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Permalink to Heart’s Gift

Heart’s Gift

HEART’S GIFT: I’ve heard from a few alert readers who have told me that I switched the names around on Luc and Summer’s children. (That in the epilogue to THE CHOCOLATE HEART, they oldest child is Océane and the second is Lucienne.)

It’s TRUE. I managed to switch this around very early when working on SHADOWED HEART and didn’t myself realize it until readers pointed it out this week.

I am in a bit of a quandary as to how to resolve it now, because…well, here is the thing. The epilogue anticipated 7 years into Luc & Summer’s future.

But working on SHADOWED HEART, it became very obvious how valuable it would be to Luc to have his first child named after him, and that Summer realized this and would do it.

So…I know this kind of thing drives readers absolutely crazy, and I can understand. Because to you the story is fixed, and to me it’s always in a process of creation.

But given that the mistake is MADE now and it’s too late, I will have to reflect some. Obviously the easiest thing to do is to revise HEART’S GIFT so that they use the name Océane. But…well, I’m really attached to the significance of naming her after Luc and what her name means.

So…I will think. I do very much apologize for the error! I know this is the kind of thing that can drive a reader crazy. It should perhaps be a lesson to me not send out these side stories! I really wanted to send out a special story as a gift, though. :( I don’t know and will have to reflect.


Permalink to Some holiday presents!

Some holiday presents!

Happy holiday season to everyone!

I’m sharing stories today, as a little present for the holidays and a thank you for all your support this year.

If you haven’t seen this via the newsletter, I’ve posted here a link to a special cut scene from The Chocolate Touch featuring Dom and the aunts from The Chocolate Kiss.

And for those of you who enjoyed Shadowed Heart, I’ve just sent out a special short story for the holidays to my newsletter subscribers, about Luc and Summer. (It’s a direct sequel to Shadowed Heart, so I recommend reading that first.) If you haven’t signed up for the newsletter already, don’t worry! We’re automatically sending a copy to anyone who signs up through the months of December and January. (And while we’re “early releasing” it to newsletter subscribers this month, we’ll post it online in 2015. I’m not sure of the date of that yet.)

Thanks so much for reading! I hope you enjoy the presents!


Permalink to Friday Book Club! What are you reading?

Friday Book Club! What are you reading?

It’s Friday! What are you reading this week? Anything you recommend? Anything you’re looking forward to this weekend?

I just finished David Finkel’s THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE. Finkel is the Pulitzer prize winning journalist who wrote THE GOOD SOLDIERS (about being embedded in Iraq during the “surge”), and for this book he decided to do embed with soldiers *after they come home*, and really look at the effects of the war on soldiers and their families afterward. It’s exceptionally well-written and utterly heartbreaking.

I’m looking right now for a good book on the war experience in Afghanistan, so if you have one to recommend, let me know!

What about you? What are you reading? Something more comforting for the holidays, I hope!


Permalink to Guest Post from Megan Mulry + Giveaway: A Perfect Day on the French Riviera…circa 1984

Guest Post from Megan Mulry + Giveaway: A Perfect Day on the French Riviera…circa 1984

In honor of the release of her new novel, Roulette, Megan Mulry is here to share her perfect day in the South of France. Do you love this cover? I love it, I have to say! And I also love this Perfect Day. What would your own Perfect Day be? And where would it be?

roulette-cover-amz

 

The summer of 1984 was the first time I visited the South of France. I was 17, staying in youth hostels, and getting by on $25 a day (hard to believe that was actually possible at one time in the not-so-distant past). Yet, no matter how slim my money belt (filled as it was with those very precious few American Express travelers checks), I always had a lust for grandeur. Even though I had my proverbial nose pressed against the glass, I saw a whole different world, and I wanted to know more.

In my newest book, Roulette, the heroine, Miki Durand, has a very glamorous pedigree: her father is a Russian business tycoon and her mother is a French model/actress. As far as Miki is concerned, they represent everything she doesn’t want out of life—she thinks Mikhail Voyanovski and Simone Durand were nothing but reckless fools when they were gallivanting around the Côte d’Azur during that fateful summer of 1984. (There’s more to their story than meets the eye, of course, but I let Miki think ill of them for a while, because I’m mean like that).

