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Second Impressions blog tour — and giveaway


From the author:

When do you know you’ve fallen in love? Not with a person, but a book? Is it the first time it makes you sigh? Or gasp? Or is your love instant?

It’s an amazing moment when you fall in love with a book. I remember the moment I fell in love with Pride & Prejudice. I hadn’t even cracked it open.

I have never been good at reading something assigned to me. Let’s chalk that up to my innate dislike of authority. I just rented P&P 95 and figured I’d fake the rest. But my English prof tricked us. During a pop quiz, he asked for that immortal first line.

I did not pass this quiz, but then neither did anybody else in the class. I did, however, finish the movie and read the book.

And it was love at first sight.

I am by nature a lover of snark, especially elegant snark. And who is the queen of elegant snark?

Our dear Jane. I didn’t know that first line when the professor asked for it, but, after that first read, I certainly never forgot it.

So, that’s how our love story began.

Over the last 20 years, my love has gotten deeper and more comfortable. P&P is there when I need a laugh, when I need a cry, and when I just need to know that everything will be okay. It’s a most reliable and trusted friend.

I hope that my book, Second Impressions, becomes at the very least, a pleasant acquaintance you enjoy spending time with every now and again when you need it.

Lizzy & Darcy have fought so very hard to stay apart, but will they fight for each other’s affection (and yours) just as hard? I’m willing to bet they are.


Once, Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet were foes, then tenuous friends. After Elizabeth discovers Darcy is engaged to another woman, she flees to Boston to seek solace with her cousin, the brash and worldly Emeline Poston.

When she returns to England after years spent abroad, Elizabeth must face the man who shattered her heart, and she is shocked to find the proud man she once knew drastically altered.

Does she have the courage to seek out the man with whom she fell in love—whatever the cost?

Fitzwilliam Darcy has spent his days regretting what might have been and his nights being tormented by the decisions he has made. His life in tatters, he can barely face the once-respectable man in his mirror or the baby girl in Pemberley’s nursery. Now that Elizabeth has returned, will he atone for his mistakes and win her heart for good?

This alternate path reimagining of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice is recommended for adult readers. Continue reading



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The update you’ve all been waiting for…

woman book fantasy

Right now I’m sitting at my desk — dog at my feet, toddler slumbering directly above my head, purple water bottle by my keyboard — completely flabbergasted that the calendar on the wall keeps insisting it is July. I hope you’re all having a phenomenal, restful, one-for-the-memory books kind of summer.

Many of you have reached out in the past year to ask when (or, in some cases, whether!) I plan on revealing what happened to Belle, Cinderella, Dawn, Rapunzel, and everyone else in the Desperately Ever After series. For months, all I could do was explain that life (new baby, house search, health scares) has a way of knotting up even the best laid plans, but rest assured I’d been devoting every spare minute to Book 3 since before Book 2 even hit your Kindles.

But today … finally .. I can answer your questions with something new: Skipping Midnight, the concluding novel in the Desperately Ever After series, is complete!

woman embracing life

NOW I’m off to the land of revisions, proofreading, copyediting, and formatting — all of which I plan (ah, there’s that word again!) to finish as quickly as possible without sacrificing one lick of the story. If all goes well, you’ll be reunited with the ladies of Marestam before summer officially sets and Ariel loses her human legs. (Can you tell I’ve been living with a toddler? I can’t even tell you how hard it is to write with the entire soundtrack from Frozen playing on a constant loop in my head!)

But I digress. Thank you all for your wonderful emails, comments, and reviews. You have truly been my coveted midnight oil over these many, many months. Keep checking for updates, sneak peaks, giveaways, and the date of Skipping Midnight’s big cover reveal next month.

And again … enjoy your summer!!!


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E-books for Earth Day!

readgreen image

My first e-reader came to me by force. It was many Christmases ago, when my logical-to-a-fault husband took a look at the guest room wall (floor-to-ceiling built-ins essentially vomiting paperbacks), noticed how much extra weight my suitcases carried on vacation (“But I don’t know what I’ll want to read first!”), and took the bold and courageous step of purchasing me a Kindle Touch.

disappointing presentI won’t say I felt like my dog, Shadow, unwrapping a box of flea and tick medication … or an electric collar. But, well, maybe a little.

But alas. While I hate to admit it. (Especially in writing to the entire world.) He was right and I was wrong.

