Meet Kate

A longtime lover of writing and reading, Kate Laack remembers writing her first story on the family desktop computer at age eight or nine. It was not an instant classic.

In college at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, Kate wrote for the university newspaper where she also sat on the editorial board as head of the Lifestyle section. She earned degrees in English and secondary education, as well as a minor in theater arts, and began teaching high school honors English, modern literature, and speech shortly after graduation.

Kate turned to writing and distance running as relief from the pressures of a first year teacher, and her, now retired, blog Heels or Sneakers chronicled the challenges of both life in the classroom and training for a half marathon. Additionally, she began freelance writing, and her work has been feature on Thought Catalog, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and The Comedy Show Show among others.

After moving to Minnesota and marrying in 2015, Kate turned her writing mostly to professional avenues, completing a master’s degree in curriculum design and technology integration, and writing for numerous professional and trade publications. In particular, her work in building the theater program at Pine Island high school was spotlighted in the National Federation of State High School Associations, and recognized with one of just fifty R.I.S.E. America grants.

She wrote the original manuscript for her debut novel In the Shade of Olive Trees in three months, over summer break 2021. She signed with Olive Street Publishing in early 2022, and the novel is set to be released later this year.

Kate lives in Minnesota with her husband, Josh, in a home they built with their own four hands.


In the Shade of Olive Trees

Julia Brooks’ honeymoon has not gone as planned. Left at the altar by her fiancé and now traveling alone through one of the most romantic places on Earth, the first days of the trip are plagued with mishaps, train strikes, canceled reservations, and one ill-advised kiss in the shadow of the Duomo. 

Desperate to outrun her regrets both past and present, Julia reroutes her itinerary to the peaceful seaside village of Porto Venere where happenstance leads her to the most unexpected place to find comfort: Olive Haven Women’s Retreat for Widowed Travelers. 

There, among the guests’ stories of great love and great heartache, Julia faces the truth about the love she lost, a truth that changes everything she thought she knew. 

How badly can a heart break and still be put back together? Julia is about to find out.

In the Shade of Olive Trees


“I couldn’t put it down! The story was so compelling and heart warming. The female characters had so much depth. It was a joy to read. I look forward to her next book! I told all my girl friends that it is a must-read.”

– Goodreads Review –