I'm so happy to welcome Linda Poitevin to the Author Spotlight.
Here's a little bit about Linda: Linda Poitevin lives just outside Canada’s capital, Ottawa, with her husband, three daughters, and a varied collection of animals. In her spare time, she gardens (organically), cans and freezes the family’s winter fruit and vegetable supply, knits (basically), crochets (better), and starts way more projects than she ever finishes. (Fortunately that doesn’t hold true of her books!) She loves spending time with her family, having coffee with friends, walking by the river and watching thunderstorms…in about that order.
Linda's latest is A Fairy Tale for Gwyn, available from The Wild Rose Press as an ebook or paperback. Linda's going to give us The Inside Scoop on her release. Take it away, Linda! And readers, you'll want to pay special attention to number 5! As part of her blog tour, Linda will be giving away a pair of artisan-crafted earrings as well as a $10 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press (a total prize package worth $20) to one lucky commenter.
The Inside Scoop (Five things most people don’t know about A Fairy Tale for Gwyn)
Writers often draw their inspiration from real life, building characters and stories around actual places and events. A Fairy Tale for Gwyn began with such inspiration – here is some of the “story behind the story”:
1. Sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction. While Gwyn is an entirely fictional character, her back story is based in such truth. A former acquaintance’s husband went to the store one night after their second child was born and didn’t bother coming home again...and he didn’t call her for more than a week. I suspect her story isn’t an isolated one and I can’t even begin to imagine the sense of betrayal a woman must feel in those circumstances…or the strength she possesses in finding a way to go on.
2. The house Gwyn lives in is an actual home in the heritage district of Gatineau’s Aylmer sector. It’s a lovely, gracious old place, all red brick with sage-green trim, a covered front porch, the addition I describe in the book, and an amazing back terrace. And the really cool thing? I found out after completing the story that the woman who lived in the house at the time I was writing (she has since sold the place) was an architect who designed the addition on the back! I still go out of my way to walk or drive by whenever I can, and can’t help but wonder if the inside is anything like I envisioned.
3. I drew on my own experience with raising twins for the story. I have identical twin girls who are now in university, plus another girl (I’m a brave woman! ). While I wish I’d thought of the dot-to-dot idea when my twins had chicken pox, none of the incidents I use in the story are real. The scenarios aren’t far off the mark when it comes to the level of mischief, however, and yes, in my experience, twins really do look out for one another the way Maggie and Nicholas do. When they’re not fighting, of course!
4. The restaurant where Gwyn and Gareth have dinner is based on the one my husband took me to the night he asked me to marry him. It was in December, and he had a limousine pick us up and drive us around Parliament Hill (the seat of Canada’s federal government) to see the Christmas lights, and then up through Gatineau Park to the restaurant. The restaurant is called L’oree du Bois, French for The Edge of the Woods, and is nestled into the woods near the foot of a hill. No girl could ask for a more romantic setting, and if you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend it!
5. Gareth, complete with long hair and great physique :) was modeled after a character in a television series that ran for six seasons. Any guesses as to who that character was? I’ll give one randomly drawn, correct response an extra entry in my blog-tour draw for a set of artisan-crafted earrings and book gift certificate!
Here's the story blurb:
Gwyn Jacobs doesn’t believe in happy-ever-after.
Ever since her ex-husband walked out four years ago, abandoning her with a toddler and infant twins, Gwyn has been mother, father, and bread-winner all rolled into one. Her own scarred heart and failed marriage aside, she is determined not to open up her children’s lives to the possibility of another heartbreak...until her very own fairy tale falls into her lap -- and the hero won’t take no for an answer!
And here's an excerpt:
“It’s me. Did I wake you?” Rich, dark tones washed over her, velvet-smooth.
Gwyn clutched at the duvet and dragged it up to her chin. Her traitorous heart thudded against its confines. She swallowed. Cleared her throat. Managed a barely coherent, “No. I was awake.”
She wiped sweaty palms against the duvet, one at a time.
“I miss you,” he said.
She squeezed her eyes shut and coached herself through the forgotten art of breathing. Inhale…exhale…
Gareth’s voice deepened, roughened. “Tell me you’re suffering as much as I am.”
The ache that had started in her belly spread relentlessly outward. He wanted the truth. But how could she tell him something she was still trying to avoid acknowledging?
“Gwyn?” the deep voice prompted, with an edge to it that startled her. A rawness that echoed her own state.
She exhaled shakily and tightened her fingers around the receiver. “And I’m suffering, too,” she whispered.
Thanks again for being my guest today, Linda! Wishing you all the best with A Fairy Tale for Gwyn!