Author Archives: Laura Florand


Permalink to Giveaway! GEEK WITH THE CAT TATTOO

Giveaway! GEEK WITH THE CAT TATTOO

GIVEAWAY WINNER is Michelle M.! (She entered on FB.) Thank you all for playing! :)
It’s Tax Day! Or, as we like to call it in my house “File an Extension and Eat More Chocolate Day”.It seems like a good day to do another of those DABWAHA giveaways! Cheer everybody up. Just like or comment below to enter! (Or on my blog.)

Today we’re doing Theresa Weir, Author of New Adult Romance ‘s THE GEEK WITH THE CAT TATTOO, an ebook, because there is *nothing* more likely to cheer you up than reading the cat’s point of view in this thing. (This is Sam the Cat’s story.) I know, you’re saying, “Umm…a romance from a cat’s point of view?” Trust me!! It is too charming.

Actually, I started the series (ahem! supposed to be a third book, Theresa! Just saying!) with THE GIRL WITH THE CAT TATTOO, and was totally hooked on Max’s point of view. And I do think it’s fun to start at the beginning of a series, and either of these books would be a delight, so let’s make this giveaway one or the other.
Like my DABWAHA campaign poster about that elusive third book? :)
dabwaha sister story 2If you’ve read THE GIRL WITH THE CAT TATTOO and want GEEK, we’ll go with that, and if you haven’t tried it and want to start with GIRL, well, winner’s choice.

Theresa and I had a *fun* time together during the DABWAHA. Cats ended up wearing tinfoil hats, all kinds of things happened. We tried to start a Twitter movement of people posting photos of their cats in tinfoil hats, but for some strange reason, that just didn’t catch on. Hmm…wonder why?

dabwaha geek mind controlYou can see some of my crazy vote drives here, if you missed them during the actual madness. I wish I could find one again where Theresa sent a photo of “Sam” with the “You call that sexy” line, because it was hilarious.

Comment below or on my Facebook to be entered into the drawing for an ebook copy!


Permalink to Cover Reveal: SUN-KISSED!

Cover Reveal: SUN-KISSED!

I’m so excited to share the cover for my next novel, SUN-KISSED! This is the sequel to SNOW-KISSED that I announced in March. (Although I promise it will not win Tearjerker of the Year. I think of this one as a comforting, sexy, sometimes funny, often emotional but in a good way, story about finding sunlight and love when you think, maybe, you never will.) It is one of my shorter novels–about 10% longer than Sparks’ The Notebook, to give you an idea of length. (Most of my books are about twice as long as that, except of course for my novellas. Sun-Kissed is about two-thirds again longer than Snow-Kissed, to give you another comparison.)

Because this is Mack Corey’s story, set during Jaime and Dom’s wedding where we see a lot of the characters from the series again, I’m calling this one part of the Amour et Chocolat series (#7), but just to be warned that there is not really any food-making in it. It is also, obviously, the sequel to Snow-Kissed, and the story of Kai Winters’ mother-in-law, Anne Winters. (Perhaps I should call these two “The Snow Queen Duology”?)

It will be released end of May.  I’m aiming for May 20, 2014, but I encourage everyone to sign up here to be emailed of the new release. (It also gets you automatically entered into the monthly Chocolate Club, which is a lot of fun! And for right now, there’s a bonus scene for subscribers of Dom from The Chocolate Touch facing off with the aunts from The Chocolate Kiss.)

What do you think of the cover? The heroine is a little blonder, to tell the truth, but I just loved the message of this image.

SunKiss_625x1000

COVER COPY

They called her the Ice Queen.

Anne Winters. Self-made billionaire. Household name. Divorced single mom. Convicted felon. She didn’t let anyone or anything get to her. No one was allowed to breach the walls around her heart except for her own son. She had only one trusted friend: her vacation house neighbor. They’d been walking the beach together for twenty years. Not that this gave him access to her heart, of course…

They called him a man who got what he wanted.

Mack Corey. Self-made billionaire. Dominant world player. Widowed father of the bride. No felony convictions yet, although his daughters had come close. He’d transformed his family company into one of the top 500 by the age of thirty. He’d raised two daughters who dumped him for idiot arrogant French chocolatiers and went off to live in Paris. Hell, he even managed to tolerate his dad. But that Ice Queen act Anne Winters had going was really starting to get to him…

They’d been friends for twenty years. Could they become lovers?

Could a frozen heart be kissed by the sun?

 

Sun-Kissed (Amour et Chocolat, #7)

Excerpt here.

Excerpt two here.

Coming late May! Sign up here to be emailed upon its release.


Permalink to Friday Book Club: What are you reading?

