Linda Orvis

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The Great Adventure: Writing in general has been an amazing blessing in my life. It has provided escape when I've needed it, as well as a conduit for creativity, which feeds a part of me I value. Writing has also shoved me forward into things like: new technology, business, and the willingness to risk. It has made me thicker-skinned and able to take as well as implement criticism, which has almost always made my writing better. I now look at writing as the perfect nudger. It's always nudging me to explore, write better, never give up.

It's such an adventure to write. Most writers would probably agree that along with the sweet, comes the bitter. Rejections, writer's block, and deadlines pepper positive comments like, "best book I have ever read," and the much sought after, "I just couldn't put it down." Writing late into the night and reading what you have written and not believing you could write such an amazing thing, then taking a new look at your creation in the harsh morning light and saying, "What a load of crap!" is all part of the process. But most of the writers I know keep writing regardless. We all have to. We have no choice.

What's Coming Up: And so my writing adventure has continued along its way. I have a stash of novels I'll be offering up to the world. After Hope, and In the Mousehole, comes The Place, a mysterious story about a woman who remembers another life, but cannot determine where she came from. I can't wait for you to read that one. Rough Cut will come next. It is the loosely told tale of my father's life: his disabilities, abuse, The Great Depression, riding the rails, World War II, and a great mystery. He's a character you'll never forget. Then Arabesque, a suspense thriller with twists and turns and a subplot that covers the unique relationships of sociopaths and their enablers. I'm presently working on two other historical fiction novels, one is named Sparrow in Winter, and the other hasn't told me its name yet. I'm enjoying writing the sequel to Hope, called Bark Watcher. It tells the story of Micah, a mountainman, who everybody fell in love with while reading Hope.

I hope you will join me and we can wander through this adventure together. I'd love to hear from you from time to time. You are the real reason I write.

Rough Cut Cover

Rough Cut

BY Linda Orvis • POSTED ON July 31, 2015

Orvis (The Place, 2015) tells a sprawling tale of a Utah family, set against the upheavals of the mid-20th century.

It’s 1950 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Rusty Van Cott has been mortally injured in a gas tank explosion, and his siblings, including his best friend and brother, Bud; his mother; and assorted in-laws surround his hospital bed. Rusty’s injuries overwhelm Bud, but the sight sends his mind tumbling through memories of riding the rails as a bum in the early 1930s, fighting the Japanese on an island during World War II, and surviving a poor childhood under the abusive rule of their alcoholic father, Kurt. The moment that shaped Bud’s life, however, was the dynamite blast that blew off several fingers. Already dyslexic and a poor speaker, the accident left him with only “buds” on one hand, with which he nevertheless became a military sharpshooter. Through most of their lives, Bud and Rusty were inseparable because they shared an understanding: Rusty was handsome, swaggering, and fearless, while Bud followed in his shadow, enjoying a spiritual awakening that nobody else in their Mormon community approved of. Author Orvis thrives on luring readers into dark corners and offers page after page of gritty Americana. Most of the chapters are from Bud’s perspective—though a few belong to his mother, Opal—and his memories flow smoothly through the eras. Segments focusing on boxcar hobos, Japanese soldiers, and Kurt’s frequently unleashed belt are studies in violence. These are balanced by scenes in Utah’s splendid wilderness; the meditative Bud says, “Nobody knew how I thought or what I felt. Maybe that’s the way I hid my power.” The story is all the more harrowing considering that many of the grisly details of the Van Cotts’ survival—like eating the neighbor’s cats—plausibly happened to some families, somewhere. The thinnest element of the narrative is Kurt, who, as the villain, deserves to be more fleshed out. Otherwise, Orvis cuts deeply indeed.

An underdog tale for readers with steel nerves.

Pub Date: July 31, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-5146-0017-7

Page count: 272pp

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Oct. 8, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2015

The Place Cover

The Place

BY Linda Orvis • POSTED ON May 22, 2015

In Orvis’ (In the Mousehole, 2014) romantic thriller, a woman tries to resolve her fantastic double life.

