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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Spotlight on Linda Windsor and Wedding Bell Blues

Today is quite special! Not only do I have the opportunity to feature a fantastic author who has made a name for herself in the "romantic comedy" genre, but I also get to introduce you to a friend, mentor and sister in Christ. She stuck with me from page 1 to the end of my first novel (Promises, Promises), and without her, that book would never have sold. Thanks to her, I have since sold 3 books and received instruction that has set me on the path toward my own writing career.

It is with honor and privilege that I now present Linda Windsor:

Maryland author Linda Windsor has written twenty-nine historical and contemporary novels for both the secular and inspirational markets, but she is most noted for delivering "The LIFT of Laughter and Spirit" in her modern inspirational romances. A Christy finalist and winner of numerous industry awards, Linda has written for Kensington Publishing/NY, Multnomah Publishing/Random House, Barbour Publishing, Westbow Press/Thomas Nelson Publishing and is now contracted to launch Harper Collins' Avon Inspire contemporary romance line with The Piper Cove Chronicles.

Linda chose a local setting, basing the fictitious Piper Cove on nearby Ocean Pines & Berlin, MD. It's first book, WEDDING BELL BLUES, is due out in June 2007. In addition to writing and speaking across the country, Linda continues a local music and lay speaking ministry started by her and her late husband. She also works on home improvement projects on the 18th century-plus house that she and her husband began restoring in 1986 on an "as desperately needed" basis. Wallpaper and paint are definitely in her near future.

Order your copy of Wedding Bell Blues today!

SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW

1. This is your first book in the Piper Cove Chronicles, introducing what is sure to be a fun-loving cast of characters for your subsequent books. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

I know the heroines and I certainly know Piper Cove and it's many characters. I grew up in the area upon which this fictional town is based. That's what makes this series so dear to my heart.

It's the stories of four best friends, who were determined to leave the hick town of Piper Cove in their dust on high school graduation day. Yet, years later, here they are, back in Piper Cove, which has changed from sleepy seaside village to a resort. Alex, Ellen, Jan and Sue Ann have changed too, but their friendship has not. They are closer than ever. It's one for all and all for one, especially when it comes to finding love.

2. This is also the first with your new publisher, Harper Collins SF, in their new line Avon Inspire. Share a little about the experience of being one of two authors selected to launch this new line.

To say it's thrilling is an understatement. I am enjoying working with the Harper-Collins/Avon Inspire staff and being a part of the launch. It's real teamwork on every level from the writing itself to the packaging and the mysterious world of marketing.

3. How much of your own experiences influenced the characters of Alex and Josh. What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?

Well, who doesn't like to be in control, especially when we are younger? Being a little more spiritually mature now, I've learned to let go and let God easier than in the past. That's not to say that God's finished with me in that arena. Oh, and I am deathly afraid of crabs. Snakes or spiders I can handle, but don't even put a dead blue crab near me. I only trust those tasty crustacians if they are steamed orange and sprinkled with Old Bay.

As for Josh, I never went big time with music, nor did I put it ahead of my family; but, having performed in a band for ten years, I do share his love of it and can see how it can become a god of sorts. Anything we are passionate about can become a god and put us on a self-destructive path, if we are not careful.

4a. What themes exist in Wedding Bell Blues that you hope the reader sees?

It's a good thing that we are NOT in control and that God is. So letting go and letting God in order to forgive and move on is the big one for Alex. Otherwise we are stuck in the past with our bitterness. I read once that clinging to the past paralizes today and bankrupts the future. I wish I could say who the author of that truth is.

For Josh, it's a test of his new-found faith to put revenge aside and really forgive one's transgressor, even when that transgressor is still a major pain and can't simply be avoided. While forgiving and forgetting is the right thing to do, it's doesn't come easy. Only God can help us swallow our urge for revenge and move on.

4b. Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?

Absolutely. That of the parent who loves too much, to the point of insensitivity. And of the child who mistakes the disapproval as a lack of love. Alex's dad is the controlling parent to the extreme. He's horrible to Alex when she doesn't do as he expects her to for her own good. He's judgemental with a plank in his eye. But his motivation? Love, protection. At least in part. The rest, our wily B.J. has to work on with lots of divine intervention.

Unfortunately, Alex thinks her father disapproves of her and can't possibly love her, making her all the more rebellious. Both father and daughter are wrong.

5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

I loved writing the scenes where the four bosom buddies were together. It reminded me just how blessed I am to have friends who love me, warts and all, and to rejoice in our differences as well as in what we have in common. I am thrilled when the chemistry sparks between my hero and heroine and overwhelmed when the Spirit takes over when they have an epiphany.

All that said, this was still the most difficult book I've ever written as it was the first one since my husband died. I felt as if my emotional plug had been pulled, or I'd turned that switch off. So it was hard for me as a writer to get in there and "feel" what my characters were feeling without exposing my own raw and healing ones. I had to keep going back into those scenes until they were right.

6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

I can hardly wait! FOR PETE'S SAKE is about Alex's Harley-riding friend Ellen. There much more of me in Ellen than Alex--sans the Harley, that is. Having been raised with horses, I was into real horse-power.

