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Tuesday, September 21, 2010:
Guest spotlight: Laurie
I am BEYOND thrilled to have my very special guest here today. I have known Laurie for many years, since I hopped on the internet and joined Lori Foster's Yahoo group. Since then, I've had the fortune to meet with Laurie in person several times, most recently this past June at Lori Foster's/Dianne Castell's annual Reader/Author get together.

She is one of the most special people I have ever met, and I sincerely love her to pieces. Not only is Laurie sweet and charming, she's funny as hell (don't let that cute and innocent face fool you, she's got more than a wee bit o' the devil in her, God bless her *g*). And she spearheads an annual troop donation project that garners box upon box of items for our beloved troops. Just check out this picture from her blog of a recent collection of items. She's an angel through and through, a wonderful friend, and one of my favorite people on the planet. Now here's your turn to get to know my good pal, Laurie :)

Feel free to tell us about yourself: name, background, etc. Are you a reader/blogger/writer?

I live in a small city in central Ohio and am the legal assistant to the senior partner in a civil practice law firm. I've been married for 31 years and we have two lovely daughters, 20 and 25. I like to joke that my hub robbed the cradle. Yes, we were young when we married, at 20 and 19, but the truth is that I'm just plain getting old!

I've been a romance reader since I was 14. I love to chat about books, the talents of my favorite authors and occasional personal tidbits on my blog at Laurie's Laudanum. I post independent reviews on my blog as well as reviews I write on behalf of Romance Junkies. I would like nothing more than to write a book and always seem to have story ideas running through my mind, some have even merited a few jotted notes and ideas, but I guess the desire (and self-confidence?) haven't been strong enough to actually try to make it happen. I don't know if I could give up reading for the amount of time that would have to be dedicated enough to make a worthwhile attempt.

Besides my family, one thing I'm very proud of is working with my dear friend Lori Foster for the past six or so years on what we simply call our troop project. We shop for and ship to deployed troops and with the boxes that are going to be shipped tomorrow, we have reached a milestone of 1000 pounds. I always wish that each shipment could be our last, but it looks like our servicemen and women are going to be needing our support for quite a bit longer.

What book(s) are you currently reading? Would you recommend it?

I am curently reading Alison Kent's THE ICING ON THE CAKE and am absolutely loving it! I've always said that I would recommend Alison's grocery list as recommended reading, I love her work so much!
What is your most anticipated soon to be released book?

There are so many that I'm looking forward to including upcoming releases from Stephanie Tyler, Roxanne St. Claire, Jill Sorensen, Jill Shalvis, Maya Banks and Jaci Burton, but the one I absolutely cannot wait for (and recently blogged about!) is Pamela Clare's BREAKING POINT. Waiting until next July will be rough.

What's playing nonstop on your iPod rotation right now?

I tend to use my iPod more for Kindle app reading and Twitter; can't honestly say that I listen to music on it non-stop. My music tastes are fairly eclectic and my rotation includes my main man (here I go again, dating myself), Bob Seger, and Dean Martin, Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker, k.d. lang, The Royales (an Ohio jazz/funk group), Tony Bennett, Louis Armstrong, Patsy Cline, Rihanna, Alison Kraus, James Taylor, Bobby Darin, Carole King and Carly Simon.

What are your favorite places to visit online?

I won't name individual author blogs for fear of leaving someone out, but I enjoy Dear Author, Smart Bitches, Stacy's Place on Earth (hugs), Romance Junkies, *red-faced* People of WalMart, Awkward Family Photos, and CNN and msnbc for news updates.

What are some of your favorite things: beverage? food? t.v. show? Restaurant?

I'd be lost without Diet Coke, frosted brownies and (plain) M&Ms. My favorite television shows right now are Lie to Me, Bones and although I haven't been able to find it for a while now, I loved Paranormal State. We watch a lot of Project Runway, but admittedly haven't been as devoted this season as in past seasons. As for my favorite restaurant, I'm not sure that I really have just one. There's a little hole in the wall pizza place called Bennys that I love, but we also enjoy Olive Garden, Max & Erma's and City Barbecue. Obviously, our tastes aren't terribly sophisticated.

Which hottie out there is to die for?

I'm not as familiar with "hotties" as other women seem to be, at least by name, but I never get tired of looking at Carter Oosterhouse - his face is one that comes to mind when I picture fictional heroes. I remember having a huge crush on Lee Horsley (Matt Houston, anyone?) back in the day and when my oldest daughter loved MacGuyver when she was very young, it wasn't a hardship for me to watch it with her every week. Lee Horsley and Richard Dean Anderson have both aged very well! I have difficulty ogling guys that are young enough to be my sons!
Besides hanging on the internet, what are some of your hobbies?

I love to bake and make candy, especially for family and friends during the holidays. My husband and I enjoy visiting antique fairs/flea markets and going to antique shops. Our tastes are fairly simple and inexpensive. He likes old marbles and I collect lady head vases, unique decks of cards and old dice. I enjoy making jewelry and doing crafts with my daughters.

What is your idea of a romantic gesture from your sweetie?

My hub is a real sweetheart and is always doing little things that mean so much to so many. He leaves the girls and I notes all through the house, picks my favorite flowers and leaves bouquets through the house, and stops to buy our favorite sweet treats to surprise us (and my 80 year old mom). He's also known for taking boxes of donuts/muffins to our doctor, dentist and veterinarian's offices.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

Not sure there's anything about me that would surprise anyone. I'm exceptionally ordinary! I suppose some might be surprised that I swear like a sailor. Not always out loud, but in my mind or alone in the car? Oh yeah, I'm spewing filthy words. One quirk - I sort and eat my M&Ms by color. My favorite thing to eat with M&Ms is Fritos corn chips. Strange? Probably.

Well Laurie, you are wrong, because you are far from ordinary. And after this, I think you're cooler than ever :) Thank you for being here today. You brightened up my Tuesday. Have a great week hon!

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  1. :O) Howdy Laurie!!!!

  2. Thanks so much, Stacy - it was fun!

    Hey Shi!

  3. Stacy is right - Laurie is one remarkable woman! Adore her.
    One of the kindest, funniest, most genuine people I know.

    Laurie, thank you for working on the troop project for soooo many years. It means the world to me and to a great many soldiers.

    That hottie you picked... oh my! Is he too gorgeous or what??? Yum. (And I usually don't say that. LOL)

    Thank you Stacy and Laurie for sharing!


  4. Laurie is far from ordinary... and neither is Stacy who hosts such a great blog. I've been blessed to become friends with so many wonderful friends via Lori Foster's get together. I may only get to see everyone once a year, but I love you all!!

    Laurie - the hottie is pure hubba hubba!

  5. Aww, Lori and Janice, you're both absolute dolls! Thanks for the sweet, sweet words.

    If anyone would have told me fifteen years ago that I would have so many incredible friendships because of the internet, I no doubt would have laughed in their face.

    I treasure you all!

  6. Hey Laurie, I don't know what I would do without you most days. You keep me sane. LOL that make you exceptional in my book. I treasure your friendship

  7. Laurie who knew the way to win you over was M&M's and

    Really nice blog entry laurie and Stacy

  8. Great interview, ladies! I'm so glad to have learned more about Laurie.

    Laurie, you're a doll! And I'm so honored to know you.

    Huge hugs!!!


  9. Nice to "meet" you, Laurie. The cover of that book is to die for! *swoon*

  10. Hey Laurie! How cool to see you here!

  11. Nice to meet you Laurie!

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