Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Running Back to You by Suzanne Sweeney | Author Interview and Giveaway

Kinky Vanilla Romance is pleased to share Running Back to You by Suzanne Sweeney. The book, a contemporary romance, is available now.

Suzanne will be awarding a $25 Visa Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Suzanne will be awarding a $25 Visa Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. See the Rafflecopter widget below.

Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. Remember, the more you comment, the better your chances to win.

The Running Series by Suzanne Sweeney

Running Back to You

Juliette Fletcher is a girl with a plan. Not one to sit back and wait for life to happen, she moves back home after graduation and begins to carve out a life for herself.

Evan McGuire is desperate for a fresh start. His career in the NFL depends on it. Years of partying and carefree living have caught up with him. After buying a beach house in need of renovations, he begins to rebuild his life and his reputation.

What Evan doesn’t expect is a chance meeting with Juliette out on an early morning beach run with her dog. A strong mutual attraction draws them together, but fear of scaring her away keeps Evan from revealing his true identity. Evan finds himself in an unfamiliar situation – forced to work harder than he ever has before to prove himself worthy of her affections.

Tragic misunderstandings and unexpected obstacles threaten to derail a fragile relationship. Someone is watching, waiting, and tormenting Juliette, desperate to destroy everything. Can they find the strength to overcome jealousy, insecurity, and fear before it’s too late?


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.

Author Interview
What came first for Running Back to You, the characters or the story itself?
Running Back to You began to take shape in my mind starting with the setting and location. My family and I had just survived Hurricane Sandy and we've been watching and helping our community rebuild. I LOVE my sleepy seashore community and I just knew it would be the perfect setting for a great romance.

How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in your book?
I have given Juliette a history not unlike my own. For friends and family who know my personal journey, they will recognize certain scenes, particularly those that surround her complicated history with her father. Every word of that is directly from my own experiences.
 As for the rest of the book, very little. I have two daughters and a son who, along with their friends, have provided me with enough inspiration that I could continue to add characters and events until the cows come home.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) of Running Back to You to write and why?
My favorite was the ending. This is my first novel and I wasn't at all certain that I could fill enough pages to make an actual book. I also didn't know how well the book would be received, so I thought it would be a good idea to make sure everyone got their HEA just in case there was no sequel. I think I accomplished that.

Are you still thinking about changing the book's cover?
I've gone through one cover change and I'm happy with the new look. I think it more accurately reflects the tenor and tone of the book. I hope the readers agree.
Of course, if a change is needed, I will gladly take on that challenge. I made the covers myself and I am constantly looking to improve myself.

How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
I was working so hard promoting the book during those early weeks, that I didn't get a chance to celebrate. I truly had no idea how hard it is to self-promote. I was making my own teasers and reaching out to Literary Agents. The real celebration came when I received my first royalty payment. Of course, we celebrated by going out to dinner. I saved my first few royalty payments and made a generous down-payment on a new car. I've been driving the same minivan for ten years, and I could not wait to get a brand new car into my driveway.

Do you prefer to write in silence or with music?
I cannot work in silence. My house is always buzzing with excitement, and silence is a stranger to me. I do like to lock myself into a room with little or no disturbance and put on one of my favorite movies. It has to be one that I've seen over and over again so that I'm not tempted to stop writing and watch the movie. I prefer to watch the ones with great soundtracks like "Pitch Perfect", "The Devil Wears Prada", "The Replacements", or "A Knight's Tale".

What are the most important elements in good romance writing, in your opinion?
It's completely personal taste. I am not a fan of the overuse of raunchy words. So much can be expressed using tasteful, sensual words. I am also a softie for a good Alpha Male storyline, but nothing that pushes the boundaries. I write the type of book that I like to read. I want to be wrapped up in the fantasy with my feet firmly planted in reality. Realism is very important to me and I hope that comes across in my writing.

