The Quintessential Gemini, by Linn B. Halton, was a refreshing and original romance tale like none other I’ve read in a very long time! Linn has an amazing writing voice, so much so you’ll feel as if you are taking part in the book yourself. I was totally invested in the story right from the start. I fell in love with all her characters and felt their emotions right along with them at each stage in the novel. It’s such a heartfelt tale where everything is crafted perfectly. It reminded me of a good British drama that always has a little bit of humor attached to it in just the right way (my favorite kind and I love anything British!).
The novel is of a single woman reinventing her life after losing her job, which was her whole world for many years. Now, stuck at home with her cat No. 4 (a cat with a great personality by the way and man of the house), she continues to read her horoscope brought to her by celebrity UK and US astrologer Mark Ainsley-Thomas (such a cool name, right?), which she has followed for over 20 years. Becoming increasingly frantic as to what the stars say about her life considering her drastic change, when her horoscope begins to sound somewhat off kilter, she grows impatient. Finding out that Mark Ainsley-Thomas has hired someone to assist him, she feels embarrassed by her correspondence, but with the new reader James Kingman being patient and forgiving, something else begins to unfold she also didn’t see coming.
So to sum it up, this is the perfect fun read for a lazy summer day in a hammock, but if you have kids you better get a sitter because you won’t put this book down! I read it in one evening (far into the night without sleeping!), because I wanted to find out what the stars had in mind for Katherine, Mark, James, and hey, even No. 4.
I loved how Linn wrote this funny, quirky, amazing romance surrounded by the topic of horoscopes and astrology. Since that topic is always something that has interested me, I really liked seeing how it was used to play out Katherine’s life in this novel. I love how she interspersed the Gemini horoscopes into chapters within the novel and used them to set the stage for what was happening.
Linn and I talk further about horoscopes, astrology, Christianity AND astrology, writing, and more in our interview, which is up next right after the book synopsis. She even tells me what she thinks of me being a VIRGO. Keep reading, you’ll not want to miss this interview. Linn and I are a great working pair! Even the stars might say!
The Quintessential Gemini – a fun, romantic story about Katherine Dale and the three men in her life! Two astrologers and a cat named No. 4. Who would have thought that this rather reserved lady would end up caught in a mystic love triangle…. if only!
For twenty-one years the main focus of Katherine Dale’s life has been her work. Love interests and hobbies came and went; but always there for her, her only constant – other than her cat delightfully named No. 4 – was her nine to five habit. Until she’s replaced.
Her confidence is dented and she’s angry; at life and at herself. She’s failed to grasp the office politics that were going on around her and ignored hints of ‘changes to come’ in her horoscope forecasts. Forover twenty years she has followed Mark Ainsley-Thomas, a renowned Astrologer in the UK and USA. His daily forecasts direct the way she lives her life as a typically complex Gemini. Mark is now an ‘A’ list celebrity and his new Agent is determined to raise his profile in America, so he has to take on James Kingman to help him run his website.
Katherine is totally confused by James’ forecasts. After a couple of Email exchanges, James admits he’s writing the daily forecasts now instead of Mark and advises her ‘it’s probably best not to get too bogged down with the minute detail’. Katherine explodes and drafts a reply, letting out all of the hurt and anger she’s been bottling up. She feels better afterwards and instead sends James a much friendlier Email, acknowledging Mark has a unique style and wishing him luck. To her horror she receives a tirade back from James and realises she sent the wrong Email !
The story is told through the eyes of Katherine, Mark and James. Gossip results in all three being named in a national newspaper headline ‘Mystic Love Triangle Surprise’.
The problem is, what will Mark’s wife say when she hears this shattering news – especially as it isn’t true? What will Katherine’s family think now she’s a scarlet woman? And as for James, well – can it possibly get any worse?
Interview with Author Linn B. Halton~
WELCOME, Linn, to Oh, for the Hook of a Book! I am so very happy to have you join my readers and I for an exclusive interview. How’s your blog tour going?
It’s been amazing Erin and very diverse. So many people are interested in the subject of astrology and because this fun chick lit romance also features a cat called No. 4, the features have bounced around between the two topics! In real-life I read Jonathan Cainer’s horoscopes every day and find him to be amazingly and spookily accurate. It’s often better to look at forecasts retrospectively, particularly if they are hard to interpret or understand when you first read them. Many is the time I’ve said ‘no, I just can’t see that happening…’ and then a little way down the road it’s ‘how did he know that?’ I think most people are guilty of reading their horoscopes and trying to make what they want to happen fit with the message being given. It doesn’t work that way I’m afraid!
