Susanne Matthews

Here is a recent interview about the ups and downs I’ve faced since I began writing.

Kris Wampler

Murder&Mistletoe.jpgSusanne Matthews has had negative experiences with traditional publishers, but has learned valuable lessons along the way. She shares them here in this detailed interview.

1. Tell me briefly about your latest book – what is it about and what motivated you to write it?

My most recent release is Murder & Mistletoe. It’s a Christmas-themed romantic suspense set today, that deals with reuniting two branches of a family separated after the American Civil War—the rich Kaynes of Georgia and the middle-class Kaynes of Northern New York. Not everyone in the family is happy with the idea of sharing their current riches, as well as missing pirate treasure hidden somewhere in the house. One member of the family determines to get rid of the newest Kayne while another falls in love with her and vows to keep her safe despite the attempts on her life.

I decided to write the story…

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Time for Another Book Fair Down Under!

Banner Romance Book Fair

Here we are in the west, twelve days away from Christmas, and in Australia, they’re already one day closer! What plans do you have for the holidays? Will you be scrambling around madly trying to get everything done in time, or will you be putting your feet up and relaxing with a good book?

If you are one of the lucky ones with time to spare now, or if you are one of those scrambling like crazy, but will have time to read after the whole kerfuffle is over, check out the list of great romance novels available for your pleasure. http://irisblobel.com/122018bookfair/

There are an incredible number of great books available, many of them 99 cents or less, and some free to read on Kindle Unlimited.

The book I’ve entered into the Book fair is Same Time Next Year. 

The blurb:

A novel within a novel.
For three short weeks, Twyla Lancaster was the fairy tale princess who’d found her prince, but just like that, reality ripped them apart. Now, fifty years later, she needs to know why the only man she ever loved broke his promises. As she writes her memoir and learns more about that summer, she realizes things were not what they seemed.
Hormones raced, promises were made, but Twyla left Michael Morrison high and dry, and within weeks, married someone else. Grieving the loss of his parents and her betrayal, he turned his back on love, focusing on his military career. Now, goaded by his sister, he agrees to attend a wedding and reunion, knowing Twyla will be there. It’s time to find out why she lied to him all those years ago.
The moment the star-crossed lovers see one another, love blooms between them, but when Michael discovers Twyla’s secret, he’s devastated. Is love enough to erase fifty years of pain and betrayal?

Check out all the books. You won’t be disappointed!

Political Correctness and Christmas: Is It Just Me, or Have We All Lost Perspective?

The Art of Debate:

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It’s been a while since I posted an opinion piece and while my opinion may not matter to you, listening to other people’s opinions and accepting that everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion matters, and should matter to everyone.

The problem today, as I see it, is that everyone is entitled to their own opinion as long as it is the opinion someone else agrees is the valid one. In the past, people debated. They discussed their side of the story, and the other listened, and then rebutted the statement. No one worked up the crowd of onlookers to get them to support their side. They argued the topic logically and clearly. They didn’t scream for censorship, demand statues be removed, beloved authors’ books tossed out, and songs played for over fifty years to be banned. They agreed to disagree.

You didn’t like a song? You didn’t play it? You didn’t like a book? You didn’t read it? You disagreed with someone’s actions in the past? You vowed not to repeat the actions in the present or future. You did not vilify the people of the past. You respected that things were different back then. You were grateful that things are better now–well some things are better now, but as far as I’m concerned, we are heading in the wrong direction by imposing views and values on others simply because the unknown masses feel it should be that way.

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Case in point. I was amazed by the posts purporting that a Nebraska principal had banned candy canes. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/school-principal-bans-candy-canes-believing-j-shape-represents-jesus I

didn’t actually believe it. I mean seriously? I’m glad clearer heads have prevailed.

I thought that was as bad as it got until I saw this today: someone has applied the same reasoning they are using to ban “Baby, It’s Cold Outside, to the Christmas story.

maria mery sant

Photo by JUAN CARLOS LEVA on Pexels.com

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/dec/7/eric-sprankle-minn-professor-says-virgin-mary-didn/

This is too much. It has to stop. We cannot keep looking at events from times past through the lens of today.

