Monday, August 1, 2022

THE DO OVER, by author SHARON M. PETERSON (debuts August 1st!)

"Look, you're a nice girl but I don't think we should see each other anymore." The voicemail ends and I freeze in the dentist's chair as I realize, I've just been dumped on live radio.

It took the most humiliating break-up for me to see that my life is in serious need of a do-over. Cue my anti-New Year's resolutions that even I can't fail:

1. Stop dating. (Men are the worst.)2. Stop trying to lose weight. (I'm never giving up chocolate.)3. Stop working so hard. (Selling mortgages is not my dream career.)4. Stop trying to live up to unrealistic expectations. (Start living my best life.)5. Stop trying to please my mother. (It's not possible.)


But it turns out number five is harder than I thought, as she begins her campaign to get me back with my ex. So, what's the perfect solution to keep her out of my love life? An imaginary boyfriend-at least he was supposed to be imaginary until I blurted out my neighbor's name...


Nate, the bad boy next door with gorgeous hazel eyes, a razor-sharp jawline and a mysterious scar, might be hot, but he's definitely not my boyfriend. Now all I need to do is stick to my resolutions while also keeping my interfering family away from my non-existent lover who has no idea that we're fake dating. What could possibly go wrong?

Early reviews ~

“Let me be clear: The Do-Over is not a novel. It's a ray of sunshine. It's a sweet, endearing, empowering tale that keeps a smile on your face and a bit of a grip on your heart from beginning to end.” NetGalley Reviewer, 5 Stars

“As a reader you can expect lots of laughs, some tears at the corner of your eyes, adorable situations and a beautiful closed-doors romance that I would like to keep reading about.” NetGalley Reviewer, 5 Stars

Author interview with Sharon ~

Tell us a little about yourself and how you started writing.

I’ve always been a reader. I was the kid who asked for a nightlight not because I was scared of the dark but because I wanted to read by it after bedtime. As for writing, it’s long been a dream but I was too afraid to say it out loud. Over the years, I started (and didn’t finish) writing a couple of novels. Always in secret. Then around 2015, I started blogging at the urging of friends (who were probably tired of reading my very long Facebook posts).

I quickly discovered that while I didn’t like blogging much, what I did love was telling stories. But about a year later, my laptop broke. We have four children, including two with special needs. A large chunk of our budget went to pay for therapy co-pays. We just didn’t have the money to replace my laptop. Life has taught me to be ruthlessly practical so I set aside writing. Although I soon discovered that I missed it. A lot. It had sort of been a form of free therapy for me.

Then out of the blue, a friend called me up and asked me to meet her. She presented me with a laptop which she and other moms (most who didn’t even know me) in a local group pooled money to buy for me so I could “keep writing.” It was the most remarkable gift I’ve ever received. I decided then and there that I had to pursue my passion for writing. I had a whole cheering squad behind me and I didn’t want to waste the gift they’d given me.

So in between cleaning up spilled milk, at 1 a.m. and kids’ naptimes, I started writing and I didn’t stop until I finished.

Do you have a ‘day job’ as well?

I was a middle school English/ESL teacher in an inner-city school for several years before staying home with the kids. After that, I found ways to make money however that presented itself. I was a tax preparer for a year (no, thank you). I had a small cookie business. Picture me with three kids under five making 100 dozen cookies at Christmas time. Phew.

Mostly, I’ve been an online reseller for years which I like because it’s a bit of a treasure hunt and I have a legitimate reason to spend time in thrift stores (another of my passions). My best flip ever was a new-in-box and shrink-wrapped WWE Wrestling trivia game from 1997. I paid $2.99. Two weeks later, I sold it for… $1600! It’s stuff like that keeps me hunting.

 

Where do you get your ideas?

Everywhere? I love people watching and imagining their backstory. I think writers as a whole tend to be people watchers. Characters live in my head for a long time before I put them on paper. I take them places with me and imagine what they’d do at the grocery store or if a strange man approached them. I think really knowing your character comes through in your writing.

