Book, Blues, and Men, not boys

I’m talking books today.

Bayou Bound brings Biloxi Dutrey home and face-to-face with a man from the ONLY family in Mississippi and Louisiana that her family hates.

Biloxi Dutrey grounds her jet-setting photography career and returns to Mississippi when she learns her family home, Fleur De Lis, is headed for financial ruin. She plans to save it by scooping up the job of Keeper. But that means breaking tradition, and her family isn’t cooperating.

People often ask me, if a movie was made of this book, who would play Nick Trahan?

Veterinarian Nick Trahan is new in town and wants folks to stop matchmaking. He won’t settle for just a pretty face. He wants the perfect woman, one who believes in family and commitment…the exact opposite of his parents.

Nick rescues Biloxi during a raging storm, but the squall is tame compared to the tempest between them. Soon they experience the backlash from the long-standing feud between their families. If Biloxi surrenders her dreams for Fleur de Lis and tows the line with tradition, will she also be forced to give up on “forever love” due to the hate their families still harbor?

Who would you suggest?

Tab Benoit

Tab Benoit

If you’ve read Bayou Bound, listen to this video and tell me, don’t you think Tab Beniot is THE perfect man to play Nicholas Trahan?

If you haven’t read Bayou Bound yet, leave a comment (and include your email with the comment OR email me a comment) and next Wednesday, I’ll give away an eBook copy of Bayou Bound to one lucky person.

Happy reading!
Linda Joyce

Blog: Linda Joyce Contemplates.
Facebook Author Page
Twitter: @LJWriter
Amazon: Bayou Born
Bayou Bound

Posted in Music, New Orleans, Romance | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Informed but not controlled

Friday with Friends.

People are complex.

Do you agree?

Cruising on a shrimp boat in Louisiana

Cruising on a shrimp boat in Louisiana

Our lives are made up of interwoven roles. Mother, daughter, sister, brother, son, father, company employee, volunteer. The list goes on. However, sometimes its easier, healthier even, to distance one role from another.

For example, I once worked in a very competitive and stressful environment. I never discussed my personal life with anyone there, so much so that after two years when I resigned, people were shocked to learn that I was married.

(No, I didn’t even wear a wedding ring to work.)

In the complexity of life, it is said that none of us escape childhood without at least one wounding. As adults, we learn to protect our hearts and hide our wounds. Keep them from plain sight.

Is my wounding smaller than yours? Is yours smaller than mine? What causes a wounding in one person, may not impact another in the same way. Yet the wound is still there. I choose empowerment over victimhood. I choose to be informed by my childhood and not controlled.

It’s my opinion that anyone experiencing racism and prejudice feels the sting of it. The degree is not the important measure. The critical point is that we have the power as individuals and groups to make the decision to conduct ourselves with integrity and accountability. To be inclusive. To stand down fear of differences. To have our actions come from a place of compassion within ourselves. We have the power to strive to be the best “self” we are able. It’s all about choice.

Shrine on top of Mt. Hakone in Japan.  Cajun grandmother and me.

Shrine on top of Mt. Hakone in Japan.
Cajun grandmother and me.

Below is a story. It’s fiction. However, the event that prompted the writing of the story is a real-life experience. Mine.

Almond-Eyed Angel
by Linda Joyce

Brakes squealed as the driver slowed the school bus and passed a smaller one stopped by the side of the road. Hannah peered out the window. Flashers from the other bus snapped off and on, quick stabs of yellow, the only color in the grey Nebraska countryside glistened against the snow. She tried to catch a glimpse of the kids on the other bus, but fogged windows made it impossible to see anything except faint silhouettes in the last rays of the December afternoon.

Mr. Charlie pulled off the road, and the bus jerked to a stop.

Why is the bus stopped? Did someone die from the cold?

Hannah rubbed her mitten-clad hands and blew warm air into them as she’d seen her daddy do whenever he came in from the cold. Since she’d started kindergarten, she paid more attention to grownup things. After all, her mother reminded her daily that she was a big girl now. She had to be brave and do big girl things, like riding the bus to the city for school.

“Stay in your seats,” Mr. Charlie barked. He pointed to Mary in the seat ahead of Hannah. “You’re in charge.” Then, he opened the doors. Cold air whipped down the aisle. It reminded Hannah of a cartoon where Winter had long skeletal fingers like the bare branches of trees and blew a frosty breath that covered everything. Hanna shivered against the chill.

Mr. Charlie hopped down the steps and signaled to Mary who jumped up, ran past the first two rows of seats and closed the doors behind him. Turning around with lips pursed and eyes squinted, Mary scanned the bus, as if daring anyone to move. She planted her feet and crossed her arms like the avenging angel Hannah had seen in a picture Bible. Mary looked as scary as that angel, but Hannah wasn’t afraid. Though Mary was a third grader, she had tried to help her several times. Besides, Mary had said she only made mean faces to keep the third-grade boys in line.

