Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Oh, goodness, what have I done?

DH bought me a Kindle for Christmas, and I love it! BUT, it’s a very good thing that I took a few extra days off work because I’ve been up into the wee hours of the morning since Christmas Eve, reading, reading, and reading. Previously, I had downloaded the Kindle app to both my Blackberry and my laptop, and read several books. However, let’s face it, the cell phone screen is small, and when I’m on the computer, I feel as if I should be writing. Now, with the Kindle, I can lie on the bed and read, recline in the chair and read, stretch out on the couch and read…You get the picture. I may never get anything else done. With its beautiful red cover, my Kindle slips perfectly into my purse…I do believe I’m done for. The more I read, the longer my TBR list becomes because I decide I must have another book by a particular author, and zip, there it is, waiting for me.

Okay…enough about the Kindle. I also received original canvas paintings from my granddaughters which are absolutely priceless, a gorgeous pearl necklace, and lots of Mustang stuff. Our entire family turns into kids at Christmas, and as we all gathered at my son’s house to open gifts, the transformation happened in full force. We had foam darts flying around the room, people modeling new gifts, wrapping paper wars, and never ending laughter.

We were disappointed when the weather made it impossible for family to drive up from Iowa, but they are planning to make the trip for New Years, and it will be wonderful to have them here.

On the writing side, I have been productive. Yesterday, I spent the day working on my Undone duet. I not only finished the first draft, but sent it off to a critique partner who had it back to me within hours. Yes, she’s AWESOME! I will have it sent off to HQN by the end of the month as promised.

I hope you all find the time to play with your new ‘toys’ this week and that your New Year’s celebrations are wonderful!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Yes, it’s almost here! Today I will pick up a couple last minute gift cards, wrap a few more gifts (after buying more paper since I ran out), and make a few more baked goodies. And go out for supper for my Granddaughter’s birthday. (We had her princess party last weekend.) Tomorrow, out of town guests will arrive, and in the evening, we’ll go to our middle son’s house to open gifts with all of the family. On Saturday, we’ll be at our oldest son’s house for more celebrations.

I must admit, I haven’t found the time to get a lot of writing done, which is a bit maddening for me, since I enjoy it so much. I believe Sunday will be my day of rest and writing.

I wish you all happiness, peace, love, and joy!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's a Wonderful Life

What is your favorite Christmas movie?

My absolute favorite is It's a Wonderful Life! I had to watch it last weekend, and shed a tear or two at the end.

I had the privilege of meeting Karolyn Grimes, the actress who stared as Zuzu. She is a doll of a person, and shared several behind the scene facts. Such as at the end of the movie, when everyone is singing “Auld Lang Syne,” and Jimmy Stewart is smiling and watching Zuzu sing, he was trying hard not to laugh at her. Karolyn said she had no idea what the words were and was simply moving her mouth to match everyone else’s. If you’d like to read more about Karolyn Grimes, her website is www.zuzu.net

Well…it snowed again last weekend—that has become a weekend occurrence this year. And if you haven’t heard, it snowed so much it collapsed the Metro Dome. The Vikings had to fly to Detroit to play last night.

We did manage to get a tree put up, and the granddaughters helped decorate it. Needless to say, the bottom branches have MANY more ornaments than the top ones do, but all in all, I’d say it’s the most beautiful tree we’ve ever had!

Busy week at work, and home...I have a brother visiting from Nebraska until Thursday, and Isabelle turns four on the 23rd! We are celebrating her birthday on Saturday with a princess party.

I’m over at Mixed Book Bag Blog tomorrow, so stop by and say hi!

Holiday wishes to you all!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Frisbee, anyone?

Yes, it snowed again. And, as you can see, Bear, one of our granddogs, found his Frisbee even amongst the mounds of white. He’s a real character, and was the inspiration for the dog, Sammy, in Shotgun Bride, The Quinter Brides Book One, though I don’t tell him that. He already believes he’s inspirational.

Plenty going on this week with holiday gatherings for the various community chambers I belong to, and this coming weekend is my writer’s group’s holiday party. I’m scrounging up ‘white’ elephant gifts. It’s a fun way to recycle, reuse, and regift some things that have been sitting around for a while. What about you? Do you like ‘white’ elephant exchanges, or not?

My Google alert caught this review of A Wife for Big John. I so enjoy hearing from readers. Without them, who would I write for?

I’ll be over at the Minxes of Romance Blog on December 8th, and on the 15th, I’ll be at the Mixed Book Bag Blog with Jo Jones. Stop by either place if you have time!

The new story is going well, but I put it on hold this weekend while I brainstormed some ideas for my HQN editor who asked if I’d be interested in writing a duet for my next Undones. I also must admit that I spent too much time watching American Pickers on the History Channel this weekend. Goodness, I like that show.

That’s all for now, I’m off to my daughter-in-law’s to make Christmas wreaths. Enjoy your week, and take time to count a few blessings, they are endless!

Monday, November 29, 2010

'Tis the Season

Isn't this snowman adorable?

We had rain all day and now the temperature is dropping quickly, which could make the morning commute tomorrow a touch unpleasant. MNDOT (Minnesota Department of Transportation) promises they are ready with salt and sand trucks. I believe them, and thank every one of the men and women who keep the roads in the best driving conditions possible.

Along with the winter roads comes the Christmas Holiday Season. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are now behind us—I didn’t venture into the crowds on Friday. I stayed home with the baby while the girls went shopping. (Grandma privileges!) I did catch a couple good online deals today. The majority of my shopping is done, and I’m extremely thankful for that. This week I’ll start to pull out the Christmas boxes, but we won’t get the tree for a couple of weeks yet. With the wood heat they dry out quickly. We are ‘real’ tree people, and over the years, I’ve tried many different ‘tricks’ to keep trees fresh, drilling a hole and putting a straw in the base, putting aspirin, sugar, or corn syrup in the water, etc. etc. In the end, besides cutting the base again once we get home, and a tree stand that holds at least a gallon of water, I’ve found nothing really makes a difference.

If any of you have a tried and true system, please share it!

I’ve started a new book, set in a gold mining town in Colorado. It’s going well, to the point I was up much too late last night. It was hard to get up and head out to the day job this morning. Of course, the long, relaxing weekend may have attributed to that as well.

As the calendar turns to the last month of the year, I hope you all have time to enjoy the excitement and blessings of the season.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

History of Thanksgiving

As many of us were taught, the first Thanksgiving took place in the fall 1621. It was a three day feast of thanks hosted by the Pilgrims and a local tribe of Wampanoag. Intermittent days of thanks continued for the next hundred and fifty years, often celebrating an event, good harvest, or end of a time period, such as a drought or battle. In 1777, George Washington declared the last Thursday in November as a ‘national day of public thanksgiving and prayer’ which all thirteen colonies celebrated, particularly giving thanks for the new constitution of the newly formed nation. The next national day was declared in 1789, by then President George Washington. However, it still didn’t become a ‘yearly’ celebration, until 1863.

For over 40 years, Sara Josepha Hale, the author of Mary had a Little Lamb, advocated for an annual day of Thanksgiving, and during the Civil War while looking for a way to bring the nation together, President Abraham Lincoln consulted with Ms. Hale prior to issuing the Thanksgiving Proclamation that declared the last Thursday of November (based on Washington’s date) as a national holiday.

