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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 The Chocolate Rose in Indonesia

The Chocolate Rose in Indonesia

The Chocolate Rose goes to Indonesia! I love this “old stamp” look that Bentang Pustaka is doing with the latest books in this series. It makes me want to pack up a trunk and catch an ocean liner to far-off places. How about you?

chocolate rose indonesia


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? I have had a great reading week–first of all, I got to read Nalini Singh​’s Rock Hard early, and it was such a great, sexy, comforting read. The heroine calls the hero Mr. Tall, Dark & Carnivorous. :) I love it! And just wait until you get to the prenup. :)

I also tried Rose Lerner​’s True Pretenses, which I really loved. Very unique, rich characterizations.

Friend Elyssa Patrick​ ‘s Try With Me came out this past week, and it’s her most moving work in this series to date–but still with her characteristic sweet sexiness.

(Speaking of friends, friend and colleague Katharine Ashe​ has her latest in her Prince Catcher series out this week–I Loved a Rogue. A Desert Island Keeper for All About Romance!)

And Courtney Milan​ is coming for our Unsuitable series at Duke this Monday (5pm! open to the public!), so this weekend I’m going to be re-reading her Suffragette Scandal to have it fresh in my mind for the talk.

So…clearly I’ve been on a reading spree. Did I mention we’ve been snowbound here? With the power out for most of yesterday? Best thing to do between playing in the snow was to cuddle under a throw by the fire and read.

What about you? What are you reading? Anything you recommend? Anything you’re looking forward to?


Permalink to Burlap & Roses

Burlap & Roses

Matthieu’s burlap and roses. (Once Upon a Rose.)

 

Rose Harvest, Grasse, France.

Rose Harvest, Grasse, France.


Permalink to Friday Book Club! I’m reading Virginia Kantra, Thea Harrison, & Stephen King–you?

Friday Book Club! I’m reading Virginia Kantra, Thea Harrison, & Stephen King–you?

Friday Book Club! What are you reading?

I’m re-reading Virginia Kantra​’s CAROLINA MAN to have it fresh in my mind for next week’s UNSUITABLE talk (Wedn Feb 25, 5 pm!). It is just so profoundly good and well-written that it relaxes all the tension in my neck just to read it–I just love the characters and how beautifully crafted the story is.

AND I HAD SUCH A SPECIAL TREAT THIS WEEK! Thea Harrison​ sent me an advanced copy of her May release, MIDNIGHT’S KISS! I love her writing so much! This one was another wonderful book, but if you haven’t read her before, I recommend starting right at the beginning (Dragon Unbound). She writes paranormal. (Nalini Singh​ recommends her highly, Nalini Singh fans here!)

Oh, and I picked up Stephen King​’s ON WRITING. Great book. He’s such a superb writer, and it’s fun to see how much I agree with and the couple of things so far that I disagree with. (I’m going to write a post on adverbs one day, I swear. They have their place and power!) In any case, as he says, writing is a lifelong apprenticeship, and any writer could definitely learn a few things from him!

What about you? What are you reading? Anything you recommend? Anything you’re looking forward to?


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 A Once Upon a Rose Teaser

A Once Upon a Rose Teaser

A teaser from Once Upon a Rose for Tuesday! I hope you enjoy!

 

Once Upon a Rose

“What do you want now?” Matt growled at her, tightening his arms around himself.

“I only need directions!” Layla snapped back at him. “I can’t believe how unhelpful you people are being!”

Matt blinked. He slid the oddest glance toward the other men, almost—vulnerable? “They couldn’t give you directions?”

Tristan shook his head woefully. “Even Damien,” he said sadly, “proved unequal to the task.”

Matt stared at them for a moment. And then his sunburn seemed to get worse than ever, and he rubbed his chest, as if it felt strange to him. Clearing his throat, a rough growl of sound, he took her map from her. “Where do you need to go?”

“I’ve been lost enough around here, thank you,” Layla said. “I don’t need you to get me lost some more, just to punish me for inheriting a house.”

Matt scowled at the map. “Where do you need to go?” he growled again.

Tristan coughed a little into his hand. “Ahem, Matt. People skills!” he stage-whispered.

Matt glared at him.

“He’s really a nice guy,” Tristan told her out loud, cheerfully, as if Matt wasn’t even listening. “No, I swear.”

Matt transferred his glare back to the map.

Again, Layla fought the urge to just lay her hand against his chest. It was a really hot chest, that probably explained it. She kept imagining all that growly tension relaxing away from him in surprise. And then what would he be like? That cute, enthusiastic, uncontained man he had been drunk?

“Where?” Matt insisted. He cleared his throat again. And then managed to get words out that were still rough, but considerably quieter. “Where do you need to go?” he repeated, carefully.

“I don’t even know where I am.”

“You’re in the Rosier valley,” Matt said blankly and put a callused finger to her map. “Here.”

An excerpt from ONCE UPON A ROSE.

OnceUpon_182x281


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!

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