Friday, September 27, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things - Follow Fest edition

Friday--my favorite day of the week.  I suspect I'm not alone in this feeling.  Why else would we pick Friday as our day to Celebrate the Small Things?  If you want to join us (and why wouldn't you?), head on over to VikLit's blog to sign up!

This week, I'm celebrating the Follow Fest, hosted by Melissa Maygrove!  This was a fun blog hop, and I got to meet several new (to me) authors and bloggers.  This is such a vibrant community, and I love meeting new bloggers and making new connections. Thanks again to Melissa for setting this up! Even though it's too late to participate, you can still check out the Linky lists and visit the blogs--lots of great people out there!

What are you celebrating this week?

Photo Friday - Pumpkin edition

My Mom is a member of a local charitable organization.  Their main fundraiser involves painting pumpkins, which are sold in early October. The proceeds from the sale are used to purchase Christmas gifts for pediatric cancer patients and their siblings.  It's a fun event, and getting the pumpkins ready to be sold takes a lot of work.  That's what the group is focused on now--painting and embellishing the pumpkins.  I've been helping out as my day job schedule allows, and as we were working the other day, it struck me how similar this process is to writing a story.

First, you're faced with a blank page.  This can be intimidating, but I prefer to think of it as inspiring.  All that blank canvas, just waiting for your story!  You can write anything you want--there are endless possibilities, any number of directions you could go. Sometimes it's hard to pick just one idea, but eventually you settle on a topic and begin to write.

In the early days, you're sketching out the story.  Who are the characters? What motivates them, what makes them tick?  What happens to them? Where are they?  Lots of details, and as you get to know the story, you can start filling them in to make a more complete picture.
Eventually, you have a first draft.  The bones of your story are there, and you have created a recognizable thing.  It's not yet ready for public consumption, but you're well on your way.  A little more detail here, some spit and polish there, and you'll have an actual book.
So you keep going.  You keep working at it, keep editing out the bad and inserting the good.  You send it out to beta readers, maybe you have an editor, and you use their feedback to make the story even better.  Finally, after all that effort, you have a finished book!  It's beautiful, and you can't wait to share it with the world.
You celebrate the accomplishment for a bit, then start the process all over again!

Pretty fun, huh? :o)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Follow Fest Fun!

Don't you just love alliteration? :)

This week, I'm excited to participate in Follow Fest, a blog hop of sorts sponsored by Melissa Maygrove.  You should totally check out her blog, and sign up for the remaining days of this hop to join in on the fun!

The idea of Follow Fest is to introduce yourself to other bloggers, and to make new connections.  Melissa has kindly provided a list of questions, so without further ado, let's get started!

Name: Lara Lacombe

Fiction or nonfiction?  Fiction

What genres do you write?  Romantic Suspense

Are you published?  My debut book, DEADLY CONTACT, will be released in November, 2013 by Harlequin Romantic Suspense.

Do you do anything in addition to writing?  No.  I mean, I do things outside of writing, but they aren't writing-related.  I couldn't design a cover to save my life (I had enough trouble with the bookmarks!).  As for editing...  I grade papers, does that count? :)

Where can people connect with you? Lots of places--come join me!

Twitter: @LaraLacombe

Is there anything else you’d like us to know?  Thanks again to Melissa for organizing this!  I'm really looking forward to meeting new people and finding new blogs to follow.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Friday, September 20, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things - Bookmark edition

Hooray for Friday!  Let's celebrate--head on over to VikLit's blog to join us on this fun hop!

This week, I'm celebrating the fact that my bookmarks arrived!  Check them out:

The cover image is a bit 'soft,' but I think they still look good.

What's that?  You want one?  I thought you'd never ask!  I'd love to give you some--just send me a self-addressed, stamped envelope and I'll send you as many as your heart desires!  Here's my address:

Lara Lacombe
P.O. Box 54395
Hurst, TX 76054

I can't wait to share these with you all!  : )

What are you celebrating this week?

