The Memory Child by Steena Holmes

MAR2689-copy-300x450I had the pleasure of reading a wonderful new book, The Memory Child by the fabulous Steena Holmes some weeks before it was out.  Then last month I had the pleasure of meeting Steena who also happens to be really good friends with my dear friend CJ Carmichael.  Steena is even more wonderful in person and I’m thrilled to know her!

I really enjoyed The Memory Child and had to invite Steena to visit my blog to share more with about her book with all of you because I know you’ll love her book too!

Here’s Steena Holmes:

Finding friends with similar dreams, passions and cravings is rare and something I’m learning to hold on to with both hands. Jane, you are fast becoming one of those friends, someone I can connect with in regards to our goals for our present and future as well as we both share a similar craving.

Chocolate.

I tend to remember events by the chocolate memories associated with them. For The Memory Child – I celebrated completing it and handing it into my editor by taking a chocolate tour to Brugge, Belgium. It was exactly a year ago this month – and I started off in London to attend the London Book Fair before heading to Paris and then to Brugge, where I fell more in love with chocolate than I’ve ever been.

steenaholmes-memorychild
When Brian finds out that his wife, Diane, is pregnant, he is elated. He’s been patiently waiting for twelve years to become a father. But Diane has always been nervous about having children because of her family’s dark past. The timing of the pregnancy also isn’t ideal—Diane has just been promoted, and Brian is being called away to open a new London office for his company.
Fast-forward one year: being a mother has brought Diane a sense of joy that she’d never imagined and she’s head over heels for her new baby, Grace. But things are far from perfect: Brian has still not returned from London, and Diane fears leaving the baby for even a moment. As unsettling changes in those around Diane began to emerge, it becomes clear that all is not as it seems.
A woman’s dark past collides head-on with her mysterious present in this surreal and gripping family drama.

In Paris, my goal was to amble the cobbled streets to find those out of the way little patisseries and chocolate shops. I armed myself with books and maps and knew exactly where I wanted to go…but once I got there, I forgot all about those maps and just got swept along the amazing tide of what is Paris in Spring. I still found those shops and I ate a lot of tempting treats and confirmed that a pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant) and hot chocolate were the perfect pairing for a early morning stroll.

But it was in Brugge that I indulged and savored. From the moment I arrived until the moment I left I had one mission. To find the best chocolate I’ve ever tasted. And I succeeded. Over and over and over again. This small village held over 50 chocolate shops – can you believe that? Even though I was alone on this trip, I made sure to blog daily and posted pictures on my Facebook page so that my readers could come along for the ride – and I even brought home chocolate for them (see…I do share despite the rumors out there).

I add chocolate to all my books. There is always a scene (or two or three) where my character is eating, baking or savoring a chocolate moment. They say authors should write what they know – so trust me when I say, I know chocolate. But not only do I add chocolate to my books, I celebrate with chocolate.

Today, since The Memory Child is finally released (what a fabulous chocolate year it has been), I’m celebrating with the best chocolate cake I’ve ever tasted. But not only that … if you pop on over to my Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/SteenaHolmes.Author – I’m giving chocolate away too.  But don’t think I’ve left you all out…as a special thank you to Jane for celebrating with me today – one lucky chocoholic reader of hers will get a sweet chocolate treat as well as a copy of my novel, The Memory Child!

Oh … and did you know, I just submitted my recent novel to my editor? Any guesses on how I am celebrating? Yep, you guessed it…another trip to Paris (amazing how writing conferences seem to happen just as I end a novel).  And I’m headed on a ‘hidden’ chocolate tour of Paris on the day I arrive and then heading over to a chocolate festival in London the day before I leave.  Yes, I really do love chocolate!

~~
Thank you, Steena for sharing with us!  Everyone, please check out The Memory Child.  I promise you’ll really love the story!  And in keeping with Steena’s love for Chocolate, I’ve got a treat for you!  I’m giving away some delicious special chocolate from San Clemente, a $20 Amazon gift card and other fun reader goodies!  For a chance to win, leave a comment and tell me about your favorite kind of chocolate.  Contest runs through Thursday night and I’ll announce the winner on Friday!

90 Comments

  1. I love to read chocolate scenes in books….so I know I will enjoy reading Steena’s books! And now I want to go to Paris and London for chocolate festivals and tours. 🙂 I must admit I am addicted to chocolate. I love milk and dark chocolate, though not a fan of white chocolate. Love chocolate and peanut butter combos, and chocolate and coconut combos. See’s chocolate truffles, german chocolate cake and pie, chocolate chip cookies. My list of favorites could go on for a while!

  2. The book sounds good! I hope I win it 🙂

    I eat a Dove dark chocolate promise almost every day, but my favorite chocolate indulgence is Harry & David raspberry dark chocolate truffles.

