“Unexpecting” An Interview With Lori Verni-Fogarsi

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You might remember last year, when I participated in something called the Sizzling Winter Blog Hop for fellow author Lori Verni-Fogarsi’s book, Momnesia. Well, I’m teaming up with her and her pals again to help spread the word about her newest release, Unexpecting. It’s about a couple of almost-empty-nesters who, preparing to embark on their new, quieter lifestyle, receive the shock of their lives when a pregnant teenaged girl shows up on their doorstep and announces that she’s the daughter they never knew they had! Yikes! Everyone please give a warm welcome to Lori. (And when you’re done, be sure to Visit the Blog Tour Page to find more features, book giveaways, and enter to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card! http://www.LoriTheAuthor.com/UnexpectingRelease)

Thanks for coming Lori! I hope you don’t mind, I’m just gonna dive right in here. How long have you been writing?

My writing career began in an unusual way, back in 1995. I owned a dog training school at the time and started putting out a monthly newsletter for marketing purposes. I was surprised when I began receiving requests from other publications to write for them, too! My writing career has progressed over the years to include many magazine and newspaper articles, a weekly syndicated newspaper column, three books, and more!

What was the first piece of writing you published?

The very very first would be the Best Paw Forward Newsletter, back in 1995. But if we’re talking books, it would be my first book, nonfiction, “Everything You Need to Know About House Training Puppies and Adult Dogs,” which was published in 2005 and continues to be highly recommended in its genre.

Do you have a favorite among your own works?

I don’t think I do. Each of my books is special to me in its own way. With the dog training book, I feel really good about helping so many people to keep and enjoy their pets. With Momnesia, I enjoyed getting to know so many moms and feel good about all the letters I’ve received from readers telling me it made them feel understood, or helped them enjoy their lives more. With Unexpecting, I think there will be a similar sense of commiseration amongst readers… “all of our families are crazy!” LOL.

Click to Purchase

Click to Purchase

What people, places, or situations have most influenced your writing?

All of my writing, whether nonfiction or fiction, has been inspired by real life in some way. Whether taking my worst nightmare and turning it into a story (Unexpecting), or sharing my own personal growth experiences in the form of a fictional story (Momnesia), it’s the happenings and emotions of real life that most inspire me to write.

Can any of your own personality traits be found in your characters?

Absolutely! Shelley, who is the main character in both Momnesia and Unexpecting, has a lot of the same personality traits as I do: Definitely Type A, kind of off-color, sometimes very funny, and other times way too serious!

What are your most and least favorite steps of the writing process?

What I struggle with the most are my own emotions, which fluctuate between one moment feeling like my work in progress is fantastic, and the next moment feeling like it’s unfit for human consumption! I find that when I’ve worked on a book so hard and for so long, I’m “pretty sure” it’s a good book (otherwise I wouldn’t let it go to press), but honestly, it isn’t until readers start doing reviews that I’m really sure!

Do you have time for reading? If so, what are you reading right now? What do you plan to read next?

Yes, I read a lot! At this very moment, I just finished reading, Memoirs Aren’t Fairytales, by Marni Mann. I enjoyed it a lot! It’s the gritty, realistic story (fictional) of a heroin addict. Next up? I’m not sure. Probably a murder/mystery. I tend to like to mix up genres from one book to the next.

What about movies? Do you have a favorite book-to-movie adaptation? Do you see any screenplays in the future of your own novels?

Like most avid readers, I’m not a big fan book-to-movie adaptations… I always feel like the book was better. However, I recently discovered that the classic movie, Shawshank Redemption was originally a Stephen King novel! I love the movie and have been searching to try and get my hands on the book, which is out of print. If one of my own novels were to become a movie, I’d have to recommend Momnesia. It would make an excellent romantic/family life/chick flick comedy.

If a film crew followed you around for a day, what would you most want to  show off? Conversely, what would you most want to hide from your fans?

Hmm. What a scary question! I guess what I would show off is how much I get done each day, which I do believe is astronomical for the most part. What would I hide? The fact that many days, I don’t get dressed until late in the afternoon! (It’s a trade-off!)

How many stories do you think you have left in you?

Many!

(Bonus Question) How do you feel about the state of publishing today?

Honestly, I am very worried about the future of books while at the same time I am confident that something will be done to “save them!” With the uprise of independent (self) publishing, I’ve had the opportunity to read some fantastic works by some fantastic authors. Yet at the same time, I’ve had (more often than not) many negative experiences wherein I pick up a book only to find that it is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors. I think that indie publishing needs to mature, and that some quality controls need to be put in place, so that more authors will invest in professional editors and proofreaders before putting their books out there. Readers deserve to read quality material, and in my mind, indie publishing doesn’t excuse that responsibility.

