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  • Blog

    12 Days of Downunder Christmas Blog Hop – entries now closed

    11/28/2017

    12 Days of Down Under Christmas Promo
    ​This is the Twelve Days of Christmas promotion – twelve ‘down under’ authors who are each giving personal prizes away, plus we have a $50 Amazon Gift Card to finish with a flourish.
    The Joy of Travel at Christmas inspired Snowbound, A Chicklit Christmas Novella
    Anyone from Australia or New Zealand, where all of the authors in this hop are from, learns pretty early that if you want to travel anywhere you’re probably going to be on a plane for a while.I consider any flight under eight hours to be a quick one.

    Part of what makes our countries unique is our isolation. We have summer while most of the world has winter, much of Australia never sees snow and we do things just that little bit differently. I drew on that inspiration when I was writing Snowbound, A Christmas Chicklit Novella.

    My main character Zara is heading off to the USA for Christmas to meet her boyfriend who works in New York. She’s never been on a long-haul flight, she’s never seen snow…there are a lot of firsts for Zara. Apart from the lovely Kyle who sits next to her the journey is really not that great.

    I’ve done a lot of long-distance travel and much of it on my own – I quite like flying alone now – but when I was younger and more self conscious I didn’t so I channeled that into Zara’s character. Just like her I have woken up by a random teenage boy asleep on my shoulder – then I had to decide if I could get up – I didn’t want to wake the poor kid but sometimes you just have to move.

    I also remember the magic of seeing snow fall for the first time and the wonder of waking up to a world made new by being covered in white. I’ve never had a White Christmas – only a white Boxing day and I think we can all agree no one has ever sung a song about that.

    One of the things I love about books and writing is how you can hold a mirror up to the way we live our lives differently to others – after I wrote this novel I had readers emailing me to say it never even occurred to them someone might not have seen snow. That makes perfect sense if you’re Canadian!

    I’m hoping for a sparkling sunny and hot Christmas myself. It will include a swim at the beach and sweating my way through cooking a ham, a turkey and a Christmas pudding. I’ll be getting my tree close to the big day because I love a real tree and if I put it up too early it might wilt before the big day. My Christmas might look a little different than yours but hopefully we’re all surrounded by love and laughter.

    As part of the Hop I’m giving away a copy of Romancing the Holidays 2 – a multi author box set I’m in this Christmas and a copy of Snowbound…to enter just comment below and tell me if you get a real tree or a fake one. (I’ll pick a winner randomly at the end of the 12 days promotion)

    Click here to enter to win the $50 Amazon Giftcard
    12 Days of Down Under Christmas - Snowbound

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This is the Twelve Days of Christmas promotion – twelve ‘down under’ authors who are each giving personal prizes away, plus we have a $50 Amazon Gift Card to finish with a flourish. Here’s the schedule so you don’t miss your favourite authors!
    Day 1 – Kris Pearson
    Day 2 – Joanne Dannon
    Day 3 – Cassandra O’Leary
    Day 4 – Annie Seaton
    Day 5 – Monique McDonell
    Day 6 – Kate O’Keeffe
    Day 7 – Cathryn Hein
    Day 8 – Tracey Alvarez
    Day 9 – Leeanna Morgan
    Day 10 – Wendy Vella
    Day 11 – Charmaine Ross
    Day 12 – Aislinn Kearns

    Comments

    Mel Bowers
    12/5/2017 12:27:31 pm

    We get a fake tree with the kids homemade decorations on it and some from my nan who died 9 yrs ago. One son and I are allergic to real trees….not books tho 😊

    Christine Hann
    12/5/2017 05:05:30 pm

    We have a fake tree currently, but would luv to have a real one like in my childhood again!

    Jill Broussard
    12/5/2017 05:22:57 pm

    We’ve done both real and fake, but for the past 7 years since we’ve had our dog, Rusty, it’s a table topper. We’re afraid he’ll claim it at his spot!

    Rose
    12/5/2017 06:00:33 pm

    Fake. We travel so a real tree would be a hazard!

    Cat
    12/5/2017 08:22:42 pm

    Fake! Much easier and tidier

    Sonia
    12/5/2017 11:13:21 pm

    Realistic fake tree- 180cm tall

    Julie Zammit
    12/6/2017 01:50:07 am

    Fake because hubby says real make a mess 😥

    Dianne
    12/6/2017 08:42:49 am

    A fake tree – this year it’s a duo of cardboard trees decorated with recycled items! Thanks.
    PS: I’ve never experienced real snow yet either – it always snows the week after I visit the Blue Mountains.

    Wendy
    12/6/2017 11:27:30 am

    I prefer a fake tree as I hate the smell of pine
    Reply
    Monique McDonell
    12/7/2017 03:10:10 pm

    I’m a real tree all the way…I’m getting mine from the Scouts tomorrow.

    Karen Teasdale
    12/9/2017 03:58:56 pm

    No tree this year, real or fake – my fun thing this year is lots of candles and lights, including flickering orange ones that look like flames in the fireplace! Merry Christmas!
    Reply
    Monique McDonell
    12/17/2017 09:23:04 pm

    Karen, you’re the winner of my books – email me at mcdonellmonique(at)gmail.com and I’ll send them off to you.

    Nancy Burgess
    12/9/2017 06:32:47 pm

    My children are grown so I put up an artificial tree.
    Reply
    Debbie Martin
    12/9/2017 10:06:41 pm

    We have a fake tree that the lights blink with the music.

