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...