Monday, December 16, 2013

Welcome Bess McBride and her Boxed set Series

I'm happy to have Bess McBride on my blog today. Bess, I've read A Train Though Time and loved it, but haven't read the other two books in the series. Thanks for offering all three in the boxed set at a splendid price. Beth is giving away one boxed set today so leave her a comment to be in the drawing.

"Thanks for having me on your blog today, Linda. I got the idea for A Train Through Time, the first book in the Train Through Time series, when I worked for the National Park Service at Glacier National Park, Montana, for the summer in 2007. I've always had a fascination with trains, as do a lot of people, and the Great Northern Railway was integral to the building of the chalets and lodges in the park, as well as having the land set aside. Amtrak's Empire Builder stops near the West Glacier entrance, and I used to hear the train's whistle every day. I knew I had to write a story involving the train, and since time travel romances are my favorite read, I knew it had to be a time travel romance. I channeled my favorite movie, Somewhere in Time, mixed it up with Glacier National Park, the route of the Great Northern Railway's Oriental Limited (now styled as the Empire Builder for Amtrak), and the story began!

Readers asked for another book in the series and I wrote Together Forever Across Time and then A Smile in Time. They all involved time travel aboard the trains along with meeting a handsome man from the early 1900s and some happily ever after…after they figure out the time traveling thing! I'm currently finishing up the fourth book of the series, Finding You in Time which should be released soon. All the Train Through Time books are sweet romances."



Train Through Time Series Boxed Set Books 1-3


Together in one boxed set, the bestselling Train Through Time series:

Book 1: A Train Through Time
Book 2: Together Forever Across Time
Book 3: A Smile in Time

A TRAIN THROUGH TIME: College teacher Ellie Standish thinks she's on a sleek modern train heading to a conference on women's studies in Seattle, but she awakens from a night's doze to find herself on a bizarre historical train full of late Victorian era reenactors who refuse to come out of character. When the leader of the group—one handsome, green-eyed Robert Chamberlain—finally convinces her the date is indeed 1901, a skeptical Ellie rejects any eccentric theories of time travel and presumes she is smack dab in the middle of a very interesting historical dream. She turns the directorial reins of her dream over to one smitten and willing Robert, only to realize that dreams cannot last forever. Someday, she must wake up to reality, though Ellie no longer has any idea what reality is. She only knows that Robert must play an important part in her future. But how can he...if he's only a figment of her imagination or worse yet...a man who belongs to an era long past?

TOGETHER FOREVER ACROSS TIME: Stephen Sadler reluctantly attends the Seattle wedding of Robert Chamberlain to Ellie Standish, the woman who had captured his interest. There he says goodbye to the woman he thought he had fallen for. Only a few weeks later while traveling on a train, Stephen is confronted by the vision of a strange wild-haired woman in a pair of snug-fitting trousers called “jeans” who claims she doesn’t know where she is or how she came to be on his train—until she sees the date on the newspaper, that is.

Dani Douglas cannot travel through time! Her mother in Montana is ill, and she has to get back to her. But the crystal clear blue eyes of handsome Stephen Sadler hold her captive in 1901, and she doesn’t know how to leave him...perhaps forever.

Stephen realizes that Dani and Ellie have much in common, but where Ellie simply captured his interest, Dani has captured his imagination and his heart. Unlike Ellie though, Dani cannot stay, her mother is ill. Stephen doesn’t know how he can let her leave him...perhaps forever. As the train hurtles back and forth across the rails, Stephen and Dani struggle to find a way to be together forever across time.

A SMILE IN TIME: Annie St. John and her sister, Marie, decide that the three-day train ride from Chicago to Seattle to catch their Alaskan cruise was a bit too much, and they swear that next time, they’ll fly. But “a bit too much” doesn’t begin to describe what they find when they wake up from a short doze on their sleek modern train.

Over a hundred years before, Rory O’Rourke heads back to Seattle from a photo shoot in Montana on the Oriental Limited. When a young woman in tight clothing called "capris" falls into his arms, Rory finds his hands full with not one, but two young women who claim they must have traveled back in time. Rory scoffs at the idea, but his innate chivalry will not allow him to resist the pleas of the young women for help. 

You can find Bess on these links.

Thank you for blogging with us today, Bess.  Readers, I hope you'll leave Bess a comment.

Happy Reading and Writing!

Linda
www.lindalaroque.com

Sunday, December 1, 2013

How About A Little Holiday Cheer—$25 B&N Gift Card


Coming December 1-January 1:  HOLIDAY CHEER and a chance to win a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card, as well as other prizes. Join twenty-nine authors as they talk about their holiday celebrations, share their romance novels and provide a yummy recipe.  Find it all on Anna Kathryn’s blog: http://aklanier.com/annas-blog/.
To be eligible for the $25 gift card and author prizes, just leave a comment on each blog post.  Authors will draw names from the comments the day following their post.  Anna Kathryn will draw a winner for the $25 gift card on or about Jan. 3, 2014.

