On the grounds of Chenonceau.
Who can you imagine living here?
The Fall for the Book Festival was wonderful! I was so honored to be part of it, and want to give a huge thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make it happen, to the volunteers, sponsors, organizers, George Mason University, the crew in the theater who made sure my sound and lights and technology all went perfectly, and of course Artisan Confections for the generous donation of chocolate! It’s a fantastic festival.
A few photos from the event.
For those of you in the DC area, note that I’ll be giving a short talk & reading this Thursday, Sept 18, 7 pm for the Fall for the Book Festival. Find out more location details and about the chefs talking, too, here.
From 7:30-8:30 after the talk, I will be signing books AND the wonderful Jason Andelman of ARTISAN CONFECTIONS, whose chocolates are amazing, has generously offered his chocolates for tasting. Go check this out to see what his chocolates are like! I was researching the chocolatiers around DC, because, as you know, that is one of the great trials of my career choice, this obligation to test out all the top chocolate shops wherever I travel, and when I tried his…mmm. So good and so beautiful to look at, too.
I believe the books I will have to sign are THE CHOCOLATE THIEF, THE CHOCOLATE KISS, and THE CHOCOLATE TOUCH. (I’m not 100% positive as the festival ordered them.) You are, of course, welcome to bring other books, and I will sign them, too.
I’m looking forward to meeting some of you in person! I haven’t signed in DC before, and it’s always fun to meet up with readers from a new area.
So the evil Nalini Singh challenged me to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge earlier this morning. Here you go. Now I challenge YOU to do it (yes, you, I’m talking to you), plus Kristen Callihan, Jennifer Lohmann, Jessica Scott. They know why I’m picking on them. (Search your conscience, ladies. Search deep.*)
For those of you not aware, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was started to earn money for the ALS Association. (ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, if you’re wondering what I’m talking about.) People have 24 hours to accept the challenge!
Meanwhile, I’m explaining to my daughter, “Well, yes, I know I told you not to accept ridiculous dares, sweetie, but…it’s different for mommies.”
Winner of this is Kristy M. Congratulations, Kristy! I hope you enjoy it.
Giveaway today! So a couple of weeks ago, when I went to the signing that Jennifer Lohmann, Virginia Kantra, Katharine Ashe, Jessica Scott did, I was really fascinated by what Jennifer had to say about her upcoming book, WINNING RUBY HEART.
It’s coming out Sept 1, and what really intrigued me about this book is that the heroine *has actually done something wrong*. I feel as if, often, heroines get a lot of backlash if they have ever done anything other than bounce around in a ponytail and provide a foil for the hero (a hero who can probably get away, quite literally, with murder and still be considered sexy). The consequence of this, or maybe it’s a cycle, is that you don’t see nearly as many complex heroines as I would like.
So I am absolutely fascinated by the concept of this one. The heroine is a world-class athlete who was brought down in a blood-doping scandal five years before. (And she was genuinely guilty of it.) Now she’s trying to make her comeback, and the hero…he’s the man who made his journalistic career by breaking the story on her blood-doping.
I am really fascinated to read this! I thought some of you might be, too, and in discussing it, so I begged Jennifer to offer an advanced copy. And she agreed!
So if you would be interested in reading it, just comment below. It’s a regular print copy such as you would find in the store, but one of her author’s advanced copies, so if you’re willing to also leave a review for her later, that is not required by any means, but it would be lovely if you did. I love books that take risks and push our concept of what women “are allowed” to be in books (like, you know…we screw up, too, and have to make our lives over). And I would love to see a lot of discussion around this one.
So if you would be interested in reading this, too, just let me know! And a huge thanks to Jennifer for being willing to share a copy.
I’ll put an AMZ link so you can check out more info about the book if you want.
Happy reading! And thank you again to Jennifer.
In honor of Read A Romance Month, I’ve written a post about the real life power of love. It kind of means a lot to me, this post, so I hope you will check it out!
