• Musical Monday
    Blog

    Musical Monday – the Meg Cabot edition.

    Musical Monday

    It’s a while since I did a Musical Monday post but I simply couldn’t resist this week.

    This week I want to talk about the Princess Diaries. I had no idea the Princess Diaries movie was 20 this week until the weekend and let me just say I LOVED that movie. I’m not sure if I thought it was older or younger. In fact, I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen it and I’ve also lost track of how many Meg Cabot books I’ve read.

    I’m pretty sure I’ve read all her adult books – I love them – and she was definitely an inspiration for me when I started writing. She writes sweet, sometimes sexy books about fun female characters who are usually a little bit awkward and out of their depth. The kind of books I enjoy reading. Her male leads are usually pretty tolerant guys, which these ladies need. I’ve fashioned a few or my heroes on similar types of men. I especially loved the Heather Wells series and the Queen of Babble. Last week I read No Offense her latest release, after not having read any of her books for a while and it was a delightful escape.

    Ask any writer and I’m sure most of them will tell you they have a bit of a fantasy of having their books made into movies. Lots of us even cast our books. I know back when I published Mr Right and Other Mongrels I dreamed of Hugh Jackman and Rose Byrne heading the cast.

    It’s hard to imagine anyone dreaming up a more perfect movie casting than The Princess Diaries – come on Julie Andrews as a Queen, Anne Hathaway was brilliant and Hector Elizondo was amazing!

    The Princess Diaries works because it’s the ultimate Cinderella Story, but as much as anything, it’s about the character of Mia growing into herself as anything else.

    This is the perfect mother-daughter movie or sleep over movie or just a movie to cheer you up, and we all need that from time to time.

    I’ve played this song a lot over the years. Probably way more than my husband and daughter have appreciated, but I love it and I do believe miracles happen, sometimes… if you believe.

  • Blog

    Let’s talk french cooking with Carolyn Eychenne, author of Sunrise over Paris

    Taste of Tuesday

    It’s Taste of Tuesday and today we’re off to Paris with

    Carolyn Eychenne, author of Sunrise over Paris

    Many of the readers of my novel Sunrise over Paris have written that they thought the daube in chapter 5 sounded good.  If you feel that way too, wait until you try the recipe below:  8-hour lamb.  Mine is bubbling away right now—we’re on the home stretch of the 8-hour marathon—and my house smells wonderful.  The last time I checked to see if there is enough cooking liquid, I sampled a little piece of meat and it, too, was wonderful.

    You might be thinking that 8 hours is a huge investment for a meal.  It’s not.  Not for the French and not for Stacey, the main character of my novel.  Food is an important part of Sunrise over Paris. Some of the key moments of the story occur over a meal: the fateful dinner in one of the opening scenes where we see Stacey’s, the heroine’s, difficult relationship with her husband and teenage children, the brief moment of harmony while dining on daube, the lunch during which Stacey watches the results of one of her revenge plots, and the luxurious brunch she shares with her two kids as they create a new, stronger, more adult bond.

    Stacey is a foodie, of course, but this is not an oddity in France.  Food is a big deal here.  The French invest a lot of time and energy in eating, at special holiday meals of course, but also every day.  Art de vivre, living so well it becomes an artform, does include everyday meals.  Cooked fresh when possible.  Always seasonal. Always balanced.

    What makes for a balanced meal à la française?

    First of all, three courses.  The starter (interestingly, it’s called l’entrée), the main dish (the entrée in English!), dessert.  Sometimes, there is cheese.  Not every day, but when there is, it comes between the main course and dessert.

    There are somewhere between 1,000 and 1,600 different varieties of cheese: cheese from cow, goat, and ewe’s milk are all standard fare.  Some are hard cheeses, some soft and crumbly, others very fresh and creamy.  Some are inoculated with mold (yes, that’s what gives Roquefort cheese its distinctive flavor), some are rolled in herbs, and others have inclusions, like a beautiful Brillat Savarin with truffles which I discovered only a year ago, despite living here for over 30 years.

    Until then, I didn’t really like truffles.  Now… Wow!

    As said earlier, the French don’t have cheese at the end of every meal. And they don’t have very much at a time.  While it’s completely acceptable to have seconds of the other courses, it’s considered rude to have seconds of cheese.  If you do, it’s a way of saying that your hostess hasn’t given you enough to eat.

