Title: The Quintessential Gemini
Author: Linn B. Halton
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Release Date: May 16th 2012
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Buy: Sapphire Star Publishing
For twenty-one years, the focus of Katherine Dale’s life has been her work. Love interests and hobbies came and went, but what has always been there for her—her only constant other than her cat delightfully named No. 4—was her nine to five habit. Until she’s replaced.
With her confidence dented, Katherine is angry at life and at herself. She’s ignored hints of “changes to come” in her horoscope forecasts, written by the wonderful and renowned astrologer, Mark Ainsley-Thomas.
Mark is now an “A” list celebrity in the UK and his new Agent is determined to raise his profile in America, so he has to take on the new, but talented, astrologer James Kingman to help him run his web-site.
Katherine lives her life according to her daily horoscope. When Katherine finds James has been writing her daily horoscopes rather than Mark, Katherine’s life explodes in confusion and, unexpectedly, love as the three lives become inextricably tangled. Insecurity, self-doubt, guilt, stress, and frustration, coupled with village gossips and merciless reporters wanting eye-catching headlines leave Katherine feeling vulnerable and in need of guidance.
Now Katherine has to learn that the stars might be telling her that love is going to feature in her life, but when Katherine finds herself implicated in the headlines ‘Mystic Love Triangle Surprise’ she’s just as surprised as everyone else! None of the men in her life are love interests – so what exactly does fate have in store?
I live in Arlingham, a small village in Gloucestershire in the UK. I was born in the city of Bristol, which is about an hour’s drive from my current home. It’s very peaceful here and since we moved in last August we have been renovating our converted cow shed and hayloft. It’s bijou and we love it!
What or who inspired you to write? And how long have you been writing?
I began writing in April 2009, although I’ve kept a journal of ideas for stories since I was about eleven years old. Over the years I wrote quite a few poems, but always knew that when I sat down to write that first novel, I wouldn’t want to stop. So I had to wait until my family were grown up and I could take the time to be indulgent! I was inspired to write because even as a young child I loved immersing myself in a story. As a teenager it became a real problem as I always had my nose in a book. As a mom and wife I will admit I have burnt the evening meal on more than one occasion because I can’t put a good book down. What I loved was that you could be transported into another world and it was a form of escapism. I hated it when I reached that final page and when I write that’s always a tough time for me. There’s a sense of elation but also a sense of loss. The characters become your friends and suddenly they aren’t going to be a part of your daily life anymore. Nothing prepared me for that.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I agonised (and Googled) this as a newbie. I felt I hadn’t earned the ‘badge’ even after completing five manuscripts, one after another. You have to refer to yourself as something, so you do end up using the term ‘writer’, then that progresses to ‘author’ once you have something published. In my head though I still regard myself as being very new and I will only feel I have earned the badge as time goes on and readers provide feedback. That’s why writers are so reliant upon reviews, it’s how we can measure how well we are doing. I still pinch myself every time I get a good review! However, I’m also conscious that I’m still exploring the limits of my writing abilities and trying to stretch myself to become the best I can possibly be.
What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 30 or less words, what would you say?
The Quintessential Gemini really does live her life according to her daily horoscope. When a new guy takes over, the forecasts become obscure a
nd that’s when the fun begins.
I love reading the warnings on the blurbs for many books. If you could write a warning label for yourself as a person or an author, what would it say?
Warning – one hopeless romantic, workaholic who won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Life is what you make it – the content is completely fictitious – or is it?
If you gave some of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?
They always speak for themselves, I simply write down what they say. They often surprise me and sometimes it would help if they told me how it was all going to end before we actually get to the last page!
What does your protagonist think about you? Would he or she want to hang out with you, the author?
Well, we are both Geminis so I think we would get on very well. However, I like to think I’m a little more practical than Katherine Dale and whilst I’d love to live my life according to my horoscope, I realise it isn’t that simple. You can only be sure about what a reading is telling you AFTER it’s happened. When you are looking at the day ahead the tendency is to interpret it based on the information you have, whereas in life anything can change in a moment. Something that you would never dream could happen, can suddenly become a reality. There is also a tendency to make it ‘fit’ with what you would like to happen, rather than trying to ‘hear’ what it’s saying to you.
Which character speaks the loudest, to you? Do any of them clamour to be heard over the others?
No. 4, Katherine’s cat, had a small voice but his presence was key. I have to say though I miss them all – Katherine, Mark Ainsley-Thomas the main astrologer and James Kingman, who comes in to help out Mark. They don’t clamor because each is very different.
Katherine is just crazy and earns the nickname ‘CK’ crazy Katherine. There is a gentleness to James, although he can be stubborn and he carries the weight of the world on his shoulders at times – you can’t help but love him. Mark is a genius and I want him to do my personal readings. I wish he were real!
Do your characters try to make like bunnies and create ever more convoluted plots for you? Or do you have to coax them out of your characters?
I find the story unfolds quite naturally. In my debut novel there are lots of twists and turns, it’s a psychic romance that will also make you stop and think about life after death, but in a light-hearted way. The Quintessential Gemini is about relationships, the choices we make and the complications that life throws our way. It’s a fun, romantic read and it’s the personalities of the characters that rive the storyline.
Have you based any of your characters on someone you know, or real events in your own life?
