During this tour, Lauren will pick one commenter who'll win a $20 Amazon GC via Rafflecopter. So please use this code to place your comment(s)):
Princess, Southern belle, and spoiled-rotten social climber Searcy Roberts swore on a stack of Bibles she’d never return home to Fairhope, Alabama. After marrying her high school sweetheart and moving to Atlanta, Searcy embraces big-city life—Carrie Bradshaw style.
But now, Searcy has a teeny, tiny problem. Her husband’s had a mid-life crisis. He’s quit his job, cancelled her credit cards, and left her for another man.
Searcy returns to Fairhope, ready to lick her wounds. But when her mother falls ill, she’s is thrust into managing the family business—only to discover the beloved bakery is in danger of closing its doors forever.
Enlisting the help of the adorable bike store owner next door, an array of well-heeled customers, and her soon-to-be ex-husband, Searcy hatches the plan of the century to save Pie Girls.
Thirty minutes later, I am decked from head to toe in the finest lingerie Saks Fifth Avenue has to offer. Wrapped in a lovely camel Armani overcoat, belted securely, I smooth the deep red cashmere scarf against my bare neck.
The sensation of wearing barely anything gives me a heady rush of power. The garter belt, slug low around my hips, allows a satisfying tug when I take a step. Silken stockings caress my legs, and Lucinda opted for a buttery-soft pair of black thigh-high boots to finish the outfit.
After smoothing and coaxing my hair into submission, Lucinda talks me into some lotion, and then a dusting of sparkly powder to highlight my décolletage. She wields a huge brush and swishes the iridescent flecks onto my skin with expert precision. The result is amazing.
"Perfect." I blink at my reflection. My skin appears softer and luminous, almost flawless. The glow makes my eyes seem brighter, even in department store lighting.
"You look fabulous," my personal shopper agrees. She steps back to survey her work and gives me a satisfied nod. "He won't be able to help himself once he sees what's under that overcoat."
Lucinda squeezes my hand. "Good luck with everything. I think Alton will come to his senses." She pauses and frowns. "He'd better."
As for Pamela Pryor, she'd better watch out.
This is war. No price is too high.
I am going to win my husband back.
Author bio and links
Lauren Clark writes contemporary Southern novels sprinkled with sunshine, suspense, and secrets. A former TV news anchor, Lauren adores flavored coffee, local book stores, and anywhere she can stick her toes in the sand. Her big loves are her family, paying it forward, and true-blue friends.
She is the author of four award-winning novels, Dancing Naked in Dixie, Stay Tuned, Stardust Summer, and Pie Girls, as well as a short story, A Very Dixie Christmas, published in the Merry & Bright holiday collection. Lauren is a member of the Gulf Coast Writers Association and the Mobile Writers Guild. Check out her website at www.laurenclarkbooks.com.
Finally, I asked Lauren how she came to writing. Here's her answer:
My early work was far from perfect, but began to take shape under the tutelage of our assistant news director, a word-surgeon whose passion for editorial perfection terrified most hardened journalists. She challenged me to the core, pushing me to stretch further and reach deeper with my writing. I carried her lessons with me when I accepted a new position at WTVY in Dothan, Alabama, where the Associated Press later honored me for anchoring and reporting.
Buoyed by the awards, and armed with an arsenal of ideas, I left the frantic pace of television journalism and blithely, naïvely ventured into fiction writing. In the bowels of my home office, a tiny closet with a rickety wooden desk, I wrote. When away from the keyboard, I absorbed and studied novels by John Irving, Anne Patchett, and Sue Monk Kidd. My other favorites include Pat Conroy, Barbara Kingsolver, Ian McEwan, Chris Bohjalian, and Janet Fitch.
But despite my experience, my bachelor’s degree in English, and a graduate degree from Ohio State, my first novel was an exercise in discipline, disaster, and humility. After finishing my second and third, I sought direction and guidance, and was fortunate to work with a few stellar editors, including Alan Rinzler. With much instruction, and a little tough love, I began to meld creativity with craft, improving story structure, character arc, and conflict.
I’ve since released four novels and one short story (it’s included in a holiday collection called Merry and Bright). I have a particular love for writing about the Deep South, its people, and culture, so all of my books include some flavor of life below the Mason Dixon line.I guess that I’m doing something right, as Pie Girls won three awards this past week: two from RWA (Romance Writers of America – one local award and one national) and one from WritersType.