Time to “Shake Things Up” – and publish it too!

In my New Year’s post I talked about shaking things up this new Year. I intend to do just that, but maybe in different ways than some do.

Late 2013 and 2014 marked a period of drastic career change for me. I went from working part time for a number of years while my son was younger, to freelance, and now returning to my career in a full time and-then-some capacity. That alone tested my routines and comforts beyond what I could have imagined. Now, still not entirely living in a “comfort zone,” I do feel like I’m getting the hang of it. That brings me back to what I’m going to do.

They say you use the two sides of your brain for different things. One for creativity and one for analytics. I say I use my whole brain for creativity and my whole brain for analytics. A demanding career can be overwhelming and has at times, but creativity can coexist.

Writing novels is never easy, story-lines don’t always come to me in the shower (although sometimes) and it’s certainly not in my comfort zone. It’s hard work, beautiful, but hard work. Four published novels later I always wonder if I’ve seen the last of it. I’ve written many stories, but some are on a path to publish while others were just for me. It’s the one that continually nags at you that finds it way on Amazon. For me it’s a spin-off. For years I’ve been nagged by my Call Me Emily character “Colin.” Colin resonated with me in a way other characters just tickled me. This man, so loving and selfless, yet in his journey with Emily did not find his happily ever after.

My plan to reconnect with Colin and maybe some other characters from the series is exciting. And no, not in a comfortable way. I’ll post pieces of the new novel here as they come to me and share with you the journey. I’m looking forward to it.


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Who need enemies when you have shirt-tail relatives?

Amazon reviewIt is the season for kindness and giving. Well, that’s what I thought. Let me paint a picture for you. Yesterday evening I’m scrolling through books to download on my Kindle and momentarily wander to the Emily Series to check on my sweet books. When to my surprise there is an additional review for both Call Me Emily and Emily Calls It. With one click and a scroll I see it’s one word, “boring” and one star. My heart immediately sank until the name associated with the review caught my eye. Donna Rhama. Better known as AUNT DONNA. I spent the last twelve hours completely offended and angry. I couldn’t believe a woman who had spent time with my family for the better part of my adolescence would post something so negative. Then I spoke to my mother. Clearly there was a falling out I wasn’t a part of. Still an attack was thrown my way. So I ask, dedicated readers, please add a review to Call Me Emily and Emily Calls It on Amazon.com to bury this silly attempt to upset me and my family. I will be ever grateful. (And if you feel like it, add one to Emily’s Calling and Meet Emily.)

Your friend,


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Call Me Emily


When Emily Parker leaves her small hometown in the late 1980s for California West University, she thinks she has it all figured out. But when manipulation, vanity, and pleasure enter her life in the form of a whirlwind college romance, will she stay true to herself? Add the watchful eye of an older brother who also attends Cal West, friends who care too much, a strenuous class load and part-time job, and throw in a young, interested professor. Emily’s path to adulthood challenges her at every turn.

Released in paperback and Kindle – Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble for Nook:
Smashwords for all other digital downloads including HTML, .pdf and iPad:

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It’s Not You…It’s Me!

I have been a remiss blogger. I know. I hang my head in shame.

To update you, The Emily Series is still my first love, but life has thrown me some curve-balls as of late, and I have been focusing on a new job. I love it, but it takes most of my time and all of the energy that I would otherwise give The Emily Series and subsequent novels.

But hey, it’s summer and when I think of warm summers and long ago loves, I think of Meet Emily. If you haven’t read the final novel in The Emily Series, now’s the time. Here’s a little teaser:

When Emily Parker returns to her hometown after several years, she’s reminded of the rolling hills and captivating quiet, the fond memories of growing up and one lost love. Years of relationships falling short behind her, she’s finally happy on her own. So why when she makes the turn into her hometown does she think of that one boy, that one relationship that only lasted the span of a summer but stayed on her mind over the years? Why have all other relationships paled in comparison?

Two Rivers

Introducing  Christian

   I was impressed, but he brushed it off as if it was no great feat. We laughed and talked about so many things, yet really nothing at all. We stood by the water and skipped rocks, counting how many skips the rocks made.

“So these are two separate rivers?” he asked.

“Yeah. See over there?” I pointed. “See where they come together?”

He leaned in closer to me and looked down my arm. “Oh, Yeah I see it,” he replied stepping back just a half step. “But then …”

I looked over my shoulder at him knowing what he was seeing. “Then they separate. I know.”

“So they don’t meet up again?” he asked.

“No, they only come together here.” I dusted my hands off against my legs and moved away from the water’s edge. I sat back against a tree and crossed my legs. He moved in beside me.

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For You Locals – The Emily Series Available at Wildflower

For all of you Auburn folks The Emily Series is now in stores. OK, a store, let’s not nit pick. Wildflower in downtown Auburn now carries Call Me Emily, Emily Calls It, Emily’s Calling and Meet Emily. My teen fiction series is perfect for anyone, but that special teen in your life that is just about to embark on one of the most tumultuous and exciting times in their lives – College – would love the Emily Series.
Wildflower is located in downtown Auburn at 809 Lincoln Way.

