Monday, November 12, 2012

Wish You Could Have Been There!

On November 10th, Heart of Louisiana held its annual luncheon at the beautiful Juban's restaurant. I'm going to let you in on a little secret...I WISH YOU COULD HAVE BEEN THERE!!!

Here's what you missed. Over 100 avid readers and fans mingling with 30 authors who are also avid readers and fans. Everyone eating, laughing, and winning great prizes. Yep, you read right...winning! And I mean in more ways than one. How could you not with a room full of people just like you, right?

The multi-talented, best selling New York Times (and the list goes on) author, HEATHER GRAHAM, was our speaker. Not only is she talented in the showing, not telling, of ghost stories...she's also that type of person you feel you've known forever. How does she do it, I wonder?

I've posted a few pictures below. But feel free to check out the HeartLa site for lots more

Next year, I'm looking for you!!  Have a wonderful week everyone!

Some of the authors you missed. I'm somewhere in the back!

Me with Heather Graham.

Me with Diana Rowland author of the White Trash Zombie novels and many more!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Candy Trivia...just for you!

I'll bet if you look in your photo album, you'd find lots of pictures of you dressed in your, at the time, favorite Halloween costume. Now...look a little closer. Real close as in close enough to see the candy in your pumpkin. Or maybe it's scattered all over the floor. Those were some of my favorite times.

Here's where you'll have to find a little trivia. In your stash, that I'm sure you didn't share with anyone, right? Okay, back to business. In your stash of goodies, you had the first wrapped candy made in America. Yep, that's right. The first! Can you guess what it is? Here's a hint. It's chewy, chocolatey, and oh sooo good.

One more hint. You probably already grabbed a few from your candy to give out on Halloween night. Remember, it's individually wrapped. Well, I'm sure the picture below gave it away, so I'll let you slide on this one. Have a safe and memorable Halloween everyone! And while you're unwrapping your Tootsie Roll, you're eating a bit of history.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Special Treat!

Have you ever wanted to spend the day with a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author? Does the name Heather Graham sound like a good lunch date? Would you like to be surrounded in a room full of other authors and fans enjoying a wonderful lunch followed by a book signing where you can mingle with all your new friends? Oh come on...of course you do.

I'm personally inviting you to join me and be the envy of all your friends on November 10th in Baton Rouge, Louisiana at the beautiful Juban's Restaurant. For more information, ticket prices, and a list of all scheduled authors, click below. We're all looking forward to meeting you!!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday ALTERED!

It's hard to believe a full year has passed since the release of my debut novel Altered. I'm sure so many of you can relate to something in your life happening, and in your mind, you see it a certain way that fits you perfectly. What we imagine and dream up, most of the time, is not always as good as the real deal. So to all of you who supported me I want to say THANKS. You made reality so much sweeter. Without my family, friends, bloggers, my publisher, editors, fans, librarians, book stores, teachers, and everyone who just stopped by out of curiosity, Altered would still be rattling around somewhere in my mind, waiting to be published. Yep, I like the way things turned out much better!

Happy 1st Birthday!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Happy summer everyone!

Any plans tonight? I'll be the guest author on a blog talk radio show, Journal Jabber sponsored by The Eyes for Editing, at 8pm Central time, 9pm Est. You can call in at 858-365-5540, or log in at

Let's chat. It'll be fun!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


W...What do I want to capture for my story.
R ... Reach a target audience.
I ...  Ignore bad comments.
T ... Treat your story as fiction and don't ignore real life.
E ... Each word matters -- and so do you.

If you're like me, summer is here and some daily routines are pushed aside and forgotten. Writing is one of them. I have to remind myself, as soon as I open my eyes because it's the first thing that pops in my mind, to not give up. That it's okay to take some time off and live in a reality world and not partially consummed in a fictional one. Yes, as a writer, and you know who you are, it's a real challenge to shut some voices off. What helps is knowing that you're not the only one out there that feels the same way. I guess that could apply to just about anything in life, right?

Here's the dilemma. How do you not let negative comments get in the way of you continuing to do what you enjoy doing? I've read reviews and comments from those who are published getting unfair and bad reviews. And you know what's even more frustating, when you read the review yourself, most of them are so far off the mark. It's almost like the person skimmed over the words and never actually read the meaning. I'll admit, I've had a few myself. But I'm lucky I guess. It's only been two, and even those weren't bad. Now watch me post this and ten show up today. Would that be bad karma or what?

I've decided it doesn't matter if you do what others expect you to. Do what makes you happy. Even if it means checking off the dream that came true and pursuing another one.

Have a great and safe summer everyone!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What Will You Read?

Have you ever read a book where some parts stay with you and really make you think? Well, that just happened to me. I recently read a book where the main character was able to get a glimpse of her mother in heaven where she saw her happy and reading a book. READING A BOOK? Yes, I thought that part was so sweet.

Here's my take on this. There are literally more books out there than we could count. Okay, maybe we could count them, but that part, I'd pass to someone else. But if there are books there to be read, I wonder which ones would make it, and which ones would not. For me, I'd like to think my grandmother would be holding mine. She passed years ago, but I felt her presence many days while writing ALTERED. If I could hear her, she'd probably tell me, in her spunky Italian way, "Laura, why did you work so hard. You just about drove your Granny crazy with worry." Then she'd smile and say, "I'm so proud of you. You did it. Now do something else that doesn't have you loosing sleep and not eating." If you know an Italian family, you'd know everything revolves around eating! :)

So here's my question for you. If you were granted a glimpse of a friend or family member who has passed and they were reading a book, what would you pick for them? Tough question, I know, but you can do it.

Happy Reading Everyone! :)

Monday, April 16, 2012


I love it when I read blogs from people so passionate about books, reading, and authors that they spend countless hours supporting their work. It's through this fairly new social explosion that so many of us who write have a chance to get to know, not only the bloggers personally, but followers as well. Gotta love social media, right? Where else can you meet people all over the world and not have to worry about your hair and make-up, or if you're still in your p.j.'s?

Yes, writing today is traveling down a new road with this type of marketing and we have bloggers to thank for letting us tag along for the ride.

When you get a chance, please visit my website and scroll down the first page under "Appearances on the web" and show some love to the bloggers who have been so kind to me. Some even host contest with cool prizes!

So to make an ever growing story short, THANK YOU BLOGGERS, for making life a little sweeter!

Saturday, April 7, 2012


ALTERED is now available on the B&N site for Nook customers. YAY! It's great to be part of the family. Click on the cover for their direct link. Thanks! :)

Friday, March 30, 2012


ALTERED book charm necklace now available. I'm so excited!!  The handcuffs represent the cursed criminals and the heart is for the romance. If interested, click on the image to purchase. Order price is $12.75 each. Be sure to check out all the other beautiful creations at and Southwest Sky Jewelry. I promise it's worth a visit!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Look Beyond What You See

I have to share this story because I think it's an eye opener.

Recently, I had the privilege of meeting a middle school student who reminded me of how any obstacle in our life we can overcome...and do it with style. This young boy is blind and partially deaf, and despite his challenges, stood in front of 100 students to present a bill.

Now, for those of you who do not know, I work with the youth in my area and this is the time of year where they participate in a youth legislator program designed to learn the legislative process. It’s in this process that I see so many mature and shine with pride as they see their hard work pay off. It really is a lot of fun for everyone, including me. Yes, I’m a lucky girl!

Anyway, back to my moment. As all the students and teachers listened to him read from his sheet in Braille, I stood by his side watching from the podium. Again, lucky me!

Here’s where the build-up moment happened. When it came time to vote, he had no idea what was happening. I helped him to the front of the podium, choking back tears the entire time, and I told him every single person was standing for his bill to pass. Not one single person voted against. He had a smile from ear to ear. And as I looked out into the crowd of middle school students, I saw something incredible…compassion and a truly humbling experience. Do I believe that they all voted because of what they saw? No. He did an awesome job, and I do believe they made a decision based on what they did not see.

Some days you don’t know what will come your way, but if you look beyond what you see with your eyes, you'll be amazed how much more is waiting for you. Once again, I'm one lucky girl!!

Have a great week everyone!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Some of you might think I'll start this blog talking about hitting the clubs on the weekend, right? Nope, not that type of clubing. Although those can be the topic of a great blog, I have another type that has proved to be more rewarding...and no headache the next day. Can you guess where I'm going with this?

Tonight, I was invited to dinner with a great group of ladies (The Baton Rouge Book Club) for their monthly meeting. you know what type of club I'm talking about. And let me tell you, it can be just as much fun! They read ALTERED for February, and then we all gathered together for some interesting conversations. Questions flowed just as freely as the good food and wine. For me, it was exciting to learn first hand what drove them to certain scenes and kept them wanting more. Social media is nice, but it doesn't get any better than face to face contact.

This is the second book club meeting I've been invited to share my work, and I have to admit, I'm hooked. To see the look on someone's face when they're talking about their favorite character is priceless. And I thought I was the only one who could be that animated!

So to all of my book CLUBING friends, whether I've met you personally, or you've contacted me online...THANK YOU!  You are the reason I write with a smile.  :)

The Baton Rouge Book Club: back row...Susan Menard, Mary Speranza, Ellen Manint, Kirbye Hollier, Jenny Anding, Tammy Joseph.
front row...Leah Shelton, Gina Zeringue, Laura Burks, Sarah Munn, and Lisa Lloyd

Thursday, February 9, 2012


If musicians’ have D.J.’s…writers have librarians, readers and booksellers. You are the D.J.’s for our work. You make our words come to life and ROCK!  With your enthusiasm and dedication, you set the rhythm and give our novels their beat. Without you, our fictional world sprawled out across the page would be silent.

Think of it this way, when you sit down to read, you’re entering your own private party. In your mind, you are creating the images and scenery, even if it’s written for you, you are still in control. Everyone has their own idea of how that character really looks. Okay, I’ll admit it, I had my own idea of how Edward Cullen looked and…well, let’s just leave it there. Now, if it weren’t for a diehard fan saying, “OMG…you have to read,” I wouldn’t have looked for it in the bookstore. Then if it weren’t for the life size cut-out of Jacob in the library (That made my daughter smile…big time) and their support of the book, lots of people would have missed out.

So where am I going with all of this? It’s simple. The constant chain of D.J.’s, encouraging writers to write, and readers to read…keep our world spinning. To you, I dedicate this blog. YOU ROCK!!!

If you have a special person you’d like to give a Shout Out, leave a comment. It’ll make their day!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


It's 2012 and I hope everyone is settling in with good health and peace. And I don't mean an extra "piece" of pie. I mean peace in your life and peace of mind! You can have the pie later.

Now if you've had too much pie, I guess right now your thinking of the layers of extra "you" you need to have disappear, right? Well, that's where this new blog comes in. No, it's not a secret to a diet, but it does involve "layers." You see, there are so many layers to just about everything we do, it sort of reminded me of writing. For those of you who have written a book, you know exactly what I mean. But for those who have thought about it, but then thought against it, you just might be surprised. Here's the recipe for your 7 layers:

First - Idea. Ah, that inspiration that took over your thoughts leaving you walking around in fiction land.

Second - Determination. That drive to make you write down your thoughts, then transfer them to the computer where you sit for days, hours, weeks, months (some even years) pouring out what you hope someone will want to read and love just as much as you do.

Third - Editing. Wait! I thought all I had to do was write my story and someone else does the editing. Isn't that "their" job? Yeah, right! Dream on. Nope, it doesn't work like that. You must learn the craft of editing, sentence structure, the use of the same word 10,000 times in a manuscript and why you have to drop it to 2,000, proper line spacing, etc... Are you still with me? This takes a lot of time and a warning label. Your stress level will rise.

Fourth - Submissions. This can be done the hard way, or the hard way. Gotcha! There is no real easy way. You have to write a query letter (Your entire manuscript summed up in two paragraphs, but be careful, there are rules involved.) and you have to write a synopsis. Oh yay. You have to sum up your entire manuscirpt in a few pages, AND tell the ending. Yep, that's right. Agents, publishing houses, and editors need to know the ending. I know it sounds like cheating, but you're up against thousands of other submissions. MAKE IT COUNT!!

Fifth - Waiting. No advice here except you will grow older and wiser!!

Sixth - Good News. Here's where every person's layer is different. The most desired email yet has arrived and someone wants your work. It may take a year, two years, longer or never. Let's not discuss the never. That's depressing. At this point you've grown a thicker skin from all those rejections and you're ready for the world to see what you've done. Be patient!!  The world might not see it anytime soon, but when it's done, the people that do read your work will appreciate all your hard work. During this time, you'll edit even more, build your website, start marketing, have bookmarks printed, and forget to eat most days because you're working so hard. Hang in there. It does get better!

Seventh - Marketing. There are no correct answers here. No lucky chances or guesses. Nope. Not even a lucky break. Marketing is as individual as you are. How much time you spend is entirely up to you. One thing I can say is take advantage of the wonderful world or social media. It can be very rewarding. And remember, it's not about how many books you sell, or ranking. It's about being involved with readers, writers, bloggers, etc.. And having fun!

So there you have it. My 7 layers to writing. And  you thought I was going to say 7-layer dip. Okay, go ahead and have the dip. You've worked hard!!!