Tuesday, May 31, 2011

BEHIND THE BADGE - Susan Sleeman - Free Book

God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?

First, I must praise the Lord for the many blessings He has bestowed on my writing and I pray that the books will entertain readers and at the same time provide a spiritual message for their lives. I am blessed to have two romantic suspense books coming out this year, Behind the Badge and The Christmas Witness and have recently signed with Love Inspired for a romantic suspense series about a family of adopted siblings who fight injustice. The first two books in this series are scheduled for release in 2012.

Tell us a little about your family.

I have the most amazing family ever. My husband Mark is a church music director at the most incredible church. I am so thankful God has brought us into this loving fellowship of believers. My oldest daughter is married and a graphic designer by trade, but a stay at home mom by choice to an adorable son who is two and a half years old. My youngest daughter goes to college and is majoring in psychology with plans to become a school counselor.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?

Writing has changed my reading habit for sure. Reading used to be something I loved to do as a way to escape the routine of my everyday life. But now I often read to do reviews for publishers and or endorsements for fellow authors. So the line between enjoyment and work has blurred. Also, I find I cannot read today without looking at the mechanics of a book. I often stop to admire something a writer has done well and truth be told, take the time to learn from what is not done so well. This takes me out of the story and puts me back in a work mode. Still, I love to read and be swept into a world of imagination as only reading can do.

What are you working on right now?

 I’ve just started writing a new series for Love Inspired Suspense. This series is called The Justice Agency – When all else fails. It’s about five adopted siblings who work in various fields of law enforcement until their adoptive parents are murdered. When the police can’t figure out who killed their beloved parents the Justice siblings come together to solve the case. They discover in the process that they like working together and they form an investigative agency called The Justice Agency. They dedicate the agency to helping people who traditional law enforcement is either unable or unwilling to help. The first two books of this series will release in 2012.

Sounds like a really interesting series. What outside interests do you have?

Something I like to do, though it’s related to work, is web design. I designed SusanSleeman.com, HometownMysteries.com and TheSuspenseZone.com and am constantly working on these sites and learning the necessary skills to make them better. I also love to garden and anything plant related.

How do you choose your settings for each book?

All of my books are set in Oregon. We used to live in the Portland area and moved for my husband’s job. My oldest daughter and her family still live in that area and my youngest daughter goes to college there. I love that region of the country and we visit often. My visits motivate me to set books in Oregon and as I write, it helps me feel a bit closer to my family.

Book two of my McKenna's Daughteres Series, Mary's Blessing, which I'm writing right now is set in and near Portland in 1885. If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?

The obvious person to me is Jesus. I know this may sound clichéd, but there is no one I would rather speak to than Jesus. To hear his teachings, to see his compassion, to know his love in person. What could be better?

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?

How hard it is. LOL Actually, there is nothing I wish I had known before starting the journey. I believe God lets us know what we need to know when we need to know it. If I had known the hours of work, the pain of rejections, the challenges in finding publishers who will take a chance on an unpublished author, and on and on, I don’t know if I would have started down the path. Each step in the process is a learning step and each step I take continues to be a learning step. Some lessons are easy some are still very hard and painful. But when all is said and done, it’s amazing to have a job that I love to do and get up every morning looking forward to doing.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?

Patience. Always patience. In many areas. This is not a new thing for me to learn, but for a person whose motto used to be, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right and probably would have been worth more if it had been done yesterday, the need to learn patience will probably be in my life forever. Not that I don’t try to tame my drive for wanting things done now, but it creeps back in when I’m not looking.

I know what you mean, but it really does get better with age. What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?

Only three, huh? LOL

Be teachable – It’s difficult to have your work critiqued but it’s part of the job and will never go away. Even when you’re published, others will analyze your work. Readers review, editors make revision suggestions, and so on. So get used to hearing the suggestions and be ready to implement the ones that are necessary.

Know why you’re writing – When times get tough, you have to know why you are writing. I write because I want to share my faith in an entertaining way. If I didn’t have this purpose behind my writing, there are times I may have given up. It’s what keeps me going.

Realize it takes time and practice to learn the craft of writing – There are people who write one book and it is published, but this is not the norm. Most writers can tell you about hours, days, weeks, months, years spent sitting at a keyboard before selling their first novel. It’s like any other job. You have to learn how to do it.

My first book was published, but not my second. Tell us about the featured book.

 Behind the Badge is a romantic suspense title from Love Inspired Suspense. In this book, a killer is threatening the life of rookie cop Sydney Tucker and her sister-unless Sydney turns over evidence from a drug bust. But she doesn’t have the evidence. Not that the thug believes her. She and the sibling in her care are under the watchful eye of Logan Lake police chief Russ Morgan…but will his protection be enough to keep them alive? This book is special to me as the characters deal with some very difficult things in life. I have had some tough times in my own life. Times when I wondered if God knew what I was going through and if He did, why didn’t He rescue me from these hardships? But when I look back on my difficulties, I can see how God used those trials to make me a better person and to allow me to use what I’d learned in these trials to help others. And I hope the readers of Behind the Badge will see the same thing.

