Author Archives: Laura Florand


Permalink to Giveaway of Tamara Morgan’s Confidence Tricks

Giveaway of Tamara Morgan’s Confidence Tricks

GIVEAWAY WINNERS–selected by random # generator from entries here and on the blog–are Debbie W. and Elaine T.! Congratulations! I hope you laugh as hard as I did at this book. :)

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Some of you may remember me talking about Confidence Tricks a few weeks back and how much I loved it? I am reading an advanced copy of author Tamara Morgan’s next book now, Derby Girl, and again am just in love with how unique her characters are.

derby girl

So I thought–I have to introduce more people to these crazy fun books so we can talk about them! They’re fun, but they have a lot of heart, too, which I love.

Tamara kindly agreed to give two ebook copies away. I asked for CONFIDENCE TRICKS since that was my first book by her, and that way, you can be introduced to her the same way I was! Tell me if you laugh the whole way through, too. :)

confidence tricks

I’m accepting entries for the giveaway either here (comment below) or on my Facebook site.

If you win–maybe consider leaving a review on Amazon or similar for the book? That’s not obligatory, of course, but reviews–honest, of course–are always a nice way to say thanks for a book, because they are sooo important to the website algorithms, among other things.

THANK YOU to Tamara Morgan for offering the two books! I’m very excited to contemplate two of you curling up with Asprey and Poppy and want to know if you laugh as hard as I do in the same places. Asprey is priceless!! Come tell me about it afterward, okay?
Thanks again to Tamara!


Permalink to Talking About Libraries in Publishers Weekly

Talking About Libraries in Publishers Weekly

I’m on my soapbox about libraries in Publishers Weekly today.

What’s your take on libraries? Do you support them? Do you feel they support you?

I’m pro library, obviously. :)


Permalink to Snow-Kissed: Coming Sept 24

Snow-Kissed: Coming Sept 24

I’m excited to officially share the cover and blurb for my Christmas novella, SNOW-KISSED. Coming September 24! I must warn you, this one makes me cry every time I work on it.

What do you think of the cover?

SnowKiss_300x188

This is a packed fall/winter, with several releases coming up:

Sept 24: Snow-Kissed, a stand-alone Christmas novella.

Nov 26: The Chocolate Heart, the fifth in the Chocolate series.

Dec 3: A Rose in Winter, a novella in the anthology NO PLACE LIKE HOME, part of the Vie en Roses series.

If that sounds like a lot to keep track of, sign up for my newsletter to to receive an email on release dates. I don’t bother people much but occasionally I do have a special newsletter chocolate prize in connection with new releases. :)

 


Permalink to Book Club Questions for The Chocolate Kiss

Book Club Questions for The Chocolate Kiss

Does anyone want to help brainstorm book club questions for THE CHOCOLATE KISS? I’ve agreed to an invitation from a book club next month and thought you guys might have fun with this. We’re discussing it also on my Facebook page (which is visible even to people who don’t like Facebook, don’t worry!).

Any ideas?

THE CHOCOLATE KISS is the pink cover one with Philippe and Magalie and macarons and witches, just in case the titles are starting to blur together. :)


Permalink to Chatting with Ruthie Knox and with Books N Kisses

Chatting with Ruthie Knox and with Books N Kisses

There has been a LOT going on with THE CHOCOLATE TOUCH release, and of course I escaped to the mountains with no internet for part of it.

A beautiful recommend on USAToday.com for THE CHOCOLATE TOUCH. (I can’t quite get over that it was recommended with MAGIC RISES. I adore Ilona Andrews’s books.) “This is fast-becoming one of my favorite and most-anticipated series. . . .A very adorable, well-done romance. I highly recommend this series.”

Ruthie Knox and I get a little out of hand in our interview, but I blame Ruthie. She’s like the Oprah of blogger interviewers, that’s what I say: she gets us to say things we never meant to confess! There’s also a giveaway with this interview, if you want to check it out.

And on Books N Kisses, I share a little glimpse of the real-life inspiration for the setting for Dom Richard’s salon de chocolat in THE CHOCOLATE TOUCH. With photos!

Meanwhile, one of the chocolatiers I was interviewing recently, Andrea Smith of DiAmano Chocolate, also does THIS in her spare time.

Do you see why I love writing about people like this? I might have to do another chocolate book just to have a derby girl-chocolatier heroine. I’m getting a vision. People are AWESOME. So fascinating and multi-layered.

 


Permalink to CHOCOLATE TOUCH in stores Tuesday!