75 years later, in 1939 retailers begged President Franklin D. Roosevelt to change Thanksgiving to the second to the last Thursday of the month, therefore giving people more shopping days before Christmas. He did so, but the confusion didn’t settle well with the county. Calendars were off, schools vacations had to be rescheduled, and yes, even football games reorganized. Many believed the reason of the date change was not a fitting cause and controversy split the nation. 23 states agreed to change the date, and 23 states refused. Colorado and Texas chose to celebrate both days. Even though businesses reported no real direct change in shopping, the two Thanksgivings (with states choosing which to observe) continued until 1941 when congress passed a law declaring Thanksgiving as a national holiday that would occur on the fourth Thursday of November every year.

So, there you have it.

History and controversy aside, for me, Thanksgiving brings family to mind. If I live to be a hundred, nothing will ever replace the sweetness of the word “Grandma!” I am thankful for so much, every day of my life—for living in a wonderful country, for freedom, for my right to worship God, for all the obvious and not to be taken lightly things which include my family, home, community, friends, vocation, my publishers and their belief in me, and especially the people who read and find delight in my books. Thanks for sharing this wonderful life with me.

My Thanksgiving wish is that each of you reading this blog has a blessed and beautiful holiday.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thank you!

Thank you to all who sent in title suggestions. I was a bit overwhelmed; there were so many good choices!

My final decision is El Dorado Widow. Of course, if it is contracted, the publisher has the final say, so it may change again. Rita suggested El Dorado Bride, and that is what lead me to El Dorado Widow, so Rita, your PDF of Guardian Bride, The Quinter Brides Book 4 is on its way.

Speaking of Guardian Bride, the Quinter Brides Book 4, I received a lovely review of the book from The Romance Studio this week. Reviewer Brenda Talley says, “I highly recommend this book for an amazing read.”

Today, I had to come to a conclusion, I can no longer deny winter is quickly approaching, which means I must put my wonderful little car in storage for the winter. I called today, and her normal spot is ready and waiting, so I spent the day cleaning her inside and out, had the oil changed, and topped off the tank after hubby added the gas additive for storage. Tomorrow, after we watch our granddaughter sing at church, I will take her to the ‘barn’ where she’ll be safe all winter. And as long as I was in the garage, I pulled in my ‘winter’ car and gave her a good once over as well. She’s a good car, and has always served me well, so I am a bit excited to get reacquainted with her, not to mention she does get better gas mileage than the Mustang.

This week will be busy with Thanksgiving preparations. I am thankful everyday for so many things, but the holiday makes me feel even more blessed. I’m looking forward to cooking a meal with all the trimmings, and spending the entire day with family.

I wish you all a blessed holiday!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I need a title...

Here’s my front yard. Falling from a gray sky, the snow is blanketing the ground like it plans on staying for a while.

The weather man predicted this, and following his words of warning, I ran all of my errands yesterday, made sure there would be no reason for me to venture onto the first roads of winter. And dear hubby, bless his heart, filled the wood boxes before he left for another trek up north to the hunting shacks. So, on this fine Saturday morning, the fire is crackling, a fresh pot of coffee is perking, and my pony car is safe and warm in the garage, all there is left for me to do is pull up my work in progress and start writing.

A blessed day.

If only I had a title for this latest story. It’s a short one, only 15,000 words and targeted for HQN’s Undone line. Usually a title comes to me long before now. The hero is Marshal Cord Donavon, and the heroine, Florence Rockford. She’s a widow, had been married to the youngest brother of a notorious outlaw gang—the Winter Brothers. Cord has the remaining brothers is his El Dorado jail, awaiting trial. While apprehending the brothers, Cord had been shot, and it had been Florie who found him, and nursed him back to health. Three months later, she arrives in El Dorado, set on telling Cord she’s in the family way and the baby is his, when she discovers her dead husband’s brothers are in jail, and her mother-in-law is attempting to break them out.

Thoughts? Any good titles jump to mind?

Leave a comment, or email me at Lauri.robinson AT gmail.com. If I choose your suggestion, I’ll send you a PDF of Guardian Bride, the Quinter Brides Book 4.

Thanks in advance for your help, and enjoy the weather, no matter what type you are experiencing, for every day, whether warm or cold, sunny or cloudy, is a gift.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

No, it’s not the same as Memorial Day.

First known as Armistice Day, and dedicated to celebrating November 11, 1918, the end of The Great War, (WW1), an act of congress declared it a holiday in 1938. Later, in the 1950’s (after WW2 and the Korean War) it became Veterans Day, a holiday to honor all of those who served or were serving, in all conflicts.

Memorial Day is to honor the fallen, those who didn’t make it home. Veterans Day is to celebrate and pay tribute to those who did, and to those who are still sacrificing so much for our country, our lives.

To the men and women proudly serving, to those retired from service, and to those who did make it home, you have my respect and sincere gratitude.

Thank you.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

This week's thoughts...

Here’s our other trick or treaters, Minnie Mouse and a princess (with a pointy hat, not a crown, as she explained it.)

I must admit I’m extremely glad the elections are over. I’m saddened each time they roll around to see the amount of money that is extinguish through the process. Just think if it was spent elsewhere…there wouldn’t be a hungry child, a family without a home, or a senior without medicine…At least that’s the way I see it. That all said, I do hope everyone took the opportunity to vote.

I’ve been dogsitting this weekend while the kids and hubby are up north hunting, (the latest report was two deer so far), and I’ve so enjoyed having Bear and Gander with me. There really is something about dogs that just brighten the spirit. They love so unconditionally. The neighbor dog has been over to play each day, and she and I were on the same time wave this morning. We both forgot to turn our clocks back.

I took my mother and 3 ½ year old granddaughter up to feed the chickens and gather eggs at our middle son’s house this morning. Isabelle enjoyed gathering the eggs from the roosts, but it was the poop which amazed her the most. She had lots of questions about that, so many she was still talking about it at the restaurant when stopped for lunch an hour later.

Tomorrow is a writing deadline, have to send revisions back to my editor for an outlaw story, and I’m happy to report that after one final read through, I’ll email it off. Then I’ll go back to work on my marshal story. There’s a soiled dove in this one, who’s not so soiled.

That’s it for me this week. I hope you all have a wonderful week, and don’t stress over the little things. It all works out in the end.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Busy Day

Here’s our little Halloween treat!

We had a wonderful Halloween, trick or treating with the granddaughters and visiting the haunted house. I left out treats on the table on the patio for any treaters that showed up while we were gone, and knowing the neighbor dog would be expecting her treats, I also set out a bowl for her. Low and behold, when we returned home, the candy dish was still full, but the dog dish, t-bones and all, was gone. Ava (the neighbor dog) took the entire dish back home with her. She is a hoot, and we love having her visit us daily.

Today has been busy, besides the day job, I am part of my library’s local artist event. The opening reception was from 3-8PM today. The event will run all week. Lots of fun and neat art on display!

AND…Her Midnight Cowboy was released by HQN today! Here is a short excerpt from the book:

They were through the doorway, and he kept moving, forcing her down the hall. “Yes, you.” His nose bumped hers. “You will not parade yourself about half dressed. Not in front of me or anyone else.”

She grabbed the end post of the large staircase, stopping both of them. “Not even my father tells m—”

“Nor will you ride the hills by yourself, or run to town on a whim.” He laid a hand on the stair railing, curling his fingers around the polished wood for support. No longer whispering, he said, “I have ten thousand head of cattle to see to, I don’t need any trouble from you.”

