Thursday, August 27, 2015

Review & Excerpt - Leave Yesterday Behind by Lauren Linwood


Leave Yesterday Behind
Author: Lauren Linwood
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Pages: 244
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Format: Kindle

Callie Chennault vaulted to fame on the nighttime soap Sumner Falls, but after a decade of playing the same role, she is ready for a new acting challenge. When Callie is attacked by a stalker on the streets of New York, she takes a leave of absence from the show and returns to her roots in Aurora, Louisiana, to heal both physically and emotionally and determine her next career move. 

Former professional baseball pitcher Nick La Chappelle has also come to Aurora to lick his own wounds after a messy divorce. A Cy Young winner and one-time ESPN broadcaster, Nick longs for the quiet of a small town in order to write murder mysteries under a pen name. 

Sparks fly when Callie believes Nick is taking advantage of her great-aunt’s hospitality, but they resolve their differences—and surprise themselves by falling in love. Their bond is tested when both Nick and Callie become the focus of a serial killer nicknamed Lipstick Larry. Can they outwit a murderer bent on seeing them dead and survive to build a lasting relationship? 

For More Information:

  • Leave Yesterday Behind is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Book Excerpt:

Maybe she should take a cab home. But her subway station was only a block and half away. It would be foolish to stand out in a downpour after nine at night when she could duck in and be on her way downtown in a couple of minutes. Callie liked that people left her alone on the subway. A few sometimes stared at her and frowned, wondering if they’d ever seen her before. Most turned away, not quite able to place her.

After all, she left Jessica behind at the studio every day. No chic clothes, Ravenous Red mouth, or fancy hairstyle. She didn’t often get recognized in real life unless it was a die-hard fan. Even then, most New Yorkers were cool about it and simply ignored her.

Chill out. Just move.


She turned automatically and saw a man standing behind her. He was probably the reason she’d had the feeling of being followed. He seemed a little out of breath, as if he’d been keeping up with her awhile. It had happened before. She knew it would happen again.

And always with this type.

He was non-descript in every way—average height and build, brown hair, glasses. Harmless looking. Dopey grin on his face, like he’d hit the lottery because he’d actually had the balls to speak to the crush of his daydreams. She knew enough to be firm. Give him a brief little personal moment, a smile and her signature on something, and get back to her life.

Then a quick flash of John Lennon signing an autograph for Mark David Chapman zipped through her brain. He’d been average, too.

And he’d killed Lennon hours after someone snapped a photograph of them together.

“You don’t look like Jessica up close.” His voice was silky, almost caressing, yet the tone was definitely disappointed.

Her pulse quickened. She took a step back to put a little distance between them and brushed against a brick wall.

“I like to give my skin a rest away from the studio. All that heavy make-up and hairspray can cause a girl some damage.” She kept her tone calm and friendly as she glanced over the man’s shoulder.

No one was in sight.

“I want to see Jessica. She’s my favorite.”

He pulled something from his pocket and held it up. “Put this on. It’ll help. It’s the perfect shade.” He smiled shyly. “I’ll even let you do it. You’re the expert.” He reached out and grabbed her wrist and laid the item in her hand before letting go.

Chills ran through her as she opened her palm. In it lay a gold tube of Jessica’s signature Ravenous Red.

A knife appeared, clutched in the stranger’s left hand. Callie’s heart beat erratically. Her words died in her throat.

“Don’t worry,” he said softly. “You know how to be Jessica whenever you want.”

Her palms grew damp. The lipstick he’d given her almost slipped from her hand.

“Jessica likes to be seen wearing this color. Put it on. Now.” His voice was quiet, but the underlying threat hung in the air all the same.

Callie brought a shaking hand to her mouth and realized the lid was still on. She removed it and twisted a few turns before she lifted the lipstick close again.

Oh, God, she was so nervous. She stroked color onto her upper lip and then across the bottom. Her hand slipped, though, and a searing red line jutted across her lower cheek.

“You made a mistake. Wipe it off. Do it again. It has to be perfect.” The tone was deadly.

“I’ll need some cold cream. Red stains pretty badly.” She gulped air, trying to calm herself. She couldn’t let this guy see how rattled she was. “And I know you want this to be perfect. So do I.”

“I can fix it.”

She watched him pull a tissue from his jacket pocket. He gave it a lick and then stroked it down her cheek to her jaw several times.

“That’s better,” he said, dreamily smiling as he inspected his work. “Now try again.”

Her eyes met his, and Callie prayed her hands would stop shaking enough for her to get it right.


Jessica is many a man's secret fantasy.  She does things other women cannot dare to do, the perfect "femme fatale".  She is the top character from the famed soap opera "Summer Falls".  She has kept this soap alive with her schemes and destructive love affairs and all the changing plots that make soap operas fun to watch.  He however wants her.  He wants to possess her.  He wants to kill her, to do that several look alikes have been tortured and murdered.  He wants his final killing to be perfect so "they" had to be sacrificed in order to get achieve his goal.  Jessica, you see, is this serial killer's fantasy.  Callie is the soft-spoken actress who transforms into "Jessica", this is as far from her soap character as a person can get except she's just as beautiful but in a more subtle, natural way.  Callie is tired of her grueling schedule, a result of which is no personal life.  She is thinking of not renewing her contract which is unthinkable to anyone who knows her or thinks they do.

This book was so hard to put down.  I knew the characters as people within a few paragraphs of their introduction.  To say it is intense is almost an understatement.  Jobs and real life can sometimes be a real pain when a good book awaits, and this was an amazing book.  Well written and captivating, I give this story 4.3 stars.  ~JoEllen

About the Author:
As a child, Lauren Linwood gathered her neighborhood friends together and made up stories for them to act out, her first venture into creating memorable characters. Following her passion for history and love of learning, she became a teacher who began writing on the side to maintain her sanity in a sea of teenage hormones.
Lauren’s historical novels focus on two of her favorite eras—medieval times and the American Old West. History is the backdrop that places her characters in extraordinary circumstances, where their intense desire and yearning for one another grows into the treasured gift of love. She also writes romantic suspense, where modern heroes and heroines unite to defeat a strong antagonist and discover a deep, abiding love during their journey.
Lauren, a native Texan, lives in a Dallas suburb with her family. An avid reader, moviegoer, and sports fan, she manages stress by alternating yoga with five mile walks. She is thinking about starting a support group for House Hunters addicts—as soon as she finishes her next piece of dark chocolate.
Her recent book is the romantic suspense, Leave Yesterday Behind.
For More Information:


  1. I appreciate you hosting me today & letting me share some of Nick & Callie's story, and thanks again for the lovely review!

  2. This looks so good. I can imagine it as a movie.

  3. I wish, Aubrey! Hmmm...we need to think about whom to cast...