Thursday, 24 February 2011

A Way Back by Linda LaRoque

A Way BackIf you’re a fan of time-slip stories, or well-written romance, I thoroughly recommend the new novella length book, A Way Back, by Texan writer Linda LaRoque.

Wall Street Investment Banker Amber Matthews has returned unhappily to work after burying her mother, and she steps into the lift of her modern office building. The lift lurches and she falls. When she stands up, Amber discovers she is in a vintage lift in the original building, and the year is 1930.

Wellman Hathaway, CEO of Hathaway Bank in New York, is in financial difficulties after the Wall Street Crash, and investors are looking for their money. Amber thinks Wellman is about to jump from the ledge of his office. Wellman doesn’t believe Amber could possibly be from 2011. But when they are forced into an unexpected marriage, Wellman discovers Amber has information about the Texas oilfields in the 1930s that just might save his business. And they gradually find that love has a way of transcending time and differences in culture.

This is a highly enjoyable time-slip novel that introduces two likeable characters who are very much of their own time. Linda LaRoque’s attention to historical detail brings the 1930s alive, allowing the reader to experience the despair during the Great Depression, and to feel the hope with the subsequent oil boom. My only slight disappointment was that their story ended too quickly, but that's a good complaint.

Welcome to the reading and writing blog, Linda! Thank you for introducing yourself with answers to the following questions:

How long have you been writing?

I started writing around 1991. My first book, When the Ocotillo Bloom, took 14 years from beginning to publication. It went through many rewrites while I learned the craft.

Do you prefer writing contemporary or historical?

I enjoy writing both but guess if I had to chose, I'd write historical as I love the research involved.

What do you like to read?

I like pretty much everything: romance, suspense, mystery, adventure, historicals, etc. Oddly enough I've found myself immersed in Steven Hunter's books and Stephen King. Others are Carla Negger, Linda Howard, Lisa Jackson, Iris Johansen and many others. I love Kristen Hannah's route stories that take place around the turn of the century up into the thirties and forties. Growing up I read all of Phyllis Whitney, Victoria Holt, and Barbara Michael's books along with Anya Seton, Phillipa Gregory and Gwen Bristow.

(I too loved Phyllis Whitney, Victoria Holt and Anya Seton, Linda!)

Any tips for new novelists?

Read, read, read and write, write, write. Join writer's groups, and attend conferences and workshops. Belong to a critique group. When you have something polished, send it out. While waiting to hear back, start work on something new. Don't give up when you receive rejections. They're part of the learning process. If you receive the same critical comments more than once, you might want to take their advice and make revisions.

Follow your internal editor when making changes. If you can see the reasoning behind suggestions you receive from your critique group, editors, etc., make changes. If you disagree, stick with your gut feeling.

Be persistent. Writers must have thick skins. We get our feelings hurt but can't allow a set back to keep us down. Dust off the seat of your pants and get back to your computer. Only the strong survive.

Good luck!

Wise words to finish on! Thank you, Linda. You can find out more about Linda LaRoque and her other books at her website:

A Way Back (e-book for now) is available from Amazon and Champagne Books.

Happy reading,


Linda Kage said...

It's been forever since I read a Phyllis Whitney books. I'm a fan of Kristen Hannah too. She can make me bawl like no other author. What tear-jerkers.

Congrats on A WAY BACK!!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks for leaving a comment, Linda! A Way Back is a truly enjoyable read.

Linda LaRoque said...

Thank you for having me on your blog today, Rosemary. I love the word changes you made--lift for elevator, etc. Interesting differences in languages--things I like to learn when I read.

Linda LaRoque said...

Weren't they great, Linda? There are so many good books out there. I need to find Hannah's newest novel.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

You're very welcome Linda. That's funny, I didn't even think about using our version of the words! That's one of the great things about reading work from both sides of the Atlantic, we learn something new all the time. And I certainly learned a lot about Texas in the 30s from your novel.

Jude Johnson said...

Nice blog, Rosemary! I've enjoyed Linda's blog and history notes; I've added A Way Back to my list to be read asap...


Joanna said...

Thank you Rosemary and Linda. I enjoyed reading this very much and will heed the wise advice. I still need a thicker skin at times and it is helpful to be reminded that all writers need to be persistent. I wilted a little this week after three rejections in one day, but I got straight back to the computer and made myself stop thinking about the hurt pride.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks for visiting, Jude! It's definitely worth a read.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi Joanna - persistence is all, isn't it? And you have so many great stories published that it must be galling to get those rejections.

We're all the same - I had one story accepted by My Weekly last week, but at the same time 2 weren't quite right! Still happy with that one, since it's a while since I've been in there.

Linda LaRoque said...

Hi Jude and Joanna,
Thank you ladies for stopping by. Regardless how thick our skin is we still get our feelings hurt. I've had several stories rejected lately but have continued to submit the story in hopes it will find the right home.

Thanks again for having me, Rosemary. I enjoyed meeting your readers.