#Relationships

http://lorilrobinett.comBooks are about relationships, right? And those relationships aren’t perfect. In my first book, Denim & Diamonds, Beth has been estranged from her father for years. Her parents divorced when she was young and she didn’t see her dad much when she was growing up. As an adult, she didn’t have to see him, so she didn’t. But after he died, she mourned the loss of that relationship. She wanted to get that feeling of home back . . . and that’s what she spent the book doing. Searching for “home.”

  • Forgive. This is easier to do when the other person leaves you a lot of $$.
  • Realize there’s more to the story. Beth finds out that both her parents had secrets.
  • Breathe. Sometimes that’s all you can do. Breathe in, breathe out.  Fresh country air is the best medicine.
  • Communicate. Be open to words from beyond the grave. Old letters can say an awful lot.
  • Give it time. Go on about your business, do your thing, live your life.
  • Move on. Literally. Beth moves to a ranch. So, it’s her daddy’s ranch . . . but the change of scenery is just what she needs.

If you want to read a light story about a woman searching for home, pick up a copy of Denim & Diamonds.

Virtual #BookTour: Sunshine Book Promotions

Do you like to win? Do you like free stuff? Pop on over to Sunshine Book Promotions today, read an excerpt of Denim & Diamonds and sign up for a free Amazon gift certificate! Have you gotten your free ebook? If not, go get it!!

Bonus: Throwback Thursday picture from vacation 2010 at my favorite family vacation spot.

http://lorilrobinett.com

Katelyn & me at Silver Beach

Working for Success

Denim & Diamonds

Denim & Diamonds

I’ve been on pins and needles lately. I am THRILLED that CaryPress offered a contract on my novel, Denim & Diamonds. And now I’m waiting to find out if The Wild Rose Press will offer a contract on my manuscript, Widow’s Web. I’ve been writing seriously for over ten years now, and desperately want to be successful. Sometimes I think about how long it has been, how long it took to get that first contract, and I wonder WHY. Why did it take so long? Why am I struggling? Why do I open myself up to rejection time and time again?

Simple.

Because anything worth doing, is worth working hard for.

Success should not come easily. The things we want should not be handed to us. We need to learn to work for the things we want, so that we appreciate them. I mean, come on. We all know kids that were given everything they wanted, and they appreciate nothing. Think back to the 16 year old kid that is handed the keys to a new car on his birthday. Does he take care of it? Does he drive it carefully? Does he signal when he switches lanes? Does he keep it clean? Of course not! But when I got my first Mustang at 40ish, I washed that car every Saturday. I never ate or drank in it. That car was cleaner when I traded it in than it was when I bought it. I even did the wrenching on it myself (full disclosure: I do not have man hands. That’s my hubs in the picture.)

Doing our own wrenching

Doing our own wrenching

I hope the same is true with publishing. Because I want success so bad I can taste it. And, I promise, I’ll be super appreciative if the publishing gods will just smile down on me and grace me with another contract. (that sounds terribly greedy of me, doesn’t it? But that doesn’t change the fact that I want it . . . )

Shameless plug: Check out Denim & Diamonds on Goodreads. Here’s what you can do to help me out:

  • Enter the giveaway
  • Mark the book Want To Read
  • Share the book

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Denim & Diamonds by Lori L. Robinett

Denim & Diamonds

by Lori L. Robinett

Giveaway ends July 23, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Living with Lupus: Laying by the Pool

http://carypress.com/denim-diamonds-by-lori-robinett/

Butterfly (symbol of lupus)

I’ve been living with lupus for many years now. That’s the reason my kiddo was born at 28 weeks. Lupus was lurking, but didn’t rear its head until I was preggers. I can’t complain (well, I can, but it doesn’t do any good . . . ) – I live a normal life and do pretty much what I want. But I’m able to do that because I take care of myself, and take the disease seriously. Part of that is keeping regular appointments with my docs. Last week was my annual exam with my regular doc, which involves doing my impression of a human pin cushion, and this week was my semi-annual exam with my rheumy.

It was good news/bad news. My vitamin D levels were low, and my white blood count was low. Not dangerously low, just enough to notice. I joked today that the prescription should be laying by the pool and napping. That should totally be a real prescription, right?!

Whether it was prescribed or not, I’m going to make time for that in the next few days. 🙂

How ’bout you? What do you do to take care of yourself?

From There to Here: T. Sue VerSteeg

I’m happy to have T. Sue VerSteeg guest blogging today. I met her at the Ozark Romance Authors Conference last September in Springfield, Missouri, and picked up a copy of her book, Secrets of the Sapphires, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Since then, I’ve picked up other books including her recent release, My Ex-Boyfriend’s Wedding. I’m not finished with it yet, but it had me laughing on page 1, which is a very good sign!

http://www.amazon.com/My-Ex-Boyfriends-Wedding-Sue-VerSteeg/dp/1499389922/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1402883205&sr=8-1&keywords=my+ex+boyfriend%27s+wedding

My Ex-Boyfriend’s Wedding

T. Sue VerSteeg has always loved to make people laugh. It was only natural to pull that element into her writing. Whether it’s long lost castles, covert paranormal agencies, romantic comedies, or cozy mysteries, her snarky, quick-witted characters can’t help but follow suit. When you add her super hubby to the mix, there also has to be a happily-ever-after to wrap things up.

