Hey, guys! You can now get a selection of my books at Lizzy Lu Custom Wreaths in New Haven, Mo. AND they’re all signed! New Haven, Detmold, Berger, Hermann and Washington are all inspirations for most of the settings in my novels. So, if you’re in the area, make your way downtown to the place my very first story began! And while you’re there, check out the store and snag some other really cool local finds you can only get in New Haven, Mo.!
Have you read all eight of my novels?! They all take place in small towns and involve characters that will probably remind you of the people you know or used to know! If you haven't read any OR all of them, I've put together a cheat sheet below to help you choose where to begin! They're in order of how I wrote them, starting in 2012, but you can read them in ANY order. And the best part, they're suitable for all ages! But if you get to the end, and you're still not quite sure where to start, I recommend The Life We Almost Had! Find them all on Amazon! Happy reading! ♥ Laura
"One of the most beautiful love stories I have ever read." -Jelena's Book Blog
"I have never met a more swoon-worthy character than Will Stephens."
For All You Have Left
"It takes you back to the innocence and joy of falling in love." -She Reads New Adult
By Way of Accident
"A classic, all-American, enchanting love story." -Southern Belle Book Blog
When Cicadas Cry
"Miller brings the small-town rumor mill to life." -Kathy Reads Fiction
A Bird on a Windowsill
"Captures the true essence of friendship and falling in love."
The Life We Almost Had
"The book that feeds my need for the perfect romance." -The Bookie Rookie
"Heart-breakingly beautiful." -Jenn and Books
"This one took a turn I didn't see coming." -Cyndy, Goodreads
Find them all on Amazon!
A while ago, I wrote a little piece on my return trip to Berger, Missouri, where I spent the first ten years of my life. It had been twenty years since I really stopped to take a look at how the town had changed.
I set out on a walk down Market (Hwy. B), with my camera in hand. And I was quickly reminded of how much time had passed when a man standing near the old Woodshed stopped and shouted across the street: Where are you from?
It was in that moment that I realized: Either he or I had changed. Because in a town of 200 people, that's just not a question that gets asked much.
My response, of course, was: Here.
The visit was bittersweet. A lot had changed. But then again, a lot had stayed the same, too.
And many of you shared some wonderful stories in the comments to that piece. The stories spanned decades and generations, but in the end, each person shared one common interest: home.
That being said, those same comments reminded me that I still have a few photos of Berger that I've been meaning to share. These photos are from a book my dad purchased when it was published back in the 1970s. The book was a project done by a group of journalists from my alma mater, the University of Missouri-Columbia. As the book states inside its front cover, exactly twenty-six photojournalism students descended onto Berger during the 1976 Labor Day weekend. Their task was to document a way of life in the river town. What they created was a beautiful, and now historic, depiction of life in Berger during that time.
And I love these photos because it's easy to forget the life this small town still quietly holds. When taking a stroll down its sidewalks today, it's easy to forget that there are whispers and secrets and laughter from generations constantly bouncing off its walls and streets and river bottom dirt. But I think, most of all, these photos remind me of just how much the little town where I grew up and that old saying have in common: The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Regardless of your generation, when you close your eyes, is this how you see home?
Read my previous piece on Berger here.
The population hasn’t changed much in the last two decades, but it seems as though everything else might have. It’s been twenty years since I ventured back to this place. And twenty years ago, people were still shoveling away inches of river silt and washing away flood lines from all the walls left over from a long, hard flood.
But those stained walls and silt-covered, gray fields and highways aren't really how I remember the place I spent the first ten years of my life. For that, you probably have to go back more like twenty-five years. And to be honest, I didn’t really know what to expect when I passed that city limits sign a couple days ago. But as I did, I realized quickly that I was in a town that felt warmly familiar and yet so strangely foreign, all at the same time. In fact, some places looked just the same as when I had left them--small, simple, well-kept. For instance, the ball fields had just been cut and the water tower shined in its usual silver. And the trains--they still roared down the tracks every so often. And the big grain trucks still kicked up dust on dirty, gravel roads in the river bottoms.
But then again, other places were eerily different--as if just skeletons of the things they used to be. For example, the same school swings that I swang on twenty-five years ago still dangled in the summer breeze. The only difference was, there were no kids in their worn seats, and it looked as if there hadn't been for quite some time now. And where there was once sand for little feet, tall weeds grew up and fought the chains for room under the metal crossbars.
