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    New Release Friday – some new reading for your weekend


    New Release Friday

    Kiss Me Box Set - Banner
    Kiss Me, An Asian Hero Boxed Set
    Get EIGHT sweet contemporary romances for 99c here. –


    Two Worlds, One Kiss, a Lifetime of Love

    This set features EIGHT sweet contemporary romance novellas featuring handsome Asian heroes.

    From Australia’s vineyards to the bright lights of Hong Kong, these stories have something for anyone looking for a little international flair in their romance.

    This set will be available for a limited time only, so don’t miss out!

    Joanne Dannon – An Unexpected Forever

    Khardine Gray – Kisses and Blossoms

    Imogene Nix – Hero of Heartbreak Hill

    Aislinn Kearns – Until You

    Dakota Harrison – Once Upon a K-Pop Prince

    Fiona Marsden – Beautiful Stranger

    Terri A. Wilson – A New Ending

    Zena Oliver – Seven-Day Cruise


    The Lucky Dress - Cover
    The Lucky Dress
    Genre: Rom/Com
    Author: Aimee Brown
    Blurb: We all have our lucky dress… an irresistibly hilarious rom-com!

    Emi Harrison hasn’t been feeling particularly lucky lately. Ever since her ex-fiancée, Jack Cabot, successfully shattered her heart into a million pieces. She’s managed to avoid him for a whole year, but all that’s about to change at her brother Evan’s wedding…
    She will have to face Jack, Jack’s sister, Jack’s parents, and Jack’s new girlfriend: a mean girl that just won’t quit. What could possibly go wrong?
    With her lucky dress on, all bets are off, and maybe Emi will find her happily-ever-after at last?
    Perfect for fans of Anna Bell, Jo Watson and Sophie Kinsella.

    Universal Amazon Link: mybook.to/TheLuckyDressEbook


    Four Last First Dates - Cover
    Four Last First Dates: A romantic comedy of love, friendship and one big cake (Cozy Cottage Café Book 4)
    What do you do when you’ve agreed to a pact with your friends to get married, but neither you nor the guy in your sights is quite ready to fall in love?

    Bailey De Luca is the last of her friends to complete the Last First Date pact–to marry the next guy she dates. But lady luck must be in a bad mood, because so far, it’s all come to nothing.

    Everywhere she looks people are in love. Everyone except her. Is she fundamentally unlovable? Or is it that she’s already found–and lost–The One? Whatever the reason, one thing’s for sure: Bailey never expected to be alone at thirty.

    When one of her friends announces her engagement with a rock that could eclipse the sun, Bailey throws herself into a new business. Starting up Cozy Cottage Catering seems like the perfect way to bury her head in the sand. But fate has other ideas, and soon Bailey is swept off her feet by the oh-so cute Ryan Jones.

    Ryan may seem like the perfect combination of Prince Charming meets Thor (without the hammer), but is Bailey ready to be with him?

    Or will the ghost of her past love prevent her from finding happiness again?

    Grab your copy and escape to New Zealand in this fun, feel-good sweet romance.

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    This week on the blog – what to look forward to


    Dog on Pile of Books
    In the week ahead on this blog I have some fun things planned.

    I’ll announce the winner of the Midsummer Eve giveaway tomorrow/Sunday.

    Tuesday I’m going to the launch of Edwina Shaw’s Thrill Seekers at Better Read than Dead in Sydney so I’ll have some lovely photos of that, I hope.

    Now the sun is out I’ll aim to get out and get some more photos of where Allegra hangs out in Mr Right and Other Mongrels.

    I have interviews with authors Lisa Becker and Azra Alagic as well.

    That’s just the tip of the ice-berg (let’s hope there are no actual ice-bergs I’m already over winter) so please stop by and leave your comments. I really love hearing from visitors.

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    Q&A with Brisbane author Chris Currie


    The Ottoman Motel - Christopher Currie - Cover1. What was the inspiration for your novel?
    The first kernel of The Ottoman Motel was a tiny scene I wrote about a young boy with his parents at a roadside cafe: the boy’s observations about the minutiae of the place, and the feeling that the whole family was on their way to somewhere they’d rather not be going to. I didn’t return to the scene until some months after I’d written it, which was when the first outlines of plot began for my novel. Once I decided on the inciting incidence of a disappearance of the boy’s parents, I tapped into that feeling that we’ve all had in our childhood of losing our parents, even momentarily, and the worst-case scenarios that your mind immediately plays out.

    2. When did you take up writing?
    I’d enjoyed writing stories ever since grade one (although those ones were more about scores of army men blowing each other up), but never really considered making writing a legitimate career until after I left school. I enrolled in a Creative Writing course at uni, and haven’t looked back. I still work another job on top of writing, but one day hopefully it can become a full-time pursuit!

    3. How important is setting/place in your writing?
    Place is very important in my writing, as it (for me at least) pervades the mood of the characters and the story. In The Ottoman Motel, the town of Reception (a fictional holiday town on the NSW north coast) plays a big part in the central mystery of the story. It is a repository for all the characters in the story, who all have their reasons for ending up there.

