The Birth of a Novel

I was cleaning up my home office today (because I always feel the need to purge at the end of the calendar year), and ran across the critiques from my writers’ group on a piece that was the very first inkling of Diamond in the Rough.

Whether or not you’ve read Diamond in the Rough, I thought you might enjoy this peek behind the curtain, to see how my novel was born. Hope you like it.

http://www.amazon.com/Denim-Diamonds-Lori-Robinett/dp/1631030035/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1433871817&sr=8-1&keywords=denim+%26+diamondsRusty is a cowhand at the Domino Ranch, where he’s been for years. He lives in a small house, which he shares with Beau, Joe and a couple of other guys. Thursday nights he spends at a neighboring ranch, playing poker with the guys. He drives an old gray Chevy pickup that has more miles on it than he does.

He was with Beau and Beth the night that Bert’s herd was stolen by rustlers. The mutilated steer affected him deeply. A love of animals is what led him to life on the ranch. Growing up, he was responsible for taking care of the family dog and made money summers taking care of neighborhood pets. That was back when he was known as Russell Warner. He dreamed of living in the country, surrounded by rolling green hills and dogs and cats and horses. Once in high school, he joined 4-H. Other kids made fun of him for his project – he raised rabbits. It was the only project he could do in city limits. The girl he had a crush on – her name was Penny – raised a bottle calf every year. Her brother Mike was the one who had given him the name Bunny Boy. His high school years were a blur of embarrassment. He had been a country boy stuck in the city, a disappointment to his college educated parents and an outcast in the FFA / 4-H circles that he desperately wanted to join.

The day after he graduated high school, he packed his meager belongings into the used maroon Toyota Tercel that his parents had given him as a graduation present and headed west out of St. Louis. He stopped for gas in Kingdom City, picked up a newspaper and went to Denny’s to peruse the want ads while he wolfed down a Grand Slam. The girl who was waiting tables chatted him up, and told him about her cousin who worked at the sale barn just down the outer road and how they always needed extra hands on sale days. She jotted her cousin’s name on the back of his receipt and told him to go on down to the sale barn and introduce himself.

The girl’s cousin showed him around, and Bill, the owner, hired him on the spot. The crusty old man gripped Russell’s hand and give it one firm shake. “Welcome aboard, Rusty.”

And in that moment, Russell the Bunny Boy became a distant memory and Rusty the cowhand was born.

***

<SIGH> I always feel nostalgic when I come across a piece like this, that grew into an entire novel. If you want to keep up to date with my new releases and other book news, make sure you sign up for my mailing list – and if you’re intrigued by how stories like this kernel of an idea become a full-fledged novel, sign up for my WriteScouts newsletter.

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Post Vacation Blues

Rich Mountain RoadWe took a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains last week. We dropped our Miniature Schnauzer and Beagle off at the kennel and headed out. We stopped for the night in Cookeville, Tennessee, then went on the next day to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. That was our home base for trips in our Renegade through Cades Cove, up to Elkmont, over Rich Mountain Road and took a drive to Cataloochee. Though I was disappointed that we didn’t see any wildlife, other than some wild turkeys and deer, it was nice to be out in nature like that. But now that we’re back home, back to work and back to our routine, I’m feeling the post-vacation blues. Sighs escaped my lips too many times today, and my shoulders slump, matching my mood.

One of my most relaxing afternoons of vacation was spent lounging beside the pool, reading Head Games. It was decadent, there under the canopy of trees with the stream gurgling just the other side of the wrought iron fence. While I read, I was transported to the biting cold of St. Louis, hunting a serial killer. I LOVE that feeling – that experience of losing myself in a story, no matter the plot or the setting, whether it be a romantic comedy or a procedural mystery. I’m not sure what it is about reading, but it makes absolutely no difference where I am, I love disappearing into a story. So, that’s what I did at lunch today – I escaped back into Head Games and it was like a mini-vacation.

