Monday, 4 May 2015

#HIFortnight - Guest Post by Linn B Halton

Today for #HIFortnight I have a guest post by Linn B Halton

How do I plan my Harper Impulse books?


With the Angels Among Us novellas (Falling, Forbidden and Forever, each 30,000 words in length) I pitched to the fabulous Charlotte Ledger, at the Romantic Novelists’ Association conference in 2013. At that stage I had only written two of the three novellas, but by the time I signed the contract the final novella, Forever, was completed. However, there was a little more to the story and when Harper Impulse decided to release the three novellas as Falling: Angels Among Us The Complete Series, I was able to add a roller-coaster ending that takes the reader on past ‘The End’. It’s a fitting conclusion to a story that will make many people wonder ‘what if?’ It took three years of research to write a part of this story, which is ultimately a love story, but explores the possibility of changing one’s fate and how angels might operate if they walk here among us. What if we start to deviate from fate’s path – is it possible that those around us can receive messages to correct little anomalies to stop us going way off course?


Having written that series a conversation with my editor, Charlotte, inspired my next novel with them which is due out on 16 July 2015 and is available to pre-order now. A Cottage in the Country is another love story, but the setting is the lovely cottage my husband and I are currently renovating in Lydbrook, on the edge of the Forest of Dean. We moved into the cottage in December 2013, when severe flooding hit the area and while it is a work of fiction, some of the actual events relating to the work on the cottage are true. We really did spend our first night there, on the 19 December, with a seized central heating boiler that wouldn’t work, no furniture and a bed that wasn’t delivered until a day later! As the cottage had been empty for over a year because the previous owner had died, it wasn’t the best start to a very ‘un-Christmassy’ first Christmas there. Christmas day we had no cooker and no kitchen after deliveries failed to get through. Christmas lunch was eaten in paint-covered jeans and consisted of crisps and a sandwich! We stopped work for the briefest break, then my husband started up a jackhammer to take out part of an interior wall and I was back to sanding and painting walls.

All of the characters are fictional, of course, but it was the perfect setting for Maddie Brooks as she began her new life.


  A Cottage in the Country

What do you do when your best friend has an affair with the man to whom you've been married for twenty-five years? The father of your two children and the person you trusted with your heart? Not to mention the best years of your life ...

Well, you pack your bags, grab half of the equity in the house you've both lovingly restored and run away to an idyllic little cottage in the country.

I suppose not having the cottage surveyed was the first mistake—buying with your heart, and not your head, isn't the wisest move. The second was moving in six days before Christmas, the day the heavens decided to open and the rain just kept on coming.

Maddie Brooks grits her teeth and hires the highly recommended ‘man who can’, ex-soldier, Lewis Hart. As he rips out the very shabby and decidedly not-so-chic kitchen, reality sets in. Not only is he the most abrupt person she's ever met, but the man is a Neanderthal!

As the flood waters rise, and the village is cut off, everything that could possibly go wrong, does. How bad can it get, Maddie asks herself? Well, that was before she found herself living with no central heating and no kitchen, and the man who can, as an unexpected house guest.

Hitting the big five-o two days before Christmas is the final straw. No presents, family, or friends—just Lewis Hart, who can’t leave because the flood has now cut off his exit. How on earth is she going to get through this and put her life back together?

Can Maddie Brooks become that ‘fifty-and-fabulous’ woman of her dreams? What defines YOU? Wife, mother, grandmother, colleague – or is there another person buried deep within, who is struggling to be heard?  


Being with Harper Impulse has allowed me to grow as an author and mix genres. I love the fact that they are so open and receptive to ideas. Having an editor who understands your preferred style and the way your mind works is a great bonus. I wear my Harper Impulse badge with great pride!


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  2. Waves, Jo, and thanks so much for featuring me in the HarperImpulse fortnight! It's fab to here. Happy Wednesday! Lxx

  3. Fab post. So looking forward to reading A Cottage in the Country. Hope it does well for you, Linn. xx

    1. Thanks so much, Kit, ad happy Wednesday! I had to leave out some of the things that happened as otherwise the book would have been twice as long ... lol! There were a few tears in among the rain, I will admit but also a lot of laughter and there was no way that wasn't going to find itself in one of my books! Thanks for dropping by. Lxx