February 24th, 2017

imaginative girl

Bad News, Good News, Chocolatey Goodness and a Giveaway

Whew. Over the last two weeks, every single person in our house (including visiting relatives!) has been knocked down one by one, like dominoes, by a nasty feverish cold. I was the last one, and I'm finally getting to the end of it now (albeit with a veeery croaky voice - I REALLY hope that's all better by the time I talk to 500 students in Oswestry next week!) - but oof, I am tired.

And in a good news/bad news day of writing, I realized today that I have to back up, delete Chapter Two of my new MG novel-in-progress (VERY tentatively titled A Grumpy Princess's Guide to Ice Giants and Other Catastrophes), and rewrite it in a different direction. It's a better direction! This is definitely a good move for the book!

But, but, but...well, the honest truth is, since my writing time has been SO hard-won over the last few tired weeks of half-term holiday and child-illnesses, I am of course totally weeping for those wasted days of work. (Those 3,000 words I'm cutting were HARD WORDS TO WRITE!) Ah well! Maybe I had to write my way through that first version to get to this better version. Maybe? I'm certainly going to tell myself that, anyway, to feel better.

And there has been some really wonderful news coming in for The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart! My 8-year-old subscribes to The Phoenix Comic, and his little brother loves it too, so we were sitting down for our weekly family read of it last week...when we found THIS!

It was the most amazing thing to discover as a family! It's now been selected as Book of the Week (in different weeks) not only by The Phoenix Comic but also in the UK magazine The Week Junior, the South Wales Evening Post (see their review here), and Books for Keeps (see their interview with me here), as well as being one of the Picks of the Month at LoveReading4Kids (where the kid-reader reviews made me melt).

Then, just a few days ago, Ana at The Book Smugglers gave it a really wonderful review, calling it "a delightful, funny, heart-warming romp" and saying "I am more than happy to recommend this delicious, charming book to both kids and adults."


After so much good news, I really want to give something back. So I spent the other day putting some of my chocolate-research to good use. (Yum!)

Of course everyone who reads this blog knows that I'm obsessed with dragons AND chocolate...so for everyone who reads The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart and wants to know more about the chocolate itself, check out my new More About the Chocolate page! It includes happy geekery about historical chocolate-making (I had SO much fun researching this book!), links to drool over, and also a delicious downloadable modern recipe-pack from Bloomsbury.

And there's more!

If you're a knitter, just sign up to Ravelry (if you're not a member already!) to see this gorgeous pattern (designed by Jenn Reese) for a Dragon with a Chocolate Heart hat! I love mine so, so, so much. (Dragons + mugs of hot chocolate & hearts! It is the PERFECT hat for my book - and I've been wearing mine almost every day!)

And since I feel really bad that my North American readers still have to wait three more months for this book...here's a flash giveaway just for you guys!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The two ways to enter (you can do both!) are by signing up for my author newsletter or adding Dragon to your Goodreads TBR, if you have a Goodreads account. Just click "done!" on each entry in the Rafflecopter box once you've done it. And good luck!

Wishing everyone a very chocolate-y weekend. :)