Category Archives: Desperately Ever After

Paperback joins the party

Good morning, everyone! I hope you’re all gearing up for a festive, fun Thanksgiving surrounded by loved ones.

I personally am thankful for so much this year — both in my personal life and in my writing. But at this moment, I’m thankful that I can say the paperback edition of Skipping Midnight is now available at the CreateSpace store. Amazon tends to be fashionably late, but should follow suit within the next couple days.

Happy post-tryptophan reading!

 

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It’s Release Day!

Today, the third and final novel in the Desperately Ever After series is available!

I could write pages about what an amazing and challenging experience it has been. Or about how much I’ve grown to love these characters — and grown in general. Or about how sad I am to see their stories come to an end. Or about how I truly hope to revisit them every now and then with short stories, holiday specials, or novellas. But that’s been said in previous posts, and today is a cause for celebration — not mourning!

And in keeping with that theme, I am delighted to announce the winners of the SKIPPING MIDNIGHT pre-order giveaway!

I recruited the cutest two-year-old I know, my daughter, to help choose the lucky pair. The blind drawing was conducted using a variety of Lego blocks and a purple basket with a giant yellow chick on it. She was very happy to help 🙂

Winner of the gift basket: Mariana, Illinois

Winner of the wine charms: Lyndi, Maryland

Thank you to everyone who sent in entries. I wish you could all win!

P.S. For those of you waiting for the print book, please check back next week. The ebook is being released first, but the good old-fashioned paperback is fast on its heels.

dfw-lk-sm-cover-mid

One part Sex and the City. Two parts Desperate Housewives.
Three parts Brothers Grimm.

For the women of Marestam, “happily ever after” has always come with a grain of salt. Be it infidelity or aging, deferred dreams or lost love, or even the pressures of raising a family, they have always seen each other through life’s trials with laughter, wine, and a brand new take on old-fashioned chivalry. But when rage and treachery take over, everything they hold dear comes under attack.

Suddenly, the monarchies are crumbling, Cinderella is missing, Belle is harboring the secret of all secrets, Rapunzel is facing the one dilemma she spent her whole life trying to avoid, and Dawn could lose everything she’s finally learned to love. In order to save everyone and unmask the wolf in their midst, this iconic group of friends must follow a dogmatic fairy no one trusts, invoke an ancient magic no one understands, and face a past they thought they had buried long ago.

Rapunzel, Belle, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and the rest of Marestam’s favorite females return in this third and final novel in Laura Kenyon’s Desperately Ever After series, which takes a whimsical look at our most beloved fairy tale princesses several years after true love’s kiss … and asks readers to rethink everything they believe about happy endings. 

At heart, it’s a tale of ordinary women coming to terms with how their lives have turned out. They just happen to live in castles.

Postcard - white border w NIEAPrevious Books in this series:
Desperately Ever After (Book 1)
Damsels in Distress (Book 2)

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Skipping Midnight pre-order giveaway

dea3-promo-domestic-bangleHappy November … and I have an exciting announcement to make!

Pre-order a copy of Skipping Midnight between now and November 15, and you could win one of two enchanting prize packages inspired by the Desperately Ever After series!

To enter, please e-mail your proof of purchase (a screenshot will do) to laura@laurakenyon.com by midnight November 15, 2016. Be sure to include your mailing address so you’re entered into the right contest(s). One winner will be selected via random drawing for each giveaway on November 16. Good luck!

Pre-order link: http://amzn.to/2dKeH5g

 

Prize Pack 1
(US only):

dea3-promo-domestic-full-gift-basket

A signed paperback copy of all three novels in the series: Desperately Ever After (Book One), Damsels in Distress (Book Two), and Skipping Midnight (Book Three)

A stunning “Live like there’s no midnight” charm bracelet, custom made by My Initial Charm and inspired by the Desperately Ever After series

An assortment of treats for your next girls’ night in (sorry, rampion not included!)