Elizabeth Owens grew up in Anaheim, California, with knowledge of a beatific realm called The Place. Cesya, a visitor from The Place, found Elizabeth in her playhouse when she was 6. Moments later, her father, in a dark rage, destroyed the playhouse, leaving the child with an experience no adult could fathom. Now, Elizabeth can mentally visit The Place while closing her eyes and experience both the past and present through Cesya. Cesya has three friends: Andon, Jaholla, and Nye. Each has a special gift to contribute to the ethereal Place; Cesya’s is to read thoughts. Though invasive, the ability helps her realize that Nye is power mad and wants to thwart the mysterious Decision. Meanwhile, Elizabeth, an introvert, is assaulted by a masked stranger. To cope, she takes the advice of her therapist, Dr. Bridgeman, and socializes more. This leads to romance with both her neighbor Jess and the detective investigating her assault, Gus. When Nye begins manipulating Elizabeth’s visits to The Place, however, revealing his hatred for her, she must understand the secret connection between her two worlds to survive. Author Orvis stirs up a mix of remembrance, romance, and paranoia in this briskly paced thriller. She assembles a long bench of potential lovers and suspects to keep Elizabeth, and readers, guessing until the end. The Place is a near paradise where “we don’t question everything like we do here. We are very accepting and live our lives in peace.” Orvis convincingly conveys the plights of both introversion and romantic longing with lines like, “Just standing near him scorched my self-confidence.” The finale is truly jolting.

A quietly shocking page-turner that chooses to be poetic instead of preachy.

Pub Date: May 22, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-5088-2595-1

Page count: 290pp

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2015



BY Linda Orvis

An interior designer becomes the unwitting target of a covert, lethal group in Orvis’ (Rough Cut, 2015, etc.) romantic thriller.

After two men accost Olivia Paxton, it’s soon revealed that they’re the irate brothers of a woman named Nina, who’s been sleeping with Olivia’s husband, Cole Paxton. Nina is pregnant, they say, and Cole has allegedly been abusing her. Not long afterward, Olivia finds out that her husband gave her chlamydia. Meanwhile, she puzzles over a cryptic note that he dropped: a phone number and the initials “N.R.” Could it be Nina? It’s Olivia’s discovery of the note that scares Cole the most, as it’s connected to his involvement with a clandestine group that’s proven itself capable of murder. Cole flees before armed men show up at their house, but Olivia is rescued by gardener Derek Olsen, an apparent secret agent who’s been investigating the mysterious organization. He and Olivia go into hiding and soon develop mutual romantic feelings as they try to dig up clues about who, exactly, is after them. The romance between Olivia and Derek in Orvis’ novel may be predictable, but it’s unquestionably well-earned. The brisk narrative devotes a copious number of pages to the relationship, but it always feels organic and believable. As the two learn more details about each other, such as why Derek blushes so often, they form a shared sense of trust. The suspense comes and goes—there are stretches with no signs of villains or viable threats— but the action does ramp up near the end. A strange but compelling plot turn reveals the organization’s purpose and origin; more importantly, it allows the story to showcase Olivia, who proves to be resourceful on her own. Occasional descriptions of technology can be confusing, though, as when Olivia plays a CD to watch a short video—which she then “rewinds” to watch again.

A tale with generous amounts of romance and peril featuring a convincing and entertaining protagonist.

Pub Date:

Publisher: Dog Ear Publisher

Review Posted Online: Aug. 1, 2017

Awards, Press & Interests


Anaheim, California

Favorite author

So many to choose from! Charlotte Bronte, Daphne du Maurier

Favorite book

Tale of Two Cities

Day job

Homeschool my Granddaughter, Work on my writing business, Line by Line

Favorite word


Unexpected skill or talent


Passion in life

My Family



Olivia Paxton knew something was wrong with her husband, Cole. But the day her friend and psychiatrist, Brenda Bestini, explains that he’s a sociopath and Olivia his enabler, her life changes. She learns Cole is having an affair with a waitress named Lupe. Olivia is attacked by Lupe’s brothers and ends up in the hospital. While there, she finds a scrap of paper among Cole’s things. N.R. is printed at the top and a phone number scribbled beneath. She returns home and gathers the courage to call the number she’s so curious about. “Arabesque,” a woman answers. “Is there anyone with the initials of N.R. at this number?” “Who is this?” Olivia hangs up. From that time on her life is in danger. Two men almost kill her in her home, but Derek, a CIA agent posing as her new gardener, saves her. She and Derek run--hiding in sleazy motels, dodging the police, other CIA agents, and changing Olivia’s identity. Derek insists she cut her blonde hair, dye it black and dress as a hooker. Olivia, first hating her new image, begins to enjoy putting her serious companion in embarrassing situations every chance she gets. Olivia and Derek discover Cole’s body slumped over his computer. The letters AR AB are typed on the screen. They flee the state of California for a brief respite. When they return, Derek explains that the organization under investigation is international and has infiltrated the police and possibly the Agency. “It’s time to force their hand,” he announces. Reflecting on her marriage, Olivia learns to understand her part in Cole’s pathology. She recalls helping him defraud his clients by using her reassuring and warm personality. She also acknowledges her courage in her present situation and sense of humor when faced with danger. Olivia soon falls in love with Derek, someone completely different from her former husband. Sessions with Brenda help Olivia learn the ways of a sociopath. Doctor Bestini’s blunt methods and glib rhetoric, as well as their shared past, aid Olivia in recognizing human evil. “Be careful, Ollie,” Brenda cautions. “Nietzsche warned that when you fight a monster, be careful not to become one. And when you gaze into an abyss it gazes at you.” Olivia discovers Brenda shot through the head in her office, the key to the wall safe clutched in her fist. Dated and numbered tapes of Brenda’s sessions are inside the safe--all but one--the date Cole met with Dr. Bestini. Derek and Olivia uncover a convoluted network created for psychopaths. They learn how these anti-social misfits, living as exemplary citizens, become linked with each other to infiltrate government posts and powerful business positions. When Derek and Olivia are taken to Arabesque headquarters and meet the leader, Olivia is again forced to question her integrity and depth of character.


