Friday, April 11, 2014

IT HAD TO BE YOU - Susan May Warren - One Free Book

Bio: Susan May Warren is the bestselling, RITA Award-winning author of more than forty novels whose compelling plots and unforgettable characters have won acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. 

She served with her husband and four children as a missionary in Russia for eight years before she and her family returned home to the States. She now writes full-time as her husband runs a lodge on Lake Superior in northern Minnesota, where many of her books are set. She and her family enjoy hiking, canoeing, and being involved in their local church. 

Several of her critically acclaimed novels have been ECPA and CBA bestsellers, were chosen as Top Picks by Romantic Times, and have won the RWA's Inspirational Reader's Choice contest and the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year award. Five of her books have been Christy Award finalists. In addition to her writing, Susan loves to teach and speak at women's events about God's amazing grace in our lives. 

She also runs a writing community for authors. Visit to learn more. For exciting updates on her new releases, previous books, and more, visit.

Welcome back, Susan. Where do you write?
I write on my plush, blue chair in my office. It’s big and has long, wide arms for all my research material.

When deciding on how to publish, what directed you to the route you took?
When I first started publishing, self-publishing was just getting started. I really wanted my book out into the world—and hadn’t a clue how to market or distribute—so going the traditional route seemed my only option. I think today’s author has many more options depending on their personality type. I still think traditional publishing is a strong option, with maybe some hybrid publishing to supplement.

What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?
I love to swing dance! Hubby and I used to take classes, and we still go out dancing when we can. And I like to swim—it’s a great workout. I also go to Yoga class, and I love to garden (when it’s warm out!)

What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing?
Read—and keep reading. And then analyze the books to see what works. I always suggest getting a how-to-write book also. We have a great book at My Book Therapy called, From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you. Study story, and see how your favorite authors deliver it—and then write! You have to keep writing if you want to improve.

What is your favorite book? Favorite author? Do you have an author that inspired/inspires you to write?

Favorite secular author is Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I have a lot of CBA favorites: Dee Henderson, Dee Gist, Rachel Hauck, Melissa Tagg, Beth Vogt, Lisa Jordan, Susan Meissner, Lisa Wingate, and too many more to count. We are blessed in the CBA to have so many amazing authors!

Where did you get the idea for It Had to Be You?
I love the idea of falling in love with ONE person who brings out the best in you. This was very much the idea behind the love story of Jace and Eden, so the song seemed like the right fit. I would hear it in my head—and it became the title.

From idea to final revision, how long did it take to write?
4 months.

Wow! That’s quick. Are you working on anything now?
I am writing number four in the series, tentatively titled, Always on My Mind, about a man who is unravelling a mystery, and in search of a lost treasure, only to discover that the answers can be found with the girl he can’t seem to forget. Of course, it’s the one girl he can’t have.

Please tell us about the story.
It Had to Be You is about Eden Christiansen, an Obits writer who feels she has nothing to offer to the world, and Jace Jacobsen, a hockey player/Enforcer who has spent his life as a tough guy on the ice and feels he has wasted his life. These two are thrown together to help find the identity of a John Doe—and in doing so, they discover that they are much more important to this world—and each other—than they imagined. It’s a story for those who feel they are “standing on the sidelines” of life…

Please give us a peek at the first page of the book.
Chapter 1
Eden Christiansen’s career, love life–even her car battery, for that matter was frozen stiffer than the late January cold snap freezing the city of Minneapolis. Icy black snow edged the curbs, the pavement glistened with salty grit. Breath hung between every conversation.

The blue-mercury wind chill blew through the frosted, thin-paned windows of Stub and Herb’s, a restaurant located across the street from the offices of her old haunt, the Minnesota Daily Newspaper.

Back then, Eden would wander over for a burger after a week of reporting and find her co-horts gathered around a fresh issue of the paper, newsprint on their fingers, arguing over the editorials and who landed the stories above the fold.

Back then, it was only a matter of time before she found the perfect story to launch her career as an investigative reporter and earned herself a real byline. Back then, her career was hot. Her future was hot.

Maybe, even she was hot.

Now, her love life could send a deep freeze through Texas. In a white down parka, a lime-green woolen cap and a pair of sensible black Uggs she looked like she might be dressed for dogsledding through the streets of Minneapolis.

