Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Free Read: Chapter One of THE BEGINNING (Prequel to HOLD ON TO ME) Now Available!

Over the next six weeks, I'll be posting a chapter weekly of The Beginning, the prequel to my December release Hold On to Me, exclusively to my newsletter group.

To subscribe, send a blank email to Linda_Winfree- subscribe @ yahoogroups. com without spaces. If you join before December 1, you'll be eligible for to win a gift basket full of Southern goodies and a signed copy of my debut novel What Mattered Most.

I'm including a snippet of The Beginning for your reading pleasure.

Happy Halloween, everyone, and I hope you enjoy this little treat!

The Beginning
A Prequel to Hold On to Me
Coming December 11, 2007 from Samhain Publishing


She wanted him gone? Fine. He was gone.

Jaw clenched, fighting off an intense nicotine jones, Tick Calvert rested his chin on his fist and watched the Atlanta skyline as the plane banked for final approach. Her voice, her words, pounded in his head, echoing as they had for days. He’d done everything he could possibly do to change her mind.

But you could only kick a dog so many times before it got the message it wasn’t wanted anymore.

As of yesterday, he definitely had gotten her message, loud and clear. Now it was time to move on. Maybe being home again would help him figure out a way to do that.

The landing came off without a hitch and with his FBI credentials, he made it through security with relative ease. With only his carryon, he didn’t have to worry about looking for luggage and strode toward the rental car kiosks.

“Where are you going?” The familiar female voice, filled with teasing fondness and a hint of laughter, had him spinning around.

“Tori.” He barely had time to say her name, warmth and affection spurting through him, before his baby sister launched herself at him. His carryon hit the floor, and he wrapped both arms around her, giving in to the impulse to swing her around in his embrace. His eyes burned. Lord, he’d missed her.

Once he’d set her on her feet, she plopped a kiss on his cheek and pulled back, wrinkling her nose. “You smell like cigarettes. And you look like hell.”

“Don’t curse.” The correction came automatically and she rolled her eyes. He studied her, unable to resist a wide grin. Her dark hair was longer than he remembered, pulled into a sleek ponytail, and her eyes, the same dark brown as his own, sparkled up at him with a familiar impish light. “What are you doing here?”

He’d intended to surprise his mother and the rest of his family by turning up a day early.

She reached up to tweak his nose. “Stanton ratted you out. I couldn’t wait to see you and there really wasn’t any reason to let you rent a car if I could drive you home, so here I am.”

He leaned down for his bag and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “I’m glad to see you.”

Her even white teeth flashed in a grin. “Same here.”

They walked toward the bank of glass doors and she nudged his side. “Mama doesn’t know you’re here, though. I can’t wait to see her face when we turn up this evening.”

The idea warmed him further, driving out some of the chill he’d carried with him since that final confrontation yesterday afternoon. Holy hell, he was ready to be home, to be surrounded by his family and all things familiar.

He needed that. Needed it to get Mississippi out of his head. Needed it to get her out of his head.

To read more, visit

Monday, October 22, 2007


I was chatting over at Joyfully Reviewed tonight -- they're having their Contemporary Bash today.

Guess who was there?

Lucy Monroe!

Yes, I gushed. Just a tad, mind you.

I mean, come one . . . Lucy Monroe!

And I picked up two more subscribers for my newsletter.

Could one ask for more?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Newsletter and Contest Info

Hey, y'all. I'm finally home from the first day back teaching after fall break. 5:30 came early this morning and getting back into the swing of it was hard . . .

I wanted to share a little information first about my newsletter group. I've recently begun sending out a monthly newsletter. It includes news (of course) about my books, trivia tidbits, a monthly recipe, reviews and contest information.

In the files section of the group, you'll find The Cutting Room Floor (scenes that didn't make it into the final versions of my books). Coming soon will be a series of online reads available only to my newsletter subscribers (the first one kicks off October 31 -- a nice Halloween treat!).

Also, by subscribing, you're automatically entered for the contest celebrating the print release of my debut book, What Mattered Most. On December 1, I'll draw from all subscribers for a goodie basket including a signed copy of What Mattered Most and some Southern surprises.

Interested? Send a blank email to Linda_Winfree-subscribe at (you know what to do!).

Linda Winfree -- Sultry Southern Romantic Suspense
HIS ORDINARY LIFE -- Available now, Samhain Publishing
HOLD ON TO ME -- December 2007, Samhain Publishing

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I've discovered it doesn't take much for me to get spoiled. A little thing like fall break, and I'm so wanting to sleep late daily now . . .

Unfortunately, the Monsters like to eat and I must work, so it's back to rising at 5:30 tomorrow. This means I will not be up editing at 1:00 A.M. tonight, too.

On round three of edits of Hold On to Me. Have I mentioned I love this book?

As for my goals . . .

1) Wrote my news release. Need to tweak and mail.
2) Created my postcards and bookcards. Need to order.
3) Wrote chapter two of Ash-Mad's book. Sent to CP for initial feedback.
4) Wrote first scene or so of Unseen, beginning to get a feel for the characters.
5) Sent out my newsletter for October.

Need to finish making notes on senior project rough drafts papers.

Oh! And my official transcripts finally cleared at the financial aid office. Now I can get my paperwork processed . . .

Karin Tabke's new first line contest is up and running. I see some friends over there!

Monday, October 15, 2007


I wrote like the proverbial demon yesterday. 17 pages. 6000 words. I love scene skeletons -- makes the writing go so much easier!

