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Trust. Hope. Forgiveness. Love.

Suzanne Smith Author Interview

The Brute and I follows a woman who dares to hope for finding true love again after a prior bad relationship that left her scarred. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

As dark as Alex’s story was, I intended for it to end on an optimistic note. I wanted Alex to heal from her past mistakes, and to find true love again. Before that was a possibility, she had to see herself as she really was. She had imagined herself a stoic robot, able to erect a numbing emotional wall and bury her pain and humiliation at will. But, the truth was that Alex was a troubled and insecure young woman who was missing vital pieces of herself due to years of neglect by someone she cared for deeply. When she fell in love with Marco, the dismal feelings of the past had dissipated, and the warm, tender feeling of love had blossomed. For a time, she’d felt whole and happy. But, that happiness was temporary, and soon her debilitating sense of insecurity returned. She became withdrawn, and the passion and intimacy that her and Marco had shared became strained, creating a breeding ground for jealousy and distrust. Violence and infidelity seeped into their imperfect relationship. Ironically, it was Marco’s single act of brutality toward Alex that had introduced a positive element of spirituality into the story and led them both on a path of self-discovery and enlightenment. Alex and Marco reopened the lines of communication between them, learned to verbalize their feelings, and came to trust and understand each other more than they ever did before. Reinventing herself and rebuilding her relationship with Marco was an uphill battle for Alex, but, in the end, I wanted to give the reader a sense that true love really did conquer all.

Alex wants to love again, but she has to overcome her past. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Denying her feelings and swallowing her pain had always been a big factor in Alex’s stunted emotionality. For years, she’d deceived herself into believing that she’d left her bleak past behind, and what had happened to her then hadn’t affected her present behavior in any way. When the man of her dreams, Marco, entered her life and pointed out that her inability to come to grips with her past was destroying their relationship, she started to question the efficacy of her bizarre method of coping with her many disappointments. Desperate to find out if Marco was right and to save what was left of their love, she enlisted the help of a professional therapist. Once she had immersed herself in the non-judgmental and welcoming group therapy setting, she dissected her past, and allowed the bitterness and resentment that she’d felt for as long as she could remember to come to the surface. The recall of these negative feelings had been so powerful that she conceded that perhaps there was some connection between the past and the present after all. She eventually came face to face with the dark void inside of her and discovered the true source and origin of her crippling pain. That discovery gave her a sense of empowerment and control over her life. She tore down her emotional walls and abandoned her ill founded illusion of invincibility. She’d come to accept the idea that the pain of the past would always be a part of her, but she was strong enough not to let it sabotage her happiness.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Trust. Hope. Forgiveness. Love.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I just finished a full length novel titled Lilah’s Limit. It takes place in New Orleans circa 1870. It’s a story about a scarred man who falls in love with a mysterious prostitute. It’s pretty much ready to be published now, so with any luck, that will happen soon.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook

When Marco struts into Gigi’s grill, Alex wonders if she has found the one. When he takes the seat next to her and strikes up a conversation, She is immediately aroused by the heat of his animal magnetism. There is something she sees in his vulnerable, piercing green eyes that touches her heart. She realizes that she wants this handsome man to be more than just her bedmate. She wants him to be her soulmate.

Marco was instantly smitten the moment he fixed his eyes on Alex. There was something about her warm, sympathetic gaze that filled him with hope. Maybe he had a chance to overcome the bitterness and despair that had blighted his life. Perhaps finally some measure of happiness is within his grasp.

The love between them quickly blossoms, but there is a dark cloud on the horizon. For no reason Marco can see, Alex suddenly becomes sullen and withdrawn. He worries that she is slipping away from him. The idea of losing her affection and being forced to retreat back into the cold, black, pit of despair, is more than he can stand. He only knows one way to deal with the pain he is feeling.

Can their love survive the turmoil and grow into something good once more?

A Deep, Dark Psychological Reason

Suzanne Smith Author Interview

Bullets and Bustles follows an ex-bounty hunter who tries to create a normal life when her world is upturned by a mysterious stranger. What were some sources that informed this stories development?

Emma’s highly proficient, confident, female bounty hunter persona came from watching Clint Eastwood in the spaghetti westerns he’d made in the distant past. Her angst came from one of the characters that had captivated my interest when I watched the old movie version of The Magnificent Seven. The character’s name was Lee. He was a professional gunfighter who’d lost his nerve. I find that I get a lot of my ideas from movies.

Emma Tombs’ character is intriguing and well developed. What were some driving ideals behind her character’s development?