Once I know that character, I think, “Hmmm. What situation can I put them in that would cause a whole lot of problems?” And we go from there.

 

Do you have a go-to first reader after you feel your manuscript is ready?

Yes! When I first started querying my first book in hopes of finding an agent, I received request for an R&R (revise and resubmit). I was a (very silent) member of Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) but I cautiously asked if anyone would be willing to read for me. A fellow member, Tracey Christensen, answered the call. Not only has she become my go-to critique partner, she’s become one of my biggest cheerleaders and closest friends.

 

Is anything in your book based on real-life experiences?

I think it’s hard not to leave a bit of yourself on the page when you’re writing. There are totally parts of me in Perci. I am absolutely awkward and don’t feel comfortable in my own skin a lot of the time. But I hope there’s a little bit of me in Mimi too. (Maybe without the animal print though.)

 

Do you have a favorite chapter or scene?

One of my favorite scenes involves Spanx being thrown on meatloaf. (If I ever put together a band, we’re calling ourselves Spanx on the Meatloaf.)

 

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Keep going. Keep going. Keep going. Publishing is not for the weak. It is hard. You will want to give up. You will face rejection. A lot of rejection. I mean, so much rejection, you’ll think your new name is Rejection and you live in Rejection City with your dog, Reject. So much rejection, it almost becomes a point of pride. “I got three rejections today. Boom!” Or maybe that’s just me?

 

It might take months, years, several writing projects before you get a yes. I queried my first novel for 16 months to 106 agents before I got an offer of representation. My first book didn’t sell. We started subbing my second book literal days before the whole country went into lockdown. It took almost two years to sell The Do-OverBut I firmly believe that perservance and plain old-fashioned stubbornness is what wins in the end. Also, ice cream. A lot of ice cream.

 

Favorite book and/or movie?

My favorite movie of all time is Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. As soon as I can figure out a way to make Stockholm syndrome and kidnapping funny, I am definitely be writing a book based on it.

  

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?

I don’t know that I have any fans; Maybe one day but I promise to stay humble. (Ha!)

To anyone who picks up The Do-Over to read, thank you. Time is one of most precious commodities and that you want to spend it reading a book I wrote? That is truly a gift to me. Thank you.  


To connect with Sharon:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SharonMPetersonAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/stone4031

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stone4031/

Website: www.sharonmpeterson.com

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@stone4031














Monday, July 18, 2022

THIS PLACE OF WONDER, (out July 19th!) by best-selling author BARBARA O'NEAL

In the wake of a personal tragedy, four women face the past, their futures, and each other in a novel of broken ties and healing by the Amazon Charts bestselling author of When We Believed in Mermaids.

When famed chef Augustus Beauvais dies, he leaves behind a celebrated reputation—and four women grappling with loss, anger, pain, and the question of how the world will turn without him…

Meadow, the ex-wife with whom Augustus built an empire—and a family—still holds a place for him in her heart, even as she continues to struggle with his infidelities, which ended their twenty-year marriage. More unforgiving is Maya, his estranged daughter, who’s recently out of rehab but finally ready to reclaim her life. Norah, his latest girlfriend, sidelined her own career for unexpected love and a life of luxury, both of which are now gone with Augustus. And then there’s Rory, Meadow’s daughter, the voice of calm and reason in a chorus of discontent.

As Meadow, Maya, Norah, and Rory are flung together by tragedy, grief, and secrets yet to be revealed, they must accept—or turn away from—the legacy of great intentions and bad decisions Augustus left them. And when the circumstances around his death are called into question, their conflicted feelings become even more complicated. But moving forward is the only choice they have, and to do so, they’ll need to rely on family, friendship, and inner strength.

Set on the stunning, rugged California coastline, This Place of Wonder is an emotional, lush, and empowering story of four women finding their way in a changed world—and what a wondrous journey it will be.



