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  • Blog

    Marching into March – an update from my desk

     

    saltwater wishes Fb banner

    The month of March is upon me and I’m wondering how that is possible.

    January is always a crazy month here because of summer vacation, and I had some family commitments that ate into the start. I released Saltwater Tears in January, so it wasn’t a total loss. I hope you enjoy reading Banner’s story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

    February I’ve been hunkered down in my writing cave, mainly working on projects for a couple of pen names and planning out my books for 2021. I’m happy to say I have a Cinnamon Bay romance out in June, which is all plotted and the next (and final Upper Crust Novel) will be ready for Christmas in July. I’ve started that one at least and it is all plotted too. I’m still trying to see if I’ll be releasing Saltwater Tears – the third Marlin Shores book in May or August – I’ve also started Tony’s story, and it’s a fun one to write.

    2021 for me is about reflection – I’ve written over 40 books, over 50 if we count pen names and I love writing but I’m considering moving in a new direction with my books so I guess that will take thought and planning. When I started out, I wanted to write a book, then I wanted to publish, then I wanted to see if I could do it again…and again. I’ve reset my goals many times to include being more productive, grow things like my social media following or release more often.

    Aside from my financial goals, I’ve hit every writing target I’ve aimed for. Maybe that’s where my focus needs to be in 2021.

    Meanwhile, there’s a sneak peak, of the cover for the cover for Saltwater Wishes above.

    I hope you have a wonderful month.

     

  • Blog

    Love in the City Box Set Launch

    Love in the CityI’m excited to share the Love in the City Box Set launch with you – lots of these ladies are online writing friends of mine and I’ve been lucky enough to meet several of them in person including – Sariah Wilson, Becky Monson,  Melissa Baldwin and Kathryn R Biel who I met at the RWA in Denver a couple of years ago now. I also gotto hang out with the gorgeous NZ author both at the RWA and in Australia when she visited. I know this boxset will not disappoint. It’s just 99cents this week!

    Get ready for thirteen heart pounding and laugh out loud rom-coms from thirteen bestselling and award winning authors, including Amazon chart toppers and USA TODAY bestsellers. Filled with mystery, second chances, soulmates, brother’s best friends, bad boys, nobility, and the cute guy in the cubicle next to you, these stories will captivate you and leave you wishing for more.

    Download this limited edition box set while you can and indulge in these sweet and sexy leading men and strong and beautiful heroines while they fall in love in cities around the world.

    Sariah Wilson – All’s Fair in Love and War
    Becky Monson -The Love Potion
    Jennifer Peel – Love the One You’re With
    Kirsty Greenwood – Love Will Save the Day
    Whitney Dineen – Love for Sale
    Aven Ellis – Love, the Viscount, & Me
    Shari L. Tapscott – Little Lost Love Letter
    Lucy McConnell – Can’t Forget a Love Like That
    Kate O’Keeffe – A Very English Love Story
    Erin Huss – Love, Lies, and Limo Rides
    Melissa Baldwin – Thanks for the Love
    Stephanie Fowers – Love at the Masquerade
    Kathryn R. Biel – Vision of Love

  • Love in small town graphic
    Blog

    Love small town romances – grab this free small town anthology today!

    If you love small town romance, I have something special for you.

    Love in small town graphic

    Love small town romances? 

    Seven of our romance authors have come together to share a collection filled with nothing but small town love stories.

    Read stories from…

    • Cameron D. Garriepy
    • CA Miconi
    • Jade C. Jamison
    • Katrina Marie
    • Monique McDonell
    • Nan O’Berry
    • Zoe Hart
    As a special thank you, we’ll send you one book a month from each author in the anthology!
    Click the link. You’ll be taken to Book Funnel where you can download the book to your device.

    Please note, by downloading the anthology, you’re agreeing to subscribe to all seven authors’ newsletters, along with Love Kissed Book Bargains, and Love Kissed FREEBIES. Feel free to unsubscribe anytime. 

    Grab your copy of Love in a Small Town!

    (My contribution to the anthology is The Reluctant Bridesmaid, which if you follow me regularly you may have read, but there are still 6 fabulous other authors  inside. Also the additional bonus story you’ll receive from me down the track – All Fired Up – is BRAND NEW!)

  • Shine
    Blog

    Happy New Year and welcome to 2021

    Shine

    Welcome to 2021 my lovely readers. Happy New Year!

    I think we’re all more than ready to embrace the new although I don’t think 2021 will be the instant panacea to 2020 many of us are hoping for. I’m optimistic it will be better.

    My word for the year is SHINE. I hope to shine brightly in 2021.

    I had lots of plans for last year and I achieved some. I did write a lot of words. I have a couple of secret pen names and published under those and my own name. 

    I definitely didn’t release everything I wanted to but that’s okay. I became a USA today Bestseller, I came second in the Australian RUBY Awards novella section and released several new books. We’ll take it.

