Minette Lauren

Published: 81 articles

Tuesday Special

Daisy Dukes ‘N Cowboy Boots
We just wanted to direct our readers to Check out The Write Way Cafe today, where we are being featured for the Tuesday Special ? http://thewritewaycafe.blogspot.com/2017/05/tuesday-special-zari-reede.html

It is a fabulous place to find new featured authors and great reads!

Welcome, Mary Jane Bryan, our first guest post!

Mary Jane Bryan, Author with Black Opal BooksNo Small Deceit front coverNo Small Deceit front cover

The Book Review

 I have to do it again.  I just have to, and I know you’ll forgive me, ’cause this is just so much a vital part of any author’s authorness and success.

            I have to gress to The Book Review, interrupting the book writing and manuscript submission process I’m sharing with you.  Yeah, that’s in capital letters, reminiscent of The Closing in real estate.  Don’t you just hear those capital letters anytime anyone buys a house and they say those words in hushed, reverent tones – “The Closing” – the Holy Grail of real estate transactions.

Well, The Book Review seems to be the Holy Grail for authors.

Do you like to get a tooth pulled?  Maybe a root canal (just pull the tooth!)?

Anyway, giving a book review seems to be akin to pulling teeth for most people, or better still, getting up in front of people to speak.

Yes…I’ve decided, psychologically speaking, that most people’s alarms go off and their eyes glaze over when you ask them to go into Amazon and/or Barnes and Noble online and give you a book review (5 stars, please! Ha!) after they tell you how wonderful your book was and s/he really enjoyed reading it.

These alarms go off because their brains (I’m sure; this is my conclusion) that when they hear the word “review” it automatically translates to “report,” and who liked to write and give those dreaded book reports (make it two pages, the teacher said) back in intermediate, middle or high school?  Yikes, standing in front of all those kids…

Since the #1 fear for most people is public speaking, writing being a close second, the eyes glaze over and ears shut down.  I tell them:

  1. It takes about 2 minutes, considering how fast fingers fly over smart phones, etc., these days;
  2. Google Amazon;
  3. Click on Books;
  4. Type in No Sma…my book comes up at the top of the list;
  5. Click on No Small Deceit;
  6. Click on the pic of the small book that comes up, a bigger book comes up;
  7. Click on Customer Reviews and go from there.
  8. You can remain anonymous. You don’t have to have bought it from Amazon (what about those book signings where I signed it for you???) or B&N.
  9. Choose 5 stars, of course (you just said what a great book it was!)
  10. Your comment can be as short or long as you like. e., “Great book!”  “You must read this,” ….
  11. Submit and X out.

EASY-PEASY, right?

 Then, HELP!


Or, go have a tooth pulled!

Is Romance on the chopping block?

This morning I received an email, from my author’s group, informing us that Harlequin Romance is closing down five of their lines: Western, Superromance, Love Inspired Historical, Nocturne, and Kimani. Harlequin has not announced this yet, but several online sites are telling us it’s true. This leads me to wonder how the news ties in with so many imprints opening in Australia. Every time I run a search, for publishers who accept unsolicited manuscripts, several of the Big Five imprints pop up Down Under. I wonder if it’s a better market there, or their culture hasn’t hit the e-book craze yet?

I have read articles about people returning to bookstores, and even the manager of Barnes & Noble, at our book signing, said print was on the rise, but I have been skeptical. I saw only two to three women in the romance section, in the four hours I was there. Several women, that we chatted with at the event, said they hadn’t read a romance in years. I got the impression that romance was beneath them or something they had grown out of by their tone. I buy more books now that I am published, and I buy more print than previously, but most of my books are still downloaded.

I think the big problem is social media–the very thing that assists in the marketing of books. Netflix and Amazon produce so many shows, that with the little time people can read, they are watching TV, reading snippets on FB or Twittering. I have done it myself, sat down to read a book and got sidetracked by a Tweet. Maybe the real culprit is the cell phone. We can do almost anything from it, and it beacons us back to its illuminated, entrancing screen. I know my phone is never far from my itching fingers, even when I sleep.

I still enjoy books, and I loved seeing so many young people, in Barnes &Noble, the day of our book event. I do worry about the ever-growing technology changing reading habits forever. I’m not sure what Harlequin’s closings means to romance, but it could be a good thing. Maybe it’s a reorganization of the company’s structure.

Start writing screenplays everyone. I hear the attention span of the next generation is less than a minute! With that in mind, I hope I have distracted you with my one minute blog post on books and reading. Now get out there and read some romance! I recommend, Daisy Dukes ‘n Cowboy Boots!

A letter from Granny…

I don’t have to tell you how nervous I was when my Granny wanted to read our West Texas, humorous romance. Everyone in my family refers to my Grandmother as Granny, and she reminds me a lot of the Granny on The Beverly Hillbillies. She resides in a small town outside of Lexington, Ky and her sister, my great aunt, lives in the bible belt part of the state. Granny is a strong woman with big opinions and prefers to watch baseball or football and drink diet coke as she works crossword puzzles from her reclining chair. She is sharp as a tack, and her strength and love is the glue that has held the family together for many years. She loves a good western and won’t go to a modern day movie. She doesn’t care much for television or reading fluff, so when she said she wanted to know how to get a copy, of course, I cringed and mailed one to her. I warned her of the sexual content, language and the small squabble of a fight or two. She wasn’t daunted, and told me she knew how to turn the page.