Reviews


“Kristin Hannah readers will thoroughly enjoy the family dynamic, especially the mother-daughter relationships.” Booklist (starred review)

“Barbara O’Neal’s latest novel is simply delicious. Engrossing, empathetic, and profoundly moving, I savored every sentence of this story of several very different women who find solace and second chances in each other after tragedy (though not before facing some hard truths and, yes, a few rock bottoms). This Place of Wonder is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.” —Camille Pag├ín, bestselling author of Everything Must Go

“I have never much moved in the elevated circles of California farm-to-table cuisine, but O’Neal makes me feel like I’m there. Rather than simply skewering the pretensions, This Place of Wonder pinpoints the passions. Some of these characters have been elevated to celebrity, some are newcomers to the scene, but all are drawn together by the sensuality, the excitement, and ultimately the care that food brings them. Elegiac but also forward-looking, this is a book about eating, but more than that, it’s a book about hurt and healing and women finding their way together. I loved every moment of it.” —Julie Powell, author of Julie & Julia and Cleaving

This Place of Wonder is a wonderfully moving tale about four women whose journeys are all connected by one shared love: some are romantic, some are familial, but all are deeply complicated. Dealing with loss, love, hidden secrets, and second chances, this stirring tale is utterly engaging and ultimately hopeful. Set along the rugged California coastline, This Place of Wonder will sweep you away with the intoxicating scents, bold flavors, and sweeping views of the region and transport you to a world you won’t be in any hurry to leave.” —Colleen Hoover, #1 New York Times bestselling author

 Author interview with Barbara~

Tell us a little about yourself and how you started writing.

I’m the author of so many books I’ve lost track—over 50 for sure, but I haven’t counted for awhile. My main gig since 2000 is women’s fiction. Before that, I wrote category and historical romances and won a fistful of RITA awards for them.

I started writing at age five, honestly, by singing story songs to my sisters. By age 12, I’d started writing novels in spiral notebooks and couldn’t really think of anything else I wanted to do, even though everybody around me thought I was reaching a bit above my pay grade. Luckily, I entered the game when romances were hot, hot, hot, and everybody needed material.

What are some things you enjoy when not writing?

Oh, way too many! Painting is a big thing these days, and I’m an earnest amateur but getting better. I love gardening and am a walking fiend, and discovered during the pandemic that travel isn’t just an interest, it’s necessary to my writing process.

How do you start your day (a routine of sorts?)

We get up early, thanks to dogs and cats, eat breakfast and head out to walk the dogs, then I make a fresh cup of tea or coffee and sit down to write. Usually, I have to check social media quickly, but I set a timer of 15 minutes so I want wander into the internet and get lost. I turn on Freedom to lock me out, then meditate for ten minutes. Sometimes, I journal, sometimes I don’t.

Finish this: “I can’t write without…”

Coffee or tea.

What is something about you that would surprise people?

I’m really quite shy. Many writers are, of course, and I love teaching so I had to figure out ways to keep in in check, but that doesn’t change the essential nature.

 

Where do you get your ideas?

Everywhere. Everywhere. Everywhere. Ideas leap out from every direction. It’s finding the ones that will hold my attention for a year, that I can fashion into something commercial, that I think have some oomph that’s the trick. I have a few that have been nagging me that I can’t quite figure out how to bring to the market, but I haven’t given up.

 

What are you working on now?

I’ve just turned in my book for 2023, The Starfish Sisters, which is about two women who’ve been friends for decades and a crisis they’re facing in their relationship now.

 

Is anything in your book based on real-life experiences?

I’m fascinated by the bigger-than-life man (or woman, but it’s almost always a man) who strides through life, eating it up and making it more interesting for everybody else—but who also leaves a swath of damage behind him. Augustus Beauvais is that kind of character, and I I really loved writing him. I’ve known a lot of men like him.

 

Do you have a favorite character?

I love Maya. For me, she’s the heart of the story in many ways. Her piercing struggle to find herself, her truth, her recovery got me to the page and kept me there.

 

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Finish what you start. Finishing books teaches you far more than starting something new over and over.

 

What are the downfalls of your writing career? The best parts?

