Title: Rekindled Dreams
Author: Linda Carroll-Bradd
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 7 October 2013
When museum curator Vena Fenton returns to her small Montana hometown, she’s forced to live under the same roof as Finnian Quaid, the star of more than one teenage fantasy. Finnian is now an environmental lobbyist, making a bid for senate, and is as dreamy as ever.
Finnian needs a more settled image if he wants to get ahead in the polls. In order to do that, he needs a wife. With Vena living under his roof, his problem seems solved. As the romantic sparks fly, there's more at risk than Finnian's political aspirations. Can they keep their eye on the prize, or will their growing love derail them both?
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About the Author:
As a young girl, Linda was often found lying on her bed reading about fascinating characters having exciting adventures in places far away and in other time periods. In later years, she read and then started writing romances and achieved her first publication--a confession story. Married with 4 adult children and 2 granddaughters, Linda now writes heartwarming contemporary and historical stories with a touch of humor from her home in the southern California mountains.
What have you had published?
To date, I’ve had 14 short stories and novellas published, plus five stories in confession magazines.
What genre(s) of book do you write?
I write sweet-to-sensual contemporary and historical romance, with a couple light paranormals tossed in the mix.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Frankly, I’d been reading a lot of short romances and after a few that had some bad writing and unsympathetic characters, I thought to myself—I can do this. At that time, I’d spent about 15 years in secretarial work and was proficient with business English. I had quite the surprise when I learned how different fiction writing was. That sent me to a creative writing class and the instructor said “write what you know” so I wrote about a heroine who operated a child-care home (because that was my profession). Such a bad idea! I learned I was much better off making stuff up but sadly, that first manuscript I finished has structural flaws and will probably never see the inside of a Kindle or Nook.
How long did it take you to write “Rekindled Dreams”?
This novel is not a true guide of how long I take to write a novel. I started this story when my youngest daughter was five years old and then paid her (age 24) to perform a polish edit on the story before I sent it out—so about 19 years. In between starting it and its release, I accomplished all the afore-mentioned publishing credits. But, on this story, I just got a bit sidetracked and kept tweaking it.
What is the working title of your next book(s)?
I’m working on a sequel to my December 2012 western historical, The Ring That Binds. This is the story of the older brother and is titled Entwined Hearts. I’m always brainstorming or plotting a couple stories at a time because when I get stuck on one story I hop over to another. Sometimes this works great for completion and sometimes not.
When and why did you begin writing?
I hit one of those landmark birthdays when I decided I wanted to use a different side of my brain. I was deep into volunteer work for my childcare profession and service work at our church but that wasn’t satisfying my creative itch. Knowing I had no talent for painting or drawing, I turned to writing. I must have filled two spiral notebooks with character biographies, setting descriptions, apartment layouts (complete with wallpaper samples and paint swatches), etc. before I wrote the opening narrative paragraph for my first story.
Do you self publish your books or go through an agency?
I have been lucky to have several publishers for my releases—Prism Book Group, The Wild Rose Press, Still Moments Publishing (company now closed), and I will have a November release through Decadent Publishing.
This summer I released my first indie-published title, Capturing the Marshal’s Heart, a western historical.
What part of writing books do you find the hardest?
Developing enough conflict to sustain the word count. I want everyone to get along but that makes for boring books. All through my writing journey I’ve worked with other writers in critique or plot groups. This type of association (be it online or in person) is one I recommend to all writers. Because of the assistance I’ve received on boosting the conflict to create for the characters or sounding out a plot premise, or getting feedback on a rough draft, I continue to grow as a writer.
What do you do in your spare time?
Having 6 titles release since Thanksgiving 2012 has fined my promotional skills and left me with little spare time. But I recently rediscovered my love of crocheting and drug out all my scraps of yarn remaining for project long ago finished. As all yarn workers know, you get almost done with a project and the ideas start flowing about the pattern and color scheme for the next one. I’ve been working on baby afghans in the evenings when I’m away from the computer. Once I get a good supply, I plan to open an account on Etsy.
Who is your favourite author?
Favorite all-time author is Jane Austen, favorite contemporary author is a toss-up between Jill Shalvis and Kristen Higgins.
What’s your favourite genre to read?
A year ago, my favorite genre was thrillers written by Scandinavian authors and this year, it’s small-town romance.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
To write about characters and a plot that excite you—your enthusiasm will show in the story. Don’t write romantic suspense because you heard those titles sell well unless you are a rabid fan (meaning read a lot of romantic suspense stories) and know the expectations for that genre.
Make sure that the work you put out there for a critique group or beta readers or through indie-publishing is the best you can make it. Each time a reader discovers (buys) your work, you are making your first impression and you want it to be a positive, happy one.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
My ultimate thanks go to the Romance Writers of America—an organization for aspiring and published authors that provides a monthly magazine, workshops, local chapters, and national conferences from which I learned most of my writing skills.