Monday, December 31, 2012

My Favorite Reads of 2012

Picking a favorite book is like picking a favorite kid! It doesn't help that I read dozens upon dozens of books this year. I've picked each of these according to how they moved me, inspired me, or made me laugh. Some of these books may have been written prior to 2012. I'm putting them in my favorites of 2012 because that is the year that I read them! ;o)

1. By far, the best book I read of 2012, or for any other year for that matter, is Carl Purdon's The Night Train.  I loved this book so much that I ended up buying six paperback copies so that I could share with family and friends. I've not done that for any other book.
     The Night Train is a story about a boy who is abused by his father and ignored by his mother. He is taunted and teased at school, by his classmates and his teacher. He decides he has had enough and runs away on what they call The Night Train. He convinces his only friend in the world to join him. Together, they run away and meet up with a 'hobo' who helps them cross the country, hopping trains, and living hand to mouth.
     This isn't a Disney story. This is Jayrod's story. It is a story about finding courage and strength to persevere, of growing up, of learning that life isn't perfect but there is always hope.
     This is a beautifully written story that had me sobbing by the third page. Carl has a way of not only showing you what is happening, but drawing you in so quickly that in just a few pages, your are completely absorbed. I could not put this book down. Not many authors have the talent to do what Carl does. I envy him, I truly do. If Amazon would have let me give this one ten stars, I would have.

2.  Anything that was written by author Emery Lee, aka, Victoria Vane. Just take your pick. The Wild Night's Bride, or The Virgin Huntress, or The Devil's Match, or The Devil You Know, or Devil In The Making. The entire series is a delight! This is a Regency era series that left me on the edge of my seat, rooting for heroes and heroine's alike. This series is not for the faint of heart or for those who do not like 'steamy' stories. What I love most about this series is that each book stands on its own two feet. They are exciting, captivating, sexy, and just down right good books to read. ;o)

3.  Another favorite series was Katie MacAllister's Noble series! These were not only exciting and sexy, they were hilariously funny. I'm talking the kind of funny where you laugh so hard you pee your pants! I bought one right after the other and read the entire series in about a week. Couldn't put them down. These would be books I'd give more than 5 stars to if Amazon would let me.

4. Ava Stone's Scandalous Series. This is another favorite. Sweet, exciting, and intriguing. I enjoyed each book and am anxiously waiting to read more from this author. ;o) Ava does an excellent job with this Regency series.

5. Maya Banks' Highlander books, The McCabe Trilogy. In Bed with a Highlander, Seduction of a Highland Lass, and Never Love a Highlander. This is the series that made me love Maya and Highlanders even more than I already did! You can get the entire trilogy in one bundle now and it is worth every penny!

6. Lucinda Brant's novel, The Salt Bride. This is another historical romance that had me enthralled and captivated in just the first few sentences. That does not happen too often, but it did with this book. There are parts that left me sobbing with grief for the heroine. It is a HEA (Happily Ever After) but what they have to go through to get there will leave you breathless. ;o)

7.  The Train Station Bride, by Holly Bush. I love historical romances but was never one for Western Historical Romances until I read this book! I loved every page of it. Holly has a beautiful voice and I love how she brought the two main characters together! It is a sweet and funny read and I gave it a 5 star review. ;o)

8. Carmen Caine's The Bedeviled Heart from her Highland Heather and Hearts Series. This is another Highlander series that I absolutely adore. I love Carmen's writing style and her voice. Breathtaking, beautiful, sweet, clean, and chock full of accurate history. You can't miss with any of the books in this series. Carmen is one of the reasons that I write in the genre that I write in. If it weren't for her, I wouldn't be here! ;o) Carmen is one of my top 5 all time favorite authors. Ever.

9. True Highland Spirit, by Amanda Forrester. This is another Highlander Series that I treasure! Amanda has a wonderful voice and way of telling a story. Hilariously funny, sweet, clean, and an all around 5 star book!

10. Come Back To Me, by Melissa Foster. This one folks, is a tear jerker. Don't read without two boxes of Kleenex and a box of chocolates. This is a contemporary romance and one that I couldn't put down. Melissa has a fine voice and this book proves that point. I actually emailed the author while I was reading the book! ;o)

11. Ava, by Ashley Barron. This is a contemporary romance and Ashley's first published novel. I enjoyed this book and I look forward to reading more from Ashley! ;o) This is much more than just a romance novel. It has a good mystery to it as well. This is pretty darned good for a debut novel!

I think I see a trend here. I like historical romance novels especially when they are part of a series. I lean toward Highlanders and Regency. But I also thoroughly enjoy a good contemporary fiction and a good contemporary romance novel.

