Welcome, make yourself at home!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Thanks for stopping by, let me give you a little run-down on what you can expect to find while you visit with me. ALL things female!
Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to SIGN UP FOR NEWSLETTER! Don’t miss out on contests and give-aways!

We’re going to talk about everything from domestic violence to the correct shade of lipstick for your eye color, and of course all about the books I am writing.

Now, won’t that be fun? And of course, I’ll want feedback from you. I want you to share your comments, your ideas, and your philosophies. You can laugh with me, or at me. You can whine if you like (but please, only for a line or two, as I want this to be an uplifting experience) and you can rant if you need to (please keep it clean, ’cause I asked nicely).

Hopefully you’ll like what you see and come back regularly (let’s say once a week?) so we can keep in touch.
Thanks again, Linda

Facebooktwitterpinterest
Facebooktwitterpinterest

BIG NEWS!!

BIG NEWS!! Now available for pre-order in Kindle, paperback will be available soon! http://amzn.to/29O5Teb release date is 08/24/16 It’s the story of a young woman’s life, shattered by an act of violence, then reshaped by an inspired desire to help others in the same situation

AHeartMadeforLove_w10250_300

I am so happy to share the story of Mae Hinton. I hope every reader will come to love and admire her, just as I did.

Facebooktwitterpinterest
Facebooktwitterpinterest

Excitement In The Air

I want to share some of the excitement that I’m feeling with all my friends. I am waiting on the final galley of a “Heart Made For Love” to come in. My wonderful, patient, Editor advised she would get it to me as soon as possible. Once I have signed off on the last checking of the manuscript, it will be submitted for a release date.

But in the meantime, I have received my beautiful book cover from the great Debbie Taylor.

AHeartMadeforLove_w10250_300

This cover is such a perfect match that I can look at this photo and actually hear Edward speak to Mae!

“I will be leaving Wednesday, Mae.” Edward felt the shudder pass through her. “But the important thing to remember is, I will be back. I had not given a lot of consideration to where I would begin my practice once my commitment was filled, but now I know. I will be coming home. The question is…what will I be coming home to?”

Yes, I can just hear Edward! And I can’t wait until you all have the chance to read about their love!

Stay tuned…it’s coming soon!

Facebooktwitterpinterest
Facebooktwitterpinterest

GO With What You Know!

Hello,

I am giddy with excitement. The Wild Rose Press has accepted my manuscript, “A Heart Made For Love”.

This story is a reflection of my work history of forty years. Whew! I forget sometimes just how old I am. But to be fair, I started my working days at the age of seventeen. It was the month of June, I had just graduated high school, and you had to be eighteen to apply for the job. I lied. My birthday was in August, and I lived in fear for two months that I would be caught and fired.

That was the beginning of an eighteen year career in the fashion industry. For nine years I worked on a high speed sewing machine, churning out high end dresses that were sold in New York. We created items for labels like Manhattan Dress, Schrader Sport, and Lord & Taylor’s.

After nine years, my supervisor submitted my name for a new position being created. I became the assistant to the Production Manager. I began to work with designers and suppliers from New York to Miami, and I loved every minute of my job. I got to see the “it” fashions before they even hit the runways. I soaked up the color and textures everyday.

Near the end of the eighteen year run, it became apparent that the garment industry was in decline in the United States. We were one of the last large manufacturers located in Central Florida. I saw the handwriting on the wall, and decided to change professions. (the plant closed a year later)

Talk about a change in profession, I went to work in Law Enforcement. I spent almost a year in dispatch, then moved up to Crime Scene Investigator. It was a civilian position, meaning I was not in direct danger, which was okay with me. I spent the rest of my twenty years looking at the bleak side of humanity. The only colors I could soak up were blood-red, and black and blue bruises. I learned more about domestic violence than the average citizen can imagine.

My husband sat me down one day. He said, “This job is killing you, slowly, and you need to get out.” I realized he was absolutely correct. So I got out.

It took me a year to actually “see” the average world again. He bought me a camera and I began to photograph living things. I began to thirst for color again. I knew how to sew, but I needed a challenge.

So I became a milliner. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s a woman could make a living creating beautiful feminine gowns and matching hats. After creating, and photographing lovely hats, I decided to write about them.

