Tag Archives: The Quintessential Gemini

CentreStage with Linn B. Halton: Following the path that fate lays out …

Welcome again to CentreStageCentreStage showcases fantastic authors from around the world, often introducing fellow featured authors at loveahappyending.com as well as my fellow authors in the Sapphire Star Publishing family.  On CentreStage, these authors might write for you about their lives, or their writing journey, or anything else that matters to them.  Every feature will be different in format and flavour, so watch out for a variety of stories and tales.

Today, it is my great pleasure to welcome another loveahappyending.com featured author…  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you:  Linn B. Halton!

A great believer in fate….

People who know me well understand that I am a great believer in fate. That’s not to say I think we live our lives on ‘remote control’ by any means, but if you are born to be an eminent surgeon or a rock star … well, you will find yourself following a particular path.

Yes, I do believe we have freedom of choice but if you are making a cake and have all the ingredients in the bowl, you suddenly can’t change your mind at that point and decide you are making pasta instead! However, the sort of cake you end up with will depend on the effort you put in to make it the best it can be. It can be a plain little sponge or an amazingly decorated cupcake (both can be very enjoyable) – the choice is yours.

…and stars!

I’m old enough to be a little more laid back about things than I was even a few years’ ago. I am a typical Gemini and admit I am borderline obsessive compulsive. Hey, it’s in my genes so it’s not my fault!  It is true that over the years I have made things happen by sheer rugged determination and total commitment. I can be focussed to a fault. It’s a trait that has a good and a bad side, but it has come in handy with my third career.

A woman of many talents, including finance…

Career number one was finance. I hated maths with a passion when I was at school. However, accountancy was another matter and I specialised in planning and forecasting. For over twenty years, after my sons started school, it was something I enjoyed despite the pressures and deadlines that seemed never ending. It taught me so much about being disciplined in the way I work, about being methodical and planning ahead. Probably not the best environment for someone who leans heavily towards OCD – but my gut instincts meant that I could spot errors or problems areas in financial reports quite easily. I enjoyed investigating anomalies and resolving problems. It was a job I loved. It didn’t fulfil my artist/creative side though and the outlet for that was my hobby. Together with my husband we have lived in and renovated 13 properties to date. It was this hobby that led me into my second career.

…design…

A chance meeting and conversation led to a job offer to become an Interior Designer for new build Show Homes. For a while I had a dual role and also took on Sales & Marketing as the housing market hardened and selling was very much led by the finishes on offer to potential purchasers. It was an exciting time for me as I was responsible for making the selections for all of the internal finishes for show homes and any properties not sold prior to the final fix stage.  To be paid to go to work and choose floor and wall tiles, bathroom suites, kitchens … it was a dream. Fate had unleashed my inner longing to be creative on a larger scale.

Then my mother became unwell and my intuitive side told me (without anything concrete to confirm it) that she wasn’t going to be with us for much longer. I resigned from my job at the end of December 2008 and she died unexpectedly at the end of March 2009, three short months later.

…and writing!

My mother and I both knew that I would eventually become a writer – whether published or unpublished – because I began writing when I was 11 years old.  Family and work commitments meant I was too busy to write anything more than poetry on occasion, but I kept a journal of storylines for when I reached that me time stage of my life.  We both assumed it would be once I retired, but shortly after her death I found myself in front of the computer writing my first novel – Touched By The Light.

Fate and talent coming together at last!

I didn’t go back to work, and again fate and my mother had enabled me to see that you can walk away from the nine-to-five habit and earning a good salary. We bought a smaller house and now I spend my time writing and running three websites connected with writing. It’s more than a full-time job, it consumes all of my free time but I absolutely love it! My husband understands that this is my time, after years of working and bringing up a family he never begrudges me a second of the time I’m on the computer. We try to ensure we still get quality time together – we have date nights and holidays/short breaks to keep the magic going.  As a Grandma I find the time I spend with the grandkids grounds me and is a perfect break away from my new ‘job’.

The other day someone asked me if I ever get writer’s block. Having waited so many years to get to this stage, the answer is no. I have too many projects in my little journal waiting to be taken forward. I wrote for about sixteen months flat out after my mother died and completed five manuscripts. One she inspired, the true story Being A Sceptic Is Oh So Easy, my debut novel was released in Feb 2011 and the other three are all due out this year – starting with The Quintessential Gemini published by the fabulous Sapphire Star Publishing.

The best possible outcome!

What is hugely satisfying for me, is that this ‘job’ feels so right.  I am a square peg in a square hole – I’ve never been the round peg type of lady. For whatever reason I’m where I’m supposed to be and doing what makes me happy.  I’m so thankful for this opportunity and I’m grateful to every single person who sits down to read one of my novels, it’s an amazing thought and humbling.  It’s one thing to write, but another for people to want to read what you write.