  3. I can’t wait to read this! And I entered Steena’s contest on her FB page. 🙂 I love all chocolate..a favorite? Even though it isn’t gourmet, I have a passion for Reese’s peanut butter cups..

  4. My chocolate of choice is my white chocolate covered Ice cream bar.. Magnum bars, Belgium chocolate and ice cream Delish….

  5. Sounds like a great new book to read. I’m so glad you have such interesting friends, Jane! I love chocolate made in Switzerland and Belgium. But now I’m craving a trip to Paris and London to take chocolate tours there!

  6. Strolling through Paris sounds fabulous but finding 50 chocolate shops!?! That is my slice of Heaven!!! This article had my mouth watering and now I want chocolate. Aha!
    I will be looking for The Memory Child asap! Sounds like a fantastic read!!

  7. Best wishes and much happiness in Paris. This is a happy and delightful post which is special. Milk chocolate is my indulgence.

  8. I love all kinds of chocolate. There is a small problem. I don’t like chocolate ice cream. Heaven knows why I don’t. Steena, your book sounds so good. I know if I don’t win I will be looking for it from my local library. Thank you Jane for introducing her book to us on your blog.

  9. I love chocolate covered caramels as well as a good dark chocolate, letting it melt slowly in my mouth so I can savor each and every calorie before they settle on my hips! LOL… sad, but true enough!

  10. This books sounds like a great read! Love hearing about great new authors Jane recommends. I love chocolate with toffee…it is my favorite!!!! Can never go by Munson’s Chocolate without getting something (I just wish we were related lol!).

  11. I keep Hershey Dark Chocolate Kisses in the refrigerator for the perfect size bite of chocolate after lunch and dinner! Yummy!

  12. I love all chocolate; no discrimination here! lol! Guess I love Godiva best, cause my bf always gives it to me on special occasions.

  13. I knew my husband and I were made for each other when I found out he’s allergic to chocolate. So I don’t have to worry that he’ll get into my chocolate stash.

  14. This is an awesome giveaway! Only expect the best from Jane Porter! My favorite kind of chocolate is Reese’s peanut butter cups, Mr. Goodbar and Ferrar Rocher hazelnut chocolates! Xoxo. 😀

  15. Also I love double chocolate oreo cookies, Talenti gelato, chcolate truffles, cream cheese iced brownies, DQ blizzards with chocolate, oh hell, just make that just about anything made with milk choc or dark choc.

  16. I love any kind of chocolate, some are just better than others. See’s Chocolates are especially good around here because they are fresh, as are Fran’s and, of course, European is wonderful.. The better it is, the less you have to eat to satisfy yourself.

  17. I don’t really have a special favorite chocolate. Depending on the situation or my mood. As a general rule, I am not all that picky. 😉

  18. MMMM chocolate anything with caramel is my preferred choice. As a child and adult my mom would buy Fanny May chocolate covered caramels and they were oh so good. I also like my homemade English toffee, what could taste better than butter, sugar and pecans covered in chocolate.

  19. I love milk chocolate with nuts, coconut or caramel filling.

    what a wonderful trip sampling chocolate!
    I also love my Cherry Chocolate squares that are like Nanaimo Bars but I do the Cherry filling.

  20. I know it’s not very sophisticated, but my favorite chocolate is Hershey — plain or almond. Or Hershey chocolate in milk. I do like Russell Stover Chocolates also.
    Do have to agree though, Belgium chocolates are yummy.

  21. Happy Release Day!

    I just discovered a little chocolate shop close to my house (about 20 mins away.)They specialize in toffees and caramels. They have the most delicious Dark Chocolate Caramel Sauce I have ever had!

  22. I am a dark chocolate fan. I gave up sweets for Lent – all by my 85% cacao squares (not much sugar in there). There is hard and there is impossible.

  23. Lindt makes a truffle that is white chocolate covered with milk chocolate. I recently discovered them, and it’s heaven! I also love any Fannie May chocolates. If you’ve never heard of them, they’re based in Chicago, luckily there is a store close to me in Minneapolis!

  24. What kind is my favorite Um chocolate in general. but one of my favorite things to do that i don’t get to do often is go into a candy shop like see’s and getting diffrent flavors and then sitting down outside somewhere and sharing them with my husband.

  25. Ohh chocolate…. Chocolate Mac nuts, chocolate coconut, reminds me of sunshine and Hawaii and brings a smile to my face

  26. What a nice topic! I’ve been to Bruges, but I didn’t manage to visit the 50 shops Steena did. Ha-ha. But the chocolate I did eat was silky and sweet.

  27. Nice to meet you Steena and what a lovely name. Thanks Jane for another new to me author recommendation! Chocolate is my favorite dessert ever, too. My husband and I like to drink frozen hot chocolate, yummy!

  28. The best chocolate I have had is Godiva. I know, pretty generic. But, that’s the best we have around here (that I know of anyway). My favorite indulgence is a chocolate martini. Oh, how I could use one of those now. Your trips sounds like something out of my dreams. Your book sounds really great. I would love to read it.

