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! I’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 Curtis…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, that’s kind of boring (and shows we’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 seat…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 read…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 Jerry’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.
It’s the best arrangement possible: a friends-with-benefits relationship with the man she’s had a crush on for over a decade. Morgan Landry’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 more…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. He’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 he’s never minded until he crosses the line with Morgan. His loyalty to Morgan’s older brother – Bryan’s best friend – continues to eat away at him, but not enough for him to walk away from the women he’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 doesn’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 she’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 didn’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 didn’t come easily. She’d never been a gifted student. She got straight A’s because she worked her ass off to get them. Test anxiety forced her to study hard. Unfortunately, she didn’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 she’d earn an A.
All the necessary research was complete, but since she’d rather have a pap smear with a first-time intern than write the damned paper, she’d procrastinated until she couldn’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 – 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.
She’d even turned her phone off to avoid distractions. Owen knew she’d gone off grid and if there was an emergency, he’d have to show up at her door. She hoped that wasn’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. Didn’t the man realize it was February? It was a bit chilly to be riding the Ducati. Again.
Morgan hadn’t bothered to tell Bryan she wasn’t available since he’d annoyed her and she was embarrassed by her psychotic behavior a week ago. She’d managed to avoid his calls and text messages, but that was probably because he wasn’t one of those needy guys. He left one voice mail and one text and when she hadn’t responded, she hadn’t heard from him again.
“I heard you’re holed up writing a big paper. Thought you might need some sustenance.”
Morgan had been snacking all day, but hadn’t had an actual meal. It was part of her routine – snack, clean something, write a few sentences, repeat. She eyed the bag and her stomach rumbled on cue. “You brought food?”
“Just subs. Nothing to get excited about.”
A sub sounded fantastic and Bryan looked fantastic. She hadn’t considered sex as a distraction, but it seemed like a good idea now. “You like it when I get excited about your sub.”
“How’s your paper going?” His sexy smirk didn’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.
“It’ll get done,” she shrugged, knowing she might have to pull an all-nighter, but it would get done.
“I didn’t come here to be your distraction. I wanted to make sure you were eating.”
“I hate it when you do that,” she said even though she didn’t. She loved that he looked out for her, but wished he didn’t do it with that brotherly tone.
“I appreciate the food. If this isn’t a booty call, you can just leave it and go.”
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 Levi’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.
“So how much do you have left to write?”
Morgan shrugged again. “Thirty pages,” she said as though it was no big deal.
“Thirty pages? That’s one hell of a paper.”
“It’s supposed to be fifty to sixty pages. I’m on schedule to get it done on time.” She would, because she always did, but that didn’t mean she would get any sleep.
“When is it due?” he asked with doubt in his voice.
Morgan shrugged again. “Tomorrow at two.”
Bryan looked at his watch and laughed. “You’re going to write thirty pages in twenty hours?”
“Hey, if I write two pages an hour, I’ll have it done in fifteen.” 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.
“Anything I can do to help?”
“Not unless you’re an expert in holistic pain remedies during labor and birth.”
Bryan laughed. “I was born, that’s about the extent of my experience with birth. Since I don’t remember it, I’m not much of an expert.”
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 didn’t need the Bryan’s distraction, but her inner procrastinator welcomed it. God, she hated writing papers.
“You know it’s February, right?”
“So why are you on the Ducati?” Morgan loved his motorcycle. When she’d first moved to Seattle last summer Bryan had taken her out on some great rides. Now though, it was a bit cold.
“My truck needs a new exhaust.”
“Didn’t you just put in a new carburetor?” She had heard Owen talk about doing that over the weekend. Morgan figured that was one of the reasons she hadn’t seen or heard from Bryan in a week.
“Yeah, and then we discovered the exhaust was shot.”
“Seems like it’d be easier just to trade it in for something that’s less of a POS.”
“She’s not a piece of shit. She just needs a little TLC. I’ve been through a lot with that truck. I’m not tossing her aside just because she’s a little worn.”
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.
“Isn’t it a bit cold to be on the Ducati?”
“The leathers keep me warm enough and I’m only riding around the city, not on the freeways.”
“You’re crazy,” she said as he unpacked the subs.
“So I’ve been told. Now dig in. I bet you haven’t eaten in days.”
Bryan knew her habits. He’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 she’d only been snacking.
“Is this from Randy’s?” 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.
He’d gotten her a turkey sub with all the fixings she liked – spinach, olives, hot peppers, provolone. He’d even gotten the whole wheat bread she liked. Randy’s made the best subs she’d ever had and she nearly had an orgasm with the first bite.
“You moan like that again and this courtesy visit will be more than I planned.”
She put a little more effort into her next moan, hoping to entice him out of those snug jeans.
“Knock it off,” 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. “You usually like it when I moan.”
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. “You have a big paper to write and I figured you weren’t eating. As much as I’d love to get in your pants, I don’t want to encourage your incessant procrastination.”
Such a romantic. Now Morgan wasn’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. “How did we go from having sex twice a week to not at all?”
“Life,” he drawled between bites. “Since I can’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.”
“If you told him you wanted to bone his sister, he’d tear off your bone and toss it in the deepest part of Elliot Bay.”
“Don’t even joke about that,” he said with a mouth full of sandwich. So charming.
Despite his table manners, she still wanted him. She’d gotten used to having him and right now his body was so much more appealing than the white screen on her computer. “You could bone me now.”
Bryan smiled and shook his head. “Miss me?”
She hadn’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 wasn’t interested in getting attached. Bryan was a friend with benefits and that’s how she intended it to stay until he was simply a friend again. Missing him made things awkward.
“I miss your little sailor more than I miss you,” she teased.
“Big sailor,” he corrected. “He’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 don’t want to have to resort to cold showers or worry about growing hair on my palms.”
If she didn’t have a mouth full of turkey sub, she’d remind him of his blonde ambitions, but she wasn’t really in the mood to tease him about his man-whore status. The night of the Super Bowl they’d agreed not to flaunt whatever extra-curricular activities they were engaged in. If Bryan was seeing any other action, she didn’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. They’d known each other long enough that they didn’t have to ramble on with meaningless banter. They could enjoy their food and not feel awkward about it because they weren’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 she’d learned from their time together that it didn’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 she’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.
“You’re not even going to kiss me good-bye?”
“If I kiss you, there won’t be a good-bye.” His voice had changed in that sexy way that revealed he was aroused.
Morgan licked her lips. “I can live with that,” she tried her most seductive voice but since Bryan continued to put his leathers on, Morgan knew it wasn’t effective. Since when did Bryan say no to sex?
“Do you have a hot date?” she asked even though she wasn’t supposed to.
“No. If you want to know the truth, I’m going to go home and most likely jerk off. You’re killing me, Morg.”
Maybe it made her a pervert, but the thought of him with his hand wrapped around himself turned her on even more. “You don’t have to leave.”
He zipped up the jacket and grabbed his helmet. “I’m not going to be the reason you don’t get your paper done.”
Morgan sighed. “I told you, it’ll get done.”
“I know.” He paused with his hand on the door handle. “You want to do something tomorrow night?”
“What’d you have in mind?” she asked playfully.
“Dinner. It’s Valentine’s Day.”
All the warmth left Morgan’s body in a rush as a shiver raced down her spine. “I absolutely do not want to do anything with you on Valentine’s Day.”
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!