My Books!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sweet Sample Sample

A five star review for The Sentence! Book Reviews by Arlena said, "The Sentence by Elaine Cantrell is one of the most amazing novels that was simply an excellent read. The characters were simply off the chart good." Read the whole review at!/2012/06/sentence.html
So, here's an excerpt from The Sentence.  In this excerpt, my heroine is pondering her attraction to my hero.

Everyone in town probably knew about his

disgraceful behavior. Why, he still wore a nicotine patch on his

arm. His tongue had practically fallen out of his mouth when he

saw the display cases filled with beer, too.

He had easily carried the heavy carpet cleaner, though. She

had sort of liked the way the muscles in his arms and chest bulged

when he picked it up. In fact…in fact, she shouldn’t even think

about him.

The Sentence is available at and most retail outlets.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Sweet Saturday Sample: The Sentence

A five star review for The Sentence! Book Reviews by Arlena said, "The Sentence by Elaine Cantrell is one of the most amazing novels that was simply an excellent read. The characters were simply off the chart good." Read the whole review at!/2012/06/sentence.html

I guess the excerpt today has to be from The Sentence.  In this excerpt my hero and heroine have just finished a Christmas play where he played Joseph and she played Mary.  The Sentence is now available at or at most other retail outlets.

Determined not to give him the satisfaction of flustering her,

Rachel coolly removed her own robe. “You did good tonight,” he

said, his voice warm and happy sounding. “You almost convinced

me you were Mary.”


He stared at her. “Well? Is that all?”

Rachel shrugged. “What did you want me to say?”

“Oh, I don’t know. You might say something like, ‘You did a

good job, too, Clint.’”

Rachel’s eyes burned. Did he really think she’d want to give

compliments to him? She had promised God she’d watch her

mouth, but she didn’t think that meant she had to stroke his ego.

Clint took a step closer to her. Goodness, why hadn’t she

noticed how warm the room was behind that curtain? She didn’t

like being so close to him either, but for some reason she didn’t

move away.

 “Look above your head,” he said.

Rachel looked up and saw a sprig of mistletoe tied to a

ceiling fan with a long piece of red yarn.

“That’s mistletoe, Rachel.”

“So? I imagine the high school kids tied it there so they

could steal kisses.”

When Clint took another step toward her, Rachel’s heart

started to pound. “You’re really pretty, Rachel.”

Rachel felt herself blushing. “I don’t want empty

compliments from you.”

This time when he stepped forward he took her hand. “Oh,

it isn’t an empty compliment. You’re one of the prettiest women

I’ve ever seen.”

Rachel’s heart now took off in a mad gallop. She knew she

should leave the empty auditorium immediately, but her feet

wouldn’t move.

Clint slid his arms around her and muttered. “Don’t argue

with tradition.” So saying, he gently kissed her on the lips.

Rachel gasped and tore out of his arms. “Don’t you ever do a

thing like this again! If you do I’ll tell my father.”

Clint looked as if her outburst had taken him totally by

surprise. “I said you were pretty and kissed you under the

mistletoe. What’s so awful about that? That’s what people do at


Rachel wanted to tell him, but the words tangled in her

throat and prevented her from saying anything.

Clint’s face hardened as the soft light and little smile faded

away. “What’s the matter, Rachel? Are you ashamed to say I’m not

good enough to kiss you? That’s the problem, right?”


He held up his hand to silence her. “You don’t have to say

anything. I get it.”

He spun around and jogged out of the auditorium leaving

Rachel in tears. What was the matter with her? Did she hate him or

did she…like him?

This Tangled Thing Called Love

Welcome to Marie Astor's blog tour. If you came for Fashionista Friday scroll on down, but before you do, check out this post. Marie is on tour to promote her new book This Tangled Thing Called Love. Marie will be giving away three prizes of custom made jewelry to three randomly drawn commenters during the tour (Continental US only).: Prize #1: Coral necklace sterling silver chandelier coral earrings set, Prize #2 Blue opal sterling silver plated necklace and Prize #3 Sterling silver chandelier earrings with green aventurine, rose quartz and amethyst.   Be sure to follow her tour and leave a comment often.  You can find tour stops at
Here's a blur and excerpt from This Tangled Thing Called Love.


