Saturday, January 29, 2011

As Dog Is My Witness...

Welcome to the 12th and FINAL stop on the Blog Tour de Force! Congratulations to all of you who have made it this far. You WILL be rewarded!

Without further ado....sit back, relax, and prepare to enjoy yourself and win more stuff!

As Dog is My Witness....

Animals in boxes are good, too.
I really like animals in books.

No, that's wrong. I love animals in books. I love the ordinariness of cats and dogs that act just exactly like cats and dogs. I also love it when I must suspend disbelief and accept behavior that simply would never happen in real life. Even made-up, fanciful animals are fun. In fact, it's not just in books where animals delight me. Movies, TV, plays, you name it. The animals can steel the show and seal the deal for me.

Eddie is the inspiration for "Blackie"
I write horses into my stories, and not just to give vent to my passion for the magnificent creatures. I use them to show the human characters' depth and illuminate them in ways that would otherwise be cumbersome and less entertaining. For example, my protagonist's close connection with her horse shows facets of her personality to the reader in a way that's understood on a gut level. And because all of us have loved at least one animal, we get it.

In Heartsblood, the book that kicked off this blog tour on January 17, Carolyn McCray includes an animal we have never seen before. She uses our very human reaction to an unknown animal (caution at the least, fear at the most) to masterfully play up the tension in the story. We see what this animal can do before we encounter it, and by the time we see it, we're terrified -- and have no trouble understanding why the protagonist is shaking in her shoes.

If I were giving a class on writing, and instructing my students on hooking the reader by their emotions I would recommend studying the way animals interact and their behavior patterns in order to understand the visceral way we humans interact. To make trust and love believable one has only to observe animals -- the ones who have been nurtured and the ones who have been damaged -- to find out what a reader will find believable in the characters we create. Melissa Ecker, would get an "A" in my class for her erotic romance Pull The Trigger the book that preceded mine in the blog tour. She uses very steamy scenes to lead the reader to understand her character's journey to trust and love.

Animals in stories. They're endearing, useful, illuminating.

Now, a short word from my sponsors ....

Pop over to Jessica Subject's blog site, "Mark Of The Stars," to read an interview Jessica did with me. She asked some great questions about my journey as an author and posted an excerpt from Death By A Dark Horse. I think you'll enjoy it!

"Conversations With Self" has a review of my book. Len Lambert hails from London, England and puts an international spin on things.

Don't forget to "Bring A Friend" to the blog tour. You still have time, and you'll get even more chances to win that Kindle and other great prizes! Go to the Blog Tour de Force home page if you don't know how to do this.

And Now......


Win: 20 free tickets for the Kindle drawing and...!
How: GO to Smashwords and download a free sample. THEN post a comment, HERE, on my blog with your favorite line from anywhere in Death By A Dark Horse. Every single one of you will win 20 free tickets for the Kindle drawing! 

But WAIT there's MORE! 

Be sure I have your email address, because 100 of you will receive a coupon for a FREE copy of Death By A Dark Horse!

Even More? Yes!

At the end of the tour ALL of you are entered to win a gift basket, full of goodies bought just for you in Snohomish PLUS a Death By A Dark Horse mug AND a trade paperback copy of Death By A Dark Horse

One final goodie -- if you go over to Conversations With Self , type in a comment and add somewhere, "The Black Queen's Bishop" you'll get 5 extra entries in the Kindle drawing!

Thanks to each and every one of you for participating in this amazing Tour de Force.

I hope you've all enjoyed what we 12 authors and 25 sponsors have had to offer. 

Don't forget to go to the IBC Home Page tomorrow for the final prize hunt. 

It will be well worth your effort!


  1. Susan, your success is well-deserved. I'm excited for you! Best of luck.

    "It was like trying to picture Mr. Darcy with Lucy Ricardo." LOL

    Suzanne Adair

  2. Thanks, Suzanne!! Can you believe an agent I sent the manuscript to AGES ago though no one would know who Lucy Ricardo was...!!

  3. I love love love horses. I can't wait to read the whole book. I'm hoping it's "safe" for a 12 year old girl... but if not, I'll save it for her to read later in life. Good luck and congrats!

    also, fave line so far: "How can I go to church when my husband and son cannot be trusted out of my sight?" It reminds me of something my boyfriend's mother would say :)

  4. Well my favorite line is "The trailer was a Sundowner goose-neck, same color as the truck, three-horse, with a camper in the front." My ideal home. LOL. I am hauling a Brenderup with a Tacoma to endurance rides, so I'm sure you can relate.

    Seriously, Susan, I love your writing - it's punchy, visual, and fast-moving. Here's to a great career!

