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Books and Baubles

Can you believe that summer is half over already? Here in the San Joaquin Valley, we’ve been lucky not to have the whole month sizzling at 100 degree plus temps, but in a couple of days it’s supposed to hit 108° … fun fun! What’s worse, we just returned from visiting family in Tacoma, Washington, where we had to wear a light jacket in the mornings and evenings. It was our first visit to that beautiful green state, but I hope to return many times.

Pictured is the Snoqualmie Falls, which was one of the destinations on our Twin Peaks loving son’s birthday trip.

I’ve been in the land of the lost …

For seven months, I’ve been in hiding. I didn’t plan to drop out. I had planned that after all the business of publishing Open & Honest (Sometimes) was finished, I would get right back to work on my serious women’s fiction novel that I’d started writing five years earlier, but every time I opened the Scrivener file, I would reread passages, look at my scene notes, stare out the window, and finally close the file, not having added any new words.

I was not writing. It was frustrating, and I didn’t know what to do about it. My connections with other writers have dwindled over the years. In fact, I have only one regular writing “buddy” left, and she has so little time for her own writing that I refuse to take up too much of her time with my writing woes. We talked about my block a few times, but what could she do? I simply could not settle my mind to write.

So, I returned to a previous creative outlet. I started beading. Bead weaving was a new venture, where I learned to stitch thousands of tiny beads into various designs. I stitched for four months straight. I amassed a passel of pretty bracelets, gifted some, and then stitched some earrings too.

Still, my heart ached to write. As time passed, I began to fear that I would never write again. And then, scariest of all, I started to feel that I might be all right with that.

I read a lot of books during those months. Most of them were good. Some of them were very good. And that made me envious. And that envy made me angry that I couldn’t write. As I stitched and read, I listened for The Muse. I begged The Muse to speak. I ordered The Muse to give me a story idea.

Considering that my best-selling books are my romantic comedies, I decided I should try writing a romance. I had two completed romance short stories, so I looked at those first to see if they were candidates to be expanded. Neither seemed likely. I went back to beading.

Finally, I remembered an opening scene I’d written in 2015 for another planned women’s fiction novel. I reread that scene. It sparked my imagination. And suddenly, I was writing again.

However, I soon realized that I wanted to write this story as a contemporary romance. But the more dialogue I wrote, the more I realized that my heroine has a sarcastic mouth. And her thoughts are often amusing. And sometimes her actions are impulsive and … well … comedic. So, it looks like this is going to be another romantic comedy, or at least a romance with humor. Brigid is not the screwball that Chelsea is, but I’m betting you’ll laugh a time or two when you read my next novel.


So what about those beads?

Ta-da! I have another identity. I’m The Lady in the Moon, and if you like handcrafted jewelry, you might want to check out my new site. My photography skills are questionable, but I stand by my crafting skills. All my bracelets, necklaces, and earrings are made with my two little arthritic hands. Most of the designs are originals and won’t be duplicated. Don’t you deserve something pretty that’s as unique as you are?

 

My two extreme sides on sale this week!

High Tea & Flip-Flops cover

My publisher has put novels from my two extreme sides on sale this week. Written by my light side, you can get the first ebook in my romantic comedy series, High Tea & Flip-Flops, on sale for only $.99 at Amazon.com though July 13th.

And written from my dark side, which loves Stephen King’s work, my first horror/thriller ebook, Forever, is on sale for only $.99 at Amazon.com through July 12th.

Enjoy!

Linda

Open and Honest … Sometimes

Peaches vs. Squirrels

Girl and DogFirst, because I love a good pun, I’d like to share an anecdote courtesy of my granddaughter Adrienne, a budding poet, involving my dog, Maggie, a dedicated fruit lover.

Outside my kitchen window grows a dwarf peach tree, which used to produce some fat, juicy peaches due to the diligence of my former dog, Lizzie, who apparently terrified the squirrels in the vicinity.

Alas, the squirrels are not intimidated by Maggie and dare to eat my peaches, sometimes boldly sitting on our back steps while they do it. The other day, I lamented that said dog wasn’t doing her job guarding the peach tree, and Adrienne commented that Maggie leaves the squirrels alone because they leave the half-eaten peaches in the yard for her. She said, … wait for it … “They have a peach treaty.”

Love that girl!

Where I’ve been …

I apologize for my disappearing act. Unfortunately, it wasn’t due to my traveling the world or anything equally glamorous. I can’t believe we’re already in the last quarter of the year. Obviously, time has a dark sense of humor and speeds up when you’re desperate to finish your work-in-progress. I’d hoped to have the third book in the High Tea & Flip-Flops series out there months ago, but … just when you think you’ve got it all under control, life happens. Gee, that sounds familiar. Oh right, it’s the tag line for Open & Honest (Sometimes) … yes, that’s the title of my latest book. And … drum roll …

I’m thrilled to announce that after a long and difficult labor a new romantic comedy has been born! If you’ve read High Tea & Flip-Flops and Love & Liability, you won’t want to miss this continuation of Chelsea and Jeremy’s story. (And if you haven’t read the first two in the series–you’ve missed out on a lot of love and laughter. so get caught up! 🙂 ) You can get your copy of Open & Honest (Sometimes) in print and digital at Amazon worldwide. If you’d like to read a preview first, go here.

I hope you’ll enjoy my new story–and if you do, I hope you’ll leave a few words saying so on Amazon, Goodreads, and anywhere else you talk about books. Tell your friends. Give the book a shout-out on social media if you’re so inclined.

Just when you think you’ve got it all under control, life happens.