A snazzy memory box to ship it all in 😉

 

Prize Pack 2
(Worldwide!)

dea3-promo-worldwide-wine-charms

This fantastic set of six wine charms, handcrafted by Etsy artist Sarah VandenBrink (specifically for this giveaway!) and representing each of the six main characters: Belle, Rapunzel, Dawn, Penelopea, Snow White, and Cinderella. I LOVE these!!

 

Skipping Midnight blurb:

One part Sex and the City. Two parts Desperate Housewives.
Three parts Brothers Grimm.

dfw-lk-sm-cover-midFor the women of Marestam, “happily ever after” has always come with a grain of salt. Be it infidelity or aging, deferred dreams or lost love, or even the pressures of raising a family, they have always seen each other through life’s trials with laughter, wine, and a brand new take on old-fashioned chivalry. But when rage and treachery take over, everything they hold dear comes under attack. 

Suddenly, the monarchies are crumbling, Cinderella is missing, Belle is harboring the secret of all secrets, Rapunzel is facing the one dilemma she spent her whole life trying to avoid, and Dawn could lose everything she’s finally learned to love. In order to save everyone and unmask the wolf in their midst, this iconic group of friends must follow a dogmatic fairy no one trusts, invoke an ancient magic no one understands, and face a past they thought they had buried long ago.

Rapunzel, Belle, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and the rest of Marestam’s favorite females return in this third and final novel in Laura Kenyon’s Desperately Ever After series, which takes a whimsical look at our most beloved fairy tale princesses several years after true love’s kiss … and asks readers to rethink everything they believe about happy endings. 

At heart, it’s a tale of ordinary women coming to terms with how their lives have turned out. They just happen to live in castles.

Release date: November 16, 2016
Click here to pre-order

Postcard - white border w NIEAPrevious Books in this series:
Desperately Ever After (Book 1)
Damsels in Distress (Book 2)

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Halloween in the United Kingdoms of Marestam – costume roundup!

Happy Halloween everyone! 

In honor of this autumnal celebration, I thought it might be fun to imagine what the characters from the Desperately Ever After series would wear if they were taking part in tonight’s festivities. If, let’s say, the Charmés were hosting a charitable Halloween gala at Carpale Castle or Rapunzel decided to throw a Dance to Till You Die bash at her rooftop apartment?

Below are just a few of my predictions, but I’d love to hear yours as well! (Please keep in mind, I’m talking about the characters in the Desperately Ever After series … NOT the Disney films!!)

 

CINDERELLA

Between baking nut-free cupcakes for all of the kids’ school parties at school and making sure their outfits are in order, Cinderella is far too busy and flustered to think about her own costume. But when she finally does, it’s a no-brainer. She pieces together a few things from her closet and decides to be an explorer … because she still hopes she’ll get to travel the world someday. 

 

BELLE

Belle isn’t a big fan of the year’s spookiest holiday because Julianne and her other sisters used it as an opportunity to torment her even more than usual. But Rapunzel convinces her that with everything she’s been through over the past year, and with all the changes she’s made, it’s only fitting that she put on a butterfly costume and have a little fun!

 

RAPUNZEL

Rapunzel, who doesn’t need a socially accepted reason to dress up but enjoys Halloween anyway, spends several hours debating between a genuine nun’s costume (because it’s ironic) or a sexy devil’s. In the end, she decides on “naughty nun” because it’s the best of both worlds … and because she doesn’t mind ruffling a few feathers.  Continue reading

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Skipping Midnight COVER REVEAL

dfw-lk-sm-cover-mid

 

One part Sex and the City. Two parts Desperate Housewives.
Three parts Brothers Grimm.

Blurb:

For the women of Marestam, “happily ever after” has always come with a grain of salt. Be it infidelity or aging, deferred dreams or lost love, or even the pressures of raising a family, they have always seen each other through life’s trials with laughter, wine, and a brand new take on old-fashioned chivalry. But when rage and treachery take over, everything they hold dear comes under attack. 