    Like cheese, dessert isn’t an everyday thing either. At least, not the macarons or petits fours or éclairs au chocolat you’re thinking about right now.  Most days, dessert is a yogurt or a piece of fruit.  But it’s still called ‘dessert’ which can be disappointing for some of us.

    Entrée literally means entrance.  The same word is used for your front door, which makes it a logical name for the starter in a meal.  In traditional French cuisine, a salad is fine for every day, but not something you would serve to company.  Depending on your guests, you might prepare a terrine with a little salad on the side, some lox with buttered toast and lemon wedges, or vol au vent, a little basket made from puff pastry in which you serve snails or shellfish in a creamy bechamel sauce.

    By the way, soupe à l’oignon with its croutons and cheese melting on top is not as common as you might think. I’ve had it many times in restaurants, but never in anyone’s home other than my own.  And, since I’m American-born, that might not count.

    After the starter, the main dish.  This can look like a typical American meal—meat or fish, cooked vegetable and rice, pasta or potato.  Or this can be a plat en sauce, a stew-like dish, which combines the meat and vegetable in one dish which is then served over rice or pasta.  The daube which Stacey cooks in Sunrise over Paris is an example of this.  You might also know boeuf bourguignon or blanquette de veau.  One of my favorite meals is pot-au-feu, literally pot in the fire, because it used to be made in a large cast-iron dutch oven in the coals of the family fireplace. Several different cuts of beef, leeks, carrots, turnips, onions and potatoes all cook together for several hours, creating an amazing broth which you eat as the starter before having the meat and vegetable along with kosher salt, pickles and Dijon mustard for the main course.

    Second only to 8-hour lamb.

    Which brings me back to the recipe.  Please try—and let me know how you like it.  If you overcook it, forgetting it for 11 hours instead of 8, you can always say that you preferred the French author Colette’s recipe to mine! 

    By Carolyn Eychenne

    The recipe:  8-hour lamb

    1 leg of lamb (about 5 pounds)

    3 carrots (I use 4 – 5)

    3 onions

    2 small leeks (I use 4)

    ½ celeriac

    3 cloves

    1 “bouquet garni” (parsley, bay leaf, thyme, celery branch)

    1 entire head of garlic

    10 peppercorns

    2 tablespoons salt

     

    Brown the leg of lamb in a cast iron Dutch oven.  Take out, reserve.

    On the bottom of the Dutch oven, place all the vegetables peeled and chopped into 1-2” sized pieces. Add the garlic, bouquet garni and seasonings. Put the leg of lamb back on top.

    Add water to cover the vegetables but only just touching the lamb.

    Cover and simmer for 8 hours, checking every so often that there is enough liquid. Add if necessary.

    To serve:  Remove the lamb and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Remove the vegetables and place in a strainer over the Dutch oven (the idea is to catch the cooking juices). Handle them carefully so they retain their shape.

    Increase the temperature under the Dutch oven to bring the cooking juices to a boil. Reduce.

    Serve the leg of lamb covered in this sauce with the vegetables on the side. The lamb is so tender, you might have a hard time cutting it!

    sunrise over paris

    Sunrise Over Rise Blurb:

    What would you do if you found out your husband was cheating on you?
    When Stacey Dupont, an American in Paris, learns that her French husband has been cheating, her happy life crumbles and obsession begins.  Stalking and revenge lead to surprising results!  With Paris as the backdrop and the River Seine playing a main role, Sunrise over Paris follows Stacey on her surprising, emotional, and sometimes zany journey of personal discovery across the City of Light.

    Get it here

     You can learn more about Carolyn here: 
    Facebook 
    Instagram 
    GoodReads

    www.carolyneychenne.com

     

    About Carolyn

    Carolyn Eychenne is an author of fiction and non-fiction works. Sunrise over Paris is her first novel but not the first book she has published, the other being a French-language book about digital platforms. It led her back to her true love, writing.

    Not quite “an American in Paris,” Carolyn Eychenne has lived most of her adult life in the suburbs of Paris, after growing up in southern California.

    Note from Monique: Please comment below and let me know if you made Carolyn’s recipe or what your favorite French meal is.

  • Shine
    Blog

    Happy New Year and welcome to 2021

    Shine

    Welcome to 2021 my lovely readers. Happy New Year!

