"New Worlds Are Our Oyster."
Publisher Spotlight: Mardi Gras Publishing
Susan Kearney used to set herself on fire four times a day, now a USA TODAY BESTSELLING author, she does something really hot—she writes paranormal romance for Tor, sensuous romance for Harlequin Blaze and romantic suspense for Harlequin Signature. She can apply the old rule of "write what you know" and never run out of ideas for characters and plots. An All-American and professional diver, expert in martial arts, sailor, real estate broker and owner of a barter business as well as women's fitness and three hair salons, she has enough material for a lifetime.
Kearney has four releases in 2006 starting in February with a sexy futuristic paranormal romance which made the USA Today list titled the THE ULTIMATUM. In May she's part of an anthology called MIDNIGHT MAGIC with authors Rebecca York and Jeanie London and in JULY she follows up with THE QUEST, her fourth book in her Rystani warrior series for Tor. And in December she's part of a Berkly anthology titled UNLEASHED.
Kearney, a native of New Jersey, writes full time. She resides in a suburb of Tampa—with her husband, kids and Boston Terrier. Currently she's plotting her way through her 42nd work of fiction. You can reach her through this web site.
PNR: Can you tell us a little about how you started writing; was it something you have always wanted to do?
Susan K.: Actually I never thought about writing until I was 40 years old. I had no background in writing at all. But I read all the time. And when I read a futuristic romance, I thought, 'I can do this'. It began as a hobby but I loved writing and sold my first book 2 years later to Zebra - but the line folded and the book never came out. Luckily, 5 months later I sold to Harlequin Intrigue.
PNR: Susan, you appear to be a very versatile writer. You have been writing romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue since 1995, what appeals to you about this genre?
Susan K.: My voice fits romantic suspense. I love tension and writing fear come naturally to me since I was once a competitive diver. Let me tell you, diving off the platform is scary, so I remember that feeling and use it when I write. Although I no longer write for Intrigue, I do have a single title romantic suspense coming out in July 07 titled KISS ME DEADLY.
PNR: Readers may not be aware that you have also written some hot romances beginning with a novella under the name Ivy Landon in Red Sage's Secrets, volume one and several Harlequin Blazes as well. In recent years we've seen a surge in this category of romance. Is this something you were able to foresee back in 1995 when your 'The Proposal' novella was released?
Susan K.: I wish I could say I'd predicted a trend, but the truth is that I always liked writing HOT.
PNR: You've also written THE BATTLE OF BETAZED - Star Trek: The Next Generation series. What inspired this departure from romance writing?
Susan K.: THE BATTLE OF BETAZED was a book Charlotte Douglas and I wrote for Simon and Schuster and we wrote it out of sheer love for the Star Trek series and characters. The story was created from a book cover idea. Our editor asked us to create a story about Deanna Troi during the Dominion Wars. They wanted Deanna on the cover with a big, honking gun in her hands. And the cover was fantastic.
PNR: Your most recent releases have been a part of a single title SF/FT romance series 'The Perceptive Ones'. What different challenges are presented by these four different types of stories? What inspired you make the switch from contemporary category romances to alternative romantic fiction set in the future?
Susan K.: THE CHALLENGE was the first book I ever wrote and the 38th published. I always wanted to write futuristics. ThaT's why I started writing. But back then, I couldn't sell it and my craft really wasn't good enough to pull off a story where the hero sexually frustrates the heroine. When I did the rewrite, I worked hard to give him a very good reason for acting so Alpha. J In THE CHALLENGE the hardest part was making him sympathetic. When I wrote the first book, I had no idea there would be more books in the series. Luckily, I had plenty of characters to spin off. The most difficult part of THE DARE was using a god-like computer for the heroine and turning her into someone human, giving her a body and letting her fall in love. The ULTIMATUM presented its own challenges. In this book the heroine was a woman who had to make love to regenerate her cells - or she'd die. But her backstory was not something real sympathetic and I worked hard to make readers identify with her. I guess it worked, because this book put me back on the USA TODAY LIST. The QUEST might have been the easiest hero to write, because Kirek was a baby in THE CHALLENGE - a baby with extraordinary psi powers. In the DARE he was a 4-year old Oracle, and he was a sex slave in THE ULTIMATUM. So the readers and I watched him grow up. He got his own story in THE QUEST and he's . . .yummy.
PNR: The Perceptive Ones stories begin with THE CHALLENGE. This story begins with time travel involving a present day Earth Woman. What is unique about Tessa Camen and why is she brought to the future?
