Behind the Book — Caution – Man At Work

Cole Bishop had appeared in her hour of need and she’d done it–hired him–a male housekeeper! Perhaps now, with her twin boys in his care, she could get back to her demanding career in advertising.

In no time her chaotic household was running smoothly. The boys were in heaven. But Kelly Connors hadn’t counted on Cole insinuating himself into her life so personally…so passionately. Nor was she prepared for her ex-husband’s intrusion on their newfound domestic bliss or his vicious threats to take the children from her. And when the boys suddenly vanished, Kelly was terrified, torn.

Had she asked too much, wanting her children, her career, her independence–and the man she loved? Could Cole–a journalist doing “undercover” research on house-husbanding–help her find both her boys and all the answers?

Back in late 1981 I wanted to write a couple books that I called role reversal. One idea was a bodyguard heroine who was former military wand I knew I wanted her to take a bullet for her boss, the hero. Back then it wasn’t done.

My other idea was writing a book with a male housekeeper. Who doesn’t have the dream of a good looking guy cleaning our houses? I didn’t want to make it easy for either heroine or hero, so I threw in mischievous twin boys and a rambunctious sheepdog. When I pitched the two ideas to my Silhouette editor I was told that just wasn’t done. But I wasn’t going to stop, so I urged my then agent to submit the synopses to Dell Candlelight Ecstasy. The books sold and I was let loose.

I always like to put at least one true event in a book. This one had two. A fantasy love scene was courtesy of a friend who told me about her experience with the perfect man and the boys were based on a little girl in my preschool church class. And I only used a fraction of what she did! Here was this adorable five year old girl who loved frilly dresses and looked like an angel but thought nothing of flushing her brothers’ action toys or dog kibble down the toilet.

Some books are more fun to write than others. Caution – Man At Work was one of the fun ones. I may not be a mom, but I have my share of kids to borrow for material and I’ve done just that. I had a woman with a demanding job and an attraction to the guy who was keeping her house in order. And I had a man who had no clue how to use a washing machine, but did it because he was a writer working undercover. And the ladies in the neighborhood really enjoyed watching shirtless Cole mowing the lawn!

One of the funniest things was sitting at the movies much later on and seeing a trailer for Mr. Mom. My friend stared at me and said “you already did that”.

I only hope everyone else will see Caution – Man At Work as a fun read too.

You can find it at Amazon and Smashwords and will soon be available at BN for Nook and iTunes.



Behind the Book — Voices in the Night

The young beautiful girl

His Voice Was Her Heartbeat

Malnutrition, cruelty and blazing heat were the unbearable realities of the South American prison. All that stood behind newscaster MJ Blake and the madness of despair was a stranger’s voice.

As the days turned into weeks, the unseen reporter in the adjoining cell gave MJ courage when she needed it, replaced her apathy with anger, and even made her laugh. They shared whispered memories, hopes, secrets and regrets …

Eighteen months after winning her freedom, MJ was pretending that her life, her work and her psyche weren’t ravaged by a season in the darkest corner of hell.

And then MJ heard the voice …

There are always so many sources for our ideas. Some we search for, others just appear when we least expect it.

That’s what happened to me late one night in 1989.

Since my husband traveled a lot and I’m a night owl to begin with, I enjoyed watching a lot of late night TV. One such night, I watched a documentary on PBS about post traumatic stress disorder also known as combat fatigue and shell shock. John Huston directed a documentary in 1946 titled Let There Be Light, but it was banned from public view for 30 years. It showed soldiers entering a hospital and the care they received for their care.

By the time it was finished I was crying and I knew I had the beginning of an idea. During that time I also saw a news story on military nurses who suffered PTSD after returning from war zones.

But how would I write it?

No. I thought if soldiers suffered this, why not others who entered combat zones. That’s when I thought of war correspondents. MJ Blake popped into my head and the story was born. She worked as a war correspondent and in the beginning of the book was shut up in a cell in a South American prison with her only human contact the prisoner in the next cell. Naturally a guy with a gorgeous Australian accent and even if she couldn’t see him, she had someone to talk to.

Except when MJ escapes the prison she leaves damaged. I knew that her boss would need to see something that would really hit home and one morning a sonic boom overhead gave me that idea. A sonic boom over MJ’s office that had her scrambling for cover.

And why MJ shows up at a retreat that’s set up to help those like her and yes, Jake Palmer is also there, because he was equally damaged.

While they’re seeking help, they also seek each other, because they feel no one else can understand them.

My Harlequin American Romance Voices in the Night was first released in 1991. It wasn’t an easy book to write, but I felt compelled and to this day I’m happy I’m did. I’m even happier that the book is now available as an ebook at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.