Suddenly, the monarchies are crumbling, Cinderella is missing, Belle is harboring the secret of all secrets, Rapunzel is facing the one dilemma she spent her whole life trying to avoid, and Dawn could lose everything she’s finally learned to love. In order to save everyone and unmask the wolf in their midst, this iconic group of friends must follow a dogmatic fairy no one trusts, invoke an ancient magic no one understands, and face a past they thought they had buried long ago.

Rapunzel, Belle, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and the rest of Marestam’s favorite females return in this third and final novel in Laura Kenyon’s Desperately Ever After series, which takes a whimsical look at our most beloved fairy tale princesses several years after true love’s kiss … and asks readers to rethink everything they believe about happy endings. 

At heart, it’s a tale of ordinary women coming to terms with how their lives have turned out. They just happen to live in castles.

Release date: November 16, 2016
Pre-order begins: November 1, 2016 — check back then for links and details about the great series-wide gift basket giveaway. Trust me, you will NOT want to miss this!

Postcard - white border w NIEAPrevious Books in this series:
Desperately Ever After (Book 1)
Damsels in Distress (Book 2)

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Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end

123rf.com, christopher hall

Right now, I am tossing a ball for my dog in the backyard where I grew up. The air feels like spring but smells like autumn, and the ground has a blanket of yellow and orange leaves. My brilliant but headstrong toddler is napping in what used to be my little brother’s room. The baby in my belly is starting to get antsy. I have no idea what to make for dinner when my husband comes home from work. And there are a still million things I need to do before I release my third book … before I officially say goodbye (at least in novel form) to the women I’ve considered friends since I first started molding them in my head almost twenty years ago.

The combination of all these things is creating one of those deeply introspective moments during which I can hardly believe how much has changed since I was a kid … since I was racing around this same swath of grass with my brothers and waiting for my mom to call us in for dinner.

It’s amazing how quickly life can move sometimes. In the past three years alone, I published my first two books, gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, came to terms with two autoimmune diseases, moved to a new town, became pregnant again, and finished another novel. Needless to say, it’s been a mixture of amazing and bittersweetand always, always memorable.

And now I stand on another precipice: the publication of the third and final book in my Desperately Ever After series. This, too, is bittersweet.

I realize it might sound silly to say I’ll miss the characters in my books—just as I once thought it silly when authors said they began a project with one plan but their characters eventually “took control” and steered it somewhere else entirely. I realize it might sound even sillier because my main characters were plucked from other people’s work. The original Cinderella story is not mine. Nor is Rapunzel’s. Or Belle’s. Or those belonging to Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, or the princess who slept on the pea. Continue reading

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Sale time!

If you haven’t started the series yet, now’s a great time to snag a copy of Desperately Ever After before the trilogy ends this summer! Regularly $6.99, it’s on sale now for $1.99 … but only for a few days!

DEA promo thing 4-27-16

 

 

 

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April 27, 2016 · 1:35 PM

The (unofficial) start of spring and a FREE surprise!

My husband might say otherwise, but as far as I’m concerned, March means spring is here. Sure, the season of hope doesn’t technically begin for another three weeks … but what’s three measly little weeks in the grand scheme of things?

Is the yard green — or at least a  mixture of green and brown? Yes.

Are my day lilies starting to push through the mulch? Yes.

Has my big down coat been removed from the rack by the door and shoved deep into the closet? You betcha.

So there you have it. SPRING!

And in the spirit of rejuvenation, I’m doing something I’ve never done before: giving one of my books away for free. Yes (she says hesitantly, unsure whether to hit “publish”): free. For March 1 only, you’ll be able to download Damsels in Distress (Book 2 in the Amazon best-selling Desperately Ever After series) on your Kindle or Kindle app for free through Amazon.

Check out my Amazon author page for more details, and have a very happy early spring 😉

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About the series:

One part Sex and the City
Two parts Desperate Housewives
Three parts Brothers Grimm

Have you ever wondered how Cinderella would feel 10 years down the road, when her iconic ball gown no longer fit and she had four kids, a billion royal duties, and a husband who was never ever around? Or how long it would take “Beast” to return to his old, wolfish ways after Belle broke his curse? Or what kind of man finds a comatose woman in the woods and decides to kiss her?