Hannah pulled her knitted scarf closer around her neck to block a frigid draft. How late would she be? The bus ride to and from school usually took thirty minutes. Hannah’s mother had bought a watch and taught her to tell time.

“Now, you always know when you come home,” Mother had said.

But Hannah hadn’t needed the watch. The bus driver kept a reliable schedule. Daily, when the bus reached the weathered wooden wagon next to the Danby Farm sign, the watch’s little hand landed on four and the big hand on nine. Then, bus ride would take only fifteen minutes longer. Yet, only when they reached the Danby farm, half way into the trip, was when the bus finally warmed up against the bitter cold– at least warm enough so that when she got off the bus, she could run home without her teeth chattering.

Hannah ran home every day even though her mother scolded and told her not to. “It is no good lady-like behavior,” Mother said. “If you run, you fall, you ruin tights. I bought two new pair already. No extra money.”

After the last time she fell in the mud made from melting snow, Daddy had made her march the path from the bus stop to home with him. “It’s only a hundred yards. I expect you to obey your mother, sugar pie,” he had said and tweaked her ear.

But, after leaving the bus each day, Hannah ran most of the way home to escape the boys. She walked the last few yards to catch her breath, so her mother wouldn’t know she’d disobeyed.

Once, her mother had caught her running. Mother was visiting a neighbor who lived half way between home and the bus stop. Mother stepped from the porch and surprised Hannah.

“I saw bus through window. I meet you and we walk home together,” Mother said. “Now, I have to punish. You not obey.”

Hannah hung her head. Her mother’s disappointment weighed heavy in her heart. But she couldn’t dare explain why she disobeyed. Mother wouldn’t understand. Hannah accepted that breaking the rules brought consequences. She took three whacks on her bottom with a paddle without a sound. No dessert after dinner had been more painful.

The boys taunted her in whispers and brought her thoughts back to the cold bus. Humming under her breath, she tried to shut the boys out. Tried to think of something warm. That’s what Daddy had taught her. He said it never snowed in New Orleans, his hometown, and he’d gotten used to the Nebraska cold. It only took mind over matter, whatever that meant, and she had to focus on something warm like the waters of Lake Pontchartrain. He made her close her eyes and picture them riding in Grandpa’s boat with the sun on their faces. She did as he said, but had lied when he’d asked if she felt warmer.

Later, she’d learned Daddy sometimes practiced “do as I say, not as I do,” like the night she pretended to be asleep when Mother checked on her. Mother added a blanket on top of the bed, turned on the night light and left the bedroom door opened a crack. Hannah could hear Daddy talking from the next room.

“Darlin’, this place is going to kill me. Death by freezing. I hate working in the cold and the snow. I especially hate being stuck in a place where pig stink is the smell of money.”

That night, Hannah snuck into her parents’ bedroom while they slept. She opened her father’s wallet and pulled out a dollar bill. Sniffed. What was wrong with her nose? The money hadn’t smelled like Darby Farm. It had no smell at all.

Mr. Charlie’s return interrupted the boys’ taunts. “Kids, we have to help these students. Their bus is broke down and we’re gonna give them a ride. Boys stand. Girls, scoot over. Three to a seat. Once the girls from the other bus are seated, you boys fill in the empty spots. Some of you older ones may have to sit on the floor.”

In relief, Hannah exhaled. She wouldn’t have to sit on the floor. The snow they’d tracked in when they boarded the bus had melted into wet pools. If she came home with a dirty coat and stained tights, Mother wouldn’t understand.

A murmur of protest followed Mr. Charlie’s instructions. Earl Barton, the biggest third grader, grumbled something, but Hannah couldn’t make out his words.

“We’ll do this in silence.” Mr. Charlie’s voice rang sharp as cold air snaked on to the bus.

The girls from the other bus boarded single file. “Girls, go to the back and fill in those seats first.”

Hannah peeked at them as they passed. She didn’t know any of the girls. Each wore a navy blue coat, navy blue tights and a plaid navy blue-and-white skirt. Except for their hair, some blonde and some brown, she couldn’t tell them apart.

Once the girls were seated, the kindergarten boys from Hannah’s class filled in the few open seats, but Mr. Charlie didn’t make the older boys sit on the floor. They stood, including Earl, and held on to the metal loops on the side of each seat. Then, Mr. Charlie put the bus in gear and pulled from the side of the road.

Something hard stung Hannah in the back of the head. A penny dropped to the floor. She whipped around to see who threw it.

“Pst.” Earl stood in the aisle next to the seat behind Hannah’s. He looked like a green snowman in his puffed out jacket and a hoodlum with his ski cap pulled low over his forehead. “You wanna be one of us for a change? Here’s your chance. You gotta help us when we get off the bus.”

A tiny thread of joy spread through Hannah.

I can be like the rest of the kids?

“Well, yes or no? You in or out?”

