It is my pleasure to have Victoria Laurie visit today!
The Lesson and the Gift
(Post provided by publicist.)
The most valuable lesson I ever learned came early. I was eleven—painfully shy, damaged, and in desperate need of some kindness at a new school in a foreign country.
The second day of my sixth grade class I spotted a pretty girl with long blond hair, big brown eyes, and a smile as wide as Texas. While all the kids gathered out on the soccer field for some fresh air and exercise, I did something very unlike me—I hedged up to the little girl and said, “Hi. I’m Victoria and you’re going to be my best friend.”
It was such a weird thing to say, that bold declarative statement, but to my surprise, she merely nodded, smiled and said, “Okay. My name’s Alice, your new best friend.”
And for the next dozen or so years, we were the very best of friends.
Then one day, I blew it. I lashed out in anger and said some incredibly hurtful things, and I lost not just my best friend, but truly the best friend I’ve ever had.
Years later, after not hearing from her, I reached out and sincerely apologized. She graciously accepted that apology, but we were never close again. It’s been the biggest regret of my life, losing such a faithful, lovely, kind person in my life. But, like most things, first comes the lesson, then comes the gift.
In the years that followed, I slowly began to realize all the ways that Alice had been different from any other friend I’d ever had. It slowly dawned on me what the difference was, and in realizing that uniqueness, I changed, and became a better person. You see, Alice didn’t just teach me the value of a great friendship, she taught me how to be a great friend.
And, as Alice had always been an exceptional listener, I began to emulate her more by talking less and listening more—which was no easy task when you’re used to commanding every single conversation all the time, (me-me-me-me-me!) And as I started listening, really listening, I began to understand that the difference between being a good friend and being a great friend isn’t just in being able to sit patiently while the other person speaks; it’s actually far more sincere than that and requires something from the heart. The key, I discovered, to being a truly great friend was in being able to listen first, and validate second. It turns out; being a good friend wasn’t about me at all. It’s always been about how I can serve that other person, and how I can serve them is to validate their struggles, their accomplishments, their successes, and all those exceptional things they can’t see in themselves.
It can be something as simple as, “You’re such a beautifully bright person. I learn something new from you every time we hang out!” Or, “I see how hard you try every day to be the best person you can be, and it I’m so honored to know someone like you.”
Basically, it’s looking for that thing that’s extraordinary in the other person, and pointing it out as something that you hold dear or special. What happens when you employ such tactics is that you soon discover that you know some truly exceptional people! People who can teach you how to be strong, how to be kind, how to be giving, how to be beautiful, how to be courageous, how to be smart, how to be adventurous, how to be outgoing, how to be better. When you see all the amazing gifts your friends are naturally employed with, you will find a way to be more like them, and all the better for it.
So now I look for not the ordinary in others, I look for those things that make them special, and I tell them about it. Often. And thirty years after losing Alice as my best friend, I think I’ve become far more like her than my old bratty self. Nothing makes me prouder, actually. And nothing makes me feel more secure than looking around at the inner circle of my friends and seeing them for the amazing and extraordinary group of individuals they are. It’s like being on a team full of Alices, and it makes me feel so blessed.
Of everything that I’ve incorporated from my real life into my imaginary one on the page when I write in Abby Cooper’s voice for the Psychic Eye Mysteries, it’s when I talk about her close friendship with Candice that’s probably the most genuine. Candice is an amalgamation of all my closest girlfriends. Sure, she’s Alice, but she’s also Karen, and Sandy, and Leanne, and Terry, and Nicole, and Julie. She’s the sum of all of my extraordinary gal pals, and the friendship between Candice and Abby is at the heart of every book. Yes, there’s romance to titillate, and suspense to keep you turning those pages, but the friendship between Abby and Candice is the glue that holds every new mystery together.
In my latest releases, Sense of Deception (now available in paperback) and Grave Prediction, (out in Hardcover July 26th), you’ll see this friendship once again front and center, always evolving, which serves both Abby and Candice very well, I should think. And between now and the time I write the next installment, I’ll be working hard to make sure that all my closest girlfriends know how much I love and appreciate those things that make them exceptional—which is the only way left to honor the extraordinary gift a little girl named Alice once gave to me.
Sense of Deception:
A Psychic Eye Mystery
13th Book in Series
Release Date – July 7, 2015
An Obsidian Mystery
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Jacket Illustration by Monika Roe
Hardcover: 368 pages
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages – (June 7, 2016)
E-Book ASIN: B00OQS4E68
In New York Times bestselling author Victoria Laurie’s newest Psychic Eye Mystery, Abby Cooper senses a convicted killer is innocent, but she’ll need hard evidence to save the woman before it’s too late…
A ticked-off judge has tossed Abby in the slammer for contempt of court, and during her brief but unpleasant stay she learns the story of a condemned woman who is facing a far more serious sentence. Skylar Miller has been found guilty of murder and faces the death penalty. Everyone believes she’s guilty, including her own family and her ex-husband—everyone, that is, except Abby, whose finely honed intuition tells her this woman doesn’t belong behind bars.
With the help of her husband Dutch and her friend Candice, Abby launches into her own investigation to clear Skylar and find the real killer. But after a final appeal is denied and Skylar’s attorney scrambles for a stay of execution, time is running short—and the list of suspects keeps growing. There’s no margin for error as the life of an innocent woman hangs in the balance…
You can find out more about Victoria and her books on her webpage here. Join her fan group on Facebook here.
Also by Victoria Laurie
The publisher is giving 1 Paperback copy away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.
Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.
You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.
Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.
Leave a comment for Victoria for 5 Bonus Entries.
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5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.
Contest Will End July 9, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.
Comments on “Special Guest – Victoria Laurie – Author of Sense of Deception – #Giveaway too!”
I agree.,Friendships are to be treasured. Thanks for having the giveaway. I enjoyed reading your post, Victoria.
Friendships cross the years & the distances! Thanks for this wonderful series, I have enjoyed it from the first book.
I love Victoria Laurie’s book. I have been a follower of Abby and Dutch for quite some time. I am looking forward to reading the new book. I enjoy the humor and mystery. I am uncomfortable with change but when she moved them I adjusted pretty well. Luck and joy.
It looks great, hope to get a chance to read it 🙂
My library carries some of the Victoria Laurie books and I always eagerly check them out. I have liked every book I’ve read!
Sounds interesting. New author for me.
Haven’t read lucky #13 yet! Thanks for the chance to catch up!
One of my favorite series…..
A captivating series.
This would be a great book to add to my cozy challenge list. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.
I really liked your story about Alice. It is so important to be a listener, and I am still learning that skill.
I just love the cover so cute. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.
So true what you say about friends and friendships. I enjoyed reading it. And, I will enjoy reading this book when I win, too.
GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR UPCOMING BOOK AND THANKS FOR THE GIVEAWAY!
Friendships come and go over the years.and you find out who your true friends are. I find I have many acquaintances but only a few best friends. Looking forward to reading “Sense of Deception”. Book sounds amazing, a great summer read.
This was a great guest post and so true! I haven’t heard of this series before so this is new to me and I’ll have to start with the first book:)
I love this series! Thank you for the chance to win Sense of Deception.
I am seeing a lot about this book on the blog tours. Looks like a good read. Thanks for the chance to win.
I really enjoy this series–so smartly written!
I love all of Victoria Laurie’s books!! Thanks for the chance!
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