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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!


Permalink to Once Upon a Rose is here!

Once Upon a Rose is here!

It’s here! ONCE UPON A ROSE is live!

She stole his roses. He wants them back. Or maybe he just wants her. When burnt-out indie rock star Layla invades Matthieu Rosier’s valley, he really knows only one way to defend himself.

It might involve kissing.

And that might be just the start.

“As sexy and flirtatious as it is poignant and caring.” – Library Journal starred review

I hope you enjoy this one!

Print readers, the print link is being a little slow to show up on Amazon and the other vendors, but it definitely exists and I am petting my copies because I think they are gorgeous. I’m not sure why it’s being slow to show up, but it should really be there any minute now. People have started downloading the book, so I didn’t want my Facebook followers to be the last to know it was here! That wouldn’t be fair at all, would it?

Thanks for all your help spreading the word! All shares, reviews, nice thoughts–all the good wishes for the success of this new series are appreciated! Your support means a lot to me, and I’m very excited to finally be bringing you the Rosiers world.

OnceUpon_182x281


Permalink to Stay warm! Some virtual hot chocolate for those of you in the Northeast!

Stay warm! Some virtual hot chocolate for those of you in the Northeast!

Northeast readers, I hope you are stocked up on chocolate and blankets and cozy throws and staying warm and safe while this storm hits. If you have the kind of job that makes you have to go out in it…thank you! And stay as safe and warm as you can.

Here’s a shorthand/keep-it-simple version of Magalie’s hot chocolate recipe, if you need it:

1. Heat milk to just steaming but not simmering. (Quantity according to how much chocolate you want to drink. If you err on the side of plenty, remember you can store it in the refrigerator to reheat later or thin out for chocolate milk, if you have too much.)

2. If you like this, let some cinnamon infuse in the milk while you’re heating it, or a vanilla bean, or nutmeg, or all of those. But if you want to use whole cinnamon or a whole vanilla bean, you’ll need to let it infuse at steaming but not simmering point for a good fifteen minutes to get any flavor from them.

3. Remove from heat and toss in roughly a handful of very good quality chocolate per cup of milk. Adjust quantities of chocolate as you like. It’s better if this is chocolate like Valrhona fèves or shaved from a block and not chocolate chips (which will be grainier and you should be using in your chocolate chip cookie baking as you prepare to weather out the storm), but it will still be good, if that’s what you’ve got on hand.

4. Let sit about 30 seconds and then whisk well.

5. Drink and stay warm as the snow falls. (I hope you can do this and not be out in it!)

I know it looks as if it’s going to be bad, and I hope you all weather it well!


Permalink to Unsuitable Events

Unsuitable Events

For those of you in some proximity to Duke University who might be interested in coming to the public events that are paired with our Romance Novel course, here is  the full schedule. (With one addition still possible, depending on whether another speaker can make it.)

This “Unsuitable” series will open the classroom to the public, for a community discussion between students, scholars, industry professionals, and the wider community. All are welcome! The first event is February 9.


Permalink to Friday Book Club: When Books Went to War

Friday Book Club: When Books Went to War

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

I’m reading WHEN BOOKS WENT TO WAR, which is a quite moving account of the programs to get paperback books to American soldiers in World War II. Right now, I am at the point where the author is telling about all the soldiers grabbing a paperback to get them through whatever they had to get through–they would dump all kinds of things before they’d abandon that paperback. Soldiers reading as they fought seasickness and waited to land at Omaha Beach, for example. Wounded soldiers in ditches, reading as the only way to handle the wait while bombardments continued that might hit them any time.

It’s quite sobering and moving, and gives a whole new interpretation to our much more lighthearted “Desert Island Keeper” status for books. (I mean…what book would you want to have in your pocket, for something like that? I think for me it would be something like THE LORD OF THE RINGS, something fantastical enough to help me escape, but full of courage against darkness.) Some favorites among the soldiers where A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN, FOREVER AMBER, Kate Porter’s short stories.

So…I guess my book is a sad book, in it’s way, or at least a sobering one, but it’s actually very moving, too.

What are you reading? Anything you recommend? I’m looking forward to the new recommendations from those of you who’ve just joined us, too! :)


Permalink to Once Upon a Rose coming even sooner!

Once Upon a Rose coming even sooner!

It looks as if we will be able to release ONCE UPON A ROSE *next week*! (A week early!) (Well…if we count all the delays, six  months late, but January 28 is really like a FULL MONTH earlier than Feb 3, as everyone knows. So an important psychological difference.)

It also means it will be out in time for La Chandeleur (Crêpe-making day!), which is one of my favorite holidays of the year. Yay!

And LIBRARY JOURNAL said I could share a little bit of their gorgeous starred review for this book, so…I can’t resist:

“Overflowing with wise humor, family dynamics, and vivid descriptions, this story is as sexy and flirtatious as it is poignant and caring. Roses, music, and Provence—it doesn’t get much better than that…” — Library Journal STARRED REVIEW

(Notice my all caps for the starred? Sorry about that!)

I hope you like this one, too!

once upon a rose laura florand


Permalink to The Chocolate Thief in Bulgaria

The Chocolate Thief in Bulgaria

The Chocolate Thief comes to Bulgaria! A big thanks to Elena of Ellie reads fiction for being the one to send me the cover. (I know it seems surprising, but international publishers don’t always think to send a cover to the author! They don’t know how much I love languages, I guess.)

chocolate thief bulgarian


Permalink to The Potato Award!

The Potato Award!

I am ridiculously delighted that SNOW-KISSED is right there with MAGIC BITES receiving the “Potato Awards for Ultimate Relationship” (Ilona Andrews is a favorite author of mine and I adore Kate and Curran’s relationship). Also, I am just ridiculously delighted to be given a Potato Award anyway. I feel as if it should come with an official golden potato, but still… :) Can I give a return award to the Social Potato blog site for “Best Name for an Award Ever”? :)

A huge thank you for the honor! And check out the list for lots of great recommendations and a giveaway of a book from the list of your choice.


Permalink to Library Journal Starred Review for Once Upon a Rose

Library Journal Starred Review for Once Upon a Rose

I’m so excited! I just heard that ONCE UPON A ROSE is receiving a starred review from LIBRARY JOURNAL! I can’t quote from it yet because the magazine doesn’t come out for another three weeks, but I had to share. (The book itself is coming Feb 3!)

I took a big emotional risk, in terms of stepping into creative entrepreneurship, when I turned down the 4-book contract from Kensington to publish La Vie en Roses series independently, so it really means a lot to me to have the series start off well and to have both the kind words coming back from you advanced readers and this honor from one of the major industry journals.

Thank you all so much for all the support and patience as I got this series off the ground!

And I need advice: One of the things I am supposed to be learning to do this year is to celebrate successes (this is supposed to teach me to overcome anxiety and stress). But it turns out I’m actually not very good at it! I usually just go straight back to worrying about the next thing I need to get done.

How do you celebrate your successes? (You are doing that, aren’t you? Because if not, then we need to develop our own little 12-step plan on how to help each other celebrate our successes!)

What are some ways that work for you?


Permalink to A Gorgeous Chocolate Heart

A Gorgeous Chocolate Heart

I love this immoderately! A chocolate heart from Patrick Roger. Which hero do you think would make this one, for whom?

patrick roger chocolate heart

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