Twenty-eight-year-old Claire Chatfield has everything a girl could possibly wish for: looks, a promising career at New York’s top architectural firm, and an engagement ring from one of New York’s most eligible heir-bachelors! Life should be a dream, but when Alec Brunell, a sexy tango dancer, moves into the apartment one floor above from Claire’s, he unwittingly awakens Claire’s old insecurities, making her question her life choices. Will Claire brave her fears and allow herself to take a chance on Alec, or will she continue to play it safe?

In order to secure his place as his father’s successor, thirty-three-year-old David Lawson must settle down with a wife befitting the future head of Lawson Enterprises - and who could fit the prerequisite better than the stunningly beautiful and incredibly bright Claire Chatfield? There is just one glitch – David Lawson is in love with another woman – a Hollywood Legend Claudia Block.

A successful tango instructor, Alec Brunell has never lacked for women’s attention, but he finds himself at a loss when faced with his downstairs neighbor, Claire Chatfield. Upon hearing of his occupation, most women swoon with desire, but Claire runs for the door. Still, her iciness only adds fuel to his fire, as Alec is determined to change Claire’s view of him.

This Tangled Thing Called Love is a love story about finding one’s perfect match - sometimes following one’s heart is as convoluted as learning the steps of tango.


Claire’s purchase was almost wrapped up when the front door swung open, blowing in a fresh burst of May air. Hearing the noise, Claire turned toward the source of distraction and immediately regretted her decision.

“Are you OK?” Lindsay nudged her. “Your face is all flushed.”

“I’m fine,” Claire murmured. “I’m just really hungry that’s all – let’s go grab a bite to eat after this.” Claire ducked her head, hoping to remain unnoticed.


She had only heard his voice a handful of times, and yet, it was enough to unleash a flurry of goose bumps on her skin. “Hi Alec.”Claire widened her lips in a bright smile, attempting to sound nonchalant.

“Hi, I’m Lindsay.” Lindsay stepped in, alternately darting curious glances at Claire and Alec.

“This is Alec, my new neighbor.” Claire swiped away at an unruly strand of hair that fell over her forehead.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Lindsay.” Alec momentarily tore his gaze away from Claire.

“Likewise. So, are you an art fan, Alec?” Lindsay asked, clearly oblivious to Claire’s tense state.

“You could certainly say that, although dance is my first love, as Claire might have told you.”

“No, she did not.”

“Alec is a big tango fan,” Claire cut in, eager to put an end to this unnerving chitchat.

“Actually, I’m a dance teacher – I teach tango and I also compete professionally.” Alec’s dark brown eyes found Claire’s. “I’m afraid Claire and I had started off on the wrong foot when I inadvertently woke her up on a Saturday morning by playing my tango music too loud, but I hope that she has forgiven me.”

Alec kept his eyes on Claire during the entire tirade, and all she could do was blush and mumble a muffled yes.

“Ah, that’s much better.” Alec exhaled, his muscular chest puffing out. “I’ve always had a good rapport with all of my neighbors and I was hoping that my good record would not get marred. So, are you doing some decorating, Claire?”

“I’m buying an anniversary gift for my boyfriend,” Claire snapped, wishing the store clerk would hurry up with the wrapping.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Marie Astor is a die-hard romantic who wholeheartedly believes in true love, which is why she writes in the contemporary romance genre.

Marie is the author of contemporary romance novels This Tangled Thing Called Love, On the Rim of Love, Lucky Charm, and a short story collection, A Chance Encounter and Other Stories.

Currently, Marie is working on her next novel – a first installment in a romantic suspense series that is scheduled for release in mid-summer of 2012.

If you would like to receive updates about Marie’s book releases and events, please visit Marie’s website at: and join her distribution list through the Contact page or visit Marie at her Facebook page: or Goodreads: or Twitter: @marieastor.

Books by Marie Astor:

This Tangled Thing Called Love:

Lucky Charm:

On the Rim of Love:

A Chance Encounter and Other Stories.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

When the mercury rises, I need sandals.  It's supposed to get to 102 degrees today, so let's look at something that'll keep our feet cool. I love this clean, cool, classic looking sandal.  You can buy it at for $75.

