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Author | Blogger | Workshop Facilitator Visit my website at www.authordeelawrence.com to learn more about my romantic suspense novels, Gotta Let It Go and Gotta Get It Back, the sequel. Connect with me online @authordeelawrence (Facebook). Thanks for visiting with me today!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Review of "To Paris With Love" - a Family Business Novel by Carl Weber & Eric Pete

Carl Weber and Eric Pete have hit a home run with To Paris With Love, a Family Business novel. Paris truly lives up to her namesake: fashionable, daring, unpredictable, and lovable. Never one to take orders from the Duncan Family even for her own good, Paris sets out to find herself some trouble and his name is Niles. Together  they are the perfect match for danger. But when you put another woman, Nadja, Niles' boss and one time lover into the mix, this love triangle becomes explosive.

This novel is action packed from start to finish, the characters are flawed - I love that, the dialogue is spot on and the locations...well, are breathtaking. At the end of the day, all is fair in love and war, but the Duncans will win ALL the time. Great backstory to the rest of the series. A must read!

Here are some of my favorite lines:

"Her name is Nadja and she's the one who made Paris Duncan into the cold-hearted bitch that I am today." I seethed as I watched her head into the ladies's room. Nadja  had cost me everything and the fact that she was able to walk around breathing seemed like the ultimate betrayal.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

"From Genesis to Exodus"

When I wrote my first novel, Gotta Let It Go, a romantic-suspense novel set in Baltimore, I had no intention of writing a sequel  much less a series. But after my family, fellow writer friends and fans started clamoring for more, I thought, hmmm…why not?  So, I set off on generating ideas where my protagonist, a former burnt out prosecutor would dive in head first against the warning of her detective lover to solve the murder of a judge, someone very close to her. This sparked the genesis of the sequel titled, Gotta Get It Back.

Well, life got in the way and the story stayed dormant for a while… a very long while. The longer I stayed away from the novel, the more I got pestered by folks, via phone calls, text messages, emails, and social media asking, “When’s the new book coming out?” “Aren’t you done yet?” “What’s your excuse this time?” and the list goes on. Of course, I knew it was all done lovingly so that I could get back into the creative writing seat and get it done. But it wasn’t easy.

Some days, the words wouldn’t come flowing like I wanted to. I would get distracted, move onto another project and create even more distance between myself and the storyline.  However, it wasn’t until I decided that I wanted to see my characters again that I became fully committed to finishing my second novel.

Toward the exodus of my novel, I learned a few lessons. First, I told myself that if the motivation for the characters didn’t work, it was okay to start again. Second, I was forced to see what really worked in the story and cut what didn’t. Third, I asked myself the tough questions such as “What is this novel really about?” “Are the voices consistent?” “Are the characters likeable?” “Is it all gelling?” This was all in an effort to ensure I had something readers wanted to get their hands on.

Now that Gotta Get It Back is finished, I look forward to the editing process and then getting it published. In the meantime, I’m imagining new ideas for book number three, Gotta Have It All, so I can take it from its genesis to its exodus. Can’t wait to embark on that ride!

NOTE: This blog post was featured on Austin Camacho's blog, Life of a Writing Publisher. Check it out along with blog entries from other authors! 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

"Summertime Fun at A.G. Kitchen!"

This past Thursday, I met up with fellow diva, B. Swangin Webster, for a long overdue lunch and girl chat in Downtown Silver Spring, MD. As we stood near the water fountain where kids were splashing around and playing, we began scanning the restaurants before deciding to give A.G. Kitchen a try. This restaurant is the brain child of chef Alex Garcia and offers a fusion of Cuban-Latin dishes and cocktail.

Since it was such a beautiful day, we settled on eating outside. When we sat down, there was a red View-Master sitting on the table. We thought how fun as it actually contained a reel of the desserts that were offered. So before we even ordered our drinks or our meal, our mouths were already salivating about which desserts we were going to try. 

Anyway, when the waiter appeared (he was the best), we ordered the calamari for the appetizer and a Malibu cocktail and a frozen drink called "Her Name Was Lola" (this was for me). When I took one sip, I was like wow, there was no skimping on the liquor. And when we took a bite of the calamari we knew we had made a good choice. 

For our main lunch course, we decided on two different type of burgers (a Juicy Lucy and a Royale) with Hollywood fries. These burgers were delicious and we could only eat half because we wanted to save room for desert. While enjoying our lunch, the manager came out to check on us and before you know it we were ordering another drink - the "Sit and Spin" - and yes, it really made us sit and spin - it was that good!

By the time our dessert came out (apple pie a la mode), we were like two giddy teenagers having a grand ole time - chatting and laughing. We were having such a great time that we didn't even realize that several hours had gone by. Now this is what summertime is all about! We'll definitely be back!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

"Jazzing It Up!"

This past weekend, I spent time hanging with some sister friends in Lexington Park, MD (St. Mary's County). On Friday, after having dinner, we ventured to Point Lookout State Park (a recreational site on a Civil-War prison) in Scotland, Maryland. By the time we got there, dusk was beginning to form but that didn't stop the fishermen from trying to make the last catch of the day or some folks from lazying around in hammocks reading. As for me, I couldn't resist dipping my feet into the Potomac River and then admiring the sunset. Here are some photos:

On Saturday, we went to the Potomac Jazz & Seafood Festival. This event took place at the St. Clements Island and Piney Point Museum also located in Scotland, Maryland. Because the weather was not great, the boat cruises around the St. Clement's Island State Park from 12 pm  - 3 pm was cancelled. But all was not lost as we enjoyed the sounds of Art Sherrod, Alex Bugnon and Jumaane Smith. These guys were great!

In between the musical sets, we took a walk to the pier and went to the museum. After that we enjoyed seafood from the vendors and some delicious ice cream as a treat in all the heat. When it was all over, we waited in line for the shuttle (yes, a yellow school bus) to take us back to our cars. It was fun riding on the bus once the driver filled each and every seat!

It was a fabulous weekend! Here are some photos:

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

"Meet and Greet for Local Authors" - The Barber Lounge for Men

On Monday, July 6, 2015, I attended a meet and greet for local authors hosted by Sharon Harper, owner of the Barber Lounge for Men in Waldorf, MD. We all took a number and when it was called each of us made a brief presentation about who we are, what we write, and the advice we would give to a new writer.

It was great to meet, mix and mingle with the fellow local authors and spoken word artists who came out to celebrate the written word. I had a wonderful time!

Here are some photos from the event. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

"Henry Miller’s 11 Commandments for Writing"

I recently read an article written by Kathleen Valentine who stated that she liked Henry Miller's list of 11 Commandments for Writing because "there is a work ethic evident that a lot of us could use." I couldn't agree with her more.

For me, I strongly believe in completing one project at a time. I don't have a problem multi-tasking but it seems that as a writer you could lose focus doing so. Then again it all depends on what type of writer you are.

Per Henry Miller, writing should be "first and always," but for me, I need a distraction or at least a break every now and then. So, painting, music, friends, and cinema are things I integrate into my writing routine.

Overall, my writing routine is in alignment with most of the 11 commandments, especially writing joyously and with pleasure.

So, how much do you agree with Henry Miller's 11 Commandments? Do tell!

Henry Miller's 11 Commandments for Writing

1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.
2. Start no more new books, add no more new material to "Black Spring."
3. Don't be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
4. Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
5. When you can't create you can work.
6. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
7. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
8. Don't be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
9. Discard the Program when you feel like it - but go back to it next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
10. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
11. Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.