Huffing, she asked, “Trouble from me?”

“Yes.” He nodded at the second floor. “Now hightail your little butt upstairs and get dressed.”

Her eyes widened. “You can’t tell me what to do.”

“Oh, yes, I can.” He took a step back and pointed upstairs. “Go, now.”
Angel’s chin dropped. “I don’t—”

The sting of his palm connecting with her backside stopped her outburst. It had been action without thought. Being responsible for her virtue was more than he bargained for. “Go before I drag you up those stairs and dress you myself.”
“You wouldn’t dare!”

“Try me.” he challenged.

The stare down lasted a few minutes before she gave in and stomped up the stairs. Stopping on about the fifth one, she turned around and glared at him. “You’ll rue this day, Mr. McGuire.”

His eyes locked on the way her breasts rose and fell. “I already do, Angel girl. I already do.”

Finally, today, I was one of several historical authors participating in the Historical Extravaganza November Book Brew with the Coffee Crew at Coffee Times Romance Coffee Thoughts Blog, here and here.

There are lots of great prizes over there, so if you have a chance, stop by and leave a comment or two!

That’s about it for me on this first day of November 2010.

Monday, October 25, 2010

This week's fun

I had a lovely surprise when I arrived home today. My author copies of the Japanese version of Mail Order Husband! The book is about 4 inches by 6 inches and opens on the left instead of the right. They are adorable little books and the agency’s lovely note said the book is being released on November 9th. Working with the UNI Agency of Tokyo has been a wonderful experience that I’ll always treasure.

I spent the weekend at a resort in central Minnesota with my writers group. It was lots of fun, even though there were 12 women in a cabin with 2 ½ baths. If any of you readers are aspiring authors, please join a writers group. The friendships, camaraderie, and experiences you gain will surpass all expectations. One of the writers created the banner at the top of my blog page at the retreat. I love it.

I’m looking forward to Halloween this weekend. My granddaughters will be a princess (with a pointed hat, not a crown), Minnie Mouse, and a pumpkin. My brother puts on a huge haunted house we’ll go visit as well. I bought individually wrapped, glow-in-the-dark vampire teeth for him to pass out to all those brave enough to enter.

I have writing to do, so will sign off now, and wish you a very happy and exciting Halloween! Live in the moment and make the most of it!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

October is slipping away...

First, I’d like to say thank you to all the wonderful blog readers, fans, friends, and family for the precious birthday wishes you emailed, mailed, texted, phoned, posted on facebook, etc. etc. Each one was surprise and I sincerely thank you for thinking of me yesterday. I received some very special gifts from my family. They are so thoughtful (the Favre jersey is awesome!).

My gift to myself was my new Miche purse. I love this thing! I did buy the longer straps than the ones in this picture, I’m a shoulder strap person…and the other two shells I ordered are being shipped out tomorrow. I’m so anxious for them to arrive! A camo one for hunting season, and a snowflake one for the holidays.

Okay, enough about my purse fetish and on to writing…the count down to release dates is on!

Guardian Bride, the Quinter Brides book 4 will be released on Oct. 29th by The Wild Rose Press.
Blurb: Snake Quinter believes he dodged a bullet when he refused to wed the girl Ma was set on hitching him to. Then he wakes up. Not only had he been shot—twice, he and Summer Austin are definitely married.
For over ten years Summer Austin had known her life was tied to the Quinter family—her guardian angel said so. She was willing to do whatever it took to keep her siblings safe, but what would Snake and his family do when they discovered she, a half-breed, was responsible for their father’s death?

Then, on Nov. 1st, Harlequin, Mills and Boon will release Her Midnight Cowboy!
Blurb: Eastern Wyoming, 1884
In Angel Clayton's opinion, men don't get any finer than hired hand Rowdy McGuire. The very thought of him makes her ache with need—and the sight of his golden, glistening skin only makes it worse. She knows he feels their bodies' magical, intense pull towards one another, even if the honorable cowboy refuses to admit that a drifter and a ranch owner's daughter could ever be together.
But Angel is determined to get what she wants—and she wants Rowdy!

The end of October is also the time my writer’s group goes on a retreat. We are headed up to a resort in the Brainerd Lakes area this weekend, and I’m looking forward to spending the days with the awesome ladies in my RWA Chapter. Food, fun, and days of talking about romance writing—it just doesn’t get better. Oh, and we do fit in a few training sessions and some writing time.

Be good to yourself, that’s what allows you to be good to others!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

All because two people fell in love...

Here’s an updated picture of the granddaughters. They are such sweet little treasures, and we feel so blessed to have them in our lives.

DH and I took the six hour drive up north last weekend, and spent some time living in the woods, and getting stuck in the mud. It was a fun time, and the getaway provided a much needed break.

On the writing side, Her Midnight Cowboy is due out November first! (And the e-book version of Guardian Bride, the Quinter Brides Book 4 will be released Oct. 29th.) Right now I’m working on the edits of another UNDONE.

I started working on another time travel, (I’m a fan of those), but found my left brain fighting with my right brain as I worked on it. The right brain is the creative one, it lets the words flow from my fingertips, but the editor mode of the left brain kept jumping in, slowing my progression. The left brain also kept pointing out scenes that need more research. I thought writing up north where I don’t have any internet would stifle the left brain a bit, but it didn’t, so after a bit more research, I’ll be ready to work on the book some more. Have you ever taken one of those left brain/right brain tests? Here’s one if you want to try it. There are several of them on line, and depending on the day, I get different results. I’ve also taken a ‘brain gym’ class, and often use the exercises before sitting down to write.

Okay, enough rambling, I’m off to my edits, and hope you have a great week!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Guardian Bride

The print version of the fourth book in the Quinter Bride series, Guardian Bride, has been released as an early bird special at The Wild Rose Press. The e-book version will be released the end of this month.

Every book leaves a special mark in my heart, and this one is no different. I loved discovering how deeply Snake falls in love with Summer and her siblings. He’s a remarkable man that I hadn’t really got to know while writing his brother’s stories.

My mother reads all my stories in draft form. Yes, she’s my mom, so she says wonderful things about every book, however, she’s also an avid reader and I do respect her comments and suggestions. The morning after I gave her this book, she called to say she stayed up half the night reading. She’s 79 and said she hadn’t read a book that held her attention so intensely in years. Ironically, my beta reader said relatively the same thing.

We celebrated family b-days this weekend, and I’m still full from all the wonderful food. My oldest made homemade ice cream that was the best I’ve ever tasted. Hubby and I spent all day Saturday traveling from store to store (and town to town) looking for a new wood stove for our sauna. I’m looking forward to trying it out. The old stove warped from usage and we’ve missed it. (Needless to say, I didn’t get much writing done on the new MS this weekend.)

Hope you all have a GREAT week! Smile at strangers, they may be friends you haven’t yet met.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Angels Among Us

I just have to share the latest picture of the girls!

Before we left for Kansas I got this review for Wish Craft. Four and a half siren stones. Reviewer Stacey says, “You just can’t help but fall in love with this short story. Wish Craft is wonderfully creative and unique.” Today, I received a four spur review for Boot Hill Bride from Love Western Romances.

Now, on to Cody’s angel story that I promised last week.