My next choice won't surprise those of you who've been following Fashionista Friday because you know that I love sandals with flowers on them.  Get this neutral beauty at For $59.99

Notice the beading on this next sandals.  It's just plain fun.  Get it at for $39.99

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Welcome to Susan Noble's blog tour. Susan has a new release titled Summoned, which is Book 1 of The Elemental Series.  Susan is giving away a $15 gift certificate from Amazon to one lucky commenter, so follow her tour and comment often. You can find her schedule at  Susan, welcome to my blog.

1.Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am a stay-at-home mother of two young children.  I try to fit writing in when I am not child wrangling which of course means I don’t have a lot of free time to write. I began writing Summoned, my first novel, soon after college and only decided to publish it as an e-book last year. When not writing or taking care of the kids or our three cats, I try to find time to read, spend time with my husband (we’ve been married 17 years this month) and watch the San Antonio Spurs basketball team.

2.How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences,  is in your books?

I don’t think I have put very much of myself in my books. Summoned is a fantasy novel and many of the events that happen to Lina on her journey (kidnapped by gypsies, fighting mythical creatures and meeting a dragon) could never happen on Earth. I guess parts of my personality may show up in Lina or some of the other characters, but I didn’t write any of them based on myself or anyone else that I know.  

3.Most people think authors live glamorous lives.  Describe a typical writing day.

I am not sure I have a typical day since I have two children in separate schools and with my oldest taking both a music class and karate. My best days to write are when my daughter is at preschool. This past school year she only went three mornings a week but that will change to five mornings this coming September, which means more writing time for me. I usually began thinking about what scene I need to write while I am driving home from dropping her off. That way I can start working right away when I get home. I usually check email, Facebook and send out a couple of tweets on Twitter to start. Then I try to devote the next few hours to writing. The afternoons are for taking care of the kids and the house. I might squeeze a little more writing in during the evening, or if I really want some uninterrupted time, I get up early. I can get a lot of writing done in the early morning hours when only the cats are clamoring for attention. And they can easily be locked out of the room if they become too annoying. J      

4.When writing a new book, how do you decide on a theme, genre, or topic?

Summoned was my first novel. I chose fantasy because I love dragons and magic and the story I thought about incorporated those elements. Since then I have written the second book (Quietus) and am working on the conclusion of the series (Book 3 is still unnamed). I have an idea of another book when I am finished with Book 3, and it too will be a fantasy but probably will be a stand-alone story rather than a trilogy.  

5.If you could meet two authors, who would you pick and why?

Hmm…both authors that I thought of first are no longer living. The first would be Anne McCaffrey because I really enjoyed her Pern series. She too was a dragon lover and I would love to talk to her about dragons. The second person that came to mind was Mark Twain because I envision him being an interesting character.  
6.I bet you're right about that. Could you share a blurb and excerpt with us?
I'd be glad to.

Lina wants an ordinary life in the Grasslands of Zena. But she isn’t ordinary at all. At the age of four, she discovered she could start fires with a mere thought - an ability believed to have died out long ago. Cautioned by her telepathic cat, Tosh, she keeps this Elemental power a secret in fear of how the outside world would react. There is something else different about Lina - she feels a strange force compelling her to go north.

Before she can decide whether to give into this mysterious urge, she is kidnapped by gypsies and wakes in a foreign land. The desire to travel north is as strong as ever. When a strange raging fire prevents her return home, Lina realizes she must find out once and for all what or who is summoning her.

On her journey, she befriends an odd assortment of allies including the son of a High Council member, a thief, a former guardsman and a large sarcastic black dragon. Together they battle mystical creatures and unnatural forces, although such magic had ceased to exist over 800 years ago.  During each battle, Lina must use her innate Elemental power as she becomes more certain that someone is using magic against her. When she discovers the shocking truth, it will change her life in ways she could never imagine.

The cold surrounded her, chilling her bones. She woke slowly, rubbing the sand from her eyes. Only a thin sliver of light from the narrow window barely illuminated the small room. Lina sat up, her boots scraping across the stone floor. Where was she? She glanced around; her fingers reaching out to brush the damp stonewall. She wrinkled her nose at the musty odor. A scratching sound came from the far corner of the small room. She thought of rats and quickly pulled her feet back onto the narrow cot.

