Author Archives: Laura Florand


Permalink to DABWAHA: A Public Service Announcement for Voters Thursday

DABWAHA: A Public Service Announcement for Voters Thursday

By now, many of you are aware of the intense campaign season going on, in the online March Madness DABWAHA book contest.

You know by now, of course, that many voters choose THE CHOCOLATE TOUCH and SNOW-KISSED to beat out Nalini Singh in the final round. And by many, I mean four people. A SIGNIFICANT MAJORITY, in other words.

You may even know that if THE CHOCOLATE TOUCH and SNOW-KISSED advance this round, I’ve promised a sneak peek of Dom and Jaime’s wedding, from the point of view of the person with the most to lose. THE CHOCOLATE TOUCH is up for vote Thursday midnight to noon. SNOW-KISSED Friday, midnight to noon.

But what you may not know is that, FIRST, we must face down a Major Threat.

Yes, this Charlotte Stein person we’re up against Thursday. You may have heard the name. You may even have thought that cover looks like one you could vote for:

Run-to-You-Charlotte-Stein-197x300

But do you, does anyone, know the REAL Charlotte Stein?

Charlotte-Has-Eyes-300x115

When warned that her books were so hot they were going to melt this innocent kitten, what did Charlotte do?

chocolate kitten

SHE KEPT WRITING THEM. That’s right, people. If anything, she made the next one HOTTER.

When asked of her intentions should she win this contest, what did she say?

“I WILL RULE ALL WITH AN IRON FIST. ALL THE CHOCOLATE WILL BE MINE, MINE, MINE!!!”

YES. This is as close to an accurate quote as I can get without doing actual research to verify my references.

[And her followers said, YAY!  They gave her a mandate for dictatorship!]

No, seriously, have you read this book? Do you know how hot it is??!! Click here only if you’re brave and have firefighter equipment: Run To You

And don’t blame me when all the chocolate in your house melts the instant it downloads! I warned you.

Just watch. Watch what happened to these chocolates when left for 30 seconds in RUN TO YOU’s company.

 

fleurir chocolates mine2

The Dom Richard Tragedy from Laura Florand on Vimeo.

 


[Note: Direction and voice acting by Little Miss Florand. Dom Richard's chocolates played by Fleurir Chocolate. Dom Richard played by Francis Cadieux. Well, by his stunt double, Muffle. Not sure really about the mustache, but think it  might have something to do with a beret not fitting on his ears.]

DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOUR CHOCOLATES.

VOTE AGAINST HOT BOOKS EVERYWHERE.

VOTE THE CHOCOLATE TOUCH.

Which…well, it’s kind of hot, but THAT’S DIFFERENT. It’s hot WITH chocolate. Compatible. Melting at the right moment. In your mouth. Not on your  hands. Which might be okay in certain circumstances, but…

LISTEN JUST SAVE KITTENS, OKAY? That’s all I’m asking. Dom Richard wouldn’t kick a kitten into the street, and NEITHER SHOULD YOU.

VOTE CHOCOLATE TOUCH. :)

chocolate touch florand

And SNOW-KISSED. But more on SNOW-KISSED’s rival later. That one associates with Greek gods and stuff. It’s all very suspicious, and we’re looking into it.

snow-kissed florand


Permalink to Chocolate-Starter for Book Clubs? Tell me what you think!

Chocolate-Starter for Book Clubs? Tell me what you think!

Would this be a good idea? How many things could go wrong with this?

OK, so there’s something about all the chocolate in these books that seems to be motivating for book clubs. That is, once in a while, people write to me that they’re starting a book club with one of the Chocolate books. Then they send photos in which Awesome Times Are Had! It’s pretty amazing. THEN the book clubs KEEP GOING, and read other authors, and have other good times around other themes. Ripples of book club good spreading out into the world. THAT IS SO AWESOME AND I LOVE IT.

