About the Book
Book: Second Helpings
Author: Linda Wood Rondeau
Genre: Short, humorous contemporary women’s fiction
Release Date: April 19, 2020
Today is Jocelyn Johnson’s 45th birthday. Unhappy with her marriage of 22 years, the parenting talk show host has planned a noonday tryst with her cohost. A phone call from her college daughter, a peek into her teenaged son’s journal, a sick preschooler, a Goth daughter’s identity crisis, a middle-school son’s prank, and her husband’s inflamed suspicions, not only interfere with her hopeful birthday plans but throw her family into more chaos than a circus on steroids.
In desperate need of counsel, Jocelyn invites a Christian to dinner, her guest from her morning talk show segment. However, the evening holds little promise of calm. In the midst of bedlam, a forgotten faith rekindles causing Jocelyn to rethink her life and her marriage.
You will laugh and you will cry from the first page to the last as you journey through the day’s events and Jocelyn’s search for Second Helpings.
Click here to get your copy!
Hello Linda 🙂
Thank you for answering my questions, I enjoyed getting to know you a little bit better 🙂
How do you pick your characters personalities, or looks?
I don’t have a regular system for choosing my characters’ personality profiles and looks. Once, I saw a person who embodied my main character. I asked to take her picture. I’m sure she was convinced I was nuts, but she obliged me. Sometimes the character comes to me in a dream. Sometimes I use a character naming book to find the right name. I have sometimes done image searches to find a right look and used that to help my descriptions. My writing is intuitive. I don’t plot every detail. My characters become more real to me as the story develops. I go back and refine descriptions based on the characters’ revelations to me as their stories unfold.
What is your favorite genre to read? What is your favorite genre to write? And why are they your favorites?
I’m not a genre writer, nor do I have a favorite genre to read. I enjoy a good story. I will read heavy philosophy like C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity and fanciful stories such as Jonathan Livingston Seagull. I enjoy women’s fiction, especially satire and humor. I enjoy Science Fiction/and Fantasy such as The Chronicles of Narnia. I love a story that tickles my imagination. I enjoy humor and romance. . If an author challenges me or makes me laugh, I’ll read more of their books. In short, I enjoy any book that has a good message, is clean, and inspires or entertains me. My first published book, The Other Side of Darkness (Selah Award winner for debut novel 2012) was a romantic suspense. I will be publishing a series of romantic suspense this year and next. Most of my novels, however, are women’s fiction and deal with troubled relationships and encouragement for healing. Another genre I have published is a futuristic, political thriller (The Fifteenth Article), and a paranormal to be released early 2021 (Lana Longstreet Bought a House.). I have published one non-fiction book: I Prayed for Patience God Gave Me Children and will publish another non-fiction book later this year, Who Put the Vinegar in the Salt, the Christian’s call to a higher standard.
Do you have a genre that you would never write? (In the Christian genre sphere i.e. speculative, historical, contemporary, etc.)
I’ve learned never to say never to God. Perhaps the genre I’ve most avoided is historical. I worry I will not be accurate in my descriptions or truthfully convey the way things really were. Ironically, I love history. Though I’ve never attempted a full length historical novel, I do incorporate history into most of my books. The Adirondack Mountain area is my favorite setting and is featured in most of my books. Northern New York is rich in history. I’ve had a few ideas I’d like to try perhaps someday. While I love science fiction, I have yet to try this genre on an adult level. I do plan to publish a children’s sci-fi book. Sometime in 2021
What is one thing in your life that you would say has had the greatest impact on your writing? Or in your life in general?
Beside my faith, my social work career has influenced me the most, both in my writing and self-examination of my life and relationships. My novels explore the intricacies and challenges of human relationships, the impact of damaged lives on those around them, and the power of the Lord to break through these seemingly impossible barriers. I am a survivor of divorce and breast cancer. Adversity as been prevalent in my life, especially during my working years. These experiences have taught me the importance of reliance on God for the small things and the big things. It is my prayer, that my books will be a source of encouragement for anyone going through similar trials.
Lastly, what was your favorite book growing up?
I loved The Box-car Children stories growing up. The Boxcar Children was originally created and written by Gertrude Chandler Warner and includes well over 150 titles. I was surprised to learn the original book was published in 1924. At first, the four orphaned children find refuge in a boxcar located in a forest. Eventually, they are reunited with a wealthy grandfather who moves the boxcar onto his property to be used as a playhouse. It is the stage by which the children solve many mysteries and find great adventures. The books sparked my imagination. Other favorite books include The Yearling, Old Yeller, and The Black Stallion. I loved stories where the protagonist overcame many obstacles. These stories showed the harsh challenges many children face during the growing up years, yet gave hope and encouragement that adversity can be overcome.
About the Author
A veteran social worker, Linda Wood Rondeau is also a wife, mother, and grandmother. She is no stranger to family bedlam. Her stories of encouragement and hope come from the heart. She resides in Hagerstown, Maryland with her husband of over forty-years. When not writing, the author enjoys the occasional round of golf. She also enjoys theater and is actively involved with her local church. Find more encouraging words in her blog, Snark and Sensibility, found on her website, www.lindarondeau.com. Visit her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
More from Linda
When I first set out to write Second Helpings, I envisioned writing a story about a harried housewife with a passel of kids. I thought of my mother who went around the house with her hands outstretched toward heaven saying, “Lord, give me strength.” Words she uttered each time we kids did something wrong, which was quite often.
And so I envisioned my own version of, Please Don’t Eat the Daises.
The movie came out in 1960 and starred Doris Day and David Niven, a comedy about a university professor who leaves his job to become a theater critic, creating problems with his family and friends. There’s an iconic scene where the harried housewife rescues her toddler who tries to climb out of the barred NYC windows. One wonders, can this marriage be saved?
As the story developed in my own addled brain, I saw a larger picture than a madcap comedy. I asked myself, what would happen if a woman who ran a radio show about parenting found herself in a marriage about to fall apart and anticipates an affair? Since the woman, at the outset of the story is not a Christian, what might cause the affair not to happen? What driving force might be greater than her unhappiness? And why was she so unhappy in her marriage in the first place?
The answer came. However unhappy she might be, she was first and foremost a mother. Though married to a psychiatrist, she was the fixer in the family. What problems might her children face to make Jocelyn think twice about an affair? Which of her children’s crises would be the first signal to abort her affair? The answer came.
When Jocelyn receives a phone call from her college-aged daughter, plans for a tryst suddenly change. Lisette announces she is coming home tonight. Jocelyn’s worst fears for her daughter are confirmed. Not only is Lisette pregnant, she wants to get married next month. History seems to be repeating itself. And Jocelyn does not want her daughter to make the same mistake she thought she made by marrying her baby’s father. Jocelyn sets out on an immediate campaign to convince her daughter she has other options than a hurried marriage. Jocelyn’s tryst will have to wait.
Lisette’s pregnancy revelation has set the stage for twelve hours of bedlam … all on Jocelyn’s 45th birthday. These serious situations create a comedy of misunderstanding against the backdrop of a failing marriage and begs the question, “Can her marriage be saved?”
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To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize of a Kindle Fire 7!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.