Wednesday, July 09, 2008

CELEBRATING 50 BOOKS...

Yes, I'm still doing that, despite the fact that I've just embarked on # 54 for Harlequin. There are still lots of wonderful authors in the "guest" line up from across the range of romance.

This week I'm delighted to welcome Linda Goodnight to spend a little time with us and tell us about her writing.

I first "met" Linda, when we joined forces with six other authors to write a series called The Brides of Bella Lucia which brought together Silhouette and Harlequin Romance authors when the two series combined at the beginning of 2007. I read her book Married Under the Mistletoe and immediately fell in love with her writing and I'm not alone.

Linda began her career as an RWA Golden Heart finalist in 1999, and has since written more than 25 books. Among her current awards are the Booksellers’ Best, ACFW Book of the Year, and a Reviewers’ Choice Award from Romantic Times Magazine and this year she is a RITA finalist with her "Love Inspired" title A TOUCH OF GRACE.

But here's Linda herself to tell you about her writing.

THE TRUTH IN MY FICTION

People often asked how much of myself I put into my books. There are two answers to that. The first answer is all of myself, though that’s meant in a metaphorical way. On the other hand, I am frequently stirred to creativity by a real incident or a circumstance that happens in my life or in the lives of those around me.

‘Write what you know’ and ‘art imitates life’ are two common bits of writer-speak that I completely agree with. Take for instance, the Brothers’ Bond series from Love Inspired, one of which is nominated for a RITA this year. (Yea!) Although the books are fiction in every sense of the word, all three sprang from a five minute incident at the elementary school where I taught for many years.

So when five brilliant authors, who also happened to be email buddies, ask me to join them in developing a series-now known as “The Wedding Planners”-I searched around inside my head for a bit of fact that could become fiction. At the time, one of my sons was completing his medical residency in surgery. As you may be aware, many young physicians incur incredible debt during this time. Being a typical mother I worried about this, thinking that if something happened to my son, his little family would have a very difficult time. Being a typical writer, I turned that worry into a story.

My heroine, Natalie Thompson, became the struggling widow of such a physician. Since I love to bake and tend to do so when under stress, Natalie became the Wedding Planners’ cake designer. Toss in a diabetic condition for irony, a mischievous set of twins for trouble, and the deceased husband’s greatest competitor for a hero, and the story was off and running.

Below is an excerpt of Natalie and the handsome doctor she does not want to fall in love with. I hope you enjoy it!

WINNING THE SINGLE MOM’S HEART

“This is fun, Cooper,” Natalie said, her breath puffing out in warm clouds as the train chugged slowly into the rows of towering pine and fir. “The girls love it.”

“What about their mom?” Funny how important that was to him. The girls were impressed. He wanted Natalie to be as well. “Does she love it, too?”

“It’s great. Truly. I appreciate it.”

Her lips curved into a beautiful smile that caused his belly to flip-flop. Before he could stop his thoughts, they had gone off in the wrong direction again. She had the most kissable mouth in Massachusetts. Maybe in the world. Just one kiss. That’s all he wanted. To see if she tasted as sweet as her cake icing.

With the self-control that made him a super surgeon, Cooper forced his gaze away from her mouth. But staring off into the dark shadowy tree field didn’t erase the images in his head. The woman touched him from shoulder to ankle. She smelled like sugar cookies and summertime. He could see those tiny puffs of white breath as she laughed and exclaimed over the whimsical decorations hidden here and there in the tree grove. She was real, she was alive, she was maddening.

She was Justin’s widow.

How was a man supposed to concentrate?

Deep inside the huge field, the train sputtered to a stop. Cooper faced the inevitable disembarking with both relief and regret. But when everyone scattered up and down the rows to find the perfect tree, he didn’t resist taking Natalie’s hand again as they strolled. No big deal. Just friends finding a Christmas tree.

Then why did he notice the way her eyes sparkled brighter beneath the lights? And why did his stomach dip every time she laughed that magical, tinkling laugh? The wild urge to kiss her was back.

“Cooper?” Natalie’s voice was hushed.

He gazed down at her, standing small and snow-kissed at his side. “Yeah?”

“You have a funny look. Is something wrong?”

He smiled and stepped closer. Yes, something was wrong. He would die if he didn’t kiss her.

Natalie tilted her head, eyes questioning. A tiny pulse beat at the base of her throat. From somewhere up ahead, the twins’ voices carried on the wind.

He tugged on Natalie’s hand, drawing her closer. Give him a sign, any sign that she wouldn’t slap his face.

