Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Andrea Laurence Talks About Her Debut Release

Please join us as we welcome our friend Andrea Laurence to hear all about the release of her debut book and as she shares one of her favorite recipes!
We are so excited to have her stop by on her blog tour!

Andrea Writes:

Hey everyone. Thank you for having me here today. I'm very excited to make the rounds on my blog tour and get the word out about my debut release – What Lies Beneath. I'm running a contest for the blog tour. The details are at the bottom of the post, but be sure to comment to get an entry for a beautiful pink sea-glass locket.

This book marks a new beginning for me. I'm beginning my life as a published author. That's a huge milestone. A major shift from my day job and degrees that are in totally different fields. But writing was something I always wanted to do and now I can finally start working toward making it my full-time reality.

They say the average adult changes careers seven times in their lifetime. Seven. That's quite a lot. It's actually kind of scary to think about making such large career shifts. But I guess I've done it too. After college, I was a database administrator, then an HR generalist, then a technical writer, then a process engineer. I'm still a process engineer, but now I can add romantic fiction author to the list. I'm in my early thirties, so I have a lot of time to make additional changes before I hit retirement.

In my book, What Lies Beneath, my heroine gets to make a fresh start. She's in a plane crash and doesn't remember her life before the accident. She also doesn't remember the career or training she had. So she's given the opportunity to start over. She has enough money to have the luxury of trying a field that might not be immediately lucrative so she won't starve if she fails. My heroine chooses to design clothes. That is where her natural passion lies, so she takes the opportunity to try it and see what happens.

Life, money and circumstances often change what direction we go in our lives. Perhaps you have to skip or put off college and start working. Maybe you go with a practical, well paying job instead of a less reliable dream. Maybe you want to be a ballerina, but you're short, uncoordinated and have a large bosom. When I was very young, I wanted to be a cartoonist. Then I wanted to work with whales and other marine life. My mother, ever the pragmatist, encouraged me to get a job that pays the bills and save the whales on the weekends. While that didn't steer me in the direction of my dreams, it did afford me the ability to write in my spare time and eat well until I the day I become a full time writer.

If you could start over and have any career, with no obstacles like money or lack of talent, what would you want to be? Dream big!

April 2012, Harlequin Desire #2152

She’s Awake. So Why Can’t She Remember?

They say she’s Cynthia Dempsey, fiancĂ©e of media mogul Will Taylor. But try as she might, she can’t recall their high-society life or the man sitting by her hospital bed. Though her body certainly remembers him. Even as she senses the distance between them, the electricity when they touch is undeniable.

Will can hardly believe Cynthia’s transformation. Gone is the ice queen who betrayed him, and in her place is a woman who seems genuine and warm. But can he risk his heart again, not knowing what might happen when her memory returns?

Here are the links to purchase the book immediately!
Barnes & Noble/http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-lies-beneath-andrea-laurence/1106936643?ean=9780373731657&itm=1&usri=andrea+laurence
Nook, http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-lies-beneath-andrea-laurence/1106936643
Books A Million/http://www.booksamillion.com/p/What-Lies-Beneath/Andrea-Laurence/9780373731657?id=5122490914849

Blog Tour & Contest! Don't forget my blog tour contest! Receive an entry for commenting (one per blog) and a second for signing up for my newsletter (http://eepurl.com/e3O5k). The winner will receive a pink sea-glass heart locket pendant and a personalized autographed copy of What Lies Beneath.

Small Print: The winner will be chosen at random after the conclusion of the blog tour – Friday, April 27th and announced on the Writing Playground blog (http://www.writingplayground.blogspot.com//). The winner will have 7 days to contact the author at author@andrealaurence.com with her mailing information or the prize will be forfeited and re-awarded.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Yield: 16 cookie bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes

2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips
10 ounces caramel candy squares, unwrapped
3 tablespoons heavy cream
Fleur de sel (or other sea salt), for sprinkling over caramel and bars

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch square pan; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

3. Using an electric mixer, mix together the melted butter and sugars on medium speed until combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix on low, just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

4. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine the caramels and heavy cream. Microwave on high until the caramels are melted, stirring every 20 seconds. This will take about 2 minutes.

5. Press half of the cookie dough into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Pour the hot caramel over the dough cookie dough and spread into an even layer, leaving some empty space around the edges. Sprinkle the caramel with the sea salt. Drop the remaining cookie dough in spoonfuls over the caramel and gently spread the dough with a spatula until the caramel is covered. Sprinkle the bars with additional sea salt.

6. Bake the cookie bars for 30 minutes, or until the top of the bars are light golden brown and the edges start to pull away from the pan. Cool the bars on a wire rack to room temperature, then refrigerate for about 30 minutes to allow the caramel layer to set*. Cut into squares and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.

