As my bio states, I love writing romantic suspense. I grew up on Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys novels and later moved on to Tom Clancy, James Patterson, Nora Roberts and Mary Higgins Clark, just to name a few of my favorite suspense authors. Add to those my fair share of bodice-ripper reads and I guess it was just natural for me to choose to write in the RS genre where I could combine a passionate love story with a gritty suspense tale.
However, TRUE blue is not your typical romantic suspense. I had created the characters of Joey and Andi DeLuca in my award winning debut novel, heartbeats. Both are key figures in the investigations in heartbeats and in book two of the DeLuca Family Series, ICE blue. But, the thing is, when I wrote heartbeats, I had no idea it was going to be the beginning of a series. After writing it, though, I realized I had created an entire family of interesting characters that was ripe for the picking.
In ICE blue, I chose Angela, one of the DeLuca siblings and a Chicago Paramedic as the heroine. For TRUE blue, I really wanted to tell Joey and Andi’s story. However, Joey and Andi are married--to each other. Joey is the oldest of the DeLuca siblings. He followed in his father’s footsteps and is now a Lieutenant Detective on the Chicago Police Department. Andi is a tough hitting detective in her own right.
But married? Could I write a romantic suspense novel with a married couple as the main characters? Sure, I thought, why not. I like a good challenge. Besides, some of the most memorable sleuths in movies and television are married couples; dare I say Nick and Nora Charles, or “Hart to Hart,” or today’s Castle and Beckett? Oh, right…they’re not married yet, but they soon will be.
And yes, that’s all well and good for the movies and TV, but a steamy romance novel? Most romance novels end in “I do,” but I thought it would be fun to explore what happens after the “Happily Ever After.” What if we checked in seven years later? Do married couples still have steamy sex? I certainly hope so! I would even venture to suggest that the need to keep the sex fun and exciting is heightened in a marriage versus other relationships because there is more at stake in trying to keep a marriage together. In TRUE blue, I explore how two police officers with very demanding careers and a three-year-old son keep the fire burning in this frenzied, mixed-up world we all live in. Add to that a childhood sweetheart returned to town and a twenty-four year old murder mystery, shake well, and the sparks begin to fly.
I truly enjoyed writing TRUE blue and telling Joey and Andi’s story. I think you’ll enjoy it too. I believe I’ve packed in plenty of mystery, suspense, and drama in the DeLuca Family to keep you turning the pages. And in case you haven’t read heartbeats or ICE blue yet, don’t fret. All the DeLuca Family Series novels can be enjoyed as stand-alone novels.
Thank you for spending this time with me. To read more about my writing and my books, please visit me at 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.
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.