Date
Name
1-Dec
Roni Denholtz
2-Dec
Wareeze Woodson
3-Dec
Bethany Averie
4-Dec
Celia Yeary
5-Dec
Andrea Downing
6-Dec
Anna Kathryn
7-Dec
Caroline Clemmons
8-Dec
Carra Copelin
9-Dec
Chrys Fey
10-Dec
Melissa Snark
11-Dec
Sky Purington
12-Dec
Marie Higgins
13-Dec
Renee Knowles
14-Dec
Linda LaRoque
15-Dec
Jenny Anderson
16-Dec
Cheryl Pierson
17-Dec
L. A. Kelley
18-Dec
Lyn Horner
19-Dec
J D Faver
20-Dec
Tara Manderino
21-Dec
Shauna Allen
22-Dec
Joan Reeves
23-Dec
Terri Rochenski
24-Dec
Anna Kathryn
25-Dec
No One
26-Dec
Sarah McNeal
27-Dec
Tanya Hanson
28-Dec
Loretta C. Rogers
29-Dec
Debra St. John
30-Dec
Charlene Raddon
31-Dec
Kathleen Rice Adams
1-Jan
Anna Kathryn

On December 14th, my drawing will be for an autographed paper copy of Born in Ice to a US resident only. If the winner is International, I'll send an copy.

I hope you'll take part and visit each site. 

Happy Reading and Writing!

Linda
www.lindalaroque.com




Friday, November 22, 2013

Birdie's Nest Give-A-Way

I'll be giving a way 3 signed paperback copies of Birdie's Nest on Goodreads on December 19th. Included will be a mini LCD flashlight with my name. Click on the link to the right to be taken to Goodreads to enter.

Check out all of the give-a-ways. I just spent an hour that I should have been using to write, entering give-a-ways.

Hope you win a copy!

Linda

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Happy Veteran's Day — "In Flanders Fields"

I was born in September of 1945, just after the end of WWII. Patriotism was high throughout my school years. I can't say I remember saying the Pledge of Allegiance every morning in elementary school, but we did sing the Star Spangled Banner through out my secondary and college years before every athletic event and assembly. Everyone stood, took their hats off and placed their right hand over their heart.

Of course, I had a good role model, which is sometimes lacking today. My father was a Master Sergeant in the Air Force.  We were often on base and observed the exchange of salutes and military exhibitions.

In the sixth grade we memorized several poems and recited them before the class. One that has stuck with me all these years is In Flanders Field.

Even today it remains one of the most memorable poems ever written.

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army


In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
 
To you from failing hands we throw
 
                                                                              The torch; be yours to hold it high.

                                                                        
If ye break faith with us who die
 
                                                                          We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
 
                                                                                     In Flanders fields.


Desires of the Heart—Poor Sales—Why?—Free at Amazon.com on November 11th & 12th

Desires of the Heart, my time travel set in post WWII, has never sold well, and I'd like to know why.
Is it because of the beginning scene, one rather tough to read, a bedroom scene staring the heroine and her soon to be ex-husband? It is rather rough but was written that way because here the jerk of a husband shows his true colors?

I decided to enroll it in the KDP program at Amazon and offer it for free on November 11th and 12th in hopes readers could help me out. I hope you'll grab a copy and please leave a short review stating whether you like it or not.

Blurb:

Loren Fairchild longs for children, but is barren. At a cottage in Carlisle, UK, she puts her divorce behind her and begins a new life. In 1947 the former owner’s wife disappeared. That same week, according to local gossip, her husband took up with a dark-headed harlot. One morning in 2007, a simple-minded woman appears at Loren’s cottage and triggers events that change Loren’s life forever.

Miles Chapeau misses the wife, the mother of his two children, he’d known before the war. When he returned from WWII in 1945, he learned she’d been hurt in an air raid and has the mind of a child. He loves her and would never forsake his duty, but misses the intimate side of marriage and a woman to share his life. One day she disappears and his existence is turned upside down.
Desires of the Heart is available at Amazon.com/ I hope you'll get a copy and tell me what you think.
Happy Reading and Writing!



Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Short Story—A Haunted House in the Suburbs—Happy Halloween!

I wrote this story 7 years ago in hopes it would be included in a book on Haunted Houses in Texas. The publisher didn't receive enough enough submissions, and the project was dropped.

