• Blog

    #ChickLitMay Book Boyfriend Blog Hop Winner


    Title of CLC HQ’s Book Boyfriend 2017 goes to Arlen Black fromQueen of the Universe. Congrats to Arlen’s creator, Geralyn Corcillo! The winner of our Grand Prize is Kathy Davis.
    Congrats to both of them! Keep an eye on my blog for more upcoming blog hops and other events!

  • Blog

    #ChickLitMay Book Boyfriend Blog Hop


    ChickLitMay Book Boyfriend BLog Hop 2017
    Any Way You Want It - Upper Crust Series - Monique McDonell - Original CoverMy name is Moose well not really but all friends call me Moose and I can see we’re going to be friends. Everyone calls me Moose because I’m from Maine and I’m a big (my mother uses the term strapping) guy with a an exuberant personality.

    It’s possible I have more than a touch of ADHD but don’t hold that against me because that just means I have a lot of energy and I don’t sleep much. I spend the hours other people spend sleeping working out (I’m told the ladies like a man with a six pack) and thinking of ways to make the people in my life happy. I’m full of ideas and I love to execute them, I’m actually a pretty smart guy.

    I grew up in a ski resort and I work for my parent’s in their chain of hotels. I’m an only child which has just taught me how to get on well with others, make friends and make them smile.

    I love women. Not in a creepy way. I think they’re beautiful, amazing creatures. They say interesting things, they smell divine and like me, they love to dance. So if you like dancing I’m your guy.

    Really, what I’m looking for is one special girl and I think I’ve spotted one, her name is Chloe and she runs an ice-cream parlour. I’m a businessman and think what she needs to grow her business is a really awesome coffee machine so I just went and bought her one of those crazy expensive brass ones. Is that too much?

    That’s who I am though. I’m all in. I think that’s a good quality, I hope she does.

    What makes me a good book boyfriend (this is the shameless plug for myself) – I’m all in, I like to dance, I’m in very good shape, I’m kind of loaded but I must tell you I’m really looking for someone that doesn’t matter too and I go out of my way to make the lady in my life feel special. (Oh yeah and is this is a pageant of some sort I feel obligated to say “I want World Peace. You can add watching rom coms to my list of qualities.)

    HOW TO VOTE: If you want to vote for Moose to win the Book Boyfriend Blog Hop:
    Email Tracie at traciebanister@gmail.com and say I VOTE FOR MOOSE in the subject line (I really want to win I’m kind of competitive, and I really want you to win too). By doing that you are entered to win the grand prize!!!!

    P.S – Monique who runs this awesome website (a great person by the way) wanted to share a photo of me but I said no. Not because I’m shy, but because I like a woman with a good imagination. I’m pretty sure you’re imagining me right now.

    Buy Any Way You Want It

    Book Boyfriend Blog Hop Giveaway Promo
    Tracie Banister
    Becky Monson  
    Hilary Grossman
    Glynis Astie
    Jayne Denker 
    Jennie Marts 
    Barbara Valentin
    Beth Labonte 
    Victoria Cooke 
     Holly Kerr
    Meredith Schorr
    Stacey Wiedower
    Laurie Baxter
    Jennifer Farwell 
    Natalina Reis 
    Celia Kennedy
    Beth Carter
    Ellyn Oaksmith 
    BJ Knapp
    Lizzie Lamb  
    Sylvia Ashby
    Karen M. Cox 
    Lindsay Detwiler
    Kirsty McManus 
    Melissa Baldwin 
    Geralyn Corcillo 
    Cassandra O’Leary 
    Cat Lavoie
    Kate O’Keeffe 
    Monique McDonell 



    Geralyn Corcillo
    5/14/2017 11:37:39 am

    I love Moose! I adore every one of the guys in The Upper Crust Series! For a wonderful supply of yummy book boyfriends, Monique McDonell does NOT disappoint!

