Category Archives: Uncategorized

Permalink to ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

So the evil Nalini Singh challenged me to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge earlier this morning. Here you go. Now I challenge YOU to do it (yes, you, I’m talking to you), plus Kristen Callihan, Jennifer Lohmann, Jessica Scott. They know why I’m picking on them. :) (Search your conscience, ladies. Search deep.*)

For those of you not aware, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was started to earn money for the ALS Association. (ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, if you’re wondering what I’m talking about.) People have 24 hours to accept the challenge!

Meanwhile, I’m explaining to my daughter, “Well, yes, I know I told you not to accept ridiculous dares, sweetie, but…it’s different for mommies.”


ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Laura Florand from Laura Florand on Vimeo.

Permalink to Giveaway! Jennifer Lohmann’s Winning Ruby Heart (advanced copy)

Giveaway! Jennifer Lohmann’s Winning Ruby Heart (advanced copy)

Winner of this is Kristy M. Congratulations, Kristy! I hope you enjoy it.

Giveaway today! So a couple of weeks ago, when I went to the signing that Jennifer Lohmann, Virginia Kantra, Katharine Ashe, Jessica Scott did, I was really fascinated by what Jennifer had to say about her upcoming book, WINNING RUBY HEART.

It’s coming out Sept 1, and what really intrigued me about this book is that the heroine *has actually done something wrong*. I feel as if, often, heroines get a lot of backlash if they have ever done anything other than bounce around in a ponytail and provide a foil for the hero (a hero who can probably get away, quite literally, with murder and still be considered sexy). The consequence of this, or maybe it’s a cycle, is that you don’t see nearly as many complex heroines as I would like.

So I am absolutely fascinated by the concept of this one. The heroine is a world-class athlete who was brought down in a blood-doping scandal five years before. (And she was genuinely guilty of it.) Now she’s trying to make her comeback, and the hero…he’s the man who made his journalistic career by breaking the story on her blood-doping.

I am really fascinated to read this! I thought some of you might be, too, and in discussing it, so I begged Jennifer to offer an advanced copy. And she agreed!

So if you would be interested in reading it, just comment below. It’s a regular print copy such as you would find in the store, but one of her author’s advanced copies, so if you’re willing to also leave a review for her later, that is not required by any means, but it would be lovely if you did. I love books that take risks and push our concept of what women “are allowed” to be in books (like, you know…we screw up, too, and have to make our lives over). And I would love to see a lot of discussion around this one.

So if you would be interested in reading this, too, just let me know! And a huge thanks to Jennifer for being willing to share a copy.

I’ll put an AMZ link so you can check out more info about the book if you want.

Happy reading! And thank you again to Jennifer.

winning ruby heart

Permalink to The Power of Love, for Read a Romance Month

The Power of Love, for Read a Romance Month

In honor of Read A Romance Month, I’ve written a post about the real life power of love. It kind of means a lot to me, this post, so I hope you will check it out!

And while you’re there, you can see some wonderful thoughts from other authors who are participating in this month. PLUS, awesome giveaways! (Including today, copies of THE CHOCOLATE TOUCH, and THE CHOCOLATE THIEF.)

Seriously, check it out! There’s a lot going on there this month, all in honor of Romance!

Permalink to Recipes with Memories

Recipes with Memories

Do you have recipes that make you think of certain people while you’re making them? Yesterday I made popovers for what may be the first time since I left my parents’ home (not sure why it’s been that long!), with that old-fashioned chicken à la king, and was thinking of my mother. (Hers are better than mine!) And tonight I made my daughter butterscotch pudding after she had her teeth pulled, and was thinking of my friend Sandy, who brought me homemade chocolate pudding after I had molars pulled five or six years ago and started the pudding-when-teeth-are-pulled tradition. Also of my sister-in-law, because once years ago I gave her some square mason jars so she could do a banana pudding presentation we saw in a magazine (I love banana pudding), and ever since she has been playing with all kinds of recipes with those, including butterscotch (maybe with bourbon?) pudding with bananas and I believe a drizzle of chocolate.

I love how the making of food can hold so many things at its heart. What recipes do you have that bring with them good memories of the person who started you making them, or the person with whom or for whom you have loved making them?

Permalink to Giveaway: ARC of Virginia Kantra’s Carolina Blues!

Giveaway: ARC of Virginia Kantra’s Carolina Blues!

Where are my Virginia Kantra fans? I have finished the ARC she gave me of CAROLINA BLUES (Lauren & police chief Jack’s story), and it is AWESOME as always with her books. Also, now I am greedily awaiting the next book in the series based on the glimpses in BLUES, which just goes to show how insatiable I am. A writer’s work is never done. :)

I asked Virginia if I could pass it on to one of you, and she said okay!! I’m so excited to be able to share it with one of you!

Note, I’ve read it, and it got a little doggy-eared from being in my gym bag one day, so just be aware that this is for people who want the story 2 months early and don’t care so much about the condition of the book itself.

The only thing I ask is, these ARCs are really meant to be review copies to generate reviews for new books, which is really important. (Reviews are always important, actually. They affect all kinds of things, including sneaky algorithms on Amazon.) So if you are interested in it, would you please also be willing to (honestly) review it on Amazon/Barnes&Noble/Goodreads/your blog (at least one of those, but more is great if you can)? This is me asking that, not Virginia. I just know personally how important those ARCs are.

