A world begins….freedom in The Spirit

My girls look to the west together...
My girls look to the west together…

There are a handful of moments in my life when God’s revealed Himself to me. One of them was when I delivered my daughter Candice. I’d been given too much morphine too quickly and found it hard to breathe on the operating table. The Spirit spoke to me through the voice of my ex-husband. He said, “Laura, breathe in and out.” He held my hand and repeated these words the length of the surgery. His voice calmed me. I smile at the memory on this, Candy’s birthday.

Years later He’d speak to me again. Last March I had cancer surgery. The last time I’d been operated on was when I delivered Margaux. As I lay on the operating table a flood of happy memories couldn’t stem the fear rising inside of me. The Lord, in his very playful way, would comfort me yet again. It was just another day at the office for my plastic surgeon and as he cut and stitched he began to sing along with the songs that played over the speakers in the operating room, “Lean On Me” and “With A Little Help From My Friends.”  To me, my surgeon’s serenade was a heavenly one. I smiled at the thought of Los Angeles as the home of singing plastic surgeon angels.

In the days afterward as I recuperated, the Lord put it on my heart to journey to Prague to take care of missionary children while their parents attend a conference. A trip that would take place in July. Feeling a bit overwhelmed, I managed to go to a meeting for the trip but had to excuse myself early because of the pain and how fragile I felt. I told the Lord that I didn’t think I could do what He was asking. The idea of taking care of children in Prague seemed too much for me to handle. Too big an experience for me to wrap my head around.

By Palm Sunday I’d signed up and committed to the trip.

Something larger has been at work in me since that day. I’ve felt the need to sell or give away most of my possessions, store what’s left and go where The Spirit is calling me. I have no idea exactly where the Lord and I are headed.

“Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. – Matthew 14:29

This verse sounds so calm and soothing, but Peter stepped out of the boat in stormy seas. He must have been frightened. I believe doubt rather than fear caused Peter to sink into the water. This morning on a hike I breathed in the damp scent of sage and rosemary, filling my lungs with the freedom that is mine in The Spirit.

I leave this Friday for Prague and will be walking the Camino de Santiago afterwards, a 500-mile pilgrimage that begins in France and continues across Northern Spain to the tomb of St. James. I plan on taking 40 days to walk the Camino and have been advised to only carry 10% of my body weight. I’ll be walking into the world with 13 pounds on my back.

13 pounds? Hilarious 🙂 I can’t wait to see what He has planned. I’ll be posting about the journey here. I hope you can join us.

I’d like to share a wonderful book that’s inspired my journey Beautiful Outlaw :  Experiencing the Playful, Disruptive, Extravagant Personality of Jesus by John Eldredge.


Monday Muse: The World of Moon Killers, Shadow Series book 3

Mayfield moon
Mayfield moon (Photo credit: Bill Collison)

I’m really excited to be writing Moon Killers the third book in the Shadow Series. The characters haven grown and changed, and deepened so much since book 1. I love writing this series because we meet Roxie O’Grady in book 1, 13 on Halloween, when she’s twelve and about to turn thirteen. She’s in eighth grade, the last year of middle school. Roxie isn’t the kind of eighth grader who has the feeling like she rules the middle school, though. Far from it. She’s trying desperately to get on the social map somehow. So, she throws her first ever birthday party and invites all the popular kids. They all come and give her a birthday gift that’s literally out of this world. I love this book because it takes a humorous, sometimes scary look at one girl’s quest for popularity––no matter what the cost.  In book 2, Shadow Slayer, Roxie is fourteen and finds the agony of fitting in at high school nothing compared to falling for the hottest guy at school and saving the world from the shadow onslaught. In book 3, Moon Killers, due out this spring, Roxie’s powers are growing as she learns to harness the power of killing the moon to help her battle the shadows that want to take over our world. In Moon Killers, the stakes are higher. Roxie is fifteen and life is getting more and more complicated. Pirates and Venice and explorers have been my inspiration for the third book in the series. 13 on Halloween is free here and Shadow Slayer is available here and here and here. Like audiobooks? You can give the stories a listen here and here and on iTunes too.

Welcome to Monday muse. Each Monday I hope to share a little bit about what’s been inspiring me. Lately, I’ve been inspired by the little things. Did you see the moon last night? OMG. Amazing. I saw the moon super early this morning, washed in a golden light. It’s hard to sleep when the moon is so beautiful. I went to our local farmer’s market last Friday and bought some tulips and fresh flowers for the house. It’s great to have the flowers everywhere. I love going to the farmer’s market but hadn’t been in so long, and while I was there I ran into a very dear friend 🙂 I’ve been very inspired by the movies I’ve seen lately too. Les Miserables and Zero Dark Thirty have been the ones that stand out for me.

