Hi everyone, Iâ€™m so happy to be here today, and a huge thank you to the Fresh
Fiction staff for having me. Itâ€™s a real honor to be visiting here at their blog
and chatting a little bit about my upcoming release Assassinâ€™s Heart,
which comes out September 7. Iâ€™m excited about the book for a number of reasons,
one itâ€™s Lysanderâ€™s story and heâ€™s one of my favorite heroes of all that Iâ€™ve
written to date. I love his and Phaedraâ€™s story as well as the story of Maximus
and Cassiopeia the ancient Roman couple in the book. There are a lot of reasons
why I love Assassinâ€™s
Heart, but one of the biggest reasons, aside from Lysander, is the past
lives aspect of the story. You see, Iâ€™m a firm believer in past lives. Why?
Well, I guess itâ€™s because Iâ€™ve lived many times before myself. Did your
eyebrows just go up? A lot people do arch their eyebrows at me when I say that.
Iâ€™ve even had people snort with contempt, with laughter and even tell me I need
to seek mental health services. Itâ€™s okay, I donâ€™t mind because belief
structures are personal and rooted in experience. For me, personal experience
plays a large role in my belief structures. Iâ€™ve experienced things that make
some people scoff and others go Wow! So what are some of those things, Monica?
The first thing I have tell you is that I canâ€™t wear anything around my neck.
When I was a kid, those Georgian velvet bands with the brooch in the middle were
all the rage. I wanted one really bad. So I spent the dollar or two Iâ€™d saved
and bought one. Problem was, I couldnâ€™t wear it. The minute I put it on, it was
like I couldnâ€™t breathe. Same thing goes for turtlenecks. I LOVE them. I love
how they look on people. Turtlenecks highlight the face, and are totally
awesome, but the minute I put one on, Iâ€™m tearing at it to get it off. So what
does all that have to do with past lives? Read on.
Iâ€™ve experienced three different lives via past life regression. One I was a big
burly landowner, possibly a knight of some sort. I knew I was a man because in
the regression, when I looked down I saw I had these big, hairy arms (NOT
exactly what I expected from a past life regression!). In this particular past
life regression, I was sitting in front of a large fireplace (the kind you can
walk into), and a boy was playing on an animal skin rug in front of me. A few
minutes later a woman came down a set of stone steps that had no railing. She
greeted me, and when I turned my back on her, she stabbed me to death. Pretty
gruesome way to go, right? Iâ€™ve no idea if I lived a good life, hurt her, killed
others, or did whatever? I just know it wasnâ€™t a pleasant way to die.
The next past life regression was in a similar time period. I was a healer of
sorts. I tended to animals and people with herbs, and other natural remedies.
That is until someone accused me of being a witch, and a judged sentenced me to
hanging. Not a pleasant way to die. Have you noticed that so far my lives ended
violently, and that I wasnâ€™t too well off? Forget what famous people say about
having been princesses and queens in a past life! *smile*
Perhaps the most frightening of all my past life regressions was the one where I
was in a tumbrel with my hands tied to the side of the cart to prevent escape. I
remember being terrified. I was a young servant girl during the French
Revolution who got caught up in the politics of the whole event (there were
numerous people of the working class who were executed when neighbors turned
them in on a whim.). I can still remember the crowd pressing into the cart as it
rolled toward the guillotine. There was this overwhelming terror as I tried to
tug free of the ropes tying me to the side of the tumbrel. In my hypnotic state,
my body apparently began to twitch and jerk. The agitation became so great that
the individual doing the regression had to bring me out of the hypnosis quickly.
Now remember early when I said that I canâ€™t wear anything around my neck? Can
you understand WHY now? There have been many stories of people with past lives
who have problems in this life resolved by addressing problems left unresolved
in a past life. I still canâ€™t wear turtlenecks or collars, but I think two of
the lives above make for a pretty good case for why Iâ€™m really uncomfortable
wearing something on my neck. *grin*
strong belief in past lives, it just seemed natural to use that theme in
Assassinâ€™s Heart. When I
sat down to write the book, one of my goals was to show the origins of the
Sicari. I knew the back-story in all its tragic detail so well, I didnâ€™t even
have notes on it because it was so vivid in my head. But I was stumped as to how
I was going to show the Sicariâ€™s birth without writing a historical paranormal.
