Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Nice Liza interviews Lauren Smith - Wild at Heart

Today, I'm interviewing Lauren Smith and her intriguing short story called Archer Falls included in the charity anthology Wild at Heart benefiting the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. 

I hope you got all that, because I'll test you later. And you'll want to pay attention because
Lauren is giving away a free ebook or a signed paperback, winner's choice. To win: answer the question I've buried in this blog correctly, and

Liza: So Lauren, is there really a creek named Turpentine in Arkansas, because that sounds environmentally improper?
Lauren: Actually, that's a good question. Can I use one of my life lines?
Liza: You have no life lines. This isn't a game show. This is a blog.
Lauren: Well then, I have no idea. I'm from Oklahoma, so I claim ignorance of Arkansas geography.

Liza: And why are there so many large cats in Arkansas? 
Lauren: Because that's where the Wildlife Refuge is.

Liza:  That makes sense. I see the connection between your story and the Wildlife Refuge. Let's see if my peeps can figure out the connection. 


      Spotted Pines Refuge worker Samantha Gray gets more than she bargains for when she is rescued by a jaguar in a national park. But there’s more to this jaguar than meets the eye, in fact, he reminds her of the mysterious and wealthy owner of the refuge, Archer Falls. Caught between danger and the pull of Archer’s seductive gaze, Samantha begins to wonder just how her boss is connected to the jaguar that went missing since the night he saved her life.

Liza: Sounds interesting right? 
Here's an excerpt.

Samantha was kneeling in the glass-enclosed room of the refuge’s nursery.  She had a bottle of milk and one jaguar cub curled in her arm, feeding it.  The cub’s paws were braced around Samantha’s hand, securing the bottle to its mouth.  Archer was transfixed by the look on Samantha’s face.  She gazed in wonder and delight at the cub and made gentle cooing noises while hugging the cub closer.
Archer barely noticed Simone coming up behind him.
“She has quite a fondness for cats.  Big cats.  Would you like me to formally introduce you?”
He found himself nodding. Samantha had only worked at Spotted Pines for two weeks. Archer usually avoided meeting the workers until they’d been there at least six months. The less people he brought into his circle of trust, the better. But he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be close to her again, even if his mind shouted at him in warning. He was too interested in her and haunted by the memory of her hands stroking his fur as he drifted into unconsciousness.
“Sam!”  Simone dragged Archer by the arm toward the nursery and opened the door.  “Come meet our benefactor.  This is Mr. Archer Falls.  Archer, this is Samantha Gray.”
Samantha set the bottle on a table and walked across the room.
The cub in her arms stared drowsily at him when she approached.
“Nice to meet you Mr. Falls.”  She held out a hand.
He shook it.  Her palm was warm, her skin soft. She had gray eyes, soft and mysterious, like skies after a winter storm.  He held her hand for longer than was necessary; his desire to hold her was fierce and powerful.  He needed to protect her, ensure she was safe. 
The cub stirred and let out a little mewl at being ignored. 
Archer dropped Samantha’s hand and stroked the cub’s head.  It squirmed and fussed, its little teeth scraping playfully on his fingers.  He felt the rumblings of a purr deep in his chest, and he only just fought off the need to let Samantha hear how content he was.
Simone nudged Archer in the back.  “It seems you have a way with cats, Sam.” 
He jerked, recalling where he was, who he was with.  A woman who didn’t know him and didn’t know his secret.
“Welcome to Spotted Pines, Samantha.  Are you settling in well?” A smile crept across his lips.  “Simone tells me you’re the newest volunteer.”
“Oh yes.  This place is wonderful, Mr. Falls.” 
The cat inside him could detect lies and there were none in her words. “Call me Archer, please.”
“Archer.”  Samantha looked suddenly shy, her gray eyes darkening to near blue.  “The way you keep the cats here, with these habitats, it’s amazing.  You’ve saved so many lives.”
Archer studied Sam, her appreciation was genuine.  She cared deeply for the wounded souls he’d rescued and brought to the refuge.  Each cat here had been abandoned or abused.  Exotic pets, retired circus creatures, each and every one left in a situation that threatened their lives.  For the last five years, he and Simone had worked to build the refuge and find cats who needed homes.  The jaguar within him purred in approval of Samantha’s reactions.

Liza: Oh, I like Archer.

Lauren: Archer Falls is probably my favorite character, too. He’s got so much going on in his life. He’s a solitary man with the hereditary ability to shift into a jaguar. With a past shrouded in mystery, he has no idea who his biological parents are and he is determined to keep his furry alter ego a secret, that is, until he meets Rebecca.
Liza: If Archie had written the novel rather than you, how would the story have been different?

Lauren: I think if I let Archer write the story, he probably would have jumped Rebecca’s bones ten minutes after meeting her. But since the anthology’s requirements had to keep the story rated PG, poor Archer didn’t get lucky. Of course, he’s angled for me to write a longer story, one to continue his and Rebecca’s story. I promised him I would, when I had the chance.

Liza: I definitely vote for a full length novel. 

Okay peeps, here's your test question:
Is Archer part marketing kitten,  lion,  bear, or  jaguar? 
Put your answer in your comments. 

Now, Lauren, I've a few questions for you about writing. Are you ready?
Lauren: Hit me with your best shot.
Liza: I'm trying to be good, don't taunt me. 
Lauren: Sorry.
Liza: So what's the best piece of advice anyone has ever offered you about writing?

