Friday, September 9, 2016

"Roadtrip to Redemption" by Laurie Larsen ... and a GIVEAWAY!

Laurie has graciously offered to give away a copy of this book (US ONLY), as well as the companion book, "Pawleys Island Paradise." To enter, see the Rafflecopter box at the bottom of this post. (Contest ends September 16, 2016.) If you are the randomly chosen winner, I'll contact you and pass on your information. Good luck!

A Word from Laurie...

I was sort of at a crossroads in my writing career. I had written and published nine books. I jumped around genre-wise, trying to find my niche. My backlist included contemporary romance, family saga, and young adult romance. I'd worked hard on all my books, learned a lot along the way, and some were better than others. Most readers enjoyed the books while they were reading them, but (I imagine) quickly forgot them after the last page was turned. Sales were, in general, minimal. So, being a woman of faith, I prayed to God for guidance. I wanted to know where HE wanted me to take my writing career. I could either continue writing forgettable fiction that didn't share God's message, or… did He have something else in mind for me? Could He and I partner together to create meaningful, heartwarming stories that touch the hearts of people searching for God in their lives? And once those stories were published, could God get those books in front of the right people who needed to hear the message? In other words, could He help me find a readership? I figured I had nothing to lose. So I ventured off on a new way of writing. At each writing session, I would bow my head and pray for God's guidance to take this story, these characters, where He wanted them to go. That way, I knew these stories were anointed by Him. I didn't fear away from story choices, such as prayer and Bible study. And guess what? God found readers once the book was published. Hundreds of thousands of people have read this book, and although there are some critics, my overall reviews are extremely positive. These books (starting with Roadtrip to Redemption, continuing on with a full series of six related books) mean something to people. The characters, the series, the inspired message—they're hitting the mark with so many more readers than I ever had with my non-inspirational fiction.  God put me where He wanted me. And that's all I ever wanted.

Q & A with Laurie...

Q:  What would you be doing if you were not an author?
A:   Beach bum

Q:   How did you start writing?
A:   I was touring the Margaret Mitchell House in Atlanta, Georgia, and I got inspired. I figured if she could do it, so could I.

Q:   What do you consider the hardest part about being a writer?
A:   Saying no to other activities in my life so I can keep my butt in the chair.

Q:   What are your thoughts on the publishing industry in general? In relation to self-publishing?
A:   We've survived revolutionary changes in the publishing industry. Now we're out on the other side, and things need to normalize.

Q:   What advice do you have for new authors?
A:   Don't expect it to be easy. Don't expect instant success. Keep writing. Every book teaches you something.

Q:   What is your favorite writing-related book?
A:   On Writing by Stephen King

Q:   What can you tell me about your next project?
A:   It's the finale of my bestselling series. I've got the pressure of figuring out what everyone loved about the other books and making sure I include lots of that in it!

Q:   Who are some of your favorite authors or what are some of your favorite books?
A:   My all-time favorite author is Pat Conroy, who we tragically lost to cancer this year.

I've never read any of Pat's books, but I'll have to look them up! Thanks for stopping by, Laurie. I'm sure my readers enjoyed getting a chance to know you a bit better.

My review...

Leslie Malone is contemplating her purpose. School is out for the year. Her marriage is over, and her daughter will be in Paris for the next few months. For the first time in many years, Leslie will no longer be a wife/mother/teacher, so she decides to take a road trip.  Destination?  Pawleys Island.  Along the way, Leslie feels God leading her. She is provided with many opportunities to reflect God’s love and light into the lives of others. One of the people she meets on her journey is Hank Harrison. He soon comes to realize that Leslie is the answer to his prayers. Could Hank be the answer to hers as well?

Larsen’s book is a beautiful contemporary romance, filled with stories within the story. There are scenes which will have the reader laughing and crying. The faith element in this book is strong, as the characters base their decisions, large and small, on prayer. At times, it feels a little unrealistic that someone would stop and pray as often as these characters do, but it is heartwarming to believe that people do turn to God in every situation. On occasion, some parts seem a bit rushed, but it is an enjoyable, pleasing read overall.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon link for purchase...

About Laurie...

I wear a lot of hats. I'm a 27-year wife of my husband who has been my partner in a life filled with ups and downs, just like anyone else's. I'm the proud mother of two accomplished adult sons. I'm an empty nester trying to figure out what I'm going to do next. And I'm a 34-year employee of a Fortune 50 company, where I spend my days managing big, huge, complicated Information Technology products, more often than not, pulling my hair out. At night and on the weekends, I'm the published author of fifteen novels, and I'm currently writing the final installment of my Pawleys Island Paradise series, Book 6: Return to Devotion. I'm also a major planner, and this year my husband and I made a life-changing investment into the next chapter of our lives—when we both retire from our day jobs and continue on with a life of leisure. We bought a beach house about five miles down the road from Pawleys Island, our favorite spot in the world. My dream has always been to live at the beach and write books, and that dream is now within sight.

Readers can find Laurie online at:  


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I would go to the Bahamas, I want to see other parts of the world.

    1. Me, too! The Bahamas looks like a beautiful place.

      Thanks for stopping by, and good luck!

    2. LOVE the Bahamas! And the water is so beautiful!

  2. I would tour the UK, I have a huge soft spot for Celtic music and culture, so Ireland, Scotland, & Wales, and all things British as well. If I can't go there, any sparsely populated beach would be fine. Or a mountain cabin. I'm not picky...

    1. LOL! I'm not too picky, either, as there are many places I'd love to visit. The UK would definitely be on my list,too. That mountain cabin sounds wonderful :)

      Good luck, and thanks for stopping by!

    2. I would love to take an extended tour of Europe and hit all those places you mentioned!

  3. I'd love to take a train ride across the country then hop on a ship (we'll see if I get sea sick before we decide on a final destination). Plan B: move to the Pacific Northwest!

    1. Beth Erin, the train ride sounds fun :) I've only been on a boat a couple of times. I wasn't crazy about it, so I'd probably skip that part. I know people who live in the Pacific Northwest, and it sounds beautiful!

      Thanks for stopping by, and good luck!

  4. I'd take my mom to Okinawa. That's where she's from, and she hasn't been home in about 20 years.


    1. Dianna,

      How awesome! I'm sure your mom would love that.

      Good luck, and thanks for stopping by!

  5. I have several places I would love to go,but I love the Outer Banks ,Cape Hatteras. Thank you for the interview and giveaway.

    1. Elma,

      Thanks for stopping by! My husband has been to Outer Banks, and he really enjoyed it. I've never been there, or Cape Hatteras, but they are certainly something on my list.

      You're very welcome, and good luck!