Amazon/Penguin Putnam were taking entries until they received 5,000. The day they hit their limit was the day I finished my rewrite, ready to submit. I was bummed because I'd put another project on hold to go over Cardinal. Later, I received an email that a slot had opened up and was un-bummed then fuming and razzle-frazzling, I spent hours trying to get the site to accept my entry.

In order to make the next cut (as we say in the horse showing world), I need good reviews and good ratings—as many as possible. The judges will make their decision based upon the “quality and quantity” of the reviews for each semi-finalist.

CARDINAL DESIRES won the Georgia Romance Writers’ Magnolia Award (Maggie) and I thought I was on my way. Unfortunately ten years later, and many rewrites, I’m again hoping!

I’m a member of the Houston Symphony League. (I know you’re thinking “Where did that come from”—bear with me.) Several times a year, the volunteers bring food for the musicians after rehearsal. And right there in front of God and the entire orchestra, I announced that I was a semi-finalist and asked (begged) for their votes. (I bet Hilary doesn’t get stage fright.)

I would be most grateful if you would follow the link below, read the excerpt, rate it (1-5 stars) and leave a review. Of course, if you don’t like it, I’d rather you didn’t review!

If you’re a member of a writing group, please pass this link along to them—and your friends, relatives, casual acquaintances, people you’ve read about in the news, people you meet on the street…asking for a review for CARDINAL DESIRES.

An short excerpt follows. If the link included doesn’t work, please go to my web site to the links page.

Thanks for your time because for most of us Time is a scarce commodity.

EXCERPT from Cardinal Desires:

“Listen. Listen to what I say.” The stranger’s voice was like the deep throbbing of a cello, commanding attention, weaving enchantment. “Three days ago, you called me from sleep. I couldn’t rest until I found you. I believe what I shall tell you is important--or shall become important to you in the future. You may be skeptical, but listen.”
“I am listening, but why do you hide? Show me your face.” Dr. Katy McCaully spoke to the silhouette of a man standing at the screen door.
He was tall and slim, that she could tell even in the darkness, but she couldn't see his features. Whether he was young or old, hideous to behold or handsome, these were mysteries like why he’d appeared on her doorstep in a remote mountain cabin and why he hid in shadow.
“I'm a psychiatrist.” Mystery had stirred the romantic, enticed the professional. “Bound by an oath. Whatever you say bears the seal of the confessional. I’m a doctor. If you’re scarred or deformed, I won’t judge you.”
“I'm not scarred or deformed." He laughed softly. "Not physically at least.”
Could he possibly be as beautiful as his voice or had loneliness finally caught her on this far-flung night? She didn’t realize she’d sighed until he asked, "Are you so sad?"
"I'm not sad at all.” Defiance edged her voice.
He'd come at first dark. Mountain folk didn't lock their doors. Southern drawls and genuine friendliness had lulled Katy into the same habit. When the knock sounded--without thinking, other than hoping that Miss Winters had brought a pecan pie--she'd opened the door.
A long black obelisk, a darker shadow against the fledgling night, her visitor had spoken with the guileless candor of a child. "Why did you call me?"
Charmed by his voice, she smiled. "Sorry, there must be some mistake. I didn’t call--"
"Yes," he said with conviction. “You’re the one I’m looking for.”
"Looking for me? Why? Has something happened?” She dreaded being summoned back to London, her holiday chopped short. “Who are you?”
Evening moaned its final chilly breath. The porch light had burned out the night she arrived at the cabin. She’d forgotten to replace the bulb.
“I’m not from Scotland Yard.” He seemed to be learning the words as he uttered them.
A dull shock passed through her. No one in Highlands, North Carolina, knew her from Adam’s house cat. None of the locals would have any reason to associate her with The Yard. When she shopped the quaint town streets, she was merely another tourist.
“The porch light’s burned out, but there’s a little light yet, if you face west,” she’d said.
“Not the light.” A tense pause. “I don’t want you to see me. You mustn’t in fact.”
She flicked the lock on the screen door. “I didn’t call you. Please go.” When he made no move to obey, she edged closer to the portable phone. “Before I call the police.”
"Don't be afraid. I didn't come all this way to harm you." An old pine board creaked mournfully as he retreated a step. "I'll stay out here. You’re safe behind your locked door.”
The night yawned, stretched, grew even more still. If he meant her harm, she’d be dead long before blue lights shattered the mountain quiet. She struggled to be afraid, but she wasn’t. She knew the difference between fear and excitement. The one debilitated while the other scintillated. She felt intensely, almost obliquely alive, yet the poignancy in his voice lulled her into a sort of pleasant lethargy.
“All right then,” she heard herself say, “I’ll listen.”


  1. Sherry Morris // January 18, 2008 at 2:01 PM  


    I'm so thrilled for you! May this be the beginning of greatness :)

  2. Liz Jasper // January 18, 2008 at 2:05 PM  

    Great, just great. I vowed to spend my morning diligently working but I liked your excerpt so much now I have to go vote.

    Congrats and good luck!!


  3. Beth Trissel // January 18, 2008 at 2:29 PM  

    I love this excerpt and am so excited for you, Linda. You rock, lady!

  4. Nightingale // January 18, 2008 at 2:58 PM  

    Thank you one and all. The PFS are wonderful folk! Everyone keep their fingers crossed--except when typing your great novels!

  5. Mary Marvella // January 20, 2008 at 5:20 PM  

    As usual, you write like an old master! Love that Katie!