Hannah bobbed her head “yes” several times, then faced the front of the bus with her heart pounding hard in her chest. Uneasiness crept up her spine. A ribbon of fear replaced the joy.

Mr. Charlie turned the bus onto the snow-covered gravel lot the neighborhood used as a bus stop. Silence replaced the crunching sound the bus tires usually made when rolling over the rocks. Snow had covered the ground since Hannah boarded the school bus for school at noon. Now the world looked clean and fresh, though it was almost dark outside.

Hannah hugged her book bag close and waited to exit the bus. When it was her turn, she rose from her seat and followed Mary.

“When you get off the bus, go to the rear so the driver can’t see us,” Earl whispered from behind.

Hannah stepped off the bus. Ahead to her right, Mary had stopped and turned. “Come on, Hannah, I’ll walk you home today. It’ll be dark as pitch by the time we get there.”

Hannah stepped toward Mary.

Earl piped up as he exited the bus. “Naw, Mary. You go on. Pipsqueak is gonna be one of us today.”

“Hannah, don’t listen to him. Anything he’s up to is bad.” Mary reached out a hand, but took a few steps away from the bus. “Come with me.”

“Move away from the doors!” Mr. Charlie shouted. “The rest of the kids have to get off.”

Hannah froze. Her stomach knotted. She took two steps away from the door, then found herself sandwiched between Mary and Earl. Other kids exited, turned and walked in front of the bus, leaving the snow-covered lot while Earl’s boys gathered behind the bus. Twilight had faded. No streetlight lit the way. No stars shined overhead. Snow reflected a bit of light.

Hannah watched Mary walk away. Earl grabbed Hannah’s arm and pulled. She fought to stay upright as he yanked her along with him.

“We don’t like them Catholics. They worship idols. We’re gonna get them stinking Catholic girls.” Earl’s whisper was razor sharp.

A boy Hannah didn’t know shoved a snowball into her hand.

Earl glanced around the group. “Wait until Mr. Charlie pulls onto the street. Then, throw the snowballs at the targets.”

Hannah trembled. She wanted to run away, but if she did, the boys would throw snowballs at her, like they had before. It hurt when they struck her head, legs and face. The boys had packed the snowballs with rocks, but snow-covered rocks hadn’t hurt as much as when they threw just rocks at her.

December 7th. She would remember it always. There was no snow on the ground that day. The boys had pelted her with stones. They shouted “traitor” and “killer” and other things she hadn’t understood. When she made it home, bleeding from a sharp rock that hit her face, her mother took one look and cried. Shame washed over Hannah. What had she done wrong?

Later that same evening, Daddy took her aside. “Today is Pearl Harbor Day. In 1941, the Japanese bombed the harbor, which brought America into a war. Some people blame all Japanese. Even Japanese-Americans, like you.”

His sadness scared Hannah. She held back tears remembering her mother’s words about having to behave like a big girl.

“Later in the war, Americans dropped the atomic bomb on Japan. Mother had family who died… That was thirty years ago. The war has nothing to do with you. Mother loves you. I love you. We’re a family. The Bible teaches that God loves all of His children.”

As Mr. Charlie pulled the bus onto the street, Hannah remembered her mother’s tears and heaved the snowball across the lot away from everyone.

“No!” she shouted.

Startled, the boys looked at her. She turned to the girls from the Catholic school. “Run! Run for your lives! I’ll stop them as long as I can.”

“You dirty Jap,” Earl snarled at her. “Grandpa told me never to trust a dirty Jap. They’ll try to do hari-kari on you. I thought ‘cuz you were only half, you’d help get them Catholics.”

Hannah threw down her book bag. Faced the boys. She planted her feet as she’d seen Mary do. She held her arms out straight. No boy would run past her to hurt those girls. “Run!” she shouted again, then closed her eyes tight. Waited for snowballs to hit her.

And waited.

She squinted through one eye to peek at the boys. They were running away. Confused, she opened both eyes as the boys disappeared into the darkness.


Mother’s voice sounded scared. Hannah turned.

Mother ran toward her, arms extended like angel wings. She bent down, scooped Hannah up and held her close.

“Daijobu? Okay?” Mother asked as tears streaked down her face.

Hannah hugged Mother. Snuggled close. Warmth wrapped around her. Just like the child in the picture bible comforted by an angel with large white protecting wings, safety enveloped her.

“Yes, Mother. Daijobu desu. I’m okay…now.”

The End.

What choices will you make today?

Happy Reading,

Linda Joyce
Bayou Born
Bayou Bound

Posted in Blogging, Culture, Writing | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

About Love…

Hey there!

I’m visiting with Betty Bolté today over at her place: Romance beyond the ordinary… where the past meets the paranormal!

I’m writing about love. In fact that’s the title of the guest blog post, About Love… (and yes, I gave mine the same title. :-)

I hope you’ll check it out. (click here) I found some interesting quotes and an Opening Lines book quiz. Test your memory and see how much you know. You may be surprised how much deductive reasoning will help you.