And as for the Wood Shed in the middle of town, where I remember old men on squeaky bar stools, now there is no one. Even the woman behind the bar who would always take a dollar in exchange for a big bag of ice has vanished.
And although the four walls of the tiny gas station still stand at the corner of town, gone now are the 3Musketeers and PayDays that used to line a little shelf in front of a counter that was no longer than a TV dinner table. And gone, too, is the lanky man who always sat behind it.
And where there were once 4-H kids laughing over cheeseburgers and fries and Ketchup, they are gone, too, now. There are no tables. No wooden chairs. No Mac's Cafe.
And just two miles outside of town, there isn't so much as a piece of concrete left of the little sidewalk that led to the little white farm house that kept dry the purple bedroom and the pencil marks that climbed the walls as three little girls grew.
And gone, too, is that little white farm house. ...And the matching playhouse. ...And the big gray barn. ...And the tin shed where a little girl kept her treasured rock tumbler. In their places now stand rows and rows of tall, brown corn waiting to be taken up into big green combines.
It was almost as if time had carved out this little place's soul and left only the swings and the tracks and some of the walls of what used to be. And yet, as I drove out of town, I could see kids playing hopscotch in front of that red-brick school. And I saw old men laughing on squeaky bar stools in that tiny bar. And as for that little white farm house, I saw that, too, standing tall amid all that brown corn. And best of all, I saw myself looking at those purple walls lined with books and teddy bears right before I closed my eyes and turned out the light.
And as I glanced in my rearview mirror, I couldn’t help but see the ghosts of the people and the places that had long ago woven themselves into my story. And it was just then, in my rearview mirror, that everything looked the same again—just exactly as I had left it twenty-five years ago, still the same painting that I had always...and would always call...home.
I'm so excited to announce that Butterfly Weeds, My Butterfly and For All You Have Left are now available at the MU Bookstore in Columbia, Mo. So, if you're looking for a paperback copy of either Will and Julia's story or Logan and Jorgen's and you're in the Columbia area, stop by the store on Rollins Road!
I was just reading some of the reviews for For All You Have Left. This is always an anxious process for me. I usually read each word with one, squinted eye, secretly preparing myself for the worst. But really, just now, I'm completely overwhelmed. Those who have taken the time to post reviews on Amazon.com or on Goodreads or on other sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, continue to blow me away--in a good way! I will never get over the kind words people take the time to write, knowing that they don't have to! They could very easily be doing something else! But instead, they take a few precious moments out of their day to share their thoughts or to pass along a kind or constructive word! And for that, I (and I think I speak for all authors) am extremely touched and will be forever grateful! ♥Laura
THANK YOU SO MUCH to all those who helped to make the release of For All You Have Left so special! Thank you, readers, for all your 1-clicks! Thank you, bloggers, for taking the time to read and write amazing reviews or host giveaways and interviews. And thank you also to all those who dropped kind words of support along the way! You guys are amazing!
And if you haven't had a chance yet, check out For All You Have Left on Amazon.com and online at Barnes and Noble. And also, feel free to leave a review on the site where you purchased Logan and Jorgen's story to let others know what you thought!
For All You Have Left is now available in e-book and paperback!
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. Jorgen suspects that Logan might be hiding a few secrets, but neither he nor Logan are ready when she reveals her biggest secret from her past—a secret that neither of them realizes they share.
What People Are Saying
"This is certainly one of my favorite love stories ever."
~ A Novel Review Blog
"Laura Miller has captured small-town life perfectly."
~Romantic Reading Escapes
“If you like Nicholas Sparks, you're sure to love Laura Miller. Her books always leave me in emotional warfare. For All You Have Left was no different."
~Erica of Gutter Girls Book Reviews
For All You Have Left, due out 2014!
Logan Cross married her high school sweetheart when she was 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. Jorgen suspects that Logan might be hiding a few secrets, but neither he nor Logan is ready when she reveals her biggest secret from her past—a secret that neither of them realizes they share.
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.
And stay tuned for the trailer for For All You Have Left coming soon!
Inspired by my little, Midwestern hometown, I write about rain on tin roofs, gravel roads, old trucks with holes in the floorboards, small-town summer nights, and most importantly, love.
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. The Life We Almost Had debuted as a best-seller in 2018. Laura's latest small-town romance, The Dream, released in 2019 and is an Amazon #1 Best-seller. Also check out her book of poetry, entitled Love Story, and her children's book, Pay It Forward, available now!