Please give us the first page of the book.

Gunshots split the inky darkness.

Deputy Sydney Tucker hit the cold ground, a jagged rock slashing into her forehead on the way down. She reached for her service weapon. Came up empty handed. She’d stopped after work to check on the construction of her townhouse and left her gun and cell phone in the car.

Dumb, Sydney. Really dumb. Now what’re you gonna do?

Inching her head above knee-high grass, she listened. The keening whistle of the wind died, leaving the air damp and heavy with tension but silence reigned.

Had she overreacted? Could be target practice. But at night? Maybe. Hunters did crazy things sometimes.

Footfalls pounded from below like someone charging through the brush. No. Two people. Maybe a chase. One person after another. A loud crash, branches snapping.

“What’re you doin’, man,” a panicked male voice traveled through the night. “No! Don’t shoot! We can work this out.”

Three more gunshots rang out. A moan drifted up the hill.

Not target practice. Someone had been shot.

Sydney lurched to her feet, dizziness swirling around her. Blood dripped into her eyes. She wiped it away, blinked hard and steadied herself on a large rock while peering into the wall of darkness for the best escape route.

Heavy footfalls crunched up the gravel path.

“I know you’re here, Deputy Tucker,” a male voice, disguised with a high nasally pitch, called out. “We need to talk about this. C’mon out.”

How can readers find you on the Internet?  Readers can learn more about me and my books at : http://www.susansleeman.com  Website
http://www.thesuspensezone.com  Book review website
http://www.twitter.com/susansleeman  Twitter
http://www.facebook.com/SusanSleemanBooks Facebook fan page
http://www.loveinspiredauthors.com   Love Inspired Authors

Thank you, Susan, for visiting with us today.

Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 6 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.



Lourdes said...

Oh I would really love to win this book. Great interview.

Lourdes in Long Island,NY

Susan Sleeman said...

So glad you stopped by Lourdes and best of luck in the contest.

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Marianne said...

thanks for the interview and chance to win this book, Lena and Susan. would love this one! mitzi_wanham[at]yahoo[d]t]com

Krista said...

I would love a chance to read this book.

Krista in Gresham, OR

HollyMag said...

hollymag(at)gmail(dot)com from SoCal. Would love a chance to win this book. Blessings!

Jo said...

I would love a chance to win this book.

Jo from Southern Arizona

Jordan said...

I would love the chance to win!

Jordan from SC

Kari Linder said...

I love suspense and this book sounds really good! Thanks for the chance to win!
Kari In Oregon

Susan Sleeman said...

Thanks to all who stopped by to read the interview and commented. Means so much to me to see you all here. Also happy to see a few Oregonians here. The book is set in the fabulous state of Oregon!

apple blossom said...

nice interview. thanks love to be entered I love love inspired books. I live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Abigail said...

looks very interesting, would love to win one.
Abigail Richmond
Blanch, N.C.

Anonymous said...

I will be blessed to win a copy of this book. Angela from KY

Judy B said...

I loved the interview with Susan! I believe the Lord is teaching me patience too. Some times I slip up though!

This book sounds like a very good read!

Judy B from IN

kylady717 said...

Wow this sounds really great count me in the contest....Thanks

Ms. Greer/Ohio

Brenda said...

I would absolutely love to win this book!

I posted this to my blog: http://dancealertreads.blogspot.com/2011/06/christian-writers-world-characters-who.html

dancealert at aol dot com

Brenda said...

Whoops, forgot to tell you I'm Brenda from Michigan! Thanks.

dancealert at aol dot com

Brenda said...

Would love to win the book! I'm a subscriber and I follow - did the +1 thing today.
I posted this to my blog:

dancealert at aol dot com

holdenj said...

Behind the Badge sounds like an exciting and good read. Thanks for the info and chance to win.
Julie in MN

Faith's Mom said...

I love,love,love suspense novels...hope I win this one..


Shirley Thompson said...

Please enter my name for this contest....sounds like a good book.
Thanks Shirley/IL

misskallie2000 said...

I love suspense and romance. I can't wait to read Behind the Badge. Thanks for stopping by to share and chat with us Susan.
Pls enter me in the giveaway.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

I am from Middle Georgia

Rebecca said...

Thank you so much for the chance to win this. This looks like a wonderful book. I love books like this. Thanks again.

I am from Oklahoma.

agent_beckster (at) yahoo (dot) com

Kristie said...

Wow! I have never been to Oregon. All I know it that it rains a lot. It's interesting to learn about different places. I'm from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com. Thank you.

Sarah said...

Would love to win!

Sarah H

Merry said...

Behind the Badge sounds wonderfully suspenseful. Please add me!
Merry in TX

Bakersdozen said...

I loved the interview and would love to read this. I live in S. CA.