    We moved out of our home of over 24 years and relocated to a new town with about 6 weeks’ notice, so I’m being kind to myself about my lack of accomplishment in the final quarter of 2020.

    The good news is those projects will be completed in the first half of 2021 so all is not lost.

    I started serializing Playing With Trouble in 2020, and I promise to get back to that and share the rest of it with you in 2021. You can catch up here with the opening meanwhile.

    The next books in the Marlin Shores world will be out in January and March and I can’t wait to share those as well. You can preorder Saltwater Tears here.

    Have you read the prequel Kissing The Captain? If not grab your copy here for free.

    We have big plans for the Cinnamon Bay romance world in 2021 so look out for news about that soon.

    I also have Upper Crust Series news…meanwhile have you seen the box sets I made for the Upper Crust series? You can grab them here and they are free in Kindle Unlimited.

    There are a couple of other exciting projects looming in 2021 so stay tuned.

    Happy New Year – 2021 here we come!

    Playing with Trouble

     

  • Blog

    It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

    Who doesn’t love a festive Holiday Read?

    If the good people at Hallmark have taught us anything it’s that we all love to immerse ourselves in holiday stories this time of year.

    I love writing them as well, which is why I have so many Christmas stories to share with you. From standalone novellas to romance series, I have holiday stories to delight.

    A Christmas Arrangement

    A Christmas Arrangement takes place in Cinnamon Bay. I really loved this story and was so thrilled to be a finalist in the Romance Writers of Australia Ruby Awards with this novella in 2020. Isn’t the video for the book above adorable?

    A Christmas Arrangement - Cover

    Snowbound

    I’m not going to lie this book is one of my favorites. I loved writing it and I love the cover. I think it’s one of my sweetest most feel-good books. I love the characters and the fun they have. It’s an Australian girl snowed in with a hunky basketball star for Christmas – seriously, what’s not to love?

    Snowbound - Cover

    More Than Ornamental

    I wrote this book after I asked a lot of questions on my Facebook page about what people wanted to see in a Christmas book – they wanted a small-town, single Dad romance set in Australia and that’s exactly what this is. It was in the Romancing the Holidays boxset in 2019 and now is a stand alone novella.

    More Than Ornamental

    Any Way You Plan it

    This is the fourth book in my Upper Crust series. I’ve said before I never meant this to be a series so it starts in Boston and moves to a small New Hampshire town. The characters are friends who move between the two places. Marissa in this book is the first permanent small-town gal and she’s had it bad for her friend for years. This Christmas she decides enough is enough – it’s time to move on. Turns out he’s not so keen on that idea and needs to woo her big time. (This can be read as a stand alone).

    Any Way You Plan It - Upper Crust Novel 4 Cover - Monique McDonell

    The Reluctant Bridesmaid 

    This may not look like it but The Reluctant Bridesmaid is  Christms story – it’s Mirand’s story o going home t her small town for her cousin’s wedding. It’s only available for newsletter subscribers right now. You can click here for a free copy.

     

  • BB giveway
    Blog

    Launch Week Giveaway – Boardwalk Dreams and a giftcard

    BB giveway

    It’s launch week for Boardwalk Bound and I want you to fall in love with the Carmichaels.

    To celebrate the release I want to give you a chance to win the second book in the series – Boardwalk Dreams so you can keep on with your Carmichael’s reading.

    Boardwalk Beginnings (The Carmichaels of Cinnamon Bay Book 1) is #free on all platforms
    and to celebrate I am giving away 1 x Ebook copy of Boardwalk Dreams (The Carmichaels of Cinnamon Bay Book 2) and 1x $5 Amazon Giftcard!
    To Enter: Sign up here for my newsletter ↓
    Post a screenshot in the comments and I will pick 1 lucky winner!
    Giveaway closes November 15th 2020
    And don’t forget to get download a copy of Boardwalk Bound today!
    Title: Boardwalk Bound (The Carmichaels of Cinnamon Bay Book 5)
    Blurb ↓
    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. Scroll up and one-click to start reading BOARDWALK BOUND by USA Today bestselling author Monique McDonell today!
    Image may contain: 8 people
  • 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

    Apple

    ➜Kobo

    ➜ Barnes and Noble

    Other Cinnamon Bay Series Titles By Monique McDonell:

    Playing Doctor
    ➜ Draft2digital
    ➜ Amazon

    A Christmas Arrangement
    ➜ Draft2Digital
    ➜ Amazon

    The Carmichael Series

  • Blog

    It’s a week until NANOWRIMO 2020, let’s get ready!

    Nanowrimo 2020 badgeHey there,

    It’s almost time for NanoWrimo – National Novel Writing Month where people try to write  a 50,000 word draft of a novel in a month. I’ve taken part at various times all the way back to 2011, I believe.

    In 2012, I did a series of posts about prepping that hold the test of time and they’re linked below. I migrated my, website a year ago and not every image made the journey but the content is solid and worth a read).

