Romance Author Alana Lorens at My Place

Yes, I know, it's Thursday, not the usual My Place Sunday. But life would be boring without surprises, eh? And I have a surprise in store for you.

Today's guest is romance author Alana Lorens who takes us on a tour of Pittsburgh in a wonderfully descriptive post. A real treat!

Over to Alana!

Pittsburgh—more than just football and beer

The Pittsburgh Lady Lawyer series debuted this month, with CONVICTION OF THE HEART and SECOND CHANCES, two very different lawyers who practice in the same wonderful city. Why Pittsburgh? First and foremost, because it’s handy to where I live here in northwestern Pennsylvania, and we’ve been there many times. But secondly, it’s because the city is a wonderful canvas on which to display a story.

Pittsburgh is a city of neighborhoods and great diversity (map of neighborhoods). From east-end staple Squirrel Hill, home of a large Jewish community (and once upon a time, Mister Rogers, too), to the downtown skyscrapers to Robinson Town Center’s spread of stores and restaurants to fill all manner of modern consumers’ wishes, there’s something for everyone in this town.

Historically speaking, it’s a very blue-collar place, where immigrants found jobs in the many steel mills that filled the city a hundred years ago. But many of those places have now closed, and the factories stand empty, like old dogs someone used to love but abandoned. 

The city hasn’t rolled over and played dead, however. An active cultural life provides great venues for theatre and music, like the Benedum Center, where I placed my hero and heroine for a Moody Blues concert in CONVICTION OF THE HEART, and traditions like the Regatta on the three rivers, followed by dragonboat races and fireworks on the Fourth of July, where my lucky couple spends an evening on the Overlooks of Mount Washington in SECOND CHANCES.

Sports, of course, plays a huge role in the tourist trade of the town, with the Steelers’ championship football legacy, as well as the Pittsburgh Pirates for baseball and the Pittsburgh Penguins’ hockey franchise where the legendary Mario Lemieux played for many years. 

East Carson Street is home to what’s said to be the longest unbroken string of bars anywhere in the country—and also the law office of Suzanne Taylor, the single mom family law attorney in CONVICTION OF THE HEART. Many bistros and other interesting retro and antique shops line the street as well, all the way out to its far eastern end, which has been revitalized and built up with all the modern stores and restaurants one could want on a Friday evening. One of our favorite places is the Beehive Coffeehouse which not only has amazing coffee, but a whole room devoted to pinball in its retro Sixties/San Francisco décor. Don’t miss the bathroom webcam on the website—more than you ever wanted to know about some visitors, I think!

The Carnegie Museums—Art, Natural History, and Science—provide a great injection of culture for those who wish it, and Oakland is also home to two world-famous institutions of learning, the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie-Mellon University.

The food, the festivals, the flow and the atmosphere are all incredible, and a great backdrop for my stories to unwind. Hope you get to visit sometime!

CONVICTION OF THE HEART (release date June 8, 2012)
And SECOND CHANCES (release date June 19, 2012)
The first and Second books of the Pittsburgh Lady Lawyer Series!

Come by the following blogs or live booksignings and leave a comment to be entered in a drawing—at the end of the tour, Alana will give away one ebook copy of each book and one paperback copy of each book—Four lucky winners! Check out all the websites at!

Family law attorney Suzanne Taylor understands her clients’ problems—her own husband left her with two babies to raise alone. Now that they’re teenagers, her life is full. The last thing she wants is the romantic attentions of a police lieutenant, no matter how good-looking.

Lt. Nick Sansone is juggling the demands of a new promotion, and doesn’t need complications either. But when he sends a councilman’s battered wife to Suzanne for help, he realizes he wants to connect with the lovely, prickly lawyer on more than a professional level.

They are soon confronted with a different battle, when the abused woman's husband threatens retribution. The powerful, well-connected councilman can damage both their careers—not to mention hurt those they love. Can they bend enough to admit they need each other in a time of crisis? Or will a husband’s revenge take them down before they ever get a chance?

Inessa Regan, a 10-year associate at a Pittsburgh law firm, gets a pink slip when the economy tanks. Insecure, her pride wounded, she flounders helplessly until she meets Kurtis Lowdon, a man 15 years younger than she, an Iraq War veteran with cancer.  He helps her take the first steps back from the pit of despair after she loses everything that defines her.