There were many, many other books that I read this year. Far too many to mention here. These are just a few of those books that stood out for me this year.

Happy New Year to all of you and may God bless you in 2013!!

Hugs and warm wishes,


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

My wish for each of you is that you are blessed beyond that which you can comprehend. That you always hold on to that child-like wonder, awe, and happiness that is this time of year. May the good Lord bless and hold each and every one of you close and safe.

Thank you all for a most beautiful and wonderful year! You are the best readers any author could ever hope for.

With love and blessings,

Suzan Tisdale

Friday, December 21, 2012

Blizzard Blessings

I hope everyone is safe today. Last night was our first blizzard of the winter of 2012/2013. I'm so very happy that I didn't have to dig out the car, warm it up, find my winter boots, and try to trek to work this morning! I get to stay here where it is nice and warm.  Okay, my DH would have dug out the car, but I think that would be easier than searching the house for winter boots. He knows where the snow is. I haven’t a clue where my winter boots are! ;o)

Yes, I realize many of you do have to dig out and drive on treacherous roads to get to your jobs. I hope that you all remain safe today and that it isn't too bad where you are.

I realized this morning that this will be the first Christmas break in years that I didn't have to take my son to day care or guiltily leave him alone all day. (He's 14-almost 15 now, so he doesn't need day care. Unless my dear husband Kevin is here and then they BOTH need it as they tend to get into too much trouble when left unattended, but I digress!)

This is the first time in years that I will get to enjoy a Christmas break with my son and my husband. We've never been blessed with enjoying a vacation together as a family. The last 'vacation' Kevin and I had together was our honeymoon in 2005. We were always working, but this year is different. Because of past job schedules we’ve simply never had the opportunity to spend more than a three or four day weekend together. 

Now, we are all blessed with new jobs that will allow us to spend the next couple of weeks together. Thankfully, my husband's job (he teaches young men how to become great carpenters) is less than a mile from home. In the past, he's had to drive an hour or more in this awful weather. He's a carpenter, so the location and type of work changed from week to week, and sometimes day to day. 

This afternoon will be the start of our first Christmas break together and I am really looking forward to it. I might change my mind in a few days for I'll now be able to see what they do, or used to do, on these Christmas vacations while I was at work and they were here alone all day! 

Honestly, none of this would be possible if it weren’t for my readers. As you all know, I was able to give up my day job a couple of months ago and now I get to write full time. 

This was actually one of the things I was looking forward to the most, hunkering down and writing while it is snowing outside. It was a romantic notion I had for years, to be tucked inside, safe and warm, typing away at the keyboard, working on a book. Now that day dream has turned into a reality and I owe it all to you. 

Please know that I’m thinking of all of you this holiday season and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and/or a Happy Hanukah! May the good lord bless each and every one of you and may all your dreams come true!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

And the winner is...

R De Arman! ;o)

R De Arman is the winner of a free copy of Laiden's Daughter!

If you would please send me your contact information to: I'll get your signed copy to you as soon as possible. ;o)

Merry Christmas everyone!


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Happy Anniversary to Laiden's Daughter!

One year ago today, I published my first novel, Laiden's Daughter.  So much has happened, so many changes have taken place in my life, since that day. Wonderful, amazing, fantastic things and I owe it all to my beautiful readers!

Because of you, my wonderful readers, Laiden's Daughter, has been on Amazon's Top 100 Best Sellers list since February, 2012.

Because of you, when I released the second book in my Clan MacDougall series on September 2, 2012, it made the same top 100 list in less than a week. ;o)

Because of you, I'm also listed as one of Amazon's top 100 authors in my genres.

In the past year, Laiden's Daughter has sold more than 37,000 copies (Kindle versions) around the world. All because of you.

Findley's Lass has sold more than 6,000 copies since September. ;o) (Kindle versions) around the world. All because of you.

Because of you, I was able to give up my day job. For that, I am eternally grateful to each and every one of you!

In honor of Laiden's release/publication date, I'm giving away two signed paperback copies of Laiden's Daughter!! ;o) Rules are simple: just leave me a note  here at my blog and you're automatically entered to win! I'm going to keep this contest going for the next 7 days. Share with your friends and they will be entered too!

Words cannot express how thankful I am to all of you. Please know that I am grateful for everything you've all done to help make my dreams come true. ;o) I have the most amazing, wonderful, thoughtful readers.

Eternally grateful,


Friday, December 7, 2012

My review of "Devil In The Making"

I don’t know how Victoria Vane does it, I’m just glad that she does! She has a way of blending so much rich historical detail into her books that one would almost think she lived during the Regency Era and she is sharing her secrets of that beautiful time period with the rest of us! (But you can tell from her picture that she is far too young!)  Devil In The Making is another fine example of Ms. Vane’s work.

