• 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!



  • Hopeless Romtics banner

    Announcing the Hopeless Romantics of Willow Ridge

    Hopeless Romtics banner

    I’m so excited to be announcing the Hopeless Romantics of Willow Ridge. It’s a while since I’ve had a new series to share with you.

    This fun new sweet, small town romance series is launching in March 2022 and I’m a part of it. I think you’re going to love all the women of Willow Ridge and their fun bookclub.

    Here’s the blurb for my book Falling for the Fireman

    Can a group of hopeless romantics finally find love? Or are they destined always to be a bridesmaid and never the bride?

    Falling for the firemanBronte Fishburn loves her hometown of Willow Ridge and her job as an elementary school teacher, but she wishes she could find someone to spend her life with. Someone who loves this town and wants to settle here as much as she does. She used to dream that someone would be her neighbor Ben, but he left her behind years ago and it’s time she created a new dream. Except now Ben is back, sleeping in her spare room and a constant reminder of what she can’t have.

    Firefighter Benjamin Wakefield vowed never to return to Willow Ridge. But his grandfather needs his help to clean out his house and move to a retirement community, so after ten years away he’s back in a town that seems unchanged. Another thing that hasn’t changed are his feelings for Bronte, who is brighter and more beautiful than the day he left. But she’s still too good for him and he’s still not planning to stay. He needs to resist the urge to ignite that growing spark between them to be the good guy she thinks he is.

    Is the pull between Ben and Bronte enough to build a future on? Find out in this friends to lovers, boy next door small town romance.

    The Hopeless Romantics of Willow Ridge series are sweet, small-town contemporary romances. Each book is a standalone and can be read individually or as part of the series.

    Hopeless Romantics of Willow Ridge series

    Book 1: Falling for the Boss

    Book 2: Falling for the Fireman

    Book 3: Falling for the Doctor

    Book 4: Falling for the Deputy

    Book 5: Falling for the Hockey Player

    Book 6: Falling for the Single Dad

    Book 7: Falling for the Farmer

    Book 8: Falling for the Scotsman

    You can preorder the whole series here.

  • Playing with Trouble

    Let’s Read along Together as I write Playing With Trouble – Chapter 1

    So I had an idea that I wanted to do something here on the blog that would keep readers occupied in these trying times. I have this third book in the Courtside Romance Series, Playing with Trouble,  about half done…so I thought what if I start sharing chapters regularly – like a serial? I know other authors have done this on their websites or in their newsletters so I thought – why not?

    The book is not edited  (so don’t be surprised if you find the odd error hear and there) and as I haven’t finished it yet it’s possible (no it’s highly likely) that this version will differ somewhat from what gets published later in the year.


    Playing with Trouble -Monique McDonellPlaying With Trouble

    Ch 1: Andrew

    Andrew kicked off his shoes and sat on the sofa in his opulent suite, taking in the view of the Vegas strip. He loved Vegas. For some reason it was one of the few places he felt relaxed. When he thought about that he knew it was crazy, Vegas was not known for it’s mellow but somehow amidst all the chaos he felt at peace.

    Every year for the past eight he came back to play this same charity tournament to raise funds or teens with cancer. It helped put his own difficulties into perspective yet again. The past twelve months had not been easy. He’s missed several months nursing an injury and then just when he was back on the doubles circuit winning again with his best mate Benjamin Golden, his buddy, had fallen in love and taken a hiatus to get things right with his girl Abby.

    Ben was currently building a tennis training academy in small town America and Andrew was here alone.

    It was okay though because looking out at the madness of the strip he didn’t feel alone and maybe if he was lucky he wouldn’t be alone tonight.

    He never had any trouble finding women but that wasn’t really his style, no matter what the tabloids said. Sure he hooked ups but he tended to have two or three women he reconnected with on tour and here in Vegas it was Tiffany.

    Tiffany was the PR Manager for the tournament and somehow for the last three years they’d ended up spending the week together. There were no promises and they didn’t keep in touch in between but he liked her and if he was honest he even missed her. There’d been times this year he’d thought of hopping a plane to Vegas just to see her but that wasn’t their thing, and he was not a relationship guy.

