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Win a signed copy of Butterfly Weeds in this huge giveaway brought to you by The Indie Bookshelf! The winner will be
announced on Valentine's Day! ♥ Good Luck!
Now, you can listen to the
Butterfly Weeds and My Butterfly soundtracks on my YouTube playlist! Just hit Play All and listen away! And don't forget to look for the soundtrack to For All You Have Left in my interview with Nawanda Files coming soon!
I don't often write with music playing. My characters' words and thoughts do a pretty good job of filling my head instead. But there is no doubt a playlist silently playing in the background for each of my novels! I've included the soundtracks to Butterfly Weeds and My Butterfly below! This is by no means a final list. I'm sure there are other great songs that could also play in the background of each story! Feel free to add those songs in the comments if you have them! And look for the soundtrack to my latest novel, For All You Have Left, in my interview with Nawanda Files coming soon!
The Butterfly Weeds Soundtrack
1. Our Song – Taylor Swift
2. All We’d Ever Need – Lady Antebellum
3. Ho Hey – The Lumineers
4. Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
5. The Sound Of A Million Dreams – David Nail
6. Nobody's Home – Avril Lavigne
7. Dancin’ Away With My Heart – Lady Antebellum
8. Broken Strings – James Morrison ft. Nelly Furtado
9. Someone Like You – Adele
10. Back to December – Taylor Swift
11. Glass – Thompson Square
12. I Told You So – Carrie Underwood
13. What About Now – Westlife
14. Strawberry Wine – Diana Carter
15. I Just Call You Mine – Martina McBride
The My Butterfly Soundtrack
1. It Goes Like This – Thomas Rhett
2. Whatever She's Got – David Nail
3. Runnin Outta Moonlight – Randy Houser
4. Here Comes Goodbye – Rascal Flatts
5. Picture – Kid Rock & Sheryl Crow
6. Life After You – Daughtry
7. I Won’t Let You Go – Rascal Flatts
8. Best Thing – Blake Shelton
9. Comfortable – John Mayer
10. Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
11. Outta My Head – Craig Campbell
12. I Breathe In, I Breathe Out – Chris Cagle
13. What Hurts the Most – Rascal Flatts
14. Can't Shake You – Gloriana
15. Drops of Jupiter – Train
16. I Swear – John Michael Montgomery
I write stories about what I know. I grew up on a farm in small-town Missouri, so my characters and stories reflect this life and hopefully pay homage to all that goes with it, including the rain on tin roofs, old trucks with holes in the floorboards and summer nights full of stars, fireflies and tractor pulls!
So, please enjoy some of the photos that have inspired Butterfly Weeds, My Butterfly and For All You Have Left!
Congrats to Shermia of Texas and J. of California for winning the Goodreads Giveaway! They will each be receiving a signed copy of For All You Have Left very soon!
And thank you so much to all those who entered the giveaway! There were more than 1,100 entries!
For All You Have Left is due out in less than a month on Feb. 11! I do hope you all get a chance to pick up a copy! And until then, learn more about Jorgen and Logan's story right here!
When did you first start writing?
I think I started writing the moment I started reading. They say to find out who first inspired a writer to write, you have to ask who first inspired him or her to read! And I believe that's true. My mom created a small library for my two sisters and me when we were young. And my grade school teachers only helped to fuel my love for reading. My two favorite authors growing up were L.M. Montgomery, who created Anne of Green Gables and Shel Silverstein, who wrote the poems I fell in love with in Where the Sidewalk Ends. My mom introduced me to L.M. Montgomery. My second grade teacher first got me hooked on Silverstein. And I believe it was that same second grade teacher who also published my first book in construction paper and staples! So, reading and writing have always been a part of my life, thanks to some very special people.
But it hasn't always been fiction for me. At a young age, I decided I wanted to be the next Katie Couric--but the writing equivalent--and work for the New York Times. I went to school and got my degree in newsprint journalism and worked as a government and business reporter for several years before I had a change of heart. And after writing my first novel, Butterfly Weeds, I rediscovered my love for fairy tales. And I never looked back!
