DeLuca Family Collection
A Suspenseful Romance Collection
Coming December 12th 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.
What the critics are saying about Susan Rae’s books
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
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…”
ICE blue Excerpt
A rush of adrenalin shot through Angela as she approached the accordioned car where a cop stood, adamantly motioning her over.
“What’ve we got?” she asked the officer. Another man, not a cop or rescue personnel, she presumed, as he wore no uniform jacket—hell, he wasn’t wearing a jacket at all—stood beside the officer, his back to her. His head and arms disappeared into the opening where the driver’s window should be. Blood, bright red and vibrant against the white snow, trickled from beneath the door at the man’s feet…
She touched the shoulder of the man leaning through the window.
“Hey, it’s okay, we’ll take it from here.”
The guy didn’t seem to hear her. More rescue vehicles were arriving on scene, sirens blaring.
She called more loudly. “Hey, I said we’ve got it!”
Finally he turned and gave her a quick assessment. She could swear she saw a touch of amusement in those blue-green eyes he flashed at her.
“Listen, lady, if I ease up on this,” he said smoothly, “this guy’ll bleed out.” Turning his back to her, he said to the driver, “Hang in there, buddy. I’ve got you covered…
Angela squeezed her arm in beside the man-in-the-window’s shoulder and pressed her fingers against the driver’s throat. He was tachy. His skin cold and clammy.
Withdrawing her hand, she bent, unzipped her jump bag, and grabbed a handful of trauma dressings. “Listen, thanks for your help,” she said firmly to the man beside her, “but, we’ve got it now.” She ripped a couple of gauze packs open with her teeth and added, “You’d better get into a warm car yourself or we’ll be treating you next.” The guy’s wavy, mid-length hair and cotton-shirted shoulders were quickly becoming coated with snow. It was clear he wasn’t from around here given his lack of outerwear.
He cocked his head toward her again and this time there was no mistaking that amused look. Angela shot him her most official glare. Her hands, loaded with supplies, were poised, ready to do battle just as soon as he got the hell out of her way.
His eyes narrowed ever so slightly on her. He glanced back into the car to where Josie was squeezing in through the passenger window and settled his gaze once more on Angela. “If you’re sure you’re ready?”
Shit! Was this guy for real? “Out of my way!” she ordered.
“Fine, he’s all yours.”
Before she was barely aware of it, he had backed out of the window and was holding his bloodied hands up into the air.
With an irritated shake of her head, she shoved past him, head and hands diving through the open window. With the pressure released, blood soaked more quickly through the jacket. She eased the jacket aside to expose the gash and slammed the gauze dressing against the pulsing artery. In the slight gap that remained of the front passenger compartment, Josie ripped I.V. packages open and readied a needle to pump the guy with fluids.
The driver started to shake, shock taking hold.
“Hold on there, buddy,” she called to him, but he drifted into unconscious; his eyes rolled back in his head. The sweet smell of warm blood against the crisp frigid air burned Angela’s nostrils. She felt a chill snake up her own spine. She and Josie were locked in a battle against time and the cold—they had to keep this guy alive until Rescue could get him out of here.
Glancing out the window, she noted that Mr. Helpful was gone. Thank God!
“Where the hell are those Jaws?” she yelled at the officer.
It’d been a long night. She’d already lost one patient on her watch; she’d be damned if she’d lose another.
TRUE blue Excerpt
Lieutenant Detective Joseph Anthony DeLuca Jr. of the Chicago Police Department knelt beside the victim and lifted the edge of the plastic sheet to expose the bloodied head and lifeless torso. His gut clenched. This never got easier, but this guy was a cop, a detective under his own watch, and that fact irked him even more.
“How the hell did this happen?” he asked Sergeant Davis, the slain detective’s immediate supervisor.
Oh, yes, he’d had the quick initial briefing when he’d arrived on scene. A convenience store robbery in progress. Shots fired. Officers responding, but before backup could arrive, more shots fired, and then a car screaming down the street and Detective Mark Beattie, pursuing on foot, struck down, his body flying through the air on impact, his head smashing against the pavement when he landed.
“Why was he here in the first place?” Lieutenant DeLuca added, ignoring the sweat that beaded on his brow. The late afternoon heat was stifling. The August sun’s hot rays radiated off the pavement. It didn’t help the sick feeling in his gut.
“He was following up on a lead on a previous robbery attempt,” Sergeant Davis said, “questioning a woman in the apartment across the street. As near as we can tell, he must have heard the first gunshots and he ran outside to check it out.
“We got the call at 3:47 for shots fired. According to witnesses, right after the first shots were fired, a man wearing a ski mask ran out of the store and took off on foot. Seconds later, another guy comes running out of the store, again wearing a ski mask. From what we’ve put together so far, when the second suspect came out of the store, Beattie called out that he was a police officer and told him to stop. About the same time, a car pulled up in the parking lot and a woman started to get out.
“The suspect began shooting toward Beattie, and Beattie returned fire, but then the suspect ran toward the woman’s car. He grabbed the woman and threw her aside so he could get into the car. That’s when Beattie took off after him on foot, right about the time another car came racing down the street. The car slammed into him. Beattie didn’t have a chance. Near as we can figure, it was the getaway car.
“The woman’s sitting in one of the patrol cars. She’s pretty shook up. Her eleven-month-old baby was in a car seat in the back. Both are okay. The suspect never made it out of the parking lot. It seems Detective Beattie got off a fatal shot before he was struck by the car. CSU is still working over the perp.”
Lieutenant DeLuca’s jaw clenched as his eyes focused on the bloodied features of his detective. Beattie was a good man, one of his best. He’d left a wife and two children, middle school age. Just last week, the man was telling him about a trip he was planning to take with his family to the Wisconsin Dells. He remembered the light in Beattie’s eyes as he talked about how excited the kids were.
“EMS worked on him for a full twenty minutes before calling it,” Davis continued. “CSU found a bullet hole in his neck and one in his chest. Not sure what really killed him—the impact, the gunshots, or smacking his head on the pavement. Take your pick.”
“What about the owner of the convenience store?” DeLuca asked.
Lieutenant DeLuca shook his head. “Are they done here?” He nodded down at Beattie.
“Just finished up, for now.”
The lieutenant eased the edge of the sheet down and said a silent prayer for his detective before looking up again at Davis. “Then let’s get him the hell off the street.”
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 website/blog at www.susanrae.com