Friday, October 29, 2010

Descent into Darkness review

Hello, my historical romance novel Descent into Darkness got its first review. :)
Snapdragon at Long and Short of It Reviews gave it a four out of five.

Here's a snippet from the review:
At the start, it is easy to believe her love will cause her descent into darkness…that this is all a carefully woven romance, but it is more. There is more waiting for young Clarissa; from a dangerous journey to a kidnapping, and before her is a darkness we could not have predicted. What seems a subtle romance actually involves a tangled tale of mystery and intrigues around the war. Shared sorrows unite some – but loyalties and family have a huge role to play here. The unpredictable nature of this story combines with the well-maintained tone and believable characters to keep the interest building throughout.

For the full review, go here...

It's available as an ebook here...
and soon the print version will be out.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hello, happy Tuesday

Hello, just wishing everyone a nice Tuesday and the rest of the week. :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A warm welcome to Dr. Tiffany Brown

Dr. Tiffany Brown is a new Atlanta author. She gives her secrets for success with her book entitled “The Reflections of Light for Daily Living: A Book of Affirmations for the Ambitious” released October 23, 2010. There will be a drawing for a prize for those who comment on this post.

1) If people could take away one thing from your book, what would you want it to be?

Never give up on your goals in life but allow God to revise or tweak them into being aligned with his Will. Every failure is not a nightmare and every opportunity is not a blessing. Some failures can be blessings; some opportunities can be nightmares.

Allow God completely into your heart and watch your life begin to expand in the most amazing ways. I trust God in completely different ways than before because I now have a testimony that I never had before. There is nothing like a spectacular fall to truly give you a new relationship with God.

2) I love how you have included your life stories onto the pages, and you are so relatable; what has been one of your biggest challenges in life and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge was bouncing back from my failed mayoral bid that was a disappointment on a professional and emotional level. It was completely humiliating because I was marginalized and misunderstood throughout the campaign. I felt like people didn’t get me; they just stereotyped me.
There were many people that I had supported in the past that didn’t return the favor and that added to the humiliation. I was very disappointed in people that I had respected and loved in every facet of my life. It definitely changed the way I see the world.

I was able to overcome it all through forgiveness. God forgives us for all our transgressions, and I was forced to do the same. All the inspirational stories I wrote are from the perspective of a reader; I wrote what I needed to hear at those desperate, heart wrenching times in my life. I wrote to encourage myself and now decided to share it with others.

3) What have you learned about yourself throughout the process of writing your book?

I learned not to take things so personally. Most decisions are based on individual personal ambition. Ambition is never right or wrong; it is the inner drive to have something more in your life. But sometimes your ambition can clash with others. You must not take it personally.

I also learned that having just me is enough because of God’s love. I now feel comfortable in my own skin; imperfections and all. I may not be perfect, but I am attempting to be a best that I can. And that is enough as long as I try to stay aligned with God.

That's quite inspirational, Dr. Brown. Thanks for sharing this, and good luck with your book!

Find Dr. Tiffany Brown on Twitter
Find her book here
The E-Book will be offered for the low price for $9.95.
For more information on Tiffany, please go to her website

Please leave a comment here for a chance to win an autographed copy of the book or smart phone app.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

CSN stores review

Hello, when CSN stores contacted me about doing another review, I was quite happy because I've done one for them before and had a great experience working with them. This time, I had $65 to work with. I was able to get two useful things! I was not paid to do this review and offer my honest opinion on the matter. The products were sent to me for free for the purpose of reviewing.

For starters, I chose Goodhope Bags Travelwell Big Bear Backpack in Grey. One reason I picked this product is because I just have an old, worn-out, lumpy bag that I carry my stuff in. (I don't use a purse and stick my wallet and other items in that bag-stacks of library books because I'm a writer and am constantly researching.)

I take the bus and was looking for something comfortable that held items in separate sections for my trek home each evening from my day job.