Please help me in welcoming Sue today!

First off, thanks to Lori for hosting me! I can’t wait to read your book.

Lori asked me to share about my writing journey. Well, my writing path has been more of a back-woods, pitted gravel road. I’ve always loved to write. That’s never really been an issue. You know those notes we all passed in high school? Yeah, mine were always several pages long. I had friends who would groan when I handed them that creatively folded twelve paged letter. There are also lots of notebooks in my home, full of my attempts at poetry, short stories, and beginnings of books I was too scared to finish. I mean, writing for yourself is fun. Knowing someone is going to read it? Petrifying!

I’m very blessed that Super Hubby came into my life, for so very many reasons. Where my writing is concerned, he’s the one who kept pushing my chair back up to the desk and saying, “Just write the book.” He may have used a few extra adjectives or adverbs on occasion. 😉 If not for him, I never would have finished. The story would still be bouncing around in my mind, wanting to be told, blocking all of the other book ideas to come. A year or so after the fact, he finally admitted to abusing a few things at his job to work out the frustration.

Boy, was I ever shocked to find out writing was the easiest part for me. You really discover how much you want to be a writer when the rejections start rolling in. But, I can’t turn back or stop now. Writing is as much a part of me as the nose on my face. As long as I wake up each morning, there will be words on the page or ideas brewing for the next writing session.

So, what has your writing path/life path been like so far? I’d love to hear who or what inspired you or kept you going. I’ll share an e-book with one commenter picked at random. You can browse my books at www.tsvbooks.com Thanks for stopping by.

 

The Big Easy Blog Tour

I’m honored to be a part of The Big Easy Blog Tour. My friend, Tierney James, who I was lucky enough to meet at the Ozark Creative Writer’s Conference a couple of years ago nominated me to follow her. She and I ended up at a big table for lunch one day and discovered that we had something in common: scrapbooking. A little bit later in the conversation, a friend of mine mentioned that my husband had gotten me a sniper rifle as a gift (I mean, seriously, what says love like that?). Tierney immediately perked up and we compared notes about what we like to shoot. We’ve been friends ever since – there aren’t many friends that I can talk to about shooting and scrapping!

Anyway, on to the tour:

What am I working on? I recently submitted a manuscript to the Crimson Rose line of The Wild Rose Press for their upcoming Lobster Cove series. I’m very excited about that possibility. I’m also working on Diamond in the Rough, which is a follow up to my soon-to-be-published novel, Denim & Diamonds.

How does my work differ from others of its genre? I write romance and mystery, and most of my books have a bit of each in them. One thing that makes my books stand out from others is my legal experience. I’ve worked in the legal field for about 20 years, and my stories are usually inspired by some nugget of truth I’ve come across in real life. For instance, Denim & Diamonds was inspired by a client who wanted to leave her horses and ranch to a niece, but she wanted to make sure the ranch would be well managed.

Why do I write what I do? I’ve always been inspired by strong women. When I was young, I read novels and was disgusted by the wimpy, swooning women. I was thrilled when female characters began to grow spines, and take on the bad guys – both in romances and mysteries. Whatever genre I’m writing, I love writing about characters who inspire me. Hopefully they’ll do the same for my readers.

How does my writing process work? Well, that’s a good question. Personally, I tend to write by the seat of my pants. The process of turning off that internal editor and getting words on the page is a must, otherwise, I’d never get a manuscript finished! That said, the more novels I get under my belt, the more pre-writing work I do. For my current novel, I’m using index cards to plot the scenes before writing them. Oh – and Pinterest helps. I pin images that remind me of my characters, settings, etc. It serves as inspiration, and helps to fix the characters in my mind. Here’s the page I used as inspiration for Denim & Diamonds.

http://carypress.com/denim-diamonds-by-lori-robinett/

Denim & Diamonds by Lori Robinett

Please join me on the Big Easy Blog tour next week as we visit these writers:

Colleen Donnelly: Colleen lives in the rural Midwest with her dog, Mia. She believes in hobbies, hard work, and down time. Her first book, Mine to Tell, is historical fiction, and her second book, Asked For, will be released soon. Check out her blog here.

Angela Drake: Angela has been writing most of her life. She writes in several sub-genres of romance as well as a wide variety of freelance markets. Sometimes research crosses both her fiction and non-fiction journeys. She loves speaking at conferences, judging writer competitions and mentoring others who share her passion. She lives in the beautiful Ozarks with her ever-supportive husband of twenty-seven years and various fur-babies. Her first book was just released this month. Check out her blog here and look for her book here.