Friday Book Club: What are you reading?

FRIDAY BOOK CLUB! (We’ve still got a couple more DABWAHA book giveaways coming up, but I wanted to take a little break today to just talk about what you’re reading. The WINNER of Sarah Morgan’s RIPPED has been announced: Laura V!)

I am reading Peacham’s THE COMPLEAT GENTLEMAN (a guide to being the complete gentleman that was originally published in 1622 and reissued in 1661, as Restoration Cavaliers put a great deal of stock in it).

And other than that, I am re-reading one of my own upcoming books, which is something I do over and over, before release. (SUN-KISSED).

It’s prime gardening weather here, right now, which also means prime lie in the hammock reading weather, of course! Choices, choices.

What have you been reading? Anything you recommend? Anything you’re looking forward to this weekend?


Permalink to Giveaway: Sarah Morgan’s Ripped

Giveaway: Sarah Morgan’s Ripped

Ready for our next Toast to DABWAHA Class Giveaway? :)

As I’ve said in the previous ones, I had so much fun in the DABWAHA, meeting up with other authors, being silly, discovering other books, and I also just really appreciated all the wonderful support given to my own books. So I wanted to find a way to honor that, both the other authors and all you readers who were voting and supporting. Thus this series of giveaways of the different books THE CHOCOLATE TOUCH and/or SNOW-KISSED went up against.

This one is of RIPPED by Sarah Morgan. This was such a funny, sexy, charming novella! Hayley’s point of view (it’s in first person) was just hilarious. It’s the first time I’ve seen Sarah do a first person story (although I may have missed something), and I have to say, I usually am not a huge fan of first person, but she did this so very well.

Also, turkeys get waxed. I’m just saying. You want to know why, don’t you?

ripped

Like or comment, here or on my Facebook, to enter! Random will select a winner, oh, probably Thursday morning.

Bonus: Here are my little campaign posters during the DABWAHA round between RIPPED and SNOW-KISSED. Somehow, my campaign posters never work. :)

dabwaha against ripped

dabwaha snowkissed melted


Permalink to Course on the Romance Novel at Duke

Course on the Romance Novel at Duke

Katharine Ashe (Katharine Dubois) and I are very excited to announce our Fall 2014 course at Duke on The Romance Novel. We’re delighted to be engaging in this discussion in such a dynamic intellectual environment and excited about the opportunities we’ll have to extend the discussion beyond the university walls, as well.

For Duke students who are interested, you can see more below. Note that the covers are just to give an idea of the type of books we will cover, plus others. We’ll post a full book list with the final syllabus. Students who are interested can contact either one of us at our Duke addresses or through our author websites. We can’t wait to engage in this discussion!

 

THE ROMANCE NOVEL
A course about writing and popular culture

Dr. Katharine Dubois (Katharine Ashe), History & Religious Studies
Laura Florand, Romance Studies

books_covers2

HST 248S.01
Fall 2014
Mondays 4:40pm – 5:55pm

Yes. In this course you will read romance novels. You will also learn (the beginnings of) how to write one. You will even learn how to sell one in the marketplace. You will learn why and how this women-driven creative form that commands the US publishing market is called “trash.” You will study the birth of the modern novel in the 18th century all the way to the explosion of romance fiction in the late 20th. You will walk away from this course understanding more about American popular culture, big business and little-guy entrepreneurship than you can imagine. You will engage in a huge online public debate about popular fiction, femininity, masculinity, sex, power, money, entertainment and the publishing industry today. And we’ll have fun doing it.
(CCI) Cross Cultural Inquiry, (W) Writing, (ALP) Arts, Literature & Performance,
(CZ) Civilizations


Permalink to Giveaway: Karalynn Lee’s Back Across the Styx

Giveaway: Karalynn Lee’s Back Across the Styx

In our week-long toast to the fun and classiness of authors we “met” during the DABWAHA, and to all of you for all your support in the game, today’s giveaway is an ebook of Karalynn Lee’s novella BACK ACROSS THE STYX.

Back+Across+the+Styx

Do you love Greek mythology? This one takes us into Hades, with the mortal adopted daughter of Charon and the son of Hades and Persephone (who are still having a few marital issues it turns out). It’s a charming, sweet story, told almost in a legend-like style, of the two finding their way into the mortal world and dealing with battles and gods. You can see one of my campaign posters for our round below. :)

dabwaha snowkissed 3

Just like or comment to enter, here or on my blog. Random will pick the winner tomorrow!

Thanks again for all your support during the DABWAHA and I hope you’re enjoying the new authors. BTW, the FINAL round of the DABWAHA is TODAY (Monday, 10-10 CDT). Julie James’ Love Irresistibly meets Captive Prince in a battle to the finish! You can vote here.


