Arts & Entertainment

Sussex County Author Ranks High On Amazon; Meets Readers At Book Signing At Sparta Books

January 18, 2013 at 10:52 PM

SPARTA, NJ - Three teenage sisters in a fictional New Jersey town go from a life of suburban normalcy, and are transported to their ancestral home in the Scottish Kingdom of Kirana, a mystical island, where the secrets of their royal legacy begins to unfold. 

When Avery MacLeod begins to have a recurring dream, filled with hints of battles, romance, magic, family, adventure, royalty, palaces, and more, she does not realize the inheritance she personally has attached to it. 
The dreams begin to cross into other planes, when MacLeod and her younger twin sisters, Marena and Timber, learn they are all sharing the same dreams. Through the looking glass, and from the comfort of their tranquil town of Woodport, where they indulge in Dunkin Donuts and Rita's Ices, and participate in tennis tournaments after school, the trio realizes they must take an uncharted path and explore their heritage. From there, and against their guardians' orders, the sisters embark on their Scottish voyage, to discover the keys of understanding to unlock the questions about their pasts, as well as opening the doors to their futures and unknown destinies.
The epic adventure is "Trinity," the first in the series, and the brainchild of author Lauren D. Fraser, longtime Sussex County resident, who hailed from Frankford Township, and is an alumni of High Point Regional High School. Fraser lives in Hardyston Township with her husband Andrew, daughter Anna Elizabeth, and two cats, Chloe Marie, and Henry Tudor.

An attorney by trade, and partner at Laddey, Clark & Ryan, LLP in Sparta, Fraser has garnered statewide awards as one of the top attorneys under the age of 40. In addition to these accolades, and having written non-fiction works for her field, she also has many creative ventures, one of them having been "Trinity." Fraser told The Alternative Press she additionally enjoys performing onstage, having starred in "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum," at the NJPAC (New Jersey Performing Arts Center), where she is part of a show every other year.
Sparta Books was the site of Fraser's book signing last night, where locals packed to wait for Fraser to autograph their copies of "Trinity," while enjoying a cake and coffee celebration for her book signing kickoff. Some of the guests were family members, friends, and colleagues of Fraser's.
One was husband, Andrew, who said, "I'm so proud of Lauren."
It was a trip to Scotland two and a half years ago to Andrew Fraser's birthplace of Edinburgh, that was the inspiration for "Trinity." He said she also loved the Isle of Skye, a large island in the north of Scotland, where she remarked it was the type of location where unicorns and fairies could have originated from.
"'This is it, this is the setting,'" she had told her husband while there, knowing what Kirana would look like.
“The places I write about in my book are places I have experienced first hand,” said Fraser. “It’s almost overwhelming to be in a place with so much history and so much natural beauty.”
The story had been in Fraser's heart, however, for many years before her trip to Scotland.
“I've written something every single day since I was about five years old,” said Fraser. "'Trinity' was a story that had been a part of me since I was a teenager. I needed to tell it and let my imagination unfurl on the page.”
"I knew it was a good book when I read it," Andrew Fraser added. "It's a great story, I'll look forward to the movie. I'm pleased with how well it's [Trinity] done on Amazon in the U.S. and Britain."
As of today, it ranks eighth in Best Sellers, Children's Drama category.
"I really liked the book," said Michelle Firzlaff, who initially bought it for her daughter, then ended up reading it herself. 
"A lot of adult women are reading it," said Fraser's sister, Heather Donnelly. "This book is about sisters."
And Fraser is one of three sisters herself, and some of the characters' traits, as well as the local places in the town of "Woodport," give a nod to real-life locations in Sussex County, including Sparta, and High Point High School.
Cheryl Williver, a longtime friend of Fraser's noted the various references to theater and more from their youth.
Bev Kinney, whose husband Ned Kinney, was Fraser's theater director in the High Point days, attended the signing, and recalled Fraser onstage.
"Lauren was a very gifted performer, every time she came out for the show, she had a big part," she said.
Mary Hassenplug, who taught English at High Point when Fraser was a student there, and who now teaches at Sparta High School, attended the signing.
"It's just a thrill [to have a former student be published]," said Hassenplug, who taught Fraser in Honors English.
Of Fraser's writing talents in high school, Hassenplug said, "She had a flair."
"Trinity" is available for purchase locally at Sparta Books, in the Theatre Center in Sparta Amazon, and through Fraser's website.

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