Being Thankful

Good evening, my amazing blog readers! I’m so sorry that I’ve been absent of late. It occurred to me recently that I’d been in the middle of my current WIP (To Woo A Troublesome Spy) for over a year now (Ah! Yes. Since the beginning of last March) and I’ve decided to dedicate a good portion of my time to working on actually completing it. I’m making some progress, which his wonderful! It just means that I haven’t been blogging much. Sorry about that!

The purpose of this post is to just take a moment to say how touched, honoured, humbled, and completely and utterly grateful I am to have such an amazing support network in my life. Today I felt the need to discuss something that’s been troubling me, and right away I was surrounded by the love and encouragement of my husband, my mom, my kids, my seriously spectacular publisher, my RWA group, and my friends.

For hours I’ve been speechless and teary-eyed. You all have no idea just how much you mean to me. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I feel like I’m the luckiest lady alive!

Thank you for reading and Happy Friday!

It’s Release Day!

I’m very pleased — and outrageously excited — to announce that as of today, I am officially a published author for Pandamoon Publishing! Today is release day for my debut novel, Love’s Misadventure, the first in the Mason Siblings series!

This is a dream come true! I’m so very lucky to have such tremendous support from my friends, family, and my amazing Panda family with Pandamoon. You all are wonderful!

I’ve already got some great reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. I’m flattered! Thank you all so much!

News and Exciting Update!

Good morning, everyone! It’s been a while since I made an official blog post, and for that I’m sorry. Life has been quite busy in the Champagne household! We spent nearly three months dealing with colds/flus/viruses, but as of this weekend we seem to be officially over it all *knocks on wood*.

Also in my personal life, we’ve officially begun renovations on our carport and front steps to our house. The carport is turning into a garage and our stairs will no longer be curving. It’s a very thrilling change for us!

My writing is coming along nicely. Slow, but steady (it wins the race, doesn’t it?). I’m now nearing the half-way mark of my current work in progress, To Woo A Troublesome Spy, which is very satisfying.

In other writing news, I have an exciting update! My first novel (which was originally self-published, but removed from online retailers when I was picked up by Pandamoon Publishing) is coming out very soon! The official press release hasn’t gone out, but you’ll be seeing Love’s Misadventure in mid-March! Huzzah! I’m so very excited!

I’ll post again once I have the official press release.

Thank you all so much for reading! Happy Sunday!

Book Review! -Under the Mistletoe

What Happens Under the MistletoeWhat Happens Under the Mistletoe by Sabrina Jeffries
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As a huge fan of Sabrina Jeffries and Karen Hawkins, picking up this book was an easy choice for me. I was not disappointed! The stories are short, sexy, and wonderfully enjoyable.

Candace Camp and Meredith Duran are authors that I’d never read before, but now that I have, I intend to pick up some of their works! This was most definitely a great book to curl up with.

View all my reviews

Just a Little Update

Good morning, everyone! It’s been far too long since I posted (again!), and for that I apologize. This is just a short-and-sweet blog with a bit of an update on what’s been going on with me.

In early December I received the substantive editing notes for my second novel, The Trouble With Love, and I’ve been working tirelessly on it ever since. Naturally, the holidays and the flu slowed me down a bit, but since the New Year I’ve been back at it.

In addition to editing and reading submissions as the Acquisitions Manager for Pandamoon Publishing, my days are consumed by my kids. As any parent knows, it’s a busy life — no matter how many children you have. One wonderful thing is that my mom and step-dad moved four blocks away from me, so they are able to watch my kids more frequently (Yes!). With luck, I should be able to blog more frequently. Huzzah!

As for the goings-on in my personal life, we’ve  been working at getting contractors out to give us quotes to change our carport into a garage. It’s going to be costly, but worth it in the long run, I believe. We’ve also lined up meetings with the bank to set up accounts for our twins, and a meeting with our boys’ Taekwondo academy to cancel their classes. We’ve decided that that particular academy isn’t right for the boys, so we’re switching them to the one up the street (which we’ve done a sit-in for, and it was amazing!).

Thank you all so much for reading! I fully intend to blog again really soon. Stay tuned! Happy New Year!

How Do You Find The Time To Write?!

Good morning, blog readers!

Because I know that people, by nature, are curious creatures, and because I’ve been asked this question countless times, I thought I would take a moment to share the answer with you.

The question, of course, is “How do you find time to write?”. I admit, it’s a great question; I mean, I’ve got four children aged six and under, I’m a stay-at-home Mom, and I’m the Acquisitions Manager for Pandamoon.

Well, the truth is, I don’t really have the time to write; I don’t get slow times in my day, I don’t get time when the twins are napping, or when my boys are at school (if I do, it’s only for a few minutes). I have to make the time. It doesn’t just fall into my lap; I’ve got to round up my Mom or my Mother-in-law to watch the kids; and in the evenings and on weekends, I rope my husband into taking over for me. I get help. Or I distract my kids with food and toys, then I settle in to get some work done.