Goals for today:

1) more words on Ash/Mad's book
2) First scene for Unseen
3) Master the whole Vistaprint thing and place an order
4) Write my press release draft and email to Wayne for feedback

Then tomorrow, it's back to school.

What are you up to today?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Cookin' with Gas

For some reason, I'm bogging down in the last 2-3 scenes on Facing It. I know what's supposed to happen, but I'm having trouble getting through the scenes. I think I'm going to let it marinate a few days then come back to it. Sometimes that jogs my brain loose.

In the meantime, I'm working on chapter one of my next Hearts of the South book, Ash and Maddie's story. She's been a difficult character to figure out. I think I'm finally getting a handle on her though.

If you look at the sidebar, you'll see I actually have three WIP's. One is the novella I'm planning to sub for a Samhain anthology. I've never actually written a novella before, but I'm excited about this idea. Trying to get the plot straight in my head before I begin actually writing.

So in the meantime, Unseen is simmering. Facing It is marinating. And my as-yet untitled Ash/Maddie story is on the front burner.

See? I can cook even if I don't have a real kitchen right now.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Whoo! Cover Art!

I can show it off now:

Monday, October 08, 2007


I'm supposed to have revised cover art for Hold On To Me tomorrow! Whoo!

My website should be going live shortly, too.

I managed to get most of my makeup work graded and entered in Teacherease. (Grades due Thursday.)

I've logged into my tech readiness orientation and started reading.

I wrote the suspense climax for Facing It yesterday.

Carol and I have been brainstorming on my next two projects. She's priceless.

What's new with you?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Buried Alive

I think I'm overwhelmed. Well, not overwhelmed, but maybe over-extended. I have a system for getting everything accomplished, but . . . my to-do list is scaring me right now. We have a fall break coming up and I'm hoping to get lots done then (like scrubbing the bathroom).

I am approximately three plot points away from finishing Facing It. I love this part of the book. The flipside is, once I finish it, I have to start something new. That means being on page one, with like 0% of the project finished. Honestly, I hate that part of the book, when it stretches before me like the first day of a school year.

Although, there are worse things -- like being four years into the renovations from hell and still not being exactly sure when the house will be finished. (I really should post some pictures.)

So . . . things to do today:

1) Add to Facing It (would like at least 1000 words)
2) Need to design and order postcards for What Mattered Most.
3) Grading. Must. Update. Teacherease.
4) Laundry.
5) Begin orientation course for my grad degree.

I'm sure there's stuff I'm forgetting. Need to do some post-Homecoming stuff, but I'm simply not in the mood. I think I'll delegate that to the SGA kids.

What are you up to today?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Stuff and Nonsense

So I've shifted pretty seamlessly back into Facing It, despite the fact I literally dropped it mid-scene. I wrote approximately 900 words yesterday. I'm close to 80% of the way to my targeted word count. This is a good thing.

I got my acceptance letter for NSU yesterday. Now, if Walden will let me in . . . I'll be good. Nothing against NSU, but I really want to start grad school this semester and if I go with them, it will be January before I can begin.

I'm guilty of having a really bad attitude right now. However, I am making a conscious attempt not to infect others with it. Hence, why I'm quiet and keeping to myself. Not sure what my deal is. Just . . . dissatisfied. It's weird.

I'm grading tonight. Must. Update. Teacherease. Must. Update. Teacherease. That's my mantra.

Found this list while working with some old files earlier today. It's my "soundtrack" list for several of my manuscripts:

Hold On To Me:

"Red Dirt Road" -- Brooks and Dunn
"Songs About Rain" -- Gary Allan (this is THE song for this book)
"(Baby, You Can) Hold On to Me" -- John Michael Montgomery, I think

His Ordinary Life

"Remember When" -- Alan Jackson
"There Goes My Life" -- Kenny Chesney
"Best I Ever Had" -- Gary Allan

Memories of Us:

"Making Memories of Us" (duh) -- Keith Urban
"Goodbye Time" -- Blake Shelton
"Who You'd Be Today" -- Kenny Chesney

A Formal Feeling:

"Live Like You Were Dying" -- Tim McGraw
"Come a Little Closer, Baby" -- Dierks Bentley
"Must Be Doing Something Right" -- Billy Currington (?)
"As Good As I Once Was" -- Toby Keith

For Facing It, I seem to be stuck on "Baby, You Save Me" by Kenny Chesney.

Sigh. I want an Ipod for Christmas . . .

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Found this today. Tried to read it at work, and the Romance Studio obviously triggers the web filter for "sexual content." So now, the tech department will think I'm trying to read porn. G-reat!

But, Karen H. had this to say, in part, about His Ordinary Life:

“His Ordinary Life is a superbly written, emotionally charged and complicated story. . .The reader is sucked right in and carried along for the full experience of this roller coaster ride of guilt, redemption, love, growth and the test of a family’s strength under pressure . . . a story that stays with you long after you’ve closed the book.” – Karen H., The Romance Studio

You can read the entire review here:

Shifting Gears

Whew! Homecoming is over, baby! And I survived.

Edits of Hold On To Me are gone to the editor goddess. (It's up on the coming soon pages, btw -- I'm thrilled beyond belief. If you know me and this book, you know why.)

Now, I have to shift gears. In the classroom, it's time to hit the ground running. Homecoming and student government have pulled me away too much from teaching. Since HOTM is off for its next round of edits at the editor goddess's hands, I need to try to finish Facing It and start on the novella project I want to submit to Samhain's psychic anthology. I'm loving my idea for that; I just need to get the particulars nailed down.

Did I mention I'm trying to get into the October session of grad school, too? I seem to have lost my mind. If anyone finds it, please return it.