Friday, March 21, 2014

Susan Sleeman and Dark Tide Giveaway!



Susan is the bestselling author of Christian/inspirational and clean reads romantic suspense and mysteries. She grew up in a small Wisconsin town where she spent her summers reading Nancy Drew and developing a love of mystery and suspense books. Today, she channels this enthusiasm into writing romantic suspense and mystery novels and hosting the popular internet website TheSuspenseZone.com.

Much to her husband’s dismay, Susan loves to look at everyday situations and turn them into murder and mayhem scenarios for future novels. If you’ve met Susan, she has probably figured out a plausible way to kill you and get away with it. Don’t worry, she’d never follow through on it.
Susan currently lives in Oregon, but has had the pleasure of living in nine states. Her husband is a realtor and they have two beautiful daughters, a very special son-in-law and an adorable grandson. In her spare time, you can find her enjoying her grandson, reading, gardening or working on TheSuspenseZone.com.

Susan is giving away a copy of her book, Dark Tide. To enter the drawing comment on the blog and be sure to leave your contact information.

Welcome to Suspense Sisters, Susan!

S.S: How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing for 8 years or so.

S.S: Do you write full time? If the answer is no, what else do you do? If you are a full time author, what other jobs did you have in the past?
I am a fulltime author and I LOVE it. My first job started when I was young. My parents owned a grocery store and laundromat when I was growing up. They’d give all the grunt jobs—like cleaning grocery store coolers and washing machines to my brother, sister, and me. Not fun jobs I can tell you, but it taught all of us the value of hard work. I gradually moved up to cashier and worked all through college in another grocery store in the town where I went to school. Since then I’ve worked in management positions for major corporations and taught computers to elementary students.

S.S: Tell us about the moment you finally felt like a “real author”?
I never thought of myself as a real author until I signed my first book contract. And even then, I didn’t really believe it and was sure the editor was going to tell me she’d made a horrible mistake and changed her mind. She didn’t, but sadly the series was cancelled the month before my book was set to release. Wow, was I disappointed. But God had a plan for that book and when the line was revived in single titles, Nipped in the Bud finally came out. Did I feel like an author then? Yes, but only because, I had another book with a different publisher release the month before Nipped in the Bud and it made the ECPA Best Seller list. When I saw my name on a list with authors like Karen Kingsbury, Max Lucado, and Francine Rivers, I started to believe it. lol

S.S.: Who has been your greatest supporter as an author? 
Without a doubt it’s my husband, Mark. Though my daughters are super supportive and my other family members have been very supportive and helpful with the sales of my books, my husband is the one in the trenches—cooking dinner and doing just about anything else I need done when on a deadline. In fact, he’s in the kitchen cooking right now so I can finish interviews. Also, he’s always believed I could write a book and succeed in this business. Never once in the many years when I completed manuscript after manuscript without garnering a book contract with a publisher, did he think I should quit. What a guy!

S.S:  Why suspense? Do you write in any other genres? If so, what?
I write both suspense and mysteries, and my reason is quite simple. It’s what I love to read. A good suspense book keeps my attention and I can’t put it down. Though I enjoy reading well-written books in other genres, too, they don’t keep me riveted in the same way and I often lose interest and go back to the book at later date.

S.S: How does your faith play into your writing?
My faith is such an integral part of my life, I can’t separate it from what I do. I’m a Christian who writes novels so my books are all written from that perspective. My characters’ internal struggles always relate to a spiritual struggle they are experiencing. They work through their internal struggles in part by learning or employing a spiritual truth. Often the truth they learn is something I have struggled with or still struggle with in my own life. This is about to change, though, as I am writing a three book general market FBI series called Agents Under Fire. I will still be true to the principles that guide my life, but the books won’t carry a spiritual message. I’m very excited about this opportunity as it gives me a chance to broaden my readership and provide riveting suspense novels to people who don’t want to read pages filled with sex and profanity and yet don’t want the spiritual message.

S.S: If you couldn’t write, what else would you want to do?
I love to do web design, though I’m a self-trained novice, and to create bookmarks and brochures so I think I’d go back to school for a graphic arts degree. I’ve always loved doing things like this. I remember when I would turn in my chemistry reports in high school, I’d get less than stellar grades because science is not my thing, but the teacher would give me high marks for the layout and design of my reports.

S.S:  Tell us about your current release.

