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Being somewhat nomadic, Linda has had several careers ranging from Catering Director to Foreign Service Officer (Diplomat) for the U.S. Department of State and has lived in different locations across the United States and around the World. She has three children, four grandchildren, and an insufficient number of pets.
One look is all he needs to see your triumphs, your tragedies, your deepest secrets. And then, whatever Simon says must come to pass…
As the world's last Druid, Simon carries the combined powers of all his people. In exchange for this gift, he has made a Promise to fulfill their Sacred Trust to act as guardian for the good in mankind.
Elusive and discrete, he lives through the centuries and uses his mystical powers to change people's lives for the better simply by telling a story.
His gift allows him to truly see them, their joys and tragedies; all the tiny threads and knots that make up the fabric of their lives. And if he so wishes, he can tie a knot here or move a thread there, and a life changes forever.
Whatever Simon says, comes to be...for everyone except himself. His path and future remain unknown and unchangeable by his powers.
Unable to die, he continually battles against his demons - loneliness, self-doubt, guilt, his desire for love, and the continual loss of those he cares about. Now in the 1990s and at over 1600 years old, Simon realizes someone has discovered his secret and waits for this Searcher to find him.
A meeting he hopes will finally release him from his long-ago Promise so he can die at last and return to his people. At the same time, he is offered the love he has always desired and long been denied.
Now Simon must choose the ending to his own story.
A genre-blending bittersweet, yet hopeful, tale of a love that spans centuries, of magical second chances that can change lives, and of the belief that faith is always rewarded.
Simon Says is Linda's debut novel and, believe it or not, is inspired by an actual event.
Now Available Wherever Books Are Sold!
Above is a review of my novel Simon Says by the trade site BookLife, separate from the contest entry review BookLife Prize.
This review, written by a Publishers Weekly Reviewer, will be published in Publishers Weekly on September 18, 2023, the day before my book release!
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Amazon Reviewers Are Saying:
"Imagine living for centuries, witnessing empires rise and fall, and witnessing firsthand the ebb and flow of human history. This is the reality for Simon, the book's protagonist, who bears the ancient power of a Druid and the burden of an eternal promise to safeguard humanity. His journey across time evokes both the epic sweep of "Forrest Gump" and the introspective gaze of Anne Rice's "Vampire Chronicles," but with a uniquely hopeful and optimistic twist.
Simon isn't a brooding or bloodthirsty immortal; he's a wordsmith, weaving stories that tug at the heartstrings of humanity, influencing pivotal moments in the lives of those he touches and leaving behind ripples of kindness and resilience. He's a compassionate storyteller, using his gift to subtly alter lives and nudge humanity towards a better path; his stories shaping history's fabric without ever truly belonging to it himself.
But Simon's journey isn't just about history. It's a deeply personal story of loneliness and longing. Centuries of solitude weigh heavily on him, and his yearning for connection is a poignant thread woven throughout the narrative. This yearning has led him to Marcus, a charming and witty companion who brings levity and friendship into Simon's timeless existence. Their dynamic banter and blossoming bond add a heartwarming layer to the story. While Simon is watching generations rise and fall, Marcus's fleeting life serves as a stark reminder of Simon's immortality and its burden. Their dynamic – ancient wisdom meeting temporarily youthful vigor – adds a poignant layer to the narrative, exploring themes of life, death, and the bittersweet beauty of fleeting moments.
Stirling's prose is rich and evocative, bringing to life the diverse settings Simon traverses. Whether it's the bustling streets of medieval London, the modern day city life of San Diego, or the oak groves of ancient Ireland, she immerses you in the sights, sounds, and textures. Her descriptions draw you into the heart of each scene. Her characters, from the enigmatic Simon to the endearingly grounded Marcus, are complex and relatable, their struggles and triumphs resonating deeply.
"Simon Says" transcends historical fantasy; it's a meditation on humanity's capacity for good, the enduring power of storytelling, and the enduring pursuit of love across time. It's a testament to the human spirit, reminding us that even in the face of tragedy and change, kindness, connection, and hope can prevail. Read this if you're seeking a story that will transport you through time and across continents, touch your heart with its poignant themes, and leave you with a lingering sense of wonder." ~Amazon Review
Make sure you pick up a copy and see what the buzz is all about! And don't forget to leave your own review for Simon Says!
Available wherever books are sold.
Plot/Idea: Stirling offers readers a creative, twisty plot to keep them engaged. The premise—a powerful Druid capable of transforming others' lives while struggling to procure his own happiness—is thought-provoking and unusual; readers will root for Simon's happy ending.
Prose: The complex plot is delivered through a detailed, concise narrative that will immediately grab readers' attention—and entertain them until the end. Stirling is clearly a talented storyteller.
Originality: Simon Says features a striking main character whose conflict is immersive and memorable. Stirling achieves the perfect balance between character-driven scenes and compelling action.
Character/Execution: Stirling excels at characterization, particularly for Simon, whose heartache is glaring despite all the good he extends in the world.
I'm very excited to have received these wonderful comments from The BookLife Prize!! The BookLife Prize is an annual writing competition in two Contests (Fiction and Nonfiction) sponsored by BookLife and Publishers Weekly.
Each entrant is provided a Critic’s Report, a brief critical assessment of their novel written by a Publishers Weekly reviewer.
Quarter-finalists were announced on October 23, 2023, and I am one of them!!
Make sure you get your copy of Simon Says! Now available everywhere books are sold!