  5. JodyC - I'm glad your interest is whetted! I love the character of Maria. She is fearless, and a force of nature. "Safe" for a 12 year old probably depends on the 12 year old and the parent. I rate it PG-13 for a bit of violence and a bit of language. Your call!

    Zoe - thank you for the compliment!! And I SO relate to a drool-worthy rig. Best of luck with your endurance rides!

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. I tired to post a comment earlier but it doesn't seem to have gone through. but my favorite line was "I wash my hair of you both!"...It's a line I'm going to have to use in the future.

  8. xoxoherestoyouxox (great handle ;) ) -- You made it through! Yay! Maria has some great lines in the story. Glad you liked it! And consider yourself entered!

  9. I'm reading the sample so far and I AM HOOKED. I can't wait to read the whole thing! It had me since page one and I can't stop reading it.

    My favorite line so far is "Two words reduced her to the status of road kill". I'm not sure why but I really like it. Maybe it's because it described it really well. LOL, it must sound a little weird that I like that line but I do. I thought it described it very well.

    What I've read so far has been AMAZING. I can't put it down but I wanted to comment before I forgot or had to go shopping. ;) You did a fantastic job with this book and I can't wait to read more.

  10. Thank you, Siddy! I'm so glad you're enjoying even the noir humor in it! By this evening you could win a free sample! Keep reading :)

  11. I'm really enjoying the sample! One of my favorite lines is, "In the round-pen a woman I knew well enough to chat with was free-lungeing her Quarter Horse gelding, or having problems catching him."

    Made me laugh out loud. Can't wait to read more.

  12. I love the book so far! The sample is too short!
    My fave line is: "It shouldn't be this hard to find an eleven-hundred-pound horse." I laughed at that.

  13. Susan, congratulations on the success of your book! I'm so pleased for you! You deserve it! I love Thea Campbell! I'm looking forward to seeing Levels of Deception on the shelves! Woo-hoo! :)

  14. Susan, I love books with animals, too! Whether I'm reading them or writing them. You did an awesome job with Dead By A Dark Horse! I'm eager to read the next one.

  15. Jessica Anne - Thanks so much! Yes, I kind of figured the round-pen comment would strike a horse-person's funny bone!

    Linda - I'm so glad you're enjoying the story. Remember, I'm giving away a Whole Bunch of free copies!!

    Len - Thank you! Levels of Deception will be out next month with more of Thea & crew's adventures --could it be her love life if picking up...or is it falling apart?

    Edie -- So glad you enjoyed DBADH! Why did I know you liked books with animals ;)

  16. favorite line:

    "A thousand spiders crawled up my spine".

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  17. I finished reading the sample! LOL, and realized I forgot to post my email so here it is.


    I enjoyed it so much and can't wait to finish it!

  18. Enjoyed the sample, looks like a great book. My favorite line was "It shouldn't be this hard to find an eleven-hundred-pound horse"


  19. Susan, I enjoyed reading your sample! You certainly keep the reader engaged! I do feel as if I know the characters. My favorite line was, "After listening to me whine for more than half and hour he probably went home and took a fist full of Advil. Just thought I'd add that I'm glad Thea didn't accept Jonathan's proposal, because he is controlling and abusive as is obviously her own mother. Also, they had an argument the day of the night he asked her to marry him? And, she had felt like he had been pulling away from her. Good for Thea!
    my e-mail is:

  20. This has been a great blog tour, and I want to thank you and all the other authors for making this fun.

  21. My fav line: "Damn right it's your mistake. And another thing—I'm nobody's 'little woman' and nobody keeps me in line."

    Love it!

    Congrats on the blog tour, can't wait to read the whole book!

  22. Wow! I go away to put a coat of paint on the bathroom walls and come back to all these comments! You folks make me smile! And laugh!

    Cathy M -- Ooooo...I see you've had that 'something awful's right here' feeling, too!

    Siddy -- Thanks for your email addy!

    Judy -- so glad you enjoyed the sample! There's actually a story behind that line! I'll blog about it soon.

    Laura Weakley-- There's a story behind THAT line, too!! Poor Thea! She tends to embarrass herself from time to time, just like the rest of us :)

    Riley -- LOL! And there Thea goes again! Thea came up with that line all by herself. No help from my "outside sources" ;)

  23. Laurel Lynn! Whoops! Didn't mean to skip you!! This tour has been wonderful, I agree! Full of wonderful books and talented writers. (And prizes! Let's not forget those!!)

  24. I just started reading the sample and I'm already hooked! My favorite line so far is "A thousand spiders crawled up my spine". Now I have to get right back to the story and find out why!

