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Friday, February 11, 2011

Interview of Author Sue Swift

Today it's my pleasure to present an interview of romance author Sue Swift!

Latest Book: Fashion Victim
Buy Link:

Best-selling, award-winning author Sue Swift has written over a dozen novels, plus several short stories and non-fiction articles. She writes in numerous genres including romance, mystery, paranormal, historical, contemporary comedy and erotica, which she publishes using a pseudonym.

Her books have been favorably reviewed in Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist, attained the finals of the RITA and reached the top ten on a bestseller list.

A former trial attorney, her hobbies are yoga and world travel. She resides in northern California, where she’s working on her next manuscript, planning her tenth trip overseas and editing erotica for a British publisher, Total-E-Bound.

Her travel blogs are Susan Overseas ( and Travel as Metaphor (

Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: Screamed. I must have burst my editor’s eardrums.

Q: If one of your books became a movie, which celebrity would you like to star as one of your heroines? Tell us about your heroine.
A: Calista Flockhart would make a great Cara Fletcher. Both women are small, for one thing, but Cara is distinguished by her creativity in all ways, even her appearance. She changes her hair and eye colors frequently, to say nothing of her clothing. She’s a couturier and dresses with great style, eve, in one of her “off” days. She lives and works in Manhattan.

She’s in her 30s and has a 13-year-old daughter that is as smart and snarky as her mother. She cares about her family; her father has MS and she often visits her parents, who live in the Finger Lakes area of upstate NY.

Q: If one of your books became a movie, which celebrity would you like to star as one of your hero? Tell us about your hero.
A: Though a little old, Harrison Ford would play Fletcher Wolf with great √©lan. Fletcher is in his late 30s, but has had control of a major corporation since the age of 21, his father committed suicide…leaving the family company and its issues to Fletcher. He is known as a ruthless corporate raider who will stop at nothing to accomplish his goals. And his goal is to acquire Cara Fletcher and her couture company.

Q: Do all your heroes and all heroines look the same in your mind as you “head write”?
A: No, they’re distinctly different. With each book, I find and paste photos of the H & H near my desk so I remember who I‘m writing about.

Q: What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?
A: World travel. I live in California but have traveled overseas 10 times and am planning my next trip. Not only have I traveled, but I’ve lived for prolonged stretches in Europe and Asia. A quick in-and-out doesn’t really give a true picture or experience of another culture.

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!!/SuzdeMello

Hot isn't a hot enough word to describe corporate raider Fletcher Wolf, but since he's suing couturier Cara Fletcher for, oh, a gazillion dollars, she figures she shouldn't hit on him…at least not too hard.

On top of that, she wonders if he's responsible for the harassment and vandalism that's plaguing her, irritants that escalate into crimes when her workshop is trashed to the tune of a hundred thousand dollars. The economic damage enables him to seize her company, bringing him into her life on a daily basis. When her Manhattan loft home is torched and her assistant murdered, Cara realizes that the man she wants is the only man who can keep her safe.

Swift, author of Spy Game (2008), mixes sex, danger, and fashion in this fun…romantic suspense novel that will appeal to readers of traditional romance as well as fans of sexy mysteries like Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum capers.— Aleksandra Walker, Booklist


“Youch!” Sucking on a now-bloody finger—the one I’d stabbed with a pin—I raised my head and glared at my daughter. “Nat, hold still!”

“This isn’t very exciting.” Natalie tugged at the vest I’d been fitting around her thin, twelve-year-old frame. “Modeling’s supposed to be glamorous.”

I huffed. “Models work hard and aren’t popular for very long. Hit thirty and you’re all washed up.”

Natalie’s giggle lightened my heart, but only a little. Long story, but when her crazed multimillionaire father dumped her on my doorstep, Nat had fallen apart. Though I was ecstatic to get my daughter back (frankly, I’d never wanted to give her up), she hadn’t been able to adjust to the Manhattan lifestyle after living in Berserk-eley with her sandal-wearing, pot-smoking, extremely dysfunctional dad.

