Monday, October 16, 2017

DO YOU LOVE ROMANTIC SUSPENSE????

I’ve teamed up with 60 fantastic authors to give away a huge collection of Romantic Suspense novels to 2 lucky winners, PLUS a brand new eReader to the Grand Prize winner! 

You can win my award-winning novel, "The Dragons of Alsace Farm," plus books from authors like Maggie Shayne and Laurelin Paige.

Enter the giveaway by clicking here: http://bit.ly/2xvkwCe

Good luck, and enjoy!

Laurie


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

MICHELLE NAGET ROGERS, A LIVING "AGNES"

I met with my friend Michelle again to interview her for the upcoming biography I'm writing about her life. She is a real survivor of the bombing of France, much like my character Agnes from "The Dragons of Alsace Farm." Today, we documented her memories of the evacuation of her French town, Braquis, as the German invasion began. The memories became a bit overwhelming as she told of the planes bombing and shooting at the lines of refugees, so we switched things up, and talked about what the children likely did on their four-day exodus from home.
She showed me that they sang as they walked, and when she broke into the French National Anthem, "La Marseillaise," I felt her patriotism and love for her native land:
Allons enfants de la Patrie
Le jour de gloire est arrivé !
Contre nous de la tyrannie
L'étendard sanglant est levé
Entendez-vous dans nos campagnes
Mugir ces féroces soldats?
Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras.
Égorger vos fils, vos compagnes!


(ENGLISH TRANSLATION)
Arise children of the fatherland
The day of glory has arrived
Against us tyranny's
Bloody standard is raised
Listen to the sound in the fields
The howling of these fearsome soldiers
They are coming into our midst
To cut the throats of your sons and consorts
To arms citizens
Form your battalions
March, march
Let impure blood
Water our furrows
I sang this song in high school French class, but the words were so terribly poignant as I imagined little children singing them as tyrants were literally attempting to cut them down.
A moment later, she then began singing this little ditty. I asked her what it meant. The tune was much happier than the lyrics, about children looking for bread and finding their pantry bare, then noting that the neighbor had bread, but it wasn't for them. Another reminder of the toll war and its deprivations had on children who saw this simply as "life."
She teared up several times during our interview, and I told her what an example she was of faith, that she held on with the hope that tomorrow would be better.
She reminds me of this quote I love by Hugh B. Brown: “Night never had the last word. The dawn is always invincible.”

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Monday, September 25, 2017

FIFTEEN FREE HISTORICAL NOVELS


Every book lover has found a few authors, (hopefully me included) whose books speak personally to them, either easing them away from their current cares, or tackling hard topics with characters whose perspective or courage or humor inspires or challenges them in new ways. These are authors and books we cherish.

But what happens when we've read through that author's catalog and seek out new books and new voices? It can be tricky. And costly. We've all read a book we've wanted to toss across the room, or set on a cafe table and walk away from.  That's a big financial ouch if we've bought it.

Here's a risk-free promo for HISTORICAL FICTION lovers. My Book Cave Promos has gathered 15 authors, myself included, who are offering one of their historical e-books for free in exchange for a chance to put their work in front of you and hopefully add you to their list of loyal readers. Click the pic above to peruse the titles and select books. You can also enter to win a $25 gift card!

I'm offering "In God is Out Trust," volume 5 of Free Men and Dreamers. Readers can also pick up volume three for free as well at https://mybookcave.com/d/ce3e0f00/. Now you're on your way to owning a much beloved series set against the back drop of the War of 1812.

Try out these other wonderful authors' books for free!




Saturday, September 9, 2017

"The Dragons of Alsace Farm" gets a new cover in time for a Free E-book EXTRAVAGANZA!


"The Dragons of Alsace Farm" has had a great year, amassing great reviews and several national awards, but I kept hearing that readers didn't like the cover, so we've given it a face lift. Here's it is!

If you haven't read it yet, here's a great opportunity to download it and up to fifty fine books in a variety of genres onto your e-reader for lazy fall reading--all for FREE.

I'm excited to join My Book Cave's free promo. Fifty authors have teamed up to provide some of their favorite novels for FREE just for the chance to introduce new readers to their work.


This massive book giveaway also provides a chance for readers to enter to win a $50 gift card! 

Think about it. Enough free books to fill a family's e-readers, a chance to meet new authors and sample their work, and a giveaway with a $50 gift card as a prize!

