Susan Rae, Romantic Suspense Author

Romance and Suspense…The Best of Both Worlds!

Put Those Winter Blues to Bed!

Winter Blues got you down? Tired of watching all those streaming series on TV that never seem to end? Need a few happy endings along with some spicy suspense to heat up your life? Good News! If you haven’t had a chance to read them yet, all of the books in my DeLuca Family Romantic Suspense series are available for download from along with freefall. Click on EXPLORE MY BOOKS or click HERE to go directly to Amazon. Happy Reading!

SAFER AT HOME–All my e-books $.99

During this difficult time of Covid-19, I am trying to do my part by staying home and offering some romantic escapism to help you stay at home, too.  All of my e-books are $.99 on Amazon…Click on the following titles and they will take you to the links.  Heartbeats and Freefall will be available for $.99 through April 15th. If you’ve already read those but haven’t had the chance to read Ice Blue and True blue, they will be $.99 through May 15th.  Better still, if you are a member of Kindle Unlimited, you can read them for free!

Okay, so it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted on my website. It’s been even longer since I’ve written a new novel. All I can say is, “life happens.”  And well, I guess that is my point.  I lost a very dear friend and family member in 2014 in a tragic accident. (She was a nurse, by the way, who I know would be selflessly giving of herself now if she were here.) That took a lot out of me. I also started having more grandchildren. Between that and some medical issues, I decided I wanted to spend more time out there living in the world, spending as much time with my loved ones as I could, and less time sitting behind a computer in isolation–because that is basically what you do when you write a book, or at least that is the way this author works. When I am writing a suspense novel, I spend countless hours a day researching, brainstorming, plotting, and then diligently getting the words to flow through my fingers onto the screen. (Although, even then, I admit, I am never truly alone because all those characters are there with me—and I am never truly tied down to my chair, because I am experiencing all the amazing settings and crazy adventures that my characters are experiencing.)

I’ve also spent the last two years designing, general contracting, and building our retirement home with my husband.  That alone has been quite a whirlwind of creativity, as well as endless activity.

But the last couple of months, with the house almost done, I’ve been thinking of dragging my manuscripts out as those characters have stubbornly nudged their way to the forefront of my consciousness.

Now enter Covid-19 and SAFER at HOME (which our adopted state of Wisconsin’s Governor Evers declared on March 25 and which I believe sounds better and more accurate than Social Isolation). I figure it is as good a time as any to start writing again. But, more importantly, I would like to help ease the burden of some of you staying safe at home by offering all my e-books on sale at for only $.99 each, so you, too, can virtually escape your four walls for a bit and enjoy some romance and suspense with the doctors, paramedics, and officer heroes in the DeLuca Series and Freefall.  Just click on the following titles and they will take you to the links on Amazon.  Heartbeats and Freefall will be available for $.99 through April 15th. If you’ve already read those but haven’t had the chance to read Ice Blue and True blue, they will be $.99 through May 15th.  Better still, if you are a member of Kindle Unlimited, you can read them for free!

However way you choose to pass these next few weeks, please stay SAFER at HOME, but if you are one of our true heroes that must be on the front lines—perhaps the nurse, the doctor, the grocery store clerk, the postman, the paramedic, the police officer–please stay safe, God bless you, and Thank-You for helping us all survive this scary, turbulent time.


Freefall is Now Available on!

Just in case you missed it, freefall, my Wisconsin/Door County romantic suspense-mystery novel is now available in eBook at with its brand new cover!

freefall cover rendering x 5-001“Everett held her tightly, aware of the violent beating of his heart. He felt as if he was falling—freefalling through 15,000 feet—without a parachute. It was exciting, thrilling—and deadly. He’d brought Kate up here to protect her, to keep her out of trouble. He’d told himself he owed that much to Keith. Now all he wanted to do was take her down into the cabin and ravage her ’til dawn…”

Freak accident or attempted murder? Kate needs answers to her brother’s plane crash, but her quest to unravel the mystery throws her into the turbulent wake of suave pilot/mechanic Everett Larsen. His penetrating gray gaze ignites in her a passion as powerful as a jet stream, but it also sparks a memory…
Drawn to Milwaukee by Keith’s cryptic message, Larsen is unprepared for the assault of emotion he feels when he sees Kate–after his wife’s death, he is afraid to love again. But when Kate insists on helping out at her brother’s aircraft repair shop and gets too close to the truth, he is even more afraid to lose her.