As her eyes grew accustomed to the darkness, she saw the door on the other side of the cell. She pushed the thoughts of rats out of her mind and stood up. The room spun. She grasped the wall. Her body felt weird as if it was not fully hers. She vaguely remembered a man knocking her to the ground and the sweet smell of the cloth over her face. She had a faint memory of being thrown on the back of a horse and being forced to drink something with a strange aftertaste.

She leaned against the wall until the room stopped moving and then hesitantly, Lina shuffled toward the door, her arms outstretched until she felt the cold metal door. She pushed and pulled at the handle but the door did not budge.

 “Tosh?” she called. Her voice echoed in the stone cell. She pounded on the door. “Val? Anyone?” She pounded on the door again but no sounds came from the other side. “Tosh? Tosh where are you?”

There was no answer. She glanced around the tiny room. It was bare save the cot. She edged away from the dark corner where she had heard the scratching. The lone window was too high for her to reach, and even if she could, it was barely a slit. Her only exit was the door. But even as she turned to consider it, she knew that her Elemental powers couldn’t help her. Maybe if the door had been wood, then she could burn her way out, but not metal. She would incinerate herself before the door would begin to melt. The walls were made of thick stone. There was nothing she could do. Wearily, she climbed back onto the cot. Cold and hungry, she curled into a ball. She wondered where her friends were and if they had survived the battle.
Susan, thank you so much for coming. Your book sounds wonderful.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Susan Leigh Noble has always loved dragons and magic so it is no wonder that she became an author of fantasy novels. As a cat lover, she also threw a telepathic cat into the mix for her The Elemental Series. The first two books, Summoned and Quietus, have already been released in e-book format. She is currently working on the third and final chapter of the trilogy.
When she isn’t writing, Susan is an active volunteer in her neighborhood and at her children’s schools. She lives with her husband, two children and three cats in Texas.

She loves to hear from readers:
Check out her Facebook page at
Follow her on Twitter: @SusanLeighNoble

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Beyond the Book: A Movie Star Marries a Senator's Son

Welcome to the last of my spring brides series. My last bride is Elizabeth Lane, heroine of Return Engagement. Elizabeth and her Richard married secretly and had a big wedding six months later. Why did they do that? Ah, that's because of Richard's father who wanted an heiress with a pedigree for his son.

Their wedding was the social event of the season with dignitaries from all over the world in attendance. Eliabeth agonized over her dress but eventually settled for a traditional ball gown trimmed with lace. The dress is from the Spanish firm of Rosa Clara. It's stunning simplicity suited Elizabeth who is known for her sleek style. The dress came with a lace jacket which she did decide to wear.

How do you like her bridesmaid dresses?  I think the neutral color looks well with her dress.  It's by Elie Saab.

And last but not least, she had to have a cake. This is the one she finally decided on.

I'd also like to show you a picture of the groom's cake. It's especially appropriate since Richard and Elizabeth met each other at the beach after a ten year separation.

Here's a short excerpt from her and Richard's first wedding.  Return Engagement is available at

Judge Fairfax was waiting for them when they arrived at
his office. The room allotted to the judge wasn’t very large,
only fourteen by sixteen or so, but the huge desk that dominated
one wall was made of some exotic wood, and the pictures
that hung on the wall showed the judge hobnobbing
with some very important people.

He held out his hand for Richard to shake, but he didn’t
offer to take Elizabeth’s hand. “Richard, how are you? Is your
father doing well?”

Richard flashed a huge smile at the judge. “I couldn’t be
better, and Dad’s fine too. Judge Fairfax, may I introduce my
fiancée, Elizabeth Lane. Elizabeth, this is Judge Harvey Fairfax.
I’ve known him since I was a kid.”

Judge Fairfax quickly gave her the once over. “How do
you do, Miss Lane? Permit a long time fan to say you’re even
more beautiful in person than you are on the screen.”

“Thank you.” Elizabeth’s palms started to sweat. The
judge had said the right things, but she sensed his scorn anyway.
Maybe all the people Richard knew would feel the same
way about her. What a sobering thought!

“Won’t you sit down?”

The judge waited until they took the two nice leather
chairs in front of his desk before voicing any objections. “I
want both of you to know up front that I am adamantly opposed
to this sudden marriage. If you love each other you
should wait and have a nice wedding with all of your friends
and family present.”

