Sharon's INSPIRATIONAL Short stories of Faith and Romance can be found HERE or visit her
Facebook Page, which also has the links in the comments.)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Interview with Laurean Brooks



Today’s special guest is fellow White Rose author and good friend Laurean Brooks. Laurean is a woman on the move, promoting her debut book--Journey to Forgiveness. I have read this book and it really is all that and more. What makes it such an emotional and heart-felt read is the fact the story is based on her mother’s true life. In Journey to Forgiveness, Jenny must face her demons and let go of her anger before she can find love with Austin. I give Laurean Brooks all the credit in the world for taking on such an emotional challenge. Delving into such personal and traumatic issues about her mother could not be easy. Let’s hear it for this incredible woman. Welcome, my friend!

Thank you for agreeing to be my guest today, Laurie. Grab a seat and a French Vanilla Latte. Now I’ve given readers a premise to Journey to Forgiveness. But I’m sure folks would prefer hearing a synopsis of this book in your own words. The stage is yours, girlfriend.

Laurean: First, Sharon, could you add an extra dollop of whipped topping to this Latte? There. I like lots of whipped cream, thank you. And thank you for inviting me to be your guest on this awesome blog. (Laurie sips her latte, deep in thought. “Mmm-mm.” After she places the tall glass on the table beside her easy chair, she begins.)

Sharon, as you mentioned, Journey To Forgiveness is based on my mother’s life. I have to insert a disclaimer here or my mother will string me up by my feet. (Laurie rolls her eyes.) The abuse from her father—my grandfather—was real, as was his desertion. And my heroine, Jenny’s move to Chicago to seek employment to support her mother and siblings was also fact. Even the humorous incident where Jenny is almost caught slipping shrimp to her employer’s poodle under the table, is true. (Laurie laughs) My mother still thinks shrimp is disgusting.

After Jenny Hinson’s abusive father deserts the family and takes her older brother along, the responsibility of the 50-acre Tennessee farm falls to Jenny and her mother. Her siblings are too small to help with the heavier work such as plowing, cultivating. In the 1930s most rural farms still used mules to do the work. So fieldwork was extremely exhausting. The cotton crop was the Hinsons’ main source of income. In 1938, four years after her father’s desertion, boll weevils infest the cotton. Along with a letter from Jenny’s aunt in Chicago, comes the solution. Jenny packs her bags and heads north on the Illinois Central.

Jenny is a stranger to electricity since it hasn’t yet reached rural Chicory Valley. But not only is she introduce to it in its tapped form in Chicago, but also encounters a few jolts along the way when she challenges the handsome, but infuriating, Austin Grant over a luggage mishap. Sparks fly outside the Kankakee train station when Jenny discovers her missing vanity case under Austin’s arm. She is sure he’s a thief.

A few days later, Austin smiles at her from behind the pulpit at her aunt’s church while coaxing money from the congregation. Jenny is furious! The money is supposed to go to aid victims of a tornado-ravaged town three hours south of Chicago. But Jenny has her own ideas about Austin’s intentions. She is sure the man is a scoundrel! So when the reverend asks for volunteers to join a mission trip to that same small town, Jenny signs up determined to expose Austin and his nefarious deeds.

The volunteers live in a warehouse-turned-homeless shelter during their twelve-day mission trip. Jenny misses Austin one night at the evening meal. She gets suspicious, goes in search and finds him kneeling in front of the mission strongbox. When he removes a large roll of money and stuffs it into his pocket, she flees. That is when she realizes she can’t report the theft. The money isn’t the only thing Austin has stolen. Her heart speeds up and performs all kinds of crazy acrobats just at the sight of the gorgeous man. Still, her personal convictions would never allow a relationship where trust was blatantly missing.

She must face Austin with the tough questions that either make or break their relationship. Even then, how can she possibly trust any man unless she confronts her estranged father? Can she forgive her father’s brutality? Is Austin guilty of theft?

I am not saying another word. (Laurean wags her finger at the audience.) Sorry, folks. You will have to read Journey To Forgiveness and draw your own conclusions.
******
Sharon: That’s so intriguing, Laurie. Now let’s talk about book signings and presentations. As a new author with a debut book, this must present as many thrilling challenges as it does phobias. It must be so exciting to have a dream turn into a reality. How do you feel, sitting there in your local library or bookstore, signing your signature to a book you’ve written, your baby from conception to birth and beyond. What goes through your head? Do you enjoy being in the limelight—or do you have to push yourself to be a go-getter?