It wasnâ€™t until Lysander showed up in Assassinâ€™s Honor that I
knew how to do it. His story and the ancient Roman general Maximus were tied
together, just as Phaedra and Cassiopeia were connected. Suddenly, it all fell
into place, and I knew that dreams of a past life would make the story come full
I enjoyed writing Assassinâ€™s
Heart enormously. It was one of those books that sort of writes itself,
although there were moments when I was banging my head against the wall. But I
got through it, and now that itâ€™s finished, Iâ€™m on to the next book into the
series, however, Iâ€™m left wondering...was I a writer in another past life?
Maybe. You never know.
So tell me, what do you think about past lives? Had any experience with
regression therapy? Tell me your story.
I am a strong believer in past lives. It just feels right and explains those moments you have sometimes. I've found myself serching for things I've never owned in this life. Similar to you I don't like things near my neck, though I can wear necklaces as long as I put them on myself. People need to accept that all beliefs are completely personal and that they shouldn't expect anyone to believe the same as them. (Sarah Dewbery 11:55pm August 23, 2010)
I don't necessarily believe in past lives, but I do find other people's stories and findings fascinating. Re- incarnation is an intriguing concept and I'm open to the idea. If it's real, it would totally fall in line with my faith. (Jacqueline Cook 1:19am August 24, 2010)
I would like to think so because of the deja vu feeling that I get. Sometimes even when you have never met a person before...you seem to know them...sometimes when you have never been to a certain place you remember it...so weird but makes me think...wow...i know this place...why... (Darci Paice 3:09am August 24, 2010)
I'm sceptical. If you can't learn from the past or even remember it what is the point of that life? (Sue Ahn 5:15am August 24, 2010)
I think that whatever you believe is wonderful, as long as it isn't harmful to anybody, who has the right to tell you anything. (Joanne Reynolds 6:32am August 24, 2010)
Sarah, I can wear necklaces that are at least 16" long any shorter and I get uncomfortable. I've worn them at 10" but they're off and in my husband's pocket within an hour. He keeps asking me why bother? LOL
Jacqueline, Faith is definitely a deeply personal conviction. I'm a student of history and have taken a couple of academic religion courses. I found it fascinating the diversity of belief in reincarnation.
Darci - I met a woman last year who is now my BFF. We've become really close and we email almost every single day and we talk via phone at least once a month or more. So I'm a firm believer that we knew each other well in a past life.
Sue Ahn - Skepticism is good. Always question everything has been my motto. *grin*
Joanne - Do no harm is one my favorite beliefs. (Monica Burns 7:17am August 24, 2010)
HI Monica, It's so interesting to hear about your regression. I don't know if I'd want to know for fear it would be bad and I may have to go through it again. lol But I do believe in past lives. I too cannot abide anything around my neck and get very agitated if anyone touches the back of my head. My kids are all aware of it and know not to do it.I love your trailer and really look forward to reading both books. Have a great day.I so believe in the Golden Rule. Carol L. Lucky4750@aol.com (Carol Luciano 8:33am August 24, 2010)
Carol, glad you enjoyed the post. Curiosity is what made me do the regression. I'm glad I went. It made me appreciate my life now, despite some really terrible moments. I'm able to remind myself that it could always be much worse. And I LOVE my video too. It's VERY true to the book, the music took me a long time to find. I wanted something dark, powerful and yet seductive. I think I managed to give my designer the perfect sound and graphics to pull together what I think is an amazing video. (Monica Burns 9:32am August 24, 2010)
I have not questioned reincarnation as not been real ever since I was first exposed to it in the 4th grade (many years ago). Now how accurate some of the reading are is up to interpretation :) But I do enjoy (no LOVE) reading and I will look forward to your book. (Dinah Tackett 9:37am August 24, 2010)
I believe in past lives, but don't think I would do a regression. I don't wish to know, why I'm so terribly claustrophobic. (Marlene Breakfield 9:45am August 24, 2010)
i'm not sure if i believe or not... i live in the now. i do however like to listen about it... gives me goosebumps LOL! (Tina Werner 10:10am August 24, 2010)
I'm not sure I believe in past lives, but then again I have never had any hints of a prior life. (Pam Howell 10:41am August 24, 2010)
I think past lives are a definite possibility--but I tend to think I was some type of animal instead of a person. (Sue Farrell 11:04am August 24, 2010)
Dianh, Readings aren't always accurate, which is where the leap of faith comes into play. Glad you're looking forward to the book. *grin*
Marlene, fear can be a driving factor in keeping us from a lot of things.
