The ICE Man is Coming–or What Happens When Characters Insist On Having Their Stories Told
I am thrilled to announce the March 29th release of my new novel, DeLuca Family 2– ICE blue. Only fourteen days away, it is now available for preorder direct from my e-publisher, Musa Publishing. In honor of the occasion, I am giving away an ICE blue coffee mug. Leave a comment at the end of this post and you will be automatically entered into the drawing! You have until ICE blue’s release date to enter. MUSA BUY LINK
So, what’s the story behind ICE blue you ask? Before the TV series Blue Bloods, there was my novel, heartbeats, a romantic suspense tale involving The DeLucas, a Chicago Cop Family. Before Chicago Fire, there were one-hundred and fifty pages of heartbeats’ sequel, ICE blue (working title, The Fire Within.) I had the idea for ICE blue when heartbeats came out originally in paperback. So why so long before its release? All I can say is that sometimes when life (and death) happens, the writing doesn’t come so easily.
Before heartbeats’ release and barely seven months after my father passed away from cancer, my mother was diagnosed with invasive bladder cancer. Through multiple surgeries, including a triple heart bypass, chemo and radiation treatments, I was her primary caregiver and support person. During that time I would try to work on the manuscript, but eventually, as she became sicker, it grew more difficult to concentrate on the writing. Having already lost one parent, I knew that spending time with her was more important than sitting at my computer writing, especially when it became apparent that she would eventually succumb to the disease.
My mother passed away in May of 2009. Within three months of her passing, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. I am happy to say that he is cancer free now, but as you might guess, it was a very trying time for us. Almost too much to comprehend, our only goal was to get the treatment recommended by his doctor, remove the evil cancer, and come out on the other side of it being able to breathe again.
This is not to say that all was dismal during that time. It is true, you do learn to savor every moment with your loved ones when you are faced with the very real possibility that you might not have them for as long as you thought you would. And, during those difficult years, our family got more loved ones to savor. We welcomed four new grandbabies into our lives and just this last year, a fifth grandchild–all the more reason to spend precious time with family instead of writing.
But what about ICE blue? For a couple of years, I nearly gave up the writing all together. Although some writers write through adversity, for me, I had to tell myself that it was okay to let it go for a while. But ICE blue’s characters were still there, both in my head and in those one-hundred and fifty pages, and they were urging me to finish their story. Finally, after signing a contract with Musa Publishing for the re-release of heartbeats in an e-book and the publication of my second novel, freefall, I decided it was time to give Angela DeLuca, the youngest sibling of the DeLuca Family, and ICE Special Agent Troy Deavers their full voice so they would stop nagging me. Besides, with every newspaper article I read, I realized that their compelling story needed to be told. I also knew that the previous years’ experiences could only serve to make my writing all the richer.
Please, enjoy the following blurb and excerpt, and know that even if you haven’t read heartbeats, you can still enjoy ICE blue. Each novel has its own suspense story and is complete within itself. However, once you read ICE blue, I’m guessing you’ll want to read heartbeats and explore Drake and Elizabeth’s dilemma and how they came together.
When lives are on the line, sometimes the wrong thing is the right thing to do.
Born into a Chicago cop family, while her brothers get their rush from catching bad guys, paramedic Angela DeLuca gets hers from saving lives. A tough beauty with a heart perhaps too big, Angela champions the underdog because, as the youngest of six siblings, she often felt like one.
ICE Special Agent Troy Deavers became a cop to prove he wasn’t like his father—a southern politician who brought his family down with greed and corruption. Troy doesn’t suffer victims well. At first intrigued by Angela’s passion, he soon fears that the fire in Angela’s heart will be her undoing.
What happens when Troy falls in love with the lovely but infuriating Angela, the Chicago paramedic who insists on protecting a young witness and her unborn baby—a witness who could break his case wide open?
You met the DeLuca family in heartbeats, now come to know them even better in ICE blue.
A rush of adrenaline shot through Angela as she approached the accordioned car where a cop stood, adamantly motioning her over.
“What’ve we got?” she asked the officer. Another man, not a cop or rescue person she presumed, as he wore no uniform jacket—hell, he wasn’t wearing a jacket at all—stood beside the officer, his back to her. His head and arms disappeared into the opening where the driver’s window should be. Blood, bright red and vibrant against the white snow, trickled from beneath the door at the man’s feet…
She touched the shoulder of the man leaning through the window.