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As graduation season is now upon us, I find myself revisiting (as if I ever left) the pages of Call Me Emily. A gift for a friend just starting her journey, I signed a few words of encouragement and wrapped it up for her. She’s bright, full of promise and ready to take on the world, just like Emily.

This is such a wonderful time in her life. The excitement is overflowing and the possibilities are endless. She’ll be tested, for sure, but bright young women always come out on top. To all the young people ending their time as children and beginning to live as adults: I raise my glass to you.



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Call Me Emily: 3 1/2 Stars by Bookend Reviews

I about fell out of my chair when I saw that Call Me Emily had been reviewed. And 3 1/2 stars. Not bad…

Here is a quick excerpt from the review, but please read the full review here. One small correction. The review mentions “Jose.” She means “Joel.”

Call Me Emily – Laura Albright * * * 1/2

Oh, Emily….You made the biggest mistake. The mistake that 90%* of the female population makes at one point or another. “Call Me Emily” is a coming of age story through the 1990 college years. Emily is starting her first year at a southern California University. She begins settling in and making friends and one night she meets Graham. Everything changes.

I’m glad that Emily made the choices she made in the end and I’ve marked book two on my “to read” list.

Bookend Reviews

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Call Me Emily Giveaway

If you haven’t yet picked up your copy of Call Me Emily, enter to win the giveaway at Goodreads.com. Starting now, the giveaway ends February 15th.

Enjoy this excerpt. Emily and her friend Allison take in their first club scene. And guess who’s there…

The Club

“There it is,” I said pointing at the club.
“Wow, it’s busy.” Allison rolled up her window and smoothed her hair back into
“I know, look at all those people outside,” I said. As I parked the car, I noticed they
were lined up to get in. This should be interesting. We walked over to the line, which
seemed not to be moving at all. I glanced up watching the line, as if that alone would
make it go faster. Then I saw him and looked down quickly.
“What?” she asked.
“Oh,” I paused for a second, wondering if I should say anything. “I just saw this guy
from my Spanish class. It’s kind of embarrassing.”

