Victorine, the ebook, is HEERREE!

I’ve been promising she was coming for a while now, and she’s here! The release was scheduled for her one-year anniversary, but it took more time than anticipated. You can now download Victorine to your e-reader! (She’s also available elsewhere, too. Just check your favorite retailer’s website.)

So many thanks to my publisher, Fleur-de-Lis Press, for all of their hard work on her behalf. A special thanks to Sena Jeter Naslund, Founding Editor, and Managing Editor Amy Foos Kapoor.

An unfortunate side effect of the ebook being released later is that the reviews between formats aren’t (yet) connected. Rumor has it they will be, eventually. I hope so, because people have said some really sweet things about her! But I’m so happy she’s out in the world! (Here’s where I whisper ask if you’ve already left a review for Victorine, would you consider cutting and pasting it to the e-copy review area? It would REALLY help me out.)

I always like to share a bit about my life when blogging, so here’s an update.

A close relative had surgery a couple of days ago. She did well, although they had some trouble getting her to stay awake afterwards, so she’s currently in the ICU. She’s supposed to be moved to a regular room soon. If you can spare any good vibes, please send them her way. (She probably wouldn’t mind if I said who she is, but since I haven’t asked her, I won’t share here.)

On the way home from her surgery, I stopped to get gas. Alas, afterwards my car wouldn’t start or go into gear. Thankfully, Barry and I had driven separately, so although he had just literally pulled in at home from the grocery store where he had bought dinner for us, he quickly put the food away and came to pick me up. He even called a tow truck. Yay for a hubby who rescues!

Still waiting to hear what’s wrong with my Foolish Carriage. (Do you know that car reference? It’s from one of my favorite movies.) In light of my relative’s surgery, it seems a small matter, car trouble. And it couldn’t have happened at a better point — I was safely off the road and was able to go inside the gas station and get a cold drink. And it meant Barry told the mechanic to look at a couple of other things that need tweaking that I had been ignoring. So it is kinda a blessing.

My second novel is still on track to arrive in the fall, although truth be told, I am second guessing its title. Brevity or wit? Which is better? Excited to share more about it as we get closer to its release date! Actually, be looking for an excerpt soon.

Talk to me. What are you reading? What are you excited about right now? And most importantly, are you enjoying summer produce as much as we are? We had a tomato sandwich fest a couple of weeks ago. Ah!

Our recipe: We toast the most mainstream white bread we can find, add sliced tomatoes to a piece of toast, salt them, top them with mayo, and slam another piece of toast atop the first. Sorry, not sorry, but this can’t be improved upon. I’ve had fancier versions, ones with mozzarella, or olive oil, basil, etc., but this is the one I dream of. Barry and I ate SO MANY tomato sandwiches for breakfast in Greece a few years ago. We made them ourselves in the restaurant. There were endless choices for breakfast, but this is what we wanted. We sat on the balcony and took in the view, a beach in the town of El Greco’s birthplace, and ate bites of summer. That was a magical breakfast spot, for sure.

P.S. Don’t forget to get your e-copy of Victorine! And if you do, I’d love it if you left a review.

Happy Palm Sunday!

Thanks to What’sHerName Podcast for mentioning Victorine‘s painting Palm Sunday today on social media. Where was my brain? (Reading Joan Didion essays and filling out a fellowship application, that’s where. Oh, and emailing the dearest friends. Wait, I feel a You’ve Got Mail reference coming on… “Don’t you love email?” Yes, yes I do.)

There are so many lovely observations to be made about this painting by Victorine Meurent, Edouard Manet’s favorite model — the subtle colors (some of my fav), the knowing-yet-innocent model, the composition…

I could go on, and maybe I should. Maybe I will, another time. But as it’s past seven and my dearest is waiting so we can choose a movie (small screen, but still), I won’t go on tonight.

But do tell me your thoughts on Palm Sunday. It was her first rediscovered painting, and I thought it would be the only example of hers I would have as I wrote about her. You can imagine with what care I studied it.

Enter a Giveaway! Two Wonderful Victorine Shout-Outs Today!

Thank you so much to two sweet souls for helping get out the word about Victorine Meurent. First up, my gratitude to Amy over at Locks, Hooks, and Books. Please read her marvelous review of my novel, Victorine, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway while you’re there.

Okay, I have to share a sneak peek of her heartfelt review: “I loved being transported back in time to mid nineteenth century Paris. The historical details were so fascinating and vivid, I felt like I was right there taking in all the sights of the city.” Thank you, Amy. That warms my author’s heart.

Over on Instagram, Crystal Z. Lee, author of the vivid, vibrant Love and Other Moods, posted a fabulous photo and review of Victorine. She said I can share them over here.

“I gravitate towards books that transport, and Victorine–a historical literary novel–takes readers to France in the 19th century. It’s the story of a trailblazing female artist who defied the conventions of her time.”

“We know the woman on the cover of this book, even if we aren’t familiar with her name, Victorine Meurent. Her face and body had been immortalized by artist Edouard Manet in his world famous paintings Olympia, The Picnic In Paris, etc. I took several western art history courses in college, and remember seeing Manet’s work at the #museedorsay on my numerous business trips to #Paris later on. In Olympia, the nude model’s gaze is arresting. She makes you want to know more about her. But at the time, a woman like her received scant respect nor recognition. Her modeling for #Manet made his works world famous, but history hardly paid any attention or credit to his muse. Until now.”

“This book is truly a treasure just for the fact that author Drema Drudge’s thorough research uncovered Victorine Meurent’s forgotten paintings, and one of them is published for the very first time in her book.”