And that, dear reader, is what I want for you. I want you to join me in that decadent feeling. Curl up in your favorite chair and open a book, take a mini-vacation, and enjoy.

If you want to read a mystery, try Fatal Impulse. If you’d rather read a contemporary Western with a romantic twist, try Diamond in the Rough.

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Diamond in the Rough: Scrapbookers’ Edition

Diamond-ScrapbookBoxes of books have begun to arrive at my office and it’s always special to open that box and hold that real book in my hand (okay, I admit it, I rub the covers and squeal a little every. single. time.). I have to say, I’m especially pleased with the way the special edition of Diamond in the Rough turned out.

Gina owns a scrapbook store and is living my dream. I created the store of my dreams and even let a friend of mine scrap there (my scrapbook convention co-hort has a character named after her in the book!). They have Friday night crops at Memories & More and the characters talk about projects they’re working on, so it was natural for me to include project instructions in the book as bonus content for my fellow scrapbookers and papercrafters. My favorite project included in the book is a gate album, made using the Zutter Bind-It-All. I’ve made a couple of them for special events in my life, so I wanted to share that with my readers.

If you enjoy crafting at all, make sure you get the special edition and check out the bonus content. By the way, there’s still time to enter the diamond stud earring giveaway. Email a confirmation of your book order to me at lori(at)lorilrobinett(dot)com and put “DIAMONDS” in the subject line. Every book order this week gets five entries into the drawing!

So, grab your copy of Diamond in the Rough today, and join Gina and the Friday night scrappers for a night of mystery and romance!

Diamond in the Rough: Gift card giveaway

Rough woman readingDiamond in the Rough is being featured on FIFTY blogs today to celebrate the release (paperbacks are available now, Kindle versions will be released tomorrow & Sunday)! Pick a few and pop over to them to enter the giveaway. And I’d be giddy as a Beagle pup with a squeaker if you’d leave a comment on at least one of the blogs thanking them for hosting me.

http://www.claireboston.com/2016/05/promo-lori-l-robinett-diamond-rough/

http://readyourwrites.blogspot.com/2016/05/spotlight-25-gift-card-giveaway-diamond.html

https://lizgavin.wordpress.com/2016/05/13/diamond-in-the-rough-blog-tour/

https://jaceyholbrand.wordpress.com/2016/05/13/sexy-cowboy-strides-into-her-store-contemporary-romance-lorirobinett-goddessfish/

http://bookschatter.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/tour-diamond-rough.html

http://dawnsreadingnook.blogspot.com/2016/05/book-blast-tour-for-diamond-in-rough-by.html

http://elainepcantrell.blogspot.com/2016/05/diamond-in-rough.html

http://www.musingsandramblings.net/2016/05/promo-diamond-in-rough-lori-l-robinett.html

http://dawnsreadingnook.blogspot.com/2016/05/book-blast-tour-for-diamond-in-rough-by.html

http://romancenovelgiveaways.blogspot.com/2016/05/diamond-in-rough-by-lori-l-robinett.html

http://stormyvixen.booklikes.com/post/1398848/diamondintheroughblast

http://straightfromlibrary.blogspot.com/2016/05/straight-browsing-from-library-diamond.html

http://the-avidreader.blogspot.com/2016/05/13-book-blast-giveaway-diamond-in-the-rough-by-lori-l-robinett-GF.html

http://galestanley.blogspot.com/2016/05/book-blast-diamond-in-rough-by-lori-l.html

http://jhthomas.blogspot.com/2016/05/win-25-gc-diamond-in-rough-by-lori.html

http://crmoss.blogspot.com/2016/05/lori-l-robinett-diamond-in-rough.html

http://bookloversue.blogspot.com/2016/05/diamond-in-the-rough-lori-l-robinett.html

http://www.longandshortreviews.com/guest-blogs/diamond-in-the-rough-by-lori-robinett-spotlight-and-giveaway/

https://christineyoungauthor.com/2016/05/13/christine-presents-diamond-in-the-rough-by-lori-l-robinett/