As much as I railed against them in the beginning, it’s safe to say that I’m an e-book convert. In fact, it was my idea to upgrade my Kindle Touch to a shiny new Kindle Paperwhite a couple of years ago — and this time, opening the package was like opening a box filled with puppies sporting big, red bows on their heads.

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 3.30.57 PMBefore e-books, spending a week in Punta Cana with twenty-three possible titles was a thing of fantasy. Before e-books, I wasted countless hours trying to predict what I’d be in the mood for this day or that. Before e-books, I actually had to use a book light if I read in bed while hubby was sleeping — a struggle that never seemed to work quite the way I wanted. And before e-books, millions more trees met untimely ends in order to stock our shelves. How’s that for an Earth Day connection?

Hypocrite warning: I’m not against paper books. And if I LOVE LOVE LOVE an e-book, there’s still a good chance I’ll purchase the paperback just so I can place it on that lovely guest room wall and make easy reference to it later. I did this with all three Hunger Games books (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay), for example, and have absolutely no regrets. But I’m also likely to purchase the Kindle version of something I have in print because it’s more portable — and yes, the chance of me getting to everything on that bookshelf is slim to none.

Yes, it’s a sickness. But I love it 😉

Need help choosing an e-book for Earth Day? Try an Amazon #1 bestseller like Desperately Ever After or its sequel, Damsels in Distress. The trees will smile and so will you 😉 Continue reading

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What Romance Really Means After 10 Years of Marriage

lovers imageIt’s 11 p.m. My adorable menace is sprawled out like a drunk freshman in her crib. My dog, who’s still coming to terms with said menace’s arrival, is seeking solace in a ball at my feet. My husband is in the next room watching what sounds like a particularly terrifying episode of The Walking Dead. And despite accomplishing a fraction of what I intended before the day’s exhaustion set in, I’m capping the pen for the night.

But in honor of Valentine’s Day, I must first pass on Heather Havrilesky’s hilarious article for New York Magazine about the true definition of ‘romance.” Hint: It goes a heck of a lot further than the credits in a Rachel McAdams movie.

One of my favorite lines: “When it’s 10 p.m. and you crawl into bed like two old people and tell each other about the weird things that your kids said that day and laugh and tell stupid jokes and giggle and then maybe you feel like making out or maybe you just feel like playing a quick game of Candy Crush, all the while saying things like, ‘This game is stupid, it sucks’ and ‘Your feet are freezing’ and ‘My ass hurts,’ that’s romantic.”

Granted, her marriage still has three years on mine, but the sentiment still resonates — freezing feet and all 😉

Check it out: What Romance Really Means After 10 Years of Marriage

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Valentine’s Day Contest Alert!

Valentine's Day Hop Graphic

Whether you’re a fan or foe of the Hallmark holiday, there’s something for everyone during PageCurl’s Valentine’s Day blog hop this year — with 75 authors participating!

Head on over to my Facebook page for a chance to win one of three Kindle copies of Desperately Ever After, as well as one of four $25 Amazon gift cards.

Hurry up though … the cupid’s clock is ticking! Best of luck to you all 😉

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Are you ready for the best news ever?

No. Seriously … are you ready?


Writing tonight might have just flown out the window. I’m too excited!!!!!!!!

Check out this article from The Hollywood Reporter:


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January 29, 2016 · 10:25 PM


Check it out here 🙂

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January 14, 2016 · 9:16 AM

Then Comes Winter blog tour: Meet Maureen Lee Lenker — plus a giveaway!


“Then comes Winter with bluster and snow, that brings to our cheeks the ruddy glow…”
~ Gertrude Tooley Buckingham

If you long for a toasty snuggle on a cold winter’s night, this compilation of original short stories inspired by the magic of the holiday season—and more than a nod to  Jane Austen—is fancied as a sublime wintertime treat. Featuring short stories by four Meryton Press authors and seven up-and-coming winners of their Holiday Romance contest, Then Comes Winter offers a mix of contemporary and Regency musings.

15060606_Maureen_Lenker-035I’m very happy to welcome one of the contributors, Maureen Lee Lenker, to Skipping Midnight today. After the interview, follow the Rafflecopter link to win a free copy of Then Comes Winter!

Laura: Why did you decide to enter the Holiday Romance contest? What were you hoping to get out of it? 

