Tuesday, March 7, 2017

5 Fun Questions with Laura Heffernan aka @LH_Writes #NewRelease from @LyricalPress

Thanks for joining me and author Laura Heffernan today! Laura has answered five fun questions and she has some great answers. I'm totally in agreement with her assessment of Black Widow. She's also super excited because today is the release date for her new book, America's Next Reality Star, from Kensington/Lyrical Press. Here's to vanilla vodka! 

Laura  is living proof that watching too much TV can pay off. When not watching total strangers participate in arranged marriages, drag racing queens, or cooking competitions, Laura enjoys travel, baking, board games, helping with writing contests, and seeking new experiences. She lives in the northeast with her amazing husband and two furry little beasts.

Some of Laura's favorite things include goat cheese, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica, the Oxford comma, and ice cream. Not all together. The best place to find her is usually on Twitter, where she spends far too much time tweeting about writing, Canadian chocolate, and reality TV. Follow her @LH_Writes or visit her website, http://www.lauraheffernan.com/. Laura is represented by Michelle Richter at Fuse Literary.

If you were about to be served your last meal, what would be on your plate?

If I knew I was about to consume my last meal, honestly, it would most likely be chocolate chip cookie dough made with crushed up Cadbury mini-eggs (from Canada) and a chocolate milkshake. I am not a healthy eater, and if I’m dying anyway… better throw in a lava cake. And if my death might be painful, add some vanilla vodka to that shake.

If you could be any fictional character (books, movies) who would you be?

Black Widow. She’s freaking amazing. She holds her own with all the Avengers, and she doesn’t even have super powers. Unless you count being a badass.

When someone cuts you off in traffic, how do you react?

I’ve been told this is a PG blog, so I better not use any direct quotes. Suffice to say it’s a good thing my husband does most of the driving. I possess both a vivid imagination and an extensive vocabulary.

Do you still remember your first kiss?

I do, but I was young and it wasn’t the best kiss ever. Kind of gross and awkward. I also remember my first kiss with my husband, which is a much nicer memory.

How do you destress?

Ideally, I’d destress on a beach, but where I live, sunny beaches are hard to come by. Usually, when I get overly stressed, I’ll go work out or take a long bath with a good book. 

Check out Laura's new release that involves, you guessed it, a reality TV show! 



Twenty-four-year-old Jen Reid had her life in good shape: an okay job, a tiny-cute Seattle apartment, and a great boyfriend almost ready to get serious. In a flash it all came apart. Single, unemployed, and holding an eviction notice, who has time to remember trying out for a reality show? Then the call comes, and Jen sees her chance to start over—by spending her summer on national TV.

Luckily The Fishbowl is all about puzzles and games, the kind of thing Jen would love even if she wasn’t desperate. The cast checks all the boxes: cheerful, quirky Birdie speaks in hashtags; vicious Ariana knows just how to pout for the cameras; and corn-fed “J-dawg” plays the cartoon villain of the house. Then there’s Justin, the green-eyed law student who always seems a breath away from kissing her. Is their attraction real, or a trick to get him closer to the $250,000 grand prize? Romance or showmance, suddenly Jen has a lot more to lose than a summer . . .

Available Now! 

Monday, February 27, 2017

This Week's #MadeinUSA Products

My search continues for products that are labeled Made in USA. I've found some are listed as Products of USA. Others say "Packed in USA." Today I'm sharing photos of a cross-section of items with such listings on their labels. 

So happy to see my favorite hand lotion, Curel, is a USA product. 

The Del Monte cans I had on hand all have Product of the USA on them. Sugary Sams Sweet Potatoes were also from USA. Along with IGA salt.

Pine-Sol is made in the USA. One of the few cleaning products I have found so far with this label.

If you're looking for a body wash made in USA, Softsoap is one I found in the soap aisle.

Hope this helps you when you go shopping if you're looking to buy USA products! 

You can check out my previous Made in USA post here. Also I want to invite you sign up for my newsletter which contains recipes as well as upcoming news about my books! 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Must Have a Title #MRFWauthor

When it comes to writing a book, I always need a working title for it. You know, it's like a baby and you wouldn't want to call your baby "hey, kid" until you came up with a name. So I usually come up with a title that could be considered a nickname. But at least I have something to call the book when I refer to it.

When I come up with a final title, I try to consider the book as a whole and find a title that is meaningful to the story and characters in some fashion. I think I've been really lucky when it comes to the books and stories I've sold to publishers. I've only had one title changed and that was for One Week in Your Arms. My original title was One Week in Paradise, which I've used a lot in the promo I've done for it because that is actually what the brunt of the book involves is a one week trip to Hawaii. I would have loved to have had the book titled One Week in Paradise, with a billionaire (subtitle) with tagline: How can she say no?  But that was not to be.