Lauren: One of my dear writer friends came to me my first year of law school when I was starting to get serious about being published and she asked me if I had ever considered writing romance. Truth was, I hadn’t considered it and hadn’t ever read a romance book EVER. My friend insisted I consider it because my stories that I currently wrote all seemed to have some romantic subtheme. So I started reading romance novels and just couldn’t stop. I wanted more than anything to write romance when I realized it was just like the way I wished to write. And the rest was history!

Liza:  Last question. If you had to live on a deserted island with one author, who would it be?

Lauren: I’d have to say my best friend, and fellow author, Amanda. We could entertain each other for hours with stories, which I think would be great if we were stuck on a desert Island.

Liza: Well the island isn’t going to be deserted for very long. Since you failed to mention your friend’s last name, I've no choice but to send all people named Amanda who are authors to the island. According to Google, Amanda Author shows up a little over 98.8 million search returns. 
Now assuming each Amanda has 1,000 mentions, that still means 98,800 Amandas will be dropped off on this tiny 2 mile wide island with you. My recommendation is that you convince the Amandas to chop all the trees down and build a raft, which you and your friend Amanda can steal in the night.

Harsh I know, but without food, sufficient water, or even standing room, things on the island are going to get ugly really fast. It'll make Lord of the Flies look like summer camp.


You could tell me your author friend Amanda's last name and have a nice island vacation.

Lauren: Well, in that case, I’ll definitely share her last name. It’s Pereira. I’d much prefer to share my island with just this Amanda, and not all of the other Amandas. I’ve read Lord of the Flies and I don’t want to be on the wrong end of that scenario. 
And we definitely deserve a nice island vacation (we’re both lawyers too and vacations are few and far between for the likes of us), without the irritation of a 98,800 other Amandas (no offense other Amanda authors around the world).

Peep Rep: I think a jury would really like Lauren and find her clients not guilty of murder. She looks so sweet and sincere.
Liza: She does. However, Lauren specializes in Intellectual Property (Copyrights, Trademarks), Corporate Law, Entertainment Law, Bankruptcy and Probate/Estate Law, so I don't see many murdering clients in her future.
Peep Rep: Oh. Nevermind then.

About Lauren
Lauren Smith is an attorney by day, author by night, who pens historical, paranormal romance and romantic suspense stories by the light of her smartphone flashlight app. Her wickedly seductive Regency Romance series the League of Rogues about a group of London’s ultimate bad boys will be available from Samhain Publishing, with the first book Godric coming out in January 2014.

-links to buy-

Author Links 

Thanks for coming Lauren. Nice Liza had fun.
so you win a copy of Wild at Heart.


  1. Thanks for sharing this great content, I really enjoyed the insign you bring to the topic, awesome stuff!
    burun estetigi

    1. Thanks for stopping by Burun, I'm glad you enjoyed the topic! :)

  2. I'm getting tired of writing fantastic interview, was!!! Loved the excerpt Lauren. i didn't know you were a lawyer too! Must be something that makes us need to write romance. Hmm someone once told me the law was sexy, but not feelin' it.
    Anyway...he's a JAGUAR!! Rawr. Love the name, Archer Falls.
    Ok, gotta go back to the day job!


    1. Thank you so much for stopping by Nancy! Liza did a great job with the interview, it was a blast. And yes, I'm a lawyer and no... it's not sexy...nor is getting asked by everyone, why don't you write legal thrillers? I can't tell you many times people ask me that. I shrug and say "Does a plumber want to go home and write about fixing leaky sinks?"

      Anywho, hope you get a chance to read Archer Falls, it's a fun little story! Thanks for dropping over! :)

    2. At first I thought you meant you were tired of writing fantastic interviews and now wanted to write misbehaving interviews instead. I intended to object loudly, but then realized you simply failed to put quote marks around 'fantastic interview.' But honestly, I never get tired of those words, so feel free to write them all you want.

      And Lauren, I think the next time they suggest you write a thriller, tell them you are and it's about improperly filed copyright register that results in the Library of Congress demanding 2 physical books be sent to them when the story is only in ebook format, and the writer kidnaps an employee and holds her hostage until they fix the problem. That should stop those legal thriller demands fast enough.

      But seriously, how do I convince the Library of Congress I have no book so send them?

  3. Fun interview. And Archer is a jaguar. The anthology sounds great! Good luck with it.
    Michelle rmjamuse at msn dot com

    1. Thanks for stopping by Michelle. I hope you get a chance to read the stories. They are good and it's for such a fantastic cause!

    2. I'm still confused about the name of the creek. I bet if Lauren had become an environmental lawyer who lived by that creek all her life she would have known the answer.

  4. Boy am I impressed. Liza managed to be good for the entire interview. Great job ladies. Loved the excerpt, Lauren.

    1. Thanks Ella, I had a blast talking to Liza for the interview! :)

    2. And I let Lauren respond...well that was just because she's on the job and I was walking the dog. Thanks for stopping by and bringing Lauren to my attention.

  5. Archer! Love that name! When I was really getting into BBC's Robin Hood and they brought RH's half brother into the picture... I totally fell in love with that name! So when I read this book, you know I'll think of him. Right? lol

    1. OMG, Marie! I LOVE that show and yes Archer was awesome and hot tee hee in that!

  6. LOL You two are a riot! Great interview! LOVED the excerpt. And Archer is quite the hottie in human form. I would imagine his jaguar form is equally hot! And Lauren, you know that this cause is near and dear to my heart!!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it. Lauren was great fun to interview.

    2. Thanks Louisa! The cause is near and dear to my heart too!

  7. Great good fun, as the others have said. Thanks for it! Turpentine jaguar, huh? Sounds strange and interesting.

    1. Thanks for stopping by. Glad you had fun.

    2. Thanks for coming by and checking out the book!


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