    He’d been hurt too much in the past to make the mistake of letting someone close agai,n but Tiffany was the only woman he’d ever considered it with. Naturally he’d resisted the urge.

    Still, he hoped that he’ see her out at the pre-tournament mixer tonight. He knew shed be there but maybe she’d moved on. She could be in a relationship or just not interested, he had no idea.

    His phone rang and it was his trainer, Nate. Normally when he played on the ATP, Nate was with him but not for these charity events. It was part of the appeal, not that he’d tell the coach that. Nate was not good for his mellow. Nate usually called to bust his chops, that was the man’s idea of a motivational speech. He hit the speaker button and leaned forward his elbows on his knees, mimicking his coaches famous pose.

    “Hey Nate.”

    “You made it to Vegas?”

    “Of course. I do know how to get on and off a plane buddy.”

    “Just checking.”

    “It’s nice that you care. You’re like my work mom.”

    “Better than being your work wife. Okay ,so I know this is for charity and all that but this is a good chance for you to shine. You can win this thing.”

    “Not everything is about winning Nate.”

    “When you’re on the court it is.” Nate corrected him. “It would be good for you to have a win, set you up for the next solo gig if you insist you don’t want me to find you a temporary doubles partner while Golden Boy is out of the picture.”

    “I play doubles as The Benji’s or not at all. I’ll just play singles and I’ll play mixed doubles with Savannah.”

    Nate groaned at the woman’s name. There was a story there but neither he or Savannah were telling so Andrew didn’t ask.

    “If you say so. Well, all the more reason to nail your singles game.”

    “Nate, I’ll do my best but this tournament is about more than tennis.”

    “Yeah well just because you’re in Vegas doesn’t mean it should be all about chasing tail and drinking like a lunatic.”

    “Chasing tail? Nate who even says that?” He heard Nate growl down the phone. “Message received mommy, I’ll be  a good boy. Having said that I need to shower and get to the event mixer and get my photo taken with the fans. So we’ll talk later.”

    “Excellent.” And the phone went silent.

    The lights were coming on down on the strip. Time to get moving and if he was lucky go and find Tiffany.


    An hour later he took his walk along the celebrity red carpet outside the club. He smiled for the cameras, as requested. The tournament had a celebrity stream as well as the traditional tennis players and for doubles he would be teamed up with one of the celebrities. It was supposed to be random but he had a feeling it was less random than most people thought, because he’d been teamed the last couple of years with people who could actually play. That made it a much better experience. Ahead of him in the carpet was Kevin Blanchard an 80’s sitcom star he’d played with two years ago and with whom he’d won. The man was perpetually tanned and seemingly ageless.

    Kevin pulled him in for a back-slapping man-hug and they posed for the camera.

    “I hope we’re together again buddy.” He said.

    “Me too.”

    “Last year that Russian player was no fun at all. I want to win but I also want to smile.”

    “I hear you.” The cameras clicked as they struck a pose. “How about we go find ourselves some drinks and get started with the feel good vibe?.”

    Walking in he thought he spotted Tiffany talking to the Russian in question but it could have been someone else. He hoped so, Alexi was a hideous flirt and even though he had n say in the matter he didn’t want the man any where near Tiffany.




  • Blog

    Today I interview myself about my writing life


    Writers on Wednesday - Rose
    Today I thought I’d ask myself the Top 5 questions I get asked about my writing life.
    Something to Savour - Jewel Sisters Series - Monique McDonell - Cover
    1. How’s your writing going?
    This is the question people who know I write but don’t really know about the details ask. It’s the most common question I get.

    It’s going fine. I have another book out next month and my last release was okay although I didn’t promote it properly. It was a novella and I don’t think people really want novellas from me. My January release No Time For Temptation went well and readers are giving it great reviews which makes me happy.

    2. When is the next book out?
    This is the question from my friends who read and love my books.
    Girlfriend, I’m doing my best here. It takes a lot longer to write a book than read a book you know. I’m working really hard here and but you’ll have books in April, May, June so don’t panic. There will be lots to read. I do really appreciate that you love my books and your support makes me cry all the happy tears.