Dark Tide is the final book in the Justice Agency series. This five book series features five adopted siblings who work together in a family run private investigation business. Each book in the series features on of the siblings. Derrick Justice takes center stage in Dark Tide. His former girlfriend’s brother is murdered but the police won’t believe Gina. Catching a quick glimpse of the evidence her brother had gathered that ultimately got him killed, brings the same killers after her and her baby niece. And Gina’s only hope to stay alive is Derrick. Despite the painful memories with Gina, Derrick won’t fail her and her baby. Yet now, the woman he never stopped loving and the baby he’s come to adore are in a killer’s crosshairs. But can Derrick trap the cold-blooded murderer before he strikes again?

S.S: Where did you get your inspiration for this book?
I’ve always wanted to do a story that included the Coast Guard so I researched the organization and learned of the amazing elite Pacific Area Tactical Law Enforcement Team. They deploy around the world on Navy vessels to curtail drug smuggling and pirating. Of course, Derrick works with his family as a private investigator so he couldn’t be in the Coast Guard so I decided to have the heroine’s brother serve in that capacity. And as they say, the rest was history and the story was born.

S.S: What is the main thing you hope readers remember from your story?
My verse for Dark Tide is  - 2 Corinthians 12: 9- My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. This verse is very special to me as I have a chronic illness and have issues with physical pain and there are days when it’s almost too difficult to bear. But then I remember this verse and I remember that this suffering is really just the fire of a trial. Sometimes trials are part of lives so we can grow into who God wants us to be. We can either just go through it or grow through it. Derrick and Gina face this in the book. They have to choose to grow in their faith if they want to be together. I hope the reader is encouraged by this growth and see how helpful it is to embrace our struggles rather than fight them all the time. It’s only after we struggle that we can see how strong we are and more importantly how strong God is.

S.S: Who is your favorite character in this book and why?
I connect with Gina the most. She’s been through such difficult times and yet she stays strong and keeps her faith. I admire that about her. And she grew up as a pastor’s daughter. Since my husband worked as a music minister for many, many years, I can understand how she feels just by watching my own children, the way our congregations treated them and the struggles being a PK created.

S.S: What are you working on now?
I am currently working on two different series which is a total of nine books. The first series is the Agents Under Fire a general market romantic suspense series. It features three female FBI agents who work on an elite cyber task force. Web of Deceit, the first book, will release in November of this year. I’m working on edits for this book and am writing the second book called Web of Shadows. The other series, a new six book series for Love Inspired Suspense—First Responders – Sworn to Protect and Serves—is about a strategic response team. The team is made up of two hostage negotiators, a bomb expert, a sniper, an EMT, and a team leader. They all live together in an old firehouse that has been remodeled into condos, but they also have a large common area where they gather together. I’m just finishing the first book in this series, which is tentatively titled Silent Night Showdown and will release in November of this year as well.


S.S: A tough question: Where do you want to be career-wise in five years? Ten years? 
Assuming being a New York Times best selling author is off the table, I want to continue to have a solid writing career, writing suspense books. I know that sounds kind of simple, but career-wise my goal is to write the best books I can and make a decent living doing it. That means growing and learning as a writer. Finding out how many books I can write per year while remaining sane and having time for my family and hobbies. Trust me, this is a delicate balance when you’re writing five books per year and I want to get better at doing it all.

S.S:  Now let’s get a little personal. Name two things on your “bucket list” that you haven’t done yet.  
I recently realized I haven’t ridden a motorcycle. I must do that at some point. And I would love to have the perfect flower garden. Not that such a thing exists, but I enjoy working toward that goal.

S.S: What is the hardest thing you have ever done?
I’d have to say the hardest thing I’ve ever done is trust God and refuse to worry when my husband unexpectedly lost his job awhile back. I was unable to work do to health issues so we had no income. I mean ZERO income with one daughter still living at home. When most people get laid off they’re eligible to receive unemployment. But churches are exempt from paying into the unemployment fund, making him ineligible for any payments. We had a roof over our heads, but we didn’t know for how long. Still, we both decided that we would trust God to provide. And he did. First, with generous gifts from our fellow church members. Second, he provided a new job within six weeks, which, if you know how slow churches are to call workers, you know that was a miracle in itself. We had to move cross-country, but the senior pastor of the new church was so amazing, the church uplifting and healing, and, if that wasn’t enough, the job turned out to be the best one my husband ever held. All I can say is Praise God. He is faithful.

S.S.: Where can readers find you on the internet?
To learn more about me you can stop by any of these locations on the web.
Website           www.SusanSleeman.com
Facebook        www.Facebook.com/SusanSleeemanBooks
Twitter            www.Twitter.com/SusanSleeman

S.S.: Anything else you’d like to tell or share with us?
Just a big thank you for hosting me on your great blog and thank you to the many readers out there who purchase not only my books, but all the wonderful books in the suspense genre. 