I sat down one day, and the next thing I knew, a story was pouring out of me. The story of a young woman who was sexually assaulted by strangers. A story of triumph over fear, of perseverance and faith; with a little murder and revenge thrown in. And of course, a milliner.

It is a story for all women, because if you’ve never been personally abused, you know a woman or child, who has. And if you know one who has survived, and managed to get past it, you know what an emotional battle she fought. Such a story is “A Heart Made For Love”.

Please go to my website and sign up for the newsletter. There will be give aways for the Cover Reveal and you don’t want to miss your chance. In the meantime, enjoy the photos of some of the hats I’ve made.

Linda Tillis

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Facebooktwitterpinterest
Facebooktwitterpinterest

Years End, Better Known As The Holidays

Yes, we are approaching that crazy, hectic, warm and fuzzy, sometimes sad, time of year.

We take on SO many things, that often we don’t really enjoy what should be a time of peaceful reflection. Many of us are involved in school projects with our kids. Some of us are entangled in a writing frenzy, better known as NANOWRIMO.

Whatever your ‘extra’ responsibilities, you should take time for your inner joy. Whether it’s reading, shopping, restful walks in nature, or just visiting with loved ones, try to steal a few quiet moments for you. You are probably a care-giver for someone; a help-meet for your husband, a guardian to a child, or a dependable employee. In either case, if you don’t take care of yourself, you will not be able to do well for others.

Okay, now that I’ve done my best to ‘mother’ everyone, I’ll share a little something that brings me inner joy. It is an excerpt from the sequel to A Heart Made For Love. It is a ROUGH draft, so please be kind if you leave a comment, and I hope you do!

She untied the boat and continued rowing north, keeping close to the eastern shore. She needed a spot clear enough to pull the canoe in and hide it. She had rowed another half hour and her bladder was threatening to burst, when she smelled smoke. She looked at the moss and could tell the wind was coming out of the east. She must be fairly close to a camp or a house. Maybe someone who could help her find her way to Tallahassee. Another five minutes of rowing and she found an opening in the brush along the banks. She nosed the canoe in till it drug bottom then stepped out into the water. She tried not to break down the underbrush as she brought it up onto the bank. She managed to drag and carry it about twenty feet into the trees before she stopped to pee.
She walked back to the waters edge, cupped up a handful and drank.

“Alright, now we head inland and look for help.” She rubbed her belly, then place her bundle under one arm, and the lantern and knife in the other hand. She had fought her way through about a hundred yards of growth, when she came upon a narrow path.

“Well, what do you think?” Talking to the child in her belly had become second nature now. “It’s probably an animal trail, but at least it’s level. Alright then, it’s agreed, we’ll stay on the track.”

She finally stopped to lean against a tree and catch her breath. She looked up at the treetops. The wind had changed and was coming out of the north. At least, she thought it was north. The sun was up full now and she had been trying to keep it right on her face as she walked, and besides, she couldn’t smell the smoke any longer. She was about to step away from the tree when she heard something moving behind her. She froze. No. It couldn’t be him. No. There was no way he could have found her. Her heart was pounding so hard she was afraid it might burst. She turned and took off down the trail like a wild deer.

She was making so much noise she couldn’t tell if there was anyone behind, but she kept running. She was drenched in sweat, and her breath was becoming labored, when she suddenly burst through the trees into a large, wide field. Across the field, she saw a small cabin with a thin trail of smoke coming from the chimney. She ran a few more feet, when she heard a grunt. She looked over her shoulder and her blood froze in her body. A bear. A large bear, was lumbering out of the trees.

The woman took off running toward the cabin again. She didn’t think she had a good breath left in her, but managed a scream that rent the morning air. She could see a small figure outside the cabin now, but her eyes were on fire from the sweat running down her face, and she couldn’t tell if it was a man or woman. She had long since dropped her bundle and the lantern, but she kept a death grip on the butcher knife as she ran. Her breath was coming in short bursts of flame, and her legs had begun to quiver. She was only fifty yards or so from the cabin when the chain came untied from her waist and fell to the ground. Her right foot came down on it and her left ankle rolled. She was face down in the dirt, before the pain could even register in her fear-fogged brain. What little air she had left in her whooshed out, as her chest slammed into the ground. Her blood was pounding so hard she could not hear, but she could feel the rhythm of the bears gait in the ground beneath her face. She barely had time to think of dying when there was an explosion near her, followed closely by a second one, and a pained roar from the bear. A third explosion was followed by the earthshaking thud of the bear’s dead weight hitting the ground.