I won’t lie and say that it’s easy, because it’s not. But in order for me to do what I love, I’ve got to put in the effort to get it done. And I do! Sometimes the dishes don’t get done, or the laundry sits unfolded for a day or two, but my kids are happy, and I’m happy.

So, there you have it; a little peek into my life as a Mom and author. Thank you of reading!

Happy Tuesday!

How I Create My Characters

I have heard quite a few people ask about where writers’ characters come from. I cannot speak for everyone, of course, but I can certainly tell you about mine.

Yes, my characters are derived from people I know, though not precisely how you might think. Since I began reading I’ve found myself observing people. Little things, like how they slide their glasses up their nose, how they curve their hair behind their ear, facial expressions, body language, habitual ticks, etc.

A small rascal2

Observing body language is easy, as is putting small ticks or habits into a character profile. What isn’t so simple is creating a character’s whole personality from nothing. Who are they? What do they like? What makes them angry? What makes them uncomfortable? What about them makes others angry? For this information, I look to my own life.

I have had the opportunity to know many people with differing personalities, both those who are easy going, fun-loving individuals, and those whose every word pushes your buttons.

Hulk

Both types of people – and everyone in-between – are essential to us. They allow us to grow, to get to know ourselves better, and to learn. Now, I’m not saying that each of my characters is a representation of one of my family members or acquaintances, but each of them most definitely carries a personality trait of someone I know.

There is a little bit of me in each of my heroines. Something I like, something I don’t like, or thoughts I’ve had about myself, they’re in my heroines. Some things that irritate me about the men in my life, they’re in my heroes and side characters. That high school gossip? Yes, she’s a side character. The bothersome things my brother has said/done to me? Yes, they’re in my books.

Every time someone has done or said something that hurt my feelings or made me angry since I began writing, it has been added into the plot of one of my novels. No, not every one of them has been “killed off”. In fact, for the majority of them I’ve done quite the opposite. I redeem them. I have them realize the error of their ways and turn themselves about. Well… either that, or I have them mysteriously disappear.

This is just another reason why I believe that writing is a cathartic release for me. Everything happens how I want them to. It feels good.

Thank you for reading! Happy Monday, everyone!

The Art of Sinning by Sabrina Jeffries – Book Review

The Art of Sinning (Sinful Suitors, #1)The Art of Sinning by Sabrina Jeffries
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yet another stunning novel by Sabrina Jeffries. I started reading this yesterday and couldn’t put it down. Sleep? No way! Read, read, read!

Jeremy is a skilled painter and Yvette is his headstrong muse. Both have troubling and heart-wrenching pasts. Together they overcome obstacles and sizzle with passion. My eyes watered, my heart went pitter-pat, and I laughed out loud. Simply awesome.

I loved this novel – as I have with all of Jeffries’ work. I can’t wait for the second in the series!

View all my reviews

Author Update!

Good morning, blog readers! I must once more apologize for my absence. I’ve been neck-deep in my editing, which is due for re-submission in just over one week. I’ve still got a long way to go, so my days will be consumed with that, when I’m not taking care of the kids.

I’ve got to say a HUGE thank-you to my Mom for coming over and watching the kids for me, and to my husband who has been taking on both the Mom and Dad role over the weekends. You guys are the greatest!

On another note, I’ve also been participating in the Twitter pitch events (and am now a part of the Pandamoon acquisitions team), so I’ve been reading submissions in the evenings. It’s so much fun!

Guess what? I’ve got another blog! I’m participating in Pandamoon Publishing’s group blog! It’s a collection of posts from not just the authors, but some editors, marketing members, and more. I post there on Fridays. Please, come have a look! My last post, This Author’s Big Secret, was posted just this past Friday. And yes, I reveal a big secret.

Thank you all so much for reading! Happy Monday!

Author Update

Good afternoon blog readers! Last week our whole house came down with a series of illnesses, which took precedence over any and all other activities. Antibiotics have taken care of things, however, and we’re all recovering well. The week was awful, but at least I got to read! I posted two reviews of the three novels that I managed to read. I hope you all had a much better week than I!

As for my author news, I successfully completed the first round of editing before the Champagne house became ill, which feels fantastic! Two days ago I began the second round of editing, during which I decided to re-write the prologue. I think you’re all going to love it! I know I certainly do.

Now that I’m feeling better and my tasks are getting completed (and I can catch up on all the housework that I missed over the last week) I am gathering my notes for further blogs. Stay tuned for my next blog titled “The Granddaddies on my Bookshelf – Part 1” that will be coming soon.

Thank you all so much for reading! I hope you have a lovely week!