http://fuonlyknew.com/2016/05/13/book-blast-and-giveaway-diamond-in-the-rough-by-lori-l-robinett/

http://fictionconvictionbookblog.blogspot.com/2016/05/book-blitzand-giveaway-diamond-in-rough.html

http://eskiemamareads.blogspot.com/2016/05/book-blast-wgiveaway-diamond-in-rough.html

http://its-raining-books.blogspot.com/2016/05/diamond-in-rough-by-lori-robinett.html

http://jensreadingobsession.blogspot.com/2016/05/diamond-in-rough-by-lori-l-robinett.html

http://lampshadereader.com/2016/05/13/book-blast-giveaway-excerpt-diamond-rough-lori-l-robinett/

http://www.lovelustandlipstickstains.com/2016/05/blog-tour-and-giveaway-diamond-in-rough.html

https://lizjosette.blogspot.com/2016/05/book-blitz-giveaway-diamond-in-rough-by.html

http://wowfromthescarfprincess.blogspot.com/2016/05/book-blast-for-diamond-in-rough-by-lori.html

http://www.wendizwaduk.net/2016/05/book-blast-diamond-in-rough-by-lori-l.html

http://underneaththecoversblog.com/2016/05/13/diamond-in-the-rough-by-lori-l-robinett/

http://twoendsofthepen.blogspot.com/2016/05/excerpt-diamond-in-rough-by-lori-l.html

http://tinadonahuebooks.blogspot.com/2016/05/diamond-in-rough-contemporary-western.html

http://www.thesnarkology.com/2016/05/13/diamond-in-the-rough-by-lori-l-robinett-romance-goddessfish/

http://recipe-fairy.weebly.com/more-book-tours/diamond-in-the-rough-book-blast-and-giveaway

http://tamariasoana.com/diamond-in-the-rough-by-lori-l-robinett/

http://stormynightbloginandreviwing.blogspot.com/2016/05/diamond-in-rough-giveaway.html

http://www.starangelsreviews.com/2016/05/book-blitz-diamond-in-rough-by-lori-l.html

https://dehaggerty.wordpress.com/2016/05/13/diamond-in-the-rough-by-lorirobinett-romance-western-giveaway/

http://readeropolis.blogspot.com/2016/05/diamond-in-rough-by-lorirobinett.html

http://queenofallshereads.blogspot.com/2016/05/book-blast-giveaway-for-diamond-in.html

http://omgreads.com/diamond-in-the-rough-by-lori-l-robinett/

https://novelisterynlaplant.wordpress.com/2016/05/13/spotlight-diamond-in-the-rough-by-lori-robinett/

http://nickiesviewsandinterviews.blogspot.com/2016/05/diamond-in-rough.html

https://www.facebook.com/naturalbripage/posts/1076609319044865

http://musingsofareader1.blogspot.com/2016/05/diamond-in-rough-by-lori-l-robinett.html

http://libriamicimiei.blogspot.it/2016/05/book-blast-giveaway-diamond-in-rough-by.html

https://dehaggerty.wordpress.com/2016/05/13/diamond-in-the-rough-by-lorirobinett-romance-western-giveaway

http://fictionconvictionbookblog.blogspot.com/2016/05/book-blitzand-giveaway-diamond-in-rough.html

http://the-avidreader.blogspot.com/2016/05/13-book-blast-giveaway-diamond-in-the-rough-by-lori-l-robinett-GF.html

I’m pretty sure I’m out of my mind . . . but I am So. Freaking. Excited. about this book!!

Diamond in the Rough: Get it for yourself!

6One of my favorite ways to relax is to escape into a good book. There’s nothing like cracking open the pages of a book (or opening a new file on your Kindle) and meeting new characters. Curl up in your favorite chair, drink a cup of coffee, fall in love, solve a mystery, save a cat.

Diamond in the Rough is available in paperback now – right now! The Kindle version will be released Saturday . . . just 2 days away.