Q: Let’s start with a fun question surrounding the topic of astrology. My birthday is August 27 and I’m a Virgo. What do you know about me? (*Smile*)
A: I tend only to know and understand the traits of star signs for people very close to me. That’s the bit that fascinates me, comparing what the heavens say to the individual. I do know a Virgo and I’d say she is quite a complex person. Sometimes misunderstood and her head often rules her heart. However, she is a very sensitive person, shy and reserved. Generous at heart, loyal as a friend and smart! It’s known to be a sign of intellect and love of detail too. So many Virgos become doctors, engineers and scientists. As well as writers, editors, surgeons … anything where detail is important in some way, shape or form.
It’s often recognised that Virgos can be perfectionists who then want to share what they have learned/developed with others. Neat, disciplined, organized, punctual and tireless are also words I’ve seen connected to this star sign. It’s a great birth date to have!
I believe that 2012 is going to be a great year for you, so I hope you have a wonderful time!
Q: I just couldn’t resist asking that question first. I love looking at a person and their sign and seeing what fits. I’m also really like to read horoscopes and see my outline or see what is happening in the world based on the stars, but many times I am chastised for it because I am also a Christian. What are your feelings on that topic? Do you think we can be Christians and still believe in the stars?
A: Absolutely, although I know many will have differing opinions, but each to their own. I write about psychic things too because I have had many personal (and uplifting) experiences. However, I have believed in the existence of God since a child and what I have learnt on my life path about life after death has only served to strengthen my beliefs. I no longer attend Church on a regular basis, as I feel my belief is always here with me, and prefer visiting Churches when they are empty. I like to sit quietly, say a big ‘thank you’ for all the good things in life and for the strength I’ve been given to get through the bad things. I then spend a while contemplating and feeling close to loved ones that are no longer this side of life. It’s comforting and reassuring.
I believe that everything in the heavens is a part of creation. In the same way that the tides are influenced by the Moon’s gravitational field, we are influenced by the components of our individual star charts. I see no conflict at all, it is all a part of the same thing.
Q: What gave you the idea to use astrology within your new book, The Quintessential Gemini?
A: The last thing I do at night is read my forecast for the following day on my Blackberry. One night it wasn’t quite the forecast I was hoping for, it indicated a day of problems rather than solutions and I must admit I was disappointed. As always, I face problems only as and when they arise, I’m very pro-active so I know that anything that could be avoided, I will have covered. Then it’s up to fate to be kind or maybe teach me one of those valuable life lessons, so I don’t make the same mistake again (I always do …..it’s inherent in my genes, a family trait – laugh!).
That night the thought popped into my head ‘what if someone really did live their life according to their daily horoscope?’ I thought about waking up knowing that the day wasn’t going to be smooth and my imagination took over. As the story developed it took me in the direction of a romcom-style situation, with Katherine’s life falling apart professionally and love remaining elusive. All she had left was a cat called No. 4.
Q: The book was so fun to read. Was it as much fun for you to write as it was for me to read? Why or why not?
A: That’s so kind of you to say, a writer can only hope that readers enjoy their stories and this is a fun, summer read. I was aiming for a book to read whilst waiting at the airport, lying on the beach or on a wet afternoon curled up in a chair. Something fun, reflecting the trials of real life ups and downs, but with a happy ending.
It was amazing fun developing the characters; Katherine really is crazy and James is unusual. Mark Ainsley-Thomas, the astrologer, was my interpretation of a talented, wise and worldly astrologer. All three became my best friends and it was a little tearful when I penned the last word on the last page.
Q: Why do you love writing romance books? Do you have a favorite type of romance novel?
A: I will always write stories with either a psychic or astrological connection, simply because those are two of my lifelong interests. I began early in life reading historical romances and some of the literary classics – Woman In White by Wilkie Collins and Jane Austen, etc. Then in my teens I turned to the Angelique series by Sergeanne Golon. My lifelong love of romance was born.
When I finally hit the point in my life where I could devote my time to writing, I was as surprised as anyone that my first book was a psychic romance! I spend a lot of time developing the characters to make them real. What is interesting in life is that two people witnessing something will often go away with two completely different interpretations. That’s why I write from the perspectives of several of the characters in each of my novels, I feel it allows the reader to understand the emotions going on and why things often go wrong. However, I also believe that life is really about the pursuit of happiness with someone you love and who loves you equally as passionately in return. It isn’t easy, it’s often sad – but there will be highs and lows on the way, plus lots of laughter!
Q: What kinds of other books have you written?
