Please welcome Susan Palmquist into the silver rays of the Moonlight today. Susan is the author of Sleeping with Fairies, which was published by Lyrical Press. To learn more about Susan or to drop her an e-mail eulogizing how wonderful her books are (all us authors love to hear how much you enjoyed our books), please visit her at her website: http://susanpalmquist.com/
GRACEN: Do you have any Valentine’s Day traditions like watching a Lifetime Channel movie marathon, spending the day with your significant other, writing, etc.? Do you have a favorite movie that you love to watch or a book you like to read on Valentine’s Day? Is there any movie or book that you’ve saved for this time of year? If so, what’s the title?
SUSAN: No traditions, really, maybe I’ll make a special meal and light candles.
GRACEN: Many of us feel that Valentine’s Day is just one more day that has been overly commercialized and isn’t something that should only be celebrated once a year, but at least once a day. What was the most romantic gift you’ve ever received, when did you receive it and who was it from?
SUSAN: That’s an easy one. A dozen red roses from my husband. At the time, we were just dating and had in fact, just met. The first time we went out was with another couple. We’d planned to Rollerblade. I’d never done that before and ended up falling on my backside. So when we went on our first official date the following weekend, he bought me flowers to cheer me up.
GRACEN: Since this is the time of year when many people (teens included) feel the need to find a significant other, what suggestion(s) do you have for our readers as to what trait(s) should be added to their list?
SUSAN: Do you mean traits to look for in another person? For me sense of humor tops the list. It’s inevitable that bad things will happen to us now and then and having someone who makes you laugh or just makes you smile can really help you through the rough patches.
GRACEN: There are many relationship superstitions out there such as, “rain on your wedding day is bad luck,” are you superstitious when it comes to love or relationships? Why or why not? If so, what superstitions do you believe have merit?
SUSAN: I’m part Irish so hence, yes, I’m superstitious. However, I can’t think of any superstitions I have that are connected with love and relationships, although my late mother always believed that you should buy pearls for yourself and not have someone give them to you because it meant that person would make you cry.
GRACEN: Do you believe in ghosts? Do you believe in the power of love? If so, do you think that love can exist beyond this life and carry over into the next or has the power to keep a soul attached to the mortal coil never to cross over? Do you believe that ghosts have the ability to effect humans in a sexual manner?
SUSAN: Once, again, being of Irish heritage, yes, I believe in ghosts and I love a good ghost story. And yes, I also believe in the power of love. I’ve heard people say they were attracted to someone because they believed they’d known one another or had been soul mates in another life. It might explain why we’re instantly drawn to some people and not others. Your last question has certainly given me an idea for a story!
GRACEN: Please tell us, if you have any, 3 funny, strange or silly things that happened to you, or someone you know, on past Valentine’s Days. Any rendezvous fiascos that you now find humorous to tell? Have they ever been inspiration for some hi-jinks in your stories? Which ones? (Sharing may help others not feel so bad if it happened to them, as the saying goes, “misery loves company”)
SUSAN: Not on Valentine’s Day, but if misery loves company, I’d like to tell the single girls out there I’ve had my fair share of dating disasters, dates not showing up, etc. Friends matching me up with guys who were just not my type but the guys thought differently. So hang in there.
GRACEN: For years, romance readers have experienced flack from non-romance readers saying or implying, “that’s just porn for women.” What can you say that might help non-romance readers understand the current essence of the romance genre?
SUSAN: I’d say read more romances. Yes, some are just one sex scene after another, but most of them are tension filled and just make you feel that all is well with the world once these two people finally realize how much they love one another.
GRACEN: Now, let’s get to your writing, Susan…What genre is your work considered to be? Why this genre? What was the draw for you?
SUSAN: I write both mysteries and romances. Romance wise, so far both my books have been in the paranormal category. Why do I like that? Romance is magical and adding a paranormal element just makes it that much more special. For example, in my first romance, A Sterling Affair, both the hero and heroine are given a second chance at love, one of them even has to come back to life to experience it. In my latest, Sleeping With Fairies, Claire’s gift gives everyone in the village hope that even their wildest dreams can be realized.
GRACEN: If you could describe your writing with a word or phrase, what would it be? Please be creative and delve into the core of your writing to tell us what word or phrase you want readers to take with them when they've finished reading your story.
SUSAN: It’s versatile.
GRACEN: Do you prefer romantic gifts (flowers, chocolate, jewelry, etc.) or romantic acts (massages, dinners, fun night out, etc.)? Does that show through in your writing? If so, how?
SUSAN: I have to say a little of both. And yes, I think it does show through in my stories. All the heroes I create are very romantic to the ladies.
GRACEN: What school of thought are you when it comes to romance, love at first sight or that love takes time? Does this show through in your writing? If so, how?
