Book Giveaway & Author Interview: 5 Reasons to Leave a Lover by Carolyn Moncel

Welcome to Author Carolyn Moncel


A virtual media and web consultant by day and author by night, Carolyn Davenport-Moncel moved to Paris from Chicago, her hometown, in 2001. In Paris, she started the first English-speaking Virtual Assistance firm. Known for her online articles on media relations, Moncel owns MotionTemps, LLC (, a Digital Project and Web Content Management firm with offices in Chicago, Paris and Geneva; and its subsidiary, Mondavé Communications (, a media relations training and publishing company. She has written, placed articles and been featured in such diverse publications as,, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Wired News, International Herald Tribune, Wall Street Journal, Working Mother, Bonjour Paris, and Author of Encounters in Paris – A Collection of Short Stories, Carolyn currently resides in Lausanne, Switzerland with her husband and two daughters. Her latest work is called 5 Reasons to Leave a Lover—A Novella and Other Short Stories. Her next collection of short stories, Encounters in Chicago – A Collection of Short Stories will debut in fall 2012. Discover her other works at

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If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose? 
Gosh, this is a fun question because all of my guests would be men! Limiting my list to only five people is tough. First, I would invite Bill Clinton because we could have such a great political discussion. Having both Keith Richards and Prince available to talk about music would also be fun. Next would be Johnny Depp because I am certain he would have something interesting to say. The last person is dead now, but Jack Kerouac because I have always found his life overall more fascinating than his work.

If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you? 
Besides my family, I think I could get by with a Swiss Army Knife, a satellite phone and a solar powered, waterproof laptop. With those things, I could get access to everything else that mattered in the real world including, music, books, photos, etc.

What is one book everyone should read? 
The Bible! There are so many stories found in the Bible, all with great meaning and multiple points of view, and room for reflection. Every plot that an author has ever dreamed of creating, or at least the seeds of that story can be found there. Honestly, I think it’s pretty amazing.

If you could have any superpower what would you choose? 
I wish I could say flying but actually, I am afraid of heights! So I think mindreading would be pretty fun, but probably annoying after a while.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? 
Chocolate or Pistachio. If I am at a Baskin Robbins ice cream store, then it’s Daiquiri or Margarita Ice.

If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose? 
David Brinkley, former political journalist or actor Gregory Peck.

Night owl, or early bird? 
Night owl, all the way. I should have chosen a profession that allows me to work the graveyard shift! I guess writing comes pretty close!

One food you would never eat?
Frog legs. Once my brother tried to trick me into eating them. I also would never eat Camembert cheese, which my husband loves.

Pet Peeves? 
I have a few but I will share a couple. My family calls them Carolyn’s Commandments. Thou shall not awaken Carolyn while she is sleeping in order to ask a question. There’s a good reason for this. If someone asks me a question while I am sleeping, I cannot guarantee that the answer will make sense. Thou shall not ask Carolyn to do something when she is already in the process of doing it! There are others, but these are big ones!

Skittles or M&Ms? 
M&Ms plain only.

What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen? 
Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret? Almost any Judy Blume book worked for me. I loved the fact that the stories were so realistic.

Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?
Well, the book itself was inspired by the Paul Simon song, “50 Ways to Leave a Lover.” I decided that the song was only half right. There are a million ways to leave someone but the reasons for leaving in the first place can be reduced to five: Deceit, Death, Abandonment, Abuse and Ambivalence. People leave because the conditions within the relationship, no matter what type it may be, become impossible to stay. I think they all have theme songs. For Julien, the male character in the Novella, the song would be “Nine Crimes” (the acoustic version) by Damien Rice. He’s made a few mistakes and there really doesn’t seem to be a way for him to redeem himself. For Ellery, I think it’s “Leave the Pieces When You Go,” by the Wreckers.

What is your favorite Quote?
“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” ― L.M. Montgomery

Who are your favorite authors of all time?
James Baldwin. All that I can say is that when I first read his work at 15, a light came on, and it was the first time that I read a book that really made me think. That first book was called Nobody Knows My Name and it was a collection of essays. I realized that I didn’t know anything about the world yet.

Can you see yourself in any of your characters? 
Actually, I see a little of myself in all of my characters.

What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you? 
Hear your own voice. It took me a very long to time to figure out what it meant. I think I know now.

Hidden talent? 
When people are talking to me, I can easily identify regional and geographical accents. I can also mimic them. Yet, speaking other languages well has been very hard. It’s so strange!

Favorite Food?
Any type of Chinese food or Sushi.

Favorite Candy?: 
Sweet Tarts, Malted Milk Balls and Caramels


How do you react to a bad review? 
Bad reviews used to hurt my feelings but not so much anymore. I realize that they are other people’s opinions. However, whenever I do receive a bad review, I really try to determine if it’s an honest critique that can help me improve as a writer or is just someone who doesn’t like my work. The former, I can do something about, however the latter, I can’t, so I no longer worry.

What’s your favorite season/weather? 
Fall and spring. I think I appreciate both because usually there are no extreme weather fluctuations. It’s not too hot and not too cold during those months. Plus, reminds me that everything is new again.

How did you celebrate the sale of your first book? 
I framed the book and treated my family to dinner!

What is your guilty pleasure? 
Shoes. I loved them. I cannot walk into a department store without looking.

What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you’d be embarrassed to admit? 
I am not embarrassed to admit this but I do love watching Jeopardy. I play as if I am a contestant, including a score for my responses. Actually, I get upset if I miss the final question at the end of the show.

Finish the sentence- One book I wish I had written is …
On Beauty by Zadie Smith.

Favorite places to travel?
Anywhere in Europe but right now my favorite place is Venice.

Favorite music? 
My list changes all the time but I have an absolute crush on Ryan Adams. I absolutely love the music he makes. I listen to his music a lot when I am writing as well.

In your wildest dreams, which author would you love to co-author a book with? 
It’s not my wildest dream, but right now I am having a great time co-authoring a Young Adult book with oldest daughter! It’s a lot of fun watching her mature as a writer and one day soon, she is going to be great! My youngest daughter has great ideas so we try to incorporate them into the work as well. It’s a real family affair.

5 Reasons to Leave a Lover

In 5 Reasons to Leave a Lover, author Carolyn Moncel offers up a fresh batch of stories based on love and loss. As singer/songwriter, Paul Simon so eloquently suggested in a famous song from the 1970s, there are many ways to leave a lover. However, Moncel’s characters demonstrate that the reasons for leaving in the first place are quite finite. Encounters in Paris` Ellery and Julien Roulet return, picking up their lives after the short story, “Pandora`s Box Revisited.” This time the Roulets are involved in a love triangle, and along with two other couples, must explore how love relationships are affected and splinter due to abuse, ambivalence, deception, cheating and death. This bittersweet collection of tales proves that some breakups are necessary; while others are voluntary; and still others are simply destined and beyond anyone’s control.

Giveaway Details:
1 paperback copy & 10 ebooks
Open Internationally
Ends 11/4/11

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