Monday, June 13, 2011

Today's Special - - Susan Sey



It's my pleasure to welcome contemporary (with a dash of mystery) author, Romance Bandit and a wonderful friend of the Romance Dish, Susan Sey!  Susan's debut book, Money, Honey was a huge hit with the Dishes and we've all been eagerly anticipating the release date of her second book, Money Shot.  I'm happy to say that Money Shot is now out in the wild and it's terrific! (read the whole thing in one day)

Please welcome Susan as she blogs with us about the fun of writing a little crime!









You Wanna Kiss It Out Of Me?  Or why it’s fun to write a little crime.

A lot of people who know romance ask why I write contemporaries.  It’s not a hot market, and that’s putting it mildly.  If I’m looking to build a career, I have to sell books at some point, right?  Why not at least try to write something that sells?

Paranormal?  Sad to say, I have no world-building skills.   

YA?  Ooooh, I was an angsty teen.  No desire to go back down that road, even in my imagination.

Historical?  I blow at research.   It involves calling strangers on the phone and I hate calling strangers.  (I’m not particularly great at calling people I know, either.)  Plus, thinking I can write a good historical just because I want to seems insulting to people who’ve worked their butts off to develop the voice, style and body of knowledge a decent historical requires.

This leaves me writing largely in the here and now.  Lucky for me, I like the here and now.  I find life and love complicated enough without throwing in super powers or lordships or fangs.   Life as it stands is quite enough to keep me busy, frankly.  But I am willing to do a little research in order to set my stories within a criminal investigation.  And why?  I like the interrogation scenes.

In MONEY SHOT, my heroine (Maria “Goose” di Guzman) is a Secret Service agent sent to Mishkwa Island to determine whether Park Ranger Rush Guthrie is involved in funneling counterfeit cash into the country via Canada.  She arrives on the island under the pretext of investigating a threat to the governor but Rush is no dummy.  He knows she’s looking at him for something else.  But what?  Here’s a scene that encapsulates everything I love about putting a crime element into my romances:

“So I’m in the clear?” Rush asked.
“Looks like,” Goose said.
“On the assassination-via-flaming-pitchfork thing, anyway.  What about the other?”
She pulled her hand away from his and stared.  “The other?”
“You don’t expect me to believe the Secret Service wastes personnel like you on flaming pitchforks, do you?  I know you’re looking at me for something else.”
“Am I?”
He lifted his hand, traced a finger down the line of her cheek.  He came up with a piece of straw from the ends of her hair and flicked it away.  Goose didn’t breathe the entire time.
“A girl like you doesn’t kiss a stranger like you kissed me unless she’s looking for something.”
“Ah.  And what was I looking for?”
“Hell if I know.”  He cocked a brow, leaned in.  “You want another go at kissing it out of me?”

I’m just mean enough that I enjoyed the heck out of writing this scene.  Now Rush is pretty comfortable letting his subconscious have a voice in his decision making process, and his subconscious--along with the rest of him--likes Goose.  A lot.

And Goose likes him right back.  But she’s not one to make decisions with her gut.  She makes decisions with her head, and being deeply and inexplicably drawn to Rush--heart, soul and libido, baby--feels dangerous to her.  She likes her space and she likes her secrets.  Letting somebody close enough to fall in love goes against everything she is, and finding her potential Mr. Right on the wrong side of a criminal investigation? Well.  This is a problem. 

For her, that is.  For me, though?  As a writer?  This is a gold mine.  I have two strongly principled, highly moral people on opposite sides of a criminal investigation while they fall in love.  They have my full attention, no fangs required. 

Plus I’m sort of charmed by a torture-proofed ex-Navy SEAL offering to be kissed out of a confession.  I think he’s serious, too.  He doesn’t know what she wants to know but he’s willing to have it kissed out of him if that’s what it takes.  What a guy.

So what about you?  Do you like a little crime in your romance?  A little suspense?  A secondary love story?  A little time travel?  What gives a love story that special little zing for you?   One lucky commenter will receive their own copy of MONEY SHOT!  (Continental US only, please.)

For more information about Susan, visit her website and "like" her on facebook

64 comments:

  1. I love that little something extra in a story. Personally I like anything with crime or suspense added into my romance stories, especially contemporary books. I am not an overly big fan of secondary love stories going on, I prefer to actually read those as companion books.

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  2. Susan

    I am soo looking forward to reading this one I loved Money Honey and I have always loved a bit of suspense in my romances and I love a secondary love story.
    Congrats on the release

    Have Fun
    Helen

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  3. Rush is sounding better and better!