I also want to share about Betty’s book release. They’re always exciting and next month, April 28, is the debut of her newest novel Traces – Ghosts of Roseville #1

Traces - Ghosts of Roseville #1 by Betty Bolté

Traces – Ghosts of Roseville #1 by Betty Bolté

There’s no mistaking the cover as anyplace other than the south.

So, please join me at Betty’s blog today.

I’ll keep you posted about Betty’s release. Also, about her Facebook Launch Party with lots of authors and giveaways.

Happy Reading!

Linda Joyce

Posted in Writing | Leave a comment

Bayou Born is a RONE Award Nominee, Please Vote

Please feel free to share or repost this post.

A little sunshine has peeked through the thick clouds, bringing joy.

2013_RONE_Nominee_200I’m excited that Bayou Born is a 2014 RONE Award nominee, however to make to the winner’s circle, I’m asking for your help.

Bayou Born by Linda Joyce

Bayou Born by Linda Joyce

Bayou Born is nominated by InD’tale magazine for the award.

Voting is this week—Monday, March 17th – Sunday, March 23rd.

Please cast your eBallot at

If you’re not a registered subscriber of InD’tale, please send an email to vote to:

In the subject line: Voting for Bayou Born for RONE Award

In the body of the email: I’m casting a vote for Bayou Born by Linda Joyce in the Contemporary: General – 2013 category

Your support is greatly appreciated!

Happy Reading,

Linda Joyce

Posted in Blogging, Romance, Romance stories | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

What’s the color of passion?

Writing is my passion.
It lights me up all pink and glowing.
As an author, words are my darlings and books are my babies. Bayou Bound is one that brings me great joy. It won 1st Place in Romance from the Southeastern Writers Association back when it was still in manuscript form.

Here’s what other authors have said about Bayou Bound:

A raging storm has nothing on the steamy and fierce passion of Nick and Biloxi. Linda Joyce is the new author to watch!
~ Kathy L Wheeler, author of The Color of Betrayal

As if the bayou needed more heat and steam! Step aside Shakespeare. Linda Joyce adds southern charm, and a much happier ending, to this modern day Romeo and Juliet.
~ Claire Croxton, author of Santorini Sunset

“Family feud turns up the heat between jet-setting photographer Biloxi Dutrey and family-oriented veterinarian Nick Trahan. Bayou Bound is a Keeper.”
~ Marilyn Baron, author of Under the Moon Gate

Where does passion take us? Where do we find information about dating, relationships, sex & toys, lifestyle, books, empowerment and health? Evolved World. They offered me a guest spot to share about Bayou Bound.

Below is the link for the site. Take a read. Learn about the love, heat, and family friction in Bayou Bound.

If you leave a comment here at my blog, you’ll be entered to win an eBook copy of Bayou Bound. The winner will be selected at the end of the month.

Biloxi Dutrey grounds her jet-setting photography career and returns to Mississippi when she learns her family home, Fleur De Lis, is headed for financial ruin. She plans to save it by scooping up the job of Keeper. But that means breaking tradition, and her family isn’t cooperating.

Veterinarian Nick Trahan is new in town and wants folks to stop matchmaking. He won’t settle for just a pretty face. He wants the perfect woman, one who believes in family and commitment—the exact opposite of his parents.

Nick rescues Biloxi during a raging storm, but the squall is tame compared to the tempest between them. Soon they experience the backlash from the long-standing feud between their families. If Biloxi surrenders her dreams for Fleur de Lis and toes the line with tradition, will she also be forced to give up on “forever love” due to the hate their families still harbor?

Evolved World

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Remember– If you leave a comment here at my blog, you’ll be entered to win an eBook copy of Bayou Bound. The winner will be selected at the end of the month.

Happy Reading!

Linda Joyce
Facebook Author Page
Twitter: @LJWriter

Posted in Books, New Book Release, Romance, Writing | Tagged , , | Comments Off


If I say “March” does your mind go immediately to the calendar month when winter fades away and green of spring appears young and tender with the promise warmer weather?

Or does “March” conjure images of soldiers in formation, boots thudding against the parade ground in unison to the “Hup, two, three, four. Pick’em up, two, three, four.”

The month of March sort of snuck up on me, and I’m falling into formation and marching through the month March.