The woman managed to raise her head and look over her shoulder. She could see the bear not twenty feet from her. She turned her head back towards the cabin and saw two bare, black feet. She followed those feet upwards and saw a wizened little woman with white wooly hair. She was holding a gun that was almost as long, as she was tall.

“Lawd a-mercy! Child, you know how close you come to meetin’ yo maker?” The old woman lowered the gun to ground and leaned on it.

“That’s just too much ruckus before an ole lady done had her breakfast.” She now stood over the girl on the ground. “Oh, child, yo ankle ain’t lookin’ none too good. You hurtin’ anywhere’s else? Did that animal get you? And what you doin’ with a chain hooked to your leg, anyhow?”

river copy

I think maybe this is what my character may have seen as she paddled up the river.

Facebooktwitterpinterest
Facebooktwitterpinterest

Witches VS Fairies

I am not a big Halloween fan, but I do have a few good memories from my childhood that I bring out and relish occasionally. Since this is October, the designated month for ghosts, and goblins, and such, I thought I would share a few with you.

My mother died when I was ten years old, therefore, my childhood per se was cut a little short. We lived in Cleveland, Ohio, at the time, so you could expect cold weather, and sometimes snow, for Halloween festivities.

I remember she would drop a few of us girls at the corner, drive to the next block, then wait for us to make our giggling way down to the car. Afterwards, when our hands were frozen, our noses running, and our feet numb, she would take us for hot chocolate.

Those memories are a little vague; just generalities with no specific details. But there was this one fantasy that she and I shared that will always stay with me.

She worked at night, in a tool and die factory. We lived in an apartment, on the second floor of an old Victorian house. The head of my bed was against a small door, that probably led to the attic. One night, I got it into my young head that I heard something behind the door. Needless to say, I was not happy.

My mother was from Appalachia, had been raised in the mountains of West Virginia, and could spin a good yarn. So, she sat me down and told me that what I heard was the tiny little footsteps of the fairies that lived in the attic, and that she had asked them to watch over me at night, while I slept. She said that as long as I put out a snack for them, they would be very happy to do this.

There was a young black woman, who was studying to be a nurse, but came to stay with me at night. She would ride the bus to our place, then Mother would drive each of us to our school in the morning.
Each night she watched me pour a half glass of milk, place a cookie on a saucer, and put both on the dining table. And each morning the milk and cookie were gone. This was a ritual that continued for what seemed like years to my young mind, but was probably only a few months.

I don’t know what happened. I don’t remember what incredible circumstance could have caused me to forget my part of the ritual, but it came to a messy end one morning. My mother woke me by asking what in the world had happened in the kitchen. I jumped from bed and ran, only to find chaos. The dining table, and most of the floor, were covered in flour. There were shards scattered in the flour, from the broken glass and saucer.

I was horrified! I had forgotten to put out the offering for the fairies. I wept in heartbroken guilt. My mother pulled me onto her lap and soothed my tears with hugs. Then she told me that I would not hear the fairies anymore. That they had decided I was grown up enough that they no longer needed to watch over me at night. They had moved on to another little girl that needed them more.

This is one of the sweetest memories of my childhood. That my mother loved me enough to cater to my need to feel secure (not to mention her inner child). Only now, as an adult, do I understand the bond she was cementing with a little fantasy.

I went searching for a picture that depicted how I imagined my fairies to look; both adorable and mischievous. This one caught my fancy. Click to enlarge and enjoy the beauty.

cdht

Please feel free to share one of your favorite Halloween memories in the comments.

Facebooktwitterpinterest
Facebooktwitterpinterest

Let’s Face It…

I’ve reached a point in my life where beauty has dropped to about a 5 on my scale of 1 to 10 most important things to worry over. This face and this body have been on display for 65 years this month. Well, not exactly on display, but visible to the world. Okay, the face anyway. And while it won’t be displayed in next months Glamour, it is mine and I have grown accustomed to it.

