Monday, August 4, 2014

Flaming Hearts with Susan Stoker #contemporaryromance #contest


Today we have contemporary romance author Susan Stoker in the hot seat, chatting about her Beyond Reality series! This is a series set around a reality show, with the same producer but 3 different couples. It's a really neat concept and I'm interested to read the books! Flaming Hearts (Book 2) was just released at the end of July, and she's giving away a digital copy of Outback Hearts (Book 1), and Flaming Hearts (Book 2). Enjoy the interview and make sure you leave a comment to earn a chance to win! 
~Mia

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Interview questions for Susan Stoker…

Quick round:
Coffee, tea or…what’s your vice?  Neither! Diet Coke!

Favorite Movie: Ever After, Princess Bride, Drop Dead Gorgeous

Favorite Color: Pink

Favorite book/author:  Impossible to answer. I read across so many genres of romance and like sooo many.

How do you feel about bacon?  Um? Is this really a question? Are there really people out there that don’t like bacon?!?

You'd be surprised, Susan...



The REAL questions…

Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m completely normal. Well, except for the food thing. I eat like an 8 year old. I still have my blanket from when I was a kid. I love the Sesame Street character Grover. I have three tattoos (yes, 2 are of Grover). I played the tuba when I was in middle and high school…see? Completely normal! Okay, maybe not so much.

Seriously, I work full time and write in my “space time.” I write what I like to read, specifically knight in shining armor stories. I don’t like cliffhangers and won’t write about lawyers. I married a military man that I met online and we’ve lived all over the country in the last 12 years of his military career. We have no children, and are completely okay with that.

If you want to see what I’ve up to, you can friend me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authorsstoker

You can also like my author page, although you probably won’t see a lot of the stuff on there because Facebook doesn’t show it outside of the “pages feed.” (Unless you’re a stalker and you check out my page all the time, then you’ll see it)  


I’m also on Goodreads and twitter and you can certainly find me there too.

What’s under your bed?
Clothes. We have a “captains bed”, the kind with built in drawers, so there isn’t really an “under the bed”. But IF there was, there would be most likely be lots and lots of dog hair. That stuff is insidious and gets everywhere no matter how much we vacuum!

What comes first, plot or characters?
Characters

Pantser, plotter, or hybrid? Tell us about your writing process.
Pantser. I typically think of a fun scene I want to write. So I write that. Typically it’s something exciting, someone is kidnapped, or there’s a fire, or someone gets hurt by the one they love. The scene is probably exciting and over the top. THEN I have to go back and “fill” in the rest of the story. The hardest thing for me to write is the beginning and end of my stories.

Oddest thing on your desk?
A pile of cherry Zot candies. (Remember those, the ones that are hard candy, but have some sort of fizzy stuff inside?)

What’s your most interesting writing quirk?

What’s your favorite thing about the genre you write in?
That the men and women always end up together. I’m a complete romantic and I love being able to write stories where, even with complications, they always come together and would do anything for each other in the end.

What is the hardest thing about being an author?
For me it’s finding the time to write. I know others people are full time moms and they have a hard time finding time to write as well, but since I work full time writing during the week is hard. Then over the weekends I want to spend time with my hubby and dogs, so it’s hard to write. Then I have to find time to market and be on social media. So it’s really a time thing.

What’s the easiest thing about being an author?
Coming up with the stories.

What do you feel about cliffhangers?
To answer this, I hate them. I know they can be very effective, but I’ve seen WAY too many books that are cliffhangers. I hate buying only half (or a third) of a book. I can’t remember what I ate yesterday, there’s no way I can remember what book or author I read three months ago to remember to buy the next part of the book. I don’t mind a series, where you might see the same characters in the books, but each one has its own happily ever after. I think it’s an overused marketing ploy that isn’t fair to the readers. I’ve even bought compilations (you know, where you get like 6 stories for $2.99) and they ALL turn out to be cliffhangers, where they want you to go and buy the next part. It’s just irritating to me and I won’t buy a book if I know it’s a cliffhanger.

Tell us about your latest release!
I released Outback Hearts in May of this year. Flaming Hearts, the next book was released in July. The third book, Frozen Hearts, is done and is with the editor.
They are all based on reality shows. The same producer is in all three books. Each book highlights a different couple, but in the end they are all connected.