Laurean: Sharon, it can be thrilling. I’ve described my life in the past two months as a tilt-a-whirl that keeps spinning. Sometimes I want it to stop, but truthfully, I’m not sure I want to get off. I think I’ll hang on for the ride. As far as the public, I love people, so the book signings are right up my alley. I do get a little nervous if the person stands over me while I sign his/her book, so I pen a Bible verse (usually from the Psalms) on the inside of each book the night before. Then all I have to add is a name and one personal line.

Speaking publicly to a group is another story. In the last month I’ve done two book presentations. These were my first attempts. I was nervous both times, but beforehand I asked God to give me the words and reminded Him that I was doing this for Him, and that I was depending on His strength to get me through. He has not failed me yet. Now, I’m not saying I wasn’t nervous.

For instance. This Saturday when I drove up in front of Obion County library to give a presentation, and spied at least 70 cars in the parking lot, I almost panicked and burned rubber. LOL. Turned out that 99% of the people were in a class in the adjoining room. Whew!

Sometimes I like the limelight, but other times I like my solitude. I guess you could say I have a dual personality. I guess it’s all about balance. I need people, but also need quiet time.
****
Sharon: How interesting. And tell me about the teacher that planted the seed in your head to become a writer. I know Miss Mary is no longer with us, but her son came to one of your book signings. That must have been so emotional, so both of you. Can you share with us a little about that meeting?

Laurean: Sharon, I will have to admit that I was probably Miss Mary’s pet. It was fifth grade and I was very shy. No, really I was. Miss Mary was nearing retirement, even then. She placed the class cutup behind me, probably thinking Kemp would behave better near a shy person. Wrong! He just brought out the comedienne in me. One day she had assigned us sentences to make from our spelling words. I turned around to get Kemp’s input. “What sentence can I make with ‘drank’?” He replied, “The man drank whiskey for breakfast.”

I giggled a little too loud. Miss Mary yelled, “Kemp!” and stalked over gripping her plastic ruler. “Hold out your hand,” she commanded. Kemp stuck out his hand and she smacked it three times. When she finished, I held out my hand.

Miss Mary asked, “Do you think you need one, too?” I nodded. I probably could have gotten out of it, but I knew that I was at least half to blame since I had asked Kemp the question. She grabbed my hand, bent my fingers way back, and smacked three times with that ruler. Boy, it stung! But I knew I deserved to share the punishment. I felt awful about getting Kemp in trouble since he stayed in trouble half the time anyway. After another incident or two, she moved poor old Kemp somewhere else. (He probably thanked God.) But no matter where she put him, there was always a commotion. Kemp had such an outgoing personality and crazy sense of humor, that everyone liked him.

Miss Mary was the first one who encouraged me to write. I know you’ve heard the story, Sharon. But some of our audience hasn’t. We were to read one book every six weeks and give an oral book report. I loved mysteries so that was no chore. And I really dug into the Nancy Drew books. Any mystery, really. One day after I had given an oral report on a popular mystery, I ended it with a couple questions? Did they ever find Tony? Were his kidnappers ever caught? Find out when you read this book.”

When I finished, half the students started to argue over who would get the book next. Miss Mary settled the issue, then smiled at the class and announced, “One day Laurie will be an author.”

I felt something swell up inside my spirit. She had planted a seed. It sprouted and grew over the years. And it is finally producing fruit. I needed her encouragement more than anything. Coming from a family of seven kids, me being the fourth, I craved the attention that my parents never found time to give. So because she believed in me, I tried my best to impress her.

Of course there was the time my impressing got a little carried away. I received a reprimand from Miss Mary for an essay about Columbus. How was I to know it had to realistic? And what is reality to a 10-year old? Just because the natives stuffed Columbus in a cannon and shot him back across the Atlantic Ocean…I mean who says it didn’t really happen that way? (Laurie laughs while Sharon shakes her head and smiles.)

You asked about Miss Mary’s son. This past Easter weekend I held a book signing in the Historical Society building of my alumni. A man and his wife, in their 60s approached my table. The woman said, “My name is Patsy Brann and this is my husband, David. When we saw the write-up about you and your book in the Historical Society newsletter, we just had to meet the lady who wrote about his mother.”