The opening scene in The Quintessential Gemini was a real incident that happened to me. I was washing the kitchen floor and knocked one of the chairs off the table top and it fell directly onto me. It wasn’t a pretty sight and I was home alone, prostrate on the floor and seeing stars. It took me a little while to be able to move (laugh)! I give that as an example, because if you know someone who writes for a living then beware. Everything you say or do may be taken down and written into a novel ….in a fictitious way of course!
Do you have a specific writing style?
Yes, I write from the viewpoint of several of the main characters, both male and female and love writing this way. I think it allows the reader to see each character as a more rounded individual. It’s often the way in which two people perceive something in totally different ways, that causes life’s little problems and that’s where the fun begins!
How did you come up with the title?
I brain storm before I sit down to write and two ideas popped into my head. The first was ‘Mystic Mayhem’ the second was ‘The Quintessential Gemini’ and I knew instantly that was the one!
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
It’s a fun read, but it does look at the problems we all experience in life from time to time, so the main message is to stand back and see the bigger picture. Don’t get bogged down with the minute detail of your problems, because then you lose sight of what is important. In essence it’s about surviving the knock-backs and the quest to find real happiness. It’s about life and love!
Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
My next book is out on August 2, 2012 – The Restaurant @ The Mill. It’s based around a couple who are business partners and set up a restaurant in an old flour mill. As their story unfolds we also get involved with five other couples who regularly dine at the mill and there is a cameo appearance from the spirit of Sarah, who wanders around in search of her beloved husband.
Cats or dogs?
White wine or red?
Rose – White Zinfandel
Coffee or tea?
What are 4 things you never
leave home without?
Tape measure, toy car (for bored children), plastic spoon (for bored or hungry children), a bottle of water.
Laptop or desktop for writing?
Desk, with view of garden ….
Thank you for stopping by! Now for a little excerpt from "The Quintessential Gemini”
My life is falling apart. I knew it, Mark isn’t writing the forecasts and a guy named James has now admitted this to me. I don’t have a problem with that at all, but what I need at this particular moment in time is Mark’s insightful guidance. He seems to be able to tap into the very essence of my life and give simple, yet incredibly relevant, clues. James, on the other hand, is probably catering for the masses; hence, I’m finding I can’t relate to anything he says. It took me all day yesterday emailing James, whom I assumed was Mark, to get to the bottom of the problem. Today is Wednesday and the talk is on Friday evening. Everyone in town is buzzing about it and this could be major humiliation. What should I do?
I finally emailed James, asking very politely for Mark’s personal contact details. He came back with a standard, “Mark unfortunately isn’t available to…” I didn’t panic, just took a deep breath and turned to the internet. I found an interesting article about Mark and learned that he gives personal readings. Yes. Thankfully, the email address is different to the one on the Website. I dashed off a few words, asking whether he was available, and what I needed to do. That was four-thirty yesterday and I haven’t had a response yet.
I was up at six this morning and have been frantically checking my emails virtually every ten minutes. It’s now eleven thirty and the strain is beginning to tell. I can’t write, can’t eat, and can’t think straight. If Friday night is going to be a flop, then I need advance warning so that I can cancel. I’m having problems thinking of an excuse that doesn’t sound lame. If I say I’m unwell, it probably means leaving it to the last minute and then I’ll be scrutinized and will have to hide for a week. If I say something like “I’m too busy” or even tell the truth, that I’m really just a novice myself, the locals will probably think I’m not taking them seriously. In my defense, I never said to Tom I was a writer, I just said I was writing a novel. The problem is that Tom seems to be basking in some sort of local glory for being in the know and, I hear, regularly having coffee with our famous local writer. This I found out when I was in the library the other day and overheard two women talking. Everything is getting out of hand and I don’t know what to do next.
No. 4 flounces into the room with a loud meow, walks around the kitchen table twice, and then just as quickly disappears. Even he can sense the tense atmosphere that hovers like a rain cloud in the room. Suddenly I spot a flashing icon on my screen and I dash over to the table and sit down. It’s from Mark, well his representative, the person who books his personal appointments.
From: Kate on behalf of Mark Ainsley-Thomas
To: Ms K Dale
Unfortunately, Mark is touring this week, attending a number of book signings around the country. He is sorry that he is unlikely to be able to commit to a personal sitting for at least three months due to his unusually busy schedule.
I am able to offer you an individual, full chart reading service, which Mark oversees personally, and I can arrange this upon receipt of the detailed information listed on the attachment. This service is available at a cost of £19.95.
Thank you for contacting Mark and please do not hesitate to let me know if you would like the full chart reading service.
Personal Assistant to Mark Ainsley-Thomas
I suddenly feel like I have a lifeline.
Follow this VBT and enter the tour-wide contest every day for a chance to win one of fifteen eBook copies of The Quintessential Gemini. More entries = more chances to win!
Linn B Halton lives in the UK, in the small Gloucestershire village of Arlingham, on the banks of the River Severn with her adorable husband and cat with attitude – Mr Tiggs! She writes romantic fiction with a psychic or astrological theme and many of the paranormal events that feature in her books are real life experiences.
Linn is also a featured new Author on http://loveahappyending.com/ and Editor of the feature ‘Author & Associate Catch-Ups’ including ‘Reader/Author Team Reports’ on the website’s magazine-style blog.
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