  25. Hi Laura! So glad you're hooked!! Thank you for including your email addy! Now, go back to the story!! Thea needs you!

  26. I'm having so much fun reading the comments that I've decided EVERYONE GETS A FREE BOOK!! I'm going to start processing the coupons now, so check your email for a note. If you didn't include your email address, and you don't want to post it on the blog, send it to me at I promise I won't give it away or use it for anything but making sure you get your FREE Copy of Death By A Dark Horse.

  27. I'm inherently against animal stories. Even Fivel in the Great American Tale elicits big crocodile tears from me. ;) I'm a nut.

  28. Miss Ash -- This is a people story with some animals in it! You're in luck! I guarantee no animals were injured in the creating of this tale!

  29. If you'll all notice, I've amended my blog to include the coupon code from Smashwords for a FREE copy of Death By A Dark Horse!

    If you've included your email address, I'll drop you a note so you don't miss it. If you have any questions or problems, please feel free to contact me at

    Okay, now! Back to regularly scheduled commenting!

  30. Favorite line
    I am going to Valerie's..... That***** stole my Horse!
    I love this Book!
    Eileen at

  31. Thanks, Eileen! You saw the free book code above, right? Use it, or I'll have to send the bunnies!

  32. Thank you for posting the coupon for the free copy. This blog tour is really backing me up on books I just have to read. My favorite line so far is "My word, that lad's gone two steps beyond Barking."

    By the way, my email is my sign on above

  33. You're very welcomed KZH26! The tour has been fabulous for all of us. I've got to read some authors who are brand new to me, and been very impressed.

  34. Just want to remind all you great folks that there is still a gift basket to win from me and a Kindle with 12 free books from the Tour.

    I'll be drawing a name from everyone who has commented here (favorite line or not) for the gift basket consisting of a trade paper back version of Death By A Dark Horse, a mug with the cover on it and several more items, purchased just for you in the city of Snohomish! The winner will be announced at the end of the Tour.

    Don't forget to stop by the IBC home page tomorrow!

  35. Thanks so much! I've had a lot of fun on the blog tour and look forward to reading and reviewing the great stories! :)

  36. Russells - It's been such a pleasure to have you and everyone else here. I've had lots of fun reading everyone's comments today. Enjoy the books!

  37. I missed yesterday but just wanted to say thanks for participating in this blog tour. It has been great! Can't wait to check out your books. I love animals so I like books about animals as well. And horses are such majestic animals.

  38. It's been such fun, Anya! Come back to Writing Horses often. Next book is due out near the end of February, so I'll be posting snippets from it along with other fun things like character interviews. There will be some author interviews coming up soon, too!

  39. I'm sad the tour is over, but so glad that I was able to read your sample! I loved all of the detail! My favorite line was "It was like trying to picture Mr. Darcy with Lucy Ricardo".


  40. Cindy, so glad you enjoyed the Tour. I understand IBC will be hosting another one this spring!

  41. Hi Susan! I enjoyed your post. I have a soft spot in my heart for animals. I love all types, especially dogs and horses, but my favorite animal is an elephant. Their enormous size amazes me and they seem like such intelligent creatures.

    My favorite line from Death by a Dark Horse: "In fact, anyone who makes eye contact with him is his new best friend." This reminds me of a horse I used to own. He had these big, beautiful, brown eyes that matched his personality.

    I'm glad I had the chance to learn about you and your book. I look forward to reading more. Thanks for being a part of the Blog Tour de Force. It was great and I had a lot of fun. Best wishes.

  42. I almost forgot, my email address is:
    kelli (dot) mccracken (at) gmail (dot) com

  43. My favorite line so far was
    "He's sweet and hansom, and if he were a man I'd date him. Heck, I trust him enough to marry him."

    I really look forward to reading the entire book. Thank you so much for your efforts and sharing your gift of storytelling. This tour has been fun and I am glad I was able to meet so many new to me authors!
    Be well

  44. Oh I love it!! I saw this line and loved it the attitude is so me!! "Damn right it's your mistake. And another thing—I'm nobody's 'little woman' and nobody keeps me in line."

    I am adding all these books to my need to get list!!

  45. Kelli -- elephants! They are so amazing. I'm in awe of them, too. Thank you for participating in the tour!

    Denise -- You're quite welcome. I had a fabulous time, too. Meeting new authors and getting to sample their work is great fun. There are so many wonderful story-tellers!

    Kaualoku -- So glad you enjoyed the story! Thea has a habit of embarrassing herself from time to time -- just like the rest of us! ;)