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?