• Blog

    It’s launch day for Boardwalk Bound

    It’s launch day today for Boardwalk Bound, The Carmichaels of Cinnamon Bay Book 5

    Hey guys, I’m super excited about the launch of Boardwalk Bound today! It’s been a year 2020 but India, Rose and Finn, have bee my companions throughout the year helping me through it. Their love story has been a sweet, bright spot for me and I hope it is for you too! If you haven’t read the other Carmichael books  – click here to find out more. Book 1, Boardwalk bound is free!

    Boardwalk Bound is Live Boardwalk Bound

    What happens when your greatest ally turns out to be a perfect stranger?

    Welcome back to Cinnamon Bay, where the neighbors know your business and one sip of the Cafe Amour can make you fall in love. If you believe in that kind of thing.

    Award winning actress India Rose Carmichael hasn’t been back to Cinnamon Bay for more than a day in years. When she should be celebrating the peak of her career, she’s wondering how she landed herself with a cheating ex—who was also her manager! Looking to escape Hollywood, she turns to the director of the Cinnamon Bay Film festival, who she’s been corresponding with for a few years, and offers him a deal: hide her away for two weeks, from the media and her erstwhile family, and she’ll help promote the festival to bring in tourists and money.

    Finn Jameson should have said no to India Rose, but the high school vice-principal, and part-time film festival director, knew she must be desperate if she’s looking to him for help. What he forgot to factor in was that having one of the world’s most beautiful women in his home would prove more than a little tempting, especially when she’s also sweet vulnerable and very much alone. When the world and her estranged family find out India Rose is in Cinnamon Bay their relationship goes from friendship to fake romance and the lines between dreams and reality become blurred.

    Everyone has an opinion on what should happen between them, if only they all agreed. Can a small-town guy and a big time actress find a way to build a love that will last?

    Fans of Brenda Novak, Nora Roberts, and Robyn Carr will fall head over heels for this delightful beachy romance.

    Delve into a new world of romance, mystery, and magic in the quirky coastal town of Cinnamon Bay, North Carolina.

    Start reading BOARDWALK BOUND by USA Today bestselling author Monique McDonell today!

    ➜ Amazon



    ➜ Barnes and Noble

    Other Cinnamon Bay Series Titles By Monique McDonell:

    Playing Doctor
    ➜ Draft2digital
    ➜ Amazon

    A Christmas Arrangement
    ➜ Draft2Digital
    ➜ Amazon

    The Carmichael Series

  • Blog

    Books I’d like to read in 2020 and why.

    Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge

    Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge

    I know I’m late but I’m no quitter and especially not in week 2!

    This post is supposed to be about what books I’m looking forward to reading in 2020 and you want to know something weird – I don’t even know.

    This seems like a strange thing for a person who reads over 200 books a year but it happens to be true.  I think part of that is because I read what appeals to me when I find it. I’m on the mailing lists for loads of authors I love and when I see they have a new book out I am all over it. If I love your books I download them on release day and if I find a new author I love I literally read every one of their books.

    I have authors who, in 2019, I read fifteen or more books of theirs because I “discovered” them. I’m what writers call a whale reader. We’re the big fish everyone wants to catch. If those authors whose names I probably don’t even know – seriously I’m the worst – put a book out I will buy it.

    I saw Lucy Score has a new book out soon. I will buy that. Kristan Higgins has a new book out mid-year, yes I will but that as well. I’ve read Whitney Dineen’s newest series recently, I’ll get book three when it comes out. I read everything Jill Shalvis and Susan Mallery publish even though I prefer their older series to the new. That’s about all I can remember of the top of my head.

    Maybe that’s because I have so many friends who are authors and I buy all their books and maybe it’s because I’m on every known email about new books and my inbox is bombarded daily with new releases and I just but the shiny thing that catches my eye, who knows.

    What I can tell you is I look forward to voraciously reading my way through 2020. I hope I discover lots of new series to devour and I hope some of those are unknown authors who crack the big time. I hope some of my favourite authors create new worlds I can delve into. I hope my chicklit friends write funny books that make me laugh and I hope my romance friends write me some swoon-worthy heroes.