Here is a brief imaginary glimpse of how Mikhail and Simone spent their first day together—after meeting over the roulette table at the Casino de Monte Carlo the night before.

Wake up at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, Cap d’Antibes

Back in the 80s this hotel was cash only. (I wonder why!) I later heard stories about people arriving with large suitcases full of unmarked bills. The views of the Mediterranean are stunning; the rocky shore is lined with craggy cypress pines that make you feel like you are living inside a Cézanne painting. First order of business, get a little morning sun and steal a kiss by the cliffside pool, shown here in this 1976 photograph by Slim Aarons:

Visit the Musée Picasso, Juan-les-Pins

Drive about fifteen minutes up the coast and visit the Musée Picasso, formerly the Château Grimaldi. This is where Picasso lived for several months in 1946. I adore house museums because I think they never lose the spirit of the artist. Kiss on this sunny rooftop:

picasso museum

Lunch at La Colombe d’Or, St.-Paul-de-Vence

About a half hour inland from the coast is the charming medieval town of St.-Paul-de-Vence. For most of the mid-Twentieth-century, La Colombe d’Or was a hangout for movie stars and artists, many of whom were commissioned to create works that still hang in the restaurant and the adjacent inn. I imagine it like it was in the 1950’s, when it was a regular haunt of stars like Yves Montand and Simone Signoret. Grab your partner’s thigh beneath the table while sipping a Côtes du Rhone:

montanddefaut

Stroll around the Maeght Foundation, Saint-Paul-de-Vence

After a long lunch, a leisurely stroll through the gardens at the Fondation Maeght is the perfect way to relax. Outdoor sculptures by Miró, Braque, and Giacometti are scattered beneath the Provencal sun. Kiss here in the sculpture garden:

St Paul (166)-net

Stop by Rosaire Chapel, Vence

On the way back to Antibes, make a quick stop at this tiny chapel, also known as the Matisse Chapel. Created at the end of his life, Matisse considered it his masterpiece. Kiss beneath the stained glass windows:

wsj

After a dramatic drive back to the hotel, have a sunset drink overlooking the coast…and order room service!

hotel

Laura, thanks so much for having me over to your blog. I’d love to hear from your readers about what constitutes their perfect day. And to help spread our shared love of France, I will also give away an autographed copy of Roulette to two random commenters.

 

 


Permalink to Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

A wonderful Thanksgiving to all of you here in the U.S.! And all my warmest thoughts to those of you far from home and friends and family during the holidays. Holidays can be a beautiful time or a challenging time, depending on so much. If you need it, make sure to take time to curl up with a cup of hot chocolate and some cozy blankets and read a good book and forget the world!

If you’re cooking, what’s one dish you’re making? Is it an old favorite or are you going off the grid and trying something new and/or non-traditional this year?

I’m making a tarte au chocolat and a tarte aux poires (a pear almond tart), which aren’t traditional Thanksgiving pies but are our favorite holiday pies.


Permalink to The Chocolate books will appear in Turkish!

The Chocolate books will appear in Turkish!

So happy to announce that the Chocolate books will be appearing in Turkish! Nine languages (or, as my daughter says, “You didn’t count English, Mommy! It’s 10 languages in all!”). Yes, I am still stunned and thrilled each time these books go a little farther in the world. (Do you think it’s that blue color on the first one? I’m going to think little-engine-that-could thoughts toward it.)

Thanks so much again for all of your support! It means so much!


Permalink to It’s Friday! What are you reading?

It’s Friday! What are you reading?

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

 

(PS If you’re looking for recs, this often gets a lot more discussion on Facebook. But I keep up either place! I love hearing what people are reading and find most of my books that way.)


Permalink to Friday Book Club: What are you reading?

Friday Book Club: What are you reading?

What are you reading this week and weekend? Anything you would recommend? Anything you’re looking forward to?

Mostly I’m reading non-fiction right now, but friend and colleague Katharine Ashe and Maya Rodale (the speaker who was here at Duke a few weeks ago for our Unsuitable event) have released a contemporary anthology with Caroline Linden and Miranda Neville that looks fun. (They are usually historical authors, except for Maya who writes both.) At the Billionaire’s Wedding. So I might try that!

