Tag Archives: Simon and Schuster

Synopsis: Between Thoughts of You

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Between Thoughts of You by Laura K Roe

To be published December 15, 2020 by Archway Simon & Schuster

When two unlikely souls—one fighting to stay alive, the other without a reason to live—miraculously collide, a powerful journey confronting grief and regret begins. 

Hospice nurse Lulua’ina, aka Lulu, has never had a patient quite like the old man. Pops, a 90-year-old Italian-American millionaire and founder of Fig Olive Oil, is near death in his Tuscan villa. He harbors a sixty-year-old secret. Lulu, being half Japanese-Hawaiian and half German, looks stunningly similar to the woman Pops cannot forget: Kiyomi, the daughter of a Japanese general he met and loved after World War II.

During three months together, lucid memories and dreams return to Pops. The old man can see, hear, smell, remember Kiyomi vividly again—and the broken promises he made to her. Regret overwhelms him. The old man’s dying wish to ask Kiyomi for her forgiveness, creates a wellspring of compassion within Lulu, who is heartbroken from betrayal and the loss of her infant daughter.

Lulu befriends Pauli, Pops’s third son the antithesis of her estranged stoic husband. Playful Pauli makes Lulu laugh. Pauli sees Lulu in ways no one else has. He admires her strength and capable care of his father. He respects her innocence and courage. Days after Pauli realizes he loves Lulu, his father dies and Lulu returns to Oahu.

Still compelled by the old man’s unanswered longing, Lulu  goes to New York. She has found Kiyomi’s, and Pauli’s, family—as Kiyomi had been pregnant when Pops left her. Lulu can’t wait to tell Pauli about his father’s secret love, and his family in Tokyo. The odd friends reunite in Manhattan and spend a remarkable twenty four hours together. Lulu finds herself at a crossroads in her journey. Can she find the courage to love again? Or will she, like the old man, push aside true love to pursue a safer path instead? 

Author’s Bio: Laura K Roe is the pen name for Laura Roe Stevens, a freelance writer and editor who has contributed to: The New York Times, Inc., Forbes, Fit Pregnancy, Parenting, Parents, Variety, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlanta Journal & Constitution Sunday opinions page and others. Posts from Laura’s blog, NavigatingVita.com, has led to appearances and interviews with the Dr. Drew’s Life Changer’s show, The Queen Latifah show, CNNfn, Huff Post, on topics ranging from business, to careers, to parenting to dating. Laura has ghost written Forbes opinion pieces and book chapters for CEOs. She has also edited nonfiction, advice, and healthcare books for publishers and authors. A southerner with wanderlust, Laura has lived in New York and London, but now resides by the Pacific Ocean in southern California, where she raises two sons and one ferocious kitten. When not writing, she teaches weekly yoga classes and hosts yearly yoga and writers retreats around the globe. Next 2021 retreat: Maui with heathernamaste.com. 🙂

For more information: www.laurakroe.com 

(To sign up to pre-order a book, and to be entered to win a spot in Laura’s September 2021 Maui Yoga & Writer’s Retreat, go to: LauraKRoe.com. More details soon!)

Embracing the Divine Feminine within a #metoo & Hookup World

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Can we as women embrace the divine feminine within, while also demand to be taken seriously as an intellectual equal of strength and character? Most of my female friends will say, “Hell yes.” But I’m not so sure that my male friends will agree (amongst each other). A woman in a bikini who looks sexy, is also a person who may write articles for the New York Times, or creates legal briefs, or who rocks a baby to sleep. She is a person of infinite depth and has found a way to embrace her health, vitality and beauty, without negating her intellect, strength, and roles within family and society. It’s a delicate balancing act. Just because we want to be taken seriously, doesn’t mean we have to hide our beauty. It is not our fault that desire creates a beast within some men. That’s like saying a girl deserved to be raped if she wore a short skirt. Yet, somehow, I still feel that it is our duty, as women, not to feed that beast and to refrain from behavior that spurs affairs and/or abuse.

