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

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

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 Friday Book Club! + Giveaway: Jessica Scott’s Back to You

Friday Book Club! + Giveaway: Jessica Scott’s Back to You

Friday Book Club, plus Giveaway! What have you been reading? Anything you recommend? Anything you’re looking forward to for the weekend?

Right now, I’m reading Purkiss’s ENGLISH CIVIL WAR, a weighty tome (literally–heavy on the wrists), but one that I’m really enjoying. It looks at the English Civil War in a very personal way, through the way individuals reacted to it/were affected by it. Quite fascinating, if you enjoy history.

Also, this past week, I was reading Jessica Scott’s BACK TO YOU. This is a beautifully written book about a marriage in trouble that really takes a very authentic, solid, real look at the effects of deployment on a marriage and a man, as that man tries to get his wife back. Jessica is an Army officer herself, and has served in Iraq, and she brings, then, this very real and insightful but also tender perspective to this couple.

And I have a signed copy of it! (This is one of the books I picked up at the signing last week, but because of the aforementioned weighty tome I ended up downloading it also so I could give my wrists a break and read on my mini iPad. Also, love that mini iPad for reading at night without turning on a light.)

So if you are interested, just mention it in the comments below. And, of course, the main purpose of the FRIDAY BOOK CLUB is for me to get good book recs. (See my selfishness? Ha! :) ) And also, just for us all to be able to spread the word about good books. So let us know if you’ve been reading anything good! Or what you’re looking forward to reading this weekend!

backtoyou

An AMZ link if you want to see more about this book.


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 Thirsty Thursday?

Thirsty Thursday?

Some blogs do a weekly feature called “Thirsty Thursday” and Pakwanstripes chose this scene from SUN-KISSED for hers. (Link to her post in the comments.) What’s one of your favorite kiss scenes? (Doesn’t have to be in my books, btw! Whatever book.)

SunKiss_125x200

SUN-KISSED:

“Mack.” Anne sighed, turning. “Look. Tomorrow, I’m going to do you a favor and pretend none of this ever happened.”

“Oh, good,” he said, with a sudden angry, fierce delight, as he dropped her shoe and crowded her right back against her door. “Well, I can do one hell of a lot of things right now, then, if this is all just a fantasy.”

And he kissed her.

Just flat out kissed her. No careful approach, no slow dip in to make sure she was okay with it, no testing the waters. He just took her mouth and took it over, like she was a damn company and he was pissed off.

Like he was just going to seize all her assets and restructure her.

She felt that way. Seized. Restructured.

His mouth molded hers, dipping straight into hers, his arms tightening on either side of her body until she was locked between his forearms on the door. They pressed against her sides, and then they were curving around her back. And then they were hauling her up into him, as he kept on kissing.

Kissed her until she couldn’t think or breathe, until she couldn’t get her hands to either pound on him for freedom or grip him to capture this invader and punish him for his invasion.

He kissed her until she was kissing him back, until when he finally raised his head, she had no strength left. What the hell was she supposed to do without her strength? She always needed it.

Mack was breathing hard, his face all angles and danger in the lights and shadows of the porch. “Anything else you want to pretend never happened tomorrow?” he asked, with that hushed, wicked anger.

She stared up at him, trying to breathe, trying to wet her lips.

“Because I’ve got a few more ideas.”

 

***

I am trying to regroup from RWA and get organized to post a big thank you to so many people who participated in the Amour et Florand week while I was away, with links to their different posts.  It was really incredible and I’m deeply touched by it. Thank you so much to so many!


Permalink to Love Your Library: Author-Library Collaboration (RWA 2014)

Love Your Library: Author-Library Collaboration (RWA 2014)

Friend, amazing librarian, and fellow writer Jennifer Lohmann did a talk with me at this past RWA (RWA 2014, San Antonio) on Librarians’ Day about best practices for author-library collaboration (including speaking engagements, how to get your book into libraries, etc.). We wanted to make a space here as well as on Jennifer’s site to share the slides from the talk, per the request of those attending, and leave it open to comments for those who have more thoughts to contribute, particularly on what effective collaboration looks like (what you, as a librarian or an author, may have learned about what works well when doing author events at libraries, etc.). These talk slides have been updated to include slides that feature some of the ideas that came out of the discussions during our talks, from all of you. And again, comments are open below to add more.

Thanks so much to all the librarians and authors who participated in our talk and shared their wonderful ideas!

Love Your Library_Laura Florand and Jennifer Lohmann


Permalink to Friday Book Club

Friday Book Club

Friday Book Club! (A little late in the evening, I know. RWA consumes all time.) What are you reading? I actually picked up Elaine’s recommendation of It Ain’t Over…Till It’s Over to read on the plane trip here, and at about 3/4 way through am finding it utterly fascinating and also inspiring. From an author’s point of view, it’s just fascinating to see all the careers these women choose (who knew some of these things could be a career?) and how they go about it, but also it’s just quite motivating and meaningful to see the ways these women take their lives into their hands and re-invent themselves. (One woman became a film actress at the age of 65 for example. Another an aerial dancer at the age of 42. Also plenty of stories of opening a business, etc.)

I’m also, of course, getting intrigued by some of the books I hear about here, particularly Carolyn Crane’s Into the Shadows. (When I ran into Carolyn at the conference, the first thing I said was, “I have been hearing TONS about this latest book, from all kinds of people.” And then she ended up going out to dinner with some of us, at which she showed herself to be a very smart and interesting woman, to boot. So now I’m doubly intrigued.)

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


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.

http://chachic.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/amour-et-florand-guest-post-from-laura-florand/

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