Friday, December 23, 2011

Welcome Suzie Quint

Please welcome with me this morning Suzie Quint.  Suzie Quint has always been fascinated with the human psyche, so she can imagine no better way to explore the human condition than through the characters she writes. Finding the happy ending for the people who inhabit her worlds is the best job anyone could have. Getting to share them with others... It doesn't get any better than that.

Welcome, Suzie.  I'm so glad you could join me today. Today we're talking about your new release, Knight of Heart.

What motivated you to write this book?

Like so many authors these days, I became enamored with a supporting character in another book I wrote. Rachel McKnight, the heroine of Knight of Hearts, is the older sister of the hero of A Knight in Cowboy Boots. She’s a little different from the typical romance heroine though. As the oldest girl in a family with a lot of brothers, she’s more than a little bossy. She’s also a “fixer,” which is a good quality for a hotel concierge, but doesn’t work so well in her personal life.

Are the experiences in the novel based on someone you know, or events in your life?

Not particularly. I tend to think of the events of my own life as mundane. What I do take from life, I think, are the emotions. We’ve all had those moments when we’re insecure or when we pretend that we don’t care when our hearts are really breaking, or when we hope someone we love loves us back. Those feelings that are so personal to each of us but that we all share. Those are what I take from life and what, I hope, comes through in my writing.

When and why did you begin writing?

I wrote in high school, then took a long hiatus while I figured out my life. That was actually a good thing since most people have to live some, I think, before we have something to say. When I first moved to Seattle, I didn’t know very many people here and I was in one of those dry spells where I couldn’t find anything I wanted to read (this was long before Goodreads came along and I developed a to-be-read pile that would choke a giraffe.) There’s a piece of writer’s wisdom that says: write what you would want to read. So that’s what I did.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?

Every writers’ group or critique buddy I’ve ever had has had an influence my writing. My first real writers group here in Seattle probably deserves the most credit. They never let me get away with anything (for which I’m forever in their debt.) I had some horrible habits when they got their hands on me, but they pounded on me and my writing improved tremendously. Critique buddies are invaluable no matter what stage you’re at, because they spot things you’re blind to. I can’t imagine sending something out into the world without them vetting it first.

How did you come up with the title for your book(s)?

Rachel’s surname is McKnight and I played on that with her brother Zach’s book (A Knight in Cowboy Boots), so it seemed like a fun idea to start a theme with the titles. Since Mac plays a lot of poker, it felt right to find a way to reference that as well in the title, so when I came up with Knight of Hearts, I knew it fit. Though as I continue writing about the McKnight clan, I wonder what I was thinking. I may resort to having contests to come up with titles, the way Janet Evonvich does.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

The theme of Knight of Hearts is about relinquishing control and learning to trust someone else, so I suppose there’s a message in that somewhere.

Who is your favorite character in the book?

I think that would be Rachel. Because she’s not fixated on being “nice” and she’s okay with that, there was a certain freedom in writing her. She’s prickly at times, bossy most of the time, and wants to be the one in control all the time. I had a ball putting her in situations where she had to struggle with those inclinations.

Is there anything additional you would like to share with your readers?

Joseph Campbell said that the purpose of mythology was to teach the ancients how to live their lives. Those myths are hard for modern cultures to apply to our daily lives, so I think in some ways the things we choose to read create our personal mythos. Romances are a great way to remind us to keep our hearts open.

Suzie, thank you so much for joining me today.  Knight of Hearts can be purchased here.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Crashing Hearts is due for release in January. Here's a little tease with the first few pages.

Chapter 1

Kira Nichols pushed back her hair as the crisp salt air blew it across her face. She walked up the path—her sneakers leaving small impressions in the soft sand—to the cul-de-sac. At the empty lot across from her house, the foundation had been capped over and abandoned for about a year now.

She sprang into a run at the rumble of a sports car arriv- ing at a fast clip. She arrived at the cul-de-sac at the same time the vehicle skidded to a stop. She caught her breath as the lean, ruggedly handsome man exited his vehicle. The smile he flashed her was one she imagined had many women melting at his feet.

