Archive for February, 2014


Bits O’ Done

Posted under Bits & Pieces Fridays 5 Comments

I finished. Southern Sewing Circle # 10 has been handed off to my editor at Penguin.


I suspect today’s round of Bits & Pieces will be rather telling of my frame of mind right now:

1) How do you reward yourself for a job well done?

2) I’m typing this question at 5 a.m. E.T. and I haven’t gone to sleep yet. When’s the last time you pulled an all-nighter?

3) Favorite holiday?

4) Favorite ice-cream flavor?

~Elizabeth (a.k.a. Laura)


Part Of Me Knew

Posted under Writing Thursdays 5 Comments

Well, I typed “The End” on Southern Sewing Circle Mystery # 10.  Woot! Woot!

Now begins the process if edits, which, in this case, means making sure scenes I wrote early in the game match some of the later scenes (ie, when a serious plot twist came to me during a shower the other day and even was taken by surprise).

In addition to making the book, itself, more fun, that plot twist also gave me a neat thing to talk about today.

When I give a book-related talk, one of my favorite questions readers ask is how much of the book I know when I sit down to write. The answer is almost always easy–I know who, the what, and the why. I know how I want to start, and how I want to end. And the characters I’ve come to know like family, help fill in the flavor in between.

That answer hasn’t changed. It’s still how it works. But, every once in a while, something about the “who” and the “why” changes and sends me racing back to the manuscript to tweak accordingly.  What’s even more wild though, is the fact that when I race back to tweak, I often find indications early on, that I was already going that way…like my subconscious already had it figured out, but the rest of me didn’t know yet.

*Cue the freaky music.*

I know. Weird, huh?

But, honestly, it’s my favorite  part of the process. It doesn’t always happen, but when it does, yee-haw!

So there you go, an interesting (albeit slightly freaky) behind the scenes look at the writing process.

Any questions? Comments?

~Elizabeth (a.k.a. Laura)



Furry Companions

Posted under That's Life Wednesdays 2 Comments

While I suspect it’s more about the outdoor temps (cold) than anything else, Angus (the cat) has been rather cuddly lately. This, in and of itself, is rare for him. In fact, until this year, he wasn’t the greatest purr-er and he didn’t understand the concept of The Pat (you pat the couch…your lap…whatever to get them to come over).

This week, though, he’s been all about sitting next to me while I finish this book. Which has been nice, provided he doesn’t sit on my notes or my pen…

So of course, my brain starts wandering to the first cat I ever had. My sister got Mittens from her boyfriend and brought her home to my parents (we’d never had a pet prior to this).  Mittens was sweet in the house, but outside? She was a hoodlum.  One of my favorite memories of her was the way she was such a toughie but like to have company at night while she ate. To accomplish this, she’d sit next to my head while I was sleeping and stare at me. She didn’t touch me, didn’t swat me…she just hung her head over me like a vulture and stared.

Sure enough, she woke me up (have you ever tried to sleep with someone staring at you?). And, being only 10, I’d walk her downstairs and sit with her while she ate.  By the time I hit 11 though, I got wise and simply followed her to my bedroom door and then closed it. 🙂 

And then there was Hobbes (pictured here). she was a present for my 25th birthday and she came into my life during a rather tough time. She instantly became my best friend. She loved to cuddle (you couldn’t sit down for a second without her claiming your lap), she loved to “supervise” the kids once they came along (wherever they were, so was she), she purred like no one’s business, I taught her how to play Hide-And-Go-Beep (a sound version of hide and go seek), and she was, in a word, the sweetest cat I’ve ever met. She made it 17 years (the last 3 away from me) and there’s not a day that goes by that she doesn’t pop into my head–a special memory, the sound of her purr, the contentment she gave me.

I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a “pet person.” But, then again, Mittens, Hobbes, and even Angus have all left a stamp on my heart.

How about you? Are you a pet person?

~Elizabeth (a.k.a. Laura)


Pick A Book, Any Book

Posted under Reading Tuesdays 6 Comments

Fun question alert! Fun question alert!


If you could be any character in any book for a day, who would you pick and why?

I so can’t wait for your answers!

~Elizabeth (a.k.a. Laura)


And The Daydreaming Starts…

Posted under Dreamer Mondays 6 Comments

There’s something about closing in on the end of a book (in this case, Sewing Circle Mystery #10) that gets me daydreaming about all sorts of things. Usually things I’ve neglected while writing (like my office and it’s current pigsty status), and reading (so many books I want to read at the moment), and meeting friends for lunch (I tend to be a hermit during the last few weeks of a manuscript).

