Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Next Big Thing Blog Hop

Hey, y’all, welcome to my back fence where today I’m participating in the NEXT BIG THING blog tour. I was tagged (invited) to participate by one of my favorite authors, Deborah Grace Staley, who writes the Angel Ridge series for Bell Bridge Books. She blogged last week about her NEXT BIG THING – her novel in progress. Sandra Brannan, tagged her. The writing team of Sparkle Abbey tagged Sandra. Sort of like a chain letter.

Since there are a lot of blog tours going on these days, it hasn’t been easy to find a blogger who has time to fit another blog in a busy schedule. I’m thrilled that Ami Weaver, Harlequin romance and Special Edition author has accepted my tag. You won’t want to miss her blog Writerly Girl one week from today, February 6, to find out all about her NEXT BIG THING and see who she tags. While you’re there I hope you’ll check out Deborah, Sandra and Sparkle Abbey and read their blogs, also. Don’t you think it’s exciting to find out what new projects are heading our way?

I wasn’t sure just what to list as my NEXT BIG THING here, since I’m working on another contemporary romance plus finishing up the first book in my cozy mystery series written by my other personality, Lora Lee. (Did you know I’m a Gemini?) I consider myself fortunate to have two next big things underway. Not sure why I thought I could make that work when I’ve never been good at multi-tasking, but I’m giving it a shot anyway. (Did you know I’m also stubborn?)

Anyway, here are the ten questions I was given to answer for the NEXT BIG THING blog.

1. What is the working title of your book(s)?

Working title of the Contemporary Romance is Cowboys, Castles and Cradles.

Working title of Book #1 in the Joyful Noise Mystery series is Bringing in the Thieves.

2. Where did the ideas come from for the books?

As a native Texan born and raised in the Hill Country, I’ve always been fascinated by cowboys and their unique way of life and wanted to write a romance set in that part of the Lone Star State.

The idea for the mystery came from my love of Southern traditions (and food) and what I learned growing up as a preacher’s kid reading Nancy Drew mysteries.

3. What genre do your book(s) come under?

Contemporary Romance and Cozy (or traditional) Mystery

4. What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Hmmm, never considered this before. I see my characters in my mind’s eye, but they don’t actually resemble actors or actresses. More like a blend of my favorites. Hopefully, readers will choose their own cast when they read the books.

In the romance, Whit is a hard-edged businessman born to wealth and prestige but disillusioned by the greed and false friendships so prevalent in his present life. Searching for a simpler, more honest way of life, he discards his suits and ties for the laid-back comfort of jeans and boots, much to the dismay of his high-society family and peers. Gracie’s life started out hard and stayed that way. She is pixie-sized, spitfire-strong and considers her tangle of dark red curls a curse. Wearing anything fashionable while she’s working around the ranch is out of the question for the 8-month pregnant surrogate mom. Life in Texas is NOT her dream-it’s a nightmare.

In the Southern mystery series, quirky Frankie Lou is a divorced mom approaching thirty. She shops for her wardrobe at the Twice Loved consignment shop and wears her straight, black hair pulled back in a ponytail. There is no hero in her immediate future, but who knows? Right now, the grown-up preacher’s kid is focused on redeeming herself in her home town, not becoming a fashionista.

5. What is a one sentence synopsis of your book(s)?

You’re kidding, right? Okay, for the romance – A single surrogate mom and a wannabe cowboy find their lives unexpectedly intertwined by the early arrival of her twins.

For the mystery – Discovering the body of her long-time rival in the baptistery of the Faith Community Church makes Frankie Lou look guilty and she must prove her innocence while continuing to prepare her Joyful Noise singers for their knock-the-socks-off-the-community music competition.

6. Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

My previous romances are published by Tell-Tale Publishing Group, a small press. My current one for them is not out yet. The mystery series will be published by Bell Bridge Books.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript(s)?

The romance took way too long because it was written in my spare time over a period of a couple of years. It’s in revision at this time. The mystery is in the process of being completed now.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I won’t presume to make any comparison, but if you like a good love story with a down-home Texas flavor, I think you’ll enjoy Cowboys, Castles and Cradles.

Murder and mayhem in the Bible Belt, spiced with Southern humor and a bit of irreverence – that’s what gives Bringing in the Thieves its unique concept.

9. Who or what inspired you to write these books?

I’m a true romantic, so writing romances about cowboys and my home state of Texas came naturally.

The mystery series came about one day when I was doing some freestyle writing and wound up with a humorous Southern heroine but not much plot. My critique buddies suggested I turn it into a cozy mystery and the rest is history, as they say.

