Shadow of Doubt…now on an audiobook near you!

Good morning, lovely peoples of the internet! How are you today? am totally over-the-moon excited (thank you for asking! 😉 ), because Shadow of Doubt releases as an audiobook today! And as it’s my first audiobook, there’s double the excitement!! (And that’s quite enough exclamation marks for one paragraph, don’t you agree? 😀 )

Now, if you’re thinking this audio-first release is a little topsy-turvy, you’re right. Most books come out as print or e-book first…or at least in conjunction with the audio version. So why did things happen this way? I posted the first draft of Shadow of Doubt on Wattpad in its beta form (unedited), where it caught the attention of Hachette Book Group in a joint venture they were undertaking with Wattpad to put 50 stories into audio format this year. I’d just parted company with my agent when the offer came through (because I’ve always had stellar timing 😛 ), so I did a bit of scrambling (and maybe some panicking), and within a few days, I’d signed with Lane Heymont of The Tobias Literary Agency…who just happens to be total awesomesauce.

Long story short, Lane put together the audio contract for me and then asked if I was willing to hold off self-publishing the book in order to let him pitch the digital and print rights…and so here we are today with the release of my audio-first first audiobook. (Try saying that five times real fast! 😛 ) The manuscript is currently out on submission, and I will be thrilled beyond words if the print and digital rights find a home with a publisher–and if they don’t, I will absolutely be putting the book out on my own. Either way, you will have access to a book format…eventually. 😉

In the meantime, you can still read the Shadow of Doubt complete beta version for free on Wattpad, and you can also listen to the first eight chapters in the clip below by clicking on the play arrow. If you like what you hear, you can download the entire book from Audible, the Audiobook Store, or Bandcamp…with my undying gratitude for your support. 🙂 Happy listening!

 

Because Stuff Happens

In the past four days, in preparation for my 30th anniversary getaway with my husband, I’ve had my hair cut and highlighted, I’ve had a mani-pedi done, and I’ve bought the first new suit I’ve owned since before I got pregnant with our twins almost 27 years ago.

Yesterday morning, I wrote a blog post about how excited I was about leaving on said anniversary getaway (our first vacation in exactly one year) on Saturday morning.

As in today.

So why am I writing a blog post from my back terrace table this morning instead of heading out on the highway for my big celebration?

Because in an ironic but direct reflection of the ups and downs involved in 30 years of marriage, life had other ideas. Yesterday afternoon (not two days ago…not last week…but yesterday afternoon when it was too late to do anything about it), our vehicle (which has never given us the slightest bit of grief in the seven years we’ve owned it) decided it had issues.

Multiple issues.

All made evident in multiple warnings that lit up our dashboard: a green flashing ‘cruise’ light for the cruise control that stopped working; a steady orange light for the traction control that will no longer engage; a ‘check engine’ light that stubbornly refuses to go away; and a bright red ‘rear differential’ light that just looks plain ominous. And expensive.

All in all, we’re expecting repairs to be roughly the cost of the getaway we had planned. We can do one or the other, but not both. And so we’re staying home, and the vehicle is going into the garage on Monday.

Argh.

All is not lost, however.

After 30 years, we’ve learned a thing or two about rolling with the punches. Sure, we’re disappointed, but in the grand scheme of things? Meh. We still have one another. We still have glorious weather. We still have tons of things to do in our immediate area (tourist-at-home, anyone?). And we still have a lot to celebrate.

A lot.

Plus, I still have new hair and pretty toenails. 🙂

And so in a little while, we’re going to go out for breakfast (slowly, and not on any highways), and then for that walk along the canal we keep saying we should do. We might have lunch out, too. And maybe dinner. We’ll probably clean the house on Sunday (because two cats, a rabbit and a very large dog = much hair, and we didn’t get it done today), but we’ll also make time to sit on the terrace and read. And we’ve already made a reservation for dinner on our anniversary itself…at the same restaurant we went to the night we got engaged.

Because 30 years has taught us that stuff happens…and what we do with it is up to us. 😉

Much love,

Linda

I’m Away From My Desk Right Now…Please Leave a Message

Guys!!!

I’m going on HOLIDAY!!!

Albeit a short holiday, but still…

It’ll be the first time I’ve been away from my desk since our last anniversary getaway a year ago…and I’m so excited, I’m practically dancing.

We’ll be gone for five days and four nights.

That’s five whole days of not having to worry about groceries, cooking, or cleaning…where someone else makes my meals, brings them to me, and then tidies up and does the dishes afterwards. (I really think hubby needs to take some cooking lessons somewhere in this upcoming retirement of his…)

Five days of sun (the forecast is fantastic), wine tastings, antique store browsing, reading, and wandering along the lake shore.

I have it all planned out.

Kind of.

As much as you can plan for not having any set plans.

It’s going to be awesome.

I’ll take lots of pictures for you.

And I’ll see you next week!

 

P.S. There’s going to be a special anniversary giveaway on my Facebook page…be sure to follow me there if you’re not already!

Hold Your Breath: A Review

It’s been a really, really long time since I set aside an entire day for reading just so I could finish a book…but that’s exactly what I did on Monday for Katie Ruggle’s Hold Your Breath. Because wow…can that lady tell a story! Keep reading for my thoughts–and for your chance to win a copy of the book for yourself.