So that’s where I’m at right now. I’m within days of being able to press “send” on my manuscript, and days from doing so many things I’m anxious to do.  The fact that I’ll be launching a new book mere days after this one is sent off, is kind of exciting, too (so many times I launch while I’m writing and I don’t feel like I get to enjoy the fun of seeing a book hit the shelves).  It means I can have fun with all my guest blogs and signings without feeling as if I’m falling behind somewhere else.  So, yay!

I’ll be posting all week, but I suspect my Friday post will include some sort of celebration to coincide with completing my 21st book and releasing my 18th. 🙂

In the meantime, I’ll take any and all words of encouragement to get me through these last few days at the keyboard (for now).

~Elizabeth (a.k.a. Laura)



A Little of This, A Little of That

Posted under Bits & Pieces Fridays 9 Comments

Bits & Pieces time!

Here we go…

1) What do you want to be doing in 10 years?

2) A genie in a bottle gives you one wish. Other than world peace, what would you ask for?

3) What were your favorite subjects in school?

4) If you could eat lunch with anyone living, who would it be?

~Elizabeth (a.k.a. Laura)


Field Trip, Anyone?

Posted under Writing Thursdays 5 Comments

As the launch for SHUNNED AND DANGEROUS (the 3rd book in my Amish Mysteries written as Laura Bradford) draws closer, I’ll be popping up as a guest on a few different blogs.

Today, I’m interviewed on a blog called, Book Obsessed Chicks. They ask me about mentors, favorite characters, and all sorts of stuff.  Oh, and they’re running a contest to win a free copy of SHUNNED AND DANGEROUS.

So, if you’re game, you can take a trip over to that blog with me for today (when you click on the link, it says something about the possibility of mature content…no worries, I’m pretty G-rated) and check it out. 🙂

Aside from that, I thought I’d fill you in on what I’m doing. Despite what it says in the interview (when I expected to be done by now), I’m still working on Sewing Circle Mystery #10.  If all goes well, I’ll be done at the end of the month. Cross fingers, okay?

My publisher has lined up all sorts of blogs for me to guest on in the coming weeks for SHUNNED’s launch, and I’ll be doing a number of signings throughout March and into April, too. As always, if you’d like to see me come to a library or bookstore near you, give me a shout on email and let me know details of the where and I’ll see what I can do.

~Elizabeth (a.k.a. Laura)


Hey, I’ve Been There!

Posted under That's Life Wednesdays 8 Comments

Last night, we watched on of my daughter’s favorite movies–Little Manhattan. She’s a huge Josh Hutcherson fan and has been since long before he was Peta in Hunger Games.

Anyway, part of the fun for her in watching that movie (besides thinking Josh is adorable as a 10 year old) is recognizing so many of the places where the movie was filmed. It takes place in a 9 block radius of the Upper West Side–which just happens to coincide with where my aunt’s apartment is located (and where we’ve stayed many times). Last night, a new connection was made when they mentioned a particular pizza place we just happened to eat in this week. Boy, did her face light up when they referenced that place!

I have to admit, I got a kick out of it, too.

My mom is reading a mystery series written by a friend of mine–the MURDER 101 series. Aside from the author’s humor, my mother is captivated by the location (which centers around an area of the city she knows well). I guess it forges an even stronger connection to the action for her when a certain road or building/hospital is mentioned.

All of this got me thinking about whether other people feel this way, too. So I figured I’d ask you and find out.

Is there a movie or a book, set in a location you’re familiar with, that you enjoyed extra much because of that connection??

~Elizabeth (a.k.a. Laura)


To Peek or Not To Peek

Posted under Reading Tuesdays 7 Comments

A few years ago, I posed the following question during a book talk I was giving.

What surprised me was just how many people do this…and are proud of it. Their reasons were fascinating as to “why” and I’m curious about whether you do/and why…

Do you peek ahead to the end of a book?  If so, why?

~Elizabeth (a.k.a. Laura)


Magical For A Moment

Posted under Dreamer Mondays 4 Comments

It’s been a long winter for just about everyone, I think.

Cold temps.

Dreary days.

And entirely too much snow (we got 17 inches on Thursday).

But, even though I’d had it with snow by the weekend, I have to say that getting caught in a fresh round (thankfully only an inch or so) while at the Central Park Zoo on Saturday was kind of magical.  Perspective, I guess.


And, since I can’t resist, here’s two of the sea lions waiting for their trainers to arrive with their food (they get rather excited).

The one actually out of the water is Charlie–she’s the newest one and oh so cute. The other one is Edith, I think, and she’s about three.

My youngest snapped this photo and, if you look closely, you can actually see the snow as its falling in both pictures.

How’s your winter going so far?

~Elizabeth (a.k.a. Laura)