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  • Blog

    A Musical Monday year in review

    12/30/2018

    Musical Monday

    2019 a year in review

    I tried to think of a song to sum up the year and it’s hard to go beyond Seasons of Love from RENT. (Also when is RENT coming back to the stage in Australia it was awesome?) After all, kind of like me the song measures the year in love and cups of coffee.

    This year has been a really mixed one for me in terms of both life and writing. It hasn’t been catastrophic, and I am well aware I lead a very fortunate life, but just like everyone some years are harder than others and this one has been a bit of a slog.

    Let’s start with the not so great writing-wise. I had some plans for some collaborative projects that I was excited by this time last year that fell through – one was a multi-author book and the other was a box set that got cancelled. I was excited by the prospect of not working alone so much, because being an indie author can be pretty lonely. In the end those projects falling through taught me a valuable lesson that I’m often better off on my own working at my own pace.

    I had a target to release a certain number of books in 2018 and I didn’t reach it. In fact I only released three books in 2018 under my name and two under a pen name. That was disappointing and the result of a tough day job that left me no time for anything creative at the end of the day. To be honest i felt out of sorts and like I was swimming through mud from about February onwards.

    So when I think about my writing goals for 2019 I think of this song.

    So moving on what went well? No one wants to dwell on the negative.

    I released the Something to Sing About, from the Jewel Sisters Series just before New Year last year and yesterday I finished the third book in that series Something to Savor so it will be out in February and the final book Something Worth Saving will be out in March.

    I released two books in the new Courtside Romance Series in July and November with two more to come in early 2019.

    Courtside Romance Banner
    The highlight of the year was definitely the release of Any Way You Like It, the final Book in the Upper Crust series. I had a great time with the unicorn themed promotions and the book was really well received. Let’s be honest completing an 8 book series is no mean feat. I did a whole playlist for the book which was fun but this Ed Sheeran song most encapsulates Dave and Tasha’s story and the whole experience of writing the book for me.

    So 2018 was also a fantastic year for me in terms of new opportunities and professional development

    I was chosen to write a book for the No Brides Club Series for Sweet Promise Press which I’m super excited about. It did give me a collaborative experience which I had been looking for. I also joined a group of authors and we established the Coffee Talk on the Boardwalk Facebook group. We’re releasing a series in 2019 and we’ve had a lot of fun with readers naming elements of the town Cinnamon Bay where the stories will be set.

    In July I was in Washington DC for my day job and I hopped over to Denver to visit a friend and meet up with fellow authors attending the RWA (Romance Writers of America). I was able to meet up with the awesome authors who were present from the ChickLItChat Facebook Group for dinner and the next night I met with Melissa Storm the Publisher from Sweet Promise Press and some awesome sweet romance authors.

    In November I was in LAs Vegas for the 20Booksto50k writers conference and I met lots of amazing and inspiring indie authors there. I made some great connections with people I plan to work with and collaborate with moving forward as well as gaining lots of knowledge on how to better market my books – now I just need to implement it all. Finally in December Laura Chapman, a fellow chicklit author was in town and we spent a glorious day talking all things books.
    ‚Äč
    And I just worked out I read in excess of 200 books in 2018 – okay even I’m blown away by that!

    So what lies ahead for 2019?

    You may not know this about me but I do love a plan. I don’t always stick to my plan but I do like to start out with one. My plan for 2019 is to release a book a month between now and September. The books include for starters a Valentine Novella, No Time For Temptation for the No Brides Club – out January 25th! The last two Jewel Sisters and Courtside Romance novels will be next and then my Cinnamon Bay novel for the Coffee Talk on the Boardwalk series.

    I’m really excited about the year ahead. I’ve quite my day job and will be looking at new things work wise in 2019. Hopefully I’ll have a little more balance and creative energy.

    I’m keen to explore dictating my books so that I can walk and write – You can’t write a book a month, work, run a family and exercise any other way – or I can’t anyway.

    I’m looking to aim high in 2019. What are your plans? Goals? Aspirations?

    We started with a show tune so I figured we’d go out with one. Happy New Year. Thanks for reading and best wishes for a fabulous 2019.

     

  • Blog

    Release Week for Any Way You Like It – releasing a book never gets old

    4/17/2018

    Upper Crust Series Floral Banner - Original Covers
    Happy Release Week to me
    This week sees the release of Any Way You Like It the final book in the Upper Crust Series.

    I worked out yesterday that I’d been working on the series since 2014, that’s quite a long time to spend writing a series you never planned to write. I’m pleased to say that I’ve enjoyed writing each and every one of these stories. There is definitely a bittersweet quality to finishing up but I think that it’s time.

    Dave has popped up in most of the books since Any Way You Dream It so it’s fitting that his story helps us close it out.

    If you want a shot at winning some cool unicorn merchandise as unicorns feature in the novel just a bit you should stop by my Facebook page an enter my release week competition.

    It’s important to celebrate a new release and I know lots of my readers have fallen in love with the characters in the Upper Crust Series almost as much as I have, Thank you to those of you who have kept me company on this fun journey.
    Unicorn Box

    Any Way You Like It - Upper Crust Series - Monique McDonell - Original CoverAny Way You Like It, An Upper Crust Novel

    The first time Dave saw Tasha again he thought he’d imagined her, the second time he wished he had. Years ago she’d broken his heart and never looked back, leaving him stuck in his hometown because of a long held promise to his late sister.

    Tasha was back because she needed a place to hide. It was no coincidence she’d picked the only place she’d ever been happy. She hadn’t expected Dave would to be happy to see her, or that he’d still be single. She was wrong on both counts. Still when she needed a safe place to stay and when he offered her one and she couldn’t bring herself to refuse.

    The town Dave was itching to escape seemed idyllic to Tasha but she hadn’t wanted to belong before – could she convince him that this time everything was different?

    Will their past be a foundation for a new beginning or the very thing that keeps them apart?

    If you’ve ever wanted a second chance at first love Any Way You Like It is for you. Buy it here today.

  • Blog

    Competition – Me and My Pie – a chance to win an Amazon GC

    11/25/2014

    NaNoWriMo Participant 2014 BadgeIt’s Wednesday. Did you know that? Somehow I missed the start of the week and bam, here I am.

    One reason is I finished (won as they say) #NaNoWriMo on Monday. 24 days, 50,000 words no wonder some things slipped, like blogging. Oh well, we’re back on track now.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all those who celebrate. I do because even though I am Australian, i like the idea of sitting with family and being grateful. There’s not enough gratitude in the world. I’m certainly not thankful enough in my day to day life so any opportunity to be thankful I embrace. It’s a good reminder – and there is pie.

    This week two of my books are 99c. Any Way You Like it which features plenty of pies and Alphabet Dating which features two Thanksgivings.

    For details visit my Amazon Author Page

    COMPETITION – ME AND MY PIE
    And I’m running a competition this week. Take a photo of you and your Thanksgiving pie(s) and share here or on Facebook to go in the running to win a $20 Amazon GC. (I’ll do a random draw among the entrants).

    I’ll upload my own pie photos when I’ve made my pies.