DeLuca Family Collection
A Suspenseful Romance Collection
Release Date: December 12, 2014
from Musa Publishing
Love makes your heart race, but passion can kill.
Three strong, captivating women.
Three intense, driven men.
One family devoted to justice.
Come journey with the DeLuca Family from the tumultuous streets of Chicago to the majestic peaks of Glacier National Park in these three intriguing full-length novels loaded with passion, suspense…and danger.
She knew it was crazy that her hands should tremble on this occasion, considering she could thread a catheter to the heart as precisely and steadily now as the best in her field, but Dr. Elizabeth Iverson never felt comfortable in the limelight.
“I know many of you share my story in one way or another,” Elizabeth said, her gaze moving from table to table, guest to guest, as she scanned the seven hundred or so university alumni seated in the Grand Ballroom of Chicago’s Palmer House Hilton, “or know someone who has benefited from the fund.
I grew up on a farm about forty-five miles northwest of here. When I was little girl, I always dreamed of becoming a doctor. My Barbie dolls didn’t wear clothes; they wore bandages and tourniquets, and I was always pretending to try the latest medical procedure on some poor, unsuspecting farm animal — with some very interesting results, as you can imagine.” Now well into her speech, she raised a playful eyebrow and was rewarded with mild laughter.
“Back then, though, college seemed financially out of the question. That’s why what we’re doing here tonight is so important. We’re helping to fuel dreams. For me, it’s not about the glamour of being a doctor. As a cardiologist, it’s about looking into a patient’s eyes and seeing that spark of hope shine back when she’s just learned she has another lease on life. To me, that’s priceless.”
Her attention moved to the guests at the back of the room. “With our silent auction tonight, we’ll help more students turn their dreams into realities. With the money you’ll so generously donate, I know — ”
Elizabeth’s lips froze in mid-sentence. Her words caught in her throat as her heart did a major flip-flop. She recognized him instantly. There was no mistaking the identity of the man who stood in the entrance to the ballroom, nametag in hand, as if he had just arrived. She stood, motionless, staring, unaware of the murmurs of uneasiness arising from the gathering. She watched, mesmerized, as his lips curved into that slow, Mona Lisa smile of his and his chin lifted in acknowledgment of her awareness of him. Although quite a distance away, Elizabeth could easily make out the slight cleft in his chin, the sexy, firm line of his jaw — and those deep-set eyes, which she knew were the most amazing shade of midnight blue.
“Dr. Iverson, are you all right?” the alumni president asked at her side.
Suddenly the awkward coughing of the guests, the clinking of glasses, the shuffling of chairs reached her senses. Embarrassed and frustrated by her reaction to him, she broke contact with those eyes and grabbed for her water glass as if reaching for a lifeline. When she looked up again, he was gone. The twinge of disappointment she felt at that surprised her, but she forced it to the back of her mind as she turned her attention once more to the gathering.
“I’m sorry, where was I? Yes, the dreams…”
Morning light peeked around the edges of her window blinds when next she opened her eyes. With a start, she realized she must have drifted off to sleep again. Glancing at her bedside clock, she feared the worst—the sun didn’t rise in mid-January in Chicago until almost eight.
The digital clock glared seven forty-five.
She’d planned to be at the clinic by seven to make sure everything was set for the first patients. She must have turned off the alarm in her sleep. It was crazy how the tone alarm at the station could have her jumping out of bed, but at home she slept right through her own alarm. The puppy was yelping again, quite frantically this time.
“Okay, little pup!” she called as she stumbled out of bed. “Hold on. I’m coming!” But as she took a step toward the doorway, she stubbed her toe on one of the boots she’d kicked off the night before.
“Damn,” she swore. Tell yourself again what a great idea accepting the puppy was.
In the kitchen, the puppy’s frenzied state had him scratching at his grate. “Shush,” she scolded him. “Settle down or you’ll wake the neighbors, if there could possibly be any still asleep.”
Bending to open his crate, she reached in to grab him, but he scooted past her, making a beeline for the back door of the condo. She hurried after him…
“Settle down, little pup!” she scolded. She really should come up with a name for him, she couldn’t call him little pup forever. She caught up with him at the door and scooped him up, but not before noticing the little puddle he’d left on the wooden floorboards in his excitement to get out.
“Seriously? Could you give me a break here?”
She tried to be mad at him, but when he looked at her with those soulful little black eyes, she just couldn’t. Pulling him up against her, she rubbed his fur against her cheek and smiled.
“You’re going to be the death of me yet,” she said, not unkindly. She turned to grab a paper towel from the kitchen, but the puppy still wouldn’t settle in her arms. He kept turning his head to yap at the door. “Shush,” she admonished him again.
At last he quieted. It was then that she heard it—the tiniest little mewing coming from the other side of the door.
“What in the world…? Is that what has you so excited?”
Turning once more to the door, she placed a hand over the puppy’s muzzle and listened more closely. Sure enough, the mewing came again.
She slid a couple of slats of the blinds aside, squinting at the beam of sunlight that streamed in from where it peeked over the low buildings behind hers, and scanned the rear area. Her gaze moved over the back porch, to the stair area, and then below it to the asphalt pavement of the courtyard below. Nothing moved.
The mewing stopped and then started up again. Angela frowned. The raspy mewing sounded suspiciously like a cat.
“Great.” She sighed. “Just what I need, a cat to go along with the dog!”
Tucking the puppy under one arm, she unlocked the door, opened it a crack, and looked down.
A cardboard box lay against the threshold. The muffled mewing came from inside it. She opened the door more fully, ignoring the cold blast of air that slammed against her skin, and knelt to explore the box.
“Well, little pup, what do we have here, do you think?”
