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Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Five Facts about A Fair Exchange

This month, Monique McDonell is the first author to reveal FIVE FACTS about her latest release (she is also offering prizes. Scroll down for details). During the FIVE FACTS month we'll  be discovering facts about books that their author would rather not be known.

Over to Monique...
 
1. Just like the main character in my novel, A Fair Exchange, I was an exchange student in Massachusetts as a teenager.

2. Of all my novels this one had the longest gestation period.

3. I had lots of fun researching this book doing road trips in Australia and eating out at places in the book.

4. The character of Stacey in the book is an amalgam of a few of my friends when I live in America. (Stacey is a very American name and was not common in Australia in the 1980s and yet I had several American friends by that name – all my Australian friends were called Jennifer, Emma or Kylie).

5. Of all the male characters I’ve written Matt is my favourite so far. If I wasn’t happily married he’d be welcome on my door-step anytime!



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?

Amazon.com
Amazon.UK
Amazon.AU
Amelia Armstrong is about to find out!

It's just 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.
 Excerpt  
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?
About the author – Monique McDonell:

'I am an Australian author who writes contemporary women's fiction including chick lit and romance. I live on Sydney's Northern Beaches with my husband and daughter, and despite my dog phobia, with a dog called Skip.

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 have been a member of the writing group The Writer’s Dozen for eight 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.

A Fair Exchange is the fifth novel I have released in the last two years.'
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