We have the blurb from book 1, and the blurb and excerpt for book 2!

Blurb for Outback Hearts (Book 1, Beyond Reality Series)
Sam never thought she’d actually be chosen for a reality show--but next thing she knew, she was whisked away to Australia. Dealing with a producer willing to do whatever he had to do make the show a hit, other women ready to cheat and lie to gain the attention of the bachelor, and a camera operator ready to catch her at her worst every time she turned around, absolutely nothing was as simple as it seemed on TV. Not to mention the pigs, killer snakes and shoveling manure. Sam wasn’t sure she was going to make it through filming most days--never mind find true love.

Alex never thought he’d be on a reality show, but how hard could being surrounded by beautiful women be? A lot harder than he’d thought. The producer changed the rules of the show behind his back, the women were nearly clawing at each other for this attention--and that one contestant he couldn’t get off his mind…

Can two people who are meant to be together manage to fight the catty contestants, crazy producer and find true love on a reality show in the Australian Outback?

Purchase at...

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Flaming Hearts (Book 2, Beyond Reality series)

Flaming Hearts (Book 2 in the Beyond Reality series) Blurb...Becky is on a reality show in Arizona, but instead of having the single men compete with each other for her affections, she has to compete with another woman for theirs. While on a disastrous double date for the show, Becky had no idea she’d meet a wonderful, protective man, unfortunately he isn’t a contestant. 

Dean finds the one woman he knows is meant to be his, but there’s a problem, she’s a contestant on a reality show. Working with his brother, who just happens to be a cameraman on the show, they put together a scheme to get Dean access to the set. Now all he has to do is convince Becky to choose him. 

Becky can’t believe someone as gorgeous as Dean would be interested in her; after all, she isn’t anything special. For some reason he keeps coming back to see her. Their relationship becomes more solid but Becky’s time on the show becomes more tense. She’s ready to call it quits, but she has a contract. 

Just as the show is coming to a close, Dean has to leave town for a job. Becky and Dean look forward to being able to openly spend time together once it’s over, but just as their relationship blossoms, trouble arises. Becky has to decide if she can trust Dean enough to help her, or if she’s better off alone. Dean would do anything for the woman he loves, but first he has to find her.

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An excerpt from Flaming Hearts (Book 2 in the Beyond Reality series)
“I feel like I’m in this bubble. I’m floating around, watching what’s going on around me. I can see the dangerous sharp things around that will pop my bubble and since I’m not steering, all I can do is hope I don’t run into them. I’m always aware of the cameras around here and I can’t help but think of when this show finally airs what it’s going to make me look like. I know that sounds vain and selfish, but I’m trying to watch everything I say and everything I do and everywhere I look, but I know I’m still making a fool out of myself.” Her voice trailed off once more.
Dean was furious, not at Becky, but at Eddie and the director. They were shredding this woman’s self-esteem in front of his eyes, and he couldn’t say or do anything to stop it. He felt as helpless as she just described being inside a floating bubble.
 “Listen, Becky,” he told her with urgency lacing his tone. “Please. This is what I saw today watching you…will you listen to me?”
 Becky nodded, then realizing he couldn’t see her, said, “Uh-huh.”
Dean took a deep breath. He knew this moment was very important and what he said to her now would hopefully lighten her load.
“During lunch today, when Marissa was complaining about the temperature of the soup, you touched the server’s hand and thanked her for her efforts. You probably didn’t know this, but she smiled all the way back to the kitchen just because you took the time to compliment her. Out by the pool when everyone else was swimming and playing, you were sitting in the lounge chair. When everyone went in, you gathered up all of the used towels and put them on a chair so someone else didn’t have to do it. You smiled at one of the camera operators for no special reason as you went into the house. I even saw you tell one of the assistant producers happy birthday, when no one else on the show seemed to care. Hell, I have no idea how you even knew it was his birthday! Even when the clueless men on the show are ignoring you and simpering all over Marissa, when they aren’t able to get near her you still talk to them and try to get to know them. You answer all their questions about Marissa and try to give them hope she just might choose them. I even saw you open a damn window today because a fly was buzzing on the pane and couldn’t get outside. You’re a good person, Becky. To the core. No matter what these people throw at you, no matter what they say, you remember this. I see you. I see the real you. Not only do I see you, I like what I see. And I know America will see it too.”
 His voice tapered off. He waited. He heard Becky sniff once. Oh God, he’d made her cry. He hadn’t meant to make her cry. “Sweetheart?” he asked softly. “I didn’t say all that to make you cry.” When she didn’t immediately say anything, he said with frustration, “Damn, I should’ve kept my mouth shut. I want to be there to hold you, Becky, and it’s pissing me off I can’t be. Are you okay?”
 “I know, I’m okay, Dean. Really. I just…” She paused and sniffed again. “I’ve just had a bad day and that was possibly the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me in my entire life.”

