Good morning, everyone! Please welcome author Linda Andrews who's talking about her new book, Brianna!
Linda sat down for my interview, and I'm excited to share her responses today. So sit back, get comfy, and meet a very interesting woman!
Briefly take us on the journey with you – when did you start writing, did you start in the genre you’re published in now, what hurdles did you have to overcome, etc.
Linda: I started writing in 1997 and it was a contemporary romance with an empathic heroine. So it was kind of a paranormal, but not quite. After being rejected by pretty much everyone, I wrote another book called the Christmas Village, which had a little bit of magic (all Christmas related). My second book was, oddly enough, published after the third novel I wrote, a ghostly romance entitled Ghost of a Chance. I think I was rejected multiple times by everyone and even had one agent reject me on paper than call to reject me again. Ouch! Now, I'm published with 4 small presses for my romances and indie published in my horror.
Obviously you write in the paranormal genre. Is that your favorite genre to read? Do you write in any other genres, or under any other pen names you’d like to share?
Linda: I love to read romances (any and every kind), but I also read pretty much anything else I can get on my ipad. I do have scifi, fantasy and apocalyptic/horror novels published. I don't use a pen name because I have a hard enough time trying to remember who I am, I didn't want to confuse myself by answering to any other names:).
Of the books you have published, do you have a favorite? If so, which one and why?
Linda: I think my favorite is Dancing in the Kitchen. It is my anti-romance. The hero is a wizard who has to appear average and uninteresting but he's competing for the affections of a woman who is the main squeeze of an Indian Jones kinda of character.
What are your published titles and please tell us about anything coming down the pipe next.
Linda: The Christmas Village and Some Enchanted Autumn are holiday themed novels.
Dancing in the Kitchen, A Knights Wish and a Hint of Magic are fantasy romances.
Ghost of a Chance, Gillian, Fiona and Brianna are my Victorian paranormal romances
Hiding Space and Animosity are SciFi Romances
The Syn-En Solution and Culture Clash are SciFi with romantic elements
Blue Maneuver is an Urban Scifi
Redaction: Extinction Level Event and Redaction: The Meltdown are my apocalyptic novels.
Short stories are: 2012: Winter Harvest (free), The Love Lottery (free) and Love on Cloud Nine. Last is Intelligent Design which is a scifi horror.
Brianna is my latest then I have a Valentine's Day book coming next year and the third Redaction book in December.
Very nice! If you'd like to come back here for a Fantasy Friday and talk about any of those, drop me a line, Linda!
Let's move into Brianna.
Tell me about your plot development? How did the idea spur, did you have to do much research, any interesting tidbits that we should know?
Linda: Brianna is the last book of the series and her story came was inspired by my grandfather. My grandfather contracted Tuberculosis and went to see to cure himself. While Brianna's story takes place in the 1890s, the treatments and ideology hadn't changed much. But that got me to thinking, how would you live your life if you were granted a reprieve after spending most of it dying? Brianna is determined to make the most of her life, even if it goes against the hoity-toity society in which she lives.
Let’s talk heroes – What’s one thing about your hero that we wouldn’t necessarily learn in the book?
Linda: Duncan loves the closeness Brianna has with her family and how open they are despite the fact that her father is a spy.
All heroes are unforgettable in one way or another. What’s one thing about your hero that makes your heart go pitter-pat? His sense of humor. Despite having to rescue Brianna over and over again, he can always find the humor in the situation.
Linda: If your hero doesn’t have a pet in your novel, what kind of pet would best suit his personality? Um, I should mention that before the book started, Duncan ran over the heroine's cat then buried her. Given that the cat is immortal (she's the reincarnation of an Egyptian Goddess) this irritates her to no end and the two share some interesting scenes as a result. At the end, Duncan becomes a cat owner.
Moving on to heroines – Everybody has flaws. Sometimes they are endearing, other times they are annoying. What is your heroine’s greatest fault?
Linda: Brianna spent so much time having to live inside her head that she becomes quite vexed when things don't play out like she thinks they should in real life.
Without giving away details that might spoil the story for those who have not read it, could you tell us the one strength your heroine provides to your hero?
Linda: Being born on the wrong side of the blanket, Duncan is very determined to live by society's rules. Brianna has to teach him which ones really matter and which ones really don't.
If your heroine was your daughter – what advice would you give her upon meeting your hero?
Linda: When you meet a man that causes your heart to override your head, fight dirty to win him.
If we peek in on your hero and heroine’s lives ten years from now, can you give us a glimpse of what we’d see?
Linda: Duncan and Brianna are spending their time working to solve mysteries for the elite by tagging along their children. Brianna is still taking risks and getting results. Duncan has a full head of white hair but can finally shoot as well as his wife.
What’s been the greatest contributing factor to achieving the goals you’ve accomplished?
Linda: My husband's belief in me and my talents. He's pretty sure there isn't anything I can't do if I put myself to it. That's very powerful and kept me going despite the rejections.