I+Love+You+Basket+EarringsBTW – look for me on your favorite book blogs tomorrow, and join me at the launch party on Facebook Saturday!

Get your copy now. Aidan (yeah, that’s him in the cover) is waiting for you. (pssst . . . don’t forget to send a copy of your order to me at lori(at)lorilrobinett.com to get your entries into the drawing for the earrings!).

Diamond in the Rough: Escape to Another World

http://www.amazon.com/Diamond-Rough-Book-Lori-Robinett-ebook/dp/B01D7X77GQWhen I was younger, I dreamed of owning my own horse ranch.

I had it all planned out. Literally. I drew plans.

The house would be huge, with lots of bedrooms, with bathrooms for every two rooms, so all my friends could come and visit. There would be a theater room and maybe even a bowling alley, and definitely a pool. But the house was secondary in my dream. First and foremost, it would be a horse ranch. There would be a barn for the broodmares, and a couple of smaller barns for the stallions. The paddocks would have alleyways between them to keep the horses from fighting. Oh, and there would be a huge riding arena. There’d be a race track. Or a show ring. You know, depending on what kind of horse farm I was dreaming about at the time.

As I’ve gotten older, I don’t draw plans for my dream places anymore . . .

I write stories about my dream places, and I totally escape into that world.

And that’s what I want to share with you. Life is full of work, laundry, dishes, broken washing machines and all that not-fun stuff. You work hard. Your day is full of all the things that need to get done. Take some time for you. Order your copy of Diamond in the Rough now, and curl up with it this weekend -escape to the Diamond J. Let Aidan entertain you (and, oh, wow, can he entertain . . . <wink, wink, nudge, nudge>).

I+Love+You+Basket+EarringsPssst . . . remember – send the confirmation of your preorder to get 5 entries into the drawing for a pair of certified diamond earrings, engraved with the words “I love you.” Email a copy of your order to me at lori(at)lorilrobinett.com to make sure your entries get registered.

Diamond in the Rough: Party and Giveaways and Prizes!!

Rough Blog GraphicAre you ready to escape to the Diamond J Ranch with me?

We’re only a week away from the launch of Diamond in the Rough. This is doubly exciting for me because I am launching the regular book (both as a paperback and an ebook) and a special bonus edition for scrapbookers (both as a paperback and an ebook). The ebooks are available for preorder now . . . and you have a great opportunity to get a fun book (total escapism) AND have a chance to win all sorts of fun things.

Every preorder is good for FIVE (count ’em – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5!!) chances to win a pair of gorgeous diamond earrings (all you have to do is send me a copy of your preorder – to lori(at)lorilrobinett.com), plus I’m giving away several goodies during the Facebook Party next weekend.

So, here’s what I need you to do:

  1. Order Diamond in the Rough (if you’d rather have the scrapbooking edition, you can get it HERE).
  2. Sign up for the Facebook Party HERE.

I’d also greatly appreciate it if you would help me spread the word. Diamond in the Rough is getting good reviews so far – if you like romance with a bit of suspense, you’ll love Rough. 🙂

 

Returning to the Diamond J

http://www.amazon.com/Denim-Diamonds-Lori-Robinett/dp/1631030035/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1433871817&sr=8-1&keywords=denim+%26+diamondsAs some of you know, I’ve been working on the 2nd novel in the Diamond J series. The working title is Diamond in the Rough. Though it still needs a lot of revision, it is coming together quite well.

The story takes place in the Diamond J world, shortly after Denim & Diamonds occurs. The male lead is Aidan, who was a ranch hand in the first book. The female lead is Gina, who makes a brief appearance in the first book as owner of the local scrapbook store. Want a peek into what I think the Diamond J world looks like? Pop over to Pinterest and look at my Rough board.

And I’m happy to announce that CaryPress has indicated that they are interested in publishing it.

So . . . help me celebrate this little accomplishment this evening.