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TRUE blue Cover Reveal–Contest!

Available May 16th from www.musapublishing.com, Amazon.com, and all major eBook Retailers

Available May 16th from http://www.musapublishing.com, Amazon.com, and all major eBook Retailers

Only five weeks and counting until TRUE blue’s release… and we have a cover!

I’m very excited about this one and in honor of its reveal, I am offering a FREE eBook copy of TRUE blue to the first person who leaves a comment on this post or on my Facebook page who correctly identifies where the background picture is taken.

True Blue: Book Three in the DeLuca Family Series

When Lt. Detective Joey DeLuca’s childhood flame breezes into Chicago seeking answers to her father’s twenty-four year old murder, the situation heats up for Joey, his wife Andi, and the entire DeLuca clan.

(All DeLuca Series books can be enjoyed as stand-alone novels.)

Enter to be the first one to get a copy of TRUE blue when it is released May 16th! Read more…

Beta Readers–You’ve got to love them!

Or…What happens when they point out something in your novel that could make it stronger but would require some significant revising just days before your first edits are due back to your editor?

In a perfect world, you would have finished your manuscript and sent it to your Beta readers long before your first edits come back.  Ah yes…in a perfect world. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.

So, what do you do? First of all, you have to believe in your Beta Readers.  For that, you cannot have just anyone as a
Beta Reader. You need people you trust. People who are not going to love anything you write just because you wrote it, but people who read a lot, and read in the genre that you write. They don’t all have to be writers themselves, but one or two writers in the group is nice, especially if one of them has editing experience also.  How many readers should you have?  That’s up to you.  I have four whose opinions I value highly.

So now you’re Beta Readers have read the manuscript and pointed out some things that you might have missed in the story: things that were not said, but maybe should have been said; things you assumed readers would understand but that did not come across clearly in the manuscript; things that didn’t sound quite right to your readers; etc.  You take all their comments to heart, decide which ones you need to address and fix some, but you don’t necessarily make all the changes they suggest. Sometimes only one reader will have a problem with something and you have to decide if it is really is a problem or not.  Occasionally, however, there is an item that multiple readers come up with.

That’s what happened to me with TRUE blue, and to be honest, it was a change I was toying with as I wrote the novel, but had decided to leave as I originally envisioned.  Now, though, just days before the edits are due, three bring up this main point and feel the storyline would be stronger if I do this little change, which really isn’t so little as it is interwoven throughout the entire book!

Of course, I’m not going to tell you what it is. :-) That might spoil the story for you.  But I had to ask myself before I did any changes to the manuscript, would this main change really make the story stronger?  Would it make a significant enough difference in the character arch to justify the revisions? And, what did my editor think about it?  I sent off an email to my editor. She replied that she really didn’t see a problem, that the story worked just fine the way it was, but yes, changing it would work, also.  It was up to me to decide.  I still needed to meet the deadline, though.

So now what do I do?  Well, I decided to work through all of the edits first while I mulled over the bigger change. Finally, when all the edits were done, I decided that yes, in my heart I knew that what my Beta readers were telling me was true–and, although it would require more work, I also knew that I owed it to myself to put out the best work I possibly could. I made a new manuscript file, figured out the best way to make the change with the least amount of revising, and dove in.

Two days later, the manuscript, complete with all edits addressed and the new changes incorporated, was done–two days before I said I’d have it back to the editor. Yeah!

And yes, I do believe the story is stronger for it.

So, Beta Readers…It takes a lot of courage to put a manuscript out there to your first readers.  But if you want comments, be ready to accept what they give you, and be ready to put the work in if they come up with an item that might require a fairly significant revision. Of course, as a writer, one way to look  it is as just another awesome challenge to get the story just right.

To all my Beta Readers…Love you. Thanks! To my readers, only FIVE MORE WEEKS until TRUE blue’s release.  Until then, I thought I would leave you with this tease…

Sometimes we must revisit the past to embrace our future.

Twenty-four years ago, the murder of a Chicago police officer changed Joey DeLuca’s life.  He lost his best friend and first love, Meghan McConnell, when her mother whisked her out of town.  Now, on the eve of another officer’s death, Meghan is back and about to step into his life again.