You can see some of the things people have done in my book club gallery. (OK, I confess, it needs to be updated with some more recent photos. I’m behind!) These aren’t always the first event a book club had, but when they are, the book club always goes on to do other books, other authors, have other great times together.

And I always feel so proud when one of the Chocolate books started something like that.  Then, people see the photos and say, “I wish I had a book club like that!” But, of course, you CAN. You have to start it, that’s the thing. And chocolate motivates people.

So then I started thinking…what if I did, like, a Chocolate-Starter for Book Clubs? That is, if you’re thinking it would be so fun to do a book club like that and want to do one of the Chocolate books, I can send some chocolate prizes and things as your starter pack. (Visits to local chocolatiers must be organized on your own! Also, homemade Eiffel Towers. I’m *thinking* about making those French swear flashcards Shannon did but who knows when I’ll get around to it?)

I already kind of do little prize packs, when people write me to let me know they’re doing a book club, but I was thinking, I could make it more open, about that Chocolate-Starter inspiration, so other people know to ask about it. But THEN I thought: How many million ways could this be abused? And then I felt tired and jaded instead of enthused.

But it COULD be really cool. And then, you could share photos, and then you could also, when you pick another book by a different author, let us know who it is and what crazy good times you are having with that other theme. (Because you know I like to talk about books.)

What do you think? Would this be a fun idea? (Would it draw sincere book club creators?) It is a wild and crazy thing that will make me feel deflated later when it doesn’t work out like I thought, or would it really be a lot of fun? (Would YOU want to do it? Have a Chocolate-Starter for your book club?)

Thinking, thinking…


Permalink to Friday Book Club: What Are You Reading?

Friday Book Club: What Are You Reading?

It’s Friday! What are you reading? Anything you recommend from this past week? Any plans for this weekend?

Last weekend, I read APPLES SHOULD BE RED, by Penny Watson, which I went ahead and highly recommended on the spot. A novella about a 62-year-old curmudgeon and the 59-year-old pearl-wearing woman coming out of a bad marriage he has to host for Thanksgiving. It’s hilarious, but also very sweet. Tom is priceless. (And only 0.99 right now, I think.) (AMZ link: Apples Should Be Red)

 

apples should be red watson

This week, two of my friends have released books, so I have one of those tough choices: which one first?

Elyssa Patrick released While It Was Snowing (AMZ Link: While It Was Snowing: a novella), her Christmas novella from a duology last year. I’ve read this one, but it’s one of those stories it can be such a comfort to re-read when you’re feeling overextended and tired. It starts out with the pure physical farce (whipped cream is really overrated in certain situations), then sinks right into the cute of a sex contract (ha, ha, I know that sounds bad! But it’s the sweetest thing. The hero is adorable.) It’s one of those really feel-good reads. Also, can I just say that Elyssa Patrick is such a nice person? Generous and unstinting with others. It’s really wonderful. I want to have her big soul when I grow up.

while_it_was_snowing.225x225-75

The other book is from Katharine Ashe: My Lady, My Lord (AMZ Link: My Lady, My Lord). Katie is a personal friend and colleague and so when I look at the cover of this book, I can see her excitement as she talks about it. It’s one of the first books she has published herself (you know by now what a good idea I think it is for an author to do at least some books independently), and she just talks with so much energy about what she’s done with this story: “A different kind of Regency!” (You know I’m a sucker for that word “different”. What is the difference? I need to find out!!)

my lady my lord

So…which one do I choose first? Comfort? Or adventure?

What about you? Comfort reads or adventures this weekend? Or a little of both?


Permalink to Novella Recommendations? Giveaway!!

Novella Recommendations? Giveaway!!

Thanks so much for all your ideas on the contemporary nominations for the DABWAHA! I’m no closer to a decision, but I have a much longer TBR list now. :) How about you? :)

As promised, I’ve drawn one name from the comments: Jacqueline Baxter! Jacqueline, please email me at laura AT lauraflorand DOT com. Let me know what your choice of book is and we’ll get that out to you.

