Friday, May 15, 2015

Nancy Lee Badger Interviews Author Laura Browning

Laura Browning stopped by to share a few intimate details of her life, as well as her latest release. Her book, Special Delivery is a small town contemporary romance from Kensington’s Lyrical imprint and was released on May12, 2015. Please tell my readers a little bit about your book. 

Laura- Special Delivery is the beginning of a series called Mountain Meadow Homecomings. The story is really two romances in one. The primary story is about Holly Morgan, an expectant mom fleeing from an abusive fiancé. She and her younger brother end up in the town of Mountain Meadow in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. From past experience she is mistrustful of police, yet it is one of the town’s cops who ends up coming to her rescue when she goes into labor in the midst of a winter ice storm. The other romance deals with the town’s prosecuting attorney and the local doctor. They are high school sweethearts who were torn apart by their parents. While both couples are trying to figure things out, Holly’s ex-fiancé takes off with her baby.

NancyDescribe the genre of this particular title, and is it the only genre you write in? 

Laura- A small town contemporary romance usually incorporates settings that function almost as characters. In this case, Mountain Meadow has a few characters to give it life, like gossipy church ladies and some mysterious thieves taking off with nativity scene pieces from the town’s two rival churches. I do write primarily contemporary stories, though my first two books were paranormals.  

NancyWhen did you start writing toward publication? 

Laura- My first book, The Silkie’s Call, came out in 2010. I had been seriously writing for about five years, but without the nerve to send anything out. My husband challenged me to take a chance. I did, and it’s worked out well.

NancyDo you have any rejection stories to share? 

Laura- I suppose the most important rejection story I should share is the one that stopped me writing fiction for more than a decade. I’m sure the editor, who looked at my manuscript as a favor because his mother knew my mother was probably just trying to be helpful—at least I hope that was the motivation—but he overwhelmed me with what was wrong with my manuscript, so I said “screw it” and returned solely to the journalistic writing that was my primary career. By the time I began writing fiction again, I had grown a thicker skin along with more confidence in my abilities. I had numerous awards, including a regional EMMY that backed up that confidence. While I had several completed manuscripts already, The Silkie’s Call was the first one I submitted. The Wild Rose Press picked it up.

Nancy- I happen to know you are a member of writing organizations. Do you feel they have helped? 

Laura- Like you, I am a member of Romance Writers of America and the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, a chapter of RWA.  Both have been a tremendous help to me. I am a loner at heart, so HCRW has really given me the opportunity to meet and network with other writers. Writing is such a solitary endeavor, I think the opportunity to socialize with other people who share your craft is essential.

Nancy- We sat next to each other during the last HCRW meeting, and listened to Virginia Kantra's presentation. We are multi-published authors, but are always open to learning more! Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract? 

Laura- In the words of Winston Churchill, “Never, never, never give up.” If you have stories you want to tell, keep working at your craft; keep trying to get better. I teach students how to write these days, and one of the things I stress to them is that writing is not something you learn and master. All writers continue learning, changing, and evolving. So even if you’re not ready to be published right now, it doesn’t mean you might not be next month or next year.

Please Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know. 
1) I have a pet lizard.
2) I can shoot golf balls with my rifle at 100 yards.
3) I make a carrot cake from scratch that’s so good, it’s now the only birthday cake my husband and son ever want.

Nancy- What’s next for you? 

Laura- I’m really excited to be able to say that Kensington has contracted for books two and three in my series. They’re tentatively scheduled to come out next year.

BOOK BLURB   All Holly Morgan wants is a safe place to have her baby. Nestled deep within the Blue Ridge Mountains, miles away from her abusive ex-fiancé, Spence, Mountain Meadow seems perfect. Holly can manage a few meddling church matrons if it means Spence can’t find her. Harder to handle is Jake Allred. He may be a dark-haired hunk, but he’s also someone Holly can’t trust: a cop.

Since his time in the military, Lieutenant Jake Allred has lived to protect and serve. And if anyone needs protection, it’s Holly. Having been let down by the law before, she’s wary of letting Jake into her life. But when an unexpected snow storm strands them together, their attraction is hot enough to melt the mounting ice. Just when Jake thinks he’s finally warmed Holly’s heart, Spence strikes. Now it’s up to Jake to save Holly’s baby and bring their fledgling family back together.

Excerpt link HERE  

Nancy- How can my readers buy your book? 

Laura- My book is available in digital and print on demand formats right now through all the usual places. This link will send you to all of them:

MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR After graduating from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Laura worked for more than two decades in television news, both on camera and behind the scenes. It's a fascinating, exciting business. However, she has always loved making up her own stories rather than reporting the stories of others. So, she changed gears and began teaching English. The altered pace allowed her to ramp up her love of writing fiction. In addition to holding a Bachelor of Journalism degree, Laura has a Master of Education degree as a reading specialist.
When she’s not writing or teaching, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, baking, photography, and the menagerie of animals that help make North Carolina home.

You can find more information about Laura:
Twitter @laurabrowning4

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