Here’s the blurb:

In the remote Rocky Mountains, lives depend on the Search & Rescue brotherhood. But in a place this far off the map, trust is hard to come by and secrets can be murder…

As the captain of Field County’s ice rescue dive team, Callum Cook is driven to perfection. But when he meets new diver Louise “Lou” Sparks, all that hard-won order is obliterated in an instant. Lou is a hurricane. A walking disaster. And with her, he’s never felt more alive…even if keeping her safe may just kill him.

Lou’s new to the Rockies, intent on escaping her controlling ex, and she’s determined to make it on her own terms…no matter how tempting Callum may be. But when a routine training exercise unearths a body, Lou and Callum find themselves thrust into a deadly game of cat and mouse with a killer who will stop at nothing to silence Lou—and prove that not even her new Search and Rescue family can keep her safe forever.

What I liked about it

So many things. So many. The blurb really doesn’t do the book–or Lou–justice, in my opinion. While things may go wrong around our heroine, she’s smart, spunky, sarcastic, and altogether my kind of kick-ass woman in a story. I loved her, and I loved Callum, and I really loved how Ruggle managed to tread the fine line between making him an alpha and turning him into a…well, you know. Callum is as ruggedly strong and handsome as a romance hero gets, but he’s confident enough to let the woman in his life be strong, too…and that, for me, is how a relationship should be. No…how it needs to be.

I also liked how Ruggle brought the secondary characters and setting to life. It’s all too easy to let your secondary characters become cardboard cutouts, but Ruggle doesn’t do that. Every single character in the book adds something to the story–whether it’s tied in to the subplot or just giving us a sense of the quirkiness of living in a small, remote town in the Rockies.

And finally, I loved the sense of realism Ruggle managed to give to the story without overkill. There was just enough description to put the reader into the setting and just enough technical dive-talk to make the characters real. In other words, I didn’t find myself flipping through page after page of jargon and narration just to get to the next juicy part. 😉

What I didn’t like

:thinks: Not much, to be honest. :thinks harder: Nope. I got nuthin’. 😉

Final thoughts

I really, really, really liked this story. (Did I mention that already? Sorry. 😉 ) I thought Ruggle did a fantastic job of balancing plot, romance, and character growth…and of keeping me happily glued to the pages. Characters and setting alike felt real, as did my emotional investment in them. If you’re a suspense/thriller/romantic suspense fan–or just enjoy a well told story!–I highly recommend this one.

Word of warning: while Lou and Callum’s story is neatly wrapped up by the end of the book, not all the plot lines are resolved…and there’s a humdinger of a last line that had me complaining (in a good way) to the author on Twitter about not being able to get to the bookstore for the next in the series. You’ve been warned. Also, I need a new e-reader! 😉

(By the way, now I know how my own readers feel when I end stories like that. Not that I’ll stop doing it, of course, but at least I can empathize. 😀 )

You can buy your own copy of Hold Your Breath on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, or Kobo.

 

Now for the giveaway details! Because I enjoyed Hold Your Breath so much, I want to share the love…so one lucky winner will get a digital copy (winner’s choice of format). Enter using the Rafflecopter form below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hugs,

Linda

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Nifty New Swag!

Check these out! They arrived in yesterday’s mail…and are they cool, or what?

I’m always on the lookout for things I can brand and give away to readers. For me, the hallmark of really great swag is that it’s something that readers will find useful, want to keep, and (ideally) be able to use where other people might see and comment on it (spurring a conversation about books and perhaps winning me a new reader, because I totally have ulterior author motives here 😉 ).

Also, I really, really, really hate to see things end up in landfill.

Which is why these tickle my trying-to-be-somewhat-green fancy so much.

 

Because how much more useful can swag be, amIright? 😀

Of course, that’s just my opinion, and I would love to know yours! As a reader, is this something you would like to receive from an author as swag? Would you keep it? Use it? Treasure it forever and ever? 😉

Inquiring author minds want to know, so let me know what think below, and I’ll send one of my brand new USB drives to a lucky commenter!*

Hugs,
Linda

P.S. While I love the idea of having a giveaway for readers that’s completely unique to me, a person really can’t have enough storage devices in this era of technology…so if you’re a writer interested in using this idea for your own brand, check out the bulk USB drives at USB Memory Direct.  They have loads of selection there, so happy shopping! 😉 (The ones I got are here.)

*This will be a random draw, open internationally. You must be 18 or older to enter. Draw date will be midnight (Eastern time) September 5, 2017.

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The Mysterious Case of the Missing Zucchini

If you think it would be difficult to misplace two rather large zucchinis, you don’t know me very well.

Because I’ve managed to do so.

Two very large zucchinis, to be exact. Measuring roughly 15 inches each.

I picked them out of the garden yesterday, and I remember carrying them around with me while I did a number of other little garden chores such as watering my hanging baskets and potted plants. And then I remember going into the house to make dinner, clean the kitchen, and do laundry…but I don’t remember what I did with the two very large zucchinis.

Why is that a problem? Because after waking in the middle of the night with the realization that I’d lost them uppermost in my mind, my search (don’t worry, I waited until daylight!) has so far been unproductive. And if I can’t find them, two very large zucchinis will eventually produce a very large, slimy, and likely smelly mess when they decompose.

So far, I’ve been through the entire garden (front and back) and house twice. Without success.

Stay tuned. This could get ugly in a few weeks. 

UPDATE: The elusive vegetables have been found hiding in a corner of my kitchen! Also, I really need to clean that room, apparently… 😛