SPEAKER: Linda is a member of AWSA, and is available to speak to your organization, at your conference, or as part of a workshop.
Contact her at

AGENT: Linda is a an agent with Hartline Literary Agency. She would love to represent that next great American novel! She will look at nonfiction, but she LOVES FICTION--historic, suspense, romance or all of the above.

AUTHOR: Linda writes romance in all categories, but what is her fave? Suspense, and not only suspense, but SUSPENSE SEALED WITH A KISS

Thursday, June 30, 2011

So . . . You Wanna Write a Romance

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty, please pardon the cliché,
but in this instance, it’s true. No four letter words, no tumbles
under the covers. Just real down-to-earth romance.
What better place to start than An Affair to Remember.
So, do you remember?

Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, both running from love. Where?
Straight into each others’ arms. With a fiancée at home,
Cary Grant realizes there has to be more to life. With a
fiancé waiting for her, Deborah Kerr asks herself, is this all there is?

When they meet on a luxury ship headed for New York, they discover
each other but do their best to deny feelings which will disrupt more
lives than merely their own. Will they still care in six months or are
their emotions steering them? Plans formulate to meet at the top of
Empire State Building in half a year if they have the same intense feelings,
but one of them doesn’t show.

Formulaic romance? Sure. But what challenges face them throughout the
two hours of sheer pleasure! Each one with a love back home. A promise
to meet in six months. An accident that stops all their plans.

Subplots, disaster, thwarted love.

If you want to write a successful romance, first, get a copy of An Affair to Remember. Pop a big bowl of corn and be ready with a very large box of tissues, because this is an affair to remember. And a wonderful lesson in what makes a great romance.
If you write it like this, they will come!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


In life, there will always be plenty of people to tell us we can’t. But when God places a dream in your heart, let hope find root. Don’t look at your unfulfilled dream like a weed and pick it prematurely. Recognize it as the real thing. Then give it time to grow, time to be all it can and then pick it, share it, allow others to be part of it.

We have to allow God’s timing is all things, our writing especially. Very few folks sit down and dash off a novel, have agents and editors fight over the work, and see it published as a bestseller. That isn’t one of life’s realities, but in God’s timing, if He placed writing in your heart, then allow Him to be the one to ready it, place it, put your woven words in the right hands.

Anymore than you would want a baby born prematurely, you wouldn’t want your work brought out too soon, either. Allow it to grow and with God’s timing, the day of showing the world your work will arrive.

When God places it in your heart, give your story time to take root.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Hey guys, swing around to Suzanne Hartmann's blog for some great writing tips.
She touches on so many topics and is spot on.
You won't be sorry.
Whether you're having trouble with show vs. tell or learning how to incorporate all the senses, Suzanne's your gal.

Happy writing!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hartline Adds New Agent!

Well, have been keeping this to myself, and wanted you all to know. I was just invited to work with Hartline Literary Agency as an agent. It's been so much fun working with Terry this last year. So drop by and visit from time to time, I'm going to try and do some posts for Hartline's blog as well as add some fun things for writers to this blog.

Stay tuned, there's more fun in store.


Has God called you to encourage other people in any aspect of life?
Maybe in writing, maybe some other venue?
If so, what has been the outcome?

Saturday, June 18, 2011



You wait with great expectations. Your favorite author’s new book is about to be released. Let’s see, $13.96 through Amazon, wait a week, wait for the mailman each day around 11:30, chew your lip, think it over. Hmmm, maybe download to Kindle.
Instant gratification! Woohoo!!!
Cup of tea and some butter cookies, fireplace crackling, kids taking a nap, hubbie’s off to work so the lounge chair is all yours or:
Mug of coffee (none of that sissy kind), wife’s shopping, kids are out playing, and the throne room is empty, no one around to pound on the door!
You’re on page fifty (the house is unusually quiet today) but you still can’t get into the characters, still can’t connect. You already know whodunit and the female and/or male protagonist is a wimp. There’s just not enough suspense to fire up your blood pressure.
Every single aim at the target doesn’t come away with a prize. Your favorite author is no different. Somewhere in his or her repertoire there lurks a story that won’t appeal to everyone. And while it’s a disappointment to you, it might be just what another reader needs to hear. I was reminded of this recently when I whined to a friend about a book I’d just read. She told me ever so sweetly (she’s one of those who says everything with much humility and kindness) that each book has a purpose. Each book has a reason why it was written and for whom. I just wasn’t the target audience this time. And this made me view “my opinion” a bit differently.
So, here I am, anxiously awaiting the “next” book by my fave author and maybe this time, the message will be for me!

