Title: Leave Yesterday Behind
Author: Lauren Linwood
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Callie Chennault vaulted to fame on the nighttime soap Sumner Falls, but after a decade of playing the same role, she is ready for a new acting challenge. When Callie is attacked by a stalker on the streets of New York, she takes a leave of absence from the show and returns to her roots in Aurora, Louisiana, to heal both physically and emotionally and determine her next career move.
Former professional baseball pitcher Nick La Chappelle has also come to Aurora to lick his own wounds after a messy divorce. A Cy Young winner and one-time ESPN broadcaster, Nick longs for the quiet of a small town in order to write murder mysteries under a pen name.
Sparks fly when Callie believes Nick is taking advantage of her great-aunt’s hospitality, but they resolve their differences—and surprise themselves by falling in love. Their bond is tested when both Nick and Callie become the focus of a serial killer nicknamed Lipstick Larry. Can they outwit a murderer bent on seeing them dead and survive to build a lasting relationship?
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Leave Yesterday Behind is available at Amazon.
Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Maybe she should take a cab home. But her subway station was only a block and half away. It would be foolish to stand out in a downpour after nine at night when she could duck in and be on her way downtown in a couple of minutes. Callie liked that people left her alone on the subway. A few sometimes stared at her and frowned, wondering if they’d ever seen her before. Most turned away, not quite able to place her.
After all, she left Jessica behind at the studio every day. No chic clothes, Ravenous Red mouth, or fancy hairstyle. She didn’t often get recognized in real life unless it was a die-hard fan. Even then, most New Yorkers were cool about it and simply ignored her.
Chill out. Just move.
She turned automatically and saw a man standing behind her. He was probably the reason she’d had the feeling of being followed. He seemed a little out of breath, as if he’d been keeping up with her awhile. It had happened before. She knew it would happen again.
And always with this type.
He was non-descript in every way—average height and build, brown hair, glasses. Harmless looking. Dopey grin on his face, like he’d hit the lottery because he’d actually had the balls to speak to the crush of his daydreams. She knew enough to be firm. Give him a brief little personal moment, a smile and her signature on something, and get back to her life.
Then a quick flash of John Lennon signing an autograph for Mark David Chapman
zipped through her brain. He’d been average, too.
And he’d killed Lennon hours after someone snapped a photograph of them together.
“You don’t look like Jessica up close.” His voice was silky, almost caressing, yet the tone was definitely disappointed.
Her pulse quickened. She took a step back to put a little distance between them and brushed against a brick wall.
“I like to give my skin a rest away from the studio. All that heavy make-up and hairspray can cause a girl some damage.” She kept her tone calm and friendly as she glanced over the man’s shoulder.
No one was in sight.
“I want to see Jessica. She’s my favorite.”
He pulled something from his pocket and held it up. “Put this on. It’ll help. It’s the perfect shade.” He smiled shyly. “I’ll even let you do it. You’re the expert.” He reached out and grabbed her wrist and laid the item in her hand before letting go.
Chills ran through her as she opened her palm. In it lay a gold tube of Jessica’s signature Ravenous Red.
A knife appeared, clutched in the stranger’s left hand. Callie’s heart beat erratically. Her words died in her throat.
“Don’t worry,” he said softly. “You know how to be Jessica whenever you want.”
Her palms grew damp. The lipstick he’d given her almost slipped from her hand.
“Jessica likes to be seen wearing this color. Put it on. Now.” His voice was quiet, but the underlying threat hung in the air all the same.
Callie brought a shaking hand to her mouth and realized the lid was still on. She removed it and twisted a few turns before she lifted the lipstick close again.
Oh, God, she was so nervous. She stroked color onto her upper lip and then across the bottom. Her hand slipped, though, and a searing red line jutted across her lower cheek.
“You made a mistake. Wipe it off. Do it again. It has to be perfect.” The tone was deadly.
“I’ll need some cold cream. Red stains pretty badly.” She gulped air, trying to calm herself. She couldn’t let this guy see how rattled she was. “And I know you want this to be perfect. So do I.”
“I can fix it.”
She watched him pull a tissue from his jacket pocket. He gave it a lick and then stroked it down her cheek to her jaw several times.
“That’s better,” he said, dreamily smiling as he inspected his work. “Now try again.”
Her eyes met his, and Callie prayed her hands would stop shaking enough for her to get it right.
Interview with Lauren Linwood
Would you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
I am very eclectic in my taste. I love watching Masterpiece Theatre’s Downton Abbey and Poldark, but I also enjoy everything from Suits to Game of Thrones to Nashville and The Walking Dead! I believe dark chocolate was meant to be consumed on a daily basis. I feel out of whack if I don’t walk or do yoga every day. I enjoy watching movies, going to sporting events, and I’m proud that I kept my sanity while planning my daughter’s recent July wedding. Things went off without a hitch, and my life is finally coming back down to earth. But if you need any advice on venues, napkin folds, or dress shopping—I’m your girl!
2. Which project are you currently promoting?
My summer romantic suspense release, Leave Yesterday Behind.