    4. Do you have a favourite character (s) in your current novel?
    Because my novel has three distinct voices (and a large cast of characters), it would be hard to choose. But if I had to choose a character that I’d like to write about again, it would be Pony, a young man with a mysterious past who becomes perhaps Simon’s greatest ally in the search for his parents.

    5. What’s the best piece of writing advice you were ever given?
    Show, don’t tell.

    6. Do you have a schedule for writing?
    I try to. For me, the biggest challenge when writing is setting a routine and sticking to it. At the moment, Monday, Tuesday and Friday are my day job. Wednesday is for writing admin and side projects, Thursday and Sunday are for working on my new novel. I try to treat my writing like any other job, which means starting at a set time, and working in significant blocks of time. Life has a way of throwing its spanner in the works of your good writing intentions, but you just have to try and stick to it!

    7. Are you a plotter or someone who tends to wing it?
    I’m more in the winging category. If I plot, I tend to get bogged down in it, and end up endlessly tinkering with scenes as a procrastination tool. For me, the sooner I start writing the better. I try to go in with a basic outline of the story, but I do let my writing take me where it will.

    8. Can you name three of four of your current favourite books?
    At the moment: “The Art of Fielding” by Chad Harbach; “The Orphan Master’s Son” by Adam Johnson; “Billy Lynn’s Long Half-Time Walk” by Ben Fountain and “Floundering” by Romy Ash.

    9. Can you tell me a little bit about what you are working on now?
    My first book, The Ottoman Motel, which was a modern gothic mystery, whereas my new book is more character-based and (hopefully) a lot funnier. At its heart is a man trying to come to terms with his new-found notoriety after falling off a mountain and surviving.

    10. What advice would you give to a fledgling writer to assist them on their journey?
    Work harder than any other writer you know, and be nice to people.

    The Ottoman Motel is available at all good bookstores.

    You can learn more about Chris and his writing at his wonderful blog.
    | www.furioushorses.com |

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    In Honour of Nora Ephron’s Passing…


    In honour of the passing today of the wonderful Nora Ephron I thought I’d include a few scenes from some of the wonderful movies she wrote. As a fan of romantic comedies she was always one of my favoutite writers and directors. I may have harboured a secret fantasy that one day she would direct a movie based on one of my books (oops the secret is out!)

    I love her dialogue and her chracterisation. I love the way she wrote friendships. I love the way she captured the details. I love the way she writes family.
    These are just a few of my favourite scenes….what are yours?


    Linda Gauthier
    6/26/2012 11:25:38 am

    Almost any scene from “Heartburn.” But “You’ve Got Mail” is one of my all time favorites.
    6/26/2012 11:33:02 am

    I loved Heartburn with it’s haunting Carly Simon soundtrack.

    Pamela Cook
    6/26/2012 04:31:28 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing these clips Monique. My favourite is that last Sleepless scene at the top of the Empire State. I got all teary watching it again. I love every bit of When Harry Met Sally. Nora Ephron made millions of people happy! Can feel a movie marathon coming on.
    6/26/2012 04:47:29 pm

    I was thinking the same thing about the movie marathon…

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    Thrill Seekers’ Sydney Book Launch July 3rd


    Pile of BooksIf you are in Sydney then you might be interested in attending the local launch of Thrill Seekers by the lovely Edwina Shaw.

    I interviewed Edwina on this blog earlier this year. Go have a read of the interview and learn more about Edwina here.

    The launch will be held at Better Read than Dead, Newtown on Tuesday July 3rd at 6pm.

    For more information visit:

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    Update to the Art of Romance and blog news for the week


    Dog on Pile of Books
    Chapter 2, Part 1 of The Art of Romance was just reposted on this site.

    Do you think Elisa should do business with Brian, could you in the same situation?
    Why do you think Lucas is at the hospital?

    I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas.

    I know I have already mentioned this but Mr Right and Other Mongrels will be available on Amazon later this week. The dog on the cover isn’t a total mongrel and he does feature rather prominently in the book.

    Question: What would you name an Old English Sheepdog if you had one?

    I will be posting a wonderful Q&A with Brisbane author Simon Groth tomorrow so stay tuned for that. (I wouldn’t want anyone thinking this was a ladies only website).

    It’s a very big week here so stop back each day. There is a lot happening!

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    Mr Right and other Mongrels launches May 30 or this Wednesday


    Mr Right and Other Mongrels

    So the official cyber launch date for Mr Right and Other Mongrels is this Wednesday 30 May.

    It will be up on Amazon then. And I will update with the link then.

    Other outlets will follow later in the week but I will keep you updated on that as the week and my technological skills progress.

    After so many years and so much effort to get to this point it is a wonderful feeling.





    Renee Brown
    5/26/2012 10:17:32 pm


    kathryn reilly
    5/27/2012 09:34:57 pm

    So very happy for you. looking forward to the movie rights

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    WOW! I really can’t believe it is Friday already. This week absolutely flew by.

    A huge thank you to the lovely Juliet Madison who featured me on her blog this week as part of Mouthwatering May. Please check out the excerpt from Mr Right and Other Mongrels there if you haven’t already. Also please take a look at her terrific blog and some of the wonderful authors she has featured there.

