Thursday, September 15, 2011

Falling in love has never been so sweet. Life, Liberty and Pursuit

Since my novel EMBRACE is still in the editorial process and I don't have anything new to share at this time, I thought it would be fun to spotlight a fellow Omnific author's book. I discovered Susan Kaye Quinn's wonderful book, LIFE, LIBERTY, AND PURSUITat a conference and I knew right away I had to have it. 

Omnific Publishing is also hosting their Author!Author! Blog Bounce. Authors are welcome to join. Details at the end of this post. 

Synopsis: When college-bound Eliza falls into a cruise-ship pool, she doesn’t expect to fall in love. And when navy recruit David pulls her from the water, he finds her surprisingly hard to resist. But a whirlwind of rescues, candlelit nights, and beachside misunderstandings pulls them into a four-day love affair that threatens to break their hearts before their love has a chance to start. 

When David leaves for endless drills and physical training in boot camp, and Eliza returns to Albuquerque to prepare for Princeton in the fall, they dare to keep loving each other and struggle to imagine a future when they can be together. But when miles and mistrust pull them apart, they are forced to choose between keeping true to their dreams and having the courage to love.

I don't read a lot of contemporary fiction, so LIFE, LIBERTY, and PURSUIT was a nice break from the demons and monsters in my usual reads. Eliza is a girl who knows what she wants. David is a strong young man who is supposed to start boot camp in a few short days. But meeting each other puts some kinks in their plans for the future. Susan does a great job of creating realistic characters who fall in love and then face a very difficult decision about their future. LIFE, LIBERTY, and PURSUIT is a sweet romance that kept me guessing what Eliza and David will do.

To read an excerpt, click here.

Susan was kind enough to answer a few questions for me.

Cherie: Your story is written in alternating points-of-view, did you find it easier to write from Eliza or David’s point-of-view or did both simply flow on their own?

Susan: First, thank you for spotlighting Life, Liberty, and Pursuit on your blog!
I love writing male POV, and Eliza was actually my first time writing female POV (strange, I know). So I had to work to get her voice right, but in the end I really enjoyed writing her perspective – the story is hers, even though it’s a love story and both perspectives are important. But Eliza’s choice is the one I hope girls who read the book will take inspiration from.

Cherie: What type of research did you do for your story?

Susan: Research is one of my favorite parts of writing, so I eagerly dived into learning about boot camp and the Navy’s linguist program – I was lucky to find the blog of a young sailor who talked about his boot camp experience, to get a first-hand account of what it was like. Google is my friend. Also Google Earth, where I literally “walked around” some of the settings in the story. Fun!

Cherie: Do you have a favorite place you like to go to write?

Susan: While I was writing LLP, I mainly wrote on my mini-laptop, which meant I wrote anywhere – on the couch, at the park, in the car while waiting to pick up my kids. Since then, my boys have started school full-time and I write mainly at my desktop, surrounded by a clutter of marked-up critiques from my writing group, treasured drawings from writer/artist friends, and of course Writer Mouse. I tell myself that someday I’ll have a nice tidy desk, but I think I’m just fooling myself.

Cherie: Eliza and David travel to some amazing location on the cruise, if you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Susan: Italy, because it’s long overdue. I’ve wanted to go to Italy for about 10 years now, and originally my husband and I were going for our 10th anniversary. Shortly before we planned to buy tickets, baby #3 came along and our plans were delayed. My “baby” is now eight, and my husband keeps traveling there for business, checking out Rome, the churches, the art, the food, the food, the food! Someday I’ll get there too. Mostly I want to find a small cafĂ©, drink red wine, eat pasta, and breathe in the atmosphere. I’ll bring along a notebook to scribble down my thoughts and probably would come back and write a novel set there. J

Cherie: Okay, I have to ask, do you believe in love at first site?

Susan: I do! I know some people have a hard time with that idea, but I know it exists because this story is loosely based off my best friend from high school. She went on a four day vacation with my family where we met some other friends-of-the-family and she instantly fell in love with their son. I was like, huh? You’re kidding, right? We were all of sixteen at the time. They were separated by many miles for many years, but eventually she moved to where he was living and they’ve been happily married for 17 years with two beautiful girls. When I sent her the book, she said, “But this is all about ME!” She loved the book, as well as the Summer Breeze Anthology (containing a short “afterstory” featuring her favorite character, Teagan). Which made me very happy.

Cherie: Can you share a swoon worthy line from your novel?

Susan: Ok, it would have to be from one of David’s love letters. Here goes…and I’m cheating by providing more than a line… 

            Since I won’t be getting any sleep tonight and will miss dreaming about you, I will have to create my own waking dream. It starts with you waving from far away as I come off the gangplank. I’m dressed in my navy whites, because I’m returning from a tour of duty, and you are wearing an amazing blue dress that doesn’t touch your knees, but seems to touch everywhere else. I have to wade through other sailors and their girlfriends and wives to reach you, but when I finally do, I hold you for a very long time, lips pressed to yours, not wanting to let you go.
Please write soon.