    I'm open to any sort of zing as long as it makes sense - crime, suspense, time travel, kilts, it's all good.

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  4. Ooh sigh! Kiss it outta him? He kinda had me at 'k'! That's one hot excerpt, Susan. Stop teasing me! It's a public holiday here today so I can't even blame the postie for not delivering. Grrr!

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  5. Hi Dishers! Susan I'm looking forward to reading MONEY SHOT! Can't wait to get my hot li'l hands on it.

    Loved that scene--I like a little danger with my romance:)

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  6. Dtchycat wrote: I am not an overly big fan of secondary love stories going on, I prefer to actually read those as companion books.

    Ooooh, I like that idea! When a subplot gets too big to fit comfortably in a book, just set it aside & promise it can have its own book if it'll just be patient.

    Though I have to admit when SEP does the secondary love story, I eat it up like pop corn. I just can't tell that woman no. :-)

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  7. Helen wrote: I have always loved a bit of suspense in my romances and I love a secondary love story.

    Oh, me, too! I'll bet we could happily read off each other's bookshelves for a while, Helen! So long as the extra stuff doesn't get in the way of the story, I'm happy.

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  8. I love the excerpt, Susan! :) Both of your books are on my giant TBR pile, and this may move them up to the top of the list!

    If it's done well, I enjoy a crime/caper thrown into the mix when I read a romance. But so long as it doesn't overshadow the story of the relationship between the hero and heroine.

    I also like secondary romances too, but again, it has to work within the context of the story, and not feel as if it's just thrown in for the heck of it. Some of my favorite secondary romances are Tess and Nate and Lily and Adam in NR's Montana Sky, and Faith and Wade in Carolina Moon, and Lana and Doug in Birthright.

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  9. Good Morning, Everyone! Great to have you with us today, Susan! I'm just home from getting my allergy shot so give me a few to take the dogs out then I'll be back to chat.

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  10. Banter is the zing I need in my books. I need to feel the characters can carry a fun conversation--droll and sexy no matter what's going on: dinner with the family, life endangerment, after sex, before sex, whatever. BANTER.

    But a nice secondary love story is pretty amusing too. *LOL*

    I read two books over the weekend. In the first one, the zing was how the hero--who is considered a god by his town--is actually really a jerk to the heroine. I loved the contrast. I also loved that he's a Casanova, the best lover ever, but every time they have sex, the heroine isn't *quite* satisfied, no matter how many orgasms he gives her. HILARIOUS. He gets quite a complex. ZING, definite ZING.

    The other book had a hero who was great about showing the heroine how much he loved her just as she was; that she wasn't too old or too fat or anything but perfect for him. ZING, ZING, ZING.

    So I guess zing varies for me from book to book. :)

    I have to agree about your hero: He does sound like quite a guy! *LOL* I wouldn't mind trying to wrangle a confession out of him.

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  11. Loved the little snippet- sounds like a really fun book- will have to look up Money, Honey. I do like a little mystery or suspense in my romance. If it's well incorporated a secondary love story is a good addition too. I'm not really into time travel - I always end up with questions that distract from my enjoyment of the book...lol...Thanks for the contest!

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  12. Sherree wrote: I'm open to any sort of zing as long as it makes sense - crime, suspense, time travel, kilts, it's all good.

    You had me at "kilts." :-)

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  13. Anna C. wrote: Ooh sigh! Kiss it outta him? He kinda had me at 'k'!

    I know, right? Who expected Rush to turn out to be so charming? He doesn't try. He actively doesn't try, actually. Maybe that's the secret? Boys who don't try? I don't know but Rush totally does it for me, too. Hope you get your copy soon, because every girls needs a little of Rush. :-)

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  14. Christine wrote: Loved that scene--I like a little danger with my romance:)

    Thanks, Christine! I don't mind a dash of danger, myself! In fiction, mind you. In real life, cleaning out the fridge is about as adventurous as I get. :-)

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  15. Lisa wrote: Some of my favorite secondary romances are Tess and Nate and Lily and Adam in NR's Montana Sky, and Faith and Wade in Carolina Moon, and Lana and Doug in Birthright.

    Man, you're making me want to go back and reread all my Nora favorites, but my TBR pile is waaaaay to high to indulge myself in a re-read!

    Well, maybe I can squeeze in just a scene or two...