Think of Devil In The Making as the prequel to Ms. Vane’s Devil DeVere series. For those of you who may not have read the other books in this series, do not worry. Devil In The Making stands alone quite nicely. However, I would suggest reading the other books in this series for the simple fact that they’re all so darned good!
Ludovic DeVere
Devil In The Making begins at Westminster School, 1764 with Ludovic DeVere, Simon, and Ned, three young men who are central characters throughout the Devil Devere series. In this vignette, we see how their friendship began as well as why Ludovic is the way he is. It does have a few sad moments, but over all, this is a funny and fresh story, made even better by the delightful illustrations that come with the book!
In this story, we find that DeVere has already begun to develop his reputation as a rake and a scoundrel. However, he does something to show us that he does possess a noble and loyal side. Ludovic takes the blame for a very bawdy poem that Simon wrote that is discovered by a very unlikeable teacher. This leads to Ludovic taking a thrashing, which in turn leads us to a hilarious story involving a lion and the lion’s caregiver. Revenge can be fun!
It is chock full (as always with Victoria’s stories!) of humor and a bit of seduction. Devil In The Making is a delightful read and I find myself wanting to read more about this central cast of characters that Victoria has developed.

One of the things I love the most about the entire Devil DeVere series is that each story can, and does, stand on its own merits. Devil In The Making is no exception. The men are strong, but with softer sides, inner battles and secrets that unfold in true Victoria Vane sexy, Regency period, fashion.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Question of the Day

Hello dear readers! ;o)

I've posted a poll today. I am very curious to learn how you all find or discover new books to read? Which method do you use the most? Do you do searches by specific genre at Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Apple? Or do you rely primarily on word of mouth? Or do you follow blogs related specifically to reading books in your favorite genres? Or is there another method you use?

I thank you in advance for taking the time to vote! The poll is on the side bar to your right. ;o)


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Book Signing -- Success!

Hello everyone!
I had a great time at the Burlington By The Book Bookstore on Saturday. I met lots and lots of new people and was able to see some friends and family members that I haven't seen in ages. I also sold lots of books and gained several new readers! ;o)

At the end of the day, I only had three copies of Laiden's Daughter left and ten of Findley's Lass! All in all, a very exciting and fun day!

I am looking forward to my next book signing. I'll post dates, locations, times, etc. as they come in. (My assistant is working on setting more book signings up for me. I go where she tells me to! lol)

I hope you all have a great week! Below are a few pictures from Saturday.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Book Signing Today!

I'm really looking forward to the book signing today! ;o) I'll be at Burlington By the Book Bookstore from 11:00 to 2:00 p.m. today, signing copies of Findley's Lass and Laiden's Daughter.  It is located at 301 Jefferson, Burlington Iowa.

It has been years since I've been in Iowa ;o) I'm looking forward to seeing some family, old friends, and meeting new ones!

I will post pictures of the day in a day or two.

Thank you all again for your continued support!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Interview With Author Melissa Foster

One of the great things about our technological world is that we are exposed to many authors that we wouldn't otherwise have been exposed to. 

One of the nicest women that I have met via the twitterverse and Facebook is author Melissa Foster. She is always positive, sweet, kind and generous with her time, ideas, and really, really good books! ;o) Melissa agreed to a little interview with me and I'm sure you will find her as sweet as I do. She is a very fine author and I think you'll find her work as wonderful as I do!

1. Tell me about your most recent literary work.

This year I completed three novels. Below is a summary of TRACES OF KARA.

Kara Knight can't wait to leave her hometown for the promise of nursing school and a fresh start on her future--leaving behind an over protective mother, a broken heart and painful memories. However, twenty-five miles away, the brother she doesn't know is determined to be reunited with the sister he cannot forget.   

Kara is abducted and thrown into her obsessive captor's delusional world. As the past she thought she knew unravels around her, Kara struggles to make sense of the memories that come creeping back, threatening her sanity and her safety. Meanwhile, Kara's mother races against time to save the daughter she fears she will lose when a long-held secret is revealed. The hours tick away as Roland plays out his plan--to take Kara with him into death at the exact moment of their birth, never to be separated again. 

TRACES OF KARA is an action packed, pulse pounding psychological thriller/suspense novel that features a determined killer who slowly loses his grip on reality as his carefully detailed plan starts to fall apart and a heroine determined to move forward with her life who now must reconcile everything she believed to be true about her family with the reality of their tragic past.

2. What has been the most exciting thing that has happened as a result of your writing?

The most exciting? Getting a call from my literary agent telling me that an editor from a major publisher loved my manuscript!