On the rare occasions that I want to “dress it up”, I will apply make-up, but I’m never quite sure of what is best for it, even after all these years. I don’t shop at the Estee Lauder counter. I’m more of a Walgreen’s or Wal-mart kind of girl, so it’s just me, walking up and down the aisle looking at all the different brands and trying to figure out which one would be best suited to my face.

So I was very happy to find a blog from the Cluttered Closet that gave a pretty good run-down on the numerous brands available to the “common” woman. Follow this link and see if it helps you in your search Cluttered Closet unless, of course, you DO shop at the Estee Lauder counter, in which case you have some lovely young thing to assist you in your decisions. Now if she would only assist with the cost!

Facebooktwitterpinterest
Facebooktwitterpinterest

Belonging

When I started writing it was just something I did to entertain myself. My husband kept saying I should share that entertainment with the world. I’ve never been a flamboyant, “put yourself out there” kind of person, so I just ignored him. As I came nearer to finishing my first manuscript, I began to share it with a few close friends. They loved it, and in turn, urged me to “do something with it”.

My Beau started researching publishers and writers groups. He put me on to The Sunshine State Romance Authors, Inc., and the rest is history. These talented, knowledgeable women took me in and set my feet on a path to fulfillment. Watching them succeed has given me energy and hope. They truly make me feel as if I belong in this crazy, wistful, often ditzy world of writing.

Today they posted my contribution to what I lovingly call the Butt Glue Chronicles.

The Infamous Butt Glue

I knew it had to happen, sooner or later, but I had been dreading it for some time. I mean, I’ve been lucky and managed to dodge this thing for over a year!

Since it was inevitable, I thought, why not just get it over with; so at our last meeting I volunteered for the Butt Glue.

What? You’ve never heard of the infamous butt-glue? Well, it was invented by a really devious woman. A member of a group of writers who are known to have knowledge of things like lust and hope, mayhem and laughter, murder and romance, not necessarily in that order or grouping. And the sole purpose of this invention was to put one’s butt in a chair (or on a stool, or even on a chaise at poolside, so I’ve heard) and keep you there until you have birthed and recorded words. Lots and lots of words.

Well, I’ve been a little short on words lately (that’s my husband you hear choking in the background, as he rolls on the floor with tears streaming from his laughing eyes) so I did what any savvy writer would do. I volunteered for the Butt Glue.

I marched into the office this morning, firmly planted that little white bottle down beside my keyboard, and waited. And waited. And waited.

Nothing. And believe me, I recognize nothing when I see it staring back at me from that blinding white page.

I became so disillusioned by the nothingness of it all, that I lowered my head to the desktop and waited for tears.

Suddenly I felt a firm grip on my wrist and the sensation of air, first softly stirring my hair, then rushing by so fast that it began to roar. I opened my eyes and found nothing but blackness and what might have been stars. Did I mention that I am deathly afraid of heights? So I clamped those eyes of mine firmly closed and was just about to scream, when I became aware of the smell of salt air. The wind had slowed and was now playing with my long, wavy, copper tresses. What?!

I opened my eyes and found myself standing on a cliff, staring out over Sinclair Bay and behind me was the Ackergill Tower, standing majestically against the Caithness countryside. It was coming on dusk and the Northern Lights had begun to infuse the skies over Scotland with pale greens and lavenders. I turned at the sound of pounding hooves, only to see a man of magnificent proportions wrapped in nothing but a Tartan plaid. He brought the horse to a sliding halt, vaulted off and dropped to one knee in front of me. Good Lord, what a man! Eyes like polished steel, arms that had been burnished by the sun and rippled with bands of muscles, and ebony hair that set off a jawline of granite. He took my hand, looked deeply into my eyes, and said, “Och, ye bonny lass, where ha’ ye been all me life?”

At least that’s what it sounded like to me. I can’t be sure because the wind in that darn tunnel had started roaring again; my feet left the ground and all I could see was that bottle of glue pulling me into the tunnel.

