(But whoops, that all got a lot more rhyme-y than I'd intended. Sorry! I'm a little bit giddy right now, as you can probably tell. But the book itself doesn't rhyme, I promise! ;) It's not that sort of book at all, as you can tell if you read the first chapter.)
It all started late one night, about 2 years and 4 months ago. I'd finally, finally gotten my younger son (still a baby) to sleep, so I'd turned off the light and was just starting to fall asleep myself (and oh, I DESPERATELY needed that sleep, by then!)...when suddenly an opening and a heroine flashed simultaneously into my mind.
A delicious opening.
A wonderful, fierce dragon-girl.
A passion for chocolate.
I couldn't wait. For the first time in months, I didn't even care about sleep!
I jerked upright, opened up my laptop, and with the light from the screen casting an eerie glow through the darkened bedroom, I started to type.
Once I'd finished writing down the first scene, I went to bed smiling, with all the different characters playing through my head all night long.
I am so happy that I finally get to share them with you guys!
The Bookseller calls it an "irresistible fantasy adventure"; School Library Journal calls it "a delicious fantasy treat that will satisfy readers who hunger for feel-good tales that pack a girl-power punch, like Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted or the movie Moana"; and in a lovely, serendipitous book-birthday gift, the UK's Reading Agency has just selected it (in an announcement made today!) for this year's Summer Reading Challenge (a program my own kids take part in every year through their local library - so I am REALLY excited to see my book on this list)!
You can find The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart (or request it) at any physical bookshop in the UK, and you can order it from any online bookseller. I'm afraid there's a little longer still to wait for Australians (who will get it on March 1st) and North Americans (who will get it on May 30th)...
...But if you do read it now, will you please let me know what you think? I have been waiting SO LONG to talk about it with you guys! I want to know who your favorite characters are! And what your draconic passion would be! (Trust me, that question will make far more sense once you've read the book. I promise!)
And if you're able to take the time to write even just a very short review on Amazon or elsewhere, I will be so very grateful. ALL reviews, good and bad, make such a huge difference to a book's success!
And I ALWAYS love seeing pictures of the book out in the wild. :)
Sadly, my poor 8-year-old is home ill today, so I can't go out to celebrate the official book birthday. But I can't wait for the launch party on Saturday - I'd love to see any of you guys there! And today, I'm having a yummy at-home party courtesy of my agent, as you can see. Mmmmm! The perfect way to celebrate this chocolate-filled book.
Thank you guys so much for celebrating with me. Chocolate to everybody!