Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Reading Addiction Book Tours: Linn B Halton - Restaurant w/Giveaway

Today, Linn B Halton author of The Restaurant is visiting A Chick Who Reads. Read on and enter the giveaway at the end of the post!

The Restaurant @ The Mill is a mix of stories, linked mainly by the setting -, an old flour Mill in the UK.  What inspired this idea and how difficult was it to bring together the series of individual stories, within the overall love story of the couple who own and run the restaurant?

My inspiration for a new story is usually sparked by the simplest of ideas, a single thought or sometimes a sentence that seems to come from nowhere and stays in my head.  The Restaurant was inspired by conversations I had with a friend who, together with her husband, run a wonderful restaurant.  It’s one of my favourite places to dine as it is cosy, the food is heaven and the ambience is perfect.  For about a year I lived very close by and once a week we would travel together to an aerobics class.  We would talk about our day-to-day lives and I was fascinated to learn a little about the behind-the-scenes work involved in running a restaurant.  It is in a beautiful, old stone building but there the comparison ends.  The Mill is fictional, but is based on a place I have visited and explored.

What struck me was that I began to know quite a bit about the front-of-house daily goings-on, but the Chef, well we rarely had the chance to meet.  Every time my husband and I dine there, as we leave the restaurant we call out ‘wonderful meal’ as we pass the kitchen on our way out of the door.  But I found myself becoming more and more fascinated about the man behind the exquisite dishes.

That’s the point at which random bits of information become an idea and it begins to grow.  I felt quite excited trying to imagine a chef working in his own little environment where he can, to all intents and purposes, hide away from the world if he so wishes.  What if that suited him?  What if he had a reason to hide? 

I’m fascinated by the way people think, the way we all complicate our lives unnecessarily by hanging onto things when we should let go and move on.  I’m also intrigued by the way two people will witness the same thing and sometimes walk away with quite different interpretations – that’s why I write from the viewpoint of all the main characters.  I feel it allows the reader, not just to get to know them, but to understand how they think.

Each story is a cameo within the overall picture. It was quite a challenge to dovetail the stories so that the book could follow the lives of the diners and the owners, Hilary and Ben, throughout the seasons.  The nature of some of the stories meant that things had to unfold gradually, whereas others were more compact.  It was quite a learning curve for me as a new writer and it was tremendous fun to write.  

Contemporary Romance/Women's Fiction
Title: The Restaurant 
Author: Linn B. Halton
Date to be Published: 8/2/12
Publisher: Sapphire Publishing
Age, relationships, and careers – we are all unique. Yet beneath the exterior facade we choose
to show to the world at large, what do we have in common? The things we bury deep inside; the
worries and fears we are unable to verbalize, and the hand fate takes in our lives is a common
thread. Sometimes we fail to recognize in each other that innermost struggle on the path to true

Six very different stories, six couples linked by The Restaurant @ The Mill, owned by Hilary
Marks and Ben Adams. As the restaurant thrives the atmosphere is alive with conversation,
snapshots of lives unfolding; each one a personal journey.

Book Excerpt: When your family is affected by a tragedy, you find yourself in the midst of emotions that are so strong it’s almost impossible to keep a grasp on normal life. The tragedy happened to my sister, Mya, who was driving home one dark night in the pouring rain. The car that hit hers swerved to avoid a cyclist whose wheel had struck a pothole, and the effects of that night spread out like ripples on a pond to catch us all.
Sam was my sister’s boyfriend, and during the long months following the accident we were all distraught. My parents had each other for support, but I couldn’t add to their burden, could I? So I shared my feelings with Sam and he, in return, shared his feelings with me. I was nineteen at the time and Sam was twenty-seven. He always talked to me as if I was his equal; he made me feel that my fears and worries mattered, that I mattered.
The day I knew beyond a doubt that I had fallen in love with him was, ironically, the day he made the decision to gently disengage himself from our family. One moment he was a part of everything that was going on and within a few weeks he was no longer there when I looked for him. Mum and Dad accepted it was time for him to move on, grateful for the way he had taken care of me. I knew from that very first day when he appeared late and left early, that it was the start of the end; I also knew that I couldn’t change how I felt about him. I had no idea whether he noticed the difference in me, because either way it could never work. If he felt something for me, how could we pretend that he hadn’t once loved my sister? If he thought of me simply as Mya’s younger sister, that would break my heart.

Review:  This is really a unique read. I wasn't sure how I was going to like it at first because Hillary's story felt a bit 2 dimensional, but after a few chapters as well as meeting the other characters that make up this story, I found myself loving it. OK, how could you not love a book that has one of the characters getting her ass burned on the oven? (I would so do something like that).

I loved how all the characters were connected with The Restaurant @ The Mill and how their stories intertwined. One of my favorite things about the book was the ghost, Sarah who haunts the Mill, but not in a bad way. I loved how she touched the lives of Grace, Lawrence, David and Ben. I also liked that the Epilogue was told from her point of view. It allowed us to get a glimpse at what was keeping her at the Mill. It is just a shame that in the end she couldn't have gone into the light and be at peace.

The Restaurant @ The Mill is a very clean read. Think of it like an extended Harlequin Romance.  The romance in the book is very light, the focus is more on relationships.

Rating: 4 flowers

Author Bio Linn B Halton lives in the UK, in the small Gloucestershire village of Arlingham, on the banks of the River Severn with her adorable husband and cat with attitude – Mr Tiggs! She writes romantic fiction with a psychic or astrological theme and many of the paranormal events that feature in her books are real life experiences. Linn is also a featured new Author on and Editor of the feature ‘Author & Associate Catch-Ups’ including ‘Reader/Author Team Reports’ on the website’s magazine-style blog.

Publisher Author Page
Love Happy Ending Author Page
Twitter: @LinnBHalton


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Linn B Halton said...

Thank you for being a host on The Restaurant Blog Tour - it's lovely to be here!

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