Laura is much more than just an author. She's a tireless and outspoken champion of writers and authors' rights. I met Laura round and about on the intertubes, mostly on Facebook, and she invited me to a couple of her writer groups. Do we always see eye to eye? No. I'm too short. And we're both, um, a bit opinionated. A lot.
But that's one of Laura's best things. She can stand her ground (fiercely...vociferously) but then can still shake figurative hands and be friends afterward. (I'm not always so good at that. I have to go to a corner and sulk for a bit sometimes.) She challenges me when other people would say "Oh, yes, of course" or wouldn't want to make me mad. Laura rattles the cage - and often makes me think.
She is, above all , a champion of the independent fiction writer and self-publication and has taught a lot of us that it's not as scary as it sounds. Always up for mentoring, she has gently shoved a number of authors off on their maiden self-pub voyages (yes, I'm using the nautical metaphor on purpose - Laura's retired Navy.)
I've read several of Laura's works - the Willow Springs Ranch series (Ty Hard, Ty'd Down, Taking Chance) and though I'm usually a "no cowboys" kind of reader, these were a joy to read. Ty especially is a character who seizes the reader's heart - his struggles felt very real to me, the terrible toll of modern combat and the things we expect our young men and women to survive are really brought home.
Laura's a versatile author though, and has written some fun paranormals and quite a few multiple partner stories. All sorts of variety to sink you reader chops into.
I did manage to meet Laura last year (there is photographic evidence and everything) and hope to be able to chat with her more this year. Starting to think I need a manager to talk to everyone I want to this year...