Writing for me has never been about fame and fortune because I accept if that was my fate it would have created the opportunity for me earlier in my life.  It’s about the readers who take the time to post a kind review or Email me to let me know how they felt about a story I have written. When I was in my early 30’s I went to see a clairvoyant who told me that I had an unusual life map for a Gemini. He told me that I would gain the most pleasure from my working life at the END of my life and that I would work to a good old age. Well, if I have to write ALL of the stories in my little journal, I might have to live to the ripe old age of 120. A little cosmetic surgery may be in order if I update my author photo … It’s been a total pleasure to be here with Nicky and thank you for dropping by to help me celebrate novel no. 2!

Wow:  Introducing… The Quintessential Gemini, Linn’s masterpiece number 2! 

For twenty-one years the main focus of Katherine Dale’s life has been her work.  Love interests and hobbies came and went; but always there for her, her only constant – other than her cat delightfully named No. 4 – was her nine to five habit.   Until she’s replaced.

Her confidence is dented and she’s angry; at life and at herself.  She’s failed to grasp the office politics that were going on around her and ignored hints of ‘changes to come’ in her horoscope forecasts. For over twenty years she has followed Mark Ainsley-Thomas, a renowned Astrologer in the UK and USA.  His daily forecasts direct the way she lives her life as a typically complex Gemini.  Mark is now an ‘A’ list celebrity and his new Agent is determined to raise his profile in America, so he has to take on James Kingman to help him run his website.

Katherine is totally confused by James’ forecasts and that’s where the fun begins! 

The Quintessential Gemini is available in paperback and e-book from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.

 ******

Linn is a featured Author on http://loveahappyending.com/.  You can visit Linn’s author page at loveahappyending.com as well as at Sapphire Star Publishing.  Linn also has her very own website and blog, and she Twitters and Facebooks as well!

Linn, a big thank you for visiting CentreStage today and sharing the path that fate had laid out for you… so far.  I am curious to see where you go from here!

Over to you, dear reader:  tell us about your fate.  Is life taking you down the path you expected… with a few twists and turns thrown in for a bit of fun?

Double Party in the Hall of Fame today: Give it up for Linn B. Halton and Amy Gregory

Roll out the red carpet!
Open the champagne!
It’s time to enter the Hall of Fame!

Yes, today it’s a double celebration as not one but two of my amazing fellow authors over at Sapphire Star Publishing celebrate the launch day for their books.  Meet Linn B. Halton and Amy Gregory!  Grab a cup of tea (or something sparkly, if it’s late enough in the day!), sit back and enjoy as you get to meet two fabulous new authors….

Welcome to the Hall of Fame: the lovely Linn B. Halton!  Linn launches her novel, The Quintessential Gemini today…

I’m so honoured to be here with one of my favourite authors, the effervescent Nicky Wells! This is one rocking lady for sure and she always keeps me smiling.

I thought I would ask Katherine Dale, who is The Quintessential Gemini, to introduce herself first…

“Where do I start? It’s all rather messy actually; my life is falling apart simply because I chose NOT to listen to the fabulous astrologer Mark Ainsley-Thomas. He’s been telling me for a while that there are big changes to come in my daily horoscopes. I know I’ve buried my head in the sand and put my own spin on what that might be – now I’m paying the price. No job, no man in my life except for No. 4, my faithful cat, and when I need Mark to tell me how to put it all back together, his forecasts have become obscure … after 25 years of being my one daily ‘constant’, I feel he isn’t there for me anymore – how will I cope?”

So over to the revered Mark Ainsley-Thomas himself, I have to know what’s happening…

“Well, since acquiring a new agent, the dreaded Harriet Wensworth “Agent to the Stars”, she thinks my future lies in the US. How on earth does the woman think I can produce daily, weekly and monthly forecasts if I’m jetting around the world all the time? I’m an astrologer for goodness sake, not an A-list celebrity! The woman is driving me insane with all these talk show appearances. We’re taking on a new astrologer to help out, but I really do hate letting go of the reins – even though he’s very talented and I knew his late father, an eminent astrologer. I never thought fame would turn me into a TV face, I’m not even sure I like this new role of mine.”

Ah, I’m beginning to understand what Katherine has instinctively picked up on; there is a new guy writing the daily and weekly forecasts. His name is James Kingman and I’ve met him briefly, what a hunk! But not only doesn’t he know it, he’s fragile – he lost his business, most of his money and his long-term girlfriend has moved out now she no longer considers him to be successful.

“A new job helps take my mind off my financial worries, but can I deliver? My style is so different to Mark’s and he’s a really hard act to follow. He’s not only a brilliant astrologer (and astronomer) but he’s so … charismatic. My readings are good, I know my stuff, but I don’t wrap it up in the same way, it’s rather plain by comparison. I also answer the Emails that come in to the website and there’s a woman who keeps asking questions. Her name is Katherine and even though she is one of our paying customers and receives all her personalised forecasts by Email on a daily basis, she’s a real pain. I don’t know what this lady wants, but I’m getting rather exasperated. She can’t really live her life according to her daily horoscope, surely?”