And now for the novellas! Here’s our nifty image of the nominees. As before, YOU get to nominate one other you think belongs in the DABWAHA. What are your ideas? I can think of so many!! It’s really hard for me to narrow down a list.

And have you read any of the ones already nominated? Which ones did you love/would you recommend?  As before, I’ll draw one name from those who COMMENT, either here or on Facebook, to win. This time TWO novellas of your choice. (Because, hey, several are only 0.99, and they’re an hour’s read or so each.) If you’re interested in seeing what other readers recommend, make sure to hop over to Facebook, where most of the discussion usually occurs.

novellas_dabwaha

Here’s the list in writing, too:
Ripped by Sarah Morgan
Unbuttoned by Maisey Yates, Romance Author
Back Across the River Styx by Karalynn Lee
Starting From Scratch by Stacey Gail
Snow-Kissed by Laura Florand
The Story Guy by Mary Ann Rivers
Geek with the Cat Tattoo by Anne Frasier / Theresa Weir (Theresa Weir)

I LOVED the discussion last time, about the contemporaries! I’m really looking forward to your thoughts and ideas. And again, if you’ve made up your mind which other novella you want to nominate, here’s where you can do that.


Permalink to Sales (Chocolate Thief, Snow-Kissed) & Giveaways (your choice of DABWAHA noms)

Sales (Chocolate Thief, Snow-Kissed) & Giveaways (your choice of DABWAHA noms)

Sales, first:

THE CHOCOLATE THIEF ebook is on sale for $2.99 on Barnes & Noble. A DABWAHA nominee last year, and the first of the Amour et Chocolat series.

And this year’s DABWAHA nominee, also a Dear Author Best Book of the 2013, and the AAR Reader Poll’s Biggest Tearjerker of the Year SNOW-KISSED is on sale for 0.99 for as long as it’s in the DABWAHA competition. I hope you enjoy! Well, cry. Well, find it full of hope and the power of love, through the tears. (Click on the title to find the page of links to the sales.)

NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY!

Lovely author and fellow DABWAHA nominee Theresa Romain did this yesterday with her historical category, and I really loved the idea. Here are the 7 books nominated in the contemporary category. Now, remember, YOU can nominate an eighth book. (And so can I. But I can’t decide!) What other contemporary from last year do you think should be in the running? (Why?) Have you read any of these books, and did you like them, would you recommend them?

I’ll draw a name from all those who COMMENT to receive a free ebook or print copy of any ONE of these 7 books, your pick. This is open internationally, as long as Book Depository ships to your country. (Which it probably does!)

Nomination form for the DABWAHA.
I’m looking forward to your recommendations! And hope you enjoy the chance to discover some new books/authors yourself. (Also, discussions of these things tend to be livelier on my Facebook site, so do please hop over there if you want to see what a lot more readers are recommending.)
Dabwaha Contemporary Nominations
Here they are in writing:
Love Irresistibly by Julie James
Rhythm and Bluegrass by Molly Harper
The Chocolate Touch by Laura Florand
Carolina Girl by Virginia Kantra
Wrecked by Shiloh Walker
Sleighbells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan
Run to You by Charlotte Stein


Permalink to DABWAHA is here! SNOW-KISSED & THE CHOCOLATE TOUCH noms

DABWAHA is here! SNOW-KISSED & THE CHOCOLATE TOUCH noms

Oh, no. I mean, yes. Well…you’ll see.

It’s DABWAHA time again!! Do you remember this last year? That’s the Dear Author Bitchery Writing Award for Hellagood Authors, basically an online sporting competition for books, in which readers vote, alliances are made and crumble, occasional death threats are made (ahem. I may have gotten carried away last year), and all in all it’s pretty crazy and fun.  It was created by the blogs Dear Author and Smart B*, Trashy Books. Usually we authors offer bribes to get you to vote us on. Sometimes in the form of crazy homemade videos, and sometimes in the form of scenes, etc. I AM NOT ALLOWED TO BRIBE WITH CHOCOLATE. (Or I wasn’t last year. Yes, I know. That is a crazy rule.)

