Authors vs. Characters—New Year’s Resolutions
Every year, my agent asks her authors to do a business plan for the coming year, with long-range projections for three and five years down the road. Assess the past year. Make plans. Dream realistically but dream big.
In working on my plan for 2015, I realized that my resolutions, if you will, are very much in line with those of my characters. I’ll share a few:
* In the world of The Collectors, book two, DEADLY, CALM, AND COLD, saw the ranks of the C7, a group of seven amoral, greedy collectors, suffer a war of attrition. The C4 aren’t nearly as strong, so the New Year’s Resolution for this nasty bunch of artifact collectors: find some new villains to join their ranks, preferably as nasty as the ones they lost.
* In the world of The Penton Legacy, master vampire Aidan Murphy was left in a world of hurt when book four, ALLEGIANCE, ended. His mate Krys was in a vampire version of a coma as he pulled energy from her (unwillingly) to heal himself. He’s bitter and angry and on the warpath. Aidan’s goal for 2015 is to settle things down in Penton or start an all-out fight. One of his lieutenants, Will Ludlam, was left with a permanent leg injury even his vampire genes couldn’t heal, and now he can’t fight against the Tribunal. How will he cope? And is he really as immune to the murder of his father as he professes? Will, in 2015, has to come to terms with his new realities.
And what about Robin and Cage, who hit the road in search of the traitor Fen Patrick? Their goal is to find and destroy him, or use him to trap his big bad boss, Frank.
Finally, what’s a Penton book without a hero? And who’d make a better one than our Army Ranger psychic, Nikolas Dimetrou? Nik thinks he might have found a home in Penton, but now that Penton is in danger of fracturing, his New Year’s Resolution is to find a way to hold it together—maybe with the help of an 11-year-old vampire named Hannah (no, get your minds out of the gutters, she is NOT a romantic partner!!).
* There are a lot of New Year’s Resolutions being made among the cast and crew of the Sentinels of New Orleans series (written as Suzanne Johnson), where DJ just wants a nice, normal Christmas—because God knows that, in ELYSIAN FIELDS, she didn’t have a nice, normal Thanksgiving. Her New Year’s Resolutions? To settle into a groove in her relationship with Alex; to figure out exactly where Jean Lafitte fits into her life; to keep her bond-mate-in-name-only Quince Randolph as far away as possible, and to enjoy spending time with her BFFs Eugenie and Rene. Oh, and peace on earth and good will to all preternaturals.
My New Year’s Resolution? Sorry, DJ, but none of those things are gonna happen for you in 2015, when PIRATE’S ALLEY comes out in April. You might want to go ahead and consider those long-range goals because your 2015 is going to suck.
There are other characters, those my readers haven’t yet met, who have their own goals. They sit in my brain or in my idea file, clamoring for attention. Who will reach their goals in 2015?
--Josie, the newly minted veterinarian who loses a poker game bet and ends up having to return to her small Southern town to practice at The Animal House. Will Josie get the heck out of Winston County, Alabama, and find happiness treating citified poodles?
--BP, a criminal from an alien civilization sent to earth as his punishment, but whose memory modifications failed. Will BP be able to survive on earth knowing he isn’t human, or will he make himself a target? And are their other “glitches” like him wandering the streets of Chicago? His goal is to find out and to get home…or get revenge.
--Cross, a New Orleans criminology professor whose grad students have formed a secret Cold Case Club to solve a 30-year-old murder that took place during a voodoo ceremony at Pontchartrain Beach…and get in over their heads. Cross just wants his “kids,” as he calls them, to survive.
So what are your resolutions? And which characters do you want to see get theirs met?
Deadly, Calm and Cold
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Date of Publication: December 2, 2014
Number of pages: 280
Word Count: Approx 88,000
Cover Artist: Kerrie Robertson/
From award-winning author Susannah Sandlin comes the second book in The Collectors series.
