Originally from Ohio where her Amish thrillers are set, Linda Castillo knew from an early age that she wanted to be a writer—and penned her first novel at the age of thirteen. She's published thirty books for three New York publishing houses and won numerous industry awards, including a nomination by the International Thriller Writers for Best Hardcover, the Golden Heart, the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence, and a nomination for the prestigious Rita.
Her debut thriller, Sworn to Silence, garnered starred reviews from Library Journal, Publisher's Weekly, and Booklist—and spent four weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. The following books in the series also hit the NYT and USA Today lists and became international bestsellers. Sworn to Silence was recently adapted into a two-hour original movie re-titled An Amish Murder and starring Neve Campbell as Kate Burkholder.
In her spare time, Linda enjoys trail riding, and dabbles in barrel racing. She resides in Texas with her husband, two rescued Blue Heelers, and two Appaloosa horses. She's currently at work on her next novel, a thriller set in Amish Country and featuring Chief of Police Kate Burkholder.
You know that best friend from high school or college? The one you hung out with everyday, who knew all your most embarrassing secrets (but liked you anyway) and the one who would do absolutely anything for you and you them? Well now that you’re an author, you have a BFF who is supremely loyal, super helpful and there for you 24/7/365. No, we’re not talking about your mom. We’re talking about Amazon. Trust us, they’re a whole lot more than just a humongous online store. They have an almost bottomless toolbox of services and programs designed to help authors promote their books to the millions and millions of Amazon customers worldwide.
But despite all their efforts, a surprising number of authors are giving Amazon the cold shoulder. They’re either unaware or don’t take advantage of all the creamy goodness Amazon is offering. Big mistake. Huge, even. But no worries. Amazon is totally chill. Even if you’ve been blowing them off, you can still swing by the author party. In fact, we’ll be your host for the evening. You ready for a guided tour of the palatial Amazon estate? Great, let’s get started.
Orgasms are good for you. It’s a fact. Go look it up. The oxytocin and other endorphins released during orgasm have been known to have a sedative and relaxing effect. And let’s face it, can’t we all use a little relaxation these days? So, for this Valentine’s Day, we’re suggesting—you know, for health reasons—that everyone have plenty of orgasms. We’ll leave it up to you to decide who to have them with. Maybe you’ll have them with that special someone, or maybe you’ll have them with the person you trust most in the world—yourself. Whatever. We don’t judge. We just want you all to be healthy. We’re givers that way. You’re welcome. So, with that goal in mind, here are a few erotic reading suggestions guaranteed to provide (ahem) inspiration for your endeavors this Valentine’s Day:
We all love to read. But when we’re on the go, what’s the next best thing to reading books? Talking about books of course. This selection of handpicked podcasts is a book lover’s dream. The hosts discuss publishing news, book reviews, preview upcoming books and interview your favorite authors. And the best part? It’s super easy to subscribe, so you’ll never miss an episode. Don’t just sit there like a lump on your morning commute! Fire up your podcast app of choice and enjoy a bit of literary pleasure for your ears
I think we’ve made it clear here at Knockin’ Books that we read a lot. Like, a lot, a lot. For real. A. lot. But since we launched this site nearly a year ago (geez, has it been that long already?) we’ve learned so many things about other readers. Too many to list out, in fact. If we had to name the biggest surprise, though? That one’s easy.
Romance readers are one of the most engaged, enthusiastic group of book lovers you’ll ever find on the interwebs.
It’s true! We’ve had plenty of great posts on Knockin’ Books, but posts about romance novels and romance authors, and even guest posts written by romance authors reach a level of popularity around here that is nothing short of amazing. And better yet, it's these posts that have the greatest level of engagement with our audience (aka: all you readers out there).
So, why is that?
It’s time for the annual American tradition of Super Bowl weekend when we all gather together with family and friends for a few hours to watch the biggest game of the year along with millions of people all around the world. Some love it for the game, others love it for all the great tailgating food and some just want to hang out with friends and laugh at the funny television commercials. But what if you’re not really into football and have a to-be-read list a mile long? Wouldn’t Super Bowl Sunday be a great time to get caught up on some reading? Everyone will be out watching the game which will give you 3-4 hours of uninterrupted peace and quiet to lose yourself in a good book. What could be better, right? Well, if that’s your plan, we have a few suggestions for books that actually tie into this weekend’s game between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons. And not to worry, it's not all helmets and locker rooms. We've got a little something for everyone.
