I got my first taste of the New World Order a couple of years ago. A mom with a daughter in Princess Galen’s preschool class and an older son moved from the city, which she loved, to the dreaded suburbs because her son didn’t get into the Kindergarten programs she’d applied to. That was my first sign we weren’t in Kansas anymore.
I don’t know about you, but when I was 5, I went to the elementary school down the street. Kindergarten was optional and half a day. I even walked to school and home again by myself (but that’s another blog!). Now Kindergarten is a bit more serious, as in applying-for-college serious.
Princess Galen is going to a public school, which means I could cut out all the private school rigamarole, although I know so many parents applying to private schools I could probably submit applications in my sleep. Believe it or not, where I live, you apply for public school too. The Houston Independent School District has school choice, which means you don’t have to go to your zoned school. You can apply to other schools in the district with special magnet or gifted programs with specialities in fine arts, literacy, science, technology, or music.
I really like our zoned school, but I still felt like I’d better tour a few of the other elementaries that caught my attention. That’s right. I toured elementary schools. Then I had to fill out applications. Lots of applications. And there were forms and surveys to fill out. PG had to take a test one Saturday morning. It was all vaguely reminiscent of the whole college application process.
But through it all, I didn’t stress because I knew even if we didn’t get into any of the school where we applied, I was perfectly happy sending her to our zoned school. I even toured it! It would have been on my list regardless. And that was when the school district decided to shake up my world and change the enrollment policy for a few crowded elementaries. Registration became first-come, first-serve, and when the school reached capacity, zoned students would be sent to other schools.
I should find out soon where, if anywhere, we were accepted. In the meantime, yesterday I had to register at our zoned school. Remember camping out for concert tickets? Yep. It was kind of like that. Hours in line. In the rain. But we’re in…until middle school…
Anyone else kind of miss the “old days”?
Aleen Davis is the randomly selected winner of ONCE A WALLFLOWER, AT LAST HIS LOVE. I’ll email you, Aleen!
Susan Gorman is the randomly selected winner of the Kindle copies of WHEN DASHING MET DANGER and PRIDE & PETTICOATS. I’ll email you, Susan!
I didn’t have the cover earlier this week, but here’s the cover for WHILE YOU WERE SPYING!
The Jaunty Quills are excited to present USA Today bestselling historical romance author Christi Caldwell, author of a dozen historical romances. She’s consistently on the Hot New Release list and a bestseller. It’s past time we had her as a guest here.
Readers, keep reading to find out how to win your copy of Once a Wallflower, At Last His Love.
Shana: Welcome, Christi! Tell us about Once a Wallflower, At Last His Love, the newest in the Scandalous Seasons series.
Christi Caldwell: Thank you so much for the warm introduction and for having me visit at the Jaunty Quills!
“Once a Wallflower, At Last His Love” is special to me; for very personal reasons. After a series of tragedies befall her family, the heroine, Miss Hermione Rogers takes on the responsibility of caring for her two younger siblings and her eldest sister who has special needs. In order to do so, she writes gothic novels for some meager coins. She’s been tasked with writing the tale of a dark, brooding duke. But the problem (among many) is that she’s never met a duke and is wholly uninspired—until she meets, Sebastian Fitzhugh the 5th Duke of Mallen.
This story is really about those familial bonds and the lengths we go to protect and care for those we love.
Shana: Tell us all about your hero, Sebastian Fitzhugh. I do love a duke hero, and Sebastian sounds delish!
Christi Caldwell: Thanks, Shana! Well, Sebastian is everything that Miss Hermione Rogers’ story doesn’t call for! He’s charming and clever and kind. For years he’s watched all those around him manage to make love matches. Tired of being desired for his title and nothing more, he’s bewitched by Hermione’s total lack of interest in his ducal status.
Shana: I love reading your Facebook posts about your three adorable kids. How do you juggle writing and family?
Christi Caldwell: I’ve had to become very organized and efficient in how I use my time while my son is off at school. My twins take 2 long naps still during the day and in that time, I write uninterrupted. Through the years, I’ve honed my typing skills and can write about 2000 words an hour. But the real secret of how I juggle writing with family is with the support of my husband and parents who give me the additional time I need at night and on weekends. I’ve been blessed.
Shana: What drew you to writing books set in the Regency era?
Christi Caldwell: I began reading Regency romance novels when I was 13 years old. I picked up a Jude Deveraux book and finished everything she’d written and moved on to Julie Garwood and then I found Judith McNaught. I was a voracious reader and something about the era just spoke to me.
Shana: My first historical romance was also by Jude Devereaux and then I quickly fell in love with Julie Garwood’s books too! Finally, tell us what you have coming next.
Christi Caldwell: I have several releases planned in the near future!
Kathryn Le Veque and I are releasing “Dark Deceptions” which is a collection of our darkest pieces on March 15th. My story is titled “My Lady of Deception” and prior to this has only been available in the Limited Edition USA Today Bestselling Box set “From the Ballroom and Beyond” and the “Romancing the Rogue” collection.
I’ll also be releasing Book 3, in my “Heart of a Duke” series. The $0.99 novella “The Love of a Rogue” will be available March 29th, with Book 4 a full-length titled “Loved By a Duke” coming in May!
Readers, now it’s your turn. What author started you reading historical romance (or any romance!). One reader who comments will be randomly chosen to win Once a Wallflower, At Last His Love. The winner will be announced Sunday and contacted via email.
Here’s a joke I love about writing.
Author 1: You know the hardest part about writing?
Author 2: The part you’re working on now.
It’s so incredibly true! When I’m writing a book, I think crafting new pages is the hardest thing in the world. Some days all the words flow and the pages rush out of my fingers as if I’d already written them and just needed to set them down on paper. More often, each page seems to take an eternity as I stare into space and struggle over every single word. For me, this usually happens toward the latter half of the book, which makes it even more frustrating. The beginning goes so well, and then suddenly everything slows. Down. To. A. Crawl.
Recently I was in the midst of one of those manuscript crawls when I had the brilliant idea to pull out an old manuscript, rework it, and publish it. My readers had emailed me for years asking for Ethan and Francesca’s story. I’d actually even written the whole book, but I’d never sold it because it was chronologically before the events of my first published book, WHEN DASHING MET DANGER, and my editor wanted to go forward not back.
I pulled the book out, not even certain if it was salvageable, but after I read it and asked a few readers to take a look, I decided it was publishable with a few changes. I figured fixing WHILE YOU WERE SPYING would be far easier than writing a new book. I only had to polish it to rid it of some of my amateur mistakes.
You’re laughing now, aren’t you? You probably realize what I didn’t at the time. Sometimes it’s far harder to fix something flawed than to start all over again. And so for seven months—twice as long as I would have spent writing a new book—I labored over my “finished” book. I’m proud to announce it will be out next month. If you enjoyed WHEN DASHING MET DANGER and PRIDE AND PETTICOATS and ever wondered about Ethan and Francesca’s story, you’ll want to read this one.
Or if you just want to see what a book that doubles as an instrument of torture reads like, you’ll want to grab it as well.
Cover reveals and pre-order links and all that to come soon, but in the meantime, how about I give away the first two books in the series? They’re only available digitally because they came out in 2005 and 2006 (Throwback Tuesday!).
If you have a Kindle, and you’d like copies of both books, just comment below. Tell me your favorite thing to fix up—cars, houses, recipes—or maybe you prefer to watch other people fix things up on HGTV or Overhaulin.
The randomly chosen winner will be announced and contacted Sunday.