What has your experience been?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


If you’re not adverse to holding your sides to prevent bursting,
If you don’t mind having to change your shorts
halfway through a read,
If you don’t mind strangers staring as you belly laugh in public,
Then you’ll want to pick up a copy of
Tim Downs’ newest entry
in the Bug Man series,
Nick Of Time

When Nick Polchak and Alena decide marriage is the answer for two quirky people who might never find anyone else who understands the other any better, Nick is voluntarily whisked away the week before their wedding to partake of a cold case crime with some of his eccentric genius buddies. As the case sends him state-hopping, and bug collecting, Alena waits alone, and not so patiently at home for him to return in time for the ceremony. But Nick finds a lot more than decaying bodies and bug casings, he finds…well, if I tell you what it all means, I’d have to kill you.

Grab your belly binder, a few dry pair of shorts, and put on your blinders to the rest of the world, you’re ready for the read of your life.

You didn’t see it coming?
Didn’t I warn you?
Okay, there’s more than laughter, there’s a thriller that will keep your heart pumping like an old-time fire engine.
Don’t waste another minute before getting your hands on
What a great summer read!
Did I mention dry shorts?

Sunday, June 12, 2011


I want to take a minute to do a shout out for my agent and mentor, Terry Burns of the Hartline Literary Agency. Very few agents, in this atmosphere of unsure publishing trends, are willing to take on new authors. Understandable, most want to go for the sure thing--an experienced author with plenty to offer, and bucks to be made.

But how does one get experience and publishing credits without an agent who will give him or her a chance in the first place?

Enter Terry Burns, agent extraordinaire! "Send it to me and I'll look it over." And he says something to that effect more often than not. I know, because I work with him wading through some of the submissions. Are they all stellar? No. But each and every one of them receives time, a commodity few people have for each other these days unless there's something in it for them. And a caring response. Also something that is short in supply.

Lately, it seems his client list has been adding publishing credits left and right, to be cliche, and it couldn't happen to a better agent. Someone has to be a help to newbies anxious for their first contracts. And Terry has made that happen more often than not. I'm proud to be part of Team Terry and glad to know there are those out there with servants' hearts, willing to help "the least of us".

Move over bestsellers, there's a man in a big Stetson nippin' at your heels!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!

Every now and then Jack's gotta stop working and have some fun. That's what I did this week so I could read Purple Knot by Raquel Byrnes and Diagnosis Death by Dr. Richard Mabry.
Was it worth it? Oh Yeah!

While I got very little writing done, I truly enjoyed playing hookey, no, not hockey, hookey!

What do you plan to read this summer?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

“Right as Rain”

The Purple Knot will make you feel right as rain!
Raquel Byrnes, author, writes about Reyna Cruz, a spitfire of
a private investigator, and she’ll enjoy seeing you twist and
turn around the curves of this awesome novel.

After the death of her best friend, a death for which she’s blamed,
Reyna Cruz sets out to prove her innocence while digging
too closely into personal information that will expose the real killer.
On her journey, she is reunited with her childhood sweetheart,
but can they overcome the pain she caused him when she
left four years earlier?

Unable to come to grips with God’s handling of the loss
in their lives, Reyna struggles to resolve her faith issues as she
fights to save her relationship with the one and only man she’s ever loved. The man who finds it difficult to balance his emotions with her risk taking.

Just when you’re convinced the cops will step
in and cuff someone, you couldn’t be more wrong.
Ms. Byrnes has a way of leading you
astray in such a way, you never saw it coming.

Join me in reading this outstanding
Edge of Your Seat Romance by Raquel Byrnes:
First in the Shades of Hope Series
Happy summer reading…

Friday, June 3, 2011

Purple Knot

Knot to be missed!

If you can only afford one summer read,
make it Purple Knot by debut author, Raquel Byrnes.
Okay, so I’m only 25% of the way done.
But I can tell already this is going to be one of my favorite reads
by a debut author. You know what I mean.
You can just tell…
And even though I’m busy, right? I can’t put it down.
I’m reading for work. In fact, I’m in the middle of one
I have to get done, but I knew Purple Knot was
coming out today and I just wanted to take a break in order to
read “a few pages.”
Yeah, right. Well, the best laid plans and all that jazz.
So here I am, putting down a book that has grabbed
me by the cheeks and is slapping then both so hard
my mouth is twisted into a frown. Get the picture?
But I knew this book was coming out and because I love
I couldn’t resist moseying over to Amazon and
popping the puppy on my Kindle.
Okay, Ms. Byrnes, the ending had better do justice to the beginning, because when I finish, I’m doing a full review, right here, right now, right to the end!
Suspenseful reading all…