As a writer, what is your greatest strength?
Linda: Story telling is my greatest strength. Everything goes smoothly as long as I don't ever get the idea that I'm in charge of my stories.
What has surprised you the most about being a published author?
Linda: That people are surprised that I respond to their emails or answer their questions on twitter or facebook or on the phone. I like to hear from people who were touched by my stories. My mom says it's because writers and artists are supposed to be out there with their muses. My muse tells me to put my butt in a chair because she has something to tell me and I need to shut up and type. Besides, it's good to talk to people other than ones inside my head. (It makes the doctors think I'm getting better :) ).
Well, let's take a peek at these two! After all that, I can't wait to see them.
“Brianna, can ye hear me?” Panic fed the primal rage bucking through Duncan. He bound the fury. A treasury agent had nerves of tempered steel, control of iron. A white lock rested on her pale cheek. Peppermint-scented breath slipped past pink lips. She was fine. She had fainted, nothing more. Nothing more.
Yet she had not wakened.
“I had thought she would be accustomed to violence, especially after the tales she told of Arizona.” Miss Phillips’s whine sliced through his musings.
A man had been murdered, poisoned in front of a roomful of wealthy, influential witnesses. August would have been the likely suspect—it was his valet, after all. Except, he couldn’t have known his servant would be in the room, let alone would drink from the glass. So who was the intended victim?
He laid Brianna on the plush carpet and knelt beside her. He brushed her bangs out of her eye, sweeping aside the feather headdress.
And who was the poisoner?
He might have spied something if he hadn’t dallied over his evening dress, and what had his delay accomplished? Not a bluidy thing. His hair still stuck up a little in front. As for the noose around his neck, he could feel the ends brushing his jaw.
“Damn it, Brianna, wake up!”
“Señor Stuart?” Esmé pried apart the Van Sargents. Worry pinched her features, increased the pitch of her voice. Two men in ship’s uniform squeezed through behind her, parting the assembled crowd. An elderly man in a somber suit appeared and set a black bag on the table.
Ignoring the newcomers, Duncan leaned close to Esmé’s ear. “Has Brianna eaten anything tonight?”
Shock flashed in her brown eyes. Her gaze flicked to the corpse before meeting his.
“No, señor. The dinner, it has not been served.”
He nodded. Relief flooded him.
“I believe she has fainted.”
“There are smelling salts in our room.”
“Are you a doctor, sir?” Curry and garlic permeated the air as the elderly man who’d arrived with the ship’s crew creaked to a stop beside Duncan. He leaned over Brianna with his ear near her mouth. “Peppermint,” he whispered, straightened then peeled the glove off her left hand. His index finger settled comfortably against the inside of her wrist. “An admirable heartbeat.”
“I’m nae a doctor.”
“Hmm, yet your prognosis is undoubtedly correct.” The man peered at Duncan over the gold rims of his spectacles. “The ladies do like to lace tightly, don’t they?” His Adam’s apple bobbed in the wattles of his throat. “Smelling salts should set Miss to rights. You’ve sent the companion to fetch them, hmm? ”
“That won’t be necessary.” Sir Reginald stepped forward. “Mrs. Van Sargent, the salts, if you please.”
Duncan grabbed the small glass bottle—he didn’t trust the missionary any more than he did the others. Glass scraped glass as he plucked the stopper free. Ammonia invaded his nose, stripped the moisture from the back of his throat. Definitely smelling salts. He shoved them under Brianna’s nose.
She winced, turned her head and coughed. Her eyes flickered open.
“Duncan. Wh-what happened?”
“You are very much mistaken.” She shoved herself into a sitting position, tucked a stray lock of hair behind her ear and straightened her bodice. “A Grey does not faint.”
“It’s alright, dear.” Mrs. Van Sargent tucked the bottle back in her purse. “I daresay, if Mr. Stuart hadn’t caught you you would have crashed right into the table.”
Movement caught his eye. At the doctor’s nod, the burly crewmen lifted the body. Duncan shifted his weight to block Brianna’s view. Her lips parted; her eyes grew round. He had acted too late. She had seen the corpse.
“That man.” She pointed to the blanket-draped body with her bare hand. “He...”
“He’s dead, dear.”
“Choked to death,” Van Sargent added with relish.
“Such a terrible tragedy,” said Miss Phillips, dabbing her dry eyes.
“Sir Reginald doesn’t think it will prolong our stay aboard the Osiris.”
Duncan’s skin crawled as Mrs. Van Sargent beamed down at them like a goddess spreading her benevolence.
“But he—“ Brianna’s nails dug into Duncan’s arm.
”Choked to death.” He kept his voice firm, his tone final. Brianna had been around death most of her life, was intimately acquainted with most of its faces. He wouldn’t allow her knowledge to get her killed.
Thanks, Linda! I hope you'll drop back in on us another time with another book -- they all sound fascinating!
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