Maureen: Well, I love to write, but often find my time to do so limited, so I really enjoy writing short stories as a way to get some completed ideas out into the world. I figure it’s good practice both writing and working with publishers and editors to work on short stories, so that if I ever do have  time to write a novel, I know my way a bit already.

I entered the Holiday Romance contest because I’d already entered the summer anthology contest with Meryton Press and narrowly missed getting selected. I received really helpful, wonderful feedback on my writing, so I thought that I might have a decent shot at getting in and at any rate, I would get more great feedback just like I did last time. I’d been published once before, in a holiday anthology last year entitled “Christmas Nookies,” and I loved that experience so I was eager to try again. I am obsessed with Christmas and with romance, so it feels very natural (and fun!) to write about both of those things at once.

Previously, I’ve only ever been published in e-book form, so I was hoping to get selected for the thrill of being able to see my work in a tangible book. I can’t believe this dream came true! And on top of that, I’ve been able to work with a top-notch editor who really made my work better and had the opportunity to meet more folks in the romance and Austen-esque community who are either other writers in the anthology or supporters of it.

What is your story about?

My story is set in the Regency era. It’s about a young lady, Anne Riley, who eagerly awaits the arrival of her cousins and an accompanying mysterious and charming gentleman, Monsieur de Brun, who has recently fled France. Set against the backdrop of Christmas-time, Anne, her cousins, Monsieur de Brun, and her neighbor, James Turnbull, endeavor to put on a production of “Twelfth Night” for the holidays. Issues of love, friendship, and loyalty arise amidst the flutter of the holidays and rehearsing Shakespeare’s iconic comedy.


What inspired you to write it? How do you find your ideas?

This story was inspired by several things–first, by my own love of Christmas, Christmas trees, and snowy, beautiful British landscapes and gardens. I loved the idea of placing a story in that setting because to me, it is one of the most romantic, idyllic places and times of year. I’m a hopeless romantic and Christmas-time is my absolute favorite time of year, so it’s easy to be inspired by the things I love.  Continue reading


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Because refreshing all day is self-destructive

Even though it’s hard to avoid in times like these.

Even though I do it for the same reason I try to watch scary movies to the end — because I want to find out that everything turns out okay.

Even though I know that last sentiment is impossible. Because this isn’t a movie. Because the bad guys don’t always stumble when we want them to. Because we aren’t actors who get up at the end of a death scene, walk away, and go home to the people we love.

I’m not going to pontificate about all the world’s evil. It’s nothing you haven’t already heard or aren’t already thinking. And you’ve probably already poisoned yourself enough.

So instead, here are a list of “happy” news websites. I’ve written about them before, but some things are worth repeating. And if you’re going to get lost in something, get lost in something that comes with a side of hope.

1. The Good News Network

2. The Daily Good

3. Sunny Skyz

4. Positive News

5. HuffPost Good News

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Sage burning, fear releasing, and a different kind of Halloween magic

8776823_sA few nights ago, I sat in a circle with six other women, a clump of burning sage, two lit candles, and all of the positive energy we could muster. We chanted. We meditated. We visualized our deepest selves and tried to hear — in a world full of so much anxiety and so many distractions — what our souls wanted to tell us. We turned our greatest fears into confetti, and willed our strongest desires to be.

And even though it’s almost Halloween, this had nothing to do with witchcraft. There was no blood, just paper. Instead of daggers, we used pens. And rather than kneeling in a clearing in the middle of the woods, we sat on mats and blankets in a yoga studio. (Yes, I realize all of these images are of stereotypical “Hollywood” witches, but at least I didn’t mention pointed hats!)

I’m writing about this because a few years ago, it’s the sort of event that I might have given a bemused smile but passed over. A few years ago, I never would have opened myself up to a group of complete strangers the way I did the other night. Perhaps this change is due to motherhood. Perhaps it’s because two letters have rocked aspects of my life that always seemed like a given. Perhaps it’s because the world is a very scary place right now — or because I’ve reached the age when people realize just how scary it’s always been. Most likely, it’s because no matter how positive I think I’m being, or how often I try to deflect the bad when it rears its ugly head, stress and worry still find a way to seep in. If that doesn’t happen to you, I’d love to hear your secret. Continue reading


October 30, 2015 · 11:46 AM