There is very little gray in Joey’s line of work as a Lt. Detective–it is either black or white, right or wrong. But Meghan’s insistence on finding answers to her father’s murder threatens those beliefs and throws his marriage to CPD Detective Andi, his career, and the entire DeLuca family in jeopardy when new revelations come to light.

Can Joey save his marriage, solve the murder, and keep his family together all at the same time?

Until next time,

Happy Reading!

Susan Rae 

The Spirit–And Making Sense Of It All

Diane Nurse-cropped

Diane McCowan Shogren

Authors write about life, love, heartache, turmoil, joy, hardship, and death; and in doing so, we try to make sense of it all. Sometimes, though, especially when terrible, random events happen resulting in a tragic death, it is difficult to find the sense involved. So it would seem with the untimely death of my sister-in-law, Diane. I am not an especially religious person–I attend church only occasionally, but I do believe in God and a purpose for everyone on Earth. Do I believe he has some master plan, though, and that he took Diane from us as a part of that plan? My first reaction is no, that horrible things just happen, and it is through his strength that we find our own strength to deal with such loss.

However, these days I find myself waffling on that score.  If God did, indeed, need a kind, compassionate, loving soul to care for troubled souls in Heaven, Diane would be his girl. Years ago I wrote the following poem.  Originally titled Autumn, I have retitled it, The Spirit, in honor of Diane as I try to make sense out of it all.

The Spirit

Light illumines through the leaves,

The Sun, golden, shines through,

Like…the bright light when dying.

Is it God, or is it you?

Now when I glimpse the sunlight shining through the leaves as I play on the golf course, or sit beneath a tree, pondering the lives, joys, hardships, and yes, tragic deaths of the characters in my novels, I will think of Diane and recall her loving, caring spirit and believe that her soul is still working for good. Diane, we miss you, but I consider you one of our guardian angels. You were on Earth; I have to believe you are even more of one in Heaven.

It seems like your work is not done, my friend.

Wishing You All A Very Merry Chistmas!

Christmas came early to our house this year.  How fun it was to have the daughters, son-in-laws, and grandchildren for the day.  The only one missing was the number one son, but he was totally in our hearts.  The hubby and I are looking forward to visiting him sometime in the next couple of months.  So now, with Christmas Eve upon us, we are wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas.  May your hearts be filled with love and joy, may all those you hold dear be safe, and may the new year be replete with hopes and dreams fulfilled.

Until Next Year,

Susan Rae

Cyber Monday SALE: ALL e-books 50% off at MUSAPublishing.com

It’s Cyber Monday at Musa Publishing. ALL E-BOOKS 50% OFF!
The weather outside may be frightful, but the fire is definitely heating up between Chicago Paramedic Angela DeLuca and ICE Agent Troy Deavers.  It’s the perfect season to enjoy ICE blue! 
Start your purchasing here, and then continue on to see the other great reads MUSA has to offer. http://musapublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=7&products_id=561
Now, while your having fun shopping, I’m getting back to work on TRUE blue, Part #3 of the DeLuca Family Series!
Until next time,
Happy Reading,
Susan

Number of Stitches vs. Number of Words

AfghanWhich is more?  The number of stitches in this afghan, or the number of words in one of my novels?

I have been crocheting this afghan for one of my grandsons.  I owe him as I did not crochet him a baby blanket like I did for my granddaughters.  Mind you, I didn’t mean to slight him, really, I just never thought of crocheting him one at the time because I was crazy busy. Actually, it’s turning out to be a great deal for him, because this one is much larger than any baby afghan I might have given him and the colors aren’t babyish at all. He’ll be able to use it right through grade school and high school and maybe even onto college and even after that.  Practical, right?  Of course, I realize I’ve set myself up now.  I’m going to have to do new ones for the girls when they are older, so they have them as they move forward in life, too.