*Note - I recommend cooling the bars overnight. Yes, it will be torture, but they set up better the next day.


  1. Evidently I knew from the minute I was born that I wanted to write. I worked at one job from the age of 18 until I was 35, when my writing had advanced to the stage where it equaled my day-job pay, and that was when I quit to write full time.

    I'll never stop writing, but I would also love to have a business where I designed, built, and decorated houses for other people.

    1. Hi, Linda. I agree, if I can write full time, I may never stop. But for fun, I'd love to own a chapel / reception facility for weddings and parties. That would be cool. If I ever get to build a new house, I'll let you do it. :)

  2. Hey Andrea! Glad you're with us this morning! We are all so very proud of you and your first book!!!! Congratulations!

    Hmmm... I have been a newspaper reporter, a lawyer, a mom (and yes that is definitely a very hard job - one I wasn't prepared for ~g~) and now am trying to be a writer. I guess if I got a do-over I would not change anything. I have had fun with every job and have always learned something doing them. Guess I don't dream very big but I am satisfied. However, if someone wanted to elect me U.S. President for a couple of weeks...well...Maybe not a good idea.

    1. Hi, Cheryl. You know, my B.S. is in American Political Studies. I had intended to go to law school and become an environmental lobbyist. Oh boy. I took one look at the LSAT study booklet and changed my mind. Just as well, though. I certainly wouldn't want to be in DC dealing with all that mess right now. :)

  3. Currently I am a technical writer an engineering company. I write and edit for two experimental racks on the International Space Station. Also, I've worked on documentation for the Ares Rocket and the new spacesuits.

    I would love someday to write a best selling novel.

    1. Hi, BW. I know exactly what your days are like. I did field manuals for missile defense interceptor networking racks and communication systems. Fun stuff. :)

      I think 'bestselling novel' is next on my list. I've sold a few, now I'd like to have them do really well. We'll see...

  4. Hey Andrea!
    Congrats on your book!

    I would like to be a beach bum. ha :)
    Not really, but definitely a career that allowed me to spend time at the beach.

    1. Hi, PJK. Sitting on the beach is an excellent job, I think. Of course, I'd get sunburned in ten minutes. For me, maybe I can write on a covered, screened in deck of my beach house, overlooking a great view. :)

  5. A writer was what I wanted to be when I was doing something else. I am sorry I wasted time, but then, we are the sum of our experiences so maybe I needed time to grow a thick skin.

    Nah. I have always had a thick skin.

  6. Hi Jean. A thick skin is definitely needed. Fortunately I built up a pretty good one after 8 years of rejections. I haven't gotten any really bad reviews yet, but I'm bracing myself for the eventuality. You can't make everyone happy.

  7. I'd love to be a tour guide -- but on high end tours that go to the really great places and stay in the top hotels and hopefully have the nicer travellers. Probably too much to ask for on that last part. Nastiness seems to occur in all socio-economic groups. But I love to travel and it would be nice to be paid to do it. Or maybe I could just be a travel writer!

    Congrats on your book. It was so exciting to see it on the shelf yesterday!


    1. Hey Marilyn. A tour guide would be a cool job. I had this point between college and real life where I considered doing something crazy like working on a cruise ship for a year. Then I got a job and bills and ta-da... here I am. I'd still love to have that Samantha woman's job on the Travel Channel. Go someplace, try everything, let us tape it, and we'll pay for everything. Pretty good deal if you ask me.

  8. Hi Andrea. It's great to see you here! I’m so excited to see your book on the shelf…and I can’t wait to read it too!!!

    As for career do-overs, I always wanted to be a crooner and sing a song or two like Norah Jones. But my guitar playing is abysmal and my piano playing is off the charts worse. Sigh. I would also LOVE to be a race-car driver. Officer Koffee can attest to that one. :/

    My new career as a writer...that's always been inside me, too. I just didn't get it until a few years ago. And I've worked in so many places and positions it's hard to keep up with anymore. No one can ever say I haven't experienced enough variety in life to write about it!

  9. Welcome Andrea and congrats on your first book release! ;)

    Everything I've ever wanted to do had art in it, from Fashion Dessigner, Interior Designer, Advertising Exec, Comic Book Illustrator, Starving Artist, Poet and romance writer but being a mother trumped them all when I met my soulmate. For over the past six years, I've been able to focus on writing and it's been a wonderful journey filled with ups and downs.

    Enjoy your success!

  10. Andrea,
    Congrats on your new release! I can't wait to read it and the others you have yet to come.

    Thanks so much for visiting with us today! It has been great to share this experience with you!

    Thanks to everyone who stopped by to celebrate Andrea's success with us!

  11. I'd want to be a cook and have a show on the Food Network. They make cooking look fun and easy!

  12. Congratulations on the book. Thanks for sharing more about the book and recipe.