Lightning Round: Blue or Black ink? Planner or Pantser? Jeans or Sweats? Beer or Wine? Sweet or Salty?
Black! iPhone! Jeans! Wine! Sweet!
Thanks again for hanging out with me and my followers here today and best of luck from all of us on your newest release, Unexpecting, available NOW on Amazon!
Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog! It’s been a pleasure chatting with you and I look forward to getting to know your blog’s followers!
lori
Lori Verni-Fogarsi is the author of the hot new release, Unexpecting, as well as the award-winning novel Momnesia and the nonfiction, Everything You Need to Know About House Training Puppies & Adult Dogs. She enjoys interacting with her readers and invites you to connect or learn more at www.LoriTheAuthor.com. You can find her pretty much everywhere, actually:

T-Minus Twelve Hours!

Until what, you ask? Until I select the winner of the Name My Series contest, of course!

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If you’re just joining us, you’re in luck. You have twelve hours to rush to the original post, click on the Rafflecopter link, choose the Series Title you like best, and leave it in the comments section of the blog post. Be sure to click the “I Commented” thingy on Rafflecopter to ensure that your vote counts toward the prize!

Speaking of THE prize, here’s what’s up for grabs:

That's one good lookin' gal on there!

That’s one good lookin’ gal on there!

  • A Jordanna East Tote Bag. A large one. Perfect for books. Or to hold all the other stuff I’m gonna fill it with so you can flaunt your winnings around your friends. Such as…

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  • A set of two Moleskine journals. 96 pages each. Ruled. 81/2 x 11″. Still in the shrink wrap. Awesome looking cover art on both.

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  • Pens that look like syringes, in honor of how my main character, Lyla, kills people and stuff. Maybe some other pens, too. I like the added mystery of deciding this on a whim.
  • A magnet for your fridge. Have a coupon for your favorite cereal? Allow me to hold that up for you.
  • An “I ❤ Blood Read Press” T-shirt. Ordered to the winner’s size specifications because I, personally, hate receiving a swag-tee I can’t wear.
  • And, finally–this is my favorite–CHOCOLATE!!! A bag of Lindor Truffles for you to share with your loved ones or hide in a secret drawer, presumably from your greedy loved ones.

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So what are you waiting for? Go, go, go!

Sizzling Winter Blog Hop & Treasure Hunt!

Good day faithful followers! I’m glad you’re here. Today I’m participating in this awesome group promotion and giveaway. Not only was I excited to receive a copy of “Momnesia” in exchange for a fair and honest review, but it’s all part of the Sizzling Winter Blog Hop & Treasure Hunt! (I said that last part with my game show voice, in case you couldn’t tell.)

Behold, my review of Momnesia, by Lori Verni-Fogarsi:

Buy Me! Read Me!

When I first signed up for this blog hop, I feared I wouldn’t be able to relate to the content. But as an avid [My Treasure Hunt Word] BIBLIOBIBULI, I gave it a whirl. Then the book opened with the following quote: “For Everyone who has ever…Been a mother, had a mother, wanted to be a mother, judged a mother, or even just wondered about mothers.” Well there ya go! My favorite feature of the story is that it reads like a memoir. In fact, I had to keep reminding myself that it wasn’t written by an underappreciated wife and mother who had decided to take back her livelihood. In fact, it sounded like an extended op-ed piece from Cosmo. Or Eat, Pray, Love without the frequent flyer miles. Completely engrossing and such a breeze to read! I finished it in less than 24 hours. I’m recently married and without kids, so I still couldn’t exactly relate to the story, but it was still entertaining and I’m sure I’ll be able to draw upon it in the future. Although I hope my husband never gives me the “cat face.” Ever. (You have to hurry up and go read the book to get that reference, sorry folks.)

Lori Verni-Fogarsi has been a freelance writer, journalist, columnist, business consultant, speaker, and author for 15+ years. She is a happily married mom of two, step mom of two more, and has two cats, both rotten. You can learn more about her at www.LoriTheAuthor.com. If you’d like to purchase the book for yourself or as a gift, you can order it easily on Amazon by clicking on the cover image above.

And now on to other fun! There are tons of prizes you can win! First, enter my giveaway TO WIN A DELUXE JORDANNA EAST TOTE BAG just below. Then, go to the main treasure hunt–the grand prize is a $100 AMAZON GIFT CARD! Yes, seriously! Click here to go to the main treasure hunt. Just find Journey of Jordanna East on the treasure hunt list and enter my treasure hunt clue: BIBLIOBIBULI (Make sure you spell it right, tee hee). You’ll be entered to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card! You’ll also find links to the many other sites so you can find their clues too, and receive extra entries! Plus, every site is having their own additional giveaway! Extra Holiday Presents for all! Whoo hoo!

