10 Favorite Authors

I’m thrilled to welcome Soul Mate author Tina Susedik to the Power of 10 series. Today, Tina chats about her favorite authors and books.

Here’s Tina!

tinapixLike most people who love reading, I have my favorites, although picking ten among the many was difficult. Once I find an author I like, I’ll get copies of every book they’ve written and read all of them until I’m done. This works out fine if the author no longer writes, but there are several that I’m way behind on. They keep writing, and I keep finding new authors to read. I’ve kept many of these authors’ books on my Keeper Shelves, but recently have had to thin them out, as I’m running out of room. And even though I love their books, I know I won’t re-read them because there are so many new authors to read.

Two of my all-time favorite and the first romance authors I read are Kathleen Woodiwiss and LaVyrle Spencer. Their books are ones I’ll never let go and have re-read many, many times. I’ve lent them to friends and fret the whole time that I’ll never get them back.

theflameThe first romance I ever read was “The Flame and the Flower” by Kathleen Woodiwiss. It was 1975 and I was pregnant with my first child. Out of the blue, my brother called me and told me I needed to read this book, that I would love it. As I was no longer working, I bought the book for an incredible price of $1.50, and stayed up all night reading it. My husband was out of town, so there was no one to interrupt. The next day I called my brother and asked him why on earth he was reading a romance. He said: “I was in the bathroom longer than I intended and the only thing to read was Peggy’s (his wife) book that had been on the floor. I couldn’t put the darn thing down.” I loved the mix of romance, mystery, and history. Out of his five sisters, I’m not sure why he chose me to tell to read Ms. Woodiwiss, but I’m glad he did. It started my love of reading romance.

bittersweetI’m not sure how I found LaVyrle Spencer, but I first read her books in 1988. There is something about her writing that is real. Her characters are ones I’d love to meet and become friends with. My favorite is Bitter Sweet, mainly because it’s set in northeastern Wisconsin. On a visit to Door County, I dragged my husband to the various places used in the book. He’s was great about listening to me rant: “Wow, this is the store where her father worked,” or “Here’s where her house is set.” This is one book I will suddenly find I have to read and read right now.

Jude Deveraux is another author whose books I love. I met her at the Romantic Times Convention three years ago. I was so excited, I’m afraid I acted like a crazed fan. I even told her that her books were on my keeper shelf. My favorite is “A Knight in Shining Armor.” There’s something about a hunky knight traveling into the future and falling in love with you.

Two authors that have been on my keeper shelves are Luanne Rice and Emilie Richards. Like LaVyrle Spencer her characters are real. They both write about families and the problems they can have. I couldn’t say which ones of theirs are my favorites, and even though I read most of their books, I know I need to catch up with both of them.

Of course on my list is Janet Evanovich and her Stephanie Plum series. My husband even reads them. I love a book where the characters make me laugh out loud. Right now I’m four books behind.

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I enjoy reading mysteries, and two of my favorite authors are Ngaio Marsh and Lilian Jackson Braun. Marsh’s books are similar to Agatha Christie (whom I also like to read). Lilian Jackson Braun writes “The Cat Who. . .” mysteries. I love the character Jim Qwilleran, a down and out reporter who comes into a fortune. I devoured her books, one after the other. His two cats, Koko and Yum-Yum have a knack for helping him solve the mysteries. She wrote nearly until her death in 2011 at the age of 97, leaving her last book unfinished. Unfortunately, whoever finished the book made readers irate, including myself.

Carl Hiaasen is another author my husband and I enjoy. His humor and the way he twists plots keeps the reader on his toes. As an author myself, I often wonder how he comes up with the twists and turns and the crazy characters.

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An author I recently found and enjoy is Tess Gerritsen. I hadn’t read any of her books until I registered for a Barbara Vey Reader’s Appreciation Luncheon where Ms. Gerritsen was the key-note speaker. I figured I should read at least one of her books, so I was familiar with what she wrote. One book turned to two, then three, then . . . I met her at the luncheon and had my picture taken with her. A very, very nice lady.

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I know this is #11, but I can’t forget Nora Roberts. I’d been collecting her books for years. Read a few, but just kept collecting. At one point I had 157. In 2013 I decided my goal would be to read as many of her books as I could. I needed the shelf space. I read 91 of her books that year. I thought I was making progress, then my dear sweet husband, probably seeing how I was constantly reading her, gave me some Nora Roberts books for Christmas.

As time goes on, I’m sure I’ll add other authors to my favorite author list. I know I’ve read many new authors who could be added.

Bio

Tina Susedik can’t remember a time when she didn’t have stories floating around in her head. The last thing she thought she would ever do was write a book, let alone a history one. Six history books later, she was finally able to pursue her dream of being published in romance. Success came with “Riding for Love,” a romantic mystery. She plans on having many more books completed soon. In her spare time, Tina loves to read, hike, camp, bike, garden, take photographs and spend time with her five grandchildren.

Blurb

riding-for-love-cover-2Eve Dayton, owner of a riding ranch, rose above her childhood past and overcame the emotional damage her boyfriend caused when he married another woman. When someone starts sabotaging her ranch, Eve is desperate to find the culprit before she loses everything. Is it a coincidence or is the return of Denton Johanson tied to the mystery?

Divorced Denton Johanson returns to his hometown to help convict the embezzling controller of the family business. When he runs into Eve, he realizes his feelings for her are still strong enough to try and win her back. His fear of horses won’t get in the way of his goal and decides the only way to be near her is to take riding lessons from her. Can he convince her that his love is real and he is not behind the mystery surrounding the ranch?