“I’m sorry, but that isn’t possible,” Richard impatiently
answered. “We want to get married tonight, but we don’t
plan to announce our marriage at this time. We’re going to
announce our engagement and have a big wedding later.”

The judge’s eyes narrowed. “So, it’s a secret marriage as
well as a sudden marriage. Why? Miss Lane, are you pregnant?”

Richard’s face turned brick red. “Look here—”

“No, I’m not pregnant,” Elizabeth interrupted. “I
wouldn’t sleep with him unless we were married.”

“Very wise of you.” The judge sagely pressed his fingers
together. “Most women would have settled for the one night
stand, but you had the foresight to safeguard your future. I
commend you.”

Richard froze beside her. “That wasn’t very nice.”

His forbidding expression startled Elizabeth who barely
stifled a gasp.

No, readers, this wasn't a very romantic wedding, but their wedding six months later was everything a girl could dream of.

Photo credits:

wedding dress:

bridesmaid dress:


groom's cake:

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: A True Gem

Hello, welcome to Six Sentence Sunday. My excerpt today is from Her Kind of Man. I'm proud to say that Her Kind of Man was designated A True Gem by Guilty Pleasures Reviews. To read the review go to

In this excerpt, my hero has taken my heroine to the fair where she gets involved in a skillet toss.

Is it too late to enter the skillet toss?”

“Nope.” The man smiled at Kara. “You look like a lady who knows a thing or two about skillets. Sign right here, ma’am, and pick your skillet.”

Kara’s mouth dropped open.

Her Kind of Man is available at or at  You can also get it at Amazon and most other retail outlets in ebook or print.

Sweet Saturday Sample

I'm so thrilled! Her Kind of Man just received a True Gem recommendation from Guilty Pleasures Reviews. So, today that's where my excerpt comes from.  In part the review said, ""Her Kind of Man introduced me to another new author, Elaine Cantrell. I have to say I enjoyed the heck out of this story!!" To read the entire review go to  In this excerpt, my hero has just taken my heroine home after their first date.  You can get the book at or at

He reached for her hand. “Did you have enough fun to go with me to Greenville next weekend? I have to take some cows over there.”

Making a date out of delivering cows seemed a little odd, but why not?

“What time and when?” she asked.

“First thing Friday morning if you happen to be off. If not we’ll go Saturday.”

“As it happens, I have Friday off,” Kara said. “Where are you taking the cows?”

“To a sale.”

“Like an auction?”


Kara pursed her lips. “I’ve never been to a cow auction.”

“I like them,” Ross confessed with a laugh.

“Well, I’m willing to find out if I like them. I’ll be glad to go with you.” And for once her response had nothing to do with Brandon.

“Good,” he said. “Let me walk you to the door.”

“You don’t have to do that. It’s late.” Brandon hadn’t always walked her in, so Ross didn’t have to either.

Ross looked almost annoyed. “Now what kind of gentleman would I be if I just dumped you in your driveway and went on my way? “I’ll walk you to the door.”

How gallant! How special Ross made her feel! Kara smiled and waited for him to open her door before she got out of the SUV. Chills ran up and down her arm when his work-roughened hand took hers.

They paused at the door. “I won’t go in, Kara. It’s late, and I have to get up early.”

Kara had never wondered about farmer’s hours before, but she supposed they might be different from her own. “How early?”

“About 4:30.”

Kara’s eyebrows shot up. “In the morning?”

Ross shook with laughter. “Yes, ma’am. What time do you get up?”

“I have to be at work at nine, so I get up around 7:30.”

“It must be nice.” Ross took a step closer to her. “Now, Kara, are you going to give me a goodbye kiss?”

Kara pretended to think about it. “I suppose so.”

A lazy, slow smile crept across Ross’s face as he pulled her firmly against him.

Kara’s heart took off in a mad gallop. Good golly the man felt good! He teased her lips with his, and Kara abandoned herself to his kiss. When he lifted his head she murmured, “Kiss me, Brandon.”

Ross stiffened. He dropped his arms and moved away from her.

“Don’t confuse me with Brandon Miles, Kara.”