The day after Grandpa died, our youngest son, Cody, was cleaning up their property because the historical society was coming out to take pictures for the 150 year anniversary of when Cody’s wife’s family had homesteaded the property. He was at the recycling center, waiting in line, thinking about Grandpa and all the junk he’d hauled out of Grandpa’s yard over the years. (Every summer we would take a trip to Kansas and ‘clean up’ Grandpa’s yard, which he readily filled back up over the next twelve months.)

The person behind him tapped Cody’s shoulder. He turned around to face an elderly man wearing bib overalls covered in holes and patches.

The man smiled. “There’s an angel looking over you today.”

An odd tingle zipped up Cody’s spine. “Oh,” he replied.

“I’m serious,” the man said. “I can see it.”

Again, all Cody could think to say was, “Oh.”

The man, in his seventies or so, dug in one of his side pockets. “I want you to have something.”

“Okay,” Cody said, glancing around. There was nothing out of the ordinary, just a long line of people conversing with one another as they waited.

The man pulled out a key chain made of odd beads in the shape of an angel. “Here, this is for you.”

Cody was hesitant.

The man held it out. “Take it. I want you to have it.”

“Thanks,” Cody replied, taking the key chain. Just then his number was called and he turned to move to the desk. After completing the paperwork for the scrap he’d hauled in, Cody turned around to walk past the line of people behind him, and the old man was no longer there, he wasn’t outside either.

Cody said if not for the key chain in his hand, he’d wonder if he’d really met the old man.

Upon our return to Minnesota, Cody stopped over to show us the angel key ring. I wasn’t home, but DH saw it. Three days later when Cody stopped over again, I asked about the key chain and he said he couldn’t find it. He said right after he showed it to his dad it disappeared. He’s looked everywhere, including under the cushions on our sofa, but it’s just gone.

I said that was too bad, but Cody just shrugged. “Maybe the old man needed it to give to someone else,” he said. “It helped me, maybe it’ll help them.”

Yep, I believe angels are everywhere, we never know when or where we’ll meet them, and evidently my son feels the same way.

You have the power to make it a great week—do so.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

There is a time for everything, a time to be born, and a time to die...

Sorry for the delay in posts. We spent a week in Kansas for my DH's grandfather’s passing. Grandpa had turned ninety back in March (we were down there then, too). He was a hoot of a character, full of old man quirks and generational behaviors. I’ll never forget the time he bellowed, “Hold your horses, Walt!” at his brother. (We were in church at the time. Walt had to have been in his eighties, Grandpa in his seventies.) Grandpa was from the generation that felt a handshake meant more than a signature, and family was more important than careers, money, or politics. (Here’s a picture of DH and Grandpa when we were in Kansas last January.)

Yes, he was old, and had lived a good, long, life, yet, no matter how prepared we are, death is always difficult. Grandpa’s passing has left a void we’ll feel for years to come. But, funerals are also a time of gathering, and in that sense, we had a wonderful time visiting with family, friends, old acquaintances, and new ones. There was also plenty of story telling—some we’d heard before, some we hadn’t—especially one about Grandma and Grandpa when they were young. They were newly married and lived in a house that didn’t have any water. Grandpa had to haul water for them from his parents’ farm a few miles away. It seems Grandpa got ‘detained’ at his parents’ house, and by the time he returned with the water, Grandma was very angry—to the point she threw eggs at him. Grandpa later declared she threw over three dozen eggs at him, and hit him with everyone. (I might have to use that story in a book at some point.) There were five generations at the gatherings, a fact Grandpa would have been very proud of.

On our trek home, we purposely went through Wichita to see my aunt. She laid out a feast for our arrival which included homemade lemon meringue pie. After a week of restaurant eating, I can only hope she believed how truly refreshing and special her meal was. It was wonderful to see her and her family, and the visit was an energizing break during the long journey home. I can’t complain, though, my little car practically drives itself since it knows the roads so well. I’ve only had her two years, and she was in storage for 6 months of each of those years, and I’ve put over 30,000 miles on her—the majority has been trips to Kansas.

We’ve been busy playing catch-up since arriving home, and this weekend is filled with previously planned activities. I hope you all are enjoying the transition into autumn, and are finding the time to embrace the change of seasons.

Next week I’ll share Cody’s Angel story with you…it’s remarkable.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

All Better

Thanks for all the well wishes about my back. It was just a strain, and is just fine and dandy now. The heat sock did wonders.

We had a quiet, long weekend. Family drove up from Iowa, and we all just puttered around. Visited others, went out to eat, etc. etc. I did some target practice with my six-shooter, and we ‘babysat’ the granddogs all weekend. (Yes, they were at the June wedding. They even had their own boutonnieres). Bear, the larger of the two, topping one-hundred pounds, really thought he should sleep in the bed with us. In the end, he agreed to sleep on the floor next to my bed. We also watched the new grandbaby for a few hours on Monday. She is such a good baby, and our time together was lovely.

I’ve had the song, The Yellow Rose of Texas, in my head lately, mainly because it’s the tune my son’s doorbell plays. They didn’t even know what song it was until I told them. It was just the one that my granddaughter liked the most out of the many the doorbell offers. I couldn’t remember all the words and did a Google search…Wikipedia states the Center for American History at the University of Texas has an unpublished handwritten version of the song that dates back to 1836. It’s claimed to be associated with the battle of San Jacinto…Yes, I’m a research junkie. I love finding little bits of fascinating history. Of course, the version in my head is slightly different, since it’s sung by Dolly Pardon.

Speaking of research, I now know more than I’ll ever need about raising hogs. In my current work in progress, the heroine is a ‘pig’ farmer, and the hero is an outlaw. It’s turning out to be a fun story to write.

I hope you all had a fabulous long weekend, and that you’ll have an even more wonderful week. Smile at a stranger—you might make their day.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Blog Tour Winner

Thanks to everyone who posted a comment on the blog tour! An outside party drew a winning name. Judy Croome won the tour prize package. Congrats, Judy!

Our oldest granddaughter had her preschool orientation today. Yes, I shed a tear. Her little sister can now say Grandpa, and does so repeatedly. It’s adorable. And, the new grandbaby is doing awesome. She’s already gained almost two pounds, and is the sweetest little peanut imaginable.

We’ve been ‘dog sitting’ the granddogs every day. Our youngest son drops them off in the morning and picks them up at night. I didn’t hear him pull in this morning, so when I did get up at 6:45, two sets of big brown eyes were staring at me through the front door. Yep, I felt guilty. They are yellow labs, and such sweet boys. We love having them here. So does the neighbor dog, she comes over every day to play. This son and his wife also have chickens, and they found their first egg in the hen house last night. They were ecstatic and called right away to tell us all about it. Yep, life is good.

I was informed the release date for Wild Cat Bride, The Quinter Brides Book 5 will be April, 1, 2011! I’m excited this book is complete, but do miss those Quinter Brothers.

I hurt my back at work this past weekend, so I’ve been sitting on my heat sock every evening. My granddaughter and I made several such socks as gifts for volunteers that work with me last winter. If you’ve never made one, you should, they are wonderful. Just take a long tube sock, fill it with white rice, add a touch of lavender oil, and tie it off. You can heat it in the microwave or put it in the freezer.