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More about Susan Stoker

Susan Stoker has a heart as big as the state of Texas where she lives but this all American girl has also spent the last fourteen years living in Missouri, California, Colorado, and Indiana. She is quite the romantic and even met the love of her life on "Hotmail classified" before online dating and sites like match.com even existed!

Susan has been reading romance novels since middle school and once crossed out the names of the main characters in a book and changed them to her own and to the name of her crush. She's been writing scenes for years, developing her unique writing style.

Susan loves writing but her true passion is adopting dogs from rescue groups and shelters. Susan and her husband have had a total of nine "rescued" dogs since 2000 including a variety of basset hounds and bloodhounds. She has recently branched out and adopted a basset/terrier mix who acts more like a terrier than a basset (i.e. digging, eating a couch and being hyper). If you love romance and want to help her support adopting great dogs, be sure to check out her work listed below.

If you enjoyed reading her book, or any book, please consider leaving a review.

Connect with Susan Stoker on the Web!


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Contest Details 
Susan is offering a digital copy of Outback Hearts! Leave a comment below to be entered! 

Thanks for stopping by! 


20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan :) I so want to read this!!! From Susan K. Newman

GingerRing said...

I love the idea of writing a story about a reality series. Great interview!!!

Barbara Murzek said...

I really like to win a copy of Outback Hearts!!!!

Jessica Froelick said...

Great interview. Your books are on my TBR list :)

Anonymous said...

Read the first two books and am impatiently waiting for the third. Good interview, and don't think I didn't notice you didn't answer the quirk question. :)

So many books, so little time said...

Love love love Susan's books!

DUCKYDI said...

The cover caught my eye and the interview has me hooked. The books are on my TBR list! :-)

Kelly C said...

I can't wait to read Flaming Hearts!!

izzibella beau said...

Susan is an awesome author. I have the second book on my TBR list, the first was amazing :)

Elaine Swinney said...

Fantastic excerpt.....I have all the books on my TBR List....I have to save up cause when I start I can't stop with the one-click. It's an addiction. LOL!!!!! I cant wait to read these books.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the time to answer questions that give a better insight into you as the author. I *especially* appreciated your views on cliffhangers. I've been there, done that with spending money on too many cliffhangers! tk_reads

Elizabeth Babcock said...

I can't wait to read this! !!

Kylee Doman said...

I would love to read this. Thanks for,the chance.
The bacon question cracked me up. Yes I am a weird person who Does Not like bacon lol.

tmsaylor said...

This is such a new concept for a book storyline. With the world's fascination so high on reality TV, it's surprising more authors haven't written about it!

Jessica Cassidy said...

This one book that I want to have :-) I had the picture and it is beautiful but all missing is the book :-) Susan is one funny author and from reading reviews her books are brilliant :-)

Sydney H. said...

Loved reading this, thank you!

Ella Grambo said...

Would love to read this.

Emily Kirkpatrick said...

Great interview & love the excerpts! Thanks for the chance! ekk52281@hotmail.com

Rabia Kausar said...

welldone Susan! I wanna win the copy ....yeahhhhhh love excerpts

Susan Stoker said...

Thank you all for your great comments and for visiting Mia's blog!!!
I hope you all have a chance to read both Outback Hearts and Flaming Hearts (And of course Frozen Hearts when it comes out at the end of Sept.
Winner (selected by my husband randomly is Elaine Swinney!
Elaine, I'll see if I can connect with you on Fb to get you a copy of Outback Hearts.
Thank you to everyone!!!!

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