Read on for this…“Thank you for the dance.” Without hesitation but with a sense of entitlement he lifted my hand to his lips.
“Well, then you definitely need to spill it.” We moved up as the line moved, and I
followed Allison, trying to stay behind her.
“The first day of class he was sitting in front of me, and when he passed me the stack
of, um, syllabus things – I dropped them all over the floor. I’m such a klutz.”
“You dropped some papers. What’s so embarrassing about that?”
“I’m clumsy. I’d like to forget it.” All I could think: could I be more of a dork?
“Hey. Maybe he’ll let us move up,” Allison said jokingly, smacking my arm and
craning her neck to see him. “Which one is he?”
“Knock it off, he’ll see you,” I muttered, shrinking even further behind her.
During this little fiasco, the line moved until we were almost in front. When we got
inside, I relaxed. It was pretty dark. There was no way I was going to run into him. But
despite the challenge I squinted and looked around. The scene was quite a sight. The
cliques had their varying styles. The Billy Idol wanna-bes were grouped together
bouncing on the dance floor. And I could have sworn the Miami Vice look was out, but I
wasn’t going to tell the group to my left. The boom of the speakers shook the half-full
glasses on the bar causing the ice to settle. I thought I smelled a hint of cloves, but I
didn’t see anyone smoking where I was standing. Allison touched my arm and walked
ahead of me toward the bar. I followed, licking my lips and thinking of a cold soda.
Allison immediately spotted Heather and Melinda from the Beta T house, waving at them
to join us.
“So, Allison, see anyone here you want to dance with?” Heather asked, with a teasing
jab to Allison’s ribs. Allison laughed and flipped her hair a little. Oh, nice move.
Normally I detested such transparent flirting gestures, but a couple of guys turned her
way, so it must work. I turned to Melinda. I thought maybe I could strike up a
conversation with her, but stopped cold when I saw her chewing her straw and smiling in
typical blank-faced glamazon fashion. Wow, they were good.
While we talked and sipped our drinks, I noticed several guys watching our group but
no one approached. Taking the last sip of my soda, I set it on the table beside us. As I
pulled my arm back I felt it graze someone. I jerked away. It was crowded, dark and loud,
a combination that made it difficult to see, hear, or even feel what was going on.
“Excuse me.” I said to whomever could hear me.
“No problem.” A deep voice.
The crowd parted just a little and I saw a tall, dark-haired guy walk two steps toward
me between tables. He had a wide smile, perfectly straight teeth, and warm brown eyes. I
knew him.
He lifted his drink, and pointed his glass at me. “You are in my Spanish class, aren’t
“Yes. I think so,” I said as if I wasn’t really sure. Lie. Lie. Lie.
“Yeah, you were supposed to translate my syllabus.” He waited for me to reply. “It’s
Graham, remember?” He looked at me expectantly. “So do you have a name or should I
just call you Spanish Girl?”
“Sorry, it’s Emily.” I extended my hand to shake his; he switched his drink to the
other hand and reached for mine. His handshake was strong at first, then he relaxed it a
little, continuing to hold my hand in his. I looked him over. He was dressed, I guess I
would have to say, preppy. His jeans were dark and clearly new. His crisp white shirt had
the collar folded outside his black jacket. His dark hair was combed just so, with the front
pushed up.
“Who’s your friend, Emily?” Heather asked, interjecting herself into our
conversation. I was slightly annoyed; not because she interrupted us, but because she
slipped her arm around my shoulder as if we had been best friends for years. I wanted to
shrug off her arm, but that would’ve been rude.
With the interruption, we let go of each other’s hands. “This is Graham…” I gave him
a blank stare.
“Graham Mitchell,” He finished for me. “I’m in Emily’s Spanish class.”
“I’m Heather Michaels.” She extended her hand, in princess style, fingers pointed
slightly toward the floor, soft and gentle. I looked down to hide the smile creeping across
my face. Graham reached for her hand with a firm shake then let it drop. Heather looked
positively put out by this. I couldn’t have been more pleased.
“So Emily, would you like to dance?” he asked before Heather could continue.
“Yes, I would.” I guess a friendly dance couldn’t hurt. I turned to meet Allison’s gaze
so she would know where I was going.
Graham set down his glass and reached for my hand. He cupped his hand around
mine but held only one of my fingers and pulled me through the crowd. We snaked
around groups of people talking, couples dancing, and people making their way to the bar
before we found a spot on the dance floor. He turned to me and put one of his hands
along my waist. He leaned in and started to move to the music. I took a step back as if it
was part of a dance move, and he dropped his hand. I was always surprised that dancing
was a way to get close to someone you hardly knew. It was intimate…and I wasn’t ready.
As we danced he leaned in a couple of times with his hand on my waist again in an
attempt to talk. It was too loud. I only caught about every other word. My replies
consisted of “What?” – “Pardon?” and “I didn’t get that.”
When the song ended he took my hand again, this time wrapping his whole hand
around mine and led me to the bar.
“I’m thirsty, aren’t you?” he asked as he pulled me around to face him.
“Sure.” I shrugged, indicating I was fine either way.
He ordered drinks and leaned an elbow on the bar, waiting for the bartender.
“So what’s your story, Emily?” he asked, with just a hint of a smirk. He was
confident, bordering on arrogant, and warm and inviting all at the same time. Handsome
with an edge. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but there was something there.
“My story?” Our drinks arrived and I took a sip of 7 Up, keeping my eyes on his.
“There’s not much to tell.” I planned to keep up the flirty behavior, but he interrupted
“I doubt that.”
I took another sip of my drink, and let the silence between us hang for a second or
two. Fine, I guess, I could tell him my “story.”
“Well, I recently moved here from northern California. What about you?
“I’m a local. I grew up in Santa Monica mainly. It’s my second year. I take it you and
your friends are freshmen?”
“Yeah,” I said as if I was ashamed.
“Is the girl with the blond short hair your roommate? I noticed the look you gave
“Not my roommate. She’s a friend. We came together.”
“So, you know. I really could use a Spanish study partner. What do you think?”
I let the question rattle around in my head for a few seconds, “Sure.” I had expected
the subject to come up again at some point.
Just then someone touched my shoulder.
“There you are. Heather and Melinda want us to go to this frat party. You’re not
ready to go are you?” I wasn’t sure exactly what Allison meant. Did that mean she was or
wasn’t ready to go?
I saw a guy I hadn’t seen before in tow behind Allison. Evidently she had met
someone. There were several guys and a few girls behind him so I presumed it was a
group associated with the Beta T house.
“Oh, if you’re ready to go then I am.” I said. Allison nodded that she was ready. I
was having a good time with Graham but I was there with Allison, so I needed to stick
with her. I hadn’t been to a fraternity party, and I was interested in seeing what all the
fuss was about.
I turned to Graham. “Thanks for the dance and the soda. I think we’re taking off.”
He leaned in so that only I could hear him. “Thank you for the dance.” Without
hesitation but with a sense of entitlement he lifted my hand to his lips. I was a little
surprised by the gesture, and couldn’t help but like it. When I turned back to Allison her
mouth had dropped open. I cleared my throat, and she turned to lead the way from the
“See you in class… Spanish Girl.” I turned back with what I hoped was a confident



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Call Me Emily and Emily Calls It Book Release Party

Thank you so much to all that joined me for the release of my first two books, Call Me Emily and Emily Calls It. Among food, Alehouse Microbrew and wine, fun was had by all. And I even read an excerpt from Call Me Emily.






Friends were met by this lovely poster, then with drink and plate in hand they met me at the signing table for autographed copies.







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