CHOCOLATE TOUCH in stores Tuesday!

THE CHOCOLATE TOUCH comes available at midnight! Reviews have been so sweet. I’m so glad people are responding to this book, because this is just the couple I want to curl up and cuddle with and it’s a bit hard letting them go, to be honest.

Now I know I’ve mentioned the PW STARRED REVIEW probably fifty times before, so just a few snippets from some reviews coming in this weekend:

“Gorgeously written, in that way that sort of creeps through my entire body and makes me shiver with delight.” (Dear Author Recommended Read)

“A wonderful story of love, seeing in someone else what you think in lacking in yourself, and coming to terms with your past. . . . amazing.” (Harlequin Junkie Recommended Read)
“A stay-up-until-my-eyes-burn-with-sleep kind of read.” (6 matryhoshkas from Ruby’s Reads--I love this rating! It means she would take it to the afterlife with her. OK, then. I’m good with that. :) )

I hope you enjoy this book! I’m so excited for its release.

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Permalink to What I’m Reading–What About You?

What I’m Reading–What About You?

I am on the most incredible run of good luck in my reading material this month! I keep saying I should buy a lottery ticket, but what if that ate up all my reading good luck and left me with filthy lucre instead? So I’m sticking to books.

And just to help you get lucky, too, here are the two new ones from this past week that I’ve been talking about:

confidence tricks

Confidence Tricks by Tamara Morgan. This was so funny! I laughed and laughed through this book. It’s a thief caper, and you know how much I like those. (Although honestly, I don’t think you can qualify The Chocolate Thief as a thief caper. I’m not so good at writing capers, but I do love to read them.) The playboy-thief hero Asprey is hilarious, and I dare you to read one chapter and not fall for him. Go ahead–check out the sample and let me know if I won the dare or not! :) And the heroine, con-woman Poppy, is priceless. She can beat him up! And his masculinity somehow doesn’t suffer at all for that. His own madcap humor forms part of his very powerful masculinity, if you will. I love this. I laughed all the way through the book, and yet at the same time, I thought it was a very intelligent read–much more than the humor, a story with a lot of heart.

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Making It Last – A Novella (Camelot Series)by Ruthie Knox. This is only 0.99, by the way and so incredibly worth it. Ruthie is an amazing writer, and I was particularly interested to read this one,  and have been all antsy for it to come out, because I knew she was taking on a similar concept to my novella Turning Up the Heat. I love seeing what different authors do with the same trope or the same essential idea, and in this case, I feel like there are just not enough books out there that look at an issue I absolutely love: that of a marriage ten years or so on. A marriage that is essentially a good marriage, the couple is doing their best by each other, and yet, and yet . . . they need to renegotiate who they are as individuals and who they are with each other. They are at a crossroads where they can reaffirm their love or perhaps see it die, if they aren’t careful. And Ruthie Knox does this story beautifully. She has such a down-to-earth-I-know-these-people way with her writing, with that vivid detail that makes them ours so very clearly, and this is a very emotional story. I would love to hear what you think of it. If you have read Turning Up the Heat, too, come back and have a comparative literature discussion! Remember, I had a lot of training as a literary scholar at one point in my life, and I just love thinking about and analyzing how different authors treat an idea.

What about you? What have you been reading this week? Are you having a good run, too, or in a rut?


Permalink to Wonderful Welcome in Georgia

Wonderful Welcome in Georgia

It’s official: I love Friends of the Library hosted events. This whole series of talks, everyone has been so sweet, AND they have made chocolate every single time. I want to give a big thanks to Roni Tewksbury, director of the West Georgia Regional Library system, for organizing these events for their Adult Summer Reading Program finale.

Also, she kept telling everyone stories of how when we were kids, she would be working at the library desk of our hometown library in the system and see two giant stacks of books approaching the desk. Then the books would be set down and my sister and I would peek around the edge of them, ready to check out. Every few days.

This is a true story. My dad used to say the car didn’t know how to get home from school without turning into the library, because I was always insisting we stop by there.

So THAT’s why I love libraries and think all authors should. Plus, you know–they feed me chocolate these days. That’s always a plus.

A few photos of the events:

With an old dear friend who came to the signing.

With an old dear friend who came to the signing.

 

With one of my closest friends from school.

With one of my closest friends from school.

With Roni Tewksbury, director of the West GA Library system & responsible for organizing this series of events. The Buchanan Library is in the old courthouse--utterly charming. I pretended I was Perry Mason.

