No. Seriously … are you ready?
GILMORE GIRLS IS COMING BACK!!!!!!
Writing tonight might have just flown out the window. I’m too excited!!!!!!!!
Check out this article from The Hollywood Reporter:
“Then comes Winter with bluster and snow, that brings to our cheeks the ruddy glow…”
~ Gertrude Tooley Buckingham
If you long for a toasty snuggle on a cold winter’s night, this compilation of original short stories inspired by the magic of the holiday season—and more than a nod to Jane Austen—is fancied as a sublime wintertime treat. Featuring short stories by four Meryton Press authors and seven up-and-coming winners of their Holiday Romance contest, Then Comes Winter offers a mix of contemporary and Regency musings.
I’m very happy to welcome one of the contributors, Maureen Lee Lenker, to Skipping Midnight today. After the interview, follow the Rafflecopter link to win a free copy of Then Comes Winter!
Laura: Why did you decide to enter the Holiday Romance contest? What were you hoping to get out of it?
Maureen: Well, I love to write, but often find my time to do so limited, so I really enjoy writing short stories as a way to get some completed ideas out into the world. I figure it’s good practice both writing and working with publishers and editors to work on short stories, so that if I ever do have time to write a novel, I know my way a bit already.
I entered the Holiday Romance contest because I’d already entered the summer anthology contest with Meryton Press and narrowly missed getting selected. I received really helpful, wonderful feedback on my writing, so I thought that I might have a decent shot at getting in and at any rate, I would get more great feedback just like I did last time. I’d been published once before, in a holiday anthology last year entitled “Christmas Nookies,” and I loved that experience so I was eager to try again. I am obsessed with Christmas and with romance, so it feels very natural (and fun!) to write about both of those things at once.
Previously, I’ve only ever been published in e-book form, so I was hoping to get selected for the thrill of being able to see my work in a tangible book. I can’t believe this dream came true! And on top of that, I’ve been able to work with a top-notch editor who really made my work better and had the opportunity to meet more folks in the romance and Austen-esque community who are either other writers in the anthology or supporters of it.
What is your story about?
My story is set in the Regency era. It’s about a young lady, Anne Riley, who eagerly awaits the arrival of her cousins and an accompanying mysterious and charming gentleman, Monsieur de Brun, who has recently fled France. Set against the backdrop of Christmas-time, Anne, her cousins, Monsieur de Brun, and her neighbor, James Turnbull, endeavor to put on a production of “Twelfth Night” for the holidays. Issues of love, friendship, and loyalty arise amidst the flutter of the holidays and rehearsing Shakespeare’s iconic comedy.
What inspired you to write it? How do you find your ideas?
This story was inspired by several things–first, by my own love of Christmas, Christmas trees, and snowy, beautiful British landscapes and gardens. I loved the idea of placing a story in that setting because to me, it is one of the most romantic, idyllic places and times of year. I’m a hopeless romantic and Christmas-time is my absolute favorite time of year, so it’s easy to be inspired by the things I love. Continue reading
Even though it’s hard to avoid in times like these.
Even though I do it for the same reason I try to watch scary movies to the end — because I want to find out that everything turns out okay.
Even though I know that last sentiment is impossible. Because this isn’t a movie. Because the bad guys don’t always stumble when we want them to. Because we aren’t actors who get up at the end of a death scene, walk away, and go home to the people we love.
I’m not going to pontificate about all the world’s evil. It’s nothing you haven’t already heard or aren’t already thinking. And you’ve probably already poisoned yourself enough.
So instead, here are a list of “happy” news websites. I’ve written about them before, but some things are worth repeating. And if you’re going to get lost in something, get lost in something that comes with a side of hope.
3. Sunny Skyz
A few nights ago, I sat in a circle with six other women, a clump of burning sage, two lit candles, and all of the positive energy we could muster. We chanted. We meditated. We visualized our deepest selves and tried to hear — in a world full of so much anxiety and so many distractions — what our souls wanted to tell us. We turned our greatest fears into confetti, and willed our strongest desires to be.
And even though it’s almost Halloween, this had nothing to do with witchcraft. There was no blood, just paper. Instead of daggers, we used pens. And rather than kneeling in a clearing in the middle of the woods, we sat on mats and blankets in a yoga studio. (Yes, I realize all of these images are of stereotypical “Hollywood” witches, but at least I didn’t mention pointed hats!)
I’m writing about this because a few years ago, it’s the sort of event that I might have given a bemused smile but passed over. A few years ago, I never would have opened myself up to a group of complete strangers the way I did the other night. Perhaps this change is due to motherhood. Perhaps it’s because two letters have rocked aspects of my life that always seemed like a given. Perhaps it’s because the world is a very scary place right now — or because I’ve reached the age when people realize just how scary it’s always been. Most likely, it’s because no matter how positive I think I’m being, or how often I try to deflect the bad when it rears its ugly head, stress and worry still find a way to seep in. If that doesn’t happen to you, I’d love to hear your secret. Continue reading
It might not come with chocolate bunnies or a fat man in a red velvet suit (unless you’re into that sort of thing…) but did you know that May is International Chick Lit Month?
If so, welcome back. If not, it just so happens that I’m a CLM virgin too. And I’m thrilled to take part in its fifth year, beside so many writers I both enjoy and admire.
Stop by next week for five days of fabulous events, including playlists, discounts, novel excerpts, a $100 Sephora gift card giveaway, and the 2015 “Miss Chick Lit” pageant (featuring Desperately Ever After’s own Rapunzel). And don’t forget to check out the official International Chick Lit Month website in the meantime. Happy May!
Ahh, spring. Bright yellow tulips shooting through the soil. “Shrunken” bathing suits getting to know the trash bin. Wrought iron tables popping up all over the sidewalks. And your most ambitious list of “summer reading” titles yet — more than half of which somehow stowed away from last year … and the year before that. (I won’t tell if you won’t.)
Well, there’s no better time to get an early start on that reading! Starting in just a few hours (midnight Pacific Time, to be exact), the entire Desperately Ever After series* is on sale — in BOTH the US and the UK! Here are the details:
In the US, the ebook price of Desperately Ever After (Book 1) will drop to 99 cents on Friday, April 17, and steadily climb back up until the sale ends Thursday night. At the same time, Damsels in Distress (Book 2) will be marked down to 99 cents and remain at this price THE ENTIRE TIME … until the clocks strikes midnight (or, for the east-coasters, 3 a.m. April 24) and the joint sale disappears.
In the UK, the ebook price of Damsels in Distress (Book 2) will drop to £0.99 at 8 a.m. (GMT) Friday, April 17, and steadily climb back up until the sale ends Thursday night. At the same time, Desperately Ever After (Book 1) will be marked down to £0.99 and remain at this price THE ENTIRE TIME … until the clocks strikes midnight (GMT) Thursday and the joint sale disappears. Continue reading
Damsels in Distress has been discounted … but not for long!
With all of the hubbub surrounding my health, I realized a few days ago that it’s been AGES since either of the Desperately Ever After books went on sale. Well, let’s rectify that!
From now through Sunday, Book 2 will be part of a Kindle Countdown Sale, dropping down to $1.99 initially and then steadily climbing back up.
It’s time to get back on the horse and find out what “happily ever after” really means …
Click here for details
A couple weeks ago, Twitter lit up with the hashtag #ChickLit4Xmas. I was thrilled to be a part of such a great movement, but life … alas … prevented me from posting to my blog as well! So please follow this link to the official #ChickLit4Xmas Pinterest page and pick up a book to snuggle with after the holidays!