Please help me welcome Linda McLaughlin to my blog today. Linda is giving away a $5 Starbucks card for today’s tour stop, but is also giving away a $10 giftcard of the winners choice for her overall tour, so be sure to leave a comment to be entered.
About the time I decided to start writing, I was doing my family genealogy. As part of my research, I picked up a nonfiction book about the founding of Pittsburgh by the French, who built Fort Duquesne in the 1750s. I was surprised to learn that the French officers, most of whom were from the aristocracy and upper middle class, would strip down to moccasins and loincloth to lead their Native American allies on frontier raiding parties. I thought, wow, what a great hero that would make! And the idea for Jacques Corbeau of Rogue’s Hostage was born. While I ws still working on the book, the movie of The Last of the Mohicans, starring Daniel Day-Lewis was released and I saw it in the theater 3 or 4 times, absorbing every detail. The movie provided a lot of visual inspiration!
Do you have critique partners?
Yes, I have been with the same critique group for over twenty years. We meet once a week to critique each other’s work, and we have become the best of friends. When we started out, none of us were published, but now we all are.
What is your favorite dessert/food?
Chocolate. Dark chocolate, to be exact. :D
What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?
Do your homework so you know what you are getting into. Assess your strengths and weaknesses so you know what you can on your own and what you will have to pay for. Editing can be quite expensive, for instance, so if you can save money by learning to do your own covers or formatting, then take the time to learn. Join a group and read books and be prepared to go the long distance. It takes time to build a name and find readers. I’m still working on that and I’ve been published, if not self-published, for a long time.
What did you want to be when you were a child? Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
Like any child, I had occasional dreams of doing something glamorous, like being a spy or a concert pianist, but it didn’t take long for me to figure out neither of those would happen. I wasn’t that good at the piano, and frankly, I’d make a terrible spy. Can’t keep a secret to save my soul. But the two things that I thought about most were writing or being a librarian. My parents, who were very practical people, made it very clear which choice they thought was best, so I attended Library School after college graduation. I’ve worked as a technical and public librarian on and off for many years. I put the writing dream aside for a long time, but it came back to me in my thirties and I decided to give it a try. Glad I did.
What genres are you drawn to as a reader?
I’m a very eclectic reader and enjoy most genres, though I’m a little too squeamish for horror. However, I am a big history geek, so am drawn to anything historical, whether it’s a romance or mystery or science fiction & fantasy. I like Steampunk and am a big fan of Naomi Novik’s Temeraire books, a historical fantasy series.
Do you have any rejection stories to share?
Yes. About twelve years ago, I submitted Rogue’s Hostage to a New York publisher. When I didn’t hear from them for several months, I sent a postcard asking the status of my manuscript. They told me it had been lost, so I printed out another copy of the manuscript (this was before they took email submissions) and mailed it to them again. A few months later, I received a rejection on the original submission, followed a few weeks later by a second rejection for the second submission. At that point there was nothing to do but laugh. Obviously, the right hand didn’t know what the left hand was doing! And they wonder why we want to self-publish.
What’s next for you?
Next up is a release of my sweet Regency romance, Lady Elinor’s Escape. Then I plan to work on finishing a Western historical and write a sequel to my December release, How To Woo… A Reluctant Bride, written under my Lyndi Lamont pseudonym. It is going to be a busy year!
Linda McLaughlin grew up with a love of history fostered by her paternal grandmother and an incurable case of wanderlust inherited from her father. She has traveled extensively within the United States and has visited Mexico, Canada, & Australia. A lifelong dream came true with a trip to England where she was able to combine sightseeing and theater with research for her novels. A native of Pittsburgh, she now lives in Southern California with her husband.
Her first book was Worth The Risk by Lyn O’Farrell, written with Anne Farrell. Now Linda writes historical and Regency romance. She loves transporting her readers into the past where her characters learn that, in the journey of life, love is the sweetest reward.
She also writes sexy to erotic romance under the name Lyndi Lamont.
By Linda McLaughlin
4 ½ stars and a Top Pick from Romantic Times!
Romantic Times Nominee—Best Small Press Romance of 2003!
2nd Place – Lorie Awards – Best Historical Romance!
In 1758 the Pennsylvania frontier is wild, primitive and dangerous, where safety often lies at the end of a gun. Mara Dupre’s life crumbles when a French and Indian war party attacks her cabin, kills her husband, and takes her captive. Marching through the wilderness strengthens her resolve to flee, but she doesn’t count on her captor teaching her the meaning of courage and the tempting call of desire.