Five new Linda Wisdom Classics released

I guess everyone was very, very nice this year, because as a treat we have released five classic Linda Wisdom contemporary romances from the 80s and 90s for your reading pleasure.

Reach back into the eras of 3 martini lunches and cigarette holders. Office girls who fall in love with the boss. Strong men and women who want the best out of life. And all the glitz and glamour you can stand.

The following Wisdom titles are available in ebook AND print format:

Island Rogue
Unspoken Past
Counterfeit Husband
Bright Tomorrow
14 Karat Beauty

So, Happy Holidays everyone. Enjoy the five new reissued classic romances of days gone by…like stepping into an episode of Mad Men!

Unspoken Past by Linda Wisdom Island Rogue Counterfeit Husband by Linda Wisdom Bright Tomorrow 15 Karat Beauty by Linda Wisdom

Fluff and Puff — Naughty or Nice List?

You’re on the Naughty List!”

“No, you’re on the Naughty List!”

Red, gold and dark green sparks of magick flew through the air as the bunny slippers faced off.

“Santa wrote Fluff on the naughty list,” Puff insisted, glaring at his brother slipper.

“The name there is Puff,” Fluff countered, shooting another a red spear of power at him. The slipper deftly avoided the weapon.
“Hey! What in Hades is going on here?” A wide-eyed Jazz stared the disaster zone once known as her bedroom.

Her black and white print comforter hung from the ceiling while red and black throw pillows floated around the room. Perfume bottles drifted around like scented ornaments. She quickly ducked just in time as a shot of magick almost created a new part in her hair.
“Stop it now!” She threw out her hands and froze the slippers in place. Their eyes rolled and tiny growls left their mouths as they glared at her. “If you promise to behave and clean up this mess I will release you. And then I want to know why you two are acting like this. Blink one for yes, you’ll behave.” After the receiving the signal. She reversed her spell. “Now, why are you fighting?”

“Fluff is on the Naughty List and he claims it’s me,” Puff shouted, bouncing up and down.

“It’s Puff who’s on the Naughty List!”

“So why the battle?”

Fluff tipped his ear toward Jazz and a long scroll unrolled in front of her.

Her lips parted in shock. “You stole Santa’s Naughty List? It’s Christmas Eve! Santa needs this list tonight.”

“And he’s on it.” They pointed at each other.

“But it doesn’t say exactly which one of us is on it,” Puff explained. “Look under the Us.”

Jazz scanned the List and soon saw why the problem. “Uff,” she said.

“For Puff.”

“For Fluff!”

They glared at each other and started revving up some magick until Jazz pointed a warning finger at each other.

“You know what? I don’t have time for this. Nick, Krebs, and Letitia and I are going to a party tonight.” She headed for her closet and pulled out a red sparkly dress. “I want this mess cleaned up by the time I get out of the shower. And the two of you make up. Personally, I wouldn’t put either of you on the Nice List. And I’m sure Santa would agree with me.” After pulling lingerie out of drawers she sailed into the bathroom. “And clean up my room!”

“Like she cleans it up,” Puff muttered, zapping the floating pillows while Fluff worked on bringing the comforter back to the bed. The perfume bottles returned to their upright position on the dresser. “As if there’s someone out there named Uff.”

Fluff’s dark eyes lit up and he spun around. “There’s one way to find out for sure,” he said slowly.

Puff stared at his partner in magickal crime and smiled.


This time, they linked their ears and willed their power to a new high.
“Santa, come to us. Come to us now. Santa, bring our presents and bring them swift. Prove we’re on the Nice List,” they chanted. “And give it to us now right away!”

The temperature in the room dropped a good sixty degrees as snow fell on them in thick drifts.

“Whoa, something went wrong!” Fluff’s fangs chattered.

“The sound of sleigh bells rang loud in their ears and they ducked as something large swooped over their heads.

“Why have you called me here? This is my busiest night of the year.” The large man dressed in red trimmed with white fur climbed out of his sleigh and loomed over the bunny slippers. He spied the scroll lying nearby. “So that’s where it went.” He snapped his fingers, The scroll instantly appeared between his gloved fingertips and he tucked it away. Then he turned his gaze on the slippers. “Why did you steal my Naughty List?”

“To see which one of us was on it,” the slippers said in unison.

His belly jiggled as he laughed. “Silly bunny slippers. You have your very own list.” He snapped his fingers again and a scroll unrolled until it almost filled the room. “Master Uff only had a few transgressions to rate being on the Naughty List. The two of you surpassed that.” He frowned at them.

