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Meet the Author > Meet Susan Laine

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message 1: by Dreamspinner (new)

Dreamspinner Press (dreamspinnerpress) | 2637 comments Mod
Meet Susan Laine, author of "Sparks & Drops" this Saturday, November 23rd from 1-4pm Central time (2-5pm Eastern) right here on the Dreamspinner Press Goodreads page.


message 2: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments I'm here! Yup, for the next three hours to talk about my latest books, Sparks & Drops and Monsters Under the Bed, to answer any questions you might have, and to share a couple of excerpts. I will also do a giveaway and share a coupon code for 25% off all my books, all mystery/suspense titles, and all humor titles. Let's start chatting :)


message 3: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Sparks & Drops is available here.


message 4: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Denys (JenniferDenys) Hey, sweetie. Congrats on latest release!


message 5: by Susan (new)


message 6: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Jennifer wrote: "Hey, sweetie. Congrats on latest release!"

Thanks, Jen <3


message 7: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Sparks & Drops is a murder mystery, the first in The Wheel Mysteries.

Magic is in the air when Gus Goodwin, a pagan shopkeeper and owner of the Four Corners’ occult shop, meets a Niall Valentine, a mysterious PI investigating the disappearance of a local witch named Joy. What starts out as harmless flirting and information gathering soon turns into a partnership, with both men determined to solve the case.

Then bodies begin to pile up. Someone is using fire and water to kill witches associated with Joy, and it is up to Niall and Gus to find out what’s going on. But when their friendship blossoms into something else, the unknown dangers looming ahead become even more frightening. If they can’t solve the murders soon, they’re going to get themselves killed.


message 8: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Bkrdr wrote: "Hi! I love the cover to Sparks & Drops. Who did the cover?"

Hi Bkrdr. Thanks for joining me! The talented DSP artist is Brooke Albrecht.


message 9: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Marieke wrote: "Hey Susan, how's the wrist? How did you come up with this story line?"

Hi Marieke! Wrist not so good. Writing with left hand :)

The story came from my own academic research into Wicca back at university. Gus is a liberal, funny, smart, carefree kind of guy. Valentine is his opposite. Watching the opposites react to one another was how the story began.


message 10: by Koozebane (new)

Koozebane | 113 comments I like the sound of this one!


message 11: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Koozebane wrote: "I like the sound of this one!"

Thank you kindly, Koozebane. I hope you like it :)


message 12: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Marieke wrote: "I'm ashamed to say I haven't read it yet. But I certainly will, soon!!!"

Nothing to feel bad about, Marieke. It just came out three days ago :)


message 13: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Here's the first teaser excerpt:

Gus smiled wickedly at Niall. “So… you didn’t tell me your name.”
“Sure I did. Valentine.”
“Yes. But is that your first or last name?”
Snorting, Niall asked, “Who would name their child Valentine?”
When Niall didn’t add anything else, Gus practically had steam coming out of his ears from the looks of him. “You still didn’t tell me your name.”
“What’s wrong with Valentine?”
“Nothing. But it’s not your name. I mean, it is, but maybe with friends or colleagues or whatever. I want to know your real name.”
Sighing, he replied, “Niall.”
Gus frowned a bit, cocking his head. “Neil? Like Neil Patrick Harris?”
Trying not to snarl, not happy about the association he’d heard before, Niall shook his head. At least Gus hadn’t mentioned Niall Horan of One Direction, sparing him the humiliation of a giggling fit. “It’s pronounced the same way, but spelled differently. N-I-A-L-L.”
Gus’s lips twitched in a smile as his eyes lost focus a bit. “That rings a bell. I think that name means… yes, champion.” Niall’s eyebrows rose as he listened to Gus, not having known that before. He didn’t think names had that much meaning and certainly didn’t subscribe to them having some mystical power over him or his destiny. Not that he believed in fate, either. “I think it could also mean… passionate.” Gus’s green eyes were filled with mischief and seductiveness, and Niall had to cough and shift on his seat to readjust mentally and physically. “Oh, quite a few historical and mythical kings of Ireland were called Niall.”
“How do you know that?” Niall found he was actually curious, and he forgot to set the topic back on track.
Gus preened at the attention. “I studied history, mythology, and religions in college.”


message 14: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments And before you ask, I'm personally not even half as laidback as Gus or even half as strict as Valentine ;)


message 15: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Marieke wrote: "*hugs* hope the wrist will get better soon."