The best part is that I’m basically a reader, and writing a book is just like reading, except that I get to live in the world for a lot longer than I can as a reader.  I also love, love, love that I’m communicating intimately with one reader at a time. We have a conversation. That’s so weirdly thrilling.

The downfalls are the same as any creative profession. It takes a tremendous amount of mental and emotional energy to write a book, and there are never any gurantees that it will be a win with readers.

 

Place you’d like to travel?
Moroccco is pretty high on my list right now for no real reason I can name. I’ve also still not made it to Venice. And India again.

 

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?

Just….thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love each and every one of you. Let’s keep talking. 


To connect with Barbara ~


Facebook   Twitter    Website   Newsletter































Monday, June 27, 2022

THE NURSE'S SECRET, (out June 28th!) by author AMANDA SKENANDORE

The unflinching, spellbinding new book from the acclaimed author of The Second Life of Mirielle West. Based on the little-known story of America’s first nursing school, a young female grifter in 1880s New York evades the police by conning her way into Bellevue Hospital’s training school for nurses, while a spate of murders continues to follow her as she tries to leave the gritty streets of the city behind…

 
Based on Florence Nightingale’s nursing principles, Bellevue is the first school of its kind in the country. Where once nurses were assumed to be ignorant and unskilled, Bellevue prizes discipline, intellect, and moral character, and only young women of good breeding need apply. At first, Una balks at her prim classmates and the doctors’ endless commands. Yet life on the streets has prepared her for the horrors of injury and disease found on the wards, and she slowly gains friendship and self-respect. 
 
Just as she finds her footing, Una’s suspicions about a patient’s death put her at risk of exposure, and will force her to choose between her instinct for self-preservation, and exposing her identity in order to save others.
 
Amanda Skenandore brings her medical expertise to a page-turning story that explores the evolution of modern nursing—including the grisly realities of nineteenth-century medicine—as seen through the eyes of an intriguing and dynamic heroine.

 
“A spellbinding story, a vividly drawn setting, and characters that leap off the pages. This is historical fiction at its finest!” —Sara Ackerman, USA Today bestselling author of The Codebreaker’s Secret

 
Author interview with Amanda ~ 

How do you start your day (a routine of sorts?)

Ideally, I get up, spend a few minutes meditating or practicing yoga, brew a cup of tea, and then start writing. And sometimes, I really do start my day this way. There are many mornings, however, that I’ll pick up my phone and start scrolling before I’m even out of bed. Then I’ll get sidetracked by the dirty dishes in my sink (or the clean dishes in my dishwasher waiting to be unloaded). I’ll scroll a little more, then brood for a while over all the time I’ve wasted, then finally start writing. Basically, my routine is a work in progress.

Finish this: “I can’t write without…”

I can’t write without a window. It doesn’t have to be right in front of me but somewhere in sight. If I’m writing outdoors, no window required. In either case, a cup of tea is nice to have on hand too.

If I had to spend a week on a deserted island, I would need…

Matches and a water desalinator. My imagination can do the rest.

 

Do you have a ‘day job’ as well?

 

In addition to being a writer, I work part-time as an infection prevention nurse at a local hospital. I enjoy being able to use different skills and other parts of my brain when I’m there. It helps me feel connected to my community in another way too.

 

Do you have a manuscript(s) in your drawer? If so, will it ever see the light of day?

 

Yes! The first book I ever wrote never made it beyond the second draft. It was a great learning experience, though. It was a historical fantasy novel about an outsider searching for clues about her past. (All my books seem to circle around this idea of belonging...) I queried a few dozen agents with the manuscript, but after hearing their feedback (or lack thereof), I realized the story needed a lot more work. By then, I’d already fallen in love with the idea for my next novel. So I put that first manuscript away and started on my next (which would eventually become BETWEEN EARTH AND SKY, my first published book). Fun as it was to write, I don’t think that first manuscript will ever see the light of day.

 

If I wasn’t an author, I might be…?

 

An archeologist, a museum curator, a librarian, or a cheesemonger.

 

Do you have a go-to first reader after you feel your manuscript is ready?