The tiny pulse picked up pace.

“Cooper?” she said again but didn’t resist. When their bodies’ were aligned, he slid both arms around her and waited for her reaction. For a second, she stiffened but just as quickly relaxed. She wasn’t fighting him. Maybe she was even inviting him.

Oh, man. He was dying.

The night air was cold and still and pungent with evergreen. The pulse in her throat had somehow moved into his chest.

He was losing his mind, but he had to kiss her
.

Visit The Wedding Planners for more about the books in this series.

Or click on the title to buy Winning the Single Mum's Heart
in the UK. Or here in the US.

And to win a copy of WINNING THE SINGLE MOM'S HEART Linda wants to know what book you're reading now and would you recommend it to your friends?




29 comments:

BethRe said...

I'm reading Dark Melody by Christine Feehan and actually my best friend for over 30 years recomended it to me :)

Ellen said...

I just finished reading THE BRIDE WITH NO NAME by Marie Ferrarella and yes I would recommend it to any one.And just before that I read THE SPANISH DOCTOR'S LOVE-CHILD by Kate Hardy and I would recommend that one too.

robynl said...

Natasha Oakley's The Tycoon's Princess and I give it a recommended reading for sure.

Estella said...

I just finished reading Obsession by Karen Robards, and I would recommend it as a very good read.

Dina said...

I recently finished reading Esri Rose "Bound to Love Her" and have just started Cindy Miles "Highland Knight" and would recommend them no doubt. :)

Jane said...

I'm reading Toni Blake's "Letters to a Secret Lover." I would definitely recommend this book.

Snookie said...

I just finished Melissa's SOS Marry Me and loved it. I would recommend it and all the Wedding Planners books I have read so far.

Dena said...

Hi Linda, I enjoyed the excerpt and it sounds like a really good story. I'm reading two books right now. I know it's weird but once in a while I do that when I get a new book and I can't wait to read it. They are Watch Me by Brenda Novak and Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris. I would recommend them both, although they are both in a series, Brenda's book is the first in a trilogy and Charlaine is the sixth.

Liz Fielding said...

Hi everyone

Linda has had a family bereavement and may not be able to drop by, but your reading is giving me a lot of great ideas.

I've just read Ain't She Sweet by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, which was wonderful. At the moment I'm reading House of Spirits by Isabelle Allende which my daughter sent me. I enjoy the South American magic realism. Has anyone read Like Water for Chocolate?

Kate Hardy said...

I've just finished 'The Sunne in Splendour' by Sharon Penman - a real sweeping epic and the storytelling is excellent. (The research is also spot on which for me, as a historian, is really important.)

I'd recommend it highly, even though it doesn't have an HEA and I bawled my eyes out at the end. (I definitely fell in love with Richard III.)

Ellen - glad you enjoyed my Spanish doc!

Liz - not read the one you mentioned but the title's very intriguing.

Am about to start either Nell Dixon's Blue Remembered Heels or Kate Harrison's 'The Secret Shopper's Revenge'.

Natasha Oakley said...

(((Linda))) I'm so sorry to hear you've had a family bereavement.

And Robyn - the cheque is in the post. vbg Thank you!!

I'm not reading anything at the moment. Currently I'm listening to 'Pride and Prejudice' read by Lindsay Duncan bacause I downloaded it on my new birthday present ipod. I feel quite smug I managed to work out how to get it there which is adding to the enjoyment.

Funnily enough, I went to the library yesterday and borrowed, along with a guide book to the Loire, 'Ain't She Sweet'. It'll be my first Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

Maureen said...

I'm reading A Most Unconventional Match by Julia Justiss and I would definitely recommend it.

CrystalGB said...

I am reading Night Keepers by Jessica Andersen. It is really good.

Eva S said...

I'm reading How to Propose to a Prince by Kathryn Caskie, I love all her books and I'm definitely recommending this one.

Anonymous said...

I just finished two that I really enjoyed. The Gunslinger's Untamed Bride by Stacey Kayne and Bobby Faye's Very Bad Day by Toni McGee Causey. This one was so funny. I would recommend you start it when you have alot of time to finish it.
JOYE
JWIsley@aol.com

Liz Fielding said...

It's great to hear so many recommendations and so many authors new to me. I do find I get into a total rut with reading, just reaching for the same authors over and over.

The Toni Blake sounds like something I have to check out. Not many stores stock the big US romance authors over here. I'm lucky to have a big Borders near enough to visit occasionally.