Me too!


message 16: by Shirley (new)

Shirley Ann | 15 comments I've got the book to but haven't had time to read it I love the title. Are there going to be more books in the series?


message 17: by Scarlett (new)

Scarlett | 4 comments I love murder mysteries - this has been on my wishlist since release day!


message 18: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Shirley wrote: "I've got the book to but haven't had time to read it I love the title. Are there going to be more books in the series?"

Hi Shirley! Thanks :) Yes, there will be eight books in total, as there are eight seasonal festivals in Wicca. Sparks & Drops deals with Ostara, or Easter.


message 19: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Scarlett wrote: "I love murder mysteries - this has been on my wishlist since release day!"

Hi Scarlett! Awesome news. Thanks :) Hope you like it.


message 20: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments My coupon code for this chat is SusanGR. It's good for 25% off all mybooks, all mystery/suspense titles, and all humor titles. It will be valid for two days. So check out my stuff!


message 21: by Shirley (new)

Shirley Ann | 15 comments Eight books wow!! great loads to look forward to!!


message 22: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Marieke wrote: "EIGHT???? Sh*t better start reading."

HAHAHAHA :D LOL

The second has already been written and submitted to DSP. I'm hoping they'll have an answer before Christmas. The next book will involve Satanism....


message 23: by Alicia (new)

Alicia Nordwell | 17 comments I love the way you blend contemporary and paranormal themes into a cohesive whole. I have several of your shifter themed stories and Senses series but hadn't seen the pre-release promos for this one! I love the way you've incorporated name meanings. I often look up meanings of names to fit my character's traits. Do you do that as well, or was that a new idea that you came up with for this series/book?


message 24: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Shirley wrote: "Eight books wow!! great loads to look forward to!!"

Thanks, Shirley :) I love Gus and Niall. While at first it may seem like they have nothing in common, they do. And as usual, they'll stumble onto more crimes and murders!


message 25: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Bkrdr wrote: "I'm not familiar with the name Niall, but I like it. Not into One Direction etc."

It was supposed to be straightforward Neill, but he didn't like it, and neither did I. Niall is closer to the original version of the name.


message 26: by Susan (last edited Nov 23, 2013 12:40PM) (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Alicia wrote: "I love the way you blend contemporary and paranormal themes into a cohesive whole. I have several of your shifter themed stories and Senses series but hadn't seen the pre-release promos for this on..."

Hi Alicia! I actually do that as well, yes :) I like to know what a name means. Probably because I'm Finnish and most Finn names mean something. Susan means lily blossoms in ancient Egyptian (something I learner back at uni :).


message 27: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Marieke wrote: "OMG um, I gotta go, buy and read a book "

No better time than now, Marieke, when my books are 25% off!


Mandy*reads obsessively*  (mandy-readsobsessively) | 32 comments That's a great excerpt, sounds good.


message 29: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Marieke wrote: "They are?? Woohooo. I'm outta here. Love ya."

If you get them from DSP, use the coupon code SusanGR for the discount. Have fun perusing my book list, Marieke :)


message 30: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Mandy*reads obsessively* wrote: "That's a great excerpt, sounds good."

Thanks a lot, Mandy :)

Here's another, short and to the point:

“I want to go home,” Gus said to the officer.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Goodwin, but you must wait for the detectives.” There wasn’t even a hint of an apology in the officer’s tone, and Niall could tell Gus was getting mightily miffed.
He took Gus’s arm and led him away from the officer with his most irresistible winning smile. As soon as they were outside of hearing range, he stopped, taking his hand away. He knew what he had to say, but that didn’t make it any easier. “Gus, I’m sorry I dragged you into this mess. When we’re done here, I’m gonna drive you home, and you won’t ever have to see or hear from me again. This is now a murder investigation—”
“She was tied up like postulants for an initiation.”
Niall stopped, his intended words dying on his lips. “What?”
Gus took a deep, shuddering breath and visibly composed himself. “In the Gardnerian tradition, knotted ropes or cords are used on initiates. It’s called the Witches’ Ladder, or cingulum. The person is blindfolded, and then her arms are bound behind, at the small of her back, so that they form a triangle, and then the cord is placed around her neck, so it forms another triangle, the two together like a pentagram. It’s not really constrictive, you know. The cords are used as a symbol of love, trust, and admission to the Wiccan faith and a coven. It’s not supposed to be….” Gus swallowed, unable to go on.
Niall fisted his hands, trying to regain control over his fearful mind. This was getting way out of hand. But he put on a brave face. “Okay.”
“I couldn’t see… very clearly, but I think the cords were white, black, and red braided together. That means she was about to be given her third-degree initiation.” Gus’s voice cracked at the end, and he bit his lower lip hard to keep it from trembling.
Niall couldn’t take it anymore, knowing he had brought this misery upon this nice, cute young man. “I’m taking you home right now.” Holding Gus’s arm, Niall walked back to the officers, speaking fast and adamantly. “I’m taking my friend home. You have my card, gentlemen, so the detectives will know where to find me.” Niall didn’t wait to see what the officers thought, and he pulled a docile, even rather limp, Gus with him back to his car, practically shoving him into the passenger seat. Niall didn’t allow himself pause until he sat in the driver’s seat, revved the car’s engine, and swerved into the night streets. After a long silence, he finally sighed. “I’m so goddamn sorry, Gus. You have no idea.”