    One of my favorite secondary love stories is the groupie mom & her rocker ex-boyfriend in SEP's Natural Born Charmer. I won't go into detail in case people haven't read it but I just loved these two & their gradual coming back together. Plus I love a later-in-life, second-chance love story.

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  16. PJ wrote: Great to have you with us today, Susan!

    Thanks so much for having me, PJ! I always love the chance to chat with your readers! Looking forward to a great day on the blog!

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  17. MsHellion wrote: In the first one, the zing was how the hero--who is considered a god by his town--is actually really a jerk to the heroine. I loved the contrast. I also loved that he's a Casanova, the best lover ever, but every time they have sex, the heroine isn't *quite* satisfied, no matter how many orgasms he gives her. HILARIOUS. He gets quite a complex. ZING, definite ZING.

    I LOVED THIS BOOK. For exactly this reason, too! I loved that she refused to be satisfied until he was real. Really real. Until he was vulnerable & carried away & totally raw. Loved, loved, loved it.

    So I think you're right. The zing comes from different things but in the end, maybe, it's from the connection between the hero & heroine. It has to be genuine & electric and smart. It doesn't have to be funny or charming, but I have a soft spot for those qualities, so they make it extra special for me. :-)

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  18. Maria wrote: I'm not really into time travel - I always end up with questions that distract from my enjoyment of the book...lol...

    I know, I have a terrible suspension of disbelief problem when it comes to time travel. It has to be exquisitely done or I (like you) spend the entire book picking at threads & looking for cracks in the logic.

    I have to admit, though, I really loved Diana Gabaldon's Outlander. It was a time travel that just sucked me in & wouldn't let me get all fussbudgety about the logic. It grabbed hold & dragged me through to the end.

    Although it was such a bruising ride I still haven't gathered up the courage to read farther into the series. It took me weeks to stop dreaming about Jaime & his horrible captivity.

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  19. Dtchycat, I'm a fan of the added suspense too. I do like secondary love stories but only if they don't detract from the main couple.

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  20. Helen, Money Shot is terrific!

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  21. I'm open to any sort of zing as long as it makes sense - crime, suspense, time travel, kilts, it's all good.

    I'm with you, Sheree. Gotta love that zing!

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  22. Anna, you are so going to love Rush!

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  23. Loved that scene--I like a little danger with my romance:)

    A dangerous romance! Yep, I could definitely get into that, Christine! ;-)

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  24. If it's done well, I enjoy a crime/caper thrown into the mix when I read a romance. But so long as it doesn't overshadow the story of the relationship between the hero and heroine.

    Lisa, Money Shot is a great example of expertly balancing the two!

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  25. Hellion, an author who excels at "banter" is one who will usually have me as a fan for life.

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  26. Goodness but Rush has that zing!! Susan, I am SO glad you're writing what comes naturally to you because your writing sure reads beautifully!! I will pretty much read it all (uh, except if it's horror--I'm way too wimpy for that), but contemporary is my first love :) And you remind me of everything I love about it--it's such a treat to read the dialogue and the sizzle and the heat and the heart set right here and now... Can't wait to read more Rush! Lucky Goose! ;)

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  27. All of the above that you mention. I like to switch around with my reading so I read a little of everything. Suspense really adds to a story. I have been hearing a lot of good things about your book and I can't wait to read it.

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  28. Hey Dishy Dames! Can't wait to catch up with you in a couple of weeks!

    Susan! I love that excerpt! I love the whole concept of this book and having been waiting eagerly for Money Shot to come out ever since Goose appeared in Money Honey!

    Now, you're talking my language - I love contemporaries and I love a little crime with my romance (that's what I write too!) I don't understand why the market is so tough for us, but I hope it recovers.

    I also love humour and I love your sense of humour, so this is a must-buy for me!

    I don't mind secondary love stories at all. Just like I don't mind plots which arch over several books. Kilts, though ... not so much *g*

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  29. Helloooooo Susan!!!!

    I've got my copy of Money Shot and am drooling to dive into it!

    I don't care what aspects are added to my romance as long as the writer tells a good story, and you my dear do in spades! This excerpt makes me want to put a "rush" to send Rush to Kentucky!!!!

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  30. I will pretty much read it all (uh, except if it's horror--I'm way too wimpy for that)

    Right there with you but don't worry. Rush is more than capable of protecting us! :)

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  31. Virginia, I like to switch up my reading too. Keeps everything fresh that way.

    Hope you enjoy Susan's books. They're a delicious gulp of awesome!

