Wait. You’re thinking, Nancy, it’s Wednesday. What’s with the Getting to Know You Tuesday today??
Well, Monday was Labor Day, so everyone was home. We even had our daughter and her boyfriend over for dinner and a game of Munchkin!
However, that made Tuesday Monday, so I got confused with my day. With our guest’s kind sufferance, we’re doing her Getting to Know you post on Wednesday.
Susan is a multi-genre, multi-published author of contemporary romance, women’s fiction and erotic fiction (you can find her erotic titles under the pseudonym Ann Victor). Many of her story ideas come from real life adventures, like being trapped at her desk by a sinister wolf spider or randomly running into her gynecologist on an airplane.
A U.S. Army veteran, Susan traveled extensively before settling in her hometown in the majestic White Mountains of New Hampshire. She’s passionate about all things purple, Bon Jovi, dark chocolate, and tea. When she’s not tapping away on her purple netbook, she enjoys skiing and kayaking with her three kids and drinking a nice cold one with her Hero Husband (after all, he does rescue her from those sinister wolf spiders).
With a B.A. in English and Communication Arts, an MAEd in Curriculum and Instruction in Adult Education, MS Office Master certification, and nearly 20 years’ experience as an instructor, Susan often teaches writing and marketing workshops for other writers, as well as small business owners. Visit her website for a full list of available workshops and available books.
Susan is a member also a member of NHRWA, RWA-WF, and RomVets.
Here are Susan’s answers to my interview questions:
Top five favorite movies or books:
Grease, Dirty Dancing, The Usual Suspects, Coyote Ugly, anything Avengers related!
In 5 words, please describe your “Romance Writing Style.”
Sexy, emotionally-charged journeys. (can the dash count as a fifth word?)
What is your “girlie girl” thing? I.e. getting your hair done? Nails? Shopping? Gossiping? Chick flicks?
Facials! I love getting a long, cleansing facial. So relaxing! Iâ€™ve even started doing it with my 8-year old Diva Daughter.
This or That:
~ Wine or Beer? Beer
~ Sex in the City or Caroline in the City? Caroline
~ Perfume or Jewelry? Jewelry
~ Painted nails or Au Natural? Painted
~ Tall or Dark or Handsome? Tall
~ Romantic Dinner at Home or Out? Out
~ Roses or Lilies? Lilies
~ Diamond or Emeralds? Diamonds
~ Pirates or Ninjas? Ninjas
Do your leading men come from any place in particular? Dreams? Movie stars? Your partner? Past partners?
Yes! My leading men are a combination of all of the above! Owen Landry was inspired by an old boyfriend while Aaron Hawkins was inspired by a local newspaper reporter I have a bit of a crush on. Bryan Curtisâ€¦well, he was just conjured from the deep depths of my mind. My husband will take credit for all of them!
If your sweetheart wanted to sweep you off your feet, what would they need to do??
Clean the house! Ok, thatâ€™s kind of boring (and shows weâ€™ve been married for nearly two decades), but honestly, there is something sexy about a man cleaning the kitchen!
Do you ever daydream about people you see at the park? Airport? Train station? Mall? And build romance scenes around them while you daydream?
I do! I love to people watch and often come up with new story ideas based on things I observe people doing. On my way to RWA a few weeks ago, while sitting on the plane as people boarded, I imagined a really hot guy was the last to board the plane and the empty seat next to me was the last seatâ€¦and things just ignited from there!
What do you do in your down time?
What is down time? Just kidding. I love to kayak in the summer and ski in the winter. I also readâ€¦A LOT!! I love a good story that drags me away from reality!
When you go to Starbucks or Jamba Juice, what do you order?
Venti chai latte. Chai makes everything better!
When you walk into a book store, where do you head first?
Romance! (Sometimes the bathroom is first).
If we sneaked a peek in your purse right now, what would we find?
Cell phone, lipstick, postcards about my books, bookmarks, business cards, and either my iPad mini or my purple netbook (sometimes both). The most important thing you need to know is most of my purses are purple and most of the items in it are purple as well!
In 4 words, describe yourself.
Persistent, inquisitive, passionate, and bold
Top ten snacks while writing:
dark chocolate; Triscuits; extra sharp cheddar cheese; almonds; Ben and Jerryâ€™s Phish Food, beer, Insert Dark Chocolate 4 more times!
Thanks, Susan! That was fun. I think we would have a great time chatting together. I love the Avengers, and of course, I spent three years in the Army, too.