3.  In all, how many books have you written?

To date, I’ve written six. I’m waiting on publication dates for three.
Megan’s Way, Come Back to Me, Chasing Amanda, (all published)
Traces of Kara, Where Petals Fall, and Have No Shame (to be published).

4. I read your book, Come Back To Me, and it did not have a typical happy ending, (yes, I've finally forgiven you for that!) What do you hope the reader takes with them after reading this story?

Well, I tend to disagree. It did not have the typical happily-ever-after ending, but if you think about it (no spoilers here), it did have a happy ending, just not for the person you were rooting for, right?

(Melissa is correct! She didn't end it the way I would have and THAT is what makes her a great author!) 

Yes, I write controversial events in my books, and that is a prime example. My original ending was what you were hoping for, but while I was writing the story, that ending was not real. It would have felt to “fluffy” to me, so I wrote what I felt was true to the story.

I hope my readers will come away feeling introspective about their lives and what’s important in their lives. As you’ll recall – again, no spoilers – Beau has to rely on his faith in his marriage to carry on. That is an example of the type of thoughts I’d think my readers would be considering when they read the last words.

5. Who is your favorite author?

That is such a tough question, because I don’t always love every book by authors that I love, and that’s probably because I enjoy things to always be different, and many authors follow patterns in their writing. Here are a few authors I’ve enjoyed lately: Kathleen Grissom, Heather Gudenkauf, John Hart.

6. What or who inspires you to write?

Life is my biggest inspiration. A jog or walk outside will garner three or four ideas for books. I came home from the store this morning and told my son about a storyline I came up with about a woman in the store. It was suspenseful, and he turned to me and said, “Why would anyone’s mind work that way?” Meaning, “Why do you think about those things, Mom?!” My mind is always thinking in terms of stories.

7. I have heard that some writers use things called 'outlines' to write. Some even go so far as to give birthdays and extensive histories for each of their characters. Is this something you do as well?

I have heard of such a creature—the dreaded outline—but I am not someone who can create such a thing.  I’m a total pantzer, except that I do give my characters complete backgrounds—sometimes all the way back to games they played as children. Sometimes my characters appear as I’m writing (which I LOVE), and even then, they come complete with backgrounds, weaknesses, and often times, even quirky mannerisms.

(Interviewer's note: I was so relieved to find out Melissa is one of me!)

8. Is there a genre that you're just aching to try your hand at?

I never thought I’d write historical fiction and I did, and I loved it. My next undertaking is probably YA or New Adult. I just love to climb into the head of a rebellious younger person. It’s an easy regression for meJ

9. How many children do you have and what do they think of your writing?

My husband and I have six children, and what they think of it depends on the child. Our youngest two boys are my biggest cheerleaders, they love to hear about the stories and characters, and even the settings. Our older four kids are in college, grad school, or already graduated and working full-time. I think that since they’re so busy with lives of their own, my writing is just what I do.

10. You're stranded on a deserted island and it will be at least six months before you're rescued. Who is with you? What would you have to have in order to survive mentally, spiritually, and physically? 

Oh so easy! My husband, my youngest kids (because my older ones would have no interest in being away from their lives for six months – otherwise I’d snag them, too), my laptop, internet (to connect with our older kids and my mother), my Winnie-The-Pooh bear (yes, seriously), a stack of notebooks and pens (not pencils), and a slab of memory foam with a comfy blanket and pillow. If allowed, an endless supply of paperbacks and chocolate.

11.  What is your favorite thing about writing?

Gosh, I think about this every single day. I think it’s the freedom of my creativity. I love everything about being a writer, but I probably do because there is no time to grow bored of my profession. Every day—every hour, is different. Every book offers new surprises and challenges.

12. Finally, is there a question you wished I had asked? If so, answer it here.

Hmm…nope! I take ‘em as they come and don’t think too hard about anything along the way. I had fun answering these! Thank you for sharing your virtual space with me today. xox

Thank you so much, Melissa, for sharing a bit of yourself with us today! ;o) 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

December 1 Book Signing Set!

Hello everyone!
I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while. I've been diligently working on Wee William's Woman! It is going very well and I'm sure I'll be able to release his story come Spring! ;o)

I have just firmed up my next book signing. I'll be at the "Burlington By The Book" Bookstore, 301 Jefferson St., Burlington, Iowa on Saturday, December 1, 2012 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

We should have plenty of copies of Findley's Lass and Laiden's Daughter on hand to sign.

I am so excited to meet more of my readers and to see old friends and family! ;o)

I hope to see you there!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Of Barbie Dolls, Spies, and Castles

I was reminded this morning of my first Barbie doll. I think I was in third or fourth grade and I loved her.

