Thursday 19 December 2013

Twenty Questions with... Monica Garry-Allen plus GIVEAWAY

Today's blog post brings an end to the 2013 guest spots as I take a break next week for Christmas. It's hard to believe that a year passed since I started my Twenty Questions guest interviews but I hope you've enjoyed them. I already have many guests lined up for 2014, continuing in the now familiar Thursday slot, and kicking off on January 2nd.

So, for my final guest of 2013, I am delighted to welcome Monica Garry-Allen onto my blog, author of Christmas Confusion, recently released by Front Porch Romance. Monica also comes bearing a gift so remember to scroll all the way to the bottom to check out her giveaway.

ACT ONE – all about you…

Monica Garry-Allen has loved reading for as long as she can remember. As a child her mother always purchased books for her at her school’s book fair. Back then her favorite book was The Little Mermaid. Now days she reads and tells stories to her nieces and nephews during her weekend sleepovers. She loves kids, especially her wonderful nieces and nephews, but does not have any of her own yet.

Monica is a full time Clinical Laboratory Scientist. When she is not working in the lab she’s writing humorous love stories and steamy romances. She recently married the man of her dreams, Dempsey Allen, who motivates her to be the best writer she can be. She has a loving family who supports her one hundred percent and friends who can’t wait to read her next story. She resides in the southern part of Mississippi where she enjoys shopping, reading, writing and spending time with her family.

1) Have you always been a writer or is it something you fell into?

I’ve always been a writer, in my head. LOL. I work as a Clinical Laboratory Technician but I’ve always dreamed of being a writer.

2) Do you have a particular writing style or ritual?

I have a ritual... I love to write in complete silence. I have my own office and it bothers me a great deal when my hubby comes in and asks me anything.... especially stuff he already knows the answer to like, do you want something to eat; of course I want something to eat. LOL, just joking. But seriously I do need complete silence when I write. I take everything I need into my office with me so that I don’t have to leave out and do anything. The things I need are water, juice, a snack and a dictionary. J

3) Is there a book or an author that has influenced you in your writing? Or perhaps one piece of advice that has stuck with you that you’d like to share?

There are a few authors that influence my writing: Kresley Cole and Bertrice Small are a couple of them. My husband gives the best advice. He always tells me to never give up. He’s my biggest supporter.

4) Can you tell us three things about yourself that we probably don’t already know?

1 - I got married in June of this year.

2 – I’m the youngest of 8 children.

3 – My favourite television show is, ‘The Walking Dead’. #TeamDaryl

5) What five luxury items or gadgets would you hate to be without?

1 – My laptop

2 – My cell phone

3 – My husband (LOL)

4 – Toothe paste

5- Soap

6) The festive season is looming large, do you have a particular Christmas tradition that you like to indulge in? Or how about New Year’s resolutions; will you be joining in the madness for 2014?

Christmas Traditions – When I was younger my mother always allowed me to open one gift at night. Now that I am grown, my husband and I still open one gift on Christmas eve.

My New Year’s resolution this time around is to learn how to cook.

ACT TWO – all about your new release…

Can two people be any more confused than Bailey and Max?
Bailey Cooper is very much attracted to her neighbor Max Davis. Unfortunately for Bailey, Greg – Max’s lover is slowly becoming one of Bailey’s best friends. Bailey’s emotions are torn; she adores Greg’s friendship while at the same time she craves Max’s touch. What is a girl to do when she ‘thinks’ the man she's in love with is in love with someone else?
Max Davis and his baby brother Greg Davis are co-owners of the apartment building they live in. Max has fallen for his tenant, Bailey, but she avoids and ignores all of his advances. Max becomes suspicious of the friendship blooming between Greg and Bailey. He believes she has a crush on his brother but Max wants her all to himself. Now he has to think of ways to keep Bailey and Greg apart.
Will a holiday weekend full of chaos, confusion and a little bit of charm finally get Bailey and Max on the right track? Or will a few innocent caresses lead to more Christmas confusion?
7) Congratulations on your recent release of Christmas Confusion; what was your inspiration for writing Max and Bailey’s story?