  • Blog

    Read a Romance – the romance of food


    The Romance of Food
    Pie FaceIs it just me or do so many of the great moments of life take place over a meal? Food weaves it’s way in and out of so many of our memories. The special birthday cake, the traditional holiday foods or even that catastrophic meal you made for a date are all part of our memories.

    I think it is the same for fictional characters, just as food brings us together in real life I think the same is true in books.

    I’ve noticed my fictional characters like to drink a lot of wine, meet a friend and download over a coffee or plan the perfect date or treat for someone they have their eye on. That’s pretty much how my friends in real life are too. I think it is realistic. Let’s face it food is a big part of our day and who we share it with defines us.

    Who we eat with and what we eat also tells us a lot about a character eating Chinese food alone is very different for one going for dim sum with a new boyfriend, fried chicken at a picnic is different to eating a two-piece feed of KFC on your way between jobs.

    I love books where food is almost a character in the story. I still remember reading Like Water for Chocolate when it was released and how the mood of the characters cooking the food affected the taste. It was so beautiful and so moving.

    I’m a keen cook in real life and I can always taste in the meal the amount of love and care I’ve put into it. You can taste the love in cooking, it’s a fact.

    In my latest series – The Upper Crust Series- the focus is on three friends all have some involvement in a chain of food trucks that make Australian style pies. (I as inspired by the Pie Face franchise, you may have seen in the US which began in Australia.) Day in day out they’re involved in the making and selling of the pies. Obviously food is what brings these girls together and it also makes them hyper-aware of the food they eat on dates and at parties. They’re all about the food and it certainly helps them to find love surrounded by the scents of warm fruit and pastry.

    1. Tell us about a magical moment you remember that had a food element to it.
    The year my husband and I got married we went to Europe. It was a shoe-string budget trip and so we at a lot of pasta, pizza and croissants. One night we were in Assisi and we went in to a tiny hole in the wall restaurant not expecting much. In one half of the restaurant the family sat watching I Dream of Genie on the television with Italian subtitles.

    There was no menu and there were no prices. A woman came and told us our choices and I chose fettucinni with a truffle sauce. At the next table were an older American couple and they were finishing up but they had half a plate green beans left and they insisted we take them “These are the best beans we’ve ever eaten. This is the best meal we’ve ever had. Please take them. We’re so full but we can’t throw them out.”

    We took the beans and ate them. They were amazing. My pasta was the best I’ve ever eaten. It was a strange and wonderful evening. And 20 years later we talk still remember it.

    2. You are stranded on a magical desert island for a year. You can only eat one meal every day for that year. You can have as much as you want of that meal, but that’s the only thing you get to eat. What do you choose?
    That is a hard question. I strongly suspect if left to my own devices I would probably live on homemade popcorn and red wine. (Best I don’t live alone for a while). It’s hot on the island I guess so I’m going to start with coconut shrimp, I’ll have butter chicken and rice for my main and a cheese plate for dessert. And the red wine. If I get a snack I’ll have Smiths Salt and Vinegar Chips…they’re my crack!

    3. What is your favorite restaurant in the world? Why?
    In the world? That’s a big question. I live in Sydney, Australia and there are a lot of fine restaurants here. I’m going to have to choose one by the water and it will have to serve seafood I think.
    I’m a firm believer that best restaurant in the world won’t be amazing if the company is bad. I’m going to choose the Manly Wharf Hotel (and do my bit for Sydney tourism). This hotel/bar/restaurant features in my first novel Mr Right and Other Mongrels. It is right where you step off the Manly Ferry from Sydney. It’s a popular place to meet friends for a drink, to take a seat if you are a tourist or to enjoy a quiet ale. On weekend nights it’s a place to hand out and maybe meet someone new.

    It brings together lots of elements I love in a restaurant. The food is okay but if you want have a long lunch with friends or get to know someone while the water laps the pier and people kayak of paddle-board past then you couldn’t pick a better place.
    Manly Wharf - Wharf Bar
    Outdoor dining at The Manly Wharf Hotel