Miniature Diamond J

When I was growing up, I always said I was going to live on a farm surrounded by animals. I wanted dogs, cats, horses, goats, cows . . . I wanted it all! I spent my summers armed with a recycled jar with nail holes in the lid, determined to catch lightning bugs, frogs, crickets and praying mantises (OK – that word has shown up twice today . . . I really need to look up the plural for that. Manti?). And I awoke each morning horrified to find the tiny dessicated carcasses of whatever creature I had caught the day before.

But I digress. Animals, whether large or small, were destined to be part of my life. When I met my husband, I was delighted to learn that he wanted to move to the country. And we did. Several years ago, we bought the 10 acres that we live on, then we bought a modular home, built a shop and built a barn. We’ve had cattle (and, oh, boy, are there some stories there. When you read Denim & Diamonds – which you will, right? – the scene where Andi helps deliver the calf is the story of our first calf), horses (tip: If someone offers to sell you a horse named “Satan’s Lady” – run.), dogs, cats, turtles, fish.

Cali, Cinnamon & Jasper

Cali, Cinnamon & Jasper

My favorite farm animals by far are our miniature horses. We bought Jasper when our kiddos were little, and gradually added to our little herd over the years. We’ve had babies and we’ve lost horses. Right now I’m sitting on the back deck watching Jasper, Cali and Cinnamon graze in the small pasture behind the barn lot. There is something so calming about the snuffling of horses, the small of fresh hay, and their soft nickers when you talk to them. Though I dreamed of having a horse ranch like the Diamond J, I’m quite happy with our little mini farm here in rural Missouri.

When you were a kid, what was your dream home?

 

A Day Off

Denim & Diamonds by Lori Robinett

Denim & Diamonds by Lori Robinett

I work full-time, and have spent the last few months writing like a madwoman. It is paying off. I signed a contract with CaryPress last month, and Denim & Diamonds will be released next month. I submitted a manuscript to The Wild Rose Press for the upcoming Lobster Cove series, and really hope that story impresses them enough to offer a contract.

My point is, all my time has been filled for several months now. I work. I write. I edit. I rewrite. I update social media. So, yesterday, I decided it was time for a break. I spent the afternoon on the couch curled up with my puppies and watched a Deep Space 9 marathon. I’m kinda partial to Deep Space 9. I went to a Star Trek convention last year and met several of the actors: Max Grodenchik, Aron Eisenberg, Chase Masterson, Jeffrey Combs, Cirroc Lofton. It was absolutely wonderful! Watching TV I mean. Such a refreshing day.

Oddly enough, that break was good for me. I was afraid I’d lose momentum if I took a break, but I slept good last night and awoke feeling recharged. I’ve spent the morning reworking my website, jotting ideas for a new story, and thinking about the draft I need to rewrite.

DSCF3372So, even though you feel like you have so much to do that you can’t possibly take a break, sometimes that’s exactly what you need to do. And if you’re looking for something to do, watch Star Trek.

Denim & Diamonds: Proof Copy

Denim & Diamonds

Denim & Diamonds

 

I just got an email from CaryPress. They are mailing a proof copy to me. I can’t wait to actually hold this book in my hands.They had no further changes after my last round of edits – but I bet I find something else when I read through the book again.

There’s something about reading something in a new format. If you have to proof something, print it out in another font or print it on colored paper. The human mind is an amazing thing. It sees what it wants to see. It knows what you meant to say. So, sometimes you have to trick it. That goes for writing of any kind – fiction, non-fiction, stuff for work.

Try this trick the next time you need to proofread something, and I bet you find something you’ve missed before.

Juggling Jobs

Denim & Diamonds by Lori Robinett

Denim & Diamonds by Lori Robinett

I work full-time as a paralegal. For the past several years, I’ve written during my spare time. In the last few months, I’ve upped the ante and started treating my writing as a true “second job.” What’s this mean?

  • I’m doing the fun stuff . . . and the not-so-fun stuff like editing and rewriting and marketing.
  • I’m writing for publication, not just for me. Which means when my critique partners tell me to kill my darlings, I do. <insert evil laugh here>
  • I’m writing every day, whether I am inspired or not. Regardless of how tired I am, I show up at the page and put my fingers on the keyboard.
  • I’m submitting. Although I think there is true value in the indie revolution, I wanted a contract. And I feel so honored that Cary Press offered me that first contract!
  • I’m spending a vacation day ensconced in my writing perch at the end of our sectional, instead of lounging in the pool with a drink and a book.

This is harder than I expected, and I have a newfound respect for those who turns hobbies into second careers. It can be done, but it’s tougher than expected! Not that I’m complaining! 🙂