    On Wednesday I took my lovely daughter into a writing workshop run in conjunction with the Sydney Writers’ Festival. It was a wonderful workshop and she adored it. It was run by the wonderful Deborah Abela who writes terrific books for children. There were a couple of other similar workshops in the series and if you have a primary school aged child I really recommend having a look at next year’s program and signing your child up if they love to write.

    Meanwhile I am doing the final work on the book getting it ready for e-publication next week. Like any new thing you take on it’s both exciting and a little terrifying but that’s good. A little bit of fear is a good thing in life. I’m really not one of life’s perfectionists (think of me as a big picture girl not details) so this is an exercise in discipline for me. I don’t like shoddy work but I just do better in broad brushstrokes.

    At a talk last week a couple of authors were talking about how they hated the blank page but loved the editing and fine-tuning process. My friend Pam and I both said “Monique, you are totally the opposite!”

    Anyway so far I’m on schedule to have the book ready next week so stay tuned for a final release date!

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    Read an excerpt from Mr Right and Other Mongrels on Juliet Madison’s blog


    Today I am being featured on the lovely Juliet Madison’s blog.

    Juliet is running a series called Mouthwatering May so the piece I chose of course features Allegra and Teddy (my main characters) making dinner.

    I hope you like it. Please visit Juliet’s site and have a read and also look at some of the other authors whose work she has featured.



    5/21/2012 09:07:26 am

    I love the reference re: homemade sauce made from homegrown organic tomatoes. A nod to the frugals perhaps?

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    Q&A with author Edwina Shaw


    Here is a Q&A I did with gorgeous Brisbane writer Edwina Shaw. Her book Thrill Seekers is available in selected book shops.

    Edwina Shaw Headshot
    1. What was the inspiration for your novel?

    Most of the stories in Thrill Seekers had been sitting in my head for over twenty years, aching to be told. I wanted to bear witness to the life of my brother Matthew who killed
    himself at the age of twenty to escape the pain of schizophrenia.

    2. When did you take up writing?

    I started writing full time in 2002, when I wrote my first full length novel manuscript – now firmly buried in the bottom drawer. I also wrote a few short stories and took as many courses as I could on
    the craft of creative writing.

    3. How important is setting/place in your writing?

    Thrill Seekers is set in Brisbane on the banks of Oxley Creek and on the Brisbane River. The river plays a big part,
    not only in the action of the story, but symbolically too. It wends its way through the story, just as the real river winds its way through Brisbane. My second novel is set in Cambodia and its wild and dirty streets are central to the story. The sugar cane fields, mountains, rivers and jungles of far north QLD play a big part in my current project. So yes – setting is important to my

    4. Do you have a favourite character (s) in your current novel?

    In Thrill Seekers I am fondest of Douggie, the character based on my brother. I hope that I’ve captured Matty’s sensitivity, love of life and incredible courage.

    My favourite character in my current project is Silver, a charismatic, aging artist.

    5. What’s the best piece of writing advice you were ever given?

    Persistence is the Key. The quote below from Calvin Coolidge is the truth. I’ve seen better writers than
    me come and go. NEVER GIVE UP!

    “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is
    full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” Calvin Coolidge.

    6. Do you have a schedule for writing?

    I try to write in the mornings after I’ve done the morning chores and seen my children off to school. When writing creatively I need absolute quiet and to know that I won’t be interrupted so I stick to school hours mostly. Night times and early mornings don’t work for me. Sleep is too important.

    7. Are you a plotter or someone who tends to wing it?

    With Thrill Seekers I was totally winging it. It began as a collection of linked short stories that, only quite late in the piece, I realised were joining up to create something more. My other novel manuscripts have started with a plot outline but have changed dramatically in the writing.

    8. Can you name three of four of your current favourite books?

    Animal People by Charlotte Wood. The Spare Room by Helen Garner. A Better Woman by Susan Johnson.

    9. Can you tell me a little bit about what you are working on now?

    At the moment I’m reworking a novel set among the canefields of far north QLD in 1969, “Into The Fire”.
    I wrote the first draft in 2010, made a complete mess with the second draft in early 2011, and have come back to it now after a year, much better able to see how it can be rescued.

    10. What advice would you give to a fledgling writer to assist them on their journey?

    Write. Just write. Write as much as you can, as often as you can. Don’t stop to edit and tear your work apart. Keep writing till you’ve finished what you set out to achieve.

    Read a lot of good quality literature in a variety of genres.

    Join a writers group of like’-minded people also on the writing path and critique each other’s work. Do as many courses as you can that teach about craft.

    And finally – WRITING IS REWRITING!

    Thrill Seekers by Edwina Shaw is available below:


    Thrill Seeker - Edwina Shaw - Cover

    Pamela Cook
    5/21/2012 01:43:55 pm

    Thanks for sharing Edwina and Monique. I love reading about other writers habits and experiences. Very inspiring!
    5/21/2012 01:59:40 pm

    Thanks Pam!

    5/21/2012 02:58:14 pm

    Yes – so inspiring! Go Ed!