I am happy to welcome Laurie Larsen today. She is here promoting her new contemporary romance, Keeper by Surprise. Be sure to check out my review after Laurie takes over the blog today. So without any further adieu here is Laurie Larsen.
Thank you so much for hosting me today on my blog tour! I make an appearance every Monday somewhere in cyberspace to promote my new contemporary romance, Keeper by Surprise. It’s been so much fun. Each stop, I do a drawing of one commenter for a small gift like a book or some promo items, then every commenter goes into a drawing for a BIG gift at the end of the tour: an e-reader of the winner’s choice!
So, today the Book Maven has asked me to discuss some of my influential authors. It’s a terrific topic. I find that what I’m reading at any given time influences what I’m writing, or more accurately, the WAY I’m writing. I take notice of those things the author does exceptionally well in the book I’m reading, and try to make my own work measure up.
So, here are the writers I’ve learned the most from, and what I’ve learned from them:
- Debbie Macomber: for her sheer mastery of building real, every day characters that we care about and want to keep reading about. Her characters are so real, they jump off the page. No zombies, vampires or aliens here. Just your next door neighbor, or your best friend, every day people dealing with every day issues in a way that draws you in. It’s what I aspire to in my own books.
- Pat Conroy: for the intense level of emotion that he wrings out of every scene. For his painstaking word choices to make each sentence its most perfect. For his mastery of the intricacies of families and relationships. I learn from him every time I read or re-read anything he’s written. He’s my literary hero.
- Julie Kistler: Previously a multi-published romance writer, now a prolific theater critic, Julie was a close colleague when I was learning my craft of writing (not that I’m not still learning!) and I always marveled over how naturally and easily she crafted her sentences, forming the most readable and funny stories.
- Meg Cabot: I admire Meg for a number of reasons, but most of all her versatility and readability as a writer. She does it all: adult contemporary, Young Adult, fantasy, reality, movies, best-selling novels. I just love her. If I could morph into anyone in the world and take over her career, it’d be Meg. (No creepiness intended, ha ha)
- R. T. Wolfe: A newbie author with just one novel out at the moment, but wow, what a debut. She wrote a stunning romantic suspense called Black Creek Burning, with a few more books planned in the series. I was lucky to be asked to do a pre-publication review of the debut, and although it had a lot of impressive features, what I loved the most was the way the author paints the love story from the male point of view. She really gets inside males’ heads as they’re realizing they’re in love, and pursuing their mate. It’s sometimes difficult for female authors to write convincing males, especially in the tricky business of falling in love, but RT has it down, making me fall absolutely head over heels with her heroes.
My own novel, Keeper by Surprise features the hero, Keith Hanson as the main point of view character, so if you love being inside the head of a man as he goes about his life, this book’s for you. He starts out as a carefree college student, happy to be out from under the thumb of a very demanding father, his main goals in life doing well in college and convincing his love Carly to go that one step further in the bedroom. But life changes forever when his parents are killed in a tragic car accident, leaving him guardian over his teenage sister Dana and two little twin siblings, Leo and Linda. Is he up to the challenge? Why would his parents leave him with this responsibility when they never seemed to approve of him in life?
These questions and more are tackled in Keeper by Surprise, available NOW in paperback and every e-reader format!
Life changes forever for Keith Hanson when his parents’ will declares him guardian over his three younger siblings. His new responsibilities are challenging, but he’s even less prepared to fall in love with Lisa Carle, a social worker with a devastating secret.
The drone of a lawn mower floated on the hot summer evening. Lisa glanced towards the house and her breath caught in her throat. Oh. My. God.
The most gorgeous man in the world was over there, mowing the lawn.
Lisa paused in reaching for the door handle and slipped lower in her seat so she could spy on the hunk for a moment without being noticed. Was this the right house? She grabbed the paper and double-checked the address. Yes! It was.
Lisa took a deep breath to get her heart rate under control. Boy, it was beating up a storm! Like she had never seen a gorgeous guy before. Well, it had been a while.
His hair, a light chestnut brown, sported hints of blond highlights. But not intentional highlights. No way was this the type of male to sit in a salon seat, paying big bucks to get highlights chemically applied. He was clean-shaven and glistening from the heat of the evening. He wore only a pair of shorts, his chest bare as he pushed the mower back and forth across the lawn.
And wow, what a magnificent chest. Hair-free and muscular, he practically shone with physical fitness. Lisa squinted for a better view. This was a guy familiar with the inside of a gym. What kind of athlete was he? Not a body builder. He didn’t sport those obnoxious over-done muscles. His sport subtly sculpted his body. A swimmer, maybe? A gymnast? Who knew, but the guy had a perfect build. Not too scrawny, but without an ounce of fat on him; that was clear.
And his face. Straight out of GQ magazine, he had classic good looks. She imagined running her fingers along his chiseled jawline, then feathering across those luscious lips. They looked a tad bit full for a male – all the better to kiss you with, my dear!
This was a really well-written contemporary romance. It manages to not only show you the romance, but the other challenges in the story really bring out frustration and you find yourself really backing the hero, Keith. Its is a tough idea of putting yourself in the shoes of a young man in college who has to take over the responsibilities of being a father…especially when the children are his siblings. It was hard to really read about all of the harsh ups and downs he goes through before he finds the romance, love and support he both needs and deserves. Lisa and Keith’s love story is sweet and every bit what you expect out of a good romance. I truly think the best theme for this is that love will overcome and bring together. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good love story with a heart wrenching life changing even in it. If you like Nicholas Sparks and Richard Paul Evans you will like Keeper by Surprise.
I’d like to thank Laurie Larsen for stopping by today and talking about her favorite authors. I’d also like to thank Goddess Fish Book tours for allowing me this spot. For more information about Laurie you can click on her links below. For more information about Keeper by Surprise you can stop by Barnes and Noble, Amazon or any other book retailer.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Laurie Larsen is the EPIC Award-winning author of Preacher Man, Best Spiritual Romance of 2010. To date, she has published seven books in the romance and women’s fiction genres, including one Young Adult romance. Keeper by Surprise is her latest release. She lives in the Midwest with a strenuous day job, a husband of more than two decades, two amazing sons and Gracie the Wonder Dog. To keep up with Laurie and her books, visit her at http://www.authorlaurielarsen.com , on Twitter or Facebook.
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