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    Coastal Christmas Blog Hop – Sunshine, Christmas and Cosmos


    Coastal Christmas Blog Hop Banner
    – CLOSED – The winner of my giveaway is Lesley Walsh – Merry Christmas and congratulations.

    As an Australian, one of the biggest challenges I face in the festive season is the heat.

    I know my Northern hemisphere readers have their own challenges but they don’t have to cook a turkey in a heatwave, they don’t have to panic because they can’t fit everything in the fridge and they certainly don’t have to worry about the roof of their gingerbread house sliding off because the icing has melted.

    One the other hand they don’t eat cherries and mangoes for breakfast, they probably don’t wake to the sound of cicadas singing and their Christmas morning probably doesn’t involve a trip to the beach to test drive new flippers, or a surfboard. Our Christmas traditions are no less important but they are well less known.

    If an American came to Australia they’d likely have a fish out of water Christmas My novella – Snowbound is the story of an Australian girl Zara who finds herself stranded in Colorado for Christmas and she throws herself into all the activities a White Christmas would entail. It’s a really fun read and I’m giving a copy of Snowbound and the Romancing the Holidays 2 Box Set to a lukcy reader randomly chosen…just comment below and tell me your favourite cocktail.

    My own family has a lot of traditions. We put our Christmas tree up the weekend before Christmas because someone (yes-that’s me) insists on having a real tree and if we get it too early t would die before Christmas. We always drive to the local Scout Hall and but our tree from the Scouts. (Two years ago I had the cutest Girl Guide sell me my tree and before she did so she leaned in close to the tree, listened to it’s trunk and said “This tree chooses you!” I feel like that child and I should have been life-long friends.)

    Another thing my family does a lot at Christmas is entertain. We love having people over. We have a huge party the weekend before Christmas for fifty to sixty of our closest friends. I think we’re up to maybe out thirteenth one now. Think lots of kids, an outdoor movie, water pistols and ridiculous amounts of food. (I’m famous for my over catering). I do a baked ham and the classic Australian sausage sizzle, we do spaghetti and meatballs for the kids, my husband makes paella and there’s a make your own ice-cream sundae bar for the kids. It’s big crazy, chaotic fun and we love it.

    Every year I make a signature cocktail. I’ve done a few over the years and the best on yet was a champagne comsopolitan…how could that not be amazing? Champagne and a cosmo in one cup, has to be awesome!

    Here’s my recipe:
    Champagne Cosmopolitan

    250ml (1 cup) cranberry juice
    2 tablespoons Cointreau liqueur
    2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    6 sugar cubes
    750ml pink Champagne or sparkling wine, chilled
    Frozen cranberries to decorate (optional)
    Step 1

    Place cranberry juice in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until reduced by two-thirds. Remove from heat and set aside for 30 minutes to cool.

    Step 2
    Combine the cranberry juice, Cointreau and lime juice in a small jug. Place a sugar cube in each serving glass. Pour the cranberry mixture over the sugar. Top with Champagne or sparkling wine and serve immediately. Throw a couple of frozen cranberries in each glass to decorate (also helps keep it cool).

    Don’t forget to enter to win the Grand Prize of on the Coastal Christmas Blog Hop and enter my giveaway for a copy of Snowbound and Romancing the Holidays 2 by telling me your fave cocktail!
    Romancing the Holidays Box SetSnowbound - Cover












    Elizabeth Ellen Carter
    12/4/2017 03:23:10 am

    That is definitely a cocktail to try this summer! Thank you Monique!

    Brooke Bumgardner
    12/4/2017 12:02:15 pm

    That cocktail sounds delish! I love raspberry peach bellinis. Also, I love your Girl Guide story.

    12/4/2017 03:42:19 pm

    Love the sound of that cocktail! Always on the lookout for a new recipe to try!

    Mary Preston
    12/4/2017 06:38:17 pm

    Thank you for the delicious sounding recipe.

    12/4/2017 07:32:01 pm

    We enjoy satsuma vodka-tini made with fresh mandarins and cranberries😊
    Monique McDonell
    12/7/2017 03:06:34 pm

    That sounds yummy!

    12/4/2017 07:56:30 pm

    Your recipe sounds amazing, I’ll definitely be trying it out 🙂

    Carla Caruso
    12/4/2017 08:51:16 pm

    Yummo! And such gorgeous book covers 🙂
    Monique McDonell
    12/7/2017 03:06:57 pm

    Thanks Carla.

    Jenn J McLeod
    12/5/2017 01:30:18 am

    Yum. Tipsy just reading that post!

    Robin Thomas
    12/5/2017 01:43:38 am

    That sounds delicious! My favourite cocktail is a Tom Collins – which is an American one made with lime and vodka. And the glass should have a frosted sugar edge.

    Ann-maree Howarth
    12/5/2017 02:20:45 am

    I love Salted Caramel Baileys that you can mostly only get at Christmas time.

    12/5/2017 09:09:48 am

    For Christmas we love Poinsettias. Champagne, Triple Sec and cranberry juice with cranberries in the bottom of the glass.
    Monique McDonell
    12/7/2017 03:07:32 pm


    Lesley Walsh
    12/5/2017 09:39:40 am

    I love Bailey’s and ice
    Monique McDonell
    12/7/2017 03:08:05 pm

    In my new Jewel Sisters series the sisters drink quite a bit of Bailey’s on Ice.
    Monique McDonell
    12/25/2017 07:56:07 pm

    Hi Lesley,

    You’re the winner of my books…email me at mcdonellmonique@gmail.com with your email and I will send them to you.