I wanted to present Emma as both a victim of abuse and a perpetrator of murder, in her own right. At the start of the story, Emma is destitute. Her only gift is her skill with a gun. She initially becomes a bounty hunter out of necessity, pretty much in order to survive. But, she chooses to remain in this lucrative profession far longer than she needs to. There’s a deep, dark psychological reason for her puzzling behavior, but Emma doesn’t know what that is until she falls in love with the young, enigmatic J.D. In essence, J.D. holds a mirror up to Emma’s face and forces her to see herself as she really is. With J.D.’s love and support, Emma is able to confront her demons and begin the healing process, replacing hate with hope.

What are some challenges to writing short stories that you enjoy overcoming?

The challenge of making the story flow smoothly while incorporating all that I need to in order to give each of the characters depth. I’ve learned not to sacrifice story substance for word count.

Do you have other short stories available that fans can dig into?

I have a short story, titled The Mortal Vampire, in The Mystic Desire Anthology by BVS, that is currently available on Amazon.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook

Cowboy Desire is an eclectic assortment of short stories.
It includes contemporary, historical, fantasy, and even outer space romance, Cowboy Desire offers fourteen stunning short stories.
These fourteen authors provide a range of sweet to sexy stories all with a Western cowboy theme. They feature strong men and women battling the weather and dangerous terrain, here on earth and in outer space.
The collection is as diverse as the authors who wrote them. Here’s a chance to discover new talented authors and the characters they create. Within these pages, there are blends of tender, often moving, thought-provoking and downright sexy stories.

I Wanted to Contribute Something New

Suzanne Smith Author Interview

The Mortal Vampire follows a 300 year old vampire that slowly starts to regain parts of his humanity, including the ability to love again, can he figure out what is causing it? What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

In the beginning of the story, the vampire Remy has no idea what’s causing the unwelcome physical and mental changes he’s experiencing. All he knows is that the changes seemed to have begun when he first met the mortal Angela. He had pursued Angela in the hope that she might’ve been able to shed some light on the cause of his strange, new illness. She was, but not in the way he’d thought she would. As to my inspiration, I love the horror genre. I’ve always felt the urge to write a vampire story, but I held off because I wanted to contribute something new to the vampire mystique. I didn’t just want Remy to be a lustful, bloodthirsty vampire. I also wanted him to be vulnerable, to have a conscience, and for some part of him to subconsciously be tethered to a past that was completely at odds with his current vampire persona. The idea for a large part of my story came from a zombie movie I’d recently watched.

Angela is mysterious and compelling, drawing Remy in. What was the inspiration for the relationship that develops between the characters?

I’ve always been inspired by love stories that start off in a tumultuous way, but end on a high note. In the beginning of The Mortal Vampire, the relationship between Angela and Remy is strained, mostly because Remy is afraid of the influence that the mere mortal Angela has over him. It was no small feat for him to overcome this fear, but gradually he did. His fear was replaced by trust, and that trust blossomed into love. By the end of the story, Angela had become a sort of spiritual beacon to Remy, a guiding light that helped him find his way out of the darkness. A true soulmate. I wasn’t able to see their relationship developing in any other way.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Redemption. Faith. The power of love.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I just finished a full length novel titled Lilah’s Limit. It takes place in New Orleans circa 1870. It’s a story about a scarred man who falls in love with a mysterious prostitute. It’s pretty much ready to be published now, so with any luck, that will happen soon.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook profile page | Facebook author page

Mystic Desire is a collection of short paranormal romance stories. This is a chance to read and discover the work of a diverse group of very talented authors.
The themes in this book are varied, as are the collection of characters and artifacts, including Native American dream catchers, mystical jewelry, and characters such as lustful vampires, hot warlocks, a grumpy leprechaun, a ghostly terrier, a zombie apocalypse and things that go bump in the night.
From soft and tender love to hot passionate, kinky sex, there is something for everyone in this anthology.

The Brute and I 

Love is never easy. Alex and Marco know this, perhaps, better than anyone. They simultaneously make the perfect and the most volatile of couples. Their history is long, troubled, and charged with an animosity that neither of them is able to verbalize. This, in fact, may be the downfall of their relationship. When every battle they have been fighting comes to a head one night, violence threatens to end what they have worked so hard to build, and the two are forced to look at their relationships and themselves in an entirely new and terrifying light.

The Brute and I, by Suzanne Smith, is an utterly stunning piece of fiction. Not quite a romance and not exactly in the spiritual vein, this short novella delivers one of the most powerful messages of hope I have ever had the fortune to read. Alex and Marco have a tumultuous relationship, and readers see the result of their dynamic in the first few paragraphs. It is harrowing to read, triggering for some readers, and incredibly impactful by the story’s end.

One of the most gripping aspects of Smith’s plot is the focus on rationale versus raw emotion. There is nothing more realistic than the battle between these two when it comes to love, and the author is a master at conveying this through her characters. The first-person narration adds to the emotional impact of Alex’s story. Her fears, her jealousy, and her own disappointment with herself will grab readers from the first sentence. As a survivor of domestic abuse, I felt Alex’s trepidation as she grappled with staying with Marco or leaving him behind. The author has truly done an amazing job of creating a believable cast of characters with whom many readers will be able to relate.