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  32. Hi Anna! Can't wait to see you in NYC! It's just me this year (Buffie, Gannon and Andrea all have family commitments) so we'll have to party three times as hard to make up for them not being there! ;-)

    Money Shot is a great story. True, there aren't any hockey players in it but it's set on the US/Canadian border and there's a really big frozen lake so you know there has to be a hockey player or two lurking just off set, right? ;-)

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  33. I've got my copy of Money Shot and am drooling to dive into it!

    Set aside a whole day, Joanie. It's one of those stories that won't let go of you easily.

    Oh, and believe me. Rush is very drool worthy! :)

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  34. Hi Susan & Dishes!

    Susan congrats on book two! I loved Goose's character in Money, Honey, and I'm so glad she's got her own book. Looking forward to reading it very soon.

    Cheers!
    Jen

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  35. flchen1 wrote: I will pretty much read it all (uh, except if it's horror--I'm way too wimpy for that), but contemporary is my first love :)

    Oh, horror. I tried horror for a while as an angsty teen but it didn't last. It was *scary*. There days I don't even watch a scary movie unless my husband agrees to walk me to the basement or the bathroom upon request (no snickering allowed) for up to two weeks afterwards.

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  36. Virginia wrote: Suspense really adds to a story. I have been hearing a lot of good things about your book and I can't wait to read it.

    Oh, thanks, Virginia! I hope you enjoy it! And I also like just a touch of suspense to keep things tight but not so much that I feel tense reading it. I like my reading to be fun.

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  37. Anna S wrote: I don't mind secondary love stories at all. Just like I don't mind plots which arch over several books. Kilts, though ... not so much *g*

    I should clarify--I like kilts *in theory*. On actual men? Not so much. I saw a guy wearing a kilt at an event once (I will not be specific so as not to get into trouble. It was just an event somewhere at some point in a public place.) And his kilt wearing struck me as not only weird but a touch...needy. Probably not the effect he was hoping for, & certainly not the one thousands of kilt-loving ladies were hoping for either.

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  38. Joan wrote: I don't care what aspects are added to my romance as long as the writer tells a good story, and you my dear do in spades!

    Hellllllloooooo, Joanie! Thanks so much for the kind words--it's my only goal, after all. Telling a good story. And a hot, good-hearted hero doesn't hurt. You have sort of a way with writing that sort yourself...

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  39. PJ wrote: Hope you enjoy Susan's books. They're a delicious gulp of awesome!

    Aw, I'm blushing! That's so nice, PJ! And I'm so glad you enjoyed MONEY SHOT. It just makes my day.

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  40. Jennifertanner wrote: I loved Goose's character in Money, Honey, and I'm so glad she's got her own book.

    Me, too! Sometimes a character comes along & just captures your imagination. I feel so lucky that I got the chance to write the book I envisioned for Goose. I'll be interested to hear what you think of it!

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  41. PJ wrote: It's just me this year (Buffie, Gannon and Andrea all have family commitments) so we'll have to party three times as hard to make up for them not being there! ;-)


    Oh, I'm so sorry the others can't make it! I'll miss you guys! But if partying three times as hard is what we have to do to take up the slack, well, I'm not one to shirk my duty. Somebody pour me a drink. It's time to cowboy up. :-)

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  42. Susan, your book is the very top of my TBR pile and I'll be digging into it tomorrow. I'll of course have to call in sick to work for at least one day, possibly two. I've given my boss your name as my "doctor" in case she needs a written excuse.

    =)

    Congrats on the release! Now when can we expect the next one? lol and ducking.

    carrie

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  43. The characters are what really makes a novel for me, but I do love a bit of suspense with my romance. Thanks for visiting.

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  44. Carrie wrote: I'll of course have to call in sick to work for at least one day, possibly two. I've given my boss your name as my "doctor" in case she needs a written excuse.

    Super. I'll be looking forward to that phone call. :-)

    Hope you enjoy it!

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  45. LSU reader wrote: The characters are what really makes a novel for me, but I do love a bit of suspense with my romance.

    I'm with you on that one! I'll willing to give characters a ton of latitude so long as they charm me while they're meandering plotlessly about saying witty things to one another. :-)

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  46. Yay!! I've read Susan's books and loved them both. She's an auto-buy for me now!

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  47. Hi susan. I love that excerpt. Such fun. Sounds like a fun read!