Susan K.: Tessa is unique because she's both strong and vulnerable. She's an ex-secret service woman who never volunteered for her mission into the future. As a matial arts expert, she can kick ass with her hands and her feet, but she’s all woman and when she’s brought to the future to take an alien Challenge so EARTH can join the Galactic Federation, she uses both her heart and her skills to succeed.
PNR: The hero, Kahn inhabits an alien world of Rystan, what is his involvement with Tessa? Does she meet his expectations?
Susan K.: Kahn thinks he wants a woman who can cook and mind the hearth. He doesn’t expect to train a warrior woman for THE CHALLENGE but as he learns about her, she in turn infuriates and fascinates him.
PNR: The second tale THE DARE brings a new SF aspect into play. The heroine, Dora, begins life as a sentient computer who befriends Tessa Camen. Tell us a bit about Dora's personality and what motivates her.
Susan K.: Dora is a 300-year old super computer with emotions. Sh'’s fascinated by humanity, friendship and falling in love. But when she finally enters a body, she learns being human is very different than she imagined - but falling in love is better.
PNR: The hero of this story, Zical, is another Rystani warrior. He has just completed an important mission and must now make a decision as to the direction his future will take. Suddenly he finds the decision has been made for him. What is his mission and how does this involve Dora?
Susan K.: Zical's mission is to reprogram Sentinels' ancient machines that guard the Galaxy from an ancient enemy-- so they will keep doing their job. And no one understands machines better than Dora, so she joins the man she loves on the journey, determined to make him fall in love with her. The problem is that Zical doesn’t really believe that Dora is human.
PNR: Book three, THE ULTIMATUM, has a new twist. Once again the hero is Rystani, however the heroine is Endekian scientist, Alara Callandar. Up until this point the reader has been led to believe that the Endekians are evil. Xander, the hero, had been a youngster in THE CHALLENGE and had suffered at the hands of the Endekians. Xander is on a mission that requires Alara's aid. How does he deal with this assignment?
Susan K.: Xander deals with his mission in straight forward warrior fashion. He takes Alara from her world because he needs her special ability, she can read DNA 'by sight alone'. Although he doesn't hate the woman who comes from the race of people who invaded his homeworld and tortured him - since she isn't personally responsible - he doesn't trust her.
PNR: Alara has several reasons for refusing to cooperate; can you give us some background on her character? What convinces her to participate in the mission?
Susan K.: Alara is a scientist trying to find a cure for her biology, a biology that forces all women of her race to make love to regenerate their cells or she'll die. When Xander takes her, she issues him an Ultimatu - —make love to her or she'll die and be unable to help his mission.
PNR: THE QUEST is the newest book in the series. This story feature Kirek, born to Miri and ETRU. Tell us about the circumstances surrounding Kirek's birth and how this makes him unique? Can you give us a little taste of the plot and Captain Angel Taylor's involvement?
Susan K.: Kirek was born in hyperspace and this made his psi the strongest in the galaxy. But he's been injured and his mind is fried. However, he knows the Zin, a race of half machine, half sentient beings, are searching for him. He needs a pilot to take him to the far reaches of the Galaxy to defeat the Zin—and when he meets Captain Angel Taylor, she's willing to take Kirek aboard her ship for a chance to make the biggest salvage haul in history.
PNR: I find it rather interesting that the suits which were developed by an advance race eons ago, and which all citizen are issued from birth, extend the length of their lifetimes approximately 10 fold. Since the stories have already moved into the next generation, this would allow the previous characters to continue playing a vital role in the stories. Was this the reason for this feature?
Susan K.: Actually, no. I just thought it would be cool to live longer!
PNR: Can you give us some insight into the Psi abilities of the Rystani and how this is an important element in the series?
Susan K.: Psi is the power of the mind that runs the suits. All races have Psi power but learn to develop them. Occasionally, some characters are born under unusual circumstances - like Kirek in hyperspace - and develop powers to astral project.
PNR: There are scenes reminiscent of two angels sitting on a cloud watching the current civilization struggle - one is ready to wipe the slate clean and start over, the other is in favor of survival and pulls a few strings to push them in the right direction, this really creates some suspense; can you give us insight into this story element? What is the status of The Perceptive Ones?
Susan K.: The Perceptive One's status is finally revealed in THE QUEST. To say more would give away too much. Readers will have to find out for themselves.
PNR: The Zin from the Andromeda Galaxy are another advanced race directly opposed to the Perceptive Ones, can you tell us how this has driven the plot of this series?
