Monday, November 19, 2012

@GoddessFish: Guest Post & #Giveaway with Laurie Larsen - Keeper By Surprise

Welcome to BK Walker Books Etc. Laurie! Laurie is currently on tour with Goddess Fish Promotions with her book, Keeper by Surprise. Laurie will be awarding promo items at each stop so be sure to leave a comment with your email, lucky commenter from her tour will receive their choice of Kindle or Nook Basic. Good Luck.

Welcome Laurie! We're ready for you...

Craziest Thing/Idea Ever Wrote About
  Guest:  Laurie Larsen, author of Keeper by Surprise

BK, thank you for having me as your guest blogger today.  I’ve really enjoyed browsing through your wonderful content.  You definitely know how to party and entertain here!
Readers, BK thought you’d enjoy hearing about the craziest thing I’ve ever written about, whether it was published or not.  I really had to wrack my brain to come up with something, because my writing is not what you’d call crazy.  I don’t write about zombies or ghosts or vampires or anything like that.  My tagline is, “Everyday life with just a touch of worst case scenario.”  

But never fear!  I do have a crazy story to tell you about my early writing career.  It’s actually the story of how I first got published.  It was back in the dark ages before our years had a “2” on them!  I had written my first manuscript, opened up a huge reference book full of publishers, closed my eyes and pointed to one … and decided that publisher was a perfect fit!  I printed out and mailed my chapters and a query, and lo and behold, got a request for a full manuscript.  With shaky breath I mailed it off, sending along with it a little prayer for success.  According to the publisher, I should hear something sometime around February of 2000.

In my newbie naiveté, I was convinced that I would hear something from this publisher ON February 1.  I had it circled on my calendar and everything.  They had wanted an email address to contact me with, but back in the dark ages, I didn’t even have an email address.  But my mother did!  Well, sort of.  Do you remember an old invention called “Web TV?”  You got a keyboard that connected to your television and you could actually get email through it.  I had given this publisher my mother’s web TV address and figured she would keep me informed.
That is, until their annual trek down south came along, the time every year that they escape the cold winter of the Midwest and head to the beach.  Can you blame them?  So, armed with their house key, I drove across town every few days to check the web TV and, oh yeah, water the plants while I was there.  (I’m such a dutiful daughter.)  On February 1, a coating of snow covered the ground.  I parked in their driveway and tromped to the front door.  I went inside, pulled up the web TV, and … no dice. No email from the publisher. Oh well, good things are worth waiting for. I headed back to the car.

I came back a few days later and despite digging through my purse, my car tray, my glove compartment and my coat pocket, I couldn’t for the life of me locate my parents’ house key. Frustrated with myself, I went home, where I proceeded to tear my house apart, looking for the stupid key.  Which I NEVER found.

A few days later I got a phone call from the sheriff of my parents’ neighborhood.  Knowing when my parents leave for the winter, he was making his rounds, stopped by my parents’ house and got out of his car.  Looking down at the now melted, wet pavement of their driveway, something sparkled at him in the sunlight.  Picking it up, he saw that it was a house key.  And that it opened the front door!  Not real secure. He checked their records and saw that I was their contact person.
I raced over and refrained from hugging and kissing the man.  After proving who I was, I grabbed the key, raced inside and waited torturous moments for Web TV to pull up.  My delight turned to horror when I saw that the publisher had sent not ONE, not TWO, but THREE emails!
The first, “We love your manuscript and want to offer you a publishing contract,” (I’m paraphrasing).  “Contact us in the next 48 hours if you’re interested.”

The second, “Second notice that if you want us to publish your book, you have 24 hours to respond.”

And OH HORRORS the third, “We didn’t hear from you, but …”  I didn’t even wait to read THE BUT!  I immediately responded to each and every email practically SCREAMING at them that I wanted the contract!  Then I printed it out and took it to the Post Office and mailed it overnight so they’d get it in the morning.  No way was I going to miss out on this!
And I didn’t.  That book became my first published book, Whispers of the Heart.  The book that made me a published author and changed my life forever.  And guess what, that first email did actually arrive on Feb 1! What’s the odds of that?

Now, I’m celebrating the release of my seventh book, Keeper by Surprise, the story of Keith Hanson, a carefree college student loving life away from under the thumb of a strict upbringing when suddenly, everything changes.  He’s named guardian over his three siblings when Mom and Dad die in a car accident.  You’ll cry, you’ll laugh and you’ll root for Keith as he rises to the challenges of his new responsibilities.  Good thing beautiful Lisa Carle, the social worker assigned to his case, is there to help him and steal his heart.  She’s a woman to be reckoned with!

So, in the Comments, please tell me … what’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you that turned out with a happy ending?  Or just stop by the Comment board to say hi.  I will be drawing a name from my Commenters for a small prize today.  Thanks so much for having me!

 Laurie Larsen is the EPIC Award-winning author of Preacher Man, Best Spiritual Romance of 2010. To date, she has published seven books in the romance and women’s fiction genres, including one Young Adult romance.  Keeper by Surprise is her latest release.  She lives in the Midwest with a strenuous day job, a husband of more than two decades, two amazing sons and Gracie the Wonder Dog. To keep up with Laurie and her books, visit her at  , on Twitter or Facebook.

FREE READ on Smashwords



Author co-op:


Life changes forever for Keith Hanson when his parents’ will declares him guardian over his three younger siblings. His new responsibilities are challenging, but he’s even less prepared to fall in love with Lisa Carle, a social worker with a devastating secret.