Tina, living in the now isn't a bad thing, I like to do that, I just like to remember the past to as a way to balance out my current attitude, like a day job that drives me nuts! LOL
Pam, that's interesting thing about how some people experience things and others don't. I wonder if its because our brains are wired differently OR what if (fav ? of writers) you're a new soul with NO past lives. It's easy for folks to put a twist on anything, so you have to follow your heart. (Monica Burns 11:05am August 24, 2010)
I like some of the others are not sure but I have had times when it felt like I had been there before or just meeting someone and feeling like you have known them for ever. (Vickie Hightower 11:06am August 24, 2010)
Thank you for your post, Monica. It's great to find out that someone is incorporating reincarnation into popular fiction. This theme is rare these days, but is so rich with fascinating possibilities.
Like you and many of the commenters, I believe in reincarnation. It's part of my religion, Buddhism. But I believed in it for years before I converted.
I've made a few attempts to explore my own past lives, but at least in my case I'm not sure that's a good idea. For one thing, there's this principle that we can tell what our past causes were like by looking at our present effects. Likewise, we can tell what our future effects were like by looking at our present causes. In other words, we can examine our karma. And we don't need hypnosis for that.
Also, the lifetimes I've discovered, assuming they were real, have been hazy and unverifiable---with one possible exception. I relived it in a dream, or more precisely a nightmare.
I was a victim of the Holocaust, locked up in a concentration camp. I was one of the six million who did not survive.
The experience was too horrible to describe, but this time I came up with a verifiable detail: my name was Constance Stillman. I've considered researching records from WWII to find out if any such person is listed on the camp death rolls. With more and more information of this sort available on the Internet, such a search become feasible.
But for now, it's enough to know that if this experience was real, it would explain a lot about me. And even if it's not, it provides plenty of food for thought.
Vickie, I don't think anything's a sure thing. It's about what we believe and what makes us comfortable.
Mary Anne - how fascinating. As I indicated on another blog yesterday, I was unable to enter the Auschwitz concentration camp on a tour. I broke down and couldn't go in. I also had a really hard time going through the National Holocaust Museum. The horrible thing is, I think I was one of the bad guys. This is such a horrible thing to think. And Karma is something I believe in, although the really human part of me wants to see it in action with someone who's harmed me or a loved one. THAT ain't gonna happen. LOL (Monica Burns 11:47am August 24, 2010)
I don't NOT believe in past lives I just hope I didn't have one. I say that because I think I've had enough of them in this life now! I still have nightmares of the 60's when I was working full-time and going to school nights - didn't make much - didn't eat much - good news was I didn't have to diet to stay thin!
I have a great husband, sons, daughter-in-laws and grandchildren now and wouldn't give up my "past life" for anything but for the present want to live my life in the today! (Jeanne Miro 11:54am August 24, 2010)
I believe in past lives, and I believe that a person comes back each time as another person in a slightly better position, to try and make not just themselves a better person, but to make the people they touch in their lives, better people as well. I was around a psychic once, and although she answered a personal question or two for me, she did seem to act strangely around me for some reason that night. Now that I look back on it, I think there was something she wanted to tell me, but was afraid to. I wish that she would have. I always have this feeling about a past life by certain feelings I get. (Peggy Roberson 12:18pm August 24, 2010)
I haven't had any experience with regression therapy. I believe that our past lives play a part in who we are today. (Leni Kaye 12:21pm August 24, 2010)
I've never tried past life regression, but I've always felt I was a plantation owner's daughter in the Antebellum South. (Kelli Jo Calvert 12:35pm August 24, 2010)
I haven't had any experience with past regression either, but I do think there is something about it. I know that I have been places where I feel a special affinity to although I have never been there before.
