• Blog

    Things you may not know about me

    Things you may not know about me – Let’s do an update.

    I haven’t done a personal update here in a while. So I thought I might do one including a few things you may not know about me. And maybe a few you do.

    A few months back I started writing a couple of blog posts about grief. I’ve been through the wringer in that regard in 2023 which is why I’ve been largely silent on social media – scraping through by doing the absolute minimum – and why you haven’t seen any new releases from me. To be fair I wasn’t planning on releasing loads of books under my name anyway but I also wasn’t expecting to do nothing. Meanwhile my pen names have also ground to a halt. Needless to say I have not owned 2023 by anyone’s measure.

    I’m still planning on posting the grief series. I hope it might help someone else going through it but for now let’s focus on the present.

    My books in the No Brides Club series have just been re-released and are available on Amazon and free if you are in Kindle Unlimited. Lots of people have strong feelings about KU as it’s known.

    I read in KU myself a lot. The reason being I read on average a book a day. Yes, you read that right. I often get in to bed after dinner and read for 3 or 4 hours most nights. I’m a fast reader and that gets me through a book. Books in Australia are even more expensive than, for example, the United States. A mass market paperback is around $20. I can’t afford to spend $140 a week on books. And obviously I start some and they’re not for me so that number would be higher in reality.

    Not to mention paperbacks are heavy and the lowlight of the Kindle is less annoying for my husband who is often asleep beside me as I read past midnight.

    Borrowing from the library is an option, of course, but I have accrued so many library fines over the years, it’s not for me. Having said that,  I adore libraries and often visit libraries, right now I’m just not in a library reading phrase.

    Another reason I use Kindle Unlimited is because I read a lot of authors whose books are not widely available in Australian bookshops. If you ARE in Australia and you do like paperbacks signed copies are available at my  store.


    That’s not to say that’s the only place I get books, it’s not. I buy books by authors I love and people I know all the time but I also read in KU.  Oh and I absolutely have to get non-fiction books in hardback and paperback because I absorb information better that way.

    I guess I just think of having Kindle Unlimited as being similar to having a Netflix subscription and also going to the movies from time to time.

    This post got away from me. I wasn’t planning on talking about that but here’s two things we’ve already learned.

    One – I’m going through grief

    Two – I am a voracious reader

    If you follow me on social media, you’ll see often post pictures of coffee. Australia has a pretty intense coffee culture and I for one am all the way on board. Here’s a fun The New York Times article that tells you a little about how our coffee culture evolved.  Good coffee is everywhere, and it is one of my great pleasures to find a sunny spot and enjoy a coffee alone or with friends.

    Let’s talk about the ocean

    You’ll also notice that a lot of my pictures with coffee are by the ocean, harbour, on a beach or on a boat. Fun fact – I live by the beach. Even more interesting fact, over 80% of the Australian population (25million people and counting) live within 50km/31miles of the coast. So while I feel very lucky to live where I live it is pretty normal for Aussies to be at the beach or the water before or after work. When I first got married I often caught the iconic Manly Ferry home from work (and then got a bus home) it was a slower journey but so much more relaxing than the bus ride from the city.

    Now I’m very lucky to work from home so I can work in a coffee shop by the beach, walk and dictate a story or sit and plot in a notebook on the sand. In my mind it doesn’t matter where you get things done as long as you do them! And as a redhead I need to do all this slathered in sunscreen and beneath an impressively large hat wherever possible.

    So now we know:

    One – I’m going through grief

    Two – I am a voracious reader

    Three – I love my coffee

    Four – I live by the beach

    Five – I miss blogging

    I’ll do another update next week. Time to get have a coffee!



  • Blog

    Building Attraction – release day – giddy up!


    Building Attraction - Monique McDonell - CoverAt last the day has come BUILDING ATTRACTION is live on AMAZON.

    Saddle up and head on over there to get a copy.

    Amazon US
    Amazon UK

    If you don’t have a Kindle you can download the Kindle app from Amazon for your tablet, smartphone or computer!.

    Competition: Take a photo of you and your copy on your Kindle/iPad/device and post it at my Virtual Book Launch on FB and you could win a $10 Amazon GC.

    Book launch is here. Stop on by!


    Building Attraction –Single Tittle Romantic Fiction

    Hers has been a life of too many responsibilities and his has been a life of too few. Could the thing that initially repelled them from each other finally be the ultimate source of attraction?

