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Running Home To You: Suzanne Sweeney

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Interview with Suzanne

Susana: What inspired you to start writing?

Suzanne: I love to read, particularly books in a series so I can watch the characters develop and grow over time.  Many of my favorite books are set in places like Seattle, Seaport, and Manhattan.  Thanks to some of those great writers, the setting became just as important as the characters.

As a proud resident of the Jersey Shore, I knew that my hometown would be the perfect setting for an amazing romance novel.  I grew up on the beach and have often fantasized about the lives of the fortunate few who live in the beautiful beach homes that span the shore.

We have always had the occasional celebrity buy homes in our community.  We are a short drive from Manhattan, Philadelphia, and Atlantic City.  My mind was made up, and all that was left for me to do was to develop the characters that would live here.

Susana: How long have you been writing?

Suzanne Sweeney copySuzanne: The Running Series (Running Back to You, Running Home to You, and soon to be released Running Away With You) are my first attempts at fiction writing.  I am an elementary school teacher and have been writing manuals, workbooks, and other professional materials for many years.  I’ve been teaching young minds the art of writing and I thought it was time for me to put my money where my  mouth was.

Susana: Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Suzanne: I’m a plotantser (is that even a word?).  Before the first word is written, I plot and plan meticulously, taking pages and pages of notes and combing through the notes from my previous books.  But once I begin, a lot of my ideas get thrown out the window.  Some of my best ideas are the ones that come spontaneously.
 
Susana: Are you working on something at present that you would like to tell us about?

Suzanne: I’m working on the third and final book in the Running Series, Running Away With You.  It’s football season, and that means the pressure is on for rookie quarterback Evan McGuire.  But as fate would have it, the young couple have more than a few skeletons in their closet who all decide to return home to roost.  The third and final installment will revisit past relationships and tie up loose ends as they struggle to find their Happily Ever After.

Susana: What did you want to be when you grew up?

Suzanne: I’ve always wanted to be a teacher.  I played school.  I brought home dittos from class and made the kids in the neighborhood sit in my makeshift classroom in my garage.  I tutored classmates when they struggled and I’ve always loved coloring.  Being a teacher is not much different from being a copy editor.  I meet with future authors every day and help them hone their craft.  In one way or another, books will always be a part of my life.

Susana: What is your favorite food? Least favorite? Why?

Suzanne: I know I will lose more than a few readers when I say this, but I’m not much for chocolate or ice cream.  Give me a homemade bread, warm, fresh out of the oven, and I’m in heaven.  Give me something to dip, spread, or stuff, and I’ll be your best friend. My least favorite food is runny eggs.  Or oysters, clams, and mussels for that matter.  Anything with the consistency of snot or mucus holds no appeal to me whatsoever.

About Running Home to You

Running Home to You continues the journey of Juliette and Evan that began in “Running Back to You”.

Juliette Fletcher thought she had it all – a strikingly handsome man who adores her, a new business venture with her best friends by her side, and a dream house right on the beach. But appearances can be deceiving and everything comes at a cost.

Evan McGuire has just survived a vicious attack that almost ended his professional football career. He’s on the mends now, trying to piece his life back together again, and build a life with Juliette.

But Evan’s erratic behavior has Juliette worried. She must figure out how to save her struggling restaurant, her fragile friendships, and her now unhealthy relationship with the man she loves. Juliette and Evan find that they’ve placed their trust in the wrong people and the price they pay for that mistake may ultimately cost them everything.

Running Home to You is the second book in the Running Series.

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Excerpt

I wake before Evan.  It’s Saturday morning and today, he has no practice.  Despite his previous restrictions, I know he’s been working his ass off at the training center.  We got home in the wee hours of the night and Evan fell asleep the moment his head hit his pillow.  The fact that he’s still asleep proves how physically exhausted he must be.

Cover_Running Home To You copyQuietly, I slip from our room and head into the kitchen.  I grab my laptop and check my e-mail.  Nestled between some spam mail and store ads, I find my daily Google alert on “Evan McGuire”.  I know Evan would pitch a fit if he knew I was keeping tabs on the gossip, but I love seeing pictures of him.  Most of the updates are pictures of him in uniform at camp and looking so damned edible.  Since I can’t go to practice with him, this is the next best thing.

Among the football pictures are photographs of Evan entering Lucky Strike Bowling Alley last night.  There is a young, petite brunette on his arm, and for a moment, I feel a heart-searing pang of jealousy.  They look so adorable together; his strength and power contrasted by her slight frame and simplicity.   The picture was taken just as the sun was setting on the skyline and the stark image of Evan set against the shadowy backdrop of skyscrapers draped in hues of orange and red is striking.

That girl in the photograph is a perfect match for Evan in every way.  You can tell by the way they look at each other that they share a deep mutual affection.  As my temperature begins to rise, it occurs to me that the attractive girl in the picture with Evan is no stranger.  It’s me.  I’ve changed so much since high school that from time to time, I don’t even recognize myself in photographs.  It’s like when you hear your own voice in a recording and you’re certain that can’t possibly be what you sound like.  Well that’s what it’s like sometimes when I see pictures of myself.

Sometimes, I still find it hard to believe that this is my life.  It’s a life I never even dreamed possible.  Meeting Evan was destiny, being with him was a gamble, but falling in love with him was way beyond my control.  We met only three months ago and a lot has happened in that short time. I cannot pinpoint the exact moment it happened, when I fell under his spell.  Was it our first date?  Our first kiss?  Maybe it was the very first time he smiled at me.  He is my hope, my dream, my ambition, and my desire.  The fact that he is in love with me still amazes and inspires me beyond all description.

About the Author

Suzanne Sweeney is a graduate of Georgian Court University where she studied Elementary Education and Sociology. For some time now, she has been sharing her love of literature with the young minds who sit before her in class each and every day. After years of teaching the art of writing, Suzanne has finally taken her own advice and put pen to paper in order to produce her debut novel, Running Back to You. She writes what she lives, residing in the community she loves, Point Pleasant, with her family who provide a constant source of inspiration and support.

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