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My Books, Writing

Pain, politics, and pandemic … or why my writing schedule blew up!

You know what they say about best laid plans, and in 2020 mine certainly went awry. Not only did I fail to get two novels published, but I failed to get even one. I blame pain, politics, and the pandemic.

Fibromyalgia is an unpredictable affliction. Though it causes me some pain nearly every day (and when it doesn’t arthritis usually does), it often causes brain fog and fatigue that wipes me out for days. Stress increases these flares—and, of course, national political upheaval on top of a global pandemic caused stress.

Those of you who are writers know that writing can be stressful already. For me it’s both pain and pleasure. My passion. And as long as I’m able, I’ll keep writing and publishing because the joy of knowing someone besides me enjoyed my story is worth the struggle.

So, now we’re in the last quarter of 2021, and I’m happy to say that one of those novels I’d planned for last year has finally been released. Midnight Love is the second of my novels set in Edgewater, a fictional community in my birthplace of Indianapolis, Indiana. If you read my previous Edgewater novel, Building Love, you’ll recognize many of the characters in this one.

In romance, when opposites attract, it’s the differences that make love perfect.

Roxy Ostrowski never dreamed that at thirty she’d have zero love life, be jealous of her BFF, and lose the best job she ever had. Life can only go uphill from here, right?

Wrong. She’d enjoy her new job tending bar in the neighborhood tavern if not for Jack Matthews. Roxy’s nicknamed him “Grim” because he never smiles and barely speaks to her no matter how much she tries to charm him. Then one night, Jack reveals he’s actually warm and personable. Who knew?

As Roxy gets to know Jack better, she’s confident they’re becoming more than just friends. So imagine her shock when an unexpected encounter leads her to conclude she couldn’t have been more wrong.

But why won’t her stubborn heart let go of the feeling she and Jack were meant to have a happy ending?

Read a preview here!

I hope you’ll read Midnight Love. If you do, please let me know what you thought. I’d appreciate it immensely if you’d leave a review on Amazon, Bookbub, Goodreads … one sentence if that’s all you can manage. But if Amazon or Bookbub or Goodreads isn’t your thing, at least share your thoughts with me through Facebook or email.

Let’s all send out good vibes to heal our world!

Linda
Life, Real Life, Writing

My Life on Mars

In January 2020, I announced my plan to have two more romance novels published by the end of the year. Well, it’s almost December and that plan is so far out the window it’s just a speck in the sky. I was sick for most of February—the flu, I think—and by the time I recovered from that, Covid-19 had changed the world. My husband and I, both having risk factors, were advised to shelter at home. We remain so today. While others, to varying degrees, interact with the world in person, we interact with contactless home delivery services. We see our family members through digital screens. It’s as though we live on Mars.

You might assume that such isolation would give me more than enough—definitely more than usual—time to write, and you’d be right. But enough time is not all it takes to create fiction. The pandemic coupled with the social and political issues of 2020 have taken their toll on my mind and body. So now, in addition to my usual bouts of fibro fog, I have the drowsiness side effect of an anti-depressant. I feel like I never fully wake on some days. Too many days.

We’ve all heard of famous authors who’ve written best-selling books under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but I’m perplexed by that. I require a clear head to write. So I’ve struggled to work. I try to write as much as I can on the days when my brain is fully alert, but it’s slow going. Now my goal is to have only one manuscript ready—for beta readers—by the end of the year … or soon after. Sigh. Life is weird on Mars.

My Books, Real Life, Writing

Escape Into This

How are you all managing in this strange and scary time we’re living through? It’s been fifteen weeks since I last went out in public, and, introvert that I am, I’m fine with staying put a while longer. I’ve done a lot of shopping online and my wonderful husband has masked up to do the rest. Luckily, I’m happiest at home and this is where I work. But it’s hard to be separated from loved ones. We still haven’t seen our granddaughter’s new home. Though we’ve had some patio visits with family members, including our new great-grandson, who we’re hoping to get to hold soon.

So that’s the real world at present, but if you’re a reader, you know there are no limits to where you can travel, or who you can meet, or what you can do. Today, I’m letting you know that my Kindlebook Building Love is on sale for only 99¢ until May 29th. If you haven’t escaped into this endearing “hard to put down” romance yet, now is the time. And after you read it, please consider leaving a review on Amazon and Goodreads. I’ll appreciate that whole bunches. 🙂

What if he knows her better than she knows herself?

Life in Edgewater is fine just the way it is, thank you very much. Why everyone else is excited to see things changing around here is beyond me. Sure, it’s nice to have new customers discover my bar, but one of them, the mysterious Alex Conner, makes me uneasy.

He’s gorgeous and possibly rich … so what? And I’ve made it clear to him that his oh-so-blue eyes and smoky laugh do nothing for me. Yet, he keeps coming back. So …

Game on.

I’m going to uncover his secrets while he wastes time trying to convince me my life would be perfect if only I’d see things his way. As if …

building love post

Stay safe and thank you for reading!

