Welcome to Chocolatour !
This site has combined my three previous sites into a one-stop shop, where you can read musings about the life of a professional writer, get swept away in travel posts from around the world, and hear the latest news about artisanal chocolate and chocolate events to entice you.
The focus of the writing and lifestyle posts is to educate, entertain and inspire writers and anyone interested in creative endeavours. If this is of interest, please click on the Writing/Lifestyle tabs under the Blog menu.
Doreen the Chocolate Queen
I write non-fiction books. Following the release of my latest title, Chocolatour: A Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate–an award-winning chocolate travel book that guides you to the finest chocolate and chocolate experiences of the world–I became known as Doreen the Chocolate Queen! That’s one tasty title, and one that I love having!
For more about the world of chocolate, please click on Chocolate under the Blog menu.
Volume I of Chocolatour won a Bronze Medal in the 2014 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards, and was also named a Finalist in the 2014 North American Travel Journalists Awards. I’m currently researching Volume II of Chocolatour and plan to have that published in 2018.
If you are a chocolate lover and love to travel, you are in the right place, as I am forging the new niche of “chocolate travel” or as I like to call it, Chocolatourism. You will find many posts in the blog that take you around the world in search of remarkable chocolate and chocolate experiences. Have you ever been slathered in molten chocolate? I have, and it’s an incredibly sensual experience that every chocolate lover should take time to enjoy. Stick with me, and I’ll help you find the right place for the kind of chocolate experience you are seeking.
If you’re interested in Chocolatour, the book, you can purchase it here on this site. Chocolatour is also on Amazon, and at selected chocolate shops and retailers around the world. This site will also keep you abreast of events and chocolate tours and tastings that I’m hosting or speaking at. Click on the “Tours and Events” tab on the homepage to see what I’m up to.
You can engage my services on the “Hire Doreen” page.
I write magazine, newspaper, and online articles and blog posts about travel, lifestyle, entrepreneurship and other topics for various publications. You can read some of my newer published articles written by Doreen Pendgracs on the “Hire Doreen” page.
My freelance articles and photography have appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Westjet magazine, Groups Today, THOR Travel Services Destinations magazine, Western Hotelier, WEST, Canadian Geographic, Highways, RV Lifestyle, CAA/Going Places, DreamScapes, Winnipeg Life, ComFree Homes, Aquascape Landscapes, Hotelier, Harbors, The Costco Connection, Your Office, My Winnipeg Business, Canadian Insurance, Your Convenience Manager, Your Foodservice Manager, Meetings & Incentive Travel, 55 Plus, German Life, The Cottager, The Manitoba Cooperator, Farmers’ Almanac, Travel & Escape, Next Avenue, Vantage Magazine, GoNomad, Travel With a Challenge, Profit, and over the airwaves on CBC radio.
I’m also a contributor to the GettingOntravel (GOT) site which specializes in luxury travel for the over 50 demographic. See my GOT profile here.
And soon, I will begin hosting small group chocolate tours around the world. Let me know where you’d like to go on a chocolate tour and we will try and make it happen!
Here’s what readers are saying about my writing:
“Doreen, your depth of knowledge when it comes to chocolate never ceases to amaze me. I admire anyone who truly goes after any subject to master it, and you certainly do that with chocolate.” ~ Jeri Walker
“You know, to most of us having to write one post about chocolate would be a challenge and here you are writing one every week and still able to keep them interesting and tell us stuff we didn’t know. That’s pretty amazing, Doreen.” ~ Lenie Hokansson
Before You Say Yes
In March, 2010, Before You Say Yes was released by Dundurn Press and has been renowned as the “volunteer’s bible” as it was written to serve as the ultimate guide for anyone sitting on a board of directors in the non-profit sector. Read the foreword for the book.
I present and facilitate customized workshops for non-profit groups who need help with board development or dealing with issues impeding the effectiveness of their boards.
On the lighter side of life, I’ve also co-authored two travel books: a guidebook on Canada’s most easterly province: Frommer’s Newfoundland & Labrador (1st edition, published April, 2004 by Wiley), and the bestselling Manitoba Book of Everything, published by MacIntyre Purcell, October, 2008.
In addition to books and a wide variety of periodical assignments, I’ve also done writing/editing projects for various corporate clients including the Interlake Tourism Association, Canadian Tourism Commission, and Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company, and have conducted writing and copyright workshops for the Travel Media Association of Canada (TMAC), the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC), The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC), the Manitoba Writers’ Guild (MWG), the Manitoba Magazine Publishers Association, and Grant McEwan College.
As a member of Toastmasters International and a Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM), my speaking abilities have dazzled audiences on Celebrity Cruise Lines, at chocolate festivals, and in other forums. I am founder and president of the Toastmasters in the Arts club in the Interlake region of Manitoba. We meet in Gimli for 10 months of the year, and in Ponemah for July and August.
Connect with me
I enjoy sharing the knowledge I’ve acquired as a professional freelance writer since 1993 and have formally and informally mentored many new and emerging writers and many new Toastmasters. I currently serve as the Regional Director for the Prairies and North Region and co-chair of the Partnerships and Advocacy Committee for the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC).
I am also a member of the Manitoba Writers Guild (MWG), The Writers Union of Canada (TWUC), the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA), and the Nonfiction Authors Association.
I am also a new member of the (PTBA) Professional Travel Bloggers Association.
The Writing tab on this site offers posts about life, and the writing community that I love. And it’s about your thoughts as much as it is mine. Please peruse the posts you will find throughout this blog, and join the conversation. We have a very warm and welcoming group that is anxious to hear your thoughts.
And from time to time, we have a guest blogger join us with a unique perspective on a topic that I think you will find of interest. Please subscribe to this site so you don’t miss a post.
If you’re on facebook, please take a moment to “like” my author’s page. I’d love to connect with you there and on Twitter as well. You’ll also find my profile and social media connections on my about.me page at Doreen on about.me.
Please know that everything you read on this site is copyrighted by me (both text and pictures), and if you wish to quote or repost anything you read or see, please request permission or terms via the contact page.
Thanks for visiting, and Ciao for now! I promise to keep the flavour fresh, and the experiences exciting–as long as you join me!