SCHOOL'S OUT FOR SUMMER, for Palmer, Claire, Kat and Hannah at Clarkston University, the fictitious setting for my Status Updates series. To celebrate, the four college roommates in the books are offering you their first book, It's Complicated, for only 99 cents!
From left to right - Palmer, Claire, Kat and Hannah get ready to head home for summer vacation. Photo courtesy Kelci Alane Photography
For less than a song on iTunes, less than a pack of Claire's bobby pins, less than a slice of pizza at Clarkston's Ragazza, less than even a small cup of coffee from Corner Cup, you can get an entire novel! Just click on this link and download: http://www.amazon.com/Complicated-Status-Updates-Series-ebook/dp/B00C2BXK6Q/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
(if you don't own a Kindle, no worries, the App is free on the Amazon site for most phones, tablets and laptops)
OR if you don't have access to a Kindle or Free Kindle App, visit Smashwords and enter promo code WK68Z prior to checkout. Offer expires May 16, 2013.
It's Complicated for only 99 cents through May 16!
"I absolutely love love love this book!!!
Here are 3 reasons why...
#1 FAB FRIENDS- these characters are unique, fun, funny, and wonderful! It's hard to pick my fave! There's super-athletic KAT, fashion-forward PALMER, boy-crazy HANNAH, and the serious quiet type CLAIRE. I love them all!!
#2 ISSUES & DRAMA- author Laura L. Smith doesn't shy away from issues that real teens are dealing with today, and when you put four friends together you know there's gonna be some drama!!
#3 IT'S A SERIES!!! I soooo can't wait to read more about these girls. It's Complicated is a totally awesome start to what promises to be one of my fave series ever!!!" JoJo's Corner
It's Complicated by Laura L. Smith book cover
Slide on your flip flops and shades, grab a Tazo or an iced latte and enjoy a summer read that will take you to the beach, the soccer fields and Paris before it's time to dive back into next school year. All for less than a dollar.
Tingling all over with the announcement of the second book in my Status Updates series, It's Over, releasing April 19!
Book cover for the sequel to It's Complicated, It's Over. Photograph by Kelci Alane Photography. Cover Design by Angela Llammas.
HOW CAN YOU MOVE ON WHEN IT'S OVER?
When four college roommates lose pieces of their lives, the pain isolates and the tension rises. Emotions are hard to hide and even harder to tackle. How can the girls move forward, when there is so much pain in letting go? Together, Claire, Kat, Palmer and Hannah learn to lean on God and each other, and through it all they learn loss is a part of life."In It's Over, Laura L. Smith confirms the truth we've been told that we are never alone in the midst of heartache and struggle. In fact, she takes us to a place where we not only get to see, but feel deeply the truth of the fact that every single one of us has a story. Every single one of has experienced pain. But more importantly, that every single one of us has great hope. Laura L. Smith's writing strikes a deep chord in my heart. It makes sense. It's real--and in my opinion, that transparency makes all the difference." ~Holly Starr, Christian recording artist
"Laura Smith speaks for the broken. With a voice that’s warm and true, Laura gives words to those rendered speechless by issues that high school and college girls should never have to deal with—but so many of them do. In writing that’s raw, relevant, and real, Smith goes where few authors dare to go: straight into the heart of today’s young woman." ~Amy Parker, bestselling author of Courageous Teens
"YA author, Laura L. Smith crafts another story that will appeal to all girls, because no one is untouched by heartache in all its forms. The grace Smith extends the four girls in It's Over will touch readers in deep ways, as they follow these characters through some of the worst parts of life. Best of all, they'll cheer when the girls lean on one another and find ways to be thankful in everything. This is a fantastic read, one that will resonate with teens, college girls and their mothers." ~Laura Kurk, author of Glass Girl
Create a buzz by being part of a young adult/new adult fiction street team
Street team: a modern version of a credible "cool" field marketer with the ability to create hype for your artist (brand/song/book) through credible peer-to-peer interactions and viral word-of-mouth influence marketing (Wikipedia)
Sound like you? Are you modern? Cool? Do you like books?
Do books tempt you? Here's a chance to get free books and be involved in something bigger.
SORRY, STREET TEAM APPLICATIONS ARE CLOSED AT THIS TIME. THANK YOU EVERYONE WHO APPLIED.Then, we (myself and four other rockin Young Adult fiction authors: Laura Anderson Kurk, Jennifer Murgia, Stephanie Morrill and Rajdeep Paulus) want you. We are launching a new line of edgy, emotional young adult reads throughout 2013, and we’re searching for readers, like you, to be our street team.
I was blessed to be on Mary De Muth’s launch team for her recent book release, Everything. I expected to and loved reading her inspiring book for free before the rest of the world, but the impact the communication with Mary and the community of readers had on me blew me away.
Pull our your Kindles, Nooks and iPads and get ready to rock and read.