Then my assistant, Maggie Andersen, decided to put Nat and her new schoolmates in my April show as models. I’d never before thought of Maggie as insightful, but now I did. Her brainstorm made Nat a part of something bigger than herself, a fun activity she could share with her new friends. Today, seamstresses fitted active, squirming children into bright leather vests and shorts, a new line of teen gear I’d designed especially for Nat and her buds. My usually quiet workshop was jammed with chattering, giggling girls, all jazzed because they were going to model in a real couture show in just a few weeks.

Shouts from the main workshop below cut through the kids’ jive. Straightening, I headed toward the rail of my atelier’s upper loft to peer over the edge. Okay, so maybe it was crowded down there. Maybe it was in a crappy part of Manhattan. And yeah, I was in hock up to my eyeballs. But it was my workshop, and it was crowded with my employees, my designs and my models. Mine. All mine. My dream come true, my ambition since childhood.

I leaned over the railing and saw a skinny guy in skintight black bike shorts and a yellow vest. He was tussling with Maggie. And, despite her tight red pencil skirt and Jimmy Choo heels, Maggie was winning the battle. She had the guy in a headlock.

I called, “Hey, Maggie! What’s going on?”

Maggie loosened her hold on the cyclist, and he tossed up a sheaf of rubber-banded papers. It whacked me on the arm. “Cara Fletcher, you are hereby served with process!” the messenger shouted as the hefty bundle thudded to the floor.

I picked it up and pawed through the papers, reading, “District Court, Southern District of New York . . . Fletcher Tool and Gear, Inc., and Fletcher Wolf versus Cara Fletcher Couture and Cara Linda Fletcher . . . Request for a Preliminary Injunction and for Monetary Damages . . . YOU AND EACH OF YOU ARE HEREBY ORDERED TO SHOW CAUSE . . .”

My panicked gaze caught sight of the date. March 17.

March 17. March 17? March 17! March 17 was a mere two weeks away. In only two weeks, I was supposed to go to court. And . . . show cause? What did that mean? Show cause about what?

I’m being sued.

My breath came short, and my heart started to pound. My palms got sweaty. No, I told myself sternly. You will not freak out again. You will not. Nevertheless, my stomach clenched and churned.

I took deep breaths. My doctor had told me to take deep breaths whenever I got a panic attack. He’d also prescribed some tranqs. Sometimes I took them, sometimes I didn’t. This morning I’d felt okay, so I hadn’t dosed myself. Oops.

I told myself to take a mental chill pill instead. When the faintness and the nausea diminished, I scrabbled through the papers, seeking some clue to the mystery. What on earth had I done? What could he—whoever he was—want? A section labeled, in big capital letters, “PRAYER FOR RELIEF,” jumped out at me. Then I read, “Damages in the amount of fifty million dollars.”

Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God.
* * * * *
I stared at the forbidding courthouse, repressing an unnerved shudder. The four-inch stiletto heels had been a big mistake. I’d worn them to add some height, since five-four isn’t exactly impressive. Better, the gorgeous periwinkle suede matched my suit. But, given the slippery-looking stone stairs outside the building, as well as my morning tranq, I had to struggle, picking my way to avoid falling on my butt. I told myself it was okay, since I still had twenty minutes before the nine o’clock hearing.

Even so, I clung to the rail with a death grip. Once inside, I passed through security and then found the correct floor. AnnMarie, my attorney, had said we’d meet outside the courtroom, but I didn’t see her.

A trio of males outside one of the courtrooms grabbed my attention. One of them raised his head to give me the eye, and even took a step away from his group. Despite the seriousness of the situation, I couldn’t help responding.

Hot wasn’t a hot enough word to describe this guy.