  29. My favorite has to be Milk Chocolate Lindor Truffles. My mom and her gal pals called them “better than the big-O” chocolates! ; )

    Or Lindt’s chocolate with caramel. YUM!

  30. This book sounds amazing. it’s defintly going on my tbr list!

    I love anything chocolate!

    Thanks for the giveaway.

  31. I had the privilege of reading this book early…it is a really amazing book..once I started reading I couldn’t put it down.. Steena is an amazing author and I feel so very special to be book club friends with her…I love your books Steena..:)

  32. I love dark chocolate, but I’ll eat any quality chocolate. I even make chocolates for the family and some friends–and even a couple of celebrities.

  33. I like Dove milk chocolates, and also Hersheys kisses. I think I am acquiring a taste for dark chocolate a little more as I get older though. Would love to go to Bruges or Paris for chocolate, but may have to settle for Hershey, PA as more realistic for now! 🙂

  34. Jane thank you for introducing us to Stenna (love the name very unique) I also am a chocolate lover. I admit it.
    Love anything dark chocolate.
    Right now I am enjoying Brookside Dark Chocolate Pomegranate. Both ingredients are supposed to be good for you. I love Lindt Excellence bars with a touch of Sea Salt. yummy. I look forward to reading The Memory Child. Enjoy your time in Paris

  35. Dark chocolate covered almonds are my very favorite item. A close second would be See’s dark bordeaux candies. 🙂

    YUMMY!!

    Steena’s book sounds wonderful! Thanks for introducing us to her.

  36. I love chocolate of any kind but milk chocolate is my favorite. You just can’t beat a good hersery bar.

    Steena I can’t wait to read your new book. I loved Finding Emma and Emma’s Secret so I am sure The Memory Child will be fabulous! Thanks for sharing with us today.

  37. M&M’s pastel mix chocolates. Always enjoy the pretty colors just in time for spring! Thank you for the chance to win.

  38. It sounds as if you had a really great time on your trip. Unfortunately I am one of those who are allergic to chocolate. I am not allergic to books!

  39. Jane,
    Oh yes I am also an avid chocolate fan. Have been since I was a little girl, my favorite isn’t anything fancy or as luxurious as from Paris because I have never been lucky enough to travel. So , I would have to say my favorite is a tie between the chocolate toffee crunch from See’s, and a cherry mash which is a local favorite from my state of Missouri, I had never had one until I moved back here, it’s made locally. But, oh my it is a little taste of heaven with cherry added on top. If you ever get a chance to come through the state you should definitely try one! Thank you again for another great giveaway. B

  40. I love all kind of chocolate, but I remember well when I was living in my home country (Italy) and was working for a company that had business in Belgium, the managers were always bringing back some wonderful Belgian chocolates when they were going there for meetings. Still dream about it!
    Being a holistic nutritionist, I feel great about recommending chocolate as a superfood. I have recently baked a chocolate cake without flour and without sugar (sweetened with dates), with a raspberry coulis that was absolutely fantastic.
    Can’t wait to read your book, Steena.
    Loved all your wonderful stories about Paris. I love that magic city too.

  41. My favorite kind of chocolate is actually hazelnut praline.
    Growing up I always received an real hen egg filled with hazelnut praline from Finland. And I found this gem of a treat near where I live now also.

  42. I love to eat chocolate while reading. Milk chocolate. Dark Chocolate. Peanut butter and chocolate. And my youngest daughter shares my affinity for chocolate. Yummmm.

  43. Hi! I love chocolate, dark or milk-I make a killer brownie of 3 chocolates and I started selling them in Chicago and my brother took over since I moved to south fla. tried selling them here but a lot of people don’t want to pay but I do make them for a food truck- went to Italy and they make good chocolate and so does Swiss, enjoy Paris!

  44. I enjoy chocolate. I am not a chocolate addict. I do however, like to savor it. I have found that I really do enjoy a piece of dark chocolate with caramel and sea salt. It’s rich, sweet and salty. The perfect combination.

  45. Raised in Southern California, See’s Candies has always been our favorite, even now while living in VA. We can get it at the airport, bring it back on trips to California, or mail order. It has never failed us. Your book sounds so decadent, enjoyed the interview…Ruth

  46. What a great post, I totally appreciate your love affair with chocolate, Steena! Book sounds great too, I’m adding it to my list 🙂

  47. My favorite is chocolate and peanut butter…any chocolate 🙂 My poor daughter inherited the chocolate craving…

  48. All this delicious talk about chocolate! Mmmm, yummy! Thank you all, for making Steena feel welcome. 🙂

    Our winner is #19 Jennifer Schantz!

    Jennifer, shoot me an email with your mailing info and I’ll get your goodies in the mail.

    More fun to come!
    Jane xoxo

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