I thought I'd posted this story online before, but it didn't show up after an Internet search. So, I'm posting it for my readers this Halloween. I hope you enjoy!

If you've had a ghostly experience, please share it with us in the comment section.

A Haunted House in the Suburbs

            When I think about haunted houses, my mind conjures up old, dark, abandoned dwellings in poor condition or ancient castles and mansions with ugly gargoyles keeping out intruders. Not single story ranch style homes with cement foundations that sit on paved streets not more than fifteen feet from the house next door. Now, it’s my understanding that when a realtor sells a property, they must inform the prospective buyers if a death has occurred in the residence, and if it was natural or violent. When we bought the house in Fort Worth in 1972, we received no such news, so, of course our modest abode, in a clean, neat neighborhood wasn’t a candidate for ghost activity.
            I must admit that one night I heard what sounded like someone fighting for their life. My husband liked to watch TV while lying on the sofa, and invariably he’d fall asleep. Our bedroom was right off the den, the TV sat just outside our doorway. Usually, the noise didn’t bother me, or even wake me. But on this particular night, the horrible, loud sounds of choking, gurgling, and screams had me springing from the bed in fright.
My first thought was a heart attack, but the yells of terror nixed that. The only thing that registered in my brain was an intruder was attacking my husband.
My soul mate slept peacefully, but the woman on the TV screen being sucked dry by a vampire wasn’t. I hit the knob on the tube to turn it off. In that day and time, we didn’t have remote controls. Switching channels required getting up to turn the dial, a major pain. Being a portable set sitting on a flimsy stand, it rocked from the blow.
            Furious, I left him snoring serenely and went back to bed. Beating my pillow into submission, I mumbled a few unkind words to let off steam. My heart rate hadn’t slowed yet, so I took several deep breaths. I might not have been so frightened if we’d not had several break-ins in the neighborhood in the past few months. TV’s, jewelry, and other easy to carry items had disappeared, but the burglaries occurred during the day when everyone was at work. No one had been hurt, but there was always a first time.
Before I get to my story about my haunting experience, first let me say, if there is a foreign sound in the house I will hear it and wake up. I don’t know if it’s a mother thing, ESP, or what. One night I awoke and heard a faint noise I couldn’t identify. I rose and walked all over the house trying to find the source. At first I thought it was water running in one of the toilets, but neither were the problem. It was the water heater. A hole had formed in the bottom allowing water to leak onto the raised platform on which it sat. The slow drip, drip, drip is what woke me.
For once my husband didn’t complain about being woken in the night about some noise. In fact, he was grateful. “If you hadn’t heard that slow drip, we’d have a mess to clean up in the morning.” He turned off the gas flame, and with a hose, drained the tank.
On another occasion, around two a.m., something woke me. I don’t have a clue what it was, if I’d heard some sound or what. I lay there awhile, still and afraid, listening for the noise to be repeated so I could hone it on what had nudged me from slumber. My heart thundered in my chest as I waited. When I didn’t hear anything, I opened my eyes. You’re probably wondering why I hadn’t opened my eyes sooner. If someone was in the house, I didn’t want them to know I was awake. Hearing nothing, I opened my eyes. A man stood in front of the TV just outside our bedroom door staring inside. His body was positioned partially toward us, but his head was turned, looking in our bedroom. I could see fairly well as he stood in the glow of the nightlight we leave on for the kids. He wasn’t moving, so I figured I was dreaming. Fear churning in my belly, I continued to gape, taking in his clothes and posture. Of less than medium height for a man, stocky, or maybe the loose clothes he wore made him appear so. About five feet, five inches tall, he wore olive green or khaki pants and a matching jacket that hit him about mid thigh. I know it was a jacket because the hem didn’t curve and I could see that it hung open. His hat was the same color as his clothes, one of those cloth types with a brim turned slightly down, almost like a fishing hat but the brim was wider. Though the light wasn’t bright, I could see enough to make me believe the man was neat and clean.
He remained unmoving and didn’t make a sound. If he was a thief, he’d be quietly gathering loot – a murderer, there would be a weapon of some kind. This had to be a dream. To test my theory, I thought, if I sit up and it’s just a nightmare, I’ll awaken. I sat up in the bed and waited. He bent slightly at the waist and cocked his head in my direction. My mouth was open, a scream gathering in my throat, when his image broke apart and began pulling away. The same way cigarette smoke dissipates if fluttered by a slight breeze. 
I glanced at my sleeping husband trying to make up my mind whether to wake him or not. Deciding no, I got up, tiptoed to the door, and peered around the corner. Nothing. I pulled back quickly, and holding my breath, took another fast peek. No one. I released the air in my lungs and leaned against the door frame to steady my shaky legs. Like most mothers, I couldn’t go back to bed until I’d checked on my children, every door, and window in the house. Everything was locked down for the night as it should be.