Click the image to see the beautiful array of books available. Learn about each author's VIP readers club and join to continue to receive great book offers and be part of a reading community!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

An Essay on Civility

I have been reluctant to write this post because everything seems to stir up powerful feelings that frequently turn to finger pointing and ugly rhetoric. But here goes.
Life and travel have provided opportunities for interactions with diverse people the past few weeks--health care workers, servers, travelers, customers, store clerks, and more.
We're out in California where news reports of protests and unrest made me brace for rude or uncaring treatment. Not so. Not one time.
A few of these multicultural interactions led to a conversation about what we see and hear in the news. One such conversation included a Black sales clerk, a liberal psychologist, a Latino man, and myself. The consensus? None of them felt the media conveyed their opinions or life experience.
They were clearly not fans of the president, but their comments were not angry or hate-filled.
We laughed, worried, and listened to one another. A retail service transaction turned to hugs and handshakes of friendship as we shared the relief of knowing that for most Americans, regardless of color, race, or gender, we are on the same page. We want the same things. We are working for the same things.
I've been conducting a little experiment, following President Uchtdorf's counsel to smile more. I've slowed down in retail lines, and in parking lots, not worrying as much about MY turn, My slot, My place, and what I've noticed is other people do the same.
I've seen greater courtesy, more humor, and more conversation lately among relative strangers, and I wonder if recent, sad events have made civil society more aware of being kind, of breaking the ice with a smile instead of a scowl, of simply being civil.
I'm reminded of the story of the men meeting an elephant for the first time, and how each man's interpretation of that event was so completely singular. The media can build a false reality from a single photo, from one person's perspective.
We live in a time when we can't always believe what is placed before our eyes. The heart and spirit are the true barometers of humanity, and I have confidence that most people are good, and honest, and more likely to help than we realize.
Like in Texas. Amazing. Civility still reigns.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

THE HEALTHCARE CRISIS AFFECTS US ALL

I try not to wax political too often. I have strong opinions, but this doesn't seem to be the place to vent them, except maybe on this topic, because it's a universal concern.
The greatest budgetary unknown for most Americans right now is healthcare. No matter how responsibly we plan, most Americans are simply holding their breath to see what happens, whether it's concerns over the future of Medicare, how far personal healthcare dollars will go, or whether employers will offer healthcare, or if the ACA exchanges survive.
Maryland's failing Evergreen Health Insurance Group provides a sobering, but honest, current glimpse at what we're all up against. (I give this information to help people being held hostage by this problem. Not to foment hate and argument, so please see this as useful information and not as a springboard to rant about presidents past or present.) Here's my update:
I spoke to a former principle at the company who said Evergreen was healthy and well-situated with twice the reserves needed to fund claims four years ago. A few things happened.
1. Although Evergreen is a not-for-profit-company, it had these aforementioned reserves. Under the ACA, (Obamacare), private insurance companies with profits and reserves were forced to bailout companies who were bearing the public burden of the ACA, like Carefirst. That bailout cut too deep into Evergreen, forcing them, like all other insurance carriers, to raise prices.
2. As promised, Evergreen honored their 2015 prices going into 2016, with only a modest increase in prices, which raised too little additional revenue, and the death spiral began. In 2017, they raised the prices on their policies by about 30%, but it was too late.
3. The Maryland State Insurance Commission jumped in as as soon as they saw the tip of the scales. They tried to help Evergreen find Investors to help them ride out the storm, but the Investors, (other health co-ops), pulled out in May or June, sealing Evergreen's fate.
4. The Insurance Commission is still trying to find investors. It doesn't look good.
Evergreen patients have been assured they still have coverage, although they might have to drive longer distances to find a doctor who will still participate at the risk of never being paid. If you've met your deductible, you might want to hang in there. If you leave and find a new carrier, you will have to start over to meet new deductibles.
My eval on all this. Everyone loses in this ACA scenario.
The carriers who support the ACA exchange aren't solvent because the cost of care is not supported by premiums and company investments. Competent, healthy insurance carriers go under because their business model is upset when they are forced to bailout those who are protecting the ACA.Patients who counted on a certain plan with certain trusted physicians find that those doctors are leaving before reimbursement ceases. By law, physicians must keep their patients for 90 days despite their failing insurance, which means in some cases, that they are treating people with no reimbursement.
The system is badly strained. Maybe broken. Can it be fixed? I want to lock the entire Congress in the Capitol until they figure it out--the Dems who raced into a plan some knew was destined to eventually fail so they could "start the conversation about single-payer," and all the republicans who sat on their hands for seven years, blathering and about what they'd do, and then didn't.
Call your congressmen and senators.
Every day.
Tell them to get back and fix this.
Now.
Evergreen was a good company. It will not be the last to go under.
Call.