HERE'S HOW IT WORKS 1. You get free books. I repeat you get free books. Authors will send you the PDF’s of their latest young adult novels prior to their release.2. You’ll be admitted into our secret society, learn our secret handshake, etc. Okay it’s really a Facebook group, but there you’ll have real access to the authors and find a community of readers like yourselves.3. In exchange for the free books, let people know about them, loudly and clearly. Tell your friends, Pin the covers on your Pinterest boards or post them on Instagram, tweet, FB post, do whatever you do when you’re excited or intrigued by something to let your peeps know what you’re up to. Still interested? If so, go to the CONTACT LAURA tab at the top of my site and give me your:· Name· Email· Website/blog· Favorite book· Favorite author· Number of Facebook friends· Number of Twitter followers· Number of Instagram followers· Number of people following your Pinterest boards Our group of authors will select the final street team. You'll be contacted individually, and the fun begins. This is your chance to be part of something bigger, and did I mention the free books?
Eli by Bill Myers
I heard author, Bill Myers, speak at a Christian writer's conference in California. His voice mesmerized me. His message captivated me. At the end of the conference I purchased his book, Eli, for my husband and had Bill sign it for him, secretly knowing I would also benefit from this "gift". I let it sit on my hubby's shelf with his other "to be read" books. I plowed through my pile of "to be read" books, until December, a month off book club, fewer school days, fewer activities, more nights by the fire.
I pulled Eli off my husband's shelf and dove in.
Eli is the retelling of the gospel (in novel form), like you've never heard it before. It's twisted out of its familiar settings and verses into today's terms. I take such comfort in my tried and true Bible, but I must admit, I sometimes take for granted or skim over the deep lying messages within. What if Christ had been born in Santa Monica in the early 70's and a bunch of hippies were told by some glowing dudes they would find a new king, someone to change the world, in the laundry room of a motel, wrapped in motel towels? Bill Myers describes down to the beads and scent of smoke what it would be like. If I were in that motel, would I believe?
VW van from the early 1970's
The nativity presented in this manner drew me in as I gazed at the stockings hanging by our fireplace. As I read on, Eli helped me reposition front and center in my mind what Christmas is all about.
Follow Eli Shepherd as he heals the lame, feeds the hungry, gives sight to the blind and raises the dead - all with twentieth century paparazzi, politics and media.
Read this book.
Hear his message of love.
Ponder if you would follow him.
The beautiful Bethany Jett, author of the soon to be released The Cinderella Rule, invited me to join her and other authors as we share what we're writing, and why you'll want to read it.
Bethany and I share loves of writing, fashion, Christ, chocolate, kissing and the shoes on the cover of her new book. Check them out, you’ll see why.
The Cinderella Rule by Bethany Jett - A Young Woman's Guide to Happily Ever After
What am I writing? I’m working on a new series revolving around four women rooming together at a fictitious college. Clearly the story lines for a series are endless with the ups and downs, trials and triumphs of living away from home for the first time and navigating around the college scene. But that’s all I can tell you for now. I’ll let your imaginations run wild and share with you soon more information on titles, characters, plots and release dates.
Why am I writing this series? First, I live in a college town, Oxford, Ohio, home of Miami University. College girls surround me. I’m friends with many of them. I hear their stories, their dilemmas, their fears and their hopes. I wanted to capture this time of life full of uncertainty and potential for them and other girls like them. Second, my college years were a critical time of my life. I fell from my faith. I made mistakes, some big and some small. I had a blast in college, made amazing, lasting friendships and met the love of my life, my hubby, in spite of myself. You see, I also doubted myself. I tried too hard to be accepted. I did many things I regret. I lost the essence of who God created me to be during those years. I long to share what I’ve learned about loving myself more and worrying about what others think less with the college girls of today and tomorrow. I want to share with them how beautifully and wonderfully they were created and urge them to not pay attention to what everyone else is trying to achieve, but instead strive to be the best versions of themselves.
What actors would I have play my characters? Well, there are four girls and without revealing too much about their personalities I think Dakota Fanning, Vanessa Hudgens, Anna Popplewell and Ellen Page would make the perfect representations of the room mates.
Dakota Fanning and Vanessa Hudgens
Who represents me? Amanda Luedeke of MacGregor Literary. She is brilliant and sharp and pushes me to write better and explore new options.
What other books in this genre compare? Girls in Pants by Ann Brashares, Forever in Blue by Ann Brashares, Bloomberg Place Series by Melody Carlson, Mixed Bags by Melody CarlsonSome amazing authors you should check out, if you haven’t already:
Laura Kurk Anderson – YA fiction – Glass Girl
Stephanie Morrill – YA fiction – The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt Series
Jennifer Murgia – YA Fiction – Angel Star, Lemniscate
So, how about you? What are you reading this month? What projects are you working on? I’d love to hear. Leave a comment below.
My personal wardrobe, full of fall fashions, past regret and magic.