I did a double take. David was the spittin’ image of Miss Mary…minus the fluffy, grayish-blonde hair. I told him how much his mother had influenced me, then related the Columbus essay catastrophe. He smiled and said, “That sounds like mother.”
******
Sharon: Life truly does come full circle, doesn’t it? Now, Laurie, I know you’re a very spiritual woman. And I also know you enjoy taking long walks with your dog to meditate and contemplate life. What goes through your head while surrounded by the birds chirping, the sounds of nature, and the awesome beauty of the hills of Tennessee?

Laurean: When I have a problem, I go to the woods, weather permitting. Of if I need to think. Sometimes just to get away from noise. I’ve even taken a notebook and pencil to write down my thoughts. Other times when I’m desperate to hear God’s voice, I take my Bible and sit down on an old log. You would be surprised how many times it will fall open to just the verse you need. The sounds of nature calm me. The dogs head off on to follow the scent of a long-gone squirrel. They are protective, though. They come back to check on me about every five minutes. It doesn’t take long for the peace to come. Not always in the form of an answer. Sometimes it’s just the peace of knowing that God has the situation in His capable hands and He will work it out for my good.
****
Sharon: How inspiring. What do you find to be one of life’s most frustrating challenges? And what or whom do you turn to when faced with one of these challenges?

Finding time to do everything I want to do. If I get online to post to the loops or check email, my writing time slips away. When I write, the housework piles up. I wish I had a live-in housekeeper. Anybody want the job for room and board only? LOL. Other than that, insomnia saps my energy. If I get to bed by 10:30, often I’m still awake at two. Then I awake every couple hours. I get up by 7:30 or 8 a.m. regardless, but some days I have to get in an afternoon nap to survive. I blame it on hormone fluctuations; though I take everything natural that has been capsuled or whipped into a body cream.

Regarding the time issue, I have taken our friend, Pamela Thibodeaux’s advice. When I asked her a question about time management, she said that she did not get online until she had written
or edited for at least one hour. I’ve tried this for a couple weeks, and I’m a lot less frustrated. And, hey, I’ve even added to my WIP. Slowly, but it’s getting there.

But, if I take a few minutes to meditate especially to read praise Psalms before I pray, my day goes smoother. I accomplish more. If I forget to ask God for words, my writing lacks something.
*****
Sharon: That’s lovely. So what’s next for Laurean Brooks? Do you have a WIP you’d like to share with readers? Do share, girlfriend. Give us the scoop!

Laurean: My current WIP is a story of a cowgirl raised on a Wyoming ranch. She lost her mother to cancer when she was a child, then her father re-married. Now he has died, also. My heroine is left with a scheming, ambitious stepmother who tries to manipulate my heroine into a marriage with a local wealthy rancher’s son. My heroine wants no part of this guy. He’s ten years her senior and obnoxious, plus looks more like a frog than a handsome prince. On a scale of one to ten, Oliver is a one.

When her stepmother announces a party and insists she announce her engagement to the frog, my heroine packs her bags and flees. She has found an ad in the classifieds for a ranch hand in Colorado. She’s almost sure the ranch owner wants a man for the job, but, hey, she can do anything a man can. When she calls the ranch owner, her voice is hoarse because she’s recovering from laryngitis. He thinks she’s a man. She tries to explain, but he cuts her short, tells her she needs to get packed and get on the road, then hangs up. She starts to push redial, then rethinks her options. She packs her dad’s Levis and western shirts, then tosses in a fake mustache for good measure, whistles for her dog, hops in the truck, and tears out for Southern Colorado.

So what do you think so far? That’s all I’m telling.

Sounds like another bestseller. What is your favorite genre to read when not writing? And do you want to explore several genres—or are sweet romances it for you?

I sometimes read suspense, mystery. I’m not much into murder. Can’t sleep after I read those. I love time travel stories, too. Speaking of which, my favorite time travel movie was made in 1978 and starred Lindsey Wagner. “The Two Worlds of Jennifer Logan.” If you folks haven’t seen it, it is well worth pestering your video stores to order it. Back to reading favorites. Mostly I read inspirational, though I would like to see more suspense or mystery added to inspirational stories. Not murder, but a theft or vandalism to solve.