“If Victorine had lived in today’s era, she would’ve been celebrated; she overcame the odds of poverty, war, sexism… and went from being an artist’s muse to an artist in her own right. But because of the times she lived in, she was shunned, shamed, vilified. Still, she unapologetically lived for her art, for her love and passions.”

“This gem of a novel is for art aficionados, history buffs, francophiles, and anybody looking for a riveting read on a forgotten heroine.”

Wow, thank you, Crystal. I’m incredibly grateful for both your review and the creative, beautifully composed photo. My heart is full.

Thanks to both of these bookish, kind women for getting the word out. I truly appreciate it!

P.S. If you want a free historical fiction story from me, join my newsletter and I’ll hook you up!

Happy Valentine’s Day! You Read it Here First (Interview)

So I’m trying to be punny with the headline and I’m not sure I’m succeeding. But I do hope you’re having a happy Valentine’s Day. My honey bought a together present for us, which made me so happy. Maybe I mentioned before that we picked out a China pattern when we were newly married but only started buying it to celebrate our 30th! (Don’t feel too sorry for us; we have a beautiful set in a different pattern handed down from his mother that we use.)

Meet the newest members which have already been pressed into service for several cups of tea. When I asked my dear Mr. Drudge whether they were to be put into everyday use or for special occasions, he said the latter, though I do tend to frown upon things being “saved.” I will try to honor his request, but we shall see…don’t you love this pattern, Royal Albert Old Country Roses?

Our first two mugs in our pattern. I’m feeling major mug love over here!

P.S. He also bought me several wonderful books that I will try to forget about while I do my pressing day job duties for the new few days. More on those books soon! (And I bought him some nifty gifties as well. But I’ll let him share those with you in his own good time. Psst…he can often be found conversing with musicians on Twitter.)

And now, here’s what I’ve been building up to. Many, many thanks to the crew over at You Read it Here First and to Debbie A. McClure in particular for her glowing introduction of me and Victorine and her thoughtful interview. I am so touched. I’ll let you read her interview, but I have to share this quote because it warmed my heart: “It’s not often I find a kindred spirit in a writer who loves the craft of writing, art, and the joy of travel as much as I do, but author Drēma Drudge fits that bill. Wit and a serious respect for writing and art, Drēma takes the reader on a journey into the past that delights and educates at the same time.” Debbie A McClure.

Please go show the interview some love on Valentine’s Day!

Day 6 of the 12 Days of Victorine: A Reading Just for You!

I’m a fan of Christmas, always have been. Hubby and I married as close to Christmas as we could without interfering with our family’s traditions and travel plans, although I was campaigning for Christmas Eve.

We’ve been married for nearly 30 years, so it must have been a good time of year to marry.

Anyway, without realizing it, I have at least brief passages about Christmas in my novel, Victorine. I wanted to read them for you to let you know how very much I appreciate you.

I hope you enjoy it. You can listen here.

Day 4: Add some music to your day! Win The Many Faces of Victorine.

Win some music! My hubby, Barry Drudge, musician extraordinaire, created an album, The Many Faces of Victorine, for my launch of the novel. Here’s one of the songs he wrote and recorded:

I enjoy it not only when reading Victorine, but it’s cool to play in the background while I’m doing chores, while I’m on my computer, and more. Five of you lucky duckies will win a code to download his album. Trust me, you’ll want to hear it!

To be entered to win, all you need to do is be a subscriber to my newsletter list. (Again, sorry, but while you will get a free short story when you subscribe, if you’re not in the U.S., I can’t mail giveaway items to you.) Sign up today so you will be eligible not only for this giveaway, but future giveaways!

The winners will be chosen on or after Dec. 18, 2020 midnight EST. A list of winners’ first names will be posted here shortly after the contest ends. Winners will also be alerted via email.

Thank you again for visiting, and best of luck to you! Please share this post with others!

Day 2 of the 12 Days of Victorine!

Today you have the opportunity to win this lovely one and her lamb that I discovered just for you (the winner, that is) at my local vintage shop. She reminds me of the little girl that Victorine paints in my eponymous novel. These photos do not do this piece justice. The pendant is about 2.5 inches long, with a nice length of chain. While there is no maker’s mark on it, it’s got a good heft, something I look for in vintage jewelry.  

She’ll come to you nestled in a holiday jewelry pouch.

To be entered to win, all you need to do is be a subscriber to my newsletter list. (Sorry, but while you will get a free short story when you subscribe, if you’re not in the U.S., I can’t mail giveaway items to you.) Sign up today so you will be eligible not only for this giveaway, but future giveaways!

The winner will be chosen on or after Dec. 18, 2020, midnight EST. A list of winners’ first names will be posted here shortly after the contest ends. Winners will also be alerted via email.

Thank you again for visiting, and best of luck to you! I know this shepherdess would be happy to be worn around your neck. Please share this post with others!

An Interview and ANOTHER Giveaway!

How happy I am to start off this Wednesday morning offering you another book giveaway!

I’m thrilled to announce that artist and author Lilianne Milgrom has interviewed me over on her blog. If you head on over there, you’ll be able to read it and find out how to win a copy of my very own Victorine for your very own. 🙂

Victorine as Lady of 1866 by Manet

An In-depth Conversation with Lit World Interviews

Thanks much to Florence T. for her wonderful interview with me on Lit World Interviews. I had to dig deep for some of these answers, and I was so grateful for the opportunity to ask myself questions I had not. Please take a look and leave a comment to let Flo know you appreciate her contribution to the literary community!