Yes, I thought she was pretty and there isn't a thing wrong with that. Never once in all my childhood did I want to look like Barbie when I grew up. But I did want to be like my Barbie. (Before all the Barbie haters start in on how awful Barbie is, please read the rest of this post. ;o) Thank you.)

I was in fourth or fifth grade when I got the Barbie Cruise Ship and the Barbie Airplane for Christmas. My cousin Debbie got the Barbie Townhouse, oh my gracious it was awesome!!! IT EVEN HAD AN ELEVATOR! How cool is that? I was so envious. But she let me play with it so that was cool!

Anyway, I digress...back to my cruise ship and airplane. These were vinyl covered cardboard things, not all hard pink plastic like you see today. You could tuck all your dresses, shoes, jewelry and things inside it and carry it with you wherever you went. I loved them and thought they were pretty nifty.

When other girls played with their Barbies, they were pretty generic about it. My Barbie did different things and they made me feel like the odd ball. While my cousins' Barbies were teachers, nurses, and moms, well, my Barbie was different.

My Barbie wasn't a mom, or a teacher or a nurse or even a stewardess. (They were called stewardesses back in my day, so don't hate me for using that term). My Barbie was the pilot. She flew all over the world in her airplane. Bangkok, Tokyo, Saudi Arabia, England (she spent lots of time in England), New York City, Taiwan, Russia, pretty much every place that I was learning about in social studies, my Barbie would fly to.

But when she landed, she'd zip over to her hotel to change. She'd don her red evening gown, or the gold one depending on her mood. Now here is where my mom should have known I was either going to end up in the nut house or end up a writer: Barbie would strap a .357 Magnum to each of her thighs. In her bejeweled evening bag was another gun. Under her evening gloves, she had hidden sharp knives. (NO, she was NOT a serial killer!) My Barbie was the female version of 007. ;o)

Barbie was flying around the world pretending to be a pilot. But that was her cover. She was actually a secret spy for the CIA, hence the guns hidden under her beautiful ball gowns. (They were imaginary of course because you couldn't get plastic guns tiny enough to strap to a Barbie doll! I bet you still can't)

She would make her way into these castles and villas. Then she'd sneak around in the dark and find her way into to the secret, but not too well hidden libraries of the bad guys, break into their safes, steal the secret codes or files, and sneak back out again. Occasionally, she made it out without anyone knowing what was hidden under her dress. But other times, she barely got out alive. A few times, she'd have to steal the bad guy's helicopter or his speed boat, shooting all the bad guys down on her way to safety.  Sometimes she would have to rescue a fellow CIA agent who was being held prisoner. The aforementioned CIA operative was always male because I still thought boys were stupid and couldn't find their way out of a wet paper bag. My Barbie rocked. My Barbie saved the world. My Barbie kicked bootie.

There were very few romances with Ken. (I was a late bloomer.)  My Barbie was too busy taking of business and saving the world to worry about romance, husbands, and children.

So there you have it. That's how I played with my Barbie. Sometimes she was an opera singer. Sometimes she was a cowgirl. Sometimes she was a cop. Sometimes a doctor or a scientist. Whatever role I put her in, her essence was the same: Never plain, never stupid, and never needed a man to rescue her.

Somewhere along life's road, I lost the little girl that I used to be. The one that was so sure of herself, knew exactly what she wanted out of life, and never needed rescuing.  She lay dormant for decades, quietly tucked inside a vinyl covered cardboard airplane, waiting for someone to pull out the ball gowns and guns.

I don't know whatever happened to my Barbie, Skipper and PJ dolls. And I don't know where all her handmade clothes and her boat and airplane ended up. But I have found her. Or the essence of her. 

That little girl I used to be. The one who was so confident, self-assured, and kicking bootie. Instead of guns strapped to thighs however, my weapon of choice is my MacBook Pro. But the idea is still the same. I can create wonderful stories of romance, mystery and intrigue. Oh, I throw in a lot of romance now, mainly because I have blossomed! And my stories currently take place in 14th Century Scotland. The premise is the same; we get to steal away for a few hours, locking out the real world that is sometimes just too hectic, harrowing, ugly, stressful, or even boring. We get to pull our Barbies out and play for a while and forget about the rest of the world.

And I still get to rescue people and my heroine's are often rescued, and there isn't anything wrong with that. I think all of us at one point or another need rescued. Either from a ne'er do well or ourselves.