As for writing, I like using humor, but I would also like to add suspense. I will always keep the romance sweet. Old-fashioned romance with plenty of implied passion, but where the hero and heroine wait until they are married, and then it’s behind closed doors.
****
7. Sharon: Interesting. Okay, let’s talk about Laurean Brooks. What makes you tick? Inquiring minds want to know! What are your dreams? Your expectations? Your deepest fear? Your greatest joy?

Music moves me, inspires me, gets me excited. Contemporary Christian music, Southern Gospel, even some of the older hymns. And pop music from the 60s, and 70s. Country music from the mid-70s to late 80s. I just know when I like a song. Did I miss anything? Can’t get into rap or heavy metal.

My dreams….hmm. The most outlandish one is to make enough money to purchase land around Taneycomo Lake in Branson, MO. My husband and I take a 4-day trip there almost every summer, and always hate to leave. It’s not just the beauty of the mountains, hill, lakes, but the people are even friendly. When they discover that you are a tourist, they will hold up a long line of traffic just to let you pull out of a parking lot.

My expectations? To write several bestsellers. Not just any best seller. I want my writing to have depth—to go straight to the heart. If I can’t make my readers experience every scale of emotion through my writing, I feel that I have failed. I want them to laugh, cry, get angry at an injustice, experience jealousy, annoyance, frustration, but always end up saying, “Hey, that was a good book.”
****
Sharon: Now there ya go folks, a well-balanced woman. Just a few more questions, Laurie. Oh, and here comes dessert. We’ll just wrap up this interview and then dig in to those scrumptious brownies...here goes. What is the message you’d like to portray through your writing?

Laurean: My greatest fear is that I will leave this world without having made a difference. I want to leave behind a legacy through my writing and through my life as a Believer. If my life has changed at least one other life for the better, then I have not lived in vain.

I experience my greatest joys when I see or hear the excitement of others after they have just received great news. For instance, authors on the loops. It thrills me to read their excitement over a great review, or a win for best book of the week. And especially the first time an author holds her first print book in her hand. You can feel the excitement through the post.
****
Sharon: That is so beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Now how about hobbies. Do you do anything in your spare time to relax you? And how about an author who has made an impact on your life?

Laurean: With my hectic life, right now I don’t have much spare time. I do enjoy browsing antique malls, auctions and vacationing in the mountains. I just wish we could take more than a few days per year, or that we could take our dogs with us. I always worry about my babies when we are gone.

You asked about relaxation? Reading calms me. I usually fall asleep with a book in my hand. Spending time with my Labs, tossing a stick or just hugging them, relaxes me. And let’s not forget soothing music.

As far as an author who has made an impact, I would have to mention two. I grew up on Victoria Holt. I couldn’t get enough of the suspenseful stories she weaved in first person. My favorite book by her, “On The Night of The Seventh Moon.”

Next, I would have to mention Danielle Steel. She has a way of delving into her characters’ minds. I love that and try to copy it. Of course, I have to stop and give Michael Landon credit. When I watched “Little House on The Prairie” I thought. “That’s the way I want to write. To move my readers.” If the reader doesn’t feel anything, what I have I accomplished.

I don’t enjoy writing detailed description. I would spend time in dialogue and inside my characters minds. In the past decade I’ve read mainly inspirational romance. Marta Perry and Loree Lough are two of my favorite Steeple Hill authors. They know how draw the reader into the story.
****
Sharon: Those sound great. Now before I let you go, I have my three trivia questions for you. I know, hurry up. You wanna dig into that Double fudge brownie delight. I’ll make it quick. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? If you could choose a historical era in time, which would it be and why? And last but not least, if you could be the leading lady in any literary fiction, which would it be and whom would you want playing your hero?

Laurean: Let’s see. I would love to be a Southern Belle from Mississippi or Georgia, who lived on a large cotton plantation before the Civil War. It would be lovely to dress up and go to the balls and be wooed by Southern gentlemen. LOL. Life was simpler back then, though I’m not sure I would enjoy all the needlework and quilting.