“Soooo, no gifts?” Fluff asked, trying unsuccessfully to wrap his ears around his shivering body.

“No sled? ATV? Race car?” Puff added.

“Only what you deserve.” Santa hopped into his sleigh and took off in a wink of red and gold lights.

A holiday dressed Jazz walked out of the bathroom in a cloud of her favorite perfume. “Now you better have cleaned everythi—“ She stopped short, stared at the chaos that used to be her room and shook her head. She took several deep breaths but the rolling thunder overhead warned everyone her temper was rapidly fraying. She returned to the bathroom and came back out holding two scrub brushes and a bottle of cleaner. “Get to it.” She navigated the room on red high heels and closed the door behind her.

Fluff zapped his cleaning brush at his brother. “You just had to steal the List, didn’t you?”

“Me? It was you!” Both brushes flew at Puff.

They bounced off the mountain of coal, sending black dust everywhere and turning it into a yucky black paste courtesy of the snow Santa left behind.

PS: It took a lot of Jazz’s magick to get the room back to what it was and as for the slippers, they weren’t off the Naughty List for a Very Long Time.

So whether you’re on the Nice List or Naughty List, have a wonderful holiday!

Tis The Season!

It’s natural that Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. And Christmas is right up there.

Let’s see. With one, you can get lots of candy. The other you can get lots of candy, cookies, and presents. But that’s not why I love the two holidays. Well, maybe a little bit.

I love the colors and the energy that comes with it. There is nothing more enjoyable than driving around at night and seeing all the decorations. I remember growing up where the house of an aerospace engineer always had incredible decorations. Santa in a rocket ship one year including motion and sound effects was one of my favorites.

No wonder I was so happy when I was asked to write a Christmas theme book for Harlequin American Romance. I was asked to do that for three years and I have the rights back to two of those books, which are out right now.

Twas the Night was originally titled He’s A Rebel and is my flat out fun book. A government agent wants to quit the agency in order to take care of her orphaned niece and nephew is now on the run because her boss refuses to accept her resignation. Plus we have a true crime writer who’s decided to hole up in a Lake Tahoe cabin he owns jointly with his best friends. He doesn’t care it’s Christmastime. Ukiah ‘Ki’ Jones has a book about an infamous serial killer to write and the cabin is his idea of solitude. Too bad that’s not going to happen with Sydney Taylor and her two young charges and two dogs barging into his solitude. A man who’s determined to never marry and a formerly footless and fancy free woman who doesn’t see marriage in her future either. Used to a life on the edge and roaming the world on dangerous assignments she’s determined to give her niece and nephew the home life they deserve. But as we all know love barges in where we don’t expect it and that’s what happens here. Plus, with children, can Christmas really be ignored?

Mistletoe Magic originally titled No Room at the Inn is my holiday Brigadoon. I thought of the idea of a Christmas village in Vermont that’s only visible during the month of December and disappears every Christmas night at midnight. A village only reveals itself to those who truly need that magic of the holidays. Quinn and Santee, who was first introduced in Sometimes A Lady, meet on a blizzard covered road and find sanctuary in a small village that they think celebrate Christmas 365 days a year. Quinn is an advertising executive who needs to decide if the man who proposed to her is the man she wants to be with for the rest of her life and for some unknown reason deputy sheriff Santee felt the need to travel from California to Vermont. Attraction is immediate and along the way Quinn also is able to confront a piece of her past and help a woman and her granddaughter not end up the way she did.

In romances, falling in love is expected. And when you can add a holiday to it it’s even more special.

Twas the Night and Mistletoe Magic are available at Amazon and Smashwords and soon available for Nook, Apple, Sony, and Kobo.

I hope you’ll try my holiday romances and find yourself transported to something unique.

And then you can share the Christmas spirit.

A Happy Holiday to you all!


Our Firsts

We always remember our firsts, don’t we?

Whether it’s our first taste of chocolate, our first crush, first kiss, first true love – what can you expect? I’m a romance writer!

And for authors it’s also our first book.

One of my summer viewing pleasures was Bunheads on ABC Family Channel. In short, it was about a Las Vegas showgirl who marries a man who’s been in love with her for ages, moves to a small Northern California town and he dies in a car accident pretty much after they arrive. Michelle inherits the house and the dance studio his mother runs. Michelle and Frannie, mom-in-law are at odds, no surprise, but more funny than nasty. And we have a variety of high school ballet students with their own problems.

Why did I enjoy this show? Ballet, which is something I’ve always loved and as a little girl wanted to be a ballerina. I even walked around on my toes. Years later a close friend and I took beginner’s ballet class. I wasn’t too much of a klutz and enjoyed it.