Permalink to GIVEAWAY! Charlotte Stein’s Run to You

GIVEAWAY! Charlotte Stein’s Run to You

WINNER of this one is Rebecca C. (entered via Facebook). Congratulations! Keep tuned for the next giveaway, of Karalynn Lee’s BACK ACROSS THE STYX.

Okay, I’ve got my breath back. TIME FOR THE DABWAHA GIVEAWAYS.

As I said last week, I had so much fun playing around with so many of my “opponents” in that crazy-fun DABWAHA. I discovered a lot of new books, met some fun and classy people, and was really flattered and touched by all of your support to my own books.

So let’s raise a toast this week to all those great books and classy authors I got to meet, and also give a little back to all of you readers who were cheering us on and voting and just generally engaging in the silly fun. We are the champions! (In our heart we are. I guess I really, honestly feel that way–it was so fun, and people were so sweet.)

Today, first giveaway, is of Charlotte Stein ‘s RUN TO YOU. Ouh la la, this is one hot book, people. It melted all the chocolate in my house. (It did. Check out this video evidence.

The Dom Richard Tragedy from Laura Florand on Vimeo.)

Erotic romance with the emphasis on “keep emergency ice cubes handy”. Here’s the book description from Amazon for you:

Alissa Layton leads a dull and ordinary life, safe in routines, with no plans to escape. But when she meets businessman, Janos Kovaks, and is introduced to his kinky lifestyle, Allissa’s entire world changes…

From Charlotte Stein, author of best selling Mischief titles ‘Power Play’, ‘Deep Desires’ and ‘Make Me’.

Alissa uncovers a hidden world of secret assignations and kinky meetings between like-minded high fliers at an exclusive hotel. The businessman Alissa spies on seems far too handsome, sexy and worldly for someone like her, and he’s into the kind of things she’s not sure she can do.

Janos Kovacs has spent so long indulging in emotion-less dalliances that he’s forgotten what real passion is. But the more time he spends with Alissa, the less control he has over himself. By the time he’s finished teaching how deliciously naughty sex can be, he might be the one learning the lessons …

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

If you would like to have *your* chocolate melted, just comment below or on my Facebook page. I’ll pick one winner early Monday morning for an ebook copy of this book, from the ebook vendor of your choice (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple, etc.).

Good luck! And as always, happy reading!


Permalink to Friday Book Club: Eloisa James & Sarah Anderson

Friday Book Club: Eloisa James & Sarah Anderson

Friday Book Club! What are you reading this week? Anything you recommend? Anything you’re looking forward to for the weekend?

I’ve been reading the inimitable Eloisa James’ THREE WEEKS WITH LADY X. What a fun battle of the sexes! Hilarious dialogue, very witty, and each holds his/her own. And the little girl! She’s priceless. Here’s its Amazon page if you want more information about it.

three weeks
And I’ve just downloaded NOBODY by Sarah M. Anderson because this review caught my eye and the first chapter sample she had was so intriguing. Here’s its Amazon page, if you want to see more about it.

nobody cover smaller

What about you? What are you reading? Would love to hear your recommends.


Permalink to Book Club Brainstorming for Chocolate Touch?

Book Club Brainstorming for Chocolate Touch?

Ooh, want to do a book club brainstorming? We haven’t done one in a while. The Amazing Book Club Queen Shannon is doing THE CHOCOLATE TOUCH with her Mom Mafia group next month, and another club also emailed about the same book that they’re doing I think on (near?) Mother’s Day. Any ideas? For themes, discussion questions, etc? This is Dom and Jaime’s book.

Obviously, I think chocolate should be a theme. But I am so one-track minded.

(By the way, if you’re interested in book clubs, you can see some photos from some amazing book clubs here, as well as ideas for several books in the series that readers and book clubs have brainstormed and shared in the past. I need to update the photos with some recent ones, and we do have questions for SNOW-KISSED, too, that were developed for/with a book club and I just need to get up. So let me know if you need those in the meantime.)

chocolate touch florand


Permalink to Snippet, Untitled (Chocolate Heart, Summer and Luc sequel)

Snippet, Untitled (Chocolate Heart, Summer and Luc sequel)

During the DABWAHA, I asked what people would like to see if we survived the last round against Katie McGarry, and most people voted for a glimpse of a Summer & Luc story. Well, we didn’t survive, but the outpouring of support was so enormous. I couldn’t believe how close it was!

So of course I am going to share it with you anyway!