Susan K.: Every book needs a villain. And the Zin are perfect because they are smart, relentless and can procreate as quickly as they need to. This battle had been going on for a millennium.
PNR: Will the series continue? What's next for Susan Kearney?
Susan K.: I've started a new series that begins with ISLAND HEAT in Feb. 07. Here's a sneak peek.
He dominated with an otherworldly seductive power . . .
What was happening to her? Former screen siren Shara Weston lived on an exotic and private South Pacific island as a recluse . . . until disturbingly masculine and utterly captivating Cade Archer fell out of the sky and into her life. Now, Cade gives her no choice but to follow him down a sensual path that fulfills her every desire.
Cade's on a mission to open a portal between Shara's island volcano and his world. But not everyone wants him to succeed. A powerful enemy has followed Cade to prevent him from sending the resources through the portal that will free his people.
While Cade's mission is as compelling as his dominating sensuality, Shara must find a way to fight him . . . to stop his mission because the fate of every man, woman and child on Earth is at stake.
And in July 07, KISS ME DEADLY will be released from Tor. Here’s a sneak peak:
The average person is almost 200 times more likely to be murdered than to win the lottery. What are the odds that both could happen....?
Newman and her co-workers picked the right numbers . . . And
won the biggest powerball lottery in history . . . Then
someone stole the ticket...
PNR: You recently had a short story in the MIDNIGHT MAGIC anthology, a futuristic time travel, can you tell us about Ulterior Motives?
Susan K.: In this story I introduce the heroine in THE QUEST. But the story is about a woman from Earth who is drawn into the future through a magical painting. The magical painting draws in lost souls and brings them to a place and time where they can recover from their past.
PNR: In December you will have a short story in the UNLEASHED anthology with Rebecca York, Diane Whiteside & Lucy Monroe, could you tell how you became involved in this project and about your contribution to it?
Susan K.: Rebecca York and I came up with a concept of men from Atlantis who dreamed about their soul mates, then went into the world to find them. My story is about a shapeshifter and how he finds and trains his soul mate.
PNR: Can you tell us about the projects are you currently working on, what can readers expect to see in the coming months?
Susan K.: I'm currently finishing KISS ME DEADLY. After that - I'll be out of contract - so I don't really know.
PNR: Thanks Susan, for taking time out to talk to us. Where can readers find out what's new and how can they contact you?
Susan K.: Readers can watch my booktrailers at my website at www.susankearney.com and my email addy is on the site.
Featured in this issue:Alien Themed Romance Mardi Gras Publishing
December 5, 2006
Trade Size Read the Reviews!
UNLEASHED - Four hot authors in a sizzling new anthology of paranormal romance-first time in print!
In the tradition of Hot Blooded and Hot Spell comes an anthology that dares to unleash the most uninhibited fantasies imaginable...
Susan Kearney is a USA Today bestselling author.
Diane Whiteside is the author of Bond of Blood, The Switch, and The Hunter's Prey.
Lucy Monroe is the national bestselling author of Touch Me.
June 27, 2006
Paperback Read the Reviews! THE QUEST
Book 4: A warrior on a mission Kirek of Rystan's objective is to destroy the Federation's deadliest enemy, but he needs help. When assistance comes in the form of a sexy and irresistible space pilot, he takes on a second goal—to win her heart. A woman with a plan Captain Angel Taylor's going after the biggest salvage haul in her career. Fiercely independent, she can't imagine a life with Kirek, a traditional Rystani warrior with extraordinary psi powers—but he has seductive skills she can't resist. The Quest Teaming up, Angel and Kirek risk their lives to fight the evil Zin empire—but Kirek's biggest battle of all is the win Angel's love. Buy it now! Tor Books
February 1, 2006
Paperback Read the Reviews! THE ULTIMATUM
Book 3: Dr. Alara Calladar needs a man...
....but she sure as krek doesn't want one.
If Alara doesn't make love soon, her cells will fail to regenerate and she'll die. Unfortunately, her only option is an enemy—Rystani starpilot Xander, her abductor...and a member of the race who has been battling hers since the beginning of time.
Insufferable smug, Xander issues an ultimatum: He'll make love to Alara only if she will use her psi-talent of identifying DNA to help him find the cure for the deadly Terran virus spreading across the galaxy.
Alara is trapped. She gives Xander what he wants—and gets what she needs. But Alara holds a pair of secrets: the more they make love, until the only person she can make love with is him—and the more time they spend together, the more Alara likes Xander.
When it seems that all the forces in the universe have aligned against them, can Alara trust Xander with her life...and her heart?Buy it now! Tor Books
July 1, 2005
Paperback Read the Reviews! THE DARE
Book 2: Dora Wants to Make Love to Sexy Zical...