    I think we’re all more than ready to embrace the new although I don’t think 2021 will be the instant panacea to 2020 many of us are hoping for. I’m optimistic it will be better.

    My word for the year is SHINE. I hope to shine brightly in 2021.

    I had lots of plans for last year and I achieved some. I did write a lot of words. I have a couple of secret pen names and published under those and my own name. 

    I definitely didn’t release everything I wanted to but that’s okay. I became a USA today Bestseller, I came second in the Australian RUBY Awards novella section and released several new books. We’ll take it.

    We moved out of our home of over 24 years and relocated to a new town with about 6 weeks’ notice, so I’m being kind to myself about my lack of accomplishment in the final quarter of 2020.

    The good news is those projects will be completed in the first half of 2021 so all is not lost.

    I started serializing Playing With Trouble in 2020, and I promise to get back to that and share the rest of it with you in 2021. You can catch up here with the opening meanwhile.

    The next books in the Marlin Shores world will be out in January and March and I can’t wait to share those as well. You can preorder Saltwater Tears here.

    Have you read the prequel Kissing The Captain? If not grab your copy here for free.

    We have big plans for the Cinnamon Bay romance world in 2021 so look out for news about that soon.

    I also have Upper Crust Series news…meanwhile have you seen the box sets I made for the Upper Crust series? You can grab them here and they are free in Kindle Unlimited.

    There are a couple of other exciting projects looming in 2021 so stay tuned.

    Happy New Year – 2021 here we come!

    Playing with Trouble

     

  • Blog

    Goals for 2020 – the 52 Week Blogging Challenge

    Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge

    Well you’re reading this blog post on my shiny new website so I’ve already achieved one goal that I’m pretty happy about. And I’m a few hours late but I’m participating in this  Wednesday Weekly Blog Challenge  over at Long and Short Reviews as well so 2020 isn’t off to a bad start so far.

    I also have new covers for lots of my books that I spent much of 2019 getting ready to go so I feel like I’m in a good place to leap into the year ahead.

    I have very specific publishing goals in 2020 which include participating in three box sets, two books in the No Brides Club series for Sweet Promise Press (March and September) and finally releasing the final two books in the Courtside Romance Series.

    Beyond that I also have a new trilogy I’m excited to kick off this year.

    Aside from publishing new titles I have some box sets coming of my older series which I’m really looking forward to. As an author my main goal in 2020 is to monetize my back-list. I’m just shy of 30 books published and it’s time I started making some serious money from them.

    If you’re a regular follower of me or this blog you’ll know I often talk about how so much of being an author, especially and indie author is embracing new technology.  There are so many platforms and pieces of technology you can use to help you but each one however amazing has it’s own learning curve.

    The past eighteen months I’ve been so exhausted from a combination of life and my day job situation that I’ve shied away from new platforms to my own detriment.  (I continued to write and publish because for me that’s the joy of being a writer – I’m a story teller at heart ).

    So one of my major goals in 2020 is to embrace the technology I need to in order to succeed as an author.

    That’s probably enough for one year. My experience with goal[i] setting is that I’m better to concentrate on a few bigger goals rather than lots and lots of little ones.

  • Blog

    A Musical Monday year in review

    12/30/2018

    Musical Monday

    2019 a year in review

    I tried to think of a song to sum up the year and it’s hard to go beyond Seasons of Love from RENT. (Also when is RENT coming back to the stage in Australia it was awesome?) After all, kind of like me the song measures the year in love and cups of coffee.

    This year has been a really mixed one for me in terms of both life and writing. It hasn’t been catastrophic, and I am well aware I lead a very fortunate life, but just like everyone some years are harder than others and this one has been a bit of a slog.

    Let’s start with the not so great writing-wise. I had some plans for some collaborative projects that I was excited by this time last year that fell through – one was a multi-author book and the other was a box set that got cancelled. I was excited by the prospect of not working alone so much, because being an indie author can be pretty lonely. In the end those projects falling through taught me a valuable lesson that I’m often better off on my own working at my own pace.

    I had a target to release a certain number of books in 2018 and I didn’t reach it. In fact I only released three books in 2018 under my name and two under a pen name. That was disappointing and the result of a tough day job that left me no time for anything creative at the end of the day. To be honest i felt out of sorts and like I was swimming through mud from about February onwards.

    So when I think about my writing goals for 2019 I think of this song.

    So moving on what went well? No one wants to dwell on the negative.