If I could play Scarlett O’Hara to Clark Gable’s Rhett Butler, that would suit me fine. He had that same scoundrel-like charm that oozes from my hero, Austin in “Journey To Forgiveness.” If I couldn’t have Clark Gable, I’d take Clint Walker, the tall, muscular man who starred in “Cheyenne.” Do you remember him? I know these guys are ancient history, but I can’t think of one modern-day celebrity who has those same old-fashioned qualities, and treats a woman like a real lady.
*****
Sharon: Of course I remember Cheyenne Bodie! Well, that brings us to the end of this very exciting interview. It’s been so much fun, Laurie, and I sure hope you come back again. You know I love you and everything about you. I wish you mega success with all you do. And I know readers will look forward to all future books by Laurean Brooks. Thank you, my friend. Now let’s dig into dessert!

Laurean: Thank you for inviting me, Sharon. I’ve had a wonderful time. And this has been such a wonderful audience. Let’s give them a big hand. (Laurean claps, then blows kisses to the audience before she digs into her Double-fudge brownie delight. Mmm-mm! Sharon, you can invite me back any time. Just stock up on fudge brownies, hot fudge sauce, and ice cream. Oh, and whipped topping.

The curtain starts to close with Sharon and Laurean waving. Laurean waves her spoon and mumbles around the hunk of brownie bulging her left cheek. “Bye, everyone. See you soon.”

53 comments:

Sharon Donovan said...

Good morning folks. Let's have a warm cyber applause for my special guest and friend, White Rose author of Journey to Forgiveness-- Laurean Brooks. Welcome, Laurie! Grab a cyber seat, girlfriend and make yourself at home. Here's your French Vanilla Latte and a platter of fresh baked fudge brownies. Dig in and enjoy!

Sharon

lastnerve said...

Hi Sharon, Hey Laurie! Loved the blog today! What a sweet moment it must have been to meet Miss Mary's son! Can you believe how many lives you are touching through your book? It is so amazing! I love your book, you know that and I am not onto the other yet, but I PROMISE, I am catching up! And hey, I am watching my girlish figure, you got any pizza leftovers? It always tastes better the second day!

:) Have a great one guys! You both rock!

Val

Sharon Donovan said...

Hey Val! Welcome. Laurie promised to be along shortly. She's stuck in cyber space. But in the meantime, it just so happens I have some chilled pizza with the works from dinner last night. Mmmmm. Dig in, girl!

Sharon

lastnerve said...

MMMMMMMM (rolling my eyes) The pizza is so good! Laurie might be here I while, I saw there was a pile up at the intersection of Yahoo and Google. Major mess! LOL

Miss Mae said...

All right, you two, stop passing that flask around that spiked yesterday's lemonade in South Carolina! LOL

Wonderful interview, Sharon and Laurie. I've read "Journey" and loved Austin! Who couldn't adore him? What I especially admire about this book, though, is how Laurie really captures the atmosphere and mood of the era. Listening to the old radio programs, conversations going on about Hitler, all of these were so realistic to draw you into that world. And I understood the difficulty Jenny had when confronting her dad. How could she forgive him when her hatred was what he deserved? Yep, letting go of that is a quality not considered "normal".

So, okay, any brownies left? :)

lastnerve said...

hiding the brownies in the cabinet ...... no Miss Mae, they are all gone. Sharon ate them really quickly! *snort*

Sharon Donovan said...

Okay girls...stop that fist fight over the pizza. Whewww...Here's some brownies to hold the troops. Just got a cyber shout from Laurie. She's stuck at a cyber red light and will be here shortly.
Sharon

P.L. Parker said...

I love pizza for breakfast. I'll be right there - er - where are you? Great interview Laurean and Sharon!

Patsy
P. L. Parker

Laurean Brooks said...

Val, you are so right. I did get stuck in that traffic. I thought the road construction crew would never flip that stop sign around. Ugh.

Don't they know that this busy woman has a life?

Great to see you here. And so glad you liked Journey To Forgiveness.

Hugs!

Laurean Brooks said...

Miss Mae,

I am so glad to see that you've sobered up nicely. Did you have a hangover this morning? Shame on whoever spiked that lemonade! What a disgrace to pull that on a pure Southern genteel lady!

So happy you stopped by. And sooo glad you got a kick out of Austin's antics and Jenny's sassy tongue in Journey To Forgiveness. I got plenty more spirited characters in my head.

Come to think of it yours are sassy and spirited too. Could it be a spin-off of our personalities? Hee-hee.

Hugs,
Laurie

Laurean Brooks said...

