Monday, November 28, 2011

Guest Post with Author Suzanne Barrett

I've been a reader all my life, devouring everything from history to biography, mystery to romance. It wasn't until reading LaVyrle Spencer's Hummingbird that I decided that maybe I could do this, too.

My first effort was a contemporary set in Ireland. I targeted a well-known British publisher of short, sensual romances. They were kind enough to look at it but suggested (not in so many words) that I not quit the day job. I still love that story which, should be appropriately titled “Suzanne's Excellent Adventures in Ireland. Fortunately, for my readers, that one will remain a file on my computer.

I choose to think I've learned a bit about writing over the years. A college romance writing course and a dozen years of intense RWA chapter and national conference workshops helped a lot. I discovered even more help in reading—how-to books, tomes on technique, and hundreds of books by other writers. I've learned a lot—am still learning. One thing I keep in mind every time I write is that no matter how good a scene, chapter, books seems to be, there's always someone else who does it better, so I have to keep striving and keep on learning.

After that first book I wrote a second which went on to be a finalist in the Romantic Novelists' Association's New Writers Scheme. I merrily sent it off to Big British Publishing House, but they didn't want that one either. A third contemporary finaled in the RWA Golden Heart contest and was loved by the judges, but not by Big British Publishing House. Sigh! They didn't like book four any better, even though that one finaled in the Golden Heart twice.

Fast forward a few years. I finally sold to a New York house nine years after I'd begun writing, but after four sales, they dropped the line, and I found myself looking for another publishing home. Even though I'd written contemporary romances, I'd always read more historicals. With the next book I decided to write a Western historical. I incorporated my knowledge of California history, Irish history, horses and more in Sierra Bride, my new release from Turquoise Morning Press.

I admit a fondness for the tortured hero, and I think rancher Wade Guthrie makes a perfect hero for Irish immigrant, Corrie Kiernan. Both have faced ostracism, both have been unjustly accused, but both are survivors, and that, I feel makes a good basis for an empathetic character. I hope you enjoy reading Sierra Bride as much as I loved writing it.

Here's a bit about Sierra Bride:

In 1883, Irish immigrants had few opportunities open to them. Corrie Kiernan, like so many of her countrywomen, finds herself working long hours at a mill in Lowell, Massachusetts. When she witnesses a murder and is seen by the perpetrator, she is forced to flee and finds herself a mail-order bride. The only way she can save her skin is to weave a web of lies about herself and her skills, or lack thereof.

Wade Guthrie runs a small spread outside Maiden Valley. A former convict who served prison time because of being framed, he is shunned by the townspeople, and in turn, shuns them. Because of his past, the one thing he demands is honesty. How can he love Corrie when her entire life is a lie?

In Sierra Bride, I hope Corrie's and Wade's struggle will engage the reader and make her cheer for a happy resolution to their seemingly insurmountable problems. Corrie's struggle with the townspeople and with Wade's unruly daughter would be difficult for any woman, but for Corrie who is so out of her realm, it seems impossible. Can a miracle happen that will bring these hurting souls together?

Sierra Bride is available from the Turquoise Morning Bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other digital outlets.  

Author Bio:

Following a career in engineering, Suzanne has returned to her first love of writing and literature. Born in Southern California, Suzanne, along with her husband and an elderly cat, make their home in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Suzanne is also a jewelry designer, and her wire work is shown at various arts and wine events throughout the county. (Visit her jewelry website at In addition, she has an Irish travel website with articles, recipes, and an extensive photo gallery. When she’s not writing or designing jewelry, Suzanne loves to garden. Visit Suzanne at . Sierra Bride is Suzanne's fourth release from Turquoise Morning Press.


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1 comment:

  1. sounds like a lovely story, Suzanne!

    I also make wire jewellery, although writing has taken over my life for the past couple of years :) your work is gorgeous.