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Hope for a color-blind future


Two years ago, I invoked lessons from Dr. Seuss’s Horton Hears a Who to talk about about the lack of action regarding gun control and mass shootings. But it applies to what’s going on now as well. Not enough of us have raised our voices against racism in this country. We need more noise. Like the civilization on that tiny speck of clover in the story, there can be no shirkers if we’re going to survive.

If we blissfully thought in the past that being non-racist was enough, we must now realize that it’s grossly insufficient. Too many old, hateful ideologies still exist and are still being taught to young minds that would otherwise be full of love. Those of us who know this must proclaim it to the mountains: Being silently non-racist is not enough. We need to be loudly anti-racist — no matter who it means calling out.

In my house, our children have long been taught that skin color is nothing more than another physical characteristic — like hair color, eye color, or height. It is not important. That seemed to be a fine thing for non-racist parents to teach. But it’s not. It’s too easy. There is also a history … a context … and a deep, profound pain … that should not be swept under the rug because of how uncomfortable, how shameful, it is.

In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama mentions her parents’ wise words on the importance of context. “Everyone on earth, they’d tell us, was carrying around an unseen history. And that alone deserved some tolerance.”

That alone. Before even lifting the cover.

To get through this once and for all, we need to recognize the past for what it was, take responsibility as a society, and move on with the hope for a beautiful, vibrantly colorblind future.

Then maybe we’ll finally get our “Yopp!”

***

Read the 2018 post and  more relevant lessons from Dr. Seuss here: https://laurakenyon.com/2018/03/02/timeless-lessons-from-dr-seuss/

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Counting down to full price!

Just a reminder: Amazon’s Kindle Countdown Deal ends at midnight January 1.

Desperately Ever After (Book 1) will be 99 cents for the duration, but both Damsels in Distress (Book 2) and Skipping Midnight (Book 3) will go up to $2.99 when the ball drops tonight!

 

 

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How is it almost 2020??

Can you believe we’re entering the 2020s in just a few hours? It seems like only yesterday I was in my parents’ living room, listening to my uncles croon mangled folksongs while my cousins blew on noisemakers and everyone tried to brace themselves for Y2K. Back then, I was a junior in high school. Now, I’m a wife (ten years going), a mom (times two), a homeowner (second time around), a former newspaper editor (first female in its 100-year-history), and novelist (trilogy, baby!).

Celebrating my 38th New Year means I’ve made at least a couple dozen resolutions over the years: to eat better, exercise more, drink less, be more mindful, be less defensive, be more attentive, be less reactive, blog more often, read at least twice a week, sleep at least seven hours a day, actually start meal planning, don’t make one load of laundry take three days, and so on. But this year, I’m putting all the aforementioned in a wishful-thinking bubble, and focusing on what I want to accomplish professionally in 2020. And I’m broadcasting them here in hopes someone will hold me accountable if I start to lag!

So here goes. During the first year of the third decade of the 2000s, I plan to:

  • Publish the novella that’s been floating around in my head for a year (Grethel deserves to be heard!)
  • Complete at least one draft of my next novel (stay tuned for more details)
  • Release the entire Desperately Ever After trilogy as an ebook bundle
  • Either step up my freelancing game or start an editing/paginating business on the side
  • And a bonus: Take the unfinished manuscript I shelved almost a decade ago, and give it a new life

I’m printing this out right now and pinning it up by my computer.
And now it’s your turn. What are your goals for 2020? Maybe we can cheer each other on!!

 

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Don’t Miss the Book a Trip Hop!!


Chick Lit Chat HQ is throwing a party on Facebook to celebrate summer and lots of fun, romantic beach reads, and you’re all invited! The Book a Trip Hop is happening this week, July 15th-July 21st, and we’ve got a multitude of great prizes up for grabs. In addition, you’ll have the chance to meet and interact with 40+ bestselling, award-winning authors who all have wonderful books to share that will transport you to fabulous locations all over the world, including charming small towns, glamorous big cities, and relaxing spots near the water.

Want to know more about the hop prizes? Each participating author will be doing a giveaway* of books, gift cards, swag, and/or vacation/summer-themed items. And our Grand Prize* (which you can enter to win on the hop’s Facebook group page) is a designer beach bag filled with summer must-haves! (The Soul Journey ikat print scarf, Privé Revaux sunglasses, Havaianas rose gold glitter flip-flops, rainbow unicorn pool float, Mar Y Sol Hadley tote, and Deco Miami nail polish/cuticle oil set shown in the graphic below are just a few of the items included in this incredible prize.)

