Guest Post - Author Lauren Clark

Posted on Friday, September 5, 2014 12:01 AM
One of the favorite parts of my week is talking to my good friend, Mary, about books. It’s a favorite topic of ours—and we share the same passion for stories that make us laugh, make us cry, and make us think a little longer and harder about life. 

We compare notes about the books we’re reading (this week, The Silkworm…will Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin ever get together?), the audiobook we’re listening to (this week, Breakfast at Tiffany’s), and our favorite books of the year (mine – Me Before You by Jo Jo Moyes and Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian, Mary’s – The Book Thief).

We’re always looking for the next greatest book, which made me think about what makes a novel particularly wonderful, gripping, or un-put-downable. 

It’s by no means comprehensive, but I came up with my own must-have list:

1. A character that I like, care about, or believe in
2. An big upheaval or challenge in that character’s life
3. Lovely writing with smart dialogue
4. A setting that transports me to a different place
5. An interesting story arc that keeps me turning pages
6. A romantic interest
7. A formidable antagonist
8. A few funny or tender moments to break the tension
9. Personal growth by the main character
10. A satisfying, but not necessarily perfect ending

All of the books I’ve mentioned above—and so many more—contain those qualities. It’s an intricate puzzle that a skilled author puts together over weeks, months, and sometimes, years. 

What are your favorite qualities in a really good book? What makes you finish the story and smile? I’d love it if you’d share your must-have list!

xx, Lauren 

Buy links:

AMAZON LINK:        
Social Media: 
Twitter  @LaurenClark_Bks

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.


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, including Dancing Naked in Dixie, Stay Tuned, and Stardust Summer. Lauren is a member of the Gulf Coast Writers Association and the Mobile Writers Guild. Follow her on Twitter @Laurenclark_bks and check out her website at

Loren Mathis

1 comment:

  1. I'm a slow reader so I need a killer beginning. The first chapter has to grab me with an interesting main character and an exciting plot or chances are I'll put it down and go to the next book.


I love to hear your comments!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Copyright © 2013-2014 Loren Mathis Books
Template by Hopeless Romantics
Subtle Patterns (Subtle Patterns) / CC BY-SA 3.0