message 31: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Alicia, you mentioned not seeing any pre-release promos for Sparks & Drops. Might I ask where you usually go see them? It would be interesting to know better where people look for info. I posted stuff on FB, Twitter, and my personal website.


message 32: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Marieke wrote: "Thank you sweetie."

You're welcome <3


message 33: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments So, I write pretty much by the seat of my pants. If I plan too far ahead, I get bored and the story will never get written. That's the kind of writer I am. Is there anything you want to know about this story or about me? I'm here to provide answers, with two hours to go :)


message 34: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Marieke wrote: "So you don't have a story line written out first? Do you just sit down and let it come to you?
(bought the book :D )"


Cool! :) Hope you like it, Mari.

I have the basic premise and a very general outline of events in my head. I fix the story as I go along. So yes, I sit down and start to write. The white paper has never really intimidated me, not as much as deadlines ;P


message 35: by Alicia (new)

Alicia Nordwell | 17 comments I do follow DSP's twitter, which is where I saw the ad for this. Usually if I have a fav author I will ask to be put on a mailing list. For instance, I get emails from Laurann Dohner whenever she has updates. It all comes down to gathering followers that use email, I think. Twitter, blog updates, etc... get lost in the masses of folks I follow. When I get a 'come see what I posted about my work' from an author via email it catches more attention since the number of alerts are fewer than social media sites employed by masses of authors.


message 36: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Alicia wrote: "I do follow DSP's twitter, which is where I saw the ad for this. Usually if I have a fav author I will ask to be put on a mailing list. For instance, I get emails from Laurann Dohner whenever she h..."

Thanks for the info, Alicia. Useful stuff. I'll have to come up with a mailing list too! Geesh, what kind of author am I not knowing this?! :P


message 37: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Bkrdr wrote: "I saw the pre-release promo from Dreamspinner and various book blogs."

Thanks, Bkrdr. It seems social media is no longer the way to go to advertise. FB is losing popularity. Hmm. This mailing list business is starting to make more and more sense to set up.


message 38: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 426 comments It looks like I'm going to buy another book - this one looks fantastic.


message 39: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Andrea wrote: "It looks like I'm going to buy another book - this one looks fantastic."

Hi Andrea and welcome! Great! Have fun. Oh, if you're buying through DSP site, don't forget to use the coupon code SusanGR to get 25% off :)


message 40: by Koozebane (new)

Koozebane | 113 comments I'm more of a blog and review site person myself for recs, since FB has always terrified me...


message 41: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments So, Wicca is the theme in Sparks & Drops. Well, the spiritual backdrop anyway. What kind of experiences have you guys and gals had with the so-called new religious movements? All the way through writing I was asking myself how much do people these days know about this kind of stuff. Religion isn't an easy topic these days.


message 42: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Koozebane wrote: "I'm more of a blog and review site person myself for recs, since FB has always terrified me..."

Social media are weird. Takes forever to learn how to use them--and then they change them! I'm still lost with Twitter myself, so I hear ya, Koozebane :)


message 43: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments The other book of mine that came out less than a month back is Monsters under the Bed (Lifting the Veil, #4) by Susan Laine

This is a standalone paranormal murder mystery. Just FYI, since that too is new and on sale :)


message 44: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments So... A GIVEAWAY! All my books are on sale 25% off with the coupon code for the next two days, but I'm still giving a free e-book away: Sparks & Drops or a book of your choice from my backlog.