    3. Can I get it in paperback?
    Asked by lots of non e-reading friends.

    You know I used to do paperbacks and they just don’t sell unless you have a book launch or a signing but I have No Time For Temptation in paperback and it will be live on Amazon soon. I’m also ordering duets of the Upper Crust series soon, I promise.



    Here’s an example!

    Upper Crust Series Any Way You Slice It and Any Way You Dream It - Paperback Duet Example


    4. How do you write so fast?
    This is usually asked by other authors who don’t write as quickly as I do.

    Firstly, I have had years of practice at being quick at turning work around in my day job where I’ve basically written all day for a living. Secondly, I’m not bad at time management in general so I’m really good at using 15 minute increments to get stuff done – a Facebook post, some emails, or some behind the scenes activity. Thirdly, I know my best times of day for creativity and it’s good to work these out for yourself. (Mine are 10am -12noon , 2-4pm, and 5-6.30pm) If I can get two one hour blocks in these times I can get 2-3,000 words of a draft done. I try and do a minimum of 1,000 words a day. That adds up. Fourthly, by writing every day I can dive straight back in where I left off which saves time and backtracking. Finally, i enjoy writing (editing and promoting not so much) but I do it because I like it and that makes it easier.

    There is no correct pace to write at. It depends on a lot of things. I like to release regularly because as an indie romance author that helps me with sales, visibility and the pesky Amazon algorithms. Also I read quickly so I understand that kind of reader who wants to read a series back-to-back. That means I need to write quickly and it’s important to me so I make time for it.

    Also I don’t watch TV hardly at all (except the odd cooking show). I haven’t seen a movie since January 2018 and I don’t play sports or have a time consuming hobby. As does meal preparation (we don’t eat take-away) and planning on the home front. Oh yes, and my house isn’t company ready 95% of the time. You’d be amazed how much time that frees up.

    ​5. How do you come up with your ideas?
    Lots of people ask this.

    Ideas are not an issue for me. I have books planned out and so many things I’d love to write that I’ll never get to. The characters appear before me and then I want to tell their stories. Picking the right stories in the right order is the challenge for me as is deciding what people would like to read. I’ll have a plan and then get distracted by shiny new things. Staying focused is the challenge.

    ​If you have any question please feel free to ask me in the comments below.

  • Blog

    It’s release week for Playing it Safe, Book 2 in the Courtside Romance Series


    Courtside Romance Banner
    It’s release week again and this week is Playing at Love, Book 2 in the Courtside Romance Series
    I was so excited to have Playing it Safe ready to launch this week that somewhere along the line I forgot to check when Thanksgiving was. Yep, as an Australian author Thanksgiving isn’t such a big deal for me so I ended up choosing to launch my book smack bang in the middle of Thanksgiving, Black Friday and cyber Monday. Maybe not the smartest launch strategy I’ve ever made.

    Still, I’m super excited the book is live and ready for you to read.

    This was a fun story to write because Ben and Abby are both really great people in not so great situations. Ben may have brought his on himself, but he wants to be better and Abby is just a woman trying to get over her ex and make the best of a difficult situation.

    This book also featured some fun side-characters who maybe weren’t such great people but were great fun to write.

    I hope you enjoy reading Playing It Safe as much as I enjoyed writing it.

    Be sure to download your copy today and if you like it, leave me a review.

    Playing it Safe - Courtside Romance - Amazon Banner

  • Blog

    Our Five Favourite Reads – A Writer’s Dozen blog hop


    Our Five Favourite Reads - Writers Dozen Banner
    Welcome to The Writers’ Dozen Top 5 Reads Blog Hop. I’ve been a member of this fabulous writing group for 14 years. We’re an eclectic bunch of writers penning novels across a diverse range of genres including crime, women’s fiction, rural romance, romantic comedy, chic lit, historical fiction, literary fiction and short stories. This year we’ve decided to join forces and do some blog hops so readers can see what we’re all about, starting with our Top 5 Reads (so far) for 2018.

    When we were on a writing retreat in January my writers group and I decided to share your favourite books for 2018 so far, we’ll be doing a quarterly blog post so make sure you come back to see what else.

