Romantic Suspense author Susanne Matthews joins MuseTracks today to talk about dreams and her debut release FIRE ANGEL. How exciting! Please help us welcome and congratulate her. Comment and you could win an e-copy of Fire Angel!
Take it away, Susanne.
Blog: A Dream Come True
LOCAL AUTHOR PUBLISHES ROMANCE! All of us who aspire to be published authors dream of seeing such a headline on the entertainment page of our local newspapers.
Have you ever tried to imagine how you would feel if that were the headline in your local paper and you were the author?
For years I said that someday I would write a book and have it published, but deep in my heart, I’m not sure I ever believed it would really happen. It’s like saying I’m going to win the lottery, but how many really do? Now that Fire Angel has been released, I’m stunned. I did it! I thought I would be proud and excited, and while those emotions are certainly present, there is also awe and fear. It’s real now, not a dream, and it scares me to death. Where do I go from here?
What awes me is the thought that out of all of the wonderful manuscripts out there submitted to editors every day, Jennifer Lawler, the publishing editor at Crimson Romance chose mine. The feeling is akin to giving birth to a child and looking at that tiny life and saying, “Did I do that?” You know you’re not the only person to ever accomplish such a thing, but what you have created is yours, unlike any other, and you’re amazed. The love and pride are overwhelming, but there’s that unbelievable “wow” factor that has to be acknowledged, as well as the fear of letting it go.
From the moment the idea came to me, I hoped that Fire Angel would be a winner. When Jennifer requested a full from the Twitter pitch, I was excited, but I expected a rejection – it was the first time that I had ever submitted it to a publisher – no one sells the first time, right? And I didn’t! I got a revise and resubmit letter, with directions as to what revisions were needed. I did as she asked and three weeks later, I signed a contract for the book. Amazing!
An avid reader, I’m a ‘happily ever after’ junkie, but one who thrives on characters overcoming personal adversity as well as defeating an antagonist with good always coming out on top. I’m not a fan of reality television; there is more than enough reality for me in the nightly news. There is a lot of ugliness in our world, and whether we like it or not, in real life, the good guy doesn’t always win.
As an author, I can create a story based on the ugliness out there, but suspend to allow the romance and ‘happily ever after’ of fairy tales to occur. Fire Angel is my creation, my attempt to take the reality out there and turn it into something I hope you will enjoy. Where do I go from here? Only my muse knows for sure; in the meantime, I’ll keep following where she leads me and hope to repeat my success.
About Fire Angel
A malicious serial killer is out for revenge, and he doesn’t care how many people have to die before he gets it. Using fire as a weapon, he strikes at random, and the bodies are piling up, leaving the citizens of Paradise wondering who is next.
Betrayed by the one closest to him, criminal profiler Jake McKenzie has returned from Afghanistan minus a leg and afraid to trust his instincts. When the police chief asks for his expertise in identifying the killer, he agrees knowing this is his chance to prove he can still do the job.
Sixteen years ago, fiercely independent Alexis Michaels escaped an abusive uncle and a deadly fire, to become one of the country’s top fire and arson investigators. She reluctantly accepts the assignment and returns home to lead the hunt for the killer, knowing she will have to confront the memories she has repressed all these years. Her uncanny ability to put herself in the arsonist’s place is the skill they need to find this maniac.
When Jake discovers that his new partner is the girl who has haunted his dreams all these years, he finds himself enthralled, but memories of his dead wife make him doubt his emotions. Alexis has few pleasant memories of Paradise, but Jake is one of them. Undeniably drawn to him, she longs for a deeper relationship, but won’t compete with a ghost.
Until they catch the killer, they must set aside their conflicted emotions and work together. The clock is ticking, and the killer has made it clear: Alexis is next.
Excerpt from Fire Angel
Somewhat stung by his disbelieving tone, Alexis pushed away from him and stood.
“That’s the reason I’m here, isn’t it? Because I can do what no one else can?”
The pleasant feeling that had existed between them vanished. He wasn’t the first to be doubtful of her abilities. Why was it that people always mistrusted what they didn’t understand?
Jake stood and called Maya to follow him.
“You’re right; I don’t know enough about what you do to be skeptical. It’s late and it’s been a long day for both of us. Since you’re hell-bent on being independent, I’ll meet you at the station in the morning. You have GPS in your car; set the address; it’s not hard to find. We can show your note to the chief and have it tested while you look at the evidence.”
She stood to walk him to the door. Before she could hand him his jacket, he put out his hand to stop her.
“Alexis, don’t get me wrong, I’m really glad we have this opportunity to reconnect, but I have to ask—why are you here? Why did you take this case? The more I think about this maniac, the more I realize what danger you were in on the highway with that monster out there with you, and I don’t mean the moose. Even this cabin might have been a bad choice.”
He reached for her and held her shoulders, forcing her to look up at him. “When you left, I was angry at your uncle because he wouldn’t look for you. I’ve searched on and off for years. I’m good at my job, but Alexis Pruett had vanished. You obliterated all traces of yourself. Some of us cared about you, and you hung us all out to dry.” He let go of her and ran his hands through his hair, something he seemed to do when he was frustrated or confused.
“I need to know; why now? Until today, I didn’t even know that you were still alive! It was my idea to send for you, based on the article in the paper about the way you brought the mob to its knees, but if I’d known it was you, I’m not sure what I would have done. I know that you’re good at your job, but surely there are others who are equally skilled. You do realize that he still lives in town?”
Alexis stood away from him and raised her chin defiantly. This was why she chose to stay alone. Men! Why did they assume they knew everything? That they could fix everything? He had no right to question her. She’d done what she’d done to survive!
As far as the job went, he’d asked for the best and that’s what he’d gotten. That hair-trigger anger of hers, the one she tried so hard to keep under control, flared. She glared at him, her hands on her hips, so incensed that she trembled in her fury.
Susanne Matthews grew up as an avid reader of all types of books, but always with a penchant for happily ever after romances. In her imagination, she traveled to foreign lands, past and present, and soared into the future. Today, she has made her dreams come true. A retired educator, she now gets to spend her time writing, so she can share her adventures with her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.
Susanne lives in Cornwall, Ontario with her husband. She has three adult children and five grandchildren. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, chatting on the Internet with her writer friends, and hearing from her readers. You can learn more about Susanne and buy the e-book at www.mhsusannematthews.ca
Don’t forget to comment for your chance to win an e-copy of FIRE ANGEL!
The randomly chosen winner of FIRE ANGEL is Debbie! Congrats, Debbie. Susanne will be in touch.