Good luck everyone!

Click here to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway to win this tote bag:

Play Him Again, by Jeffrey Stone: A Reveiw

Did you read yesterday’s post about how to request a book review? Good.

Do you remember me talking about Jeffrey Stone’s novel, Play Him Again? Good.

Here’s the blurb he provided me in his email (Number 5 in yesterday’s list of guidelines):

It’s the Roaring Twenties but silence remains golden for Hollywood.  Sound is expensive.  Only two studios have installed sound equipment.  Matt Hudson, the preferred bootlegger of the film industry, wants to produce a talking picture but neither sound studio will lease him their facilities.  After Hud’s oldest friend, con man Danny Kincaid, dupes a gangster who controls a small movie studio into buying a bogus sound device, the gangster gets wise and Danny ends up dead.  To settle the score, Hud runs another con to play the gangster again.  A con that will either avenge Danny and land Hud a studio, or get him killed.

And here’s my review, which can also be found on my Books I’ve Read In Bed review page:

A fascinating bit of historical fiction! Taking place during the days of Prohibition, Play Him Again follows “bootlegger to the stars” Matthew Hudson, Hud to his friends, in his efforts to seek vengeance for his friend’s murder as well as introduce “talkies” to a reluctant Hollywood. This novel is the perfect blend of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire laced with old Hollywood. There were no historical gaffes, which pleased me greatly. Cars, guns, situations, etc all rang true for the time period. The background research needed for the setting must have been challenging, but worth the effort. The facts about Hollywood in its infancy and the bootlegging industry were truly captivating. What struck me most was the dialogue. Some of the best I’ve ever read in that it never came off forced, contrived, or “cardboard.” My only complaint would be in regards to the nautical lingo. I was a bit lost. But, overall, an excellent novel and I really look forward to the next in the series. (*I received a free copy of this e-book in exchange for my honest review.*) Rating: JJJJJ

Click to purchase!

 

Vacay Day 7

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”If you give your wife a fish, she’ll eat for a day. If you teach your wife to fish, she’ll utterly demolish you in number of fish caught for the day.” And so went our last day of vacation in the lovely Outer Banks of North Carolina. We rented equipment and Hubby-pants taught me to fish off of Avon Pier. I caught a fish with my first cast-out. A few minutes later I caught two on the same line. All said and done I reeled in THIRTEEN FISH!! And I hooked two others that flopped off the line before I could fully reel them up. C’est la vie, haha. (Hubby-pants did catch some, six I think. I was too busy counting my own, tee hee.) As for writing, epic fail as the oft-overused saying goes. Tomorrow will resume our regularly scheduled blog programming. Thank you to everyone who hung in there for seven days of non-writing/reading-related posts. 🙂

Vacay Day 6

This post is a little late, as we got in a little late last night. Just pretend it’s yesterday.

Since the house we rented for the week is a minute’s walk to the ocean and a minute’s drive to the sound, we decided we wanted to see the sunrise and sunset in the same day. We woke up early, zombie-walked our way to the beach, and watched the gorgeous sunrise over the ocean.

When you rub the sleep out of your eyes, the colors are even more vivid.

Then we went back to the house and went to sleep…

When we awoke a few hours later we spent the day on the beach. I finally finished that book I was asked to review. Still no writing. I guess I’m not a vacation-writer. Don’t judge me.

Next we went home and Hubby-pants hit the grill. We ate 3 pounds of steak. Such gigantic steaks that we didn’t have room for the veggie kabobs and baked potatoes. Oh and we ate most of that meat in like 17 minutes because we were racing against the clock to see the sunset. But when we got to the sound there was a large, mushroom-shaped cloud blocking the sun. Bummer-sauce, but not a really big deal. Maybe we’ll revolve next year’s vacation around whether or not you can watch the sun set and rise in one day.

At night we set a bonfire on the beach under the full moon and lived happily ever after. The End…of day 6, anyway.

Don’t worry, we had a permit.

 

Vacay Day 5

Today was supposed to be a “relaxation” day. I put the word “relaxation” in quotes to annoy my Hubby-pants. (Sorry Hubby-pants) He always makes fun of me for wanting to do things on our vacations and being incapable of sitting still in the sun and vegging out. Don’t get me wrong, I can sit back and read a book. But I can read a book at home. Why waste time reading a book during the day on vacation when I can read it before bed then wake up and do something awesome? Anyway, that’s my take on vacations and Hubby-pants just isn’t picking up what I’m putting down. Oh well.

So, yeah, today was supposed to be a “relaxation” day. We were going to go to the Pea Island Wildlife Refuge (which only has a 1/2 mile trail), then find a secluded beach off of the same road to set up shop and “relax.” A nice compromise of doing something and “relaxing.”