    I released the Something to Sing About, from the Jewel Sisters Series just before New Year last year and yesterday I finished the third book in that series Something to Savor so it will be out in February and the final book Something Worth Saving will be out in March.

    I released two books in the new Courtside Romance Series in July and November with two more to come in early 2019.

    Courtside Romance Banner
    The highlight of the year was definitely the release of Any Way You Like It, the final Book in the Upper Crust series. I had a great time with the unicorn themed promotions and the book was really well received. Let’s be honest completing an 8 book series is no mean feat. I did a whole playlist for the book which was fun but this Ed Sheeran song most encapsulates Dave and Tasha’s story and the whole experience of writing the book for me.

    So 2018 was also a fantastic year for me in terms of new opportunities and professional development

    I was chosen to write a book for the No Brides Club Series for Sweet Promise Press which I’m super excited about. It did give me a collaborative experience which I had been looking for. I also joined a group of authors and we established the Coffee Talk on the Boardwalk Facebook group. We’re releasing a series in 2019 and we’ve had a lot of fun with readers naming elements of the town Cinnamon Bay where the stories will be set.

    In July I was in Washington DC for my day job and I hopped over to Denver to visit a friend and meet up with fellow authors attending the RWA (Romance Writers of America). I was able to meet up with the awesome authors who were present from the ChickLItChat Facebook Group for dinner and the next night I met with Melissa Storm the Publisher from Sweet Promise Press and some awesome sweet romance authors.

    In November I was in LAs Vegas for the 20Booksto50k writers conference and I met lots of amazing and inspiring indie authors there. I made some great connections with people I plan to work with and collaborate with moving forward as well as gaining lots of knowledge on how to better market my books – now I just need to implement it all. Finally in December Laura Chapman, a fellow chicklit author was in town and we spent a glorious day talking all things books.

    And I just worked out I read in excess of 200 books in 2018 – okay even I’m blown away by that!

    So what lies ahead for 2019?

    You may not know this about me but I do love a plan. I don’t always stick to my plan but I do like to start out with one. My plan for 2019 is to release a book a month between now and September. The books include for starters a Valentine Novella, No Time For Temptation for the No Brides Club – out January 25th! The last two Jewel Sisters and Courtside Romance novels will be next and then my Cinnamon Bay novel for the Coffee Talk on the Boardwalk series.

    I’m really excited about the year ahead. I’ve quite my day job and will be looking at new things work wise in 2019. Hopefully I’ll have a little more balance and creative energy.

    I’m keen to explore dictating my books so that I can walk and write – You can’t write a book a month, work, run a family and exercise any other way – or I can’t anyway.

    I’m looking to aim high in 2019. What are your plans? Goals? Aspirations?

    We started with a show tune so I figured we’d go out with one. Happy New Year. Thanks for reading and best wishes for a fabulous 2019.

     

  • Blog

    The Write Balance

    1/12/2018

    Vintage Scales
    Last weekend I was at a writing retreat with the gorgeous members of my writing group. It was about starting the year with some real momentum.

    We spent a lot of time on goal setting, pulling together the skeleton of a group project, doing some workshops and yes, even writing. It was awesome and inspiring – and it was also a heatwave and the mercury hit 112 degrees on Sunday but we soldiered on. Go us!

    Let me back-track a little. 2017 kind of kicked my butt.

    Here are some fun facts about me:
    – I released 6 books last year – about 300,000 words worth.
    – I worked 4 days a week for a small non-profit but my workplace was crazy stressful and the truth is I did 5 days a week in 4.I spend my days focusing on global poverty and disease, switching gears can be a challenge.
    – I’m in the sandwich generation. I have a teenage daughter who needs my attention and parents who increasingly rely on me for things both physical and emotional. My husband is lovely but he is the opposite of stressed.
    – I have a reasonable social life although it suffered last year, still I like people as long as I get downtime as well.
    – I have a couple of health conditions that make it hard for me to lose weight (hello PCOS and endometriosis), important that I don’t gain it and of course I gained a few kilos. I’ve always been skinny so this is not good for my morale at all.
    – Oh yeah, I have a spur in my neck and pretty limited movement there so I need to be mindful of that.
    – Oh yes and sleep is elusive as it is for so many.

    Thus I ended 2017 exhausted and feeling like I needed to move again.

