MuseTracks Guest – Susanne Matthews – A Dream Come True – Giveaway!

May 3, 2013

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?

Fire Angel coverWhat 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.

About the AuthorSusanne Matthews

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.

Thanks for sharing your experience and your debut book release with us, Susanne. Congratulations and may you find success!


MuseTracks Guest – Selena Laurence

April 22, 2013

Contemporary romance author and dog-lover, Selena Laurence, is celebrating her debut release of Love, Lies, and British Spies with Crimson Romance out TODAY.  She’s sharing her release day with us, and she’s brought an excerpt.

Welcome, Selena!

*****

Snow. As I write this, it is EVERYWHERE! At least everywhere that I am. Yes, snow in April. Buckets of it, barrels of it, about two feet of it right outside my backdoor.

Which is why it’s a good thing that I’m a Romance writer. Because if I’ve ever needed to get away from it all, now would be the time. That’s one of the reasons I love Romance novels so much, and also why I write them – to Escape the Everyday.

When I write a book, I want it to distract you, entertain you, help you forget about the taxes and the kids and the guy next door who is standing in the front yard right now in his underwear (just take my word for it). A Romance novel is the ultimate escapism and that’s just fine. Not everything has to be serious or contribute to discussions on world politics. Some things are just for fun, like LOVE, LIES, AND BRITISH SPIES. It’s my first book, and it’s for the fun of it. A spy who’s sexy, a heroine who’s spunky, evil terrorists who aren’t really all that evil, and some awesome settings. Grab it for your next plane ride or transit commute, or while you’re sitting around waiting for soccer practice to be over. It won’t alter the course of global warming, but it’ll warm you up on the inside, and sometimes that’s just as important.

British SpiesBook Blurb: LOVE, LIES, AND BRITISH SPIES

After an engagement gone terribly awry, American interior designer Eva Anderson has finally met the man of her dreams. Handsome, charming Owen Martin is one of London’s most talented musicians, and he’s head over heels for Eva to boot. They fall in love, get married, and go on a fabulous honeymoon to Paris.

But Owen forgot to tell Eva one little detail: he’s actually a top secret British spy . . . oh, and there are more than a few women in his past. Unfortunately for Eva, one of those women is the beloved younger sister of Middle Eastern terrorist Hassam Khalil. Hassam wants nothing more than revenge on Owen for defiling his sister, so he kidnaps Eva.

Owen rushes to the catacombs of Paris to rescue his new bride only to discover that she’s learned all of his worst secrets and wants nothing more to do with him. From the teashops of London to the cafes of Paris and the ports of Alexandria, Owen and Eva encounter terrorists run amok, friends with the best of intentions, guns, fangirls, and espionage galore. But, will love ever be enough to overcome the lies of this British spy?

LOVE, LIES, AND BRITISH SPIES Excerpt:

Sometime later, Eva found herself ensconced yet again in the large hotel bed, as Owen licked the last of the champagne off of her torso.

“Honey, I appreciate all of your efforts, but no matter how much you lick I’m still going to have to shower, I’m sticky from head to toe,” she said.

“I hate to break it to you love, but I’m not the least bit concerned about how sticky you might be,” he looked up at her grinning. “I just like the licking part.”

Eva rolled her eyes and went back to reading the newspaper she’d picked up from the nightstand. Owen batted the offending newsprint out of his way as he settled on Eva’s left breast. “Owen! I’m trying to read this article about the palace of Sheik Abdabayah. You should hear about this place, it’s incredible. The draperies alone must be worth in the millions of dollars.”

“And are undoubtedly used to wrap all those AK-47s he’s been shipping to Afghanistan,” Owen muttered as he buried his face in Eva’s neck.

“What did you say?” she asked. “It doesn’t say anything about him shipping guns in here. In fact, it says that he’s a member of the Saudi royal family and one of their most respected philanthropists. Last year alone he donated over fifty million dollars to Saudi hospitals and schools.”

Owen looked up sharply for just a moment, and said, “I’m sure you’re right, I must be remembering someone else. I think I read an article yesterday and it was about some Middle Eastern arms dealer, all of those names sound the same to me.”

“Maybe we should at least try to learn something about foreign affairs,” Eva replied. “Oh, let’s not,” Owen said, finally getting out of bed and heading toward the

bathroom. “Foreign affairs are more trouble than they’re worth.”

Want more?

http://amzn.com/B00C9KNYWA

Selena’s Bio:

Selena Laurence is a wife, and a mom, and a generally all-around nice person who woke up one day and realized that a) life wasn’t getting any longer, and b) the only thingSPaulsen_113EB she really liked to do was write and read Romance fiction. It was a lifelong tendency that started with books like PRIDE AND PREJUDICE when she was a teen, and continued in college when she would sit in the library and read Harlequins instead of studying for finals (OK, that part wasn’t terribly smart). Over the years she filled her need for romance by getting married (Mr. Laurence has a romantic streak hidden in there somewhere), watching soap operas, and dreaming about all sorts of improbable stories.

Finally, she gave in to her obsession, sat down (many times) at the local coffee shop, and wrote a book. The book was terrible, and she put it away, never to be seen again – seriously, never again. Then, she saw a special call for stories related to Greek Myths. She got an idea, found critique partners, and started all over again. She didn’t make the deadline for the special call, but she did end up with LOVE, LIES, AND BRITISH SPIES. Now, she is hard at work on her next novel and has fallen in love with her new career, although her family says she loves the dog more than anything else.