 

When I was starting out, I joined a critique group of five other local writers. What a difference it’s made in my life and my career! The group has helped me grow as a writer and supported me on the long path to publication. These women are not only fellow creators but dear friends. Over the years, we’ve lost a few members and gained others, but they’re always my go-to readers when I finish the rough draft of a manuscript. I know they’ll be honest, insightful, and encouraging.

 

What are you working on now?

 

I’ve just begun working on my next novel about a wily medicine show woman and her band of misfit performers who find themselves in Galveston, Texas during the most devastating hurricane ever to strike the U.S.  

 

Do you have a favorite character?

 

In most of my books, my favorite character is one of the secondary characters—the sidekick or love interest or best friend. But in THE NURSE’S SECRET, Una, the main protagonist, is my favorite. She’s a slum-dweller and pickpocket extraordinaire. From an early age, she’s had to fend for herself, and that’s made her scrappy and self-reliant. But also mistrusting. She becomes a nurse trainee at New York City’s infamous Bellevue Hospital to throw off the police and finds herself in a world unlike anything she’s known. What I liked most about writing Una’s story and what makes her so special is the way she’s able to use her courage and street smarts to get by at the hospital while also learning there’s more to life than survival.

 

Being a nurse myself, I was curious to explore the profession’s early history. Today, it’s among the most trusted professions, but that wasn’t always the case. Until the late nineteenth century, nurses were untrained and often illiterate. Creating a fish-out-of-water character like Una helped me approach that history in a more playful and relatable way.

 

What was some unique research you had to do for a book?

 

Research is a big part of my writing process. Thankfully, it’s one of the parts I love the most. When I was writing THE UNDERTAKER’S ASSISTANT interviewed the county corner to get a better sense of what it was like to work with the dead. For THE SECOND LIFE OF MIRIELLE WEST, I spent several days at Carville (the site of the former National Leprosarium) researching in their archives.

 

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

 

Revise, revise, revise! And don’t give up.  

 

Place you’d like to travel?

 

Back in time! That’s why I write historical fiction. But, assuming we’re sticking to the present day, I’d love to visit Turkey and Egypt. I’m also always thrilled to travel to the ocean—any ocean. My dream writing retreat would be a cottage by the sea.

 

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?

 

Thank you! Getting to know my readers is one of the very best parts of being a writer. Once a book is published, it belongs as much to the reader as it does to the author. It’s a delight to share the journey with you!


To connect with Amanda:


 http://www.amandaskenandore.com/


https://www.facebook.com/AmandaSkenandoreAuthorPage


https://www.instagram.com/amandaskenandore/


 















Monday, June 20, 2022

LAST LIAR STANDING (out June 21st!) by author DANIELLE M. WONG

Vonny Kwan wakes up in a Nevada hospital, the victim of a hit-and-run accident she doesn’t remember. As she struggles to recover from her injuries, she learns that she also has no memory of the past nine years, including her marriage and what she was even doing in the West.

While she’s still reeling from the shock of her amnesia, two detectives visit and inform her that her husband, John, was recently murdered. As more information comes to light, Vonny grows increasingly suspicious of everyone around her.

Vonny realizes she must piece together the last decade to uncover the truth. The missing chunk of time holds secrets about the person she became, the mysterious man she fell for, and the life she never wanted.

Reviews ~

Danielle M. Wong packs this propulsive story with all the elements that are catnip to thriller readers—lurking danger, suspicious characters, eyebrow-raising surprises, twists upon twists—and caps it off with a final reveal you won't see coming." - Megan Collins, bestselling author of The Family Plot

"Intense and chilling, 
Last Liar Standing is a propulsive multilayered thriller enriched by the chaos of greed, manipulation, amnesia, and murder." - Laurie Buchanan, author of the Sean McPherson novels

"The average person has thirteen secrets right now...a twisty tale of love, loss, friendship, deception, and far more secrets than your average person possesses." - A.H. Kim, author of 
A Good Family

"Danielle M. Wong masterfully blurs reality with the imagined until you start to doubt what is really happening. Last Liar Standing is a gripping and twisty thriller, full of heart-stopping scenes that will have you gasping and turning pages." - Lyn Liao Butler, author of 
Red Thread of Fate

Author interview ~ 

What are some things you enjoy when not writing?