3. Can you tell us what the book is about?
After a stalker attacks her, New York actress Callie Chennault returns to her childhood home of Aurora, Louisiana, to heal physically and mentally. She finds love with former baseball pitcher turned mystery writer Nick La Chappelle. The soul mates find their love tested when they both become the target of a serial killer.
4. How did you come up with the title for this book?
Both Nick and Callie have been successful in the past, she as a famous actress on a hit TV show and he as a former major league pitcher, but they are both turning to a new future. They want to leave yesterday behind and build a new future, both professionally and personally, with each other.
5. What inspired you to write this book?
I’ve written six historical romances that are set in the medieval era or the American Old West, two of my favorite times in history. I decided I wanted to stretch my writing muscles, and so I challenged myself to write a romantic suspense, a sub-genre that I enjoy reading. Leave Yesterday Behind was the book that resulted from that challenge.
6. What made you decide to become a writer?
I don’t know if that’s a decision I made or one that was made for me. I feel like I came out of the womb with pen and paper in hand, scribbling down stories. I used to gather my dolls and stuffed animals around when I was young and make up stories for them, acting everything out. Writing is an innate part of me.
7. What genre do you generally write?
I’m a romance writer, through and through. I love that the genre is open to so many ideas and plots, yet at the end of the story, no matter what conflicts have occurred, my hero and heroine get their happily ever after.
8. Did you always wanted to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I did always want to be a writer, but life got in the way, and the call to teach became an urge I couldn’t resist. Teaching was great to me and for me. It helped me learn a lot about people, and I taught history—how convenient for when I research and write my historical romances!
9. When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?
I always believed I was a writer. I considered myself an author when I signed a professional contract and saw my first book, Music For My Soul, released.
10. What character out of your most recent work do you admire the most and why?
I simply adore Callie’s great-aunt, Callandra Chennault. She’s a woman of wisdom, humor, class, and intelligence. I hope when I’m Aunt C’s age that I’m half the woman she is!
11. How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to the culmination?
I have no set formula for this process. I’ve written a book in as little as three months. I’ve gotten halfway through one and been stumped, put it away for a year or more while I wrote something else, then pulled it out and completed it. Every book—like every child—is different and just can’t be compared.
12. How do you deal with negative reviews?
By not reading them! Let’s face it—a negative review hurts. Your book is your baby. You’ve seen it through from conception to the actual finished product that’s released. We all love our babies, and for a stranger to come up and say, “Your baby is ugly” is no fun. I realize that people have different tastes and opinions, and I’m happy we live in a country where a person can freely express what they wish. I choose not to read it, though. I can’t let that kind of energy vampire get in my head and suck out my belief in myself and my creativity. So I don’t read negative reviews. Period.
13. What other projects are you currently working on?
I always have a bazillion things in the fire! A Knight for Kallen comes out in November 2015. This medieval historical romance is followed by my second romantic suspense, Illusions of Death, which releases in March 2016. I’ve finished up writing a new romantic
suspense and western historical romance, and I’m over two hundred pages into another medieval. Things are never dull around the Linwood household! My professional goal is to alternate releasing historical with suspense novels.
14. When you begin a new MS, does it start with an idea, concept, or both?
I start with my hero and heroine’s names. I have to land upon the right name and can take days or weeks to discover this. Once I do, I see a physical person start to form, as well as character traits. Then I ask my magical question—What if? That’s what gets the ball rolling. For A Game of Chance, I asked, “What if twins were literally separated at birth?” For Written in the Cards, it was, “What if a woman wrote dime novels under a male pen name?” Each time, that question is the starting point for my story.
15. Do you use a pen name? If so, why?
I decided to use a pen name for a couple of reasons. My last name is very hard to spell and pronounce. It would be jammed between Gabaldon and Garwood, and I’m afraid eyes would pass over it as they searched for those two authors. A pen name also allows me (the author) to have a FB page, tweet, and blog while still keeping my real name for my personal postings.
16. Where do you see yourself in five years?
I hope I’m still writing in 5—or 50—years!
17. What is the best advice you can give to a new author?
Keep writing. Writing uses muscles. If you don’t keep exercising your muscles, they atrophy. So keep at your craft, hopefully on a daily basis.
18. Where can the readers find more information about you?
These are my social media sites. I also enjoy receiving email from readers.
As a child, Lauren Linwood gathered her neighborhood friends together and made up stories for them to act out, her first venture into creating memorable characters. Following her passion for history and love of learning, she became a teacher who began writing on the side to maintain her sanity in a sea of teenage hormones.
Lauren’s historical novels focus on two of her favorite eras—medieval times and the American Old West. History is the backdrop that places her characters in extraordinary circumstances, where their intense desire and yearning for one another grows into the treasured gift of love. She also writes romantic suspense, where modern heroes and heroines unite to defeat a strong antagonist and discover a deep, abiding love during their journey.
Lauren, a native Texan, lives in a Dallas suburb with her family. An avid reader, moviegoer, and sports fan, she manages stress by alternating yoga with five mile walks. She is thinking about starting a support group for House Hunters addicts—as soon as she finishes her next piece of dark chocolate.
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