Now that she’d discovered the box, he’d settled down and seemed just as curious as she to find out what lay inside. Carefully, she lifted the flaps, expecting at any moment for the cat to jump out at her.
But what lay inside barely moved, except for the tiny mouth in the small round face where it once more emitted the most pitiful gaspy mewing sound.
Angela’s heart rate jumped several beats. Grasping the puppy tighter, she stared into the box and emitted her own startled cry.
With her hand clasped tightly in Joey’s, Andi closed her eyes and let out a deep breath. It was good. They were good. Seeing him walk in tonight had given her an immense sense of relief. She knew it was silly, but she had to see for herself that he was okay, although now, standing beside him, she was well aware of the emotion brewing deep within him. It certainly didn’t surprise her. She knew Joey. Knew he would take the killing of one of his officers upon his own shoulders. Sure, there would be an internal investigation. They’d have to know why the officer was there, why he didn’t have his vest on at the time, why he didn’t wait for other officers to respond, but no matter how that investigation came down, Joey would still feel somewhat responsible. It was his way. He couldn’t help it. Yep, that was Joey DeLuca. Always trying to do the right thing. Always trying to live up to his father’s image.
She bit her lip. Sometimes it was too much. Sometimes this job was just too much.
It is my pleasure to welcome Susan Rae, author of The DeLuca Family Collection, to Room With Books!
What do you do when you are not writing?
When I am not writing, I enjoy reading, especially in the winter. However, in summer, it’s golfing and swimming and boating. I especially like golfing: there’s nothing like smacking a golf ball around the course when I’m trying to work out a particularly difficult plot point.
If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
Flying, definitely. I’d love to soar like an eagle over land and sea and get the perspective from above. It would also make it easier to get from one place to another. That’s probably why I wrote Freefall; being in a small plane is probably the closest I’ll get to that. I had the opportunity to go flying in a Piper Cub in my teens and the romance and lure of aviation has never left me.
What was your first job?
My very first job was as a secretary for my father’s insurance agency. He sold State Farm Insurance. “Like a good neighbor…” Yeah, you get the picture. But it was actually very good experience as it put me up front and personal with people, which was very good for character study. My next “job” was as a news reporter for my college newspaper.
If you could pick one profession other than author, what would it be? Why does it appeal to you?
A teacher. I enjoy working with children and adults. I love seeing that light come into their eyes when they suddenly understand a concept. Actually, I do some of this in the capacity of an author when I discuss the process of writing books.
What are you currently working on?
Currently, I’m working on another romantic suspense story set in Northwoods Wisconsin. Titled, Moonshadows, it follows journalist and Native American Maggie Long as she heads back to her childhood reservation to cover a story about a controversial mining project. There, she comes face to face with her former beau David Lighthawk, now a key member of the tribal council. When Maggie’s grandfather’s home is torched and he is left for dead in protest to the resistance to the project by some of the tribal members, Maggie’s investigating intensifies and soon she finds herself in danger, too.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Currently, the Door County Cherry/Vanilla which I make from scratch. Sooo good!
Night owl, or early bird? Middle bird, definitely not early bird. And as for the writing, I have to knock off by seven p.m. at the latest or the my characters and plot won’t leave me alone during the night!
Coffee or tea? Tea, hands down. And although I like a good old-fashioned breakfast tea the best, for health reasons, I am starting to get into herbal teas. I think cranberry is currently my favorite.
Roller Coasters or Water Rides? Since I get dizzy quite easily (and don’t like the feeling) I would have to say water rides; but even those need to be tame. I do love to swim and I like boating across the lake in a runabout when the water is smooth as glass.
Swimming in the ocean or a pool? I love the ocean and have visited many times. Some of our best family vacations have been at Nag’s Head on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. However, since I am a Midwesterner, I have to settle for the pool. And that’s okay! There are no sharks or rip tides in the pool.
Walking or fitness club? Walking, outside preferably, with the sun and the wind on my face.
Any last words?
I just want readers to know how very much I enjoyed writing the DeLuca Family Series and I hope they enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them. Along with healthy doses of romance and suspense, they are also filled with a lot of heartwarming family scenes.
Thank you for chatting with our readers and for allowing Room With Books to be part of your tour!
Thank you so much for hosting me here. This was fun. To read more about my books and my writing, please visit me at www.susanrae.com.
Heartbeats: “A terrific tale of romantic intrigue, with characters who are intelligent, skilled professionals and to whom we can easily relate.”—Marilyn Weigel, RTM
ICE blue: “With her well-developed characters, Susan keeps you glued to the pages.” —Susan Peck, My Cozie Corner
“…this romance, thriller was something that took hold of your heart as you read.” — Beth Cutwright, Beth Art From The Heart
TRUE blue: “The writing was terrific and the plot was intriguing and suspenseful. Rae masterfully deceives the reader into thinking that she knows who-dunnit but the reader will be deliciously surprised at the end.” —Cindi, Mammasez
Susan grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Columbia College, Missouri with an emphasis in creative writing.She penned her first melodrama in fifth grade for a Girl Scout Drama badge. Complete with hero, heroine, and dastardly villain, it wasn’t so very different, really, than the romantic suspense she writes now.
“I love writing romantic suspense because it allows me to combine a sexy, passionate love story with a gritty suspense tale—in my opinion, the best of both worlds.It also allows me to express my appreciation for the outdoors in the setting that I recreate on the page.”
When she is not sketching characters, you might find Susan on the golf course working on her handicap, or traveling around the country seeking out new settings for her novels with her husband and empty nest puppies, Ginger and Nikute.
To read more about Susan’s novels and the writing life, please visit her at:
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