Lo­cal au­thor to sign books at Queen­stown out­lets Satur­day

Record Observer - - NEWS -

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.

HAN­NAH COMBS

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.

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