A: My debut novel Touched By The Light is about a young woman who finds herself following the light and suddenly involved in the lives of two strangers whose relationship is falling apart. The next book I wrote is the true story of why I now believe in life after death, it’s called Being A Sceptic Is Oh So Easy. It is a diary really of incidents that have happened to me since early childhood and my thoughts on luck, coincidences, déjà vu and intuition. I was a sceptic despite everything I’d witnessed, but one series of incidents meant I had to face up to the reality of what it all meant. It really is a case of being a sceptic is easy, it’s coming out that’s hard…
Q: As an author, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve had?
A: I only began writing in 2009. I wrote for about sixteen months without a break, working long days and completed five manuscripts. However I had no idea what to do with them. I dabbled with self-publishing and then earlier this year signed a contract with Sapphire Star Publishing. With The Quintessential Gemini having released on Jun 7, 2012 and The Restaurant coming out on Aug 2, 2012 it’s been quite intensive, but amazing fun! So I’d say the whole of 2012 is my biggest challenge so far, but my stars say I’m up to it!
Q: What are some of the most positive times you’ve had creating or marketing your books?
The most recen
A: The support from readers has been amazing. I’ve received Emails from people I don’t know from around the world and some have identified with psychic elements I’ve included in my books. They often go on to tell me about their own experiences and that really touches my heart, as it’s always really personal.
The most recent comment I received was for The Quintessential Gemini, someone who had read my debut novel and wasn’t expecting the second to be chick lit. She said I’d caused her to get sunburnt, ignoring calls from her boyfriend to go inside ‘I’ll just read to the end of this chapter…..’ but ended up finishing off the entire book. Comments like that truly are the greatest compliment any writer could ask for. However, I hope it’s a one off as I’d hate to think of anyone getting sunburnt!
Q: Describe your road to publishing, please. Any advice for aspiring writers or authors?
It was sheer fluke that I submitted to Sapphire Star Publishing when I saw one of their Tweets calling for submissions. So I would say to anyone, write the best manuscript you can (you will know in your heart if it’s right), believe in it and submit to publishers you feel are a good fit for you. I cannot explain how supportive the Sapphire Star team are, or how much I’ve learnt since I’ve been with them. It really is a partnership and I know my work will be better because of that fact.
Q: What can we expect from you in the future? What are you currently working on?
A: The Restaurant @ The Mill is coming out on August 2, 2012 and is the story of a couple who run a restaurant, which is set in an old flour mill. It is six stories interwoven as the reader is introduced to some of the customers and the ghost of Sarah, who wanders around in search of her husband.
My current work in progress is The Glass Wall and is a psychic romance with a twist.
Q: What is the BEST thing about living in the UK??
A: We’ve moved around quite a bit and many of the homes we’ve had have been picture-book cottages, including one stone hunting lodge over 250 years old. We currently live in a converted cow shed and hayloft, in a small village called Arlingham on the edge of the River Severn.
What it has given me is a wealth of psychic experiences linked to the history of some of the properties we’ve lived in, in addition to other experiences that were more personal. However, we did have a quite freaky experience when we visited Boston and stayed in the White Mountains. Fortunately it occurred on the last night of a three-week stay, as it was so unsettling I’m not sure what we would have done if it had happened on the first night. It was really quite frightening at the time and fortunately I’ve had very few experiences that I would class as ‘bad’.
What we love about where we live now is the peace, quiet and the beautiful green Gloucestershire countryside.
Q: How can readers get in touch with you? Blog? Website? Social Networking? Please name as many as you wish.
A: Readers can find me here:
Linn’s Website: http://linnbhalton.co.uk/
Twitter Account @LinnBHalton: http://bit.ly/ksXMDS
Loveahappyending.com Author Page: http://loveahappyending.com/linn-b-halton/
Facebook Pages: Linn B Halton and Author Linn B Halton
Sapphire Star Publishing: http://sapphirestarpublishing.com/ssp/linnbhalton/
Q: Where can your books be purchased?
A: Buy online via Amazon, order at bookstores using the ISBN numbers, or contact me via my website (above) if you would like signed copies.
Erin: Thank you Linn, for stopping by my blog and I hope you’ll come back again soon!
Linn: It’s been a thrill and a delight Erin, you’ve been amazing! For a new author like myself, it is a great honour to be featured and I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge ‘thank you’. This Gemini (yes, I’m one too….) would like to say to this Virgo, we share some common traits and if I hadn’t been born under the sign of the Twins, then my next choice would have been Virgo. Both of our star signs indicated that we don’t always make our own lives easy. We tend to work too hard, be perfectionists and are tireless at times, so even people simply watching us often feel exhausted, but it’s a fun way to live one’s life.
Erin comments: Thanks Linn! I am so glad we are somewhat kindred spirits. I can tell that both of us also have big hearts, smile alot, and love to live life
Author Linn B. Halton, Bio~
Linn B Halton lives in theUK, in the small GloucestershirevillageofArlingham, 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.