No wonder her date’s attention fell upon the gaggle of underdressed college co-eds that pushed through the frosted doors, their messenger bags over their shoulders, young and hopeful as they thumbed the screens of their iPhones. They walked up to the long, wooden bar and waved to friends seated at a nearby table. Overhead, a flat screen spilled out the news; another showed ESPN highlights.

She should have tried harder to put a little flame into the after-work appetizers with Russell. What if his out-of-the blue invitation was the real thing and had nothing at all to do with her brother, Owen’s recent trade to the new Blue-Ox NHL franchise in St. Paul?

She refused to read into it.

Not tonight. Maybe Owen’s change of teams meant a new season for everyone. Time to stop hovering over Owen, worrying about every headline, every interview. He’d earned his accolades. And she’d earned an Owen-free night out.

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?

Thank you, Suzie, for sharing this new book with us. It sounds wonderful. It's on the top of my to-be-read pile, so it is next.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
It Had to Be You -
It Had to Be You (Christiansen Family) - Amazon
It Had to Be You (Christiansen Family) - Kindle

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 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

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


Diana Gardner said...

Portsmouth, VA

Nise' said...

Susan is one of my go to authors! I love her books. I live in Michigan.

Amy C said...

I just finished Take A Chance On Me and loved it. Can't wait to continue the series.
Great interview
Amy C

Patty said...

I usually read historicals, but have read several good contemporary novels recently. Would love to give Susan's writing a try.

Patty in SC

Aerykah said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I love reading Susan May Warren's books! :)

I live in Oklahoma. :)

susiemay said...

wow! readers from all over! thanks for stopping by to read!

Anonymous said...

sounds like a great book! I live in Mississippi! Shelia Hall

KayM said...

I love reading book set in Minnesota. I'm looking forward to reading It Had to be You.

Michelle said...

I so want to read
this!!! I live in Kansas.
bookwormgal2011 at yahoo dot com

Kelly Blackwell @ Heres My Take On It said...

I love Susan May Warren. She is just so in touch with hearts. I like the idea of this novel, one reason (Minnesota). It is my family's home state (as in my mom's family). I love the setting. Thank you for sharing an interview with Susan May Warren. I love the look into a writer's world.

Kelly :)
Prescott, Arizona

sm said...

What a great topic- one person to marry. Would love to win and read your book. sm, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Linda Kish said...

This sounds really good. I look forward to reading it.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Melissa Oldaker said...

I loved the first one in this series and can't wait to read this one! Thanks for the giveaway!

Melissa from NC

Heidi Robbins said...

I've heard she's a great contemporary romance author! Thanks for the giveaway!

Heidi, CA

Melanie Backus said...

Great interview, Lena. I am hooked!

Melanie Backus, TX

Grace Olson said...

I can't wait to read this! I just finished Take a Chance on Me a week ago, and I absolutely loved it. Read the first chapter of It Had To Be You and now I can hardly wait to snap up my own copy.


Mary Preston said...

Thank you for the wonderful chapter read.

Mary P


Patsy said...

Oh, I have seen this book and I really want to read it. I know it will be great!

Patsy said...

Forgot to put that I'm from Mississippi!

Jackie Smith said...

I love her books; have read the first one in this series and am very anxious to read this one.
Thanks for the giveaway!
Jackie in Georgia

jacsmi75 at gmail dot com

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond Bryant

karenk said...

a wonderful posting/interview...thanks for the chance to read this fabulous novel :)

karenk,,,,from PA
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Pam K. said...

This sounds like another great book by Susan. I enjoy reading her books. Thanks for the chance to win IT HAD TO BE YOU.


Jennifer said...

I can't wait to read Susan's new book. I loved the first one in the series and this one looks awesome too. I love that you and your husband enjoy swing dancing. I took a class in college and used to go to swing dances frequently. They were so much fun! I'm still working on convincing my husband to take lessons with me. =)

I live in Belleville, IL.

RW1010 said...

Raleigh, NC

RW620 AT aol DOT com

Virginia Winfield said...

These books all look good. Cold here. Davenport, Iowa
Virginia W

EJ said...

I love Susan's books - the characters become so real to me in all of her books that I've read. Elaine from Iowa

Stephanie Jenkins said...

would love to win. I am from Ohio.