    We’d love to hear about what books you’ve been enjoying so don’t forget to leave your comments and recommendations.


    My five favourite reads

    Two Minute Moves
    1. Two Minute Exercises
    ​I am aware this is not fiction but this book has been amazing for me. I sit at my day job, I sit to write and I have a bad neck so I need to move but I’m time poor. I’ve been doing these at work, between writing sessions and before and after work. I don’t look like a super-model but I feel better for doing them. There is even a set of 2 minute exercises you can do while reading in bed. What’s not to love?

    I’ve done quite a few of the exercises and if I do two or three sets a day I definitely do feel better. I haven’t tried any of the recipes or meditations yet but I will I promise.


    Diamonds and Dirt Roads2. Diamonds and Dirt Roads by Erin Nicholas
    I’m a big Erin Nicholas fan, I especially love her Sapphire Falls series and I think at this point I’ve read most of her romance books. This is the first book in a new series and so naturally I had to give it a go. I really enjoyed it while I was reading it and I will definitely read the next book in the series. It’s not a book that stayed with me, I haven’t thought a lot about it or the characters – three billionaire sisters who must all move to a small-town and fulfill the terms of their father’s will in order for any or them to inherit – but I read it in one sitting staying up until well after midnight to do so which makes it a good book in my eyes.


    Complicated3. Complicated, Kristin Ashley
    The first thing I loved about this book was the cover. I hadn’t read anything by this author before. I was heading off for a few days on a boat and I needed to load my kindle. I like to read romantic comedy but now every romance adds this tag, whether its funny or not, and they range from inspirational to erotica so its hard to find what you want as a reader (and get found as an author). So a cover that didn’t have a bare chested man drew my attention. (Side not these covers seem to be a new direction for the author – I would never have even glanced at her old ones so that’s always interesting to me) Now there bits of this book I didn’t love (there’s a lot of sex and I’s not behind closed doors so be warned) but I really liked the characters and I liked it enough to download another of her books.




    Jamie Oliver 5 Ingredients4. 5 Ingredient Meals Jamie Oliver
    I’m not going to lie I watch cooking shows to relax. I’m a pretty good cook and I find cooking to be both meditative and creative. (Not every night by the way, I am also very happy when my husband makes dinner). We also made a decision about five years ago that we wouldn’t eat take-out so I like to have a few quick and easy meals up my sleeve. My daughter gave me this book for Christmas because she knew I wanted it. I’ve made a few things already and I don’t always stick to the recipe because sometimes you just want something extra but the few things we’ve made have been tasty and with the day job and the writing fast food is good food.


    Mastering Amazon Ads5. Mastering Amazon Ads by Brian D Meeks
    I’ve been in this writing business for a while now and if anything tips me over the edge it won’t be the deadlines or the story ideas of writers block, it will be all the technology I need to master to promote my books. Amazon advertising is the latest thing I’m working to get my mind around and this book is not for creative types like me. At work I joke with my colleagues that I’d rather we put our plans in mind maps and Venn diagrams not excel spreadsheets and this book is very data driven so we’re not in my comfort zone here. However, at the half way point I’m finding it super helpful so I will persist because everyone who has read it says it is a game changer.


    Want to see what the other members of the Writer’s Dozen have been reading? Stop by their blogs.

    Laura Boon
    Rae Cairns
    Pamela Cook
    ​Terri Green
    Angella Whtton

    Let me know what your favourite reads are?

  • Blog

    12 Days of Downunder Christmas Blog Hop – entries now closed


    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


    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!

    12/5/2017 06:00:33 pm

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

    12/5/2017 08:22:42 pm

    Fake! Much easier and tidier

    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 😥

    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.

    12/6/2017 11:27:30 am

    I prefer a fake tree as I hate the smell of pine
    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!
    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.
    Debbie Martin
    12/9/2017 10:06:41 pm

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

    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!