Traveling will always be one of my biggest passions. I also love to run, play sports, watch movies, and read everything I can get my hands on!

  

Finish this: “I can’t write without…”

Copious amounts of green tea. 

 

Where do you get your ideas?

Literally everywhere. News stories, pop culture, personal experiences. Sometimes I begin with fragments and let my characters fill in the rest. 

 

Do you have a manuscript(s) in your drawer? If so, will it ever see the light of day?

I currently have several stashed away. Never say never…


If I wasn’t an author, I might be…?

Probably a psychologist or a travel journalist!

 

What are you working on now?

I am writing a new psychological thriller about a reporter given an assignment that seems too good to be true…


What was some unique research you had to do for a book?

Part of my debut novel is set at the University of Oxford in the early 1900s. I learned a great deal about the hurdles female students faced during that period. Swearing Off Stars is historical fiction, so my research and travels intertwined to inform the main characters’ respective journeys.

 

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

I always tell aspiring writers to take risks and push through self-doubt, especially when the latter is easier said than done. Just go for it. Read voraciously, write abundantly, and believe in the story you’re creating. 


Place you’d like to travel?

I have so many destinations on my list, but Agra and Bali are at the top!


To connect with Danielle:


https://www.amazon.com/Danielle-M-Wong/e/B076P6PD9Q?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1651861836&sr=1-1


https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16165623.Danielle_M_Wong


https://www.bookbub.com/profile/danielle-m-wong


https://twitter.com/DanielleMWong


https://www.instagram.com/daniellemwong_/


https://www.facebook.com/daniellemwongauthor/


https://daniellemwong.com/




















Monday, May 30, 2022

A HOME FOR THE STARS, by author LAURA KEMP

 A mysterious Ojibwa petroglyph has carried Justine Cook back in time to the moment her unseen enemy is born. But something is wrong... Separated from those she loves, she finds herself in a strange world surrounded by people she has only known in dreams, and stalked by a man who now haunts her reality. 

And time is running out. Knowing that even the slightest misstep could change the future, Justine must call on the strength hidden within her to save the lives of those she has left behind as she uncovers A Home for the Stars.

Reviews ~ 

Action and suspense combine with magic and compassion to create and exciting and satisfying ending fora twisting tale. Thank you for the adventure and the tears, Mrs. Kemp.

Nola Nash ~ Award Winning Author of the Crescent City Series

A stunning conclusion to a brilliant trilogy. Laura Kemp’s skill shines on every page of “A Home for the Stars” as she deftly navigates complex characters through emotional quandaries, supernatural folklore, and edge of your seat action. Take a breath and hope the story continues.

Rob Samborn ~ Author of Prisoner of Paradise

Author interview ~

Tell us a little about yourself and how you started writing.

 I always wanted to write… from the time I was little. My mom used to write the stories out as I told them to her. Then I would draw the pictures. From there it was just an obvious choice in school and college for me.

What are some things you enjoy when not writing?

I enjoy musical theatre and just performed the part of Ginger in ‘Gilligan’s Island- The Musical.’  I’m also in a Celtic Band as the lead singer and I like to read, hike and swim.

How do you start your day (a routine of sorts?)

I get out of bed and get my coffee LOL. Then for nine months out of the year I go to my job as a special education parapro in my local middle school. During the summer, I get up, get my coffee and try to get about three hours of writing/business down before the kids wake up.

Finish this: “I can’t write without…”

Being in the mood

If I had to spend a week on a deserted island, I would need…

My Gilligan’s Island Castaways LOL Just kidding… I would like a stack of books and my phone so I could play my music. I can’t live without my music. 

What career did you think you’d have as an adult?

I thought I might be a vet or a forest ranger. I like combining my love of animals and the outdoors. 