When I opened my eyes again, it was to see the evening sun setting behind a wall of granite and snow topped mountains. I was standing on the front porch of a roughly-hewn log cabin, holding a metal bar in my hand and looking at a triangular dinner-bell. Unsure of what might happen, I swallowed hard and used the bar to “ring” the bell. I gave it a good hearty ring, then waited for the outcome.

I saw movement near the barn. I watched as a tall, lean but muscular and shirtless cowboy rounded the corner, wiping sweat with the bandana he removed from his neck.

As he got closer, I could see those ice-blue eyes with lines at the corners from squinting in the Colorado sun. I could see the cording across that broad chest, leading down to his narrowed waist. Those piercing eyes met mine and I lost all coherent thought. My breath was coming in short gasps. Then he spoke in a voice that rumbled up out of that sweat wet chest. “Woman, you can put supper back in the oven. Right now, all I want is a bath and you.”

I could feel a tug at my shoulder and a sharp pain across the back of my neck. I raised my head and wiped the drool from the side of my mouth as my husband said, “You silly goose, if you need a nap, go stretch out in the recliner.”

I was confused. I looked around, and the only thing I saw that registered in my sleep-fogged brain was that darn bottle of butt glue. And then in a flash of blinding light, well okay, when my husband turned on the overhead light in the office, things became clear.

I saw the lambs-wool, tartan-plaid throw, that I won at the on-line “Rogues” party from the lovely Grace Burrowes, folded neatly on the corner of my desk. On top of it lay the old, but much loved, arrowhead that my grandson brought back from a camping trip near Denver.

I looked back at the bottle of butt glue and knew the truth. The glue works in a different way for each of us. My need was for inspiration. The glue had taken some of the many “themes” of inspiration that were right under my nose and “cemented” them in my unconscious mind.

My work-in-progress still needs words, but my notebook of “possibilities” is bulging with new ideas!

Thanks, Butt Glue, and may you do for others what you’ve done for me.

You can check out all the Butt Glue blogs at Sunshine State Romance Authors, Inc.

Facebooktwitterpinterest
Facebooktwitterpinterest

Writing & Self Medication

We, as a nation, have become so at ease with the technology of communication devices that I don’t think many of us would survive if we had to return to the day of, say Shakespeare.

images

Remember the scene from Shakespeare In Love, when Shakespeare was frantically putting pen to paper, trying to get all his thoughts down before they eluded him? And his fingers were so ink stained that they looked just a little gross? Could you write a book with nothing but a quill and ink? The dedication of our historical writers puts me to shame. I whine when I lose power and don’t have access to my computer!

And remember the scene when they all went to the inn for a pint after working so hard? Okay that is a little more relatable. Almost daily I see references of drinking and writing and I can understand that, since writing is such a stressful, often painful thing.

First, you are pouring out your inner most thoughts for the world to judge. Then there is that painful period where you search (and pray) for a publisher who loves your “baby” as much as you do. Then, when you have found that wonderful, intelligent publisher, they want you to slice and dice your baby to make it more marketable.

No wonder so many writers turn to drink, or food, or whatever it is that soothes the individual’s nerves.

article-1239507-07BAC864000005DC-721_468x298

It would be wonderful if we all turned to exercise, but even Hemingway said “An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools.”

Whatever it is that soothes your jangled nerves after hours spent “bleeding” words from your soul, take it in moderation. Now, if you would pardon me, while I go rummage through the kitchen for anything chocolate to soothe my jangled nerves.

ChocoRaspberry-Tart

Facebooktwitterpinterest
Facebooktwitterpinterest

Fashion – Today’s, Yesterday’s ?

For me, it’s yesterday’s! I just think women looked more like women in the good old days. I can remember watching my Mom get ready to go out for the evening and it was just beautiful. The shoes and bags always matched, and while the gloves were probably a pain to keep up with, they looked so sweet. And don’t even get me started on the hats!

So, naturally when I started writing A Heart Made For Love, there had to be clothing descriptions.

“It was a deep rose taffeta with an almost, off the shoulder neckline. Mae had tried it on for Eleanor to pin for the last fitting and it had rustled like dry leaves when she moved.”

Can you see the color, hear the rustling as she moved across the floor? Good. Now wouldn’t you just love a dress like that?

Facebooktwitterpinterest
Facebooktwitterpinterest