 

I am sick and tired of all the nonsense surrounding Christmas. Yes, it has become the most commercialized holiday on the planet, and most people don’t give two hoots– no offence to owls–about the real reason for the season, so why do we keep doing this year after year?  I’m done. I don’t care whether you say Merry Christmas, Season’s Greetings, Happy Holidays. Just to put things in perspective, there are 14 religious holidays celebrated at this time of year.

https://www.deseretnews.com/article/865642813/These-are-the-14-religious-holidays-believers-celebrate-in-December.html

and don’t forget the cultural feasts as well.

https://www.goabroad.com/articles/happy-holidays-celebrating-december-holidays-around-the-world

Now, on to the great music debate.

Instead of focusing on what’s wrong with “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” I have a few other suggestions. Remember, these are all tongue in cheek.

The Christmas Song:

Reason: Dangerous behavior, offends those who have lost homes and loved ones to fire.

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire? Need I say more?

Santa Claus is Coming to Town:

Reason: Stalker behavior

See you when you’re sleeping, knows when you’re awake.– Need I say more?

Christmas by The Chipmunks

Reason: Encourages children to be greedy and disrespectful, parental abuse

ALVIN! Need I say more/

Santa Baby

Reason: Promotes greed bribing Santa

Hurry down my chimney tonight with those gifts from Tiffany’s

Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer:

Reason: Disrespects the elderly. Animal involved in the collision might have to be destroyed. 

Clearly Grandma was a lush and no one really cares about her, only about the gifts.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Reason: Supports bullying,  singles out those who have birth defects 

Red nose, not being allowed to play in the reindeer games

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

Reason: Cheating? Subjecting a kid to soft porn. 

The kid seems to think Mom is being a little too friendly with the man in the red suit.

All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth

Reason: Offends those with a speech impediment and people with truly poor dental hygiene from malnutrition of drugs.

Kids do have trouble with certain sounds without their teeth, not to mention it’s hard to eat corn on the cob or apples.

Frosty the Snowman

Reason: Gender discrimination

Why not snow-person which would be more inclusive?

White Christmas

Reason: Racist

A white Christmas with snow is supposed to be good, A black Christmas, without snow is supposed to be bad.

So, in a nutshell–not to offend anyone allergic to nuts, like me, let’s take a moment to just stop and breathe, enjoy the season, such as it is and have fun again instead of over analysing everything.

Enjoy, the lights, the songs, and the joy of the festive season. I plan to.

Tuesday Tales: A Peek at His Christmas Family

New TT imageGood morning and welcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales, the blog hop where a group of authors share a scene from their current work in progress. Each week, the scene is based on a word or picture. This week, the word is POTSHOT. Since the word is a reasonably new one, post 1850s, like Thanksgiving it gave me problems. So, instead of forcing the issue, I chose to being you a scene from my newest endeavor, His Christmas Family. When I did an search, on the word POTSHOT, I found the perfect way to use it.  Enjoy!

Laurie Wilson stifled a yawn, turned off her computer, straightened her desk, and removed her Michael Kors knock-off bag from the drawer. She stood and stretched.

“You aren’t seriously going out to lunch in this?” Cassie asked, shaking her head. “I’ve got lasagna to spare. You’re welcome to half of it.”

The voluptuous redhead was one of the friends Laurie had reconnected with two years ago when she’d moved back to Payton Falls from Potshot Lake, Minnesota, hoping to evade some of Frank’s harassment. That might no longer be an issue, but she liked it here, the kids had friends, and she was only two hours away from family.

Cassie’s husband had helped her find the house on Meadowland Court, and her friend had been instrumental in getting her a job where she herself worked. Ostler Construction paid well and provided its employees with top-notch benefits. Her job as payroll clerk might not be brain surgery, but it beat the hell out of waiting tables at Cal’s Catfish Café in Floodwood, or cocktail waitressing at The Viking Bar and Grill, where the patrons considered the staff part of the menu.

“Thanks, Cassie, but I’m off for the afternoon. I cleared it with Mrs. Morris. I’ll be working through my lunch hours next week, but I won’t be getting docked any pay. I have to take Fiona to the clinic to see Dr. Jeffries. They’re squeezing me in between patients. Her ears acted up again last night, and I had to leave her with the sitter this morning. As far as the weather goes, this is just a little wind and rain,” she answered, smiling at her best friend. “I spent six years in Chicago, before moving to Minnesota, remember? I’ve got this. Besides, we’ve had far worse weather around here when we were kids, and you know it.”