And that’s not all! We’re also giving away TWO Bonus Prizes* on the hop group page: Yonanas Fruit Soft Serve Machines. With Yonanas, you can churn out 100% frozen fruits to create a yummy, summertime dessert without fat, dairy, refined sugar, or preservatives.

So, what are you waiting for? Click on this link and join the party at the Book a Trip Hop group on Facebook. We’ve got a virtual piña colada with your name on it, and you can chat about a variety of summer-themed topics with authors and readers! You’ll, also, find a list of each day’s featured authors and their page links in the pinned post on the group each day of the hop and that’s where you can enter to win the Grand/Bonus Prize giveaways. See you there!

*The Grand and Bonus Prize giveaways are open to US residents only. However, ALL of the individual author giveaways are open internationally.

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ANNOUNCEMENT

Several people have reached out to me regarding the sudden unavailability of the Desperately Ever After print and e-books. So here’s the deal: due to a change in representation, the entire Desperately Ever After trilogy is in the process of switching accounts on Amazon. I’m working as quickly as I can to have the entire series put back up — with a few improvements and additions (more on that later) — later this summer. I’m so very sorry for any inconvenience it has caused. I know Damsels in Distress ends in quite a cliffhanger, and hate making you wait for the conclusion. But rest assured, they will be back!

If you can’t wait, the original audiobooks are still available through Tantor Media and Amazon. I’ve been listening to them a lot lately, while I make those enhancements to the original story, and think Sarah Mollo-Christensen does a phenomenal job. She truly captures the voices of the main protagonists, and even brings Ethan’s accent to life 😉

Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. I’ll send out an alert via my email list as soon as the print and e-books are available again. You can sign up for that using this link: https://bit.ly/2Yb7i78

Thank you for your patience and happy (summer) reading!

 

DESPERATELY EVER AFTER IS A
READERS’ FAVORITE AWARDS FINALIST!

 

One part Game of Thrones

 Two parts Desperate Housewives

Three parts Brothers Grimm

These are NOT DISNEY’S PRINCESSES

 

New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Evanovich says:
“Laura Kenyon makes happily ever after desperately delicious!”

2014 National Indie Excellence Awards Chick-Lit Finalist
Amazon #1 Bestseller for: Women’s Fantasy Fiction, Women’s Humorous Fiction, and Paranormal Fantasy

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Holly Jolly Chick Lit Hop 2018!

 

Wait, didn’t we just do this? How is November almost over? Is Christmas really just five weeks away?!

Perhaps I’m the only one, but it seems like I just announced the Pumpkins and Pages Hop winners a couple weeks ago. Well, there are some instances in which a speedy clock can be a good thing. Like while you’re sinking into a communal leather couch waiting for the world’s longest oil change. Or while you’re gearing up for the next epic Chick Lit Chat HQ event — in this case the third annual Holly Jolly Chick Lit Hop, which runs December 3-9 and features more than 60 amazing authors and contests.

In past years, I handed out e-books, paperback books, and holiday movies. But if I learned anything during the Pumpkins and Pages Hop, it’s that you guys love clothes! You want to cuddle up in sweaters, scarves, and hoodies when it’s cold out, and hit the beach when it’s hot. Rather than pick out something that may not fit your style, however, I’ve decided to let the winner work directly with my favorite online “personal stylist” by offering a $40 gift certificate to Stitch Fix. If you’ve already tried them, you know how exciting this opportunity is. If you haven’t, use my referral link to cover the styling fee, and tell them what you like. You only pay for what you love, so there’s nothing to lose. And in my experience, they do whatever it takes to make you happy — sending one free shipment after another until you fall in love with something and find your personal stylist match. Plus, the style quizzes are pretty fun 😉

In addition to my giveaway (which opens Saturday, December 8, on my Facebook page) and those of the 60-plus other authors, Chick Lit Chat HQ is offering a grand prize gift box stuffed with holiday-and winter-themed goodies, and four runner-up prizes. So join the Holly Jolly Chick Lit Hop group on Facebook, mark your calendars for December 3-9, and put a giant red circle around December 8. Trust me, it will be worth putting down the eggnog.