And while you’re there, you can see some wonderful thoughts from other authors who are participating in this month. PLUS, awesome giveaways! (Including today, copies of THE CHOCOLATE TOUCH, and THE CHOCOLATE THIEF.)
Seriously, check it out! There’s a lot going on there this month, all in honor of Romance!
Do you have recipes that make you think of certain people while you’re making them? Yesterday I made popovers for what may be the first time since I left my parents’ home (not sure why it’s been that long!), with that old-fashioned chicken à la king, and was thinking of my mother. (Hers are better than mine!) And tonight I made my daughter butterscotch pudding after she had her teeth pulled, and was thinking of my friend Sandy, who brought me homemade chocolate pudding after I had molars pulled five or six years ago and started the pudding-when-teeth-are-pulled tradition. Also of my sister-in-law, because once years ago I gave her some square mason jars so she could do a banana pudding presentation we saw in a magazine (I love banana pudding), and ever since she has been playing with all kinds of recipes with those, including butterscotch (maybe with bourbon?) pudding with bananas and I believe a drizzle of chocolate.
I love how the making of food can hold so many things at its heart. What recipes do you have that bring with them good memories of the person who started you making them, or the person with whom or for whom you have loved making them?
Where are my Virginia Kantra fans? I have finished the ARC she gave me of CAROLINA BLUES (Lauren & police chief Jack’s story), and it is AWESOME as always with her books. Also, now I am greedily awaiting the next book in the series based on the glimpses in BLUES, which just goes to show how insatiable I am. A writer’s work is never done.
I asked Virginia if I could pass it on to one of you, and she said okay!! I’m so excited to be able to share it with one of you!
Note, I’ve read it, and it got a little doggy-eared from being in my gym bag one day, so just be aware that this is for people who want the story 2 months early and don’t care so much about the condition of the book itself.
The only thing I ask is, these ARCs are really meant to be review copies to generate reviews for new books, which is really important. (Reviews are always important, actually. They affect all kinds of things, including sneaky algorithms on Amazon.) So if you are interested in it, would you please also be willing to (honestly) review it on Amazon/Barnes&Noble/Goodreads/your blog (at least one of those, but more is great if you can)? This is me asking that, not Virginia. I just know personally how important those ARCs are.
If you would be interested, comment below or on my Facebook site. And I’ll random draw someone tomorrow morning.
And here’s an Amazon link if you want to see more about the book.
Friday Book Club! I have been having a great reading week. MAGIC BREAKS (Ilona Andrews) came out, and it was fantastic! Read it straight through. And just before that I was reading Julie James SOMETHING ABOUT YOU–wonderful witty dialogue, and I love the strength and career-mindedness of her heroines and how well her heroes deal with that strength. Also…a point two. Was dying laughing. You’ll have to read it, I can’t explain or it would spoil it!
Also, at the signing I attended Wednesday (photo on Facebook), I picked up Katharine Ashe‘s I ADORED A LORD, Jennifer Lohmann‘s WEEKENDS IN CAROLINA, and Jessica Scott‘s BACK TO YOU (a marriage in trouble story! you know how I like those, if they’re well done and authentic). AND a VERY SPECIAL arc from Virginia Kantra, which she has authorized me to pass on to one of you when I am done with it. CAROLINA BLUES! It is already awesome, I started it last night.
I can’t even decide which of the other books I want to start next. All of them, really, but I suppose I’ll have to choose. It’s a nice spot to be in–several great books waiting.
What about you? What are you reading? Anything you recommend? Anything you’re looking forward to?
I’m at RWA in San Antonio now! Giving a talk this morning to librarians and then signing tonight at the Literacy Autographing, Marriott Rivercenter San Antonio 5:30-7:30pm. (This event is free & open to the public. ALL money goes to literacy initiatives. Publishers & authors donate their books entirely.)
Meanwhile, I wrote a pretty heartfelt post for Chachic’s Book Nook on why I write about France and things like chocolate, where I’m coming from and what I hope for these books. And shared some photos from the research! See the jasmine covered fountain? A huge thank you again for this beautiful and truly touching week of blogging events she has created.