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Good news! My amazing longtime narrator, Patrick Lawlor, will be reading the male POVs in SOME KIND OF HERO. He’ll be joined by audiobook narrator rock star Bahni Turpin, reading the point of view of heroine and romance author Shayla Whitman, and the other female POVs! The audiobook will be available from Blackstone Audio in CD, MP3 and download on July 11, 2017!
DO OR DIE is a contemporary romantic suspense novel set in the Troubleshooter’s world — but because it’s the first book in a new story arc, we gave it its own sub-series title: “Reluctant Heroes.” (And the book’s hero, former Navy SEAL Ian Dunn is exactly that! Extremely reluctant. He’s drawn, kicking and screaming, into a highly dangerous situation…)
DO OR DIE features some familiar faces from the TS series, and it’s also set in Sarasota, Florida — home of the Troubleshooters Incorporated Florida branch. (Run by Ric Alvarado, who is an off-page character in DO OR DIE.) (Off-page means he’s briefly mentioned, but he doesn’t appear in the book.)
Martell Griffin, the former cop turned lawyer (from FORCE OF NATURE) plays a major role. As do FBI Agents (and members of Jules Cassidy’s FBI team) Deb Erlanger and Joe “Yashi” Hirabayashi. But none of those characters carry a lot of backstory baggage, so new readers won’t feel lost as they meet them for the first time!
In short, DO OR DIE is a great place for new readers to start, yet it’ll still feel familiar to readers who love the TS series.
Think of it like FLASHPOINT, the book which introduced the story arc for Nash, Tess, Decker, Dave, and Sophia, and introduced the civilian team of Troubleshooters, Incorporated.
Alas, I have long covid so I probably won’t be making any personal appearances again. But you can catch me on Zoom and in other virtual places. Check out my appearances page. (You can find links to my recent off-site blog posts, too!)
I’ve got plans to write two (or three?) more books in the “Fighting Destiny” series (book two tells Anna’s story), but I got a little distracted by writing DO OR DIE and SOME KIND OF HERO. So I’m not quite sure when I’ll get around to writing the sequel to BORN TO DARKNESS. (Sorry! Too many books to write, too little time!)
But I do have two Young Adult books called NIGHT SKY and WILD SKY (co-written with my daughter, Melanie), set in the “Fighting Destiny” world.
As a longtime fan of science fiction and futuristic paranormal, I really love the themes and messages of the Fighting Destiny series, and I woke up one morning thinking that it would be cool to write a YA companion series. In fact, it occurred to me that YA might be a better delivery-vehicle for those themes and messages…
I approached my daughter, Melanie, with this idea–she’s a writer, too, and she’s got a really vibrant YA writing voice–and together we collaborated on NIGHT SKY and WILD SKY. Its main character is a sixteen-year-old girl who discovers that she’s a Greater-Than.
Unlike BtoD, the Night Sky series is set down in Florida. So the characters don’t interact with the cast of BtoD–at least not yet.
There’s a prequel to the Night Sky series called Dangerous Destiny, and it’s free in all ebook formats! Check it out!
I used to get chastising or even flat-out nasty emails, and still sometimes do. It’s funny how often those emails start with the words, “I’m not homophobic, but…”
I’ve gotten far fewer anti-gay emails by including that message near my email address, at the bottom of my About page.
Best hater email story: Remember a few years ago when word got out that Dumbledore was gay? Fox News started shouting about how WRONG!!! that was, and its viewers got OUTRAGED!!! And I started getting nasty emails, as I always do when Fox News goes on an anti-gay tirade. More than the normal amount. (Normal, at that time, being a few every month or so.)
My usual response to this type of email is to hit “delete.” As soon as I recognize that the email is a hate missile, boom. It’s gone. I don’t need that toxicity in my life.
But one email started out saying something like “I’ve never read your books…” And with that boastful ignorance as the shining introduction, this person went on to berate me for including LGBT characters. In books she had never read. She went on to say some really nasty stuff about gay people.
And I was having a bad day, and instead of “delete,” I hit “reply.” And my memory is a little blurry, but it’s HIGHLY possible I used the word “idiotic” in my response. I’m certain I used “willful ignorance.” I know that I assured this person that my son was neither broken nor a sinner. My subtext was a very absolute and thinly veiled “Bite me.”
Well, I got quite the reply — including a vow to make sure no one in this person’s church and community ever read my books. Blah blah blah. But then I started getting emails from her friends. Boom. Three more emails in my inbox, filled with misspelled hate.
And I thought, “Holy crap, what if she belongs to one of those 20,000 member mega-churches?” Frankly, I didn’t (and don’t) care if haters refuse to read my books. I just didn’t want all that poison gumming up my email inbox.
So I posted a brief message on Facebook that went something like: “Hey, gang. Suz here. Um, I’m getting attacked by an anti-gay group who’re sending me nasty emails. If you’ve ever wanted to email me to tell me how much you’ve enjoyed reading about Jules and Robin, now would be a really good time…? Thanks…” I included my email address.
And — boom — my post went viral, and I ended up getting about 2,000 emails, many of them saying “I love Jules” in the subject header.
Total count from the haters? Five.
Thanks to all who filled my email inbox with love!