Book Reviews, Fiction, Writing

A sale, an interview, and a review!

newtea_pageSALE!!! High Tea & Flip-Flops will be priced in the US for only $1.99 the whole month of May! As one reviewer said, it’s “Perfect for a lazy afternoon and an umbrella drink.” Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YNKHFII in case you’d like to share it with a friend.

I’m working on a sequel now. I mean, you knew Chelsea would insist on going to London and meeting Jeremy’s parents, didn’t you? After all—what could possibly go wrong?

Recently author Craig Hart interviewed me, and the result is up now at his blog. Among other things, he asked me how I managed the change in genre and tone in following up the romantic comedy of High Tea & Flip-Flops with the dark suspense of Forever. A friend assured me I didn’t embarrass myself in this interview … but judge for yourself. Read it here.

Forever_welcomeI suspect the genre of my latest book surprised some—a lot?—of you. My publisher mainly promotes it as suspense with subcategories of horror, occult, and ghosts. I think of it as psychological supernatural suspense, the story of a marriage under extreme—and extremely unusual—stress. So it pleased me when one recent reviewer gave it five stars and said this:

A Gripping and Original Tale!
Linda Cassidy Lewis has penned a unique story line in her new novel FOREVER. Tom and Julie are at a crossroads in their marriage. Their daughter is going off to college and that development will change the dynamics of their relationship. Will it be for the better? Or will their marriage crumble without the glue that is their child. Like many long endured marriages, the passion between them has waned. Still, there’s a comfort level between them that Tom believes will help them weather the storm.

Until he touches the hands of an unlikely woman working at the cinema. Only then does a powerful force stir within his soul. Or is it his soul? His obsession with Annie, for whatever vague reason consumes him, and little by little, their past-life affair awakens within a vortex in his soul. The monster—and I do mean monster—that once destroyed them, has returned in full force to once again exact his savage revenge.

Lewis has created an engaging plot that combines horror, romance and the supernatural. Be warned: it is violent and horrific, some of it sexual. But for me it only heightened the monster that was Eddie. Lewis keenly understands the rhythms of domestic life and uses it in FOREVER to give this story a feeling of authenticity. Intelligent, very scary at times, and filled with supernatural twists and turns that I didn’t see coming, FOREVER is an original and entertaining take on true love and the evil that tries to break its eternal bond. I really enjoyed this book.

By the way, author Joseph Souza wrote that review. No, I didn’t pay him to write it. But I’ve read two of his books so far—Unpaved Surfaces and Need to Find You—and can tell you he’s a very good writer. Here’s a link to his Amazon page.

I wish all the mothers out there a HAPPY MOTHERS DAY! To everyone, I wish you the blessing of joy.

Linda

Advice, Life, Writing

How can anyone write like that?

deskroseTime for another confession. I posted this photo on Facebook last week, and Judith Baxter commented that, now, she could picture me at my writing desk. Well, yes and no. The vase is sitting on my desk, but the photo is carefully staged. Even so, it shows a bit of the mess on my printer stand. I’m a messy writer … not in my actual writing, but in my surroundings as I work.

I’ve read that this is a bad way to work, that a cluttered desk means a cluttered mind. Well, yeah. That’s my mind, ten things going on at once. To be honest, I can’t explain how I’ve managed to write and edit four full novels. Probably my messy ways explain why I have four partly written novels.  But even those I know will be finished at some point.

A lot of writers blog and even write whole books about their work habits. Some of them speak as if theirs is the only way to write bestsellers. They could be right about the bestseller part; I haven’t accomplished that—yet. But I wholeheartedly believe there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to writing methods. You can force yourself to work in a way that’s not natural for you. But why should you?

Writing is hard enough without stifling your “muse” with some other writer’s rules. I know. I’ve tried. My brain rebels at rigid systems of outlining, work scheduling, or fast and furious, non-edited first drafts. I don’t dress up like I’m going to an office. I don’t meditate before I begin work. I don’t create music playlists for accompaniment. I don’t use dictated writing prompts. I don’t set daily word count targets.

I write in comfortable clothes, generally without makeup or hair styled—to be honest, sometimes I never change out of my pajamas. I write while I should be doing the laundry or the gardening or a thousand other things. I write because there are stories in my head. And I love stories. And I delight in figuring out how to transform those stories into words.

Today, I sat at my desk surrounded by drawings and trinkets made by my grandchildren. I sat amid scattered papers and sticky notes, and tea mugs, and cookie crumbs. I sat beside the open window that enhanced my workspace with bird song and rose perfume. I closed my eyes and saw. I stopped my ears and heard. I rested my fingers on the keyboard, and the pure unadulterated magic of imagination directed them to create.

That’s the way I write.

Your mileage may vary. And that’s totally cool.

Okay, are you ready? Don’t judge. This is what the rest of my desk usually looks like.

cldesk

Linda

 

Fiction, Goals, My Books, Novel, Writing

Looking Forward … and Upward!

Last year, my life hit a high and a low. I hope never to repeat the low, but I hope to repeat the high often. The high came from seeing High Tea & Flip-Flops be bought or borrowed by almost 4,000 readers in only four months! That may be nothing to some of you writers, but it was HUGE to me. That the high came from a most unlikely book, for me, only adds to my surprised delight.