French lieutenant Jacques Corbeau’s desire for his captive threatens what little honor he has left. But when Mara desperately offers herself to him in exchange for her freedom, he finds the strength to refuse and reclaims his lost self-respect. As the shadows of his past catch up to him, Jacques realizes that Mara, despite the odds, is the one true key to reclaiming his soul and banishing his past misdeeds forever.
(Previously published by Amber Quill Press)
Rogue’s Hostage is now available as an electronic download from Barnes and Noble and Amazon and coming soon to Smashwords. For more information and to read an excerpt, go to http://www.lindamclaughlin.com/rogueshostage.html
Excerpt from Rogue’s Hostage:
The woman gave a soft moan and opened her eyes. When she spotted him, she shrank back against the wall, arms folded defensively across her breast. His gut tightened. He didn’t enjoy terrifying women, but fear should make her easier to control. She had already proven unpredictable.
Terror, stark and vivid, glittered in her eyes. “Who are you?”
“My name is Jacques Corbeau, lieutenant in the army of France. And you are my captive.”
* * *
Mara inhaled sharply, panic building inside her. This couldn’t be real. It was all a bad dream. She would wake up soon and tell Emile about it, and they would laugh. And laugh and laugh and… She swallowed the hysteria engulfing her.
“Madame, are you listening to me?”
The Frenchman’s voice, sharp and insistent, demanded her attention. “There is not much time. My companions are not patient men. We must leave soon, but first I want you to bind my shoulder. Where do you keep bandages?”
Her mouth and throat were dry when she swallowed, but she choked out an answer. “The trunk. Under the bed.”
He squatted beside the bed, pulled out the trunk and rummaged through it. She watched his every move, unable to take her eyes off him, alarmed by the physical threat he represented.
He was a tall man who dominated the cabin as Emile never had, and his state of undress revealed nearly every inch of his lean and powerful form. Not only was he bare to the waist, but his breechclout and leggings failed to completely cover his thighs and buttocks. He had a wide-shouldered, rangy body and long, sinewy legs. He looked strong, virile, and dangerous.
A cold knot formed in Mara’s stomach. The French had killed her father and now her husband. What would they do to her?
She wrapped her arms around her waist. Her grandfather would say whatever happened was God’s will, but she rejected that idea. What kind of God allowed such awful things to happen?
Fearfully, she watched as the Frenchman shoved the trunk back under the bed and stood. He held out the bandages, and she froze. She couldn’t touch him, she just couldn’t.
The man’s heavy black brows drew together in a fierce frown, but his voice was without emotion. “Madame, I am all that stands between you and the men who killed your husband. I can be persuaded to act as your protector. It is to your advantage to do what I command.”
He dropped the bandages beside her on the bed and reached out to touch her hair. “Must I remind you, in my companion’s eyes, scalps are more valuable than live captives?”
Horror sliced through her fear. “Emile!” She shot off the bed and bolted for the door. The Frenchman caught her around the waist before she could reach it.
“It is too late, madame,” he said in a hushed voice. “It is done.”
“No,” she moaned, as she fought to banish the image of a bloody scalp, raw flesh.
The Frenchman turned her toward him, holding her by the shoulders, and spoke in an insistent voice. “Listen to me and be sensible. You must be strong now. We have a long journey ahead of us.”
Dazed, she stared at him. “A journey? To where?”
Mara gasped. The dreaded enemy stronghold deep in the wilderness. She struggled to get free, clawing at his powerful arms.
He gripped her tighter, grimacing as he did. “Stop it! What chance do you think you have against three men? Do as I say and you will live. Refuse and…” He let the implication hang in the air between them.
Live. Yes, that was what she must do. She must bide her time and stay alive. Her brother would find her and exact revenge. But for now, she was on her own.
She straightened her spine and stared into the Frenchman’s eyes. “How do I know I can trust you, monsieur?”
He met her gaze, but a shadow darkened his eyes. “You have my word of honor.”
Bitterness filled her. “The word of a Frenchman? What is that worth?”
“For the moment, madame, your life.”
This is the last stop of my Rogue’s Hostage Blog Tour. Leave a comment here with your email address to be entered for $5.00 Starbucks gift card, as well as my blog tour giveaway: a $10.00 gift certificate of the winner’s choice (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, etc). Contest ends March 3.
My thanks to Cynthia for hosting me today. Hope you have enjoyed the interview and excerpt.