Eve Dayton’s former boyfriend returns to town just as problems start arising at her horse riding ranch. Can she believe his declaration to be part of her life again? Will she overcome the suspicion that he is part of the problem and accept his help in catching the culprits? Find out how Denton Johanson triumphs over his fears to win back her love.

Where to find Tina…

Website | Facebook| Twitter | Pinterest | Amazon | Goodreads


On Tour + #Giveaway

11838450_sThe following Soul Mate authors are hosting me on their blogs…

Tina Susedik

Kim Hotzon

Rachel Sharpe

Drop by and visit for a while. Remember to scroll down and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway. You could win a $25 Amazon gift card.

From Comfort Zone to Stretch Zone

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have Soul Mate author Tina Susedik describing the many hats she has worn throughout her life.

Here’s Tina!

tinasusedik I came across a saying that I believe exemplifies life: “We plan, God Laughs.” No matter how we organize our lives, think we know where we’re going, life takes us in different directions. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but always a learning experience.

First Act: I grew up in a poor family. We moved a lot, never spending much time in one house. Through this I learned to adapt and love living in the country.

I worked my way through college, getting a degree in Business with a minor in Journalism. I met my future husband the day before classes started my Freshman year. We married three years later. Defying all those naysayers who said we would never graduate, we both got our degrees.

Then we moved – and moved a lot as my husband’s jobs changed and improved. At best count I have lived in thirty-three different houses or apartments in my sixty-two years.

Two children came along with the decision to be a stay-at-home mom. I babysat, sold Tupperware and MaryKay, sewed clothes for others and enjoyed my children. I went back to school and earned two degrees in education and began teaching, a profession I thoroughly enjoyed.

One of our moves came after school started, and I was unable to get a job. I found an ad in a magazine for courses in writing for children. I applied and was accepted, starting my love for writing.

Another move had us in Canada, where again I couldn’t teach. I continued writing children’s books, but dabbled in writing romance. I had no idea what I was doing.

After moving back to the States and once again not having a full-time job, I started substitute teaching. It was during my drive home from a small town up the road from us that someone hit my car from behind. After a few years of struggling to teach through the pain (I did get a full-time position teaching fifth grade), I finally had to face the fact that I could no longer do what I love and needed to find something I could do.

In hindsight, I can now see how this accident helped me end up where I am today. Through the help of our state’s rehabilitation program, I was set up with a desk-top publishing business. This also afforded me time to continue writing romance.

One day I received a phone call from a town clerk from a nearby township. They needed someone to write a history of their township for their centennial celebration. Even though I had no idea how to do this, I agreed. I fell in love with interviewing, researching and writing their story. This 300-page book began a new career. I went on to write three more township books, a city history book and three military books, while learning more about writing romance.

Second Act: My husband and I bought a tax and accounting business. During tax season my writing time was curtailed, but I managed to get in as much as I could. During the “off season,” besides sitting for my grandchildren two days a week, I write full time. It’s something I can’t not do.

When I turned fifty-nine, I decided it was time to do something with the manuscripts I’d written and buried. I pitched, submitted, wrote and rewrote. I attended conferences and conventions about romance writing. I was determined it was my time.

Two years ago, everything fell into place. Within two weeks, I was asked for full manuscripts for two different books from two different publishers. “Riding for Love” was published last May with Soul Mate Publishing. This year I have another book coming out with Wild Rose Press under a pen name. I don’t have a final title or publication date yet. I’ve pulled out two of my children’s book manuscripts, brushed them off and found illustrators. They will be published this year, too.

My advice for anyone planning to pursue a second act is to be flexible and never stop learning. Looking back I can see where life was sending me, but during those years, I had no idea why things were happening as they did.

Affirmations

It doesn’t matter how old or young you are when your dreams come true. Had I wished I was published at a younger age? Yes. But I am where I’m supposed to be at this point in my life and I’m loving it.

Quotes

I always tell my grandchildren: “Never give up, never give up.” I have two quotes that follow this mantra: “It’s always too early to quit,” Norman Vincent Peale. “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit,” Richard Bach.

Riding for Love Cover (2)

Blurb

Eve Dayton, owner of a riding ranch, rose above her childhood past and overcame the emotional damage her boyfriend caused when he married another woman. When someone starts sabotaging her ranch, Eve is desperate to find the culprit before she loses everything. Is it a coincidence or is the return of Denton Johanson tied to the mystery?

Divorced Denton Johanson returns to his hometown to help convict the embezzling controller of the family business. When he runs into Eve, he realizes his feelings for her are still strong enough to try and win her back. His fear of horses won’t get in the way of his goal and decides the only way to be near her is to take riding lessons from her. Can he convince her that his love is real and he is not behind the mystery surrounding the ranch?

Eve Dayton’s former boyfriend returns to town just as problems start arising at her horse riding ranch. Can she believe his declaration to be part of her life again? Will she overcome the suspicion that he is part of the problem and accept his help in catching the culprits? Find out how Denton Johanson triumphs over his fears to win back her love.

Where to find Tina…

Website | Facebook| Twitter | Pinterest | Amazon | Goodreads

Joanne here!

Tina, you are a wonderful role model for all of us. I am impressed by your ability to skillfully navigate the many challenges you have faced. Riding for Love sounds delicious…I’m putting it on my TBR list.