    Suzanne Cass
    12/6/2017 12:39:35 am

    I love a real Christmas tree for Christmas. There is absolutely nothing compares with the smell of a real tree

    Joye I
    12/7/2017 12:21:01 pm

    I love a good Margarita

    sandy haber
    12/7/2017 02:45:11 pm

    I could use one of those right now — thanks!
    Monique McDonell
    12/7/2017 03:08:42 pm

    I won’t tell anyone.

    Debbie Martin
    12/9/2017 11:25:53 pm

    I love to make mint jelups in silver jelup cups!

    12/10/2017 01:21:58 pm

    Well, I don’t drink alcohol however I do love a cranberry spritzer. Sprite and cranberry juice mixed. It’s lovely.

    Deborah Sisk
    12/11/2017 05:27:24 pm

    Thanks for the chance. The recipe sounds lovely.

    Lori Raines
    12/11/2017 07:05:35 pm

    Thanks for sharing!

    Laura Boon Russell
    12/15/2017 12:47:50 am

    We need to take something to our friends for Christmas. I’ve decided your cocktail is it!

    Kara Vaughan Marks
    12/18/2017 09:41:37 am

    Your cocktail sounds great. I’m a margarita girl, but something different and special is fun for the holidays.

    Nancy Luebke
    12/23/2017 05:10:16 pm

    Sorry, I used to like singapor slings but my health doesn’t allow me to drink those kind of drinks anymore. My splurg now is Root beer or a Strawberry shake. Usually it’s just ice water. Happy Hollidays from Indiana, USA.

  • 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

    And the winner is….


    Monique McDonell Upper Crust Series Banner
    Thanks to everyone who has participated in the Any Way You Fight It book tour. It’s been wonderful to stop by so many blogs and it has been extra lovely to have the support of so many bloggers and authors.

    Releasing a book is a weird experience and I appreciate the support of readers and other authors on my journey.

    The winner of the $20 Amazon Giftcard is Renee C.

  • Blog

    Three Wishes Blog Blitz Winner


    Winner Lee ToddSo there was a $10 Amazon gift card up for grabs with this one.

    Like I said in the original blog post I like to do things old school.

    The rules were you needed to comment and tell me your wish.

    There were some lovely wishes but I have to say I’m especially happy that we pulled this winner from the hat!

    First I wrote all the names on business cards.

    Giveaway entrants names on cards
    Giveaway Winner Name Drawn From Hat
    Then I had my daughter pick a name out the hat. She had no clue why she was doing this or whose names were in there so I don’t think she can be accused of bias.

    Anyway Lee’s wish was that she “find a job”. I can’t help with that but a $10 Amazon GC might brighten your day Lee.

    (Side note on this hat. It’s huge and fabulous but I can’t wear it and walk as it removes all peripheral vision and is thus an accident waiting to happen. I’ve nearly been run over, tripped over a stroller and walked into people in this hat. I think it’s designed just for looking mysterious and blocking out the world while sitting on the beach!).


    Lee Todd
    9/7/2013 06:25:40 pm

    thank you!!!!! 😀

  • Blog

    General catch-up…and the winner is…


    Girl Holding Books IllustrationI can’t tell you how beautiful it is in Sydney today. Right now there are cicadas singing outside my window and kookaburras have been laughing on and off all morning as well. It’s a gorgeous summer day.

    Last night my husband and I went down to Manly for dinner. Manly is where Allegra, yes that girl there with the books, has her bookshop and we actually had a drink at a bar in the very street I imagined her bookshop to be. That was kind of fun. I didn’t see Teddy an Allegra there but it was crowded and as far as I know they’re in L.A right now. I really must organise myself to get over there and visit them!

    I’m anxiously waiting to see what Lisa, my lovely book designer has come up with for my third book Alphabet Dating which will be out next month. She said she’d get back to me by the weekend so fingers crossed.

    I’m busy working on the edits for the book and will be sending it off to some fresh eyes on the weekend as well.

    Meanwhile I should announce the winner of the copy of Hearts Afire from the New Year’s Hop I participated in last weekend. Thanks to all who stopped by and commented.

    The winner – chosen at random is Lucinda Moebius. So I’ll be in touch with Lucinda later today!

    Hearts Afire

  • Blog

    Look what arrived today…and the birthday quiz winner is…


    Mr Right and Other Mongrels Paperback BooksThe postman left me a little card today that said I had a parcel at the post office and when we stopped by to get it look what was there…

    A box of lovely paperback copies of Mr Right and Other Mongrels.

    How very exciting!

    So now I need to announce the birthday quiz winner, to whom I will send a paperback (although if they’re not in Australia it will come direct from Amazon).

    The winner is…

    Ok I chose the winner like this…there were 11 entries…I asked my daughter to pick a random number between 1 and 11…1 being the first comment and 11 being the last…

    She chose 3…

    So the winner is Linda Gauthier.


    Linda Gauthier
    8/27/2012 10:34:56 pm

    Thanks, Mon! I’m very excited to own the paperback. I have the e-version, but this will be much more tactile-ly satisfying. And I swear I don’t mean that cheeky!

  • Blog

    And the winner is…


    Today was the day to draw the winner of the paperback of Mr Right and Other Mongrels.
    As you’ll see below I used and extremely high-tech system. Rafflecopter eat your heart out.

    First we put the entries in a hat!
    Hat Winner Selection

    Then my husband drew a name out…he didn’t even know I was running a competition till his hand went in the hat mind you.
    Hat Winner Selected

    And the winner is….
    Winner Name - Isabelle Frisk
    Isabelle Frisch. I don’t know Isabelle so that’s exciting!! (Isabelle look out for an e-mail!)

    Thanks to all who entered. I’ll be doing more competitions soon.


    8/21/2012 06:08:47 pm

    thank you thank you ^^