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Sue Ward Drake writes romantic suspense set in places she’s lived and loved #nola #romanticsuspense



I’m so excited because one of my favorite romantic suspense authors, Sue Ward Drake, is here for an interview. She writes immersive romantic stories set in New Orleans. It’s like taking a trip to NOLA without leaving your cozy sofa. I asked her for an interview to show off her new covers and to talk about her books. She agreed and I’m thrilled. So, grab your favorite beverage and join us. Sue, take it away…


What is your writing process?

I think about the characters I want to write about. Now that I’m writing series, I already know which characters don’t yet have a story. Since my series take place in New Orleans and other locations I’ve visited or lived, I already have some ideas for plot and action.


Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?

Laura Griffin has wonderful characters and I always learn something new in her stories. Also, Cindy Gerard has dynamic plots and plenty of action. But I’m most inspired by a book I read as a teen, a romantic suspense/adventure that takes place in Greece written by the 1950s author Helen MacInnis.


Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

I love choosing names because, after all, I’ll be living with them for a few months. I need to like the sound of their name and how well it plays with those of the other major characters. I hope the name evokes the same feelings in the reader. I named my heroine in Casting the Dice Annie because I wanted her to be relatable, a girl-next-door caught in a terrifying situation. I also thought Annie was a good match for the angsty hero, Hal.


Have you always liked to write?

Yes. My first effort was a story sent to a woman’s magazine at age 8. I also wrote a pretend advice column for my high school paper.


What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Keep writing. Keep learning and applying what you learn to the next thing you write.


Are you a plotter or a pantster?

I wrote my first romantic suspense by feel, based on all the romantic suspense novels I’d been reading. Then I got caught up in plotting because there’s a certain security in knowing where you are writing toward. I still like to know where I’m going, but now, I hammer out the major plot points and the character changes and then let myself loose to write the next scenes.


What are you working on now? What is your next project?

I am adding two suspense novellas to my first romantic suspense, Hear No Evil: Nikos all-grown-up and in love with his secretary (See No Evil) and his colleague, Will at Metadorakis Shipping (Speak No Evil) falling for the roommate of Nikos’s love interest. Molly and Stefanos from Hear No Evil make an appearance in Nikos’s story if you want to catch up with them when that’s published.


I hope to have these ready this spring, then I must finish the next Guidry brother’s story in the Big Easy Brothers series, Defying the Odds.


Do you write naked?

No, I can’t imagine it. I get up and, after I have coffee, get dressed for the day, even if I’m staying in. You never know what will happen.


What is your biggest failure?

I don’t like to think about failures, though it’s taken me years to get published and stay published. I like to focus on new possibilities and avoid regrets.


Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?

I try hard to not put myself into dicey situations. If I meet an unexpected circumstance—and that has certainly happened more than once—my usual method is to forge ahead with confidence. I flew to visit a friend who worked for the Defense Department in Morocco many years ago before the advent of cell phones. When I arrived, she was nowhere to be seen. I had to find someone to help me use a public phone and call her location (2 hours away) and tell her I had arrived. “Oh, you’re here!” she said. LOL. That could have been scary if there hadn’t been options.


Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?

Too much coffee.


What do you want your tombstone to say?

She was always looking for the silver lining.


What secret talents do you have?

Speak and read Spanish and Italian.


What’s on your bucket list (things to do before you die)?

Fly in a sea plane.


What were you like as a child? Your favorite toy?

I loved playing dolls and making up stories for them.


Thank you, Sue, for the fantastic interview. I can’t wait to read your upcoming releases. Readers, check out Sue’s books below. Aren’t those covers stunning?



Title CASTING THE DICE

Author Sue Ward Drake

Genre Romantic Suspense


Book Blurb


Former Navy deep-sea diver turned bounty hunter, Hal Guidry, needs to collar a fugitive now. Not yesterday. Right now.


But inside the New Orleans mansion, he instead finds a woman who fires his blood. A woman who knows only her name. A woman definitely in danger.


As her memory returns, girl-next-door librarian, Annie Swanson, questions how she knows the oh-so-handsome hunk calling himself a friend. Then she discovers he’s a bounty hunter like the men who killed her father, and she flees…


…only to be nearly kidnapped…in broad daylight…in the French Quarter.


Annie runs to Hal with questions, but when they’re both nearly killed in a fiery explosion, he needs answers of his own.


As the sexual attraction between them heats up, can Annie cast the dice in his favor? Or will they become victims of the deadly forces intent on keeping secrets?


An exciting, sensual love story fraught with chills and thrills.


