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Holiday Guest Post & Giveaway by Pitch Wars Mentor Heather Webb!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

Christmas card with hot cup of cappuccino,  cinnamon sticks and christmas tree branch isolated,

A Holiday Giveaway, a Recipe for Sweeties, and Why December Matters

By Heather Webb

December is a time for cheer, for giving and gratitude. Especially for me this year. Here’s why:

December 2nd Kirkus Reviews released a fantabulous review of my novel. (SQUEEE)

josephine 3 LR (1)

December 30th is my birthday! Fondue, massive amounts of chocolate ganache, and champagne will be consumed this year, because the very next day on…

December 31, 2013 my women’s historical BECOMING JOSEPHINE releases from Plume, an imprint of Penguin!! (Not to mention it’s New Year’s Eve. Partaaaay!)

For Josephine, the heroine of my novel, it was a busy time of year, too. On…

December 13, 1779Rose (aka Josephine) married her first husband on this cold, dreary day in December—an omen of what was to come between them.

December 24, 1800—The Bonapartes were headed to a Christmas Eve performance of Haydn’s opera. Josephine, choosing a new shawl à l’égyptienne to adorn her risqué gown, made them late and rode in a separate carriage behind Napoleon and his consort. Her love of fashion saved her life. In a plot to assassinate Napoléon, a team of men set up explosives in the street. Napoléon had already escaped to safety. But when the explosion detonated, Josephine’s carriage was badly damaged and she barely escaped death. She continued on to the opera house as per Napoleon’s orders to put on a brave face for his people. I can only imagine what was going through Josephine’s head that night…As a matter of fact, in the novel, I did imagine it!

December 2nd 1804—On this day, Josephine and Napoléon were crowned Empress and Emperor of France and the European empire at the famous church, Notre Dame de Paris. Louis David, famous painter of the era, captured the moment in this lovely painting, now hanging in the Louvre. An exact replica of the painting, also painted by David, can be found in one of the bedrooms at Versailles.


For Pictures of Josephine’s many gowns, jewelry, furniture, etc, visit my Pinterest board HERE

In the Name of the Holiday Spirit, a Giveaway & a Recipe

Leave a comment and go into a drawing for an advanced copy of Becoming Josephine or a Josephine hand mirror in drawstring velvet bag.

And now for a delicious holiday recipe mentioned in my novel:


Ile Flottante  This is an island of meringue that floats in a puddle of English cream—a light, yet decadent dessert you’ll want to gobble up! For the recipe, click HERE

About the Author

Heather Webb Smiling

Heather Webb grew up a military brat and naturally became obsessed with travel, culture, and languages. She put her degrees to good use teaching high school French for nearly a decade before turning to full time novel writing and freelance editing. When not writing, Heather flexes her foodie skills or looks for excuses to head to the other side of the world. She loves to chitchat on Twitter with new reader friends or writers (@msheatherwebb) or via her blog. Stop on by!

Filed: Misc

  • When I was a romantic young girl, I found and devoured Thomas Costain’s The Last Love, a historical fiction about Napolean in exile and the relationship he developed with a merchant’s daughter. I was fascinated by how the author made Napolean, by all historical accounts a ruthless tyrant, sound human and even pathetic. I don’t think it had ever occurred to me that this larger-than-life figure could have a human side!

    I read your bio before I attended May’s Backspace Writer’s Conference and saw that this book was going to be published. I am very interested to see how you humanized Napolean. Such a fascinating man (and Josephine was a powerful woman) and a wonderfully scintillating era to write about. Can’t wait to read it! Congrats!

    • Chelle818 says:

      So excited about Becoming Josephine. Can’t wait to read it. Congrats!

    • Heather Webb says:

      Hi Kim, did we meet at Backspace? What a fabulous conference that was!

      I, too, humanize Napoleon, though he was as good to Josephine as he was despicable–yet somehow I still “loved” him as I could see him through Josephine’s eyes. We are all layered and complicated for sure! Though the majority of the book is about her story and not his, he will have a starring role in the last third of the book.

      I’ll be sure to look up the book you mentioned. Even as an adult, I love a good romance! 🙂 Thanks for your comment.

  • Wow – the story of the explosion is simply amazing. Putting on a brave face takes on a whole new meaning, here!. Happy birthday early, Heather, and I’m a tad jealous of the copious amounts of fondue and chocolate ganache that will be consumed without my help! Can’t wait to read Becoming Josephine. Talk about reinvention of oneself.

    • Heather Webb says:


      Isn’t that nuts? And that is just one “little” bit of horror that happened to Josephine. She had a seriously melodramatic life!

      I’ll be sure to send virtual ganache. Lord knows I don’t need to be eating it all on my own. LOL! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  • Emily says:

    I don’t think there is anything really that makes me quite as happy as good historical fiction. Congrads on such a full month.

    • Heather Webb says:

      Emily–we feel the same way! Great minds… Thank you for your kind words and happy holidays!

    • I also love some good historical fiction. I love specific setting details and plot that is driven by the era. I didn’t even realize this was true until I became a writer and looked more critically at what I read.

      What a cool desert! Looks like the type I would eat but would fail at making 🙂

      • Heather Webb says:

        Thanks for stopping by, Stephanie. It was the same with me, actually. I sat down to write the book that was in my heart and it turned out to be historical fiction. I do adore reading it as well.

  • Emily says:

    Side note, that looks delicious.

  • Amyc says:

    I have waiting for this release for far too long ! Yay! It’s coming!

  • Janet Oakley says:

    I’m looking forward to Josephine too. It’s been awhile since I read non-fiction accounts about her and Napoleon. I have seen his tomb and located places she lived in Paris. It’s a fascinating, turbulent time in history. Her story is so compelling as major societal changes came to France and Europe, even affecting us in our new national.

    • Heather Webb says:

      Hi Janet! Nice to see you here. 🙂 It’s amazing to me how a person’s reign so long ago and even across oceans STILL influences us in a real way.

  • Susan Kramer says:

    I can’t wait to feel like I am “Becoming Josephine” as I read your novel Heather. I was mesmerized when I saw the huge mural in Paris in 2010 and want to know more about these people.

    • Heather Webb says:

      Well, Susan, I did my absolute best to make her come alive so I hope you get to walk in her shoes like I did! Where did you see the painting– at the Louvre or Versailles?

  • Fiona McLaren says:

    I think New Year’s eve is perhaps the most wonderful day for a release! Wonderful and so exciting. I can’t wait to read your novel. Becoming Josephine sounds so intriguing. I’d love to see Napoleon through the eyes of a woman who loves him. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that every person, no matter their deeds, is made up than more that what we see on the outside. Congratulations and much success wished for your future (and for Becoming Josephine!).

  • I can’t wait to read the book too. It sound fabulous! Beautiful book cover!

  • Brenda Drake says:

    I love all the history here, and can’t wait to read BECOMING JOSEPHINE! Thank you for sharing your guest post with us, Heather, and upcoming Happy Birthday and upcoming Book Birthday! Much celebration!

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