Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Sweet Spot by Laura Drake ~ Interview ~ Excerpt~

Crystal: Today I am so happy to welcome Laura Drake to my blog. She has been kind enough to stop by and answer a few questions for me. I just had the pleasure of reading The Sweet Spot, her current release, and my review can be found on here of course. Thank you so much for stopping by today Laura, Would you share a little bit about yourself with us today?

Laura: I am a city girl, from Detroit, who never grew out of my tomboy ways, or a serious cowboy crush. In 1980, my sister and I packed our Pintos and moved to California, sight unseen. There I fell in love with the West, and my husband, a ‘bleed maroon’ Texas Aggie. I now aspire to be a Texan!

I began writing sixteen years ago. Three books and 413 rejections later, I sold! I retired the Corporate CFO gig last year to write, full time. I’m a wife, grandmother, and motorcycle chick in the remaining waking hours.

Crystal: Where did you come up with the idea for The Sweet Spot?

Laura: It evolved from my love of Pro Bull Riding. Charla is loosely patterned after my Mother-in-law, Edith. She’s an old-fashioned ranch wife, who majored in Home-Ec in college (yes, that was a major at one time!) She considered everything inside the house her job and outside, her husband’s. So I got to thinking, what if a woman like that suddenly had to run a ranch by herself? I love ‘fish out of water’ stories!

Crystal:  What are you currently working on?

Laura: I recently turned in the last book in my Sweet on a Cowboy series, and I’m writing a three book series; stories set in the same town as my ‘biker-chick’ novel, Her Road Home.

Crystal: Do you have anything else to be released soon? 

Laura: I have three books out this year! Next is Her Road Home, my ‘biker-chick’ novel. It will be released by Harlequin’s Superromance line in August. Then the second book in my Sweet on a Cowboy series, Nothing Sweeter, will be out in December.

Crystal: Do you have any special routine that you follow when you are writing? 

Laura: I get up to write every day at 3 am. Weekends too. It started years ago, when I’d get up two hours early to write before work. Now that I’m retired, I’m stuck with it – I have an alarm-cat that doesn’t have a snooze button. 

If it’s a good writing day, I’m done by 11 am. If it’s a ‘chip from stone’ day, I may work until 3 pm . . .or later.  But I’m loving every bit of it! It took me 16 years to get here, and I’m not stopping! 

Crystal: Who are some of your favorite authors that you like to read?

Laura: Oh wow, how much time do we have? You know writers are the biggest readers, right? 
Here’s just a few:
Barbara Samuel
Jody Piccoult
Jane Porter
Anne River Siddons
Sharla Lovelace
Pat Conroy
Herman Wouk
Stephen King
Ayn Rand
Jeffery Deaver
Tessa Dare
Yes, I can get a bit far afield…

Crystal: Did you do anything special to celebrate the release of The Sweet Spot?

Laura: I’ve felt like a Disney Princess, all week! I’ve had a newspaper and blog radio interview, a Twitter party with Tessa Dare, and Vicky Dreiling, who had releases the same day, Facebook postings from friends all over the country, posting photos of my book on the shelves….it’s been a ball!
But Cinderella is back to the cinders on Monday – I’ve got to turn off the internet, and write!

Crystal: Do you have a favorite scene you would like to share?

Laura: The Sweet Spot is an emotional, dramatic story. But there’s humor, too. This is a scene where the heroine, Charla, and her New Yorker friend brave the gossips at the Clip n Curl.


Bella wore the black faux leather like chain mail. It hugged every curve, bend, and hollow. As Bella crossed the sidewalk to the car, Char let her eyes slide to the knee high, stiletto slouch boots with silver chains across the instep, jingling like a cowboy’s spurs with every step. 
She leaned across the seat and clicked open the passenger side door. “I didn’t think to tell you, but women hereabouts don’t generally dress up for a trip to the Clip ‘n Curl.” 
Bella slinked in and slammed the door, her sea of black curls taking up almost as much space as her body. Her earrings matched the silver chains on her boots, and one strand stretched to a diamond stud in her nostril. She noticed Char’s stare. “Don’t worry, it’s a magnet, not a piercing.” She reached for the seat belt. “I figure, I’ve got a closetful of New York, Badass black, and if there ever was a day for it, it’s today.” The buckle snapped with a decisive click. 
Char glanced down at her own outfit. An old lady seersucker blue and white striped blouse with embroidered daisies, pedal pushers, and slip-on tennis shoes. “How about I drop you off and I’ll go shopping? I owe you a manicure for working on the ranch, but I don’t need to go.”
Bella stared through the windshield, a muscle working in her jaw. “If you think I’m going into that wolf’s den alone, you’d better think again.”
Char chuckled and put the car in gear. “Don’t tell me a tough city girl like you is afraid of a bunch of good ‘ol country gals. I don’t believe it.” She wheeled out of the apartment complex into the traffic on North Washington. 
“You’re kidding, right? Those women would eat their own young, then gossip while they picked their teeth with the bones.” Bella fingered the rings on her necklace as if they were prayer beads.
Char wheeled into the parking lot and slid into one of the few remaining spots.
She turned off the car and grabbed her purse from the floorboard. 
“Have you ever thought of a weave?” 
Char met Bella’s measuring gaze with a shake of her head. 
“Nothing crazy. I’m talking about a lighter shade of blond on the top layer, and around your face.” She cocked her head. “It would brighten your skin and set off those cornflower blue eyes.”
Char looked in the rearview mirror at herself. Same blonde, shoulder length hair she’d had since high school, caught up in the usual ponytail. But the light through the sunroof shone off the silver. When had that happened? Char ducked her head. Yeah, and then comes a touch-up every six weeks at forty bucks a pop. “Nah, maybe just a cut.” Char pulled herself out of the car. Bella unfurled from it like a starlet on the red carpet. She looked from herself to Bella. “We look like a joke about the grandma and the dominatrix.” 
Bella let out a startled bark of laughter. Then her face sobered as she looked toward the Clip ‘n Curl. “I’m regretting the decision to leave my leather whip home.”
As they approached the salon, Bella’s steps shortened, and her chin got higher.
She balked at the door, a little girl’s uncertainty on her face. Char leaned over, pulled the door open, and held it for her friend. “Come on, Sista. I’ll show you ‘round the ‘hood.” 
They walked in laughing. 

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  1. This sounds like a really good book. I will have to add Laura Drake to my favorite authors list.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I really enjoyed this one :)

  2. What a great interview! I can't wait to read The Sweet Spot, it sounds like a really touching story.

  3. Nice interview, congrats to the author on her release...and I am not up at 3 am unless I am stuck in a good book and haven't gone to bed yet, lol.