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Permalink to Friday Book Club! What are you reading?

Friday Book Club! What are you reading?

Friday Book Club! What are you all reading this week and weekend? Anything you recommend? Anything you’re looking forward to?

I’ve been re-reading myself (Once Upon a Rose), which doubtless sounds rather self-absorbed, but it’s because I’m about two-thirds of the way through the draft of the next Rosier book and needed to re-situate myself in the family dynamics set up in Book 1 and make sure I still had a good feel for them and where they were heading.

And last weekend/beginning of this week I was reading Sage Blackwood’s Jinx series. This is a middle-grade fantasy series around the main character, Jinx, that had been recommended to me a lot for my daughter. I started reading it myself and just loved it–the character, the world, the wry humor and magic. A big recommend, both for adults or if you’re looking for something for your own kids. No romance, though! (Well, a hint of it, but it’s not at all the focus.)

What about you? What are you reading?

Happy weekend!

(PS There’s a chocolate cup giveaway going on on my Facebook page until noon today. Hop over there to enter.)


Permalink to Reader ARCs of ALL FOR YOU

Reader ARCs of ALL FOR YOU

Reader advanced copies of ALL FOR YOU are almost ready!

As many of you know, I think reader reviews are extremely important. They really help get a discussion going among readers, and that is just vital to the life of a book.

So in honor of that, I started, several books back, sharing the 10 arcs my publisher would give me with those of you who would like to review on Amazon, Apple, BN, Goodreads, etc. Obviously, it’s important to have more reviews for books than that, so I hope all of you will consider reviewing if you can, but this is my way of trying to honor the regular readers and not just focus on professional reviewers. We’re going to keep with this tradition again this time around.

If you’ve asked to be on the list before, you should still be on it for this round. (Although you can double-check by trying to sign up again–it won’t let you sign up twice.) If you’re relatively new to my books but would enjoy this kind of opportunity,  here’s the link to sign up.

We’re hoping to get these out in the next week. Please remember that there is a LOT of interest, and we send out a very limited number, so it’s all in the luck of the draw, but I hope it’s a fun opportunity.

Thank you all again for all your interest and support. Reader reviews are really vital to authors, so I truly appreciate how many of you have gone out of your way to share your thoughts and spread the word about these books.



Permalink to Hot Chocolate Cups Go To…

Hot Chocolate Cups Go To…

I see there is a great love of hot chocolate cups here. :) (You know, those cups that some people use for coffee, but not me!)

I ended up drawing 6 names instead of 2, just because 2 seemed kind of inadequate to the interest. 3 from the email list and 3 from here on FB.

Never fear! I have a limited edition run of these. They are for book clubs and for YOU, so I will give away another every week or so until we run out.

Some people asked if I would sell them. Honestly, it’s too much hassle. This is just something I wanted to do for fun because what is a better symbol of curling up with the pleasures of life than a cup of hot chocolate…maybe under a cozy throw by the fire with a good book?

It seemed a little way to spread some happiness around! I hope so!

So today we have Carmin, Susan, and Gloria from the email list (emails sent) and Chris D., Amy D (of the macarons! do you think she draws luck on herself from all that goodness she makes?), and Lynn L, and Michele A, from Facebook and the blog.

(I know, that makes 7. The thing is, since I believe Lynn was the one who suggested the quote in the first place, I was going to send her one anyway as a thanks, so I drew another. I cannot find the old post where people were brainstorming quotes, now, though, so let me know if you think you were the one to mention it! My mind is a sieve these days.)

Happy chocolate drinking! I’ll draw another name next week to keep the chocolate cheer coming against the snow!


Permalink to A Cup of Hot Chocolate

A Cup of Hot Chocolate

Look what’s finally here! The hot chocolate cups! Just in time for spring probably, sigh. (Okay, so we get a little swamped over here and not everything gets done. But all this snow was motivating, hot chocolate wise.)

Who wants one? With a little bit of Valrhona nestled inside so that you can make your own cup of hot chocolate to get through this long winter–or maybe, who knows, celebrate the start of spring? (Any sign of spring yet where you live?)

I’ll pick one name from Facebook and one from my new releases email list, so you can enter both places. (Sign up for email list here.)

cups


Permalink to Revising & making truffles–what about you?

Revising & making truffles–what about you?

Some days I enjoy revising so much. There’s something very therapeutic about it, like cleaning up a room before you show it off to guests. A little word trimmed here, a sentence cleared up there, shining it up.

[Ironically, cleaning up an actual room would be something I do not enjoy doing at all.]

What are you celebrating this week? How are you taking time to enjoy life? We’ve been making truffles this weekend, and I suspect tomorrow will be a snow day here and we’ll be doing even more baking, the type of celebration I enjoy a lot.

I hope this week is treating you well!


Permalink to Book Valentine’s?

Book Valentine’s?