All three DeLuca Family books now up on Amazon!

Final Heartbeats cover 2Susan Rae ICE blue Final Cover to AmazonSusan Rae Final TRUE blue Cover for Amazon

I’ve been very busy getting the books formatted and up again on The process included designing new covers. I’m happy to reveal them now. To purchase the e-books direct from Amazon, just click on the pics! (Be sure to check out their great reviews while you’re there!)

New cover for heartbeats, books uploaded to Amazon!

Final Heartbeats cover 2   Introducing heartbeats new cover! It’s been quite the learning curve formatting my books and designing new covers so I can get them back up on Amazon and available for readers.  But yes, we have success!  heartbeats is now up and available for purchase!  And I just uploaded ICE blue and TRUE blue, DeLuca Family 1 and 2, along with freefall.  All three should be available for purchase in the next day or so. Although I don’t have covers for those yet, I wanted to make the books available for readers of heartbeats who want to read the next books.  I’ll be adding covers next week. heartbeats, available now at!

Sadly, Musa Publishing has gone out of business. Stay tuned for future Blog Post announcing new ways to purchase both e-book and printed copies of my novels.

Sadly, my publishing company, has closed its virtual doors, giving its authors only eight days notice before doing so.  It has been a nice run with Musa getting my books out, but I am now left to scramble to make my novels available again to my readers.  However, although Musa is gone, I am still writing and am very excited about this next phase of my career–self-publishing my current and new novels and making them available in both e-book and printed versions.  This will take me a little time to set up. I will be posting information on how to get my books just as soon as I get them up and running. Thanks for stopping by.  In the meantime, you can still check out the reviews on the review tab at the top of the page!

And, if you drop me an email through my contact link, I will let you know personally as soon as my novels are up and running again. Thanks for stopping by.

Until, hopefully, the near future,

Respectfully yours,

Susan Rae

Family Holiday Traditions

IMG_6384“Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents!”

That’s the opening line from which famous novel?

(As the holidays approach, I am wishing you all a very merry Christmas and reposting this from the MusaPublishing Blog. Enjoy your time with family and friends this holiday season!)

If you guessed, Little Woman, you are correct. It’s also the opening line of the play, spoken by the feisty Jo–the role I was thrilled to perform in my school’s eighth-grade presentation of Little Women. Even then, I have to admit, it was probably a bit of typecasting as I was already showing an interest in novel writing.

And yes, it would seem Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without any presents, especially for children. As for Jo and her sisters, they were lamenting the fact that their father was off fighting in a war and the family had no money for presents. At first, they begin to contemplate spending their own hard-earned money on presents for themselves, until they realize that self-sacrifice, giving to others, is actually more satisfying, and that spending Christmas in the company of family and friends is more valuable than any present they could receive.

As we grow older, we too realize that Christmas is much more about giving than receiving, and very much more about being able to spend the holidays in the company of family and friends. But along with all that family gathering, we also have our traditions: some handed down from generation to generation, some new traditions which we start as our families grow and become more spread out. With Christmas almost here, I thought it would be fun to talk about family holiday traditions.

So what is your “Christmas won’t be Christmas without ______!”

In our home, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Grandma’s Christmas Jell-O, or a huge platter of the family recipe lasagna, or the Swedish glögg which my husband starts on the stove the morning of our gathering. The spices waft through the house as the children arrive with their own kids in tow. I suppose one might think Jell-O, lasagna, and glögg is a strange combination, but it is actually a blend of old family traditions. My husband is of Italian/English descent, thus the lasagna; I am of Swedish descent and my husband adopted the making of the glögg; and as for the Jell-O, when my children were small, my brothers and sisters and all their children would gather at my parents’ home on Christmas Eve and no matter what the dinner’s main course was, we always had our Christmas Jell-O. I guess that couldn’t be more Midwestern American.

Now the children have moved further away and have their own small children so understandably they want to be at their own homes for Christmas Eve and for Santa on Christmas day. That’s something I completely understand, so although our get-together may not always be on Christmas Day, we still gather the day or the weekend after Christmas and it is great fun. We have a quick snack, let the children open their presents, and then the adults spend the rest of the day relaxing and enjoying each other’s company while the children play with their gifts and their cousins, and at some point, of course, we have our Christmas dinner.

