Author: Linda Seed
Narrators: Avie Paige, Travis Baldree
Length: 7 hours 47 minutes
Publisher: Linda Seed⎮2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Otter Bluff, Book 1
Release date: Mar. 27, 2021
Cassie Jordan has a sweet dream to open a bakery specializing in wedding cakes. The problem is, the Airstream trailer where she lives has a kitchen the size of a postage stamp, and her job as housekeeper for a vacation rental agency doesn’t pay enough for her to find other arrangements.
When the renters at one of the houses in her care cancel their stay, leaving the house empty and its top-of-the-line kitchen unused, who could blame her for seeing it as an opportunity? But Cassie’s unsavory plan starts to look like a mistake when the owner’s son shows up unannounced, catching her with her pants down - literally.
If Cassie can sweet-talk her way out of trouble, setting up her business might be a piece of cake. If not, it’s going to be a bitter setback....
The Icing on the Cake is a stand-alone novel in Linda Seed’s Otter Bluff small-town romance series.
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Linda Seed is a former journalist who began writing contemporary romance in 2015 with Moonstone Beach. Her debut novel has been downloaded more than 220,000 times. Linda lives with her husband, the art writer John Seed, and their kids in the Central Coast town of Cambria, California, where all of her books are set. At a time when close personal relationships are increasingly hard to find, Linda aims to write a better world full of the love, loyalty, and companionship that we all long for.
About the Narrator: Avie Paige
Aven is an audiobook narrator living in her off-grid tiny house in rural Eastern Canada, surrounded by forest and chicken friends, and honeybees. She loves books so much she's listening to one almost every minute she's not narrating one (she narrates romance as Avie Paige). She narrates live on Discord with other romance narrators on the Haven server. She is longing to travel and hike in mountains again, and dreaming of sleep in the lava fields of Iceland under Northern lights again, her favorite place in the world. Her past lives include being a carpenter, firefighter, tax accountant, and competitive snowboarder.
About the Narrator: Travis Baldree
Travis Baldree is a multi-award-winning audiobook narrator with a warm and versatile voice and a facility for character and accent. He is the voice of the best-selling Cradle series by Will Wight and over 150 other audiobooks. He narrates live almost every day on his Discord server.
Travis is also a former game developer, creator of Torchlight, Fate, & Rebel Galaxy, and co-founder of Runic and Double Damage games. Travis Baldree lives in the Western US with his family and the cutest dog.
Interview with Linda Seed
I have teenage daughters who love to watch YouTube shows. Their particular favorites are Rhett and Link, who do the Good Mythical Morning show. They just love those guys, and looking into them, I learned that Rhett and Link were childhood friends. That gave me the idea for Ike and Brian and their YouTube show. It just seemed like such a fun and happy way to make a living. I also liked the idea of a character who’s a man-child on the surface, but who has inner depths.
2. What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Read or listen to some great books, and then do it some more. That’s first. The best way to learn to write, in my opinion, is by absorbing the rhythms and cadences and techniques of authors who write the work you admire. Then, just dive in and start writing. Don’t be discouraged if your first book—or your second or third—isn’t what you’d hoped. Set it aside and start a new one. Eventually, you’ll get a feel for it, and it’ll become less like work and more like imaginative play.
3. How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
That hasn’t been a problem for me so far, fortunately. I don’t feel right—I don’t feel like myself—if I haven’t written that day. I’ve written almost every day for about six years now, and it’s so much a part of my daily routine that it’s like brushing my teeth. Sometimes I think I might like to take a break, but I only last a day or two before the characters and storylines start talking to me.
4. How did you select your narrator?
This is the eighth book I’ve worked on with Avie Paige, and I just love what she does with my stories. She and I found each other when I was taking auditions for my first audiobook, Moonstone Beach. The spirit and energy she’s brought to my books was exactly what I was looking for. It was her idea to do dual narration with Travis Baldree for The Icing on the Cake. I hadn’t considered dual narration before she suggested it, and I’m so glad she did. It adds another layer of fun and sexiness to the book.
5. How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?
The same way I always celebrate finishing a book: I start the next one. Usually the next day.
6. Do you have any tips for authors going through the process of turning their books into audiobooks?
Find a narrator who knows more than you do about the process and lean on them. A good narrator is everything. Also, do your homework to learn about the process of creating, distributing, and marketing an audiobook. I haven’t always been the best about this, and I’ve had to do some catching up.
7. Have any of your characters ever appeared in your dreams?
Not in my dreams, but I had a funny moment when I was working on the Main Street Merchants series, which was my first. All of my books are set in Cambria, California, a lovely beach town. I live there now, but I didn’t at the time. My family and I were planning a visit to Cambria, and I thought, “I can’t wait to get there and see all of my friends.” A split second later I realized my friends are fictional. I laughed at myself and then thought that I can only hope my characters are as real to my readers as they are to me.
8. What gets you out of a writing slump? What about a reading slump?
I haven’t had a writing slump recently, but I had a long, severe one some years back. I got out of it by changing genres. That’s how I began writing contemporary romance, which is so full of fun and joy. When I started treating writing like play instead of work, things started clicking for me. I can’t say I’ve ever had a reading slump. I’m always reading.
9. In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series?
I love writing in series, because it gives me so much more time to get to know my characters. When I take a family or a friend group through four or more books, I really feel like they’re a part of me by the time I’m done. I think it also provides a more immersive experience for the reader. The bonus is, it’s easier to market a series because once I’ve got a reader hooked, they’ll stick with me for the whole series. I can’t seem to write a stand-alone novel, because I always wonder what’s going on in the lives of the secondary characters. I want to see them get their happy endings, too.
10. What’s next for you?
I’m about to publish the fourth and final book in the Otter Bluff series, of which The Icing on the Cake is book one. After that, I’m already thinking about my next series, which will focus on a family of doctors who open a new practice in Cambria. Five brothers, each with a different specialty. As if hot doctors aren’t enough, they’ll be finding a way to serve their patients without the interference of health insurance companies. Talk about a happy fantasy!