How far will ordinary people go to protect their secrets? The Collectors’ games are as much about manipulating lives as finding lost treasure. Everyone is expendable as the ruthless C7 pushes people into gambling with their lives in order to find priceless objects lost to history.
Samantha Crowe's secrets could ruin her career, while Brody Parker's could get him killed. They become pawns for two Collectors seeking Bad King John's crown jewels, which disappeared in rural England back when Robin Hood roamed Nottingham.
This time, however, the Collectors--a ruthless dotcom billionaire and a desperate London detective--might not be playing for the same team, leaving Sam and Brody trapped in the middle.
One thing's for sure: If either hope to survive, Sam and Brody will have to find a way to overcome their distrust--and their growing attraction--in order to succeed on this winner-take-all treasure hunt.
Samantha hadn’t intended to watch Brody Parker take a shower, only to peek in the window to see if he was in the bathroom so he could let her in the house.
But damn, that man was sexy. He was facing her, his head thrown back and eyes closed as the water cascaded over every ridge and muscle and . . . everything. She had to look, right? She might have taken a vow of celibacy but she hadn’t taken a vow of blindness.
You’re an absolutely pathetic loser, Sam’s inner nag said, and she agreed. Anyone who’d stand in the middle of a monsoon and ogle a man in his shower should have LOSER stamped on her forehead.
As soon as Brody stepped out of the water and saw her, his mouth and eyes battling for which could open the widest in shock, she stepped away from the window and splashed her way around the corner, returning to the back door. And yeah, giggled a little, the laughter bubbling up and spilling out before she could get it under control. She hadn’t laughed much in the last couple of days.
She’d never been quite so wet and cold in her life. The wind had picked up, stabbing horizontal blades of rain into her face as she waited at the back door. For a few seconds, she wondered if he might leave her out here, but then the door opened and he stood there with a white towel slung loosely around his hips, which would have been sexy as hell except for the black T-shirt he’d pulled on. Droplets of water dripped from his black wavy hair onto his shoulders, getting said T-shirt wet.
“Nice fashion statement.” She gave him her best lopsided smile as he moved aside to let her in. “You’re shy about going without a shirt? You have man boobs, don’t you?” Which would be a crime against nature.
“I certainly do not.” Looking offended, Brody pulled the T-shirt up, exposing a rock-hard set of damp abs and nice, firm pecs without a trace of man boob. He jerked the shirt back down before she started salivating, which was good, given her celibacy and all.
“Why were you leering in my bathroom window?” He cocked his head. “Are you stalking me? How long had you been watching?”
Not nearly long enough. “Just a few seconds. I knocked on the door earlier and you didn’t answer.”
He glanced out the door, where the rain almost obscured the garage. “Where’s your car?”
“Ah, that’s the real story. Do you have a fire lit?”
Brody closed the door, shutting out the hiss of rain hitting the slate courtyard. “Not yet. I was going to do it as soon as I showered. Give me a minute to get dressed.” He made no attempt to leave, though, but instead treated her to a head-to-toe visual inspection that she could swear grew a little heated when his gaze landed on where her soaked, thin sweater clung to her breasts.
Her nipples perked up just to make sure he could see them, the traitors. They didn’t want her to be celibate. They wanted to be touched and licked and nibbled on, even if the attention came at the lips and tongue and teeth of the man who’d deliberately punctured her tire.
About the Author:
Susannah Sandlin writes paranormal romance and romantic thrillers from Auburn, Alabama, on top of a career in educational publishing that has thus far spanned five states and six universities—including both Alabama and Auburn, which makes her bilingual.
She grew up in Winfield, Alabama, but was also a longtime resident of New Orleans, so she has a highly refined sense of the absurd and an ingrained love of SEC football, cheap Mardi Gras trinkets, and fried gator on a stick. She’s the author of the award-winning Penton Legacy paranormal romance series, a spinoff novel, Storm Force, a standalone novelette, Chenoire, and a new romantic thriller series, The Collectors, beginning with Lovely, Dark, and Deep.
Writing as Suzanne Johnson, she also is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series.