Today I welcome to the blog the gorgeous Monique McDonell. Monique and I have been members of the same writing group since 2004 and over the last two years Monique has published no less than five titles. If you love fun, flirty Romances you’ll love Monique’s books including A Fair Exchange, hot off the press this week.
Before we find out what Monique likes to read here’s a little about A Fair Exchange, along with an excerpt.
A Fair Exchange
A Fair Exchange
Who hasn’t wondered about their first love? What happened? What went wrong? Where are they now?
What if you got a second chance?
Amelia Armstrong is about to find out. What a shame her long-lost love, Matt, has returned (looking way too good and acting way too sweet) when her life is a shambles and she has finally decided once and for all to put herself and not whichever man is currently in her life, first.
How do you balance that desire to recapture that loving feeling with the need to finally be the best version of yourself? What if this really is the one, how do you choose when to stand your ground and when to cut your losses? Amelia takes a journey from Sydney to New York and back again trying to find the answers while negotiating with pop-divas, ex-lovers, crazy teenagers, a well-meaning cousin and the tabloids.
A Fair Exchange is a story about being a grown up when, maybe, you’d much rather be sixteen again.
It was not as if he was the first one to mention it. In the past week everyone who had entered my apartment had commented on the shiny new Vespa parked in the middle of the otherwise empty living room. In fact, each and every one of them had imaginatively said “Amelia you have a red Vespa parked in your living room!” And they all said it in a tone that implied I might not have noticed, as if it may have magically appeared there.
How could I not notice a vehicle parked in what was otherwise an empty room?
What amazed me was that the Vespa was what they chose to comment on.
Not that Nick had dumped me, after ten years, for a twenty-one year-old. Nor that he had moved out, taking basically all the furniture and leaving me with a great view over the beach and an enormous mortgage.
No one even commented about the fact that I, in turn, had quit the fabulous job that had always meant way too much to me.
No, they commented on the Vespa.
What I could not understand though was why it hadn’t bothered me until right then, when Matthew Blue commented. And when he did comment, why had I collapsed into this embarrassing sea of tears?
How had this happened? How had I become this sobbing pathetic figure of womanhood? And more importantly how had I ended up thirty-six and alone?
Didn’t I used to have so much potential? Everyone had said so, hadn’t they?
“Amelia Armstrong is something special.”
I was one of those shiny young girls who took risks and dreamed big. I was one of the smart ones who knew what she wanted and went after it. I was one to watch.
If I hadn’t been that kind of a girl I would never have met Matthew all those years ago. A different girl would not have found herself, on the other side of the world, at sixteen, staring into his dark and dreamy eyes.
So where was that girl right now, I wanted to know? And how had a girl with so much potential gotten it so horribly wrong?
To go in Monique’s draw to win a $25 Amazon Giftcard click on the link:
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Now let’s find out about Monique’s reading habits …
1. Which books do you most vividly remember from your childhood?
There was a book called The Littlest House that they had in my infants school library, I borrowed it every week in Kindergarten/Prep. I also read my way through the entire Beatrix Potter collection that year. I really love the “What Katy Did” series when I was about ten and all the Astrid Lindgred books.
2. Who are your three most favourite literary characters? Tell us what you love about each of them.
That’s tough! I love Jo from Little Women, she was such a kind soul who was mis-judged by her slightly tough exterior.
3. Who is your favourite literary villain? Why? I’m not such a fan of the villain.
I am going to with Daniel Cleaver from Bridget Jones’ Diary (as I write chicklit/rom coms). He’s more of a bad boy than a total villain but he does do some pretty mean stuff. My all time favourite villain is Cruella De Ville. So magnificently evil!
4. If you could invite any five writers to a cosy dinner party who would you ask and why?
How fun! Well you make my list Pam, because I need a friend if I’m having all these famous writers over. I’m going to invite Stephen King because his book On Writing is a writer’s bible so we might all learn something, I’m inviting Barbra Taylor Bradford because I loved her books when she was younger and her branding and marketing is extraordinary and I would like to hear more about the private island she bought with her earnings. I really like Amy Tan’s novels and she’s in a writer’s rock band with Stephen King so that might make the table cohesive. Finally, I’m inviting Bella Andre because her perspective on becoming a mega-successful indie author would be fascinating. That’s five! Poor Stephen is going to have to endure a night with the ladies.
(Thanks for the invite Monique, I’m in!)
5. What book has made you laugh out loud?
Janet Evanovich’s books have definitely. There were moments in The Rosie Project too.
6. What book, or scene from a book, has made you cry?
I’m a crier, everything makes me cry. I’ll go with The Littlest House because the ending of that book still gives me happy tears.
7. Where and when do you do most of your reading?
Well I read at home a lot, in bed at night or in my favourite wing chair. I also read in the car (not when driving of course) when I’m waiting at my daughter’s clarinet lessons or netball training or whichever activity I’m waiting around at.
8. Is there a genre of book you’d never read? Why?
Never say never. I’m not a fan of sci-fi/speculative fiction but then a friend pointed out that The Time Traveller’s Wife falls loosely under the banner and I liked that a lot. I prefer my fiction more reality based so a hint or magic is fine but I don’t really want to head off to an entire fantasy world.
9. Can you give us a mini-review of a book you’ve recently read and enjoyed?
I really enjoyed Hindsight by Australian author Sarah Belle. It’s a story about a woman who wakes up married to the same man in the same house but instead of it being now it’s the 1940’s. It was an interesting look at how marriage has changed and how technology has changed it, sometimes for the better and sometimes not.
10. What are the top three books in your TBR pile?
My pile is low and needs topping up. This week I’m reading The President’s Hat. I really love books by South American writers for the language and beautiful descriptions but I haven’t read any lately. I also keep meaning to read The Happiest Refugee by Ahn Do and Rob Lowe’s autobiography.
Thanks for visiting Flying Pony Monique and good luck with A Fair Exchange!