Photo Friday - Sushi edition

For some reason, I've been craving sushi lately.  The best sushi I've ever had was on a trip to Brazil--I had to snap a picture before we started chowing down, it was just so pretty...

I'd love to sit down to this again.

What about you?  Do you enjoy sushi?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Off to Oz Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to

Beth DeRenzis

You're the winner of a copy of The Exile!  Please send me your address, and I'll get your book in the mail right away.

Thanks to all who entered!  Please come back next month for another fun giveaway!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Woo hoo!

I have some really exciting news to share (well, exciting for me, anyway).  Late last week, I sold two additional books to Harlequin Romantic Suspense!  Yippee!!

I've been thrilled/ecstatic/over the moon/walking on air/insert your favorite superlative ever since I found out. :-)

Book 2 is Thomas's story (you'll meet him in DEADLY CONTACT).  Right now, it's scheduled to be released in August, 2014.  The third book (Alex's story) hasn't got a firm release date yet, but you can be sure I'll let you know as soon as I find out.
I loved writing Thomas and Claire's story, and I'm so happy that I will get to share it with you all.  I'm still working on Alex and Jillian's book, and it's going really well--lots of tension in this one, both romantic and otherwise.

I know August seems like a long way off, but I hope you'll stick with me.  I've got a few little surprises in store for the beginning of 2014, so be sure to check back often!

Thanks to all of you for your support and words of encouragement--you guys are wonderful, and I appreciate each and every one of you!


Friday, September 13, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things - Review edition!

Come celebrate with us!  This weekly hop is hosted by VikLit, so check out her blog and sign up to post along with the group!

This week, I'm celebrating the fact that the digital version of RT Book Reviews came out on Tuesday, and they gave DEADLY CONTACT 4 stars!!!

I'm so excited--it's my first review, and I'm so happy they liked the book! Want to read what they said? Click here!  The review is in the middle of the left-hand page.

I have to admit, I've been doing the happy dance most of the week. Fortunately, I am able to contain myself while at work, because I'm really not much of a dancer and I don't want to traumatize my students.
happy dance gif photo: Girl Happy Dance Dance_Gif_by_Miicchan.gif Some things cannot be unseen...
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What are you celebrating this week?

Photo Friday - Awkward party favor edition

I saw this in San Francisco and couldn't resist snapping a picture:
You really have to admire the attention to detail--the guy has a 6-pack, for crying out loud!  I'm actually sorry I didn't buy this, as it would have been fun to see how big it got...

What's the goofiest thing you've seen?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Get your samples!

Want to read an excerpt from my upcoming release, DEADLY CONTACT? Look no further!  Click here, and enjoy!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Off to Oz Giveaway Hop!

This month, I'm happy to participate in the Off to Oz Giveaway Hop, sponsored by Angela's Anxious Life and I Am A Reader Not A Writer.

The theme for this hop is Classics and Time Travel Stories.  I love a good time travel story, so my offering for this giveaway is a copy of The Exile, the graphic novel adaptation of part of the Outlander story by Diana Gabaldon.  Here's the back cover blurb:
Diana Gabaldon’s brilliant storytelling has captivated millions of readers in her bestselling and award-winning Outlander saga. Now, in her first-ever graphic novel, Gabaldon gives readers a fresh look at the events of the original Outlander: Jamie Fraser’s side of the story, gorgeously rendered by artist Hoang Nguyen.

After too long an absence, Jamie Fraser is coming home to Scotland—but not without great trepidation. Though his beloved godfather, Murtagh, promised Jamie’s late parents he’d watch over their brash son, making good on that vow will be no easy task. There’s already a fat bounty on the young exile’s head, courtesy of Captain Black Jack Randall, the sadistic British officer who’s crossed paths—and swords—with Jamie in the past. And in the court of the mighty MacKenzie clan, Jamie is a pawn in the power struggle between his uncles: aging chieftain Colum, who demands his nephew’s loyalty—or his life—and Dougal, war chieftain of Clan MacKenzie, who’d sooner see Jamie put to the sword than anointed Colum’s heir.
And then there is Claire Randall—mysterious, beautiful, and strong-willed, who appears in Jamie’s life to stir his  compassion . . . and arouse his desire.