Another tradition which we have started recently, as our children live further away, is that when the kids are here for Thanksgiving, they help take out our Christmas decorations, we put up the tree, and the grandchildren put the ornaments on the tree. I’ve learned to love that just as much as our Christmas celebration. So you see, the more things change, the more things say the same.

So I ask again, what are some of your family’s traditions? How would you complete the line, “Christmas won’t be Christmas without _______!”

If you’d like the recipe for Grandma’s Christmas Jell-O, a fun go-together with any meal, CLICK HERE.

Thank you for spending this time with me. Again, have a very Merry Christmas and Joyous Holiday Season.

Holiday Traditions–Grandma’s Christmas Jell-O

Holiday Traditions–Grandma’s Christmas Jell-O

As the holidays approach, it’s time to think about our celebrations and family traditions. Many of our traditions center around food. One dish that Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without in our family is Grandma’s Christmas Jell-O. No matter what the main entrée, when we get together we always have to have the Jell-O. Although easy, this recipe does take time to prepare as it is a total of 12 layers. Allow at least six hours for the entire prep. (Hint: put dish in the refrigerator at least one hour ahead of time to speed up the set of the first layer.)

Sorry, I haven’t made it yet, so I don’t have a picture, but the recipe should be easy to follow! I’ll post a pic when I get one. 🙂

As we prepare for the holidays, I’m wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas!

Susan Rae

Grandma’s Christmas Jell-O

Use a 13 x 9 Pyrex dish Read more…

Inspiration: Finding It In Your Own Backyard

Keeping on the theme of inspiration for NaNoWriMo, just like Dorothy states in the The Wizard of Oz, very often, “There’s no place like home.” If you’re trying to come up with an idea or a setting for your novel, sometimes you need to look no further than your own backyard, or neighborhood, or town. The most intriguing and captivating stories can be ones crafted from places and things the writer already knows. Why are these stories so captivating to readers? Because the writer is able to imbue them with details they have personal knowledge of and those details are what makes the stories pop. Yes, the old adage, “Write what you know,” is trite, but so very true.

What’s in my backyard? I live in the far northwest suburbs of Chicago, out in the cornfields. Within a couple of miles of my home is what is billed as “The World’s Largest Corn Maze” (check out When I started trolling for ideas for heartbeats, Book #1 in the DeLuca Family Series, I thought it might be fun to make my female protagonist someone who grew up on a nearby farm, then went off to the university to become a doctor, and later joined a prestigious practice in Chicago. I knew I wanted to write suspense, so I thought: What if my all grown up, sophisticated protagonist has claustrophobia issues stemming from a time when she got lost in the cornfield when she was playing hide and seek when she was young? How interesting would it be if, just as she is becoming a rising star in her profession, her one-time college roommate is murdered in her Chicago apartment, and at some point in the novel, my protagonist must return home and face her fears of being lost in the corn in order to save herself and her young daughter? I also thought it would be interesting to juxtapose the two settings of the seemingly idyllic farm country and Chicago’s busy streets, both of which I have first-hand knowledge of. And there you have it; that corn maze was the spark that ignited my imagination and allowed the storyline to take off.

In a similar vein, fellow romantic suspense author Tracie Ingersoll Loy, ( decided to set her Hartz Island Series (Slip Into the Night, Deep Into the Night) in the islands of the Pacific Northwest, not only because of the beauty of the area, but because she had personal knowledge of the islands. As Loy explains, “I felt comfortable using the islands as a setting because that was my backyard. My aunt and uncle ran an oyster farm there and I spent summers exploring the islands with my cousins from the time I was a small child, through my teenage years, and into adulthood.” Because of her experiences, Loy felt she could bring an authenticity to the stories that someone else might not be able to do. As her characters go about solving the mysteries of the fictitious Hartz island, Loy gives us details of what it’s like to take cover behind a madrono tree while watching kayakers come ashore in the middle of the night, or traveling on the car ferry, the only way on and off the island, or the camaraderie of the island’s inhabitants as they sip their morning coffee at the local café and discuss the body parts that are washing up on the otherwise tranquil beaches.