I’m going to pretty much skip over our experience at Pea Island because it was a complete bust. They “front load” the very beginning of the trail with lots of snapping turtles under a little bridge and some fish jumping out of the water. You start the trail thinking, “Hell yes, oodles of wildlife up in here!” Then there was virtually nothing. A few birds, but nothing we hadn’t seen on other parts of the Outer Banks. Oooh! There was also a raccoon, but it being day time, Hubby-pants wouldn’t let me get close enough to get bit and die of rabies get a good look. I should’ve explained the theory of YOLO to him. Again, oh well.

After the disappointing wildlife trail, we found some dunes along the side of the road, parked, and headed over them toward the ocean. We set up shop and it was amazing! Not a single soul in sight. Then I saw a crab!

Then another…and another…

A few feet away from us a crab popped its little face out of a hole. Suddenly I realized we were vastly outnumbered by crabs. Literally dozens and dozens of crabs. Everywhere you looked you could see something moving. Once I realized they were emerging from the holes in the sand, I started to notice just how many fricking holes there were.

When we quickly packed up and left it was purely coincidental to the sheer volume of crabs, I swear.

I named this one “Tango.” I think he was the scout crab, delivering intel to the head crab plotting to lead the assault against us.

Still no writing done today, folks. Go ahead, shake your heads at me. Type “SMH” in the Comment Section even. I deserve it. But I am almost finished with the book I was commissioned to review. Plus, tomorrow is another “relaxation” day…hopefully on a mostly crab-free beach.

Vacay Day 4

Remember yesterday when I said the hubby and I went to Corolla in search of the wild horses and found nothing but hoof prints and horse poop? Well, today we headed out to Ocracoke Island in search of ponies. We loaded the 4Runner onto a ferry that scared the crap out of me (I’ve never been on a ferry that just welcomed over a dozen vehicles, each weighing a ton, and kept it moving) and drove the rest of the way to the tiny village of Ocracoke. When we arrived at the Visitor’s Center, they told us we passed the ponies but there were like four other things we could do in their little town. Disappointed, we started the drive up the one main extremely narrow road and saw a place where we could rent golf carts, rather than try to navigate the area in the SUV. We selected one with “monster tires,” as my husband put it, and set out. We drove on every single road we could find…and several roads that we shouldn’t have, given the rules and limitations we signed off on. Shhh, don’t tell them. We had a blast.

Badass little golf cart that could.

Somewhere in our explorations we found another lighthouse. I think someone said it was the oldest operating lighthouse in the country or something. Who knows. These people are way too serious about their lighthouses.

Lighthouses. They’re kind of a big deal…

We stopped for lunch and I took this picture of a pelican. I love them. If they were found in New Jersey I’d find a way to write them into my book. Possibly along with the golf cart.

In light of the conclusion of yesterday’s post, I’ve decided to name the pelican “Melinda.” Because I don’t give a flying Melinda what you think. 😉

Vacay Day 3

Today I woke up sick. My immune system is about as reliable as the cell phone signals down here. But I persevered. I swallowed some aspirin, chased them with some dayquil and toast, and went to Corolla in search of wild horses with the Hubby-pants.

We didn’t find any.

Not a one.

There were hoof prints in the sand. Horse poop on the dunes. Very promising evidence of horses, but we couldn’t find them. Total bummer-sauce. But we did enjoy some awesome off-roading on the beach.

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Vacay Day 2

Hello all! Really enjoying my anniversary week in Outer Banks, NC. Today is our actual anniversary (One whole year!) and what a beautiful day it was!

Twelve stories of really steep, spiral stairs. Rocky shouldn’t have wasted his time at the Philadelphia Art Museum…

We visited Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, tallest on the East Coast. We paid the $14 to climb to the top, the equivalent of twleve stories. Note to self, I should really hit the gym hard when we get back home. I almost died. But besides the blustery wind at the summit and my incessant gasping it was a lovely view.

Next we went to Jockey’s Ridge, tallest active sand dunes on the East Coast. When hubby first told me he definitely wanted to check them out, I scoffed. Seen one sand dune, seem ’em all, I thought. Heavens to Betsy, was I wrong! They’re gorgeous! The pictures don’t do them justice. If you’re ever in North Carolina, don’t scoff, check them out. We climbed to the top of the largest hill, and…did I mention I should hit the gym? But it was worth it, even if I almost died.

 

So, I know what everyone’s thinking: Are you getting any writing done, Jordanna?

Umm, see what happened was…

Okay, so not yet. But I am halfway through the book I’m slated to review soon. That’s right, my first commissioned book review from a total stranger. I’m flattered that someone gives a flying Melinda what I think. Who’s Melinda? I have no idea. I’m on vacation.