First the stats:
*It's made of sturdy canvas.
*It's natural and biodegradable.
*The dimensions are: 15"H x 11"W x 6"D (Which can hold a big stack of library books in the main compartment!) It's lined and has a drawstring closure and a flap over the top with a buckle.
*There are twin zip pockets (great place to put my house keys-no more digging blindly into the bottom of my bag), dual side pockets, one for a water bottle, or in my case, a coffee cup, and the other for a phone. Yeah, I can now easily find my stuff!
*The padded straps are adjustable, and in Colorado's constantly changing weather, that's a good thing. We have to layer our clothing in this beautiful state, so this backpack will fit over a tee shirt or a coat.

My impressions: I like the neutral color and the size, not too big, and not too small for someone like me who goes nowhere without her research books. Also, it looks pretty cool, a.k.a. attractive, with a symmetrical design.

I put it on, hoping to find it comfortable because I don't want it digging into my shoulders or anything. Discomfort would be a major reason not to use it. I was relieved to find that it sat over my shoulders okay, and with the adjustable straps, I can have a nice, snug fit.

It seems pretty durable, and I'll put that to the test, dragging it around for months and months, stuffed full, as I walk in all kinds of weather and set it next to me on the city bus. My guess is that it will last.

It's lightweight, which is good, because I intend to load it up and don't need unnecessary heaviness inherent in the design.

I would recommend this product.

Now, on to the next thing I was able to get:
I wanted to try the Lamo Ladies 9" Fleece Boots in Chestnut because I live in Colorado, and even though we have 300 days a year of sunshine here, it can get pretty cold in the winter.

Here are the stats for this product:
*It's a mid-length boot, 9" tall, coming to the middle of the calf. (This is handy here. Our snow melts so fast here, but I'll find myself walking to the bus stop in small piles of it. At this height, the boots will keep my feet dry and won't slip inside at the ankle, giving me wet socks.)
*The upper part is soft suede. (I'll need to treat them with some weather-proofing spray to protect it from moisture, but they'll definitely keep my feet warm.)
*It has a lightly padded collar and raised stitching seams, not exactly making them fashion boots, but adding some interest just the same.
*The cushioned insole works for me.
*I enjoy the fluffy sheepskin lining. Walking around in them is quite comfortable. (Comfort is important to me with all that walking I do, and these are wide enough to give my feet breathing space and allow for thick, winter socks. I went to beauty school when I was in my twenties and know what uncomfortable footwear does to the feet-no thank you!)
*The boots come in several colors. I chose the chestnut because I don't have chestnut. It's a neutral color and won't look funny with my coat.

The boots come in whole sizes. I'm an 8 1/2, so I went up instead of down. The wiggle room will allow for the thick socks I wear in the winter. I expected them to be a little loose, having ordered size 9 instead of size 8, and when I tried them on, they were just what I expected. They'd be too loose without thick socks though.

They are wide, which works for me personally. They might be too wide if you have narrow feet.

These things seem durable and should last a while. The cushioning is great and appreciated from someone who values comfort (and remembers her days doing pedicures in a salon.)

They're flexible in the ankle area and not exactly stylish, but they're practical and will do what they're meant to do.

I'd recommend these boots for cold weather that isn't too wet, unless you treat them first with weatherproofing spray. The nice suede might stain otherwise, but the thickness is sure to keep feet toasty warm while comforting them in the springy inner lining.

They're not meant to complement an attractive outfit and are rather plain, but that's not their point. I can put my work shoes in that great backpack I reviewed and change out of these boots into my other shoes. It's so convenient.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Please welcome author Joanna Aislinn

Joanna Aislinn is an avid reader whose writing roots stretch back to her early teenage days. Life got in the way until ten years ago, when the story playing out in her head insisted she put it down on virtual paper. She's been writing and honing her craft ever since. No Matter Why (The Wild Rose Press), Joanna's debut novel, hit the virtual shelves on January 15, 2010. At present, she’s busy revising its sequel, learning all she can about promo, building her web presence and finding time to work a day job and manage a home along with everything else!