    Carol
    12/9/2017 11:23:00 pm

    I have a small fake tree that I can put up high on a shelf so the cats can’t get to it. I also have a crocheted tree my mother made me.

    Margie Rico
    12/10/2017 07:04:07 am

    We have a fake one because real ones bother my allergies. There are some beautiful fake ones though! I also have a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. It is so cute!

    Gail
    12/11/2017 06:31:12 pm

    With the kids and dogs – we use a fake tree

    Deborah Sisk
    12/11/2017 07:19:21 pm

    A fake tree. Unfortunately, I am allergic to real ones.

    Laura Slider
    12/11/2017 08:28:05 pm

    I do a fake tree, but hang scent sticks in it to get the smell of Christmas.

    Jean White
    12/12/2017 09:29:45 am

    I do a fake tree every year since we a real tree and were finding pine tree needles still in the carpet at Easter!! They got under the couch and chair.

    Lori Payer
    12/12/2017 03:44:06 pm

    We have a fake tree. With having allergies, mess from the pine needles and the bugs the fake works better for us.

    Michelle Catallo
    12/12/2017 05:45:41 pm

    I have had the same fake tree for around a decade and the one prior to that for two decades. It works for me. I may get a small real tree next year just to downsize as it will only be my youngest son and I for the holidays.

  • Blog

    Welcome to 2017 – may it be full of books and laughter

    12/31/2016

    Fall in Love with the Upper Crust Series Banner - Original Covers

    Any Way You Want It - Upper Crust Series - Monique McDonell - Original CoverWelcome readers to the new year.

    I for one am very happy to be kissing 2016 good-bye. I usually do a little recap of the year that was but this year I’m moving on and looking ahead rather than looking back.

    Not that I’m not proud of what I managed to accomplish in 2016 but it didn’t feel like much. A lot of two steps back and one step forward. I will say that I was particularly pleased with the finished novella Snowbound, A Chicklit Christmas Novella and if you haven’t yet read it and you enjoy my books I urge you to get a copy for a fun read.

    I’m very happy to announce that Any Way You Want It, the fifth book in the Upper Crust Series is out this week. I love this book because I adore the main characters. Chloe and Moose have both appeared in previous books as minor characters and now they get their own story which I just loved writing. I think Moose might be my best book-boyfriend yet which is no small call and especially hard for a character called Moose to pull off.

    I have a Valentine’s Day novella I’m hoping to release in February and then the final book in the Upper Crust Series, for now anyway.

    After that we’ll see. I have another series started and a couple of stand-alone novels so we’ll just have to see what speaks to me. (If you have any thoughts on that, let me know). Either way the next batch of books are set back in Australia although they have strong American connections.

    That’s it, for now, Any Way You Slice It I hope 2017 is a good year for all of us.

  • Blog

    A video interview with my book cover designer Erin Cawood about the design process

    11/19/2016

    Snowbound - CoverI am so excited today to have Erin Cawood on the blog. Erin has done the cover for Snowbound, A Chicklit Christmas Novella which releases this week.

    I absolutely love this cover. It really captures the feel and the essence of the book, which is what you always hope for when you set out to have a cover designed.

    Erin has made a video talking you through her design experience and how we worked together to come up with the design which I think you will find really interesting.

    Erin lives in the UK and I live in Australia so we’ve never met in real life so seeing her on video was extra fun for me. (Don’t you just love how the internet makes it possible for us to collaborate with people who live a world away?)

    This isn’t the first cover Erin and I have done together, she did all my Upper Crust Series Covers as well, but this is our first illustrated cover together.

    I really hope you enjoy the video and if you are an author I highly recommend getting in touch with Erin to look at working with her.

     

    Fall in Love with the Upper Crust Series Banner - Original Covers

    Comment

    Terri Green
    11/22/2016 01:16:36 pm

    Love the cover for snowbound and very interesting to hear how the collaboration process comes together.

  • Blog

    Cover reveal for my new release – Snowbound – which will published November 21st 2016

    11/9/2016

    Today I am so excited to reveal the gorgeous cover for my Christmas novella – Snowbound….take a look below. Isn’t it gorgeous?
    Snowbound – A Chicklit Christmas novella
    ​When Zara’s boyfriend can’t come home to Sydney from New York for Christmas she decides to surprise him instead. Sure, the ticket costs a bomb and her overbearing family thinks it is a bad idea, but that’s what you do for love right? Or so she tells the tall and hunky ex-basketball star, Kyle, who is squeezed into the plane seat beside her.

    When a blizzard hits and she finds herself stranded in Denver a few things become clear – her boyfriend isn’t that heartbroken about her absence, the airport doesn’t seem like a very festive place to be snowed-in, and there certainly aren’t enough pumpkin spiced lattes to fix the situation.

    So when Kyle offers to take her to stay at his buddy’s empty house she decides to take a chance and make the best of her first white Christmas. What she hadn’t banked on was Kyle’s ex and a reality television crew crashing the Christmas party.

    If you like fun and flirty heroes, ugly sweaters, snow covered mountains and sugar cookies, you’ll enjoy reading Snowbound these holidays.

    Snowbound will be released on November 21st.

    If you are a blogger who would like to participate in the release day blitz please sign up here.

    Snowbound - Cover