It is interesting that you find writing from a male's POV easier. In my own writing, I have to work harder to keep the details of a scene in a male's perspective.

Now that the interview is done, I'm going to share a little secret. I was dying to know what Susan would pick for her favorite swoon line. LIFE, LIBERTY, and PURSUIT had so many great moments. The chemistry between Eliza and David is amazing.

Thank you Susan for being a part of my blog and for sharing a little about yourself and your writing habits! I loved the drawing and Writer Mouse!

Now for the Bounce!
Here's how this works:

If you are an author, click on "Get the Code Here" to get the link. Copy and paste that link in your blog post. Then hop right on and add your blog url to get added to the list.

If you are a reader, you get to bounce from blog to blog and meet some great new authors and maybe find some new books to read.

For more details, visit Omnific Publishing's blog.

This is a Blog Hop7 entries so far... you're next!

This list will close in 17 hrs, 27 min (9/15/2011 10:59 PM CST)

You are next... Click here to enter


  1. Thanks so much for having me Cherie! So, what's your favorite line? (had to ask!) :)

  2. This was easy, I'm a sucker for the first kiss:

    "Slowly, trying to make sure she didn't mind, he bent closer and touched his lips to hers. He meant to kiss her softly, so it could be easily dismissed if she didn't want it. And, in all fairness, it did start out that way. But as soon as his lips touched hers, a thrill shot up through his body - and then he was pulling her towards him..."

    The kiss goes on a little longer and WOW,a thrill shot up my body too. :) Like I said, I'm a sucker for the first kiss, and falling in love.

  3. Google rocks! The only problem is, sometimes I go swimming off into research for hours on something that ends up as only a paragraph or two in text---but still so fun. How cool that you had a real life example to draw inspiration from. Congrats to the real life Eliza & David. :)

    Thanks for the great interview questions, Cherie.

    P.S. Forgot to say it at your blog, Susan, but I enjoyed our coffee last week. :)

  4. A real fun interview. I hadn't thought about using google maps for that, *duh* thanks for the tip! So loved that it was loosely based on your high school friend!

    Thank you, Cherie and Susan!

  5. I so need to read Susan's book. It has been on my TBR list for awhile. Great interview, BTW.

  6. @Nicki Me too! It was wonderful to see you again!

    @Joanna I spend way too much time tromping around Google Earth. :) It's cheaper than travel.

    @Susan Thanks for the kind words! :)

  7. I loved Susan's book! Great interview too ladies. I'm listed as Author Blog Bounce on the linky list cause I messed up my title. ;) It's nice to meet you Cherie. Any friend/fan of Susan's is fantastic in my book.

  8. @Heather You are so sweet! And I'm glad you're on the Hop, even if it's incognito. :)

  9. Nice interview. I'm always amazed at the amount of research writers do to get their stories just right.

    LIFE, LIBERTY, and PURSUIT sounds like an interesting read.

  10. Susan and Cherie, this was such a wonderful interview. Felt more like eavesdropping on a casual conversation - except, with permission.

    The book sounds really enjoyable and it's lovely that it's got some real life inspiration.

    Ah, the beauty of true love at first sight.

  11. It was so much fun to do this post. Thank you everyone for the kind words. And I also spend too much time on Google.

    @Heather, I will be bouncing over to your blog later today.

  12. Tidy desks are overrated! I loved LL&P partly because it wasn't full of demons and monsters but rather a sweet human love story. David is hunktastic! Nice question about the swoon moment, Cherie! Jen xx

  13. @Jennifer, I agree about the tidy desks. Mine always has piles of notes and research, which overflow into every room I enter. Then when the family finally asks what's up with the mess, I gather my piles and put them back in the office. It's a vicious circle. Funny thing is I'm a neat freak about everything else.

  14. @JL Sometimes I think research is just my excuse to dork around with things I find interesting. :) Thanks for stopping by!

  15. @Angela It helps that Cherie and are in an SCBWI group together, but she's just easy to talk to in general! :) Thanks for stopping by!

  16. @Jennifer You were one of my first readers, and those are always the sweetest! Thanks so much for all your support! :)

  17. I'm now following you on Twitter, but I didn't see where to subscribe to your blog.
    Fellow M-G/YA Campaigner

  18. Hi Sandra! It's nice to meet you and I followed you back on Twitter. To follow my blog, you can either click the "Follow" button at the very top or "Join this site" under the Campaign logo on the right.

  19. Great interview! I loved the excerpt of Susan's book.

  20. Great interview, ladies! Susan, research is your favourite part of writing? Eep! I wish I enjoyed that a big more.