    Cat Lavoie
    5/14/2017 06:44:35 pm

    Loves to dance? I’m sold! Vote for Moose! 🙂

    5/15/2017 01:00:49 am

    Who can resist a dancer 😉

    5/15/2017 03:44:54 am

    A dancer with a six-pack. What’s not to love? 🙂

    Meredith Schorr
    5/15/2017 09:17:54 am

    I love this guy. He’s confident without being overly cocky. And he can dance 🙂

    5/15/2017 12:50:55 pm

    I love Moose💖🍵🍧💖

    Karen M Cox
    5/15/2017 01:40:53 pm

    Moose *raises hand* Um – I like to dance 🙂

    Jennifer Farwell
    5/15/2017 06:15:51 pm

    Watches rom coms and has a six-pack? Hi, Moose!

    Beth Carter
    5/16/2017 08:11:46 am

    I love the name Moose!!! He sounds like a sweet guy.
    Monique McDonell
    5/16/2017 03:23:17 pm

    Thanks everyone, Moose wants you to know he appreciates all the positive feedback. He’s dancing with happiness right now, in between sit ups.

    Ann Attwood
    5/17/2017 05:14:17 am

    I love Moose

    Clarissa boggs
    5/17/2017 05:21:01 am

    Voted for Moose, good luck
    Monique McDonell
    5/18/2017 01:08:15 am

    Thanks everyone. Moose and I appreciate it!!

  • Blog

    #ChickLitScavengerHunt – O is for Oprah


    #ChickLitMay AtoZ Scavenger Hunt Promo
    O is for OPRAH
    O MagazinesI got the letter O in the #ChickLitMay scavenger hunt and w hat I know for sure is that Oprah is the ultimate chicklit heroine.

    Chicklit books to me are the stories of women working towards their dreams with a sense of humour. Women grappling with careers, with friends and with romantic entanglements. Chicklit heroines have highs and lows, ups and downs and lots of laughs along the way. They’re women with hobbies and passions who are looking for love and meaning in life but they’re finding their own way. Does that sounds like Oprah to you?

    Oprah did not start her life with a perfect family in a perfect house waiting for Mr Perfect to rescue her. No she did not. She got out there and worked her butt off. That’s part of what makes her so successful, she’s relatable.

    So much of her life is documented because like many a chicklit heroine she’s an over-sharer. We all know she moved to Chicago to pursue her dream career in television and that’s where she met her BFF’s Gayle and Maria Shriver. (We know she went to Maria’s house and like many a book character had family-envy.) For all those women in that circle of friends careers and men have risen and fallen but the core of their friendship has kept them strong. We’ve watched them celebrate each other’s milestones and laugh themselves stupid on national television as well.

    One of the things I love about chicklit books is that the characters often have their own language and shorthand for how they communicate and Oprah is the queen of that. Aha moments, full circle moments, what I know for sure are all Oprahisms.

    We’ve watched Oprah struggle for years with her weight (just like Bridget Jones with whom there are many Oprah parallels. Bridget had her own language too v. happy or v.anything really is a good example.) We could see Oprah believing if she just hit that goal life would fall in to place only to realize that wasn’t the answer.

    There’s a criticism by some that chicklit can be vapid (shoes and handbags anyone?) but the truth is in the Oprah era and the chicklit era for the first time women have found themselves making their own money and their own decisions about how they spend it. If that means one nice pair of Jimmy Choos or in Oprah’s case four houses each with a colour-coded temperature controlled walk-in robe then bring it on. It’s okay for women in books and in life to want pretty things and to celebrate their milestones by getting them.

    Of course that’s not all that the chicklit heroine or Oprah are about. They want to find their bliss. Whether through family, friendship or pursuing a dream. The journey is the fascinating part.

    How do I know so much about Oprah’s journey? I possibly may have read every O Magazine ever written.

    You know something else Oprah loved to do? Give away her favourite things and what do authors love more than anything? Books. So the authors participating in this Scavenger Hunt are giving you the chance to win a Kindle Paperwhite and a $100 Amazon Giftcard to load it up with books.