But that’s okay. I enjoy crocheting the afghans, especially when I need a break from writing.  You see, crocheting an afghan is so the opposite of writing a novel. With a novel, I have to think about every word.  With the afghan, I barely have to think at all. Once I figure out the pattern, it’s just a matter of counting, and counting, and counting, one stitch after the other.  It’s quite mind numbing, which is great.

But it does seem to take me forever to finish one (actually three to four months—just like working on a novel, it’s impossible to crochet non-stop), so I was wondering the other day, how does the number of stitches in an afghan compare to the number of words in one of my novels?

Let’s see, ten stitches up, three in one, ten stitches down, skip two, times eight for eight points, two slip stitches, turn—times six rows, times thirteen sections, plus the original one-hundred-eighty-five slip stitches to begin with equals—wait for it—14,693 stitches. Oh my! That seems like a lot of stitches. But the fact is, I would have to crochet six afghans to equal the number of words in one of my books!  Six afghans of non-thinking stitches.  Wow!

I don’t feel so bad now about taking five to six months to write a book.

Which I really have to get back to. So, until next time…

Happy Reading,

Susan Rae

For The Romance Of It All

Welcome to my blog and The Romance Reviews’ Fall into Romance Blog Hop.  

Read on for my interview with fellow romantic suspense author Tracie Ingersoll Loy. Afterwards, leave a comment and you will be automatically entered into a drawing for a free download of one of my novels, your choice!  Follow my blog, and you’ll receive a second entry.  Then click on the button at the end of the post to continue on with the hop for more great opportunities to win prizes.  (Please note, you don’t have to do all your hopping in one day.  You can space yourself out over 9 days. The hop will end on Saturday, September 21, at 11:59pm EST.)

Happy Hopping!

Today, I am featuring fellow romantic suspense author Tracie Ingersoll Loy and her debut novel, Slip Into the Night.  I truly enjoyed this novel as it took me to the islands of the Pacific Northwest, one of the many places in the U.S. I have yet to visit, but plan to add to my list now.  I love romantic settings.  I especially love them when they are juxtaposed against danger and intrigue.  It’s what I strive for in my own novels.  (For more information on my books, Click Here.)  An author with a similar heart, Loy does this well in Slip Into the Night.   Part woman’s fiction, part mystery, part romance–there is something for everyone in her novel.  And if all the mystery isn’t completely tied up at the end, that’s okay, because Loy’s sequel, Deep Into the Night, is coming in October!

While I work on Book Three in the DeLuca Family series, TRUE blue, which promises a trip to Montana’s majestic Glacier National Park, let me step aside and let Ms. Loy take the stage.  Here is my brief interview with her along with the blurb and buy link for Slip Into the Night.

Hello, Tracie.  Thanks for joining us today.

1.  Can you tell us why you chose the Pacific Northwest and specifically Hartz Island for your setting in Slip Into the Night Is Hartz Island a real island?  Hartz Island is fictitious. I created the island from several islands in the San Juan chains. My Aunt and Uncle lived up in the islands and we visited them in the summers.

Read more…

Writing Doggy Heroes Into Your Novel, or Don’t Leave Them Home Alone!

Photo

Midget and Gidget (The one of the left is Midget)

As I retreat back into my writing cave to work on TRUE blue, the sequel to ICE blue, I thought I would repost some of the blogs I wrote for the ICE blue virtual tour.  This first one is dedicated to my best friend and the recent loss of a little Chihuahua named Midget who was very dear to her. 

             Oh, how we love our dogs.  Well, mostly.  Okay, I admit it, friends and family have often heard me say I am not a dog person.  So why do I have two of them?  Why do I take such good care of them? And why did I use one of them as a template (granted, given a sex change) for a key character in my new novel, ICE blue?  It’s because I just couldn’t resist the fluffy white ball of fur with the little black eyes when I met her.  She was so cute (and, yes, still is), that I thought she would make a perfect companion for Angela, my heroine, as she is trying to cope with loss and moving on with her life.   I also thought the little button-nosed puppy would make the most unlikely hero.Nikkie

Yes, Half-pint truly is a hero in ICE blue.  He gets to join the ranks of Lassie and Rin Tin Tin (who, by the way, was a real dog) and a contemporary children’s favorite, Bolt.