What’s in your fall wardrobe? Have you picked up any cool pieces that will give you an updated look? Soft suede boots? Warm tunics? A cool tote? A military jacket? A bottle of Essie polish in warm fall hues? How about in the back – are there some outdated styles, something that never quite fit right?
Ever since I first read C.S. Lewis’ Narnia chronicles when I was about nine, I’ve been banging on the back of wardrobes, just in case. Just in case, I slip into someplace magical, just in case an adventure awaits me inside, just in case I could meet Aslan face to face. I’m currently reading The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe for maybe the twentieth time. I’m simultaneously reading Everything by Mary De Muth. Fate would have it as I reached page 100 on Everything, DeMuth begins talking about “the wardrobe”.
“Once they’ve (the Pevensie children) committed to Narnia, they embark on an entirely new journey that will change them from the inside out and readjust the way they look at the outside world. God-initiated healing is that way. He brings us, if we dare, to a new place, but it’s not a familiar place. And in that outside-of-our-comfort-zone spot, He woos our attention, shows us our past in light of His viewpoint, and sets us back on our feet again to have new adventures.” Everything by Mary DeMuth
What’s inside your wardrobe this fall? How about in the closet of your heart? Reach back far. What is smushed on bent hangers between the clothes you rarely wear? A broken friendship you were never able to heal? A conflict you’re avoiding? Regret? Self doubt? A decision you’d rather not make? Something you need to fess up about? Something you need to let go of?
What’s waiting in there that you need to face? Take it off the hanger and put in the donation pile. Hand it over to God. You do not need to wear it anymore. It doesn’t fit the you God created you to be, and it doesn’t flatter you.
Let it go.
Open the door to God’s magical wardrobe and give him all the outdated, misfit garments of your soul. It’s necessary to clear them out to find the warm coat He has waiting just for you on the back peg. Now that there’s room, take a few more steps; breathe in the crisp smell of freshly fallen snow. Dare to trust a robin or a faun or anyone offering you genuine love and company and wisdom. Avoid those who seem too good to be true, who offer you power, status and all you can eat Turkish Delight. Instead journey further up and further in until you meet God right where He loves you the most. Ditch the things of the past that were never made for you, and enjoy the warm folds of his embrace. Come back recharged, realigned, ready to move forward in your real life, a little less concerned about this world, and feeling a little more self-stylish.
“Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it.” Ephesians 2:7-10 MSG
Trust in him. Open the door. Let go of the hurt. Let the healing begin. Your adventure awaits you.
What are you having a hard time donating to God?
Pulling into our neighborhood after another adventure, this time to North Carolina for a mountaintop spring break, I felt myself ease back into the driver’s seat, release my grip on the steering wheel and audibly sigh. The trip was a lovely escape from calendars and clocks, but there is always something soothing about returning home.
Everything was as we left it – even the load of darks in the dryer (apparently they didn’t fold themselves while I was gone). Once back inside, the unpacking began -- the transition from vacation to reality. Traveling is a passion of mine. The more treks I take -- both in actual voyages and on the road of life, I realize how important this final step is. As much as there is anticipation and excitement in the packing for a trip, there is therapy and peace in the unpacking.
Pillows back on beds, iPods back in docks, jackets back on hooks. As each item is transported from car to home, it carries a story with it -- tales of the bunk beds the pillows rested on, the tune that became the theme song of the trip, the day it started out chilly, but we ended up building sand castles on the beach.
What happens to you in a day or week or month or year? Who did you meet? What did you learn? Who did you disagree with? Who pleasantly surprised you? What was the strangest thing you experienced? The funniest? Who are you worried about? What are you praying for?
From the time we leave our homes in the mornings to the time we return in the evenings, even if the only place we go is to our virtual office, we collect stories. At the end of it all, it’s necessary to unpack. After all, what good are stories if they’re never told?
Unlike unpacking a roller bag, to unpack our lives, we need a partner. This could be a parent, roommate, best friend, boy/girlfriend, teacher, coach -- whoever’s a good listener. For me, the unpacking is always with my husband. Some days we dump the contents of our daily suitcase in heaps, rattling off event after encounter in one run-on sentence. Other days we remove one item from our suitcases at a time, sharing one meeting, a new place we discovered, a confrontation, piece by piece. Some nights we take turns unpacking items from our mental luggage back and forth like a tennis match of show and tell. And there are times, due to urgency; it’s necessary for just one of us to unpack a steamer trunk of a day. The other’s carry on can wait.
And just as it’s satisfying to have my faded jeans back in my wardrobe, my clunky, silver bracelets back in their drawer and my favorite black boots back on their rack, it’s gratifying to share with my hubby about the route I took on my morning run, a quote from the book I’m reading and the phone call I had with one of our moms.
Life is a journey. You need to pack to get ready for each adventure, town and port along the way. But you also need to take time to unpack your bag, look at where you’ve been, how it will effect where you’re going and every once in a while do some laundry.
Who helps you unpack the stories of your life?