    Scavenger Hunt Giveaway Promo
    Want to win a Kindle Paperwhite + a $100 Amazon gift card? Visit each of the 26 stops on the #ChickLitMay A to Z Scavenger Hunt and collect the alphabet word at each stop (A, B, C, D, etc.), then submit the A-Z list of words via e-mail to traciebanister@gmail.com with the subject “A to Z Scavenger Hunt Entry.” Entries will be accepted until Sunday, May 22nd at midnight E.D.T. A winner will be chosen on Monday, May 23rd. Good luck!
    The next stop on the Scavenger Hunt – the letter P – is here. https://whitneydineen.com/2016/05/15/chick-lit-scavenger-hunt/
    If you’d like to start back at the beginning of the Scavenger Hunt (the letter A), go here. http://katieoliver.com/ko/2016/05/chick-lit-a-to-z-scavenger-hunt/

    Good luck!! I hope you win big.

    My personal connection to Oprah and chicklit
    Mr Right and Other Mongrels
    One last thing – my very first novel Mr Right and Other Mongrels features a landscape gardener with an Australian TV show who gets called up to have his own big US Show. I modeled the character on an Australian TV personality called Jamie Durie and the question I asked while writing was “What if Jamie got chosen to be on Oprah?”

    And then that ACTUALLY HAPPENED while I was finalising my book. Jamie got called up and was sitting there on the Oprah stage doing designs with cute Nate Berkus.

    Crazy right?

    If you’d like to read the full version you can get Mr Right and Other Mongrels here and it’s on sale for #ChickLitMay getBook.at/MrRightandOtherMongrels











    Tracy Krimmer
    5/16/2016 10:57:49 am

    What a fun word for O 🙂

    Wanda Tracey
    5/22/2016 09:48:14 am

    Thank you. Oprah is a good word in this fun scavenger hunt.

  • Blog

    #ChickLitMay and new releases


    Any Way You Dream It - Upper Crust Series - Monique McDonell - Original CoverIt’s been busy here on the blog with #ChickLitMay. I feel like I haven’t done much updating on the writing or my books. If you get my newsletter you know that Any Way You Dream It is out on May 26th and is already available for pre-order.

    What’s pre-order? That means you buy it in advance and it magically appears on your reading device on release day.

    You might want to try it. Here is the blurb.

    Any Way You Dream It – An Upper Crust Novel – Book 2.

    Sometimes when life throws you lemons, you create a fake fiancé. That’s exactly what Lucy does when her high school nemesis calls. She didn’t mean to lie. Really, she didn’t. But with nowhere to live and a car that has just decided to die on her, the thought of attending the reunion alone is one she can’t contemplate.

    Cherie thinks arrogant, wealthy and way too handsome Chase is the answer to her friend’s dilemma and for reasons Lucy can’t fathom, Chase agrees. The man is too good to be true – he fixes her car, takes her to stay at his place – more castle than house – and seems to find her fascinating.

    Life hasn’t been easy for Lucy and she has a hard time accepting anyone would believe Chase would be with her. Still, he turns out to be the perfect choice and in the month leading up to the reunion makes himself an indispensable part of her life, which may be the biggest problem of all.

    Lucy knows life is not a fairy tale – she’s living above her place of work, her sister has run off leaving her with three kids and, when the weekend reunion begins, she has to go back to a town where her greatest humiliations took place.

    Will her ‘romance’ with Chase be turn out to be the answer to her dreams or will the whole sham turn into just another nightmare?
    I need to let you know the winner of the #MIssChickLIt pageant give away was….drum roll… Ariel Deltoro .It was her entry on Rachel L. Hamm’s site that got her the win. Just goes to show that multiple entries is the way to go!

    Don’t forget to enter to win 19 #chicklit books….on yesterday’s blog post.

  • Blog

    Find Your Next Chick Lit Read / #ChickLitMay Giveaway!


    May is International Chick Lit Month. Let’s be honest—it’s the best month of the year! Every year, chick lit readers and writers get together to celebrate, share, discuss and gush about their favorite book genre. Not familiar with chick lit or Chick Lit Month?

    Visit internationalchicklitmonth.com for more information.