Kira squared her shoulders and approached him. Her five foot two inch frame seemed minute compared to his at least six foot stature. She willed herself to appear calm and not give away that her senses had completely left her at the sight of him.

“Grant Rutledge.” He extended his hand to her. His deep voice, like a shot of brandy, was warm and soothing. She swallowed hard, her anger forgotten for a brief second. Then it flared back and she ignored his hand. “Do you have any idea that there are children in this area?” she demanded, planting her hands on her hips.

“My apologies if you felt I was going too fast.” He gave an exaggerated glance around. “There aren’t any children about now.” He smiled that smile again and in spite of her anger, her heart melted. She started with the realization he still had his hand extended in introduction. She tentatively shook his calloused fingers. Tingles shot up her arm and she struggled with not yanking her hand away. Heat flooded her face. She prayed he couldn’t tell.

“Again, I apologize. I hope you wouldn’t think I have no regard for children.”

Kira turned to go. “I just know the type.” She gestured absently at the car. She forced herself to walk slowly towards her house, feeling his eyes on her back. Her mind whirled. She had practically melted at the sound of his voice. Her cheeks reddened at the thought of him watching her walk away—thankful she had stayed in shape.

The solitude of the cul-de-sac was the reason she origi- nally loved this spot. Her house had been the only one in this two-lot area for six years. She hoped the new construction company would be considerate and not disrupt the serenity, and keep working hours to normal business hours, hours when Jared was in preschool.

She thought back to the long hours they kept when they put in the foundation. Jared had been unable to sleep due to the noise and disruption of his routine. Hopefully this time around the noise wouldn’t disturb him. He was just beginning to sleep through the night.

If only she could.

* * * *

Jared ran up the walkway to meet Kira, signing furiously: “Who is that man?”

“That is Grant Rutledge,” she signed back. “He is going to be building the new house, so you will need to stay away from the construction site.”

Jared’s hands and fingers flew in his excitement to know about the new house, and the fast car he saw. “Jared, use your words.” Kira ushered him into the house.

“Car, red.”

“Yes, the car was red, and it’s very fast, so you must stay away from there.” Kira found Barbara’s eyes over Jared’s head, and gave her the “I have so much to tell you” look.

“Time to get ready for the day, Jared,” Barbara interjected.

Jared skipped off to the bedroom happily, and Barbara handed Kira a cup of coffee. “Spill. I saw him. It wasn’t the fast car that made you come into this house so quick.”

Kira, glaring at Barbara over the coffee, walked slowly to the sliding doors overlooking the ocean. “What happened to the quietness of our lives? Why do I feel like it is gone?”

“Is it gone?” Barbara asked. “Or just stirred up a little? I think maybe you’ve been holding onto grief and bitterness for so long that you don’t have any idea how to look objectively at life. Before you say it, I’m heading for the kitchen and not saying another word. Nevertheless, before I go, let me just say out of love for you, Kira, darling, Patrick’s been gone for four years now. You’ve built your life around Jared, and that’s great because Jared needs you. However, there comes a time when you need someone also, someone besides Jared and an old lady like myself.”

“Barb, it’s not like that.”

“Honey, you’ve been holding on for so long, and don’t tell me you’re not angry with Patrick for the way he left the night of the accident. Kira, I’m angry with him. He never should’ve left that way. You had it just as tough as him, if not more, with the crying. He was the father. He should have been here right beside you.”

“Stop! We are not going to rehash that night and we certainly aren’t going to blame Patrick. He’s gone and nothing is going to change that.” Kira looked toward the ocean and for- got about her coffee and Barbara. For a moment she lost track of the here and now and drifted off into the peace of the ocean.

Something caught Kira’s eye, and she turned to see Grant taking measurements, preparing for the construction. Feelings she hadn’t felt in so long flooded her as she watched his dark, wavy hair blow in the breeze. Half sighing, half growling to herself, she turned from the window. Distractions were not what she needed now. There was a routine to follow. For Jared’s sake.