What’ s been inspiring you lately?

Shadow Slayer Tour: “The adventure Roxie goes on is fast-paced…” More reviews & Giveaways too!

The sword of Sandonian steel
The sword of Sandonian steel from Shadow Slayer (Shadow Series #2)

Tomorrow is the day I’ll be answering all of your questions. Thanks for commenting with yours here on Laurasmagicday. And thanks for joining the tour today. I’m so happy you’re here 🙂 Today on the tour there are some great blogs I hope you visit over and over again. Cristy’s Love of Books features a review of 13 on Halloween (Shadow Series #1) — FREE on Amazon & B&N & everywhere you buy ebooks. Click here to read Cristy’s wonderful review. A Dragon’s Love reviews the series, click here to check out her take on Roxie’s story. Megan Talks Books features the series today too, click here to check out an excerpt from Shadow Slayer. I’d like to say a BIG thank you to all the wonderful blog readers and reviewers who are helping to spread the word about the Shadow Series. Continue reading Shadow Slayer Tour: “The adventure Roxie goes on is fast-paced…” More reviews & Giveaways too!

Shadow Slayer (Shadow Series #2) Book Trailer Reveal & Giveaways!

a scene from shadow slayer

YAYYYY! Thanks for being part of the tour today. Today is the Shadow Slayer trailer reveal! But you won’t catch it here, you have to click here to go check out the fabulous Breathe in Books blog, today’s stop on the tour! Thanks so much to Breathe in Books & My Seryniti for the fabulous reviews 🙂

“Book one was good but unlike most series, book two got even better! It is really fun to watch Roxie grow and by book two you’re not sure exactly who to trust which is even more fun!” — My Seryniti

“The Shadow Series is fantastic! … I wasn’t sure throughout the entire book who was a good guy and who wasn’t. There is so much suspense and intrigue. And top it all off with your typical teenage drama makes this book awesome.” – Breathe in Books 5-star review

Click here to find out where the Shadow Slayer tour will take us tomorrow! I’m happy you took some time to join the tour today 🙂

GiveawayS? Did I say giveawayS? Well, yes. Yes I did!

Click here to enter the tour giveaway today!

The prizes include:

2 – $10 Amazon Gift Certificates

2 – paperback signed series copies of 13 on Halloween & Shadow Slayer

5 – ebook copies of Midnight Surrender, a paranormal romance anthology that includes a lost excerpt of Shadow Slayer.

Want MORE?

Every day on Laurasmagicday there’s a new giveaway.

What’s for grabs today?

 An ebook copy of Shadow Slayer. 

What to do to enter? Since today is trailer reveal day, all you need to do to enter to win your ebook of Shadow Slayer is comment here with a link to one of your favorite book trailers! It’s a great way to enter to win & get the word out about some great reads! Easy peasy.

CONGRATS to yesterday’s WINNER of an ecopy of the Shadow Slayer Suzy Turner!

The making of a book trailer

It’s a very rainy day here on the central California coast, and I haven’t had a heart-to-heart with you in a while, so I thought I’d wrap up in the afghan and hope you have time for a chat as I’m putting the finishing touches on the Shadow Slayer (Shadow Series #2) book trailer. You can read all about The Shadow Series here. The book trailer will debut on The Shadow Slayer book tour that’s coming up next week Dec. 3-15, put on by the fabulous SupaGurl Books. (Every day of the tour be sure to check here on Laurasmagicday for an additional daily giveaway.) Anyway, back to the making of a book trailer. I’ve blogged about the nuts & bolts of trailer making before, and if you want to check out how you can make your own book trailer, you can click here for the article I wrote for Bubble Cow called How To Make Your Own Book Trailer. My process has stayed pretty much the same.

Today, though, I want to talk about the heart of my books’ trailers. I love making them. Maybe it’s because of my fabulous movie debut….LOL! Continue reading The making of a book trailer

Freaky Friday! Win a free copy of 13 on Halloween (shadow series #1) audiobook :D

One of my favorite things to do is to sit around the campfire and tell scary stories, really scary stories! Audiobooks remind me of that.

So, I’ve decided to have some fun this weekend. I need this. Here’s my problem. I have no clue what to be this Halloween.

This year, I’ve been having trouble getting into the spirit for this, one of my favorite holidays. So help me out, and enter to win a copy of 13 on Halloween audiobook! 