    (I’m not saying any of that to complain. That’s what my life looks like. It’s a good life. It’s a fun life and it’s a full life but sometimes you do need to take stock).

    I have 8 projects planned for 2018 and I’m still in that job and if you know anything about the Australian education system add in that my gorgeous daughter is doing her HSC..oh yeah and she plans to go away for Uni (unusual in Australia) so my miracle baby and I have only one more year together. Another big year looms large.

    So back to the retreat – on Saturday morning my friend Pam and I drove to get some supplies and I explained my schedule to her…at my home desk at 7ish, off to work, home to juggle family, back to the home desk…so I said “Well I’m awake at 2am I could go to the gym then because I’m awake, but I’m nervous about being there alone.” We had a chuckle and yet when we did our goal setting it came up again. I was considering it.

    I came home and I really gave it some serious thought. I even discussed it with my husband.

    And then on Tuesday I stopped, looked in the mirror and thought. “Are you insane? You can’t go exercise at 2am, do your job and all this other stuff…What are you thinking?”

    What I was thinking was I have no other time. Still, I have to find time. 2am is not an option.
    So I went and got myself a new Fitbit. Step 1.
    I stocked my pantry with lots of healthy things – I can embrace the superfoods as long as no one mentions kale.
    And I bought a book Called “Two Minute Exercises”.
    Everyone has two minutes and every one has two minutes five times a day. That’s my theory and that’s my plan.

    This post is to keep my mildly accountable – I’ll come back in a month and let you know if I failed.

    Lots of writers are like me. We sit too much especially those of us with desk jobs as well, our bodies suffer and women, well lots of us put ourselves last. I know lots dictate their novel as they walk and I’m looking at that for April/May. For now, this is my plan.

    You might be like me and want to join me. You’d be very welcome.

  • Blog

    Welcome to 2017 – may it be full of books and laughter

    12/31/2016

    Fall in Love with the Upper Crust Series Banner - Original Covers

    Any Way You Want It - Upper Crust Series - Monique McDonell - Original CoverWelcome readers to the new year.

    I for one am very happy to be kissing 2016 good-bye. I usually do a little recap of the year that was but this year I’m moving on and looking ahead rather than looking back.

    Not that I’m not proud of what I managed to accomplish in 2016 but it didn’t feel like much. A lot of two steps back and one step forward. I will say that I was particularly pleased with the finished novella Snowbound, A Chicklit Christmas Novella and if you haven’t yet read it and you enjoy my books I urge you to get a copy for a fun read.

    I’m very happy to announce that Any Way You Want It, the fifth book in the Upper Crust Series is out this week. I love this book because I adore the main characters. Chloe and Moose have both appeared in previous books as minor characters and now they get their own story which I just loved writing. I think Moose might be my best book-boyfriend yet which is no small call and especially hard for a character called Moose to pull off.

    I have a Valentine’s Day novella I’m hoping to release in February and then the final book in the Upper Crust Series, for now anyway.

    After that we’ll see. I have another series started and a couple of stand-alone novels so we’ll just have to see what speaks to me. (If you have any thoughts on that, let me know). Either way the next batch of books are set back in Australia although they have strong American connections.

    That’s it, for now, Any Way You Slice It I hope 2017 is a good year for all of us.

  • Blog

    Putting on your big girl’s panties aka getting on with it – WHATEVER IT IS

    1/26/2016

    Manly Wharf and FerryLast January I was a whirling dervish of momentum and productivity. This January, #notsomuch. I usually take January off but last year I began the #1000wordsaday challenge and managed to get some great forward motion.

    This year I don’t seem to have had that. It’s summer vacation here in Australia in January. That means sleeping in, long lunches, lazy days. It means no routine, catching up with friends and family. It means the kids are home, the television is on and as soon as you settle in you can be sure someone will want you.

    Of course much of that is just an excuse in my case to put off doing what I am not be that inclined to do anyway. The truth is I do have time to write a book blub, to edit a chapter or to write my #1000wordsaday.

    Maybe I just haven’t felt like it. Or maybe after achieving my many of my personal writing goals I just don’t have the motivation to create new ones. All of the goals I’ve failed to achieve have to do with commercial success. I don’t have control over that. All of the goals I have achieved relate to productivity, deadlines and content.

    It’s possible that after running on the treadmill with limited success I need to rest.

