Monday, April 1, 2013

Linda Rondeau's "Days of Vines and Roses"

Title: Days of Vines and Roses
Publisher: Helping Hands Press

Genre: Contemporary/romance/suspense/with paranormal elements

Cover Blurb: When a romance writer and her estranged publisher husband attempt to reconcile, malignant forces and a pending lawsuit seem bent on keeping them apart. After fifteen years of marital disarray, Henry and Sylvia Fitzgibbons (aka Lana Longstreet) independently contemplate divorce, their relationship relegated to Henry’s infrequent visits to the Connecticut estate and their once a week meeting at Chez Phillipe’s in Manhattan. But, not yet. There is the matter of the decaying rose gardens and the thirtieth anniversary party the children are planning. Reluctantly, Henry moves in for the summer, steeled against the hauntings that torment only him. As reconciliation seems possible, the evil forces within begin to target Sylvia as well. Like the strangling vines within the rose beds, Henry and Sylvia have become victims of spiritual neglect. Their only hope remains in surrender to a power greater than the evil determined to destroy them.

1) How Did the Story Come to you?
I was moving the lawn one day and thought about the weeds in our lives that choke and tangle us. Then I thought about a married couple I knew that simply stayed married because of convention. I thought how tragic. God intends for marriage to be so much more. Then I thought about writing a story about a married couple trapped in a loveless marriage. I decided to have them living separately but unsuccessfully trying to keep the marriage afloat. Then I thought how Satan does not want marriages to work. What if a marriage headed toward reconciliation after a long separation? What would Satan do? The rest of the story is Days of Vines and Roses.

2) The Book’s Journey
I conceived and wrote this book ten years ago. Three editors requested the full manuscript with strong indication they wanted to publish the book, but those three editors ended up leaving their houses almost immediately after requesting my manuscript. I put the book away for a long time, thinking perhaps God didn’t want this book published. But God used this book to turn my writing toward a new direction. I was contracted for three books in a sci-fi series as well as ten volumes of a prequel. However, after my diagnosis of breast cancer and resulting chemo brain, a peculiar cognitive dysfunction that accompanies treatment, I found I could not fulfill this obligation. My publisher was wonderfully understanding of my disability. He agreed to substituting two books already completed, Days of Vines and Roses to be the first. As I revised and edited the book for current trends, God reassured me that my writing should focus on contemporary romance and suspense.

3) Three things that will surprise readers
a) I was an official witness to a wedding performed in Monterrey, Mexico.
b) I went to the same high school as Richard Gere. I was two years ahead of him. North Syracuse High School.
c) During the Great Depression, both my father and grandfather worked as loggers in Upstate New York.

4) What’s next for you?
With the success of my devotional book, I Prayed for Patience God Gave Me Children, I am working on a Christian Living book based on my newspaper column, This Daily Grind. Topics will include:

Spouses, Children and Other Strangers
Who Put the Vinegar in the Salt?
If Life Were Fair, We’d All Be Bald

I am writing another Adirondack suspense with the working title Legacy of Regret. My first novel and Selah Award Winner, The Other Side of Darkness was set in the Lake George area. This one will be set near Lake Placid. My contemporary romance, Songs in the Valley, a modern day interpretation of Hosea, will be released later this fall by Helping Hands Press.

Thanks for the opportunity to share Days of Vines and Roses.

Bio: Winner of the 2012 Selah Award for best first novel The Other Side of Darkness/Harbourlight, LINDA WOOD RONDEAU, writes stories of God’s mercies. Walk with her unforgettable characters as they journey paths not unlike our own. After a long career in human services, Linda now resides in Jacksonville, Florida.

Linda’s best-selling Adirondack Romance, It Really IS a Wonderful Life, is published by Lighthouse of the Carolinas and is available wherever books are sold.

These books are also available in ebook format along with her other ebooks by Helping Hands Press: I Prayed for Patience/God Gave Me Children and Days of Vines and Roses. Songs in the Valley is scheduled for release this fall by Helping Hands Press.

Readers may visit her web site at  or email her at or find her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

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