What's the story behind your latest book?
For All You Have Left is a story near and dear to my heart. It's a story about a girl finding her first love only to have life throw her a curve ball. And suddenly, she is forced to start over. But beginning again doesn't come easy. The dreams she'll never see and the nightmares she wishes she couldn't see still haunt her. And she wonders if she has enough love left for the man who's forcing her to take a second look at life. And ultimately, she hopes the secret she's hiding from him won't crush them both.
For All You Have Left is due out Feb. 11! I hope you have a chance to pick up a copy and read more about Logan and Jorgen's story!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing gives me an opportunity to tell a story that would otherwise never be told. And it gives me so much joy to breathe life into the characters in my stories. I think that's the best part really. As I'm writing, my characters take on personalities and stories of their own. Sometimes, I think they are a reflection of a person or a combination of people I know in real life, but somehow, they take on a life of their own. I get so excited about my characters. I love Will and Julia from Butterfly Weeds and Andrew, Jorgen and Logan from For All You Have Left. But I also love their supporting characters as well. And sometimes, those supporting characters are the most fun to create! So, in the end I guess, it's these characters and their stories that make me the most happy when I write! And I'm just so thankful and humbled that readers have welcomed these same characters that I love so much into their hearts as well.
What do your fans mean to you?
My readers mean the world to me. And I cannot say that enough. Without your love for Butterfly Weeds or My Butterfly or For All You Have Left, these stories would never be what they are today! In fact, My Butterfly, the sequel to Butterfly Weeds, was never planned. It wasn't until readers asked to hear Will's story that I even thought about writing a sequel. So, readers single-handedly brought that story to life! I am just so grateful and so humbled by your constant support and kind words. Seriously, every comment, every "like," every kind review means the world to me. And I couldn't do this without you! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I'm not writing, you'll probably find me reading or hanging out with my husband. My husband and I met in college, and now we live in the same town as that college, so we take every opportunity we get to see a sporting event there. It doesn't matter what it is, we'll watch anything from football to golf! We also love spending time with our friends and family. My two-year-old nephew and three-month-old niece are my latest obsessions. I can't help but spoil them rotten and then give them back to their mom and dad! Aunts can do that, right?! We also love movies, and I can't go two days not seeing Chopped on the Food Network without having withdrawals!
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The Five Little Kittens. I was eight. It was illustrated with puff paint.
Describe your desk.
Right now? A computer. A bendable lamp that reminds me of the lamp from Toy Story. A stapler (even though I never use it). A tiny black purse that spits out sticky notes. I'm obsessed with sticky notes! A high heel shoe that also acts as a tape dispenser. A lot of paper and notes (a trait I picked up in my newspaper days). A Cherished Teddies bear eating out of a honey jar. A ticket stub from my favorite movie in 1999. The price on the ticket is $5. A planner. And a bottle cap that has a quote from Gandhi on the inside: To forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget ourselves. It reminded me of my dad, so I kept it.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Until I was ten, I lived in a tiny town along the Missouri River. The population of the town was about 200, but I lived outside that town in the river bottoms. And I'm pretty sure I got my imagination at this stage in my life. There wasn't much to do, so I literally had to make up things to do! In 1993, my family and I lost our home in a flood and called it quits farming the river bottoms. We moved to the next town over (my dad's old stomping grounds) and planted ourselves on top of a pretty big hill. So, if it flooded there, we figured we'd build an ark! I probably got my endurance from that part of my life. And both the imagination and the endurance have helped immensely in my writing career--especially the endurance. As with everything, you've got to keep at it if you want it!
Additionally, I write stories about what I know. I grew up on a farm in small-town Missouri, so my characters and stories reflect this life and hopefully pay homage to the country life and all that goes with it, including the rain on tin roofs, old trucks with holes in the floorboards and summer nights full of stars, fireflies and tractor pulls!