Praise for Sue Ward Drake’s previous novels:


“…a gripping work of romantic suspense…simmering sexual tension grows into a strong, convincing emotional bond in the face of adversity, and the vibrant background of Mardi Gras adds intensity to the action.” Publisher’s Weekly


The premise is edgy; the romance is tender; the characters are colorful and energetic.” —The Reading Cafe


Excerpt


The bookshelf beside Annie wobbled. She didn’t need to think to know what was happening. “Don’t lean on the shelving,” she commanded.


“I can fix this for you later.” Hal loomed over her in all his masculine glory. Not by too much, but hard muscle packed every inch.


“There’s no point. I’ll have to clear out all these books before I can sell the shop.”


That was something else Annie hadn’t considered when planning this trip back to New Orleans. She hadn’t factored in kidnappers and exploding cars, either. Or one very hunky bail recovery agent.


The overhead light gleamed on the hard butt of the gun Hal wore in a sling under his arm. A shiver froze her insides. She pointed to the pistol, keeping her hand as close to her chest as possible. “Be careful with that.”


Buy Links (including BookBub)







Author Biography


Award-winning author Sue Ward Drake has published with Harlequin and Sourcebooks as well as indie-published. She loves using her experiences living in a farmhouse in Greece and her years in the French Quarter as fuel for her stories as often as possible.


For news of the next thrilling Big Easy Brothers romantic suspense and other romances, visit www.SueWardDrake.com


or sign up for her newsletter and get a free story: https://suewarddrake.com/sign-up-for-my-newsletter/


Social Media Links


Instagram: www.instagram.com/suedrakeauthor/



BOOK #2


Title: FLEEING THE STORM

Author Sue Ward Drake

Genre: Romantic Suspense


Book Blurb


No matter what else he is, Jack Guidry, former undercover cop turned bounty hunter, is a stubborn cuss who never gives up. He works all the angles necessary to nab his fugitive—even if that means fishing for answers from lovely pastry chef, Grace Comstock.


Grace isn’t talking, certainly not to the handsome rogue who suspiciously pops up everywhere she goes. All she wants is to keep her job and her orphaned niece safe, so when a masked kidnapper ambushes them, she flees New Orleans—straight into the path of a dangerous hurricane.


Though she agrees to talk to Jack, she hadn’t planned to ride out the storm with him. But that’s what happens once he saves her and the baby from drowning. Even though he denies his attraction, Jack can’t help feeling protective of this beautiful, frightened woman. When they wind up fighting for their lives, can Grace trust Jack enough to help him bring his fugitive to justice?


Excerpt


“I need your help.” Jack gave her a rougish smile.


Heat flashed through Grace, but she tightened her grip on the open car door and narrowed her gaze. This was another good pickup line, but she suspected Jack wasn’t telling her everything. “Why do you think I can help?”


“I’m hoping when you and I start talking, you’ll reveal something that will give me an idea where to look for my fugitive. Might be something you’re not even aware of.” Jack clasped his hands, his hazel eyes serious. “From what I saw at the concert, I thought you might want to help me put him back in jail.”


Grace chewed her lip. With Crain in jail, she’d be able to stop looking over her shoulder and cringing every time her phone rang. But Jack was a stranger and helping him might come back to bite her. “I don’t know much about the man you’re looking for. It was my sister who worked for him, not me.”


“I was sorry to hear about her death.”


He sounded so sincere, but she still had questions. “How do you know about Melanie’s accident?”


“That’s a matter of public record.” He gave a grim nod. “Again, I’m sorry for your loss.”


“Thanks,” Grace murmured. She should do what she could to help him. But not now. Any minute the hurricane would sweep in from the Gulf, and she wanted to be on the road before the rain started falling. “Let’s talk when I get back.”


Jack lowered his voice. “Every day I lose makes it harder to find him. I can follow you to where you’re going and buy you that coffee I promised. Then we can talk.” His lips quirked, and his smile melted her insides like a pat of butter in a skillet. “Please.”


“Are you begging me?”


He got down on his knees and steepled his hands. “Say ‘yes.’”


“Look, he’s proposing,” one of the beer drinkers on the street corner shouted.


The guy coming out of the adjacent store with a bag of groceries stopped and stared. A businessman crossing the street paused and stepped back onto the curb.


“You’re creating a scene.” Grace waved frantically for Jack to get up.


“Is it working?”


“Yes.” She rolled her eyes. But this wasn’t funny.


Jack’s smirk stretched into a real smile, and the tightness she’d been feeling all day in her shoulders deflated like a rubber balloon. If he wanted to follow her, he could—and would—find a way. She asked, “Where’s your car parked?”


Jack bounded to his feet and called over his shoulder to the on-lookers. “She said ‘yes.’”


Buy Links (including BookBub)



Barnes and Noble: https://bit.ly/3afpo2v




1 Comment


N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Sep 26, 2023

Thank you, Sue, for the wonderful interview. I loved getting to know you better!

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