Also with titles that are books in a series, I try to make them work together. In the Love Heals All series, the first book had 5 words in the title, so I came up with longer titles for the next two books so they would blend. I also matched the titles for my historical series, which I still haven't finished.

That about wraps it up for titles. I hope everyone has a good weekend!

You can check out other posts about titles at MFRW Blog Challenge

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Sound of Music: Music Streaming #MFRWauthor Blog Hop

This week's subject is about music and writing. I have always found music very inspiring and I love writing to music as it helps set the mood for me. It depends on what I'm writing the kind of music I have playing. For comedy, I usually have lighthearted music or bluegrass playing. I love epic music for historicals and all types for contemporaries. I prefer instrumental music most of the time.

I use Napster as my primary music service because you can create playlists. They were Rhapsody for many years and they had an excellent player software, which allowed you to add music from your personal library. That was great because I have a lot of CDs. Then they changed their software so you can no longer add your own music to a playlist. I don't like what they have now all that well but it is still so much better than Amazon. This is the service I use when I write. 

I have Amazon music through Prime. In the beginning, the app or program was okay as far as easy to use and see. This year they changed it and the appearance is terrible. The background is navy blue with dark gray print and you have to run your mouse over the print to turn it white where you can read it. Also when they changed the app, all my playlists were still listed but they were empty. I do not recommend Amazon Music. I exported the music I had bought on Amazon to iTunes which is far superior to Amazon in appearance. A lot of people complained about Amazon Music so I am hoping they will improve the program. Otherwise, I don't use it.

I've been a Pandora subscriber for years and this is where I have found a lot of new artists and music I love. They have radio playlists where you don't control the songs that are in the playlist but they are of a similar nature. Like I have a Piano Guys playlist. I have Pandora on my phone so I use the blue tooth sync to listen to it on speakers. 

If you are looking for a music service to use while writing, I would recommend Napster. 

Check out other blog posts here

TGIF!!! Have a great weekend! 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Checking the Pantry: Made in USA

Today, I'm sharing some photographs of products that are marked "Made in the USA" or "product of the USA." The label is supposed to mean that the goods or most of the contents used in making the products were produced in the USA.

I hope to make this a weekly post as I think it's important to support the companies who are producing goods in the US but it is time-consuming when you are shopping to check labels. So you can note the products in the pictures to save you time if buying "Made in USA" is something that interests you. 

I've found a lot of major brands of food/health/cleaning products are listed as "Distributed by." This means a company or store brand like Kroger is the "middleman" between the manufacturer of the product and the consumer. The item could be manufactured in the US or in another country. I think it would be a great idea if the manufacturer's country was required on the label. On some labels, the country of origin is listed.  I found a couple of items marked made in Canada. But most of the time only the "middleman" is listed with no country of origin mentioned. 

My list of Made in USA labeled products this week are Palmolive Oxy Dishwashing liquid, 409 spray cleaner, Method foaming hand soap, Wisk, White Rain hair spray, Irish Spring soap, Lindsay Olives and Campbell's Soup which says cooked in USA.

Friday, February 10, 2017

What's a Hobby? #MFRWauthor Blog Challenge

This is probably going to be a short and sweet post! I actually don't have time for hobbies. Besides writing and a part-time job plus all the stuff you have to do to survive, I can't say that I have a serious hobby.

I've always enjoyed arts and crafts. Many years ago, I did a number of crafts and when I worked in a library, I had craft workshops. Now I would be lucky to remember how to do most of them. LOL. I actually had my own ceramic kiln ions ago. And once I had a load of house plants. Now I'm down to only a couple.

I would say my "hobby" now is photography and graphic design. I have a Canon camera that I prefer to use rather than my phone. I have tons of photographs and stock photos that I use in Photoshop and different programs to create memes and fun stuff. I've made some simple book covers for myself and for a few friends. I find working with the photos and fonts fun and very relaxing.

Also I've played with the new app Prisma to turn photos into paintings. With just a click, you can turn your picture into a painting. I actually found out about this on Twitter when I saw a tweet by Russell Crowe with photos he'd done. I thought at first he's a really talented artist. Then I saw where others responded with photo/paintings of their own and they were all using this app. The only negative thing is that it only makes a square picture. I haven't found any way to resize the picture. I'll post some of my photos before and after Prisma.


Portrait I created:

Check out other MFRW blog posts at MFRW Blog Challenge!   Have a great day!