Valentine’s Day! A day which in regular life I have some reticence toward–if you’re in an established couple, hopefully you make time for each other (and chocolate!) without marketers telling you that today has to be the day, and if you’re single…doesn’t it just make you feel lousy?

BUT in books I have a *great* time with Valentine’s Day. When I think back on it, there have been quite a few Valentine moments in the Chocolate books in particular. I think that’s because once it slips into fiction, it’s so rich with symbolism that *of course* with all those chefs and chocolatiers I can’t resist.

So let’s celebrate Valentine’s in books! Do you have a favorite book Valentine moment? Or book boyfriend?

Happy Valentine’s Day! Love yourself today, too!


Permalink to Take Time to Celebrate!

Take Time to Celebrate!

Take Time to Celebrate this Week!

So I’ve been thinking a lot about celebrating successes, and I would really like to have a space here that encourages us all to do that. I think it’s something a lot of us don’t take time to do.

And I think it’s *very important*. In fact, the more I’ve been reading about the visualization techniques of top athletes, the more important I realize it is. That celebrating strengthens you and motivates you and just enriches your life.

But I also think that we have to be careful to celebrate not just the Big Huge Visible Accomplishment, but those things we value the most–that we had a great day hiking with our families, maybe, or that we made cookies with the kids. (Because if those are important and yet we don’t celebrate them as successes, then we subconsciously undervalue ourselves for taking time to do them.) And sometimes we need to celebrate the tiny, tiny thing we managed to snatch out of a really bad week or month–every little victory.

So…I want to try to do a (perhaps weekly?) space here where people can take a second to celebrate.

What are you celebrating this week? How are you celebrating? (Sometimes I feel you can do it just by taking a deep breath and thinking about it for a moment.)

I am really, really grateful and happy that ONCE UPON A ROSE has been so well received. Thank you all so much! And I’m celebrating a weekend spent with friends and family making crêpes and playing outside in the beautiful weather we had.

How about you?

I hope everyone has a great week!


Permalink to Happy Crêpe Day! (la Fête de la Chandeleur)

Happy Crêpe Day! (la Fête de la Chandeleur)

A public service message to remind you that tomorrow (Feb 2) is Crêpe Day! La Chandeleur, in France, which is when, instead of waiting for a groundhog to see his shadow (or hopefully not), the French make crêpes and everyone flips one with a gold coin in his or her hand. (Preferably a louis d’or, but unlike my father-in-law, we don’t have any of those on hand and have to make do with a euro, which is at least gold in appearance.) This brings good fortune for the rest of the year.

And as I always say, making and eating crêpes with friends is good fortune in and of itself! (Also a good way to *make* friends, as my husband discovered early on living here. If you invite people over for crêpes, they will all come! Hungry.)

Our own crêpe party had to be postponed until next Saturday due to a sick child this past Saturday and Feb 2 falling on a Monday, but it will be fun.

Favorite crêpe toppings: just brush with good butter (from Brittany, if you can get it, but if not the Irish Kerrygold is a good brand usually found in the U.S.) and sprinkle with sugar, and fold in half and then in half again (so that it looks like the slice of a pizza in shape). Then eat. Or brush with butter and sprinkle with sweet ground chocolate, or spread with Nutella.

In Québec, they love maple syrup on their crêpes, combining the influences of two worlds quite deliciously.

Are you inspired? Who’s in?

(And I do realize vaguely that a lot of people are focused on the Super Bowl right now and not crêpes, but our football loving neighbors moved, so we have drifted back into complete obliviousness when it comes to the game. I know, I know…adrift from popular culture once again! I hope you have a great evening tonight, if you enjoy watching it!)

And Happy Crêpe Day!


Permalink to “That Guy” (Mr. Darcy)

“That Guy” (Mr. Darcy)

My daughter, as she finishes watching the last episode of Pride and Prejudice (the Colin Firth version, of course–BBC):

Daughter: Sigh. “You know, I’d like that guy a lot better if he had a sense of humor. He’s always so…” (Sticks nose up in the air as only an eight-year-old can and acts frowny and haughty.)

Me: “Well…yes. I believe you’ve captured Mr. Darcy’s essence, honey.”

I think the whole appeal of Darcy in the BBC version is this subtle, simmering need the whole film to totally undo him. (And we never see him undone enough, do we? At least, I always find the second proposal and ending in that version very flat compared to the build-up.)

Which film version of Pride and Prejudice do you like the best? Or do you prefer the book?

We just finished working on this in our Romance Novel course (thus the re-watch with my daughter), and are now moving on to Heyer’s The Masqueraders. (I want to talk with students about how she uses the switch in gender roles to challenge traditional limits to heroine’s roles in romance. Plus, I just love that book. And of course, we do Heyer because she single-handedly created the Regency romance genre, even if Masqueraders is not itself a Regency.) I mention because people often ask me what we’re working on!

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