Set in a fictional realm based on New York City, the Desperately Ever After series takes a whimsical look at our most beloved fairy tale princesses several years after true love’s kiss. With laughter, wine, and a new take on old-fashioned chivalry, these friends see each other through life’s trials one secret at a time.

From infidelity to aging. From deferred dreams, lost loves, and the pressures of family life. The books are about a group of ordinary women coming to terms with how their lives have turned out. They just happen to live in castles.

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Blurb for Book 1, Desperately Ever After:

dfw-lk-dea-cover-largeA 2014 National Indie Excellence Awards Chick-Lit Finalist, and an Amazon #1 bestseller for both Women’s Fiction Fantasy and Humor

Years after turning her husband from beast back to man and becoming his queen, Belle finds out she’s finally going to have a child. But before she can announce the wondrous news, she catches him cheating and watches her “happily ever after” go up in flames. Turning to her friends for the strength to land with grace, she realizes she’s not the only one at a crossroads:

Cinderella, a mother of four drowning in royal duties, is facing her 30th birthday and questioning everything she’s done (or hasn’t) with her life.

Rapunzel, a sex-crazed socialite and one-woman powerhouse, is on a self-destructive quest to make up for 20 years locked away in a tower.

Penelopea, an outsider with a mother-in-law from hell, is harboring a secret that could ruin everything at any moment.

One part Sex and the City, two parts Desperate Housewives, and three parts Brothers Grimm, Desperately Ever After picks up where the original tales left off—and reimagines them a la Gregory Maguire’s Wicked. With the wit of authors like Jennifer Weiner and the vision of ABC’s Once Upon a Time, the women ofDesperately Ever After rescue each other from life’s trials with laughter, wine, and a scandalous new take on happily ever after.

Excerpt

Reviews

Buy at Amazon

 

Book 2, Damsels in Distress:
(caution – there’s a pint-size spoiler if you haven’t read Book 1!)

dfw-lk-did-cover-largeAfter watching her fairy tale go up in flames, Belle is finally starting over. With a baby on the way, a business to run, and a new love interest she just can’t shake, things are finally looking up. That is, until she learns her independence might revive broken curses the world over. Could “happily ever after” really mean staying with her unfaithful husband? Or will Belle and her steadfast friends find another way?

Meanwhile, Dawn still longs for the life she had three centuries earlier—before her sleeping curse ended in two kids, an unfamiliar era, and a husband she barely knows. So when she encounters the childhood sweetheart she believed to be dead, Dawn must suddenly choose between the past she once wanted and the present she never knew she did.

As both women struggle between love and obligation, they fail to see a great danger brewing in the capital–one that could change everything forever.

Excerpt

Reviews

Buy at Amazon

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When characters become real: Revisiting Sleeping Beauty

So I’m in the thick of writing Book 3 and, just for the heck of it, decided to post an excerpt from Book 2 (Damsels in Distress). Why? Because I’m looking back at it for reference, and it truly feels like I’m revisiting great memories with old friends. Like looking through a scrapbook. Only I can’t call or text them to say, “Wasn’t that a great day?!”

fairytale forest

First, a little background: Having already slept for 300 years, Dawn (Sleeping Beauty) has chronic insomnia and treasures her solitary moonlit walks. It is the only time when she truly feels like herself — when the rest of the kingdom is sleeping; when she doesn’t have to worry about fitting into this new, modern society or disappointing the husband she still barely knows; when she can look at the same starry sky that lit her childhood exploits three centuries earlier, and pretend nothing has changed. This scene takes place just after a handsome stranger “saves” (debatably) her from the edge of a cliff in the middle of the forest. For some reason, he feels familiar almost instantly. Rather than go home right away and risk her husband declaring that these midnight strolls are no longer safe or appropriate, Dawn accepts this mysterious stranger’s offer to let her dress her wounds and wash up at his place. She has no idea what she’s in for.

 

Excerpt:

“How’s your leg?” Their hands brushed together again.

