She will be at our luncheon in Hoover, Alabama November 5 with Jennifer Ashley, Hildie McQueen, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lynn Raye Harris, Dianna Love and 20 plus authors.
Who are your top five authors to read?
Linda Howard, Carol Burnside, Caro Carson, Fiona Lowe, Louisa George
What is your go-to book to read over and over again?
Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss
Who influenced your writing the most? Why?
Claudia White. She encourage me, helped me navigate through the publishing process and critiqued my work over and over. Without I wouldn’t be a published author.
Describe where you are the most productive when you write.
At my mother’s lake house on Lake Weiss. There is nothing like propping my feet up on the deck rail and looking out over the water to be inspired.
Tells us a little about your current book?
It is about a busy doctor who hires a matchmaker to find him a wife. To his surprise and hers they turn out to be the perfect match.
Show us your one favorite scene of dialogue from that book.
His tires squealed as he quickly pulled into a parking lot next to the building. The group turned toward him. At least their attention was drawn away from Alderman Marsh. Kiefer hopped out and circled the truck, putting himself between her and the gang.
“Hey, man, who’re you?” growled the man Kiefer had pegged as the leader of the group. His dark hair was long and pulled back in a band. He wore a hoop in his ear.
“Dr. Kiefer Bradford. I’m the new clinic doctor.”
“We don’t need no more outsiders here.”
Ashley sidestepped Kiefer. He put his arm out to stop her without taking his eyes off the men in front of him. He felt more than saw her move around him and he dropped his arm in frustration.
“I can handle this,” she announced in a firm tone, confronting the guy in front of Kiefer. “Look, Marko, the clinic is to help the people around here, not to spy on you. What if your mother or sister needed medical care? Don’t you want them to have a place to get it? This will be a no-questions-asked place.”
It would be? That was the first Kiefer had heard of that.
“We don’t need…” Marko lifted his chin toward Kiefer “…no outsiders coming into our neighborhood.”
“This is my home as much as it is yours,” Ashley stated. “I’ve known your family all your life. I used to change your diapers.”
A couple of Marko’s buddies snickered. He glanced at them. Their faces sobered. “All your do-gooding isn’t going to work,” Marko said to Ashley.
“I’m trying to make the community better. The clinic is the first step in doing that.”
“Yeah, right, it’s your way of trying to change everything.” He spat on the ground then scowled. “I run this ’hood and if I don’t want you or your clinic, you’ll be gone.”
Kiefer took a step forward. “Don’t threaten the lady.”
Marko glowered at him. “Back off, mister, or you’ll regret it.”
A couple of Marko’s thugs moved toward him.
Ashley pulled at Kiefer’s arm, preventing him from going towards Marko. “He isn’t worth it.”
The horn of a police car had Marko’s gang scrambling, each running in a different direction and disappearing into the dwindling light.
“Is there a problem here?” the patrolman asked out the car window.
Ashley left Kiefer’s side and went to the car. “No, we’re fine, Carl.”
Carl looked at Kiefer and raised his chin. “Who’s this guy?”
“This is Dr. Bradford, the new director of the clinic.”
“Good to have you, Doc,” Carl said. “Never a dull moment in Southriver.”
“I’m finding that out.”
“Carl, don’t run him off before he even gets started,” Ashley said with a half-laugh.
“Sorry Alderman, that wasn’t my intention. Ya’ll have a good evening.” Carl’s partner drove the car on down the street.
After all the excitement Kiefer took a really good look at the woman beside him. Beneath the streetlight she wasn’t at all like the person on TV, more like a college co-ed and less like a hard-nosed politician. Of average height, with midnight-black hair she wore pulled back in a ponytail. Her jeans had holes in them; not as a fashion statement but from actual use would be his guess.
His attention went to her tight T-shirt, which did nothing to hide the generous breasts but, in fact, drew attention to them with ‘not here you don’t’ written across them. What captured his attention was the necklace lying between her breasts. It was the same one that the woman he’d kissed on St. Patrick’s Day had been wearing.
