Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Wednesday Promo- Lori Avocato

After serving in the Air Force as a nurse, Lori Avocato decided to write a humorous romantic mystery series for Avon Books. She is a member of, Romance Writers of America, RomVets, PASIC, NINC, The Author’s Guild and Sisters in Crime.

Her Pauline Sokol Mystery Series is a perfect medium for Lori’s quick wit. She has made the best-selling suspense/thriller list on Amazon among many other contest wins. Visit Lori at:

Her sidesplitting novels featuring Pauline Sokol have been called “delightful” by PW and her experience as a nurse allows Avocato to infuse fast-paced plots with authentic medical details.

Lori has returned to her romance roots with three sales to The Wild Rose Press. She also writes a hysterical daily blog (Mon-Fri) in which her humor about everyday life will have you laughing—and, as Lori says, “Laughter is the best medicine.”

How has your Air Force background helped your writing career?
Well, being in the military in general has made me a very organized, disciplined person. A writer needs to be disciplined to force themselves to sit and write each day. Did I say "forced?" I meant "moved." lol I also have gotten a lot of ideas from my military past. I have a book coming out in October (The Wild Rose Press) about an Air Force nurse and a guy (hunk!) who she pulls out of the water--only to find that he doesn't even know his own name. Heaven On Earth is the title and I loved "reliving" my old military days!

Reading your blog you are a very active mom and champion of other writers. How does that help or hinder your writing time?

Well, the mom part sometimes hinders everything in my life--that is the mom years when my kids were teens! lol Now that my kids are older--they really don't want to spend time with me. Therefore, I have more time to write! Actually, I am also a nurse and have the built-in "nurse's nature" and like to help others. I was helped by many multi-published authors way back when so it feels good and right to help others. It also helps because I remind myself of the way things really should be--before we all learn to cut corners. Time consuming? Everything in life is. The secret is to manage your time so that you squeeze it all in.

What do you think it takes to write humorous characters and stories?
I guess if I said, "A sense of humor" and ended at that, it would be like not telling whodunit in a mystery, and I'd get booted out of here. So, I have to say I think humor must come naturally. I say this because I don't think about it or try. If you try, it won't work. A lot of my character's sense of humor (for good or bad) is very similar to mine. I write my daily blog (er...attempt a daily) using my humor. The one trick I can tell you is that it must be "universal." By that, I mean it must appeal to the masses and be as generic as possible. I think it works for my readers because things of humor in my books are usually something most/all can relate to. One of my favorite lines from my Pauline Sokol Book #1of the series, A Dose of Murder, Pauline says, "I weighed ten pounds and five ounces when I was born, but in my defence, the nurses told my mother that I looked much thinner." Did you chuckle? If so, it is because we can all usually relate to a weight issue (unless we are fifteen and don't eat chocolate). So, just let it be natural to the characters that you write and, like with anything else, it must be true to that particular character. In other words, if you heroine doesn't have an ironic sense of humor, don't have her saying ironic things. Hope that helps!


In this classic romance story, a conservative rancher and a free-spirited photographer are forced to share more than a common lake in the steamy New Mexico desert. There they must decide--are wealth and property worth more than love? Becky Chambers becomes a fish out of water when she and Slate Lawson learn they have both inherited half of the same ranch in New Mexico--now they must learn what is really important in life.


He’s going to explode!

Becky Chambers nearly slipped to the floor as she leaned forward on the wooden seat in the office of Frenandez, Greeson, and Dunn, Attorneys at Law. She knew she looked obvious, glaring at the man waving his copy of the will in front of poor Attorney Harold Greeson’s face, but she didn’t want to miss a thing—there was too much at stake.

The muscle twitching to the side of the man’s left eyebrow held her attention, until she pulled free and settled on his face. He was no doubt handsome in his navy pinstripe suit and obviously starched white shirt, she’d give him that, but the flame red color speeding from his solid, squared jaw line over his lips, and up to his hairline, took away from his rugged appeal. Yes, he was handsome, and mad as hell—at her.

Geez, she’d have to be careful or risk losing everything. Everything she’d ever dreamed of.

“He had to be insane to write this will! My uncle would never have done this to me!” the man shouted.

Attorney Greeson paused. Becky wondered if he was working up his nerve to confront the man. That was her best guess as the lawyer peered over his Benjamin Franklin-type glasses.

“Please sit down, Mr. Lawson. Perhaps… I can explain…”

“Explain? Explain how or why my Uncle Nate left half of my land to…” The man turned and wagged a finger toward Becky. “Her?”

Whoa! At first she pulled back, then leaned forward. He didn’t scare her, whoever he was. “Hey, wait a minute…” Becky

straightened in her seat. “Look, buddy, I didn’t ask for…” Control yourself, Chambers. Good luck has never fallen into your lap before. Don’t blow it! She aimed a smile at him and clenched her teeth. Beneath the chair her foot ground into the carpet as if she was putting out a cigarette. The action did little to relieve her frustration. Geez, how she wanted to throttle this guy!

