Celebrating two things today!
1.) Four years of marriage to my best friend, the man who deserves his name on all my covers, Mr. Tim Tash. I love you, honey! Thank you for inspiring all the good men in my books! You are my hero.
2.) A relaunch for Bird After Bird. I love the latest cover and feel like it deserves to be promoted, so let’s do this in style! Keep reading for some Teaser Tuesday exclusives, including a Laurie photo collage!
Hey, here’s a recent review of Bird After Bird… “When a book is 308 pages and a total of 75 chapters the last thing you expect to do is read it in a day and a half but this book is one of those books that pull you in.” Read the rest here.
And without further ado, here’s Laurie Byrd!
Laurie’s character was inspired by a lot of people, some real, some fictional. My husband with his army stories and love for dogs was a huge influence. Laurie’s brooding, artistic, independent personality owes a debt to Kevin Costner’s portrayal of Garret Blake in Message in a Bottle, and if I’m totally honest, Josh Lucas’ turn as Jake Perry in Sweet Home Alabama may have contributed, as well.
My friend Paula who does search & rescue with her border collie fed a lot of Laurie’s backstory. Oh, and let’s not forget he’s named for the boy next door in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women! Mostly, though, he’s just the kind of man I’ve known all my life. A quiet, sensitive Indiana boy who takes everything to heart, but who has learned the hard way that a man can’t wear his heart on his sleeve without paying a high price. Everything changes for him when he meets Wren Riley. There is no longer comfort in solitude, no longer grief in his voice. His heart is awakened for the first time as an adult, and he’s emboldened by the lessons he’s learned from his past, now wise enough not to let a chance at happiness slip away. Once he’s given his heart to Wren, will they mend one another’s broken wings, or will she fly?
And how about an excerpt?
He gently turned me around and lifted the back of the tee. His fingers traced the tattoo on my lower back. Normally I didn’t feel the need to explain my ink to anyone. It was personal. I felt an unfamiliar desire to share everything with Laurie, though. “A tramp stamp. Yeah. It seemed like a good idea at the time.”
“I’m not judging,” he said.
It was a swallow, Sailor Jerry style.
“I didn’t find yours last night.”
“What, a tattoo?”
“Yeah. Don’t all soldiers get tattoos?”
He shook his head. “Thought about it, when I graduated Basic. Couldn’t find anything I’d want for the rest of my life, though. Yours is nice. Suits you.”
I laughed. “You think?”
“Sure. I mean, I’d expect a wren, but the swallow is cool. Does it have a meaning?”
“The tattoo artist said it meant ‘freedom.’ That sailors used to get them before their first long voyage, and then one to match at the end.”
“Why would they do that?”
“Supposedly, the swallow would carry their souls home if they drowned.”
“Wow.” He let my tee drop. “Well, we’ll stay away from the lake tonight, just in case, okay?”
So, what’s the deal with that tattoo? Does Wren’s soul find its way home to Laurie’s heart?