Preorders for your signed copy of CRASHING HEARTS can be ordered via paypal here for $12.00 each or contact me directly to arrange payment.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Christmas was my favorite time of the year when I was a child. Isn't it everyone's? Even as my kids were little, I loved Christmas. Seeing their faces when they opened their presents, the joy they had as they got older and buying gifts for people less fortunate then themselves. It was a great time. As time goes by, Christmas tends to stress me out more and more and I just don't enjoy it like I used to. Trees are hard to find. We always cut our own, but I have developed an allergy to all Christmas trees except Scotch Pines. They are becoming increasingly difficult to find and how I fight against having to get a fake tree. Everything is so expensive. This year as I sit in my living room looking at the bare tree, yet to be decorated, I remember the peace that comes with Christmas also. The evenings of sitting with the lights off, except for the lights on the tree, and just enjoying it. It really doesn't matter the amount of gifts around the tree, its the joy of always having my family close. This year will be no exception as my oldest daughter travels from North Caroline to be home for the holidays. The family grows this year with the addition of our first grandson who is just fascinated with the tree. One of my fondest memories is of my kids being very little and sitting in front of the Christmas tree with just the lights on as we sang Christmas songs. The simple things of being with family and just enjoying each other is really all I need for Christmas. What's your wish for the Christmas season?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Why Do We Hurt The Ones We Love

As we grow closer to the Christmas time many things go through my mind. To me, holidays are a source of huge stress. What used to be my favorite time of the year has become a time I would prefer to hide from. Holidays should be a time of loved ones coming together and enjoying the time together. Instead, with all the added stress, it tends to have love ones hurting each other. Why do we do this? When does it become a time of not being selfish and self-centered and really setting aside the pettiness? In the past year for numerous reason time and time again it has been reiterated to me that time is short. Life comes with no guarantees and it is in those difficult times that you hold on to love ones to get you through it. So why do the loved ones lash out or shut down and push you away whenever they feel they just don't want to stop being selfish? For the simple reason of it is easier. It is easier to be hurtful and lash out than to show love in spite of the hurtful coming at you. It is easier to shut oneself away than to put yourself out there for rejection. But if you truly love these people, when is it time for fight for that relationship and not let it just slide past you because it is easier? Do you just write people off as "they will never change" just because you don't want to change to stop the cycle? Why do we hurt the ones we love?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Writers Helping Writers

I must start off by apologizing, as I have not been on to post a blog in quite some time. We had a bit of an upheaval late September with my husband having a stroke. He is just about fully recovered, but needless to say my writing was put on a hold for a bit.

With that said, I am excited about CRASHING HEARTS coming out in January. As I have been looking into different ways of promoting this, it come up time and time again how writers help writers.

I have recently just started putting together a blog tour to promote CRASHING HEARTS. In the process I have opened up my blog for guest bloggers to promote their own works. It’s an exciting process to reach out to other writers and invite them to guest on my blog. It’s open a whole new way to meet new authors.

So starting December 30th, my blog tour kicks off as a guest of Cynthia Woolf. Keep posted for other dates as they are filling in.

Join me on December 20th right here with Suzie Quint as she continues on her blog tour.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Don't Live With Regrets

My oldest daughter is now officially a resident of North Carolina. I listen to her enjoying her apartment, cooking for herself, working, going to school and I am filled with a pride that only a mother can have. She has worked through many adversaries and come out on top. She is hard working and someone I look up to.

As my other two children get ready to start high school, a junior and a freshman, I wonder where life will take them in the next few years. I see my other daughter, the junior, moving on and continuing with her education also. She is a lot like her older sister in the fact that she is driven and determined to succeed when she puts her mind to it. My son, well he is not a fan of school, I know that he will go far in his life.

I wish I had had the drive and determination for my life when I was their age. I spent my younger years not knowing what I wanted and when I did figure out what I wanted for my life, it took me years to gather the courage to finally doing it. That is when I started my journey as a writer.

