Waterwight ~ Today’s LEAP DAY Release!

Just a few more recommendations to convince you!

Advance Praise for Waterwight ~ ~ ~

“The abundance of weird characters, places, and dangers keeps the story moving, and McHargue’s imagined world is so fantastic and so vividly drawn that at times I felt breathless, either from anticipation or exhaustion, struggling just like the strange assortment of inhabitants amid all the rapid and unnerving changes. Like Celeste, I felt disoriented and on edge. As I recall, that’s exactly what being 14 felt like.” ~ Carol Stuckey, former book store owner

“This book captures the reader’s imagination!” ~ Marie Povey

“‘Awesome!’ ‘Creative!’ ‘Magnificent!’ These are direct quotes from my sons about the book Waterwight. Bedtimes pushed continually later, the boys would clamor for me to read more, forgetting all about their beloved cartoons; they wanted more Waterwight. And when we got to the end of the book and kept trying to turn the page when there was no more, the first thing they asked was ‘When will she write the next book?’” ~ Molly Monahan Howe, Chocolate Maker and Mom of Boys Daring Chocolate Company Facebook Page

“There were times I thought I had it all figured out, but as I continued to read, I saw that I didn’t. The creativity and unique details were amazing!” ~ Caitlyn Baird, age 18

“What. Are. You?” Waterwight, Laurel McHargue’s beautifully written and evocative apocalyptic fable, is the tale of a quest to find the answer to this question and to set the earth in balance. Waterwight, with magical landscapes, memorable characters, and many dark spots, will find enthusiastic readers among both teen and adult audiences. It will be especially appealing to readers who have enjoyed Arthurian legends, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Hunger Games series, and other literary legends of self-discovery and the unlikely heroes. McHargue’s Waterwight reinvents the quest with concerns for the earth and the environment that are relevant to the 21st century reader. It is a hero tale with so many of the classic elements of that genre. I am looking forward to adding Waterwight to my library collection so that I can promote it to our students and community members. Bravo!” ~ Christine Carlson Whittington, Library Director, Colorado Mountain College Timberline Campus

Waterwight villain
Waterwight villain discovers the physical damage perpetrated by one of the twins.


“What’s it all about…Laurel?”

Is it just for the moment we live . . .,” Come on, everyone, sing it with me! Burt Bacharach’s song “Alfie” takes me way back to a time before I realized life was something I’d someday have to figure out!

My hero in Waterwight finds herself (yes, herself! I will not diminish Celeste by calling her a heroine) in that awkward age between childhood and not-even-close-to-adulthood, but she’s driven by the desire to find out what it’s all about. I’ve been spamming the Interwebs with excitement over my new Leap Day novel launch, so I figured I should probably tell you what it’s all about. Here’s the blurb you’ll read on the back cover when you buy my novel (wink-wink-hint), and I’ll credit my friend, Author Carol Bellhouse (Carol’s books) with the summary:

In a post-cataclysmic world threatened by stinking ooze, a brave girl searches for her missing parents with the help of talking animals and evolving powers. When a mountain spirit challenges her to save the planet, she and a flying frog must overcome a malicious castle of sand and a shapeshifter who wants her dead. 

But wait! There’s so much more!

My story continues to be inspired by my wild-ass dreams and the wonderful people I meet nearly every day. And, of course, by my surroundings. I can see the mountain spirit, Old Man Massive, from my back yard, and the hot springs that inspired “the big water,” or the “ooze” as it’s called on “the other side,” are right down the road from Leadville.

What started as a story I knew preteens and teens would like has turned into a novel that surprises even me, and I can’t wait to see what book 2 brings! So go ahead, take a chance. See if you can figure out what’s in the water!

And remember:

Read Waterwight. It'll make you sexy.
Read Waterwight. It’ll make you sexy.

Waterwight ~ ONE MORE DAY!

Here’s more about Waterwight from people who’ve already read it!

Advance Praise for Waterwight ~ ~ ~

“I’ve tried reading fantasy before, but lost interest quickly. This is the first fantasy book I’ve ever finished. The mystery hooked me from page one and I completed 70% of it before realizing I needed to sleep. I finished it while snowshoeing the next day. I could see this being the next Harry Potter series.” ~ Tonya Hance, Professional Photographer and author of It’s a God Thing! “It’s a God Thing!”

“This is a great book for all ages. Highly imaginative and creative, readers will soon be swept up into this great adventure story.” ~ Jude Hill, age 11

“I really enjoyed the story and the characters. I was carried away in the fantasy! I love stories where I can escape the real world for a while.” ~ Tanya Gray, age 53

“Breathtaking, uplifting, plays well with the imagination and entertains immensely. Reads well for adults with a theme of the subtleties of inner powers.” ~ Ed Solder, B&B Owner

Waterwight is full of enchanting, youthful human and delightful animal characters who care for and trust each other. It is heartening to watch them work together in the frightening, mysterious situation in which they find themselves. A love for the characters drew me into the story and a desire to have the mysteries solved kept me reading on. This is a story well suited for its intended audience, and it is also one that adults will enjoy.”      ~ Judy W. Cole; Retired Teacher and Aspiring Poet

Waterwight scene, Celeste is lured into fun rooms in the sand castle


Waterwight ~ Two More Days!