But the change from sentient computer to human is a much more complex process than Dora has ever imagined. With the hope that the intriguing Rystani warrior, Zical, will find her as attractive as she find him, Dora trades her neurotransmitters for a curvaceous human body. But she has much to learn about loving and being loved.
Dora's simpatico relationship with machines both fascinates and alienates Zical. However, after he accidentally summons ancient machines that protect the galaxy form invasion, he needs Dora's expertise. As Zical pilots their spaceship to the galaxy's rim, they face both physical and spiritual challenges, but the biggest threat of all is daring to love Dora.Buy it now! Tor Books
February 1, 2005
Paperback Read the Reviews! THE CHALLENGE
Book 2: SHE WAS SHOT PROTECTING THE PRESIDENT, AND
WOKE UP NAKED, IN THE ARMS OF A HUNK...
...a hunk named Kahn, who told Secret Service agent Tessa Camen an outlandish story about traveling through time, saving the world, and a Challenge only she can accept. Kahn offers her proof she can't refute: Tessa has been brought forward through time to save Earth by winning an intergalactic challenge.
Kahn only has a few weeks to train Tessa to use the psi-abilities he insists she has. He is confident in the success of a time-honored method that uses sexual frustration to bring out her powers, but Tessa is dubious. She's a martial arts expert and can fight her way through anything, but she's never had much luck with emotions.
Luckily for Earth, Kahn can be very convincing...
A magical painting, a mystical gateway...
Legend has it that a heartbroken artist used magical paint to create the beautiful "Midnight Magic" - and then stepped into the painting and was never seen again. Or so Sara Drimmon is told when she visits the Second Chance Gallery in Rebecca York's "Second Chance." Sara experiences the magic for herself when the painting sends her into her own past and gives her a second chance with her first love.
Then it's Sara's turn to introduce someone to the painting— and she chooses Merline, a beautiful singer who's lost her voice. In Susan Kearney's "Ulterior Motives," the painting sends Merline thousands of years into the future, where she is no longer a superstar. Is Merline ready to trade stardom for love?
In Jeanie London's "Temptation," an artist urges Nina de Lacy to look deeply into the painting. But Nina has her own magical way of seeing into the souls of men—and now she must choose between the destiny "Midnight Magic" offers her and the two men who wait for her to tell them their future...
BEYOND THE EDGE
He threatened to take away all her control...
What was happening to her? Heiress Fallon Hanover had always been in charge—of a huge business empire, of her wayward family members. Until dark, disturbingly different Kane Kincaid literally exploded into her life with such sexual force, she had no means to fight him...even if she'd wanted to.
The strangely foreign man led her down a sensual path that both thrilled and frightened her. One by one, Kane wore down her defenses, until he'd gained total control of her mind, her body, her heart. But when she'd satisfied all his needs, he demanded one more thing of her: To say good-bye.
Because he had to go back to the future.
And a man she wants more than her next breath
When FBI operative Amanda Lane goes undercover to find a murderer, she makes a disturbing discovery: Hathaway Balkmandy, her main suspect, can control desire. Through some extraordinary power, he can make any woman want him. And he's set his sights on Amanda.
When paramilitary agent Bolt Tanner gets assigned to the case, he finds himself with a smart, gorgeous partner...who's dangerously incapacitated. He has no choice but to come to her rescue—by satisfying her every sexual need.
But they have to discover the source of Hathaway's strange effect fast, because Amanda's urges are becoming uncontrollable. And only Bolt's exquisite—and constant—sensual attention is keeping her from succumbing to Hathaway...the man who killed her sister!
Heroes Inc., Book 7
ON THE EDGE
How much did she really know?
Four years ago, Kaylin Ashcroft's sister Jenna was kidnapped from the bedroom where they both slept. Ever since, Kaylin has been trying to recall that night...anything that might lead investigators to Jenna. But with no luck.
Kaylin is clairvoyant and has been haunted all her life by dreams. Now she is experiencing vivid nightmares that may be connected to her sister's abduction, but disjointed fragments are all she can remember...until Shane Lynch comes to her aid.
Shane is ex-CIA and a psychic himself. But can he reach the dangerous truth lurking behind her dreams? And does Kaylin dare trust him with her mind, her body...and her sister?
THE HOPE CHEST
FeaturingYesterday's Magic by Jacquie D'Alessandro Today's Secrets by Julie Kenner Tomorrow's Promise by Susan Kearney
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