Excerpt One:

From Chapter One:

Keith pulled up in front of the Alpha Chi Omega house and parked. He tugged at the torturous bowtie and started up the sidewalk, then trotted up the steps to the massive front door. Once inside the sorority house, he gazed around the extravagant foyer. The walls were lined with scarlet velvet and the plush carpet was olive green. A huge vase of red carnations sat on the circular table occupying the center of the foyer. The house had always seemed to him like a metaphor for the girls who lived inside. Beautiful, classy, and just a tad out of his reach.

A movement at the top of the stairway captured his attention. Carly. He turned and his breath caught in his throat. He knew he was gawking at her as she began to descend the stairs. He couldn’t help it. She was gorgeous. She stepped gracefully onto the massive staircase and paused to giggle at his reaction.

My God, that dress. It was absolutely perfect on her. The emerald color gave her a regal look and it was form-fitting in all the right places. Like her breasts. And her tiny waist. Her auburn hair fell in graceful curls around her shoulders. As she reached the bottom of the stairs, she turned away from him to brush the floor-length skirt and he caught a glimpse of the back of the dress. His heart quickened when he saw how low-cut it was. Her entire back was exposed in a V pattern, leaving absolutely no doubt in his mind there was no barrier between her skin and that fabric.

“Your mouth is hanging open, you know.”

Goddess Fish Partner


BK said...

Thank you so much for the great post today Laurie :)

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today.

Catherine Lee said...

I love your story...and how wonderful that your first manuscript, that went to your first selected publisher, got accepted. WOW...that's incredible!

I don't know if this is crazy, but at the age of 36 (also in the dark ages before our years started with a "2"), I was diagnosed with leukemia. I had no symptoms. I had a routine physical and my doctor said, "Your white count is a little high." That started an interesting journey to a hematologist...who told me pretty quickly that I did NOT have leukemia. After months (9 months, to be specific) of various tests, he told me that I DID have leukemia. Next month will make 14 years that I've been leukemia-free after a bone marrow transplant. SO, it was kind of crazy, and whirlwind, and did turn out with a very happy ending.

Unknown said...

great post by the author! and the book sounds really sweet!

Unknown said...

Good morning everyone! BK, thanks so much for hosting me today. Can't wait to interact with you and your wonderful readers.

Catherine, great to see you again! What a story about your leukemia diagnosis, and what an emotional roller coaster! That definitely qualifies as everyday life with a touch of worst case scenario.

Rhomy, thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you'll check out Keeper by Surprise. :)


Dawn Christine Simmons (Khan) said...

The story behind your first story is a great one too Laurie!! WOW it is really not so rare that your first manuscript would be picked up from your first random guess of a publishing company were it not for SOME sort of divine guideance and talent.. I know you have BOTH and I cant wait to hear more stories.

Craziest story that turned out best for me? We are celebrating the anniversary of it THIS MOMENT:

November 2009: I traveled 8,000 miles, as a single woman to a third world country I had NEVER been to, to deliver a message to my best friend, who had been in a coma and was not expected to live. He could not talk on the phone, nor read email, and there was no mail/package delivery in his district. I wanted to tell him whether he lived or died I appreciated his positive role in our lives. 10 days in Bangladesh, I did not see him because he was hospitalized in his district, and the "trials" of the mutiny were going on.. I spent my last days sequestered to my hotel room with the windows closed and snipers on the roof across from me!! It turned out well however, I returned the next March and married him.. He lived, and we will live happily ever after!

Unknown said...

Oh Dawn, thank you so much for that inspirational story. Love really does conquer all, doesn't it?? Thanks for stopping by and thanks for your support. :)


Teddy Rose said...

Wow, what an exciting story of getting your first book published!

Unknown said...

Teddy Rose, thanks so much for stopping by! Yes, it was quite a story and always a crowd-pleaser at book signings. Ha ha. Hope you'll check out my Keeper by Surprise. :)


RT Wolfe said...

Oh my gosh, that was funny. And look at you now! Woo hoo!
-R.T. Wolfe

Unknown said...

Thanks RT! From such auspicious beginnings, ha ha. Thanks for stopping by tonight! :)


M.J. Schiller, Romance Author said...

Hey, Laurie! Love this excerpt and the premise of your book. What moving stories you have here in the comments, too. My gracious!

Craziest thing that ever happened to me that turned out good...I met this guy in a bar one night--no, hold on! This is going to be good, and moving, like everyone else's.I came home and told my roommate that I had just met the man I was going to marry. Having seen me fall into and out of love several times my first semester of college she gave me that "yeah, right!" look and bet me a steak dinner I was wrong.

She still hasn't paid up, and we've been married over 24 years!

Yeah, that turned out right. ( :

Unknown said...

Hey Mary! That's a fantastic "happily ever after" story. There's no rule saying you can't meet the love of your life in a bar. I met my husband in "The Bebop Cafe" -- a bar offering unlimited drinks and buffet for $5 cover charge. My friends and I went there every Friday night after work. One night, our paths crossed because he was there with his friends. We dated for 2 years and we've been married for 23!

Thanks for visiting!


Unknown said...

Well, I can't thank you enough for welcoming to the BKWalker blog. I had so much fun today. Thanks to those of you who posted a Comment. I will draw a winner of a prize packet of my promo materials today, and I will put everyone's name in a drawing for a free e-reader of the winner's choice at the end of my promo tour.

And without further adieu, the winner of my promo prize packet is ... Rhomy PP!!

Congrats Rhomy. I need you to contact me at to claim your prize and give me your mailing address.

Good night all!