Archive for June, 2013


Not Quite Where I Left Off

Posted under Writing Thursdays 7 Comments

With Sewing Circle #9 having been turned in at the end of May and the craziness of June now behind me, my thoughts are turning back toward writing. The difference this time is the fact that I’m writing characters I haven’t written in seven years.

That’s a long time.

I need to get to know them again (although, I must admit, I’ve never strayed terribly far) and figure out how best to re-introduce them to their readers. As always, I’m surprising myself in the process.

You see, when we last saw Elise Jenkins and Mitch Burns of my Jenkins & Burns Mysteries, the pair was engaged. I’d always assumed that if I’d written a fourth book, I’d center it around the wedding. Yet now that so much time has passed, my gut is telling me to move the timeline forward a few years–a few post-wedding years.

So that’s what I’m doing. And so far (at least in the mental plotting going on in my head), it works.

Aside from that little gem of information, I can also tell you that Ocean Point, NJ is in the process of rebuilding after a devastating storm (similar to Sandy) when the new book opens. But all thoughts of restoration fall to the side when longtime resident of the beachside community is found murdered amid a string of seemingly unrelated robberies.

Does that tease you just a little?




Wandering the Aisles

Posted under That's Life Wednesdays 4 Comments

A few days ago, DD #2 received a letter from the school district welcoming her into Honors English in the high school next year. To say she was over the moon when she heard, would be a gross understatement.

This kid loves to read. And I do mean, loves to read. So this afternoon we head to the bookstore to pick up some of the books on her Honors English Mandatory Summer Reading List (which now includes four hefty books as opposed to the one she’d have read if not in honors).

She’s in heaven because she’s getting new books.

I’m in heaven because I get to accompany her to the bookstore and breathe in all the fun as I wander through the new hardcovers section, the “new in paperback fiction” section (where my latest–REMNANTS OF MURDER will be in just 5 short weeks) and all the aisles in between. The only thing that could make it more perfect would be rain on the bookstore roof…

So how about you? What’s your favorite kind of store to wander aimlessly?







Posted under odds and ends No Comments

Well, the June craziness is behind me and, aside from a slight lack of energy as an aftermath, it couldn’t have went any better.

DD #2’s graduation from 8th grade was very nice as was her 8th grade dance later that night. She looked beautiful in her special dress and had a wonderful time with her friends. We celebrated her achievements at the family party on Saturday evening with cookies (that’s her first grade picture on the round cookie and her 8th grade picture on the cap-shaped cookie).

DD #1’s prom and after-events went smoothly and she, too, looked absolutely beautiful. And, somehow, despite both dances being on the same night, we managed to keep the hectic feel at bay.

Saturday brought DD #1’s high school graduation and, of course, the big family party–both of which had me (and her) wiping away tears on a number of occasions. To say I was a very proud mother that day (and every day) would be an understatement.

So now things slow down just a wee bit for a few weeks before we have to start gearing up for the inevitable college drop-off and the torrent of tears that will surely accompany that big milestone, too. With any luck, our “slow down” will include time to write and relax, and maybe, just maybe do a little reading, too.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share a picture of the cake from Saturday’s family party. I got up at 5:30 a.m. on graduation morning to make it.

Have a great rest of your day and I’ll be back tomorrow.



I’m Still Here

Posted under That's Life Wednesdays 3 Comments

I know. I know. It’s been a while. Chalk it up to the crazy-busy month known as June.

And it’s not over yet.

Tomorrow, DD # 2 graduates from middle school. That same night she has her 8th grade dance and DD # 1 has prom.

Saturday brings DD # 1’s graduation and the family party that will cap off all the work we’ve been doing around the house in preparation for the big day. We’ve stained the deck that was taken out by the freak October 2011 snowstorm, and done some work in the family room that was affected by torrential rains that same spring…and now that we’re three days away from the party it’s time to clean, cook, and bake.

Fortunately, June hit just after I turned in my latest book. Unfortunately, the busy-ness has made writing anything else more than a little difficult. But come Monday, that changes when I turn my focus to the long awaited 4th book in my very first series–The Jenkins & Burns Mysteries.