I am highly attracted to the Elizabethan times and can't get enough of it's history.
I do believe in past lives and while there are several places I am sure that I have lived before nothing else is very clear. I think it would be a very special thing to know who and what you were in the past, be it good or bad. (Denise Boyd 2:15pm August 24, 2010)
I think it would be really interesting to learn about past lives... wonder about mine! (Colleen Conklin 2:47pm August 24, 2010)
I have to admit about being skeptical about the validity of the belief of past lives. I enjoy reading about them in books because I enjoy an escape from reality in the books I read. I have never had an experience with regression therapy so I am not sure if that would change my mind. (Cherie Japp 2:54pm August 24, 2010)
I am certain that I was a cat in a past life. Blessings, Marjorie (Marjorie Carmony 2:55pm August 24, 2010)
Jeanne - Isn't the any past wonderful for making us appreciate the good things we have now! *smile*
Peggy, There are some things psychics WON'T tell you simply because it might not be a good thing. Whether from past, present or future. They have a pretty strong code of ethics.
Leni - I believe they part in our lives as well, I'm just trying to figure out what I got wrong in the past life to make it right in this one. LOL
Kelli Jo - I'm convinced I didn't live during the Civil War era, simply because I find it the most boring piece of history there is. Even the American Revolution doesn't excite me that much. Now the late 1800s NYC or Chicago WHOLE new ballgame. *grin*
Valerie, I think we are definitely attracted to certain time periods because we feel an affinity for whatever experience we had during that time. The Elizabethan time was definitely interesting. The Virgin Queen was awesome the way she took on the men in her world and whipped England into a powerhouse
Denise - I'd like to think that knowing the past would enable us to not repeat it.
Colleen - I still wonder about past lives I've had that I'm still unaware of. Not so sure I'm up for another regression session though. They can be scary (Monica Burns 2:58pm August 24, 2010)
I haven't had any experiences that made me believe I had past lives but anything is possible. (Maureen Emmons 3:22pm August 24, 2010)
I believe in past lives. I have had a few experiences that can't be explained any other way. I haven't had any life regression sessions, but they sound interesting. (Cheryl Lynne 3:58pm August 24, 2010)
Maureen, Openness to ANY idea is what keeps us from falling back into the dark ages IMHO. No matter what the belief, we're all working our way along the path the best we can. *smile*
Cheryl - It's those unexplained instances that are really cool and sometimes scary, aren't they! Regression therapy isn't for everyone, and they're definitely interesting. (Monica Burns 4:10pm August 24, 2010)
I very much believe in past lives and that I've had them and been surrounded by the same people in each life. (Cathie Veres 4:51pm August 24, 2010)
We could certainly be given second or third or however many chances at life. No great knowledge of previous lives on my part, but there are times when I feel a closeness to a place or event that is a familiarity I can't explain. Why not? There are many unexplained phenomenon. I have had dreams and premonitions of things that have happened (the first one was on my 5th birthday). I have felt and heard things as they happened. Can't explain it and don't really want to. I think many of us have these same abilities when we are young, but we don't develop them either because we don't realize we have them or because our family doesn't want to believe they exist. In my case, I was punished for relating my dream and upsetting my family. I had seen my young uncle who was in Korea killed in my dream and knew he was dead. They got the telegram that afternoon. If it isn't acceptable, you bury it and try to ignore it. It is still there, but not as well developed as it could have been.
I love the sound of both of these books. I look forward to reading them. (Patricia Barraclough 5:09pm August 24, 2010)
Cathie, I've read where some people theorize that we keep coming back with the same people over and over again. I think it explains why I've met people for the first time and it's like old home week with them.