Sharon,

Sooo sorrry! I meant to say "Hi!" And thank you so much for inviting me. And this latte....what better way to wake up. Deeeeelicious!

Hugs,
Laurie

Laurean Brooks said...

Val,

Stick your hand out for that last slice of pizza and draw back a nub! (Would you believe I had to pull out Webster to see if nub had a k in front of it?) Don't tell anyone, but sometimes the small words are the ones that throw me.

Yes it was a moving experience to meet Miss Mary's son. I swear when he smiled, he looked just like her. If I'd had a gray-blonde wig, I would have slapped it on his head so I coul see Miss Mary again.

Hugs!
Laurie

Laurean Brooks said...

Hey PL,

I hid some pizza from Val. Right there in the back of the refrigerator. Shhhh!

I love that little dog your are holding. I have two adorable labs, Yipper and Riley.

Thanks for dropping by. Enjoy yourself. The pizza's good ain't it? I mean "isn't" it? Sorry. The Southern slang comes out.

Hugs,
Laurie

Sharon Donovan said...

Nothing like some cold pizza...where's the beer? Did Miss Mae run off with it to nurse her hang over? LOL Flying off to cyber space for a while to do some research on a federal prison inmate in an upcoming attraction. Stay tuned and I'll be back with more drinks and refreshments. Welcome, Patsy! If you want any of that pizza, hope you're good at arm wrestling. LOL

Sharon

JoAnn said...

My favorite line from the whole interview was, "I want to leave behind a legacy..."

Great goal!

~JoAnn Carter

lastnerve said...

running back into the room out of breath ....... whew, just got my morning excercise. *panting* See, I know the owner of the local pizza hut, told her I was at your party and that we were eating cold pizza. She said "No way girl, you are my best friend in the whole wide world so just for you I am going to open up Pizza Hut 5 hours early and make you your own hot, fresh pizza!" So I had to run down there, literally, and go get it. I ate half on the way here. So go ahead, keep your pizza and hey, I also know your hiding place, I have my own hot steaming pepperoni pizza with extra pepperoni and cheese" *taking a bite* Ahhhhhhhh, heaven! No, you can't have any!

That would have been funny if you had brought a wig with you to the signing and done that!! I can' just picture it now. LOL

Christine Clemetson said...

What a great interview Laurie.So inspiring! Your book sounds great. :)

Christine

Sharon Donovan said...

Elbows everyone...did I hear hot pizza with pepporoni? MMMMMM...now we're talking. I love pizza best when it's piping hot. Val, run back and bribe your friend or steal the delivery car.

lastnerve said...

Ok, Sharon you can have a piece ...... it's good huh?

Roses Of Houston said...

OMG! That's why our kids have no clue about history! LOLLLLLLLL

Roses Of Houston said...

That Roses of Houston was me, Skhye.

Laurean Brooks said...

Skhye,

Can you prove that it didn't happen that way? Uhhuh. Thought so. Now stand there and salute that shooting star. Don't be unpatriotic, girlfriend. LOL

Thanks for stopping by.

Hugs,
Laurie

Laurean Brooks said...

JoAnn,
That is one thing I am serious about. I do want to know that someone, or a lot of someones, have benefited from something I have said. Whether from written word or verbal.

Now grab a slice of pizza before Val gets it all. Miss Mae, are you okay? You still look a little green around the gills.

Hugs,
Laurie

Laurean Brooks said...

Thank you for dropping in, Christine. And I'm glad you like what you've heard.

Look! Sharon's bringing in another back of brownies. Gotta go!

Hugs,
Laurie

lastnerve said...

LOL - Miss mae is hung over ...... a commercial comes on tv.

Announcer says
** If you have a hang over, try Alka Seltzer Wake Up Call - it's an all new product! If you are at home and on your computer [AND YES WE MEAN YOU MISS MAE] go to this website and check us out http://www.alkaseltzer.com/as/as_wakeupcall.html **

BAUAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

Sharon Donovan said...

LOL Val! Good one.

Sharon

Miss Mae said...

Well, fiddlily-dee, what's all the fuzz? *hiccup*..I mean, fuss. Miss Mae may well be hung over...*flutters lashes while peering with reddened eyes over fan*...but I just luuuuve being hung over this gnarled magnolia limb with dishy George Clooney beside me.