For a long time, I lay still in the bed staring at the ceiling, afraid to go back to sleep. Was it possible to be so deep in slumber that you could envision something thinking it real? I don’t think so. As a child, I walked in my sleep on occasion. But in those situations, I interacted with my environment. The minute I woke, I knew I’d been asleep. And felt pretty darn stupid afterwards. Especially the time I walked into my brother’s room and started beating on him.
Whatever I’d seen was totally different. I’d swear he was real, and his head and body did move. I didn’t have a sense of waking, I was already awake. In my mind, I know I saw a ghost. Where this ghost came from or why he was there, I don’t have a clue. If ghosts have temperaments, I’d say this ghost was kind and good. At no time did I feel threatened. Scared yes, but not so much by him as by the fact that I’d seen him period. 
The next morning, I told my husband about our visitor. Being the analytical person he is, he scoffed at the idea of my seeing a ghost. His answer was I’d been dreaming, again. I do have vivid nightmares, ones in living color. If only I could remember them, I’d have tons of ideas for story plots. On occasion I can remember parts of them and make notes for future reference. But, make no mistake, on this occasion, I was awake. I know the difference between a dream and an apparition, ghost, whatever, standing at my door and making eye contact. I’d been haunted – well, not really haunted since I only saw him once.
Over the next few months, I thought of who this individual might be. Across the street and down a steep hill from our house was a railroad track and trains come through regularly. Is it possible he was once a hobo who jumped off the train and fell to his death? Or starved to death, or had been murdered? It didn’t sound likely. He was too clean to be a homeless man. There were numerous possibilities.
Our housing addition sits on soap stone. Until we moved there, I’d never heard of its existence. But when it gets wet, it is slick. As a result, rain washed away parts of the cliff across the street. Back yards slid down the hill, and two vacant lots remained empty where houses had once been. Is it possible that while the streets had been laid out, dirt moved, piled up to form barriers that the land had shifted burying one of the workers? That was a terrible thought.
When I decided to write this story, a fact that puzzled me was the hat the man wore. It was not one I’d seen before. I discussed it with several people and received different answers. I searched the Internet and looked for pictures. Frustrated, I shared my dilemma with my husband. He responded, “It sounds like a jungle hat to me, a Boonie or Daisy Mae.” And sure enough, it was, but not camouflage like the modern ones. After more searching, I found the hat in WWII Army gear – a fatigue Boonie hat to match the jungle fatigues worn in the Pacific.
It was then I realized what he’d worn was a uniform, one when fatigues were standard Army issue, not the camouflage type worn today. Of course, workmen often wore khakis, but I doubt they’d have worn a jacket like my visitor. After further thought, I believe his jacket was a field jacket because my husband still has the one he wore while in the Army in the late 1960’s hanging in his closet.
Our house was built in the early 1960’s, after the Korean War but before Vietnam. Is it possible the people who lived there before us lost a loved one and he’d come seeking them? Or was it someone we had known? It’s possible the ghost didn’t come to see anyone, but something in the house, an item he was attached to. As far as actual antiques, I didn’t have any in the house, but I did have some collectibles and garage sale items.
When our children were small, there were times when they’d wake in the night claiming, “Someone was in my room.” After a thorough search, we found nothing so chalked it up as a dream or moonlight shining through the curtains and highlighting objects on the wall. As for me, I never saw him again.
In the early 1980’s we moved to another town and friends bought the house. When I decided to write this story, I called to see if they’d had any unusual experiences while living there. She asked what kind of oddities I had in mind. I have to give her credit, she didn’t laugh when I said – a ghost. “No, I haven’t and as far as I know, none of the others have either, or if they did, they didn’t mention it to me. But I’ll ask them.” Darn, I was disappointed. I needed some backup, verification that what I’d seen was real.
One afternoon my son, now grown, came over and helped me with some work on my computer. I explained what I was writing and asked him if he’d seen anything unusual, like a ghost when we lived in Fort Worth. Many young men would’ve burst out laughing, but not my son. He’s more like me in his thinking, and doesn’t automatically deny the possibility of unusual happenings. His answer was, no, not in that house, but he and his sister both had seen something in our new home. He continued. “We talked about feeling spooked, and we both saw the exact same thing. Sometimes at night, when we first turned on the light in our bedroom, we’d see the dark shadow of a man. The vision only lasted a second.”
When I described what I’d seen that night, he snapped his fingers, pointed at me, and said, “That’s the kind of hat our shadow wore.”
                            
                                                           The End

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you'll leave a comment.
Happy Reading and Writing!