Monday, November 12, 2012

Name Before The Masses - Keeper by Surprise by Laurie Larsen

Welcome to my stop on Laurie Larsen's Name Before the Masses Tour for Keeper by Surprise.  Please be sure to leave a comment or question below to let Laurie know you stopped by.  Leaving a comment will also enter you in Laurie's tour wide giveaway where she'll be awarding promo items to random commenters at every stop, and the choice of a basic Nook or Kindle to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour (US/CANADA ONLY).  You can follow all of her tour stops here, the more often you comment, the better your odds of winning. 


Guest Post:  The Importance of Family Especially Around the Holidays by Laurie Larsen
Thank you so much for inviting me to come visit you and your readers today!  I’m excited to be here to talk with you about my new release, Keeper by Surprise.  And since fall is in full swing, it’s got me thinking about the holidays, how about you?

I’ve hosted Thanksgiving at my house at least a dozen times now, and it’s always a mixed bag for me.  I love having my family members over for a big wonderful meal, especially those I haven’t seen in a while.  It’s fun to have the house filled with laughter and conversation while I’m bustling efficiently around my kitchen, putting the last touches on a meal that will be remembered for many weeks to come.  In fact, I think I’m wearing pearls and pumps and looking fresh as a daisy for my adoring guests.

Okay, wake up, Laurie.  That’s obviously not reality.  Reality is, I’m exhausted after working the three days leading up to this holiday, not to mention from the grocery shopping required to put this meal together, and from waking up early this morning to make sure the turkey isn’t still frozen, is all dressed and seasoned and in the oven at the proper time.  I torture myself every year, making sure that everything comes OUT of the oven at the same time, like a synchronized swimming event, so that the meal is consistently hot when people eat.  I pore over my spreadsheet of each menu item: when it goes in, where it goes (ie., Oven 1, Oven 2, microwave, stove top, etc.) and most importantly, when it comes out.  I have a hand print of flour on my sweatpants, my tee shirt has a gravy stain and I’m probably barefoot. 

Despite all the stress, though, I must say that Thanksgiving dinner usually goes pretty well for me.  I won’t say I’m an expert, but my husband and I have done it enough times that we have it down to a science.  Although, throw in the uncontrollable factor of family in the mix and I have a few not-so-pleasant memories.  For example, the year my dad wanted to “help” but when he was pulling the turkey out of the oven, he dropped it and it fell on the floor.  We screamed and recovered it, but when we hoisted the 22-pounder up onto the counter, a pool of grease spread all over my clean china, stacked up waiting to be used.

I’m sure you all have stories of holidays being complicated by family members, challenges to share that in retrospect, are funny, but probably weren’t funny at the time.  Yet, we continue to share the important moments of our lives with family.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Would you?

In my book, Keeper by Surprise, Keith Hanson is a college student living the good life away from home.  He’d come from such a demanding upbringing, that I can imagine him getting to college singing, “Free at last!  Free at last!  Thank God Almighty, I’m free at last!”  His priorities are grades and girls, not necessarily in that order.  His whole life changes forever with one phone call.  His parents are killed and their will names HIM as guardian.  He’s got a difficult teenage sister and little twin siblings.  How on earth will he provide for them?  He isn’t up to this challenge!

And he struggles.  One challenge after another makes him question his ability to raise them, along with his father’s judgment in naming him a guardian.  Like the time Dana goes missing and he finds her in a foggy-windowed car in her deadbeat boyfriend’s driveway.  When it becomes clear what the two of them were doing in there, he does the first thing that occurs to him: punches the guy in the jaw!  Probably not his best parenting moment.

Eventually he meets Lisa Carle, the social worker assigned to help him learn to be a better guardian.  And neither of them expects to fall in love.

I hope you’ll check out Keeper by Surprise!  It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you cry, it’ll make you cheer for Keith and Lisa as they navigate through a bunch of obstacles.  It’s available in paperback, as well as all e-reading formats.

Because this is my first blog tour stop, I’m going to do a drawing to give away a proof copy of the paperback version of my last book, Inner Diva.  To get in on the drawing, do this: leave a comment telling me one Thanksgiving family memory of your own.  I’d like a minimum of 10 commenters.

Thanks to the Queen of All She Reads for hosting me today!!

Laurie Larsen


Keeper by Surprise
by Laurie Larsen
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing

Release Date: September 7, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-479244-60-7
Contemporary Romance
Length: 352 Pages

Life changes forever for Keith Hanson when his parents’ will declares him guardian over his three younger siblings. His new responsibilities are challenging, but he’s even less prepared to fall in love with Lisa Carle, a social worker with a devastating secret.


The drone of a lawn mower floated on the hot summer evening. Lisa glanced towards the house and her breath caught in her throat. Oh. My. God.

The most gorgeous man in the world was over there, mowing the lawn.

Lisa paused in reaching for the door handle and slipped lower in her seat so she could spy on the hunk for a moment without being noticed. Was this the right house? She grabbed the paper and double-checked the address. Yes! It was.

Lisa took a deep breath to get her heart rate under control. Boy, it was beating up a storm! Like she had never seen a gorgeous guy before. Well, it had been a while.

