Search This Blog


Monday, May 21, 2012

Guest: Lila Munro

My Little Garden of Patience…
Good morning! Thank you, Kristabel, for hosting me today. I’m really looking forward to interacting with your audience, so feel free to leave me plenty of comments, not only so we can chat a bit, but because there will be a giveaway at the end of my tour. J

When Kristabel first told me I could have free reign over here and would in fact like to see something off-writing, I was very excited indeed. It’s not often we writers get to talk about ourselves so candidly and aren’t asked to describe our characters, or writing style, or plotting mechanism, or our inspiration for the story. And while I am going off the writing topic and am going to talk about me and one of my passions, it will eventually tie into my writing on some subtle level. It seems it’s a bit harder to weave off the writing than I had thought it would be and I’ve discovered in trying to do just that, most things I do have some bearing or link to my writing. I think I figured out why, too. Writing defines me. It’s not all encompassing of me, it’s not all I am, but somehow everything I do touches it.

Long ago and far away I was a little girl. And that little girl had a grandmother than had an enormous garden. Every summer she stayed with her grandmother while her mother worked and part of her day’s activities involved digging in the dirt in this garden with her grandmother. She would poke holes for her grandmother to drop seeds in, wiggle her toes in the freshly churned earth, and come inside at the end of the day feeling like she’d accomplished something and quite dirty.

It wasn’t until I grew up I realized how much more that experience meant to me and how it shaped me as a person. It taught me the cycle of life and to respect it, how to nurture something aside from my own wants, and it taught me patience. That time with my grandmother also taught me a little something about stress management…who knew? How at age six could I have conceived of stress let alone the need to manage it? The answer is, I couldn’t, but I do now.

Recently I was on a family vacation, visiting all the relatives back home. I have an eleven year old niece and a five year old nephew there both of whom can be quite impatient. One day when they were particularly antsy I told them, “Go to your little garden and pick some patience?” Both stopped dead in their tracks and stared at their auntie like she’d sprouted a second head. I went on to tell them they each have a little garden inside them where virtues grow and if they would fertilize it, patience would sprout there and whenever they felt the need they could go pick some. Now, I’m quite sure neither of them fully grasped this concept, but I think on some level they did. It was that or I gave them too much to ponder for the raucous stopped and they both found something else to do besides play WWF all over the front room. J

It’s the same for adults. We have a little garden from which we find all the tools we need to survive day to day, but we have to cultivate it and fertilize it in order for it to produce. I myself was having a hard time with my little garden for a while and from years of never decompressing came the dreaded dragon high blood pressure. My doctor informed me if I did not replant my little garden of goodness, the results would be less than pleasant. I took her warning to heed and examined my life and the choices I’d made and one thing became strikingly clear. I stopped digging in the dirt.

The exact moment it happened I can’t be sure, but it had. I remember when I married my first husband, my garden was my refuge. A place I could go to escape our less than happy circumstances. Our marriage didn’t last very long and when I moved into my own place, a garden was the last thing on my list of necessities. Food, shelter, and electricity came first. Then I found myself married again, to a Marine, and my travelling days started. Our first tour of duty as a family was to Okinawa, Japan where we lived on the ninth floor of an apartment building. While I had a balcony, it didn’t hold much and a few flowers was the best I managed there. And when we moved, someone else inherited them. It seems customs doesn’t take kindly to dragging plants aboard planes. J

Over the course of the next three years, I moved five times. I moved from Okinawa to Suffolk, Virginia to Elizabeth City, North Carolina where I lived in two houses, to Missouri and back to North Carolina, this time Camp Lejeune. Trust me, there was no time or space for digging in the dirt. Once we settled in at Lejeune I started to feel comfortable. Too comfortable, truth be told, and thought I might just get to stay in one house a while.

Okay, I was lying to myself. I had a flower bed full of color and a few veggies in pots on my back porch when remodeling began in my housing area and I was forced to move yet again to another base house down the street. I tended my flower beds there, thinking maybe we might get to stay a while. I had a eucalyptus tree and hydrangeas and veggies and lilies…and orders came…again. This time we moved north a couple of hours. Could this be the tour where we stayed a while? I was skeptical at best and only put out a few begonias and a hummingbird feeder. Good thing, because 24 months later I was back at Lejeune. That was almost three years ago.

For the first two years I refused to plant anything. I was tired and disgruntled. After a while without tending my garden, my stress level increased and while I’m sure my eating and exercise habits have more to do with my blood pressure issues than not having a flower one in the yard, I began to put two and two together.

Digging in that dirt was a release valve for me. In tending those gardens I had nurtured my internal garden. After a year of stress management therapy and medications and tests, I decided this year I would resurrect my green thumb. My therapist says you can judge a person’s peace of mind by the condition of their greenery. I can happily say, my plants are alive and healthy, blossoming and growing…they seem happy. So am I. And when the going gets rough in the writing world, you can best believe you can find me in my raised garden bed digging in the dirt…

Thanks again for having me over, today!
~~Lila Munro

Assumed Master
by Lila Munro


We may be born to the lifestyle,

Julie Stevens and Dante Larson always knew their tastes were a bit more eccentric than those of the average person, but acknowledgement of their chosen paths came at different times. While their lives have run parallel for the last twenty years, destiny always came knocking at the wrong time. Julie was a closeted edge player and before Dante could pull her free of her fears, Mason came along and dragged her kicking and screaming from her self-inflicted darkness, leaving Dante wanting. Although Dante’s been in love with Julie since the day he first laid eyes on her, he's happily married to Blake. But the tides are turning.