If you would be interested, comment below or on my Facebook site. And I’ll random draw someone tomorrow morning.

And here’s an Amazon link if you want to see more about the book.


carolina blues kantra

Permalink to Friday Book Club: Ilona Andrews, Julie James, and some lovely books that await

Friday Book Club: Ilona Andrews, Julie James, and some lovely books that await

Friday Book Club! I have been having a great reading week. MAGIC BREAKS (Ilona Andrews) came out, and it was fantastic! Read it straight through. And just before that I was reading Julie James SOMETHING ABOUT YOU–wonderful witty dialogue, and I love the strength and career-mindedness of her heroines and how well her heroes deal with that strength. Also…a point two. Was dying laughing. You’ll have to read it, I can’t explain or it would spoil it!

Also, at the signing I attended Wednesday (photo on Facebook), I picked up Katharine Ashe‘s I ADORED A LORD, Jennifer Lohmann‘s WEEKENDS IN CAROLINA, and Jessica Scott‘s BACK TO YOU (a marriage in trouble story! you know how I like those, if they’re well done and authentic). AND a VERY SPECIAL arc from Virginia Kantra, which she has authorized me to pass on to one of you when I am done with it. CAROLINA BLUES! It is already awesome, I started it last night.

I can’t even decide which of the other books I want to start next. All of them, really, but I suppose I’ll have to choose. It’s a nice spot to be in–several great books waiting.

What about you? What are you reading? Anything you recommend? Anything you’re looking forward to?

Permalink to

I’m at RWA in San Antonio now! Giving a talk this morning to librarians and then signing tonight at the Literacy Autographing, Marriott Rivercenter San Antonio 5:30-7:30pm. (This event is free & open to the public. ALL money goes to literacy initiatives. Publishers & authors donate their books entirely.)

Meanwhile, I wrote a pretty heartfelt post for Chachic’s Book Nook on why I write about France and things like chocolate, where I’m coming from and what I hope for these books. And shared some photos from the research! See the jasmine covered fountain? A huge thank you again for this beautiful and truly touching week of blogging events she has created.

Permalink to The Chocolate Awards?

The Chocolate Awards?

As part of the Amour et Florand week that Chachic of Chachic’s Book Nook has organized with other wonderful bloggers, Holly of Book Harbinger is naming her “Chocolat Awards” for these books! Favorite female protagonist, favorite male, favorite couple, funniest scene, steamiest scene…you can check out the categories and nominate your own favorites here.

Pakwanstripes is contributing to the week with a perfectly lovely post on the Five Senses in these books. I do believe very strongly that we should try to live with all our senses, and if these books could help…then I am really glad.  Check out the scenes she chooses to evoke each sense here.

And Kim, The Cover Girl of From Cover to Cover is relaunching her blog (yay!!) with her own post for the Amour et Florand week. Five things she loves about the book, AND media trainer, I will just point out that 3 of them are Paris, love (well, hot guys, but that’s close enough to love, right? :), and chocolate. So…universal messages anyone? Of course, Kim does also include burping phones, which just goes to show that one person’s universal may be someone else’s unique. :)

Once again, a HUGE and extremely touched THANK YOU to all these wonderful, kind, and generous bloggers for their time and their generosity towards these books. It means so much.




Permalink to Amour et Florand: A Week with Chachic

Amour et Florand: A Week with Chachic

Chachic’s Book Nook is hosting a week-long “Amour et Florand” blogging event. (This is NOT a book tour, this is a really special event that she has created on her own initiative around the Chocolate–and Roses–books, asking other bloggers to contribute posts during the week.) It’s a wonderful honor, and I am very flattered and also grateful that she would do such a special thing.

Today she is asking people to share how they discovered the Chocolate books, and/or my books in general. Also, ahem, she is sharing one of our old wedding photos!

You can let her know what first got you reading these books here.

Thank you so much, Chachic and all the participating bloggers, for this wonderful honor!

Permalink to La Parisienne

La Parisienne

Ha, ha, have been going through some photos from the past few years for a blog event next week (selecting some chocolate and rose research photos). What do you think of this little Parisienne I ran into while I was hunting? (Hint: She’s mine. Several years ago now.)

One of those little parental moments yesterday: I arrived to pick her up from her science camp to find the instructor finishing up a story about the Mona Lisa. (“Which I’ve never seen, but I hear it’s like this…”) My daughter just sat there gazing at him. A couple of times you could tell she *thought* about saying something but she never did. Afterward, I said, “Honey, why didn’t you tell him what it was really like? He did ask if any of you had ever seen it.” “Mom, he’s the teacher. He didn’t really want to know what other people knew, he just wanted to talk about what he knew.” SO NOT TRUE. As a teacher myself, I can swear to that. I LOVE having students who know more than I do. Sigh. And that girl has had some really good teachers so far in school, too. I guess it’s a caution to all of us teachers about the way we can come across to kids.)

A HUGE THANK YOU for all the support about the delay in ONCE UPON A ROSE. I really, really appreciate it, so much.

paris in the spring

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