Forever_postSo what’s in store for my career this year? I’m perpetually dizzy from all the ideas spinning around in my head. I do know one thing for sure—I have a new publishing contract with Kindle Press for my supernatural suspense novel Forever. YAY! My initial excitement about that resulted in a crushing headache, but it was worth it. This will be another new book genre for me, so I’ll need to find out how to connect with readers of that genre. Of course, Amazon already knows how—and boy do they do it!

I’ll have some final work to do concerning Forever in the next few weeks, but I still hope to complete the first draft of my next novel by the end of March. That one (shown as Fish in the bar graph in the side bar) is a beautiful story of love and heartbreak and second chances. I’ll be editing and revising that manuscript through spring and summer. It will definitely be published, but I don’t know how or when. I’m excited to get back to work on it because I believe it’s going to be my best book yet.

Also, I’m thinking about changing all the book covers on my first three novels. I want to develop distinctive “brands” to visually differentiate the genres of my books. And I have several stories in those genres that I need to do something with. Maybe I’ll submit them to journals, maybe I’ll publish them as singles or in a collection, maybe gift some to my devoted fans.

Speaking of devoted fans, watch this place for an announcement about something new I’m going to start—a Facebook group for those who enjoy my books and want to show their support. I’m on Facebook every day. It’s the only place I regularly “speak.” I have a Facebook author page, but unless I pay to boost my posts, which I can’t afford to do, most of those who follow that page never see what I say there. But every member should see whatever I post or comment on in my fan group—whether serious or silly.

Okay. Ready, set, go!

Linda

Goals, Real Life, Writing

Chill, Lady, Chill

When we make resolutions at the start of a new year, it seems most of us focus on the negative, punishing ourselves for the mistakes and faults of the previous year. Kristan Higgins, a fave author whose blog I follow, recently posted more realistic and generous resolves for herself. I like that idea.

Victorian tea setAs much as I try to fight it, I tend toward negative thinking, so my overarching resolution is to have a more positive outlook. This year I want to celebrate every stage writing/publishing progress instead of berating myself for not doing more and doing it faster. This is going to be a busy year for me. I’ll have to chill or suffer the consequences.

I want to treat myself to a long, hot bath more often. Since I often view showers as a sacrifice of too much time, a relaxing soak will be a big change for me. Freak-out: as I wrote that last sentence, two notifications pinged on my phone. One was from Google about resolutions and the other from Facebook about bubble baths! Isn’t life in the digital age a trip?

Treating my inner body better is another goal. I’m not only a lazy cook most of the time, but I love junk food. So I’m accepting the challenge of cooking more from scratch and with more organically-grown ingredients. I figure if I fill up on those foods, there will be less room for junk. Learning to eat healthier is hard for someone raised to plan every meal around meat—especially when I can’t remember a green salad ever being served by my Norwegian/German mother until years after I moved out.

Pictured above is the beautiful tea set for one that a sister-in-law sent me during my recovery from surgery last year. This year, I want to make it a habit to sit quietly once a day and sip delicious tea from that cup as I daydream amazing stories to write.

How will you treat yourself this year?

Linda

My Books, Promotion, Publish, Writing

Here We Go Again!

If it wasn’t already evident that I believe in writing whatever story comes to me, it will be now. My next novel is not women’s fiction. It’s not romantic comedy. It’s suspense … supernatural suspense with an evil spirit, whose lust for revenge is not bound by time. Here’s the book description:

Forever_front_lgAfter twenty-three years, Tom and Julie Cogan are still in love. But they’ve started keeping secrets from each other. Secrets that will jeopardize more than their marriage. When young and beautiful Annie is thrust into Tom’s life in a bizarre experience, he decides not to tell Julie. Now, his silence has put them all in danger. Unknown to them, they’ve all become pawns in a demented and deadly game staged by an Entity who’s waited nearly two centuries to exact revenge.

So, yeah, storytelling in a genre I haven’t shared with you before—but it’s still character-driven, with the examination of relationships all-important. This story, in essence, has been with me for seventeen years. I’m glad it’s finally written, though how it will be published is not yet determined.

You may remember that my novel High Tea & Flip-Flops received a publishing contract from Amazon’s Kindle Press after winning a Scout campaign. Now, I’d like to do the same with Forever. I’m excited to announce that Forever has been accepted for a Kindle Scout campaign. Yay! That means I need your help.

If you click the link below, you’ll get to read the first twenty pages. Then, if you think Forever deserves publication, please click the blue “nominate me” button. Nominations show Kindle Press that readers are interested. Don’t forget—if Forever is awarded a contract, you’ll receive a free copy of the ebook from Amazon!

(No Kindle? No worries. Amazon has a free Kindle reader app for your computer, smartphone, or tablet.)

My Forever campaign will last through the month of December. Please spread the word to friends and family, so they can click that blue button too. I think the guys will like this one, so don’t forget them. And I’ll be thrilled to see you share and retweet my campaign posts on social media throughout December.

Go forth and nominate!  https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/OSOW3M6MU09A

Thank you. 🙂

Linda