SARA Cafe

SARA Café Welcomes Linda Carroll-Bradd! 
By Mary E. Brand

Linda casual

SC:  When did you join SARA and for what reason?

LCB: I joined SARA the month after I moved to San Antonio—November 2000, because since I started writing in the mid 1990s, I have belonged to the local RWA chapter of wherever I lived.

SC:  What sub-genre of romance stories do you write? And why do you like it?

LCB: Because my interests are varied, so are the sub-genres in which I write. I describe myself as writing sweet-to-sensual contemporary and historical romance. My first stories were contemporaries and sweet because I was learning the nuances of writing fiction after years spent in the business world with wordy and flat business English. At that point, I couldn’t handle much writing about more than a hug and a kiss. As I developed as a writer, I added more heat to my stories.

Next, I explored setting a story in the past. I’ve always loved westerns and I’m lucky that my husband shares an interest in history so we make sure to visit museums in whichever town we travel through on vacation. I have a weakness for books available in the gift shops of the local lore and legends.

SC: What about the romance genre appeals to you?

LCB: I enjoy creating stories where love is the ultimate goal and prize, even if the characters use a large majority of the story to fight that fact.

SC: If you could have any actor/actress cast as the hero/heroine of your latest work, who would you choose and why?

LCB: For my latest western historical release, Capturing The Marshal’s Heart, I choose Emma Stone because of her feistiness and Jake Gyllenhaal because of his intensity.

SC: What is the best book you’ve ever read about the craft of writing?

LCB: Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain. This is dense, almost like a college text for a creative writing program. So I worked through the lessons one chapter at a time, applying the techniques as I understood them—and worth the effort.

SC: What do you do when you’re not writing?  Do you have any hidden talents?

LCB: Lately, I’ve taken up crocheting again. Partially because I realized, based on an interview like this, that my whole life was focused on writing, researching, and editing. So I found my selection of crochet hooks, grabbed my loose ends of yarn (since then the inventory has been re-supplied several times over), and created a granny-square baby quilt. Once I get a dozen or so, I plan to set up a site on Etsy and offer them for sale.

SC: What is your favorite part of the writing process?

LCB: Oddly enough, revisions are my favorite stage of story creation. I love the search for the correct analogy or metaphor to use that makes those words or that comparison special to that unique character. Also, the layering in of setting and sensory details that enrich the scenes and potentially foreshadow coming events.

SC: How do you know when your research is done?

LCB: When I can picture my characters, they have names and I know where their first scene together will be. I’ve learned that once I get the story set in my head and pit my hero and heroine at opposite sides of an issue, the details can be inserted later.

Now naming my characters can take days because I want the name to speak to some element of the individual’s core make-up. And finding the right place (especially for historical) involves aspects that we don’t think of today—like the types of transportation to this place, the frequency of freight or mail delivery, the occupations available for the new resident of this town.

SC: Thank you, Linda!

Photo by Glamour Shots at North Star Mall, San Antonio, Texas.

Linda Carroll-Bradd’s New Release

Busy SARA member Linda Carroll-Bradd has another new release, Dipping In A Toe.  Published by The Wild Rose Press, it’s already available on Kindle!

Jessa Landers has a secret crush on her teens’ years-younger swim coach. A widow for three years, she’s managing her life and enjoys her freedom—except for long, lonely evenings when she craves an attentive man.

Coach Rick Grant loves being a high school teacher and swim coach. Surrounded by families has him yearning for his own romantic connection—and his eye is on Jessa.

Will Jessa protect the balance of her family life, or take a second chance on love?

DippingInAToe_web

EXCERPT: As if pulled by an invisible thread, my gaze went to the tall, fit man with the ever-present clipboard in one hand and a stopwatch in the other. Normally an adult wearing tropical-print board shorts and a faded surfboard tee-shirt looked like he clung with desperation onto his youth. Instead Rick Grant wore the attire like a medal of honor—like he’d earned the right to promote a Hawaiian surfing competition from a decade earlier.

Maybe he had. The image of his tan, lean body balancing on top of a surfboard flittered through my mind. I pictured him, thinner but still muscular, body sparkling with water droplets, wavy hair streaked with blonde highlights, outlined against a cerulean blue sky. A heartfelt sigh escaped.

Christy stopped to turn in her ascent up the metal bleachers, and cocked her head. “You okay, Jessa?”

Caught. I whirled toward the bleachers and set a foot on the lowest step. “I’m fine. Where do you want to sit?” Heat burned my cheeks and I ducked my head, pretending the need to focus on placing my wedge sandals on each step. I didn’t want the other mothers to learn about my pathetic infatuation with the swim coach.

An infatuation I kept telling myself was wrong. Didn’t I have enough to do between my paralegal job, keeping up the house, managing the kids’ activities, and arranging visits with their grandparents? How could I possibly add dating to this hectic lifestyle?

Even if by some wild chance the man in question were to show interest…

New Release from Linda Carroll-Bradd

Dreams Of Gold by Linda Carroll-Bradd

1871, Wyoming Territory

Easterner Ciara Morrissey travels west to honor a sacred promise to her mother and locate her fortune-seeking father. Three years of acting as caretaker to her grandparents and mother until their deaths has created a thirst in Ciara to see what the wide world has to offer.

Sheriff Quinn Riley has been tracking the Irish charlatan who swindled half the population of Bull City, Wyoming. He’s determined to stick close to the opinionated woman who arrived on the runaway stagecoach. Within only a few hours, easterner Ciara Morrissey upsets the townspeople by making inquires about his prime suspect. He’s duty-bound to keep her safe, even when being close to the green-eyed beauty sets off a stampede in his heart.

DreamsofGold_web

EXCERPT:

More evidence she was a stranger to the wild circumstances of the western frontier. Anticipation of organizing the chase flitted through him. “Did they use names? Or speak to their horses?” At her head shake, he fought back the urgency rising in his chest. “Anything that might provide a clue?”

“We heard shots, and Mr. McGinnis shouted for us to do what we were told. A man rode up to the window on each side, demanding our money and jewels.” A dainty shoulder lifted in a shrug. “That’s when Miss Fairchild screamed her virtue was about to be stolen and swooned, landing in my lap.” Green eyes danced, and a high-pitched giggle escaped. “Frankly, I doubt the robbers planned on lifting anyone’s skirts.” Eyes widening, she clapped a hand over her mouth and shook her head.

Damn. Quinn had seen witnesses suddenly realize the danger they’d been in and that’s when hysterics set in. Lord, he could not abide a crying woman. “Did you notice any detail about their saddles or markings on their faces that stood out?”

Her brows scrunched low, and she squared her shoulders, pulling her jacket snug across her breasts. “I feared for my very life, sir, and you think I should have noticed their saddles?” She inhaled deeply, and then her whole body stilled. “Yes, I do remember something about the saddles.”

He watched the movement of her chest—in particular, how the buttons strained their closures. The rhythm of his heartbeat kicked up and a bead of sweat trickled on his forehead. Lifting his gaze to her face, he leaned forward, forcing himself to concentrate on what she might share. “What’s that?”

“Each man sat in one.” Her body rigid, she raised the mug to her lips and waited, an eyebrow arched high.

Dreams of Gold officially releases in May from The Wild Rose Press, but is available now through Amazon Kindle