What about you? What are you reading?


Permalink to What was your first romance? Did someone tell you it was unsuitable?

What was your first romance? Did someone tell you it was unsuitable?

Thinking about this Unsuitable discussion coming up Monday (previous post), I’m curious what you all would say. Do you remember your first romance? One book specifically or just discovering someone’s Harlequin stash?

Did anyone make you feel it was unsuitable in some way? (Was it a conscientious mom saying, Hey, you’re too young to read something with sex in it, or was it a more insidious kind of judgment?) Have you always felt free to read what you want without judgment from others, or have you sometimes felt self-conscious?

The title of this talk series came out of the memories so many people here on campus had of that kind of judgment, so I’m curious what your own experiences are.


Permalink to Unsuitable #1: Monday Oct 20, 5:30-7:00

Unsuitable #1: Monday Oct 20, 5:30-7:00

Announcing the start of our Unsuitable series at Duke. This event and the whole series of events are open to the public! Best visitor parking options at Duke for this event are at the Bryan Center or Parking Garage IV (side by side parking areas). Parking there is $2/hour. Come join the discussion!

UNSUITABLE #1 ~ Women, Fiction & Popular Perception

October 20, 2014 – Free & Open to the Public

The inaugural event of the “UNSUITABLE” series that engages students and the local community in a discussion of women’s interests & popular fiction. 

Genre romance fiction and feminism are often seen as antithetical to each other. The authors and scholars on this panel will speak on the role women played in the rise of the novel as a popular form of literature as well as about their participation in recent public conversations about feminism and popular culture today.

Guest Panelists for “Unsuitable #1″

Jackie C. Horne, blogger of Romance Novels for Feminists

Maya Rodale, best-selling romance novelist and author of Dangerous Books for Girls: The bad reputation of romance novels, explained

and

Professor Rachel Seidman, creator of Who Needs Feminism?

 

When: October 20, 2014, 5:30-7:00pm

WhereForum for Scholars & Publics, Old Chemistry Building, West Campus, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina [get directions]

What: Presentations and Q&A

A buffet dinner will be served. 

This event is FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

~  ~  ~

SPEAKER BIOS

Jackie C. Horne worked for a decade in children’s book publishing before returning to academia to earn a Master’s degree in Children’s Literature from Simmons College and a PhD in 18th and 19th century British literature from Brandeis University. As an Assistant Professor at the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College, she taught courses on Fantasy and Science Fiction for Children and Young Adults, Multicultural Literature, and Writing Pedagogy. She is the author of History and the Construction of the Child in Early British Children’s Literature (Ashgate 2011), as well as the co-editor of two essay collections in the Children’s Literature Association’s Centennial series. She became (re)interested in romance after researching the genre for an essay about Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series, and began her blog, Romance Novels for Feminists, in 2012.

Maya Rodale began reading romance novels in college at her mother’s insistence. She is now the award winning author of numerous smart and sassy romance novels. A champion of the genre and its readers, she received her M.A. from the Draper Program of Humanities and Social Thought at New York University, and is the author of the non-fiction book Dangerous Books For Girls: The Bad Reputation Of Romance Novels, Explained. She is also a co-founder of Lady Jane’s Salon, a national reading series devoted to romantic fiction. Rodale lives in New York City with her darling dog and a rogue of her own.

Rachel Seidman is a U.S. historian specializing in women’s history. With a B.A. from Oberlin College and a Ph.D. from Yale, Seidman is particularly interested in connecting history to current concerns through civic engagement and community-based research. The author of The Civil War: A History in Documents (Oxford University Press) and several scholarly articles about women in the Civil War, Seidman was previously the Associate Director of the History, Public Policy and Social Change program at Duke University. At Duke she founded and co-directed The Moxie Project: Women and Leadership for Social Change, and directed the Poverty, Ethics and Policy Lab. She continues to work on projects related to women’s activism and poverty in North Carolina in her position as Associate Director of the Southern Oral History Program at UNC Chapel Hill.

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