My Granny has written letters to me ever since I moved away from Louisiana, where I was raised from ages ten to twenty-one. I am not much of a phone talker, so I have written my grandmother back every time, though I admit I can take a little bit of time in-between letters. My handwriting is terrible, and I wonder how she gets through them, but there is something about a handwritten correspondence that says I love you, and I do love my Granny!

I received a letter in the mail last night that told me she had finished my book and that she loved it. She said she couldn’t put it down. In her eyes it was a good western, but she did tell me she didn’t approve of the foul language. I wrote back and told her that I didn’t say it. That bad-boy, Lenny, did! When I read the last part of her letter that told me she was proud of me, I can tell you honestly I cried. She has always supported us grand kids…though I hardly think of myself as a kid anymore. It was nice to see the written words and hear her voice in my head.

Signing at Barnes&Noble May 13th! (Baybrook-Webster) 1-3pm

Daisy Dukes 'n Cowboy BootsBarnes & Noble

Zari Reede: Daisy Dukes ‘n Cowboy Boots

Author Signing, Author Event
Saturday May 13, 2017 1:00 PM
(Fiction, Romance)
Event Description
When big-city lawyer, Nolan Anderson, rolls into town, Ferina Kincaid goes into a tailspin of worry over losing her ranch. She knows he’s been hired by the town banker and long-time Kincaid nemesis, who owns the land adjacent to Ferina’s property. He will stop at nothing to take what is rightfully hers. With more than her land at stake, Ferina fears she’s no match for this too handsome lawyer.



Love this Trilogy! Review: Surrender at Sunset, Book III

Surrender at Sunrise: Book 3 of the Sunset Trilogy by [Royston, Tonya]


I have never been a series or trilogy reader, but this trilogy was impossible to put down. I had to know what happened next, and each book builds to crescendo of excitement , which is not typical of second or third books. Rather than waning this story spikes, leaving the reader guessing at what will happen next and who Laken will choose. The tempo factor is a ten and the trilogy itself is a real winner. A story for any age YA- 90! If you love adventure and romance, this book is for you.

Book Gear and Promotions!

Barnes & NobleBarnes & NobleBarnes & NobleBarnes & NobleBarnes & Noble

Rebecca, my guest weenie dog, wanted to introduce our new business cards and book marks! They look fabulous, just like her. A special thanks to fellow BOB author, Madge Gressley. She is the graphic designer who took Zari Reede’s cover design and made smashingly professional promotional gear for our book signings. If you are an author needing a little help with promotional tools, I highly recommend letting Madge take care of your book gear. Banners, business cards, table runners, book marks, you name it, she is the person to take over so the writing keeps flowing. I loved designing the cover of Daisy Dukes ‘n Cowboy boots, but I didn’t have time to figure out all the quirks of building templates for these items.

I will be happy to hand out bookmarks for every purchase of Daisy Dukes ‘n Cowboy Boots, Saturday, May 13, 2017 at Barnes&Noble location near Baybrook mall in Houston, Texas. We will be there signing books at 1pm. I can’t wait to meet our readers!

Review for Silence at Midnight

I really like this series about a simple small town girl, who finds her world turned upside down, by a multitude of secrets that start to unravel in book two, of the Sunset series. If you read book one, you wont be surprised that Royston leaves you with a “Stay Tuned” ending. I don’t usually read trilogies, because I usually find myself bored by the second book, no matter how good the first story is. That being said, I have to tell you I think the second book is even better than the first and I am actively reading the third. I can’t get enough of this story and can’t wait to find out how it ends…but then there is the bittersweet, no more story. I judge a book by how much I want to read it. I have read the first two novels when I woke up, before I went to bed, before the gym, in the doctors office from my phone, and any time I had to snatch a few more pages. It is a great trilogy with interesting characters and an intrigue that leave you wanting more.

Review: Lead Me Into Danger

Lead Me into Danger by [Bernett, Daniella]

I think this was an incredibly well written mystery, with a complex plot. So many layers to keep the reader guessing. It is fast paced, well described and I personally like the tension between Longdon and Kirby. They are multi-faceted characters that make you want to keep reading even after the book is done. Hemingway meets Dan Brown that takes a spin around the ball room with Audrey Hepburn (Roman Holiday Style). If you like intrigue with intelligence, Daniella Bernett checks all the boxes with Lead Me into Danger.

A review for Shadows at Sunset


Shadows at Sunset: Book 1 of the Sunset Trilogy by [Royston, Tonya]

Tonya Royston’s, Shadows at Sunset, is a wonderful tale of a teenage-girl who possesses a special ability to talk to animals. Laken Sumner is the kind of girl that can relate to all teen issues, including what to do about college applications and which guy to give her heart to. Her simple days hiking through the forest and serving up pizza are over once the school year starts, and she finds a missing little boy. When a body is pulled from the forest soon after, she has to wonder how her small town has changed, but she knows her pet wolf, Dakota, will keep her safe. A love triangle between Laken, the new deputy and a cool guy at school make this a story you won’t put down. It ends right where you think things will finally unfold, so be prepared to dive into book two of this fast paced series. I already have!