For cozy mystery writer Caryl Dierksen, (Teaching Mysteries 101), the choice for the setting for her first novel was also easy. An English teacher for over thirty years, she knew the ins and outs of the high school setting, the different personalities of the teachers and administrators which made every day at the school a new adventure, and a few little secrets of her building which she thought might be fun to use as a template for the setting of her book as she wrapped the mystery around it. And that’s the key: the high school she worked at was just a template, the personalities starting points, from which the ideas began sparking and her imagination took off, allowing her to create a truly fictitious novel but steeped in believable detail.

So, as you think of starting a novel, look around you, at what you see every day and what perhaps you take for granted, but look at it with a new creative eye. Your own perceptions and knowledge of your surroundings will allow you to bring it to life in a unique way that will bring authenticity to your story. That authenticity will carry your readers right along with you as you unfold the story for them, whether it be a mystery/suspense novel, romance, fantasy, or whatever, because, for inspiration for your story ideas or settings, very often, “There’s no place like home.”

Now click your heels together three times and start writing!

Until next time,

Susan Rae  

Finding Inspiration In The Company of a Roomful of Aspiring Authors for NaNoWriMo

And a few novel writing tips!Writers Toolkit Presentation, Susan Rae Intro10_1_2014 webste

Last week I had the opportunity to help present a program titled, “Building your Writer’s Tool Box,” with fellow authors Elizabeth Harmon and Caryl Dierksen. The idea was to give inspiration to writers along with some tips on how to write a complete novel in a month as they gear up along with thousands of other writers who will attempt to write a complete novel in November: National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo.)

I have to say, though, that I was the one inspired by the forty or so aspiring novelists gathered for the presentation. There is something so soul soothing about being in a room full of people who get what you do and why you do it. Seeing all those eager faces, pens poised ready to take notes, excited to get started, I could almost feel my brain and heart give a huge sigh, just before all those creative synapses started firing again as if I’d had a triple mocha latte. These people understand what it means when characters are talking in your head, wake you up in the middle of the night as you try to reconcile an argument they’ve had, insist on turning your story in one direction when you had planned on them doing something completely different. They also understand the need to write, the urge to create, despite any obstacles that might be tossed your way. Read more…

So you’ve always wanted to write a novel…here’s your chance!

One of the things I hear often when talking to readers is how they have an idea for a novel, but just haven’t gotten around to writing it. The reasons they give are many—time constraints, not being quite sure how to start, or perhaps they’ve written a chapter or two—or more, but don’t know how to proceed from there.

Well, if you’re one of those aspiring authors, here’s your chance to gain some important tools of the trade and hopefully inspire you to get on with it!   On Wednesday, October 1st, mystery writer, Caryl Dierksen, free-lance journalist and author, Elizabeth Harmon, and yours truly will be presenting Building Your Writer’s Tool-Kit at the Crystal Lake Public Library. We will cover topics like developing character ideas, plots, timelines, outlines (or none), and doing enough research to get you started but not so much that it bogs you down. We’ll also discuss how to clear the distractions from your life so you can do the thing you really want to do.

The presentation is set just in time to get you geared up for November’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) when you can join thousands of other aspiring novelists in creating a 50,000 word first draft of the novel that’s kicking around inside you, dying to come out.

We start at 7 p.m.. The program is free and you don’t have to live in the Crystal Lake area to attend. Click CLPL–Building Your Writer’s Tool Kit to take you directly to the Library’s sign up page for the workshop, or go to and select the Calendar tab.

You’ve thought about it. Make this the year you do it. See you there!

A Word About Setting and Its Influence on the Story — And a Chance to win a FREE e-copy of TRUE blue!

TRUE blue is the third installment of my mystery/suspense series based on a Chicago cop family, the DeLucas. So why, you might ask, is there a picture of a mountain lake and a waterfall on the cover?

Good question. Yes, two thirds of the story in TRUE blue does take place in the streets of Chicago. Chicago is a fascinating city compiled of seventy-seven different neighborhoods that house the poorest of the poor to the richest of the rich and every socioeconomic class in between. Diversity is Chicago’s middle name. The streets are bustling with commerce, culture, and unfortunately in many instances, crime. Given all that, what better place to set a mystery/suspense novel? From the often serene beauty of Lake Michigan and the famous Chicago skyline to the tired apartment complexes of the inner city, Chicago is ripe for stories of personal triumph and despair.