First as her client, then as her landlord, then as her partner, Kurt shows her the power of  believing in oneself. Their journey is tainted with secrets from Kurt’s own past, as well as some of the horrors of war that have followed Kurt and his friends home from overseas. When his cancer returns, she must take control of her own life and fight to survive.   

Can the lessons he’s taught her keep her strong enough to survive? How much will she risk to save him?


  There he was again. 
  Nick Sansone.
  Waiting for her, in ambush, like a guerilla assault team, when she approached the elevator in Pittsburgh’s City-County Building. Since she practiced family law, and he was a police detective, they weren't often in the same building. The criminal courts took place in the old red granite “castle” next to the stone former jail building. City-County was the home of the civil courts. No reason for him to be here.
  But here the lanky detective stood, in the busy first floor lobby. His suit was dark gray, his tie a conservative print with maroon diamonds, and his shoes were spit-polished to a perfect shine.
  “Counselor,” he said with an easy grin. “Starting early today, I see.”
  Put him off. Don’t let him engage. “Tough job being a homewrecker, but someone’s got to do it,” she said. 
  It might be corny, but it was better than the usual jokes about lawyers and sharks. Or lawyers and bottom feeders. Or lawyers and…about anything one could think of that was disgusting. Cops seemed to know them all.
  “Now, I’ve seen you in action, Ms. Taylor. I know that’s not your modus operandi at all.”
  Her cheeks flamed. “Don’t try to flatter me with your fine command of Latin phrases, Detective.”
  “Not flattery at all! Spoken with true admiration, I assure you. I’ve observed enough of my colleagues raked over the coals to know a shark when I see one. And you’re not.”
  A tight smile was her only response as the elevator doors opened. They both walked in, along with half a dozen other people chattering, involved in their own lives.
  “Who’s the unlucky man today?” he asked, gaze warm with amusement.
  “You assume it’s a man?” Suzanne clutched the handle of her briefcase more tightly. “I don’t only represent women, Sergeant.”
  “I’m sorry?” She eyed him with a little frown.
  “Lieutenant. I’ve been promoted since we last met.”
  The elevator doors opened at the floor below the one she wanted. Jostled by people behind her wanting to get out, she was shoved closer to him to allow them to pass. Close enough for her to get a full inhale of his aftershave, something spicy with a hint of citrus. It was her immediate new favorite. Damn him.

Author Link:

Buy Links:

SECOND CHANCES book trailer:


  1. What a wonderful post, Alana. You should be employed by the Pittsburgh tourist board. :-) The city is definitely on my list now. Thanks for sharing such an interesting setting.

    And I loved the excerpt... good luck with your blog tour!

  2. The photos are great. Very tempting. I still find it incredible that you've got two out at once - that in itself would be worth a lengthy blogpost. Best of luck.

  3. Pittsburgh has always been a favorite city of mine since my college days. I'm glad I made it appealing. :)

    It's a real experience having two out at the same time. Trying to do real-life appearances as well as a blog tour is a trick I'm trying to master. Thanks for coming by, Maddy!


  4. Being a Pgh woman, I enjoyed reading your post. I've used references to Pgh in some of my books but most of them take place outside the town. Go Pirates. Though we're far from the Burgh we'll remain fans of Pittsburgh teams forever.

  5. I'm learning to love Pittsburgh. It does have a vibrant look about it.
    Great post again-thanks Barbara! Best wishes.

  6. I think Pittsburgh is the most lovely city there is...I'm looking forward to reading your books!

  7. Thank you all for stopping by! You out-of-country visitors, feel free to let me know when you're in town and I'll show you around personally. :)


  8. Wonderful post! I love the pics included especially since it's a city I've never been to but plan on visiting.

    Congrats on your releases and your amazing covers. Enjoyed the excerpt!

  9. Hi Alana, great to meet you. I love second chance romances. Wow, two releases...and only a day apart! Both books sound like great reads. Ah, decisions, decisions.
    Thanks Cathie, for bringing another author to my attention,

  10. Thank you, ladies, for visiting.

    Yes, Pittsburgh sounds like a fab place to visit. One day... :-)


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