    This year marks the fifth anniversary of ICLM. To celebrate, a bunch of enthusiastic authors got together and made an infographic to help readers find their next chick lit read. We’re giving away 19 ebooks to 19 lucky readers. Just enter to win the books you’d like to read! To enter, comment on the blog post below, listing which books from the graphic you’d like to read and WHY you would like to read them. (Make sure to include your email address so we can contact you.) Entrants can only enter once per blog, but can check out other blogs with this same post and comment there for extra entries! All those links are down below. Entries close on midnight Friday, May 22 (Pacific Daylight Time), and winners will be contacted directly on May 31. Good luck everyone—and happy reading! 😀 (Even if you missed this giveaway, feel free to share this graphic on your blog and spread the chick lit love!)


    Deeper Themes

    * * *

    A Little Magic

    * * *

    Laughs Guaranteed

    * * *

    Light & Bright

    * * *

    On Distant Shores

    * * *

    Enter one more time at these great chick lit blogs!

    MAKE SURE TO LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS WHEN YOU ENTER. (If you’d rather not leave your address, just drop me a line via the contact page.)

    Find the authors and books here, and enter again!


  • Blog

    What’s on page 45? #ChicklitMay Tuesday


    What's on Page 45? Promo
    Alphabet Dating - Monique McDonell - 2015 CoverAlphabet Dating
    What’s on page 45 of Alphabet Dating?

    First of all you need to know a little bit about Alphabet Dating – in this novel poor Serena’s closest friends decide she needs to be dating again so on a girl’s weekend away they spring on her the crazy idea that she go on twenty six dates in twenty six days, all of them set up by her friends. Oh yes and that means one for every letter of the alphabet.

    Can you imagine?

    On page 45 Serena has given up trying to wriggle out of the hair-brained scheme and the day before had a date with the letter B – Ben. And Ben had taken her for an afternoon of bowling and not been such a dud date after all. She’d also spent the evening being taught the guitar by her friend Harvey, who also happens to be a trust fund baby and literary wunderkind.

    And he’s given her lots to think about. Just the night before, when he’d gone off clubbing with a posse of supermodels he’d reminded her that sometimes you needed to try out different things to see which ones you liked. Something she hadn’t done much of since her fiance died a few years earlier.

    So now she has a work deadline and a whole lot going on in her pretty little head. And what sort of work doe she do? She’s a book reviewer for one of New York’s top newspapers. It’s hard being a book reviewer like that when you don’t want to leave any bad reviews.

    Alphabet Dating is available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CMHEVXG

    “It’s a tremendous thing to write a novel. What commitment and courage it takes” Serena, Alphabet Dating pg 45


    David Tennant
    David Tennant, the inspiration for Harvey in Alphabet Dating.

    The problem is Serena doesn’t like the book she has o review today and with her head swimming with yesterday’s dates and tonight’s – hello C for Christopher – poor Serena is struggling to focus.

    And she when she has guys like this to think about so who can blame her?

    As much as anything though she can’t help but wonder how she ended up in such an absurd position and if she’ll ever feel like she has it together again.

    ( I really love Serena and I hope you do too – this was a fun book to write. First dates are excellent fodder.)





    A one-pound package of caramels from Whitney’s Goodies http://whitneysgoodies.com/ Winner can choose their flavor from those listed below.

    This giveaway is open to residents of the USA only. ( SORRY TO MY MANY AUSTRALIAN FRIENDS.)

    The Girl Next Door (Crème Caramels): A scrumptious, full-bodied caramel. Old fashioned, melt-in-your-mouth bliss!
    The Charmer (Chocolate Crème Caramels): This smooth, chocolate cream caramel will add panache to your day. An exquisite and elegant morsel, simply irresistible.
    The Movie Star (Orange Crème Caramels): A timeless treat that will satisfy caramel fans of all ages. “The stuff that dreams are made of!”
    The Bombshell (Lemon Crème Caramels): A bodacious bit of heaven with a bold citrus pallet. They will leave you satisfied and refreshed. Caramels are a girl’s best friend!
    Always a Lady (Rose Caramels): A delicate bouquet of rose essence infuses this lovely caramel: alluring, tantalizing and reminiscent of another era. They are perfect for weddings and bridal showers. A definite for ladies who lunch or breakfast at Tiffany’s.


    To enter, answer the following question in the comments section below.

    “In 4 or 5 words, why do you think Alphabet Dating would be a good read?”

