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About the author:
Laurel has written three books, Last Goodbye, Longing to Be, and Lying in Wait as part of the Onondaga State Series. The series explores the lives of college students in the mid-1990s and how their worlds twist and turn. Some fall in love, some get hurt and some find themselves faced with their worst fears.
Laurel currently works at a financial firm in Massachusetts. She was born and raised in Upstate New York. She completed her undergraduate degree at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire and received her Master’s Degree from Northeastern University in Boston. When not writing her next novel in the series, you can find her at a yoga class, enjoying a nice glass of wine, or spending time with friends and family.
Laurel is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Romance Writers New England Chapter and the Association of Rhode Island Authors. She is also a proud member of Hometown Reads in the Boston, Massachusetts group which supports local writers.
What inspired you to write your book?
I used to wander books stores in awe, always wishing that someday I could find the time, courage, connections, and understanding to write a novel. Then finally one day I thought, 'Why not me?'. When you put your fear aside and simply allow the process to take over, it's amazing what can happen when you start to reach out to other authors and ask questions. And that is what I did.
Here I am, four novels later and loving every single moment of it and having no regrets. That's what I think it's all about for me. That I know I'll be able to look back and have zero regrets. I didn't let the fear of the unknown stop me from doing something I always dreamed about.
The first book was inspired by the song Last Goodbye by Jeff Buckley coupled with an idea I had about fate and how each moment or choice we make leads us on certain paths in our lives. I couldn’t stop thinking about the concept and the idea of writing a college-age book. It had always been top of my list. So, as I commuted hours and hours each day from Boston, I began making notes and ideas about the premise, the fictitious campus, the characters and then I mixed it with the emotions I felt when listening to that song.
Here I am, four novels into the series and deeply in love with the characters and all their troubles as they make their way through four year of school. For anyone who has had an opportunity to experience high education away from home will understand the trial and tribulations of growing up quickly, yet again, anyone who has not, will surely feel immersed in their lives as though it is happening to them.
Here is a short sample from the book:
He comes a little closer. The sexy grin spread across his lips plays with
her emotions. “See, you go from a little nervous—wait, not nervous.” He
laughs. “To fired up at me.”
“Because you say all these things to me, and you’re…” Frustrated, she
puts her beer down on the counter and crosses her arms over her cleavage.
“You’re, like, trying to lead me on or something.”
“Kelly?” Her voice is strained. “Why are you doing this?”
“Doing this? What are you talking about?”
“This.” She motions between them. “Buying me dinner, bringing me
over here. Coming to my room. Telling me repeatedly that you don’t like me
but that…I…I am nervous. Okay. You make me really nervous.”
He becomes very serious as he says, “You don’t make me nervous.”
“I never said I did. You’re lucky to be so confident.”
“I just know what I want.”
She sighs, “Well, good for you.”
His pecs twitch as he steps a little closer to her. “Aren’t you a little curious
as to what that is?”
Her heart beats hard in her chest. She wants to ask, but she can’t speak.
He’s closer now. She senses the heat from his body. The smell of his clean
skin entices her to breathe in deep.
“Can you take my hand?” he asks.
This completely throws her off. She gazes down at his open palm. Her
hand trembles slightly as she hesitatingly takes his. The warm touch of his
skin on hers is incredible. He delicately pulls her toward him.
“This is making me more nervous,” she whispers. She lifts her large navy
eyes up to meet his.
Without warning, he spins her around. She is facing the counter; his
trunk is pressed up tightly to her back.
He shifts her hair off her shoulder and whispers in her ear, “It’s only
Her skin prickles at the sound of his voice and the touch of his breath
on her skin. He wraps his arms tightly around her waist. Her muscles tighten.
She swallows hard. “You said I was a lousy kisser and that…”
He takes his hand, runs it up the front of her body, and to her chin,
tipping her head back onto his shoulder. His face presses closer to her ear.
He murmurs, “I said, it was lousy. Only because I couldn’t do anything about
it. I’ve been trying so hard to keep you at bay.”
Her breathing deepens. She unequivocally desires to feel his lips on hers
He squeezes her a little tighter. “I don’t want you to be nervous around
me. Not anymore. Okay?”
Her breath catches as she tries to speak. Finally, she’s able to whisper,
“Kelly, the way you look makes me feel that way. You can understand that,
“No, because when I look at you, all I want to do is screw you.”