I enjoy a good laugh so Bobby Faye's Very Bad Day sounds like one for me!

Helen Scott Taylor said...

Congratulations to Linda on her Rita nomination. I'll be in SF so I'll cheer her on.

I'm reading Lands Beyond The Sea by Tamara McKinley that I got in my goodie bag at the RNA conference. Very promising start to the book and I'm looking forward to getting into it. I must also go and pick up 100 Arabian Nights. I looked for it in Martins last week and it wasn't there. I'll check again today and if they don't have it I'll have to order off the Internet. I often look for the M&B Romance line in my local Martins but although they have lots of the other M&B lines, they never seem to have the romance line any more.

Biddy said...

Linda - I'm sorry to hear of your loss.

I have just finished 'The Lost Duke of Wyndeham' by Julia Quinn. Excellent book, definitely recommend it (and any others of hers).
I have just started 'Pardonable Lies' by Jacqueline Winspear. The third of her 'Maisie Dobbs' detective novels and if you like historical crime (well 1930s) I say go buy it.
Liz - you are the person who introduced me to Susan Elizabeth Phillips when you used her in a workshop you gave at a RNA conference awhile back.

Liz Fielding said...

Helen, 100 Arabian Nights isn't a "Romance", it's a single title release. You should find it amongst the "thick" books" :)

Liz Fielding said...

Biddy, I've just read the first Maisie Dobbs, which I really enjoyed. I'll be catching up the series when I see them.

Sierra Wolfe said...

Great post! I loved the excerpt, which doesn't surprise me, because I'm already a fan! I'm currently reading Seize the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon. She's great if you love paranormal romance. I recommend anything by Marta Perry. She's a fantastic writer for the Love Inspired line. I love her characters.

Michelle Douglas said...

Linda, am so sorry to hear about your family bereavement.

Ain't She Sweet was my first SEP's book and I loved it. I'm looking forward to reading everything she has ever written.

Am currently re-reading Jennifer Crusie's Sizzle (due to a post at the Pink Heart Society yesterday), and it is such fun. I would definitely recommend it.

Liz Fielding said...

Hi Sierra!

I'm hearing a lot about Sherrilyn Kenyon. Paranormal isn't my usual thing but I think I need to give her a try.

Michelle!

I still have a very battered copy of the original edition of Sizzle that had been passed around the M&B offices and my then editor passed on to me. The dh picked it up the other day and he very enjoyed the scene in the office... Well, you'll know which one!

Snookie said...

Liz, I don't like paranormal either(I can deal with witches, but really don't like vampires and fantasy worlds), but Sherrilyn writes contemporary too. I've read some of the stuff in her B.A.D series and really enjoyed it, so would be up to trying some of her paranormal when I have time. I just realized she writes historicl under another name, so I am going to have to look up what she's got out. Maybe you can try something other than paranormal of hers and if you like her style, then go for the paranormal.

Michele L. said...

Oh I am sorry Linda to hear about your family bereavement. Many blessings and hugs to you.

The book I am reading right now is Harlequin Presents, HIS FOR THE TAKING by Julie Cohen. It is a fantastic story! Very intriguing and steamy! My kind of story!

Before this book, I read, FIFTEEN MINUTES OF SHAME by Lisa Dailey. This was an excellent story! I couldn't read it fast enough to see what would happen next. I was rooting for Darby Vaughn all the way! You have got to read this one!

Michele L.

Michelle Douglas said...

Liz, I know precisely which scene you mean. I can understand completely why your dh enjoyed it!

My copy of Sizzle was a freebie as part of a magazine promotion by Cleo or Cosmo or someone like that. It wasn't until many moons later that I realized how lucky I was to get my hands on a copy. It's wonderful to revisit old favourite reads.

kimmyl said...

I'm reading Homecoming by Jill Marie Landis. I have just started it and so far I like it.

Carol said...

I am now reading OUTBACK BABY by Linda Darcy which is part of a three book series WANTED: OUTBACK WIVES. This is the second book in this series that I've read. I also read THE RUNAWAY AND THE CATTLEMAN. I have enjoyed both of these books and would recommend both of them. I also am looking forward to reading the third book in this series PRINCESS IN DISGUISE.

Linda Goodnight said...

Hello all!

I am so sorry to be late to the party, but thank you for all the kind comments. It's been a difficult few weeks.

I can see I have some great new books to try! All of these sound great and most of the authors are already among my 'must reads'.

Thank you all for sharing and especially to Liz for her understanding and support.

Best,
Linda Goodnight