Itâ€™s the best arrangement possible: a friends-with-benefits relationship with the man sheâ€™s had a crush on for over a decade. Morgan Landryâ€™s commitment to her career, coupled with her goal of NEVER being like her mother is what has her going back to Bryan Curtis for more and moreâ€¦and well, even more. The biggest challenge is keeping it from their coupled-up friends, including her overprotective brother, who are all on the road to marriage, the one destination Morgan has no intention of reaching.
When the arrangement sprouts some complications and Morgan starts failing tests and running away from her job, she does her best to deny the true beat in her heart.
Chief Petty Officer Bryan Curtis is married to the Navy. Heâ€™s seen too many marriages fail because of the demands of the military to crave that kind of commitment. Because he likes women, his shallow reputation of pursing blondes has earned him the title of man-whore, a moniker heâ€™s never minded until he crosses the line with Morgan. His loyalty to Morganâ€™s older brother â€“ Bryanâ€™s best friend â€“ continues to eat away at him, but not enough for him to walk away from the women heâ€™s craved for over a decade. Bryan keeps the secret to keeping her in his bed, but when his heart gets involved, he has to own up to his feelings and hope it doesnâ€™t ruin his friendship with his best friend or have Morgan jumping ship.
Her apartment sparkled, her closet was reorganized by style and color, and all of her monthly statements that had been stacked under the TV were now properly filed. With nothing left to distract her, Morgan was forced to get back to the fifty page research paper which was due tomorrow.
The computer screen mocked her, the words sheâ€™d written making perfect sense but the void of white left to be filled creating an intimidating foe. She had gone into nursing knowing tests were a necessary evil, but didnâ€™t think research papers would be such a core part of the curriculum. Morgan was good at her job, but the academics required to be a nurse didnâ€™t come easily. Sheâ€™d never been a gifted student. She got straight Aâ€™s because she worked her ass off to get them. Test anxiety forced her to study hard. Unfortunately, she didnâ€™t take that approach with papers. Fortunately, she performed well under pressure. She might have avoided writing the paper, but once it was done, she had no doubt sheâ€™d earn an A.
All the necessary research was complete, but since sheâ€™d rather have a pap smear with a first-time intern than write the damned paper, sheâ€™d procrastinated until she couldnâ€™t possibly procrastinate any longer. Her chosen topic, holistic pain remedies during labor and birth, was fascinating and she learned so much, but organizing that knowledge into something readable â€“ gah. Morgan had toyed with the idea of hiring Stacie to write the paper, but knew she had to earn her grade and degree. There would be no cheating, not if she expected to live with herself.
The knock on the door was both welcome and annoying. She wanted the distraction, but needed to focus. Balancing the wants versus the needs was like deciding between a hot fudge sundae and a garden salad. One was good for you but the other was so, so good.
Sheâ€™d even turned her phone off to avoid distractions. Owen knew sheâ€™d gone off grid and if there was an emergency, heâ€™d have to show up at her door. She hoped that wasnâ€™t the case now.
She finished the sentence she was typing because God forbid she lose the thought. With a quick save of the document, she was padding across the room hoping whatever this distraction was would be fabulous.
It was like a wish come true when she opened the door to find Bryan leaning against one of the posts holding up the roof over her doorway. Damn, he looked good, dressed in leather chaps over jeans and a leather jacket. Totally hot fudge sundae. He held his helmet in one hand and a paper bag in the other. Didnâ€™t the man realize it was February? It was a bit chilly to be riding the Ducati. Again.
Morgan hadnâ€™t bothered to tell Bryan she wasnâ€™t available since heâ€™d annoyed her and she was embarrassed by her psychotic behavior a week ago. Sheâ€™d managed to avoid his calls and text messages, but that was probably because he wasnâ€™t one of those needy guys. He left one voice mail and one text and when she hadnâ€™t responded, she hadnâ€™t heard from him again.
â€œI heard youâ€™re holed up writing a big paper. Thought you might need some sustenance.â€
Morgan had been snacking all day, but hadnâ€™t had an actual meal. It was part of her routine â€“ snack, clean something, write a few sentences, repeat. She eyed the bag and her stomach rumbled on cue. â€œYou brought food?â€
â€œJust subs. Nothing to get excited about.â€
A sub sounded fantastic and Bryan looked fantastic. She hadnâ€™t considered sex as a distraction, but it seemed like a good idea now. â€œYou like it when I get excited about your sub.â€
â€œHowâ€™s your paper going?â€ His sexy smirk didnâ€™t match that big brother tone in his voice. Oh, how she abhorred that tone. She already had a big brother. She had other needs Bryan was stellar at fulfilling.