To enter the draw all you have to do is volunteer a man's name for the third book in the series. First name, not surname. Go wild! :D


message 45: by Alicia (new)

Alicia Nordwell | 17 comments Are you kidding? The number of things I don't know as an author are staggering! I don't have an official email list, but I keep a 'follow by email' option on my blog. On Gayauthors (the story website where I first began writing for free public consumption) we have 'follow' options where people can follow stories or authors and then they can choose to get on-site messages or emails when those authors update. The one thing I've always taken from that site is authors benefit from being available and connected to their readers, and talking to them as often as possible. They help me with feedback on stories, cover art, things they'd like to see in the future, blog features/elements... The more I give to them, the more they give to me.


message 46: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 426 comments Susan wrote: "So... A GIVEAWAY! All my books are on sale 25% off with the coupon code for the next two days, but I'm still giving a free e-book away: Sparks & Drops or a book of your choice from ..."

Jessie or Lucas


message 47: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Alicia wrote: "Are you kidding? The number of things I don't know as an author are staggering! I don't have an official email list, but I keep a 'follow by email' option on my blog. On Gayauthors (the story websi..."

Thanks for the info, Alicia. Being so internet challenged I had a hard time in the beginning connecting with readers. Just when I got good at FB, it's losing popularity! Mailing lists do seem the least obtrusive. As for knowing how to be an author, well, it's a learning-by-doing kind of thing :D You'll make mistakes, but also fans and friends. The positive outways the negative.


message 48: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Andrea wrote: "Susan wrote: "So... A GIVEAWAY! All my books are on sale 25% off with the coupon code for the next two days, but I'm still giving a free e-book away: Sparks & Drops or a book of you..."

Lucas... Yes, that could work. Thanks, Andrea! You're in the draw :)


message 49: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Bkrdr wrote: "Cameron or Bryce"

Cameron is a player name. I like. Bryce is manly and rugged. Also like. Thanks, Bkrdr! You're also in the draw :)


message 50: by Susan (new)

Susan Laine (susan_laine_author) | 391 comments Third excerpt time! Hope you like:

To get control of his wayward libido, Gus quickly changed the topic. “What’s it like being a PI?”
Niall shrugged. “Not like people imagine. It’s mostly a lot of paperwork, like vehicle locates and background checks, or a whole bunch of legwork that doesn’t amount to much at the end of the day, or long, boring stakeouts in crappy cars. Not exactly Bogie style.”
“Cool. Well… you know what I mean.”
Niall chuckled. “Yeah. So, what’s it like being a shopkeeper?”
Gus returned the smile. “Exactly like people imagine. Endless paperwork, mostly official forms, and bureaucracy. There’s the stocking when new stuff comes in or when old stuff gets too old. And finally there’s a lot of standing around behind the counter. Not to mention the face-hardening smile for the benefit of customers who saunter around the place for an hour—and end up buying a tiny crystal worth $1.99. It’s disheartening.”
“Sorry to hear that.” Niall sounded sincere, and he was smiling at Gus’s commentary.
“Those are the bad days. On good days I can keep the door open and let the sunshine and fresh air in, and eager tourists wander the streets, searching for those small souvenirs to fit in their luggage, and friends and colleagues drop by, pleased to see me.”
“That sounds nice.”
“It is.” And it was. On those days, Gus never regretted taking over the responsibility of the shop, even though it meant longer hours for less pay and a lot of work to keep the place afloat. Seattle wasn’t exactly short on occult shops, and there were bigger places to order online. Gus had created a website and business cards for the shop, even though online ordering was still out of his reach, financially anyway. But all in all, he wasn’t doing poorly, and he was immensely proud of his achievements with The Four Corners.
He wondered if Niall felt the same way about his vocation. “Why did you choose to become a PI?”
“My dad was a cop. Homicide. Old school. I didn’t want that, so I went into the army. When I got out, I had all these skills that were better served on the battlefield than anywhere else. I knew I didn’t want to become a cop, so… I became this. I get to choose who I help, so I have a kind of freedom. Sure, I don’t have the kind of resources or sources of information a cop would, but I do okay.”
The waitress brought their food and water, so they stopped talking and shared their meals in a companionable silence. From time to time, they glanced at each other from under their brows, feeling connected, the start of something new tingling between them like an electric current. It was not news to Gus that he was warming up to Niall in a big way. But it was a pleasant sensation to realize that maybe Niall was feeling the same way about him.


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