And speaking of the dog, Selena and her Goldendoodle live with two kids and Mr. Laurence in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. They all spend a lot of time driving to soccer games and gymnastics meets. There are also two more kids in the family who got big, moved away to college, and wreak havoc on other parts of the state. They think they visit too much, Selena thinks they don’t visit enough. Contact her at: http://www.selenalaurence.com

Connect with Selena:


www.selenalaurence.com

Twitter: @SelenaLaurence

FB: SelenaLaurenceRomanceAuthor

Thank you for being a guest here at MuseTracks, Selena. Congratulations on your debut release!


MuseTracks Guest – Serena Clarke

February 18, 2013

MuseTracks plays host today to a world-traveling, cheeky author of Contemporary Romance, Serena Clarke. her debut novel All Over The Place released from Crimson Romance TODAY! And to celebrate, she’s brought us an excerpt.

Welcome Serena!

WWW gives you wings – but don’t forget your roots

We’re so international these days. We zoom around the world by air – and by www. As soon as something happens, everyone knows about it. And while it’s happening, we’re sharing it on Facebook, or live tweeting it, or blogging about it. We’re plugged in and switched on. I don’t know about you, but I love feeling like I’m part of the world, no matter where or who I am.

But…could it be that having access to everything, all the time, is just too much? Too many choices, too many distractions, and too much to live up to?

All Over the Place cover

In All Over the Place, Livi meets Journey, a free-spirited believer in ‘voluntary simplicity’, a movement that embraces happiness through simpler living and mindful consumption. Livi has left one country in search of a new life, only to find that you can’t always outrun your past – and Journey’s words hit home. “Maybe what you think you’re searching for,” she says, “is just something to keep you busy, so you don’t have to look for what you really need to find.”

Despite our aspirations and achievements out there in the world, so many of us struggle to find our own true home. The truth is, home isn’t just about where, it’s also about who. The people you have around you – and that one special person who can be so hard to find.

I’m not suggesting we give up our international online lives. After all, here I am on an American blog, promoting a book set in London, New Zealand and Paris, featuring American, British, New Zealand, Swedish and Australian characters! And I’d love to ‘meet’ you on Twitter or Facebook. But while we’re busy looking here and there – all over the place – we’ll probably be happier if we remember what counts the most. Then wherever you are, as Phillip Phillips would say, you can make this place your home.


About All Over the Place

Livi Callaway has fled back to London after a reality TV disaster in New Zealand. Safely anonymous in the big city, she’s determined to stay under the radar from now on. But her attempts to build a new life are complicated by unexpected visitors from her old one, and new dangers and temptations lie in wait.

Late one night, she meets a mysteriously sexy American on the Underground – and the events that follow take her from Pooh Bear to the golden lights of Paris, via a trail of rock stars dead and alive. A family in disarray, a determined Swede, a crazed Australian and a childhood friend (who might yet be more than that) have her all over the place as she tries to discover the American’s secret – while keeping her own.

With help – and occasional hindrance – from her friends, what she eventually finds is something unexpected…sometimes, running away can lead you to exactly what you didn’t know you needed.

Excerpt:

Livi had her hands full the next day getting the salon back in order after her time away. It was remarkable how a place could fall into disarray in such a short time.

But all day the idea niggled at her. Should she ring him? What the hell would she say? “Um, hello, I was just wondering, are you planning to knock off a rock star tomorrow? If so, could you please not?” As though any decent would-be assassin would confess immediately and cancel his plans.

 

By the end of the day, she was almost convinced that she was the only thing standing between Fleet Donnelly and an untimely end. How would she feel if she was back on the couch watching the late news on Tuesday night, and the story was now ‘Fleet Donnelly victim of transatlantic killer’? Brian Jones, Keith Moon, Jim Morrison…would that trail lead to one more headline? Okay, maybe it was delusional—but could she take the risk?

 

Cass, of course, thought absolutely not, when Livi asked her that night. Something had to be done. And if it meant Livi seeing the divine Ryan Velez again, all the better. When Livi pointed out that the divine Ryan Velez could, after all, be a twisted, dangerous madman, Cass said really, she thought probably not, but did Livi remember any of her self–defence moves?

 

She thought back to Len. Maybe she’d play it safe after all. The police knew what they were doing, surely.

 

On Tuesday morning she made sure to watch the news before she left for work. She yelled out for Cass to come and see. A reporter was outside the prison as Fleet Donnelly was released, wearing his signature jaunty hat, but looking less drug–addled than usual after his stint at Her Majesty’s pleasure. He stopped to light a cigarette and give the waiting cameras a peace sign. Time away clearly hadn’t dampened his swagger at all. Then she was reassured to see several very large bodyguards get him safely to an anonymous black car.

 

“He’ll probably be all right,” she said. “Don’t you think?”

 

Cass nodded. “Oh, I think so. More than likely.”

 

Neither felt a hundred percent convinced.

WANT MORE?

Click the link to buy All Over the Place 

http://www.amazon.com/Over-Place-Crimson-Romance-ebook/dp/B00B2B0X9E/

Serena’s Bio:

Serena Clarke colour

Serena grew up in a family of itchy-footed readers and dreamers – not concentrating, reading the atlas and Narnia books, and planning to escape somewhere magical as soon as she could. When she was 16, she went from New Zealand to live in Sweden for a year. It was the beginning of many travels and adventures – and quite a few disasters! She didn’t know it at the time, but eventually she’d be grateful for all the downs as well as the ups. As writers say in the face of adversity: “I can use that.” She’s now living back in New Zealand, where she writes stories reflecting her determined belief in magic, possibility, second chances and happy endings.

Find Serena here:

http://www.serenaclarke.com

https://www.facebook.com/SerenaClarkeAuthor

https://twitter.com/Serena_Clarke

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893136.Serena_Clarke