#FREE BOOKS!

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2020!
LMNO Press will give away one paperback copy of each of my books on January 1, 2020. Just comment on which book you’d like to receive and a random drawing will be made on New Year’s Day!
Here are your choices:
1. OR NOT TO BE, a love story for the cynical geek.
2. INFINITY LINE, opposite of The Handmaid’s Tale: females in charge, men controlled, family and love be damned.
3. I LIKE TREES LIKE THESE, a children’s science picture book about the wonder of trees.
How to enter: Spread the word! Tweets and comments! Tweet about this unconventional giveaway on Twitter and tag me @lauralanni and state why you’d like to win the book you choose. You may enter for each book, but must enter individually for each. If you are not on Twitter, you may simply comment here–which book and why. LMNO Press will round up all kinds of entries.
FINE PRINT
Deadline to enter 1/1/2020 11:59 pm EST.
The Kindle version of OR NOT TO BE  and INFINITY LINE are available in place of the paperback at the winner’s discretion. These novels are both also available to read for free in #kindleunlimited. The children’s book, I LIKE TREES LIKE THESE, is only available in paperback.
Entries (tweets, comments) that do not specify a book choice will be excluded.
Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery. Paperback copies only available to addresses in the continental United States. Kindle versions available to anyone with an email address.
Always read the fine print.
#asktheauthor
#giveaway by #indie press

Peeling an apple in one coil, reading a love story, laughing while we cry: things women do

Peeling an apple in one coil, reading a love story, laughing while we cry: things women do

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The light of the bright fall afternoon shines through the windows at the back of our house and glances off Bethany’s glasses as she peels apples, slowly, each in one long coil. She mixes butter with flour, not gently. Clouds of the white dust waft around my kitchen. Eventually, each speck succumbs to gravity, settling upon any horizontal surface that will stop its fall and convert kinetic back to potential energy.

My daughter is the only functioning body in the place. The cat sleeps on the heating vent with his long, bushy tail shielding the day from his eyes. Joey must be under his bed again. Eddie hasn’t moved from the blue chair yet. The stubble on his chin is graying. I imagine his breath is deadly. He is pathetic. I should feel sympathy for him because he looks like he could use a hug. But I don’t. I can’t yet because I don’t understand his reaction to my death. I wish I could have hugged him and made him smile more while I was alive, but we squandered our time together. Regrets overwhelm me.

I watch my Eddie frown when he smells the apples and cinnamon from the kitchen. I know he’s thinking about me, about us. I try to stay away, but he pulls me into his thoughts with the same magnetic intensity as when he pulled me into his arms thousands of times, still never enough, when I lived.

Anna?

Cinnamon reminds me of you. I can’t go into the kitchen. With both of his large hands, he rubs his face hard and blows out his breath.

| | | |

Enticed by the good smells from the kitchen, Joey creeps down the stairs and climbs up on the step stool. He leans to Bethany for a hug. She starts to cry when she hugs him back. She sits him in a pile of flour on the counter. Joey is alarmed by her tears; now that his sister has started to cry, she can’t seem to stop. She wipes her face on the belly of his shirt and gives him an apple slice slathered in sugar and cinnamon.

He takes in the mess of flour and butter she’s concocting and asks shyly, “Apple squares?” He pops the chunk of apple into his mouth.

Bethany nods as she wipes her nose on her sleeve and eats a slice, too. Joey thinks he can help her stop crying. He says with a full mouth, “Hey, Bethy, hold your tongue and say apple.” He shines his wicked grin on her.

Bethany sticks out her tongue and holds it and says, “Athole,” and Joey loses himself in giggles. Eddie hears the sound from the other room, and we both think at the same instant: My children are laughing?

Now, I have left them all. It was not my intention, and I am infinitely pissed. Given a second chance at that choice, now I would have stayed home on Friday, November eleventh. I would’ve tried harder to stay on the same team as Eddie to keep us from falling apart.

As I watch my children, I feel like they are holding my heart.

Death really hurts.

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Excerpts from Chapter 4 of OR NOT TO BE

© 2014 Laura Lanni

used with permission from LMNO Press

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A note from the author

My debut novel OR NOT TO BE will turn 5 years old on Monday 11/11/19 and some of you have neither read it yet nor gifted it (wrapped in glittery paper and a big bow) to your sister or best friend for Christmas or her birthday. Here’s your incentive to pull this story to the top of your TBR pile.

For one day only (11/11/19) the Kindle version of OR NOT TO BE will be available for FREE! Click here.

BUT WAIT. THERE’S MORE! Suppose you read this tragic love story and LOVE IT (or like it quite a bit or even very much). Then you’ll surely want a copy of the paperback to gift to someone you love. So here’s a second and even better offer for OR NOT TO BE fans: Post your review of OR NOT TO BE to Amazon.com or Goodreads or both. Send a link to your review to me on Goodreads (lauralanni) or email lauralanni2014@gmail.com, and we’ll arrange payment and shipping details. If you do all of this, LMNO Press will send you two copies of the paperback for $11.11, free shipping (of course) to anywhere in the continental US. What a great BOGO.

This BOGO paperback offer will last until 50 pairs of copies are claimed or 11/25/19 at 11:11 am EST, whichever comes first, so get started with your #free #Kindle copy on 11/11/19! Limit two (2) paperback copies (for $11.11) per customer. Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery. Permission to share reviews is granted by all who participate. Always read the fine print.