ANYWAY, the thing is, it’s actually a really big deal and huge honor to be in this. (It was modeled after March Madness.)

And this year, I have TWO nominations: THE CHOCOLATE TOUCH and SNOW-KISSED.

chocolate touch florand
So…you are warned. I will be asking you to vote. You must let me know what would be a fun bribe. (It has to be something everyone can enjoy, like a scene I could post. My daughter makes cool videos with a certain Gilles Marini stunt double for Sylvain, too.) Illegal voting is allowed, I think. (Well, if you’re a hacker and you’re voting for me. If you’re voting for other authors, that is DEFINITELY CHEATING.  :) )

THE CHOCOLATE TOUCH is in the contemporary category. Here are the other books, several of which I have read and recommended here, because they are fantastic. Which ones have you read? Which would you recommend? What other 2013 contemporary do you think should be in this category? Make sure to nominate it!

Contemporary

  • Love Irresistibly by Julie James
  • Rhythm and Bluegrass by Molly Harper
  • The Chocolate Touch by Laura Florand
  • Carolina Girl by Virginia Kantra
  • Wrecked by Shiloh Walker
  • Sleighbells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan
  • Run to You by Charlotte Stein

snow-kissed florand

SNOW-KISSED is nominated in the novella category. Here is that list, again filled with books I’ve recommended, that are fantastic. Any you have read? That you would recommend? What other novella do you think should be in this category? (Make sure to nominate it!!)

  • Ripped by Sarah Morgan
  • Unbuttoned by Maisey Yates
  • Back Across the River Styx by Karalynn Lee
  • Starting From Scratch by Stacey Gail
  • Snow-Kissed by Laura Florand
  • The Story Guy by Mary Ann Rivers
  • Geek with the Cat Tattoo by Theresa Weir

There are rounds, and of course people try to win each round & get to the finals. (Although…I mean, Nalini Singh will probably be my first seed, knowing the way this goes. Sigh.) But it’s a lot of fun.

Anyway, right now you can ALSO enter some of your (other?) favorite books. Since I have two nominations already, I’m not going to be greedy and ask for more (greedy? me?), but if you have authors you think should be getting more recognition for books published in 2013 (that year is firm), definitely nominate them.

Yay! And let’s have fun.


Permalink to March Chocolate Club Winner!

March Chocolate Club Winner!

The Chocolate Club winner for March is Rachel C.! Email has been sent, so check your inbox (and double-check spam) if you are a Rachel C. I’m very excited to try these chocolates for myself, and thanks again to Taylor Reynolds for the recommendation. I only wish I had enough real chocolate outside the books to share with everyone! Slowly but surely maybe, one month at a time, as we work our way around the US. (And maybe a little France sometimes!) Please keep the recommendations coming!


Permalink to Friday Book Club: Virginia Kantra’s Carolina Man for me–and you?

Friday Book Club: Virginia Kantra’s Carolina Man for me–and you?

Friday Book Club! (Now those of you coming over for the book club, don’t forget that the first week of the month is ALSO Chocolate Club, so scroll down my timeline to the last post if you want to enter that.) What are you reading? As I predicted, I am sunk deep into Virginia Kantra’s CAROLINA MAN. (Here’s a little AMZ link if you want: Carolina Man (A Dare Island Novel)