I hope you all had a wonderful and memorable August!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Guest Author Sandra Sookoo

The end of summer is upon us, and I’m wondering where it went. I knew with the wedding and baby, the summer would fly by, which is why I didn’t plant a garden. I knew I wouldn’t have time to weed, but, WOW, is that really September looming in my calendar? Last week was awesome, I contracted my next UNDONE. Her Midnight Cowboy will be released in November!

This is the last week of our blog tour, so be sure to leave a comment so you can be entered in the drawing. Today, I’m over Lilly Gayle's Blog, and I have the honor of hosting Sandra Sookoo, a writer of romantic fiction. Her portfolio includes historical, contemporary, sci-fi and paranormal romances. She loves to blend genres and spice them up and often times will add humor as well.

After catching the writing bug at the young age of ten, Sandra’s gone on to grow her unique writing style. She’s a regular contributor for the Paranormal Romantic’s blog and has a great time keeping things interesting at the Believing is Seeing blog.

When not immersed in creating new worlds and interesting characters, Sandra likes to read, bake and travel. Her favorite place to spend vacation hours is Walt Disney World. It’s where dreams come true and the soul can play. That suits her just fine.

Writing is her ultimate dream job.

I’ve asked Sandra a few questions, and here are her answers…

Lauri: When you think ‘romance’ what is the first thing that comes to mind?

Sandra: A happy ending, or at least a happy for now ending. I love writing romance for just this fact. Life is unhappy enough. If I can take a reader away from the everyday for a few hours with a story and it makes them happy, then I’ve done my job.

Lauri: And what a great job you do! What would be the best piece of writing advice you could give someone writing their first novel?

Sandra: Finish the book first of all, then set it aside and realize that most likely this book will never be published. The amount of first novels that are published is very small. This will be a lesson on how to learn your craft. Breathe a sigh then get to work on your next book using the skills you learned while writing the first.

Lauri: Wonderful advice! Life can be consuming, what is your favorite leisure time hobby?

Sandra: Baking! This is usually what I do when not writing. More often than not, I’ll get a huge amount of ideas while puttering around in my kitchen.

Lauri: I want to visit you! I love eating, so we’d make a good team in the kitchen. Let’s get to your book. I love the title, Wedgie Tales and Panty Lines! Where is it set, and tell us a little about the characters.

Sandra: It’s set in the city of modern day Indianapolis, and is Kate Little’s story. Since this is told in the first person, the book is pretty much about her. She finds herself through testing underwear. The books tag line is: Life’s hard enough. Don’t give yourself a wedgie on top of it.

Lauri: LOL. What a tag line! When was it released and what do you like most about this book?

Sandra: 08-16-2010. I like the fact that Kate is an every-woman. She’s real. She’s now. She’s just like every one of us. Here’s a blurb and excerpt:

When unassuming mail room worker Kate Little agrees to become an underwear tester for a marketing company, things get uncomfortable fast. Not only has she never worn “fancy” underpants before, she has to work closely with handsome marketing manager Bryan Eddleman and that’s enough to keep her in a constant state of confusion.

Trouble is Bryan’s competing with another manager for a promotion that hinges on the results of the test group. Kate can’t determine if his sudden interest is really in her or her surprisingly insightful weekly reports on foundation garments.

Add a jealous co-worker out to sabotage Kate’s budding love life, an overly helpful gay friend with nothing better to do than shove her into Bryan’s arms, and a rambunctious teacup dog to the chaos and you’ll have a typical day in Kate’s less than ordinary life.

The last thing she needs is panty lines.

“I’m sorry, but I can’t test your underwear.”

“That’s exactly why we need you for this project. You’re the everyday woman, Miss—I’m sorry. I didn’t quite catch your name.” A vivid green gaze held mine. “In fact, I don’t think we’ve ever been introduced. You don’t mind that we pulled you into this brainstorming session, do you? It’s just that I heard your comment about whose job it was to test the product and thought you’d be interested.” Full lips parted with his easy grin and revealed perfect teeth that practically screamed they’d seen years of braces.

“My name’s Kate. Kate Little.”

He nodded, and my stomach lurched. I mentally berated myself for the pleasure that gripped me because he approved of my name.

A snort from Pamela. “That’s funny. You’re hardly a little anything.”

My cheeks heated—this time from anger. “That’s it. I’m not going to hang around and take abuse from you underfed, over-tanned, rude people.” I shot out of the cushy leather chair and angled my way around the conference table, aware that everyone watched my departure.

Yeah, so I’m a thirty-year-old, plus-sized woman. I wear a size 16. It’s not a crime, and it’s not fat. It’s average. And, by the way, I’m just Kate. Not Katherine with a “K” or even with a “C,” and if you attempt to call me Katie, I’ll ignore you. If the nickname persists and I become annoyed, I’ll throw a pencil at you.

I paused at the head of the table to glare at the guy in charge. What’s-his-name in the tailored suit.

“Get someone else to be your guinea pig.”

Lauri: This sounds like a great read! So, Sandra, what’s next for you?

Sandra: I’m actually pretty busy this time of year. On 9-15-10 my very first sci-fi romance releases and I’m thrilled to death about that! Then, I have a few novellas releasing for the upcoming holiday season. It’s a great time to be an author! As for writing, seems like I’m playing in the historical world right now and can’t wait to see where that leads. On the interview front, I’ll be all around the web so stay tuned to Facebook and Twitter for upcoming events.

Wedgie Tales can be purchased in both print and digital:
The Wild Rose Press
All Romance e-books

My website From there you can link to my other social networking sites and blog.

Lauri: Thanks for taking the time to visit here today, Sandra, and best wishes on all your upcoming adventures!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Guest Author Lilly Gayle

It’s week three of blog tour month, and to add to the excitement, there’s an awesome package available for one lucky reader at the end of out tour. A name will be drawn from all the people who have/do post comments on any of the blogs in the tour this month. (I’m over at Amber Leigh Williams’ blog, The Cozy Page today so stop by and say hi.)

Now for Lilly Gayle. I’m so excited to have her here today!

Lilly Gayle is a wife, mother, writer, mammographer, and breast cancer survivor. She writes paranormal and historical romance. Her first published novel, OUT OF THE DARKNESS is now available from The Wild Rose Press.

Lauri: Hi Lilly, and thanks so much for being a part of this blog tour. Since we’re all romance writers and readers, tell us what is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the romance genre.

Lilly: Romance books are about relationships, character growth, and the all important, happily ever after. It’s not about the sex, although many books contain graphic sex scenes. But even a sex scene has to convey something about the characters’ relationship or personalities. The sex scene has to advance the plot or be a prelude to a plot twist or dark moment. Otherwise, it’s just sex and some readers will actually skip those scenes.

Lauri: That is so true, I’ve definitely skipped a few scenes while reading a book or two. Along those lines, what would be the best piece of writing advice you could give someone writing their first novel?

Lilly: Join RWA. Join your local writer’s group. Make time to write. Read newly published books in the genre you’re writing, not just your favorite writers. Study your craft. And never give up on your dream. Be persistent. Giving up will guarantee failure.

Lauri: Wonderful advice! I agree with it completely. I imagine you have a busy work schedule, and then have writing on top of that, so tell us, what is your favorite leisure time hobby?

Lilly: Sitting on the beach with my Nook or sitting on my camper deck at the beach with a glass of wine and my laptop. There’s just something about the ocean and sea breezes that restores the soul.