See what some are already saying!

Advance Praise for Waterwight ~ ~ ~

“I was up all night reading this book! The characters were very original and lifelike, and the story’s twists and turns leave you wanting more. For anyone who likes fantasy and adventure, this book is a must read! I can’t wait until the next book comes out!” ~ Natalia Brizuela-Wahlin, age 12

“I just finished Waterwight, Book One, and found myself in that perfect place of having enjoyed the adventure and yet wanting more.  I can’t wait for book two to find out what happens next, yet I feel that the quality of writing and the depth of story were certainly worth my investment in time.  Readers of all ages will enjoy the story and the writing.” ~ Dr. James Y. Taylor, Vice President | Colorado Mountain College

“I was whisked away on a phantasmagorical adventure!” ~ Nadine Collier, Professional Counselor

Waterwight is a truly fantastic read. A fresh take on a post-apocalyptic world, blended with child-like fantasy and supernatural powers, with an ending that leaves you hungry for more. Can’t wait to find out what happens next!” ~ Cindy Jewkes, book reviewer and freelance editor at Cindy’s Treasury of Good Tales Cindy’s site

“A vividly descriptive, imaginative, and thought-provoking novel!” ~ Jennifer Donovan, Environmental Planner

Waterwight, YA fantasy adventure series
Waterwight scene with Celeste, Old Man Massive, and Ranger,


There’s Something in the Water…

No, I’m not talking about Flint, MI. I’m talking about my new novel: Waterwight!

What’s a waterwight, you ask? Perhaps this might help you:

fantasy, adventure, shapeshifter, talking animals, superheroes, super powers, mystical mountain
Waterwight, my first novel in a new YA fantasy adventure series!

Wight: noun (obsolete)
1. a human being.
2. a supernatural being, as a witch      or sprite.
3. any living being.
4. a creature.

That clarifies it, right?

I’ll be up until midnight Sunday, waiting for the calendar to change to February 29th, Leap Day, when I’ll hit the “Publish” button.

Hope you all feel compelled to discover what’s in the water!

Friend Request

One of the many necessary things aspiring authors must do to build name recognition is to grow an audience of people who enjoy their craft. Sure, we write for ourselves, but I can’t imagine any author with books available for sale who doesn’t have an inner desire for validation from more than friends and family.

Expectations are high in our social-media-saturated world. We are expected to have rich “author platforms” with websites and Facebook pages and newsletters and Twitter accounts and YouTube videos and the list goes on-and-on-and-on. But it’s not enough simply to have those platforms, we’re also expected to be available to our (hopefully growing) audience 24/7. Some authors refuse to play this game called marketing. They argue that they’d rather be writing and working on their next release than interacting with the sometimes unwashed masses.

Yes, we all have different goals as authors, and my goal is to reach as many people as I can with my stories. I want to make them laugh and cry and engage in discussions. I want them to anticipate my next book.

And so, much to my mother’s chagrin, I have been quite open over the years with accepting friend requests willy-nilly. Every new friend is a potential new reader, and except for that 8-month sabbatical I took from the FB world a while back, I’ve never felt the need to “unfriend” anyone. At least not until yesterday.

I clicked “accept friend request” from someone who looked like he could be a West Point classmate and within moments I got a personal message:

hello thank you so much to make me your friend and i like to keep more of you

as good friends so are you in the USA? have nice day..

I read it a couple of times and couldn’t help hearing Borat’s voice. So I wrote back:

Yes, but please tell me why you sent me a friend request?

My immediate concern was that he wanted “to keep more of” me, and although I was pretty sure he didn’t mean it in a “Silence of the Lambs” kind of way, I nevertheless checked out his page. No mutual friends. Just as I was about to delete him, this sad tale popped up:

Thank you so much to make me your friend and i like to keep more of you as

 good friends so  i m from Kansas is in the South, in the North of the United

States, i m 58 and wife die in child birth.i have daughter and one gran son,i m

widowed for 23 year ago.i live alone in my home, i m working as I’m a Civil

Engineer of oil pipelines,I work for myself as a private contractor.I travel with

my work alot. so tell me more about your self? How old are you? Are you

single? Do you have kids? what do you do for a living?  I hope to read back

from you soon

I couldn’t make that up if I tried, and it’s really not as sad when you read it aloud with a Borat accent (my son did this brilliantly and added my new potential “friend” was probably from Kansastan), but within seconds I did what I never thought I’d do to a potential new follower: Unfriend.

Guess I’ll do a bit more snooping before accepting any more silly-willy-nilly friend requests. Pretty sure this one wouldn’t have enjoyed my writing anyway.