Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Live from NYC

I'm not terrific about updates while on the road. I get caught up in conversation and forget to take pictures. Luckily other authors are much better about this than I am. Hubby snapped this one of me on my way out the door to the Avon party at the Boathouse. It was an awesome venue.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Happy release day to Jane Graves

Happy release day to my friend and most awesome writer, Jane Graves. For a limited time only on Amazon Kindle her two previous books from Grand Central are on sale for $1.99. If you haven't read Jane before, you'll want to! She is a 7 time--count 'em 7--RITA finalist. That's a very rare accomplishment and there's a reason for it. She tells amazing stories.

Just don't ask her about her writing process. It's the way of the demon. I know because she taught it to me and now I can't go back to the sane way.

A good girl can be bad for one night . . . 
Bernadette Hogan doesn’t make mistakes. Not when it comes to caring for her mother, and not at her job protecting Texas’s most eligible—and infuriating—bachelor. Maybe that’s why she’s overcome with guilt after one tiny indiscretion: a passionate fling with her boss that’s left her confused, intrigued . . . and pregnant. 

but can a bad boy be good for a lifetime?
To self-made millionaire Jeremy Bridges, women are like fine wine: if held for too long, they sour. But one wild night with Bernadette changed all that. She makes him laugh, she makes him think, and soon she’s going to make him a father. For the first time, Jeremy wants to be a one-woman man. So how can he convince the fiercely independent Bernadette he’s ready to change from partying playboy to dependable dad—and become the loving husband she deserves?

I'm out of town at the RWA national conference, but if you post in the comment section here, I'll draw names for a $25.00 Amazon gift card upon my return. If you win, you can go on a Jane Graves buying spree. Even if you don't win, go on a Jane Graves shopping spree. You won't be sorry you did.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Where Were You Hatched?

Some of us were hatched in the country.

Some of us were hatched in a fancy house.

Some of us were hatched on the beach.

Some of us were hatched into money.

Some of us were hatched in the cold.

I was hatched in the sand hills of Abilene, Texas. Land of grassburrs...


snapping turtles...

and sandstorms.

It was rugged terrain, but it taught me that the world is not a soft, fluffy place. A lesson that came in handy when I went into publishing.

What about you? Where were you hatched? What did that environment prepare you for?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

New York, Here I Come

Packing for NYC. Clock is ticking. Here's a mosiac of my mind right now.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Signing Saturday

I just recently discovered The Black Keys. They sing to the rocker girl in me. But it wasn't until I heard "The Lengths" that I fell hard. This song reminds me of The Rolling Stones in their Black and Blue days.

Here's my favorite Rolling Stones song of all time.

Do you have a new find that reminds you of an old sound?

Friday, June 24, 2011

No Diet Friday

The gloves are coming off. I'm taking a stand. Expressing a controversial opinion.

Okay, I flat out admit it. I'm prejudice. I think nothing compares to Tex-Mex cuisine. Yes, I've been to California and had Cal-Mex. Meh. Other than the guacamole, I was underwhelmed. Chili powder, people. That's all I'm saying.

I went to Tennesse once and some folks took me out to a Mexican food restaurant and holy taco, the enchildas tasted like lasagne. Cal-Mex beats the pants off that.

I know Tex-Mex isn't authentic Mexican food. I don't care. Tex-Mex rocks. Just ask any homesick Texan desperate for gooey enchildas drowning in cheesy chili-gravy, refried beans and rice.

And unless you've got some Texas blood flowing through your veins, or you've spent a few years in the Lone Star state, put down the tequila. You can't make a decent margarita.

Here's a link to a Tex-Mex chili gravy recipe that's the real deal.

So for you Tex-Mex fans, enjoy the pics.

Oh, and when you order pecan pralines in Texas, it's pronounced pa-con. Not pee-can. I don't want to eat a pee can. Do you? Sorry to be militant. I just feel strongly about my Tex-Mex.

What about you? What's the best food in your region?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Procrastinating Author Day

This is for all you authors (aspiring and otherwise) who can't seem to put fanny in the chair--or on the treadmill workdesk which is oh, so chic right now--and channel the writing muse. People ask me how I write five books a year. Ssptt, here's the secret.

If you want to catch lightning in your hand, do writing sprints. It will get the words on the page. The first draft will be crap anyway, so get it over with already and get to the good stuff--revisions. On this score I believe in the gospel of Ray Bradbury: "Quantity eventually equals quality."

(Hmm, looks like my subconscious is into hand metaphors this week, but I digress.)