And, for a pair of married detectives, it is filled with cases that need to be solved. But life can be hectic in this bustling city when you are attempting to keep up with your current case load while trying to solve a twenty-four year old murder, deal with the return of a childhood sweetheart, keep a marriage together, and raise a very active three-year old all at the same time. Oh, and then there’s the extended family and all their issues to contend with.  (Read on and leave a comment to automatically be entered to win a free e-book copy of TRUE blue! Drawing for the winner will be on August 3.) Read more…

TRUE blue Virtual Tour Reviews, Wrap Up and Giveaway!

UPDATE:  And the winner is–Cheryl clb!  Enjoy your Amazon Gift Card!

And a big thank you to everyone who joined me on the tour.


Only TWO DAYS left in the TRUE blue Virtual Tour.  See the reviews and enter to win a $20.00 Amazon Gift Certificate! I’m very excited that the Amazon review rating is 5 Stars!

TRUE Blue Tour Banner

Click HERE for tour!

To read the first FOUR chapters of TRUE blue, Click HERE!

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Reading!

Susan Rae


June 4 – Sarah Says Read Romance – Review
June 17 – Texas Book Nook – Review
July 1 – Books are Love – Review
July 2 – Bookish Lover – Review
July 3 – Mommasez… – Review
July 4 – Amazeballs Book Addicts – Review
July 9 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review
July 10 – Books are Love – Review



The TRUE Blue Virtual Tour Continues

Steamy Suspense with a husband and wife as the hero and heroine? That’s the topic at PureJonel. Please join me for the discussion and to enter the $20.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

Follow the tour for reviews and more insights into the writing of TRUE blue.

June 11 –  Pure Jonel – Guest Post
June 16 – Indie Authors You Want to Read – Excerpt
June 17 – Texas Book Nook – Review
June 18 – Book Suburbia– Excerpt
June 23 – What Is That Book About – Guest Post
June 24 – Let’s Get Booked – Excerpt
June 25 – Books A To Z – Interview
June 30 – Mythical Books – Guest Post
July 1 – Books are Love – Review
July 2 – Bookish Lover – Review
July 3 – Mommasez… – Review
July 4 – Amazeballs Book Addicts – Excerpt
July 8 – The Book Faery Reviews – Guest Post
July 9 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review
July 10 – Books are Love – Review
July 10 – Books Direct – Excerpt
July 11 – RABT Reviews – Wrap Up

The TRUE blue Virtual Tour is Underway!

Follow along for insights into the writing, interviews, reviews and an opportunity to win a $20.00 Gift Card from Amazon! It starts today with the kickoff and a Meet and Greet.  Enjoy!

TRUE blue Virtual Book Tour

May 30th through July 11th

TRUE Blue Tour Banner

Follow along for reviews and insights into the writing of TRUE blue and enter to win a $20.00 Amazon Gift Certificate!

May 30 – Reading Addiction Blog Tours – Kick Off
June 1 – Deal Sharing Aunt – Interview
June 2 – Simplistic Reviews – Excerpt
June 3 – My Devotional Thoughts – Excerpt
June 4 – Sarah Says Read Romance – Review
June 8 – The Book Diva’s Read – Excerpt
June 9 – The Avid Book Collector – Excerpt
June 10 – A Life Through Books – Interview
June 11 –  Pure Jonel – Guest Post
June 16 – Indie Authors You Want to Read – Excerpt
June 17 – Texas Book Nook – Review
June 18 – Book Suburbia– Excerpt
June 23 – What Is That Book About – Guest Post
June 24 – Let’s Get Booked – Excerpt
June 25 – Books A To Z – Interview
June 30 – Mythical Books – Guest Post
July 1 – Books are Love – Review
July 2 – Bookish Lover – Review
July 3 – Mommasez… – Review
July 3 – Sweet and Spicy Books – Excerpt
July 4 – Amazeballs Book Addicts – Review
July 8 – The Book Faery Reviews – Guest Post
July 9 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review
July 10 – Books are Love – Review
July 10 – Books Direct – Excerpt
July 11 – RABT Reviews – Wrap Up
For a sampling of TRUE blue, Click HERE.

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