    Would I stay on a diet if I didn’t lose weight? Would I stay on the treadmill if I didn’t get fit? No, I wouldn’t. I’d stop and look at my methods and have a serious re-think, so maybe that’s why I haven’t been so productive this January.

    Maybe pulling up my big girl panties means stepping back and re-evaluating how I spend my time and energy so that writing is a joyous and creative experience again. So that’s what I’m doing. I’m giving myself permission to step back and think until February.

    And then, I guess we will see what shakes out.

  • Blog

    2015 a year in review

    12/30/2015

    Writing hits and misses in 2015
    Monique McDonell Books and Champagne Flat Lay2015 is drawing to a close and that means it’s time to reflect on the successes and failures. Goals met or not.

    I suppose one should start with the positive. If I was critiquing someone else that’s what I’d do. (Funny how we much prefer to focus on our own failures and are far kinder to others than ourselves. Or is that just me?)

    I set myself the objective of writing #1000wordsaday. In fact I set up a Facebook group to support other writers with the same objective. The Facebook group has been wonderfully supportive of each other and of me. Having to post the date and my goals has helped me focus.

    One thousand words a day is 365,000 words in a year. Did I achieve that? Actually I did. I wrote two novellas and five novels this year. I didn’t write every day but I had days I wrote more and I had two months where I did 50,000 word challenges so I definitely met my objective.

    I guess that’s my achievement for the year. And it’s not nothing to set a goal like that and meet it so I’m happy about that.
    Monique McDonell Upper Crust Series Banner
    See this pretty series of books above. My goal was to have them all released in 2015 and that certainly didn’t happen. In fact Book 4 which I hoped to release in November and then December will be out next week. And books five and six will be released by April. I’m behind for a variety of reasons and that’s disappointing but they are all written and that’s something.

    I wasn’t a great blogger this year either, I started well but I definitely lost steam so I hope to get a better schedule set up in 2016 to counter that. (I also didn’t do too well with my newsletters but I guess we can discuss that in my 2016 objectives post later this week.)

    The landscape definitely shifted out there this year. Some things definitely became harder for indie authors. Finding traction and visibility is definitely harder than it was for a lot of authors and finding the right balance in book promotion is challenging.

    It will be interesting to see what 2016 brings for me and the industry as a whole.

  • Blog

    Why write stories with a happy ending?

    12/14/2014

    Monique McDonell Books and Champagne
    It’s Monday and I usually do a Musical Monday post but as I went to write this the city of Sydney, my city, is under siege and so I thought I might write about something else.

    When I started writing lots of people were surprised that I decided to write chicklit and stories with an upbeat, romantic bent. Not because I’m not an upbeat person, I actually am, but because there is a huge perception, especially in more intellectual circles, that lighter fiction, happier fiction has less value and is less worthy. The truth is I know lots of people who don’t think my writing is worthy and others who think I’m wasting my talents (on the one hand it is nice they think I have talents, on the other hand that’s not exactly very supportive). In fact, some of those would cite the fact that I’ve written several books (if asked) as evidence of that, because one angst-ridden novel is far more valuable than several lighter ones (in their opinion).

    The truth is – and it has certainly taken me a long time to reach this point – I don’t care what they think, and furthermore I think they’re wrong. The world needs more joy, more hope and more optimism.

    Sadness begets sadness, joy begets joy.

    If some of the world’s great writers wrote stories with less abuse, less torture, less war maybe we would have book clubs sitting around discussing love, kindness and forgiveness. Maybe if there were more redemptive tales we’d feel that there was hope for redemption.

    Maybe if the nice guy came first every now and then maybe we’d be more likely to be nice in real life.

    I write stories with happy endings because I want everyone to have one. Do we all want to walk around thinking we’ll never find love, that good won’t triumph or that misery is living in the house next door? I don’t.

    It might seem naive or foolish to some but negative thinking, exclusion and greed are everywhere. I can turn on the television, go to the movies or peruse the best seller list and there they are. The world isn’t improving as a result.

    I want to focus on the power of friendship to improve your day, how a small flirtation can lift your spirits, how planning a grand adventure, a new start or a change can be a thing of wonder. Maybe I write stories like that because I need to believe that is true, or maybe I’m just lucky enough to have experienced that in my own life so I don’t think it’s wrong to expect it in novels.

    I’ll continue to write about and hope for happy endings not just for my characters but for people everywhere.