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!

Cover Reveal for Love’s Misadventure!

Good afternoon, everyone!  Today is a very special day for me! The book cover for my debut historical romance novel from Pandamoon Publishing has officially been released to the public!

Love’s Misadventure is the first book in the Mason Siblings series, and is due to be released on March 15, 2016. Only a few days from now!

Here’s the cover:

 

Love's Misadventure Final Front Cover 300 dpi front cover only

A blurb about Love’s Misadventure:

Miss Annabel Bradley refuses to accept life as a spinster. Her many years of pouring greedily over gothic novels has put her head in the clouds; dreaming and hoping for the love she reads about. She has always held a tendre for her best friend, Lane Mason, seventh Earl of Devon, but she does not want to jeopardize their friendship by telling him about those indecent dreams of hers. Anna, therefore, makes a life-changing decision; she is going to accept the proposal of the next suitor to ask!

Lane Mason is an average aristocrat; absorbed in life in general, and content with his status in society. Amid a frequently occurring moment of self-loathing, Lane shockingly discovers his feelings for Anna. Now armed with the awareness of his love for Anna, Lane decides to perpetrate a devilishly clever scheme. He will pay actors to abduct the two of them in order to give Anna an adventure like the ones she reads in her treasured books.

Lane’s plans go awry, however, when they are kidnapped in truth.

 

Thank you all so much for reading! I’m so excited that I get to share this with you! Happy Thursday!

Book Review – Dearest Rogue by Elizabeth Hoyt

Dearest Rogue (Maiden Lane, #8)Dearest Rogue by Elizabeth Hoyt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Phoebe and James are an absolutely wonderful couple. Phoebe’s personality is light, open, and entirely refreshing, while James is solicitous and surprisingly eloquent with descriptions. The two together make for a great read. Their conversations are entertaining, and the spark between them is enjoyable. There isn’t a single thing about Phoebe and James that I could critique, besides maybe the age difference, but that’s a non-issue in my mind.

I quite liked seeing the other Maiden Lane characters again. I’d been anticipating Phoebe and Trevillion’s books, and I’m thrilled that they ended up together.

I wasn’t particularly fond of either Eve Dinwoody or Valentine Napier, the Duke of Montgomery, as they came off more like anti-heroes, not future main characters of their own romance novels. But, as this review isn’t for their books, I didn’t take my opinion of them into account while giving my rating here.

Overall, this was a spectacular read for me!

View all my reviews

Book Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame Smith and Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, #1)Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The novelty wore off pretty quickly with this one. I’m a big fan of Jane Austen, and while the addition of zombies seemed humorous, it fell short of exciting. Honestly, I’d hoped that there would be more casualties. Maybe Lydia, Kitty, Wickham, or Mrs. Bennett would be eaten or turned.

I’d seen it written in another review, and I have to agree, that the “ninjification” of the characters is utterly ridiculous. While I do believe that after 50 years of this odd plague, the Regency-era folks should possess some sort of fighting skill, to send your children abroad to train under ninja masters is overly strange. At one point Elizabeth claims to have withstood standing on her head for six days in one particular training exercise; I have to admit, I laughed aloud at how preposterous that was.

Elizabeth, herself, seemed far too changed from her original character. In P&P&Z she felt intolerant and wrathful, ready to murder Mr. Darcy for not wanting to dance with her. Ultimately, she read more like a petulant teenager, than the mature and loveable twenty-something that would use her cutting words to make her point in the original P&P.

I truly believe that in this rare circumstance the P&P&Z movie will prove more interesting than the book.

View all my reviews

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!