That was all he said, but Kara knew she had made him angry. He had a cold expression in his eyes she’d never seen before. For the first time she realized Ross Williams had a backbone of steel.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered. “I know you aren’t Brandon. It just slipped out. Trust me. I do know the difference between you.”

She wasn’t much in the mood to kiss him now, but she did want to undo the damage, so when Ross reached for her, she allowed it. She was glad she did. Ross gave her the most erotic experience of her life. Brandon had never kissed her like this. With this kiss Ross totally possessed her. And she loved it. She gloried in the hard, masculine body pressed against her own, and his lips on hers made her shiver with excitement.

When Ross raised his head, Kara gasped as she sucked air into her heaving lungs. “Oh, don’t stop.”

Ross stopped anyway. He stepped away from her and whispered, “Things are heating up a little too much. I’d better go.”

He didn’t wait for Kara to agree. He planted a quick kiss on her forehead. “I’ll see you on Friday.”

Shame suffused her as she watched him drive away. If Brandon still owned her heart, why had Ross Williams’s kisses made her so weak-kneed and fluttery?

The only thing she knew for sure was that Ross Williams was nothing at all like she’d thought.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fashionista Friday

Today's outfit tackles summer in a stylish, appealing way.  All pieces are by Tory Burch. I especially like the top.  Nautical stripes are layered over a refreshing print making this tank top delightfully different.  Notice the touch of orange at the top. $125.

The shorts are too short for me, but if you like them they're $175.

Get the shoes in a metallic gold tone for $195.

All items are available at

If you'd like to dress this up, you can get a really pretty jacket to go with the top. Put some dress pants with it, and it'll look great.  Same link as the rest.

Rascal, here.  Mama sed I cud rite the post 2 day, but I had 2 baby sit the smal hooman. Mayb nex wek.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dancing Naked in Dixie

Welcome to my blog!  My guest today is Lauren Clark, author of Dancing Naked in Dixie.  Lauren,
could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I grew up in a small town in Upstate New York and now live in the Deep South in a mid-sized city near the ocean. We own a historic home, which is constant need of fixing (the porch, a window, the fence). I have the friendliest neighbors and both the elementary and high schools are only a block away. I'm the mom of two fabulous boys, the wife of a smart, generous man, and the daughter of two wonderful parents. Of course, I didn't think my mother and father were wonderful as a child, when they turned off the television all summer, every summer.

This decision, however, turned into one of life's biggest blessings because that is how I developed my love of books and reading. It was a gift. Though I am not as strict with my own children, television time is limited, and my boys are both huge readers! The younger one loves Mary Pope Osborne's Magic Tree House Series. My older son is a big Rick Riordan and Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games) fan!

2.Learning to love reading really is a blessing!  How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?

My experiences and personality are definitely injected into my novels. Like Julia in Dancing Naked in Dixie, I'm a klutz and a big coffee drinker. Unlike Julia, I am terrified of flying. It's completely irrational--and because I live so far from my parents--travel is a necessity. My iPod comes in handy for relaxation, as does holding my husband's hand in a death-grip. I'm still waiting for a shot to knock me out for the entire flight.

I did draw from many of my experiences as a news reporter and anchor when writing Stay Tuned. TV is such a fun industry and the people you meet out in the field are amazing and fascinating. Because it's a deadline-driven business, the pace is insane. I worked 2 am until 10 am for almost three years. I worked all holidays--Fourth of July, Christmas Eve, New Year's Day. There are no real "days off" because the news is always happening.

3.Most people think authors live glamorous lives.  Describe a typical writing day.

That's a great question! My life is decidedly un-glamorous. (Is that a word?) When I'm working hard to finish a book, I disappear into the basement of the library at a nearby university. I find a study carrel or empty classroom and park myself there for several hours with a cup of coffee (yes, they allow drinks with lids!). It's ideal because it is so quiet and the only place that I can't log onto the Internet because I don't have the school password. I also wear my yoga clothes in case I decide to go to class on the way home. No makeup. Hair in a ponytail. I rush home by 3 pm when school lets out and resume mom-duties (which also are lacking in the glamour-department:  Dinner, Laundry, Cleaning, Paying Bills).

