Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year 2014!

Happy New Year, everyone! All the best to you and yours, and may your 2014 be full of love and passionate romance.


Monday, December 30, 2013

Let's Talk Hobbies!

I love my hobbies, and I love learning about other people’s hobbies. The things we do for the sheer love and joy of them make us who we are. So many times, people get stuck in their jobs or their daily routines, those ruts created out of necessity rather than love. Ruts are tedious and trying. They lower our energy level, our natural curiosity, our spontaneity, our joie de vivre. But our hobbies stem from our passions. Engaging in them helps us transcend our daily lives, climb out of those ruts, and celebrate life in our own special ways.

I consider myself one of the really lucky ones, because one of my favorite hobbies is also my day job: writing. I get to make stuff up for money. How cool is that? But because it is my job now, sometimes it starts to feel more like work. When the words don’t flow the way I want them to, when my characters misbehave, when the plot doesn’t work… then writing feels like a serious drag, and I’d rather do almost anything else than make myself sit back at that computer and pound out more torturous words, one by one by one. That’s when my other hobbies can save the day.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

2013 Wrap Up

Christmas and New Year’s are rapidly approaching, and at this time last year I would have predicted a very different end to 2013. This year has had its ups-and-downs as far as my personal publishing goes. I had one new book out in February, my Valentine’s Day romance, Cupid’s Mistake, which followed quickly on the heels of the previous release, Unwrapped, a Christmas-themed romance that came out at the end of December, 2012. But since then…
Having two releases fairly close together was a whirlwind for the promo machine—my least favorite thing, I admit—and once that initial push was over, I needed a break. I’d been promising myself a re-read of my favorite series of all time (can you guess? I’m betting yes…), Harry Potter, as a carrot to get things done.

Monday, December 16, 2013

My Everyday Heroes

As 2013 comes to a close, I’m focusing on all the amazing family and friends in my life. With that in mind, here are just a few of the wonderful people I’m grateful for, and who inspire me every day:
My parents ~ They’ve stuck it out through some really challenging times. Health crises, financial hardships, familial upheavals. But next June they will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. If that’s not inspiring, and uplifting, I don’t know what is. They gave me the greatest gifts parents can give their children, a stable upbringing and a launching pad for my dreams. I’m thankful for their steadfastness.
My husband ~ He puts up with me, which is enough to get him to the top of the list, but he also gets up early every day to go to a job he hates in order to support our family and make it so that I can stay home to write. He’s an amazing father to our children. He’s a hero. I’m thankful for his perseverance and love.
My children ~ I can’t say enough about my three kids. They are A-MA-ZING. I’m so freaking proud of them and of the people they have become. They are loving, fun, helpful, considerate, polite. They’re smart and accomplished and talented. I love spending time with them, talking with them, seeing the world through their eyes. I am the luckiest mom in the world. They inspire me every single day. I’m beyond thankful for the love and joy with which they overflow my heart.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

My Pinterest Boards and Organization Optimization

I used to be super organized. Super. I was a little psycho about it, actually. Then something happened a few years ago, I’m not sure what, and I started losing my edge. Part of it was that my kids had gotten older and no longer needed me to ride herd on them quite so diligently. Maybe I had gotten a little older, too (perish the thought), and had mellowed a tad.
Whatever the reason, I stopped making my famous lists, and things began to pile up around the house. Things, those unnamed, amorphous things, even started slipping through the cracks. Bills went out on the verge of being late. Appointments were almost missed. Grocery shopping only happened when the cupboards were literally bare. Correspondence stopped altogether if it required pen-and-paper and a trip to the mailbox rather than a quick text or email. And, for the first time in my entire life, my Christmas cards went out AFTER Christmas.
That was my wake-up call.

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Day Trip to the NW Carriage Museum

Laura in front of Belle Watling's Gone With the Wind carriage
This is just a little head’s up for Northwest dwellers, or for anyone traveling to the area. It turns out we have an adorable carriage museum up here. Who knew? My friend Laura, for one, but I sure didn’t.

We took a trip out to Raymond, Washington, a few days ago to check it out, and were extremely impressed by our NW Carriage Museum. They have quite a selection of carriages, including the one Laura is standing in front of, which Belle Watling used in Gone With the Wind! They also had a full-sized stagecoach, some wagons, and a super-friendly docent named Emily.