Unfashionably longish hair with silver streaks. A maverick. He wasn’t afraid to buck the trend toward brush cuts and no doubt would never dye his hair to look younger. But despite the hair and body—big, solid, and buffed—it was his eyes that grabbed me in the gut and wouldn’t let go. They were an unusual shade of hazel. Golden, really, feral and predatory, like a wolf. Or maybe one of the great cats. A lion or a cougar.

His face was all bold planes, with high cheekbones, a strong jaw, narrow but sensual lips. And a small scar by the side of his mouth . . . how had he gotten that? A knife fight? A beer bottle in a bar brawl?

I silently laughed at myself. He probably fell off his bike when he was six. But still, he was hot. Very hot. Beyond hot.

His gaze caught mine, and my temperature shot from ninety-eight-point-six to at least one-oh-two in a second.

A set of nearby double doors banged open, and I blinked, jolted. A redheaded woman in chic brown tweed burst into the hall, followed by a phalanx of attorneys, bees swarming their queen.

“I didn’t pay you thieves a grand an hour to get screwed!” she screamed, her stride an angry clatter on the stony floor. Buzzing with temper, the group rushed by. I stayed upright until the last attorney in the swarm plowed into me. The jerk didn’t stop, though my feet slipped on the marble.

At my side in an instant, the mysterious, amber-eyed stranger grabbed me before I hit the floor. He lifted me onto my feet with a gentleness at odds with his size, his strength, and the uncivilized gleam in his eyes.

“Are you all right?” The stranger’s pleasant bass had a slight, sexy southern accent, which turned me on even more. What was it about a southern accent? Something about it called up all my Rhett Butler fantasies. I was a sucker for a southern accent.

He straightened my lapels without brushing my breasts, which tingled anyway. Embarrassed, I tugged at my jacket as he again gave me the once-over. “You look fine,” he said, emphasizing fine, “but I’m afraid you’ve torn your stockings.”

I looked down. He wasn’t lying. One of the knees of my pantyhose had ripped. I sighed. “What else can go wrong today?”

He laughed. “It’s not so bad. Look at it this way. You aren’t paying someone a thousand dollars an hour to get screwed, are you?”

We shared a chuckle. “You’re right,” I said. Then I staggered a few steps away toward the women’s room before recalling my manners. “Umm, thank you for your help. I hate to seem rude, but I have a very important court appearance, and I can’t have a run in my hose.”

I hurried down the hall as fast as I could without risking another fall while digging in my satchel for the spare pair of pantyhose I hoped I had in there.
* * * * *
When I emerged, the hall was empty. Sweat broke out all over my body as I sprinted for the courtroom door. I scurried in as a bailiff was calling, “All rise!”

I found my seat next to AnnMarie as the judge, an older balding fellow, entered with a flutter of black robes. He thumped his gavel to begin the hearing as I looked down the long wooden counsel table.

Then I saw him. At the opposite end of the table. Well, hell. Was the hottest of the hot my opponent? My opponent’s attorney?

I met his glance then tried to look cool, calm, collected and in control, but the reality was that everything I cared about was on the line.

The bailiff announced the case, and a man sitting next to the hottie stood, buttoning the jacket of his navy pinstriped three-piece suit. “Michael Muckenmyer of Muckenmyer, Radcliffe and Soames, representing the plaintiffs, Fletcher Tool and Gear, Inc., and Fletcher Wolf, who is present.”

Fletcher Wolf. I should have known. I had the bad luck to have fallen instantly in lust with my enemy, a man who could tear apart my life and destroy every one of my dreams.

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. I recalled what I’d said to Wolf outside the courtroom. What else can go wrong today? Now I knew.

Anything else you’d like to add?
I also work as an editor for Total-E-Bound, so I invite aspiring erotica writers to look at our guidelines and submit.


jean hart stewart said...

Loved the excerpt. Nothing like having your protagonists being so opposed they'll never likely get together. Right?

Sue Swift said...

I do that quite a lot, Jean--create so much conflict that reconciling the H&H is wel-nigh impossible!

Fran Lee said...

This sounds like it's a good one. You can bet I will be checking it out later today.

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