Lauri: Oh, that does sound relaxing, and restorative. I love the tagline of your book: Her research could cure his dark hunger if a covert government agent doesn't get to her first. Please tell us more!

Lilly: OUT OF THE DARKNESS takes place in Clarksville, Virginia and Asheville, NC
The hero, Vincent Maxwell is a vampire with a conscience seeking a cure to his dark hunger. And the heroine, Dr. Megan Harper is a research scientist who discovers a possible link between vampire myths and xeroderma pigmentosum, a light sensitivity disorder. It was released in May by The Wild Rose Press.

Lauri: Congrats! It sounds very intriguing. What do you like most about it?

Lilly: Besides the fact that it’s finally published? Lol! OUT OF THE DARKNESS isn’t your typical vampire book. Vincent doesn’t want to be a vampire and Megan doesn’t want to become one so she can be with him. Instead, she vows to help Vincent find a cure for his unholy condition. Here’s a short excerpt:

Her lips parted, and God help him, she
responded just as she had that first time. She
melted against him, pulling his head closer,
taking his tongue deep inside until he was hot
and straining against her.

She tasted so damn good. A heady mix of
wine and woman. Mortal woman.

Warm blooded, mortal woman.

Blood roared through his veins, pounding in
his ears in a primitive rhythm. And the dark
hunger reared its ugly head. A craving for blood
and sex. An uncontrollable yearning.

Lauri: That certainly makes me want to read more! So, what’s next for you?

Lilly: I’m working on the sequel to OUT OF THE DARKNESS. And two of my historical romances have been requested by two different publishers. And next Wednesday, August 25, Amber Leigh Williams will be interviewing me on her blog as part of The Wild Rose Blog tour.

Lauri: You are busy! Where can readers keep updated on your successes?

Lilly: I have a website, blog, and I’m on facebook!

Lauri: Thanks again for being here today, Lilly. Best wishes are all your future adventures!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Congratulations Marie! You won the copy of Wolf's Den! (You should have an email in your inbox from me.)

Thanks so much, Aileen, both for visiting and for providing a copy of your book!

Later this week, author Lilly Gayle will be here, so be sure to stop by!

AND...Here's a picture of our latest arrival resting in her daddy's hand. She was 16 hours old in this photo.

Life is good.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Guest Author Aileen Harkwood

I’m excited to have Aileen Harkwood on my blog today. (I had baby brain when I posted on Friday who was going to be here. Sandra Sookoo will be here later in the month, and I’m over at Catherine Bybee’s blog this week. Sorry about the mix-up. BTW-Baby is home and doing awesome!)

As a special treat, Aileen is giving away an e-book copy of Wolf’s Den to a lucky reader of this blog! Please leave a comment to be entered in the drawing. (If for some reason, it won’t let you leave a comment—I know that happens more often than not—just email me at Lauri(AT)izoom.net and I’ll make sure your name gets in the drawing.)

Aileen Harkwood, author of Wolf's Den: Legacy of the White Wolf Book 1 from The Wild Rose Press, lives in the Southern Rockies with her family, their passive-aggressive cat and fetch-addicted chocolate Labrador. She writes paranormal romance and romantic suspense and is always on the lookout for an unexpected twist or touch to add to her stories. Alpha males are her favorite heroes to write, though in real life she loves a hero who doesn't always realize he's an alpha until his heroine is threatened.

Lauri: Hi Aileen, and thanks for being here today.

Aileen: Thanks so much for having me. I look forward to choosing a winner for the ebook of Wolf’s Den from your visitors.

Lauri: When you think ‘romance’ what is the first thing that comes to mind?

Aileen:Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. When I first read it, I knew it was the epitome, the foundation of all other romance novels that have come afterward. What I love about Austen is that she used everything around her to craft her stories, the time in which she lived, society as she saw it, the dialogue she must have heard each day, and her dreams of the perfect, destined mate. Sadly, Austen never married, and I can visualize her expressing her own unfulfilled desire for love through her novels.

Lauri: Oh, Pride and Prejudice. I love that one, too. My favorite quote from that book is in Chapter 17,"Laugh as much as you choose, but you will not laugh me out of my opinion". So, in your opinion, what would be the best piece of writing advice you could give someone writing their first novel?

Aileen: My advice would be to keep reminding yourself that this is your first novel.

When I first started writing, I found myself frustrated by a number of things. I thought I wasn’t writing fast enough (and in reality, I wasn’t, at least not for this genre). I had trouble with different parts of story telling, actually a whole lot of the parts of writing a story. I worried that the rejections I received said I wasn’t meant to be a writer. I mentally kicked myself for not being able to make the words do what I wanted them to do.

Wolf’s Den isn’t my first book, in fact, it isn’t even my second. I ended up throwing the first one away, as well as the next one. At the time, it felt demoralizing. Looking back, I can see that these early efforts were not a waste of time. They were hard earned lessons and I’m proud to have written them.

While I’ll always ride myself hard, I know that if I keep dwelling on what I haven’t yet achieved, it stops me from moving forward. That’s what I would share, be good to yourself as a writer both in terms of success and nourishing your inner writer.

Lauri: I so agree. Success comes in many forms. Thank you for those words of wisdom. Tell us, Aileen, if you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Aileen: If I were well off financially and could afford my dream, it would be to buy not one spectacular house in one place, by three or four modest homes in a variety of areas. Nothing too big, cozy places. I would design each one differently to match the area, but also to provide a different inspiration for my creativity.

I would choose a house near the water in northwestern Washington State for its wild natural drama and afternoons where I could sit in a chair in front of a huge picture window, watching the rain and fog and a crashing ocean. I’d buy a funky, old adobe in Santa Fe because nothing inspires my photographic muse—photography is a big hobby of mine—as much as New Mexico does. I love walking Canyon Road and winding my way through the tiny alleyway shopping areas of the Plaza downtown. The Gulf Coast of Florida would get my vote, as well. Driving through Florida, experiencing the coastal towns on the small, barrier islands is both relaxing and exhilarating. Imagining a romantic scene on the beach with one of my heroes is not hard at all. Finally, I would buy a small place in the foothills near Angeles Crest in Los Angeles, even with the fire danger there, because that’s where I grew up and I miss it terribly.

I know a lot of writers would love to live in exotic foreign locales, yet I love the U.S. It may be going through tough times right now, but it still has so much to offer.

Lauri: Oh, please let me know when you are settled in each of these homes, I want to vacation at your houses! I couldn’t agree more with your sentiments on the good old U.S.A. It’s time for you to tell us about your book.

Aileen: Wolf’s Den is set in the Cascade Mountains of Washington, and inspires us to wonder, is love more powerful than death? The hero, Griffin, is a member of the Kith, clans of werewolf shapeshifters who live in the high, seldom traveled wildernesses of the northern Cascades and Rockies. He’s the alpha for his pack, and has just lost his destined mate to a jealous wannabe she-alpha. Pack law dictates that he not only bring his mate’s killer to justice, but having lost his mate, must submit to a killing blow by the next alpha in line, so that he can follow her into the afterlife. The heroine, Luka, is an amnesia victim, who wakes in a body she doesn’t recognize and is accused by Griffin of having murdered his beloved mate.
The Book was released in July, 2010. It’s a breathless, fast-paced book that grabs hold from page one and doesn’t let go.

Lauri: It sounds wonderful, and intriguing. Please give us an excerpt.