If you have the chance to get out to Raymond, I highly recommend it. It’s worth the drive!

For a few more photos, be sure to click to the rest of the post:

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Congratulations William and Catherine

The world is in a frenzy after the birth of the new royal baby, third in line to the British throne. The baby boy, HRH the Prince of Cambridge, was born yesterday, Monday, July 22, 2013, at 4:24 PM, in the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital in London, and weighed 8 lbs., 6 oz. If that wasn't exciting enough, today, his parents, Prince William and Princess Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, presented him to the world on the same steps where, thirty-one years ago, Princess Diana and Prince Charles first introduced William.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

JK Rowling and the Secret Book

JK Rowling has been unmasked this week as the author of The Cuckoo's Calling, a "debut" novel under the pen name of Robert Galbraith, complete with an author bio very different from JK Rowling's. To me, this was fabulous news. There's another book in existence penned by my-favorite-author-in-the-whole-wide-world-ever! Hooray! Did I care that it was published under a pen name with a different bio? Nope.

Needless to say, I was thrilled to discover her alter ego and eager to go buy the book. I haven't read it yet, but I'm very excited, that whole The Casual Vacancy thing notwithstanding. I love Jo and I absolutely love Harry Potter, but The Casual Vacancy was not my cup of tea. Yes, I was secretly hoping it was really an eighth Harry Potter book in disguise, but even so, it just wasn't for me. That's okay! Different strokes and all that. I'm still super excited to dig into The Cuckoo's Calling.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

New Book Trailers

I'm excited to share book trailers for two of my books, Pearls of Pleasure and Cupid's Mistake! Recently, fellow author Amanda Brice mentioned that Victorine Lieske was making pre-made book trailers for a reasonable price for anyone who was interested.

I have long wanted to create book trailers for my stories but lacked the technical know-how myself, and having custom ones made is prohibitively  expensive at this point. They're a fun little extra to have and another way to introduce people to books they might like to read. Check out my trailers and see what you think!

Thanks again to Amanda for the recommendation, and to Victorine for doing such a fabulous job!

Pearls of Pleasure

Cupid's Mistake

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Finding Your Tribe

Coming Soon!
Writing is a solitary activity. We've all heard that, and I think most writers would agree. It's hard to write in a noisy or a collaborative environment. People do it—writers are also parents, children, siblings, roommates. If a writer lives with another person, chances are that other person makes some noise once in a while. Writers write in coffee shops, train stations, at their day jobs, wherever they can. Writers who are well-matched may collaborate on a piece of work, whether a novel or a memoir or nonfiction. Authors work on anthologies together, where a common theme binds the individual pieces, but each author writes his or her own story to contribute to the whole.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Authors and Their Cats

The boys, soon after adoption
Authors and their cats—it's almost a cliché, isn't it? And I fit right in. I'm an author and mommy to three cats who own my heart and drive me crazy at the same time. In my house, we all know we live here by the grace of the three little kings, and they make sure to remind us of that fact on a regular basis.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Chantilly's Top 300 Movies, part 3

Lego Hogwarts at ECCC
Wrapping up my top 300 favorite movies (201 - 300), again in no particular order, although this got a bit alphabetical as I started having to search through my database of DVD's, LOL. The craziest part of all? I know I've missed a bunch, especially the old classics, but I wanted to keep the list within the past 50 years or so. Did your favorites make the list(s)? What awesome movies did I miss? Let me know in the comments!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Chantilly's Top 300 Movies, part 2

A Jawa at ECCC
Continuing my top 300 favorite movies (101 - 200), again in no particular order. It does get a bit alphabetical--I started searching my database of DVD's, LOL--but that's definitely not a preferential ordering system. I know I will have missed a bunch of terrific movies, especially the old classics, but I wanted to keep the list within the past 50 years-ish, or else risk making it a top 500 instead! Hopefully I don't have any duplicates, but if you spot any, give a yell. Did your favorites make the list(s)? What awesome movies did I miss? Let me know in the comments! (Part 3 next Friday, March 29, 2013)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Chantilly's Top 300 Movies, part 1

Darth Vader at ECCC
Just for fun, here's a list of my top 300 favorite movies of all time, up through the end of 2012--divided into three parts so it's not quite so crazy--and in no particular order (if I tried to put them in order this post would never get published--that's crazy-making for me!) Do you see some of yours on the list? What awesome movies did I miss? Let me know in the comments! (Part 2 next Friday, March 22, 2013)

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Short Plea

This is not something I plan to do on a regular basis, but while I was adding my links to the Links page, I was thinking about the charities I have listed there. It's always dicey bringing up donations and charitable giving--whether it's of time, money, or materials. Everyone has their own causes to support, their own worries, needs, and obligations. I understand. I do, too.