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Have you seen these?

Check out this new line of Disney Toms, so far featuring Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and now Snow White.

I wonder who’s next. Penelopea perhaps? 😉

Use this link to save $20 off a $75 order

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Readers’ Favorite announces 2018 winners (and look who’s listed!!)

I’m very excited to announce that Desperately Ever After has received the Finalist Award for Fiction – Chick Lit in this year’s Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest, which receives thousands of entries from over a dozen countries.

According to press materials, “Readers’ Favorite is one of the largest book review and award contest sites on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the ‘Best Websites for Authors’ and ‘Honoring Excellence’ awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.”

Respectively, the Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals went to The Summer of New Beginnings, by USA Today bestselling author Bette Lee Crosby; Seeds of Intention, a 2018 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award winner, by Andrea Thome; and The Royal Treatment, by Melanie Summers.

For more information, visit https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/desperately-ever-after

Congratulations to all the winners!

 

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Happily Ever After Hop — and giveaway!

 

In addition to some gorgeous weather this morning, today comes with a very exciting event: the start of Chick Lit Chat HQ’s Happily Ever After Hop!

I am thrilled for several reasons. First, because there are so many wonderful, funny, talented writers participating beside me. Second, because I love giving things away. And third, because this hop truly seems tailor-made for my books.

Each day during the hop, a handful of us will take to Facebook to discuss how our books relate to the themes of “searching for Prince Charming” and living “happily ever after.” Well, in my case the question should actually be: How DON’T they relate? The Desperately Ever After series is a direct result of these concepts. It’s what happens when you take our most beloved fairy tale princesses and imagine how things went down after true love’s kiss. Did Snow White’s prince ever lose his luster? Was Belle eternally happy after Beast traded his fur for skin? Did four kids and the pressures of running a kingdom ever weigh too hard on Cinderella? Like us, the women in these books struggle with family, kids, career, regret, and especially … men. Like us, not everyone who’s achieved her “happy ending” seems to know it, and not everyone who hasn’t seems to know what she wants.

Thankfully, my CLC friends and I have put together a truly fantastic prize package that you most definitely WILL want — unless you have an aversion to jewels, chocolate and gift cards, this is.

The Happily Ever After Hop runs all the way through Mother’s Day, with new giveaways opening up each day (mine’s May 10 — mark your calendars).

For all the details, head over to the official Happily Ever After Hop event page via this link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1962370290669865/

Thanks and good luck!

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A Valentine’s Day event to drool over

 

What do you expect on Valentine’s Day? A romantic dinner and flowers? A sweet text in the middle of the day? A trail of rose petals leading from your front door to a bed flanked by caviar, chilled champagne, and diamonds?

Personally, I’ve never made much ado over the Hallmark holiday. (Not that I mind a nice flower arrangement or a massage should they be offered.) But lucky for you, my author comrades over at Chick Lit Chat HQ are Valentine enthusiasts. And they’ve put together a fun-filled event that celebrates everything there is to love about Cupid’s big day.

That’s right, book lovers. Starting today, more than forty chick lit and romantic comedy authors will be throwing a fabulous, Valentine-themed bash on Facebook (hereafter known as the Sweet Treats & Yummy Reads Hop) offering giveaways galore. Up for grabs will be books, gifts, author swag, and loads of other wonderful prizes that fulfill the “yummy reads” part of the party.

But what about “sweet treats,” you ask?

Well, hold on to your skinny jeans, folks. Because CLC HQ will be giving a six-pack of Wicked Good Cupcakes* to not one, not two, but THREE grand prize winners for this hop. And the best news of all? You get to choose your own sinfully delicious flavors! (Commence happy dance now.)

 

So what are you waiting for? Head on over to the Sweet Treats & Yummy Reads Hop on Facebook and join the group page. Here, you can chat with fellow readers; meet some of the most popular authors in your favorite genres; enter to win one of the grand prizes; and find out what the forty-plus participating authors are giving away on their respective pages. I look forward to seeing you there!

*Wicked Good Cupcakes only ships to destinations in the United States, so the Grand Prize portion of this hop will not be open to international entrants. However, the 40+ individual author giveaways will be open internationally.

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