Welcome Linda Cassidy Lewis
Linda Cassidy Lewis believes that life is all about relationships, and her fiction reflects that belief. Indiana born and raised, she now lives with her husband in California, where she writes versions of the stories she held in her head during the years their four sons were growing up. Her home is in the city, so she’s thankful for the gift of imagination that whisks her away to sea or mountain or countryside whenever she wishes.
High Tea & Flip-Flops, set in Southern California, is a romantic comedy about a charmingly ditzy, and often accident prone, young woman whose life isn’t going the way she’d hoped. She avoids dealing with her problems by focusing on her handsome, mysterious, and apparently uptight British neighbor. Jeremy’s finally got his life going in the right direction, but he’s hiding his identity to do so. As one reviewer said: “Together, they make a pair that is hilarious, sexy, and worth cheering for.”
What are three things we’d find if we looked under your heroine’s bed? What about your hero’s bed?
Under Chelsea’s you’d probably find an empty chip bag, books, and assorted shoes. Under Jeremy’s you’d find—at most—one book.
What is the theme of this book? Is it part of a series?
Opposites attract … sometimes hilariously. High Tea & Flip-Flops is the first in a planned trilogy.
What inspired this story? Why do you write this genre? Do you write any other genres?
Well, I love relationship stories, and though I usually write stories with a more serious tone, I sometimes read romantic comedy. Don’t we all need more love and laughter in our life? But I’d never written rom-com before. I was actually at work on a women’s fiction manuscript when Chelsea’s voice kept interrupting me. When I finally tuned her in, she told me her story.
Yes, I do write in other genres. My primary genre is women’s fiction, and I have two published novels in that genre: The Brevity of Roses and it’s sequel An Illusion of Trust. Both tell the story of people trying to keep their pasts from destroying a chance for happiness in their present lives. I also write some dark fiction, mainly short stories, but I have one published novel, Forever, which is the story of a man and his family under attack by an evil entity he first encountered in a previous life.
Any tips/advice for aspiring authors? What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard?
Learn the basics from good teachers … and a great way to do that is to read the works of the best authors in the genre you want to excel in. And then write, write, and write some more. Write stories you love; if your heart isn’t in it, the reader will know. Don’t give up. If you can walk away from writing for very long, it’s probably not what you should be doing anyway.
This is a scene from Chapter 5. Chelsea is still trying to figure out who Jeremy is and hoping to get him interested in her.
I’m eating Frosted Flakes and trying to decide which bills I can put off paying this month when I realize I’ve avoided checking my mail two days in a row. I hate soggy flakes, and it’s not like I get so much mail I need both hands to carry it, so I grab my key and take the bowl with me, continuing to eat as I walk to our building’s communal mailbox.
I set the bowl on top of the box while I unlock my cubicle. Lying under the two bills I’d rather not see is a magazine. I don’t subscribe to any magazines. It’s not even one I’ve ever heard of. Oh, wait. It’s addressed to Mr. Jeremy Pearce—readdressed, actually. The original address on the mailing label is for a place in Notting Hill, London. Like the movie. Hmm. If I take this back to my apartment, I could copy the address and do a Google Maps search and maybe see where he used to live. That’s totally legal. I can take the magazine to him later and say the mail carrier put it in my box accidentally, which is true. No harm done.
“Good morning, Chelsea.”
Startled, I jerk my hands upward. The top edge of the magazine launches my bowl of milk and soggy flakes into the air where it flips upside down as it arcs in my direction. The plastic bowl bounces off my shoulder and shoots off to who-knows-where. The spoon clatters behind me on the cement. My face and Jeremy’s magazine are left dripping.
Damn you, Jeremy. I’ll give him this, though—he’s not laughing.
I fold the drenched magazine in half, cereal and all. With it mostly hidden behind the bill envelopes, I clutch it to my wet chest and turn to face him. He’s not so noble after all. He’s practically choking with suppressed laughter. His eyes water from the effort.
I glare at him. Evidently, the power of a glare is diminished when you have the remains of your breakfast sliding down your chest and arm. He totally loses it.
“I’d expect you to have better manners than to sneak up on someone like that, Mr. Pearce.”
He chokes off his laughter and clears his throat. “I don’t believe merely approaching my postbox constitutes sneaking, Ms. Cole.”
With amusement still dancing around his lips and eyes, his attempt at resuming his Mr. High Tea stance fails. It only infuriates me more.
“You know damn well you meant to startle me.”
It’s early on a Friday morning. I didn’t expect to see anyone out here so I’m barefoot and dressed in a ratty tee and baggy boxers. Considering that I’m also wearing my breakfast, I manage an impressive semblance of dignity as I barge past him and back to my apartment. For good measure, I slam the door behind me.