Here is the story behind this story:

Once upon a time I started to write a bonus scene to tie up a loose end leftover from all the cuts and editing on THE CHOCOLATE HEART. (Summer’s bracelet.) But…here is the problem. This “bonus scene” is now nearly 50,000 words long, which is the length of a short novel. I’m not really sure how this happened, except that when I imagined Luc and Summer dealing with pregnancy, it was so obvious that they would both, in their ways, go off the deep end. That they would be challenged in all their insecurities, and that they would–gasp–need a social circle. Exactly the thing they didn’t have anymore, having uprooted for each other. And so it just grew and grew. Sylvain, Dom, Patrick, Cade, Jaime, Sarah…they all got involved, and I’m not entirely sure but I have the impression Gabriel might get involved, too. So I’m not entirely sure what to do with this. I’ve never written a sequel about the same couple before.

So what you have here is an excerpt from an as yet untitled novel that is a sequel to THE CHOCOLATE HEART. I have not actually decided whether I will publish it or not, and it’s not yet done, so I would be curious as to whether you would like it.

You may or may not want to read it if you haven’t read THE CHOCOLATE HEART. I don’t think it really spoils anything (I mean, you do know that in all my books, the couple does get together at the end, and I think that’s primarily what is revealed here). But your call!

Please note: this is a rough draft. It has not been edited. It’s a work-in-progress snippet, which I don’t usually show, but I promised! Summer is pregnant (morning sickness, cravings, etc.), and the pregnancy is all still pretty fresh news to them both.

 

Excerpt (untitled possible sequel to The Chocolate Heart):

Every time Luc glanced at Summer, she was sucking so eagerly on the mango ice pop Luc had made her that a man had to be grateful the length of his chef’s jacket hid his reaction to that eager mouth.

And yet somehow, the drips on the marble counter below it grew and grew, until he turned back from some issue to catch her swiping one of his sous-chef’s towels to clean it up, the tip of the ice popping right back into her mouth when he looked at her, as she made an eager yum sound.

Damn it, he was never trusting her when they had sex again. He was going to keep his fingers right where he would know she wasn’t faking anything.

He drew a breath and let it slowly out. “What flavor did you want?” he asked, not between his teeth at all. “For your popsicle?”

“Lime,” she said wistfully. And quickly, “But this is wonderful. You know I love mangoes. It’s so sweet of you to make my favorite.”

And she didn’t, last time he had checked, particularly like lime. “I’ll make you some lime.”

“You know what would be delicious?” she said longingly.

No, but his whole body pricked awake, ready to give it. Aroused to give it.

“Pickles.”

His whole body felt as if it had just taken one to the groin. “Pickles?”

She nodded eagerly.

His shoulders slumped. He shifted into his chef de cuisine’s side of the kitchens and sent the first commis he encountered running for some of Nicolas’s pickles. Not jealous in the least that his chef de cuisine got to feed her and not him.

No. Because jealousy like that would be crazy.

Nico, who was all about living from the land and using all nature’s resources, had pickled watermelon rinds, pickled pears, pickled peppers, pickled beets, pickled figs, and pickled corn. Probably gleaned from local fields post harvest. The man liked to stroll along the edges and even through farmers’ land, picking up all the leftovers that would otherwise rot. Luc would probably get arrested if he ever tried that kind of thing – not to mention that his whole childhood flinched inside him in desperate panic when he even though about it – but somehow people let Nicolas do anything.

Summer picked at every single type of pickle, biting her lip in a clear battle with revulsion. Kind of nice to know he wasn’t the only man failing her right now.

Except – shit. He had to manage to feed her. He had to.

Summer tried a watermelon rind and sagged a little, pushing it away. “Just regular pickles,” she said. “Like – “ she glanced around to make sure Nicolas wasn’t in earshot and lowered her voice so even Luc could barely pick it up. “From the store.”

It was a good thing he could count on Summer’s manners in all situations. If she’d said that loudly enough for Nicolas to hear it, he might be hiring a new chef right now.

Unfortunately, he couldn’t hire a new self, no matter how hard he tried; he could only deal with the self he had. The insane self, that kept trying to get out of its padded cell.

He slipped one of his apprentices some money. “Carmel. Run down to the épicerie and get me a jar of pickles, all right? Don’t let Nico see.”

But when he slipped Summer a tiny bowl of the miniature cornichons Carmel brought back, she took one bite and grimaced, visibly trying to control a gag. “American pickles,” she said, shoving the cornichons as far away from her as she could. “You know, with dill?”