SUSAN: I really do believe in love at first sight. And yes, it shows in my writing, the hero and heroine are never quite the same once they’ve set eyes upon each other. Sometimes it makes them do uncharacteristic things like Michael in Sleeping With Fairies even resorts to watching Claire with a pair of binoculars.
GRACEN: When reading stories, many of us find secondary characters to be as interesting as or more interesting than the main characters. Are there any secondary characters that you plan on giving their own story? Or any that readers have requested have their own story? Are any of them your favorites? Why?
SUSAN: I really liked creating the character of Rachel in Sleeping With Fairies, she’s Michael’s ten year old daughter. I describe her as ten but going on 30. Who knows maybe I’ll write a book about her, she’ll be older and about to fall in love.
GRACEN: Of all of your heroes, who would you say is the most romantic and why?
SUSAN: Sir Ian Ashby from A Sterling Affair, he’s from the Regency period which probably speaks for itself.
GRACEN: Of all of your heroes, who would you say is the least romantic and why?
SUSAN: The least romantic would probably be in my mystery, Death Likes Me, Tony who’s a friend of Niki’s is about to be divorced for the second time. However, having said that and I won’t give too much away but in future Niki Webber mysteries, well, let’s say things might change and he might just become Mr. Romance.
When You’re in Love Magical Things Can Happen
It was just out of pure curiosity, he told himself when he’d opted to drive along the road that ran parallel to the beach. After all, although he’d been in the village a couple of weeks, he had yet to visit the beach or even driven the beach road to check it out. Rachel had pestered him a couple of times, but he’d said it was too cold to be heading to the beach.
He glanced out to sea while he drove. No matter how hard he tried to convince himself he was doing this for the sightseeing aspect, he knew the real reason. He was looking for Claire, hoping to get a glance of her without her noticing him.
Rain started to splatter on the windshield of his car. He slowed to a crawl, glancing in his rearview mirror to make sure no traffic was behind him. He peeked out at the beach again, that’s when he saw her. She was bending down, picking something up from out of the sand. At that point, there was a clap of thunder right before the sky seemed to open up. Michael had to turn on the windshield wipers to clear the water from his view. He decided to pull over. He looked at the beach again. Poor Claire was getting drenched. It didn’t look like she had an umbrella with her.
He thought about opening his car door, calling to her to get in, but he doubted she’d hear him above the roar of the rain. Maybe he’d be the perfect gentleman and get out so he could help her back to his car.
Michael opened the car door, got out, and pulled his jacket over his head. He made a mad dash to the beach.
“Claire, Claire,” he called when he got closer to her.
She looked up.
“You’re going to get as wet as I am,” she said. A bolt of lightning flashed across the sand. “Neither of us should be out here in this. I know a place where we can take cover until it calms down.”
Before he knew it, she’d grabbed his hand and was pulling him toward some rocks. He followed her into what looked like an overhang, then she took him into what resembled the opening to a cave.
“Look at you. You’re soaked to the skin,” said Claire.
“Don’t worry about me.”
“How did you happen to see me here?”
“I thought I’d check out the area, and then I spotted you.”
“I didn’t think it was going to rain this soon or I wouldn’t have headed to the beach.”
“One of the drawbacks to living on an island.”
“There are some rocks here, it’s not comfortable, but it’s a place to sit until this storm dies down,” said Claire.
They walked to the back of the cave and sat down.
“How do you know about this place?” asked Michael.
“Everyone knows about the cave. In fact, when Rachel’s older, if she tells you she’s going to the beach with her boyfriend, well, you’ll be one step ahead of her. This is where all the young lovers come to kiss. To be honest, I think quite a few babies have been made here, many by accident,” said Claire.
Despite being chilled to the bone, heat rose to Michael’s face. So it was that sort of place. How did Claire know all about it? Had she come here with one boyfriend, two boyfriends, more than two? She was beautiful, that was for sure. He imagined that lots of men wanted to take her out, maybe bring her to this sort of place.
“So what do you have there?” he asked, needing to change the subject.
“Just some shells for my design. This beach has some of the most fascinating shapes.”
He had to admit he hadn’t seen seashells like the ones she held in her hands ever before.
“My mom used to tell me that the fairies had sent them. People around here like me to use them in their yards.”
“Is that a fact?”
“You see this one here, it’s supposed to—”
He knew it was rude to cut her off in mid-sentence, but he couldn’t control himself any longer. He turned and without giving it a second thought, kissed her. He didn’t know why he’d done it. In fact, he’d almost felt compelled to do it.
She didn’t stop him, didn’t pull away, she didn’t slap him. Instead, she put one of her hands at the back of his head and opened her mouth to him. He wanted to run his tongue along her lip. Maybe that would be going too far. Even this simple little kiss was going too far.
He pulled away. They sat looking into one other’s eyes.
“I think the rain has eased up a little. Maybe we should make a run for the car,” he said.