Aside from that, I imagine summer will bring its usual share of fun outings, vacation memories, and the release of the 8th book in my Southern Sewing Circle Series, REMNANTS OF MURDER (August 6th). Woo hoo!!!

So as soon as this weekend is over, I’ll be back on a regular basis.

Until then…



Then and Now

Posted under Reading Tuesdays 2 Comments

It seems as if the “classics” the kids are reading in high school these days are changing.

When I went it was Catcher in the Rye, Grapes of Wrath, Animal Farm, etc.

I think my high schoolers only read Catcher in the Rye on that list.

What high school have-to-read do you remember most now?



Goings On

Posted under Dreamer Mondays No Comments

Yesterday afternoon, I had the honor of watching my youngest (DD # 2)  perform in her dance recital. She did a fantastic job.

I thought I’d share this picture (taken before the show)…

Today, I’m off to Pennsylvania with DD # 1 for her “advising day” at her new college. She’ll pick her classes for first semester and sign the Class of 2017’s Matriculation Ledger at the college president’s house.

Exciting stuff.




Gift It

Posted under Bits & Pieces Fridays 1 Comment

I’ve been working on Dear Daughter #1’s graduation present and it got me thinking about gifts. So, that’s what today’s Bits & Pieces is about:

1) What’s the best gift you’ve ever gotten?

2) Most unusual gift you’ve ever gotten?

3) Best gift you’ve ever given someone?

4) Have you ever given a gift to someone that you were really excited about only to have it fall flat with the recipient?



Faves/Not So Faves

Posted under Writing Thursdays No Comments

Since it’s “Writing Thursday,” I figured maybe I’d share my favorite and not-so-favorite parts of writing with all of you.

Here we go…

Favorite:   That first day when the story is brand new and I set off on an adventure with my characters that I know will end up surprising even me at points.

Not So Favorite:  The dreaded-middle when the characters seem to be spacing off on me (or, maybe that’s me spacing off on them) and getting anything done is like pulling teeth.

Favorite:  The last 10,000 words. At this point the words are flowing and I’m so excited to reach the conclusion I simply can’t write fast enough.

Not So Favorite:  The doubts that invariably creep in (usually around the middle) about everything from the story to the writing.

Favorite: The nice letters from readers. In fact, I got one on my Laura Bradford FB fan page today about last year’s romance: STORYBOOK DAD. To know my work touched another person and helped them through a rough patch is exciting.

Not So Favorite:  People who hide behind made up names. They’re so obvious to so many people.

Favorite: That moment I press “send” on another manuscript. There is an actual physical (but wonderful) exhaustion that kicks in on the heels of that press.

Not So Favorite: When the copy edits for one book come in at once the mojo on your next work in progress has finally kicked in.

Favorite: Brainstorming!!!  It doesn’t matter if I’m talking through a plot with a fellow writer, my daughter, my hubby, or the cat…I love that creative process. Love it in writing and all sorts of things in life.

I think I’ll leave it there for now.




Best Foot Forward

Posted under That's Life Wednesdays 9 Comments

So I turned on the computer just now to post this blog and found that my editor had sent me a JPG of the cover for SHUNNED AND DANGEROUS (Amish #3–March 2014).

Now here’s where I tell you that getting a first glimpse of cover art is akin always exciting (it’s like Christmas morning when you’re a kid). And this sighting didn’t disappoint. My cover artist, Mary Ann Lasher is truly amazing. She works on both the Southern Sewing Circle Series (fabulous covers) and my Amish Mysteries (again, great covers).

Unfortunately, I can’t share it until I get the official go-ahead, but it is fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yay!!!

So, while I was planning a different post for today, I’ve veered off into “cover land” and would like to take you with me…

If you can, go here:  Take a quick look at all 17 of my covers (to date), then come back here and let me know which one is your favorite…



The Ultimate Carrot

Posted under Reading Tuesdays 5 Comments

Now that the latest book is done, I always have a “catch-up” week (or two) where I’m trying to get to things that took a back seat to my writing.

Yesterday and today will be about organizing, mailings, paperwork, etc. But, if all goes well, come tomorrow, I might be able to sneak in some reading!!!!

Just the prospect of being able to browse through the bookstore for a new book to read makes me positively giddy.

So, since I’m still a day or so away from being able to pick something out, tell me what you’re reading if you will…