“Hey, it’s okay, we’ll take it from here.”
The guy didn’t seem to hear her. More rescue vehicles were arriving on scene, sirens blaring.
She called more loudly. “Hey, I said we’ve got it!”
Finally he turned and gave her a quick assessment. She could swear she saw a touch of amusement in those blue-green eyes he flashed at her.
“Listen, lady, if I ease up on this,” he said smoothly, “this guy’ll bleed out.” Turning his back to her, he said to the driver, “Hang in there, buddy. I’ve got you covered.”
The heat rose in Angela’s cheeks, but she refused to let the anger bite. Hell, she’d been underestimated before. Lots of times. Her CFD parka practically dwarfed her slim five-foot-six frame, but she’d learned to make up for her lack of stature with her muscle-building workouts at the gym. She could run with the best of them and she wasn’t about to let this jerk get to her now. Setting down her jump bag, she grabbed her flashlight out of her pocket and nudged the guy’s shoulder.
“Hey, give me a little room here!” she yelled into his ear. In response, he glanced back at her briefly again. He adjusted his shoulders a few inches, graciously allowing her to direct the beam of the flashlight into the car.
Angela did a quick visual of the driver. His face was pale, his forehead bleeding from a gash above his right eye; his hands, still grasping the steering wheel, also bled from multiple lacerations. The driver’s legs were pinned against the console and ragged metal from the car door, which had buckled with the impact of the crash, had mangled his thighs. Bare hands, the man-in-the-window’s, covered in blood, pressed a wad of something—a jacket?—against the driver’s left thigh. The pressure was slowing the flow of blood for now, but it was clear to Angela that a main artery was severed. In this cold, if they didn’t get him out soon, the driver would very likely lose his leg, if not his life.
“Hey, how are we doing?” she called in to the driver. He barely blinked. Something inaudible escaped his lips. Josie arrived with blankets and another equipment bag.
“See if you can get at him from the other side,” Angela called as she squeezed her arm in beside the man-in-the-window’s shoulder and pressed her fingers against the driver’s throat. He was tachy. His skin cold and clammy.
Withdrawing her hand, she bent, unzipped her jump bag, and grabbed a handful of trauma dressings. “Listen, thanks for your help,” she said firmly to the man beside her, “but we’ve got it now.” She ripped a couple of gauze packs open with her teeth and added, “You’d better get into a warm car yourself or we’ll be treating you next.” The guy’s wavy, mid-length hair and cotton-shirted shoulders were quickly becoming coated with snow. It was clear he wasn’t from around here given his lack of outerwear.
He cocked his head toward her again and this time there was no mistaking that amused look. Angela shot him her most official glare. Her hands, loaded with supplies, were poised, ready to do battle just as soon as he got the hell out of her way.
His eyes narrowed ever so slightly on her. He glanced back into the car where Josie was squeezing in through the passenger window and settled his gaze once more on Angela. “If you’re sure you’re ready?”
Shit! Was this guy for real? “Out of my way,” she ordered.
“Fine, he’s all yours.”
Before she was barely aware of it, he had backed out of the window and was holding his bloodied hands up into the air.
With an irritated shake of her head, Angela shoved past him, head and hands diving through the open window. With the pressure released, blood soaked more quickly through the jacket. She eased the jacket aside to expose the gash and slammed the gauze dressing against the pulsing artery. In the slight gap that remained of the front passenger compartment, Josie ripped I.V. packages open and readied a needle to pump the guy with fluids.
The driver started to shake, shock taking hold.
“Hold on there, buddy,” she called to him, but he drifted into unconsciousness; his eyes rolled back in his head. The sweet smell of warm blood against the crisp, frigid air burned Angela’s nostrils. She felt a chill snake up her own spine. She and Josie were locked in a battle against time and the cold—they had to keep this guy alive until Rescue could get him out of here.
Glancing out the window, she noted that Mr. Helpful was gone. Thank God!
“Where the hell are those Jaws?” she yelled at the officer.
It’d been a long night. She’d already lost one patient on her watch, she’d be damned if she’d lose another.
Copyright © 2013 by Susan Rae