Guest Blog: Susanne Matthews
Stepping out of the Zone:
Hello, and thank you for having me here today. I understand I’m not your usual cup of tea, but I appreciate the chance to meet new people. I generally play well with others. While most of the posts on this blog are aimed at sci-fi fans, I’m hoping I can lure you to my side of the fence for a while.
What do I write? Lots of different things, but I suppose the overall label is romance. I write history or contemporary, but my niche of choice is suspense. Don’t stop reading yet. Even in sci-fi novels, suspense is often the basis of the story. It’s the thrill of the chase—the need to find the answers that led to thoughts of aliens and alternate universes in the first place.
Captain Kirk and the Enterprise were on a five year mission to find new civilizations… how many of those classic episodes were really centered on mysteries to solve—think of the Jack the Ripper case for example, where Mr. Scott was accused of murder. Or what about the Shakespearian cast that whose member had ordered genocide? Think of the angel getting the children to commit crimes... Always a problem to solve, a bad guy or gal to catch and a story to wrap up neatly all within an hour.
My books may not be set in space or in alternate universes, but in every one of them, there is a mystery to solve. My latest novel, On His Watch has been compared to the works of Alfred Hitchcock and Robert Ludlum. Who doesn’t like a good mystery, full of suspense?
Come back to earth and check out On His Watch.
About On His Watch:
What starts as a quiet evening alone watching football turns into the night from hell for FBI agent Jason Spark, who is covering sheriff duties for his honeymooning brother. He thought the 911 call was a butt dial but instead stepped into a bloodbath, complete with writing on the wall. It’s a scene straight out of a slasher movie—a dead physician, his son, and his wife so badly beaten, it’ll be a miracle if Nikki Hart survives.
When Nikki Hart awakes from a coma, she’s terrified. She doesn’t know her name, recognize her face, or remember anything about herself and her past. She clings to the memory of the angel who comforted her in her darkest moments, but no one in the world she wakes up in resembles the good guy.
Evidence in the case leads Jason to The Butcher, a hired assassin usually contracted by the Sicilian mob, a man who doesn’t quit until the job’s done. News of Nikki’s recovery puts her in the killer’s sights again. Jason will do whatever it takes to protect the woman he’s learning to love. But can he save her from a vicious killer intent on earning his million dollar fee and his employer bent on revenge?
And when the smoke clears, can Nikki ever forgive the secret role he played in her injuries?
Excerpt from On His Watch:
“What did you break this time?” she called as she headed down the stairs. “I swear, you’re like a bull in a china shop.”
The sound of the garage door opening indicated Sam’s arrival. Although the clinic was nearby, since he carried major opiate drugs back and forth, Sam always took his car to work. He’d enter the house through the garage, leaving his lab coat and shoes out there and washing his hands at the sink he’d had installed for that purpose.
“Let’s get this cleaned up before your father comes in.” She turned the corner into the kitchen and stopped cold.
The fridge door was open, the pitcher of orange juice shattered on the floor beside what was left of her crystal vase full of roses, the red petals vanishing in her son’s blood. So much blood! Danny lay there, his head at an awkward angle, his eyes open, looking into the face of death. A scream froze in her throat as arms grabbed her from behind, and the sting of the knife bit into her upper back.
Her upper body was on fire. Danny! Mandy! She swallowed her cries and slid to the floor, trying to stop herself from placing the full weight of her body on her abdomen, her right hand slipping into her pocket and silently pressing nine-one-one on the phone. She kept her hand over the small screen to hide its glow. Breathing was agonizing.
With what little strength she could muster, she pulled herself across the glass and juice-covered ceramic floor until she was close enough to touch her son’s lifeless hand, tears of pain and sorrow running down her cheeks. I’m so sorry, sweetheart. She reached out her left hand, stretching to touch his face but couldn’t manage it. She groaned.
“What the hell? Leroy, I told you to kill her, not just cut her. She won’t bleed out from that wound. The boss said no survivors. There should be another kid in the house. Go and look upstairs. I’ll take care of this.”
She tried to turn her head to look at the man speaking, see if she recognized him, but he placed his boot on her head, forcing her face into the blood-covered floor.
“It’s nothing personal, Mrs. Hart. For some reason you need to suffer, or I’d cut your throat, too, and make it quick. Everyone has to die sometime, and today’s your day.”
Something pierced her lower back, sending wave after wave of excruciating pain through her body, and her unborn daughter kicked in protest. Nikki fought to suppress the scream of agony for Mandy’s sake. Blackness edged around her.
Please God, don’t let him look for her under the guest room bed. If she doesn’t wake up, she’ll be safe under there, won’t she? Sam! Oh God, Sam.
As if the sound were coming from far away, she forced herself to open her eyes and turned her head to face the door. Heavy boots entered the kitchen. She looked up. Instead of Sam, a man dressed in camouflage pants and matching jacket—the kind of thing a hunter might wear—stepped into the room and closed the door behind him. He had blood on his blue, latex-gloved hands. Sam wouldn’t be able to save them.
She forced her eyes to stay open and stared at the third man. He was bald, with thick, black eyebrows, and a diamond earring in his left ear. His face and head were badly scarred. His lips were thin, and he smiled cruelly.
So this is what Satan looks like.
About the author:
Susanne Matthews was born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. She graduated from the local high school with honors and went to Carleton University where she achieved a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in English and History. She later continued her studies with a Bachelor of Education from Queens University. She worked as an educator for more than 30 years before retiring.
Susanne has always been an avid reader of all types of books, but always with a penchant for happily ever after romances. In her imagination, she travelled to foreign lands, past and present, and soared into the future. Today, she has made her dreams come true. She now gets to spend her time writing, so she can share her adventures with her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.
Since April 2013, Susanne has released three novels with Crimson Romance Publisher, Fire Angel, In Plain Sight, which are romantic suspense, Just ForThe Weekend, a contemporary romance set at a sci-fi convention in Las Vegas and Echoes of the Past a /romance/suspense. With a dash of the paranormal in it. As well, Susanne co-writes with another Canadian author under the name Misty Matthews. They have a novella, Grand Slam, released by Sweet Cravings Publishing.
Susanne and her husband of more than 40 years live busy lives. They have three children and five grandchildren. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, chatting on the Internet with her writer friends, and hearing from her readers.