Four and half short years after writing my first book, it will be released. I’m overwhelmed with emotions when I think of this release. This first book was therapeutic for me to write as, although it is fiction, a lot of emotion and obstacles that I had faced in my own life are portrayed in this book. In writing it through someone else's eyes, my heart healed and I was able to put a lot of regret behind me.

My new motto – Face life head on and don’t live with regrets. This motto I hope I can convey to my children as they pursue their life dreams whether it be as a speech/language pathologist, into forensics, playing basketball for a living, joining the Air Force or getting into the health field, my dream is for my children to pursue whatever desire they have wholeheartedly and without regret.

How many of us pursue our life desires this way? How long has it taken you to achieve something that has been a lifelong goal?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Walking For Breast Cancer

Once again my oldest daughter has undertaken the task of walking for the cure of breast cancer. Last year she walked for 3 days in Boston, MA. This year she has decided to walk it in Washington, DC.

Here is her message:

Please support me as I take an amazing journey in the fight to end breast cancer! The Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure™ is a 60-mile walk over the course of three days. Net proceeds from the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure™ are invested in breast cancer research and community programs.

I did this walk last year in Boston, MA and instantly became addicted. Every ounce of sweat and every bit of hard work is worth it! After months of fundraising, training, and hard work, it was all paid off after finishing the 60 miles! I have never felt to accomplished and doing something so great for an amazing cause! I can't wait to share this experience with my friend Brian Flowers this year in Washington DC in September! Thanks for your support.

Last year I got past my goal of $2300 and hope to pass my goal this year of $3000! Please visit my personal page, check it out, and donate!

Donate Here

Thanks in advance! :)

Every little bit helps. We have all been touched in someway by this disease whether it be family or friends.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Writer's Block

What is writer’s block? Is it truly something that happens or is it merely something we talk ourselves into believing. Writer’s block has afflicted me lately. However, the more I think about it, the more I throw aside the idea of writer’s blocker.

My thoughts are blocked from what I want to write. I have a solid plot. I have run through different scenes in my mind while I’m driving. However, when I open up my laptop my mind shuts down from what I know needs to be typed. Is that writer’s block or simply a procrastination technique?

Life gets in the way. We all know that. Not one of us lives the life that we paint in our books. I know I have used life as an excuse many times to not put the fingers to the keyboard. Life will never change – there will be stressors, crises, changes. A writer writes through them.

So for now I sit at the keyboard and if I can put all the words I want out there, I write partial thoughts. They will blossom fully as the story unfolds. The excuse of writer’s block has been banned from my vocabulary.

What about you? Do you believe in writer’s block? If so, how do you push through it?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I have written before about lives taking different stages. My husband and I are entering a new stage as we prepare to be grandparents for the first time. The gammet of emotions that we felt when we were first told -- from we're too young, to worry for our daughter, to excitement.

We had talked about being grandparents, yet had thought we had years to go before that thought became a reality. But as the days pass since being told, our excitement grows. My husband has decided he is too young for the title grandpa, and has researched names to be called, finally deciding upon Lolo. As for myself, I have looked, but haven't decided on what I would want to be called.

As you're children grow, you worry about them, but it is a totally different feeling to suddenly be worried about your grandchild. Although we are young, I look forward to fall when our new grandbaby arrives and we move into that next phase of life.

Feel free to let me know what you have called your parents, or if you are grandparents what you are called? Would love to hear the variety we have out there.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Trusting Your Instincts

Trusting your instincts. We all have gut instincts that tell us whether or not something feels right. Learning to trust those instincts can be difficult.

In my life I have found myself doubting my instincts, and then regretting, later finding out if I had gone with my gut instinct things would have been different, and better. Through the years after not trusting my instinct, I started doubting my judgment period. Wanting to put that behind me, I have resolved to start trusting my instincts. How can you start trusting instincts when past has proven you as not a good judge of what's right and wrong?

Hindsight is 20/20 they say and how true that is. Now entering a new phase in my life, I wonder if I can trust my instincts. I want to trust them when I feel that my life is getting better and better and I have to let down the walls and learn to trust others again. Is it that easy though? Not at all.