Here’s what’s going on

Bayou Born

Bayou Born

1) Bayou Born is on sale (still, I’m told because Amazon can be stubborn.) and that’s a good thing for your wallet because it’s only 99¢.
Hiram Books  5077 Jimmy Lee Smith Pkwy #109, Hiram, GA 30141 (770) 943-6800

Hiram Books
5077 Jimmy Lee Smith Pkwy #109, Hiram, GA 30141
(770) 943-6800

2) Book Signing. March 8th at 1:00 pm Eastern, you’ll find me at Hiram Books. I’m signing with authors Melissa Klein and Marilyn Baron. We’re very excited to meet readers and we’ve put together an awesome gift basket, Spring is the theme, for one lucky person. I just received my first glimpse of the paperback of Bayou Bound! I’m so excited to share. Hiram Books:

3) Renee Regent, the writer of sexiness and fabulous blogger, is hosting me until March 10th. The questions she asked during her interview probed deep. And, there’s a GIVEAWAY, but in order to play, you must leave a comment. Not sure what to comment about? Consider letting me know what you learned about me from the interview that surprised you.
4) Evolved World is hosting me RIGHT NOW! The website is THE place for information about Dating, Relationships, Sex & Toys, Lifestyle, Books, Empowerment, Health and a place to shop for those most intimate of items. I’m going to give lagniappe. What’s that? It’s all explained at the end of my post…but before you fast-forward to the end of the posting, check out the simmering heat between Biloxi and Nick in the excerpt provided.
Fuzzy Librarian
5) Bayou Born will be making a debut at the Fussy Librarian on March 10th. These are the requirements to make the cut:
In order to be considered, your ebook should have:
•10 reviews and a 4.0 rating on Amazon or Barnes and Noble, 11 to 19 reviews and a 4.0 rating, or 20 reviews and a 3.5 rating. If you have 10 reviews split between Amazon’s various stores — like US and UK — your book is eligible.
•A price of $5.99 or less.
•A quality cover.

I’m happy to report the 4.1-Star rating at Amazon with 30 reviews.
So check out the Fussy Librarian.

6) March 19th, you’ll find me at Petit Fours and Hot Tamales. I’m working on that blog post now. Hope you’ll drop by. I’m going to offer a gift for a lucky person who leaves a comment.

7) I will close out the month with a visit with author Betty Bolté: Romance beyond the ordinary… where the past meets the paranormal! I’m going to be sharing my own personal paranormal experience. You won’t want to miss it! AND, I’ll have a very special gift for one lucky person. Stop by and leave a comment. It could be your lucky day!

Bayou Bound

Bayou Bound

8) Bayou Bound is on sale for $3.99 until May 28th. I’m thrilled about all the wonderful 5-Star reviews! I hope it will be making a debut at the Fussy Librarian soon.
Mardi Gras Mask

Mardi Gras Mask

Happy Reading!

Linda Joyce

Posted in Blogging, Books, Giveaway, Romance, Writing | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Mystery Ink: A Novel Way To Die

Ever meet someone who’s the definition of smart and sweet?

When I lived in Kansas City, I met Lisa Daly at the Kansas City Writers Club. We worked together on the Kansas City Voice’s literary magazine. She is a unique storyteller.

Lisa Daly

Lisa Daly

I’m happy to introduce you to Lisa Daly.

My dream of holding my first published novel in my hands with my name in print as the author recently came true. I’ve been writing short stories for several years, entering contests, winning some awards, but I’d never written a novel until two years ago. I loved the challenge of telling a story in a short space. My favorite was flash fiction meaning the story was extra short, sometimes less than 750 words, a complete story with a beginning, middle, and end. So writing a full length novel seemed a daunting challenge to say the least. True to form, my novel is not long. It’s 185 pages in print, a story that could be read in one or two days if no other duties called.

Many writers are asked whether they outline first or let the characters speak to them, following their voices to see where the story takes them. In my murder mystery novel, I had a combination of both. I wrote an outline, but realized by the fifth chapter that I had covered everything in the outline. Obviously I needed more. This is where I let the characters speak to me. It was fun to learn what would come out of their mouths when they argued with each other. I knew how I wanted it to end, but since I was writing a mystery I had to throw in some red herrings while making sure to include accurate details and interesting subplots that did not lead the story away from the main mystery. I’d read the importance of being fair with the reader. Nobody likes a new character brought in at the last minute who’s the killer. But it shouldn’t be so easy that the killer wears a neon sign that states, “I hated the victim and I’m not ashamed to admit I killed him.”

Mystery Ink: A Novel Way To Die

Mystery Ink: A Novel Way To Die

Today people are busier than ever. I wanted to write a book that couldn’t be put down easily. I placed cliff hangers at the end of each chapter whenever possible. A mother with three young boys who bought my book told me recently that my book was incredibly hard to put down. That is the kind of compliment I hope to receive with the next book I write and the next, and the next….
Thank you for taking time to read about my process in writing my debut novel, Mystery Ink: A Novel Way To Die. It’s available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online. My website is

As a coroner, Dr. Marv Henderson is more comfortable around corpses than with the living, especially his adult daughter, Mary, who refuses to speak to him. But when members of his book club are murdered the same way as characters in the mystery novel they’re reading, he unwittingly leads the killer to his daughter’s doorstep. And when a romance with a fellow book club member, the mysterious Lyla Baxter, finally seems possible, Dr. Marv fears she’s involved in the serial killing and is nothing more than a deadly distraction.