This interview can also be found at Smashwords.com.
For All You Have Left is due out February 11! But I thought I'd share with you a chapter from the novel a little early!
This particular scene is where Logan's (Lada's) sister, Hannah, finds a piece of Logan's past that Logan has been hiding in her nightstand drawer.
Please enjoy! And don't forget to look for For All You Have Left on Amazon and online at other book retailers Feb. 11!
“Lada, where’s your lotion?” Hannah asks, busting into my apartment.
Hannah’s always been a fixture in every place I’ve ever had. She’s never been an actual roommate, just more of an honorary one, I guess. This new apartment is no exception. She has a key. She uses it liberally.
“My hands feel like dead lizards.” Her voice trails behind her as she makes a beeline for the back rooms.
I scrunch up my face. “Eww. Why do they have to be dead?”
She doesn’t answer me. Instead I hear her rummaging through my drawers in my bedroom. My bedroom! I jump up and run to my room. But right when I spot her, I freeze in the doorway. I know she has already seen it. She’s bent over, with her back to me. She’s staring at something—it—inside my nightstand drawer.
I just stand there and watch her—waiting, for what seems like an eternity.
Eventually, she pulls it out from the drawer and turns back toward me. “Lada,” she says, holding up a marriage license.
I take in a deep breath and let out an audible sigh.
“I didn’t know you still had this,” she softly says.
I don’t say anything. There’s nothing I can say really.
“Lada, you’ve got to move on,” she pushes out, gently. “I know you love him, but he can’t keep coming in and out of your life like this. You can’t let him. You can’t do this forever, Lada. You have to live.”
She looks at me with two sad eyes—those same sad eyes that she always gives me when this same subject comes up.
“I am living, Hannah,” I force out. “I’m living. I eat. I sleep. I smile every day.”
Her sad eyes don’t waver. “Lada,” she says and then follows it with a long sigh. “You know what I mean. You’ve gotta let him go. You’ve gotta let someone else in.”
I stare at her for a moment before I lower my face. “It’s not that easy, Hannah.”
A minute passes in the quiet, and then I hear her voice again.
“All I’m asking you to do is try. That’s all anyone is asking you to do.”
My eyes catch and get stuck in the red polish on my toenails. “I do try,” I whisper.
It’s true. I try. I don’t try in the way she wants me to try, but I do try. I try to tell myself that it is possible to move on—that it is possible to actually live two happy lives in the span of one lifetime. I try to push the thoughts, the dreams, the nightmares from my old life to the back of my mind. But ultimately, I know what moving on means. It means never going back, and that terrifies me more than anything. I know Hannah wants me to forget, but I can’t forget. I don’t want to forget. If I forget, I lose it all twice. I want to remember. I have to remember.
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Back Cover Summary
Logan Cross met her first love on the playground when she was nine. She married him at eighteen. But life had different plans for Logan. And now at twenty-two, she is in the midst of starting over when Jorgen Ryker moves in next door. A paramedic, Jorgen seems normal, and he's definitely easy on the eyes, but Logan still has her reservations—and her secrets. Can she put her old life aside to start anew? And what big secret is she hiding that Jorgen might already know?
Set in small-town Missouri, For All You Have Left is a love story with an unexpected twist centering around three lives, two great loves and one epic journey in learning to love again.
I write about rain on tin roofs, gravel roads, old trucks with holes in the floorboards and small-town summer nights. I grew up on a farm in a little Midwestern town. Now, I live in Kansas City, Mo., with my weatherman husband.
Laura Miller's first contemporary romance novel, Butterfly Weeds, hit the Amazon Best-Seller's List and Top 100 in October 2012. The sequel to Butterfly Weeds, My Butterfly, released in June 2013. For All You Have Left, By Way of Accident, When Cicadas Cry and A Bird on a Windowsill followed. Look for The Life We Almost Had, releasing Sept. 19.