Blurb for No Matter Why:
Trust and stability became empty words the day motherless, sixteen-year-old Carrie Norwell came home to find her brothers murdered. Within moments, her father arrived and his heart gave out at the scene. Five years later, is it any wonder the walls with which she's barricaded her heart are virtually impenetrable to anyone looking to get close and offer what she wants more than anything? The security only a loving family can give? Or someone with whom to build her own?

Billy Jay Eldridge wants to offer exactly that to the right girl. Operating on a heart and spirit rivaled only by his looks, he’s two years out of college and where he thought he wanted to be, managing a store at the assistant level and on his way up PharmSmart’s chain of command. He never counted on not synching with the corporate/retail atmosphere—enough to toy daily with the idea of a major career move that promises to make nobler use of his God-given talents. Neither did he think he’d blur the fine line between supervisor and peer to the young ladies in his charge—that is, until shy, quiet Carrie joins his crew. Intrigued and charmed by the girl’s haunted eyes and withdrawn ways he sets out to know her better, clueless that his life’s calling will be the biggest setback to getting her to accept from him what she wants and needs most.

Carrie couldn’t drive home fast enough. She shifted into park and was barely through the door when the phone rang. She quickly spread her saturated coat across the hooks and ran for the nearest handset. “Hello?”

“You’re out of breath. I should have waited another five minutes.”

“Who…?” Carrie recognized Billy Jay’s voice. The guy was resourceful. “Why are you calling me?”

“Just wanted to say hi. Talk a little. You know, get to know each other.”

“Didn’t you say I had time to think?”

“Thirty minutes wasn’t enough?” He gave her no time to answer. “Don’t shake your head like that. It might fall off.”

She stopped short. Billy Jay had already shown up at work. Why wouldn’t he stop by her home?

He kept talking. “Could you imagine all that wavy hair and those big green eyes of yours sticking out of the ground without the rest of you attached?”

She found her bearings. “You’re crazy.”

“Only about you, Angel-girl.”

The sweet words warmed Carrie. “Will you not call me that, please?” She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. “Better yet, don’t call me.”

“Obviously, I’m past that point.”

Obviously, Carrie was getting nowhere. She remembered Jessica’s comment about Monica. “Since you insist on talking, explain how you excuse this behavior to your girlfriend.” Carrie’s hands shook, but she kept her voice steady.

“What girlfriend?”

Behind gritted teeth Carrie stifled a not so nice response. Had Billy Jay been there in person, she might have mustered just enough nerve to reach up, grab his oversized shoulders and give him a good hard shake. “Would Monica approve of you following
another girl around and calling her at home?”

“Monica?” Billy Jay’s surprise sounded genuine. “What makes you think I’d even look at someone other than the girl I’m dating?”

Carrie struck a nerve. His persistence had already dug through her last one. “What else am I supposed to think? You were with her at the diner.”

A short silence prefaced Billy Jay’s whistle. “Amazing. Jess kept something to herself.”

His unexpected change in attitude threw Carrie off guard. “What are you talking about?”

“I broke things off with Monica the next day. I’m free to pursue any girl I choose.”

Carrie chewed her inner lip. “Lucky you. Choose somebody else.”


Sounds wonderful, Joanna, and I wish you well with it! Thanks for being my guest here.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Follow my blog Friday

Hello, happy Friday!

Join the fun while making new blogger friends with Follow my Book Blog Friday.

Review for The 12th Kiss

Hello, my novel set in 1820 London, The 12th Kiss, was reviewed at the blog, 
Here is a tiny little snippet from the review done by Marcie:
"This book is full of mystery, romance and action. Laura Hogg takes us on an exciting adventure that I think you will enjoy."
It's available at Wings ePress.
The story behind it's publication still gives me goose bumps to think about. I think a bit of the supernatural was involved. Here's a snippet from my author's interview on the Wings ePress site:

"I said a prayer and thought of the Archangel Raphael. Very shortly afterwards, the words to this novel flew out of my fingertips. It came to me in an inspired rush. Then I put the novel up on a critique board for nearly a year to tighten it up. I submitted it. After only one rejection, the novel was accepted with Wings...the [first] publisher that turned it down said they liked it but, months after the rejection, they went out of business." 

