that had once been a dig or excavation site.” Phaedra ended the explanation to her plan. No one could argue with that logic. It made sense.

She had yet to make amends with her. For some reason she felt Phaedra probably figured it was no love lost between them. Phaedra was Eli’s best friend so it was important enough to her to right things between them. Oh yeah and the teeny tiny fact of her putting her life on the line for her. Yeah, that little reason was enough to say how sorry she was for accusing her of being a megalomaniac and psychopath to boot.

Eli startled her from her thoughts. “Was there anything in your mother’s letters? Did she make it to Egypt or have any clue the book was moved here?”

She shook her head and avoided everyone’s eyes. Again she felt like a big disappointment, like she was letting everyone down. Why couldn’t The Pythia have given her a straight answer when she asked where the book was located? Better yet, when she was having all of those retro whatever visions Eli mentioned where she was shown the past, why couldn’t she have seen then where the book was moved? If only her mother had visited here, she could go to the location and see if anything called for her to touch it. Then a vision might show her what her mother saw. At least they might be that much closer to knowing something.

He must have sensed her distress because he patted her leg and kept talking. “I definitely agree that we need to clear everyone out if we can.” He looked at Gamal. “I know you mentioned not using magic if we don’t have to, but in case it’s at the Sphinx and we have to resort to magic, it would be helpful not to have a bunch of tourists in our way.”

“What kind of excuses can be made to have it closed?” Ulrik asked.

“It’s not just the Sphinx you have to worry about the whole area is usually ripe with tourists on any given day. The area to be closed off would need to be much bigger.” He rubbed his chin and pondered ways to cordon off the area. “Let me make a couple phone calls.” As he stepped outside the apartment he was already talking rapid Arabic with someone on the phone.

This was all starting to feel like Greece all over again. They had no clues or definite ideas. Essentially they were looking for a needle in a haystack. She wanted to scream she was so frustrated. When she happened to look up, Max was staring at her. He gave her a small smile and motioned for her to meet him outside. She nodded. She could feel both Eli’s and Phaedra’s eyes follow them out the door.

Max leaned his arms on the railing of the balcony. “Pretty serious stuff.”

“Yep.” She avoided his gaze. Sometimes she forgot how well he knew her and how well he was tuned into her emotions.

“It’s okay to feel helpless, Willow.” He spoke the words softly. Over the past few months she’d grown accustomed to him providing comic relief, she forgot how insightful he could be. “It’s okay to feel anger, frustration.”

“I miss the days when you couldn’t talk.” A mirthless chuckle escaped as she dabbed leaky eyes and looked out on the rooftops of the nearby buildings.

“Ever since everything with Eli you’ve been keeping everything so bottled up. You’re upset with yourself for not being able to save Eli, upset over not being more helpful in finding this book… L.I.G.”

Genuinely, she laughed this time. He came over and vigorously rubbed up and down her arms.

“Just let it go?” She laughed harder this time. “Let it all go, huh?”

“Yep. It’s everyone’s job to figure this out. Don’t feel like you have to take on anything alone.”

She hugged him. He always had this calming effect on her. If there was one thing she was glad for it was that. He might not be her dog anymore, but he was still her friend. “Thank you.” It came out muffled because she was pressed against his chest.

After a few more minutes outside they walked back into the apartment. Eli looked at her with a question on his face. She gave him a smile and went and sat beside him on the floor. He leaned into her. “You okay?”

“Yeah.” She kissed him on the cheek.



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