I loved your post, What's Your Reading Personality? I think that I am guilty of having multiple personalities. Who I am depends on the genre, I guess. When it comes to romance, I fall into The Bandwagon Reader. What kind of reader are you? Perhaps The Wandering Eye?
I hate to admit it, but the closest description of me is the Ridiculing Reader. I've been a teacher for some time now, and it's been my job to read other's writing with a red pen. It's a hard habit to break. I find grammatical errors, vocabulary misuse, and awkward sentence structure from time to time, and when I do, it makes me CRAZY! 
I do have a bit of a wandering eye when it comes to books. The only difference is that I no longer collect books. There was a time when my home would be covered with them, collecting dust in corners of every room. But I've become very attached to my Kindle and love to look at the books on the shelf in my e-library and reread bookmarked chapters.

Finish the sentence: One book I wish I had written is ______. Why did you choose that book?
Hunger Games. I envy an author who can leave their earthly bonds and create a new world, complete with its own set of rules, unique names, and even imaginary creatures. To be able to create such a world must be very rewarding and I am deeply jealous.

What project are you working on now?
Book 3: Running Away With You. I'm nearly half-way done and it's taken some unexpected twists and turns. A new character was briefly introduced and I'm toying with the idea of giving him a spin-off. My wheels are spinning!

Do you have a guilty pleasure?
I gave this one a lot of thought. I drink socially, but not often. I hope I don't lose any readers when I admit this, but I'm not crazy about chocolate. I don't smoke and I don't have any other vices. My only guilty pleasure is reading smutty romances - and I'm not just saying that!  


Running Back to You excerpt from Chapter 3:  Outside Forces
Wanting to know a little bit more about him, I press on.  “I don’t mean to pry, but I was just wondering … do you live here?  I mean, is this your house?  Is there anyone who might walk in and have a problem with me sitting here right now?  A wife?  Girlfriend?  Boyfriend?”

He chokes on his water and spits it out.  I guess he’s never been asked that before.

“Wow, you get right to it, don’t you?  No, Juliette, I live here alone, most of the time, anyway.”  Another cryptic response that I’ll leave alone for the time being.

He hands me a fresh bottle of water. 

“How about you?  Anyone special in your life right now?”  He folds his hands in his lap and I can’t help but notice they’re the exact type of hands I love: large, strong, and manly. 

“No.  It’s just Maddy and me against the world.  She watches my back and I scratch hers.”  It’s my lame attempt at humor.  Absentmindedly, I start twirling my fingers through my ponytail.

He has a one-word response, “Interesting.”  I’m perplexed.  

I attempt to change the subject, “I think it’s time to take off the ice.  Didn’t you say fifteen-minutes on and fifteen-minutes off?”

Evan checks his watch and agrees, “Yeah, let me check it.  I want to make sure it’s not swelling up.”  He tenderly removes the compression bandage and the ice.  When his hand makes contact with my skin, something inside me awakens and I have to catch my breath.

He quickly removes his hand from my leg and walks away from me, over to the banister, gazing at the beach as the waves break on the shore.  His back is to me and I take the opportunity to admire his physique without fear of being caught.  His biceps are impressive.  I can see them contract as he grasps the deck railing.  I wonder why he pulled away like that.

“Hey, Evan, can I ask you a question?” 

“Sure, shoot.”

“Well, do you really own this place?  It’s truly impressive.  I’ve lived here all my life and I’ve never met anyone who lives in one of these homes.  How can someone so young afford a place like this?  I mean, I can barely make my rent and here you are in this huge beach house.” 

There’s a moment of silence, like he’s considering my question and measuring his response.  He’s still not looking at me.

“I’ve bought and sold a few houses over the past several years.  Each one gave me a small profit, which I used to purchase the next one.  My last house was in Houston and I flipped it for a very nice profit.”

“So, are you planning on selling this one soon?  It looks like it’s almost done.”  I’m hoping he says no.

“I haven’t decided yet.  I’m starting to like it here.  It looks promising.”  He turns and stares right at me, “Very promising.”

Author Bio and Links

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.


Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords


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  1. Welcome to Kinky Vanilla Romance, Suzanne. It's a pleasure to have you here.

    Thank you for doing the interview. I have added Running Back to You to my TBR list.

    No worries here! I am not a fan of chocolate either.

    I hope that you have a great tour.

  2. Really interesting Q & A!


  3. Enjoyed the excerpt and I love the cover too.

    kareninnc at gmail dot com