Thursday, December 8, 2016

Today's Special - - Susanna Craig


I'm delighted to welcome historical romance author Susanna Craig to the Romance Dish today. Susanna is one of my favorite new authors that I discovered this year. Her debut, To Kiss a Thief was released in August and her second book, To Tempt an Heiress came out earlier this week. The third book in her Runaway Desires series, To Seduce a Stranger, will be available in April 2017. I can't wait!

A passion for historical romance guided Susanna Craig to three (yes, three!) degrees in literature and a career as an English professor. When she's not teaching, she's busy writing Regency romances that (so far) take place outside the ballrooms of London and feature complex characters, compelling storylines, and eloquent writing. I enthusiastically recommend you give them a try.   

You can learn more about Susanna and her books at her website and connect with her online on Facebook or Twitter.


Welcome, Susanna!  Congratulations on the release of the second novel in your Runaway Desires series, To Tempt an Heiress. What can readers expect from this book?

Thanks, PJ! I’m excited to be here! In To Tempt an Heiress, a headstrong woman’s plans for her inheritance place her in danger—a danger she strenuously denies. She meets her match in the ship’s captain who’s hired to abduct her and take her to safety. Readers will get to journey from the Caribbean island of Antigua to northern England and immerse themselves in the tumultuous world of the 1790s.

I’ve always had a weakness for romance on the high seas. What is it about this setting that inspires you as an author?


An ocean voyage in the late eighteenth century involved adventure,
peril, and best of all for a romance, close quarters! When you have two characters who are focused on their own goals and determined to remain independent, what better way to torture them than to make it impossible to get away from the person they’re attracted to?

Tempest, our heroine, may be English by heritage but it’s the people of her Antigua home that claim her heart. Is there a country that calls to your heart? Have you ever visited?

Perhaps because my birthday falls on St. Patrick’s Day, I’ve always been fascinated by Ireland, the country our hero, Andrew, calls home. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit twice and between those trips managed to travel the whole island, from Dublin to Inishmore, from the Ring of Kerry to the Giant’s Causeway. It’s a breathtakingly beautiful country, and the people are wonderfully welcoming—I would encourage everyone to go if they get the chance.

What was the most difficult part of writing this book? What was the most fun?

I had a blast writing the banter between Tempest and Andrew; I like to think of them as the sort of people who were always used to having the last word—until they met each other. But Tempest is an abolitionist in a part of the British Empire where up to 90% of the population was enslaved, so the story necessarily has to grapple with some pretty difficult events and issues. Although To Tempt an Heiress is a romance, I certainly didn’t want to romanticize that terrible chapter in human history, so my research included both the work of modern historians and first-hand accounts of slaves’ experiences, which are powerful but definitely not easy to read.


I adored Andrew’s dog, Caliban. Was he inspired by a dog you’ve known? Do you have pets? Are they tolerant of the hours you spend in the writing cave?

I’m so glad you liked him! He was partly inspired by an Australian Shepherd I had growing up; it’s a breed known for its loyalty, strength, and smarts—qualities Caliban has in spades. But honestly, I’m more of a cat person. We currently share out home with a long-haired tortie named Nutmeg. She’s normally pretty aloof, but when she thinks I’m giving too much attention to my computer, she’ll nudge my laptop right off my lap.



We all have our favorite authors whose books we turn to time and again. Who do you enjoy reading when you’re not busy creating your own stories?

I will never tire of reading Jane Austen. I’m an English professor, so I’m fortunate that I get to teach Austen regularly, which is a built-in excuse for reading her novels again and again. Right now, my daughter and I are reading the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, which were my favorites when I was a girl, so it’s a joy to revisit them with her. And of course I read lots of historical romance. Some of my favorites authors are Lisa Kleypas, Meredith Duran, and Mary Balogh.


Andrew treasures a book of Shakespeare given to him by his grandfather. What’s your most treasured possession?

This is a surprisingly tough question! One thing I treasure is a glass candlewick serving dish that was given to me by my mother-in-law shortly before she died. In the center of the plate is a stem shaped like a heart. The dish was given to her as a wedding present and unlike many treasured possessions, which we tend to lock up to keep safe, this one always had a prominent place on her table, despite its fragility. Using it now reminds me of her loving heart and generous spirit.

The holidays are coming which always turns my thoughts to sweet treats. Do you have a favorite Christmas treat to make or eat? Will you share the recipe with us?

Ooh, who doesn’t love sweet treats at Christmas…or really, any time? Here’s a super-easy recipe for truffles, which I make every year. They’re great to give as gifts, perfect for the office party, and downright dangerous to have around the house!

Blend 8 oz. softened cream cheese until creamy; combine with 8 oz. melted semi-sweet chocolate. 
Chill mixture at least one hour, then shape into 36 balls. 
Dip truffles in more melted chocolate and decorate with sprinkles or chopped nuts, or roll in powdered sugar or cocoa powder. 
Keep refrigerated.

Mmmm...that sounds delicious!


What are you working on now?

I’ve put the final touches on the last book in the Runaway Desires series, To Seduce a Stranger, which will be released in April 2017. And I’m happy to announce I’ve recently signed with Lyrical to write three more Georgian-set romances, about Irish-born siblings unexpectedly finding love in England. I’m hard at work on the first book in that series, which will be released in 2018.


Congratulations on the new contract! That's great news! I already have April 11th circled on my 2017 calendar. I'm so happy Edward is getting a story of his own. (Readers, you'll meet Edward in To Tempt an Heiress. He plays a pivotal role in setting events into motion that bring Tempest and Andrew together.)

Thank you so much for visiting with us today, Susanna. Would you like to ask our readers a question?