Dawn increased the gap between them. “It’s fine. Just stings a bit.”

“We’re almost there. Just around this bend.”

She nodded as the path curled around like the last coil of smoke off a candle. Then, abruptly, a luminescent valley opened up before them. Her eyes flew wide in wonder. The cliffs disappeared and trees draped in crystals rose up to flank their path— their branches stretching overhead like nets of fallen stars. And the water … well, the water was now just a path, bordered by flowers so colorful and vibrant, Dawn wondered whether they’d sprung from sowed gemstones. Were they still in Regian or had he taken her to some other dimension?

Faced with such unimaginable beauty, she found walking and looking to be an impossible combination. When she stumbled for the third time, Liam insisted she take his arm. But it was the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen—until the crystal tunnel ended and a giant mansion appeared.

“You live in that?” she heard herself ask, mouth fully agape. Perhaps it was an illusion, but the walls seemed to be draped in blue, purple, and white flakes of ice that changed color depending on how she moved.

“In my defense,” Liam said, “if someone told me not long ago that I’d ever live in a place like this, I would have assumed he was either insane or making a bid for my soul.” He gave Dawn a sideward glance. She returned an all-teeth smile. “I believe there are few things as elusive as luck. A man can fall asleep one day in a hayloft and wake up with the world at his fingertips. Or he can close his eyes on a bed of silk and rise in a pile of rubble. For the moment, I’m thankful to have experienced the former.”

Dawn made a quiet guttural sound. She was the latter for sure, but no one would ever understand that.

“So what’s your story then?” she asked when he didn’t elaborate. “I mean, were you born here or—”

“Oh. No. I come from a very different place entirely. Lived there till I was a teenager and then got shipped off to Pastora. Distant relatives.” Dawn nodded. Pastora was the realm just north of Marestam. She’d only been there once, for one of Hunter’s grand unveilings, and couldn’t imagine a place more monotonous.

“Shipped off? Why?”

Liam rolled his neck from left to right and then raised his shoulders. “It’s a long story. Wait here just a second.”

Continue reading

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Greetings and a few announcements

Happy holidays everyone! The most magical time of the year is upon us — or so they say — and I hope it feels that way to you, wherever you are.

winter socks fireplace

For me, December is a time to stand still and take stock of where I am in life. What have I accomplished in the past year? What would I like to do better next year? Do I have that light-at-heart feeling that puts me at peace with the world? Or am I hanging on to regret, fear, or guilt over one insignificant thing or another?

Personally, I’m proud to say I loosened my grip on two of those three things over the past year: Regret and guilt. They have no place in a happy household or a happy life. Vowing to live without them has made me more conscious of everything I say and do. It’s made sleep easier because I’m not constantly rationalizing or fretting over the day’s events in my head. It’s given that age-old advice about “picking your battles” a whole new appreciation because 99 percent of the time those “battles” seem like such anthills in hindsight anyway. And it’s helped me to appreciate the many wonderful things that I do have while I have them.

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But there, with those last four words, appears that other feeling I’ve let breed rather than shrink this past year: fear. I could blame it on becoming a parent. I could blame it on reading the news. I could blame it on the state of the world. But mostly, I have to blame it on myself. And diminishing it is my number one resolution in 2016.

see no evil etc dog

For the next few weeks, however, I’m going to concentrate on the “magic” of December — the dazzling lights; the songs of peace and love; the sappy made for TV movies; the warm, holiday reunions; the bright, shining star illuminating the darkness; and now, my daughter’s face as these things begin to astonish and inspire her as they did for me so many years ago.

christmas mom and girl

What are your resolutions for 2016? What does the holiday season mean to you?
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And now for a few end-of-the-year announcements:

PAPERBACK PRICE DROP

Postcard - white border w NIEABecause it’s just not as much fun trying to wrap an e-book, I’ve dropped the paperback price of both Desperately Ever After and Damsels in Distress to $11.99 (originally $14.99). Plus, if you belong to Amazon Prime, they’re eligible for two-day shipping. Last minute gifts, anyone? Continue reading

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