FREE BOOKS!

In the spirit of the tax free weekend, on August 4 and 5, 2018 INFINITY LINE on Kindle will be available for free (to a good home)!

But that’s not all. Act fast and you could also get the Kindle version of my debut, OR NOT TO BE, also for free on the same two days. (You know how the big sister wants what the baby gets, right? Well, ONTB heard IL was flying off the shelves and wants in. Can’t shut her up. Can’t have one book thinking the other is my favorite. They’re both my favorite. Good for you though: they’ll both be free. But only for TWO DAYS.)

So call your friends and your mom and sister and tell them to get these free books! While your kids are at school, perhaps you’ll have time to READ!

INFINITY LINE, just released on 8.1.18, can be found here.

front cover Infinity Line

In 2072, in a once vibrant metropolis on the eastern coast of what used to be America, biochemist Dr. Lorelei Fletcher hunts men.

In a world gone insane with hatred, somebody has to do it.

 

 

 

 

OR NOT TO BE, my debut from 11.11.14, can be found here.

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Alive, Anna considered leaving her husband. Dead, she naively believes she has escaped this difficult choice.

How cruel for relationship problems to tag along to the dead side.

How serious must we be?

How serious must we be?

In a dire situation, on a sad day, in a long line, in a boring meeting where the guy beside you is napping and another is playing on his phone, during a stressful final exam–in any situation where it seems everyone else is serious, where it would be politically incorrect to chuckle, guffaw, or even crack a grin…did you ever?

My mind is playful. She thinks of funny connections between ideas. She is immensely entertaining to carry around atop my shoulders. She often tries to send these tidbits to my mouth, and sometimes they escape.

Such events may offend others, and for that I apologize. Perhaps a year ago, some of these random thoughts would’ve been called politically incorrect, but we all know the idea of political correctness has been slain. For an empathetic human, the escape of the funnies may cause embarrassment, regret, or maybe a twinge of guilt.

But later, after careful reflection, just remember that life is a quest for peace. For contentment. We yearn for and despair without the good feelings. And when we are submerged in all-encompassing anger and despair, and when hope seems lost, a subtle reminder to our hearts and minds of goodness, a taste of the sweet, is like a fresh breeze. It brings relief.

So when I obsess on Twitter, and follow a thread to the place where someone I’ve never met simply throws up their hands and spouts humor, I find hope for our species.

Our self-awareness and consciousness gives us a closed loop of think, rethink, look, listen, collect information, hold it up to our opinions, reshape and reanalyze our ideas, and continually mold ourselves. Social media lets us display our self-critique in public, if we are so brave, and our tiny tweets touch others, who react, respond, and send the wave of ideas out in more ripples. (The mathematical web is beautiful.) And then, unexpectedly, in the middle of a battle of good vs bad vs evil vs a blur of human emotion and gut responses, someone is funny. And when that happens, I laugh, and silently thank those brave funny people with a little heart, a click on the favorite, a pat on the back, and encouragement to share.

I periodically check up on (stalk?) a funny woman on Twitter who shares my birthday. She used to be hilarious. Now she is so sad and angry, I worry for her health. I hope she finds a way to laugh until tears wash away her sadness.

A friend told me he saw a play last week that made him laugh for hours. The entire audience roared with glee. Once you laugh, you want more, so the comedy is like a catalytic quip that cracks your stern shell and spills out the need for more and more addictive good feelings. (You are thinking of SNL right now, right?)

This week, try to find some funny. Don’t feel guilty for laughing. You could even BE the funny one.

And to all of my students studying for their exams and frantically trying to meet the homework deadline, have a good weekend.

Surviving chemistry

(Reblogged and revised from 2012 because nothing really changes.)

Dear Student,

You did your best.

In the face of all the stress and burdens that you must deal with in your life, you earned the highest grade you could.

:::APPLAUSE:::

::TEARS::

The chemistry courses which I teach are challenging, but I did not invent chemistry. The depth and beauty of my favorite science, and the ability of our incredible human minds to comprehend it, are reasons to stand in awe of our world, our universe, and ourselves. I do indeed love chemistry and love teaching it. But I’m merely the happy messenger. I deliver the message of chemistry to students like you who choose to take the course. I lay it at your door. You can pick it up and cradle it and grow it into full understanding. Or you can kick it to the curb. Your choice is not in my control.

If you earned an A or B in your chemistry course, feel proud and hold your head high because you have climbed the cliff and tackled a higher order of thinking than rote memorization: you learned to think. You faced down the impossible and succeeded. I stand in awe.

If you did not do quite so well, you likely feel frustrated. Looking for blame. Casting around, pointing that finger. This is understandable, even expected. It is a normal human reaction to disappointment. Let it fester and go ahead and vent: whine and complain to people who will listen, who will nod and rub your back and make you feel better.

They want to believe it wasn’t your fault. We all wish you did better, learned more, deepened the creases and wrinkles in your mind. We all want the same thing. We just don’t agree on how to get there.

Then, after a little rest, take a step back and look at your performance in an objective light and see it for what it truly is: you alone own your grade. Pick it up and take it with you. Hold that A up high like a trophy. Carry that D in your back pocket. It will always exist on your transcript. Under your name. You have full ownership. This will become clear as time passes, as your anger fades and your vision clears.

Don’t give up. Work hard. The prize called success is right around the corner.

Best of luck to all of you.