(Contains spoilers for seasons 1-3 of The 100)
Just to be perfectly clear: I'm a huge fan of this CW post-nuclear-holocaust, dystopian drama and will watch every episode faithfully no matter what. And I understand The 100 is not a romance. Believe me, the writers have made that abundantly clear. But for a show starring young people on the CW, you’d think they’d let at least one happy couple survive, wouldn’t you? Nope. Their track record of breaking the hearts of ‘shippers all over the viewing audience is completely in tact so far. So, with that in mind, here are my picks for the top 6 times The 100 stabbed romance in the heart and let it die, listed in order from merely painful, to “go ahead and kill me” sheer misery:
I have a confession to make. My partner and I sometimes entertain ourselves by sharing hilariously bad self-published book covers. That may sound a bit mean-spirited, but trust me, if we actually wanted to be mean about it, we’d show you some of the covers so you could laugh right along with us. Then again, we probably don’t have to because if you’re an avid reader and/or author, you already know what we’re talking about. And sadly, it’s not just the covers that are craptastic. It’s book blurbs, review requests, author websites and social media posts. And that’s all before you consider the quality of the actual book
You’ve written so many amazing novels in such a short time. How do you manage to be so prolific while still maintaining a real life (and your sanity)?
Oh, gosh, I wish I were more prolific. I feel like such a slacker. So, I have to let a book simmer in my head for a while. That's when I can focus a little more on the whole life and sanity thing. Then I outline. Still cruising along okay at this point. But once the mad rush to finish the first draft starts, all sanity flies out the window. I write very fast first drafts and I will write for up to 22 hours a day for several days. But then I can slow down, polish, turn it in, then start the process all over again.
Guest post by Joshua Jadon
When you write your book, you take the time to pour your heart and soul into it. You want everyone to see it and read it and love it just as much as you do. But that means putting some effort into other parts of the book as well. It’s not just about writing. It’s about editing and proofreading, selling it in the blurb and definitely about making the cover look appealing for potential readers. Having said that, there are so many cover creation options out there, many authors just don’t know what they should do. Some end up opting for something premade just because it’s easier.
Authors are as diverse of a group as you’ll find in almost any profession. Besides the normal gender, religious, ethnic and racial differences typically found in most groups, there’s also a wide range of writing styles and genre preferences. But the one thing we all have in common is the desire to sell more books. It’s the Holy Grail. It may not be the only reason we chose to write a book, but now that we have, it sure would be nice to have our baby go viral and sell like pretzels at a beer festival.
So, how exactly do you go about selling more books? Glad you asked. We’ve got five suggestions and one big secret we’ll reveal at the end (No peeking).
We all love to spend some downtime curled up in our favorite reading chair, but sometimes our busy lives get in the way with pesky commitments like work and family. Not to worry. That's why God invented multitasking. If you can't find the time to read your favorite books, you'll just have to jump on the audiobook bandwagon that's so popular with the kids these days. Besides, can you think of anything better to do during your commute than listening to some scorching romance on audio? Here are our picks for the top 10 audiobooks for guaranteed eargasm:
After years of writing and collecting rejections, Simone St. James' debut novel, THE HAUNTING OF MADDY CLARE, won two RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America and an Arthur Ellis Award from Crime Writers of Canada. AN INQUIRY INTO LOVE AND DEATH was nominated for another Arthur Ellis Award, and SILENCE FOR THE DEAD was shortlisted for a Goodreads Choice Award.
Simone spent twenty years behind the scenes in the television business before leaving to write full-time. She lives just outside Toronto, Canada, with her husband and a spoiled rescue cat. She is addicted to sushi, old 1970's gothic novels, rainy days, coffee, and Sherlock on the BBC. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest. Her next novel, releasing in 2017, is THE BROKEN GIRLS.
We all make mistakes and fall short of our goals from time to time. But a new year is an opportunity to start fresh and wipe the slate clean. Seriously, who doesn’t want a do-over every now and then? Just leave the burdens and guilt of past failures behind and look forward to the future. If you feel the same way, you’ll love this collection of books about redemption and new beginnings.