December Easter Eggs and Weekly Winners

LovelyDarkAndDeepThe book blog tours are officially over! Many thanks to those of you who followed along. I should get the winners list from the tour organizer in a week or so, so good luck!

Book winners: I am officially BEHIND schedule. What a shocker. I will get everything done before Dec. 19, however, since that’s when the day job mailroom holiday break begins, so be patient.

Over the holidays, I’m going to be doing some blog-pondering. I feel as if it (and I) has been in a rut for a while. So if you have some idea of memes that you enjoy or things you’d like to see more of, please leave a comment. I can always talk about writing and the books and I’m reading and writing….does that interest you or is that too boring?

SALE! My publisher is having a Kindle sale for LOVELY, DARK, AND DEEP for 99 cents. I don’t think they’ve ever marked it so low, so it’s a great time to pick up an inexpensive read or even a holiday gift. Did you know you can gift Kindle copies? Anyway, so it seemed like a good time to talk about some LDD trivia. Some or most you might already know…

This was my first non-paranormal book and I still like it a lot. I did more research for this book than for any before or since, and now I can tell you more than you could possibly want to know about the Knights Templar and their lost treasure; the towns of Levy County, Florida; shipwrecks off the coast of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, especially Scaterie Island; Main-a-Dieu harbor in Cape Breton; cold-water diving for shipwrecks; and the sea floor geography of the North Atlantic. Since I’m a bonafide geek, I thoroughly enjoyed the research!

I named many of the characters after pets in my and my friends’ lives, past and present. The hero, Shane Burke, was named after my Australian terrier, Shane (who was female but she didn’t mind having a boy’s name). Shane’s friend Jagger was named after my friend Dianne’s black lab. Charlie Burke, Shane’s uncle, was named after my friend Lauri’s Corgi mix. Harley, the bar owner, was named after my friend Stella’s cocker spaniel. There are a good half-dozen others as well. Heroine Gillian’s dog, Tank, was, of course, my dog Tanker. He looked like my Tank and acted like my Tank, who could be surly with anyone but his mama (i.e., me).

The place in Florida in which Shane lived and where the first part of the book is set, is Cedar Key, a small island off the Gulf cost of Florida just west of Gainesville. I took a brief vacation there the year before I wrote the book and fell in love with it. It’s 1950s Florida, very uncommercialized and pristine. Gillian rents a cabin there, and it’s based on the V-Ibis cottage, which is where I stayed when I was there.

LDD was one of the few books I’ve written that doesn’t have a direct New Orleans connection so I took care of that by naming Shane’s boat The Evangeline (name of a town in Acadia Parish and a parish itself, Evangeline Parish). Gillian’s parents own a gator ranch around Slidell, Louisiana, north of New Orleans.

Jagger, appropriately, is always singing Rolling Stones songs. Although I don’t listen to the Stones much anymore, I was a MAJOR Stones fan back in the day and loved me some Keith Richards. How did Keef get so old? LOL.

When Gillian visits her friend Viv in the hospital, she sneaks her in some steak biscuits from Hardee’s. This is a personal weakness. It’s a good thing the nearest Hardee’s is nowhere near my route to or from the day job or they’d see way too much of me in the breakfast line.

Originally, before I added the prologue as an afterthought, the original opening scene in LDD was one I’d been playing like a movie in my head for a month before I started actually writing. It was inspired by “One Good Year” by Slaid Cleaves. (Slaid’s song “Borderline” inspired the character of Jack Kellison in STORM FORCE, and I’ve threatened to write a series of short stories based on his music.)

Enough on the trivia for today. Pick up a copy of Lovely, Dark, and Deep if you get a chance. And in the meantime, AMIE GAUDET won a copy of Dana Marton’s Flash Fire (Kindle or print), and ROGER S won the Reader’s Choice contest. He picked Witch is Why Another Door Opened (Witch P.I. #15) by Adele Abbott, but can make a substitute choice if he prefers. Amie and Roger, you can contact me at suzannej3523 at gmail or via the contact tab on this page to let me know your preference.

New Reader’s Choice tomorrow!

Posts, Prizes, and Jean LaFeet

Shane as Jean LafitteFirst, my friend, author Carla Swafford, is featuring my alter ego Susannah on her blog, and I’m giving away a print book, audiobook, or Kindle edition of Lovely, Dark, and Deep. I hope you’ll stop by and say hello even if you don’t want or need a copy of the book.

Also, an official tour stop today to enter for the prizes: a review over at A Night’s Dream of Books. Enter!

Now, on to Jean LaFeet!

Huh? Jean LaFeet? Yes, indeed. Artist Christina Hess does this amazing series of artwork called Animals in History (I think she’s working on a book collection), and one of the pieces is the pirate “Jean LaFeet.” I absolutely love it, not only because it’s an homage to my favorite pirate but because the dog looks a LOT like my late terrier Shane O’Mac. And yeah, if Shane were a historical figure, she’d probably make a good Jean LaFeet–she was way too smart for her own good, devious, playful, stubborn…all those things we love about our pirate.

Shane Plots World Domination

Shane O’Mac (LaFeet)

Want some Jean LaFeet for yourself? A Jean LaFeet bag is the giveaway in the May 15 newsletter, so there’s still time to sign up by clicking on the tab at the top of the page.

I should be off the killer deadlines at the day job by Thursday so I’ll be doing massive mail-out catchup at the end of the week. If you’re waiting for something from me, hold on a couple of days longer!

holt NRCA Icon RomSuspIn the meantime, I was a bit giddy to hear that LOVELY, DARK, AND DEEP is a finalist in TWO of the larger published novel contests. It is a finalist in both the Holt Medallion Awards and the National Readers Choice Awards, in both cases in the category of romantic suspense. Since this is a new writing genre for me, it’s really gratifying for LDD to be recognized!

And of course LOVELY, DARK, AND DEEP is on sale for Kindle through May 24 for $1.99 for Kindle, as is DEADLY, CALM, AND COLD.