    My life is so different now to then. I don’t have a young family to juggle and I have written a lot of books since. These days it’s not unusual for me to write 50,000 words several months a year but I love the participation and community of Nano and I love getting that final novel for the year done. December is crazy, we all know that and I tend to ease off on the writing in favour of Christmas lunches and drinks with friends.

    I still know a few things work for me:

    1. Get a big count early.

    I love writing a new book. LOVE IT! So the beginning is the easy part. To stay o track for NanNo you need to write 1667 words a day. I like to start with  few 3,00 even 5,000 word days and then I’m ahead and the pressure is off.

    1. Round up.

    Don’t stop at 1667 at least get to 2000 words. You’ll thank yourself mid-month.

    1. Sprints

    That’s where you set a timer for 20 minutes or 30 and just write. Three of those a day and I will make the 1667 easily.

    1. Plotting

    I don’t always plot my books. I’m a weirdo who sometimes just writes, sometimes plots an entire novel and sometimes gets to 15k and plots the rest. Heck, sometimes I make bullet points and just plot the next chapter. The bullet points mean I won’t start at the screen for an hour…I always have a scene I can write.

    1. Remember, it’s a draft.

    This is not what gets published, it’s your first draft so it’s okay to write – add description later, check this character’s name/hair/eye colour, insert sex scene, research this bit and -MOVE ON. You can fill all that in later but don’t let it stop you from continuing to write.

    1. Write something fun – especially in 2020.

    It’s going to be work regardless but don’t put yourself in a zone of misery before you begin. We all know this year has been and continues to be tough, so don’t set yourself up for misery and/or failure. Pick a story that will excite you and write that.

    So there’s some advice…I do recommend you read the post below, especially if you’re a Nano newbie.

    Let me know if you’re signed up for this year in the comments.

    From the 2012 Archives

    Preparing for NaNoWriMo – Part 1 Plan the Writing

    https://moniquemcdonellauthor.com/2019/12/23/preparing-for-nanowrimo-part-1-plan-the-writing/

    NaNoWriMo – Planning your Life

    NaNoWriMo – Planning your Life

     

    How to survive NaNoWriMo – Part 3, Organise Your Writing Life

    How to survive NaNoWriMo – Part 3, Organise Your Writing Life

     

    NaNoWriMo Planning Series – Part 4 – Plan to care for Your Body

    https://moniquemcdonellauthor.com/2019/12/23/nanowrimo-planning-series-part-4-plan-to-care-for-your-body/

    My 2017 Advice

    Preparing for NaNoWriMo the 2017 edition

  • brothers best friend
    Blog

    It’s finally release day for Boardwalk Beginnings the first of the Carmiachels of Cinnamon Bay Romances

     

    🌴The Carmichaels are about to find out…all the money in the world can’t buy love🌴

    Take a trip through Cinnamon Bay, where the locals are friendly, the beaches are beautiful, and the love spice will have you head over heels. 

     

    The Carmichael siblings might have fallen from grace, but even then, their journey is just beginning! Book X is now LIVE, so one-click to start your journey today. Beware – these highly addictive romance novels will having you falling in love.

    Join our Facebook Group to keep updated and let us know what you think of this delightful new series! Grab your copy here and start reading today.

     

    brothers best friend

  • Blog

    It is release week for Saltwater Song

    It’s release week for Saltwater Song

    I’m so excited to be sharing this new series with. 2019 and the start of 2020 have been all about finishing up existing projects and working in collaboration with others ,but the Marlin Shores series is all mine and it’s the first new thing I’ve done in a while.

    I love the Montgomery brothers who feature in the first three books Saltwater Song, Saltwater  Tears and Saltwater Wishes. Parker, Banner and Tony are all totally different and they all have their own journey that’s kept them away from Marlin Shores, and thanks to a pesky clause in their father’s will, has forced them to come home.

    The quaint town and marina have been a blast to write and don’t worry, lots of the people you meet in the first books will be getting their own stories in 2021.

    So please grab a copy of Saltwater Song and if you love it do leave a review.

    Saltwater Song

    Parker

    Three years of caring for my father and running his marina had stripped me of everything – my old life in the music business was gone – and now so was he. I wanted to start my life again but even from the grave the old man was controlling me and my brothers.
    I wanted to get back to who I was before, who Kelsey saw me as, but I didn’t know if that was even possible no matter how badly I wanted it.

    Kelsey

    He discovered me in a bar at age seventeen and turned me into a singing sensation. He was my manager and my best friend and he promised me from day one we’d never be anything more. That made the fact that I was hopelessly in love with him more than a little inconvenient.
    He’d left me for three years for family reasons but now I was going to get him and prove to him we needed to make music together again.

    If you like high stakes small town romance with a hint of heat and a guaranteed HEA, Saltwater Song is for you.

    This small town sweet friends to lovers romance is the first book in the new Marlin Shores trilogy and can be read as a stand-alone novel.

    Get it here.