Hmm, what's that, Georgy? You've been listening to the whole conversation and say you have an Uncle Austin? Ssssh, I won't tell any of these gals, gorgeous eyes!

lastnerve said...

LOL - I would take a Channing Tatum over an Uncle Austin. OK, wait ...... if he's George's uncle, that makes him OLLLLLLLLLLLLDDDDDDDDDDDDD! LOL

Sharon Donovan said...

Sharon rushes on cyber stage with turkey subs, mint tea and Alka Seltzer for the now passed out Miss Mae. Oops...too late. She's all passed out cold beneath a magnolia tree with a big smile on her face.

Laurean Brooks said...

Miss Mae,

Are you trying to say that Austin is old enough to have nephew. Well..considering that was 1938, I'm sure he has plenty. But I don't remember a George.

As a fact, I KNOW Austin has nephews, since Austin was my daddy. And he came from a large family.

Better than that, Austin has some great looking grandsons. Bobby, Jeremy, and Shannon. Real lookers. And all between ages 27 and 33.

Jeremy happens to be mine. He's blond and blue-eyed like Austin. The other two have darker hair and big brown eyes. But they are all handsome! And ALL married.

Now, get away from that magnolia limb before you stumble and fall over it. You'd sure look funny standing on your head, feet up in the air with that dress on. Hee-hee!

Sharon Donovan said...

Hey Laurie, how's it going, girlfriend? Can I getcha a cold drink? Ohhhh...here comes dessert...hot fudge sundaes!

lastnerve said...

I think the George thing is just one of Miss Mae's hallucinations again. You know how that crazy lady gets! Just pretend you don't notice!

OK, I have had enough food. Hey Laurie, catch! [throws a HUGE water balloon at you]

ha ha ha ....... YOU MISSED ...... here is a towel!

Sharon Donovan said...

Hey Laurie-- did you go awol? Or are you still helping the now snoring Miss Mae? Hey Val, don't look now but here comes a water baloon! Gotcha girl!

Larry Hammersley said...

Laurie: I enjoyed the guest appearance. I really enjoyed your novel and I thank you for the many kind remarks about my writing.
Sharon: Thank you for your wonderful remarks during my guest blog at yougottaread. What a wonderful compliment. Larry

Laurean Brooks said...

I'm not AWOL, Sharon. The utility people worked on something and my phone line was out for few minutes. Then I went BACK to the loops to announce our interview, and to announce the Sweetest Romance chat tonight at 8 eastern. It's our grand opening. Here's the link, everyone! I've typed it so many times I could type it in my sleep.
http://sweetestromancechat.blogspot.com

Val, you are in big trouble! Here comes a gallon size water balloon. Ha-ha! What happened to your perfectly styled hair?

And where is Miss Mae? Oh, I see. Her feet are still up in the air. Will someone please tuck her skirt around her legs? This is ridiculous! She needs to sober up. Or is she just swooning over George?

Miss Mae said...

*shrieks in laughter*...Oh, Georgy, Georgy, do stop tickling my tootsies, I can't breathe!...*pants with exhaustion*...ahem, where was I? Oh yes, ummm...*smooths untidy hair in place, grasps George's hand who pulls her, somewhat wobbly, to her feet*...This party is getting wild and woolly. Civilized people acting like a bunch of hooligans! Oh, duck! Duck, George! That's a...*splash*

lastnerve said...

ha ha ..... all of you who hit me, It didn't matter because I already had my snorkel and fins on! Jokes on you ..... pointing, jumping up and down laughing.

Sharon Donovan said...

Welcome, Larry. Thanks for stopping by. Laurie will be right back, but in the meantime, have a cold drink and here's some freshly baked peanutbutter cookies with M&Ms. Make yourself at home.
Sharon

Sharon Donovan said...

Hey Laurie! Get over here and help me move Miss Mae. Ohhh, fix her dress, that's it. Sharon slaps George's hand. Now George, stop that. That's our Southern Bell and once she sobers up, she's gonna be oh so flustered. George, stop that!

Laurean Brooks said...

Ohhhh! Miss Mae is going to be soooo upset once she's sober. But maybe she won't remember any of it.
Here, Sharon, you take her right arm and pull. while I try to get my hands under her back and push.
With a little luck, we can prop her against this Magnolia tree?

Oh! Where is that scoundrel George when we need him? Probably off chasing another skirt. Men!