It also gave me the idea for my first book. If I was going to strain my body every week I may as well make it worthwhile.

I picked my dance teacher’s brain, watched ballet videos, and picked up a book on ballet terminology.

And started work on a book about a ballerina and a soldier who meet and fall in love. Since we’re talking the late 1970s the story was about an alpha heroine and delicate virgin heroine then threw in a secret baby after she fled their doomed marriage.

Even with all the research I did Dancer in the Shadows didn’t have a lot of ballet in there, but it didn’t matter. I knew what the heroine was all about and that’s what mattered to me.

As my first book written and then sold, it’s very special to me. And always a nice reminder of the class I took so long ago.

Watching Bunheads is another reminder of the book that started my career.

Do you have anything that does that for you? It wouldn’t even have to be a movie and television show. Perhaps a book or even something you’ve seen when you’ve been out and about.


Cover reveal: Chantal by Yvone Lenard

This book has it all, Nazis, war, French aristocrats, but mostly it is about a young girl trying to find her place in the world after experiencing tragedy after tragedy. This book was originally published in 1989 and we at Joyride are happy to bring Chantal to you soon in e-book.

The painting in the cover below is Yvone in her younger years and I think it says a lot about the book. What do you think?

The Evolution of a Writer

Any author will tell you that writing is a journey. Sometimes there are smooth roads, other times there are hills. Then let’s talk about those Alps for writers.

My first book was published thirty-two years ago this December. This was a year after my agent called me with the news that a brand spanking new publisher called Silhouette Books wanted to buy my first two books.

The best part was I wouldn’t be a one book writer and it was time to see if I could write more books. Plus, I was fired for selling those books, so I said sink or swim time.

What a journey it’s been

Just like the transition from childhood to adult, it’s an evolution of a writer.

Back in the late 1970s authors were expected to write books with only the heroine’s point-of-view, craft alpha heroes who were usually quite a bit older than the tender-hearted virgin heroines and we won’t even go into the bitchy ‘other woman’ that tended to make the sensitive heroine believe there was no way the brooding hero could love her. And love scenes were behind closed doors. Yawn!

Romance writers were the red-haired stepchildren. Wild to say since I’m a redhead. Story had it romance writers always wore pink, smiled constantly, ate bonbons, and chirped instead of talked. So not me at all. I avoided pink like the plague, smiled but not as if I was in a beauty pageant, preferred See’s Bordeaux, and was shy so talking in groups wasn’t always easy.

Even back then I knew I wanted to write ‘more’ and I pushed the envelope any way I could. So many of us felt the same. It meant coming up more with more innovative storylines, and strong characters that stood out. I tried to break a rule with each book.

I wrote the hero’s point of view in Dancer in the Shadows, my first book. I couldn’t understand why it had to be deleted, but I was determined it would happen in a later book. After all, that third and fourth book were simmering in my imagination

I got to do that and more as I wrote hero oriented plots, role reversal stories such as my male housekeeper book, Caution Man at Work and Guardian Angel that featured a female bodyguard, and other books with a variety of stories. I know this author/avid reader wanted more so why shouldn’t other readers.

Yes, it meant a lot more work, but it was worth it, because it allowed me to grow as a writer and even as a person. It hasn’t always been easy and there were times I wondered whether I should continue writing, but every writer will tell you it’s not something you can easily quit. Your imagination won’t allow it.

We never remain stagnant. I mean, how boring would that be? No way I want to be the same person I was 34 years ago when I started my first book. I wanted to move forward, change my hairstyle a few million times, the way I dress and how I think.

I always knew I couldn’t write what I wrote in the beginning because I’ve progressed so far. And I’d like to think it’s all for the better. That my evolution knew what to do with me.

Even now, I wonder what my next evolution will bring me.

What about you? Do you feel you’ve evolved over the years? That even if there have been bumps in the road, you’ve kept going?


Welcome to Joyride Books!

Couple walking in front of full moonThe folks here at Joyride Books think we have something you’re going to enjoy—romance novels that were award-winners, chart-toppers and well-loved in their day, but have been hidden away in publishing vaults for decades. Not anymore. We’re bringing them into the light and are we ever having fun doing it!

Want a quick drive down Memory Lane? Well our books will take you there. Things in the 70s, 80s and 90s were a lot different than they are today. You’ll find yourself remembering the fashions, slang and pop culture of yesteryear while experiencing the thrill of a good romance.

So join us in the convertible for a drive that you’re sure to remember. A Joyride. With the stories you love told in the way you wish they were written today.