Here’s where you will find Lisa’s book:


Barnes and Noble:

More about Lisa:

Lisa Daly is a licensed clinical social worker who spent sixteen years counseling families before focusing on a career in writing. Her story, “Road to Dreamland” was published in Kansas City Voices magazine in 2010. She won first place in the OWFI Contest for one of her short stories and second place in the WOW Women on Writing Contest for another story, that one being published online. This is her debut novel. She lives in Kansas City with her husband and their six year old daughter. You can find her on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter and her website:

Happy Reading!

Linda Joyce

Posted in Blogging, Books, New Book Release, Writing | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Friday with Friends! An Author you’ll be dying to meet!

Friday with Friends.

Different kinds of things connect us.

For example, I have friends in different pockets of my life: writing, book lovers, social outings, music, neighbors, dog lovers, foodies, and like-minded spiritual people. Some of them know each other, but not all. Some of my writing friends are not dog lovers. They’re cat people. Or no-pet people. However, that doesn’t diminish the connection we share about writing, reading, and books.

Then there are the folks that I only know virtually. People on Twitter, Facebook, and some forums. The friend I want you to meet is an author. She’s Mississippi born, like me.

Janet Taylor-Perry

Janet Taylor-Perry

Please meet Janet Perry

The number thirteen must have had the utmost importance to our founding fathers. There were thirteen original colonies, and there are still thirteen stripes on our flag. The Great Seal of the United States is covered with the number thirteen. Some people say that is because so many of our founding fathers were Free Masons, and there are thirteen levels of Free Masonry. Very few achieve the thirteenth level of Grand Master, so that part could be true. They might have considered thirteen to be achieving the superlative.

Let’s look at the Great Seal to see how important thirteen is to it. Take it out dollar, and let’s look at the Great Seal on the back.

Let’s first examine the right side with the eagle on it. Let’s work from top to bottom. Count the stars above the eagle’s head. There are thirteen. Next, count the letters in E Pluribus Unum. Again, there are thirteen. Now, let’s examine the shield. If you can see well enough to count the horizontal stripes, there are thirteen. I know there are thirteen vertical stripes. Now, count the leaves on the olive branch and the arrows in each talon. There are thirteen leaves and thirteen arrows.

Now, let’s look at the other side. Annuit Coeptus contains thirteen letters. Last, there are thirteen levels of the pyramid, the thirteenth being the top or the eye. This leads back to the Free Masons as the pyramid and the eye as the superlative being their symbols and the laying of the foundation of our country. This also takes us back to the Egyptians and the first superstition about thirteen with the highest level being immortality. Where are the Great Pyramids found? Egypt.

Lucky Thirteen

Lucky Thirteen

What’s my book Lucky Thirteen about? Read on…

Twelve women are dead, and a thirteenth is missing. Detective Ray Reynolds races time to catch a killer. Nothing ties the victims together, except the way in which they died. What Ray discovers blows him away as the battle takes on a supernatural element. There’s just one small catch — evidence points to Ray as the murderer.

From a small town in Mississippi, Larkin Sloan is a dynamic young teacher in the equally small town of Eau Bouease, Louisiana. Abducted, she foregoes common sense and rational behavior in order to stay alive and not become the thirteenth victim of a serial killer.

My second book, Heartless is in paperback and eBook.



From the author of the critically acclaimed Pirates’ Alley Faulkner Wisdom semi-finalist, Lucky Thirteen, comes the second book in The Raiford Chronicles.

Police Chief Ray Reynolds did not think there could be a more brutal, heartless killer than Latrice Descartes whom he had encountered fourteen years earlier. His thirteenth wedding anniversary dinner is interrupted by one of his detectives to tell him an old married acquaintance, who also happens to be a United States Senator, has been found murdered in the presence of a much younger woman and that both are missing their hearts.

Ray becomes embroiled in another murder mystery that touches even closer to him than the one involving Latrice Descartes.

And Excerpt from Heartless:

Parker laughed. “Thank you, Larkin. Nobody has ever been this nice to me.”

“It has nothing to do with me, Parker. It has to do with my Savior.”

“I don’t understand.”

“You see, I’m just as sinful as the people who have hurt you. The only difference is that I’ve asked Jesus to live inside of me, in my spirit, and to forgive me for all the sinful things I ever have done or ever will do. When we ask Him for that, He’ll do it. Only then, can we do anything really good in and of itself.”

“I’ve been a pretty bad kid.”

Larkin took Parker’s hand. “That’s why Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life, died on the cross, and rose from the dead. If we trust in His work, then, we’re forgiven. That doesn’t mean we’re perfect.”

He nodded. “I like the sound of that. Does Ray believe that, too?”

“He still gets mad pretty easily.”

“Yes.” She grinned. “Like I said, not perfect, just forgiven.”