I guess I'm still playing with Barbies, but mind you, in a round about, grown up way. Every day I get to sit in my office and let my imagination take me away to enchanting, far away places, filled with castles, heroes and heroines and bad guys. And good always triumphs over evil. And love is never denied. There are broadswords, sgian dubh's, and bows and arrows instead of guns and blades. I still have beautiful gowns but of a different time and era. People travel by horse instead of plane. There are still spies, still bad guys to deal with. The adventure continues....

The crazy thing is, I get to write all these stories down. The coolest part is that I get to share what goes on in this crazy mind of mine with the rest of the world.

I'd say I have a blessed life. I have a wonderful, kind, funny, sexy husband who is, and always will be my hero. I've got great kids and perfect grandchildren. A crazy family that loves me and is proud of me.  A safe, warm, loving home in which all who enter are loved and adored. I get to help those who are less fortunate than I am. I get to be there for my family and help out when and wherever I can.

I guess you could say that I owe my childhood Barbie a big thank you. If it weren't for her and her airplane that helped open up this wild imagination of mine, I don't know where I'd be. So for all you Barbie haters out there...not all little girls want to look like a Barbie. But there isn't a damned thing wrong with wanting to be like your Barbie. That is, if she is as cool and kick butt as mine was. ;o)


Monday, November 12, 2012

Steam vs. Clean...Posing a Question

Hello beautiful ladies! I have a question that I'd like to run by all of you today and your input is very important.

Many of my readers like the fact that my books are clean. I also have many readers (including my 71 year old mother and my 71 year old aunt for crying out loud! lol) who say they're not steamy enough. (The question isn't about which you prefer, clean or steamy, we all know it is a personal preference and I think its evenly divided among the two lol.)

So I had a thought I wanted to run by all of you...what if I had two versions of the same book available? One with steam, one without. Everything about the book would be the same, but I could leave out the 'steam' for those readers who just don't like it. Kind of like a 'directors' cut they do for movies, lol.

I can guarantee that everything about each book would be identical, except for the steamy love scenes. It would be a very simple process to do considering my writing style. ;o) I think the trick to a really good story is that it can stand on its own two legs with or without the steam. I would make certain that each book was clearly labeled so that you would know which version you are getting.

I'd like to know what all of you would think about that? Would you like that option? I'm just curious to know what you'd think about this.

I thank you in advance for your thoughts on this!
Have a great day!

Monday, October 29, 2012

What I've Learned My First Day of Being Self-Employed

I learned quite a few things today, this my first day as a self-employed individual working from home. I would like to share those with you. ;o)

  1. I suck at the June Cleaver bit. In my insane moment of wanting to do something nice for my family by baking cookies, I discovered the hard way that my potholder had a hole in it. Yes, I cursed like a drunken sailor when I took the cookie sheet out of the oven.
  2. Don't lay down on the sofa to do a plot revision while you've got the TV on to some show titled "Notorious". You WILL have nightmares!
  3. Just because I'm home, doesn't necessarily mean I have to catch up on laundry. It takes away from writing.
  4. Although I don't make a very good June Cleaver, the smile of surprise on my son's eyes when he walked through the front door and discovered homemade chocolate chocolate chip cookies is  priceless. 
  5. Remind son not to get used to homemade cookies every day or even every week. ;o)
  6. Do not turn on the TV just to see what kind of shows I've been missing all these years. I'm now comfortable knowing I've not missed anything other than the cooking shows. Too distracting. Thank Goodness for DVR though. I did like that 10 Dollar Meals show. Now have it set to record. 
  7. Just because I'm home doesn't mean I can or should make three pots of coffee before 1:00. Even though its decaf, it still goes through you like regular!
  8. Just because friends send me twitter messages or Facebook messages doesn't mean I have to immediately answer. Tomorrow, phone and internet will be off until I've written 3,000 words. ;o)
  9. But the most important thing I've learned is that I really, really like being home! 


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hometown Newspaper...a nice surprise

I was contacted by a journalist from the Monmouth Review Atlas on Friday. She asked if we could do a little Q & A for the Saturday edition. Thinking this would be a little story on their back page, I said sure! ;o)  Imagine my surprise when I started getting texts, Facebook Messages and picture messages yesterday morning telling me that the story was on the front page!

You can view the story by clicking here. 

Hometown Paper

I'm still amazed at the amount of people interested in my stories. Not just those that read them, but others who are interested in the why and how of my writing process. Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm a pantster. I don't use outlines, very few notecards, or any thing that would even remotely be considered organized.

I was surprised and honored by the journalist's request. I mean really, I'm not Julie Garwood for crying out loud! But it was fun and it made my mother very happy so there you go! ;o)

I'm looking forward to tomorrow morning, my first full day as a self-employed author. Again, I thank you all for your support and kind word.

Remember, if you can dream it, you can achieve it!


