Hi, everyone. I hope your summer is going well. Hubby and I will be traveling quite a bit in the next coming months. It's our favorite time of year. First campfire will be in Freeport Maine and then Cape Cod. I'll be doing some research for a new type of book for me. It's a historical action/adventure romance taking place off the New England coast after WWII. Then we're of to several other locations including my niece's wedding in the Pocono's. But back to today's fire, please welcome my guest, Linda O'Conner who has some adventures of her own.
Linda, welcome to the fire. Why don't you introduce yourself while I grab some refreshments.
Donna, I’m so happy to be visiting you around the campfire. I love being outdoors. This summer I’ve had more time off, and I bought an Oru Kayak. It’s a surprisingly sturdy origami kayak that weighs twenty pounds and folds up into the size of a suitcase, so it fits in the back of my car. It literally takes about three minutes to put together.
I've always wanted to give Kayaking a go. Do you get to use it often?
I’m lucky enough to live close to the shore of Lake Ontario, with easy access to the water and trails, and I’ve been able to get out on the water pretty much every morning. My perfect day would include kayaking first thing in the morning on a lake that looks like a mirror followed by an hour-long hike in the nearby conservation area, and a bicycle ride and a fast game of pickleball after lunch. If I can end the day with another paddle, even better!
Wow! That's a schedule that will make you fit as a fiddle. I love outside and you seem to spend a great portion enjoying it.
I’m definitely happiest when I’m outside and active, and I’ve recently met a friend with the same mindset, so spending time together has been a lot of fun. The only downside to spending all my time outdoors is fitting in time to write. It’s been a little harder to be disciplined about writing since I bought my kayak, but I take advantage of rainy days for that. Winter will be here soon enough, and I’ll get back to my routine of writing every morning.
Season's in nature and seasons in life. You find what works for you. Tell us. What else do you like to do?
I have to say I seem to have a talent for collecting and upcycling items that I find at the curb that people have put out to get rid of. Two years ago, I found a really cute dresser that I use for storage in my study. I painted it pale blue and changed the knobs and it looks fantastic. Recently, I found a Fisher Price baby seat with a tray of interactive doodads, and another day I picked up a high chair. Obviously safety is always a concern, but cleaned up, they’re going to be great for my new grandchild!
My DH, Pete, is an upcycle kinda guy. He's always working on projects. Would you rather have unlimited international first-class tickets or never have to pay for food at restaurants?
I’ve been very fortunate to have travelled widely in my life, but if I had to choose between unlimited international first-class tickets or never having to pay for food at restaurants, I would choose the tickets. There are still a few places I’d like to visit – like Hawaii and Ireland, and closer to home, Newfoundland and Labrador. My bucket list includes seeing the Aurora Borealis so more travel is definitely in my future.
I'm hoping on one of our northern camping trips to see the aurora. Speaking of such a wonderful thing, what’s the most amazing natural occurrence you’ve witnessed?
One of the most spectacular places I’ve visited has to be Pompeii. I didn’t witness the natural disaster that occurred, but Pompeii was preserved when Mount Vesuvius erupted and covered the city in ash. The architecture that has been preserved is magnificent, and the technology that they used for water and waste management and cooling their homes was awe-inspiring. They even embedded reflective stones on their roads and walkways to light them up at night! Very cool!
I've read a bit about Pompeii, tragic but fascinating. Pliny wrote an eyewitness account. You are a doctor now, but what was your first job?
Not surprising, I worked outdoors – at a strawberry patch picking strawberries. I actually got quite fast at it! I also worked at a greenhouse cutting carnations for a couple of summers. The weirdest job I had was at a botanical garden washing rocks. Yup. The horticulturist I worked for specialized in hydroponics and reused the rocks, so they had to be washed to prevent any disease or contaminants from affecting the new plants. Professional rock washer – that’s me!
LOL! See there's a job for everyone. Let's chat about writing. How do you select the names of your characters?
This is actually one of the hardest things, I find. I can’t start writing until I have the names nailed down. I have a particularly hard time with male names because I don’t want to know anyone with the name, and I have three sons who also have a wide circle of friends – so that rules out a ton of names. I have an idea of the character’s personality and job by the time I’m thinking of a name so it has to fit. I also don’t want to use the same name twice, and I’ve written sixteen novels, two novellas, and a handful of short stories, so it becomes a bit tricky. Sometimes I’ll read obituaries to get a sense of older names – or younger names of grandchildren – or look at names in the news to get ideas. I have a friend who loves coming up with names, so I’ll text her for ideas, too!
It can be hard. I've used the social security website. The have list of names according to years. Who or what books or authors are your inspiration?
I read to escape, so I prefer to read humorous stories, and they often become inspiration for humor in my own writing. I really enjoy the Andy Carpenter series by David Rosenfelt. The stories are humorous and clever. I’ve also enjoyed books by Graeme Simsion, Marne Davis Kellogg, Ruth Reichl, Nora Roberts, Jeffrey Archer, and Suzanne Brockman.
Linda, thanks for taking some time out of you busy life to hang around the fire with us. Before you paddle away, will you leave us information about your latest books and where we can find them? I understand you have two in this series.
I’m celebrating the release of the first two books of a new series, Laugh-out-Loud Hockey Caper Romance. The first book is Love and the Hidden Hockey Clues. It’s about a doctor who finds a tin box hidden between the studs during renovations of her home. She thought the items were random hockey mementos but realizes they’re clues and enlists the help of the captain of the local pro hockey team to help sort out where they lead. I’ve always thought it would be cool to find a hidden treasure during renovations and that sparked the idea for the story! I also love escape rooms with the challenge of clues to decipher and puzzles to solve. I thought I’d weave that type of white-collar crime mystery into a romance. Add in a smart, sassy doctor and a swoon-worthy professional hockey player, and the stage is set for a fun, clever hockey caper. This is the first book in the series and all of the (stand-alone) stories will have an element of white-collar crime – like a cozy mystery without a murder!
Love and the Hidden Hockey Clues
Laugh-out-Loud Hockey Caper Romance, Book 1
Hockey Romance/Medical Romance
When she was younger, Dr. Abigail Clark dreamed of playing professional hockey, but the world wasn’t ready for a female player. That stung. She skated as far away from hockey as possible – until she lands a job in the emergency department of a hockey-crazy town and buys the house of the late beloved Zamboni driver. A tin box is discovered during the renovation of her new home, and Abigail brushes it off as a time capsule left by the previous owner – that is until someone tries to steal it. Turns out, the odd collection is more than just sentimental hockey memorabilia.
Abigail inadvertently embroils Del Braebury, captain of the local pro hockey team, into helping her sort it out. Her history with hockey players is rocky at best, but he comes in handy when she needs to access parts of the rink that are off limits. Del is happy to be tangled up in the clues of the hidden hockey loot. In the process of solving the mystery, he hopes to win Abigail’s heart!
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More about the Author
Award-winning author Linda O’Connor started writing romantic comedies when she needed a creative outlet other than subtly rearranging the displays at a local home décor store. Her books have enjoyed bestseller status. When not writing, she’s a physician at an Urgent Care Clinic. She shares her medical knowledge in fast-paced, well-written, romances – with an unexpected twist. Her favourite prescription to write? Laugh every day. Love every minute.Website: https://www.lindaoconnor.net
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/Linda-OConnor/e/B00S7CNLEA
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Award winning multi-genre author and blogger. Fantasy, romance, mid-grade. Nothing better than a campfire, book, and glass of wine. Okay maybe there is.📚
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