Thanks so much for joining us today, Susan!

41 comments:

  1. Loved the interview and learning more about your writing life, Susan. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and share with our readers!

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  2. Great interview! Susan sounds like a remarkable and so does her book. I am keeping my fingers crossed!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Melanie! Best wishes in winning the book!

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  3. It was so nice learning about Susan and her books. I really enjoyed the interview.
    She has such a great perspective about going through hard times or growing through them.
    Love how her books are Clean reads. Thank you
    mcnuttjem0(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment Jackie!

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  4. I love having christian suspense and mystery authors. It is my favourite genre because, I agree, they keep you riveted. Thanks for telling us about you and your writing. It is always interesting to hear about it.
    Tanya
    tanya_terpstra@hotmail.com

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  5. Great interview with Susan.....love her books as well as her perspective on life! Sure hope to win this book!
    Thanks.
    jacsmi75 at gmail dot com

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    1. Glad to see you here, Jackie! Best wishes in winning a copy of Dark Tide!

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  6. I am so happy that your husband and family support you in your writing. It is great to have a supportive husband.
    Thereadmaster@me.com

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    1. You are so right, Virginia. I am most blessed to have my hubby and family's support! I couldn't do this without them.

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  7. I loved this interview and learning more about Susan and her writing! I can't wait to read Dark Tide and am excited about the upcoming series!

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Britney. I am excited about the upcoming series, too!

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  8. I enjoyed this interview with a new to me author!
    Martha T. at CRPrairie1(at)imonmail(dot)com

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    1. So glad you stopped by, Martha. Best wishes in winning the book.

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  9. Can't get enough suspense, looking forward to a adding a new author to my list of favorites.

    Kristie tklovenest at aol . com

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    1. Glad you stopped by Kristie. I'm like you. I can't get enough suspense!

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  10. Susan, I feel like I know you a little better. :) This was great.

    Katy lee at cox net

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Katy! You are so sweet to take the time!

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  11. Ah, I love suspense stories! Always in a hunt for new interesting crime story :) Thanks for this possibility !

    janka(dot)halcinova(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Janka I'm with you. I love suspense stories. Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. I love intrigue & suspense, paired with such great characters in the book...it's a must read! Great hearing more from you Susan S. & I love following you on FB! I downloaded the book already--but would love a hard copy so I can share with friends more : )

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    1. Necee you are so sweet to want to share with friends. And thank you for all your support!

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  13. Great interview! Thanks for giveaway.

    mo1202007@yahoo.com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Melissa and best wishes in winning Dark Tide!

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  14. Hello Susan. Interesting interview. Your books sound very interesting. I also love the TV series and movies with the mystery and Suspense. I would love to win your book. Thanks to you and Suspense Sisters for this chance.
    Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

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    1. Thanks, Maxie, I'm glad you think my books sound interesting!

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  15. A great post thank you. I do love suspenseful reads.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Mary, you and I are alike. I love, love, love suspenseful reads!

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  16. I love mystery and suspense and I am always excited when this genre is written by Christian authors. I would be thrilled to win this book. Thanks for the giveaway.
    Connie
    cps1950@gmail.com
    cps1950 at gmail dot com

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    1. Connie, I too love mystery and suspense. I love writing it and reading it. Thanks for stopping by and best wishes on winning Dark Tide!

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  17. Enjoyed reading your interview! I, too, would be happy to win your book!
    ischu9 at aol dot com

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    1. Thanks for comenting and best wishes on winning!

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  18. I have loved all the other books in The Justice Series and would love to win this one, as I have not had the privilege of reading it yet.
    bettimace at gmail dot com

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    1. So glad you stopped by Betti and thanks for your kind comments about The Justice Agency. Best wishes in winning!!

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  19. Nice interview

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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  20. Great interview.. Your book looks like a great book. Thanks!! grandmatinaof2(at)gmail(dot)com

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  21. Your favorite verse could be mine as well, Susan. I know God will bless not only this new release but ease your suffering. "2 Corinthians 12: 9- My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness"
    Jenna Victoria.

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  22. Can't wait to read your book. Loved to win a free copy.

    lill.kohler@gmail.com

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  24. I think it's interesting that you were contracted to write suspense/mystery type novels for a non Christian group. I think it would be great to have people that don't read Christian novels, to become a fan of yours and end up reading your Christian suspense ones too. I also think it is awesome that your husband helps out so you can finish your writing, and that he has supported you all along. My husband is great at supporting me in my random endeavors and I appreciate it very much! :) Thank you for the chance to win this book. I own a couple of the series, but am waiting to read them until I have them all.

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