This was the first book contract I ever signed.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

CSN Stores review time

Hello, I've done a giveaway and a review for this company in the past, and they're great to work with! CSN has over 200 stores with products ranging from a nice ottoman coffee table
to shoes, art, cookware, and lots of different things.
Soon, I'll be doing a review on one of their fun products. The choice will be difficult though...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Unique, An Authors By Authors Promotional Anthology

Hello, here is an interesting opportunity for authors, a call for submissions, presented by author Kiki Howell:

This anthology is a unique promotional opportunity being offered by the Authors By Authors Blog  

For the author, not only will you get all the advertising/promo that will go along with this anthology and a chance to introduce your work to new readers, but the giveaways and lottery will gather many opportunities for reviews.  No royalties will be made from this anthology, it is for promotional purposes only.  All money made minus costs will go into the final lottery for the readers to win.  Please read through the timetable below to see how this unique project falls together and to see all the chances for promo the authors whose stories are chosen will have. My goal is to pick a wide range of genres to be represented from paranormal, horror, chick lit, romance, suspense and all the mixes you can create!  I do want to limit the contest to those over the age of 18. 

Time Table For Unique:

Submissions Accepted - until November 1st, 2010
  **To Submit - Send the following in One Attached as RTF or Doc – using the naming convention of “Unique_Title_Author Name” to with  the Subject Line of “Unique Submission”:
1.    Author Name
2.   Author Email
3.   Author Website (opt.)
4.   Story Title
5.   Story Genre(s)
6.    Story Blurb
7.    Story (Never before published because I think that would defeat the unique theme I have going on here! LOL)

Word Count: Generally 1K – 5K, but flexible within reason
Theme: Unique – However you want to interpret that! That includes a unique storyline.
8.   Individual Story Giveaway – More info below
9.    Lottery Donation (opt.) – More info below

Final Decisions  of Stories to be Included – No later than November 10th, 2010
 ** I have gathered help in reading through submissions and deciding which are chosen to fill the spaces available.
**Contracts will go out to the authors of the stories selected just giving me rights to use the story once in the ebook and possibly print.  Not getting complicated here, this is a promo opportunity.

Edits/Beginning Promo – November & December, 2010
  **General Promo Information will be emailed to authors to give them a place to start.

Book Release – January 1st, 2011
  **Will be released on Amazon & Smashwords, as well as hopefully a few others I am looking into.  Suggestions welcome.  Ebook will be available at an inexpensive price - thinking like $0.99  Again, all the money made after costs are covered will go into the final Lottery.   If  I decide to go with Print, the price will be $1 over cost to print through CreateSpace.  I have considered the idea of doing print after with authors best reviews from the contest in it, and make it available at cost if authors wanted to use it later as a giveaway themselves. Open to thoughts and ideas.

Sales/Giveaways/Promo – January and February 2011
  **Through these months the following things will happen:

1. First few days of sales each story will be featured on the blog (short blurb/tagline, genres, author name, author links, other works). Giveaway for that individual story will be announced.  Depending on amount of stories accepted, I may end up grouping these to get them all out in the first days.

2. Readers will purchase the book, read it and submit one line minimum reviews of a single story to be entered into any story giveaways plus the final lottery.  The more reviews entered for individual stories – the more entries into the final jackpot giveaway. These reviews will be posted on the blog daily.  Info about the reviewer can be anything from anonymous, a name, an author name with website link, a blog owner with blog link, a publisher with pub link, etc.  So, lots of chances to win, plus a little free advertising for those who want it – more enticement to enter.