The heroes and heroines of the Runaway Desires series are all trying to get away from a past mistake or a present problem, and despite being a homebody by nature, I truly think there’s a little runaway in all of us. So, when you’re feeling overwhelmed, what’s your favorite escape?

One randomly chosen person who leaves a comment before 11:00 PM (EST), December 10, 2016 will receive an e-book copy of To Kiss a Thief and a $5 gift card from Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner's choice).

To Tempt an Heiress

After her beloved father dies, Tempest Holderin wants nothing more than to fulfill his wish to free the slaves on their Antiguan sugar plantation. But the now wealthy woman finds herself pursued by a pack of unsavory suitors with other plans for her inheritance. To keep her from danger, her dearest friend arranges a most unconventional solution: have Tempest kidnapped and taken to safety.

Captain Andrew Corrvan has an unseemly reputation as a ruthless, money-hungry blackguard—but those on his ship know differently. He is driven by only one thing: the quest to avenge his father’s death on the high seas. Until he agrees to abduct a headstrong heiress…

If traveling for weeks—without a chaperone—isn’t enough to ruin Tempest, the desire she feels for her dark and dangerously attractive captor will do the rest. The storm brewing between them will only gather strength when they reach England, where past and present perils threaten to tear them apart—even more so than their own stubborn hearts…


39 comments:

  1. A lovely chat thank you. My great escape is walking. I just leave all my cares behind me.

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    1. I love long walks. They're a great escape, aren't they?

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    2. Thanks for stopping by, Mary! Nothing like a nice walk to clear your head.

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  2. Thanks for the great introduction to a new author.

    Having enjoyed Eloisa James's writing while my interest in the romance genre was developing, I am now attracted to academics writing fiction and this does sound good!

    I see that 'To Kiss a Thief' is currently only £0.9 at Amazon UK, so will give it a try at the weekend. :)

    Favourite escape is to head for the sea-side with a good romance novel.

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    1. Hi, Quantum! Hope you enjoy the book! Reading at the beach sounds wonderful right now (it's a chilly 30 degrees in land-locked Kentucky this morning).

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  3. I grab my walking shoes and take off to walk around my pretty neighborhood. Here in Florida, something is always blooming and the weather is perfect. Just admiring nature, taking deep breaths, and letting go of my stress always makes me feel so much better when I get home.

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    1. I do the same here in NC, Connie. Though, at the moment, there isn't much blooming. ;-)

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  4. I read which provides me with a wonderful experience to another place, era and realm.

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    1. I would have to say reading is my favorite escape. How delicious it is to open a book and travel anywhere in the world in our minds.

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    2. Books are the best getaways, aren't they? Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. I walk in the foothills which is where I feel stronger and breathe the clear air, the sunshine and blue skies which lifts my spirits.

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    1. I used to live in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains. Nothing like it to life a person's spirits and soothe their soul.

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    2. That sounds lovely! I feel refreshed just reading about it.

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  6. My greatest escape is to crawl into bed and read a book. I don't read e-books, so there's no need to enter me into the contest.

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    1. If I crawled into bed with a book I'd be asleep in less than five minutes. ;-)

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    2. I'm with PJ...my escape would turn into a nap! ;) But there's nothing like losing yourself in a good book.

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    3. I read for about 4 hours every night. This way I have lovely things to dream about. :-)

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  7. Thanks so much for hosting me, PJ! Sorry to be a little late to the party--I had to teach a class first thing this morning (sadly, not on Jane Austen). :)

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  8. It's always fun finding a new author. Interesting interview.

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  9. I choose music that will lift my spirits and take me away. I am addicted to reading, but if I am overwhelmed, music is my go to escape and serenity.

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    1. Annette, you sound just like the heroine of To Kiss a Thief (who plays the pianoforte when she's anxious). :) Music can do so many things for us!

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  10. I love going for a walk or heading to the gym it relaxes me Susanna is a new author to me

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Natasha! What a healthy way to take a break!

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  11. Sitting in my oversize chair, with my dog snuggled close under a blanket and escaping into a good book! I'm not picky about genres, just whatever catches my fancy. Congrats on the new release and the upcoming series! Thanks for sharing and Happy Holidays!

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    1. Thanks, Erin! Your "getaway" sounds wonderful!

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  12. Romance at sea does have its appeal <3
    My escape is books. Really, sometimes all I want to do shut the world out and submerge into my latest reading find.

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    1. Always the best way to get away, I think!

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  13. Reading is the easiest, quickest, and most reliable escape for me. On another note, it's been years since I've had an aloof, tortie. My 6 1/2 year old is almost puppy like in her demands for attention and desire to be near me. :-)

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    1. Ours was a rescue and I think did not have a lot of human attention as a small kitten, so she rarely "needs" a human nearby...unless, you know, I'm working on something important! ;)

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  14. My favorite escape is to take a walk. Stepping away from the problem and enjoying the beauty of the outdoors whether on the road, in the woods or along the beach helps me relax.

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    1. Sounds great! Thanks for stopping by, Laurie.

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  15. My favorite escape would be reading. However, if a major escape is possible, a road trip is a preferred way to do it. A trip to somewhere I have wanted to visit, a drive out to a good place to go hiking, just a trip to a neighboring town to walk the historic district and look in the shops would all work.

    Best of luck with your writing career. Have a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year.

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    1. Thank you so much! Happy holidays to you too!

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  16. Oh, I am so very happy to "meet" a new historical romance author, Susanna & PJ! I don't get out much anymore and so reading books is my staycation, solace and entertainment. I was looking for something romantic to read this holiday season...and voila here is this post that came my way! :-) Thanks so much for the introduction. jdh2690@gmail.com

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    1. Very pleased to "meet" you too, Janice!

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