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Words to live by....

I love Pinterest! Tonight I discovered a few quotes that I wanted to share with you...

First Saturday as Self-Employed Individual

My husband and I had a wonderful time last night in Springfield. My husband is an instructor at the local apprenticeship school. He teaches young men how to be excellent carpenters. Last night was their graduation dinner. The food was amazing, they had Jack Daniels available  and sinful chocolate cake!

I met more of his friends and 'brothers'. I also met one of the graduating apprentices and his wife. They were the most delightful young couple! It turns out he is quite Scottish! He plays the drums in a pipe and drum band and they attend local highland games and events. They actually bought the copy of Findley's Lass that I had with me!

So it was a beautiful evening filled with great food, really nice and funny people, and making new friends. Yesterday was one of those hectic days that started at 5:00 a.m. and didn't end until 1:00 a.m! So much happened yesterday! At 12:01 p.m. I walked out of the little insurance office as an author.

I realized this morning when the sun broke through the window of our hotel room, that this was my first Saturday morning as a self-employed individual. I've been unemployed before and that always left me feeling desperate; when one in unemployed, one needs to find a means to make a living and do it quickly! Its a very scary feeling being unemployed, not knowing where your next job or paycheck is going to come from or how your going to pay the bills and feed the kids.  I never enjoyed being unemployed.

But being completely, 100%, happily self-employed is an all together different feeling. I don't feel desperate, I feel at peace. Happy. Content. In charge. In control. I know that win, lose, or draw, it is all up to me. I feel like I've taken control of my own destiny.

The speaker at the graduation ceremony last night didn't give a typical speech filled with, "You're going to go out into the real world and conquer it and be amazing and perfect." You know what I mean, the typical graduation speech.  This guy was different. He basically told the graduates that they'd been given a gift and it was up to each of them to decide what they wanted to do with it. They were in charge of how far they could go and don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something. I was very impressed with him.

I am in control of my future. I won't let anyone tell me that I can't do something. I spent way too many years listening to those voices in my head that said I couldn't. I'd fail. No one is interested in what you have to say.

Age, knowledge, wisdom and an amazing husband has changed all that! I no longer doubt myself or my capabilities. I know that I can pretty much do anything if I just put my mind to it. And the only way that I'll ever fail at anything is if I don't try.

So that is how I spent the first few minutes of my first Saturday morning as a self-employed author: contemplating the gifts I've been given and my future.

I am blessed. Blessed beyond anything that makes sense to me. I have the best readers in the world too! You are all just the best and I know that a tremendous amount of my success is owed to each of you. Thank you all!

So my advice to anyone contemplating a big change in their life is this: just do it. Don't let the negative voices in your head hold you back any longer. Go for it. If you're surrounded by negative people, get rid of them. And by that I mean, surround yourself with positive people! You only get one life people. Make the most of it. Seek happiness and joy where you can find it and embrace those good, kind, wonderful people in your life. Pay it forward, be kind to others. I find that if you help others fulfill their dreams you'll find yourself fulfilling some of your own!

Have a beautiful rest of your weekend!


Friday, October 26, 2012

T Minus Four Hours....

Today is my last day at my 'day job'! I cannot express enough "Thank You's" to my readers!!! None of this would be possible without you.

It also would not be possible were it not for Amazon and it's KDP program. Because of all of you, my dreams of becoming a full time author are now coming to fruition.

Starting at 12:01 p.m. today, when asked what I do for a living, I will be able to say (with a big SMILE!!) that I am an author. You have no idea just how awesome this moment in my life is. Its right up there with giving birth to my children and marrying the love of my life, Kevin.

So thank you, thank you, thank you! I owe each of you an eternal debt of gratitude and thanks.

With love and thanks,


Monday, October 22, 2012


We all get the occasional 'bad review' on our writing. I LOVE honest, thoughtful comments on my books. I'm smart enough to know that the only person who thinks I'm perfect is my mother, so I know not everyone is going to love everything that I write. ;o) I love honest critiques, honest insights and opinions. Even if you didn't like a particular character, or the flow, or whatever, I love to hear w
hy a reader didn't care for something. I've actually learned quite a bit from those types of reviews/insights/opinions and I do appreciate them.

However, the same cannot be said for 'troll's. You know who I'm talking about...people who troll the internet and write REALLY awful stuff, untruthful stuff, and you can tell from what they've written about your work that they haven't even read it. There are just some people who aren't happy unless they're making someone else miserable.