3. Authors By Authors as well as the authors in the Anthology will continue to promote the book.  I (as Authors By Authors) plan on purchasing a banner and buying some cover ads as well as getting a book tour going on other blogs to advertise the anthology and giveaways.  I will encourage authors to do all the promo they wish/can on blogs, yahoo groups, Facebook pages, etc. as well trying to get reviews/entries for their story.

4. Story Giveaways and Final Lottery Winners Announced and Contacted – February 28th, 2011
  **Number of winners for Lottery will be determined by amount of entries. Prizes will be a $25 gift cards, plus division of any donations of items (books, booksmarks, etc) by authors, or anyone else involved in making of the book. 
      NOTE: How many gift cards to be won in the lottery will be determined by total sales minus costs to produce book -- costs will be editing provided by Gateway Editorial Services (, cover costs, banner and ads, etc. The donations I get from authors for the lottery will be divided up as evenly as I can between the prizes.

If this goes well, response wise, I will be planning on doing additional anthologies.

Any questions please send to
Permission to forward or repost granted!


Saturday, October 2, 2010

A warm welcome to author Rae Summers

Welcome Rae!
Dear Lara,

Thanks so much for hosting me here today.

Let’s Misbehave is my first historical novella. I had so much fun writing this story, and I hope my readers have fun reading it.

The story came to me as I was driving home from work one day, listening to the foot-tapping tune of the same name on the De-Lovely soundtrack (the Cole Porter bio pic), and the characters sprang into my head fully-formed. In one mad week this story poured out of my hands and onto the page, practically writing itself.

Cole Porter wrote the song ‘Let’s Misbehave’ in 1927, for his new musical ‘Paris’. The song was dropped from the show at the last minute for being too risqué, but it would have been well known by 1928, when my story is set.

I adore the 1920s. It was a time of adventure, when people let go of the restrictions of the past, experimented and had fun. It was the time of youth, with society dominated by young writers like Scott Fitzgerald, and by young Hollywood icons or by celebrities like the dashing Charles Lindbergh. At lavish parties, jazz was in the air, and party-goers danced the Charleston and drank exotic cocktails or bubbling champagne.

Best of all for me, was that the 20s were really the time when women came into their own. They bobbed their hair, wore short skirts, drove cars and drank alcohol. Women poets and writers, sportswomen and actresses, made names for themselves, and everywhere women were getting the vote, getting jobs and gaining their freedom. We modern women owe a great deal to those pioneers of the 20s. At the very least we can thank them for originating compact mirrors and metal lipstick containers.


Gabrielle is the quintessential Flapper, a wild child who turns her back on home and a resentful and unloving mother to become a nightclub singer. She wants nothing more from life than freedom and pleasure.

Sebastian is a dutiful son, following in his father’s footsteps and on the verge of marrying a suitable bride. But as the Twenties roar to their conclusion, he finds himself torn between duty and the urge to indulge his adventurous streak.

From the moment Gabrielle and Sebastian meet, the tension between them simmers. When he rescues her from a boorish suitor, Gabrielle discovers a kindred spirit beneath Sebastian's serious demeanour, and she sets out to seduce him into one last passionate fling before he settles for a loveless marriage.

But the fire that burns between them threatens to consume her. Will Gabrielle survive falling in love with the one man she cannot have?

Rae Summers Bio

Rae's first grade teacher was so seriously concerned by her day dreaming that she called her parents in for a conference. Fortunately, her parents staunchly defended Rae's right to daydream and these days she's able to prove their faith right by turning those day dreams into novels. She hopes her stories bring as much pleasure to her readers as they bring to her.

Rae Summers lives in South Africa where she works in television advertising, a line of work that is only glamorous on very rare occasions. When she isn't working or being mom to two young daughters, Rae can be found with her nose in a book.

The buy link: 

And for Amazon:

My blog address: <

Thanks so much for being my guest here today, Rae. I love that era and have your story on my reading list. I'm sure it will be great!