    Entrants must leave their full name, along with an e-mail address (Make sure you underline, bold, and highlight this as we must have a way to contact the winner!) A winner will be chosen via Random.org on Tuesday, May 19th.




    Pippa Franks
    5/11/2015 10:48:21 pm

    Cool post Monique 🙂 x

    Celia Kennedy
    5/12/2015 01:16:58 am

    Bittersweet, exhausting, exhilarating, metamorphosis, content. Five words that come to mind about this book. Sounds really, really, fun. Looking forward to reading it!

    Georgina Troy
    5/12/2015 03:22:35 am

    I’ve got your book waiting to be read on my Kindle and can’t wait to have some free time – post deadline – to enjoy it.

    5/12/2015 06:42:38 am

    Love that cover 🙂

    Tracy Krimmer
    5/12/2015 09:42:37 pm

    Serena sure knows about writing books 🙂

  • Blog

    For #ChickLitMay a character Interview with Dorsey Bing from The Divorced Not Dead Workshop by CeCe Osgood.


    The Divorced Not Dead Workshop - CoverToday for ChickLit Month we have a character Interview with Dorsey Bing from THE DIVORCED NOT DEAD WORKSHOP by CeCe Osgood

    1.Describe yourself.

    Body wise, I’m five-sixish with butterscotch hair and I’m a tad overweight at the moment. Too much stress eating after getting dumped, which I’m not talking about, well, not much. Mentally, I’m on a quest to get my, um, crap, together, which includes trying to put together a workshop to “desuckify” guys.

    2. Do you have any pets?

    Right now, I’ve got one bossy cat I rescued who counts me as his minion. When I lived in San Antonio, Spotty McSpotty, my neighbors’ Dalmatian used to come over to my house and keep me company after I had a car accident. We’d watch movies together. His favorite was 101 Dalmatians, of course. Mine was, um, is Bridget Jones’s Diary.

    3. What was high school like for you?

    Well, I wasn’t popular or a prep or a jock or a cheerleader. More of a geek and a loner I guess. I liked history and literature and my mother got me interested in psychology. I did help out with a few musicals for theater class, mainly dancing in the chorus line.

    4. What was your first job?

    Caring for tomato and pepper plants for Mrs. Chapa, an elderly neighbour we met when Mom and I first moved to L.A. She paid me to plant and water and weed her tomato and pepper plants since she couldn’t bend because of bad knees. She paid me three dollars a week, if the plants lived and grew. During a heat wave one week, I lost quite a few and my mom made me return two bucks to her.

    5. What are your flaws and your strengths?

    I have too many flaws to count. Seriously. I can over react to things and say stuff I should keep to myself. Sometimes I’m a candy-ass people pleaser, and boy does that get me in trouble. I jump to conclusions when I should take a few deep breaths and cool off. As for strengths, I’m an idea person. I get them all the time. I’m glad I do. The problem is I have zero follow through. I don’t take action and then my ideas drift away. I’m learning how not to do that now. I learning how not diminish my idea so I don’t have any energy left to go forward with it.

    6. What scares you?

    Getting stuck in a rut scares me and I’m beginning to think I’m a commitment phobe, and why not since my love life had been so disastrous. I’m also really scared of being an idea person who never, ever acts on her ideas. That could be an epic fail, and a very sad life.

    7. Tell us about your love life.

    I believe there’s only one word to describe it at the moment: sucks.

    Right out of college I married Evan and thought it would last forever. It didn’t. And that experience kept me from getting seriously involved for five years with anyone else. Then I met Theo and It really seemed to me like we were ready to connect and take it to the next level, and then he walked out on me without a word. Arrgh. Men. They drive me crazy.

    8. Okay, well then how about this one. Have you ever broken the law?

    I’ve gotten four speeding tickets driving through Texas. In LA, I once rolled through a stop sign while looking at this beautiful Australian shepherd and a cop nailed me for a moving violation. My friend Pilar and I had a quarrel during a shopping trip and I ran after her, forgetting I hadn’t yet paid for the sweater I’d tried on. Security came after me and I was sure I’d be arrested. Luckily, I’d dropped my purse on the countertop during the quarrel and when I ran after Pilar so I told the cop. Then Pilar assured the shop’s owner that leaving my purse meant I was coming back to pay for the sweater. She can talk anyone into anything, that girl.