Dogs are our constant companions.  They love us without conditions, are loyal beyond reason, and often come to the rescue in the direst of times.  The internet is filled with stories of real life dog heroes.  But notice, I said constant companions.  Unlike a cat or a gerbil or a turtle or fish that you can leave for a couple of days and go about your business (you can get auto-feeders for such pets), dogs cannot be left alone for more than a few hours at a time.  You must feed them, let them out, or find someone who will, even if you’re going to be gone for just a day.  The same is true for the dogs in your novel.  And if you’re writing a romance novel, you have to figure out what you’re going to do with the insistent little pup when your hero and heroine want to make love.

So, if your heroine suddenly traipses off to solve a murder, or gets sequestered in a safe house, or works twenty-four hour shifts as a paramedic as Angela does, you need to figure out what to do with the dog while she’s gone.  I don’t know about you, but it drives me crazy when pets or even babies are brought into the story of a book or TV show, but then suddenly disappear for days or weeks on end with no mention of where they are or who’s taking care of them.

Fortunately, this is not a problem for Half-pint and Angela.  Half-pint, one of the unlikeliest little puppy heroes you will find in any novel, plays his full part in ICE blue and stays with the story to the end.  Here is a small sample of Half-pint’s role in the novel.  Dog lovers, enjoy!

Susan Rae    

Excerpt :  ICE blue by Susan Rae

Morning light peeked around the edges of her window blinds when next she opened her eyes. With a start, she realized she must have drifted off to sleep again. Glancing at her bedside clock, she feared the worst—the sun didn’t rise in mid-January in Chicago until almost eight. Read more…

What Makes a Hero Hot?

Grab button for Hot Summer Heroes Blog Hop

UPDATE:  We have a Grand Prize winner in the Hot Summer Heroes Blog Hop.  Congratulations to Dawna N. from  romancingthereader.com‘s blog who won the
grand prize of the gift card of $100 to Amazon or Barnes & Noble (her
choice).  Yes, the hop is over, but if you are new here, read on for an excerpt from my hot summer novel, freefall, and reader’s comments as to what they think makes a hero hot.  Thanks for stopping by.  Please follow my blog for more opportunities to enter future blog hops and other insights into the writing life.

So what makes a hero hot? Is it his sexy smile, the knowing look in his eyes, or his hunky physique?  For me, it’s not just his looks, but his actions.  It’s the hero who holds back, gives a girl time to get used to him, respects her “space” even if she isn’t necessarily sure she wants it respected–especially when she’s already getting a diabetic-coma dose of eye candy just by looking at him.

Yes, a hot hero is the guy who knows when to take charge, but also knows when to take a step back, which only makes things even hotter the next time around.

Read on for a taste of what I’m talking about in an excerpt from my novel, freefall, featuring DEA agent “Spike” Larsen…and the captivating Kate Reynolds. freefallFianalCover

To read more about all my novels, please click HERE.

Enjoy!

EXCERPT:  freefall, by Susan Rae 

…Everett gave her outstretched hand a considered look. “Don’t tempt me,” he said, somewhat out of breath.

Kate noted the dangerous gleam in his eye. “Just give me the buoy,” she warned. Read more…

“Chapter One” : Two Of The Most Intimidating Yet Exhilarating Words To Type Onto A Blank Page

Chapter One 

Yes, the words can be quite intimidating, practically blinking on and off at you from the otherwise blank page.  And yet, at the same time, they can be quite exhilarating.  Characters, setting, story, all waiting, eager to be let loose.  Do you type the words, “Chapter One” and then pause for an interminable length of time and stare at the screen while you try to figure out where to begin, or do you type them and then rush forward as the story flows from your fingers?

The trick is to load up on the exhilaration side of the scale before you write, so it slams the scale down in that direction and doesn’t let the intimidation factor take hold.   How do I do that, you ask?  Read more…

Inspiration

With the summer heating up there is nothing more inspiring than children splashing in a pool.

This is my first attempt at putting a mini-movie together, getting it on You-Tube and then onto my blog, and from there to Facebook.