Bailey’s character came to me one night at work. I wanted to write a story of a young woman who was moving into her first apartment and finding herself falling in love for the first time. But life isn’t simple so I had to give her a few obstacles to overcome and she handles them all brilliantly.

8) Did the story flow from your finger tips or did some scenes take a bit of cajoling?

This particular story was easy to write. The words seemed to just come to me.

9) How long did it take for the initial spark of the story to make it onto the page and then onto the publisher’s desk?

It took me about three months to write this novella, Christmas Confusion. I submitted it to Front Porch Romance in April and received a contract a week later.

10) Do you have a favourite paragraph or sentence from your story that you would like to tantalise us with?
A blush crept up her neck as she reached her hand out to shake his. Max shook her hand, slowly massaging the top of her knuckle with his thumb. “Hi, Bailey,” he whispered, so only she could hear him.
“H-hi Max, how was your vacation?” she asked politely.
“Lonely,” he admitted.
She pulled back from his grip as if scorched. He’d felt it too, felt the way her pulse picked up as he held her hand. She could try to run, but he wasn’t letting her go, not this time; not without a fight.

11) Over to you, what can you tell us about Christmas Confusion to make us rush out and buy it?

Christmas Confusion is a sweet and funny romance. It’s all about the emotions you feel when you experience your firsts as an adult: first apartment, first love and first job.

12) What can we expect from you next? Is there something you are working on right now?

Book two of Christmas Confusion is coming out in 2014, titled ‘Seducing Max’. Also in 2014 I will be releasing a Steamy Paranormal, ‘Her Dream Lover’, written under my pen name – Siren Allen.

QUICK FIRE ROUND – it’s pop quiz time…

13) Plotter or pantser?


14) Digital books or print books?


15) Tea or coffee?


16) Extrovert or introvert?


17) Facebook or Twitter?


18) The Snowman or A Muppet Christmas Carol?

A Muppet Christmas Carol

19) Christmas pudding or Yule log?

Christmas pudding

20) Give or receive?


And that’s a wrap!

Thank you so much for taking part, Monica, I wish you every success with your new release.

To discover even more about Monica Garry-Allen, and to keep up with her latest projects, you can visit her at:

Blog     Facebook     Twitter

Buy it now…

Add to Goodreads

Publisher: Front Porch Romance
Release date: 4 December 2013

Front Porch Romance
Amazon US / Amazon UK
Google Books


It’s time for a giveaway. Add Christmas Confusion to your to read list then comment here letting me know that you’ve done so for a chance to win a copy of my Romantic Comedy, The Makeover.

Add to Goodreads
Amazon US / UK
Revenge is a dish best served cold… while wearing heels.

April has just learned the real reason behind her boss’ impromptu dinner invitation. He only invited her to dinner with his colleagues to prove a point: that he can show up at an event with a plain Jane and still be considered ‘the man’. She expected better from him and had secretly hoped that one day their friendship would grow into something deeper. But her two best friends won’t let her wallow in her pain. They convince her to give Dr. Stewart a dose of his own medicine. The plan: show up at the dinner looking irresistible and prove to her boss that even nerd girls can be sexy. But first she has to replace her unattractive business suits with something sexier and more revealing. It’s time for a makeover.

Dr. Chad Stewart would never ‘really’ date his secretary. She was too good, to pure for someone as jaded as himself. It didn’t matter that he was half in love with her. But when he needed an ‘average date’ for a dinner party she was the first person he turned to. He thought his secretary was the perfect choice until he arrived to find her looking like his wildest fantasy. But now she knows the real reason for his invite and he can see in her eyes how hurt she is.

Can Chad convince her to forgive him for hurting her or will she walk out of his life… taking his heart with her?

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