1. Tweet: Trick-or-Treat! Enter to win a 13 on #Halloween #audiobook by @Laurawriting. Enter today! http://wp.me/1J9jx #ya

2. Comment on this post with a link to a photo of either you dressed up on Halloween or a very cool costume that you found online.

Every comment is an entry. Every Tweet is an entry.

On Monday, October 15th I’ll pick a random winner! Because Mondays can epically suck & how fun would it be to find out you’ve won an audiobook?

I’ll go first:

Hubby and I as hippie vampires at a friend’s party in LA

Hope you have a fabulous October 13th tomorrow:D

If you want to join in the TOMORROW ONLY FUN on Facebook, like my author page and join us if you dare!

Read more about the Shadow Series here.

Shadow Slayer Sneak Peek : Teaser

Shadow Slayer [Shadow Series #2] releases on Tuesday. I’m really excited about this book because Roxie is one year older and finds the agony of fitting in at high school nothing compared to saving the world from the shadow onslaught. It’s a big book book for me. It’s my first series and my first “book 2.” I think there should be some sort of “BOOK 2” celebration for authors writing their first series. It wasn’t an easy book for me to write. I think it’s because I had constraints from the first book and I wasn’t sure how to work within them and build the world further and keep the surprises coming. You can ask my family. We’d sit out on the deck and work stuff out together. Sometimes I’d text or call. I guess it makes for some unusual discussions. I remember early on in writing this book I asked my family…what would a world of our alter egos be like? Feel like? Well, we’re pretty big talkers, and as you can imagine, we had a lot to say about it! Here’s my first first teaser from Shadow Slayer. I hope you enjoy it. I’m going to release another one before Tuesday. And thanks for stopping by!

This scene takes place in Oakdale High School’s cafeteria, after Roxie’s best friend, Ally, has been driving her crazy and a new girl, Wanda, has moved to town:

Ally doesn’t even glance my way, but I can hardly blame her. If he makes me feel this good from here, I can only imagine what she’s feeling standing an arm length away from him. Um, well now she’s a lot closer. The ten gives Wanda a nod, but she’s too clueless to see. I can’t breathe right because a blob of peanut butter is stuck to the roof of my mouth. That, combined with the ten in my sights, makes me breathe faster, and I almost choke. I wish I could describe him, but I can’t. It’s mostly things you can’t describe that make a guy a ten anyway. It’s the way he makes you feel inside, all tingly and weird, and how you feel instantly pretty when he smiles at you and how your whole life is different after.

“Come on, you have to see this,” Wanda says, turning her back to him.

It’s impossible to take my eyes off him. I don’t want to be seen leaving with Wanda. I don’t want the ten to think that she’s my best friend. I want him to know that Ally is. But then, he’s swarmed and it doesn’t matter because he can’t see me with all the guys high-fiving him. Ally’s got to be having the best day of her life. I walk out of the cafeteria and down the hallway, half-following Wanda and half-staring at the ten and Ally through the cafeteria windows. 

“It’s okay. This is even more important than a beautiful boy,” Wanda says. 

I was tagged : The Lucky 7 Post!

I got tagged! Today’s post is the Lucky 7 post; I was tagged by Suzy Turner author of The Raven Saga.
Here’s how it works:
Go to page 7 or 77 in your current manuscript
Go to line 7
Copy down the next seven lines/sentences exactly as they are
Tag 7 other authors

This excerpt is from page 77 of Book 2 in The Teen Halloween Series, 14 on Halloween:

My real friends are stuck in some half-life in the shadow world and their shadows are here doing what they’ve always wanted to do––ruin their lives. I’m the only one who can bring my real friends back to this world. Their only hope of really living again.

My phone rattles on my nightstand. I pull the covers down off my face and watch the phone do its little wiggle dance over, and over. I grab my phone and flip it in my hand. When I read Andy I hesitate before pressing answer.

“Hey,” I say.


And now I need to choose 7 authors to do the same! There’s so many great authors out there, it’s SO hard to decide:) Here’s some writer’s I’d love to tag:

Courtney Cole

Tiffany King

C.A. Kunz

Michelle Muto

Angela Carlie

Stacey Wallace Benefiel

M. Leighton


Winners for the Lucky Leprechaun Hop at the end of this post!


This year it will be bigger and badder than ever before with 60 count ’em 60 YA authors! With fabulous prizes around every corner you DO NOT want to miss this! Have fun with this cover eye candy, below is your sneak preview of the authors and the books they will be featuring on the hunt. Continue reading YA SPRING SCAVENGER HUNT SNEAK PEEK!