The Quintessential Gemini is available in paperback and e-book from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.

Linn B Halton lives in the UK, in the small Gloucestershire village of Arlingham, on the banks of the River Severn in the UK with her adorable husband and cat with attitude – Mr Tiggs! She writes about:  Life, love and beyond … but it’s ALWAYS about the romance… Linn signed with the amazing Sapphire Star Publishing in 2012.

Many of the paranormal events that feature in some of her books are real life experiences. Linn is also a featured Author on http://loveahappyending.com/ and Editor of the feature ‘Author & Associate Catch-Ups‘on the website’s magazine-style blog.

You can visit Linn’s author page at loveahappyending.com as well as at Sapphire Star Publishing.  Linn also has her very own website and blog, and she Twitters and Facebooks as well!

Wow, thank you to Linn for introducing Katherine, Mark and James. I can’t wait to meet them!

And now it’s over to the amazing Amy Gregory: Welcome to the Hall of Fame!  Amy is launching Racing to Love ~ Carter’s Treasure today…

Amy, I think I heard you say that there’s a lot of ‘you’ in your books.  Tell us some more!

Something I’ve always wondered over the years when I read a book is, just how much of what is written on the page is from the author themselves.  Not one to read mysteries or suspenseful books, I stick more to the light-hearted, fun love stories.  When reading those, you can see personalities emerge: how much of that personality is directly from the author?

Well, (as I blush) I have to say in all my books, my personality is glaringly obvious.  I have a wicked smart-mouth, that I don’t apologize for very often, and a naughty sense of humor…yeah,I  don’t apologize for that much either.   I love to laugh and want nothing more than for those I’m around, either in person or clear across the Internet, to laugh with me.  I’ve learned to tailor myself to be polite around those who I might offend, and I have my close friends who I can totally just be myself around, all varying degrees of me.

That’s really fascinating! Is this a conscious choice, a strategy that you have, or does it just kind of… emerge?

My characters are all very different and I don’t think long and hard about their personalities before I start writing, I have a premise and I just go.  I see them come alive as I type, but going back and reading each scene, then each chapter and finally the book as a whole, I’ll start laughing.  Looking at things they’ve said or done and I’ll think to myself…oh I have soooo done or said that!  Or they’ll do things I can totally see myself doing, then I’ll start cracking up.  Just me and my laptop, a cup of coffee and silence, but I’ll have tears running down my face as I picture the scenes in my head.

What can I say…life’s short, enjoy it!

LOL, I like your style.  Let’s hear some more about the book you are launching today:  Racing to Love ~ Carter’s Treasure

From the outside, Molly West had everything, beauty, brains, and a career she’d retired from not once, but twice.  Being in the limelight and in a sport that was male driven, she was often surrounded men.  She ignored first the boys, and as she got older, the men.  Unfortunately, they were all the same, all after one thing, and she had absolutely no use for them.  Her cold shoulder and patented not a chance in hell look were usually enough to get her point across.  Occasionally, she had to resort to her sass—and her brother.

Molly had no plans in changing what was a perfectly good system. That is until she walked into the pits.  When she stood toe-to-toe with the sex in jeans, she knew right then and there that the man her adoptive mother always told her was out there, was now standing right in front of her.

Carter Sterling had traveled the racing circuit since he was a boy.  He’d heard all the old standbys, She’s out there somewhere, love comes along when you least expect it.  Good things come to those that… Yeah, he’d heard them all.  The last place he expected to meet the love of his life was on a pro track.  All she did was smile, and he knew, looking into her sapphire blue eyes, Molly West was his.  Forever.

If it was only that easy.  From the moment he laid eyes on her, he had a gripping feeling in him.  An overwhelming need to protect her.  A girl he’d just met.  Carter had learned a long time ago that gut feelings are almost never wrong.

Molly now held his heart in her hands, but it was going to take a lot more than just love to protect her from the past she thought she’d buried a long time ago.

And here’s the really exciting bit!  Racing to Love ~ Carter’s Treasure is now available in from amazon.com and amazon.co.uk!

Amy Gregory leads an incredibly active lifestyle in Kansas City with her husband and their three fantastic kids who keep them running in three very different directions.  When she’s not rushing her oldest daughter to tumbling, her youngest daughter to music lessons, or sitting track-side watching her son practice motocross, she’s taking the few minutes in between to scribble the next pages in her Racing to Love series.  When asked, “When do you have time to write?” Amy Gregory giggles.  “In bits and pieces,” she says.

Amy is known for her snarky, off the cuff sense of humor, which you’ll find shining through in the characters she’s created.  I’ve spent my whole life trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, and now I’ve finally found it. – Amy Gregory

Find out more about Amy on her blog, or on her Sapphire Star Publishing author page.  Amy is also on Goodreads and you can find her on Twitter and Facebook.

Now then, open that champagne, my friends, and let’s toast these two amazing authors!  **Cheers** 

Wishing you both best of luck on launch day, ladies ~ Rock On!