Put your hands together for today’s featured author…Monique McDonell coming to us from the other side of the globe…Australia!
Monique is the author of 6 Novels, including the first in a series, Any Way You Slice It.
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.
I have written five stand-alone romantic comedies and Any Way You Slice It, the first book in my new Upper Crust series.
To learn more about Monique McDonell and her upcoming books please visit her at http://www.moniquemcdonellauthor.com
Piper Adams has one month to find a husband, and get a green card, or be kicked out of the country just when her chain of Aussie Pie trucks is about to start making some serious money.
Aaron is an ambitious lawyer keen to make partner but his Boston law firm only promotes lawyers who are married.
A marriage of convenience could solve both their problems if they keep it strictly business but convincing everyone else that this is true love while trying to convince themselves that it isn’t is a sure recipe for trouble. All the kissing and touching to prove that this is a true love sets the heat rising faster than the pies in Piper’s kitchen.
While Aaron is happy to be friends with benefits, Piper knows better than to mix business with pleasure, despite the undeniable chemistry. Getting married to save her business is one thing, but falling in love would mean risking her heart. Any way you slice it she’s getting more than she bargained for.
A little bit like a cross between Grease and The Proposal, Any Way You Slice It is sure to captivate readers who love romantic comedy and chicklit.
This is the first book in The Upper Crust Series.
Monique has been kind enough to share her favorite Aussie Meat Pie recipe with us:
In Australia we have local cake shops in every suburb that sell meat pies and sausage rolls. They are the ultimate take-away food. Long before the Colonel, Golden Arches or various pizza chains graced our shores in the 1970’s this was the food we ate. We enjoy them at sporting events in the same way an American might have a hot dog.
(My dad has a sister who lives in LA. When they come to Australia my mother gets out the good silver and serves up Aussie meat pies to them at the dining room table. It’s the sort of food you dream about when you are far, far away.)
In Any Way You Slice It, Piper the main character has a chain of food trucks that sell only pies and while she serves a variety of flavours, the classic meat pie is the corner stone of her business.
This is a family pie that I make in a family sized pie plate but it can also be made as 4 individual pies if you have individual pie plates. This is one of my daughter’s family favourites.
Australian Meat Pie – serves 4
1 quantity of shortcrust pastry or one pie shell (I’ll post my recipe soon)
2 small or 1 large onion diced
500g beef mince
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 beef stock cube
2 cups hot water
2 tablespoons cornflour
2 tablespoons water (extra)
1 sheet puff pastry
1 egg yolk.
1. Heat oil in pan and add onions, cook stirring until soft. Add mice, cook stirring until browned.
2. Stir in sauces, stock cube and water (I dissolve the stock cube in water first) simmer 15 minutes. Stir in cornflour and extra water. Stir over high heat until it boils and thickens. Cool.
3. Grease a pie plate with butter or olive oil and roll pastry to fit pie plate. Cover pastry with baking paper, fill with dried beans or pie weights and bake in moderate oven 8 minutes. remove beans and cook a further 8 minutes.
4. Fill pie shell with meat mixture. Brush edges or pastry with egg yolk and press puff pastry on top. Cut to fit. You can use any scraps to decorate. Brush pie with more egg yolk. Bake in oven 20-25 minutes until golden.