Archive for the tag “Chicago”

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 Amazon.com. 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 Amazon.com!

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 RichardsonAdventureFarm.com). 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, (http://www.tracieloy.com) 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  

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 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

UPDATE:  We have a winner in TRUE blue‘s Name that Picture on the Cover Contest!  Congratulations, Cindy Erexson. You correctly identified the scene as Glacier National Park and have won a free download of TRUE blue.

Only eleven days and counting until TRUE blue‘s release. And yes, although the main characters are Chicago Cops, somewhere along the way they have to leave the city and venture to Glacier.  Although the book is intrigue and suspense, it was quite fun writing the majestic scenery into the book and sharing it with readers.

If you would like to be one of the first to get a copy of TRUE blue, click HERE to pre-order it directly from MusaPublishing today!

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Only THREE 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. You get two guesses. That’s two chances to win!

TURE blue cover Pic

The inspiration for TRUE blue’s cover!

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. For an excerpt, click HERE!

(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!

(HINT: this view is some place in the United States. Hope that helps!)

Read more…

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…

Character Interview with Elizabeth and Drake from Heartbeats

Recently I had the chance to interview Elizabeth and Drake from heartbeats for the Musa Publishing Blog.  I donned my BahBahwahwah hat and this is what happened.   Lot’s of tension between these two, to be sure!  Enjoy!

Interview with Elizabeth Iverson and Drake McGuire from heartbeats, by Susan Rae  

 Elizabeth and Drake, thank you for coming to chat with us today. We don’t often get both the hero and heroine together for these chats.  This should be fun.  Can either one of you tell me why you think Susan Rae chose the two of you to represent her today?

 Elizabeth:  I think she just felt that since it’s our story, we would be the best ones to present it.  She chose both of us, I’m sure, because we come at it from different angles.  You see, when the novel begins, it’s been six years since we have seen each other.  We met once in college, and then briefly a few years later, but since then, we have both gone our separate ways. 

 Drake:  Briefly, Elizabeth?  That’s how you’re describing it now?

 Elizabeth:  Well…

 Do I detect some sarcasm there, Drake? 

 Drake:  Let’s just get on with it.

 Okay.  Elizabeth, can you tell us a little about yourself?  You’re a doctor, right?

 Elizabeth:  Yes, I am.

 Did you always want to be a doctor?

 Elizabeth:  Honestly?  As long as I can remember.  You see, I grew up on a farm about forty-five miles from here, in the far northwest suburbs of Chicago.  Thinking back, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t dream about becoming a doctor. When I was little, my Barbie dolls didn’t wear clothes; they wore bandages and tourniquets.  I was always pretending to try out the latest medical procedure on some poor, unsuspecting farm animal—with some very interesting results, as you can imagine.  My parents didn’t have a lot of money, but I made it to the university on a scholarship.  When my dad died of a heart attack while I was in med school, I decided to specialize in cardiology.  That’s my passion, cardiology—both intervention and prevention.  That, and of course, my daughter, Allison—the light of my life.

 I understand you’re a single mother. Read more…

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