Unlike her bosom buddies, the outspoken Ellen is willing to wait for love and not going to settle for anything less than the right one. So when a handsome and sophisticated security systems expert moves in next door with his son Pete, Ellen just can't see how this could be THE one. Not only is Adrian a prince charming to her leather and wheels, but he has a feminine siren on his arm. No way this suddenly tongue-tied tomboy can compete! But a troubled boy and the sense that our hero isn't quite as happy as a prince charming should be draw the big-hearted heroine into a web of intrigue where love and faith will be her only hope.

* * * * *

Thanks, Linda, for being in the spotlight today. Readers, leave your comment for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of this fantastic book sure to get you laughing and touch your heart all the way to the last page. Check back here next week for the winner.

22 comments:

Cherie J said...

Great author spotlight! I have read most of Linda's books and they are so good. So sorry to hear about Linda's husband. May the Lord grant her comfort and peace. Wedding Bell Blues sounds great!

Anonymous said...

Always fun to touch base with Linda. Thanks for the interview!

God bless,
Kim S.

Delia Latham said...

Sounds like a fun book! I am sorry to hear of Linda's loss, but I know God will be her comfort and mainstay. Loved the references to letting go and letting God ...

Paulette Harris said...

I enjoyed this interview. Sorry about your husband. You are so right on about letting God handle things. What with my nine plus cat lives and now with my husband's illness, I am finally able to just let go and let God. He is totally suprising Jim and I every step we take forward in the Kingdom. We just put one foot in front of the other and try our best to keep our eyes on him as He directs our paths.
Best wishes for your upcoming endevours in/for this book.
Sounds fun!
Blessings,

Paulette Harris
www.paulettharris.biz

Margo Carmichael said...

Great interview. Linda's fun humor and insights always show up in her stories. : )

Vickie said...

I'm looking forward to reading another Linda Windsor book. I love all of the ones I've read so far and am excited about this new series.

Carol Collett said...

Great interview. I'm very excited about reading this book.

Karen Eve said...

Now I have to read this book. It sounds like a lot of fun. Thanks for letting us know more about it and Linda.
Blessings

rose mccauley said...

I am so glad Linda is starting a new series--I love all her books! And she is as lovely a person as she is a great writer! Hope I win this book. If not, I'll be sure to get an autographed copy at ACFW conference. rose

Robin Bayne said...

Thanks for posting the interview! I love Linda's books too--entertaining while giving a message.

lollipops said...

Thanks for the interview - and I love Linda's books too. Pick me! :)

Congratulations, Tiff

Kathy Kovach said...

Ever since I read my first Linda Windsor book, I have said that I want to write just like her. I'm so ready for this new one coming out, and even if I don't win it, I know I'll buy a copy.

Congrats, Linda, on this awesome opportunity to launch a new line. I'm sitting at your feet and learning from the best!

ScrollSquirrel said...

Great interview, ladies!

Cannot WAIT to read the book!

Hugs,
Cheryl Wyatt

Melanie Dickerson said...

Yay! I love Linda Windsor! Hope I win. :-)

Debra said...

Awesome interview, Tiff. Linda is such an amazing author.
I love her comment about how clinging to the past paralizes today and bankrupts the future. I know she wasn't the originator of it, but I'm glad she shared it. It's so hard to let go and let God, especially when most of time WE want to be in control.

Thanks for sharing with the ACFW loop about this wonderful interview with Linda.

Debra Ullrick
Coming soon...THE BRIDE WORE COVERALLS by Debra Ullrick & Heartsong Presents

tetewa said...

Enjoyed the interview and sounds like another great read count me in! tWarner419@aol.com

Sheryl said...

Wonderful interview Tiff & Linda. I so enjoy Linda's writing, and I also admire her personally. The fact that she persevered and wrote this book through the pain she felt at her husband's death is a wonderful testimony to me of her faithfulness, to the Lord and the gift of writing that He has given her.

I'd love to be entered in the drawing to win a copy of Wedding Bell Blues.

Angie said...

Sounds fantastic! I would love to read it. Thanks for the interview and the drawing!

margie said...

Enjoyed the interview, Linda! I'm pleased that you're a part of this new line's launch. I look forward to reading this book, too.

Margie Vawter

Anonymous said...

Linda,
I'm so happy to hear you have a new book coming out!
Barbara C.

Tiff/Amber Miller said...

Wow! What a great turnout in comments for Linda this week. Shame she couldn't drop by to chat with y'all. She is up to her elbows in paint helping her daughter get her new house ready for occupancy, plus a deadline on edits for book #2 in her new series.

We DO have a winner of the free book though. And the winner is....

Cheryl W.

Cheryl, I'll forward your address to Linda. As soon as she receives her copies of the book, she'll autograph it and send one out to you. If you have a preference for the inscription or want the book signed to someone else, email me ASAP and let me know.

Thank you to everyone who commented. Hope you come back each week for more chances to win and more spotlights on authors.

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