But even as Jamie’s heart draws him to Claire, Murtagh is certain she’s been sent by the Old Ones, and Captain Randall accuses her of being a spy. Claire clearly has something to hide, though Jamie can’t believe she could pose him any danger. Still, he knows she is torn between two choices—a life with him, and whatever it is that draws her thoughts so often elsewhere.
Step into the captivating, passionate, and suspenseful world of The Exile, and experience the storytelling magic of Diana Gabaldon as never before.
I really enjoyed this graphic novel--the artwork is just amazing, and the story really shines.  I hope you will enjoy it, too!
To enter, please use the Rafflecopter form below.  The giveaway will run until September 17.  On Wednesday, September 18 I will post the name of the winner.  US entrants only, please.
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday Motivation - Something for everyone

Image source

Friday, September 6, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things - Musical edition

Friday!  It's here!  I know it's been a short week, since Monday was a holiday, but I'm still quite happy that we've reached another weekend.  If you haven't already, be sure to stop by VikLit's blog so you can sign up to join us on this hop!

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This week, I'm celebrating music.  I generally like to have music on while I'm working at my day job, and fortunately, I'm able to stream it through my computer.  It really helps to make the day go by, and I find that my mood is much improved when I can listen to music.  Not that I'm a grumpy troll when my office is quiet (at least, I don't think I am), but having music definitely makes me more cheerful.

I've been listening to a lot of country, rock, and indie music lately, but I find that when I steal a few minutes to write, I have to switch to classical or silence in order to feel my characters.  Not sure why that is, but there you go.

What about you?  Do you like to have music on while you write/work?  If so, what kind?  And what are you celebrating this week?

Photo Friday - Sitting pretty

Just a spot of beauty to start your weekend off on the right foot!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Happy Anniversary, IWSG!

It's the first Wednesday of September, which means it's time for another IWSG post.  First of all, many congratulations to Alex J. Cavanaugh, creator of this amazing blog hop.  IWSG has been going strong for two years, and hopefully has many more years to go!  If you haven't joined this community, stop by Alex's blog to sign up and post with us!

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My insecurity for this month (yes, I'm only picking one, thank you very much) is related to impostor syndrome.  You've probably heard of this--it's the feeling that you are incompetent, and your successes are due to the fact that you've fooled everyone into thinking you know what you're talking about.

For those of you who don't know, I started my professional life as a scientist, which means I spent a little over five years in graduate school. Looking back on the experience, I think grad school is designed to foster impostor syndrome--imagine year after year of failure punctuated by the occasional success, so that you begin to think those rare successes are due more to luck than any skill on your part.  Anyway, I digress.

My well-developed sense of impostor syndrome often rears its ugly head in other areas of my life as well. And why not?  If you really put your back into it, you too can experience feelings of doubt and insecurity in any aspect of your life!

Lately, I've been worrying about my writing, and feeling like maybe my successes to date are due to a combination of luck and fooling people. Making them think I can actually write, when really, I'm nothing more than a hack with a computer.  What if no one buys my book?  What if I'm the biggest flop in the history of publishing, and I never get to write in this town again, and...  Or, perhaps worse, what if people buy my book and they hate it?  What if I disappoint all the people who have invested in my writing career?  They'll figure out that they caught me on a rare good day, and that really, most of my work is bad and they wasted their time on me.

One of the problems with impostor syndrome is that it's terribly insulting to those around you.  You really think you're good enough to have fooled everyone?  Please.  That implies a near mythical level of skill, something you don't have in the first place, right?  So how could you possibly sneak past all the 'gatekeepers' of your field?  My rational brain knows and accepts this, but still...  Fear is a powerful thing, and it doesn't play by rational rules.

So I guess I'm going to do the only thing I can: try my best to ignore the voices of doubt and worry, and keep plugging away, day after day (like the failed poet I am <g>).

How do you deal with doubt?  Are you a fellow sufferer of impostor syndrome, too?