But Lady Fate dictates how it should be lived…

Still mourning the death of the only Master she’s ever known, Julie finds herself forced to live with the one man she’s been terrified of for years, Dante. While she has to admit something between them feels right, just as many things feel very, very wrong, starting with the fact he’s married to her gay best friend. Before she even has time to sort out her current predicament, another man catches Julie's attention. But after losing her mother, her sister, and her husband, can Julie come to grips with the fact that Keegan McKettrick jumps out of perfectly good helicopters for a living, rescue diving for the Coast Guard? And where exactly does that leave Dante, who knows for sure he needs a woman to complete his unconventional marriage? Quite frankly, he's tired of waiting.


“What is it?” Julie whispered, her heart pounding.

Drake cleared his throat again, took a staggered breath, and began to read.

“My dearest, angel. I’ve asked Drake to read this to you as I knew it would be a very hard thing for anyone to do. Dante and Blake are with you at my request as these instructions involve them as well. I’m so sorry I left you alone. You know I’d never do anything to hurt you, but karma and fate had a different plan and I was powerless to stop it. But I’m not powerless to play a part in your future. When you gave yourself to me, you willingly gave me the power to make your decisions for you, although I only did so in cases where what was best for you was against what you thought was right. It never happened often as I never wanted you to lose yourself or your voice. You were always so pleasing to me in that way. I’ll never forget your confusion as to why some subs would purposely displease their Master. It made me so proud to know I had a rare gem in you, a sub that would give so freely and willingly of herself. Angel, what I’m about to do will go against all your instincts, but make no mistake. This is one of the rare times I’m setting my foot down and doing what I know is best for you regardless what you might think.”

Drake stopped and wiped the sweat off his brow, glancing at the three of them.

About the Author:

Lila Munro currently resides on the coast of North Carolina with her husband and their two four-legged kids. She’s a military wife with an empty nest and takes much of her inspiration for her heroes from the marines she’s lived around for the past fifteen years. Coining the term realmantica, she strives to produce quality romance in a realistic setting.

Her genre of choice is contemporary romance that spans everything from the sensual to BDSM and ménage. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading everything she can get her hands on, trips to the museum and aquarium, taking field research trips, and soaking up the sun on the nearby beaches. Her works include The Executive Officer’s Wife, Bound By Trust, Destiny’s Fire, Salvation, Three for Keeps, the Force Recon series, the Slower Lower series, and the Identity series.

She’s a member in good standing of RWA and Passionate Ink. Currently she’s working on sequels to several series to be released throughout 2012. And has a brand new line scheduled for winter 2012-13.

Ms. Munro loves to hear from her readers and can be contacted via her website or through Facebook at You can also contact her via email at


  1. What a beautiful post. I always remember helping my Father in the garden when I was a little girl. It was such a relaxing time even though we worked hard.

    I look forward to learning more about ASSUMED MASTER along the way.


    1. Hi Marybelle! Thanks for stopping by. :) Now that my grandmother is growing older I cherish those times with her and sometimes wish there had been more. Look forward to seeing you around my blog tour. :)

  2. Thank you for hosting Lila today. Remember, a comment earns you an entry to win $25 Amazon GC and you can follow the rest of her tour here:

  3. Good morning! Thanks so much for hosting me. I look forward to coming by a few times today and chatting with the readers here. If anyone has any questions feels free to ask.:)

  4. This story is so different than others I have read. It has to be really interesting.

    I have to have a garden where ever I go. Now I am planting in pots on a small patio.

    1. Hi MomJane! Thanks for stopping by to have a peek. I've learned several alternatives to traditional gardening I'm learning to live with until we can establish a permanent home someday. :) This year I've taken on raised gardening which seems to be working out quite well.

  5. Thanks for stopping by today, Lila! I love gardening, flowers, veggies, all of it. It all comes down to growing my own things. Something wonderful about that.

    1. Hi Kristabel! My pleasure, have been most happy being here today. Growing things does give a certain sense of accomplishment. ;)

  6. Lila...That sounds like a very precious memory of your grandma. I grew up in the big city, mostly in an apartment. When I was nearly a teen, my parents moved to their first house--a brick townhouse with a small yard. My mother planted tomatoes and I vividly remember telling her that I would only eat store bought tomatoes! She and I laugh about it now but it's so easy for kids to be far removed from the natural food cycle--knowing where their food comes from!

    "Realmantica"? I love the whole notion that the term conveys.

    Kristabel...Thanks for turning over your blog today to Lila.

    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

    1. Hi Catherine! So glad to see you here. I've had cousins that thought we country kin were weird for eating stuff straight out of the ground. :) Now they grow stuff in their back yards. I just came in from checking my tiny raised bed and discovered I have tiny tomatoes coming on. Yeah! Have fun on the tour...

  7. Great Post and i enjoyed reading Assumed Master :)

    1. Hi Regina! Thank you and I'm so glad you enjoyed the read. Was this your first Identity Series book or are you caught up with the series? Book five is coming along nicely and will be available late summer sometime. :) Thanks for stopping by!

  8. All those moves must have been stressful, but many distinctive places where you've lived!


  9. I'm not much of a green thumb. I can manage to kill any plant. I like the kind where you just plant it and leave it. lol
    I know they need some water, but sometimes I just don't get around to it.
    I'd love to read Assumed Master.
    luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com