Luc went and found Nicolas, breaking it as gently as he could that Summer had refused every single one of his special pickles and only wanted this dill stuff. Nico took it oddly well. He even seemed amused. Sometimes the guy was disconcertingly rough-and-ready, take-it-as-they-come, compared to Paris chefs. “Sure, I can make them. But, Luc,” the burly, brown-haired farmer of a chef said with that kind of callused-hand gentleness of his, like he was taking care of a newborn lamb, “they take several weeks.”

Luc stared at him. He knew that. He’d never actually made a pickle, but he’d been working in kitchens all his life. He did know that. He just –  went out onto the tiny terrace of the restaurant. Pacing between pots of lavender, he called Sylvain Marquis, a top chocolatier in Paris who had been sufficiently confused about his priorities in life to marry the heir to and vice president of the world’s largest producer of mass market crap, otherwise known as Corey Chocolate. Cade Corey Marquis, Summer’s second cousin. “I need to talk to Cade.”

“Sorry,” the chocolatier said cheerfully. “She’s only allowed to talk to handsome chefs by prior appointment between 3:14 and 3:15 in the afternoon. What is it? Is it about one of the apprentices? How are they working out for you anyway?”

“Fine,” Luc said blankly.

“Are Cade and Jaime sending you the easy ones?” Sylvain asked suspiciously. “Because a couple of the kids I’ve gotten…” He let his voice trail off in a way that spoke volumes.

“They don’t act that differently than some of my foster brothers.” Luc shrugged. Or sometimes, that differently than he himself had once acted. Sylvain came from a happy family, that was his problem. Luc, on the other hand, just trained whatever kids he got and dealt with whatever he had to deal with. And Summer mothered them and patiently taught them letters when they were illiterate, and as far as he could tell, the kids were as happy as bees in honey. They still needed to relax and accept no one was threatening the honey, but from Luc’s personal experience, that might take years.

Decades.

A lifetime, at the rate he himself was going.

A vision of Summer’s face, the patience and warmth as she sat there with those kids.

He grabbed the image and fed it to the insane him he was keeping locked in a padded cell. She’s maternal, you fucked-up idiot. She loves kids. She would never, ever run out on her baby.

What do you know? Insane Him asked. Maybe your mother was maternal, too. Before she had you. And then you were so damned difficult, you ruined that for her.

He slammed the cell door back on the bastard.

“Listen, is Cade there? I have an American question.” Maybe he should have called Jaime. She and Dom had been together for over a year now, and Dom was starting to act mildly sane about her. It gave a man hope for his own case.

Sylvain laughed. “All right, but you only get one minute. I’m timing you!”

“Ignore him,” Cade said as she came on the phone. “It’s the only thing to do. What do you need?”

“Pickles,” Luc said.

A tiny silence on the other end of the connection. Possibly a choked sound. “Pickles?”

“Whatever kind of American pickles that you and Jaime and Summer would have been eating as kids, I assume. Can’t you eat normal pickles like the rest of us?”

More amusement on the other end. “Well, one person’s idea of normal, Luc, is another person’s crazy.”

When they were talking about food, he was pretty sure the French got to decide what was good and what was crazy – for God’s sake, her country had invented peanut butter! And then put it with chocolate! But he needed a favor, so he resisted rubbing it in. She got touchy about those ghastly Corey products sometimes. “Whatever you consider normal pickles. I think that’s what I need.” And, realizing that required some explanation: “Summer’s pregnant.”

At the startled gasp and then the squeal of excitement, he suddenly realized he should have let Summer break that news. “No way!” Cade was exclaiming. “Is she really? That was fast! You guys just got married! Oh, man, wait til I tell Jamie! When’s it due? Is it a boy or a girl? Do you need a – ”

Luc held the phone away from his ear and stared at it. Cade knew how to squeal? Cade Corey? Damn, he really should have let Summer be the one to receive that first burst of delighted enthusiasm from her cousin. Shit, he just hadn’t realized. The news had hit him with terror. “I need pickles,” he said firmly. “American pickles. With dill.”

“There’s an American store here in Paris,” Cade said. “Can I overnight them or do you want a courrier to bring them down today?”

Sometimes he just loved knowing so many billionaires. “Today,” he said. Made for kind of expensive pickles, but he’d never had a particularly good grasp of money anyway, and ever since he’d married Summer, the excessive amounts floating around all these Coreys had completely lost him. Whatever it cost, he was pretty sure it wouldn’t break anyone’s bank account.

When Summer got her pickles, she devoured them. He nibbled one, puzzled, watching the pleasure on her face, trying to imagine what was going on in her mouth, that the crunchy burst of acid would feel so good to it. Then she threw her arms around him and kissed him to say thank you, and he tasted the vinegar on her lips and almost, for a second, knew.

[End of excerpt.]

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