Today we’re featuring Lina Rehal, a self-published author who writes contemporary romance, nostalgia, memoirs, and slice-of-life stories. Her first book, Carousel Kisses, is a collection of nostalgic stories, personal essays and poems about growing up in the late ‘50’s and early ‘60’s.
She combines her passion for fiction and love of storytelling in her contemporary romance novels. Her two romance books, October In New York and Loving Daniel, Book One of her Tucker’s Landing Series, are available on Amazon.com in both print and Kindle formats.
NAN: Welcome Lina. Tell us what you are currently working on or promoting.
LINA: Hi, Nan. Thank you for having me on your blog. I’m currently working on edits to the first draft of my contemporary romance, Lasting Impressions. It’s book two of my Tucker’s Landing Series. I’m hoping to self-publish it in late March or early April. I’m also promoting Loving Daniel, the first book in the series. Both stories are set in a coastal town in Massachusetts. It’s my first attempt at writing a series.
NAN: What genre(s) do you write in?
LINA: Mostly, contemporary romance. I love writing fiction and romance stories with happy endings. I also write nostalgia, memoir and slice of life stories.
NAN: Do you have an agent and/or publisher, or are you self-published?
LINA: All of my books are self-published.
NAN: What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
LINA: Write from your heart. Get it down on paper and worry about the edits later. Go with your muse. Listen to your characters. They’ll lead you in the right direction.
NAN: Who is your favorite author and why?
LINA: Nora Roberts. Her characters are engaging and memorable. She grabs my attention from the first page and holds it through to the end. I’m never disappointed when I read one of her books.
NAN: Is there a theme/message underlying your book(s) that you hope comes across?
LINA: My characters are in their mid-forties and up. If there’s a message, I’d say it’s don’t be afraid to love again. Second chances are hard to come by.
NAN: What do you like best/least about writing?
LINA: I like entertaining people through storytelling. I love creating characters and the worlds they live in and finding ways for them to interact. What I probably like the least is the time between books. After I finish a book, I miss my characters and the anticipation of what’s going to happen next. Thankfully, it goes away once I’m immersed in the next story.
NAN: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
LINA: Several years ago, a local newspaper accepted one of my stories. I was asked to write for a weekly column. I wrote day trip stories for a year and then moved up to travel and feature ones. When people would come up to me and tell me they enjoyed my story, I felt like a writer.
NAN: What is the hardest thing about writing a series?
LINA: Making the next book/books stand alones. Blending the characters from a previous book in with the new ones in the current book can be difficult. You have to make sure the timeframe works and that you don’t repeat too much. I keep thinking I have to explain what they did in the last one.
NAN: What do you do in your spare time?
LINA: I like to read, of course. Other than that, I enjoy traveling with my husband to Disneyworld and short getaways to Maine and New Hampshire. I love spending time with my family and going to lunch or dinner with girlfriends.
Lina is all over social media:
Romance writer, Grace Madden stumbles across an old journal and a stack of letters from the man who shattered her dreams when he returned from Iraq, broke their engagement and left Massachusetts with no explanation. Reading his letters brings back the unanswered question of why he broke up with her. Memories she tucked away in a corner of her heart, over two decades ago, resurface. Realizing she never got over him, the well-known author tries to find closure. She writes LOVING DANIEL to tell the story she’s kept inside of her all these years.
When Aidan McRae reads it, he is convinced the story is about him and has to know why she wrote it. He learns she’s doing an author event at a bookstore near his home in Maine and plans a surprise visit. He persuades her to have lunch with him. Hoping to find her answer, she accepts his invitation to spend the next day in Ogunquit, the small coastal town they visited as kids. An innocent kiss leads to feelings neither of them can deny.
When Aidan woke up, he found himself in the living room. It was dark. He could see the full moon through the open blinds. The TV was in sleep mode. Red numbers from a digital clock on the end table glared at him. 2 a.m. Must have nodded off on the sofa again, he thought.
He had been dreaming. But, this time was different. He didn’t wake up in a panic or soaked from sweat. It wasn’t one of his usual nightmares. Aidan couldn’t remember this one, but he wanted to. It was about something, or someone pleasant. He was sure of that. Yet, it left him with a sense of sadness or loss.
The dream bothered him. He closed his eyes for a few minutes, hoping it would come back to him. When it didn’t, he decided to get up and go to bed. Swinging his long legs off the sofa, Aidan stood up. The book he had been reading slid off his chest and fell to the floor. The cover gave him a jolt. Loving Daniel by Grace Madden. He picked it up, sat down and remembered.
Aidan had been dreaming about Grace Devlin, a woman he fell in love with back in the late 1980’s in Massachusetts. She was in college then, studying to be a journalist. He was working at a local garage and taking business administration courses at night. They met when her car broke down and Aidan had to tow it back to the garage. She was a petite, beautiful young girl with long, flowing hair the color of copper and eyes as green as emeralds in the right light. He gave her a ride home that day and invited her to dinner before she got out of his truck.
In the dream, she was the Grace he knew back then. She was vibrant, tenacious, impatient and crazy in love with him. It was coming back to him. He had been kissing her. Awake now, Aidan could still feel the softness of her lips on his and smell the traces of lemon shampoo in her hair. It felt real. It felt right. He wanted to go back to sleep so he could hold her and tell her he loved her.
Link to Loving Daniel on Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ybfkbvd2