My personal favorite writing sprint method is Dr. Wicked's Write or Die. If you are going to use Write or Die, don't wimp out. Go hardcore with Kamikaze mode where the software eats the words you've written if you don't keep your fingers moving. Believe me, those fingers will fly with that kind of threat hanging over your head.

If you're a princess and too nervous for Dr. Wicked, then at least set a kitchen timer and write as fast as you can in ten or fifteen or twenty minutes without stopping to correct typos or even put in punctuation. The point is to get the words on the page. You can let the internal editor out of her cage to go medieval on it later.

And if the electrified hand scares you, maybe you shouldn't be a writer. If that comment makes you mad, but you are still procrastinating, then here's a quote from Nora Roberts, the queen of just-get-'er-done. "Pull up your big girl panties and write the %^$# book."

Do you do writing sprints? If so, what method do you use? If not, why not?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ever feel like you're in over your head?

I'm writing like the wind (30 pages a day) to make deadline, getting ready for my workshop at RWA National, teaching, mentoring, social networking and making conference plans. I was at Walmart last night at two in the morning shopping for makeup and teeth whitening products and gel bandaids (can't go to conference without them). It was the only time I could squeeze in shopping. I need a clone.

But hey, I really do love my job. I'm so lucky to get to sit around and write about love all day.

What about you? Have you every had so much to do you were just waiting for the rescue boat to come along? (Yes, moms of young children, I'm talking about you). How did you survive? Got any tips?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Giveaway for Garden Club

I'm giving away five copies of The Welcome Home Garden Club today over at

or try this one if you have trouble with that one.

Plus you get to read an excerpt of the upcoming book from Avon--the first in the Jubilee, Texas series due out next year. I have a sneak peak at that cover. It's not the final yet.

Pop over and comment for a chance to win a copy of The Welcome Home Garden Club.

Monday, June 20, 2011


Wasted the whole morning trying to settle an issue with medical billing. We paid the bill in full at the time services were rendered and yet, we get a bill in the mail saying it's past due. Grrr...Don't you hate it when someone else's mistakes become your pain in the behind?

First, you get those robotic voices that put you through menu choices that make your head spin and you get stuck on hold for half-a-million years, but you don't dare hang up because you have to start all over again. Then you get cut off and have to start all over again. Finally, by the time you access a human, you momentarily forgot why you called. (Okay, maybe that's just me, my mind tends to wander to story characters when I'm bored.)

What about you? Any hair-raising stories about corporate mix-ups that cost you time and money?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Whatcha Reading?

I recently discovered that you can get all the old fairy tales for free on Kindle. I've been going nuts rereading the fables that used to delight me as a kid. I just finished The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen. It's nothing like the Disney version.

How about you? What are you reading?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Singing Saturday

On Saturdays we're going to have singing. I promise I won't sing. But I'd like to feature "up and coming" artists (or buried treasures, or even golden oldies). If you have suggestions for Singing Saturday, leave a comment.

I stumbled across this artist, Maggie Walters, while making a playlist for my work in progress. The last book in the Jubilee, Texas series. I love the cowboy lyrics and her voice. I'd never heard of her before and was delighted to discover she's from Austin, Texas.

Friday, June 17, 2011

No Diet Friday

I'm on a diet and I'm doing a very good job of sticking to it. (16 pounds in 6 weeks) We're talking low-carb, low-fat and low-calorie. So I'm eating a lot of cardboard. Being a foodie by nature, this is not easy. Since I can't indulge my taste buds, I'm indulging my eyes. Let's wallow in carbs.

We'll pretend it's breakfast. You can eat anything you want and not gain an ounce. Which of the following meals would you chose.



3) Waffles

4)French Toast

I like Belgium waffles with bacon and maple syrup. I like the crispness of waffles and the fact that those little squares hold lots of syrup. I'm OCD about having a bite of waffle, and then a bite of bacon. If I run out of bacon before I eat all the waffle, I won't eat the rest of the waffle. Normally, I don't even eat bacon, but if there's waffles involved, it's a must.

My husband's fav is French toast with honey. He's a beekeeper's grandson so he always choses honey over syrup.

Which one is your favorite and why? And don't say eggs or oatmeal or high fiber cereal. This is a fantasy breakfast.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Author Michael Lee West introduced me to this game called Me-ography. It's a lot of fun. You list five nouns that describe you based on the things that are historically or geographically significant to who you are.

I'll go first.



Horny Toads



Your turn. What are five nouns in your Me-ography?