Small Head shot

More about me:
I’m native of Laurel, Mississippi, a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a BS in psychology, Belhaven University with a Master of Arts in teaching, and gifted certification from Mississippi College, an author, editor, and educator in English, social studies, and gifted. I currently teach life skills in a variety of areas with Goodwill Industries of Mississippi.

Memberships include Kappa Delta Epsilon, Red Dog Writers, Gulf Coast Writers’ Association, The Mississippi Writers Guild, and

The first installment of The Raiford Chronicles, Lucky Thirteen, can be found on Amazon for both Kindle and in paperback, the second book in the series, Heartless, was released for both avenues on Valentine’s Day, 2014. I cannot claim to write a pure genre, and I do not write “Christian” literature, but I always have a strong Christian character and the message of salvation is found in every story I write.

Inspiration comes through life experiences. I’m the mother of five and an avid reader who loves anything historical from antique cars to old cemeteries. I’m on Facebook @ Author Janet Taylor-Perry and @

Here’s where you can find my books:

Lucky Thirteen:


I hope you enjoyed meeting Janet. If you have any questions, please let her know.

Happy Reading!

Linda Joyce

Posted in Book Release, Books, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

FanTasTic February Giveaways! continue…

Hey there!

We’re working our way down to Valentine’s Day and the BIG GIVEAWAY of 10 ebooks from Amazon of Bayou Bound.

There have been many spontaneous gifts already. The last one will come tomorrow.

Any winners who have not sent me their mailing address by the end of the day tomorrow, their prize will go back into the pot and I’ll give it away on Friday with the eBooks.

AND there’s good news!

Bayou Born, book one of the Fleur de Lis series will be on sale on Friday through the end of the month for 99¢. Yep, for the fabulous sale price of only 99¢!

Here’s the Gifts GIVEAWAY thus far:

Tab Benoit CD

Tab Benoit CD

verso  Clip Light for e-readers

verso Clip Light for e-readers

Robin-Egg Blue Pashmina

Robin-Egg Blue Pashmina

Mardi Gras Cup Cozy by A Little Something Extra Esty Shop

Mardi Gras Cup Cozy by A Little Something Extra Esty Shop

Fleur de Lis pin and $5.00 Starbucks gift card

Fleur de Lis pin and $5.00 Starbucks gift card

Fleur de Lis pin and gold embossed pineapple Note Cards

Fleur de Lis pin and gold embossed pineapple Note Cards

So scroll down to the first Fantastic February Giveaways post and leave a comment there. You could be the winner of tomorrow’s spontaneous gift AND a winner on Friday of one of the 10 eBooks of Bayou Bound.

Happy Reading!

Posted in Writing | Tagged , , | Comments Off

A Risk Worth Taking

Hey there!

A wonderful writer with The Wild Rose Press, Melissa Klein, has a debut novel, A Risk Worth Taking.
A Risk Worth Taking
The thing that makes writers so quirky is that while we’re walking around looking quite normal, more often than not chattering voices in our heads demand attention, even when we’re not parked in front of a computer. It happens when we’re in the shower, or at the grocery store, or while we’re watching TV. Those voices have no qualms about waking us up in the middle of the night. My husband will sometimes ask me when we’re in the middle of a conversation, “Where have you gone?” A character from a story has momentarily lured me away.

So, I thought it would fun if you could hear directly from a character. Melissa is introducing Grant Davis from A Risk Worth Taking:

Where are you from?
Grant: I grew up in Magnolia Springs, Georgia, a small town north east of Atlanta.

1. What is A Risk Worth Taking about?
Grant: Abby and my story is pretty much what the title implies, that loving someone is a risk, but one that’s worth taking when you find the right person. Abby has had some bad experiences with men who weren’t honest with her and that made her understandably cautious. In the end, she figured out our love was worth the risk. (Grant grins) I make it my mission every day to keep her happy since she took a risk on me.

2. What did you think the first time you saw Abby?
Grant: I was acting as father of the bride to my sister, Katie, so it was one of my jobs to dance with the groom’s mom. I headed over to her table, not really thinking about much of anything other than trying not making a fool of myself on the dance floor. She looked up at me when I asked her to dance, and I was a goner. Those gorgeous eyes of hers, they’re this whiskey color that I’ve never seen on another person. Well, she knocked me for a loop. (he laughs) Not literally, that came later.

3. What was your second thought?
Grant: My second came quick. I wanted to ask her out, but I was worried that it might be weird since we were technically relatives after her son had married my sister. I got over that worry quickly, figuring the worst she could do was say no, which she did when I asked her later on. That didn’t deter me either. I’m persistent like that. I knew she was feeling the attraction same as me. I had to keep at it till I wore her down with my charm. (he smiles)

4. Did you think it was love at first sight?
Grant: (shakes his head) Attraction yes, but not love, not the real kind that we have for each other now. That kind of love takes time to grow.