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  48. Now there's a good husband! :) Mine just knows that I don't do any kind of scary at all--years ago, I happened to catch part of a *ahem...* Buffy episode when DH was out of town. I couldn't sleep, at all. It was wretched, not to mention embarrassing... Now I avoid watching anything that even hints at scary, or might be laughingly interpreted as scary in some weird alternate universe :)

    Anyway, one thing I forgot in my original post is that I love, LOVE a bit of humor in my reading--that really gives it some oomph for me :) And that you deliver so beautifully, Susan!

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  49. How about all of the above? I enjoy that something extra in a story, a mystery to be solved, some type of paranormal gift or occurrence, secondary characters finding love too, all of it adds to the story for me.

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  50. I like my romances angsty and emotionally charged. Whether that happens thru a crime-suspense, time travel, paranormal or a historical story does not really matter. I also want my all wrapped up HEA!!!!

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  51. Becke! Good to see you over here! Susan's become an auto-buy for me too.

    Jen, Goose more than lives up to the potential we saw in Money, Honey and Rush is her perfect (imperfect) hero!

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  52. Congrats on the release! Now when can we expect the next one? lol and ducking.

    Thanks for asking, Carrie. Now, I don't have to duck! :)

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  53. The characters are what really makes a novel for me, but I do love a bit of suspense with my romance.

    LSUReader, Susan's stories are very character driven. Have you read them yet?

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  54. Money Honey whetted my appetite, I am ready for Moeny Shot now, and I really do like secondary romances as long as it gets a finish and doesn't leave me hanging. Like you say though, if it is too much to finish then give them their own book. I can get behind that idea.

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  55. Susan, thanks so much for being with us today! See you in NYC in a couple weeks!

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  56. Becke wrote: Yay!! I've read Susan's books and loved them both. She's an auto-buy for me now!

    Oh, man, that's high praise coming from you! I think you just made my day!

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  57. Adrienne wrote: I love that excerpt. Such fun. Sounds like a fun read!

    I hope it is! That was my goal, anyway. You'll have to let me know how close I got if you decide to pick it up!

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  58. flchen1 wrote: years ago, I happened to catch part of a *ahem...* Buffy episode when DH was out of town. I couldn't sleep, at all. It was wretched, not to mention embarrassing...

    Oh, that happened to me once. My husband was out of town & I made the mistake of watching Silence of the Lambs. (I know, right? But I was laboring under the delusion it was suspenseful rather than terrifying. I don't know why.)

    Yeah, I didn't sleep until he got home like three days later.

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  59. Barbara E wrote: How about all of the above? I enjoy that something extra in a story,

    Why limit ourselves? That's what I say! I'm with you, Barbara. If the author can pull it off, bring it on!

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  60. Kat wrote: I like my romances angsty and emotionally charged.

    Oooh, those are delicious sometimes! I think you might enjoy MONEY SHOT. It's angstier (is that a word?) than my previous book & a bit darker, too. But I had the best time writing it, just pulling out all the stops & going for broke, emotionally. Got to say, that was a good time.

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  61. PJ wrote: Thanks for asking, Carrie. Now, I don't have to duck! :)

    As for my next trick...I mean book...it's in the air just now. I'm pitching a trilogy right now--I've written book one--and am hoping my editor likes the concept enough to pick it up. It's about a happily widowed young woman whose world is thrown into chaos when she discovers her black sheep brother in law has the hots for her. There's more that happens, of course--a pack of rogue turkeys terrorizing the town, an arsonist on the loose, some naked paintings floating around, family drama, etc. but at the heart of things, it's one of those rocked-her-world-with-a-confession-of-hidden-love stories.

    Man, I love those. I really hope this proposal gets picked up.

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  62. hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna wrote: I really do like secondary romances as long as it gets a finish and doesn't leave me hanging.

    See, if I *know* it's a trilogy, let's say, I'll expect certain plot points to remain unresolved. But I need a certain amount of resolution, too. (The love story, preferably.)

    But if I wasn't prepared for a To Be Continued, then I feel betrayed. For me, it's a matter of the author (or the publisher, sometimes) setting reader expectations properly. I like to know what I'm supposed to be getting, that's all. ;)

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  63. PJ wrote: Susan, thanks so much for being with us today! See you in NYC in a couple weeks!

    Thanks so much for having me today! I always have such a great time with your readers! See you in NYC!

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  64. As someone who started reading with mysteries, I love a little crime/action/suspense in my romances. I think books are richer when the main characters have a good and evident supporting cast of characters (especially in series that way they don't get stale), and every once in a while, I find a secondary love story more appealing than the main.

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