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Happy Teacher Moment

I teach writing on the side. Over the past five years I have taught over five thousand students. I can count on one hand the number who have gone on to finish and publish a book. I am pleased today to tell you about one of those students.

When Rita first took my class she was a rank beginner. She knew nothing about writing, but she had the dedication and determination to get in there and learn as much as she could. At the end of the six weeks class, I was stunned by her progress.

But Rita didn't stop there. She kept learning and kept revising the book. She sold to Harlequin Carina Press only three years after she took that first writing class. I know it feels like a long time to Rita, but that is amazing progress. I am so proud of her.

I have Rits'a permission to share her cover and blurb with you. Under Fire comes out in August. Watch for it please and support this budding debut author. Rita also recently got exciting news that Audible picked Under Fire up for an audio book.

Coast Guard helicopter pilot Olivia Carver is on a very personal mission. Her twin brother, an undercover officer, was murdered by a drug cartel and she won't stop until she finds the man responsible for his death.

In the course of her own investigation, Olivia meets informant Rico Cortes. He's mysterious and sexy and despite her reservations, the two share a night of passion. But Rico turns out to be more than a one-night stand. He's a DEA agent, deep undercover in Miami's drug world, and possibly the one man who can help Olivia find the justice she seeks.

When Rico realizes his cover is blown, he isn't sure whether it was someone in the cartel or an inside agent. Olivia is the only one he can trust and together they venture on a dangerous, rogue mission to infiltrate a drug lord's inner circle...with Olivia as bait.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cutting Horse Cowboys

I live in the Cutting Horse Capital of the World. I never thought much about the duallys and horse trailers that make up 80% of the vehicles in my hometown. Nor all the Cattle Dogs and Australian Shepherds raised around here. It's just part of the landscape, but when my editor suggested I write about cowboys, turning to cutting horses was the natural thing. After all, in order to do research, I simply had to walk outside my front door.

But, as I've talked to readers about cutting horse cowboys, I've discovered most people don't know what a cutting horse is. So I'm sharing a YouTube video that shows them in action. Cutting horses are special. Not just any horse can be trained to do this. They have to have a natural instinct for it.

Look for my Jubilee, Texas series about cutting horse cowboys coming from Avon Books in 2012.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Romance versus Love Story

Watched the RWA president Dorien Kelly on the food network last night judging cakes fit for a romance novel cover. One contestant had a tragic love story for her cake. I knew she wasn't going to win the minute she said what her cake's story was all about. If it doesn't have a happy ending, it's not a romance, folks. It might be a love story, but it's not a romance.

Anyway, Dorien rocked it and I was so proud and happy to be part of the Romance Writers of America. They're replaying the show tonight on the Food Network if you get that channel. I'm sure it will eventually turn up on YouTube if you don't.

So one last time:

Love ends badly = not a romance.

Love ends with happiness = romance.

I reiterate the point because students in my beginning romance writing class are as shocked to learn this as the contestant who--although she made a beautiful cake--didn't get the point of the competition.

The contestant who did win not only got the point of the contest, but this person had a theme and stuck to it. Moral of the story, when you're on a TV challenge stick to the rules and have an appropriate theme. And, if you're writing a romance, don't kill off the love interest.

So what is your favorite? Tragic love stories or happily-ever-after romances?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Boas and Tiaras

Yesterday I visited Boas and Tiraras. It was so much fun! Boas and Tiaras is a readers tea put on by the fabulous folks at Fresh Fiction.

Nalini Singh was the guest speaker. She is adorable! Funny, smart, cute. She came all the way from New Zealand. And we got free hard copies of her latest book. Such a treat.

I met readers which is always a delight and the reason for the event. Rachel and Erin and Sara and Carrie and Maria sat at my table and we had a wonderful conversation. It was so relaxed. A great way to spend a hot Texas afternoon.

We wish you all could have been there. But you can be there in spirit. Watch replays of the live podcasts at


Kindle Winners

Yes, winners. We had two people email so close together it was too close to call so we decided to giveaway two Kindles.

The winners are Sherie Lagarde and Thelma Benzhoff. Congrats Sherie and Thelma!

The question was: What do the cowboys in Lori and Katie's books drive?

The answer: (pickup) trucks.

Now, don't be disheartened if you didn't win. Later in the year, I'm giving away a B&N Nook. So visit often for news of the contest.

Also, I'll be giving away books in my VIP lounge this week that I picked up from Boas and Tiaras. Join the VIP lounge via my homepage @ to sign up.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Price of Beauty

On Thursday, I spent eight hours at the hair salon. I kid you not. The length and expense of making myself look like something I'm not is why I only do the girly-girl thing twice a year.