With Roni Tewksbury, director of the West GA Library system & responsible for organizing this series of events. The Buchanan Library is in the old courthouse–utterly charming. I pretended I was Perry Mason.

Jana, branch manager at the Buchanan Library, made truffles. Teresa Jones made truffles at the Neva Lomason library, too, but we failed to get a photo before they were all gone!

Jana, branch manager at the Buchanan Library, made truffles. Teresa Jones made truffles at the Neva Lomason library, too, but we failed to get a photo before they were all gone!

Buchanan Library display

Ephesus Library display

With Donna Alvis, head of the Ephesus Library & responsible for the lovely baskets and bouquets of chocolate-y gifts.

With Donna Alvis, head of the Ephesus Library & responsible for the lovely baskets and bouquets of chocolate-y gifts.

Ephesus basketEphesus

Signing away...

Signing away…

The mayor of Ephesus took a course with my dad. You can see by the expression on my face what kind of stories he is telling on my dad.

The mayor of Ephesus took a course with my dad. You can see by the expression on my face what kind of stories he is telling on my dad.

"Yes, that sounds like my dad, all right," I am saying.

“Yes, that sounds like my dad, all right,” I am saying.

A huge thanks to Roni Tewksbury for organizing all the events and being there in person to make sure every single one went off without a hitch. And a big thank you to everyone in the system who made it possible–branch managers such as Jana, Agnes for all the technical assistance, children’s librarian Teresa Jones (who makes awesome truffles), all the amazing Friends of the Library groups, and all their generous members who made chocolate and other goodies and showed up to support. Another thanks to Donna Alvis, because I am still gleefully enjoying all the chocolate-y goodies in the gift basket. And of course one Giant Enormous THANK YOU to everyone who turned out. Your support is so much appreciated.

It was a wonderful “advance premier” for THE CHOCOLATE TOUCH.

And I am now officially open to chocolate bribery from Friends of the Library everywhere. :)


Permalink to BIG BASTILLE DAY GIVEAWAY!

BIG BASTILLE DAY GIVEAWAY!

Okay, I’m super excited about this giveaway. If you’ve managed to get an advanced copy of THE CHOCOLATE TOUCH, you’ll have seen a certain key scene using caramels.

Those caramels were inspired by these caramels, from Jacques Genin’s in Paris.

caramel being made Jacques Genin

Jacques Genin caramels

And I brought back a box for you! Well, one of you. Now these aren’t just your average caramels. They’re $90/lb caramels and quite a few people call them the best in Paris. (Which, you know how it is in Paris, means of course the best in the world as far as they’re concerned!)

With the caramels, one lucky winner also gets a full set of the Chocolate books up to now: THE CHOCOLATE THIEF, THE CHOCOLATE KISS, THE CHOCOLATE ROSE, and, of course, THE CHOCOLATE TOUCH.

So check out Smexybooks for the giveaway!

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Permalink to Dal Nirvana

Dal Nirvana

Some time ago, I promised to share my own recipe for dal, in honor of THE CHOCOLATE ROSE. (If you’ve read it, you’ll know why. If you haven’t read it, can I just mention that Gabriel is one of my favorite characters? Hint, hint.)

I was making it today and remembered at last the request for it! So here is my recipe. If you make this version without the butter and cream for any reason but severe lactose intolerance, all of my French chefs will personally come haunt your kitchen and curse it.

Dal Nirvana

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 cup dry red lentils
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato sauce or puree or even paste
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger (use fresh if you can)
  • 3-4 cloves minced garlic
  • ¼-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper to taste (this is in the original recipe, but in my family we actually don’t use any)
  • water
  • 3-4 tablespoons butter
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4  to 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro (if you don’t like cilantro, try parsley)

Prepare rice according to package directions.

Rinse lentils. In a large sauce pan, add the lentils and fill pan with water to cover lentils by 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, until the lentils open and are tender. Drain the water from the lentils and return the lentils to the pot. Add the tomato sauce, spices, water, butter, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cook, covered, for 1 hour, until the dal is thick. Check the pot from time to time and add water if the mixture is getting too dry. Stir in cream and cilantro last minute, adding more salt if needed.

Serves 4. (Kind of. My friends are pretty athletic, so always hungry, so if I’m serving 4, I double it. It makes good leftovers for weekday lunches, anyway.)

Source: Recipe slightly adapted from Nirvana Restaurant, Beverly Hills.  I originally saw it at Shockingly Delicious.

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What do you think? Worthy of Gabriel? What’s your dal recipe?

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