She exchanged her black leather pumps, the ones she’d purchased for a fraction of the real price seven years ago and had re-heeled twice, for her worn knee-high boots. Her feet would be soaking wet by the time she got home this afternoon. At least the boots would keep the back of her legs from getting freckled with mud.

Hopefully, the weather system would blow itself out over the weekend. The last thing she needed was a snow day with the additional cost of a sitter.

That’s it. Don’t forget to check out all the other posts on  Tuesday Tales

 

Book Fair! New Releases

Don’t miss this great opportunity!

Living the Dream

man wearing pink polo shirt with text overlay Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

Good morning and welcome to November’s book fair, sponsored by Australian author, Iris Blobel. As always, I’m thrilled to have been invited to participate with my new, soon to be released novel, Murder & Mistletoe, due out November 21st, but available for pre-order today.  And as pumped as I am about my release, there are many great books and anthologies available to you.

Banner New Releases Book Fair

You’ll find mystery, romance, history, comedy, and more, so take a few minutes to pop over to

http://irisblobel.com/112018bookfair/

and find a new book to read or even a new author to follow. Remember, some of the books will be free to read on KU.

Lastly, heads up,  Amazon has been working in the background and it seems many international readers are currently unable to view some kdp books on the Amazon.com. The problems vary from the book not even being…

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Midweek Tease: From Hello Again FREE Today only August 29, 2018

Good morning! Welcome to the last post of official summer. Since today is the last day of my five-day giveaway for Hello Again,  my paranormal romance suspense based on a Native American myth, I thought I would share a scene from it.  Thanks again to Angelica Dawson and all the other fine authors who make this weekly post a reality.

The Blurb:

For Charley Winters love means loss and pain. She’s spent the last five years struggling with her grief. Existing, not living. Drawn to Saskatchewan, she travels west take the job she’s always wanted. But life gets complicated when she’s rescued from a vicious tornado by her dead husband’s double, a man who makes her feel things she hasn’t in years. Add to that a native myth, a shaman, a green-eyed wolf, and her husband’s ghost … Can she lift a millennia old curse and find joy and love again?

Your Tease:

Crossing the floor of the tiny one bedroom apartment that had been her home for the last forty-six months—but who was counting?—Charley stood in front of the dormer window, staring out at the dark, ominous evening sky, the hot, humid August weather presaging another storm. There’d been one every night for the past two weeks, and her nerves were shot. She hated thunderstorms, especially those accompanied by blinding lightning and rain that pounded down so hard on the roof, it was a wonder it didn’t come straight through.

In the distance, wolves howled as they did every night, their plaintive wails reminding her of the day Mike died. Had the animals always done that? She didn’t remember hearing them when Mike had been with her, but then, she’d had other things on her mind. She envied the animals their freedom. They could run and roam and yet here she was stuck in time and place, waiting to cash in her chips and join those she’d lost.

Being cooped up for hours on end inside the small space that was her home got to her, and if the power went out, plunging her into the dark, Lord help her. Mike had teased her about her fear of storms, but nothing he’d invented about spirits bowling or angels playing jacks had been able to assuage her terror. During the night, when he’d been home, he’d held her tightly, but there’d been more stormy nights without him than with him, and she’d yet to learn to cope with the anxiety they produced.

She’d spent more than one night in the garage checking the school’s various vehicles, as well as those of the staff who’d stayed at the academy during the break, but there wasn’t anything more to do there. Matilda’s engine had been washed and cleaned and looked like new. She’d even managed to do a little bodywork and repainting. Dad would be proud of how well she maintained that car.

Moving to the table, she turned up the portable fan, hoping it would cool her, knowing if she had another one of those dreams, she’d combust, fan or no fan. This past month, when she’d finally dragged herself to bed, so exhausted she could barely keep her eyes open, she dreamed of Mike, but those experiences were as different as night and day from the usual ones she’d had for almost four years now. In those, she tried to apologize for her part in his death, while he begged her to be happy, listen to his last wishes, and move on. Occasionally, she’d relive memories of happier times, but inevitably those ended with her in tears and filled with loneliness, so profound it sucked all the joy out of her.