    Holly Adams has two jobs in the city, two petulant teenage sisters to support, a farm with a big mortgage and a terrible secret that propels her forward. Brad Winchester has a reputation for being a spoilt playboy who has abandoned his family business but he also has a secret that has finally brought him home.

    When they are forced to together at work (Holly works at the cut-throat PR Consultancy that handles his family’s account Winchester Homes – They don’t build homes, they build dreams”) a series of misunderstandings has them
    at odds.

    Still while working together they learn they have more in common than either might have imagined – common friends, family loyalty and dreams of something different. When life keeps pushing them in each other’s paths they must decide whether this is an attraction that might be worth building on after all.

    If you read it and enjoy it please leave me a review on Amazon US and/or Amazon UK. I am always very grateful when someone does.

  • Blog

    A catch-up and a review of my free days on Amazon KDP


    Hearts Afire
    I know it’s been a bit quiet here on the blog this past week.

    In Australia the festive season coincides with a mad scramble for everyone to get all their work done before Christmas, when most people have their summer holidays/vacation and also the end of the school year.

    This year my lovely daughter is finishing Primary School. Here our school system runs a bit differently than in the US for example and we have no middle school so they finish Primary school at the end of 6th grade and head straight to High School. The end of primary school means farewells, dinners, graduation ceremonies and in my case – lots of tears.

    Just before the madness began last week I had my first experience of Amazon KDP’s free days with Hearts Afire. If you have a book enrolled in this program you can have 6 free days a month.

    I’d never done it before so I did lots of reading about other author’s experiences and what they did to maximise the opportunity. The reality is you’re aiming to reach people who don’t already know about you when you do something like this not your mother or your friend from the office.

    There are lots of websites, twitter services and facebook pages that let readers know about free books every day so I made a list of them and contacted as many as I could. Some you need a certain number of reviews to qualify for, others need a week’s notice, some want you to pay so you need to look at them on a book by book basis. I didn’t do any paid services because honestly I had no idea if that was worth it for me.

    I chose a weekend because I thought it would be easier for me to keep track of what was happening. I also felt people have more time to read on weekends. I don’t know if that’s true or not and I do know lots of people download books just because they’re free and never read them as well, heck I’ve even done that myself.

    So how did it go? By the end of the two day’s sale I was #3 in free contemporary romance and #8 in the free Amazon store which was pretty amazing. That meant over 15,000 people had downloaded my book. That’s pretty amazing really.
    As a writer your goal is to have people read your work…of course you’d prefer they paid for it…but actually the objective after the joy of writing is to find an audience.

    So I wondered how that would affect my sales when the book was back at $2.99 which is still not a huge cost for a book, is it?

    It’s now 10 days later and the book was up at around the #1,700 mark in the Kindle store right after the promotion ended.

    What this has obviously meant is people have been able to find the book because the sales especially the first three days after the promotion were very good. That was my objective – to be found. I also had sales on Mr Right and Other Mongrels, which I was hoping for, nothing like on Hearts Afire but I’ll take them!

    It also meant people found the book to borrow it. Not one person had borrowed the book before the promotion and lots of people have done so since.

    Sales have declined slowly but are still much better day by day than they were beforehand.

    The upshot is this promotion, for me anyway, was very successful.

    Lots of people have said the free days aren’t working for them anymore. My experience was entirely positive. Why? Perhaps because the book is romance and romance readers are pretty savvy. Perhaps because I had never had a free book before so I was ‘new’ to the readers. Perhaps the beautiful cover caught people’s eye. Perhaps because at least some of the promotional pages I contacted did include my book in their free days promotions (though lots didn’t).

    Honestly, I don’t know exactly why it succeeded but it did and I’m happy about that.

    I’d love to hear other people’s experiences of free days or their thoughts on the topic.


    12/18/2012 06:55:20 pm

    I will confess your free offer reminded me to buy your other book. I have not read either yet but wish you all the luck with your writing.

    Anna Hackett
    12/18/2012 11:05:39 pm

    Hi Monique – so pleased to hear your free days went so well! And Hearts Afire really does have a great cover!

    12/22/2012 04:35:06 am

    I just did a free day and was very happy with the results. I have almost 4000 free downloads. I have noticed a significant uptake in sales since the preview. I have also had some loans, and I had none before. I did the same as you with the free preview sites. And I also posted on a few spots on Goodreads and on Amazon itself on the forum. Am considering a second free preview day since the first one went so well.
    12/22/2012 08:23:53 am

    Thanks Marjorie and Anna….
    It is an interesting experience isn’t it Caroline…lots to learn and lots to gain from it.