The man looked at her and said, “Sorry, ma’am. This… news… has taken me by surprise.” Then, he leaned within inches of Attorney Greeson’s face. So much for her wasted smile at his apology. “Please explain,” he said.

Attorney Greeson cleared his throat. “Perhaps you’d like to sit down first, Slate?”

Slate? What the heck kind of name was that? Sounded like some kind of stone. She looked at the outraged guy and figured he was about as stiff as stone. Thinking better than to interrupt, Becky bit her lip, tasting tutti-frutti, her favorite flavor of lipstick. If she didn’t clutch the arms of the chair, she’d be too tempted to pop this Slate Lawson, apology or not.

But she couldn’t.

She had to behave. All she had to do was picture how her daddy, the last foster father she ever had, used to talk about one day buying a house for their family. His words had become a lifelong dream that floated too near right now to let it burst in a fit of anger. Besides, she’d had her share of run-ins with men like Slate Lawson in her life. Oh, he looked great—hell, handsome—but beneath the movie star face, Becky knew there was someone out of her league. By the looks of his clothes, he had money and that right there made them miles apart—one more reminder of which side of the tracks she grew up on.

She looked at the furious Slate Lawson and laughed to herself. A relationship with this guy was not even a consideration. She told herself to sit still if it killed her. It sure felt as if it would as she sat there, forcing herself out of character. This charade proved to be very similar to her days back in high school. She had a devil of a

time with the many rules and regulations the teachers had. It went against her independent nature. Right now, watching Mr. Lawson seethe as the attorney read more of the will and having to be quiet was like being back in high school—where all of her natural free-spirited instincts were choked to death on a daily basis.

She felt smothered, but remained still.

“Well, er… where do I start?” Attorney Greeson floundered, although Becky knew the man must have all the answers below his balding white hair. He reminded her of a kindly old gentleman in his squirrel gray suit.

She looked at Slate in his spotless outfit. Physically, the suit fit him to perfection. But, she noted, there was something about him that made her want to see him in a more comfortable outfit. Jeans, maybe? Not that the suit wasn’t his size, hugging broad, solid shoulders. No, he looked great in it, but she figured jeans and worn black cowboy boots would help to loosen him up a bit.

On second thought, the outfit wasn’t the cause. Slate Lawson looked as if he were a stiff, conservative kind of guy. Yeah! Stiff was the operative word. He reminded her of a balloon which Grady, whom she’d become guardian to after rescuing him from foster care, once blew up. She’d hollered at him not to keep blowing or it’d pop. Well, the kid didn’t listen and sure enough after a loud bang, tiny bits of balloon covered their kitchen.

This Lawson guy looked so perfect and acted so… full of hot air that she expected him to pop, too. That’s it, she thought, snapping her fingers. He needed something to loosen him up or he’d pop. Here she was like a fish out of water acting like some Miss Goody Two-shoes right now, ready to explode herself. Well, this fish would control herself. She looked up. Mr. Lawson could do to swim upstream for a bit.

Check out Lori's website and blog: and


Kathy Otten said...

Hi Lori,
Great interview. I love humor in the stories I read. Funny, quirky characters are the best way to end the day. Your excerpt was great too. It had me chuckling, especially with your balloon analogy. Wonderful visual :) Good luck with sales.

Emma Lai said...

Congrats on the release Lori! Great interview ladies!

I love books with humor in them.

Cate Masters said...

Great interview, Paty and Lori! Lori, congrats on the release - sounds like a great read!

Linda A. said...

The book sounds hilarious, Lori. I really enjoyed the excerpt. Best of luck!

Nicole McCaffrey said...

Wow, what a great excerpt! I loved the humor and love to read books with humor in them--life is too depressing not to laugh every day, LOL.

Congrats on the release!

Great interview, Paty!

Helen Hardt said...

Happy release day, Lori!


Debra St. John said...

Hi Lori and Paty! Great interview. Lori, your books sounds great, and I love the cover!

Mary Ricksen said...

What a great excerpt. Now I got another book to buy. If you guys weren't all such great writers, I wouldn't be so poor! LOL!
Every other book I read has to have humor in it. Now matter what genre!
Good luck!

Lori Avocato said...

Wow! What a cool group all of you are! Thanks for the congrats and hope that if you buy Shear Magic, or any of my other books, you let me know how you liked them. I love to write with humor. As a nurse, I autograph my books with, "Laughter is the best medicine!" And, I believe it really is!


Lori Avocato said...

Thanks, Paty for having me here! Come visit my blog at and tell my folks about your work!

Gwynlyn MacKenzie said...

I envy those who write humor well. Wish I could, but you're right; either it's natural or it's not. And when it's not, it's not worth reading.

I enjoyed your excerpt. Your heroine reminds me of my eldest daughter---only Kate would have popped him.

Can't wait to read the rest.