Welcome fellow author from my neck of woods, Susanne Matthews. The stage is yours, Susanne.
Please tell us about your writing. Can you explain the title without giving too much away?
In my latest book, The White Carnation is the first book in the Harvester Series. The heroine receives a white carnation periodically from a secret admirer. When she discovers his identity, the flowers take on a deadly importance in the story.
What are your future writing goals?
The first things I have to finish are the next two books in this series. The White Lily will be out in the fall and The White Iris is scheduled for release in December. As well, I have another book to complete for the Hearts of Braden series, tentatively titled, Secrets and Lies, to be released by another publisher in October. I hope to finish, The Price of Courage, the sequel to my historical romance, The Price of Honor, later this year, and finally, I’ve promised my grandchildren a book starring the five of them as main characters. I have a feeling that will be my most challenging effort yet.
When you have time, what would we find you reading?
In an effort to promote new authors, I try to devote most of my reading time to their books, and offer reviews whenever I can. I continue to read anything new from Dan Brown, Kathy Reichs, or Nora Roberts.
Who has been your biggest supporter?
Without a doubt, my husband and my family are my biggest supporters followed by my online friends who’ve encouraged me in my darkest moments of self-doubt. I think only another reasonably new author can understand the way I feel when a new book is released. There is joy and excitement, but the fear the public will reject your efforts is there as well.
What advice can you give to aspiring writers?
Don’t give up on your dreams. Finish what you start. Unfinished manuscripts will never be published, so you want to finish them. There’s no hard and fast rule about how you write. I know authors who are plotters and I know many who like me, are pantsers. No matter what style you opt for, just remember to do your best. That’s all anyone can ask of you.
Where can our readers find a copy of your work?
My work is available through Amazon and most major retailers, and they can get the direct links on my webpage: http://www.mhsusannematthews.ca/
And finally, as an author, do you have any quirks or habits that help you write better?
I don’t know if it’s a quirk, and I know a lot of writing courses will tell you not to do it, but I edit as I write, going back over what I’ve written. I may go back to the beginning of the book a dozen times and revise before I get to the end and then do it again. I work with a screen reader so I can hear as well as see what I’ve written. It may not work for everyone, but it works for me.
About the author:
Susanne Matthews was born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. She’s always been an avid reader of all types of books, but always with a penchant for happily ever after romances. In her imagination, she travelled to foreign lands, past and present, and soared into the future. A retired educator, Susanne spends her time writing and creating adventures for her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.
Excerpt # 1 The White Carnation
She slapped the steering wheel in frustration. The drive from Wellesley to Beacon Hill seemed interminable, and more than once, Faye cursed inept drivers who didn’t know the least little bit about driving or where they were going. She hated being late, and thanks to overlong speeches and bad traffic, she would be.
“Tourists,” she grumbled when a sudden exit off the highway almost caused an accident. “Too bad GPS doesn't come with idiot-proofing.” When she eventually got off the I-90 and onto the side streets, she spotted a parking space on Marlborough only half a block from Mary’s family home, a neighborhood she remembered fondly from her youth. Well, at least the parking fairy’s on my side.
Glancing at the heavy gray clouds on the horizon, she cursed. It would rain soon, and she’d forgotten her umbrella in her desk. This jacket needed to be dry-cleaned, and she’d already blown this month’s budget for that. Grabbing the white carnation with the rainbow ribbon that her secret admirer had left on the windshield this morning, she got out of the car. That flower was the only bright spot in her otherwise dismal day. As always, there’d been no card. The individual flowers, their stems tucked in micro-vases that held the precious water they needed, arrived on a more or less regular basis. This was the fourth—no, the fifth one. Sloan had joked about the first one.
“Maybe O’Malley learned you hate roses.”
She was convinced her secret admirer was sweet and maybe a little shy. For a while, she’d thought Jimmy might have been leaving the flowers for her, but he’d been out of town on assignment the last two times. At least Mr. Mysterious wasn't some crazed stalker sending her death threats. It was good to know someone still admired her, and if the only romance in her life was a carnation four or five times a year, so be it. Her crushed heart wouldn't be in any danger that way. She usually took the flowers home, but this time, she’d give it to Lucy Green. Why not? The woman deserved a bright spot in her day, too.
The last person disgraced reporter Faye Lewis wants back in her life is Detective Rob Halliday, the man she blames for ruining her career and breaking her heart. But when she finds an old friend murdered, he’s the one she calls.
For the past year, Rob and his team have been hunting the Harvester, a serial killer who ritualistically murders new mothers and vanishes with their infants. What Rob doesn't need is another case, especially one involving his ex-fiance.
Then Faye is assaulted, and Rob realizes the cases are connected. She may hold the answers he needs to find the elusive killer. But the more they investigate, the more complex the situation becomes. Can they set the past aside and work together, or will the Harvester and his followers reap another prize?