Author Guest Post
Sydney As A Character In Mr. Right and Other Mongrels
Mr. Right and Other Mongrels is set on Sydney’s Northern beaches, specifically at world famous Manly Beach. It’s a place where surf lifesavers, tourists and hard-core surfers mingle on the sand year round.
If you come to Sydney there is a wonderful ferry – aptly named the Manly Ferry – that travels from across Sydney Harbour back and forth to Manly all day. The ferry ride starts at Circular Quay which is nestled between the Sydney opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge and crosses heads down the Harbour, north through The Heads and over to Manly. It’s a beautiful journey and in rough seas doubles as a small roller-coaster ride.
Once you reach Manly you walk down a Promenade from the Harbour to the Manly Beach where you can learn to surf, have a swim between to flags, walk around to Shelley Beach or just sit by the water and have fish and chips.
I set the book in Manly because I live quite close by and visit often. In fact, I used to catch the Manly Ferry in and out to work for a couple of years. Part of what inspired me was that it’s an iconic location here in Australia that I thought international readers might know a little about but like to get to know better.
Also as a tourist we sometimes forget that those iconic destinations have whole communities of people who live and thrive there day in day out, just like Allegra and her friends in Mr. Right and Other Mongrels.
I love reading books set in places I’ve never been to because it feels like I get to visit without leaving home. That’s one of the wonderful things about books, as far as I’m concerned, their ability to transport you to somewhere new, whether it’s real or imagined. It’s a way to explore without ever really leaving home.
When I do travel I always try to read a book set where I’m going. When I did an internship in Singapore I read A Town Like Alice for example. I also love reading about books set in places I know or have visited. I lived near Salem, Massachusetts for a while so I love reading books set in that area.
Many of my Sydney readers said they enjoyed reading about places they knew so well in Mr. Right and Other Mongrels and some overseas folks have said how much they now want to visit.
I hope you enjoy reading about my home town in this book. I felt like it was really another character in the book and like most of my characters I want you to like her (or him!)
About The Author:
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 began a year-long writing course at the NSW Writers Centre and (thank goodness) its members morphed into a writing group known as The Writer's Dozen. We published a highly successful anthology, Better than Chocolate, in 2008.
In 2008 I was also selected for the QWC/Hachette Livre Manuscript Development Course for my novel Mr. Right and Other Mongrels. In 2009 I received a Highly Commended in the Romance Writers of Australia's Valerie Parv Awards for my novel Hearts Afire.
These are the first two books I will be e-publishing in 2012 along with a third novel, A Fair Exchange. I'm not really like the characters in my books at all although I do share something in common with each of them - Allegra (Mr Right and Other Mongrels) has a dog phobia like me, Cassie (Hearts Afire) falls in love on a tropical island and I met my husband that way and Amelia (A Fair Exchange) was an exchange student who is now all grown up.
Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway
* Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway *
Win 1 of 3 eBook Copies of Mr. Right and Other Mongrels
Follow Monique McDonell's Mr. Right and Other Mongrels Virtual Book Tour and enter the tour-wide contest at each participating stop for a chance to win one of three eBook copies of Mr. Right and Other Mongrels. More entries = more chances to win!
Mr. Right and Other Mongrels by Monique McDonell
Published By: Redfish Publishing
Release Date: May 26, 2012
Format: eBook - 280 pages / Kindle - 338 KB
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Chick Lit / Women's Fiction
BUY THE BOOK: Mr. Right and Other Mongrels
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by CBLS Promotions.
When dog-phobic Allegra is rescued from an exuberant canine by the chivalrous Teddy Green, Australia’s hottest TV celebrity and garden make-over guru, her life begins to change. Dramatically!
Unaware of Teddy’s fame Allegra finds herself falling for him, despite her best attempts to resist his charm. 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 this possible Mr Right or will Teddy’s celebrity lifestyle prove to be too much? Mr. Right and Other Mongrels is a light-hearted story about how one chance encounter can change your life.
My Book Review:
An unconventional free spirit with a serious dog phobia ... an over-excited Old English Sheepdog ... a dashing rescuer who is a national media icon and successful landscape designer ... and a whirlwind romance in a span of one month ... has Ally Johnson found her Mr Right?
Allegra "Ally" Johnson is a twenty-six year old free spirit who owns a second hand bookstore in Manly, one of Sydney, Australia's popular beachside communities. Born into an unconventional hippie family, Ally is content to live her solitary life in an apartment above her bookstore.
Edward "Teddy" Green is a national TV icon with a popular home and garden show and author of landscape design books.
While walking down the street, Ally encounters an over-excited Old English Sheepdog, and because she has a serious dog phobia, she goes into a full blown panic attack and jumps into the bed of a truck to get away from the dog. The owner of the truck and Ally's rescuer is none other than the national celebrity, Teddy Green. Ally doesn't know who Teddy is, she had gotten rid of her television years ago when her life began to revolve around her favorite shows. Teddy likes that Ally is unpretentious and not all into his celebrity status, he finds it refreshing.
A mutual attraction takes place between Ally and Teddy, but Louisa Lane, Teddy's jealous ex-girlfriend is determined to nix this budding romance and get back together with him. What happens next is a whirlwind romance in a span of a month, and Ally questions why Teddy chose her and how she could fit into his world, while he sets out to show her that he is her Mr. Right.
Mr. Right and Other Mongrels is an entertaining, flirty and lighthearted romance story. Written in the first person narrative, Ally Johnson takes the reader on a fun ride as she tells her story about her unconventional life, dog phobia and finding Mr. Right. Rich in detail and vivid descriptions, the story takes place in the picturesque coastline of Sydney, Australia. I was sold on the wonderful description of Ally's bookstore, I love vintage secondhand bookstores, the eclectic mix of books and furnishings provides a warm and inviting environment. The author has created a quirky cast of characters that the reader can relate to, and they are just plain fun to get to know. I found the author's writing style to be interesting as she utilizes the local dialect of Australians into the dialogue. As an American not used to the Australian dialect, I found myself thoroughly entertained by the difference in the dialogue. The author weaves a fun tale about the quirky and sometimes tricky dynamics of unconventional families, individuality, insecurities, relationships and dog phobias. I really enjoyed the humorous tone of the story, it made the story an easy and enjoyable read.
RATING: 4 STARS ****