I’d love to:


“Where did you hear that name?” he asked.

“I didn’t. It’s mine.”

“I don’t believe you.” A growl replaced the hurt sound that had come from deep in his chest. “Who told you? Are you a voyeur, as well? Did you spy on us while we made love?”

Spy on him and Anya? Would she do that?

“It’s my name,” she insisted, and then was overcome by a violent fit of coughing. She couldn’t breathe. The smoke was poisoning her lungs and starving her blood of oxygen. She grew dizzy.

She watched him, the supreme effort it took to regain control, but he clamped down and put away his darker half.

“Wait here until you hear the shots, then go,” Griff told her. “Head for the trees, and when you reach them, keep running. Don’t stop.”

He turned, looked back once, and then vanished into the smoke and flames devouring the cabin.

Lauri: Wow! Thanks for that snippet! And congrats! I know there is a great review for it on Amazon! So, what’s next for you?

Aileen: Yes, there is. It’s also available at The Wild Rose Press.
What’s next? Well, I’m working on three different books at the same time, Book 2 in the Kith Series, a romantic suspense set in Santa Fe, and a fun, erotic paranormal that takes place in a small town on the Oregon coast. Visitors can keep up with my writings by visiting my blog.

Lauri: Thanks so much for being here today, Aileen, and thanks for giving away a copy of your book as a prize to a lucky reader!

Friday, August 6, 2010


Yes, Karlee Jo has arrived! At 7lbs 1oz, she is the perfect size to snuggle and love. Here she is with her two cousins. She, mommy, and daddy, are all doing wonderfully, and are scheduled to leave the hospital tomorrow. Her mommy is very creative and chose to spell Karlee this way so she’s named after her daddy whose middle name is Lee. I love it!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to say hi to Maya! It was fun to have her here, and I hope you enjoyed reading about her and her books. Next week, on Wednesday, August 11th, Sandra Sookoo will be here talking about her adventures in writing, and I’ll be over at Aileen Harkwood’s blog.

It’s been a busy week with Karlee’s arrival, and DH and I were scheduled to attend a sponsor’s a banquet for The Wild Turkey Federation last night. I was somewhat tired, but finally agreed to go, jokingly saying, I was only attending so I could win the gun of the year. Well…guess who won the gun of the year? Yep. Me. Hubby was stunned to say the least.

I have an August 16th deadline for HQN, so that’s what I’ll be working on this weekend, beside going to see baby Karlee everyday, and attending a neighborhood birthday party.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Guest Author Maya Blake

Today starts the blog tour! I’m excited to introduce Maya Blake, a thirty-something romance writer whose life-long dream of writing romance came to true last year when her debut novel was published by The Wild Rose Press. She lives in England with her husband and two adorable kids.

Lauri: Maya, writers are also readers, what is your favorite genre to read, and why?

Maya: I love all genres of books apart from misery lit. I think the world we live in is tough enough without going out of my way to read about characters who have to slog through terrible hardships for most of their lives before dying a horrible, lonely death. Romance with a solid gold happy ending is my number one favorite, followed by crime thrillers – just finished reading the Millennium Series that comprises The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest. Fantastic stories, all three!

Lauri: I agree, life is tough enough, why read about it! I haven’t read that series, but will have to look it up. So, Maya, when you think ‘romance’ what is the first thing that comes to mind?

Maya: When I think of romance, I think of my husband, stumbling over his proposal to me on New Year’s Day 2000. When I screamed yes and leaned in to kiss him, I felt his heart racing like mad. He told me later, he was terrified I’d say no! As if!

Lauri: Oh, how precious! That is a great romantic moment! I love it. He must really be a keeper! Along those lines, tell us your favorite romantic movie, book, song, meal, and location?

Maya: I must admit to being fickle when it comes to “favorites” as they tend to jump from moment to moment. If you’d asked me last month I’d have said my favorite movie was The Proposal with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds – awesome movie! The month before it would’ve been something different. This month however, I have to say it’s one of the end scenes from Series 4 of The Tudors. Charles Brandon, played by the glorious Henry Cavill, captured what he thought was a soldier. It turned out to be a woman dressed as a man. Naturally, he kept her captive, promising to release her after the English won the Siege of Bolougne. When they did, she demanded he keep his promise. He refused, of course! When she asked him why he wouldn’t release her, he seemed lost for words, then with a seriously sexy crestfallen expression, he said, “Je t’aime. C’est tout.” She melted…I melted…

Favorite song (for the moment) is Alicia Keyes – Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart
Favorite book – too many to choose just the one!
Favorite meal – anything involving chocolate!
Favorite location – I’m getting to the age where there’s no place like home, or my bed!

Lauri: Yes, The Proposal was fantastic! And just your recapture of The Tudors had me melting. And I agree, there is no place like home. Well, let's get to your writing! Tell us about your book.

Maya: Hostage To Love was my debut book, published by The Wild Rose Press last year. It’s a romantic suspense that starts in a fictional location called Nawaka in Africa, then moves to a private Greek island before culminating in London. The heroine, Belle, is estranged from the husband, Nick, whom she thinks has cheated on her. Unfortunately, her alone time is rudely disrupted when she’s captured by rebel leaders! I enjoyed writing this book because I love reunion stories, even if it’s just the six months Belle and Nick have been apart. That first reconnection after their separation, when they know deep inside that they’re meant to be together but have a tough time figuring out the hows, was a real thrill to write. Of course, giving them their happy ending was equally thrilling.

Lauri: Congratulations! I’m a sucker for reunions stories, too. Please give us an excerpt:

Maya: Here's a short one:

Through the smoky light she saw a figure, tall and male, enter the cave, followed by two more. In silence the men advanced towards them. Belle’s throat closed up as fear completely seized her. She turned to Father Tom, her hand gripping his as she tried to shield him with her body.

Someone crouched behind her and she squeezed her eyes shut.

This is it. This is it.

‘Hello, Tinkerbelle.’ A deep voice purred in her ear.

Lauri: Oh, goodness, I so want to read more! Please tell us were we can find a copy!

Maya: You can buy my book at The Wild Rose Press

Lauri: Can you tell us what’s next for you? Another book?

Maya: As a result of positive feedback from two competitions in 2008 and 2009, I’m currently working with two editors from Harlequin on two different stories. I’m also working on a few short stories, which I hope to get published sometime this year.

Lauri: Best of luck! I’m sure your writing career will be long and successful! How can we keep updated on your progress?

Maya: You can stay in touch by visiting my blog
Or you can follow me on Twitter or on Facebook

Lauri: Thank you, Maya, I’ve really enjoyed learning more about you and your book!

Maya: Thank you so much for having me here today.

Lauri: Thanks to everyone who stopped by to read about Maya. Next week I’ll have Aileen Harkwood here, and if you’re interested, this week I’m over at Rae Summers’ blog.

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Baby Update...

No new grandbaby yet. The c-section that was schedule for last Friday was canceled because baby is no longer in the breech position! She flipped before the appointment. YEAH! Everyone was very happy with this news. No one wants surgery if it isn’t necessary. Actual due date is Aug. 6th, so we are in the holding pattern mode.

Besides grabbing my car keys every time the phone rang this weekend, I did get through the edits on an UNDONE story. Another YEAH!

This week starts the blog tour I’m participating in. Every Wednesday, I’ll have a guest author here and I’ll be appearing on someone else’s blog. It’s a fun, eclectic group of writers and I hope everyone enjoys the posts.