Now, with that said, you'll see a brand new 1 star review on Findley's Lass today. I am just curious...if you don't like a book, do you really read it all the way through? Don't you usually know by the first few pages, or at least the end of the first chapter or two if you'll be able to continue on with it? I just find it odd that if you find a book that bad, why would you continue to read it? Just curious! ;o) I can usually tell by end of first few pages. And yes, I have returned books that were bad before. No, I'm not upset about the review, I just found it quite odd.

I'd love to know what you think. ;o)



November Book Signing

On Saturday, November 3, 2012 from 1 to 3 p.m. I'll be at the Stone Alley Bookstore on Seminary Street in Galesburg, IL. I look forward to meeting readers, signing copies of Findley's Lass  and Laiden's Daughter, and seeing old friends! I look forward to seeing you there!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Things That Make Me Happy....

I'm having one of those happy, happy days...the kind of day where my mind is clear, focused, and I'm able to see just how great life is and can be. One of those days where I think, "It's probably not right to be this blissfully happy!"

But I am. Can't help it. Today, I'm able to clearly see all the blessings the Good Lord has bestowed upon me. Just why he has, I don't have a clue. I must have done something really spectacular in another life because I can't see what I've done in this one to deserve all that I have.

We all have bad days. We even have some really horrific, terrible, heartbreaking things that happen. Trust me, I haven't always been this content, this happy, this appreciative of my blessings. The list of crappy stuff that's happened in my life is pretty long. But I don't like to dwell on those things. Instead, I choose to remain focused on the here and now. The past is past and you can't undo it, no matter how hard we wish that we could.

I'm compiling a list of things that make me happy. I'd love to hear what makes you happy! I find that it is different from person to person and that is one of the really cool things about life. Please feel free to post below!

Things That Make Me Happy
(In no particular order, just as the thought comes to me!)

  1. My husband. 99.9999% of the time, I find him utterly charming, adorable, sexy, smart, funny, sexy, sweet....We won't discuss the .000001 when I don't find him thus. 
  2. My kids. Even when they're driving me nuts, I still find I love them, no matter what. They can make me laugh and usually at the most inappropriate of times! 
  3. My grandkids! They're God's payment for not killing my kids when they were teenagers! My grandkids are smart, adorable, funny, precious and practically perfect in every way!
  4. My family, both the one I was born into and the one I married into. No two families could be more dissimilar yet have many things in common such as love of family, faith, and country. 
  5. coffee. The smell of it as it brews first thing in the morning and the way the light shines in through the kitchen window and casts umpteen different shades of brown across the counter and walls! 
  6. Jack Daniels. 
  7. Chocolate cake
  8. Weight Watcher's Breakfast Quesadillas
  9. My living room with its red wood floors, gold drapes, funky lamps & furniture. Its just so pretty!
  10. Rainy days in October...they leave me feeling peaceful.
  11. Mashed potatoes. 
  12. writing
  13. friends
  14. comfy blue jeans and warm sweaters
  15. PURSES! -- hello my name is Suzan and I have an addiction for purses. 
  16. My red coffee cup
  17. My mom's wicked sense of humor
  18. My aunts and uncles
  19. My cousins' musical talents...which I'm quite envious of! But the sounds of their guitars, voices, harmonicas, drums & mandolins, especially when they play near the camp fire, its one of the most happy & precious of times.
  20. The colors of autumn: deep oranges, golds, reds, greens, favorites
  21. John Wayne movies on a Sunday afternoon
  22. Reading a really good book
  23. My 'online' author their generosity, faith, and humor!

So what things make YOU happy?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Book Launching Party -- Sucess!

The party was beyond anything that I could have imagined or hope for! ;o) There were people there that I didn't even know! I actually asked my husband, "Do you know those people?" He said, "No." I remember looking at him and asking, "I wonder why they're here?" He gave me one of those, oh, I've married a really nice girl who is just a tad on the goofy side, but I love her anyway, kind of looks! ;o) I was just so caught up in the night, and guests, and all the fun we were having that there were times it seemed surreal. ;o)

I'm posting pictures for those of you who could not make it. I can't thank everyone enough! We had over 75 people come out to help us celebrate the successful launching of Findley's Lass! 
Aunt Marilyn, my Mamma, me, and Aunt Jerry!

The cake! It was beautiful & delicious!

Me with my cousin Sharon. She's such a sweetie!
Me with fellow author, Cecilia Were! She's a beautiful woman!

Me with niece, Belinda. Yes, I'm drinking a double shot of Jack Daniels! 
My best friend, Shelley and I. Even sitting down, I'm an Amazon woman compared to Tiny Shelley!

Kevin, our son Mike, and I. (He hated the dress clothes!
A shot of the room

Kevin and I with our cover models! My son-in-law and daughter. She's just as beautiful in person! And yes, his arms are just as nice! ;o)