Monday, April 11, 2022


Jacqueline Oliver is an indie perfumer, trying to bury her ravaged childhood by shoveling ground under her own feet. Then she gets a call she dreads—the hippie grandmother she bitterly resents was apprehended when police busted a charlatan shaman’s sweat lodge. Others scattered, but Nellie was slowed by her walker, and the fact that she was wearing nothing but a few Mardi-Gras beads. Jacqueline is her only kin, so, like it or not, she’s responsible.

Despite being late developing next year’s scent, Jacqueline drops everything to travel to Arizona and pick up her free-range grandma. But the Universe conspires to set them on a Route 66 road trip together. What Jacqueline discovers out there could not only heal the scars of her childhood but open her to a brighter future.

"In The Road to Me, Laura Drake takes on the complexities of one family's struggle to get over a lifetime of mistakes and misunderstandings, expertly blending the heartbreak of a grandmother's past and a granddaughter's reluctance to trust her. The Road to Me offers a fresh and entrancing take on reconciliation and forgiveness, a truly captivating story filled with wit, wisdom and a whole lot of heart." -- Donna Everhart, author of The Education of Dixie Dupree

“The Road to Me is an unforgettable story of self-discovery and survival, reconciliation and redemption.” -- Barbara Claypole White, bestselling author of The Perfect Son and The Promise Between Us

Author interview ~

What are some things you enjoy when not writing? 

Motorcycling, fishing, knitting, sewing, and of course, reading.

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

I’m odd. I get up at 3 am. I down a few cups of coffee while doing social media, have breakfast around 5, get a shower, then sit down to write. I developed that routine when I was working – got up two hours to write before I had to get ready for work. By the time I retired, that routine was ingrained.

Finish this: “I can’t write without…” 

Classical music. I love other types, but if they have words, I end up singing instead of concentrating!

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

Oh my gosh, yes. It took me 15 years to sell a book. I wrote my first in a year, then queried every agent who took that genre (romance). All passed. Wrote another book – repeat. My third book, I thought was special (I’d learned SO much!), and so did my crit group. But the rejections poured in. Luckily, an editor was coming to town, and I worked close to the airport, so they asked me to pick her up. Poor woman was stuck in an L.A. traffic jam with me for 2 hours!


Eventually, she asked what I wrote, so I pitched her my book – she said she’d like to see the first pages, so I reached in my back seat and handed them to her! She was a bit taken aback, but she told me she’d read it on the plane home, and sure enough, she contacted me on Monday and said, ‘First thing, we’ve got to get you an agent.’ – Yeah, like that hadn’t occurred to me! She introduced me to my perfect agent. 417 rejections, but that book eventually won me a RITA award! Never give up!


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? 

Yeah, it would have happened FASTER! 😉


How do you market your work? 

I’m a promo-ho. I love it (I mentioned above that I’m weird, right?) I’ve tried a LOT of things, but I like Facebook best. Years ago, I started two reader groups – Western Romance Café (over 2k members) and Reader’s Coffeehouse (almost 16k members) they help a lot. When I reached my ‘friend’ limit, I started my own group to get around that. It’s called, Laura Drake’s Peace, Love & Books – and I have a blast there posting snark, interesting questions and other weirdness. It’s become a community. Come join us!


Do you have a favorite character? 

Probably Nellie – the octogenarian hippie in my April release, The Road to Me. She walked away from a rehab facility for her broken hip and was caught when the police raided a charlatan Shaman’s sweat lodge in the desert. Others scattered, but Nellie was slowed by her walker, and the fact that she was wearing nothing but a few Mardi Gras beads.    She’s a kick!


Do you have other books you’d like to talk about here? 


My April release is Women’s Fiction, and I’m loving the freedom of the genre. It’s called The Road to Me, and I had so much fun writing a Route 66 road trip between an uptight 30-something indie perfumer and the hippie grandmother she bitterly resents. So much opportunity for humor and family relationships. I know the road well, having traveled so much of it by motorcycle over the years. Can’t wait to see what readers think of it!


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

I went to a bull riding/bull fighting school! I was writing a book about the first woman bull fighter (not the ones with the cape – the rodeo ones), and I wanted to know all the ins and outs of it. I didn’t get in the arena with a bull, but if my husband wouldn’t have been there, I might have tried!


Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? 

Don’t look outside for support or motivation. We all need a boost sometimes, but if you don’t have a solid core of belief in yourself, you’ll never survive this tough business.


Try to take a learner’s attitude. If you keep learning and you keep breathing, you have to get there eventually – it’s science!


To connect with Laura ~


Twitter: @LauraDrakeBooks

Instagram: @LauraDrakeBooks

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