â€œItâ€™ll get done,â€ she shrugged, knowing she might have to pull an all-nighter, but it would get done.
â€œI didnâ€™t come here to be your distraction. I wanted to make sure you were eating.â€
â€œI hate it when you do that,â€ she said even though she didnâ€™t. She loved that he looked out for her, but wished he didnâ€™t do it with that brotherly tone.
â€œI appreciate the food. If this isnâ€™t a booty call, you can just leave it and go.â€
Bryan handed her the bag but instead of leaving, pushed his way past her and made quick work of shedding his leathers. Holy cow, he was wearing Leviâ€™s. He normally wore loose-fitting jeans, but every once in a while graced the world with faded denim that molded to his muscular legs.
Hot fudge sundae with a cherry on top. Yum.
â€œSo how much do you have left to write?â€
Morgan shrugged again. â€œThirty pages,â€ she said as though it was no big deal.
â€œThirty pages? Thatâ€™s one hell of a paper.â€
â€œItâ€™s supposed to be fifty to sixty pages. Iâ€™m on schedule to get it done on time.â€ She would, because she always did, but that didnâ€™t mean she would get any sleep.
â€œWhen is it due?â€ he asked with doubt in his voice.
Morgan shrugged again. â€œTomorrow at two.â€
Bryan looked at his watch and laughed. â€œYouâ€™re going to write thirty pages in twenty hours?â€
â€œHey, if I write two pages an hour, Iâ€™ll have it done in fifteen.â€ She put the bag on the table in front of the sofa and went to the fridge to pour them each a glass of water from the filtered pitcher before meeting Bryan back in the living room.
â€œAnything I can do to help?â€
â€œNot unless youâ€™re an expert in holistic pain remedies during labor and birth.â€
Bryan laughed. â€œI was born, thatâ€™s about the extent of my experience with birth. Since I donâ€™t remember it, Iâ€™m not much of an expert.â€
Morgan settled onto the sofa next to him, letting her leg rub up against his. Based on how much she had left to write, she didnâ€™t need the Bryanâ€™s distraction, but her inner procrastinator welcomed it. God, she hated writing papers.
â€œYou know itâ€™s February, right?â€
â€œSo why are you on the Ducati?â€ Morgan loved his motorcycle. When sheâ€™d first moved to Seattle last summer Bryan had taken her out on some great rides. Now though, it was a bit cold.
â€œMy truck needs a new exhaust.â€
â€œDidnâ€™t you just put in a new carburetor?â€ She had heard Owen talk about doing that over the weekend. Morgan figured that was one of the reasons she hadnâ€™t seen or heard from Bryan in a week.
â€œYeah, and then we discovered the exhaust was shot.â€
â€œSeems like itâ€™d be easier just to trade it in for something thatâ€™s less of a POS.â€
â€œSheâ€™s not a piece of shit. She just needs a little TLC. Iâ€™ve been through a lot with that truck. Iâ€™m not tossing her aside just because sheâ€™s a little worn.â€
Funny how he referred to his truck as a female, especially considering how quickly he usually did toss women aside. Morgan opted not to point that out since it might deter him from distracting her from her paper.
â€œIsnâ€™t it a bit cold to be on the Ducati?â€
â€œThe leathers keep me warm enough and Iâ€™m only riding around the city, not on the freeways.â€
â€œYouâ€™re crazy,â€ she said as he unpacked the subs.
â€œSo Iâ€™ve been told. Now dig in. I bet you havenâ€™t eaten in days.â€
Bryan knew her habits. Heâ€™d been around during the last quarter when she was getting ready for finals and had brought her food a couple times when he realized sheâ€™d only been snacking.
â€œIs this from Randyâ€™s?â€ she asked, although she could tell by the brown paper wrapping it had to be from the small sandwich shop just a couple blocks from her apartment. Bryan nodded as she unwrapped the sub in her lap.
Heâ€™d gotten her a turkey sub with all the fixings she liked â€“ spinach, olives, hot peppers, provolone. Heâ€™d even gotten the whole wheat bread she liked. Randyâ€™s made the best subs sheâ€™d ever had and she nearly had an orgasm with the first bite.
â€œYou moan like that again and this courtesy visit will be more than I planned.â€
She put a little more effort into her next moan, hoping to entice him out of those snug jeans.
â€œKnock it off,â€ he said before tearing off a huge bite of his sub. She guessed he was having roast beef with everything. The man liked his meat and his vegetables.