5. What do you like most about the Abby?
Grant: (pauses, tapping a finger to his lips as though he’s counting off a long list) I’d have to say what I love most about my special lady is the way she accepts people like they are. She doesn’t try to fit a person into some type of mold or change who they are. For example, I like nothing better than taking my motorcycle on some of those gnarled, curvy roads in the mountains of north Georgia, and that’s not her thing. Instead of trying to get me to stop, she sends me off with a kiss. (His smile broadens into another megawatt grin.) There are some other really nice things I like about her but that’s between the two of us.

6. How would you describe her?
Grant: Physically, she’s the ultimate to me. She’s got this gorgeous curly blond hair that I love to run my fingers through. And she has curves in all the right places. I’ve already mentioned her eyes, how beautiful they are. Emotionally, she might take a minute to warm up to a person, but when she decides she likes you she’s the most loyal friend you’d ever want.

7. How would she describe you?
Grant: (chuckles) Hardheaded, workaholic, risk taker. But I’m her hardheaded, workaholic, risk taker and she loves me like that.

8. What made you choose aviation as a career?
Grant: I didn’t choose the flyboy life, the flyboy life chose me. My first memory as a kid was sitting in the cockpit of one of my dad’s cargo planes while he worked on the engine. I’ve never even considered doing anything but flying planes.

9. What is your biggest fear?
Grant: Like everyone else, I worry about losing the ones I love. But the thing that keeps me up at night is worrying about my daughter, Grace. She has autism and may never be able to live without someone’s help. Right now that’s not a problem, because she’s got so many adults in her life who love her. I worry about what will happen when we’re not around. Abby tells me not to borrow trouble, that we have no way of knowing what Grace may be able to do when she’s older. She’s come a long way just in the past year since she’s started in the special needs preschool where Abby teaches. And of course I’ve set up a trust fund so that her financial needs are taken care of. I just don’t want her to be alone in the world. I’m trying to do like Abby says and trust that things will turn out good for her.

10. How do you relax?
Grant: (barking out a laugh) Relaxing is for old people. Abby bought me a hammock for my birthday this year and I’ve lain in it once. Being idle gives me the scratch. I like to take my motorcycle out, like I said. It’s especially great now that my best buddy is back stateside. Brian and I have more fun on the bikes than two forty-year-old men ought.

11. Who is your favorite fictional character and why?
Grant: James Bond. Growing up I watched all the movies. Over and over again. I wanted to be a spy so bad I could taste it. I like the way Bond could get himself out of a situation, and he was smooth with the ladies.(rolls his eyes) I have some unfortunate examples of my teenaged-self trying out some of Bond’s suave moves on girls.

12. What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
Grant: (shifts in his seat) Well, the best piece of advice I got came from an unlikely source, my ex-wife Heather. She’s the one who gave me the kick in the pants I needed when I thought I’d lost Abby. Heather said I shouldn’t let Abby leave for her job in London without first hearing how I felt about her.

Here’s a chance to get to know Melissa:

Melissa Klein

Melissa Klein

A Risk Worth Taking was released on Amazon in October with the world wide release coming February 21st.

She’s working through the first round of edits on her next book, Her Hometown Hero, which won the Maggie Award from Georgia Romance Writers.

Melissa’s Favorite passage from the book: Grant’s eyes darkened to midnight. “I want to take care of you.”

Abby couldn’t miss the determination in his voice, or the glare that had turned her smiling Sex-On-Legs into a scowling warrior. She swallowed hard. So much for taking things slow or letting her have her space. This was a full scale invasion. “I take care of myself,” she responded then reached up to run her fingers through his hair to take the sting out of her words.

Interesting facts:
• Inspiration for A Risk Worth Taking came to the author while helping to plan her son’s wedding.
• Parents of the author’s favorite student inspired her to write about a hero caring for his daughter with special needs.

Facts about the book:
• While writing A Risk Worth Taking, the author made two cross country moves.
• Grant and Abby, the hero and heroine, grew up in the same small north Georgia town but didn’t meet until her son married his sister.
• The hero, Grant, participates in a dozen sports including skydiving and motorcycle racing, yet can’t move his feet in time to music.
• The heroine, Abby, won a ballet scholarship to Julliard, but gave it up when she became a single mom at nineteen.

Tag line: The groom’s mom is supposed to show up, shut up, and wear beige—so why’s Abby kissing the bride’s brother?
Hook: With Abby’s fears of repeating past mistakes and a deadline to accept a job in London looming, can Grant convince her to take a risk on their love?
Dialogue: Abby suppressed a laugh. “I haven’t had a date in two years. My son’s

To learn more about Melissa Klein and the stories she creates go to:
To purchase A Risk Worth Taking , go to Amazon
Twitter @klein_klein344
Goodreads author page:

I hope you enjoyed meeting Grant Davis and author, Melissa Klein.

Happy Reading!

Linda Joyce

Posted in Author Interviews, New Book Release, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments