Better Than Chocolate Rafflecopter Giveaway

Who wants to win some prizes?

From midnight on August 26th through 11:59 on September 9th (Eastern Standard Time), you can enter for a chance to win some prizes in celebration of the release of BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE.

Three friends. A broken engagement. A surprise elopement. A big secret. A lot of chocolate.

What can you win?

  • One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card
  • 5 winners will receive a copy of the Better Than Chocolate e-book

All winners will be notified no later 8pm Eastern Standard Time on Friday, September 11th.

How can you win?

There are several ways to enter. You can:

  • Visiting me on Facebook
  • Following me on Twitter
  • Sharing a tweet about Better Than Chocolate (this option can be done once a day)
  • Leaving a comment on this post, telling your favorite sweet treat
  • Signing up for the newsletter

That’s it! So head over to Rafflecopter to access the giveaway.

And of course, don’t forget to snag your copy of Better Than Chocolate today!

Deal Breakers (Virtual Book Tour)

SBB_TourBanner_DealBreakers copy

DEAL BREAKERS

by Laura Lee

How were they supposed to know that one night would change everything?

Devyn has life all mapped out. She just needs to accomplish one more thing before graduating college and becoming a full-fledged adult—lose her virginity. And who better to assist her than her best friend, Riley?

Riley is the self-proclaimed king of fling. His college years have been filled with meaningless hookups until the one night that ruined him for all other women. The one night he spends with his best friend, Devyn. Right before he screws it all up.

Balls to the wall, baby!

Now five years later, Riley is determined to atone for his mistakes and prove that he can be the man that Devyn deserves. Little does he know that Devyn’s been keeping a secret from him all these years. A big secret. Now he has to figure out how to win back the only girl he’s ever loved while navigating the pitfalls of her unexpected revelation.

Deal Breakers is filled with lots of laughs, a sexy romance, and an overflowing swear jar.

MediaKit_BookCover_DealBreaker

An excerpt from Deal Breakers

“What should we toast to?”

I think about it for a second. “To new friends?”

With an unbelievably sexy grin he asks, “What if I want to explore being more than friends?”

I roll my eyes. “Do you ever give up?”

I find myself staring at his dimples as he replies, “Not when I see something I want.”

About Laura LeeMediaKit_AuthorPhoto_DealBreakers

Laura Lee is the author of the bestselling Karli Lane series as well as the upcoming Dealing With

Love series. She is a proud member of the Romance Writers of America focusing on paranormal, urban fantasy, and contemporary romance.

Laura’s passion has always been storytelling. She spent most of her life with her nose in a book thinking of alternate endings or continuations to the story. She won her first writing contest at the ripe old age of nine, earning a trip to the state capital to showcase her manuscript. Thankfully for her, those early works will never see the light of day again!

Laura lives in the Pacific Northwest with her wonderful husband, two beautiful children, and three of the most poorly behaved cats in existence. She likes her fruit smoothies filled with rum, her cupboards stocked with Cadbury’s chocolate, and her music turned up loud. When she’s not writing or watching HGTV, she’s reading anything she can get her hands on. She’s a sucker for spicy romances, especially those involving vampires or cowboys!

For more information, please visit her website at: www.lauraleebooks.com

Website: www.lauraleebooks.com

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Laura-Lee/e/B007L0AI54/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LANFICTION.LauraLee?ref=bookmarks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lauraleebooks

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5723230.Laura_Lee

Blog: http://lanfictionlauralee.blogspot.com/

Instagram: https://instagram.com/lauraleebooks/

Email: lauraleebooks@gmail.com

Laura Lee  will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $15 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Historical Context – Guest Post from Author Kenneth Hart

Kenneth Hart is the author of the Ron Tuck series. The first book in the series, Reinforcements, will be re-released on September 18th. Today he will be sharing his thoughts on researching and writing in an historical context.

When I write in an historical context, I always try to be accurate with detail. It helps to create a picture for the reader and even though you may not use many of the researched details in your stories, I think that it also helps to put you, the writer, into the proper frame of mind.

If you were alive during the time that you are writing about, you may use memory to help you, but I have found that is not the most reliable source of information. As the cliché says, your memory plays tricks on you. Sometimes they are delightful tricks, but if you are writing about the election of John Kennedy and have a Beatles song playing in the background, you’ve blown it.

I have found the internet an incredibly valuable source for research. I recall writing a story that was based on my father’s life. It was called The Good Life. My dad was involved in the juke box business. He spent a lot of time in luncheonettes and candy stores. When I wrote about him, I looked at the dates of the releases of various songs that were popular and matched them to the years about which I was writing. I think that listening to some of those songs really helped me with the mood of that story.

More recently, I wrote a story called Dates and Cigarettes. It was set in the early part of the 20th century. For it, I researched fashion and automobiles. I looked at pictures of what Newark, New Jersey looked like at the time. It was very illuminating to learn that there were many dirt roads in the city back then. I never used a dirt road in the story but the image in my mind was a valuable one. It gave things a certain context.

For example, I learned that cars did not have heaters for the longest time. And so, it was natural for the back seats to have blankets. That was something that I did use.

For big historical events, like the assassination of John Kennedy, I found a website that showed almost all of the original footage that CBS aired in the three long days that followed that tragedy. My character is injured and unable to walk and so he cannot help but spend all of his time in front of the TV. Having that original footage provided me with images to which he would respond. I did a similar thing later in that book with the Watergate Tapes. Having the original footage was incredibly valuable and provided a verisimilitude for the feelings that my characters expressed about what they were thinking at the time.

More difficult and yet even more rewarding is researching the ways that people spoke in different eras. In some ways there seemed to be a lack of intimacy in the language of certain time periods. An example would be that people would say that they were feeling “blue” to describe what we call depression. Or they would say that they had “the blues” the way that we might say that we were feeling “down.” I guess that David Bowe also used it in his song Space Oddity when he sang, “Planet Earth is blue and there’s nothing I can do.”

I had never really liked the expression of saying one had the blues until I connected it to the musical genre. I’m not sure that connection is accurate but it allowed my mind to appreciate the use of the phrase.

Another aspect of creating historical context that I love to use is sports, particularly baseball, football and boxing. It is hard to remember the power that boxing used to have on the American people until you realize how many boxing gyms existed in a city like Newark.

One of my characters is a fighter named Walter Pierce. In one scene, I have him meet with Jack Dempsey and Dempsey tells him, “When you are fighting every couple of weeks, like what you have to, you need to toughen up your skin.” Walter asks how he does that. Dempsey responds, “I soak my hands and face in brine, every day.” Dorothy saw a fierce look in his dark eyes. It was a look of savage cruelty. It was dark and yet frighteningly casual. That kind of detail, I think, creates interest in the character and helps to create the portrait of the era. It rounds things out with the small, very human, details.

In my mind James Michener was the very best at it. It saddens me that he is not more widely read today. In his day, it was necessary to spend countless hours in libraries, or later on, have his staff do that.

There is something overwhelming and yet magical about doing library research. I used to go with my mom, who was searching for her father using microfiche of old newspapers. We scrolled through countless articles in the newspaper and I learned the strange ways that people wrote back in the 1930’s. I got a chance to document some of that in a story called Misguided Directions.

James Joyce wrote that “history is a nightmare from which I am trying to awaken.” And yet contradictory to that, we have the proverb that those who do not learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them. In my mind, I attributed that quote to George Orwell and yet perhaps it was really George Santayana. Memory does play tricks and the truth of history is, I think, somewhere between those two points of view.

The Ron Tuck Series
Reinforcements (Book 1)Reinforcements11-219x300

A coming of age novel spiced with the rock of the late 60′s and early 70′s, Reinforcments is a story of friendship, education, protest, a country divided over the Vietnam War, sexual exploration, mind expansion, cultural mores, and the foundation upon which those conflicts occurred.

Available on ebook and paperback

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Invite to Re-release party for Reinforcements

Visit Kenneth Hart online

Website: http://www.kennethedwardhart.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kennethedwardhart
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ken_edhart

A First Birthday Wish List

Babycakes celebrated her first birthday on Friday, and it’s both joyful and bittersweet to think of how quickly she’s growing. There have been so many changes in her small life in the past several months. The hubs and I are constantly wondering if we’re making the best choices for her health and happiness. We seem to be doing a good job – even the sleep thing is starting to straighten out.

Many days I make wishes that, for better or worse, have more to do with my peace of mind and the saving of my sanity than her overall well-being (though I hope my obsessive-compulsive tendencies toward her sleeping and eating patterns are making an impact).

My daily wishes are along the lines of, “I wish the baby would sleep through the night.” Or, “I wish the baby would drink more milk from a cup.” Or, “I wish changing a diaper didn’t become an exercise in acrobatics combined with a MMA match with an octopus.” Or, “I wish it didn’t seem like the baby is actively resisting the weaning process.”

Birthdays often come with wish lists of a particular sort, usually full of toys and books and other nifty things that we think may entertain our babies or make our lives easier. But I have a different sort of wish list for Babycakes as she enters her second year of life and will soon become more and more aware of the wider world around her.

20150706_180906

I wish we still lived in a world where I could send her outside to play without fear that something terrible will happen to her.

I wish it were possible to guarantee that schools would never become a place of violence and tragedy.

I wish churches could remain places of worship, peace, fellowship, and sanctuary.

I wish flags would not be associated with attitudes and actions of hate.

I wish she will be valued for her intelligence, kindness, and character rather than just her looks or the clothes she wears.

I wish issues and decisions related to her healthcare would remain between her and her doctors, and that she will always have access to and be able to advocate for the medical care she needs.

I wish she need not worry about being ridiculed or ostracized for having and practicing her faith.

I wish she will always appreciate and celebrate the differences she finds in her peers, rather than learn to judge those peers negatively because of those differences.

I wish the images she sees on the nightly news will contain far more instances of kindness and caring than instances of destruction, death, and violence.

I wish the curiosity and pure joy in her eyes will never be dimmed by harsh realities, unfair disappointments, or the insensitive cruelties of others.

I wish her dreams will be nurtured by all who are meant to teach and help her along, and that those dreams will not be stifled or ignored just because she is female.

I wish she will learn that, though it’s often harder to do, acts of kindness and love will ultimately be more fulfilling to her as a person and add more to the world than acts of selfishness and blind ambition.

I wish there will still be flowers to pick, trees to climb, and clean water to wade in, and that she will be able to share the wonders of nature with her children.

20150711_153105

I wish she will always know how much she is loved.

Whet Your Appetite for Some Chocolate

Only four and a half weeks remain until BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE is released! Hard to believe, isn’t it?

If you haven’t already, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter, and keep your eyes peeled for info on the release day Facebook party and a Rafflecopter giveaway, coming at the end of August.

In the meantime, can I whet your appetite?

Chapter 1: The Phone Call

Three canvas shopping bags weigh me down as I stumble through my apartment door, sighing when the blast of air conditioning hits me. I navigate the seven paces to my galley kitchen, then drop my groceries on the counter and rifle through the bags until I find my Snickers bar. Luckily, it hasn’t melted in the late June heat. Tearing open the wrapper, I take a huge bite.

Heaven . . . after a long day on my feet rolling pastries and filling cream puffs.

I love my job, which normally takes my mind off my lack of a history-related career and my latest string of bad first dates. But then again, nothing is better than chocolate.

My cell rings, and I struggle to chew the mouthful of gooey goodness well enough to swallow, while I extract my phone from the bottom of my purse. A picture of my bleach-blond best friend, Sadie Miller, flashes on the screen. I force down my half-chewed chocolate and lift the phone to my ear.woman-791874_1280

“Sadie-lady!”

I haven’t talked to Sadie in a few weeks, other than text messages and posting on Facebook, and it’s been even longer since we last saw each other. I went up to Atlanta in April to visit her and her fiancé, Ryan Wutkowski, but they haven’t been to Savannah since I moved into this postage-stamp-sized apartment. Sadie hates how old-fashioned things feel down here, especially when summer ramps up.

A squeal sounds on the other end of the line. “Oh, my God, Carmella, I’m so excited! I’m getting married in a month!”

“I know.” I grin and loosen the candy wrapper, then freeze. “Wait . . . What?”

“I’m getting married in St. Croix at the end of July. And you’re gonna be my maid of honor.”

Hungry for more? Preview all of Chapter 1 HERE!

BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE Now Available for Pre-Order!

Several people have been asking when BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE will be available for pre-order.

The answer is:

NOW!

*cheers & claps*

You can now pre-order your own copy of the Kindle edition from Amazon and have it delivered automatically once it’s released on September 2nd.

amazon-button

Don’t have a Kindle? Not to worry! Just download the free Kindle App to any device and start reading September 2nd!

Remember to sign up for the newsletter, the first of which will be going toward the end of August with info on my release day Facebook party, as well as a Rafflecopter giveaway (more on that next week)! Check out the social media links on the sidebar to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest.

If you’re on Amazon, you can also follow my official author page.

I think that’s it for now. Spread the word!

The Official Release Date (and a couple other things)

Three friends. A broken engagement. A surprise elopement. A big secret. A lot of chocolate.

Three friends. A broken engagement. A surprise elopement. A big secret. A lot of chocolate.

Many people have been asking me (with baited breath in my imagination) when BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE will be released.

The official release date is September 2nd!

*happy dance*

Presale info will be coming soon, along with links for where to buy your own copy of the e-book.

I’ll also have some info coming soon on the official release day Facebook Party, as well as a Rafflecopter giveaway contest in which you can enter for a chance to win a $15 Amazon Gift Card or a copy of BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE.

If you haven’t already, sign up for my newsletter to get announcements and other news sent directly to your email. Look for the first newsletter to go out at the end of August with all kinds of info about the release of BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE, the Rafflecopter giveaway contest, purchase info, and probably a few other fun things as well. (I promise not to flood your email.)

In the meantime, if you’d like to stay up to date with blog posts, announcements, and other stuff, there are several spots where you can follow me on social media.

I’m getting excited. Aren’t you getting excited?