Every day, I also try to spend a few minutes on Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads, and my website. I love connecting with readers and am so fortunate to have a great circle of fellow authors to connect with (Dina Silver, Jen Tucker, Juliette Sobanet, Rebecca Berto, Samantha March, Kimberly Kincaid, Tracie Banister, and Lynnette Spratley). There's also an amazing, supportive group of bloggers out there who've supported Stay Tuned and Dancing Naked in Dixie. I am forever indebted to each and every one of them!

4.When writing a new book, how do you decide on a theme, genre, or topic?

I generally start with a What if question and a location that I'd like to write about. For example, the question for Stay Tuned, set in Macon, Georgia, was "What if two anchors fist-fight on a live television show?" For Dancing Naked in Dixie, my question was "What if a big city travel writer will lose her job unless she goes to the small-town Deep South to cover a story?" I had lived near Eufaula, Alabama and attended the Pilgrimage, so I knew that setting would work perfectly.

My next novel, The Pie Lab, is about an actual restaurant in Greensboro, Alabama. The question I'm working with is "What if a girl is forced to come home to her hometown after burning all of her bridges?" Should be FUN!

5.All of your books sound like fun.  If you could meet two authors, who would you pick and why?

Sophie Kinsella, because she is so funny! I laugh out loud when I read her novels. She's brilliant and smart and has a lovely way of writing endearing characters that stay with a reader. Perhaps I could talk her into adopting me as her sister (I could be Lauren Clark-Kinsella )and we could collaborate on her next book!   LOL

Jodi Picoult, because her books are amazing, well researched, and always pose a significant question or dilemma in which there are no easy solutions. I love books that make a reader think hard about an issue or problem. Though I might not always agree with her characters or endings, she is an excellent author and a writer than I respect very much.

This was so interesting, Lauren.  Readers, let's read an excerpt from Dancing Naked in Dixie.


Travel writer Julia Sullivan lives life in fast-forward. She jet sets to Europe and the Caribbean with barely a moment to blink or sleep. But too many mishaps and missed deadlines have Julia on the verge of being fired.

With a stern warning, and unemployment looming, she's offered one last chance to rescue her career. Julia embarks on an unlikely journey to the ‘Heart of Dixie’—Eufaula, Alabama—home to magnificent mansions, sweet tea, and the annual Pilgrimage.

Julia arrives, soon charmed by the lovely city and her handsome host, but her stay is marred by a shocking discovery. Can Julia's story save her career, Eufaula, and the annual Pilgrimage? 


I’m a travel writer at Getaways magazine. Paid for the glorious task of gathering up fascinating snippets of culture and piecing them into quirky little stories. Jet-setting to the Riviera, exploring the Great Barrier Reef, basking on Bermuda beaches. It’s as glamorous and exhilarating as I imagined.

Okay, it is a tad lonely, from time to time.

And quite exhausting.

Which is precisely why I have to get organized.


I sink into my chair and try to concentrate. What to tackle first? Think, think.  

“Julia Sullivan!”
Third reminder. Uh-oh.

Marietta rolls her eyes and jerks a thumb toward the inevitable. “Guess you better walk the plank,” she teases. “New guy’s waiting. Haven’t met him yet, but I’ve heard he’s the ‘take no prisoners’ sort. Hope you come back alive.”

I grope for something witty and casual to say, but all of a sudden, my head feels light and hollow.

I’ve been dying to find out about the new editor.

Every last gory detail.

Until now.

“I’m still in another time zone,” I offer up to Marietta with a weak smile. My insides toss from side to side as I slide out of my chair.

Marietta tosses me a wry look. “Nice try. Get going already, sport.”

I tilt my head toward the hallway and pretend to pout. When I look back, Marietta’s already disappeared. Smart girl.

“Fine, fine.” I tug a piece of rebellious auburn hair into place, smooth my wool suit, and begin to march toward the inevitable.

Our new editor.

My neck prickles.

I’m not going to worry. Not much anyway.

My pulse thuds.

Not going to worry about change. Or re-organization. Or pink slips.

Focus, Julia.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Lauren Clark writes contemporary novels set in the Deep South; stories sprinkled with sunshine, suspense, and secrets.
A former TV news anchor, Lauren adores flavored coffee, local book stores, and anywhere she can stick her toes in the sand. Her big loves are her family, paying it forward, and true-blue friends. Check out her website at