 

carolina man

I’ve been eagerly awaiting Luke’s story for a long time now (write faster, Virginia!), and it is living up to all my expectations. I just love how Virginia evokes family in this series. And the beautiful setting of this Carolina barrier island! I’m always in awe of the way she manages to capture so much power into a few carefully chosen words. When I’m floundering around layering on metaphors and images to try to capture an emotion, Virginia hones in on that one detail that says it all, with that precision and grace that really shows a master of her craft. So many sentences I want to quote already, and I just started it late last night. I’m already loving this book even more than all the others (the characters Luke and Kate really speak to me), but that’s saying a lot, since I loved the first two, too. And if you want to start the series, note that the FIRST book (Carolina Home) is still on sale for ebook for $1.99. (I had understood that sale was supposed to end a few days ago, so I’d just say grab it while you can, as I’m not sure when that price will go up. Here’s a link to that, if you want:Carolina Home (A Dare Island Novel) )

Next up for me I’m thinking will be LOVE HACKED (Penny Reid), and a couple of arcs people have sent me that I’ll talk about closer to their release date. What about you? What are you reading? Have you just finished anything good you would recommend? Do you have a book you’re looking forward to sinking into this weekend?


Permalink to March Chocolate Club: Fleurir Chocolates!

March Chocolate Club: Fleurir Chocolates!

March Chocolate Club! This month, I’m trying out fellow writer Taylor Reynolds‘s recommendation of Fleurir Hand Grown Chocolates. (Want to make your own recommendation? Have at it! I love recs. There’s a permanent page on my website of US Artisan chocolate recs, if you want to share your love of a chocolatier with all the world.) We are all just a little tired of winter, and I’m thinking it’s time to give some broad hints about spring. Thus the perfect occasion of these lovely, flower-decorated chocolates. (Aren’t they beautiful?) Thanks to Taylor for the recommendation!

fleurir-chocolates

As before, those signed up for my newsletter (aka my email for new releases) are automatically entered. For an extra entry, like or comment here or on Facebook! I’ll pick someone Saturday morning, so be sure to be signed up and/or have commented here or on Facebook by then. (Newsletter sign-up link here. Bonus scene with Dom of THE CHOCOLATE TOUCH and the aunts from THE CHOCOLATE KISS comes with sign-up!)

Fleurir-Chocolates2

And if you win, do please come share your thoughts! That’s what the chocolate club is all about, exploring new chocolatiers and spreading the artisan chocolate love.


Permalink to Friday Book Club: Nalini Singh

Friday Book Club: Nalini Singh

It’s Friday! What are you reading? Last week, I was in a reading funk and after 3 or 4 new books disappointed, I sank back into the refuge of Nalini Singh :). This is kind of fitting for the Friday Book Club discussion, because first of all, it was inspired by Nalini. (I think her practice of inviting readers to discuss books every Friday is a wonderful one.) And then, too, I think the ability to sink back into books we know and love and trust (comfort reads) is so important to our enjoyment of reading period. Where would we be without those re-reads?

After about 3 Changeling novellas, I was all happy and full of comfort reading and could take a risk on Penny Reid’s Neanderthal Seeks Human that so many of you had recommended. (And which was wonderful! See my post last week!) But then I was in my Changeling groove, so went right back to reading more of those. (Can I confess I love the leopards the best? Also, I really like novellas and the ability to read a whole story without being up until three am, which is why I was reading so many of those. Although I’ve got a real longing to re-read Hawke & Sienna’s story now.) Anyway, I know a lot of you have read Nalini, but a lot of people here may never have tried her. Maybe you could share your recommends for favorite couples/books/series, which book or series you try to get your friends hooked on first? Would you even recommend starting with a novella, to those new to Nalini? (One of the pleasures of the novellas is the glimpse into a familiar world, I think.) What book would you start people on, if you could get everyone to listen to your recommends? :)

And what else is everyone reading? Anything good this week that you would recommend? What do you have planned for this weekend?

A link to one of Nalini’s novellas. I’m linking to this one in particular because it is the latest re-release, but Nalini is a prolific writer and I think if you’re new to her you’ll discover there is plenty of reading pleasure waiting for you.

Whisper of Sin: A Psy Changeling Novella

whisper of sin

 

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