Susan Vaughan here with a book to give away. Two lucky readers who comment will win a copy of Always a Suspect. June is the 20th anniversary of this, my first published book. In 2001, this romantic suspense/mystery was titled Dangerous Attraction and was part of the Silhouette (Harlequin Books) Intimate Moments imprint. Here’s the book description.
Is she a criminal or a victim? Or both?
After the deaths of two husbands and a fiancé, Claire Saint-Ange is branded the Widow Spider in her coastal Maine town. Tormented by threatening phone calls and desperate to prove her innocence, Claire hires a P.I. But her attraction to the rugged investigator poses an even greater threat. She can’t risk losing someone she cares about… not again. Never again.
Two tragic losses cause federal agent Michael Quinn to submit his resignation, but he’s forced into one last gig—investigate the widow’s connection to her last husband’s drug smuggling. Uncovering this lovely, mysterious woman’s darkest secrets should be just an assignment, but her gentle soul and passion break down his walls and make him long to believe in her innocence.
The frozen Maine landscape, deadly attacks, and shocking revelations test Claire and Michael at every turn—but it’s the blazing desire between them that threatens their very lives.
I had submitted to Silhouette a few times before selling this one to them. Editors said they liked the writing and the plot, but the characters’ conflicts weren’t strong enough. I doubled down with this manuscript, whose working title was “The Widow & the Cop.” As you can see from the book description, this time, my heroine has the strongest conflict possible. She believes that anyone she gets close to could die. This belief influences her relationship with everyone and holds her back from a full life. Until she hires Michael.
For a novelist, selling that first book to a publisher is beyond exciting. I was so thrilled I could hardly think and hardly remembered later what the acquiring editor said on the phone. I worked with a lovely seasoned editor who guided me and taught me. I met her and other publishing professionals at the Romance Writers of America conference the next summer when the book was published. A heady time.
Since the publication of Dangerous Attraction, I received the rights back, thus its republication as Always a Suspect in 2015. After that first book, I had five more romantic suspense novels published by publishers, and I published another ten independently. My sixteenth book, Genuine Fake, will be released later this month. If you would like a copy of Always a Suspect, leave a comment below today. Two commenters will win, chosen tomorrow at random by my dog Sasha. If the winners live in the U.S., it can be either a digital copy of the book or an autographed print copy. If outside the U.S., digital only. If you are a winner, I will notify you in a reply to your comment.