    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

    Something of a Spark Blog Tour


    Something of a Spark - Monique McDonell - Blog Tour
    Book Information
    Title: Something of a Spark
    Author: Monique McDonell
    Series: A Jewel Sisters Romance #1
    Release Date: October 31, 2017
    Genres: Chick Lit
    Publisher: Redfish Publishing

    About Something of a Spark
    Jewel Sisters - Something of a Spark - Original CoverSometimes keeping a secret is more trouble than it’s worth.
    Growing up as one of the Jewel Sisters of Caudal Bay has never been easy for Sapphire Smith. As far as her friend’s and family are concerned she’s now a struggling radio DJ living in Sydney and working part-time as a PA for her best friend country music star Ryan Storm.
    But that’s only part of the story.
    When an accident in her home town brings real-life hero and firefighter Campbell into her world their relationship starts with a smoulder and slowly begins to spark. Campbell has given up his career as a corporate lawyer for a quieter, more rewarding life. He loves his new town and the welcoming atmosphere as much as Saffy loves the anonymity of the city.
    As their relationship begins to heat up one thing is clear – Cam is all about honesty while Saffy has something to hide: her work partnership with Ryan involves more than social media and if the truth comes out it could be a disaster for them both.
    Will Saffy come clean before their secret gets out? Or will her desire to keep people at arm’s length see her relationship with Ryan fizzle out before it has a chance to catch fire.







    Where to Find Something of a Spark
    Universal Link


    Meet Monique McDonell
    Monique McDonell
    I am an Australian author who writes contemporary women’s fiction including chick lit and romance.
    I have written all my life especially as a child when I loved to write short stories and poetry. At University I studied Creative Writing as part of my Communication degree. Afterwards I was busy working in public relations I didn’t write for pleasure for quite a few years although I wrote many media releases, brochures and newsletters. (And I still do in my day-job!)
    When I began to write again I noticed a trend – writing dark unhappy stories made me unhappy. So I made a decision to write a novel with a happy ending and I have been writing happy stories ever since. I am the author of five stand alone novels including Mr. Right and Other Mongrels and Hearts Afire and the popular Upper Crust Series. Many of my novels focus on an Australian characters meeting and visiting US characters. I have been a member of the writing group The Writer’s Dozen for ten years. Our anthology Better Than Chocolate raised over $10,000 for the charity Room to Read and helped build a library in South East Asia. I am also a member of the Romance Writers of Australia. In 2015 had a piece on writing chick lit featured in the successful Australian non-fiction book Copyfight. I live on Sydney’s Northern Beaches with my husband and daughter.
    ​To learn more about my writing, my caffeine obsession and my upcoming books please visit www.moniquemcdonellauthor.com.au.

    Where to Find Monique
    Website: http://www.moniquemcdonellauthor.com/
    Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6154665.Monique_McDonell
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MoniqueMcDonellAuthor
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/MoniqueMcDonell
    Amazon Author: https://www.amazon.com/Monique-McDonell/e/B0086R9S2U/

    Blog Tour Schedule
    Check out this link to view the blog tour schedule!

  • Blog

    Have Chick Lit, Will Travel Launch Day!


    Have Chick Lit Will Travel CoverI am very excited to be part of this lovely box set with authors Jennifer Gilby Roberts and Geralyn Coracillo.

    I’ll be featuring both ladies on the blog over the next few days so you can learn more about the women behind the stories.




    Have Chick Lit, Will Travel

    A new box set of three great summer reads from up and coming chick lit authors.

    Fancy getting away from it all this summer? The chick lit tour bus is about to depart!

    Calling at:

    * Los Angeles, USA, to stumble into some outdoor adventures in She Likes It Tough;

    * Sydney, Australia for a harbour tour and a trip to the beach in Mr. Right and Other Mongrels; and

    * London, England to enjoy Pimms, strawberries and, of course, tennis in After Wimbledon.

    But it’s not all about the scenery. There’s plenty of time for falling in love, tackling big challenges and finding the courage to go after what you want. Our three tour guides are pretty tough women – even if they don’t know it – so come enjoy the ride while they deal with men, media and mothers in this international chick lit boxed set.

    These three novels have a total list price of $8.97, but for a limited time the collection is on sale for only 99c!

    The set includes:

    SHE LIKES IT TOUGH by Geralyn Corcillo

    “Hilarious story that is well paced and very original. You don’t want to miss this sassy crazy romance!”

