Date Published: May 16, 2014
Sometimes we must revisit the past to embrace our future.
Twenty-four years ago, the murder of a Chicago police officer changed Joey DeLuca’s life. He lost his best friend and first love, Meghan McConnell, when her mother whisked her out of town. Now, on the eve of another officer’s death, Meghan is back and about to step into his life again.
There is very little gray in Joey’s line of work as a Lt. Detective–it is either black or white, right or wrong. But Meghan’s insistence on finding answers to her father’s murder threatens those beliefs and throws his marriage to CPD Detective Andi, his career, and the entire DeLuca family in jeopardy when new revelations come to light.
Can Joey save his marriage, solve the murder, and keep his family together all at the same time?
The third book in the DeLuca Family Series, TRUE blue can also be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel.
1. Why did you decide to set your DeLuca Family series in Chicago?
I grew up in the far northwest suburbs of Chicago. My family and my husband’s family were originally from Chicago. When I decided to write heartbeats, the first book the series, I thought “What better place to set the novel?” Chicago is a fascinating city compiled of seventy-seven different neighborhoods that house the poorest of the poor to the richest of the rich and every socioeconomic class in between. The streets are bustling with commerce, culture, and yes, unfortunately, crime. From the serene beauty of Lake Michigan and the famous Chicago skyline to the tired apartment complexes of the inner city, Chicago is ripe for stories of personal triumph and despair.
2. Describe the relationship between Joey and Meghan.
Twenty-four years ago, Joey’s and Megan’s fathers were detectives and partners on the Chicago Police Department. Their families spent a lot of time together, but it wasn’t until the summer of Joey’s junior year that he suddenly saw Megan as more than just a family friend. But their budding summer romance was severed when Megan’s father was murdered and her mother whisked her out of town. Now Megan is back seeking Lieutenant Detective Joey DeLuca’s help in getting answers to her father’s murder. In doing so, both discover that the feelings they had for each other rise to the surface again—still very real and very raw.
3. What was the toughest scene to write in TRUE Blue? The easiest?
Hmmm, that’s a good question. I don’t remember a particularly difficult scene to write. Perhaps the toughest were the climactic scenes—both the murder/mystery climax and the sensual climactic scenes. J In the murder/mystery climactic scene, I feel it is very important not to cheat the reader out of some really tough, hard-hitting drama after they’ve read the entire book up to then. For the love scenes, it is equally important to get the emotion as well as the sex just right in a way that it not only makes sense with where the characters are emotionally in the book, but also as a way to move the story along. This was especially challenging in the love scenes of my married protagonists, Andi and Joey. As for the easiest scene? This isn’t going to seem like it makes sense, but I’m going to say the love scenes there, too, because it is so much fun writing them, even though they can be challenging.
4. Are you working on any other stories at the moment? Can you give us a sneak peek?
I’m currently working on a paranormal suspense novel—a time travel, set on the northeast coast of the United States. A slight departure from my current suspense novels, I’m looking forward to having fun with it. It’s in the very early stages, but briefly: Young girls are disappearing from Walnut Cove. With no evidence and no eyewitnesses, the police are stymied. Then, after a raucous party on the beach, the Chief of Police’s own daughter vanishes.
5. Do you hear from your readers often? What do they say? How can they get in touch with you?
Yes, I hear from my readers quite often and I must say that this is one of the things I love most about being an author. I love hearing from readers and that they “get” what I write. Mostly they say how much they enjoy my characters—that they seem very real and in the case of the DeLucas, almost like family. Readers like how each book in the series explores its own murder/mystery with its own hero and heroine, and yet I bring the extended DeLuca family back into each book so my readers don’t lose touch with them. Readers also like the way that I incorporate the settings in my novels: in the DeLuca series, both Chicago and its rural suburbs; in freefall, Wisconsin and Door County; and in TRUE blue, while solving the crime, Montana’s Glacier National Park. Readers can “Like” and contact via facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SusanRae.Books; http://www.facebook.com/SusanRae.author; or at my website http://www.susanrae.com.
6. What is your opinion on fanfiction? What about fanfiction of your own works?
This hasn’t seemed to be an issue with my works, although, in some ways, I am writing my own fan fiction. I never thought of heartbeats as being the first of a series until I realized I had created a whole family of characters and I wanted to know more about each one of them, so I created storylines for them and wrote two more books!
7. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was very young, I thought I wanted to be a doctor—a pediatrician to be exact. Later, I discovered drama and creative writing and I was hooked. On an interesting note, during a recent visit to my physician, we were talking about my work and she stated that she had wanted to be a writer when she was young. We were both somewhat amused at the flip-flop.
8. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I am an avid golfer, as well as an outdoor enthusiast. I like to bike, swim, and canoe, as well as travel around the country enjoying the many parks this nation has to offer.
9. What is in your purse?
I carry a very small purse because I don’t like to be weighed down, although more times than not it is difficult to close because I’ve overstuffed it. So what do I have in it? My wallet, a comb, my cell phone, reading glasses (yes, I’m that age!), Chapstick, a granola bar (in case I’m stranded somewhere, like on the expressway), two pens, and a very small notebook—you just never know when a spark of inspiration will strike. Oh, and a tube of lipstick, for when I’m feeling particularly vain…and some golf tees that didn’t make it back into the golf bag.
10. Are reindeer better than people?
Uh…no. Even though reindeer are magnificent creatures, people are infinitely more fascinating. If they weren’t, we authors would have nothing to write about!
Thank you for spending this time with me. To read more about my books and my writing, please visit me at http://www.susanrae.com
Susan Rae grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Columbia College, Missouri with an emphasis in creative writing. She penned her first melodrama in fifth grade for a Girl Scout Drama badge. Complete with hero, heroine, and dastardly villain, it wasn’t so different, really, than the romantic suspense she writes now.
“I love writing romantic suspense because it allows me to combine a sexy, passionate love story with a gritty suspense tale—in my opinion, the best of both worlds. It also allows me to express my appreciation for the outdoors in the settings that I recreate on the page.”
Freefall, Susan’s second novel, takes place in Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine Forest and beautiful Door County. ICE blue returns to the busy streets of Chicago and the shores of Lake Michigan to continue the story of the DeLuca family which began in her award winning first novel, heartbeats. InTRUE blue, the third book in the DeLuca Family series, Susan was thrilled when it became apparent that her characters must take a trip to Montana’s majestic Glacier National Park.
When she is not sketching characters, you might find Susan on the golf course working on her handicap, or traveling around the country seeking out new settings for her novels with her husband and empty nest puppies, Ginger and Nikute. To read more about Susan’s novels and the writing life, please visit her website/blog at http://www.susanrae.com
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