In my first manuscript, trusting someone with her heart, my heroine found was most difficult. After writing The End, I realized that allowing her to begin to trust the hero of the story, I found myself letting go of pieces of the walls surrounding my heart. As it was shattered in the near past, I realized that sometimes you don't trust your instincts and it brings more pain than is bearable.

So as I enter this new phase in my life, walls built up high around my heart, yet not letting go of the love of my life, I wonder if I can trust again. Can I allow those walls to crash down and can I allow my hero to help repair those shattered pieces. My instinct says yes. How well can I trust that instinct if in the past I have ignored it and regretted it.

If we can write happily ever after, why can't we live it? No, we can't write the hero to do exactly as we want, but can we write our life to be as free as conflict as possible and allow ourselves to be strong and instinctive. As parents we are instinctive on how to protect our children, yet with ourselves we don't always trust our instincts and instead shut ourselves away, or hurt people we love just to get the first hurt in thinking it will save us from being hurt. In the end it only hurts us more deeply than we could have imagined.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Renewed Goals

I just finished the Winter Writing Festival from the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood. It was a fabulous time with writing sprints, supportive writers and meeting new friends. Participating in a writing festival like this pushed me to get on my writing again, setting new goals and working towards them.

I find setting monthly goals more workable than the yearly goals. Short term goals have a light at the end, easier (for me) to fulfill, which in turn brings me a renewed sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

Upon finishing the WWF at the end of February, I was able to jump in with some writing friends to do an informal March Madness. Keeping each other accountable during these monthly goals/sprints makes me more aware of my goals and somehow the competitiveness in my kicks in and the writing pours out.

So my goal for March -- finish my current novel Mirrored Deception. I have already started the process of editing with my critique group, which also gives me a push to finish it as they want to know more of what is going on, and what will happen next.

What are you March goals -- writing or just life related?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cabin Fever

I have lived in New England all my life and yet winter is not my favorite season. In fact, I absolutely hate the snow. I'm not an outdoor person, especially in winter, and do everything I can to avoid going out in the terrible white stuff.

This winter we have been bombarded with snowstorms, week after week. Awakening this morning to yet another snowstorm, I am starting to feel the walls close in on me. The driveway gets narrower and narrower with no place to put the newly fallen snow. I can't even get to my front door with the amount of snow we have.

I long to get away to someplace warm and tropical. A beach to lie on, soaking up the sun. Instead I sit inside and try to write. At least my characters can enjoy the sun and ocean, the warmth of a summer season, or the crispness of fall.

I long for the feel of warm sand under my feet as I listen to the waves lapping the beach. A few years ago my kids gave me a picture of the ocean, that when turned on has the sound of waves. This picture soothes my cabin fever.

Do you have a favorite season? Or a season that makes you just want to climb the walls?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Moving Forward

Changes in our lives come in many ways. I sit here this morning thinking about some changes my son is going through. He just played his last basketball season of his middle school life. They were undefeated through the season and the tournament, taking first place. His love of basketball is amazing for me to watch. He has spent years perfecting the game, spending hours at practice, open gym and outside in our yard shooting -- even in the middle of winter. He works hard at this love he has and it shows. As he transitions to high school and looks forward to his high school basketball career I notice the similarities we have.

As a new writer, I started with taking classes to learn the profession. The rights, the wrongs and the in between. As my writing progressed, the more I was compelled to "practice" and increased my efforts to learn the craft. Rejection after rejection spurred me on to perfect my love. When the email came that my first novel had sold, it projected me into a new phase of this profession. Continuing to write, working with critique partners, moving more in to social media and getting my name out there with a web page took on new meaning.

Our lives change daily. Decisions we make change us. Circumstances in our lives change us. I look at the changes I have been through, some with awe that I made it through and some with regret of the choices I made, but I look at the course my life is taking with excitement and a renewed love for my writing.

Welcome the changes in your life and enjoy the ride.