    Lost in Chick Lit

    When a freak fast-food accident almost kills scaredy-cat Lisa, she decides it’s time to get a backbone and really start living. But how is she supposed to get tough after a lifetime of watching from the couch?

    Jack Hawkins, that’s how. When Lisa finds out that the outdoor extremist needs a clueless urbanite to test his top-secret line of beginners’ adventure gear, she makes the most outlandish deal of her life: she will be his test dummy if he helps her become brave.

    But are there enough wild adventures in the world to help Lisa find the grit to pursue a career she really wants or the nerve to stand up to her bullying family? And what about going after the man who’s not afraid of anything… except falling for Lisa?

    Winner of Best Indie Book and Best Humor Book at the Rebecca’s Reads Choice Awards 2013.


    “Truly loved every minute that I was reading this book!”
    Smitten With Reading, Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer

    Quietly and independently wealthy, Ally Johnson runs a charming second-hand bookshop in beachside Manly and is blissfully happy doing it. Heck, sometimes she even goes downstairs from her flat to run the shop in her Chinese silk pyjamas. It sounds perfect. But when dog-phobic Ally is rescued from an exuberant canine by Teddy Green, Australia’s hottest TV celebrity, her life begins to change dramatically!

    Despite her best efforts to resist his charm, Ally finds herself falling for him. Supported by her eccentric family and her fabulous gay friend Justin, Allegra embarks on an on-again, off-again romance with Teddy, complicated by his jealous ex-girlfriend, fashionista Louisa, and her own narcissistic hippy mother Moonbeam.

    Will Ally be able to overcome her insecurities and find happiness with Teddy, or will his celebrity lifestyle prove to be too much?

    AFTER WIMBLEDON by Jennifer Gilby Roberts

    “A sumptuous summer read that will delight everyone, even those who aren’t into their tennis.”
    Best Chick Lit

    After 12 years on the pro tennis tour and four years with her sort-of boyfriend, Lucy Bennett has had enough. She wants real life… and real love.

    Her life, her decision. Right? Well, no one else seems to think so. With opinions on all sides, Lucy’s head is spinning. And she’s stumbling right into the arms of long-term crush and fellow player Sam. Shame her boyfriend – his arch-rival – would sooner smash a racquet over their heads than agree to a simple change of partners.

    As the Wimbledon Championships play out, Lucy fights for her life on and off the courts. But what will she be left with after Wimbledon?


    Each book is written using the language conventions of the author’s home country.

    One click this great romantic comedy box set now before the price goes up!

    Amazon: http://mybook.to/HCLWT

    Have Chick Lit Will Travel Box Set Image


    Geralyn Corcillo
    7/24/2014 06:05:40 pm

    What a trip it has been putting together this box set with these two fantastic authors and their highly entertaining books!

    7/25/2014 12:29:52 pm

    ThNks so much for letting me be a part of your special day! Bought the book and can’t wait to sink my teeth in!! Wishing U guys much success!

    7/26/2014 04:57:17 pm

    Thanks so much! I can’t wait to read your book!! I have to admit, I purchased before skimming the blurb… I had already purchased and read Wimbeldon, so I figured any books paired alongside it should be up my alley! Now having read the blurb, can’t wait to dig in!! 😍. Congrats on your collaboration!

  • Blog

    A little update on me and my writing – Hearts Afire just days away!


    Hearts AfireLife has been very busy lately. You may have noticed poor old Heart’s Afire isn’t out yet but it will truly be only a few more days. It’s off to the formatter so that’s big progress.

    Meanwhile I’m preparing for NaNoWriMo and revising another novel.

    I’m looking for some Beta Readers so if that’s something you’re interested in doing for me I would love to hear from you.

    In my day job lately I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing some truly extraordinary women which has been utterly inspiring. It’s funny how you speak to people who seem to find an extra few hours in the day and it motivates you to do the same.

    Some people just ‘get on with it’ rather then moaning and making excuses and it’s always lovely to be surrounded by people like that.

    So, I’m off to go and get on with it myself.








    10/16/2012 12:16:48 pm

    great cover design for Hearts Afire!
    10/16/2012 12:22:25 pm

    Thanks 🙂