Patricia, our families can really make us doubt ourselves, can't they. I know my mother said something to me in high school, that I'm sure she probably meant to be well-meaning, but it kept me from writing for ten years. But in that ten years, I learned a lot and the experiences made me better able to write more convincingly. There's a reason for everything that happens. (Monica Burns 5:16pm August 24, 2010)
I been wanting to read Assassinâ€™s Honor for while now and didn't know there was another book coming in this series! (Marjana Kaly 5:47pm August 24, 2010)
No, not interested in past lives or regression theraphy. And from reading yours, they all ended badly. YUCK! I'll stick with what I know ~~ the here and now. (Cynthia Netherton 6:05pm August 24, 2010)
I'm not sure about past lives but I'm pretty sure I've seen a ghost in my house. (Alice Xiao 6:09pm August 24, 2010)
Taking responsibility for the one life I have now and my families is enough for me. But I do enjoy listening to tales of other peoples former lives. (Lisa Richards 6:44pm August 24, 2010)
I would love to go through past life regression but can't afford to do that. I'm sure it must be expensive. I can't say I don't believe in it. I'm pretty open to most things.....I have a ghost in my house! (Brenda Rupp 7:07pm August 24, 2010)
I'm not too sure about past lives. I have enough strife with this one. (Mary Preston 7:08pm August 24, 2010)
Marjana, I'm currently working on book 3 in this series and hope to write more.
Alice, How interesting. Have you done any research as to whom it might be?
Lisa, Sounds like you have a full plate.
Brenda, I can't remember what I paid for my session as it was more than 10 years ago. As for the ghost in your house. You need to chat w/Alice! Do you know who the ghost is?
Mary, Current times do make for difficulty in dealing with more than this life. (Monica Burns 7:46pm August 24, 2010)
hello and i think i would like to read the book i beleve in the afer live and seen and taken pic of ghost (Desiree Reilly 8:00pm August 24, 2010)
Desiree, How awesome to have a picture of a ghost! I watch Ghost Hunters on SyFy a lot. Truly fascinating. (Monica Burns 8:55pm August 24, 2010)
I think it is awesome that you lived previous lives. I have often wondered if I might have lived a former life but don't really have a reason to believe I did. lol It would be fun to find out. (Brenda Hill 9:41pm August 24, 2010)
Hi Brenda, I've always been pretty sure of it since I was young. It just seemed the natural thing for me. But of course, my family will tell you I'm eccentric (translation - nutzo) LOL (Monica Burns 10:05pm August 24, 2010)
I believe in past lives. There has been times that I get a deja vu from time to time and get dreams of places that I have never been to. When they first come true, it freaks me out. Now, I wonder if there is a message that is being deliver to me but I'm not understanding it. (Kai Wong 10:18pm August 24, 2010)
I believe that we can be reborn many times. Personally I think it's because there is something we need do or learn that keeps are soul returning . (Gloria Simoneau 11:10pm August 24, 2010)
Congrats on the upcoming release, Monica. I do believe it's possible we've all had a past life or lives, but I have never felt any connection to this past. (Jane Cheung 12:07pm August 25, 2010)
Please enter me in this great contest and please let me know when I am a winner too! GOD Bless Everyone, CECILIA (Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez 10:12pm August 25, 2010)
I believe in past lives. My 3 year old daughter use to talk German in her sleep. How else do you explain that? :) (Molly Wilsbacher 10:31pm August 25, 2010)
hi i really would lie toread it and blog on it (Desiree Reilly 11:00pm August 25, 2010)
I have always had a dislike of the smell of the sea, and looking at it made me nervous. I went to Ireland as a teen for a vacation with family. During our travels, we visited a village on the coast. I new where the church had been and what had been many years before (a restaurant we entered and I said "this used to be a bakery". The manager said "yes, over 200 years ago".) I found that I chose to spend the majority of my time in that village sitting near castle ruins staring at the sea. Was told later after a regression that I was the widow of a fisherman lost at sea.