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about this. It is wonderful to feel sexy, healthy, vital, energetic—at any age. I also know that whenever I post a picture in a sexy yoga pose, the men who ‘like’ the picture aren’t necessarily reading the Rumi quote or noting my yoga class schedule below it. Right? Women feed into the objectification that is rampant. We do. But that doesn’t mean we deserve to be lied to, cheated on, manipulated, or God forbid, drugged and date-raped. There’s a huge leap in the male thinking brain from: she’s hot, to: I can, and am entitled, to use her as a physical toy and throw her away after. A good friend of mine told me yesterday that her first date after her divorce resulted in being rooffied. She woke up in her ‘date’s bed, not remembering a thing. She had only had one glass of wine at the restaurant. LORD. She’s in her fifties. This sort of thing happened a lot during my college years and my graduate school years in New York. I heard stories from friends often and I once ended up in the hospital after someone roofied me. Luckily, I wasn’t raped, but I passed out, hit my head in a restaurant bathroom and the cops were called.

I am taking a big sigh as I write this.

Have we not evolved?

I want my nieces to grow up into strong, self-confident, independent women who unabashedly embrace their sense of beauty and vitality. Just because many men want to hook up and treat beautiful women like objects, doesn’t mean we have to hide and cover up either. We just need to be smart, stay alert, and not drink during first dates or put ourselves knowingly into harms way. (See my interview  with Pat Allen, relationship expert, best-selling author of Getting to I DO and expert on Millionaire Matchmaker)

 

Pat, who was actually my therapist during my ex-husband’s affair, has been saying for years, what DeVon Franklin re-iterates in his new book The Truth About Men. That is, that men are not wired for monogamy. They have a lust problem. Not all men cheat, clearly, but all wrestle with desire, even when in love with their wives. Their lust struggle doesn’t go away. DeVon refers to male lust as “the Dog.” And in his book, lust is about power, as much as it is about female conquest. If a man can commit to his profession full-heartedly, he can commit to a woman and family, he explains. Society and the lack of good male or father figure role models, makes is easy for successful men, especially, to not look in the mirror and to continue to indulge the dog, even within committed relationships. An interesting side-note, men who cheat, according to DeVon, are those who were abandoned by fathers or had poor relationships with fathers. Women who cheat, however, typically have put up with too much abuse or neglect and leave a relationship. Men who cheat, are often not in bad relationships at all. Hmmm…So how, as women, do we navigate that one or the fear that it instills when we begin a new relationship?

 

Well, I don’t have an answer. I do know that really good men cheat and feel horrible about it after. But it breaks my heart when women, who have been cheated on, or lied to, ghosted, or made to feel lesser than by a man in their life, take it personally, by thinking they somehow aren’t worthy, deserving, or sexy, etc. And some men, justifying their bad treatment of women, can say horrible things. I know. I heard them, to the point that I believed that I wasn’t sexy or beautiful during my divorce. Yoga and my yoga trainings saved me and helped me to embrace my physicality as well as my spirituality and get back into my writing. I shifted gears and stopped worrying about what was said or done. I’ve since let that shit go. I don’t need to prove anything, but I do want to feel good for myself and remain vital, healthy, so I can be a strong single mom for my boys.

I adore Reese Witherspoon, my fellow southerner, who is strong, and beautiful and calls into question just what a powerful businesswoman is supposed to look like. When I was in college I heard a lot folks saying I was the character from Legally Blond. I covered the legal beat at the Red and Black newspaper at the University of Georgia. I was in a sorority, had long blond hair, wore make up, yet still wrote essays and interviewed supreme court judges for public radio and slept on the streets with the homeless during campaigns to effect change. Why not? What rules in society exist that stipulates that in order to be strong, intelligent and successful as a woman, you can’t wear sundresses, or make up? Or be sexy, and spiritual for that matter. Honestly.

This is what I want to say to my adorable nieces, and to my boys who I pray grow into men of character: respect the light within each person you encounter. If you treat others with dignity—and that means yourself as well—you will hopefully, never be in a situation that makes you feel less then, entitled to take advantage, or used. Communicate honestly, girls, by asking the man in your life what his intentions are. Don’t assume he’s committed. Don’t drink too much and put yourself into sticky situations where others can gain control. And, boys, if you see or hear something, like a fraternity brother bragging about date raping, or drugging a girl, stand up, like a man with character, and turn him in or challenge him. Think of your beautiful cousins and the daughters you may have one day. And don’t drink too much, as that can entitle the dog to bark, as DeVon says.

Friends, chime in. What are your thoughts?

Love & Light,
Laura x