Thursday, January 31, 2013

Always a Work In Progress

Good morning, readers!

Lately, I've felt very drawn to my dance roots. I don't know why. But I have been searching and studying dance images, thought about taking classes again, etc.

For those of you who don't know, I was a dancer and choreographer in high school and college (I even studied dance education and taugh briefly). I love dance. It is one of my favorite art forms.

I have decided that since I have been so drawn back that I need to visit with an old friend.

Remember Liz from Loving Her?

For years, I have been promising you all prequels to the short stories that compile Loving Her. I have dabbled here and there on all of the stories. How long this visit with Liz will last, I don't know. But I know that I love her. I love the familiarity of her, I love who and what she is. Writing her story is comfortable.

I am still working on my paranormal piece as well. As a writer, I focus on quality and not quantity. That is why these pieces have taken as long as they have. I don't want something that just came off an assembly line. And I would hope that as readers, you would not want that either. I don't care how long Liz's story, my paranormal story - any of them, really - take. If they can be a piece that I am proud of and that you want to read, then I have done my job.

So yes, I have a few works in progress right now. I, myself, as a human being and as a writer, am a work in progress too. That's the beauty in writing and in life.


Happy reading!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Lynda Bailey

Good morning, readers! Today, I am VERY happy and excited to welcome guest and fellow author, Lynda Bailey! :)

Here's a little background on Lynda: "I’ve always loved stories, especially romances. For me the only thing better than reading a romance is writing one. That and drinking red wine while eating dark chocolate. My manuscripts have been finalists in major writing contests, including the 2010 RWA Golden Heart®.

I live in Reno with my husband of thirty years and our two pampered pooches.

Linda wrote Battle Born Love which I read & reviewed last week. Again, I definitely recommend you get your hands on it! ;)

So, without further ado, here is Ms. Bailey!

Thanks so much, Lauren, for letting me hang out today!

So, we’re talking about dialogue. In my humble opinion, dialogue is an intricate part of storytelling—of getting the reader into the story— because it’s an extension of the characters’ personalities. Dialogue isn’t something the reader should ever have to think about. It should just…be. It should be an even flow, a give and take of conversation. If the dialogue reads stilted or forced, the reader is probably not going to hang very long with the book.

The first rule to writing believable dialogue is to make sure it jives with whatever time period you’re using in the story. If you’re writing a Regency story or a Civil War saga featuring slaves, you better be on your game with regard to those vernaculars. I got dinged in a review of my historical western romance because the reader felt I used 2012 terminology for a story set in the 1880s. Ouch! The last thing you want as an author is to have your reader yanked from the story.

Maybe that’s why I choose to write contemporary romance. No need to worry about the proper Scottish dialect for me. :) But even with contemporaries, you have to be careful. I personally love to use words like “gonna,”“hafta” and “kinda” in dialogue—Spell/Grammar Check be damned. This is how people talk in real life so it’s how my characters are gonna talk. Think about Morgan Freeman in Driving Miss Daisy. Did he say, “I am trying to take you to the grocery story.”? Uh, no. He said, “I’m tryin’ ta take ya to da store.” Huge difference.

The other thing to keep in mind when writing dialogue is, if your character can say something in five words, have them say it in four. Short, snappy lines makes the reading go faster because more pages are getting turned. It also puts more *white space* on the page. And readers loooooove white space.

As a reader, one of my pet peeves is when the author uses a bunch of he said/she said or he asked/she asked in dialogue. Rather than having Sally say blah, blah, blah, have Sally do something. If she’s upset, have her stomp a foot or glare at the hero. If she’s being coy, have her swish side to side. Shy, maybe she should twist her fingers together. Remember that pesky, yet brilliant advice: show, don’t tell. Don’t tell me who’s talking, but show me by having some action during the dialogue. It helps to solidify the characterizations and makes for a (hopefully) more enjoyable read.

Okay, so I’ve voiced my opinion about dialogue. Do you agree with me or am I barking up the metaphorical tree? Shout out your thoughts and opinions.

Thanks again to Lauren for hosting me today!

Please visit me at Or drop me an email

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Battle Born Love

Good morning, readers! :)

Today, I want to tell you about a book I just read called, Battle Born Love, by author Lynda Bailey.

Be sure to check out her page at

And also be sure to check in NEXT WEEK, when Ms. Bailey stops by with a guest blog for us all! :)

A hopeless romantic, yet not one to necessarily paruse the romance section right away, I wasn't sure what this book would be like.

Let me tell you that even though I had no expectations, I was STILL pleasantly surprised with it. This book gave me the raw reality of addiction; an honest look at a strong, hard-working, independent woman; a great love story peppered with some steamy scenes and a good, strong plot.

I loved the characters and their depth. There is emotion, these are not two-dimensional paper cut-outs. I loved how the families were functioning dysfunctionals. I could easily see these dynamics and communication patterns in real life. And then you can see how those family histories affect the two main characters, Rory and Kane, and how they interact with each other (everyone's family, familial communication styles, etc. affect how we interact with each other).

This was a fun read, a quick read and a good read.

If you're looking for a new good romance author to read, I would definitely recommend Lynda Bailey! :)

appy reading, y'all! ;)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

P & E Poll

Good Thursday morning, y'all. Today's blog post is short and sweet. :)

Please vote for my newest short story, Amnesie, in the P & E poll under short story romance. Your votes are MORE than appreciated! :)

Thanks and happy reading! :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Well, here we are folks, on the cusp of yet another new year. Where has the time gone? For me, this year went in the blink of an eye.

Part of that is my overwhelming day job and my fantastic ability to over-commit myself to things. I have also spent a decent amount of time this year working on some medical issues.

Though I got married this year and have had some wonderful events and blessings, I am hoping to make 2013 even better! I made a promise to myself and decided it would be my new year’s resolution. My resolution is to get better. To get better physically, mentally, emotionally – in every facet of my life and in everything that I do. To “get better” as a writer, as a wife…you name it.

I don’t know what the future holds; I know it will have its fair share of ups and downs. Hopefully I will be prepared, strong and smart in all the decisions I make.

My goal is simply to be a better me every day of 2013. I do that already, but it is still my new year’s resolution. I pray every morning, asking to be and do the best that I can in everything I say, do, am. I pray to be the best wife that I can be – to be the wife that she needs me to be. I pray to do the best that I can in my day job, not to be compared with others, but to give my all throughout the day. I pray that I don’t hurt others, but rather help. To truly be the best Lauren that I can be.

So, I will continue my daily prayers. And I am going to focus on being much more cognizant of my every word & action. To make smarter decisions in what I say or how I say things. To do only that which will help my wife/family and the people around me. To continue to grow and improve.

The dark side of this is to look at myself realistically. I will need to admit fault and change some old habits. Will it be worth it? I know it will! I will be happier and healthier, as will the people around me. So, I shall focus on the positive as I walk down this path of true self-improvement.

I wish each and every one of you the absolute best in this coming year. I pray that you are blessed beyond belief, that you are genuinely happy. I also pray that we can continue to see movement towards true equality.

Here’s to 2013 being OUR year!

Happy new year! Much love and many blessings from our home to yours!