His hair, a light chestnut brown, sported hints of blond highlights. But not intentional highlights. No way was this the type of male to sit in a salon seat, paying big bucks to get highlights chemically applied. He was clean-shaven and glistening from the heat of the evening. He wore only a pair of shorts, his chest bare as he pushed the mower back and forth across the lawn.

And wow, what a magnificent chest. Hair-free and muscular, he practically shone with physical fitness. Lisa squinted for a better view. This was a guy familiar with the inside of a gym. What kind of athlete was he? Not a body builder. He didn’t sport those obnoxious over-done muscles. His sport subtly sculpted his body. A swimmer, maybe? A gymnast? Who knew, but the guy had a perfect build. Not too scrawny, but without an ounce of fat on him; that was clear.

And his face. Straight out of GQ magazine, he had classic good looks. She imagined running her fingers along his chiseled jawline, then feathering across those luscious lips. They looked a tad bit full for a male – all the better to kiss you with, my dear!


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Laurie Larsen is the EPIC Award-winning author of Preacher Man, Best Spiritual Romance of 2010. To date, she has published seven books in the romance and women’s fiction genres, including one Young Adult romance.  Keeper by Surprise is her latest release.  She lives in the Midwest with a strenuous day job, a husband of more than two decades, two amazing sons and Gracie the Wonder Dog. To keep up with Laurie and her books, visit her at , on Twitter or Facebook.

FREE READ on Smashwords

Inner Diva: 


Author co-op: 


Please make sure to leave a comment or question below for Laurie in order to enter her giveaway.  Laurie will be awarding promo items to random commenters at every stop, and the choice of a basic Nook or Kindle to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour (US/CANADA ONLY).  You can follow all of her tour stops here, the more often you comment, the better your odds of winning. 


  1. Dear Queen,
    I'm so happy to be your guest today! Thanks so much for having me. I'll stop by periodically throughout the day and plan to do a drawing by the end of the evening.

    Laurie Larsen

  2. Unfortunately, I don't have very many clear Thanksgiving memories. I do recall one when I was a teenager (14-15 maybe). It was at our house and all the aunts and uncles were there. My Aunt Jean, sweetest lady ever, was tipsy and waiting to interrogate my boyfriend when he came over to pick me up after dinner. She was funny when she was tipsy. That is my clearest memory of Aunt Jean and it was more than 30 years ago!
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

    1. Oh Catherine, that's hysterical! Good ole Aunt Jean. Thanks for stopping by!


  3. Laurie,
    I read the excerpt. I told myself not to because I knew I would be dying to read the book even more. It's been on the top of my TBR list. It's sort of my reward when I get through my first draft of my third book. Despite better intentions, I read the excerpt, and now I may have to cheat! It's awesome!
    -R.T. Wolfe

  4. RT, you're sweeter than sweet! Thanks so much for the boost on a Monday morning!


  5. Laurie,

    After Jeanne "liked" your books on Facebook, I found and read "Inner Diva". I loved it!

    I can't wait to read Keeper by Surprise. Keep on writing!

    Thank you for "The Importance of Family Especially Around the Holidays" and reminding me that it is not about "wearing pearls and pumps and looking fresh as a daisy for my adoring guests".

    As a child and young adult, Thanksgiving meant going to my Dad's side of the familiy for lunch on the northside of Chicago and then dinner with my Mom's family on the southside. It was great to be able to take just what you wanted to eat because of the other meal. When I first married he wasn't used to celebrating Thanksgiving with extended family, so continuing to celebrate my way wasn't an issue. After the divorce, we had our children every other Thanksgiving.

    After my Dad's side stopped, I was invited to my new in-law's and I continued to do the double meal day until 2002 when my Mom's Mom died Thanksgiving week.

    15 years ago when we became a blended family we would try to get our "children" to have one of the meals of Thanksgiving with us. As they started to marry, it became so complicated that we have started to celebrate "Fakes"giving. We've named it that because it is not held on Thanksgiving Thursday. We use whatever day works to get the most of us possible together at one time. Our menu is constantly changing depending on other recent meals, from pizza to tacos, chili and fajitas to restaurant/hospital to prime rib to turkey. This year we are hosting it on Nov. 18th and the menu still hasn't been finalized.

    That reminds me, I have to get working on that!

    1. Bev, thank you so much for mentioning how much you liked Inner Diva. That was so sweet of you! And yes, definitely get Keeper. My readers who enjoyed Inner Diva are raving about Keeper. :)

      Your comment reiterated the whole meaning of any holiday -- it's not about the menu, or the china pattern or whatever -- it's about getting family together and enjoying time together. I loved what you had to say. And speaking of non-traditional foods, I one time tried to push an "Hors deouvres Christmas" with pizza and a variety of appetizers. It did NOT go over well. Some of my family members thought I'd lost it. OH WELL.

      Thanks for stopping by!


  6. Well, it sure has been fun hanging out with the Queen today! Thanks again for having me! And since it's about my bedtime I'm going to draw a winner from my Commenters today who will receive a little gift pack of Laurie Larsen promotional items, the envy of your neighborhood. :) So, drumroll please ... Catherine Lee!! Catherine, please email me at with your mailing address to redeem your prize!

    You guys were an awesome first blog tour stop! God bless and have a very happy Thanksgiving!