Sharon Donovan said...

Whewww...ah now would ya look at that, Laurie. A few flies are starting to buzz about our sweet southern bell's head. Hee Hee. Sharon covers her mouth, but a few girlish giggles erupt. Miss Mae's mouth is now agape and she is really catching flies! Oh George! George! Get over here. Wipe that grin off your face!

Ashley Ludwig said...

Laurie, you are so talented & sharon - you do throw one heck of an interview. You all weren't kidding! I've been missing quite a party!

I'm trying to pack up for the beach - and I knew the loops were too quiet. You're all over here hiding poor Miss Mae!

(grabs bucket of water, tosses into miss mae's face) That ought to do it.

((hugs to you all))

Ash

Laurean Brooks said...

Look, Ashley...Sharon! Miss Mae is coming around. What shall we do? She is fightin' mad and yellin' George! George!

Look at Geroge. He's chasing Val around the yard with a wate balloon. Oh... what shall we do?

Sharon Donovan said...

Holy heck, Laurie! Poor Miss Mae's sputtering from the bucket of ice water Ash threw in her face. Val and George, watch out...ya don't wanna see a southern bell out of sorts...especially one just coming out of a hang over! Ooops...I'm outta here!

Miss Mae said...

*er, hmph!*...As I was just relating the tale to George of Little Bo Peep, I think I've lost a few articles too. My parasol is soaked, my gloves are caked with chocolate, my hair..*swat!*..Take that you buzzing fly!...*sigh*..

Oh my, I've just looked at my wrist hourglass! It's late, it's late, it's very late! I have guests coming, and I've been lollygagging over here all afternoon. I need to run home and freshen up, quick!

Thank you dears...*throws goodbye kisses in the air*...but George and I must depart.

George? George? George! Unhand Val!

lastnerve said...

trying to run away from George in flippers and a snorkel is not an easy thing to do let me just tell you. Come on Miss Mae, we'll get you in the house and cleaned up. I think I have a pair of jeans and a very pretty shirt that will knock George to his knees! .... turning to look at George, STAY! Miss Mae will be right back.

.... walking to the house Val whispers to Miss Mae "he's pretty spry for an old guy Miss Mae! and just so you know, I was running because I thought I saw Channing Tatum drive by and George thought I wanted to play with him .... it was just a huge misunderstanding!

Hywela Lyn said...

*Chuckle, Chuckle* So this is where Miss Mae's been hiding all this time! Tut tut, well, I'll leave you ladies to have fun with George. I have a date with Richard...

Sharon Donovan said...

Hey Lyn! Glad you could stop by for a quick visit. Robert? Oh, girl...we must dish! Oops...here comes my date. Sharon puts on her shades, tosses back her head and waves wildly to the approaching limo to Kiefer Southerland.

Laurean Brooks said...

Oh my goodness! What a day and what a party! How much more fun can we stand? Sharon, I will have to leave for a couple hours. I'll check back after the chat and see if anyone else has visited.

You do throw some wild parties. Have fun on your date. But...I am still concerned about Miss Mae. Does she know that George is a skirt chaser? Val's still running. Look's like he'd give up.

Pop on over to the chat when you get back from your date, even if you just wanna lurk. Here's that link, just in case. Gotta go.

http://sweetestromancechat.blogspot.com/

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Sorry I'm so late to the party, Friends.

Sounds like you all had a blast.

Great interview Laurie & Sharon!
Pamt

Laurean Brooks said...

That's okay, Pam. I hid some cookies from Val. Here, eat up.

Rebecca J Vickery said...

WOW, what a party and Google wouldn't let me in. (frown and whimper)I had to redo my cookies before it would recognize me. LOL
Sounds like you all had a blast from the posts I'm reading. Journey to Forgiveness is definitely on my reading list, Laurean. Val, do not put anything from that flask in my Dr. Pepper. I had a killer headace this morning. Probably why I tossed my cookies.

Laurean Brooks said...

Rebecca,

I'm glad you dropped by. Hope you found a few goodies left. Sorry most of us had left. But I'm sure Miss Mae was still doubled over that low Magnolia tree limb, her feet up in the air. I had to keep fixing her dress skirt so she wasn't arrested for indecent exposure. And George? Where was he when you needed him? Off chasing Val. Two-timing man!