Morgan rubbed her leg against his. â€œYou usually like it when I moan.â€
She waited for him to toss aside the sandwich and have his wicked way with her right on the sofa, but instead, he just shook his head. â€œYou have a big paper to write and I figured you werenâ€™t eating. As much as Iâ€™d love to get in your pants, I donâ€™t want to encourage your incessant procrastination.â€
Such a romantic. Now Morgan wasnâ€™t just frustrated with the paper, but her loins were burning. Bryan in leathers. Bryan in Levis. Bryan smelling good and looking sexy and emanating sex even as he ate a sub. â€œHow did we go from having sex twice a week to not at all?â€
â€œLife,â€ he drawled between bites. â€œSince I canâ€™t tell your brother to piss off so I can bone his sister, I have to work on the truck and the Mustang when he shows up.â€
â€œIf you told him you wanted to bone his sister, heâ€™d tear off your bone and toss it in the deepest part of Elliot Bay.â€
â€œDonâ€™t even joke about that,â€ he said with a mouth full of sandwich. So charming.
Despite his table manners, she still wanted him. Sheâ€™d gotten used to having him and right now his body was so much more appealing than the white screen on her computer. â€œYou could bone me now.â€
Bryan smiled and shook his head. â€œMiss me?â€
She hadnâ€™t had time to think about missing him, but now that he was here, she realized she had. What did that say about their relationship? She wasnâ€™t interested in getting attached. Bryan was a friend with benefits and thatâ€™s how she intended it to stay until he was simply a friend again. Missing him made things awkward.
â€œI miss your little sailor more than I miss you,â€ she teased.
â€œBig sailor,â€ he corrected. â€œHeâ€™s missed you too. You need to get that damned paper done so we can do something about this loneliness before it becomes chronic. I donâ€™t want to have to resort to cold showers or worry about growing hair on my palms.â€
If she didnâ€™t have a mouth full of turkey sub, sheâ€™d remind him of his blonde ambitions, but she wasnâ€™t really in the mood to tease him about his man-whore status. The night of the Super Bowl theyâ€™d agreed not to flaunt whatever extra-curricular activities they were engaged in. If Bryan was seeing any other action, she didnâ€™t want to know. Ignorance was bliss.
They finished their subs in a comfortable silence. It was one of the things she really liked about Bryan. Theyâ€™d known each other long enough that they didnâ€™t have to ramble on with meaningless banter. They could enjoy their food and not feel awkward about it because they werenâ€™t making small talk.
Bryan cleaned everything up and Morgan let him. He was a sight to behold in those muscle-hugging jeans. He disappeared in the kitchen and Morgan stretched out on the sofa, letting her shirt ride up so some skin was showing. Had she known Bryan might stop by, she would have put on something sexy, but sheâ€™d learned from their time together that it didnâ€™t matter what she wore.
When Bryan came out of the kitchen, he stopped abruptly, giving her a once over that felt like a warm caress. Bryan just shook his head and headed toward the foyer.
Morgan rolled over to find him putting his leathers back on. The frustration sheâ€™d already been feeling doubled. Not only did she have to write a ridiculous paper, she was going to have to do it while all hot and bothered.
â€œYouâ€™re not even going to kiss me good-bye?â€
â€œIf I kiss you, there wonâ€™t be a good-bye.â€ His voice had changed in that sexy way that revealed he was aroused.
Morgan licked her lips. â€œI can live with that,â€ she tried her most seductive voice but since Bryan continued to put his leathers on, Morgan knew it wasnâ€™t effective. Since when did Bryan say no to sex?
â€œDo you have a hot date?â€ she asked even though she wasnâ€™t supposed to.
â€œNo. If you want to know the truth, Iâ€™m going to go home and most likely jerk off. Youâ€™re killing me, Morg.â€
Maybe it made her a pervert, but the thought of him with his hand wrapped around himself turned her on even more. â€œYou donâ€™t have to leave.â€
He zipped up the jacket and grabbed his helmet. â€œIâ€™m not going to be the reason you donâ€™t get your paper done.â€
Morgan sighed. â€œI told you, itâ€™ll get done.â€
â€œI know.â€ He paused with his hand on the door handle. â€œYou want to do something tomorrow night?â€
â€œWhatâ€™d you have in mind?â€ she asked playfully.
â€œDinner. Itâ€™s Valentineâ€™s Day.â€
All the warmth left Morganâ€™s body in a rush as a shiver raced down her spine. â€œI absolutely do not want to do anything with you on Valentineâ€™s Day.â€
The Sound of Deception is exclusively available at Amazon.
To learn more about Susan, you can find her online at:
Thanks, Susan, for stopping by! Readers, welcome Susan and let her know how you felt about her visiting with us today!