KAREN’S KILLER BOOK BENCH: Welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench where readers can discover talented new authors and take a peek inside their wonderful books. This is not an age-filtered site so all book peeks are PG-13 or better. Come back and visit often. Happy reading!
GONE TO THE DOGS
A Second Chance Romance
BY LINDA RETTSTATT
When her best friend is injured in a sky-diving accident, Emily Price jumps at the chance to flee New York and give Carrie the support she needs. Ransom Cove, the small town on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, turns out to be just what Emily needs to overcome writer’s block. Dr. Noah Holt, the local veterinarian and Carrie’s third-best friend, is skeptical from the start that Emily is the person Carrie most needs. He could be right, but Emily is the person Carrie has chosen. The biggest challenge for Emily isn’t uprooting herself from New York, finishing her manuscript, or nursing her friend back to health. Her biggest challenge is Daisy, a twelve pound terrier mix, and stepping in to run Beach Dawgs Spa & Resort, her friend’s business. Emily tells everyone she is not a dog person, but no one seems to be listening–least of all Daisy. Then there’s Noah…
Emily hung up with a familiar feeling of self-loathing. Here she was—thirty-five years old and still not settled down. She had a college degree in English. She could teach. She could do a lot of things. But, no, she had to follow her dream. And look where that had gotten her. An agent who was threatening to sever ties. A publisher that was growing impatient. A career that had barely gotten off the ground. She was pathetic. Perhaps her father was right. She should get a ‘real’ job. She could go back to teaching. That thought brought a shudder. Teaching was an honorable profession, but not for her.
Before the pity party took on a life of its own, she looked up Noah Holt’s phone number on her phone.
He answered on the second ring. “Dr. Holt.”
“Hi. This is Emily.”
“I’m sorry, I…”
“Emily Price. Carrie’s friend.”
“Oh, yes. I think it’s just worms.”
BIO: Linda Rettstatt is an award-winning author who discovered her passion for writing after years of working in the human services field. When she’s not writing, Linda loves travel, penny slot machines, and figuring out what makes people tick. Her fantasy is to win the lottery, buy an old Victorian home on the eastern shore, and open a writer’s retreat. While she waits for that fantasy to materialize (i.e. that miracle to happen), she continues to live and work in NW Mississippi and to write under the constant observation of her tuxedo cat, Binky.
Before we get started talking about your writing, tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, what you do for a living (if you’re not a full–time writer) what hobbies you have, etc. Whatever you’d like to share to introduce yourself.
I’m Linda Rettstatt. I grew up in the small town of Brownsville, Pennsylvania, south of Pittsburgh. So I’m a small-town girl at heart. After getting my master’s in social work later in life, I made a move to Mississippi to work for a non-profit. I still work four days a week in social work to pay the rent, but writing is my true passion. Nine years ago, I adopted a cat from a local shelter Binky now owns my heart and my apartment. She’s my personal mews. Two things I enjoy for relaxation are playing penny slot machines and traveling when I can. I belong to a local group of writers who meet weekly for dinner and writing, but mostly we just talk (and eat). We also formed the Desoto Writers Alliance that works with the local libraries to offer writing-related programs for new and emerging writers, as well as setting up book signings with local authors. I also recently started my own editing/proofreading service.
1. What’s your favorite part of the writing process?
I love that first burst of inspiration when the idea for a story is fresh and new and developing. It’s exciting to start writing and see where the characters will lead me.
2. If you were to choose one superpower, what would it be?
Definitely invisibility. I love to people-watch, and what better way then close-up when they can’t see you?
3. Do you ever get stuck when you’re writing a book? What do you do to get “unstuck”?
I’m usually writing two or three books at the same time, and often in different genres, so I’m rarely stuck. If I’m not sure what comes next, I hop over to another story and write there for a bit until the problem becomes clear with the first story. It works for me.
4. What is your least favorite part of writing?
Marketing—ugh. It is such a chore to find avenues for promotion without flooding the same people over and over.
5. If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?
My own version of a dish Olive Garden used to have on their menu—Chicken Giardino. It’s chicken in olive oil, the juice of one squeezed lemon, and the juice of one can of black olives, with broccoli, zucchini, yellow and red peppers, yellow squash, carrots, tomatoes, and the black olives, all served over angel hair pasta with grated romano or aged asiago cheese. You can also make this dish without meat. (And now I’m hungry for this dish, and it’s hard to make for one person. So come on over.)
6. What do you wish you’d done differently when you first started the publishing process?
Probably that I knew more about the PR and Marketing aspects of this business. I knew nothing about the ‘rules’ when I started writing eighteen years ago. That was a good thing because I wrote freely, unfettered by those rules. Now I’ve learned the rules and how to break them. I published first with small indie publishers and quickly learned that it meant I would do a lion’s share of the promotions for my books. I’m still on the learning edge of how to do that well.
7. What is most difficult for you to write? Characters, conflict, or emotions? Why?
I’d say conflict is a challenge for me. Of course, it depends on the genre I’m writing. I’m better with internal conflict than with external conflict. I think my former work as a psychotherapist (one word, please) is both a help and a hindrance. I can delve into internal conflict easily. But my instincts often are to help the characters resolve conflict too quickly, and I have to pull back and let them suffer a little.
8. A penguin walks into your office, right now, wearing a sombrero. What does he say to you and why is he here?
“Ola. Is dinner ready? I heard about this great recipe you have for pasta.”
9. If you could wave a magic wand, what ill in the world would you solve and why?
Oh, where do I start? I think, perhaps, the fear and hatred that divide people. We’re all more alike than we are different. But fear of those differences seem to fuel the hatred and division among people. And why? Because it would be so nice to live in peace.
10. Tell us about your next book & when is it being published?
I just published a new sweet seasoned romance (characters in mid- to late-thirties/second chance) titled Gone to the Dogs. Think Hallmark movie material. Struggling author Emily Price gets a call that her best friend, Carrie Spiegel, was badly injured in a sky diving accident. She flies from New York to the Mississippi Gulf Coast to help care for her friend. Part of her responsibility is to also look after Carrie’s dog, Daisy, and her business, Beach Dawgs Spa & Resort. The problem: Emily is NOT a dog person. She gets little sympathy from veterinarian, Dr. Noah Holt, Carrie’s other best friend. As much as Emily does not want to get involved with a man (recent breakup), Noah is equally resistant to an attraction. But things do change once Emily’s ‘gone to the dogs.’
Links to Linda’s website, blog, books, etc.
Facebook: Linda Rettstatt, Writing for Women
Editing service FB page: Linda Edits 4 U
Or at Amazon.com as Linda Rettstatt
Thanks, Linda, for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!