• 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

    Musical Monday – songs about friendship


    Alphabet Dating CoverAlphabet Dating is available on Amazon.

    One of the things I like about chick lit as opposed to writing romance, which I also enjoy writing by the way, is that to my way of seeing things it’s more about the character’s whole life and not just about their romantic journey.

    In Alphabet Dating, for example Serena’s story is as much about her friends’ wanting to see her happy – hence setting her up on 26 dates in a month (OK they have a weird way of showing their love) as her quest to meet someone new. Really she isn’t interested in love, she goes on the dates to make her friends happy. To me it’s a book about friendship.

    So this Musical Monday I thought I would play you some songs about friendship.
    Lot’s of songs about friendship are kind of schmaltzy. That’s not really a problem for me because I love a bit of schmaltz. I love a song that brings a tear to my eye and really there are thousands of them (I’m the girl who cries at everything!)

    So here are a couple of friendship songs. Maybe they might make you phone or text a friend…yeah somehow I don’t think my blog has that kind of power either…but it’s a nice thought.

    Maybe Bruno Mars will inspire.
    This one is my all-time favourite! James Taylor baby!
    This one is the queen of schmaltz…but I love this because it reminds me of some old friends…(sniff, sniff!) And it does have Stevie Wonder so it must be a little bit cool right? Plus look how beautiful Gladys Knight is…and Elton still had that voice…

    Do you have a favourite friendship song? If so let me know what it is.

    This is my all time favourite….

  • Blog

    Taste of Tuesday – with Serena form Alphabet Dating


    Alphabet Dating CoverToday I thought I’d do a twist on my usual Taste of Tuesday feature and interview Serena the main character in Alphabet Dating which will be out next week!
    First of all Serena please tell us a little bit about yourself:
    Ok, Monique. I’m an ex-pat Australian living in New York. I work as a book reviewer though I am also writing my own novel, very slowly. I also have a crazy bunch of friends who came up with a hair-brained scheme they called The Alphabet Dating Plan. It means I have to go on 26 dates in one month, one for every letter of the alphabet!

    1. Do you prefer sweet or savoury foods (i.e. cheese or chocolate)?
    Oh definitely savoury! I mean I won’t say no to a Tim Tam but give me a cheese plate any day.

    2. Red wine or white? (Wine obviously)
    Actually I rather like a nice French champagne.

    3. Do you have a favourite food memory?
    My family and I have lived all over the world so I have lots of amazing food memories but after I had a car accident a few years back I have developed an obsession with soups. I find them nurturing and so comforting.

    4. Does food feature in your novel(s)?
    Food features quite a bit in Alphabet Dating. It’s hard to go on so many dates and not eat! There’s also my obsession with soups and a Thanksgiving feast in the book so plenty for the food lovers.

    5. What recipe are you sharing with us and why?

    I’m sharing a recipe for Carrot Soup. It’s super simple, inexpensive and very yummy.

    Carrot Soup
    1 tablespoon butter
    1 onion diced
    3 rashers of bacon, diced
    1 teaspoon of dill.
    500g carrots, peeled and sliced
    250ml chicken stock or veggie
    100ml cream

    1. Melt butter in saucepan and soften onion slowly.
    2. Add bacon and stir till just cooked.
    3. Add carrots, dill, s &p.
    4. Add stock to cover carrots (if not quite enough add some water). Simmer until carrots soften.
    5. Puree in a blender or with a stick blender.
    6. Stir through cream.
    7. Enjoy!

    Alphabet Dating will be out soon