She was depressed—had been ever since losing everything that mattered to her. She’d tried to set it aside, rise above the pain, but it was a futile effort. She’d gone to grief counselling, had taken the antidepressants that left her in a fog, incapable of thinking coherently, of functioning properly, and in the end, had given up on all of it. Life like this was her penance.

Miri claimed it was more than that. She was convinced Charley was being haunted, and she probably was—by her own guilt—but recently she had to admit there was something else going on.

These new night visions were wildly erotic dreams, so realistic that she’d swear they were actually happening. Since when was she so consumed with sex that she imagined having intercourse with what had to be her husband’s ghost? It was as if she’d morphed into some kind of succubus, an insatiable creature who couldn’t get enough of the man who infiltrated her deepest dreams. While the love making was similar to the special moments she’d shared with Mike, there was something different about the taste, the texture, and the scents she remembered. It was wilder, resulting in an earth-shattering climax each time, followed by hours of dreamless sleep.

The slightly furred chest she’d fondled, less hairy than she recalled, was smooth except for rough skin near the heart, but otherwise, the phantom who drove her wild was the man she loved. She prayed she didn’t cry out in her release, but no one had looked at her oddly or commented. Of course, with Miri and Lory, the other teacher on duty during the vacation period, at the far end of the hall, there was no one to hear her anyway.

While in the past she’d shared everything with Miri, these dreams or whatever they were, she kept to herself. The last thing she wanted was Miri dragging her to see yet another psychologist.

At first, the dreams had frightened her, but now, they brought comfort. What was happening to her? Had that damn biological clock of hers gone off, reminding her she’d be thirty in a few months? The last time her hormones had played havoc with her was when she’d been pregnant, and she was pretty damn sure her night visitor wasn’t the Holy Ghost.

It didn’t really matter who or what was behind the dreams. She’d never fall in love again. There was no room in her heart for anyone other than Mike and the twins, and casual sex was definitely not in the cards.

Hello Again in e-book format is free to download today. It’s also available through KU!

Don’t forget to check out the other MidweekTeasers.

#MidWeekTease August 29, 2018


 


Tuesday Tales: From the Word FUNNY

New TT imageWelcome back to Tuesday Tales, the blog spot where books are born. This week our writing prompt used to add to our work in progress is FUNNY. I’m continuing with my historical romance, The Price of Courage. Lucien and company seem to have met some unsavory men–just how unsavory is yet to be seen!

Okwaho nodded and disappeared into the brush. Even though Lucien knew he was mere feet away, the brave was invisible.

Hefting his pack onto his shoulders, Lucien attached his arquebus to its side, and using the sinews woven into a rope, tethered the sled at his waist.  Yves geared up beside him.

Instead of turning south toward the village, the men followed Bouchard’s trail. The toboggan skimmed over the snow with ease requiring little effort to tow, unlike the traîneau the others dragged, its wooden runners sinking into the soft snow.

“I have a bad feeling about this,” he said, as they trudged along. “Those men aren’t who they say they are. They’re running from someone or something, and I don’t think it has anything to do with people dying of fevers.”

Yves nodded and crossed himself, his musket at the ready.

“Marion looked scared to death, as if he’d seen or done something too horrible to forget. Catiche would say it was a Wendigo, but they aren’t real. I’ve tried to tell her that, but you know how superstitious she can be. My brother was telling stories around the campfire last summer and told one about the loup garou.” He laughed. “From that day on, you should’ve seen how funny our home looked with wild garlic strung in every window and at the top of each doorway to protect against them. She even added some to the camphor packets she sewed onto the children’s nightclothes.”

Lucien frowned. “I doubt cannibalistic spirits or werewolves had anything to do with whatever scared him. Let’s step up the pace. The sooner we discover the truth the better.”

With Yves by his side, he ran-walked along the flat surface following the trail. When they reached the base of a small hill, they stopped.

Maudit bâtard lied,” Yves growled. “They came from the north, not the south. Look at this.” The snow was heavily disturbed. He reached for a couple of small muskrat pelts the men had overlooked. “They must’ve fallen and rolled down the hill. These skins may not be the most valuable, but they would bring a fair price. Why leave them behind?”

“Good question. With the sun at their backs, they must’ve seen us first and brushed off as much of the snow as they could.”

The acid in Lucien’s gut boiled. Who the hell were these men?

That’s it.  Don’t forget to check out all the other posts on  Tuesday Tales