Hope, who has always craved adventure, is abducted from her Cornwall, England home in the early 1850s and taken to Gold Rush San Francisco. She escapes her kidnapper and lives with the California Indians for a year. She travels the Pacific Northwest with a mountain man, is attacked by a wolverine, and eventually creates a life in Victoria, on Vancouver Island. This story also follows Hope's friend, Ian, who leaves Cornwall to search for her until he's convinced she's burned to death in a fire. He becomes embroiled in the San Francisco underworld, determined to avenge her death. Life aboard ship, and with the Indians, as well as with Micah, the trapper, transforms Hope into "a woman to reckon with."
Published: May 30, 2009
ISBN: ISBN-10: 143921221X ISBN-13: 97

Hoppy's Heroes

Nine year old Linda Lee cries about anything and everything. Her schoolmates call her a cry baby. Her brother, Boyd, says she's a boob, and even her father clicks his tongue when his daughter bursts into tears over a torn dress or a cross word from her mother. Then one day her wise third grade teacher introduces Linda Lee to Mariam, a refugee from the war torn Germany of the early fifties. She is asked to teach Mariam English and act as her guide through the strange world of American fads, slang, and bold, carefree ways. Suddenly a skinned knee doesn't seem so tragic as Linda Lee learns of her new friend’s fears brought on by World War II in Germany. Their experiences teach Mariam it is safe to let out her feelings. Mariam, in turn, shows Linda Lee that there's a difference between sensitivity and fear. Linda Lee learns her tears are simply part of her caring personality, and if it weren't for the display of Linda’s own vulnerability, Mariam wouldn't have learned to trust. This true story of Linda Lee and Mariam includes their adventures in a haunted house; Linda Lee's struggle to learn to ride her Hopalong Cassidy bicycle and both girls' determined pact to stand up to the schoolyard bully. Humor plays a big part in HOPPY’S HEROES. Linda Lee’s vivid imagination and Mariam’s confusion with English keeps the story on the light side. Hoppy's Heroes, is an award winning manuscript, is the author's childhood story about overcoming fears and how simple friendships can change a life forever. Many Baby Boomers are now grandparents and great grandparents and a book with illustrations and pictures set in the fifties to read to their grandchildren would be an opportunity to share their own childhoods.

In the Mousehole The Wild and Crazy Adventures of One Not-So-Ordinary Family

I’ve learned many things raising five boys and one girl, but the most important are: ~Always lock the door when you go to the bathroom. ~Write down what you can. You may need facts to defend yourself when asked to visit their therapists. And… ~Two survival essentials: Humor to keep you from wigging out and creativity to keep you five steps ahead of a four-year-old. Parents live in the trenches together. We nod and chuckle when we hear how a three-year-old unwrapped, then dumped a Costco-sized box of Tampons into the toilet. Remember: when you document the truth, you get the last word.
Published: Sept. 25, 2014
ISBN: ISBN-10: 1470161354 ISBN-13: 97

Rough Cut

Should anyone feel sorry for my life? Hell no. It toughened me for what was coming: the Great Depression, hunger, riding the rails, living in a CCC camp, stealing, running from the law, World War II and the shame of a 4F classification. When they got desperate and finally let me do my part, I was made a medic and a flamethrower operator in the Army. So first I’d burn the Japanese out of caves, then work like hell to save their charred bodies. Later I was assigned to examine prostitutes for V.D. What’s the point of telling my story? There isn’t any, unless it’s to show how a mean life can cause a person to look inside and choose to do something better for his kids.