Chelsea Cole Pearce has a Perfect Life Plan: get married, buy a house, and have a baby. Two down, one to go—and she and Jeremy are eagerly working on that third one. (And loving it.) While he’s writing his literary novel, she’s writing romance and designing her dream nursery. Life in the Pearce household is totally awesome—until it’s not. The road to happily ever after is bumpier than Chelsea anticipated, and she’s trying not to freak out. But her talent for jumping to wild conclusions coupled with their difficulty being open and honest with each other complicates matters. Now Chelsea must devise a new plan to get their life back on track … or else.

Open & Honest (Sometimes) cover

Loved it!

Good Luck with That coverWhile I was in hiding, I managed to read a few books—some I loved and some I liked. I’d like to tell you about one I loved.

One of my favorite authors is Kristan Higgins, romance and women’s fiction writer—or “mainstream fiction with a central romance” according to the prestigious RITA award her novel Now That You Mention It, recently won. Her latest book, Good Luck With That, is one that addresses an issue that most of us struggle with continuously … or at least at one point in our lives. That issue is body image. Kristan drew upon her personal struggle to write a beautiful story of three women, friends who as teens met at “fat camp”. The death of one of the women spurs the others to honor her by finally taking charge of their lives and dealing with their issues. If you read this book, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll probably become a Kristan Higgins fan for life.

That’s all for now! Take care and smile as often as you can.

Linda

 

Roses and Reading

In my part of the world, it’s spring. The first of my roses to bloom this year was my Don Juan climber. I love its deep red blooms and lovely fragrance. With all the neglect I’ve given my roses in the last few years, ever since I started writing seriously, it’s a wonder they bloom at all. I appreciate their persistence.

I’m always energized by our spring weather … well, I’m energized until I realize how much work I should be doing in the house and garden. I’d always rather be writing, but sometimes other things pester me for attention. So, now that it’s warm enough again to have my windows open, I need to do more painting to complete the kitchen makeover I started last fall. And my office needs a major clearing out, which is probably the hardest job of all because I find too many books and papers to distract me. And then, of course, they spark ideas that beg me to sit back down at the keyboard.

I guess I’ll have to be as persistent as my roses.

Kindle Deals …

Kindle Press has put Love & Liability on sale during April for only $.99. If you haven’t read it yet, now is the time to buy it. And they’re also slashing the price of Forever to $.99 for one week starting tomorrow, Saturday, April 7. So now is the perfect time to add one romantic comedy and one supernatural thriller to your Kindle or Kindle App for less than $2!

And that’s not all …

If you’d like a FREE book, I have one of those for you too! The Silence in Noise is my collection of seventeen short stories. You can read brief descriptions of each story here. I’m giving away copies because I need more reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, so I hope you’ll enjoy reading the stories and feel moved to let others know.

Starting today, April 5, you can get a copy of The Silence in Noise absolutely free! This offer ends at midnight (EST) on April 10, so don’t delay. Download your copy today.

I wish you love and light and beautiful moments for yourself.
Linda

Let me tell you a story about …

For over seven years, I’ve been a published novelist, but I also write short stories. And now I’d like to tell some of those stories to you. My new book, The Silence In Noise and Other Stories, is a collection of short fiction. The stories range from one to twenty pages and offer fascinating, poignant, and often dark glimpses of ordinary people in critical moments.

  • Balance: After tragedy strikes a close-knit family, a grieving father’s inability to cope leads to a horrifying resolution.
  • Straightening the Curves: Nicole made a bad choice when she married Russell. Yet when she finally leaves him, it’s to his family she runs.
  • Unspeakable Words: A young woman receives soul-shattering news.
  • A Beautiful Man: James is only a small-time con artist until he meets the wealthy Ann. You’d think he’d be satisfied with his new Manhattan lifestyle, but James has a wandering eye and a greedy heart.
  • A Heart Next to Mine: Jesse fled a dreaded future underground in the coal mines, but two decades later, he’s a solitary man, emotionally buried just as deeply.
  • Meditation: A cynical woman rejects the possibility that something good is happening to her.
  • My Name is Amy Walls: When Amy awakens one Sunday morning to a terrifying new world, her struggle to survive begins.
  • Ambition: Kelly Jean is determined to get out of Mossy Creek. Unfortunately, her boyfriend doesn’t much care for her plan.
  • Act in Haste: Stan sees himself as a stand-up guy, but a strange encounter late one night leads to a different judgment.
  • Blood Relation: Janine is a tormented mother who lashes out with tragic consequences.
  • Existence: In the near future, strict governmental rules severely impact the life of a teen.
  • Better Left Alone: Newly divorced, Teresa succumbs to temptation when her teen heartthrob, claiming to have never forgotten her, reaches out.
  • Perchance to Dream: All is not as it seems when Nina prefers to spend her time dreaming of a man who is not her husband.
  • Secrets and Shadows: An unusual shadow embodies a child’s fears.
  • The Tisserand Phenomenon: The secret to phenomenal success for one New England family’s business lies deeper than anyone imagines.
  • Sight Unseen: Elise’s decision to meet a man she’s known only online ends in surprise.
  • The Silence in Noise: Beth’s drive to be the perfect mother has devastating repercussions.

IN OTHER NEWS
The Kindle version of my romantic comedy Love & Liability is on sale the whole month of December for only $.99! This is book 2 in my High Tea & Flip-Flops series “starring” Chelsea & Jeremy. I’m working on the last of that trilogy now.

If you celebrate a holiday this time of year, I wish you a wonderful one!