I hope it works, and I hope you all enjoy it!

Susan

The HOT and Deadly Blog Hop–We have a winner!

Thanks to all of you who stopped by my site during the Hot and Deadly Blog Hop.  I am happy to announce that we have a winner.  Congratulations to Shadowluvs2read!  She’s won a free download of heartbeats and freefall!

We also have a grand prize winner.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t from my site, but maybe next time!  I’ll be participating in the Hot Summer Heroes Blog Hop beginning August 18th.

Happy Reading!

Susan Rae

The Hot and Deadly Blog Hop/Giveaway is on. Start hopping now!

 Sexy athletic body

Summer is heating up, and so are the heroes in the Hot and Deadly Blog Hop!

What makes a hero deadly?  For fire paramedic Angela DeLuca, who is trying to protect an immigrant mother and her unborn baby, it’s the animal magnetism of ICE agent Troy Deavers, aka Thaddeus  Deavereux the Third in my new novel, ICE blue.  Alarm bells ring in Angela’s head as Troy’s smooth touch and passionate kisses awaken a fire in her she had long thought extinguished.

Enjoy the excerpt below, then leave a comment to be entered into a drawing for a free download of each of my first two novels heartbeats and freefall, and the chance to be entered into the Hot and Deadly Blog Hop grand-prize giveaway of a $53.50 gift certificate to B&N or Amazon, winners choice.

Click on the link after the excerpt to continue on with the hop and explore some more Hot and Deadly heroes.

Enjoy!

Susan Rae

Excerpt :  ICE blue

Cover_ICEblue_Medium-200

“More wine?”

She’d finished her glass and set it down on the table.

“No, thank you. It’s getting late and I have to be up early. I’m taking on an extra shift tomorrow.” She slid her chair back. He stood too and came around the table to help her.

“I’ll drive you home. Then I’ll grab a cab and come back and retrieve my own car.”

“Really, that’s not necessary.”

“But, given the wine we drank…as a matter of fact, maybe we both should take a cab.”

She tested her bearings as she rose. She knew her limits and she was definitely not drunk. If she was, she wouldn’t think twice about calling a cab. She’d seen far too often the results of drinking and driving. Read more…

Five Star Reviews for ICE blue!

Great reviews continue to come in for ICE blue!

5 Stars!– “ICE blue is a wonderful weaving of love that blooms amid the sad problems of poor people being exploited by ruthless powerful money seekers. Well done.” – Alberta, Manic Readers

5 Stars! – Fast Paced – Cold Drama – “Aptly titled, ‘ICE blue’ is an action packed page turning mystery thriller with a steamy romance thrown in to keep things interesting..Rae is my hero for placing the human trafficking issue in the United States at the forefront of good fiction. James Patterson can stand aside as I can’t wait to read the third volume of the DeLuca series when it comes out next year.” –Gregory S. Lamb PDX Author

5 Stars!  –Don’t let the fact that it’s the second in a series detract you. This book fully stands on its own. I loved Angela and Troy. Ms. Rae weaves a story that sticks with you.” – Brianna Soloski

I got hooked from the very beginning…Romantic suspense definitely describes this novel. I never knew what was going to happen next whether it be with Angela and Troy’s love life or their actual lives…I really enjoyed  this novel and I would recommend it to everyone.  4 Stars!— Anna Reese, My Pathway to Books 

To see more reviews, click HERE.

It’s the final week of the ICE blue Virtual Tour.  Follow along with the last stops on the tour:

May 21 – Wormy Hole - Review/Interview
May 22 – The Must Unleashed - Review
May 23 – The World as I See It - Review
May 24 – RABT Reviews – Review
Happy Reading!
Susan Rae

 

The Magic Touch Giveaway Hop–We have a Winner!

And we have a winner: Mary Roya. Congratulations!

This hop was fun.  Thanks to all of you for stopping by my site.  I’m pleased to say that ICE blue is getting some great reviews!  Click HERE to see what critics are saying about my latest sizzling suspense!

Happy Reading!  Susan

This Hop is hosted by author Kallysten and book blog Riverina Romantics. Read more…

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