I’m happy to welcome Wild Rose Press author Linda Griffin. Today, Linda shares her favorite books and new release, Love, Death, and the Art of Cooking.
Thank you for having me, Joanne! I don’t know what these choices say about me and my work, but here are my 10 Favorite Books:
1. Fun with Dick and Jane by William S. Gray. That might sound like a joke, but I dedicated The Rebound Effect to “Dick and Jane, who first ignited my passion for the printed word.” It represents the miracle of learning to read, and I read it out loud to everyone in the house, including two captive kittens, one under each arm, and then I read it backward! As soon as I figured out somebody had to create those words, I knew I wanted to be a “book maker” when I grew up.
2. Half Magic by Edward Eager. I read this so many times as a child that I can still recite the first several pages. Four children acquire a magic coin that gives them half of anything they wish for, with adventurous and humorous results.
3. Karen by Marie Killilea. Marie was a founder of the Cerebral Palsy Association, and Karen was her daughter. I first read it when I was too young to understand all the words—I remember that decade and articulation threw me—but Karen was my hero. I’ve read it many times since and know the ending by heart. Karen’s story is cited in my story “All the Bells and Whistles,” published in Toasted Cheese in June 2021.
4. Ever After by Elswyth Thane. It’s part of her Williamsburg series, but was my particular favorite. The hero, Bracken Murray, was my ideal man through high school and college. He’s a journalist and his work takes him to many places, including up San Juan Hill in 1898. He’s also in love with young Dinah Campion, and the course of true love never did run smooth. There are probably traces of him in all of my books’ leading men.
5. Five Smooth Stones by Ann Fairbairn. This was my favorite when I was in college, an interracial love story set during the Civil Rights Movement of the sixties. It “raised my consciousness” as we called it then, and maybe it influenced my own interracial romance, Guilty Knowledge, although they’re very different.
6. A History of God by Karen Armstrong. The focus is on the three major monotheistic religions, but the book delves into other religions as well, and traces the development of man’s ideas about God as they changed over the centuries. Armstrong is uniquely qualified as a religious scholar, and she’s written a beautiful book.
7. A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard. I think this book gave me PTSD the first time I read it, but I keep going back to it. It’s raw and messy and harrowing, but her strength and courage shine through. Reading it led me to similar memoirs, such as Hope by Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus and 3,096 Days by Natasha Kampusch, and to the writing of several captivity stories of my own. One of them, “Rumpelstiltskin,” was published in Eclectica, April/May 2018.
8. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. If everyone, introverts and extroverts alike, would read this, we would all understand ourselves and each other much better. Cain examines every aspect of the subject in fascinating detail, including how we can accommodate our differences at work and in relationships.
9. A Call to Action by Jimmy Carter. Not a political text at all, but a carefully researched and insightful work about the treatment of women all over the world. He points out how entitled white males of every religion have distorted sacred texts in order to oppress women, and how costly the denial of women’s rights is to the world.
10. Hunger by Roxane Gay. A searingly honest memoir by a talented writer who struggles with a traumatic past and fat shaming. I’ve loved everything I’ve ever read by her, but this one can give you a whole new perspective.
She wants to be friends. And he wants so much more.
Software engineer Reid Lucas loves to cook and has a history of falling in love with married women. When he leaves his complicated past in Chicago for a job in California, he runs into trouble and must call a virtual stranger to bail him out of jail. Alyssa Knight, a tough street cop waiting for a church annulment from her passive-aggressive husband, is the roommate of the woman Reid calls for help, and she reluctantly provides bail for Reid. He falls for her immediately, and cooking for her is an act of love. She just wants to be friends, but they keep ending up in bed together. When his boss is murdered, Reid is a suspect—or is he the intended target?
Alyssa gave him a smile that suggested she wasn’t fooled. She was knowing and affectionate and so pretty he couldn’t resist her. He put a hand on her knee and leaned in to kiss her. Her mouth was soft and willing, and he put down the coffee cup and took her face in both hands.
After a long, intense interval of suspended time, she pulled away and rested her forehead against his. “Oh, Reid,” she said—half disapproval, half sighing acquiescence. He stroked her breast, and her breathing quickened, and he slid a hand over her nylon-clad knee and under her skirt to find bare thigh. “Don’t,” she said.
He paused but didn’t withdraw his hand. “Is that no?” he asked.
She sighed. “Not yet,” she said, but she was warning him too, not to go too far, beyond the point of no return. Only it was hard to know where that was.
Author Bio and Links
I was born and raised in San Diego, California, and although I love to travel, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. I retired as fiction librarian for the San Diego Public Library to spend more time on my writing and have had stories of every length and various genres published in numerous journals. Love, Death, and the Art of Cooking is my fourth romantic suspense novel from The Wild Rose Press, after Guilty Knowledge (2020), The Rebound Effect (2019), and Seventeen Days (2018). In addition to the three Rs—reading, writing, and research, I enjoy Scrabble, movies, and visiting museums and art galleries.
You can find me here:
And some of Reid’s recipes can be found here.