And of course, I’ll be posting baby news as soon as I have any!

Here's a tidbit of info...

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Man in Uniform

We had a storm several days ago that left this beautiful double rainbow. We lost a couple trees in the storm. A large one fell across the driveway, which made for a morning of cutting wood. DH and I also had a ‘stick picking contest’ (as he called it) before he could get out the lawn mower to ‘suck up’ the yard full of leaves.

This past weekend we had the wedding reception ‘down here’. A friend of mine from Idaho was in town and joined the festivities. She hadn’t seen the boys in many years. It was a fun event, and the kids are very happy.

The next thing on the family agenda is the arrival of our newest granddaughter—which might be yet this week!

On the writing side…things have been slow with everything going on, but I’ve made some progress on a time travel as well as another story with a Texas Ranger hero. I keep jumping between the two manuscripts. I also interviewed the local Chief of Police for a short, short story about a ‘man in uniform’. I had been asked to write one, but the type of ‘man in uniform’ hadn’t come to me—until I was stopped by a very nice young officer who informed what the speed limit was. No, I didn’t get a citation, bless his heart, but I will remember the speed limit of that town next time I drive through it. (As a friend suggested, I’ll keep the pony to a trot.) As the officer was getting back in his car, I caught him in my side mirror, and thought….Hmmm…a man in uniform. A story was born, but since I write historicals, I needed some information. The local chief provided so much interesting information I’ve been pondering a second, longer story.

That’s all for now. I hope you’ve all had a fabulous July!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

CataRomance Blog

Hey everyone,

I'm over at the CataRomance Blog talking about Harlequin, Mills and Boon's first western UNDONE, Wedding Night with the Ranger. Stop by and say hi if you have a chance!


Friday, July 16, 2010

Pennies from Heaven

My father passed away three years ago in May, and with everything going on lately, my mind has been on him a lot. He would have loved the simplicity of our youngest son’s ‘up north wedding’ and thrilled with the aspect of the birth of our oldest son’s baby.

For years, I stopped at my mom and dad’s house every morning on my way to work. I still stop, every morning to say hi to my mom, and the past two weeks, each morning, either while getting out of my car, or back in as I’m leaving, I’ve discovered a penny. At first I didn’t think much about it, just dropped it in the change bucket in my car, or tucked it in my pocket, but by the second week, I started looking around, wondering if someone had dropped a handful or something. Nope, there was just the one. But the next morning, there was another one. I then realized, it was my dad. He would have insisted on contributing financially to all of the activities going on.

Prior to the wedding ceremony, several people drove the half mile past the church to the cemetery to visit dad’s grave, and my oldest said, when they got back in the car, his wife felt as if they’d just stopped by to pick grandpa up and bring him to the service. They turned the car on, and “You Are My Sunshine” was playing. One of my dad’s favorites. My son said he started laughing, and said, “He’s with us alright.”

I know he’s always with me, I sense him often, but these little coins are physical proof.
They are truly priceless little gifts from heaven. Tiny reminders to never overlook the small stuff.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cover for Wild Cat Bride

Got the cover yesterday for the 5th Quinter Bride book. Love it. No release date, yet.

Life is still in the fast lane here. We have the baby shower this weekend. Next weekend, we have the wedding open house/reception for those who couldn’t travel up north, and the next week…well, we might have a new baby in the family! She’s due to arrive Aug. 4th, but doctor says an early arrival isn’t out of the running.

Oh, and I’ve been busy making raspberry jam.

Remember to laugh everyday…It’s the ultimate exercise.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

June turns into July

Goodness the last two weeks flew by! Not only because of the wedding, 4th of July, and all the company, but because I was on vacation. There’s something about the word--vacation--that turns days into nights faster than normal. Here’s a picture of the entire family (minus my two step grandsons. They couldn’t make it to the wedding.)

My vacation was wonderful. Not only just the wedding and the holiday full of fireworks and family, but the days in between, I actually got some writing done! The first draft of Unclaimed Bride has been completed. Now, I’m ‘cutting and fluffing’ before I send the story off to my beta reader.

I was once again without internet for awhile, so didn’t realize Boot Hill Bride had been nominated for Book of the Week. Thanks Long and Short Reviews for your wonderful nomination!

I’ve been invited to participate in a blog tour the end of July/first of August with several other Wild Rose Press authors. It promises to be lots of fun.

And, Harlequin is updating their author pages on their website. They’ve sent a list of 25 questions for me to answer. Fun questions! I’ll let you know when they get everything updated.

I hope your 4th of July was a true celebration, and that your ‘vacation’ days were as wonderful as mine. Keep smiling. You never know who’s looking.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I'm back...for a day or so.

Our youngest son and his wife were married ‘up north’ in a little country church this past weekend. (Yes, they left the church on their four-wheeler.) The ceremony was followed by a reception at my great grandfather’s farm which he homestead near the turn of the 20th century, and the following day the wedding party and guests took long and relaxing River Boat cruise along the Canadian border. Family and friends traveled near and far to attend the blessed event, which created five days of non-stop fun and visiting. Even the weather cooperated the entire time!

I have a day back home to get things unpacked and settled before the Fourth of July celebrations start with additional family arriving. Life is good!

I somehow lost the charger for my Black Berry, so it wasn’t until this morning that I discovered three wonderful reviews on three different books had been posted during my absence.

Seriously Reviewed had this to say about Wish Craft: Yeah BABY!! Normally I am not super big on time travel stories. Don't know why. Though over the years, as many books as I have devoured, there have been a few in this genre that sang for me and for some reason just rocked me. This is one of them.

Romance Junkies
said: KENDRA’S CHOICE is a powerful story.

And Long and Short Romance Reviews said Boot Hill Bride is a true romance…the book is touching and heart-warming.

The dryer is buzzing, and the eye doctor called to say my new glasses have arrived, so I’m off to do another load of laundry and then to pick up my glasses as well as run a few other errands. (With the top down on my car…did I say life is good?)

I wish you all a safe and happy 4th of July!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Books, books, and more books

Here’s the cover for the audio version of Kendra’s Choice.

Gorgeous, if I do say so myself.

For 24 hours, Tuesday, June 24, it will be the Debut Tuesday Special at Audio Lark for the discounted price of $ 2.49.

It turned out one of my Facebook friends is the narrator! How cool is that?

I’m working on the edits of my next HQN UNDONE. Its tentative release date is November, which is the perfect time for this little Christmas story. Earlier this month, I learned my Harlequin, Mills and Boon editor is leaving. (Her last day is tomorrow.) I’ll miss her, she’s been a dream to work with, but at the same time I wish her the very best in her new and exciting adventure traveling the world. Yesterday, my new editor, who is just as wonderful, called to chat, which was very fun.

The final steps have been completed for the Japanese translation of Mail Order Husband. It is scheduled to be released early in 2011 in trade paperback in Japan. I’ll post a copy of the cover art when I get my copies. The Japan UNI Agency was wonderful to work with, and I’m so grateful they offered me this unique opportunity.

Life is otherwise in full swing at our house, gearing up for the wedding next weekend. Family will begin arriving on Tuesday, so I may be ‘off line’ for a while.

I hope you are all enjoying summer! It’s my favorite time of year—yes, the fact I can drive my car with the top down definitely plays into it.