Local author to sign books at Queenstown outlets Saturday
QUEENSTOWN — Lauren Monroe, author of The Maryland Shores women’s fiction series, will greet book-buying customers, looking for ideal gifts this holiday season on Saturday afternoon, Dec. 22, at the Book Warehouse at Queenstown Premium Outlets.
Monroe, who in real life is Loriann Oberlin, therapist and non-fiction author, has written two books in her series thus far, which is popular among Chesapeake women’s fiction fans. She is busy working on a third novel. With a smile, she said that since publishing these, many men have gifted one or both novels to the women in their lives.
“According to a 2009 study in the UK, reading even six minutes per day is enough to reduce stress levels by more than two thirds. It slowed down heart rate and eased tense muscles in those study subjects,” she said. “What’s more, other postgraduate research explored how readers had advanced social skills and more empathy because they tried to fill in the gaps on the page and understand what characters were up against.”
Wearing her therapist hat, Oberlin said understanding is often what human relationships are about and what makes them challenging. She stressed that she always tries to write real scenarios as well as authentic character traits in her books.
“Reading provides a distraction from your own problems,” she said. “It can also validate that sense of universality, that you’re not alone in feeling how you do or in facing life struggles.” Readers often identify new solutions or see things from another perspective. There’s also fun in merely reading about familiar scenery and pastimes.
“Letting Go: The Maryland Shores (Book One)” takes place mostly on the Annapolis side of the Chesapeake during the anxious year after 9/11 when a young widow attempts to rebuild her life.
“Second Chances: The Maryland Shores (Book Two)” features a family living on Kent Island. All is well until it is not. Amid Chesapeake boating and cheering the Ravens or Steelers, characters face unexpected hardship through historic storms, a hurricane and much drama. The plots of both books intertwine with themes of loss, intricacies of workplace dating, and difficult people who stand in front of their goals, even their happy holidays.
Oberlin recently co-wrote “Overcoming Passive-aggression” about dealing with difficult people. She will have this book plus tip sheets at the Book Warehouse signing. In addition, Oberlin launched “Writing to Make Money: Short Projects,” first in a series of how to make additional income on the side. According to Forbes, by 2020, half of U.S. workers will be employed in what’s known as the gig economy. Oberlin’s series paves the way for writers, students and small business people with knowledge and stories to share.
For those who cannot make the Dec. 22 signing for a personalized copy, the author has websites with fun gift ideas and all of her book links at www.laurenmonroenovels.com as well as www.loriannoberlin.com/books.
Author Lori Oberlin, pen name Lauren Monroe, talks about her newest book in her Chesapeake Shores series during Heck with the Malls in Centreville Dec. 8.