In case you think I hyperbolize (yes, I've been known to exaggerate for effect, but not this time). I entered the salon at 10 a.m. and left at 6 p.m.

See, I was blessed (or cursed depending on how you look at it) with excessively thick hair. I know it's excessive because every hair stylist whose ever laid hand to it has told me so (often in a whiny tone) as they laborious deal with my abundant locks.

I had my hair straightened and colored and shampooed and cut and conditioned and just about everything it's possible to do to hair.

So, what's the occassion? Well, I'm coming out of my writing cave to attend Boas and Tiaras, a reader event in Dallas held by Freshfiction. Guess what? It's being filmed for Freshfiction's blog. So if you want to see my new, flat, coiffed hair check out the event live on 6/11 via podcast at

Kindle Clue #10

Kindle Clue #10 will be found on Katie Lane's website.

Good luck!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Kindle Clue #9

Kindle Clue #9

Charles Eliot said these "are the quietest and most constant of friends..."

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Today's contest...

I'll send you an ebook of Katie Lane's first book Going Cowboy Crazy.

All you have to do is write a caption for this photo and post it in the comment section. I'll draw names from those who enter on Thursday evening.

Backlist winner

Sheree! You win. Go to, pick a book from my backlist, then email at


Kindle Clue #8

For the 8th clue in the Kindle contest please visit Katie's website at

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Today's prize is....

A copy of any book from my backlist. Winner's choice.

Just post a comment here and I'll draw a name tomorrow.

Kindle Clue #7

A common conjunction.

*Remember you get one guess to the answer of the Kindle winning question and if you guess early and wrong, you're out of the running.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Winner of Pie Town ARC

Robin D--you are the winner of the Pie Town ARC. Email me at to claim your prise. Congratulations.

Happy Birthday to Me.

Today is my birthday. I will be working all day. And since I'm on a diet, only virtual cake for me. But it's okay. I'd rather write than do most anything else and I've lost fourteen pounds in four weeks so I'm happy to be virtuous on my BD.

With any luck, there's red velvet underneath that frosting.

Kindle Clue #6

To find day six Kindle Clue visit Katie Lane's website at

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Winner of the B&N gift card

Maureen, you win the gift card. Email me a to claim your prize.

Win an ARC of Pie Town by Lynne Hinton

Would you like an Advanced Reading Copy of Lynne Hinton's Pie Town? If so, just leave a comment and I'll draw a name on Monday. Thanks for playing.

Kindle Clue #5

Today's Kindle clue:

Opposite of out.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


Leanne109, you win the copy of Michael Lee West's GONE WITH A HANDSOMER MAN. To claim your prize, email me a

Win $10.00 gift card to Barnes and Noble

Wanna win a $10.00 gift card to Barnes and Noble? Katie Lane is blogging at B&N today. Go over and say hi. Post a comment and you'll automatically be entered. I'll draw names from those who've posted on Sunday evening.

Happy Reading!

It's Saturday, what are you doing?

It's Saturday. Most people have the day off. Not writers. But even though I'm working, I'm on the beach in Key West as I revise my Blaze Born Ready for the Uniformly Hot series. So even though it's all my mind, I'm enjoying that beach breeze.

How about you? Where are you today? Doing anything fun?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Kindle Clue #4

To find the fourth clue in the Kindle giveaway visit Katie Lane's website at

Winner of the Welcome Home Garden Club

Stormy! You win a copy of The Welcome Home Garden Club. E-mail me at to claim your book.

Keep playing everyone. New giveaways every day until the end of the Kindle Contest.


Win a hardcover copy of Gone with a Handsomer Man

Do you like my new look on blogger? It's all thanks to the totally incredible Michael Lee West. To thank her, I'm giving away a copy of her fabulous new book GONE WITH A HANDSOMER MAN. If you like Janet Evanovich, you'll love Michael Lee's southern-fried, humorous mysteries. I fell in love with her heroine Teeny Templeton the second I met her.

Go check out Michael Lee on the web at

To be entered in the drawing, just make a comment here in the comment section.

Have a happy day!

Kindle Clue #3

Remember that the answer to this one will make up the third word in the question that will win the Kindle.

Clue: A three letter definite article.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Second Clue for Kindle

To get today's clue for the second word of the question, please visit Katie Lane's website at

Win a copy of The Welcome Home Garden Club

I'm giving away a copy of The Welcome Home Garden Club today.

To be entered in the drawing, just post a comment here telling why you like cowboys!