The thing that sets Smith’s work apart from so many other books that deal with domestic abuse is that the characters’ experiences offer hope. Alex and Marco are both strong-willed and determined, but they are set on making their relationship work–no matter what it takes. Readers are taken on that journey and hold hands with Alex as she seeks the therapy she needs to heal. Marco’s journey is an absolutely breathtaking one. His healing, though different from Alex’s, is no less amazing.

The author delves into some frightening areas of the human psyche, and it is a ride I am glad I did not miss. The emotions of the main characters are raw from beginning to end and give readers a lot to process as they watch Alex and Marco move through some very challenging stages. I highly recommend Smith’s work to anyone looking for a psychologically rich story with well-developed and relatable characters. This is a one-sitting book and, hands-down, one of my favorites this year.

Pages: 211 | ASIN : B07F95G2FS

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Bullets and Bustles in the Cowboy Desire Anthology

Emma Tombs is not your average woman. The moment her husband was murdered she had to figure out something new to sustain herself. With an unusual talent and earning the name of “Angel of Death”, she starts hunting wanted outlaws to get some money. But with time, the cruel nature of the job starts to haunt her and give her nightmares. She tries to leave the bounty hunter life behind and searches for a normal life. She opens a diner, but her world is turned upside down when a mysterious man shows up. They meet each other and the connection is instant and intense. However, the lives of both are riddled with secrets, and they’ll have to overcome their own demons to build the relationship that their souls so desperately need.

This story might be short, but it isn’t missing anything. Smith’s ability to include so much in a few pages is incredible. As she introduces Emma, we get the idea of a strong woman that’s able to command herself in a group of powerful men. She’s voracious and skilled. She’s also quite vulnerable though, and realizes that she’s been hurt all throughout her life; a pain that will hardly go away. Then we meet JD, a mysterious man that’s new in town. From the beginning the intrigue is felt, not only because JD’s identity and past are completely unknown, but also because his connection with Emma is fiery and heartfelt, an undeniable bond that they clearly share.

The build up for this romance was skillfully done. With an engaging writing style that excellently portrays what the characters feel and hope for, a vivid picture is provided through which the birth of this unexpected romance can be seen. Readers can feel the tension and the desire, and will yearn to see where Emma and JD’s story lead. This, coupled with a few intense action scenes from the bounty hunter lifestyle, make for an all-around tense and powerful romance plot that will keep readers glued to the page.

When love feels like something unachievable, Smith’s story brings the tension and the magic that one longs for, using her storytelling skills to weave a passionate romance story where the lovers will have to fight to keep it alight.

Pages: 29 (Page 354-383 in the paperback anthology) | ASIN: B08VYQZ17H

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The Mortal Vampire in The Mystic Desire Anthology

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The Mortal Vampire by author Suzanne Smith is a short paranormal romance story from The Mystic Desire Anthology that will immerse you in the world of vampires.

Remy has been a vampire for three hundred years, he doesn’t even remember his past life as a human anymore. He spends his nights searching for his next victim, hungry for their blood. But, at his core, he might be a little different than the average vampire. Remy still has his own rules and limits that he dares not cross, avoiding causing too much pain to innocent people. While he creeps the streets behaving as a wild beast, he suddenly and unexpectedly is charmed by a mysterious young woman that he senses might change the course of his life forever. As he immediately starts to feel physical and psychological sensations that he didn’t think he could feel, he’ll have to figure out what’s going on with him and why his cold cruelty seems to be evaporating by the minute.

Suzanne Smith’s story is concise and it grips you straight away. From the beginning Remy acts as you would expect any vampire to act. He thinks coldly and sees humans as tempting meals to be devoured. However, we get to see different dimensions of him. As his life is engulfed by a passionate romance, he has to debate whether he’s been on the right path all along. We get to see his internal conflict and his moral compass, setting him apart and transforming him into a monster that one can pity and empathize with. With the progression of the plot the world expands a little and gives us an idea of the extent of this strange paranormal world.

This short story moves at a good pace, keeping readers consistently engaged throughout. The appearance of this mysterious woman, Angela, will keep both Remy and the reader intrigued, trying to figure out what’s different about her and what makes her so special. This creates an atmosphere of mystery that brings some tension into the story, making the pages fly by. Throughout the book the author lets you savor the special romance between Remy and Angela, making you wish by the end that you could see more of their relationship and their development as characters.

The Mortal Vampire is a short yet compelling paranormal romance story with some emotionally tense scenes that I devoured quickly.

Pages: 30 (Page 157-187 in the paperback anthology) | ASIN: B07WPQX7HQ

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