What is something about you that would surprise people?

I’m kind of adventurous and once sang ‘Shout’ onstage with the Drifters.

 

Do you have a ‘day job’ as well?

 

Yep! I teach special education in a middle school.

 

Where do you get your ideas?

 

Usually from personal experiences or people that I have known.

 

Do you have a manuscript(s) in your drawer? If so, will it ever see the light of day?

 

I have old books that I wrote and they will NEVER see the light of day in the condition they are currently in!

 

If I wasn’t an author, I might be…?

 

A camp counselor or forest ranger

 

Do you have a go-to first reader after you feel your manuscript is ready?

 

I have a team of beta readers who give me their insights.

 

Is there a particular author or book that influenced or inspired your writing or decision to write?

 

I have always wanted to write but I love the writing style of Anita Shreve and strive to be like her in her vivid and gentle descriptions.

 

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published (or this book?)

 

I think the patience and waiting was the hardest. You just have to sit back and continue on with life while you wait to see what is happening. Hybrid publishing is nice in the regard that you don’t have to do that. You can be on your own schedule.

 

If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you’d change?

 

I don’t think so. Even the pitfalls have made me who I am as writer and business woman.

 

How do you market your work?

 

Any way I can LOL! I’m active on social media and I try to do the grassroots approach and get to know local librarians, bookstore owners etc… Meeting people is a really fun part of this job they never tell you about.

 

What are you working on now?

 

An historical fiction novel set in the Westward Expansion era. Kind of ‘Sleeping with the Enemy’ meets ‘Tombstone.’

 

What is a bestselling book you’ve been itching to read?

Where the Crawdads Sing… can you believe I haven’t read it??

 

Is anything in your book based on real-life experiences?

 

Absolutely! Most all of my characters are a mish mash of people I know. And I only write about places I have been so I can get that organic experience.

 

Do you have a favorite chapter or scene?

 

I really love when Dylan and Justine are running for their lives in the first book, ‘Evening in the Yellow Wood.’  I really love writing action sequences. 

 

Do you have a favorite character?

 

Hmm… I so love Justine because I feel like she’s me in a lot of ways. I also love Adam because he is based on one of my old students.

 

Do you have other books you’d like to talk about here? (The research, how you came up with the idea for your story, etc.)

 

My historial fiction is set during one of my favorite time periods, and I loved reading the diaries of young women traveling on the Oregon Trail. It was really eye-opening.

  

What would your dream job be if you didn’t write books? (assuming this is your dream job!)

 

Forest Ranger

 

Finish this sentence: “If I could write about anything, it would be…?”

 

Growing up in the country on the lake. It was an experience!

 

What was some unique research you had to do for a book?

 

I read the Oregon Trail diaries of teenagers for my historial fiction piece.

 

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

 

Never give up. Never, never, never. If you can’t NOT do it, then keep it up, the rest will come.

 

What are the downfalls of your writing career? The best parts?

 

Downfalls are bad reviews, waiting, promises made and not kept and the best part are all the wonderful people you meet- fellow authors and readers included!

 

Favorite band or music? 

 

Hard question! I’m in a Celtic band so I obviously love that type. I also love bluegrass, classical and anything that has a soft rock 70s, feel. If you listen to the soundtracks of my books, you’ll often find a mixture of those.

 

Favorite book and/or movie?

 

I love Where the Red Fern Grows… and Lord of the Flies. I know, really REALLY different types of books. I also love Stephen King and his ode to the craft ‘On Writing’ is one of the best.

 

Place you’d like to travel?

 

We travel a lot and one of our favorite places is the mountains. Recently we visited the Black Hills and Estes Park and were really, REALLY sad to leave. As far as places I’ve never been, French Polynesia is right up there. I’m into surfing and there are some cool breaks in Tahiti that should not be missed.

 

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?

 

Thank you so much for embracing these stories. It makes all the hard work worthwhile when I know my story has touched someone, so don’t be afraid to reach out and let an author know how it affected you. 


To connect with Laura ~


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