However, while the topic was on my mind, I wanted to post just a short plea, not to necessarily request donations for the charities I have listed (though if you are so moved, that would be mega-awesome!), but rather to request that if you're able, even if it's just $1 or an hour of your time, give it somewhere sometime this week. It doesn't have to be a huge amount or a big time commitment to make an enormous difference in someone else's life. If every capable person on the planet gave just half-an-hour to help someone else in need, think of the things we could accomplish!

It doesn't even have to be financial or a labor commitment at all. How about going down to give blood? Or changing your status on your driver's license to that of an organ donor. I know no one likes to think about that, but if the worst should happen, at least that tragedy could have a positive outcome for someone else. Or give up your seat on the bus or train for a pregnant woman, an elderly person, or maybe just someone who looks frazzled and has their hands full. Smile at a Grumpy Gus. Pass along whatever kindnesses you can. They will add up, from the smallest little thing to the largest.

Sending you thanks and smiles for making the world a brighter place,

Friday, March 8, 2013

Emerald City ComicCon Wrap Up 2013

LeakyCon ~ 2011
Orlando, FL
Yes, I'm a geek. Being a romance author does not negate that fact! I'm the biggest Harry Potter nerd in history, but I also enjoy other fandoms, like Star Wars, Star Trek, and more. And I looooove fan conventions. My favorite of all-time is LeakyCon, the major Harry Potter fan conference, which is put on by Melissa Anelli and The Leaky Cauldron. This June I'll attend my fourth LeakyCon in Portland, Oregon, and if I can scrape up the travel funds, I'll also be at the second one they're holding this year... in LONDON! Oh, yeah, baby.

But HP conferences are for another post. This one is about ComicCon.

My family and I attended the Emerald City ComicCon (ECCC) this past weekend. What a blast! This marked our second ComicCon, last year being our first. My primary reason for having us go, originally, was for my son's benefit. He's an incredible artist, a writer, a gamer, and he loves all sorts of fandoms represented at ComicCon, so I figured it would be a natural fit. I was surprised when I had to badger him into going.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Chantilly White's Blog Updates

Just a quick little note:

The Links page has been updated and now includes the links to fellow authors (friends and chaptermates), my organizations, the publishing industry, charitable organizations I support, a few of my favorite research sites, and other fun stuff I enjoy around the web, including my favorite Harry Potter sites. If you find any dead links, please leave a comment on the home page.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

One Year Anniversary & A New Release!

Just in time for my one-year publishing anniversary--I not only have a gorgeous new website and blog to celebrate the date on, I also have a new release to celebrate it with! Lots going on today!

In the previous post, I celebrated the new website and blog, which I just love, so here I'll celebrate the anniversary and the new release.

One year ago--almost--I published my very first indie title, Pearls of Passion, a 6000 word super-spicy short story, which is available FREE wherever ebooks are sold. It released on February 29, 2012, so technically I'd have to wait another three years to have the first anniversary, but yeah, I'm not doing that. ;) Today is the day! And in keeping with an anniversary, I am looking back over the year and ruminating on what I've learned and how I've grown.

Romance Author Chantilly White's New Blog & Website!

Romance Author
Chantilly White
Ta-da! Today is the day I finally get to unveil my gorgeous new website and blog, courtesy of the brilliant Rae Monet. Isn't it beautiful? I am so thrilled with the way it came out, and she was so super speedy--the only delay was in waiting for me to finish compiling the content. I highly recommend her services for anyone interested in developing or making over a website.

One of the challenges in creating my site was the fact that I write in so many different sub-genres of romance: contemporary, historical, paranormal, fantasy, romantic suspense, and sports romance, to name just a few, and my historicals span many centuries. I wanted a site that would encompass all of that without getting too crazy, but one that would also highlight my vision of my brand.