(May 22, 2015) Memorial Day beachgoers must pick up a copy of the second book in a Maryland Shores Trilogy, “Second Chances” this week. The page turner by Lauren Monroe, who lives in Queenstown, Md., was unveiled on Amazon in paperback and Kindle this past Wednesday.
“I want readers to close the book and feel they were taken away into another world, where all their problems are set aside as they escape into the characters’ worlds,” Monroe said.
Ironically, the fiction novel fittingly brings the characters together to celebrate second chances for most of them in Ocean City during Memorial Day Weekend to finish out the book.
“I choose ending the book in Ocean City because when I visited last fall, it was the first time I stayed at a hotel where I had a view of the ocean,” Monroe said. “It was fun to walk the Boardwalk and it’s a shore experience everyone from all surrounding areas and beyond would enjoy.”
“Second Chances” takes readers on a journey through single motherhood, football rivalries, medical and therapy professions, death and intertwining relationships between the characters with the Eastern and Western Shores of Maryland dominating the setting.
“We all make choices, our lives and paths are not linear and there are going to be stormy waters,” Monroe said. “Dependent on what readers have experienced in life, someone going through a divorce can relate more with Liz and others who have experienced loss will get behind Marin. Even the challenges Pam faced in book two can resonate with people.”
She makes sure her characters seem real by adding real-life elements and mistakes people make every day including a one-night stand, a lie that lasted a decade, 9/11, battering hurricane Isabel and Janet Jackson’s nipple slip at the 2004 Super Bowl, to her story lines.
“It means a lot to me when people comment the characters seem real. I write real,” Monroe said.
Both of her fiction novels have been independently published, which has made her a better writer, proof reader, fact checker and improved her vocabulary, she said.
“Countless hours go into independently publishing a book with the different proof copies and fact checking nautical themes, medical lingo and dialog or consulting emergency doctors and nurses. Being a former journalist, everything must be accurate,” Monroe said.
It takes her about a year in between fiction novels to give the appropriate time to write and edit, which means her third installment of The Maryland Shores series should be on shelves sometime in 2016.
Lauren Monroe is the fiction pen name for Loriann Oberlin, a therapist with two offices in Maryland. She has published nine non-fiction books including the staple in many book stores, “Surviving Separation and Divorce.”
She started writing the Maryland Shore series during the 1990s and shelved it for a while. Monroe needed more life experiences, to hone her writing and gain confidence to go through with the long process, she said.
Attending the Bay to Ocean Writers Conference in 2013 was a huge inspiration for her because she was able to see numerous colleagues taking the independent publishing route.
“I just wanted to try and have fun with it,” she said. “I tell my clients at work all day long to find something they like to do with people who have common interests and I felt I had to take my own advice.”
Her first novel in the series, “Letting Go” and “Second Chances” can be purchased in paperback and on Kindle at Amazon.com. The Hallmark News Center in West Ocean City has a limited number of copies.
On Saturday, Monroe will be signing copies of her novel at the News Center in Easton from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more information, visit www.laurenmonroenovels.com.