He looked into her dark eyes. Yes, those were the ones. He’d thought of that kiss and these very eyes many times since then.
Ashley gave him a quizzical look. “Yes. Me.”
She didn’t recognize him. But why should she? He’d worn a mask.
Ashley put her hands on her hips and glared at the man before her. “What were you thinking?”
He blinked a couple of time as if he’d forgotten where he was. “What do you mean?”
Dr. Bradford looked truly perplexed. As if he couldn’t imagine creating a situation that both she and he couldn’t get out of. Marko wasn’t someone to mess with. “Jumping in between Marko and me. I had things under control.”
“Yeah, I could see that. Six against one is always a fair number. I was only trying to help.”
What was it about his voice? Had she heard it before? That rich tone sounded so familiar. “You weren’t. If anything, you were making matters worse.”
Ashley clenched her jaw. She’d fought most of her life against being overprotected. To fight her own fights. After her childhood friend had been abducted it had seemed like her father hadn’t wanted to let her out of his sight. For years she’d had to beg to walk the two blocks to school. Even when he’d let her she’d caught him or her brother following her. It had taken going off to college to break away. She loved her father dearly but she would never return to that way of life. Having this doctor ride to the rescue wasn’t what she needed or wanted. She could take care of Marko and herself.
Dr. Bradford said sarcastically, “So, if I understand correctly, I should have just stood by while they scared you into doing whatever they wanted you to do, which by the way was what?”
“Marko doesn’t want the clinic to open. He believes it’s only here to keep tabs on him and his gang. You know, big brother watching and all that. What it amounts to is he’s afraid that if the people in Southriver have something positive, they’ll want more and stop letting him intimidate them. Push thugs like him out.”
“That’s what you want too, isn’t it?”
“Yes. I want to make this a good place to live.”
“Admirable. But if you’re not careful you won’t be around to see it happen.”
That might be true, but she’d spent so many years feeling cloistered and controlled, as if she couldn’t take care of herself, that as an adult she fought against it whenever it happened to her now. She wasn’t that brave in her personal life, always questioning her ability to judge if she was seeing the real person. Fighting to truly trust. Her being fooled before had destroyed someone’s life. She couldn’t let that happen again to her or anyone she cared about.
“Look around you.” She reached out an arm and directed it toward the buildings across the street. “Those were all businesses when I was growing up. Criminals like Marko slowly drove them away. I won’t be driven out. This clinic is the first step in bringing people back.”
“You have grand plans, Ms. Marsh.”
“I believe in dreaming big.”
“You have your work cut out for you.”
“Maybe so but when I ran for the city council I promised that I’d help make this area a better place to live and I intend to keep that promise.”
“Even if it kills you?”
She shrugged. “It won’t come to that. Let’s go in and I’ll show you around. Then we’ll get to work.” She turned toward the building. “By the way, don’t ever step between me and anyone again.”
What do you believe makes a man sexy?
Someone who enjoys having fun and laughing. It also doesn’t hurt for him to be willing to try something new as well.
Here's her short bio.My love affair with books began when I made a bad grade in math in the sixth grade. Not allowed to watch TV until I brought the grade up, I filled my time with books. I turned my love of reading into a love of writing romance. If the hero is a smart, sexy and sinfully rich alpha male, he can be found in my books along with a strong heroine that captures the hero’s heart.
When I’m not writing I lead workshops on time management, promoting your books, learning to live with rejection, collaging your storyline and presenting a memorable workshop. For twenty years I was a high school substitute teacher and that is …another bio. I live near Atlanta, Georgia with my husband of over thirty years and have four grown children, and twin grandchildren. My youngest son received a heart transplant.
I love castles, traveling and sewing, crafting and read voraciously.
Look for Susan at the following places.
Today's giveaway is a copy an autograph copy (both authors) of my duet White Wedding for a Southern Belle along with a Wedding Date for the Army Doc by Lynne Marshall.
Question: When was the last time you tried something new and what was it? (Can be food, game, ride, etc.)