10.What else about your book(s) might pique the reader’s interest?

Just like my other two contemporary romances, Cowboys, Castles and Cradles takes place in the Texas Hill Country. In this book, though, I wanted something a little different, so I made the hero a wealthy Texas businessman who ditches the position as heir to his father’s somewhat shady company in favor of taking a shot at ranching, something he knows little about. The heroine is a single surrogate mom who unexpectedly needs a crash course in Mommyhood 101 when Fate makes her the legal guardian over the unborn babies. A rain storm and the imminent birth of twins put the heroine in the path of the unsuspecting hero and...well, you can see where this is going, right?

Frankie Lou McMasters, a repentant P.K. (preacher’s kid) returns to her home town after a ten-year absence to put the shine back on her badly-tarnished reputation, only to find herself the main person of interest in the murder of Poppy Rose deHaven Fremont, her nemesis from her youth. Add a motley bunch of potential high school dropouts to her Joyful Noise musical group, a seventy-something Betty White doppelganger for a nosy neighbor and life in the little Bible Belt community gets ‘all shook up’ by Frankie Lou’s return. Bringing in the Thieves is a current work-in-progress set in the fictional town of Love, Georgia.

I hope this fun blog has piqued your interest. Don’t forget to check out all the other links I’ve mentioned to discover some truly great authors and their works. Y’all come back again, y’hear?

Tag, Ami! You’re IT!

Loralee

Visit my Blogs and Joyful Noise Mysteries to follow the progress of my NEXT BIG THING(s).



19 comments:

  1. Nice post, Loralee. I participated in the Next Best Thing Blog tour in December. Oh this crszy modern world!

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  2. Both books sound wonderful, and I love the title for the mystery! Look forward to their releases. You're on a roll, Loralee.

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    1. Thanks, Lucy. Both projects are keeping me busy.

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  3. Thanks, Sue. I agree about the crazy modern world. I have trouble keeping up.

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  4. Absolutely love it, Loralee. A surrogate mom and a cowboy! Is it available now, and when will Bringing in the Thieves be out. I was born in the Lone Star State. I think it's full of good people. Enjoyed reading your Next Big Thing hop!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the blog and project ideas,Donnell. I didn't know you were Texan, too. I grew up in the Hill Country, but Texas has so many wonderful places in it. I get homesick on a regular basis! The surrogate mom book isn't available yet and I still must turn in the mystery.

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  5. Love the blog, Loralee. I'm Texas born too. The books sound great. Love the titles. Can't wait!

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    1. Thanks so much, Eve. Glad to meet a fellow Texan here. I've got the Return to Caddo Lake tilogy waiting on my Kindle. I need more time in my day for reading.

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    2. Trilogy! Trilogy! sorry about the typo.

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  6. You truly are on a roll, Loralee! Loved the post and loved even more the teasers on your upcoming books. All the best to you and may you have fabulous success as your writing career explodes! (Like fireworks! Not bombs!)

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    1. Margo, thanks for stopping by the back fence. You know the gate is always open for you. I think I'm too old to set off any fireworks, but I'd be happy for a few sparklers. See you at Retreat, I hope.

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  7. Murder and mayhem in the Bible belt spiced with Southern humor? Love it! Best of luck with both, Loralee!

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  8. Thanks so much for stopping by the back fence, Sparkle. Glad the mystery premise caught your eye. I love it, too!

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  9. Both stories sound great. I love both genres. I'm loving that you can write in 2 genres at once. Great post.

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    1. Lindi, thanks for the kind words. Writing in two genres really pushes me to stay organized. I'm fortunate to have a great support group who keep me in line with tough love.

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  10. The modern world can be overwhelming. When I'm not writing, I am teaching, mostly high school students,and I rely on their technological savvy to get me through. Cowboys are equally mystifying to this New Yorker, so I am intrigued by your newest novel... good luck, Loralee!

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    1. Phyllis, small towns, ranches, cowboys and horses are some of my favorite topics. I love giving my characters unusual conflicts to tackle, then waiting for them to surprise me with how they resolve their issues. My cozy mystery WIP is proving to be much the same minus the romance. Thanks so much for stopping by the back fence.

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  11. Amazing how you are so prolific! Enjoyed the post, and the view on your blog is breath-taking!

    Hope Clark
    www.chopeclark.com

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    1. Not really prolific, Hope. In fact, pretty darn slow. But I eventually get it all done. Reino and I are glad y'all stopped by the back fence.

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