Family, My Books, Real Life, Writing

Three books and a baby!

Lemon blossomsI hope wherever you are in the world, you are safe and well. This year will be hard for most of us and devastating for far too many. But I’m glad that here it’s Spring, reminding us that after the darkness, light will return. Outside my roses are beginning to open and the air is redolent of the wonderful scent of our lemon tree blooms. I hope that if you can’t take a walk or drive or look out your window to enjoy some of nature’s beauty, you’ll find some gorgeous photos to ease your troubled mind. And please remember to appreciate and be kind to those who are working to heal and serve us through this horrible time.

Life is both strange and yet the same for me. My husband is retired, and I work from home, and being the introvert that I am, I don’t go out any more than necessary. But starting in mid-February, we got sick with the worst, and longest lasting, colds we’d had in years—at least we think it was only colds, so we were sheltering in place even before our governor commanded it. Then on February 28th, my first great-grandchild was born. Corey is now over a month old and we still haven’t seen him in person. Thankfully, this is the digital age, so we’ve seen a wealth of photos and videos.

My first great-grandbaby!

Writing and having written …

Unfortunately, with all that’s been going on, progress has been slower than I’d hoped on my next novel, book 2 in the Edgewater series. But I have news of sales on three of my other Kindle books. Today only, April 2nd, High Tea & Flip-Flops is a Kindle Daily Deal for only 99-cents! And then, April 3–8, my first novel, The Brevity of Roses, will be on sale for only 99-cents! Finally, my supernatural thriller, Forever, will also be priced at 99-cents April 7–13.

 

High Tea & Flip-Flops book coverWhat could mellow SoCal and high-society London possibly have in common?

Chelsea Cole is only one paycheck away from—OMG—moving back to her mother’s house, which would really suck because she’s trying to catch the eye of the gorgeous Brit who moved into the apartment above hers. Jeremy Pearce is definitely not Chelsea’s usual blond and bronzed surfer type. He’s all sexy long hair, poet shirts, suede boots, and secrets. Lots of secrets. But how will she get close enough to solve the Jeremy puzzle if she keeps humiliating herself every time he’s around?

When drawn together by fate and a pizza, they make a pair that’s hilarious, sexy, and worth cheering for.

 

The Brevity of Roses book coverSpanning ten years, The Brevity of Roses explores the interwoven lives of three damaged people who are each offered a chance to heal–if they can banish the ghosts of their pasts.

Meredith Dahlberg-Lang hides behind a façade. In public, she’s a wealthy socialite. In private, she’s a lonely woman with a heart imprisoned by guilt after her husband’s death. But she can’t deny the longing she feels when a younger man seeks her attention.

Jalal Vaziri, after years of trying in vain to win his father’s approval, defies him by pursuing a new career. When he meets the woman of his dreams, his satisfaction is complete, but fate challenges his plan for a blissful future.

Renee Marshall, matured beyond her years by a hard life, heads for a fresh start in Los Angeles. But when car trouble detours her to a village on the central coast, she enters the life of a man whose fierce denial of the need to be loved matches her own.

 

Some think our lives are controlled by free will, others by fate. Forever is a haunting story exploring a third–and horrifying–force.
Forever book cover
It’s not by chance that Tom Cogan notices Annie Garrett in a movie theater one night. Neither is it an accident when their hands touch and they share a dark psychic vision. She believes they’re seeing flashes of a shared past life. He fears he’s losing control of his mind. Both are right. Their lives have been hijacked by a malevolent spirit who’s waited nearly two centuries to get revenge. Trapped as a pawn in the demon’s demented game, Tom discovers he and Annie are not the only ones targeted for death.

Thank you for reading!

Memory, Musings, Real Life

Super Bowl? Not me.

Me, 1966, French lab.

When the topic of the Super Bowl came up in conversation a week or so ago, someone asked me if I follow the NFL. I don’t. Not at all. But as your brain does, it threw up a football memory a few days later.

I went to high school in Indianapolis, Indiana during the 60s. This memory probably came from 1965 because I saw myself with a blonde “flip” hairstyle. I was dressed in wool Bermuda shorts with matching knee socks and cardigan, worn over a pastel (blue, pink, yellow) Bobbie Brooks blouse with a Peter Pan collar. This must have been at the start of the high school football season because, as the season progressed, I would have been wearing my burgundy corduroy car coat.

Anyway, the most vivid part of this memory is that I’m wearing a Max Factor lipstick called Strawberry Meringue. Actually, the company called it a “lip frosting” and advertised it as having a “glimmering, shimmering, iridescent finish.” And it certainly did. Two of my friends that night wore the same lipstick, so as we stood talking in front of the bleachers, I could see that it glowed in the stadium lighting, making our lips the focus of our faces.

Going to the games on Friday nights was the thing to do. Yes, we supported our teams, but the real reason we “unattached” girls were there was to be seen, to—hopefully—secure a Saturday night date. Did glowing lips help our chances? Well, I doubt it hurt.

Can you relate?