    9. She sounds like a great friend. How long have you known her?

    We met freshman year in college and have been buddies ever since. We shared classes in psychology and have gone through some tough times together, especially during my divorce and the birth of her son Todd. I think those tough times made us even closer.

    10. What the worst thing you’ve done while drunk?

    During my freshman year in college, Pilar and I drove to Rosarito Beach to spend spring break week in a condo with two other friends. The first day we had sangrias at breakfast and margaritas at lunch. Then we decided to order the diablo margaritas while we stretched out on beach towels under the blazing sun. When we woke up we were both crispy bright orange and howling in pain. For the rest of the week, we stayed in our darkened room, lathering aloe vera lotion on and listening to the party going on all around us.

    11.Do you cook? If so, what’s your favorite meal to make?

    I go for simple food for the most part. Tacos are easy, so is grilled cheese but for a special treat I’ll make shrimp curry. It’s not as good as the curry I’ve had in Thai and Indian restaurants, but it hits the spot, especially when I use coconut milk and lime.

    12. Who is your favorite villain on TV?

    That little twerp King Joffrey in Game of Thrones made me want to throttle him. Eli Gold in The Good Wife isn’t really a villain but I love his deviousness, and, of course, there’s Olivia Pope’s mother and father in Scandal…yikes what a marriage that must’ve been.

    13 .If an actress played you in a movie who would it be?

    Emma Stone. Those big eyes and that great throaty voice. My own voice pitches too high, so I’d love a deeper, sexier voice.

    14. Bellini or margarita?

    I love both, but I recently had a Bellini that won me over. Super-fantastic.

    15. Do you prefer boxers or briefs?

    Depends on the man but I gotta say boxers do turn me on.

    16. Swimming or volleyball?

    Swimming because I like the zone you get into if you’re in a lap pool.

    17. Who do you share your secrets with? Pilar and my other BFF, Mimi.

    We’re the three musketeers… without swords or candy bars.

    18. Are you ready to fall in love again?

    That’s a tricky question. I think I am. But until you’re out there in the world and being open to the vibes, well, you don’t know for sure. I’ve learned that even though you might say you want something, your actions tell the real story. Don’t you think?


    Divorced five years and recently dumped by Theo, Dorsey Bing brainstorms about a dating workshop for divorced people. Too bad she’s an idea person with zero follow-through. That changes when her pal, Pilar, sets up the workshop, puts herself in charge and gets Dorsey to be her “gofer.” Dorsey’s widowed stepfather Ralph, and his bride-to-be, Audrey, ask Dorsey to join their wedding cruise to Cabo, which will be held on the same weekend. Dorsey and Pilar nip that problem by holding the workshop during the cruise. But do things ever work out as planned. No. No, they don’t.

    Everything goes topsy-turvy with a startling mishap, rebellious workshop attendees and the arrival of Audrey’s good-looking but wily nephew Finn. More trouble comes with the unexpected re-appearance of Theo. Will Dorsey and Theo revive their relationship or will she discover Finn isn’t who she thinks he is? Facing failure and heartbreak, Dorsey must tackle her biggest challenge if she’s to win the love, and life, she’s always desired.




    CeCe OsgoodAbout CeCe Osgood

    CeCe Osgood lives in Texas after many years in LA working in the film industry. Her writing career includes magazine articles and screenplays as well as being a freelance script analyst (main client HBO). She also has had two screenplays optioned.

    Being a novelist has been her lifelong dream, and now it’s becoming her reality. Her debut novel, THE DIVORCED NOT DEAD WORKSHOP, a romantic comedy with a whopping side dish of chick lit aka lighthearted women’s fiction, is about dating after divorce. She loves red wine and hates pretzels. See more about her at http://www.ceceosgood.com


    5/6/2014 11:16:24 am

    I loved this book! So funny and insightful and I’ve used some of the dating tips from the “workshop.” Really a delight!

    Beverly Houston
    5/7/2014 02:39:14 am

    Okay, after reading this interview, I have got to read the book!
    Great writing!